John Gillespie Magee 9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941

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Additionally, while an American pilot, he was not American-born. He was born in Shanghai, which again, is noted on this page elsewhere. High Flight, in its entirety, is as follows: 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 High 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 wind-swept 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. An alternate version reads: 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 High in the sunlit silence. Hovering 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 wind-swept 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. Additionally, his epitaph is taken from High Flight: Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth – Put out my hand and touched the Face of God.
The sonnet quotation is taken from the fuller version of high flight. The italics also identify his place and cause of death erroneously; he was not on a bombing raid over Germany, but instead in an accidental collision over Lincolnshire, England. The biography states so itself, but the quote is wrong in those two respects.
I am still waiting for your answer to my questions dated 10-28-08 on why there is a difference between the poem I have & the one you have on 'High Flight' by John Gillespie Magee. Thanks, Margaret