February 24, 1944

Thursday

Another day another dollar — in the hole.

I went to the show last night. Du Barry Was a Lady.1 Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly. Ray Milland also put on show over at the 5th Group.

School today was long and dull. Finished engineering began Renshaw2 aircraft identification and radio. We supposedly must learn 10 words of code. Very boring job. Although I already can take 8, the other two are going to be rather disgusting to me. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers in this man’s army.

Wrote letters to Bonnie, Mom and Bonnie’s folks. Ah! That wife of mine, the very sound of her name is a tasty morsel.

Odd name for a dog, “Malfunction”. One of the gunners named his dog “Malfunction”. Wonder whether the name has anything to do with the fact it’s a female dog.

Received some information on fighter tactics today, that is if you can anticipate the mind of the wily Japanese. One of their tricks is to pull a lot of acrobatics with quite a few planes. As this catches your undivided attention due to the extreme maneuverability of Jap planes, a lone Zero3 will dive out of the sun and do his best to knock you off. Interesting subjects, these Japs. Our planes usually have escorts of three pursuits4 to one bomber. They’ve been sending 60 to 90 pursuits with 20 medium bombers at Rabaul. Our superiority at Rabaul at the present time is greatly over the Japs manpower. On last report, our only opposition there is antiaircraft. The Japs have a trick of sending one fighter up who parallels our line of flight and directs their antiaircraft.

That flak is no joke, they say. Lost a plane over Rabaul yesterday; but the entire crew was saved when a Dumbo5 went in after the boys, who were floating around on a raft. We seem to recover 90% on our downed airmen in this area. The 13th Army Air Force has been doggoned lucky, despite the number in its name.

We received beer and Cokes again today, four beers, three Cokes. Gave beer to Russell. Now have a collection of nine Cokes under my bed. No hard stuff, no drinkee warm beer. Russell loves it too well to deprive him. Ha!

Chow time, so I’ll knock off for the time being. More baloney, peas, potatoes, cake. Meals run the same; but they’re fairly well prepared so it isn’t so bad.

Doc Burrows has kindly offered to cut my hair, so reckon, I’ll give him a shot at it. Doc is a very interesting personality; and evidently got his name from being a daddy to all of the boys. Time out!

Notes & Commentary:

1Du Barry Was a Lady, a musical comedy, was released in August 1943, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035829/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_12.

2 Renshaw was a training system for the rapid identification of ships and aircraft. The basic technique is still employed in the training of those who must make split second identifications of threats. See “Spotting the enemy,” Monitor on Psychology, March 2010, p. 24, (http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/03/enemy.aspx : accessed 22 February 2014).

4 For information regarding special features of the A6M Zero see http://www.flyingheritage.com/TemplatePlane.aspx?contentId=20.

4 Pursuits: an old name for fighter aircraft.

5 Dumbo, a character from a Walt Disney movie, was a term for air-sea rescue units during World War II. A dedicated air-sea rescue unit, flying PBY Catalina’s, was established on Guadalcanal in early 1943. This “key development saw the PBYs patrol the route being used on an airstrike, to make sure that they would be in place when needed. When used like this, the Catalinas were often protected by a squadron of fighter aircraft.” See: http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_PBY_catalina_US_service.html.

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One Response to February 24, 1944

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Like…

    Received some information on fighter tactics today, that is if you can anticipate the mind of the wily Japanese. One of their tricks is to pull a lot of acrobatics with quite a few planes. As this catches your undivided attention due to the extreme maneuverability of Jap planes, a lone Zero will dive out of the sun and do his best to knock you off. Interesting subjects, these Japs. Our planes usually have escorts of three pursuits3 to one bomber. They’ve been sending 60 to 90 pursuits with 20 medium bombers at Rabaul. Our superiority at Rabaul at the present time is greatly over the Japs manpower. On last report, our only opposition there is antiaircraft. The Japs have a trick of sending one fighter up who parallels our line of flight and directs their antiaircraft.

    Like

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