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Date: July 27th 1940
From
John Balfour Gray
Letter

Gray, J.B. R58225
No. 1, I.T.S., R.C.A.F.
1107 Ave. Road, Tor.
July 27, 1940.

Mother darling

Finally have lots of time to write you as I am back at the Manning Pool Hospital. Yesterday morning I felt very tough having a sore throat so went on sick parade. The M.O. discovered I was running a quite high temp. so he sent me down here again to rest up for a few days. It is nothing serious but you might as well get it fixed up right away. It is comfortable down here but I hate to miss the lectures up at the Hunt Club although I have my Math Book and also the on different subjects.

The other day I had a psychology test which is fairly important. One part of it consists of sitting in a chair with a rudder bar and joy stick in front of you. On the wall is an outfit that looks something like this.

The idea is this. Suddenly a red light will flash on in each of the three rows. Moving the joy stick to right or left will move the white light on top row and moving it forward or back will move the white in the middle row and of course the rudder bar moves the bottom tow. The idea is to match up the three pairs of lights as quickly as possible. As soon as they are matched a bell clangs and the red lights change where upon you sweat further and line them up again. You do this forty times and it takes as a rule about 300 seconds. I did it in 275 but had some 600 mistakes. Some have been known to make well over 900 as each time you go past the red light it counts a mistake for every light past and on the way back so you see how easily they pile up. I have since been informed that the time is by far the most important part of the test.

In another test one really gets fogged up. It is very difficult to explain but I will try. It is known as the two handed co-ordination test. The large dish turns just like a phonograph record turning with it the larger of the two buttons in a zig-zag direction. The idea is for you to keep the small dark button over or as close to the other as possible by means of two wheels, one of which has a left hand thread to make it tougher. These wheels move a framework forward or backward and to either side carrying the dark button with it. The only connection between the two buttons is a string which registers how far apart they are. Boy you really get mixed up on the one but I wasn’t too bad considering the others. I was under 100 on the three tries while most are about 125. The other test was a depth perception chart similar to the one in the driver’s test we had. I had an average error of .5 mm.

I hope you are not too completely bewildered but what I have written so far but it is really hard to make it clear.

I will try to describe my new home at the former Eglinton Hunt Club. It is a lovely place and no fooling. The buildings are set in a very nice district quite a distance from the centre of the city but there is a modern business district just five minutes walk from the barracks.

There is a good swimming pool there so you may be sure I have been doing lots of swimming every day. I bowled the other night but my score was not very good. It costs only five cents a game and the alleys are in wonderful condition.

The mess hall is a tremendous jump from what it was at Manning Depot. Now we look forward to instead of dread the meals. We have coffee and tea that are just that and we have also jam, honey, ketchup, H.P. sauce, pickles, cheese and all sorts of things. We do, however, pay $1.00 a month extra for these things but they are well worth it. The eggs in the morning are individually fried, the porridge is not lumpy and there are many other things like that which make it worth while.

Apart from the discipline and the small amount of drill we get each day you would think it was school again as we have a regular time table for each day. The Math seems to be the most important although it is the final average which will count. One of the most interesting subjects is Sanitation which really is health. The two lectures so far have dealt with the effect of flight upon the ear and the effect of flight upon other parts such as blood, heart, etc. It is extremely interesting as given by a young M.O. As yet I haven’t received any training in the Link trainer but look forward to it very much as it is wonderful training.

Just had my temp taken again - 99○. They take it often and give you pills every four hours even all night. They wake you at 2:00 A.M.

Already I am getting to know the fellows a lot better up at the Hunt Club as you are together far more than we were here. There are two fellow in particular I rather like – Bruce Gray from Vancouver and John Granda a Spaniard from Montreal. The latter is the same bunk as I – he has the lower part. There are a fine lot of chaps from everywhere in Canada – it is surprising the large number of Americans here too. There are three chaps in our flight from Texas.

Must hurry this away to catch tonights mail or would add more. What is the news now about Hampton? Phyllis? Glad to hear you still know how to milk cows, Mother! Good for you. Thanks for the papers – I pass them on to Grant Tindale who went on the same draft as J. Met Margaret Goddard,? Dunning last Sunday.

Love to all;
Keep plugging Dad,
John

P.S. Sorry this wasn’t so long as I had hoped it would be but more in a day or two. Have any other Nelson boys left for Toronto as yet? Could you get me Jerry Heffernan’s address in Tor? Gib Goucher knows it or else could get it! Love Jack

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