My Life in the Service

The diary of Levi Chapiewsky

Posts Tagged ‘pray

Jan 2-9, 1945

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2nd, 3rd, 4th
Preparing for the invasion. Everything is a mixup as usual. There are about 12 men on rear echelon plus three in the Hospital. We have been on the beach all day (4th) waiting to leave. We have 1 Lst with just our equipment, and 1/2 of another.  I am on the latter #471-(630).

5th Friday
All loaded by 4:30 P.M. Only one meal today, breakfast. Thompson and I have our bunks on top of a truck, with a tarp overhead. This is sure a busy place and and planes galore. It sure is exciting to wonder what the next moth or so will bring. I pray God is with us. Been getting plenty mail but we are unable to write.

6th Sat.
On guard on the ship. Still in the bay.

7th Sun.
Wrote a letter to Marine. They will be mailed with the Navy. Hot as Hell. Back hurts.

8th Mon.
Pulled out at 12:40pm in a heavy overcast and rain. They surely have these things planned. Still raining tonight. Our food has been good so far. Back still aches.

9th Tues.
Still cloudy and rainy. No excitement.


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May 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm

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Dec 29-31, 1944

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29th Fri.
Got 2 nice letters from Marine today. She still loves me too. Expect to be leaving in 3 or 4 days. I hope for the best.

30th Sat.
Got 3 nice letters from Marine. God how I love her. Received 4 pictures of them and it just brought a lump in my throat. I’d give all I possess to be back with them.

31st Sun.
The end of another year and one I never hope to live through again. Still I pray that I shall be as fortunate in health and safety as in the past year. At home too everything has gone swell. Marine has done a very swell job. So I begin another year with prayers for a safe return before the year is out. May God grant us this happy day.

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May 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm

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Oct 24, 1944

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24 – Tues.
Unloading into landing barges. Beautiful day. Phillipines abused same as New Guinea. Father’s bed their own daughters to prevent Jap babies. Those in hills are practically naked.

Tonight I can thank god for being alive. So many aren’t. A few of us were still on the boat in charge of unloading when the raid started. Hell broke loose as 9 Jap bombers came in. 7 of them knocked down in the bay. 2 navy fighters downed. Ships blazing – men all over in the water. Then a downed Jap bomber suicided into our ships. I was about 20 ft. from where he hit. Was thrown 8 ft. across the deck. Hit in center of ship. Any other place and it would have blown up. Gas, oil, and fire everywhere. Started to jump overboard, but saw 2 navy boys trying to crawl out of the fire, so went to help them. Got hands and arms burned. One of the boys had the skin blowed[sic] off both arms and badly burned. Other burned and wounded in the head. Forty one men were killed and I don’t know how many injured. No use writing more, I’ll never forget it.

Moved into beach tonight. Living in fox hole. They are strafing us continuously.

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April 21, 2011 at 7:06 pm

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Aug 28 – Sep 10, 1944

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28th Mon.
Got the letter of acceptance for Trans. Corps Officer Candidate School. Will I ever get the call or has all this been in vain?

29th Tues.
Got 6 letters from Marine. I am happy tonight.

30th Wed.
Played ball again. Won 6 to 1. Got 2 hits.

31st Thurs.
Pay day. Deposited $60.00.

Sept. 1
Fri. – Nice day. Wrote 7 letters tonight.

2 Sat.
Butch’s Birthday. Said a special prayer for him.

3 Sun.
On guard. Did washing as usual.

4th Mon.
A most beautiful night. Just the night for a little loving. Gosh I sure need it too.

5th Tues.
The boys started school today, both of them. How time does fly. I’ve got to make the most of all I gave when I get back.

6th Wed.
Looks like Germany is near the end.

7th Thurs.
Saw the show – A Guy Named Joe.

8th Fri.
Nothing new, plenty hot.

9th Sat.
Same old story, poor grub.

10th Sun.
Took some pictures today. Played ball, lost 3-1.

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April 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

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July 31 – Aug 8

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31st Mon.
Pay day – Put 15.00 in soldiers Saving.


1st Tues.
On guard again. Still raining. Wrote 2 letters.

2nd Wed.
Still raining. Still hopes today for an OCS interview. Wish it would get over one way or other.

3rd Thurs.
Same old shit. Rain, rain, and more rain.

5th Sat.
Same as always. Plenty rain.

6th Sun.
Started on new job today driving the ration truck. Will be done most days by noon and think it will be easier then on the carpenter crew. At least a change will seem good.

7th Mon.
Hauled rations in the A.M. and rock in P.M. Nothing to do but drive. I like it all right so far, seems funny though to drive on left side of road.

8th Tues.
Got word today that I am to go with Chuck Farmen before the OCS board on Thurs. I pray that I can make the grade and know the proper answers.

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April 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm

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July 5, 1944

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4th Wed.
Went on to Kumaua, the nicest village so far. The boss man’s Mary was having a baby and things were very quiet here. Everyone stayed in their huts. Rained quite a bit. Rested most of the day. Hunted a little. Also had similar church services and still better boys choir. Went to bed early.

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March 28, 2011 at 7:29 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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