ode to the 5th bombardment group

by Louis Schleifer

Image: Library of Congress
Image: Library of Congress

Wings of Pegasus upward
O’er Mauna Loa’s peak,
Above Oahu’s plains unconq’rd
Protect the old and weak.

Guardians of the upper regions,
Strike the foe below,
Silence all the siege guns
And cease the bloody flow.

Wings of Pegasus onward
Seek out the lofty stratosphere
Nearest to the Lord
Where our ideals soar clear!

Guardians of the upper regions,
Eagles o’er Hawaii’s heights,
Permit no enemy legions
To blacken out her lights!

Private First Class Louis Schleifer served at Hickam Field on Oahu with the 5th Bombardment Group, 4th Reconnaissance Squadron (H), U.S. Army Air Force. He was one of five Newarkers killed in the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

A park close to South Side High School, of which Schleifer was a graduate, was renamed in 1942 in his honor and a fountain placed there, inscribed with this poem. The memorial now stands at Temple Beth Shalom in nearby Livingston, New Jersey.

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