JULY 1944 


















































9 - 15 JULY 1944


9 JULY 1944




"Take off for Biak Is."


"Passed over Wadke Is. and Gelvink Bay."


"Landed at Biak.  The Japs were 300 yds. from Strip.  P-40’s bombed and strafed their positions.  One P-40 was knocked down by a Jap Dual Purpose Gun while we awaited designation of bivouac area.  We are still attached to 24th Div."


"The bivouac is two miles from Mokmer Drome, where we landed.  Only two trucks are available and they will shuttle barracks bags while the personnel walk.” 

 "F" Company was lucky when they arrived the day before.  They rode to the bivouac area."


"Biak is 100% coral and the hammocks sure came in andy.  We are bivouacked along the final protective line of unit holding area above jetty."


"2nd Bn and attached units will spend the night on Biak and tomorrow take LCI’s to Noemfoor Is.  where the rest of the regiment is now stationed.

We are grateful for the manner in which the 24th Div. arranged our bivouac area, rations and water supply.  "




As a bastard regiment we usually had to fight for everything we ever received,
and it is heartening to see a unit interested in our welfare.

"Co. broke camp and moved via truck to airport."

"Enplaned 0600 hr at Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea.  Arrived at Biak Island 0830 hr.  Marched 2 miles to bivouac."

""E"  Company left Cyclops Drome (Hollandia) by air 0754hr and landed on Biak 0954 hr."

The "F" Company History is brief and inaccurate in that it states only that the company left Hollandia for Biak 4 July.

Eating field rations.  It rained early.  About 0930 everyone headed for the cliffs.  Ball, Marion Boone, Richard Lampman, Brown, and I climbed to the tops of the cliffs and went into the rain forest heading north following a well used trail. Climbing up the cliffs after we left the caves three back soldiers joined us.  They were members of a signal company.  The trees were of the 150 feet variety.  The mountain was coral.  The tree roots would be 3-4 feet above the ground where they joined the tree trunks.  The roots would radiate out in every direction putting out feeder roots in every pocket of soil in the coral.  Jagged coral was exposed in abundance.  The undergrowth was heavy.  it was cleared in a few places where trails led to a few trees.  Ladders had been attached to these trees leading up to platforms high up near the top of the trees.  The Japs had built these observation platforms to watch the sea.

The trail began a deep descent to the north.  After walking 400-500 yards we emerged into the open.  The descent of the trail leveled out and became a gradual descent.  This side of Biak was arid.  There was little grass, just scattered clumps, and scrubby trees 15-20 feet tall.  The trees resembled mesquite trees.  The trail was well worn, and there were signs that a lot of action had taken place along it.  Sound and power wire was still strung along the side of the trail.  Spent brass cartridges were everywhere.  The empties made it easy to spot the locations of the automatic weapons - or rather where they had been located. Bloody compress bandages were scattered and even some U.S. equipment such as helmets were abandoned.  We were sure that our front lines lay up ahead somewhere.

Brown picked up a good carbine.  These Jap carbines were rare.  When we left this morning I had my pistol.  None of the others carried a weapon.  The 3 black soldiers had a TSMG and two M1 carbines.  After we got started one of them told me that they had not fired these weapons and asked if it would not be better if some of us carried them.  Our group took the weapons offered and felt much more secure.

The trail intersected a well traveled two lane coral-surfaced road.  We turned left, west, and followed the road.  After traveling possibly a half mile we approached a low knoll covered with heavy bush.  The land was completely clear of brush for some distance around the knoll, but this was not particularly noticeable because of the scarcity of brush in this region.  As we neared the knoll we heard a click and immediately froze.  Peering closely into the bush we made out a brass round plate.  The truth suddenly dawned that we were looking at the business end of a water cooled 30 caliber machine gun. 

A voice came out of the brush demanding to know who we were and what we were doing there.  After we answered promptly and told them what they wanted to know they led us inside their fort.  The walls were built of rocks several feet high and quite thick.  What appeared to be a knoll was actually brush and small trees laid overhead forming an arbor.  The fort was defended by a rifle company reinforced by a heavy machine gun platoon.  They thought we had lost our minds.  There were many Japs in the area.  The captain commanding wanted us to spend the night and wait for two tanks coming in with supplies the next day.  We felt sure the rest of the battalion was in by now and knew that we were scheduled to leave Biak the next morning.  Colonel Britten would not take it too kindly if we were not there.  We thanked the captain and left,  anxious to get back to our home on the rocky knoll.  We retraced our steps very quietly and very rapidly. 

As we approached the forest again we began to breathe easier.  In fact we were actually breathing harder because of the gradual ascent toward the cliffs, our rapid pace, and the hot sun we were winded.  We noticed several P-40’s strafing and bombing the ridge a few miles east.  An L-5 liaison plane was flying around spotting for them.  He flew our way and then turned back.  We were almost to the rain forest when we saw a P-40 head our way.  Exhausted as we were we ran for the cover of the forest and upon reaching this cover dropped down to rest.  The P-40 zoomed over and a loud boom and concussion followed.  He had dropped a bomb about 40-50 yards in front of us of where we would have been had we not stopped. 

After being mistaken by our own troops for Japs we were really ready to get back, but we stayed in a crater until we were sure no planes were around.  We went over the ridge, down the cliffs, and back to our area.  As we neared our area one of the black soldiers asked Ball and me if we would come take “scarf” with them.  We politely declined saying their commander might not appreciate uninvited guests coming in for dinner. 

Soon he was back with an invitation from his company commander to eat with them.  We accepted and enjoyed a family style served meal at a table under a mess tent.  This was a signal company and they had an area walled off by canvas where they showed movies.  We saw the movie, “Stage Door Canteen.”

After we returned that night we learned that three "F" Company men who were unarmed ran into three Japs in a cave.  The Japs were armed.  Pvt. Robert Hobbs was hit in the leg and for his foolishness got a Purple Heart.  When foolish stunts are rated ours would top the list.








Afternoon we departed to establish wireless communications
but was unsuccessful.


Source: Diary taken from body of enemy as five Japanese soldiers fell in vicinity of MENUPURI.




SHIMUZU force failed again in the second attempt to carry out night attack.


Source: Diary taken from KIA, 7 August 1944 near BAWE





10 July 1944



“Four LCI’s will dock at jetty 300 yds from our bivouac area at 16:00 hr today.  There will be one company per LCI, plus 1/4 of ammo and rations, and a breakdown of 1st Bn Hq., 3rd Bn Hq and some Serv Co. personnel."


"The 3 trucks supplied to the Bn. by the 24th Div. started shuttling the Bn. to the jetty, complete with barracks bags and extra impedimenta."


"Entire Bn at jetty awaiting LCI’s which are now off shore, to come in at 16:00 hr."


"Two LCI’s beached at jetty for Hq & "D" Co’s.  Each Co. lined up its men without barracks bags and had them load ammo on LCI’s up one gangway and down the other.  The Lt. Commander in charge of the 4 LCI’s said it was the quickest and most orderly manner in which his ships had ever been loaded."


""E" & "F" Co’s LCI’s beached and were loaded."


"Our 4 LCI’s pulled out into the harbor to join convoy for Noemfoor. It has Liberty Ships accompanying plus 8 destroyers."


"There is a bunk for every man on the LCI:  an average of 195 per craft."

“Co. boarded LCI 1700 hr. at Biak, Dutch New Guinea.  Sailed 1500 hr.  Destination Noemfoor Island, Dutch New Guinea.” 


Must have sailed backwards.

 “2nd Bn departed Biak Island on four LCI’s."


 “Landed with strength of 9 Officers and 120 enlisted men.""



"10-in-1 rations for breakfast.  Moved to the beach about noon.   The entire Bn was massed there all afternoon.  What a target we would have made for Jap mortars and artillery sitting upon the ridge.  At 1600 the LCI’s moved in to load us.  We had to move everything across one LCI and to the outboard boat loading two at the time.  The big, slow job was loading the ammunition.  "F" Co’s LCI was the last one to load.  The convoy was scheduled to leave at 1700.  In order to meet the schedule we had to leave quiet a bit of mortar ammunition behind.  As events turned out this was the best type of ammunition to leave.  Those little craft were ships to us.  Even though they were small and crowded they were Navy clean.  Field rations had to be eaten, because there was no mess facility for anyone other than the crew."



We still have a little rice left. 
I wonder when friendly troops will start offensive. 
I must live ‘till then. 

Our only alternative is to defend until the last. 
Fellow men are safe and sound, however one platoon was annihilated. 
We cannot communicate. 
All must be worried but it cannot be helped. 
I pray for all that they remain in good spirits.



Source: Diary taken from KIA, 7 August 1944 near BAWE.



11 July 1944



"Sighted Noemfoor Island and entered harbor.  lt. Col. Jones, Regt’l. C.O., met the 2nd Bn in the harbor.  The LCI’s can’t come close to shore because of coral reefs.  All our ammo and rations will be shuttled down to shore by Higgins Boats."


"All ammo and rations unloaded onto Higgins Boats off Kamiri Drome."


"Convoy of 4 LCI’s sailed south from Kamiri in direction of Namber Drome."


"LCI’s beached at jetty in Roemboi Bay (78.5-53.5) on Provisional Map.  Map Appended Noemfoor Island 1/63, 360.  This map will be referred to in Noemfoor operations and is appended.  Because of coral shelves, the LCI’s could not come within 100 yds. of the jetty which extends 1/4 mile from shore.  The troops carried their barracks bags ashore on the first trip thru chest deep water and came back for personal equipment."


"After carrying all equipment 1/4 mile along the jetty, the Bn proceeded  to carry all equipment to bivouac area, 500 yards from shore, in revetment area of Namber Drome at (79.5-54.1) of Noemfoor Is., Provisional Map:  This section had been subjected to nightly bombing and strafing, so Bn. will dig in."


"Tomorrow 2nd Bn will move out of Namber Revetment Area on a combat mission.  Four tents will be pitched in this area and barracks bags, A-5 containers and heavy equipment stored.  Before moving out tomorrow, each man will be issued 2 days rations “K”.  Resupply is a bit uncertain. 

Resupply will be effected in the following manner:  Lt. Powell, Bn Supply Officer, will remain at this rear base and procure rations, ammo and all equipment needed by unit.  Requests will be phoned and radioed back from Bn. on combat mission, as needs arise.  Lt. Powell will be responsible for supplies being forwarded to village (83.2-54.3) from which point, assistant supply O, Lt. Jackimiak, will be responsible for getting supplies to combat echelon.  To accomplish this, supply officer will have as carrying personnel, the mess section of 2nd Bn, about 5 3rd Bn mess men, and Sgt. Mitchell of Regt’l Hq with 25 native carriers."


"Here is Bn mission: Proceed from present position at (79.5-54,1), to Mandori (96.0-56.4), and meet up with a Bn of 158th Inf. that is proceeding there along coastal track from this area.  The 2nd Bn. route will north along Namber Drome to Namber Village.  From there a trail leads east to Mandori, by way of Inasi and Doeai.  The 158th is going along coastal track from Namber Drome, south to Warsa, and continuing along coastal track to Mandori.

Intelligence for area to be covered from Inasi to Mandori and south to bottom of Noemfoor at Warsa.  There are an estimated 500 Japs.  The trails north on Namber-Mandori Trail have been cleared, but not below, or the trail itself.  The Japs are reported withdrawing north of Mandori, in the direction of Cape Insomeken.  After meeting up with 2nd Bn. of the 158th Inf. at Mandori, the two Bn’s will thoroughly patrol the area.

Each Co. has been given a Provisional map of Noemfoor Is., 1/63, 360 and seven sheets covering Is. in subsection of 1/20,000 scale.

The order of march will be "F", "D" Hq, and "E" Co’s.  Lt. Phelan’s 3d Bn men and himself are attached to "E" Company.  Breakfast will be at 07:00 hr.  Equipment to be carried by all personnel participating in mission:  full combat equipment including musette bag with poncho, 2 days rations and extra clothes, toilet articles, etc.  Mission is expected to take 7 to 10 days."



“Debarked at Noemfoor Island, Dutch New Guinea 1600 hr.  Bivouacked for night.”



"2nd Bn disembarked at Namber Drome, Noemfoor Island.  Drome was captured intact and it appeared to be a good coral runway about five thousand feet long."



"At dawn we were lying outside the bay on the northwest corner of Noemfoor Island.  Everything was quiet lying at anchor.  The ship’s galley served coffee.  We had no rations.  Guess what?  All the rations were on Jim Meade’s "D" Company LCI.  Talk about deserving a swift kick in the pants." 

"Finally the LCI’s moved down the coast to the jetty at Namber Village.  The airfield was just inland here.  This was Japs’ Namber Drome."


(In normal parlance, GI's spoke of the Japanese as having  'dromes,
whilst US facilities were described as strips)


"About 1630 our LCI moved up to a jetty, and we struggled ashore with our barracks bags doing some wading in the process.  We moved to the strip and along the hills to the northeast digging in a defensive perimeter for the night.  This was a long walk.  We were carrying full field equipment, all our combat gear and ammunition, and our barracks bags.  The area was desolate.  It had been heavily shelled and there were many craters.  We dug slit trenches for protection mainly from air raids.  We could look down on the long coral strip.  Battalion Headquarters was set up along the strip in an area of airplane revetments.  Late in the afternoon 10-in-1 Rations were issued.  As stated before because of the snafu this was our first rations for the day."

"We sat on the beach all day at Biak waiting to load.  When the time came it was a very unorganized, hurried job.  It rained heavy during the night filling our slit trenches with water and causing us to spend a miserable night.  Lying on the ground wrapped up in a poncho did not keep us dry.  The water slipped in, and soon we were soaked.  There were no air raids."




Set out to establish communication, tried code call
but failed as the transmitter had been damaged.



Source: Diary taken from body of enemy as five Japanese frll in the vicinity of MENUPURI


12 July 1944




"The Bn will move out at 10:30hr. with 15 min. intervals between each Co’s departure.  Each 60mm mortar having 24 rounds for it, and each 81mm about 48 rounds.  Lt. Col. Jones gave a short talk to the Bn., explaining what happened on Noemfoor since “D” day, how badly our other Bn’s were banged up on the jump, the G-2 available, and our present mission.



"The Bn. moved out, "F","D", Hq, "E" Co’s.  Lt. Col. Britten, C.O., with "F" Co.:  Capt. Bradford, Bn Medical, is also with  Co.  One LMG platoon of Hq Co. is accompanying "F" Co.

No. 1 - Information required by regiment.  Strength Report by E.M. and O’s.  Also Status Report showing duty, sick, ab. sk., rear base, and etc.  They were complied with.

Casualty Reports-  Only battle casualties or serious or injury will be reported.  Only one copy will be forwarded to Regiment by 08:00 day following.

While on this combat mission daily contact by 2nd Bn to Reg’t. stationed at Kamiri Drome will be radioed back to 2nd Bn. rear base at Namber Drome Revetment Area and it will be forwarded to Regiment."


"No. 2  -  Casualty-  Pvt. Robert Hobbs, gunshot wound, left leg at Biak Bivouac Area thru enemy action.  He was near cliffs 500 yards off beach, unarmed when three Japs appeared.  He ran and caught it the left leg.  Calls for a Purple Heart and a kick in the pants."


"Bn. moving along trail as scheduled.  Combat wire is being laid by wire team at the head of "E" Co. as Bn. moves along.  Each Co. will hook in on the phone wire every half hour, on the hour and half hour.  No enemy action is expected."


"No. 3  - 12:45  "E" Co.  reported to Lt. Col. Britten by radio resistance met -  one Jap killed -  one plat. will be left behind at point of contact to reconnoitre the area.  All details of clashes with the enemy, containing the amount contacted, enemy killed and wounded, and our individuals participating is contained in Report of Combat Mission by Bn. S-3."


"No. 5  - Lt. Col. Jones and Lt. Brown left Bn. rear C.P. to join Bn.  Bn Comm. men and intelligence E.M. left for forward Bn C.P. at 14:05 hr."


"No. 6 - "E" Co. had no casualties.  Four enemy seen, one killed.  For entire day "E" Co. had seen estimated 10 Japs:  seven killed- no casualties."


"No. 8  - Lead Co. at (82.7-54.5).


This is Hill 390 where the 3d platoon and mortar platoon will remain.
Lead Company is "F" company,  of course.


"No. 9  - "F" Co. & Hq Co at (83.3-54.6).  Halted for night.” These coordinates place the units in the valley of the open native garden near a stagnant water hole at the eastern base of Hill 395.  Hill 395 is not shown on the Provisional map.  It is shown on the Special Map, 1/20,000.  The village shown in the area did not exist at this time.  If it had ever been there it was long since gone.  "D" Co. patrolling along trail track for 1000 yards heard sporadic rifle fire from there at 15:25.  Lt. Col. Britten is out with "D" Co., along with Lt. Col. Jones and “Doc” Bradford. No good water.  Stagnant rain water will supply water supply."


"2 plats of "F" Co. moved forward to reinforce "D" Co."


"At (83.2-54.3) the following units will bivouac for night:  Hq Co, 1 rifle plat. & mortar plt of "F" Co., and Lt. Phelan with his attached men.  Lt. Col. Britten and "D" Co. reinforced with 2 plats of "F" Co. will bivouac about one hour up the trail towards Inasi.  "D" Co. killed 3 Japs medicos-  2 officers and one E.M.  “Doc” Bradford is in ecstacy going over their medical equipment, also 2 Jap E.M.-  total "D" Co.  5 Nips."


"Lt. Attmore with a sq. patrol from "F" Co, just killed a Jap 100 yards from our bivouac area at (83.2-54.5).  Two got away into the jungle.  They had rifles, knee mortars, ammo, and hand grenades.  Lt. Attmore got 2 Japs himself."


"A perimeter defense will be set in both bivouac positions of Bn., with listening posts employed.  Fores will be allowed ‘till dark, at which point everyone will be still in their slit trenches, fires out, and talking ceased to give listening posts a chance to do some good."


 "Sgt. Mitchell with 25 native bearers arrived with initial resupply of coffee and sugar.  The Bn still has ration of 1 meal less than 2 days, and will not touch these rations.  The “Boones” will -----  (illegible)-----."



Score for the Day










2d Bn










"Co. entered combat with Capt. Meade Commanding and killed five enemy on rough cross country trail.  Arrived at Inasi Village.”



"The Bn left Namber Drome for Inasi Village by foot on the Inasi track.  About a mile out our company contacted an enemy carrying party.  We killed seven and had no casualties.”



“On July 12th, Company “F” consisting of nine officers and 120 enlisted men trained in the Noemfoor Island operation.  From the 12th to the 31st of July, the company patrolled & held defensive positions & killed 64 Japanese, capturing five.”



We were lucky to have our barracks bags with us even though they were so heavy to carry.  After the night of rain we were soaked.  The barracks bags kept everything dry, so we had dry fatigues to put on.  Our first night on Noemfoor had not been pleasant, but we were over that now.

We stowed our barracks bags and moved out with combat gear and musette bags.  We did not carry extra fatigues in them.  With rations, poncho, underwear, socks, toilet articles, and other necessary items it was almost impossible to get a pair of fatigues in the bag.  We traveled the east-west trail across the island.  This led from Namber on the west to Inasi Village on the south shore (swamps) of Broe Bay and on to Mandori on the east coast.  "F" Company was the lead company followed by an attached platoon of light machine guns from battalion Headquarters Company, then D, Battalion Headquarters, and E Company.  We reached Hill 390 and followed the trail on the connecting saddle to Hill 395 a few hundred yards away.  This hill overlooked a large native garden in the valley to the east.  Actually the clearing started about half way down the hill.  This garden was not being used and was overgrown with low, dense undergrowth.  Lt. McRoberts told me to take a patrol and search the garden to the north of the trail.  This was the area where the village was supposed to exist.  I took Sgt. Wuertz, McCarter, Beardsley, and Samuel Zurrow and we began our search.  The growth was very heavy and over our heads.  We did not see much and spent a lot of time cutting and forcing our way through the dense brush.  The heat was terrible.  We did find some papaya which was delicious.  Mac sent out other patrols.  A 2d platoon patrol under Lt. Charles Attmore killed 4 Japs and picked up two sabers.  They were envied by everyone.

About mid afternoon Col. Britten sent the 1st and 2nd platoons of "F" Company on with "D" Company to take Inasi Village.  Part of battalion headquarters accompanied us with the intention of setting up a forward command post at Inasi Village.  A light machine gun platoon also reinforced the force which was to move to within about one mile of Inasi Village, spend the night, and attack the village early the next morning.  To get to the village we would have to cross a native garden several hundred yards wide.  This was a cultivated garden and offered no cover or concealment.  We stopped in a heavily wooded area and spent the night.  Several Japs were killed when they walked into our defensive perimeter along the trail.  We were thirsty.  We carried one canteen of water when we left Namber.  There had been only one opportunity to fill our canteen, and we passed this up.  This was at the stagnant pool at the foot of Hill 395.  This was a pit of green water covered with slime.  A hand operated Jap filter sat on the bank, but we were not thirsty enough to drink this although we did have halazone tablets to purify the water.  That night we had our regrets.  We knew the rest of the battalion back on Hills 390- (-39?) were chlorinating the water and drinking it.  One lesson learned today: one canteen is not enough.  The Jap canteens were carried by a web strap hung around the neck.  In days to come we acquired 2 or 3 Jap canteen apiece.





13 July 1944



"Dawn!  Breakfast will be eaten, and personnel in the camp (83.2-54.2) will move out along trail towards Inasi Village to catch up with "D" Company and 2 plats. of "F" Co.

Moved out in order of E Co., Hq Co.,  "F" Co., and attached elements of Lt. Phelan’s platoon.”  As stated before "F" o. did not move to Inasi except for the two platoons with "D" Company.  This movement began at 08:00."


“Arrived at Inasi at (88.0-55.6) met by Bn. Commander.  There is very good water here, and canteens will be filled and a billy of tea cooked.  "D" Co. has already moved out with 2 rifle plats. of "F" Co. and Bn. medico for Mandori.”  The 2nd platoon of "F" Company went on to Mandori with "D" Company.  The 1st platoon of "F" Company was retained at Inasi as security for the forward battalion command post which was under the command of Capt. Lawson Caskey, battalion executive officer.  Col. Britten went on to Mandori."


"“E" Co. moved out after "D" Co."


"No. 10 - Lt. Jacomini’s 81mm Mortar Platoon of Hq. Co. left Inasi, for Mandori, with Lt. Phelan’s unit as protection."


"This leaves in Inasi, Hq Co. less 81mm Plat., one rifle plt, and one 60mm plat. of "F" Co.  This unit is controlled by Capt. Caskey, Bn Exec. Officer, and is awaiting message from Col. Britten to move forward. 

The rifle platoon is of course the 1st platoon.  The mortar platoon did not come forward.  It was still at Hill 390. 

 In Inasi many books were found to indicate the Japs to were attempting to teach Jap to Dutch educated natives."


"A cub plane kept circling and zooming our area at Inasi.  He then cut motor glided over and asked us to turn on radio.  We were not equipt. for ground-air liaison:  he next called down his frequency-317."


"No. 11 - 30 Japs in our area according to message dropped by cub."


"No. 12    Message from cub asked who we were, 158th or Paratroopers.  Gause panels were used by our communications to signal cub."


"No. 13  Inasi Village area, where we are, is where 30 Japs are reported.  Communications with cub ceased."


"3 men from Lt. Phelan’s Plat. just came into Inasi from track leading to Doesi, with two men from "D" Co.  The men from "D" Co. were found along trail, muttering incoherently and still are.  The men S/Sgt. Bitu and Pvt. Scroeder have fevers over 103, and have malaria and dysentery.  They will have to be evacuated by carrier.  The group brought the following message to Capt. Caskey and Lt. Phelan.   "D" Co. men were met along trail 1½ miles from our position at Inasi Village.  They mumbled that C.O. os 2Bn. and his unit are returning in the morning.  It would take Lt. Phelan 4 hrs. marching time to reach 2 Bn., and it appears to be a useless trip, as 2d Bn C.O. is coming back to Inasi in the morning.  Lt. Phelan said preceding info came from C.O. 503d Inf.  Lt. Phelan is awaiting further orders at (91.6-5.2) a track fork.  He has about a sq. & Lt. Jacomini’s 81mm Platoon.


" No. 15 - Message from Lt. LaVanchure at forward supply dump at (83.2-54.5) have secured ration dump, and will booby trap at 20:00 hr.  Am patrolling N. and S. of dump.  Using original pass word until further notice.  Have rations for BN. for one meal now.  There are three hundred natives in hills at Inasi, who assist us.  2 natives will go out and bring them in."


"No. 16 - Friendly flatboats will be in Broe Bay today.  Care in recognition before firing, requested."


"No. 17 -  From Col. Britten to Bn. Ex-O --- We are at (95.5-56.4) bring remainder of Bn. to this area, tomorrow.” 


This is obviously out of keeping with Col. Jones order to Lt. Phelan given above.  The information Col. Jones gave Phelan was that Col. Britten would be returning with his force the next day.  Also note LaVanchure's ( as "F" Co. 3rd platoon leader) message.  The coordinates given of LaVanchure and the forward  supply dump are back at the Hill 395 area.  As stated before the 3rd platoon and the mortar platoon had remained here.


“Natives bearers with Sgt. Mitchell arrived at Inasi, with Dutch representatives in charge of natives.  8 natives will be carrying the two "D" Co. men back to forward supply area (83.2-54.5) before dark today.  The rest of the natives will carry water to that supply dump tomorrow.  The only water available at that spot is from a stagnant pool, drinkable in small amounts if chlorinated."


"No. 18  - Change in orders from Col. Britten --  Disregard last message (to move out tomorrow) do not leave area.  We will meet you at your present location 15 July-Patrol the vicinity of your area-  Send rations to (96.0-56.5) Mandori, for 300 men.  Fini."


"Capt. Caskey, BN Ex-O, at Inasi, contacted Lt. Markle at rear base, Namber Drome, and asked Lt. Powell be told to push rations forward as soon as possible:  also to have truck come as far along Namber-Inasi track as possible to evacuate 2 malaria cases sent back by native litter bearers.” 


For those who remember, even the mighty Jeep could not have gotten up the first hill to the northeast of the drome along the trail.  This was a narrow trail in dense forest.


“ Message was sent by phone to us by forward supply base that the litter bearers with malaria cases had arrived."


"Lt. Jacomini’s 81mm Plat. with Lt. Phelan’s men came back to Inasi.  There was no water where they were,  and came back in 25 minutes, minus equipment except their weapons.  They cached and booby-trapped the 81’s and musette bags and intended to pick them up tomorrow on their way to Mandori."


"We are bedding down for the night at Inasi -  Hq. Co., 2 Platoon of "F" Company, less Col. Britten, and Lt. Phelan’s Unit .  Listening posts are out, and there will be no fires or talking after dark.  We also have the native carriers who are carrying water toward supply in our bivouac area.  The rest of the Bn., with Col. Jones and Lt. Brown,  Ass’t Regt’l S-3 are bivouac at Mandori."



“Contact with enemy consisting mostly of patrols.  Enemy casualties 4 Officers 1 Aug. 44 and 77 EM KIA with 3 EM captured.  Co. suffered casualties of 2 Officers and 3 EM KIA and 2 EM WIA."


The next entry in "D" Company's history will not appear until 2 August.




Awoke at 0400 hour. 
Picked papuas and tapioca. 
0900 hour returned to unit. 
1400 hour was attacked by enemy, strength about one platoon.  Captured one automatic rifle.



Source: Diary taken from body of Japanese soldier killed 19 August, 1944 in vicinity of MENOKWARI (SOUTH) 




14 July 1944



"Dawn!  I believe the perfect fire discipline of the Bn. in the bivouac’s of the past two nights call for commendation.  We have killed 17 Japs in the past two days, and wild dogs, pigs, chickens, and etc. have been crashing thru the bivouac area at night.  The listening posts and out guards are the only personnel authorized to fire during the night, and were ordered to fire only if Japs were seen.  Not a shot shot has been fired at Night.  60% of the 2d Bn. had never been out in a combat bivouac before, and their mastering of the night-jitters is commendable.  At Nadzab, even the seasoned Aussies veterans of Greece and the Middle East had the first night jitters and shot up the area."


"A carrying party of 2d Bn. men will leave at 08:00 hr for Mandori, to carry forward canned peaches, rice, sugar, and jellies, that the native bearers brought forward yesterday from advanced Supply base. (Hill 390)."


"Lt. Calhoun and a patrol of 8 E.M. left Inasi for a days patrol to west and northwest. Lt. Russel left Inasi  with 6 E.M. to patrol southwest for a day."


"The 17th Jap killed was credited to a 3 man patrol at (81.9-54.6) unarmed, but would not surrender."


 "Col. Jones and Lt. Brown arrived at Inasi, having left Mandori this morning."


"No. 20 - Message from Col. Britten --  arrived at (96.0-56.5), Mandori 14:45, 13th July.  5 Nips killed in Village, have not contacted 2Bn. of 158th.  Co. "D" will patrol vicinity of Mandori.  Lt. Flash is returning to Co. "F" Co. "D" & Co. "E" will return to Inasi as soon as possible.

Score:  22 Japs Killed-  0 Prisoner."


"No. 21 -  One Jap Prisoner taken at (81.5-54.3) by Pvt’s Howard & Johnson.  Prisoner being taken to advance supply base- in very sick condition.   

Score:  22 Japs Killed-  1 Prisoner."


"Col. Jones left Inasi for Namber Drome."


"No. 22 - Jap Prisoner and escort arrived at advance supply base.” 


The advance supply base is back at Hill 390, "F" Company’s position.


“ No. 23 -  To Col. Britten from Capt. Caskey— will rations you received today do until you return to Inasi.  Notify me if you want ration party to meet you tomorrow -  Col. Britten to Capt. Caskey rations will do until he returns to Inasi tomorrow."


"No. 24  - To Capt. Caskey from Col. Britten -  Start Hq. Co. & Co. "F" back to Namber tomorrow.  Keep CP group plus security at Inasi until we come back tomorrow.  Have "F" Co. patrol all side trails on way back to Namber."


"No. 25 - To Comm.  Officer from C.O., 503d:  established 12 breaks in wire between Namber Drome and advance ration dump.  Should be prepared immediately and kept intact, even if necessary to post wire maintenance parties all along route.  Yesterday the Japs cut 100 ft. out of our wire at one place."


 "No. 26  - Following message from Col. Jones dropped by cub plane to C.O. 2d Bn.-  Patrol of Co. "C" contacted an estimated 200 Japs at 17:00hr July 13, dug in at (78.2-64.?) our casualties, 6 killed, 10 wounded.  Patrol was reinforced by members of the 1st Bn.  Contact with Japs was lost at night.  1st Bn. at 10:30hr 14 July moving S.E. toward Hill 670.  Japs believed withdrawing to Inasi.  Move all 2Bn. to Inasi and block Jap move into that area.  Remain there until further notice:  keep communications wires intact. Wire has been laid to (83.0-54.5).  Strengthen outpost at that position.” 

This is back at Hill 390.


“Lt. Flash, with his platoon, returning from Mandori  to Inasi, spotted a Jap flag hanging over one of our outposts.  Thinking Japs had taken over, his scout opened fire.  A 19 minute encounter ensued until the situation was known.  One man, Norris of Hq. Co., received the only casualty -  a flesh wound in the upper arm.  Lt. Cole of Hq. Co. established fact friendly units  opposed each other."


"No. 27 -  Co. "D" moving to Inasi immediately, accompanied by Bn. C.O."


"No. 28 - To Col. Jones at Namber-  relayed thru cub-  Co. "D" should arrive at Inasi at 17:00hr 14th July.  Co. "E" leaving Mandori for Inasi at daybreak tomorrow.  Troops at forward supply base reinforced by one 60mm Mortar Platoon.  Signed-  Ex-O, 2Bn."


 "No. 29 -  To Ex-O at Inasi from Bn. C.O.-   we will arrive at Inasi approximately 18:00hr.  We need rations for this evenings meal.  Our position is (91-55)."


"No. 30  - "E" Co.has returned to Mandori:  are preparing to move to Inasi at daybreak tomorrow.  We now have 361 E.M. and O’s at Inasi, and just rations for tonights meal.  Forward supply base is sending us, tomorrow dawn, all the rations they have -  just one meal for 360 men."


Co. "D" arrived at Inasi with one Jap prisoner, taken after being shot in the ankle.  In need of rations each was given one meal of K rations, cleaning out our rations.



"Co. patrolled Cape Insomeken.  No enemy contacted.”

"E" Company was the only Company which recorded any entry for this date.



The Score by Co’s


Japs Killed





D Co.



E Co



F Co.














We had one casualty: 

"F" Co. man wounded in arm this afternoon.  Particulars relating to above are in S-3 report.  Our perimeter has been strengthen and mortars are zeroed in at strategic points-  we hope the 200 Japs come along tomorrow.”



From early morning, began moving southeasterly again. 
Arrived at unknown hill. 
Immediately tried wireless communication but failed.



Source: Diary taken from body of enemy as five Japanese soldiers fell in vicinity of MENUPURI.



15 July 1944



"Patrols from "F", "Hq", & "D" Co’s will move out to reconnoiter for 20 Japs.  A barge motor was heard last night about 1/2 mi. north of Inasi, and that area is being checked today as far as possible by patrols, and cub planes."



"Native bearers arrived with enough K rations to give each man one meal.  We are going to dig yams in nearby native garden.  More rations will be late this afternoon."

No. 31

"Jap prisoner was evacuated from intermediate base, for Rear Base.  Natives did not want to carry him, finally consented.  Jap brought in by "D" Co. still in Inasi."

No. 32

“A” Bty. artillery, is standing by for a fire mission.  – Liason group is in Inasi.

No. 33

To C.O., Regt.

Disposition of 2 Bn. as of 09:00hr this date: 
- Co F less one platoon at (83.4-54.5), forward ration base. 
- Co. D less one platoon at Inasi:  1 plat. patrolling near Sandow. 
- Co. E enroute to Inasi from Mandori. 
- Hq. Co. less 1 LMG Plat with Co. F. 

Signed Col. Britten.

No. 34

To C.O., Regt.

Request disposition of friendly troops in the vicinity of Inasi.  Barge traffic on Broe Bay fired into our area at 19:00hr July 14.  Believed to be friendly troops. 

Signed Col. Britten.

No. 35

To Col. Jones.

Request rations be supplied by barge to Inasi.  -  Present method unsatisfactory.

Signed Col. Britten.

No. 36

To C.O. Regt. -  At (92.5-56.0)  "D" Co. killed one Jap Pilot and captured one.  Sending prisoner to rear with effects.



Time of action:
July 15


"At 13:30hr., 14 July, F Co. patrol saw 5 Japs at about (87.)-58.), wounded two.  We had no casualties. This patrol went on to (89.0-61.0).  They reported recent bivouac of 50-75 men  in that vicinity.  Trails well beaten.  Good trail from our C.P. to that spot- Brit.” 



You tell them 500 and they cut it to what they believe although they haven’t been within five miles of the area.  Later events are to prove the large number were there. 

Message to C.O. Regiment: 
No. 37


"Rations and ammo will be sent in by barge.  Barge left for there (Inasi) this A.M.  Should be there now.  Col. Jones wants 15 natives with guard of 6 men sent back to Namber Drome.  Lt. Powell left Namber on the barge and has not been seen since.  -  Fro Regt."


"In recent actions the Jap hand grenades has shown very very poorly.  Tow were thrown at S/Sgt. Dawson, hit his body and neither discharged.  S/Sgt. Weber fired four shots into a Jap while he pounded a grenade on his heel:  it never became armed either.  The only one that worked blew a Jap head off in hari-kari."


"Barge came in Broe Bay early in the day with rations, ammo, & supplies.  Because of shoals the entire cargo had to be ferried from barge to shore by native canoe.  It was a tedious task and the two barges that came in could not be fully unloaded.  Between C ration, K ration, and rice 3 days rations were brought into our bivouac at Inasi.  The aid of the natives has been tremendous, carrying rations and casualties, and limited intelligence work."

Message to C.O. Regiment: 
No. 30


"Patrol killed 3 Japs, unarmed, at (89.0-62.6) at 15:00hr today:  saw four in all camped in that vicinity.  Patrol moved to (89.0-60.3) -  and saw 15-20 Japs cooking by water hole.  Killed at least 5 and wounded at least one.  This group was well armed.  Same patrol killed one, 1700 hr (88.6-61.3).  Lt. Calhoun reports large well kept garden at (88.6-61.3), also excellent water at (90.5-62.5).  We have no casualties. – Fini."




Lt. Ball, who came upon the 15-20 Japs, well armed, reports they used no security at.  Lt. Ball heard this group at the water hole, but thought it was Lt. Calhoun:  (they were both on the same patrol and split to meet later at the water hole).  Lt. Ball had only four men.  He and his men opened fire when they rounded a turn, and the occupants of the area proved enemy.  The Japs returned the fire, but cleared out after our troops threw grenades and put down heavy fire.  Just one Jap security, would have proven disastrous to his patrol, Lt. Ball states.



The Score To Date









2d Bn










"We have only one flesh wound in the arm.”



"Co. left Mandori Mission and arrived at Inasi.”


There were no entries for "D" and "F" Companies entries.


"We Moved out with the 1st platoon and several men from Company headquarters.  I don’t remember and made no notation of the reason why 1st Sgt. Baldwin, operations Sgt. Luie Commander, and several others were with us rather than being back with the company at Hill 390.  The 2nd platoon had already returned to the company.  Searching as we went along we arrived at the springs around noon.  We had no rations.  All rations were carried across the island by “boon train”, i.e., native carriers guarded by our cooks.  The Battalion Mess Officer was in charge of the trains.  We dug for sweet potatoes in the native gardens and looked for anything else edible.  The talk was that supplies would soon be delivered by boats coming down Broe Bay.

As ordered, I set up a base at the water hole and sent out two reconnoitering patrols, one under Lt. Ball with four men north toward Bawa and the other under Pfc. Sulkey (one of the old 501 men and a potential non commissioned officer) with four men to reconnoiter to Ridge 200 and the native garden.  They were to return by 1500hrs.  Sulky came in at 1500hrs reporting no signs of enemy at the garden. 

Ball did not return. 

After about thirty minutes my concern had increased to anxiety, and I moved the platoon north to look for him.  There were many trails.  One seemed to head directly east to Broe Bay, another led north and others led to the northeast.  The maps were of no help, because no trails were shown.  Sulky was confused and no help.  He did not think the northeast trails led toward Bawa. 

We took the north trail which was well travelled.  This trail led directly to the native garden on the north of Ridge 200.  All this was further east than it appeared to be on the map.  I wonder if there was even a village at Bawa.  We could see native huts around the perimeter of the large garden.  McCarter killed a Jap the first hut we approached.  There was a fire going and rations for several people were being prepared.  Looking around and across the garden we saw the smoke from many camp fires.  The enemy were here in large numbers.  We left rapidly. 

We retraced our steps to the springs and, much to our surprise, found six Jap bodies here and quite a bit of rations - including a wooden bucket of fish heads.  The Japs had evidently been preparing a meal of rice and fish heads.  This had to be the work of Ball’s patrol. 

Feeling certain that Ball’s patrol was headed for Inasi we headed that way moving very rapidly hoping to make it before dark.  Had we not made it we would have been forced to spend the night outside the perimeter.  Our rule, once dark had fallen, was that anything that moved was Jap. 

We were also very hungry, hoping that rations had come in and that at least we might open a box of "K" Rations for our evening meal.


Ball and his patrol had ended up in the native garden at Ridge 200, too.  The trails fooled him,  just as they did us.  They approached the gardens and saw Jap activity.  Estimating a large group of enemy here,  they quietly withdrew.  They'd taken a different trail back to the springs and missed us. 

Arriving at the thicket, they heard voices,  and thought it was us.  Walking on in,  they came face to face with about twenty Japs who were preparing their evening meal.  Without hesitating,  they charged right into the Japs,  firing as they advanced.  The Japs fled in panic into the swamps,  leaving their dead. 

Ball's patrol thought they hit at least six more. 

They had done this outmanned, and probably outgunned, but surprise had been with them. With three M-1 rifles, one M-1 carbines and one Thompson Sub Machine Gun, their training had paid off.  Good fortune isn't always just dumb luck.

We made it back just before dark. 

The next morning Lt. "Bitsy" Grant was ordered to take his "D" Company Platoon north to the water hole.  Intelligence still was not convinced that a large group of Japs were there.  About a mile out of Inasi they hit an ambush.  One trooper was killed.  If the Japs had not tripped the ambush prematurely the results could have been much worse.




The sound of gun fire gradually comes closer. 
Finally we were engaged in close combat. 
Force began to move southeast. 
2nd Lt’s KIZANI
(not sure first letter is a “K”) and URIMA were killed.



Source: Diary taken from body of enemy as five Japanese soldiers fell in vicinity of MENUPURI.









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