February 21, 1942 Mingladon
Saturday -- A wild and hectic day. War is getting mighty close. Today we accompanied four Blenheims on a bombing mission and -- blooie -- ran right into 40 Jap fighters escorting 12 Jap bombers. It was a lucky break, but so sudden that it scared the pants off us. We were below them and I had to dive out the first time without getting a shot. There were, it seemed, more than a million Jap planes all over the sky. I tried to shoot them all down myself, but only got two in a full hour of fighting. It was a wild scramble. They have no rhyme nor reason to their method of flying. There were 40 against the 5 of us, but we knocked down six and didn't lose any. Farrell got a bullet through his canopy and I got one through my wing that shot out my right tire. Some fun.
February 24, 1942 Mingladon
Tuesday -- The blow fell this morning. Gen. Wavell issued orders that Rangoon was to be defended to the last. Neale says we are going to stick it out regardless, but that seems to be a most foolish move on our part. However, if that's the order, that's the way it has to be. This noon six of us went on a strafing mission to the Moulmein airport and caught three Japs on the ground. We beat the hell out of those three, leaving them in flames and came on home. If we have to stay here, I have to admit that there will be nothing boring about it. But our planes are in terrible shape. Hope things go for the best. We are going to need a lot of luck. If it hadn't been for that strafing mission, today would have been a dandy.
February 25, 1942 Mingladon
Wednesday -- A day long to be remembered! The First Pursuit Squadron set a record for the war thus far for the number of planes shot down. In two fights we got 23 confirmed and seven probables. The first scrap was at noon and only three of our men hit the Japs, but they got four fighters. Evidently the Japs figured our strength was pretty low for at five o'clock they sent over 12 bombers escorted by about 40 fighters. For a change our radio contact was good and we hit them with all our 11 planes. I got one bomber and two fighters, and the whole total, was 19. Marvelous fight. I was the calmest I have ever been. Only one or two cases of bad judgment kept me from getting a couple more. A great day.
February 26, 1942 Mingladon
Thursday -- The Japs are on the go now. Last night they came over and bombed like hell but didn't do much damage. In yesterday's raid the Japs got one Lysander, and damaged five Blenheims by their bombing. Two Jap fighters came in and strafed the field while we were in the scrap above. Nervy skunks. The news from the Colonel is that the AVG is to be pulled out of Rangoon on March 1. A vacation! Gosh, what a thought! This day was wild. We had an alert at 8:00 A.M. and when we couldn't find them, Neale took seven of us over to Moulmein and we caught two planes on the ground at Moulmein Auxiliary field. We left them burning and jumped over to the main field just in time to catch three Jap fighters taking off and about 15 more warming up on the field. I was flying in the front element with Neale and Rossi and we came down in a diving turn and hit the three of them at about 400 feet. Neale missed his man but the Jap pulled up sharply to get out of Neale's fire and he was dead in front of me. I cold-cocked him with one grand burst. Some of our outfit strafed the field, but I stayed up among them. I got one on a short shot later on, and then just missed another when my guns wouldn't fire after I had sneaked up on a bird. Altogether we got 21 certain and 5 probables. Neale's plane was badly shot up but we all got home. There were no other alarms all day. We expect to leave tomorrow.