15th January 1943

Lovely day. Took Whitley to Samlesbury, dropping Roch and Healey. Dodged many showers. Runways at S v short. Went on with Thomas at 6000 above cloud. Feathering practice. Flew well on S.E. Back in Blenheim IV to Cosford. Trouble with flat battery and U/C horn. Lovely trip past I of Man. Clear sky. Saw "Count of Monte Cristo" at camp cinema. Not bad. (S.E = single engine)

16th January 1943

Doubtful day. Defiant TT to Sherburn from B & P. V low cloud in patches. Nearly went into Ratcliffe. V thick at Sherburn, made several attempts with hydr pump U/S. Minor black. Stayed at Queens, Leeds, after conspicuous bus ride in full kit. V good hotel. Saw "Coastal Command" and "Big Shot". V good. Early bed. (U/S = unserviceable. Minor black - told off for landing below limits. B & P = Boulton & Paul)

17th January 1943

Met Beasely at Queens. Car fetched us in the dark. Overcast and raining. Trevor Williams had been killed, from SherburnSherburn v muddy and wet, taxied with difficulty. Fairly pleasant trip, low cloud near Lichfield. Circled Ratcliffe and Wymeswold. Jim picked me up. Tony G nearly belly-landed Spit. (Log book shows Spit: VcT flown this day. Tony G = Gibbons) 

20th January 1943

Another B day. Billiards AM with Peter. Parcel from home. Flicks again with Stan, Arthur, "Something about Rangers", not bad. Heard 12 F.P was to be broken up, becoming a womens' pool. All very upset. Skipper apparently disapproved of at W.W. Back in Stan's car for dinner. New uniform had arrived. Not a very good fit. (12 F.P = ATA Cosford group. Skipper = Captain Gerry Stedall, C.O of 12 F.P. W.W = White Waltham, H.Q of ATA)     

21st January 1943

Lovely day. Oxford to Prestwick, Stbd oil temp high, nursing engine all the way. Low cloud near Stranraer. Lunch at ATA. Master III back. B Ropey, no brakes, engine shaking, no port u/c lights. Brought it back to Prestwick, Beau VI to Cosford, out of practice on type. Fine a/c. Lovely trip by I of Man and Anglesey. Dropped landing. Swopped wings on tunic in evening.

22nd January 1943                 

B. Awful day. Discussion AM about rupture of Pool. Lunch at Hut. Hung about PM. Saw Roch's Blenheim with u/c damaged in taxying. Went to "The Fleet's In" at the camp cinema with an RAF Flt Eng.

23rd January 1943

Doubtful morning, becoming fine. Lovely Vb to A.D. Delay in starting. Rolls and slow rolls. Beaufort from A.D to Kirk. OTU Spit overshot and nosed up at A.D. Above cloud in Beau, nice a/c, rather wallowy, ailerons stiff. Flew up Irish Sea from Llandudno, Kirk at 3.15. Tiger back. Reached Sq Gate. Lovely evening. Saw half of panto, went for a walk. Stayed at Clifton Hotel, (A.D = Aston Down, OTU = Operational Training Unit, Kirk = Kirkbride, Sq Gate = Squires Gate)

24th January 1943

Fairly fine but hazey. Car picked me up. Polish girl staying on. I cracked off. Good trip. Thick at Cosford. Flew taxi round after lunch, Sealand, Shobdon, H Ercall. Peculiar weather. Nice landings. Gibbons had taxying accident in Spit. Harry took me into Wolves. Caught 6.0. Had suitcase with unwanted things in it. Arrived Hampstead 10 o'clock. (Polish girl - presume ATA pilot, Wolves = Wolverhampton)          

26th January 1943

Fairly fine. Went to London with Pop. Bought ties. Transferred £400 to Defence Bonds. Lunch with Pop & Joan at club. Back in tube after, picked up luggage and on in car to Hendon. Pop flew me to Cosford in a Vega. Weather good, good landing. (Pop = my father, Joan = my sister)

Tea with G/C Clapper. Short walk with Pop. Went to Officers School for supper and concert, very good. Sat next to Sister Byrne. Met Sir C Mander, Sir Quentin Brand. (Pop = my father, AVM Sir Guy, Joan = my sister)

27th January 1943

Fairly nice am. Pop and G/C Clapper came up to Hut. Had Spit from Desford to Prestwick. Pyatt took us to Desford some delay, took off into cloud at 150 ft. Turned for Rearsby, then landed at Ratcliffe, which was off service, Saw Ros, Bet Smith and Butch Sturman. Took off about 2, pleasant to St Bees, but then filthy; left Spit at KB, got another to Cosford in filthy rain and cloud. Went to "International Lady" with Stan at camp cinema. Not very good. B tired (Pyatt = Cosford pilot. Bet Smith = Ratcliffe M/T driver. Butch Sturman, pilot, mate, later a well known bookie. KB = Kirkbride.)

28th January 1943 

Fair am. Cloudy. Heard that Pop had got back OK. Tiger to H.E Very windy, hovering stationary. Another Tiger, H.E to Wolverhampton with Peter as passenger, lunch at B.P. Peter taking a Boston, I had a Def to Desford, good landing. Dispersed a/c and had to walk over field. Spit to Prestwick, was going to Cosford. Low cloud near Lichfield, but went on. Dirty at Sq Gate. Tried going out to sea, no good. Night at Blackpool, Clifton Hotel. Saw "Road to Singapore" at Alex. (H.E = High Ercall, B.P = Boulton Paul, Def = Defiant)

29th January 1943

Fine morning. Couldn't wait for car. Spit all ready. Good flight to PK. Heavy showers, very fine clouds. Met Peter B at PK. Back in two old Spits. Tried to warn Peter of oil leak. Lunch at Cosford. On to Yeovilton. Spit pranged on runway by RNAS. Back to Whitchurch in Anson. Lizzie to Cosford. Flew low with side window down. Lovely evening. Good landings. (Peter B = Bayliss, Cosford pilot, mate. Lizzie = Lysander) 

30th January 1943

Heavy thunderstorms AM. Spit to PK from Vickers, Cosford. Left behind by Pyatt. Bad weather at Millom, turned out to sea and went up, came down by break over I of Man. Perfect vis, Pyatt landed at Sq Gate. After lunch, came back in Boston flown by Pyatt. Ropey port engine. Snooker before dinner. Letter from Ros. (Ropey = not in good condition)

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