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

The Hercs
Jim Beaton

(Sung to the tune of "The Sloop John Dee" - A soldier's memories of flights with 40 Squadron)

It was on the Herc O One

My army life just begun

Out from Auckland Base we had flown

A big airspeed drop

They've feathered a prop

Oh wake up the Engineer

To get me home


Light up the GTC

Get all the Nav aids set

You'll find the Captain and Co

In the Nurses' home

I want to go home

Please get me home

Wake up the Loadie

I want to go home

It was on the Herc O Two

With the same special crew

Out past Kaipara Heads we had flown

My first parachute flight

Only water in sight

Oh where's the Jump Master

To get me home

It was on the Herc O Three

The Captain the crew and me

Out from Saigon we had just flown

An eight hour flight

Black turbulent night

Oh wake up the Nav

To find a way home

It was on the Herc O Four

Landing I'm first out the door

Home on Christmas leave I had flown

All the presents the cost

But my luggage they've lost

Bugger Air Movements

I just want to go home

It was on the Herc O Five

A Veteran I'm still alive

On my demob flight I have flown

I think of each crew

Great things that they do

I'll shout them a cool beer

Before I go home!

While serving with 40 Squadron we were on a survival exercise in the Southern Alps prior to our annual trip to Scotts Base in the Antarctic. Each team was expected to come up with something to lighten up the night in our hut.

Thinking of some of the old service songs we used to hear in the Mess I scribbled the attached. These lyrics were accepted by the Squadron Commander.

When flying on long trips we always invited troops onto the flight deck to give them a break and it was not unusual for them to see the crew relaxing. In the chorus the nurses home referred to was at an overnight stopover where young Captains and Co-Pilots were made welcome. Therefore, the lyrics are a light hearted view from a soldier's experience of flying on the Squadron Aircraft.

Note: The letters GTC in the Chorus refer to the Hercs auxiliary power unit.

Submitted to Aircrew Remembered November 2014 by Jim Beaton Loadmaster RNZAF and RAF retired.


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 • Last Modified: 07 November 2014, 14:32