June 4, 1943 (Friday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Heard today that the Japs have coastwatchers on San Cristobal Island (south of Guadalcanal). They’re sending out a detachment to nab them, if possible.

For new PB4Ys arrived from the states this afternoon for the squadron. They represent the fourth type to be found on this field now, in that they have four turrets — nose, top, tail, and belly. You can give the Zeroes a rough old time with that set-up.

Bringing the planes down were our old squadron mates, Ortwin, Lathrop, Bassett, Rhodes, & Ricketts, who were down here last September to January. They naturally don’t expect to remain the PPCs of the planes, as there are too many senior pilots with more experience acting as copilots in our outfit (Witness Fraser — 3000+ hours and only just getting his own plane and crew.)

The squadron has certainly seen the service:

December ’41 to May ’42 Hawaiian area

May ’42 to July ’42 Midway *

June ’42 to September ’42 Alaska *

September ’42 to December ’42 Solomons *

January ’43 to August ’43 (?) Solomons *

(* – combat duty)

Of course, the squadron was split up a good deal of the time and all of us didn’t see duty in all these spots.

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