Just heard from a few friends on the mainland who told me to get hold of the December issue of the “Infantry Journal” because there is an article written by Lt Col Gillespie who took over your command. It is about our last crossing of the Volturno where we had to take the heights west of S. Maria Oliveto.
I’d like to read what that fox hole bastard has to say. I had a big scrap with him about [illegible] that night. Our mortar platoon and 2 HMG sections were cut off at the base of the hill where the mine field was – lost contact because the battalion was moving too fast – as usual – for the men in our company. Sparky Matsunaga had stopped fox company and radioed over for instructions because he felt it was too dangerous to go through the mine field at night. I recommended to Gillespie – was with him almost at the top of the hill that they come through in the morning in daylight. He ordered me to have the “continue the march”. I sent back one boy and a paratrooper who had joined us to guide them through.
Sparky upon receiving the order tried to go through. Result – he got hit by a mine – Omiya got blinded – Kawano my radio man got killed and several others got wounded. Finally Ray decided he’d stay until morning, to hell with orders. He did a wise thing: the paratrooper who came back got blown up by a mine too.
If you can get hold of the December issue – send it on to me – I’d like to see how much ‘bull shit’ he has written because I had many a scrap
with him over that days operation. I can remember it still because that day Nov. 5 was my birthday. I don’t think the battalion ever suffered as many casualties as it did that single day in any other single day of operation.
“D” Co alone got 5 men killed and 18 wounded.
“F” Co alone got about 8 [stowed away?] and 20 wounded.
They got officers like Jack Johnson, Taro, Sparky, & Kawasaki.
Oh! well no use crying about spilt milk, but every time I think about Omiya I can’t help getting burned up against this Gillespie. “I told him up on the hill, once, that if he [wanted] his men in their position at least once in a while they might have more fight.” He sure got burned up with me.
Hope you people had a good reunion.
Best of good wishes to you & yours for the new year.
Just got a note from Omiya. He’ll be coming home soon. He’s still at the old Farms Conv[alescent] Hospital, Avon, Conn.
Taro had another operation on his arm, still too early to predict the outcome. Stu writes about the advantages of married life. Jim said he was going out in 6 mos. Limited service – wish he could come on home.
Sakae is coming back to the states. His arm is on the fritz, [illegible] [illegible] trouble. I’m glad he’s coming home.