Letter from J Catlin to Barry Wright's parents



Letter from J Catlin to Barry Wright's parents


Letter from the pilot of Barry's aircraft relating events during operation to Leipzig on 19 February 1944. Describes attacks by Me 110, Barry wright being wounded and refusing to leave his post. Urges them not to worry about his wounds. Mentions that they had completed their tour.




Temporal Coverage



Three page handwritten letter


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P/O J. H. Catlin
officers mess
R.A.F. Station
Nr [indecipherable word]
Tuesday 22/2/44
Dear Mr & Mrs Wright,
I feel it my duty on behalf of the members of my crew to write to you and give you some details on Barry’s injuries and how he recieved [sic] them. I am Jim, the pilot and if you remember, was priviledged [sic] to meet you on Kings Cross when returning from my last leave.
To come to the point however, we were detailed to attack a target at Leipzig on Saturday night. The trip was uneventful until we reached the outskirts of Berlin where we should have turned south to the target. It was here that we were attacked by two M.E. 110s and here that
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your son was wounded by a shrapnel wound in the stomach. We were very badly damaged and three other members of the crew were also wounded one, the mid-upper gunner, seriously, although we did not know that at the time. Our rear gunner destroyed one of fighters and the other sheered off without firing another shot. Now I want to be quite honest and frank when I tell you that we all owe our lives to Barry. Although wounded and on the point of collapse, he would not leave his post, and throughout the attack and all the way home to England he showed the utmost courage and devotion to duty. We as a crew are proud and honoured to have had such a fine brave lad with us – we are indebted to him for the rest of our days, and we will not forget it.
You must not worry about Barry – he is in the best hands possible
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and his wounds are not serious. In fact he will not have changed at all when next you see him. You can take my word for it, and I ask you to trust me, that he is in no danger at all.
We are finished with operations now and I hope to be given some leave very shortly – if I manage this I will take the opportunity of coming to see you and we can talk things over in detail.
So for now then I will finish off, hoping sincerely to see you very soon. Thank you again for a wonderful son, of whom you have every reason to be proud – we can never forget him. Goodbye then – best regards to you all and God bless you.
Yours very sincerely
James H Catlin.



J H Catlin, “Letter from J Catlin to Barry Wright's parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 18, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/26785.

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