Write Soon and Often
The Story of a Bomber Pilot Through His Letters Home
by Andy Thomson
Travelling through Europe in 1939, 17-year-old Donald Plaunt witnessed preparations for war in every country he visited. After he completed high school in 1941, Donald became part of that war when he enlisted in the RCAF and became a Lancaster pilot. After training for 20 months, he flew in operations for 5 weeks before his death on his 11th mission in 1943.
There are many compelling stories written by veterans about Bomber Command. What makes this pilot's story unique is that it is told in his youthful voice selected from 150 letters he wrote home. Peppered with his amusing sense of humour, his letters convey a very personal and colourful narrative ranging from tales of his Air Force training, the events of the war, the people he cared about, and the issues that bothered him. It is a story about youth and hope as we follow his journey from a carefree and rookie pilot to the generous and proud captain of a Lancaster crew. It is also a story of sorrow that explores the heartbreaking impact of his death on his family when he, like so many other young men, did not return home.
Andy Thomson is a retired secondary teacher who taught history in Toronto and at Lahr Senior School (DND) in Germany. Along with his letters and military records, Andy has re-created his uncle's life from interviews with his family, friends and comrades. He has visited his uncle's memorials in Canada and England and his grave in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Germany.
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ISBN: 9781460293959 | WMPub#1170 | 6" x 9"
210 pages; 38 pictures, trade paperback | $24.95
Table of Contents
Preface: Discovering an Uncle
Prologue: Sunday March 14, 1943
Chapter 1: Buggs, Growing Up in Sudbury and Wye (June 1, 1922 - September 1, 1937)
Chapter 2: Porky, A Growing Curiousity About the World (Sept 2, 1937 - May 21, 1941)
Chapter 3: Enlisting, "The Proper Thing To Do"(May 22 - September 2, 1941)
Chapter 4: Learning to Fly (September 3, 1941 - Febrary 10, 1942)
Chapter 5: Heading Overseas (February 15 - May 5, 1942)
Chapter 6: Adjusting to a New Way of Life (May 1 - May 25, 1942)
Chapter 7: A Soothing Cup of Tea (May 26 - July 29, 1942)
Chapter 8: A Return to Bonnie Scotland (August 8 - October 21, 1942)
Chapter 9: From a Crowd of Strangers to a Tight-Knit Crew (August 15 - December 15, 1942)
Chapter 10: Christmas Overseas (December 15 - February 5, 1943)
Chapter 11: Missions (Febrary 7 - March 12, 1943)
Chapter 12: "Regret to Inform You…" (March 14, 1943)
Chapter 13: The Uncle I Came To Know
Appendix A: Chronolgy of Donald Plaunt's Life
Appendix B:List of Memorials Where Donald Plaunt's Name is Listed.