9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941

Today is the anniversary of this young man’s death. He was a flyer with both American and British citizenship that went to fight for his mother’s home country. He was killed in a simple accident  but not before composing a beautiful piece of poetry that is loved by aviators everywhere. 
High Flight

 “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,

I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.

Where never lark, or even eagle flew —

And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”

John Gillespie Magee Jr.

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