Our Tulagi Area reporter took to the skies with the Archerfield Free Post to see what a day was like for the former smuggler.
“Everything is done with the ’17,” explained Smuggler X. “ZSK packed her with everything you could want, and she’s my office, control center, and delivery vehicle all in one.”
The day starts at 0500 with orders over the radio, and Smuggler X says that business is thriving.
“Everybody needs something in Tulagi. One morning everybody stopped fighting. The French wouldn’t fly until they got croissants, the Germans refused to man positions without sausages, the Japanese were out of rice, and the Americans said if they got one more can of Spam they’d attack us and forget about the Axis”
At 0600 the orders are all in and he spends his time at the navigator’s desk, plotting his route and calculating drops.
“Some of the combatants are happy to see us but shoot at us all the same,” he told us.
By 0645 he’s in the air, and I get a prime view of the Tulagi Sea and its blue waters from the nose gun. The flying is smooth in the morning we don’t see any fighters, but Smuggler X says it’s not always the case.
“A Claw P-40 dropped out of the sun and hit us last week. They shot up an entire load and we had to turn around. They hate it when we deliver doughnuts.”