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

Conditions in London,   pp. 17-19 PDF (756.0 KB)

Page 17

The youngsters were all asking-"When are we going home?"
This is the inevitable G.I. cry all over the place.
On this flight from Paris to London, we flew over Cherbourg
and saw terrific damage, with bomb craters all over the fields.
One cannot discern much damage to the buildings but wherever
there is a semblance of an airfield it is completely peppered, as
with smallpox.
Arrived at Bovington Airdrome at 6 p.m., U.K. time. Ben
McPeake met us with his car at the airdrome: cleared immediate-
ly through Customs. we were taken to the Claridge, where Ben
had engaged a lovely suite for us.
Conditions in London
Tuesday, July 24
Up at 8:30, delightful breakfast, eggs (furnished from the
farm of a friend of John Hanes). Eggs are almost impossible
to obtain here and the food situation is more acute than during
the war.
McPeake for 21/2 hours drove us through the blitzed, devastated
sections of London. The West End, comparable to our Fifth
Avenue district, doesn't seem to have been severely damaged, ex-
cept for an odd building here and there.
We went to the Moorgate section which is in the City and here
the damage was terrific. You see entire sites of blocks completely
obliterated. In this section 135 people were killed standing in line
to purchase fish rations. Business buildings and homes have been
completely wiped out.
Any number of people who went to their shelters during the
blitz were drowned by water bursting from sewer mains. McPeake
said that one house out of every three in London received some
sort of damage. The worst casualties resulted from flying glass-
when a bomb or rocket hit it blew the glass out for blocks around
and caused untold damage and injury.

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