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Date: September 19th 1944
Jean Latham
Frank Latham

P/O FW Latham
Reykjavik (s)
Iceland (c)
Attin G.P.O. Montreal

Dearest Jeanie.-

Received your letter of Sept. 8th last nite We get mail here once a week every monday. I guess you will have to wish Barbara a happy birthday for me. I went into town yesterday its very pretty and everything is as clean as can be I had coffee & cake at a place where they played these old waltzes in a garden (very nice only there coffee is horrible)

Then I went to the Gamla Biò (show) and after that I went to the Hotèl Borg. and had about five pints of their non alcoholic beer (The Borg Hotel is only open to officers) You can dance there the stulkas (girls) sit on one side of the room and the men on the other (The girls are very pretty over here and very well dressed.) The girls morals aren’t quite as good as they could be though, they go in for trial marriages over here, and some of them try different guys every nite. We invite the stulkas out to mess on Thursdays nites for a dance but they come mostly to drink our liquor they can out drink any two men. some talk English, and the ones who cant all they can say is “rum & coke” “scotch & water” There is no ration on anything here silk & what not (I’ll get you some stockings for christmas but I’m living in hopes I’ll be able to bring them home myself.)They also have lots of electrical appliances irons etc. irons sell for around 70 Kronur’s ($12.00) so you can see things are rather expensive. Darling by the way you had better have a letter here for me every time the mail comes in or I’ll cut you out of my list completely! I have been orderly officer all day and I have to get the crews out of bed in the middle of the nite to go to briefing so I guess I wont get much sleep to nite? I was just thinking it cost me over a 100 kronur to go into town yesterday I don’t think I’ll go in very often? I haven’t done any of mu laundry yet jesus! I hate the thought of starting it. Well I have to leave now darling its 11 30 and inspect to aircrew mess before going & coming. so I’ll write some more to-morrow

Same nite a little later

Well my one and only love did I tell you we spent five days in Greenland it’s a picturesque country but barren its just one big mass of ice & snow except around the coastline where the ice is being pushed out into the sea in huge icebergs its an amazing sight flying over it great rocky peaks sticking thru mountains of ice (but its rather coldly beautiful like the Icelandic women I don’t think they ever smile. The men are the ordinary run of the mill swede blue eyes and straw colored hair built out of proportion and very quiet. So the child looks like me eh! the poor lad should get a better break than that! Who in the hell is Mel & Tommy (you could fool me) Darling you will do ok at bowling if you practice a bit after a few games you will be right in there with the best of them. I’m so sorry about Gary I believe though he will grow up ok and be a credit to his parents. I see by your letter here you will be counting the days before I come home sister you will have to count for a long time I’m afraid only I suppose the Germans cant last much longer in this wart they are sire getting an awful powdering day & nite. And by the way what would you be doing going to a dance? I havent heard from mother since I left Sydney I would like to get Arthurs address so as I can write him (or did mickey (bitchy) write mother another scorcher?) I had my picture taken for the rogues gallery yesterday I’m getting a copy so I’ll send it with this letter. Also enclosing five Kronur that’s a lot of hay don’t spend it all in one place (and the autograph is priceless) You can tell Barbara I’m saving coins for her and I’ll give them to her when I come home? Gee when I come to think of it Dennis will soon be going to school christ I must be getting old and I don’t feel a day over sixteen even though my hair is getting gray.

Pell our pilot didn’t come over with the M.O. caught him for stomach ulcers so we got a new pilot here. We haven’t flown with him yet but he should be ok he has about 1000 hrs. in out of here! There are about five glaciers on the island here and they sure are effective from the air but every thing is barren around them its so cold except where the hot springs bubble out of the ground. The whole city of Reykjavik is heated by the water from there hot springs. The ocean is a real bright blue here in the harbor its caused by the melting icebergs fresh water hitting the salt water. And seeing you have come to the conclusion I must have been there because the baby looks like me I’m awarning you there had better not be anymore else there or you both will have had it! I have a jesly big gun here that would leave an awful big hole specially in a body. We lost eight aircraft here last month and five crews you probably saw in the papers this is the only squadron on coastal command where anyone evert for the V.C. we have several fellows with D.F.C.’s and DF.M’s George Cross etc. The Jerry’s can sure throw a lot of lead when they open up. I havent had a drink of liquor since I’ve been here but I think I’m due to tie one on about next thursday or friday I feel it coming on. I don’t know how long it takes my letters to reach let me know will you dear if it takes long I’ll try and figure out another way of sending them we can put an 8¢ airmail stamp on them and send them via Scotland but transport command carry them to Canada from here any way with no stamp so I imagine it will be just as fast. We live in Miessen huts they look like igloos in fact this looks like a small city of igloos we have lots of room though they are built like this. there are four of us a hut the bed are just bunks and hard as hell but

[Hand drawn picture]

when we get tired we just crawl in and die its an awful struggle every morning though to see who sweeps the damned floor etc. we usually roll dice for the honor.

We have a nice mess though it is about six meissen huts joined to-gether with a dining room, lounge with a nice fire place, bar and snake room and a game room. The snake room is painted in black and white zebra stripes even the seats and lounge are painted that way. Well my darling sweetie pie honey lamb that is all for to-nite must get my beauty sleep to keep my youthful appearance vigor vim and vitality (not bad eh!) I have winter in my hair but summer in me hearty and all that old B.S. My F/O should be in green sheets next month it should be good for a couple of months back pay of 72¢ a day or four kronur eighty aura per day. I should have a little money saved if we stay here very long I sincerely hope we are thru here by xmas though jesus what a place to spend xmas & new years. I’ll probably do my washing and ironing in xmas day or be flying, as a matter of fact if I don’t get going on my laundry I wont have started until then and I’m in a deplorable condition right now for clean clothes We traveled around so much in the last month I haven’t had time to get my laundry done Well honey that is definitely all for to-nite (I have spoken) whoops! It started to rain to beat hell out, what a country out of a clear nite sky! Well I’m going to bed, good nite, and give me my share of the bed.

Aug. 20/9/44

Well another nite darling Ive been washing my clothes all day in a pail on the top of the heater jesus what a job Ive got dish pan hands and a big blister on my hand or rather my left thumb I got off my washing long enough to-nite to take in a show on the station “The White Cliffe of Dover” It is rather good but very sad too sad in fact to be very good. I cant see why they want to make such pictures they are rather depressing. We have our dance and party in the mess to-morrow nite I guess it will be quite an affair? (I don’t think even) Well my love I don’t know if I can get these sheets in an envelope now so. I will close off with all my love & kisses etc.


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Original Scans