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We'll Say Goodbye Song from the Story of the "Long Rangers"
Overview by Major Joseph C. Standart in the begining of the book, We'll Say Goodbye—Story of the "Long Rangers"-307th Bombardment Group (HV).
We'll Say Goodbye—Story of the "Long Rangers"-307th Bombardment Group (HV). This book was written and illustrated by members of the 307th Bomb Group. "We'll Say Goodbye" is the name of a song—The Song of the Long Rangers. Its verses sing of the missions and bases; they tell of take-offs way before dawn; of pitoe liners and jungle strips, of insects and mud, and (occasionally) leave. They record more than two years of Pacific warfare.
We'll Say Goodbye is the name of a song. In the true tradition of an American folk song, nobody knows who began it, or where - its music is borrowed - its lyrics are doggerel contributed by names, some now long forgotten, but its theme is dear to the hearts of its singers. For that reason it lives, a memoriam to those we have lost, a memory of those who have gone home, and a heritage to those who carry on.
Its verses, singing of Guadalcanal, Munda, Truk, Bougainville, record the history of more than two long years of Pacific warfare, years which found this, the "Long Ranger," Group constantly in the forward areas of the Allied effort. So when it came time to put on paper the glorious history of those years, no more fitting theme could be found for our story than the words of our song.
More verses will be written as the battle tide rolls on and new names are added to the rolls - new names to be rhymed with the same old longing. And so the song's Topsy-like existence will continue as we move forward until the battle noises die out before a swelling chorus as we say goodbye to our job in the mud, heat, and jungles of the Pacific and turn our faces homeward.
We'll say goodbye to concrete runways
And to hangar space for planes;
We'll say goodbye to old Ephrata
And the other cities' Janes;
We'll say goodbye to Whiskey Sours
And to Iowa's corn-fed beauts;
And we'll trim our tabs and sail from San Francisco
To make our war debut.
We'll say goodbye to Mona Loa
And the beach at Waikiki;
We'll say goodbye to Haleheira
And the hula by the sea;
We'll say goodbye to old Natkuli
And a three-day pass.
And we'll trade the territory of Hawaii for a woman
And the Kola Kola Pass;
And to take-offs way before dawn;
We'll say goodbye to stormy weather
And to flying on and on;
We'll say goodbye to all those searchlights
And to ACK! ACK! bursting near;
And we'll leave the shores of Espiritu Santo
For our home and friends so dear.
We'll say goodbye to Malaita
And the fields of Guadalcanal;
We'll say goodbye to Shortland Harbor
And the whole of Bougainville;
We'll say goodbye to aerial combat
And to Zeros by the score;
And we'll' take our leave of Hirohito's Air Force
For that far and distant shore.
We'll say goodbye to Buka Passage
And to far-away Nauru;
We'll say goodbye to Simpson Harbor
And the stronghold of Rabaul;
We'll say goodbye to ComAirSoPac
And the boys of Bomber Command;
And we'll sail right through that Golden Gate at Frisco
For the world's best one-night stand.
We'll say goodbye to Sorol Island,
Our rendezvous for Yap;
We'll say goodbye to dear old Biak,
Where we killed a lot of Japs;
We'll say goodbye to Los Negros,
Where we had a lot of drunks;
And we'll gladly say goodbye to dear old Wakde,
Where we had no trees-just trunks.
And to Lolobata strip;
We'll say goodbye to Palau Island,
Where we made a lot of trips;
We'll say goodbye to Balikpapan,
The Pacific's roughest deal;
And we'll say goodbye to Yamamoto's Task Force
For a decent home-cooked meal.
We'll say goodbye to Morotai
When the final victory's won.