Letter 14

Letter 14: February 4, 1941


Barrack Black 12B

#4 Bombing & Gunnery School,

Fingal, Ont.

Dear Mother,

We landed here Sunday night after leaving Regina Friday morning. Its not such a bad station, but can’t compare with #3 A.O.S. The water is sulphur water & we have to have the drinking water brought in, and the meals aren’t in the same class with what we were given out in Regina.

They certainly intend to keep us busy here and no mistake. Its a seven day week with perhaps half a day off. Reveille comes at 6.15 and we have to hurry like blazes to make it for lectures at 7.45. The lectures run from 7.45 to 16.15 every day, except Sunday & we fly that day, as well as every other day we can get an aircraft of the ground. During our own time we have to put about thirty to forty hours on the turrets, wireless and bomber. Also we drill from 16.15 to 1700 every day – since we become sergeant-observers on leaving here. We get our wing five weeks from Saturday if nothing happens to fail any of us.

We get no leave while we’re on this station, at least so Squadron Leader Kennedy told us yesterday, and the son-of-a-gun wasn’t fooling. If, however, we do through force of circumstances get a leave I’ll wire you.

Our C.O. is Wing Commander Van Vliet who took the 110th Squadron overseas. He sure knows his stuff but he’s about the toughest C.O. in Canada if you step out of line – and I do mean tough.

All our time here is spend on machine guns, bombs, bombsights, bombing, gunnery practice and so on. When they say that we eat sleep and eat guns and bombs they’re certainly giving the plain unvarnished truth. About the only thing we don’t do is take them to bed with us.

We are split into three classes, and I’m class senior of #2 Class, a dirty job than can bring a heck of a lot of grief with it. There are 34 of us here – the other six unfortunately didn’t make the grade – some were washed out completely & others given one more month to make the grade.

I caught a cold just before I left Regina but have gotten rid of it, except for the fact that I have laryngitis, which is darned annoying particularly when I try to give commands and suddenly find myself with only a very faint whisper. Its clearing slowly but makes me so mad I don’t know what to do. It’ll be fine for a long time then, suddenly, just when I need it most, its gone.

I was very pleased to receive your letter to-night. The service here isn’t as good as it was out west where we got two or three mail deliveries a day – here we get one.

All for tonight – we had a muster parade this a.m. at 7 bells to be warn us again to be “animated clams”. Consequently we had to crawl out at 5.30, so to-night we’re all very very weary.

Heaps of love,


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