The Straggler

T/SGT Orvil Lindsey


I saw a fort knocked out of its group,

Afire and in despair,

with Nazi fighters surrounding her,

As it flew alone back there.

The Messerschmitts came barreling through,

throwing a hail of lead

at the crippled Fort that wouldn't quit,

Though two of its engines were dead.

But a couple of props kept straining away,

and her guns were blazing too.

As she stayed in the air in that hell back there,

and fought, like Fortresses do.

Four times a fighter belched fire and smoke.

Four times a fighter went down.

As the Fortress kept on winging home,

and the nerve of the crew stayed sound.

But time after time the fighters came,

and attacked the lagging plane.

I knew she couldn't last for long,

and my heart was touched with pain.

Her gunners fought a bitter fight,

but now the guns were still.

And a fighter seeing the time was ripe,

came in to make the kill.

A stream of lead ripped into a tank,

and the Fort exploded in two.

And somewhere the angels prepared a place,

for a weary Fortress crew.

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