Kenneth Gill 1942 Diary



Kenneth Gill 1942 Diary


Starts with account of movements in RAF for 1941. Continues lwith entries for daily activities. Embarks Greenock, Leaves Milford Haven on 8 January for voyage across Atlantic and describes voyage to Canada. Arrives Moncton 20 January describes daily routine. Left for United States on 22 January. Describes train journey via New York, Washington, Atlanta and arrived at Turner Field, Albany Georgia 24 January. Goes on with daily entries describing activities mentioning food, lessons, sport, weather, rifle training, social activities and physical training. Mentions visit to Sylvester. Transfers to Arcadia, Florida 22 February. Starts flying training at end of February. Continues with description of ground school, flying and other daily activities. Mentions visit to Sarasota. Failed pilot flight check on 24 March 1942 an was sent back to Moncton, Canada. Entries for a few days activities and entries then peter out for April and May and then cease.






Multi-page printed booklet with handwritten entries


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Charles Letts’s

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Telephone Numbers

Name Number

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Memoranda from 1941

Left home July 7th for London
Left London July 26th for Leuchars.
Left Leuchars Oct. 3rd for 9 days leave.
Left home Oct. 12th for Leuchars.
Left Leuchars Oct. 17th for London
Left London Nov. 22nd. for Clyffe Pypard
Left Clyffe Pypard Dec. 13th for 14 days leave.
Became engaged Dec. 16th to my darling.
Left home Dec. 27th for Heaton Park.

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Memoranda from 1941

[printed information]

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January 1 Thursday 1942

Were issued with extra kit, vests, gym. kit, overalls, new towel & a new kitbag.

Had to mark bags with code letters etc.

Wrote letters to Vera & home.

Had bath & went to bed.

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2 Friday 1942

Had two teeth out at 12.25pm. at Bowlec Station. What a job it hurt quite a bit & bled a lot.

Hugh McCoy went with me.

Had rest of day off.

Code words altered.

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3 Saturday 1942

Gums still sore but a lot better, had mouth-wash after breakfast & had nothing to do till 1.30pm.

Pay parade at 2.15pm received £2 what for beats me.

Finished at 4pm.

Wrote letter to Betty Hughes & one to Vera.

Rang up, [indecipherable words] out & rang again & Vera was out. Spoke to Mrs. Longden.

4 Sunday

Took in kitbags not wanted on voyage.

Went with Pete to tea at Alcocks’. Good night Wish Vera could have some.

Tried to get through but couldn’t.

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5 Monday 1942

Went to pack & messed about & got embarkation cards. Seems we’re going at last. Tried to ring but couldn’t get through. Wrote V & home.

Left Byron’s at 10.30pm for Park. Had supper & stayed there till 2.30am. Marched to station & got on train at 3.00am.

Woke up at Glasgow.

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6 Tuesday 1942

Arrived at 12.0a.m. on docks at Gourock. Went aboard steamer & was taken out to troopship, not bad accomodation [sic]. Sleep in hammocks & on mess-tables.

The lads are all here.

Wrote to V & home.

Had a bit of fun getting hammocks set up right. Slept in our clothes.

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7 Wednesday 1942

Got up at 6.30a.m. not bad night.

Was given guard duty for 24hrs, 1 on & 2 off. My post on bow of ship.

Left Gourock at 2.0p.m. & had a Yank destroyer to acompany [sic] us.

Quiet night. Running down the Irish Sea.

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8 Thursday 1942

Bacon & egg for breakfast. Finished guard at 9a.m.

Ran in to Milford Haven at 2- pm.

Left at 4 pm. With 2 Yank destroyers & 1 troopship with soldiers aboard.

Heading back up Irish Sea. Ship rolling a bit.

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9 Friday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Good night

Just out of Irish Sea. P.T. on deck after lifeboat drill.

Was given job of sweeping up decks every day.

Went up on boat-deck.

Heavy seas coming up

Was sick seven times in afternoon & evening.

Decided to sleep on mess-table.

Clocks put back an hour.

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10 Saturday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Fairly good night. Was sick again before breakfast. Had a kipper & kept it down. Just has pudding at dinner-time & a [indecipherable word] Powder. Heavy seas & gale-warning. Cleared out scuppers & lashed everything down.

Sea came over lower decks & Boat rocked awful.

11 Sunday

Everything in a mess on the floor. Heavy seas still running. Chicken for dinner. Read 2 books in afternoon. Don’t feel too good. Another gale coming up.

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12 Monday 1942

Clocks back another hour.

Nearly slid off table last night. Decks had all been awash. Heavy seas again. Was sick before breakfast. Ship rolling very badly.

One destroyer gone back owing to engine trouble.

Feel O.K. just now.

Nothing interesting.

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13 Tuesday 1942

Fairly good night, but sea still rough.

Ships pitching so much that propellors [sic] come out of water.

Feel fairly well.

Nothing interesting.

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14 Wednesday 1942

Good night, although sea was very rough.

Porpoises seen on port side after dinner.

Had a talk by a Yank officer.

Ropes put on deck for holding on to.

Battened down after tea. Lower decks perpetually awash. Sea came in twice at portholes.

A few lads were knocked over by waves & soaked.

Other destroyer packed up & gone away. Troopships on our own now.

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15 Thursday 1942

Decent night, storm calmed a little, sea still very rough. Should be in on Saturday now.

Some chaps had their money changed or rather given in today.

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16 Friday 1942

Good night. Heavy sea again. Spray coming over like rain.

Seems we just missed U-boats during night.

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17 Saturday 1942

Good night. Sea a bit calmer. Much colder, it snowed in afternoon. Picked up Yank destroyer so must be getting nearer.

Nothing unusual.

18 Sunday

Fine morning, rather cold. Chicken for dinner again. Should see land tomorrow. Wrote home & Vera.

Nothing unusual.

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19 Monday 1942

Up at 6-0a.m. On deck at 7-0a.m. Very cold. No land in sight yet. Sighted land at 9.30a.m. At last the journeys ended.

Stayed on board till 9.15 p.m. then boarded train for Monkton.

Seems very strange seeing so many lights.

Sent cable to Mum, cost 3/6 but it was worth it.

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20 Tuesday 1942

Arrived at Moncton [sic] at 5-0 A.M. & trudged through snow & rain to camp. Were given billets & then had egg & tomatoes for breakfast. Had a rest on bunk till dinner.

Pay parade at 2-0p.m. received 3 dollars. Cabled to Vera.

Went round Moncton & had a banana split & then to pictures. Plenty of fruit here, everything seems very strange & lights seem unreal.

Very cold here but it’s a dry cold & not so bad really.

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21 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6-30 a.m. Breakfast & then parade for flighting.

Pay parade at 2.0p.m. & received 10 dollars (American).

Received our other kitbags then sent both kitbags by lorry to the train.

Our 1250’s came back at 9-0p.m. and then to billets & bed.

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22 Thursday 1942

Up at 4-0a.m. Breakfast at 5a

Paraded at 6-15a.m. & went down to station. Roads very slippery. Entrained at 8-0 a.m.

Grand scenery, rivers & lakes frozen over. Dinner lovely, negro waiters. Crossed to U.S.A. at 2-30p.m. Clocks put back an hour. Dinner at 6p.m. grand food. Changed trains at 8-0p.m.

Still in snow area.

No beds have to sleep on seats.

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23 Friday 1942

Woke up at New York at 5-30a.m. Ham & eggs for Breakfast Changed trains at Washington at 10-30 a.m. Very hot sun.

Grand dinner, chicken.

Country very dry & parched looking. Passed tobacco plantations & cotton fields & orange orchards.

Should be in tomorrow morning.

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24 Saturday 1942

Woke up at 4-0 a.m. at Atlanta dining cars taken off. Passed some fruit farms & tobacco fields

Population nearly all negro.

Arrived at Turner Field, Georgia about 9-0 a.m. Billets are fine. Breakfast grand food & waiters. Gave in blankets. Dinner fine. Collected kitbags, filled in forms etc. & had grand tea. Lecture on discipline etc. Went back to rooms at 7-45p.m. Lights out at 10-0p.m. Fine place here, very big & plenty of room.

25 Sunday

Up at 6-0a.m. Bacon & eggs etc for breakfast.

Were shown how to lay out our rooms. Haircut in morning. Scrumptious dinner.

P.T. at 1-30pm. to 3-30p.m. Played basket-ball.

Lecture again. Tea. At 5-0p.m. “Open Post” after tea while 21-00hrs. Went into Albany not much there. Bed at 10-30. p.m.

Very hot here, better than our summers.

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26 Monday 1942

Up at 5.45a.m. Breakfast then P.T. for an hour. Shower then lecture on system of guards. Break. Wrote to Vera & sent it by Letter Mail 5c. Drill period for an hour & a half. Very funny trying to learn American drill. It seems rather babyish to us & not half as smart.

Wash & Brush up then dinner.

Parcelled up laundry ready for collecting. Started writing home. Very warm. Lecture on “customs & courtesies”. Clothing inspection. Athletics, played touch rugby. Tea [deleted] h [/deleted] at 4.30p.m., very nice. Drill after tea. Went to see Bert in evening. Made out a list of all the Leuchars lads & got their signatures, put on it preference for Lakeland, Florida.

Bed at 10-0pm.

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27 Tuesday 1942

Up at 5-0a.m. Washed & dressed than had 40 winks while assembly sounded. P.T. after breakfast very stiff.

Lecture on Guard Systems of Air Corps then drill. We combine our own & their drill now, makes it a bit better. Shower then dressed for dinner. Took in list to Orderly Room & was O.K. Dinner fine, served potatoes & tea today. Customs & Curtesies [sic] again after dinner.

Issued with text books and manuals.

Thunderstorm & very heavy rain. Took in laundry to stores then to tea. No “open post” tonight. Read a bit, then wrote home.

Had a shower & then to bed after cleaning up.

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28 Wednesday 1942

Up at 5.45a.m. Washed & dressed then breakfast. Much colder today Americans wearing greatcoats. P.T. after breakfast then lecture on “guards” Seems we’ll have to do it soon. Drill followed & had to take a squad. Dinner at 11.30 a.m. Took in boots to be repaired to stores. Had lecture on Military Law, then athletics till tea time. No Open Post again tonight. Had a shower, then read old letters etc. . then retired to bed at 9-0p.m.

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29 Thursday 1942

Up at 5.45 a.m. washed & dressed, then breakfast. Warmer today than yesterday. Calisthenics after breakfast.

Drill followed, then had to line up in formation & sign a form, what it’s for I don’t know. Saw officers that came over with us on boat.

Dinner at 11-30pm [sic] . Lecture on Civics; then on Terminology used at Training Schools.

Athletics till tea-time, played touch rugby. , Very warm.

No “Open Post” again, lads getting discontented & “browned off”.

Cleared up, washed and so to bed at 9-30p.m.

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30 Friday 1942

Up at 5-45a.m. Breakfast. Raining hard, ground soaked. No P.T. Lecture on Terminology. Gave in size of collars & trousers. Dinner at 11-30a.m. Lecture on Civics, very tiring, bad speaker. Marched down to stores & drew rifles & bayonents [sic]. No athletics. Tea at 4-30p.m.

“Retreat” formation; did it very well indeed. “Open Post” till midnight.

Went to town with basket-ball players. Went to see “Manpower” at “Clair”. Not bad. Wandered round & got back at 10p.m. & so to bed.

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31 Saturday 1942

Up at 5-40a.m. Raining very hard.

No P.T. Soon cleared up. Inspection by Commanding Officer. Nothing to do till dinner. Finished at 12 o’clock. Washed & changed & went out at 1-30p.m. Called at Y.M.C.A. & Services Club. Tea at “Georges” very nice. Saw “Across the Sierras”, bought shirt & towel & cleaning rod for rifle. Back in camp at 10p.m. Cleaned gun. Bed at 11-0p.m.

February 1 Sunday

Up at 5-50a.m. Breakfast. Laid on bed & read till dinner time.

Wrote to Vera. Went to see Bert after dinner. Tea at 4-30p.m. read paper then went to see “Corsican Brothers” very good

Bed at 11-0p.m.

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2 Monday 1942

Up at 6-0a.m. Calisthenics before Breakfast. Lecture on Terminology then drill for an hour. A little warmer now than first thing this morning.

Break for an hour then dinner.

Took up positions for possible air-raids on hillsides.

Film on Military Hygeine [sic] after that. Collected boots at stores then ‘Retreat’ formation with rifles.

Tea at 5.45p.m. Cleaned rifle & bayonet & boots. Finished letter to Vera. Bed at 9.30pm.

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3 Tuesday 1942

Up at 6-0 a.m. P.T. before breakfast. Lecture on Terminology then rifle drill for an hour. Lecture on Civvies then break while dinner.

Athletics, played touch-rugby. Brought back laundry, not too good. Film on Personal Hygiene.

Retreat formation with rifles & bayonets. Tea at 5.45p.m.

No open Post. Cleaned up, packed up laundry etc. Had a shower & so to bed at 9.30p.m.

Am playing t. rugby tomorrow for Platoon.

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4 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6-10a.m. P.T., wore our overalls over gym-kit.

Breakfast. Took in laundry, then lecture on History.

Drill with rifles & bayonets. Practice formal guard mounting. Break for an hour, then lecture on Geography. Dinner at 1.0pm.

Athletics, played T. rugby, no score. Film on Courtesy & Customs.

Retreat formation. Open Post. Went to Y.M.C.A. & watched basketball.

Had supper & arrived back at 11.0p.m. then bed.

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5 Thursday 1942

Up at 6.10a.m. P.T. a little warmer today. Breakfast, then lecture on History. Drill and Rifle Inspection. Mounted guard at 12.0 o’clock. Am on 3rd. relief Went on at 4.0p.m. at water tower. Off at 6.0pm. then tea. Wrote home. On again at 10p.m. till 12.0p.m.

Not bad doing guards here.

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6 Friday 1942

Off at 6.0 a.m. Calisthenics for others Breakfast then relieved guard for 1/2hr. On again at 10a.m. & off at 12.0a.m. Dinner. then parade for pay. Received 20 dollars. Bought two singlets from store. Read in afternoon after check-up. Weigh 158 stripped. Said I’d been payed in dimes & nickels.

Open Post. Didn’t go out.

Went to canteen, then library. Read a bit & then to bed at 10p.m. Rather tired.

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7 Saturday 1942

Up at 6.0a.m. Breakfast. No P.T. Cleaned up, then inspection. Nothing to do till dinner. Read in afternoon. No “Open Post”. Went to Camp Cinema to hear violinist. Very good show. Saw “Marry the Bosses’ Daughter”, not so good, bad acting. Bed at 10-30p.m. Bert came “home” today from hospital.

8 Sunday

Up at 6.0a.m. Breakfast. Ready for 8.30a.m. Left camp for Sylvester. 75 of us. Church first then split up for dinner. Bert & I went to Cooks. Grand time. Had to come back for retreat. No “Open Post”. Went to see Mac. Read & then to bed. Clocks on an hour.

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9 Monday 1942

Up at 7-0a.m. Breakfast then Calisthenics. Drill then break. Lecture on history Before dinner. Bought two pairs of underpants at store. Dinner at 12-30pm.

Talk on Aircraft Rec after dinner. Went to sleep again as usual.

Athletics, played touch-rugby.

Big parade for Wing Commander Hogan. Says we’ll be moving in 12 days time. Tea after that, then Retreat. Went to see Mac, with the boys. Read a bit and then to bed.

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10 Tuesday 1942

Up at 7-0am. Breakfast then Calisthenics. Rifle drill after for an hour. History lecture before dinner at 12-30pm. Film on Aircraft Recognition after dinner, not so good. Lecture by Mr. De Lom on Army & Customs etc. very good.

Athletics played touch-rugby again & won. Tea at 5-30p.m. then Retreat. Started raining. “Open Post”. Got a lift to “Adam’s Inn”. Still raining so Bert & others went back. Arrived at Sylvester at 8-30pm. Had a grand supper. Very nice people indeed. Left at 11-10p.m. Mr. Cork ill so couldn’t drive me back. Got a lift on a petrol waggon & arrived back just in time, only just too. Still raining, but I had a grand time.

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11 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6.45a.m. Breakfast. Johnie stayed in bed. No Calisthenics, ground too wet. No drill either. Saw “Target for Tonight” at camp cinema. Break then dinner after History Lecture. Aircraft Recognition lecture sleep as usual for half an hour. Bert took my trousers to be pressed at camp tailors.

Athletics & more touch-rugby, won again.

Tea at 5.30pm. then Retreat. John & Ted went to a dance in Albany for R.A.F. boys only.

Bert & I went to P.X. read a bit & then to bed.

The lads came in at 2.0a.m. had a good time.

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12 Thursday 1942

Up at 6-45am. Breakfast then Calisthenics. Supply Formation, drew extra Cassack bag.

Lecture on History, went to sleep.

Dinner at 12.30pm. Film at 2-0pm. on Aircraft Recognition.

Lecture on Customs & Courtesies. Athletics till tea-time, played touch rugby, & won; champions of squadron. Tea then retreat formation. Won colours for being smartest squadron. “Open Post”. Bert & I left at 7-30pm. with staff sergeant. Went to pictures to see “North of the Yukon” Drove out of town & passed all the “Barbeques, Joints, & night-clubs etc.

Stopped at “The Esquire” for a 7 up drink. Left at 11-25pm Called for a “hamburger with” in town & got back at 11-55p.m.

Very good evening out.

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13 Friday 1942

Up at 7-00a.m. Breakfast. Calisthenics, rather cold wind.

Drill for an hour with rifles.

Lecture on Organisation; went to sleep as usual. Dinner at 12-30 a.m.

Lecture on Aircraft Recognition, slept.

Athletics till tea time. Played touch-rugby, drew with “B” squadron champions. Replay needed. Lost at football.

Tea at 5.30p.m. then Retreat formation. Won colours again for smartest squadron. No “Open Post”. Wrote home. Shower, cleaned up and then to bed.

Bought pipe from P.X. not bad.

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14 Saturday 1942

Up at 7-0a.m. Breakfast. No P.T. Took in bed-sheets. Cleaned up, cleaned windows. Inspection at 10-30a.m. Everything O.K. Dinner at 12.30p.m. Got changed and left camp. Caught bus to Sylvester & arrived at 1-45p.m. Drove around town & picked up two girls Betty & Margery. Went to a dance & tried jitter-bugging, easy enough. Back to Cook’s for tea, scrumptious. Drove round country, & called back at dance for 10 minutes. Left at 10.30p.m. & back in billets at 11-45p.m.

Grand day.

15 Sunday

Up at 7.0a.m. Breakfast. Back to bed till dinner time. Dinner. Filled in diary wrote home. Frank got blood-poisoning. Rain all day. Tea at 5.30p.m. Went to P.X. Boys went to pictures. Bed at 10p.m.

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16 Monday 1942

Up at 7-0a.m. Still raining. No Calisthenics. Back to bed for 1/2hr. Breakfast at 8.45am. Air Corps Lecture at 10-0a.m. Not much good.

Drill at 11.0a.m. Rained again. Lecture on discipline at 1-00pm by a Lt. Colonel.

Dinner at 2-0p.m. No Athletics

Collected clean laundry from stores. Tea at 6-45pm.

Went to Albany with Eric, very close & sweaty. Went to see “It Happened in Bombay” at “Clair”. Caught bus back to camp. Bed at 12.00pm.

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17 Tuesday 1942

Up at 7-0a.m. Ground too [missing letter]et no Calisthenics. Start guard [missing letter]t 1-0p.m. Lecture on Bombardment Aviation. Dinner at 2-0p.m. Went on guard at Water Tower [missing letter]gain. American guard there too. Off at 5-0pm. Tea at 6-45p.m. read a bit, had a coffee & on at 9p.m. Coffee at 11-10p.m. then bed till 2-45a.m. [Off at 5-0am & bed again while 8-30a.m. Breakfast & on again at 9-30a.m. Finished at 11.0a.m. Dinner at 2-0p.m. Gave in rifles and bayonets. Tea at 6-45p.m.] see over.

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18 Wednesday 1942

Finished guards at 11-am. Dinner at 2-0p.m. Gave in rifles & bayonets at stores. Slept till tea-time.

Read a bit, had a coffee & then to bed. No Open Post as we were late for parade yesterday.

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19 Thursday 1942

Up at 7-0a.m. Calisthenics, rather cold. Breakfast at 8-45a.m.

Lecture on Observation & Reconnaisance [sic] by Lt. Honeycut, very good.

Drill for an hour.

Gave in books before dinner.

Dinner at 2-0p.m. Athletics in afternoon. Played touch rugby & won again, finals tomorrow some time.

Read a bit, then retreat formation, did very well.

Tea at 6-45p.m. Boys went to see McCoy. Went to P.X. for an hour, then wrote to Vera.

Bed at 10p.m.

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20 Friday 1942

Up at 7.0a.m. Calisthenics as usual. Breakfast at 8.45a.m.

Lecture by Lt. Lamb, had a good time, sang a few songs.

Drill for half an hour. Break till dinner. Bought new ‘Parker’ pen at P.X. $8.75 down to $5.25. Dinner at 2.0p.m. Pay parade, received our money handed in on boat & $11 pay.

“Open Post” after Retreat. Went to Albany, had steak & chips. Went to Services Club, party on, had a good time, College graduation dance. Called in at Clubroom then caught a wagon back to camp. In at 11-45p.m.

Bed at 12-15a.m. Tired.

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21 Saturday 1942

Up at 7.0a.m. Didn’t go to Calisthenics slept under Johnies bed. Breakfast. Cleaned up, then to P.X. bought new tie. Had photo taken. Finished Vera’s letter.

Dinner at 2-0p.m. Went to town with the lads. Saw “They Died with their Boots on”. very good.

Had tea at Georges’. Walked round and caught bus at 9.10p.m. In bed at 10.30p.m.

Leave at 8-0pm. tomorrow.

22 Sunday

Up at 7.0a.m. Breakfast at 9-0a.m. Received kit at stores. 3 shirts, 2pr. pants, 4 sets underwear, 6prs of socks. Packed kit & cleaned room out. Dinner at 2p.m. Tea at 6p.m.

Put kit on waggons. Entrained at 7.30pm.

Left at 8-0p.m. for Arcadia.

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23 Monday 1942

Woke up at 7.0am Not a very good night. Arrived at 7.30a.m. Taken by truck to camp. Grand place, rooms for four, lockers, shower and washplace to each room. Kit arrived at 10.a.m. Cleaned up & put kit away in lockers.

Dinner at 1-30pm. Grand food & mess hall. Went to stores and drew leather jacket, goggles, helmet & books. Room inspection. Tea at 6.0pm. Talk at 8.0p.m. by officers. Raining hard.

Bed at 10-30p.m.

Very nice place here, tennis courts, swimming pool, basketball court etc. Large rooms, good lighting, table & chairs.

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24 Tuesday 1942

Up at 6.25a.m. Cleaned up & breakfast at 7.0a.m. Paraded at 8.0a.m. & went down to Flight Line. Given some instructors & shown kites. Had controls etc. explained. Seems we’ve a lot to learn.

Dinner at 1.10p.m. Medical check after dinner. Went to lecture block and drew text books. Nothing to do till tea-time except retreat formation.

Tea very good. Cleaned bathroom, took all evening but looks good now. Had a shower & then to Bed at 10.30p.m.

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25 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6.25a.m. Breakfast at 7.0a.m. Went down to hangers and flight line at 7.30a.m. No flying, left at 9.0a.m. Had a coffee & came back to billets. Calisthenics at 11.45 to 12.45. very good. Dinner at 1-10p.m.

Classes at 2.0p.m. till 5.30p.m. Didn’t do so much 45 mins. on & off.

Retreat formation then tea. Cleaned up, had a shower & to bed at 10.30pm

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26 Thursday 1942

Up at 6.25a.m. Breakfast at 7-0a.m. Went down to hanger.

Had lecture on take-offs, circuits, wind directions, drift, S bends etc.

Very warm now, still in blues. Did Calisthenics for an hour, Sun very warm & turning red a bit. Shower & then dinner at 1-10p.m.

Classes at 2.0p.m. to 5.30p.m.

Retreat Formation at 6.15p.m. then tea. Had a chat with American Cadets.

Had a shower, wrote up notes on Navigation & so to bed at 10.30p.m.

Sent dad cablegram for his birthday, cost $2.85. about 14/3 approx.

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27 Friday 1942

Dad’s Birthday, hope his Cablegram arrives in time.

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Went down to Flight Line. Mr. Jones was absent. No flying, heavy squalls & Nor-west wind. Read Manual for an hour. Left at 10.0a.m. Had a coffee then looked up Theory of Flight.

Went to P.X. & Bert bought a camera. Dinner at 1-10p.m.

Classes 2. to 4-30p.m. Left early to watch tennis exhibition.

Took some snaps. Retreat Formation at 6.15p.m. Tea after retreat. Wrote up notes on Navigation. Bed at 10-30p.m. after a shower.

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28 Saturday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Down at “Ready Room” at 7-50a.m. No Mr. Jones again. Read Handbook again. Calisthenics at 11.45a.m. for an hour. Played football. Dinner at 1-10p.m.

Groundschool at 2.0p.m. to 5-15p.m. Left early, went to canteen for orange soda & ice. Retreat, then tea. Wrote home, then did notes on Meteorology. Bed at 10-30p.m.

March 1 Sunday

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Calisthenics at 8.0a.m. for an hour Very cold. Down at Ready Room at 9-30a.m. Mr Tanquay our instructor.

Up at 10.20a.m. for 40 mins. Grand plane. Dinner then Ground school till 5.30p.m. Retreat then tea. Wrote notes on Flying.

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2 Monday 1942

Didn’t get up while 7.0a.m. Missed breakfast parade. Went to canteen and had coffee & ham sandwiches. Rained very heavy. No Calisthenics. Down on Flight Line at 9.30a.m. No Flying, ground too wet. Stayed in hanger with Mr. Tanquay, explained Army Forms 1 & 1a. stalls, & forced landings.

Had a coffee, then dinner at 1.10p.m. Ground School 2pm to 5.30p.m. Changed into blues for Retreat. Tea after. Inspection at 8.30p.m. Demerits for speck of dirt on toilet. (Hope his rabbit dies)

Wrote letter to Vera. Bed at 10-30p.m. Received [deleted] lett [/deleted] cable from mum.

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3 Tuesday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7-0a.m. Calisthenics for an hour. Down on Line at 9-30a.m. Up at 10-20a.m.

Did. climbing turns, stalls, medium turns & landed after 50 mins. Received 1 demerit for leaving mop & broom in room.

Dinner at 1-10p.m. Ground school at 2.0p.m. Had exams in engines & Theory of Flight. Retreat formation at 6.20p.m then tea.

Wrote to Vera, then wrote up notes on Flying.

Bed after a shower.

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4 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7-0a.m. Calisthenics for an hour. Down at Flight Line at 9.30a.m. Went up at 10-0a.m. Took off on my own. Did turns, stalls, and spins. Down after 45 mins.

Dinner at 1-10p.m. Changed into blues. Ground School for 3 1/2 hrs. Has sandwiches in canteen then waited for bus. Arrived in Sarasota at 8.30p.m. Went down to U.S.O. on pier and were invited to stay at the “Gulf View” Inn. Car took us & manager showed us round & introduced us to his guests. Band in dancehall, had a grand time. Pedro & I sang “Yours” and others joined in singing popillar [sic] songs, negro waiter sang [inserted] poor [/inserted] blues. Marvellous place, very welcome. Rooms for two with single beds. Bed at 1-0a.m. Very Tired.

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5 Thursday 1942

Up at 6.45a.m. Washed & dressed and went down for a walk on the beach. Waited in the lounge for the boys & then to breakfast. Read in lounge while girls came in then went down to the beach.

Went in for a dip but found it rather cold.

Dinner at 12-30p.m. Left at 1.30p.m. by bus to Sarasota. Bought a camera and a swimsuit.

Had a look round then went to a picture show as it rained. Caught bus at 5-30p.m. and arrived in Arcadia at 7-0p.m. Had tea in a restaurant then got bus back to camp at 8.30p.m. Bed at 9-45p.m.

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6 Friday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. rather tired. Breakfast at 7-0a.m.

Calisthenics for an hour.

Went down on Flight Line at 9.30a.m. Rain had soaked field, no flying, no instructors. Back to billets and wrote up notes on Flying.

Dinner at 1.10p.m. Ground school 2 to 5-30p.m. Pay parade after, received $16.

Retreat formation at 6.20p.m.

Tea at 7.0p.m.

Cleaned up room for inspection. Played basketball. Shower and then to bed at 10-30pm

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7 Saturday 1942

Up at 6-50a.m. Breakfast at 7.15a.m. Calisthenics for an hour then changed for flight line. Flew at 9.50a.m. Took off did climbing turns, stalls, spins. Did spins on my own, not too bad. Dinner at 1-10p.m. then groundschool at 2.0p.m. to 5-30p.m. Warmer today than yesterday. Played basket ball again. Shower & bed at 10-30p.m.

8 Sunday

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7.10a.m. Down on “Dawn Patrol” this week. No flying, ground too wet. Calisthenics for an hour. Dinner then groundschool, didn’t do much. Tea then wrote home.

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9 Monday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Dawn Patrol. No flying, ground too wet. Gave in note-books for checking. Mr. Tanquay seemed pleased.

Didn’t do Calisthenics, wrote home instead. Dinner at 1.10p.m. Groundschool 2.0p.m. to 5.30p.m. Had exams in Navigation & Meteorology, did them O.K. Retreat formation then tea. Open Post. Managed to get on bus for Sarasota at 7-0p.m. Arrived at 8.30p.m. Booked a room at Hotel Watsons. Went with boys round towns to night-clubs etc. Had a good time & bed at 3-0a.m.

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10 Tuesday 1942

Up at 9-0a.m. Had breakfast at a restaurant then wandered round town. Bought a watch $4 quite good too. Saw Mr. Whipple at U.S.O and were invited out to dinner. Seven other chaps out there too.

Had a fine time on beach, sea very nice. Plenty of people there too. Saw Priscilla and Annette. Left at 4-30p.m by taxi. Got on bus at 5-3p.m. & arrived in Arcadia at 7-0p.m. Had ham & eggs at cafe then got bus back to camp. Booked in at 8-0p.m. Cleaned up, had a shower & then to bed at 9-30p.m. Very tired.

The lads are very red with the sun.

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11 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7.15a.m. Dawn Patrol. Bert up first, Johnie, then me. Took off, climbed to 2,500ft. did stalls power on, then power-off. Did a spin, not too bad. Landed at auxiliary field & took off again O.K. Landed again at field & taxied up to line, & parked ship. Calisthenics for an hour then dinner. Groundschool 2-0p.m. to 5-30p.m. Had exam in Theory for Flight. Retreat formation then tea. Played basketball, had a shower then wrote up notes on flying. Bed at 10.p.m.

Six of our lads solo’d today.

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12 Thursday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Dawn Patrol again. Heavy ground mist no flying till 9-0a.m. No 1 ‘T’ pos changed to No 2 ‘T’ Pos at 10.0a.m. Up for 15 mins. Taxied to line, took off, climbed to 1500ft. did gliding turns, entered traffic, & landed again. Not too bad.

Calisthenics for an hour, played football, very warm. Took some snaps on Flight Line. Dinner at 1.00p.m. then Ground School 2.0p.m. to 5.30p.m.

Retreat formation at 6.20p.m. then tea. Wrote up notes on flying then started letter home.

Entered log-book up.

Bed at 10-30p.m.

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13 Friday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. breakfast at 7.10a.m. Dawn Patrol again. Johnie up first. Heavy ground fog came up & flying was suspended. “T” pos. changed from No. 2 to No. 4 & flying resumed at 11-0a.m. Didn’t go up. Calisthenics for an hour.

Took film in for developing. Dinner at 1-10p.m. Groundschool at 2.0p.m. to 5.30p.m. Plot to do in navigation easy enough. Retreat then tea-parade.

Played basketball till 8.0p.m. Had a shower, then read notes for exams tomorrow.

Bed at 10-0p.m.

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14 Saturday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7.10a.m. Dawn Patrol again. Johnie & Bert up. Cloud came in low, flying stopped. No flight again for me. Left line at 10.35 a.m. Calisthenics for an hour. Dinner at 1.10p.m.

Groundschool at 2.0p.m. to 5-30p.m. Exams in engines & theory for flight. Retreat at 6-15p.m. then tea. Finished letter home. Bed at 10.15p.m.

15 Sunday

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7.10a.m. Calisthenics for an hour then down on Flight Line. Flew for an hour, nothing right. Dont fly regular enough. Dinner at 1-10p.m. then Groundschool. Retreat then tea.

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16 Monday 1942

Up at 6.30am. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Calisthenics for an hour then down on Flight Line at 9.30a.m. Flew for 33 mins, a lot better today. Dinner at 1.10p.m. Groundschool at 2.0p.m. to 5.30p.m. Retreat formation then tea at 6-30p.m.

Played basket-ball for an hour, cleaned up for inspection, which didn’t come off. Wrote up notes on flying. Read a little then to bed at 10.0p.m.

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17 Tuesday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7.0a.m. Down on line at 9.30a.m. Flew at 10.15a.m. for 47 mins. Did stalls, spins, landings & take-offs. Not so good today. Dinner at 1-10p.m. Groundschool at 2.0p.m. Exams in Meteorology & Engines. Retreat formation then tea at 6.30p.m. Wrote to Vera, then to bed at 10-15p.m.

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18 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7-0a.m. Calisthenics for an hour.

Down on line at 9-30a.m. Heavy low clouds, thunderstorm broke at 11.30a.m. Heavy rain. Had a talk with Tanquay on flying generally.

Dinner at 1-10p.m. Groundschool 2.0 to 5-30p.m. “Open Post” till 12.p.m.

Went to Arcadia with the lads, walked round a bit then went to skating rink & had a good time.

Caught last bus and got in to camp at 11-45pm.

Bed at 12p.m. very tired.

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19 Thursday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7.0a.m. Cleaned room, then Calisthenics for an hour.

Down on line at 9.30a.m. Flew at 10.5a.m. for 45 mins. Did stalls, spins, S. turns, & rect. courses. Had a good day today.

Dinner at 1-10p.m. then groundschool, test in Theory of Flight. Retreat at 6-20p.m. and tea at 7-0p.m. Wrote up notes on flying then to bed at 10-30p.m.

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20 Friday 1942

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7.10a.m. Calisthenics for an hour then down on Flight Line.

Flew for 45 mins. Take-offs & landings O.K. Stalls not so good. Dinner at 1-10p.m.

Groundschool at 2.0p.m. to 5.30p.m. Pay Parade after. Received $21 dollars. Arranged to go with boys by car to Sarasota.

Retreat then tea. Played basketball, then wrote up notes on flying. Bed at 10.0p.m.

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21 Saturday 1942

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast then down on Flight Line. Flying not so bad today. Calisthenics for an hour then dinner. Changed into blues I then went with boys to Sarasota in private car. Touched 97m.p.h. & arrived in 45 mins. 54 mls.

Had a good time at the Lido & went in sea for a while. Drove round & had tea in town. Left at 8-15p.m. and arrived in Arcadia at 9-20p.m. Drove round & then back to camp for 10p.m. Tired.

22 Sunday

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast then down on Flight Line. Flying not so good. Check tomorrow. Calisthenics then dinner. Groundschool after, exam. in Meteorology not so bad.

Tea at 6.30p.m. Wrote up notes on Flying.

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23 Monday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Down at Flight Line at 7-45am. Check ride, progress, with Flight Commander Eckart. Flying not so good, passed on to Army for another opinion. Calisthenics for an hour then dinner at 1-10p.m.

Groundschool in afternoon, test in Navigation, fairly easy. O.K.

Retreat then tea at 6-30p.m. Cleaned up for inspection which didn’t take place. Had a coffee, then cleaned buttons, boots etc. Read a little then to bed at 10p.m.

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24 Tuesday 1942

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Down on Flight Line at 7-45a.m. Up for Army Check. Took it at 12-15p.m. Got through it, flying not so good though. Calisthenics for an hour, then dinner.

Flying again this afternoon. Went for another Check Ride with Lt. Flophenstein & was eliminated for mechanical & dangerous flying. Back to Moncton next Tuesday.

Tea after Retreat. Received February’s News Letter from Dick Thomas.

Wrote to Dick after a coffee at canteen. Read a book & then to bed at 10-30p.m.

20 lads went back to Moncton today after being eliminated.

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25 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7-10a.m. Cleaned buttons & boots etc. then cleaned room a bit.

Hung around all morning waiting for board meeting. Dinner at 1-10p.m. Went round camp and took some snaps of swimming pool & flight line etc. Retreat formation then tea. Had a coffee at canteen then read a while. Bed at 10.3p.m.

Seniors had Graduation Dance tonight, good band. Listened to band while 12p.m. then dropped off to sleep.

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26 Thursday 1942

Up at 7.30a.m. Didn’t go to breakfast. Had sandwiches in Canteen. Wrote letters home, to Vera & Betty Hughes. Went to try & get leave but have to wait for board. Dinner at 1.10p.m. Read book all afternoon. Retreat then tea.

Read a while, cleaned up, then to bed at 10-p.m.

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27 Friday 1942

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7.10a.m. Cleaned room up, then went to see if boys had heard when board was to be. Filled in diary.

Board meeting at 11-0a.m.

Nothing much in it. Said I’d do for Observer, dangerous flying, & mechanical flying too. George & I managed to get leave while Monday noon. Had dinner then cleaned up. Tea at 6.30pm. then got bus for Sarasota. Arrived at 9-0p.m. Went to U.S.O. then on to Casa Madrid & saw film.

Called in at Manhattan & met Mr & Mrs Harris, & Mrs Bauer. Invited us out to hotel.

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28 Saturday 1942

29 Sunday

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30 Monday 1942

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31 Tuesday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7.15a.m. Gave in blankets & sheets etc. Took kitbag to Administration block at 9-0a.m. Signed papers at 9.30a.m. & gave in Clearance Form.

Got kit ready, then went to the boys. Had dinner at 11-30a.m. Saw Maxine & Flossie, then the lads & then departed with kit for train. Saw Kathryn in Arcadia. Left at 1-15p.m. for Moncton.

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April 1 Wednesday 1942

Bad night, didn’t sleep very well.

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2 Thursday 1942

Crossed border at Vanceboro’ at 7-0a.m. Had passport checked & baggage. Dinner at 12-0a.m. very good. Arrived at Moncton at 3-45p.m. Walked up to camp & messed about giving in particulars for an hour. Billeted in same block as Jack Kellet & boys. Went into town & had tea. Walked round then went to pictures to see “Shanghai Gesture” very good too. Arrived in camp at 11-30 p.m. and so to bed.

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3 Friday 1942

Stayed in bed till 11-0a.m. Cleaned up & then had dinner

Went to town & met Mr Grant & had a ride round in his car. Had tea at his house & then late dinner at 7-0p.m. Stayed until 11-30p.m. then Mr Grant brought us back to camp.

Had a grand evening very nice evening & can go there when we want to.

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4 Saturday 1942

Up at 6.45a.m. Cleaned up, then breakfast. Paraded at 9.0a.m.

Went up to pay accounts & drew $5 as a casual payment. Went into town for dinner. Walked round then had tea. Went to pictures at night to see “Ride Em Cowboy” with Abbott & Costello. Back in camp at 10-p.m. Had a shower & then to bed.

5 Sunday

Up at 6.45a.m. Cleaned up then breakfast. Church parade 9.0a.m. Went into town for dinner. Walked round then back to camp for tea. Pressed trousers & jacket, filled in diary. Bed at 10-30p.m.

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May 11 Monday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. Breakfast at 7-0a.m. Paraded at 8.0a.m. Drill for an hour, went to Medical Quarters for a check-over. Filled out forms etc., then dinner. Saw minister of United Church. Met our officer & had a chat with him.

Tea at 4.0p.m. Parade at 5.0p.m. for retreat. Wrote letters.

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12 Tuesday 1942

Up at 6-30a.m. Breakfast at 7-0a.m.

Paraded at 8.0a.m. Went to lecture block at 9-0a.m.

Went to hangar and had flying kit issued. Not so good.

Dinner at 12.0a.m. Went & had signals test, not so bad. Was shown round plane & had things explained. Were fitted with parachute harness. Drew issue of books, & instruments etc., Tea at 4.0p.m. Paraded at 5p.m. received passes & left camp at 7.0p.m. Had a coffee then went up to the social at St. Lukes. Had a grand time & left at 11.30p.m. Arrived back in camp at 12-10a.m. & so to bed.

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13 Wednesday 1942

Up at 6.30a.m. breakfast by 7-0a.m. Paraded at 8.0a.m. drilled for a while then Signals course. Navigation till dinner time.

Dinner at 12.0a.m.

Signals at 1-30p.m. for an hour then Bombing for two hours. Tea at 4-30p.m. Retreat 5-15p.m. Signals 6.30p.m. for an hour.

Filled in diary.

Paraded at 9.0p.m. made bed & did a bit more of diary.

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14 Thursday 1942

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Notes for 1943

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Cash Account – January

Date Particulars Received Dollars. Paid

3. English £2-0-0
20. Canadian. 3 - -
21. American. 10 - -

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Cash Account – February

Date Particulars Received Paid

6TH. Feb. American. $20-00
20TH. Feb. American. $11-00

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Cash Account – March

Date Particulars Received Paid

6TH. MAR. American. $.16 - -
20TH. MAR. American. $21 - -



K Gill, “Kenneth Gill 1942 Diary,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 21, 2024,

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