Confusion, chaos – and Bob Buel
“…Essential you have squadron P-40’s at Darwin for operations and convoy by 13-14 February…” said a message from General Brett on February 12, 1942, confirming the confusion and chaos that now had the Allied command in its grip.
USAT Monroe had docked on January 31, bringing in 70 additional P-40’s. And the SS Mariposa had delivered 4000 US servicemen, including personnel of the 49th fighter group. On paper it looked like there were 142 P-40’s available, so someone at headquarters had decided that there were more than enough P-40’s to equip four squadrons. Orders were issued on February 9 to two squadrons, the 33rd and the 13th to fly their 50 P-40’s to Fremantle, Western Australia for shipment to India.
This order was confirmed on February 12, while two additional squadrons of P-40’s were ordered to Darwin. Painfully sware of the…
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