Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day: Guadalcanal Journal

A personal salute to my Dad, Sgt. James A. Donahue, (US Marine Corps, First Marine Division, H-2-1) . This is the initial entry in his WWII Guadalcanal journal found in a drawer after his death in 1998. He was 21 years old when he served. Visit the website to read more...
Thank you Dad and to all veterans today and always. Semper Fi.
August 7, 1942
To Hell and Back: A Guadalcanal Journal

The jungle is thick as hell. The Fifth Regiment landed first and marched to the airport. We went straight through and then cut over to block the escape of the Japs. It took three days to go six miles. Japs took off, left surplus first day, which was done away with.

The second day was murder. All along the way were discarded packs, rifles, mess gear and everything imaginable. The second night it rained like hell and the bugs were terrific. The Second Battalion (First Regiment) had reached the Lunga River...

The third day we came back. The Japs had beat us in their retreat. We took up beach defense positions. We have been bombed every day by airplanes, and a submarine shells us every now and then. Our foxholes are four-foot deep. We go out on night patrols and it's plenty rugged. We lay in the foxholes for 13 to 14 hours at a clip and keep firing at the Japs in the jungle. As yet, there is no air support. The mosquitoes are very bad at night. The ants and flies bother us continually. The planes strafed the beach today. A big naval battle ensued the second day we were here, which resulted in our ship, the Elliott, being sunk. All of our belongings were lost.

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