Diary of John P. Burns

December 9, 1941 

Took off before daylight. R.D. Clark killed on take-off. Also wrecked three other planes. Saw no Nips. Flew 7:00 hours. No food, sleep, or clean clothes, getting dirty as hell, also tired and weak.

Before daylight, Dyess led off his 21st Pursuit, their mission to cover the expected landing of B-17s at Clark coming in from Mindanao and their take-off for an attack on Formosa. Blinding dust after each take-off of the P-40Es caused Bob Clark to crash into a B-17 parked off to the side of the field, while L.A. Coleman wrecked his ship taxiing into a bomb crater, Johnny McCown crashed into trees after his engine failed at 100 feet, and a fourth pilot struck a field light and wrecked his ship. When no B-17s showed up, Dyess led most of his pilots to Rosales as their gas supply was getting low. Burns (and others?) evidently continued to patrol over Clark during the day.