Poems by Triplane Builder - William (Bill) Woodall
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I was long and lean and squatty
And my nose did sport a tire- had two great big rudders at my stern---
Four turrets along my length and guns along both sides-
My big bomb-bay held things--that "boom" or burn.
My wing was long and narrow-
And my "eighteen thirties" jut- crescent scoops were "grinning" 'long each side-
My props just cleared the ground as I bobbled up and down-
As I taxiied giving crews of 10 their ride.
I flew the whole world over-
In the Second Word War-and I was made in greater numbers-it is true-
But when they tell the tales-talk of others has prevailed---
Almost like I never even flew.
Even though my range was longer-
And my speed was better too-and my pay-load was also up a tad-
It was tougher for my crew--- to formate tightly when we flew-
This extra work- the media thought bad.
So when big raids made the news-
Was mostly "Fortress" crews that got the good attention in the press--
And though that plane was good-(did everything it could)-
They weren't the only folks who felt the stress.
Early in demand-- by Coastal Command-
So I wore roundels of Britain-- for a change-
I kept U-Boats at bay-where convoys'd been their prey,'
O'er the far grey North Atlantic-- with my range.
The Navy flew me too in a roll for me quite new-
Became an attacker near the ground---
Instead of bombing from great height-my crews were taught to fight-
By strafing where prime targets could be found.
As a transport I could carry heavy loads-
With my armaments removed-lots of cargo--they could stow,
In my long-tall belly--- near the ground-["C- Eighty Seven" now my name]-
(Appearance much the same)-across the seas and mountains goods would flow.
The number of my clan who still can fly,
Has dwindled 'til there are only just us two---
See us if you can-and support us if you will-
For those missions that those other thousands flew.
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