April 15, 1943
In another two weeks we will be writing our final exams and by that time I think we will have finished most of our wings tests also. We are going to start our wings instrument tests within the next few days.
If every week was like this week has been the end of the course can’t come quick enough for me. I was up before the WO2 station discip. on three different counts in three days. The first was for leaving shoes on top of my locker. They caught 4 in our hut but I counted many more they should have got as soon as I got home after flying. We were given 3 hrs. extra duty but only had to sweep the drill hall which only took an hour. The next was more serious. They caught 40 men on the station for having cups, empty coke bottles or cutlery in their lickers. They had me down for a tableknife which was absurd for I had no knife and my locker is invariably locked so that they could not have found out what was in it. However we were paraded before the squadron leader in charge of ground school who listened to our stories but automatically remanded us to the CO. I said my locker was locked so I had to go and see this WO2 discip who had brought the charge. The two of us went over to the hut and found that the knife had been found in a locker almost the full length of the hut from mine. The only explanation was two months ago I had slept close to this locker for three days and had left a name card on the bed. I still had to go before the CO but he dismissed the case. Others were not so fortunate and got days CB with extra duties, then 7 days restricted privileges. A stiff penalty for having an empty soft drink bottle but they wanted to make an example. My third count was for not having a meal ticket. However there was not much to this for it was not a case of having lost it. Like several others in my course I had never been issued with one.
Lately I have done several instrument crosscountry flights. One of these was for three hours—a sort of endurance test. On this trip the air was so rough we had to climb up to 10.000 feet before it became smooth. On another, a shorter one, our artificial horizon was unserviceable and again the air was exceedingly rough. It made flying very difficult and airspeed varied by 30 mph and height 300 feet each side of where it should be.
I had a successful precision flight today. In this we assume zero wind and so set course on track for a town 51 miles away. You fly under the hood at 140 m.p.h. and so when you have gone 51 miles, that is in 22 minutes, you take down the hood and find out where the wind has blown you from the town you would have got to had there actually been no wind. From this you can figure out the wind and while the instructor flies the plane you use this wind to obtain the course to fly home and how long it will take. Then under the hood again and when the time is up you are supposed to be within gliding distance of the airport. I came out almost on top of the airport. The only assistance I had was my instructor did the adjusting of the gyro compass most of the time. This instrument precesses a few degrees (about 4 in 15 minutes) and ordinarily you keep resetting it to agree with the magnetic compass. As usual the air was very rough and the compass needle hardly ever settled down long enough to know what it read. My instructor could get an idea of what it should read by looking at the section lines which make prairie navigation so easy.
I will start formation flying tomorrow. We get 12 hours of this, 4 with an instructor and 8 with another pupil as a lookout. They say this is the best part of the course.
Tell Mary the Digest is coming along O.K. I have had two copies so far.
With love from
[Note: Transcription provided by collection donor.]