Tuesday, April 13, 2010

some never to return

Guadalcanal
December 1942





They finally got Washing Machine Joe. He hung around here one morning too long. A couple of P38's went up and shot him down, however another W.M. Joe started coming over last night around 9:30 P.M. They trained all 7 searchlights on him and he flew directly over us. They couldn't hit him with the 90MM because he was too high. You could see the shells bursting in air all around him. He finally dumped his load on the beach & got the heck out of here. It was getting too warm for him.




We now have around 200 planes on the island (so I hear) including a bunch of flying fortresses. I've seen enough action already. I'm ready to get out of here & so is everyone else. The first night we landed we went to the front line, which is 6 miles from here. But nothing happened, which I am thankful. We're supposed to be non-combatant troops (Oh! yeah). Every day troops pass here going to the front. Some never to return. Around 300 native headhunters passed here yesterday, armed with Jap rifles, knives, etc. They hate the Japs for raping their wives.






We have stopped the Japs from landing 3 times since I've been here. I hear that the Atlantic Fleet is over here now. The 25th Division came in yesterday (Dec ??) and I hear the 23rd is in Tulagi & that the 43rd is on it's way. The 25th is from Hawaii and they are crack jungle fighters.





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This is Harry's War Diary

They really strive to understand their role. Headhunters? Jungle fighters? Well, Harry has seen enough action for his taste and still sees himself as a non-combatant.

The" Dec (??) " is a real indicator that Harry has lost track of what day it is. In previous diary entries he keeps a sharp track of the time of day and likes to list the events in a particular order. His propensity to mark time is put on the back burner during these months on Guadalcanal.

If you look closely at the photo of a field, you'll see the crosses that mark the graves of the fallen Americans. There are also a few soldiers visiting in the cemetery in the background.

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