February 10, 1945

Saturday

In England, Verne writes in his diary . . . .

02-10-45

Pass1 came through okay and made good connections all the way to town. Arrived about noon [yesterday, February 9]. Had my clothes pressed and it helped the looks a little bit. Was invited to stay at an English home through Red Cross. Sure had a nice time. They heated the bed at night with hot water bag. Woke me up in the morning by bringing up a cup of hot tea. Spent quite a bit of time playing darts.2 Arm is pretty sore from it. No rooms were heated except the front and dining room. All meals were light ones except breakfast. It was comprised of beans, sausages, fried bread and tea. Drank about 20 cups of tea per day.

Notes & Commentary

1 This was a 48-hour pass to London. He appears to have gone alone.

Note: I wonder how many families took in soldiers as this one did?

2 Verne may have spent the day at darts because of the weather which was described as: “Very cold, bitter wind; bright sunny morning, dull later. Then followed hail, snow, sleet, rain, thunder and lightning.”

“10th Feb 1945: what a day!.” War and peace and the price of cat-fish. (http://myunclefred.blogspot.com/ : accessed 10 February 2015)

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7 Responses to February 10, 1945

  1. Tony Wilkins says:

    From what I understand it was quite common. Often the families had a spare room because the children had been evacuated either to Wales or Cornwall or overseas to Canada and Australia.

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  2. Bud Rose says:

    I have been in a state of awe at the time and energy that Allen has put into this presentation of some of his family’s involvement in WW2. I can relate to Wayne in the Pacific as I have flown to most of the sites he mentions as well as into Japan after the cease fire. I was never in Bombers but spent most of my 24 years in Transport with a 3 year attachment to the RAF on the Handley Page Hastings. After reading and watching the video of the B17 and B24 raids over Germany with Verne, I find it very hard to understand where all the fuel came from to keep all those aircraft in the air for those long hours. The supply back-up and support structures must have been a gigantic headache to those involved. We must take off our hats to those involved with completing the whole mission as well as those who didn’t come back. Let’s hope that Wayne finds his way back onto the pages of his Journal. Bud. RNZAF Rtd. Capt.

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    • a gray says:

      Bud raises an issue that is not often considered: – fuel. The demand by the 8th Air Force was enormous. During the first 10 days of February 1945, the 8th Air Force launched the following of aircraft, i.e. sorties, on strategic missions:

      February 1 — 699 bombers and 328 fighters.
      February 2 — 9 bombers and 24 fighters.
      February 3 — 1,448 bombers and 948 fighters.
      February 4 — 9 bombers.
      February 5 — no strategic missions.
      February 6 — 1,383 bombers and 904 fighters.
      February 7 — 296 bombers and 116 fighters.
      February 8 — 414 bombers and 112 fighters.
      February 9 — 1,296 bombers and 891 fighters.
      February 10 – 177 bombers and 237 fighters.

      I believe there would have been more missions had the weather cooperated.

      “WWII 8thAAF Combat Chronology,” *Eighth Air Force Historical Society. ) http://www.8thafhs.org/combat1945.htm : accessed 10 February 2015)

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  3. Pierre Lagacé says:

    About your note

    I think this was not unusual to invite a serviceman.

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  4. suchled says:

    In spite of what Aussies say about the English and the Americans say about the Aussies we are all pretty close to each other on a one to one basis.

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  5. Great question. The answer is aplenty. That’s historically typical–how could you refuse an ally (or the enemy in Rev. War–Quartering law). Especially arranged by the Red Cross. It happened to me when I was in the Navy in 1981; I was in San Diego and away from home for the holidays and got to stay with a family who wanted to share their feast with servicemen (women).

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  6. Jim Lindley says:

    Interesting thoughts on fuel and range of the B17F and G. I am mostly familiar with the B17F as since I retired from the airlines I have been giving interior tours on the Boeing Bee at the Museum of Flight.

    The B17F and, I would assume the G model as well, could carry 2700 gallons of fuel without the bomb bay tanks. Bomb bay tanks were used for ferrying the AC to England. They added another 800 gallons or so. The Wright 1830 Wasp engine, built by many companies during the war e.g. Studebaker, Pratt and Whitney among others, used 200 gallons per hour or 50 gallons per engine per hour. A bombing mission of 7 hours or maybe 8 could be accomplished depending on winds on the return to England. The upper level winds in Europe are always out of the West so the return from target would take longer generally. The fuel load would depend on the bomb load and the length of the mission.

    It is also interesting that the oil carried by the B17F and probably G was 145 gallons. The big radial engines used 2 to 3 gallons per hour per engine. Lots of moving parts and loose gaskets to protect. The B17G had more guns and more armor so if the tanks were somewhat larger the range would be lost with the increase in weight.

    The B24, or Flying Coffin, had the 1830 Wasp engine as well. It had a longer range. The B24 was built in greater numbers than the B17. It had many draw backs with the high wing which resulted in breakup on ditching. My friend flew the B24 on the Ploesti Oil Raid from North Africa. The B17 was not capable of a mission of that length. The Ploesti Oil Field was in Romania. He was successful in dropping his bombs, but he was unable to make it back to base and landed in Turkey. He was brought out by the Turkish underground, even though Turkey was on the Allies side, and then went to England and continued missions out of England. J. J. Sullivan is gone now but not forgotten.

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