C. Douglas Caffey
SHOT DOWN OVER GERMANY!
World War Two is through,
But it keeps coming back to me.
Does it come back to you,
Bringing sights you don’t care to see?
The very first friend I lost
Paid with such supreme cost.
He was a gunner on a B-24,
And the world remembers him no more!
But I still remember him well.
Is he in Heaven or Hell?
Shot down o’er Germany’s soil,
No more to feel the gun’s recoil!
We never learned the details of his death,
Went down with the plane;
Paid the utmost price of his life,
Surrendering to the flame!
You can bet he fought to the end,
Spraying 50 caliber’s all the way,
Before he succumbed to the Luftwaffe,
And before he died that day!
He was a basketball star,
Seldom missed the net;
And he took a German fighter plane,
Down with him, you bet!
No more will he play the court;
No longer alive to play the sport;
But when he played the game,
The score never remained the same!
He was a tall and lanky guy
Who rode the B-24 in the sky:
Who would have ever thought
Emmitt Bagwell had to die!
I remember his sister’s grief
And the burden she had to bear,
When she first heard the news,
That he was no longer in the air!
Gone with nine other men
To a braver world than this;
Never, ever, anymore,
To fight and fly in the B-24!
Now basketball is not the same
On the court he used to play;
Even though, in my mind’s eye,
I see him there today!
Gone is the sun from the sky,
And gone from our view,
When men lie down to die,
Yet, he remembered is, and his crew!
When I look upward in the blue,
Back to the days of World War Two,
I almost hear the engine’s roar
Of that long lost B-24!
And I still remember my long lost friend,
And shall do so to the end,
And maybe we’ll meet some day,
To talk of the day he went away!
I’ll never quit thinking of Emmitt, the gunner
Who gave the Germans thunder,
When, on that day, he fell from the sky,
And was my very first friend to die!
What debt we owe to him and others,
Both our sisters and our brothers,
To keep our skies free,
From fighter planes of Germany!
Yet, I hope to see my friend some day,
And talk about how he died,
And how he came to live again,
Through Christ, the Crucified!
©Copyright March 31, 2001 by C. Douglas Caffey
Author’s Note: The writer served in WWII, also in the air, qualified as a fighter pilot, but never got the chance to even the score with the German fighter plane, which shot down that long lost B-24. But our Air Corps dropped the atom bomb, whose sound went the world around, evening up the score!