The End Of The Line

In 1945, at the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri, Commander George Kosco, USN, took the only color film of the event. The film remained in Commander Kosco’s possession until it was restored in 2010. The USS Missouri was one of four battleships of the Iowa class, the Iowa, the Wisconsin, the New Jersey and the Missouri. They are gone now, the end of the line begun when the English built the first race-built galleons, sleek and fast, through the great wooden two and three deckers to steel and steam. The big gun ships of the line have had their day, and now they are gone.  



The race-built heeled into the wind

So swift, so sleek, so lean

Yet who could tell when she was launched

The future had been seen

The race-builts paved the wooden way

For frigates and the like

Ships of the line with billowed sails

And sheet-work marlin spike

Then sail was done for steam and steel

Just laughed at wind and tide

And guns now turned, no longer did

They line the checkered side

And then at last the end had come

For battleships and men

The Iowas are gone and we’ll

See not their like again



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