31 October 1941.
Halloween night and with money in our pockets many of the cadets
went into town to celebrate but everywhere was crowded so our
little group took a taxi to a roadhouse a few miles out. There
we ate hamburgers and listened to the juke box which was a novelty
Halloween is quite an event over here, especially for the children
who dress up in fantastic costumes and call at houses for 'Halloween
treats' - usually candy and fruit.
2 November 1941.
A most enjoyable day spent as guests of Jack and Hazel Wolstenholme
who invited us to lunch. This was a marvellous meal and in the
afternoon Jimmy Forbes, Alec Flett and I were driven to the home
of an old Scottish lady, Mrs Ford, who came to Canada in 1915
from Kilmarnock. She has retained her Scottish accent and was
delighted to welcome three Scots from home; for tea there was
a huge spread of home baking to which we managed to do justice
but with difficulty after our large lunch.
The features of life here have already aroused my interest -
at table the fork is used largely without the knife which is
solely for cutting food. This habit I shall cultivate without
difficulty but I shall never be able to dance American style
5 November 1941.
Written in the train having just passed Toronto and approaching
the USA border.
We were told early on Monday that we were to leave Moncton the
following day so we were anxious to say our farewells that evening.
Everywhere we were given a hearty invitation to visit on our
return to Moncton next Spring when we all hope to have our wings.
Our Canadian money was changed into American dollars at the rate
of $1.11 Canadian to $1.00 American and I entered the U.S.A.
with 11 dollars but most of us are in similar straits.
Our train pulled out of Moncton at 7.30am Tuesday with 400 cadets
on board for Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama. Our route was
North through Quebec where we saw a vast expanse of timber country
with occasional camps out in the wild; the grass which we saw
seemed very parched and not until now in Ontario have we seen
any greenery. After 12 hours travelling we saw the lights of
Quebec city across the river but it was dark and wet so that
soon we settled down for the night during which we passed Montreal.
Then at 5.30am we were called for breakfast which was served
on board while standing in Toronto station.
6 November 1941.
The train sped along at a good rate through Ontario and we did
one stretch of 130 miles in less than 2 hours. We reached Windsor
soon after midday and the whole train was ferried across to Detroit
where we changed trains and set foot on USA soil. Our new train
was made up of Pennsylvania Railroad coaches running on the Wabash
system to Fort Wayne, Indiana where we picked up two dining cars
and a new engine. This took us to Cincinnati where we changed
trains again into a Louisville-Nashville train which drove through
the night in Kentucky and Tennesee across to Alabama this morning.
The countryside has not been very exciting and indeed the whole
trip has been disappointing from a scenic point of view.