No. 404 R.C.A.F. Squadron
8 August 1942
Mum, Pap & Kids:
How goes every thing? Suppose you think I have forgotten how to write. I guess when you see this mess you'll know I have. Well, I hope you are all fine and that you are fighting over who nurses the new baby [of sister Bernice]. I hope you took my previous suggestion and called it "Bunny". I got a letter from Bun [Bernice's husband] and he seemed quite pleased about everything. It's tough to be in his shoes, but I guess there's hundreds like him.
Since I last wrote I have moved to another station and can't say I like it as well as the last one. We are practically isolated and it curbs our social activities greatly. I flew up and enjoyed the trip immensely. Scotland sure looks swell from the air. It is just a thousand shapes and shades of green. Once over the water it got foggy and we couldn't see much until we reached our new base and then it was clear so I didn't get a ride in a dinghy.
The food you sent comes in very handy. I sure appreciate it here. I get me a loaf of bread at the country store and make toast and have butter I brought over and your jam so it helps out well. This place is not noted for meals as the boys told me who were here last winter and which I am now finding out for myself. However, we are hoping not to be here too long this time.
I put in an application to the C.O. to remuster to Flight Engineer, so if that goes thro' I may still get into aircrew. The flight engineers fly in the big bombers and flying boats and look after instruments, feed the juice to the motors, etc., etc., etc. It means some long tedious trips, especially if you're on a flying boat, but I don't care. I feel I'll be doing more for the war effort than sitting around on the ground doing nothing. [?] that I'm going after a course for Junior N.C.O.'s. Two of our fellows are going away on one now to England. I wrote Elmer when I left asking him to send me some ukele strings. I got a uke in Edinburgh from one of the W.A.A.F.'s at our former station and when on leave picked it up for her and she let me bring it along so we have a little sing song every nite in one of the huts and do what we call "de-cheesing". When the boys get fed up or in a bad humor, they are "cheesed" in R.A.F. language; "gen" means knowledge, or authoritative rumor and is used for many words; "junkers" means C.B.; aeroplanes are always "kites". The ground is the "deck"—or the runway—the sea is the "drink". When a "kite" crashes into the sea he goes into the "drink" or the "deck" if on land. The "brain trust" is the senior N.C.O.'s running the flight, maintenance, etc. A "Joe" is anyone picked for a job of any kind. "A good show" is a satisfactory job, a good report, etc. The funniest one is "quoins". It can mean anything. It may mean a technical apparatus, "the church of food" (Church of Scotland canteen) or a coat, hat or anything under the sun almost. It is another word for rig-a-ma-jig or thing-m-bob. It is quite amusing to hear the guys speeling it off. We sure have lots of fun among the boys in spite of the place. The blinking sea gulls sit on the mess hall roof by hundreds and one "dive-bombed" me yesterday on the way out.
I have lost track of the news and even forgot it was Sunday today until they called us out for church parade. I understand Russia is still taking a beating but hope they can make a come back soon. I haven't heard from our sergeant observer lately, but I hope to see him on my next leave if it should come about November or December.
I hope you are now reaping one of the best crops you've had in years and send us over lots more "A" group bacon & eggs. I'll send this air mail and it should reach you in a couple of weeks as we have air mail planes in here every day. I am still fine & healthy, and in very good spirits—considering.
S'long for now