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Date: August 21st 1943
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
Hampton Gray

R.H. Gray Lt. R.C.N.V.R.
Box 517
c/o F.M.O. Kilindini
Aug. 21/43

Dear Mother and Dad,

It is just 6:45 on a Saturday evening and am writing my weekly letter to you. We have just come back from our swim and all enjoyed it a lot. We took one of our rubber boats with us. You will have seen pictures of these life saving things that the airmen sit in when they force land on the water. This is a similar thing only for one man. We have it attached to us in our aircraft and if we have to come down by parachute into the sea we take this out and open a bottle of compressed air which is attached to the side. It blows up into a nice little boat which you get in and can nearly lie down full length. It was great fun playing around with this thing and also good practice if ever we should need it. – I got a letter dated July 17 from you today and I was glad of it because the mail has been very bad since our last move. I think it was the fifth letter of any kind for about six weeks. I was sorry about Bud Sutton writing to you in one way as I had asked them all when they went home not to say anything about my leave. However I explained in a letter about three weeks ago why I could not have it so by now you will know all about it. However the first opportunity I get I shall be there, don’t worry. But at the moment, as I have said before I have a good job and am quite contented. – It was my friend Gaunt’s name which you saw in the paper. We just heard from another chap about it although I do not know how it happened. Another one whose picture you will have is Tony Harris, who apparently was missing at the same time. It seems to me that the best ones always go first. – About my allotment. I have increased it to eighty dollars a month and it is supposed to start at the end of September. If you will just keep on investing the money the best way you see fit I would be grateful and don’t forget that if you happen ever to need some extra money for anything don’t fail to use it. – We saw my old observor, Appleton when out swimming today. You will know who I mean. I have mentioned him often in letters. He is at the moment attending in a hospital here with an obscure ailment in his eye. Apparently the muscle behind the pupil of his right eye has stopped functioning and the pupil stays wide open all the time. It does not sound very pleasant especially as he has to wear a patch on it all the time. – I wouldn’t bother to make a record Mother. The chances are too small in favour of me ever hearing it and I would hate to think that you were speaking and I was not listening. It would be a very great waste indeed. – All the girls are having babies. I hope Lois had no trouble. Will you pass my congratulations to her through Mrs. Boomer. – I am glad that Betty is rid of her man. It was a great shame that she did not know more about him when she married him. Still perhaps too much harm has not been done. – Give my regards to Ed and Ruth too when you see them. – Well we have just finished with Sicily. Now we have to wait patiently for the next place. Lets all hope it will be soon. In just a week or so this war will have been going four years which is really too long. However it may end suddenly like the last one. – Much love to you both at this time. May God bless and keep you

Your loving son

Original Scans

Original Scans

Page 1 of WWII letter of 1943-08-21 from Lt. Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC