Letter to Dennis Raettig from former colleague from 158 Squadron



Letter to Dennis Raettig from former colleague from 158 Squadron


Letter date 21 July from 'Don'. Reply to letters sent two years after Don left the squadron. Notes that he is in touch with some other squadron members and recounts what happened to him after he left the squadron. He went originally to 1669 Heavy Conversion Unit at Royal Air Force Langar firstly with Halifax and the later with Lancaster. However, the station shut down after six months. He then went to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment Boscombe Down working on testing of the Avro Lincoln. He then tells of other acquaintances and asks after other friends.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten document and envelope

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Mr. D. Raettig,
158. Beverley Road,
Nr. Hull,

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59. Tarrant Crawford,
Nr. Blandford,
21st. July.

Dear Denny,

Well old timer you certainly did spring a surprise when you sent me that very welcome letter. It is over two years now since I left you & all the lads. During that time a lot has happened dont [sic] you agree. [sic]

Thanks very much for your detailed account of the old gang. I have been in touch all the time with “Staff’ Evans (ex Q) & he has kept in contact with Jack Spargo, so you can see I have managed to glean some more of 158 news from that channel.

Needless to say Den, I was very reluctant to leave 158, but it was the start of my homeward march.

As you may recall, I was sent to 1669 Con [Conversion] Unit at Langar which is

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[circled 2].

About 10-12 miles from Nottingham.

Whilst there I did very little for the first six or eight weeks. There were no kites & when they did arrive I got a shock. They were old battered Halifax IIs & Vs. & what a sample after coming off an ops station.

Any way we were soon to be relieved of them and restocked with reasonable conditioned Lanc IIIs. However they wer’nt [sic] to last long because within six months of the station being opened it was closed.

My next step was way down south. Yes Den it was to be planted 31 miles from my home & in a district I know very well – No1 Aircraft & armament Experimental Establishment – Boscombe Down near Salisbury. By the way you must remember Sammy Wolfe & Harry Wi [insert] l [/insert] cox from “C’ & A flights – well they were down there with me.

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[circled 3].

Now you may wonder what I was doing on an experimental station, well we were given the all conquering Avro Lincoln to fly inside out. How ever [sic] the trials were very successful & lasted a year for me because I accepted Class B demob & got out eight months in advance of my Class A.

Well I’ll try and tell you all I know of the lads who were posted with me.

Remember Staff Evans, well he is soon to be demobbed & is at a place called 103 staging post, where that is the Lord only knows. Then there is “Swede” George Evans safely back in Gloucestershire with his wife & family. Cpl Alf Hope has been demobbed a long while and so has Sam Wolfe.

Now before I sign off old pal I want to ask you a favour

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[circled 4].

You must remember Cpl. Brown who was with us on “R”. Do you happen to know his address home or service as I like to contact him.

Now I’m going to say cheerio because being a married man & having a home of your own there is always something to be done. Still get married as soon as you can. It’s much better than single life.

Thanks for writing Dennis & I’ll be only too pleased to answer any more you may like to write

Cheerio then

& All the best

[underlined] Don [/underlined]



“Letter to Dennis Raettig from former colleague from 158 Squadron,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8273.

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