May 15, 1941
Well, here it is again the 15th of May and payday to boot. Spring is almost a thing of the past now, as the great majority of the trees are now in full leaf. I received another letter from you with Audrey’s enclosed. Needless to say, both were very welcome.
I spent a quiet night tonight taking a stroll around the village and reaching my billet by ten-thirty. As yet, no raid has sounded, though it makes little difference to me anyway, as I generally sleep right through in any case. The papers today are still full of Rudolph Hess, who seems to have taken the country by complete surprise by his strange and sudden departure from Germany. I can’t help but feel that there is much more to this than appears on the surface. The Germans are so devilish cunning in their propaganda stunts, that you never know what they will try next. In this field, we are very slow and awkward and I think we are most certainly overlooking one of the most effective of modern weapons.
Well, so much for the little outburst and now to change the subject. I’ll tell you about a very interesting pamphlet I just finished reading. It was called the “Battle of England” and deals primarily with the struggle which took place in the air over this country during August, September, and October of last year. It makes very interesting reading, especially as many of the places named I knew well. To add to this, we watched many of the dogfights which are described. During the height of the Battle, we often saw dozens of planes roaring and diving overhead, so small in size that we found it hard to follow them with the naked eye.
Later in the season, when it became colder, we could follow them with the trails left in the sky, through the condensation of hot gasses from their exhausts. While we all realized the most important battle of the War was taking place, it was very hard to believe that men were fighting and dying in these tiny planes high in the Autumn sky. It was while this phase of the battle was in progress that we moved to our present location. It wasn’t long after this that Gerry gave up the attempt to smash our air force by day and resorted to the night raids he still delights in.
Tomorrow we go on another scheme, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if yours truly was absent, as I think I will go on dental parade to avoid it. It was very hot here yesterday and I almost went for a swim in the little river that runs through our camp, but lost my nerve at the last minute. Oh, by the way, did you get the snaps of the bomb crater or those of Devon I sent you? You made no mention of them in your previous letters, which makes me think that they probably went down. It’s eleven-thirty, so will close now.
Love to all,
Your distant relative,