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Date: February 1st 1943

404 Squadron RCAF
Feb. 1, 1943

Hello all you Folks at home!

I got your letter today mum and am glad you are all well. So am I. I'm having lots of work to do as I suppose you are so time passes very quickly. The days are all too short when you're interested. I'm in maintenance now and am getting into the inners of our engines where you really learn something. I heard from Marion [Gerrie, a niece] today and she told me what all the kids got for Christmas. She is a fairly good writer too. I got a laugh out of her new word "ascared". I never saw that one before. Of course I hear a lot of new words over here, originated by our own boys. Some of our later ones are ‘I go packets on that' meaning ‘I like it'. Instead of going to eat we go "chompin" and for dancing we go "stompin". A head is a haid and a bed is a baid, etc. The limy's are even catching on now. I hear them asking for "smoke poles" (cigarettes) and "heat" for them meaning a light. The war has sure introduced a lot of words which will live long after, I'll bet. I'm glad you are having a few social evenings at home. The people around Drew didn't get together often enough to pull together like they should when I was home. I guess I'm as much to blame as anyone for that. I was out dancing Sat. nite and met a Canadian girl who has been over here since 7 years ago from Edmonton and educated in Detroit. I was down to their place for supper at Ilfracombe Sun. afternoon & evening. Ilfracombe is a swell town—a summer resort town full of evacuees. There's wonderful scenery with huge cliffs with the old Atlantic backing up against the rocks. It was raining or it would have been a swell afternoon. Of course, the scenery wasn't necessary for a swell time. Like me, this dame takes "a dim view" of the limys (another Rcat saying). We get a lot of rain here, same as all over the islands, but its warm and you don't have to put your hands in your pockets every two minutes to get them warm, like in Scotland. I haven't heard from good ol' Jim since I wrote him but I can rely on him taking care of Jim O.K. I hope he likes Scotland as well as I did. I laughed when we left Dyce. One of our N.A.A.F.l girls who was a great friend of all the Canadians, cried when we left. She would give the Canadian six or 7 bars of choc. for our coupons instead of the regulation 4 every two weeks. She was a great sport. Her husband is in Egypt and she said he was happy go lucky like Canadians. Honest, you never saw such a bunch of guys for having a good time no matter where they are or what they're doing. It's no wonder the gals like them. Their only trouble is that they drink too much but I like them just the same. If I'd missed this and found out what I'd missed I'd have kicked myself for years. You may hear a lot of "binding" amongst the boys but they laugh while they're redoing it and someone says some silly thing and every body laughs. Today the station engineer caught the boys reading Can. mail during working hrs (mail comes in about 10 o'clock) and he complained to the Fl.Sgt. in charge of maint. and he told the adjutant and did he ever "rile". He went right to the C.O. & raised cane about us not being able to read our mail when we got it. An officer stopped me in Ilfracombe yesterday and gave me the devil for wearing a rain coat (Canadian issue too) and I told him the facts, asked the S.P.'s when I came in & they said it was O.K. with them so I'm going to see our adjut. and if I meet that good for nothing bum again I'll let him rant but it'll do him no good. He was very nasty about it too. However, we just take limy officers for what they are known to be (not all them). Well, I guess it looks like I'm done for tonite. S'long everyone. I'll be seeing y'a soon as Russia has another 6 mon. at the Jerries.