- Contributed by
- Dundee Central Library
- People in story:
- Irwin Russell Redman, Joe Redman
- Location of story:
- Florida, United States of America
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 31 August 2004
Flt. Lt. Irwin Russell Redman, R.A.F.V.R.
1384117, L.A.C. REDMAN. I.R.
Fl? 5 B.F.T.S.,
MARCH 29 
My dear Phyll,
Please forgive me for not writing before, but you know how bad I am at letter writing, don’t you?
How are you all getting along in Horsley nowadays? Ken and Susan are, I trust, keeping fit and well? Susan is growing into quite a little lady now, I expect?
Well Phyll, I have been over here four months now and away from home for five. It has passed amazingly quickly on the whole, probably because the work is so intensely interesting. I have now got over 100 hours flying in now which is getting along isn’t it? If everything continues to go along smoothly I should be getting my wings next June sometime, or in about 12 weeks time. I had a hell of a lot of difficulty with this flying business at the commencement, but once I manage a solo, everything was o.k. At one time, I really thought that I might have been eliminated, but that unpleasant period passed over successfully.
We have been having weather far hotter than our English Summers the whole winter over here. Frosts, of course, are almost an unknown quantity, and the majority of the people down here have never seen snow — only read about it in books, or seen pictures of it. They have the rather misguided impression that the weather in England is always foggy and rainy and pretty cold. We hasten to assure them that the sun does shine through the inky darkness once in a while, but there are still rather incredulous.
Our camp is in a damned awful spot, miles from nowhere, and surrounded by swamp. The aerodrome is about the one dry spot in the district, and even that gets pretty damp at times. If you can rummage out a map of America, look up Florida down south, right in the centre of the state you will see a large inland lake marked, we are at the extreme southern tip of this lake. About every other weekend we spend the weekend at either Palm Beach or Miami, or lease at one or other of the seaside resorts on the Mexican Gulf. Lately however, we have been flying over the weekends, due to a bit of bad weather getting us behind schedule. Still I can never fly too much so it suits me o.k.
I expect our time here sounds like a bed of roses but I assure you it is not. Our day runs like this:- Get up 5.30 a.m. — Breakfast 6.15 a.m., Flying 7.00 — 12, Lunch 12.30, Ground school 2 — 5, Tea — 5.30, Lights out 9.30. As you see from this, we have a sixteen hour day and not a great deal of spare time to play around with. We feel pretty well dead to the world by 7 p.m. in the evening, and are usually only too glad to flop into bed fairly early.
I don’t know whether I could possibly settle down to chartered accountancy when this war ends. I don’t really know whether I would want to, because if possible, I would like to keep in flying, in the permanent RAF if possible. Still it is rather early to talk about the end of this war isn’t it?
Two weeks ago my flight was given eight days leave, before going on to a new and more advanced trainer. Two other fellows and myself travelled up to North Florida and had a grand time, putting up in one of the best hotels. It was probably the only leave we shall get over here, so we decided to make the most of it. We spent the last four days in a Mexican Gulf resort, in a very nice little bungalow which we lived [in] or should I say rented.
Well Phyll, it looks as if I will have to be closing now. Excuse this rather shocking writing won’t you Phyll? But I am in a terrible hurry, as I have about four more letters to write today.
Give my love to Ken and Susan?
Do write soon,
All my love
P.S. I forgot to ask you how you were getting on yourself Phyll — quite well, I hope, despite the severe winter you seem to have had this winter.
Flight Lieutenant Irwin Russell Redman (Joe) was killed on air operations in Palestine, 2nd September 1945. He was 22.
Susan Little via Dundee Central Library.
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