World Flight Arrives at Bangkok
by Lt. L. P. Arnold, "Chicago", Mechanic
Up at 3 & shortly after 4 were aboard the planes from which we saw a beautiful sunrise -- northern sunsets and southern sunrises are the ideal combinations.
At 5:15 we started out but owing to trouble getting off it was 5:50 before we got away -- light air, glassy water, and no wind make it impossible to take off with heavy loads, so we landed alongside Kaw Rang Island where a destroyer was waiting with fuel. An hours stop there & then continued on, landing at Bangkok at 4:05. The river here runs very swiftly, is very dirty & muddy, and much boat traffic goes on all the time -- will be lucky if we get away with whole pontoons.
During today's flight we passed many very pretty islands, white sandy beaches with waving coconut trees make a beautiful picture. Some of the islands were covered with so dense a foliage I'm sure no one could ever go through it.
Everyone worked on the planes until after dark, and after a consultation it was agreed to stay over here tomorrow to rest & to make a few minor repairs.
Three of us went to town & stayed in the hotel where we had a good cool sleep -- thanks to electric fans.
by Lt. L. H. Smith, Commanding
Because of previous experiences in taking off with heavy loads in the tropical zone, a fueling base was established in Kampongsong Bay, a distance of 295 miles. The flight left Saigon at 6:34 a.m., this morning, taking an eastern course overland to Rachgia Bay. There being a great number of rivers and canals in this part of the flight, the planes were seldom out of gliding distance from water. From Rachgia Bay, the flight passed north of Fukwok, then skirted the mainland into Kampongsong Bay, landing at 11:02. Excellent weather prevailed during the entire flight. The moorings had been placed almost in the center of the bay and the water was very rough but fueling was successfully accomplished within a short time.
At 12:10, all three planes left the rough water without special difficulty, taking a course past Kawhut Island, Kawchang Island, and around Cape Liant, then an over water course direct to the mouth of the Bangkok River where a landing was made in Bangkok at 4:18. The current of the river was very swift and the water was filled with floating logs, trees, etc. No especial difficulty was encountered, except in keeping the native boats a sufficient distance away to avoid hitting the planes. For this purpose, native police were used, as well as sailors from the U.S. Destroyer standing in the harbor. Lieut. Malcolm S. Lawton, the Advance Officer of the 3rd Division, was present and had made excellent arrangements, as he had previously done in all stops within his division.