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22 - 28 AUGUST 1943



22 August 1943


Sunday.  First pass regulations are announced —1 man each tent, 1 officer each company.  Sort of a futile thing because there is no place to go.  Port Moresby offers no beer, no women, a small post exchange.  The only women on the island are said to be nurses.  Haven’t seen any of these.  First Guinea Golds* today. 


*Locally printed military newspaper containing mostly Australian news, race results etc.


23 August 1943


   S/Sgt B-D-U*, Bn Sgt Major relieved. 

B-D-U was inherited from J. Dick, and he was not a modest man.  But fortunately, he took care of his own assignment.  What he did, in a word, was the wrong thing.  We had a regimental sergeant major named Bull Garner.  He is  Vernon H. Garner.  He was passing by B-D-U and told him there would be a Sergeant Major’s Call at 1800.  “Blow it out your ass!”  said B-D-U, who had previously been very rude to Captain Padgett.  Padgett did not report it to Jones, but I did.  Jones let it pass.  Garner did not let it pass.  Cpl Q-R-S* became acting sgt-major, and he would keep the job, as a corporal, until months later he would be sent to Officer Candidate School in Brisbane, then he would be assigned to * Company.  Q-R-S survived to retire as a Superintendent of Schools or some such, in California.  In 1988 I suggested I would like to use his account of the Battle of Nadzab, but he really got excited about it.  He said he was sure some of the Headquarters Company people would be put out with him if he did.  I suggest that it was foolish of me to ask about it.  To survive in the California Education System, one has to be the greatest of diplomats and take great care  never to do anything that might offend anyone in anyway whatever.  One should never allow a belief or ideal to figure when one’s whole career is measured by survival.  But in Barlett’s Familiar Quotations, repeated fifty different ways, is the proposition that if all the good men kept quiet for the sake of peace and harmony, the world would soon be taken over by all the bad men.



   Bn makes 1st march in New Guinea—about 4 miles over mountains in rear of camp.  Reaction: Not too much.  Movie in Regtl area.


*Name omitted


24 August 1943


Bn make 2nd hike—over hill and dale, returns at noon.  Reaction: Somewhat negative.  The men are old hands at the tropics.



25 August 1943


Regtl formation during which the Regtl Surgeon, Major Monroe P. Gail, who glories in his title of “Iron Claw”, give a talk on the contents of the new jungle medical kit --  Sulphadiasone tablets, Sulphamilamide Powder, Halazone, Morphine (with hypodermic needle), salt tablets, atabrine.  No Bn hike today.  Reaction:  Enthusiastic.



26 August 1943


Bn hike today.  Eight miles over hill and dale.  Fell out: L-F-T* Co F.    Reaction: Very negative. Some of the men are beginning to fear that they will be worn out when the combat jump finally comes off.


Capt. Robert Lamar, M.D., and Bn medical officer went on these marches with his crew of medical aid men.  This includes T-5 Mangles, who was later awarded the Rascobian Degree of Philosophy.  Mangles managed this, on one of these hellish marches, by observing a man fall out cold. Mangles ran toward the head of the column, full speed, shouting “A man is out!  Get a medic!”  Then Mangles suddenly turns, “I am a medic!”, and he runs to the fallen soldier. 

* Name omitted. L-F-T was a very rugged individual, a member of the Regimental boxing team. This is only one instance—for some reason some of the members of that boxing team were either more fragile or less dedicated than their non-boxing team fellow soldiers. 


27 August 1943


The scourge of dysentery.  Almost 50 men of the Bn are suffering with dysentery.  There are 10 men in the hospital, mostly because of this.



28 August 1943


Two officers detailed to watch the mess kit washing line.  A medic is put on to guard the lister bag to see that all water that goes into it is chlorinated.  This is done by chlorine in a small glass vial which is broken and then the contents are dumped into the white lister bag, and it takes one-half hour before the water is thought to be purified.  The Halazone tablets do the same thing for water in the men’s canteens.  Before we had the Halazone tablets, men would carry the glass vials, and dump a little into the canteen.



Photos from Emmett Lee Wester's Collection







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