21, 1942 Presque Isle, Maine
12 A.M. Left Westover Field, Mass. at 9:30
A.M. This is a God Forsaken country, but still
in the U.S. Nothing but rolling hills and potato
Farms. Initiated "Short Snorter" at
the Officer Club.
22, 1942 Labrador
from Presque Isle at 12:30 P.M. Arrived here
at Goose Bay at 4:00 P.M. This is really a "Hell
Hole" Doesn't get dark until 10:30 and
not complete darkness then. Climate is pleasant.
Attended briefing at 9:00 until 10:30.
23, 1942 B W I Greenland
from Goose Bay, arrived here 4:30 P.M. Came
across the North Atlantic. Saw my first Icebergs
off the coast of Labrador, but they are much
larger here. This is at the mouth of a Fjord
about 52 miles inland and as far a man can
go. Greenland is a solid mass of ice except
right on the edges. It never gets dark in the
summer months, just like the books say. The
sun stays up about 16 hours. After it disappears
it becomes twilight and is much lighter than
a full moonlight
24, 1942 B W I Greenland
day and would-be night on Eskimo Island. If
we stay here much longer I will die of hunger,
the food is terrible and accommodations are
even worse. We were supposed to have left today,
hope to get out tomorrow.
25, 1942 Patterson Field, Iceland - near Reykjavik
seen everything now. Departed from BWI 9:30
A.M. Arrive here 2:00 P.M. We are on the southern
tip of Iceland which seems to have been built
up by a volcanic eruption because of the formation
of the rocks and the texture of the soil. The
wind has a normal velocity of about 30 MPH
and is pretty cold. We are
living in so-called huts built of sheet metal
in an oval shape about 15' by 35'. They are
very comfortable and are heated by native coal
which is harder than any I've ever seen. I
had the first decent meal I've had since I
left Westover Field. This is the first time
we have been treated like white men. The Officers
Club is real nice and has a bar with American
made beverages. We haven't
been allowed to leave the limits of any of
the posts we've been on so far. There has been
no place to go up till now. I'd like to see
if 95% of the Danish (Icelandic to them) are
all blondes -- especially the female sex. The
trip today was very pleasant -- the weather
was fine and smooth. One
element was fired upon by two enemy subs about
300 miles out but no damage was done. It's
luck for the subs that we weren't loaded with
depth chargers because they would have never
fired at anyone else. The
sun didn't go down in Greenland yesterday until
11:30 P.M. and it was up again at 5:30. It
doesn't do the good here. I
shaved for the first time I 4 days today and
left my mustache -- the first one I've ever
tried to grow.
Iceland. Moved from Patterson field this morning.
The living quarters are the same. Went
into town this afternoon and it was very interesting.
This being Sunday everything was closed. The
only thing open was one bakery and a theater.
The people here are very religious and unfriendly,
especially the girls, they won't talk to you
at all on the streets, in fact, I saw very
very few on the streets at all. The girl in
the bakery informed us that the Icelandic girls
preferred the English boys to the Americans.
She said that the girls who danced with American
soldiers were considered bad. Most of them
can speak English well, they learned it from
the English sailors. Saw
the statue of Lief Erikson, the real discoverer
of America. 95% of the Icelandic people are blonds.
In bed at 10:15 and the sun is still an hour
27, 1942 Prestivick, Scotland
Reykjavick this morning and stopped at Stornaway
on the Island of Lewis to let the P38 pilots
rest. We saw a number of ships partially sunk,
also two subs following a battle ship. Believe
it or not this is war and can certainly tell
here at 5:00 P.M and had dinner then arranged
for quarters. I
thought I'd seen everything but this place
takes the cake. The people are so backward
it is pitiful. This seems to have been a
wealthy place at one time. The homes and buildings
are just like the pictures. The streets are
narrow and very crooked. bicycles are the
main means of transportation. There are very
few cars the and traffic is left-handed. The
busses are two deckers and very old. Scotland
is almost as far north as BWI in Greenland-
so it is pretty cold. I'm
staying in what used to be a home, but was
taken over by the government for their Army.
The people of Scotland are very friendly
and their language is unusually strange and
hard to understand. It's amusing to listen
to them talk.
28, 1942 Final Destination - Bovingdon, England
wonderful to know that we are actually going
to stay in one place long enough to learn what
it's all about. This is certainly beautiful
country from the air. We arrived here at 5:30
P.M. This is a new field and was turned over
to the U.S. Army for a training and Combat
station. We will operate out of here. The post
is somewhat scattered because of the possibilities
of attacks. We walk 1/4 mile to the showers
and latrine, the club is situated close to
the showers. We have private rooms with a coal
stove, a dresser and a high single bed with
a round straw pillow.
trip all the way was very interesting and we
were extremely lucky to have good weather.
left Westover Field, Mass. a week ago this
morning. All our planes and P38's got through
except three. Had to leave two at BWI and two
at Prestwick for repairs. They will be on later.
We were the first squadron to get through without
losing a plane.
29, 1942 Bovingdon, England
done a darn thing all day but mess around in
general. We completely unloaded our planes
and attended a lecture given by the CO on the
habits and customs of the Post and warned us
about letting out military information. It
does get dark about 11:00 O'clock here and
it's that time now. There isn't a single light
showing in England after 10:30, every window
is equipped with blackout curtains.
Nothing at all to write about
today except that I did a hell of a lot of walking.
our day off, so the four of us and our crew went London. Left here at 7:45
and arrived there at 8:30 by train, it is a 45 minute ride. When we got to
London it was almost dark, and by the time we checked in at a hotel and got
underway is was pitch dark. We fumbled around in the darkness for two hours
and finally wound up in a night club called the Nut House. Everything closed
at 10:30 except the membership clubs. We happened to have a membership card
to this particular club passed on to us by the fellows that went in the night
before. The so-called night clubs in London are nothing more than our "honkey-tonks."
to prove that Texas is known all over the world -- "Deep in the Heart of
Texas was sung during the floor show and did I beam, Oh Boy! London
looks like a deserted city at night, the only lights showing are the
street lights and they are about the size of a dime -- to help the
cab drivers and there is a million and one of those. No
one has ever seen anything until they have seen London, it is so old. We
spend the biggest part of the morning in bed. Had lunch at an American
Cafe, then got hair cuts at a men's hair dresser. We rode the two story
busses all over the city. The most interesting ride was the one to
St. Paul's Cathedral. it took us right through the heart of where London
was hit the hardest by bombs. No one can possibly imagine how terrible
it must have been until you have seen the remains, blocks and blocks
of huge buildings were completely demolished. The
Cathedral is an enormous thing with a dome larger than our Capital.
It was hit in two places by bombs. It is a shame too because it can
never be rebuilt like the original. The architecture is simply beautiful.
When we got there they were having the evening service so we didn't
get to go completely through it. The organ and choir sounded beautiful
in the huge auditorium and it is only half as large now as it was before
it was bombed. London had two alerts last night but no planes were
seen nor any bombs dropped, however, there was anti-aircraft fire.
All this happened while we were in the Nut House and since we were
about two stories underground we knew nothing about it. I
can say I've been in the largest city in the world, and it is too big
to really be true. I would like to stay there a month
and do nothing but go. I doubt if one could see everything there is
to be seen even then. Better get to bed and try
to get what sleep I didn't get last night.
August 2, 1942
Nothing happened at all. Messed around the plane this
morning and attended lectures for three hours this afternoon.
August 3, 1942
Got a holiday today so played poker this afternoon and
won three pounds
is getting monotonous as hell doing nothing but going to lectures
for three hours every afternoon. At the present I'm control tower
operator for three hours and no planes have landed yet.
Yes! Had an
egg for breakfast this morning.
other place in England.
again and as usual on Sunday. We are not far from Bovingdon but haven't
been able to definitely decide where we are. This part is controlled
solely by U.S. personnel and is said to be the last move. We are
on American rations with all we want. The quarters are still scattered
and are not as comfortable as the previous ones.
are still a necessity too. Air Raids here more than any of the other
places, in fact, there was an Air Raid warning last night but no