“During most of the year, 1970, I was the Operations Sergeant for the
Phoenix. I was in the operations during
some of the best and some of the worst times for the aircrews. I was, and still am, very proud of having had
the privilege of serving with such an outstanding body of men. This led me to write a poem while I was at
the VHPA Reunion 2000. "The Lord and the Phoenix" gives my
opinion of those men, yesterday and today.
When I first took it upon myself to write poetry I did so because I
wanted to write about the deaths of Lt. Finn, WO Baldwin, Sp4
Dan Felts and Sp4 William Dotson. I'm must confess that their memorial service
had a greater effect on me than any other during two tours in Vietnam, and that
I carried their deaths with me long after returning to the world, completing my
military career and on into civilian life.
So, here goes,
"The Lord and the
SFC Joseph Haymore
The Lord and the Phoenix
... and on the eighth day; from so far away,
the Lord's gaze fell on Earth.
He'd created light, then extended His might
and in Eden He placed all of worth.
'twas no small thing; in a world without sin
to find a fault to repair.
Then He looked to the sky and exclaimed, "Oh my!
There's no Phoenix up there in the air."
So he made Larry Bell, on whose shoulders it fell
the task to build "Hueys" great.
Then in Mineral Wells from the poor and the "swells"
brave "Wobbly-ones" did He make.
And "RLOs" too; not many, a few
He created to add to the mix.
One "RLO" brave, not a rogue nor a nave,
did He deign
to call, "
He sent them to 'Nam where they'd act as a balm
to soothe the pains of the grunts.
When they got there, they ruled all the air.
Very soon they covered all fronts.
What a sight to behold! That fearsome fold,
as they soared over all of the land.
From the Evans mud up to Quang Tri's crud
they swarmed like a Mongol band.
The Lord smiled and said, "I'll Just go to bed;
there's not so much for Me now;
'til this war is done and somebody's won,
And turned every sword to a plow.
So I'll rest for a bit, while in Heaven I sit,
and look down on what I've done.
I just wish that I could be one!"
Joe Haymore Phoenix 3M July 2000
"Phoenix" was "C" Company, 158th Aviation Bn, 101st Airborne Div (Air Mobile). On
and the Flight of the
In a place called 'Nam, in stillness and calm,
recollections are what remains.
Just ashes to dust and metal to rust
is all that records their pain.
They died for a cause; gave life without pause,
But the reason was never made clear.
They gave all they had for a cause that was bad
With no outward signs of their fear.
They were one of a few of our chopper crews,
one I prayed would surely survive.
The bird crumpled and burned; their souls were interred
and none were to come home alive.
They are all gone now, and I don't know how
to establish reason or blame.
There's none left to grieve; and none to receive
my feeling of loss that remains.