Goodwill trip to United States



Goodwill trip to United States


Top left - newspaper article 'Americans don't know us say s"goodwill gunner".' Noted that Warrant Officer Arthur Pearce has just returned from goodwill tour of the United States with a view that Americans know nothing about Britain and have no idea of life outside their own home town. A bomber command air gunner with 44 operations to his credit he joined 35 Squadron a year ago and was selected to make the trip with Lancaster air craft. Starting from Graveley with stops in Cornwall, Azores and Newfoundland then to New York. Visited St Louis, Denver, Washington DC and other large cities.

Top right - photograph of two Lancasters in light paint scheme parked on airfield with welcoming spectators and band.

Middle top - photograph of a Fairchild C-82 Packet and C-47s.

Middle below - an airfield by the side of a river.

Middle right - newspaper article 'Local airmen were guests of film stars'. Notes that Warrant Officer Arthur Pearce and AC1 J B Lumsden had met film stars Mary Pickford in Beverley Hills, Hollywood.

Bottom left - photograph of the Spruce Goose (Hughes H-4 Hercules) by waterside.

Bottom right - photograph of C54 Skymaster on runway



Temporal Coverage



Two newspaper cuttings and five b/w photographs mounted on an album page


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“Americans don’t know us” says ‘goodwill’ gunner
WITH the memories of a wonderful reception in the USA fresh in his mind, having just returned from the RAF Bomber Command goodwill visit, W/O Arthur Pearce, of 70, Whitworth House, Falmouth-rd., Southwark, still thinks the average American knows little or nothing about Britain.
“The people over there don’t seem to have any idea of life outside their own home town. They think they are the only country with jet planes and don’t know we hold the air speed record.
“I’ve never seen so much food in my life, but they think they are hard done by. We need more about England in the American papers, they don’t seem to know what goes on.
“The only people who like England are the ex-Service men who served in this country during the war and would like to revisit the places they know.”
A Bomber Command air gunner with 44 ops. to his credit, he joined 35 Squadron, the senior bomber group of the RAF, a year ago and was selected to make the trip by the Squadron Commander.
Starting from Graveney, the hop to New York was made with stops at Cornwall, The Azores and Newfoundland.
The Lancasters called at St. Louis, Denver, Washington, D.C. and many other large cities in the States and their crews were lavishly entertained to civic receptions wherever they went.
Arthur told a South London Press reporter: “We had a wonderful time throughout the tour, money just didn’t seem to be any object to the people entertaining us.
“Wherever we landed we were given a good time, taken to dances and shows and on visits. I met many of the British film stars including Sir Aubrey Smith and [missing letters]rle Oberon.”




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GUESTS of film stars in Hollywood, feted wherever they went, the two local airmen who took part in the R.A.F.’s goodwill mission to the United States are expected home this week-end.
They are W.O. Arthur Pearce, D.F.M., 70, Whitworth House, Falmouth-rd., Elephant and Castle (left), and A.C.1 J.B. Lumsden, 150, Burbage-rd., Herne Hill (right). They arrived back in England, on Monday.
Writing home, Pearce says that he has “had enough of a good time.” The film stars he met included Mary Pickford, who entertained him at her home at Beverly Hills. “Hollywood is one of the best places on earth,” he comments, “but only the rich can afford to live there.” He says that five drinks cost him £3. “Though I am really having a good time, I would like to get home and have a few hours’ sleep and when I get home I hope I shall never see another drop of beer!” Lumsden, tells his parents in a letter that “there is still too much food in the U.S., and they apologise for the lack of it!”

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“Goodwill trip to United States,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 23, 2023,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Fairchild C-82 Packet
This Item dcterms:relation Item: C-54 Skymaster on runway