Growing up, I knew my grandfather was in World War II. He served in the Pacific, from New Guinea to the Philippines. Like many WWII veterans, he did not speak of it often, only sharing little anecdotes and funny stories. It wasn’t until after he died that we found a diary from his time in the Army. The diary only covers a few months, from February 1945 to May 1945. I am sharing it as a way to give a personal view left out of so much war writing, and to preserve a little piece of my history. I hope you enjoy…
These are my grandfather’s words. I have not altered them in any way, including spelling. If a word was illegible, I left a blank.
Feb. 5. Went to 11th airborne Hq saw a jap 150 motor
Feb. 6. left there to join up with my outfit, without a map or anything. Came over a montain pass, just as I found them we moved up with the inf. that night. We didn’t fire.
Feb. 7. We fired on japs that night. Hq. machine gun cpl. opened fire with a 50 cal. On our machine gun cpl. hit him three time, arm, leg, stomic. Next morning Feb. 8 I went with him to hosp. that same day we moved again.
March 1, 1945 Moved positions drove all day long.
Mar. 2. got to Manila saw a lot of japs still laying around everywhere.
Mar. 3. Went to Nichols field saw about 100 jap planes destroyed on the grounds
Mar. 4. I drove the B.C.S from each firing btrys all over Manila inside the walled city and saw McAurthur and ____ A time bomb went off and killed four boys just ahead of us. We also drove to Clark field. saw a lot of jap planes.
Mar. 9. I went to the O.P. didn’t see much.
Mar. 10. Went to O.P. saw A20 scraffing a roadblock.
Mar. 11. Went to O.P. saw inf. and japs fighting it got to hot for the Yanks, so they backed up and we opened fire on the japs.
Mar. 12. Watched A20 bomb and scrafe the hill were our inf was drove off. We alos fired on jap position.
Mar. 13. All the Bn. moved to another position (70 miles) except the “B” btry. We stayed and really pooped out the rounds, to support the inf. I also eight letter from my honey. Oh yea we also watched P38s ans A20s bomb and scrafe.
Mar. 14. first we fired 40 rounds at 5:30 to start the day off right. Went for rations at 11 airborne Hq.
Mar. 15. Knocked out jap machine guns ____ and troops. sniper fired 2 rounds at me on the way to get rations. I didn’t see him.
16 Mar. Moved one gun forward to fire on certain positions. Was very good hits.
Mar. 17. fired on jap targets
Mar. 18. pull one gun up and fired all day on japs
Mar. 19. we took the hill that the air corp had bombed and scrafe and we have shelled so much. We also fired on japs in cave. rounds landed right in the door.
Mar. 20. Pulled up two guns and knocked of a bridge. Also machine gun nests.
Mar. 21. the japs rebuilt the bridge, so we had to blow it up again
Mar. 22. pulled up two guns and fired on jap installations
Mar. 23. March order, come as far as 11th airborne Hq. stayed over night
Mar. 24. Continued our move. We hit our position at 2:00, We got dug in before night. At 11:00 PM 756 opened machine gun it was a 4th of July. Killed jap sniper in our position. City of ____
Mar. 25. I went up and saw the 12 inch jap gun that our Bn knocked out. it was dug in, with a house top over it on tracks with winches to move it from over the gun so it could fire, dead japs laying all over the place it took 200 japs to operate it. It was a wonderful set up. Knocked out gun. Killed sniper in our position at noon.
Mar. 26. At 2 OClock we had 8 rounds of japs counterbtry. four boys wounded in C btry. it was 75 MM. We also fired on cave positions.
Mar. 27. At 7:20 AM. we had 20 rounds of counter btry. 1 man wounded “C” We fired on the 75, don’t know if we got it or not as he is in a cave. Also fired on other targets.
Mar. 28. We layed down a baradge from 9:00 until 12:00 for the inf. push also got my two Batangus knives.
Mar. 29. One man that was wounded the 26 died today, the first man we’ve lost out of our Bn. We also had about 20 more rounds of counter btry. We were eating supper when it started about 5:30 in the evening.
Mar. 30. We pulled up two guns and give the japs hell. I was at our ___ all day.
Mar. 31. didn’t do but very little firing
April 1. About all we did was get ready to move
A. 2. We moved to new position near Banton __. Rained all day
A. 3. fired a little but not much excitement.
A. 4. pulled two guns up again. We knocked out two jap 105 MM. 16 direct hits on them also killed a lot of japs.
A. 6. Pulled up two guns fired a lot on jap position, also one of “A” Btry’s men shot another one. (Smith) About 11 PM. hit him in lower part of chest. he’s in bad shape at 54th EV hosp.
A. 7. Went to rear __. saw the city of Lipa sure was a mess. Our guns did a lot of firing, knocked out 3 jap 150 MM. guns. 756 was getting counter btry from them.
A. 8. fired on the japs that made the bands I attack on the inf. don’t know the results yet. Also saw the A20s giving them hell. got in 9 replacements.
A. 9. didn’t do any firing or anything today just sat round working on my jeep all morning…
Part 2 coming soon.