Baker, James

Letter
Date:
December 30, 1942
To:
Burt
From:
Jim
Dec. 30th, 1942

Dear Burt,

Looking at the date on this letter you might be tempted to think that it was a New Year's Resolution coming into effect a little early but actually, it is just an accident. I got a slough of Canadian Mail tonight, seven letters in all - most of which was about seven weeks old. One of the letters was an old one from Mom in which she gives me your address and Stan's also. Heretofore I haven't been able to write because I have not known it. Mom kept mentioning that you were working but never said where, or what you were doing: just told me about the wonderful wages you were getting. And all this while I was at Scarborough having 2/6 a day which is approx. 60 cents. I was earning as much in 24 hrs. as you were making in 2 so you can guess how jealous I was of you. The pay is better now though. My pay is 8/ a day which is approx $2.00 a day, not a royal wage compared with yours I know, but sufficient for my needs.

At present I am training for Air Crew as you know. I went through the whole course at ITW. (which stands for Initial Training Wing) and Grading School hoping I would be a pilot: but I was chosen for a Navigator Bomber instead. My marks at ITW. were too good, but too bad at Grading School - where I did my actual flying, to be a pilot so they have decided to train me as a Navigator Bomber instead. At present I am in a pretty awful hole, supposed to be doing a course on armaments but I am afraid I am not learning very much. This is the first camp I have struck in all my life in the RAF. when there was a definite feeling of antagonism towards the Air Crews. It seems we are not wanted here and the citizens make ‘no bones' about showing it to us. They ride us every chance they get, but we have decided to stick it out until the end. It is only 4 wks. anyway. After that we are supposed to go on 7 days leave and then I don't know what they are going to do with me. I have been hoping they would send me home to complete my training but noone seems to know anything. We are a new branch and of course everything is very disorganized. But it will probably straighten itself out later on.

Well Burt, I guess you are beginning to run around a bit now. Can you dance? I hope you can because if you can't, you will miss a lot of fun. I know I have just learned how very recently and I am not a very good dancer yet, but I am beginning to wonder how I got along all these years without it! The only advice I can give you about girls is "Be Careful". I cannot say "Don't" because it would not be human. But "Be Careful" above all other things. Choose your partners with care and always play safe. If you can get hold of a good book on sex I would advise you to read it carefully. Don't be afraid to inquire about it, but always be sure the advice you get is authentic. There is no subject I know-of about which there are so many conflicting and diverse opinions and about which so much false information is circulated. So do not be afraid to ask, either Dad (who I am sure would help you if you only asked him) or myself: though I am very far away from you. Above all else, I would advise you to get some information about VD. - Venereal Disease. We have very good lectures given to us in the Services and we have very good facilities for taking care of ourselves but in spite of that, there is a very marked increase in VD. incidence among us. The trouble is that the morals of the people in Britain - ourselves included, has loosened a lot more promiscuous intercourse between men and women. And wherever there is such conditions, there is more disease to be expected. I know when I was in hospital at Taplow, I saw some pretty horrible sights and I hope I never get it. And I hope you don't either. But if you do - for God's sake, don't hide it. Go at once to your doctor and tell him. Don't try to heal it yourself for remember, it is your life you are mucking with. No-one suffers but yourself. And there is another thing to bear in mind and that is that one slip on your part and some poor girl's life is ruined. And that is true Burt. I'm not fooling when I say that her life is ruined, for children born under these circumstances will cause untold misery to the poor girl. So just remember these two little things when you are playing around. I play around myself, but I try to be as careful as humanly possible. Well, I won't say any more.

Well Burt, I have to write a letter to Stanley so I guess I'd better "get cracking" as we say in the RAF. Good luck Burt. Write soon.

Your brother,

Jim



.....from a British paper....

VIRTUE AND PATIENCE

In Britain we welcome the American troops. North Africa feels the print of their steps on its soil. Australia and New Zealand rejoice at their arrival. Canada treats with the USA. herself, earning her place as a noble nation.

Spare a moment to warm the hearts and encourage the faith of the Canadians now in our midst in Britain.

In war, there are victories of gallantry. But not less renowned are the unsung stories of those who hold the unassailed fort with victory and patience.


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