Letter 16

Letter 16: February 20, 1941


Dear Mother,

Well we’re all still alive but getting so tired we can hardly see, and little hope of relief in the future. So far we haven’t had so much as a half day off in the time since we’ve been here, nearly three weeks now. Everybody is willing to admit that were being pushed too hard but no one seems to do anything about it.

A class of New Zealanders came in Sunday so we’re all hoping that will ease our pace up slightly.

The sole bright spot is that Van Vliet, the C.O., claims we can’t work like we do and look like dressed up dandies at the same time and that gives us the odd spare moment now and then.

The food here is very punk – the poorest we’ve had since Manning Pool days, and I don’t imagine our next station will be very much better. It will either Rivers Man. or Penfield, N.B. If the latter is open by then that’s probably where we’ll go. I think I’d prefer that to Rivers.

We get our wings and sergeant stripes on March 15th if we pass. They toss exams at us right and left, written and oral with the minimum of notice.

The Fairey Battle Bombers we use here served at Dunkirk and over France last spring so have had their baptism of fire.

We were talking today of what it costs to train us. Over $1200 per man, for bombs and ammunition alone on this station, to say nothing of the gasoline, food, millions worth of equipment etc. on the station. An American sergeant pilot was telling Mickey and I the other night that our training equipment is years ahead of the U.S. in every way and our training the same. They still track methods over there, long discarded by the R.A.F. & R.C.A.F.

Thank you very very much for the parcel which I received today. The sock situation is well under control – about 16 pairs I think.

Tell Barb I was very pleased to get her letter and will write her as soon as I can.

Must close now and get to bed.

Very much love,


Click here to view a scan of the original letter: February 20 1941

Read the next letter: March 2, 1941 

Go back to the previous letter: February 12, 1941