Having lost 19 aircraft and 14 pilots in the Group the “press on regardless” attitude is abandoned. Dick Mitchell comes back as C.O. and says that David and I are to be his flight commanders. Fair enough says I – as Alan Clifton-Mogg is going home as he will not serve under Dick, as he reckons he should have been C.O. himself. I do one more sortie, abortive, with long range tanks, in the Zuyder Zee area, though after 15 minutes I open the engine, and it’s so rough I come home. Just as well, as I am in 5/10 cloud and miles off track.
I get on leave and am now in the “Wings Club”. We leave Gilze and reach Northolt around 6pm and I get up, but there is some mistake over beds and I have the ‘emergency’ one. I ring Monica, and she is waiting and says “come on down and I will cook something.” My God! I go down to the King’s Road with a bottle of “Cheval Noir 1937”, and get home at 3am after another passionate session.
Yesterday I take my battledress for wings etc to Flights, and then collect her from her office at 6.30pm. We have a drink in Shepheards and the Brevet Club, followed by dinner there and then get a bus home. It’s raining and makes her hair smell nice, and everything in the garden becomes lovely, so it’s with the greatest difficulty that I am made to go away at 11.30, having started nothing, so that we both get a good night’s sleep.
I had wired Bill at Camberley but find he is in town, and today meet him and arrange a party tonight. He is keen on night clubs so I expect I will end up in one, very tired and against my will. The G/C, Anderson, got a bar to his D.S.O. and I start to think I shall get a bar to my DFC for those forward facing oblique photos. But it’s too late now – and not even a mention. I should like an oak leaf!