May 29, 1943
Well yesterday was the great day and today a different life begins. That of a pilot officer. But I will go back a bit first.
My flight with the chief instructor didn’t quite bring me to the top. I believe I was third counting ground school, flying and general assessment (whatever that is). The boy from Chile was first. However I have a nice slip of paper in my log book which says ‘above average’ in the three fields they classify ie. general flying, navigation and bombing.
Our wings banquet and dance was at the Bessborough on Thursday. Bill White who is going to Summerside with me and myself have both been suffering from what must be a mild ‘flu so we only went to the banquet and not the dance. I had a few drinks before it, thinking it might fix me up but I didn’t feel like starting again after supper so went home early. The rest of the class drifted in at all hours but nearly all managed to make the CO’s parade at 7:30 despite terrific hangovers.
Our wings parade was about 3:30 and was not particularly impressive. We should have been the happiest bunch in the world but after four months of struggle we all felt rather beat down. We had a photograph taken right after which will come to you and I think it will be very glum. It really should be taken before the wings party.
The commissions out of 45 men were handed out about this time and we got our clearances and headed for down. Bill W. and I have a lovely room at the Bessborough until the train pulls out tonight. Last night we saw many of the boys off first at the CNR and then the C.P.R. Several were RAF and we promised to look them up later.
This morning we spent some money. I have spent all my allowance and have not got a greatcoat out of it which will be another 60.00 or so. I got one uniform with 2 pants, shirts, cap, gloves, trench coat, pyjamas etc etc. Boy, we look smart now. We even got gladstone bags and these are not included in the $150.00 either.
We donned this new raiment about 2:00 p.m. and feeling very strange we sauntered out for lunch. What a lot of saluting we did in in the next two hours. A lot of the army pass us by but on a Saturday afternoon there were hordes of others. When we came back to the hotel we felt much more at ease.
We get to Toronto Tuesday morning, so should spend two days there. I have 2½ bottles of scotch to help pass the time. I bought it last week thinking it would come in handy in such a place as B. C.
In the near future I will see about a photograph.
With love from
c/o R. A. Stubbs
#1 G. R. S.
Summerside, P. E. I.
[Note: Transcriptions provided by collection donor.]