March 20, 1944

Monday — has come and is on its way out.

Went out to fly last night. Ship grounded, no batteries!

It was nice going out; big stars filled the sky. A beautiful night for dreaming, and I whistled several times the tune, “Wait for me, Mary”.1 Didn’t have Mary in mind at all, but you and I loved that song, baby! Can’t forget it seems because of its association with you!

There were four crews that were supposed to go up yesterday, but one of the pilots wouldn’t go because of cylinder missing from his Mae West. The other boys wanted to go and blow them up if they were forced down.2 Lt. Coats wouldn’t listen and told a Colonel who wouldn’t let any of them leave. So being a little sore at him they slit his canvas cot down the center, leaving it hanging by a couple of stitches in places. This was done while he attended the evening show. Couldn’t sleep last night for imagining him crawling in bed and falling through.

Lts. Clark, Coats, Carlisle, Bishop3 and crews went up this morning. How in hell long do we have to wait to get into this battle? Damn it. We came out to fight a war. And are now singing the old one, “School days! School days! Dear old golden rule days”. Intelligence, communications, and operations, taught to the tune of a Captains whim! Phooey, nuts, and etcetera!

Spent an hour visiting with Lts. Fincham and Tolhurst. We discussed the various situations now arising. Very interesting men to talk to. Calm, collected cool men, who are boys to ride any range with, be it B-25s a in the sky or horses on the prairie. Am proud of the entire crew. I’m the only nervous one of the bunch, and that is only because this inaction galls me. Affects all of us, but more so myself. Seehorn tells me I’ve “Combat Nerves” already. Ha!

Went to the show tonight. Government Girl4 with Olivia da Havilland and Sonny Tufts. Very good, but not half as excellent as the time we saw it together. Almost forgot myself a couple of times. If so, would’ve had my hands slapped by the big brute who sat next to me in the show! Rather a dangerous idea, don’t you think? Well, Honey, it’s time to look at your picture and say my prayers so I’ll bid you prayerful goodnight summers eve.

Notes & Commentary

1 “Wait for Me Mary,” was published in 1942. Tobias, Charlie, Nat Simon and Harry Tobias. “Wait for Me Mary”. New York: Remick Music Corporation, 1942. digital image. Authentichistory.com (http://www.authentichistory.com/1939-1945/3-music/11-Separation/1942_SM_Wait_For_Me_Mary.html#sm : accessed 17 March 2014).

Pat Boone released a version of “Wait for Me Mary” many years later. To listen to the song, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWux-sgXsOs.

2 The Mae West flotation vest could be inflated either through compressed cylinder or by blowing through a tube. In the event of a crew member’s injury, the latter option could be a threat to his life.

3 Lts. Clark, Coats, Carlisle, Bishop may refer to Frank J. Clark, Wilbur L. Coats, William W. Carlisle, and Jay W. Bishop. See United States Army Air Forces, The Crusaders: a history of the 42nd Bombardment Group (M). (Baton Rouge, La.: Army & Navy Pictorial Publishers, 1946). World War Regimental Histories. Book 113. : digital image (http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/ww_reg_his/113 : PDF download 17 February 2014).

4 Government Girl was released by RKO Radio Pictures in 1943. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035952/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1.

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