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Date: October 7th 1941
Jill Leir - (girlfriend)
Denys Beames

#15 E.F.T.S.,

Dearest Jill;

Darling it seems ages since you last wrote to me and I’ve written twice, receiving no answer, please drop a line soon and tell me that you haven’t forgotten. You know I’m the one that’s supposed to be the poor correspondent. Also I’d still love to have that picture of you.

I’m going to send this home and let your mother re-address it in case I have the wrong address. I’d like to have your full address again if you’d put it in your next letter.

I’ll be moving again next friday Jill, as I have completed the course here. I passed all the ground studies and my 50 hr. flying test and I’m so darn happy and proud that I even stayed sober at the flight party.

It has lifted a lot of worries of my shoulders. – the old spectre of my chest has been with me often and I felt if I could get through here I would be safe.

It has been a lot of hard work and the flying is very strenuous but I have done my best and loved every moment of it.

I have some 55 hours behind me now 29 of which are solo and how I love those solo hours, when I can get of by myself to practice airobatics and play around low flying, which of course we aren’t supposed to do but it’s swell fun.

I must stop for tonight, Jill as the flight sergeant is here to turn out the lights. I didn’t realize it was so late but I’ll finish this in the morning. God bless you dearest, sleep safe.

Good morning lady lovely here I am, just arrived back from C.O.’s parade, on which we nearly froze to death. It is a dour, gray day with a strong, icy wind blowing from the north-east and all the signs say winter!

I still have no love for this prairie, finding it even more drab as the town gardens turn to the sear and yellow, stealing the last oasis like bit of greenery from us. It would be wonderfull to see the coast with all its lush growth and magestic peaks – at least when I do, I shall have a fuller, richer realization of just how beautifull our B.C. really is, for it is the contrasts in life which enable us to evaluate things and give us our sense of appreciation.

The course at S.F.T.S., has been extended two weeks, which means that I may not get home for Xmas, in fact unless something unprecedented happens I’ll not get my leave till about the 4 or 6th of January. However if this is the way it is to be, so be it, and I’ll enjoy it just as much whenever I get it.

Being a fighter pilot I’ll be sent overseas for my operational training and if my luck holds out, it will be about the time of the spring push. This has been the wish of all of us and if we can make it, then our expectations will be completely filled.

I have a set of prints for you which I am enclosing and am getting some more developed. Some of these are not good but I know you’ll appreciate them, so here they are.

The first was taken at 6:30 one morning after a singularly heavy night and Happy, (my bunk mate who has since washed-out), said that anyone who could get up and look as pleasant as I did, should have his picture taken, so we dug out my camera and this is the result.

#2 was taken at the apron after a two hour solo flight in one of our trusty “Tigerschmitz,” and gives you a pretty good idea of the type of clothes we have to wear when flying open ships.

The third was taken later on in the morning when it was warmer and I had a dual flight coming up. It is quite warm with the cover over and heavy clothes are unnecessary. You can see the earphones and the pack fairly well in this picture. The arrow points out the ripcord and the circle of metal on the left of the arrow is the release box. As you can see this was a double exposure but it hasn’t really spoilt the picture.

In the fourth picture I tried to get a view of the planes in the hangar but it was rather dark.

The fifth, I took while waiting on the field for my engine to warm up. It is supposed to be an Avro-Anson bomber taking off but my shutter is to slow and it is really no good because of the vibration in my aircraft.

#6 is supposed to be a shot of the field taken from 3,000 ft. You can see the triangle runways fairly well but nothing of our buildings or the town as I had hoped.

This last picture is quite good, showing the line up of Ansons used by the observers school. The small mechanism on the left wing strut of my plane is the airodynamic airspeed indicator which one may use if he doesn’t want to look into the cockpit, at such times as when he is flying formations etc.

Last time I wrote I told you how I had been worrying over problems pertaining to my future and some of the things that were bothering me. Of late I have had no time for this and found I get along much better if I live for the present, so I shall leave these things till I have to worry about them.

This flying is like a disease in ones blood, for the longer we are up the more we want and we eat, sleep, dream, and work for the hours upstairs. When flying is washed-out because of bad weather everyone goes around looking dyspeptic and unhappy because we we have lost a few hours which really isn’t serious, but it puts us in an awfull temper.

I will write again before I leave here and send you some more pictures if possible – but that depends on how much I have to do to-morrow.

What do you do with yourself these days darling? I suppose you find lots to interest yourself with in the city and in your work. Do tell me how the school compares with ours if it is comparable. Is it still a tough grind or do you find that things are becoming clearer and more interesting this year? Tell me all the places you see and all the interesting things you do – I know there must be lots of them Jill and it means a lot if you can find time to tell me of them.

Things are just the same with me as they always were and I wait and live for the time when I will be with you again dearest – every hours work and every day successfully finished brings us a little closer darling and the time will come when I can take you in my arms and play with all that golden hair to tease you and make you love me that much more. I lie in bed often and think of the little blond angel that made me so happy with her sweet smiles hot little tempers, who could give so much and ask so little.

I remember those rides when I watched you covertly for a sign of tiredness or a sore pair of legs, but you never gave in, even after that forty mile ride – remember? I loved you for that Jill and for the way you always put the best you had into everything, taking the bumps without a whimper and I love you more than ever because I believe you still have the faith in me and love me as you promised.

It is true that we men are prone to go out and seek pleasure with other women, but with all our work here and the little time we have, the few parties I have been on have been stag. Certainly I have looked at women and thought what good figures they have had and that I would like to take them out – you know what I mean and how strong the urge can be. Always though I think of you and feel disgusted with myself and know if I should go ahead and satify these lusts I should be very sorry and ashamed afterwards, so I go to bed at night and think of you and am satisfied with life as long as I know I can have you again someday.

There will be two weeks of leave for me when we can ride, talk and read together and love each other as we used to so dearest we have that to look forward to and I shall not spoil the thought of it.

I must close now as I have just been phoned for from the hangar. I’d keep on writing even if there was nothing to say, because I feel closer to you when can sit and think of things to say. But I must stop and get over to the hangar. I’ll be waiting for a letter darling and don’t make me wait too long – it’s such an empty feeling when I walk away from the mail box with no mail from you.

God bless you Jill,
All my love,

My new address.
L.A.C. H.D.B. R101215,
#11 S.F.T.S. R.C.A.F.,

Original Scans

Original Scans