May 3rd, 1943
Well the exams are all over now and most of the results are out. There is only one subject yet to be marked and so far my average stands at 90%. There are several others around that mark but I tied for first place in navigation. On nearly every exam except navigation everyone should get good marks because we got a frightful lot of assistance from the overseers. It tends to even out the marks between those who work and those who don’t. I fell down badly in aircraft recognition getting only 36 out of 50. I had learnt every silhouette and as it was the last exam I went to a show the night before. What a bad mistake for there were no silhouettes on the exam, only photographs that I was not at all familiar with. I was not expecting them but could so easily have looked at them the night before as many did. None of us were much good at Aldous so they sent it at four w.p.m. and did not mind any amount of whispering. As to sending, after half the class had done it they said the rest to go. So I didn’t send on either aldous or key.
I had my wings test today. I did not ask how I had made out but I guess it was good enough. I had much the shortest and easiest test of anyone so far—more a formality than anything else. I am glad it was like this for the air was about as rough as I have seen it and it was impossible to fly accurately. But two tests remain—the link and a navigation trip to Wainwright, Alberta in an Anson.
The course ahead of us got their wings Friday evening at a down town parade, the wings being pinned on by the air officer commanding from Winnipeg, or by the mother or father of the pilot present. It was the first decent wings parade I have seen at this station. Our course wasn’t on parade but I watched from the side lines for all the boys I knew at elementary were getting their wings. About 2/3 got their commissions which is higher than usual. Almost half of them are going overseas. Doug. McGrath got his commission and with two others is going to Charlottetown where Bunny was. Postings fromhere to an R. A. F. school are rare so I don’t suppose I will see him again although I have been recommended for G. R.
The fire you had sounds as if it could have become quite serious. I’ll bet you didn’t have a permit to start it—or is it not that necessary.
Bunny must have had quite a trip home. I don’t quite see why he should go up to Edmonton.
I meant to warn you to expect the gale you got on Good Friday. Our met. man saw it coming from away out in the Pacific and said it might spoil Easter Sunday. It did.
I paid for my Victory bonds today so if Archie sees a sharp decline in his account he will know the reason.
My instructor had a close one when he was acting as test pilot. The rudder controls had been crossed and as he was taking off the plane swerved slightly. Applying rudder to correct it made it twice as bad and he ground looped, breaking off a wheel and smashing a wing tip. Often you don’t need rudder on take off so the fault might not have been discovered until they (there were 3 others aboard) were well off the ground when the results would have been disastrous. Now he sticks his head out of the window so that he can see the rudder to test it, on the first flight of each day.
With love from
[Note: Transcriptions provided by collection donor.]