August 1, 1943 (Sunday)

“Cactus,” Carney Field, Guadalcanal

Went to Mass this morning. Weather has improved, although there is still much mud about.

Much howling in laughter last night when Oliver discovered he had the crabs. He was accused of everything in the book, including associating with elephants. The latter deriving from Paddy Fleming’s recent definition of Elephantitis as a disease resulting from intercourse with elephants.

Read today of a new type German single-seat fighter. The Heinkel 280, powered by two BMW 003 turbo-jet units giving it a speed of 490 mph at 30,000 ft. Span 38-39 ft. length 34-35 ft. Certainly have to hand it to the Germans when it comes to aeronautical designs and inventiveness. Hope our own engineers aren’t too far behind in this new development. The Germans and Italians invent them; English and Americans perfect them; and the Japs copy the final results.

An F-5A (P-38 photo) over Kahili a few days ago was chased by Zeros. To escape he climbed to 41,500 feet. The Zeros couldn’t get past 36,000 feet.

New order came out this morning from ComAirSol for prohibiting conversation between the tower and the planes on the field. This very bad Army habit, has heretofore provided the Japs with a running account of our air strength and activity about the field. Each big raid was preceded by torrents of conversation and frequency checking.

Today a large joint raid (B-24s, SBDs, TBFs, and fighters) was made on Kahili with complete radio silence preceding the raid. Despite Japanese radar on Shortland Island, the whole Buin-Tonolei area was caught with its pants down. The B-24s deluged Kahili with fragmentation clusters, which destroyed many of the parked aircraft on the field. The SBDs and TBFs cleaned up all on all shipping in the area leaving very little afloat. The surprise was so complete that the AA was not very heavy and there was no fighter opposition whatever! The air forces are doing the only real winning in the area. The troops are still stalled at Munda — what a stinking exhibition! The ship navy has retired from the combat zone to repair their soda fountains and freeze more ice cream.

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