Letter from Pete Perry to his mother



Letter from Pete Perry to his mother


Wishes her happy birthday. Explains he did not write the previous day as he had a long flight (11 hours 15 minutes) and was very tired. Catches up with mail received and family gossip and other matters. Mention future plans and that his commission was backdated. Concludes with catching up and more gossip. Note at the bottom 'sent to bomb Milan, Italy, 11 hrs 15 mins in pilots seat with not break, aged 20, Flt Lt W R Pete Perry'.




Temporal Coverage



Five page handwritten letter, envelope and note


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[inserted] H [/inserted]

[postmark] [postage stamp]

Mrs H.E. Perry
c/o 55 Coniston Road
[underlined] Surrey [/underlined]

[page break]

Officers Mess
R.A.F. Syerston
[underlined] Notts [/underlined]

[underlined] 14.7.43 [/underlined]

Dearest Dinkum,

Many happy returns of to-day, though I'm afraid you won't get this until to-morrow. I hope you got my telegram O.K. this morning and didn't jump to any startling conclusions about it being from the Air Ministry. I'm sorry I didn't write yesterday but I was asleep all day, well, from 12.30hrs onwards!! We didn't get back from our trip until 10.00hrs!!! Gosh was I tired or was I tired. Solid 11 hrs 15 mins. at the control without a break. No future in it at all!! I was so weary that I couldn't get to sleep for an hour after I got to bed, & I'm still pretty weary now. The trip itself was pretty easy, nothing at all like the Rhur!!. Personally though I'd rather do two of those short trips than a long one like Monday. Still, "our not to reason why " etc!!

I received a long letter from you ten

[page break]


minutes ago, so hows this for speed? Some goon sent it over to our satellite, & its only just caught me up. One correction for you dear. There's no need for you to put my number on my mail, (its 'not done'!!), & if you [underlined] do [/underlined] we have to use it, my [underlined] new [/underlined] number is 146323. You see, my other number was one for the ranks, & officers have different ones. One more thing, just put plain P/O. O.K. dear?

I hope you didn't have too great a shock about my ops Dinkum, but I thought it best to tell you. I had quite a discussion about it with Barbara, & originally I didn't intend saying anything about it until I saw you. Anyway, Barbara pointed out that you wouldn't like it if I didn't tell you, & that [underlined] should [/underlined] anything happen (not that it is going to) you'd have a much greater shock if you got the telegram than if you knew I

[page break]


was on ops. After thinking again I came to the conclusion that that was the best way, so I told you. I hope you're not annoyed for not telling you before, but I just didn't want you to go worrying unduly. Now you're not to worry now, & thats an order! Woe betide you if you disobey it!!!

Johnny has been putting up some really good shows. Seems like he's pulled his finger out with a vengeance. Anyway, he's not like he used to be, thank God, & I can assure you we're all thankful for it.

I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself in Cornwall dear. You really needed & deserved that holiday, & I'm very pleased that you're [deleted] that [/deleted] making up for lost time.

[indecipherable word] did me very well as regards uniform & the bill is only £55.7.11. I admit I had to buy my shoes & case [indecipherable word], & for that I paid ready cash. The material is excellent & is cut as well as any Saville Row wallah would turn out.

[page break]


I'm going on my nine days on August 1st & I'll definitely look you up on my way back, & if possible I'll drop in on my way down. It all depends on the train service. If I can't pop in on the 1st, I shall want my civvies sent on for me, details of that later. Incidentally, Barbara fully agrees about wearing civvies as long as I wear uniform in town, which I naturally shall do. Bind will be I shall have to clean my own buttons & shoes again!!!

My commission is back dated to May 19th so what do for back pay, eh? It also means that my F/O will come through sooner. (It ought to anyway, & I shall want to know the reason why if it doesn't!)

The weather's not much here to-day. Cold & showers on & off. We've got to do P.T. this afternoon, & I take a [underlined] very [/underlined]

[page break]


dim view of that!!. No future at all!

Mrs Cole & Fanny [indecipherable word] were very pleased to see me, & I promised F.A. that I'd send her a picture of myself in uniform [underlined] when [/underlined] I get it done. I'll give you a big one, as your birthday present dear, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a while for it. Still, it will come along someday.

Well dear, I guess this is all now, as I must hurry along to flight. Cheerio for now. Look after yourself & be good & do have a wizard time at the Wells, & maybe by your next birthday this will be over. Let's hope so anyway.

Adios darling!

Your loving son


[page break]

Sent to bomb Milan, Italy.

[underlined] 11HRS 15Mins [/underlined] in pilots seat with no break. Aged 20.

Flt/Lt. W.R. Pete Perry.



W R P Perry, “Letter from Pete Perry to his mother,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 19, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/36268.

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