February 24, 1943 (Wednesday)

“Cactus,” Guadalcanal

No raids last night. Rained all night and all day. Twenty-four TBFs are slated for a dawn attack tomorrow on the Buin-Faisi area shipping. They don’t expect to have enough gas left to return to Henderson Field and are counting on making crash water landings in the lagoons of the Russell Islands. We are to follow up their attack with another daylight raid. We may have 20 fighters as escort. Intelligence reports about 100 fighters on the Jap strips at Kehili and by Ali Island. That’s not counting another 50 float fighters around Shortland. This makes the odds against us about the same as last time; 33% losses are pretty damn steep for these daylight raids. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed. One or two more raids at the most and we won’t have any more squadron.

Lay around all day and read.

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