18th April 1943; (after leave break)
Up v early, 6.30 Tube to Padd, 7.05 to Maiden, met Walton, transport to WW, lovely day. Martinet to Sher. WW full of RAF and women. Delay at Woodley, Shirley there too. Flew round Bradfield, Burford, landed Ratcliffe, saw Ros, on to Sher, poor landings, nothing more to do. Walk with Pass after supper. (Bradfield = my old school, Pass = Sherburn pilot and one of the self appointed "Commanders" at Sherburn, a group of Pass, Jagger, Radford, self plus one or two who formed a "clique", supposedly elite! WW = White Waltham).
19th April 1943
Fairly fine, showery, no work. W/O before lunch. Leeds with Pass & Jagger in car. Lunch at Schofields. Much needed haircut at Hornes, bought a new shirt. Saw "Star Spangled Rhythm" for 2nd time, quite good. Tea at Betty’s, home with Pass at 6.30. (No work = it was my belief, shared with others, that we had a lazy operations officer who did not grub around for jobs as others did. Jack Death at Cosford was very different).
20th April 1943
Lovely day, Spit to Lossie, shot up Cordingleys, looped over E Fortune, shook on top but not bad. Low fuel, refuelled Arbroath, only just got off before boiling. Loops, rolls & inverted flying at Lossie. Oxford back, lost at 8,000 (ft) over cloud, finished up over Glasgow, got to Sher OK, landing time now 9 o’clock. (Shot up Cordingleys = again?, they must have become a bit weary of rushing out to wave. Shook on top = must have been too slow at top of loop, Boiling = the Spitfire easily overheated on the ground, especially with lengthy taxying).
21st April 1943
Fine, but nothing to do till after lunch, Defiant II to Lossie with RCAF Moorside, climbed to 6,000ft, oil leaking into cockpit, landed Leeming and checked oil cap. Off again, oil still leaking on to heelboard. Nice trip, good landing at Lossie. Little cloud, good vis. Anson back, took? and Rowe to PK, fairly thick but fine, back very late. (RCAF Moorside = attached to us for air experience (in the turret of a Defiant!?)).
22nd April 1943
Poor weather, hung about all day waiting Anson to St Athan with Lt Colonel. Home early, saw "Sabotage at Sea" at Ritz, Selby. V good. They have double seats for "necking" at the Ritz. Went with Maps & Signals officer ((but not in a double seat!), Lt Col = we undertook Air Movements flights for service personnel both in taxi and delivery aircraft).
23rd April 1943
Doubtful day. Flew F’child to Finningley with Frenchman Samat. Mann did not come (?) Wimp IV (first) to Hawarden. Weather slightly better, a nice a/c, slow but smooth. Flew down to Rat: shot up Ros’s house, shot up Cosford, flew blind through heavy showers, lovely at Hawarden, fair landing but a/c nose heavy. Tea at ATA; another Wimp X, from 48 MU, flew same way, Hunt waiting at Leconfield. (Wimp IV = had heavy US Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasps, Shot up = no more than a fly by at 500 ft or so (I hope!!)).
24th April 1943
Lovely day. Wimpy IV to Haw with RCAF Moorside. Port engine would not start. Botha to Silloth instead. Lovely trip, 8,000ft over cloud, nice landing. P Legh waiting, over in Wimp X to Dumfries, I took it on to Hemswell, via Skipton. Feathering practice, good landing. Another surprise Wimp from Hems to Sher, Mk IV, Polish Sqdn, hard to find it on airfield. Full of petrol (740 galls). Could not get tail down again. Anson to M Moor to pick up Wrigley (Get tail down = eg on landing, Mk IV a/c nose heavy as mentioned earlier).
25th April 1943
Lovely AM. Spit V to Lossie, shot up Cords, then straight up 8,000 ft, flaps up landing at Loss after more aerobatics. Could not taxi in high wind, left a/c on runway. Lunch at ATA, Beau II to Stretton, heavy shower near Aberdeen, across by Tyne Gap to Silloth at 8,000ft, Collected Pilots Notes at 22 MU (left them in Botha), v strong wind. On to Stretton but runway out of wind, Went back to Hawarden. Wimp from Vickers to Leconfield, took it to Sherburn. Pop waiting, night at Church Fenton. (High wind = Spits very prone to nose over, taxying in strong winds, Pop = my father, AVM then, had flown up from London in a Vega).
26th April 1943
V strong wind. Talked with Pop, who flew up in Vega. Showed him Spits Beau and Wimpey on field. Lunch at ATA. He took off at about 3 pm, I left same time in Wimp for Leconfield. Difficult but good cross wind landing, Gill picked us up (Treen). Took army officer to Driffield in Anson, let cadet fly back. Lovely but for wind (Treen = an ex FAA pilot who had joined us, Cadet = ATA cadets, who flew with us for air experience, some of them very "clued up").
27th April 1943
Doubtful AM. Beau XI to Filton, had to wait for a Major Shelton. Good take off with trim less forward than previously; low flying, shot up Rat and Cosford, then climbed to 6.000 ft. Lovely Beau. Showers and sunshine, but dirty near Filton. Good landing. Lunch at mess with Turle & Major. Car took us to Whit, Beau II waiting for me but a/c u/s. Soon put right, back via Burford, Cosford, Leicester. Heavy thunderstorm near Nott. Shot up Cord’s, nice landing Sher. Dunlavy pranged Tomahawk. (Dunlavy = "Alabam", colourful US ATA pilot).
28th April 1943
Lovely day, fine cu nimb clouds. Spit Ia to Eshott OTU. Shot up Cords and Dev Arms, Bolton Abbey. Clouds v fine, lots of rolls, nice a/c, nice landing at Eshott, waited there with Treen & Bishop. Jagger picked us up in Anson, went mad on way back, Jagger kept pushing nose down (?). Lots of Rat pilots in Spit IX’s at Sher. Started chess with Jagger, never finished. Home quite easily. Got ready for leave, packed up laundry. (this account somewhat disjointed and unclear; Jagger went mad?, pushing nose down?).
29th April 1943
Foggy AM. Letter from Ros. Ox to Dumfries, fairly nice, low cloud & hill fog, dispersing. Lunch at Dumfries, Wimp X from 12 MU for Dish. Back via Skipton, good landing Dish. Fair waiting (Barker). Taxied Swordfish over when I got back. Watched gyrocopter nearly hit by Lanc. Caught 5.00 transport to Leeds with Mrs Toes (?). Met Ros (Gyrocopter = Airborne Ex Estab were testing towed gyrocopters as submarine look outs).