Sunday, July 27, 2014

World War II Letters Home July 27, 1939 - Estelles Wickenkamp

                                                                                           Norwich, Norfolk
                                                                                           July 27, 1939

Dear Mama:

Doug and I have been spending our few days leave travelling about visiting friends of his father.  We left the station on Friday the 19th and went to Hull.  Saturday we went to Huddersfield which is near Leeds and saw some people.  Then on Sunday we went north and east of Hull to Flamborough Head and Searborough and half way up to Whitby - along the coast.

At Flamborough we went into the caves in the cliffs and north of Searborough we saw some pretty moors covered with heather and bracken.  On Monday we went to Sheffield and saw an army pal of Dr. Morris' (Doug's dad).  We stayed over night there.  While we were there we drove around quite a bit through the hills south-west of Sheffield.  It is a very pretty country.  It reminded me of Montana.  Also we went to Sherwood Forest - the home of Robin Hood.  I have a picture the major oak where Robin Hood is said to have hidden in the hollow trunk.  It is a beautiful place.  As soon as I get some more prints made I will send you them.  I also have a few pictures taken in an old church.

Tuesday we left Sheffield, the manufacturing and smoky city, and went back to camp when I got your 2nd letter. Wednesday we came back up here on the broads in the lake lake and river country and we are spending a few days with Mr. and Mrs. Brooks.  Mrs. B was a nurse during the war and knew Doug's dad.  Their home is in London, but this is their summer residence.  I will also send photos of this place.  They have a beautiful thatched cottage and across the road from it is the river on which they have a swell cruiser. It is a motor cruiser and has sleeping room for 3 people, kitchen and all.  They live on it for several weeks at a time when they go cruising up and down the river.  As there isn't room in the house Doug and I are sleeping on the cruiser.  Boy!  Is this a great life!  We have traveled about 1,800 miles in the last two weeks but by mooching from house to house, we have spent very little money -  and I think it is a well spent holiday.  Besides the fortnight I spent Christmas in Wales this is the only other holiday I have had since being over here, a year and a month today since we landed at Liverpool.

Apparently I must have gotten over 70% on my navigation exams at Manston because I got a folder from some school wanting to sell me a book on the administrative part of 2nd class navigator's license.  they probably got the dope from Air Ministry.  I think I told you that from what I figured out on my marks I should pass.  I'm afraid a lot (about 90%) of the fellows didn't pass.  Besides the exams I had at Manston I have to write 2 more exams to get my license, one subject is on navigational legislation and the other is wireless.  so as soon as I hear definitely I'll write them off.

We won't be doing any pilot flying in August - mostly classes, but will start flying or learning to fly Wellingtons in September.  I have only done about 10 hours of piloting since the first of March.  If we don't get some soon I'll be out of practice.

During the last week my rheumatism has started to bother me in my leg.  This is the first time it has bothered me since I have been in England.  I hope it doesn't keep on.

Well, Mom, I don't know just what else to write this evening, but will write more in a few days.  Make the best of your stay in Nebraska and enjoy yourself.  Grandma will most likely hang on for a few more years yet.  I got a letter from Esther too.

Best wishes and lots of love.

                                                                               Your son,


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