February 10, 1943 (Wednesday)

“Buttons,” Espiritu Santo

Rest day. Lew Larson came over this morning to ask me out to dinner on the “Minny” tonight. They’re leaving tomorrow morning for Samoa, Pearl, and San Francisco. Poor devils, having to leave here!

Dope came out this afternoon that we are going to Cactus to relieve the army B-17 striking force, which is badly battered. Nine of our 12 planes go up Friday along with nine Army B-24s. ComSoPac is tired of the Japs running their ships all over the Solomons whenever they please, with little or no opposition. We are to clean up the shipping in the Bouganville-Shortland area. The successful evacuation by the Japs of their battered forces on Northern Guadalcanal precipitated this. For two nights running the “Cactus,” or “Tokyo Express” made the trip from Bougainville to Guadalcanal without serious opposition. Patrols for tomorrow have been called off so as to give us a day to get ready to move in.

Put out to the Minneapolis for an excellent dinner (chicken and pie a’la mode being the outstanding items). Say goodbye to Larson. He is going to Dallas and Pensacola for flight training.

Have unofficially named my plane “Slow Djinn” (Sloe Gin).

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