Journal of Lt. Donald W. Kerr

Submitted by Admin on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 14:45

Thanks to Donald's son David for sharing these extracts from his father's journal. David writes:

On February 11, 1944, Lt. Donald W. Kerr of the 32nd Fighter Squadron of the 3rd Fighter Group of the United States Army 14th Air Force, Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW), was shot down over Hong Kong.  These are extracts of his journal describing his rescue by the people of Hong Kong, the East River Column, and the British Army Aid Group (BAAG)

The CACW was unique among American military units in that Chinese and American pilots flew side-by-side, each bringing unique strengths to the defeat of their common enemy.   Lt. Kerr was grateful for his association with the Chinese people—first in the air as fellow pilots and later on the ground as courageous rescuers.

The journal was copyrighted in 2009.  The extracts are being made available to David Bellis for publication on Gwulo: Old Hong Kong (  Please do not republish without permission.  A Chinese/English publication of the journal is being prepared and a film is being considered.  Contact David Kerr ( for further information.

Book type
Diary / Memoir
Dates of events covered by this document

Sample pages

We were all P-40 pilots in the Chinese-American Composite Wing of the 14th Air Force working out of Ehr Tong auxiliary at Kweilin.  The gas supply was low and the weather bad lately, so we hadn’t flown much and a mission was a welcome break in the monotony of daily alerts… 

At seven-thirty we assembled in the S-2 (Squadron Intelligence) shack and Capt. Kebric stood at the large wall map and explained the coming mission.  A suspected aircraft assembly plant on Kai-Tek ((sic.…

((Lt Kerr is hiding in an old foxhole in the mountains above Kowloon…))

An unwelcome drizzle had arrived with daybreak, bringing reality with it.  It was quite an effort to grasp the nightmare qualities of the previous day and focus on the present situation, but my stiff, aching frame was an instant reminder.

The…morning passed very slowly while I repaired and added to my bandages, cleaned the bore of my gun with a strip off that handy undershirt and occasionally took…

((Lt Kerr has spent a second night hiding in an old foxhole in the mountains above Kowloon…waiting for Small Boy to bring the guerillas))

This time I slept late… The sky was clear and the opposite mountain was already framed in sunlight…These miserable burns aren’t doing too well.  Dirt in them, and nothing clean for bandages.  There’s precious little sulfa, either.  This big burn on my leg is a drippy mess.  All I can do is rinse it off and hope for…