You would have loved flying with me today. We are nearing the end of our flight training, so we had a more or less free day to fly over northern England and even into Scotland and Wales, in a big circle. Each country is so different from the others. England has miles and miles of tiny green fields surrounded by hedge rows, villages each with its church spire + school + post office + of course the local pub. Wales is remarkable for its dark mountains where the coal miners make their living. Even the towns have a dark tone, I suppose from the coal dust. The poverty is evident from the air. Scotland, on the other hand, is refreshingly colourful. Its mountains are covered with green hills inviting one to go hiking. I’m planning a holiday there the next time I’m on leave.
Bob and I are sharing a room and training together. We have a small coal stove in the middle of the room which keeps the hut fairly comfortable. We often share mugs of tea late at night sitting around the stove before bed. In fact, that’s where I am now, so you can picture me. I’m in the peak of health as I’m sure we are served the best bacon and eggs in the country. The meals in the mess are hearty and we are given lunch packs to take on each trip if we are going to be away for hours. Our laundry is done for us, even ironing and boot polishing; whereas the NCO’s must do their own, poor sods! It’s worth being an officer in this war, I’m telling you. My university education is paying off in that respect at least.
Some of the boys over here have serious girlfriends back home, and some are getting into serious relationships over here. Mom, I have decided not to pledge any promises to a girl until the war is over. It probably won’t last too long and I can wait for some kind of normal to return. When we go on leave I just want to be light hearted and have fun. I don’t want any girl pining for me while I’m on ops; that wouldn’t be fair, in my opinion. I know other fellows think differently. They want to live it up and experience love because they might not live to see tomorrow, but I am optimistic that my future will be bright once we give Gerry a good knock-out punch. This is just a job we have to get done first.
Our training officers are great. They all have experience on ops so they know what they’re talking about. I’m learning so much every day. Bob is a wonderful pilot. He and I make a superb team, together with the other 5 in our crew. They are great lads all and we’re becoming friends as well as mates. We look out for each other. Sorry that this letter is wandering all over the place but it’s been a long day, even though an exhilarating one of a long practice flight. I navigated well enough to touch all points on the map we were supposed to and get us back to the aerodrome in time for supper. Bob sends best wishes to you and Dad. He promises to bring me home safely so try not to worry.
Love to all,