March 23rd, 1939
ROYAL AIR FORCE STATION,
HAL FAR, MALTA
Writing with a borrowed pen under difficulties. Received your letter of March 4 (air mail) on Monday when I arrived at Hal Far.
Glorious arrived off Malta on the Monday morning - strong winds blowing and local fog. We ranged up aircraft on flight deck and flew off at 1015 arriving at Hal Far soon after 1030. Strong gale blowing for the last three days (Gregale). The whole squadron took off this morning for dive bombing.
Sorry to hear about your colds, etc. - not very pleasant. Sad news about that Hanker Hart crashing at Calgary. I have put a couple of hundred hours on that type. I think it's about the nicest machine to fly in the world. One can do all aerobatics in it. It has a very good rate of climb.
I received a letter from Ida today. She says she is on the way to Calgary. She wrote from Winnipeg. I haven't heard from Uncle Ross since last September. Very glad to hear that Ronny is still kicking and very much alive. Instead of banks of snow and ice, we get strong gales and rain. Still, I think I prefer the latter.
24th - We dive-bombed this morning again and finished up with some formation aerobatics, i.e. Marmont C. Horsfall and myself. Later we did a second dive-bombing trip. It seems lovely to have a whole aerodrome to land on instead of a shifting strip of steel deck!!
We still don't fly in the afternoons out here, so life is pretty slack. Received a letter from Overall today. I forgot to tell you that Aunt Ida said "so nice to receive a letter from in Malta, written on your Dad's birthday, too!" Sounds like a subtle wisecrack to me. I can never remember birthdays. I am on a watch in Glorious on Saturday. I am now a qualified harbour watch keeper, which means I strut the quarter deck in a frock coat and superintend everything, boats, etc., while on watch.
Noon - 4 Afternoon
4 - 6 1st Dog
6 - 8 Last Dog
8 - 12 1st Watch so what?
12 - 4 Middle Watch
4 - 8 Morning Watch
8 - Noon Forenoon