Fresh eggs for breakfast. Very nice.
Didn’t attend school this morning. Went over this afternoon and told them more about the rear turret than they knew. We were lucky enough to get instructions on it back in the states.1
Drilled this afternoon for half an hour. Was next in line to Dutch Holland who has short legs.2 The lieutenant kept him running until Dutch got disgusted and told him off. Things settled to a quiet pace after that.
Cleaned for an hour on my mess kit. The executive officer, a major, got a boot out of examining them. Sent some of the men back five times to rewash their gear. Wish I could get $600.00 a month to attend to such small details as that. Guess it’s the responsibility they pay off on.3
Stayed home from the show tonight and smoked, ate candy and drank Cokes while writing a letter to Bonnie. She’s the dearest thing to me in all the world.
Reckon go to bed after getting my Bible lesson. I haven’t heard the news today, so I will wonder a little about that. Adios for this evening!
Notes & Commentary
1 Wayne’s comment, “We were lucky enough to get instructions on [the rear turret] in the states”, suggests that the new gunners are not a well versed as those who came earlier. Daily drill and mess kit inspections, not mentioned since his early days on Guadalcanal and not mentioned during his previous stint on Stirling Island, coupled with his comments on rear turret knowledge suggest the 100th Bombardment Squadron is receiving a number of replacements. It could also suggest, though, morale or disciplinary problems among the enlisted aircrews of the 100th Bombardment Squadron..
2 Aloysius F. “Dutch” Holland, a flight engineer, enlisted in the US Army on 31 October 1941 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. His enlistment records note that he was born in Pennsylvania in 1917 and was a resident of Philadelphia. He is described as weighing 140 lbs and being 5’ 2” tall.
National Archives and Records Administration. Record Group 64. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2005. Aloysius F. Holland.
3 For officer and enlisted base pay plus overseas, flight pay, etc., see the Official Army Register for 1945.
United States. War Office. Official Army Register, 1 January 1945. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1945) 1654-1665; digital image, University of Michigan, (http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015035077729;view=1up;seq=11 : accessed 30 June 2014)
I love the comment about the major…
Sooner or later I will discover his name, and his personal concern for mess kits on Stirling Island in June 1944 will be known for all time.
When you mentioned the coke (unpleasingly warm, I would think), I reflected on some of the things “Old Man Jack” (my neighbor now in his final resting place) mentioned about those islands. He always reminisced about “the lousy chow” the white cake and Marines had… when they had it (late 1942 or early 1943). He muttered some disgust about hearing that the Army fly boys got better chow. Perhaps the coke (albeit 1944) may be a possible corroborating fact. ☺
I’ve heard the same stories.