3 Squadron POEMS

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WERE YOU THERE THEN?

by Flight Lieutenant Tom Russell.


Squadron Leader Bobby Gibbes ('Gibby') sitting beneath the board recording the squadron's score ('200 and still going strong')
with pilots of his squadron during the celebration of his success in shooting down a Messerschmitt Bf109, the 200th victory for the squadron - Amiriya, Egypt, 28 October 1942.
Seated, left to right: Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) L. L. (Danny) Boardman DFM; Flt Lt E. K. (Keith) Kildey DFM;
Squadron Leader R. H. M. Gibbes DSO DFC and Bar.

I arrived at the Squadron in the middle of '42,
Young and fresh, very eager to be in 'the Blue'.

We were at Amiriya, a place near Alamein,
Were you there too? ... And did you feel the same?

Gibby was our C.O., Danny and Keith had the Flights,
Remember Danny singing 'Danny Boy'?  Oh, those nights!

Happy times in the mess, when stories were told,
By the pilots before us ... Truly: "The Brave and the Bold."

The 'Erks' of all trades were quite a different lot,
Just ask them for anything - and that's what you got!

The skills they displayed in the jobs that they did,
Like keeping the aircraft 'top class' ... I dips me lid.

When the time arrived to take ourselves off,
We would walk to the aircraft ... Three Ps and a cough.

Into the seat and they'd help you strap tight,
Then a pat on the shoulder ... thumbs-up ... "You'll be right."

The cooks were terrific (they'd agree of course),
But sometimes bully-beef tasted like horse!

The times I most remember were the 5 a.m. starts,
Always a hot cuppa before the aircraft departs.

These are some memories of the Squadron I knew,
I can't recall everyone, but I remember YOU.

So when you're thinking of your times ... good or bad,
Think of the friendships you made ...
Be thankful and glad!

 


Western Desert, 1941.  Crew of a German tank surrender to New Zealanders after their tank had been put out of action by an anti-tank gun.  
The very warlike chap at left with his back to the tank and holding his gun at the ready is the Cook of an Australian Air Force unit
 who got mixed up with the New Zealanders during the general melee.

3 Squadron POEMS

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