Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother

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Title

Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother

Description

Writes of importance of getting their letters, especially in a new place and catches up with news. Describes journey to Theale and new location. Writes about his how his flying training is going as well as time in a link trainer and how poor the ground instruction is. Mentions flying accident which led to the pilot being court martialled.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Jan Morgan

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

Five page handwritten letter

Language

Identifier

EAkrillWEAkrill[Mo][Date]-05

Transcription

1436220 L.A.C. Akrill
No 26 E.F.T.S
Theale,
Nr. Reading,
Berks
[underlined] Wed.[/underlined]
Dear all,
Very glad to hear from mum & Mary today. Been looking out for a letter. I’m quite shut off from the outside world here & letters are even more valuable.
Poor old Maim & Smokey. It always seems to be my favourite. Remember Midge Minor? Hope Tub’s O.K.
Sorry about May’s teeth and cold. Hope they’re better by now. Yes I left my cold in Aber. The climate there was very sticky and mild. Here it its been frosty & my cold’s quite gone so that’s no need to worry you.
Mary says “ Fancy going up in
[page break]
a plane.” Well, after all that’s what I joined the Raf for isn’t it!
Yes as you say mum, the Raf certainly [underlined] is [/underlined]thoughtless as far as personal feelings & comfort are concerned. Tired wasn’t the word after working all Tues. travelling all night & rushing round all Wed. & guard until 11.0! Yes this is a lovely spot but of course the gardens & park & woods are very definately [sic] out of bounds. The garden’s full of birds & squirrels & the park has a fine herd of dairy shorthorns, & scores of cock pheasants walking right up to the lecture room windows. So you see its quite like home (except that that pheasants have a very undisturbed life)
I’ve done an hour or two’s flying now but our group’s always been unlucky with weather conditions & day’s non flying & we’ve done much less than the others
[page break]
My instr. also seems to have his hands full elsewhere so I don’t get much in. I’m getting on O.K though & it’s grand while it lasts. I have to work hard while I’m up too – no joy riding with my instr. I’m at the controls all the time (after he’s taken off I’ve not done that yet but may get it tomorrow [underlined] if [/underlined] weather [indecipherable word] is ok) I’ve done straight & level flights climbing, gliding, turning, stalling and pulling it out of stalls & also I land with his guidance & assistance. Weather conditions make all the difference. On my second trip it was very bumpy & I met my first clouds & got quite muddled for a while. Stalls are great. You pull back the throttle, pull the stick back into your stomach & the nose goes right up & the plane stalls. You lose all control & down you go nose first. Luckily its easy to regain control
[page break]
I’ve also had a coupe of hours on the link. This is far more advanced than the tiger & a hundred times more difficult to handle. If you can fly a link you can fly anything. We’re not supposed to start on it until we’ve done 30 hrs sols, so you can guess we’re finding it difficult. My first 2 attempts were hopeless & nearly turned my instrs hair grey but I managed to grasp it more today. You have a whole panel full of instruments to watch & the thing is so delicate & sensitive that the slightest movements send the thing of course. I was like a bull in a china shop & my instr. kept yelling “ Don’t treat the stick like a beer pump handle”
Lectures are boring & the instructors have no idea how to teach. We don’t have to do much but we get an exam at the end. I think its definate that
[page break]
whatever happens we’ll be gone at the end of 3 weeks. Grade 1 & leave I hope!
Alright Mya I’ll be [underlined] very [/underlined] careful!! There have been a very few minor accidents here & one serious one when a bright young chap “shot up” an A.T.S. camp near here & was flying low over the parade ground with eyes on the ground & suddenly saw a tree in front & ended up in the next field on his nose. He wasn’t hurt but the kite was “written off” & he was Court Martialled yesterday & has now disappeared from no 26 EFTS. So that should be lesson enough!
Well, nearly tea time I’ve got off early today been having [one indecipherable word] & so missed flying again, we usually work until 6.0
Best love to Rose, Harry & Paddy & all. Love to Kelsey folk. Afraid I haven’t written.
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
P.S. Yes I’ve got on thick pants thick vest and pullover

Collection

Citation

William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 31, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17994.

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