Paul F. McCann


Sometimes in a war, something special occurs. It’s more than camaraderie or courage put together. It’s more than words can say when inspiration takes flight. It can shine out in the darkness to lead and guide others by the experience.

This can be the difference between life and death, win or loss, laughter or tears and even war and peace.

This story is about seven pilots who were known as the Poet Squadron. Each had a tag name. There was Buzz Bee, Ladybird, Hornet, White Moth, Midget, Firefly and Sky Spider. Each of them was a gifted writer. This group of elite flyers were brought together and trained together. They used words like weapons in battle and when they joined up their talents they created some of the unforgettable masterpiece moments in war.

One of the missions they were sent on was called Sky Shield. The objective was to obstruct the vision of the enemy fighter jets and bombers by releasing trails of coloured smoke across the sky.

The idea of these smoke shields was to hide the important troop movements on the ground. With the protection of a smoke filled sky the troops would be protected from coming under attack by enemy planes.

Specially fitted canisters had been fitted to the undercarriage of the poet squadron’s planes. A simple press of a button in the pilots control panel would deliver a mixture of gas and chemicals that in turn would produce various colours of thick dense smoke.

Now prepared for battle, the poet’s squadron took to the sky.

As the tension mounted, words began to flow from pilot to pilot.

“QC QC This is Buzz Bee. I’m not joking, I’m hot smoking. Do you copy? This is Buzz Bee. Over”

“Firefly in the sky, I hear that Buzz Bee. There’s smoke in the clouds that no one can see. I’m on fire in the sky and that’s no joke. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and that’s all she wrote. Over”

“Hey Firefly: Sky Spider here. My oh my; Hey man I’m building castles in the sky. Follow me down the sky road to a place where rainbows leave a welcome for your face. Over”

“Firefly here. Is there a room for me there Sky Spider? Hey I’ve got some time to spare and an empty sky with a soft sunset. There’s a twilight that I’ll never forget. Over”

“Sky Spider here: come into the parlour. You’re welcome on the Sky Road. See you there. Over”

“Hornet here: It’s party time. Who’s coming? I’ve got the muse and the engine’s humming. Over”

“Ladybird here: Cut me a piece of sky, sprinkle it with stardust. I’ve got to fly before dusk puts up a blanket. Ok. Let’s get this mission sky shield underway. Over”

“That’s affirmative Ladybird, ok. This is Sky Spider; I’m spinning away, making a smoke web in the twilight sky. Can you patch up the holes for me Firefly. Over”

Sky Spider began to do loops and slowly, one by one, each member of the poet squadron began to paint an empty sky with their coloured smoke trails weaving in and out and around and about. In the middle of an oncoming battle, at home in the clouds, the poet squadron burnt a picture in the sky.

Their timing was perfect as the enemy aircraft were approaching.

For the next few hours on the ground, huge troop movements were able to make a strategic advance and gain invaluable territory due to the dense coloured smoke that filled the sky. The poet squadron returned to base with another successful mission accomplished.

That night there was singing and celebrating back at the base. It had been very poetic outcome for each member of the squadron.

The End