Ode to an air gunner



Ode to an air gunner


Describes the role played by the air gunner and his attitude toward danger. In the afterlife, the air gunner goes straight through the Heavens's gate as his wartime suffering is considered equivalent to expiation.




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[underlined]Ode to an air gunner[/underlined]

If I must be straight rear gunner
then please God grant me grace,
that I may leave this station
with a smile upon my face.

I may have wished to be a pilot
and Joe along with me,
but if we were all pilots
where would the Air force be.

A pilot is only a chauffeur
and he’s there to fly the plane,
its the Gunner who does the fighting
though he may not get the fame.

It takes a man to be a Gunner
to sit out in the tail,
when the Messerschmitts come at you
and the slugs fly like hail.

But we’re in here to win the war
and ‘till the job is done,
let’s forget our personal feelings
and get to work behind the gun.

[underlined]You’ll Get Your Reward[/underlined]

An A.G. stood at thee Pearly Gates,
His face was worn and old,
He meekly asked thee Man of Fate
“May I come into thee Fold?”
“What have you done?” St. Peter asked
“To gain admission here”.
“I was a Tailend Charlie on a Halifax, Sir
For thee best part of a year.”
Thee Pearly Gates swung open wide
As St. Peter rang the bell.
“Come in,” he said “and welcome lad,
You’ve served your time in Hell.”



Charlie Darby, “Ode to an air gunner,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 8, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/1560.

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