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Date: September 14th 1941
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
John (Jack) Gray

[note added with arrow pointing to address below: “Use the private address but any urgent wires or so can be sent straight to this address  J.B.”]
Sgts. Mess
RAF Upper Heyford

Dearest Mother and Dad

Here it is Sunday morning and we have just finished a little breakfast party in our room. Harry and I were the hosts and the guests bring their own food. As you know we are two in a room with a nice little fireplace for heating purposes. We had a choice of kippers on toast or some fried Spam on toast. There was also plenty of delicious Chase and Sanborn’s Coffee with Carnation milk and lots of sugar. Of course their was cheese and ham and the butter was Brookfields. The food with the exception of the bread came entirely from Canada so you can see how much we like getting the food. It is best to send stuff which is cooked as most canned goods are. Sometimes the fire is hard to get and might be when we get to the Squadron. I forgot to tell you their were also some canned peaches. Harry and I have been eating fairly well in our room lately as we used our weekend ration cards and bought butter, margarine, bacon, sugar, eggs and cheese although you sure don’t get very much for two days ration. When we get a long weekend we are entitled to a ration card. I guess this is enough about food but you can see how much it is appreciated when we aren’t getting enough elsewhere.

I’m sorry this letter is going to have to go ordinary mail as I’m flat broke right now. I bought a small suitcase last weekend and have no money left. I also paid my mess bill which was high because of a few cablegrams so you can see my money has gone. I’ll write airmail in a couple of days when I draw a pound from the bank.

We are flying a lot now and it isn’t bad. We have to fly in the morning and a long crosscountry at night so we sometimes get ten hours a day. You can see we are awfully busy as we have lectures besides all the flying.

Well the war situation sure is looking better than it did this time last year. We’ve got Jerry on the run a little bit now with the aid of Russia and the ever increasing flow of American goods. They aren’t sinking a million tons like they were last April and May. I am just figuring that we came over here at the absolute height of the Battle of the Atlantic but the Navy looked after us. We have a lot to be thankful for. Our aircraft strength is increasing now rapidly. Some of the new planes are wonderful. The Jerries have the numbers but they will never have the quality of either the British men or British machines. Some of the new bombers and fighters which I know of are really O.K. The British do things just the opposite to the Americans who design a plane on paper and then publish the speed as about 600 mph. The British build a plane and then use it for a year until everybody knows about it then they publish the figures. That is a good thing in some ways but not so in others. The British sure lack the North American flair for advertising. Look at the way they bungled those pictures of Churchill and Roosevelt. That was the greatest news story in a long time but they got no pictures of it. Every other country has ace photographers along with the army and all. Enough about the war. I just hope they end it soon. Must go now.

I wore the shirt and it was good and the underwear. I will need a pullover sweater for the winter. Send food. Phyllis was married a year ago today. Ed is a good lad. Hope you had a nice anniversary. Sorry no gift but I love you both.

Your loving son

Original Scans

Original Scans