Wednesday, February 17, 2010

George's Service Diary: Fri. Jan. 8

On duty to take the place of the boys who were in it yesterday. Scheduled to fly at 10:00, but weather cancelled it. Afternoon off, but a dive-bombing mission to Lae came up. Weather also cancelled it. Porter, having had some dive-bombing experience, joined the other shift for the mission. Funny how tense every one becomes when such a mission comes up. They know they’ll go through with it, no one will back out, but most of them would be thankful for a legitimate excuse not to go. Probably they remember Dickey and others who have gone down. The old boys in the 8th, that is, the boys from Darwin, have a most discouraging way of talking which undoubtedly makes a poor impression on someone who doesn’t know them. And I know that some of our new additions from Hawaii think me a chicken hearted. But all they need is to see us 

take off on a scramble once. In a pinch, we’re always on hand. It’s just that we don’t like some one who puts on a big bold front, pretending he’s so damned eager, when we know very well he’s just as scared as ony one. And every one is scared, make no mistake about that. Take “Porky” Morse, for example. He has 2 Zeros and a bomber to his credit, but every time an actual combat or strike mission is planned, his stomach gives him trouble. No reflection on his character, just that his nerves get the best of him. It’s something no one can help, and no one can ignore it, either. That is the reason that a fellow with a nervous temperament is not suited for combat flying. 

I wanna go home!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

George's Service Diary: Thur., Jan. 7

Thur. Jan. 7 On duty in the morning, tired as a dog; but up at 5:30, daylight about 6:30. Off at 6:40 to patrol Buna. Went over through a lot of weather but found Buna area so closed in with rain and low clouds we came back. My radio was out, so my ship was taken off when I got back. They found that loose spark-plug leads had been making the engine noise. Loafed around the shack till 10:40; off on another mission, completed. Flew no. 60, Capt. Johnson’s old ship, radio also out. Afternoon off. The other flights were suddenly given a mission to strafe a convoy in Lae harbor. On the way over, Capt. Wright’s ship went out, so he landed. The rest of the Group continued under Ernie Harris’ leadership. As they approached Lae above a layer of low strato-cumulus, they sighted Zeros above them, and in the ensuing mix-up, our boys

shot down 13 certainties, 1 probable and 2 damaged. Harris, E. got 3, Johns 1, White 2, Littleton 1, Jordan 1, Blakely 1, Kirsch 1, Day 2, Howard 1. Pretty good! The major was pretty happy about the whole thing, and gave the boys the next morning off. Dickey is missing, having bailed out near Salamaua. Howard landed at 30 mi. and Lynd at Kalamazoo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

George's Service Diary: Wed. Jan. 6

Had the morning off again, slept until 10:00. It rained during the night and early in the morning. One mission took off just before dinner. So we ate lunch and went down to wait for them to return. After setting up in our ships, we lay on our backs till 3:30, took off, climbed over an over an overcast to patrol Buna for 1 ¼ hrs. Landed at 5:50. After supper and a shower, settled down to a very quiet evening. It is rumored there is a lot of mail at Group, but none for me as yet. Will write to Betty again tomorrow.