August 16, 1943 (Monday)

“Cactus,” Carney Field, Guadalcanal

Afternoon at the beach. Knocked hell out of the Japs who came down to stop the Vella Lavella landings. Majority of our fighters in this area are now F4Us. The rest are  NZ P-40s, P-39s, and five P-38s. No F4Fs or F6Fs. The F4Us seem to have quite a few operating losses due to engine failure. However I suppose that this is not abnormal in wartime. The F4Us have Pratt & Whitney engines. So have we. And we’ve had quite a bit of trouble with cam gear breakdowns in the new Chevrolet built PWs. The old Buick-built PWs all went over 600 hours with no trouble.

On the field here is one of the new B-25Gs mounting a 75 mm cannon, a design pioneered by the Army in this area. A squadron of these with a squadron of normal B-25s (6-8 m.g.s) could play havoc with a force of destroyers. The day of heavily cannoned planes is at hand and the sands of the seagoing Navy are running fast.