By Staff Sergeant Pilot Reo C. Trail

You may talk of "Flying Forts"
And the peashooters' deadly sports
And of shooting down the Junkers by the score;
But when it comes to servin'
The transports are deservin'
Of a little praise and credit in this war.

Cause when the fightin's getting thicker,
And men's hopes begin to flicker
As when surrounded by a foe of twice their size;
It must be damned inspirin'
To know they can keep on firin',
Cause we're dropping ammunition from the skies.

As we can't hope to live forever
Some day our contacts we will sever,
And we'll take off into that eternal blue,
And we'll see the other boys
Who have left behind the noise,
And we'll try to be of service up there too.

Oh, they'll buzz the Pearly Gates
In their Lockheed "thirty eights,"
And they'll thrill the pretty angels with their stunts;
And Saint Peter'll come a runnin',
When he hears the bombers comin',
And he'll spread the welcome mat with heavy grunts.

But when I land in heaven
With my Douglas "forty seven,"
And taxi up and swing the cargo door,
The chariots'll come a dashin',
To take my load of rations,
And they'll probably send me back to get some more.







Ode to a C-47 was written by then Staff Sergeant Pilot Reo C. Trail of the 16th Squadron, 64th Group in the spring of 1943. This is the official version which appeared in Stars and Stripes. Reo went on to a career in the Air Force and retired as a Colonel.

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