The Forgotten Man
1/Lt Joe E. Seward

Through the history of world aviation
Many names have come to the fore,
Great deeds of the past in our memory will last
As they are followed by more and more.

When man first started his labor
In his quest to conquer the sky
He was designer, mechanic, and pilot,
And he built a machine that would fly.

But somehow the order got twisted,
And then in the public’s eye,
The man who got all the glory
Was the man who knew how to fly.

The pilot was everyone’s hero,
He was brave, he was bold, he was grand,
As he stood by his battered old biplane
With his goggles and helmet in hand.

To be sure, these pilots all earned it,
To fly then you had to have guts.
And they blazed their names in the hall of fame
On wings with bailing wire struts.

But for each of these flying heroes
There were thousands of little renown,
And these were the men who worked on the planes
But kept their feet on the ground.

We all know the name of Lindbergh,
And we’ve read of his flight into fame,
But think, if you can, of his maintenance man,
Can you remember his name?

And think of our wartime heroes,
Gabreski, Jabara, and Scott.
Can you tell me the names of their crew chiefs?
A thousand to one you cannot.

Now pilots are highly trained people,
And wings are not easily won,
But without the work of the maintenance man
Our pilots would march with a gun.

So when you see mighty jet aircraft
As they mark their paths through the air,
The grease-stained man with the wrench in his hand
Is the man who put them there.