Letter 40

Letter 40: September 27, 1941


P/O H.H. Pibus,

(Can) J5086,

82 Squadron, R.A.F.

Wotton, Norfolk.



Dear Mother,

An afternoon off so I want to get a letter or two written while I have a chance, also before some son-of-a-gun pinches what little writing paper I have left.

Many thanks for the cigs. which have arrived in quantity during the past 3 days – 300 a day to be exact – my supply had run out some time before and I was extremely glad to see them. This week has also done pretty well in the mail line finishing off with six letters this morning, two from you, three from Phyl, and one from Liz, so today had been a real letter day.

So far everything has been going very smoothly, and will I trust continue to go as smoothly. We spend a great deal of our time looking after our planes, that is making sure that they are O.K., cleaning and checking the guns, swinging the compasses to make sure that they’re O.K. and such like. The actual maintenance of the aircraft is done by the ground crew, who are a swell bunch and very interested in their own plane, keeping it tuned up to perfection.

The weather lately had been grand though the mornings are very foggy, it clears and the rest of the day is perfect with a warm sun and light breeze.

I could really go for some of your stew, and a decent dessert would be almost priceless, as for the coffee, you know what English coffee is like. I’d give anything for some Chase & Sanborn’s or Maxwell House right now. We get plenty to eat but they have a lot to learn about cooing, that’s sure. Another Canadian here had a can of corn and he got them to cook it and serve it. It tasted wonderful too, but practically none of the English officers would touch it (not that we minded, it left us more each). They seem to be afraid of anything in the food line that they haven’t had before especially ‘colonial’ dishes. The desserts of course are shocking, you know them of old, and usually smothered in tasteless custard – no apple pie, no chocolate pie or blanc-mange, no pie of any kind – in fact it ruins the meal. When I get back I shall want many meals, each with many desserts, to make up for what I’ve been missing.

There are four of us on the squadron between 27 and 30, all the others are much younger. Our C.O. a wing-commander is only 22, while two of the squadron leaders are 21 and 19 respectively. The four of us feel like old men sometimes – strange as it may seem to you.

According to Liz Olive’s Ron is very highly thought of by the people in his own bailiwick. I know Ev and Phyl both have a very poor opinion of him too.

BY the way Les McCaig is now AC2 McCaig and an embryo observer. I had a letter from him last week saying he had to report on the 11th of this month.

I must close now and get some more letters written.

Very Much Love,



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