July 23, 1943 (Friday)

“Cactus,” Carney Field, Guadalcanal

Charlie hasn’t been over for 3 or 4 nights now. Mus’ve lost his appetite for this place, despite the good moonlight.

Joe Hall went on a special tracking mission on the night of 21-22 July that took him almost to Rabaul where he located the desired convoy on radar and tracked it toward Bougainville until daylight. Based on his reports, a TBF, SBD, B-24 strike was sent out which caught the Japs just south of Tonolei Harbor. They sank a large plane transport and two of the destroyer escort, with the loss of only three F4Fs.

Munda has not fallen yet, and the Japs have managed to reinforce the Bairoko Harbor garrison, so it is been putting up a stiff resistance.

One of VD-1’s (Navy photographic) B-24s had a nosewheel stick on it yesterday afternoon, and instead of making the simple and usual landing demanded of the situation, they tried to do it fancy and succeeded in completely wrecking $350,000 worth of airplane.

Hargrave brought my #6 back from Button with its new engines. It says it’s the best plane in the squadron now. He also brought a welcome load of beer and mail.

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