For we were young and we had wings
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author of military history
The Ruhr


I love to gaze into the sky
to watch the clouds format on high
They turn my thoughts to other things
When I was young and I had wings

We’d fly into the Strata Cu
break into a sky of blue
and thinking of this my heart sings
When I was young and I had wings

I can't forget the starlit nights
The moon above with awesome light
Silhouetting us on the bright red glow
of fires burning down below

The turning out to head for home
We’d find ourselves in Searchlight cone
The blinding light from all these beams
made escape impossible; so it seemed

The skipper now was flying blind
to instructions from his crew behind
From Astrodome and Turret, too
instructions short and very few

We dived and turned and dived again
Could we as hellget out of them
The flak was now in vicious mood
the German gunner getting rude
The thought, no doubt, they had got this one
But Merlins blasted out defiant song

Mid-uppers voice now loud and clear
turn starboard, skipper, over there
I seen the way for us to go and Wilby with a hairy turn
pulled back his canopy to learn

We were back into the dark of night
a stream of cannon fire brought back
the vigilance so often lacked
In crews, they were going back

The gunners now had opened fire
and Wilby made an evasive turn
The fighter last seen
was diving down to burn

And so we climbed back on our homeward course
and sought protection from others in the force
weaving our way through flak and lights
Until the coast came to light

Then nose down in gentle diving turns
through our friends, the clouds, who had now returned
Breaking out of them at last to glimpse our coastline
which we had long since thought we would never see again

Making our way back to base
with other battles soon to face
Our thoughts now turned to other things
For we were young and we had wings


Written by Joe Dickinson