In Memory of Captain Colin P. Kelly, Jr.


Mrs. George H. Tichenor, New Orleans
I found a New Orleans Times-Picayune clipping of this poem in
one of my grandmother's WWII scrapbooks.  I believe that Mrs.
Tichenor, the author, was the daughter-in-law of George H.
Tichenor, Sr., who founded the Tichenor Antiseptic company.

Colin P. Kelly, Jr. was a WW II B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, remembered
as one of the first American heroes of the war for sacrificing his
own life to save his crew when his plane became the first American
B-17 to be shot down in combat on December 10, 1941.  -- Nancy
Off the coast of the Philippines,
That dark December night,
The Captain called for a volunteer
To make the hazardous flight.
He called and then he waited,
For with abated breath,
He knew to the volunteer
It would mean certain death.

"I'll make the flight," came a quick reply
From Captain Kelly standing by.
And, if I go, well boys, you know,
Perhaps our God has willed it so."
"Happy Landings," he heard them say
While taking off that fateful day.

Up went the plane in its perilous flight
With Captain Kelly that December night,
With courage high and purpose true,
Knowing what he had to do.
He sunk the ship, his comrades to save,
Then fell asleep in a watery grave.
Unmindful of the victory won
At Philippines, America's son.

Your name, the first on Victory's Scroll
Beneath a star of purest gold:
Captain Kelly who dared to die
Avenging raid from out the sky.
Well may we hail you for what you've done,
Your deed, your valor, America's son.
Your country, your buddies speak as one:
In peace now rest, your work well done.
Colin P. Kelly, 1915 - 1941