On to Japan
by Lt. L.P. Arnold "Chicago" Mechanic
Up at 5 and "take off" at 8. The water had long smooth swells but no one had any difficulty, but this being the first experience with swells all were rather curious about it.
The weather was ideal for the first two hours -- sun, clear air, and excellent visibility, the snow covered mountains of Kamchatka could be seen for a long ways. The 150 miles of water was covered in about two hours time and at 9:30 a.m. the Pacific had been crossed by air for the first time. From here on there was a low fog hanging close to the water & extending up about 500 feet. Above this the air was clear as could be & from an altitude of 1000 feet we could easily see the mountains on shore & followed our course from them. At Cape Shipunski we cut across the land through a valley -- the mountain peaks towering above us on each side deeply covered with snow & the ground beneath obscured by fog made an unusual and beautiful effect.
by Lt. L. H. Smith Commanding
May 16th having been lost by crossing the 180th Meridian, the flight departed for Paramushiru at 7:55 a.m., May 17th, the take-off being made in heavy long swells without any special difficulty. The course selected was due west for the Kamchatka Peninsula and then down the coast of the Peninsula to Paramushiru. The last half of this flight was made over fog, under fog and through snow storms, finally reaching the destination during a rain and wind storm, landing at 2:50.
The flight was met by the U.S. Destroyer Ford and two Japanese destroyers. No protected water was available for anchorage other than the channel lying between Paramushiru Island and Shimushu Island, the water being subject to very strong currents, tide rips and winds. The storm continued into the night.