Saturday, August 13, 2016

Carroms - The Game of OW!!

"It's your turn."   "Okay ... OW!!!!  Let's play checkers instead!"

And so went our games of Carroms at our grandparents' house.  Most of the time when Grandpa would play a game with us, it involved the Carrom board, either playing our own version of the game on one side of the board, or flipping it over and using the other side for a game of checkers.  We never did know the real rules for Carroms but instead would play it like billiards, only on a board.   The little pool cues that came with the set disappeared long before we started playing with it (or did Grandma decide the last thing she needed was three wild children running around with little sticks?) so we'd "snip" the carroms with our fingers into the little net pockets.  The first game usually wasn't bad, but after that our fingernails really, really hurt.

I never thought about where the carrom board came from, only that it was always there, and still is (somewhere).   Last week, while cleaning out a closet full of games, I found a rusted coffee can filled with the old wooden carroms, and I started wondering how this relic made its way into our family.  A few days later, I was going through family photos and there it was, in the background of several photos from Christmas of 1958!   It was perched under the Christmas tree, all pretty and new, just waiting for someone to try it out.  And later, apparently someone did - my aunt June and her boyfriend (and future husband), Everett, were playing a game of checkers on it in one photo (I wonder if Grandma took the sticks away from them, too...)

Christmas, 1958.  If you peek behind Everett, under the Christmas tree, you can see the Carrom board in all its sparkly newness.

June and Everett checking out the new game.

I will have to remember to drag out the Carrom board when my granddaughters are visiting, just to see how long they put up with "snipping" those hard little carroms around the board.  I'm guessing just once.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Independence Day, Great Depression Style

In the southern part of Beadle county, South Dakota, Cain Creek meanders through the slightly hilly terrain of Clifton township.  Nearly 50 miles long, the creek enters western Beadle county and winds its way southeasterly, emptying into the James River.  A small portion of the creek just barely caught the northwest quarter of Will Knutz's 80 acre farm, and as my mother remembers, was down a rolling hill from their house.   In the weeks before the Independence Day holiday in 1933, someone looked at that creek and had a great idea...

The dot inside the red circle shows the location of the farmhouse of the Will and Virta Knutz family, and its proximity to Cain Creek.  The road just to the left of the red circle is Highway 37, south of Huron.

Neighbors and friends gathered to build a dam on the creek, forming what was said to have been an excellent, and very popular, swimming hole.  The Knutz children, among others, spent their days enjoying a refreshing swim and the company of others there for the same purpose.  Young Richard Knutz, just 16 at the time, "just about lived in that pool," said his mother, Virta.  Will Knutz gave his blessing to the project, on the condition that everyone pick up after themselves before they left.   A small baseball diamond was added as well.

A group of young swimmers at the Knutz swimming hole

The swimming hole was the site of an incredible 1933 Independence Day party.   On July 3, some of the ball players showed up and "fixed up" the diamond, cleaned out the tree grove, and "penned off a corner of the pool for the little kids to swim in," Bill Knutz wrote.  And the Knutz family prepared for the onslaught of guests the following day.

Swimmers - from left, Bill Knutz, Lillian Christensen (who would later become his wife), and second from right is either Howard or Richard Knutz. 

It was estimated that about 1,000 people showed up for the festivities, starting with a "kitten" ball game for the youngsters, commencing at 10 am and stopping at 12:30 for a picnic lunch.  Afterward was the women's ball game, and then the races - first the younger kids, then the young men's race, the married couples race, and lastly the "fat man's" race.   Cash prizes were awarded for first and second places for each race.  The "big" baseball game followed the races, and it was estimated that as many as 90 cars were parked there at that time.   Pop and ice cream were sold; horseshoes, and of course, swimming, were all-day events.  It was noted by Bill Knutz that there were so many people in the pool that the water was nearly to the top of the dam.  All the neighbors for miles around were there, "and then some," noted by one of them, Miss Edna Christensen.

After dark, another neighborhood acquaintance, Mr. Baum, hosted a barn dance for which Bill Knutz and His Harmonians supplied the music.

After the Fourth of July party, the swimming hole continued to be a hot spot for the rest of the summer, with cars coming and going all day, "up until midnight," said Mrs. Knutz.  But the following spring, when the snow began to melt and the rains came, the dam washed out.  The neighborhood came together again to rebuild it, and they enjoyed another summer of swimming.  But the following spring, in 1935, the waters proved too much for the dam and again, it wouldn't hold.  This time, it was not reconstructed.  The days of the Knutz swimming pool were over.

Cain Creek today, photo courtesy of Google Earth.

Elvirta Knutz's Life Story, as written by herself
Letters of Bill Knutz to Lillian Christensen
Letter from Edna Christensen to Lillian Christensen
Huron Daily Plainsman, 20 Feb 1966
List of Playing Dates for Bill Knutz and His Harmonians
1949 Beadle County Plat Map, R. C. Booth Enterprises
Betty Hammer
Google Earth

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Run For Your Life - A Story of Strength from World War II

Many of our ancestors faced situations that required every bit of strength and courage they could muster.  But few of those situations could compare with running for your very life from the Nazis.

My grandmother, Lisa Hammer, had a life that repeatedly required strength, from the time she was a toddler pining away for the home and mother that she'd never return to, to teaching and ministering to the poorest children in Norway, and much more in between.  But the astounding story of her fortitude during World War II shows what she was made of.    I can't tell the story like Lisa could, so I will let her do it.  Keep in mind as you read the story that she got terribly seasick on boats, and that the Nazis had mined the waters.  Also please keep in mind that English was not her first language.

With that, may I introduce my guest host for this posting, Lisa Hammer.


In 1940 the World War II broke out and lasted five years.  There was very little food around.  We fed the kids oatmeal soup and cod liver oil in the school and when the weather was bad, the fishermen stole the fish they had sold the day before.  The kids were not fed the way they should be and many times it was a lot better to give them a bath and teach them history and something else.  After the war I got a year off and went to a garden school.

The country was neutral but in big trouble because the Germans took the food for the soldiers.  For three weeks at the school we ate sour rhubarb jam with no butter on the bread.  The people were often put in camps because they didn't join the Nazis and they were starving to death.  The farmers in the south smuggled food in in empty garbage cans.  We could not write to our mothers because all mail was opened up and every telephone call taped.  All radios were taken away and nobody knew for sure who the next man was so we never dared to talk freely.  I stayed with one of the teachers at the school and had a very good year with them.  We made a lot of potato flour to take home and we bought a lot of caraway seed for tea.

Kjollefjord, 1928.  Original source of photo unknown.

In 1945 the Germans lost the war but before they left they burned the country and they evacuated us to the southern part.

We heard the news about the burning but did not know how serious the situation was before we saw the smoke come rolling over the mountain from Kjøllefjord.  We came together for a meeting and decided that all the men should go home and pack and all the women should bake bread so we could take it with us the next day.  It was in November and still no snow on the ground.  I lived alone but neighbors helped and we all worked together.  I went to bed and slept to 5 A.M.  Somebody knocked on the door and asked if I would go with my friends who had an old mother and were leaving.  I said no because I was sad and there were many who needed help.  I slept again until 7:30 A.M. and had another knock on the door.  This time the Germans were on the harbour, shooting down the pier and coast light.  I took the bike and my valuables up in the mountains to a small lake where we had water.  The Germans threw hand grenades in all the houses and that evening, not one house was left.  We had bought coal for heating for winter and all was burned up.  They put us in a fishing boat and said go to the south.  They were sure we would be bombed on the way but the first night the weather was so bad we couldn't go to the boat.  We made a big fireplace outside and fried sheep meat and drank beer.  We roasted the sheep and ate them.  The cows were running wild around; we milked them before we left and took as many pails with us as we could.  Of course we were to have food for three days.

Lisa's home in Kjollefjord

It was early Sunday morning the Germans come and they threw the grenades in the houses and we were all up to and before evening came, there wasn't one house left from all the places where we had the winter coal saved for the next year.  And we went down there and tried to find ourself but we couldn't find it because it was too dark and I was wondering where my map was at and all my papers and I couldn't find it and one of the neighbors who was born there, she came with a lantern and she said you follow me and I will find it, and she found it up in the rocks that night.  We had big bowls of sweet stuff, the cranberries, the blueberries and the snowberries we had saved for the winter, we dug them under the sod in the fence of the graveyard.  When we saw we couldn't take it with us we sat and ate out of the crocks.

It was very bad weather that night so we couldn't enter the boat - it wasn't possible to come to the boat so we were a mess.  We roasted some sheep, fried them on the fire and we drank some beer.  Milked some cows, packed silver in the shoes and boots so we could take as much as possible and next morning we went to the boat.  It was a fishing boat - we were laying in the bottom of the boat.  One man got crazy but we had a basket that was made up ready to go to the hospital if somebody should be sick.  Of course it was far away to the hospital.  So we tied him up in that basket, it was the only thing to do.  And every place we went by that day there was burning and burning and burning.  We tore apart sheets and bedspreads and washed the kids and one woman got her pants filled up screaming what should we do and throw it in the ocean, no, no, no we can't afford to do that, but there was nothing else to do.

So, for three days we went south and the Germans were sure we would all be bombed and died.  But later the weather got beautiful, we didn't see a plane.  We came to a city Phlocea.  They backed us into some cattle wagons with no windows, just one door, no lights and the rest room outside.

So we came down to a city called Mansus.  That is a side road going down to my home country and I took two families and we ran away in the dark.  The rest came south and I come home to my mother and my father with my two families.


Lisa eventually went back to Finnmark and continued on to build up a fine school district from virtually nothing, and 30 years later she left it all behind for a new life in the United States with my grandfather.

Many thanks to Elizabeth O'Neal for hosting the Blog Party

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Duh! Overlooking A Major Breakthrough in a Moment of Stupidity

Elsie and Jens Eriksen
Subtitled: The Porch Light's On, But Nobody's Home

Like many people who have been working on their family's history for a long time, I've plucked all of the low-hanging fruit.  Sometimes I'll pick an ancestor, block out all other distractions, lay my head back and pretend I'm her (or him).  I'll think about her life, imagine her daily routine and interactions, and sometimes come up with different avenues to pursue in my search for more information. The only caveat is that your assumptions about their lives need to be correct if you're going to have any success.

During one such creative session, I was pondering the life of my great-great grandmother, Elsie Eriksen.  Her son, Peter Christensen, came to the United States at the age of 17 to learn the baking trade from an uncle in Omaha.  What did I know of Elsie?  Not much.  I had one photo of her with her husband, Jens Eriksen.  I had heard that her first husband, Mr. Christensen, was a mailman and had died.   I didn't enjoy researching Elsie, as I knew so little and it was typically a frustrating exercise in futility.  She lived her life in Denmark; I didn't read Danish, there weren't a lot of resources available, and I had no idea how to move forward.  However, I had an idea that I don't even remember now, and began looking at various databases.  To make a long story short, by the end of the night (or should I say the wee hours of the next morning) I had well-documented her life in Omaha, and identified her parents, who, surprisingly, lived in Iowa!

Peter Christensen
One of the things that held me back with this branch of my family were my assumptions - assumptions that led me down a completely erroneous trail for nearly 15 years.  I thought Peter Christensen was the immigrant ancestor, when in actuality, it was his grandfather, Peder Larsen, who, in 1886, at the age of 42, left Denmark for greener pastures in Exira, Iowa.  His daughter, Elsie, chose to stay behind.  As Elsie's children reached adulthood, most of them crossed the pond as well.  And, as it turned out, Elsie and her husband Jens did eventually leave Denmark and settle in Omaha where other members of the family had been for years.

I pulled out every bit of information I had on Elsie's son, Peter, to re-examine what I thought I knew.  And there, on his 1901 ship manifest from his first trip here, it said that he was going to his grandfather, P. C. Larson in Exira, Iowa.  There it was, right there the whole time.  Suddenly I had a flashback to all those years earlier, when I first saw that information.  The lines on the manifest were hard to follow, and there was writing in between the lines that confused things even more.  That is my excuse for being so incredibly dense.  I vividly remember thinking, "His mother was still in Denmark, so her parents surely were there too.  He COULDN'T have a grandfather in Iowa.  Besides, the last names don't match."  I concluded that the information was for the person on the line above him.  I'd love to travel back in time and thunk myself in the noggin for being so obtuse.

P. C. and Jacobine Larson

However, the story does have a happy ending.  I made contact with a descendant of Elsie's brother, who had abundant information and photos, and very generously shared them with me.  Despite myself, I have a goldmine on a part of the family I truly never expected to know.

Many thanks to Elizabeth Swanay O'Neal of Little Bytes of Life for hosting the Genealogy Blog Party.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Log Books and Flight Summaries - February and March, 1944

The following are excerpts from the Pilot's Log book of 1st Lt Joseph Elden Leonard and flight summaries from “417th NFS Illustrated History," edited by Dan Whitney.

1st Lt. Leonard and his radar observer Flight Officer Raymond Christensen, were night fighters for the 417th NFS, U. S. Army Air Force.  Both were killed in action when their plane was engaging a Nazi night fighter over the Tyrrhenian sea.  Their plane disappeared from radar and presumably crashed into the sea after being shot down.  F/O Christensen was my great-uncle.

Much of the work of the 417th NFS was to protect boat convoys as they transported allied suppies and soldiers.  As you can imagine, these convoys were prized targets of the Nazis.  Also, the 417th were sent on missions to check out "bogies" that showed upon their radar, and if found to be an enemy plane, engage in combat.

These excerpts resume in Tafaraoui, Algeria.  F/O Christensen was radar observer for all of these flights, so I have not mentioned him specifically.  Other passengers are noted.   The quotes are from the flight summaries of 1st. Lt. Leonard.   Notes between brackets are mine.  All crews from the 417th are named "Bishop 50, Bishop 51," etc.  Note the crazy hours these guys fly!


These entries conclude the log book and flight summary data.

Feb. 3, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 151.  Sgt. Sabo along as well.  Night Fighter Training.  2:00 pm - 2:40 pm.  "151 is undoubtedly the best A/C [air craft] on the line, everything checked up perfect, wonderful day."
Flight 2: Beau 151.  Convoy Patrol - Turban (Woodlog) [ground control].  5:35 pm - 8:30 pm.  "Convoy patrol on Turban, ran one PI [practice interception] with Bishop 57, seven mile range on the AI [airborne intercept radar], was vectored after bogie with negative results, had trouble with Woolsack and Frenchmen in the pattern, A/C [air craft] has slight hydraulic leak."

Feb. 6, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 177.  Pfc. Coleman was along.  Night Fighter Training.  2:20 pm - 3:00 pm.  "NFT, ship and radio were OK, but AI [airborne intercept] was PP ["Piss Poor"]"
Flight 2: Beau 177.  F/O Heinecke along as well.  Practice interceptions with Woodlog.  A.I. U/S. [airborne interceptions - ?/?].  6:30 pm - 8:15 pm.  "PI's with 50 on Woodlog, pretty good night despite the fact that my AI was U/S, ship and R/T [radio transmitter] were OK."

Feb. 15, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 204, Night Fighter Training. 3:05 pm - 3:50 pm.  "Night Fighter Training in the soup, very nice, A/C [air craft], R/T [radio transmitter], and A/I [airborne intercept radar] OK also."
Flight 2: Beau 204, Convoy patrol with Fishbone [ground control].  5:55 pm - 8:05 pm.   "Convoy patrol on a helluva big job about 80 ships, nothing doing as usual and Joe Long was off the ball on his vector, A/C [air craft], R/T [radio transmitter], and AI [airborne intercept radar] OK."
Flight 3: Beau 204.  Scramble.  2:20 am - 3:40 am.  "Scramble after bandit that failed to materialize, I investigated a destroyer that turned out to be friendly, my first scramble and I get lost on the Taxi strip, C'est La Guerre ["That's war!"].  R/T [radio transmitter] a bit ropey."

Feb 18, 1944.  Beau 938, 2:15 pm - 3:05 pm.  "NFT [Night Fighter Training] with [Bishop] 70, A/C [air craft] check out OK but engineering marked it out so they could play with it.  R/T [radio transmitter] and A/C [air craft] OK."

Feb 22, 1944.  Beau 158.  8:05 pm - 12:40 am.  "PI [practice intercepts] with Bishop 53 on Stalecrust [ground control], we worked quilt at Angels 11 [altitude of aircraft - 11,000 ft] - the blackest damned night that I have ever seen.  We were both getting visuals from 800-300 ft.  Ship and set OK."

Feb. 23, 1944.  Beau 151.  5:35 pm - 8:25 pm.  "Convoy patrol with Perform [ground control], Bags of Oranges and Orange juice, uneventful as usual, ship and set OK, but it leaks."

March 3, 1944.  Beau 151.  7:55 am - 9:35 am.  "Dawn patrol with Bradshaw [Tafaraoui RAF Aerodrome control].  After waiting 25 minutes for [Bishop] 57, Bradshaw vectored me after a bandit which I chased for about 25 minutes when my radio went out.  I turned back and about 5 minutes later my port engine went out, but the radio came back in so I was vectored home, R/T [radio transmitter] OK."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Summer of 1934

When Elizabeth O'Neal suggested a Genealogy Blog Party, I was all in.   (Thanks, Elizabeth!) The theme for the opening party was to create a time machine to visit an ancestor.  I truly did not feel there was any one ancestor in particular that stood out over the others, so I decided to sit this one out.

Then, later on in the week, I remembered The Diary...

Yes, it's a diary with the whole summer ripped out of the center.  Not ripped, exactly, more like surgically removed with a sharp instrument.    I immediately knew that if I could get that time machine, I'd zip back to 1934 and see what was going on for myself.  I'd try to become my grandmother's new best friend and confidante.

Yes, that diary belonged to my grandmother, Lillian Christensen, and anyone who knew her knew she could keep a secret, and take it to the grave if she had to.  And obviously that's what she chose to do with the Summer of 1934.  That block of time has been neatly removed from her life as if it never happened - May 5 through August 31.  Whatever she was up to, she didn't want anyone to know about it.  But why didn't she just destroy the whole diary, instead of leaving this blatant gaping hole in the middle?

Because she wanted to torment me for being so nosey, that's why.

My grandfather often told the story of how he and Lillian "claimed each other" in third grade (or was it second?)  Once they laid eyes on each other, the rest was history, he said, neither of them ever looked at anyone else.  Grandma never said anything while he was telling the story of his youthful little heart going pitter-patter at the mere sight of her.  But then, Grandma's lack of involvement wouldn't have been surprising.  He was the storyteller, she was the practical one.   I never gave it a second thought... until now.

All I really knew of Grandma's young adulthood was that she was a nanny for awhile, then worked in the office of a government agency, and at some point had her own apartment.   I had no timeline for any of these events.

Thanks to old newspapers, city directories, and the diary, I've been able to put together some of the story.  Her diary begins in January, with her living with the Hansowitz family, caring for the children and helping out around the house.  She is dating my grandfather at the time, and makes references to what they're doing on the weekends.  She was also doing office work during the day, and may have been working through a government program, as she mentions being shuffled from the court house to the post office and back again.  And that's where the diary ends.

She must have gotten a permanent position at the U. S. Crop Allotment Office shortly thereafter.  In early June of 1934, Huron Construction Co. placed the following advertisement in the local newspaper:

Lillian Christensen is listed in the 1934 Huron City Directory with an address of 425 Wisconsin av. SW.

Lillian, on the roof of her apartment.

So, I know exactly where she worked, and approximately when she started there.  I know exactly where her apartment was, and I know her job must have been permanent or she never would have gotten her own place.  (Yes, Grandma, I did listen to everything you told me on that subject).  And while I still don't know exactly what she was up to during those missing four months, I'm getting a pretty good idea of the situation.  Oh, did I mention that the letters she'd written back and forth with my grandfather have a huge gap after April of 1934?

I'm going to keep going through her papers and letters looking for clues I overlooked.  And I WILL figure this out, if there's any way possible.

I'll bet she's terribly amused by all this...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Log Books and Flight Summaries, January 1944

The following are excerpts from the Pilot's Log book of 1st Lt Joseph Elden Leonard and flight summaries from “417th NFS Illustrated History," edited by Dan Whitney.

1st Lt. Leonard and his radar observer Flight Officer Raymond Christensen, were night fighters for the 417th NFS, U. S. Army Air Force.  Both were killed in action when their plane was engaging a Nazi night fighter over the Tyrrhenian sea.  Their plane disappeared from radar and presumably crashed into the sea after being shot down.  F/O Christensen was my great-uncle.

Much of the work of the 417th NFS was to protect boat convoys as they transported allied suppies and soldiers.  As you can imagine, these convoys were prized targets of the Nazis.  Also, the 417th were sent on missions to check out "bogies" that showed upon their radar, and if found to be an enemy plane, engage in combat.

These excerpts resume in Tafaraoui, Algeria.  F/O Christensen was radar observer for all of these flights, so I have not mentioned him specifically.  Other passengers are noted.   The quotes are from the flight summaries of 1st. Lt. Leonard.   Notes between brackets are mine.  All crews from the 417th are named "Bishop 50, Bishop 51," etc.  Note the crazy hours these guys fly!


Jan. 1, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 940.  Sgt. Gura also along.  Night Fighter Training.  3:25 pm - 4:40 pm.   "NFT with [Bishop] 70 who returned with a bad engine so I stooged around and flew single engine for awhile."
Flight 2: Beau 940.  Practice interceptions with Woodlog [ground control]. 5:45 pm to 8:10 pm.  "PI's with Woodlog and [Bishop] 59.  Wizard control and a beautiful night.  Ran three interceptions and the AI [airborne interceptor radar] was remarkably good.  VHF [very high frequency transmission] and A/C [air craft] OK."

Jan. 4, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 940.  Night Fighter Training.  4:40 pm - 5:10 pm.  "NFT with [Bishop] 59, my port transmitter went out and bismuth screwed the detail more than usual.  A/C [air craft] and AI [airborne intercept radar] OK."
Flight 2: Beau 940.  Practice interceptions (Woodlog and Perform were ground controls).  6:00 - 9:15   "PI with 53 on Woodlog - very good work on the part of Woodlog.  They turned us over to Perform and we did convoy patrol with them until they vectored us in.  A/C [air craft] and R/T [radio transmitter] OK."

Jan. 6, 1944.
Beau 177.  Convoy Patrol (Woodlog and Perform ground controls)  10:30 pm to 2:30 am.  "Convoy patrol with [Bishop] 53 on Woodlog who ran one PI [practice interception] and then turned me over to Perform who attempted to vector me on to a bogey which they had a plot on.  He went home and so did I.  Port receiver went out, otherwise OK."

Jan. 7, 1944.  Beau 938.  Practice Interception with Fishbone [ground control]. 06:10 am to 8:05 am.  "PI with[Bishop] 53 controlled by Fishbone and was it ever lousy - 2 interceptions apiece.  A/C [air craft], R/T [radio transmitter] and AI [airborne intercept radar] OK."

At this point, they moved to nearby La Senia, preparing for the big move to the island of Corsica.

Jan. 10, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 167.  Also joined by Bernie Brun.  Convoy Patrol.   5:40 pm to 8:00 pm.  Squadron history reports a Nazi Ju 88 plane damaged by 1st Lt. J. E. Leonard off the Coast of Spain.  "Convoy patrol with Fishbone [ground control].  Chased two P-39's and then noticed some gunfire from "across" then Joe Long vectored me on a fighter.  Engaged the enemy twice and got hits on his tail the first time and got two hits on stbd wing.  Got another contact and followed it to the coast of Spain.  One Ju88 damaged.  Cannon all fired.  Chris [F/O Christensen] was on the ball.  A/C [air craft] was perfect.  VHF [very high frequency transmission] good.  Everyone is on the ball I Oh!  What a beautiful morning."
Flight 2: Beau 941, Convoy Patrol.  7:00 am to 8:40 am. "Patrol on 'Links.'  "C" Channel crystal went out.  Beautiful morning.  AI [airborne intercept radar] U/S."

Jan. 13, 1944.  Beau 938.  Pvt. Schoenberg along as well.  Night Fighter Training.  2:30 - 3:20.  "NFT with[Bishop] 53.  Canary check OK.  A/I [airborne intercept radar], U/S and rheostat in gunsight U/S."

Jan. 16, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 938.  Night Fighter Training.  "NFT rather uneventful.  Ship, AI [airborn intercept radar], R/T [radio transmitter] OK."
Flight 2: Beau 938.  Don Barnhart also along.  Convoy Patrol with Perform [ground control].  5:45 pm - 8:00 pm.  "Convoy patrol with Bishop 53 on Perform.  53 ran two PI [practice interceptions] whole damned thing was uneventful.  Everything OK."

Jan. 19, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 204.  On patrol off Balearic Islands.  4:30 pm - 7:30 pm.  "Patrol near the Balearic Islands which was rather fruitless but we learned a lot.  Receiver went rather duff on the way out.  AI [airborne intercept radar] and A/C [air craft] OK."
Flight 2: Beau 204.  Sgt. Filipowics also along.  Convoy patrol with Woodlog [ground control]. 12:55 am to 3:40 am.  "Single plane patrol on "Nipper."  Went to sleep three or four times; ears are still plugged up.  A/C [air craft], R/T [radio transmitter] and ship OK."

Jan. 24, 1944.
Beau 941.  Convoy Patrol (Woodlog ground control).  5:40 pm to 8:25 pm.  "Convoy patrol with Bishop 70.  My port receiver went out so came back on "C" for Charlie.  Port engine rough."

Jan. 25, 1944.
Flight 1: Beau 961.  Night Fighter Training.  2:20 pm - 3:05.  "NFT.  AI [airborne interceptor radar] ropey and then went out.  A/C [air craft] and R/T [radar transmitter] OK."
Flight 2: Beau 961.  From La Senia to La Passet.  "Alert at Lapasset.  Did a dawn patrol and PI [practice interceptions] with [Bishop] 70 and returned to base after having had breakfast at Lapasset.  A/C [air craft] OK."
Flight 3: Beau 961.  Practice Interceptions with Woodlog [ground control].
Flight 4: Beau 961.  LaPasset to LaSenia.

Jan. 31, 1944. Beau 151.  Duty: Tenacle.  4:00 pm - 7:50 pm.  "Tenacle with no results, received Whitetooh, Bradshaw [Tafaraoui RAF Aerodrome control], Madbrain, and Oxter, landing ropey as usual, AI [airborne intercept radar] was out completely, A/C [air craft] was very good."