University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.

Take-off for France,   pp. 12-13 PDF (450.4 KB)

Page 12

Here there are some 2,500 Army personnel. I counted on the
ground 40 big transport planes, four-motor jobs such as we were
in, with propellers spinning, arriving and departing to Europe
and home. This airdrome is 51/2 hours flying time from Casa-
Again we saw G.I.s going home all excited. They were all
carrying German pistols, camera, binoculars and other loot-this
war is exactly like the last war in that soldiers and sailors in-
evitably are souvenir-collectors.
Seated alongside us at breakfast were some Egyptian delegates
-in flowing robes-returning from the San Francisco conference.
There were also Chinese, Indians-a conglomeration of nation-
alities-all being conveyed by this most efficient Army Transport
Command to and from various ports. At each one of these ports
the hotel was called Hotel de Gink, the name given to airport
Take-off for France
The temperature at Santa Maria is enjoyable-semi-tropical,
never too warm and never cold. After staying on the ground about
an hour, we then took off for an eight hours' over-water flight to
We left at about 9 a.m. Sunday, our time. Incidentally, last
night there was only about 31/2 hours of darkness. Again we
flew over a calm, beautiful sea in gorgeous sunshine, flying at
7,000 feet, our engine functioning perfectly.
A beautiful over-water hop, our first land call was Brest,
France. It gave me a thrill because in 1917, as a young Naval
Officer, I was making monthly troop-carrying trips to this port
of debarkation.
We flew over Brest at 3:45 p.m. I could easily discern the
main street, Rue de Siam. Apparently there was not a great

Go up to Top of Page