Finding Frances…Love Letters from a Flight Lieutenant
By Catherine Harris (The true story of her Uncle Eric)
Throughout the war Eric wrote to Frances, filling hundreds of pages with his reflections, sketches, playful asides to the censors, and dreams of a different world. Though he couldn’t say exactly what he was doing, Flight Lieutenant Hutchin was flying fighters. When Hitler bombarded England with V-1 rockets, Eric and his squadron would fly their Spitfires out over the English Channel and, with daring and precision, use the wingtips of their own aircraft to tilt the rockets and topple their gyros, deflecting them from their targets in the heart of England. Then he’d land and write to Frances.
She kept Eric’s letters. Half a century after the armistice she gave them to his niece, Catherine Hutchin Harris, who lives not far from Falcon Field. Using recovered documents as well as Eric’s love letters and original photos, she set out to tell his story. Clever and poignant, this is the personal chronicle of one flight lieutenant and his love for his special girl, but of course it’s also the universal story — the true story — of every young man who goes to war.