Our pilot, navigator and engineer left today with the 75th Squadron for combat out of Stirling Island, one of the Treasury group. Miss the chief1 already, but wish him success with the fight. Russell and I are rather disgusted, but we’ll see combat someday. Not if the war ends by June 6th, though, as Henry Ford says! Ha! Yes, the boys are pulled out and we remain as unassigned. Am sorry our crew has split up, but maybe it has to do with the fortunes of war.
The boys we knew at Stirling, Guadalcanal and Columbia came down as the 75th went up. We were first overseas, but they’re going to Auckland2 for rest leave with 12 missions under their belts: Holland, the short Irishman with the incredible humor; Michael Bruer, the bitty lad with the black tanned skin who is always happy, but used to be the most disgusted human in the world at Columbia; Bergmeyer, handsome St. Louisian; Sanford, sandy-topped boy; McNabb, gunner deluxe, the boy with the electrical burns and broken back; Cathers; Frenchy; Seifering and Schriebman. Yep. All our boys still present and accounted for. Doc Burrows, Bean and Smitty going down with 21 missions. These three are three human New Jersey men, believe it or not.
Still no assignment for Russell and I. Nuts. Rained some more. Clothes still wet. Passed up the show last night, so it didn’t rain, “damn”. Wrote Bonnie and Mom and Dad. Getting plenty of sleep and more food than I can handle. Picked up a tropical cold and have chased my nose clear down to the sea several times today. Rough.
Read a couple of books and magazines. Why can’t I make up my mind to write a story as I’ve almost begun to many times since arriving over seas?
And so bed! Surely miss the wife tonight, you may be sure!
Notes & Commentary
1 “the chief”, Stanley LeVelle Seehorn, engineer/gunner.
2 A description of New Zealand rest areas is provided in an article that appeared in an April 1944 issue of Air Force. See Crane, James E. “Time Out for Rest.” Air Force, The Official Service Journal of the U.S. Army Air Forces, April 1944. The Jungle Air Force of WW II, 1942 – 1945 (http://www.entnet.com/~personal/rocketeer/html/13thaaf/13thaf_0444.html : accessed 18 April 2014).
With a possible exception or two, the names Wayne rattled off are all familiar from my research of the 42nd Bomb Group. Although Wayne doesn’t know it yet, they will be mostly back together again later in the year in one squadron.