Entry #29

“June 25 – Japs raided Mokmer strip and strafed. Col. Davis went home, gave each tent a quart of gin.” 

Alright so “Mokmer strip” was an airstrip on the island of Biak, in Papua New Guinea. This airstrip was involved in the Battle of Biak, which is mentioned in previous entries. At the time it was taken back from the Japanese Troops by the United States Troops, which is why the Japanese are attacking it when he wrote this entry. When he says they “strafed” he means that the Japanese flew very low over the airstrip, dropping bombs and firing machine guns on the people and equipment below, doing it very quickly and repeatedly. This was a very common tactic done by military in WW2.

“Col. Davis” was a Colonel he mentions in this entry. We do not know more information about him, because if you search the name “Col. Davis” a lot of results from WW2 come up, so it won’t be possible to tell which one is his, so I apologize for that.

“Gin” is a liquor, that was commonly drank during WW2, some soldiers even used it to make cocktails.

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(The black scribble is digital only, meant to cover up the next entry.)

papuanewguineaworldmap

(Papua New Guinea is the country highlighted in red, it is right above Australia.)

papuanewguineaflag

*Please note that we do not own these images, here are the sources for them:

World Map –

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Papua_New_Guinea_in_the_World.svg

Flag –

http://papuanewguineaflag.facts.co/papuanewguineaflagof/papuanewguineaflag.php *

Encase you wondering here is where Papua New Guinea is on a world map, and what their flag looks like. I figured since this country is mentioned a lot in this journal I should probably show what their flag is and where on a world map they are located.

Also if you would like to read more information about WW2 and the war in the Pacific (the part that my grandfather fought in) then you can check out this really well done website called Pacific Paratrooper, it is updated frequently and has a wealth of information, ranging from Eye – Witness accounts to journal entries to humorous WW2 cartoons: https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

Entry #28

“June 23 – Big Naval battle in Marianas.” 

Alright so I am slightly confused about this entry. Researching online about a naval battle at “Marianas” on June 23, 1944 there is multiple things that come up. The most notable being the battle of the Philippine Sea, nicknamed “Marianas Turkey Shoot”. Which lasted until June 29th of that same year. Parts of this battle took place on the Marianas Islands. This is the only large naval battle that comes up for this date. Leading me to think he was referring to the Battle of the Philippine Sea. What is very odd about this entry in particular is that he only wrote five words, and for something this big you would expect more. It leads me to believe he saw / possibly did some very horrific things this day, which he probably did not want to write or talk about (like possibly killing a Japanese soldier or seeing a lot of death / explosions). If he was referring to this then below you will find more information and some websites you can check out about it. If he was referring to another naval battle please feel free to correct me by leaving a comment down below, and if that is the case I sincerely apologize.

So this battle was one of the most important battle’s of WW2. It was the United States versus Japan. The United States won which stopped Japan from conducting large scale naval missions afterwards. Meaning it stopped Japan from sending Navy towards America and Europe, potentially stopping the Axis powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) from winning the war. It also gave the United states control of the Philippine Sea which was major in our effort against fighting Japan. This was the largest aircraft carrier battle in history, and one of the largest naval battles of WW2.

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(The black scribble is digital only, I did it to cover up the next entry.)

More information on the Battle of the Philippine Sea:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Philippine_Sea

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/united-states-scores-major-victory-against-japanese-in-battle-of-the-philippine-sea

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/the-pacific-war-1941-to-1945/the-battle-of-the-philippine-sea/

https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-the-Philippine-Sea

Entry #26

“June 20 – Senick got shot by our own guards at Biak, everybody is trigger happy. Still hear gun blasting away at Japs. Our planes go over to bomb them everyday.” Alright so we are very confused as to what or who “Senick” is. We are guessing it is someone in his unit that he knew, as to why he got shot or the context of this we know nothing. He does not mention “Senick” or anything about this day in other entries. So apologies from us that we can not tell you any more about this.

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Don’t worry the part that looks colored is not actually colored, it is digital to cover up the next entry.

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Entry #24

“(OWI) June 16 – APO 920 – Moved from Biak to neighboring island of Owi, reason was that planes couldn’t operate from Biak, engineers built strip on Owi in five days. Could hear artillery booming all night long. Japs dug in caves. Owi is a very small island, about  2 1/2 miles long and a mile wide but is a nice place. While at Biak we thought we’ed be attacked by Japs, were on alert all night. Dug my first slit trench.” Alright so “OWI” is an island right near Biak island, formally known as Pulau Owi Island. Like mentioned in the journal an air strip was built there, the reason being to give the Army Air Force a better place to operate from. It was built under General MacArthur’s command. A “slit trench” also known as an individual prone shelter, is just what it sounds like, a small, narrow slit dug into the ground. Typically big enough for one soldier to lay inside to protect themselves form any fire and fragments from explosions (although sometimes they are made bigger to accommodate more soldiers).

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Here is an illustration of what a slit trench looks like:

slittrench

* Please note that we do not own this image, here is the source for it: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/FM7-10/FM7-10-I.html *

If you would like to find out more information about Owi island and the airfield there, you can go to these websites: http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/indonesia/owi/index.html ,

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owi_Airfield