Operation "Letter of Father Christmas" was in the air again as a Visnews cameraman flew with airmen of 53 Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, US Air Force, from a base in Lancashire to an Arctic destination, Dec 9.
C.U. SIGN.."BURTONWOOD"..AND LETTERS DROPPING ON TO TABLE.
L.V. SACKS OF MAIL BEING TAKEN TO B.50 SUPER FORTRESS PLANE.
C.U. FLIGHT ENGINEER AT CONTROLS.
L.V.PAN B.50.SUPER FORTRESS TAKES OFF.
C.U. PILOT CAPTAIN BAKER.
S.V. MAN PUTTING LETTERS INTO DROPPING CONTAINER.
C.U. DITTO, SHOWING LETTERS TO FATHER CHRISTMAS.
SHOT. FLYING OVER CLOUDS IN ARCTIC.
S.V. CONTAINER IS PASSED TO AIRMAN WHO WRITES ON SAME.
FULL C.U. AIRMAN WRITING.
C.U. SHOWING WRITING ON PACKAGE.
S.V. NOSE WHEEL COMPARTMENT DOOR OPENS.
S.V. NAVIGATOR CHECKS RADAR FOR DROP.
S.V. PARCELS BEING THROWN THROUGH OPEN HATCH.
C.U. PILOT LOOKS THROUGH WINDOW AND GIVES O.K. SIGN.
S.V. ANOTHER PARCEL THROWN THROUGH HATCH.
S.C.U. PILOT....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
Initials KJ/CW A.S./P.B.
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Background: Operation "Letter of Father Christmas" was in the air again as a Visnews cameraman flew with airmen of 53 Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, US Air Force, from a base in Lancashire to an Arctic destination, Dec 9.
Thousands of letters from children all over the British Isles are carried this year to Father Christmas Land in the Arctic and only the pilots of the weather squad know where to drop the Santa Mail so that it reaches the home and workshop of the white-bearded benefactor of all good boys and girls.
With a sure eye the man in the cockpit spies the correct spot in the ice-bound wastes of the Arctic. At the press of a button the undercarriage hatch opens, the wheels swing out the through the opening - down goes box after box brimful with hopes and wishes.
So the operation goes ahead every year in five flights between the 9th to the 24th of December. All this started in 1953 when a weather pilot's little daughter wanted to know where Father Christmas lived and, upon being told that the Arctic ice was his home, decided to send him a letter. This her father promptly delivered together with others written by his daughter's schoolmates. Then the 53rd Weather Squadron offered Santa mail carrying facilities to children in Lancashire and Cheshire until the project grew to its present size. Last year 30,000 letters were received.
And here is the correct address:
c/o 53rd Weather Recon Sqd. (USAF),
RAF Station Burtonwood,
nr. Warrington, Lancs.