Colin Ian Jeffery
Airgunner - Poem by Colin Ian Jeffery
Wellington bomber's engines roar
There is a stench of burning oil
As in the darkness the heavy plane rises.
There is no moon or stars only inky darkness
And an icy cold chilling the soul.
Flying over the white cliffs of Dover
He fires his guns - - testing them
Ready for German fighters
Swooping like hawks against the bomber
Darting from the darkness guns blazing.
Over Holland they join other bombers
Flying in formation towards Germany
Searchlights seeking for them
With ack-ack shells colouring the night
Trying to bring the bombers down.
Fighters, like angry hornets, sweep in
As the bombers reach Berlin
Where path-finders have lit-up the target
And below all seems a sea of fire
Hitler's punishment for London's blitz.
Bomb-aimer takes control of the plane
Guiding the pilot over the target
Where he presses the plunger
And bombs drop screaming as they go
Exploding the factory making tanks.
The bomber makes two runs
Turns for home, caught in searchlight glare
Illuminated for fighters and gunners
Too slow it tries to climb beyond the light
And is swept by machine gun fire.
The burning bomber reaches England
Pilot dying, crew bloody and afraid
Crash lands on its airfield
The rear-gunner is pulled from his turret
Weeping, he has survived another mission.
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