My Life in the Service

The diary of Levi Chapiewsky

Posts Tagged ‘beautiful

Nov 10-21, 1944

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10 Fri.
Drove to Tacloban, took pictures. Bought souvenirs.

11 Sat.
Beautiful weather. Things are pretty nice now.

12 Sun.
Took things pretty easy all day. Lonesome.

13 Mon.
Down by the beach. Had air raid, 4 Jap B[ombers], Ack Ack got two. Had ringside seat. Beautiful sight.

14 Tues.
(Letter dated Oct. 30) Got 1st letter here from Marine and also Dad[? illegible]. A zero zoomed right over our area at about 100 ft., but never fired a shot. My hole didn’t seem deep enough.

15 Wed.
The rest of the boys came in tonight. But only the last days mail. Had a letter from Mother and one from Joe. Sure miss Marine’s letters.

16 Thurs.
Still no mail. Getting tiresome here.

17 Fri.
No mail. Got a good scaring. On truck again.

18 Sat.
A letter from Marine today sure seemed mighty swell. Was in a bloody mess this A.M. as personnel bombs badly injured 5 natives. The girl I held on the way to the Hosp. had her intestines in her lap. 2 of them have died.

19 Sun.
Worked all day. Fixed a tire. Muddy as Hell.

20 Mon.
Rain, rain, rain.

21 Tues.
No change. No mail.

Written by mylifeintheservice

April 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Oct 27-31, 1944

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27 Fri.
Conditions same. Bridge still up. Japs gone from Palo.

28 Sat.
Hurray – P-38‘s are here. Everybody on island cheered like mad at the sight of the king of fighters. First day’s bag – 8 Jap bombers, 2 Zeros. Loses – none. Drove into Tacloban. Must have been a beautiful place.

29 Sun.
Bombing quieting down. Living’s Hell. Poor food.

30 Wed.
Typhoon last night. Tent blew down. Water all over. Everything soaked in mud and water. Can’t describe our damnable misery. What high price for victory.

31 Tues.
Another month gone by. God when will this end? Damned lonesome for home, Marine, and the boys. Drying and cleaning clothes, knee deep in mud. Drove to Alang Alang. It was captured yesterday. No mail. Three raids last night. By the way this is Hal-o-ween. Temp 90 degrees, but it seems a lot hotter. Shaved for the 1st time and took a bath in a pail. Feel some better. Got the kitchen going and the food sure tastes good.

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April 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm

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Oct 10-18, 1944

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10 Tues.
Duffel bags loaded. Everyone excited. One platoon stays back as rear echelon. Got a lovely letter from Marine.

11 Wed.
Still not ready. Played Pinochle all day. Got 3 nice letters.

12 Thurs.
Left Finch today, just a year ago I left for the army. About 450 men and enough ammo and high octane to blow us to kingdom come if lit. Heat is terrific. Had sandwiches and coffee for supper. There are ships everywhere.

13 Fri.
Day passed without a mishap. Feeding is fair.

14 Sat.
Anchored at Hollandia. More ships. Played 500. Sure is hell taking a crap in a through with about 50 guys watching. Hot as hell. Rain tonight.

15 Sun.
A beautiful morning. Our mission the invasion of Leyte at Tacloban. We land 48 hrs after 1st wave.

16 Mon.
D-day is the 20th. Convoy moving out at 5:00 AM. Impossible to describe the beauty of the various types and sizes of ships maneuvering for their positions. All truck machine guns were mounted to aid in air attack.

17 Tues.
On guard – 4 hr. shift. Crossed equator yesterday. We get two bars and 1 gum each day. Good food. Hot as hell.

18 Wed.
Most beautiful sunrise. Entered extreme danger zone. Played 500 all day. Burning hot all day.

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April 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

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July 4, 1944

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4th Tues.
Up early and at the ringing of the bell, we went to A.M. services. I was brief. After chow we went hunting, going up in groups of 2 to 4 fellows. Each group took a native and one or two boys, or just a couple of boys. Their stamina is remarkable. They would walk you to death. These little kids 6 to 8 yrs. old and some looked younger than that, were perfectly at home in the jungle. They knew the trails and where to find water. They would hear and point out birds like a “pointer.” [? illegible] Most of the time I had a hard time to see them even when they pointed.

James and I went with a native and 3 boys. One boy had a bad cut on his skin.¬† I fixed him up with Iodine and handy tape. He stuck by me all day. We we came to the creek he said, “Water no hurt” and pointed to his bandages. I said “No get wet. Hurt much plenty,” and he didn’t get it wet either. We really saw the jungle on this trip and even without packs your legs and legs ached.

Finally at the top of a ridge we came to a native cemetery of 3 graves. The native said, “Jap come, we go bush. Boy he die, bury here.” It was about 16ft. sq. marked off with rocks. This is the marker similar to all of them [see drawing]. It was nice [? illegible] bit of work. We went on but hunting was poor. We came to another camp of 3 huts. There were 4 Marys and 7,8 kids. There were 4,5 pigs and some chickens running around. We went for a little way to a new hut. It was not quite finished. The native said, “Rest, sleep. Am up, no pigeon. Sure [? illegible] stop by hill good hunting.” In other words from 4 am it would be better. He started to carve a cowl [? illegible] out of bamboo and we went to sleep. They woke up and the Mary brought Kaikai [ie. food]. Roasted sweet corn, roasted bananas, beetle nut and coconut mile. It was really good. The corn is placed in hot coals with the green husks on. When they are all black it is done. The same holds true with the bananas.

About 4 o’clock we went on toward the village. We shot a number of birds but could not find them in that thick jungle. Had special services for us, gave us a change to pray as we do. After this was over they asked us to sing songs which we did. They got quite a kick out of it. Then the Mission man said they would have special happy singing for thank[? illegible] Pray. I have seen similar scene in movies but this was the real thing. We formed a circle and watched the natives painted themselves with white paint of some sort and wore the most beautiful feather hats [see drawing]. They beat tom-toms for rhythm and all the people joined in the various chants and songs. It was an unbelievable sight. We clapped after each danced and they laughed and laughed. [see drawing here] – dried bird skin. When it got soft from beating they would hold a hot amber to it and it tightened up. I believe¬† few white people have been allowed to witness such a ceremony.

This kept on for a couple of hrs. I wish I had words to describe it all. One dance which was especially good was the house building. A sq. timber [? illegible] was places in the center of the dancers. 2 men danced around cage beating on it with sticks. This was building of the house. The boss man came dancing down the wood suterec [? illegible] charging. He pushed the men around and then pounded himself. He smoked a pipe. This meant he didn’t like the house and showed them how he wanted it. The men then went to work again and when it was finished the danced with joy. One was hunting pigeons, cutting coconut tree and building bridge across a stream.

After saying happy goodnites we went to bed and shall never forget this. This village was Kumawa. What a memorable 4th of July, so different from what I would have had at home. I thought of those at home and prayed for their health and safety.

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March 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

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Apr 15-16, 1944

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April 15 – Saturday
Same old story. If the cheek bones of my rear break through I am going to ask for the purple heart. Hot again.

April 16 – Sunday
Got a hair cut right after service. This afternoon we sailed into a beautiful port. The prettiest I’ve every[sic] seen. Everywhere you look it is rugged as if the ocean melted around the mt. tops of some ancient day. All the buildings are on the hillsides. Roads run over the tops and sides. Clouds float lazily around the tops. The near hills are green and as they rise in the distance they turn to lavender. Ocean liners, tankers, and transports greet your eyes. Planes come and go. Everything speaks activity. We were not scheduled for this stop but something happened to one of the boilers and we ran out of water. We are now at anchor at Port Nue Mea[ed. Noumea], New Caledonia. It’s a former French Possession taken from the Free French in the early part of the war. It has been untouched by the Japanese. Our trip from here, no doubt, will be dangerous.

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January 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

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Apr 11, 1944

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April 11 – Tuesday

In dangerous waters. Crucial hours are the first hour of dawn and the last hour of daylight. The sub will make his attack as near to the hour of darkness as possible. Not quite as hot to-day and no rain. Had a rifle inspection. Mine was O.K. I don’t know what is going to give out first, but I believe my rear end will – the steel of this shop hasn’t any soft spots. Still marvel at the beauty of the sky, with its various hues and cloud formations – like and artists making sweeps across the canvas with his brush, continually changing the picture before your eyes. Have you been thinking of me to-day?

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January 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

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Apr 6-8, 1944

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April 6 – Thursday
Hot as Hell – no rest or shade on a hunk of steel. Read a whole book to-day. A Western – guess I’ll have to go in for more cultural stuff. Studied Pidgin English the language of the islands. “Me want fella Mary[ed. fella Mary = woman].” We are to cross the equator to-night. Rain again to-night.

April 9 – Good Friday
Crossed the equator this evening at 4:34. Was eating chow. Was on detail all morning. Oiled my carbine and washed clothes. Had services on the deck to-nite. Witnessed the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Am getting acquainted and don’t feel quite so lonesome.¬† thought of how nice it would be at home someday telling my family of these things. The nice things and the bad – like the hole we are in on this ship. Its name is Sea Scamp. (720 men)

April 8 – Saturday
Getting sick of heat and smell of sweaty men. Read the book “The Great Impersonation” by Oppenheim. Very good. Been travelling alone so far. They say we are in dangerous water now. Sure hope for the best. Am hungry for a letter from home. Have read the one I got over and over. Stew again for supper.

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January 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

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