1st March 1943
Another fine day. 2 Tigers to HE. Loops and rolls with Jim. Formation take off, 3 & 5, Skipper annoyed. Had 3 Stirlings but only did one. Lunch at Cos, Smudge (Stedall dog) is ill. Taxi work pm in Fairchild, Shawbury and HE. Peter had Whitley to AD, he and Jim had Beau’s back. Shawbury v overcrowded, weather packing up. Stan and Harry stuck out. (HE = High Ercall, Cos = Cosford, AD = Aston Down)
2nd March 1943
Cloudy at Cos, Beau to North Coates from Lichfield. Waited for Sherburn pilot till 11.15. Lovely Beau, Mk XI. Shot up Ros’s house, Cordingleys (saw Mrs), Scarrotts, and Harrogate. Beautiful clear skies over there, good landing at N C. Flap on, Beau II’s landing and taking off. Sherburn picked me up quickly. Swordfish back with Jim, slow & heavy, rudder bias inadequate, good landing. Went to Camp cinema alone. Heard of posting to Sherburn.
3rd March 1943
Overcast. Lovely old Spit to Rednal, Rolls. Skipper picked me up in Dom. Nothing more to do. Went to Wolves by train with S/L Francis. Haircut. Back on 6.40.
4th March 1943
Thick AM. Master III, H E to Ternhill, Aussie in the back. Engine did not respond on approach. Skipper fetched me on Dom. Lunch at Cos. Tiger to H E after. Loops. Went to camp cinema pm, not bad. Miss Hudson, first of the girls, arrived. (Miss Hudson = No 12 FP Cosford had been designated an all womens unit)
5th March 1943
Thick AM. Ping pong. Lunch at hut. Mrs Bragg arrived. No news of posting. 10 Beaus after lunch. I did one from Lichfield to Filton. Thick but quite pleasant. Circled Burford. Stbd indicator not locking down. Spent long time circling. Anson to Weston with Skipper, Bayliss, Ellis and Jim. Lovely Beau to Shawbury. Shoot ups. Air full of Beaus. Stedall dog, Smudge, died. (Stbd indicator = "undercarriage locked" indicator Fay Bragg, senior women pilot, Cosford to become an all-women unit)
6th March 1943
Another good day, thick at first. Prestwick Beau with Jim, Tony & Reg. Jim took off with hatch open. Reg had hydr leak. Formated on Jim at first, then went on alone to Anglesey & Isle of Man. Flew low over sea, circled Ailsa Craig. Good landing PK. Jim & Tony had Blenheims, I had a Whitley, had to wait for Dew & Mander. Lunch, chatted with Tony Leonard. Had lovely trip, I of Man, saw Snowdon in the haze. Feathering practice. Overshot approaches to Cosford. Thick. (Feathering = stopping engine with prop; blades "edge on")
7th March 1943
Thick AM. Back to the mess. Lunch at the hut. Spit to Lich pm. Thick but lovely at Lich. Peter had blue Spit to Kirkbride. Rolled mine above the haze, flew at v low rpm & boost. Watched flying at Lich. Reg picked me up in Anson.
8th March 1943
Lovely AM. Lizzie to Goxhill, near Hull. Never got going till nearly lunch. Had Aussie in the back. Could not keep up with Stan. Flew up the Trent, lost for a short time, thick but sunny. Shot up trains, landed v short. Yankee station, Thunderbolts, huge a/c. Good lunch but unusual, got soap and chocolates. Anson to Sherburn, Swordfish back in rear cockpit with Stan, b cold. Thick on the way to Cosford, Reg flying. (Lizzie = Lysander, Thunderbolts = US P-47 single seat fighter)
9th March 1943
Fine. Pool photo AM in front of Fairchild. Barracuda to Stretton, Reg in Spit shooting me up. Had Aussie with me. Lunch at RN mess. Crowder collected us in Fair for Harwarden, Anson to Whitchurch, fully equipped, Nicholson flew it, I took off & landed. Went on to Weston, lovely evening. Beau to Llandow, picked up Reg, circled Lynmouth, made wing tip trails, on to Cosford and Shawbury. Last landing v good. Stan picked me up.
13th March 1943
Rather thick AM. Had Spit to Llandow, another to H E. Went off after lunch, shot up Cos rolled and rolled. Quick turn round at Llandow in spite of b--- Welshman. High speed stall in Spit when dog fighting. Shot up Cos again. (Hard to believe some of this now, but it is taken verbatim from my diary)
14th March 1943
Thick AM. Asked Death for job to Sherburn. Nearly had Skua and Beau. Weather thick. Finally loaded up in a Lizzie for Goxhill from 9 MU. Got everything in easily, took off after lunch, having tipped all round. Lovely trip via Leicester, Ratcliffe and the Cordingleys and Scarotts. Saw them all. Returned from Sherburn flying Proctor with Miss Hudson and Annie. (This was me leaving Cosford for posting to Sherburn. Presumably unloaded my kit at Sherburn, and then went on leave, Annie = do not recall)