Both are north of London and former sites of airfields of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. Both my father and his younger brother piloted 35 missions in B17s, the Flying Fortress – from these airfields over 70 years ago.
Old control tower at Podington.
The control towers remain – they are now homes. Little else is on public property. My father was stationed at Podington for several months before and after D Day. He barely made it back to England on his 35th mission. On his first mission a member of his crew, Ed Faucet, was killed.
My uncle finished his 35th mission just days before the Germans surrendered.
He was 20 years old on his first mission.
I wanted to see the airfields and stand in the middle of them. I did.
The control tower at Rattlesden remains – it is now a house. Little else is on public property.
In one day, in England, I walked in the shadows of both my father and my uncle.
Found a small B&B on yhe coast with a shared shower and a bathroom just across the hall. Small room, but all I need and just 39 quid. Have driven over 1200 miles in the UK since leaving Exeter, on big highways, small hedge row lined lanes and forest lined roadways. Hundreds of roundabouts.
Much nicer here in northern Scotland. Open scenery with vistas (not like England where it seemed all views – everywhere – were a private thing).
Met a friendly couple tonight – my first encounter after the brother /sister couple at Stonehenge. Drank, talked, went to their van for a smoke then back to the bar and some scotch. Good folk. Social workers. Travelers. Tom had a ponytail. She gave good hugs.
July 2, 2016
Well, it looked like it was going to rain again and I really needed to blow my nose. I also had quite a bit of trash I wanted to clean out of the car – chip bags, many used kleenex and assorted water and soda bottles -and I needed to take a dump. But where?