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Date: October 25th 1943
Mom - (Jessie Styles)
Jack Styles
Read by:

Rick Mercer

Reader Bio
Rick Mercer, OC, is a Canadian comedian, television personality, political satirist, and author. Perhaps best known for his work on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Rick Mercer Report, he has received more than 25 Gemini Awards. Mercer was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014.

London, Ont

Dear Mom,

Well here we are again. First flight this morning. Boy was it wonderful. We got all dolled up in our flying clothes (I wish you could see me) which are much to big. (they don’t want them to be tight so you will not be cold) The crotch of mine is half way to my knees. When we put our parachute on it pulled all the slack up making a big bulge to front and rear where there shouldn’t be a bulge. We then went to briefing where we get our orders. Then were to sit in the plane and watch the passing scenery and if we got sick we were to use the paper bags supplied and, instead of bombing some poor unsuspecting church goers with them, to bring them back and place them in the nearest garbage can. We then went out to our plane and took our seats. Since there was one more man than seats we didn’t all sit in seats but I sat on the floor. The pilot then tried to get in touch with control tower by radio but the damned radio wouldn’t work. Fine!! Then he tried the motors and one wasn’t working well. Swell!! We then all piled out of the plane and into another one. (again I sat on the bloody floor)

This plane was better so we went to the edge of the runway and started down it. I was sitting there wondering when we would reach the end of it when I happened to look out of the window. There was the ground only it was about 1000’ below us. Wow!! We then started to fly along about 3000’ and I started to enjoy myself you look out and you see a little mist pass you. That was a cloud. You look down and you see a lot of little squares (the ground) with little lines (roads) and blue curved lines (rivers) Then you look at your map which has roads, rivers etc. on it and you try to find out where you are. Not finding it you decide you must have brought the wrong map. However on checking with the lucky so and so’s in the seats you find that you have the right map but are looking at the wrong corner of it. (you are never near the centre, that would be too easy) You look out again and you see what looks like a thin wood (that’s a town) and so on. If Scotty and I had been navigating we would never have got back. So then you put your map down and start to watch the scenery (against orders) The plane hits a pocket and your stomach feels funny after falling through the air so you decide you had better work than sit there thinking of those paper bags and what they are for. So you pick up your map and look out the window to try to find where you are. This being hopless you ask the pilot. On locating yourself you find that there is supposed to be a racetrack somewhere under you but you can’t see it through the wing so you tell the pilot, he gives the wheel a turn (stick to you) and tells you to look out again. You look out and the wing is gone but the racetrack is there. Thinking that you have lost a wing you look around for the one on the other side. It is there but standing straight up in the air, then you decide that you are on your side. You hastily tell the pilot that you have seen the racetrack and everything goes back on even keel. Right then and there you decide never again to ask him to let you see something. Believe me it isn’t funny to look out and while thinking you are upright not see that wing. Fine, you decide you have a strong stomach by now so you commence to look around you. What is that field down there with the buildings on it. That is no field pale that is Kitchener airport. Fine thing how were you to know. Then after about an hour you see something and venture to ask if that is London airport. Hurra. You are right this time (now a veteran, never wrong) so you begin to watch it. Bingo You start to pass it and the wing is gone again and that damn place starts to come right up toward you. That feels nice on your stomach (It would give Eddie the tickles) then the wing comes back up and the ground comes up faster until it is right under you. Bump you are down. You taxi over to the tarmac and get out. You are of course the last back, and go to the Interrogating officer who asks you who was sick. He seemed awfully sad when we said no one was. Then we went to dinner with our chests out and our heads held high. We were now veterans. We had flown. Boy oh boy I am not kidding, it is swell. We saw a Harvard on the trip and he went past in like - - - - Give my love to everyone. This may not tell you much but it will give you an idea of my first flight in a flying boxcar, an Avro Anson. Well write me and tell Norma to write. Explain to grandma that we work 10 to 12 hrs a day and don’t get much time to do much except sleep, but that I will write her as soon as possible.

Your loving son
(who didn’t get sick)

Tell the Chronicle to put LAC on the Chronicle instead of AC, since I get kidded quite a bit.


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