Letter 57: August 15, 1943
LAST LETTER FRED WROTE
F/S Piper F J
Well once again I take my pen in my hand & write you a few lines. Haven’t received a letter from you lately but expect I will any day now. Everything is going along okay with me. Haven’t done any flying for a few days but any day I’ll be cracking again.
Well Pop I don’t think it will be long until you will be addressing my letters P/O Piper. I made out my application forms for a commission soon after I arrived on this station & the day I came back from leave I had to go in front of the Group Captain for an interview and then yesterday I had to go in front of an Air Commodore & he passed me with flying colors. When I first went into see him he said “So your from Tuxford Sask” I said “Yes Sire” Then he asked “Do you know General Tuxford” & I said “Yes Tuxford was named after him” Then he said well I went to school with him in Moose Jaw before the last war. So it’s a small world eh Pop. He then said that I had a very good recommendations on my forms & that he was satisfied & that he hoped to see my name on the commission list. My forms have to go in front of a board in London before I finally get my commission, but I’m fairly sure I’ll get it in about 6 weeks or so. Anyway Dad don’t say anything until I get it as anything can turn up but no probable.
Last night being Sat Tex and I went into a near by city for the evening & we had a few beers & then went to a dance. I met my old flying instructor while at Portage once again. I think I told you that he was at O.T.U. at the same time as me. Did I tell you that I received 300 cigarettes from G.B.Scott, it damn near knocked me for a roll when I saw his name on the parcel. I sent him an airgraph the other day thanking him for them.
I’ve got about 750 flying hrs now Dad so I’m getting up, I’ll soon consider myself a pilot, maybe when I get 1000. The boys in the crew are all well. We had a group picture taken of us all together by the station photographer & we are going to try to get copies of them if we can. If we do I’ll send you one.
Well news is a bit scarce so I’ll close for this time & hope this finds you & Edith well & also the boys.
So adieus for now
Your most loving son
This was the last letter from Fred, he would we awarded his commissioned title after he was K.I.A. and be Pilot Officer J18462
On the night of 17/18 of August 1943 Fred flew his first bombing flight. His crew consisted of
Pilot F/S Piper F.J.
Navigator P/O Wetter A.H
Wireless Operator Sgt Connor G.R
Bomb Aimer Sgt Jordan R,C
Rear Gunner Sgt Renaud J.I
Mid-Upper Gunner Sgt Brown C.A
Sgt Irving G.N.
The mission was a special raid which Bomber Command was ordered to carry out against the German research estanlishment on the Baltic coast where V-2 rockets were being built. Involved were 596 aircraft - 324 Lancasters, 218 Halifaxes and 54 Stirlings.
The first wave of 200 aircraft was due to start the attack at 00:15, with the second attacking at 00:30 and the third at 00:45.Uncle Fred was in the third part, he was the pilot of Crew #6 of Squadron 434.