The R4D Cannonball Express     by Al Lishness / DF1

A little over 63 years ago (December 17,1935) the Douglas Aircraft Company rolled out, and flew the legendary DC-3/R4D/C-47/DAKOTA.

In 1956, this venerable and valiant aircraft became the workhorseof the Antarctic and the No.1 Hit Song on the Ice was VX-6's "R4D Cannonball" . It was sung to the tune of the "Wabash Cannonball".


1. Now listen all my shipmates, I'll tell a tale to you,
about some navy pilots and the plane that they once flew,
They flew down to McMurdo, for Task Force 43,
They didn't fly an aircraft they flew an R4D.


Listen to the rattle, the rumble and the roar,
As we go down the runway in a beat-up old R-4.
You can feel the airframe shaking,
See the pilot's trembling hand.
If he don't get her airborne, we'll see the promised land.

2. A bucking and a slipping , down the ice we go,
Everyone lean forward, cause Christ! we're going slow.
Throttles through the firewall, fifteen JATOS blasting free,
I've 18 tons strapped to my back in this beat-up R4D.


3. I'm sitting in the cockpit, I can't retract the gear,
I'm running out of airspeed, this is the end I fear.
So listen all my loved ones, please say a prayer for me,
For I'm attached to VX-6, and a lousy R4D.


4. Creaking down the runway, what do my poor eyes see?
A hundred correspondents - and the gawd-damned NBC.
They've heard about this aircraft,
and they expect the worst.
They'd feel bad, if I crashed in flames,
but, they want to get it first.


73's from Alton Lishness=

= Thanks Al , maybe we can find an old B flat git fiddle to help.

<bgsound src="wabash.mid" loop=infinite>