"The Saga of the Good Ship Bergen," by Art Eisenberg


"The Saga of the Good Ship Bergen," by Art Eisenberg


The Saga of the Good Ship Bergen tells the story of how the Japanese feared the crew of the U. S. S. Bergen more than they feared the atomic bomb.


Art Eisenberg


Upper Midwest Jewish Artchives: Archives and Special Collections the University of Minnesota Archives.
Box 449, File 17.








The Saga of the Good Ship Bergen

I’ll tell you a tale of the seven seas,
A saga bold and true,
A story of the Bergen
And it’s valiant hardy crew.
From all the land men gathered round
Each to his bidden chore,
To sail against the dirty Jap
And, quickly end the war.
They came from east, and from the south
And, from the north and west,
From whence they sprang it made no odds,
They were the nation’s best.
While far away in Tokyo
Word of the Bergen’s gallant crew
Spread quickly far and wide,
Till nary an eye among the Japs
From that day was ever dried.
They feared not the awful bombers,
Nor the atom’s mighty din,
It was only the thought of the Bergen
Told them they could never win.
On a winder day in ‘45
When the shakedown cruise was done,
They sailed for San Francisco,
‘Twas a forty eight hours run.
At Oakland they were loaded,
With guns and a fighting crew,
And, to uphold Navy tradition
Some of the men were loaded too,
Loaded some with bourbon, were,
And some with Scotch or rye,
As they sailed into the Pacific,
Where they went to do or die.
Six days they sailed the ocean blue,
Till they saw famed Diamond Head.
Left behind their hopes and prayers,
Left their loved with hearts of lead,
Left behind the days of childhood,
Forward to the zone of war,
Where the years of loot and conquest
Left the mark of blood and gore.
They took over Honolulu,
It was quite a sight to see,
How they basked in lovely sunshine
One the beach at Waikiki.

Loading troops at Honolulu,
Heading west again to war,
Never knowing what tomorrow
They were ever living for.
Joined the sacred Golden Dragons,
It was thrilling on the brine,
They became a whole day younger
They crossed the famed date line.
One the Eniwetok Atoll,
Tiny speck amid the blue,
Won by blood and sweat of comrades,
Back in 1942.
On the Saipan with our fighters,
Muggy, sticky, humid, hot,
Heard the snipers in the foothills
When the Japs would take a shot.
Watched B29’s majestic
As they rose and sailed away,
To plant their bombs in Nippon’s bosom,
Hearts were thrilled in us that day.
Back to Pearl and amphib practice,
Off Maui for several days
Waiting for the next assignment
Impatient at the Navy ways.
Meanwhile far back east in Europe
The G.I.’s showed their stuff,
Till the Nazi gang of hoodlums
Cried that they had had enough.
Then the Bergen was appointed
It was thrilling, too, and fun,
To take home Pacific veterans
One thousand men whose work was done.
So back home across the ocean
And, again the Golden Gate,
Liberty for some and pleasure,
For two weeks our life was great.
Then again we saw Seattle,
(Where broken hearts from long ago
From the days when we were rookies
Even then, some were slow)
Loaded now with troops and transport,
Back across the ocean blue,
Back to Pearl and Eniwetok,
The Ulithi Atoll, too.
Recreation parties on old Mog Mog,
Lots of men, how would you feel,
Nary a dusky lovely maiden
If you had the sex appeal.
All the beer that one could ask for,
Just he sort to wile the hours,
Since there was no other game.
So they sweated out the hours
So they sat, 500 strong,
Till the word ws sent to Nippon
The Bergen soon would be along.

Hirohito called his council,
Called them in the morning hours,
Used his heaven-sent baloney,
Used his most persuasive powers.
Said he to Tojo and the others,
As they stood in deathlike calm,
“I velly sorry, I no likee
American atomic bomb.
But bad news I have for you,
Soon will come the big ship Bergen,
So we retreat in honorable fashion,
Most of our Jap Navee sunk,
Atomic bomb is minor matter,
When compared to the of Bergen drunk,”
So he sent an urgent message,
To the allied heads of State,
Asked for terms fo the surrender,
‘Ere he feared ‘twould be too late.
Said atomic bombs raised havoc,
Said the bombers wrecked his realm,
He would happily surrender
If they’d leave him at the helm.
So mid pomp and powered splendor,
On the Old Missouri’s deck.
They all met and signed the papers
To take over the Nippon’s wreck,
And, in those documents ‘Twas mentioned,
The reason for the proud Japs fall,
It was not the fighting Russians,
Or atomic bombs at all,
The Mikado heard a rumor
That if now he didn’t quit,
They were going to send the Bergen
And boys, that was really it.
He had but ruined cities,
Of his empire was bereft,
But if the Bergen had ever landed,
He wouldn’t have a damn thing left,
So consulting his ancestors,
On what caused the awful hitch,
He found that far from son of heaven,
He was a plain son of a witch,
So he gave up his whole empire,
Surrendered every single man,
And, to this day the Bergen never
Has gone to Japan.

Original Format

8 x 11 sheets of paper


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Date Added
December 4, 2013
Creative Pieces Written by Frank and Art Eisenberg
Item Type
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Art Eisenberg, “"The Saga of the Good Ship Bergen," by Art Eisenberg,” Discovering the Importance in the Ordinary:, accessed December 8, 2019, https://eisenbergexhibit.omeka.net/items/show/46.