Fleming, Edward Lloyd (Wing Commander, b.1925)
Collection relating to the Second World War service of 318689 Flying Officer (later Wing Commander) Edward 'Ted' Lloyd Fleming, No. 550 Squadron, England, Ireland and Australia, 1944-1945.
Collection consists of one green faux leather covered diary, inscribed “To Edward, with loving thoughts from all at home”, 41 airgraphs and 102 letters, mostly air letters with several multiple-page letters written on writing paper.
The diary spans the period 1 January 1944 to 22 January 1945. It discusses Wing Commander Fleming’s RAAF training in Australia, his transportation to England via Sierra Leone and South Africa, and his arrival in England. It then continues to discuss his training in the England for Bomber Command, and his everyday activities from flight training to a period of leave visiting nearby towns in England.
The letters are all written to Wing Commander Fleming’s family and largely discuss time on leave and leisure time on weekends. The letters discuss his many visits to towns all around England, meeting old family friends, and discussions about friends who remained in Australia. There are detailed letters on events such as regular church services attended, the watching of the ‘Buchenwald Film’ showing the conditions of the concentration camp after its liberation, a night flight in a Lancaster where Wing Commander Fleming’s Lancaster ended up lost due to bad weather eventually making an emergency landing, celebrations for VE Day and ideas for life in Australia on his return. The last twenty letters discuss Wing Commander Fleming’s extended leave following the declaration of the end of the war, which he largely spent in Ireland, and his voyage home to Australia.
Also see AWM2017.167.1