Oh, I have slipped the hold back bonds of CVS-33
And danced the waves on gray and white wings of hope;
Outward I've searched, and watched the tumbling sea
Beneath sun-split clouds--and dropped a hundred smokes
In patterns you have not dreamed of--wheeled and soared and swung
Just above the oceans mist. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the invisible sub along, and flung
My stubborn craft through footless halls of air.
Down, down just above the delirious sea of blue
I've topped the windswept waves with easy grace
Where never lark, or even seagull flew.
And, while with silent, searching mind so quick
Through the low untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the nose of Moby Dick.
But alas, my fuel state is approaching minor
I must return to base, number san ti san.
Wildcat approach, it is I, Trombone twenty niner
Cleared to Delta is the reply, join Trombone 76, climb to angels one.
Pri-fly says signal Charley, hook down, turn downwind and check
landing list complete, turn to final, call the ball,
LSO says cut, catch lucky three wire, lights out on deck,
hook up, fold the wings, good night to all.
Adapted by Phil Oppedahl from High Flight by John McGee, Jr.
Dedicated to the men, and women who supported them, of VS-29 who flew
from the deck of the USS Kearsarge, CVS-33 in the 1960's.