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Jan. 28, 1942

Dear Folks,

Last week was our last week of fun. Now we have classes all day that start with drill at 6:50 A.M. and end with drill at 4:30. In between are classes in radio code, seamanship (some of us, after all, will be attached to battleships and cruisers and will stand regular watch), leadership, Navy organization, etc., and only an hour out for lunch. There are also daily, or rather over nightly assignments. Some of the stuff seems either superfluous or elementary and is taught in a high schoolish manner, but even with the yellow peril so threatening they seem to think it fit that we absorb it (the stuff). Authorities all say we are naval officers first, aviators second. Speaking of aviation, it seems rather unlikely that I shall fly anything but a big patrol bomber. Fighters, dive bombers, etc., pilots must not be over 23 to start with, and pilots of observation planes attached to warships apparently not over 25, which leaves patrol bombers. These are the ships with wingspreads over 100 feet (max. 200′) but with pretty slow speeds of course. They are land or island based and yet have the longest cruising radii of any “ships.” Some are based as near home as Squantum, but others are probably being used in the Far East right now.

Did I say that our first two weeks of scheduled work, now one-fourth over, is not part of the regular ground school, but is considered indoctrination? For one thing we have no more drill after next week. My platoon has become part of others, so I no longer have a command, which I don't mind.

A pleasant week-end, much of it spent in Phil’s car looking for birds, is about the only other news. Florida list is now over 60 and includes two kinds of loons, one ours.



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