Cpl. Bill Holman Writes Of Pacific Experiences
By Cpl. William D. Holman, USA, Okinawa
Hampton Union, September 27, 1945
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Florida during Basic Training in 1943
Cpl. William Holman, AUS, in a letter written on Okinawa, September 5, gave his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Holman, Mill Road, a brief account of his experiences since he sailed from the West coast in February, 1945. He was stationed for a while in the staging area opposite Pearl Harbor and later moved to Schofield Barracks "where Howard Lamie (A neighbor from Hampton, NH) was stationed at one time".
"I left Hawaii the 6th of April", writes Cpl. Holman, "and made two stops along the way .....
"The first stop was Eniwetok in the Marshalls and Ulithi in the Carolines. I didn't get a chance to get ashore either time. From the states to Hawaii, we had come alone but from Hawaii on, we sailed in a convoy.
"We arrived here May 3 and since they hadn't got down this far in the fighting, we had to set up camp south of Yontaw, about three miles from the front. After the island was secured on July 18, we moved down here, south of Shuri.
"The first accident we had occurred in the old area the second day ashore. We were burning rubbish and corn stalks and there happened to be quite a lot of ammo scattered around. Evidently there was some in the fire, as one 30-caliber shell went off and caught one of the boys in the throat. I guess he came out okay as he went back to Guam and eventually to the States.
"About three weeks ago, one of our patrols was scouting around our area and stumbled on some Japs in a cane field. They sent back for more ammo and reinforcements and since we didn't know how many there were, we called in the 184th Infantry of the 7th Division. They sent out about 50 men with BAR's, M-1's and a mortar. After it was over they counted the dead Japs, but they got one of our boys.
"A week later, a couple of our boys were exploring a cave looking for souvenirs and found some Japs in the cave. One of our boys got out with a bullet scratch but the other was killed. The next morning they found his body outside the cave, the Japs having taken off with his shoes."
Cpl. Holman ended his letter say that he had the day off and was planning to look up a friend when he got a job driving a truck for the motor pool.