Thursday 12th September, 1940
I have settled down here quite comfortably, and am having a pretty good time. I did my first real raid on Monday night, and my second last night, both to the same place. They lasted about eight-and-a-half hours, and covered 1300 miles. Itís grand fun to see the enemy coastline ahead and to cross it in a blaze of searchlights and AA fire - flak is the correct term for it. However we took evasive action, and were not hit at all.
Of course, the people here pamper us properly. We get a bag of goodies to take with us, consisting of apples, chocolate, nuts and raisins, biscuits, and sweets, and they come in handy after a few hours. We also have some caffeine tablets to keep us awake if Jerry doesn't. When we get home, we go to the Ops Room, where tea, coffee, or beer is provided, together with ham and beef sandwiches to keep us going during the interrogation.
The rear gunner brought up cups of tea for us when we were over the sea on the way home, and it was very welcome.
Dorothy has knitted me a superb roll-neck sweater in RAF blue for use on night trips, and together with my fur-lined Irvin suit, I look the part.
Well it is good to be doing something useful after all the training of the last year - we shall be doing about three trips a week according to the present plan, but I expect to go as first pilot very shortly, which will be better than ever. At present we are only turning out three crews, but I think when we become first pilots, the number will be increased. In time we shall become the squadron veterans, having been in since its inception, and then we might get a few more rings up.
London seems to be permanently on fire these days - I hope old nasty doesn't go near SE 23. Just let me know if he does!
By the way, did you know that when British warships bombarded Fort Capuzzio, the guns could be heard as far away as the Italian Navy!
Well, let's hear the news from home. Cheerio, love to all.
Your loving son,
P.S. Thanks for the loan - returned herewith.