Tuesday, June 25, 2013

World War II Letters Home June 25, 1938-Estelles Wickenkamp

Cunard White Star
June 25, 1938
Dear Folks,
We will soon be in Liverpool, that is in a couple more hours. We stopped at Belfast, Ireland last night and at Greenoch, Scotland this morning - that is not far from Glasgow. Two of the R.A.F. boys got off at Greenoch (pronounced Grenok); the remaining 4 of us will get off the ship tomorrow morning. The we will go to London and out to Hatfield - it is about 15 miles north of London, that is, if we go by train. We are not sure yet but we may go by car. One of the girls aboard said she would take us down by car. He dad owns several cars. I believe he must be a Chrysler salesman as she said she would most likely take the De Soto. if we haven't too much baggage probably that is how we will travel. It sure will be a lot nicer than by train.
We all got across without being seasick, although for a day after we left Belle Isle we felt rather dizzy, be we never missed any of our meals, and boy, did we eat! We sure have swell meals. I am going to send you some of our menus and programmes so you can see for yourself. We have an orchestra, 3 piece, that plays in the afternoons and evenings for us. From 11:00 to 12:00 we usually have a dance but at first it is hard to dance with the ship rolling and pitching - the rolling is worse though. Now I don't mind it at all. You don't seem to notice it after the 4th or 5th day out.
As we came down from Greenoch we met the navy fleet; 2 battleships, 1 aircraft carrier, and light destroyers. We also passed a new battleship and a submarine but we were having a nap so didn't see them. The coasts of Ireland and Scotland are very beautiful - very hill or mountainous, and marked off by hedges into irregular little farms, all as green as could be.
I didn't get any of my films developed on the ship as it is too expensive here so will wait until I get to Hatfield. Monday, the 27th we start our training school so there won't be any time to waste. but I am quite glad as it seems as if I have had a real big holiday already.
I had supper about an hour ago and as were coming into Liverpool I have been on deck ever since. It seems very peculiar seeing the cities over here. You see rows and rows of brick buildings all the same height and size. It seems sort of odd. As we came into here we passed the big ship yards where they dry dock and build ships. About all it amounts to is a lot of long buildings and numerous derricks sticking into the air. We are not going to get off the ship until 8:00 in the morning. There is exactly 7 hours difference in the time here from home. I haven't changed my watch yet. In my next letter I will try to describe the ship a little more fully to you.
We had a fairly smooth trip over here. We saw quite a few iceberg as we passed Belle Isle; the were coming down the coast of Labrador. On our 6th day out we ran into quite a bit of fog and of course every 2 minutes the fog horn went whoo-oo-oo ( mama knows how!) I went up into the crow's nest a couple of times - just sort of sneaked up when none of the crew were around; one of the men up there didn't care; after we were up he couldn't kick us down. You get up there on the inside of the mast, about 50 feet up on an iron ladder; of course the crow's nest is only about half way up the mast.
If we go to London by train we leave here at 10:20 a.m. and get into London at 2:10 p.m. I really don't know what else to write about now so I will write again in a couple of days.
Hope you are all well.

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