Sept 23. 1942
Well all the strain of I. T. S. is behind me now and I have accomplished what I set out in my mind to do. I hope you are very proud for I got first place in course 59 and perhaps the highest average to come from the school. This average was 94.7%. WE are getting about sixteen days leave and tomorrow I am leaving for Vancouver where I expect to spend two or three days.
Most of the week was spent waiting round for one thing or another. On Monday morning X flight went out to #4 SFTS where we each had 24 practice shots with .38 revolver. After lunch we marched over to Bedford School and turned in our books—later we marched down town for a swim at the YMCA.
On Tuesday morning we had our gas chamber test. The worst part of this was the preliminary drill—marching and running around the parade square wearing masks. The running would be bad enough without masks. After the gas test we had to spend about 2 minutes in the chamber without masks to prove to our own satisfaction that the things really worked. It was only weak tear gas so it wasn’t bad.
It was this morning (Tues) that I was notified I had top position and immediately I had to assume the position of flight marker. I also had an interview with the flight commander and the COs address so far as I was concerned was based mainly on this. However he never mentioned that you flew in the last war—the imaginative press thought this up. In the afternoon we marched to town for another swim.
Wednesday was the day of the Selection board—a very tiring day. It was worse for everybody else as they had no idea what their marks were when they were called in. However as a whole the class did well with an average of 83.3 and most of them got what was their first choice. It was late in the afternoon when I got in. You have to march up to the CO who sits at the head of a U of officers, then salute and sit down. I was asked quite a bit about whether I found the course at all difficult etc and if I had to study much. Also some questions by the head of the link instruction. To my surprise I didn’t do very well in this. However it doesn’t matter much and I am going to be a pilot.
I think they will be recommending me for pilot navigator which is about the best you can get. It means probably that you will fly something big like a Sunderland. However to be this you must be very close to the top in flying and ground work all through the course.
Last night we had our flight party. Usually this consists of a banquet here and dance afterwards. If we had done this I would have had to make a speech but fortunately we combined the two so that only the CO said anything.
We were a little the worse for wear on COs inspection this morning and if you are no thinking very quickly it certainly shows up when you are right marker in a right dress. After the inspection we had our ‘prop’ parade and spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon trying to keep warm doing nothing.
In the afternoon we did some commando training which is not much fun when it is cold. Believe it or not it is snowing hard just now.
I got an awfully nice engraved Ronson righter along with my props this morning.
I think that just about covers this hectic week.
With love from
Math 150 150
Administration 95 100
Navigation 143 150
Meteorology 45 50
Theory of flight 99 100
Anti gas 40 50
Armament 45 50
Aircraft Recognition 97 100
Drill 83 100
Signals 150 150
[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]