Bill Goodall's Diaries: 1941/1945 
 25 March 1942 to 1 April 1942

Since my last entry we have had several exams and I have come out well in all of them with the top mark in navigation which is the most important. We are now busy at astro navigation which is not so difficult as anticipated and it is fun taking sights of the various stars with a sextant; we work in pairs and with Dennis we took a sight on what we thought was Jupiter only to find our calculated position about 3000 miles in error. The mystery was solved when we discovered that we had shot a floodlight by mistake in the sextant.
There has been only one weekend trip to Auburn recently and on that occasion we hired a car - a brand new Chevrolet - but we soon discovered that its speed was governed down to 45 mph. As we had a journey of over 200 miles ahead this was exasperating but not surprising as apparently there have been several crashes lately involving RAF personnel. On this occasion Louise and Monk arranged a party for about 20 in a cabin at Chewagla Natural Park 10 miles out of Auburn. Monk and the three of us stayed the night in the cabin as the house was full of guests but as everyone else was leaving I got jammed between two cars backing out; my fingers were badly gashed while protecting my legs and this caused some embarrassing fuss but they are nearly healed now.
We were all back in the house for early breakfast and then went to West Point, Georgia with Eleanor Rush to visit her mother - a charming old lady. Dennis drove us in Monk's big Buick and it was amusing to see how he kept the speed down when I knew he wanted to let her go all out. We set off on the long road South on Sunday afternoon and returned the car intact.
Since that weekend we have remained in Pensacola for our days off and we realise how greatly the Wrights have helped our stay in America - their kindness has been phenomenal and we are deeply grateful. Alec, Dennis and I have had a long talk today about things in general and getting home in particular. This thought is uppermost on our minds and the time may not be so far off.

Wednesday, 1 April 1942. Glorious weather this past week and we are hoping that it will continue so that nothing will prevent our Easter trip to Auburn where we hope to see Charles Hollins who is on Advanced Flying Course at Bothan, Alabama.
This week we have a tough schedule in Ground School especially in Practical Navigation which I enjoy. For instance we are required to prepare a complete flight plan for a trip from Bermuda to Greenock with all the weather information included. It is especially exciting because it is a reminder that we may fly home and this flight plan is one which we may carry out in actual fact.
A new daily routine has commenced this week offering some good points but it involves getting up at 5am; we have a long gap from 9.30 to 1pm and do not finish school until 4.30 instead of 3 but this gives us much more time for meals which were previously very rushed.
Last Friday I got my first home mail direct to Pensacola and it was great to hear that Moira has finished her ATS course in Edinburgh with the award of a commission. I am very proud of her and pleased because she has worked hard and things must have been very difficult for her at times.


© 1995 William Motion Goodall & Ian William Goodall 

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