July 25, 1943 (Sunday)

“Cactus,” Carney Field, Guadalcanal

Patrolled 750 miles on the #1 (“Zero”) sector to a point 20 minutes flying time North of the Jap plane assembly plant at Kavieng, New Ireland. Saw a Betty on the way home, but we left each other alone by mutual agreement, as I had two of my four turrets, out of order.

The situation in the Pacific is certainly disheartening. As someone so aptly put it, we’re fighting a hundred dollar war with two bits worth of equipment. In land and sea fighting we are about Even Steven with the Japs – we’re no better than they are. In the air, where only victories are won, the situation resembles that of a man trying to lower the sea level with a bucket — we shoot them down by the hundreds, but their numbers never decrease. We capture a field and they build two more (two new fields have just been discovered on Bougainville – one just south of Buka, and the other on the NE coast, at NumaNuma). We capture Rendova and New Georgia and they build a big garrisons on Choiseul and Santa Isabel. After one year of fighting in the Solomons, the Japs today have more troops, equipment, planes, and fields than they had when it all started. And in the meantime the “Greater East Asia Cooperative Association” is consolidating their conquered territories and converting the millions of Orientals to the doctrine of “Asia for the Asiatics.” Japan today is welding into strength the world’s richest and most powerful empire, while we nibble at the edges and pat ourselves on the back with gaseous news dispatches.

The Army bombed my old town of Surabaya the other day. Would certainly seem strange to bomb a place you once lived in and admired. This was the longest bombing hop in history — to date.

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