Keith Dexter diary. One

YDexterKI127249v1.pdf

Title

Keith Dexter diary. One

Description

Day by day diary recording events from his joining the Air Force in April 1941 up until 8 November 1942. Covers time at 1 Initial Training Wing and No 1 Elementary Flying School at Hatfield including interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation. Followed by crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Halifax, Canada on route for pilot training in Alabama, United States. Covers training in Tuscaloosa and Montgomery on PT17 and BT13. Award of wings in August 1942, trip back to the United Kingdom and time at 6 Advanced Flying Unit at RAF Little Rissington.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Steve Baldwin

Rights

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

Format

104 page diary

Language

Identifier

YDexterKI127249v1

Coverage

Conforms To

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

[book front cover]
[inserted] Engagements [/inserted]

[page break]

DEXTER.

DIARY FROM JOINING R.A.F.
[indecipherable]

[inserted] Engagements [/inserted]


[page break]

Memoranda
Th. 3 4/41. Attested Euston House.
S. 1 6/41. Holiday. Bolton Abbey with Con.
M. 16 6/41. Con to Stradishall.

M. 28 7/41 joined R.A.F. A.C.R.C. ST. [indecipherable]
28 7/41 – 9 8/41 A.C.R.C.
9 8/41 – To No.1 I.T.W. Babbacombe. Got [underlined] fit [/underlined]. Fairly hard work – interesting.
30 8/41 M.K. Gibbon’s –
12 9/41 Party K.
22 9/41 – 26 9/41 Final exams.
26 9/41 – 29 9/41 leave [deleted] A [/deleted] Party – Stradishall
30 9/41. Travel overnight to No1 E.F.T.S. Hatfield.
1 10/41 Arrive Hatfield. Good grub. Neat [indecipherable]. First sight Tiger on nose in middle of aerodrome.
3 10/41. 1st. trip with instructor. Rather strange at first. Planes seem to go crab fashion below you Ground very hard to read. No ill effects except for bumps. Glad to get back to ground though. Think I’ll like it. Off to Cons. Hitch to Cambs.
4 10/41. Leave - Stradishall.
11 10/41 [indecipherable].
12 10/41 Cons by car with Phyl. Pick up Mary. Chicken lunch – lovely.

[page break]

For Week of Monday [deleted] 12th Oct. 1941 [/deleted]
[deleted] MONDAY [/deleted][underlined] F. 17 10/41. [/underlined] wonderful hitch to Cambs. 3/4 hour. Got soaked from Haverhill.
[underlined] Th. 23 10/41. [/underlined] Went solo.
[deleted] TUESDAY [/deleted] [underlined] F. 24 10/41. [/underlined] could’nt do anything right. Reaction after solo? [deleted] A [/deleted] Party – S. Palace.
[underlined] S. 25 10/41. [/underlined] up & doing.
[underlined] Sun. 26 10/41. [/underlined] B.B.C. broadcast from
[deleted] WEDNESDAY [/deleted] Hatfield. After to see Phyl [indecipherable] & Dora.
[underlined] M. 27 10/41. [/underlined] 1 hour’s solo. Everything O.K. must have been re-action.
[deleted] THURSDAY [/deleted]
[underlined] T. 28 10/41. [/underlined] Rumour we’re leaving. F.F.I.
[underlined] Th. 30 10/41. [/underlined] Regret left Hatfield. C.O.
[deleted] FRIDAY [/deleted] very interested and decent. Very sorry to go. On leave to 5 11/41 repeat A.C.D.C. [indecipherable]. [deleted] A [/deleted] Party.
F. 31 10/41. To Cons.
[deleted] SATURDAY [/deleted]
Sun. 2 11/41 Party W.A.A.F officers mess and Off. Mess Stradishall.
[underlined] Mon. 3 11/41. [/underlined] Flip Wellington. ‘F’ Freddie.
[deleted] SUNDAY [/deleted]
[underlined] Tues. 4 11/41. [/underlined] Left Cons en route A.C.D.C. Saw Phyl & [indecipherable]. Party [deleted] A [/deleted]

[page break]

Memoranda

W. 5 11/41. Arrive A.C.D.C. Manchester. Good homely digs at Wyatts. Fail [indecipherable] Manchester.
F. 14 11/41. Spur of moment party – good.
S. 15 11/41. 7pm. Air. “Fantasia”
Sun. 16 11/41. [indecipherable] lunch (white sauce). [indecipherable] supper.

Th. 20 11/41 – 21 11/41 Overnight to Greenock. Embark H.M.T. [indecipherable] at [indecipherable] bound for Halifax Nova Scotia en route for U.S.A. Grounded rather. Sleep hammocks comfortable. Good grub. Harbour interesting.
Sat. 22 11/41. Weigh anchor. Depart harbour to Sea. 10.30/am through [indecipherable] to off Scottish Coast. Howard Marshall & Julian Huxley aboard. Also [indecipherable] with Fleet Air Arm [indecipherable].
Sun. 23 11/41. 0830. joined by two freight ships and one destroyer. Set sail in earnest 0930. [indecipherable] Pork lunch. Heaps of people sick. Bit queasy – eat good tea then O.K. Grand on deck - [indecipherable] forward. Green faces. Felt rather homesick. Cautious beer flat – queue for dry [indecipherable] Cigs etc. Very cheap.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 24th. Nov 1941
[deleted] MONDAY [/deleted] [underlined] MONDAY [/underlined] 24 11/41.
Green faces – sick everywhere Sea getting rough. Continue O.K. Good grub – now plenty of it.
TUESDAY 25 11/41. O.K. Eating well. Gale terrific pitching and huge seas. Grand fun. Man overboard destroyer – poor devil’s had it. Hove to during night.
WEDNESDAY 26 11/41. 3 days out. Sea still high and boat pitching. Took over Mess orderly to dodge guards etc! Green faces. Freighters left us. Grand fun.
THURSDAY 27 11/41. 4 days out. Lectures in Officer’s lounge – interesting. People recovering – not so much grub – still good. Big seas. Getting colder.
FRIDAY 28 11/41. 5 days out. Snow & sleet. Rumour not far off land – false. Ploughing steadily on. Most people recovered. Food still good. Fully lit ship passes in evening. Destroyer investigates.
SATURDAY 29 11/41. Rumours rife – but all false. Still going ahead. No sign of Jerry yet. Saw “Convey” – good. Played Bridge. Man-o-War crosses bows well ahead – exchanges signals with destroyer.
SUNDAY 30 11/41. Rumours but no Landor Jerry. V.Cold & uninviting. Handed in £10. Enjoyed trip so far. Moving well now.

[page break]

Memoranda

[underlined] Tuesday 2 11/41 [/underlined]
Docked Halifax 8 am. Ashore 1.15pm. Cables sent. Entrained for Moncton for A.C.D.C. 6 hour journey. Arr. 7pm. marched up to barracks. Brand new. Very warm. Most comfortable bed after hammock in tiers of two. Fleet Air Arm still with us. On way here passed through wonderful country. Pines and lakes with shacks seen through trees. Small towns & villages composed of a church always – and houses al in wood. No brick or stone to be seen. Halifax harbour inland a wonderful sight. Good meal served on train and another on arrival. Kitchens on train and A.C.D.C. very open. Strange to see lights again. track single for the most part with passing points. Block of one engine-in-section at a time prevails. [indecipherable] from [indecipherable] to Moncton. [indecipherable] at [indecipherable] dished out apples to troops. Several troop trains going towards Halifax. The [indecipherable] return cargo? Sleep – oh marvellous.
[underlined] N.B. RAILWAYS. [/underlined] Not so safe as in England. Queer system of single line working no tables. Track have double line [underlined] holts [/underlined] used either way. Track circuitry no apparent signalling. Centralised control. Points had worked on [underlined] MAIN [/underlined] line. No tank

[page break]

For Week of Monday 1st. Dec. 1941
MONDAY 1 12/41. Rumour – no land. Not far away now. Cold. Saw shoal of porpoises in afternoon – wonderful. D.R.O says docking tomorrow. Land sighted 10.30pm.
TUESDAY 2 12/41. Can sight land & lights distinctly – marvellous sight. Going well ahead now. Destroyer now left us. Docked 8am. Ashore 1.15pm. see opp. Saw Wallace.
WEDNESDAY 3 12/41. No work as yet. Posted mail & had look round town. People very decent. Good for shops & repair as you wait [indecipherable]. English tobacco – stacks. Disturbing rumours about U.S.A.
THURSDAY 4 12/41. Excellent hygiene here. Drink through straws – paper tissues. Excellent and varied grub at reasonable prices. Restaurants or Grills like “Quality Inns”. People grand though seemingly slow. Evening dinner Town.
FRIDAY 5 12/41. Man found to have hanged himself in drill hall. Bridge. 1250 Photos then down Town. Wonderful mixed grill. Had a look at Railway. We’re in the heart of moose country. Told excellent shooting & fishing. Bridge then bed.
SATURDAY 6 12/41. Paraded us work. Bridge. Thought we’d hitch to St. John – but decided against. Dave & I 5 mile walk. Scenery very same everywhere. Supper at Bennetts – bed. Wet.
SUNDAY 7 12/41. Up late nearly missed breakfast. Nothing to do. Wrote home & cards. Mind everywhere. Snow afternoon. Thick in evening. Drier snow than England. Bridge – bed. JAPAN DECLARES WAR – BOMBS HONOLULU, SINGAPORE ETC.

[page break]

Memoranda

engines. Shunters called “Switchers” and shunting “Switching”. All [indecipherable] carry huge head lights and wonderful drive whistles. Crossings usually not protected by gates. Train uses its whistle continuously to give warning of approach. At crossing a load single gong bell is started when train is 300 feet away and an arm with red lamp swings from a post across the road. All worked by track circuit. All main line engines appear to be 4-8-4 and switchers 0.6.0 or 2.6.0 tender engines. All engines kick up large amount of smoke. All vehicles whether goods or not are bogie. The [indecipherable] have 6 wheeled bogies.

[underlined] R.C.M.P. [/underlined]
A state controlled body – can operate anywhere. Each province I/C of [indecipherable] & sub-divided into Sub-Divisions I/C of [indecipherable]. Organisation very similar to M.P. Better system of forms. Those required in [indecipherable] already stacked up in the required No. with carbon in between – only require to be put in typewriter. Accident reports are completed by ticking off items which apply on a special form – no long winded typing. Far less forms than in the M.P. to cover a larger field of work.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 8th. Dec. 1941
MONDAY Heavy fall of snow overnight. More pleasant than wind. Snow seems more powdery & does not wet so much an English variety. Plenty of snowballing. U.S.A at war.
TUESDAY 9 12/41 no more snow but plenty about. Paid a visit to R.C.M.P. pleasant welcome invitation to go and drink there. See opposite page.
WEDNESDAY 10 12/41 Dodged fatigue’s in morning and in afternoon set out for majestic Hill – found snow too deep. Wonderful scenery. Reports that P of Wales and Repulse sunk by Japs.
THURSDAY 11 12/41. Had a hot shower & grub with Solomon’s [indecipherable]. Met Dennis Moyar on way here from U.S.A. passes O.K. being hit [indecipherable] at 200 mph at 5000’ in cloud! After to town & supper at “Windsor Grill”.
FRIDAY 12 12/41. After pay parade to town to get silk stockings for everyone and no lipstick. Sent home via [indecipherable] in time for Christmas I hope. After exchanged shoes for 3$ in town. Bridge then bed. Saw G. Wilkinson this morning.
SATURDAY 13 12/41. Short parade. Bridge before and after lunch. Too lazy to go out but eventually met Solomon, Charles & Wilkinson. Grub - [indecipherable] – dance – bed. George has failed on landings.
SUNDAY 14 12/41. Told we’re supposed to be moving South on Tuesday. Dodged fatigues – Snow turned to rain and a spot of thaw. Bridge all day.

[page break]

Memoranda

no crime Book – just loose leaf binder to hold one copy of crime Report prepared in quadruplicate. Finger prints taken on similar form to ours. System of working – local towns have their own Police and local bye-laws are practically left to them as a matter of courtesy. Mounties deal with State offences – liquor, game, big crime involving districts, travelling criminals etc. Start work 9 am. Patrol according to what is happening – usually 9 am to 6 pm. but are “on tap” for 24 hours. Uniforms – Scarlet full dress worn at Police Court, special & ceremonial parades, otherwise the un-dress of a bluish khaki is worn with the blue breeches (yellow stripe) and brown knee boots – very smart cut & fit. All recruits receive 6 – 9 months training at Regina which appears to be a 1st. class Training School & well appointed. Certainly the saying seems true that “There are only two Police Forces, the M.P & R.C.M.P.”

[underlined] SNOW [/underlined] Finer & more powdery than in England. Does’nt wet your clothing. Sun shines quite warmly during

[page break]

For Week of Monday 15th. Dec 1941
MONDAY 15 12/41. Moving at 6am tomorrow. Changed all [indecipherable] to American currency. Bath and then down Town for an evening meal. Packing. Frost during night – everything frozen hard – dangerous walking.
TUESDAY 16 12/41. Up 4.30am. parade 6am march station move 7.55am. Grand trip glorious scenery. ST. John, McAdam, Brownsville (Maine U.S.A.) Montreal 2.30am. Stopped [indecipherable] – beer 1st for 3 weeks!
WEDNESDAY 17 12/41. Slept indifferently on seats let back on a slide. Toronto, Ayr 10.30 am, 1/2 hour route march to stretch. Winded through tunnel to Detroit – dirty – Toledo, Cincinnati new [indecipherable] march [indecipherable]. C.P.R. right thro’.
THURSDAY 18 12/41. We are to keep the C.P.R. Coaches right thro’. Awoke at Chattanooga Tennessee. Atlanta – Montgomery then Maxwell Field. Scenery all day like the New Forest only more of it.
FRIDAY 19 12/41. Reveille 5.45 am. Parade 6 am. Heaps of B/S. We are to be drilled U.S. fashion – also U.S. arms drill. Address by R.A.F. senior officer in hanger in the evening. Very tired.
SATURDAY 20 12/41. Up at 6am. more arms drill and U.S.A. foot drill. Told we are to do a ceremonial Sunday parade in public – hence the drill etc. Quite enjoying all this. Grub excellent for climate.
SUNDAY 21 12/41. Up 6am. short church parade after breakfast. Early lunch then a complete rehearsal. 3.30pm. parade proper with band spectators etc. We put up a good show. Union Jack carried.

[page break]

Memoranda

the day and slight top thaw occurred. At night as soon as sun goes down it freezes hard & possibly snows also. Makes everything look marvellous. All the local people are at once prepared for it. Cars have chains and the bodies of hand carts etc. are taken off the chassis and put on a chassis equipped with runners – all [indecipherable] a land of snow. In spite of warm days local people wrap up well – they know. During day often an icy wind which makes your ears literally freeze – and ache. When sun is out the snow looks a wonderful colour of blue – reflecting the blue of the sky. Real need to wear tinted glasses if out for any length of time – Snow falls a lot End of November to December and lasts until end of March to April. Never seems to get slushy like good old England. No hills round here for winter Sports – pity.
All sleighs or for that matter horse drawn carts have small bells attached to the traces. Snow ploughs used on roads & footpaths as well as railways. Whether it is reflection or what I don’t know but when the sun is shining the sky is a glorious greeny-blue

[page break]

For Week of Monday 22nd. Dec. 1941
MONDAY 22 12/41. Up 6am. as usual! P.T & drill in the morning. Lecture after lunch – fell asleep. Treated myself to a new pen! Spot of bridge. Wrote K.
TUESDAY 23 12/41. A heavy tropical type of thunder storm overnight. Sheets of rain. No outside parades. Re-shuffle of quarters. Still with Dave & Thomas. An evening Christmas sing-song in hanger – R.A.F excelled. Good fun.
WEDNESDAY 24 12/41. Open post cancelled – rumour Japs A/C Carrier in Mexican Gulf. Troops fed up. someone sent telegram to Churchill in Washington! Later allowed open post of camp. Bored. Had walk round. [indecipherable]
THURSDAY 25 12/41. Allowed open post from 9am to 4.30pm. on guard at 4.30pm. To Town beer, turkey at Morrisons – more beer then guard. Fraternised with U.S. Cadets good fellars. Few drinks.
FRIDAY 26 12/41. Guard to 4.30pm – tiring job glad when over. Last tour of duty very hot and heavy on the feet. According to U.S. Regs not allowed to stand – must keep moving! Obviously not complied with.
SATURDAY 27 12/41. Parade thro’ Town in Blue-Grey Festival. 10am. Hard work but good show. After beer & grub at Morrisons Then to ball game at Gampton Bowl – disappointing. Later Blue-Grey Ball – lovely. Tommy Trinder’s band.
SUNDAY 28 12/41. Returned 1.30am. straight to bed tired. Stayed in bed to 9am. Leisurely shave etc. lunch 11.30. Usual Sunday Parade. R.A.F. colours presented. Bridge wrote home. & bed.

[page break]

Memoranda

and when sun sets the whole sky is a blaze of colour. Snow and roads etc. soon settles down & becomes frozen hard. There is no slush.

[underlined] FOOD. [/underlined] Not so unlike English dishes as at first one imagined. Different cuts of meat such as ‘T’ bone steak etc. food generally much cheaper. A whole supper @ 45c the same price as one ice cream sundae or fancy effort at the Soda fountain. Method of ordering is to choose the main dish which are priced on the menu and usually grouped together in price order. Menus all in English! Then you choose the soup or tomato juice etc. course, the sweet also the vegetables, for the main dish & last coffee, tea or milk. Having fixed the price of the meal by the main dish the rest is thrown in by the management! Usually lashings of all the kinds of vegetables on the menu and an extra cup of coffee if required. All restaurants are usually “Bennett’s Grill” or “Alison’s Grill” with “Art Bennett. Prop” under the name! some are called restaurants but usually grills. The interior is much the same. Always a soda fountain then snack bar with tall seats, and the rest

[page break]

For Week of Monday 29th. Dec 1941
MONDAY 29 12/41. Usual day – parade in the afternoon. At 7.30pm. O.C. Capt. Luper lectured on the U.S.A. “Honor” System in hanger. Troops got and enlightened him on the British code of honour. He was shot down in flames! Cable K.
TUESDAY 30 12/41. Usual day. Rumour that we’re going on the 11th. Shan’t be sorry. [underlined] Japs take Manila. [/underlined] Damned [indecipherable] lectures up to now ore History & Geography (U.S.A) & Aircraft Rec. bridge – bed.
WEDNESDAY 31 12/41. Usual day. We won the Sqdn. Competition! After parade into Town. Drinks – eats – flicks (“Yank in R.A.F. – good) drinks. Got bored at 11pm & returned 11.30pm. Went to bed. Heard New Year come in. Cable from Con.
THURSDAY 1 1/42. Reveille same time. Period of P.T. excused drill owing to winning Competition. Raining. Open post after lunch to 7.30pm. did’nt go out. Rumour we’re going on 6th. Spot of trouble over the [indecipherable] damage. Honour at stake.
FRIDAY 2 1/42. Received five letters & one parcel (Con) all via Heaton Park & [indecipherable]! makes things look a bit rosier. Bridge – prepared room for inspection next day.
SATURDAY 3 1/42. Presentation of American Wings to Advanced Class – lucky devils – address by Gov. Weaver O.C. U.S. Air Corps. Open post 12.15pm – 12.15am. Town. Meal – Tommy Horsfall. Dance Intro. Saxons. Invite next Saturday.
SUNDAY 4 1/42. Reveille usual time. [underlined] Wrote home [/underlined], A.W.Smith, Rly. Mag. Macs. Gilletts, Phyl. Went into Town – just had a look round museum at Capitol – tea & home.

[page break]

Memoranda

divided into knife board partitions to hold four – similar to the Quality Inns. Iced water and a plate containing rolls, biscuits or cookies as they are called, with butter are always provided with a meal. To choose a complete meal is cheaper by far than to order a la carte. Incidentally Bennett started in Moncton 5 yrs ago with 50$!
[underlined] HEATING. [/underlined] all houses large or small are “steam heated”. Indoors in Moncton is stifling far too hot. They do not seem able to strike a happy medium. Even the buses are heated by hot pipes. Probably accounts for the T.B. going from humid atmosphere to the freezing cold outside. Still – in each house however small there is a boiler in the cellar. Then according to the wealth of the owners there is a proper radiator system or just pipes lead off to all the rooms blowing in hot air. The wooden houses are much hotter than the brick variety – also wood is cheap and easy to get. The Canadians do not seem to have frost difficulties as in England. They don’t seem to take any special precautions but expect the “steam heating does the trick.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 5th. JAN 1942
MONDAY 5 1/42. Received a parcel from Rice with tobacco and one from Con with long letter all via Manchester & Moncton – very nice.
TUESDAY 6 1/42. Find we’re on the move on Saturday. Ring Saxons and re-date for Wednesday. Spot of bridge. No B/S parade.
WEDNESDAY 7 1/42. Definitely going Saturday think its Tuscaloosa. Make date with Saxons – have a good evening. Nice large house with big log grate & logs! First home I’ve been into – for 2 months!
THURSDAY 8 1/42. List definitely up for Tuscaloosa. Leave Saturday 13.15hours. Get out kit bags etc. Glad we’re going. Practice B/S parade for visitation tomorrow.
FRIDAY 9 1/42. Up 5.30am. B/S parade at 9 am for Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Portal who arrived by a Douglas. Packed kit etc. Open post to 10pm after lunch went down Town.
SATURDAY 10 1/42. Left at 1.30pm for Tuscaloosa by motor coach. Good journey 147m in 3 1/2 hrs. Tuscaloosa a change from Maxwell. Good billets, grub fair, less B/S.
SUNDAY 11 1/42. A day of ‘Pep’ talks & lectures from 6am to 8pm! Settled down in rooms. I rather like the place Similar to Hatfield not so good.

[page break]

Memoranda

[underlined] THE JOURNEY SOUTH [/underlined] 16 12/41 – 18 12/41.
C.P.R Coaches with adjustable seats which also swivel so that you can face the window or turn right round for cards, etc. Told we get America state at Detroit. Start at 7.55am. Usual scenery to ST. JOHN. Diners attached and we climb & climb. Scenery very grand and glorious along St. John river. Climbing hard with occasional easy. Changed our Canadian national 4.8.4 for a C.P.R. 2.8.4 at St. John with smaller wheels. [indecipherable] different toned whistle. Stock rides well and silently but terrific jolts on starting. Arrive [deleted] Ma [/deleted] QADAM short 2.30pm and change engines for another of same type. Climbed onto cab but driver said it was against law to give footplate trips – pity. Away again – soon cross a small river by bridge and we are in the U.S.A. – we cross the state of Maine to reach Montreal. Stop at Brownsville – get cigs & chocolate. Playing bridge scenery now rather flatter and covered with small farms. American cottages although of wood do not seem to be so well built as the Canadian version. Coaches are very warm – too hot really although there is plenty of snow about. Continue to climb to majestic

[page break]

For Week of Monday 12th. JAN 1942
MONDAY 12 1/42. Lectures to lunch. Flying at 12.30pm. M. [indecipherable]. Power off & P. on Stalls. S & L 40 mins. Stearsman P.T.17’s heavy & clumsier than moths. Decent Instructor. [indecipherable] – does’nt [indecipherable]. 40 mins. Wrote home
TUESDAY 13 1/42. Lectures. Flying at 12.30pm 35 mins. Not good can’t do anything right. P.T.17 heavier to handle than Tiger. Rudder and bank to be put on together! Fair landing. Feel a bit fed up.
WEDNESDAY 14 1/42. Lectures – flying 12.30pm. made a much better job of it. Getting used to the P.T.17. good take off & landing. Felt better and more confident. K.
THURSDAY 15 1/42. Flying 12.30pm. 1 1/2 hours. Made a fair job of it. Did circuits and bumps at faster [indecipherable] of solo. Flick show at the station – quite good. Wrote G.H.W.
FRIDAY 16 1/42. Flying 12.30pm. Only did 2 circuits & bumps – to make up for yesterday. Fair. Wrote to Wilkinson. Open post – did’nt go out. Wrote Sal.
SATURDAY 17 1/42. Flying 12.30pm. [indecipherable] then circuits & bumps Fair [indecipherable] of solo. Open post went down town to Methodist Hall – poor. Snack then beer at Ellis Club.
SUNDAY 18 1/42. Actually allowed to sleep on to 9.30am. what a treat. Wrote home, Sheila, Cyril & Nora, Charlie. Rested rest of day. Did not fly today.

[page break]

Memoranda

Stop here for 20 mins. We’re now in the Province of Quebec therefore we dash to an hotel conveniently near the station and grab three bottles of beer each. Had to ask for cigs in French! Beer not bad rather light in colour & on the palate. Was double headed and away we go – through the Town. We now move in two C.P.R. diners with kitchens end to end in relays. Grub excellent and plenty of it. Waiters very obliging. Scenery now much grander and the two engines are working hard to lift us over the hills. No tunnels – just heavy gradients. Engines not suited for double heading and we are going slowly with jerks. Don’t like these central buck-eye couplers. We have crossed the top of the U.S.A. province of Maine to reach Majestic. Darkness falls with glorious colours among the pines, hills, frozen lakes and general splendour. We play bridge until bed time then make ourselves as comfortable as possible for the night on our slide back seats - 3 men to 4 seats sandwich fashion. 17 12/41. Wake up to find a [indecipherable] cold [indecipherable]. The heat is full on and the doors which we opened have been closed. Still better after a
[page break]

For Week of Monday JAN 19th 1942
MONDAY 19 1/42. Flying 7.A.M. SOLO 4 [deleted] 3 [/deleted] Circuits & fair landings. Very glad – performed at Tuscaloosa.
TUESDAY 20 1/42. Flying 8.30 am. 2nd SOLO at Rice. 3 circuits & fair landings one wheels first. Feel quite happy on my own. Rice very small “cabbage patch“ – good fun.
WEDNESDAY 21 1/42. Flying 7.30am. 3rd SOLO at Tuscaloosa. 4 circuits & 3 fair one bump landing. Seem to have lost the knack of holding-off. Hope it will come back.
THURSDAY 22 1/42. Flying 7am. Over to Rice to shoot 1st stage. 6 circuits 3 fair landings 3 W.F. Think I must be getting a little stale. Still not too bad. Satisfactory “Stage”. Flick – Alexanders Rag Time Band.
FRIDAY 23 1/42. Flying 8.30am. Bad visibility – no solo. Up to 3000 and stalls etc. Instructor did two slow rolls. Hanging in straps – could’nt stop laughing. Open Post – flicks. Beer in Town.
SATURDAY 24 1/42. Open post after the B/S inspection. Went into Town after lunch. Met Mrs Jones – car ride round & met Foster. Nice people. More beer & bed.
SUNDAY 25 1/42. Up 5.30am. Flying 9.15 am. Bad visibility earlier. Over to Rice shot a “Satisfactory” stage. 7 Circuits. 5 landings O.K. 2 W.F. wrote home & to W/C. Pyke.

[page break]

Memoranda

wash and a breath of fresh air on the platform. The coaches – called cars – are heated as usual from pipes running from a boiler and the end. The windows which are as usual [indecipherable] do not open. The coach really gets too hot and everyone is in shirt sleeves. Well we seem to have left the grand woods & lakes for the flat farm country south of Montreal which we passed at 2.30 am. I am told. We are now on the western bank of Lake Ontario which looks just like the sea, with a horizon complete. From the map one does’nt realise the real size of the lakes. Via Brownsville to Toronto where we all pile out. We exchange our 4.6.4 for a C.P.R. 4.6.2 No. 8256 of the same class as No. 8250 which headed the Royal Train. Snow now definitely left us and it seems warmer. Now move to Ayr and stop for a half hour’s route march to get some fresh air and stretch the old legs. Surprised to find some snow all slushy on the road.
On again and we have lunch. Country very flat here – all farming, except for the farm buildings it might be England except the ground has that queer brown colour. We are travelling along the western bank of Lake Erie though we cannot

[page break]

For Week of Monday 26th. JAN 1942
MONDAY 26 1/42. Flying afternoon 1hr. dual. Usual exercises. Not to brilliant still a little progress. Good flying weather.
TUESDAY 27 1/42. Flying afternoon – if any. Low cloud 10/10 strong variable wind. Collins had one hour but instructor said it was no good. Gripe committee.
WEDNESDAY 28 1/42. Flying afternoon. Still 10/10 at 3000’. Had 52 mins dual and went above cloud. Glorious at 5,500’. Did some Slow Rolls, Roll off loop, chandelles or rather instructor did. Flick – good. Two letters K.
THURSDAY 29 1/42. Flying afternoon. Good vis. 40 mins dual – pylon eights. 45 mins solo out of traffic. Got used to spins etc on my own. Enjoyed it. [indecipherable]
FRIDAY 30 1/42. [indecipherable] & Ford ([indecipherable]) crashed on Birmingham Road. [indecipherable] died at 8.59pm – poor devil – badly smashed up. Ford two broken legs & crushed foot. Cause not known. Bad luck. Did’nt fly. Open post.
SATURDAY 31 1/42. Usual B/S Inspection. One jig. Believe Ford will lose his foot. No flying – too rough. Open post. Flick then to St. John’s Hall after to Ellis. Thomas & his medal – damn funny.
SUNDAY 1 2/42. Stayed in bed to 9.30 am. oh joy. Wrote home & to Stella, Saxons. Went for a walk with Jack round the hills & woods – quite enjoyable.

[page break]

Memoranda

see any of it as we’re too far inland. We pass thro’ stations with names like London, Chatham etc. We reach Windsor, C.P.R. the end of the Canadian part of our journey. The New York Central R.R now hook on two electric locos to take us under the Detroit River – joining to Hudson and L. Eire – by tunnel into Detroit Station. We are still in C.P.R coaches though we lost our Pacific at Windsor. We apparently change coaches at Cincinnati to U.S.A. Stock. A N.Y.C 4.6.4 hooks on and away we go. Different toned whistle again. Detroit is a dirty hole and is in the heart of the industrial area. Country very flat and somewhat uninteresting. We play bridge until tea time.
We’ve collected a N.Y.C. diner at Detroit and find we’ve waited on by coloured servants immaculate in white [indecipherable] set off by their black faces. I’m impressed by their silent service. They never speak unless spoken to or ask if you want this or that – and when doing nothing stand to attention waiting to do the next job as it presents itself. The diner is in charge of an American white head waiter who just supervised. Grub is excellent. The decoration of the diner soft and pleasing. Sitting 4 and 2. You are expected to eat American fashion and have only

[page break]

For Week of Monday 2nd. FEB 1942
MONDAY 2 2/42. Met new instructor. Seemed decent chap & satisfied with my 50 mins flying except for rudder fanning! PARCEL OF SOCKS & LETTER FROM Con –great. On the air 7.45 in R.A.F. Cadets broadcast – O.K.
TUESDAY 3 2/42. No flying – bad visibility. Seniors beat juniors at Volley ball. No gripe committee. Wrote letter – thunder a lot we all felt heavy.
K.
WEDNESDAY 4 2/42. Gusty day but went up with Instructor – fair. Stn. flicks in evening – Alice Faye in a most boring picture.
THURSDAY 5 2/42. Fair weather. 30 mins with instr. then out of traffic again for 45. Good fun though a trifle bumpy – good landings.
FRIDAY 6 2/42. Only 15 mins dual. Very gusty & sudden squall. 3 blokes out solo caught in it – all landed O.K. Wind so strong it nearly lifted the plane over. Open post – got roped into rotten party. PARCEL FROM CON. CYCLONE.
SATURDAY 7 2/42. Open post after inspection. Went to see Ford – getting along O.K. though knocked about. Flicks then grub & beer. Tommy quite merry – damned funny.
SUNDAY 8 2/42. Flying this morning. did 6 circuits & bumps solo – Could’nt get a really decent landing – safe. Seem to lose height on glide turn. Wrote to Con.

[page break]

Memoranda

a knife, folk and small spoon. Main [indecipherable], potato, carrots, with specially prepared lettuce, hot roll, butter & marmalade. Also fresh fruit salad & cream. Damn good. More bridge then we’re told we’re to change at Cincinnati and to be ready at 10.15pm. after supper – Americans only have three meals a day – I thanked the head waiter who was very decent and told me to come back later for some coffee if I wanted it. I did and one of the waiters very cautiously asked me how we made our tea in England and when I answered him in a normal manner they all seemed relieved that I’d talk to them and became quite chatty. The one with the tea query said he’d seen the film Mr. Chipps and when Chipps makes his tea he seemed to have too many pots round him. Those niggers were interesting.
We arrive at Cincinnati and prepare to change train only to be told that we were to have the C.P.R all the way. We fell out and marched up to the main Hall of the station which is supposed to be best looking station in U.S.A. Certainly a huge arched roof of vast proportions with booking windows on one side and shops round the other. Markey floor and [indecipherable] splendour everywhere. We marched

[page break]

For Week of Monday 9th. FEB 1942
MONDAY 9 2/42. Two letters CON. 1 SHEILA. 55 Dual 30 solo. Landings etc. fair. Learnt chandelles – good fun – nice feel I’m progressing a little.
TUESDAY 10 2/42 2 Letters CON. 1 Syd. 1.00 Solo. Stalls, spins, chandelles, etc. eights etc. quite enjoyed it. Fair progress.
WEDNESDAY 11 2/42. No flying – low cloud & bad visibility. Lousy film in the evening
THURSDAY 12 2/42. 40 Solo. 35 Dual. practice for 900 stage. Landings only fair. Made a mess of two at Rice when dual. gripe committee.
FRIDAY 13 2/42. Letter G.W. he sounds fed up – poor devil. Failed 900 stage at Rice. 18 A/C going round at once – hard to pick a spot in which to land. Open post – Town Seniors beat juniors at Soccer.
SATURDAY 14 2/42. 2K. Satisfactory 900 stage at Rice. Just caught 4.30 bus for B’ham Good time. Met Jones, Smith, Mann who took us to Road House. Good fun. Stayed at Bankhead Hotel.
SUNDAY 15 2/42. Slept well – had hot bath – great treat. After breakfast bought tobacco & caught 1.30 bus back. Rather tired but well worth it as a change.

[page break]

Memoranda

round in Flights and halted in the main Hall to the admiration of the American people there who clapped their hands in applause when we marched away - they genuinely meant it. We re-embark and a Southern engine hooks on and away we go. We've changed our diner for a Southern one. Getting much hotter and after a spot of bridge turned in again - left all the doors open got nice thro’ draught.
18 12/41. Awoke at Chattanooga in Tennessee where we changed engines. Went along to breakfast in the Southern diner - very similar to N.Y.C. but waiters did’nt seem so efficient. Excellent breakfast. Appears to be some early morning fog but when it cleared we found ourselves in beautiful scenery. Reminiscent of the New Forest undulating country with plenty of timber - fir, spruce, etc. Amazing colours in the brown - red grass and red soil to the dark green of trees and bushes etc. Strange to see leafless trees with an English summer sun and equivalent temperature. Small farms with plenty of cotton fields which are ploughed in S’s. Also some apple orchards. Plenty of darkies and still the houses seem to be rather ramshackle. Getting hotter and we leave off a sweater!

[page break]

For Week of Monday 16th. FEB 1942
MONDAY 16 2/42. No flying - bad visibility. Went to ALA University. Morgan Hale and heard Rev. Michael Coleman on “There’ll always be an England”. Very fine speaker. Vicar of All Hallows in the City. Informed I was next G.C.
TUESDAY 17 2/42. Cloudy day but got in 1.15 dual, weather cleared a bit & then 40 solo. Fair.
WEDNESDAY 18 2/42. No flying – bad visibility. Bridge in evening.
THURSDAY 19 2/42. Damned cold. Flying 9 am. 1.35 Solo. Fair – nearly frozen. 25 dual – Satisfactory progress check. Film “Honeymoon in Bali” Madeleine Carroll – good.
FRIDAY 20 2/42. Warmer. 1.45 solo. Unsatisfactory 1800 side stage. W.F. landings – blast. Down Town open post. Beer at Elks – Senior term dance at University – lousy.
SATURDAY 21 2/42 Satisfactory stage (1800 side) at Moody. Also enjoyed lazy eights & pylon eights afterwards. Open post – beer & bowls – good fun.
SUNDAY 22 2/42. Making arrangements for intake of new cadets. Think everything will be O.K. No flying today. wrote Con. New crowd arrived 7 pm. rather rush but K O.K.

[page break]

Memoranda

We arrive at Atlanta in Georgia at 10.50am. – put watches back one hour last night. Loose [sic] our Southern 4.6.2 with it’s [indecipherable] crew for a 4.6.2 painted black no [indecipherable]. We cleaned the outside of our windows which had become dirty with the morning fog. A 15 minute wait and away we go. Since the [indecipherable] speed has been good – round the 60 mark. Track with exceptions round the bigger cities is single throughout.
We have an excellent lunch in the well equipped diner same arrangement as before but of course different crew and not quite so quick as the N.Y.C. We rattle along and it gets hotter. We are then told that if we cannot pack our greatcoats we are to wear them! Good old R.A.F same old B/S.
Scenery has’nt changed a great deal since this morning except to get a little more open and this afternoon we went slowly thro’ a station which evidently had a war weapons week. Flags everywhere and at least two brass bands in the most brilliant of Scarlet uniforms!
We arrive in Montgomery and after a pause in the station proceed to some track beside

[page break]

For Week of Monday 23 FEB 1942
MONDAY 23 2/42. A day of hard going looking after the Junior Term & getting them to about half a dozen lectures! Everything now O.K. Had a letter from Cherry. No flying bad weather – rain.
TUESDAY 24 2/42. Kept on the go all day – no time for lectures. Everyone wanted me all at once – what a life. No flying – bad weather. B/S parade not bad. I forgot to give Order Arms!
WEDNESDAY 25 2/42. Things getting more normal now. Practice 3600 overhead & liked it. Had “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” in evening – much better than of late.
THURSDAY 26 2/42. 2.40 hr. solo. good practice – fair progress. Cold & bumpy. Gripe committee in evening. Junior term seem to be settling down O.K. Good B/S parade.
FRIDAY 27 2/42. Unsuccessful 3600 stage (32). Very bumpy & higher wind made judgement difficult. Afterwards solo practice. Slow snap rolls – good fun. After open post. University – for records good & after to Elks.
SATURDAY 28 2/42. Good (considering) B/S inspection & parade. After open post. Bridge in afternoon then to supper & saw “They lived dangerously” – good. To Elks & home. Ran out of beer!
SUNDAY 1 3/42. Satisfactory stage at Foster (24!) one line. Better day & not so bumpy. Stayed in bed to 10.30 am – lovely! Wrote CON.

[page break]

Memoranda

Maxwell Field. We disembark overcoats and full webbing – whew! and are met by U.S. Air Corps Officers who lead us to our new quarters.
Forgot to mention that I had a chat with the “Conductor” on the N.Y.C portion of the journey. He corresponds with our “Guard” but has one or two “brakemen” to assist with various duties, such as uncoupling a car, changing points or “Switches”. He said that we were matey compared with the last lot he’d taken along towards Montgomery. They were very quiet and would’nt talk at all. Quite a decent fellow. Also being that one does’nt converse with negros which accounts for the interest of the waiters when they saw I would talk.
[underlined] MAXWELL FIELD, MONTGOMERY. [/underlined]
This is the Cranwell of the U.S. Army Air Corps. A well laid out place with the usual one storey long barracks six to a room with a locker each and wash basin in each room. Comfortable beds. A veranda or “stoop” runs the whole length of one side. Plenty of B/S but I find it rather amusing. Can’t think that in any detail the U.S. armed forces are smarter or a patch on the average British Regiment. think

[page break]

For Week of Monday 2nd. MARCH 1942
MONDAY 2 3/42. No flying – rained solidly. Pity because we’re to get 58 hrs in by 14 3/42 – practically 2 hrs a day. No retreat parade. Played bridge. No letters?
TUESDAY 3 3/42. Better day but cold. Got in 2.25 mins solo. When I got back found that the beacon had been on for over an hour! High wing – good sport. Still no letters.
WEDNESDAY 4 3/42. No rain but low mist. No solo. 30 mins dual. leant loops. Polished up hazy lifts. Pass in evening, saw Dumbo – good.
THURSDAY 5 3/42. Raining again – looks [inserted] K [/inserted] like no flying. TWO LETTERS FROM CON. Played bridge in morning as there is no flying. Worried about getting time in.
FRIDAY 6 3/42. Fog & mist all morning no flying for morning class. Cleared away in afternoon. Open post – went into Town, flicks & a beer. Pay day.
SATURDAY 7 3/42. Coiling about 2,500 got in 1.40 solo 50 dual. satisfactory stage 1800 overhead the base! Getting smoother with my air work. Open post saw “Hellsapoppin” very funny.
SUNDAY 8 3/42. Stayed in bed to 11 am – marvellous wrote Con. Went to concert at University. Played Tchaikovsky’s Bb Concerto – good. Saw “Suspicion”.

[page break]

Memoranda

arms drill does not help smartness. Many sloppy movements carried out too fast. Same with their fast drill – the executive work of command is the wrong type of word, such as “face” or “Post”, “at ease”, “rest” etc. instead of “take – post”, “stand at – ease” etc. to which we’ve been used. Their dress of the usual tailored shirt and belted trousers does’nt look too smart though must admit that the R.A.F tropical drill we have been issued with is far from well fitting.
The “Field” or aerodrome in English is well laid out. All personnel apparently live on the station and are allocated separate houses which vary in size and design with the rank of the occupier. Each has a yellow metal notice outside giving the No. and rank & name of the occupier. The design of the houses favour the red tiled roof with white walls and a balcony with iron railings. Also includes a veranda. All verandas and windows have fine gauge gauze over them to keep away flies etc.
The standard of flying here which is an advanced school is high. One sees R.A.F. pupils pulling down Howards in prefect 3 pointers. Also some good formation flying.

[page break]

For Week of Monday MARCH 9th 1942
MONDAY 9 3/42. Good flying – 2.15 hrs Solo & dual – starting aerobatics good fun but hard work on the stick. A bit awe inspiring upside down hanging in the straps.
TUESDAY 10 3/42. Army & Civilian checks [inserted] K [/inserted] both in the same afternoon! Rather a poor effort on my part for the Civilian one but made up for it on the Army which was good – bumpy. Letter from CON.
WEDNESDAY 11 3/42. More aerobatics – getting used to it now & quite like it. Makes ordinary flying seem a bit tame! Bing Crosby film in evening.
THURSDAY 12 3/42. Still more aerobatics & polishing up my flying generally. Don’t think I’ll have any more checks. Meeting of the troops who decided to have a dinner farewell party. Asked to speak at rally
FRIDAY 13 3/42. No flying owing to rain & bad conditions. Went into Town to fix up dinner at Country Club. O.K. Pusay stood me a lunch. Open post – spot of flick & beer. Prepared speech.
SATURDAY 14 3/42. Good S.M.I. submitted speech but not now required – Col. From Atlanta instead. [indecipherable] & [indecipherable] annoyed – seems rather silly on their parts. Speech will do for Monday night. Date of dinner fixed
SUNDAY 15 3/42. Stayed in bed to 9 am read some Kipling. ([indecipherable]) Did’nt fly – not good weather too much time in. wrote to CON, PHYL, SHEILA, JACKO, B.M.

[page break]

Memoranda

We are termed “United Kingdom cadets” and the rank is “Aviation Cadet”. Time off is limited and we are not allowed out of camp except Saturday afternoon and Sunday to 3 p.m. each Sunday there is a drill parade with band to which the public is admitted. Quite a palatial show colours are carried including the Union Jack as well as Squadron guidons. A march past is carried out in “mass” formation – i.e. 12 deep. Mass formation is formed by bringing three squadrons in fours in column alongside each other. Good system of repeating the [deleted] Squadron [/deleted] C.O’s cautionary command by the Squadron C.O. to avoid mistake. The band is not so smart or slick as the British equivalent. No swinging or stick display with exception of the drum major who carries his mace upside down with the other hand on his hip & kind of beats time with it. He also carries a whistle permanently in his mouth with which he signals to the band. Marches mostly [indecipherable]

[page break]

For Week of Monday 16th. MARCH 1942
MONDAY 16 3/42. Cross country flight low ceiling. Fixed up for Country Club for our dinner on Thursday. Spoke to A.R.P meeting.
TUESDAY 17 3/42. Solo & dual – good spot mostly aerobatics. Invited everyone to dinner. Arranged menu. Practice blackout.
WEDNESDAY 18 3/42. Went up in front cockpit & “instructed” my instructor – good spot. Went over to Eutaw with him. Simonds for a car load of beer. Supper with Pusay. 500 bottles of beer.
THURSDAY 19 3/42. More front cockpit circuits. To Eutaw with McKindey for whiskey. Dinner a great success – everyone merry. All enjoyed it hugely.
FRIDAY 20 3/42. Somewhat thick headed still finished off my flying. After borrowed Simonds car & return beer bottles paid bills etc. Concert by Cincinnati Symphony Orch. – excellent.
SATURDAY 21 3/42 S.M.I. after on leave to Thursday. Hitched to Birmingham. Jones, O’Neill & I. went to see Elizabeth & Elanise & had drinks. Met Sutcliffe. Colonel – [indecipherable]. Roped in to ladies convention – dreadful. Poor hotel.
SUNDAY 22 3/42 Up at 11 am. lunch. 2 pm. hitched to Bessemer via Steel hills. Then to Demopolis. Then to Livingstone. Pick up with Judge Alexander to Jackson who put us up. marvellous old Southern house.

[page break]

Memoranda

[underlined] Blue – Grey Football Game. [/underlined]
Saturday 27th. December 1941. On the whole somewhat disappointing. The game is slow compared with British Rugby on account of its closed play. Only the two ends the centre and the four backs are allowed to handle the ball. Then after each “down” lasting approximately 10-15 seconds there is a pause while the players go into a huddle. There is no scrummaging after a player is tackled the ball then becomes dead and is placed at that spot on the grid for the next down. We rarely saw any real constructive play and short passing is ruled out on account of a rule which prohibits a player who receives the ball from a down passing the ball if he has run more than five yards.
The side consists of 11 players. 7 linesmen – Left-End, Left tackle, Left Guard, Centre, Right Guard, Right tackle and Right End – all heavyweights. A quarter back, two half backs and a full back – usually faster men.
The object of the game is to confuse the opposite side so they do not know who has the ball. The strategy is worked out beforehand and controlled by numbers – a certain number being the executer. The captain

[page break]

For Week of Monday 23th MARCH 1942
MONDAY 23 3/42. Hitched to the [deleted] College [/deleted] Camp. Then to [indecipherable] – Kentwood. Via Clinton to Baton Rouge, thence to New Orleans. Met Geo. Taylor & Paul Lansing good booze up. they got us rooms in Roosevelt Hotel. Excellent party all round – street car!
TUESDAY 24 3/42. Up 10.30 am. pick me up – lunch. More drinks then to “Red’s” office – made dictaphone record. Then French Quarter. Grub in French Restaurant – more drinks - [indecipherable] – night club & floor show. Bed 4.30 am!
WEDNESDAY 25 3/42. Up 11 am. feel quite fresh! Had lunch. Found Paul had gone to work. Hitched to Hattiesburg. Had grub then same beer. Took pity on Eugene Plake. All three slept in one double room at Divine Tourist Cabins! Good fun.
THURSDAY 26 3/42. Up 9.30 am. and on at 11.30 to [indecipherable]. From there all the way to Tuscaloosa with bloke towing another car at 50-60 m.p.h. Good leave. Wrote [inserted] K [/inserted] CON.
FRIDAY 27 3/42. Spent the day messing about and waiting, getting packed up etc. somewhat tired after our spot of leave. Had letters from London, CON, & parcel from Phy [sic] containing socks.
SATURDAY 28 3/42. Finished packing & handing in flying kit etc. Last S.M.I. & P.I. – quite good. In afternoon went into Town, had a meal, saw a flick & then bed.
SUNDAY 29 3/42. Up early, checked baggage then at 8.40 left by coach for Gunter Ann 12.45. Looks like Maxwell & is under Army discipline. Don’t seem too bad expect we’ll settle down all right.

[page break]

Memoranda

decided on which strategy to use in the huddle. The players then line up. 7 on the line with the centre’s hands on the ball and the backers in formation behind. The numbers are then called out and on the execution the ball is flicked back to one of the backs. All the linemen then “block” which means obstructing the opposite side as much as possible to give the man with the ball as much scope as possible. He can’t pass if he has run more than 5 yards but runs in the direction determined in the strategy performed. For instance to fool the opposition as soon as the ball is out another player may run across just behind him and appear to take the ball from him and continue to run with his arm crooked as though he has the ball. He may draw some of the defence while the bloke with the ball crashes straight on. The defending side are allowed to tackle with their arms but the attackers can only block with their bodies by falling in front of an opponent and bringing him down. [underlined] Note [/underlined]:- the person blocked does not have to have the ball. The object is to keep as many of the opposition out of the play as possible.
The rule for offside appears to

[page break]

For Week of Monday 30th MARCH 1942
MONDAY 30 3/42 up 5.30 am – missed Reveille parade. Mostly drill & P.T. B/S seems a bit hectic. Second lot of P.T. & drill in the evening. American Executive Officer a [indecipherable] apparently.
TUESDAY 31 3/42. Up 5.30 – missed Reveille Parade again! Rather same sort of rush as at Maxwell. Flying. American instructor – quite good fun – like the planes especially closed cockpits.
WEDNESDAY 1 4/42 got on Reveille parade at last. Went thro’ the 10 types of stall. Find landing rather strange – expect we’ll get used to it. Meeting of cadet officers. WROTE ALEXANDER, SYD,SOLOMON, WELLS.
THURSDAY 2 4/42. Getting good at getting up! More stalls – fair. Weather excellent but a bit hazy. Find the glare rather trying must get some sun glasses. Meeting of cadet officers with Flt/Lt. Philips – good bloke. [inserted] CNG K. [/inserted]
FRIDAY 3 4/42. STALLS – flying on Maxwell been good fun but did’nt quite get the hang of it. Useful to get you home if you’re lost. Link trainer tonight. LETTER FROM CON, PIKE, MOKE.
SATURDAY 4 4/42. Elementary eights, spin and forced landings. Wish I could get the sequence of the gadgets. But expect it will come. [indecipherable] of solo. open post in Montgomery – bought some glasses.
SUNDAY 5 4/42. Stayed in bed to 10 am – blissful sleep. Wrote to CON & CHARLIE. Went for walk in afternoon – lift to town then stn. flicks.

[page break]

Memoranda

be that no player on either side may cross the line of the “line up” until the ball is in play i.e flicked back by the centre. There are also other infringements to do with blocking, “tipping” which is falling across the back of a man’s legs when he is running. The penalty usually is loss of territory by the offending side.
The field is 100yrs. long x 70 yds wide and divided into 5 yd lines – called the grid. The goal posts are 20 yds to the rear of the “goal” line – rather similar to being placed on our dead ball line. A gain of 10 yds in one down is considered good and the game slowly moves towards one end or another. One side kicks off and then commences a series of 4 downs for each side one after another – unless the opposing side recover the ball which has been dropped when the immediately commence the next series of [deleted] touch [/deleted] downs. If a side gains more than 10 yds in 4 downs it continues with the next 4 and so on. The time is divided into 4 quarters – 2 in each half – of 15 minutes each, making the game 60 minutes in all.
At half time players leave the

[page break]

For Week of Monday 6th APRIL 1942
MONDAY 6 4/42 WENT SOLO much to my surprise & had 45 minutes out of traffic. Good spot – fly better without instructor nattering. Fell foul of Lieblich for not wearing tunic – a most unpleasant individual.
TUESDAY 7 4/42. Another three circuits & bumps solo then back. Instructor hard to satisfy – says I’m getting sloppy in my work! especially after he made me put the nose down so that she bounced. Shotbolt died after crash last night.
WEDNESDAY 8 4/42. No flying owing to a low ceiling. Instructor seems to be in a better temper however. Very hot & sultry – think there’s thunder about. Shotbolt’s funeral – did’nt have to go. [inserted] W.K. [/inserted]
THURSDAY 9 4/42. Lieblich stopped W/E leave this week – troops a bit livid. Don’t blame them. Rained like nothing on earth but cooler. Wrote to TOM. letter from Phyl.
FRIDAY 10 4/42. Had an hour’s solo then dual. kept Davis waiting for 5-10 mins so he made me walk round the field with a parachute. He was very sarcastic & snotty eventually took me off un-supervised solo. I told him if he did’nt think I could fly to wash me out so that I could fly in Canada. He shut up.
SATURDAY 11 4/42. Two killed yesterday, 1 last night. Davis very sweet & gentle today the hypocrite – still he put me on solo again! Glad I did’nt answer him back yesterday. Think this engine failure is Sabotage. 4 killed in 14 days & [indecipherable]
SUNDAY 12 4/42. Had a wonderful sleep up 10.30 am. Met Kelly in Drill Room last night got some gin re Advanced. In afternoon went to Kings & dosed in sun – very pleasant. Parcel to Con yesterday.

[page break]

Memoranda

field and on this occasion a High School band containing both girls & boys with very “gorgeous” uniforms all bobbles & things came on the field. They did perform some extraordinary manoeuvres for a band marching at double quick time and forming themselves into letters such as “DIXIE”, “BLUE”, “GREY” and “U.S.” when they played the “Star Spangled Banner” – U.S. national anthem. Other school bands were stationed in the stands mostly at the corners – including the U.S. Air Corps Band – and throughout the match struck up stirring [indecipherable] marches in turn.
The ball is similar to a rugger ball in shape but smaller and can be thrown long distances. Some of the interesting parts of the game occurred with these passing movements. The ball shot back to a Quarter back who paused a few seconds – being protected by efficient blocking by the linemen – until the Ends or other backs ran up to the opposing goal line. The ball was then thrown to one of them who tried to catch it and touch down, amidst a general scramble.
[underlined] N.B. [/underlined] Only the Ends & backs can handle the ball.
Kicking or [indecipherable] as it is

[page break]

For Week of Monday 13th. APRIL 1942
MONDAY 13 4/42. Stalls & spirals this morning [inserted] L.K. [/inserted] – Instructor pleased! Had a letter from Con, Nora.
TUESDAY 14 4/42. Shot a 900 stage – O.K. Spot more instrument flying – fair. Letter from Charlie & Barbara – funny as usual. Can’t keep awake in lectures after P.T – dreadful. Heard about new Budget at home.
WEDNESDAY 15 4/42. Shot another 900 stage. Seniors finish on Friday so should get some time in. Had a plane which kept running into high pitch & would’nt climb – not very pleasant. Saw “Captains of the Clouds” – good.
THURSDAY 16 4/42. Did some stalls and spirals. Good day – Davis quite pleased – must go & spoil it by winding down flaps too soon on base leg! Scorching hot.
FRIDAY 17 4/42. Instrument flying – all went well until I tried to straighten out after glide. Davis bawled – only to be expected. Hoping Sgt. Ridley will be next G.C. – too much of a strain quite willing to assist.
SATURDAY 18 4/42. Got in 3.15 hrs today the Seniors are on leave more planes. Stage – instr – solo. good day all round especially instruments. Open post – in town for a drink. [inserted] PAR K [/inserted]
SUNDAY 19 4/42. Got up at 10 am. Lovely sleep wrote to Con. Went to see some baseball – quite good fun – just like rounders.

[page break]

Memoranda

called is long but owing to the handling rules one saw the ball bouncing on the ground with three or four opposing linemen standing round it waiting for someone to come and pick it up – The defence of course blocking the Ends & Backs to prevent them doing so. There is no foot play equivalent to our forward rush.
Each team or “Squad” as it is called is in charge of three coaches who more or less control the players, send out reserves to rest tired men and also give advice as to weaknesses in the opposing side. It is permitted to bring on a kicker to kick goals. A touch down gains 5 points & the goal kick 1 point. A goal kick in play is 3 points. To kick a goal the goal kicker gets ready with another back on one knee ready to receive the ball. The ball is flicked back from the down to the back who places it on the ground almost simultaneously with the kickers foot. The linemen block to stop the opponents charging it down. It is all very quick and in this match was carried out in play. Same procedure after a touch down.
The game is controlled by a

[page break]

For Week of Monday 20th.APRIL 1942
MONDAY 20 4/42. Tried a spot of formation flying – not too good. Find it a lot harder than it looks. Still I’ll get the hang of it. Also an hour’s solo. been made Group Adj – hard work – damn. [inserted] L.K> [/inserted]
TUESDAY 21 4/42. One hour’s instrument [inserted] W.K. [/inserted] today – not too bad. Told we’re to have 20 hours instrument at basic – Lordy, Lordy, what a bind. Rumours flying as to change in instruction programme. Don’t believe them.
WEDNESDAY 22 4/42. No solo today. Instructor O.D. so no flying – 1 hr link. Heard of the Saxons thro’ Addington must get in touch.
THURSDAY 23 4/42. 900 stage at Taylor Field. fair got balled at for nearly landing alongside control plane – windy lot these Yanks. Letter from STELLA.
FRIDAY 24 4/42. Cross-country to Columbus & back 73 miles. No difficulty just kept going on course & bobs your Uncle. Letter from Stella Open post into town.
SATURDAY 25 4/42. Open post – rang up Saxons – met them in Town and after a spot of beer went back to their place. Grand in daylight. Letter from CON. [inserted] Seed for Cheeky. [/inserted]
SUNDAY 26 4/42. Flying this morning had a pre-check flight. Instructor balled as usual – think I’ll put in for a change after this 20 hr check. Wrote to CON, BILLY, WELLERS. Night flying. OK

[page break]

Memoranda

referee and three assistants each apparently watching a section of the play each.
The players are dressed in the usual jersey with breeches reaching to the knee, similar boots to ours and a crash helmet, painted different colours to show what position he plays in. the shoulders, thighs & back round the kidneys are padded with sorbo rubber for protection. In spite of all this they move quite fast and certainly play hard. It seems to be the rules that are at fault and the restricted play which makes it not half the game to watch as our good old English Rugby.
[underlined] N.B. [/underlined] to illustrate time wasted there is a large clock over the score board showing the exact amount of playing time taken up to one quarter of 15 minutes. This clock is stopped if the ball is dead. The game of 60 minutes playing took 2 hours 15 minutes.
The referees use a system of tick-tack with their hands to indicate what the whistle has been blown for.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 27th. APRIL 1942
MONDAY 27 4/42. Spot more instrument flying. Started the system of two cadets taking each other for an instrument ride – one as observer. Good sport.
TUESDAY 28 4/42. Spot of solo – tried stalls & chandelles and lazy eights. Not night flying tonight. Think I got the hang of it on Sunday. Instructors sight from above.
WEDNESDAY 29 4/42. Cross country to Clanton & Atlanta – good sport and managed to find my way correctly. Seniors left for Selma & Maxwell. Went to rehearsal at Huntingdon College
THURSDAY 30 4/42. Observing – formation and spot of team instrument with Fallows. I think I’ll get the hang of formation. Hellish busy afternoon & evening organising the Juniors. Practice Blackout.
FRIDAY 1 5/42. Nothing but instrument with Galer observing – bumpy. Met Saxons in the evening. Woman upset beer over my trousers – had to borrow a car to go back to change. Spent night (Jones & I) with Saxons.
SATURDAY 2 5/42. Up a bit too early went into Town with Saxons. After lunch to Huntingdon College – good show. Evening to dance at the Whitley – we invited the Saxons. Good fun. Parcel to CON.
SUNDAY Did’nt feel much like flying spot of instruments. Spent day with Saxons – grand lunch – such a treat in a house. Watched young Elizabeth ride – nice people. [deleted] WE [/deleted] Mention Socks – Baseball game – letter to Con

[page break]

Memoranda

[underlined] Montgomery – Alabama U.S.A. [/underlined]
Can quite imagine the place springing up as at [sic] town of shacks, later consolidated into buildings. Streets – wide and of course laid out in squares. Quite good shops – some of decent size. The ordinary things such as cigarettes, handkerchiefs etc not expensive. Not a big town but of medium size – like Maidstone – with two fair sized hotels, four picture houses and one theatre.
Food is good – definitely. We patronised a cafeteria called “Morrisons”. You wait your turn in a queue along one side collect a tray and then pass along in front of lashings of good food all labelled as to type and price. You help yourself ending up with hot things such as meat etc. The whole is then added up and a slip is placed on your tray. You then go on ahead & select your table while a darkie waiter bring along your tray and puts the things down for you. You are issued with a knife fork &spoon rolled up in a table napkin. You should eat American fashion as your meat is on one plate and all your vegetables are on little round dishes placed round it. The method is to cut a portion of

[page break]

For Week of Monday MAY 4th. 1942
MONDAY 4 5/42 did’nt fly – bad weather. B.24 in R.A.F Colours landed overnight – apparently amazed the town who thought a B.T. was coming in. Pilot an interesting man who flew in last war. On way to England – be here tomorrow evening – lucky devil. WROTE CON.
TUESDAY 5 5/42 Only a team ride this morning [inserted] WK [/inserted] bad weather earlier. Passed final morse sending & receiving so now excused from morse class – bags of sleeping hours.
WEDNESDAY 6 5/42 Gave Davis bad instrument ride and he threatened a failing grade! He does’nt know how to settle a student down on a bad day. MacDonald (RAF) & P/O Bolter killed night flying. L.L. [indecipherable].
THURSDAY 7 5/42 Instrument team rides and 900 stage – complimented on landings – not by Davis of course. Got the hang of stalls under the hood. Hear Paddick who was fooling around with Butler is under arrest pending C/N.
FRIDAY 8 5/42 Gave Davis a good ride under the hood today – but he waited after each turn to find something to bind about. Night flying last period – 1.30 am – 3 am. Tired but went up to Control Tower – interesting.
SATURDAY 9 5/42. Did’nt get up until 10.30 am then breakfast. Went to see baseball game which was good and on the way back met the Saxons. Had a drink, meal then to flick to see “The little foxes” – excellent acting.
SUNDAY 10 5/42. Just got up in time to go to flying. Tired but did 2 hours formation & an instrument ride. WROTE CON. Sleep in afternoon – then to town saw “Shadow of the Thin Man”.

[page break]

Memoranda

meat with your knife, lay your knife at right angles to you on the further edge of the plate, pick up your fork and eat away, taking forkfuls of vegetables as required. The process is repeated when more meat is required. The same fork or knife or spoon is used throughout the meal. For instance you eat your sweet & stir your coffee with the same spoon & butter your bread and cut your meat with the same knife. The quality & quantity of the food is good. One can have as many varieties of vegetables as desired.
The British Cadets have a club in the Whitley Hotel and the American Cadets ditto in the Jefferson Davis Hotel, where one can drink eat and otherwise make merry.
There are no drinking hours in Montgomery. The only stipulation is that you must drink sitting down. The bars close down when everyone has had enough apparently. One misses the homely atmosphere of an English pub. A bar here being used to supply waiters. You can buy over the bar, but they don’t like it and you have to take it to a pew afterwards. Police quite freely walk into the bars to detect any offence – or to have a quick one.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 11th. MAY 1942
MONDAY 11 5/42. Instrument & team rides all morning. Instructors now have every other morning off! Wrote to SHEILA, PHYL & CHERRY. Lecture by S/L. cancelled in favour of accidents talk by C.O.
TUESDAY 12 5/42. No flying – low cloud. Spent morning chatting to the instructors. WROTE TO MACKS ([indecipherable]) Steve. No night flying – bad weather.
WEDNESDAY 13 5/42 No flying again owing to weather – no night flying for same reason. Damned nuisance may cut down leave. Torrential rain & thunder in evening. Wrote to W/Cmdr Pike.
THURSDAY 14 5/42. Still bad flying weather but managed to get in 1 1/2 hours dual instruments – mucked up flying [indecipherable]! A lot of thunder about & cloud.
FRIDAY 15 5/42. Raining when we woke so did not go to flight line until later. No flying. Cleared up during day. Down for night flying. Waited till 1.30 am the did’nt get any – should have been open post – livid.
SATURDAY 16 5/42. Rang up Saxons in the morning met them for lunch & went out for the afternoon with Edwards. Had supper then a few beers – became a Cardinal! Good evening. Weather seems to have picked up. parcel Con.
SUNDAY 17 5/42. Actually got some team instrument in. Night flying tonight. Wrote to CON. Quite enjoyed night flying black out landings not so hard as I thought.

[page break]

Memoranda

Transport is provided by single decker buses with pneumatic doors fore and aft and the engine at the back or taxis ranging from the “Dive” taxi to more expensive but better kept taxis. Dive taxis take you anywhere in the city for a dime. Others like the “Black & White” advertise 25c for two miles and [deleted] of [/deleted] are fitted with a meter.
There are three or four “Night Clubs” which are not so good as the English variety – there being no point in going there except to dance. Also there are a fair number of brothels – I’m told Prostitution is more or less legal here and certain parts or streets of the city contain these places. One is not bothered by [indecipherable] in the street – its just there if you ask the policeman the way. Rather sordid and quite naturally the decent blokes don’t interest themselves.
General procedure on “open post” is to amble in to town – hoping to be invited home by some family. If unsuccessful one goes to a flick has some grub then some serious drinking and totter back to camp in a cab, to sleep until lunch time on Sunday. 1st: parade on Sunday is 3.30 pm
N.B. The beer here is light like lager

[page break]

For Week of Monday 18th. MAY 1942
MONDAY 18 5/. Had my 40 hour check – seemed to be satisfactory rest of the time on instrument flying.
TUESDAY 19 5/ Supposed to be on a cross country but cancelled owing to bad weather coming up. Did some team & finished off night flying – plane would’nt go into high pitch!
WEDNESDAY 20 5/. More instrument – put Davis right through [indecipherable] of silence twice! He was quite pleased. Changed over to afternoon flying permanently. Weather getting worse.
THURSDAY 21 5/. 3 dead (Lear, Overton & Randall) crashed on night part of cross country. Out of 35 planes only 5 got back 2 baled out & several forced landings including O’Neill. Letter from CON. Given Open Post.
FRIDAY 22 5/ Helped pack up dead mens clothing all yesterday – rotten job. Now 6 dead (Peachell Peattie & Maddick) Love still missing. Got in dual instrument.
SATURDAY 23 5/. No flying this morning – low cloud. Funeral of the six poor lads – everyone attended and large crowd of people light formation flying – good fun. Flew with Wagner – nice chap new here.
SUNDAY 24 5/. Open post at last. Rang up Saxons went out with Edwards for lunch. Motor round in afternoon – made tea for them. Spot of shooting practice in garden Good day.

[page break]

Memoranda

and sold in tins mostly or bottles. One cannot get draught beer in any form from a barrel. Its a bit gassy but safer to drink than Rum or Whiskey which is very potent. The whiskey is rye mostly though Scotch such as Johnnie Walker, Black & White, Vat 69 is obtainable, sold in small bottles. The Americans seem to drink either whiskey or mixtures which are iced. They also have a kind of cream drink called an “Egg Nog” which consists of whipped cream & white of egg flavoured with spirits.
[underlined] TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA. [/UNDERLINED]
About 145 miles N.W of Montgomery in the heart of the cotton country. Fair sized town consisting of one main street & fair shops. University town of Alabama. Lacking in entertainment & not so big as Montgomery. One decent hotel, 3 picture houses, a number of café’s and drug stores. Served by three railways, two passenger carrying and one goods only.
In a “dry” county but we can get beer at the Elks Club and there is a rather sordid club called the “Riverview” – not to be recommended.
People fairly hospitable and the

[page break]

For Week of Monday 25th. May 1942
MONDAY 25 5/. They’re still searching for Love. A. poor devil. Went to flight line all day – got in 50min. dual instrument this afternoon. Went to Stn flicks – quite good “Rio Rita”. Wrote to CON.
TUESDAY 26 5/. Had final instrument check this morning & third cross country this afternoon. Night flying cancelled – only that to do. LT. Patterson found Also Love – dead – in swamp poor devil. [inserted] L.K. [/inserted]
WEDNESDAY 27 5/. No flying all day but did night cross country tonight. [indecipherable] – 4 lights each way nothing in it. Made good landing – complimented from the Tower. Flying over – thank god.
THURSDAY 28 5/. Messed about all day hoping in vain for open post. The organisation here is foul! Went to Doris’s house for supper & a few beers afterwards to [indecipherable] Room.
FRIDAY 29 5/. No official notice has yet been posted re leave but got a pass to Monday midday. Met Saxons in evening – could’nt fix fishing party so we’re to go out there tomorrow. Slept at Camp. All IN [indecipherable].
SATURDAY 30 5/. Got up late went into Town met the Saxons went out to Elmore lazed around in the sun and thoroughly relaxed. Saxons made us very welcome. We bought a present for [indecipherable]. PARCEL TO CON. [inserted] LK. [/inserted]
SUNDAY 31 5/. Got up at 9.30 am. lazed in the sun – shot a lizard. Young Elizabeth came over in afternoon. We all went into Town & had grub. Played solo to 1 am.

[page break]

Memoranda

various churches run entertainments in their church halls or a few post nights dancing, games etc. As in other places in America the girls seem to be either 16-18 or elderly married women & therefore of no interest except the married women who generally can talk sense but are full of how wonderful the Americans are or what they did in the last war & what they’re going to do in this. About time they got going, I think.
The Alabama Institute of Aeronautics or A.I.A for short at Van de Graaf Field is the local airport where we do our training under the auspices of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The C.O. & the [indecipherable] officers are U.S. Army Officers who look after the administration & do “Army” checks. The instructors & the C.F.I. are civilians and are a fair crowd on the whole. Some find others are more persuasive in their methods but they seem to want to get you through. The exercises are different to England though the basic principles are much the same. Took some time to get used to their [indecipherable] technique – not to keep it on in the [indecipherable] – but otherwise seemed to adapt quite well.
The planes are the Steadman P.T.17 heavier & clumsier than the redoutable [sic] Tiger Moth, and need rather harsher


[page break]

For Week of Monday 1st: JUNE 1942
MONDAY 1 6/42. Came into Town with Mrs. Saxon, then to camp. Packing – not sorry to leave this badly run camp – still no official notice about leave (Harley won’t cross us the food list so we get no subsistence allowance). Letter CON.
TUESDAY 2 6/42. Had a few beers last night – open post. Up early – got cleared left for Tunisfield. Phillips remarked – “Damn good Adjutant” & shook hands – nice bloke. One of the coaches [indecipherable] & can [indecipherable] otherwise uneventful. Arrived 10.30pm.
WEDNESDAY 3 6/42. Does’nt seem too bad a place rather more B/S and sound worthy. Definitely twin engine stuff. Told we’re not starting flying until Saturday – R.A.F. instructors not ready! Wrote to CON.
THURSDAY 4 6/42. Did’nt get up for Reveille! Medical exam all morning & afternoon. Damn blunt needle for blood test. Very hot & sticky here – seem to sweat glue. Bridge in evening.
FRIDAY 5 6/42. No Reveille again! Lounged all morning & read “Escape”. Paraded for flight line after lunch – usual lectures detailed to instructors – mine R.A.F P/O thank goodness. Sq/Ldr Rothwell keeping eye on things.
SATURDAY 6 6/42. Did’nt get up for Reveille Start flying this afternoon. Went up in twin engine [indecipherable] excellent fun. Found taxiying [sic] difficult on the engines! Saw “Ships with Wings” – poor in station flicks. W.K.
SUNDAY 7 6/42. Flying this morning. Weather good – hot. Went up in Harvard with LT. LOGAN. Not much faster than B.T.13 but narrower undercarriage. Plane would’nt start 2nd period so could’nt do any landings myself.

[page break]

Memoranda

use of controls. Good trainers.
The circuit consists of patterns each one being either right or left hand according to whether its away from the hangers. Circuits or patterns are numbered 1-8 and controlled by a moveable Tee, which should point into the wind. You must take off & land into tee which makes it sometimes cross wind. There are also definite methods of entering traffic – 450 downwind leg or straight onto base leg. Supposed to be safer than the Circuit at home – doubtful but you soon get used to it.
B/S not so bad as at Maxwell. Rooms have to be just so & beds correctly made but you soon get used to it. Three nights a week there is a Retreat Parade but that only lasts 10 minutes. Otherwise only marching is to & from lectures.
Cadets do one broadcast a week from local station called “In Camp Tonight”. Usual collection of persons of same interest – George Medallists, Policemen, Soldiers etc.
Open post is good. One night mid-week to 10pm if flying in afternoon & each alternate Saturday of Sunday together with Friday to 10pm or 2 am according to whether you’re flying Saturday morning etc.
Quite a good spot & I think we’re enjoying it here.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 8th. JUNE 1942
MONDAY 8 6/42. Flew the 17 this morning. Instr. said fit to go solo. Did circuits & bumps – think I’ll manage all right. Played bridge in evening – wet afternoon.
TUESDAY 9 6/42 Still raining. No flying this morning. O’Neill turned sick. Had to take the poor lad to Hosp. Temp 102! Pulse 108. – said to be flu. Got him some [indecipherable] etc.
WEDNESDAY 10 6/42. No flying – low cloud & thunderstorms. Solo in evening. – not much good. Letter from CON.
THURSDAY 11 6/42. No flying – low cloud until about 11 am. So instructors took up Duncan. Went to see O’Neill – looks a lot better. Usual solo in evening – did’nt do much good.
FRIDAY 12 6/42. 50 mins Circuits & bumps in A.T.17 to make up 5 hours. Now can go solo. got a touch of “Athletes foot” got treatment. Saw O’Neill – much better. Pay day. Solo improved in [indecipherable]. Rain.
SATURDAY 13 6/42. Went up in A.T.6 in front cockpit – made a muck of traffic pattern – let myself get pushed out too much. Saw O’Neill much better. Fed up – no open post. Letter from Mr Wells dated 7/1/42
SUNDAY 14 6/42. Been in A.T. 17 quite good above cloud. Wrote to CON. Lazed about.

[page break]

Memoranda

[underlined] LEAVE [/underlined] – 21 3/42 – 26 3/42.
We set out for a hitch party. O’Neill, Jones & I (the Three Musqueteers). First to Birmingham then to New Orleans if we could get that far.
I had 35 dollars, O’Neill 25, & Jones 12 so we could’nt afford to pay much.
We were delayed by official [indecipherable] and got away at 12 Noon on Saturday 21 3/42. Jones & I went to see the “Target for Tonight” once again, met Pat at 3.30 walked a mile out of town on the B’ham road & thumbed. At 4.30 a decent old [indecipherable] of [indecipherable] picked us up in his huge Oldsmobile & took us right into B’ham. He owned a kind of cattle ranch in [indecipherable] and said he might be going to Mobile next day & would give us a lift. This, however, fell through.
In B’ham we had a drink in the [indecipherable] & Pat rang up his friends Elizabeth & Louise. We were promptly invited up for a drink & there met an Englishman, Bill Sutcliffe, from Liverpool, who had been in America for some time. The party was going quite well when [indecipherable] arrived with a pompous American Colonel & fat little man who was his “Yes” man. Colonel, who really suffered from an American inferiority complex, proceeded to take the floor and we were not

[page break]

For Week of Monday 15th. JUNE 1942
MONDAY 15 6/42. Visit by Balfour & Air V. Marshall did’nt see them myself. Did a spot of formation in the 17. Quite good [indecipherable] time. 1st. effort a bit rough landing. Feel more like flying. Hope killed – engine on fire! [inserted] L.K. [/inserted]
TUESDAY 16 6/42. No flying owing to rain. Got open post and had 1st. day in town. Went to “Fred’s Office” good spot. S/L Rothwell & F/LT. Judge there & had a chat. Fears of O.T.U confirmed by Rothwell. To be ready by August – damn!
WEDNESDAY 17 6/42. Wet morning but cleared [inserted] L.K. [/inserted] up at lunch. Hope’s funeral – did’nt go – hate [inserted] W.K. [/inserted] funerals. Cross country Eufaula, Butler. Not bad but have’nt got the hang of the approach yet. Letter from CON.
THURSDAY 18 6/42. Spot of inst. Under the cloud fair though you don’t get any feel on the stick Approach still a bit shaky – must show some improvement.
FRIDAY 19 6/42. Got dates wrong. Wednesday was link only. Thurs. cross country & Friday [indecipherable]
SATURDAY 20 6/42. Open post - [indecipherable] managed to get out of it. To Radium Springs had a good swim. After grub in Town and some beer at Freddie’s office. Chat to Rothwell.
SUNDAY 21 6/42. No work this morning Slept to 10 am.! Longest day of year. Spot of instrument flying in A.T.6A. Through care of silence twice! Wrote to CON.

[page break]

Memoranda

sorry when the party broke up & they went to feed. We did likewise and went into the [indecipherable] for another drink. There we were pounced upon by a woman in evening dress who made us come upstairs to a kind of women’s convention meeting which had broken up & wanted dancing partners. We soon excused ourselves & made tracks for a bed – picked the wrong hotel and paid through the nose for a mediocre room.
Sunday 22nd. Got up at 11 am. had brunch & at 2 pm started to thumb for New Orleans. First lift was to Bessemer, 12 miles away, but our drive took us via the Steel mills – most interesting. Second was in a big Oldsmobile via Tuscaloosa to Demopolis reached at 6 pm. Grub at a roadside café then short lift of 5 miles & we started to walk in the dark. Several cars passed us but at last one stopped & we reached Livingstone. Here we saw a car with “Mississippi” plates & boldly asked him to take us to Meridian if of course he was going that way. He was. He told us he was Judge Alexander & wife who had been visiting their son in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Maxwell. They were going to their home at Jackson and asked us to go on with them & spend the night there – gladly accepted. The house turned out to be a wonderful old “Southern” home with some lovely old furniture. We

[page break]

For Week of Monday 22nd. JUNE 1942
MONDAY 22 6/42. No flying owing to bad weather so Ted went in & we got Open Post. Went in town for a drink ran into S/L Rothwell in Freddie’s Office with P/O [indecipherable] had a good cheery evening. Told we might get back home for O.T.U – good.
TUESDAY 23 6/42 No mail from home thunder heads about so no flying again today. Did’nt ask for open post. Read book called “Mrs Miniver” – jolly well written.
WEDNESDAY 24 6/42 Ted & Duncan off on Cross country as pilot & navigator. I got a spot of link trainer – did good beam work. Started to read “For whom the bell tolls” – about Spanish Civil War queer book.
THURSDAY 25 6/42. Ted & I scheduled for Cross country but when we got out to plane it was cancelled owing to the thunder & we had a bad storm in evening. Played bridge.
FRIDAY 26 6/42. Spot of instrument flying beam – better approach & landing than normal. Should possibly have gone on cross country but weather not too good.
SATURDAY 27 6/42. Ted & I got our cross country at last. Made quite a fair show of landings at the auxiliary dromes. Ted good navigator. Open Post not given so Gabbie & I had a “friend” down from [indecipherable] & had evening in Town.
SUNDAY 28 6/42. Open Post given from 11 am to 2pm ridiculous everyone fed up with B/S & tripe Gabbie & I went into town still to see our friend but we had to get back for [indecipherable] at 4.30pm. What a bind.

[page break]

Memoranda

All were given separate rooms with our own bathroom and the most comfortable box spring beds in America. Did we sleep. We had travelled 258 miles!
Monday 23 3/42. Much refreshed, nice real bath, and breakfast at 8.30 am. Judge Alexander was a perfect host & most charming in manner, also Mrs [deleted] Jackson [/deleted] Alexander and made us most welcome – even to making tea English fashion which was excellent. Eggs & bacon toast etc – good breakfast. Hardly had she dropped us on our road when another huge car stopped & a lady & gentleman hauled us in for a lift to McComb, half way to New Orleans.
The country to Demopolis had been similar to our surroundings here but when we saw Jackson in daylight the weather was warmer and the gardens were full of azalias [sic], camellias & magnolia bushes the size of small trees a riot of colour. The country was more green & good farm land and spring seemed to have arrived much earlier. It looked grand with crops beginning to show green & trees in bud & some in leaf.
From McComb where we had lunch we got a short lift to Magnolia and another across into Louisiana to Kentwood. After a short wait we picked up by a Mr D.H. Langins, of Silver Creek, Miss! a traveller who took us via Clinton to Baton Rouge where we cross the Mississippi over a magnificent rail & road bridge

[page break]

For Week of Monday 29th. JUNE 1942
WROTE CON
MONDAY 29 6/42. Trouble about that parade yesterday apparently someone was outspoken about the U.S.A. their parades etc. and Air Corps in particular! Duly reported to the Yanks under the honour system. F/L Judge in a rotten position – had to make apology. Inst. Flying. [inserted] LK. [/inserted] Letter from Con dated 26th. Feb!
TUESDAY 30 6/42. Saw Rothwell re O.T.U in England. No one came forward re yesterday’s affair enquiry [indecipherable] remark made outside Post Theatre 4 days ago – informant cannot identify. Yanks obviously jumped too soon. Saw Judge & told him so. Transition on the A.T.9.
WEDNESDAY 1 7/42. Went before the Commissioning board today – they were quite decent – think I’ve got one. I’m to see Rothwell about other matter tomorrow. Spot of transition on the A.T.9.
THURSDAY 2 7/42. No flying today low cloud & [inserted] W.K. [/inserted] thunder – though we were supposed to start night flying. Saw S/LDR and heard that more of us are to stay here for O.T.U. – cheers. Think I’ll get out of Instructor. No open post – this W/E – LIVID.
FRIDAY 3 7/42. CON’S BIRTHDAY – BLESS HER. Wish I could give her a good hug. Started real transition on the 9. Usual talk of lack of judgment – think Instr. must be wrong or have a queer sense of judgement himself.
SATURDAY 4 7/42. More transition and one exam on [deleted] pre [/deleted] flight at 6.45 a.m! Damn fine lecture on ops by S/LDR in afternoon. Wangled Open post if no night flying left us hanging around till 12 midnight!
SUNDAY 5 7/42. Good lay in until 10 am much enjoyed the rest. Wrote to CON Transition with Sandison – no talk of bad judgement. Went up later with Dale & made some car hops!

[page break]

Memoranda

with clover leaf crossovers at either end. The river here was about 1/2 mile wide. We were also taken to see the Louisiana State Capital building – a magnificent structure surrounding [sic] by gardens full of azalias [sic] in bloom. From here we picked up a lift into New Orleans down the straightest road I have ever seen. It was straight as far as the eye could see. The scenery was now flatter and produced market produced [sic] (Truck country) – ratter different from the wooded country further North and the farming country around Baton Rouge.
We arrived in New Orleans at 8.30 p.m. having travelled 259 miles. We strolled up the main street of many lights, called Canal Street. The street cars run down the centre of the road and on the outskirts this is grassed over with azalia [sic] & magnolia bushes. The road is lined with palm trees. In the centre there are some large Hotels & bank buildings and masses of lights, near signs etc.
We were tired but intent on seeing if we could get hold of some Southern hospitality so we entered the bar at the JUNG Hotel – no good. We strolled down the street a bit further & ran into some more of the lads, who seemed to be having a good time. So we went into the bar of the largest hotel – the Roosevelt – and bought a drink, stared

[page break]

For Week of Monday 6th. JULY 1942
MONDAY 6 7/42. Cross country to Crestview – Pike lost us we nearly reached the Gulf – looked wizard. Found ourselves then on way back P lost his may! So we came back on beam. No night flying – weather.
TUESDAY 7 7/42. Spot of link today. Raised [inserted] 4L.K. [/inserted] subject of Open Post with F/LT. Judge – he could’nt get any satisfaction. We could’nt get passes signed so had a beer in camp. F/LT going to see Col.
WEDNESDAY 8 7/42. F/LT. Judge saw Col re Open Post with S/L. Blank refusal! He’s very fed up. Too bad – guess they were not well received. Link again – spot of night flying in the 9 – fair. Spot of skeet shooting.
THURSDAY 9 7/42. Did’nt fly today. in the evening Gabbie & I pitched a story about buying stuff to take home & wangled two passes! Met S/L & F/LT in Freddie’s Office they were delighted and invited us out to lunch at the Gables – excellent evening. [inserted] L.K [/inserted]
FRIDAY 10 7/42. Somewhat heady today! Did a T & D problem back in formation. Spot of night flying at Liesberg in the 17 – fair.
SATURDAY 11 7/42. Link only today. Open post granted – blow me down! Went into Town – ran into S/L & F/LT – to the Gables again – good evening. Bought some more silk stockings.
SUNDAY 12 7/42. Two Letters from CON – so glad. Spot of team with Edwards & formation later in 9. Spot of night flying at 1.40 a.m. Hellish tired made rotten landings in the 9

[page break]

Memoranda

round the bar and stood talking – in hopes. On the way in I was stopped by an American who asked who we were.
We were almost giving up hope when a quiet voice said at O’Neill’s elbow “Drink that one up & have one with me”. From then on we never looked back. He was a bloke named George Taylor & his friend Paul Lansing who had stopped me as we came in. when they heard what we were doing & that we’d made no arrangements to sleep, George disappeared to return later and blandly announce he had got us all a room in the hotel, the best in Town! We went on drinking until about 12 o’clock then we thought of food and went over to a restaurant in the French Quarter for some bacon & eggs. We were hailed over to speak to a Norwegian sailor & when we returned to our table we found our companions had paid the bill & gone! Could’nt find them anywhere until we discovered they had staggered on to Canal Street & in their cheerful condition had tried to drive a street car full of negroes. Very tired – to bed. Marvellous room – two single & a truckle bed with bathroom complete. Wonderful beds – slept like nothing on earth.
Tuesday 24 3/42. Awoke 9.30 – bit of a head. Rang up George & Paul & we all got up & met in the bar over some “O hair” pick-me-ups – quite good. Then we had

[page break]

For Week of Monday 13th. JULY 1942
MONDAY 13 7/42. Had the whole morning to sleep – excellent – now flying day & night one day and having the next day as regards flying off. Felt hellish tired went to bed early – saw Stn. flick Chas Ruggles – good. Wrote to CON.
TUESDAY 14 7/42 Cross country then a spot of team formation. Had trouble with a gusty cross wind on landing – rt. Wing stalled about 10’ from ground came in heavy. Night flying in A.T17 – all good landings.
WEDNESDAY 15 7/42. Another morning in bed – very good too. Gabbie & I tried to get out to “do some shopping” but were told we’ll probably get Open Post on Friday – hope so.
THURSDAY 16 7/42 Spot of team T & D – O.K. day [inserted] WK. [/inserted] for All flight though I’ve never soloed in a 6 – cancelled when we returned. Letter from TOM. quite cheery though think the old boy is getting old. Night flying.
FRIDAY 17 7/42 Stayed in bed all morning! Spot of ground school then Open Post. Bought some more stockings & had a good party in Freddie’s Office with S/L & F/LT. Asked to arrange farewell party.
SATURDAY 18 7/42 Flying in the morning and then ground school. Saw F/LT re party arrangements. Info that we’re finishing on 5th. August. Night cross country – 1st. off – in bed by 12.30.
SUNDAY 19 7/42. Up 10 am & Open Post! Went into Radium Springs & lazed all day with a sandwich lunch. Afterwards saw [indecipherable] – excellent acting by Leslie Howard.

[page break]

Memoranda

brunch & returned to the bar where we were joined by some more Americans. We drank Gin & tonic – good for us. George left on the 1pm train for the north but Paul announced that our room was ours for as long as we could stay & the party for the day was on him. They would’nt let us pay for a thing the night before.
So we ambled over to the offices of the “Mississippi Valley Barge Line” for whom he worked but found “Red” Rutgar, the boss was not in. So we set about making a rude Dictaphone message for him when in he walked so we finished it off for George & mailed it to him!
In the afternoon Paul got us some tickets for a motor tour round the old French Quarter. We visited the old Cathedral, rather like St. Marks, [indecipherable]. Saw the old [deleted] fre [/deleted] French houses with the patios, containing lovely flowers, behind the French Market, the ruins of a Spanish house and generally got sober. It was most interesting especially as New Orleans was the centre of pirating in the 18th. Century when Pierre Lafitte & his [indecipherable] used to come in there.
Met [deleted] Gales & [indecipherable] & later [/deleted] Paul who had a dinner date but insisted on taking us to a French Restaurant where he at last let us pay for our dinners. We arrived there in a horse drawn [indecipherable] complete with negro coachman

[page break]

For Week of Monday 20th. JULY 1942
MONDAY 20 7/42. Flying this morning did a Cross country under the hood – not brilliant. Rumour we’re to finish on 26th. – leave? Night cross country – team. Got 60 hrs in & over 210 total. Sent for Schick bead. WROTE TO CON.
TUESDAY 21 7/42. Mosely killed at Liesberg last night. Reynolds – two cracked knee caps & bruises. Apparently ran into a riggers hut at end of runway – did’nt have enough flying speed to take off – bad luck. Ted, [indecipherable], Gab & I went into [indecipherable] for beer party.
WEDNESDAY 22 7/42. Spot of formation. Mosely’s funeral. Some of the lads got into hot water for missing & being late for Retreat last night. 20 & 10 tars respectively! No night flying – weather not suitable for XC.
THURSDAY 23 7/42 Good nights [sic] rest – got up fairly early. Went with O’Neill to see F/LT re [inserted] 2LK. 1C [/inserted] tars (Americans only given 3 [indecipherable] for same thing). Rained this afternoon – no P.T. or Retreat horay [sic]!) Saw “Take a letter darling” – excellent – Rosalind Russell.
FRIDAY 24 7/42 No flying this morning – low cloud. Had letters from Con (2) Phyl, Syd, Mr. Wells, Billy last night excellent! No night XC tonight storms about so early to bed. Rumour that 11 instructors are to be kept back. seems [indecipherable].
SATURDAY 25 7/42. Edwards & I saw S/L. [indecipherable]. Had a chat that I’ll get back O.K. – they’d rather have volunteers. Went into Radium Springs – to 3.30pm. Rain threatening so returned to town, flick, supper beer – bed.
SUNDAY 26 7/42. We all over slept a bit this morning! Did 4.45 hrs flying excellent – fair effort tho’ formation seriously criticized! Nearly finished my time – got 60.40 in. wrote to CON. Got new razor head – better than old one.

[page break]

Memoranda

in a silk hat. At every crossroads the horse shied & had to be led across. An Army Colonel who had hired the affair before us described it as a “Stubborn horse & a stupid nigger”. However Paul kept us in fits of laughter the whole time.
The meal consisted of a seven course dinner for a dollar – excellent. We strolled through the French Market smoking cigars & then returned to the hotel where we met Gales & [indecipherable] & later Paul, who whisked us off with his friend Mac & another bloke to a Bowling match where we drank beer.
Then we came back to a night club for a floor show including a spot of strip tease – extraordinary performance. We also visited the old Absinthe House (before going to Bowling) and tried some absinthe. Queer muck – rather like peppermint and milky white in colour. There was also a fat nigger who had a wonderful touch on the piano. A most interesting relic of pirate days. After a visit to a few more night life spots we went to bed at 4.30 am & soundly slept.
Wednesday 25 3/42. Up at 10.30 found Lansing had got up early! & gone to his office. Went out & had brunch & ran into Paul & thanked him for the whole show. Took cab to road 11 & started to thumb, intent on getting to Mobile. However Bob Southrey stopped in a huge Hudson & picked us up bond for

[page break]

For Week of Monday 27th. JULY 1942
MONDAY 27 7/42 Got up fairly late went into see F/LT. re party. Instructors required now 15 – S/L saw everyone, accepted my excuse, also Ted Gabbie & Dai to stay, O’Neill? Rotten luck but thank God I’m going back.
TUESDAY 28 7/42. Spot of instr & formation. O’Neill going home good! Also finished off night flying now have 74 hours in here only inst. to do. Party fixed for Sat. night.
WEDNESDAY 29 7/42 Did’nt get to bed till 4.30 am so not up till 11.30. Gabbie unable to get out of it. Trouble over P.T – due to bad instructions from Ridley – exhibition by him in F/L’s office! Saw rotten flick in Stn. Flicks. Party altered to Sunday.
THURSDAY 30 7/42 Finished inst with fairly good check. Rumour now that we’re to do 10 more landings in the 9! Finish & got wings on Wed. & straight off to Canada – good egg!!! Shall be delighted to go. Night flying
FRIDAY 31 7/42 Party arranged for Sunday night. Assessment in log book – below average – rather disappointed – but S/L said no need to worry – just to indicate to next instructor what I’m weak in. Record O.K. Open post – few beers with Gabbie.
SATURDAY 1 8/42 Finished off my flying. Went in on Open Post met S/L & F/LT went out to Gables – good party. Had chat about assessment – nothing to worry about – he’s had dozens of B.A’s. all get though all right.
SUNDAY 2 8/42. Got up to go to flight line not required so back to bed! Trouble over night flying – can’t put party off! Party fixed. good effort No night flying. Good time was had by all. Barbeque rather disappointing though grub good.

[page break]

Memoranda

Hattiesburg so we altered our plans. We had a good run across the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and so north. Country became flat, then wooded and slightly hilly arrived at Hattiesburg at 6 pm. Put up at Dixie Tourist Cabins – three in a double bed[deleted] s [/deleted] three musqueteers with a vengeance and somewhat warm. Had a spot of beer in a bar & supper in town. Sorry to find a girl of 18 working in a bar which is full of soldiers. Found they had to get a job in that particular County or go to jail to keep the women out of mischief. Nice kid named Eugene Plaka who was saving up to get out of it & jet home so took pity on the poor wench. 121 miles.
Thursday 26 3/42. Up at 9.30 then breakfast. Southrey met us at 11 am and on. Stopped for lunch at roadside cabin – good. I drove to Meridian – terrific car nearly hit a wandering car & some line engineers dropped a cable across our wireless aerial. From Meridian we got a lift right to Tuscaloosa by a bloke who was towing a car – they just couple the cars together & let the wheel swing! But travel at any speed. 187 miles.
So home to Camp again. Total distance 879 miles – all hitched!

[page break]

For Week of Monday 3rd AUGUST 1942
MONDAY 3 8/42 Open post all day. Went in town. 4 parcels to CON. 3 food 1 cheeky seed. Missed John Bliss who is an Instr. at [indecipherable] – pity. Went out to R/H with S/L. Rothwell – back to Freddie’s for a spot & had party in S/L Hirst’s room. Tried to get arrested by gate guard – no luck!
TUESDAY 4 8/42 Open post till 6pm. Packing. Open post extended to 12 night. Went into town. Saw S/L Hirst & F/L. – to 43B’s B.B.Q. with S/L Rothwell. Then back to Freddie’s with S/L who took me up to his room and gave me a pair of R.A.F. Wings! Best present yet. More fun with Gate Guard – no clink.
WEDNESDAY 5 8/42 Up early – getting squad up. WINGS PARADE. Caught 1.20 train. Said reluctant good bye to S/L & F/L they were sorry too. Route via Atlanta Chatt. Cincinnati where we join rest of party. Rather dirty uncomfortable coaches. Cold at night.
THURSDAY 6 8/42 Did’nt sleep much. Up 6 am. Arr. [indecipherable] 8.30 am. 5hr wait. Into town to Schicks – beer look round station – photos. Dep. 3.10 complete party Arr Detroit 11.30 pm. change to C.N.R. switched coaches. Fiddled sleeper – sheets – comfort!!! Cost $1.50.
FRIDAY 7 8/42 Slept fair – well worth it – a bit cold & stiff – 5 in compartment 6’ x 8’. In Canada passed Toronto at 5 am. (Dai & Co [indecipherable]). Wizard scenery. Stopped Montreal beer good – St. Lawrence – homesteads – all the gang crowded in our cabin – good fun. Slept well.
SATURDAY 8 8/42 Woke at Campbellton – top route all R. St. Lawrence then S.E to Moncton arr. 12.30. Train taken into 31P.D. found we’re potential officers – kind of officers mess. In town to Ellis (beer) – Bunnetts – Ellis. [indecipherable] three fruit machines!
SUNDAY 9 8/42 Did’nt get up till 10.30. After lunch we hitched to Point de Chene [Pointe du Chêne] 20 miles away for a spot of sun bathing – grand. Met the Jones family who very kindly waited to bring us back. wizard scenery – good day.

[page break]

Memoranda

[underlined] BASEBALL. [/underlined]
Much the same as rounders though the rules are tightened up to make it harder.
Each team consists of nine players. One team fields the other strikes and goes on until 3 members are out then they change round nine times i.e 9 innings each.
The pitcher bowls, the catcher is the wicket keeper, there is a baseman for each of the three bases and the remaining men field either deep or at short stop. The plate is the home base shaped [inserted sketch] and for a fair ball it must be pitched at a height between the knees and the shoulders & pass over the plate. It is called a “strike” if a foul it is a “ball”. The hitter can have three ‘strikes’ but if he does’nt hit the 3rd he’s out. The pitcher is allowed 3 ‘balls’ on the fourth the hitter gets a free run. The ball must be hit into the field ie between the lines of Home – 1st. base & Home 3rd base. He can never be caught out on a foul strike behind the wicket.
To be out the ball may be caught or thrown to a baseman who has one foot on the base before

[page break]

For Week of Monday 10th. August 1942
MONDAY 10 8/. Drew a [indecipherable]! Good sign? Rumour [inserted] L [/inserted] life as usual. Went into town after supper. Wet day – to Ellis – poor luck on machines – foolish but good fun. O’Neill got Jackpot! – after we’d gone.
TUESDAY 11 8/. Went out in the afternoon after cashing cheque for £5 with Wild. Bought powder & some underclothes for myself. Went to a flick met Charlie & Co & stooged back to Camp. More trained personnel in today.
WEDNESDAY 12 8/. Saw [indecipherable] today with wing up on way back. Played bridge in evening – nothing to but! Pay parade for everyone but us on Friday.
THURSDAY 13 8/. Went out to Point de Chene with O’Neill this afternoon. Got a good lift both there & back. good fresh air – excellent. Slept like a log. Saw “The Reluctant Dragon” – jolly good.
FRIDAY 14 8/. Stuck around all day with absolutely nothing to do. Bored with all the hanging around. Played bridge in evening – then drink in the mess.
SATURDAY 15 8/ Sat around reading all day – did nothing. So fed up went for a walk in evening with Edwards then back for drink in the mess.
SUNDAY16 8/. After lunch hitched out to Point de Chene with Bailey & Edwards. Good hitch out – walked down [indecipherable] track. Rather a job hitching back – walked a lot 3-4 miles. Got going just before dark. Pleasantly tired.

[page break]

Memoranda

the hitter reaches it, or a runner can be touched by an opponent with the ball between bases.
A hitter who strikes the ball into play must run to 1st. base wherever the ball goes to. If there’s a man on 1st base he must run to second & so on. So that by smart fielding the ball can be thrown to 2nd base and get that man between 1st & 2nd & thrown to the 1st. baseman to catch the hitter who had not yet reached 1st. base. Indeed it is possible to get 3 men or even 4 by quick & hard throwing.
Each man goes in to hit in turn. A home run is one where the ball is hit so far that the hitter gets round in one run. If a baseman (men) runs from one base to another or a ball which is caught he must return to his original base and is often thrown out.
The game as a whole is faster than cricket though totally different and not so [indecipherable]. It is however good fun and quite a good afternoons entertainment especially when runners dive for their bases to beat the throw.
The game is run by an umpire standing behind the catcher and a Referee who looks after the problem of close shaves or getting home to a base before the ball is caught.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 17th. August 1942
MONDAY 17 8/. Stuck around as usual. Went down town with Bailey & made enquiries about thicker stockings for Con. Decided to sell two pairs & buy two more here. A few beers in mess. Letter CON.
TUESDAY 18 8/. Hitched out to Point de Chene with Bailey followed by Reas & Gabbie. Got a lift on a sand lorry & had great sport in the water mostly duck fighting. Got an invite on lift back for next week. Met Conner – rumours.
WEDNESDAY 19 8/. Rumour correct draft going [inserted] 2L. [/inserted] tomorrow & Friday – bailey only one of our Crowd going lucky devil – all very broke & disappointed. Have to stay in till Friday – do hope they give us time to get things
THURSDAY 20 8/. Went down with [deleted] Bailey [/deleted] Ted to have beer at Ellis with Bill who is off tomorrow. Met Jim, Bailey’s pal, who took us to his home after billiards at the Ellis. Nice people English settlers, he’s a civil servant. (P.O)
FRIDAY 21 8/. Pay at last! Get $40 went down [inserted] IL. [/inserted] town and got lipstick, face cream & some thicker stockings for Con. Supper at Bennetts & some beer at the Ellis. Rather fed up. started “This above all” – good book.
SATURDAY 22 8/. We thought we’d go to Point de Chene but it was so windy we just lazed around & read until after supper when we went into town for a beer etc.
SUNDAY 23 8/. Did some packing this morning & got things organised. C.O. dropped lists of moving soon – do hope he’s right. Went down to see with Jones and found the [indecipherable] a [indecipherable] – spent evening with them.

[page break]

Memoranda

All players wear a glove and the catcher and umpire wear protective padding and a face grill. The pitcher who really works the hardest stands on a little mound of sand in the centre of the arena.
Quite a good game and I believe very exciting between two 1st. class sides – mostly professional. The Americans go nuts over it.

[underlined] THE JOURNEY NORTH. [/underlined] 5 8/42 – 8 8/42.
5/8/42. Up early and got ourselves cleared with flying kit bedding etc. Finished packing but unfortunately my laundry was returned un-washed owing to a mistake of some kind. At 10.30 am we marched up to the Camp Theatre with arms swinging in good old Babbacombe style for our “Graduation Ceremony”, when we received a pair of tin wings and a certificate amidst much band playing and flag wagging. After a photograph and lunch we all boarded trucks for the station – damned glad to be at last on our way home, seems almost too good to be true. I pinned on my R.A.F wings, which S/Ldr Rothwell had given to me the night before and which I prize muchly - damned

[page break]

For Week of Monday 24th. AUGUST 1942
MONDAY 24 8/. Stuck around all day played bridge – read “This above all” grand book. Spot of beer in the mess. No gen yet – though hints are coming out. Lecture by C.O.
TUESDAY 25 8/. Lecture by C.O. no gen yet. still more hinting. Spot of bridge. Letter from CON. I wish we could get a move on. Went to see the Jones with Gabbie – all arranged on the spur of moment. Letter CON
WEDNESDAY 26 8/ Did nothing all day until afternoon. Went in to change some stockings for Con. Played bridge in the evening. We’re all damned bored. Beer.
THURSDAY 27 8/ Played a spot of bridge to keep us going. Went out after supper with Gabbie. Saw a spot of amateur soft ball. Came back to the mess for a beer.
FRIDAY 28 8/. Did nothing all day. Went to see the Jones again with Gabbie – quite a cheery evening. Rumour we’re going soon – good.
SATURDAY 29 8/. Gabbie gone to Shediac with Edwards & O’Neill. I joined Whitfield & Clark. Flicks, spot of supper then beer. Good blokes.
SUNDAY 30 8/. Went to Church with same lads & introduced to Mrs O’Dwyer. Out to Shediac with them. Met Guntry’s etc. Very nice people – good breeding – English. Wish we’d met them before.

[page break]

Memoranda

decent of him. At the gate of the camp we gathered all our passes together and scattered them out of the back of the truck to the tune of “All coppers are B—ds!!”
at the station we found we had two special coaches & a van for luggage and we were hooked onto the back of the “Flamingo” as far as Atlanta. The coaches were filthy and not too comfortable. We said reluctant good bye’s to S/L & F/Lt and thanked them for all they had done and got on the move at 1.45pm
Scenery typical Georgia with Pecan & Peach trees, farm corn & so on all the way to Atlanta. Track single most of the way with passing loops & automatic sectional signals.
At Atlanta we were shunted from the “Central of Georgia” to the “Southern” up to Cincinnati. We got going at 7.45pm. We had had supper at the C of G before Atlanta. The scenery now began to get more interesting as we climbed up through the Appalachian Mts towards Chattanooga. Soon it was dark and we put down our seats and tried to get some sleep. We were wearing summer kit and had no [indecipherable] or blankets. It was warm at first but soon got

[page break]

For Week of Monday 31st. AUGUST 1942
MONDAY 31 8/. Rumour strong – supposed 150 going on Thursday. No ‘gen’ yet. still plenty of time. Went in with the lads to a flick. Nearly got payed [sic] by mistake. Some Blokes did!
TUESDAY 1 9/. Definite gen this afternoon. WE’RE GOING ON THURSDAY At last – gen right for once. Got some pay & bought of stuff got packed. Went to Rockaway with Mrs O’Dwyer. Saw the Guntry’s there. E & G made a four – for me beer.
WEDNESDAY 2 9/. Eldin got it bad. Put out deep sea kit – gen talks – we’re to leave at 5.30AM tomorrow via NEW YORK! Rumour it’s the Queen Mary. Said good bye to Mrs O’Dwyer Spot of beer with Fl/LT Judge who is up here.
THURSDAY 3 9/. Up before dawn away 5.30 am. Via St. John, McAdam, crossed the border at Vanceboro. Proper sleeping equipment this time & good grub. Stopped at Portland in U.S.A. for an hour then bed & a good snore. Clocks back 1hr.
FRIDAY 4 9/. Breakfast at 5 a.m. due at N. York at 8.30 am. Usual business [indecipherable]. New [indecipherable] R.R. electric locos. Arr. Pennsylvania Stn. 8.45 am. To New Jersey by tunnel. Then by tender to the QUEEN MARY!! Saw the Statue of Liberty. [indecipherable] on her side.
SATURDAY 5 9/. Good bunk in stateroom – good sleep. 14,000 U.S. Troops on overnight. Funnels smoking – rumours rife. Good breakfast. Off 2.45pm! passed skyscrapers & out thro’ basin to sea. Then what a bow wave & how wizardly she sails. Grub excellent = 2 meals day
[inserted in margin] Co 1360 to 190 [inserted in margin]
SUNDAY 6 9/. Slept like a log – good breakfast rough guess we’re covered 500 miles already. Going well in huge zig-zags no escort. Plenty of armament on board. Steward says [indecipherable] on Thurs. good egg!!
[inserted in margin] Co 090 [inserted in margin]

[page break]

Memoranda

Chilly and we none of us slept much. We got up at dawn.
6/8/42. We arrived at Cincinnati at 8.30 am. Detrained and had a good breakfast in the Station restaurant. We had to wait for the remainder of the 42G [indecipherable] who were due to arrive at 12.30 so Gabbie & I went into Town as did the remainders. Gabbie went for a shave. I went along to Schicks Service to get my razor serviced and had a shave there. After we tried innumerable shops to get Gab a pair of R.A.F wings without success.
On return to the Station we heard that the others were not due until 2.30pm so we had a beer and then Ted & I went down onto the station & took some photos. It is much the same as Carlisle was in pre-grouping days and is jointly owned by the several railways using it. We got some good shots – though the majority of the American engines look much the same in general designs except of course the streamlined ones. The signalling is group controlled from a central signal box with track indicator electric chart. Signals are rather few and the [indecipherable] are placed on track level like [indecipherable], the

[page break]

For Week of Monday 7th. SEPT 1942
MONDAY 7 9/ Still moving at a good fast rate. Never seen the sea look so beautifully blue – deep blue marked by white – where our huge wake leaves a pattern. Halfway at approx. 6.30 pm. Getting very excited. (turkey). Saw flying fish last night.
[inserted in margin] Co 090 [inserted in margin]
TUESDAY 8 9/ weather a bit colder & more cloudy – sea rather a swell on and she’s rolling. Later sea quite big and we’re pitching & rolling somewhat – everything creaking. Sea quite heavy towards evening.
[inserted in margin] Co 045 - 000 [inserted in margin]
WEDNESDAY 19[sic] 9/ Lovely rumours – “Tirpitz got out” and “the Q.M sunk 500 miles out of New York. Sea quite heavy with a good deal of spray. Excellent fun. Still going a good lick.
[inserted in margin] Co 045 [inserted in margin]
THURSDAY 10 9/. Rumours yesterday that we’re to be in tonight! No sight of land. Sea still big swell – boat rolling heavily. Gen now that we’re in early tomorrow. Think we’ve taken a round about route.
FRIDAY 11 9/. Up early & behold we [indecipherable] up the Clyde! Scenery looked wizard. Anchored at 9.50. off boat 1.30. Entrain 5.30 & away at 6.00. via Kilmarnock, Dumfries, Carlisle, Crewe [indecipherable], Clapham Jc. B’mouth [Bournemouth]. Rode on footplate from Carlisle – Crewe [indecipherable].
SATURDAY 12 9/. Arr. B’mouth 9.45 & off to billets at Hazlewood Hotel. Good messing. In search of uniform. Starting cold in head. Spot of beer - [indecipherable] – not bad. Slept like a log. Could’nt get thro’ to Con – 2hr. delay.
SUNDAY 13 9/. Rang Con this morning – wonderful to hear her voice. Went to Christchurch this afternoon – concert at Pavilion in evening. Saw Bailey just back from leave.

[page break]

Memoranda

latter do not appear to be used except for important crossovers or from sidings onto M/L.
at 2.35 in came the rest of the gang, some riding on the footplate the remainder leaning out of the window – all in good spirits. We spent some few minutes sorting out people we knew & had’nt seen for some time and off we went again. This time the Baltimore & Ohio took us to Detroit & gave us a good lunch, in fact grub on the journey was good.
The scenery was good. Pleasant farm country with the usual hooting for gateless crossings. Bags of corn growing tall and although cooler it was still warm. We rattled along well.
We reached Detroit at 11.30 pm and bye-passed the station to some sidings where we transferred to the C.N.R. Proper old stock with hard seats – three men to a seat so that one had to sleep on the wooden canopy up above – with no blankets or bedding for two days! I did’nt think it was good enough – still we got going at last and went along to the diner for grub. The train had obviously been fitted up specially as a troop train as the diner had been stripped of its chairs & tables and

[page break]

For Week of Monday 14th. SEPT 1942
MONDAY 14 9/. Hellish queues for uniforms – decided to go to Gieves – excellent stuff even if more expensive. To flicks in the evening & then a whiskey & bed. Cold rather bad – gone to chest.
TUESDAY 15 9/. Feel better today – cough looser. Still waiting for deep sea kit. Paid £5 went out to Christchurch for a drink.
WEDNESDAY 16 9/ Deep sea kit arrived at last. Went to see Coles at New Milton & borrowed a case.
THURSDAY 17 9/ Collected flying kit & handed in Airman’s kit – got ourselves packed up & ready. On leave tomorrow.
FRIDAY 18 9/ Usual queue for passes arrived in London too late to get down to [indecipherable].
SATURDAY 19 9/ Caught the 11.55 and got a [inserted] K [/inserted] lift to Stevensons Farm on an Army lorry beautiful to give Con & Phyl a good hug & wizard to be home again. Cottage looks fine & still some roses.
SUNDAY 20 9/. Pottered about in the morning Had chicken for lunch. Arthur & Sheila came in. went up to aerodrome for supper at the W.A.A.F’s run in the mess. Met Gibson & S/L Bill Greenslade told all about G.M.R.

[page break]

Memoranda

we all sat at long tables placed length-ways with forms as seats. The food was quite good and it was good to see the friendly British faces of the dining car crew.
After grub Gabbie & I went along to see if there were any [indecipherable] where one could sleep (we’d both got the top bunk which was damned hard.) we found a sleeper or rather a day car fitted with proper mattresses between the two diners for the use of the crew. At one end was a kind of smoke room with a long settee with two easy chairs. Just what we wanted! so we tackled the coloured conductor. He said that we could have [underlined] beds [/underlined] in the “drawing room” at the other end as there were five of us – we had been joined by three others. He wanted $2 for the complete but agreed to take $1.50. One bloke dropped out so I went & fetched Charlie Hare – it was a pity we could’nt have got rid of the other two & got Edwards & O’Neill in there as well.
I went along to say cheers to Dai who was in the last coach & was to be slipped at Toronto about 6 am. He seemed alright though somewhat depressed. I was sorry he’s not coming with us.
And so to bed [underlined] between sheets [/underlined]

[page break]

For Week of Monday 21st. SEPT. 1942
MONDAY 21 9/ Went up to look round a Stirling & an Oxford. Two sqdns on the camp now – 214 (S) & 101 MkIII Wimpeys. Operate most nights now. Troops don’t like the Stirling much – all [indecipherable]. Up to mess for a drink
TUESDAY 22 9/ Sick & diahaerr [diarrhoea] all night. Spent morning in bed – germ floating about. Lovely quiet evening with Con over the fire. Don’t feel too well – too much excitement perhaps.
WEDNESDAY 23 9/ Better today – over fields to Sheila’s with Con. Flip with Gibson this afternoon in Oxford – good. Tiny [indecipherable] & Jean in to supper – nice girls – chicken supper & spot of beer. Stomach quite recovered.
THURSDAY 24 9/ Off this morning – wish we had another week. Went down to Hammersmith & saw Wadson, Williamson [indecipherable] etc. good evening.
FRIDAY 25 9/ Back from leave – mouldy hole. Don’t seem to have said or done anything I’d planned to do on leave. It was too short.
SATURDAY 26 9/ went out to Mrs Cole to return the suitcases. Her sister at St. Howards missing after bomb hit her flat – bad luck. Met Whitfield & his wife.
SUNDAY 27 9/. Went to concert at Pavilion this afternoon. Out to Christchurch for a drink.

[page break]

Memoranda

I slept alongside old Gabbie who tossed about a bit but did’nt snore too much – much refreshed in the morning though 5 in a room 6’ x 8’ was rather stuffy inspite of a fan & the top ventilators open. (We could’nt get the side windows to open).
7/8/42 Found we’d passed through Toronto overnight or rather in the early morning and we were going through marvellous scenery towards Montreal. So much fresher than yesterday’s in America and much better farmed. Lovely firs & hills with trees & little clearings. Now and then we rumbled over a stream all rock strewn & occasionally quite a decent sized river. We were running parallel to the St. Lawrence on our right.
We had a got [sic] breakfast & just after an equally good lunch stopped in Montreal. We had an hour to wait so we all went in search of a beer. Found a pub – quite English looking – called a “Taverne” – and the beer was, I think, the best we’ve had this side of the drink.
It was much cooler then America and the air clean & fresh. Such a pleasant change. We collected a big 4-8-4 with a

[page break]

For Week of Monday 28th. SEPT. 1942
MONDAY 28 9/. Posted to No. 6 A.F.u Little Rissington. [deleted] Oxfordshire [/deleted] Glos [Gloucestershire] so not too far from London & Stead. Spent the day messing about – to Kings Head for a drink.
TUESDAY 29 9/. Off to Little Rissington via Reading, Didcot, Oxford, and bus from Kingham. Good station & nice mess. used to be an S.F.T.S. Shared room with Edwards & O’Neill.
WEDNESDAY 30 9/. Damned cold, shivered in lecture room & had “pep” talk – drew flying [indecipherable] etc. Assigned to auxiliary aerodrome at Akeman St. – go out in a bus daily – no grd school. Rang Con.
THURSDAY 1 10/. Up 6 am – phew! damned cold. F/Sgt as Instructor – murky weather – did’nt fly. Did some cockpit drill. Getting 48 over W/E. [deleted] Rang Con [/deleted]. Signed up to get away.
FRIDAY 2 10/. No flying today – got away early. Hitched to Oxford.
SATURDAY 3 10/. Met Con & Phyl & Phyl’s flat [inserted] K [/inserted] – grand to see them again. Saw Davis & later to Hammersmith saw Wadson & later Price & Co at the Signals Mess. slept at Mai’s.
SUNDAY 4 10/. Breakfast at Canteen. Phyl’s for lunch with chicken – wizard. Nora came over in the afternoon so nice to see everyone again – like old [indecipherable]. 8.5 train back.

[page break]

Memoranda

wizard [indecipherable] hooter, looked pretty clean & well kept – or just out of the paint shops.
After leaving Montreal we crossed the ST. Lawrence by a long girder bridge and carried on parallel to the river on the east side through wizard country mostly made up of small farmsteads which looked rather like original settlers homes – just a small square wooden shack with about 20 acres of land all laid out in long strips. Grand seems pretty futile and O’Neill said it looked good for farming.
We followed the St. Lawrence along though we could’nt see it and we bye-passed Quebec though we saw the famous bridge standing up there with the “Heights of Abraham” behind. Scenery much the same & we rattle on along the single track. When we went through last December we went through Maine (U.S.A) & did not go thro’ or near Quebec. Also this part of the journey was at night. I can see we missed a good deal. This time we follow the St. Lawrence to “Mont Peli” and turn off there via Campbellton to Moncton.
That night Edwards & O’Neill piled into our “drawing room”

[page break]

For Week of Monday 5th. OCTOBER 1942
MONDAY 5 10/.
Fly round – quite like the Oxford. We fly in all sorts of weather.
TUESDAY 6 10/.
Circuits & precautionary landing. Oxford not bad to land but the aerodrome is somewhat bumpy.
WEDNESDAY 7 10/.
No flying – weather awful.
Walked down to Bourton-in-the-Water [sic] and put down & [sic] odd pint in the “New Inn”.
THURSDAY 8 10/. Cross country under the head – then find out where you are & fly home – fairly successful. Flow back to Rissington with Instructor.
FRIDAY 9 10/. Flip with Instr. this morning took S/L to Rissington. Latter pleased with my [indecipherable]. Not a very good effort at landing. Later up with F/LT. Kerridge after Solo (2 circuits) Regaining confidence lost by Pink.
SATURDAY 10 10/. Bad weather this morning. Dual with tight turns & single engine operation then on hours solo – wizard. I feel full of confidence again now. To “New Inn” for a spot.
SUNDAY 11 10/. Did a spot of local map reading Country looks grand from the air – Oxford especially Had one x country as passenger to Hereford & into Wales. Came back over Dick’s place at Alvington.

[page break]

Memoranda

really to play cards but when we found the conductor had put the beds down we just lazed around smoking and talking. After a lot of persuasion we got rid of them & turned in.
8/8/42 we woke up after a good night – not so many kicks from Gabbie – at Campbellton on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. I don’t think we covered a lot of ground overnight. Still we had breakfast and got packed up, we were due in Moncton about noon. The scenery all along the Gulf was grand. We kept passing little bays & short views of the sea – it looked grand. We saw inland and into good farming country and on E.T.A arrived at Moncton.
It looked somewhat more civilised without the snow but it was a real pleasure to see the cheery & friendly faces.
This time they backed down passed [sic] some sidings then went forward into a spur which led right into the camp – a new arrangement since we were here last. We went into a Drill Hall and then as potential Officers we were singled out from the [indecipherable] & taken to the Transient Officers Mess.
As we got off the train another

[page break]

For Week of Monday 12th. October 1942
MONDAY 12 10/. Nav. test. Hatfield & to Oakham. Went down to 500’ to have a look at the place – grand – just the same as ever. Enjoyed the whole thing very much passed test without much trouble.
TUESDAY13 10/. Our 1st solo cross country to Harwell – [indecipherable] -Alcester & back. got round fine. “shot up” by 9 spits west of [indecipherable] & ran into fog near Alcester good experience – got through O.K.
WEDNESDAY 14 10/. 2nd solo cross country today when I got up found ceiling at 1000’ so went on at 800 – all the way. Found ST. Ives (Hunts) & passed 24 Fortresses on way to Evesham. Got lost in Glos and eventually landed to ask!!
THURSDAY 15 10/. Went as Navigator complete with plotters, charts etc with Hodgkinson as plot XC to Ellesmore etc. Kept accurate log as poss. & Flt Commander very complimentary. Said it was the best he’d seen. Sending it to Stn Nav Off.
FRIDAY 16 10/. Posted to Wattisham for BAT. Near Stead! Bit of a wangle. Had to bring 11 Sgts & [indecipherable]. All arrived O.K. Rang up Bank on way thro’ London – pleasant surprise £83!! Mess here rather quite – full of Yanks.
SATURDAY 17 10/. Link then some beam flying – not bad for an initial effort. Spot of beer in the Mess and so to bed. Invited to Mess Party thrown by the Yanks to-morrow night. Rang Con – bless her.
SUNDAY 18 10/. Flying early this morning – fair. Good party with good beer. Met some nice people. Yanks tight all over the place – knew it would happen. Majority all right though. Rang Con.

[page break]

Memoranda

batch of fellars [sic] complete with gas masks came down to get in the train to go on to Halifax – lucky devils. We had apparently just missed a draught – damn, had we been on it I’d have seen Con’s roses by the end of August.
[underlined] JOURNEY HOME [/underlined] 3 9/42 – 12 9/42.
We’re away at last in C.N.R [indecipherable] stock but as officers with pukka beds etc. this time. Journey via St. Johns, into U.S.A via Malden &across the border at Vanceboro & following the coast to New York. We stopped for an hour at Portland and then on. Climbed into my top bunk which was extremely comfortable with mattress & sheets & slept well.
Next morning we were on the New Haven R.R and being hauled by an electric loco. The scenery reminded us very much of good old England, especially when we passed the usual early morning business people waiting for a local to New York. Soon we began to pick up the suburb – not so slummy as London & run into the big arterial roads. Saw some wonderful clover leaf crossovers & of course the usual mass of cars. We crossed the Hudson by a girder bridge & seemed to be skirting the city when we started to go downhill.

[page break]

For Week of Monday 19th. October 1942
MONDAY 19 10/. Somewhat sore headed this morning. (11 pints) – thank god not on link ‘till 10 am. Clamp to 50’ Jerry stooging around – alerts one after another. Yanks flying to shelters we made to do likewise interrupted our lunch. Ensa show at Naafi – poor. No flying today.
TUESDAY 20 10/.
Lovely morning got in some flying – poor effort swung too much on beam – Instructor does’nt seem to mind Yorkshire F/LT – clever bloke. Rang Con.
WEDNESDAY 21 10/. Flying coming on O.K. getting the hang of it now. Had a look at a battered Wimpey on the ‘drome.
THURSDAY 22 10/. Finished flying this morning should get away by lunch tomorrow. Rang Con.
FRIDAY 23 10/. F/LT Stevens came over and picked me up just after lunch. Home for tea – lovely supper went up to W.A.A.F Mess collected Tiny then to Ladies Room for some drinks.
SATURDAY 24 10/. Mrs Isaac left this morning. Tiny came in for lunch – nice girl. Had a look at my models. Got lift to Haverhill & so back.
SUNDAY 25 10/. Squared up – believe we’re night flying tomorrow – could have stayed another day.

[page break]

Memoranda

Everyone was looking for the skyscrapers but I only got a glimpse in the mist as we dived into a long tunnel coming out into the Pennsylvania Station right under New York.
We were all grabbing at rumours that it was & then it was’nt the Queen Mary & so on, so that when another electric engine backed on and we got going into New Jersey our spirits drooped.
However we piled out at a reception centre on the water’s edge, boarded a tender & chugged up stream. It was quite misty with the sun behind it. Suddenly the Statue of Liberty loomed up looking somewhat green in the strange light. Its a terrific size and one can walk up steps into the torch! We were all straining to see the famous skyline when suddenly one or two skyscrapers loomed out of the mist gradually followed by the rest as we got nearer. It was magnificent. We followed East River round and ran along the big boat piers. Was it the Q.M. on we went – then there was the terrible sad sight of the Normandie on her side. All her upper works have been removed prior to righting her. On the west pier behold the Q.M. For once our ‘gen’ was pukka!
We pushed off next day at 2.45 pm backed out into the River tugs pushed us round & off we went thro’ the basin & out

[page break]

For Week of Monday 26th. October 1942
MONDAY 26 10/. Night flying – foul weather back in Mess at 8.30 played darts & billiards.
TUESDAY 27 10/. Got in a spot tonight – easier than in the States. Glide path indicator a great help. Did a spot of A.C.P.
WEDNESDAY 28 10/. Helped to lay out flare path & A.C.P first period. Got in one XC when clamp set in and we went back.
THURSDAY 29 10/. Low cloud & rain. Hung on till midnight – no flying. Going down to see Con for W/E as I can spend Monday travelling.
FRIDAY 30 10/. Went to Akeman St all dressed for flying instead of leave & missed a possible hike to London. Still we were back in the Mess at 8 pm for party with ENSA people
SATURDAY 31 10/. Up early taxi to Kingham 7.49 to London. Via Gieves to 11.55 and then via Army lorry to Con at 3 pm. She was delighted so was I. Walked to Hampstead to order fowl. Sheila home.
SUNDAY 1 11/. Lovely morning country looked [inserted] K [/inserted] grand. Rollo razor seized up – had to take it [indecipherable]. Sheila came in for lunch had to catch the 4.50 back. Rode up in Guard’s van to L’pool [Liverpool] St.

[page break]

Memoranda

to sea. We passed & had a last good look at the skyline with its huge buildings. As we went passed [sic] most of the windows of the skyscrapers were full of waving people – we had 17,000 U.S. soldiers on board.
Once out to sea she ramped along at 29k. by day & a bit more at night. It was a wizard trip – eight to a cabin & good food though only 2 meals a day owing to the huge No. The Q.M rolls very badly in the swell – probably as she was not using gyros in wartime – and it was quite amusing seeing some of the Yanks who are not sailors rolling off chairs or sliding about on deck. It was a nice slow sort of roll but she used to go over a dickens of a way. Whilst we were bowling along the Nazi claimed to have sunk us 500 miles out! on the radio!
Friday 11 9/ we steamed up the Clyde & one got some impression of her grace & speed when one saw a destroyer pushing up a terrific bow wave to keep up with us be [deleted] docked [/deleted] anchored at 9.50 & tenders came alongside. It was wizard to see green fields & stone buildings again. we got ashore at 5.30, entrained & off at 6 pm. At Carlisle I was talking to the driver (Starkley of Carlisle) & was asked to ride on the footplate to Crewe! It was wizard, the engine was No.5468 St. Helena, a 5XP, and it was a wonderful experience at night, down Shap & through Westmoreland & [indecipherable]. We arr at B’mouth [Bournemouth], via Willesden & Clapham Jc at 9.45 am

[page break]

For Week of Monday 2nd. NOV. 1942
MONDAY 2 11/42. Watch to Moores, Pike to Edward. Bampton flyer to Akeman St. Tiring day. Night black as pitch flew very badly – everyone the same. Two killed at Rissy. Girls.
TUESDAY 3 11/42. Breakfast in bed – good Went down but not flying – grand mist got back by 11 pm. Beer and then bed.
WEDNESDAY 4 11/42. Misty morning – [indecipherable] N/F. No N/F. to New Inn. Walked down with Hodgkinson.
THURSDAY 5 11/42. No N/F.
FRIDAY 6 11/42. Still no N/F. Extremely misty
SATURDAY 7 11/42. Got off solo at last fair effort. Much easier then at Tunis Field U.SA.
SUNDAY 8 11/42. Got in a XC & a spot of solo tonight. Weather conditions seem better. Wrote to Con.
SEE NEW DIARY.

[page break]

[1941 CALENDAR]
[1942 CALENDAR]

[page break]

[book inside back cover]

[page break]

[book back cover]

Collection

Citation

Keith Dexter, “Keith Dexter diary. One,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 8, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9367.

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Keith Dexter diary. Two
Can you help improve this description?