Journal Entry Rules

Status

  Below you will see text and a picture for each journal entry. Right below this you will see the rules of which I will ensure this blog will follow and other information:

  • Every journal entry post will be numbered
  • Every journal entry post will have text, anything that is in quotes and is bold is what is written in the actual journal, just a transcribed version in case you can not read his handwriting. Along with the transcribed text, some entries may also include my thoughts and opinions which will not be in quotes.
  • Every journal entry post will also have a picture of the entry as written in the journal to go along with the transcribed text.
  • The entries will be released in accordance to the frequency at which Mike wrote them. So for example if he wrote one, then didn’t write another for three more days, I would follow that same frequency as for releasing them. But If there is a long gap between when he writes them I will just release the entry a day after another one.
  • All other posts besides journal entries will be clear they aren’t journal entries.
  • This website is not named after me, it is named after my Grandfather

Entry #56

“(MORATAI) Sept 20 DT5 APO 926 – Arrived at Moratai in early morning. Jap plane came over but did no damage. Disembarked on 6 C ‘1’s and landed on beach. Had raid that night. Not many Japs on island but fear of Jap counter invasion.”

Entry#56(2)

Alright so a fair warning ahead of time, this is going to be a long entry, as there is a decent amount of information I feel needs to be explained in order to understand what is going on.

So starting from the top, where it says “(MORATAI) Sept 20 DT5 APO 926”. As mentioned in the previous entry this one is going to have to do with the battle of Morotai and what took place there, as this was the island Mike goes to. Now before going further I am going to give a little perspective on where Morotai is on a world scale. For those of you who have been following this for a while might forget where in the world Mike actually is and for new people you might not have even heard of this place before.

MorataiMapViewEdited(1)MorataiMapViewEdited(2)

Alright so as you can see by the up above images, this is a heavily zoomed out view. The starting point of the curved line is Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the United States Of America, this was the closest major city to Mike when he first joined the military. The end point with the red marker is Morotai Island, which as you can see by the second image is approximately 8,677 miles (13,964 km) away from Pittsburgh. It is essentially on the other side of the world, in Indonesia, right below the Philippines. Which in our current world would take about 16 hours to travel to by airplane. So the point being, this was incredibly foreign and far away from his home.

MorataiMapViewEdited(3)MorataiMapViewEdited(4)MorataiMapViewEdited(5)MorataiMapViewEdited(6)

The four above images are all zoomed in views of the actual island just to give you a better idea. If you find information like this useful please let me know and every few entries I will try to update you on where in the world he actually is.

So moving onto the rest of the title where it says “DT5 APO 926”. I am not entirely sure if this actually says “DT5” or “D + 5” or “Dt 5”.  I am going to go about it if it says “DT5” , if this is incorrect please feel free to let me know in the comments below and I will update it accordingly. I am guessing it stands for Detachment 5, meaning that’s the Detachment he was part of. Now that is only a guess, if it is true then it just means that was the smaller group he was in.

Next we arrive at the part that says “APO 926”“APO” stands for Army Post Office, this is just simply the Post Office number on the Island of Morotai.

Finally, we get to the actual entry. Historically the Battle of Morotai Island started on September 15th 1944 which was about five days prior to when he arrived. Meaning he was not part of the initial invasion of the island. The United States and Australia decided to invade this island in order to take it’s control from the Japanese, as it was in a very strategic geographical location. It could greatly assist the allied forces if they would need to invade Japan or any other island in that area of the world later on in the war. The allied forces heavily out numbered the Japanese forces, so it only took them about two weeks to gain full control of the island. Mike does not mention any combat or fighting that took place. This could mean that he was not part of it on this island or he just choose not to write about it. Personally I believe I am leaning more towards the second one, but that I will never find out.

The next few lines, “Jap plane came over but did no damage. Disembarked on 6 C ‘1’s and landed on beach. Had raid that night.” The first part talking about the Jap plane flying over, this was incredibly common during WWII, especially in the Pacific part of the war. The reason they didn’t bomb or attack could have been because they were surveying what was below them or it simply could have been a tactic of attempting to scare the allied forces below them. But normally when they flew over they did attack. The following line I am not too sure on what it is saying. I am fairly certain it says “6 C ‘1’s” but I am not 100% sure. Again feel free to correct me if I am wrong and it will be updated accordingly. If this is correct I think the “C ‘1’ part stands for a category 1 ship. Ships during this time were ranked by category, where the larger ships would be in a higher categorized number. Category 1 ships were very small (in comparison to aircraft carriers and combat ready ships) and were often used to transport cargo and troops short distances so the main ship did not have to, so it would make sense if this is what he was on.

C1SHIP

This is an example of a Type C1 ship from WWII.

If you managed to make it this far, don’t worry it’s almost over. The final part is very eerie, “Not many Japs on island but fear of Jap counter invasion.” Counter invasions were incredibly common during this time as they were essentially sneak attacks, both allied and axis forces did them. If you put yourself in Mike’s shoes this is where I think the eeriness comes home. So for a moment I ask you to do just that when you read the little paragraph I wrote below:

Picture yourself as an 18 or 19 year old male, fresh out of high school. You are almost 9,000 miles away from your small town home, family, friends and everything you’ve ever known. You are in the middle of the ocean on an island you probably didn’t even know existed prior to arriving there. After getting onto the beach you start to feel how uncomfortable this is. The air is incredibly tense and reeks of gun powder and sweat, and when combined with 90 degree temperatures creates an incredibly miserable time. In the distance you and your unit can hear the feint sound of gunshots and the occasional explosion but are required to stay put and guard your current location. Every second of every day and night the thought persists in your mind that at any moment the enemy could start attacking you. That any moment while you are trapped on this island could be your last, your body would fall to the sand, and your loved ones most likely would not find out until weeks or months later. You could take your last breath almost 9,000 miles away from everything you’ve ever known, surrounded by water, sand and the hell of what war is.


The map images are from Google Maps

Ship image

 

Update

Hello internet,  it is me the owner / creator of this website. This is going to be a similar post to my last one , talking about what’s been going on with me and my future plans for this website. If you’re not interested in that , I would stop reading if you haven’t already.

I would first off like to apologize that I have not posted for over a month now. I do notice the comments and the amount of people that view the website each day and I feel guilty for not posting and letting people down. I know I keep apologizing for taking these breaks but I am not sure what else to say. It would feel weird to me to come back all the sudden without updating the people who care.

I would also like to give a huge thank you to anyone who has continued to come to this website during time periods where I am not posting. Especially those of you have been here since around the beggining. Any support I receive means more to me than you could imagine. Now I’m not religious myself but if Heaven does exist and if Mike is up there , I’m sure he’s incredibly grateful too.

Now that the regular “speech” I give everytime I take a break is out of the way, I would like to explain where I have been and the future plans for this website. I have been extremely busy with my education and work , especially with finals. I have also had some personal things to deal with which I will not be getting into. To tell you the truth I just haven’t felt motivated at all to post on here even when I did have time, which I realize is a bad “excuse” and for that I apologize. As for the post I made a few months ago taking about the video and additional pictures I plan to post , I still intend to do so. I just haven’t seen my Grandmother at all since posting that, once I do I will get working on it though.

If anyone actually read this wall of text , I appreciate you even more. Again thank you to anyone who has given me support and now that I have more time I will start again tonight posting regularly, I have no idea how long that will last though. Happy Holidays!
-Michael

Veteran’s Day

Hello internet, it is me the owner / creator of this website. I know I have not posted for a little over a week or been very active with the website. I would like to apologize, I have had some things going on in my life that have taken up a lot of time. None the less, that is not what this post is going to be about.

Today, the date I am posting this is Saturday November 11th, 2017. This day is known as Veteran’s Day in the United States of America. In Canada, Australia, and England it is known as Remembrance Day. In France and Belgium it is known as Armistice Day. This celebration started in most of these countries after WWI or WWII.

It is a day where we are meant to thank those who have decided to wear the uniform of whatever country you are in. Those who have put more value on the lives of others than themselves. Those who are the embodiment of the word “hero”. If it was not for those people I would not be here typing this and you would not be here reading it.

“The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” — Abraham Lincoln. This is a quote that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of The United States said. I think it does a much greater job and getting across the point of this day than I do.

So thank you to anyone who has served for any country, for taking the step into a life very few have lived. I know some countries have abused the power of having military, but the people who join it share one common value. The want to protect and serve their country and those who reside within it. I am not praising what the countries did, but instead the individuals who decided to go down that path.

In the United States of America or any other first world country, we are very lucky military service is not mandatory like so many other places. That we have people who decide to put the boots on so we don’t have to, so we can choose to do what we want with our lives. Members of the military fight and serve to provide freedom to others. Freedom is something many people in this world have not experienced, and never will. I am not asking you to go outside and shake hands with these men and women, all I ask is that you think about how lucky you are to be living where you do. The freedom you have to even read something like this, and realize it is because of the men and women who fought for it. The fact that you are even able to read something like this means you are more fortunate than a lot of people on this earth, so never take anything you have granite, especially not the people who fought so you could have it.


〰 Michael

Entry #55

“Sept 16 – Trip isn’t bad, play bingo all day. Convoy not very big, about 20 ships.”

Entry#55(2)

The black markings are digital only, used to cover up the next entry.

Alright so this entry was very interesting to me, as I learned that troops played bingo to pass time.

The following entry will be about the Battle of Morotai, and will probably be pretty long. The next entry takes place when he arrives there and should be posted within the next two days, it is just going to take me some time to type it all out, as I have some real life things going on at the moment, so sorry about that.

Entry #54

“Sept 15 – Left Wakde at 9:00 A.M. and headed North. (Morotai invaded).” 

Entry#54(2)

Alright so he is leaving Wakde to go to the Halmahera Islands, which was mentioned in a previous entry. He wrote “(Morotai invaded).”. This is true, historically the Island of Morotai was invade this day, September 15th, 1944, by allied forces to take it from the Japanese.

It became known as the Battle of Morotai. I will talk much more about this in the following entry, because he actually arrives there September 16th (the following day). For now I am going to leave it at this.

 

Entry #53

“Sept 14 – July, Aug, Sept list taken off boat. They were a bunch of happy guys.”

Entry#53(2)

Alright so this entry is referring to the group of soldiers that were supposed to get off the ship, to most likely go home during the months of July, August and September. They are just now getting to do this.

I find it interesting how Mike choose to write about what they were like, writing “They were a bunch of happy guys.”. Throughout his life he was always very observant, so to me this is interesting at least.

Entry #52

“Sept 13 – Got underway at 9:30 A.M. Arrived at Wakde that night to pick up convoy.”

Entry#52(2)

Alright so what I find interesting about this is he did not use military time, he wrote “9:30 A.M.”. In military time this would be 0930 eliminating the need to use A.M. or P.M.

So he said he “Arrived at Wakde that night to pick up convoy.”. Wakde is an Island about 225 miles east of Biak Island, which is where he was at before this.  Wakde is a fairly small island group within Indonesia. It was used as an airfield by allied forces.

WakdeIUsland

This is a modern image, an overhead view of the island. As you can see it is fairly small with the airstrip in the middle and a smaller, separate island to the bottom of it.

WakdeMap

Here is map, I opened it up in Photoshop to draw the line showing you where he went.


Here is more information on Wakde and where I found the map image of it

Here is information on the battle that took place to take it over from the Japanese, prior to Mike going there

Here is where I found the aerial view picture of the island