He wasn’t a pilot,
At least not…in that sense;
He was a tail-gunner,
For our country’s defense.
Many close-calls…Oh yes,
And, he had many stories to tell;
I remember all his stories,
But, I can’t tell them quite as well!
It seems…they were under heavy fire,
Much heavier than usual…that day;
The pilot had been injured,
So, back and forth…the plane began to sway.
Grampa knew something was wrong,
So, up front…he climbed;
He moved the pilot to one side,
All of this was perfectly timed.
Grampa knew what he was doing,
He was calm as could be;
His heart might have been a`thumping,
Still, what had to be done…he could see.
The plane was almost out of control,
It would require a firm hand;
Well, Grampa took the controls,
Yes, for that moment…he was the man!
The English Channel…was far below them,
It offered a watery grave;
“But, not today!”, Grampa said,
Yes, my Grampa was very brave!
Off on the far horizon,
A patch of white…he saw;
He headed the plane right for it,
He made right for the shore.
Yes, `twas the White Cliffs of Dover,
A welcomed sight…indeed;
There was no runway in sight,
Yet, that was really what they did need.
Well, Grampa knew the fuel was low,
The instruments were reading…empty;
He had to successfully land the plane,
And, it must be landed quickly!
Grampa had never flown before,
Let alone…land a plane;
But, the rest of the crew needed him,
And, that was very plain.
With a prayer on his lips,
Grampa took a deep breath;
Then, the plane landed safely,
That’s when his heart really leapt!
It was over in a moment,
People ran to give them a helping hand;
Just how a ‘gunner’ landed the plane,
Was hard for them to understand.
And, do you know what happened…later,
As a tribute to the men?
The townspeople left the plane right there,
And, they turned it into a museum!
Oftimes…in the line of duty,
Ordinary people step forward;
The world is full of unsung heros,
But, today…my Grampa was A WAR HERO!
July 14, 2004
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