Joe’s Letters, WWII: “Tour of Duty increase”

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 103; 6th Feb 1945

family storiesletter 94 page 2letter 94 page 3

Letter transcript:

Dear Mom,

Well I’m back!! We got in at 10 past 12 last night. Gosh! What a hell of a journey. I had a couple of cups of tea at dinner time (the train went at 2pm instead of 11.45) and I never had another drink ’til 11.30 in Bury. I was dry as the desert! Jean packed me some apples and sandwiches and I can tell you I was glad of ‘em during the journey.

We had a wonderful time, as always. Jean ‘took me’ to a Panto on Monday night. It was a pretty good show too. Albert Wheelan and Colinson & Brean were the only big noises in the show but it was entertainment. I came back to camp with Joe (I told you he was in Liverpool), I was glad of the company.collinson and dean

We got the ‘gen’ that we will have to do 35 Ops instead of 30 now. Still at the rate the Russians are going we may be finished this war before we have got to 35!! Here’s hoping anyway.

By the way we are to have some sort of official presentation of our ‘Gold Fish’ (for the ‘ditching’). I’ll tell you all about it (IF I go) ‘cos I’m not keen on anything in the way of a parade especially when I’m the centre of it.

Well there’s nowt new so I’ll sign off for now. Roll on the laundry!!

Toodle-oo and God bless. Keep smiling.

Love and lots of it,

Joe xxxxxxxxxxxx”

family stories

So the RAF have decided to increase an official Tour of Duty from 30 to 35 Operational sorties. I’m sure that went down like a lead balloon, and would do so again when they later receive news that it’s to increase to 40! 
Joe seems underwhelmed by the idea of receiving an ‘award’ for crashing into the sea. I wonder why?!!!

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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