September 9, 1942 (Wednesday)

Ford Island, Pearl Harbor

Barthes had many peculiar stories concerning the activities of the PBYs in the Solomons area to tell of. The most outstanding fact seems to be that the Jap pilots are definitely slipping and in no way compared to the ones we were encountering in the East Indies earlier in the war. There were many cases of PBY-5s besting Jap Zeros, which seems unbelievable. Once one of VP-23’s PBYs fought off four Zeros for almost an hour before they finally ran out of ammunition and quit. The PBY was riddled but no one was injured.

Another plane was not quite so fortunate when it tangled with three Zeros-on-floats. The Zeros quit after getting only five hits on the PBY, but, unfortunately, one of those bullets pierced the neck of the second pilot, who bled to death. What a ghastly way to die!

Still another PBY saw two Zeros approaching him, and he turned directly at them, and to his amazement, they turned tail and fled, without firing a shot.

Barthes operated out of Espiritu Santo, the Santa Cruz group, and Tulagi itself.

VP-23 brought back the information that Rothenberg had torn the bottom out of his plane on a coral head on his first or second day down there.

It seems as though Patwing One (Kaneohe) are soon moving into the Southwest Pacific. Patwing Two is already preparing to move to Kaneohe, which means that our future home will be Kaneohe (said to be better in many ways than this Ford Island) or, if we get B-24s, Barbers Point or Maui. I’m hoping for Barbers Point — it will be dirty and lacking facilities at first, but we’ll have a decent plane to fly and yet still be in reach of Honolulu and its “pleasures.”

Went into town with Wally Jones and we picked up Mariaon Robinson and went to the “Snake Ranch” via “Trader Vic’s.” A very pleasant afternoon stayed overnight at the house.