Well, what do you know? Saipan fell today as did the French town of Caen. Russians are still clipping the Germans. 300,000 dead Nazi’s in the past two weeks. Have driven into Vilno, Old Poland. That’s 100 miles from Warsaw, Poland, about 400 from Berlin, I believe. Hooray! The boys in this outfit seem to think the war will be over by this time next year. It certainly seems conceivable to me, but your father confessor is no authority.
The noisemakers are back after leaving amidst a welter of noise. A Marine lieutenant and an Army pilot were here visiting their crew members this morning and afternoon. They told some wild stories about drunken brawls they’d participated in. Takes all sorts of people to make a nation, I reckon. They killed two cases of beer and a quart of whiskey. Whoopee!
Seehorn and I had a little fuss this afternoon. He wanted me to accompany him to the Red Cross building, but I declined. Reason? To write to Bonnie. Said if I didn’t go, that he’d pester me so much that my letter wouldn’t be written. Accordingly, he took my stationery and hid it. I took his bag and emptied his clothes all over the barracks. He untied my mosquito net and messed up my bed. I grabbed a broom and literally swept his face. He shouldn’t be able to shave for a week. He retaliated by throwing all the trash on the floor on my sack.1 I got him down and rode him like a cowboy rides his bronco. Verily, Stan took a beating today.
He kiped Russell’s boots last night and hid them in his bag. Russ came over this morning caught him in bed and tickled him ’til he was weak with laughter. Last night, Wicks grabbed a powder can2 and filled his hair full of it. These antics go on day by day and always provide a source of amusement.
One of the radio operators, just a kid, drank six bottles of beer last night. Would drink a bottle, run outside and throw it up, drink another and throw it up, so on through the night. Around Seehorn’s bed, were gathered Thurston, Russell, Wicks, Downs and myself. After Downs went to bed, Seehorn took the broom and swept all the bottles, and these were considerable, under Down’s bed. Fellows can really think up tricks to annoy people. Do you, dear reader, agree?
Received a letter from my baby this morning. I was virtually tickled pink. Will finish the letter to her which was begun this a.m. Also wrote to Dad and Mom. Must do a lot of writing in the next few days or all the folks will think I’ve forgotten them. Heaven forbid!
So much beer has been running around here that we’re fighting the “Battle of Beer”, as one captain aptly put it. Seems the boys have been selling it to the Marines at excess profits. The captain was sore. Stated that the Marines were getting all the beef, and the Army, the goat and pork meat plus the beer! Personally would rather have the beef!
Well, it’s time to close this for tonight. Must write Bonnie’s letter and so a few more pages on my self-propelled book.
Adieu, kind friends for this night.
Notes & Commentary
1 Sack, i.e., bed.
2 Probably white-colored foot powder. He must have been a sight.
Since I just started following your site, I want to say how lucky you are to have the journal. It seems to bring a personality to war life that you can’t get from history books. I wish I had such for my dad ‘s story. I do have a published diary of another Hornet seaman so it will have to do. Thanks for sharing Wayne’s story.
Yes, we are all lucky that Wayne’s Journal survived the war and through all the years since. As I wrote in “Wayne”, https://waynes-journal.com/about/, it “. . . provides a rare look at the life of an enlisted airman in the South Pacific, his experiences, the people he knew, the places he visited, and how the war affected him.” Wayne wanted to be an author and his journal reflects that desire. He has left us with unique description that otherwise would have been lost.
There is much to read, but I encourage you to do as some readers have done. Start at the beginning Wayne’s Journal and read. Be sure to read the “Notes & Commentary” sections of the entries. They provide insights that otherwise would be lost.
By reading Wayne’s Journal from the beginning, you will see how his experiences changed his life. He arrives in the South Pacific, on Guadalcanal, with no real understanding what his life there will be like, how he will fit in. You will see how his attitudes and outlook changes as he encounters uncomfortable living conditions, boredom, fear and death. I have no doubt but that Wayne’s experiences mirror those of many young men and women.