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Song Parodies -> "Pioneer Frogman"

Original Song Title:

"On the Road Again"

Original Performer:

Willie Nelson

Parody Song Title:

"Pioneer Frogman"

Parody Written by:

Robert D. Arndt Jr.

The Lyrics

John Spence, a diver often credited as th first US "Frogman" in WW2 died recently. It was he who was chosen by the OSS to test a closed cycle breathing apparatus and pneumatic underwater gun during WW2 that started the whole "Frogman" term b/c of the OSS green waterproof suit. German divers were called Kampfschwimmer (Combat Swimmer) by comparison. Spence served on the Battleship Idaho and worked with Lockheed prior to Pearl Harbor and then wanted to join the Navy protecting merchant ships as a gunner but was recruited by the OSS under Major Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan for special divers training with new weapons to sink Nazi ships and destroy underwater obstacles for D-Day. He is one of the few people to try the closed-cycle system that subsequently is used by most Naval combat divers in the world (apart from Germany that already had theirs from Draeger). He also tested the single Dawes Gun prototype underwater rifle which was pneumatic. The OSS training was supposed to produce a group of Underwater Rangers but that title fizzled out b/c Spence used to joke that he liked playing underwater Buck Rogers! Instead, while training with the green suit someone yelled, "Hey Frog-man!" and that term stuck for all the subsequent combat divers too. Spence later heavily influenced the Navy SEALs that originated in 1962. He never got his chance at glory attacking the Nazi sub pens in France but did see action as a gunner in the PTO against Japanese ships from the destroyer Wadsworth, providing covering fire for combat swimmers during the assault on Iwo Jima. Spence also got to evaluate German diving tech from WW2 that was used in Cold War suits. He died recently at age 95 in a care facility in Bend, Oregon. RIP...
Pioneer Frogman
OSS green suit coined the term for him
John Spence served under Bill “Wild Bill’ Donovan
Nazi underwater obstacles to tend

Pioneer Frogman
German ships were ripe for sinkin’
The Dawes Gun made for German KS killin’
Nazi underwater obstacles to tend

Pioneer Frogman
The Idaho and Lockheed served in pre-war days
Marine ship defense
OSS wanted him for diving suit play
No give-away, was undetected

OSS green suit coined the term for him
John Spence served under Bill “Wild Bill’ Donovan
Nazi underwater obstacles to tend
Note: The USN was unable to breach the Nazi underwater and waterline obstacles for D-Day and they took a toll as German gunners pinned the attackers while underwater mines killed men and the US waterproof tanks. Spence taught other divers to place charges on enemy shipping and enemy amphibious assault techniques.

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.6
How Funny: 4.6
Overall Rating: 4.6

Total Votes: 10

Voting Breakdown

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    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   1
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   9

User Comments

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Patrick - November 13, 2013 - Report this comment
Now I know the origin of "frogman". Nice to see this pioneering diver live such a long and productive life. Though dying in a place called "Bend" has to be the "ultimate" irony.
Rob Arndt - November 15, 2013 - Report this comment
More little-known or unknown info in the pipeline with improvised weapons history and Hitler's women (besides Eva) ;-)

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