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16 - 22 JULY 1944



16 July 1944



"A native just came into the C.P. ten minutes ago and reported Japs in a bivouac 500 yards away.  A squad of "D" Co. under Lt. Vandervort moved out, and a heavy fire fight can be heard.  Results should be in shortly."

"Wire is broken between switchboard at Namber and end of drome -  Regt. requests 2Bn. repair it.  Communications in the Bn. have capably done a Herculean task."

No. 43 

"Patrol of Co "D" contacted 25 fully equipped with automatic weapons in gardens at (87.0-56.4) at 09:45 hr.  Killed at least six Japs.  We had two casualties, one stomach wound not believed to pull thru.  Two Japs were captured at Inasi.  The 25 Japs are believed to be the point of main body formerly at Hill 670.  "D" Co. is trying to regain contact."

Score:  41 Japs Killed.  4 Captured.

We have 3 casualties, 1 serious.

No. 40

"The 81mm Plat. is zeroed in on hill which Japs are defending, and "D" Co. is being pulled back while a small barrage is laid.  After that, "D" Co. will push in."


"D" Co. ran into enemy patrol of 6 at (86.0-57.0) and are moving forward."

"When notified of contact with 25 man Jap party, Regt. wired 100 men 3rd Bn. arrived at Namber, from Kamiri.  Remainder of 3rd Bn. mudbound on trail to Namber.  1st Bn. Co’s A,B,C, at  (70.1-64-0) as planned."

No. 41








"A “K” boat is due in at Broe Bay any minute, to take out our two casualties and 3 Jap Prisoners.  That was quick work, for we requested the boat at 11:30 hrs,  when “Doc” Bradford said Herndon of "D" Co. needed an operation within 12 hours to even have a chance of pulling thru.  His stomach was sliced by a machine gun burst across the front, and guts are falling out.  Cantrell, "D" Co., has compound fracture of lower leg from bullet."


Pfc Loren J. Herndon died of these wounds on 19th July at Inasi.


“A” Btry. at Namber Drome is at Namber Drome ready at anytime to zero in on Hill 200, where A.M’s action took place.  They had plan to adjust fire to area Japs are determined by D Co. to be.  Harassing fire can be put on the Nips at night.

At Inasi we now have Hq. Co. less 1 LMG Plat. at forward Supply Base, D Co. & E Co. all F is at forward Supply Base except 1st Sgt. Baldwin & 5 men who are going there tomorrow from Inasi.” 


There is an error in that Hq, "D", and "E" Companies are at Inasi.  Only "F" is at the Forward Supply Base.  The 1st platoon moved out early this date to join the company.  For some reason I do not remember the F Company Headquarters men are still at Inasi.

No. 43

"D" Co. came back  in with one Jap Prisoner.  They passed thru the area of hill 200 where skirmish took place this morning, and counted 7 Jap bodies, instead of 6 noted in A.M.  On its afternoon patrol "D" Co. also killed 2 Japs. 

The score so far:  Japs killed-44  Captured 5."

No. 44

"3 Jap Prisoners went to Regt. today by “K” boat.  We have one prisoner in Inasi."

No. 45

"From C.O. Regt.-  Password “Waltzing Matilda”, from 16th 09:00 hr to 17th, 09:00 hr.  "


There were no individual Company History entries recorded for 16 July, 1944.


 We moved out and joined F Company.  1st platoon was given the mission of defending Hill 395.  The remainder of the company defended Hill 390.  Usually we did have a light machine gun platoon attached to us.  The open slopes of the garden on our east side gave excellent fields of fire even though when the bottom of the valley was reached it became plunging fire.  At one time they even had a platoon of light machine guns from the 3rd Battalion supporting us.  This platoon was under the command of 1st Lt. Homer “Ike” Collins.

We found out quickly that we were not the only ones getting water from the stagnant water hole and using the Japanese hand filter to get the moss out of the water.  The filter operated by a handle which when moved up and down pumped water squeaked loudly when operated.  At night we could hear it squeaking away.  We tried to devise a method of catching the Japs there but every attempt failed.  At one time we thought about zeroing in a 60mm mortar on the place, and when we heard the squeaking firing a barrage.  Then we thought about the formation of the water hole.  The island was porous coral.  Dirt lined some pockets in the coral.  The water hole was a large depression or pocket in the coral lined by inches of dirt.  The water was not deep.  A penetration of the clay lining could be like opening the drain on a bath tub.  Even though this was a poor quality of water,  it was water.  As poorly as the boon train operated bringing in supplies, what if we had to depend upon them for water?  It was preferable to share the water with the Japs.

The view from Hill 395 east over the garden was rather spectacular.  At Namber we entered the heavy rain forest and travelled up and down the steep coral hills until we reached a higher hill, Hill 390.  A saddle descended probably one hundred feet and then ascended rapidly to the peak of Hill 395.  Then as stated before the forest ended about halfway down the slope of the eastern side of the hill.  One could sit on top of Hill 390 and see through the hugh hardwood trees out across the garden.  After reaching the bottom of the garden there was a rapid rise up another hill which was probably one hundred feet lower than 395.  The crest of this hill was probably half a mile from 395.  The trail descended sharply down the eastern slope of the hill to a valley and the garden ended on the steep upslope of the next hill.

Later on "I" Company of the 3rd Battalion relieved us and laid down a mortar barrage one night on the water hole.  Thereafter their water was brought in by the boon train in five gallon cans.  They barely got enough to drink.  We could shave.  This helped to prevent sores and lesions on his face. These, as well as lesions on any parts of the body, easily became infected which quickly caused high temperatures, and absolute necessity for medical evacuation.  This was called jungle rot.  Another source of infection  was cuts and scratches.  We were filthy.  A fall usually meant a cut or scratch on the jagged coral.  In two days this could be a serious infection.

We had our positions between the roots of tall hardwood trees.  The tops of these trees meshed to form a canopy through which the sun never shone.  It was impossible to dig in the flint-like coral.  It was impossible to signal to aircraft flying overhead, because the smoke would float under the canopy and not go through.  A tree would have to be blown down to open the canopy for the smoke to escape through.  This was not practical, because we did not ordinarily carry explosives.  We had all we could manage with our weapon, ammunition, and field gear.  To cut down one of these large trees took a great deal of Composition C or whatever explosive was available.  Usually if there was a need to signal an airplane the need was right then.  On one occasion while we were on Hill 395 a plane was to check our position.  When he flew over we were to activate a yellow smoke canister for them to spot.  We did as planned.  The smoke rose to the underside of the canopy, then spread out and floated under it.  The small liaison plane flying above the tree tops and knowing our position was unable to spot the smoke.  I think the plane was an artillery observation plane, L-4, with the artillery battalion of the 158th Infantry Regimental Combat Team.

In "F" Company we never heard artillery support mentioned, and I think it was because we were buried in the heavy forest.  Actually visibility was pretty good at ground level in most places.  The undergrowth in the permanent shade was not real heavy, mainly because the undergrowth grew out of pockets of dirt in the coral.  Jagged coral was everywhere.

The night came alive with noises which is typical in the jungles.  Wild hogs could soon convince the inexperienced that they were Japs moving about in the brush.  rats, mice, birds, and other living creatures joined together to create a crescendo.  Oh lets not forget the iguana moving their 4-6’ about.  These noises could overwork one’s imagination.  Even the experienced had to exercise self-control.




Bivouaced in the hill last night. 
Marched toward INASI. 
Ate one piece of dried bread and bog-rhubarb. 
Bivouaced enroute.


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


17 July 1944



"It rained almost all nite again.  The sky is either overcast? raining 75% of the time we have been on this mission.  The artillery laid down harassing fire on the area the Japs had been in yesterday - about 800 yards from our defenses.  The whistle and explosion sounded bad enough from our position.  A barrage was laid every 1/2 hr. during the night."


"Radio situation report as of 18:00 hr., 16th July.-  Same as July 16 noted above for day.


"The following is a resume of 2 Bn. evacuated as of 09:00 hr July 17 today, 16 July.


Battle Casualties:

"F" Co. :  Hobbs – wounded in leg at Biak

"D" Co.:  Cantrell- Compound fracture, leg, GSW

"D" Co.:  Herndon-  Serious abdominal wound

"D" Co.: Hans-  lacerated knee, coral cut, infected

"Hq" Co.:  Norris-  GSW arm, light, evacuated from Inasi to 263 Stat. Hosp.

"D" Co. S/Sgt. Bitu- FUO

"D" Co. Schroeder- FUO

"D" Co. DeLane- infected left foot

"F" Co. Tolson- FUO

"D" Co. Flynn-  infected lt. foot

"Hq" Co. 1st Poole, abscessed gum"



"A Jap was found dead this morning, 30 ft. outside our position - dead about 10 hours.  No marks or evidence of what caused death.  A few grenades were tossed last night, and concussion may have got him."


Score is now, captured - 5, killed- 45.


Phone from Richie -  Strength of E.M. & O’s will be sent by code each morning to Regt., along with casualty reports.


"Patrols sent out by 2 Bn. today consist of the following:  1) "E" Co, in toto, moved out on patrol to vicinity of hill 176, to contact 1st Bn. or enemy.  It will return about 17:00 hr. tomorrow.  "E" Co. is less Lt. Whitson’s Platoon and reinforced by 1 LMG Plat. of Hq Co.

2)  "F" Co. went out from advanced Supply Base with same mission as "E" Co.- 2 day patrol.

3)  1 plat. of "E" Co. went on half day patrol to reconnoiter water hole 1000 yards South of Bawa, where Lt. Calhoun’s contacted 15-20 japs day before yesterday.

No. 48

List of all medical men submitted to Regiment.

No. 49

All information sent by telephone pertaining to troop or of value to enemy will be encoded.

No. 50

"E" Co. at (82.0-57.0) at 12:15 hr no other change - "F" Company patrol at (83.4-55.5) at 12:00 hr: no other change.  A chow train went to "F" Company this morning with one days food.  On way back, the train guard killed 4 of 6 Japs at (86.3-55.0)."

No. 51

"We have received signal of enemy in sight at (83.2-56.5) and are investigating it now:  patrol is continuing to hill 670- C.O. of "F" Company, at C.P. of Company F-  Lt. La Vanchure has patrol."


"Sergeant Hiniozosa and Lee of communications caught six armed Japs, with machine gun, about a half mile east of "F" Company C.P.  The Japs had an ambush set perpendicular to trail.  Each of our men had only two clips, and took off after firing at them.  They hit the Jap machine gunner and weapon never went into action:  killed at least two."

No. 52  16:30

"Red Dog hit enemy outpost armed with heavy machine gun in vicinity of (82.5-57.6).  Outposts of about 50 Japs:  they have plenty of chow and ammo-  Red Dog in position at (82.2-58.2).” 


  "Red Dog" is 1st Lt. William E. LaVanchure, 3rd platoon,
"F" Company.

No. 53

“Password Silly-Sally from 17th, 09:00hr to 18th, 09:00 hr."


"Red Dog hit Jap outpost of 8 men, covering unit reported before.  Killed 3, wounded 1, captured and destroyed 1 LMG, 1 HMG, 7 rifles.  One man injured (S/Sgt. Jackson) not serious."


"Lt. Calhoun’s Platoon out to investigate ambush Sgt. Hiniozosa reported saw three Japs at water hole and killed one.  Proceeded to ambush (85.0-54.6) killed 2 Japs, wounded one, captured LMG which is now in F Company’s perimeter.

The Jap who was at "F" Company’s position, captured four days ago, attempted to escape and was killed.

Score to date:  Japs killed- 57, Captured- 1 (1 killed of 5 original).  Herndon of D Company is our only serious casualty.  No word from E Company since 13:30 today.  Under Red Dog, F Co. is digging in for the night at site of encounter.”



"Co. “E” less first Platoon plus one M.G. section from Hq. Co.  contacted enemy outpost of six Japs and Juki machine in vicinity of Hill 440. 

Enemy killed:  4 

Our casualties: 

Pvt. Anker (Hq Co.)  KIA;

Lt. Abbott, Pvt. Munoz, Pvt. Kelly, WIA.”



Lt. Red Dog LaVanchure moved out with the 3rd platoon on a two day patrol.  About 16:00 hour they encountered a Japanese force in a defensive position.  This force had a .30 Caliber heavy machine gun, Juki (Woodpecker); a .30 calibre light machine gun, Nambu; 4 mines; a good supply of ammunition; and a large quantity of hand grenades.  The force was too large, heavily armed and emplaced for an unsupported rifle platoon to overcome.




Rained all day. 
 Five men who went out to gather tapioca were attacked by small portion of enemy.  They miraculously escaped. 
Pfc. OHASHI was wounded.

While marching toward Inasi, encountered artillery,. 
Pfc SASIMA  was wounded in leg, He committed suicide.



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


18 July 1944



“E" Company patrol dispatched to patrol between Inasi and "F" Company, and set ambush -  A plat. patrol.  Hq. Co. Patrols going up to (88.0-56.4) (86.6-56.8) (87.5-54.8). 

Joe Whitson’s 1st platoon, "E" Company,  is the first patrol mentioned above.
Two patrols were sent out by Headquarters Company."


"Lt. Gifford reports killing one Jap at 07:30 hr. out at listening post 400 yards outside perimeter at Inasi.  Jap committed Jara-Kiri by grenades, after being wounded in side.

Score:  Japs killed- 58  Prisoners- 4 (excluding "E" Company, not contacted in thirty hours).

We are beginning to hurt for chow now.  For nine meals ending at breakfast tomorrow, each  O & EM had 2 C rations, 2 K rations, and 5 oz. of rice.  It spreads the rice over 5 meals, and many strange meals are visible.  The yams in native gardens help a lot."


"Weather continues.-  Been raining heavily all morning.  Shoes, coveralls, and weapons are taking a terrific beating from the terrain and weather.  A few days out patrolling just tears shoes apart.  Resupply of clothing and cleaning preserving material are badly needed.  So far haven’t been able to get enough chow."

No. 56

"Password -  Better living, from 18th, 09:00 hr to 19th, 09:00 hr."

NO. 57

"From C.O., "F" Co. to C.O., 2 Bn. -  Flash contacted LMG position located on trail at (84.2-54.9) killed 1 Jap, captured LMG, now in possession.  Then moved to Red Dog position.  Last Jap ambush seen 500 yards to north:  3 Japs escaped, Red Dog on way in.

By 17:00 hr tonight all 2 Battalion will be in Inasi bivouac or immediate,  By order of C.O., Regiment.


"E" Co. returned to F Co. bivouac area, and here are the results of 48 hour patrol.  Left Inasi to go vicinity of hill 670.  At hill 445 saw shacks where 8 or 10 Japs had slept night before.  Moved toward 670, an azimuth of 320, cutting its way.  Trails east and west well traveled by Japs, from appearances.  Scouts saw six Japs in hut about (79.59-.5)”  I assume (79.0-59.5).  “5 Japs were killed and Lt. Abbott & Munoz wounded later quite seriously.  This action was at 17:00 hr.  In bivouac perimeter for night.  Corporal Anker was seriously wounded and died the next morning.  Co. took 3 prisoners armed with grenades only."


"At 16:00 hr today Lt. Cole killed one Jap in ambush (86.9-56.2)."


"Word from Regiment says a barge will arrive at Inasi with 2 days C rations, 3 days K, coffee, jam, sugar.  Also 500 pairs of coveralls, 250 pairs of Jungle Shoes, cleaning & preserving.  It sure is welcome, for the Battalion is out of chow.”


  “18 July 1944  Co. moved to Inasi trail because Private Munoz was badly in need of blood plasma.  On the way, three  Japs were taken prisoner.”


Sergeant Johnson, our 3rd squad leader took a patrol east on the trail across the garden.  His patrol killed four Japs, two riflemen and two machine gunners.  They had set up an ambush on the trail to Inasi Village.  Moving in rapidly Johnson and his men destroyed the Jap position before they could hurt them.  The Japs had chosen an extremely poor position in heavy underbrush of the garden.  They had cut a trail into the bush perpendicular to the main trail.  This trail was only about eight to ten feet in length.  They enlarged the opening here so there was enough room for the machine gun and a man on each side.  They could only see anyone who walked directly in front of them.  Johnson saw the opening in the brush as he approached.  The patrol opened fire into the brush and hit the Japs in position there.  Apparently all were killed.

Hearing the firing which included a few bursts of the Nambu (which was easily recognized because of its rapid rate of fire)  I took several men at hand and rushed to the relief of Johnson’s small recon patrol.  We passed the water hole and saw movement in the surrounding brush.  About that time Johnson and his men joined us and our combined force fanned out and killed two more Japs near the hole.  As we circled the hole a Jap on the other side raised up and pointed his rifle at Corporal Todd and men.  In that instant Pfc James Bradley on Todd’s right fired his M1 and knocked him down.  Todd finished him off.  We went back to the ambush site.  One of the dead machine gunners had not been dead.  Before we got back he activated a hand grenade and rolled over on it.  He was dead now.  His mid-section was a mess.  We picked up the Nambu LMG and destroyed the rifles.  The Nambu was in perfect condition.

We are still on about half rations.  This kept us foraging in the garden.  This was an abandoned garden and the sweet potatoes were voluntary.  This made for a poor quality, stringy root-like potato which I believe were called camote-cans instead of the good quality, planted potatoes called camotes.   Beside the sweet potatoes we found some papayas and plenty of bananas.  The latter were plentiful, but they had to be cut and stored for several days in order to ripen.  We would bring in a stalk, put it in the angle formed by the roots of a tree and cover it with palm leaves.  They ripen nicely.  There also fat, cooking bananas that were good only when they were cooked.  These were called cooking bananas.  They were much like sweets potatoes when they were sliced and fried.  Our problem was that we had no oil to fry them in, and it didn’t work frying them dry.

"E" Company had quite a fire fight near Hill 670.  They ran into a Jap force with a Juki (Woodpecker) heavy machine gun entrenched on the hill.  One of the men in the light machine gun section attached to them, Anker, was killed.  They covered his body with leaves and brush and withdrew.  Several were wounded.  They were 1st Lt. Donald, Pvt. Munoz and Pvt. Kelly.






YAMAGUCHI committed suicide.


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


19 July 1944



"D" Co., killed one Jap immediately outside its perimeter.  Report for July 19.  “Stowes “Tommy Gun” got him.  He was banging grenades on the ground but none detonated.”


"Native Headmen from Sandow reports 3 Japs were near his village, and killed one.  Lt. Goodman & Hq. Co. Patrol will investigate."


"Lookouts are at Inasi Village waiting for barge with Rations and Supplies.  We hope the supply failures of the past won’t be duplicated."


"Lt. Goodman’s patrol returned:  Reports contact with 4 Japs at 12:00 hr at (88.4-58.6)- killed one Jap.- 1st Sgt. Ownby was wounded in the thigh, slightly.  Patrol continued on and ran head on into at least 14 Japs on trail.  Japs had 2 LMG’s.  One Jap definitely killed, and our 8 man patrol withdrew under cover of Smoke Grenade.” 

Score:  Japs killed- 62   Prisoner 8

The S-1 Journal here is being formal here - according to Army wound classifications,  any wound less than life threatening or critical, was classified as slight. The outcome was the loss of two men - Herndon of "D" Co., died of wounds in Kamiri at 01:00 hr, 17 July. Anker died of abdominal wounds in the field.


Barge has not yet arrived at Inasi.  One meal came overland, so we now have lunch, but no evening meal.  In 7 days since we left Namber Drome, the Bn. has been short 3 days rations.


Strength submitted to Regiment for rations.-



   At Inasi

At Intermediate

Hq. Co.


Hq. Co.


"D" Co.            


"F" Co.


"E" Co.












*The Advanced Supply Base is now called the Intermediate Base.  The 30 headquarters men there are the attached machine gun platoon.


“A reinforced Platoon of "D" Co. went to area where Lt. Goodman had contact, with native guide."


"D" Co. position is (87.7-58.4) no change."


"D" Co. patrol made contact:  killed four so far."


"F" Co. reports Lt. Calhoum, on patrol contacted 5 Japs very well equipt.  300 yards east of (82.5-57.6) killed 3 at 09:30 hr., no casualties.


"D" Co. reports killing total of seven Japs:  6 enlisted men, 1 officer, Lt. Inf.  No auto weapons -  No "D" Co. casualties.

Score :  Japs killed 78    Captured  8



Don Abbott,  the 1st platoon leader in "E" Co. in this action recalls:


"The time I was wounded is fairly clear in my memory.  It all had to do with Hill 670 which, somehow, we all knew was where the Japs had withdrawn to.  The first battalion which was up on the Northeast corner of Noemfoor had tried, unsuccessfully, to reach it from that side so they called on Sam Smith and “E” Co. to make a try starting from the track.  While Hill 670 is almost due north from Namber, for some reason we went about two thirds of the way across toward Inasi before heading in a North-easterly direction toward 670.  It would involve about four miles, as the crow flies, to get from the trail at that point to the Hill, but because of the terrain and having to detour around big chunks of coral it was a lot further than that.  You will remember that the island was mainly coral outcroppings, heavily covered with trees and brush that was very difficult to traverse.  Sam Smith was the Company Commander, McCaffery was the Exec., John Lindgren had the mortar platoon, and Doc Bradford was along but I can’t remember who had the other platoons.  Sgt. Peterson was my platoon sergeant.

Again, my platoon had the point most  of the time and we were trying to keep silent so the Japs would not know we were coming.  That was pretty difficult since Doc Bradford with his thick glasses fogged up couldn’t see where he was going and was always knocking down some of the jungle.  Jon "The Jungle Fox" Lindgren, who followed Doc, was clumsy and fell over what Doc had knocked over.  It was nothing but “bang, wham, damn” most of the way and our attempt at keeping quiet was not very successful.  For some reason or the other we had a machine gun detachment from Battalion assigned to us.

Finally, when we were probably about a mile or less from Hill 670, one of the scouts signalled back that there was an outpost with a heavy machine gun about ten yards in front of him.  At that close a range one figured the best thing was to get in the first licks, so I indicated that he should sweep them with his Tommy gun and then duck out of the way.  I had deployed to a crouch behind a banyan tree with high, thin roots.  I turned to tell Sgt. Peterson to send a squad around our left flank to hit the machine gun from that side.  That is when the machine gun opened up.  The Japs also started throwing a bunch of grenades.  The machine gun got one of the machine gun detachment in the spleen and he died during the night after having been in excruciating pain for hours.  It also got another machine gunner, I believe it was Pvt. Munos, in the left shoulder.  Several of my men were hit by grenade fragments but I don’t believe anyone else, other than me, was hit by the Jap machine gun.

I was hit hard enough in the right chest to knock me on my duff.  I looked down and saw all kinds of blood and a small pile of metal.  I thought it was a link from my dog tag chain.  In trying to flick it out of the wound,  it turned out to be a complete round of what looked like 30 caliber ammunition.  It was not until some time later that I found  that at least another round had hit the top of the root and shattered with one piece plastering up against my jaw and another going through the skin of my neck on the left side.

It was getting fairly close to dark by the time the squad I had sent to the left got to the machine gun site.  They found that the Japs had pulled back with their  machine gun and they could see where they had drug off several of their numbers who had been hit, probably by the firing of my scout.  Sam decided we should spend the night there and take care of the wounded.  I remember that John and I were sacked out side by side.  During the night I was smoking under my poncho when he bummed my last cigarette because he didn’t think I would be needing it. It was too bad I didn’t stop smoking then instead of waiting forty years.

The next morning Sam decided we should retreat to civilization to have the wounded taken care of.  They buried the dead machine gunner in a shallow grave.  [“F” Co. was sent back to recover his body.]  I was able to walk with no problem,  except my wound began to smell rather bad before we had gone very far.  It was a good  thing too because it took the whole of the company to carry Munos over the rough ground and I don’t know how they would have been able to lug two.

Part way, two little, insignificant looking Japs surrendered to us.  Japanese are always difficult to judge age-wise, but I doubt that either of them were over 20 years old.  They were practically starved out and I guess they figured this would be a way to get something to eat.  I never did know what became of them after we got back to civilization but they didn’t get much to eat from our fellows because we didn’t have much our selves.  They were put into the care of a Sergeant from the mortar platoon who scared the beegeezes out of them with his machete.  He would look one of them in the eye, point his machete under his nose and then flick off a leaf from a nearby branch with the sharp edge.  He worked up a language with them using “chingala, chingala” when they were supposed to get a move on.  They were loaded down with mortar ammunition until they could hardly move.  I have always wondered why we took mortars and all of that heavy ammo with us in the jungle when there was no way we were going to use them when the canopy above is was always closed.  We’d have killed a lot more of our own men than the enemy if we had tried.

We did not get back to Namber until after dark the next day. 

it was way past dark when we arrived at the hospital following an all-day march.  First priority was rightfully given to the shoulder wound that Munos had received at the same time I was hit.  We had a couple of other fellows with minor wounds that could be taken care of easily.  Then the Doctor got around to me.  I was not particularly interested in what his name was at the time, but the suggestion  that a Doctor Watters was at the Portable Surgical Hospital at Namber rings a bell. He had to use a flashlight to look me over and clean me up for movement to the hospital. He was very intrigued since he said mine was the first time there was bullet shrapnel embedded in the wound.  He asked if he could have the pieces he took out of my chin which had been plastered up against the bone.  I let him have them but now I wish I had kept them for a souvenir.  Better still, I wish I had dug around and found the bullet which had been embedded between my ribs and dropped on the ground when I flipped it out.  That hospital must have been in existence for only a week or so.  I was not evacuated by air.  They put me on a barge and sent me up to the Evacuation Hospital, as I remember the deal although I cannot remember being put on the barge.”

The small hospital at Namber was the 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital.  A larger hospital was set up at Kamiri, the 71st Evacuation Hospital.  Later the 361st Station Hospital would be set up in the northern area of the island.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Galen C. Kittleson, "E" Company, wrote of his part in the action of "E" Company at "Hill 670” to John Lindgren many years later.  On 18 July, 1944, Kittleson was a nineteen year old first scout.  As we live so easy and comfortably today, it takes some effort to recall the fortitude and devotion to duty so many young men displayed.  Admittedly they were afraid, but not to be deterred they performed their duties.

Kittleson left the 503d PIR to become an Alamo Scout. He never saw the 503d again, except for a few minutes when paths crossed on a beach at Leyte.   He participated in the Cabanatuan prison camp raid  and after the completion of the Philippines campaign, he was in one of the two teams of Alamo Scouts which ended up in Japan for a month with the Rangers. During WWII, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action (Noemfoor Island, NEI), Oak-Leaf Cluster to Silver Star (Masbate Island, Philippine Islands) and the Bronze Star (Cape Oransbari, Dutch New Guinea.)

He was discharged at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas November 30, 1945, but later returned to military service and spent his career in Special Forces, and became CSM of the 1st Special Forces Group in Okinawa. He served in Vietnam with distinction.


“That trail was a real bitch—vines, coral rock, terribly rough and almost impossible to move quietly.  Normally, the first scout didn’t do any cutting unless it was impossible to get through.  The second scout didn’t cut much either, only enough to mark the trail for the rest of the squad.  I recall it was getting along in the afternoon.  We were so wet from sweat, maybe rain, too.  The going was slow and tough.

All of a sudden I heard talking and just a few steps more I saw three Japanese sitting under a poncho with a machine gun.  I assume they saw me about the same time because one scrambled for the machine gun.  I opened fire with the Thompson and everything erupted.  I moved to the left of the trail to get behind a rather large tree.  Moments later some came running from the rear and got hit.  It knocked him down.  I stepped out four or five steps and helped him get behind the tree.  Just then a grenade exploded near the tree, neither of us were hit by that.  There was still firing, but it had slackened.

We checked the wound quickly and found he had been hit in the shoulder and could get back to the rear by himself for medical aid.  We decided I’d provide covering fire while he went back down the trail.  So I did.  I fired a couple of magazines while he moved to the rear.  I don’t know who he was.

As I remember it, I stayed behind that tree all night, scared to death.  The night was dark and long—to me, a nineteen year old, it seemed like forever.  At daylight a squad went forward to check the area.  They found dead but no firing ensued.

We then started  moving back the way we had come, carrying a stretcher.  My memory fails me as to who it was, but I think it was Anker, who had come to the 503rd when I did. I recall he had gotten married just before going overseas.  I remember how tough it was to carry the stretcher.  That was work.

To answer your questions:

1.  I fired the first shots at the outpost.

2.  Not certain, but I thought I killed the three under the poncho and silenced the machine gun.

3.  Observation was difficult.  The foliage was very thick with vines hanging everywhere.  It was almost dark, even in the daytime. 

I would appreciate Abbot’s and Nelson’s addresses.  I have often wondered what happened to them.  We weren’t together very long so never really developed a lasting friendship.  I left Noemfoor before the operation was over for Alamo Scout school and never saw the unit again except for a few minutes at the beach at Leyte. 


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


In a roster furnished by Don Abbott, Galen Kittleson was a member of the 1st squad, 2nd platoon.  Don was the platoon leader of this platoon.  Lloyd G. Nelson was also a member of this squad; however, there was a R. L. Nelson in the 2nd squad of the 2nd platoon.


Corporal Anker was a member of the attached light machine gun platoon.  He was hit in the stomach and died that night.  Munoz was the most seriously wounded being hit in the shoulder and having to be carried on a litter, his loss of blood presented a serious problem.  Lt. Abbott and Kelly were walking wounded.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

John Lindgren writes of "E" Company's fight at Hill 670,  17 July, 1944.

Early in the afternoon of 14 July, 1944 the 503d’s attached 147th Field Artillery Battalion’s Piper Cub liaison plane circled low over 2d Battalion headquarters at Inasi, a small village whose houses, resting on wooden pilings extended out over the waters of Broe Bay on the eastern side of the small coral island.  The pilot made one low pass and then dropped a note attached to a long white streamer from the plane’s window.  This was the first, the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Britten, knew that a major Japanese unit finally had been discovered on Noemfoor.  On 13 July, a patrol from "C" Company, 1st Battalion, reconnoitering southwest from the vicinity of Kamiri Drome found a Japanese force, estimated at 200 men, dug in about two miles northwest of Hill 670.  (1)  "C" Company was reinforced and at 1030 that morning assaulted the position suffering 16 casualties (6 dead, 10 wounded) during the attack.  During the night, the enemy withdrew south toward Hill 670 and the 1st Battalion lost contact with them.  The regimental commander believed they might continue south and move on Inasi.  To counter this move, the 2d Battalion commander was ordered to position his rifle companies in the vicinity of Inasi to block any Japanese attempt to move south.  It would be late in the afternoon of the 16th before all the scattered companies were finally assembled in their blocking positions.  The Japs never moved through Inasi and on the 17th the 2d Battalion sent E and F Companies north toward Hill 670 to find them.  (A)

At about 1130 hr,  "E" Company, less the 1st platoon, left Inasi with orders to “...move out on patrol to vicinity of Hill 670 to contact 1st Bn or enemy... return about 17:00 hr tomorrow.  "E" is... reinforced by 1 LMG plat of Hq Co.”  (2) By noon the patrol reached a point about 1½ miles north of the Namber/Inasi track,  After leaving the main trail the column’s progress slowed.  The trails running north were poor and the men had to cut new trails where the tracks petered out or when skirting obstacles and, even when on an established trail, much of the time the company had to cut through the vegetation where it had grown over and blocked the little used paths.  It was exhausting work for  a rifleman, already saddled with a heavy load, to cut vines and overhanging branches with their machetes to improve the trail in the stifling heat of the dense jungle.  At  the same time, the troops must be alert for the enemy that can easily lie undetected only a few feet away.  The lead squad does most of the tiresome cutting and clearing and quickly tire.  They must be relieved often with a fresh squad.  The column was greatly slowed by this time consuming, enervating, labor but, in spite of this, "E" Company slowly and steadily marched north, climbing the constant gently rising heavily forested slope that led to Hill 670.  The foliage was thick enough to seriously hamper observation and the soldiers could see nothing beyond a few feet around them. 

The progress of the scouts at the head of the company slackened as they took more time looking over the ground for the enemy that might be lying in wait for the column as it moved on the trail.  The sloping ground was broken here and there by low, light colored coral outcrops rising up for a few feet or so that made the rising land appear to be slightly terraced.  The jungle floor had a granite hard coral base thinly covered with dark brown earth.  As the column moved north the trail gradually became somewhat steeper.  The coral which at one time had grown under the sea, had been thrust upward by some great force, reaching its highest point, roughly in the center of Noemfoor, at Hill 670.  The company had been marching for nearly six hours when at almost five in the afternoon, the scouts began to climb a steep hill. 

At the top of the hill they saw a hut and then six Japs. Suddenly machine gun fire exploded in the silent jungle and the startled paratroopers dove off the trail into thick foliage. (3)  The fire blazed down  the now empty trail narrow trail occasionally breaking off leaves and branches that fell to the jungle floor.  The fire continued in measured steady bursts and succeeded in keeping the company’s men hugging the ground along both sides of the trail.  Within seconds, Lieutenant Abbott and Privates Munoz and Kelly had fallen wounded.  The riflemen leading the column immediately fired at the invisible enemy ahead of them at the crest of the hill.  Sam Smith, the company commander called for a light machine gun to be brought forward.  It was nearly sundown by the time the machine gun began firing at the enemy machine gun at the top of the hill.  Almost immediately after the opening fire, the enemy machine gun replied, gravely wounding the gunner, Private Anker, in the stomach.  The assistant gunner immediately took over the gun firing into the semi darkness, and soon the Jap gun stopped firing.

It was nearly dark now and after making some minor adjustments the platoon formed a company perimeter on either side of the trail.  The mortar platoon was on the left side of the trail behind some coral outcroppings near our machine gun position.  I was fascinated by a strange whitish green luminescence glowing from lumps of exposed weathered coral all around me.  I could hardly take my eyes off it looking for what I didn’t know.

As we stretched out on the hard hard coral, I could hear Anker talking to someone.  He couldn’t have been far away because I heard him so clearly.  He knew he was dying and spoke almost nonstop nearly throughout the night.  He spoke of home and his mother and asked that she be told what had happened to him.  He sounded rational at first and soon enough he became delirious and then silent.  There was no more fighting that night. 

Dawn finally broke.  A small patrol moved forward  on the trail to find the enemy had abandoned their hilltop position leaving a Juki machine gun and five bodies.  A shallow grave was scraped from the rock hard ground with entrenching tools and Anker’s body was placed in the depression and covered over.  Sam Smith said a few words which, at the time, I thought an inappropriate gesture.  Munoz was seriously wounded in the shoulder and needed plasma as soon as possible.  A litter was fashioned from ponchos and the company moved south on the wretched trails.  Abbott and Kelly were to walk on their own.  It rained hard all that Wednesday morning as the company carried the burdensome litter that grew heavier each step. 

The litter bearers were relieved at very short intervals, certainly no longer than 15 minutes.  It was exhausting work in the oppressive heat and humidity that every man in the column shared equally.  The company was gone less than an hour when at one of the frequent halts, three unarmed Japanese (4) appeared at the side of the trail in a thinly forested area.  The E Company soldiers, preoccupied with carrying the litterhad carelessly allowed the Japs to get close to the column without being noticed.  They were wearing clean uniforms and appeared to be well fed.  Without much ado, they were quickly pressed into service as litter bearers and the column marched ahead.  The company reached Inasi in the afternoon.  Munoz had survived.





"When "D" Co., came in they brought the body of Inasi Chief’s son, killed by the Japs during Lt. Goodman’s action.  The natives have been 100% against the Japs and this will strengthen it.  The whole village is at the water point, washing the body. Putting leaves on it, and wailing.  The burial will be tomorrow afternoon.

Ration barge arrived with rations and equipment.  Noted above.  It will leave tomorrow morning and take our evacuation cases.  Chaplain Herb came for overnight visit."


"Father Powers, Catholic Chaplain, has his hands full with the 1st Bn. near Hill 670.  The rations barge unloading will be effected because of the death of the Chief’s Son, but will be completed in the A.M.”


“Company moved back to Inasi.”


 Our platoon, the 1st "F" Co., was sent north on the north-south trail to protect a carrying party which was to bring back Anker’s body from where "E" Company had left it covered.  It was a 'no! no!' to leave a body.  "E" Company had been forced to do this because it was all they could do to carry their wounded over the steep, torturous paths on the coral hills.  One of their officers, 1st Lt. Ben Luscomb, was our guide.  The carrying party was made up of cooks from the battalion mess section.  Hill 670 was about three and a half miles north of Hill 390.  The area we were seeking was probably a mile south-east of Hill 670.

The platoon scouts, Lloyd McCarter and Nevell Powell, were out.  I was following them.  I had the 3rd squad leading with Beardsley acting as squad leader.  I don’t know where Chris Johnson was.  McCarter spotted a Jap wearing only a white loincloth.  The Jap was nearing the top of a small knoll.  Suddenly McCarter was challenged by someone in Japanese from the top of the knoll.  McCarter yelled back “yo” and immediately started forward in his rapid, bouncy step.  Powell broke into a trot following closely to McCarter’s right rear.  The Japs opened fire.  I immediately told Beardsley to deploy his squad as a base of fire and sent for Baker.  I intended to move his squad around to the left and flank the Japanese position.  McCarter and Powell did not stop.  With bullets clipping leaves around them they reached the top of the knoll and killed three Jap riflemen there.  The half naked person and several others got away in the brush.  Those who ran so fast were very likely laborers.  They were not seen or heard from again. 

The trail branched into several trails here,  all leading in a northerly direction.  Ben had not seen this area before and was at a loss to pick the trail.  We set up security and sent out several recon patrols.  One patrol found the position Red Dog’s platoon had hit.  It was only a couple of hundred yards.  We wondered if the knoll was not protecting its flank.  The hill was undefended.  The Juki was still in place.  There was a large amount of ammo here, both clips for the heavy machine gun and rifle ammo.  We also found four land mines (this is how I obtained the earlier information given), and a large quantity of hand grenades.  It took a while to destroy or make this stuff ineffective.  The Juki was really hard to disable.  There were billy cans and canteens neatly arranged in rows on the ground for each man to have one with a few left over.  There had to be a force of forty or so Japs basing here.  We found no rations anywhere.  Presumably the Japs were out seeking food.  They had taken a Nambu with them, as far as we could determine.  We never saw a trace of them after this.  This was a force which was too big and well equipped for a platoon to handle, so the 3rd platoon had been  wise in withdrawing.  It was late, Ben had no idea of the proper trail, so went back to Hill 390 and then over to our position at Hill 395.






Fortunately fine weather. 
Departed for Inasi at dawn. 
Can’t march very far on rhubarb.


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


20 July 1944



"D" Company is going out on reconnaissance in force, to (83.3-58.6) it had been planned to bomb and lay an artillery barrage on 670 and have 1st Bn. and "D" Company move in on it.  A patrol of 158th is up in that area, and contact lost with it, so bombing is not possible.  "E" Co. Plat. is leaving for Mandori for overnight.  Will investigate Native Report of Jap Barge at (96-629) at 1200 hr.  A PT boat will be off shore to support "E" Co. Plat. if barge is contacted.  "F" Co. Plat. is going to (80.3-59.3) on patrol."


"Lt. Jacomini left with a patrol of Hq. Co., to cover track between Inasi and Intermediate Base.  15 minutes out of Inasi, Japs were contacted in small force.  In maneuvering Pfc. McCann of Hq Co. was shot by (our soldier)q, and died ten minutes later.” 

“One Jap was killed.  Score:  79-8 to 3 of us."


"Pvt. Vissi of E Company shot himself in the foot while cleaning a M-1.  Line of Duty, inquiry will be made."  q


“A C-47 will drop ten miles of combat wire at Inasi this afternoon.  It will be strung by one of our Co.’s that will move it on 670 in the future."


"D" Company position is (83.7-57.4).  No change."


"Lt. Whitson with plat. contacted and killed 2 Japs at (87.4-58.4).  No auto weapons- may be an outpost."


"D" Company at (82.7-59.5)."


"Lt. Whitson killed 2, captured 2, in small village at unknown location."


"Lt. Whitson has total of 5 killed, 2 prisoners-  Coming in.  No casualties."


"D" Company returned -  didn’t make a contact all day."


"Men evacuated from Inasi  today and 17th, non-battle.

"D" Co. Bvard, Robert L.

"F" Co. Iverson, Ralph E.

Hq Co. Shuffert, Paul H.

Hq Co. Gregg, Leo M.

"D" Co., Sgt, Booth, Alfred W.

All called in to Lt. Richie."


“Hell-o Joe” is the most used used expression in Inasi.  Our day in, one of our troops must have used it on the natives, and now is the only form of greeting.  “Hello Joe reverberates down the track, from black and white, as groups pass.  If cut short, the corruption “Joe” is used by natives.  We would like to know what it means to them.


"LCM is leaving Kamiri at 1300 hr. with the follow communication equipt:


W-130  7 miles




and other supplies"


F Company partrol killed one Jap in vicinity of Corporal Anker’s Grave.  Cpl. Anker’s body brought in by patrol.

Score:  Japs killed 86   Prisoners 10

1700 hr

"All patrols are back in Inasi and Intermediate Base, except Lt. McCaffery’s that will spend the night at Mandori. We have no communications with that patrol, and it will keep a log."


"G-2 from Regiment-  Two barges, unidentified, moving South seen by 158th Inf. at 1815 hr.  Said to be heading toward Mandori.  Navy has been notified.”



“20 July 1944  First Platoon moved to an uncharted village and returned to Inasi.  Killed 2 Japs.  Third Platoon returned to Mandori:  No enemy contacted.”




The 2nd platoon moved out with Ben and the carrying party today.  They took a trail to the northeast and found the place where Anker’s body was covered.  They brought the body in.  They killed one Jap during their mission. They saw nothing to indicate the presence of Japanese at the position we had been the day before.






I wish friendly troops would land on this island soon. 
Believe today must be July 26th. 
We must make every endeavor to stay alive until friendly forces commence an offensive.


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



21 July 1944



"81 mortar fire to be directed into Mangrove Swamp between Inasi and Sandow, because detail that spent the night out on Inasi Jetty heard a lot of activity in the swamp.  Fear of hitting natives called off mortars, but a J boat straffed the area, and received in return small arms fire in small amount from the swamps.” 


It was our experience while at Inasi Village that a lot of noise came from the swamps at night.  One could hear a construction battalion at work.  There was sawing, hammering, and other construction noises going on in there.  In fact one could hear troops marching or anything else they wanted to.  We learned that millions of sand crabs became active at night and created much noise.


“More rations and equipment came in after the drought on supples in past.  We are more than satisfied with supply.” 


I’m happy someone was.  Back in the hills our situation was unimproved - still about half rations - and this would not improve even after we drew B rations.  It was hard to carry in rations by boon trains.


"D" Company went out on a three day to Hill 670, on direct azimuth from Inasi.  It is stringing combat wire for communications with Bn. C.P.  Radio can go straight to Namber Drome if Artillery officer is accompanying out.  Lt. Ferens Battery “A” artillery Lia (liaison) accompanying "D" Company with his radio group.


"One platoon plus one L.M.G. section of "F" Company is going on a three day patrol toward Hill 670, and will be joined by another platoon of "E" Company.  When rations arrive today in "F" Company Lt. Whitson’s platoon of "E" Company is going on a three day patrol to Hill 670.  This is the big push on the last organized Japanese resistance on Noemfoor.” 


Unfortunately our intelligence was overly optimistic.  They could not rid themselves of the idea that the Japs were still at Hill 670 despite the fact that there was no water for miles.


"We need sound power wire from the barge as soon as possible.  "D" Company will string it on patrol today."


"Two prisoners at Inasi will go back on barge."


"All Bn supplies will be handled through Captain Caskey, who will contact Regiment, S-4.  This will simplify and not duplicate requests."


Lt. Whitson reports position about (95.5-61.6). 


This is north of Mandori. The typed entry appears to have been a typo, and should read (86.5-61.6).


"Three Japs seen and killed at 1218 and two Formosans captured.  Patrol staying near (88.5-61.6).” 

This location is near Ridge 200. 



“Not wanting to bother with the Formosans, Lt. Whitson in sign language told them to come to Inasi.  There is no water for patrol and patrol looking for water could find none.  The Formosans instead of coming to Inasi returned to Lt. Whitson.”


"If prisoners Formosan are able to follow, the patrol will take them along; not pick them up on return."


"Password till 0900 hr, July 22 is Fighting Allies."


 "One B-25 will fly over this P.M.  dropping surrender leaflets to Japs.  Private Sokalaski killed one Jap in native garden 1/2 mile West from Inasi."


"Lt. McCaffery’s E Company platoon returned from Manpori killed two Japs west of Mandori at 1730 hr., 20 July."


"Score:  Japs killed 92   Prisoners 12"

"F" Company at (80.0-60.5).  No contacts.  Going into secured bivouac for tonight.  Company Patrol at (81.0-60.5).  No contacts.  Bedding down."


"At 1300 hr. Col. Britten, Battalion C.O. went to "F" Company position.  He will go out with "F" Co. platoon tomorrow morning to direct Battalion operations against Hill 670.

Daily expenditure of ammunition, by type will be reported to Regiment daily for requisition purposes."


"C.O., Battery “A” requested not to fire in vicinity of Hill 500 this evening or on Hill 670 next morning- friendly patrols.


"Ammo expended; 150 tsmg; 80 M-1; 20 Carbine"


"Regiment requests number of White Phosphorous Grenades on hand."


"Just four expended."


"Are times of action as rendered by phone corect?  Yes!"


"From Regiment - Radio will remain open until 2300 hr. unless notified (phone is out between "F" Company and Regiment).  W.P. Grenades to "F" Company by 0900 hr., 22 July 44.  Food will be dropped at 1400 hr. 22 July, by C-47 at F Co. C.P. on signal of W.P. Grenade when C-47 is flying over exact location of "D" Company, "F" Co., and "F" Co. patrols.  Patrols will be marked by W.P. Grenades.  When Cub is heard overhead mark by following; "E" Co. one W.P.; "D" Co. one W.P. Do Co’s on patrol have W.P. grenades with them?  Plane will arrive between 1500 hr. and 1600 hr.  Water will arrive at 0800 hr 22 July.” 


The "F" Company command post, their patrol, and "D" Company were in heavy forest of tall hardwood trees where smoke signals were absolutely impossible.



From Regiment -  "D" Company patrol is in 158th Territory - Head it West.  Our units out on patrol are sending up W.P. Grenades so their exact positions may be determined.  It is impossible for patrol to send in its exact position as there are no terrain features to orient on.  Artillery fire and bombing may be on call and safety zones are being considered.


"Names of evacuated personnel called in to Reg't,” 



“21 July 1944  First Platoon left Inasi in three day patrol.  Second Platoon patrolled to Sandao and returned:  no opposition.  Third Platoon returned to Inasi from Mandori.”



Our platoon reinforced with a light machine gun section moved out today for Hill 670 on a two day patrol.  The plan was to send the 1st and 3rd platoons and a LMG platoon, but they could only dig up enough rations for half that number, so we were sent.  That was half the intended force.  At this time small units were being sent out miles away from any support.  Most, like us, had an SCR 536 radio.  After we went over the first hill we were out of radio contact.  Thus we were on our own.  As we passed through the company on Hill 390, we received the first mail since Hollandia.  We did not stop to read this but moved on out in a driving rain.  At our first break we read our mail under the protection of our ponchos.    One of my letters was from a relative stationed in England.  The latter part of the letter told me what they did for recreation, and the letter ended by asking me what we did for recreation. 

We stopped at Hill 500.  It was about a mile from Hill 670.  We had proceeded slowly searching several trails as we moved, and it was not late afternoon.  We were on schedule.  My orders were to proceed with caution, particularly as we approached Hill 670.  We did not want to approach the notorious hill near dark.  As stated several times task force intelligence had not given up on the idea that the main force of Japanese was dug in on this hill.  The hill we picked to defend for the night was perfect for our force.  The sides were very steep leading up to a small round top.  We almost lost our medic, Heinz Mohring, that night.  As I’ve said our rule was if it moves it’s Jap.  Mohring moved that night and was fortunate to escape serious injury or worse.  Fortunately no harm was done.  Some of the men seemed disappointed.  Mohring had a knack of getting to the ripened bananas before anyone else, and his appetite was enormous.





22 July 1944


0800 hr.

"Names of evacuated personnel called in to regiment.  All men evacuated battle and non-battle, and Purple Hear recognition not evacuated have been phoned to Lt. Richie."


"E" and "F" Co’s patrols were checked for smoke grenades.


"To C.O. Regiment-  Will food for patrol arrive “F” Co. before plans."


"Dr. Bradford called for all available 2 Bn aid men to “F” Co."


Password till 0900 hr. 23 July Speedy Runner."


"D" Company reports patrols to 1000 yards S.W. and 1000 yards S.E. of their CP  One Jap killed on south side of Hill 670.  "D" Company Platoon was on what they believe top of Hill 670.  No other contacts."


"E" Company patrol hit Jap outpost and bivouac area.  Found  Swords, fresh food and all kinds of ammunition.  Estimate Japs contacted at 50.  Impossible to get out casualties.  If they occurred."


 "From "E" Company Patrol.  Seen four enemy, much movement; rough terrain."


"E" Company patrol reports ambush by Japs killing 6,- no casualties;  all armed with grenades and rifles.  Moving back to bivouac area at (82.2-61.6)."


"To "E" company patrol; "D" Company moving your direction at 1315 from (81.0-60.5) "E" Company platoon, with Smitty and aid stat. (Doc Bradford) moving to join you at 1440 hr. from Inasi.  Try to regain contact."


"F" Company patrol notified of complete situation."


"Lt. Cole on patrol by Prahoe to North of Sandow saw Japs estimated at five, had been living in.  No signs present (89.5-57.8)."


"To Lt. Whitsen,- Do you think Japs in same area as before?  Do you advise artillery?  No!-  Whitson’s answered."


"In two days patrol, Lt. Whitson kills nine Japs- wounded four, twelve prisoners."


 "Smitty’s patrol killed two Japs to its rear."


"Red Dog patrol with Britt, joined Calhoun at (80.8-61.8) Hill 670."


"Dog Company reports hit about 15 Japs.  Captured one knee mortar and mine.:


 "Smitty reports hit in rear by large force.  Heavy fire fight can heard from C.P. at Inasi."


"Smith estimates 35 Japs attacking him from North and South.  Believe he is 2000 yards South of Whitsen."


"Heavy fire can still be heard from Smitty’s area in contact with approximate 35 Nips.  One platoon of E Company, and spare sections of Hq. Co. are all that is left in Bn C.P. at Inasi."


Third Platoon left Inasi to contact First Platoon including—(illegible)—had contacted enemy.  One thousand yards out hit heavy opposition, apparently a Jap HMG Co.  Enemy casualties undetermined.  Our casualties Private Finsterwald, Pvt. Toupal, KIA.


Moved to Hill 670.  This caused some “sweating.”  It was spooky.  As the trail approached and began the steep ascent up the hill it ran through deep, narrow defiles.  A handful of men could have defended them.  The rainforest was heavy here with thick undergrowth.  The corridor of approach was so confined that it was impossible to put out flank protection.  Ambush seemed inevitable.  The dead silence was eerie.  If they caught us in a defile we were helpless.  It would be like shooting fish in a rain barrel.  We made the top after what seemed like a very long time.  The hill was vacant.  This was a perfect defensive position except for one major flaw.  There was no water for miles.

I set the platoon up in a defensive position and took McCarter, Powell, and a few LMG section men who wanted to go on a patrol, and we moved down a broad, well traveled path to towards the northwest, Kimiri Drome.  Near the base of the hill we passed through a Jap bivouac area and defensive position which was now vacant.  Facing this we found the position "C" Company had advanced to when they engaged the Japs.  Lt. Brown and several others were killed here.  We proceeded a couple of miles toward the Jap air drome and knew we were in territory which had been well patrolled, so we went back to Hill 670.  We could report now that there were no Japs in the vicinity of the dominant hill on the island.

We assembled our force and moved out for Hill 500 planning to spend the night there again.  Soon we met Col. Britten, leading LaVanchure’s 3rd platoon like a fireman to the rescue.  He found out that only half the planned force had gone north because of a lack of rations. He left Inasi Village and went to Hill 390.  The morning of the 22nd, he took the third platoon and the other section of LMG’s and headed north to our relief.  Fortunately we had not encountered a large force, or for that matter any force.  The entire force moved back to Hill 500 and set up a perimeter defense for the night.  The small hill top was now crowded with defenders.  I neglected to mention one unpleasant object on the hill.  Near the top of the hill lay a bloated, smelly Jap corpse.  There was really not much we could do about it but ignore it.

As I said before, we were out of contact with the world - having only an SCR-536 radio.  Col. Britten had a good radio with him.  I do not remember if it was the standard company radio at that time, an SCR-511, or a more powerful type, but we did find out what was going outside. We learned that both "D" and "E" Companies had been heavily engaged.  The hills north of Inasi seemed full of Japs.  We learned no details of their operations other than that they had taken casualties.

At this time in the 1st platoon the 2nd squad leader, Sgt. Wuertz, was acting as platoon sergeant.  Cpl. Todd was leading the second squad.  A former sergeant from the 3rd battalion had been sent to the platoon as a platoon sergeant.  After my strong protest Lt. McRoberts asked me to give him a chance in a NCO position.  He was given this chance with the second squad.  He proved completely untrustworthy on the first day and was relieved.  After we moved back to Hill 395 he soon became sick and had to be sent back to Namber Drome.  Of course Sgt. Baker was the 1st squad leader and Sgt. Johnson was the 3rd squad leader.

"F" Company had been exceedingly fortunate so far in having few casualties and would continue to be so throughout the Noemfoor campaign.  we complained a lot about being locked in the forest on the two hills, but this was a relatively safe place on the island.  Had the hills not been guarded the Japs would probably have at least occupied Hill 395 since it was near a water supply.  We did feel isolated and left out of things and really looked forward to going out on patrols.











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