Edward A. "Hawk" Cave

Departure from Florida

We learned after leaving Florida that we were heading for China to make three raids on Tokyo and come home. All first pilots were made Class B finance agents and were given $5,000 in $1 and $5 denominations (since no one would bother counterfeiting $1 or $5 bills). This money was used to pay our crewmembers, as they needed money. On May 16, 1942 we took off for Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Natal, South America.

We had such a load we had to land in daylight and take off at night from our various stops. We were called together in Natal about 2:00 or 3:00 pm and they said they were going to show us how to "fly the curve". We looked at each other and said, "What the hell is that?" It was throttle and supercharge adjustments for elapse time and gas used. After getting all this knowledge they said it should help us jump off from Natal direct to Accra, Africa without getting wet. We took off from Natal about 9:00 pm in a hell of a line of thunderstorms. Got up to about 10,000 feet and it cleared off like the top of a table.

I don't know what time it was, probably around 3:30 to 4:00 am. Wicklund made his famous intercom call to me stating,

"I've got some bad news and some good news".

I said give me the bad news first.

He said, "We have reached the point of no return".

I said, "Well what's the good news?"

He said, "I think I know where we are".

About 10:00 am he had us right on the nose of Accra. What a guy.

On May 27, 1942, we had a terrible sand storm in Khartoum, Sudan (the storm went up 9,00 feet) and we had to move the planes to Fayid, Egypt.