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July 16, ’42

Dear Folks,

A letter I almost finished two days ago seems to have got lost, so here’s another.

Certainly Ham should be able to get a very respectable job in the aviation industry—not only, come to think of it, a better bet for him than a job in uniform, but a place he perhaps should have occupied years ago. If only he had engineering experience, which would get one the best sort of job or at least the most interesting, it seems to me. I suppose Ham and family very likely won’t be getting to Squam now, but perhaps they’ll still make it. Even if they don’t, however, I’ll plan to see them in N.Y either on the way home or on the way to active duty. I should, by the way, be getting my orders* in two or three weeks, but the Lord knows what they’ll be. The boys go in groups to where they are most needed, so one’s choice of duty proves little, and I can assure you the graduates are spread far and wide.

Yesterday I soloed in an OS2U seaplane, one of the standard service types the Navy uses, for the first time, and it was much more exciting than my first OS landplane solo. We had a little formation work in the yellow birds and are now doing the same in Kingfishers. Navigation hops out to sea start tomorrow or the next day, and I expect to have my troubles flying the plane on certain courses and figuring for wind changes, etc. Enclosed is a rather good picture of OS2U’s. Try to save it along with the other showing the “hundreds of fighter planes” (Stearman primary trainers) and our catapult.

I finally got another day off last Sunday and again spent the night before or what was left of it at the Reids’. We were celebrating Phil Fields’ graduation, which came last Tuesday. A 2nd lieut in the Marines, he goes West for transport training after PBY’s here, but I prefer our seaplanes now. It would, I admit, be exciting to take the controls of a ship like the Mars, but even a P boat handles like a truck they say. Before I forget it, the day off was spent in a most leisurely fashion—mostly on or about the beach with the landlady’s daughter to entertain me! The ocean is still quite refreshingly cool, which is a pleasant contrast to our swimming pools here. These have succumbed to the inland heat. This has frankly been pretty bad. Most days average over 90°F during most of the daylight hours, and at night it goes down only to the high seventies or even a flat 80. All this wouldn’t be so bad except for the humidity, which makes one sweat profusely a great deal of the time. Just the same I intend to give Miss Rawlings a try. One of her titles I confused with “The Moon and Sixpence”—a rather dreary Maugham.

Not much over a month more maybe. Is Squam still there?

Love to all,


*orders precede commission often by weeks

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