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5 - 11 SEPTEMBER 1943


5 September 1943




Images are courtesy of the Dan MacRaild Collection



   The 503rd Prcht Inf (and the 501st Prcht Bn and what was left of the test platoon, little Kelly out of Co F, Cpl Collee and Voils all out of Co F and this Bn) went to war and jumped on Japanese soil

0300 hrs

   Breakfast in the dark.

0430 hrs

Troops entruck as planned. 22 men or bundles on each truck, one plane load.

0530 hrs

   43 Truck convoy moves out for Jackson Drome.  Weather misty, troops packed in tightly.”




0700 hrs

   Convoy arrives at Jackson Drome.  Chutes are put on.  There are photographers all over the place.  On the ground are more transports than most people have ever seen at one time.  On adjoining strips the fighters are warming up, across the way bombers are taxing from their revetments, creeping along like gigantic cats slinking behind a fence toward the kill.

0705 hrs

   The Adj. and Sgt. Major were with a plane of Co F, the left assault Co.*  The jump master transmits his coolness and confidence to the men, inspects their equipment rigedly producing strong cord for a man who might lose his helmet, tape for another who was sweating some equipment catching on the door, rearranges the attachment of weapons so that they won’t get lost or bang their weapons on the chin.  He lines them up and designates again the order in which they shall jump, warns them that on this jump they may have to stand up a little longer, but by his manner lets them understand that he knows exactly what he is doing and exactly what he is going to do.

*Lt. Bradbury



During a jump the Thompson Sub Machine Gun was normally carried in a cloth case made by our parachute maintenance people.  When one went out the door, it was tucked between the legs.  After the parachute had opened, one would shift it over so that it was on the left hip.  If one forgot to shift it over, and descended gently backwards, one got a strike to the testicles not soon forgotten.

The jump master considered the Australians not trained sufficiently well to be familiar with jumping with all side arms. Their side arms/small arms shall go out the door in a pannier.

0715 hrs

   Troops enplane and wait.  The coordination of a hundred odd transports with fighter escort and bomber support, the biggest air armada yet assembled in the South West Pacific Theatre, takes patience.  Because of all the estimated timing in the planning a few small errors will multiply one upon the other.  Yet the finished product must be perfection and whatever time H hour is, at H minus one minute the jump fields will be bombed and straffed.  H hour itself must see eighty nine transports disgorge eighteen hundred men into the air over four jump areas.  H hour must see a waiting engineer bn cross a river with rubber     boats and eight hundred natives.  And at H plus five minutes the bn objective must be straffed.  H plus one hour must see six transports drop a battery of Australian Artillery and their guns on the ground.

0715 hrs

   The jumpmaster* issues a map to each man, tells them to memorize the azimuth from the jump field to the assembly area and the azimuth to the mountain.  He has each man hold up his compass to ascertain that each has it where he can get to it when he gets on the ground.  He cautions them that the grass may be over their heads.

  *Lt. Bradbury

Images (below) are courtesy of the Emmett Lee Wester Collection




0800 (approx)

   The planes’ motors start and vibrate as they warm up for the take off, then the first of them swing out like a row of prehistoric monsters and start down the strip past where General McArthur is standing with his traditional corps of photographers, and newspapermen-press agents for the great.  Now around the horseshoe, they pause and gun motors before starting that long roaring run that ends with the plane in the air.  One after another they circle over Port Moresby waiting for the armada to be formed.

0930 hrs


   Over the Owen Stanley Range, the men are cold and quiet and this attitude is natural enough and yet strangely too, that of an ordinary jump with full equipment.  The jumpmaster and the crew chief are comparing notes on crew chiefs, planes and finally, places in Sydney.

0935 hrs

   The pilot sends back word that we ought to get there about eleven ‘o clock.  The jumpmaster nods as though the information has no importance to him, as though to say “I’ll know about it when the time is right, whether it is ten, eleven, or twelve.”  There is the question of how long it will take the hundreds of planes in the armada to rendezvous for H hour.

1000 hrs

   The jumpmaster has discarded his indifference toward the terrain and is now looking out the door showing a calm aloof interest.  He indicates by signs to his planeload to buckle helmets, check leg straps and equipment containers.

1015 hrs

   Passing over big river now “Stand up and hook up”  “Sound off for equipment check.”  A bustle and every man is hooked up.  The nose of the bundle is sticking out the door.  The jumpmaster is standing with the bundle on his left, watching the ground and the plane ahead for the moment when the first parachute shall blossom.  The planes are low.  Very low.  They pitch and buck.  It is the low approach we have been told about, theoretically they will gain a higher altitude just before the men jump.  Out the door can be seen other planes.  "44", a plane of Co “F” is evidently out of line because it is flying right along side when it should be to the left and the second plane ahead of this plane which is "46"  Following and even lower, maybe two hundred or two fifty are the planes of Headquarters Company 2nd Battalion.

1027 hrs


“Okay, here we go.”  The jumpmaster and the #2 man (the adjutant)* give the bundle a push.  The jumpmaster is right behind it followed by twenty one others as fast as they can get out the door.  In the air the chute openings can be heard, the rattle of machine guns straffing; the aerial laid screen can be seen on the ground.  The jumper gives a hasty  glance at the canopy after the shock, grabs his risers to slip toward where the planes are coming from, sees mountains, realizes he hasn’t seen the much advertised orientation peak.  Scans the ground for a trail he doesn’t see.  Then the grass comes up rapidly, and the jumper prepares to land and swings into the high grass covering the ground with no more than a training jump bang.  Thinks “Not hurt this time” and struggles on the ground to remove his parachute.  He rolls and tosses and it seems as though the thing will never come off.



*Jerry Riseley

1030 hrs

   After he gets the chute off he remembers the orders to ball and chain the chute and carry it to the assembly area.  He listens hopefully but everything is quiet as moonlight on a lake.

1035 hrs

The chute now in the kit bag, he realizes that all that can be seen is Kunai grass and he can barely see the top of that.  After taking the compass bearing he shoulders the chute and starts to fight his way through the grass.

   After about 10 feet - this is foolishness.  After another ten feet - the basic problem is survival of the fittest.  He sits down, panting, wet with sweat.  A smart man would leave this goddamn parachute here.  He gets up and realizes that he is so exhausted he’s looking cross eyed.  To hell with that parachute, I’ll pay for it on statement of charges.  He beats his way through the grass.  It begins to get a little shorter.  Over on his right a couple orange helmets are bobbing -then a pair of shoulders.  They don’t have a parachute on them either.  Then he sees a group of five men all going toward what he imagines is the assembly area.  Reaching the edge of the woods he finds a couple officers and 10 or 11 men.  The woods is light jungle, navigatable only with a machette.  He sits down, watches a soldier reach up and cut a lawyer vine and lo and behold water.  He tries it himself but the vine is apparently out of water.  So are the others around.  It’s all in knowing how.  “To hell with it”, he thinks.  “To hell with the war and the entire Jap Army”.  He gets out his map and figures where he is. 

   Lt. Fishburn, one of the officers, sends out a two man patrol in each direction to try to find the assembly area.  Shots are heard but not very close.  This trail (on the map) should be the trail we are on.  It shows a native village over here about 400 yds.  If you go down the trail and come to the village you’ll know exactly where you are.  Chances are there are other people around who have  soldiered in the same type of terrain who will do the same thing. 

   (The jungle is very similar to that near the beach and around Rio Chico, Republic of Panama.)

1100 hrs

   The radio operator is trying with the radio without success.  The other officers decide to depend on their patrols so he and our or five other soldiers decide the war isn’t getting any younger and start down the track.  Toward the village?

1105 hrs

Lt. Sidi Parks, CO Co F, is coming up the track.  “This is just like Panama, Sidi — where’s the company?”  “Don’t know.”  I show him the map and tell him what I’ve decided about the village.  One thing about Sidi Parks, he’s open to suggestions.  So we continue on down the track out of the jungle across a bit of Kunai grass and enter a banana grove.  On the other side of the banana grove are three or four native huts.  We fan out and approach it.  This is the village of course.  Determining  that it is unoccupied, Sidi Parks and Rascob Riley “capture” the village.  The entire clearing looks like it had just been swept with a new broom.  There are new cut coconuts under the eve of one hut, a chicken on a nest under the eve of another.  A trail leads out on the other side of the village toward the coconut road (point D) and after rummaging around for a bit we start down the track.  Only to meet one of the other people around who has soldiered in the same type of terrain.  Capt. Greco and he has most of the battalion with him.  By now it is around 1230.

1300 hrs

   Capt. Greco brings the battalion into the village, decides to alter the original plan which called for Co F, Bn Hqs, Hq Co, and Co D to approach Gabsonkek via the north trail (Coconut Road).  Co E was to take the south trail through Point D (the village).  Now Capt. Greco decides to send Co E on that trail and follow it with the remainder of the battalion such as it is.  Capt. Falcon leads out with Co E, Co F follows next, a good piece of Co D under Lt. Meade, one mortar squad with gun, most of Lt. Howard’s LMG platoon.

1310  hrs

   Co E starts to move out.

1415  hrs

   Colonel Jones arrives at pt D.  He is exhausted having been with Col Kinsler.

1320  hrs

   All the while the battalion is assembling I have been pestering hell out of everybody, asking if they have seen this officer or that officer, and how many men and machine guns and mortars they got.  This because I know that as soon as Lt. Col. Jones gets his breath he’ll expect me to know just what we have and where it is and what we don’t have and where that is.

1330 hrs

   The battalion passed through the village, what there is left of it.  Some platoon leaders have 10 men and some have 50.  Lt. Col. Jones sends me to follow the trail.  Before we have gone a quarter of a mile there are men sitting exhausted along the side of the trail, drinking milk out of coconuts.  These are probably the people who lost their energy carrying their parachutes and wandering aimlessly instead of sitting down and studying their maps.

1345 hrs

   The track is a well used one.  It is just a winding channel through the jungle.  It’s a good jungle, there are coconuts and paw paws (papaya) in abundance.  The men are beginning to throw away some ammunition and at least one mortar plate. 

   A frugal machine gun squad of Co F found and carried to the objective 5000 rounds of ammunition. One mortar Sergeant threw away his mortar sight and base plate.  When we met the rest of his squad they were disappointed in him.  What they said will never find its way into a courts martial, but the corporal commanded that squad from there on.

1415 hrs

   A few more skeletal squads and platoons are coming up from the rear.  W/O Joe Bitala arrives with most of the communication section, tell me most of the heavier radios and the bundles containing the wire and phones are lost.  Asked Lt. Jacomini how many 81’s (mortars) he now had.  (I knew it probably wasn’t many because I’d only seen one).  “Hell, I don’t know, I haven’t been worth a damn since the jump.

1530 hrs

   Moved out of the jungle and into a clearing—the trail across the clearing is a tribute to the air force.  Every ten yards or so there is a new bomb crater.



Images are courtesy of the Emmett Lee Wester Collection


1600 hr

Arrived at Gabsonkek.  It is a native village, parts of it have not been lived in for some time.  The natives had evidently moved to CD (Charlie Dog.)  John Cole set his CP in an abandoned 1936 GMC truck.  The Japs evidently tried to drive it to Gabsonkek in the rainy season, bogged it down and left it.  Lt. Col. Jones is consulting his maps.  The bn CP is set up in a hut.  This isn’t the tactical thing to do, but when it rains it’s mighty convenient.

2nd bn dropped NE of CD at approx. 1030 hr. assemble  sched woods at JD was very slow.  Parachute salvage impossible.  Aerial support, bombing and straffing by friendly AC.  Assembly of complete Bn was finally effected in the vicinity of (Pt) D, Bn then pro-eastward, order Co E, F, 2nd and 3rd Plat Co D, one 81 mortar, staff, LMG plat, to G to H to J, to AL last element apr 1700 hr.

1300 hr

CO Co D to CO 2nd Bn “CO 1st plat and Co HQ at point “P” 1336.


Capt. Bates and one platoon and Co D Hq were the only units to proceed down coconut road.  1st Sgt. Hostisky and about 10 men (Co F) also found the right road.

CO Co D 2nd 1300 hr “2nd and 3rd plat moving to pt F” from CO Co D.

The platoon leaders of 2nd and 3rd platoons may have thought they were going toward pt F but a few minutes later they arrived at pt D.
1400 hr

Lt Bossard w/ 10 men jd Bn at AL approx 1400 hr.  (Out of Co B)

1602 hr


1602 hr

to CO Co E MG sect now moving up to yr CP, signed CO 2nd Bn-Mr Bitala.

This garbled message, and those to come later were the results of radio troubles at times.  Again they had been perfectly received, but the radio operator, excitedly had forgotten all he had learned about message writing, had omitted the date, time, and to whom it was addressed and the senders name.  They also scribbled in an illegible hand instead of printing.

1700 hr 

Co E to proceed from AL to AM to AX Co F AL-BX-AK-CD.

1800 hr 

 no resistance by 1800 hr all units in position.  RADIO:  No communication with 3rd Bn, 1st Bn or Regt.

1800 hr 

 Lt. Cole reported that one man’s chute did not open.

1830 hr

Cpl. Westberry wounded two shots in leg while on trail 500 yards south Gabsonkek.  Capt. Lamar (Bn Surg) was astonished at the size of the wounds. 

The Bn Hqs and Hq Co has just began to dig in at Gabsonkek when this happened.  Pvt. A-B-C* comes shouting about three hundred Japs just down the trail.  I questioned him and he told me that two of them had seen him coming up to the CP with smg, had chased him and tried to intercept him.  A-B-C* was highly.  Doesn’t seem to remember any details about  what the Japs looked like or on what he based his estimate of strength.  Col. Jones and Capt. Padgett got their heads together over the map.  Capt. Greco quietly put on his equipment and went out to take a look.



* Name omitted

Night of 5-6 September, 1943


 During the night the Bn went wild w/ trigger happiness and shot their weapons and threw grenades.  Gabsonkek is on the edge of a coconut grove and every time a coconut would fall, someone would imagine it to be a personal attack on his foxhole and let go with a tommy gun, machine gun or anything he had.  This was true throughout the Bn, except for the positions of Co E (Capt. Falcon) exhibited a high state of discipline by not firing (a) shot.  Co F Co D engaged in a grenade fight (according to Capt Greco).  Lt. McRoberts Co F was very nearly bayoneted in the throat by one of his own men when he got out of his fox hole to crawl down to one of his machine guns.  The man told me he was just getting ready to jab when Lt. McRoberts spoke.




by Louis G.  Aiken Snr.

Being a “B” Co. Soldier’s Version of 
The Great Fire Fight  at the 2nd Bn. Command Post,  
during the night 5-6 September, 1943 - as related to Gerry B. Riseley.






6 September 1943


0700 hr

Pvt. Girtman treated for shrapnel wound. 

Capt. Lamar later decided he’d just skinned himself.
0700 hr

Lt. Howard established that Cpl Westberry walked into his own gun. 


He had supervised the setting up of the gun after “suspicious” movements and sounds were observed ahead.  Then he had gone forward.  Pvt. Crabb, one of his gunners, saw him move and let him have it.
0700 hr

Rucker (Nearest Plat of Co D at AJ) to Padgett, S-3, I have no radio contact with anyone.  No contact w/ company.  I have patrolled and am continuing to patrol trails.

0700 hr

Est. enemy thirty w/ auto weapons repted at “A” by CO Co F at “CD”.  Co F directed to cover trails “DC-AT” and “CD-AU”.  Capt. Grecco on rec. from “EX” to AL to AH to AJ 0700, a patrol od 12 men (1st Sgt. Hostinsky) AL  to CD 0700 hr Lt. Bossard w/ 12 man AL to AM to AX to rept to Co E 0715.  D Co Hqs movg.  AB to Ac 0730 village NE of  A________ signs of recent evac.  Lt. Bossard msg to Co E “Take pos as directed” AX AW AVBF route of Bossard to Booby Trap.

0700 hr

CO 2nd to all Co’s are any others missing. 

The adjutant’s cry for a casu rept.
0740 hr

F Co to CO 2nd BN.  repeat infro in re to next pos we were to occupy to date what dispos of seven natives captured by us.  Request resupply grenades, LMG ammo and one mortar comp.  Are you sending any one for captured Jap equip?  A patrol is investigating enemy vicin of XX AT

0758 hr

S-1 Bn to CO’s D, E, F send Co runners to Al rept to Sgt Creveling. 

The Companies, in action as in practice, adhered to the idea  that they were gaining a man by not sending one to the Bn Msg Cen.
0800 hr

Co 2nd  Bn to CO F,  evacuate natives to Heat (Bn CP) will get resupply LMG ammo and notify when we have done so.

0745 hr

Pvt. Snipes, Pvt. Davis FRAL to Rucker AJ. 

Capt. Padgett’s scouts and observers.
0800 hr

 Fr Co F to CO 2nd Bn send disp of our Co. 


This is an effect of the habitual control of small units by higher commanders.  Lt. Parks, who has seen the ground, is asking someone who hasn’t where to place his platoons.  He knows that if he places them himself he will be ordered to move them later.  So he is asking for a map placement.
0800 hr

Panel placed at Gabsonkek

The panel is a signal for aerial resupply


Priority Unit






Hall (Co F)


2 Batteries


Heat (Bn CP)


3 Defense


Halo (Co E)


4 SCR-284



0912 hr

Co D to CO 2nd Bn.  We are at AC

0825 hr

Pvt. Watson Co I jd Bn 1630  5 Sept 43: at AL and left 0825  6 Sept 43:.  Route intended A1 AN AP Hq Bd BG. 


This is what the Australians call a control mag.  All units through which the man must pass are notified.
0830 hr

Plane dropped supplies 0900.  COLAFF Co D, treated for GSW.

0830 hr

Regt Comdr to 2nd Bn CO take part of 2nd Bn and salvage all equip and chutes. 


The Regtl Comdr is now assuming that since he has seen no enemy, there probably aren’t any.
0930 hr

Lt. Ross and Lt. Snook, Lt. Ross fr jmpd art.  (Austr) arrived at Gabsonkek for Dy. as liason Officer w/ Bn- ARR w/ 286 which contacted the Arty. Hq.

0832 hr

Co E to CO 2nd Bn we want our three resupply bundles.  Lt. Snook is w/ Aust.  2/2 Pioneers who effected crossing of Irap River 1400 hr ARR AT W AF about 1730 hr. and contacted Regt.  p/2 pioneer under Col. Lang has also approx 900 natives.  Could give no estimate as to time nec to make field landable.  The 2/2 used a bridge built by 2/6 Eng. Co (Aust) of holding boats under Capt. Dumphry.

0850 hr

Lt. Cole and Lt. Jacomini left w/ party to go back to man w/ broken leg near jump field. 


Capt. Lamar says it’s this sort of thing that ruins the medic’s reputation, he had an aid man staying w/ the man all night.
0855 hr

 Five natives captured by Co F, arrived at Gabson CP (they are smoking Jap cigarettes).  Lt. Snook of Engr. interviewed them


Lt. Snook is a character who makes an impression on everyone who meets him.  Not big, but of that Australian wiryness, he’s an unheralded Lawrence of Arabia whose business is recruiting natives by his own means to work for the Australian Army.  He travels light and fast and often alone or with no more than a couple of native gun bearers. (see –913)
0900 hr

Captured* Jap equipment sent by Co F to Bn CP: 1 blanket, 1 knee mortar, 1 helmet, 1 shelter half, 1 field glass, container shaped billycan, 2 water jugs, 5 clips of 303 DC 41 V112 ammo, several books and logs both in Jap and German.  Medicine bottles- Atabrine, plasmquine, quinine.

*ie abandoned

0900 hr

 S/Sgt. Getz Co A, jd 1700 hr 5 Sept, Pvt. Caldwell left for 1st Bn 0900.

0905 hr

Lt. Snook was in this area several years ago.

0906 hr

Co D to CO 2nd Bn.  No missing in action, no casualties.

0906 hr

Co F to CO 2nd Bn  none missing in action no casualties.

0910 hr

Co E to CO 2nd Bn, No MIA no Cas.

0913 hr

Native say no Jap in Nadzab or Gabsonkek area.  The Yalu natives tell them that there (are) Japs between Yalu and Ekkovka plantation “A lot” which may mean 10 or 1000.  Most friendly-recommend they be evac through PW channels   Lt. Snook will take them w/ him to where the rest are hiding in the bush.  This reported to 2nd Engr.  2/6 Eng left 0930. 

0925 hr

 CO 2nd Bn to CO 2/2nd Pioneers (Thru Regt)  Lt. Snook left Gabsonkek forward toward Yalu w/ 5 natives to bring on all Gabsonkek natives.

0930 hr

 Pvt. Drew, Pvt. Lee, Pvt. Calla, jd 0830 had not yet seen Co. left for Co D 0935. 

Note the rept of Co D at 0906- no missing in action.
0930 hr

Lt. Ross left for Co E.

0930 hr

CO 2nd Bn to Regt Collaff GSW tr at 0700, evac, Elvelth Co D, broken shoulder, evac,  Synkowsky Co F left on jump field w/ broken tibia.  Seal Co D, broken ankle not yet evacuated.  Fisher Co D Left on jump field, exhaustion.

0945 hr

Faulkner and Lt. Shell of Aust Arty AR FR Arty CP and left for area of 3rd Bn

0950 hr

Cpl. Westberry wounded last night evacuated by patrol and 3 natives.

0956 hr

Co E to CO 2nd Bn Resupply us w/ anti personnel mines, also 4000 rds LMG ammo drop at 3rd Bn area let us know if we can expect it.

1000 hr

CO 2nd to CO D, Drew, Lee, Calla left for Co 0935.

1020 hr

1st. Sgt. Hq 2nd to CO 2nd none missing in action from mortar and com.  No report Lt. Howard, Cpl. Westberry casualties. 

1 LMG section under Lt. Howard was attached to Co E, the other under Lt. Grant was with Co F.  Hq. Co 2nd, always late on everything in garrison, was no better in action.
1025 hr

Lt. Luscomb arrived w/ 19 men from Co E on route to look for initial drop bundle.

1035 hr

CO 2nd Bn to regt Cpl. Westberry  Hq 2nd GSW Evelth Co D broken shoulder, Colaff Co D GSW evac to Regt.  Synkowsky Co F left on jump field w/ broken tibia.  Seal Co D left on jump field, exhaust  Pvt. Girtman Co D shrapnel wound not evac.

1050 hr

S-3 Regt to CO 2nd Bn Regt disposed as follows:  3d Bn in pos as sched 1st Bn was working on strip at 1530 hr 5 Sept 43:   2/2 Pioneer Bn arrived by 1730 hr  5 Sept 43:.  All were working on strip and 7th Div has been notified that planes can now land,  Regt’l CP AT C Aid stat little enemy activity.  Signed at 0918.

1100 hr

Blum left w/ 1 man w/ Lt. Ross going forward.

1110 hr

CO 2nd to CO Co E, contact Lt. Howard for casu rpt on LMG plat particularly has Pvt. Parker been located.

1120 hr

1st Sgt. Guy arrived from Co D -  D Co is starting to salvage equipment-missing in action Sgt. Himmelburger, Carter, seen on grd, Berger not seen since jump Co D 1st platoon Co D near Mac’s camp killed one native w/ booby trap during the night, and are going to bury at Mac’s jump. 


The native had evidently been a resident of Mac’s Camp and had come back to see what was up.  He had been carrying a spear.  Had hit the first booby trap line and then the second.  He let out a deathly scream that kept the whole platoon shivering in their fox holes till dawn.
1123 hr

CO 2nd to D, F  Have you sent a detail to salvage equipment as yet, if not do so.

1130 hr

Lt. McNerney arrived from Co CP enroute to 2nd Plat left 1140.

1130 hr

Bossert to CO 2nd thru Co E  I am at AX cannot send carrying party to you, can you drop on 3d Bn resupply area, if not I will continue on patrol mission only.

1130 hr

 Co D to CO 2nd Can we booby trap at night?  CO 2nd to CO D. ask later. 

Lt. Col. Jones had just heard about the killed native and it does not please him at all.
1140 hr

Lt. Howard to CO 2nd No casu in 1st LMG contact, Grant w/ Co F for RPT on 2nd Sect.

1155 hr

CO 2nd to Bossert thru CO Co E, request for AP mines forwarded to regt by runner if possible will be dropped on 3d Bn Cp.

1159 hr

Co E to CO 2nd the next time a party comes this way have them bring 50 yds w-130*. 


*booby trapping wire.

1230 hr

Lt. Bibb left w/ 10 man detail on chute salvage.

1231 hr

Aust Arty fired 2 rounds to East.

1255 hr

Pvt. Baltivik broke toes on jump.  left at “D” (BN Surg)

1300 hr

radio contact with Co D lost

1300 hr

9 defence bundles dropped by B-17’s so far this AM.

1300 hr

 CO Co D to Co 2nd Martini MIA, Cpl Hine, Pfc Minor, Pvt Martin, Pvt Lynch, MIA.

1305 hr

Patrol sent out by Lt. Blum (2 men Co D) returned route K-1-N-R-AH-AF-AD (log road)  AD AH HL- no enemy sighted.  There are living chickens (6) in Macs Camp- left out for Macs Camp 1310.

1305 hr 

 CO 2nd to Hq 2nd, D, E, and F, seventh Aust. Div. has been notified 0918 that planes may land on Nadzap strip notify men.

1322 hr

CO 2nd to CO Regt.  Case report Pvt Baltivik Co F broke toes on jump not yet evac put Steinborn Co F boarded plane 0700 5 Sept 43: ABCESS ILIAC, Pvt Martin Hq 2nd Cpl Hame, Pfc Minor, Pvt Martin Pvt Lynch MIA, Pvt Parker Hq 2nd MIA.

1330 hr 

 Co D to CO 2nd plat  rear K w/ patrol 2000 yds E of AB also patrols 250 yds NW of K 3rd Plat AT AC w/ patrols 500 yds SW of K 2nd plat not reported end.

1340 hr

Co F to CO 2nd Bn the enemy reported at At have left our disposition is as follows.  1st plat in pos vic of AU they have recon patrols AU east to BF 2nd plat is in pos 1000 yds E at AT, 3d plat is in pos between AG and AE CP is in vic of CD.  All platoons have patrols recon 1 mile to their front.  We have one outpost near AK.

1350 hr

CO 2nd to CO Co E.  Have you contacted 3rd Bn end.

1400 hr

Co E to CO 2nd Bn have contacted 3d Bn.

1418 hr 

Lt. Luscomb rtn fr jump field w/ 18 men found mortar 81 bundle and own bundles.  Left on main trail beyond F.  Left for Co E 1440 hour.

1425 hr

CO 2nd to Co E, has Greco been there?

1427 hr

S/Sgt. Simon missing in action.

1440 hr

 Lt. Col. Jones left for Co E at AX (w/ Cpl. Dulaney)

1445 hr

Lt. Snook to CO Regt thru 2nd Bn- Relay to CO Aust troops have contacted five Gabsonkek natives contact me thru USA troops at Henry.  (Co D).

1500 hr 

 Co D to CO 2nd 1st and 2nd plat will booby trap tonight.  Co 2nd to Co D, Lt. Rucker will not repeat will not booby trap tonight.

1500 hr

An Aust from the air strip arrived w/ 20 native carriers to evac wounded (He came in five days from Tsilli-Tsilli  the adv supply base)

1515 hr

Co E to CO 2nd are there any water cooled MG there?  CP to Co E.  No water cooled guns here.

1530 hr

Cpl. Meeks was injured on jump never arrived in camp.

1600 hr

Native carriers evac Pvt. Seal Co D, Pvt Carter Co D, fr MIA to Evac.

1525 hr

 Lt. Cole w/ Sgt. Shaw, reported in fr jump field.  Pvt. Synkowsky w/ broken leg and Sgt. Himmelberger w/ heat exhaustion were evac to point D. 


The mission for today was to find the equipment which had been in the initial drop bundles.  Very few initial drop bundles were even seen after the jump and only a very small part of the equipment therein moved toward the objective with the Bn.  Lt. Cole’s mission:  Find Pvt. Parker whose chute did not open.




7 September 1943


0800 hr

Lt. Cole arrived w/ 1 plat Hq Co.

0812 hr

Lt. Luscomb arrived w/ 1 plat Co E-  Lt. Col. Jones arrived fr Co E.

0835 hr

Lt. Bradbury, Lusomb, Rucker and Cole w/ plats left for jump field to salvage chutes under Capt. Greco.

0910 Hr

2nd to Co F-  Patrol AT to Camp Diddy Lt. Snook Aust Inf Off known to be in vicin.  Do not fire on natives.

0935 hr

Capt. Snaveley S-2 Regt arrived w/ Capt. Loyd Aust Inf ATT to 7th Div Hq.  Capt. Snaveley reported Brownfield Co C, killed on jump.

1010 hr

Major Duchaetl ar w/ 1 off, and a few native gun bearers looking for Lt. Snook (1 off is W?O Ashton) both of New Guinea Forces.

1016 hr

Bossert to CO 2nd Bn, am establishing strong point 1 mile beyond BF will patrol forward of that pont request anti pers M’s and K-rations for twenty six men.  No enemy action.

1025 hr

Capt. Snaveley and Capt. Loyd left out for Co F.

1030 hr

Maj. Duetchal left for pioneer Hq Vicinity of strip.

1100 hr

Lt. Bibb ars fr strip w/ ration detail and rations (20 cases C).  More bundles dropped.

1100 hr

Summary of equipment received by parachute on resupply so far:




20  60 M shells

4 LMGS comp


20 (250 rd) MG’s

2 s-barrels

32 mines

60 MM shells

3 (250 rd) MG belts



30 camo nets


 MG’s comp

5 nemo kits



1115 hr

CO Regt to CO 2nd  Send patrols to or 3 miles to east north send one patrol five mi west two thirds go to jump field to gather prchts.  Group rept to cen of fields and CO will guide them in cub. 


Note:  It is now about 48 hrs since the jump.  Col. Kinsler has no idea of the exact location of his units or of the terrain forward.  The air force has complete control of the air.  In the air is the safest place to be.  A coincidence?

1120 hr

CO Regt to Co 2nd Meeks has been received at Regt.

1130 hr

Patrol consisting Sgt. Watzka, Sgt. Gilley, Cpl. Harrison, Pvts Zweifel, left Gabsonkek at 1130 hr, for Erap River, mission 00 from direction AWWIN (NW)

1130 hr

W.O. Bird (Angau)*   came through CP looking for Major Duchaetel. Was directed to Pioneer Bn CP.

*Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit

1205 hr

M1-827870 found on jump field.  All CO’s notified.

1245 hr

CO 2nd Bn to CO 3d Bn.  Markam Valley road east from Munum will be bombed by friendly aircraft between 1330 qnd 1400 today, display signal indicating you foremost position.

1300 hr

Ration detail ar w/ 15 Bongs. 

Old Herman got so he could carry on a stuttering conversation with the natives.

1330 hr 

Capt. Snavaley rtn fr Co F.  (Our patr found enemy bunkers MG and rifle pos.)

1340 hr

Cpl. Hines, Pvt. Martin, Minor, Lynch, Berger Co D MIA to dy w/ Co D.

1340 hr

   CO Co F to Co 2nd Bn in vic (photo map 3543  land AD 24B (18.3-14.4) These pos appear to have been dug within last two days they are in  vic NGAFIR creek.

1403 hr

CO Co E to CO 2nd Bn  71 men in Co not counting men on jump field.

1408 hr

Co F to CO 2nd Re: Rations we rec 82 Cans c-rations we have 113 F Co men plus 19 attached total 132 men and 0 is this all the rations we get and for how long do you wish us to send 29 rations to Lt. Bossert now the men w/ duty plat say they received no rations, (on the jump field)

1410 hr 

Regt Cmdr ar at Gabsonkek in jeep which had been flown in, passing through on way to strip # 2.

1425 hr 

Capt. Snavely brings reports fr Co F that the Jap left much equipment and his food actually cooking on stove (AT CD)  Co F is eating chicken and roast pig.  Capt. Snavely taking back med kits 2 Japanese haversacks Jap condom some papers Jap leggings, shirt, socks pants, gloves, wooden chest 1½ x 2 x 3 full of German mission books one steel chest, empty w/ missionarys name.  Asked that Lt. Snook question natives to ascertain present location of missionary.

1455 hr

Co E, repts locating some Jap bunkers.

1515 hr 

  Two Aust reported  Jap sniper killed below mission AT AR  Cpl. Johnson, Regtl Int. Sec. Attached went to investigate. 


Note: This was apparently only a rumor.  Added to the rumor later in the afternoon Col. Kinsler heard about the Japs being killed and moved the Regtl CP another half mile.

1520 hr

Capt. Padgett leaves to go to Co F thence to Co E

1530 hr 

Note in passing.  Capt. Greco and 1st Sgt. Hostinsky went on a bit of a recon yesterday PM uniform: baseball caps and green suspenders.  said man on outpost fr Co Co D “I took up the slack on the TSMG and then decided to wait a second so that I could get both Japs at one burst- than I recognized the green suspenders”. 

(Green suspenders were an issue item to hold up the jump pants).

1530 hr 

S/Sgt. Simon Co E MIA to 1st Bn aid station lacerated knee.

1545 hr

Bossert to Co 2nd I have patrols tracked N and E of BF.  No contact with enemy or 3d Bn.  No food, no mines.  I am digging in 1 mile E of BF for tonight.

1545 hr 

 Capt. Lamar returning fr Co F say it is not yet known whether or not Japs still in bunker but artillery laison officer (Aust), Lt. Ross, is calling for fire on the bunker.

1610 hr

CO 2nd to CO Regt. Osborne Co E, Gastritis acute evac to Regt.

1620 hr

CO Regt. to CO 2nd.  Urgent submit overlay showing all mine fields made by your unit expedite.

1630 hr

 CO 2nd to Bossert.  Send overlay of mines.

1630 hr 

Padgett at Co E to Richmond CP send 12 AP mines to Halo by Luscomb and carrying party.

1655 hr 

Lt. Snook rtns fr N of E on Mac’s camp repts that five natives have gone on forward to bring back Gabsonkek natives.  We cannot be sure that they didn’t go back to Japs.

1700 hr 

Major Duchatel ARR back from finding Lt. Snook and left out for Aust Hqrs.

1707 hr


Jeep ar fr strip w/ Regtl Cmdr driver says had eleven jeeps 5 trailers at 1100 hr and represents forward echelon of 7th Div.  The plans still call for movement of full Div.

 Col. Kinsler’s first move on these little visits was to ask for a can of fruit juice.  His second was to leave after he had drunk it.  To my knowledge he never at any time visited any of the outlying company positions.

  This may not seem so far out of line for those who have not been there, but to those who have, they know the shortness of rations, especially fruit juices, at even battalion command posts.  For a fathead to ride up in a jeep, while all others walked, and ask for a can of fruit juice is utterly ridiculous.

1717 hr

Col. Kinsler and Lt. Snook by jeep for 3rd Bn Hq.

1720 hr

Cpl. Martini MIA to dy w/ Co D.

1800 hr

CO Regt to CO 2nd send overlay of mine fields.  Evening -  quiet with ration bundles being dropped from B-17 Bombers.

1800 hr

Enemy bombers reported seem to be in vicinity NGAFIR creek and NGASAWAB






0600 hr

 Detail fr Hq Co lvs for strip.

0600 hr

Patrol left out to Camp Diddy.  Lt. Blum took rations out to Bossert, and Powell. Gen:   Transports are landing and taking off on the strip brining in supplies and a few Aussies.  Immediately they land small patrols, come wandering into the Bn CP at Gabsonkek, some 1500 yds from the strip.

0630 hr 

Regt Cmdr (Col. Kinsler) arrive in a jeep.  The era of Jonny Eagerism the General is coming today, police, full dress and shave.

0630 hr

Bossert to CO 2nd thru Halo.  No contact with enemy heard.  Heavy bombing about 3 mi E of our position  (Bossert is 500 yds E of BF) will maintain strong point mentioned in No. 2.

0800 hr

A Col. USA Engr. arrived in a jeep wondering why in hell they were still dropping food to us with resultant  waste of rations, gasoline, and chutes.

0929 hr

CO 2nd to Co E.  Lt. Summers of Co “C”, w/ approx 25 men will be coming thru your position approx 0945.

0945 hr

CO 2nd to CO 3rd Bn.  Plat Aust left here for your area 0945.

1024 hr

Regtl Surg to Regtl.  Am at Hall CP.

1321 hr

CO Regt to CO Bn.  Guinea Gold is not available.

1400 hr

67 planes reported to have landed yesterday.  Jap is w/d to Lae.  7th Aust. will move down Markam Valley Rd and expect to contact enemy at Heaths.  Lae was extensively bombed last night, 9th Div landed in area of Malahang wreck E of Lae and are attacking Lae by proceeding N and E thence to Lae.  Est. Jap strength Lae and Vic 10,000.

1420 hr

CO Regt to CO 2nd.  Submit status report as of 0700 hr  Report to reach Regtl CP by


(At first they wanted the mg report by runner by 0800.  Regt:  2 1/2 miles.  I explained that wandering around early in the AM was not a healthy thing to do.)
1430 hr

CO Regt to CO 2nd.  Men who were with Col. Kinsler on 5th Sept 43 has returned.  Sgt. McNight, Pvts Grady, Alred, Johnson, McCallan. 


On the third day Col. Kinsler returns his body guard.
1555 hr



Capt. Greco brought in the silk wrapped dog tag of Pvt. John M. Parker, 6399671, of Hattiesburg, Miss.  Parker's chute did not open, MIA to KIA.  S.D. Parker, Rt. 5, Hattiesburg, Miss. 


See Appendix IV, Lieutenant Colonel Jones' letter of condolence to Pvt. Parker's next of kin.

1610 hr

CO 2nd to CO Regt.  Patrol fr Camp Diddy reports no evidence enemy activity.

1420 hr 

1st Sgt. Co D to CO 2nd.  Patrol fr Eras river has returned, went two miles north on river no enemy sighted, saw one native but he escaped.  Did not fire at him.  Native village west of river appears to be occupied was unable to cross river at this point. 


This 1st Sgt, Sgt Guy, knew enough to make a report, after being on patrol, without having to be chased down for it.  Many an officer didn’t do as well.
1708 hr

CO 2nd to Co E, Lamar rept Heat immediately.

1710 hr 

CO 2nd to CO Regt.  Send Surgeon to Bn CP by jeep as soon as possible.

1711 hr

 Co D to CO Regt (control)  We have a man w/ both arms blown off, is there anyway evac him tonight.  Do so by order of Lamar.

1715 hr 

 CO regt  to CO 2nd.  If next maneuver requires one Bn it will be Det by the unit losing least amount of equipment less ammo and chutes during this battle. 


This is what we call a Kinslerism
1718 hr

CO 2nd to CO Regt.  Request info as to disposal of Pvt. Parker.  Will  do nothing until I get infro from you.

1720 hr

Lamar Bn Surg to control have jeep at the Bn CP.  Hold plane immediate evac matter of life and death.  Request no booby trapping until stretcher has passed.

1725 hr

CO 2nd to CO Regt.  AP mines 900 yds E of BF on trail.

1730 hr

Sketch of Bunker found by Co F.



This sketch by Capt. Padgett who estimates the bunker and position to have been prepared certainly  not before 5 Sept 43, and possibly later. Location trails N of BC.

1736 hr 

Co F to CO 2nd our area has been booby trapped.

1800 hr

Pvt. Elmore, Co D, evacuated, see explanation 9 Sept 43.

1809 hr

CO 2nd to Co’s D, E, F, booby trap to your front only.  Notify when you have done so.

1810 hr 

CO Regt to CO 2nd.  Do not booby trap area around jump field.  Detail will be picking up chutes.

1820 hr 

CO 2nd Bn to CO Regt.  Pvt. Elmore Co D, GSW, accidental, evac to Regt.






0730 hr 

Duchatel to 7th Aust Div thru Regt.  Ref Nadzab 1 in five natives contacted.  Sq 4159 Ashton patrol moves at 0800 north to foothills.  Natives report NIL enemy movement Ashton returning to Henry 1700 hr 10 Sept 43..  536 radio will accompany patrol advise Angau.

0745 hr 

Co D, to CO 2nd Bn.  Maj. Duchatel is moving out to north foothills w/ patrol.  Request Aust Brigade Hq notified is there code name for Aust Brigade, if so please notify Major Duchatel USE.

0800 hr 

Lts. Bailey and Kish passed through on way to Bossert’s.

0800 hr

CO Regt to CO 2nd.  One Bn will go back tomorrow, but no bn will go back until its chutes are in.

0830 hr

Lt. Abbott repts on patrol to CE and Bn FR AW.  No enemy found Jap canteen, can of Jap canned heat, small tin of some sort of med supply, Jap MG cover.

0915 hr

Capt. Atkins and Chaplain Powers passed in jeep enroute to jump field to pick up Parker’s remains.

0915 hr

CO 2nd to CO Regt.  Request guide promised by Col. Kinsler to guide four man detail to lost equipment.  Do you want this detail to report to your CP? 

The equipment referred to here is evidently equipment ordered to be left behind during the approach march by Col. Kinsler.  The soldiers who jumped with it were very unhappy over the whole thing.
1230 hr

 Col. Kinsler (Regtl Cmdr) arrived by jeep with infro that the 25th Brigade will relieve all but left flank platoon of third Bn.  3rd Bn will probably leave by air sometime today.  All morning transports have been landing and taking off from the strip.  A few Aust patrols have been passing thru including a platoon or Co w/ a weapons cart which had missed the Markam Valley Road coming north from the mission:  Activity during night 8-9 an aircraft was heard, sounded like a whiraway.*  A few of the usual shots and explosions but none in the vicinity.

*Wirraway - a licence built North American AT-6: the word was an Australian Aboriginal term meaning "challenger"
used as a front line fighter (for which it was entirely inadequate) and for Reconnaissance, Artillery Spotting, Dive Bomber, Ground Attack and Supply (for which it was well suited.)

1330 hr

Lt. Bradbury rept that 1030 8 Sept 43. Pvt  McGinn, Co F, was on recon near bunkers and was surprised by a native.  McGinn shot twice with M-1 rifle, native was buried at 1200 hr. 8 Sept 43.Under supervision of Lt. Schuder: Capt. Lamar returned from strip reporting that 3rd Bn also had a total parachute failure and that Parker was buried this AM in chute and full equipment.  Parker’s grave was dug w/ pickmattox.  1 ADZ, 1 shovel.  All abandoned Jap equipment. 


 This is a bit of information which was not reported but obtained as the result of the Adjutant’s continually questioning everyone about everything.  As an Australian jeep driver put it “what the bloody fuck are you, an inquiry reporter?”
1410 hr

Note on Pvt Elmore’s accident: He was assisting his squad in preparing a field of fire in front of a LMG.  The LMG was loaded.  It was not safe.  Someone pulled on a vine which pulled the trigger.  Result probably loss of one arm, possible loss of both.

1700 hr 

The Airborne Engineers are bringing jeep size bulldozers, graders, tractors, and like equipment including at least one 2 1/2 ton truck up from the strip and bound for the jump field where another strip is being built.  They are carrying blankets and full field.  Some of their jeeps are being used to carry chutes back.

1700 hr 

 Said an airborne Eng with visible pride “Those are our jeeps” and a parachutist dug his toe into the dirt “and this,” he said “is our ground.”  The Infantry - she is still the Queen of Battle whether parachute, amphibian or hay foot, strawfoot.

1835 hr 

CO Regt to CO 2nd.  Send four corporals to lv in AM by plane to supervise taking chutes back to Gordonvale.

2200 hr 

Jeep used to haul chutes from Gabsonkek.  Lt. “Sol” Blum proved to be a pretty handy officer -  he’d work day and night.






0640 hr
Co E to Lamar (thru F) Lt. Milikin walked into a booby trap  Capt. Lamar left out for Co E.
0745 hr  Lt. Fishburn reports to the Bn Cmdr.  Details of booby trap accident.  Lt. Milikin spent the night at Co F and was coming from that area into Co E, having to pass through Co F plat of Lt. Fishburn.

(Entries in the Journal incorrectly refer to Miliken as Milliken, and have been corrected accordingly. Visit Lt. Milikin's headstone.)

"Thomas "Ripcord"  Roberts was a member of the 501st Parachute Battalion and then the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment.  He  drops a sad fact not heretofore reported.  The mortally wounded Miliken begged his litter bearers to clean his fingernails.

     Strange as this may seem to us reading this account in the comfort and safety of our homes, what do we know?  We have not been mortally wounded.  Many of us feel as though we have stared death in the face, eyeball to eyeball, but we walked away to live another day.  We cannot begin to presume the thoughts that pass through the mind on those who are being gathered into the arms of the grim reaper, from whence no explanations can come.

     Another sad fact about the death of this young, well-liked lieutenant is that penicillin would have almost certainly saved his life.  The grenade segment penetrated through the lining of the abdomen, the peritoneum.  The results was the dreaded, but usual, peritonitis which almost always resulted in death.  Penicillin cured peritonitis.  Unfortunately penicillin was still a few weeks away from the Southwest Pacific Theater.”

0800 hr Lt. Fishburn reld of comd his platoon.
0835hr Lt. Milikin evac to Regt (grenade wound.)
1200 hr No transports came in during AM as a slight rain wet the strip.
1330 hr Co E to CO 2nd.  3rd Bn has been reld and Aust have moved in and are moving up artillery.
1335 hr First transport today left strip on jumpr field.  (#2 strip)
1820 hr Cpl. Thomas, intel regt, repts that Sgt. Mitchell, Regtl S-2, repts discovery two jap bodies beyond Regtl area to west.
1820 hr Capt. Lamar Osborne evac to dy w/Co E.
2000 hr Lt. Blum repts that 25th Aust Brigade has encountered 12 MG’s and mortar fire at Heaths and that 5 jeeps are being used to haul mortar ammo down Markam Road in that direction.  (Lt Blum, the Bn Mess Officer assisted Capt. Padgett with S-2 work.)





0600 hr
Regt S-3, to CO 2nd.  Two platoons papuan Inf Bn will pass thru on way to Camp Diddy.
0700 hr Lt. LaVanchure left out w/ patrol, Munum Rd.
0830 hr 2/4 field amb repts Lt. Millikins condition surprisingly good.
1055 hr Hardy, WD, Co E, evac.
1400 hr Baker, Co F, evac, malaria.
1600 hr 3rd Bn observed in approach march toward Lae and was reported they would be held in res at Yalo.
1830 hr  Capt. Mitchell (Regtl S-3) to Lt. Col. Jones-  Two officers for patrol tomorrow.  Received word by radio news broadcast that Gabsonkek had finally been taken, after fierce fighting.  Said  Lt. Col. Jones, that’s where we are -  We’re having a hard time chlorinating our water.









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