0100:- On a sack at last and to sleep until 0400 when one of our own group of ammunition handlers turned in with a temperature of 102°. No localizing symptoms. Tonsils hypertrophied -- given sulfadiazine and ASA. Slept again until 0530 when we secured from G.Q. Quiet night.
0900:- Returned to Ward Room for coffee. Word passed that we were receiving casualties aboard. Fifteen in all brought in by P.T.’s. Twelve man ambulatory -- two wounded and one dead. Received two wounded in Sick Bay -- pilot and navigator of C-47. Got a brief story from the pilot before moving on. His plane was part of a large flight of glider-bombers. Delivered his glider and turned in formation to return for more. Ran into ack-ack and caught a high explosive amidships. Port engine on fire -- knocked from formation. He tried to pull his ship back but the starboard engine started to fail and after dropping cargo he went down for a crash landing. To his knowledge there were two other members of the crew still alive. The navigator and the copilot, all of them removed their anti-flash clothes prior to landing. The pilot dropped the plane flat in the sea but it was thrown by a wave and nosed over. He remembers plunging downward with the nose of the plane, holding his breath and then everything blacked out. His next memory is of catapulting through the escape hatch and hanging onto the starboard casset. The other two living members of the crew were secured and they all waited for a P.T. Boat which was seen approaching to pick them up. Meanwhile the ship was sinking -- the starboard wing went under and the pilot swam over to hang onto the fusillage. Looking inside he could see the shattered remains of his crew. Only the pilot and navigator came on board. We don’t know what happened to the co-pilot. Both officers chilled when they arrived on board and covered with minor lacerations and abrasions. Both given M.S. grs. 1/4 -- stripped, warmed, and put to bed. Two lacerations on dorsal aspect of the right wrist of the navigator sutured and all abrasions dressed on both. Meanwhile -- or rather simultaneously -- two more P.T.’s came alongside -- one containing the entire crew of a C-47 all ambulatory and uninjured. (Crash dive after motors cancelled out.) The second P.T. brought a body which was taken to the dispensary and stripped for identification. Just getting around to take care of him when G.Q. sounded again. At the moment we are at Chiefs’ Quarters talking things over with the survivors. They and the two bodies will soon be removed. At the moment we are progressing toward the beach to neutralize a 14” battery -- shore spotted.
1045:- Secure from G.Q. Set 3 Mike, Watch 3.
1525:- Return to G.Q. All secure. Above evolution (neutralization of 14” battery) not carried out. At the moment we are preparing to replace the QUINCY in shore bombardment -- exact target not yet disclosed. QUINCY leaving for England to reload -- as we will do after completely expending our ammunition. In the interval had time to shave, clean up the sick bay, hold sick call, eat, and get 1:45 sleep. (Still a little punchy -- but better off than some.)
1700:- Main battery 23 hits out of 23 salvos -- two targets eliminated -- infantry concentration -- Watch set -- rest secure.
Image credit Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum