“Sept 8 – Had biggest raid yet, 12 bombers came over dropping bombs everywhere. They gave Biak hell also.”
Alright so from this point on the journal heats up a lot. The majority of entries from here on out for a few months are about the bombing that took place. This one was made me sit there and think for a few minutes after reading it, of it what it must have been like.
It’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone serving during WWII, but for a moment I ask you to:
You’re on a small island in the Philippines surround by unknown land and water, nothing is familiar to you as you’re from a small, poor American town. You’re just barley out of high school and are sitting with your brothers in arms all wearing military BDU’S (battle dress uniforms) holding your gun looking out at the surrounding jungle and periodically into the sky. The environment is full of anxiety, and the smell of gunpowder. All of the sudden you see twelve Japanese air crafts flying overhead, and all out hell breaks loose. On top of screaming and gun fire, around 40,000 pounds of explosives are being dropped around you.
I know that paragraph I wrote doesn’t convey it that well but I would like to try and get across how scary this must’ve been. The part about 40,000 pounds of explosives is just a guess, considering American bombers could hold around 4,500 I figured Japanese planes would be relatively similar, so I just multiplied it by twelve. To put 40,00 pounds into perspective, that’s around the weight of a blue whale.
Moving on, where he said “They gave Biak hell also” , if you remember from a few entries ago, he is still on Biak island, and is supposed to be moving North of Halmahera Island soon. What also strikes me about this entry is his use of the word “hell”. It is rarely used throughout this journal.