My grandmother, Raleigh Mae Farrar, must have replied to Mr. Buslee’s first letter of November 27, as this second letter from Mr. Buslee indicates. Since that time, both families apparently received the same letter from the Army Air Forces providing some details of the September 28 incident in which their sons were reported missing. Mr. Buslee wrote to my grandmother again on December 16, 1944.
Your recent letter was duly received and I have delayed a reply in the hope that each day would bring some word about your son and the rest of the crew. Thus far the only definite word is a letter from the War Department dated the 10th of December which advises that the plane was shot down by enemy flak over the target at 12:10 P.M. at Magdeburg Germany on Sept 28th. They state that they have no further word pertaining our son John Oliver and that when they do they will advise us.
From what we have heard from many friends such word is supposed to be very encourageing. In other words a delay usually means that the men are safe and will be reported in due time; so it seems that we must have faith and be patient.
We too had a letter from the navigator and in it he tells us the same as sent to you. Well that is perhaps the best he can do with the restrictions placed on him and we are very appreciative of his writing to us. From what we have heard the missions are indeed strenuous and truly it is a wonder that the boys that made these trips ever feel like writing. Our son was quite a faithful correspondent so you can realize what the absence of any mail from him means to us and especially his Mother. Then too the letters that we sent to him are returned as well as boxes all of which are a sad reminder that the boys are really worse off than we at home. However the youth of this country are showing what a wonderful lot of boys they are and I marvel at the spirit they have under these trying times. They should be an inspiration to the older folks.
I note that you have a crew picture and thinking that you may not know who they are I am sending a list of names in the event that this will interest you. To look at that group one can well understand what I mean when I say the youth are wonderful. To my mind that is as fine an assortment of manhood as one could find anywhere and I count it a privilege that my son is among so fine a crew. Yes I had the good fortune to meet all of them in Ardmore last June and I trust it will be my pleasure to again meet all of them and more that this may be real soon. Should you or any of your family get to Chicago I trust that we may have the pleasure of your call as we live in a suburb of Chicago only 17 miles from downtown.
Mrs. Buslee and my daughter join me in sending to your our sincere greetings and that you will soon hear favorably from your fine son with the good word that he is hale and hearty.
The navigator mentioned in Mr. Buslee’s letter was Chester Rybarczyk, the original navigator on the Buslee crew who flew with a different crew on September 28. He sent a letter to the Farrar family on October 12, 1944.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014