Nothing much for us today. The troops are having a tough time on Saipan but I feel we have the power to back them up. Their job is really the tough one in this war. Last night’s little episode stayed with me all day today. I couldn’t even sleep for thinking over the action and the things I could have done that I didn’t do. I must be getting too old for this game. Holden and I had the duty again tonight but no bogies appeared and we just sat out our two hours in the cockpit. There is a prospect for a fleet action soon and everyone looks forward to it with no great joy – not the aviators anyway. We can lick them and shorten the war all right but lots of people are going to get hurt. The bombing of Japan by our B-29s was good news today.
D+1 DAY (16 June 1944).
Strike A (0500-0815).
4 VF and 7 VB – VF plane piloted by Comdr. W. R. Kane, USN (AGC-10) shot down by AA from own ships, but pilot rescued by DD; 1 VB and 2 VF furnished Air Coordinator #1; installations east of LAKE SUSUPE and in GARAPAN TOWN, SAIPAN bombed and strafed. 4 tons of bombs dropped.
Strike C (0750-1100).
14 VF, 9 VB and 10 VT – 2 VF and 1 VT furnished Air Coordinator #3; area southeast of GARAPAN TOWN strafed; no other action; no bombs dropped.
Strike D (0930-1230).
2 VF and 9 VB – the 2 VF furnished Air Coordinator #4; AGANA airfield, GUAM and sampans at ROTA strafed; barracks northeast of OROTE airfield, GUAM bombed. 4.5 tons of bombs dropped.
Special Strike (1500-1745).
12 VF, 11 VB and 9 VT – 1 ZEKE and 1 BETTY destroyed on ground by VB-10; ship alongside wharf at OROTE, GUAM strafed; runway, revetments and parked planes at OROTE airfield bombed and strafed. 10.9 tons of bombs dropped.
1 VT replacement from COPAHEE landed (0941).
1 VF from LEXINGTON made emergency landing (1733).
Recapitulation for D+1 Day.
Enemy A/C Destroyed on Ground 2 (1 ZEKE, 1 BETTY)
Own A/C Shot Down by Friendly AA 1 VF
Bombs Dropped (tons) 19.4
During the Mariana Islands campaign, US forces captured Japanese-held islands in the Battles of Guam, Saipan and Tinian between June and August 1944. USAAF and US Navy engineers subsequently constructed six airfields on the islands to accommodate hundreds of B-29s. These bases were more capable of supporting an intensive air campaign against Japan than those in China as they could be easily supplied by sea and were 1,500 miles (2,400 km) south of Tokyo, which allowed B-29s to strike most areas in the home islands and return without refueling. Japanese aircraft made several attacks on the airfield at Saipan while it was under construction.
Feel free to add comments or to suggest corrections on errors that I made transcribing.
Tomorrow, June 17 1944…
We have been expecting to tangle with the japs…