Baker, James

Letter
Date:
July 4, 1943
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
July 1, 1943
Mountain View, Ont.

Dear Mom,

I'm trying to write this letter with my third finger in a splint so if the writing is a little cockeyed, I hope you will excuse it. I was playing softball tonight and I got two balls right on the end of my finger. I am not sure whether it is broken or not but I can't find out till I can get it X-rayed tomorrow morning. The Doc thought he had better make sure I do no more harm till then, so he has put it in a splint which makes it rather awkward trying to write. I have such a lot of writing to do too that I must keep going or I will be swamped! I got five letters yesterday and five today. My mail has just caught up with me from Moncton. And I owe you a letter. I haven't written in over a week. I got two from Mary, she received my parcel OK., am relieved about that. I can send now her more.

Well, the course has started with a vengeance! My head is swimming with new ‘gem'. I hope it all falls into its proper place, otherwise I'll never be able to write an exam. We don't start flying for another 10 days, the first weeks are spent in ground instruction making sure we don't make mistakes when we are up in the air. But after we start the real work - dropping bombs and shooting at moving targets from a turret mounted on a plane, should be exciting. We went to the bombing tracker this morning. It is very interesting. This machine duplicates exactly the panorama as seen through a bomb aimer's panel and with it, it is possible to do a complete operational flight, drop your bombs on your target, observe your accuracy and plot your bursts. It is very interesting and also very helpful in teaching us how to correct our faults before we get up. This afternoon they taught us how to manipulate turret with machine guns so that we will be able to shoot accurately when in the air. In between periods - on the turrets, we did some skeet shooting with a .22 rifle. I only got 8 birds out of 42, not a good score.

This is a very good station so good in fact, that I don't think I'll be moving off it during the whole course, except to go on my three 48 hr. passes which we get during the duration of our course. I expect I will go to Ottawa on the first one and to Toronto on the second, but I am not sure yet. By the way, have you got my Life Assurance policy yet? If you have, will you send off the first payment? And also send the policy number to me so that I can make the Allotment from my pay. The paymaster can't do anything until he has the policy number.

I have had a very nice letter from Marian Angus. She is joining up in one of the Services, she won't tell me in what capacity until she is in. But it was a very interesting letter, she is a very good letter writer indeed. Last year, she was the third amongst all Canadian women writers in the world! She was asked to be down in Toronto to receive her award but of course, she found that impossible. She also told me that she was going on a spending spree to buy two new hats before she joins up. How like a woman!

Stan and I have had a good time on our leave together. I think I told you he is not going Overseas. Everything seems well in London, Mary is getting more and more discontented all the time with her work. I think she is beginning to realize now what I had been fighting for 3 years. I wish I was there too...would solve a lot of things for me.
Must close now

Love as always,

Jim




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