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A Quorn Airman in America - 1942

Loughborough Echo - 4th September 1942

Experiences and Adventures - party with Dorothy Lamour

Well known in Quorn and Loughborough, Eric Mee of Quorn now a member of the RAF in America, has sent an interesting letter to Mr M R Meldrum of Messrs Herbert Morris Ltd., Loughborough. Mr Mee was commercial artist in the Publicity Department at Messrs H Morris Ltd and has been with the firm since a boy.

After describing his experiences on a troopship on Christmas Day and his voyage to Canada, he writes: - "The journey to .. was one I shall never forget. We travelled through a fairyland of snow and pine covered slopes. Being Christmas, every other house had a brilliantly lit Christmas tree outside the house, which also had lights twinkling in every window. Every boy in our coach was overjoyed to see lights again and all were continually dashing from one side of the coach to the other as we passed some pretty scene. Sometimes it would be a wooden trestle bridge over a gorge, a brilliantly lighted and "neon signed" town or maybe gaily dressed people skating on a flood-lit frozen lake or pond."

Describing the train journey to Texas, Eric says it lasted five days. "It was rather trying, though we were glad to get out and look at the sights in Montreal and Chicago. The town we eventually arrived at consisted of one main street, numerous drug stores etc. My pal and I have been adopted by several people and we are never short of a place to go to. We have had many new experiences, such as attending a rodeo, broadcasting, snake shooting (we got four water moccasins which are very poisonous), eating fried chicken, visiting Denton State College for Women (which has a roll of 3,000 very nice looking girls), looking from the top of a skyscraper, making a crash landing in a field full of shrubs, eating bananas, watching a baseball and American football match, watching a marvellous ice show with Megan Taylor as one of the stars and tomorrow we go to a party with Dorothy Lamour.

"From my letter anyone would think it is all beer and skittles out here. Really it is not so. We have to work very hard, flying four to five hours a day and also at night very often. The forced landing we had was when the throttle of our plane jammed. My pal was flying the thing at the time and I was doing blind flying at the back. The engine was turning over much too fast and we came down over the field at about 160 mph, which is far too fast to make it a landing. When we switched off the engine we dropped like a brick just short of the field and charged through a field full of young trees. We touched down at 90mph, and a tree sliced into the wing and we finished nose down in a barbed wire fence. We were lucky to be unscathed."

 Submitted on: 2011-01-03
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1116
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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