The following poems were written by Corporal Larry J. "Irish" McMahon
while serving with the 543rd EB&SR in New Guinea in 1944. "Irish joined the 543rd July 31,1943 and stayed with them until transfered to the 1460th Engr. Boat Maint. Co. 2nd ESB June 2,1944 He was discharged December 24,1945. These poems are printed with his permission,
contributed by Lesa Blevins. The poem at the end was submitted by "Irish" January 25,2004.
March 5,1944 New Guinea
NEW GUINEA RAIN
It comes, as a shot from a gun.
All fellas, for the tents now they run -
To pull down flaps and cover the door
So rain won't wash things from the floor.
Rains fall on this sun scorched land,
Cooling - at first, it feels just grand,
But after 'fects of flooded street,
G.I.'s walking with mud cov'rd feet.
It stops - but only to return again,
Off and on - That's New Guinea Rain.
Cpl. L.J. (IRISH) McMahon
April 11,1944 New Guinea
FUN PLUS DANGER
I sit at watch in the darkness of night,
Watching for ships to come into sight
Looking for things afloat on the deep,
While mates below get well earned sleep.
Most of the time, nothing do I see, -
But angry water splashing o'er me -
We're up, then down - side to side,
Old King Neptune's giving some ride.
With rain, wind, and waves, all in one,
Its Dangerous. But I think it's fun.
Cpl. L.J.McMahon (Irish)
The following poem was written after Larry and his crewmates were
caught in a typhoon and forced up on an island. They and their damaged boat
were found seven days later.
May 1944 New Guinea
LOST HUNGRY and WET
All's well, first two days on our way,
But our compass broke that third day -
Too far at sea, to sight the shore,
Rains falling, Oh did it pour!
Rushing water in 'n out our boat,
Each man praying to keep us afloat,
We almost tipped a couple times,
Thought I could hear "Heavenly Chimes",
LAND! LAND! What a glorious sight,
Could barely see it that stormy night,
Then we splashed o'er reefs so high,
Shouting, "God I'm too young to die".
He must've known how thankful I'd be,
'Cause He saved me from that angry sea.
Five days four nights, storm and rain again,
(Yet)Nothing to eat, Drinks from the rain.
Lost on an island seven days, then saved.
Seeing rescue boats, we cried and waved.
Each of us knowing it was true -
God watched us and brought us through.
Cpl. L.J. Irish McMahon
July 4,1944 New Guinea
MAY YOU NEVER KNOW
May you never know the price we pay
To make Japs run in fear this way.
At home a victory is simply grand
One step closer, saving our land.
Lord forbid, bombs you'll never hear
Shell burst and fire raising your fear.
Jungle life may you never see
A living hell!! That's what it be.
We - know all; but never tell,
Honest friend, War IS HELL
Cpl. Larry J. (Irish) McMahon.
War in the South West Pacific.
21 August 1944 New Guinea
"New Guinea, My Home"
New Guinea soil - no place to resort,
Too much sickness - bugs of every sort.
Rainsoaked streets - mud o'er our boots,
Trees torn down - blackened roots.
Dark barefoot natives stroll along,
Flocks of birds sing a native song.
Colored parrots fly thru the sky,
Rainbow colors catch one's eye.
Palm trees away in gentle breeze,
Only God could really love these.
Then land laid barren by flying steel,
Nature's wounds, only time will heal.
Bodies buried - killed by guns,
Children's daddies - Mother's sons.
We then push on with envious might,
But remember well that one last sight.
Of G.I. Joe, a buddy so true,
Who fought and died right next to you.
But still there's left much that's good,
Beauty of course - that's understood.
Coc'nut trees blend with moonlit skies,
Colored coral - not man-made dyes.
Strange fish we see - bright shells in the sand,
Yes, the good and bad of - this foreign land.
Guinea's dark jungles are hell to roam,
But for time being - my only home!
Return to 3rd ESB History
Return to EBSR Homepage
This page last updated 8/15/99