Poem by Richard Hamon, Whiskey 2 Company 1RNZIR, 1968-1969.

It was in February of Nineteen-Fifty-Seven
When they gave me my new name
And for the past fifty years I’ve never changed
I am still the same

For my kind this is an achievement
For there are others ready to take my place
But for my roots I am strong powerful and rugged
With enough speed to win the race

They say from Belgian British and German stock
My lineage did begin
But looking a little further back in time
It could be Polish or American

None the less it’s with each generation
The best qualities were preserved
So it goes without saying that on the day
It’s only the best that you deserve

Since that day in Fifty-Seven I have traveled
The world far and wide
To many I was a blessing
But to others I bought fear to their eyes

At some places I just stood tall
Showing the strong curves of my slender frame
While in other lands I had to work tirelessly
On bringing misery death and pain

Then one day in Nineteen-Sixty-Eight
I met some warriors from NZ
Training in the jungles of Malaya
They weren’t the first that I had met

I showed them everything that I could do
To help them in their quest
For they were allies off to fight in Vietnam
They were training to be their best

First they didn’t like the comforts I had
I don’t know their reasons for
So an old master came to my aid
And taught them everything and more

How to use my qualities
And to get the most in any role I played
And with more training they got to know me well
And in their midst I stayed

Together we patrolled the jungles of Vietnam
I was regarded in high esteem
I was pampered with their gentle hands
But when fighting we got mean

In every contact we fought together
Fighting for our lives
But in their moments of sadness
I could see tears rolling from their eyes

I stood with them on sentry
Through the dark lonely nights
When I showed my strength and power
It lifted them to great heights

I was with them in every corner of this war
Whatever the tasks had to be
But in the end it was their courage alone
That got them through you see I'm just an M sixty

Throughout that war I was known by many nicknames
Only two I can recall
Le Savage and The Widow Maker
The later being the most popular of all

But memories have a place for me
For now I am a pin depicting my majestic shape
I am well placed upon a breast near a heart above
The medals let me not forsake

Reference: 

© Richard William Hamon. Not to be published or reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

How to cite this page: 'Le Savage - Poem', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/le-savage, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Sep-2013

Comments

Richard; You have captured the heart of a soldier in your poem and kept me guessing until the end. Let us not be ashamed of what we did or the weapons we used. No one can stand in judgment upon us because they weren't there. In Victor 2 the M60 was the main killer and a weapon to be proud of. Well done.
Dennis Griffin, Victor 2