Little to report for this day. Washed a mountain of dirty clothes. My back is tired tonight.
Am lonesome and blue for Bonnie but am taking into consideration what we’re fighting for. It must be worth fighting for and worth the loneliness and sorrow or all our boys wouldn’t be out here. Guess we have to be philosophical about these subjects or all this sort of life would be hard to take.
Buffington traded a pipe for a native bow and several arrows of different types. One for birds which had four different prongs for a head. One for wild boars, with a long steel point hammered out of an old shovel, possibly. Another with a jagged bamboo tips, narrower and shorter than the rest for man hunting.
The tips, as are every part of the bows and arrows, are made with bamboo, blackened and hardened. The arrows prongs are barely a quarter of an inch in width and up to five to 8 inches in length. The bow string is a thin piece of bamboo, as are all of the bindings and etc. The arrows all carry simple designs cut into the wood.
The natives here are quite small and cannibalistic. For instance Buff saw two natives run into the woods, heard the “Yipe, Yipe” of a dog. Soon the natives came back out with their faces covered with blood.1 Ugh!
These natives love to trade. Anything goes and they’re hard traders. Think of the white men as Gods if they’re shaven. One requisite of warfare in this section is a cleanly shaven face, for psychological effect on them.
Drove down to Cyclops strip today and watched A-20s come in. Also saw a Jap Oscar and took some pictures of it. Had my picture taken with Carl Snyder, Ken Buffington and George Hansen, I believe, in front of a captured Jap 75 millimeter cannon that lies in the 42nd group’s back yard, so to speak but just off of my front porch. Drove up a very steep grade in the jeep. Took low, low gear but we made it. The view was magnificent, both landing strips visible. They are placed in a bowl. The strips are the bowls bottoms and the mountains their rims. Panoramic views are excellent here.
So that’s all for tonight! Oh Yes, the Yanks are fighting in the outskirts of Paris. Russians launch new two army drive to outflank Warsaw and East Prussia. Florence Italy has fallen.
Halhmahera Island2 bombed by mediums and B-24s, 51 Jap planes shot down, 7 ships damaged as well as 26 barges.
Good night, angel face. Wynne
Notes & Commentary
1 A Pomeranian puppy purchased in Australia by a Navy crew was captured and eaten by New Guinea natives in August 1944
Lt. Cmdr. Morris D. Coppersmith and Galia Berry, ed. When Victory is Ours: Letters Home from the South Pacific 1943-1945, December 26, 1943. (http://www.topshot.com/dh/Victory.html : accessed 15 September 2014).
2 Located west of New Guinea, Halmahera is the largest of the Molucca Islands. Morotai Island lies to the northeast. Halmahera covers over 7,000 sq. miles. The Japanese constructed nine airfields on Halmahera from which to control the surrounding seas and islands. Halmahera was occupied by some 30,000 Japanese troops including those of the 32nd Division.
Gordon L. Rottman. World War II Pacific Island Guide, a Geo-Military Study. Westport Press, CT: Greewood Press, 2002. p 252 et seq.