We loaded the bomb bay racks of our ships with baggage1 and took off for the Russell Islands and a long awaited rest leave2. 21 missions in and nerves drawn a bit tightly.
Are wondering if we’ll get to go to Sydney for a nine day rest. Rest camp having been changed from Auckland New Zealand to Australia.
Got settled in our barracks in the 75th Squadron area.
Notes & Commentary
1 Instead of bombs hanging in the bomb bay, they had their B-4 bags, duffel bags, and other luggage.
2 The 75th Bombardment Squadron, commanded by Capt. Merrill W. Longwell, departed Stirling Island, the forward base of the 42nd Bombardment Group, for its rear base at Banika Island in the Russell Group, Solomon Islands. The 390th Bombardment Squadron, which had conducted training and rested at the rear base replaced them, officially, on 18 June.
42nd Bomb Group Historical Report for June 1944. Headquarters 42nd Bombardment Group (M), 1 July 1944, microfilm B0131, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frame 1658.
Wayne had been on Stirling Island for 56 days. He arrived there without an assignment as a replacement gunner/armorer on April 23. (See https://waynes-journal.com/2014/04/21/april-22-1944/.) While on Stirling, he appears to have flown on a B-25 which had “108” as the last three digits of its serial number. (See https://waynes-journal.com/2014/05/02/may-3-1944/.)