Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex



Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex


Letter and explanatory note. Says that he had little time to write as he had had briefings every night that week but had only managed one trip. He was expecting that night's operation to be scrubbed. He states his total now stands at eleven, nine to Berlin. He says they had a new aircraft but their old one had been pranged by another crew. He describes flying training activities including flying over Mary's office and receiving notes from girls working there. Mentions seeing film and describes it. Mentions he should be home in a fortnight and asks if Alex would be able to get there as well.


Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter and printed explanatory note


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SAdderM175073v10074, SAdderM175073v10073


Sgts Mess
R.A.F Station
Dunholme Lodge


Dear Alex,

Sorry I haven’t answered your letter sooner but we seem to have had very little spare time lately as we have been on [deleted] bref [/deleted] briefing every night this week, and have only managed one trip, the rest of the times it has been scrubbed. Its teatime now and we are all in the Mess, have been here all the afternoon as we are supposed to be on tonight, but from the icing conditions we experienced [inserted] this morning [/inserted] it should be scrubbed again, although they are a long time making their minds up.

My total now stands at eleven, nine Berlins, and am hoping that I shall be in double figures after tonight. We have got a brand new kite now and flew it for the first time on Tuesday night. We didn’t like the idea

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of parting with old B. BAKER as we knew the kite quite well, although it had its limitations, anyhow we flew it one afternoon and somebody else took it up after tea and pranged it, so that it had to be written off. Our new kite gives us bags more height and speed so we are happy.

We have done bags of training on the test stand-down, flying twice a day on the usual stuff, and even did circuits and bumps one night, we were getting rather cheesed off and were glad when it ended. The weather also interfered with the training but we still had to get airborne so that we indulged in a little low flying and on the last afternoon flew over to see Mary at the office. We nearly took the chimney pots off and shot them up once or twice, so that what looked like the whole Food Office were hanging out of the windows waving blotting pads etc., and in Mary’s

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next letter I heard that we had been adopted by the Food Office. Mary has a photograph of the crew and I have also received notes with her letter from some of the girls in the Office to the boys, and Terry has received an invitation to stay with one of them any time he likes. We don’t make a practise of it and are not going there again for some time but we popped over again this morning on an N.F.T.

I saw a good film last night Betty Grable (oh! boy has she got [underlined] it [/underlined]) Robert Montgomery and Cesar Romero in ‘Coney Island’, the previous night we went to see ‘Cry Heroe’ [sic] which was about the adventures of eleven nurses in the Phillipines, [sic] it was very boring and rather morbid for our liking.

Well all being well I shall be home a fortnight tonight so do you think you will be able to get over for this weekend?

Still no scrub so it

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looks as though we are going tonight anyhow I think that is all the gen I have to tell you this time so cheerio for the present

All the Best,


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Having trawled through Mervyn’s diaries I believe he did not write this letter until 1944. I have no diary of his last three months – presumably he had it on him. He wrote down every film he went to see and I can find no mention of the two films named in the letter (see information) He also tells Dad he has flown 11 missions and I know from his Commanding Officer’s letter that he flew 14 in all.

He tells an amusing story of flying over his fiancee’s office – interesting to know what glamour boys the aircrew were.



M Adder, “Letter from Mervyn Adder to his brother Alex,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 26, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/33257.

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