December 5th 1941


Mann left some time ago to take part in Calcutta War Weapons week with one Lysander. Having a girl in Calcutta he arranges to go on leave there afterwards and to pay my fare down to collect his a/c. I leave Kohat on the 2nd and after two days in the train arrive in Howrah on 4th. I go to the Grand and find Burt living there as there is no room in the Mess at Dum Dum. (JDW: the airport at Calcutta and formerly home of the British Armoury, where, in the early 1890s, Captain Bertie Clay developed a bullet with the jacket cut away at the tip, to allow its soft lead core to expand on impact – the Dum-Dum.)

But now a new signal from Group to say that the a/c is to be allotted to 146 Squadron for W/C Wright’s use, so it looks like I shall have to pay my rail fare back home again, as well as 10/- a day here. But we are waiting to hear from Pete Jennings first.

Yesterday Burt took me to the Saturday Club for lunch and at 2pm I had a drink with him, Langford James and F/Lt Overton (Signals) in the Grand (chota peg 15 annas!). Then Overton and I go to the flicks and to Casanova (club) for a drink where I see Corporal Hove and alot of dusky beauties, one of which (or whom) makes eyes at me until the joint closes down. Overton had just been up in Dinjan, in Upper Assam, where goes 146 squadron to protect the Digboi oil fields (in 4-gun audaxes with a Lewis in the back!) DC3s from Chongqing connect up there in a through route apparently, all rather hush hush. Neil Elliot and Macmillan have arrived with Wavell and he says that Reggie Steward is with Abbot in the Paratroops.

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