Got somewhat of a break - we are taking a ship to Karachi, India: for repairs.
Flew to Habbaneya, Irak. I thought it was just a landing ground but it is quite a post. An excellent mess _ and after a steady diet of bully beef, cucumbers and onions for 3 weeks, I really noticed it. The weather is burning hot, very dry and quite dusty. But there are many trees, flowers and much grass about all the buildings. All this vegetation comes from the Euphrates River irrigation system. This post, by the way, is comparatively next door to the Garden of Eden. Being close, it is only just to find some fruit, which we did. Had some tasty watermelon - now, if it had only been crisp and cold, I'd have believed we were in the Garden.
Went swimming twice today - didn't know I thoroughly enjoyed the sport so very much till I got this chance to swim in fresh water again ~ it was just perfect. Left the post to go to Karachi about 10:00 p.m. Left at night to avoid severe dust storms. Got about 200 miles out, had a 30 mph tail wind and damned if we didn't lose No.3 engine with a broken oil line_. Turned back, of course, and got lost. After flying up and down the river for 2 1/2 hours, we found the field - nearly piled up coming in _ some fun for a few minutes.
Spent a miserable night on a canvas cot - and had to rollout this morning.