March 4 1943
Your letter and the parcel arrived today but the latter is still down at the post office. This is because someone else got my mail just before closing and a third party cannot take out a parcel. I am feeling very hungry too.
I am awfully sorry to hear about Jimmy Bond. I wonder why they use land planes on the coastal reconnaisance. I had a letter from Bunny. He says the course requires a lot of work but it is fairly interesting. He was a bit concerned over P. E. I.’s state of prohibition.
Life has been pretty miserable around here lately but the Inspector General, an air vice marshall, paid us a visit today and looked us over so perhaps things will ease off now. We have been cleaning and recleaning the flight rooms for ages and last night this disease of cleanliness reached its crisis. At 6:00 we had to clean out our barrack block (we made a wonderful job of the floor with a can of Bon Ami) and arrange our lockers for inspection. In regard to the lockers everything non issue had to be removed and even books had to be hidden away in kit bags. I took everything out except two khaki shirts, a towel and the hold all. About 6:30 a WO2 checked over our work. About 7:00 a flying officer went thru. Later a flight lieutenant made a check and finally about 9:45 a squadron leader. During all this time we could not leave the hut and it was not practicable to study for a navigation exam we had today as all books had been put away and we did not know when the next visit was coming.
I doubt if there is one man in aircrew who likes the way he is treated. We have to work very hard and get very little time off and yet we are treated like dogs over at the hangars. It is pretty annoying to have the flight commander or some lesser official tell the flight that they have a very poor attitude and will really have to smarten up if they want to keep flying when we are doing our best. When we were told this we were also told we were far behind in our flying. The next day we were told we would start night flying next week as we were so far ahead of schedule. I don’t see how I will be ready for night flying as you are supposed to have 8 hours of ‘under the hood’ flying first and I have only two. This is the least of any but my total time is at least up to the average which is around 35 hours. The day before yesterday I had a 30-hour progress test. I wasn’t quite up to my best as I was in a ship with constant speeds props. which I have not used much but I think I got by O.K.
Our warm weather has passed and we are having extreme cold (certainly for March) accentuated by a bitter north wind. Yesterday afternoon this wind became very strong and flying was washed out. Just before 6:00 when the wind reached 38 m.p.h. news came in that 7 moths were coming form P. A. I was sent out as runway man. (The runway man stands in a glass cage mounded on a panel delivery which is stationed at the head of the landing path and signals with Aldous lamp or Verey pistol when necessary, i. e. when someone forgets to put his wheels down or two planes are too close.) It was interesting to see those poor little Moths land in that wind for when they touched down their ground speed would only be about 7 m.p.h. The first six landed safely although all the way down they were being bumped all over the place. No. 7 appeared to be making the best landing of all but after it touched down the wind got it and it ground looped. It went for about 150 feet at right angles to its original course with one wing scraping the snow then got back into wind without apparent damage. It is a wonder it wasn’t blown over on its back.
When I was up on my progress check a blanket of clouds about 500 feet thick started to roll in at 4000 feet. We flew toward them which was also toward the sun and on reaching them flew about two feet above. The sensation was like climbing a gradual sunny slope. Quite strange but very pleasant. We flew straight ahead for twenty minutes until land could only be seen far in the distance in one direction. The clouds didn’t move very fast for we got off this strange table very close to where we first met it.
On Saturday night Doug. McGrath and I went to town for a steak dinner and show. I lent him some of my vast resources so that he could purchase an engagement ring.
I can imagine how concerned you must have been over Bink’s being A.W.O.L. How dumb he is.
One day I went on a cross country map reading exercise which lasted 2:15 hrs. We went almost to Dafoe then south a bit and back. It is preparation for later flights dual and solo when we have to calculate wind velocities, ground speeds, time of arrival etc. while flying the plane accurately as to airspeed and true course. It sounds an impossibility.
With love from
P. S. I think everybody finds Link as bad as I. I did a “T” track test a few days ago which was the finish of elementary review. Now I am on to Service flying work which will be perhaps a little easier at first for certain helpful gyro instruments are now uncaged.
[Note: Transcription by collection donor.]