Dedicated to Major Tom
Daniels (USAF Ret. 2005)
Those Mighty Warbirds, where have they gone?
Gone to graveyards, every one.
Only the mighty Specter (AC-130) has been
Only mighty Specter can still feel alive.
Whether ruling the enemy skies,
Or sitting on the tarmac with all her guys.
Only the mighty Specter will await her orders,
To once again invade other borders.
So my hat is in my hands,
Only absolute respect for her is in my heart.
As I stand on the tarmac
And watch her depart.
For I know that she may meet her fate,
And taxi across the golden tarmac
And shut her engines down
Beside those pearly gates.
But what of Shadow the infamous AC-119,
You know, the clumsy looking “flying boxcar”?
Once used as an airborne drop plane,
Who thought she had met her end.
She sat on airfields,
And in the desert sand
Never really knowing
If she would ever see duty again.
Her luck would change
Her call would come.
She joined the elite,
And ordered to “go get some”.
She circled high in midnight skies
Too high to hear the enemy cries.
She’d bring down fire from those midnight
Only a black shadow to enemy eyes.
So hats off to Shadow, that old flying boxcar
And the rounds she spent.
Giving support to her guys
Every time she was sent.
And what about the AC-47, you
know…Spooky and Puff,
Have they met their fates too?
They have a story,
often told as well.
Delivering her rounds below
To create a fiery hell.
First known by ground troops
In desperate need of help.
While the enemies last hand was dealt.
What is the legacy of Puff the Magic Dragon?
Those who do not know her might ask?
She invented the term “ dragons breath”
By the enemy soldiers who survived her flames
Better leave now
Those brave soldiers would say
Puff the Magic Dragon is on her way!
You’d better not be here
When she breathes her dragons breath
Because if you are
You face a quick but certain death.
AS these Mighty Warbirds were sent back home
The AC-47 and AC-119 sit in the desert, all
They sit in the heat and blowing sand,
When we went to war, weren’t we grand?
So did I do my duty?
When I got the call?
Didn’t I bring security to all of my guys
One and all?
Or did I shirk my duty, and fail them,
Am I to blame?
Did not the enemy fall to our mighty flame?
You say “no”
You did really great!
Then why do I sit here in the desert sand?
Why has this become my fate?
I guess I’ll just have to wait
To taxi across the golden tarmac
And park by heavens gate.
So all hats off, and give a loud cheer
So all the Mighty Warbird’s everywhere will
Hats on you hearts for the Mighty Warbirds, one
Those Mighty Warbirds
Who answered our nations call
For those magnificent planes
Who delivered Liberty and Justice for all.
Dec 4, 2008
Dedicated to the men who flew, the men who
crewed, and the Hangarats of
The AC-130’s, AC-119’s, and AC-47’s in the
skies of South Vietnam.
About the Author
Noah B. Dillion was drafted into the
United States Army in January 1968. His active service includes “13 months in IV Corps serving with
two historical aviation companies:As a school trained 67B20 Bird Dog Crew Chief for 9
months at Soc Trang Army Airfield, 221st Recon Airplane Company; and, having been promoted in July 1969 to SP-5 in an OJT
slot with the infamous 114th AHC located at Vinh Long Army Airfield as NCOIC of the Electrical hangar crew PMOS 68F20 until
In 1973, Noah B. Dillion “enlisted in the Kentucky National Guard in Sept
1973 and spent five days in the tornado zones around Frankfort in April 1974 earning an active duty ribbon.”
According to Dillion, he “proudly wear the Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal,
Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/palm device and Kentucky
National Guard Active Duty Ribbon;. Air Crewman’s Badge, Expert Marksman’s Badge w/M-14 & M-16 bars, Presidential
Unit Citation and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation.” Noah B. Dillion is the author of Surviving
Viet Nam Tales of a Narcoleptic Hangar Rat.