Spotted three smudges of smoke over horizon on my 8-12 watch this morning. Turned west to avoid them (a convoy?). A few minutes later, the lookout spotted two destroyers or light cruisers, hull down, bearing down on us out of the sun. We turned tail and ra (20 knots) northwest. Evidently, they recognized us, for they turned aside, after a few minutes of exciting chase, and their broadside silhouettes revealed them to be some of our own four-stack destroyers. However, we decided to steer clear of the convoy, which, as I later ascertained, was also headed for Cocos Island.
This island lies on the Cape Town-Java great-circle route; the establishment of an patrol plane base there, is a good move. All this maneuvering about took place about 10 miles off Christmas Island — a phosphate mining center.
In the early afternoon we received orders to head for Broome, Australia, so we altered course from SW to SE. Was rather disappointed, as I’ve been looking forward to seeing the wreck of the old imperial German cruiser raider Emden run up on the beach of Cocos in 1915 after a disastrous fight with the Australian cruiser Sydney.
We are conserving fuel, food, and water. Hope they let us off this thing soon. I never did like Navy ships.