Took off for Africa at 7:00 and after 15 1/2 hours of fighting much rain and all sorts of cloud formations, we landed at Accra, Gold Coast, West Africa.
Africa was a welcome sight after one of the longest nights I've ever spent - I recalled those 12 and 14 hour drives I used to take from Austin to El Paso, but this hop seemed like weeks -- seems funny that in less than a week, we have come through so many lands and still have seen comparatively little. Africa hasn't been the dark mystery I'd expected, but I believe this is due to the exceptional support job PanAm Air Lines has done in setting up all these stops. Heard the Army might take over this station - 'twould be a catastrophic shame to spoil this efficient set up, with all the strings and red tape of our Army; I often wonder just what the Army would have done without PanAm to fall (back) on"
The quarters here are very good, real mattresses, clean linen, good food (real cream and butter), much goad personal service - the hired help consist of black (very black) natives that jabber in some African dialect. These natives are small built, very muscular individuals - not too intelligent, but eager.
I mentioned the food and it is American food for the main part; soup, lamb, vegetables, (native), mashed potatoes, coffee or tea with cream and sugar pie - so to date we haven't had much hard living, which we couldn't stand and still hold up this vigorous schedule of flying. We haven't lost a ship of our flight, so we are no less than elated. Have talked with many in the Ferry Command here and was set back to learn that the Japs have some really hot pilots and very good equipment. There is a great deal of speculation as to how we will come out - most agree that half of us will not return after the first mission - i.e., that our outfit can't last for more than 3 trips - who knows?
But by God, it will be a swell scrap while our props' continue to turn. I have been wondering why we don't retake Dakar and stop the submarine warfare on the American coasts - rumors have it that petty politics stop us, but a flock of B 24's could do hell of a lot of permanent damage!
On remarking today that I was having difficulty keeping track of the date, I was properly put in my place by one of the PanAm lads who said "Date, Hell, it is only the months that count". Went into Accra and visited my first African town. "Twas quite as I'd pictured; native peddlers allover, various kinds of uniform spotting the streets, cramped living conditions, all the natives black, and is the sloppy dress or nightshirt or shorts.
The little children, without fail, were all in their native undress ~ not a stitch.
Just a few steps off the main street, we saw a funeral parlor, i.e. a yard in which two bodies were stacked in rather than on a funeral pyre.
Further down the streets, we hit the Barnum influence - a parade of fantastic costumes and native band - all to advertise the horse races on Sat. which is to get more money to fill the war coffers. Left Accra about 6:30 p.m. and had another 16 hour ride