Wednesday, November 13, 2013

World War II Letters Home November 13, 1938-Estelles Wickenkamp

                                                                                             No. 2  Flying Training School
                                                                                             Royal Air Force
                                                                                             Brize Norton, Oxford
                                                                                             November 13, 1938

Dear Folks:

I suppose you wonder why I didn't write last week.  Well, a bunch of us boys went to London for the week-end, on Friday evening and came back Sunday night so I didn't get time to write then and I didn't have time during the week.

We have been night flying every Monday night for our group.  Wednesday afternoons we play games all afternoon.  We have played soccer and rugby.  Our teams are divided up into the "Colonials" vs. "English".  The Colonials include Canadian, Australian, New Zealanders, South Africans and South Americans.  We took the 'Gor' Blimies for a real ride in their own rugby game last Wednesday.  Some time we will play them a game of baseball and show them how it is done.

Doug and I stayed at the Royal Hotel in London.  We had a room together,  it was a real swell room with 2 single beds, and it only cost us 5/6 a night a piece.  We spent most of our time window shopping and gazing about.  We went to a few shows.  I made an investment and bought myself a dressing gown and a pair of bedroom slippers, which I had to have.  I'll have to buy myself some underwear soon, then I think my wardrobe will be complete for a while.

Every time we are in London we go to "Canada House" to see if anyone we know has come over, and also to sign our names in the register.  I was talking to a R.C.M.P at the doorway.  He is from Winnipeg.  They come over here for 2 year periods, this chap has been here about 6 months.  It's great to see a redcoat again.  I think if they had a few more of them over here and a better type of administration it wouldn't hurt England.  Give Mr. Austin and his right hand man my best regards.

I haven't done much flying for the last month on account of the weather - so much fog and drizzle.  As you probably know by now an Oxford is not aerobatic, but the other way I attempted to do a stall turn in one and as I went up I got the stick pack too far so when I turned down the tail came up over the vertical, my camera fell off the seat beside me and all the dirt off the floor fell in the top. (N.B.  I thought maybe one of the wings would drop off - but I guess it could take it).  Anyhow, I'll have to get that "stall turn" a little better next time. I don't suppose you know what a stall turn is, or did I tell you about doing them at Civil School.  Maybe I can elucidate if you will pardon my drawings.  After the following explanation you might try it on the wash machine.

Simple, isn't it! Instead of being in the position A, I got into position b.  Probably if I go into one of the those climbs real fast an hold the stick back i could get a loop out of one of them.  I won't try that yet because we are short of planes at the present.

The other day the C.F.I (Chief Flying Instructor) asked us what our choice of planes was after we completed our training here and go into a squadron. I put my name in for heavy bombers.  I would have gone in for G.r. (General Reconnaissance) but we would have to fly Ansons, which are about the same as a Oxford, for another and i didn't want to be on these little planes any longer.  The fellows that are flying harts (big planes) here have a choice of going on fighters (Hurricane and Spitfire) or medium single or twin engine bombers (Blenheim Fair Battle of Wellesley) the 3 that made the worlds record non-stop.  It would take me ages and pages to tell you all about different groups so I call that enough for this time.

We are having a test exam on all our subjects tomorrow and Tuesday.  We write our final exams about the 2nd week in December.  The exams this term will be the hardest exams we get.  After this we do more flying and loafing around and don't have any important exams, so i want to try and pull down some good marks this term.

If war should have broken out during the crisis, we would have just gone on training as per usual.  We wouldn't have seen active service.

I was looking through the register in Canada House and I saw the name of a fellow that was in the same form as I at Collegiate.  He is a civil school here.

I sent you some magazines, I include a large R.A.F. map.  I hope you get it.  You will be able to follow up on flights etc. on it.

I was supposed to go on another cross-country last Friday but the weather was hazy and the clouds were so low so I couldn't go.  I hope I can get on one this week.  If I do go, it will be from here to Farnboro, Bascombe down, Yoevil and back.

We had an Armistice Day Service in one of the hangars today.  All the planes were out of it, it is about 300 feet long and 100 feet wide.  All of the officers and Airmen were present.

The Senior Terms is away at Armament Camp so there were about 50 Officers, over 200 Airmen (riggers, fitters, clerks, etc.) and over 200 Airmen recruits, about 50 ex-service men and their wives.  So there were quite a few people standing there, oh yes, we also had the Air Force Band in attendance.  On Church Parade everyone wears their best blue and peak caps, and greatcoats, also I might say that a greatcoat is not worn without gloves on.  It was quit a sight as we all marched out of the hangars by squadrons - with the bank playing.  I wish you could have been here to see us.

So you blew yourselves to a good wind-electric. You should be able to have lights and the radio now without much trouble.  Did you get Oscar Olson to change that register yet?  Where are you cutting wood this year?  Have you had any frosts yet?

I suppose work is slowing down at the garage.  I got the letter Mr. Tait wrote.  I can hardly manage to write to you and Esther, let alone write to  a lot of other people that I should drop a line to.

Now that Rusty is gone you will have to get another puppy to feed.  Are there many wild ducks this year?  I suppose Richard has the old double-barrel all oiled up.

Well this will have to by my limit this week.  I'll see what I can do with my exams for the next couple of days.

                                                                                                       With Love,


1 comment:

  1. I caught myself laughing at the first line of the letter last night. As I started reading, my first thought was 'there was no letter last week.' I love how hooked I am on these letters!


Post a comment: