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Date: September 16th 1943
Millie (sister)

India Command
Sept 16,1943

Dear Millie,

Odd writing paper that mom sent. The impression of the canned goods is still on the pad, too. The enclosed custom's slip is for a parcel that I received on Aug 8th, out on the desert. I thought that I had lost the slip but just found it again and want you to give it to mom or Ann. Thanks Millie.

I received your letter of June 9 written in Dolly's place. Amongst our collection of recordings we've got the new swing version of that old song "Sweet Annabelle Lee." Everytime we play it I cannot help but think of the grand old times we used to have on Gerrard Street, away back when. Dolly tried to teach me dancing until that song fell to pieces in the roller piano. Give her my fond regards. I could write volumes about the crazy things we used to do.

I'm having a hell of a time trying to write this letter. There are about a dozen pilots sitting around in my bungalow hangar flying. They are suggesting what they would do if they were in charge of the station. They can certainly think up some rosy ideas but then who'd do the flying for us? I'm going to describe the modern costume that the fruit peddlar is wearing. He just came in with a basket of fruit to sell to us. On his head is a black turban with a red border. He's wearing a pink jacket with pin stripes over a blue shirt. According to custom the shirt is never tucked into the trousers so you can imagine his tails hanging down to his knees almost, over his trousers. His trousers are white, baggy and made of cheese cloth. Around his neck is a white handkerchief and he is barefooted. I wish you could see some of the costumes worn by the natives. Honestly you would screetch with horror at the clashing of colors. Our shirt laundry is done by natives out in the open. There are rows of concrete wash tubs with a solid square block of concrete beside each tub. They never scrub the clothes but swing them high in the air and bash them hard against the concrete blocks. Soap is never used. Suprisingly enough the clothes come back fairly clean but they beat them out of a month's wear at every washing.

We've got a pretty good baseball team consisting of Canadians, a New Zealander and 2 Aussies. We are going to carry out the challenge to play an American team from the U.S. Army Air Corps. I'm playing catcher or second base. As I am in charge of a flight the boys call me "Chota Chiefy" or "Iccy." Chota means "small" in Hindustani and Iccy is a contraction of "in charge of" wrtten I/C. I hope you can make out what I am saying.

I'm a bit rusty on golf Donny but I'll take you on any day in a game of chess. I learnt to play it a couple of weeks ago. Or when you think your team is good enough bring them over for a game of baseball. You lucky twerp. Do you still remember that gin you sent me? So do I. We celebrated with it in Africa. It was really smooth. The stuff here in India is worse than anti-freeze so I drink only Australian beer. We are rationed to only 3 bottles a month per man when it is available. I haven't seen any for months. But I drink enough tea to supply Toronto and suburbs for years. I understand they are calling up the married thirties. Let me know as soon as you get your new uniform and broom. Don't you worry, Donny, just keep plugging at the factory and buy your suits at Tip Top. Good luck, Chota.

Give my fondest regards to Mom, Ann, the kids and all the rest. And a big kiss for mom. Thank Dolly for the four blades. They're always welcome. I'm glad to hear that she still remembers me.

Your loving brother,


PS Keep those kids quiet, they're keeping everyone awake. Cheerio Sis. (I use 120 film in my camera) A hint?