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general_kalle
09-17-2008, 07:24 AM
Lib or Fort -
Which Was Best?

The debate is as strong,
now just as before,
as to which bomber was best,
the -17 or -24.

Some guys said the -17,
was certainly a queen,
and she was the best bomber,
that they had ever seen.

But other crews stood their ground,
and some actually swore,
that their bomber was better,
the immortal - 24.

The -17 was a good plane,
it's easy to say.
She was first into battle,
and fought on day after day.

But the -24 fought,
in every theater of war,
and could fly higher and faster,
so that evened the score.

"So which one is better?"
the question seems to arise,
from all the "old timers",
who flew unfriendly skies.

Well, there's a story that's survived,
above all the rest,
of how a -24 crew,
proved their bomber was best.

It seems one day,
as the war raged on,
that some -17's were flying,
across the big pond.

Unknown to them,
above and behind,
flew a lone -24,
of the "H" model kind.

When the -24 pilot,
saw the -17's below,
a thought came to mind,
that just made his face glow.

"Hold on boys" he said,
as he pushed on the yoke.
"Those -17's don't see us
so we're playin' a joke."

He pushed the nose over,
into a shallow dive,
˜til the airspeed read,
three hundred twenty five.

She shuddered and shook,
and the clouds flew by,
and the crew wondered
"Are we all going to die?"

Soon they saw what was happening,
and figured it all out,
got on the intercom,
and started to shout.

"Give her all she's got",
everyone did say.
"Let's show those Forts
who's the best this day!"

The airspeed built up,
the altimeter wound down.
And the engines were screaming.
Man what a sound.

As the pilot drew closer,
to the Forts just below,
he had an idea,
that his crew didn't know.

Ever so carefully,
he pulled on the wheel,
to maintain the airspeed,
he did it by feel.

Then his hand moved to the throttles,
as a hundred times before,
and he pulled back on engines,
number one and number four.

He turned to his copilot,
to yell over the din,
"Feather the props,"
he said with a grin.

The Lib slid past,
all those Forts with great ease,
on just two engines and airspeed,
as slick as you please.

The Fort crews were stunned,
you could see it in their eyes.
While from every window and turret,
the Lib crew waved their goodbyes.

For weeks and months,
in England it was said,
a squadron of -17 crews,
walked around with bowed heads.

So the story was told,
and the legend grew,
about the B-24,
and its fearless crew.

It's never been seen,
or heard since that day,
when it blew by those Forts,
and some people still say,

That the pilot who flew it,
was our own Creator.
He liked it so much,
He flew His own Liberator!


by Jim Jones
Lib or Fort -



not written by me, found it on the net and thought that i'd share it.
wonder if it really happened.

DuxCorvan
09-17-2008, 08:07 AM
Hear the words I sing
War's a horrid thing
So I sing sing sing
Ding a ling a ling.

GERMAN GUNS

Boom boom boom boom
boom boom boom,
Boom boom boom boom,
boom boom boom!

HayateAce
09-17-2008, 08:38 AM
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.


~W.B. Yeats

Urufu_Shinjiro
09-17-2008, 09:57 AM
Does anyone still have that poem about the P-38 escort pilot?

leitmotiv
09-17-2008, 10:00 AM
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

Randall Jarrell

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from the dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

TinyTim
09-17-2008, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
Does anyone still have that poem about the P-38 escort pilot?

U mean this one?

Ode To The P-38

Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal,
and Madeleine Carroll is too,
But you'll find if you query, a different theory
amongst any bomber crew
For the loveliest thing of which one could sing (this side of the pearly gates)
Is no blonde or brunette of the Hollywood set -
But an escort of P-38s.

Yes, in the days that have passed,
when the tables were massed with glasses of scotch and champagne,
It's quite true that the sight was a thing of delight us,
intent on feeling no pain.
But no longer the same, nowadays is this game
When we head north for Messina Straits
Take the sparkling wine-every time,
just make mine an escort of P-38s.

Byron, Shelley and Keats ran a dozen dead heats
Describing the views from the hills,
of the valleys in May when the winds gently sway
In the air it's a different story;
We sweat out our track through the fighters and flak
We're willing to split up the glory
Well, they wouldn't reject us, so heaven protect us
and, until all this shooting abates,
Give us courage to fight 'em - one other small item -
an escort of P-38s.

~ Frederic Arnold

leitmotiv
09-17-2008, 01:41 PM
"When a Beau goes in"

Gavin Ewart

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s261/G6AS/Picture1-29.png

VF-17_Jolly
09-17-2008, 02:09 PM
OUR PBY

You know we couldn't do without
Any unit of our fleet
For, lacking it, there is no doubt
We would be incomplete.

So, as you read this verse of mine
Don't think it is my aim
In praising the plane I think so fine
To try to put others to shame.

The plane I wish to speak of here
Has earned its right to fly.
You know of it, I have no fear -
'Tis the lumbering PBY.

They've cast shadows on many an ocean,
And landed in many a bay.
They're around when there's commotion
Any hour -- night or day.

And there's many a water soaked pilot,
And sailor in a raft
Who's thanked God for his deliverance
Of this seemingly heaven-sent craft,

They've chalked up quite a battle score,
And earned their share of praise.
And day by day go out for more
In their numerous useful ways.

They've taken their share of our fighting men
As they went down in defeat.
But they're always back with the will to win
When the enemy they meet.

You've heard them called by a different name
Depending on their use.
At night the "Black Cat" won its fame
In the daytime 'twas "blue Goose".

So when we speak of deeds well done
By our prowlers of the sky,
Let's not forget a certain one -
That grand old PBY.


Poem by Ken Bynum, May 19, 1945 (CARM VPB-52)

FlixFlix
09-17-2008, 02:57 PM
A Gunner's Day

A gunner's day is never done,
Up at dawn before the sun.
With the roar of engines in his head,
Wishing he could have stayed in bed.

Chow at four, fried eggs and such,
Won't have time to eat too much.
Briefing at five, the crew is all there,
And ever anxious to be up in the air.

See to your chute, ammunition and guns,
For the boys all know its not for fun.
Jerry will be there high up in the blue,
Waiting for someone, perhaps for you.

Take off at six or maybe at six-thirty,
Hope no one has a gun that is dirty.
Form with the group at 12,000 feet,
See the formation, they really look neat.

Put on your mask the air is getting thin,
Off to battle, some with a grin.
Were over the water, now test your guns,
Enemy coast, here comes the fun.

Flak at six and flak at twelve,
Look out! you hear the bombardier yell.
Here come Fighters, coming in low
Maybe they're ours, don't shoot till you know.

P-58's and P-38's
Our escort is here, they're never late.
They're fighting fools, each man and his ship.
There is never a Jerry they couldn't whip.

The air is cold just fifty below,
Turn up the heat so you don't freeze a toe.
A sharp lookout boys, the target is near
We don't care to meet the enemy here.

There is the target, plenty of flak,
Bombs Away! Boys now we turn back.
Coming out of the sun, there are enemy ships,
Aim true boys, we've still got more trips.

There goes one down, another one too.
Our Fighters are busy to see none get through.
There one flames in the sky, as another goes down
The pilot bails out, he makes it safe to the ground.

Then in our tail our guns start to roar,
There's blood on your guns, you shoot as before.
Your ship is hit but still flies through the air,
You think of your loved ones and whisper a prayer.

Smoke from the target leaps high in the sky,
We'll show the damn Jerries we know how to fly,
The Fighters have left us, the few that are left
Our Fighters got some, we got the rest.

We've been up six hour, two hours to go
Though were doing 200, it seems very slow.
England at last, the tail gunners learn
We think of our buddies who will not return.

We're over the field the crew gives a sigh
We have finished another to do or to die.
Wheels touched the ground with a screech and a bump,
Our ship brought us back over the hump.

We're tired, dirty, thirsty and sore,
The sun has gone down an hour before.
First clean your guns, do it good boys
For that gun's life is mine or yours.

A sandwich and coffee, your chute you turn in,
Down to the briefing room, turn in your gun.
Two meals, both in the darkness of night,
Get on your nerves, but you're still ready to fight.

The mess hall is warm in the cold of night,
You sit down to eat, talk between bites.
You talk of Fighters, theirs and ours, too
And of the boys that didn't get through.

Of ships going down exploding in air,
The bullets that missed your head by a hair.
Your ship full of holes, guess Joe is in bed,
He has a flak fragment lodged in his head.

Then head for your sack at nine or ten.
A letter from home, another from her.
I love you she wrote, then you know you've won,
A gunners day is never done.

- Anonymous

Urufu_Shinjiro
09-17-2008, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by TinyTim:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:
Does anyone still have that poem about the P-38 escort pilot?

U mean this one?

Ode To The P-38

Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal,
and Madeleine Carroll is too,
But you'll find if you query, a different theory
amongst any bomber crew
For the loveliest thing of which one could sing (this side of the pearly gates)
Is no blonde or brunette of the Hollywood set -
But an escort of P-38s.

Yes, in the days that have passed,
when the tables were massed with glasses of scotch and champagne,
It's quite true that the sight was a thing of delight us,
intent on feeling no pain.
But no longer the same, nowadays is this game
When we head north for Messina Straits
Take the sparkling wine-every time,
just make mine an escort of P-38s.

Byron, Shelley and Keats ran a dozen dead heats
Describing the views from the hills,
of the valleys in May when the winds gently sway
In the air it's a different story;
We sweat out our track through the fighters and flak
We're willing to split up the glory
Well, they wouldn't reject us, so heaven protect us
and, until all this shooting abates,
Give us courage to fight 'em - one other small item -
an escort of P-38s.

~ Frederic Arnold </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Aye, thats the one, brings a tear to the eye it does.

MB_Avro_UK
09-17-2008, 04:37 PM
R.A.F.

Requiem for a Rear Gunner:

This is a short poem for a Rear Gunner but in-fact it applies to all of the crew members.


Requiem for a Rear Gunner :


My brief sweet life is over, my eyes no longer see,
No summer walks - no Christmas Trees - no pretty girls for me,
I've got the chop, I've had it, my nightly ops are done
Yet in another hundred years, I'll still be twenty-one



by R W Gilbert

blairgowrie
09-17-2008, 04:45 PM
That is a really moving poem Avro. Short and simple but it conveys the emotion of the times.

WTE_Galway
09-17-2008, 05:29 PM
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
All my 0.50 cal are belong you.

Viper2005_
09-17-2008, 06:42 PM
Lancaster.

Roy Chadwick.

Of course, if you're more interested in bombing Berlin twice in one night, "Mosquito" by Sir Geoffrey de Havilland would be the poem you're looking for.

Either way, the names are such powerful allusions to WWII vintage poetry in motion that little else need be said.

Except for B.12/36. *sigh*

Altamov_Steppes
09-17-2008, 10:20 PM
'...After each war there is a little less democracy to save...'
Brooks Atkinson

tomtheyak
12-11-2008, 04:39 PM
I Have Danced With Clouds


I lost my heart
Among the heavens,
Chasing angels,
So free from care
With clouds I've danced,
Reborn a legend
Blessed to ballet
In the air.
I've swung like swallows
And eagles soared,
A zephyr of this mortal made
And peace I found,
So sweet, assured,
Released from the earthly decay.

2008, tomtheyak

Skoshi Tiger
12-11-2008, 05:19 PM
TO PETE TURNBULL

Silent and calm
Stands a lonely palm
That looks like a shipwrecked mast;
For it marks the place
Where a flying ace
And his plane
Are at rest at last
The plane lies there
With it heart torn bare,
But the palm
Will guard it well;
For though years may go
It remains to Show
The place
Where Turnbull fell.

(Written by one of his ground crew after his death on August 27, 1942 during the Battle of Milne Bay, New Guinea)

major_setback
12-11-2008, 05:51 PM
ballad of a gunner:


I wish my life was over now,
Before it even started.
Stuck inside with Blenheim crew,
The navigator farted..

:^)