Strictly Routine "    thanks to Al Lishness of DF1

Hi Dave, The C-124B Troop Carrier Squadron from Donaldson AFB So. Carolina was tasked to make Parachute drops of materials/Equipment/Fuel/etc. in 1956. We told them what our facilities at McMurdo were and that we marked the Ice Runway approaches and 1000yd markers with empty 55gl fuel drums and had positioned the crashed "boopsie's" Day Glow Orange tail section a mile or so out pointed to the Ice Runway and other pertinent info. They were used to operating up North at the Dew Line Early Warning Stations and they used Pine Trees to mark the Approaches to the runways and Pine Trees every 1000ft. They sent a Message to us with a list of things they wanted done in preparation for their arrival. they asked for pine trees to be placed as they were accustomed to having in the Arctic on the Dew Line. Our impression was that they considered us and our R4D's as poor ignorant cousins that obviously didn't know what we were doing. A sarcastic message was sent informing them that if they would consult any 6th Grade Geography Book they would learn that there were no Pine Trees in Antarctica and if they wanted them to bring them theirselves. They Did! BGen McCarthy was their Commander and he came down to make a whirlwind tour and immediately called a news conference in which he repeatedly told the media it was strickly routine operations for the U.S.A.F. He took quite a ribbing about the pine trees and climbed into his plane for a quick trip to the pole. Upon his return the repeat news conference followed with the "strickly routine" BS. He didn't tell the press that his C-124 was down on the end of the runway with a collapsed nose gear as a result of clipping the snowbank at the approach end of the runway. (that year the ice runway had 16' snowbanks on the sides and a 12' bank on each end. All hands had been taking turns in the D-8ELP's keeping the runway open. The officers were messcooking so the Seabees and Airdales could get the Strip Ready.) A Song was immediately written to the tune of the old Pensacola Song , "No Gear At All" and a combined naval, officer and enlisted chorus fortified with copious amounts of "Old Mo and "Goober Beer"serenaded the AF BOQ Quonset Hut.


General McCarthy flew to the pole At seventeen thousand, so nary a soul Could see very well while gasping for air So nobody's sure if they ever got there.

Chorus: Strickly Routine, Strickly Routine Going to the pole in a flying Machine.

General McCarthy returned to the strip, Landing too short , a snow bank he clipped. He shook us all up, but nobody died, So with a great smile, he quite truthfully cried,


After his flight he conferred with the Press, Most of whom seemed to be mighty impressed, Took off down the runway - a jolt and a lurch, In less than twelve hours he was back in Christchurch, saying:


Now Scott and Amundsen got to the Pole, And McCarthy's amazed that they ever did so, He thinks it was marvelous, and what is more, They got there without a C-124.


Well, General McCarthy we know what you mean, Flying to the pole is just, strickly routine, But you've got to return, and this is real hell ! The tough part of flying, is landing as well !


Now, General McCarthy is back in the states, Fulfilling commitments for lecturing dates, While here at McMurdo we curse and we swear, At three C-124's with their Tails in the air.

(chorus) .......he he....

There were other verses to this little Ditty and I'm sure there must be some old OAE that can remember some of them, most certainly Our Ace Guitar Pickers, (Then AT2) Bill Cumbie and (Then AD2) G.J. Gordon. getting their Weather Brief, he innocently asked, "What is the Base's Voice Call" , Some one in the back of the room, Yelled , "PINE TREE ! ! ! " . He Stormed out and we never saw him again. The SEABEES hauled the fuselage of one of the Crashed C-124's up to Camp and used it for Equipment and parts storage. My navigator, ( then TSGT) Tom Southwick USMC, and others cumshawed some Day-Glo paint and used a swab to paint " Strickly Routine" on the side of it in huge letters. He accidently got some of the paint on his "Bunny Boots" (Tom had been imbibing). Admiral Dufek, who had been enjoying all the proceedings up to now, decided the paint job was going a little too far and since it was obvious who one of the culprits was Tom had the job of blacking out his Artwork.=

=Another Home Run Al, shows ya how entreprenurial sailors with low budgets can surpass the blue chip guys. Ed.=

( am hunting for proper midi music ) help!!

Here is updated words from Billt-Ace


After doing much research I have came up with the rest of the Strictly
Routing song. You will notice that some of the words in this version are
slightly version of what you have on your web site. ARS POETICA is the name
of the chapter the song is in. The *'s are little snow flakes.

Regards and 73s.


>From the book: PENGUINS HAVE SQUARE EYES by Patrick Trese


One evening in late November, a bunch of the boys
were whooping it up in the Officers' Head, that large,
commodious building which doubled as our Malemute
Saloon. Here the naval aviators could gather to drink beer
and to sing bawdy songs to their hearts' content without
disturbing the fitful sleep of those residents of Boystown
who had to fly the next morning. That evening, the junior
officers had run loudly through a hair-raising rendition of
"Barnacle Bill, the Sailor" and were knee-deep in a song
which has been translated into civilian as "Never Been Kissed."

Filled with inspiration and beer, I took this tune and
lined out several verses, which I present now with some
pride of authorship and as an example of the strange
things that sometimes get done in the midnight sun:


Strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the pole in a flying machine!

Now General McCarty flew to the Pole
At seventeen-thousand, so nary a soul
Could see very well while gasping for air,
And nobody's sure if he ever got there.

Strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the Pole in a flying machine!

General McCarty returned to the strip;
He landed too short and a snowbank did clip.
This shook us all up, but nobody died,
So we smiled tight brave smiles as he modestly cried:

It was strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the pole in a flying machine.

Right after his flight, he conferred with the press
none of whom seemed to be very impressed.
He rolled down the runway with a jolt and a lurch
and in less than twelve hours he was back in Christchurch.

Saying "Strictly routine! Strictly routine"
"Going to the pole in a flying machine!"

Now Scott and old Amundsen got to the Pole
And McCarty's amazed that they ever did so.
He thinks it was marvelous and, what is more,
They got there without a C-One-Twenty-Four!

But it's strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the Pole in a Lying machine!

Now General McCarty is back in the States,
Fulfilling commitments for lecturing dates,
While here at McMurdo we curse and we swear:
There are three One-Two-Fours with their tails in the air!

But it's strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the Pole in a Lying machine!

Civilian technicians all over the place
Repairing those airplanes, it sure is a race;
For summer is coming and the ice will break free
And those ninety-ton aircraft may sink in the sea.

But it's strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the Pole in a flying machine!

Commuting from Harewood is easy, it's true,
And the women sure go for a parka sky blue;
But remember, dear pilots, while having a ball,
You can't leave for Christchurch with no gear at all.

No gear at all! No gear at all!
You can't fly a plane that has no gear at all!

Not two wheels for landing, but three are required
And, in case you don't know it, our crash crews are tired.
They've swept up the pieces and come back for more.
Please no more short landing n that One-Twenty-Four!

But it's strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the Pole in a flying machine

Oh the Air Force goes first-class in the One-Twenty-Four,
While the Navy rides steerage in the anient R-Four.
The R-Four is weary, it's in its last throes ,
But not one of them yet has come in on its nose!

Strictly routine! Strictly routine!
Going to the pole in a flying machine!
Anybody got a 'tune' for this one??  send to
Here is something extra about the AF from John Boyda...

With all the media attention the "Daring Rescue" got in the press (and on
this board), I thought that I should pass this on...

Of all the Services, the Air Force has the most intelligent enlisted 
people.  This is not just theory, it's provable fact:  

  Take the Army, for instance.  When the stuff hits the fan, the young
Army  private wakes up from a bellow from the First Sergeant.  He grabs a
set of  BDUs out of his foot locker, gets dressed, runs down to the
chow-hall for  a breakfast on the run, then jumps in his tank.  Pretty
soon, the Platoon  Commander arrives, gives him a big salute, and says,
"Give 'em Hell, men."  

  Now take the Marines.  When the stuff hits the fan, the young Marine 
recruit is kicked out of bed by his First Sergeant, puts on a muddy set
of  BDUs because he just got back in from the field three hours before. 
He  gets no breakfast, but is told to feel free to chew on his boots.  He
runs  out and forms up with his rifle.  Pretty soon, his platoon
commander comes  out, a young Captain, gives his Marines a Sharp Salute,
and says, "Give  'em Hell, Marines!"  

  Now take the Navy.  When the stuff hits the fan, the young Sailor is 
eating breakfast in the messdecks.  He walks 20 feet to his battle 
station, stuffing extra pastries in his pocket as he goes.  There he
sits,  in the middle of a steel target, with nowhere to run, when the
Captain  comes on the 1MC and says, "Give 'em Hell, Sailors!  I salute

  Now the Air Force.  When the stuff hits the fan, the Airman receives a 
phone call in his off-base quarters.  He gets up, showers, shaves, and 
puts on a fresh uniform he had just picked up from the BX cleaners the
day  before.  He jumps in his car, and stops at McDonalds for a McMuffin
on his  way into work.  Once he arrives at work, he signs in on the duty
roster  and proceeds to his F-16.  He spends 30 minutes pre-flighting it,
signs  off the forms.  Pretty soon the Pilot, a young captain gets out
and straps  into the Plane.  He starts the engines.  Our Young Airman
stands at  attention, gives the Captain a sharp salute, and says, "Give
'em Hell,  Sir!"