The following 28-page diary was donated to the Navy by the Dutch Priest Father Emery De Klerk. He served as a Coastwatcher for allied forces at Tangarare in the Solomon Islands during World War II. He was awarded the US Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm for his efforts. The diary is part of the Administrative Histories Appendices Collection in the Navy Department Library’s Rare Book Room.
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12 December 1941. Visit from Mangkao (Manganakao) and Qilu chiefs asking our boys res Jap War. A whole bunch have already fled after the rumor that a warship is on its way here to rob and plunder. I sent a letter to all villages (1) to quiet the people (2) to forbid any lights or fires after dark.
All chiefs of villages were warned that letters marked “CW” were to be sent via runner at top speed. Before hostilities actually (Sept. or Oct '41) began he was appointed by the District Officer for Guadalcanal as Coast Watcher Thirteen. He was given a letter granting him this authority which was later destroyed because it might fall into Jap hands. He was also given recognition silhouettes. Any coast watching messages were to be sent by runner with new runners relaying the message at each village down to British Headquarters. The letter was known as a coast watching letter by the initials “CW” on the envelope. The District Officer was at Aola.
“McFarland ask “Showy Rhodes’ to accept a transmitter which was not from the British Government but from the Australian Navy.
17 December 1941. Arrival “S. Ann” (launch). On board Father Brugmans. Tulagi evacuated. Alosce[sic] had been only four days in the hospital. He is still very weak but already much better. Also on board were the Bishop and Father MacMann. (Father MacMahon was an American missionary.
18 December 1941. Departure of “S”. Ann (Father MacMahon looked after the finances and food supply of the Mission. There were approximately 22 Missions in the Solomons Group with white priests.) They leave behind ten bags of rice for me to guard. (They feared the Japs would take them if they were left at Cape Esperance or Tulagi.) B. gave no directives for what I should do with the Sisiters! All in all, a very unhappy muddle.
15 December 1941. Begin clearingon Tupuna with the aid of natives who were paid ten shillings a week for three weeks, but no tobacco or meat and only two meals a day. (Houses were to be built for withdrawals if the Japs came.) gave Sisters the order to look after Father Brugmans. He had no linen or anything with him.
21 December 1941. Bug crowd (natives) in church. Scared because of the war! Beginning of the northwest storms.
22 December 1941. Storm the whole day long.
24 December 1941. Midnight Mass about 200 people had Communion. (Usually all adults would take Communion). Alois[sic] is making good progress and the Sisters are looking after him.
25 December 1941. Rain and strom the whole day.Most of the people (natives) leave today.
26 December 1941. Storm still raving.
27 December 1941. Alois[sic] is walking about a bit on the veranda. Work progressing on the radio clearing.
28 December 1941. Yesterday letters from D.O advising me to evacuate the Sisters. Not one word from Bishop. The terrible lot that may be awaiting the Sisters doesn’t seem to penetrate him. (At this time there was much confusion and uncertainty in higher British Government circles as to whether the Japanese would penetrate as far as Guadalcanal.) He cannot have read or have the slightest idea of the bestiality of Japs at war. The D.O has warned enough about what can be expected. Sister Leone is not feeling well. Have warned Sister Reine that evacuation is very urgent for Sister Leone, but voluntary. I told them they were all mad to want to stay back when all white women have already been evacuated.
31 December 1941. Clearing and garden on Tsupuna well under way. Planning to build a house for Sisters and Sacristy there.
1 January 1942. Still no news from Visale (Bishop’s Headquarters)
6 January 1942. Still not news from Visale.
8 January 1942. Two chinese launches called (These Chinese sold combs, calico, etc., and purchased copra.) I bought a lot of odds and ends from the Chinaman. (He spent eighteen of his last 20 for stores, buying rice and odds and ends.) War news is getting very bad. (This information was received from the Chinese.) No news from Visale.
10 January 1942. Sent mail to Visale per “Varuna” ( One of the Chinese boats.)
11 January 1942. Arrival “S. Ann” with Bishop on board. On his way to Avuavu (Next mission down the coast= about sixty miles.) Bishop apparently avoids dangerous topics.
12 January 1942. Engaged a whole swag of bush people to build the houses on Tsupuna. Wages five shillings per week. They work eight hours a day (The average working day was nine hours five and a half days a week for 2-½ shillings) Bishops loads all rice back on board. (Nine bags= the Father took one.)
12 January 1942. Gave the “sack” to all the bush workers who were doing rotten work.
19 January 1942. The two houses on Tsupuna nearing completion.
18 February 1942. Bug meeting of men and young men re: the starting of a school. (The schools broke up when the Japanese entered the war. The Schools would be supported by gardens made by the parish). Sixty delegates from various villages.
19 February 1942. Arrival “Beata” (A sixteen food launch from Visale.) On board Father Scanlon and Sister Evangeline. (Father Wall was at
Gavutu base where four Catalinas and about forty Australians were stationed. The four Catalinas were stationed there to patrol the area up to Rabaul. The Australians dive-bombed Rabual with Catalinas in 1943. Due to an argument with the Bishop Father Wall left the air base. All this news was given by Father Scanlon. “Scanlon and Rhodes were going up and down the island taking stuff from the white men’s house who had run away. The “Morinda” evacuated the white men when they left in December. At this time the Japs bombed Tulagi twice a week although non one was there. The coast watcher on Savo was voluntary and the Government took no responsibility for evacuating him. They are going up and down the coast taking all useful material and food from white men’s deserted stations. (The white men gave chits to missionaries giving them permission to take all useful material from their stations since they believed all was lost anyway. ....The "Merinda" radio silence of war and was making the last trip here. It was decided that Father Wall would meet the ship to warn her of the impending Jap Bombardment. Father Wall directed the ship to hide[sic] up the coast to protect her from Jap raid. The raid began before they reached safety and a Jap dropped eight or twelve bombs which fell about 200 yds from the steamer but did no damage.)
20 February 1942. Big four engine plane flew over the station. (Probably on “Emily”) (The local native bi-monthly newspaper arrived to be distributed throughout the villages.)
28 February 1942. The bush people came to fetch back all their children from school because of an article by Bishop in the newspaper about Rabual and Kieta. With Great difficulty I convinced them to leave their children for a while. Only one boy leaves for the bush.[He didnt like school]
3 March 1942. Depart for the south part of the station. Bad seas stopped me at Cape Beaufort. Passed the night there. Early in the morning departure for Marubo. Could not reach Cape Hunter because of heavy seas. Everything soaked, even all the Vestments.
5 March 1942. Holy Mass at Marubo forty Communions. A few people from the mainland for injections. Depart for Koraga walking along the coast. Gave injections at Ravu passing by. Hold investigation and fix divorce case.
6 March 1942. Holy Mass at Koraga in chief’s house. Church badly in disrepair. Gave the people a thorough “rubbing down” for having their church in disrepair. They promised to build a new one but I don’t trust they will. Marry the old chief to an ex-prostitute, Teresa. Enrietta is living in clandestine marriage with Beni. Her own husband died only two months ago. Definitely refused to bless the marriage. A great number of injections. There are very many sick people and people with ugly sores. Suva (a native boy) had half of his face eaten away by cancer. Walk along the coast to Sugu because canoe could not get out of anchorage. (there was a high sea.) Met Reynolds (Church of England Priest.) with his launch “Mavis”. Had a cup of tea with him on board. He tells me that Father Wall is still in uniform.
7 March 1942. 120 Communions at Sugu. Very many injections and
treatments.( Treatments include bandaging sores, giving pills, etc.) Sick call inland. Kimo was persuaded to go back to his wife. Ko Domi has left a legal husband but refuses to go back to her own husband. Leave for home.
9 March 1942. Leave for Lavoro. Sleep there. Charter Lavoro launch from “Snowy” Rhodes.
10 March 1942. To Visale (Bishop’s Headquarters). Persuade Father Scanlon to bring supplies to Tongarare. He loads his boat (Beata” with canned meat, kerosene, flour and one bag of sugar.
11 March 1942. Scanlon leaves for Tangarare. I go back to Lavora. Leave launch and walk to Gulavu. Sleep at Labi.
12 March 1942. Held Mass at Labi. Injections. Scanlon calls at Labi on his way back from Tangarare. I leave for inland Tatogoma. Hold Church Court in two divorces and one bigamy case.
13 March 1942. Hold Mass at Tiaro. Seventy Communions. Injections. Leave for home.
14 March 1942. Hold Mass at Tiaro. Seventy Communions. Injections. Leave for home.
16 March 1942. Engage more labor. Sick call at Sugu.
24 March 1942. Send CW letters to Lavoro and Aola carried by head man who is on his way there.
5 April 1942. Easter Sunday. About five hundred people. After Church, school meeting. People decide to work gardens for upkeep of schools. Villagers will work in relays with their Chiefs as bosses.
10 April 1942. Grapevine news. The court at Paripao D.O. gave Nikola and Tadeo a whipping and four months prison for rape of minors. Several men were called to Paripao to court. The Government is getting mad calling people like this. Six days walking. (The government was in hiding at Paripao)
12 April 1942. Head man passing on his way to Paripao with many boys under arrest. (V.C.= Village Constable!) V.C. calls for letters from me to Paripao (D.O.). I write to Lavoro (Snowy Rhoades). Send him an Aussie hat.
19 April 1942. A bunch of returning prisoners from Parapao passing. No lesster[sic] from Visale. War news is much worse. (This information was brought by the prisoners returning).
20 April 1942. Send letters to Snowy. I ask him to send boat to come and pick up father Brugmans and return him to Visale. He has completely recovered and weighs 13-½ stone ( A stone is fourteen pounds)
26 April 1942. Snowy calling in “Berade” cutter.
27 April 1942. Snowy takes Father Brugmans to Visale. Alois leaves
his last 210 cash and three tins of cigarette tobacco.
29 April 1942. Twice in the morining an RAAF plane. In the afternoon there is one flying very low following all the lines of the bays as if looking for hidden bots. Bush people came down. They thought plane had crashed and were after scavenging.
1 May 1942. The native policeman brings letters from Visale.Brother George sends war news and other news.(War news was a typewritten sheet sent out by the Government.) Son of Pater Wah had been drowned by natives. Willmot has been murdered by natives in the gold fields. (Because of the closeness of the Japs the people were not fearing the Government too much anymore. Willmot was an employer in the gold fields).Tulagi is being bombed every weekend. Policemen on Gela (Florida) say that three native people have been killed by a bomb.
4 May 1942. At dawn many planes coming from Southeast flew over direction Tulagi. Returned direction south-southeast. Probably air carrier in the vicinity. Counted minimum sixty in the whole day. (Beginning of Coral Sea Battle. Japs landed on Tulagi on May second although Father de Klark did not receive the news until later.) (These planes were later found to be the American planes off the Lexington and the Yorktown. The several Japanese ships in Tulagi harbor were damaged or sunk. Exact figures in DSIO reports. Two Japs swam ashore to Savo and were bandaged by Father Scanlon. Later Scanlong and the coast watcher at savo left Savo for Visale after the Jap patrol had picked up the two coast watcher hid in the hills while the Jap patrol was on Savo) Near sundown arrival of “S.Ann”. Aboard were Bishop; Father MacMahon and Brother Michael.
6 May 1942. Departure S. Ann. Brother Michael stays here.
7 May 1942, Six four-engine planes with red markings and stripes on the tail.
10 May 1942. Mail from Visale. News that Gavutu was burning on the third of May. from Visale they heard the bombardment of Tulagi. (The Australians had set fire to their gasoline dumps and the last Catalina went down near Aoli)
11 May 1942. I sent a runner to Visale for more news and advice in case Japs may invade Tuilagi. Built camouflaged road to house on Tsupuna.
14 May 1942. Bush people withdraws all children from schools. War scared: Runner back from Visalle. Aloi sends 20 boxes of cartridges for shotgun. Letter from Bishop. Very confused. No advice in case of invasion. Sent CW letter.
15 May 1942. Runner to Visale. Letter to Vava people telling them to keep quiet. ( The people were killing their pigs and eating their gardens for fear the enemy would get them)
16 May 1942. Native policeman on his way back to Lavero with several arrested people. I told him to leave them behind for the time being which he did.
17 May 1942. After Church I have for Visale by canoe. I reached Visale at 10:00Pm.
18 May 1942. Leave Visale for home. Call at Lavero. Both Snowy and Schraeder are gone into the jungle. Japanese are said to be very strong at Tulagi. Yesterday I travelled parallel with a warship in the dark. Seven planes passed over head this morning. (Another trip by the Father to the native villages in the area, holding church and giving injections)
1 June 1942. Mail from Visale. Bishop writes that nobody can come over. (Probably taken as a precautionary measure.)
2 June 1942. Aloi arrives on S. Ann. he brings supplies and rice for Sisters.
8 June 1942. Departure S. Ann.
17 June 1942. CW letter to Snowy. (The information may have been on planes or the attitude of the people. There were no Jap movements on this coast as yet but the natives were panicking and bringing rumors of movements. The rumors were sifted carefully to make sure that they were true. A mail boy made a trip to Visale regularly.)
20 June 1942. Arrival mail boy. Very little news. (The mail boy would pick up news from different points along the way.)
21 June 1942. CW letter to Snowy. (Snowy was a Deputy D.O. and reports were made to him of fighting among the natives, ect.)
29 June 1942. Usual trip to Ata, holding services and making injections.
4 July 1942. Every day one or more planes have come over since Monday. They were all Japanese planes. There were very few allied planes after the Coral Sea Battle.
5 July 1942. Very disquieting rumors from Visale. Japs have taken Aloi prisoner to their camp. He will be released after three days as they are supposed to have promised. (They actually released him after three days. They questioned him very little. Only once or twice on the three days and never on any vital points. Questions were any more white people or radios or secret senders. Evidently they didn’t expect him to answer their questions truthfully.)
6 July 1942. More news. Seems that many things were stolen from Visale but there was no violence.
10 July 1942. In the morning letter from Bishop telling about Jap landing, Father Brugmans being taken prisoner and released. Japs have promised to respect missionaries. Advised us to wear black robes in case Japs land and to give no resistance. Afternoon near sunset, landing of Japanese soldiers. They visited all the buildings. They
perfectly well-mannered and they did not steal or damage anything. The officer obliged me to call all male natives for Jap Government work in in ten days time. (He asked for four hundred men from this district but the Father finally convinced the officer that 250 was all he could get and that he couldn’t get them in ten days time. The officer promised to bring supplies of rice to keep these men. The workers were too construct roads on the island. It was planned to build a radio station. The Father was questioned about white men on the island or any radios. He was ordered to obey Japanese troops. The Father suggested Cape Hunter as a site for the Jap radio station. In this way he could know where the station was located and later direct the Allies to it. The next day he sent a letter to Snowy about the visit and where the radio stationed was located. It was actually constructed at Cape Hunter. Since it was growing dark father was trying to think of an excuse to get rid of the Japs before night. When the Jap boat was started to move away from the coral reefs Father led them to believe the noise of the engine were airplanes which frightened the officers. Due to the shock of thinking a plane was near they forgot to parole the missionaries here. As a result the Father was still able to carry on his activities. Make a point of making it clear that the Father did not violate any parole! Some difficulty was experience on this point by the Father. Father told the Japs that the anchorage was very unsafe so they left and anchored across the bay from here.
When a plane backfired while passing over Visale Japs came to Visable and cross-examined “for firing on the plane”, but when it was discovered what actually happened the Jap officer (the Intelligence Officer, said to be a Prince) sent a case of Sake as an apology to the missionaries.
There was a cutter, sailed by natives after the white men evacuated, which had gone to Snowy who sent it back to Tongarare Mission. It had broken a cylinder and they left it anchored across the bay. If it was seen by the Japs that night, the Father didn’t hear about it at any time.)
11 July 1942. Early morning-a Jap launch passing away out at sea. (The same launch that brought the Japs here going back to Lunga) Sent letters vava (east), ata (west) and longa (inland) calling all chiefs to a meeting here next Monday. (He had to make sure that the natives didn’t collaborate with the Japs. There was a lot of sympathy for the Japs by the natives as a result of anti-British propoganda spread by the Japs. He planned to form groups of ten natives of those who could not avoid going to work with the Japs. One of the men in each group was to be leader who could be contacted in any plans for gathering information or other activities.)
14 July 1942. Chiefs have all been here. Available number of work men given by the Chiefs is about 300 but I started excluding all sick, weak and father of more then three children. (Father kept a record of each group and told each one of the groups to memorize the list and destroy it. It was suggested to the Bishop that if these
men were sent to Lunga that the Father be sent down to act as their Chaplian. This was never done due to the American landings.) Letter from Snowy. (This was in answer to the information sent res the Jap visit). He wants all natives to run inland. Says he received such an order from the Resident Communioner. (The R.C. ordered that the natives go inland and refuse to work for the Japs. Some natives volunteered to work for the Japs. These men, however, were from the bush. The Father had the problem of creating an anti-Japanese feeling among the natives). Native villages north west of Tiaro Bay have already been abandoned. (Because of Snowy’s telling them of the R.C’s order.) I sent a letter to all villages to keep to the shores, watch the coast, report all ship movement to me or Snowy. (Many people who did go inland died of exposure because they could not make fires and had housing and were undernourished since they left their gardens behind. Most of the news received by the Father was from the natives=mostly rumor=although he received news from Snowy) All the native villages in this area stuck to my advice.
18 July 1942. Letter from Snowy.
26 July 1942. I find out that cutter across the bay has been destroyed by natives on Snowy’s order. Now natives are fighting over ownership of sail, anchor, anchor chain and oil.
27 July 1942. No more letters from Visale at all. Heard Jap planes flying south early in the morning. (Four in the morning was the usual schedule) but they did not not come back in the afternoon as usual (they usually returned about three in the afternoon)
28 July 1942. CW letter to snowy asking news and explanation of the rumors spread by natives.
3 August 1942. Letters from Visable. They are all on parole and are not allowed to leave the station, not even for sick calls.
6 August 1942. It 1:00AM my boys leave for Visale by canoe to get supplies of sugar, tea and flour. Their orders: to wait at Tabea until night and go on to Visale that night getting supplies. Come back same night and stop Gulavu (Nulavu). ( At Visale Father Brugmans talked the natives into staying the night. The next morning the Marines landed.
7 August 1942. Plane dropped a bomb in the bay during Mass. (Thought to be a Jap plane running from the Americans) The whole day long planes coming and going in big formations and in the distance gunfire or bombs. (We guessed they were bombing Lunga.)
8 August 1942. My boys come back on foot without anything. Left my canoe behind. No letter from Visale. According to boys Visable was strafed with machine guns and one bomb destroyed boys dormitory. Mission personnel have run into the bush without anything. Boys have come back on foot carrying sail of canoe. Yesterday and today American planes kept flying low over the station all day long. One let his wheels down and seemed to try a landing. We started to cut down trees to make a kind of runway.
9 August 1942. Sent letter to all villages south giving them all I know about the war position. Forbid them under threat to have anything to do whatever with Japs at Cape Hunter. (This letter should not pass Marasa and has to be burned” was at the end of each letter.One of these letters was later found in camp of the dead Japs)
10 August 1942. Wrote again to Snowy that my offer was still holding to come here to give an easier chance of getting away.
11 August 1942. Got news about Cape Hunter. There are only nine Japs so there is no truth to the rumor that fifty more have recently been landed there. (The story of the boat ordered by Snowy). ( It is a pity he does believe some of the native rumors. (Father told the natives he had a letter from Snowy saying that he was sorry about the mistake of the boat and was very angry that natives had played behind their backs) Sent another CW letter to Snowy to ask for news of the latest battles. Natives tell me that Tulagi and Lunga are occupied by Americans but I don’t believe it. Bombardments keep going on day and night.
13 August 1942. News from Snowy. Victory for the Americans. All Japanese ships destroyed. ( A little optimistic since this wasn’t true.) All the people vava have left the beach and have run inland. Write letters to keep them calm and to return to the beaches.
14 August 1942. Letter from Father Brugmans. They are still living in the bush.
15 August 1942. About three hundred people for the feast (Assumption) They seem very nervous and leave the same day.
16 August 1942. I leave for Visale on foot (The boys who had left the canoe all went with Father.) Hear that an American pilot shot down on 7 August has landed in a rubber boat in Tiaro Bay and has been brought to Snowy) I sleep at Tiaro.
17 August 1942. Hold Mass at Tiaro. Leave for Tuvu in two seated canoe. From Tuvu I went on in a three seated canoe. Land at Tabea at dark and sleep there. All the villages from Tuvu on are deserted.
18 August 1942. Land at Visale. Three submarines are cruising up and down outside the reefs. ( At that time he thought they were American submarines but they were Japs subs.) I saw all the damage done at Visale. From there I go to Kolevu where the whole Visale colony is living together. They are are still terribly scared and won’t go back to the station. The morale of most is shot to pieces. I left Visale at dark. Sleep at Naro.
19 August 1942. At sunrise heavy bombardment in the direction of Savo. Heave and steady gunfire. Encourage all the people to stay calm. (At the time Father was telling the people victory was near, five Japs four-engine bombers flew very low over the church at Lambi)
21 August 1942. Hold Mass in Tatagoma. Sent on by sea with orders to go up Hoilava River as far as possible and wait for me.
The wireless station was about a half hour walk away from the hideout. The American pilot’s arm is very badly swollen from the sprain. I persuaded him to come with me. Brought him to canoe on the river. Brought him to the station at Tongarare.
23 August 1942. American planes flying northward.
28 August 1942. Leave for Tiaro in canoe for the Patron Feast of Tiaro Bay. At night arrival of Father McMann who has cleared out of Visale in a hurry.
29 August 1942. Patron Feast at Tiaro Bay. Big crowd of people from Naru down. Leave for home with Father McMann.
30 August 1942. Send two mail boys to Visale to get some clothes for father McMann.
2 September 1942. Arrival Broth George by Canoe. Whole Visale colony is said to be fleeing this way. (On 1 September the Japs from Tsupuru came to Visale to commander some food and found a rice store along the road. There were about two or three Japs and they went back to get some coolies to carry the bags. While they were gone natives stole five or six bags and hid them in the field with the intention of giving them to the Fathers. When the Japs returned and found the rice gone they forced a native to tell where the rice was hidden. The other natives carried the rice left. The native showing where the rice was hidden tried to run and was killed. The Bishop and others who had been hiding fled. The Bishop and some of the Sisters slept at Paru and while they were sleeping they heard the Japs just in time on the other end of the village looking for them in the undergrowth.) I sent a canoe and whaleboat to Gulavu to meet the Bishop and Sisters. Father Brugmans arrived on foot in the afternoon with Sister Teresa and two native Sisters.
3 September 1942. Arrival by canoe of Bishop and Mother Irene's. Sister Evangeline is on foot. Native Sisters arrive by boat. Father Scanlon on foot and many boys and girls from the scholls at Visale.
4 September 1942. I put Sister Evanegline and twenty four native Sisters on Tsupuna.
5 September 1942. New panic. Native from vava passing through with family brings the news that the Japs are on their way here… They are in Tuva firing all the house". I divide all the Mission personnel in groups for fleeing in case the rumor is true.
Sunday 6 September 1942. After Church, with the Bishop’s permission, I leave bu canoe with seven volunteer rowers for vava to investigate. (The Bishop gave his permission for the Father to use his gun for killing in case they met any Jap patrols.) I found at Cape West that the whole thing was groundless rumor. I left two boys on guard in
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Tiaro Bay at ten shillings per week with orders to bring news of approaching Japs at any time. (This was the first guard of the Station.) (The Father only had four pounds left)
7 September 1942. (They sent Father Scanlon to get seven carriers from another village since no one here knew the trail from Timoli to Gold Ridge Camp. They couldn’t go straight from Timoli to Kokombana because it was all Jap territory. It was decided that the pilot, Bill Wardin, and Father de Klark would make the trip to Lunga to notify the Americans of their presence at Tongarare.)
8 September 1942. At 9:00AM I leave with Bill and four boys (Aloicio, Uani, Renato, and Isaia). We had much trouble. I scared up seven more boys in Kasumba. (These men were hidden in the undergrowth but were persuaded to accompany the party. They received seven shillings per week.) Reached the Timoli at Sunset.
9 September 1942. Walked through the mountains until sunset. Sleep on the road. (There were no villages after Timoli).
10 September 1942. Met a native police boy on the Barono River who was on his way to Snowy. He gives news that our trail is cut off by Japs troops so we had to change our trail. I sent a letter to Snowy and Father Brugmans via the native policeman. Sleep on the road in the mountains.
11 September 1942. Mass on the open. Climbing high and steep mountains all day long. Heavy rains all day. Cross several rivers in flood. Bill sprained his leg slipping down the mountain. (When Bill sprained his leg, three boys stayed with him when they crossed the Betsario River. There was no food all that day and very little the day before. They boys were to stay with Bill and make sure he got across the river even if they had to use force.) Reached Nala at sunset. When we arrived at Nala there were about twenty men who came out of the houses. The boys were told not to tell the villagers that Father deKlark was a priest. He told the villagers they were American on their way to Lunga. The villagers had killed sixteen Japs three days before. Fourteen of the natives of the village enrolled as scouts for Father deKlerk when they found out who he was and where he was going. The Japs were caught destroying native gardens which angered the natives. They surrounded the Japs in the Lunga River and killed them with spears and axes. The natives had divided the clothing of the Japanese among themselves.)
12 September 1942. Send two Nala boys to Gold Ridge to ask for some food for Bill and self. ( this was the fifth day on the trial.) (From this point they could see the air and Naval fighting from the hills overlooking the valley)
13 September 1942. Received food from Gold Ridge camp with an invitation to come to Gold Ridge.
14 September 1942. Leave for Tsupukiki. Received news from Gold Ridge that Horton (the ex D.O.) was to come with US patrol to Balana to take out the coast watcher from Gold ridge.
15 September 1942. Leave for Belana. Received message from Gold Ridge that Horton is not coming and that about three thousand Japs have landed between and Henderson Field. Order from Lunga for Bill and me to go to Gold Ridge.
16 September 1942. Reach Gold Ridge camp.
17 September 1942. Wireless from Snowy that Japs are closing in on him and that he is going to evacuate. (The two Japs murdered by the natives came down in a bomber on Cape Malaisu and landed on the reefs. One was killed in the crash, but two walked out of it. This was very close to the Japs pilot station at Nuliehi. They walked to Marasa and there the natives made them believe the closest Jap post was at Cape Esperance. They started to bring them to the Tangarare Mission but Father had already left for the Gold Ridge and the Bishop refused to have them here. No one on the station was sure as to how strong the American forces were at this time and they didn’t get into trouble by keeping the Japs. They didn’t know whether the natives would turn them over to the Japs station at Cape Esperance rather than to the coast watcher. The natives brought them to Tiaro Bay which was a three day walk. One native stole the pistol of a Jap while he slept. When they arrived at Tiaro Bay they sent a boy to tell Snowy of the capture and told him to take them of their hands but Snowy refused to come down and told them to tie them and keep them overnight. He sent his revolver to the natives and told them that if the Japs tried to escape to shoot them. During the night the natives were afraid they might break loose and get to the Jap side and cause trouble. They conferred and decided to kill them there. They chopped their head off with an axe. One Jap officer said “if you wanted to kill us, why did you march us three days” Snowy sent the message to headquarters at Lunga “Don’t send plane. Japs liquidated. Marine burial.” Snowy was convinced there were Jap patrols behind his station)
18 September 1942. Wireless from Snowy that all missionaries and Sisters had scattered into the jungle.
20 September 1942. Native scout brings news of the murder of two priests and two Sisters at Ruavatue and one Sister (Sister Edmee, The whole offer scare the fever right out of her)alive in jungle close to Japs. send out native patrol to bring Sister up to Gold Ridge. (Those killed were Father Engberink (Dutch), Father du Hamel (American), Sister Sylvua and Sister Odelia (French.) The story written in the papers was that they were to march in front of the Japs troops to Lunga to tell the Americans to surrender. All of these people were on parole and had safe conduct from the Japanese Commander and orders from the Japanese Commander that they were to be respected by his troops. Father Engberink sent a letter to the Bishop but did not give the letter to the Jap officers to censor or pass on, thereby breaking his parole. Instead he gave it to natives to carry and the Japs shot one native and took one prisoner at Cape Esperance. This made the Japs suspicious of the Father. Major Whittey had to ask father du Hamel to meet him to ask him and the others to run away and come to Lunga. The Father refused, saying they had safe conduct and preferred to stay with their natives. Later he sent a letter to the Major asking for another appointment but the letter
was captured by the Japs. The Japs took them for questioning, except one Sister who was ill with fever. The Sisters were taken too because they were on the same station with the Fathers. The Jap officer who had given them safe conduct was not present at that time and the others accused them and murdered them. This story was gathered by Father de Klark from a native police boy, Valeliano. The Sister that remained alive said the Commanding Officer was always very kind and very polite but the local officers probably killed in anger.)
21 September 1942. Message from Snowy that Japs are going southward (toward this station. This was another false rumor, however.)
21 September 1942? Message from Lunga that a pickup is being arranged for Snowy, Schraeder and the missionaries.
24 September 1942. Walked back from Gold Ridge in three days. (The trip up tokk seven days.)
27 September 1942. (On his way back to the station they found Father McMann, Sister Evangeline and the 24 native Sisters in Kasuba. They had found an Army pilot walking along the beach and had brought him along with them. Snowy and Schraeder arrived in a twenty-man canoe with the radio with them. The Bishop returned from hiding in the jungle and canoe was sent to Foz Bay to return two Sister there. Snowy put up his wireless in Tsupuna)
30 September 1942. Message from Lunga that Catalines will evacuate us all in two trips. (Father de Klark told the Bishop he was not going. The Catalines never did not show up.)
3 October 1942. “Rameda” will call at three AM to take everyone out of here. At 11:00PM I go in hiding on Tsupuna hill leaving message fro Bishop on my deck that I am “unavoidably detained”. I took only one old man into my confidence where I would be and he would call me in the morning when the ship had left.
Sunday 4 October 1942. When boat had left I came back to the station. All people are on the station waiting for me to say Mass. there was a pilot to kill the Father and burn the buildings so that the station would be a bombing target.
5 October 1942. Boys working on new hideout in jungle. ( The second and third retreats were never used.)
6 October 1942. Brought all Church valuable to the second house in the jungle.
8 October 1942. Two Flying Fortresses=the first I have seen= dame very low over the station. (These were probably the first to go to Henderson Field.) Received news from vava that Maravogo is being bombed (the Church of England Mission was there).
9 October 1942. News ata. Headman has put a tabu on my station. He has told the natives that the Government has told him not to have any contact with me. Send several messages to villages
ata to coax them, ridicule them, or scare them into destroying the Japs wireless station at Cape Hunter. The Natives were forced to go out to take supplies from the submarine for the radio station site and the Japs in their hurry to get away ruined one of the natives' canoes which angered the natives. There was very little more collaboration after that. Father offered two pounds for every live Jap princer and one pound for every dead one.)
10 October 1942. Heard much gunfire from Lunga. Nine Jap planes came over.
11 October 1942. Recruiting of 12 guerilla boys. Trained them in firing rifles and taught them scouting. About two P.M dogfights in the clouds. One Japs plane flying north trailing smoke. Grumman plane crashes into the ocean two miles from here. Natives bring pilot in after sunset. (Put the MaeWest story in here.) The pilot’s name was Douglas Growe.
13 October 1942. Message dropped plane signed Lt. Col. Buckley, D-2, asking me to cooperate with the intelligence service and to collect four hundred native carriers to stand by for landing of one or two battalions on the first of November. Agree by signals that I accepted. Two US planes strafed natives who were having a barbecue. One woman shot through the arm. Scouts report six Japs come to Gulavu every Monday to supply themselves. They have chased seven natives there and fired on them. Several dogfights during the day. Counted 21 Jap bombers attacked by three US planes. Saw one Jap go down in the jungle.
15 October 1942. Several planes shot down and on fire over jungle.
16 October 1942. Another pilot, Marine Dale Leslie, walks into camp. He has been shot down three weeks ago has come through Japs lines. Has not eaten any cooked food in three weeks. Planes come over and drop message-landing of the battalion delayed until 10 November. Convey presence of two pilots.
18 October 1942. Hold court on three boys accused of collaboration with enemy. Two of them are found not guilty. One guilty of collaboration with Japs at Cape Hunter but culprit wasn’t present.
25 October 1942. Go by canoe to Tiaro Bay to give general orders for all able men to stand by for conscription.
26 October 1942. Go to Sugu for the same reason. Recruits take Siro prisoner (The navtive who collaborated with the Japs at Cape Hunter)
27 October 1942. Receive news that seven natives have killed the nine Japanese radio crew at Cape Hunter and destroyed the wireless station. Send order to bring here all rifles machine guns and papers.
(The CW letter sent by De Klerk on 10 Aug was found on one of the dead Japs)
31 October 1942. Forty Nana bush guards (scouts) arrived armed with Jap rifles to report for further orders after killing fifty three Japs.
4 November 1942. “Ramada” calls to pick up two pilots.
5 November 1942. Dale Leslie comes over by plane dropping two parachutes with supplies of clothing, cigarettes, medicine, flour and sugar.
6 November 1942. Sent two scouts overland to Lunga. They return same day with news that Japs are coming down on Tamoli. Send other scouts overland by Holavo trail. Write out SOS signal for planes, trying to stop landing of battalion. (This was the first of a series of panel signals. The signals were covered with cocoanut leaves until the identify of the plane passing by was certain). Send my forty Nala boys up to Timoli to try and stop the Japs. They found a patrol of five Japs close to Timoli but did not attack them because American planes strafed both sides.
7 November 1942. Douglas Growe flies over dropping a message asking explanation of the SOS. Write out a “T” signal according to his instruction to signify Japs. send two scouts to spy on Japs concentrations near Marovovo. Spend my last money except two shillings to pay spies.
8 November 1942. Four more scouts volunteer. Send Nala scouts home. Keep a total of eighteen scouts. (Could not feed the extra scouts so they were sent home.) Report from scouts at Marovovo. Went behind Jap lines as far as Paru. Spotted ten Japs and one Jap women on river at Marovogo in seven native houses. Court martial for natives from vava accused of collaboration with the enemy in stealing and destroying native property. Tell them they deserve death sentence but will put them on probation if they agree to accomplish very dangerous spying mission inside Jap lines. They sweatingly agreed.
10 November 1942. Send vava scouts home with orders to stand by. Nala scouts send message that Timoli road is now all clear. Send messenger back with letters to Colonel Buckley and Captain Clemmons (D.O) Send letter to all villages vava behind Jap lines to evacuate into my district.
11 November 1942. Twenty five Jap bombers and six Zero’s crossed over here to Lunga. (On 11 November American aviators asked for further information about Japs around the station.It was very difficult to exchange intelligence information by panels. Finally give up by putting “OK” on the ground.
12 November 1942. Native report from ata that Jap submarine was surfaced three full days off Cape Hunter. Send letter by runners overland to Lunga. (It was suggested in this letter that a hundred pound bonus be paid to natives bringing information that actually led to the destruction of the Japs. This was never approved.) Two government police boys who have been cut off since two weeks from Lunga came back from scouting mission at Marovogo. They counted
fifty Japs where my scouts reported only ten. Cross examination revealed that the police boys had not been near the place. Report from probation boys who went as far as Visale. Mission station there completely destroyed. Jap camps all along the coast from Visale to Marvovgo. They are well camouflaged. Living about 100 yards off the beaches.
13 November 1942. Send three scouts to Avuavu.
14 November 1942. Send three scouts with letters for Lunga over the Hailava trail. Government police boys refuse to obey orders when I tell them to return to Lunga to their CO. (Their CO had sent a message by plane to send the boys back, but they refused.) I ordered them off my property. One police boy (Peli) was heard by natives to say he was going to shoot me.
15 November 1942. Scout reports from ata that no crew of submarine. (mentioned above) has been ashore and escaped Jap from Cape Hunter apparently was not aboard.
19 November 1942. Plane drops message announcing patrol of twenty meant to come ashore during the following night. Was advised to put a light on the beach from 10:00PM on. Call up all scouts.
20 November 1942. Ramada with patrol comes in at 11:00PM.
21 November 1942. I take “Ramada” with patrol to Tiaro Bay. Drop pilot of patrol with scouts to look around for possible site for an air base. Go on with “Ramada” to Lambi. Take rest of party ashore. Commander fifty natives as carriers for food and ammunition. Sleep at Nuga.Barely stopped SBD from strafing us. Trek inland behind Lavaro. Establish base at Kapote. (There were sixteen native scouts in this mission.) We are joined by patrols we left at Tiaro Bay. I divide them all in six groups of two each with two scouts and six carriers and give them their objectives for scouting behind the Jap lines. (Ten of the patrols stayed at the base with the radio equipment.)
22 November 1942. (Sunday) Send new order to all villages north to evacuate these areas. (They were in the bush, but behind the Japs so they wouldn’t get hurt when the strafing began.) “Liberate “and Electrolux refrigerator from the Japs.
23 November 1942. I leave by canoe for home. Regular trip to the villages.
24 November 1942. At Lambi received message from CO patrol (Lt.Flo) that one man was down with malaria. Sent canoe to pick up same. Buy on pig for patrol Thanksgiving present. Leave for home with sick man.
25 November1942. Send scouts ata to wake the people up to cooperate.Plane with message dropped message in the ocean which was lost. (A letter from the first pilot picked up, Bill Warden, was among the
mail lost.) Plans went back and returned second message near sunset asking news about the patrol. Answered by panels. Message from Lt. Flo by runner. “Try contact planes and advise them to stop strafing us”. Put SOS panel out. At night the “Ramada” arrived. Letter from Colonel Buckely promising commission and asking me to follow patrol back to Lunga. (Thanksgiving day).
27 November 1942. Take “Ramada” to Verahue. Patrol is there. Radio operator, Sgt. Brown, suffering badly from malaria (Temperature of 105) Report on patrol. They have found all the exact positions of Jap camps as far as Aruligo. One patrol with scouts found three Japs in a house up the Namba River. A native scout borrowed a rifle from an American. He killed two of the Japs in a deserted native house but the third Jap got away. The native told the Americans to go back and hide in the brush again because they made too much noise and the native waited for the Jap to return for a bunch of ripe bananas for food. He returned in about an hour and the scout took him prisoner. The scout and the rest of the patrol brought the Jap back to the base and left him there and went on another patrol to Maravogo. Meanwhile, at dark the prisoner grabbed a knife from a native standing near him and stabbed himself inside the mouth; probably to destroy his vocal chords that he could not be questioned. The Americans took the knife away from him and he begged them to shoot him which they did. I took all back to the mission.
30 November 1942. Leave at dawn for Lunga with patrol and twenty recruited native carriers for duty on the Kakambona front. Arrived at Lunga near sunset and was met by Captain Clemmens and jeeped to D-2. At Colonel Buckely’s office I met Colonel Long, Assistant G-2 Officer. (The Army was starting to take over here. General Patch was there to take over from Vandegrift.)
1 December 1942. Many talks and conferences with Colonel Buckely and General Patch. (Marines were still in the D-2 and D-3 offices although they were replaced by G-2 and G-3 sometime in December) Many plans made and rejected. Lots of confusion because the Army is taking over from Marines and does not know the ropes yet.
2 December 1942. Visit from High Commissioner of Fiji and Resident Commissioner of Tulagi. It is arranged with Colonel Buckley that I accept a temporary British commission as a Sub-lieutenant. Buckley promises to try and get me a Dutch commission with the Navy. Discuss wages for natives carriers. I stand for two shillings a day. I am violently opposed by Major Widdy (ex-Chief Manager Lever Bros Plantation and Resident Commissioner) They allege that if will spoil native labor and postwar wages. I accept the compromise of one shilling per day with bonuses of:
1 fathom of khaki calico for each carrier, plus
1 fathom of print calico for all their wives and children or near relatives if unwed.
3 sticks of tobacco per week. Free clay pipes
3 months free rice for carriers and relatives (To be accumulated until a time when available)
Bonuses to be paid for rescuing pilots or soldiers or capturing
3 December 1942. Two tons of rice and 40 cases of meat for deeding scouts and carriers at mission based and keeping evacuees supplied. Return home by “Ramada”. Drop in at Lambi and Tiaro. Issue orders for drafting carriers.
6 December 1942. Take “Ramada” to Sugu (ata) for recruiting. Go on to Cape Hunter to cremate and bury Japanese dead. Collected several diaries and found a letter written by myself to the native villagers which had fallen into Jap hands. Call at Sugu on the way back and collect 20 carriers. Stay overnight at Suga.
7 December 1942. Hold Mass. Establish site for radio station on Tsupuna.
8 December 1942. (“Ramada and Kokorana” were both in the employ of the Father after he received his commission. The “Ramado” was equipped with a radio.There was also a canoe.) Leave for Lunga on board are sixty carriers. Call at Tiaro and stay overnight.
9 December 1942. Hold Mass. Leave at 6:00AM for Lunga. Marines are gone.
10 December 1942. Sister Edmee is brought in from Gold Ridge.
11 December 1942. Travel all around Lunga in a truck to get rice and supplies =, rifles and ammunition for my base.
12 December 1942. Leave for home at 3:00 AM.
13 December 1942. With “Ramada” to Suga and Ravu. Collect 25 carriers.
14 December 1942. Leave for Tiaro. Take on more carriers. Call at Lambi. Send ship on with 40 carriers in all. Return home. By canoe.
16 December 1942. “Ramada” back.
17 December 1942. Trip to Ravu and Sugu for more carriers.
18 December 1942. Send ship on the Lugna with 40 carriers (Later report that in Tiaro Bay the “Ramada” was attack by New Zealand airplane. Machine gunned but none hit.) Off Kakombona a US destroyer throws fifteen shells across the bow of poor “Ramada”. The destroyer took the wireless operator from the “Ramada) prisoner. (This operator was a Marine named Jack Levy since the Marines were still operating the radios.)
20 December 1942.”Ramada” back. Aboard are Colonel Matheson (Aussie) Lieutenant Colonel Kame, Major MacGuffin, Lieut. Morrison and Lieut Watson and Sgt. Heyney for recon patrol.
21 December 1942. I send Colonel Cain, Morrison and Heyney by “Ramada” to Lambi. From there they have to go on foot by the same line as the former patrol of November. I sent four scouts with that party. I leave with the others for inland. Major Macduffin drops out as we start Timoli alleging a bad knee.
22 December 1942. I sent Colonel Mathesen and Lieut. Watson with four scouts on the Vurai and Tapinaza. I return to station because of Christmas. Pick up macDuffin on my way down after having given him merry hell for keeping the carriers and supplies with him. The Major soon dropped behind and I left two boys with him and went on.
23 December 1942. “Ramada” leaves with twenty five carriers. Preparations are made for Christmas.
24 December 1942. At dusk patrols return to the station.
25 December 1942. Midnight Mass. Nearly four hundred people present. Near end of Mass a battle between ship and plane occurs about eight miles from the station. (Believed to be an American ship and a Jap plane but no one is sure). Afternoon arrival of “Ramada” (Report on patrol vava, B/S.) Patrol from Tapenanza, Madesen and Watson, stopped at Tapananza. Scouts went down to Sulesers. Discovered a large Jap Bivuoue there and came back in a hurry.
26 December 1942. “Ramada” leaves with the patrols (Jack Levy and his friend are still radio men aboard the “Ramaba”.
28 December 1942. “Ramada” back. Brings wireless set and operator with two observation boys. Put them up on Tsupuna Hill. “Ramada” has trouble with the exhaust.
29 December 1942. Many people working at Radio station. They are to build three houses up therefor the radio. Also an observation platform in a high three. (On this day Sulesere was bombed by SBD’s with depth charges. It was learned later that 200 Japs had been killed)
31 December 1942. “Ramada” has been repaired and leaves for Lunga. Windmill charger sent by G-2 didn’t work at all.
2 January 1942. Still having trouble with the windmill. At 9:00PM I send on incoming air raid by phone to radio hill. Boy refused to send on message saying I have no authority over him.
3 January 1942. Double message from Lunga by radio “Why did you fail to report enemy plane” and “Stand by for PBY to take you to General Patch”. 9:00 AM, leave by plane for Lunga. Conference with General Patch and General Sprighane, Patch’s Chief of Staff and the Air Force Colonel. The object of the conference was that they had decided on what they thought to be a pincer movement on Japs at Kakombona. The pincer was to come from a newly taken hill. They ask me what I thought of the movement, whether it was good or not. I told them
it would only push the Japs along the coast and possibly up to Timoli from where it was easy to double back on Henderson Field. On my advice the General decided to give me a company (147th) to be taken up by Beaufort Bay to Timoli and Tapanaza to prevent the Japs going inland.
3 January 1943. Resign British commission and am given American commission by General Patch. The General said, “To hell with Congress”.
5 January 1943. Another conference with General Patch. Gen. Patch told me that major Clammons had suggested to send up a company of Fijians instead of US soldiers. I absolutely refused to consider this offer because (1) my scouts would have been slighted and (2) I feared incidents with natives inland. General Patch accepted my viewpoint and decided on a company of US troops as stated by the former decision. Provided two bombing targets. One at Taboke (headwater of the Homarsini). Where Jap concentration had arrived two days ago. The Japs had already started to move inland. Scouts reported a concentration at Tamboke Through scout advice to bombers were to approach the concentration by following the Hoilava River up to the mountain ridge. They could then drop over the ridge and surprise the Japs. They were in a village of these houses. They used “daisy cutters” or anti-personnel bombs. The second bomber flew up the Varina River to Kokona village and bombed it by mistake. No one was killed. In Spite of General Patch’s strict orders not to bomb or strafe within fifteen miles of native villages several native villages were strafed, including Tiaro Bay and even once the mission at Tanagarare while the 147th company was there. Father de Klark told the native that the Americans meant no harm and tried no to bomb their villages but they were young kids that hadn’t finished their schooling yet and didn’t know their geography very well. Besides this being the only acceptable explanation to the natives, it made the pilots blush and they were more careful.) The second target was the Jap radio station on the base at Marovogo which was to be a New Year’s present from Lieutenant De Klark to the Japs. I left by Catalina to prepare the landing of this company. “Ramada” left at same time and was outside Marvogo and saw the bomber hit the radio building which was destroyed. “Ramada” arrives here at night. At 11:00 0’clock native report submarine mosing in Ovi Harbor (About a mile from the mission) flashing is lights on the beach. Gave order to keep engines running and went in cameo with tommy gun and hand grenades to intercept possible landing. At midnight message from G-2 to send “Ramada” scouting for plane down in the water west of station. “Ramada” reported signal flares rising from water toward the Russells. Returned at two AM. (They picked up the pilot next morning with a PT boat)
9 January 1943. Landing of 147th Infantry, Company “I”. CO Captain Beach. 200 natives unloaded the two LCT’s. All completed in 1 ½ hours.
10 January 1943. Prepare to send Company “I” (170 troops). Provided them with 130 carriers. Each soldier was to carry his pack and rifle plus three days rations. The trip was to be done in three stages, Kasumba, Timoli, and Vurai. At the first, Kasumba, they were to send back twenty carriers to take new load of rations. From Timoli they were to send back sixty carriers for the same purpose. From Vurai they were to send back all carriers to carry up new rations. When the men lining up for departure an SBD attack the wireless station on Tsupuna and strafed the mission buildings. I warned him off by waving a white pair of pants. The air forces later denied it was an SBD but the proof was definitely given by a fifty caliber bullet dug out of a tree. After much correspondence the air forces finally wrote a letter saying it was
lack of coordination between ground forces and air forces. After recovering from the air raid scare the company left got Kasumba. They were scheduled to reach Kasumba at mid-day. The first arrived there at four P.M. and the last at seven P.M. Four men broke down and came back. They sent back no carriers from Kasumba.
11 January 1943. Message from Timoli radio. All have arrived but will stay and rest one day. Sent back no carriers. I recruited sixty women to carry rations to Kasumba and Kasumba women to carry as far as Timoli.(Each carried ten days rations-- thirty cans of rations-- on her head)
12 January 1943. Start on jeep road from mission to foot of mountain at Kasumba.
13 January 1943. Message from Captain Beach. “All arrived at Vorai. Natives on strike. Request three shillings per day. No rations left for men nor carriers”. No carriers have come back yet.
14 January 1943. Send message to Captain Beach ‘ Arrest leader of strike”. Force natives at point of gun to fetch the rations from Timoli. Beach refurbished to arrest native.
15 January 1943. More messages asking for rations. Send message for them to commander eleven native gardens in deserted villages.
16 January 1943. Leader of strike arrested by scouts and court martialed. Condemned or sentence to two months hard labor. Scouts also arrest deserter from native police, Samm, At the court martial of Same his defense was…. (Get the story of Same). Divide Tapinanza trail into four bases for supplies. Put twenty carriers on each base. Message from General Patch for me to go to Lunga for physical examination. Reply that there was no time and ask for delay. Afternoon: “Kokorana” from Lunga with supplies for natives.
19 January 1943. Send Lieut. Watson by “Kokorana” to Lunga with reports. Message from Timoli. Supplies too few, soldiers starving. Gardens depleted. Message from Lunga “Visitors for you by dog dog to arrive at seven A.M.”
20 January 1943. Destroyer calls. Shore party consisting of General Patch, to G-3 colonel, Lieutenant Watson and Robert Montgomery. General Patch gives me hell for starving troops at Kapinanza. Show him message from me to Captain Beach to arrest the leader of strike and message with Beach’s refusal. General Patch relieved Beach of his command and orders him to report at Base. Orders given to go with scouts behind Kakambona to capture live Jap and bring him back for questioning. General inspects the beach defense and found them excellent. General leaves at mid day.
21 January 1943. I leave with four scouts for Kapinanaza.. With 20 carriers and four Boloda scouts. At Timoli I fifty more bush natives at point of.45 (Insert for 20 December 1942: The natives who killed the Japs on Cape Hunter brought in the Jap battle flag and rifles. Paid them all a bonus of one pound each. They said that passing Suga they had been started by American planes. All were enrolled as scouts, bring the total to thirty. Interruption a’la John Burke.) to carry ten days rations each to Kapinanza. They have been stealing soldiers'
rations and cigarettes.
22 January 1943. Reach Tapinanaza. Rousing welcome.
23 January 1943.Send Sgt. Heyney and Captain Thompson with three scouts to Sulesere to catch me a live prisoner. Near sunset they brought me Jap prisoner Guard him down on the Poha River.
24 January 1943.Leave Tapinanza for home. With Jap prisoner.
26 January 1943. Arrive at base with prisoner (twice Jap had tried to grab my pistol. Put him aboard New Zealand corvette which was in this bay convoying newly arrived radar. At sunset Colonel Gavin comes in by “Kokorana” from Lavero patrol. (while at Lavero and Naru the US planes attack and strafed patrol and I shot the “Kokorana” full of holes) “Kokorana” came limping in with everyone bailing with #10 cans that had been opened.
27 January 1943. Message from Tapinanza that one patrol contacted troops at Kakombona. Report on Sulesere. At least two hundred Japs had been killed by bombing in December. This was confirmed by Jap prisoner. Cannot contact radio lavero.
29 January 1943. About 7:00PM three flashes from submarine in the direction of the mission from Cape Beaufort. Send message re submarine to headquarters in the clear.
30 January 1943. Arrival “Kokorana”. Aboard are Captain Foster, G-3, and major Butler (132nd Battalion Americal Division) and one Jap prisoner heavily wounded taken from submarine at Cape Esperance.
1 February 1943. At 1;00AM “Kokorana” leave with patrol of 45 men. Orders planned at Lavero. Four scouts proceed along beach to Maravogo.Objective to take and hold hill at Maravogo. No radio contact all day. At 3:00OM the Kokorana returns without dinghy. On board Captain Foster. Major Butler, four heavily wounded, and whole patrol except one shore party of about ten men and without scouts. Foster reports ship landed or anchored off Naro Beach. It was ambushed and caught point blank fire from three Jap machine guns on Marovogo Hill. Scouts in one party with two officers left on beach in the trap. Wounded taken ashore. A section of the house at the Mission was made into a hospital. Send boat back with new patrol (Those men who just came out from Tapinanza when the “I” company withdrew from Tapinanza, Mission completed) Japanese had been pushed toward Cape Esperance. Gave order to put the twenty men from “I”company ashore on Nugu Beach, Verahu. 11:00 PM: received radio asking to have “Kokorana” on Nugu Beach at 6:00AM as a guide for landing of the 32nd Battalion. ( By coincidence the ship was already there. The “Kokorana” had no radio.)
2 February 1943. At 2:00 AM. the wounded corpsman, Joe Maloney, dies. Early in the morning we buried him. All soldiers on the base assist. A doctor arrives by plane in the morning to give blood transmissions. FBY arrived in the afternoon and took the three wounded and the wounded Jap. Report from vava: two American soldiers were wounded in Japanese trap. When wounded they were taken down to be beach by two scouts who killed two Japs for certain who tried to finish them off and probably killed a third. One scout swam out the Point of the reefs and brought in the dinghy abandoned by the “Kokoranga” and put the wounded in the dinghy. They sculled them out of trap to Lavero.
All other American boys and scouts reported safe. The American got away before the Japs closed the trap. A destroyer took the two wounded to the hospital (These were destroyers that were conveying the battalion for a landing.) (Stewart was the English name of the scout who swam out to the dinghy. Charlies shot the first Jap. No “all clear” was given for the party to land as was claimed.)
4 February 1943. “I” company leaves for Lunga leaving behind only about 40 men to guard the radar. A great number of Jap planes pass over in the night. Captain Thompson stays behind at the mission with the combat patrol.
5 February 1943. The carriers are bringing down the equipment from Tapinanza. Pay off one hundred carriers.
6 February 1943. Hear rumors that scouts on Maravogo front are falling down on the job.
7 February 1943. At 6:00Am I leave by canoe for the front. From Tiare Bay to Cap Esperance the sea is littered with Japanese collapsible boats and wreckage of ships. About three thousand Japs must have been evacuated during the night. At Maravogo I met new battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ferry, and Colonel Gavin of G-3. Colonel George had been shot in the leg by a sniper at Naru Bay yesterday.
9 February 1943. I investigate the work of scouts and carriers. Both colonels praise highly the work of the scouts and say they are responsible for the quick advance of the battalions and that rumors are based only on jealously of natives. Scouts have been continuously at the head of the battalion, relieving each other in two shifts of ten. Hold Mass for the scouts, soldiers and native carriers at Yenten Point. Go back to Naru to pick up canoe. Sprayed the village thoroughly and the bush behind with my tommy gun. (Island secured)
13 February 1943. Return to Paru. Colonel Ferry and all officers and men are highly enthusiastic about the scouts. Received order from General Patch by wireless to pay off all carriers and send them back to their villages. They must leave behind all they have scavenged from Japanese camps.
Sunday, 14 February 1943. Hold Mass for the soldiers at Yenten Point. All soldiers and officers, even non-catholics assisted because inadvertently I put up my altar and blocked the kitchen of the mess room. Received message from General Patch to come to Lunga for two weeks and start the rehabilitation of the natives and their villages. I leave by New Zealand corvette “Narata”. Meet the general in the afternoon.
15 February 1943. Colonel Tirnboe goes with me and two press men to the mission. Refuse to have anything to do with the press. Call scouts and carriers at Paru and take them home.
16 February 1943. Call all native carriers to come as soon as possible to be paid off. Start collecting native evacuees from Kakumbona and Matanikua who are in my district to bring them back to my village from special orders of General Patch.
17 February 1943. Served the bill to Colonel Turnboe only for services of scouts, carriers, spies and bonuses. (I didn’t ask my any compensation for damage to boats or for operating a mess from November 1942 to August 1945.)
18 February 1943. Leave in one Higgins boat one tank lighter with 100 evacuees for Kakumbona and Matanikua and Savo. While I go to Savo the tank lighter goes on to Kakimbona. Call at Kakimbona just before sunset to make sure the people are all right. I find them (among them many mothers with little babies.) herded under a tree outside the camp without any shelter while a rain storm is coming on. Ask CO of the camp to arrange shelter at least for the mothers and babies. Received curt refusal even when I order him in the name of General Patch. (The CO got an order by telephone from General Patch that night to evacuate two tents for the people. Next day the British promised to build a camp in the mountains for them. They built a camp on the beach amd have to move five different times so far.)
19 February 1943. I am working the whole day with Army Chief of Staff, G-2, and G-3 to make them provide shelter for the Matanikau and Kakimbona natives.
21 February 1943. Conference with Captain Trench (now colonel) about the rehabilitation of the native villages. We agree generally on everything but he is given no means of executing or realizing these ideas.
23 February 1943. With Captain Trench I go to Kakimbona and Cape Esperance. The Kakimbona people can no longer live on the coast because they have no houses or food. We provide them with enough food and rice and meat for three months to build themselves a village inland.
24 February 1943. “With Ramada” to Savo. Visit the people and investigate their situation and give medical treatment. Food situation on Savo is quite good but there is much disease.
25Feburary 1943. Hold Mass at Savo and return to Lunga.
26 February 1943. General Patch orders me to take a dozen scouts and scout the jungle from Tiaro Bay across the island to the Tanimba River and on the west side to jungle behind Marovogo to Tinamba to hunt down Japanese stragglers and investigate destruction of enemy camps in land. (When an offer was made by the British for the Father’s scouts to join British forces they refused saying they were fighting for the Americans and didn’t want to join the British. This same offer was made twice but refused both times.) have to take the “Ramada” to Sugu and Cape Hunter to recruit my scouts anew.
3 March 1943. I split up the scouts in two groups with six carriers each at Lambi. One party goes overland and follows down the Omosagi River. I go with one party following the coast inland. Find no stragglers but many dead Japs.
7 March 1943. I return to Paru and send a report to General Patch.
8 March 1943. By “Ramada” back to mission.
9 March 1943.”Ramada” leaves for Lunga.
11 March 1943. Colonel Turnboe arrives on “Ramada” with pay for myself, scouts
and the rest of the carriers. The first two months of service with the Marines have not been considered. (The Father received a letter of thanks and commendation from General Patch.)
13 March 1943. Departure “Ramada” and Captain Thompson who is replaced a lieutenant. (Epidemics of dysentery, jaundice and flue. The promised to have five medical officers make a survey to prevent epidemics among the natives but instead on Fijian native policeman was sent. See later on subject.)
After the war he stared immediately to build a new church to be a memorial to the American soldiers who died on Guadalcanal. In August 1942 I promised 300 Masses to St. Joseph and a new church if we spared damaged by the enemy. From where my district starts to Cape Hunter not one native has been killed no one’s house destroyed by Jap or Allied action. The district rusn from Timoli to the coast and from Cape Hunter to Gulavu. It took a over 160,00 sheets of leaves. The columns are all mahogany which was floated across the bay on rafts since they are so heavy.)
12 April 1943. In the afternoon 130 officers and non coms of all ranks of all forces visited the mission. I put them all up in my house and buildings and fed them from my own gardens and stores, three meals. Received in return 20 cases of Vienna sausage.
13 April 1943. Letter to headquarters of G-2 defending the right of the natives and accusing them of breaking their promises.
16 April 1943. Visit from “Snowy” Rhodes.
23 April 1943. Headquarters sends a plane to pick me up in the morning. ( It was Good Friday). Refuse to go because there are about five hundred people for Easter.
24 April 1943.Plans comes again to pick me up or to give the earliest date I will be able to go to headquarters.
25 April 1943. Leave by amphibious, “Duck”, but have to come down again because a Jap raid is going over. Leave again at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon and stay at Tulagi with the pilot.
26 April 1943. Fly from Tulagi to Lunga and I am received by a Marine major who had been behind the intelligence service of G-2. General Patch has just left this morning. Was received by General Griswold. (The general wanted him to justify his letter. ) Talked to General Griswold for a few minutes and then was told I should see the British Resident Commissioner, Colonel Marchant, with the new G-2 and sue the American forces through the British authorities for the claims of the natives. Colonel Marchant denied vehemently that the American could have made such promises and suggested ot intimated that the Father was seeking his own profit. Captain Trench felt in all honesty that be could not support Colonel Marchant statements. Actually both officers had been present when most of the agreements were made. Colonel Tracy told Colonel Marchant that the claims had to be filed
and defended by the British if Father de Klerk pressed them. Colonel Marchant offered a compromise plan whereby months provisions of rice would be given to the native carriers, scouts and their families, plus calico at a very small price (Two chillings a fathom).Father de Klerk accepted the agreement seeing no other alternative. Colonel Trench ask the Father if he would take his letter from the files and he agreed.
2 May 1943. In a radio broadcast from the U.S.A. I heard this “Last Wednesday a Jap patrol with one officer tried to escape from Guadalcanal but were all killed by US soldiers”. (See letter of translation of interview with native chief on 29 April….)
3 May 1943. Visit of Bishop and Navy Chaplain O’Neil.Bishop tells me that my commission was withdrawn through policy of Colonel Marchant. Father O’Neil said he heard Marchant joke about it with Father Wall. Merchant also says that I was taking or accepting medicine from the U.S and so giving to the natives medicine which was meant for U.S. soldiers. Letter from Father du Theye in Sydney tells me about the rumors going in Sydney that I have apotheosized and am living as a civilian near Cape Esperance and that I am no longer saying Mass or looking after the religious welfare of the natives. He remarks at the end of his letters, “But I assumed that all that is only talk”.
4 May 1943. Arrival (C.F. Jones) with Major Clemmons and Captain Trench (British)on board. Clemmons orders me to write a history of the scouts action on Guadalcanal. Presses me again to merge the scouts with the native police. Trench gives me ten bags of rice for the bush people and others who are in a bad state.
6 May 1943. The combat patrol of six men and one officer leaves the mission. (The last military group on the mission)
7 May 1943. A whole fleet of native canoes traveling toward Lunga to trade with the American soldiers.
10 May 1943. Make a cement headstone and mahogany railing on the grave of Joe Maloney and send pictures to his mother (The soldiers from the radio camp came to church every Sunday in a truck.)
13 May 1943. Over 100 visitors, officers and enlisted men called and slept at the Mission. They came in by boats along the beach or in patrols over the trail.
4 June 1943. YP boat called. The sailors took the pump and fire extinguisher out of the jeep as souvenirs. The doctor from the radar station came over two ot three times a week and helped me treat the natives.
12 June 1943. A big Jap raid lasting the biggest part of the night.
16 June 1943. A big Jap air fleet came over. (Possibly the last big raid)
17 June New that 94 Japs were shot down. Six of ours. Two pilots saved. No Jap pilots saved. There were an estimated 120 Jap planes.
27 July 1943. Departure of the 25th from the radar station.
1 August 1943. The negroes of the 24th take over the radar job.
3 August 1943. USO at the radar. (The only one ever held there.)
22August 1943. The “Kokorana” calls with two New Zealand officers to pick me up and help them find a place of their radar. I travelled with them and picked West Cape as the position.
1 September 1943. Visit of Major Alfred and Chaplain O’Connell. Many conference with Mr. Trench about the rehabilitation of the natives.
27 September 1943. I recruit natives to build New Zealand camp at West Cape.
Visits to the mission by 13th Air Force, CB’s,etc.
2 November 1943. Very solemn funeral service on the graveyard for Joe Maloney. A litigation of five officers and twelve men. At the end of the ceremony a salve and taps.
15 November 1943. New Zealanders start their radar at West Cape.
17 November 1943. A speedboat calls with grave registration personnel to dig up the body of Joe Maloney and bring him to Lunga.
25 November 1943. Thanksgiving Day. I hold services for the Coast Artillery battalion. The boys give me twenty dollars.
1 December 1943. Investigation into case of attempted rape by two Negroes soldiers at Kasumba. (Think they got six months for not being successful.)
24 December 1943. Midnight Mass in the open because only the mahogany pillars for the church were erected. About 500 people present at Mass.
30 January 1944. At 10:00AM the first two fighter cubs land on my beach strip (The first cub to land was later shot down in the Philippines and the pilot, Major Williams, was killed.)
3 February 1944. Cubs looking all over the jungle for the lost P-38 pilot. At 7:00PM. I leave with canoe and two boys to rescue the pilot who has been discovered on the Hoilava River.
2 February 1944. 30 men of the 40th Division came over the mountains and stayed at the mission a week.
4 February planes dropped 28 parachutes with food for the men and gasoline for the Cubs. Those thirty men, during their stay, helped put the leaf roof on the church.
8 February 1944. Outbreak of another epidemic of Flu.
9 February 1944. The American radar leaves Beaufort Bay. The laborers on the church were paid 15 shillings a week. Somehow all the money for the church was provided by American friends.
9 April 1944. Easter Sunday. 14 cubs on the ground. Official visitors: 2 generals, 4 colonels, 2 lieutenant commanders, etc. etc. after church the natives give dances and offer the general a big heap of yams and two pigs. In return the generals offered the natives several cases of meat and cigarettes.
19 April 1944. I give two conference on survival in the jungle to the B-24 students of the 13th Air Force. (This was the first of a series of lectures of this type.)
23 April 1944. Three days ago a native teacher was eaten by crocodiles on the Hoilavo River. I went by Cub, spotted the crocodile sleeping, threw a grenade, missed, strafted him with my tommy gun. Near misses. Back in the plane I spotted another crco which I hit very accurately in the back.
August ans September 1944. Many Marine patrols coming over the mountains. One night there were sixty-two.
17 October 1944. Church finished. Prepare for the decorations and for the feed.
7 November 1944. SBD crashes in Beaufort Bay. The pilor and passenger are brought ashore to the mission.
8 November 1944. New Zealand Catalina comes to pick up two aviators. While they are waiting a Ventura throws two parachutes with food for Marine patrols who are coming over the mountains. Parachutes didn’t open. One little girl is hit and has her foot broken in five places. I put the little girl on board the Catalina and bring her myself to Naval base hospital at Tulagi. Navy Commander Scott sets the foot.
In October and November the Marines are coming by Cub nearly every day to bring all kinds of supplies to prepare for the blessing of the church. (This was by order of the general.) Both Major Sheppard and Rear Admiral Gunther have consented to be present at the celebration.
29 November. Chaplain Schneider and Doctor Johnson arrive by Cub. Admiral Gunther and commander Wagner by seaplane. New Zealand Catalina brings beer supplies plus New Zealand and American flags. Afternoon: Arrival Commander Less (CO Henderson Field) and Chaplain Mayberry (Episcopal Chaplain). Shortly afterward arrival of Major General Shepperd and Colonel McQueen. Little odds and ends of majors and captains. Only one enlisted man-- the admiral’s mechanic.
The dedication of the Memorial Church to St. Joseph, the Patron of that mission. Lt. Comdr. Schneider, Division chaplain of the Sixth Marines, blesses the church. Over seven hundred natives are present. Solemn High Mass. Over 400 communions. After church official dances till 11:00 o’clock when Admiral Gunther has to leave. When the Admiral leaves the beach all the natives gather and give him three war whoops. They resume dances until 2pm when General Sheppard has to leave. Then starts the division of 25 pis and 5 cows. Brig. gen. Clement arrives at five. Fri. and Sat. ferry guests across the mountains to Lunda. About 2000 visitors after the war.