Laments of an ART

No photo this time, but I wanted to share the poem Dad wrote about his work on the Douglas Dauntless SBDs (short for Scout Bomber Douglas).  It was first published in the Naval Air Station’s newspaper, Delandings.

With the Yagi antennas hanging down under the wings near their tips, any rocking of the wings during landings or takeoffs could, and often did, result in breaking off the antennas.  The cables for these antennas had to be routed through tight spaces in aluminum wings with sharp edges everywhere.  And work always needed to be finished an hour ago.

Laments of an A.R.T. (Aviation Radio Technician)

My body is full of pain
From so many odd positions
And I’ve lost so many friends
From my change in disposition.
My hands are being scarred
From the scratches that I get,
And my morale is lowered by
“Aren’t you through with that job yet?”

Don’t want to be called lazy,
Much less to be a quitter;
Don’t mind repairing receivers
Or even a transmitter,
But this is the sad story
Of a disgusted gob.
I hope to hell I never get
Another antenna job.

Horton Deakins, Sr., October 30, 1943

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