Fri, July 2, 1943
We are supposed to get our wings this afternoon. Hussy & I fixed up the flag & the stand. We are also supposed to have our party tonite. Beer, whiskey & eats. It’s our squadron fund & as we are splitting up we are spending it. We had our wings pinned on us at 5:00 & then all of us , officers and all, went into the day room & started in. We had a big tray of sandwiches & radishes, pickles, onions, & cheese, 6 qts of scotch & a case of beer. Did I get stinko. Lt. Hynes, Bart, & Bobbie & 2 other boys went to Kingston to the RC dance & I did not even know I was there until 10:30 when I came to dancing with an ATS girl. Boy what a party. Got home at 12:00 and hit the sack.
Sat, July 3, 1943
Got a pass from noon today until Mon morning. Am supposed to meet Barney tonite at 8:00. I was 5 min ahead of time but he was waiting. He looked the same as ever & acted the same. He’s growing a mustache. Looks becoming. We spent the evening going from pub to pub & we had a very good time going over old times.
Sun, July 4, 1943
Went to church this morning at 10:00. It was a very old church and near the Westminster Cathedral. It’s a military church & about 60 ATS girls attended in a group. There was every kind of uniform you could name there. I took pictures of the cathedral and several shots of Piccadilly. I met Barney at noon & we started out again. We went to Covent Gardens to a dance & after we had hamburger steaks at the American cafe. Then we went to the American Red Cross at Euston & went to another dance. My girl & I was the last on the floor in the waltz contest & we got to cut the cake. Had a swell time & left Barney at 2:15 Mon morning. I hated to bid him goodbye but there’s a war on so perhaps I’ll see him again.
Mon, July 5, 1943
Left London at 5:30 & was back in camp at 6:30. Boy was I tired. I did bunk fatigue up until dinner time & layed around until supper. After supper Bart & I went into Kingston to the dance. It was fun & we came home early.
Tue, July 6, 1943
While we were playing volley ball this morning at 8:00 I got a call to get packed & ready to leave at 11:00. We are a unit of 4 men and an officer now. I am second in command. We arrived at And Field 4:30 and after eating was shown our hut. So far it’s not so bad.
Wed, July 7, 1943
We had an easy day today just sat & laid around waiting to get us a vacant building for our HQ. The Lt. was in late & told us we had a spot & was to clean it out in the morning. Bed early.
Thu, July 8, 1943
We were at work at 9:00 cleaning out our office and store room. It’s in the basement of an old castle. It was fun cleaning it up & we moved up our all our camera equipment & films & by 4:00 we were all cozy. We drew a bicycle each today & they’re ours as long as we are here. It rained most of the day & looked like rain tonite. So we stayed in. Going to bed early.
Fri, July 9, 1943
It was rumored around here this morning that the invasion of Italy has started. Well we went out to two different fields today to become acquainted. We went to Earls Colne and Andrews Field. Most of our work is coming from Andrews Field so I think we will move over there Monday or Tuesday. What a place. We might have to live in tents. It is a new field and still torn up.
Sat, July 10, 1943
Well today I had my first mission. I went to Earls Colne Field & photographed Gen. Brady & the crew who took him on his first mission. I had 10 scenes to do & I think or rather hope it was a success. We were gone 3 hours & used 3 cameras. A 16mm Victor which I used & an Eymo which Lt. Culver operated & the still camera Sgt. Hussey used. We took it easy the rest of the day and tonite went to the movies, Panama Hattie.
Sun, July 11, 1943
Drove into London today with the Lt. on business. We had to pick up a lot of equipment we were short. Arrived there at 11:45 and left at 7:30. Saw a show at HQ (Lucky Guy) while we were waiting. Picked up the mail but still none for me. I guess I am fighting this war alone. I can take it tho. Coming back we saw were the bomb hit Fri night in Chelmsford. The invasion of Italy is coming off OK so far. We will soon do our bit by opening another front. Where? My guess is France.
Mon, July 12, 1943
Well we spent the day cleaning our equipment & loading all our cameras. We were supposed to go to another field today but the old man was to busy. Went to the show tonite, The Big Street.
Tue, July 13, 1943
Went over to Andrews Field at Great Saling and spent the day. We went out and looked over the B-26 and figured out to hook up and mount our cameras in them. It looks like it wont be long now until we start our missions. Went into Coggeshell last nite & played darts with the English boys. Won 3 out of 4. Had two air raids last nite. The planes went right over us. Still waiting for mail.
Thu, July 15, 1943
Worked all day to day on rigging up the platform for our camera on the truck. The Ordnance is doing the welding and I am doing the rest of the work.
Fri, July 16, 1943
Finished up the platform at 4:00 today. It’s a honey and just what the doc ordered. Well I was just laid down after supper when the Lt. came in and said come with me O’Neal & the truck driver too. I said what shall I wear & he said just what you have on is OK & you had better bring your dog tags for I had them hanging up on the window. And I was off on my first mission. The clipping tells the rest & was I glad to get back & did I eat at midnight.
Sat, July 17, 1943
Well we went to ____ and photographed the transfer of fields today. It was a success & the Lt. let me go on into London from there when we finished. I had till Monday morning off so I tore out. I visited HQ & the boys & went to the Red Cross for a show Sat nite.
Sun, July 18, 1943
Was woken up at 9:30 this morning and went to 10:30 mass at the Westminster Cathedral. After mass I went back & visited with the boys until 3:00 when Frank & I went to the Covent Gardens to the dance. It let out at 5:30 & we had lunch and went Rainbow Red Cross where they had a party and dance that nite. Had fun
Mon, July 19, 1943
We started getting ready to go over to Great Saling for several days to work. Got all of our camera equipment together & loaded. We are going to leave in the morning. We have several stories to shoot there. We went into Coggeshell & had a few beers tonite.
Tue, July 20, 1943
Well we didn’t go to Great Saling for our supply officer came up & brought us some extra shoes, mackinaw, gloves, cap & blouse. He also brought some badly needed lenses & cameras. We should pull out in the morning. Went up tonite & got 2 hrs in on my flight time. Col Caldwell was the pilot & we hedge hopped all the way back. Had a nice ride.
Wed, July 21, 1943
Did not get off today. It rained all nite & was still this morning. Went over to the line & took measurements of 5 different types of planes & am going to make an aerial camera mount. This afternoon we are getting another man in our unit, Ben Rosenblatt, & we have to move to a larger hut after lunch. Still is raining a little.
Thu, July 22, 1943
We loaded our equipment and left Marks Hall at 10:30. We arrived at Andrews Field at 11:45. We reported in at HQ and then ate. After lunch we put our camera equipment in the photo lab & then made our beds. Went over to the Base Engineer with my plans for my camera mounts & got a work order signed to start in the morning. Lt. Culver went up for 2 hours & we had beer waiting for him. I am to go up tomorrow. To bed at 11:00.
Fri, July 23, 1943
Up at 7:00 this morning and was at the machine shop at 8:00. We got them started on the 3 of them and then got our cameras ready to take off after lunch. I go at 2:00 with the CO & am supposed to photo the bombs away & bomb hits.Got my parachute back from the rigger & it was OK after trip across. Was at the plane at 2:00 & at 3:15 was notified it was the real thing and I was to go on a mission. I loaded my cameras into another ship then after 1/2 hour it was called off on account of visibility at the target. Perhaps tomorrow will see it through.
Sat, July 24, 1943
We were up early today and we’re going to Earls Colne in the afternoon but just before lunch we were told we were going on a mission. Cameras were loaded & mounted & at 6:00 we took off for _______ . But before we had rendezvoused we saw a flare go up and we were called back to the field. It was a disappointment, but maybe it was for the best. From 7:30 to 10:00 we had beer at the pub & then to bed.
Sun, July 25,1943
Was up at 6:30 for we were going to 7:30 mass but found out after going that it was at 7:00 so missed it. We ate breakfast and then stood by at 4:00. We left for Marks Hall and at 4:30 we were on our way to _____. 7:00 was back and went into Coggeshell and had a few cool beers. Was home at 11:00 and after writing 5 letters was in bed.
Mon, July 26, 1943
Slept until 8:00 this morn and after breakfast was up at HQ and lounged around a while. At 10:30 took my dry cleaning up & then got a haircut & my cigarettes & candy ration. Its lunchtime and after lunch was notified we go again. We left at 3:00 and was sent to _____. Back at 5:00 and then left for Andrews Field where we saw about changing rev A B-26 for a camera spot. As it is we have no room in in which we can take a good coverage. So I gave them the idea of letting us use the extra bomb bay. So they took me up and to Macron(?) Major ____ is going over it with us. He says he thinks we can do it and he’ll OK it if possible. If we do we will be able to turn in some very hot combat pictures. They finished 3 of my mounts now and have 2 more to go then I’ll be completely outfitted.
Tue, July 27, 1943
Spent the morning over the changing of the B-26 with our Lt. and Major _____. It looks like we will get our windows but they will have to be smaller. We worked until lunch and then one of those things happened. Was back at 8:00 and then after eating went to see a USO show that is touring the ETO. It’s some show had two American girls in it, my they looked good.
Wed, July 28, 1943
The morning started out swell. Was nothing up and they had to mark time while the mounts were being finished. The boys took stills of the truck paraelle & my camera mount. Then Culver sent me to Marks Hall for the mail & my flying equipment. Got a letter from Ronnie & Rosemary. Had a big cry over Ronnie’s letter. The afternoon was spent printing and developing. I got 3 each of shots of me. There was a G. plane shot down at Chelmsford tonite.
Thu, July 29, 1943
Slept until 7:00 this morning and then ate and went to the lab here, our office. I made some filters for the Mitchell camera & finished getting a periscope fitted to go on the lens of the Victor 16mm. After lunch Lt. Culver was to go on a mission but at the last minute it was cancelled. I had fixed his helmet with earphones & had him all set. Maybe it’s for the best tho. A new bunch came over & are in tents near us. It’s fun listening to them learning the English money. Answered Ronnie & Rosie’s letter. Going to bed early. Supposed to photo some formations tomorrow.
Fri, July 30, 1943
Up at 8:00 & was at work at 8:30. We cleaned up all our tripods & checked equipment. There were two missions on for afternoon but was scratched. I took a hop for two hours & shot 30 pictures with the K20. We sneaked over the channel & grabbed some swell stills. Was back at 5:00 and had two letters from the boys waiting. I answered them tonite. We are supposed to leave here tomorrow for Marks Hall. This is my weekend to work.
Sat, July 31, 1943
Well we didn’t leave here today. The Lt. and I left at 3:00 on a mission and I got just over the channel into France and the motor on the starboard side started acting up and we had to turn around and come back. The rest were OK & were back at 5:30, all safe. We went to town tonite, Mandy & I, and made the rounds of pubs. It rained like hell when we started home at 11:00. Took the liberty run in.