3 Squadron POEMS

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(Driver Motor Transport)

Foggia, Italy.  1943.  A group portrait of transport drivers of No. 3 (Kittyhawk) Squadron RAAF,
who have driven their trucks from Alamein, maintaining a maximum serviceability throughout.  [AWM MEA0837]

by Alex Archer

Driving one day in the desert

I was worried and ill-at-ease,

When my motor began to splutter

And I thought she was going to seize.


So I pulled to the side of the roadway

And waited for "Workshops" to come,

When there leapt, from a yellow wagon,

Some very determined chums.


Ah!  These were the section's Fitters,

Armed with spanners and files to the teeth,

Who clambered on top of my wagon

(And one got underneath).


They probed at the many components

In a tentative, hopeful way,

But results, by their worried expressions,

Were the worst that they'd had all day.


Then they hit on a new plan of action.

With the requisite tools in their hands,

They scattered my motor in pieces

All over the wide desert sands.


Then they all pitched in to re-build her,

And when they were nearly done,

One man leapt from the driver's cabin

As a bullet shoots out from a gun.


There followed a long altercation

Both technical and quite profane.

(It may only be in Hellfire

That I'll hear such words spoken again.)


Then they gave me a long explanation

And brother, it sounded grand,

But they spoke in such technical language

That I simply could not understand.


I treasured the words they were saying

(As I treasure their memory yet)

      And I scribbled them down in my paybook

    For fear that I might well forget.


    And it wasn't 'til several days later,

      With the dictionary's skilful use,

   That I found that the tank of my wagon



3 Squadron POEMS

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