Journal Entry Rules


  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 date’s and other words of entry’s that have not been posted will be blurred out. I will do this in Photoshop (Ex: In the picture for entry #2 the date for entry #3 is visible, so I would blur it out in Photoshop).
  • 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 #81

“Oct 24 – Another raid, dropped phosphorus bomb on strip killing two men.”


Mike starts this entry off just like a lot of the previous entries, by writing “Another raid.” The raids that occurred almost everyday to Mike and so many other soldiers during the war was a sad reality, that probably felt routine to them, as horrible as that sounds.

The next part, however is a bit different, Mike wrote “dropped phosphorus bomb on strip”. In the previous entry, I wrote a lot about phosphorus bombs, probably much more than needed, explaining the significance of it during warfare. If you don’t know too much about phosphorus bombs and how they were used during WWII I would recommend going back and reading over that entry. This marks the second time a phosphorus bomb was used by the Japanese against Mike and the other soldiers with him.

The next three words that Mike wrote are very powerful; “killing two men.” I consider this to be a very monumental point for this journal and the project thus far. Up until now, to the best of my recollection, Mike has only written about people being killed in two other entries: Entry #41 and Entry #73. This does not mean these are the only times throughout his service he saw people get killed, it just means he choose to write it down in his journal these specific instances. He might have known the people that got killed, causing him to write it down. Either way, I like to bring significance to the times when he mentions anyone of his fellow soldiers being killed.

I can’t imagine how horrific this was for Mike and the other soldiers, as to the best of my knowledge this is the first time Mike would have seen someone killed by a phosphorus bomb.

Those two brave men who got killed on Tuesday, October 24th, 1944 are resting easy in Valhalla now.

Entry #80

“Oct 23 – Was at movie when Jap plane snuck in and dropped phosphorus bomb near strip. First time they used it on us. Burns from it are fatal.”

Alright so Mike starts this entry off pretty casually by writing “Was at movie when”. The words that follow completely change the ambiance of this entry.

Mike wrote “Jap plane snuck in and dropped phosphorus bomb near strip.” The reason he wrote the “Jap plane snuck in” is because they most likely were not expecting it, as they were relaxing and watching a movie. This date was also a Monday, so the beginning of the week, and this most likely occurred at night, so I doubt the soldiers were expecting too much. The next part gets very interesting and horrific at the same time. Mike follows this up by writing “dropped phosphorus bomb near strip.”

Just to give a little background / outside information, phosphorus is a chemical that comes in two variants: red and white. This will be very long and off topic, so if you’re not interested I would suggest scrolling down until you skip it.


The periodic symbol for phosphorus.

Red phosphorus is not very harmful, and is not used in purposes directly related to warfare.

red phosphorus

This is what red phosphorus looks like in a powder format.

It is actually used on the outside strip part on some match boxes to help ignite them better. It is also used in flares / smoke bombs (and other similar smoke creating devices), flame retardant, and even used in the creation process of certain drugs. You can read more about some of the uses of red phosphorus here if you’re interested.

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum is white phosphorus. It is incredibly dangerous when in comparison to it’s red counterpart, and is commonly used in warfare, even to this day.


This is what white phosphorus looks like in a powder format.

This chemical is utilized in warfare through two distinct ways: To inflict injuries / casualties or to create a smoke screen. In order for this chemical to damage or kill it’s target during warfare it is placed inside grenades or missiles. When the object explodes the chemical is ignited and creates a thick, white smoke. For a short period of time after the initial explosion the smoke is very deadly. When the chemical comes in contact with a person (whether it be through inhalation or contact with the skin) it can cause third degree burns and beyond. The main reason it is so lethal when used in warfare is because it spreads very quickly, as it’s a gas, meaning it’s very hard to escape from it’s radius. If you’re interested in the uses of white phosphorus throughout history and how it works, you can read about it here.

It was actually first manufactured into grenade format during WWI and used by Britain. During WWII it was used very frequently by axis and allied forces. From that point forward it has been used in almost every major conflict: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq / Afghanistan, parts of Africa, etc. During Korea and Vietnam it was used by both sides and lead to military and civilian casualties. I will not be talking about it’s use in modern times, as it is a pretty polarized issue, and I want to keep this website free from modern politics and things along those lines, hopefully you can understand.

Don’t worry, I am getting back on track now. Hopefully that you have an understanding of this chemical in warfare, the rest of what Mike wrote will make sense. Mike wrote “dropped phosphorus bomb near strip. First time they used it on us. Burns from it are fatal.” 

This bomb most likely landed semi-close to where Mike and the other soldiers were. The one line Mike wrote; “First time they used it on us.” does not mean this was the first time it was used during WWII. U.S. forces used it against the Germans prior to this, and the Germans used it against U.S. forces prior to this. He either means this was the first time it was used against him and his unit by Japanese forces, or this was the first time it was used by the Japanese against anyone.

As I previously mentioned, it is a very deadly chemical when used in warfare. This is highlighted in the next line Mike wrote: “Burns from it are fatal.” Now did anyone get killed or injured from this specific bombing? That I am not sure of, as Mike did not mention anything about it. If I had to guess, I am thinking there was probably at least one injury, but again that is only a guess.

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If any of this entry confuses you or you would like to know more, feel free to leave a comment below and I would be more than happy to get back to you.

Where I found the periodic symbol of phosphorus image.

Where I found the image of red phosphorus powder.

Where I found the image of white phosphorus powder.

Where I found the image of a white phosphorus bomb striking a Japanese airfield during WWII.

Where I found the image U.S. Army soldiers watching a white phosphorus explosion during WWII.

Where I found the image of white phosphorus shells striking German soldiers during WWII.



One year later…

Today, Wednesday March 14th 2018, is a very special day for me. One year ago today, I created this website, and posted the first entry. Before I get into thanking you all and things along that line I would like to talk about my progression over the past year, and where I stand right now, in terms of the website. This post is going to be extremely long and probably contain a lot of ranting.

Mike passed away on January 23rd, 2000. At the time I was very young (not going to say how old), so I never really got a chance to know Mike. He is my grandfather on my mother’s side, and in turn I was named after him. So encase the website’s name has ever confused you, just know it’s named after him, not me. If you would like more information on this , feel free to check out the “About” section of the website, and a post I made in August of 2017.

Prior to even reading the journal, I never once thought that I would be running a website one day. I’ve always been interested in history, and I still am, but the idea of running a website centered around it never once crossed my mind. Soon after I started reading the first few entries of Mike’s journal, I immediately realized how incredibly rare an intact journal from WWII is. I then started to think that other people might want to see this. At first, I planned to just transcribe it in Microsoft Word, and email it to any family members who wished to read it. After thinking about this idea some more, I realized there is far greater potential to possibly be reached. Which is when I landed on the idea of creating a website. At this time, it was towards the end of January, 2017, so I had been thinking about this for weeks prior to when I actually created it. I had absolutely no idea how to create a website or anything that comes along with it. I didn’t even know what WordPress was at the time.

Besides my absolute clueless-ness on how to do any of this, I was also very nervous about it. I am a fairly shy person in real life, as I do not like to share a lot of personal details with people, especially complete strangers over the internet. I was not necessarily worried what my family or friends might think, but instead what other people online might think. Like for example, what happens if a WWII historian were to come across this website, and pointed out how all the information I’ve been talking about is incorrect, something along those lines. I knew that if I were to go through with this, I would have to do a lot of research, so I don’t present incorrect information to people, which also worried me a little. I had no idea what running a website would consist of, how long it would take to make a post, or how to even post things for that matter. I had no idea the amount of time and effort required to do a project like this. After spending a few weeks researching what domain to purchase a site from, and how to run a blog, I decided to go through with it, one year ago today. I can still remember my anxiety when I made the first post.

All of that being said I am in no way an expert at any of this. I have learned a lot over the course of this past year, thanks to other users on WordPress such as GP Cox, but at the same time, I also have a very long way to go.

Looking back, creating this website was one of the most important thing’s I’ve decided to do in my life so far. It’s very hard to convey what this website means to me through text on a two dimensional screen, so this all probably sounds pretty stupid. This website , in my mind, is a way for me to get to know my Grandfather and carry on his legacy. That one day when I have children can be passed onto them, to their children, and to their children’s children. This website and Mike’s journal have taught me a lot about myself and made me realize what I want in life, which I will be forever grateful for. It was and is a major part of my life.

Thank you to any family and friends who have came to this website, given me advice, feedback, or anything along those lines. It means more to me than you could possibly imagine. Thank you to other WordPress users who have stopped by and left a comment. Thank you to the ones who have given me advice, corrected information I have typed, and lead to me finding their own websites and exploring those. One of which is GP Cox, who has been following me for about 11 months now. He also runs a website of his own, showcasing the Pacific War, which is what Mike fought in. He did not ask me to do this in any way, shape , or form. It’s the least I could do to pay him back. You can check his website out here:

Thank you to anyone who read all of this, as I realize it’s probably not the most interesting to read. This website, journal, and everything that comes along with it has impacted my life in a very large way, which I will be forever grateful for. If heaven is real, and Mike is sitting up there  right now, I’m sure he’s incredibly grateful to you too.

From this point on, I plan to continue posting entries like usual, as there is a decent amount left. I have no idea when this project will be finished, it could be one year, two years, etc. Either way, I look forward to the future.

Thank you,

〜  Michael


Entry #79

“Oct 20 – Philippines invaded landing made at Leyte Island, this will probably be our destination.”


Alright so as mentioned in the previous entry , Mike is on his way to the Philippines. In that entry I mentioned how the Philippines is one of the most important locations of the war. I mentioned how I explained this in a past entry, and would not re – explain it for a few more. Well I decided I might as well explain it in this entry, as what Mike wrote does not directly have to do with him, as he is not there yet. This entry is going to go very off course, as not everything will directly pertain to what Mike wrote. So if you’re not interested I would suggest to stop reading. It is also going to be very long, so thank you if you actually decide to stay and read it all.

Mike starts this entry off by writing “Philippines invaded landing made at Leyte Island”. This is a perfect time for me to talk about the Philippines. I am going to try and go into more detail , as when I previously explained all this in Entry #60, it was not to a great extent.

The day Mike wrote this was on Friday , October 20th , 1944. As he wrote , the Philippines were invaded. This is historically accurate, as this initiated the Philippines Campaign.


The above images should hopefully give you a better idea of where the Philippines are on a world scale. Before I get into the entry further and the significance of this geographical area, I am going to address “Leyte Island”.


A heavily zoomed out view of Leyte Island, which is in the Philippines. The highlighted red area, is a general range of where Mike most likely would’ve been at the time of writing this.


A more zoomed in view of the Philippines. The red marker is Leyte Island.


A heavily zoomed in view of Leyte Island. It spans from Maasin City at the bottom to Laoang at the top.

Hopefully those three images give you a better idea of where Mike actually was at the time of writing this and where he is headed. So now that that’s out of the way, we can get into the historical significance of the Philippines.

As previously mentioned, allied forces invaded the Philippines, which kick-started the Philippines campaign. Prior to this day in 1944, the Japanese had full control of all the Philippines , which they took over in 1942. Which is known as the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. The reason the Japanese invaded and took over the Philippines in the first place is relatively straight-forward. Their government at the time was heavily imperialistic , basically meaning Japan’s main goal at the time was to take over other countries through the use of militaristic force. Gaining them a multitude of personal resources, ranging from money, to land, to food, etc. In the context of WWII this would give them a much better position to attack the allied forces from, as the Philippines was in warm water, which helped with having a Navy. It is also fairly close to Papua New Guinea and Australia, which were major allied territories during the war. This strategically benefited the Japanese in terms of naval and aircraft warfare. If the allied forces lost this campaign, it could have lead to the axis powers winning the war, but that’s a debate for another time. In summary, it was a very important location, which lead to the defeat of the Japanese and essentially the end of the war.

The Philippines were invaded through “Leyte Island” , which Mike mentioned in this entry.


General Douglas MacArthur (United States Army) and President Osmeña (4th President of the Philippines) alongside other members of the military landing on Leyte Island, October 20th 1944.

This officially became known as the Battle of Leyte, which started when the U.S. Sixth Army entered onto the island through the use of our Navy and Army – Airforce. On this day the Sixth Army was comprised of nine standard Infantry Divisions , one Battalion of Rangers (special forces) , one Cavalry Division, one Airborne Division, and one Armored Group. The Sixth Army was assisted by several U.S. and Australian Naval Fleets, alongside several squadrons of aircraft’s. The Sixth Army was the main group that initiated this invasion ; other Army formations joined in later on such as the Eight Army. We were also assisted by several groups of Filipino guerrillas. So as you can see this was a very large, coordinated invasion of Leyte Island, which was our gateway into the rest of the Philippines. If you would like to know more about the exact events that took place this day or any further information about it, please feel free to click on the hyperlinks I provided.

Mike finishes off this entry by writing this will probably be our destination.” I will not spoil too much but let’s just say he was correct.

Thank you so much if you made it this far. I know this entry was a little different, as I went pretty of course. This entry marks a key one in the journal, as it kind of sets up the rest of it, in terms of what he will right about. Which is the reason I felt the need to explain the importance of this day and the Philippines in much broader terms. If you are confused about anything feel free to leave a comment or click on any of the specific hyperlinks I provided.

The map images of the Philippines and Leyte Island are from Google Maps.

Entry #60 , where I went into additional detail about the Philippines.

The image of General Douglas MacArthur, President Osmeña, and other members of the military landing on Leyte Island.



Entry #78

“Oct 18 – Alerted for move again, looks like were going to the Philippines at last. Put on advance echelon.” Entry#78(2)

Mike starts this entry off by writing “Alerted for move again”. The last time he wrote about moving to the Philippines was in Entry #60 , which was written on Saturday , September 23rd 1944 (about 25 days prior to this entry). If you’re interested in the geography and significance of the Philippines during WWII I would recommend going back and reading that entry, as I go into detail about it.

The next part Mike wrote is “looks like were going to the Philippines at last.” I am not going to go into more detail until he arrives there, but as previously mentioned the geographical location and all that is in a previous entry. In a future entry, when he arrives there I will go into more detail about the Philippines, so if you do not want to go back and read the previous entry, the information will be re-explained eventually.

Back to this entry, I can not tell if Mike was excited to go there hence how he wrote “going to the Philippines at last.” Depending on how you read it, it comes across as him being excited to go there. I doubt that, as he could most likely guess or knew about the massive battle that would take place there. He was probably excited because it was one step closer towards the end of the war and him being home. That is my best guess as to the meaning of this line.

He ends this entry by writing “Put on advance echelon.” The abbreviation for “Advance echelon” is ADVON. It is also known as forward echelonwhich essentially means he is going to be one of the first units to get to the Philippines.

Entry #77

“Oct 12 – Aussies put on a very good stage show for us. Alas new movie. 4 hours of solid entertainment.”


This entry is a very different change of pace compared to the last few. Mike does not mention any of the usual things that occur, like raids, bombings, or alerts. This might mean that none happened this day or he just choose not to write about them.

Mike starts this off by writing “Aussies put on a very good stage show for us.” An “Aussie” is a slang term for someone from Australia. During the war the United States and Australia were allies , so it would make sense that they were together for this.

“stage show” could have been any number of things: singing, dancing, comedy, plays, etc. It was most likely a mix of a few. I wrote about these type of performances for soldiers back in Entry #44 , so if you’re interested in that aspect of the war feel free to go back and read it.

Mike finishes this entry off by writing “Alas new movie. 4 hours of solid entertainment.” I would imagine this was a very large morale boost and a fairly relaxing day for them, as it took their mind off the realities of war.

Entry #76

“Oct 11 – Had raids at 3 and 4 A.M. They hit gas dump first run. Lit up whole sky.”


This one starts off fairly similar to the previous entry, as Mike wrote he “Had raids at 3 and 4 A.M.” To the best of my recollection this is the earliest any raid as taken place so far for Mike. I can’t imagine being woken up to that.

Mike goes on to write “They hit gas dump first run.” A gas dump is essentially a separate tank or trailer (it can also just be a lot of barrels) where excess gas is stored. It could be stored because it’s unusable or just because it’s extra that is not needed at the time. This was most likely hit on purpose by the Japanese. Not only would it create a massive explosion and could potentially cause a lot of casualties, but if it was extra gas, destroying that would be extremely beneficial for the Japanese.  As it would setback Mike and the other soldiers a lot.

Mike then wrote “Lit up whole sky”. Now he is either referring to the explosion generated by the gas dump or in general all the bullets in the air from the Japanese forces and the Allied forces there. My best guess is a combination of both. Either way this is a very poetic and eerie sounding line.