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Date: April 11th 1945
Wanda Gill - (wife)
Leslie Gill

letter #92

HMCS Iroquois
c/o GPO London
April 11/45

My Darling

There’s thousands of reasons why I have to write to you today. Shall I enumerate them? First and foremost, of course is the fact that Im madly in love with you! That in itself is always sufficient grounds, but there are other reasons too. Our daughter’s birthday, for example, the little devil is almost as old as her dad now! Five months and almost a tooth most remarkable. Another reason is your Airletter #73. You have dated it April 12, thats tomorrow, Syl, but the Post Office marked it April 3. I am inclined to accept their calculation of the date rather than yours. Dont mind, do you? I can keep on loving you too, even if you are a Syl!

It was a wonderful letter, darling, but so long since your last, and all those gaps are hard to take too. I can see why of course. We’ve been shifting around, and are no longer in a port where the FMO takes any notice of us. Just one small bag of mail today and I am most fortunate to get anything at all. Notice, too, that it was only eight days on its way. Why cant they always do that? The letter is mostly about “teeth”, and thats what I spent a lot of space on last letter too! How do we do this? We are definitely psychic, thats all there is to it.

There must be a relaxation in Censorship regulations, because we had a signal on board about our last action, and it distinctly said “There is no restriction on mentioning the above etc etc.” Im not quite sure how it went, word for word, but here it is approximately. Striking Force consisting of destroyers Iroquois, Onslow, Zealous and Zest encountered an enemy convoy off the southern coast of Norway on the night of April 3/4. Enemy convoy consisted of four large merchant ships with seven escorting warships, including two submarines. I forget the exact wording of the signal, but anyhow we engaged them at 7000 yards. We, Iroquois got five hits (out of six) in our first salvo. Wonderful gunnery that! We went onto rapid salvos then, continuing to get a high percentage of hits, and closed to 2000 yards. The target was just a bunch of junk then, and obscured by its own smoke, so we packed up firing. In other words, we crucified them! The other destroyers also registered hits on their respective targets, and Onslow claims one torpedo hit Iroquois, however, got more than twice as many hits observed as the other three destroyers combined. The Jerry ships were counter attacking of course, with great vigor, and shore batteries and Aircraft started to get on to us, so we retired in good order. Couldn’t get another good run at them on account of mine fields etc, and [?] was restricted, but we sure raised hell with them on the one run. The force then returned to Scapa. No casualties and little damage to any of our ships. Now, we had discussed all this on board, and can see no reason why we should not be allowed to mention it. Our censor officer, Lieut Murray, has decreed that we may do so, so most of us have.

Hope you dont mind me “talking shop”, but its so seldom there’s anything I can tell you, except reports on crib games and ships pets, etc. You must get awfully fed up with those subjects. I assure you life is much more interesting and hectic than that, but up till now we’ve had to keep it all to ourselves.

I had an interesting run ashore with Hughie. We’ve never been here before (never mind where!) but it’s a famous and historic place. And by the way, this was the first time I set foot over the gangway for over three weeks. It wasnt a very expensive run either, a few drinks, supper 5/- (whew!) and bed 1/6. About ten bob altogether. Train fare was two and a penny. Also purchased shoe nails, cleaning fluid and a postcard! Oh yes, I finally bought some kit, including the no 3 uniform. The local clothing Store is poor as hell. Its run by Wrens, and are they ever slow! First time I went I stood in the queue for two hours, in a bitter cold wind, and drizzle, and just as I reached the counter the sluts decided to call it a day! I came back the following afternoon an hour before opening time, and there was a queue a mile long already formed! I stuck it out, however, and got some of my gear. A bit more and my kit will be complete again.

How do you look in my lovely blue slacks? As nice as I did? Im sure you do. You look very nice in anything (Or in nothing!) I love you either way darling! Lets hope it isn’t too-long before I can see you again and corroborate the evidence of my memory. Its been so long darling! Seems like a life time since last May.

All my love

Original Scans

Original Scans