Ode to the F/RF-111

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ODE TO THE F/RF-111

By

Wing Commander Jack Lynch MBE, (Ret’d)

13 December 2011


The crews of the ‘Pig’ had gathered amass

At the United Service Club

For a big celebration on this special occasion

It was the ideal swanky pub


Big Al , Doc and Boggie arranged a really great show

With Shep in the Chair, minus all of his hair

Proceedings were set and ready to go


Shep led, as expected, from the front with heart

Laying out simple rules from the very start

That set the theme, for the eager team

Who all had flown the swing wing dream


Our beloved ‘One Eleven’ had drawn us together

To reminisce, laugh, and chat

By the end of the night, that theme proved right

Every man had done just that


The hirsute Big Al was Mister Vice

With important things to do

Propose the odd toast, and act as the host

For guests spinning tales of their derring-do


From out of the wood came numerous blokes

Who’d not seen each other in years

But the night was right, to appease that plight

With food, good wine, and a few cold beers


Al Green, Bob Bruce were our welcome links

To our aircraft’s early days

We thought we’d ‘bought a pup’, when the wings played up

With five years of frustrating delays


At last in nineteen seventy three

The Pig got to call Amberley ‘home’

Crew’s tales from then, til December O Ten

Would fill a gigantic bound tome


Solemnity ruled when we toasted the crews

Whose lives were lost, and we got the sad news

That’s as bad as it gets, for those who fly jets

Forever young in our minds they will stay

May the new generation, pay due veneration

As they carry the banner today


We toasted the troops who kept us aloft

And teams unseen elsewhere

Like success in all groups, the jocks and the troops

All tote their own personal share


Herbie gave a great witness account

Of the Rogers and Growds ejection

To abandon ship, and take a wee dip

Made sense as the timely election


Suffice to say ‘twas a very sad day

When the last wheels rolled to the chocks

The fast low penetration, of our generation

Just a dream for the new Hornet jocks


For we who flew it, and loved it, and knew it

The Pig’s end was a bit premature

But decisions like these, by those Canberra ‘Bs’

We’ve all had to learn to endure


The degree of the teamwork twixt pilot and nav

Made me often think I was a twin

With Yanks in competitions, there were sound suppositions

That the lads from DownUnder would win


I loved every minute that I spent in it

And I’d saddle up again tomorrow

But I’ll remember each ride, with affection and pride

With  never a hint of sorrow


So take up the cudgel young Hornet whips

And build on the Pig’s great foundation

Learn your OODA Loops, and respect the troops

Give your best to defend this great nation


‘PER ARDUA AD ASTRA’