50th Anniversary -
Holloway Aviation Program

To first set the stage, let me turn back the page
To a time in the far distant past
To a time in the mid-nineteen forties,
To a time when our die was cast.

Remember? From: Commandant, United States Navy
(He sounds like the Lord up above.)
To: Lowly Potential Midshipman
(Look!  He even signed it “with love!”)

Number 1.  You will report to NAS Pensy
On the 15th of May and by noon
Say good bye to all your loved ones.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Number 2.  While traveling you’ll be entitled
To per diem of five dollars a day.
PS: Don’t spend it all in one place
Have fun!  That’s all we can say.

Now fast forward all the way to the present
We’re rendezvousing from all parts of our nation.
To where it started at old Pensacola
The cradle of Naval Aviation.

We’re coming by car, we’re coming by plane,
We’re coming by all means human.
We’re hobblin’, we’re crawlin’, we’re limpin’
To the Flying Midshipman REUNION.

We tell our long forgot stories,
And cry in our beer reminiscing,
Our poor bladders have shriveled so badly
We constantly stop to go pissing.

“Now we had a guy . . . “ is the way that we start
Then go on with our often told tales.
No one remembers, ‘cause it’s most all made up.
That’s how it is with Airdales.

“Thirty thousand feet and flat on my back,”
That’s how the next story begins.
And it goes on and some tears are shed
Between sips of tonic and gin.

But gone are those days, gone is our hair,
Gone are our muscles - to jelly
Gone is just about everything,
Except, of course, …our beer belly.

Where is the vim, where is the vigor,
Where is the burning hot fire?
Why did it end, why did it go,
Why did I ever retire?

I’m much too young, I’m eager to fight,
My heart can still fill with rage.
It can’t be true that I’m all ready
To enlist in the Old Golden Age!

We talk about golf, the wife and grandkids,
The market and retirement plans.
And we think of our lives and all we have done
Then solemnly wring our hands.

Has it really been fifty years
Since the start of the Holloway Plan?
Have we the Flying Midshipmen
Made the world better for man?

We served our country thru Korea and Nam
We held the Commies at bay.
We did our duty all over the world
So how does that world look today?

What will we leave as our legacy?
We who are the fortunate ones.
What will we leave to our children
And to all their daughters and sons?

Now a toast to our fallen companions
We dearly do miss those great guys
Who made their final approach and got their last cut
On that big carrier up in the sky.

Now a toast to our fallen companions
My eyes are beginning to tear.
I remember them and think to myself,
How lucky I am just to be here.

Now a toast to our fallen companions
Henry, John, Budge . . . every one.
You were part of our lives and you live in our hearts
And all I can say is . . . well done.

But let’s not end on so somber a note,
I know they wouldn’t want it that way.
They’d say it was great being a squadron mate
With all their buddies – in the FMA.

So let’s go back to our partying
And fill up this hall with good cheer.
Have fun and drive very carefully
Cause we hope to see y’all next year!

1Bob Brennan, PNS Preflight Class 15-48, given at the 50th Anniversary reunion of the Flying Midshipman.  Pensacola, May 11, 1996.