POF

We are again privileged to more great contributions
from fellow Paratroopers of the 40's and 50's

Bob Buffington ; John David Correll; Gil Leal; and John Carr

Bob, served with the 11th Airborne Division in Germany from July, 1957
until the division was deactivated in March 1958.

Gil,  Served with 11th Abn. Div. Ft. Campbell, 1953-1955.
2nd Armored Div. Mainz Germany 1955 - 1957.

John ,  Served with 11th ABN, 503rd, Co E, 3/52 until 7/54

John David Correll served in the 82nd ABN 456th, Headquarters Battery -1948-1952

cloud
The following  Poems
"A Paratrooper's  Decision"
By Charles Smith
and
"Airborne All The Way"
By:  Unknown Author
**
Were cut from the 11th Airborne Division's newspaper
sometime in 1957 and 1954
respectively
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Bob  Gil ,  were not only thoughtful enough to cut the Poems out
but were most gracious to send us a copy.

John, and John didn't need to cut theirs out they just WROTE THEM !!

Bob, Gil , John , John -- a "BIG THANK YOU " from Paratroopers of the 50's


"A Trooper's Decision"
By Charles Smith

We reported that day, recruits; brash and raw,
With eyes agog at what we saw.
Lofty towers, nightmares of webbing and steel,
Ranks of instructors, who's wrath we would feel.

But we learned, slow and sure,
That for every mistake, there was a cure.
We were treated worse than dogs, and then
We were told to brace up, to act like men.

PT and drill, sweating under the hot summer sun
Little did we know, our torture had just begun.
Day after day, we swore we'd quit, we'd drop, we'd die,

But something gave us strength for just one more try.

Push ups we mastered, with vigor and vim,
We did a thousand at an instructors whim.
We'd try on our chutes for a practice rig
Then come, "drop soldier, that's a gig."

Finally one day, with breaths abated,
We heard the news, long awaited.
Remember what you were taught, without it you're
sunk.
Monday morning you're going to jump.

Somehow our new found courage faded away
When we awaken that fatal day.
No one was boisterous or jolly as before,
Countenances were grim and sour.

We arrived at the flight line, timid and shy,
Feeling we might not make it, but we surely would
try.
Then before we had a chance to lose our nerve,
We were strapped into a T-ten and reserve.

Then towards the plane, we filed down the ramp
Walking with leaden feet, and foreheads damp.
Before a few more minutes went by,
We were strapped in and ready to fly.

The engines began to rev, the wheels began to roll
And we devoted our thoughts to the status of our
souls.
We started remembering every tiny sin,
Feeling glum, but still trying to grin.

Then we were off, the terrain grew small
And again we devoted our thoughts to the status
of our souls.
Would it open? We really didn't know.
And if it didn't, where would we go?

The command "get ready" we heard loud and clear,
Stand up and hook up, tight and secure.
Check your equipment and let it be known,
That you've checked your buddy's as well as your
own.

The check points we've passed, the DZs below,
The green light is on and out we go.
We try to count, but only a gasp
Was torn from our throats, in a tortured rasp.

Soon a sharp tug and then a soft plop
Told all was well on our first drop.
We had lost our fear which was all about,
We'd do it again without a doubt.

For we were Airborne, we'd live up to the name,
Bringing it glory, honor, and fame.
And now it's over, we're proud of our decision,
To become trooper's of the 11th Airborne Division.


===========================

AIRBORNE / ALL THE WAY
GRADUATION DAY / THE BEGINNING

A CLASS OF NEW TROOPERS…ALL STAND ABREAST
JUMP WINGS PROUDLY…UPON OUR CHEST
MAN TO MAN…ALL DOWN THE LINE
STANDING STRAIGHT…AND TALL AND FINE

WE MADE THE JUMPS…AND WE QUALIFIED
TO WEAR THE BADGE…OF COURAGE AND PRIDE
JUMP SCHOOL FINALLY…CAME TO AN END
NOW WE JOIN…THE RANKS OF MEN

OTHERS WILL FOLLOW…AS WE BEFORE
TO EARN THE RIGHT…TO STAND IN THE DOOR
TO MAKE THE JUMP…TO FEEL THE BLAST
TO ABSORB THE SHOCK…AIRBORNE AT LAST

WEEKS OF TRAINING…PUSH-UPS AND SWEAT
PROUD TO BE…A JUMP SCHOOL VET
AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME…WE LEAVE BEHIND
AS WE NOW MOVE ON…TO STATION ASSIGNED

THERE WE'LL SERVE…THERE WE'LL TRAIN
AND THERE WE'LL JUMP…AGAIN AND AGAIN
MAN TO MAN…ALL DOWN THE LINE
STANDING STRAIGHT…AND TALL AND FINE

MEN OF VALOR…MEN OF STRENGTH
THE BADGE OF HONOR…IS OUR DEFENSE
GUTS AND GLORY…WE ARE TOLD
BUT COURAGE AND HONOR…IS OUR GOAL

TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY…IN PEACE AND WAR
ALWAYS READY…TO STAND IN THE DOOR
TO MAKE THE JUMP…TO KEEP MEN FREE
THAT IS THE GLORY…THAT'S MEANT TO BE
AIRBORNE AT LAST…AIRBORNE AT LAST

Author: John David Correll
My Beginning / August 1948

"Airborne All The Way"
By:  Unknown Author

What separates them from the rest
These men with silver wings
Troopers from the sky above
In whom devotion springs
What spirit so unites them
In brotherhood they say
Their answer loud and clear,
"Airborne All The Way"

These are the men of danger
As in open door they stand
With static line above them
And ripcord in their hand
While earthbound they are falling
A silent prayer they say
"Lord be with us forever,
Airborne All The Way"

One day they'll make their final jump
Sant Mike will tap them out
The good Lord will be waiting
He knows what they are about
And answering in cadence,
He'll hear the troopers say
"We're glad to be abord, Sir,
Airborne All The Way"

===========================
PARATROOPERS CALLED
ANGELS : By John Carr.

The night air was brisk
Eyes strained from steady stare.
Life and limb were at risk
As we sprang into the air.

The sensation of being blown
Through the corridors of space.
The air swirled like a cyclone
As it whipped about my face.

Static lines grew taut
To rip covers off our packs.
We answered unto naught
As silk unfolded from our backs.

Someone yelled, "There's a streamer"
Then the mumbling of chastisers
"You'd better wake up daydreamer
Heads up and shake those risers".

A mushy feeling under foot
One sinks in to the hilt.
A voice screamed, "Stay put
Stop walking on my silk".

The other shouted, "Cyclops
Act like you give a hoot.
Slip away and you'll stop
Stealing air from my chute".

Then a rustling silky hiss
As suspension lines entangled.
Surely something was amiss
Correct it, or be mangled.

We gutsy men descended
To a place called Yamoto, DZ
Where that night jump ended
In August nineteen fifty three.

Remember the Airborne yell?
It seems only like yesterday.
We took leave of Ft.Campbell
Said goodbye and went our way.

Flashes from those carefree days
Musters images of long ago 
Of our sweet and robust ways
And the things that we loved so.

Sometimes I ponder, and wander
The memory twines and tangles.
Was it really I back yonder
Walking among the angels?

A falsehood urges pay back
Guess,  guess,  guess 
A voice from the past echoes back
Yes,    yes,    yes.

                 ©1992 by: John H. Carr 


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