In century now, just starting new,
comes yet another rendezvous.
Far up-and-down, across the land
once more we group, a merry band.
Some years before -- nigh three score --
we gathered on the western sea;
Warriors resting on the main,
we mounted armored, motored wings --
Flew into grim and grievous things.
With shot and bomb our wings were weighed,
yet, somehow in the air we stayed.
We ran down narrow, tossing decks
and struggled into flight.
Such was our plight -- such was our might --
"Twas our aim to set "The Rising Sun,"
bring an end to strife we'd not begun --
Far from done seemed the fight.
Storming island forts, ships at sea,
we ranged a-weather, ranged a-lee.
Crossed trackless waters, sailed and flew
and did the things that warriors do.
In "vee-of-vees" we'd fly as one,
nose toward the foe in "high-speed run."
'Midst thickly scattered bursts of flak --
sometimes colored, sometimes black.
Alone we dived, each dropped his bomb
with bitter blast in fiery scrum.
Then we'd scatter, thrown askew,
to come again to rendezvous.
With those intact and still a wing
again we tracked across the sky.
We throttled back, "leaned" our fuel
to keep our tanks from running dry.
A rewarding sight came by-and-by.
on the sky-line with their wakes a-plume
Suddenly our ships would loom --
a much awaited lift of gloom.
Around the fleet we closely flew
to see our mission fully through.
Low and slow we settle smooth
into the flat-top's landing groove --
'Took a cut, breathed a sigh,
came aboard and "caught a wire."
In what was less than half-a-block,
from full-flight stopped by bridled shock.
We from teakwood back to teakwood soared
to find our haven back aboard.
May the wind flow smooth across all decks,
may the sun shine bright on gentle waves;
May God bless the isle and ocean graves
that claimed our shipmates on such treks.
May, too, He bless the course we take
'til we our final landing make.
As we gather now, may we anew
circle soon again in rendezvous.
Back to Teakwood Ballads index