July 8, 1943 (Thursday)

“Cactus,” Carney Field, Guadalcanal

Patroled to Nauru. No contact. Good weather.

Frazier, on the Ponape sector, sighted a cargo ship protected only by a tiny PC boat (with one AA gun). Frightened by the wild and erratic firing (one shot exploded at the muzzle) of the PC boat, Frazier bombed the cargo ship from 8,000 feet and missed. A disgusting and chickenhearted exhibition! If it’d been a few of the other fellows or myself that had found that cold turkey set-up, neither vessel should have escaped.

The news tells of a flight (24?) of B-17s beating off 100 Messerschmitts over Sicily. Four B-17s were lost to the Germans loss of 46 fighters. These figures can’t be true. Even the Japs could put on a better show than that.

English Spitfires at Darwin haven’t been doing so well against the Zeros. I wonder why — engine trouble or pilot trouble?

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