Geoff Blamires diary May to August 1944

YBlamiresRG139996v1.pdf

Title

Geoff Blamires diary May to August 1944

Description

Handwritten diary with a transcription. Covers a short period of time when Geoff had just arrived at Elsham Wolds flying operations on the Lancaster. A detailed account of his life concentrating on the non operational aspect.

Creator

Date

1944-05-08

Temporal Coverage

Language

Format

One printed diary with handwritten additions

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.

Identifier

LBlamiresRG139996v1, YBlamiresRG139996v1-Transcript

Transcription

Monday 8th. May 1944
Last full day of my leave at home. Got up at ten-ish and spent the rest of the morning cutting the grass. In the afternoon went down town and after quite a search managed to buy a bicycle at Wiley Bros. in Trinity St. Quite a nice job but it set me back £11-10s all told. Went to the Ritz to see an excellent show – a musical “Thousands Cheer” with a good supporting programme. Rode the new steed proudly home – or rather part of the way and pushed it the rest. Had a nice little spin to Farnley at night where I had a drink in the local. Aunt Edith came up and we had a fish and chip supper. Finished Hector Bolitho War in the Strand”. A grand day.

Tuesday May 9th. 1944
A lazy morning spent mainly in packing. Mrs. Reid to dinner. Cycled to Uncle Jimmy’s (J’s) in the afternoon and found them in the midst of spring cleaning. In a burst of enthusiasm I volunteered to give a hand with the carpet beating which I afterwards regretted, getting a huge blister on my right hand. Ephie came to tea and took my bag to the station while I cycled down. Caught the 5 o’clock and changed at Penistone. Uneventful trip. Very charming girl in our compartment. Picked up Gordon and Ted en route. Danny returned in his standard. One hour in the mess and so to bed.

Wednesday 10th. May 1944
Back to work again. Got up at 8 o’clock which was rather shocking after the leave. Doug had a bad cold and reported sick – off flying for the day. Did a spot of fighter affiliation in the morning – about an hour. Put on a night bullseye but this was eventually scrubbed. Had a first crack at ground Y with Doug in the afternoon. Cycled into Barnetby with Doug and Ted in time to catch the 6:30 pm to Scunthorpe. Saw a picture show there – Bing Crosby in “Paris Honeymoon” Wizard. Had a couple of beers and sandwiches at the Oswold. A good night. Not a cigarette all day.

Thursday 11th. May 1944
On a day X country. Bit of a panic and then aircraft u/s. finally got off just after 12 o’clock and had to be back by 4 o’clock so cut it a bit short. Not a bad trip. Had a high flying tea with the usual egg and then a bath. Wrote home and enclosed the last batch of crew snaps together with Frank’s photograph. After dinner cycled into Brigg with Ted and had a beer. Watched the boys take off.

Friday 12th. May 1944
Did a spot of Y in the morning. Should have gone on air to air firing in the afternoon but this was scrubbed as we were put on a bullseye and had to attend briefing. A lazy afternoon followed by a very leisurely briefing. Took off at 22:45 and had quite a good trip. No bother. Landed at 22:45 and had breakfast at 03:30 – and so to a late sleep.
Saturday 13th. May 1944
Got up at 12 o’clock. Had an unpleasant letter at dinnertime – my first mail since my return from leave – an income tax return form for 1944. Went out in the afternoon first off the coast and did our air to air firing. Got down just after 5 o’clock and had then finished for the day. After dinner Danny took five of us into Brigg and the other two went on Dennis’ motorbike. Had a couple of beers at the “Angle” and a look around the place. Came back at half past nine and did one or two odd jobs.

Sunday 14th. May 1944
Had another egg for breakfast. Intelligence lecture first thing in the morning followed by a bombing detail. Doug dropped a good set of bombs. No night ops. A Y lecture after lunch. After dinner cycled down into Brigg and had a couple of beers. Very pleasant run on the way in but dammed hard work coming home due to a hard head wind. Heard one of my favourite records in the pub – Bing and The Andrews Sisters singing “Yodelling Jive”. A spot of writing and then to bed. A very pleasant but cold day.

Monday 15th. May 1944
Station commanders parade at 08:15 but was just too tired to get up for it. A nondescript morning. No night ops for us. In the afternoon went on a Y X country. Passed over Huddersfield on route but there was too much cloud to see it. After a helluva rush - we landed at 5:40. Ted, Doug and I just managed to get the 6:30 train to Scunthorpe. Another Bing picture and a couple of beers at the Oswold made a banger evening. “Road to Singapore” very good.

Tuesday 16th. May 1944
Dirty, wet and cold weather – so another stand-down for the night. Did no flying through the day either. In the morning had an interesting and useful lecture and film on aviator rescue and ditching. After lunch Doug and I had another film show – this time on Y. Then went for a very badly needed haircut. In the meantime Danny and Ted had craftily caught the 4 o’clock into Scunthorpe. The rest of us followed on the 6:30 which eventually left at 7 o’clock. Had a pleasant evening. Saw “Goodbye Mr. Chips” which was well worth seeing again and a snack and beer in the Oswold. Forgot to mention we had our photographs taken in the morning for our new pink identity cards. And so to bye bye.

Wednesday 17th. May 1944
Another dirty day and another standdown. In the morning spent a couple of hours preparing a very pretty master chart of enemy defences. Should have been a lecture in the afternoon but the Wing Co. in charge of the squadron allowed us to fly with him on a local air test which took 40 minutes. On landing I thought he was going to drive it into the deck but he made it O.K. after all. Spent a very pleasant evening reading? T.M. and playing table tennis in the mess with Doug. A spot of writing and that’s all for today brother.

Thursday 18th May 1944
Another standdown. With Doug’s assistance finished my master chart. After lunch had a natter with F/L Evans, which was very useful. Packed up early and cycled into Barnetby with Danny. Doug, Ted and Frank to catch the 4 o’clock train to Grimsby. Intended to do a spot of shopping there but unfortunately it was early closing day. Had a very enjoyable plaice and chips tea for 1/9d and then went to the flicks. Tyrone Power in “the Mask of Zorro”. The other boys came by bus later. Picked up Charles map? En route – can that guy talk? Had a drink in the mess and then had a most interesting religious discussion in the billets with Danny and later on Ted and Doug. A swell day.

Friday 19th. May 1944
The weather had improved slightly and we were on a 2 ½ hour X – country in the morning. Landed just after 1 o’clock to find that ops were on and we were also on. Had lunch and then got our gear out to the kite. Briefing started at 6 o’clock and we took off at 10 o’clock. Orleans marshalling yards were the target and we had a good trip and a good prang. Landed shortly after 3 am and after interrogation and early breakfast finally got to bed at 5:45 am, I think I earned my 18/2d. and sleep.

Saturday 20th. May 1944
Got up at 12:45. I was very pleased to hear there was a standdown owing to duff weather. Changed my flying pullover in the afternoon – blue for white – filled in my log book, prepared another chart and did one or two other jobs in the afternoon. After a spot of tea had a bath which I certainly needed. Danny had got his antique wireless set working. After dinner listened to that and spent a lazy evening writing letters – Irene.

Sunday 21st. May 1944
Nasty dirty day for a start but met. Said it would clear and ops. were on. They were more or less right. Prepared in the morning and had a rest in the afternoon. Target – Duisberg. Took off at 22:30 and had quite a good trip but rather too much cloud over target. Got to bed at 6 o’clock the next morning.

Monday 22nd. May 1944
Got up at 1 o’clock. Ops. on again. Bombload again a cookie and incendiaries – the boys guess it is the Ruhr again. Preparing in the afternoon. Took off at 22:15 for Dortmund – the boys were right. Too bloody hot for my liking. Coned and hit by flak just after leaving the target. Starboard inner packed up shortly afterwards – we had to feather it due to a leak in the coolant and catching fire. Finally got out of it and struggled out of the Reich. Boy was I relieved. Then 80 miles from base the starboard outer packed up. After a sticky half hour reached base O.K. and Danny made a wizard landing on his two port engines. Left the kite just off the runway and examined the damage. I was never so glad to get the old dogs on terra firma once again. Bed at 6 o’clock. Charles missing. (see end of diary for info from web.)

Tuesday 23rd. May 1944
Got up at 12:30. Day off. I reckon we’ve earned it. Did a few odd jobs in afternoon. Danny took us into Brigg in his car just after 4 o’clock and left it there at a garage for some repairs. Did a spot of shopping there and had tea – poached eggs on toast. Then a bus to Scunthorpe and went to see Bing in “Holiday Inn”. A good show. Caught the 9:30 pm train back and then to bed. Doug’s new bike arrived during the day – royal Enfield roadster.
Wednesday 24th. May 1944
Ops. on again. Ted reported sick with eye trouble and was grounded until next Monday when he has to see a specialist. That meant we should be flying with a new rear gunner – his first trip – which we didn’t like very much. Spent afternoon preparing and then wrote home and had an hours nap before briefing. Laundry came back today for which I was well and truly grateful as I was reduced to my last collar. Target Aachen. Took off at midnight and had a relatively quiet trip. Landed at 05:10 and had to go like hell to get across the Dutch coast before dawn broke. Got to bed at 10:30 just as the batwomen started their days work. (see comment on this raid at end from Web.)

Thursday 25th. May 1944
Got up at 1:30 pm. On again. Went out to the kite in the afternoon and checked things over. Another new rear gunner. Ted went home for a day or two. Briefed at 19:00 for Mannheim. Just got everything set up and in the aircraft waiting to start up when the rocket went up and the op. was scrubbed – for which I was very glad being dammed tired. Had a beer in the mess, got this thing up to date, wrote home and so to bed for a good night’s rest.

Friday 26th. May 1944
Got up at 08:20 and just made breakfast. Doug was unlucky – he had to pump his tyre up and missed out. Went into the radar section to do a spot of Y bombing in the morning. Then came the welcome news that there was a standdown. Went to the briefing room and prepared a couple of charts before lunch. Afterwards went back to the billets and really got the bike up to scratch – cleaned it, oiled it and fitted new front brakeblocks. Caught the 4 o’clock train to Scunthorpe and after a long wait in the Majestic café managed to get sausages and chips. Saw a picture show, had a couple of beers in the Oswold and returned on the 9:30 train. An excellent day.

Saturday 27th. May 1944
Went over to the met. section in good time to see what the score was. Good chance of ops. they say but the trip wasn’t altogether a dead loss for I had a good cup of coffee across there. Ops. on O.K. but to our surprise – we had got our gear in the transport ready to take out to the aircraft – we weren’t on the detail. In the afternoon went around all the ops. kites with the rest of the boys to check up on the window supplies. Load 13 x 1,000 lbs and only 1,400 galls. Of petrol. What with a spot of moon and a late briefing at 21:00 it seems a cert French trip so maybe we have missed out. Had a sorely needed bath after tea and then Danny and I spent a highly exasperating hour getting his wireless set working sufficiently well to pick up F d….? programme. We eventually succeeded. Wrote a few letters at night and enjoyed the fruits of our success on Danny’s radio.

Sunday 28th. May 1944
Just made breakfast as usual. Ollier and Beer missing from last night’s effort on Aachen. Grand day and much to our surprise there was a standdown. Supposed to be on a Y X-country at 13:30 but Y u/s and we didn’t get off the deck After dinner cycled into Brigg and had a few beers with Doug, Carroll, Ted, Whiehoughs? and Ron evans. A good night.


Monday 29th. May 1944
A little of yesterdays stomach ache still present. Another standdown. C.O’s parade in the morning but got up too late and missed both it and breakfast. On a Y stooge in the afternoon with Y bombing and ordinary practice bombing on Mission. Up for three hours – weather hot and thundery and felt rather wishy washy though I coped O.K. After dinner cycled into Barnetby with Ted and Doug and had a beer in the Ship Inn Followed this by a game of pontoon and so to bed. A quiet Whit Monday. Heard from home – also an “Examiner”.

Tuesday 30th. May 1944
Got up at 0810 – rather earlier than usual. After working parade a lecture by the WingCo on window and discipline. Another standdown. Danny is now flight commander – bags of office work. Lecture by the G/C after lunch again on discipline – he spoke very well. With Ted, Doug and Frank – Danny was still working – caught the 4 o’clock train to Grimsby. A very good fish, chips and peas tea at the Savoy Café then quite a decent picture show – “Jack London” and “Sherlock Holmes Faces Death”. Caught the 20:50 bus back, had a beer in the pub at Barnetby and so to bed. A good day.

Wednesday 31st. May 1944
Another standdown due largely I think to a lot of thunderstorms about. Did very little before lunch except prepare another chart. Boys off training during the day but we were lucky and skipped off it. Nothing to do at flights in the afternoon so went back to the billets and wrote home. Collected my shoes from the cobblers – sent ‘em in a month ago. After dinner went for a cycle run with Doug – about 15 miles. Very pleasant. Had a couple of beers at a couple of country pubs. Ted met Kathleen in Barnetby and we passed them en route. Poor old Ted.

Thursday 1st. June 1944
Danny’s birthday. Ted went to see a specialist about his eye. Report rather grim – had to have an operation on Sat. – results will be doubtful. It rather looks as if we shall need a new rear gunner. Ops. on but we aren’t – not a maximum effort. Went into Brigg in Danny’s car which he was taking in for further repairs. Had a dammed good cold ham tea in there and then caught the 6 o’clock bus to Scunthorpe. Saw a film show “The Rising Sun” and caught the 9:30 train back. Saw an instructor from Blyton – Beardsall missing on his second tour.
Cycled to the mess and had a couple of beers with Doug – ops had been scrubbed a 7 o’clock and there was quite a party. Ted had gone home until Sat. Saw our Y bombing photos from 29th. – not so good. Letter from Don and the bank - £44 in the old account so I’m still solvent.

Friday 2nd. June 1944
Ops. on - light petrol load only 1,000 galls. So we reckon it should be a short – and we hope an easy trip. Jack – the gunnery leader – is coming with us as rear gunner. Did an air test just before lunch. Everything O.K. In the afternoon had a good sleep. After the usual meal – briefing. A costal bash on gun positions near Calais. Took off at 11pm and were on the target at 12:30. A dead loss for the target was covered in 10/10 cloud and we had to stooge round for another hour and a half to use some more petrol and get our weight down. Finally landed with our bombs at 4 am – five hours to Calais – we could have walked it quicker. That makes five trips. Tyre burst while taxying.
Saturday 3rd. June 1944
Ops. on again but we’re not – no rear gunner. Got up at 12:30. Had a look in the nav. section. Went into Brigg with Danny, had a good tea at a little café there and then into Scunthorpe. Saw “This is the Army” – a grand show. Had a couple of beers while Danny phoned home and then caught the 9 o’clock bus back to Brigg. Danny picked up his car there and drove us back to camp. Later on went on to the control office roof and watched the boys take off in rotten weather from 11pm until a quarter to twelve. Target more guns near Boulogne. A good day.

Sunday 4th. June 1944
Standdown. In the morning another crew took us over to Killingholme to pick up one of our aircraft which had lobbed down there last night. After a long wait we eventually got it and brought it back. Had hoped to see Manny there but he was still in bed having been on last nights ops. Had a much needed bath in the afternoon. A very wet evening which I spent letter writing – a rather belated effort and listening to the radio. As usual there were several requests of the old maestro including the title song from his latest film “Going My Way”. Old Ted having his eye operation today. Hope all goes well.

Monday 5th. June 1944
Ops. on. Got our gear out to the kite in the morning and had a good sleep in the afternoon. Briefing at 6 o’clock rather shock us – much earlier than usual. Bombed gun emplacements in Cherbourg Peninsular. Took off at 9:30 and landed at 2 am. Light most of the way there and even when darkness fell it was still almost as light as the daytime by the full moon. Quite a good trip. Saw a lot of ships crossing the channel towards France on our way back – the invasion fleet.

Tuesday 6th. June 1944
Got up at 1 o’clock. On again. Got prepared in afternoon. Took off at 10 o’clock to bomb a railway and road bridge just behind the front. Very bright night again. Not a bad trip. Bombed from only 4,000 feet – much too low for my liking. Landed at 3:30 and so to bed.

Wednesday 7th. June 1944
Got up at 1 o’clock to hear the very pleasant news that there was a standdown. After lunch went to the section and did one or two odd jobs. Afterwards drew my revolver and cartridges from the armoury. Heaven help me if I ever need to use it. Wrote a letter to mother and Margaret at Blackpool. Had an early dinner and caught the 6:30 train to Scunthorpe with Danny and Doug. Saw a film show “100 Men and a Girl” and “divide and Conquer”. Felt very sleepy with a slight head ache. Had a couple of beers and then back to camp.

Thursday 8th. June 1944
Just made breakfast – as usual. Ops. on – went out to the kite with our gear. After lunch prepared a chart and then had a couple of hours kip on old Flo. Received a letter from Irene in the morning mail. Had our meal at 6:30 pm but still no gen about time of briefing etc. Eventually at 7:15 the news came through that ops. were scrubbed. Cycled to Brigg with Doug and Dennis and had a very enjoyable hour in the “Dying Gladiator” – locally rechristened as the “Dying Navigator”. A very pleasant night.

Friday 9th. June 1944
Ops. on. Got our new rear gunner. Bill Bancroft from Manchester who is on his second tour and seems a good chap. Went out to the aircraft in the morning and had a sleep in the afternoon. Times very late in coming through and when they did our briefing wasn’t until 9 o’clock. Target – airfield at Flers. Took off at 00:40 and didn’t bomb until 03:30 – latest yet. A first class prang but we didn’t get to bed until 07:45. Hope there are no more ops. tonight. Our quietest trip yet.

Saturday 10th. June 1944
Nancy woke us at 13:30 with the very welcome news that there were no ops. on. Had a rather belated lunch and then slipped up to the new section to see to one or two small items. Caught the 4 o’clock train to Grimsby and had a very pleasant evening there. Caught the 20:50 train or rather bus to Barnetby and so to bed. As has been the custom for the past few days the question of our leave came up for much discussion during the course of the day. The position is still pretty obscure but it seems we should get home on the 26th. or 27th. The sooner the better. A good day.

Sunday 11th. June 1944
Prepared a chart and got everything ready for the night in advance. Just as I finished the gen. came through that there was a standdown – duff met. Apparently the message came through that ops. were on and then a further message came through almost immediately cancelling them. After lunch went up to the nav. Section and was promptly nailed to give a lecture to some ATC cadets who were on a days visit to the station. This went off reasonably well apart from a couple of passes on met. and the square search. Afterwards had a very pleasant soak and wrote a few lines to Puol? At night cycled into Brigg with Doug, Dennis and a gunner of Mursating? Crew. Had a few beers in the “Dying Gladiator”. One or two quite decent women in there. Must go down there solo some evening. Another excellent day.

Monday 12th. June 1944
Ops. on. Went out to the aircraft – T Tommy this time – and checked things over in the morning. After lunch cleaned the bike up and then had three hours horizontal P.T. which stands one in good steed on these night ops. Briefed at 19:15 – target Gelsenkirchen (Oil refinery, synthetic oil, in heavily industrialized Ruhr – see end of diary). Didn’t like the idea much after the shaky visit to the Ruhr but we took off at 22:45 and it went off quite nicely. Quite a strong wind and got there at 01:00 – 80 minutes after S/C. Bed at 6 o’clock.

Tuesday 13th. June 1944
Nancy woke us at 12:30 with news that ops. were on – which rather cheesed me off. A nice piece of pork for lunch. Received a welcome letter from home. Got up to flights a 2 o’clock just in time to hear that ops. had been scrubbed. Went to Scunthorpe with the boys on the 4 o’clock and saw “The Velseen Touch” and had tea there. A couple of beers at the Oswold and then back on the 9:30 pm. A spot of writing and then to bed.
Wednesday 14th. June 1944
Went to the briefing room soon after 9 am and got all my things ready for the night’s ops. which I thought were a cert. Actually they were but we weren’t on due to Danny being put in hospital with a slight temperature – nothing serious I hope. Had a navigation natter with S/L Gallagher before lunch. Wrote home for my pipe and one or two other odds and ends and mooched around the nav. section in the afternoon. Briefing at 17:30 – hellish early. After dinner went down and saw Danny who wasn’t feeling too bad and then had 15 mile cycle over to Barton – very pleasant with a couple of beers en route. Had a game of bar billiards and table tennis in the mess afterwards – learnt that the boys were doing a daylight on Le Havre. Hope all goes well.

Thursday 15th. June 1944
Danny still in dock so spent quite a free day. Prepared a pilot’s master chart after managing to rearrange some Perspex, quite a long job. Ops. on. Saw Danny – he should be out tomorrow and took him some cigarettes. Then cycled to Barton with Doug and Frank where we had a smashing tea for 2/6d. each at a little café – egg (real), steak, chips, jam, cakes, biscuits and cheese.
Cycled through S. Feriby where the rain held us up for a pint After it cleared went on into Brigg where we had intended going to see a cinema show but the rain had delayed us so we had a drink at the “Dying Gladiator” instead. A total of 24 miles of cycling for the night. A grand day. Ops. had been scrubbed – probably because of the duff weather. All the boys had got back O.K. from last nights trip. Made a good resolution to cut smoking to 5 cigs / day for at least a month.

Friday 16th. June 1944
Again just made breakfast – and a pretty poor effort it was too. Ops. on but again will stand down due to Danny being in hospital still. After a spot of chow when the NAAFI man came round went down to see the skipper. He was just getting ready to come out – feeling rather weak but otherwise O.K. In company with Doug, Denis and Frank went to Grimsby on the 4 o’clock train. Met Danny in there and had the usual fish and chip tea. Saw the film show at the Savoy which was quite good and then caught the 20:50 bus to Barnetby. Had a couple of beers at the “Railway Hotel” and then got back to camp just before the boys took off. Hope they have a good trip. Got a letter from Frances in the morning – a very bright and good letter. She has guts. She has courage and deserves better of life in the future. A good day.

Saturday 17th. June 1944
After a leisurely breakfast and a look at the papers went up to flights. Nobody around the Nav. Station. Last nights effort on a small place in the Ruhr. Pretty sticky trip apparently with bags of combat and fighters and flak. Not at all sorry we missed it. Went down the billets and was just in the middle of a letter to Jimmy when Gordon came down with a message to report to the adj. filed for orderly officer. Ops. on but Danny still not feeling up to the mark so were stood down again. Orderly duties of writing letters filled in the rest of the day and night. One thing about being orderly officer (O.O) you can sure whip off your correspondence. I got seven written. Received a birthday card – rather early but what the hell – and P. order for 5/- from Auntie Hannah. The boys took off from about 23:00 – 23:30. Hope it’s a better trip for them tonight.



Sunday 18th. June 1944
The boys had an abortive trip last night – cloud below 600 ft. and they all brought their bombs back. No one in flights for a time and then worked out some airmiles. About 10:30 went across to met. and prepared synoptic chart. Had a cup of tea and a cake across there and a yarn with navigators union. Went down early to the mess and read the Sunday papers. News came through while we were at lunch that Ops. were on. Danny reported to the M.O. for treatment but he wouldn’t let him fly – still ear trouble. Wrote a letter to Keith before tea. After dinner saw an excellent film show at the camp cinema “French Without Tears” – one of the brightest comedies I’ve ever seen. Also a “Superman” and Mickey Mouse cartoon and a shout on the destruction of the Czech village of Lidice by the Nazis. Grand show. Early to bed. A good day. Ops. were scrubbed.

Monday 19th. June 1944
Up at half past seven – G.C’s weekly parade which I attended for a change. After that Ron gave us a lecture on Y and a general natter. Ops. on again but Danny’s ear is still troublesome and we’re stood down. Strange as it may seem, you get a hell of a rotten feeling seeing all the boys getting ready for the trip when you’re not on. You actually feel out of it. One or two odd jobs in the afternoon then went into Scunthorpe with the boys. Had tea in Brigg first and then saw a film show in Scunthorpe – William Powell and Hedy Lamarr in “Heavenly Body” – what a women – and supporting film. Very good. Half past nine train back after a couple of beers in the Oswald. Cycled to the mess and had a coffee and collected my mail – six in all – they’re birthday cards.

Tuesday 20th. June 1944
Another birthday and another years service in the Air Force. The boys gave me 150 Canadian cigarettes as a birthday present. Did nothing particular in the morning – standdown for once. In the afternoon we were going to do an air test to see how Danny’s ear shaped but the aircraft wasn’t ready in time. Incidentally 15 of the boys actually took off last night and then it was scrubbed. They had to go out to sea and jettison some of the bombs and then return and land – rather an abortive effort! Wrote to Goldthorpes thanking them for £1 and good wishes. No letters for me nor has the parcel from home arrived yet. With Danny, Doug, Ted and Denis cycled into Barton and had a smashing birthday meal there – the usual steak, chips and egg ensemble etc. – my treat. Afterwards went to the local cinema and saw a couple of quite decent musicals. Cycled back and had a beer in the mess. Rather a panic. Briefing at 03:15 and meal at 02:15 in the morning. We are to be called at 01:30 even though it is very doubtful whether we shall be on. A good day.

Wednesday 21st. June 1944
Not called during the night, thank goodness, so got up at the usual time and as is my want, just made breakfast. No work during the day. Standby. Wrote three letters – home, Courtney and for a civil navigators “examination” syllabus. Wally Boscock rang up while I was at dinner asking us over to a cocktail party at N. Killingholme on Friday evening. Hope to go. Cycled into Brigg and had a few beers with Ted – the navigation officer – and Gibson – the intelligence officer. A grand day. Still the parcel hasn’t arrived from home. Heard three Bing records in the course of the day.

Thursday 22nd. June 1944
Rather a panic up at flights in the morning. Ops. on – another daylight. Briefing at 11:30. After lunch watched the take off – a pilotless plane base near Calais. Hitched into Brigg for tea and from there caught the usual bus into Scunthorpe. Saw a rather gaudy Technicolor musical “The Girl he left behind” with Alice Faye and Carmen Miranda. Had a beer or two in the Oswald and so home. My “birthday” parcel arrived. 9 days en route. Very good cake. All the boys had a piece also the two batwomen.

Friday 23rd. June 1944
As usual just made breakfast. After messing about for a time did an airtest in W which is our own aircraft from now on. Danny’s ears stood up quite well. Took about 6 ATC cadets up with us – only one was sick. Ops. on but we’re stood down. Read a book and had a bath in the afternoon. There is no chance of our going on leave tomorrow – M.O. does not want Danny to fly before his leave so he can have a good rest. After dinner had a doubles at T.T. (table tennis) and Danny and I beat Doug and Ted after a good game. Got most of my things packed and then cycled into Brigg with Denis and Gordon. Had a beer or two in the “Dying Gladiator” and felt rather tempted to pick up a women in there but thought better of it. Had my last piece of birthday cake and so to bed.

Saturday 24th. June 1944
Got dressed in my best bib and tucker straight away in case we could get on leave today. Eventually Danny, being unfit, was allowed to go but the rest of the crew has to stay behind until Monday or Tuesday. I was bloody annoyed and bound the adjutant rigid – also the world at large, but it was no go and eventually the Wing commander kind of ticked me off about being so insistent. Cheesed off over the whole affair. Doug went into Scunthorpe. After dinner read for a while then went to the local at Barnetby with Denis and had a couple of pints. Made another good resolution to cut drinking down to a minimum and smoking to five cigarettes per day. A good day on the whole and one to remember.

Sunday 25th. June 1944
Another disappointing day as far as leave is concerned. Messed about in general through the day and gave the bike another clean up. At night went to a party at Killingholme with Doug. Saw Mannay and Wally there – they have done 18 now. Actually first class party – loads of beer and spirits, cigarettes and food, all free to the guests. Got pretty well oiled and Doug was pretty out. Eventually left at 1 o’clock but the transport broke down. We had to get another one sent from Elsham and we eventually arrived back at camp at half past three.

Monday 26th. June 1944
The C.O’s parade cancelled - good show. Just made breakfast – Doug still feeling rather grim and didn’t get up till 1 o’clock. Finished packing in afternoon and got our leave forms and ration cards at 5 o’clock but no trains until the morning. Got the girls to take my case down to their prequet post for me to pick up in the morning. Spent a quiet night in the mess.

Tuesday 27th. June 1944
At long last we’re on leave. Early breakfast and caught the early train from Barnetby. Changed at Retford where we had an hours wait and a spot of toast and tea. More changes at Sheffield and Penistone and a bus from there. Eventually got home at half past one – mother and Margaret both in. Mother took my battledress in to be cleaned – ready for Saturday. Saw a rather poor show at Ramsden Street at night. A game of solo – a read and then to bed. A grand day. Heard the bad news that Ron Fox is missing. Hope he is O.K.

Wednesday 28th. June 1944
Got up at 9 am and spent the morning finishing reading “The Man on the White Horse” and sticking some more snaps in my collection. Went to the Ritz in the afternoon and saw Andy Hardy’s? “Blonde Trouble” – very funny. After tea watched a cricket match at Hall Bower between them and P.H. (Primrose Hill) – for the Red Cross. Saw Llewellyn and several people up there that I know. Left early but I think Hall Bower would win 134 for 5 & P.H 76 for 3 – only 5 more overs to go. A very pleasant evening. Took two tickets for a bottle of sherry raffle but no luck. Had a chat with Mr. Pollitt and then home. Still smoking too much – decided to cut it down.

Thursday 29th June 1944
Had a read in the morning. After dinner went to the Empire and saw Arthur Askey in “Bees in Paradise” and a Sherlock Holmes picture “The Spider Women” – a good show. Visited Greeds at night and had a good yarn. The news of Ron Fox was in The Examiner – also the surprising news that Primrose Hill had won last night – 136 – must have knocked up 60 in the last 5 overs. A good read and then to bed. A grand day.

Friday 30th. June 1944
Nothing much in the morning – went to Jimmy’s and collected meat. After dinner went to see Mrs. Fox at Hornby – she was very cheerful. Went to Aunt Hannah’s for tea. Saw a film show at the Carlton. A bath when I got home. And so ends another month.

Saturday 1st. July 1944
Went down town in am and collected my battle dress which had been cleaned – quite well – and found my train for the journey back. In afternoon went to Elland to see the Sykes Cup 3rd. round – Hall bower v Elland. We lost 113 to our 101. But a very good match. Had a couple of pork pies and a mug of tea up there in company with Archie Sykes. The weather was quite good after a rather shaky start. Went to Batty’s afterwards. Found them quite well and pleased to see me. Had a couple of pints with Mr. B at the Fountain before coming home. A grand day.

Sunday 2nd. July 1944
Got up at 10 o’clock and continued reading “Hatters Castle” in the morning. After dinner went with mother to Firths and saw Mrs. Read – then on to Uncle Jimmie’s for a very good salmon tea. Left there at 8 o’clock. Rhodes came over and another family chat. More reading and then to bed at 1:30. A good day.

Monday 3rd. July 1944
Another sorrowful day – go back to camp today. Raining all day and did not go out until it was train time. Mrs Read came just before I left. Caught the 5 o’clock as usual – Ephie was at the station to see me off. Only change – Penistone but I got soaked to the skin getting to camp with suitcase and bike from Barnetby station. Doug already in. got unpacked and dried and then to bed.
Tuesday 4th. July 1944
Got up to flights at 09:15 and got the gen – nothing much fresh. Danny and Ted not yet back. Stuck in Doncaster for the night. On ops. tonight and got things cleaned up in readiness. Danny and Ted arrived at lunchtime but Danny has spent half his leave in shelter and other half down with laryngitis so M.O says he hasn’t to fly tonight. Ted has also had quite hectic time with the buzz bombs. Got two weeks chocolate ration. Had a yarn with Danny and the boys after lunch and went up to the nav. section in the afternoon. Some of my clothes still wet from yesterday’s soaking. After dinner tried to get into a camp concert but full house. Cycled into Brigg with Doug and had a pint. Came back and heard the old maestro in an American show. A good day.

Wednesday 5th. July 1944
Spent quite a busy morning in charge of the nav. section – Ted and Ron were flying – bags of airmiles and concentration times from last nights trip to Orleans. All our boys got back but the other squadron lost one aircraft and one bomb aimer. Four of our navigators have been severed in the past fortnight. We went to see a camp concert in the afternoon – RCAF show and very good. At tea time was nailed by the flight commander to do an airtest with F/O Bartlest but after waiting round from 17:30 till 20:30 it was cancelled. Ops. on – a big trip – but Danny still unfit. Ted on with another crew. After a late dinner wrote a letter home and did a spot of repair work on my braces before turning in for the night. A grand day.

Thursday 6th. July 1944
The boys had been diverted from last nights long st …/ and returned just after 9 o’clock. A 9 hour trip to Dijon without loss. Ted was on it and they had a rather shaky trip getting 100 miles off track and straying over St. Nazaire all by themselves. Did an airtest in the morning to see how Danny’s ears worked out – they didn’t and he is to see a specialist tomorrow. Worked out some concentration times in the afternoon and then caught the 4 o’clock to Grimsby with Doug and Danny. Had a good tea there with strawberries and then went to Cleethorpes. A grand night and a very pleasant time there with putting (a hole in one) and slot machines (no Bing on the radiogram was the only snag). Back on the 20:50 and a beer in the mess. Doug and Ted on as spares early tomorrow morning.

Friday 7th. July 1944
Ops. on – briefing at 09:15 instead of 03:30 as originally planned. I was duty nav. After about an hour it was scrubbed – duff weather. Strawberries for sweet at lunchtime. No mail. Went up to the nav. section in afternoon but nothing doing so soon left. Briefing at 17:00 Doug and Ted flying as spares. The boys are all reserves. Danny rolled back at 19:00 pretty grim. He is to see a specialist again on Monday. More strawberries for dinner. Watched boys take off at 19:30 – daylight on Caen. Wrote a couple of letters and had a beer in the mess and then to bed as the boys were just arriving back. A good day.

Saturday 8th. July 1944
Danny saw the M.O. – not wanted until Monday – eventually got away on the 13:30 train for London till Monday. Worked the air miles out for last nights prang on Caen and had a cup of tea in the met. Office. All got back O.K – a good prang. Doug just about got a decent hit. Ted had another rather shaky navigational effort. Moore was in a collision over target – rear turret (with gunner) was chewed off also one fin and rudders. Landed at Tangmere. Two day ops. scrubbed. Read a book in the mess during the afternoon. Heavy shower just after tea. Cycled to Barton with Ted, Tony and Ron Evans. Got mixed up with --- ? screening session but finally got away to the usual good feed. Another pint and then cycled home. Still no mail. Heard F/O Moss broadcast on last nights Caen effort.

Sunday 9th. July 1944
Nothing doing in the morning. Standby until 23:00. Lecture by S/L Gallagher and radar bods at 2 o’clock. Then returned to billets and finished Warwick Deepings “Mr. Gurney and Mr. Slade” – I enjoyed it. After dinner the rain stopped and Denis, Doug and I cycled to the “Dying Navigator”. I had a couple of pints. Then home to bed – C.O’s parade on the morrow. A good day.

Monday 10th. July 1944
Got up at 07:40 and had a helluva rush to get on the G.C parade at 08:15 but just made it O.K. Ted didn’t. In charge of the nav. office in the morning – standdown but bags of training. Air Chief Marshall – Inspector General – and bags of other high bods at the station for lunch. All the nav. kings down for a conference as well. Went into Scunthorpe with all the boys on the 4 o’clock. Saw John Garfield in quite a decent picture with a couple of beers at the Oswald afterwards. Danny back – still not fit – to see a specialist on Thursday.

Tuesday 11th. July 1944
Just made breakfast – Danny didn’t. After kicking around in the nav. section for an hour or so, went out to U uncle and had a look over it. Ted and Ron over at Lindholme so looked after nav. section while they were away. Three letters today from home – heard that Blezard has been killed in a crash – also from Margaret, Milnes and Pual. Doug and Denis had dates and went to Scunthorpe. Frank and I had a wizard evening. We left camp just after 6 o’clock and cycled to Barton where we had the usual banger meal of steak, egg, tomato and chips. Then saw a film show with two not very well known, but excellent films. Returned via South Ferriby where we had a pint with the locals and then to the mess for another odd one. An excellent day. Standdown.

Wednesday 12th. July 1944
Ops. on. Went across to met. and had a cup of tea in the morning, also checked my nav. gear. Went to radar in the afternoon and got a bit of practice in. Caught the 4 o’clock train to Grimsby – Doug was writing letters and Ted was with Jo – so went there with Frank and Danny. Gordon had been on a Y cross country with another crew and Denis was to see the G/C about his commission. More strawberries and fish and chips for tea. Saw “The North Star” about Russia and quite good. A spot to eat and then back on the 20:50. Boys had just taken off – a long trip – 2,000 galls and max all up weight. Had a beer with Frank and so to bed.

Thursday 13th. July 1944
The boys had been diverted last night – bad vis – and had landed all over the place. A complete shambles of a raid – no markers and returned after skirting for a hell of a time. Losses hefty – about 12% - /_\ 100 miles SE of Paris. Those from our squadron – Abbott, Phillips and Harrison. Another crew bailed out through lack of petrol on return. Spent a useful hour with Doug in the radar section in morning and then with Ted and Doug did a spot of clay pigeon shooting – lost a bob to Ted but won it back shortly afterwards at table tennis. Wrote home and cashed a cheque at lunch time. Spent an hour at the nav. station in the afternoon – the boys were just getting back from last nights effort – and then caught the 4 o’clock to Scunthorpe with Danny and Ron Evans. A good tea of chips, spam and tomatoes and then saw “A Guy Called Joe” with Spencer Tracey and June Dunne – very good. Then a walk and a pint at a new and very pleasant pub. Saw Gordon on the home train – vis clamping again.

Friday 14th. July
Worked out some air miles in the morning. An egg for breakfast. Had my first game of Bridge for nearly a year. F/S Thomas and I played together and did quite well. After lunch went up to the Nav. section and gave F/O Fairlie the gen. Just after 4 o’clock flew down to Kelston with F/L Allwood and Denis to pick up another kite. Landed again at base just after 5 o’clock. Danny has got the whole crew a 48 until Monday morning but it was too late to go home tonight. Had a letter from Frances and Mrs. Howell – Grace has been bombed out – Frances is still chirpy. Gordon and Frank are on as spare bods – 9,000 bombs, 2,000 petrol T/O (take off) 21:00 hrs. Had a bath then went into Brigg for a pint with Denis. An excellent day.

Saturday 15th. July 1944
Had bad news first thing. From last nights raid on Ravigny – bombs brought back again – two kites were lost from our squadron – Ogden with Frank as midupper and P/O Anthony in U. A bad night. Eventually decided to go home for the weekend. Caught the 11:10 and after four trains and two buses finally got home at 6 o’clock. Met the twins – Rene and John – two grand little kiddies. Spent a quiet evening and tumbled into the camp bed at 2am after a long tussle trying to put a new wick in my lighter but I didn’t manage it. Met Shirley in town. (N.B Rene and John were evacuees).

Sunday 16th. July 1944
Rose at 09:30. Took John and Rene over to Thorntons in the morning. A grand day and spent a pleasant afternoon in a deck chair. Mother and Margaret and Rene went to the chapel while John collared me for several games. Ephie and Mrs Read came down just before I left. Caught the 21:00 to Manchester. Changed stations there and had a bite at the YMCA. Eventually got the 01:35 from Manchester and went via Penistone (which I reached 5 hours after leaving home) etc to Barnetby at 05:30. Eventually got to bed at 06:30.

Monday 17th. July 1944
C.O’s parade and I no sooner got to bed than it was getting up time again. After the parade went into the nav. section and got the latest score. Then lunch followed by a game of bridge and a lecture by S/L Gallagher on some new equipment. My letter from (to?) Ron Fox returned. Had a sleep and then dinner. Wrote a bit and then a spot of washing and so to welcome bed.

Tuesday 18th. July 1944
Danny still unfit – to see specialist again on Friday. Went across to the met. In the morning and prepared a chart for Ted showing jettison area. Danny flight commander – gone on last nights trip on a place near Caen – a good prang in early morning light – 1,000 kites – 5,000 tons – 6 lost – none from our station. Stooges around in afternoon. Went down to 8 site and shook two crew up to fetch a new a/c? (aircraft) from another station. Had a bath and then went out after dinner to Brigg for a couple of pints. Op. on – experienced crews and cookies – looks like a German bash – hope all goes well – Danny wrote to Frank’s parents on behalf of the crew.
Wednesday 19th. July 1944
Last nights effort on an oil refinery near Gelsenkirechen. All our kites got back but several had shaky efforts. A good prang. 5 Group went to Remigny and lost 26 out of just over a hundred. Worked out some airmiles and then just hung around. Ops. on. In afternoon looked in nav. section and met new nav. leader – a F/L whom I met in the group section at Wymeswold – seems quite a decent chap. Went into Grimbsy on the 4 o’clock with Danny and Ted – Doug on with another crew and going to the camp cinema. Went to usual café for tea – more strawberries – and then spent a very pleasant evening in Cleethorpes – won two rounds of putting. Returned on the 8:50 train – a wizard conductress – just had time for a beer in the “Station” and so home. Wrote home and sent Margaret’s birthday card. Ops. on and not back until early morning. An excellent day.

Thursday 20th. July 1944
No early morning ops. Had a decent game of bridge with Vanell as partner in the crew room. Ops. on – Doug on with F/S Hill and Gordon with a new crew. Gordon managed to get out of it eventually. Went into the nav. section in the afternoon and had a yarn and then a cup of tea (and doughnut) with Ron in the met. section. Had a game of table tennis with Danny and a nod before dinner. Heard Bing in his weekly programme on the American Forces wavelength at 19:05 and then saw an excellent film at the camp cinema “Girl Trouble” – Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Boys took off at 7 and should be back by this time 10:30. An excellent day.

Friday 21st. July 1944
Margaret’s birthday. Had a game of bridge in the morning – Doug had a go but he’ll need a fair bit of practice. Ops. on – cookies again. Last nights chemical bash was a piece of cake. Got July’s “Taxes” at lunchtime. Went to radar in the afternoon with Ron and Ted. Just got the 4 o’clock train with all the boys. Had quite a good tea then saw “Halfway House” – unusual and very good also a Charlie Chan picture. Afterwards went to the (pub) and had a couple of pints – Danny the worse for wear. Met Kathie. Train late. News of attempt on Hitler’s life and revolt in Germany on everybody’s tongues. A good day.

Saturday 22nd. July 1944
Last nights ops. scrubbed. Got up to flights by 9 am. Had a game of bridge until about 11 am and then returned to the mess where I had a good game of T.T. (table tennis) with Walker. Doug and Ted had tried to get tomorrow off and to go to London but W/C wouldn’t wear it. However we were given the rest of the day off and Doug and Ted went to Grimsby on the 2:30. Danny got tomorrow off and went home. I offered to fly as a Y screen with F/O Avon. However we got a couple of u/s kites – coolant leaks – so it was a waste of an afternoon. After dinner went into Brigg with Ron Evans and had a few beers. Several pieces of ? around. Made a good resolution – no more than 5 cigs per day and a minimum of drink. A good day.

Sunday 23rd. July 1944
Went on a church parade in the morning – quite a good service. Afterwards had the usual game of bridge. Ops. on – full effort. Ted and Doug arrived back about 10:30 after spending the night at the “Bluebell” – rather a dirty dive. Spent a bit of time on the Y trainer in the afternoon but it is rather a dead loss. Cookies, incendiaries and 1550 – looks like the Ruhr. After tea had a bath and read then went to the 8:30 camp cinema show “By Hook or by Crook” – Red / Rod Skelton and Eleanor Powell – not bad. Had a cup of coffee and a beer in the mess. Saw some of the take off. Should go on leave again on Aug. 8th. – A good day.
Monday 24th. July 1944
Worked out last nights air miles – a good trip to Kiel – no losses from here. Then spent the rest of the morning working in latitude and longitude on some new gee charts. Continued this in the afternoon and at 4 o’clock went to a lecture in the station cinema by the S.A.S.O – an Air Commander on the last big daylight attack near Caen. Very interesting. Read my little gen book at night. Got my pair of shoes back. Ted’s had gone to the Committee of Adjustments in Frank’s name. Danny back – O.K. again for local trips. Doug had a grand parcel from his cousin. Had a letter from Margaret and Danny had a letter from Frank’s people.

Tuesday 25th. July 1944
Last nights effort on Stuttgart – one from each squadron missing. Also prepared several new charts during the day. Danny taking an Indian D.S.O major around in the afternoon. No kites so we couldn’t fly. Ops. on – seven on a long and the other seven on a short trip. Ted on with F/L Marsden. Went into Scunthorpe with Doug on the 6:30pm and saw “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”. Quite good and had a couple of pints. Letter from Donald and gloves from home.

Wednesday 26th. July 1944
Worked out some more air miles for the second Stuttgart and Channel bash – Dyer missing. Finished off the new charts I started yesterday. Got a couple of hours in, in the afternoon doing a couple of air tests – our own kite and zebra in which we went 60 miles out to test the rear turret. Had a good wash and then after dinner saw a camp cinema show – “New Moon” – so, so. Had a pint and then to bed.

Thursday 27th. July 1944
Had a haircut in the morning and wrote home. Danny fit for Ops. up to 14,000 ft. Ops. on and for a change we’re on – briefing early in the morning. Bath and a sleep in the afternoon. Got our gear out to the kite at teatime. Got to bed at 8 o’clock and slept until 2 am. Briefed for a French trip and got out to the kites only for it to be scrubbed at the last minute.

Friday 28th. July 1944
Got to bed by 7 o’clock and up again at 12:30. Ops. on – cookies and 500 pounders. Got all prepared in the afternoon and had a sleep. Breakfast at 7 pm – picked to bomb on Y – another Stuttgart prang. After a hell of a rushed briefing we were scrubbed at the last minute – M.O’s orders. Saw the boys take off – hope all goes well. Had a couple of pints and a game or two of table tennis in the mess. A yarn with the boys and so to bed.

Saturday 29th. July 1944
A wicked night – eight lost on Stuttgart and several others badly smashed and landed away – four lost from each squadron. Worked out some airmiles and had the usual cup of tea at the met. office. Broadbent (Wood), West (Vouell?), Maso (Oliver) and Armstrong (Shaw – last trip) from our squadron. Ops. on five crews from our squadron – we’re on. Got our gear out to the kite in the afternoon. Subsequently ten crews on and an early morning effort.

Sunday 30th. July 1944
Woken up by Jack Braheny at 02:30 – what an ungodly hour? Meal at 03:00 hours and our briefing started at 4 am. Another raid supporting the army – about 30 miles in. Very poor weather for take off but Danny made a good job. Navigation not bad for such a long lay off – one or two minor boobs. Gordon had more finger trouble. A good prang – went down to 2,000 to bomb and sure felt the blast. Landed at a Yankee station in East Anglia at 10:30 am and had lunch and quite a good time. Looked over a Fort (American Flying Fortress bomber?) When weather permitted took off at 13:00 and landed at base just before 2 o’clock. Interrogation and then a good hot bath. A…. to stay in camp - nothing definite on. Had a few grapefruits in the mess with Doug – then gen came through - …….. standdown. Dinner, a write, a read and an early night.

Monday 31st. July 1944
C.O’s parade – what a bind. Had to tote our vapirators and gas capes around? in the morning. Natter by Gallagher to navs and B/A’s (Bomb Aimers) at 10 am. Ops. on and so are we. Should have done our air test at 2 pm but meal at 3 and briefing at 3:45, so it was scrubbed. U uncle just off its inspection. Feeling very tired and a slight headache. Le Havre – target and a good briefing. Bad headache and felt very grim. Sick after we had been up about an hour but OK afterwards and coped fairly well. Took off at 6pm and bombed at 20,000 feet. Flak moderate and accurate. We were hit very slightly on the mid upper. Flew with our new rear gunner – Eric Tidd. Saw F/O Avon shot down – tough. Two of his crew were seen to get out O.K. Landed at 9:30 pm and after interrogation and an egg got to bed. A good prang.

Tuesday 1st. August 1944
Had breakfast at 09:30 then went to a lecture on escape by a F/Lt. who got out of Germany in the last war. Ops. on. Got everything ready – briefed at 17:00 Took off at 18:50 – a channel flying bomb site. Over target just after 20:30 but just as we crossed the coast the master of ceremonies told us to abandon and go home. Got quite a lot of accurate flak pumped up at us by a flak ship just off the coast. Jettisoned some of our bombs and returned. Cloud base pretty grim – 700 feet – but Danny made a good job.

Wednesday 2nd. August 1944
Got up to flights by 9 o’clock. Cleaned up charts and got gear ready again. Ops. on and took our things out to the kite. After lunch wrote home and then lay down for a while. Meal was at 15:00 but when I got up there was a standdown until 23:00 hours. Ted, Doug and I went into Grimsby – saw “p g motion” ? and returned on the 20:50 bus. Had a beer and so to bed. Rumoured that briefing is 09:30 in the morning.

Thursday 3rd. August 1944
Got up to the mess to find that Ops. were on – briefing at 09:30. Took off at 11:35 for a flying bomb site about 100 miles in France and had quite a good trip. Landed at 16:10. After interrogation had another egg, a bath and a quiet evening with a couple of beers in the mess. Letters from home, (Mrs Howell) Dan - who is getting leave from 10th. – 17th. and feels should be able to see Don OK, and wrote him.


Friday 4th. August 1944
Ops. on first thing. A hell of a rushed briefing – an hour – what a panic. Target Pauillac oil refinery way down almost in Spain. A long sea crossing at 10,000. Not a bad trip but took 7 ¾ hours. Long range fighter support. Landed at 21:30. Had a spot of something to eat a drink and rolled into bed. Halfway through our turn.

Saturday 5th. August 1944
Just had time to slot our leave applications in before briefing again – 11:30. Almost same place, same route and same tactics – another oil refinery just across the river estuary. Another 8 hours only this time diverted to Ossington – a Canadian Wimpy OUT. A lot of balling around but eventually got a bite, a drink and a bed status at base.

Sunday 6th. August 1944
Woke up at 09:30. An egg for breakfast, a wash and took off for base at 11:30. Landed to hear that there was a standdown – welcome news after six in seven days. My nose still very sore – poisoned by continued rubbing of the oxygen mask. Landed O.K. at base and after interrogation had a wash, a drink and then got my gear ready for the next one. A bath and then a spot of lunch at 2:45 pm. Spent ½ an hour clearing my log book up and then a game of pontoon with the boys which set me back 3/-. Had a letter from accounts waiting for me asking for another £14- another. Got changed, had dinner and a few games of T.T. with Roy Walton and then cycled to Brigg with the two D’s – Doug and Danny for the odd beer. Danny trying to get accommodation for Olive and himself for next week but no luck. Hope to get away on leave tomorrow. A cup of cocoa in the mess and so to bed.

Monday 7th. August 1944
Got up full of hope that we may get on leave today but these were dashed near lunchtime when Ops. were put on and being a full effort we were on. Did a dual Y stooge as ? – ahem – in the morning with P/O Smith’s crew – it didn’t go off too badly. Got my gear out to the kite in the afternoon – briefing 18:30. An army support job – a big one – the other side of Caen and we didn’t mind the trip but met. said we were almost certain to be diverted. Took off at 21:00 and it was a good prang. Met. were wrong and we roared back to base. One kite missing – crew had bailed out O.K. Got to bed at 3 am.

Tuesday 8th. August 1944
On leave. Got up at 7:30 am the 9:05 / 9:5? – the boys caught the 8:30 / 8.3? Travelled to Doncaster in company with Les – the met. chappie. Hung up for an hour at Penistone where I had a pint and a yarn with an - - -? Got home at 2 pm and to find Mrs. Howell there – all the news. The twins went off to Greenhead Park for the day. A grand day. At night had a walk to the same park and then popped up to Goldthorpes. Got home at 10:45 pm.

Wednesday 9th. August 1944
Didn’t get up till 11:30 am – a dammed good sleep on the camp bed. After lunch slipped up to Gurds – Donald home tomorrow. Went to the station and got the gen on the trains to Leeds. Then went to the Princess to see “Phantom of the Opera” – very good. Gladys and Lizzie to tea. Did a spot of writing at night. A good day.

Thursday 10th. August 1944
Went to Leeds for the day with mother and Mrs. Howell. The twins packed off to Bar(n)croft Road for a couple of days. Caught the 10:43 train and had to stand all the way. Finally managed to get a spot of lunch at the “Imperial Hotel”. Mother and Mrs H. went shop touring so I slipped into Leeds and saw Herbert Laing and Miss Dalton – it quite reminded me of old times. Then spent the next hour in the news theatre. In the morning went into the Royal and had a beer – mother had a sherry. Finished up with seeing David Niven in “The Way Ahead” at the Odeon. Very good. Had a bite at the station and caught the 8.8 went to Gurds where I met Don and Geoff and had supper.

Friday 11th. August 1944
After breakfast went over to Jimmie’s – received £1. The twins had slept at Glady’s and seemed O.K. They seem to want to spend all their time telephoning. Had a game of cricket with John. After lunch went to the butchers for the meat then to the Ritz with Don and Geoff to see “Destination Tokyo” with Cary Grant. Not bad. Went up to Don’s just before 9 o’clock and had a walk up to Castle Hill. Back to Don’s for supper then to bed. Mrs. Howell rather ill.

Saturday 12th. August 1944
Packed diary in for a time.

Citation

R G Blamires, “Geoff Blamires diary May to August 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 15, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/44696.

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