February 5th 1941


My instructor is Cremin.
(JDW: Dan Cremin was killed in an air accident in March 1942 a few weeks after taking command of his first squadron, 66 squadron in the UK).

First hour or so is spent in my U/S (unserviceable) telephones, with “Br….umph!” coming through them and me feverishly looking at all the bloody dials to see what I am doing wrong. Then I change them and go up with Sgt Baker – do very well, he says “well you know where the bloody ground is anyway!” and that I ought to go solo the next day. Then follows four hours with Cremin and I am bloody awful – he gets my back up with his tired, bored and pained voice: “Must you aim for the only plane on the bloody field?” when I am coming in, and thinking which side to go to avoid a plane on the ground. “Are you doing it on purpose?” when I get into difficulties keeping straight on landing, and the plane continues turning.

Then I go up with Broughton and he shows me how the brakes work. Then Garner takes me up and I improve. Next day, Chief Flying Instructor Sqn Leader Ling gets in the back and I do a perfect circuit and landing, followed by three bad landings. More Garner, but still bad landings. Then Ling says “Well, you know the rules. I’ve told B flight to give you a couple of hours more” – and then out I go.

Today went up with Garner and did three landings, good enough, and am allowed solo and do two not so bad ones. And that postpones the execution, but I still feel that the sentence has not yet been remitted. Played bridge with C.O. Ling and Broadhurst. Lost 230 fils.

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