1945 in combat


Wally's War

Glen Wallace's War Diary 2

Editor's note: These are the pages from Glen's diaries exactly as he wrote them at the time. He has attached comments to add to or explain the entry. Click the stars for more information.


Wally, Pappert, Coumbe & Godson. 14 Jap planes splashed by these four Corsair pilots.

10 MARCH 1945
Went aboard the USS Essex. ( CV9 ) this is to be our home on forthcoming cruise - Mog Mog Island !!

11 MARCH 1945
2015 While at the movie a suicide dive bomber went past the flight deck and crashed into the USS Randolph ( CV -15 ) - GQ (General Quarters)secured at 2110.

14 MARCH 1945
CAG(Commander Air Group) received memo from COMAIRPAC commending Air Group 83 on good work in Hawaiian area. We had a group exercise and really fouled up the works.
That's life!

18 MARCH 1945.
Made strike against Kyushu. Lost three pilots, Stevens, Garner and Sigman. (Steve was my division Leader) I shot down two Jap planes... could only claim one... the other a probable. Was attacked by about 25 Hamps over Tomi Taki... Scared! Pappert and Coumbe each flamed a Zeke plus one probable for Pappert. Made two landings aboard Essex in F4U.

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19 MARCH 1945
Second day of strikes on Kyushu. We damaged a Carrier and Battleship in Kure harbor. I was flying wing on Ham Reidy when he shot down a Mert. Pappert, Coulmbe and I now have a new Division Leader. Ship was under attack all day. One Kamakize nicked #2 Elevator guard rail. Danny Gray made water landing.. We lost three Bombers and one Torpedo crew. The Wasp, Enterprize, Langley, Intrepid and Franklin hit. The Franklin has been burning all day.

20 MARCH 1945
Flew CAP again today...Chased Bogies all afternoon. Saw our AA shoot down one Mert and one F6F. The Enterprise was hit again.

21 MARCH 1945
Flew CAP. Bogies all over - mostly Bettys and Merts,, Murt got a Mert! 42 Bettys, 12 Zekes and 5 Merts shot down by CAP. 281 planes destroyed past 4 days.

22 MARCH 1945
Jettisoned "Tilly."

23 MARCH 1945
Fighter sweeps on Okinawa... Weather very bad -- solid from 200 to 12000 feet.

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24 MARCH 1945
Fighter sweep... Fired rockets and strafed Yontan Field and nearby town... AA pretty bad..

25 MARCH 1945
Ship refueled... got two letters.

26 MARCH 1945
Strike against Okinawa. Bombed and strafed submarine pens, barracks and warehouses... Two subs sunk. (1000 pound bombs)

27 MARCH 1945
Flew TCAP, (Target Combat Air Patrol), over Kerme Shima... Strafed boats... Marcinkoski Made water landing and was picked up by an OS2U. (Float seaplane).

28 MARCH 1945
Strike on Minami Daito Jima... Dropped 1000# bomb on AA position. Five planes damaged and lost on flight deck this morning. One plane, two pilots overboard. One Marine killed. Refueled...got 6 letters.

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29 MARCH 1945
Searched for the Jap fleet around Kyushu - didn`t find it. Kenny King flamed by Zeros. Jap plane made run on ship while I was strapped in plane on flight deck...Bomb near miss on USS Cabot. Ham Reidy shot down a Zeke. We got four Marine Replacement Pilots. Coumbe and I got checked out on 20 MM deck guns... (while on standby duty)

30 MARCH 1945
Strikes on Okinawa. Bombed and strafed more sub pens and PT boats. Gil and Harris on a 325 mile search jumped 5 Japs. shot down two of them. I ran out of targets so dropped my belly tank and strafed that.

31 MARCH 1945
On standby all day... Didn`t fly... The Skipper is ailing hardly ever flys anymore. Pappert, Coumbe and I may get a new Division Leader. TT Coleman and Maki each flamed a Jap today... Greek strafed a horse. We lost one Bomber Pilot and two crewmen. (Two planes)

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1 APRIL 1945 (Love Day)
Strike on Okinawa in support of invading troops. Bombed, fired rockets & strafed. Lahey went down in flames from AA. Torpedo Skipper made a water landing & was picked up by a can. A Jap pilot in an Oscar landed on Yonton Airfield & the Marines shot him when he got out of the plane.

2 APRIL 1945
No strike today - refueled - No mail - Rough Sea! Two typhoons in area.

3 APRIL 1945
Strike day. The air group shot down 17 planes - Gunner Way went in the drink. I manned a 20 mm during condition one.

4 APRIL 1945
Strike on Okinawa. Two direct rocket hits on barracks - strafed gun emplacement & boat

5 APRIL 1945
No strikes - refueled & re-armed - NO mail. According to latest rumor Pappert, Coumbe & I may have a new division leader, Gunner Way. Also we are going back to the F6F squad. along with Ham Reidy's division. Cmdr. Southerland welcomed us back so it may not be all scuttlebutt.

6 APRIL 1945
Strike on Kikai Jima - chased Japs all over. I helped shoot one down! The air group. Flamed 6 planes today. Lost one Bomber & one F6F ( Berube ) Several DD's were hit by Japs.
(DD = Destroyer (also called Can which was a nick name because they were as thin skinned as a tin can)

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7 APRIL 1945
We finally found the Jap Fleet - at least part of it. Sunk a Yamato BB- 2 CL - 4 DD's. I flew 5 1/2 hours in an F6F on one hop. The air group shot down 10 planes. Ship under attack by Japs all day. The Hancock hit by a Kamikaze ( 30 killed. ) We lost all four of the Marine Replacement Pilots. One Bomber lost. Pappert, Coumbe & I flew with El Groupo. Had a ring-side seat for the whole show. We got direct hits in the Pacific Ocean with 1000 lb Bombs!

8 APRIL 1945
Flew Target Combat Patrol over Okinawa. One attack made on ship by Jap plane - he missed. It seems that Pappert, Coumbe and I are flying for the F6F's & F4U's to. This old ---- has got to come to a focus. Three of the four Marines were picked up!!

9 APRIL 1945
No flying today. Re-fueled & took on ammo & new planes. Got 22 letters ( Feb18 to March 3) Joe knaus ran ran out of gas & went into the drink - 4 ½ hours without a belly tank is too much! Reidy's & our division are going to adopt a new insignia - "The Free Lancers" because we are flying for both squadrons.

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10 APRIL 1945
Strike on Minami Daito Jima. Bombed and strafed AA positions - weather closed in this PM Danny Gray is lost and has no radio. He must be almost out of gas now. ( 2000 )

11 APRIL 1945
Danny has not been found. Hank Graham, our exec. was flamed by Jap today?? The ship was under attack most of the day. Two planes dived on us. One near miss. It shook up up considerable. Ships A.A. splashed 9 Kamikazes. Don't see how we can take 4 months of this and come out alive

12 APRIL 1945
Flew combat patrol over Okinawa - bogies all around but we didn't get any. The air group ( F6F's & F4U's ) shot down 13 today. Pappert, Coumbe & I are definitely in the F6F sqd. now. At least until the ship gets in more F4U's.–

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13 APRIL 1945
Flew target cap at Okinawa-searched for downed pilot.I found part of life raft. Coumbe found and exploded a Jap mine.

14 APRIL 1945
Re-fueled - got two letters & a card from my boy. Flew combat air patrol over ship. Tallyhoed one weather balloon.

15 APRIL 1945
Flew T-cap over Okinawa - no bogies - just routine- Ham Reidy was in a sweep over kyshu - shot down 2 planes. Clem Wear got one too. Tomorrow we have the same thing! To hell with that place.

16 APRIL 1945
Started on sweep over Kyushu - got as far as Amamia O Shima ( about ½ way ) when the Skipper's plane went bad. We fired rockets & strafed that island & I escorted him back. Pappert & Coube went on & Pap helped shoot down a Zeke. We lost Bouldin, Wear and Tommy Ward. Wear and Ward went into the water & a rescue mission is out now. Bouldin is a P.W. Reidy saw him on the ground beside his plane with some Jap kids around him. I could only get three guns to fire & Ham only one! Our fleet was under attack all day - 8 ships hit - 2 DD's sunk. The Intrepid was hit. One two engined plane was splashed just now ( 1900 ) Tommy Ward was picked up but Wear couldn't be found. Maybe a sub got him.

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17 APRIL 1945
Flew Cap - Fleet under attack most of the day - Our AA splashed three KK"s diving on ships. Rescue mission picked up Clem Wear, up by Kyushu & a night fighter who was shot down last night. Two Intrepid pilots shot down a B-25 The Intrepid is going home.

18 APRIL 1945
Re-fueled today - got two letters- One of our bombers spun in during landing - pilot not recovered - tomorrow big day at Okinawa. Ace, ( Lt.Rach ) was killed on take- off this morning. Today we have been in combat one month & have lost 9 pilots in the F4U sqd alone - 17%.

19 APRIL 1945
Flew two hops today. The first one was a strike on southern part of Okinawa in support of the big push by ground troops. Bombed & strafed the town of Iwa. We blew it all to hell and set the place on fire... The second hop was a CAP over the BB's shelling the Island. Expecting a big KK attack tomorrow. Clem & Ward are back.

20 APRIL 1945
Strike on Southern Okinawa. Bombed, strafed & fired rockets in the town of Inasomi. Mistook a lot of corngrinders for gun employments. Kincaid just made 2500th landing aboard the Essex. This air group has made over 3000 landings in past 30 days.

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21 APRIL 1945
Flew "T-Cap" over ringleader base at Okinawa. The big Jap attack we expected didn't materialize today - probably tomorrow.

22 APRIL 1945
Flew 5 hours air support hop... Fired rockets & strafed,
( 2000 rounds ) trenches, caves, gun employments and enemy tanks near town of Kazamito. 5 Jap planes shot down near task force this afternoon. Last transmission of on Jap pilot just before being shot down was "Banzi." Tomorrow is re-fueling day - looking for lots of mail.

23 APRIL 1945
Re-fueled and re-armed today. Pappert, Coume and I went aboard a DD ( via Breeches Buoy ) for transportation to the USS Bougainville. Picked up 3 F4U's... Got 14 letters.

24 APRIL 1945
Didn't fly today! Bad weather - 0 - 0- . The first time we have failed to aviate because of weather since we started flying out of here.

25 APRIL 1945
Bad weather today but we flew just the same. Target CAP over Cognac Base North of Ie Shima- ceiling 300 ft. Visibility ½ mile.

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26APRIL 1945
Bad weather again- got in some instrument flying- bombed & strafed trenches & caves on South Okinawa. Set three houses on fire - looks rugged over there- saw mid-air collision between two bombers.Pilot& Crewmen bailed out & were rescued

27 APRIL 1945
Re-fueled- re-armed- Got 4 letters- Nice weather- Everything quiet.

28 APRIL 1945
Flew CAP over Fleet- Lots of Bogies hit Okinawa. The BG
( Battle Group ) shot down 29 - we had a night attack- total shot down - 32.

29 APRIL 1945
Under attack during afternoon- The F6F's got 3. Lost one pilot. Heard garbled word on the German surrender. One of our hospital ships was bombed 167 killed, wounded & missing.

30 APRIL 1945
Flew CAP oat 25000 feet over base- Routine- no Bogies, no attack. Scuttlebutt has it we are going back to Ulitni the 14th.

1 MAY 1945
Re-fueled today - No mail.

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2 MAY 1945
Flew CAP- routine, some friendly planes strafed our own troops on Okinawa - Killed 7 Wounded 17. Bad weather!

3 MAY 1945
Didn't fly - weather very bad- most hops canceled- only CAPS flying. Our room looks like a work shop. Everybody making watch bands etc.

4 MAY 1945
Good weather - the air group shot down 38 Japs today - lost Gibby from our squadron. One DD sunk & a couple damaged by KK's. 207 Japs downed by us since March 18. ( 46 days) TF58 has downed over 1000 planes since April 1. ( 34 days )

5 MAY 1945
Flew air support on South Okinawa, fired rockets, bombed & strafed trenches, artillery guns & AA Positions. They are shooting at us more than usual lately - 5 hr hop!

6 MAY 1945
Re-fueled - got 4 letters - rumor that we won't go back to Ulithi until end of the month.

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7 MAY 1945
Shipping strike at Amimi - Dropped 1000 pounder & strafed ships in harbor. Dropped incendiaries on town at Kikai. Quite a bit of AA up there & bad weather don't help. Corsair cracked up on deck- pilot hurt.

8 MAY 1945
Bad weather - nobody flew today- sea getting rough. Heard war is over in Europe - doesn't seem to mean much out here - bet everyone back home is getting pie-eyed. Rumor had it we will go to Loyete the last of this month for re-provision.

9 MAY 1945
Crapped out again today- We have been making gadgets in our room. Lost two very good friends today - Smitty was shot down by AA over Amami. Jimmy Tuckel was killed last nite when taking off from the Enterprise which is cruising right behind us. 0300- The Skipper just left- Everyone ( Pap, Coumbe & I ) D.A.!!

10 MAY 1945
Refueled... got 4 letters.

11 MAY 1945
Flew Close Air Support for Marine troops on Okinawa. My plane shot up by ground fire.

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12 May 1945
Flew air support over Okinawa. Had engine failure over front lines. Made dead-stick landing at Youtan Field.

13 MAY 1945
Slept on the ground and ate K rations. Had a bombing raid by Japs. Checked on getting my plane fixed. Saw all the boys from the Bunker Hill. They were going back to the states.

14 MAY 1945
Went up in the hills of North Okinawa. Saw lots of Natives and burned out stuff. I also checked out some caves. Heard later they were Jap soldiers in the caves. Jap planes raided us about dark. Our AA got one but a suicide plane hit a battleship in the harbor. Found a cot in a Marine tent to sleep on. Dust very bad.

15 MAY 1945
Went up to the front lines. Saw lots of dead Marines and Japs... The stink was awful. Bulldozers were covering up the Japs. Had another bombing raid about 0200. Spent most of the night in a

16 MAY 1945
It rained all night. No raid by Japs. Saw actual white woman (nurse). Mud knee deep. Saw two planes from the Essex come in. Jumped in a plane and joined up with them. Flew back to the ship. Found out the Enterprise had a bad hit by a Kamikaze and is going home... so is our Skipper.

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17 MAY 1945
Flew patrol over Amami-dropped firebombs, strafed and fired rockets on boats and AA guns. Set a plane on fire on the ground. AA getting much worse up there.

18 MAY 1945
Flew 0500 CAP at 25,000 feet. Made strike on Amami. We lost two torpedo planes. My good friend Boatright was flying one of them. Rest of month will be same-o-same-o according to flight schedule..

19 MAY 1945
No fly - refueled- got lots of letters.

20 MAY 1945
Flew target CAP over Okinawa - no Bogies- Bad weather - Ens. Jones spun in- they buried him at 1830 this evening- he was a F4U pilot.

21 MAY 1945
Had the duty! Bad weather- Rough day! The Japs attacked the ships around Okinawa with 35 planes & several submarines. 25 planes were shot down & some of the subs sunk. Some of our ships were damaged but I don't know if any were sunk. Two Jap DE's & one transport were sunk. Guess we go to Leyte for 10 days on the 27th.

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22 MAY 1945
No fly - bad weather.

23 MAY 1945
No fly- refueled- No mail. Japs spotted us & we broke off from tankers at noon. Sent strike to Kikai in bad weather- tomorrow we go Jap hunting.

24 MAY 1945
50 Plane sweep on Kyshu ( Japan ) Fired rockets & strafed planes on ground at Ashuri Airfield - Two airborn Zekes splashed - two Pelican planes went down - pilot of one recovered. Got AA blast under my tail and cracked my back again AA pretty thick.

25 MAY 1945
Flew CAP in the worst weather I have ever flown in (4 hrs ) Ceiling ) - to 200 ft. Visibility 0 to 1/4 mile- the Japs attacked Okinawa again - about 40 planes.

26 MAY 1945
No FLY - bad weather - big Jap attack on Okinawa today - we aren't going to Leyte tomorrow. Jap planes landed at Yonton & the crews got out & destroyed some planes before the Marines killed them.

27 MAY 1945
Refueled - got Lots'a mail.

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28 MAY 1945
Flew pre-dawn CAP in bad weather. Heard three Japs splashed & someone got shot up by a "Tony" ( Jap Plane) The Task Force has been changed from 58 to 38 with Mc Kane & Halsey in charge instead of Mitscher & Spruance. I hear they're rough boys. We may go to Leyte soon.

29 MAY 1945
NO fly - we are on the way to Leyte. After 79 days at sea they finally decided to let us have 10 whole days off - anchored off the lovely island of Leyte. We all got Cholera shots & feel like hell. Saw our first movie in three months - it was a stinker.

30 MAY 1945
No fly - standby - ships gunners target practice on drones. Lay on flight deck & got sun burned. I hear Leyte has four "O" Clubs!

31 MAY 1945
No fly- tomorrow nobody fly. SCHEDULED FLIGHT OPERATIONS TOMORROW X,. NONE = = = = BIG DAY OFF X ( quoting from the tickertape)

1 JUNE 1945
Philippine Islands
We dropped the hook at 0927 this morning. I missed winning the Anchor Pool by 4 minutes. Didn't go ashore today - will make it tomorrow - beer (cold) found out we have steamed over 33,000 miles since March 14 ( 21/2 months). Coumbe & I have been fishing from the port-hole - didn't catch anything - also have flown over 25,000 hrs.

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2 JUNE 1945
Went ashore - Tacloban Beach & "O" Club - drank beer all afternoon & went swimming- saw a lot of guys I knew - received 5 packages.

3-4 JUNE 1945
Repeated above treatment

5 JUNE 1945

6 JUNE 1945

7 JUNE 1945
A P- 38 crashed into the Randolph - anchored a couple hundred yards from us. I heard the Hornet & Bennington were beat up off Kyushu - Stateside job- ( Halsey trying to make the headlines again by going through typhoon)

8 JUNE 1945
Nothing new- Still loading ammo. Went to Macarata & drank beer. Bought some beads from natives.

9-10 JUNE 1945
More beer

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11 JUNE 1945
Submarine alarm. The Bennington pulled in today. She is in sad shape.

13 JUNE 1945
More beer- went to town of Tacloban & looked the place over then to San Antonio - caught a boat to the New Mexico & mooched a ride back to our ship. The whole US Fleet is here now- 8 big carriers and lots of little ones. ( Cruisers, Cans and Subs )

14-15-16-17 JUNE 1945
Still loafing around & drinking beer. Saw lots of friends. Expect to shove off about the 28th. Rumor has it to be an 18 day cruise but plenty rough. Maybe Tokyo

18 JUNE 1945
Air Groups 9-12-17-82 are going back to Uncle Sugar. Also the Hornet. We are now Senior.

19 JUNE 1945
We are all set for another cruise - shoving off in the morning.

20 JUNE to 3 JULY 1945
In hospital

4 JULY 1945
Headed for Tokyo! The Ticonderoga went to P.H.( Pearl Harbor) We lost two pilots ( crashed )

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9 JULY 1945
Tomorrow we hit Tokyo - looks like bad weather.

10 JULY 1945
We bombed airfields around Tokyo - no one saw a single airborne aircraft - we lost no pilots- 210 sorties- Good weather - three Japs splashed around task force - latest scuttlebutt, we go home the 19th

14 JULY 1945
Struck Northern Honshu & Hokkaido - sunk 7 ferry boats & other ships - no bogies over target- one Betty splashed over TF. The battleships & cruisers shelled towns along the beach all afternoon. Wonder what the Japs think about that! Weather is cold & wet - we lost no pilots!
(TF = Task Force )

15 JULY 1945
Same targets - 8 planes hit by AA. All pilots OK.

16 JULY 1945
Re-fueled - tomorrow we hit Tokyo again - going after a Battleship.

18 JULY 1945
Still working on Tokyo - weather bad. Dave Horton was killed and one bomber when in.

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20 JULY 1945
I'll never believe scuttlebutt again - we sure as hell didn''t go home on the 19th.

22 JULY 1945
The ungarbled word - we go home Aug. 28th - seven more strike days-

24 JULY 1945
Strikes again on Kure Harbor- Northern Kyushu & Southern Honshu. Bombed cruiser. (natori class ) & carrier - airfield & shipping. Coumbe made a water landing after dark in very bad rain squall. Some landed on other ships - Jeeter shot down a "Mert" today. No pilots lost!

25 JULY 1945
More of the same - Reidy & Comstock shot down a Zeke each. We lost one bomber pilot & one F6 F ( Weisner )

28 JULY 1945
Sam Brocato, Huey Batten & W.L. Clark shot down a plane each. Brings our total to 226. We bombed & rocketed cruiser & cans in Kure Harbor - also a hospital ship by mistake. Got rocket hits on carrier at Oita. The 300,000th landing was made on the Essex. Lost no pilots.

30 JULY 1945
Hit Tokyo again -

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1 AUGUST 1945 1945
We were supposed to hit Korea (310 miles) tomorrow but it was called off due to typhoons. The ships had AA practice and one of the DDs was hit with a 5 incher!

4 AUGUST 1945
My birthday -- spent it between Tokyo and Iwo Jima.. The Korea deal was on again and is now off again.. Everything SNAFU.

7 AUGUST 1945
Heard of Atomic bomb being dropped on the Japs.

8 AUGUST 1945
Strikes on Japan canceled due to weather. Damn that scuttlebutt... We didn`t go home as planned again.

9 AUGUST 1945
Strikes on Japan.. Coumbe was shot down by AA.. Bucky Harris was killed when a 1000 pound bomb exploded on his plane in mid air. One bomber went straight in... no survivors. Huey Batten in an F6F and two torpedo planes ditched and pilots were picked up by a DD. Ship was under attack all day by suicide planes.. Several shot down.. One DD hit. Same air plan for tomorrow as today... no relief in sight.

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10 AUGUST 1945
More strikes - Coumbe was picked up but Clem Wear spun in and was killed trying to throw him a raft. We hear the Japs want to quit.

11 AUGUST 1945
No strikes.. Typhoon in area... Coumbe is back aboard.

13 AUGUST 1945
Strikes on Tokyo - 10 or 12 Japs splashed around the Fleet. Three barrier crashes on deck.



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