Joe’s Letters, WWII: “‘Jumped’ by a fighter on night ‘ops’”

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.

Joe and crew have experienced their first bombing raids over Germany, the first of which ended in disaster. Joe is now back at Chedburgh, following emergency leave, and it is New Year 1945.

 Letter 95; 4th January 1945

family storiesletter 87 page 2letter 87 page 3letter 87 page 5

Letter transcript:

“Ched’, Thursday.

Hello Mom.

Well, I got your letter of Sunday today. It was a long time on the way and I was getting anxious as it is the first letter I’ve had from you since I came back. Well here goes answering it:- You remember me telling you how we went to Vohwinkel in daylight? Well on the following night we went AGAIN!! It was my first major night ‘op’ and I don’t like night ‘ops’ from now on!! It is almost impossible to see whether or not we are flying into another kite or not.

We were attacked by a (Dornier 217) I think, but he didn’t hit us and I can’t say whether or not he was hit by us. I saw him first and gave him a squirt, then he passed into Ivor’s area and he gave him some .303 but all his guns packed up after about 50 rounds!! Oh! boy do we have fun?!! On our first ‘op’ we are shot into the drink, on our second we have a mid-air collision, and on our third op we get jumped by a fighter. And yet we are all okay and have not been even scratched!!!!!

That’s enough of that for now so I’ll change the subject. I don’t know if I told you in my last letter or not but our leave isn’t til the 25th January now. So it’s only a couple of days different to what I told you previously.

From what you say, Jean had a pretty good time at Gran’s Christmas. I was a bit uncertain myself as I thought she’d be shy and uncomfortable amongst a lot of strangers!! It seems I’m wrong! Do they all like her? I only hope so. Jean herself says she likes ‘em all, especially Cliff and Tom!! I wonder why?!! Mistletoe maybe?!!!

I got my jersey ok thanks. I have got our kids’ socks by the way; on!! Well, there’s nowt else in the way of news so I’ll finish off here. God bless Mom and Keep Smiling, I am.

Love to all, Joe

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

family stories

Another very hairy operation. Three in a row with near-disastrous consequences, but all safe and well. Whether to tell Mum or not? That must have been quite a dilemma for the letter writer!

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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