The families of the other boys on Lead Banana on September 28, 1944 must have all recently received a letter from George Edwin Farrar’s mother which prompted many of them to write back in return. Raleigh Mae Farrar had received a letter from her son on March 23, 1945. The letter had been dated November 9, 1944 and postmarked January 17, 1945. The letter had been delayed more than four months. Farrar was no longer in Stalag Luft IV, but had instead been marching across Germany since February 6. In November he wrote:
In a few more months I should be hearing from you and it will sure be nice. I think this is the longest I have ever gone without hearing from you. I hope you and Dad, and the rest of the family are getting along fine. As for myself, I am feeling fine, but miss that good cooking of yours. I’ll really keep you busy when I get home. I guess I have more luck than anyone to still be here, and not a thing wrong with me. Your prayers came in good. I still can’t believe I am alive. They said I was the only one out of my ship that is alive. Write often. Love, George
Raleigh Mae must have conveyed to the other families the news that her son had written that the Germans told him he was the only survivor on his flying fortress.
The next to write was Robert Sumner (Bobby) Stearns’ mother. Stearns was the bombardier on Lead Banana when it was involved in the mid-air collision with Lazy Daisy. The Stearns had received a telegram, a telegram they chose not to believe, on December 23, 1944, telling them that their son had been killed in the collision.
April 8, 1945
Dear Mrs. Farrar,
We were so glad to hear from you and to know you had heard from George again and that he was well. It is so encouraging to us that he got down unharmed. Surely some of the others did, too, in spite of what the Germans say. We simply won’t believe them for awhile yet, as it isn’t reasonable where so many parachutes were seen to open that none would get down safe.
It wouldn’t be surprising if George didn’t get home one of these days if he was in the camp when it was liberated. Our cousin was captured in the break-through in Dec. and late in Jan. his folks were notified. From then on no official word, but last week a letter from him saying he might be home as soon as the letter. We can well imagine their happiness at such news – their only boy, too.
If George has been as fortunate he may do the same as all prisoners are sent home as soon as possible, I understand. We can hardly wait as he may be able to tell some thing – the condition of the plane after the collision for one thing. It seemed to me that he seemed surprised at what the Germans said about the others but of course there is so little of that kind of news they are allowed to write.
We are having such a cold spell of weather. I’m sitting by the fire writing on my lap and not doing a very neat job. It has been snowing much of the day, melting as it fell.
Is your youngest son still in the hospital? What a terrible siege he has had – I hope he is improving and will soon be home. It really begins to look like the end of the war is really approaching and we are fairly holding our breath, hoping it is so. Please write any other news you may have.
The Farrar’s son, Bob, had been injured in a kamikaze attack on the Intrepid the prior November.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014