"Here's a different type of war story that I often tell but never bothered to write about:" - Murray Swerdlove
We got a week's R&R and went up to Edinborough, Scotland where we were able to stay with a delightful Scottish family whose name, I am ashamed to say escapes me. (At my age many names escape me!) We were treated royally and each night after we returned from "doing the pubs and the town" our host's two bonny daughters would bring us a platter of sandwiches for our midnight snack. With food so scarce, it was quite a sacrifice for them. One highlight of our leave was a visit to a pub called The Green Parrot, where we had the best Scotch Whisky we ever had poured from an unlabeled bottle! While there a Mrs. Duncan dragged us into a small mini-bar and as a former American married to the Duncans of chocolate fame insisted, were given some very interesting alcoholic concotions.
Perhaps one of the warmest of memorable events of the entire war took place during our visit in Edinborough. When on leave away from our base in Glatton we were generally hungry as you were only allowed to get a meal costing no more than one pound and generally we would hunt up a Chinese restaurant as you got more food there. While on leave in Edinborough one day we took a taxi and asked the cabbie where we might be able to get a good meal. He drove us to a small fish and chips place called the Atlantic Cafeteria and ran in to speak to the manager. We hesitated to go is as we had hoped for a better choice of food. But he came out and told us to come with him, assuring us that we would be pleased with our meal. We entered and were led by the proprietor back through the shop and down a flight of stairs to a lovely dining room where we were seated. No one came to bring any menu or take an order but after a bit a waiter came bearing plates of steak, potatoes and salad of highest quality and most generous portions. With no comment the waiter left. When we had finished this fine meal he came back with a great layer cake and coffee for dessert, again without us asking for it. We decided then that we were hooked into some black market operation and were waiting for the bill to come for this Lucullan feast. Finally the proprietor arrived and when we asked for the damages we paid just the one-pound as required. Unbelievable! We asked him how and why this was done and his answer was to the effect that you chaps came here and are fighting for us. We appreciate it more than you can imagine and it is our pleasure and honor to do this. He did add though, that we should come again but next time we'd have to settle for a chicken dinner!
Lovely folks, the Scotch!
Murray (Morris) Swerdlove - Bombardier
748th Squadron - Dave Summerville's Crew