Friday, September 28, 2007

Rube Garrett's Guadalcanal Diaries

Another good literacy link to the WW2 topic and this through a primary source. Rube's extensive site has his diary, links to other diaries and lots of images. His intro:
"My name is James R. "Rube" Garrett. I was a Corporal, ammo chief for I Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Regiment and a charter member of the 1st Marine Division, formed in Cuba in 1940. The following are my diary entries for the Battle of Guadalcanal. A glance through the pages shows while we were there, 59 enemy air raids flew in. That doesn't include many false alarms and numerous shellings from Japanese battleships, destroyers and cruisers. It seemed like about an air raid or shelling every day for three and a half months. I remember a lot of diving into ditches and ducking in and out of bomb shelters, or whatever we could find to hide under.
The entry for August 28, 1942, just three weeks after the landing, reads " date, have seen 133 Jap planes fall and some 20 odd ships sunk." Many more would follow.
These figures are by no means complete. Some pages of my diary were blank because we were just too busy shooting or being shot at. We were scared a lot of the time. The weeks and months of anxiety and tension...long days of tedious work, night watches at the edge of the jungle suddenly punctuated by sheer terror are only hinted at - if you can read between the lines. What is there are the impressions of a young 20 year old Marine just as they were written 53 years ago. They detail the war in the Solomons as I lived day at a time."

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