Carrier Life Poem

Carrier Life Poem
By Lt. John P. Sanderson


“Carrier life is something” we’ve all heard people say,  “If you’ve missed this grand experience, get your transfer in today.”  But when it comes to flying, you can put me on the shore.  For life on a CVE is something worse than war!

They get you up at three o’clock with a whistle and a bell.  And you stand by in the ready-room just sleepier ‘n’ hell.  Word is passed to man the planes,
and you race out on the double.  Then word is passed to go below, t
here is no end to trouble.

You’ll be sitting in the cockpit when Borries says “fly off!”  You jam the throttle forward, and the engine starts to cough.  You go rolling down the deck, but you always feel the need.  Of just one extra knot to keep above stalling speed.

Or you’re up on ASP, or combat air patrol.  Your gas is almost gone, and your belly’s just a hole.  You’d like to eat, you and your plane have both been cruising lean.  But airplot says to orbit, there’s a bogey on the screen.

Sometimes we’re told to scramble, and you go charging to your plane.
But you sit there twenty minutes while the shrapnel falls like rain.
When the enemy is gone, the Admiral says “Let’s go!”  So you retire
with your gear to the ready room below.

They put you on the catapult, and secure you in the gear.  Pilgrim sticks his finger up, and looks up with a leer.  You’re drawing forty inches when Charlie points “away”!  And you hope to hell you’ve power to get in the air and stay.

It’s when you’re landing back aboard that you find it really rough.  You’re high, you’re fast, you’re low – Christ Mac!!  that’s slow enough!  You’re out, you’re in your gear, and now Krida signals things.  “Like Hook Up, Hold your brakes! Spill your flaps, Now fold your wings!”

YES Carrier life is something, dangerous and hard.  Your wings will all turn green, and your ass will turn to lard.  Oh take us back to “Dago”, and give us stateside duty.  Where once a month we fly four hours, or maybe strop a beauty!!

Poem republished with the permission of Jane Allen, widow of Lt. Sanderson

Lt. John P. Sanderson was KIA