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Date: September 1st 1941
Mother & Dad - (Wilhelmina & John Gray)
John (Jack) Gray

[original address censored and address below added in a different pen & handwriting]
Sept 1/41
(Labor day)

Dearest Mother and Dad

First please let me apologize for not having written for over a week but I haven’t been so busy in all my days. I know that is a poor excuse since I could have found time to write just a short note.

I just received your fourth parcel today containing shirt, underwear, kleenex, peanuts etc and was it great – no fooling it was wonderful and the best yet. I have received all your parcels to date which are four. The mail is coming well too – quite regularly. This private address is a good thing and speeds them up about two weeks.

Yesterday I had a letter from [cut out when reverse side censored] 29 so it took [censored, as previous] which was the [censored, as previous] parcel too. I had a letter day before from Audrey which was mailed Aug 14 by air mail so you can see the difference just once more.

I have now been moved to a new station so I have just one more jump until we go on the real thing. We fly here in Hampden bombers which are exactly the same as the ones we fly in when we bomb Hitler. It is here that we will be crewed up with the other members of the crew. These Hampdens are not a bad crate having a crew of four and a speed of 265. They are a horrible looking thing though – that is the big trouble and they have not received the publicity. As you know I was hoping to go to the east [cut out when reverse side censored] that is out of the question for now I think.

We got a bad deal [cut out when reverse side censored] arrived at this station. We should have received a weeks leave but instead we went right to work. When the weekend rolled around Harry and I left Friday for Heston as we were invited there. Of course we were on the mat when we got back and received a severe reprimand. We shouldn’t have done it but we were a little disgusted with the way things were going anyway. [censored – bottom of page cut off]

[censored] a few miles from [censored]. If you want to find me on a map I don’t think it will be marked but is about halfway between [censored] and [censored] – that is north of [censored].

We had a nice weekend down at Heston. Saturday night we went to the huge dance at Hammersmith with Bob and Hilda, Hilda’s sister Doris, Harry and I in the party. A funny thing happened there. About six different people asked me if I was in this wonderful movie “Target for Tonight”. I was getting to think I must be something – maybe Hollywood will want me next. I am hardly in the thing though really. [censored – bottom of page cut off]

Things are quite quiet over here these days Germany is busy in Russia and we are busy getting prepared for big things while the R.A.F. still plasters away at Germany. The raids have been very few and light over here but Churchill has warned the people to expect plenty more yet.

Well this is the next day and now I really have something to be sorry about. Another lad just came back here today after setting out for Canada about a week ago. He had enough mail from all of us for the whole of Canada but at the last minute his trip was called off. I will send a wire in the morning so you will know everything is alright.

We had an armament examination day before yesterday and the results today gave me 100% which is mighty good. The officer said it was the best paper he had seen in a very long time – I was lucky I guess. Boy I haven’t been so busy in all my life. We even work Sundays and nights as well as all night once in awhile. I was Duty Signaller the other night which is an all night job. I had to look after a radio set as well as three signal lamps out on the airdrome at night. My job is to signal the aircraft whether it is OK to land or not and also to be in charge of the flare path. They sure keep you hopping. Great stuff though.

You were saying, Mother, that you thought I’d put on weight. If I have I don’t’ know how as the only time I ever get a square is when I go to the Beaver Club or Bob and Hildas. I’m glad the summer was nice at home but I can’t say the same for here. I thought it was the spring and when it was all over found it was the summer. The papers have not been too good but you can’t expect much as that is third class mail and sort of stays behind if there is no room. I have had four bundles though. They are interesting. Glad to hear Norman was through on his holidays. I’m glad you appreciate what these Sheldons are doing for me because I certainly do. I am not close enough to visit any other people over here or I would. Looking forward to the leave. It is fine that Phyllis and Ed are getting settled in Calgary. I can sure believe it is hard to get any place to stay there. By the way I hope you enjoyed the corn roast at Peebles’ summer home.

I might as well tell you another good reason for no mail. For over a week I have been absolutely cold broke and as yet I have never borrowed any money and didn’t want to start. There is no post office nearby so I couldn’t draw any there or would have. I guess I didn’t tell you that I sold that large tin suitcase of mine just before we came over here. I got about $3 for it which was alright as I paid only four. Sorry I am not there to do the hedge and grass for you but I still don’t like that work but boy it will be great to get home again.

Look mother if you ever get one of those hams in a tin or a small cooked one in cellophane or something like that it would sure go good. Don’t Hormels’ put out canned ham and chicken – food is the big thing over here. You could send me a can of olives and some cheese once in a while too. Any food is mighty welcome over here.

That was a good idea of yours Dad to send the carbon letter. You save everything on that but the letter was sure welcome. I sure am sorry about the letter concerning my visit to Mrs. Gray at Brechin. I wrote you the night before and then told you all about it in a letter a few days later. It was a swell time we had chewing the fat. Her husband had died just three weeks before though. She had all you letters, Dad, and also the newspapers and the Board of Trade book with you golfing. There was another old couple there but I don’t remember there names unless it might have been Loch. I don’t know though. I think quite a few letters were lost last April and May when the subs were doing their dirtiest but the Navy rules the seas now so the mail is a lot better.

I haven’t heard from Hampton yet but I think those are Fairey Battles he is flying – they are the same as we flew at Mossbank but are no longer used except for training purposes. They are a good craft though.

Glad to hear all about the Plymouth, Dad and also about Nelsons new car. It must be tough getting petrol gas these days (I must be careful of I’ll turn into an Englishman.)

I will write a letter to the News one of these times when I have something to write about which would be of general interest but most of this stuff wouldn’t be much good to others. I will also write to Grandpa one of these days. I am not fooling though when I say that we hardly have time to write.

From all the news I have received lately everything seems alright at home. I’m glad the business is not too bad. How is the fruit getting along. I think I’d give a million dollars for a good apple. I’ve only had one since I arrived here and it was a stunted scrub which still tasted pretty good. I had an orange (first one) two days ago as Harry had two in a parcel from home.

Harry is a good lad and you would both like him. Bruce Gray has been stripped and now is an AC2 Service Policeman.

I must go now on a cross country trip and will try to send a wire too. I must buy some stamps to send this airmail. Please send some light weigh paper next parcel. The next letter will be a lot soon.

You loving son

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