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Dec. 20, 1942

Dear Folks,

Just as our schedule is starting to get more or less definite we find ourselves almost through the course. At first we were going to get both the full scout-bombing course and the small amount of torpedo work they give here, but then the authorities decided to whittle the whole thing down. It seems that we are wanted back in Jacksonville by Christmas, so we are being rushed through these last few days, or perhaps I should say nights, because night flying will hold us up if anything does. This, incidentally, isn’t anything new for us and not much different from that that we had in Squadron 14. We’ve had two or three dive bombing practice hops, and now have begun to take up new students to show them how it is done (more or less). Dive bombing is an art, and it takes a great deal of practice for anyone to get good at it. Here we use BT’s and dive from much higher than we did in OS’s, but actually don’t get going as fast because of diving flaps. Without them the speed one would develop in a prolonged dive from high altitudes would make it difficult for one to keep aimed at the target and would make a higher pull-out necessary. It’s great sport, but not easy, especially when there’s considerable wind, as is often the case. There are no grim sensations in the dive unless the pull-out is such that one blacks out, as I did a few times in OSs after excessvely fast dives (prolonged or abrupt pull-outs), but dive bombing does seem to tire one rather thoroughly. My only scouting hop is tomorrow, but that’s nothing new. We’ll probably go to the nearest of the Bahamas and back—without landing, and I may just ride in the back (SBC). That we checked ourselves out in the TBD seems to have been a mistake, as we aparently won’t fly them again.

Well, there’s still no positive word on whether we’ll be back at Jax by Christmas. If only we were given enough travel time to spend Christmas either here or there. I’m invited to a Christmas Eve (deb) dance in Jax and to Christmas dinner at the Ritchies’ and hope I can take in one. Personally I’d like to stay down here for a few months.

A day off to-day was partially wrecked by night flying both last night and tonight.

Thanks for squash racquet, press, and balls, Pa. Former has been used twice.

Good for teaching again, Pa. After all, why not? Good for Nance too! Henry?

P.S. Christmas shopping has been almost impossible, alas, and I’m rich too.

Love to all,


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