Where we went next, I don't remember, but it seems in moving we ran in-to another outfit who had no combat experience and word came for me to take a couple of men and see if I could rescue two of their men who had been wounded and were pinned down. By the time we got there, most of the gunfire had stopped. I went on out, picked up one of the wounded and carried him to where the medics could get to him; then went back and helped bring the other one out.

 Then while trying to find out which way my outfit went, I felt something wet and sticky on my right hand. When I looked at it, it was all bloody. I thought that last guy must have been bleeding more than I realized, and wiped my hand off. A few minutes later my hand felt wet and sticky again. I knew then that it must be my blood, and sure enough, when I looked down I could see where the bullet went through my breeches leg and out. I dropped my pants down to get a better look. It was only a flesh wound but there was a red streak, pencil size and nearly an inch long, on the inside of my leg. Wetting my handkerchief, I tried to wipe that red off, but it wouldn't wipe. I went on looking for my company and when, after about ten minutes, I decided I better look again, this time that streak had advanced a good 3 inches up my leg. I knew then it must be blood poisoning and I had better find a medic. Someone told me I would find one about 800 yards over, set up under a shelter 1/2. He gave me a shot and some tablets and told me to sit there a few minutes and watch that streak. Sure enough, in 15 minutes it started to recede, and how relieved I was!
The next thing I can remember was when I contracted yellow jaundice. They sent me into Bacolod where I caught up with Rod again. They put me upstairs in the courthouse. I washed my clothes that evening and hung them in the window some 30 feet abovethe ground. Next morning all I had left was my shoes and socks... .during the night some Gook had scaled the wall and stolen my clothes. For a solid week all I had was a towel, and to make matters worse, nothing tasted good any more.

        One day I looked out the window and saw a truck loaded with blue denims stopped outside. I ran down, told him my sad story, and he said No Deal -- those clothes were for another outfit. I said "Over my dead body." He saw I meant business and then said, "I got to go inside a minute." I got me some denims and left.

        Later Rod took me to some lawyer's house. We were served greens with boiled eggs on top that tasted good, and I knew I was about well. I believe it was about then that our planes were dropping leaflets all over for the Japs to come in and surrender.

        We were stationed in a tent on an outpost and began to take prisoners as they started to drift in -- first one or two at a time -- later they came in small groups. A few days later we got word that everyone with 175 points and over were to be returned to the states.

        I never did know what they meant by "points" but when they called my name, I loaded up with the rest on a truck which carried us to some small village near a port. When we arrived, there was a large tent set up but no one in sight. We stashed our barracks bags and headed into town. On our end of town everything was deserted.

        We could hear a loud noise on the far end of the village. Since we had turned in our weapons, two of us decided we should creep down and see what all the racket was about. People were yelling and carrying on like crazy. We could see no Japs so finally I eased out and asked what was going on. They told us that the U. S. had dropped an atom bomb on Japan proper, and Japan had surrendered. Everyone celebrated that night at a two-story house. Too many people upstairs were dancing, and the house fell in. Some were hurt.

        The next morning we were told all transportation was frozen and so we sat in that location for about two weeks before boarding a ship for home. We were highly disappointed because we would like to have seen General Coney and his famous Samurai sword (we were later told he did not bring it in) that, according to some of the diaries we brought in, had beheaded many American soldiers captured. We felt that by one day we had missed out on the main event.

        I know I've left out several events that took place on that Island, but my memory is so fuzzy about some of these things that I'm not sure which of those were on Negros and which were some other place. I always tried to forget most of the war, and until recently never talked unless I had a few drinks. Now I know some things will never be forgotten, and regret I did not keep notes on when and where in particular. Rod and Keith Newman were a little younger than I, and could better have given you the history you wanted. Sorry, but I never realized how much my memory had failed me till I tried to reconstruct this. I left out some (most) names on purpose because I believe only the Chaplain should be permitted to name names. If you can use any of this, O.K. If not, contact Keith, or Striebe (topkick), or Marshal (first lieutenant then).

        The first time I became aware that the Japs were practicing cannibalism was after we, the 3rd Battalion, had set up headquarters around the N.E. water hole or spring.
One day while on a scouting patrol, a small party of us found a Nip noncom (dead) in the edge of a wooded area. His legs had been carved up the same way you would slice meat off a ham to make sandwiches. We knew there were not supposed to be any cannibals this far north, and he looked to have been shot - not speared or arrowed.

        Hendren and I, with 4 or 5 others, decided to set up an ambush one day on a grass hut we had seen some Nips go in. After spraying the hut, Hendren and I went in to see what papers and insignia they might have on them. We thought they were all dead - one in particular was shot up so bad we turned our backs on him. While gathering papers and insignia, I heard scuffling behind me, turned around, and saw that one had one broken arm around Hendren's neck and was trying to stick a knife in his ribs, but the point kept hanging up in Hendren's webbing. I could not believe it -- the whole top of this Jap's head was shot off! After that, we never turned our backs on a Nip till we were sure he was dead.

        A few days later some natives wanted someone with weapons to go with them to work their garden which was a couple of miles down the southern trail from us. I volunteered to lead and someone else brought up the rear. It seemed that the Nips had been kidnapping some of the younger natives and they were never seen again. Rodriguez insisted I take his tommy gun with the 50 round drum instead of my M-1.
The natives and I and one other 503rd'er left early the next morning and stayed all day. We saw no Nips. Returning to camp late that evening, I stopped the group at a curve in the trail that crossed a small creek in a deep ravine only about 500 yards from camp. The idea was to give anybody coming toward us time to cross and come up where I could see them. After a reasonable length of time I signaled, for everyone to start moving again. To my surprise, when I looked down the trail I could see the legs in wet khakis of about a dozen men coming up out of the ravine. The upper part of their bodies were hidden by low-lying branches across the trail.

        Instantly I thought some of our battalion was sending out a night patrol, so I put the safety on the tommy gun, slung it over my shoulder, and with my right hand held high, stepped out in the open (I didn't want anybody to get trigger happy when they saw us as we were not over 30 feet from them by now). When I stepped out, to my surprise I found myself face to face with a Japanese patrol. They too were all at sling arms. We all dived for cover on the same side of the trail. I was so surprised I had trouble finding the safety on the tommy gun. Then when I squirmed over and around where I could see, there was nothing in sight or moving., I heard one bird call, then another farther on and a repeat as they faded into the jungle.

        As it was about to get dark, I signaled the natives to come on as I wanted to make sure our guards would recognize us as we came in. The next morning Lt. Phelan called Rod, myself and 4 or 5 more from the 3rd platoon and we struck out to see if we could find or contact this Nip patrol. When we got to the creek (which went only a short ways to the east and dumped into the bay), we found signs that a large body of men had come up the creek in the night and turned down the trail towards the garden. When we got to the garden, which covered about 1-1/2 acres, it was completely wrecked. They had pulled up the green peanuts, the papaw bushes.. .everything, even breaking open the stems and sucking the marrow from the hollow insides. The trail from there on was easy to follow and we estimated there must be at least 1500 and more with heavy machine guns and mortars from impressions on the ground.

        After following the tracks for 2 or 3 miles, Rod turned to me (I was about 15 feet behind him) and pointed up ahead to the left side of the trail. About 40 yards ahead there was a log nearly 3 ft. in diameter lying across the trail. Just the other side of the log the trail went uphill for about 50 ft. with tall grass on both sides with more brush and trees on the left side all the way down to where we were. Sticking out in the left side I could see the legs of a Nip. Instantly I recognized it as being a good possible place for a rear guard position or ambush. Sure enough, when I looked close on the right side, I could make out the barrel of a machine gun pointed toward us from underneath the log in the edge of a huge fern on my side of the log.
I gave Rod a bird call but he never looked back - just started creeping up on the supposedly resting Nip. I gave Rod another bird call and a third. He still kept creeping up and on the left side of the trail where there was neither cover nor concealment. By this time I knew that if the Nip raised up, Rod would put his gun to his shoulder and shoot. I guessed I had maybe 8 seconds to stop that machine gunner who was most likely trying to get us all in the picture.
I gave a hand signal for everyone to hit the right side of the trail on the double and follow me. Then I dived into the brush and ran forward as fast as I could, with Lt. Phelan about 10 ft. behind me. Just before I reached the log, I heard the pop of a grenade cap and yelled over my shoulder for Phelan, "Look out - grenade!" I knew I had no time to stop and just hoped I would not get hit hard enough to go down. Phelan said, "Hell, ain't no gren," then - BOOM - it went off between us, blew dirt all down the back of my neck and in his face, I know. I did not get a scratch otherwise, and I think Phelan was only slightly nicked. Two jumps later I was leaping over the log right by that big fern. Looking between my feet as I was coming down, I saw the Nip who had just thrown the grenade and I wasted him before my feet hit the ground. Even so, I found myself in amongst four others -- one aiming down the trail on the machine gun, one with his rifle aiming at Rod, one leaning over on his rifle peering down the trail trying to see where everyone went, and one with his gun also pointing down the trail while propped against a small tree. There was a wild scramble as I hit the ground with everyone trying to get their gun on me. We were all so close together I could have stretched out and touched each one with the tip of my gun barrel.

        As I swung from one to the other, firing as rapidly as possible, I had a strange sensation, as if we were reading each other's minds. One was thinking, "I kill this Yankee for another medal and the glory of my country;" one was killing me for the pride his wife and child would have for him (I could even see the wife in her kimono bending down by a small running stream of water in front of a Japanese hut while the child looked on); one just had pure hate in his eyes as he thought, "Another Yankee I will slay;" and then consternation and disbelief welling up in each one's eyes as they realized it was they who were dying. Even as these lightning thoughts and scenes flashed through me and as I was squeezing the trigger on number 5, a sixth stepped out from behind a tree not 4 ft. from me and as I looked down the barrel of a tommy gun with Round Trees name carved on the stock, I wondered would I be able to see the muzzle flash or would I feel that .45 slug as it smashed into my face, for I knew it was impossible to move my gun barrel toward him fast enough to get him, too. Astonishingly, I felt my gun lurch in my hands one more time, heard the rifle report, saw the last Nip bowl over backward, total disbelief on his face as well as on mine. Then I had the strange sensation as if two hands slowly slid off mine. I had the greatest desire to look behind me and see who was there, but I knew it could not be, for Phelan was the closest man to me and he was just rounding the end of the log to protect my flank.

        I told one of the others, as they came up, to get me a watch if one had any, since mine was busted. Phelan said to get any papers or diaries they may have had on them. While I watched up the trail, you could hear the breech bolts working on several automatic weapons, the guttural commands of the officers, and the frantic whacking away of fire lanes. I yelled out, "Don't get on that trail till we get past the bend, and don't tarry!" We didn't. I'll bet we were out of there in less than 20 seconds.

        The next day we came back two battalions strong. Rod and I got almost to the military crest on a larger hill a bit further on before I spied a Nip drawing a bead on Rod. I wasted him and the whole hillside came alive with the sound of breech bolts slamming shells into the barrels of their guns. Rod squatted down behind a bush. I grabbed his shoulder and said, "Let's seek cover and look for Co. "G" since our job here was to contact the enemy, then return to our own company. Some major was just behind us down behind a log. I told him to drop back with us and get behind the main line of attack which was fanning out on both flanks now.
We found "G' Co. on the right flank but they said they had been ordered to withdraw. I thought this odd as we were almost to the military crest of the hill. Later we determined some Jap officer had given the command.
Upon checking out the men in our new position (it was beginning to get dark), we had two men missing. I was told one was killed and one thought to be wounded but still able to navigate. That night we heard the wounded man screaming and knew he was being tortured. There was thick foliage around us and we knew the Japs were already dug in (no moon that night). The next morning we retook most of that side of the hill and found the remains of the wounded man. He had been carved up - even the meat on his cheeks had been cut off, and skin from his body left in a pile. We vowed no more prisoners from this bunch.

        The Nips were dug in so firmly in the coral that the C.O. finally called on the Air Force to send in a flight of A-20s who dropped parachute bombs that exploded above ground and left the dug-in Nips shell shocked. It was a massacre, only a good number of Nips had slipped away during the night. They asked me to take a scout and see if we could find them again.

        I picked Keith Newman to go with me (a new, young kid with a good head on his shoulders and a pair of sharp eyes that missed nothing). We soon tracked the Japs down again where they were regrouped. Keith and I found some strips of meat by little stacks of kindling ... had to be human meat.
This place was a large flat bottom with good size trees and very little underbrush. Leaning up against a tree there was a Jap rifle and a small kindling stack ready to be lit. At first I began pulling the bolts from the rifles and throwing them in the bushes. Then the further we entered this bottom, the more rifles we saw, but no Japs. At the far end the trail led up to a higher plateau and there we could hear some commotion. We sneaked up close enough to see some Japs moving around without shirts on, and we could hear Japanese guttural commands. I guessed they were doling out rations of food and water. That was why there was no one in the flats where we were. I told Keith we had accomplished our mission and we sneaked out of there as quickly and quietly as possible.

        I reported to Col. Erickson. He and Col. Jones got the outfit together and we set out in pursuit of the Japs. When we got to the flats where we found the rifles, etc., I stopped. The top brass decided they would go down maybe as far as we went, and reconnoiter. I tried to explain to the officer behind me that they couldn't do that, because by now the Japs had missed their bolts from some of their rifles and would know they had been spied on.

        They went anyway, and were promptly pinned down and called for help. Sgt. Crossier quickly got some men together and went and rescued them, but not before two or three were wounded. The rest of Co. "G" were ordered to fall back to the right flank as it was getting late in the day.
We dug in for the night that night. My B.A.R. gunner was a heavy snorer and sleeper, so I tied a vine onto his arm to wake him if he became too noisy. I had every other man pull 4 hours guard, then alternate.

        About midnight my B.A.R. gunner started snoring (he was in the foxhole to my immediate right). It was one of those really black nights - clouds were solid - visibility absolute zero. The time came for my B.A.R. man to wake and take over guard duty. I pulled on my vine. . . .he kept snoring. I was about to call him when I heard someone crawling directly in front of us. I jerked on the vine. . . . it broke... .he kept snoring. The Nip crawled past my B.A.R. gunner; then turned, went back the way he came, and stopped about 30 feet out front, behind a tree. I heard a little rustling noise, then everything was quiet the rest of the night except for occasional snoring to my right. The next morning I had two men ease out in front to check. There behind the tree was my night crawling Jap asleep under his raincoat. Evidently in the dark he had gotten ,lost and thought he was behind his own lines.

        I believe the First Battalion led the attack that day.
We pushed these Nips pretty hard. They had no supplies coming in; we had the main waterways covered also. They apparently carried their wounded till they died; then cut open their stomachs, got something out, and carved the meat off the legs and sometimes arms. They cut this meat up in strips and smoked it like jerky. We found several bodies like this after each skirmish. Then in the final battle when it was all over, I discovered three piles of human skin almost a foot high. George took a couple of pictures with our camera as well as some of the Nips that had been carved up.

        One of our most successful, escapades at Noomfor or was due, I thought, to a scouting trip I made with Johnny Longoris and John A. Holmes. We left the water hole and Third Battalion one morning, following a different trail than I had been down before. About two miles out, the trail forked. I left the two John's back to back while I ventured down the most promising one. The two John's were to empty a clip of ammo and get the hell out of there if a number of Nips came up; then I would know to bypass that area when I returned.

        About a mile up my trail, I came to a large open pasture (or maybe at one time, a cultivated field). It was rolling terrain so I decided to go down one side, staying in the edge of the jungle. It looked to cover about 300 acres. About 3/4 way down the side, I could hear some noise at the far end. About that time it started to rain, so I slipped on down to where I could make out a group of Japs carrying a large box or something. As it was raining pretty hard by now, I figured I could crawl up pretty close and get a better view of what they were doing. Just as I got close enough to see good in the rain, it almost stopped raining. When I heard a rustling to my immediate left, I looked and there was a Nip sentinel standing with his back to me and a poncho over his head. He wasn't over 10 feet from me, so I thought I'd better ease over to my right and back up some. When I looked to my right, there was another one about 15 feet. Then I started checking the whole area, as the rain was slacking up a bit. I counted 12 guards in a circle around the working group with only about 25 feet between each guard, and I was even with the circle. But the weather gave me a break and it started raining heavy again. I eased on back, got up and hurried back to the two John's. They said they shot at one Jap but he got away. I found a few drops of blood, but no Nip.

        We returned to Battalion Headquarters and reported in. The next morning, Col. Erickson, Lt. Phelan, some communications guys (with a telephone), myself and part of "G" Co. struck out for that pasture.

        When we got to the edge of the field or pasture, I had them wait in the jungle while I ran down the southern edge to make sure that the opening was clear of Nips. When I got to the place about where I had seen the Nips the day before, I climbed a tree in the edge of the jungle to be able to see the entire back side of the field. Just as I got in position to see everything, a column of Japs, four abreast, came out on the field from one of three trails entering the back side of the field. Then a second column of two abreast came down the center trail; next, another column four abreast came down the third trail. I realized that made ten and easy to count. When I got to 600 and they were still corning and headed straight across the field toward the colonel, I jumped down out of the tree and ran back to those waiting. Phelan and Erickson had the map out and when I told him what I had seen and what was coming toward us, he figured the coordinates on the map, and picked up the phone which talked to a battleship he said was about 19 miles away. By this time you could hear and even feel the vibrations of the marching Japs. He asked for two duds at said coordinates. The first (unbelievable) landed about 35 yards in front of us; the second, a few yards further.

        Erickson said, "Raise your elevation 200 to 300 yards and give us 100 rounds of big stuff." (By this time we could clearly hear the guttural commands of the Japs.) Then the colonel said, "Now you all get the hell out of here because there may be some short rounds." We did.

        Back at Headquarters, Col. Jones told the Third Battalion to stay at the water hole and he took the rest and went to check out the damage. I was much disappointed he did not take us and I know Erickson was, too. Later I talked to a couple of the boys who went. They said it was a mess. He said all they did was polish off a few wounded and estimated the total dead count at around 600.

        Word came out that I was going to be called in for some kind of medal. I told Rod that I was leaving on a three-day patrol and if they did call for me, that I would much prefer they gave that medal to someone who had given his ALL and just put me down on the next furlough list. I knew each mission was only permitted just so many medals, and I was not going to make a career out of the service, so I would never even wear it.

        When I returned from my three-day patrol (three men and I were ordered to look for any group or groups of enemy survivors that may have slipped out), I was told to grab my barracks bag - the plane was waiting and Rod had left a couple of days ahead of me. That was the last I saw of Noomfoor. (Rod had agreed with me that a furlough was worth more than any medal.) We thought we were going back to Sydney, Australia, but instead, we were sent to the States for a 30-day leave, after signing at least 5 different sworn statements that we would do nothing to delay or prevent our return to our outfit. Rod left on the ship before me because he got to the point of debarkation (if I remember right, we shipped out of Finchaven and shipped in at Hollandia) a couple of days before I did. I sat there for three weeks after he had shipped out, and was trying to get a way back to the 503rd when they finally called my name to ship out on the next ship. We were going to meet in Memphis, but Rod left Memphis on the return the day before I made it home.
This is getting long, and I have left out many vivid memories that I know probably would not interest you. The fact is, I don't know if any of this is what you want. It's just that once I started reminiscing, these were the memories that came to me. I guess it would take thousands of pages to cover the remembrances of all of us that are still alive today.

        A Colonel Cotton talked me into lending him my pictures, swearing he would return them as soon as he had copies made. He said he wanted to use them in the trial of war crimes after the war. I never saw him or the pictures again. I don't know what happened to George's copies, as he was killed on Negros Island.

However, I believe a Brown, address___________________
has some of those pictures. How he obtained them, I do not know. Only George and I were supposed to have had them.


        As a footnote, I would like to explain the Ml with the scope mounted on it. Just before going into combat, while stationed in Port Moresby, each platoon was issued a Springfield 03 rifle. When they handed me mine, I took one look and saw it had to be loaded one shell at a time if the scope was mounted. In the jungle I knew most of our fighting would be close quarters. I said "no soap" - I was not giving up my Ml for that thing. He said, "You have to, you tied for first place in the regiment for top gun." I said, "Give me 24 hours."

I took the scope, whittled me out a couple of wooden mounting blocks that would sit on the military crest of the Ml and still let me load a full clip at a time. (A day or so earlier, I had met one Joyce Cox, chief machinist at the air strip next to us. Joyce had been a childhood playmate of mine.) I rushed over to see Joyce and told him of my dilemma. Using my wooden blocks as patterns, he made two out of steel and mounted them with screws on my Ml. Then I zeroed my scope in and showed it to Col. Erickson. He said if I could prove it to be as accurate as the 03, we would go that route. We got in a Jeep and drove out onto a salt flat. He put me out, picked up a dead branch, and drove off about 200 yards or better. Then he stuck the dead branch in the ground, fastening a rifle grenade (it was about 1-1/2 inches in diameter and maybe 10" long) Next, he drove back to me and said, "Shoot." I could not pick up that small an object in my scope, so I asked which fork it was in. He said the second. I then fired, and he said, "You hit the branch - try again." I fired about three more rounds. He said, "You are hitting the branch. Let's go see if you are shooting high or low."

        We drove up to the target and the grenade had 3 bullet holes in it, but it had not exploded. I looked and saw the safety pin was still screwed in tight. It couldn't go off because the firing pin was blocked off and could not reach the detonator even though it was getting quite a jolt from the bullets.

        The colonel looked at it and said, "Fix as many rifles as you can before we jump." Joyce fixed several more for us, but welded the blocks on all other rifles. Meanwhile I took the other two guys from "G" Co., measured off a 1000-yard firing range, and set up a man size silhouette from the waist up. We were able to zero those guns in to where they could get 3 out of 8 shots into the target at 1000 yards. Also, one man from our company came up with a range gauge that he could use on the 60 mm. mortar, and another one made a gauge you could use with a rifle grenade. Next, a chemist expert, Dr.______, invented colored smoke grenades most useful when calling on air support. Col. Erickson said he was going to take us to Brisbane and get patents, but we were called to jump on Markham Valley, and that was scratched.

        I think the 503rd was unique in many ways. It was made up of all volunteers who came from all walks of life -- some from major colleges and even a few who could neither read nor write; some from prison, with non-violent reps; we had one of the finest bone specialists, a heart specialist, a priest, etc. I believe we had someone from every state in the union plus Indians, Mexicans, Cubans, Canadians, Germans, Hungarians, and I don't know how many other countries. They all made up the finest bunch of fighting men ever assembled, I believe, and I am very proud to have been one of them.

        Sometime during the latter part of the campaign, when the entire regiment was pushing a large contingent of Japs (I was told about 8000), the First Battalion, who had been in the forefront most of the day, was ordered to fall back and the Third Battalion was to move up and dig in along the military crest of a shallow ravine. As it was about to get dark, we guessed the Japs were doing the same thing somewhere on the opposite ridge, since the fireworks had stopped.

        Just as we ("G" Co.) were positioning ourselves to dig our foxholes, someone - Sgt. Striebe, I think - came to me and said HDQ wanted me to take 3 men and set up an outpost about 200 to 250 yards in front in case the Japs decided to make a major attack that night. I asked Hendren, plus a new man who was anxious to get into the action, and one other (I'm not sure of the names of the latter two) if they would go with me. I know none of us relished this idea since we had no radio or phone, and it would soon be dark. There was no moon that night -- even the stars would be hidden by the clouds. I knew the only way we could warn our troops would be if they heard us fighting.

        We proceeded down the draw, passing several dead enemy soldiers who had been killed earlier in the day. Our best cover was at the bottom of the draw which had about 50 yards of sparse growth on the Jap side before reaching taller timber on the top of their ridge. On our side there was about 30 yards of sparse growth with occasional patches of bushes between the bottom and top of the draw.

        We felt we were being watched, so about 250 yards out, we picked a place near the bottom where we could see anyone attempting to attack us, and hurriedly dug in. Then as soon as it got dark, we sneaked out and back about 50 yards where we had spotted a small knoll with some thick brush on it and just large enough for four men to crawl up in it and hide.
Our plan was that if a large group of Japs did move up, we would toss four grenades among them, sneak out the back side of our hide-out on the double and at a parallel to our M.L.R., because in the dark we did not dare try to re-enter our own lines for fear of being killed by our own troops. Nor could we stay where we were because then the odds were that we could be overrun by the Japs or killed by our own 4.2 mortars that would be dropping in with phosphorous shells in order to break up any major night attack.

        After getting settled down in the bushes, I realized from the smell I was getting, that there was a dead Jap just about six feet in front of me. I debated in my mind for a couple of hours about crawling out and dragging him a little farther away, but decided not to.

        About 10:00 p.m. we heard a small commotion down where we had dug our foxholes. Then there was some loud Jap whispering. We listened for several minutes before we could hear them crawling on in our direction. I could tell from the limited amount of noise that there must not have been much more than a dozen. As they got closer to us, the new man started to freak out, but Hendren was close to him and slapped him hard. That settled him down and we waited breathlessly. I heard one let out a grunt almost in reach of me. Another one came up and one of them gently started probing the bushes with something. It felt more like a bamboo pole than a bayonet, and as it punched my leg I was tempted to grab it and attack with my machete, but since it made no metallic sound, I held my breath and waited. This Jap said something to the other one. They then began to drag the dead Jap off.

        In about 20 minutes or so, we heard the group heading back towards their own forces farther up the draw. We all breathed a sigh of relief and were glad to see the morning light come up without any other incident. We rejoined our outfit and the push began again.

        I guess we were lucky because I can think of only three times when the Japs tried to move in on us with superior numbers. We were able to spot them each time and broke off their Banzai move by calling on artillery back-ups. One time was at night. We were next to a large field of tall grass, but someone spotted the movement and we set the grass afire with phosphorous shells; then broke up their attack with machine gun fire before the main body got within 200 yards. In fact, the only time I can remember them even infiltrating our outer perimeter, we only lost two or three men. It was a bright moonlit night and only about 15 or 20 Japs tried to sneak in on Co. "G." We were located on a hillside with woods to our back, a steep slope on the left flank where I was positioned, and a gentle slope with small brush and weeds to our front. Having anticipated some type of action, we had put out three lines of cans and grenades to our immediate front as a warning system. About 10:00 p.m. we heard the first line rattle; about 12:00 midnight the second line rattled; then about 2:00 a.m. the third line set off a grenade. Still we could see no movements. A soldier in the outer perimeter to the front sat up high, so he could see better, I guess. Then about 3:00 a.m. a rifle shot rang out. The soldier sitting up high was the recipient. He jumped up; ran right down among the charging Japs; then turned and ran back to his two man foxhole. I could not shoot because there were friendly heads popping up between them and me, but Little McLemore was located higher up in the center, and opened up with his tommy gun. That morning we counted eleven dead Japs, but had lost two of our own good men and may have had a couple more wounded.

        It seemed to me that snipers and ambush was what the Japs were best at. We had in our Company a guy from Arkansas about 3/4 Indian with the sharpest eyes I've ever known a human being to have. His name was Guthrie and on 3 different occasions he spotted ambushes waiting for us, and once I could not pick the Japs up even with field glasses. I know they had not spotted us because we then ambushed the ambushers.

After looking back on this, I suddenly realize what a picnic we had in comparison to those guys and gals caught over there in the beginning of the war, with only a limited amount of ammo and supplies. Outnumbered more than 100 to 1, with the Japs having almost complete control of the skies and the seas, they were the real heroes in this war, and may we never forget.





One of the times when I was sent out on a patrol with orders to bring back prisoners for interrogation purposes as to what we might find on this island (we were successful in capturing 4 or 5 prisoners), one of these spoke very good English as well as Japanese and some of the native languages. He claimed he was a hunting guide for English lords and wealthy aristocrats (Dutch) who were among the very few allowed to hunt on this island in peace time.

I don't remember his name but he did convince our interpreter that he was what he claimed to be and not a Jap out of uniform. At first I thought maybe he was Taiwan. Anyway, we used him for a back-up interpreter. Personally, I thought he was too intelligent to be a native.

He seemed to think I was some special G.I. or something when I asked him about the huge wild boar I had encountered on the island. Once when I was lead man for the battalion (I had spotted a large group of Japs the day before), we got a call for help from the second battalion which was supposed to join us near the coordinates I had given. The second battalion had run into an ambush and were having casualties. In fact, we could hear the Jap heavy machine guns chattering away -- about 1-1/2 miles from us, in my estimation. So I decided to leave the trail we were on and cut straight through the jungle toward the machine gun sounds. About 30 yards into the brush, I came around a large bush and found myself face to face with the largest wild boar I had ever seen. Only about 8 feet separated us. This animal was tall enough at the front that our eyes were on a level, and he had the meanest bloodshot eyes I have ever seen.

We both just froze and looked at each other. He had two 8" tusks protruding from his bottom lip and hair on his fore shoulders nearly 6" long. His back tapered down to much shorter hind legs with a body nearly 6 feet long. I estimated his weight to be around 600 lbs. We both stood perfectly still for at least 20 seconds before he suddenly wheeled and disappeared in the underbrush with only a whisper of sound from the parting leaves - not even a grunt. I breathed a deep sigh of relief, for I knew that even had I delivered a death shot to his brain, it would not have been enough to prevent him from reaching me.

Then this supposedly hunting guide told me something strange. He claimed that the better and braver men who came there to hunt, valued another animal found no other place in the world other than this island. He gave it a name I have since forgotten, for it was one I had never heard before. But then he described this animal as being very cunning and dangerous. He said it would stalk the hunter and kill. He described it as being about the size of a very large goat, gray in color, hooves not split and a single straight horn 8" to 10" long growing straight out of its head just above its eyes.

This guide then told me he would take me up into the high country into the bamboo thickets where its habitat was, because I was a great hunter and had spared his life. I was curious about this animal since to me he had described a unicorn, but I would not take off with him and I told the interpreter not to trust him. I believe he would lead you into an ambush and that he was too intelligent to be what he claimed to be.

Later after I had returned from a 3-day patrol, I was told they had to shoot him. Anyhow I never saw him again.


  Louis E. Aiken













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