February 27, 1943 (Saturday)

“Cactus,” Guadalcanal

TBF hop to Buin again called off due to bad weather in the target area. The moon, meanwhile, is waning. I was on the strip about to take off (0100) when the tower flashed me the red light.

“Meathead” Gallagher, “Lardass” Irving, Lewis, Frazier, “Snuffy” Wagoner, and Bill Green went up to the front and rooted around among the dead Japs for souvenirs. Favorite pastime is digging up graves, as the Japs are buried in full equipment. Live Japs have been known to fill their eyes, mouth, and noses with maggots so as to simulate death and thereby catch some plunderer with a grenade. Live Japs are said to smell worse than dead ones. They live in incredible filth. Surviving Japs have only been eliminated from their maggoty, corpse laden caves and hideouts by the use of flamethrowers. Local natives, with U.S. equipment, hunt them down in the hills.

There are many indications from Jap equipment that they had women along. Underwear, stockings, powder, lipstick, etc. have been found. Also the corpse of a four or five-month-old baby. Some snipers have been found to be women. One of these killed several soldiers by coming out of her hiding with breasts bared and hands up behind her head of long hair. As the soldiers approached she flipped a grenade from each hand, killing herself and the soldiers.

Many of the Japs captured in the hills firmly believe that this is Oregon! One even commented to the interpreter that even if we had “captured Oregon, we never get San Francisco back!” Such ignorance is appalling.

Some of the fellows were down at the prisoner stockade. Many of the Japs spoke English and had worked in the U.S. at one time. One had even been to Harvard and had U.S. citizenship papers to exhibit. He said he had been forced into the Jap  army while on a visit to Japan. Some Marine yelled at the Jap prisoners, “Tojo eats shit!” whereupon a Jap retorted with “Fuck Eleanor!”

The Japs seem to understand what “Tojo eats shit” means and during the fighting here, it was always good for drawing a blast of Jap fire, which in turn revealed their position.

One Jap from a captured machine-gun nest was being taken to the rear in a jeep for questioning. One of the Marines asked him what he was going to do when the war was over. He replied that he thought he go back to driving a taxi in Los Angeles. The Marines stopped the jeep and hauled him out and shot him right there.