2nd June 1943 (back from leave; Ilkley, Bolton Abbey, Stryd etc)

Up early. Saw Pop’s award of KCB in the paper. Saw Ros on train to Leicester, tram to Roundhay. Lovely day, two Spit IX‘s for me. Rolled Mk IX for first time, ran short of fuel, landed at Dyce, great interest in the A/C. The IX has excellent take off and climb, easy to land. Came straight back from Kinloss, played about at Sherburn (?). (Great interest etc = the Mk IX was distinctive with a four bladed prop; and was becoming known for its much improved performance).

3rd June 1943

Not very nice weather. Spit IX to Kinloss, cloud down on the sea near Berwick, landed at Brunton, had lunch. Interest in my (Mk IX) again. Off again about 2, not bad to Kinloss. Saw Tony Leonard. Lovely Spit Ia to Stretton, at +1, 1600, got there easily with 20 galls left. Hawarden picked me up. Saw Mrs Falkiner. Wellington 1 from Hawarden to Sherburn. Flaps said to be U/S. Nice trip but heavy showers. Flaps OK, but made A/C roll. (Tony Leonard = an RAF reject who joined ATA at Hatfield same time as me, Flaps = asymmetric operation not unknown on Wimpeys).      

4th June 1943

Quite a fine day. Seafire to Donibristle, 4 blader, very nice but not fast. Dog fight with Halifax over Harrogate. Looked at Edinburgh & Forth Bridge, nice landing at Donibie. Looked over Harrow, poor lunch at mess. Dawson collected me in Anson. Saw Egginton make poor landing (!). Back via Turnhouse. Treen broke Anson door. (4 blader = Seafire Mk 2 & 3 had 4 blade props; Dog fight = overstatement?, probably just made a close "flyby". Poor landing = I did them too!).

5th June 1943

Poor weather at first. Storer pinched my Wimp gave me his Hurr & Mustang without asking. Annoyed. Went over to Leconfield at 6,000 to fetch Goodwin. Had Anson from Yeadon to Hawarden, owing to weather went via Ashbourne. Very nice, back in Wimp. Saw Ellis and Pyatt at Hawarden. Over Cosford and Ros’s home & Ratcliffe. Good landing at Finningley. Eng Off tore me off a strip for fast taxying. Pickering picked me up. (This account slightly confused. Log book shows no Hurricane/Mustang. Sherburn at this time appeared to lack a full time operations officer, so some "senior" pilots took charge, Ellis & Pyatt = old Cosford mates). 

6th June 1943

Nice day, Storer doing prog, so I got damn all. Then got 2 Ansons, YeadonSherburn with Pickering. Showery, straight back in first, up to 8,000 in second. Lunch, then over again in F/C. 

7th June 1943

No work & poor weather. At 5, was given Kendals first Beau to Lossie (P1) Torpedo Mk X, feathering airscrews. Got permission to go outside Newcastle, heavy rain and low cloud. Lovely at Lossie, very blue sky. Tried dive brakes, nice landing. Spit back. Clouds on Cheviots, landed at Acklington for permission to go outside again. Granted, & refuelled. Dirty all the way back, rolled over Sherburn, v tired. (P1 = Priority One, to stay with A/C until delivered. Newcastle = must have been temporary restriction).

8th June 1943

Nice day, no work. PM, had Wimp, Topcliffe to Kemble, with Metcalfe, Storer, Treen, & Shirley. Watched Halifax’s flying; two pranged previously on field. No Wimps ready, chaos and muddle. Finally all went in to Sherburn, circled for 15 minutes. Heavy with petrol. 

9th June 1943

Doubtful weather, clearing nicely. Swordfish to H Ercall, thick but improving. Circled Ros’s home, climbed to 8,000 ft, milled around with Tiger, nice landing. Looked over Marauder, very weak looking U/C, nice cockpit. Firby waiting in Anson, Metcalfe also there. Back straight over hills, nice at Sherburn. Taxi work in evening, ropey one, engine stopped. (Marauder = US twin engine medium bomber, reputed to be a "hot ship" ie; a bit tricky).

10th June 1943

Nice weather. Simbo gave me a Swordfish to Crail. Up to 6,000 over Cheviots, ate cheese sandwiches, Nice landing but sent a long way to dispersal. Sea fog drifting in, just away in time. Treen also there, Dawson flying taxi, went to Donibie and Turnhouse. Slept on way back.           

11th June 1943

Poor weather, improving slightly. Gill gave me Oxford and Beau to Lossie and back. Thick in Oxford, but cloud reasonable. Straight through Cheviots. V dirty N of Montrose, landed there in midst of recall, 3 point. Met gave no hope. Caught bus to mess, lovely old house several miles away. Crab for supper, chatted with two lads on instructors course. Late bed.

12th June 1943

Lovely morning. Bus to airfield. Oxford being D’ied. Lovely vis, light Cu cloud. Poor landing at Lossie. Beau waiting, another Mk X, nice take off, back round coast in and out of clouds. Over Edinburgh; over York moors v low, seeing sheep, v wild. Nice landing, lovely day.

13th June 1943

Lovely day. Given Spit to Ratcliffe straight away, sat on rain coat & cushion. Rolls and fun with the clouds, chased Stirling, rolls over Ros’s house, saw them in the garden. Lovely landing at Rat. Frank arranged car to Leic, Mrs Hanson driving. On leave.

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