John H. Schumacher, Lt Colonel, USAFR (Retired)
Connie Crewman 1974-76
Connie, leaking oil,
cabin in which we’d toil,
duckling, some would say,
down each long runway.
free from earth’s surly grip
took us aloft for every trip
Roosey Roads and
Cecil Field and places far.
“Fifties Child” when you were made
recip motors strong and staid
triple tail your lovely crown
pregnant belly big and round
tanks adorned your graceful wings
they contained comm-jamming things
black boxes in your cargo hold
enemies’ defenses did unfold
slender lines and lovely form,
VAQ you were reborn,
jammed our enemy’s radar hearts,
you hung on with aging parts.
glorious country you did serve.
on many landings you did swerve,
“Shuttering Shitcan” jet jocks screamed,
you swept the skies of our foe’s beams.
never failed us through the years,
time marched on, we all sensed the fears,
your days were numbered all the more,
maintenance costs so much did soar.
other bird had quite your face,
length, or stealthy grace.
elegant dolphin-like form,
comfort brought, our hearts did warm.
endless hours o’er sea on station,
the shores of our great nation,
humbly recall those halcyon years,
with you, choking back the tears.
you hung on through thick and thin,
with the jet blast’s din,
finally ended that long wait,
at last you met your fate.
Bu. No. 141292,
Counters finally came for you,
final journey was bitter sweet,
bade you well, your tour complete.
you were stricken from the books,
fodder, for all to look,
ignoble treatment you received,
were surplused, we all grieved.
damage you endured,
your new owners neglect inured
cause your airframe yet more rust,
damage suffered thus.
and quartered, broken hard,
strewn upon museum’s yard,
fuselage still strong and round,
twenty-seven cents per pound.
all we have are memories fond,
how you hauled us across the “Pond,”
were our refuge in the air.
Connie, Connie, we all say,
proud we were back in the day,
your ride was smooth and soft,
time you carried us aloft.
quaking voice and welling tear
say goodbye, sweet Connie Dear,
fly you through the warm slip streams,
that flight be but within our dreams.