L.A.C. Biollo P.J.
#7. A.O.S. R.C.A.F.
Portage La Prairie
I received your very welcome letter today. It is the first from home & I hope Barbara is better & you are all well. I am fine & the weather here has been fine up until today. That sure was swell of Tony to send that camera. I think if you put another wrapper on it & sent it, it would be okay. So long as nothing betrays that it is a camera. Could you send me $5 of my months pay also, as I am rather short & we don't get paid for a while as the army is paid first out here.
The parcel was swell Mom & it lasted fine. I am sure looking forward to an Easter parcel. The food here is now worse than Mossbank, because it has been put on R.C.A.F. rations instead of civilian as before. Portage is a swell town, but they just wilfully rob us when we got to town, example 40¢ for 1 scoop of spuds and 4 sausages & no coffee or tea. Can you beat it? And that is only one example.
Well something about this course. Before we came here we were told it was an easy course. On top of all the bombing we have to be second navigator here on all trips. We also take photos with a 30 pound hand held camera. Oh it's fun! grrrr! It is just like I.I.S. only you must put into use what you learn. I have about 6 hours in the air here now & we fly Thursday & all day Friday next. It was rather bumpy today & many lads were sick including me - for the first time. It was awful. I didn't care what happened. Boy was I ever floozy. Even some of the pilots got sick, so you can see how rough it was. The subject we take here are 1. Map reading. 2. Pin pointing. 3. Aldis. 4. Aircraft Acc. 5. Photography. 6. Navigation. 7. Armament. 8. Recconaissance, all on top of bombing. We don't get gunning now here or overseas. Ah yes I had 4 teeth filled & the dentist said I'll probably loose all my teeth soon as they are too soft & keep breaking down. One thing about this course, it is interesting in the air, but rather boring in ground studies. We had a long day today. We got up at 7 & had classes from 8 till 11, ½ hour for lunch and 11:30 till 12 in briefing and operation's room before a flight. We flew from 1 till 4 and had supper then went back to class from 7 till 9. Before every trip we must do about 2 or 3 hours preparation work for use aloft. Not a second is wasted here. On our trips here it is just like the real thing. We carry a Pilot, Wag, Navigator & Bombardier. The Bombardier must also act as Co-pilot & 2nd navigator besides pin-pointing, map-reading & bombing. So it makes you feel pretty good. They all look to us for verification of their statements. We have to do the fastest mental work in any service. A navigator does it on paper. We figure it out in our heads in a few secs, while using 100's of miles per hour. Gee I better stop building myself up. I'll be getting a big head! Oh yes just look at that little statue & you can see how I felt. Boy was I deflated! I sure yelled "uncle"!
Hello Ray & all you children, still love me? Ray you kiss Mom & Dad & all the girls for me you old mush-push-ha-ha. Well I must hit the hay peoples. Bye now.
Love to all & God bless you