May 31, 1943 (Monday)

“Button,” Espiritu Santo

Left Cactus this morning at 0915 and returned to Button in four hours. Yesterday’s hop was 9 hours, giving a total patrol of 13 hours. 

Heard an amusing story concerning the Army B-17 pilots rescued from the atoll N.E. of Buka (Kilinailau Islands) around 20th of April through the cooperation between ourselves and a PBY. When the pilots were picked up by the PBY they brought along their native rescuer. As he stepped into the Catalina he commented “White man canoe too big.” As it began to move through the water for takeoff, he added, “Canoe go too fast.” Then as the plane rose into the air, he settled it all in his mind with, “Oh, flap-flap!” On the way home the pilots put him in the co-pilot’s seat and let him have the controls. After a little preliminary wobbling, he did quite well. He seemed to comprehend amazingly well the theory behind the control movements.

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