2nd January 1943

Fine morning. In Dominie to C.B. Very thick. Took off in Spit into violent snowstorm. Flew on instruments to Rugby. V unpleasant. Inverted flying and rolls at Lyneham. Lunch there. In Dom to B Norton. Delayed in another Spit by bogged Whitley. Switched off twice. Fine with heavy showers. Had several shots at getting into H Ercall. Good landings, early bed. (Dom = Dominie, C.B = Castle Bromwich)    

3rd January 1943

Fine Day. Defiant to Pk. Difficulty in starting. Took off, 11.20. Formated on Gibbons in Hart at 130 (ASI?). Up to 6000ft above 1/2 cloud. All instruments went u/s. Severe glycol leak found at Pk. Landed without ASI. Returned in Mustang 1a. Lovely day. Circled Lakes, shot up Harrogate, snow on hills. Bad patch south of Leeds. Rolled a/c for first time over Cosford. Peter took me to Wolves. Caught 6.00 GW. Arr Padd 9.20. Welcome from family. (Pk = Prestwick. Peter; Peter Bayliss. GW = Great Western Rly - ie not LMS. Wolves = Wolverhampton)

6th January 1943

Dull, overcast. Ping pong in the Hut. Lunch at the Hut. Repaired my black overalls. W.O pm. Saw "Power House" at camp cinema with Stan. Not bad. Electric grid workers. (W.O = Wash out. Stan; Stan Dew, ATA pilot, my room mate at Officers Mess, Cosford. Had only one eye.)

9th January 1943

Quite a fine day. Mustang to Aston Down. Unable to do straps over Irvin, which I was wearing for first time. Managed though. Peter B's Mustang was u/s. Rolls and slow rolls. Took 11c, tanked, Hurr to Sealand. V nice ailerons, but rough and unstable. Nice landing at L Sealand. Saw Barnato. Car to Hawarden - lunch - back in Maggie with Jim. Damn cold (Irvin = leather fleece lined jacket. Tanked = must have had drop tanks. L Sealand = Little, there were two Sealands. Barnato = Diana. Jim = Jim Collins, Cosford pilot, Maggie = Magister)

10th January 1943

Very foggy all day. Started Peter B's Mustang with difficulty. Lunch at hut. Diluted Mustang after lunch. Tea dance at Mess. Good fun (!) (Diluted = operated oil dilution procedure - learned how at Hawkers)

11th January 1943

Windy but fine. Mustang to A.D. Only able to do 3 straps up. Only fault in a fine a/c. A.D only just starting work when I got to 9 F.P. Took me to Brockworth and on to Brize. Bad pilot. Had to switch my Spit off again, Whitley taxied across runway on my T.O. Nearly hit it. Watched OTU Wimpeys bouncing at Lichfield. Back to Cos in Fair. To Lichfield and back to collect Bayliss, Pyatt and Gibbons. Mander had pranged a IX at Little Sealand. Went to ENSA show with Ellis. Very good. (A.D = Aston Down. OTU = Operational Training Unit, Wellingtons at Lichfield. IX = Mk IX Spitfire)

12th January 1943

Low cloud, rain. Played snooker with Ellis. Lunch at Hut. More snooker PM. Cleared up beautifully in the evening. Went for long walk. Camp cinema with Arthur after dinner. 2 films, not very good.  

13th January 1943

V fine day. Spit to Lichfield in formation with Peter. First caught up Arthur. Thick at Lichfield. Spit from C.B to Pk. Practiced rolls over Cosford waiting for the others, never saw them. Flew up to 10,000. V fine clouds. Rolls and inverted flying. Good landing. Lunch at Pk. Back in lovely old 11b. Rolls at Blackpool (Cordinglys at Lytham) and at Cosford. No engine cut at 0 & 2400. Fetched Pk pilot from H Ercall. (Peter = Bayliss. Arthur = Ellis. 11b = Mark 2 Spitfire, Cordinglys; very hospitable Bradford mill owners who befriended me. 0 & 2400 = zero boost and 2400 rpm set for eliminating harm to engine in inverted or low "G" flight) 

14th January 1943

Very foggy, clearing by lunch. Had Proctor to Madley but a/s stuck in full fine, Did nothing till afternoon. Fetched a Whitley from Baginton to Cosford with Stan. Formating with Jim, v heavy. Lovely evening. S E flying. Went for walk in half moonlight. Early bed. (a/s = airscrew/prop; v heavy = heavy on controls)

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