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Date: January 22nd 1939

January 22, 1939


Dear Mother:

Nothing much to write about. The new aircraft-carrier "Ark Royal" arrived in Malta on Thursday afternoon on its way to Alexandria. 802 met it 80 miles out from Valletta and gave it a suitable heat up and let the boys know we were here. Later they entertained us to a cocktail party aboard.

Met Gray and Bagley, two old pilots that I went to Wittering with. (Bagley) Gray I went to civil school with at Reading.

Yesterday we borrowed Bell's car and went to a rugby game at the Marsa Club and later went to Chitavek - the old capitol for tea - returning to Valletta for dinner and a picture.

During the weekend the cruiser HMS Liverpool came in on its way to Singapore and the East Indies. It carries three Walrus amphibian aeroplanes and two pilots. To landed here at Hal Far - I was duty pilot. My runner reported the names of two pilots - one Sub Lt. Hoare. I became interested and went out to see if Hoare was an "A" branch. He was. I asked him if he came from Canada. "As a matter of fact, yes, how did you know?" (He still thought I was an Englishmen and felt hurt that anything could show he was Canuck. Ho! Ho!) I must say I had the advantage as I had heard of him and he didn't know me - thanks to your letters.

So I suggested he lived in Calgary and introduced myself. Evidently he had worked in Saskatoon a couple of years before coming over. He is two months senior to me and already has a medal (Coronation) which he got for helping to line the route at Cariff - such is fame. I certainly think he is having a grand commission.

I should say Bob Niven is doing the best of anybody over here in the R.A.F. He was exceedingly lucky enough to be in a bomber squadron chosen to carry out endurance tests on new bombers, so he has knocked up hundreds of hours flying. I hear he also has a very diplomatic manner and knows what wheels to grease, etc. and should do very well.
Hoare looks just a boy but must be 21 or 22 at least and perhaps older.

All the boys just out from England think the weather very hot here, but we feel quite chilly at times. I believe our blood thins out here in the summer time and we naturally feel the cold much more than they will.

The days are beautifully sunny and warm even in January. I'm glad I am not freezing back in Calgary - Ha! Ha!

Is Ronny still as chunky as he was - I'll bet he looks a lot different now.

We are going to the south of France in May, I believe, Cannes, etc. Boy! What a time. Out of season too! Therefore much cheaper to exist. I believe it's a beautiful country - it's very popular with everyone in Glorious who went last spring.

Write often.