15th January 1945
Leave, but went to airfield. Possible Beau to Pk. Weather bad. Hung around all day, playing Patience etc. Jordan still at Amiens with Mossie. Llewellyn still at Manston on way over. Quiet evening by fire. Outlook bad.
16th January 1945
Leave. Met right (?) Caught 9 o’clock to Padd. Drizzle. Haircut near Padd, shampoo. Rooked me 6 /-(!). Walked to Picc Circus. Lunch at SF. Saw "Western Approaches" at Astoria, v good. Tea at milk bar, went to Rosslyn. Saw Jim and Liz. Played Lexicon.
17th January 1945
Caught 7.50. Good weather. Mossie to Watton. Rolls and half loops. Took Anson to Langley. Tempest to A-D. Low flying, loops and rolls, up to 12,000. Saw Sherburn pilots taking out Tempests. Tea at 9 FPP. Home early, went to "Bathing Beauty" after dinner. (A-D = Aston Down).
18th January 1945
19th January 1945
Fine and clear, strong wind. Spit to Y8. Hale took us to Hawkinge. Chaos there. Others were going to Le Bourget, I went with Basil and Walton at 1300. Nice Spit IX with jettison tanks. Lovely weather, and went straight there in 1.25 (hrs). Leapt on to Dakota, 4 1/2 hrs to Burtonwood. Stayed there the night. Quite nice accommodation (Y8 = Luxeuil, not far from Swiss border, Free French Sqdn, exchanging P-47’s for Spits. Walton = Butch, later Br Caledonian captain. Le Bourget lot were to be snowed under there for 10 days).
20th January 1945
Up at 7, snowing. Runways all icy. Transport to Warrington, Train to Chester. Lunch at Harwarden. Saw Reg, weather better, Wimp XIV to L Riss, nice landing. Walton collected me in Anson. WW surprised to see me (back so soon) Checking passes on Bath Road. (Reg = Reg Pyatt, old Cosford mate. L Riss = Little Rissington. Wimp = Wellington. WW = White Waltham).
21st January 1945
Fine. Snow on the ground. Flew Anson to Leavesden. Mossie XXX to Colerne. Nice A/C. Rolls and half loops. Nice landing. George not coming (?) Anson to Llandow. Bogged. Mustang III to Bentwater, via Lynton. Took a while to settle down (?). Loops, rolls. F/C to Langley with Jordan and Beaumont.
22nd January 1945
Weather patchy. Hale and Y8 gang still out. Given Mossie to Charterhall. Taken from me but I got it back. F/C to Hatfield. Nice Mk VI. Flew low over snowy moors. Shot up Cordingleys and Harrogate. Saw prang on Cheviots. Charterhall u/s. Orbited but went on to Winfield with Gill. Back late in Anson. Stayed with Mrs Poskitt. (Y8 Gang – the group, with Mollison, who had decided to go out via Le Bourget – Commander Wills not pleased. F/C is the Fairchild Argus taxi. Cordingleys = old friends from Sherburn days. Gill = Capt Gill, 2nd in command, Sherburn. Mrs Poskitt = my old billet in my Sherburn days).
23rd January 1945
Cold and foggy. Transport never appeared. Saw John; his Contax 2, Pass, Jagger etc. WW said come back by train. Had lunch. John took me to Leeds; caught 3.05, only 10 mins late. Spent night at Rosslyn. (John = John Radford. Contax = his camera, he was an excellent air to air photographer. Pass, Jagger; all old Sherburn mates. Rosslyn = Hampstead hotel; family wartime "base").
25th January 1945
Drove Death’s Ford up. Boiling badly. W/O early. Drove Ford to Maidenhead. Went to "Old Acquaintance" – Bette Davis, at Rialto. Not bad, saw Lettice. Walked home, b--- cold. (Death = Jack Death, Ops Officer W Waltham. Lettice = Lettice Curtis, pilot at W Waltham).
27th January 1945
Cold, weather clamp. W/O pm but stayed on. Developed some (film) strips in RAF darkroom at WW. Watched Dreese (at work) (Dreese = RAF P/O attached to WW photographic flight and frequently flown by me in Hudson on aircraft ident photo flights).
Note in diary:
Russian offensive on Berlin.
Announcement of fathers appointment as C in C Mediterranean Air Forces.
28th January 1945
Two Mossies, Leavesden still under snow. Jets at Colerne. Back in Anson to Hatfield for Mk 16. Good landing at Benson. Half loops emergency on. Up to London on 5.40. Saw Ros at Rembrandt, Dinner at Berkeley Buttery. (Jets = Meteors. Emergency = presumably leave cancelled etc).
30th January 1945
Up early. 7.50 to Maidenhead. No flying. Mass snow fight. Caught one in the eye. Saw Ros at Riviera. McCallum and Cruttenden there.
31st January 1945
Weather bad. Rang airfield, no flying. Eye still painful, unfit to fly. Up to London, saw Ros, lunch at Flemings, tea at S F, dinner at Fourchette.