December 29th, 1944
Dear Mom and Dad,
I guess you are beginning to get a little worried because you haven't received a letter for so long. I didn't mean to let it go this long but somehow, the time seemed to slip by until it is now over two weeks since I wrote. There is really not very much happening to us: nothing exciting I mean. Everything is routine at present. We had a very good Xmas indeed but somehow, I didn't enjoy it very much. I don't know why but somehow, I couldn't make myself believe it was really Xmas this year. I know, there was a grand Christmas dinner but there was altogether too much of a ‘party atmosphere' about everything. Everyone seemed to think that it was nothing but a big excuse to get roaring drunk! which I couldn't see at all. If they had to get drunk, why not wait till New Year's to do it? I couldn't see this going to midnight service ‘so tight' you couldn't sit in the pew, but a good many fellows did it just the same. Christmas Day was even worse because we had a big party in the Mess with all the Principal Officers on the station there - the CO. and the Chief Instructors: all drunk too. And Boxing Day we had a Mess Dance at which everyone was drunk again. I wasn't there ‘Thank God', I was in Scarborough arranging the crew's New Year's Eve Party. I think I have got it pretty well all finished, but we are not sure that we are going to be able to get away from here to go to it. I have met a very nice family in Scarborough and I am afraid they will be rather upset if we cannot get in after they have worked so hard for us! However - flying comes first as usual, so I guess we will just have to hope for the best. I have had no news directly from Stanley, but I met a wounded lad from Belgium who knew him in fact, left him only 3 weeks before in Ghent, Belgium. They had managed to scrounge two bottles of cognac and after they had drunk it, tried to climb the Ghent Cathedral, without success. I wonder what kind of a Christmas he had? This new offensive probably hurt their arrangements a good deal... wish I could see him for awhile. My skipper has just got his commission and we are feeling very happy about it because if any man deserves a P/O, Dick does. He is ‘far and away' the best pilot on the station and that includes all the in-operational pilots: ‘screens' they are called. The Flight Commander said the other day "I wish I was as good a flier as you are Reith!"
He has over 2000 hrs. now, which is lot of flying!
Love to all,