April 6, 1943 (Tuesday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Remained behind from my usual patrol today due to my feeling so lousy the last few days. Have a stinking sinus infection which has me constantly coughing and spitting pus. Also still have the same dull pain in my stomach.

The reason for Wendy’s crash the other night was running out of gas! No one, not even Wendy, can understand how it happened.

He made the landing in the water O.K. The windshield was crushed by the water and both pilots crawled out through it. One of the two missing mechs was in the bomb bay. Wendy put the plane on a level flight attitude — hot — proving my contention in all our previous arguments around here; the spot to put the plane down on is the section fuselage directly under the pilots; it is strongest there.

Just got the news that the squadron is returning to Cactus, beginning tomorrow. In celebration of our departure a bunch of us went to the “O” Club and got whooping drunk. Sam Glover and Hank Drum got into an argument with some full commander; Sam started shoving him around. The more the commander threatened a court-martial the harder Sam shoved, saying, “Go on, court-martial me. I’m going to Cactus tomorrow anyway. Go on, I’d love a nice court-martial.” Finally Drummer pulled the commander’s cap down over his ears and eyes, and that was the end of it.

On the way home 10 of us had a beer fight in the jeep, which finally ended when Savio fell off at 20 mph into a good foot or so of thick soupy mud along the road.

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