17th March 1943

V foggy. Arrived Sherburn via train to S Milford. Lunch. Shirley had billet for me. Not very nice, cold and bare. Widow and daughter. Walked around Selby with Shirley, awful place. Tea with landlady, quite a good supper. Flicks after with Shirley; Nelson Eddy, not very good. Depressed (with new surroundings). Foggy all day. (New billet was in Selby. Shirley = John, Sherburn pilot who became a good mate, but was killed in a Wildcat in August 1943)

18th March 1943

Up at 7.30. No hot water, good breakfast. Caught 8.30 transport, had to climb in through side. Foggy AM, clearing well. Beaufort to Edzell. Lunch at aerodrome, lovely PM. Walton went off in Spit VIII for Kinloss. No one else went. I cracked off at 4. Long wait before T/O. Very heavy slow a/c. Nice to Catterick, then went over cloud, never saw anything till near Edinburgh, then more cloud. V unpleasant. Had to come all the way back to Dishforth after being lost. RAF v nice in mess. (my first job at Sherburn and not familiar with the east coast route)

19th March 1943

Clear but cloudy AM. Breakfast 8.15. Saw that Beaufort was refuelled and D I’ed. Met Office quite hopeful. Sherburn said stay on. Waited in Watch Office. Took off at 1200, bounced about. Not very nice up, vis moderate, cloud 1500. Very dirty near Newcastle, cloud lower. Found myself in balloons. Went on in low cloud, made for coast, saw Alnwick, turned down rly for Acklington. Hit post coming in, no damage. Met Mosquito pilot also stuck. Stayed in Nissen hut at mess. (D.I = daily inspection. Balloons = most major cities had a balloon barrage. Hit post = airfield was under reconstruction, a u/c wheel struck contractors marker post)

20th March 1943

Cloudy with low vis all day, Anson set off early, RAF crew. P/O Greene, Mosquito pilot, set off after lunch. 2 Halifaxes went off too. Walked around field after running up my a/c. Beau’s of 409 RCAF Sqdn, also Typhoon squadron. Hun a/s in mess as trophy. Slept in same Nissen hut that night. Read Rebecca & The Fountain. Food good at mess, Interesting chats with other officers. (Weather = I was caught up in a spell of "Haar", an easterly/north easterly airflow that brings sea fog and low cloud all along the north east coast. Hun a/s = a propeller from a shot down German aircraft)

21st March 1943

Thick, low cloud but slightly broken. 3 more mine laying Halifax’s in. Met report dud, so stayed until after lunch, then took off into quite good conditions, 1200ft, 4 miles. Stayed up coast to E Fortune, circled, saw white triangle. Passed convoy in Forth in perfect weather. Bit dirty again nr Montrose. Poor landing at Edzell. Girl mechanics. Took off quite soon in Ox, stbd engine doubtful. Landed E Fortune, but went off immediately. Fair trip back, shot up Harrogate, 3 point at Sherburn. (White triangle = cannot now recall significance of this, 3 point = 3 point landing)

22nd March 1943

Foggy, clearing quickly. Spit to Lossie. Lovely weather, low cloud near coast. Rolls over Cordingleys. Passed over convoy in Forth. Short of petrol, landed with 15 galls. Spit back to Sealand, flew at 0, 1500, 170 ASI. Lovely weather, hazey near Sealand, never used lower tank. Met Parkes Lowe. Wimpey from Hawarden with Egginton, through Skipton Gap, shot up Cordingleys again. Good landing at Sherburn (0, 1500 = zero boost, 1500 rpm. Cordingleys = as mentioned earlier; Yorkshire family who befriended me)

23rd March 1943

Dirty AM, clearing well. Hung about all morning. Took Beau II to Charterhall after lunch. Flew around York Moors, shot up Scarotts, practiced S.E flying, v poor performance. Low cloud on coast, clear at C/Hall, good landing. Lord there with Anson. Tea at Mess, back in taxi Anson with others. Flew over the hills. Digs quite passable now, food good, baths inadequate.

24th March 1943

Dull day, occlusions. Ox to Lyneham from Lindholme, v slow in getting it ready. Lunch there. Rain but quite nice, thick at Lyneham. Back in Wimpey for Leconfield. Flew to Burford, on to Lyndwood, Ros’s house, found it at last; past Ratcliffe, good cross wind landing. V nice evening.

25th March 1943

Wash out day, rain, poor vis. Transport to S Milford, train to Leeds with Shirley. Lunch at Odeon. Booked rooms at Queens for leave. Saw Dick Powell, Mary Martin colour film, very good. Tea at Odeon, went on to Mecca dance hall. Back with Egginton on 7.00 train. Raining at Selby.

26th March 1943

Rainy, doubtful morning. B & egg for breakfast again. Flew in Anson with Pass to Yeadon, v overladen. Anson to Silloth with Storer and Shirley. Dropped Shirley at Sq Gate for leave. Storer had Wimpey from Kirkbride, I had Dominie. Wimps at Silloth now. Met Steffee and John, flew back low, clouds higher & well broken. Very nice trip, landed Eastmoor and went on to York. F’child collected. Good meal at digs, bed not very v comfortable, no telephone. (Steffee = US pilot John = possibly Radford)

27th March 1943

Thick, unpleasant AM, clearing well. Wimp XI to Kinloss, awkwardly dispersed. Used auto pilot, worked quite well, quite fast in spite of Christmas trees. Perfect weather, flew right round coast, good landing at Kinloss. Defiant back from Lossie, flew over in Dom. Nice trip, fairly nice a/c, wheel landing into sun at Sherburn. (Christmas trees = ASV, surface vessel search radar aerials)

28th March 1943

Nice day, cloudy. Smelly new Anson from Yeadon, wound up wheels fairly easily. Picked up Shirley at Sq Gate, went on to Hawarden. Brought Shirley back in Wimp for Hemswell. Shot up Cords and Scarotts. Nice landing at Hemswell, lovely weather. Pass collected us in Anson. Baths in digs at about 8, when I come in, water only warm and little of it. (Wimp = Wellington)

30th March 1943

Rotten day, cleared up slightly, but wind very strong PM. Hurr to Edzell, Beaufort back. Hurr u/s, never went. Murphy left on posting to Rat. W/O after lunch, went into Leeds with Jagger, Lord, Dunlavy. Met Ros at 5.35. (Rat = Ratcliffe)

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