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 his last letter, Joe and crew have experienced their first bombing raid over Germany but had ended in disaster. The crew and their Lancaster came under heavy fire and were forced to ditch in the middle of the North Sea. In this current letter, Joe has been home on survivor’s leave for a few days, and has arrived back at Chedburgh just before Christmas.
Letter 94; 31st December 1944
“Chedburgh, December 31st..
Well, here I am again. Hope I haven’t scared you by not having written for the last 2-3 days. I started to write this letter to you last night but it was getting late so I gave it up. I had to be up early this morning as we were on Ops. We went to ‘prang’ a place called VOHWINKEL in the Ruhr. It was a nasty target right between Dusseldorf and Dortmund. Anyway, that’s enough of that, we got back safe and cheated the North Sea too!
I haven’t had any mail from you since I came back but I guess you are pushed for time. I had a letter from my one and only yesterday and she gave me all the ‘gen’ of what happened over at Gran’s at Xmas. Gosh! How I would have loved to have been with you all too. Still, it’s no good wishing now is it?!
Jean told me how she was caught (or dragged!!) to the mistletoe about 10 times by the ‘Three Stooges’ Tom, Cliff and Horace!!! I can’t see Horace taking it lying down especially when Cliff goes into action aswell! Too bad I wasn’t there; that mistletoe would have been working overtime. YOU would have had to watch your step too!!!
I was not at all surprised in yesterday’s letter (from Jean) to see that Jean had NOT gone back!! She seems to like Northfield (which isn’t a bad thing either!) She had a bet with me that I would forget something from my kit when I went back so I can look out for ‘gloating’ on my next leave!!!
Well there isn’t a lot more to say so I’ll finish off for this time. By the way I had some bad news today; ‘Kilty’ and Nick those two Canadians I knew at Barford are dead. I also lost a good pal today, from THIS station. I’ll be getting morbid at this rate!! So here’s to the next time and mark January 23rd on the calendar our Mom!
God bless and cheerio. Keep smiling, I DO!!
Your loving son, Joe xxxxxxxxxxxx
P.S. Vohwinkel doesn’t Voh any more! I know!!!”
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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