July 24th 1944


I polish off the night flying and go to the gunnery flight. I also go to town to see Elaine but she is a bit upstage as a certain Norwegian sergeant pilot has undone all my good work whilst I have been night flying. Hi name in Biani, but I shall call him Piano. I sit around boozing and later come back with Steve in his truck. She puts up her cheek to be kissed so I say “what’s that for?” and depart.

Saturday Pete and I and Charlie Ruck go in – Pete very drunk after 8 or 9 whiskies and grapefruit in the Mess, as he has just finished his night flying and on the loose again. We go to the Corbett (Arms) and I see some dame eying us, so later at the local dance I seek her out and dance off. She is a WAAF in 22 Group, one Dorothy Lewis, and is in civvies and staying at the YWCA. She walks part way home with me, then I see her back to the YWCA and we do pretty well. I date her for last night and we drink beer in the Corbett until it closes, then she changes into uniform and we set off for home. I side track her halfway and we get down to something in a field, but nothing else as she is on a “major”, though if she were not, I have my own doubts too!

I get her back in home by 23.59 and today arrange to meet her tomorrow. I expect that all I shall get for my pains is a trip to Sheffield – a double course too. Thursday night I get a bit tight with “Tuppence” and two friends of mine in the “Corbett” and later I am foolish enough to spend 10/- on Pimms No 1 in the Mess ante-room.

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July 17th 1944


I do five landings by myself, more or less satisfactorily, and then get the next night off. So I ring up Elaine but she sounds dubious having a date with the Norwegian sergeant pilots, two of them, who have been around whilst I have been night flying.

I go to town with two pilots and drink beer in the “Corbett”, where Elaine and Co appear, but all most unsatisfactory and we part later – or rather she departs with a flighty “Goodbye.” We return to the Mess and I drink beer with a Czech, one F/L Donda, and we follow some women and their French boyfriends out, and we meet a dog, and I go to bed with a dead rabbit.

 

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July 14th 1944 – Market Drayton


I go night flying again and do two solo circuits until 5am when it is getting light. Yesterday I go beacon bashing up to Hooton Park and I then drive straight into the ground. I get a bad attack of Mhairi, for some reason, (JDW: an old girlfriend), having had another letter recently, but from a careful appreciation there can be no joy, as the RAF say. I take Tuppence out for a walk in between supper and night flying, and it pours with rain and they cancel it.

I collect a clasp for North Africa to my 39-43 Star, for my services learning to be a tankbuster with 6 squadron, which seems a bit of a racket. (JDW: may father I suppose is referring to the fact that he did not actually see any action in North Africa, just visited for training.)

I would like to meet Mhairi in Edinburgh, but then I shall get no leave.

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July 12th 1944


I collect young “Tuppence” and we walk to the “Stormy Petrel” and drink beer until we are asked to leave. I walk her home and put in a bit of fancy work in the garage, but nothing to cause any alarm. Yesterday I go down to see Elaine in the “Corbett Arms” and we go back to the “Lamb” and I have to leave at 12.15 with Steve and Teagarden in their truck as I can stand it no longer. I do some sodium flying (?) and am now in the night flying flight, and kick off this evening with “beacon bashing” dual at 3.15am, so what the hell I do until then I do not know.

 

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July 11th 1944


I go in to see Elaine occasionally but no more home bases due to aircraft being U/S. I go down and look at the cottage at Bridgenorth, and not many chickens about. Also a few cross countries, fairly successful ones too. Yesterday I go to a dance with Mrs King-Hay who puts up 10/- for my admittance. Free beer until it runs out, but not much else there bar a lot of American officers. I get a bit disgruntled and dance with some dame who I cannot see home, as I have to go back to the King-Hays for beer and retrieve my bicycle. Today I was going to see the Penfold dame at 8pm but it was raining hard and so that will be off too.

 

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July 3rd 1944


I am invited to stay the night at “The Lamb” on Friday, my day off being on Saturday, and go down there and do some beer drinking. Thursday I take Elaine to the Parish Hall dance and keep losing her in the general “excuse me’s” when all sorts of women come and tap her off; she kisses me goodnight quite well, too. At about 2.30am we go upstairs and I am shown the spare bedroom and eventually score a home base, though only just as Nancy comes down from upstairs looking for Elaine and there is nearly trouble.

Next day, after breakfast at 12 and lunch at 4pm we go for a walk and then I cycle home. Later to a dance at Buntingsdale, HQ 25 and 22 Groups, where I never saw so much whiskey before in England. I set to work on one “Penny” Penfold, a WAAF officer, and she comes over yesterday with Lady Chetwynd, who had invited me, to a hop here. I do seem to get much flying here, or much sleep for that matter, and Scott tells me the next course at Hawarden starts in three weeks time. A letter from Mrs Jacobs.

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June 28th 1944


I go in on Monday and see Elaine and we sit in the bar and drink mixed Guinness and Brown Ale until bacon and eggs arrives about 11.30pm. We have quite a session but no score again – though we have the joint to ourselves, Nancy being in bed suffering from “bad beer”.

This (flying) programme is a bit of a bind, as it means up at 7am every day and we don’t always finish until 17.45. The other day I sit in the flight office from 1-5pm waiting for a flight, and doing nothing.

Yesterday I go to play tennis at the King-Hay’s but am given a good supper and so cannot play very well after it. A cheque for £3-3 from Aunt Vivy.

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