Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Six Ops and 200 hours of flying”

It seems fitting to be posting one of these letters on the anniversary of D-Day. Lest we forget…..

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 few bombing raids over Germany, the first of which ended in disaster. Joe is flying out of Chedburgh in Suffolk, New Year 1945.

 Letter 99; 19th January 1945

family storiesletter 91 page 2letter 91 page 3letter 91 page 4letter 91 page 5
Letter transcript:

“Ched. Thursday.

Dear Mom,

Hello again, it’s me. I got my washing today thanks a lot. I’m in dire need of underwear and collars also those flying underpants. The mince pies were bang-on (yes I said ‘were’!) ‘cos I’ve eaten ‘em!! Thank you for the pies and chocolate. I got a letter from you on Wednesday so I’ll answer that and the note in the parcel now.

About that 10/- Aunt Doris sent.; the best thing to do is put it in my bank because not having had it I won’t miss it will I? I felt very sorry for Aunt Hilda when I read your letter. She’s had some rotten luck. Let’s hope that Doctor was wrong. I see Leo is due for leave about the same as me! He’s never seen SERGEANT Thompson has he?! Not that for one minute do I think he’ll be impressed! I could not think for a day just WHO Peter Watson was, but now I’ve ‘placed’ him. Jeff Payne is on a bit of a busman’s holiday so it seems!!

vohwinkel and erkenschwick

Well up to now I’ve not done any Ops since that daylight effort to ERKENSCHWICK which was my sixth Op. I don’t mind where we go as long as we don’t have as long a trip as Munich again!! Sitting in the one position for 8 hours 10 minutes on top of doing my ordinary ‘work’ during the day does not appeal to me at all!! Still it was a proud moment for me when I put that Op down in my log book. I’ve got almost 200 hours in now; I need about 4 1/2 hours that’s all now. There’s a chap in our hut that finished his Tour on Tuesday night and he’s not got 200 in yet!

I must write to Aunt Em’ in a minute to thank her for her letter and P.O. and I think it is time I wrote to Aunt Phyl’ too. I’ll be sending some more washing tomorrow but I think maybe you’d better keep it for me when I come home. As I write this there’s a HELL of a storm going on! I’ll finish off for now and write that letter; I’ve got 10 from Jean I’ve never answered properly too; I HAVE written to her just lately but haven’t answered ‘em if you savvy. 

‘Til the next time God bless and toodle-oo.

Love Joe xxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S. T.T.F.N. yourself our Joyce and no cheek either!! xxx”

family stories

Joe seems to be hoping for the end of his Tour, but it’s a long way off, as the RAF had a habit of extending the required number of ‘ops’ that counted for one Tour of Duty…..

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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