Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings
Of sun-split clouds ---and done a hundred things
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
You have not dreamed of---wheeled and soared and swung
Bomber Command R.C.A.F. F/LT Sean Dunn
The high untrespassed sanctity of space ,
John Gillespie Magee was a young American who came to Canada in 1940 to join the RCAF. He enlisted on the same day as Sean and their service numbers are only two numbers apart.
John Gillespie Magee Jr. and the poem High Flight
Magee's poem may have struck a cord among airmen . It is the official poem of the RCAF and RAF, a copy can be seen on the wall just about any place that pilots gather in the English speaking world , parts of it can be found on many airmens' tombstone. The poem is also an astronaut favorite and at least one copy has been taken into space . It is found in almost all aviation museums and must be recited from memory by U.S.A.F. Academy cadets.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
My eager craft through footless halls of air
High in the sunlit silence , Hovr'ing there
And,while with silent lifting mind I've trod
Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee was killed in a mid-air collision over England while flying his Spitfire . He was 19.
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Where never lark or even eagle flew-----
He became a Spitfire pilot with RCAF Squadron 412 and saw some combat .
I've topped the wind swept heights with easy grace
Up, up the long ,delirious , burning blue