Written by: James Paines, 349th Harbor Craft, US Army

On the 25th of July

That's what it would have been at home

But we'd crossed the International Date Line

Destination unknown.

The time was close to midnight

Everything was going right

I'd just drawn a king hight club flush

In a poker game that night.

When we heard the Japaro's whistle

Then another, and another call

The call to general quarters

And we started one and all,.

It was a liberty we were meeting

Or some ship of the sort

And she made a starboard turn

When she should have made a port.

Then came the awful crash

About side ship it seemed

And everyone was startled

As though awakening from a dream.

The libert ship had rammed us

And or ship was sinking fast

We wondered if she's stay afloat

Or was this to be our last.

Every man was at his station

And everything was quiet

We were waiting for the order

To abandon ship that night

Most everyone was praying

Their sailor prayers were heard

Our Maker was there to guide us

For the order wasn't heard

Eighteen hundred men aboard

And we didn't lose a man

So you can bet your life

That our Savior was at hand

He must have been two Gods

To where we are today

We're safe and being repaired

And we'll soon be underway

Some say that life's a gamble

I'm inclined to believe they're right

For we played a lot of poker

With our lives at stake that night

I have played a lot of poker

On sea and on the land

And that's the only game I know

Where each man had a winning hand.

----- James Paines


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