July 19. 1945
Dear Mom & Dad,
Not much to say tonite but a little news I presume is even better than none at all.
Theres not a darn thing I can write about around here tonite for various and asundry reasons. You know I can’t write about my flying, other than that I am , can’t write about my 48 hr. passes now, for we don’t get any. We’re restricted to the base so I can’t write about going to town & things are in such a turmoil out here I can’t say anything about that. Am in the best of health though. Oh yes, the weather is cooler & occasional showers.
I’ll tell about my trip over a little more in detail now. We took off from Savannah about 9:a.m. March the 9th. Followed the airways up across Raleigh N.C., Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston & all the other big towns on the east coast. Called in for instructions & we’re sent to Grenier Field, N.H. instead of Banger, Maine where we started out for. Got in there around 4:30 p.m. Got our quarters & meals & settled down for the nite. Got various equipment the next day & generally fooled around bowling & etc, stocking up on candy & what have you.
I think it was the next morning, as I was walking by the hospital, I decided to get some cold tablets to cure my cold. You know the results of that. Got out the 14th & immediatley got myself a Dnif(duty not involving flying) so that I could go into town that nite. Got on dnif for 48 hrs. so 7 of us went into town. Had a big time. Women galore & no men. We started in at one end of the main drag & had 9 girls by the time we got to the other end. Had a steak supper, a couple of drinks & got back to the post at midnite. Fooled around the post the next day & somewhere around 8:30 or 9:00 of the 16th, took off for Goose Bay, Labrador. Its mighty pretty country up through there, but man I’d hate to have to walk out if we were forced down. Didn’t see over a half dozen towns or settlements all the way up. Especially across the St. Lawrence. Got in then some time in the afternoon & it was down right chilly. The snowbanks were from 6 to 12 ft high & all that could be seen of the cedars & evergreen was about 5 ft of the tops.
We had parkas by that time & we really needed them. We went to the show that nite & then just killed the next day fooling around & looking the place over. There was nothing to see but the doorways & the roofs of the buildings. They got us up about 1 the next morning & took off about 3. It was really cold that morning & starting to snow pretty steadily. Side margin: (only 4 ships out of about 70 made it out that morning) We flew on instruments for about an hr. & a half before we broke out & we were about to the coast out then, on our way to Greenland, picked up the beam from Greenland after about an hr. out & we just followed that in. We had it flying on auto pilot & at one time every cussed one of us in the airplane asleep. Lyle & I would wake up every so often, listen to the beam, find we were still on course & go back to sleep again. We had a solid undercut all the way across the water & it broke up just as we hit Greenland.
Had to go up a fiord to get to the field & it was right in line with the beam. So after calling in, we let down to about 2000’ ft & flew up it, mountain peaks on both sides & the visibility was perfect. After rounding a couple of bends came to the field & theres only one way to land there & thats up hill. The runway starts right at the edge of the water. You have to make it the first time, for the mountains on both sides are too high & too steep to get theses big ships over them again if you miss. Anyway we landed o.k. & were quartered for the nite.
Didn’t take off the next day so we spent it playing nickel & dime poker (picked up about $60. Had quite a wind the following day & couldn’t leave, so we went ice skating in the valley in back of the field that leads up to the glacier. I of course skated all over the place & had a good time. Played poker again that nite (picked up $10).
Had bad weather again the next day, windy as the devil. Some Limey’s I’d made friends with were take a Lancaster up for a test hop so I went along (forgot my parachute). Really got a good look of the place that time. The ice cap, all the glaciers, fiords, mts. It was really beautiful. Skated again that afternoon & played poker again that nite (won $12)
We took off about 8 the next morning, flew directly across the ice cap to Iceland. Got in darn near dusk at Meeks Field. What a lousy place. All mud & rock & you go from place to place by rock to rock. The wind blew about 75 miles an hr. while we were there so a great time was had by all.
Had a couple of meetings the next day & then spent the rest of the time looking the camp over. Some got tired of that & played poker again that nite. They woke us up soon after we went to bed & long before daylight we were on our way to dear old England.
Will continue this in the next issue. Nite
Lots of love,
P.S. Am sending $100, look for it in the near future. Its already on its way.