December the seventh we heard about Pearl,
We knew we'd be next on the list.
The men of our Corps four fifty no more
All swore to the death to resist.
Cho: Wake Island, Wake Island,
It's not even marked on the map
Our Corps raised her name into honor and fame
When they stopped the advance of the Japs.
Cut off from supplies with no hope of aid
We sighted the first Japanese,
With thousands of troops and a task force of ships
They thought they could take us with ease.
They sent in their subs, their ships and their planes
They shelled us by day and by night,
Surrender they said, we laughed at their threats
We're only beginning to fight.
Our four hundred fifty cost six thousand Japs
Our fighters downed twenty eight planes,
We sank two destroyers and one submarine
Six others got shelled for their pains.
Our plan was to fight to the very last man
But Deveraux gave this command,
There's a thousand civilians I can't sacrifice
We'll have to surrender our band.
As we lay down our arms on the twenty third day
The Japs cheered the news of defeat.
But they could not believe a few crummy Marines
Had stopped the whole Japanese fleet.
From "Tell it to the Marines", Oscar Brand