[Received January 2, 1918]


Royal Flying Corps,



December 13, 1917

Dear Mother:

Well as you see from the heading I am back at Northolt. Incidentally this is the 13th letter on December 13th the day before Friday. We had dud weather until noon Tuesday. I got well fed up on loafing about London Colney. I got a good look at Spads and Sopwith Pups, and got accustomed to the sensations of scout flying as far as vivid conversation about it is possible. But I did not enjoy the lack of clothes and the nights without proper bedclothes, and when the weather bloomed fair for my trip home I was delighted. I surely did have a most expensive suit of pajamas. I have heard tell of silk ones, but mine were $150 fur lined ones (viz my flying suit). It was not a bit comfortable however.

When I left London Colney the weather was not much. The sun was out but there was a pretty strong and rather bumpy north wind blowing and the atmosphere was misty. I had a little trouble getting up above the trees and ridges. The machine was bumped about considerably and as it only climbs very slowly in good weather it practically would not climb at all in the bumpy air. But after I got up and turned around towards Northolt I surely did come a flying with the wind. I got back so quickly that I ran about three miles past. I flew around our aerodrome twice and landed at home again without any mishaps. Everyone seemed glad to see me, and I was glad to get back. Lieut. Holland thought it was a nice experience for me, but said he had the wind up about me when it got dark the afternoon I left and before my phone message got back to him. He recommended me for scout machines. I got two days posting leave and started it Wednesday morning.

I went into the Science Museum and stayed there until dark 4:30. Then I went to the Regent Palace Hotel where I was to meet Rit and Bishop. We got together and went out to dinner. Then we went to the theater to see “The Thirteenth Chair.” It was a poor detective drama. We spent the night at the Regent Palace Hotel and enjoyed the luxuries of beds, sheets, bath and all to the limit. After breakfast we went out into town and I made some banking connections. I have deposited a little money with Brown, Shipley and Co. 123 Pall Mall, London, S. W. From now on they will be my headquarters instead of the embassy. Address all mail, packages and everything to

Parr Hooper

c/o Brown Shipley & Co.

123 Pall Mall, London S. W.


All the time even when I go to France. You can forget all about embassies, military headquarters, and expeditionary forces.

Any time you want to cable me send it to Parr Hooper, Shiphrah, London and they will telegraph it to me.

Having finished my little business I went back to the museum and stayed until dark. Then I went to the R. F. C. Hospital and visited Dud Mudge. His arm is getting along O.K. He is being very well cared for and was in excellent spirits. He is going to get a job in connection with the embassy while his arm is getting well and then is coming back to flying.

I expect to find out something about my posting. The squadron that is coming here to take the place of #35 is to be a scout squadron and I hear it is a very good one. I would like to get posted to it and stay here.

I got a fine letter from Margaret Tuesday telling me all about Jimmy, Russ, and the apartment.

Love to all,


The Sopwith Pup, built by the Sopwith Aviation Company, was a single seater fighter (“scout”) biplane armed with a single synchronized Vickers machine gun. The R.F.C. began using it toward the end of 1916. It was known for its climbing speed and maneuverability, including at high altitudes; it was withdrawn from the Western Front by the end of 1917 because it was no longer as good as the German planes, but it continued to be used for training.183

The Regent Palace Hotel, on the north side of Piccadilly Circus, had opened in May of 1915 and had, at the time, the largest number of rooms of any hotel in Europe.184

“The Thirteenth Chair” was by Bayard Veiller, an American playwright and screenwriter. A 1922 edition of the play indicates that it opened at The Duke of York’s Theatre, London, on October 16, 1917.185

Brown Shipley is currently a private London bank; the firm had Baltimore origins as a trading company.186

There were a number of R.F.C. Hospitals. Frequently mentioned are ones at 37 & 48 Bryanston Sq. in Marylebone and 82 Eaton Sq. in Belgravia, both reasonably close to the Science Museum. Mudge, as noted following Parr’s letter of December 4, 1917, had crashed on December 5, 1917.

This was probably No. 35 Training Squadron, the advanced training squadron to which Parr presumably alludes in his letter of November 23, 1917. On December 16, 1917, No. 86 Squadron, which was to be equipped with Sopwith Dolphins for fighting on the Western Front, left Wye for Norholt.187