July 31st 1944

Another wire that she cannot make Edinburgh before Friday, and I ring up Mhairi and contract to visit Crail tomorrow if she can find me accommodation – so that will be that – and what do I do with my seven days (leave)? I finish my flying and am on the list for Hawarden, but G. knows when I shall go.

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July 29th 1944

I am given seven days leave so wire Mhairi to meet me in Edinburgh. She says she can manage it at 12.30 on Thursday, then they cancel it and extend the course by a couple of weeks, and then give me leave again. I ring up Crail (JDW: where Mhairi lived near Edinburgh) with some difficulty and hear a distant voice on the other end. Now I am going to Edinburgh on Tuesday and meeting Mhairi for lunch on Thursday, after which she returns to Crail. I have seven days, so what the hell I will do with myself I can’t think. Aunt Babs ill in hospital. And what the hell will the lunch be like – a complete anti-climax no doubt.

A terrific dance last night and I have “Tuppence” over, and she departs for Grantham today. Also the Atkinson dame, though I don’t do much looking after her. This morning I have a cold – caught God only knows where.

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July 26th 1944

The rain stops and the enemy turns up and we sit in a wood and consume beer, amongst other things. Due to one or two technical hitches the Papist plot functions again, not particularly satisfactorily either. We ride home in the dark and I get along up to the WAAF quarters without getting arrested and see her home.

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July 25th 1944

I make a recce from the air and then one on a bicycle. I organise some beer from the Mess, I brief myself and have everything on the top line, and all depends on how the enemy will fight – and what happens? – it starts raining.

God! So the enemy won’t even turn up I expect!

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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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