A few weeks ago I reconnected with friends Charlie Moore and Annie Lucky who moved from New Bern to California last year. Charlie wrote to me about his experience of living in England for many years. I thought you would enjoy reading what he said.
Once upon a time I decided that I would move to the UK or Ireland and that I would spend a year to find my new home. I flew into Heathrow, rented a car for a month, and drove up the east coast of England and into Scotland, then west to Blackpool, into Wales, and south along the west coast, into Somerset and down to Devon where my people lived before immigrating to America in 1640. When I got to the little town of Wellington, Somerset, near my ancestral home, I knew I had found my home. I rented a small apartment, and lived there for 19 years, in a country farmhouse in the Blackdown hills. But it was not to be forever… I ended up returning to America after a long and happy time in England. I still think of it as home.
And a second part of Charlie’s story:
Let me tell you about Dunkeswell. Near the border between Somerset and Devon is a little town called Dunkeswell, Devon. It was the site of the only US Navy base in England during the war, and it was from there that B-24 bombers flew to bomb the Nazi submarine pens in Holland and Belgium. Since I was the only Yank Navy vet living nearby (in Somerset) I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of a museum to conserve the remembrances of the then-abandoned air base. It was an interesting experience for me. My old US Navy uniform still hangs in the museum, as far as I know. It was eerie in that you could still see the tire marks of the big planes in the turf, and could almost hear the roar of their engines as they lined up for their missions to the continent. It was from this place that Joseph Kennedy Jr. flew when when his plane blew up on a mission to Europe. His gravesite is in Dunkeswell, a funeral attended by President Kennedy and the Kennedy family.
Here’s a link to the museum’s website.
I’ve never before known the details of how Joe Kennedy Jr. died. The story is in this Wikipedia article. You may find it to be interesting.
The photo at the top of this post is from http://www.devonandsomersetmc.co.uk/Dunkeswell_History1.jpg