No. 404 R.C.A.F. Squadron
8 July 1942
Another week is gone by and nothing of note has taken place. However, we got the good news this morning that one of our good men is a prisoner in Germany (likely Norway) so the other two fellows will likely be there too, or maybe still on their way back. It sure is tough to loose good fellows. One of them was supposed to be going home but wanted one more sweep over the enemy and sure enough he got it.
And how are things à la maison? I guess you will be right in the middle of the hay this week. They are haying over here and it's really comical to watch. They have about six girls and a bunch of men doing jobs that Ed & I could do in one-quarter the time and this is an underestimate. They have been working two days in a 2 acre field so you can imagine how fast they work. Then they have 3 other land girls to milk the cows. Over home the 3 girls could do all the milking & haying too, if they were like you.
I guess Ed & Bet will be making muscles fast. I daresay Art is down there ripping into it too, so you should get along fine.
Things don't look so good in Russia today. I hope they hang on another month or so till we knock out a few more German towns and the Yanks get going. I haven't heard from Elmer yet, so if he doesn't answer me before Monday I'll not see him on my leave ‘cause I'll stay in Edinburgh unless I'm going to see him. I've had enough long train rides from one end of this country to the other. I'll likely get a letter this aft. or tomorrow. I hope. I should get 14 days but they won't let me have it. There's only half a hundred men laying around here idle and they can't spare me. The chief (our flight) says the other fellows didn't get it when they came so we can't. I said, my grandparents didn't have electricity so we shouldn't either. I figured his reasoning was just as sane. He seems to think we never did any work over home but that's where they do work. I did a 40 or 80 or both inspection every nite at Aylmer & here I have 2 - 45's since I arrived. It's a joke.
We got a lecture this morning from the adjutant on saluting, our dress on work etc. The Canadians while on duty look like a bunch of troops—they get right down to work instead of listening all morning for the tea wagon to come around—and our squadron has the best serviceability record of any squadron over here, so they are jealous of us & take it out by making us salute every time we see an officer within a mile. We just consider it a joke anyway because we know we are doing the job right & keep the kites "up there". Yes, I'm darn proud of the boys over here. They laugh & talk and continually have fun while at the same time they are that sick of the cables on the barrage balloons & let the place sink. Nevertheless, when there's a job to do they get it done without so much red tape. A couple of days ago our boys (4 of ‘em) took 5 cylinders of a kite, ground valves, fitted new rings, all in 1 day, and nine R.A.F. guys were on the other one engine and it took them two days. (The tea wagon must have been around often.)
Say, it looks like I'm starting to "grouch" already. I'm really not feeling that way at all. I have a grand time with the fellows. Met a guy from Stratford & we go dancing together and have a lot of fun. Am going to get a uke as I have two more guys lined up for a trio.
Say, if it isn't too much trouble would you send me my white sweat shirt. I need it for sports. Am representing 404 in a few events today on our big field day. Five squadrons are competing. Can also sell any amount of cigarettes you'll take the trouble to send, so take some of my money and send me a few thousand. I have guys from the R.A.F. asking for ‘em. They give 1'6 or about 35 cents for 25 for ‘em so I can do O.K. on them. If you send me a box later on put in a small can of condensed milk, a can of coffee, a carton of gum. However, if you send the cigs I can buy those things with the profits.
Must write Jim so will shut off now. Things are sure fine with me and I hope they are with everyone over there. Oh yes, birthday greetings to Berne, Mum & Jim. I'm a bit late to send Ethel a birthday card , but they haven't answered my first letter. Will write you when I get back from leave and let you in on all the "sights" I hope to see. So long all, ah sho' am in the pink but reckon as how ah have not seen "Kentucky nor Chuck" yet. I'll be see' y'a.