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Date: July 11th 1941
Mother, Dad, & Phyllis - (parents & sister)
Hampton Gray

Mess 12 A,
31 S.F.T.S.,

July 11

Dear Mother, Dad and Phyllis,

It is raining this morning for the first time since we got here so at the moment there is no flying. Consequently I am able to find the time to write to you. You have no idea what a relief the rain is. It has at times been quite intolerable. The only trouble here is that an hour after the rain is over it is as bad or worse than before. However I guess we can stand it.

I had a grand surprise the other night. I got a call from somebody at the gate. I went down there and here were Howard and Helen just passing through towards Montreal on holidays. I had dinner with them an spent the evening riding around Kingston. It was nice to see them and they seem so pleased with each other. I am sure they will be all right. I got a letter from Uncle Ross the other day. A nice long one. He is a good letter writer like you mother. They had a phone call from Lawrence the other day from Halifax and they expect him home for some leave. He apparently loves the navy, has gained 12 lbs. He will have a lot to tell them as he mentioned something about seeing action on the way over. I wish I could get up there sometime but it is much too far for just the one day off.

Six of us hired a car the other night and had a beach party about eight miles out of town. One of the boys knew a teacher who is down at summer school (Queen’s) and she supplied six girls. It was a lot of fun. Three dozen weiners and buns and two dozen cokes. It was a beautiful night and we could go in swimming. It was nice to get away from the barracks for an evening.

I am going to finish this a bit later as I haven’t got your last letter with me and there might be some questions in it. I forgot to mention that I got the parcel. Thanks very much for the towel and the other articles. I wonder if you have another towel about the same weight as that one. The one I got when I left home is pretty thin and I need another one as they get dirty fairly quickly.

I am afraid that I am finishing this a couple of days later. Things seemed to interfere. You know what happens.

You will see Phyllis by the heading that this is to you too. I am sorry that I did not mention getting your last letter as you mentioned in one from you today. It was an oversight and don’t think I don’t appreciate them. Thanks for all the news. You seem to be getting a trifle anxious for Ed. I expect that soon now he will have found a place. I hope so anyway as I want someplace to visit when I get to Calgary on my way through.

By the way I am writing this lying outside on the grass. It is really the nicest day we have had since we got here. It is beautiful and clear and not at all sultry [?] like most summer days are down here. I am getting a pretty fair wat coat of tan. I went up flying this morning at six A.M. and it was wonderful. I was away for an hour just flying around. You can see for miles on a day like this. There are dozens of lakes just north of here all surrounded by woods and you can see right to the bottom of them. It really is grand. There is nothing like it when the weather is good.

I will write to Grandpa as soon as I finish this letter, Dad. I should have done it sooner. I just know how pleased he is to hear from us.

You asked me if I knew where Jack’s place is. I don’t know for sure but I do know that Heston is a big aerodrome so I gather that he is doing his flying training and is finished with his signals course. You will know better when letters arrive from there. Couldn’t you get more than two sheets in if you used that special air-mail paper and envelopes. You can get it anywhere.

This war seems to be getting out of control what with Russia in there and the States moving into Iceland. Germany has taken on quite a bit. I haven’t heard any news today but it wouldn’t surprise me if Russia folded up soon. Then I think United States will be in by the middle of August. Then things may start popping. We are certainly giving them a little of their own medicine back in the bombing. I hope we keep it up for a while. It will do them good.

Oh Phyllis, you said you would enclose those pictures of [Mi?] and Len. I guess you forgot. Could you send them along do you think. Wilhemine didn’t ask Jack McKenzie to the wedding according to Helen. Apparently she was a bit sore at him because he left [Ellises?] so suddenly. I don’t understand why Wilhemine would do a thing like that.

This is enough for now. I had better go and have lunch.

Love to all,



[Editor’s note: While no year was included with the written date, the letter’s contents indicate it was 1941.]

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1941-07-11 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC