May 26, 1943 (Wednesday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Patrolled 700 miles (16° to 22°T) toward Nauru and Ocean islands. Saw nothing. The chap (a VP-12 PBY-5A) in the next easterly section for me was attacked by a Jap Mitsubishi 96. the Jap did not seem to have any 20mm cannon and the fight was there was a draw. Last week a “96” sneaked up on a PBY in the first inkling the “Cat” had of its presence was a 20mm shell exploding in the waist hatch. The next shell exploded in the cockpit slightly wounding the two pilots. The fight soon resolved itself in the usual draw. 

Had gunnery practice off Meralav island on the way home. Was amazed to find native hats and garden patches clinging to the precipitous slopes of that lonely volcano. Had all had always regarded it as uninhabited. 

Had a great treat this evening. We (our hut) managed to get hold of two gallons of ice cream. Put a little straight bourbon on it to take away the chemical taste. An excellent combination.

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