World Flight Continues Hop Across Kurile Islands
by Lt. L.P. Arnold "Chicago" Mechanic
Not being able to fuel up yesterday we started at 2 a.m. this morning and shortly before seven everyone was ready. At 7:30 we took off and had a disagreeable trip -- it was colder than any we've had so far, a few squalls were encountered, and except the last two hours, it was foggy all the way. Our course was from island to island & sometimes it was a 40 or 50 mile jump -- so that with the fog it would have been a very easy matter to get lost.
It was nice for a change to pass villages, boats, and to see people after the desolate stretches we have traveled. We saw a number of sea lions on the rocks along the route, and several times passed flocks (or herds, or schools, or whatever a number of them together are called) swimming. About half way here we passed the Japanese destroyer that had been at Paramushiru when we landed.
Eventually we arrived here & in the bay were two destroyers awaiting us -- one Japanese and one U.S. Our landing place was a lake nearby & on the shores there was a big crowd, a number of them being school children that had walked nine miles to see out arrival. We all pitched in & by dark had the planes fueled & checked & ready to leave early in the morning, weather permitting. The whole crowd was pretty tired -- Wade going to sleep twice while having dinner. The Pope is the destroyer here & all are staying aboard -- I imagine the crew is glad to see us for they have been waiting for a month. We all received a wire from the Secretary of War congratulating us.
by Lt. L. H. Smith Commanding
After one day delay caused by severe storms, the flight continued on May 19th at 7:30 a.m. The chain of Kurile Islands was followed through very hazy and foggy weather to Hitokappu, with the exception of the last 100 miles. A few safe mooring places were observed, the best of which were on the northern end of Shimushiru Island and the Harbor or Bettobu at Yetorofu Island. At Hitokappu, the planes were met by the US Destroyer Pope and one Japanese destroyer. Excellent arrangements had been made for them to land on a large fresh water lake, about one and one-quarter miles inland. It furnished an excellent mooring place and was suitable for a very large number of planes. Several hundred Japanese citizens were present and furnished the first welcome by Japanese citizens.