©Copyright CJ Magro, Paratroopers of the 50's
Editors's Note: Background picture is the 1944 Holland Combat Jump.
Fighter escort over Jumping Paratroopers
Is proud to present Six great WWII Poems by:  Peter Griffin
Peter Giffin What makes Peter's Poems so special is he's not only a Paratrooper , but one with an outstanding Combat Record .
His military decorations include, the Viet Nam Service Medal with two bronze battle stars, the Silver Star, the Vietnamese Paratrooper Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Recondo Patch, and others..
Peter Giffin

 
You can find out all about Peter on his excellent site:
http://www.angelfire.com/nc2/vietnamvet/index.html

Six Great WWII Poems
You can view them in the order listed or click on the one you wish to view first.
THE THOUSAND YARD STARE
A TIME TO REMEMBER
DUTCH TREAT
D-DAY, A SOUND BEGINNING
THE RISING SUN
PARATROOPER PADRE

A true story through the eyes of Trooper Mickey Cohen,
Division Headquarters,
101st Airborne, WW II, Landsberg, Lager #5, Germany.
Mickey

 THE THOUSAND YARD STARE Dachau
A column of prisoners, being evacuated from the Dachau
Photograph from the Marion Koch Collection,
courtesy of USHMM Photo Archive.

If  I  live to be a thousand ,
I will never understand......
The odyssey of a soldier's life,
Fighting for one's homeland....

To see men die in battle,
A terrible thing indeed....
To see the wounded suffer,
All crying out in need.....!

From shot and shell,
Man's earthly hell.....
One prays to God,
The battles to quell....

As bad as this,  there's worse to see,
The poor bastards in captivity.....
Men, women, children, all the same,
All subjected to unspeakable pain.....

To enter the camp, to set them free,
One can't believe their agony.....
The smell of death, all over the place,
The looks of horror on their face.....

Imprisoned in wire,  spirits broken,
Sadistic guards,  crematory fires.....
Infestation, humiliation,
Machine gun towers, humanity soured.....

Hatred persists, tattoos on wrists,
Privacy gone, striped uniforms....
Stars of David become despised labels,
Starvation reigns,  dignity chained....

Jews, Russians, Poles, and the French,
Starved to death, thrown in the trench....
Bodies in heaps, pulled golden teeth,
Desperation thrived, tortured lives.....

Chained to bunks, stagnant air stunk,
Lying in waste, dying in place....
Maggots and flies, childrens cries,
Polluted water, missing daughters....!

If I live to be a thousand,
I will never understand.....
To be a paratrooper,
To enter no man's land.......

To depict such an evil setting,
Still sets my stomach retching.....
To see such evil, men have done,
To see the skeletons, one by one....!

Difficult to tell, the horrors I've seen,
People reduced to pitiful beings.....
Enslaved,  starved,  and murdered,
To please the God damned Fuehrer....!

Piles of bodies,  lie everywhere,
Survivors in filth, stench fills the air.....
Pitiful beings,  I cringed at their touch,
How in the hell, could they suffer so much.....!

Men and women, living in fear,
All possessed "The Thousand Yard Stare"....!
Empty eyes, staring in space,
Praying to God, to spare their race.....!

If I live to be a thousand,
I will never understand....
What it was to be a child,
To live in no man's land.....!

Horror was their way of life,
Terror was their daily strife....
Made to watch  their parents die,
All they could do,  was scream and cry.....!

The children,  the poor children,
How they suffered so.....
Life became their nightmare,
Never to outgrow....

Unable to stop the madness,
Limited in what I could do....
I can't erase the image,
The hell that they went through.....!

The way their lives were ended,
Leaves mankind most offended.....
Horrors endured together,
Tossed in pits,  interred forever.....!

In a way, the dead are lucky,
For they are quiet now....
God's embrace has stopped their pain,
Heaavenly peace is their domain....

Time heals all wounds,  so they say,
But  they weren't there,  to share that day....
Time stands still when hatred reigns,
Scars so deep,  can't stop the pain.....!

The evil that some men can do,
Haunts other men,  their whole lives through....
If I live a thousand years,
I will always possess, "THE THOUSAND YARD STARE"........!

by: Peter S. Griffin

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 The following poem:
A TIME TO REMEMBER
Was written for Mickey Cohen by Pete Griffin,  in honor of the "Battered Bastards of Bastogne."

Bastonge
We'll never forget your efforts and sacrifices. God bless you for our freedom.  Thank You!

Let us pause and reflect,
On a battle we'll never forget....
Twas December of '44,
All our troopers were at war....

Tested on OVERLORD and MARKETGARDEN,
Scrreaming Eagles,  toned and hardened....
Fought their way to the Ardennes,
Never pausing to take a rest....

Knocking hard on Hitler's gate,
Paratroopers would seal his fate....
Twas their job to protect,
Bastogne's borders from conquest....

German armies had amassed,
This breakthrough would be the last....
To reach the Meuse,  to tighten the noose,
To strangle the allies on the loose....

Artillery pounded day and night,
All of Belgium shook with fright....
Twas a mistake,  the Germans thought,
Defending Bastogne,  all would be lost....

"Send the message",  their General said,
"Surrender now or you'll be dead...."
The 101st don't have a chance,
All will die by the Nazi lance....

Fighting sleep and the bitter cold,
The 101st would surely fold....
Low on supplies and ammunition,
They'd surrender without condition....

The only thing he didn't consider,
Screaming Eagles would not wither....
Airborne soldiers tried and tested,
Their fighting spirit would not be bested....

General McAuliffe said one word,
They wouldn't believe what they heard....
What is this,  "NUTS",  he said,
The Germans answered with armor and lead....

Artillery and armor,  shells were cracking,
Nazi Infantry were attacking....
Airborne courage was not lacking,
They'd fight like hell and wait for backing....

Holding on to precious ground,
Inflicting damage with every round....
Airborne soldiers fought and bled,
Winter's snow was turning red....

"The Battered Bastards of Bastogne",
Fought like Belgium was their own....
Hold on they did,  to turn the tide,
To attack when Patton arrived....

Allied armor to lend a hand,
They chased the Nazi's to Rhineland....
Fighting hard as they went,
Their Airborne spirit would not relent....

Fifty years have come and gone,
Time can't diminish what they have done....
"The Battle of the Bulge", was a hard fought one,
Belgium was free and the war was won....

These Paratroopers of World War II,
Fought like hell and saw it through....
Screaming Eagles who fought and bled,
Their fighting spirit will never be dead....

Let us pause and reflect,
To give them honor and respect....
Our fallen brothers,  we'll never forget,
Their sacrifices are part of us yet....

Many crosses stand as a reminder,
Airborne soldiers have never been finer....
Screaming Eagles proud and true,
Defending freedom for me and you....

God bless them all,  for what they've done,
Airborne heroes,  everyone....
Hitler is finished,  the world is free,
Let us celebrate the victory...!

GOD BLESS YOU ALL,  AIRBORNE...!

By Peter S. Griffin

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 DUTCH TREAT
Holland
Picture of Paratroopers near Arnheim , Holland .

"DUTCH TREAT", everyone pays their way,
Thats the way it was, that September day....
Allied Airborne, honed and sharpened,
Paratroopers jumped on "Marketgarden"....

C47's filled the skies,
Nazi soldiers wouldn't believe their eyes....
A surprise attack, from the air,
Yanks, British, Poles, gliders everywhere....

Paratroopers jumped in broad daylight,
Never was seen, such Airborne might....
To seize and hold, was their mission,
"Hell's Highway", no matter it's condition....

To take the road, that was the key,
To unlock the doors of Germany....
British armor would have to race,
Hope like hell, they can stand the pace....

Paratroopers, proud and true,
Lightly armed, they'd see it through....
Heavy guns must take up the slack,
To keep the Germans, off their backs....

The Dutch Underground was our eyes,
The Nazis' couldn't take us by surprise....
With them fighting by our side,
The Germans could not turn the tide....

Liberating towns as they went,
Airborne lives were being spent....
Fighting hard, they made their way,
German soldiers were made to pay....

Eindhoven, Zon, St. Oedenrode,
Never have troopers been so bold....
The Dutch people, filled with glee,
Ever so happy, for their liberty....

Freeing all, as they went,
The Airborne mission would not relent....
Taking bridges as they progressed,
Defeating Germans, in the process....

Vechel, Uden, Grave, and Nijmegan,
Freeing these towns, all in the bargain....
The 101st and 82nd were succeeding,
The German Army was sent reeling....

The British 1st Airborne was at Arnhem,
But Nazi Panzers were there to harm them....
Trying to take the bridge across the Rhine,
The British were running out of time....

Forty eight hours were the most,
These British troopers could stay afloat....
Thirty Corps was still by the Waal,
If they didn't hurry, they would fall....

Situation desperate, some made their escape,
Trying to take Arnhem, was a mistake....
Had they reached the Zuider Zee,
"Marketgarden" would have been, such a victory....

Airborne strength, by itself,
Accomplished more than was asked for....
But Arnhem was a "Bridge Too Far",
"Operation Marketgarden" was thus marred....

Ask the Dutch, just what they think,
"Marketgarden" had no kinks....
It freed their people and country,
They love the Airborne and their liberty....

A highway divided, was the mission,
An occupied country was the condition....
Freeing The Netherlands was a great feat,
To see them smile, is a DUTCH TREAT...!

Peter S. GRIFFIN

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 D-DAY, A SOUND BEGINNING
Normandy
Paratroopers relax, while on flight to Southern France

Anticipation is a strange thing,
The invasion of Europe, in the offing.
Will we go?, will we not?,
My head is spinning, stomach in knots.

Boarding the plane, adjusting your gear,
None of the men, showing much fear.
Well briefed, we know what to expect,
Engines roaring, time to reflect.

Remembering home, the loved ones there,
Pleasant memories, planes take to the air.
Paratroopers will lead the way,
The invasion of France, is underway.

To catch the Germans by surprise,
Airborne soldiers, will jump and die.
"D-Day", has begun,
Soon Hitler's armies on the run.

Flying in the dark of night,
The planes are bobbing left and right.
Enemy guns are firing high,
Tracer bullets light up the sky.

June 6th, of forty four,
Never have so many, "stood in the door".
As the light turned from red to green,
"Bill Lee", was the scream.

Before I knew it, my chute was open,
Planes on fire, my breath was choking.
Bullets flying, brave men dying,
Looking down, still hear the sounds.

German soldiers running around,
Buildings on fire, throughout the town.
Paratroopers landing everywhere,
Firing their "Thompsons", from the air.

The Cherbourg Peninsula, all a drop zone,
Troopers and gliders, some landing alone.
Clicking their "crickets", all did regroup,
Creating chaos, confusing Nazi troops.

Inflicting damage, wherever they went,
Enemy soldiers, forced to relent.
Paratroopers were paving the way,
Seizing objectives and securing causeways.

To open exits for the beaches,
Seaborne troops would be soon reaching.
Normandy would soon be stormed,
Nazi soldiers not forwarned.

Caught unaware and by surprise,
Enemy soldiers were quick to die.
Trying hard, to hold their own,
Dying Nazi's were heard to groan.

Heavy fighting, brought to bear,
Airborne victories were quite clear.
German's couldn't counterattack,
Paratroopers would cut no slack.

Capturing roadways, bridges and locks,
Airborne soldiers couldn't be stopped.
Taking objectives as they went,
Nazi resistance was badly spent.

As a result of the Airborne mission,
Normandy's beaches became aquisitions.
H-Hour was a success,
Many Nazis were laid to rest.

"D-Day" opened the door,
Allied victories thus assured.
Cherbourg became an open port,
Nazi Germany became a fort.
"D-DAY, A SOUND BEGINNING!",
The sound of freedom, allies winning.
Twas the start of something great,
Airborne soldiers, sealing Hitler's fate.

The cost was high, the price was paid,
Many crosses mark their graves.
Paratroopers fought and died,
But Europe's freedom still survives.

Thank you all, for what you've done,
You Airborne heroes, everyone!

Peter S. GRIFFIN

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 THE RISING SUN
DEDICATED TO THE ELITE TROOPERS OF THE 11TH AIRBORNE DIVISON, AND ALL THE OTHER GALLANT FORCES WHO FOUGHT IN THE PACIFIC DURNING WORLD WAR II
11th Abn
Noemfoor Island July 3, 1944 Dutch , New Guinea

Out of the east, the horror would come,
The dreaded war beast of THE RISING SUN,
Sunday, December 7th of '41,
That day of infamy, the war had begun....

The Pacific Ocean was their nest,
Full of warships, carriers the best....
Tora, Tora, Tora!, was their call,
A sneak attack would signal our fall....

Torpedo bombers led the way,
Pearl Harbor was sleeping, resting that day....
Hickam Field was quiet, as well,
Soldiers at ease, Tojo quite pleased....

Devastation was thorough and quick,
Japanese treachery had done the trick....
Our Pacific Fleet was left in ruins,
Sunken ships, in a burning lagoon....

Midway, Wake and Guam fell next,
America's forces were most perplexed....
General McArtur left the Philipines,
Japanese forces, fulfilling their dreams....

British possessions in the Far East,
Were soon to suffer, similiar defeat...
Soldiers of THE RISING SUN,
Had the Allies on the run....

Instilling terror everywhere,
Samurai Soldiers had nothing to fear....
Gobbling up islands as they progressed,
Japs reveling in, such easy conquests....

It wasn't long before we rallied,
Our Air Forces would better the tally....
Doolittle and his Bombers filled the air,
Soon Tokyo, would taste the fear.....

Japanese Soldiers would fight to the death,
Suicide acceptable, if aided conquest.....
The "Bushido Code" called for this,
American power would grant them their wish.....

Naval battles would turn the tide,
Coral Sea, Midway, many Japs were to die......
American Soldiers and Marines,
Were soon to silence, the Bonzai screams.....

Our Merchant marines joined the foray,
"The Red Ball Express" saved many a day.....
The Japanese were a bitter foe,
Jungle fighting was toe to toe....

Heavy fighting was the theme,
Island hopping was the scheme...
Coast watchers monitored our foe,
We'd attack as we'd grow....

Victories on Iwo Jima and Saipan,
Forced the Japs to alter their plans....
American flags, being raised everywhere,
Japanese losses, exploding in air....

MacArthur and Halsey gathered their might,
Taking Leyte in the dark of night....
"Kamikazes" struck from the air,
Jap desperation, reached a new tier....

MacArthur's promise was right on,
American troops stormed Luzon....
Paratroopers jumped on Corregidor,
Airborne soldiers opened the door.....

"The Bataan Death March", horrors begotten,
Japan's atrocities not forgotten....
The Los Banos Raid, liberation at dawn,
Paratroopers jumped, to right such a wrong......

B29's bombed the Isles of Japan,
Fire bomb raids were scorching their lands.....
Jap industries burst into fire,
"Tokyo Rose" became known as a liar.....

To invade the land of THE RISING SUN,
America would lose, too many sons........
On an August day, flew the "Enola Gay",
Atomic blasts would finish the task.....

Anchored in Tokyo Bay,
"Missouri Guns" seemed to sway....
Leaders of THE RISING SUN,
Had to anwser, for what they done....

September 2nd, of '45,
"VJ Day" had finally arrived....
THE RISING SUN was set by the best,
"The Sleeping Giant" put them to rest.....

Peter S. GRIFFIN

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 PARATROOPER PADRE
In loving memory of Monsignor Francis L. Sampson
Major General (Ret.) United States Army
Born: February 29, 1912 Died: January 28, 1996
Father Sampson
Editors note: Counted 3 Combat Jump Stars on his wings !!

Father Francis L. Sampson, a man of the cloth,
The PARATROOPER PADRE, his mission, not a soul lost...!
An elite soldier, who jumped from the sky,
A faithful companion, for ones who might die....

God created the angels, to serve and protect,
He created Paratrooper Padres to complete the set....
Saint Michael, the Archangel, an example for all,
Father Sampson, his protege, always standing tall....

The Paratrooper's greatest fear,
The Angel of Death, oh so near...!
"Praise the Lord, pass the ammunition",
An accurate description of the combat condition...!

Hungry, tired, dirty, pushed to the edge,
Praying to God, dodging bullets of lead....
Facing death at every turn,
God's saving grace, the soldier does yearn...!

But theres one comfort, he surely does know,
By his side, the PARATROOPER PADRE, wherever he goes....
Offering encouragement, dispelling confusion,
Comforting the wounded, granting absolution....

A shining example, for all who are near,
This servant of God, showing no fear....
Bursting shells, agonizing yells,
Death's horrible smell, the panic he quells....

The peace of God, he spreads to all,
Saving body and soul, was his call....
His comforting words, his caring touch,
No mortal man, could care as much...!

To dying men, he gave much comfort,
A Christian death, a prayerful tear....
God's embrace, relieved the fear,
All the troopers, knew he cared....

Braving the hardships, of many a war,
The sacraments of God, he gave to all....
Soldiers lose their fear of death,
Last Rights given, all is forgiven...!

This is the greatest gift, Paratrooper Padres can give,
The keys to Heaven, is for the forgiven...!
He patched their bodies, to make them whole,
He risked his life, to save their souls...!

Enduring all that war could give,
To prisoners of war, he gave, the will to live...!
Deprived of all, but their faith,
Father Sampson spread God's saving grace....

Hearing confessions, saying Mass,
Tortured souls, pains that last....
Near starvation, dying of thirst,
Facing atrocities, all the worse...!

Bringing aid and comfort, to soldiers in need,
The sacred Last Rights, the blessed last deed....
To many dying troopers, he put their minds at ease,
Father Sampson turned death, to blessed victory...!

Our PARATROOPER PADRE, a man we could kiss,
Served in three wars, no ordinary accomplishment...!
World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam,
To so many lives, he restored the calm....

Now is the time to say, HOORAY...!,
To Father Sampson, our PARATROOPER PADRE...!
Thank you sir, for all you've done,
In three wars, OUR HEARTS YOU HAVE WON...!

PETER S. GRIFFIN


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