Feb. 20, 1942 (Friday)

Tjilatjap, Netherlands East Indies

Wish we’d get out of here — this place is certainly a trap — the entrance is very narrow and is jammed with ships — one or two sinkings and no one would get out. Went ashore and spent my last few guilders. The Japs had rather a rough time at Bali — they lost two ships to B-17s from Java. (SBDs were with them), a few to subs, and about four or five to some of our destroyers. However they did manage to land some troops and supplies.

Saw a Dutch liner loaded with refugees for Australia pull out. Most of our Navy ships are leaving. However, the harbor is still jammed with between 40 and 50 big freighters (averaging about 5000 tons).

Happened to go aboard the USS Pecos (they accompanied us from Darwin) and learned how she got her bow bashed up. She rammed, and newly cut in two, an  Australian corvette at Darwin. It was the corvette’s fault.

Heard how the Army lost all its B-17s at Manila. The CO loaded them all up with bombs, and was going to send them to bomb Formosa, the morning of December 8th, but MacArthur said no, as we are not yet officially at war. They wrangled and MacArthur finally said they could go and take photos! While they were getting the cameras, the Jap Zeros came over and destroyed every plane.

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