June 19, 1942
I haven't had a letter from you Mumsy since May 29 when I wrote No. 32 but I had better send this one off just the same - I've had two grand parcels from you however so that at least should warrant a reply shouldn't it?
However, these last three weeks have been very busy ones for me. If you recall the date of the big RAF 'blitz' on Cologne - 1000 kites or more on May 30 you will perhaps also remember Mums that I was away from the Station on a Course. Oohh! I still feel extra extra peeved when I think how I had to miss such a colossal effort just 'cause I was on some stupid little course!
It made me so angry that night to see from the ground all the planes going over, that the next day I practically 'walked out' on the Course. I had a day off and went back to my Squadron + by a good deal of 'fast talking' managed to persuade the Group Captain to let me stay + have me recalled from my Course officially.
So, at least, I didn't miss the 1000 Raid on Essen nor a couple of other big raids during the following week!
A recent letter from Dad told me that my piece of 'flak' arrived safely Mums. I hope the gentleman who took it for me managed to convey the cheerful + hopeful message that I hoped + expected he would. In the meantime I've managed to hand them back a good deal more than they came close to presenting me with that night!
In so doing, I can take no satisfaction except in praying that it may see the end of this world-wide strife just that much sooner.
Yesterday I came back from a week's leave which I spent with Johnny + his people in Cheadle Helme near Manchester. They were ever so kind to me Mum and looked after me as if I really were their own son - so you think you could spare a few minutes Mumsy + drop Mrs. Walker a few lines? I feel very grateful to her for such a grand week and I know of nothing she would appreciate more than something like that. They are very kind, humble folk - nothing pretentious about them but with hearts of gold - and oh how so proud of their son John and his well-earned D.F.M. Strangely enough they only have two boys, the younger being named Bryan, though he is called Bobby. He is 17 and absolutely dead-keen on the Air Force. (Mrs. J. Walker, 26 Church Road, Cheadle Helme, Cheshire)
Though the weather was none-too-sunny, John + I managed to spend quite a bit of time out-of-doors especially with these long summer evenings. We got in a bit of swimming, tennis, cricket in the nets + even one day when we couldn't get at the cricket equipment - a game of lawn bowling!
Everyone was ever so kind to us - we had all kinds of good things to eat and even on the Sunday had an afternoon's drive all around the Cheshire countryside which really is very pretty - and that, in these days of petrol-rationing is no mere gesture!
Johnny + I were also presented with passes to the Manchester Opera House to see the opening of Offenback's "Tales of Hoffman" - I enjoyed it immensely!
Altogether I had a very grand time + certainly seemed to 'on the move' all the time - Johnny is not one for staying home too much - something his poor Mum + Dad were rather unhappily resigned to. However, I think I managed to keep him home a few evenings + for that alone, I think they both loved having me!
Just before I went on leave I went to see Bryan at his station - I just got on the 'drome as he landed, having flown back from a Course he had been on too. He had evidently done very well - indeed he seems to be shaping up into a real top-notch airman - and was looking as smart + as well as ever.
We had quite a quiet evening together with lots of talking of course - amazing how amicably we get along together - not like the old days when I would vainly try to teach him Grammar or help him with his Algebra, eh Mums?
Evidently his engagement with Eleanor is temporarily at least suspended - he does seem quite enthusiastic over Rita and she has broken her own previous engagement. I feel quite proud of myself for not even attempting to advise him in 'Dutch uncle' fashion, let alone big-brother! I think it's entirely his affair and certainly none of mine and I feel quite confident he will work everything out O.K. on his own. I think it's best that way don't you Mums? I'd hate to see him do something foolish if I could have possibly intervened but really I don't think he will.
Haven't seen his [?] since just before leave but I hope to very soon.
To go back to your parcels Mumsy darling - a million million thanks + hugs + kisses - everything arrived in splendid condition and the contents still grace our "Seven Site Midnite Tea Parties" - also have had a parcel from Dad + Aunt Amie and several letters from Fran.
By the way Mumsy, soon after this letter reaches you should be the first anniversary of your big son's engagement - July 14. So do you think you could again be the Good Fairy for me Mum and perhaps give Fran some little thing to convey all the love I feel for here and to make up in some way for that very lonely year she must have spent - waiting and hoping and praying: As I know I have too!
Not that she hasn't had so many lovely things done for her Mumsy - for in nearly every letter Fran tells me of a phone call - or a letter - or lovely bouquet of flowers. And knowing it makes her so happy lifts a very heavy weight from my heart.
God bless you Mum.
And now mother mine I must not be too long-winded for the list of unanswered letters ahead of me makes me positively tremble.
Oceans of love + hugs + kisses,