January 20-29, 1942

The first two days were spent in recruit fundamentals as well as camp building. We issued an order that these men were not to leave the rice paddy during air raids; this was necessary in order to break a former habit when the men had no jobs to do. The next two days were used to drill the men in fundamentals of combat work and then on the morning of January 23, 1942 we received an order to take all available men to KP174 to meet a Jap landing force. I was ordered to command the Battery C Company — I had one officer with me. The only trained officer in the company, I was much too busy to think of the reactions I would have in a fire fight. I had my job to do and several others; besides, it would not be practical to write in this account the story of the next six days. I
shall put it elsewhere — here only the main points had best be written. We engaged the enemy during the afternoon and most of the next day and again the third day. On the fourth, patrol work and reconnaissance completed, we were sure that supporting weapons were necessary and we held our position to await their arrival. We engaged again the next two days but, being outnumbered at least 2 to 1, we were unable to drive them from their final defense posts and were relieved by the 57th PS. We had succeeded in localizing the action — exhausted we returned to our rice paddy the morning of the 29th — our greeting was two dive bombing attacks with our battery as the target.

I omitted one important incident — on January 8, 1942 Hold[e]r and I were sworn in as 1st Lts. We had to make our own rank bars but we did not mind that at all.

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