June 20th 1944
Well, it seems I always start my letters in the same way and this is no exception-no news, but just wanted to let you know that everything is tip-top over here.
It's just past eight o'clock and here I am already for bed and boy! do I feel like it too. We really had a hard day-but I guess I'd better start from the beginning first.
Larry soloed last Saturday, and the whole crew including myself was with him. It really didn't take him very long to convert. Then starting last Sunday everyone on our course were sent to flights. All we did then was to fly circuits and landings with the pilots, and, I must say, a very boring time. Yesterday Larry got his check and 3 hours solo and this morning we were sent off on a 4 hour cross country navigational trip-it being the first one I'd had using all the new aids. I was as nervous as a kitten, and really started out lousy. Larry had a screen pilot, and he was the one who messed things up so badly for me, but after a while I got settled down and finished up a little bit better. The main thing being we hit all the turning points, and got back to base quite safely and easily. I'm afraid, though, I'll get an awful going over when I have it marked and checked over. However, when we get off by ourselves I know it will be much easier & better.
It certainly seems to be funny though to be boxed up in the aircraft, and to tell you the truth I didn't see the ground from the time I took off until we landed again. It's certainly a lot different than the old "greenhouse" Ansons.
We don't fly tomorrow, but in the morning we have decompression and then finished at noon.
Thursday and Friday is our 48-the first in three months-so I expect I will leave for London tomorrow afternoon. Van has never been to London, so if we have enough money we should have a good time.
I forgot to thank you again for the swell parcels last week. Altogether I got seven, so you can imagine just how I felt. Two I told you about in the last letter, and then about three days later I got five more: a swell box of Smiles and a carton of cigarettes and a box of cookies, combs, candy, handkerchiefs, socks, etc. Oh, they were wonderful. The same day I got a carton of Exports from Mr. Murphy, and a thousand British Consols from Grand Valley Red Cross. I must write and thank them. I'm afraid, though, they'll put it in the paper, but I'll have to take that chance anyway.
Sunday night the whole crew got together in the N.C.O's hut and we really had a feast. It didn't plan out as we expected, but gosh it was good eating lobster, salmon & chicken with our fingers and drinking the tomato juice out of the can. We ended up with fruitcake, peanuts and chocolates, and I staggered home with a potbelly like Skipper and slept like a log.
Altogether I got 1600 cigarettes last week, and since the whole crew was out I have 500 left, but I'm hoping they'll get a few parcels some of these days too.
You have no idea what a grand gang they are, and they could all be called cooperatives because we're all for one.
I suppose by now the tulips are finished. Peonies, red-hot pokers and stocks are really grand here now.
Gosh it would be great to get back-even for a day. However, it won't be long.
Well, must sign off now, but do write soon. There's been no letters in about 3 weeks. I guess they're all going to Normandy. Take care of yourselves and Skipper.