"AN ODE to OLD 79"


I know I am awkward and maybe too slow
But I'm always ready and willing to go
They say that I fly like a duck that is lame
And often they wonder from whence I came
 dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
Someone conceived me one dark gloomy day
And from that time on it's certainly been hell to pay
They made me for rescue and bomber patrols
A job that was made for some timid soul
dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
But sometimes they hang a bomb on my wing
And make me a bomber - me of all things
Then sit back and laugh at my run and my dive
While wondering if, I'll come back alive
dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)

Over the ocean and through the sky
To the waters of Makassar Strait
Knowing it wasn't the Golden Gate
dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
When you left your base on that fateful day
How could you know you'd pave the way
For the joyous return of the one figher jock
Out of harms way in a state of shock

dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
The psycho aspects of his survival
During the hours before your arrival
Were, to say the least quite fantastic
But the Lord only knows they were not bombastic
dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
There was one good feature weather wise
The Strait was calm as were the skies
Had the weather not cooperated
We all could have become exasperated

dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
But you made the rescue before moro and Jap
And brought your prize right out of the flap
Back to the safety behind allied lines
Where all was good and the sun always shines
dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
Bob went to the hospital he knows not where
Nor for how long did they keep him there
But when the drugs wore off he was airborne again
On his way down to Sydney with a trembling chin

dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
He survived 3 weeks there and to his delight
Then returned to his squadron on a "gooney" flight
By the time he arrived much to his surprise
His orders were cut for the stateside skies
dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
So here's to the PBY and the 2nd ERS
Who saved so many who were in distress
Their courage , their zeal, their skill ov'r Pacific
Made their total 462 which is something terrific

dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
And here is also a toast to Frank and his crew
May their days be filled with a heavenly brew
Of joy and happiness and all good things
That their years in the air has carried on wings
dashes1.jpg (985 bytes)
There's really no way to thank you for what you've done
So with these few words I'm going to run
Saying thanks again to you who cared
For the Pea Shooter guys and the others you snared

Written by Lt. Charles Strader - Rescued P-38 Pilot

[See the painting of this rescue] [Read the mission report]

2nd Emergency Rescue Squadron -  All Rights Reserved