We were up at 4:30 a.m. for a 6:00 practice bombing mission which went off very well except the sight was messed up which didn’t allow the bomb to release each time. We must have been over the target a couple of dozen times.
We went over once and as the bombardier got ready to drop his bomb, he looked down. Another plane had come from nowhere and dove on the target. Our lead ship had already dropped its bomb and barely missed the plane. You should have seen him hightail it for parts unknown.
Boy, how I’d love a good ice cream cone and a tall cold glass of milk. Preferably to sit across from my wife, at the dining room table and feast my eyes on her between gulps. Canned food being served here is certainly monotonous. Hope I never see sliced pineapple and canned peaches again.
Aha! Three more letters from you today dearest. These are dated Feb 13, 14, 15. Enclosed were two pictures and it was swell to get them. Especially the one of you. It’s so good that you stand before me in all your beauty.
Doggone it, honey, it’s certainly too bad, but it can’t possibly be a baby. Remember? I’m anxious as to your welfare though, Rebel. It doesn’t please me when I get word that you’re sick. Guess I worry just too much.
In regard to the letters, I received those dated the latest, first. Guess there was an oversight somewhere along the line. However, I have them all now. They come three at a time as a rule if I continue getting mail every three days. If I continue getting mail ever three days, I’ll be pretty tickled and no kidding. Am sorry for the fellows who haven’t wives. Their mail doesn’t come as often and in such quantity.
Had another class in aviation medicine today. Covered the First Aid Kit, Aeronautical as the Army says it in their backward way of naming things.
Some names of B-24s here are Passionate Witch,1 showing a near nude, clad only in black bra and panties and riding a broom and Patches,2 printed on the side of the plane with a patchwork quilt effect.
Some “25” names are, Virgin’s Retreat3 and Whirmaid4 (picture of mermaid). Regardless of the name our pilot gives our plane, it will be the “Bonnie Louise” to me.
Still can’t sit on my poor little bottom. That infection is driving me absolutely nuts.
Gee whiz, I’ve three letters to write and a class commencing now, so it’s off in a rush. Adios Senora. W.
Notes & Commentary:
1 Passionate Witch, B-24D, s/n 42-1124, Thirteenth Air Force, 5th Bomb Group. See http://www.b24bestweb.com/passionatewitch-v1-1.htm.
2 Patches, B-24D, s/n 42-41115, Thirteenth Air Force, 5th Bomb Group. See http://www.b24bestweb.com/patches-v6-3.htm.
3 The B-25D, Virgin’s Retreat, was later located on Stirling Island. See http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/solomons/stirling/1944/b25-virgins-retreat.html#axzz2v0XaRdHV.
4 Whirmaid, B-25D. See Ernest R. McDowell’s book, B-25 Mitchell in Action. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1978, digital image (http://worldtracker.org/media/library/Aeronautics/Squadron%20Signal%20-%20Aviation%20-%20In%20Action%20-%20208%20books/Squadron%20Signal%20-%20Aviation%20-%20In%20Action%20-%201034%20-%20North-American%20B25%20Mitchell.pdf : accessed 28 February 2014) p. 20
This post contains several footnotes with links to photographs or documents that explain or provide context to Wayne’s entries on 05 March 1944. Please check the links out. I think you will be pleased with what you find.
What a surprise to see the Squadron Signal book on the B-25!
I have always loved the B-25.
This is why this blog is so much interesting. Now it’s not only about a plane but someone who flew one.
Passionate Witch my kind of aircraft. 😉 I love the romance in these letters. The message is pretty clear talking about looking at somebody across a dining room table but I suspect modern soldiers write different things these days. Well I suppose they’re skyping anyway so they’re saying it. There’s something in this time and the distance and the longing.
Letters took three to four weeks to reach the addressee; today, it is a matter of milliseconds. Wayne could have been on the dark side of the Moon when it came to communicating with his family and friends. If Wayne hadn’t written these letters in his journal, the thoughts expressed in them would have been lost forever. He wrote a lot of letters. People used to do that. Sometime in the late 1940s/early 1950s, all the letters that had accumulated we destroyed to make space for other things.
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