Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America

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C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller
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Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
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Great Bend, Kansas B-29 Memorial
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General Earl Johnson Biography
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Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
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C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
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C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
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Tinian Medals of Honor
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Guam Medals of Honor
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Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Japanese Surrender
Navy Ships At Surrender Ceremonies
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page

"SAYING GOODBYE TO AMERICA"
 
By C. Douglas Caffey, a disabled WWII veteran,having served
int the 509th Composite Bomb Group 58th Wing.
Air Photo Unit, 20th AF
Army Air Corps
WWII.
 
Today's date is May 8, 2008, which is also the anniversary of VE-Day, 1945.
The writer is almost 82 years old, having PTSD since WWII. The time has
come to say farewell to a nation that is loved, and therefore, to address
that nation which gave this veteran birth and also gave to him the
ideals of Freedom, and has succored him for these eight
decades.
 
America has been seen from many points of view, most of which have been
loved.  America, your arms have been wide enough to embrace both
young and old, the lovers of yesterday, and lovers of today,
husbands and wives, both children and sage as your own.
This veteran knows not when  his time will be up, but one
thing he does know and that he has less time now
than he had yesterday, and if tomorrow comes
he will have even less time.
 
Before he goes, he wishes to say goodbye to the America which he has
loved, and for whom he has fought and for whom he has given of his
health in preserving Freedom and Sweet Liberty. This veteran has
seen the Stars and Stripes flying from Battle Ships, from Air craft
carriers, from a hospital ship, from government buildings, and
from simple homes of the many who love America as he
does.  He has flown the Stars and Stripes from his own
home, but must confess in this present age that
walking to the back yard to attach Old Glory
to its flag pole is so painful that there
are days when the Flag must fly
in the imagination of an
old man's mind!
 
So, he sees the Flag of the United States of America flying in the
New Mexico breeze where all who pass by will know that
there ia a veteran who loves the Flag as he loves the
Land of Freedom from which she flies.
 
The sounds and sights of America inhabit the memories from
the time this veteran was just a bare-foot boy playing
in the sun with his dog, until that fateful day on a
cold December morn of 1941, when hundreds
of planes from an enemy swarmed from
the Rising Sun to wreck havoc on a
place in the Pacific Sea, known
as Pearl Harbor!
 
Thousands gave their lives for the cause of Freedom on that
day long ago. Some still sleep in those cold waters, who
never again will walk those decks where the Flag of
America once flew, in America's grand hour.
Those of us who played in the sun with our
dogs, and our toys, when we were boys,
learned to shorten our time of play
and to don a uniform of blue or
brown to become soldiers,
sailors, Marines, and airmen
to answer the call of America for the
preservation of Sweet Freedom.
 
To the ends of the Earth we went, sailing warships and
merchant ships, submarines, and flying machines
of all shapes and size, to dot the horizon of the
skies, to avenge the Freedoms which we
loved.  We saluted the Flag with heart-felt meaning,
as did those brave Marines one war-torn day on
the island of Iwo Jima, who raised the Flag
on Mount Surabachi. It was on Iwo Jima
that seven thousand marines bled to death on those
black sands, their red American blood mixing with those
black sands as a token of the supreme sacrifice
which can be offered only once.
We dare not forget their patriotism, nor the patriotism of
four-hundred thousand others who die for American
Freedom.
 
Yet, on Iwo Jima there were thirteen thousand other
Marines who bled in those black sands but won
the battle over death.
Have you thought what it is like to die all alone
in some fox-hole with no one to hear one's
dying wishes to loved ones, and no one
to hold the hand of a dying Marine,
or to give him comfort in that
sacred hour.
Surely there were thoughts of sweethearts, or
wives with babies the dying Marine had never seen.
But one's dying farewell had to be etched with a keen
sense of the commodity known as Freedom.
 
Would you die for Freedom?  Looking back on those days
of some sixty years ago, it would have been easier
to die for Freedom and Sweet Liberty, than to
have survived to fight the battles every night,
over and over again, when the "Mares of
the Night" know and visit your address.
The good aspect of death is, 'it
doesn't take long to die!'
 
Dear Reader, have you noticed that certain words
are so sacred to this veteran, that they are
always capitalized.  Freedom is one of those words
which is so loved.  It is one way of paying homage to the
Freedom which all Americans should love.
For this writer, when the word Marine is penned, it is always
with a capital "M".
The writer was not a Marine; just an airman of the famous 509th
Composite Bomb Group, which dropped the two atomic bombs on
Japan in August of 1945, compliments of the Old Army Air
Corps!  However, the Marines took the Island of Iwo Jima at great
cost to have a place where cripppled B-29's returning from bombing
raids on Japan, could have a place to land, thus saving the
lives of thousands of airmen, and hundreds of B-29's
which could be repaired and to fly other missions on the enemy,
thus keeping , perhaps, millions of deaths from happening
if Japan was to be invaded on the ground.
Those B-29's returned to Saipan and to Tinian and flew again, and again,
to soften the will of the enemy.
Parenthtical:  This veteran is glad that the enemy is now a friend.
We can mix our tears in the same bottle!

PART II


The word "America" rings down the corridors of history for
four centuries. It was a holy word when Jamestown
was just an infant. Through that first cold winter
when Puritans laid their loved ones to rest,
America took on a new and hallowed
meaning, for America became a
repository for brave and
courageous men
and women
who sailed the stormy Atlantic to find a home for Freedom
and Sweet Liberty. Those brave folks signed the
Mayflower Compact before their feet ever
touched the sacred soil, thus forming
a government by which they intended to live . . .
and live they did within the confines of
surrender and dependence upon
Almighty God.

Freedom's seed was planted deeply in the virgin
soil of a special place called America.

Freedom is never free, for Freedom must be defended
by those who count death as a worthy payment
on Freedom's account.

Red runs the blood of those, living and dead, through
the years when America was coming of age.
The dark splotch remains still when North
and South chose to do battle over
States Rights and slavery.
Thousands laid down their lives in a foolish war,
not ordained of God! But old wounds heal
and Freedom bows her head in a shameful
manner, awaiting a better season.

When a Representative Republic was challenged,
American men rose to the occasion to deliver
independence to the lap of Freedom.

World War one invoked thousands to keep Freedom
in our court. Red runs the blood of stalwart men
who chose to die rather than to live outside
the boundary of Freedom.

There was another war known as World War II, of which
the writer was a part. This takes us back to the beginning of
this writing, when, as never before, America was thrust
into a world-wide conflict, again to be tested for
the singular love of Freedom.
We stood that test, but an awful price was exacted as
young men became warriors all over the globe,
from Europe to Asia, and all the Islands
of the seas. Over four-hundred thousand men
and women gave their lives for a cause
that was greater than life itself.

Lee Greenwood and John Wayne have said it well,
for they are patriotic sons of America, who have
touched the hearts of old WWII veterans,
making known to all that it is the soldier,
the sailor, the Marine, and the
airman, who have given
Freedom to America!

From the air-war over Germany came thousands
of B-17's, B-24's, B-25's, B-26's as well as
the simple C-47's and C-46's which
carried thousands of Para Troopers
to their deaths in France and
Germany; Para Troopers
of the 82nd Air Borne
and the 101st.

The C-47 Gooney Bird towed two gliders filled with
men and machines of war, to the fields in
France and Germany, where many died
where they landed.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the beaches of Utah and Omaha
were scattered by fallen soldiers and Marines
who mixed their red blood with the salty
brine of the Atlantic Ocean.
Thousands lie today in the soil of France with only a
white cross to mark their presence. Like many
others in Europe and the Pacific, they aren't
home yet.

Many were the battles for the Islands of the Pacific,
islands which American men could not pronounce!
Some of those islands were, the Philippines,
Corregidor, Bataan, where 5,000
American died when the march began on that 60 mile
march, which began on April 10, 1942.
Others were the Solomon Islands, the Gilbert
Islands, Tarawa, Bougainville, Kwajalien,
in the Marshall Islands where this veteran saw thousands of
bones buried in the sands from the surface to a depth
of ten feet. Eniwetok of the Marshalls, Wake Is.of New Guinea
on May 17, 1944. Then there was Saipan and Tinian
in the Mariana Islands. It was from Tinian, North
Field, that the Enola Gay left to drop the first
atomic bomb on Hiroshima piloted by my friend and hero
of the 509th Bomb Group.

There was also Peleliu Island, and, of course
Iwo Jima, and Okinawa as well as
islands without a name.

On all these islands and others not named, many American boys
died before they became men.

Left strewn across the sands of islands they could not pronounce,
were their blood and bones. Sailors lost their ships and
vanished in to the depths of the sea. In the case of
The USS INDIANAPOLIS
after she had delivered the trigger mechanism for
the atomic bomb, at Tinian, she continues her
voyage west when she was torpedoed
by a Japanese submarine
and sank in just fourteen
minutes with 1098
officers and men
aboard.

Some 800 men were eaten by sharks, leaving only 300
officers and men to be rescued. It was for
America that they died at sea.
This veteran will forever remember those brave men
who paid the supreme sacrifice for Freedom!

The Marines at Iwo Jima fought, bled, and died for that Freedom
which we cherish today. Seven thousand young Marines
died there, and thirteen hundred spilled their blood, in those black sands,
yet lived to return to the America for which they so valiantly
fought.

Because they took Iwo Jima, hundreds of B-29's, with thousands
of their crews, were able to land their crippled B-29's after
bombing Japan. The B-29's could be repaired to fly and
fight again, flying some 3,000 miles round trip.

For all of these reasons, in part one, and part two, and for pains
which lie deep within the hearts of old WWII veterans, the
writer wishes to thank America before his transformation to that
'other world' where war is not known, and where Old
veterans can finally lie down in peace.

So, Goodbye America. I am proud to be one of your sons and
pray that Freedom shall always be alive in this great
land!
If I could sing like Lee Greenwood I would gladly give signature
to my departure with such singing,
but, alas, this old veteran
cannot even read
music!

Thanks America from the bottom of my heart!

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