15th February 1943

Another lovely day, but v windy. Aston Down took hours to get going. Skipper took us to Staverton. Shot it up with Jim, saw two other Spits at M Valence and a Bermuda. Inverted flying, rolls, wind v strong and bumpy. Jim damaged a/s at Llandow. Got into Whit, Anson with Tony for St A. Botha to Prestwick but not ready. Took off 2.30, flew over hills dodging showers. Felt rather ill (no lunch) passed Cosford and turned back. Tony got to Prestwick. Shocking cross wind landing. Flicks in evening with Stan. (Bermuda = a US dive bomber. Whit = ATA WhitchurchSt A = St Athan).

16th February 1943

Lovely day. No work AM. Preston had my Botha, but starter discs had gone. Anson to St Athan pm. Fuel cock trouble but went down and was satisfied, lovely landing. Death away, so awful chaos. No return Beau as promised. Whit picked me up in Fairchild. B awful pilot, Cathay. Stayed at Royal Bristol. Terrible place. Blitz on S Wales, lots of gunfire. (Starter discs = safety discs on engine cartridge starter. Death = operations officer, Cosford).

17th February 1943

Foggy morning, awful breakfast; expensive hotel; no water, not called. Car took me to airfield, Hosking in it. Did nothing AM, too thick. Hasty lunch and Butt took me to Colerne for Spit. Fairly thick. V low cloud at Bobbington. Got round the Wrekin but met it again. Went into Bobb, Boston came in after. Took off fairly soon, Cosford quite nice. Jim grounded for Spit accident.

18th February 1943

Lovely day. White Wimpey XI to PK. Ellis took us to Lich. Flew up by P of Air. Could not find I of Man. Went in to Dumfries for Mander. Went over clouds under auto pilot. Long wait at PK for Beau VI to Sealand with Aussie Ahearn. Shot up Windermere. Good landing at 47 MU Sealand. Skipper fetched us back after landing time. Right ear giving trouble. Fairly early bed. Stan not feeling good. Pow wow with Air Commodore. (Stan = Dew, my messmate at RAF Cosford).

19th February 1943

Perfect day. Watched sunrise in bed. Flew in Dom to Woodford. Lancs everywhere. Flew Dom to Haw for Ellis. Got Wimpey to Ingham. Put in at Cos for lunch and Met report. On to Ingham via Ratcliffe. Looked for Ros’s house. S.E, flying. Good landing on rough aerodrome. Tony G picked me up in Anson after anxious wait. Fairly thick. Stan on leave. Dull evening. Walked to bridge before dinner. (Haw = Hawarden. Dom = Dominie, taxi a/c. S.E = single engined).  

20th February 1943

Fine with low vis, Spit with Reg to Bristol. Took off in blue skies, but went over 10/10 cloud. Close formation on Reg. Turned back, went underneath along Severn. No good. Came in and landed (?) After lunch, went with Reg in Bisley to Filton. Patchy vis, hatch blew open, b draughty. Beau II back, Reg had Beaufort I. Lovely a/c, smooth and quite fast. No swing on T/O, good landing. Walked to Albrighton and back. (Reg=Pyatt, Swing on take off = the Merlin engined Beaufighter had a very strong tendency to swing on opening up).

21st February 1943

Doubtful day. Spits to Cardiff. Poor vis, Anson to Llandow, lunch at canteen. Tiger to Shellingford with Mander, Reg formated. Cold but not bad. Skipper took us to CB via Huck. Flew over haze, shot up Wrekin, lovely evening. American Ann Wood stuck out at Cosford. (Logbook also shows Spit Vc (Tr) from Castle Bromwich to Cosford. Stuck out = ATA - speak for enforced over night stay).   

23rd February 1943

Foggy morning, clearing well by lunch. Spit IX to Sealand, good landing. Quite fine. Took Dominie to Derby to pick Mander. Fairchilds all grounded. Good landings.

24th February 1943

Overcast AM. Spit to Llandow. Rolls. Doubtful weather at Llandow, hasty landing. Went off in Spit for HE, Mander did same. Late lunch at Cosford, picked up by car. Taxi work pm. Finished by taking Fairchild to Ratcliffe. Went to Grand with Sturman, had dinner. Met Ros after. Stayed at Bell. (H E = High Ercall).

25th February 1943

Up early, met Ros & Bet 7.30. Caught 8.00 to London, stayed at Park Lane. Lunch at Chinese restaurant, chop suey. Went Kew after, lovely orchids. Tea at Slaters. Dinner and dancing at Hatchetts, good band. Perfect evening.

27th February 1943

Cloudy but fine. Spits and Fairchild to H E. Did slow approaches. Saw a Spit 12 Lunch at Cosford. More taxi to H E pm, and took Fairchild to Ratcliffe from Wolverhampton. Saw Ros, drove me to Rearsby, Auster to Cosford, interesting a/c, good for slow flying. Climb very good. (H E=High Ercall, Spit 12 = Mk 12, the first with Griffon engine)

28th February 1943

Fairly fine day. Spit from 9 MU to Coltishall, lovely old grey Mk V. Shot up Cosford and rolled along Watling St. Hazey near Coltishall, grass field, Spits and Beau’s. Lunch at mess, Steffee picked me up in Anson. Another Auster for Cosford, head wind. Stan back again.

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