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PAGE ONEHulbert asked for it. So I shall set it down for my children, my children's children, and any one else dumb enough to want to read it.
Leaving Hawaii: December 4 and 5
As to my trip: There was little about it that could not now be published, althou at the time there was much that I was not allowed to tell, including the names of places that I visited. Now there remain but two which cannot be divulged, both of which are well known to the Japs, who have bombed one of them several times.
After dinner on December 4th last, I was playing poker with Floye Garrison, "Duke" Willey, and Jack Jenkins in Jack's quarters in Icki Sue. Hulbert had come in to spend the night with me, but not caring to play poker, he had remained in my quarters to read. About 9:30 he phoned me to say that G-2 had just called to say that there was a seat on a plane leaving at 8:15 the next morning being reserved for me.
We were just in the midst of a pot: so I stayed long enough to win it, and then excused myself without explanations. I just got up and walked out of their lives for three months, taking their money with me.
I went to my quarters and packed my B-4 and musette bag under the supervision of Hulbert, who had been on several flights to the West, South, and South West Pacific. G-2 having told Hulbert that I would be allowed 55 pounds, many essentials had to be eliminated. At that, however, my gear weighed much more than fifty-five. The B-4 was jammed full; so was the musette bag. I also had a tin hat and a typewriter. Later on, during my travels, I acquired a large gas mask. When fully loaded, I could just stagger.
Hulbert and I ate in the Niumalu kitchen early the next morning (December 5), as the dining room is not blacked out. We reached the field at 8, but the plane didn't take off until 9:30. After all our care in packing, my gear was not weighed. Nor was it once weighed during nearly 7000 miles of air travel.
The C-87 (a converted B-24, four motored bomber) carried eleven passengers and stacks of baggage and freight that made it difficult to move around much. I went up to the pilots' compartment often during the trip. Had I still been carrying the thirty pounds I had recently shed, I could not have squeezed through the narrow aisle left between stacks of baggage and freight. As it was, I stuck a couple of times as the cargo shifted.
Besides myself, there were nine brand new 2nd lieutenant fighter pilots . . .
C-87 Liberator Express Transport -- A converted B-24 Bomber
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