Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother



Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother


Bill writes of being very busy with night flying - although often they are almost ready to go before it is cancelled due to bad weather. His bike has arrived at Upper Heyford station but he has not had time to collect it.

Describes his crew in some detail - has every confidence in them, and hopes he 'knows his stuff' as well.

Flying was cancelled on Sunday, so was able to go to chapel and to supper with his new local friends.

Bill mentions he will not be home for Christmas, since they are starting their last 5-6 weeks soon, but should get a break and is looking forward to that.

Was able to go to the cinema to see 'Jungle Book'.




Temporal Coverage


Four handwritten pages


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inserted] Just found I’d left this out of parcel! [/inserted]
Sgt. Akrill,
Sgts. Mess,
R.A.F. Stn., Upper Heyford,
Tues. 8.12.42.
Dear Mum,
Sorry if you’ve been looking for a letter. Things have been absolutely upside down since I started flying. Detailed for night flying every night only to have it cancelled after chasing all over the place, sweltering in flying kit by the crew room stove, shivering at dispersal, bumping in transport to the aircraft, wading thro’ mud & puddles in the dark and – very occasionally actually flying. Tonight, however the met report was really duff and they had the gumption to cancel flying at briefing before 4 o’clock so I’ve got a free evening and a chance of catching up with letters tho’ as I was flying last night & didn’t get to bed til the early hours & then had to be up early for first detail this morning, I shall be ready for an early bed. I’ll pack my washing up tonight & if I can will take it to the P.O.
[page break]
tomorrow. My bike’s got to Lower Heyford alright but I’ve not been able to collect it. Don’t worry I’ll not use it in the dark. Afraid I shan’t have much chance of going out at all.
I’ve flown with all of my crew and I’m proud of them all. Out pilot Sgt Fallon is very keen and [deleted] I [/deleted] very reliable, responsible chap. He’s exactly the type I should have wanted. I’ve every confidence in him. The Wop’s a keen little chap too, so’s the tail gunner (tho he’s very tall & can hardly curl himself up into the turret) and our Bomb Aimer seems to know his job too. I only hope now that the Navigator knows [underlined] his [underlined] stuff. Its not much fun flying in Wimps – we’re shut in a little cabin just like grapes & can’t see a thing of what’s going on. It’ll be better in Lancs (I hope)
On Sunday flying was cancelled just in time for me to get to chapel & we went to supper again at the Bates’s. Yes, tell Mary there [underlined] is [/underlined] a Miss Bun – an apple-cheeked and giggly young lady of about 13.
[page break]
John (the Welsh chap) had bad news (for me) that he is being posted on Thursday. He was a grand chap & a real friend. He’s going to Cranwell
Afraid I shan’t be home before Christmas We should be starting our final 5 or 6 weeks on Monday in the Operational Flights (Doesn’t mean we [underlined] are [/underlined] operational) so look for seeing me for 7 days then tho’ I guess weather will upset things somewhat. However we should get a break at Christmas and I’m certainly looking forward to Xmas just for that reason. Think I can’t do better than sleep and write letters. They’re asking for Senior NCOs to volunteer to wait on the airmen at Christmas dinner but I don’t fancy myself rushing around with plates of airforce custard and Christmas pud. David’s getting 10 days. Lucky chap. I [underlined] could [/underlined] get home if it were not for travelling restrictions. I think.
Been considering creeping out in civvies!
Pleased Mary’s teeth work so well. Tell her I’m longing to see how glamourous
[page break]
she looks in them. Tell her that on Friday flying was scrubbed just right for me to dash to the camp cinema so see “Jungle Book” I remember how she liked it so did my best get. I liked all the animals and things and had a big argument when it was done [deleted] as [/deleted] when a pal of mine tried to say that apart from the tiger man was the only animal that killed for sport. I suppose the picture tried to show that too.
Well must write to David who said he was ringing me up at the Mess on Sat. Afraid it won’t be much good as I don’t know when flying will be scrubbed. Love to all. Let’s here [sic] from you
[underlined] Bill [/underlined]
[underlined] Wed. [/underlined]
Managed to dash off for my bike & got it O.K.
Thank Ros & Nip for letters & Ros for photo. Poor old Nip!! Had a laugh over Nip’s story. Will reply when I get a chance [underlined] B [/underlined]



William Akrill, “Letter from Bill Akrill to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 1, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18076.

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