June 15, 1942
Well here we are at Claresholm service flying school. Haven’t had time to see very much yet as we only arrived last night but I think it will be alright if we don’t have to stay too long. We are three miles from the town and as it is about the size of
Armstrong I don’t suppose we will go in very often.
The country is very flat here and practically devoid of trees but we can see the Rockies in the distance and the foothills not too far away so it is better than Edmonton that way.
Our quarters here are quite similar to the depot but perhaps a little more spacious.
The meals are better I think (I’ve only had two so far) and we don’t have to contend with the crowd.
We don’t know what we are to do yet. Some will be guards, others on various fatigue jobs such as caring for the grounds, hut cleaning etc. These jobs are only in the afternoon for we are to have an hours P. T. and two hours lecture each morning. I hope I get a good job preferably near the planes for it will make all the difference.
There seems to be countless planes here—mostly twin engined Cessnas and some Puss Moths. I think we will be able to engineer a few rides from time to time.
There are so many of us in this draft, all P or O’s. All the potential WAG’s went to a service flying school in Calgary the same day which gripes us somewhat.
The last week in the depot was very easy for me due to a great deal of luck and some skill. Some of the boys were assigned jobs for the week but the rest were detailed to something after each roll call. I found it advisable to always fall in at the top of the flight for they started at the other end and sometimes ran out of jobs before getting to the top. For instance one morning there were twenty left over. We were told to play softball until it was time for wireless class. Another day three of us went round the fence to fix holes. As it had rained hard the night before there were very few holes to be fixed.
I was out with some old Yellowknife friends on Saturday night and didn’t get home until four. There were two of us and we searched for a hole but finally had to go over the top. I don’t think we were seen but the guard yelled “Halt”. We scurried into the nearest hut and climbed into a vacant bed but there were no further developments so we soon got home. On Sunday morning our draft had to turn in our “Exit and Entry” cards. There was an anxious moment when we two had to report ours were still at the guardhouse but the corporal asked for no explanation but merely marked down “No card.”
You have asked me some time ago if there is anything particular I want. I don’t think there is. It is not cold enough for a sweater yet and that is about the only thing I might need. I rather like to keep my equipment as light as possible while I am moving round but I hope I won’t have to be moving from one hut to another as often now as in the past.
This afternoon there was a wing parade for some 50 men who had just won their wings. It will be a great day when I get there and a day long in the future. Did I tell you ITS is lengthened to 14 weeks and I think SFTS is now 6 months. I don’t like it.
With love from
[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]