November 18th 1940 Karachi


Nearly scuppered. As my ‘A’ License expired on 15th inst. I had to have a medical exam for the renewal form. Crimes of Paris! As the saying goes.

(JDW: As everyone who has been following this blog will know, my father’s eyesight was poor and he had only got into the RAF by cheating on the eye exam.)

Well, I go snooping around the hospital on the pretext of getting some boric ointment, but am unable to penetrate the M.O’s section and obtain access to the eye test card. So I nip down to the RAMC Hospital on Sunday morning. The C.O. there is a bit deaf and says ‘come tomorrow at 9am’, I explain that I shall be flying, but he just repeats himself. I then see one Captain Hanbury on the list of doctors (he was at Pachmari) so I chase him around the wards, but unsuccessfully.

I then run into the C.O. again who is a bit rude, so I pack off home. I go straight up to the hospital here with my heart in my boots, but the M.O. is out. However I penetrate his office and write down the eye test card, which is C-O-O etc in unfinished circles. I learn this off by heart and this morning I go up for the inspection. He is in one of the wards, and as he fills in the questions he says “Come along with me and I’ll test your eyes.” He leads me out of the ward but PAST his office, and I hear the angels singing. We then come to a placard on the wall, and damn my whiskers if it isn’t the same one as I learnt in Delhi at Air HQ!

Well, I learned RAF climbing turns etc, and can now do steep turns and side slips. There’s a small camp some 3-4 miles from the aerodrome, presumably Kings Own, and I do all my stuff there at 4000’ and then shoot them up in the remaining 3000’ to 1000’ after which I go home.

A dance in the Mess here last Saturday. McDowell rings up and invites himself, with a colossal fat chap in Phipson’s called Connie. He wants to come as all the “Popsies” are here and he wants to get amongst ‘em. Suits me. I have a few dances, nothing much to write home about, and eventually retire at 02.30.

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