Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Raid on Munich!!”

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 97; 10th January 1945


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Letter transcript:

“Ched. Tuesday.

Hello Mom,

Well I got a letter from you today, written Sunday night. I was going to write last night only I was petty sure I’d get your letter today, so I can make a longer effort myself. Here goes:-

Don’t worry because you can’t write in the week, I understand; you don’t have time at night by the time the work’s all done. I’d rather you got some sleep instead of straining your eyes writing; they won’t stand a lot of that. I will write you as often as I can and keep you up to date with the news this end. Jean still writes every day but I can’t write to her as often as I did.

I’m enclosing a pound to help you out a little Mom; sorry it isn’t more only I owe Joe a £1, so I settled with him.

You said Mrs Adams was ill; is it bad? As for it being cold, well it is I guess but as regards extra clothing I still don’t wear anything extra and am feeling fine!! I had a bit of a ‘bark’ for a few days last week and the eternal catarrh but don’t worry, I’m OK now. Have you or any of the kids got a cold? I onpy hope not as you’ve enough to contend with as it is.

Whoever it was who complimented you on your pluck to carry on so well after dad died was no fool. I am very proud of my mom and will be, always. We’ll show ‘em what we’re made of in the Black Country!

I’m looking forward to some of that Xmas pud and some mince pies too, on my next leave. I want to spend some of it with Jean if that’s ok?

It remains to be seen HOW Nell Terry can cope now Bill is in the army. I guess she will be at her Mom’s more than ever from now on!! You said you’d met Jeff Payne at the ‘Cunitty’ Hall; it’s ages since I spoke to him although I’ve seen him often from a distance.

Whilst on (or near!) the subject of the R.A.F. (blast it) I must announce the fact that I went to one of the 3 hottest targets in Germany on Sunday night. MUNICH!! The trip took us 8 hours 10 minutes solid!! We covered a distance of 1700 miles and took 2000 gallons of petrol. The bomb load was only 4 and a half tons owing to all that petrol. There was ‘stiff fighter opposition’ (or so the BBC said!!) My nerves were like so much torn rag and I know everyone else’s was too!! WHAT a trip!

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Boxer, John L Sullivan, and his silky underpants!

Well that’s enough of that for now. I must write to my one and only so God bless and toodle-oo for now. Keep smiling, I do and always shall (because as you said, ‘a long face does noone any good.’)

Go’ bless

Lots of love, Joe xxxxxxxxxxx.

P.S. Have sent some washing including flying underpants. Take note of their silky texture!! Talk about John L Sullivan! S’truth!!!”

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Mac on fine form this week. My Nan must have felt amazing when she read those lovely compliments from her son. How often does a grown boy tell his mum how fabulous she is?! The raid on Munich was clearly quite a trial. The journey must have been bad enough, but holding one’s concentration for over 8 hours, as one’s life literally depended on it, must have been something else.

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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