When the last long flight is over
And the happy landings past
And my altimeter tells me
That the crack up's come at last,
I'll point her nose for the ceiling
And I'll give my crate the gun.
I'll open her up and let her zoom
For the airport of the sun.
Then the great God of flying men
Will look at me sort of slow
As I stow my plane in the hangar
On the field where flyers go.
Then I'll look upon His face,
The Almighty Flying Boss
Whose wingspread fills the horizon
From Orion to the Cross.
—Francis M. Miller
From the 18th Pursuit Group Songbook, June 20, 1940.
Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)