Tuesday, September 7, 2010

George's Service Diary: Sun. Jan. 31

Sun. Jan. 31 – Lastest day of Jan. Just one year since we arrived on “[?]” soil. Should go home soon! Got up at 8 to slow time my ship; put 2:20 on it before lunch. The Major took my place in the flight after lunch and I put 2:30 more on it, a total of 5:00, and it runs very weel for a new engine. Hope to do 2 or 3 more hours tomorrow and get it back on combat status. Farley has offered to fly for me in the morning so I can do my slow timing. After supper we were lectured by Mr. Jacobson on methods of escaping from Japs if forced down near Lae or Salamane. Very interesting and informative. Mr. Jacobson owned a plantation near Lae, which is now occupied by Japs and he is giving the Army the benefit of his extensive knowledge of the country and the natives. The fellows had a mission to Wau in the afternoon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

George's Service Diary: Sat. Jan. 30

Sat. Jan. 30 – On in the morning. Supposed to go to Wau about 11:00. But Johns’ flight wanted to fly and needed missions, so Porter’s flight was relieved. The Wau mission is rough anyway. Afternoon off. A letter from Betty, giving me all kinds of devil for not writing regularly, for writing only one page, for using two stamps instead of one, and for not straightening out the details about going home. Had already written her a letter, asking for stamps, etc, but I tore it up and wrote a longer one, giving a lot of reasons for my laxity. Hope she understands. 45 should be ready to slow-time in the morning. Jordan and I took Wenige and Makowski in Bridge, and won by over 2000.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

George's Service Diary: Fri. Jan. 29

Fri. Jan. 29 – On alert again after going off A.O. at noon. No mission, so we slept and sat around all afternoon. We even got off early in the evening for a change, that is, Porter’s flight.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

George's Service Diary: Thur. Jan. 28

Thur. Jan. 28 – On duty again early but no mission. Sat around in our so-called “alert shack” until noon. Then I was put on as A.O. having to stay at Operations to govern incoming traffic and take charge in case of any accidents. No accidents, no incoming traffic, so I had a very quiet afternoon, reading intelligence reports and “Shadows Over Rangoon.” Also slept some. In the evening Kirsch and I beat Jordan and Lorne in Bridge. Started to put a new engine in 45 today, not new, overhauled.

Friday, September 3, 2010

George's Service Diary: Wed. Jan. 27

Wed. Jan. 27 – Up at 6:00, sour cream for the coffee, and a mission to Wau scheduled for 9:00. Took off as scheduled, but about the time we picked up the transports and got on course, my engine began running rough and cutting out, so I came hauling back home. Took a lot of razzing for coming back, but it was all in fun. Wrote to Betty, to Uncle Tony, to Sonny, to my Mother. At noon new went on 15-min. reserve, but heavy rain caused fighter sector to relieve us.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

George's Service Diary: Tues. Jan. 26

Tues. Jan. 26 – Morning off. Got up about 10:30. Took a mission to patrol Buna, T.O. 11:30. On the way over, or rather, after we got across the mountains, Porter had engine trouble and decided to come back. So he told Porteous to come back with him, but as usual, Porteous didn’t catch on. Porter left me to lead the remainder of the flight; I told Porteous to follow Porter. He left, but Porter couldn’t find him, so Porter came back and told me to accompany him, and Mayo to join Gelatkas’ flight. So Porter and I came back, Porteous soaring along about 3000 feet above and ahead of us, never knowing where we were. Porter was really griped at Porteous. Sat on alert till 7:15. Played Poker in the evening and won about (LB!)16. No mail. One heavy raid about 3:30 A.M. The first time the three bombers came over, the lights picked them up at once and

they hauled back out to sea. Then about 5 min. later they came back in. The lights caught them again, but no A.A. was fired because a P-38 night-fighter was up after them. He was apparently unable to reach them before they dropped their bombs, which they did on Wards’, a large number of heavy bombs which started fires, hit ammo and bomb dumps, and got on Beaufighter. The P.38 returned unsuccessful. But A/A would have had a wonderful opportunity if the P-38 handn’t been up there.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

George's Service Diary: Mon. Jan. 25

Mon. Jan. 25 – Had my chance today. A patrol mission over Buna, and the same flight set-up, with me leading. Mayo dropped out and the Maj. And the Capt. Flew my wing. Or rather, they flew anywhere except on my wing. I had to look more to keep track of them than I did for enemy a/c. We cruised around at about 14000 until an unidentified a/c was reported. We took off after it and intercepted, finding it to be a B-17 on reconnaissance. Afternoon off. Loafed. Got my laundry back, the first clean clothes in about two weeks. Won about $18 from Moore in Gin Rummy. Another air-raid at night, the A-A spotted the planes when they were nearly out of range, and came as close as I’ve ever seen, just missed two direct hits. Appeared to damage at least one a/c.