Wednesday, August 20, 2014

World War II Letters Home August 20, 1939 - Estelles Wickenkamp

                                                                                                 Officer's Mess
                                                                                                 Royal Air Force Station
                                                                                                 Stradishall, Newmarket
                                                                                                 August 20, 1939

Dear: Dad and Richard:

I guess it is about time that I wrote again.  I am glad to hear that the crops are still o.k. and didn't get hailed out or burned up.  You must be getting to be quite a cook - canning fruit and peas, etc. How does the garden look - has it been alright or was it too dry?  I suppose during this hot weather the lake is quite a favorite sport. especially on Sundays.  We have been having terribly hot and close weather here for the last couple weeks.  There is a bit of a breeze today, so it isn't too bad.

I am Orderly Officer this week-end so I have to stay in camp, otherwise I would be at the bathing pool at Newmarket or the river at Burlwell.


Sorry I didn't get this finished the other day but as I have been so busy lately, I couldn't.

I was Aerodrome Control Pilot for night-flying on Monday night until 3 o'clock Tuesday.  Then I had to get up at 8 o'clock and go to Honington to attend a court martial.  A sergeant who was N.C.O. 1/c messing was charged with fraudulent misapplication of air men's rations.  As there was insufficient evidence and lack of proof, he was let off "not guilty".

I have been kept busy all this morning in the Navigation Office issuing equipment (sextants, calculators, maps, etc., to some Observer Sergeants who have just arrived here on a Navigational course.  So I was filling out loan cards for all of them.  After that I gave a couple officers some instructions on using and sighting with the bubble sextant, then after lunch some more sighting and I relieved the Squadron Adjutant in his office until 4:30.  In case of mobilization I will be posted to Thornaby - somewhere in Yorkshire as a Navigational Instructor and probably get in some time as Instructional Pilot.  There is another "flap" on just now.  This is the 3rd crisis I have been through since I have been over here.  All our leave has been cancelled and we are not (for the present) allowed to leave the station.  Also we have to be ready upon and hours notice to move out of here to where ever we are posted.  Upon notice of mobilization the whole squadron must be ready to completely evacuate in 6 hours - that means, ground staff, aircraft, repairs, equipment, stores and munitions.  My 1st war posting was to Harwell, near Oxford, but now that is changed.  Otherwise life in the R.A.F. is proceeding quite normally.

We had a couple of days of heavy rain here.  Some of it was a regular cloud-burst.  Some parts of the country are suffering from floods.  When the sun has been out it was terribly hot.  It has been hot today again so I supposed it will rain tomorrow.

The crops that I have seen over here look quite good.  Some wheat crops will be good for about 50 bushel to the acre.  They call wheat 'corn' here; I haven't actually seen any real corn.

There should be a lot more news to write about but I can't think of it right now.  I am sending some magazines with photos in them for you to keep for me.  I am going to have supper now, so I'll try to write more after I finish.  I will try to send some England newspapers to you so you can read the local news about Europe today.  I will write again this week-end and see if I can do.

Best Wishes and Love,


P.S. The enclosed is just a sample of some sort of seaweed that grows on the rocks.

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