DAVE – We got down to Ulithi, ( http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=77 ) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulithi ) which was a weird-sounding name, and they started talking about some place called Okinawa. They said, “We’re going to Okinawa and we’re going to invade Okinawa.” At dawn they were going to send in a flotilla at the center of the island but the real invasion will be on the other end of the island, further up. I said to myself, “What kind of outfit would do something as stupid as this? Why did they think the feint would work?”
I was attached to Army headquarters at this point, at least our company would be when they got there. What happened was that the feint worked so well that we were supposed to go in, I think it was the third day, we were supposed to land. We didn’t plan for 10 days because the Americans went through so fast that they left Cyprus behind, they couldn’t afford to have us valuable people in Army headquarters get shot. So, we didn’t get in for some time.
When we were ready to go in, my Sergeant, who was a buddy of mine, came up to me and he said, “Dave, I have a special assignment for you.” And I said, “What’s that?” He said, “When we get on land your job is to bunk with, and take care of, Marvin.” Now Marvin King was a guy who was so stupid that he wasn’t bright enough even to get a section 8 and get out. I can remember whenever we were on the ship and they called out the anchor detail, he would run to the side and start throwing up. We hadn’t even moved yet, and he was already seasick. My job was to take care of him.
When we got to Okinawa, finally landed, we dug ourselves a little too-man foxhole. I was bunking with Marvin. My job at that point was to go in and get water and the mail – – ho, ho, ho…. There was no mail – and bring it back to the company. Now some time had gone by and Marvin and I were in close quarters. Needless to say, there was not a lot of friendship between the two of us.
So anyway, one night, near dawn, a plane came over and obviously was hit. It was a Japanese plane, he was hit and so he was jettisoning his bombs, which were small 25-pound anti-personnel bombs. One guy didn’t believe in being in a foxhole, so he was in a hammock. When he woke up in the morning, he looked up, put his hat on and realized that half of the visor was gone. So, needless to say, he decided he was going to sleep in a foxhole. That morning, when I went to get water, I went alone. I usually went alone. When I came back the hole that we had dug was now two levels – one level where I was and one deeper level where Marvin was. It was very, very, easy to dig, like clay, no stones like we get in Connecticut, so it was easy to dig out but he wasn’t about to dig me a place, I was one level above him.
Tomorrow, I’ll continue Dave’s memories of Ulithi and Manila.
Next week, I’ll be posting a week of lettrs written in 1945. The wedding or Dan and Paulette is getting closer and other items of news aren’t quite as important.