Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall
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A vision of speed when sitting at rest on its nose wheeled landing gear-
Machine guns jutting atop and in front-as well as the sides and the rear.
The wide paddle-- four bladed props-- on each of two engines from Pratt-
The round contours that the fuselage made-looked mean as even it sat.
The first of a breed that had to be "flown" each moment it spent in the air-
No power-off glides when turning to "base"-needed power to levitate there.
Was slow to forgive of mistakes that were made-by those who were trying to learn-
And the toll was high that would be assessed-- on those who failed to discern.
With billowing clouds of white oil smoke the 'twenty eight hundreds' spoke out-
With bobbing and weaving the taxi proceeding-along the assembling route.
With a flare in the air the leader would start and the others would follow his track-
The air split asunder by crackling thunder as the flight went out as a pack.
These fastest of bombers-(of the "medium-kind")-that served in World War Two-
Proved themselves winners-(not for beginners)--when sent out to do what they do.
At "medium height" took on the fight -placed bombs where they meant them to go-
Their losses were lowest of all bombing types that served in the "E.T.O".
The type got some names of dubious fame for their precision required just to fly-
Of visible support-wing looked too short--"Flying Prostitute" seemed to apply.
Martin of Maryland birthed the design and was acknowledged in vicious word play-
"The Baltimore Whore" came to the fore-when some had something to say.
With all missions finished-- the '26' was diminished-- treated like no other plane-
Removed from the service and "reduce to produce"-not many examples remain.
Should you encounter a museum survivor-gaze on it as long as you can--
Or find a crew member who still can remember-shake hands with a true flying man!
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