JUNE  

S

M

T

W

T

F

S

28

29

30

31

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

1

 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

4 - 10 JUNE 1944


 

 

4 JUNE 1944

 

“On June 4, 1944, the troops traveled by air to Cape Cassoe, Hollandia, New Guinea.  Company “F” patrolled and hunted souvenirs in Hollekang area.”

  Names were new and confusing as can be seen by the different spellings of several names given in the accounts here.  There are some that may have more than one way of spelling.  This certainly is true of some of the names on Negros Island as will be seen later on.

"F" Company and the rest of the regiment got up at 0300.  Breakfast consisted of one pancake, fat and stringy bacon and coffee.  We did not have the luxury of syrup or jelly with our pancakes -  not even syrup made of sugar and water.  Trucks took the companies to the airfield where C-47’s were lined up.  As we walked around them in the dark they seemed so large, too large for C-47’s.  Loading began at 0530.  We took off at 0600.  The first part of the flight followed the coast.  At Lae the flight moved inland up the Markham Valley over Nadzab where the 503rd had jumped last September.  We crossed by the mountains back to the coast and over Wewak.  As we flew over Wewak we were at an altitude of 13,000 feet.  Far below we could see B-25’s bombing Wewak at low level altitude seemingly to us just above the tree tops.  The planes appeared to be very small along with the puffs of smoke in the forest where their bombs exploded.  Our flight continued on up the coast over Atape and to Hollandia.  The coast is beautiful in this area as viewed from the air.  The coral reefs form peculiar, multicolored formations under the water.  The land is so green.  We knew what mangrove swamps were like though.  Nature is the best camouflager of all.  Approaching Hollandia and descending we passed over a large bay and could see a large lake to the south.  We landed at Cyclops Drome, a 2500 foot Jap field which was very rough.  We got out onto a fiercely hot and terribly dusty place.  The Cyclops Mountain is between the strip and the sea cutting off the winds.  The dust was red and exceedingly fine.  The constant movement of the planes at this busy strip kept this dust moving  covering everything.  In a matter of minutes we were filthy. Nearby a Zero fighter was being rebuilt by our Air Force.  We looked this over along with a Jap aerial .50 Cal. MG which looked exactly like ours.  As a graduate of the Aircraft Armament School in 1941 I had seen and worked on many of our aerial .50 Cal MG’s.  So when I say exactly like ours I mean just that.  They copied well.

We loaded on trucks and moved out of that furnace.  There was evidence of heavy bombing everywhere.  Shattered coconut trees, wrecked Jap planes, craters, wrecked vehicles, and heavily damaged equipment was to be seen all around this field.  We kept our parachutes.  We expected to jump on Biak within the next day or two.  Now we were going to take that step and catch up with the Japs.  We travelled east along a road still along the south side of Cyclops Mountain.  We stopped at a large coconut plantation called Evli Plantation.  A few miles to the northwest was Tanahmerah Bay.  The large bay we had flown over coming in from the east was Humbolt Bay.  This was the good harbor which made this place so valuable.  The town of Hollandia was located on the west side of this bay.  The big lake to the south was Lake Sentani.

The Regt. CP was set up in the Ebli Plantation house.  The house was a low, rambling structure.  The outside walls were woven palm leaves which were about three feet tall.  The upper part of the sides were open.  The roof had an overhang of several feet.   stream ran through the house.  Within the house’s walls the water way was cement lined.  In the kitchen and bathing area brick holding tanks had been built so that water could be heated.  The plantation was at the base of the mountains and many icy, crystal clear stream flowed through the area. 

We pitched pup tents setting up a bivouac area on the grassy flats under the coconut trees.  Our area was at the edge of the plantation next to where the undergrowth started.  The Japs had fled up into the mountains following the invasion.  Many were still up there starving and came down at night seeking food.

At noon the company had K Rations, but that evening we had a choice, K or C Rations.  An engineer unit just east of us located on the two lane graveled, or coral, surfaced road we were by had damned a stream making a great bathing place.  Just as we arrived there to bath the sanitation engineers arrived and placed an “off limits” in plain view.  That was the end of that.  We bathed in the cold streams while we were there.

Word got around that the jump on Biak was off.  The scuttlebutt was that if we did jump on Biak it would be behind our lines because of a lack of ships to transport us.  Another bit of scuttlebutt was that a Jap fleet was coming down from the Philippines to attack us.  This fleet supposedly included two battleships.

That night many of the troopers went up and down the road trying to find a movie but no movies seemed to be operating that night.  Everyone was thinking of the Japs coming down that night and slept with loaded pieces nearby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 JUNE 1944

 

 

Departed from Dobodura, New Guinea 0600 hr by plane and arrived at Cyclops Drome, Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea 1100 hr.  Company took up bivouac in Eberly Plantation.


 

K Rations for breakfast.  Soon afterwards a weapons inspection was made.  We were warned to be on alert. Most of F Company and the regiment headed for the mountains to explore.  Lieutenants Ball, Attmore, and I went up the mountain behind us.  We went through old enemy bivouac areas which contained broken china-  saucers and cups- old clothing, field bags, shoes, steel helmets, etc.  On top of the ridge we met Sgt. John R. Phillips and three others.  We along the ridge had found several Jap bodies.  These Japs had been  dead only 3-4 weeks, but they were already skeletons.  The ants and the weather were responsible for this.  We found nothing worthwhile and after a long search went back to camp.

Sgts. Henry Poisant and Luie Commander made the big finds.  Poisant found a beautiful saber by the remains of a Jap Marine captain and Commander got his pistol.  Poisant turned down 500 pounds for the saber. 
 

Henry Poisant kept the saber until recent years.  He had it wrapped and hidden in the basement of a house he owned.  After a tenant moved he looked for the saber and it was missing.  He could never locate the former tenant either.
 
  The mess served hot food this afternoon, for supper.  The meal was meat and vegetable hash.  This was the same concoction that was canned in the individual C Ration.  Of all Army rations this was the worst to me.  Serving it out of one gallon cans added nothing to it to improve the taste.  At this time there were only three types of meat units in C Rations.
 

 

 

6 JUNE 1944

 

 


 

We heard the invasion of Europe began today.  Must be some show. 

Rumors are still flying about here that the big Jap convoy is coming.  Then we’ll hear that they can’t find it.  Regt. had our first movie tonight.  It was, “Now, Voyager”.  Our theater is located in the palm trees.  We sit on what we can find or usually on the ground.  The projector was set up in the back of a Jeep.  The screen was a piece of canvas stretched between two coconut trees.  Soon after the movie started the projector broke down.  After about thirty minutes they got it to working again.  It actually ran through the remainder of the film without further breakdown.

 

The reference to "the invasion of Europe" was clearly made retrospectively,
for 6 June in New Guinea was only 5 June in Normandy.

 

 

 

7 JUNE 1944

 

 


 

Battalion made a short march this morning.  We had free time the rest of the day with nothing eventful happening.

 

 

 

8 JUNE 1944

 

 


 

1st Lt. Tom Clyde, Co. Ex. O., took the company on a march this morning.  The march had to last two hours.  We took up most of the two hours in breaks.  The rest of the day was quiet. 

Saw the movie “Cairo” tonight. 

Rumors of a move to Biak are floating around again.  One rumor is that 503d will move their advance base to Biak.

 

 

 

9 JUNE 1944

 

 

Had a big event today.  Steak for lunch  and more fresh beef for supper.  Spent the day writing letters, improving our individual camp area, and loafing.

 

 

 

10 JUNE 1944

 

 

Fresh eggs for breakfast.  Another good meal at noon and another at supper.  All troops at Hollandia are on two-thirds rations. 

After the landing they established a large supply dump.  They put all the supplies there, i.e., rations, gasoline, and ammunition including bombs.  Soon the Japs came bombing the dump.  The gasoline was ignited, it exploded blowing burning gasoline over everything, and the ammunition and bombs blew up.  They have built back up to where they are today.

 
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 503d PRCT Heritage Battalion  and the The Corregidor Historic Society rely upon donations from like-minded individuals with a commitment to the volunteer spirit. 

Join us, and make sure we're here the next time you are.


Editorial Heritage Bn. Policy
Board Members

Copyright ©, The Corregidor Historic Society, 1999-2009 - All Rights Reserved
Last Updated: 12-01-13