March 24, 1942 

Sick today, fever, chills, etc. Terrific headache, ache all over. Japs have started pushing us again, using their big bombers again, dropping some big stuff too.

On March 23rd, the Japanese began a new aerial offensive with twin-engine bombers, 54 attacking on that day in the defenders’ rear areas and following up with nine that hit Mariveles and Cabcaben on the 24th.

March 22, 1942 

Sun. Stayed in bed most of the day. Whit. got in from Cebu, brought me two wires, Jean and parents. Sure makes me feel good, especially Jean’s. She is one in millions, love the hell out of her.

Major Hervey Whitfield, formerly Weather Officer at Clark Field, was one of the of the “Bamboo Fleet” pilots flying in medicine, food, and supplies from the southern Philippines. 

March 21, 1942 

Alert for couple hours in aft. Had party in evening. It was awful drunk out, self included. Have no interest in girls any more. Guess Jean is the xplaination (sic).

With Grover’s approval, the pilots arranged another of their planned twice-a-month parties this evening, inviting 20 nurses from the hospitals. Lasting until 4:00 a.m., “it was another drunken brawl, but everyone had a good time”, one of the other pilots recorded in his diary. But it looked like it would be the last one, as they were running out of alcohol. 

March 18, 1942 

Spent day working on officers mess. MacArthur and George now in Australia. MacA. in high command of all United Nations forces. Maybe he and Gen. Geo. will do us some good here.

Gen. George’s departure on March 11th as a member of MacArthur’s evacuation party dispirited his pilots, who realized that he was very reluctantly leaving them. He promised them he would get planes up to Bataan for them no matter what. Lt. Col. Orrin Grover, previously CO of the 24th Pursuit Group, took over from George as commander of the Flying Detachment.