No 4 Squadron R. F. C. B. E. F. France 20/5/17 My Dear Mother, This is a beautiful Sunday morning and I have half an hour so will get my letter off. Am sitting outside my hut in an old camp chair and getting full benefit of the sun. Have had a very busy week outside of flying. Weather has been very dud and no chance to fly, but we now have our new machines, so that means work. I have spent last two or three days going over mine. They are an improvement, I think, on our last. The squadrons who flew the others, ours included, were known in England as the "Suicide Club" but thank goodness they are all gone now so far as we are concerned. The last of them left about three days ago. Since we have received our new machines we have had very little weather to fly them. I have only been up twice for a few minutes each time and have just made two landings. Have done perhaps half an hour in all. That is a bit unfortunate as they are hard to land and I would have liked to have had a little more practice. However I have to go over the Hindenburg line in about an hour, so I guess I will get all the practice I want then. Our new machines are quite good when one knows them. They are about 150 hp, 12 cylinders, will do 95?100 miles per hour on the level. And a good deal more than that in a pinch and are two passenger. Also we can carry 8 or 10 bombs and with our machine guns can pump lead at rate of 750 rounds per minute. So that we ought to be able to put up a pretty good fight when we have had a few trips with them. I had a bad scare the other day. Six pilots were ordered to leave, to go back to the advanced depot. I, being one of the latest arrivals, was naturally put down. But at the last moment, after they had given us a farewell dinner, the Major, who is a fine sport, got my name off the list. The others had to go and we were all very sorry to lose them too. Had it not been for the Major I guess I would have been away now too. I was more upset about leaving the bunch here than I have been about anything since I left home so you can imagine how happy I was when the C. O. came in and told me I was staying. The parcel arrived yesterday in good condition. Very many thanks for the eats and for the kind wishes. Tell Em the almonds were all devoured at one sitting and there might be one or two pieces of candy left. The cake I am saving for tea tonight and the sardines for a night feast. Oh yes, the maple syrup was the biggest treat of all the season. I wish it had been a quart. There are so many Canadians here that I only got a little bit of it as they all insisted on having a taste of it. The first for two years for a number of us. I hope you sent some to Alf too, as it was a great treat. Have not heard from Alf for a long time. I hope he got my letter all right. Well it is time to go now and get some lunch before I go up on my trip. I am feeling in tip?top shape and am enjoying my work immensely. I am going up today with a Capt McMullen, a Canadian of Woodstock or some place in Ontario. He is an observer and a fine chap. I wonder if he is any relation to late Hon. James. His father is a Lieut?Col in Canadians. Must run along now. Heaps of love for each one of you, with a big share for self. Loving son Wilbert P. S. Kind regards to Miss Smith and I hope she is well. W. H. G.