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July 7, 1942

Dear Folks,

Squadron 14 is indeed a very busy place, and seldom does one have time, as I have now, to relax during working hours. Besides the flying there is a multitude of other things to do, but even at that the training is probably none too thorough for the grim job we’ll soon be having to do. I didn’t pass my N3N solo check until yesterday, having had a little trouble again, hence needing Squadron Time. The first check was with the chief flight instructor, whom I gave an excellent ride until the final landing, which he finished after I started to land well out of the wind. He felt he had to give me a “down” for that, but actually I should probably have found the wind before hitting the water and might have been able to get into it without turning too much at low altitude. At any rate one is supposed to get squared away before getting close to the water. The second check was with the executive officer of the squadron and rated a “down” largely because of losing too much speed in spirals to the water.

After “Squadron Time” I finally rated the squadron commander as a check pilot, and he gave me an “up” in spite of two steep turns “dangerously close” to the water. Yesterday all I got was a full lieutenant since there were no more lieutenant-commanders left, but he was satisfied with my “buoy shots” only after I made several tries. These older fliers are apt to be rather set in their own ideas—more so than the ensigns and occasional lieutenants one gets in less advanced squadrons. My first seaplane solo, in a litle over an hour, will be my first of any kind in some weeks, but less exciting than earlier ones because of one’s comparatively greater experience. Landing and taking off in a seaplane is very little different from the same in land planes, and the actual flying is even less if at all different. After a few solos and then formations in N3N’s, will come the main part of the course in service type seaplanes (OS2U’s). I should be through, if all goes well, sometime after the middle of August—probably not earlier than this and possibly as late as early September. I’m not worried about not getting leave. Everyone gets it—usually 15 days. I’m naturally rather curious to know where I’ll be going afterwards and what sort of duty they’ll give me. Despite the somewhat specialized training there are infinite and several possibilities respectively. It is, however, unlikely that one will be sea-based right away, but on the other hand it is not unlikely that one will be based overseas. Of course they may yet try to make an instructor out of me, but I don’t think I’d like it. It might be in any of the planes I’ve flown. Seaplanes, by the way, are used extensively for patrol work from shore bases, taking off from the water rather than being catapulted. Advanced training as an ensign for any of several types of duty is a definite possibility, and, confidentially, I might even find myself on a carrier.

I have heard no local information concerning the spies, but perhaps some will be forthcoming on my next trip to the beach. Largely through bad luck I missed getting a day off last week. Now I’m wondering if I’ll get one this week. Even though I’ll be one of the last few in my class to get through here, I still want my days off. There is little to look forward to except them and of course the still somewhat distant leave. True there are frequent opportunities to make an evening of it in town, and now that one is getting more familiar with the bus system, one can plan to do more than just try to get into a crowded movie and see half the show before hurrying home. Last Wednesday, for instance, I called up two young ladies, one with a very southern accent, the other with none, and called on the one that was in—the latter. I also stopped at the Motts’, having finally discovered the location of their house, but they’re north for the summer. Bunko and his wife invited me to dinner last Saturday. He’s a full lieutenant now and naturally rather pleased with himself, but both were very nice to me. Supper at Ormandoffs Sunday night. Dr. O. used to throw passes to and sing with Paul Robeson at Rutgers.



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