"On September 3rd, 1940, Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., wrote his now famous poem "High Flight" while training with the RCAF. A scant 3 months later, on December 11th, 1940, he was killed while flying a Spitfire in the war-torn skies of England. He was 19 years old."
This was the first time I've heard of John Gillespie Magee, Jr. or of the poem "High Flight", fortunately it was also a part of the post.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
you have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
hung in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
my eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand, and touched the face of God.