January 23, 1945


In England, Verne and other members of his combat crew were in London on a pass . . .


Met a boy named Arthur Deane1 from Fort Collins. Used to attend high school with him. Saw Madame Tussard’s Wax Museum. Met a swell Red Cross lady named Bea Newton. Had dinner with her. All us fellows2 went to a dance at Covent Gardens. I danced several times and got quite happy on gin. Back at room at 11:45. Holiday almost gone. Have had a very nice time.

Notes & Commentary

1 Arthur R. Deines served in the Colorado Naitonal Guard with Verne in 1941.

2 Likely Robert F. Powers and Boyce L. Pruitt and, perhaps, the other enlisted men of Combat Crew 87.

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9 Responses to January 23, 1945

  1. suchled says:

    Verne’s having a ball. I wonder how Wayne is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tony Wilkins says:

    Have you ever considered contacting people mentioned in the extracts?


    • a gray says:

      If indeed they survived the war and are still alive, those mentioned in Wayne’s Journal would be in their early to mid 90s. It is possible that they might be Internet active, but not likely. Each name on Wayne’s Journal is “tagged” and searchable on the Internet. Since commencing Wayne’s Journal in February a year ago, I have been contacted by several descendants and collateral relatives of those mentioned in the postings. I have also been contacted by others whose relatives served in the 42nd Bombardment Group (M) or 390th Bombardment Group (H) but who are not mentioned in the postings. For them, Wayne’s Journal has provided insight as to the conditions their loved ones, especially those who served on combat crews, endured.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Lucky Verne! I’m glad he had a respite. If only Wayne would get a break.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How funny that he met a high school classmate in England! Sounds like he’s having some fun times. Good!


    • a gray says:

      It is interesting that he ran into a high school classmate in London, but then again, those that were there on leave would have frequented the same Red Cross facilities and places of entertainment.

      I am sure the passes he received to go to London were very much appreciated after the monotony of life at Station 153. As a member of a combat crew, his station duties were limited, his job being to wait and prepare for the next mission.

      I expect that war-time London would have been a pretty grim place. I understand that upwards of 25% of the metropolitan area was destroyed and/or damaged by German bombing with much of the area around St. Paul’s Cathedral burned out. Food rationing was in place as was the rationing of fuel for heat. While the prospect of German bombing had past, their was still the anxiety of V-1 or V-2 attack. Blackout was still in place. Even with all that, there were historic places to be visited and the novelty of new people and places. Certainly it was better than the monotony and anticipation of the next mission at Station 153.


  5. Ron Reid says:

    A further bit of information on Verne’s trip to London with members of his combat crew. My Uncle Boyce (Bud) wrote his parents about their trip to London. My mother told me that he wrote in his letter that one place they went was to a USO in London. Boyce related that when they were going into the USO that some other soldiers were coming out and Boyce recognized one of them and it was a fellow he went to high school with in Enid, OK. They were both dumb struck by the coincidence. In about 1980 my mother (Boyce’s sister) was grocery shopping in Enid and a man came up to her and asked if she was Lila Pruitt. She said yes and this man proceeded to tell her that he was the boy who ran into Boyce at the USO in London. That meeting with that veteran in the grocery store always meant a great deal to my mother and she retold the story of Boyce’s letter and this grocery store event many times. A much less significant coincidence is that this January 23, 1945, posting in Verne’s diary is the very day that I was being born in Enid, Oklahoma. A small world?????

    Liked by 2 people

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