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Date: January 1942

January 1942

Dear Folks:

Well I am back from my leave and I sure had a good time. We went to Vancouver and got there about one o'clock A.M. New Years day. We got a ferry over to Victoria in the morning and spent the rest of the time there.

It sure is nice out there—green grass etc. It was fairly cold for then however and everyone was shivering and we discarded great coats and enjoyed it. They are quite aware there is a war on out there. A minesweeper came in and reported sinking a large Jap sub in Pudget Sound, so that stirred up quite a bit of excitement.

We were out to Pat Bay station and looked over a few real aircraft. They had Hudsons and Bolingbrokes and some Beauforts and Lysanders and they carry full bomb loads and are armed to the teeth with guns. There are a number of Stranroers at the sea plane base and some Sharks which are practically obsolete now.

They have no blackouts now but a lot of windows are still covered. They patrol the waters around there by sea and air. On the way back to Vancouver we saw a number of Stranroers go up the channel and the old ferry zigzagged along. It was night when we got to Vancouver and the searchlights picked us up and then another light signalled us and they answered it from the boat. They aren't fooling out there. They have a lot of artillery there and are getting a lot of anti aircraft guns. They expect big things now that rumour has the Queen Mary and the Warspsite[?] in at Seattle. They expect a lot of reinforcements to go east.

Three more guys have gone to ITS and I am on the next gang to go so I hope you will soon be able to address my mail AC2 J.B. Bell.

They kept me in the hospital eight days over that tonsil business. That tonsil operation sure is simple. You sit in a chair like a dentists and they freeze the darn things and then he fills your mouth full of tools and squeezes a couple of things and its all over in about ten minutes.

I had things figured out for five days at home at New Years but I didn't bother after all as I wanted to see the coast and there is no time like now when I am here. We got a few pictures but you can't take them very good on the train.

It has been so cold out here that we haven't had parades. When we aren't on leave it was -20 but has warmed up a bit since. It is only -10 now but one of these days a Chinook will blow it all away.

Thanks for the pajamas and believe it or not I have been wearing pajamas for quite some time. Bill and Bernice must think I have a bullneck or something. I take a 14 1/2 and they sent me a 15 1/2 shirt but I'll sell it and get one that fits.

By the way, how about my share in the Christmas boxes for Bill & Elmer. I am going to send some money back anyhow so if you will give Bill ten dollars of it and take out my share of the other, you can deposit what is left. I didn't use all the cash after all and being in the hospital over Christmas sort of saved on it and I had some loaned out that I didn't figure on.

Has Bernice had any word from [husband] Bun? I haven't heard from Razz and hardly know where to write. I can write to Sussex but the way they look after mail in this outfit he wouldn't likely get it.

We have a bunch of new Fleet Forts in. They are something like a Harvard but not as fast. They sure are a simple kite and maintenance should be very easily done on them. They flew the first one tonight and I was heading for supper so didn't see it.

Well I guess I'll call it off.

Love, JB