However, they are alerted to another downed crew from a B-25 about a mile from shore. Spotting the debris and three survivors, they land again, shut down the engine and retrieve them.
Meanwhile, overhead, the P-47s have had to RTB due to low fuel. As Lt Gordon takes off and starts to RTB, the B-25 that had been spotting ditched aircraft calls them again and directs them towards another crew, very close to shore. Assured by the B-25 that he would remain and provide cover against any Japanese float plane attacks, Lt Gordon makes another landing about 600 yards from shore. Using the heavy seas as some protection from AAA and small arms fire, they manage to rescue 5 members of Captain William Cavoli's B-25 crew.
As they complete the process of pulling Capt Cavioli's crew aboard, the co-pilot starts the starboard engine and attempts to start the port engine. It will not start. Realizing that the engine is flooded, Lt Gordon directs the co-pilot to stop trying to start it. For an agonizing couple of minutes, the PBY taxied in a circle with Japanese shells coming closer every second. Finally, Lt Gordon engages the
starter and the engine comes to life.
With 15 extra bodies on board, the overloaded PBY staggers into the air and maintains a stately 90 knot pace back to Finschafen, arriving there after a 7.4 hour return flight. Depositing the rescued airmen there, he flies another 2.6 hours back to his base.
Just another day at the office.