Bill Goodall's Diaries: 1941/1945 
 25 December 1941 to 5 March 1942

The 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.

Wednesday, 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.

Thursday, 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 out.
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.


© 1995 William Motion Goodall & Ian William Goodall 

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