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Aug. 18, 1942

Dear Folks,

News from Squam is most welcome, but Pa’s having to do all the chores doesn’t sound like such a good idea—only because of back, even if it is in good shape now. Beware big chunks of ice, too much rubbish in wheelbarrow, etc.! Too bad about the Farm—for the Nth time. Of course I’ll want to get up for a few days if and when I get leave.

To answer your questions, the planes we fly are sea planes, and though we practice such things as gunnery and dive bombing as well as straight navigation, all battleship and cruiser planes sometimes being used for most anything, we could hardly land on a carrier without wheels! Yes, it is possible to be shore-based for scout-observation work, but one still has to land in a harbor, river, bay, etc., unless the planes have been converted to land planes, as some OS2U’s have. Carrier planes are all faster and require special training for their pilots. Our special training here is merely a continuation of what we’ve been doing—all in OS2U’s.

Bad weather, in the form of daily thunderstorms last week, prevented us from getting through in time to graduate to-day. We have two more hops still and should get commissioned on Friday. There is little in the way of ceremony, red tape pretty much taking its place, but we do see the Captain. Our “wings” we buy ourselves along with all the other costly outfitting. All the new ensigns taking advanced training are made to wear white officer caps with their regular khaki uniforms, which makes them resemble zoo keepers or something, the idea being to have them distinguishable from the instructors, some of whom are also ensigns. We’ll live in a barracks formerly occupied by cadets and will eat in a cadet mess-hall, so you can see how little things will be changed. It will be nice to be a real officer on an occasional evening in town and on week-ends, and also the $250.00 a month is hardly to be sneezed at by a lone batchelor. Oh the training will be all for the good. The more the better before one goes to the fleet, overseas, shore-based duty or wherever one is going, but it will be hard for a while to put one’s heart in something so little different from what one has been doing for months and at the same place without any leave (probably not even Sat.) at all. By gosh, I’m going to ask for Saturday. That combined with the automatic Sunday off would be the best breather since Christmas. I might spend one night at the Innlet and one at the Reids, but it is almost impossible to get a room at the Innlet these days on week-ends.

Enclosed separately is a folder showing our very small world down here. The map is all out of scale, the widest part of the river being about three miles and the distance from here to the ocean by air about eighteen miles—no, that’s about the right scale after all. Downtown can be seen to be roughly ten or twelve miles. I’ve added several points of interest or other comments circled in red—so you see it is far from a dull region. With a car, gas, etc., and less heat it would be not far from ideal compared with many, many places.

Love to All


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