Monday, February 2, 2015

World War II Letters Home - February 2, 1940 - Estelles Wickenkamp

                                                                                          Royal Air Force
                                                                                          King's Lynn, Norfolk
                                                                                          February 2, 1940

Dear Folks:

I got your last letter with the stamps in it, also the one before with livestock ticket and I also received another Family Herald.  I haven't sent you any papers lately but will start again this week.  It is the Daily Mirror - all the latest scandal and cheap headline stuff - but still it does contain nearly everything worth writing about.

I have been in bed for 4 days with a slight touch of flu and a good does of tonsillitis.  I could hardly swallow, so I have had to eat soup and rice pudding, etc. and drink milk, but today I am much better and shall probably be allowed to wander around in the mess tomorrow.  In 3 days from now my section have 3 days leave - so by the time our leave is over I should be ready to fly again.

Raiders have been coming along our coast and shooting up light vessels and fishing boats so we are sending out patrols to intercept them.  We have done very little work lately as the snow is from 1 to 2 feet deep on the aerodrome.  Small machines can't take off but our big 'uns just wallow along and the big wheels splash through snow like water until they stagger off.

Last week we were doing some co-operation with a finger squadron at Wittering, near Peterboro.  We were getting practice at evasion tactics and it gave them attack practice, also showed them how easy it wasn't to bite at a big bird with lots of stings.  some of our maneuvers had them absolutely foxed - they couldn't get at us.  They (fighters) were using cine-cameras so they could study the results of their efforts but only about 1/9 of their films had any results, much to their disappointment.

the last time we went over there it started to rain and snow, all of which froze on the aircraft so we had to land and were there 3 days before we could get off again, on account of the weather.

I got commended the other day on my abilities of a navigator by our squadron leader;  he said that I had quite proved myself on Hamburg episode.  so I says -er, um - "Sir, you don't mean that little jaunt, well yu' oughter send me on a long trip and I could show you sumpin'!!!".  He knows Doug and I are not so rusty at flying because when we each get in a plane and fly formation with him we just scare the pants off his crew, and they reckon, when they are that close that they can see the pilot of another machine grinning at them, that is just too dern late to jump.

Well, it looks like it's time I stopped.  Maybe I'll have some news to write about next time.

Best wishes to all of you.


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