In A Land Far Away

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
Shared experience

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 Bay,
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, Lambeh Strait.
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,
Sandakan, Borneo

Namlea Town on Boeroe, Bolaangoeki, Mt.
Tongkoko, Cebu and Negros Is.

Alacante and Babrica a/ds,Cadiz Negros, Tacloban, Leyte,
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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