Thursday, March 11, 2010

Maytag Joe


November 1942

We started to our camp around dark and we had no sooner got in bed when (washing machine) "Maytag Joe" came over. A lone Jap bomber. He dropped 8 bombs around the airport Henderson Field, only two of them hitting. 8 Marines were killed in their tents from flying shrapnel and concussion.

We are right by two 105 batteries and they are shelling the Jap's in the hills all night. They estimate there are around 10,000 Japanese on the island still & they are dug so far in the ground up on the forest that they can't get them. They are trying to starve them out. They claim they are getting supplies from a sub or from Washing Machine Joe. We've had continuous bombings since we've been here.

I'm now with part of the co. located between the two airports (Henderson and the small airport at the fighter strip). Around this grove the Jap's unload the bombs. They are flying so high they can't hit the runways on Henderson airfield (we can see in the distance). We have an ammo dump between the 2 airports, of all places. We are having bomb raids around every 20 minutes now. We are spending most of the night in fox-holes. They don't show their face around here in the daytime, because we can pick them off with the 90MM AA gun. If they do come over, however, they are between 38,000 and 40,000 feet. Our 90MM will only shoot 30,000 feet (around 6 miles).

This is Harry's War Diary

Harry's Ordinance Company is working in support of the Marines that are taking over Guadalcanal. They are expected to move, store and guard the ammunition. In their current situation, they aren't able to do anything but hunker down.

The American troops develop a talent for identifying the aircraft by sound. The annoying engine noise of a particular Japanese plane earned a nickname: Maytag Joe.

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