March 15th 1941


Nearly caught out on Wednesday.

We were night flying and before starting my instructor, Garner, says “be sure and use these plain flying goggles”, handing me a pair – I think Christ, put them on my helmet and, when in the cockpit, I change them over for the pair with the lenses that I bought in Karachi. Then through the earphones comes:

“Are those dark bloody goggles you are wearing?’

I say yes, and I prefer them, but he makes me change them, stuffing my own pair in my pocket. So off we go, with me quivering and wondering how the hell I shall be able to see the signal light. But, actually, I can see it, and there is a full moon, so despite there being no Chance light (JDW: Mobile airfield flood lighting illuminating the landing area and the apron at night) I do four chukkas dual and then three solo in the Audax, and am fairly successful.

The CFI, Ling, gets his promotion to Wing Commander the other day and they all celebrate in style. At about 4pm, all pickled, they make for the hangars, Levies and all, and away in the air. Luckily only one plane is crashed, landing on the polo field, but there are acrobatics near the ground, inverted circuits and God knows what. Cremin was the worst. Too pissed to convince anyone he could fly, he is taken in the back on an Audax with no parachute, and trying to bail out all the way. And coming back the same.

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