1st February 1945
Warmer. Two Mossies off field; to Watton in Mk 16 with Jordan Prang at Watton, spent half hour orbiting. Had wizard lunch in Yankee mess. Second Mossie Hatfield to Upwood; Canadian Mk 20. Flew Anson to Radlett, then Hudson to WW with Jordan as stooge. (Prang = accident. Stooge = assistant, Hudson not able to be flown solo).
2nd February 1945
Fair, strong winds. Flew Anson to Leavesden. Mossie 30 to Colerne with Hawkes as passenger. Rolls and half loops with Jordan who also had a passenger. Another Mossie from Hullavington to Blackbush. Hale’s gang back. (Hale’s Gang = the Y 8 party who chose to go via Le Bourget - see diary for 19th Jan. Had been stranded by weather at Le Bourget for a fortnight! Commdr Wills furious! Self, Basil and Walton had got back next day, sun shining out of our backsides).
3rd February 1945
Fine, Beau to PK, but Chobham was U/S. Persuaded CO to let us take off, Vic Pieper in other A/C. I had F/E Farrow, nice trip. Lunch and Mitchell back; operated heater. Landed South Marston. F/C home. (Mitchell = US B-25 bomber).
4th February 1945
Fine. Strong wind. Flew Anson to Cosford and Shawbury. Cross wind landings. Mossie to Blackbush. Rolls but big parcel a nuisance. Party at Pam Nixons. Johnny took me over, with Charlie and Ben Warne (Big parcel = do not now recall this. Johnny = Jordan; Charlie = Fairley).
5th February 1945
Dull morning, clearing pm. Patience with Walton. Graunch to Shawbury in Anson. Mossie back. Saw Jordan go into Hixon. Rolls and low flying. Shot up Albemarle (Vic) Waited for Jordan at Blackbush. Jordan broke tailwheel (Graunch = difficult or boring trip. Vic = could be Vic Pieper).
7th February 1945
Fair. Yesterday’s jobs. Tempest V to AD. Loops and rolls, up to 15,000 ft. Mustang IV back to Biggin. Tear drop hood, better seating position. Nice handling qualities. Loops and rolls. Slightly dropped landing. Shiel (?) waiting in F/C. (Shiel = no recollection now. Apparently first Mustang Mk IV for me).
8th February 1945
Overcast. Anson to Blackbush but cloud low. Had lunch, but then flew back and found my Mossie scrubbed, which was to be going to Cambrai.
9th February 1945
Clear and windy. Mossie to Cambrai. Fitted with VHF. Left Blackbush with Arthur, Walton, Ron etc. Over Beachy to Le Touquet. Circled Vimy Ridge, Hill 60 and Arras. Lunch there. Debogged Anson and I flew it back. (Arthur = Irwin. Walton = Butch. Ron = Elliot).
10th February 1945
Clear. Mossie - Leavesdean to Colerne. Vic’s U/S so I took him. Trouble in raising U/C. Rolled and half looped. Anson to South Marston and off in Spit 21 into snowstorm. Flew around and finally made AD with Guest. Got into Colerne later. (Rolled and half looped with Vic Pieper aboard? I hope he acquiesced!!).