Once in a land far, far away
Young men from throughout
Our nation came to fly and fight
Some to return and others to stay.
From Australia to Japan, they flew high
And they flew low, very low.
Their weapons were bullets, bombs,
Courage, determination and a bond of
Enduring brotherhood forged in their
They fought in "Far away places with strange
Sounding names" places for whom this was
their "fifteen minutes of fame"
Pilimung, Salamaua, Gulf of Papua, Madang,
Port Moresby, Alexishafen,Vogelkop Peninsula,
Wewak, Bogadjim, Dobadura, Lugan Harbor
Ramu Valley, Hansa Bay, Nadzab, Cape Moem,
Dagua a/d, Hollandia, Samate a/d, Boram, Sele Straits,
Utarom a/d., Cape Fataga, Geboe Is, Noemfoor Is.,
Waigeo Is., Manokawari - New Guinea
Rabaul, Cape Glouchester, Silimani, Borgen
Jacquinot Bay, Simpson Harboar, Vunakanau, Ropopo,
Lukanai, Tebela, Gasmate and Ring Ring Plantation - New Britain
Wakde Is, Biak (Mokmer Strip) - Geelvink Bay
Kavieng - New Ireland Lorengau a/c Manus - Admiralty Is
Salami Plantation, Paptalai Harbor, Alicante
and Fabrica a/ds
- Negros Is, Philippines
Morotai, Lolobata and Dodinga Villages, Ternate,
Galela a/d Moluccas, Hallamaheras, Ceram, Geboken Is. Namber ad, Noemfoor Is.
Namlea a/d Boeroe Is.- Dutch East Indies
Hansa, Tanahmerah and Astrolabe Bays,
Namlea Town on Boeroe, Bolaangoeki, Mt.
Tongkoko, Cebu and Negros Is.
Alacante and Babrica a/ds,Cadiz Negros, Tacloban,
Ormoc Bay and Clark Field, Luzon; Bouyan a/d Mindoro,
and Dulag - Philippines
Kagi, Toyohara, Okaseki and Lamsepa a/d's,
Taihou City, Hogan,
Byoritsu Oil Refinery, Mato, Ensui RR yards, Hokukho Point
and Suo-ko Bay - Formosa
Hong Kong and Swatow - China
China Coast, Saigon, Phan Rang, Qui Nhon, Torane
Bay, Hon Noi Is and My
Thanh - French Indo China
Yulin Bay, Hoi Kow Harboar and Samah a/d - Hainan Is
Oshima Is, Marushima and Malsubase - Kyushu, Japan
Tsu Shima Straits - Korea/Japan Fusan Harbor - Korea
Ie Shima - Ryukus
Sea of Japan
It is a half century now since their engines
Were last shut down. Their ranks are thinning,
Their names known only by family members,
Friends and coworkers - and comrades
From their old WW II squadron.
They are going to join the rolls of those
Who served in the Big war in Europe in WW II,
in World War I, The Civil War and the Revolution
Whose names and faces fade with the years
But as a wearer of the Congressional Medal
Of Honor said of his mates at the recent dedication
Of a memorial in their honor, "You see,
They're not truly gone until no one remembers them
And I've always carried this with me.
I will not forget them. " I want America
To always remember their names".
And I add, even those who fought
In faraway places with strange sounding names
Will be remembered by those of us who fought with them.
John F. Dinges
May 28, 1999
Memorial Day Weekend
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