Chap 11, part 6
It was a pontoon scout plane, resembling the United States Navy Kingfisher. It occurred to us that it might be a Jap plane. The Japs have one that at that distance resembles the Kingfisher.
But we nearly went crazy - maybe I should say crazier - just the same. It meant we were getting into the vicinity of an air base. Somewhere, not far over the rim, was an outpost of civilization.
The plane was coming fast and we soon could see that its course would take it past us at least three miles distant. You could feel the spontaneous thought: "The flares! Get the flares!"
The flares. It would have taken quite some getting to pick the four flares and the three Very pistols off the ocean floor where they had gone on the eighth day when our raft upset during the squall. Realization of this followed the thought with sickening sadness.
But we hadn't given up yet. We shouted and waved. Cherry wigwagged with his undershirt sail. We prayed. The plane droned on about five miles off. We knew we hadn't been seen.