August 9. 1942.
I am going to find I. T. S. a very pleasant change form Claresholm so the time should pass very quickly. I don’t expect to have much difficulty with any of the courses—the only catch being the tremendous volume of work that must be covered. We have to memorize a lot of things which seems rather unnecessary such as parts of a pistol and rifle.
Before we left Claresholm we had one lesson with the Aldous lamp. WE have to be able to receive and send 4 words when we leave here on this lamp and receive 6 on W/T. I can do the receiving part now for we had a short test on W/T at 6 and I made only 1 error.
I’ve had 4 link lessons now and only 2 more to come. Next time I have all the controls together for the first time. The instructors won’t tell you how you are on the link but I think I’m about average.
I have passed my night vision test getting 14 out of 32 which is perhaps just over average. One person got 26 but several were around 5 or even below the pass mark of 3. In the test you sit with welders glasses for awhile and then in a pitch dark room for another ??ell. Then you try to read very dimly lit letters 3’ feet in front of you and recognise silhouettes of planes or boats. What you see must be written down on a pad Braille-lined and neatness is taken into account in marking.
Another thing I have passed which is a great relief is my second medical. I’ve put on 6 pounds of weight and held the mercury up 12 seconds more than before. The doctor told me that the only place in air crew for me was pilot which was also very nice. During the medical the doctor who is also head of sports committee, asked me what sports I did. The result is I’ve talked myself into trying out for the polevault in an inter services Labour Day meet. Sports count a great deal, particularly when deciding whether or not to hand out a commission, and as the doctor will also be on the Selection board at the end of I. T. S. I will have to do the best I can. I wonder if you would send me my jumping spikes when you can and also some old socks something like those gray cotton ones I used to wear.
We have had only one session of P. T. so far but it was much tougher than anything so far. However being in the late afternoon it was preferable to the Claresholm just-after-breakfast system.
I went into town yesterday—a fifteen minute walk—and took in supper and a show. Saskatoon is just as nice as you could imagine a prairie town to be. The Hotel Bessborough is worth seeing and between it and the river is a very beautiful part which with its green lawns reminded us of parts of Stanley Park. Unlike Edmonton the city is not high above the river. I haven’t seen any stop signs or automatic signals either so you have to watch your step.
With love from
[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]