The Other Enemy – The Weather…
USAAF officers Wagner, Mahoney, Strauss and Keenan were handling the P-40 flight training in Brisbane. On February 1, 1942, they put their commissions at risk by sending this message directly to Washington:
“… have had eight accidents and 1 (one) death all due to pilot inexperience; estimate three months and fifteen wrecked planes to fully train these pilots for combat operations. Request we be allowed two airplanes type C-53 for purpose bringing Colonel George and two squadrons of experienced pilots over from Bataan…”
But this sensible proposal was rejected out of hand by the top command. Moreover, as the situation in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies deteriorated rapidly, the pressure to send reinforcements mounted. Less and less time was available to train the green pilots.
Captain Grant Mahoney received orders to move his 3rd Pursuit Squadron (provisional) to Java.
They departed Brisbane…
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