May 27, 1942 (Wednesday)

Pearl Harbor

Had a wisdom tooth chiseled out of my lower job today. Blood and bone chips all over the place. Came within an ace of passing out wants. Heaven spitting blood all day – damned uncomfortable.

The dope was finally leaked out that the USS Lexington was lost in the Coral Sea battle. Managed to survive three torpedo hits and a few bombs – until one bomb hit the aviation gas tanks. The resulting fire spread to the magazines and she blew up. What was left, after they removed most of the crew, was sunk by her own gunfire.

The USS Yorktown came in with another task force today (of course minus the Lexington she originally went south with). Yes she was in on the Coral Sea fight. The boys had a rough time and lost a good number of planes – and pilots. Ran into Bottger (one of the four fellows in my Pensacola class — 137-C — to get into the fleet – the rest are instructors). He flies a torpedo plane and managed to get it well shot up in the fight.

Jays sent their torpedo planes and with four fighters each for protection – ours went in with a few dive bombers (SBDs) to protect the whole flight. Out of the one group of eight SBDs, four were shot down by Jap fighters. Will this goddamn Navy never become air-conscious? From what I’ve heard of this new book of Major Seversky’s, it should be required reading for all brass hats and Navy bigwigs. Airpower is the future fighting arm of all nations – but I hashed through all that before.

Heard my old friend and ex-Pensacola classmate, Buck Mazza, survived the Lexington sinking and is with the squadron — Torpedo 2 — down in Noumea, New Caledonia, teaching the Army torpedo work. That’s strictly confidential.

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