Baker, James

Letter
Date:
October 26, 1943
From:
Jim
Oct. 26th, 1943
Chatham, NB.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Your letter arrived on a very inauspicious day for me. I had just finished my Instrument exam and I am very much afraid of it. If I passed - it was only by a very small margin, I am afraid I made 3 very silly mistakes and lost nearly half the total marks in so doing. It was a very bad paper really, there were only five questions and fifty marks. One question was worth 18 marks and I didn't get it right. I made a silly mistake, whenever I think of it I kick myself! So consequently, now I am wondering. I figured out the most I could possibly get was 54% and that was not very much. But, I won't know for sure until next week. If I can pass my DROK., they will probably let me take a supplement which won't be so bad. The other exams I have written since then were OK. I think I made everything OK. Should have about 85% in all three of them. These are only mid-term exams thank goodness, and are meant more as an indication of what you are weak in rather than a chance to washout, though an instructor must have been expecting us to washout because he was heard to remark that he expected a lot of them. I hope we can surprise him just for the satisfaction it will give us! None of us like him very much because he is so conscientious that we do a lot of work that seems to us to be unnecessary - nonessential. I suppose there is a purpose behind it, but darned if I can figure it out.

So glad the people gave Norman a good reception because he certainly deserved it. I wonder what he is going to do now. He should be just about due for a rest after that ‘tour of operations'. They'll probably make him an instructor.

I have got to know a very nice family here in town. Met them at the local dance the third Saturday I was here. There are 3 sisters - all marvelous dancers, who are gradually managing to teach me a thing or two about it. Through them, I have met another interesting fellow named Don Gallen. His father was French and his mother Spanish, he was born in Jersey, educated in France and Germany, came to this country about 9 years ago, became a bush pilot flying for the ‘Northern Quebec Airlines' operating from Montreal north to Labrador, east to Newfoundland and south to Maine. He had about 10,000 hrs. in when war broke out (he probably had even before he came to Canada) so naturally, he joined up as a pilot and of all things, he washed-out as a pilot! Sounds crazy I know, but that is the way they do things around here. He then became a Navigator and passed thorough here and then washed-out again! at OTU. I suppose he did that intentionally because he has been here ever since, and is still trying to be a pilot! He hangs around the camp here, does compass swings part-time, flies all the time! But he has a wonderfully magnetic personality and knows everyone in the camp and in the town by their first name. It is a treat to watch him at a dance. The women absolutely mob him because he is very good-looking and a very good dancer. The way he manages to play one against the other is a treat to behold and yet, he never seems to have any one mad at him. And best of all, the great girl with whom he goes steady and to whom he is practically married, goes to the dance with him and then doesn't see him for the rest of the evening until it is time to go home. That's how I met her and her family. She's one of the three sisters.

I have had a letter from Mary recently and everything is fine over there. Mrs. Beverly is starting a club for officers now. Evidently she has had to give up the other club. I was afraid she would have to. There is just as much jealousy and down right dirty work over there as there is here. Well, I guess there is not much more I can say just now.

Love to all as always,

Jim



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