404 Squadron R.C.A.F.
Nov. 28, 1942
Your letter arrived today, Mum, and I was quite pleased to hear that everyone back home was in good health and enjoying themselves in general. I can assure you I am also fine and having a good time. I am back on the mainland again and I am getting caught up on the social activity of the place. Naturally I frequent the Palais de Dance quite regularly. We get sleeping out passes now so can stay at the "Y" for the nite for a "shill". I have a good fire on in the billet here so I am taking advantage of it to get my things packed up ready to put into stores while I go on leave.
I start tomorrow (Sunday) and have 14 days & a 48 so with a good start tomorrow I'll be able to see Jim on my travels. I've heard from him twice since he arrived. I asked him to get a 48 and I'd meet him at Bournemouth. I also heard from Elmer a few days back and he was saying I'd likely be a bit put out to hear he was fortunate enough to go back, but I'm afraid I'd turn down the chance if I were offered it because I figured, when I came, on staying until the job was done—something we learn after working on aircraft for so long I guess. I heard today from Jim Butler. He is in the south of England near London. "Toay"[?] is in the Outer Hebrides, so I guess he's in [censored] Tilley Leonard is in India. In some ways I wish Jim could get posted here but in others I don't. We have no use for his trade at present because we need radio observers instead of navigators. We already have five sets of brothers on the squadron.
I am slowly "gining" up on our new kites, but the work is not so hard at present and I'll likely be going on a Merlin course after I come from leave. That will mean another two week "break". Our squadron dance is on Dec. 14 which is one day before the end of my leave, so I may come home a day early.
In one way I'm not overly keen on it because they will likely all be so lubricated they can hardly walk. You see fellows in some pretty "grim" condition, especially on pay day. Was in town last nite and it sure was tough. Half the fellows are broke the day after. Fortunately I have 30 quid (pounds) to go on leave with so that should see me thru' a month of leave at the Cumberland Hotel in London. I've kind of convinced myself to go to Wales after I see Jim just to be able to sit beside a warm fire—I hope—and sleep all I like. We never get one morning when we can sleep in now. We get a half a day off per week.
I don't know if I'm not writing long enough letters or not but I thought the sign on the front of these pads you sent me—15 sheets & 7 envelopes weigh one ounce—was a hint to say more. I really wish I could tell you more but I'll have plenty of stories to tell you when I get back home. I bet Elmer really gave the folks a talking when he got home. I could tell you a few things about the people over here, especially the English. A lot of the fellows, including myself, have changed their outlook after being here a while. However, such things are not to be said on paper.
Say that blue air mail letter you sent me the same time as the parcel arrived one week after the parcel so that's what our air mail has turned out to be. I think you better revert to the old reliable. The air mail letter I got today was posted Oct. 24 so that took about 34 days and the blue form-letter took 42, must have come over in a bottle I think. So far I haven't lost a single parcel and sure am glad of it. We just had a feed of coffee, toast, cheese, Jam & pork. The meals here are much better than the Shetlands and they are served on white oilcloth too. I have a bicycle to get around on now and it sure saves piles of time. We sure have long distances to walk to breakfast and work. I guess I've said enough for now. Hope you all have a New Year's feast for me. I'll likely get stew. The "limeys" scrounge the turkeys that come over for the Canadians.