“(NADZAB) April 4 – Assigned to Hq. 8th Fighter Group, APO713 Unit I as Dental Ass’t. Group con – sists of 35, 36 and 80 squadrons and use P – 38’s. Is a hot and dry place. Very quiet, no raids. Cap’t Miller was Dental Officer but was replaced by Cap’t. McCracken.” So before I get into this I would like to sincerely apologize that I did not post this sooner, I did not have time. I will try my best to make sure this does not occur again.
Alright so “NADZAB” is the place that was mentioned in the previous entry, the “8th Fighter Group” is the group he is going to be with for the rest of his time serving in the war. “APO713” stands for Army Post Office #713 (at least we think it does, if it does not feel free to correct us by leaving a comment below). He was assigned into the first unit as a dental assistant(please be aware that this does not mean he will not be in combat, he still has to do normal soldier duties such as combat , but can also assist with dental work if need be). A “P – 38” was a WWII Era fighter aircraft, more formally known as a Lockheed P – 38 Lightning. The squadrons he mentioned used these aircraft’s at the time. The part of this entry that says “no raids” refers to times when Japanese troops would fly over head dropping bombs on the people down below, but keep in mind there were times when they did not shoot or drop bombs and just flew over head, which would still be referred to as a raid. I tried to find information about the Captains he mentions but I could not, so sorry about that (if you can feel free to leave a comment below).
*The black bar is only digital, I did that to cover up the next entry*
Here is what a Lockheed P – 38 Lightning looks like:
*We do not own this image, here is the source for it: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/100years/stories/p-38.html *
If you would like to read more information about the 8th Fighter Group you can do so by going to this website: http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/8th_Fighter_Group.html
“April 3 – Boarded C-47 at 9:30 A.M. and flew to Nadzab, arrived 11:30 A.M. Stayed at Fifth Fighter Command for one day to be finally assigned.” A “C-47” was a military transport aircraft, used by the Allied forces during WW2, it’s more formal name is the “Douglas C-47 Skytrain”.“Nadzab” is a village in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea . The area was taken from the Japanese by U.S. troops during a battle that took place there in 1943.
The picture below is what a C-47 aircraft transport vehicle looks like:
*We do not own this image, here is the source for it: http://americanairpowermuseum.com/2014/01/01/douglas-c-47-skytrain-dakota/ *
“Feb. 21 – Transferred to Fifth Air Force Staging Area. 267 Rep’l. Co. APO928. Did general duty. Saw plenty of movies.” During WW2 the Army and Air Force were combined, so at the time it was called Army Air Force. He was part of a replacement company for the “Fifth Air Force” at the time this was written. Eventually his unit will ship out to replace the troops on the front line.
The picture below is Mike’s uniform Jacket (the part of the uniform shown in this picture is the left sleeve). The blue patch at the top with the “5” on it is his patch for the Fifth Army Air Force Division, and the patch below it with the three chevrons is a patch for his rank(this is his rank from when he finished the war, he finished the war as a Sargent. You will find out in later entries how he got promoted to this rank.) *If you would like to see more pictures besides the journal entries feel free to go to the Other Photos section of this website*
“Feb. 13 to 20 – Detached Service at 83rd. Quartermaster Bn. (Mobile.) Did dock work.” We think the “Bn.” stands for battalion (a large amount of troops ready to go into battle), and the “(Mobile.)” part meaning he was in a mobile battalion. If this is incorrect please feel free to correct us by commenting down below.
“Feb 4 – Camped at 274 Rep’l. Co. 4th Rep’l. Depot. APO703. Did general duty while waiting for assignment. Plenty of rain here.” “Rep’l” Stands for replacement duty (at least we think it does from researching online, if it does not feel free to correct us below by commenting). If you were in a replacement company during WW2 it essentially meant you where waiting around doing general duty tasks until you got called up to replace troops on the front line. His unit was in New Guinea, waiting to replace the American troops on the front line fighting the Japanese troops.
“(MILNE BAY) Feb 3 – Sighted land at dawn – New Guinea. Docked at Milne Bay at noon. Over – seas at last.” Milne Bay was a U.S. & Australian military base during the war. There was a battle at it in 1942, which was the U.S. and Australian military versus the Japanese military, U.S. and Australian forces won. New Guinea is the world’s second largest island, and is part of the country of Papua New Guinea, which is right above the country of Australia.
“Jan 26 – Crossed International Date Line – 7:00 P.M. Trip is pretty good so far but conveniences are bad. I’ll never forget this trip.”