June 11, 1942 (Thursday)

Pearl Harbor

More damned stories brought back from Midway — some of them are hard to give credence to — and yet … have heard many of the merciless brutality of our Marines. They’ve suffered so much at the hands of the Japs, that they can’t contain themselves when they catch one. They aren’t unnecessarily cruel, but make no bones about hauling out their guns and killing any prisoners.

One Jap officer was picked up at sea and in good English said “I’m an officer and demand to be treated with the respect due me.” Whereupon the Marine in charge calmly hauled out his Tommy gun and let him have a blast in the chest.

Most Japs who were unlucky enough to land up on Midway were quickly dispatched by the Marine commandos guarding the island. It suffices to say that I myself have heard of no Japanese prisoners being taken in the battle.

The worst story I heard concerned a Japanese flight leader, who in an egotistical frenzy, while strafing the island in his Zero, did stunts, such as slow rolls, over the runways. The antiaircraft let him get in good and close and then opened up with a batch fifties and shot him down. He was hauled from the wreckage of his plane, dead. Eager Marine souvenir hunters cut off both his ears, and one finger (trigger) while some other misguided soul attempted to kick enough teeth out of the Jap’s face to make himself a bracelet. However, I don’t believe this story, despite the rather good authority.

Have had no mail now for about 12 days — damn.

Got on my back flight pay today — $277.00. The pay office and I are now square once again, after four months.

The West Virginia was moved out of my front yard into drydock yesterday afternoon. The California has gone back to the states for the completion of her repairs.

An excellent collection of scale model ships arrived from the Bureau today. They are to be used to practice identification with. I’m in charge of them.

Have my own desk now, all littered with ship models, plane models, ship and plane silhouettes and data, fighting tactics dope, and information on the thousand and one islands and atolls in the South Pacific. In my glory!

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