By John H. Schumacher, Lt Colonel, USAFR (Retired)

Former AT-2, USN

VAQ-33 Connie Crewman 1974-76



Connie, Connie, leaking oil,

Darkened cabin in which we’d toil,

Ugly duckling, some would say,

Straining down each long runway.


Breaking free from earth’s surly grip

You took us aloft for every trip

To Roosey Roads and Miramar

To Cecil Field and places far.


A “Fifties Child” when you were made

Your recip motors strong and staid

A triple tail your lovely crown

A pregnant belly big and round


Tip tanks adorned your graceful wings

Tho’ they contained comm-jamming things

With black boxes in your cargo hold

Our enemies’ defenses did unfold


With slender lines and lovely form,

In VAQ you were reborn,

You jammed our enemy’s radar hearts,

As you hung on with aging parts.


Our glorious country you did serve.

Though on many landings you did swerve,

The “Shuttering Shitcan” jet jocks screamed,

Yet you swept the skies of our foe’s beams.


You never failed us through the years,

As time marched on, we all sensed the fears,

That your days were numbered all the more,

As maintenance costs so much did soar.


No other bird had quite your face,

Wingspan’s length, or stealthy grace.

Your elegant dolphin-like form,

Such comfort brought, our hearts did warm.


Those endless hours o’er sea on station,

Defended the shores of our great nation,

We humbly recall those halcyon years,

Serving with you, choking back the tears.


Yet you hung on through thick and thin,

Competing with the jet blast’s din,

‘Til finally ended that long wait,

As at last you met your fate.


So, Bu. No. 141292,

Bean Counters finally came for you,

Your final journey was bitter sweet,

We bade you well, your tour complete.


And you were stricken from the books,

Museum fodder, for all to look,

Yet ignoble treatment you received,

You were surplused, we all grieved.


Subsequent damage you endured,

As your new owners neglect inured

To cause your airframe yet more rust,

Mortal damage suffered thus.


Drawn and quartered, broken hard,

Left strewn upon museum’s yard,

Your fuselage still strong and round,

Worth twenty-seven cents per pound.


Now all we have are memories fond,

Of how you hauled us across the “Pond,”

To Scotland or Hawaii fair,

You were our refuge in the air.


So, Connie, Connie, we all say,

How proud we were back in the day,

When your ride was smooth and soft,

Each time you carried us aloft.


With quaking voice and welling tear

We say goodbye, sweet Connie Dear,

We fly you through the warm slip streams,

Tho’ that flight be but within our dreams.