February 27, 1944.

Sunday

Missed out on church this morning. Forgot it was Sunday, and followed a class list posted on the board. There was no one in the class room to instruct us and by the time we realized it was Sunday, it was too late. However, as I have my own way of worshipping the Lord, church doesn’t mean a lot to me. I doubt you’ll find anyone more devout than myself, however, God my God, the one and only recognized Christian God. If a person hasn’t religion before coming here I guarantee they soon do. The fellow who said, “There are no atheists in foxholes” was a very truthful and discerning fellow.

We seem to be about through with our daily classroom education here. All that remains for us is the Jam Handy Trainer and Aircraft Identification. Both are good subjects; and we, who are about to go into battle, assuredly appreciate these two.

One of the new radiomen who arrived here yesterday just mentioned that he spoke to a couple of Infantry men, who have been down among these islands for 25 months. One of the boys said the top flight shaving lotions were great stuff down here. It seems they make a good stiff beverage. However, I’d certainly not recommend that. It’s probably one man’s way of saying to another that he’s ready to go home, and would sure as hell enjoy a nice tall frosted glass of something besides lemonade. Heaven help the prohibitionists if they get the upper hand back home. That expression is often said down in the Islands.

Well, its school time again so goodbye for the present, back in the flash of one hour.

One hour of pot shotting filmed Japanese aircraft, Mitsubishi 00s1, Aichi 99s2, Nakajima 97s3. I’m back in my main occupation here.

One of the men just made the statement “that if we had a small refrigerator and plenty of beer around here we might survive the climate”. It’s slightly drizzling today and is so cool it’s almost cold. Heavens, what a relief.

Reckon there won’t be a picture show tonight. Guess it’s just as well as I should spend a good deal of time studying the nomenclature of these Pacific Islands. Life might depend on it someday.

They’ve got some mail in the orderly room and are sorting it. My hopes are running away with me. Who knows, I might get a long awaited missive from my beautiful wife. Doggone a war that takes one so far away from his loved ones.

There’s certainly no doubt that war is hell. Instead of sitting idly by, as a few organizations I know of; and which are well known to you as well, when this war is over, we’ll form an organization with lots of long sharp teeth in it. We’ll be damned sure that no more wars threaten the peoples of this earth.

A few differences in our organization from those veterans affiliations existing before this second Great War will be: 1. our affiliations will not be the type of place where men abound and discuss over their beer, deeds of heroism in this last war. Where men will sit around play poker and go home a little hilarious and quite tight. Those very conditions allow the real effect of veteran’s organizations to be flushed down any apropos drainpipe. Some of their ideas of course are all right. The national institution of poppy selling is a well thought up aid to incapacitated veterans. Their many other charities draw a good deal of applause from me. In addition to these however a solid block of opinion should be developed toward one end only, and that is to put down any figure that crosses the horizon as a threat to any people on this earth. Don’t insult me either with a block of appeasers who take the easy way out and bow down to the demands of stronger people. Not on this earth is there a stronger richer nation than the United States. Neither is their one which should be able to make us quail before them. By thunder, we need to keep our nation welded into a nation of hard working, God fearing men just as this war has welded it. Can you imagine any nation attacking us as we exist today? No! You cannot nor will you, if minded men who know exactly what they want and who will stick together through thick and thin will stand up on their hind legs and demand the right to fight any nation who is so bold a to wish the disruption of peace.

As we make our lives, so we live them. As liberty lovers wish and vote, so we live our lives. Why take the easier way because there are less thorns. Where are the more thorns when all’s said and done? Not where men get off their dead ends, either of which is apropos, and demand that we display a united front to any country as bold as to say, I want, to you. You, who own the greatest nation of earth, you, who command a good many of the worlds brilliant minds, you who have loved Liberty since the beginning of time, you who control the best developed and mightiest industry on earth. The very idea of them demanding from us is absolutely unheard of, if we are ready to fight at the drop of a hat when any such suggestion tips our equilibrium.

The gauntlet of war or peace is up to you men and women of America. You may sit idly by as you wish and as you did before this war. God help you and you will suffer the indignity of and oppressors rule.

Me? I’ll fight any time and any place. I’ll be heard in any situation affecting the security of my country. I hope, in closing, that you will be revered among those few who so many will owe so much.

That quite exhausts me for today so I’ll sign of with the prayer I read before retiring last night, the 23rd Psalms of our Lord.

Decided to write a little bit more before bedtime.

Have been in the intelligence classroom studying reports and also going over escape procedures in use, should we be shot down in the Rabaul, New Britain and New Ireland areas. Also sheets on Japanese interrogation of captive Americans. Very brief and beats around the bush attempting to get small bits of information to fit into a jigsaw puzzle already together by Japanese Intelligence. Those babies are smart customers. If captured, must remember that my name, rank and serial number be the only items that I divulge. Have often wondered if I could pass that test if it becomes necessary. Believe I can and hope I can.4

Hooray. We take our first flight from Guadalcanal tomorrow at 11:30 – 12:00 noon. Strictly training. We’ll probably get a week of it.

Goodnight again.

Notes & Commentary

1Mitsubishi A6M Zero also known as the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_A6M_Zero.

2Aichi Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber also known as the Aichi D3A. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aichi_D3A.

3 Nakajima Army Type 97 Fighter also known as the Nakajima Ki-27. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakajima_Ki-27.

4 Wayne was blissfully unaware that the Japanese normally executed captured Allied airmen. They justified their actions under the Enemy Airmen’s Act, passed by Imperial Japan in mid-August 1942. The Act provided for the execution or life imprisonment of Allied airmen. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enemy_Airmen%27s_Act.

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3 Responses to February 27, 1944.

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Wayne was quite an opinionated man.

    Like

  2. Lloyd Marken says:

    He’s pretty fired up in this moment. It will be interesting to see what happens to him once he is in combat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. a gray says:

    He is naïve and full of opinions. His main concerns are his tent mates, meals, training routines, etc. Is his bravura real or just a cover for fears and doubts?

    Like

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