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Legacy Of:

Joel  H  Vicars

 

Personal Legacy
January 15, 1944
England

Dear Pawie,

How is everything there in Wise? Fine, as usual, I know. Here is hoping so. How does the war look from over in the good old "States"? Frankly, it looks very rough from over here, and I've seen quite a lot with my own eyes. I never realized I would see as much action as I have already seen-and there has been plenty of it. I considered the papers "write ups" as a bit of exaggerated news items and a bit of propaganda when I read of the various conflicts and aerial battles they told of. They were pretty accurate in their stories. I've been on 9 raids over enemy territory and I have seen about everything in the line of aerial warfare; 16 more and I finish. I have the Air Medal and another raid will give me an Oak Leaf Cluster; the 25th I will get the Distinguished Flying Cross. 16 raids to go is quite a lot and I won't become optimistic to the extent that I am perfectly safe until I land safely after 25 raids.

I have been extremely fortunate thus far, and I owe many thanks to, evidently, many prayers that have been showered in my direction. Also, "Lady Luck" and superior American equipment plays a great role in the "Life of Joe Vicars, the Bombardier".

I have been very busy the past few weeks. I have made these 9 raids in 27 days that is one every 3 days. That is really fast and it has been hard on us. We come back for more though somehow.

I understand you all had a very Merry Christmas, and that Santa as good to all. That's great. He was wonderful to me-thanks to a wonderful family back home. My Xmas began 2 days ago when I was flooded with a wave of gay Xmas packages with all their glad tidings and tasty sweet morsels of good American candies and sweets. It is swell and I really enjoyed it tremendously. From letters preceding these packages, I have learned there is more to come. It has really been like Xmas here for a few days. All of us have just been visited by Good "St. Nick".

We are all well and fine and doing as well as can be expected. There have been a few unfortunate ones, but that is war I suppose. I have been to London. I was in the City for 48 hours and a most pleasant and interesting visit it was. I thought I saw everything, but I know I didn't. I saw lots though. I visited all the governmental buildings there on the Thames River; made a little stroll down #10 Downing St.-didn't see "Winnie" as he is called here. I also gazed "like a hill-billy" at the Royal Palace. There were other sights too. London Tower, London Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, West Minster Abbey. I spent a couple hours in the Abbey. Many of England's greats are there. I saw the great areas that were bombed to ground level in the "German Blitz". It was a terrible sight. As I see it, it can be developed into a newer and greater London. To keep up with the fast moving pace of the present world, London will have to-it should-go through a great period of reconstruction and modernization; and London definitely needs it to hold its own among the great cities of the world. It is very old and in dreadful need of repair. As a whole, I was very much impressed with the quaint old City of London and its many strange and interesting sights. As a matter of fact, I should say amazed. It's so different from what I had anticipated. I would have missed the trip for a million bucks.

I was very fortunate in going into town with a good friend of mine who happens to be a navigator here. He had some friends at the American Embassy that were in school with him. So, they entertained us and showed us things we would have otherwise missed. We went to the American Embassy and saw all the "big-shots". His friends were quite nice and treated us like "Gods". They were American Civilians and thought we were heroes I suppose. They strutted more than we did and said we were doing a fine job. We've been invited back next time we get a pass.

I've had some very nice letters from Agnes. She seems to be doing well in school, which is quite commendable. I wrote her a letter this afternoon. I owe her more, but I just don't have time to answer all correspondence.

Again I must thank you all for the wonderful Christmas you all made possible for a lonely soldier in England. It was great and I sure appreciate your able effort.

Well, I must close now. Good luck to all of you and best wishes for the coming year. Give my regards to all at home and tell Ethel to "keep-em frying". I'm liable to come in before she knows it.

Love to all, Joe


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March 9, 1944
England

Dear Pawie,

The great day at last-25 missions and all safe and sound! I admit I've been scared stiff many times, but I'm O.K. now. I've been very, very fortunate and Lady Luck has certainly been in love with me. The last 3 raids have been to BERLIN!-YEP! I made the 1st 3 raids on the German Capitol. It's been a great fight and "Vicars" wins again.

Will write as usual and hope to see you all shortly.

Love to all at home,
Joe


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