The Green's House

Getting There

July 21, 1942   Presque Isle, Maine

    Arrived 12 A.M. Left Westover Field, Mass. at 9:30 A.M. This is a God Forsaken country, but still in the U.S. Nothing but rolling hills and potato Farms. Initiated "Short Snorter" at the Officer Club.

July 22, 1942  Labrador

    Departed from Presque Isle at 12:30 P.M. Arrived here at Goose Bay at 4:00 P.M. This is really a "Hell Hole" Doesn't get dark until 10:30 and not complete darkness then. Climate is pleasant. Attended briefing at 9:00 until 10:30.

July 23, 1942 B W I Greenland

    Departed from Goose Bay, arrived here 4:30 P.M. Came across the North Atlantic. Saw my first Icebergs off the coast of Labrador, but they are much larger here. This is at the mouth of a Fjord about 52 miles inland and as far a man can go. Greenland is a solid mass of ice except right on the edges. It never gets dark in the summer months, just like the books say. The sun stays up about 16 hours. After it disappears it becomes twilight and is much lighter than a full moonlight

July 24, 1942  B W I Greenland

    Another day and would-be night on Eskimo Island. If we stay here much longer I will die of hunger, the food is terrible and accommodations are even worse. We were supposed to have left today, hope to get out tomorrow.

July 25, 1942 Patterson Field, Iceland - near Reykjavik

    I've seen everything now. Departed from BWI 9:30 A.M. Arrive here 2:00 P.M. We are on the southern tip of Iceland which seems to have been built up by a volcanic eruption because of the formation of the rocks and the texture of the soil. The wind has a normal velocity of about 30 MPH and is pretty cold.     We are living in so-called huts built of sheet metal in an oval shape about 15' by 35'. They are very comfortable and are heated by native coal which is harder than any I've ever seen. I had the first decent meal I've had since I left Westover Field. This is the first time we have been treated like white men. The Officers Club is real nice and has a bar with American made beverages.    We haven't been allowed to leave the limits of any of the posts we've been on so far. There has been no place to go up till now. I'd like to see if 95% of the Danish (Icelandic to them) are all blondes -- especially the female sex. The trip today was very pleasant -- the weather was fine and smooth.    One element was fired upon by two enemy subs about 300 miles out but no damage was done. It's luck for the subs that we weren't loaded with depth chargers because they would have never fired at anyone else.    The sun didn't go down in Greenland yesterday until 11:30 P.M. and it was up again at 5:30. It doesn't do the good here.    I shaved for the first time I 4 days today and left my mustache -- the first one I've ever tried to grow.

July 26, 1942

   Reykjavik Iceland. Moved from Patterson field this morning. The living quarters are the same. Went into town this afternoon and it was very interesting. This being Sunday everything was closed. The only thing open was one bakery and a theater. The people here are very religious and unfriendly, especially the girls, they won't talk to you at all on the streets, in fact, I saw very very few on the streets at all. The girl in the bakery informed us that the Icelandic girls preferred the English boys to the Americans. She said that the girls who danced with American soldiers were considered bad. Most of them can speak English well, they learned it from the English sailors.  Saw the statue of Lief Erikson, the real discoverer of America. 95% of the Icelandic people are blonds. In bed at 10:15 and the sun is still an hour up.

July 27, 1942 Prestivick, Scotland

   Left Reykjavick this morning and stopped at Stornaway on the Island of Lewis to let the P38 pilots rest. We saw a number of ships partially sunk, also two subs following a battle ship. Believe it or not this is war and can certainly tell it.

   We arrived here at 5:00 P.M and had dinner then arranged for quarters.    I thought I'd seen everything but this place takes the cake. The people are so backward it is pitiful. This seems to have been a wealthy place at one time. The homes and buildings are just like the pictures. The streets are narrow and very crooked. bicycles are the main means of transportation. There are very few cars the and traffic is left-handed. The busses are two deckers and very old. Scotland is almost as far north as BWI in Greenland- so it is pretty cold.    I'm staying in what used to be a home, but was taken over by the government for their Army. The people of Scotland are very friendly and their language is unusually strange and hard to understand. It's amusing to listen to them talk.

July 28, 1942 Final Destination - Bovingdon, England

    It's wonderful to know that we are actually going to stay in one place long enough to learn what it's all about. This is certainly beautiful country from the air. We arrived here at 5:30 P.M. This is a new field and was turned over to the U.S. Army for a training and Combat station. We will operate out of here. The post is somewhat scattered because of the possibilities of attacks. We walk 1/4 mile to the showers and latrine, the club is situated close to the showers. We have private rooms with a coal stove, a dresser and a high single bed with a round straw pillow.

   The trip all the way was very interesting and we were extremely lucky to have good weather.

    We left Westover Field, Mass. a week ago this morning. All our planes and P38's got through except three. Had to leave two at BWI and two at Prestwick for repairs. They will be on later. We were the first squadron to get through without losing a plane.

July 29, 1942 Bovingdon, England

    Haven't done a darn thing all day but mess around in general. We completely unloaded our planes and attended a lecture given by the CO on the habits and customs of the Post and warned us about letting out military information.    It does get dark about 11:00 O'clock here and it's that time now. There isn't a single light showing in England after 10:30, every window is equipped with blackout curtains.

July 30, 1942

Nothing at all to write about today except that I did a hell of a lot of walking.

August 1, 1942   

   Today was our day off, so the four of us and our crew went London. Left here at 7:45 and arrived there at 8:30 by train, it is a 45 minute ride. When we got to London it was almost dark, and by the time we checked in at a hotel and got underway is was pitch dark. We fumbled around in the darkness for two hours and finally wound up in a night club called the Nut House. Everything closed at 10:30 except the membership clubs. We happened to have a membership card to this particular club passed on to us by the fellows that went in the night before. The so-called night clubs in London are nothing more than our "honkey-tonks."

   Just to prove that Texas is known all over the world -- "Deep in the Heart of Texas was sung during the floor show and did I beam, Oh Boy!    London looks like a deserted city at night, the only lights showing are the street lights and they are about the size of a dime -- to help the cab drivers and there is a million and one of those.     No one has ever seen anything until they have seen London, it is so old.    We spend the biggest part of the morning in bed. Had lunch at an American Cafe, then got hair cuts at a men's hair dresser. We rode the two story busses all over the city. The most interesting ride was the one to St. Paul's Cathedral. it took us right through the heart of where London was hit the hardest by bombs. No one can possibly imagine how terrible it must have been until you have seen the remains, blocks and blocks of huge buildings were completely demolished.    The Cathedral is an enormous thing with a dome larger than our Capital. It was hit in two places by bombs. It is a shame too because it can never be rebuilt like the original. The architecture is simply beautiful. When we got there they were having the evening service so we didn't get to go completely through it. The organ and choir sounded beautiful in the huge auditorium and it is only half as large now as it was before it was bombed. London had two alerts last night but no planes were seen nor any bombs dropped, however, there was anti-aircraft fire. All this happened while we were in the Nut House and since we were about two stories underground we knew nothing about it.    I can say I've been in the largest city in the world, and it is too big to really be true.    I would like to stay there a month and do nothing but go. I doubt if one could see everything there is to be seen even then.    Better get to bed and try to get what sleep I didn't get last night.

August 2, 1942

    Nothing happened at all. Messed around the plane this morning and attended lectures for three hours this afternoon.    

August 3, 1942

    Got a holiday today so played poker this afternoon and won three pounds    

August 5,1942

    This is getting monotonous as hell doing nothing but going to lectures for three hours every afternoon. At the present I'm control tower operator for three hours and no planes have landed yet.

    Oh Yes! Had an egg for breakfast this morning.

August 10,1942

    Some other place in England.

    Moved again and as usual on Sunday. We are not far from Bovingdon but haven't been able to definitely decide where we are. This part is controlled solely by U.S. personnel and is said to be the last move. We are on American rations with all we want. The quarters are still scattered and are not as comfortable as the previous ones.

    Bicycles are still a necessity too. Air Raids here more than any of the other places, in fact, there was an Air Raid warning last night but no excitement.

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