Thursday, January 2, 2014

World War II Letters Home January 2, 1939 - Estelles Wickenkamp

                                                                                                        Brize Norton, Oxon,
                                                                                                        January 2, 1939

Dear Folks:

I haven't done any letter writing for  about a week and a half, but now that I am back at the station I'll have to get busy.  I had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  I met so many people and went to so many places I can't even remember them all.  The Welsh people are very much more sociable than the English.  Someone was always coming up after me with a car to go somewheres - shows, dances, parties and sightseeing.  I was around in the Rhonada Valley where Tommy Farr was born.  The miners are all quite poor but they don't seem to be starving to death.  Wales is quite full of hills and towns are generally built on the slopes.

I didn't take many pictures though.  We had a bit of snow there, only about 1/2 inch, but here around Oxford there was several feet of snow and a lot of roads were blocked.  Anyhow, we didn't have a white Christmas.  The boy's folks who i was staying with gave me a nice safety razor in a silver box - but I have more razors than I need.  The pen I am writing with is a Parker Desk Set from Esther; it is very nice.  Also she sent me a swell grey and blue sweater with a zipper front that she knitted for me, it sure is homey.

And thank you very  much, Richard, or the album.  I am going to use it solely for aeroplane pictures.  I hope you sleep better now, on that present Esther sent you. ha! ha!

I got a card from Alice M. today and she said you got a pudding of some kind.  I really didn't think you were hungry but I thought since it was distinctly English you might like it.

I find it an awful job to buy Christmas presents, but if I run into something a little later on that I think is nice, I'll grab on to it for you.

I got Christmas cards from Kenneth S., Virginia, and Doris.  I sent cards to nearly all our relatives, some of them got a big surprise, I'll bet.

In the exams we had just before we went on our leave, I made an average of 73.4 %.  Most of the averages were from 60 to 80% so I think I did quite well.  We won't have any exams at the end of this term;  we just get assessed on our flying qualities and practical work.  Anyways,  I am a fully qualified pilot now.

We were issued with our rifles and bayonets today so that means we will be having rifle drill now.  I will be flying with Doug Morris now.  We fly together, changing about, as pilot and observer or gunner.  We will be using a camera gun quite a bit.

Oh yes. while I was in Wales I heard a lot of Welsh singers and choirs.  They are wonderful singers, (that is men are.)  On Christmas Eve and Day there were a lot of carol singers about.  They have such powerful voices.  I thought I was going to see a fox hunt but there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease so it had to be called off.  On New Year's Eve we went to a golf club dance and I won 6 golf balls in a draw.

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