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Poetry of Direct Personal Experience
Our Collection of Aviation and Military Poetry

Air Gunners
Harry Whittaker

On Mother Earth they walked with pride,

Up in the air they fought and died,

They are no more, The Service sees

No future use now for A/Gs,

Their time is past, their day is o’er

And we shall see them nevermore,

In modern aircrew there will be

No Tail-End Charlie or W/OP/AG.


A little box will now compute,

How when and where and what to shoot,

So we invent, advance, adjust

As every modern Air Force must,

And little boxes will succeed

In firing guns in time of need,

But aircrew they can never be

Like Tail-End Charlie and W/OP/AG.


And little boxes cannot breed

The kind of men they supersede,

The men whose place in history

Inviolate will always be,

And when the rolls of fame unfold

And tales of valour are retold,

Full many a story there will be

Of Tail-End Charlie and W/OP/AG.

Written by Harry Whittaker, shot down in August 1944 on an operation over Hungary in August 1944. Wellington LN751 shot down - two crew members killed, three taken PoW.

Sgt. ‘Harry’ Henry Whittaker

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 • Last Modified: 28 February 2016, 00:57