Joe’s Letters, WWII: “The Lancaster Bomber”

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 this letter, Joe is several months into his RAF experiences and has just made a move from RAF Wratting Common in Cambridgeshire, to Feltwell in Norfolk for the crew’s Lancaster Finishing School training. How ironic it is that I am writing this blog post on 15th November, the very date of the postmark on Joe’s letter, exactly 69 years ago to the day……

Letter 77; 15th November 1944

family stories letter 71 page 2 letter 71 page 3 letter 71 page 4 letter 71 page 5

Letter transcript:

“Me. c/o Sgts Mess,

RAF Station, Feltwell,

Nr. Lakenham, Norfolk.


Hello Mom,

Well I’m here! I got in at 12pm midnight. No kidding either!! Gosh I was tired! We have really wonderful rooms here; 2 to a room and there is central heating and a wash basin H & C in each. The Mess is bang-on and so is the food. All I can say is that it’s a pity we are only here for 10 days!

I have had a good look over the Lancaster and believe-you-me they are all that they say and more. The layout is very good and neat, the wireless position is a big soft arm-chair with a wrist support too! That will be the gen thing especially if one is sending morse out for any length of time. Your wrist aches like the dickens after 10 minutes.

I started to write to you last night only I had to give up. I did not feel so good. The pipe is going nicely now it has burnt in a bit,  and I discovered that the stem of the old one fits into this new one ok!

lancaster one engine

We have got to do 6 days ground school and 4 of flying so that will give us a chance to get some sleep. I haven’t written to Jean yet and I guess I shall have to do it tomorrow now ‘cos it is late! She will be in a panic, thinking I’ve been lost or run over! By the way, when I was at Liverpool, I went out to try and get some pop and I was out about 40 minutes as the pub round the corner hadn’t got any and I’d been down to Penny Lane. Anyway, when I came back I ran into her as she went dashing down!! She was as white as a sheet and said she thought I’d been run over or something!!!! She had’t even got a coat on and it was teeming down!! What would you do chum?

Well I guess I’ll have to wind up here, as there isn’t much news yet. I found this envelope in one of our old letters so it has saved me 2d 1/2 !! Till the next time Toodle-oo, and God Bless.

Lots of love, Joe xxxx

P.S. Writing paper and the Ovaltine tablet tin full of Aspros?”

family stories

Joe is loving the attention from Jean, who is clearly besotted with him, and vice versa. He sounds excited to be on the verge of increasing his knowledge of the wonderful Lancaster Bomber, and happy to be in decent accommodation for a change!

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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