Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2 November 1944

Our guide detail was up at 0400 this morning and back to work loading more Filipino troops. These small brown men appear to be very good soldiers. They are happy, used to roughing it, and will give you a big smile with the least encouragement. A lot of them are from the States, a great number from California. Whether or not they will be used in the liberation of their homeland is still to be seen.

It appears we will be taking quite a cruise. Rumors have our next stop at Hollandia* on the northern coast of Dutch Guinea. Whether or not we will debark there is still speculative. Our chances of getting back to Brisbane seem to be diminishing rapidly. One thing this trip has brought to mind is the tremendous transportation problem faced here in the Pacific. It takes so long to move troops from one place to another that great numbers of men and equipment that could be used in an offensive are tied up in ports like this awaiting to be moved. As in our own case, we have been nearly 4 months on the way from our former stations and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that we will be on the way that much again. As one of the boys put it, we seem to be stuck as permanent party aboard this vessel. Hope we get out of Buna today.

Got under way at 0400 this day and headed up the northeast coast of New Guinea. About 1100 after an uneventful run we arrived at the port of Finschhafen. A number of ships were in the harbor which is excellent. Over the range of hills that circle the bay there is an airfield which handles much traffic. C-47, B-25, and P-38 type aircraft were quite numerous. We stayed in port all day unloading troops and materials. Rumors are still rampant.

* Present day Jayapura, Papua New Guinea. The area was host to a large naval base during WWII. Occupied by the Japanese in April 1942, it was liberated by U.S. forces on April 22, 1944 and served as General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters until the conquest of the Phillipines in March 1945.

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