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"War" is a three-letter word,

A sound we wish we'd never heard.

A four-letter word is "flak",

Some B-29's come not back!



Three thousand miles to fly.

With flak and fighters in the sky.

Crews always anxious to "hit the sack."

But some 29's come not back!



Many eyes and ears looking west.

Ground crews knew they did their best;

Yet, no sight or sound in the sky;

Lord, not another dozen men to die!



Maybe they stopped for a cup of joe

On that lonely Rock called Iwo.

Could it be that its faith we lack,

And perhaps "tomorrow", they'll be back?



Sometimes "tomorrow" never comes,

But we strain our hearing for the hum

Of a long-delayed flight of 57 years;

Six decades of anxious tears;



And waiting on Saipan and Tinian

Are old men with long white beards'

"Welcome home", we'll say,

"We knew you'd return some day."



Could it be the Navigator made a fix

On some bright star in another land,

And a shiny B-29 is safe in her hardstand,

Without loss of a single man?


And so, who is waiting for whom?

I have heard that in Heaven there is room

For all the B-29's and their crews.

It is God's runway that they choose!



Up there, all the bombs are defused,

And the engines, not a drop of oil they lose.

Every cylinder of every engine in perfect tune.

If I am dreaming, don't awaken me

For row on row of shiny B-29's I see!


Copyright C. Douglas Caffey
All Rights Reserved 



Background music 
~ "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" ~
performed by Hector John Gaudreau

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