Sunday, August 30, 2009

They shall not grow old - Beautiful High Flight Poem by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee

                                                   PER ARDUA AD ASTRA

Oh! I have slipped the surely bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings:
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. How'ring there

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind - swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor eagle flew,
And while with silent lifting mind i've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space
Put out my hand and touched the face of God,

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee
Royal Canadian Air Force

This is such a beautiful poem writen by an American airman who flew for the RCAF and was killed in the Second World War. I loved it so much that i wanted to share this beautiful poem with the world!
May we never forget their courage and what all of our veterans past and present have done and are doing for us now!

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee P/O(P) J5823 From Washington, D.C U.S.A. was killed Dec.. 11/41 age 19 #412 Falcon Squadron (Promtusad Vindictum) P/O Magee was killed when his Spitfire aircraft # AD291collided with an Oxford aircraft and crashed at Ruskington Hall, Ruskington, Lincolnshire. P/O Magee was born in Shanghai, China and was educated in Rugby, England and Avon, Connecticut, U.S.A. he is the author of the poem High Flight the original manuscript of which resides in the Unitted States in
the Library of Congress, Pilot officer Magee is buried in the Scopwick Church burial ground, Scopwick, Lincolshire, England.

Taken from the book - They shall never grow old! May we not forget them!

                                               THANK YOU!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RAF Group Captain Douglas R.S. Bader, DSO & BAR - DFC & BAR

Reproduced from THE LONDON NEWS 1942

Britains legendary "Ace of Aces" who commanded the Canadian Squadron in the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Back in December 1931 an air crash cost him both his legs. The "experts" said he could never hope to walk on artificial limbs without crutches. Six months after the accident he walked out of hospital on "tin legs" -- without sticks.

His career with the RAF was finished. Again the "experts" were wrong. They had said he would never fly again.

On the outbreak of the war he stormed the Air Mnistry until they took him back. He inspired, bold and dashing leadership of his squadron during the battle of Britain will never dim his memory.

Then came an air collision with a German fighter during a sweep over the Continent. That was October 1941.

After escaping from German prison camps three times he was sent to Coldits.

Such is his personality that it is impossible to think of him as a "cripple". He isn't. Tennis is one of the games. "stool ball" and hockey found him in the goal. As a concession he was permitted "parole walks". No matter how inclement or cold the weather he would walk up to 10 kilometers. When food got short he always smuggled in several pounds of wheat traded from the farmers in special sacks about his legs. This would be distributed among the camp.

"Wings" Bader typifies a trait common to all British - no matter the odds, they stay in there punching.

This is a beautiful article that was published in the London news in 1942. For some reason, i love couragous Men and Women like Douglas Bader and all veterans of past and present. They signify courage and i truly admire them. Douglas Bader died in 1982 but his memory lives on the hearts and minds of all those who truly understand the courage and sacrife of our veterans.

Thank you Douglas!