Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Virgin ‘Ops’ tomorrow!”

Sorry we’re late this week – I forgot to press the button!

One of my Uncle Joe’s letters will be posted to this Blog each and every Friday until they are done. Please see below for a link to Joe’s full story and the other letters in this series so far.

At the time of this letter from Joe’s mother Olive, Joe has just been posted to a squadron and has just arrived at RAF Chedburgh, from where the 218 Gold Coast Squadron will engage in active operations. And so it begins.

Letter 89; 12th December 1944

family stories letter 81 page 2

Letter transcript:

Chedburgh

Monday.

Hello Mom,

Well I’m just going to drop you a short note to let you know I’m OK.

Harry went over Germany on a raid today to Osterfeld near Essen. We did not go, just him, that’s all! He acted as second ‘dickie’ (pilot) to some other crew. We are on Ops tomorrow but I can’t say yet where I will write and tell you what I can about it tomorrow after we’ve got back.

Well I said this was to be a short letter and so it is! That is about all the news at present or ’til tomorrow.

God bless and ‘Olive Oil’,

Lots of love, Joe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Rollon Xmas and leave (I hope!)

I want to get some Xmas-pudding-eating-hours in!!”

family stories

The importance of this letter is what’s NOT said. Its brevity underlies the tension which Joe and the crew were most certainly feeling on the eve of their very first bombing raid. This was to be a VERY eventful week, although none of them knew it yet!

family stories, joseph To read more about Joe’s letters please follow this link. There you will find the full selection of letters to date, as well as more information about his fascinating yet ultimately tragic story. 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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