Letter from Donald Baker to his mother



Letter from Donald Baker to his mother


Writes of letters received and thanks her for hers. Had not written previous week as nothing had happened. Had flown a lot lately and mentions first solo cross country including experiences and route as well as having to land to refuel. Says he has started night flying and had gone solo. Mentions bombing delayed night flying. Recounts that last week a student had been shot at while airborne by a German and wounded. After be set on fire and crashing the student dragged the instructor out of the aircraft. This resulted in authorities ruling that no flying should take place during air raid warnings. Goes on to discuss sending cables home, cigarettes, parcels they had sent and bombing in London.




Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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.





c/o Rhodesia House
429 Strand
[deleted] 3 [/deleted] 11th May 1941
My Dearest Mother,
Thanks very much for two letters from you – one written about the end of January and the other 17th March. And also a letter from Harry and Phyllis. I hope Frances will recover successfully from her operation.
I must apologise for not writing for two weeks but really mother there has been nothing to say until just recently. Did not have an out-of-the way birthday at all. Thanks very much for the cables received on the 28th. Had letters and cards from Uncle Jack and Aunt Bess. They said they were all well. I wrote to you when I was on leave there and do hope you received the letters as they were about the longest I have written.
Have flown quite a lot recently. My first solo cross country was from here to Worcester and then on to a place just North of [deleted] Shawbury [/deleted] Shrewsbury. I passed right
[page break]
over our old camp at Bridgnorth. It does not seem so long ago that I was there.
The next Cross Country I did with another pupil as they all are now. We flew from here to Bath and from there were supposed to go to Reading but something went amiss and we were near Salisbury. However we reached [deleted] Sal [/deleted] Reading and set off for home but again we went astray and after flying around in blind circles for about an hour we discovered ourselves over Stratford-on-Avon so we set course for home then but as we were running short of petrol by that time we had to land about half way at another aerodrome and after refuelling came on home [deleted] aft [/deleted] without further ado. However the next day we managed it OK. So you see we see quite a lot of the country from the air as well as on the ground. Just managed to pick out Gertie’s place at Box but we are not allowed to fly low over towns etc so could not do anything spectacular.
At present am loafing in the barracks as I started night flying last night and we are allowed the following morning off after night
[page break]
flying. Managed to go solo after a few circuits with the instructor. We only started at 3 am as there was an air raid warning on before that and the Gerries are just as keen to shoot down planes at night as we are [inserted] to shoot them. [/inserted] Last week another fellow was up with our instructor during a warning and when about 400 ft up coming in to land a Gerrie worried out of the darkness and let rip and as our plane [deleted] was [/deleted] had its Navigation lights on the German did not have much difficulty in bringing ours down. The pupil, an Irish fellow was wounded twice in the right arm and the instructor in the stomach but despite that and the plane being on fire they managed a crash landing on [deleted] the [/deleted] a nearby field. The pupil was very brave and stayed in to drag his instructor out of the plane while being able to use his left arm only Sad to relate the poor instructor only lived a few days but the pupil is not doing so bad. However as that taught the authorities a lesson there is no flying during a warning now so please don’t start worrying about anything like that happening to me. Night
[page break]
flying is not so terrifying as I expected in fact with the flare path and so on landing is comparatively easy.
I note what you say about Cables so will send one every pay day starting on Friday ie every second week. The reason Ive [sic] not done it before is that if I forget [deleted] and [/deleted] once [deleted] we [/deleted] you would probably think that I had something wrong and worry. However will try and keep it up.
The cigarette question in this country is becoming rather acute and one has to be pretty smart to [deleted] put awy [/deleted] buy any and the position isn’t improving any so I wonder if you will please send me a few periodically and as I should have some credits you can deduct same.
Have not received any of the parcels you mentioned not even from Barkers so presume something has gone wrong. However thanks all the same and it is just too bad.
Gosh these Gerries seem to be pasting up this country awfully aren’t they and London certainly seems to be having a very bad time But still I don’t think they are getting off exactly Scot free.
Well dear Mother must close now with very much love to you all from your ever loving son Donald



D A Baker, “Letter from Donald Baker to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/25579.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.