Letter to Terry Ford from Jack Lawrence



Letter to Terry Ford from Jack Lawrence


A letter from Jack Lawrence to Terry Ford telling him about the course and subjects he is studying while at Naval Air School in Pensacola, Florida, and their social activities.




Temporal Coverage




Four handwritten sheets and envelope


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[postage stamp] [postmark]
Air Mail.

Mr. T. Ford
33 Coronation Av.

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Student L.J.Lawrence,
British Flight Battallion [sic]

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[inserted] [underlined] P.P.S. [/underlined] On the observers course at Miami [?] the lads thought they wouldnt [sic] live with all the work they get - now they are afraid they will their [sic] "brassed off" Don't be put of [sic] by the [underlined] "Student" [/underlined]

[Naval Air Station Pensacola crest]

[underlined] "Student" [/underlined] Lawrence L.J.
British Flight Battallion [sic]
Naval Air Station
November 12th 1941.

Dear Terry,

At last, I have come to writing a letter to you, a letter which I should imagine is about [indecipherable word] months overdue, but better late than never. what!

Well as I expect you have heard I am on the 'binding' course on Observers course to gentlemen. As this appears to be a slack night with regards to homework I thought it an opportune moment to write line.

I will try and give you a few details of this course as it appears, but only having done three weeks I am hardly a judge, but will do my best.

We start the course by taking Dead Reckoning Navigation, gunnery, radio-code, navigation instruments & Celestial Nav. We have finished with gunnery, radio-code & instruments & should have finished with D.R.Nav last Friday as we had the final exam but the D.R has been altered to its original time of three weeks so we have to take

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another exam this Friday which really is a 'bind'. All the Nav. is different than we were taught in England but have the advantage of having had a bit in Americus on the pilots course. All the marks are based on a 4% basis and one has to have 2.5% to pass. I managed to scrape through instruments with 2.8% and had 3.8% on code (at 8-10 per min) but still have to do semaphore and blinker (Aldis lamp). The exam we took last Friday was a three hour problem but only four of the lads failed so it was a pity the exam has to be taken again.

Celestial Nav & Meteorology which we have just started are pretty lousy especially Celestial with all its stars. We have also started ship identification & Air Photography.

The whole course of ground school lasts 8 weeks after which we go to [one indecipherable word] 4 & after one week more of practical Navigation fly on P.B.Y.3's for a month & then go to Virginia [underlined] (Norfolk) [/underlined] where we do three weeks advanced before joining [deleted] the [/deleted] Uncle Sams Fleet in various stations including Cuba, Bermuda or Hawai [sic] (Honolulu) for 3 months. At the end of that time we [underlined] hope [/underlined] to return to England on Costal [sic] Command. At the moment we don't get our brevies [?] until the end of the time with the [underlined] U.S. [/underlined] Fleet but we may get

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them at the end of 13 weeks here as the time spent with the Fleet is counted as operations but as things stand at present – we don't –.

I will now 'wrap up' with work & give you a rough idea of the camp from my point of view. The discipline is much easier than Uncle Sams Army Air Corps although still stricter than [underlined] the [/underlined] R.A.F. We have a ships service & Post Exchange were [sic] we spend our free time eating ice-creams & drinking Coca-Colas. The cinema is the main attraction during the week-end and although some of the films are a bit stale the majority are very good after all its [sic] free – Practically every Saturday the Navy play a football game but it's rather a crazy game and we have a good laugh.

The town is about 7 miles away and I have only been there twice to date. On Tuesday we all went into town as it was Nov 11th & after having a few ice-creams at the drug stores we had a couple of champagnes & shandies which we had to make ourselves (they have never heard of them over here). We then went to the San Carlos for lunch (chicken), its [sic] a bigger hotel than any in Bristol and altogether not a bad place but the town, it stinks!

Den Stone [?] is only about 300 miles north on his pilots course so I may [one indecipherable word]

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up and see him one week end if work permits.

We will probably get a weeks [sic] leave at Christmas & if ground school is finished with we shall probably go to New Orleans or Montgomery or Miami.

I expect you have a rough idea of what we think of the Yanks & Southerners well, its [sic] a 100% feeling at this station

Before I forget very many thanks for your letter which I received a couple months ago also Den's & Roy's [?]

We have all been dished out with new khaki & flying jackets so I have a total of 15 shirts at the moment not bad. eh! I have had to buy a new strong case to carry my equiptment [sic] about in and shall have to get another smaller one before leaving here as that is full up now.

Although I could ramble on for a bit longer I think better close & get down to a bit of Meteorology as we get a test tomorrow so here goes, remembering [sic] me to your mother father Mr & Mrs Bladon [?] & Mary & Dick & of course Den.

Your old pal
[underlined] Jack. [/underlined]

p.s. Horace may like to see this letter, although the writing is lousy

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Jack Lawrence, “Letter to Terry Ford from Jack Lawrence,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 15, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/23930.

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