Henry William Amner Collett's diary

YCollettHWA422260v1-a.pdf
YCollettHWA422260v1-b.pdf

Title

Henry William Amner Collett's diary

Description

The entries proceed from 1 January 1942 to 24 October 1942.

Creator

Date

1942

Temporal Coverage

Spatial Coverage

Language

Format

One diary

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.

Contributor

Identifier

YCollettHWA422260v1

Transcription

Purchased at
Halifax,
Nova Scotia,
[underlined] Canada [/underlined]

Jan 2/41

[page break]

HWA Collett
Mc Greevy St.
Wiapawa
Hawkes Bay
New Zealand

[page break]

Five Year Diary

This Book is the Property of

Sgt. Obs. H.W.A. Collett
[inserted] NZ. 412468
℅ N.Z. House
415 The Strand
London

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[indecipherable word] JANUARY 1. Thursday

New Years Day and still in Halifax - Have been here now since Dec 16th. Got home at 3.30am after going to dance at “Y” Depot. Had our parade at 11am and were dismissed for the day. Slept till 1.30 then cleaned up and went with a NZ pilot to Sgt. “Ham.” Hamilton for new years tea arrived 4 and stayed till 12.15 played crib and had a jolly good time.

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JANUARY 2. Friday

Woke about 8 just in time to dress wash and make the parade. Were then marched to G & S and went to sleep during a gas lecture. Slept all through dinner - hour parade 1.15 and then went to the gym and listened to Such [indecipherable word] “Renfrew of the RCMP” quite a good show several shorts. Rumour of a draft of 4,00 to-morrow & we hope so as it is raining like Hell now. Went to town brought this diary tea, cheese, cigarettes.

Letter From Nova - good show Cable from Rosemary.

Cabled Rosemary.

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JANUARY 3. Saturday

Usual late rising but made parade O.K. Were marched to Gym and had a talk on the Attention Area etc. Then saw “In old Chicago” with Tyrone Power and Alice Faye had seen it still it passed the time. Draft of 400 called on 1.15 parade we waited till 3.30 were then marched to arena to see ice Hockey and were dismissed. Went to town with Cookie and brought some silk stockings, shirt.
Went to [indecipherable word] to Barracks and then to Jubilee - good show. To supper and then home.

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JANUARY 4. Sunday

Did not have to be on parade until 10 so got up about 9.45. As our names were called R.A.A.F. & RNZAF chaps fell out & went up to G/S to listen to the newsheet. Arranged a game of indoor cricket for Tuesday night so it looks as though we’ll be in Halifax for some time yet. Went to church at 11 with Dune Mac and then back to “Y” having bacon & eggs on the way. Went to bed for the afternoon. Up about 7.30 showered and felt a bit better snowing & raining intermittently

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JANUARY 5. Monday

Up early paraded at 8.30 drafts called but we still miss - its getting uncanny saw a show. Very little all day. Went to town with Dave & Biggs (R.C.A.F.) and then to Barracks for a couple then down to Jubilee Boat club to a dance. Met Rita M. a very nice girl. home about 1 with Phil Skinner

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JANUARY 6. Tuesday

On Parade in Morning but still no draft for us. Although several more flights were formed up. Saw a show in the morning and at the 1.30 parade it came at last we were called in no 19 flights at last. Had an F.F.I.P in the afternoon and all passed O.K. Mucked around all afternoon, mostly sleeping
Went to meet R.M at 11.30, went home & spent some time there finally camp at 2.

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JANUARY 7. [deleted] Thursday [/deleted] [inserted] Wednesday [/inserted]

8.30 parade everyone getting sorted out, and everything is at sixes & sevens. Finally got fixed up at 9.30 and have now another number No 15 of flight 19. Dismissed 9.40 and went to barracks to pack. Parade 1.30 some called for pay parade, rest dismissed till 3. Parade again at 5 and were paid received $25.90 and £3 English. Brought quite a bit of canned food sugar and the like. Packed & left 1 Kit Bag on Parade ground

Wrote to office.

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JANUARY 8. [deleted] Friday [/deleted] [inserted] Thursday [/inserted]

Up early and had first breakfast at “Y” depot Paraded on parade ground at 8.15. Mucked around and finally marched off with the Aussies about 10. Marched right down to wharf more waiting finally marched on to “Stratheden” at 11.45 quartered on “G” deck to port side. Crowded as hell like Rats in a trap thought we would leave that night.
Slept in hammocks as cold as ever I’ve been in my life A lot of talk about walking off in mass but no go

Posted a letter to the office as I left Y depot

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JANUARY 9. [deleted] Saturday [/deleted] [inserted] Friday [/inserted]

Up & awake early as it is cold as hell. Paraded for lifebelts - ship very cramped chaps all over the show. Pulled out into the harbour about midday. Snowing and very cold and wet. Dinner fair enough considering we are on a troop - ship and would be O.K if the boys would pull to - gether. To bed with more blankets and had a good nights sleep.

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JANUARY 10. Sat

Up about 10. Went up top and we pulled out about midday passing through the net and passed several corvettes. Had first boat drill which was a farce as there was no nominal role or any organisation at all. Received 50 cigarettes and it all helps.
From now on it will be the usual dull monotony of sea travel (I hope!)

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JANUARY 11. Sunday

Slept in till 10 and then got dressed and went up on deck - the old crate rolling & pitching pretty good. Inspection by C.O. & M.O. but they can’t do much with our quarters or general conditions. Went up to [deleted] sh [/deleted] Sgts room for a couple of drinks with La (IRAF) Up again in afternoon with Sunny & Mac. Up to Canteen at night and won $2 at Crown and Anchor back and to bed about 10.

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JANUARY 12. Mon

Up at 7 early for a change and on deck by [missing word] sea was very calm and only a slight roll chaps still sick - but so far no Aussies or N.Z.’s. Chaps had darn good clean up in our quarters, scrubbed the floors and it looks a lot better. Played Crown & Anchor and won $7 lost $3

[page break]

JANUARY 13. Tues

Dinner breakfast and all meals now working [deleted] under [/deleted] pretty good and the place is a lot cleaner. Spent quite a bit of time on deck, as it is nice & smooth and surprisingly enough its pretty warm I think we must be well south. Had a couple of goes at Crown & Anchor $4 in afternoon but ditched them again after tea. Lot of row and fun after tea all about 1 am when finally got to sleep.

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JANUARY 14. Wed

Missed breakfast as was jolly tired, slept till about 8 when I got up and went up on deck to get some fresh air, wind is rising and sea is getting choppy.
12 noon sea running high and wind a howling gale increasing all the time. Played a bit of Crown & A the usual up & down, plenty of all kinds of money changing hands, brought 2 lots of 200 Craven “A”. The ship rocking and rolling the worst yet but nobody down yet so here’s hoping.

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JANUARY 15. Thurs

Sea still running high and the wind is almost at gale force. Water in our section and it made hell of a mess. Sixth day out and as expected rumour running wild as to day of arrival, its marvellous how these things get around. The destroyers are pitching something awful would hate to be aboard. Felt a little groggy so went to bed early but could not get to sleep Lost a life - boat to day & when we woke there was water kit bags, broken dishes and rubbish galore rolling round the floor. Our K ship left but picked us up again about 4.

Rough!!

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JANUARY 16. Friday

7 days out to morrow at noon. Sea has calmed down & only a fair swell now, sky is clearer and the wind has dropped. Rumour as usual is hard at work and the latest has us landing at Liverpool on Sunday. We’ll see! My turn at getting the meals to day Food still pretty crook eatable and that’s about all, no breakfast. Orders in D.R.O. to sleep with clothes on at last the war is here. We had an air - raid alarm at 10 & boat warning at 10.30 The O.C Troops came around Our officer acted in such a manner to heighten that “Blasted Pommey” idea

Wrote to home
Wrote to Ray

[page break]

JANUARY 17. Sat

The whole gang slept in till 9.15 consequently nobody had breakfast this morning. A P/O and F/Sgt came down to pull us out but they had two shows.
Sea Smooth and wind practically nil, the four ships still in the same formation. Talk of [deleted] enemy [/deleted] a plane escort coming out but Same Rumour is still tops. We should see land to morrow, it is hard to know what direction we are going as we altering course often & sky is still overcast.
Went up on deck about 2 am (Sun) & saw two lights

Wrote to Nona

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JANUARY 18. Sun

Up about 9 missed breakfast as per usual. Up on deck and land ahoy! what a welcome sight, expect we’ll dock Sunday now. We are sailing north so expect the coast line is Wales. Up along the coast all day. 6 “Hurrys” came out in the morning and watched for a while. Sea calm and no wind. Only 1 destroyer now but suppose we are pretty safe. Had a medical parade by the M.O at 3 o’clock all our gang O.K. Packed all my gear and am all ready now

Wrote 11 pages to Clare.

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JANUARY 19. Mon

Land at last! Evidently the coast of Wales! We had the job of cleaning up, made a good job at least its cleaner than when we had. Sailed up the Clyde and berthed about 3. Ships everywhere, air balloons for the Balloon Barrage It is cold & snowing fairly hard. Disembarked about 9.10. Went by train & left about 9.40 First good home - like food, meat pies & cocoa for supper
Played cards but found it hard to get to sleep after, four of us in four seats.

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JANUARY 20. Tues

Saw the dawn break passing through heavily populated “Black” district. Mines and crowded houses all along the line, Nottingham York, Southampton towns every few miles, big. Towns too!
Not much to do & see all day. Meals we had were all O.K and R.A.F. chaps serving were all O.K - good chaps serving good food despite the rationing.
Arrived Bournemouth about 9.20 Stepped on to platform black as pitch. Were taken on buses to dinner and then to lodgings at Sea Lodge rooming with Harvey, Ferd & Curly.

Country-side covered in snow right from Glasgow to Bournemouth

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JANUARY 21. Wed

Up & on parade in time for 9.45 check up. Were dismissed and wandered about trying to look at the sights. B is very nice place and would like to see it in the Summer time. Paraded again at 2 pm but were dismissed after roll call. Went down to Lady Ryder’s filled in a form and had nice afternoon tea. Back to Prince of Wales. Then Curl Skin. Ferd Harvey & I went to Bobbys for supper but arrived too late.
Home safe even in blackout

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JANUARY 22. Thurs

Called at 8 but still did not get up until 8.30. Just in time for 9 parade. Were marched down Rochdale for particulars for 1250 - identification card. Were dismissed after 2pm parade so went down town took a bus & went out to Fishermans Walk, back & to tea.
Went to P of W and then went to Rink for a dance. Nice place, nice floor & English girls are good sports. (First opinion) met a nice girl but took another home. Luckily she lived behind the NAAFI so it was not far out of my way - made date for Sat. 2 pm.

Mail
Posted mum, Clare, Nona, Kay
Cabled Home

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JANUARY 23. Frid

Were woken up at 7 but did not get up until 8.15. Round to Parade were dismissed and went down town and walked around the shops.
After 2pm parade we went to a lecture by a N.Z. Fl/lt on pay, posting etc not much chance evidently.

Rainy as anything so lit fire & stayed in for the night

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JANUARY 24. Sat

After 9 parade we were paraded for stores. We are evidently going to be issued with shirts socks and the like. Were dismissed after that so went down town to have a meal, came back and went to the NAAFI. Collected - after and went to a picture show at the Regent Back & to tea.
Down to “Apples & Pears & then to Rink where danced till ten.

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JANUARY 25. Sun

Slept in & missed parade hurried round but were too late Came back and cleaned up. W.O. was round but let us off Curly & I went around and walked along the beach to the Hippodrome and got a bus to the Square.nWent around to the flat with G. J and then went around to the sing song and dance at the YMCA

Home 10.30

Good Show

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JANUARY 26. Mon

Up for parade - nothing doing so were dismissed. Took washing up to the “C.K.” laundry in Boscombe, back Wednesday I hope. Had tea at a little place and it was rather good too!
After noon parade went back to sea Lodge and slept till late. Missed tea and got up about 7 and went to Pavilion Nice place & nice dance

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JANUARY 27. Tues

Dismissed after 8.45 parade. Feeling rather seedy went for a ride out in the country - it was O.K cows, green paddocks, even the good old blackberry. Came back and it was raining so went to the N.A.A.F.I. for tea Still feeling crook so went to bed coughing like an old model “T” In bed all after noon & all night.

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JANUARY 28. Wed

Very little all day.

Went to Pavilion with Curl Sid Giff and had a good time

Went & Saw “Hold that Ghost” a darn good show

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JANUARY 29. Thursday

Were given the rest of our gear, flying suit helmet etc. Have now got quite a lot, 3 kit bags and a small suit case
Went to the Hippodrome and saw a dud show. Had my thoughts read & the woman [deleted word] said I would meet Chum inside of 4 months & receive from [indecipherable word]

Home & to Fish & Chip Supper.

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JANUARY 30. Friday

Up for parade and then went down to “Rochdale” for identification cards & leave passes - got mine O.K. Down town for meal. To Beales Restaurant for after noon tea good show good music. Went to Pav. with Curl Brad & Co & met a nurse who is a damned good sort! A nurse, she lives at Boscombe

Home about 1.

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JANUARY 31. Sat.

Curly Bunny & I played football V army a tank corps we won 17/0 I scored once

Curl & I went back to N.A.A.F.I. for tea with team then to Pavilion beer women out to Boscombe & Home about 1.

[page break]

FEBRUARY 1. Sun

Left from Bournemouth west Stn for London.
Arrived in the middle of a snow fall, snow, ice, slush everywhere could not get accommodation for a long while finally found the allied [indecipherable word] club a real hole - stayed one night

[page break]

FEBRUARY 2. Mon

Changed lodging to Victoria League a very nice place. To N.Z. house and got one letter from Rosemary dated July 29 also got cigarettes & Home Comforts parcels

Still Snow Ice & Cold

[page break]

FEBRUARY 3. Tues

Bed nearly all morning

Saw Gordon Harker in “Warn that Man”.

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FEBRUARY 4. Wednes

Wandering around London

And not very Impressed by its age.

Saw Show at Hippodrome

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FEBRUARY 5. Thurs

Went to “Phoenix” Vaudeville show on tickets from NZ Club

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FEBRUARY 6. Fri

Last day of stay at Victoria League. Went to Kings Cross get sleeper at 21 to picture till 4 - got sleeper - Back to NZ forces Club. Met Bunny Warren and were given tickets to Phoenix vaudeville show. From there to Kings Cross where had a sleeper with Major - Petty Officer & AC.

[underlined] Left 10.15 [/underlined]

FRIDAY

In 8.30 to Edinburgh, left 10.27 at Leuchars at 12.30 met Chum and the boys. Long talk and yarn.
Slept on Godfrey’s [missing word]

Was taken to a chap Gallon home nr Edinburgh for b’fst

[page break]

FEBRUARY 7. Sat

In about 8.30 met George Gallon and he took me out to his place for breakfast Missed first 1

Slept in till ten at Leuchars RAF station. Had all my meals in the mess. Chum & I started by bus to go to Dundee but it broke down so went by train only a 15 mins run. Have now passed over Forth & Tay Bridges. Had a meal & went to a show in Dundee - quite far had a sleeper on a through train which I caught at 7.45

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FEBRUARY 8. Sun

Very good trip! Woke feeling very fit. Arrived in London at Kings Cross Station about 8.00. Took underground [deleted] to Waterloo where I caught a train to Bournemouth which left at 8.37. Arrived Bournemouth about 12.30 so checked in at Rochdale and went round to Sea Lodge. Went to “Westover” picture show in afternoon fair show All the boys except Giff home that night

[page break]

FEBRUARY 9. Mon

Up at 8 and went on sick parade. Waited until 11.15 utterly fed up and only the usual aspirin.

Went to the “Westover” Cinema in afternoon after having gone to M.O. for second dose

Brought tickets for Vivien Leigh’s show for to-morrow

[page break]

FEBRUARY 10. Tues.

Up 7.45 and walked down to the hospital From there we walked along the beach to Boscombe where we had dinner, caught a bus back, shaved and went down to hosp & then to “Doctor’s dilema” [sic] with Vivien Leigh good show with Shaw’s weak ending very noticeable. To Bobby’s NAAFI & home

WIRED HOME

“Saw Chum Seeing MURIEL
ALL WELL
BILL Collett.

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FEBRUARY 11. Wedn

Up 7.45 and down to M.O. where had usual. Took a walk out to Boscombe along the sea shore, morning tea at Methuish’s. Then went out to ruins at Ch’ch Back to Sea Lodge & mucked about till 2 went down & took medicine. Out to Windbourne afternoon tea & then home.
To NAAFI to write

[page break]

FEBRUARY 12. Thurs

Missed parade by going to M.O. for gargle. Walked along sea front to Boscombe & our daily dozen. Caught a bus out to Christchurch again sat in Sun amongst the ruins had dinner out there & then came back. Went to Palais de Dance at Boscombe and met a very nice (?) young girl she lived away out in the cactus and took a long while to get her home.

Good Night

[page break]

FEBRUARY 13. Friday

Parades but with usual RAF efficiency there was nothing doing except the announcement of a pay parade at 1.45. To Methuish’s along the beach with Giff at 10.30.
Afternoon parade biggest ever received £9 which is not bad. Went to Pavilion and met Yanks had a good reunion and a rather wild night.

Home 11.30

Received £9

[page break]

FEBRUARY 14. Sat

Parade but as usual nothing doing. We went around the beach to Boscombe and then to “Mel’s” where toast and crumpets made a good morning tea. No [deleted] tea [/deleted] dinner but to parade and then out to football with Curly and Slump & Giff. We beat the Army 6 - 3 I played half & felt as much at home as a pork pie at a Jew’s picnic. To NAAFI for tea and had a gay time - Does drink make you do things through tinted glasses.

[page break]

FEBRUARY 15. Sun

Up late cause parade at 9.15. Some postings but still no observers - not even any good old Air Force Rumours. Caught a bus out to Swanage. lovely trip but we couldn’t get any lunch so came back on the 2.10 bus & lunched back in Bournemouth. Met Ginger at the Devon went to pictures at the Regent then to [indecipherable word] for supper then to old Pavilion where we downed quite a bit

Singapore Fallen

[page break]

FEBRUARY 16. Mon

Up late but caught parade only there was nothing doing. Dismissed and went back to Sea Lodge to collect washing & take my No. 1 to be cleaned up a bit took bus to Boscombe and left my washing at the “C.K.” and suit at the place up from the “Hippo” Had morning tea at Methuish’s back there for Dinner. Then to picture show at “Savoy” - back to NAAFI for [deleted] Lunch [/deleted] tea - Then to S. L. and to bath & bed.

[page break]

FEBRUARY 17. Tues

Called twice up finally about 7-45. On to parade but after roll call went down with Giff to town. Met Curl & out to Met’s. Back there for dinner. Had Kit Inspection in afternoon. Went for bus ride with Curl & Han Cold & dismal day. To NAAFI for tea. Then to picture show at Wests.

Posted letter to Mum

[page break]

FEBRUARY 18. Wednesday

Up O.K and was late for parade. They are lightening up. Divided us into squads & the F/lt marched the whole lot to “Sea Cliffe” where we had ship Recognition & went to the Regent theatre for a lecture on Balloon Barrages. Had dinner at Methuishes & back to Parade were marched up to P.I. & Signals. Went to “Central” and then to P de D met Peg home 2 am - Wow! Walking not so hot!

[page break]

FEBRUARY 19. Thurs

Went on to parade marshalled up and observer’s & D/Gs were advised of a shift to Hotel Metropole. Went out to Boscombe for morning tea. Back packed and round to Rochdale and were marched to Hotel Metropole in Lansdowne. Good show warmer & meals on premises Went to “Reluctant Dragon” at the Regent - good show. To Bed early.

[page break]

FEBRUARY 20. Friday

Parade at 8.45. Marched to Hotel Majestic and had a roll call were then dismissed and went out to Boscombe for our little snack Wrote to Alan McLeod & Clare over at the Queen’s. Did not do much At dinner time Sid Armory brought my mail which had been sent down from London. Went to central till 7.30 and then around to the Pavilion where I met Pat in the A.T.S. Good time rather happy

Mail from Clare, Barb. J.M., Ray, Rosemary, Max, Gwen, R.B. A. Uncle Tom & Alan McLeod

[page break]

FEBRUARY 21. Sat

Up in time for the 8.45 parade. Nothing doing and were dismissed. Went out for our crumpets and back to Hotel Metropole for lunch. Went to the Electric Theatre - saw “Santa Fe Trail” During the show there was an air raid alarm but nobody moved, the “all clear” was sounded about 20 mins later. Went to Mrs Jackley’s at San Remo Towers had a good meal, with N.Z. butter too! Home about 1.15.

[page break]

FEBRUARY 22. Sun

Slept in till 9.20 and were rudely awakened by Kin who wished to tell me that Pat would ring at 11, could have killed him. Up & had a good dinner. Wrote to Rosemary and then went to “Footsteps in the dark” with Errol Flynn good show. Back to “Met” and had tea went up to NAAFI and had tea met Carl Slump & G back to Met hot bath & bed.

[page break]

FEBRUARY 23. Mon

Up in time for parade but as about 15 RAF chaps were posted were walked off with them so missed any possible lectures ac dismissed us. Went out to Methuish’s for morning tea.
In the afternoon we pushed off again very uneventful day

[page break]

FEBRUARY 24. Tues

On parade but as usual the same old thing - nipped away on a Boscombe bus and had our crumpets A.P.U. Went and saw a couple of of fair shows one with the Dead end Kids in out at Boscombe. Supper at the Queens and home for an early night

[page break]

FEBRUARY 25. Wed

Had another row made out - about the third. Went to Eastcliff but as there was nobody about we went for a route march of 200 yds and then nipped out to morning tea, which is taking the place of breakfast.
Went to Tom Brown’s School days” and “Slave Ships” at Boscombe - home & to bed early.

[page break]

FEBRUARY 26. Thurs

Up & on 8.45 parade the Rumour of leave looks O.K. now, only hope it comes true, we’ll know to-morrow anyway.
[indecipherable word] marched us off after the parade and we went out for morning tea. Came back and went for a swim in the tepid baths at the “Hydro” with Phil Shin - water good but I am not fit.
Met Pat G. outside the “Metropole” at 6.30 and went to the Pavilion, supper at the Regent Theatre

[page break]

FEBRUARY 27. [deleted] Frid [/deleted] Thurs

Up early and down to parade everyone ready to go. Were marched to B. West but everyone got sick of walking so we caught a bus. Before we went we were paraded at Mayrick court and were paid £11. Having received warrant to Dundee & leave pass nipped back and drew my money from Lloyds, got my washing from C.K. and went to “Affectionately yours” at the Electric
To “Bettys” for Supper after

Received £11
Letter from Ted Jackson Cable from home

[page break]

FEBRUARY 28. [deleted] Sat [/deleted] Fri

Up bathed, packed and ready to go at 10.30

[page break]

FEBRUARY 29. [deleted] Sun [/deleted] Sat

“Ferdy” & I slept in and I got up about 9. Washed packed & left about 10.30 Dropped my boots in to get the heels filled in. Missed the train by about 2 mins so took a taxi to the station at Central & caught the train. Arrived in London about 2.30 and went to the N.Z. forces club for tea. Then went to see “Captains of the Sky” in Leicester Sq. - good! Then to Kings X and my sleeper to Leuchars.

[page break]

MARCH 1. [deleted] Mon [/deleted] Sun

Arrived in Edinburgh about 8 a.m and the Dundee train left about 11.25 so had 3 hours to wait. I could not get anything to eat so it was not so hot. Finally got on the train and all it was a lovely day had a pleasant trip through Scotland. Arrived Leuchars and found Chum O.K. There was a dance at the station so we went it was a good show and I had a good time. Slept with Chum, Buck, & [indecipherable word] in Sandy’s bed.

[page break]

MARCH 2. Mon

Slept in till 10.20 and then got up washed and went over to the hangar watching Hudson’s, Mosquitos, Blenheim’s & Beaufort’s muck about. Went up to Dundee with Chum & collected his photographs. Back and we adjourned to the mess where we celebrated 489’s transfer A lot of trouble including a gaol break with “Tweak” as the star. Cut Buck’s cake with a lot of tradition. Then cut MacPhearson’s throat a hell of a lot of fun which was broken up by the appearance pf 4 service P’s. Slept in Joness bed.

Good night

[page break]

MARCH 3. Tues

Up at 9 and went over to the observer’s crew-room where proceedings were livened up by some of the chaps selling off flares & Rockets. Said cheerio to Chum and went in to Dundee, had afternoon tea and then went to “Blossoms on the dust”
Caught the 8.37 & [deleted] arrived [/deleted] had good company in my sleeper - 2 capts and an L.A.C

[page break]

MARCH 4. Wed

Arrived in London about 9.30. Went to P.O in Agar St (Off Strand) and changed some of the boys addresses to Thorney Island. Then to N.Z. forces club for dinner. Caught the Bristol train by the skin of my teethe. Arrived in Bristol (worst bombing I’ve seen yet) and booked in at the hotel Chum suggested.
Tried to ring Muriel but couldn’t get her, so went to the pictures. Found my way home among the ruins

[page break]

MARCH 5. Thurs

Tried again to get Muriel and succeeded. We arranged to meet at the hospital at 2 pm. Went out and wandered all around the place but couldn’t find her was finally taken in tow by a young nurse and finally we had our happy reunion. We went to a place for afternoon tea and talked for 3 hours solid. Then I got a taxi and took Muriel back to the hotel and collected my silk stockings, & 400 cigarettes also my N.Z. handkerchiefs.
To a picture show & back to hotel

[page break]

MARCH 6. Friday

Up & washed and went down to breakfast. Paid my bill of £1.4.0 and went down to catch the 8.12 for Bournemouth. Was supposed to change at Salisbury but got “balled” up and went on to Southampton. Met a nice W.A.A.F which made the trip shorter. Went back on the train with Russ back at 3. A letter from I.G waiting so went to went to the Pav quite a good night when alls said & done.

[page break]

MARCH 7. Sat

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MARCH 12. Thur

Usual rise shine and parade. Lecture & then we were supposed to have P.T. but went to morning tea. Drill but we were dismissed, so nipped off and had a game of snooker Lectures all afternoon
Home early to write this up.

Bed Early

Letters from Dick Harwood
Aunty Kate
Alan Macleod
Enclosing Doc’s letter

[page break]

MARCH 16. Mon

Parade and to East Cliffe attended lecture and mosied off to Boscombe for morning tea Had a game of snooker at the Hydro. To dinner at the Hydro. To 1 lecture on air-craft Rec. and then down to “Betty’s” for afternoon tea. Had tea and went out for a game of billiards then back to bed

[page break]

MARCH 17. Tues

Went to Lectures at East Cliffe, Intelligence lecture very good. Usual Morning trip to Boscombe Went to tea & Crash told me George Nelson had arrived so popped down to see him. Went to pavilion met Audrey at Dance and had a good night.

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MARCH 18. Wed

Dodged lectures all morning on pretext of drawing football kit. Had a good meal and went to football at 3 o’clock.
Raining like the very dickens, but finally got on to the field about 3.15 “Baldy” Mac Alpine Refereed
We won a mud scramble by 6 - 3. Celebrated at the Salisbury at Boscombe Took Barbara home & it was 1.30 before bedded down

Mail From :-
Ray Addis
Clare Hawke.

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MARCH 19. Thurs

On parade and what a shock posted! Whacko. We are posted to a place called Millom. Mucked about all day - tea at Methuishs’s and I met Audrey at the Carlton Hotel at 6.5 walked down the sea shore to the Regent theatre, had tea and in to see “Sun Valley Serenade” good show - supper at the “Anglo-Swiss” and then home

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MARCH 20. Friday

Had my three bags packed and down in the hall at 9. Paraded and had an F.F.I all our gang O.K then to dinner.
Paraded at 2 o’clock with our bags started a march to the station but happened a bus arrived in London about 7, went to N.Z. forces club and then to the Old Sussex & in to Tartan Dive.
Very Happy but caught the 10.15 at Euston. They had no accommodation slept anywhere and everywhere

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MARCH 21. Sat

After one hell of a trip we landed at Millon about 7.15. Were taken in trucks out to the airport which is about 2 1/2 miles from the town which looks very scruffy.
They had a good breakfast for us and it was well appreciated. Were then taken to the hospital and had another F.F.I. Went to bed very early as I was jolly tired

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MARCH 22. Sun

No Sun. off here it’s going to be a 7 day week. Over to the class room where we had a talk by F/Sgt Furlonger our instructor. He let us go in the afternoon so we had a clean up of kit and another early night. I had my first flight flew out over the Irish sea up past the Isle of Man bombed a rock and I took a couple of photos with the F24.

Time of trip = 3.20.

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MARCH 23. Mon

Up & on parade and got a bit of a shock when we had an inspection by a Group Captain who is O.C.
Usual lectures and not a hell of a lot yo do.
Played billiards at night and went to bed.

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MARCH 24. Tues

On parade, inspection drill. To class room where we had lectures a.p.v.
Went in to town with Sid & Harvey to the Peel which looked as though it will be our rendezvous while we are here. Just caught the last bus home.

Posted letters to Chum.

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MARCH 25. Wed

Parade Inspection & were marched to class room. Lousy lectures all day & were briefed for flight at 4.15 to-morrow morning.

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MARCH 26. Thurs

Was called at 3.15am. Had breakfast and went to breakfast of peas, beef & potatoes - good meal. Over to ops room for briefing and then found that they didn’t want us, so back to bed.
Woke about 8 and decided to go to Barrow with Sid Slump & Co. Missed first train so lunched in Millon and then went [deleted] to [/deleted] at 1.15. Good time in Barrow back to the Peel & then to the dance
Home 1.30.

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MARCH 27. Fri

Up & on parade marched round and down to class room. Had armament lectures all morning on bombing vectoring & the like
Taken to plotting room and generally were shown all round the place. Saw a Botha, Gypsy Major, “Hurry”, spit Lysander & a lot of diff other types
Kicked a football around for a while and then had a shower & to bed.

Letter from Nona

Parcel from home Pullover

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MARCH 28. Sat.

On parade and had usual inspection and drill. Flew in the afternoon to Isle of Man, Mull of Gallows, Whitehaven. Took plenty of photographs, dive-bombed and had plenty of low hedge-hopping.
Home about 7.20 no tea so went in to the “Peel” - good night home on 10.30 Bus.

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MARCH 29. Sun

Up early and went to parade and then the usual lectures. Had a game of snooker at [indecipherable word] Went to bed early
Reported sick with a dirty cold.

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MARCH 30. Mon

On sick parade at 8 and then went to lectures. Flew with Jack Sheppard, & Sid Armory to Chicken Rock, Mull of Galloway, bombed scare Rock - Whitehaven home. Took photographs, dive bombed and shot up a train. J. S. Sick as the devil.
home & into the “Peel” about 8

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MARCH 31. Tues

Had first pop in D.R. Trainer which to my mind is a jolly good thing. Great Day mail from home.

Received Mail
Clare, Shirley, Rosemary, Nola Luxford, Max.

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APRIL 1. Wed

Our day off. And what a day. Were pulled out of bed at 3.15 am then to mess where they Finally finished had no [deleted] mach [/deleted] breakfast for us. To operation’s room where we found that the other crates wouldn’t be in till 6.40. Finally finished up no flying at all. Played snooker all morning and went in to the “Peel” at night

Played Station Team with with the Aussies and lost 6 - 3 scored our try

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APRIL 2. Thurs

Lectures on and off all day flying that was to have been was scrubbed as the weather has been particularly foul lately. To bed about 8.

Received Parcel from school

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Good Friday

APRIL 3. Friday

Good Friday - not that you’d notice it, no church services or anything not even a hot cross bun. Went down to “A” dispersal for “P.T.” in the morning. More N.Z. mail still trickling in. Knocked off early and went to sick-parade. Then to tea and hitched into Millom where we saw “Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary” and then to “Peel” and home.

Newspapers from Gwen & Jamie

Received £9:2:0

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Easter Sat.

APRIL 4. Saturday

Easter Saturday last year April 12th - I went into camp in Levin, N.Z.
On to sick parade and then to class-room. We did our first practice compass swing with F/sgt Beattie who is one of the Best!

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APRIL 5. Sun

Went down to the sick bay and got off my sick parades.
On the range with the V.G.O. all morning, fired 100 rounds and went back to the Armoury and had to fill 5 magazines. Had lectures on the bombing panel of the Wimpey, - switches & lights every where.
Had to Parade at 6.30 just for the pleasure of FL/LT Cotton - Boo! To him.
First day with the clocks on the extra hour.

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APRIL 6. Mon

Slept in until 8.15 as I didn’t fly then over to the class-room. Both morning details scrubbed. We had to calibrate a D/F loop in the rain and to say the least it was bally wet. Finished the job O.K. and was in for dinner about 12.20.
Nothing to do in the afternoon so had early tea at 3.30 and then the darn flight was scrubbed.
To bed about 12.

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APRIL 7. Tues.

Up & over to class room there was no parade. Had lectures in the morning and in the afternoon we were allowed to [indecipherable word] off which we did. Had a couple of hours sleep and then went in to town with Mick R. Mac & Sid had tea at Y.M.C.A. and then went on to “49th Parallel” which was not a bad show. Then to the “Peel” quite a good night, home on 10.30 bus.

Sent cable to W.D.H.S. - Head Prefect.

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APRIL 8. Wednes.

Pulled out at 12.45 and over to the ops. room at 1.15 - no breakfast. Flew with Les Winslow and we had quite a trip. Started off in good weather but after 1/2 an hours flight we struck dirty weather and it really was foul, bumpy, rain, snow & ice over 2500. We set course from [deleted] home [/deleted] furby for home and then the fun started - had to get QDM’s but finally got home O.K. Went in to Barrow at 11.30, tried to get my photo taken but no go, went to a picture “Kathleen” with Shirley Temple - not bad. Tea & home on 6.15 to Millom. Down to “Peel” with Les Tunstall home to camp on 10.15.

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APRIL 9. Thurs

Slept in until 7.30 up and in time for 8 o’clock parade could have had another 1/2 hour as the parade was called off.
Were on the Fraser-Nash turret all morning and in the Bomb Alley room all afternoon mainly on flares & their method of release

Wrote to Clare, Muriel Clark

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APRIL 10. Fri

Had to be in the Plotting [missing word] at 7.15 so it was hard to get [missing word] at 6.30. Ken McKenzie & went [missing word] for a weather test - it was [missing word] so we went on bombing. Weather [missing word] but very high wind which made bombing very difficult. Dropped 2 bombs & then came home as target [missing word] U/S. Went in to the A.M.B.T. and tried pinpointing on a [missing word] of the Ruhr Valley.
Wrote letter to home after [missing word] then to bed.

Received air mail from [missing word] dated Feb. 25th. [missing word] posted to Mam, Clare & Muriel

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APRIL 11. Sat.

Up at 6.30 and in to breakfast then over to the ops room but it was scrubbed as was the 1.15 detail. We just waited for flying all morning and played billiards. Had plotting in afternoon till 4.30 when we hopped away.
Went for a 6 mile walk came back and had supper and boiled some eggs in the barracks.

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APRIL 12. Sun

On to parade but there was not even a church parade armament all day. Played billiards in afternoon as after the boys were briefed we had the afternoon off. All the boys were flying so went to bed early.

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APRIL 13. Mon

Up at 6.30 and got ready to go to Barrow. To breakfast and we had mushrooms & bacon, met Dunc. Mac and he suggested going to Coniston. We walked into Millom and caught the train to Coniston. We walked from Coniston nearly to Ambleside a distance of 8 miles & it was through some of the most rugged country, lakes everywhere. Ambleside is on Lake Windermere then across the Lake on the ferry and climbed the hill & down to Hawkeshead - then to Ambleside & afternoon tea. Came back to the “Peel” and celebrated our 1st anniversary as a course although now we have only 13 out of 42. Good day and I am getting a better opinion of England as a countryside but not the people.

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APRIL 14. Tues.

On parade and had drill and then went to lectures. Armament all day. A big row in the mess because the WAAF’s had orders not to wait on us the whole mess refused to at the meals & so 250 meals went west. Quite a racket and we sent a representative to the mess treasurer, I think it will all come come out O.K. Down in the shadowgraph room and then to barrack’s for kit-inspection by Fl/lt. Gardner.

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APRIL 15. Wed

Up for breakfast and it is vastly improved. On parade and over to the classroom where we mucked about pretty near all day waiting to fly. All details were scrubbed and we had to hang round the ops room. Tried to have some clay - pigeon shooting but the turret was U/S. When the last detail was scrubbed Dune, MacAlpine, Harvey, Flower, Phil Skinner & I went in to drown our disgust in the “Peel” - which we did. Went to the dance home about 12.

Posted [inserted] mail [/inserted] to Max.

Opened a bank account with £10 at Millom Post office

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APRIL 16. Thurs

We were on armament all day. Went down to the 400 yard range firing from Bolton - Paul Fraser - Nash & Daimler turrets, good time marvellous weather. In after - noon we went to spot light and knocked off early.

Uneventful.

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APRIL 17. Friday

Up early and on parade. Here we got a real talking too because some chaps are not turning up at the plotting office at 7.15. Went on a route march. Pay parade at 12.30 and got our battle - dress in the morning. Briefed for our flights to-night & then dismissed for the afternoon. Played snooker

Posted mail to Shirley Todd - P.S.C.
Received £9 : 2 : 0

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APRIL 18. Sat

Pulled out at 3.15 am and over to the ops room to fly. Flew as first navigator to Harrogate, Dumfries, Isle of Man. Landed after a good trip we left at night and saw sunrise landed about 7.30. Changed and caught the 8 o’clock bus to Millom where met Duncan Mac and went to Coniston and caught a ride to Ambleside. Hired bikes and rode to Grasmere - Rydal Water saw Wordsworth’s grave & house, back to dinner and then got a rowing boat and went across the [inserted] Lake [/inserted] Windermere and saw an old castle. Back to have a look at the Waterfall and afternoon tea
Home after a very happy day.

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APRIL 19. Sun

On parade and we had a route march round the camp, back and were dismissed and went to the class - room.

Armament all day. Down on the 25yd range. Fired 100 rounds out of a Browning into the sand. On the bomb teacher and turrets all afternoon
Very quiet day

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APRIL 20. Mon

Armament and not a hell of a lot to do.
Went in to pictures at night and it was really quite a good show, then went with Sid Armory down to the “John Peel” where we celebrated the departure of the Aussies They wrecked the canteen and I think will get a good rap
We’ll see.
Home with Phil Skin.

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APRIL 21. Tues

In the D.R. trainer in the morning was pilot & Phil Skinner navigator. We had the after - noon off. Wandered down to the plotting office and went up for a trip with Fedirchyk came down & went to the Ops room at 10.15 but was washed out so to bed

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APRIL 22. Wed

Up & in the plotting office at 7.05. Flew with Sgt Mundy on Duddon target - error 92 yds at 10,000yds. One more trip before dinner with Sgt Cartwright good trip one direct hit and error was 85yds at 10,000ft. Late lunch and one more trip with Sgt Cart. again about 6.30 dropped my eggs on Duddon again and had an average of 117yds at 10.000’ Down and to bed

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APRIL 23. Thurs

Woke up at 8 o’clock and was met by a F.lt. who was rather annoyed because we were not on his parade. Finally arrived in the class room about 8.40.
Did a plot in the morning and hopped away in the afternoon. Flew about 5 out to Isle of Man but vis less than a mile heavy rain back about 6.20 and over for a game of snooker.

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APRIL 24. Fri

Up early to atone for yesterday’s effort on parade we did some good marching for a change as it was so cold
Had the afternoon off as we were on the night detail. Got my maps ready and played billiards in the afternoon. On 10.15 detail and a.p.u. was scrubbed so went back to bed

Received School Mag from W.D.H.S.

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APRIL 25. Sat

Pulled out at 3am. and this time I got away with F/Lt Viney and Skin as second. Trip was excellent down to Sherries, Coreswall Lt at 5000’ then hedge hopped to Whitehaven & home. Landed about 7.10 and pulled Sid Baldy & Co out of bed & just caught the 8 bus.
Train to Coniston, [deleted word} Taxi to Ambleside had dinner caught bus to Windemere. [sic] Hired bikes and rode down to the lakes where we got a boat each it was very pretty as the grass is green & the trees are just breaking out into leaf.
Taxi back to Coniston and so to bed after a lolly good day

Letter from Muriel C.

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APRIL 26. Sun

Up very tired after yesterdays effort. Told by flight Furlonger that we are posted to No110 O.T.U. Bassingbourne. Did very little all day. Went into the Peep Sat night and had a real show.
Harvey lost his false teeth coming home, and when Skin and I arrived back everybody came out of bed.

Received £4 : 10 : 0

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APRIL 27. Mon

Up about 9 o’clock and slowly started to clear up but oh what a job! Went over & got my clearances fixed up and paid my mess bill. Went back to the mess barrack block in the afternoon packed and had a good sleep
Went in to town about 5, had tea at the Y.M. and then went to “A woman’s face,” home on the after picture bus. Skin and Les were very happy

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APRIL 28. Tues

Called at 5.30 up dressed and down to the mess for an early breakfast. Went in on the bus and then the fun started - We changed trains at Barrow, Brentchley, Cambridge and finished our journey at Royston. Where we packed the luggage on a waggon and went out to get our first glimpse of Bassingbourne. [sic]
We went out to the camp and then came back to “Kneesworth Hall” a lovely old place about 400 yds off the main road -
Very glad to get to bed.

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APRIL 29. Wednes

Up about 7.20 & Sid Armory and I walked to camp which is quite a walk. Has to get our arrival chits filled in Had a lecture by the C.O. a Group Captain, also lectures on Met., Nav., P.T after tea and then had a game of cricket - home and had a good bath.

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APRIL 30. Thurs

Up very early and walked out to the main road where we caught a lift to camp in time for breakfast. Lectures all day but nothing unusual all day long. Back to bed about 10.30

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MAY 1. Frid

In time for breakfast ordinary routine of lectures all day. Gas alarm from 9 to 9.30 Received £8 on a pay parade in “B” hanger [sic] at 1.30. Posted some more snaps in & wrote to Chum. Had an exam to see who was going to be observers and who Bombardiers - heres hoping!
Wrote to Chum

Received £8
Posted letter to Chum

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MAY 2. Sat

Usual routine all day Learnt in the afternoon that Russ, KGM & L.B.W. were to be Bombardiers I passed with 86%. Had an hours drill after tea and then back to Kneadwood Hall.

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May 3. Sun

Slept in until about 10. and then got up and lay out in the sun and then walked slowly down to dinner. Mucked around in the afternoon putting photos in and sleeping in the sun.
Went down to the “Red Lion” after tea and met O. and went for a walk.

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MAY 4. Mon

Up with the lark good lectures on intelligence in the morning.
Saw first uncovered Wimpy in Airmanship Hall.

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MAY 5. Tues

Lectures all day nothing unusual.
Had a mock gas attack and it was funny. Went dashing for a shelter when a bomb exploded in front of me, and I dived smartly to earth. Several of the chaps were caught and decontaminated.

[page break]

MAY 6. Wednes

Lectures and PT last period but played cricket instead.
Went down to “Red Lion” after tea with Sid & Lofty

Letter from Chum

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MAY 7. Thurs

In DR Trainer nearly all day.
Went to “Red Lion” with Scotty and met a very nice W.A.A.F and then we went up to “Waggons & horses,” then to camp and home about 11.

Inserted Later :-
Night I met Sheila Styde - a jolly good Sort!

[page break]

MAY 8. Fri

Lectures
Nothing unusual.

Letters from Mum Hilary Russell

[page break]

MAY 9. Sat

DR Trainer in afternoon

Parcel from Gwen

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MAY 10. Sun

Up about 9 and was pulled out by Phil - Phil. He, Les, Russ and I caught a bus into Cambridge which is a very pretty place. It was a beautiful day and we had a pleasant time We went to an address Rus [sic] had, and Phil & I brought 2 push-bikes mine costing 50/-. We then went down and hired boats. Saw three boatloads tipped out. Rode the 15 miles home on our newly acquired bikes.
Home with a tired seat

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MAY 11. Mon

Heard this is our last day in Headquarters. Had a D/F exam by PO. Fryer. Heard a few good lines from F/O. Brown. A picture on Met after tea. Baldy, Sid and I went in to the “Green Plunge” and had a jolly good too.

Letter from W.D.R.S.A.

Posted } Letters to Mum
Rosemary

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MAY 12. Tues

Duly reported to “A” flight and had a pow - wow with our P.O. instructor. Then we went down and drew our parachute which are great contrivances. Then we drew watch, sextant, and all navigational equipment which seems O.K. Were to fly in the afternoon but weather was foul cloud height was only 600’ so whole flight was washed out
Went in to Royston at dinner time with Skin and bought some pencils & sent a cable to Jocelyn.
Home straight after tea

Banked £3
Cabled Jocelyn
Letter to Ted Jackson

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MAY 13. Wed

Fixed up all my maps very elaborately in the hope that we would fly but all to no avail. Down to the Lion after tea.

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MAY 14. Thurs

Had my first trip in the [deleted] afternoon [/deleted] morning up to Goole in the Hull estuary. We landed at Finningly [sic] and saw quite a few “wimps” and Manchesters. Landed at Base about 12.30. Quite a fair trip but it was pretty bumpy. Nothing of interest in rest of day
Saw “Underground” at the pictures in Royston.

Letters Chum [deleted] Mum Hilary Russell [/deleted]

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MAY 15. Fri.

On DR trainer nearly all day which wasn’t very interesting was pilot to Powley. Took some sun [missing word] in Afternoon. Went to the Rose with “Snow” my wireless operator

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MAY 16. Sat

Most of course flying but I missed again so had to hang around in the crew room nearly all day. Went in to tea & Pictures with Sid Mac & Skin, had a good meal at the Green Plunge.

Letter from WDRSA

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MAY 17. Sun

Was not on morning schedule so decided to calibrate my sextant - after a lot of mucking about I came to the momentous decision that I have an error of 3 1/2 A. Flew in afternoon to Horncastle - Mablethorpe and then to 60 miles out to sea which is the nearest I have been yet to the enemy. Was challenged by a convoy and had to a/c about 6 times. Home & Harvey & I biked to Cambridge. We had a W.A.A.F in the Plane on our trip. Met Sid & Stump at the Criterion and then looked in at the “Red LIon.” Good wild night with Williams & Co. Chasing ducks in a punt at midnight - lost our bikes chased by police

What a show!

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MAY 18. Mon

Up at “nine - ish” and had breakfast. Went shopping and brought a new tennis racquet costing £3:12:6. Had dinner and went punting on the Cam, it started to rain so we cut the trip short. Biked home via Granchester [sic] had tea there and after going a couple of miles we had to take refuge in a pub on account of the rain - this gave us cause to stop at about 6 more. Home - shifted all my gear into the huts am now in A2. Sleep pretty late

Posted Letter to [underlined] Clare Hawke [/underlined]

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MAY 19. Tues

Not on the morning detail so plotted in some D/F stations on my Mercator. Went to the mess early and had a fairish dinner. Was not on the afternoon detail either so went back to Kneesworth and got my tennis gear
Had 3 sets with Les Winsloe and slept before tea in the [deleted] of [/deleted] mess. Biked home with Les. Had a bath and wrote this up to date.

Cable from { Shirley Todd
{ Joan Hopper.

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MAY 20. Wednes.

Up early and over to the crew room, prepared my maps and as per usual the whole [deleted] usual [/deleted] show was scrubbed and instead we acted as a taxi & took a F/Sgt. up to York - ran into dirty weather up there but on the whole it was a good trip, Harvey dropped 4 bombs.
We were nabbed for the C.O.s parade and it was a big show as the whole she-bang was on parade. Got a late chit and had dinner about 2.30. Watched the cricket & tennis in the afternoon and then had tea & back to Kneesworth

Received letter From Mum. 6/3/42

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MAY 21. Thurs.

Upon with the lark for a change. Was not on the detail in the morning so went over to the Intelligence library to swot up on some new “Gen.” Was out of the detail again in the afternoon, but went for a ride with P/O “Sim Hayden. We landed at Feltwell picked up some log forms. We just map read and it was a change not to have to work. Landed about 4.45 and had tea and back to kneesworth - down to [deleted] (bed) [/deleted] the “Lion” with Sid A. Then we went to a dance at the camp, home about 12.

Letter from Ted Jackson

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MAY 22. Fri.

Slept in until 7 o’clock and then popped down but the weather closed in and it was scrubbed. So sat in the crew room until dinner time. Scrubbed again in the afternoon so went back to the mess. Home & to bed early

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MAY 23. Sat.

Shaved at camp and then went over to the crew room. Flew up towards Horncastle at 3,000’ above cloud, came down through the cloud and ceiling was only about 100 feet with vis less than 1 mile in rain. Back to camp about 1.45pm. and slept till 4. Then went back to Kneesworth and read till 9.

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MAY 24. Sun.

Over to the crew room and went for a flight with W/O Price, up to Polegate landed then up to Uphaven but turned before we were there as it started to rain. Home about 12.30. Got our discharge from “A” flight, saw my logs and they were O.K. Went back to Kneesworth and slept

Wrote home to Mum

[page break]

MAY 25. Mon

Duly caught the bus to Steeple Morden and found that I was crewed up with a Sgt. Brooks and crew who seem jolly decent chaps, but rather disappointed I am not with Harvey & Co. Went over to Bass for a “Grope” in the afternoon but there was not enough time so it was called off. Back in the “chattle” to tea and then back to Bass for a lecture by a navy man on Convoys. Back S.M. about 6 and had supper, afterwards writing to Ted Jackson

Shifted all kit to Steeple Morden

Wrote to Ted Jackson

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JUNE 3. Wed

Arrived in London about 12.11 so had dinner at the N.Z. Forces club. Went out to the [deleted word] Kew gardens in the afternoon the weather was wonderful and the Gardens were an unforgettable sight. We lay down under a tree and slept for a couple of hours. Back for tea. Met two [deleted] N.Z. [/deleted] American privates went to the Sussex and afterwards to the “Mazurka” Club - in all - one hell of a wild night

[page break]

JUNE 4. Thurs.

Got up about 9. and went to the New Zealand Forces club and had a game of snooker and had dinner there. Caught train from Kings Cross about 2.15 home after a very hot and uninteresting journey
So bed and not feeling very happy after last night’s effort

[page break]

JUNE 5. Fri.

No flying so went over to Bass to see Ted Jackson but had no luck as he was still in bed. Received two parcels from home, caught the 11.45 “shuttle” home to Steeple. Started to walk in with Harvey Flower when Ted & “Stevie” came out in the YMCA’S car. Went back with them to a dance at the Sgt’s Mess. Had a jolly fine reunion and the dance went with a swing. Met Sheila Hyde who I met in my first week at 11 O.T.U. Took her home to Kneesworth.

Jolly good night

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JUNE 6. Sat.

Went on our first cross country in a wimpy. Dual - with P/O Smith as stooge pilot a good exercise from every point of view. Landed rather late.

Went in to the green plunge for a swim in the afternoon as Bill Still on Circuits & Bumps.

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JUNE 8. Mon

Went up but there was nothing doing as Bill was still doing circuits and bumps. There was no wireless in the Kite he was in so decided to take up a map and go for a trip. Went up for 2 hours and went to Cambridge Hitchin Letchworth Luton & just stooged around

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JUNE 12. Friday

A five hour country lined up but the weather is duff with low cloud. Over to Bass in the afternoon and had a test in the decompression chamber - went up to 25,000 feet no ill effects experienced but because of a slight cold had a little ear - trouble on the way down but no harm done - thank goodness.
Had a pay parade and evidently our pay has not come through from Millom yet.

Took Sheila to pictures in Royston

Received £8/0/0.

[page break]

JUNE 13. Sat.

Due for a cross - country but because of adverse weather it was called off so just hung around. Went over to Bass. about 10.30 and had my inter-com changed. Had dinner their [sic] and then came back nothing doing but circuits and bumps so went to bed early

Papers from Janie

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JUNE 14. Sunday

Our day off so made the most of it & stayed in Bed until 12 then got up for dinner. Lay in the sun all afternoon reading and sleeping. Over for a shower shave and tea at 5.

Wrote to { Chum
{ Ray Addis

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JUNE 20.

Harvey Flower missing on ops!

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JUNE 29. Mon

Sid & Stump burn to Death in a crash at 4.30 am.

P/O Callander went for Burton.

[page break]

JUNE 30. Tues

Have Received Mail from Mum (2) Clare (2) Shirley Todd, Gwen

Parcels from home Gwen

[page break]

JULY 1. Wed.

Went for a bike Ride with Sheila

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July 2. Thurs.

Lay I and missed breakfast as per usual. Went up with Bill Spinney to get my maps ready for our night trip. Rode in and saw Sheila and had to cancel our picture date
Flew Base - Henlow - Aberystywth [sic] - Helmswell [sic] Base back about 10 past 3.

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JULY 10. Frid

Went to Dance at Coco - nut Grove with Crew

What a night

Received £13:0:0.

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JULY 11. Sat

Celebrated our Departure with Mick Moon
Hell afloat!

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JULY 14. Tues

Left No 11 OTU Bass. - Caught the 9.36 with Bill Spinney my pilot. Decided to hitch hike so got off at Hitchin it wasn’t so hot but got their [sic] at last. Met Chum, Chris & Mick and celebrated finishing up at Covent Garden. Caught the 10.55 to Barrow.

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JULY 15. Wed

Arrived in Barrow about 8 had breakfast and went out to Conishead Priory to see G.J.F. but he has gone. Had my photo taken and caught a bus to Windermere arrived OK and was lucky enough to get board. Had a walk around met Dunc Mac - to Bed early

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JULY 16. Thurs

Up 9 and went to Keswick - lovely scenery but unfortunately bad weather still had a good day

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JULY 17. Fri

Wandered leisurely down to Bowness had dinner and sat down by the lakes edge. To pictures & an early night

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JULY 18. Sat

Got up fairly early but missed the first train to Barrow caught the 11.15. and it was very packed
Arrived at Euston about 8.30 booked in at the Victoria League cleaned up and then went to Covent Garden but it was full and so had supper & home.

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JULY 19. Sun

Had a lovely hot bath & went round to the NZ [inserted] Club [/inserted] for dinner. Met Alan Russell so went for a walk to Hyde Park to listen to the hecklers - went to a show and back to the club for dinner. Then met old Snow who is back in the crew! Went to the Mazurka and got fairly happy so decided to go to Covent Garden before it got too bad. Met a nice girl and took her home arranging to meet her to-morrow night

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JULY 20. Mon

Slept in pretty late and ambled round to the Forces club for lunch. Then strolled round Oxford St. Regent St. just going where pleased. Went to “Son of Fury” - met Snow, Mick & Chris in the Club and then went round to meet J.M. at C.G. Station. Went to the Regent palace Hotel for tea and to the show at the Hippodrome after having supper at a flash restaurant

Mail { Clare (29th May)
{ Mum.

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No 101 SQUADRON - BOURN.
JULY 21. Tues.

Met Mick & Snow and caught the 10.10 for Cambridge. After a whole of a lot of trouble got all our kit ready at Bass. and got a shuttle into Royston. Met Bill Spinney on the train and went to Cambridge. Finally got to Long Stanton and a shuttle to Oakington. Nobody knew us so we bedded in the same room as Burgess & Co.

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JULY 22. Wed

Up earliest for a long time and down and had a look over a Stirling.
Got a truck to Bourn where we are going to be on MK III’s. Had a good tea and early to bed.

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[underlined] JULY 23. [/underlined] Thurs.

Up & saw the C.O. of our squadron - got all our arrival chits filled in all of us got clean sheets
Could not get a ride to Oakington so played snooker
To tea & to write letters

Posted letters to Mum, Sheila, Doc Turnbull & Photo people in Barrow at 20 Paxton St, Barrow in Furness.

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JULY 24. Friday

Reported to the flight at 9 o’clock but there was no one about on a/c of ops last night. Went to Oakington to draw flying kit - got underwear but no Irvin. Received my nav kit, parachute & harness and had a chat by the navigation officer who showed me round the station
Went to an ENSA concert at night which was not bad.

Rec. £9:2:0

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JULY 25. Sat.

Received som instruction on G.B. and tried to use my [indecipherable] sextant very good but heavy. Mucked around and went to tea about 4.15.
Went to “Red Lion” with Snow bed 11.15.
Spin went on a raid to Duisberg [sic]

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JULY 26. Sun

Went up to flights but as there was ops last night no one was about, so went around with Snow while he did his DI’s. Then spent the rest of the morning on “Q6”. Had morning tea at the NAAFI but nothing doing in the afternoon as it is the big do [deleted] the [/deleted] to-night 16 kites - looks like another 1000 bomber “do”. With Chris & Bill going

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JULY [deleted] 27. [/deleted] [inserted] 29. [/inserted] [deleted] Mon [/deleted]

Chris came in

Nothing interesting rained all day!

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JULY 28. Tues

Chris woke [inserted] us [/inserted] up after [deleted] he [/deleted] 7 to know the time - I could have killed him. We went up to the drome and had a good morning tea. Then fooled around with my sextant and popped back to have a game of snooker.
Up in the after-noon and spent a couple of hours on the T.R.

Received a letter from Sheila. Wrote Rosemary. Doc Turnbull, Shirley Judd.

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JULY [deleted] 29. [/deleted] [inserted] 27. [/inserted] [deleted] Wednes [/deleted] [inserted] Mon [/inserted]

Was awake when Chris and Bill came back from Hamburg - Chris dropped a 4,000lb bomb - good show.
There was nothing doing as all personnel had been on last night and as it rained I stayed behind and wrote letters.
Went up in afternoon, was supposed to go up for a trip with the T.R. but it was scrubbed

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JULY 30. Thurs

As there was ops last night. Had breakfast and came back to the billets it started to rain but cleared before dinner and went on an air - firing trip up to the Wash with Nobby Clarke Played with the T.R. for a while but unfortunately the set packed up.

Durn of flight 1hr 30

Received letters from Mum & Dick Harwood

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JULY 31. Fri

Heard in the morning that we were to be pall bearers at the funeral at P/O Stubbings, Sgts Webster & Comber. Had an early dinner and went in to Cambridge on a shuttle with S/L Watts. Acted as pall bearers to Eric Webster and Bob Stubbings. Then went and got a punt with Spin, Mick and Snow. Had tea and went to the pictures then to the Criterion, from there to dance at Rex arriving home by taxi about 1 o’clock
They were killed when a wimpey collided with a Stirling off the Oakington Circuit.

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AUGUST 1. Sat.

Up rather late as I was pretty tired after last night. Went up to the drome but there was nothing doing. Biked into [deleted] Cambr [/deleted] Bassingbourne [sic] & took Sheila & Beryl to the [deleted] pictures [/deleted] green plunge & had a steak then went to the “Waggon & Horses” and then went to the dance at the sergeant’s mess Rode back with Bill Spinney & Gordon Otter.

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AUGUST 2. Sun

Big Day as a crew we at last got off the deck for 1 1/4 hrs. I played with the T.R. & it worked great. Nothing in the afternoon. Down to soldiers mess for supper & then Dance.

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AUGUST 3. Mon

Up to the flights but as the boys had been on ops there was nothing doing. Weather very duff. Ops scrubbed at night so went in to Cambridge on the bus Went to the pictures and had a good supper of chicken (?) after

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AUGUST 4. Tues

Nothing doing - weather is still pretty duff. Walked down to supper.

Had a chat by the Group Captain

Papers & Truth but no letters inside.

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AUGUST 5. Wed

Went up to the flights and was supposed to fly but it was cancelled.
Went up in the afternoon and flew with F/S Brown for a couple of hour on the T.R. then had [deleted] dinner [/deleted] [inserted] tea [/inserted] and flew again at 6.30 with Bill Spinney and crew & did local flying on fixes & homing, home to supper and bed

Letters { Mum
{ Gwen

Cable from Home re Birthday

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AUGUST 6. Thurs.

Woke up early and cleaned the room out for a change. Had [inserted] morn [/inserted] tea at the NAAFI and then went on a cross-country with the crew arriving back about 2 o’clock. Had a late dinner and came back for pay parade. Bill on C & L’s and I’m not going. Had supper at the Army canteen and Home
Had the old Jerry over but no bombs close.

Received parcel from Clare

Received £9:2:0

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AUGUST 7. Fri

A very dirty miserable day. Went down to the canteen for supper and then to the golden Lion and got a bit happy. Home about 11.30

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AUGUST 8. Sat.

Supposed to swing a loop but everything went wrong so will do it to-morrow morning. Had a lecture on Hun fighter tactics and a couple of illustrative films. Had a game of billiards after tea and went to the ENSA concert which was quite a good show.
Home & to [inserted] do [/inserted] letter writing

Wrote to Clare.

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AUGUST 9. Sun

Went up to the flights and was “Joed” for a compass swing in the morning before lunch. Went to dinner and when we came back there was nothing doing, was just ready to bus off when I was caught again at 4.15. Swing “R” for Robert and it rained just to make matters worse.
Went to bed early.

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AUGUST 10. Mon

As Mick & Snow had been flying last night I got up quietly. Up to the flights but was nothing much doing. Came home early and started to write a letter. Came back from the drome about 3 and played Snow at Snooker. Went for a ride down to the soldiers barracks for supper and came back to pack for our shift to Stradishall to - morrow.

Wrote to Nona.
Wrote to Mum.

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No 101 Squadron STRADISHALL

AUGUST 11. Tues

Snow & Mick went up to fly and I got up quickly & packed. Carried my kit over to the Airman’s mess. Had dinner and up to the flights had a talk by Sq. Ldr. Watts. Took off about 4 and went over to have a look at Cambridge landing at Stradishall about 4.30.
Went to the pictures and to bed
A funny trip bags gas masks, bombsight, chute Mae Wests all piled in the kite

Mail from Mum, Jocelyn, R.S.A., Max, Clare, Chum.

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AUGUST 12. Wedn

Slept in all day nearly as rest of squadron has not yet arrived. Went to NAAFI for supper then to bed

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AUGUST 13. Thurs.

Were to report to flights at 9.30. nothing doing so lay on the grass and then went to dinner. Had all the fuel system explained by Bill S.
Got a shuttle and went out to “Edward” and got our kit bringing it back to the hut.
Went to the mess with Snow and then went to the dance. Had a pretty good time.

Cables Janice Gwen

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AUGUST 14. Fri

Nearly missed breakfast and was glad I didn’t as we had bacon & eggs. Came back and all the boys were still asleep so popped out and down to the hangar but everything in pretty much of a mess. Heard that we were “on” to-night. Went for a trip in the after-noon around Cambridge testing the T.R. Came down to hear that ops had been scrubbed.
Went to “Arizona”

Letter from Sheila Hyde
Cable from Home
Wrote to Sheila.

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AUGUST [deleted] 15 [/deleted] [inserted] 16 [/inserted] Sat

Just mucked around cleaning up the navigation room. Went to the pictures which I had seen before

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AUGUST [deleted] 16 [/deleted] [inserted] 15 [/inserted] Sun

Up to the flights and we are on the battle order at last! Did our N.F.T. and were all ready to go Target was Dusseldorf. On our turn to take off but we went off the runway with 4000lbs (6 x 500 & 1 x 1000) so the trip was scrubbed

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AUGUST 17. Mon

Saw two “Typhoons” in the morning they look very nice kites. N.F.T. unnecessary as our kite “X” was tested in the morning. Briefed and were out at the kite in plenty of time. Target - Osnabruck. Airborne 2154 on target 0023, medium & plenty light flak, fair trip - time 5 hrs 40 mins, load 1 x 4000lb.
F/Sgt Brown & Crew missing
Sgt. Foderingham - pulled out after 11 hours in drink

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AUGUST 18. Tues

Slept in until 12.30 and then went to dinner. Nothing doing in afternoon. Put our names down to go to Cambridge. Went in a 5.30 with the crew Stayed in the “Criterion” till 10 and then went to the Kex till 11. Home on the 12 bus.

Letter from Sheila.

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AUGUST 19. Wed.

What a night! Not feeling so good so slept in till about 10 and then wandered down to the Nav. office. Went on a bombing trip up by Honington and dropped a few 11 1/2 lbs. Came back and it was a big day on the station. All personnel had the day off. Sports all afternoon and a dance at night. Went to the dance to bed

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AUGUST 20. Thurs.

Up & cleaned up as we thought the C.O. was coming but he let us down as he didn’t turn up. Went up for a trip in the morning about 1 1/2 hours bombing. Came back had dinner. There was nothing doing in the afternoon so stooged over to “G” & shifted my kit
Flew on a cross country at night of 3 1/2 hours and had a good nights astro & “G” practice

Bed 2.30

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AUGUST 21. Fri.

Slept in till 11 o’clock. Went over to the flights but there was nothing doing, a group stand down to night Handed in my maps at the intelligence store
Were payed [sic] at at 3.15
Went over to the Sgts. Mess until 9.15 then down to the dance for the B.A.T. boys.

Received £9:2:0
Banked £12:0:0

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AUGUST 22. Sat

Not feeling so hot at all this morning. Down to the hangar and went out to our kite to miss compass swinging. Did an N.F.T in “Edward” and then went in to the pictures and to the NAAFI for supper

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AUGUST 23. Sun

“Stand - by” for daylights. Were all ready to go at 11 o’c but were put off till 3 o’clock. Swing “K” Kitty in the morning and when we finished we heard that the daylights were scrubbed. “V” victor & “O” Orange went and bombed Emden from 4,500 feet. Shooting down 1 Me110 on the way back Went on a T.R. stooge in the afternoon with P/O Hill

Received my birthday cake

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AUGUST 24. Mon

Got my ration of 4 bars of chocolate. Did an N.F.T. in the afternoon and the “G” was not too good so reported to the Spec. signals. Went to Frankfurt - bags of flak, attacked by a nightfighter off the French coast - hit by shrapnel over [inserted] Target [/inserted] Total - 6 hrs 15. landed 03.20 - very tired

“C” charlie missing

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AUGUST 25. Tues

Woke up at 12.00 and went to dinner. Went to “Edward” and took my charts to the Intelligence. Did an N.F.T. in “L” London and then went to briefing at 16.45. Ops were scrubbed at the Last minute
So went to the pictures

Letters from { Clare
{ Mum
{ Ray Addis
Good Show!

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AUGUST 26. Wed

Up to the flights in the morning and was lucky enough to get out of several compass swings. Did our N.F.T. in “L” London for ops to-night. Briefed at usual time and were already and over at the crew room at 11.30 when it started to rain cats & dogs so the whole show was scrubbed.

To bed about 12

Post - card from Sheila

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What a day.

AUGUST 27. Thurs

Taking “Q” “Queenie” to-night. Went to do an air test in the afternoon but the kite was U/S so did a ground test after tea. Target - [underlined] KASSEL [/underlined] At last we get away at 8.50. No trouble over the Dutch coast - passed north of Amsterdam and had quite a bit of flak light and intense. Arrived at the target 20 mins early so stooged around and watched the fireworks, let the bombs go at 11.47. - Bright moonlight and intense ground haze. Coming home the fun started. Flak & S/L from Hamm, then got caught in the S/L’s over Essen and were hit several times by heavy flak, diving from 16,000 to 3,500 & finally got clear, then we climbed to height and crossed Over [indecipherable word] at 12,000, were 30 miles out to sea when we were attacked by a night fighter. Rear gunner severely injured, hydraulics shot up,

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AUGUST 28. Fri

no H.S.I. wheels down, bomb doors open, T.R & wireless U/S, crossed English coast at 3,500, called darky and immediately got a reply - drome lit up by S/L and we crash - landed - got Mick out & about 1 min later the kite burst into flames. Landed at Martlesham Heath - at about 0220 on Aug 28th.

28/8/42

Feeling a little shaky this morning. Up & had bacon & eggs. The boys came over for us and we got back about 12. Saw the C.O. and the M.O. and saw Pilky. The only thing saved was 2 pencils and my Nav log. Supper at NAAFI & to bed

Good Show!

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AUGUST 29. Sat

Still feeling a bit tired nothing doing in the morning. Swung all the compasses on “J” Johnnie in the afternoon and then went in to Cambridge about 4.30.
Went to the “Popular” had tea then to the “Barron [sic] of Beef” and to the Dorothy getting back about 1.30

Paddy Colhoun in “A” } Missing from Numburg [sic]
Beale & Rowles in “U” } Missing from Numburg [sic]
Ayres in “X” } Missing from Numburg [sic]

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AUGUST 30. Sun

Slept in and missed breakfast. Went down to the hangar and got a new Irvin suit, went back and had an hours sleep. No ops to-night so went to the picture and then to the NAAFI for supper.

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AUGUST 31. Mon

Slept in again and missed breakfast. Went down to the flights but there was nothing doing so went back to clean up and write a letter.

Posted letter to Mum 1800

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SEPTEMBER 1. Tues

Did an N.F.T. in the afternoon in “K” Kittie. Left about 12 o’clock for Saarbruken with Sgt. Crawley replacing Mick. Tested gun over Thames estuary - two guns in rear turret U/S so decided to return to base. Bombs jettisoned in wash and on return to Base cloud found at 200’ - hang of a job finding a drome but finally landed O.K.

Letter from Sheila

Truths (4) Received

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SEPTEMBER 2. Wed

Down to the flights and “ops” to-night. Tested “H” Harry it is a good kite. Briefed 8 o’clock and airborne 2300. S/C for English coast immediately 10/10 cloud. Climbed to 15,000 and crossed French coast where there was some heavy flak. Fairly quiet in to target, at target experienced heavy & intense light flak, no S/L’s - large Fires & big bomb bursts seen - home [missing words] - Target was [underlined] Karlsruhe [/underlined]

Durn 6 hrs 30 mins

Received Mail Mum W.D.R.S.A.

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SEPTEMBER 3. Thurs.

Woke up at about 12.30 and went to dinner. Stand - down to-night. Went to pictures at night & to Bed.

Wrote to Sheila

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SEPTEMBER 4. Fri

Had a good nights sleep. And went and swung the compasses on “J” they were all O.K and did not need any adjusting.
Did our N.F.T. in the afternoon in “E” Edward Went to Bremen. Hundreds of S/L’s and intense flak, quite a hot spot. Came back OK. landing 0500.

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SEPTEMBER 5. Sat.

Woke about 1300 and had dinner. There was a “Stand-down” so went in to Cambridge at 5 o’clock.
Went to the “Boar’s Head.” at night and stayed till the bitter end. Home about 1 o’clock.

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SEPTEMBER 6. Sun

Woke very tired & wandered down to the flights. Air tested “E” Edward and she is still as good as ever.
Left for Duisberg, [sic] not much in the way in. With bomb doors open we turned in to the target when bang the port motor cut we jettisoned our bombs and made for home. Could not track as the starboard motor pulled us to port a very shaky do! Had to get a QDM - shaky do.

P/O Gill & Crew Missing

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SEPTEMBER 7. Mon

Woke up 12 to hear that they had put overload tanks in. First target was Stettin 60 miles NE of Berlin. Then we were going to Warnemunde were in the kites ready for take-off when they scrubbed it - I was jolly glad as I am not partial to swimming the north sea

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SEPTEMBER 8. Tues

Slept in till 9 and got down to the flights late. Did an N.F.T. in “D” Donald and everything was O.K.
Went to Frankfurt Taking off at 9 o’clock, crossed Fr. coast bags of flak & S/L’s fairly quiet to target where there were hundreds of S/L’s and much heavy flak. Load 1 x 4000 lb.
Target well alight [inserted] with [/inserted] incendiaries attacked by a Me110. got rid of hime O.K. more flak on Fr. coast. Landed very short of juice about 0300

Letter from Clare
Poor old Williams & Joe [indecipherable word] & Pinky Reame missing

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SEPTEMBER 9. Wednes.

Woke up very tired about 11 o’clock we sure aren’t getting much sleep lately. Down to flights and Pilky said leave to-day. Got paid - £11:18:0 a jolly good sum. Hitch hiked to Newmarket and caught the train for Bury had to stay the night there as no train to Ipswich
Stayed at the Suffolk hotel and turned in early

Cabled Mum
Clare
Sheila

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SEPTEMBER 10. Thurs

Up & had breakfast at 7 caught the train to Ipswich arriving there about 9.40. Went straight up & saw Mick who looks very pale & washed out
Caught the 11.30 train to London. Booked in at the Victoria League till Monday. Met Sheila by good luck. Saw Sam Brydon, Tony Taylor and Ross Buckley. Went to a show with Sheila

A Jolly good night!

Nice thing this leave
Whacko!

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SEPTEMBER 11. Friday

Wake about 11, had a hot bath and went to the NZ Forces club where I met Sheila and took her to dinner. Then saw her off on the 2.05 train to Cambridge. Back and saw a show meeting the boys at the NZ F.C. and then to a club where we got pretty tight. Spin & I went to the Covent Garden where I met Irene who took me to Kensington South arriving home at 12.45.

Another Good Day.

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SEPTEMBER 12. Sat

Woke pretty late so ambled round to the forces club for dinner. Met Bob Stevenson and went to a show in the Afternoon. Met Norm Picton in the evening so went to the Sussex and then back to the N.Z.F.C. where we met 2 WAAFs Took them to supper and hitched a ride in a van to Fleet Street. Back to the Strand where we had a very wild night -

“Bonnee” - I’ll say Bonny Berry

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SEPTEMBER 13. Sun

Went for a walk along the Embankment till 10 o’clock then saw the girls off at Trafalgar St., station. Went to the Milkay Club with Snow back about 6 met Steve went to the Sussex, too hot so went to a show. Left Steve in Piccadilly and meet P. fair time home 0200

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SEPTEMBER 14. Mon

With Steve all day not doing much.

Saw a couple of Shows

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Wed. the 16

SEPTEMBER [deleted] 15 Tues. [/deleted]

Woke about 8.30 & so Steve & Co missed their train. Had breakfast down at Lyons on Strand. Back to NZ. Forces Club & then back to the Strand Palace Hotel. Saw Steve & co off, and then caught the 11.55 for Cambridge. Arriving about 1.40. Booked in at the Red Lion and then went to the Flix and home to an early bed very very tired

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[inserted] Tues 15th [/inserted] SEPTEMBER [Deleted] 16. Wed [/deleted]

Steve & I met Ted Grey & celebrated at the Sussex. Then to Covent Garden met three nurses and saw them to London Bridge.
5 of us slept in a three roomed bed, Steve, his pilot, a Canuck P/O, Grey [indecipherable] & myself

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SEPTEMBER 17. Thurs

Woke about 8.30 and went down town for breakfast. Then walked slowly down to the train. Caught the 10.8 for Newmarket then hitch hiked out to the camp arriving about 12. Down to the flights in the afternoon and went for a height test with the Aussie - Hawkins - reached 21,000 temperature was minus 20 centigrade - above 10/10 cloud landed 6.20. Home to an early bed.

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SEPTEMBER 18. Fri

A Good night’s sleep and was it welcome - I’ll say. Down to the flights and there was nothing doing Cloud 10/10 weather was not too good. Went up on a height test with Hawkins. We went up to 21,000 feet and “G” packed up and we did not know where we were finally pinpointed at Colchester got back about 6. Tea and went to the [deleted] pictures [/deleted] Three Tuns and got pretty well oiled

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SEPTEMBER 19. Sat.

Not feeling so good this morning. Went up on an N.F.T. in good old “E” Edward pretty good everything OK for ops tonight.
Took off at 8.10 with Andy Gould and a new rear gunner. No trouble over Fr coast quiet to target and then quite a bit of difficulty locating it. Home with bags of flak over Fr coast.
Trip 5hrs 40.
No 8. SAARBRUCKEN 72 x 30lb incendiaries

1 Kite missing - P/O De Bartok & Drury.

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SEPTEMBER 20. Sun

Woke up about 11.30. To a lecture on last nights do. 7 photos within 5 miles in all a pretty good show.
Nothing on tonight to-night so went to NAAFI for supper then to Hellzappopin [sic]

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SEPTEMBER 21. [underlined] Mon [/underlined]

Up feeling fresh & fit. Nothing doing in the morning but ops to-night. Did an N.F.T. in “E” - weather awful ceiling 150 feet in rain. Kite all O.K. back about 3.30. Target Mining 5 mile from mouth of Kiel Harbour. Made landfall at Mandoss OK after a 330 mile [inserted] sea [/inserted] crossing Map - read into the target OK saw a flak ship or two but very quiet really. Had “George” in all across the Sea. Saw a single ME 110
Durn - 6.30

Trip 9.

Hawkins the Aussie & S/Ldr Patterson (Patrick) Missing Bad Show!

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SEPTEMBER 22. Tues

Woke about 11pm had a bath and went down to the flights - Stand down. Had a lecture on the photographs taken at SBKN. [indecipherable] within 5 miles. Went to the mess to celebrate Brads flight. Then to waaf’s dance and got pretty happy.

Wrote 10 pages to Mum

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SEPTEMBER 23. Wedn

Woke feeling good after last nights do. Down to the flights and then shifted upstairs in “D” block. Down after lunch and watched a football match with a station crew. Standdown to-night

Wrote { Sheila
{ Steve

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SEPTEMBER 24. Thurs

Nothing doing in the morning. No ops tonight Watched a football match in afternoon - weather shocking

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SEPTEMBER 25. Fri

Woke pretty early & standing by for day flights but they were scrubbed as the cloud dispersed very quickly. Ops to-night but we are not on - played Chris a couple of of sets of tennis and then went to the pictures - Ops scrubbed.

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SEPTEMBER 26. Sat

Nothing doing again to-day - ops to-night but we are not on again. Ops were scrubbed at the last minute. Played Chris tennis and then went to the “Three Tuns” with Smithy & Brad - a good sing song & quite a good night

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SEPTEMBER 27. Sun

Down to the flights at 9 o’clock and everybody getting ready to shift. Went up for an Air Test in “C” with Spin - swung the compasses first - Kite O.K. Checked harnesses in the afternoon and had a talk by the Group Captain on leaving naafi - [indecipherable word] & bed

Posted mail { Chum
{ Snow

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SEPTEMBER 28. Mon

Took off about 10.20 for Holme. Chris navigated and I map - read arrived O.K. and had a good dinner. Settled in at billets well away from the ‘drome. Went to the Waafs welcome in the Sgts mess and boy was it a “Boozeroo.” Bags of drinking hours everyone very happy.

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OCTOBER 8. Thurs

No lectures except 1 by S/ldr Ruth on ops, pretty fair.

Mail Mum (2) Jocelyn, Rosemary, Doc J, Nona, Chum

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OCTOBER 9. Friday

Supposed to fly kites all U/S.

Mail from Chum & Sheila

Wrote to Nona, Florrie, Chum, Shiela, Rosemary.

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OCTOBER 10. Sat

Had lectures on “ops” & tactics - a bit late but good for the birds from O.T.U.’s
Went to town on the 5.30 bus with Spin & Andy - To Saracens Head for tea and to Crown for a few drinks then to “Montana” dance hall

Posted my photo home

[page break]

OCTOBER 11. Sun

Bacon & eggs for breakfast About the best thing thats happened since we’ve been here. Nothing doing in the morning but got off in a Manchester for two hours in the afternoon Spin did a couple of landings and when we were going solo the brake - pressure gave out.

Wrote to { Clare 8 pages
{ G.P.O. about Bank Book.

[page break]

OCTOBER 12. Mon

Up 7.15 and down to breakfast. Lectures on Astro - it is surprising how much I don’t know about navigation - still we live & learn. Lecture by S/LDR Ruth on evasive action his experiences tally with ours.
Same in afternoon, home to barracks and lit the fire, it overbalanced and darn near set the place on fire.

Letter Aug 10 from home.

2 [inserted] lots [/inserted] Papers from Janie

[page break]

OCCTOBER 21. Wed

Flew in Morning & 2 1/2 hours at night too.

Wrote to Chum

Telegram from Chum

[page break]

OCTOBER 24. Sat

Woke up early but stayed in Bed went up to Parade but was to [sic] late
No flying home to Write Letters

Letters from { Gwen
{ Mum.

Wrote to Mum, Shiela, Steve, Colchester, Muriel [indecipherable]

[page break]

[underlined] 22/3/41 [/underlined] Anson 930 Sgt Sansom AB 1400 1720 [underlined] 3hrs 20 [/underlined]

STATIONS I HAVE

I.T.W. LEVIN NEW ZEALAND APRIL 13th 1941.
No 6 A.O.S. PRINCE ALBERT SASKATCHEWAN CANADA.
No 3 B&G MACDONALD MANITOBA. CANADA.
No. 1 ANS RIVERS MANITOBA. CANADA.
No “IY” Depot HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA CANADA.
No 3 P.R.C. BOURNEMOUTH ENGLAND.
No 2 AFU MILLOM. CUMBERLAND ENGLAND.
No 11 OTU BASSINGBOURNE [sic] HERTS. ENGLAND.
No 11 OTU STEEPLE MORDEN Herts. ENGLAND.
No 101 SQUADRON BOURN. Cambs. ENGLAND.
No 101 SQUADRON. STRADISHALL (Trans 11/8) ENGLAND
No 101 SQUADRON. HOLME YORKSHIRE Trans. 28/ [missing date]
No 1654 CON FLIGHT WIGSLEY - NOTTS Trans. 29/9

Collection

Citation

H W A Collett, “Henry William Amner Collett's diary,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/27302.

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