By Dr William Wolf (Mi
Within the savage air wrestle over Guadalcanal after which the both bloody air battles up Solomon chain, New Georgia and Bougainville, thirteenth Fighter Command took a again seat to Marine aviation in team of workers, apparatus, provide, operations, and exposure
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Extra resources for 13th Fighter Command in World War II : air combat over Guadalcanal and the Solomons
His aircraft was running out of runway and Head tried to lift it off, but the plane stalled from the weight of the mud on the wings, hit the ground, fractured the landing gear, broke the fuselage in half, and caught on fire. Head managed to unbuckle his seat beat and scrambled out of the burning wreckage. Fincher managed to take off over Head's burning wreckage. The two pilots covered the Marine withdrawal for two hours, intimidating the Japanese by flying lazy eights over the beach until the Marines were safely in the their landing craft calTying booty such as tinned crab meat and bottles of beer and sake.
Generals Harmon and Vandegrift found the P-400 unsuitable for operations on Guadalcanal and urged that P38 and P-47 squadrons be sent. Maj. John Smith, commander ofVMF-223, assessed the 67FS in an intelligence report dated 10 November 1942: "The first Army Squadron that came down there with P-400s had some of the finest pilots that I've ever seen, even though they didn't have the best plane in the world. And they were certainly willing to do anything they were asked to do and cooperated well with the Marine officer who was running the show there.
Barclay Dillon a victory and a probable, 1Lts. Albert Dutton and Richard Johnson a Zero each, and Capt. John Thompson a probable. VMF-223 Marines had another big day, bagging 14 Japanese Zeros, with Capt. John Smith adding four and Capt. Marion Carl adding three to make him a double ace with 11 victories. At 1500 Col. William Wallace, MAG-23 commander, arrived at Henderson with 19 Wildcats of Maj. Robert Galer's VMF-224 and 12 Dauntlesses of Maj. Leo Smith's VMSB-231, navigated by two B-17 escort bombers.