Doc Burrows, Ditz Dean and Smitty left today for an advanced base, either the Russell Islands or Stirling which is the most advanced and which is one of the Treasury Group. That’s where the boys begin their combat flying. We should be up there next week. Good deal! The sooner we get in there and pitch, the sooner the war is over. Then! Home Sweet Home! Ah!
We’re going to miss the fellows who left this morning. I have never enjoyed the company of any of any nicer fellows since I joined the Army March 24, 1942.1 Have you ever stopped to think how long two years can be? Well, it’s about time to start, when one stops to consider that it’s two completely wasted years. Years that are full of the thoughts of wasted blood, guts, and brains that could be used for something productive. When I think of the boys who’ve been in this area for three years without relief, then I am thankful my sojourn is just beginning. We stand a chance of being home in eight months, if the Good Lord wills it so. I’ve salvaged one thing from this war that I am proud of, my wife. If nothing else is gained, I will be thankful all my life for that one single thing.
Wrote Bonnie a letter today addressed it February 24 instead February 25. She’s is going to get one on separate days, one and the same day.
We finished our classes on Intelligence today. Very interesting and I must remember distinctively several points that might save my life someday.
Two new B-25Hs1 are on the field, the first in this area, evidently. Most ships here are Cs and Ds. I am afraid we’re destined to fly one of those, even though we’re H trained. Suits me. I like a little altitude when I fly. However, I do not like flak at all, that without ever being caught in it. They’ve had a tough time with 75-millimeter aircraft cannon ships down here. No one likes them, and I think it’s only because these previous pilots don’t know how to use them. Let us boys try them out. We’re trained in them! And we love her. Of all our crews that trained in them. Only one came to grief, and the very fact the cannon was there and did not bend as the ships crashed saved all the lives of the men therein. I ask nothing better than a ship such as that.
Looks like rain so we dragged all out clothes in off the line: and now the inside of the tent looks like a laundry room. We at last found enough ambition to clean the place out. Now, it shines as though a silver dollar. Bravo!
Well it’s about time to go over and sweat out the show, so I’ll bid the diary adieu for this p.m.
Notes & Commentary
1 Wayne enlisted at Denver, Colorado on 24 March 1942 for “the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.” His civilian occupation was listed at enlistment as “Electricians”. See “United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,” index, FamilySearch.com (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K85L-D1P : accessed 09 Mar 2013), Wynne A Gray, 24 Mar 1942.
2 For an extensive discussion of the B-25H series, see Kevin Anderson’s superb commentary at http://k9iua.atwebpages.com/b25h_pictures.html. See also: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=2515.