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June '42
June 1, 1942                                                              Kunming

Monday -- Well -- the weather stunk again today all day so we didn't leave.  I was in charge of the Squadron and thought that the time for some action had come when we got an early morning alert on the Japs coming in to Yunnon-Yi but they never materialized here.  We patrolled for quite a length of time.  No other action all day.  The fellows have been kidding all of us who are going to try for the permanent commission but it is all in fun.  I have laid awake for many hours trying to figure out whether it is wise or not but never come to a conclusion.  I am going to try and talk CRB into it when I get to Chungking.

                                                     GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kunming-Kunming  Japs bombed YunnonYi-attpt intept.  2:05

June 2, 1942                                                     Kunming

Tuesday -- Still no go today on account of weather.  Neale was sick so I was in charge of the Squadron again.  Seven new pilots just out from the States reported today to the A.V.G. and three were assigned to us.  I talked to them for a while and then took them along on a two hour alert patrol for their inaugural.  Their names were Masters, Carney and Damas and all seem like mighty good fellows.  Later in the afternoon Bart, Sawyer and Rossi took them out for individual lessons.  They will get along all right.  I took the three of them over to disperse at Generalissimo's field and they all did quite well.  Early to bed again because of the milkman's rising hour.

                                                GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kunming-Kunming Alert for Japs-In command of Sq.  1:50

June 3, 1942                                                        Kunming - Chungking

Wednesday -- Neale was sick today so I had the Squadron again for the third straight day.  As usual we had an alert which proved to be on the B-25's coming in from Din Jan.  Only two of the six arrived because they bombed Lashio on the way and then hit bad weather.  Because of the heavy bomb load they were carrying the gas ran low and only two of them made it.  The man who ordered that mission should be court-martialed.  It cost us four ships and the radio operator on one of those who got here.  He was killed by Jap fighters who intercepted at Lashio.  The weather cleared this afternoon and we went to Chungking with Scott.  Spent the night at Peishiyi with CRB and had a good reunion.

                                                      GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kunming-Kunming  Alert on B25's-very bad weather  1:15

June 4, 1942                                                        Chungking

Thursday -- Today was the big day.  We drove into town early this morning and took the physical exam, had dinner at the Hostel and then appeared before the examining board one at a time.  Gen. Bissel commanded the board and believe me it was tough.  Don't know how we made out and probably won't for some time.  Chungking is a better city than Kunming, and the country is much prettier.  It reminds me of Bali in many respects except that it is hotter here.  Our Hostel is about 35 miles out of town so we won't see much of the place.  Jim is A.V.G. contact man in town and just loafing along.  Got a letter from Carrie in the A.V.G. mail pouch and in general had a big day.

                                                    GTB

June 5, 1942                                                         Chungking - Kunming

Friday -- Found out this morning that Sawyer has been temporarily disqualified on account of his ears and Wright was disqualified because of his shancres.  Won't be many of us get it probably, because both Bond and myself will probably be thrown out on age.  Col. Scott came by this morning and picked us up and brought us back to Kunming.  CRB came along to help fly airplanes back to Chungking.  The General says that we will be going back tomorrow.  Took my radio and gun downtown and got rid of them for a good price.  No sense in dragging them up to Chungking.  Am on early alert tomorrow but the Squadron expects to leave around 11 A.M.

                                                 GTB

June 6, 1942                                                            Kunming

Saturday -- as usual nothing goes off according to schedule.  The weather was so bad at Chungking and it has been called off until tomorrow.  I was on the alert all day and did a little flying this afternoon.  The bad weather an opportunity to hold a special ceremony for the presentation of medals.  Eight of us were honored.  I received the Chinese Banner of the Clouds, Fifth Class or two stars, which is their highest Air Corps decoration.  I also got star wings and a medallion set with 8 stars representing my victories in the Rangoon Campaign.  They are very nice and I feel greatly pleased and honored.  Am anxious to show them to the folks.

                                          GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kunming-Kunming  Alert scare - Japs turned back  1:20

June 7, 1942                                                              Kunming

Sunday -- Raining like heck this morning when the 4 A.M. call came through so I took my flight out for alert duty and Neale with his bunch relieved us at noon.  The weather was so bad all day that there was no chance of getting to Chungking.  Played poker all afternoon and they really made a Christian out of me.  I'll be quiet for a long time to come.  Felt very poorly after supper -- bones ache and my sinus is giving me hell.  Doc says may be getting the flu.  Hope not for the last month is not the time to catch anything like that.  Am on duty tomorrow morning, but if the weather stays as bad as it is now, my flight will not go on duty until tomorrow afternoon.  And so ends the day.  27 more to go.

                                           GTB

June 8, 1942                                                               Kunming

Monday -- Weather is still "ding bow how" so the morning was spent in that gentle art of sleeping until late.  Sawyer, Smitty and myself then recreated with the victrola and some new records and had ourselves one hell of a time.  We are all getting so darned eager to get back to the States that CRB and myself are both beginning to hope that we don't get regular commissions out here.  One year away is enough for any man, I would say.  Better leave while the going is good.  The General left by transport for Chungking today.  He reports the weather clearing so we may be able to make it out of here soon.  Rumor has it that the 1st Sq. may operate on one of the border fields for the rest of the time.
                                                    GTB

June 9, 1942                                                      Kunming -- Chungking

Tuesday -- At long last, or some such tripe, the weather cleared and with it the 1st and 2nd Squadrons cleared Kunming for Chungking.  Neale, Bond and myself each had flights of four planes.  The trip up was nice but uneventful.  We hit Chungking right on the nose and after putting on a show for the morale effect on the townspeople we landed at Peishiyi airport.  No sooner were we in than the word came around that the 1st was moving right out for Kweilin.  This is the current hot spot in China.  Orders were later moved back until tomorrow so the evening was spent in packing and preparation for leaving.  We should have gone there direct.  17 of our mechs left for Kweilin by transport this afternoon.

                                                    GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kunming - Chungking  Sq. move to Peishiyi @ Chungking  2:00

June 10, 1942                                                           Chungking

Wednesday -- Had a day off today -- presumably until mid-afternoon when we were to take off for Kweilin.  The departure was delayed until tomorrow however because the Japs have been bombing the field there three times a day for the last two days and its present condition is not so good.  We are taking 12 planes down -- 4 E's and 8 B's and figuring it will be a stay full of action.  I have packed a laundry bag full of old duds which will see me through these last few days -- there being only 24 more to go.  Three weeks and a butt.  Jim came in from town today and we fooled around together most of the afternoon.  He is all through flying over here and nothing will change his mind.  He is plain scared -- but so are we all.

                                                  GTB

June 11, 1942                                                     Chungking - Kweilin

Thursday -- Squadron left this morning at ten o'clock for the new station, but it was a false start for me.  My ship wouldn't get off the ground so I had to wait around for two hours while they changed the plug leads and plugs.  Meanwhile CRB had trouble with his ship and came back too.  Both of us waited over and came down together after lunch.  It was a good trip and we had no unexpected troubles.  The field is beautiful and so is the country.  It is by far the nicest part of China we have seen so far.  They say the city is quite nice also.  This evening Neale had a meeting and we made plans to catch the Japs tomorrow morning on their routine raid.  Neale, Bond and myself each have flights and we are going to hide up north until they come in.  Then -- Doom -- we hope.

                                                 GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Chungking - Kweilin  Bond & I, X-C to catch Sq.  2:10

June 12, 1942                                                        Kweilin

Friday -- Up at 3 A.M. to finish planning our dirty work and believe it or not -- it worked exactly as we hoped it would.  Got the first warning at 5:25 and took off circling to the northwest out of sight of the field.  35 minutes later Sasser, the radio man, called us and said "come in boys, the weather is fine."  We hightailed it to the field and caught 21 Japs right over the field.  Five were bombers, five were new 2-engine fighters patterned on the ME-110, and 11 were I-97's.  We cleaned house getting 13, nine of which are already confirmed.  I got one of the pseudo ME-110's after fighting it for nearly 75 miles, and a fighter.  Should have had another but missed a good shot.  Bond was shot down again and landed in a rice paddy.  He got two cuts on his forehead, but is O.K.  Wright also got shot down and burned on landing.  He was hurt only slightly.

                                            GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kweilin Kweilin  Caught Japs - got fighter & ME-110  2:25

June 13, 1942                                                             Kweilin

Saturday -- Day off today so I slept until 8 bells.  Wonderful feeling.  Heard today that the crew of the ME I shot down crawled out of the wreck, and took a machine gun off the plane and are defying the Chinese to come and take them.  General Mao, C.A.F., told me that one has been captured but the others are still holding out.  Should have strafed them more after they went in.  Late this afternoon when General Chennault came back from the field he told me that the Japs bombed and strafed the wreck at noon.  It was obviously something new about which they were perturbed.  Went to town this afternoon and gawked around.  It is by far the best Chinese town we have yet seen.  Tonight we heard the news from Frisco and Bing Crosby.  What a sensation.

                                                   GTB

June 14, 1942                                                             Kweilin

Sunday -- On the alert at 3 A.M., but not fully awake until four.  Sometime during the night a CNAC plane came in and I got a letter from Helen Frederick.  It was a pleasant and interesting one.  They are good people.  There was no action today except Gen. Chennault went back to Chungking to meet General Brereton for a conference.  The old man was pissed off at having to do it.  He wanted to stay here and see the show as well as run it personally.  He is hoping to bring back some B-25's and some more pursuit from the army.  There are 5 B-25's in Kunming now and one B-24.  He is after all of them.  Neale was off today so Bond was in charge with yours truly as number 2.  These long days offer no excitement.

                                               GTB

June 15, 1942                                                            Kweilin

Monday -- Weather provided a welcome change in the routine today.  At 3 A.M. when reveille came it was raining like the duce so only the E's went on alert.  The rest of us slept in until the weather cleared around 6:30.  It was an extra 3 1/2 hours and you can't beat that.  Nothing was doing all day so Charlie and I played cribbage and took part in the usual bull sessions.  News got around that 5 or 6 B-25's will be in here tomorrow from Kunming.  With them we will be able to hit Canton, Hangkow and other Jap bases.  Took a lot of pictures today.  Am anxious to get them developed.  As each day passes I think more and more of home.  I'm about ready to admit that nothing is going to keep me here.

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kweilin - Kweilin  Alert but no action  1:10

                                                 GTB

June 16, 1942                                                            Kweilin

Tuesday -- Seventeen more days.  Day off as usual, a late sleep.  Didn't wake up until nearly 8 A.M. and then rolled over in luxurious abandon and snoozed away another hour.  It is almost screwy how much I love my sleep.  This afternoon CRB, Rosbert, Rossi, and Rodewald took off on a mountain climbing trip.  We climbed a pealt and circled around and came down the other side.  I took a number of pictures that should turn out to be quite good.  On the way back CRB and myself found a pond and went for an old fashioned bare-ass swim.  Fixed up the radio with a battery out of one of the Jeeps and listened to the news.  Then to bed for tomorrow morning is a 3 A.M.-er.

                                                        GTB

June 17, 1942                                                         Kweilin

Wednesday -- Sixteen more days.  Got to sleep in partially this morning when the weather was bad again.  We went out to the field at eight o'clock, which is an executive's hour to say the least.  I spent the day writing recommendations and citations for the men in the Squadron which they will get before they leave.  I also wrote to Kristoffersen and Weesner, at Accra.  Because the weather stayed bad CRB and all the others flying E's knocked off at noon.  I stayed on with seven pilots in the B's.  No action.  I felt terrible all afternoon and it got worse tonight.  Went to bed without eating anything but a bite.  Hope that it is just my stomach and not malaria or something like that.

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kweilin - Kweilin  Engineering hops after checks  :50

                                                   GTB

June 18, 1942                                                   Kweilin

Thursday -- Fifteen more days!  That warning growl from my stomach last night was no fake.  Was sick all night and through the day.  Doc Sam fixed me up a dose of medicine that helped a little to alleviate conditions but still felt plenty rocky.  Stayed in bed all day.  There was nothing doing at the field either so I didn't miss anything.  Masters, one of the Army boys, is down with malaria.  Doc Sam is going to send him back to Chungking on the first transport to come in after the weather clears.  Gen. Chennault went back to Chungking or Kunming according to the latest grapevine news but we don't know when he will come back here.  If the rotten weather holds out there is very little chance of further action before the 4th.  This will suit everybody right down to the ground.

                                                    GTB

June 19, 1942                                                             Kweilin

Friday -- Two weeks to go! Stayed off duty today to get completely over my illness and now I feel pretty chipper again.  The day was far from wasted, however, as all the citations and recommendations for the men are now finished awaiting only the General's signature and, in some cases, Neale's.  CRB and I played cribbage and Acey-Deucey for awhile and then just loafed around.  The time interval grows smaller steadily but it is still too slow for me.  I'm a sweatin' away.  Here that there is to be a big celebration in Chungking on the 4th.  We may do a little formation flying as a formal review.  Listened to the news tonight and then went to bed.  On duty again tomorrow.

                                              GTB

June 20, 1942                                                            Kweilin

Saturday -- Thirteen days to go!!!  Back to work today.  Listened to some good music from the states this afternoon and heard the US news.  The music sounded wonderful and only further served to convince me that I want to go home.  The planes hadn't been off the ground for 9 days so we flew them. My flight of four buzzed the field in formation several times so they could take pictures and then went hedge hopping for awhile.  A big surprise for us tonight when the citizens of Kweilin pitched in and had a big dinner party for us.  They gave us hundreds of presents and got us all plastered up with Scotch.  The Kweilin populace is really a hog about the 1st Squadron.  Neale had me make a speech.  Hot stuff.

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kweilin - Kweilin  Flight for photos; 4 planes  1:10
P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kweilin - Kweilin  Air show for Kweilin; 3rd element  1:25

                                                 GTB

June 21, 1942                                                        Kweilin

Sunday -- More to last night than I originally planned to tell.  After the shindig we took the armament truck and went to town to see the sing-song girls.  It was an experience never to be forgotten.  The place was alive with girls evacuated from Hong Kong and you can't get away.  They carry you off bodily.  This morning was a tough one, what with no sleep and a light hangover.  Didn't do anything all day except fly a 9 plane review for the Kweilin populace in return for their wonderful party.  Neale had the first flight, CRB the second, and me the third.  It was a pretty darned good show and the people ate it up.  Early to bed tonight because ah is mighty tired.  Day off tomorrow so I am going to sleep late.

                                                   GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kweilin - Kweilin  Local 9 ship flyby for populace  :50

June 22, 1942                                                   Kweilin

Monday -- My plans for a late sleep got a jolt this morning.  A transport came in this morning with the induction board and they convened right away.  CRB and myself were called in to see them at 8:00.  We both said no despite all kinds of persuasion.  Gen. Chennault made me feel very good.  He called me "one of his best men, who used sound judgment and good tactics and handled men very well."  He asked the board to make me a Major in the Air Corps and make me a Squadron Commander.  The answer was still no.  I wanna go home.  Not a single pilot is staying, except possibly Sawyer. In our Sq.  about six men are staying.  Jim came in from Chungking on a transport and we spent the rest of the day gabbing.

                                                 GTB

June 23, 1942                                                        Kweilin - Heng Yang

Tuesday -- Ten (10) more days to go.  Spent a quiet day on alert until late afternoon when we began to get action.  The General left around noon for Heng Yang with the draft board and gave orders for us to take our Squadron and come over as late as we could and still get in before dark.  Bond had the first flight and I took the second one and we left at 5:35 just after six B-25's landed at Kweilin.  We ran into a head wind enroute and didn't get there until right at dark and it was a pretty merry scramble getting in the field.  The idea is to surprise the Japs tomorrow morning.  We should do it with any luck.  The hostel here is very nice but the food stinks.

                                                    GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Kweilin - Heng Yang  Bond & I took 7 ships to Heng Yang  1:25

June 24, 1942                                                    Heng-Yang

Wednesday -- Up at 3 A.M. and off to trap the wily Jap.  The weather fooled all however, for it socked in so close that even the Jap observation ships couldn't get in to look things over.  There was on trying to get in all morning but never got any closer than 50 miles.  The "draft board" sat all day and tried to talk the boys into staying but Col. Sanders was in good form and antagonized so many of them that the results were not too good.  We knocked off a little early, 5 P.M., on account of the bad weather.  Played cards for a couple of hours and then early to bed.  I am rooming with Raines, CRB and Rector are in the next room.

                                              GTB

June 25, 1942                                                  Heng-Yang

Thursday -- The weather was absolutely rotten today and we didn't even get to go out to the field.  It rained from early morning until late afternoon and all we did was sit around, read and play cards.  We have a portable phonograph here but only one American record.  It would be "Moon over Burma" but we play the thing a thousand times a day anyway.  The original plan called for us to be over here just one day to help the second squadron out in a fight, then go back to Kweilin.  As a result, all we brought with us was a toothbrush.  These clothes are beginning to stink badly already -- imagine what they will be like if we get stuck here awhile.

                                                       GTB

June 26, 1942                                                        Heng-Yang

Friday -- Back to work this morning even though the weather was still stinking.  The word came through that the Japs have concentrated 27 bombers and 25 fighters at Hankow for our special benefit.  Was sick all morning with dysentery and took off the afternoon to go back to the barracks for medicine and go to bed.  Doc Gentry fixed me up with some pills that made me a veritable Mt. Vesuvius.  Felt a little better this evening but am still far from being in good shape.  Will go to work in the morning, though, because they are expecting the weather to clear and the Japs to arrive en masse.

                                                  GTB

June 27, 1942                                                         Heng-Yang

Saturday -- One week from today is the DAY.  On duty today even with the Delhi Belly but the day was quiet and involved nothing more than a couple of unexciting games of cribbage.  The food is getting worse with each passing day, and our clothes are getting smellier and dirtier at a rapid rate.  It looks as though we are wasting our time here.  We would all like to go back to Kweilin but have to wait for word from the General who went back to Chungking.  Got a big surprise this afternoon when the 6 B-25's from Kweilin came in.  They are planning a mission to Hankow in the morning weather permitting, with Rector and the E's escorting them.

                                                  GTB

June 28, 1942                                                                   Heng-Yang

Sunday -- Well, CRB and I need worry ourselves no longer regarding our chances for regular commissions.  We got a radio message from Chungking today that we had been disapproved because of our age.  That settles that and I am actually rather relieved and not in the least disappointed.  Maj. Ingmire, recorder for the board, told us confidentially that we had been recommended at the top of the list but this is scant help.  Found out today that one of my classmates in flying school is second in command of this B-25 outfit.  He is Allen Forsythe.  Had a lot of fun talking with him.  Their mission today was postponed because of weather.

                                                     GTB

P40-C  F.A.V.G.  Heng-Yang Heng-Yang  Hop to bring up battery  :45

June 29, 1942                                                            Heng-Yang

Monday -- Still nothing doing around the place except that Bob Neale and Bartling came over from Kweilin bring over our one "E" and one Tomahawk that we left at Kweilin when we came over here.  I've been sweating our a ride back to Kweilin and then to Chungking so I can get the bridge made for my mouth.  Don't know what my chances are because the weather has been so terrible.  Had a lot of fun this evening playing fantan.  Lost about $15 C.N. but enjoyed the hell out of the game.  CRB has been feeling pretty rotten.  He has the Delhi Belly too -- mine is better but not well yet.  Nobody is feeling too hot.

                                                   GTB

June 30, 1942                                                         Heng-Yang - Kweilin

Tuesday -- Got a break and slept late this morning.  Went to work at 9 A.M. and relieved Kuykendall.  The B-25's are still being held up by weather.  The Old Man arrived at noon and tossed a bombshell.  He wants pilots to extend their contracts two weeks to help out the Army.  Most of us agreed including me.  Neale and I went with the Old Man in the DC with Moon Chen to Kweilin.  Neale is going to send me to Chungking in the morning to get the dentistry work done if he can.  Spent the evening packing up the stuff for the other pilots to go back to Heng-Yang in the morning with Neale.  A busy day.  Won't know till morning whether I'm going to Chungking or not.

                                                      GTB