May 28, 1943 (Friday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Nothing doing all day. Caught up on my correspondence. 

Got a letter from home quoting a recently received letter from Noje. He is, or was a month ago, in North Africa. He’s got his own plane now and has “completely reversed” his formally bad opinion of the Martin B-26. States that the flak in Tunisia is very bad and that a few days previously he damn near gotten his walking ticket. 

What a difference between his outfit and this outfit. He’d entered Army flight school in mid-January ’42, graduated around July, was made first lieutenant in November, and now, in April ’43, with not more than 500 to 600 hours, has his own plane and is in line for a captaincy. In comparison, my copilot, Frank Savio, graduated from flight school somewhere around the middle of ’41; has about 1500 hrs. and still no plane of his own, and is only a Junior Grade lieutenant, despite an excellent record and ability. 

I wish to hell I’d joined the Army, as more and more every day it becomes the American Air Force, while we are becoming nothing but bigger eyes for a bigger fleet and shall soon lapsing to becoming a sort of Coastal Command under naval control — not Fleet Air Arm nor American Air Force, just a forgotten bastard, flying old type airplanes and without hope of promotion. 

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