Tuesday 16th March 1943

We are running down the Irish sea, we have stopped at Belfast and left again within two hours. We were to have a balloon but the gear broke so we have not got it, the other ships have though. Running into Belfast, the darned ship went astray into a mine field, lucky old "Opal".

Sunday 14th March 1943

I have not felt at all inclined to write, could not bring myself to do it, it is now 11am, we are at last back to British time. This afternoon we saw our first land, the hills of Northern Ireland, welcome. Be in Belfast Monday morning about 6.00am. Two days after the big do, we had 6 more escorts joining us, far too late, and today we saw our first British plane, a Sunderland.

Goodnight all, I am very tired, and bleary eyed.

Christmas Day 1942

Left Belfast early this morning. Xmas at sea. Nearly did not leave for we had no Fourth Engineer. Chief refused to go without one. Got one eventually.  We all got up late this morning, we were not called by the sailor on watch, meant much hurry and bustle in galley,  caused bum to hurt again. Started then on medicine. Fires blew back, me too, burnt whole of my right arm, which was on the valve, adjusting the oil for flame. I swore good and proper.

Thursday 24th December 1942

I started in galley again, after swearing I'd never go in galley again, but the steward is different. Forgetful but quite a nice decent chap and clean. He is very glad to have me and already we are pals. I do not have to peel spuds now as we have got a boy, tired but willing, slow to grasp anything. Some of the crew are glad to see me there, as also are some of the officers.

Wednesday 23rd December 1942

Did not notice it yesterday. Ship sunk in harbour. Just see masts. boys quite excited about it as I was when I saw one in Belfast  last trip.

Dakotian wreckDakotian Wreck

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