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Date: December 20th 1941
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

No: 4.

R.H. Gray S/Lt
Canada House
Dec. 20/41.

Dear Mother and Dad,

In the last few days I have received the most wonderful bunch of parcels. I got yours for which thanks ever so much. It got here just at the right time and had such a lot of nice things in it. Thank Walter and the Peebles for me please. I got a lovely parcel from the Boomers with everything done up individually. It was really just like home. We just sit here and open our parcels and everything is so welcome. Then I got a nice parcel from the Gyros’ Dad with the shirt in it. I got one from Mrs. Currie with the famous Christmas cake in it and I got a nice one from the Stevenson girl. So all in all I don’t feel as if I have done too badly. I seem to have a lot of friends around home. I also got a nice Christmas card from Grandpa.

 I am getting some leave, five days, at the beginning of the year so I shall be seeing Jack again. We are being rather fortunate in getting leave again so soon after having had some but the whole station is going on leave at different times so I guess they feel they must give us some too. It will be nice because although we are very comfortable here there really is not anything to do or anyplace to go. So it is a good idea to get away from everything for a few days in order to work up enthusiasm again.

It was nice to hear of your trip to Calgary, mother. Wasn’t it nice of Mrs. Willis to ask you. And I am sure Phyllis was all thrilled. I got a letter from her about the time you were there and she was telling me all about it. She is getting quite worked up about the coming event. I hope you will be able to be with her but I guess you are not planning on being anywhere else. She told me that Aunt Dora phoned up and really gave her a bawling out for not calling when I was there. But I am not going to worry about that. There were other people I wanted to see more.

The work here is quite interesting. I was telling you that we are flying Hurricanes. Well we have been doing what they call “Attacks”. That means that we attack another aircraft and take pictures of it with a Camera gun. I was in to see my results just tonight and they were not too bad. But it is quite a wild affair. We come rushing in and take pictures and then break away from him. That has to be done in quite a wild way in order not to present the other aircraft with a good target. You often “black-out.” That means that when you pull out of a dive the blood rushes away from your head. This affects the eyes so that while you are pulling out there is no blood flowing to the eyes so that you cannot see. However the instant you release the pressure you can see again. So it is not a dangerous thing but it is a bit weird.

I am sending you a picture of the course. I have put the names on so that you will know who people are if I ever speak of them. They are a pretty good bunch of fellows. It is rather nice because we are meeting a lot of people who were with us at Luton and who split up after and did their training in this country.

Mrs. Currie included a pair of air-force socks in her parcel which I am going to send to Jack. I really have no need for a light blue pair. Those black socks are awfully nice mother. They are really just exactly the thing I want. So if you are making any more I can sure use them.

Someone has told me that there is no more air-mail across to America but I have not been able to find out for sure about it so will continue to send letters home by air-mail until I find out definitely. Please tell me how long my letters take. There is no point in spending 1/3 if letters will go as quickly by sea.

Ernie Gaunt and I have been invited to a party on Boxing day so we are going to take along a bunch of our food. It should help a bit.

I am writing to all the people who have sent me parcels but my letters to them may take longer. So if you could tell them they might be pleased to know. All the parcels arrived in good condition. Thank them for me and tell them that they will be hearing from me soon. Give my love to Phyllis, tell her I am writing to her too. Tell her, too, to look after herself. I am looking forward to being a very proud uncle.

The news in the Far East is bad but it is not too bad at the moment in other places is it? I only wish the whole thing was over but I don’t suppose that I wish that anymore strongly than you do.

Well all my love. I think about you both often and I think how lonely you must be at times. It is now ten P.M. here about 2 P.M. there and my bedtime as I fly in the morning so goodnight.


P.S. The number V13438 is no longer needed. As one person said once you get your commission in the navy you are no longer a number but an individual.

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1941-12-20 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC