Baker, James

Letter
Date:
June 18, 1944
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
June 18, 1944

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have just finished reading your letter of May 29th and I must say you have surprised me quite a lot, I had no idea you were intending to start up in Real Estate! I must say I consider it a very good idea though because you certainly stand a chance to make more money this way, and I expect you could stand a little of that commodity right now. I know I could. I never seem to have any more now that I am a sergeant. My expenses always seem to be more than my income, I'm always broke. At least when I was an LAC., I always had a little money in my pocket - but sometimes now, I am down to my last farthing - and I'm never really broke as long as I have that. But to get back to Real Estate, what exactly are you going to do with it? I am thinking, maybe when I come back again after the war is over, maybe I could buy it from you - I expect I'll be needing something like it. Sadie and I have no plans made yet you understand. It will take you at least 3 years to pay for it if the present arrangement continues, so there is time enough to think of things like that when I come back. We could keep it in mind though. Sadie and I have no idea what we are going to do yet. We have had so little time together - really, when we could talk things over seriously. Time with us was usually so short that the whole of it was over before we had finished ‘pitching woo'. So we have nothing definite. The only thing I have determined definitely is that if at all possible, we are going to have a real honeymoon. I have not stopped to think how much it is going to cost, but I want to make it at least $200.00 if I possibly can. That is something I want for a solid foundation. It is going to be ‘hard-enough slogging;' afterward, so I want to give us both a happy memory to take into our new life together. I have told Sadie all this and I don't think she exactly approves, but I think a honeymoon means more to a woman than it does to a man so I am determined she shall have hers if at all possible. There is a chance she may come over here and if she does, we are going to get married as soon as possible. I can see no use in waiting any longer as long as we can be together and I get on ‘heavies' (as there seems every possibility I will) I won't be moving from England until the war in Europe is over and the war in the East begun. So we might as well have all the life together we can get. She would be able to live with me on my Squadron if I can manage to get her posted to my unit and I believe that shouldn't be very difficult because they do everything possible to make their air crews happy and contented. They have proved that a happy crew is by far the most efficient crew flying. I could never live in England with Sadie not married to her. This is such a small place that I would be continually trying to get to her. And on top of that, there is the financial aspect, though in our case, it doesn't make very much difference because she would lose her ‘widow's pension' which at present is going straight into the bank. It seems funny that Sadie is making as much money now as I am - maybe more, but saving nearly 3 times as much. As soon as this war bond is paid for, I think I will increase my allowance home to you so you can put it away for me. It will be paid up by the end of October or November I think. By the way, when will the money I owe you be paid back? I think it will be at the end of July won't it? My ‘Flight Sgt.' should be coming through about the 15th October and I will assign the extra money as soon as I get it. Right now I am drawing 6/s a fortnight and I think I can manage on about 4/s when I get on my Squadron. So that means I can send home $40.00 a month. That together with my $150.00 war bond which you will get in October shouldn't be too bad. I don't know how much Sadie has in her own right and I am not particularly interested either, for I believe that that should be hers for emergencies. It is not good for a woman to be completely dependent on her husband just as it is not good for her to be completely independent of his financial assistance.

I hope Stan gets in touch with me as soon as he gets over so we can arrange to meet each other. I told Mrs. Sayers he was probably coming over and she is ready to welcome him as she welcomed me. I hope he likes her and Mrs. Beverly because they can make life over here so enjoyable for him if he will only let them: just as they have done for me. I hope he doesn't get the idea that they are just interested in him because he is my brother because it might hurt him a little.

By the way, I am posted to my AFU. at last (Advanced Flying Unit)...it is just across the road from where I am at present so I won't have much trouble moving the way some of the boys do. I guess it is all work from now on and not much play, for we have a tremendous lot of new things to play around with and get used to before we can start navigating in the real thing. It seems funny to look forward and back and think that what we thought was the end - is really only the half-way post and that the most important part now is still to come. We had our exams last week and I was second on the course in all the marks. Some of the officers failed completely and only two of them beat me in the Navigation plotting exam. I knew darn well I could beat them! I got 80% and the highest mark was 85%. I lost 15 marks because I didn't finish which means that of all the work I did, I only lost 5 marks. I wish I had done as well as that at AOS.

We had a wonderful stage show the other day in the camp. It was the "W Debs"- an all girl show made up by the WD. It has just arrived from Canada and is really something. I have never seen such beautiful costumes, not even in the most superlative West End productions in London. And the show was very good too: several very clever original songs and two that I thought must have been on the hit parade before they came across, but which I now find were composed by one of the cast! If you hear "He Gave Me His Heart Before He Gave Me His Wings" you will know that we heard it before it was a hit song. I am sure it is going to be a hit song soon. I wish I could get a copy to send to Sadie because I gave her one of my wings.

Well, I guess there is nothing else I can say for now. My address at present is the same as it has always been - RCAF. Overseas, and will be until I get on my Squadron and a permanent station. So long for now.

Love to all,

Jim



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