June 3, 1943 (Thursday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Went to the O Club yesterday afternoon and got mildly polluted on beer (it doesn’t take much nowadays). Ran into a pilot just back from Cactus who, while flying over New Georgia on a fighter sweep, had the tail assembly of his F4F hacked off by the propeller of a fellow plane. The plane immediately fell out of control and he jumped. The other plane, by some miracle, managed to return to the Russells. He landed in one of the small islands of southern New Georgia and after a few days, paddled his way to Tetipari Is., where the natives helped them on to Rendova Is. and the coastwatcher. Rendova is now swarming with Jap patrols and the coastwatcher is having a bad time of it. However, a PBY finally came and picked him up. God bless those coastwatchers; they’re the unsung heroes of the Pacific War.

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