February 4, 1943 (Thursday)

“Buttons,” Espiritu Santo

Patrol, 800 miles, 004° to 010°, toward Nauru. Good weather, 60 to 70 miles visibility. Nothing sighted.

Investigated the Duff Islands on our way back. The central island, precipitous like the other 4-5, has a small flat islet on its southwest side, on which is located a small native village. The whole of the islet is covered by the village and as we passed by they all came out and watched us. Circling around again we drop a can of cigarettes, which we saw was being retrieved from the water, on our next pass.

Flew on to Utupua Island, which was just northwest of Vanikoro Island in the Santa Cruz group. It’s a very dreary and unhealthy looking spot, characterized by thousands of dead trees along the coast, caused undoubtably by a sinking of the island and a drowning of the coastal trees. The island is almost split by an immense lagoon, or bay. A very small village was located here. The population does not seem at all in keeping with the size of the island. It’s unhealthy appearance must be carried out by facts.

A terrific haze around the north end of the island as we came in. There were no clouds around, but the haze was so thick that the island could not be seen more than 5 miles away, despite its 6,000 foot peaks.

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