Nov. 4, 1943
You don’t seem to have had the luck with the weather that we’ve had. October was beautiful. It practically didn’t rain at all. The nights were cool and the days warm and bright. This sort of weather has made one feel much better, improved appetite, etc. Without a single unscheduled hop such as a test or ferry hop, I piled up more hours during Oct. than any other instructor, though this was merely a coincidence and far from my record. The number of hours pilots fly even in wartime is probably much less than most people realize. We do not fly “all day,” though some of the boys in big bombers or patrol boats may upon occasion do so. So much of the flying in smaller planes consists of climbing to at least fairly high altitudes and consequently using tremendous quantities of gas that most flights can have only a very limited duration. Then there are the necessary making out of schedules, lectures, changings of clothing, assignment of planes before engines are even started, to say nothing of all the time taxiing to and from the “live” runway, discussion after the flight, etc. Even much of the actual flying necessarily involves rendezvousing and later the breaking up of squadrons, divisions (two or three to a squadron) and sections (usually two or three planes each, two to a division). Two or three hops a day is found to be enough, especially with ground school to attend (even for instructors), and occasional odd jobs to do.
I have heard nothing, but wouldn’t be at all surprised if I were sent out when my present squadron gets through, which is within a month. One might or might not get leave. Whenever word does come, it will probably be that I’m due in San Diego or some such place within a week. That’s typical. One might or might not be there for some weeks before going further west. In any case one would be given further training with one’s own active squadron before seeing action, though such could be not far from scenes of action. For those who have seen considerable action or at least been on duty up front for some time, but who are not ready to return to the U.S.A., short leaves in Australia or somewhere are sometimes given. Of course I might still get the Atlantic. The Aleutians would probably be the only worse place in the winter.
Last Sunday everyone got off because of a party here at our new officers’ club (an old gun club the other side of our landing field) Sat. night and because the good weather had brought flying well up to date. I had planned to go, but had been unable to get a date and so went to a Wac dance looking for one, there having no trouble, but staying because of transportation difficulties. Though I didn’t get the prettiest one, my Wac was a nice solid citizen (practically six feet and not slim, say average) of Italian and Slavic extraction from Long Id (not Great Neck) and fairly attractive, which made things very pleasant. No, she wasn’t a first lieutenant, but was a second and despite her spaghettiish name really very nice. I might even see her again, though she’s not here for long, and I must go back to the squadron this week-end, which we all have off again—perhaps a new system.