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Troop Transport, Cape Cleare

Story ID:6492
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Person:Seasick Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Troop Transport, Cape Cleare

“Cape Cleare”

In September of “45”
2000 Soldiers were assembled near
The gangplank of
That Army Transport ship “Cape Cleare”

Almost to a man we had a deck of cards
For playing Poker, Black Jack, or Solitaire
When we got bored at sea
On that transport ship “Cape Cleare”.

By the time we anchored at Okinawa
We were thirty days afloat
That huge Transport ship had shrunk
To the size of a rowboat.

The ship had turned into a gambling ship
On deck on every hatch
Groups of soldiers
Gathered to play or watch

There was Blackjack games
On the left side and the right
Wads of dollar bills were held in the hands
Of every soldier in sight.

From the Bow to the Stern
From Starboard to Port
Every soldier on that ship
Was getting into the sport

Fifteen days out to sea
From the mess hall to the fantail
Gambling night and day
As on and on we sailed.

It was very dangerous if caught cheating
In the middle of the Pacific
It’d be suicide; you’d be tossed over the side
Consequences would be horrific.

When we finally reached our destination
After a month at sea
Five or six were winners,
The pockets of the rest were empty.

No matter on Okinawa
There was nothing there to buy
As into our tent we went
With a deck of cards nearby

We would shuffle those dog-eared pasteboards
It helped with boredom there
With another rousing game
Of Solitaire, not on the Cape Cleare.
Monte L. Manka 11-02-10

(This is not the original Cape Cleare but built by the same company that built the Troopship, Cape Cleare.)