January 21, 1943
Stayed in tonight, so will drop you a few lines to let you know that I’m still in the land of the living. We had a little excitement yesterday. The occasion was a daylight raid by our friends on the other side of the Channel. We had just finished dinner when the air-raid warning sounded, but none of us paid any attention to it. Our first indication that anything was near, was a cluster of smoke smudges caused by our Ack-Ack. This barrage was in the general direction of London, and such a display is very rare these days in daylight. The next thing we knew was an airplane flying low and at great speed coming into view. Lucky for us, our kitchen is near the edge of the clearing so the brute didn’t see us in time to give us the works. I have made quite a study of aircraft and immediately identified it as an F.W. 190. Mr. Gerry was sure in a devil of a hurry, having stirred up a hornets’ nest, as the air was full of angry Spits. He quickly passed from view and a moment later we heard gun fire and assumed our boys were dealing with the brute.
We later heard that the dirty hound had machine gunned the streets of the village, a mile away. Two other Gerries passed on the other side of the houses, so, undoubtedly, they were three of the six that managed to reach London. There were three alerts last night, but no bombs dropped. It was like old times to hear the gunfire and see old Gerry high-tailing it for home. By old times, I mean the “Battle of England.” We see practically every type of fighter, fighter-bomber, medium-heavy and light bomber the R.A.F. or U.S.A.F. have in service, and it makes an interesting pastime learning to identify them all. The weather has been quite mild. Apart from the wet weather, these English winters are really quite a snap, once you become acclimatized. Well, the War situation is very encouraging, though it seems to me the Americans are handling the political situation in North Africa like a bunch of Boy Scouts. The Russians are doing extremely well and show signs of having more power this year than last. I suppose our turn will come suddenly, just when we have resigned ourselves to another dull period of waiting.
Speaking of dances, I attended one sponsored by the N.F.S. at Kay’s station and held in a large inn in Hendon. It was quite a good affair and I met two very amusing Yanks, who referred to me as their brother from the 49th State. I took it in good part, because they obviously considered it a compliment. I felt like telling them the Americans should build their “Liberty Ships” with sails, as they need never worry about fuel or a scarcity of wind. However, I didn’t wish to precipitate a brawl, so held my tongue.