August 14, 1943 (Saturday)

“Cactus,” Carney Field, Guadalcanal

Patrolled 710 miles to Kapingamarangi. Negative, except for a 20’ lifeboat awash near Nuguria.

Charlie was over in force last night. The radar picked up 20 Bogies coming in on the tail of a force of B-24s returning from Kahili. Two Japs were shot down (one, an Aichi 99, over the Russells) in the melee around the landing strips. The 9500 ton freighter John Penn (ex-Excambian) was sunk at anchor off Lunga in the bright moonlight. Two single engine planes made a run on her with the running lights on. The first passed over and dropped flares. The second slammed home a torpedo, while the first circled about again and strafed the decks and dropped a bomb on her deck. The Penn sank in a few minutes.

Vella Lavella CW reports more Japs from Vila. They‘re being driven out by the bombing and lack of food. He now has about 300 prisoners now – the largest number captured since the beginning of the war. Six DDs and seven APD‘s were sighted on their way up the Slot this evening. Vella Lavella?