[transcription and transcription annotations have been provided by the collection donor]
Wed July 1, 1942:
Flying this morning - base - Ketton - Lechlade above cloud and the wireless set getting worse. Nearing Whitechurch we came through clouds to 600 ft to pinpoint, rather misty and hazy so we landed at a Spitfire O.T.U. near Shrewsbury. While taxiing the tail wheel burst so we stayed til it was fixed. We had to work a good distance to the mess hall. Set course for Whitechurch, but ended up near Sealand, altered course to Whitechurch then to Base. After tea I had to prepare my charts for a night flip - Base - Carlton-on-Trent - Thetford - Whittlesey Clifton Station - Base. Take off 23:45.
Thurs July 2, 1942:
This was my first darkness flight on this side of the Atlantic. Our second leg was past the Wash, a great lurking ground for JU88's. It is pretty hard seeing anything on the ground. We arrived back at 02:45, had a meal and off to bed. Slept in til 11:00. A talk on convoys by a Naval Officer in the afternoon and then A.M.L. All day offs and leaves have been cancelled.
Fri July 3, 1942:
A.M.L. this morning. No flying this afternoon as it looked rainy, so Bill Monk and I had to swing an Anson and compass. The compass was so badly out that it had to be changed. In the meantime we went up and flew around the drome while the WAG tested the radio. On the ground again after a twenty minute flight without a parachute. After the new compass was installed we swung it and then went for supper.
Sat July 4, 1942:
This morning we had our first session in the Gropes, a device for Navigation exercises. We were supposed to fly to-night, the weather was bad, however the C.O. of night flying thought it was O.K. At 11:00pm all night flying was cancelled.
Sun July 5, 1942:
Our day off so we slept til noon. After lunch we went over to the sports field to watch sports events. Then Hosick and I headed for Oakham, took in a show and had supper at the Crown Hotel. The meal, salad, soup and desert was very small, but cost 5/- each. After leaving there we headed for a canteen and filled up the empty spots.
Mon July 6, 1941:
Up in time to go on 7:45 am parade. Instructional film and photography, not much else in the morning. The afternoon was spent in the Cleft Trainer - Navigation plotting device.
Tues July 7, 1942:
On Gropes this morning - fast and furious. In the afternoon I put in another session on the Cleft Trainer. We are supposed to fly to-night. We flew - Base - Gainsborough -Brackley - Dundle - Base. We were supposed to Infra-red bomb targets at Newark-on-Trent and Northampton, but didn’t because there was no camera in the kite.
Wed July 8, 1942:
Got to bed at 02:00 and slept til 11:00 am. In the afternoon we had practice changing ammunition pans on the observer Vickers gun on the Hampden. It took us 6 seconds to fire, change ammo pans, cock the gun and fire. Then a lecture on bombing and P.T. which we skipped.
Thurs July 9, 1942:
This morning we had another session changing ammo pans on the observers gun - 5 seconds this time. Then we tried our hand with the rear gunners twin Vickers - 8 and a half seconds to fire change both pans, cock both guns and fire. Navigation next then bombing and P.T. We flew to‑night - Base - Saywell, did Infra-red navigation run over target at Northampton - Botesdale - Posc-in-the-Wash - Gainsborough - Newark on the Trent another I R run herBase.
Fri July 10, 1942:
Slept till 11:00 then fixed up my chart and log. In the afternoon we had gunnery tactics - bombing and photography - night photography - Intelligence. Went to the station movie held in the airmen’s mess and saw The Sea Wolf, with G. Robinson.
Sat July 11, 1942:
All morning we prepared our charts for future exercises on Hampdens. The afternoon was taken up with several lectures. In the evening Hosick, Cec Loughlin and I went into Oakham and put in an appearance at the dance.
Sun July 12, 1942:
Supposed to be on church parade, but couldn’t find the officer in charge so we took the morning off. Having no lectures in the afternoon we put in the time in the Intelligence library. Had some film spooled into cassette.
Mon July 13, 1942:
Flew this morning as 2nd navigator. In the afternoon we had a lecture from the M.O. on the use of oxygen. I didn’t go to the Intelligence lecture, instead I got ready to go to Nottingham. Arrived there at 6:05 pm. Went to the Palais de Dance. Took Irene Beale home as it started pouring rain. I borrowed her raincoat and used it like a tent. I lost my way and didn’t get to a hotel til 02:00.
Tues July 14, 1942:
I woke up at 10:00am and had breakfast. Met two Canuck air force corporals who spoke of the excellent meals at the Windsor Café. I had ham and a large egg omelette there. Roamed around town til 5:30 pm then went for a walk along the River Trent getting back in time to catch the 8:58 pm train.
Wed July 15, 1942:
A few classes this morning - Flying tactics, Bombing and gunnery range estimation. I flew as 2nd navigator this afternoon.
Thurs July 16, 1942:
No flying this morning so I made an appointment with the dentist for to‑morrow morning. Tactics, bombing and gunnery took up the afternoon. At 11:30 we heard we were moving out to Saltby. In the evening everything had to be packed. Joe Hart and I went to the station Pix show.
Fri July 17, 1942:
The baggage was loaded at 8:00 am during a rain storm. We arrived at Saltby about an hour later in a R.A.F. bus. This station is spread over a large area. I share a room with Bruce Hosick, Bob McIntyre and an Aussie pilot. We walk about a quarter of a mile to the mess hall and the meals are fairly good, then about a half mile to the Operations Hut. In the afternoon Ft/Lt Renass gave us a lecture on escaping from enemy territory. He has the military cross for his successful escape efforts and valuable information brought back.
Sat July 18, 1942:
In the morning we had a lecture, or at least it turned out to be a discussion. We just hung around in the afternoon. Hosick and I went to Grantham in the evening. This is a fair sized town with three shows and a pub on every corner, of the latter there is the Red Lion, the White lion, the Blue Ram and Black Dog. The roof looks like it would fall in anytime. The White Dog, the Bricklayers Arms, the Maltsters Arms, where they have a piano, traps, accordion, and the proprietor alternates his beer serving with saxophone playing. B.B. and I caught the 11:00pm bus for camp.
Sun July 19, 1942:
Some of the fellows did some bombing and the rest of us just sat around just enjoying the sun. I managed to get some film spools into cassettes.
Mon July 20, 1942:
Still no flying for me to‑day. My day off started at 11:30 am. I went to Cottesmore, picked up my laundry, then went into Oakham, took some pix and went to a show, Wallace Beery and Micky Rooney in “Slave Ship”, a pretty ancient picture. Slept at Cottesmore.
Tues July 21, 1942:
Caught the 10:00 am truck for Saltby. My day off ends at noon. No flying for me in the after‑noon, however I shot the sun with a Sextant, learned how a Hampden is started and after tea, swung a compass (Hampden).
Wed July 22, 1942:
Put in the day trying to get on a sun bombing exercise - no luck. Tried to go on a low level bombing trip. Still no luck. I was put on an early morning detail, which was later scrubbed. Unsettled weather.
Thurs July 23, 1942:
After some more waiting, I did get up on a low level bombing exercise and made an error of 29 yds at 500ft..
Fri July 24, 1942:
Early this morning Jerry dropped two bombs on the airdrome. They missed the main runway and landed on the grass. Later in the day we went over and picked up some bomb fragments. Vipond and I went on a sun bombing (with camera) and line overlaps (photo) exercise. Pay day to‑day. Budd and I went to Grantham.
Sat July 25, 1942.
Went on a raid exercise to-day - Saltby - Bungay - Frome - Cirencester - Northampton - Saltby. After leaving Bungay we came close to Ipswich - a heavily defended area and then along the northern outskirts of London. A Beaufighter came up to look us over then left. We couldn’t see the other turning points because of cloud.
Sun July 26, 1942:
Nothing much to-day. Preparations seem to be underway for another 1000 bombing raid, the course ahead of us will go on it. No kites from this O.T.U. are on it.
Mon July 27, 1942:
Day off to-day. I went to Cottesmore to change my chute, then to Oakham to price a bike. Last night a raid was on Hamburg. Jerry attacked the vicinity late at night.
Tues July 28, 1942:
No flying to-day. This time our kites will take part in it. Not much for us to do.
Wed July 29, 1942:
Our kites didn’t go on a raid last night. In the evening Jimmy O’Brien, Alex Ramsay and I went to movies in Grantham.
Thurs July 30, 1942:
No flap for our kites last night - still standing by. I managed to swap my day off (Mon) for Sat. (Jimmy O’Brien) so I could go to Notts.
Fri July 31, 1942:
All flying washed out to-day as they are going to attempt another flap to-night. In the evening an A.C. and I went to Grantham. We went to the dance at the Drill Hall, which ended at 1:00 am. We tried to obtain beds at the Church Army Hotel, but were unsuccessful.