Lt. Robert Morrison Patterson
was a Marine Aviator home on leave when he met Mary Jean Waldref and
fell in love. But she was not yet ready to settle down. When the war
was over, he came home to pursue her, but she was still seeing other
men. When the Korean War broke out and he was assigned a dangerous
combat mission, would he survive and see Mary Jean again?
Ka-boom! Ka-boom! Ka-boom!
echoed through the palm trees as the concussion was felt by all three
in the dugout.
“Holy Crap!” Pat screamed. “Those aren’t bombs! That’s naval guns! Big
For the next hour and a half, the Japanese ships paraded up and down
the Slot, pounding Henderson Field, the “Cow Pasture” (aka Fighter 1),
the flight line, maintenance facilities, and the bivouac area where
most of the pilots and mechanics were billeted. When they retired north
up the Slot, they left the place a smoking hell. Forty-eight of the
ninety aircraft deployed on Guadalcanal were destroyed including
twenty-six of the twenty-nine SBDs of VMSB-141; Pat’s squadron.
Forty-one Army and Marine personnel were killed, including,
unfortunately, VMSB-141’s entire command staff, and hundreds more were
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