"THE GREAT FIRE FIGHT OF
5-6 SEPTEMBER, 1943"

_________________
Louis G. Aiken Sr.

Appendix 3 Vol 1

 

 

 

 

Being a “B” Co. Soldier’s Version of 
The Great Fire Fight 

at the 2nd Bn. Command Post,
 5-6 September, 1943

as related to Gerry B. Riseley.

 

Paratroopers unload from their trucks two hours prior to takeoff
for the first  combat jump of the Pacific War.

 

Louis G. Aiken, Sr.

Co “B” 503 PIR

June 42-Oct 45

                     

Dear Mr. Riseley,

Just read your account of the Big Shoot out or Fire Fight of 5-6 September 1943 at a place called “Gabsonkeck” or “Gabsohnkie.”  I never knew what the place was called.  I figured all the street signs and signs denoting the name of the place were shot up and destroyed the night of 5-6 Sept 1943.  My group moved out fairly early the next morning without too much looking around and were very thankful for having survived the ordeal and I didn’t encounter too many people that were willing to explain or give me the name of the place or knew exactly what took place. 

I will try to explain the events as best and truthfully as I can, if that is possible, as to how I came to be on the outer perimeter of the 2nd Bn  C.P. on the night of 5 Sept and early morning of the 6th when all hell broke loose inside and around the perimeter that you have so rightly described as the “Great Fire Fight” of 5-6 Sept 1943 at “Gabsonkeck” or whatever. 

For some unknown reason or rhyme, to me at least, a contingent of the 1st folks were designated to contact the 2nd Bn CP and then move through and out in front of the CP and establish an outpost, recon, or listening post.  I guess for lack of a better explanation, 1st Lt Bill Bossert Co “B” 2nd Plt was the Officer in Charge of this particular group that had been handpicked, about 15 or 20 men, from the 2nd Bn Plt of “B” Co.  I was not one of these handpicked folks, however I did subsequently become a member of the elite group. 

My assignment was to spot and assemble on the door bundles, using the cargo chute as color code.  I was about #8 or #9 back from the door of the aircraft before the jump and very alert  because I knew the success of our part of the operation depended on me recovering the bundle. I didn’t even know what the hell was in it.  Anyway I moved very smartly to the door ducking to keep Kid Arris (Note : William Arris) from unloading on me as he appeared to be very puff about the jaws and I suspected the worst.  I approached the door and out at about 300 feet and a couple of oscillations and a salute to Gen MacArthur as he circled overhead, way over head, in his B-17, and then swoosh into the Kunai Grass, up to and over my ass and I couldn’t see nothing much less a door bundle.  Hell I didn’t even know where I was much less a door bundle and frankly by then I didn’t much give a damn where the bundle was.  I nearly suffocated in the tall grass and was hoping to hell the Japs, if there were any, or somebody else, didn’t strike a match. 

 

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