Baker, James

Letter
Date:
February 25, 1945
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
February 25th, 1945

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have not had much time to write to you lately. We have been ‘on leave' this past week, just got back day before yesterday. And yesterday, they sent us out on our first ‘daylight operation' and our second trip over Germany. It was a very easy trip from my point of view. Our concentration on the way-in and way-out of the target was very good and the fighters that ‘swarmed' all around us effectively prevented any enemy opposition, although we saw one or two enemy-fighters skulking around. The ‘flak' was very light and we only got one ‘burst' anywhere near us. We saw one plane get hit. It just seemed to crumple up and disappear into a cloud; trailing a long black trail of smoke. But outside of that, there was no excitement at all. The first trip was very long; we were airborne 5 miles short of 10 hours which makes a very long day's work indeed. We went nearly over the Russian battle-lines and we saw ‘our own' very clearly. But it was a very quiet trip; our total opposition was 10 searchlights.

I went down to London on leave. Saw Mrs. Sayers (who is well and sends her love, she has received 2 letters from you recently), Mrs. Beverly and Mary (who are in the best of spirits - Mary has had her interview for her commission), and Mr. Simpson who was not so well, he had lost his voice and could hardly speak. I spent my leave with Mrs. Sayers - not because I wanted to because I didn't, but because she was lonely. It must be rather hard for her living there all by herself, and I guess she gets rather nervous of the occasional incidents London gets flying bombs.

By the way, I wrote to you quite a few months ago and asked if you could send me some good shirts, size 15 1/2 collar (if pre-shrunk). I don't mind whether they are detachable collars or not, but I would like silver-grey colours if you can get them. If not, get blue ones. And please get good ones if you can. I know they are pretty hard to find, but I haven't a good shirt to my name and the ones they issue, are pretty hopeless. And could you get a couple of rubber bathing caps? I don't know whether they are as scarce as they are over here, but I would like to repay a little of the kindness shown me by the ‘Claque family' in Scarborough and as they are all enthusiastic swimmers, I thought one of the best, most valued things I could give them would be some rubber bathing caps. They are all divers, so make them the tight-kind that don't come off easily if you can: please. And please use my money! Must close now. I'm very tired and we are off tomorrow - I guess, on another trip. Sorry I can't describe them in more detail, that's all I can tell.

Jim

Original Scans