To The Willy Victor Crew

My mind now often wanders back to another place and time. Time has smoothed conditions. There's sun, and skies are blue. As I look around, the planes appear well maintained and shiny. I am surrounded by a welcome group of shipmates just like you.

We all are younger, stronger. Each goes about the designated task. Console cursors all are spinning. Do I smell coffee on to brew? The Nav peers in his octant. He wants our position to be sure. We rumble on securely because we fly with shipmates just like you.

Don't let the scene you're watching convey an atmosphere that is false. That secure and serene comfort comes with that dedicated, polished crew. They know full well the dangers of the conditions faced every day. We can do this because we know we fly with shipmates just like you.

Preparation and standardization were the watchwords of our lives. Conditions that were fearsome often brought honest fear into our hearts. Bad winds, icing, visibility and snow gave pause while pulse ran faster, Yet, we were able to go on, knowing all our shipmates do their parts.

You were a fine group for us to have as coworkers and as friends. Dedicated, responsible, outstanding, eager for all required to do. Strong, unflinching patriots in a time of crisis that was ill defined. It was a great privilege to function with shipmates just like you.

Now, I look back. My life is slowing. I know there is an end. In smiling satisfaction, I can now look back and see just how I grew. It was so great to spend those years in service in the Connies, And the best part is I did it all with shipmates just like you!

When my missions here are ended, and my engines all shut down, I pray God saved a WillyVictor way up there in Heaven's blue. I hope He occasionally assigns me that third seat on the flight deck. I'm sure I will enjoy again to fly with shipmates just like you.

Alan Singleton 18 October, 2003