Sunday 30 May

150th Day, Memorial Day - Rogation Sunday,
215 Days to come

Up at 0530, left O Club at 0600. Went to airport had 3 sandwiches and three bottles of milk and took off 0700. Slept most of way to Tontouta, fairly comfortable this trip. Next time I come down am wearing skins, to hell with freezing. It was 0C on trip down so guess. Arrived Tontouta 1530, gained an hour on time. Ate second chow & hit the sack after movie. Will leave tomorrow about noon.

Monday 31 May

151st Day Rogation Day 214 Days to come

This AM went to ship P.X. bought 4 boxes cigars, lighter, etc. Ate 1130 chow & went back to strip. Took off 1300. Arrived Buttons bomber strip 1545 in two sections. All got in some plane. Flew to Fighter strip. Quartered in Dallas huts. Got 2 wks mail. 2 from V.J., 1from Sis Vmail (sic?). 6 from Mother. Sorted my gear and now ready to call it a day. Will write V.J. and Mother tomorrow.

Tuesday 1 June

152nd Day, Rogation Day, 213 Days to come

Began what will probably be a period of idleness. Wrote Mother. Went to Post Office. Worked on gear, went to show. Opening a bottle of Chablis tonight. Also attempting letter to V.J..

Wednesday 2 June

153rd Day, 212 Days to come

Slept in until 0715 so missed breakfast. School 1000 - 1100. Finished letter to VJ this afternoon. Just layed around rest of afternoon. Sat in cool breeze watching sunset and dreamed a little of Violet Jane. Lord how I want to come home to that girl.

Thursday 3 June

154th Day, 211 Days to come

Did about as little as possible today. Had a little party tonight at Lt. Virgil Ray's hut. His bunkie and Treff got pretty tight. Virg & I went for walk on beach afterward. Very restful.

Friday June 4

155th Day, 212 Days to come

Day typically idle. School 1000 - 1100. Saw T.S.M.G will probably fire it in a few days. Many pilots don't know one end from the other. Laid tentative plans for a fishing trip tomorrow night.

~~~~~~~~~


T.S.M.G. is the Thompson Sub-Machine Gun.

Saturday 5 June

156th Day, 209 Days to come

Not much doing today. This evening went across lagoon to Island. Tref, Jim, Virgil Ray, Milton Snider, M Peck & I made up party. Staying all night not much luck, lots of fun. Turned over in kayak crossing. Thoroughly soaked, lost only one bucket containing fresh water. Got bait this afternoon by dynamiting schools of small fish.

Sunday 6 June

157th Day, 208 Days to come

Came back about 0800. Got only 2 hrs sleep all night. Had fish breakfast, not so hot. I'm tired, stiff, and very weary but had a swell time. Virgil Ray is from North Carolina, also a mustang. We have a lot in common. Becoming very good friends.

Spent most of day sleeping went to local movies & turned in again. Big day tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~

Note: A mustang is a marine officer who came up from the enlisted ranks.

Monday 7 June

158th Day, 207 Days to come

Fired the pistol & my tommy gun this morning. Spent rest of day cleaning guns and talking Sneider. Wrote Mother this evening. Still tired from trip the other night.

~~~~~~~~~

Note: The pistol could have been, and most likely was, a Colt 1911A1, more commonly called the "Colt 45" or "45 Automatic". Some pilots, however, carried the Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver. All pilots carried some sort of sidearm in case of ditching or crash landing, though if either one got wet in the Solomons it was a rusted useless hulk after 24 hours.

"My tommy gun" was the Thompson Sub Machine Gun (T.S.M.G.), which fired the same .45 caliber cartridge as the 1911A1, though many more of them and much faster.

Tuesday 8 June

159th Day, 206 Days to come

Rained all morning but in afternoon Tref, Mac, & I went out in a rubber boat. Dynamited some fish. Had a swell time, even though about worn out this evening. Hit the sack early.

Wednesday 9 June

160th Day, 205 Days to come

Regular meeting this AM. Had SDO duty this PM. 1200 - 1700. Wrote Kit. Meeting called tonight. We leave for Cactus 17 June, just a month earlier than planned. Stuff seems to be hitting the fan on Bougainville. Scuttlebutt that we have established a beach-head. A regular shuttle service is now being run for support from Cactus. Lord help us if we take and operate off Kahili.

~~~~~~~~~

Note: SDO duty would be the Squadron Duty Officer.

Since he had received a Vmail from "Sis" a few days earlier, I assume that Kit is his sister - strictly a guess.

The scuttlebutt was wrong, it would be November before an amphibious landing was made on Bougainville. There were plenty of airstrikes, a "regular shuttle service", being made on the Japanese airfields in the area, though. The Allied strategy for attacking a fortified enemy position was developed on these islands: sustained air strikes to gain total air superiority and reduce their ground forces and deplete their stores and equipment, then an attack of overwhelming force on the isolated and (hopefully) demoralized positions.

Taking and operating from the Japanese bases at Kahili would put them within range of the Japanese largest base in the South Pacific, Rabaul, New Britian. The Japanese knew that loosing Kahili would make the defense of Rabaul an expensive proposition, and the Marines knew the Japanese would defend these bases to great extremes and would make every attempt to retake them.


Thursday 10 June

161st Day, 204 Days to come

Rained all morning. Went out all afternoon with Tref & Hollinger in rubber boat. Blasted but little luck. Did get some bait so will fish tonight. Later Out until 2300 with Tref & McCleary. Hallmeyer worn out, ditto me when we came in. I got big fish about 5 lb. bass-like. Are told about 7 hosers paddling in over sized rubber boat. Tref & I both tired. Had swell time. 2 letters from Mother. 1 wonderful one from V.J.. I sure hope and pray we are really in love.

Friday 11 June

162nd Day, St. Barnabas, 203 Days to come

Rained again this AM. Should have started operations today but flight canceled while crash boat looked for caterpillar about same place Tref went in. Wrote V.J. a good letter. She is certainly the one to come home to.

This is probably the most intriguing entry in the diary. A crash boat looking for a caterpillar in the bay where Lt. Treffer had ditched earlier! What a story that must be! Any Seabees out there have a clue what happened there?

Saturday 12 June

163rd Day, 202 Days to come

Rainy day all day. School this AM. Flight scheduled, got as for as turning up plane but canceled due to weather. This evening I packed a lot of clothes. Have my winter flight gear out to air. Will turn in the trousers.

Sunday 13 June

164th Day, Whitsunday, 201 Days to come

Missed mass this AM - sleeping. Two hops this afternoon. Tref really gave us a work out. Tref div now runs 1. Tref 2. Win 3. Milt Vedder 4. Peck. We got around damned well up there

~~~~~~~~~

From the VMF-213 WAR DIARY:

A very active morning as the baseball teams played a double header. One game of soft ball against VMSB-132, defeating them 5 to 4. The other game was against the Negro AA crew, the island champions. Though 213 did not win this game there was only a small difference in the score. Also, during the morning the horse shoe tournament was going ahead full steam. In the afternoon the Squadron indulged in operational flying.

Monday 14 June

165th Day, American Flag Adopted 1777, Flag Day,
200 Days to come

ol this AM on rubber boat. Tow hop in F4F3P at 1230. Everything went wrong. 1415 - 1515 gunnery 6 guns. Tref shot sleeve off on third run. Big beer bust with our men prior to evening chow. A remarkable success.

Tuesday 15 June

166th Day, Pioneer's Day (Idaho), 199 Days to come

Did last washing & packing this AM. Leave Thursday for Cactus. Tref held school on .50 cal A.C.M.G. Gunnery hop this afternoon but couldn't find tow plane. Flew .7 hrs tonight weather foul but came off OK. No crackups. Will start letter to V.J..

~~~~~~~~~

Note: A.C.M.G, Air Craft Machine Gun

Wednesday 16 June

167th Day, Ember Day, 198 Days to come

Went to wing Paymaster this AM drew 25.00. Saw Carlos Martinez. 1230 hop landed, defered (sic) forced, at 1305, motor trouble. Relieved duty officer most of afternoon. Lt. Johnson bailed out from F4U spin. Broke leg, simple femur fracture. Last instructions and packing this evening. Leave here 0100 tomorrow.



NEXT:
GUADALCANAL,
Flying Strikes against Munda, Rendova & Kahili


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