Not knowing that George Edwin Farrar and the other prisoners of Stalag Luft IV had been marched out of the camp on February 6, 1944, Mr. Buslee, father of Lead Banana pilot John Oliver (Jay) Buslee, wrote a letter to him two days later. The letter was marked “RETURNED TO SENDER By Direction of the War Department. Undeliverable as Addressed.” Mr. Buslee must have saved the letter and given it to Farrar when they met after the war.
February 8, 1945
A few days ago I received your new address from your Mother and was greatly pleased to know that she heard from you and I was more pleased to learn that you were in good health. That is sure splendid news.
Last Saturday we had a visit with Chester Rybarczyk who recently became engaged to a girl who lives in Toledo and of course he could not make the trip without her so we had a chance to see the girl of his dreams. Chet will leave next week for California just how long he will stay there is uncertain. He is however very happy that he can go there as he has never been on the West Coast so I imagine that our son John has given him a big build up on the many wonderful things that he did while out there. Yes the thrill of walking down the streets of Hollywood and meeting up with some of the movie stars is a treat for everybody it seems. Then too the weather will be much nicer than the continual snow that has ruled here for a couple of months.
This is an amateur attempt to use the typewriter so I trust you will allow for any mistakes.
We look forward to the day when you too can come to Chicago and we will try to make your visit interesting. There are many things of interest in this big city and I do feel that Chet enjoyed it at least he said he did and he has promised to return and then stay longer.
My wife and I so thoroughly enjoyed meeting you yes it hardly seems like almost a year ago as so many things have happened since then. She has asked me to greet you most sincerely and requests me to extend to you a most cordial welcome to visit us.
Do you remember our son in law? I think you met him in Oklahoma he at present is in [CENSORED] the Navy Air Transport service. He finds the weather plenty warm as it is a big change from the weather in this vicinity. Had a nice letter from Mrs. Bryant. It was such a pleasure to meet her last summer.
Well George space is limited so I will close with the wish that all of the best is yours and hope you continue to feel fine.
- Chester (Chet) Rybarczyk was the original navigator on the Buslee crew. He flew with a different crew on September 28, 1944 and witnessed the mid-air collision between Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy.
- Mr. and Mrs. Buslee traveled to Ardmore, Oklahoma to see their son before he and his crew shipped off to England. It was there that the Buslees met all the boys on the crew.
- Mr. Buslee’s son-in-law was Gene Kielhofer, who was married to his daughter, Janice.
- Mrs. Bryant was Ruby Maudene Bryant, the wife of Buslee crew top turret gunner, Lenard Leroy Bryant. Lenard Bryant was killed in the September 28 mid-air collision.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014