Baker, James

Letter
Date:
July 19, 1943
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
July 19th, 1943

Dear Mom and Dad,

I guess this is the letter you have been waiting for several weeks, isn't it? I know it is the one I hoped to be able to write to you but somehow a week ago, I never expected I would be able to do it. I have finished my exams, the results are out and I got 82.5% average. The top boy in the course got 87.5% so although I am not sure exactly where I stand, you can see I am not far behind him. My bombing written paper was the second highest on the course but my gunnery pulled me down. I got 100% in Air Craft Recognition and 95% in signals which surprised me very much as I am pretty weak in signals. I have been posted too and tomorrow, I go to Air Observers School at Chatham NB. So my address to which you address the answer to this letter will be R225139 LAC. Baker #10 AOS, Chatham NB. It is in the ‘back of beyond' I hear and I also hear that we only get two 48ers for 10 weeks, so I expect we will have to work like fiends. At least, I will because I haven't done any Navigation since I left Scarborough last October. It will be a terrific handicap at first I expect, so I will have to work a little extra.

I got your letter yesterday morning which considerably relieved my mind. I have heard about them issuing watches at AOS. to those who do not have them as we must have a watch to carry out Navigation exercises and cross country flips. So I will wait till I get to AOS. before I decide whether to get one or not. There is no use having two watches and probably the one they issue is far better than any I could buy. I have seen some of them and they are wonderful. I had a letter from Stan recently at Woodstock. He was there for a 2 wk. course, had a leave of 48 hrs. in Niagara and was broke as usual. I guess he has gone home to Shilo now, if such a place could be called home. I have also had a letter from B. Laws at Davidson, Sask.- full of local news. His mother is staying with them at the farm. Col. Laws was invalided out of service for high blood pressure and evidently, it rankles in the old war horses' veins. Bee heard me over the radio too. Evidently quite a few people who know me heard it. Helen Byrt is still training in the University Hosp. in Edmonton and will graduate at Xmas.

I have not had a letter from Mary for over two weeks and I am beginning to wonder what has happened. In her last letter, she said she was going to be moved somewhere, but didn't say where. I hope it wasn't Overseas, I know she has been trying for over six months now to get to Cairo and for purely selfish reasons, I hope she doesn't go. England won't seem the same if she has gone. I know that.

Sorry to hear about Peter. If you see him, say ‘Hello' for me. I guess Walt has gone by now. I wonder if I will ever meet him and Bob again. We have been so close for so many times and yet, we always seem to miss. I don't know for sure whether I shall get embarkation leave or not when and if I go back to England - but if I do, I will certainly try to get home. I may be able to fly back and avoid that horrible train journey. You know - in my own small way, I have totted up quite a respectable sum of miles as a globe trotter haven't I? I did about 1000 miles in 10 wks. which is not bad going at all.

By the way, I wrote a long letter to Rev. Jeffcott last week. I hope he lets you read it because I described what I am convinced is something White Rock needs very badly. When I go down to Chatham, I am going to go to Francis Xavier University and find out more about it. I was very impressed with the description of it give me by Cpl. Shore. It seemed to be all assets and no drawbacks, except the hard work necessary to overcome initial opposition.

I made 3 scores of less than 80 yards in my bombing average. They were 79, 79 and 76 yards, not very impressive compared to the 30's and 40's others were making but good enough to get me through. I am still very far from being an efficient Bomb Aimer though. By the way, I have graduated officially as an Air Bomber/Air Gunner and it is marked in my log book with my official flying hours, which total 34.

Course at AOS. lasts 20 wks... will graduate Jan. 17, 1944, if good flying weather.

Love,

Jim



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