[transcription and transcription annotations have been provided by the collection donor]
Tue Dec 1, 1942:
Up early for parade. We were supposed to fly this morning - air firing & bombing, but the weather was poor over the ranges, so we took off to do some local gee navigating. The gee wouldn’t work & the port outer motor nearly packed up so we landed. In the village again at night. Ate fish & chips out of a newspaper dated
Oct. 24, 1914.
Pitch black out. Went to RAF dance in the gym.
Wed Dec 2, 1942:
The big Parade for the C.O. today. All the mud puddles are frozen. I stuck around the Nav. Section all morning. We are scheduled to fly tonight at 7:3 pm. Flying washed out so I went to Cambridge. Had coffee with Betty Davis & Marjorie Reynor after a dance.
Thur Dec 3, 1942:
Spent most of the day over at the flights. In the evening Harry Budd & I toured the village pubs.
Fri Dec 4, 1942:
This morning we stood by for circuits and bumps. In the afternoon we did a little flying. Night flying tonight. Our engineer, Brown turned up drunk & refused to fly. He is on charge for insubordination. We are having a bit of bad luck with our kites.
Sat Dec 5, 1942:
We finished up this morning, had breakfast & to bed. Up for lunch, over to the Flights at 3 pm, flying tonight. Brown is under Close Arrest. We put in a couple of hours of circuits & bumps, then waited around in the dispersal hut.
Sun Dec 6, 1942:
We finally got airborne. I was finding it hard to keep awake & my cold clogged up my head. We landed about 4 am, had an egg and fried bread breakfast, in bed by 5am. Up for lunch, still tired. Reported to Flights at 3 in the afternoon. Brown has been remanded for trial by the C.O. We flew on an N.F.T. with S/L Cox. We were supposed to go to Oakington for circuits & bumps, then Gransden Lodge, but didn’t go to either. However we sat in our kite for some time watching ops kites putting down, then we walked back.
Mon Dec 7, 1942:
I went to bed at about 3 am & got up for lunch. Reported at the Flights at 2 pm. Then went to Ops flight to prepare for tomorrow’s cross country trip. We flew for two hours tonight after flying supper we went down to the Star.
Tue Dec 8, 1942:
Up at 9 am rushed over to ops flight to get ready for our cross country. Willie Miller (pilot) & Nick Collings (mid upper) had to give evidence at Brown’s trial. In the afternoon we went to Burnham Flats for airfiring. Early tea so we could do X country tonight. After waiting around it was scrubbed. Went down to the Sun for a crafty pint, joining the boys in a singsong. Off to get some fish & chips before going to the dance in the gym.
Wed Dec 9, 1942:
Out on parade this morning. A roll call was taken. No day cross country as Nick Collings & Willie are witnesses at Brown’s trial. After an early tea we were airborne. The trip took us up the eastern part of England to Whitby on the coast, then out over the North Sea & in to Waddington (S of Lincoln), when approaching land we were chased by a twin engined fighter. Taff Berry, rear gunner, panicked a bit, in the distance some flak was going up, when near Lincoln we fired the colors of the day & shortly after the fighter left us. Just after we landed. Sgt. Dodd crash landed on the flarepath after 2 engines on one side failed, no one hurt.
Thur Dec 10, 1942:
On parade this morning, we did a little drill. Prepared my charts for a day cross country. As the weather was poor we didn’t take off. An Ensa concert tonight.
Fri Dec 11, 1942:
This morning there was a summary of evidence for Brown’s case. Extended on into the afternoon. Budd & I went to Cambridge, where I did a little shopping before having a crafty pint at the Eagle, from here we went to the “Bun shop” where we consumed some Bolskummel, Drambuie & Lemon Hart Rum & Worthington ale. The Dorothy Dance attracted us next. No train or bus service so used a taxi. Today I heard Al Cumming was missing. Just got to sleep when Harry woke me up to tell about a gal I’d warned him of.
Sat Dec 12, 1942:
Over to Flights early. Had an early lunch & off the deck at 13:30 for our X country. Gee wouldn’t work at first, when it did we had passed our “homing” point. Coming back we were off track at numerous times. On landing I tried to figure out my log, but couldn’t. We are posted to No. 7 Squadron, Oakington. At night Harry, Budd & I toured the village, we nearly came to blows over a WAAF friend of Taylor’s.
Sun Dec 13, 1942:
We’re clearing today. While making out my log I overheard some of the instructors discussing my navigation, apparently it’s not good enough for Pathfinding. They were discussing sending me to 149 Squadron. Did a little packing then went to the village.
Mon Dec 14, 1942:
Up fairly early today. They are still taking evidence for Brown’s case. While making out my log I overheard the Nav. Officers discussing me & wondering if I wasn’t too inexperienced to go the Pathfinders. Harry & I went on a pub crawl in the village.
Tue Dec 15, 1942:
This morning we had to go over to SHQ as Brown went before the C.O. Nick Collings turned up late & still under the influence of liquor, presented a comical sight. Brown was admonished. At 11 o’clock we went down to the Brewery Tap. Nick had sobered up. We were to leave in the afternoon, but Taff Berry and Brown were so drunk they nearly tore the mess apart. We went to the Sun in the evening.
Wed Dec 16, 1942:
Up at 6 & over to the Mess. Nick Collings spent all night phoning the Station telephone operators. Arrived at Oakington by transport truck at 8:30 am. Breakfast was pretty good, lunch & tea were good big meals. We met the C.O. & were told what was expected of us. The Nav. section welcomes a victim with open arms. Everything on this station is run efficiently. Billeted in the mess. Just heard Billy Jagger (RNZAF) is missing from here. Alex Ramsay has been reported missing from this station. Going to bed early as I’m very tired.
Thur Dec 17, 1942:
Up in time for breakfast. After the 9 o'clock prayers I went to stores to get some Irwin flying clothing, they had no jackets, so I took the trousers. Had a talk with the Nav. Officer. Before lunch we had to take a night vision test. I made 30 out of 32 points Nick Collings made 31. I spent the early afternoon reading up Nav. Gen. At 3:30 pm at the dentist who went to work on my teeth. Went to ENSA concert in the evening.
Fri Dec 18, 1942:
Today we got cracking on the various things we must know. Develin , our engineer explained the petrol system to us. I taught the use of the sextant. In the evening I hurried into Cambridge where I met Harry Budd. We spent the evening sampling the cooking of Betty Davis & Margaret Reynor.
Sat Dec 19, 1942:
I had to prepare for a cross country today. This was scrubbed so we did more astro and I showed the engineer how to take fixes on Gee. Hobbs our bomb aimer and I toured the pubs.
Sun Dec 20, 1942:
We were to do a cross country this morning, but a little difficulty with the kite so didn’t go. Prepared my charts for a night cross country, which was scrubbed. The sun appeared in the afternoon so we used the sextant.
Mon Dec 21, 1942:
This morning I was told I’d be on a raid to Munich as 2nd Navigator. Briefing at 3 o’clock - the famous Nazi beer cellar is to be our aiming point. Early tea and out to the kite - M - take off at 5:30. We flew between cloud layers at 8 thousands. France lay under a gray blanket of clouds, a few searchlights hunted for us as we crossed the coast. We passed along Northern Switzerland, the lights of Basle were on - great to see a lighted city again. The Alps looked marvelous in the moonlight. We dropped a flare at the north end of Lake Constance & some at the N. end of Worm Lake. From here we could see flak coming up through the cloud. We stooged over the target a few times looking for a break in the cloud. No flak came near us. The route home was peaceful though we were told by another pilot that a Me 110 trailed us for a long way. Willie Milne our skipper went with another crew & didn’t return
Tue Dec 22, 1942:
This morning we were told Willie hadn’t returned. As there are no spare pilots here they decided to give us leave to the 28th. We made out the forms then it was canceled and granted again. We went to Cambridge at night.
Wed Dec 23, 1942:
This morning we got our passes made out, packed, received some pay and went to Cambridge by taxi, catching the 13:50 train for London. I went to Victoria, Nick Collings on to Cornwall, Taffy Berry & Doug Hobbs met me later in the Brasserce at Piccadilly Circus.
Thur Dec 24, 1942:
Up late no breakfast. Bought a second hand suitcase 50 shillings. Had lunch in the Beaver Club. The sun is shining today it’s quite warm outside. People are rushing round the shops. The service club are decorated with colored paper streamers. I phoned Rene Welsh & later arrived at Kelson’s where we all staged a little party. I slept at Kelson’s.
Fri Dec 25, 1942:
Alf Batcheler came over & woke us up. I went over to his people’s for dinner. In the evening we had a singsong. I stayed the night with Norman Kelson.
Sat Dec 26, 1942:
Boxing Day. I went into town to locate my grips & bags then back to Putney Bridge St. From here we went to see Fulham beat Queen’s Park Rangers at football. The weather is getting cold & foggy. At Batch’s in the evening, caught the underground to Victoria.
Sun Dec 27, 1942:
Up very late today. Packed & headed for Liverpool St. Station, checked my grips & went for a walk through the bombed areas near Moorgate. Damage here is very extensive, hardly a building stands. Made my way back to the Beaver Club for a bite to eat then of to catch my train. Met Taffy Berry on the train. We stayed in Cambridge long enough to eat then back to Oakington.
Mon Dec 28, 1942:
This morning I was told I’d be going back to Waterbeach to get a crew. Doug Hobbs is going to No.15 Sqdn., at Bourne. I started to get “cleared” & packed. At night we went to Cambridge.
Tue Dec 29, 1942:
Up late this morning. Les Santos may be posted. Develin our engineer has joined another crew. I was taken by truck to the railroad at 3 o’clock. I changed at Cambridge & arrived at Waterbeach at 5 o’clock. I dragged my grip up to the station. Had tea, my presence surprised everyone as they thought the whole crew had gone with Willie Milne. Went to the station dance.
Wed Dec 30, 1942:
Made my presence known to the Orderly Room & Accounts section. The C.G.I. told me what crew I’d have. I managed to get my kit bags brought up from the railroad station. I’m now installed in D Block again.
Thur Dec 31, 1942:
Slept in the morning. Spent the rest of the time hunting for my crew who I found in the afternoon. They are all young RAF Sgts. The pilot has flying time in on Bostons etc. while the WAG has been on Cats & Sunderlands. The WAAF’s had a New Years Dance at their quarters. Most of them wore fancy dress.