Transcribed by James Fox, August 2004|
from the Deposit-Coach Fox WW2 Letters Collection
Lt. John F. Brown (letter 1/1)
Deposit H.S. Class of 1936
Army Air Corps
Somewhere in Italy
Sep. 4, 1944
This combat game is a bit different from that of domestic calibre, but the same teamwork is the prime requisite. Since being here I've completed 13 missions and with the help of a good pilot have succeeded in getting myself the position as lead bombardier. It has its advantages in that you ride in the front box where fighters don't bother.
No doubt you have seen flak put up against planes in the movies, but the actual material is pretty rough.
I seems like just before a game when you have that tense, sweaty feeling and then they brief you on the target. Just before the initial point when you turn to drive into the target with throttles wide open your heart starts to pump, while bullets and tracers start zooming around you. I'll freely admit that when the flak starts bursting around you and pieces clatter through your section of the plane that your scared. There have been times when 30 seconds seemed like hours. Oh, bit its fun. Just call me "Combat nerves Brown."
Everybody is doing a fine job over here and their work is showing good results. I guess they are on the run and can't turn anyplace without being pounded from both sides. Of course there is the disadvantage of having to bomb innocent civilians in order to clean the place out, but it never seems to bother me. Maybe its because I don't see them hit.
Enough of combat. It must be about time for school to commence again. Is being Commanding Officer graying that curly hair of yours?
It doesn't seem possible that 9 years have passed since being in school.. I hate to think that I'll get old. No doubt I will in age, but I can't get over this devilish attitude. Maybe it's the Irish.
The time has come for briefing so I'll close with best wishes to Mrs. Fox and the children.