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)
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. 17
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright