Wednesday, February 24, 2010

quaking with fear

Thurs. Nov. 26, 1942


We landed at "Tulagi" this morning at 4 A.M. Had reville at 5 A.M. Went up on deck and brought the barge in by hand. We then left Tulagi and headed for Guadalcanal & then went down to eat. As I sit here now I can see nothing but jungles. I think before this day is over, we will see plenty of action. We could see the flash of lights in the distance from the big guns.

Fri. Nov. 27, 1942

We stayed at Tulagi all night unloading a few supplies, etc It looks very peaceful now. All the Japs (Tojo) have been wiped off. The Solomons here are a very beautiful place. It reminds me of Panama. In 2 or 3 places the tree tops have been cut off by the Japs from shelling the beach. Also, they blew up the docks, so we had to anchor a good ways out.

In some places it stinks awful from the bodies of the dead Japs. The first landing party of Marines which was 800 men; the Japs killed 792 of them. There was a beautiful moon out tonight and they had another bombing on Guadalcanal. The Japs are being pushed back into the sea. All of them are in the mountains now.

Sat. Nov. 28, 1942

We are now 10 degrees below the equator here & it's plenty hot. We shoved off for Guadalcanal this morning around 5 A.M. accompanied by our 2 cans (destroyers). This is 27 miles across the bay from Tulagi. Upon arriving here, we could see where the Japs have shelled the beach, cutting the trees away. We are now unloading the boat of bombs, food & material for the airfield (Henderson).

Jimbo, Sgt. Irwin, Capnok, etc are now on the ship. They came over to see us. We are burying all our ammo by the airport. Some of these big, brave fellows who came over first have been quaking with fear, I hear. Maybe I will, too. At least I didn't shoot off my mouth that I wanted to see action. Some of the fellows are worrying themselves sick thinking about it. Though I'm not trying to be brave or anything, I'm not worried too much. If I get it, I just get it. That's all. There's not much sense in worrying about it, until you're sick.

Heard they were expecting a task force of 50 ships to come in. They brought 5 sailors on the Alchiba here yesterday who were in the Naval Battle here a week ago. Some of them looked as if they were dead. One fellow nearly had his you-know-what shot off. It probably seems funny to some poeple in a case like that, but I imagine it's not so funny.


This is Harry's War Diary.

Harry's arrival at Guadalcanal is marked by his observation of the peaceful and beautiful place in stark contrast to the death and destruction that is the nature of war. He's reunited with his Ordinance company and learns of their fearful reactions to the situation. What Harry describes as worrying themselves sick, is what we would call 'anxiety' today.

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