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18 - 24 JUNE 1944


 

18 JUNE 1944

 

We found that the area of the lake was a huge, dense swamp several miles in diameter.  There was no signs of any Jap activity in this entire area.  When we were about half way around the swamp we met patrol from E Co. equivalent to our patrol.  It  was led by 2nd Lt. Joe M. Whitson.  They had been seen out by Bn. to travel east along the coast past the “lake” and then turn back west travelling south of the “lake”.  We were supposed to meet in the vicinity that we actually met in.  We both took a break, exchanges information, and then each patrol continued on its route.  Late in the afternoon we arrived at the coast.  What a relief to get out of the hot, steamy jungles to the cool, clean looking sandy beaches.  It was so great to breathe that cool,  fresh air, to feel the constant ocean breeze blowing.  The first native village we approached had been muchly destroyed.  The Japs had been there.  We moved west along the beaches for several miles and came to two more native villages.  They were occupied, and there was no indication that the Japs had been here.  Evidently the Japs had retreated along the well beaten path south of the swamp and came out at the most eastern village.  They vented their wrath upon this unfortunate village and then continued east toward Atape.

We moved on past the two occupied village and stopped for the night about half a mile past the most western one.  A number of curious natives soon gathered around us.  T-5 William S. Buchanan, one of our company 511 radio operators, engaged a native boy about twelve years of age in a conversation consisting mostly of sign language.  Buchanan indicated to the boy that he would trade his pocket knife for food, ki ki.  The boy took off on the double for his village and before long was back.  He was wearing khaki shorts, and we could see a large bulge in one of the front pockets.  He rushed up to Buchanan and proudly presented a can of vegetable stew, C-Rations.  The trade was off.  We knew that Joe Whitson’s patrol had been here. 

 

 

 

19 JUNE 1944

 

We moved along the coast west until we encountered the cliffs jutting out into the sea.  We climbed the cliffs with a lot of effort and exertion.  These cliffs were much harder than the cliffs we climbed the first day. Then we climbed down the other side and came out right behind our kitchen.  Our arrival time was perfect.  Lunch was being served.

 

 

 

 

20 JUNE 1944

 

Quiet today.  We swam a lot and looked for Cat’s eyes.  There were lots of Portuguese Men of War,  and we had to be on the lookout for them to avoid their strings.  The water in the little bay way clear, and we did a lot of looking.

 

 

 

21 JUNE 1944

 

The company was moved to Nemo Village to send out combat patrol.  The patrol found no live Japs, only dead ones lying along the tracks.  We had no casualties.


 

 

F. Co. policed their area and cleaned equipment.  We foraged around an old Jap dump.  The tea was good.  We all looked for canned crab meat, it really was scarce.  It was good.  Near 6th Army HQ. was a rations supply dump.  Ed Flash and I along with others such as Jim Bradley “requisitioned” a lot of supplies here.  We took flour, yeast, condensed milk, canned fruit, etc. 

We had a movie tonight, “Sahara.. 

The warnings were from higher headquarters, higher than ours, that anyone caught moonlight requisitioning would be court martialled.  This scared us so much that we stepped up activities.

 

 

 

 

 

22 JUNE 1944

 

 

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Quiet today.  Ed (Ed Flash) and I built ovens today.  We took 5 gallon rectangular cans, laid them down on their sides 10 or 12 inches off the ground held up by mud walls, and covered the cans with several inches of mud.  The cover was wired on so that the lid closed the end of the can by hanging down.  Before we built the ovens we made doughnuts by dropping the prepared dough rings into boiling oil in the cans.  We could not find baking powder anywhere, so we used canned yeast.  It sure made large doughnuts, but they were always eaten as fast as we could cook them.  After we built the ovens we started  making fruit cobblers and cookies.  Col. Britten  joined in our smokos and did some cooking himself.

At these smokos we usually made both coffee and tea, because we had a source of tea.  To make these beverages we boiled a gallon can full of water, moved the can off the fire, and dropped in the tea or coffee.  A dash of cold water seemed to make the grounds or tea leaves settle fast.  Later we tried Jap billy cans, but they were never popular like the gallon cans because they were much smaller.  A good size smoko took several gallon cans of beverages.  Then too the gallon cans were plentiful, because so many rations came in them. 

 

 

 

23 JUNE 1944

 

Mail came in today.  There were packages from home.  This stopped our cooking for a couple of days.

 

 

 

24 JUNE 1944

 

We could go over to White Beach to 6th Army HQ.’s Army Post Office (APO) and get air mail envelopes.  At times we really had trouble getting stationery to write home on.  Word came from Bn. that we were alerted again.  1st Lt. Tom McNerney, S-1, says this one is serious.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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