Dear Mom, Dad, & Family,
Hiya folks. How's our big happy family? Just fine I hope. I was sure glad to receive your letter today Mom & I am glad that you and little Barbara are doing so well. That sure is fine, and boy I am just dying to see her. Boy Mom she must be some little cutie, the way way you describe her & I hear you made the grandest housewife Dad while Mom was away. I am glad to hear everything is fine.
I sure haven't much time to write nowadays. We have finished our ground course & are reviewing our course. So we should be flying soon. Flying is still away behind, but if the weather stays as warm & mild as it is now, we should be up soon. It is just like spring out here. We had a Valentine dance here at the station. It wasn't bad. Boy I am getting to be some dancer, no kidding. At least I think so.
Well we have had a lot of work on gun turrets and the theory of hydraulics by which they work. You know those 4 gun tail turrets in the big bombers well we have some here. We fired 2,000 rounds apiece from them yesterday & boy are they terrific. They are positively deadly to an attacking plane. The amount of lead they push out is truly unimaginable. We used tracer bullets & you could see them whip out. When you fire the first 4 rounds the guns sound like sticking snakes, almost sickening. We are doing all this practical work now & my hands are cut & black just like when I worked at Pacific Sheet. It is a good feeling to have them like that. People think all we do is use our heads but you ought to see us and smell us. We go out and do a days firing and felling & bleeding turrets and working bomb sights and cleaning guns & belting ammo. Our faces get black & greasy & our eyes & cheeks are all spattered & burnt with gun powder. Also our clothes & when I get back at night I positively reek of burnt gun powder, oil and steel, but I love it no fooling. If only there were some Hun crabs in front of my sights. I got a real job boy and we Canadians out here are slowly but surely getting that killing feeling towards Huns & Japs. You can't help it. The acrid smell of burnt powder in your nostrils and eyes & the jump & yammer of guns & the stink of burning oil. I never knew machinery would attract me so.
I got a letter from Johnny today & he sends you all his best. His letters sure sound more cheerful now.
Some of us fellas went into town last Sat. nite & went to a dance at the Wings Hotel "Ballroom". What a laugh. It's a converted barn I think with a rough dry floor and the floor is as hilly as a sway back horse. Boy we sure got a kick out of the name, Ballroom ha-ha-ha! We had a good time tho with the aid of a couple of beers. The boys figured I needed a little builder upper & so I did.
I get a 48 on Thursday, so I guess I will go to Moose Jaw. Well I'll close now and tell you all about it.
Hiya Ray old boy