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Armed Forces Day 2017

when_is_Armed-Forces-Day_in_2017

20 May 2017

The longest parade in the U.S. for Armed Forces Day is Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Here’s what’s planned for this year’s extravaganza…….

Hamilton County and the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council will sponsor the 68th annual Armed Forces Day parade and luncheon on Friday, May 5, at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Chattanooga.

The parade highlights a different branch of service every year, with the Air Force featured on Friday. The parade will begin with a flyover of two F-16s piloted by Lt. Col. Dave Snodgrass and Maj. Gen. Richard Scobee.

A small peek at 2016

Scobee, son of Chattanooga resident June Scobee Rodgers, is a command pilot with more than 3,800 flight hours, including 248 combat hours. He is the 10th Air Force commander, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

His command includes all fighter, bomber, special operations, rescue, airborne warning and control, fighter and bomber flying-training missions, combat air operations battle staff, remotely piloted aircraft, space and cyber units in the Air Force Reserve CommaTwo Air Force veterans will serve as parade marshals: Jack Rolfson, a WWII B-17 pilot, and Eugene Parrott, a fighter pilot in the Korean War.

Another special guest will be Lt. General Arnold W. Bunch Jr., military deputy for the Office of the Assistant Air Force Secretary for Acquisition at the Defense Department.

Gen. Richard Scobee June 10, 2014.

Lt. General Bunch

For more information, visit the parade’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/chattafparade/ or the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council at http://chattareaveterans.com.

Do you or your area have plans for the day?

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Personal Note # 1 –

Branden Charters needs help with having flowers put on every veteran’s gravesite for Memorial Day.  Find ways to help HERE.

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Personal Note # 2 –

Our fellow blogger, Jacqui Murray, writer, teacher and mother of two currently active serving children in the military has now published her second novel, Twenty Four Days.  Check it out HERE with a sample chapter!

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Military Humor –

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Farewell Salutes – 

Paul Adams – Lincoln, NE; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 332nd Fighter Group, pilot (Ret.)

Robert Atwater – Elmira, NY; US Navy, WWII, SeaBees

Marino DiChiara – brn: ITL; US Army, WWII

Barbara Grooters – Grand Rapids, MI; US Navy WAVES, WWII

David Herrington – Baxley, GA; US Army, WWII

Kermit Miller – Lehighton, PA; US Navy, WWII, Radarman 3rd Class

Bob Price Sr. – St Louis, MO; US Navy, WWII & Korea

Dewey Stephenson – Waterboro, ME; US Navy, WWII / US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Daniel Stewart – Fort Wayne, IN; US Army, WWII

John Zilar – Denver, CO; US Air Force, machinist

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Current News – Military Appreciation Month

There is no need to wait until Memorial Day to put out your flag!!  May is Military appreciation Month and I take a break in our Pacific War story to have each and every one of you have this information.  I hope you enjoy this THANK YOU today for those that have served in the U.S. military, past and present, and to those of you who served in nations that have stood shoulder to shoulder with America

May is a special month for both those in and out of the military. For service members and veterans, it’s a chance to pay tribute to supportive families and spouses on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and honor the memory of those who have sacrificed for this nation on Memorial Day. For the general public, the entire month provides an opportunity to say thanks to all those, past and present, who have contributed to the U.S. military.

What is Military Appreciation Month?

Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by our service members — past and present. Each year the president makes a proclamation, reminding Americans of the important role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country. May was selected because it has the most days set aside for celebrating and commemorating our military’s achievements. In addition to the special days already mentioned, important dates for the military in May include Loyalty Day, which was established in 1921, Victory in Europe (VE) Day commemorating the end of WWII in Europe in 1945 and Armed Forces Day.

Military Appreciation Day

Many locations also celebrate a specific Military Appreciation Day. Although not a nationally recognized holiday, areas use the day to hold parties and picnics in honor of their local active duty, Guard, Reserve and military veteran communities. Local businesses may offer discounts, while local sports teams may give free entrance to military families and veterans.

We honor you

Join Military.com this month in honoring, remembering, recognizing and appreciating those who have served and those now serving — read special features, and learn the history behind Military Appreciation Month. If you’re a service member, military family member and veteran, you can find out about major events taking place throughout the month, as well as important discounts being offered by companies in thanks for your military service

For more information please contact Military.com

Everett Smith; artwork courtesy of https://priorhouse,wordpress.com/

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Military Humor – 

Enlarge to read!

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Farewell Salutes – 

David Altop – Salt Lake City, UT; USMC, WWII, PTO, radio operator

Louis Contos – San Pedro, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Robert Fraser – Toronto, CAN; RC Army, WWII, 48th Highlanders

Weston Lee – Bluffton, GA; US Army, Iraq, 1st Lt., 82nd Airborne Division, KIA

Michael Mantenuto – Holliston, MA; US Army, 1st Special Forces Group

Clifford Oberlander – Bismark, ND; US Navy, Flight Officer

Joshua Rodgers – Bloomington, IL; US Army, Afghanistan, 3/75th Ranger Regiment, Sgt., KIA

Frank Streather – Sydney AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, 452nd Squadron

Cameron Thomas – Kettering, OH; US Army, Afghanistan, 3/75th Ranger Regiment, Sgt., KIA

Russell Turner – Houston, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Joseph Ventresca Sr. – Buffalo, NY; USMC, WWII, PTO

 

November 1944 (2)

1 November –  Young Japanese girls wore headbands that designated them as Special Attack Force members. Daily they would recite the Imperial Precepts for Soldiers and Sailors before they began a twelve-hour shift in a makeshift factory in Kokura, Japan. Here they were producing 40 foot balloons to carry a bomb package across the ocean as they were released to drift on the Pacific jet stream.

A total of approximately 9,300 of these weapons were made and about 342 reached land, some as far east as Ontario, Michigan and Nebraska. Some were shot down or caused minor injuries and one hit a powerline of the nuclear weapons plant at Hanford, Washington. But – 5 May 1945 – near Klamath Falls, Oregon, a pregnant woman, Elyse Mitchell and five students were killed on their way to a picnic. These were the only casualties of the war in the 48 states.

2 November – On Peleliu, the Japanese troops were still holding out on Mount Umurbrogol and causing heavy American casualties.

7→8 November – approximately 200 enemy troops landed on the deserted Ngeregong Island near Peleliu.  American forces immediately created a blockade in the Denges Passage and bombarded the island by sea and air.

11 November – the Japanese launched a new aircraft carrier, the IJN Shinano, a 68,059-ton (69,148-tonne) vessel of steel and purported to be bomb-proof.  However, she proved not to be torpedo-proof and was sunk by the US submarine Archerfish 18 days later as she sailed between shipyards to receive her finishing touches.

12 November –  carrier aircraft attacked enemy shipping in Manila Bay.  This resulted in 1 enemy cruiser, 4 destroyers, 11 cargo ships  and oilers being sunk.  Twenty-eight Japanese aircraft were downed and approximately 130 were strafed and damaged on the ground.

The Japanese cruiser, Kiso was sunk and five destroyers were damaged in Manila Harbor off Luzon, P.I. as US aircraft continued their raids.

Bloody Nose Ridge

13 November – on Peleliu, the last of the Japanese holdouts on Bloody Nose Ridge were wiped out.  The following day, the 81st Infantry Division re-occupied Ngeregong and found no enemy resistance.

17 November – the US submarine,USS  Spadefish, the Japanese escort carrier IJN Shinyō (Divine hawk), in the Yellow Sea as she attempted to reach Singapore.  It was possibly 4 torpedoes that struck and  ignited her fuel tanks.  Only 70 of her crew survived as she went under quickly.

21 November – The enemy battleship IJN Kongō (Indestructable), was attacked by the American sub, USS Sealion and sank in the Formosa Strait.  There were 237 survivors.

24 November – the US Army Air Corps used 11 B-29 Superfortresses for their first long-range bombing mission on Tokyo.  However, only 24 aircraft actually hit their assigned targets.

USS Intrepid

25 November – the increasing use of kamikaze pilots by the Japanese resulted in damage to 4 aircraft carriers near Luzon: Intrepid, Hancock, Essex and Cabot.  The Japanese had the cruiser, Kumano sunk by USS Ticonderoga.

27 November – organized enemy resistance on Peleliu seemed to no longer be present and the battle for the island is considered complete.

29→30 November – US B-24 Liberators and B-25 Mitchell bombers were kept busy hitting the Japanese airfields on Iwo Jima.

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Military Humor –

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Farewell Salutes –  

Gilbert Baker – Chanute, KS; US Army

Richard Burkett – Greencastle, IN; US Navy, WWII / US Army, Korea, Signal Corps, 7th Infantry Division

Jean Cozzens – Bradley Beach, NJ; USO, WWII, singer

Foster Hablin – Millers Creek, KY; USMC, WWII, PTO & Korea

Burial at Sea – USS Intrepid, 26 November 1944

William James Jr. – Las Cruces, NM; US Army, WWII, ETO, 99th Inf. Div., Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Robert Nugent – Chester, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, C/13/17th Airborne Division

Joseph Pelletier – Coos, NH; US Army, Korea, HQ/15/2nd Infantry Div., Cpl., Bronze Star, Purple Heart, KIA

Donald Rickles – Jackson Heights, NY; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Cyrene (AGP-13)

Mary Schnader – brn: ENG, W,Lawn, PA; British Royal Air Force

Thomas C. Thomas – Bullhead City, AZ; US Army, WWII, APO/ETO, 74th Engineer Corps

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April-May 1944

Gen. Stilwell & Gen. Liao Yueh-shang, Cmdr of the 22nd Chinese Div. discuss plans.

Gen. Stilwell & Gen. Liao Yueh-shang, Cmdr of the 22nd Chinese Div. discuss plans.

During the first week of April, Gen. Stilwell’s New China Army was preparing to attack Gen. Tanaka’s men, but Stilwell’s own supply base was being threatened.  Urgent pleas were sent to Chiang Kai-shek to send his Nationalist Army to eastern Burma for assistance – but Chiang failed to respond.

FDR was notified of this lack of support and the president sent a cable to Chiang:  “If they [Nationalist Army] are not to be used in the common cause, our most strenuous efforts to fly in equipment and furnish instructional personnel have not been justified.”

map of Burma

map of Burma

This meant that Chiang’s Lend Lease was threatened and 10 days later, 72,000 Chinese troops marched to Burma.  Japan considered this action a break in their “silent” truce and the Imperial Staff ordered the launch of the ‘Ichi-Go’ operation.

Merrill’s Marauders had incured 50% casualty losses, Merrill himself suffered a heart attack and now air bases were threatened.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved Stilwell’s Operation End Run.  Merrill signed himself out of the hospital and rallied his 1,400 survivors, 2 Chinese regiments and a band of OSS – trained guerrillas to begin a trek through the jungle and over the 6,000′ Kumon Range to reach Myitkyina.  To add insult to injury (and disease), the monsoon season started early.

“The die is cast and it’s sink or swim,” Stilwell said.

At the beginning of 1944 Army Air Force units in CBI had about 1,500 airplanes, of which approximately 900 were in commission.  During the critical months of March, April, and May 1944, when the Allied forces gained air superiority in Burma, American aircraft strength in India, Burma, and China ranged between 1,700 and 2,500. In 1945 the number of aircraft varied as indicated by the following table:

31 Jan. 31 Mar. 30 Apr. 30 June 31 July 31 Aug.
Fighters 1,238 1,254 1,236 1,316 1,410 1,356
Bombers (M) 387 387 386 389 431 419
Bombers (H) 158 184 189 182 156 133
Reconnaissance 160 209 204 206 171 167
Transports 1,213 1,301 1,325 1,436 1,444 1,475
Training and Liason 536 540 538 513 487 485
Gliders 367 310 211 121 79 57
TOTAL 4,059 4,187 4,089 4,163 4,178 4,092

As these figures and those in table above emphasize, fighter and transport aircraft played the most important roles in CBI.  Among fighters, the old P-40 gave way to P-38’s, P-47’s, and especially to P-51’s.

Tawi-Tawi location

Tawi-Tawi location

The Japanese Imperial Staff finalized the A-Go plan.  And the newly organized Japanese First Mobile Fleet under VAdm. Ozawa, that was anchored at Singapore, headed for Tawi Tawi [Portal to the Philippines] under Toyoda’s orders.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – from: ‘CBI Round Up’

r525

r80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Paul Bogin – Dayton, OH; US Army, Korea, Sgt., Bronze Star

Reuben Cooke – Regina, CAN; WWII, RC Army, Red Deer Army Corps/Regina RiflestributesArmy (566x640)

Francis Barnbrook Erikson – Fort Plain, NY; US Army Nursing Corps, WWII, ETO

Estelle Hullihan – W.Palm Bch, FL & NYC; Civilian, Radio Free Europe

Herbert Jenkins – Whangarei, NZ; NZ Expeditionary Force # 243124, WWII, 2nd Division Cavalry

Earl J. Keating – New Orleans LA; US Army, WWII, PTO, 126th/32nd Infantry Division, Pvt., KIA (Buna-Gona)

John H. Klopp – New Orleans, LA; US Army, WWII, PTO, 126th/32nd Infantry Division, Pvt. KIA (Buna-Gona)

Frank Papernic – Lynbrook, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 711 Ordnance/11th Airborne Division

Thomas Tucker – Huntsville, AL; US Army, Lt.Colonel (Ret.)

Fergus Warren – Victor Harbor, AUS; RA Air Force # 071854, WWII

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Current Home Front News

WW II Towers at Gordons Pond

WW II Towers at Gordons Pond

For over 70 years, a series of towers has stood on the shore of the Delaware coast. The towers were used in World War II to help defend the U.S. from enemy ships; crews kept a watch on the ocean and would have alerted the Army at Fort Miles had the enemy ever been spotted.

Three of the towers are going to be refurbished in a joint project between the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation, Fort Miles Historical Association, and the Delaware State Parks.

“We want to restore the towers internally and externally so that people can enjoy the history of the towers and see the vistas from the top,” said Ernie Felici, the chairman of the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation.

The three towers are all located along Route 1. Tower 1 is on Fenwick Island. Tower 2 is in Bethany. The third tower is just south of Dewey Beach.

“Right now, we are focusing on Tower 3,” said Felici. “We want to be able to open it up to the general public. The location is perfect.”

This tower is sitting at Fenwick Island, Indian River, DE. There are 11 towers in all.

This tower is sitting at Fenwick Island, Indian River, DE.
There are 11 towers in all.

The site of Tower 3 already has a beach house with a public restroom and parking. According to Felici:

“Our overall goal, however, is to open the area to weddings and events, like with the Indian River Life Saving Station, but right now we are just focused on the restoration. Once that is finished then we will focus on the other activities. The major cost is the stairway system and the internal parts of the tower. We need to secure the stairway for the weather.”

The engineering costs to restore the tower will be the most expensive. The reconstruction of the concrete exterior is a minor cost.

“We have done a preliminary engineering study and we had positive results,” said Felici. “Right now, they are doing a drainage study because, through the years, sand has accumulated at the base.

The groups are currently seeking funds and grants to help in the effort. Felici says that the fundraising efforts are going well.

For the past two years, the Delaware Coastal Preservation Foundation has been named a beneficiary of the Coastal Delaware Running Festival. The Festival is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.

The three towers are included in the Fort Miles Historical Association. There is hope that raising interest in the towers will increase interest in the fort and the history of the region during World War II.

From War History online.

Click on images to enlarge.

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U.S. Air Force Day – 1 August 19Air Force Song

 

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In the Denver Area – 

History Camp, Colorado

History Camp, Colorado

Madison Jonas, editor and researcher will represent the IHRA (International Historical Research Associates) at the History Camp to discuss General Walker’s disappearance of 5 January 1943.  Check HERE for further details or the IHRA web site.

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In the Ohio Area –  header-logo

Anne T. Bell would like everyone to know about a re-enactment of the amphibious landings at D-Day on this 19-20 August.  For further information, Please check out the official site.

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Military Humor – via the Reader’s Digest – 

Welcome to basic training.

Welcome to basic training.

INCOMING !!

INCOMING !!

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

William Almon – St. Louis, MO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, West Point, 11th Airborne Signal Corps

Earl Bosse – Ada, OH; US Navy, WWIImemorialday4

George Davies – Manukau, NZ; RNZ Air Force # NZ427262, WWII, ETO, 75th Sq/RAF Bomber Command, POW

Donald Knudsen – Hopkins, MI; US Army, WWII

Donald Lamb – LeGrand, IA; US Army, 11th Airborne

Claire Poisson – Lowell, MA; WWII, Brooklyn Navy Yard

Denis Sheils – brn: IRE/Philadelphia, PA; US Army, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Lt. Col. (Ret.)

Richard Sonnenfeld – Oklahoma City, OK; US Army, WWII, Bomb disposal unit

Peter Tomaino – Utica, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO

Ronald Williams – Sydney, AUS; RA Navy # 33579, Korea, Petty Officer (Ret.)

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A little WWII humor

Proof that the military enjoys its humor!!!!

Two on a Rant

Mymom took a lot of pictures, saved a lot of pictures, and clipped cartoons during WWII (1940’s).   Here are 2 I thought you might enjoy:

cartoon1 001

cartoon2 001

The images were scanned while in the plastic protectors.  Remember, these a cartoons from a 1941 newspaper.  I’m not about to remove a 73 year old newspaper clipping from  43 year old plastic.  

I’ll end this blog post with style, specifically the style worn by my maternal grandfather in 1940:

grandfather 001

View original post

US Navy Birthday

USNAVYImage4

The US Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775, by authorizing procurement, fitting out, manning and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.  The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work.  All together, the Continental Navy numbered some 50 ships over the course of the war, with approximately 20 warships active at its maximum strength.

7706148118_4183f783e7_z

cpohires

In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwait, authorized recognition of 13 October as the Navy’s birthday.  Not to be confused with Navy Day (the founding of the Navy Department), the Navy Birthday is intended as an internal activity for members of the active forces and reserves, as well as retirees and dependents.  Since 1972, each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.”

Although written by a Royal Navy Admiral in 1896, “The Laws of the Navy” began to appear in the US Naval Academy’s “Reef Points” Plebe Handbook and is still there today.  The sketches were added by Lt. Rowland Langmaid R.N. during WWI.

Beginning of "The Laws of the Navy"

Beginning of “The Laws of the Navy”

Part 2

Part 2

Part 3

Part 3

End of "The Laws of the Navy"

End of “The Laws of the Navy

Click on images to enlarge!

 

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HUMOR – 

FC

HAVE A BALL - BUT DON'T ROCK THE BOAT!!

HAVE A BALL – BUT DON’T ROCK THE BOAT!!

Lady Popeye

Lady Popeye

for you submariners

for you submariners

for you surface-vessel types...

for you surface-vessel types.

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Naval mystery – 

mysterious-plaque-by-midway-museum-commemorates-navys-200-year-anniversary

Fellow blogger  Cool San Diego Sights has been trying to locate the story behind a naval plaque embedded in a boulder.  The badly-corroded-mystery-plaque-shows-tallship-ironclad-early-warship-aircraft-carrier-and-jetsmonument was originally located at Broadway Pier, but was later moved near the USS Midway.  To read what information he discovered and/or add to the story___Please Click Here!

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FAREWELL SALUTES – 

Gene Acton = Wichita, KS; US Navy & civilian service w/ Boeing Aircraft

Wade “Buddy” Fitzek – Dunns Corners, RI; US Navy, WWII, USS Idaho

John Kohler – Hot Springs, AK; US Navy (Ret.), pilot systems, Vietnam, USS Kitty Hawk120507-M-0000C-005

Louis Marks – Arnaudville, LA; US Navy, Korea

Frank O’Malley – Ipswich, MA & Sarasota, FL; US Navy, WWII, Korea, pilot, USS Wasp & Midway

Edward Ouellet – Wellesley, MA; US Nay, WWII, PTO

John Overlease – Loveland, CO; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Marvin Sorensen – Race, WI; US Navy, Korea, USS Hawkins & Markab

Leo Speirs – Glines, UT; US Navy, WWII

Willis Wolfe – Oxnard, CA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Waldron, recalled for Korea

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Guard Duty? Letter XVI part one

Who wants guard duty?

15 January 1945, all of the 11th Airborne Division was back on Bito Beach where they rested for a short time.  As Japan experienced an earthquake,  they took advantage of their position to re-organize, get re-equipped, re-trained and with a little time left over – they wrote letters home.

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Letter XVI                                        Guard Duty                                Monday 1/15/45

Dear Mom,

You have received many notes from me in the past that always seem to contain one line that went something like this, “Have to go on guard duty tonight ____.”  Now in this letter I hope to be able to picture for you convincingly enough my first night on guard duty.  Please remember, all through this letter, that this place at the time was threatened at ALL times by the Japs and never for one moment were we allowed to forget it — especially at night.

My first trick on guard was posted for the hours of 9 to 11pm with a four-hour sleep period before going on as second sentry relief.  We were to be ready for immediate action.  This was also the first time I had to stand guard with a loaded rifle, so instead of feeling safe and secure, it tends to make me that much more nervous and apprehensive.

At eight-forty-five sharp, we were called out, inspected and told the password and counter sign.  We were then marched away, in a body, to our respective posts, told the special orders pertaining to that particular post and then left alone.  The quick, short steps of the guard soon grow faint and they rapidly walk on until all you can hear is the beat of your heart.

As soon as I realized that I was alone and on my post, I tried vainly to pierce the darkness and see just where I was and what was around and near me.  It generally takes from five to ten minutes before your eyes become accustomed to the darkness, but before that happens, I found out that your mind sees things and imagines most anything from a Jap standing or crouching down.  You try to shake off the feeling, but damn it all — how can you?

After a while, you begin to see things in their true form and you notice that the standing Jap is nothing but a small palm tree and that sinister apparition is only some old debris or fallen tree.  As these things unfolded before in their real form, I heaved a great sigh and relieved my tightened grip on my rifle.  Boy!  What a relief I thought and was just about to sling my rifle over my shoulder when suddenly I heard a noise.

I crouched down trying desperately this time to see what my ears had just heard, when again, I heard a faint sound — only this time it was in back of me or maybe on the side.  All sorts of thoughts run rampant through your mind at this stage and mine were really running wild.

Guard Duty - painting from history.army.mil

Guard Duty – painting from history.army.mil

You try to remember things you were taught about for situations such as these, but at the time the lessons were given, they seemed boring and so you didn’t pay much attention.  Now I wish I had listened and desperately tried to recall to mind what little I did hear.  Seconds seemed liked hours, my legs were getting numb, but I was too damned scared to move a muscle for fear of giving away my position to whatever was around.  “Where the hell is that man?”  I thought to myself.  Gosh, it sure was quiet and still that night.  I even tried to stop breathing for fear it would be heard.

Suddenly, your eyes pick out a strange object that wasn’t there before, or so your memory tells you.  You watch it for a while, then — oh, oh — it moves, sure as hell, it moved — there it goes again.

I could see it then, just an outline, but that was clear enough for me.  I held my breath and at the same time brought my rifle up and aimed it.  Now, I was in a mess.  What if it was an American soldier out there or the next guard?  The book covers this well, you remember it says, “Yell out, in a clear distinctive voice, HALT, at least three times.”  That’s fine I thought, but dammit, the guy who wrote that isn’t out there with me now and I’d bet he wouldn’t yell “HALT” at least three times.

Well, I won the bet and only yelled once and waited for the password.  Again, minutes seemed like hours, suppose he didn’t hear me, should I yell again?  Suppose it is another guard and he thinks I’m only kidding or it’s nothing but a swaying branch, what a mess, what do I do?  All these thoughts flash thru your mind and you are about to get up and yell again, but it moves back — that’s a Jap.  Without hesitation now, you pull the trigger and then in excitement, before you release your finger, you hear instead of one shot, three or more ring out.

Flash lights appear from nowhere as men come out anxiously looking about and trying to find out what the noise is about.  In the dim rays of their lights, you find that what you thought was a hoard of Japs surrounding you is nothing or was nothing more than a dog or wild pig prowling about.  You feel about the size of a ten cent piece, I sure did.  Inwardly you are proud to note that what you aimed at in the darkness, you hit and that a few are even remarking about that wonderful feat.  You aren’t even shaking anymore.  In fact, you notice to your most pleasant surprise you are no longer afraid.

Soon tho, you are left alone again, but this time the loneliness isn’t so bad and you know that soon you will be relieved and another “first night” will come along and make the same mistakes you did.

to be continued …

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