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A Very Nice Ride

George Edwin Farrar had been liberated on May 2, 1945.  Almost three weeks later he was in France, probably in a hospital receiving medical treatment following his eighty-six day march across Germany, where he and the other prisoners of Stalag Luft IV had come close to starving to death.

May 22, 1945
France

Dearest Mother:

Thought I had better drop you a line, as it is taking a little longer to get away from here than I thought, but it won’t be much longer. I feel fine, and will sure be nice to see every-one again. I guess I can tell you a little about my missions now that the war here is over.

I was knocked down on my 16th mission by another plane that ran into the side of us at 30,000 ft. I fell 25,000 ft. before I came to, and pulled my chute; it was a very nice ride. I didn’t think when Bob and I were kids and I told him he would never be a flyer, that some-day I would save my life with a parachute. I guess it was just meant to be that way. I was the only man to live from my crew and we were flying lead ship of that Gp. [group].

Our bombardier was killed on our first mission when we brought a ship back from Hanover with 106 holes, and only one engine going. We crashed landed on the English coast. We had several other rough mission, but those were the worse.

By the way my last mission was at Magdeburg. When I hit the ground I received a little rough treatment from the Germans, but I expected it. I was in three German Hospitals for about two and a half months, but am in perfect shape now, that is as perfect as I ever was.

We have been on the road marching since Feb. 6 and a lot of nights had to sleep in the open. Well I guess that will be enough of my history until I get home on furlough.

I just hope now that I will find every-one at home feeling fine, as I pray you will be every night. Even on the march, at night when we reached a barn at night I didn’t care how rough it had been that day or how rough it would be without food the next. The main thing that kept me going was the thought that some day I may have the chance to make you just a bit more happy, and that has been my thought ever since the day I was knocked down, and had hours to do nothing but think and look at fence.

I had better cut this as it is getting late and the lights here are very poor. And if I expect to do any more flying I had better take good care of them (my eyes). Tell every-one hello, and I will see you soon. I guess my boy will be on vacation when I get there. We should have a pretty good time in 60 days – and I have $1,000.00 back pay coming.

Love to all,
Ed

(over)

Farrar did not have a chance to mail his letter for a week and wrote a few more words before sending it.

May 29, 1945

I had this letter with me for seven days, and am just getting a chance to mail it. I have been in France for little over a week, and am going to England before I come to the States. I may get a chance to fly home from there. But I do know that I will see you soon, and that is the main thing that counts. Tell Dad to stay in good shape so we can make the rounds, as we did last time. One thing I’m going to stay at home more this time.

Love,
Ed

Notes:

  • Bob was Ed’s younger brother who served in the Navy during WWII.  Ed did not know that Bob had been injured in a kamikaze attack on the Intrepid in November 1944.
  • “My boy” was Ed’s youngest brother, Gene.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

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