Francis E. Drake

Credit Frank Drake, son of Francis E. Drake 91st BG

After waiting for hours in the mess hall for food from a cooking staff ill prepared to feed 900 or more drop in guests, they were told there was no place to sleep, they would have to spend the night in their airplanes, without blankets or pillows, and they couldn’t use their heated flight suits. This was Christmas Eve and it was freezing outside. Then came word to stand by, there was a mission laid on for the next day…Christmas. It is hard to imagine human beings spending a more miserable night, safe to say, not many eyes were closed in restful sleep, but the source of their misery turned to a blessing in the morning. De-icer solution was already in short supply at Bury St. Edmunds. There was no way they had enough to de-ice all the planes that crowded their airfield. A decision was made, the mission was scrubbed. That was alright with the sleepless air crews. The wings would have to de-ice by the warmth of day. Soon the trucks began to arrive, and by noon they were back at Bassingbourn, within stumbling distance of their warm beds.