June 8, 1943 (Tuesday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Read Time and new pocket-size Omnibook all day. Vincent Sheehan’s “Between The Thunder and The Sun” is very good.

Intelligence briefing this morning mentioned a B-17 which was jumped by 16 Zeros in New Guinea, shot down five of them and returned safely.

Another Army B-24 off Bougainville attacked what he thought were two AK from 250 feet (skip bombing) and after missing both found they were a destroyer and a light cruiser. Despite AA fire he received no hits on his plane.

The army complied to a coastwatcher request for a raid on NE Bougainville to bring the natives into line. They strfed villages and sank three ships while they were at it.

Things seem to be gathering in this area for a push on the Japs. The fields hereabouts are loaded with planes — all practicing.

Jap fighter strength is at a new low in the Solomons. Only 17 Zeros at Kahili and Ballale as compared to the concentration of 250 a month ago.

The Japs are gradually infiltrating the New Georgia group, Choiseul, and Santa Isabel. If we’re going to move in, we’d better hurry up. If we do it right the first try, it’ll be all over in a week, but I guess the brass-hats will muddle their way into another prolonged, costly Guadalcanal.

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