course is definitely a strain mainly because I know that I am
not making good progress in flying. The daily routine begins
with three hours ground school on Navigation, Theory of Flight
and Meteorology, all of which require great concentration, followed
by a PT session; after lunch we are on the flying line all afternoon
until 5 o'clock although we only fly for 45 minutes each day.
This is quite sufficient for me as we take the controls for the
whole flight except for takeoff and landing which are carried
out under the instructor's supervision. Things are not coming
at all easily and I have grave doubts as to whether I shall make
the grade, all of which is causing this depression. And so to
bed after a thoroughly wretched day.
14 January 1942.
I'm afraid that this journal has been neglected in the past three
weeks owing to hard work and tiredness due to the strain of trying
to make a success of this flying. However it is all over now
and I was eliminated on Monday.
I feel very disappointed as I feel confident that a few extra
hours would have enabled me to pass the test. Fortunately my
ground school grades have been good so that I don't anticipate
any difficulty in being accepted for Observer training; but if
I got another chance as a pilot with the RAF or RCAF I would
accept like a shot.
Last weekend we had a 24 hour pass which we spent at Auburn with
a visit to Eleanor and Charles Rush at Columbus. We were shown
Fort Benning which is a huge Army camp housing about 50,000 men.
In Auburn we met a very old lady who can remember the Civil War
when Northern soldiers ransacked her home and took away her doll.
Recently letters from home have been arriving regularly. Moira
is well settled in her Army life; I've also had letters from
the Frasers, distant relatives in New York.
5 March 1942.
After nearly two months I have found the inclination to resume
an account of my activities.
On the day after my last entry in this journal I had to meet
the Elimination Board where I was officially informed of my failure
- several cadets were told in the same words that they "were
a menace to themselves and their fellow cadets".
At the next weekend I was anxious to visit Auburn in order to
say goodbye to the Wrights and other kind friends but no leave
was allowed. Consequently with Leslie Capp, another cadet who
had been eliminated, we worked on a plan to break out; we hid
our beds and bedding in the luggage room so that our absence
would not be spotted at bed check. It worked perfectly and we
got away from 3pm Friday until 5pm on Sunday without anyone finding
We left Albany on Tuesday, January 20. About 25 failed
cadets travelled by train to Moncton and we had a good trip through
Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston but we
were unable to spend any time in New York.
On the Thursday evening we were back in the camp at Moncton,
New Brunswick and found it much changed from our previous visit
with Service Police and a barbed wire fence. Consequently our
liberty was somewhat curbed but our stay was short as on the
next Thursday we were put on a draft for Trenton, Ontario. This
was a 1000 mile journey through Quebec and Montreal where we
had a few hours between trains before arriving in Trenton on
Friday, January 30.