September 30, 1942 (Wednesday)

Barbers Point NAS

Inspected the highly secret air plot at Fort Shafter this morning. Extremely interesting. Track of all the planes in the islands is kept on a large table mounted map, exactly as in England. WARDS (girls) shove weighted markers around to correspond to a plane’s last known position; little colored arrows showing the position and direction of flight of individual units are changed at specified times so that no plot can be older than 15 minutes without standing out on the table like a sore thumb.

The accompanying markers have tags on them telling the number of planes (few, many or single) the type (army or navy) and whether their IFF is working. These markers are pushed are pushed around with long rubber tipped sticks resembling billiard cues, by the blue uniformed WARDS. On one end wall are two large auxiliary maps also attended by WARDS. These girls all wear headphones and mikes connecting them to their respective stations.

On a stepped raised balcony, or high platform, alongside two walls of the room, are army and navy officers with desks overlooking the plot. Each  of these officers directs something, the plot itself, the fighter squadrons available, the antiaircraft batteries, the bomber commands, the Navy, etc.

This whole unit along with the many other vital offices is located underground in a bombproof, gasproof shelter comprising three large tunnels, interconnected with smaller tunnels.

The air plot itself was very impressive and colorful, the soft greens and blues of the map, contrasting against the bright blue and khaki uniforms around the room, the harsh stillness broken only by the sound of the moving markers on the map, and the thought that herein lay the nerve centers of this tremendously important strategic area.

Stopped off to see Nancy Worrall and Barbara Thompson, the latter of whom wasn’t home. The quarters provided for these WARDS are excellent. They comprise individual houses, with two girls to each section of the house, there being 2 to 4 sections to a house.

Hitched a ride into town and did some shopping after which I went out to the Halekulani hotel to see about getting a permanent room. Jones and I have both decided (independently) again staying in the “Snake Ranch” any longer as it is too difficult to get to. Also the number of drunken brawls is on the increase. Stopped off to see Marion Robinson on the way home. The bus trip way out here, from town, took only 70 minutes, counting stopovers.

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