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Jan. 10, 1943

Dear Folks,

The mail situation has, I guess, been finally straightened out. Rather old letters, Christmas cards and presents have continued to dribble in for the last week or so. Cigars from Uncle J. and chocolates from Aunt J. were all that came to Miami, but I had the exciting little Santa Claus bag, stocking and all, to open too. Many belated thanks, which I forgot in the last letter. Thank everyone who contributed, and I’ll write most as soon as convenient.

It was risky sending everyone books, because of possible duplication, but I hope there was none and that everyone hadn’t already read theirs (I sent Nance “Assignment in Brittany,” which was in the Sat. Post.). Books are so convenient to send. The pictures of myself are all some sort of tin-type, two for 25¢, and I sent them along just for fun even if they were pretty bad. It’s hard for the subject to tell just how bad pictures of himself are. These were taken at different times, and frankly I felt rather silly when having them taken and when I had assembled them—but thought they might amuse people.

It was very satisfactory to hear about Christmas at home. With people like Roger, Hermione and the Porters turning up it must have been pretty jolly.

Yes, that stuff about Uncle Ham made most of what we do seem rather tame, but that would of course not be true were we in action. Twenty-thousand feet without oxygen is all right for most pilots for just a short time, but patrolling at over 18,000 is something. I’m amazed too that planes of 1918 could stand a protracted vertical dive, but they were much lighter planes with a comparatively low terminal velocity even without diving flaps.

There’s not much new here. No days off yet and little new in the flying. The likely purchase of a bicycle is my most exciting news.

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