No 4 Squadron R. F. C.
B. E. F. France
My Dear Mother
It's pouring cats and dogs outside, and I am mighty glad I am inside my comfortable hut, where it is dry and cozy.
I did my job this morning. It was only for 2 1/2 hours but it seemed endless ages. I wasn't feeling just in the pink, and should not have taken any breakfast, but instead I had some poorly cooked bacon and a couple of eggs. That didn't improve matters, but I thought I would feel OK when I got up into the air. But I didn't. Instead I felt quite train sick, and whenever I looked over the side I thought I would lose all I had. I was seeing green and all colors but I managed to stick it out alright. Only I pity anyone who has to fly and feels that way in the air all the time. Before I came home I tried out a new machine gun and thought for sure I had shot off my propeller (it shoots thru the prop) but instead it just shot a nice hole thru it and knocked off a few wee splinters. My eyes magnified everything. Then I thought sure I would crash coming in. I had to land between two other crashed machines, but fortune favors the foolish and I made quite a good landing. So now my day's work is over, and I have taken some 'Enos' and will be O.K. in a short time.
Your letters of May 8 and 1 both received, the first reaching here a few days after the 8th. I am glad you received cable OK. And by the way Mother, you must get it out of your head about the "dangerous job" business. You can rest perfectly assured that I will take no unnecessary chances. In fact our job is quite the easiest in the army, and I wouldn't trade with anyone I know of. Of course I get scared stiff and my knees shake and all the rest of it, but in spite of that I have a most enjoyable time.
I have to laugh when I think of one little experience we had today. Things were so quiet that we decided we would go over and attack a German observation balloon. When we got over and just as I was ready to let fire with my machine gun my observer tapped me on the shoulder and shouted that he thought it must be a Belgian. Of course I couldn't take any chances so we let it go, but I am quite convinced in my own mind that it was a Hun balloon, as it was well over in Hunland. I really think my observer was anxious to get home as our time was up.
The parcel has not arrived as yet but it will be along in a few days I expect. I hope there was some 'Colgates' shaving soap in it, as that is one thing I need most.
You will have read of our large explosion. It didn't do me much good, as I slept through it, although I knew it was coming off and tried to stay awake for it. They say there was between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 lbs of explosives and people in England heard it, but some of us just a few miles away didn't! One disadvantage of being a sound sleeper.
Leave has opened up again so two of the boys got off this morning. They were mighty glad to get away too. I may be in England some time in August. I wish you could be there then too. I will have two weeks. If I had a month I would be tempted to go home for a week or ten days. I could just manage it you know. Perhaps in 6 or 8 month's time I may be able to do it, if I am very good in the meantime.
One of the boys, a Canadian, got thrown out of a machine today and broke a couple of ribs. But the important part of it is that he is now in a hospital quite near here in which the nurses are Canadian. When I get time I shall run up and see him and see if I know any of the nurses. It would be very nice to see some Canadian girls, even if they are old ones, out here.
Aunt Jean said in her last letter that she thought she and Alfred would go down to Mt. Forest for a little trip. I hope they do. It will do them both worlds of good I am sure. And then you could go back with them. I can scarcely believe that it is June, my but the time does pass so quickly and pleasantly too. I hope this will be my last summer out here all the same.
Must close now and have tea. It is still pouring rain there is no indication of a let-up either. Love for Father, Em, and self and kind regards for Miss Smith.
P. S. 12 pm I have been deceived and wasted my sympathy on the fellow who just flew over. He was a Hun and has just opened up his machine gun on us. Some of his bullets crashed through our trees and hit the roof. But we got him with our Archie and search light. I expect he has gone WEST by this time. Cheeky buggar wasn't he? Good night.
July 2nd, 7 a.m.
Fri morning & all well.
I am going out to mail this & then help Libbie with washing. No letter from Alf this week.