Poetry By, For, and About the 96th Division

"Leyte Lament"

"One of the men in my company wrote the following poem. We all thought it was very appropriate. A lot of us did not appreciate the way we were treated by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Oh yes, he was a brilliant soldier and tactician, but he was a pompous individual too, we thought." From Jacob Zimmerli in "One Soldier's Story."

Click to get PDF version
Click to get PDF version of Zimmerli's "One Soldier's Story."
"Army Life"

"All's Well that Ends Well"

by Cpl. Clayton Bluse, Camp Adair, Oregon

Army Life


"The Fighting Men of the 381st"

by Earl G. Kost, 381st Anti-tank

These are the men who have seen the worst
The fighting men of the three-eighty-first
Through mud and rain, on coral and sand
They fought, some died, in a far-off land

When in the States in Forty-Two
They wore the patch of white and blue
Their time was spent in rugged drilling
The Oregon nights were wet and chilling

Then at last their training was done
They knew there was a war to be won
So off they went, prepared for the worst
these hearty men of the 381st

In the month of October in Forty-Four
They made a landing on an enemy shore
There was rain and mud, mosquitoes and flies
and enemy snipers concealed in the trees

Day after day this torture went on
Till finally one day the battle was won
They were rugged fighters, they had proven this true
Something bigger was coming, this they all knew

So after a rest, they boarded the ships
Again on their for a crack at the Nips
So on April the first, they landed once more
On Okinawa, Japan's front door

They fought this fight from hill to hill
They pleaded with God, their fate was his will
Again they fought in rain and mud
Buying each ridge with American blood

Then the great news came, the battle was o'er
They had won the fight for Japan's front door

Now the battles are over, VJ day is here
Strike up the band, let's give a big cheer
Hold your heads high men, 'cause you've seen the worst
you fighting men of the 381st




"Always a Deadeye"  

The seeds of “Always a Deadeye” were actually sown in the year 2000. This was when my son Paul and I took a tour back to the old battlegrounds of Okinawa. As we shared our combat stories, a warm realization swept over me: these men were my new buddies, and we were all Deadeyes.  After returning home, and a little later on, I put these feelings of camaraderie and sacrifice into this poem. I fussed over the words and meter and when it was finished I passed it on to other members of the tour. Jim Causey read it at the following 96th Division Reunion. I was of course delighted with the acceptance. I have an illustrated copy available for you to see or to print on this site. To have a decorated copy of this poem, just click on the little Army Star at the bottom for a PDF file to copy to your desktop and print.

Click to download a PDF Version
Click to get PDF version of Hill's story "Blue Star in the Window"

Please Feel free to submit your poetry.

This is the place to share your Deadeye Experiences in Poetry form.