I have been approached about writing a book on Joe and his time with Bomber Command. I’d love to hear your feedback about this. Please use the comments box to give me your thoughts. Novel, or non-fiction? Do you think it would make a good read?
A bit of background for newcomers
Joe (aka ‘Mac’ to his RAF comrades) was my Uncle, but we never met. His precious letters have come into my possession some near-70 years after they were written. It is my honour to transcribe them, and the poignancy of hindsight about what happened to Joe makes this all the more difficult to write, but all the more important that I do. One letter will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday.
Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.
In this letter, Joe is now stationed at Stranraer in Scotland, where his Air Gunnery School training (phase 4 of his training) has commenced and he will finally get up in the air….
Letter 31 – 24th April 1944
Dear Mom and kids,
I have just got back from flying, we landed about half an hour ago. I am writing again in doubt as to whether you have been getting my letters. You see I haven’t had any at all for over a week now and I have been getting scared, I hope everything is O.K. at home?
I can’t think of much to write right now but here goes. So far we’ve been cheesed off with flying, it’s monotonous after a bit. We start ‘air to air’ firing in a few days as soon as we’ve finished our cine-camera exercises. Anyway I’ll tell you more when I’ve done ‘em.
The other day we went to a range to fire from ‘static’ turrets and I had ‘run-away’ guns. It caught me unawares and I had made a nice big hole in the wall and the top looked like the edge of a 2 and a 1/2 d stamp! I have had a new name just lately as the “massacre bloke”!
I’m stuck for words now but I’ll try and write tomorrow if I’m not on night flying.
So long for now. Please write.
Love Joe xxxx
P.S. Sorry about writin’!”
Joe sounding as though he’s really missing the lifeline of his letters from home this week. Mail was clearly very erratic, not helped by the fact that the crews were moved around constantly during training, so parcels and letters were often playing ‘catch-up’ behind the intended recipients!
Joe’s full story is beautiful and tragic. He was our family hero. He IS our family hero. If I knew how to complete an effective RAF salute, I would salute you now, Joe. Long may your memory live in our family stories. I hope to post a new letter from Joe’s correspondence with his Mother here every Friday until they’re done. It will be a turbulent and heart-wrenching journey. Subscribe to the Blog to make sure you don’t miss any of it.
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Other posts in this series:-