August 12, 1944

Saturday

Another day gone by and another dollar in the hole, maybe. Another day in it, at least.

Johnson1 and a friend came up in a command car last night. We took the road west of here (42nd Group HQ 26 miles from Hollandia village, 15 from Lake Sentani). It’s beautiful up there, mountains and valleys. Passed several outdoor picture shows and different Army camps are strung all along. After dusk fell, we returned to Squadron2 and Johnny went home.

Wrote to Bonnie and got ready for bed. Tried to take out my billfold but it wasn’t there. Always take it to bed with me and take one last look at Bonnie’s picture before dropping off to sleep. Put my clothes back on, got a jeep and headed for the 3rd Attack Group, 8th B. Squadron.3 Suspected it fell out of my pocket in the command car and didn’t want to take a chance on losing it. We drove and drove trying to find the place and finally did when we were about to go past. One of the fellows went along. This left-hand road driving is a little harrowing on the first attempts. Sure enough, Ray had found the billfold. After obtaining it, I left the tent and hurried to the jeep. Fell smack dab in a fox hole. My bottom and my arm suffered but nothing serious. What wild, jumpy, bumpy rides we take down this way. Wow!

Today passed quickly. Drew the Pots and Pans detail today while on KP. It was rough, and I’m rather scrubbed out tonight. Took three showers during the day, one after each meal.

The far-famed Hollandia shower.  A waterfall poured down from the left rear, was routed through U-shaped troughs and furnished an abundance of clear COLD water.

The far-famed Hollandia shower. A waterfall poured down from the left rear, was routed through U-shaped troughs and furnished an abundance of clear COLD water.

The shower is a marvelous one4. Water is piped from a clear fast stream into a trough about 20 ft. long. Holes are punched in this at intervals. Ergo, one exhilarating cold shower. Good fresh water too, a relief after those nightmare salt water affairs at Stirling Island.

The scenery around here is beautiful!

The natives native to this area are rather small in stature. On approaching white men for trading purposes, they always salute and are so solemn and dignified about it, that one can’t laugh at them. Good trick too, because the whites always smile when approached. They trade any thing from Jap real and invasion money to stalks of bananas. They love cigarettes. Present prices are twelve bananas for 3 packages of American cigarettes. Invasion money for small stuff such as gum, candy, cigarettes, small knives and what not.

Saw six Jap prisoners on a truck yesterday. Followed them down the road several miles. They all looked young and only one especially brutal looking, a little blackheaded skunk. Johnson took a picture. Hope it comes out alright. He also took one of me standing on the road edge overlooking Humboldt Bay.

When the Americans took this territory, the Javanese women came out of the hills, all with a look of long suffering. No smiles there, just automatons. These were all heavy with child. It takes little imagination to figure out whose children they are. Oh! If I get knocked off out here, please God, let me take all of those yellow lice with me. They aren’t fit to live! Hate grows on little provocation, and there’s nothing small about the provocations around here. Every time I think of the shellacking those devils got here, my whole being exults. More and more of the same are coming to them! Hurray!

It was announced tonight that Aitape has ceased being a point of resistance. A thousand Jap dead in the past couple of days. Good! Bloodthirsty, aren’t I? No damn wonder.

B-29s hit Nagasaki yesterday. B-24s hit Davao on Mindanao, Philippine Islands. Ningyang, China fell to the Japs after entire garrison was wiped out. American’s gained 40 miles yesterday, are at Le Mans, France, forty miles from Paris! Germans are still holding Russians on East Prussia border. Not for long, we hope.

Wrote Mom a letter tonight. No mail has come in from home since we moved. Hope we get some soon. We all miss mail call more than we like to say.

Tonight is an evening for romance. Good and cool with stars above and love on the breeze. Velvet nights that stir the longing lonesomeness in a person and with them, comes a deluge of memories that sigh through the mystery of night and drift down the paths made by cobwebs in one’s brain and hearts. To you, my heart cries out, baby doll shedding quiet tears of happiness over our lives together and with yearning unbounded for you. If faint breath of sudden air brushes your lips tonight and there’s a sudden lightness in your heart, my dream caresses have followed the night winds unerringly to your heart.

Good Night Sweetheart until our meeting in one tomorrow. Until our flames have met, re-flamed and resumed their ceaseless sparking of our desires. Sweet dreams and Aloha (until we meet again!)

Notes & Commentary

1 Willard “Ray” Johnson.

2 100th Bombardment Squadron, 42nd Bombardment Group.

3 8th Bombardment Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group.

4 Photograph from The Crusaders. United States Army Air Forces, The Crusaders: a history of the 42nd Bombardment Group (M). (Baton Rouge, La.: Army & Navy Pictorial Publishers, 1946). World War Regimental Histories. Book 113. p 105 : digital image (http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/ww_reg_his/113 : PDF download 17 April 2014).

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4 Responses to August 12, 1944

  1. Pierre Lagacé says:

    His hatred for the Japanese is growing more and more…

    Like

  2. gpcox says:

    Sentimental feelings can be seen between every line. A wonderful man.

    Like

  3. suchled says:

    Just keep them coming. I particularly liked the photo.

    Like

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