Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the horses came in

New Caledonia

Fri. Aug. 7, 1942

I worked with Jack Robinsons's gang today unloading "Ordinance trucks" & heard today the Corp. Bill Williamson will be the corporal at the corral & that Harry's **** will be the stable boys. Went out and visited Frank Layman awhile & then went to the beach. I am reading a book tonight called "Pacific Treasure Island" and it is dedicated to the people of New Caledonia.


Sun. Aug. 9, 1942



Today we had a day off. Bill Williamson moved out of our tent today. He might be up at the corral. This afternoon, the horses came in. 16 of them & the fellows in Brown's Section walked them all the way from Noumea.



Mon. Aug. 10, 1942



This morning we had rifle inspection & I passed mine okay. Kruse, Johnson, Layman, Nothern, Isham & myself were picked for guard duty for a week. Starting at 8 A.M. this morning. Since we all have ridden horses a little, we were picked first, so that we could break them in. Due to the fact that we had 6 horses; 5 saddles & no bits, we had to pull it on foot. The bits did, however, come in later this morning. Frank & myself cleaned up two of them


Tues. Aug. 11, 1942


This morning after chow, we moved up to the corral. Sgt. Danny Greenstein moved up with us. We went out and combed and brushed the horses. After we were through brushing them, we were instructed on how to saddle them the Army Way. After this, we took them for a ride in the No. 4 Area. Their names are:



Jim (Harry & "Gig")

Duke (Johnson & Harry)

Mae West; mare (Isham & Nothern)

Nick (Nothern & Wynn)

Babe; mare (Layman)

Joe (Kruse)





Johnson's horse, Mae, came running back to the corral as fast as she could. Johnson had gone to get off and he hit her in the head with the butt of his rifle.



Wed. Aug. 12, 1942


This morning we were all assigned to pull 8 hrs. of guard duty again. Johnson & I are on 8 A.M. to 4 P. M. Rec'd 4 letters from home today. Two from mother & one from Evelyn Hailey. I am not even going to answer it.



Thurs. Aug. 13, 1942


I was on Post 2 last night which included from the camp across the bridge into No. 4 Area. We had planes installed in the area & have to call up every 2 hrs. I called David at 7 P. M. and again at 2 minutes to 9. I lost two more dollars in a Black Jack game awhile ago which brings my total to $19 in two days. I lost $14 yesterday. Later, I also lost my other $6 and then borrowed 10 more from Johnson, who now has around $100. They brought 4 bags of mail this evening, and believe it or not, I recieved 14 of them. There were 9 from mother & dad - 1 from sister, 2 from Marjorie & 2 from Evelyn Hailey.





______________________



This is Harry's Way Diary. He was 22 years old at the time of these entries, and serving in the Pacific Theater of WWII.



The day the horses arrived was a special day for these fellows. They took over the care of these horses and mules, which were used in heavy labor on a daily basis. The horses were able to move bulky loads in the steep terrain of the island, where the men and trucks could not.

August 7th was D Day at Guadalcanal. 19,000 Marines land on Guadalcanal with their objective to take over an airfield under construction. Rough fighting would continue for 4 months as the Japanese moved ships and troops in to counterattack repeatedly. On nearby Tulagi the Japanese HQ was been attacked simultaneously by U.S. Marines.

Harry will be sent to Tulagi and to Guadalcanal within the next 10 weeks (from this entry).



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