September 27, 1942 (Sunday)

Barbers Point NAS

Got my plane silhouette models and plane photos up in the ready room this morning. The squadron has no hanger but is parked beside one of the runways (still under construction) housed in about 15 small “Victory” huts, which are very comfortable and convenient in this weather (have got quite a bit of light rain the last few days — it keeps down the dust so it is not unwelcome). We are operating only three PBY-5As now, plus one OS2U-1 labeled 51-P-0.

Wally Jones, who sleeps right across from me, awoke this morning with a sore throat and a cold. He took some sweat pills and settled down to sweating the thing out. About four in the afternoon, feeling no improvement, he switched to the “whiskey cure.” Sam Glover and I had a few drinks with him before I shoved off for dinner. Sam stayed behind with Wally to keep him company, saying that as he weighed too much anyway the lack of dinner would do him good. When I returned both of them were pretty tight, and Wally had given birth to the idea that he was cured and must go into town to a party being given at the Snake Ranch. He pulled his uniform on over his pajamas, and insisted that Sam and I accompany him. I refused, while Sam said he’d like to go, but he had the duty tomorrow. Wally overrode that excuse, and the two of them departed about 8:30 in the “Blue Comet” — stewed, but defiant.

Glover returned with some of the other fellows this morning to take the duty. His story of last night’s eventful ride follows.

The two of them got out of here without any trouble. When they hit the main road into town, Wally noticed some soldiers trying to hitchhike back to their post, so he stopped the “Comet” and crossing the road proceeded to halt traffic until he had found everyone a ride. This was a little embarrassing, as several Army cars which he stopped, contained senior officers, but a little matter of several grades didn’t bother our “Good Samaritan.”

Proceeding into town he stopped off at Fort Shafter to see Nancy Worrell, first parking the “Comet” on the Major’s lawn. Failing to find Nancy, he returned to the car to help Sam hold his own against several irate sentries.

The trip on into town was interspersed with frequent stops for beer, a full case of which Wally had in the rear end. Once in town the law rapidly caught up with them and Wally found himself attempting to walk a straight line under the surveillance of a cop. Satisfying the police that they were only “mildly mellow” they roared on into the night.

Another stop at Waikiki, showed Wally that Jeannie wasn’t home either, so on to the house. Again the police grabbed them and again there were arguments, protestations of innocence and any connection with demon alcohol. In the darkness Sam emphatically denied touching a drop, while at the same time he held his own and Wally’s half-consumed bottles of beer in his hands. The police again relented and the “Comet” dashed over the Diamond Head hill on the last lap, but whiskey and beer had taken their toll and Wally failed to turn at the proper time. The “Blue Comet” crashed head-on into a low stone wall, smashing in its front end, breaking the windshield, and blowing a precious tire. However it still ran, and amazingly managed to hobble the last mile or so to the house. The now-sleeping revelers (12:30 a.m.) were awakened by Sam and Wally arguing over who should carry in the whiskey and who should carry in the beer. After a few of the usual furniture collisions quiet settled in the house again. Thus, a typical evening’s quiet entertainment.

Heard tonight at the dinner table from Goodrich, that my good friend Gene Goodding of VP-82 and Albany, California, was lost at sea in a Lockheed Hudson about a month ago. My two best friends from that squadron are now gone – Bates and Goodding. Always seems as though the best fellows get killed off, while all the no-goods live on forever. Kismet.

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