Jan. 31, 1943
Sunday - Walked into Gordonvale in morning. Quiet little town this AM.
People friendly. Nearly all of them speak and smile. Seem glad to have
us in their town. Went on to Cairns later in afternoon. Saw movie named
"South of Tahiti." Two Aussie girls get in argument in theatre. The
manager threw them out. They were talking so fast I couldn't tell what
the difficulty was. They thought it was rather serious apparently.
Feb. 1, 1943
Franklin transferred to Brisbane "without prejudice". He sure hated to
leave but someone decided he didn't fit. He had tears in his eyes when
he shook hands goodbye. What the powers had against him I'll never know
or even try to guess. He caught an 8AM train. We dug ditch around
company area and built wood walks. Movie "Navy Blues" at night. Had fish
and chips in Cairns.
to tent about 11PM.
Feb. 3, 1943
Officer of the Day duty in Cairns from 1PM till 12 midnight when last
truck left for camp. The return trip was a mess. Lots of drunks. Some
passed out. Some sick and vomiting. On duty with me were Horvatich,
Thompson, Carrow, and Mcgargle. We were relieved to dump the last ones
in their tents and head for ours.
Feb 4, 1943
five letters from home. They were answers to the ones I wrote when we
first arrived in Aussieland. Mail sure looked good.
letter from mother informing me my brother John was officially a
prisoner of war. I suppose that's good news. He at least survived the
Feb. 5 1943
firing problems all day - attacking bunkers that were suppose to
resemble Jap emplacements. Rain getting heavier each day.
Feb. 9, 1943
fire problems. Live rounds fired very close to us. I wonder if this is
the way it will be in the real thing. Dug in about 7PM for overnight
stay in bush. Lots of live things seem to be keeping us company.
Australia has some strange animals.
Feb. 10, 1943
critique in morning and headed back to camp about 3PM. Rain very hard.
of us and all the equipment are soaked. Back at camp we cleaned
equipment - washed clothes - ate - in bed about 9PM.
Feb. 11, 1943
NCOs appointed in company. Two men from my platoon promoted - Heise and
Feb. 14, 1943
Rifle range all day. Got back to camp about 5PM. Ate fish in messtent.
Quite a few got sick from it. At least the good doctor said it was the
fish. Some of the men were off duty all the next day.
Feb. 17, 1943
on three day problem. Hiked in mountains all day. Stopped at 10:30PM.
chow. Slept on slope - or tried to - up most of night. Rained hard -
falling rocks hurt some of the men. I think even the Aussie animals had
sense enough to stay away from this area.
Feb. 18, 1943
breakfast. Moved out at dawn. Got to cleared area where we ate chow
about 12.30PM. Had macaroni and cheese. I never particular cared for
this fare but it was the best food I ever ate up till that time. Ate out
of our helmets.
feast or famine in the Army. At 5:30PM C-47s drop more food. Very good
meal. Slept on full stomach till midnight. Wade several creeks. Water
felt good on tired feet but leeches were bad. Crossed a mountain -
reached "objective" at 7AM. We take it. Airplane drops chow. Milk,
oatmeal, and peaches. Got back to camp 12 noon. Cleaned equipment all
afternoon. Bed about 8PM.
Feb. 21, 1943
Sunday - washed clothes - cleaned equipment - bed about 7PM. Rigger
kills self with trench knife.
Feb. 23, 1943
Spent day getting ready for next problem. Practiced river crossings most
of day. Col. Colson returns from New Guinea. Told assembled battalion
about his experiences. Pretty interesting talk.
Feb. 24, 1943
Started on march 6AM. Walked twenty miles by 4PM. No noon meal. Had rice
and meat for supper. Platoon performed guard duty all night for
battalion. Not much rest. Rained all night - everyone wet and cold
Feb. 25, 1943
breakfast. Started out 5AM We are rear guard for Regiment on march.
Still the rain comes down. Rivers up and swift and the bush trails are
Walking is almost impossible. Shoes are rotting and pulling apart. Had
to cross river on ropes. All of us made it without falling.
Feb. 26, 1943
7AM. Hot chocolate for breakfast. Walked to a river we can't cross.
Water too high. Reverse march and go over mountain to bridge. About an
eleven mile hike. Problem called off. Too much equipment lost. Men from
other battalions drown. I heard two. Back to camp 7PM Had hot meal at
James M. Mullaney