A Gunner's Day

A gunner's day is never done,
Up at dawn before the sun.
With the roar of engines in his head,
Wishing he could have stayed in bed.

Chow at four, fried eggs and such,
Won't have time to eat too much.
Briefing at five, the crew is all there,
And ever anxious to be up in the air.

See to your chute, ammunition and guns,
For the boys all know its not for fun.
Jerry will be there high up in the blue,
Waiting for someone, perhaps for you.

Take off at six or maybe at six-thirty,
Hope no one has a gun that is dirty.
Form with the group at 12,000 feet,
See the formation, they really look neat.

Put on your mask the air is getting thin,
Off to battle, some with a grin.
Were over the water, now test your guns,
Enemy coast, here comes the fun.

Flak at six and flak at twelve,
Look out! you hear the bombardier yell.
Here come Fighters, coming in low
Maybe they're ours, don't shoot till you know.

P-58's and P-38's
Our escort is here, they're never late.
They're fighting fools, each man and his ship.
There is never a Jerry they couldn't whip.

The air is cold just fifty below,
Turn up the heat so you don't freeze a toe.
A sharp lookout boys, the target is near
We don't care to meet the enemy here.

There is the target, plenty of flak,
Bombs Away! Boys now we turn back.
Coming out of the sun, there are enemy ships,
Aim true boys, we've still got more trips.

There goes one down, another one too.
Our Fighters are busy to see none get through.
There one flames in the sky, as another goes down
The pilot bails out, he makes it safe to the ground.

Then in our tail our guns start to roar,
There's blood on your guns, you shoot as before.
Your ship is hit but still flies through the air,
You think of your loved ones and whisper a prayer.

Smoke from the target leaps high in the sky,
We'll show the damn Jerries we know how to fly,
The Fighters have left us, the few that are left
Our Fighters got some, we got the rest.

We've been up six hour, two hours to go
Though were doing 200, it seems very slow.
England at last, the tail gunners learn
We think of our buddies who will not return.

We're over the field the crew gives a sigh
We have finished another to do or to die.
Wheels touched the ground with a screech and a bump,
Our ship brought us back over the hump.

We're tired, dirty, thirsty and sore,
The sun has gone down an hour before.
First clean your guns, do it good boys
For that gun's life is mine or yours.

A sandwich and coffee, your chute you turn in,
Down to the briefing room, turn in your gun.
Two meals, both in the darkness of night,
Get on your nerves, but you're still ready to fight.

The mess hall is warm in the cold of night,
You sit down to eat, talk between bites.
You talk of Fighters, theirs and ours, too
And of the boys that didn't get through.

Of ships going down exploding in air,
The bullets that missed your head by a hair.
Your ship full of holes, guess Joe is in bed,
He has a flak fragment lodged in his head.

Then head for your sack at nine or ten.
A letter from home, another from her.
I love you she wrote, then you know you've won,
A gunners day is never done.

- Anonymous

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