Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents

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Title

Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents

Description

Writes from Medicine Hat comparing Harvard and Oxford aircraft. Mentions that they are starting night flying and writes about navigation and cross country training generally. Talks of ground examinations and concludes with mention of bonus from former employer and work after the war.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1942-01-16

Contributor

Steve Baldwin

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

4 page handwritten letter

Language

Identifier

EMadgettLR-AGMadgettHR420116

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

[Royal Air Force Crest)
[underlined] 16th. Jan. 1942 [/underlined]
No. 1330340. L.AC.. H.R. MADGETT
Hut 14A. Course 33.
No. 34S.F.T.S. R.A.F.
Medicine Hat,
Alta. Canada
[inserted] Recd [underlined][indecipherable word] 3 [/underlined][/inserted]

Dear Mum & Dad,
Thanks a lot for your long letter just received dated Boxing Day. It’s a nice break & very welcome – I have not had a single letter for 7 days.
No – the Harvard is not a twin. It is a fighter trainer and needless to say we are on a fighter course. Still, I’d rather have a Harvard than any Oxford. Oxfords just lumber around the sky while Harvards do anything a fighter does. They land at 70 m.p.h. with flaps, and without 90 m.p.h. When we occasionally see a Moth come in to land on the ‘drome we laugh because it stops in a few yards so slow is the landing speed. When you dive the acceleration is terrific, and when pulling out you get bags of “G” (Gravity force)
[page break]
[underlined] 2. [/underlined]
making it very easy to black out. the maximum is put at 262 m.p.h. in a dive, but can be got up to more if you want to say good bye to your side panels. Landing is a tricky business if you are not careful; invariably it tends to swing on the ground and if it gets too strong, one aleo leg will give way & then you’ve had it!
Tonight we start night flying, and have to get in 12 hours in. Mentioning hours I have now 102.50 hrs. all told, 36.30 hrs. of which I have done on Harvards. At the moment most of us are engaged on Navigation Flights and Tests. I have passed my Instrument Flying (I.F.) X Country, and the Navigation Test. Yesterday I went on the No. 1. X Country Solo – to a town 105 miles distant. I did not lose myself touch wood! On such X Country’s you want more than 1 pair of hands. To your left knee is strapped a computer, to your right knee your log, left hand the map & throttle, right hand the stick. Somehow, you have to write down your log every few minutes,
[page break]
[underlined 3 [/underlined]
calculate the G/S (Ground Speed) on the Computer, Track Error etc. All the time you must keep a look out to see where you are on the map (where possible). Then every 15 mins. you have to put the wheels down and check the gyro with the Compass. All the time you must be flying on your correct course, Airspeed at 150 m.p.h. and your height must not go above 50 feet each side of the determined height. So you can see what a job it is.
Don’t think us walking encyclopedias [sic] as you said. We got through the final ground exams O.K. but we still don’t know everything. The weather now is really fine. All traces of snow have now gone and the sun is shining in a cloudless sky all day.
Harkers are getting very generous [deleted] arnt [/deleted] aren’t they - £32 bonus! All this money the keep sending is all very nice but do you think that by doing so, they can force me back after the war.
[page break]
[underlined] 4. [/underlined]
I know that to go back to stuffy office work not at all connected with flying is not going to make me exactly happy. What do you think about it? Although Mr. Stephenson the boss said it made no difference whether I go back, I think very much they are trying to do so by generosity; or do you think they should be approached? Anyway, please let me know what you think?
Well, its getting near dinner time so I must finish –
With Love from [underlined] Hedley [/underlined].
P.S. No black here. Gosh! We have not even thought of it.
P.P.S. when is Peter going to write?
P.P.P.S. have started making allotment as suggested
- Tomorrow on NO. 2 X Country Solo with R/T.
3 leg course – 288 miles.

Citation

Hedley Robert Madgett, “Letter from Hedley Madgett to his parents,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 11, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/11200.

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