Document Type

Personal Letter

Rights Management

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Dear Mom,

I passed my 60 hour check, hon! I went up with Mr. Saldano, the group commander. He said my acrobatics were the best he ever had on a check. Boy am I thrilled. I did a loop, slow roll, snap roll, immelman[n], spin, pylon-eights, two forced landings, and then—“Take me home.” It was all over in 39 minutes. You never realize how much those 39 minutes affected my life. Think if I hadn’t made it, how changed it would be. This flying is a crazy business. I’ve got one hour and thirteen minutes left to complete my Primary Training. Gosh how the time flew. I get a ride in the front seat this week, with Mr. Balko in the rear. I have the speaking tube and do all the talking. That ought to be rare. I’ll “chew him out” if he makes a mistake.

I’ve got more good news, honey. I got 100 in the Navigation final, which bring[s] my final average in Navigation up to 99! The highest in the class! But that’s enough braggin’ Clark. (I’m kinda proud, though)

I had my last hour in Link today. He made me spin the damned thing. Wow, what a work out. You have to put it in a spin like a plane, with nose up, and then let it stall with full rudder on. Then the fun begins. You start spinning around and around to beat hell. After about 12 turns he hollers over the earphones, “Recover.” “Recover”—are you kiddin! I couldn’t even see the hairy instruments. I was pushin’ rudder, yankin’ levers, gropin’ for the stick, and finally it came out. That’s some machine.

Enclosed are some snaps of the boys and Radium. And “Speaking of Pictures” (Copr. Life Magazine) give Judy one of me that you have, will you honey, she wants one. And also have one of yourself, Bob, and Nan, and their families taken honey. I’d love it.

All the love in the world, my sweet mother. I miss you and long to see you, hon. Give my love to all.

Your son


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