The Last Loss

On 29 April 1945 days after the death of Hitler, the U-Boat war continued to the bitter end. Having avoided one torpedo that day, HMS Goodall was hit and started to sink. As her crew were escaping into the freezing sea other escorts detected the U Boat and attacked, ploughing through men in the water and killing some with depthcharges dropped about them as they struggled to survive. Soviet boats present rescued some as did one Royal Navy ship.

Last but not Least:  Recollection of Survivors by Vic Ould

Last but not Least: Recollection of Survivors by Vic Ould

Men in the burning sea

Swimming Sailor

He fought a fate that seemed quite near
He strove to get away
And all about he sensed such fear
There on that doleful day

He jumped into the icy sea
He swam out from her side
But diesel oil was pouring free
It spread out far and wide

The sea held safety from the flames
But oil will float and burn
Ah, Fate it plays the cruelest games
Death comes to each in turn

The fire spread out across the sea
More swift than birds may fly
And there it seemed his destiny
To freeze and burn and die

His arms and head then caught alight
He fought to swim straight on
But who can win a hopeless fight
We saw him and felt wan

With flailing strokes and failing then
He was soon lost from view
Apart from prayers of watching men
There’s nought that we could do

Small bubbles rose from his last breath
All faded then in him
The fire and cold had caused his death
His dying quick but grim

 

Drowned Sailor

Limp and lifeless drifting downward
Sinking slowly through the cold
Washed so slowly there to landward
He would never now grow old

Though no more now would he face fear
Back at home old folk will weep
Blue clothes cling about him here
Though all’s blackness in the deep

Bubbles rising from this clothing
His warm blood is now all chill
Drifting, sinking just a dead thing
Arctic cold was quick to kill

Fate was sealed and death was grim
U-boats here are about
He’d called out as ships had passed him
Passing matelots heard him shout

In the springtime on the shoreline
Stinking corpses marred the shore
Arctic daytime chilly sunshine
Clearing up a ghastly chore

 

©T.Morgan 2014
From Work in progress: HMS Goodall 29 April 1945, The Last Loss

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