They called her “Starlifter”: for this “queen of the skies”-
Would carry the finest: Americas’ GI’s
She’s nearly forty years old,
And her life is near done.
How young she seems:
But she has earned her place in the golden sun.
For she has flown the skies the whole world wide –
Doing the work of her nation.
Her crews flew this beauty with unabashed pride.
No job was too big; no job was too small.
This great graceful bird could handle them all.
From combat troops, to the food that they ate,
She delivered the goods: on time and first rate.
From pole to pole: in jungles dank, or ice and snow –
Or the shimmering heat of desert sand –
The Starlifter by Lockheed was close at hand.
Wherever the job that had to be done,
They could count on MAC’s workhorse: the 141.
This Lockheed creation was a beautiful thing.
Long and lean –she had a towering “T” tail,
And was crowned with acres of swept back wing.
Four powerful engines made her complete.
And for moving the goods - none could compete.
She flew fast and she flew high.
.74 MACH, and halfway to the sky.
A full load of fuel took her many long miles
From Washington State to the Japanese Isles.
But now she’s tired, and it’s her turn to rest.
For, - for thirty plus years she stood up to the test.
So we who flew her across those blue skies –
Will watch her depart and whisper good-byes.
We will try not to notice:
Those who are wiping the specks from their eyes.
And as her graceful form disappears from our view,
We will look down the line at the shape of the new.
We’ll then know for a fact that an era has ended.
That our ties are now broken, and cannot be mended.
And from this day forward, as we go ‘bout our tasks –
At the sound of great engines, we’ll look upwards,
And ask: can it be?
But it cannot be, for that day is done.
And we must take our place in the setting sun
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