17th February 1945

Back from leave, early train. Weather poor, but given Spit to B 60. Took Mk XI first to Benson, then had special Mk XIV to Lasham. Could only make Odiham. Saw Tog Mellersh and fiancée. (Special MkXIV = this was a prototype of the Mk XVIII, fighter/reconnaissance version. Tog Mellersh = old RAF family friend, son of AVM Mellersh, and later an AVM himself).

18th February 1945

Not bad at Odiham but clamp elsewhere. Walked around with Tog. Lasham cleared before lunch. Got in there easily. Saw Ron Elliot, had lunch, briefed and off at 3.30. Got near Ypres, but back to Manston.

19th February 1945

Foggy. Lousy bed. Took off after lunch with RAF New Zealander. Got near Brussels but ran in to cloud, back to Manston. Called for homer, no answer. (New Zealander = we frequently flew out to 2nd TAF airfields with RAF pilots, sometimes leading them. Homer = VHF homing system that we were trained to use).

20th February 1945

Fair AM, Met hopeful. Took off at 11 with others. Fair over channel, clamp over Griz Nez. R/T u/s. In cloud for 20 mins, reached B 60, New Zealander there. Ron turned up from Lille. Car to B 56, Dakota to Northolt with other Lasham pilots. (Ron = Elliot, ATA pilot, mate).

21st February 1945

Thick but OK. Spit IX off field. Rolls and loops. Mossie from Colerne. Tried radio altimeter, flew along South coast. Thick near Manston, good landing. F/C to Hawkinge, then Sea Otter to WW, Walton in another. Bike taken away by police. (Bike taken away = do not now recall why).

22nd February 1945

Duff AM. Had Beau and Mustang but they were scrubbed. Had three Fireflies after lunch, from Heathrow to Culham. Gribble taxying, stalled one at 62 knots. Fair landings, Culham a new station, full of bullsh*t. (Gribble taxying = no idea now what this means. Stalled one = trying low speed handling, Firefly had very unusual wing flaps).

23rd February 1945

Bad AM, met hopeful. Boston to B56. Stayed bad. Went to Lal’s for dinner, pontoon with Lal and Arthur. (Lal’s = a very popular and hospitable billet in Maidenhead).

24th February 1945

Clear. Boston to B 56 from Blackbush. Fitted with VHF. Went with Arthur, but soon on my own. Flew along south coast, tried heater. Thick near Brussels, came in too fast. Back in Anson with Combi. Round to Lal’s for pontoon after dinner (Combi = ATA pilot – in spite of name!)

25th February 1945

Clear am. Three jobs. Spit IX off field to High Ercall. Jammed finger in hood. Bad weather near Stourport. Flew at +18, 360 mph. Car to Shawbury, Martinent to Warmwell. Nice a/c. Flew over cloud at 175, along coast from Milford past Lulworth and wrecked ship. Rough air. Typhoon to Dunsfold, old but OK. Flew round Isle of Wight. Saw Burnett yacht. (Burnett yacht = cannot now recall this, or who Burnett was).

26th February 1945

Cloudy. Argus to Brize Norton with Johnny. Spit XVI to Lasham. Short spell over cloud. Tempest to B 60 with Johnny. Lovely a/c. Flew low to Manston to fuel (150 ft). On via Ostend. OK in spite of Met. Tram to Brussels, and another to B 56. Saw B.J and Ted Boyes. Went to Sa Majeste; Cosmopolite. (B.J = Baxter Jones; Johnny = Jordan).

27th February 1945

Overcast. Shopping AM. Bought stockings, wooden bowl and elastic. Others got underclothes. Tram to B 56. Booked for Dak but Anson came in. Saw Storch a/c. Ferguson piloting Anson. Cloud low over Channel. (Storch = Fieseler Storch, a German aircraft with very short field t/o and landing ability).

28th February 1945

Fair. B 60 again, briefed at WW now. Led Hayward and Jordan. Perfect vis. Low over France. Trouble with compass. Thick inland. Anson waiting, back via Cambrai. Jordan flying Anson low over France. Short F/C hop to Northolt in evening.

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