Life on Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands 

      On Guadalcanal, massive challenges lay ahead for the men of the 31st Bomb Squadron and their commanders: George Glober (6/21/42 to 3/30/43), Francis T. Brady (3/30/43 to 6/7/43), Morris W. Slack (6/17/43 to 8/0643), Joseph Reddoch (8/06/43 to 9/14/43), John F. Britton (9/14/43 to 12/10/43), and Francis E. Riggs (12/10/43 to 12/31/43). Shortages of equipment and supplies made them quickly realize they would have to rely on their own ingenuity to survive. “They procured a flat-bed Jap truck,” said Butch Brady. “We used it to commute between the campsite and the mess hall and the flight line. Later on, at one of the Island Command meetings, the Staff Engineer produced a map, a master plan that showed the 31st to be located in the wrong place and was insisting that we move to our proper spot. I felt compelled to point out: ‘It would be a hell of a lot easier on you to change your map!’ He did.”            

      “A sergeant from the Motor Pool had ‘obtained’ a street car motor from the Honolulu dump. He overhauled it and mounted it on a trailer and brought it with us. By mounting an automotive engine for power, we could have a portable generator for electricity. This was an invaluable machine. It provided us all with electrical power for the whole camp area. Replacement engines were required and I never asked where they came from. But one day, a very irate Army driver came in and announced that someone had stolen the engine out of his truck while he was eating in our transient mess hall. He had an incredible look on his face when I asked him, ‘Are you sure you had one when you came in here?’”           

      “With no supplies nor equipment coming in for the 31st, but with the beach getting clogged up with Navy and Army equipment, we decided to help. Three of our men (equipped with Navy and Marine uniforms) were detailed to the beach to help clear it. The Navy Seabees were moving ashore and there were more jeeps being unloaded than available drivers. The 31st ‘Beach Boys’ dressed in Navy outfits managed to clear jeeps into the jungle where they were promptly painted olive drab with black numbers just like army jeeps. When I saw the new jeeps in camp I just said, ‘How nice!’ The next day at the Island Commanders’ meeting, a new Seebee officer introduced himself and asked if anyone had seen his jeeps – he was short some. I asked him how they were marked and the officer replied that they were the standard battleship grey with black identification. Quite honestly, I was able to say that I had not seen any jeeps marked like that. It was the Beach boys’ finest hour!” - - Francis “Butch” Brady, 31st Bomb Squadron (H)