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No. 2. A.O.8.

Dear Folks:

Well things are getting along in a hurry. I wrote my mid-term D.R. (Dead Reckoning) this morning. I write Maps and Charts final on Monday and mid-term meteorology on Wednesday, so I have plenty to do. I also have a 36 this weekend and Mark Kenney is playing at the Arena Sat. night and I know a nice little blonde [Olwen?] that is rarin' to go so I guess it will be a full weekend.

What's the matter with Berne [his sister], is she gone into hibernation or spending all her time knitting. Nobody ever says anything about her; for all I know she might have quintuplets or something.

The Japs seem to be asking for trouble up in north country. By the way the Yanks are going through here they are getting well prepared. They have some lovely aircraft. The other night we all had to go out and stand along one side of the field that isn't fenced to keep back the crowd when a bunch of Yanks came in. One Fortress got off the runway and got stuck in the mud, so the rest had to circle for about an hour and everybody in Edmonton came out to see them coming in. There were every type of plane imaginable. One Air Cobra crashed just west of here just after they took off in the morning; killed the pilot and left just a pile of ashes and twisted metal. Those Lockheed Interceptors can sure get around the sky. It's a case of "there he was" with them and they can almost go straight up. This is a real place here to see the new planes. But the old Ansons are fast enough for my navigating as yet.

I got right off my map the other day but fortunately I had given the pilot a chit to alter course at a certain time and it brought us back on again. The last day we were up I was Second Navigator so I didn't do much but help the other guy. We had a real system: he would clime into the bombsight and get a drift and hand it to me. I'd work out a wind while he got his air plot caught up and before we knew it we had a course ready for our turning point. We had to circle Vermillion for ten minutes at 9000' and draw a picture of it giving the data on railways, how many box cars, traffic, general features, and if any factories, etc. It's quite a job and I'm no artist. I am getting to know this country around now and I keep my directions straight at least. It has been awful bumpy here in the afternoons and we had our last four flights in the afternoon. It doesn't bother me but a lot of the boys get sick. The pilot was quite surprised yesterday that both of us were as cool as cucumbers and the old crate was really bouncing all over the sky. You stand up and go to walk up to ask the other guy something and wham you are up groping around the ceiling, then next thing you get bashed against the radio set, but its lots of fun. We are starting to plot fixes from the sun. It is quite simple but takes quite awhile. We will soon be flying at night by the bloody stars, that is when the fun starts.

You have a sextant, an astrograph, an astro compass, a half a dozen maps, all your pencils and a computer and have to struggle over to an aircraft; there are more tools to carry than enough. I don't know how the old Anson manages it. I have about thirty hours flying in here. Time mounts up when you fly every day like we did the passed week. It's a funny thing but you don't want to fly every day here. It takes an hour to prepare the flight, then you have to work like old nick in the [word(s) missing?] you are jumping around grabbing everything but what you want, then you say where am I and lookout and find a town then rush back and find you are away off track. What a life, but I like it so everybody is happy.

Well I guess I'll go to bed, get a bit of sleep for a change.

So Long,
Love JB