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Date: January 8th 1939

January 8, 1939


Dear Mother:

I have just had a letter from Ronald Thomson at Church Fenton - He tells me that Tony Robinson has married his girl friend from the Isle of Wight.

Ronny acted as his best man and he tells me I should have been there.

They were both in Royal Air Force full dress, i.e. plumes, caps, sword, lace, etc.
I hear that Tony went off his food for a few days before his marriage but ate a very good supper after they were married.

Well I hope he gets along all right - I think he was a bit young to be married.

Next week we have a very full programme. Live dive bombing -cooperation with the Destroyers on Monday - on Tuesday all squadrons will attack the fleet which will be attempting to pierce the protective screen about Malta.

We in the fighters (fightahs to the English) or (fightah aircraft) will appear out of the sun from 10,000 feet diving straight down in formation. Theoretically dropping light bombs and machine gunning the bridges - in any case getting in the way and holding the attention of the ships' crews until our Torpedo Bombers arrive from the Heavens (about 10/1000 of a second after us).

You should see the chaos with about 50 aircraft milling in the sky!

I have two new pipes in operation now, and they certainly are well run in.

I attended the Sergeants' Ball last night for a couple of hours - dancing with wives of our squadron sergeants - very nice party and the bar was freely used.

The A.O.C. (Air Officer Commanding) Mediterranean Air Commodore Leckie DSO DSC etc. also arrived. Of course the Station Commander Hal Far was there with his wife. W/C Fall DSO DSC Distinguished Flying Cross and is ex RNAS RFC and RAF.
Leckie has spent two years in R.C.A.F. flown across Canada. He was in RNAS and has sunk submarines, destroyed airships and aircraft. He was the first or one of the first to land a fighter on a ship during the war.

Those medals look so nice on Mess Kid - couldn't we have just a teensy weensy little war?!!

All joking aside, we'll probably have a honey of a one in the not too distant future.

I haven't received a card from Uncle Ross this year as yet but received a Christmas card from Aunt Ida. I suppose it is delayed in the mail. Last letter received from Canada was addressed on the 18th of December and this is the 8th of January.

Bob certainly must have made big money on the road at 60 cents an hour.

I would certainly like to get home and see how Ronny is growing. I'll bet he's great fun. Glad to hear he is tough - keep- him that way or I'll lay your ears back!

The Navy are struggling to pattern me and use all my rugged individuality, but I'm holding my head above water.

Of course they can't change an old Service with traditions like the Navy to suit me.

I have bought a very nice lounge suit, grey with pin stripes, double-breasted. £7.10.0 or $37.50. Gieves Ltd. London can certainly turn out a suit. Tell Dad the real test of a quality suit is the sleeve buttons to have button holes and undo or do up. Suits here have three buttons on the sleeve. When I think of the two-year-old shiny suit I arrived in England with, I faint. Blatchford and I used to laugh until the tears came to our eyes seeing new arrivals from Canada in staid old England, dressed in leather jackets with zippers and Calgary Tech in coloured letters on the back!!

Bruce McCallum, a Canadian from Montreal here at Kalafrana on Flying Boats, was telling me about Bob Niven the other day.

He had been a Greyhound Bus driver. After he had joined the service, he wrote home to a fellow friend of his - also a Greyhound Bus driver and said Boy! don't waste any time - come right over - here is a snap job and good money.

His pal duly arrives at selection board Adastral House Kingsway -dressed in bus driver's breeches and black leggings - leather jacket and zipper - no tie and a goodly showing of thick black hair on his chest. His first words to the astonished gentlemen of the Board were, "I heah you have some commissions going!!"

After our learned friends had got over their shock, the relented and he is now a Sergeant Pilot in the R.A.F. These are the lads that won the war for us in the air!!

Well this is enough drivel for now. Miss you all very much at 1608 and hope to get home some day to see you all again - until then, keep the old flag flying.

Lots of love