I am hoping someone out there can help me or at least point me in the direction of someone that can.
My widowed mother (increasingly frail and now housebound) celebrates her 80th birthday in November. Over recent months she has began to reminisce at great deal about her time spent in the British WRAF as a barrage balloon operator during WW2, her work in signals and most interestingly the American Servicemen she met, loved and lost... along the way!!!
Today, once again, she was talking about how she was stationed at Castle Camps, but spent time with the US men stationed at Linton. As is always the case, when we visit memory lane, she talks fondly of Beattie Farnum. I don't think she knew his first name was Waldo and how heartbroken she was when she heard the news that his mustang had crashed during a fly past (an aerial salute of some sort I presume) and had been killed. I think he was due to take his aircraft over to Germany. She also said his father had been a Doctor and also serving in the armed forces and that Beattie had been studing medicine himself before enlisting.
She is sadly unable to visit his grave in Cambridge and I was wondering whether anyone has a photo of him which I could give her on her birthday.
I realise this is a bit of a long shot, but it would make an old lady (in body only) feel very young again I'm sure and I'd love to see a twinkle in her eye once again.
If you can help I'd love to hear from you.
Thank you in advance
PS She was also stationed on the Orkney Islands, where I believe she met many more Americans and learnt how to dance properly!!
What a lovely story - I think I might have some photos - will have a look and get back to you.
Very Best regards
Thanks so much Jason... I would be very grateful.
I think I can lay my hands on a photo of my mother sitting in Bate Farnum's Mustang. If so, I'll scan it and send you a copy.
My mother (Kathleen Booth as she was known then) also speaks fondly of a Col. John Black who was the Administrator at Little Walden and how when the 'girls' went to dances held at the camp, she as the Sergeant, had to escort them!!! They were transported in a US Army van between camps and she sat with John Black in the front with the driver and and how she allowed the girls 5 minutes with the men to say goodnight!!! I believe John Black came from Washington DC originally.
If you have any info on John, again I would be very interested.
Thank you again for your help.
Would love a scan of the photo of your mum in the Mustang.
Will see what I can found out about Col. Black.
I will email a copy of photo of my mother under separate cover. If you think anyone on here would be interested in seeing it, please feel free to post on the site.
Of course I hadn't looked properly and have found the photo of Bate Farnum on your website. It was a heart stopping moment putting a face to the name I have heard mentioned over the years. I have made a copy of it and will pick my moment to show it to my mother. If there are any other photos of him I would, of course, be very interested in seeing them.
My investigations have also taken me to Princeton University (New Jersey) where I see mention of a Bate Farnum award. I am in the process of trying to find out more about that. There also appears to be a memorial bench commemorating those lost during WW2 where I assume Bate's name is inscribed.
This exercise of mine, which originally started on a whim, is turning out to be very thought provoking indeed.