Richard G. Miller Mission July 17, 1942

July 17.

Got aroused at 4:00 a.m. to go on the mission. Gad, but that is early even to fight a war. Went to Fayid, gassed and bombed up and took off for Tobruk at 10 a.m. Six B 24 sand 4 Libs. Two of our men had to turn back because of engine trouble. Two of the remaining four made a mistake and dropped their bombs before we hit Tobruk. The remaining two of us (including our ship) bombed the harbor. Got one small ship and dock installations - was quite successful when we include the fire started by the Libs. We hit the target at 2:00 p.m. which, in itself, was something. For one doesn't make a habit of going 275 miles behind enemy lines in broad daylight. We saw pursuit taking off to get us, but we were too high (25,000') and got away before they got up. The Ak-Ak was a pleasant change for it was light and inaccurate. When we left Fayid, we took off with a huge gas leak. This proved my theory of not turning back, for it quit after an hour's flying. One of my better chums went over the target a night or so ago with only three engines - a man after my own thoughts. Those of us who believe that a show of a little guts is necessary, are still in the minority, but think we have a Colonel on our side now. The desert war is at its height, and should be decided one way or another in the next 3 days. Have looked over Shaw’s "7 Pillars of Wisdom" - a story of the 1st War (World) in this desert country _ the rank was then as it is now - most incompetent.  They take it easy and live a soft pleasure-seeking life till it is too late. Even the German General Rommel, says the only reason the British haven't driven him out of Africa is because of the strategy - or rather the lack of strategy. The British claim that this Middle East Command has been a social club all the while.