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The Airman's Psalm

This was written by a young Chinese boy who worked in the 444th BG barraks. He learned to read, write, and speak English from only two sources: The Bible, and B-29 crewmen. The very obvious conflict and contrast between the two influences makes this an absolute masterpiece!


As the fourth hour before the dawn approacheth into the Land of Cheng-tu, a messenger goeth forth unto the tents of the Birdmen, and speaketh unto them saying, "Arise and don they garments, for the Master hath decreed that it be thus, for this the fourth hour before the dawn and the Briefing comes before the dawn." 

And the Birdmen curseth the messenger loud and long, saying his Mother hath no morals and his Father knoweth him not, for his tiding were of no great joy.  For the Mission cometh they knew, and only the Keen were glad.  And the Keen were few.  And the Keen grew fewer at the fourth hour before the dawn.

And so it came to pass that they goeth forth to break bread, and Lo! it comes to pass that one breaketh his hand on the bread.

And then they were gathereth together in the Sanctum and Sanctums called briefing, and their voices are hushed, for they were in the presence of the Master.  And the Masters Disciples ariseth and speaketh unto them of routes, altitudes and targets, for such is their manner of speech.  And the Birdmen looketh upon the map, and behold the lines upon the map to the target.  And one speaketh to another and sayeth, "this cannot be."

But then the Master ariseth and sayeth, "it is so, now goeth ye forth and gird thy loins for battle, for thein enemies are sorry and do naught to oppose thee, and let he who aboreth beware, for he shall know the full measure of my wrath. Now goeth, for the day draws neigh." 

And the Birdmen turneth to one and another and sayeth, "Yea, verily I say unto thee, it shall be a day of many tribulations, for the Master returneth to his sack and beeth not among us this day."  And the Masters disciples chooseth his flock for that  day, and some he husbandeth for another day.  And some he leaveth behind secretly rejoice and praise the Lord.

And then they goeth forth to the Birds of iron and begin to make ready to go forth.  And some go to the little house in panic and some goeth to the big house in greater panic.  And lo! it comes to pass that some are beset by trembling and redness of eye, for they have partaken of too much wine.

And one Birdman sayeth to his friend, "Many time I hath been as a brother to thee, and thee to me, therefore, wilt thou take my place in battle this day?  And the friend replieth, "Verily thou shouldest drop dead, for my labors are done and I returneth to the chosen land.  And another sayeth to his leader, "The Lord watcheth between thee and me this day when we are absent from one and another."

And then it comes to pass that the Birdmen mount the Birds of iron and there ariseth a great clamor as the draweth life save one who goeth not, thus he stayeth home and writeth the necessary forms.

But all else goeth to the proper place where the man with the colored cloth waveth them fairwell, save one who aboreth for lack of boost and the Master curseth him mightly saying, "Thou shalt know the full measure of my wrath."

And so it comes to pass that the Birdmen goeth forth on their journey to the land of the evil one called Tojo, and all was serene.  And he who is known as Outfield, speaketh to Robust of l0 plus and 20 plus.  But the Birdmen ignore him and cluckleth to themselves saying he knoweth not wherefor he speaketh.

And it comes to pass that the Birdmen suffer many tribulations in the land of the evil ones.  And one sayeth, "Mashnote one, come thou unto me for flak hath found me and my fire warning light doth glow."  And Mashnote replieth, "Verily thou shouldest drop dead, for the rescue service maketh not light of early rising." 

And another sayeth, "Fighters have found me, and I looseth ground mightly, and my cockpit fills with smoke." And another speaketh of homings and each is lost to one and another.

So the Birdmen turneth and skurrieth away like mice and salvoeth their bombs into the sea and do not gathereth together to be shepherded unto the waters.

And so they returneth home by divers routes, each roosting in his own time.

And the Master gathereth them together a speaketh unto them of the bad show, and of practice missions and of frozen promotions, and giveth them Hell in general.

And so it goeth... Amen!


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