August 11, 1944


Last night Kenneth Buffington of Hartford, Connecticut came over and we discussed life in general. The conversation got around to applejack and so here’s the recipe. Take a 50 gallon wooden barrel of cider. Deposit it in a pond when fall arrives. Make the cider as late as possible in the fall and do not keep over two weeks before sinking it. Remove barrel from ice in the spring. Chop a hole in the side and peg it into the center of the barrel. Let the two gallons that is left from 50 gallons of apple cider drip into a jug.1 Take home. Guaranteed, 1 shot glass will keep one pie-eyed a whole day. Smooth as a silk stocking leg, and nearly as potent they say. “Buff” is quite the boy. Farm lad with excellent ideas on the subject of pure living.

At last, I hate the Jap soldiers, body and soul. The reason? The story is a group of Infantry boys captured a Jap Imperial Marine, 6 foot 2, 200 lbs. of muscle and bone. It took five husky Americans to hold him down while an American Intelligence officer searched him. Finding a wallet affair, the officer opened it and removed a picture. He glanced at it, dropped it, grabbed a bayonet and plunged it into the Jap’s stomach, arose and walked away. An engineer standing nearby appropriated the picture and looked upon it with haste and disgust. Standing in line in the picture were 8 naked Japs. Spread eagle on the ground, naked, lay an American nurse with her legs held apart by kneeling Japs. Little was left to the imagination as to what the 8 Japs intended. A naked man has no secrets! How could one be sure it was an American nurse? On her head was a nurse’s overseas hat complete with the bar designating the rank. Yes! I hate those filthy bastards and intend killing everyone I can lay my hands on. My .50 caliber machine guns will fire 800 rounds a minute! Until now, I’ve had qualms about killing but subjects such as that deserve no quarter. They shall get none!2

Today Buff and I borrowed a jeep, picked up Johnson at the 3rd Attack Group and drove to Hollandia town. Trip was in vain. Nothing remains of that city but a few ruined buildings and hundreds of GI tents. The view of Humboldt Bay from the overlooking mountains road is magnificent. Lake Sentani3 is huge and is a gem for a connoisseur’s eye. The road was terribly dusty all the way. Found it hard to see ten feet in front of the jeep. Two staff cars passed us on the road. One contained Lt. Gen. Eichelberger4; the other, I believe, had MacArthur.

News of the meeting in Hawaii of Admiral Nimitz, Mac Arthur and President Roosevelt on July 25 has just been released. They talked of reconquest of the Philippines, but can’t see that. Time will surely tell.

Returned from our trip today, dirty and dusty. The shower was truly welcome.

Horrors! Am on KP tomorrow so must write Bonnie and get to bed. Goodnight, baby!

Notes & Commentary

1 According to a Wikipedia article, applejack was historically made by freeae distillation.

. . .cider harvested in the fall was often separated in the winter via freeze distillation, by leaving it outside and periodically removing the frozen chunks of ice, thus concentrating the unfrozen alcohol in the remaining liquid. From the fermented juice, with an alcohol content of less than 10%, the concentrated result contains 30-40% alcohol.

Applejack. ( : accessed 10 August 2014).

2 The story is . . . This entry in Wayne’s journal was result of a story relayed to him by another person. The details may not be accurate, but such behavior by Japanese troops has been well documented. Simple searches will turn up accounts of such behavior throughout the areas occupied by Japanese troops. Numerous reports of such occurrences appeared in the newspapers of the time. Some Japanese commanders were prosecuted for the actions of their troops. General Yamashita was hung. “Yamashita His Guilt, Many Atrocities Specified” Sydney Morning Herald, New South Wales, 09 October 1945, p 1, col. 1; digital image, Trove, National Library of Australia ( : accessed 09 August 2014).

3 Lake Sentani has a surface area of 40 square miles with a maximum length of 17 miles and a maximum width of 12 miles. At its deepest point, it is 171 feet deep. Lake Sentani. ( : accessed 09 August 2014). For views of Lake Sentanii, see “Lake Sentani: Introduction to Spectacular Papua.” Wonderful Indonesia. ( : accessed 10 August 2014).

4 As commander of I Corps, Sixth Army, Eichelberger took part in campaigns on New Britain and New Guinea. He was responsible for the assault on Hollandia in April 1944. In September 1944, he assumed command of the U.S. Eighth Army, which with the U.S. Sixth Army, was engaged in the invasion of the Philippines. He served as commander of the Allied Occupation Forces in Japan from the end of the war until September 1948. For a full account of Robert Eichelberger’s life, see Robert L. Eichelberger ( : accessed 10 August 2014).

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1 Response to August 11, 1944

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Wayne’s reaction to the nurse story is quite understandable.
    I had the same reaction while reading it.
    I believe that this particular story was made up, but that the raping of women by soldiers in wars was and still is most despicable.


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