June 11. 1944
Isn’t it great that the Invasion has started at last. I hope we have success after success but I wonder if it will move very fast. I should think the French transportation system is so shattered that there cannot be any spectacular gains in any one day. I wonder if Peter is over there yet—probably yes. I had ten days of my leave before being recalled and it was good although there wasn’t a great deal to do. There were two letters from you and one from Archie when I returned. Archie talks about my aircraft and says ‘we think we are right in our guess’ but you have never said what that is. Now why is that. I am the only one that reads your letters—I don’t know about mine. No, Archie I don’t want any film. I must have at least five rolls all unused even after my last leave. There is no trouble about getting it developed but I am sure it would not be easy to send it over to you. I bought the bike from the second pilot alright. And that is what I am also.
My leave won’t sound very interesting in writing because an outline of one day would not be different than any other. There was a lot of us all staying at the same hotel and this saved the day. I’d usually breakfast in bed and get down to the bar about 1130 where I’d always meet somebody. Then it would be snooker or just drink until luncheon (usually roast chicken, at first from novelty and later necessity since that is about all there was) and a show in the afternoons. If the weather had been kinder I would have spent more time out of doors but in any case we didn’t like to go far afield in case of a recall. In the evenings most of us went to a night club—rather a nice spot except for a very noisy band. Liquor was £3 to £4 a bottle and in general it was more expensive and far more limited in quantity than in London.
Also I spent much time at a very smart officers club—a really spacious affair populated mostly by Army Air Corps. It had about five lounges, numerous bars, sandwich counter, dining hall and dance hall etc scattered over three floors. I’ve never seen a place with so much elbow room except on the screen. One night I went greyhound racing. Two of us bet a total of £8 on the seven races and were down 15/ each at the end. Not bad we thought.
One day I went out to a nearby resort town to see a girl I had met earlier in the week and so nearly missed the last train back. This would have been bad for the recall telegram arrived late that night. Back in camp the first thing that happens is my skipper cracks up on a motor bike, perhaps fractured a hip but we don’t know yet. He is almost through his time so there is another skipper ready anyway.
With love from Tony
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]