Paul Warren

Gold Star - 58,602 Points (ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA)

Ghosts - The Lost Airmen - Poem by Paul Warren

The mission had been a close run thing
The Japanese had thrown up quite a sting
They had sent up their fighter planes
And the anti-aircraft fire like leaden rain

The other aircraft in Bombing Six
Had been carved up in the attacking mix
And his Dauntless was damaged in the sweep
With his gunner killed with the anti-aircraft fire greet

So he left the Japanese carrier group of ships
But his luck might have meant he was down on chips
As his compass and radio had been smashed in the fight
And he would need to guess his direction of his homeward flight

He had enough fuel if his luck would hold
And he did not have to fly a plan too bold
The wonder of it all in the end may be
That his plane did not end up in the sea

Then out the corner of his eye
He saw another plane which was a PBY
The black cat waggled its wings a bit
And it's pilot wanted him to follow not quit

The hours went and the pilot worried the fuel wouldn't last
But he followed the PBY determined for this chance to grasp
Until just as the night was about to fall
He saw the wake of his carrier in a close call

He landed on the deck of the carrier then
It had been a frightening flight to spend
As he pulled himself out of the cockpit he looked to the sky
But after scanning the horizon round he didn't see the PBY

He walked into the pilot's ready room
Happy to be back in the gathering gloom
He wanted to thank the PBY's crew
So he submitted a report to his captain through

The report went to the PBY base
And the commander checked his records to place
The PBY plane but he found it had crashed and burned
When the Japanese attacked in their southward turn

As the Second World War went on the PBY
Turned up to guide lost pilots in the sky
It seemed the PBY crew didn't want their war to end
So they did their best saving Allied pilots in the war to contend.

© Paul Warren Poetry

Topic(s) of this poem: ghosts

Form: Prose Poem


Poet's Notes about The Poem

A PBY was a Catalinas flying boat used for long range patrols in the WW2 Pacific War. The Australian ones were painted black and were known as black cats. A Dauntless was an American dive bomber used on Aircraft Carriers.

Comments about Ghosts - The Lost Airmen by Paul Warren

  • Seema Jayaraman (11/8/2015 2:15:00 AM)


    Wow..loved this poem..so poignant a ghost PBY flying crew doing their bit guiding lost planes back to base..being an IAF brat my heart is with anything AF..thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, November 8, 2015

Poem Edited: Sunday, November 8, 2015


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