PFC DAVID J. DORAN 1945 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF ONE AMERICAN SOLDIER'S LAST YEAR IN SERVICE TO HIS COUNTRY IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC
MANILA PHILIPPINES CAMP BEALE USA 1945 Good Manuscript
On offer is a super, original World War II manuscript diary handwritten by 22 year old PFC David J. Doran, Hq. Co., 3rd Battalion, 341st Infantry, APO #450. The page a day diary has extensive handwritten entries from July 24th, 1945 through April 20th, 1946, the day he returns home (271 days worth). In his own hand David states: "To Readers, This is a fellow's life in his last year in Army and his return to civilian life. D. J. D." Private First Class Doran does a superlative job detailing his life during the exciting 9 months that are spent in his last days in the service. He begins on his way to Camp Beale in California and then, even though the war is pronounced over, he and the rest of his battalion head to the Philippines and spend a good deal of time there before heading home. On the cover of his diary and then also on one of the pages in the back he has listed his itinerary. He also wrote while on board the ships going to and coming home from the Philippines. One of the most amazing entries (and there are quite a number of them) is regarding the Manila massacre which happened in February of 1945 and David who is there on October 13th, of 1945 writes a vivid and sad description. While in the Philippines he gets Amoebic Dysentery quite badly and spends a good deal of time in the hospital trying to get rid of it. Here are some snippets: 1945 "July 24th, Today is the last full day of my 30 day furlough since I just returned from Europe. We spent 5 months overseas from Rhine to Austria. I'm in the 86th Inf. Div. I saw some of the gang today and said goodbye to them. Went over to the Iheta House in afternoon to see Mary, my fiancée. It's sure going to be awful to leave her but I'm anxious to get back and finish it up for good in the Jap(anese) war. (He actually abbreviates Japanese but since eBay won't allow it I had to write it this way) Went out on my last date with Mary in the evening. Went up to Holmes Hill's. Said goodbye and said same as I said when I left for ETO, "See you later." "July 27th, Arose at 6:45! Boy that's the earliest I've gotten up for nearly two months. Today was a terrible hot day, almost 110. Same as yesterday. I went up to see the rec. center and got my barracks bag and went to the PX about six times to drink cake and beer. Had a letter go off to dad at Okla. City and then went to the show "Ordinary Blonde" with Betty Hutton. Cold in theatre. Japan has refused to surrender. Still think I won't see anymore action. I hope!" "August 1st, It was a very warm day and wished we would get to Gruber. At eight tonight we arrived at camp, the one we were to train for the Pacific in. It's huge, 40,000 men. We're the 1st division home from Europe. I found the platoon ok and went in. The guys were glad to see me and told me the dope. No more AT platoon, a bigger P & A platoon and 250 men to a rifle company. Marine stuff. We'll be here for 8-10 weeks and then on to Tokyo." "August 4th, Today a regimental review was held for Lt. General Patch who came down her to see the 86th. It was just beautiful except that it was so warm I could hardly stand it. 98 degrees. The guys marched so well it looked like West Point Cadets. I guess the training we're getting now is the toughest I've ever had. In fact, it's the toughest a lot of these guys have had. In the evening I went into the Day Room and listened to the Hit Parade and wrote mom and dad a long letter. 600 B-290 hit Honshu and Kokkaido." "August 8th, Today the Russians declared war against Japan. Great news! Great Britain, China, Russia and US against Nippon. Atomic bombs hit Nagasaki. War will end soon! Called mom and dad. They will telegram if they can get down this weekend. I'll go to Oklahoma City. Wrote some letters and kept my ears to the radio! Russ has one million men on the Manchukuo boarder. Went to the show "Guest Wife" with Doug Day. It's a race between us getting to the port and the war ending. Hope we win!" "August 10th, Things are flying around fast and furious. We left Monday for the Pacific Coast and over seas. Nippon has given all the allies a peace offer. Time will tell whether they will surrender and it will be accepted. I guess the first 4 divisions back from ETO get Army of Occupation duty in Japan. 86, 95, 97, 104th are the ones. I can plan to be in about one more year I guess. Who knows. Went to the show then to beer party in the Day Room." "August 14th (The Big Day, surrender)." "August 17th, Today was a big day. We were issued new clothes and reissues. Had to get a gas mask and go thru the gas chamber. PS, the wars over. We are going over, it's a definite now! Either mop up or occupation. 200 guys telegrammed Truman bitching about going overseas. I don't blame em. We'll be gone about 1 year and then some! Oh hell! The 86th -boy-Ill join the Air Corps next time! Me with 31 PI's. McArthur clamped down in Tokyo." "August 23rd, (USS Lowndes) Third day on shipboard. The compartment was stuffy as hell all day so I spent most of the time topside talking with Rose, Laury and Oakly. We hashed over old times back in Germany and the states. Had a fire alarm on ship today and everyone went topside. A storm blew up. Read a story about a sailor who hid out on Guam for 2 ½ years under Jap(anese) occupation. It puts a lump in a guy's throat. It's getting warmer the father we get into the Pacific. We're out by Pearl Harbor now, 1500 miles." "September 1st, Awake this morn nice and early. It didn't rain last night at all. It's hot as hell out here now. We arrived at Eniwetok in the Marshalls. The isle is barren, shot to hell and 127 palm trees. But it's a mighty Pacific bastion. Marines, of the 4th fought here 2 years ago. It's an atoll, the highest point being 40 ft. Coral rock. Lots of planes, good landing strip. 50-75 ships in the harbor, 10 APA's with troops. Anxious to know where we're to go. Seems funny so many troops are here. Saw good movie on ship tonight. Hot as blazes. The landings on Japan went off good today. Hope we go there rather than the Philippines." "September 8th, Today was organizing. The sea is so rough. Everything has been locked down. Hurricane warning up. I'll be so glad when we're on land again. Chows getting unbearable! This is the 18th day. We passed the Yap Islands sometime last night and are on our way to the Philippines. I was pretty sick today. Rained terribly hard and drenched most of the time. Dream of home and civilian clothes all the time. Too bad it will be some time yet. Goodnight folks." "September 10th, Hit the Philippines today and came right up along shore between Leyte and Samar. Now in the straights of San B. It's beautiful islands and looks so peaceful. On one island there were gorgeous homes, shot to hell. Coconuts were floating all thru the water, storm probably brought them out so far. It's amazingly hot. Rumor has it Luzon now and I guess maybe they're right this time. I like what I've seen so far, it's gorgeous! Palms and jungles." "September 13th, At 9:30 we went ashore at Batangas Luzon in ISVP's. We damn near died carrying all our equipment out to the boat. We landed on beach with native gals selling everything, including their bodies. It's hot! Dusty. Trucks to camp. We built our own camp. It rained, poured! Muddy as hell. All settled. Eat K rations. Have a Philapino boy, "Tommy", speaks English as well as we. Jap(aneses) terrible. Mosquito netting at night. Hot!" "October 2nd, The beer rations came in today but I didn't order any for I don't like it and besides, no peso's yet. Tomorrow's payday. Signed pay roll today. Last night the 786th Ord. sent up flares again and caught a couple town Nips raiding the mess hall. They were shot. Jap(anese)s are still coming down from the hills even though the war is over. Rain today. High winds. Tent came down, soaked to the skin. The stars are coming out and all ok now. Night folks." "October 13th, (Manila) Ten of us left for Manila to the new area. Company will come in two weeks. Saw Manila. It's ruined, 90 percent. Cologne was equal to it. Saw San Tomas prison where Brinks were. Also saw Corregidor! Poor Manila, it's pathetic. It will take years to rebuild it. Saw a Calif. car with 45' license. Jap(anese) prisoners by "millions". Philippino scouts, Aussies, Anzacs. Melting pot of the world! Everything is ruined. Black market terrible. Town smells of death and disease. Walls, one and two sides. We're 8 m from Bataan. Nichols Field, Clark field." "October 19th, Today I was on guard. I lay around all morning preparing. Stood guard and went on post. At 3 I was relieved. I was told 8 of us were to go up to a guerilla camp on the other side of Luzon. We packed and took down our bunks. 2 radio men, 1 switchman and 5 P & A are going. We drove all night. H Co., 343rd an Corregidor's, same as Bataan. This battalion may leave same day soon for Central Luzon." "November 2nd, Today is my banner day! Latrine orderly! I poured gasoline down into it and there must have been a cigarette in it for it blew up in my face. I was thrown up against the side and couldn't see. Mc Clusky took me to the Medic's. I'm all bandaged up, my hands are worse. My face is blistered and my hair singed. I have a 24 hr. bed rest. My hand aches pretty badly. The stupid guy that threw the cigarette. I'm lucky I wasn't blinded. I was sure scared for a minute. I'm pretty lucky. Boats coming in from Manila now." "November 16th, Today the inspection came off and it did go fairly well. Col. Numfy from Regs. came around and did the maneuvers. I didn't get gigged. A guy has a chance now. 3 boys from K Co. were brought in dead today, shot in the back by snipers. Jap(anese)s. Near Batangas. I knew them all, fine fellows. What a hell of a time to do it, when the wars over. Shot in the back! Poor families! No show tonight so I read from Post till 10. Nite folks." "December 6th, Well I'm in the hospital again, third time while in the army. It's Dengue Fever this time! I'm really writing this as I couldn't then. I woke up "this" morning with an awful and I do mean awful headache and ache all over. I went to medics and temperature was 104 so I went to Batangas. I could hardly move. Got some shots and one penicillin shot. I guess I slept the remainder of the day. My head ached so. Nite folks." 1946 "January 7th, Today the news came, 25,000 GI's held an "orderly" demonstration in Manila, protesting the insufficient war department. MP's were sent to put it down and ¾ of them joined it. Two companies in this Battalion failed to fall out due to the fact that "we're to train as battle line ____" again! Also 7 men landed and two 1st Lts. in the guard house! I don't blame em. I only hope I can keep my mouth shut and don't get in trouble! I hope so! The thing seems more serious than some brass think! The wars over, brass means nothing." "February 6th, Last night 30 Philippino's raided the supply office and held up the guards and took clothes and then a ___. The guards at the gate opened with a 50 MG and killed six of them. The guards were Scouts. Also four wallets were lifted and Bagraz's was one of them. Also one radio. Thieves! I'd like to catch them. Typed 27 pages of lesson plans Krams. Wrote some letters to folks and Jeanne. Damn her, no letter for 5 weeks!!......" "February 17th, I awoke about five this morning by shots I thought and went to the door and low and behold it was two Philippinos were running for the gate and then a spurt of fire and they dropped! They tried to raid the 2-4 section again….." "February 19th, 2nd day in the hospital. I was diagnosed and it was Amoebic Dysentery and quite bad. I run to the little house behind the ward every hour. I take pills and plenty of them. The army never runs out of pills. I ran over to the Red Cross and read awhile. Bret and Mac said to stay in bed as I've a temperature of 101. I guess I'll be here about a week or so. Gee the nurses are gorgeous, so American. First white gals I've seen in 6 months." "March 23rd, Yes, today I am 23 years old. The best present possible. I'm in depot ready to go home. I awoke early, 6:30 A.M. Went for a shower and then mess, I take the word literally. Went for clothes issue. I threw the overcoat back in the Jap(anese)s face and the long johns……" "March 28th, Got up at 3:30 A.M. Had a lousy chow. Full out at 5:00 A.M. by rosters and three were thousands of us. At 9:00 A.M. after "hop-hop" game we got on cattle cars and headed out to the harbor at Manila. Boarded ship the USS Haan. At 11:00 I said "Bye Luzon" as my foot hit the gang plank. Left dock at 12 noon. Rumor says 13 days to the states. Ungodly hot in hold 5D! Passed gallant Corregidor 8 ft. drum! and were on our way. Thank God." "March 31st, Right now they are latching down everything to the deck as a typhoon is about 100 miles from us. We're heading south towards Guam in hopes will miss it. The sea is rough and I'm becoming quite sick. I slept topside last night and fixed up the Poncho so I didn't get wet. I won't dare tonight even if they allow us to. Chow is unbearable and I'm hungry as hell but I'll go through hell just to get home again, believe me! The wind is getting worse and the ship is rocking terribly. Oh to just see some land." "April 20th, At 4:30 today I was discharged from the Army of the USA. I'm a civilian. "Diplomas" were presented in the Chapel by the Major. I gave my last salute. I said a prayer for the men we lost and the Rhine, Danube and Luzon! Left Camp Beale via bus to Sacramento to take plane for LA tomorrow. Sacramento Hotel. Yes, I'm out. It's all over, there is no more. Hence, I'm discharged. Thus ends my diary!" The above quotes are from only 27 of the 271 days represented so there is so much, much more in this truly fascinating diary. The diary measures about 4 ½" x 6" and the cover is very worn and pulling away from the binding. The pages starting from the beginning to January 22nd are starting to pull away too but the rest are clean and attached to the binding. Overall G.