Sunday, 18 July 1943

 

elmoreonsteps

We ate breakfast and went to our rooms – ten two-man rooms in unheated barracks – to make our beds, which had steel pipe frames with netting for springs and a straw tick (mattress), pillow and sheets. We took a hot shower and shaved, and Zack, Eddie Kohn, and I went into New ImageCastle to celebrate the 4th of July. We did, at the Great Northern Hotel, with beer, whiskey, and champaign. We ate dinner, walked around town, and went to the town hall and heard an Australian military band concert and a few singers. After that, we had supper, entertained the waitresses, and drank until after 8 p.m. I got pretty tight. I looked in on a dance, but it was lousy, so I came back to camp about midnight.

Training with the school took place day and night, Monday through Thursday. It included lectures, demonstrations on various landing craft – LCP’s, LCM’s, LCR’s, LCT’s, and LST’s. An Australian Battalion landing demonstration took place Thursday morning, and I worked with and talked with men and officers of an Australian Rifle Company in the afternoon.

ImageOf course, we had our inspection on Saturday. Yesterday, Friday, we rejoined our companies which had followed us down. Monday, we worked on a mock-up of LCP’s and LCV’s and on ships side nets. On Tuesday morning we walked down to Nelson’s Bay, loaded onto LCP’s and went out to the transports,the HMAS Mancora and HMAS Westralia. We had boat station drill in the afternoon, and on Wednesday afternoon we had net drill and landing problem (training). We had a dry run Thursday on the landing problem to be held Friday, and we got pretty wet on it.

On Thursday, four enlisted men from B Company and I found that we were nominated to help form the cadre of a new quartermaster truck battalion, and I went from the ship back to the Company area. On Friday the battalion lieutenants made their landing. The attacking planes woke me up at dawn, and I went over to ATC for a hot shower.

The commanding officer came in an noon. Company inspections were on Saturday morning, but I had a meeting at regiment. I have been chosen as one of the officers to go in on this truck battalion. We don’t know when we will go, or where, but it will be to Brisbane first. On Saturday evening, Captain Lewis, his cousin Bill Pillsbury, Zacur, and I went to the ATC for a hot shower.

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