Squadron meeting today. This outfit is going to Sydney for a rest leave. Two crews of us are moving back into combat with 100th Squadron. We are guaranteed the first rest leaves to be given in that outfit when it comes down in 18 days.
Will this first combat tour of ours never end1? We may be able to break 30 missions our first tour up. This can’t be true. Now we’ll sweat it out.
June 21st, good news today. A Jap task force attacked us at Saipan. We knocked down 300 of their aircraft. Saipan battle continues as per schedule. Today we knocked out 300 more Jap aircraft in the same area.
News Flash! Our fleet has met the main Jap fleet east of the Philippines. The whole area is aflame. Will we win that naval battle? I feel confident that we will, as does every other man in the South Pacific. Give them hell, boys.2
Bonnie, I love you with all my heart. Remember that to the end of your days. Amen for tonight!
Notes & Commentary
1 Just having completed a combat duty stint on Stirling Island with the 75th Bombardment Squadron, he is being sent back into combat with the 100th Bombardment Squadron. Meanwhile, the rest the 75th Bombardment Squadron is going on leave in Australia.
2 While Wayne waited for transfer back to the forward base at Stirling Island, the first of a series of the greatest naval battles in history was beginning.
“The three-day Battle of the Philippine Sea cost the Japanese 3 large carriers and more than 480 aircraft, in what came to be known as the “great Marianas turkey shoot.” U.S. losses came to 130 aircraft, with light damage to the battleship South Dakota.”
Battle of the Philippine Sea (Marianas Turkey Shoot) (19-21 June 1944). WETA, Washington, DC and American Lives II Film Project, LLC. (http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5220.htm : accessed 19 June 2014). Also see The great Marianas turkey shoot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9EBemu3T5o : accessed 19 June 2014).