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July 23–24, 1942

Dear Folks,

So Nance has gone already—all very fine, but very sad in a way. I don’t suppose we’ll see each other for a long time. It will be an interesting experience for Nance out there and wherever she goes afterwards, and doubtless it will be worthwhile too. I dare say she’ll still get to be an officer before long.

Ma, as usual you’ve been trying to do too much. Take it easy. The war will last a few more weeks if not decades. Sounds like Hank really needs a rest too, and I suppose Ham is wearing himself out looking for a job.

News from Squam was most welcome, Pa. Come to think of it my little trees really did pretty well to survive that drought their first year, but I hope they’re really growing now. By the way, Pa, did you notice whether any of the tiny trees planted at the end of last summer were still alive—those from the middle of the Long Point road?

Down here we’ve been sweltering in a heat wave unusual even for Florida. The temperature got over 100 on three successive days, the high of 102.3 being the highest in 28 years. As always the humidity was way up too, so the total result made things rather unpleasant. Feeble thunderstorms—feeble in respect to rain—have cooled things off somewhat the last couple of days. The clouds have been magnificent to look at this summer, but not very productive since June.

Daily navigation flights miles out to sea are the rule now. The same four of us go out each time followed by a chase pilot and radioman. One crew has the lead one flight, the other the next, etc., the second plane tracking the one that is trying to work out the problem, usually three-legged. This has to be done during the flight because of wind changes. Crew members take alternate turns as pilot and radioman. The latter make position reports and can fly the plane well enough for a short time while the pilot works out the navigation. Winds are hard to judge, and both pilots have their hands full. Mother ships are imaginary, but no easier to get back to than real ones.

The Gene Tunney program has finally caught up with us, and we have an hour of supervised exercise at the end of every day—calisthenics, swimming, boxing, etc.

Last day off spent at the beach with plane mate Bob Stix, from Scarsdale (Dartmouth ’38, knows Ad and Brad Wash.).

My orders (hush, hush) are to return to Jax after leave (4 weeks ? away).

Love to all,


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