Sargeant George Dennis (1920 - 1998)
2nd Platoon,D Company,1st Battalion,
1st Marine Regiment
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Enlisted for 4 years in the U.S. Marines at Pittsburg , Penn . October 22nd 1940 and arrived at Parris Island the next day . Transferred to Provisional Company X and arrived in Guantanamo Bay , Cuba on February 6th 1941 and assigned to D Company , 1st Battalion , 7th Marines . Returned to Parris Island in August 1941 and sent to New River ,N.C. on September 30th 1941 . Transferred to D Company , 1st Battalion , 1st Marines on February 13th 1942 .

Left New River June 3rd 1942 with government equipment on freight train for San Francisco , California . Trip took 11 days . Picked oranges off trees in California . Arrived in San Francisco on June 14th 1942 at 8.30 p.m. and went aboard the U.S.S. BARNETT . Set sail June 22nd 1942 and crossed the Equator July 1st 1942 .

Arrived in Wellington , New Zealand , after 18 days of  ocean travelling from Frisco on July 11th 1942 about 3.30 p.m. Made my first Liberty overseas on the first night . What a job to get around in a blackout . We had plenty of rain there , but that didn't stop us from going on Liberty . On Friday 17th July C. A. Hobbs , Leo Clancey and myself were pitching {planning} a Liberty  together .

Left the docks and pulled out into the Bay about 3.00 p.m. July 21st 1942 . Left Wellington 2.30 p.m. July 22nd 1942 on our way to play for keeps  . Arrived at Fiji Islands on July 28th 1942 . Went over the side on July 29th and July 30th also , but didn't land . Just some snapping in for the Solomons . Left Fiji Islands for action in the Solomons on July 31st 1942 . Landed on Guadalcanal , Red Beach on August 7th 1942 . We took the Island and still hold it . The Japs tried many times to retake the Island but could not .

August 7th 1942
Password ; Lucky Strike .
Landed on Guadalcanal island about 11.40 a.m. 68 Jap planes shot down .

August 8th 1942
Password ; Yellow .
Big sea battle off the island .

August 9th 1942
Password ; Lillian .
Nothing important happened , except we changed position before nightfall . Working party that night .

August 10th 1942
Password ; Hellelujah
3 Jap aeroplanes flew very low over us , but got away before anyone could pull their selves together . Just before that 24 planes flew over us very high . That evening we moved our position about 100 yards , expecting an air raid but none came . That night a Jap patrol of about 25 men got inside our lines and caused quite a confusion . We witnessed some overhead fire . We didn't sleep at all that night .

August 11th 1942
Password ; ??
We changed position and covered an open field with the two sections .

August 12th 1942
Password ; Lillac
About noon Jap sub shelled our island but no damage was done .

August 13th 1942
Password ; Phillipines
In the evening the Jap sub that had been shelling us was said to be sunk by a 75 off a half track .

August 14th 1942
Password ; Lillac
Changed position of one section . The second to be ready in case of invasion.

August 15th 1942
Password; Lilliputian
We are permitted to write to our mothers by V mail . We dug secondary positions .  Metcalf found a Jap .25 . I found a Jap medal .

August 16th 1942
Password; Pillbox
We went out again and I worked on our secondary positions . Enemy plane came over but our heavy guns were unable to bring it down .

August 17th 1942
Password ; Milometer
Air raid alarms .

August 18th 1942
Password ; Ripple
12 enemy planes flew over very high . Our heavy guns at the airport fired up and hit one of the planes on the tail , but as far as we know it flew away with the rest . The plane that was hit dropped its load of about 13 . One landed about 300 yards from our position . One was killed and four shell shocked in the raid . We decided to go deeper with the advice of the old song dig , dig well alright . At night two Jap Destroyers and one Cruiser pulled into the bay and shelled nearby island and disturbed our sleep . Expected invasion and set up all four guns near beach and was ready for anything .

August 19th 1942
Password ; Simple
Small naval battle in bay . About noon an Army Flying Fortress bombed the Jap cruiser and they had to beach them while they were smoking {??} . The destroyers fled and the Flying Fortress followed them .

August 20th 1942
Password ; ????
Was allowed to write and tell where we were . Reinforced our dugouts with heavy logs and earth . 6.00 p.m.  the sky over Guadalcanal  island was occupied by our planes , 34 . We sure were glad to see the planes .

August 21st 1942
Password ; Slowly
The night before moved down to our beach position . About 5.00 a.m. the Japs landed some troops on our island and a battle started with much sorrow to the Japs . The battle still going on at 1615 (4.15 p.m.) and our planes still flying above us . Patterson returns from the front with one Jap to his credit . Since our landing on Guadalcanal island the Japs have lost 24 ships in this section to date . The 1st Battalion of the 1st Marines moved up to the front lines and saw action today .

August 22nd 1942
Password ; Spill
The Japs by now were seen lying everywhere and the Marines had the situation well in hand . Out of over 700 Japs that tried to take over 670 were killed , 30 injured and 1 taken prisoner . We lost 28 men and 72 wounded . Taking from what they carried they were veterans of Wake or the Philippines . They had American money , Marine emblems and one boy was said to have found a poncho in one of the Japs packs that belonged to his cousin who was on Wake island . Out of D Company 3 men were lost ; Blair , Smith and R. J. Barnes .

{George does not mention here that while on the West bank he was shot at by a Japanese sniper from across the river , who was soon "nailed" by other Marines}.

Some of the boys and myself saw the place where the action had taken place and it sure was a terrible sight . Japs were just stacked on top of each other . Across the river where the Japs were dug in arms and legs were all over . According to talk the Japs must have been doped. If they were not they sure met something they didn't expect . One of the prisoners taken said they had been told that all the Marines here were just about wiped out , so I guess they figured on an easy take .

The mortars of our D Company were up at the front and saw lots of action . They are the ones , helped by the big guns on the airfield , that brought the Japs out of their holes . So they made nice targets for the anxious ones on the firing line . Putting it just plain the Japs were just slaughtered . I count this as great revenge for our boys on Wake , mostly because they were the same ones that caused the trouble at Wake . Lots of the boys got officers swords . The Japs carry lots of hand grenades , which they used at any chance . According to reports they use the small mortar with great accuracy .

August 23rd 1942
Password ; Sparkle
Invasion expected , but there was none . Late this date we were shelled from the Bay by some Jap ships , but our sub chased them off . Japs lost 4 troopships and 3 Cruisers . 34 more of our planes arrived today .

August 24th 1942  no entry

August 25th 1942
Password ; Solemnly
Air raid around noon . We downed about 5 of the planes and lost 1 . . We sank 15 Jap ships and the Island at night was very quiet .

August 26th 1942
Password ; Sulkily
Air raid around noon . We got 8 bombers and 8 fighters . These figures have been officially verified , but we think there were more downed than that . Most of the bombs were incendiary bombs and aimed at the airport , landing on the end close to us . Started fires which were soon put under control . I dug my foxhole about another foot and reinforced the sides . The time here is now 5.45 p.m. and another raid is expected at 6.00 p.m. The time here is 22 hours ahead of New York and 19 hours ahead of San Francisco time .

August 27th 1942
Password ; Dismally
Today around 10.00 a.m. we had another air raid , but our planes drove the Jap planes away before they could get over the Island and drop any bombs . Lasts night's new broadcast from San Francisco (by short wave) confirmed the reports of the raid of August 24th , stating that 21 enemy planes were shot down and 1 of ours .

The report went on to state {that} on the same date the enemy lost 3 Transports , 2 Aircraft Carriers , 1 Battleship , 2 Cruisers , 1 Destroyer and that other hits were scored on other enemy ships . During this sea battle the enemy lost another 21 planes . This morning at dawn our platoon sent out a patrol and another one this evening .

Last night's password was "Sulkily" which , to my knowledge , is not in the English language . At any rate the enemy are seemed to have trouble pronouncing it . 11 more Army planes came in today , 1 Flying fortress and 10 fighter planes . Downed 8 bombers and 8 Zero fighters . In yesterday's raid three 20mm guns were knocked out and 8 men killed and 7 wounded .

The 5th {Marines} went into the hills today to chase the few remaining Japs out . We have had no report as yet of the outcome , but are sure it is to our advantage . The scuttlebutt today is that the Army will be here tomorrow . If so I sure hope they bring us some American food and beer . But I especially want them to get here with our mail . No mail has reached us since we left the States and the boys don't like it at all .

August 28th 1942
Password ; Berlin
So the rumour of the Army arriving here was false . The news broadcast from the States today stated that from August 7th  to 25th the enemy has lost 104 planes and 21 ships in this section of the Pacific . We have had no bombing raids for 2 days now . In the naval battle today south  west of here the enemy are believed to have lost 2 Aircraft Carriers , 3 Cruisers and 131 planes .

August 29th 1942
Password ; Analyse
About 04.30 a.m. 3 enemy planes came over and bombed us . But it seemed as though we gave them no resistance at all . Our 2nd air raid came about 11.00 a.m. when 18 enemy planes came over , dropping their eggs here and there . This time they met plenty to play with , even though they did do some damage on the airport and ammunition dump . We downed 8 of their planes and lost 4 of ours . One of their planes that was downed seemed as though it was landing right on top of our positions , but to our happiness it landed about a mile away . Downed 6 bombers and 3 Zero fighters , lost 2 planes .

August 30th 1942
Password ; Analytical
I took some of the boys on a swimming party about 2 miles from our positions . There we wash ourselves and the few rags we have . All afternoon we were kept busy with air raid alarms . W e got 12 of the enemy planes and lost 1 . One of their dive-bombers sneaked in after the rain and sank the GREGORY , a converted Destroyer . It sunk in about 2 minutes . There were 2 other ships out in the Bay at the time with supplies but were not harmed . Downed 12 Zero fighters and lost 1 plane today . We got 31 planes in today .

August 31st 1942
Password ; William
It is around 11.30 a.m. and we are on air raid alert . I am writing this down in my foxhole . Our planes are up in the air trying to intercept the Japs . Downed 48 Jap planes .

September 1st 1942
Password; Lolapaluza
Moved our positions to the beach and are now guarding the beach against a possible attack . Received a letter from Mother and Uncle Boone today .

September 2nd 1942
Password ; Bilious
At 4.30 a.m. this morning Jap bombers followed our air patrol in and let go with a few bombs after our planes landed . A few men in C Company of the 1st were injured and 2 killed . Received mail today and it sure was welcomed . Air raid around noon set fire to munitions dump , which was soon under control .

September 3rd 1942
Password ; Black Hook
Were shelled by surface craft at 1.00 a.m. this morning . Expected an air raid but our planes went out and intercepted them before they reached the island .

September 4th 1942
Password ; Blackly
We were shelled night before last . The enemy ship shot only a few shots and then left . 4.30 a.m. got up and went on a working party . Unloaded supplies ;
105mm shells , 37mm and barbed wire and stakes and a large quantity of sheet metal for the runway on the aerodrome .

Ate one can of vegetable stew at 5.00 a.m. , secured at 8.45 a.m. and ate a cold chow . We were shelled again last night . One of our ships , an APD , was sunk . There was a small naval battle which lasted 2 hours . No report of the damage has been received . We are having an air raid now . I hope our planes can continue to intercept their bombers before they get here , as they have done in the past few days . The word has gone around that 15,000 soldiers are supposed to arrive tomorrow . Our planes were said to have spotted a 60-ship convoy heading this way . In the sea battle we lost 2 APDs and the enemy lost 2 Destroyers , 1 Cruiser and 1 submarine .

September 5th 1942
Password ; Billy
Two air raids today . The first one was a squadron of fighter planes arriving here and the second was the real thing . But our planes intercepted their planes and a dogfight was on which lasted an hour . No report of ships downed as yet . No bombs were dropped . On watch from 8.00 p.m. till 5.30 a.m.

September 6th 1942
Password ; Blankly
Working party at 5.30 a.m. It is now 11.00 a.m. and they are testing our 5 inch gun battery . Our dive-bombers have just returned from a patrol . Expect an air raid , as our fighter planes just took off and are testing their guns overhead . There has been no air raid for the past few days . It is my belief that our dive-bombers are bombing the Jap air base, which presumably is located on some nearby island, and keeping them too busy there to molest us . The Japs on this island are so near death from starvation that they are unable to cause us much trouble . And our beach positions are so strong that the possibilities of a successful invasion are very slim .

The weather here is warm the year round , but they have 2 seasons . A dry season and a rainy season . After what has happened today the rainy season must be near at hand , as we have had four rain showers today . At the present we are located about 50 yards from the beach and we swim at our leisure . The Tenaru is about 700 yards to our flank and we have plenty of water to drink and to wash our clothes and bath .

On the night of August 20th 1942 the Japs succeeded in landing about 1,500 troops which were encountered by our outpost about 2.00 a.m. on the morning of August 21st 1942 . I was always of the opinion that the American people were a civilised race , but have my doubts now after the way the Jap commandos were slaughtered here . , After the battle , which lasted about 48 hours , one of the men from one of the other islands came up to me and said ; "..On Tulagi we killed the Japs , but you damn guys butchered them.." .

September 7th 1942
Password ; Sing-Sing
It looks like the rainy season is here , as it rained most of the day . We had a pretty busy day today . Colonel  Cresswell {Batl. CO} inspected the men about 10.30 a.m. this morning . We haven't had any air raids for 3 days , so our planes must be raising hell in St. Charles {??} and the Bougainville island . Read speaks off . {speaks to officer?} for telling me to have my men pick up coconuts lying on the beach . Had an invasion alert about 10.00 p.m. but nothing happened . On Guadalcanal one month today .

September 8th 1942
Password ; Bully
Sighted an American convoy in the Bay this morning . Don't know whether these were only Transports with it or not . Working party went down to unload ships at 4.30 a.m. . The latest scuttlebutt is that the sailors stated  that  the President stated we (The USMC 1st Division) would be home for Christmas this year (1942).We are going to open a Post Exchange in a few days . The sun shone here today for the first time in 3 days .

Rabaul {???} was taken yesterday morning at 3.00 a.m. by the 1st Division U. S. Marine Corps . The report is in that the few remaining Japs have surrendered but wasn't verified .{I don't know where George got this piece of information from ?!} . The Raiders and Paratroops attempted a landing on the eastern end of the Guadalcanal Island . The Japs were pretty well dug in . They , our ships , started shelling them . They were reinforced by men of the 5th Def. {Btl?} From PD which arrived today {??} .

Our dive-bombers were dropping 60mm mortar shells on the few remaining Japs here today . There was a small sea battle off here at 12.45 p.m. last night . We have received no report as to the outcome . 4 Jap ships were reported heading this way earlier in the evening . On watch 7 hours . No invasion was attempted .

September 9th 1942
Password ; Frankly
Air raid alarm , but our fighter planes intercepted the Jap bombers and we were not bombed . The Japs sank one of our Cargo ships last night and were reported to have landed some tanks . On watch 8.00 p.m. until 5.00 a.m.

September 10th 1942
Password ; Blindly
Air raid about 12.30 noon . The Japs sent over 31 bombers . They dropped part of their bombs on Tulagi and the rest here . Our fighters attacked them off the eastern tip of the island and we saw 4 of their planes go down before they were lost to our vision . Worked on gun emplacement . 2 fighters were also shot down . Only 2 of our 8 fighters that were in the air intercepted their planes . 11 were killed and 16 wounded when the bombs were dropped . 28 Jap bombers were over today .

September 11th 1942
Password ; Sleepily
There was no working party today , so we all worked on out 2 emplacements . The first air raid only 2 fighters and 5 bombers came over and no bombs were dropped . The next raid about one and a half hours later 26 bombers came over and I don't know how many fighters . They dropped their eggs and there were 35  50 men seriously injured . Some had arms and legs blown off . I have got no report as to how many have died from the results . We sent up 14 fighter planes and they shot down 5 bombers and 1 fighter before they gave up the chase .

We have had reports from the British Intelligence {coastwatchers} that more than half the planes they send over each day failed to reach their base because they were so badly shot up . One of the fighter planes made a crash landing in the Bay not far from our positions . The pilot was uninjured . We got in 30 new fighter planes this evening .

I saw Tommy today and he said Johny was shot between the eyes on August 7th and killed instantly . Red Lane was sent to Auckland (NZ) because of injuries received the same day . I packed a chute today for the first time in about a year . Pretty rusty on the job but succeeded in it quite well after some time . 7 B17s and 2 PBY's spent the night here last night and took off at daybreak this morning . 100 feet of the portable runway {matting} are down now and in a few more days we will be doing the bombing . 5 P40's arrived here last night .

September 12th 1942
Password ; Polly
6.00a.m. Reveille . 20 man working party to Regt. Dump to bury fuel oil . Worked on position . Air raid (dummy run) . Sent 5 B17s with 42 500 Ib bombs out at 6.00 a.m. to bomb Jap base at Rabaul . Air raid about 12.30 p.m. . 26 bombers dropped their eggs and injured 4 men in our Company . Anti-aircraft guns (90mm) shot down 3 and our fighters (of which we had 36 in the air today) intercepted them over the island and we saw 4 go down before they were out of our vision . No report has come in as to the results as yet . A PBY UF2 just flew over us . Have been working on our gun positions today . There are only 2 men and myself left here to do the work , as the rest were sent out on other working parties .

September 13th 1942
Password ; Pollygot
There were 94 Jap planes shot down in this area today . They did a lot of damage and injured several men . These yellow bastards have got a lot of nerve . They opened up on us around 11.00 p.m. with field artillery and then 4 Jap Cruisers pulled in alongside our positions and put their searchlights on our positions and shelled hell out of us for about three and a half hours . They were not hit by our .5 inch gunfire . The Japs use their searchlights as if they were in Tokyo celebrating some great victory .

Our searchlight picked them up , but our .5 inch guns failed to score a hit . Our searchlight was blown to hell and back and 3 men were injured . Tojo gave us warning to get off the island , but we will stay until every damn Marine is dead . 2 Jap Aircraft Carriers were just sighted and our fighter planes have taken off . We lost 1 fighter yesterday and another one during the shelling . 3 pilots were killed during the shelling . I have received no word as to the number of casualties .We got in 20 fighters and 5 dive-bombers and 5 torpedo bombers off the Carrier WASP this morning .

The Japs sent over 50 bombers but our 50 fighter planes intercepted them and nothing but Zero fighters were able to get over the Island . There were dogfights overhead , but no report has come in giving the results . We received word to move out this morning and leave the beach unprotected .They finally got wise and moved B Company out instead . We have had 6 air raids today so far and the latest one is on at the present . One Bomber that was shot down hit so close to us that when it hit and burst into flames we used the fire to heat our rations with .

Our planes went out and intercepted the Jap planes over the Florida Island and over Tulagi Harbour . The results of today's raids will be given as soon as the reports get in . The Guadalcanal scuttlebutt is first with the latest dope . I was talking to one of the fliers , who came here from Midway . He stated that the U. S. Navy was doping off . They said they would rather be on Midway for 8 months than be here for 2 weeks .

The men have had about all the shelling and bombing they can stand . If something isn't done about it soon the men will all be physical wrecks . We were bombed and shelled for 20 hours out of the last 24 . I just received word from unofficial sources that the remains of the Jap fleet are in the vicinity of these islands . From this report (if it is true) tonight should be a busy one for everyone on the island .

I also received information , from a pretty reliable source , that the 7th Marines are coming in here Tuesday the 15th about 5.00 p.m. 2 Zero {float} planes off a Jap Cruiser flew over the island taking pictures . They were over us before anyone knew they were there . A few of our planes took off after them . We don't know whether they were caught or not . Division H & S and 1st Service {Btl.} moved in to take B Company's place with us . Our planes shot down 20 Jap Zero Fighters today . At 12.01 p.m. 3 Jap Destroyers and 1 Jap submarine pulled into the Bay in front of our positions and started shelling us . No report as to the number of casualties . Our mortars started shelling the Japs at about 10.00 p.m.

September 14th 1942
Password ; Colour Blend
The fighting continued until dawn . The Japs come and go as they please the last few days . The 2 Zero Cruiser planes came over just now (10.30 a.m.) and both of them went down in flames when our fighters attacked them . Our fighters forced 2 Zero fighters to land on our airfield yesterday {???!} . The Japs must think they own the island . The pilot bailed out and opened his chute . He landed in the Bay directly in front of us . The co-pilot  {wingman?} also jumped when the planes were about 200 feet above the water . He didn't get a chance to open his chute because he was on fire .

The Marines just brought in from the hills 3 pilots who had been missing for a week . One of them was Captain Carl of the USMC who has 28 planes to his credit . The Zeros that were here yesterday shot down one of our SBD dive-bombers yesterday . Those yellow bastards have more nerve than brains . 1.30 p.m. air raid alert . No bombers , Zero fighters off a Jap Carrier . Dogfight overhead . In the battle with the Japs we have lost 100 or more men killed and between 150 and 300 wounded so far .

Our dive-bombers sank one Jap Aircraft Carrier off here yesterday . For the past few days we have been getting 3 meals daily , but today we went back to 2 . Put bard wire around our emplacements . 2 of our dive-bombers went out in search of the Jap Carrier . If the U.S. expects to hold this island they had better get some more men and equipment here and do it damn soon . Our quota of casualties is mounting each day .

Almost all of the men are in run down condition and are under nourished . An Army General was here the other day , and when he left he said the Marines were crazy . That his men couldn't live under the conditions we are living under for 2 weeks .  When we landed we had only enough medical supplies to last for 2 weeks (this is our 6th week here) . If it was not for the medical supplies we captured from the Japs I have no idea of how we would have gotten along this long . In other words the situation is well in hand but is also a very serious one .

Our planes went up and strafed and dive-bombed the Japs . One of our cargo ships just now (4.00 p.m.) pulled into the Bay . The latest scuttlebutt is that the 3rd Brigade is due to arrive here Wednesday the 16th . I sure hope it isn't scuttlebutt . To see a convoy of the Army move in here would do more for the morale of the men than anything else could . We are all sick of staying here and would give anything we own to be relieved of some of the tension that is put on us here .

From 5.45 to 6.30 p.m. Jap planes flew over us and strafed . Everyone started firing at them . W e fired one of my machine guns (250 rounds) . This firing prevented our fighters from engaging them in combat . One of the pilots told me today that they were using us for bait to draw the Jap Navy in and if we were not given more supplies this would be another Wake Island . Only 1 Jap bomber was over today . The fighting continued throughout the day . At one time the Japs were only a half-mile from the airport , but were driven back by our artillery . We received word from the Battalion CP that the 7th Marines might be in tonight .

September 15th 1942
Password ; Lillypilly
Fighting continued throughout the night and we pushed the Japs back . We were not shelled last night and that was a relief to our weary minds . Our planes took off at 4.00 a.m. 3.00 p.m. Visited our guns . They were in perfect condition and the fire was well spaced . The 7th Marines are landing on Beach Red at 5.00 a.m. tomorrow . 1st Battalion , 1st Marines are moving out tonight to establish a beachhead for them .

It is my personal opinion that if we do not receive reinforcements in 3 weeks and the shelling by night and bombing by day and the continuous hand to hand fighting continue , that the Japs will have retaken this island by this time next month ! 5.45 p.m. Squad went out on a working party to help put up barb wire around some other emplacements in the beach defence . 6.01 p.m. Air raid . These things are becoming more often and now become every day . Our fighters shot down 20 Jap planes day before yesterday and another 25 yesterday . No report as to today's score as yet . 6.30 p.m. Well , I have lived through another bombing . Only one air raid today and there was no bombing .

September 16th 1942
Password ; Pale People
4.30 a.m. Reveille . Expected the 7th Marines to land today but they were held up and didn't get in . Our SBD's turned back 26 bombers today . Our torpedo bombers reported they sank 9 Jap ships . 4.15 p.m. Moved to the other side of the airport . Jap Division CP at the mouth of Block Four River was shelled and blown to hell and back today . Bombed Jap seaplane base on Saint Isabel Island . Lost 11 planes .

September 17th 1942
Password ; Philadelphia
5.00 a.m. Reveille . Sent out 25-man patrol in back of Jap lines . 22 men still missing , 4 were killed . 10.00 a.m. Air raid , which turned out to be only our planes returning . 3.00 p.m. 11 SBD's , 6 torpedo bombers and an escort of 3 fighter planes took off to sea after 15 Jap ships that were supposed to have been sighted 200 miles out . For the last few days we have been able to keep a patrol of planes out at all times to patrol the sea around the island .

September 18th 1942
Password ; Parallel
3.15 a.m. Moved back to beach position to cut barb wire so they , 7th Marines , could land . They landed further up the island {near Lunga Point}  and we worked till noon putting the wire back up . Prepared at 1.00 p.m. to move out of beach positions . Moved out to far side and far end of the airport . 12.00 midnight . 2 Jap Cruisers pulled into the Bay to shell us . Our ships pulled in and they sank them . Everyone , including myself , is so run down and disgusted that I have decided to discontinue this diary .

Have been sick for the past 5 days and have been unable to eat .

September 25th 1942
Password ; ?????
3.30 a.m. Went to Kukum to unload supplies from the ships . They seem to think that food is a minor item in a military organisation , but that we cannot do without thousands of tons of ammunition . There is so damn much ammunition here that everywhere you go you stumble over it . Rumour has it that we have 23 ships outside the harbour . Our torpedo planes were out after 5 Jap ships this morning . It is my opinion and that of most of the other fellows that we have been forgotten by military leaders in Washington . The men are sick of staying here and are beginning to become grouchy and are cussing the officers .

Air raid  Anti-aircraft got 4 Jap planes . No report as to the total number shot down . B Company moved back into their former position to support us . We received work a few minutes ago (8.10 a.m.) to continue putting barb wire around our positions . A few of our planes are now returning from their patrols . I was just now reading a paper from Hololulu dated September 5th and it gave a report of the fighting here .
The Admiral  {Admiral Turner} took off 2 days ago to take his report in to Washington . Before leaving he stated that we had had more shelling here than any American troops had had since the founding of the United States . The planes from our Aircraft Carrier WASP intercepted 50 bombers headed this way .

11.00 a.m. Our fighters just took off . Condition Yellow is now on . Air raid is expected . Our planes between the dates of August 7th 1942 and September 5th 1942 have shot down well over 200 Jap planes . Our planes are returning now . Our fighters are now returning from a patrol . The unidentified aircraft turned out to be our own planes returning from a mission .

They have finally found an altitude that the P-400 can work at  it is between 150 and 300 feet . They are pretty effective for strafing . Lieutenant Schlenker of B Company just cracked up (went nuts) . He is firing at Marines with his .45 pistol for not being in their foxholes during Condition Yellow . Fighting is continuing on the south  east and east side of the airfield .

12.30 noon . Condition Yellow . Air raid is over and it is now condition (chow) ?? I wonder if it is rice and corned beef or corn beef and rice , with bombs for dessert  ? 12.45 noon . I guess I was right . We did have bombs for dessert . These damn Japs are very persistent . They seem to try to annoy us . Some of our fighters are now (1.00 p.m.) returning .  The Paratroops and Raiders have had 85%  casualties in the last 3 days . The situation here becomes more serious each day .

September 28th 1942
Moved into position along the Tenaru River . The mosquitos and flies are worse here than at any other part of the island . Our fighters intercepted 3 waves of bombers , but the 4th wave of 25 planes got through and bombed hell out of the area around Kukum {Lunga} Point . Several men were killed and a number of others injured . Our fighters shot down 40 Jap planes today  25 bombers and 17 Zero fighters .

September 29th 1942
Sent out a patrol . Did not make contact with the enemy . Air raid . We had 50 fighters in the air today , and only a few of their planes got through . No report as to the number lost by either force .

September 30th 1942
Air raid around 11.00 a.m. Had a patrol out from 6.00 a.m. till dark . Made no contact with the enemy . No report as to the number of planes lost on either side . I saw 2 Jap planes go down in flames and one of our fighters landed in the Bay , the pilot of which was never found .

October 1st 1942
Password ; Bolivia
Today is the end of our eighth week on this island . Sent out a patrol . Went 7 miles out and made no contact with the enemy . Air raid today , but we have no report as to the number lost on either side . Silver , my bunkie , went to the Sick Bay today with Cellulitis in his foot and leg . 8.30 p.m. 1 lone Jap plane came over and dropped 4 bombs and then went back to his Cruiser base .

October 2nd 1942
Password ; Lulabella
4.30 a.m. The Jap seaplane came back over and dropped his 4 bombs . Started fires at the airport . Working party and patrol . Up today at 3.30 a.m. 12.00 noon air raid . One pilot said they didn't run into anything except fighter planes . Most of our planes are still out and it is now 2.00 p.m. Patrol must have run into trouble , for we have been hearing shots from the direction they took since 11.30 a.m.

Major Smith of the Air Force crashed down near the river and we sent out another patrol and so did the 2nd Battalion . They intercepted the bombers about 50 miles out . 3 of our planes landed in flames , but no serious damage was done to them . 8.30 p.m. Air raid , but no bombs even dropped . We got mail today and got one letter dated May 5th and post marked the 15th . 12.00 midnight . The listening post sent out by B Company came in because the 2nd Battalion sent up 3 flares and they thought there was to be trouble . Our artillery fired on the Japs on the far side of Kukum . Rained all during the night  . Captain Dzura was evacuated today .

October 3rd 1942
Password ; Slackily
3.30 a.m. Working part to Kukum to unload ships . 4.05 a.m. the Duck from the Jap Cruiser paid us another visit , but did no damage with his 3 bombs . Flying Fortresses took off at dawn . Our 9 torpedo planes took off and only 4 of them returned . They said they sank 3 Jap Cruisers and 1 Jap Transport . 12.00 noon . Air raid . No bombs dropped . The bombers were intercepted by our fighters at sea . 3 Jap Zero fighters came in and strafed and dropped small bombs . But they did not get away , as our .50 cal machine guns took care of them , as they were only at an altitude of about 100 feet . Sent out a patrol at 6.00 p.m. . We lost 1 fighter today and our fighters shot down 9 Jap Zero fighters .

October 4th 1942
Password ; ???
Working party at dawn . The Japs have taken to bombing at night . Our torpedo planes sank 3 Jap Cruisers and 1 Transport ship . We lost 5 Torpedo planes . Air raid at 12.00 noon . No bombers got over the island but we have received no report on the number shot down .

October 5th 1942
Password ; Holy Land
Working party . More night raids last night . Our dive-bombers sank a Jap Cruiser today . Called listening post 7 tonight and sent up flares , but did not see anything . Our planes were in the air over the island all night . No report as to the other activities of the day .

October 6th 1942
Password ; Cooly
We have had no bombs dropped on us during the daylight hours for the past few days . Jap night raids over the island have ceased to some extent . Our planes sank 2 Jap ships today , a Destroyer and a Cruiser . We had no air raid today . 11.00 p.m. alert . Suspect Japs to try to break through our defence . We sent up 3 flares but did not see anything . No Japs tried breaking through .

October 6th 1942
Password ; Multiply
It is now 5.00 p.m. and in all today has been very quiet . We have had no air raids . We got in 14 new pursuit planes and now have between 15  20 Flying Fortresses B17 and B17E on the island . Today we have been on this damn island for 2 months and it looks to me as if we will be here for a long time yet . To date our planes have shot down 210 Jap planes in this area .

October 8th 1942
Password ; Alley
Went out on patrol this a.m. We were called back in and given the word to prepare to move out , but the word has been changed and so far as I know we will stay here in our positions along the Tenaru . Today has been a miserable day , as it has been raining steadily since dawn . We did not see any signs of the Japs while on the patrol . We found a Jap Zero fighter which had been shot down and I got part of the Rising Sun from one wing .

Our torpedo planes and dive-bombers sank a Jap Cruiser and scored hits on 3 Destroyers and 1 Transport . Our P-39s were dive-bombing and strafing the Japs on the other side of Kukum all day . Our artillery was firing at them all night . One Jap Duck was over tonight . He dropped 1 bomb . Our 20mm guns opened up on him , but they were unable to hit him , as our searchlights could not locate the plane . Our fighters got 16 Jap planes .

October 9th 1942
Password ; Illusion
The 3rd Battalion , 1st Marines pulled a fake landing to draw the Japs out of their positions and towards the beach . They succeeded in doing this and 2nd Battalion on the 5th Marines moved into the positions which had been evacuated by the Japs . And now the Japs are surrounded on 3 sides by the Marines and can only retreat one way , and that is towards the ocean . Some Jap ships came in and shelled us tonight and we sent 12 SBD's , 6 torpedo planes and 18 fighters out after them . No report as to how they made out . During the past 2 months our planes have  accounted for 38 Jap ships and 245 planes . We got in 40 more planes today .

October 10th 1942
Didn't get any password
6.00 a.m. Our planes returned from a raid on some Jap ships . We lost 1 SBD today , but our fighters shot down 13 Jap Zero fighters . Our fighters , dive bombers and torpedo planes took off at dawn and returned about 3 hours later with 4 more Jap ships to their credit . We have some new flyers in , and the old timers are taking them up and teaching them the tricks of fighting enemy planes . Two of them were so excited when they came down they forgot to lower their landing gear and did beautiful pancake landings . Neither of the pilots nor the planes were seriously damaged .  An Army Major and a Colonel were inspecting our positions today . They didn't have much to say .

October 11th 1942
Password ; Laurel
Our fighters and other planes took off at dawn on a scouting flight . The few remaining Japs are pretty well in hand . Our planes sank 9 Jap ships that were heading this way . The Japs sent over 75 planes at 1.00 p.m. today . Our fighters intercepted them and they were forced to drop their bombs on an unoccupied portion of the island . Or planes shot down 70 today . The Japs down by Kukum Point {Point Cruz} are losing badly and it looks as though they will all be killed soon . So far we have only taken one prisoner .

October 12th 1942
Password ; Slickery
We sent out 20 B17's this morning to meet another force of 50 B17's to make a raid . In the last few days our planes have dropped 100 tons of bombs on the Japs . Our planes went out after a Jap task force and sank 8 Jap ships .

October 13th 1942
Password ; Slowly
The Army landed here today . At 12.00 noon we had one of the worst bombings we have had to date . 2 waves of bombers broke through and dropped their bombs on our airfield . Some of them landed as close as 150 yards to our positions . Our anti-aircraft guns sent up a hell of a barrage , but did not hit any bombers . Our fighters hit them , but as yet I have no report as to the number downed . Our pilots are all new men and today was their first test under fire .,

1.30 p.m. One wave of bombers came over . During both raids they scored 12 direct hits on out steel runway with 1,000 lb bombs . Hit one B17 that was on the ground . 1.00a.m. to 5.00 a.m. We were shelled and bombed by the Japs . 18 soldiers and about 10 Marines were killed during the shelling . They hit several of our planes on the ground and set a fuel and munition depot afire . We were bombed 5 different times during the night . The Japs in the hills have artillery , with which they opened up on us . Our artillery let loose with a barrage which silenced them .

October 14th 1942
Password ; Blimy
One Marine shot himself early today . One soldier also shot and killed himself early today . 9.00 a.m. Air raid . No bombers came over . 11.31 a.m. Air raid . 25 Jap bombers came over and bombed hell out of our airport . Our fighters shot down 12 of them . 1.30 p.m. Air raid . 26 Jap bombers came over and bombed hell out of us . The closest one to me was about 75 yards away and that was too damn close . I thought an earthquake had hit us , the ground shook so much . 3 Marines were killed near us . I saw 3 planes go down from our anti-aircraft fire .

Our Battalion moved to new positions beyond the Lunga River , leaving my squad (7 men and myself) behind with the 164th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army . 2 soldiers were killed and 1 wounded by their own men . Before dawn a Jap ship pulled into the Bay and shelled hell out of us , scoring several hits on the airport . Total of 32 Jap planes shot down today .

October 15th 1942
Password ; Dill pickle
Left positions along the Tenaru that the Army took over and went up to positions along Lunga River . We were bombed twice and Zeros strafed . Company CP reported that we had sunk 2 Jap Transports and 3 burning and that WASHINGTON probably sank a battlewagon {battleship} . Some Jap troops managed to land . We got some new dive-bombers .

October 16th 1942
Password ; Hilly billy
Japs shelled us last night . Tompkins and Meredith were killed while lying on top of a gun emplacement and 2 wounded . Expected Jap attack that night .

October 17th 1942
Password ; log roller
Jap Zeros and dive-bombers are strafing and dive-bombing . Got new planes in . Anti-aircraft got 3 out of 5 bombers and 6 Zeros came down . Another air raid . 5 planes came over and we got them all . Light Cruiser shelled us for a while .

October 18th 1942
Password ; Lively
2 waves of Jap bombers came over . We got all the first wave , 8 bombers , and 5 out of 6 in the second .

October 19th 1942
Password ; Eleven o'clock
Torpedo boat got a Jap sub . We got 27 out of 31 bombers . We got 32 Jap ships so far in the latest sea battle . 12 new Grumans and 6 PBY's arrived . 14 more Jap bombers .

October 20th 1942
Password ; layable
Air raid . We didn't get a score , but we heard some dogfights . Jap artillery shelled us . That night a Jap bomber came over and dropped several bombs .

October 21st 1942
Password ; Townsville
In last 2 days we got 1 Battleship , 1 Cruiser and 4 Cans {Destroyers} . Our pilots got 2 whole waves of Jap bombers and 2 bombers and 6 Zeros from the third . We were cutting fire lanes . Air raid . That night we got 1 of the 2 Jap planes that came over .

October 22nd 1942
Password ; Lilly Langtree
General Holcomb {Marine Corps Commandant} is here today . Air raid . Shot down 4 Jap dive-bombers . Mail came in .

October 23rd 1942
Password ; Lucky Strike
Air raid  . Whistling Willy {Jap artillery} shelled us . Our guns fired at Jap artillery all night . It rained .

October 24th 1942
Password ; Yellow
We got 17 Zeros yesterday and 6 bombers . Japs attacked behind tanks on beach west of Kukum {Matanikau River sandbar} . 900 estimated dead Japs . 1 tank destroyed and 2 captured .

October 25th 1942
Password ; Holululu
Japs attacked last night again on our left flank across the river . Air raid . Zeros were strafing . We got 7 Zeros and 2 bombers . 3 Jap ships came into the harbour in the daytime . Another air raid . Strafing . 22 Zeros and 4 bombers and hits on 2 Destroyers .

October 26th 1942
Password ; Sultry
Japs attacked again last night and still fighting on our flank across the Lunga River . Our planes bombed and strafed them . . Jap ships started to shell us . Our Navy sunk 4 Jap ships ; 2 Cruisers , 2 Destroyers . Whistling Willy shelled us again . 32 Jap bombers were headed this way , but our planes intercepted them .

October 27th 1942
Password ; Philippines
Japs attacked again last night . No air raid . Mail came in .

October 28th 1942
Password ; William
Whole line opened up last night . Fast sea battle . We sank 51 {??} Jap ships . Included were 1 Battleship , 2 Carriers and another damaged .

October 29th 1942
Password ; Lilliputian
Dive-bombers knocked out another Jap artillery gun . Mail again . Quiet day for a change .

October 30th 1942
Password ; Lilac
3 of our Cruisers and 1 Destroyer shelled the Japs west of Kukum . Our ships got 2 Jap destroyers last night . Air raid . 10 Jap supply planes were knocked down . To date we have had 97 daylight raids . Mail again .

October 31st 1942
Password ; Lillian
Jap bomber came over last night . Cut brush out in front . No air raid . Army Regiment came in . Rained .

November 1st 1942
Password ; Ripple
We're supposed to secure the island today . Fortresses and dive-bombers were bombing them , fighters were strafing them and ships shelling them . 5 Battalions made the offensive .

November 2nd 1942
Password ; Pillbox
Two days ago 70 Jap bombers were headed this way . Planes from the ENTERPRISE intercepted them . The Army has 800 yards of front . 850 Japs hanging on the barb wire . 155mm's came in and part of 5th Defence (Btl) . Rained again .

November 3rd 1942
Password ; Parallel
Our planes shot down 104 over Stuart {????}Islands . Task force of 70 Jap ships was turned back by our Navy . Rained . Japs sneaked through our lines last night .

November 4th 1942
Password ; William
Cornered 3 Japs this morning . Would not surrender so we shot them . Metcalf and Burnett got one more . The Raiders came in  8th Marines and some of the Army .

November 5th 1942
Password ; Silly Billy
Air raid . Anti-aircraft got 4 bombers . All together we got 23 out of 24.

November 6th 1942
Password ; Quill
A wet day .

November 7th 1942
Password ; Lowly
3 Jap subs sneaked in and hit one of our cargo ships . We got 1 sub . We got 25 new Cobras , 16 Grumans and some dive-bombers . Rained.

November 8th 1942
Password ; Lucy Lake
Still raining . Last night our dive-bombers sank 1 Jap Cruiser , 2 Destroyers and damaged another . Also shot down 12 Jap planes .

November 9th 1942
Password ; Sulkily
Japs tried to land troops , but were driven off . Quiet day .

November 10th 1942
Password ; Slowly
Air raid . Planes were intercepted . Shot down 29.

November 11th 1942
Password ; Illegal
Air raid . 24 out of 34 Jap bombers . Mail came in .

November 12th 1942
Password ; Sally Blane
Air raid . Shot down 27 Jap dive-bombers . New planes today, including interceptors .

November 13th 1942
Password ; Sparkle
Air raid . 53 Jap bombers headed this way . Yesterday we knocked down 60 bombers . So far today we sank 7 Jap ships . One was a Battleship , another crippled . They sank 2 of our Cans {Destroyers} , 1 Cruiser and 2 ammo ships .The 2nd Jap Battleship that was crippled was sunk . Sank 2 Jap Cruisers and damaged 2 . Sank 5 to 8 Transports . Sank 7 Cans {Destroyers} and 5 damaged . Rained .

November 14th 1942
Password ; Lillian
Jap ships shelled us for half an hour . 2 Condition Reds , but only our planes came in . We sank a Jap Carrier with all planes aboard . We sank 2 Cruisers that shelled us last night . Also 10 troopships and {they are} trying to beach 4 . Whistling Willy is at it again . Last 48 hours we got 30 Jap ships . They got 8 of ours . Japs lost estimated 40,000 {???} men and we lost 1,500 . We got new planes . Slight rain .

From the 14th until now ,Sunday November 22nd , everything has been pretty quiet around Guadalcanal . During that time our Flying Fortresses took a trip to Rabaul to bomb the ships in the harbour . No report on results , but all our planes seemed to come back . A couple of nights ago the Japs hit the Army on our right flank west of Kukum , but were well taken care of . The rest of our boys that were lost in the jungle came back last night .

On December 18th 1942 we were relieved by the Army and went aboard the NORTON  A Dutch ship USAT . On the 18th , 19th , 20th and 21st we loaded and unloaded gear . At night we anchored in the Tulagi Harbour . On the night of the 22nd about 7.30 p.m. we pulled up anchor and saw the Solomon Islands fade in the darkness of the night .

Many of our buddies we hated to leave , because we know they will never leave . Now is December 24th , the day before Christmas , and we are still moving along . We pulled into Santos Harbour in the New Hebrides . We had chicken for Christmas Eve chow . This is Christmas the 25th and a beautiful hot sunny day . It sure is a beautiful sight . Disembarked from the NORTON over to the AMERICAN LEGION on the 26th of December at 2.30 p.m.

We left the New Hebrides on December 28th 1942 at 4.30 p.m. Arrived at Brisbane , Australia , Australia at 2.00 p.m. on January 1st 1943 . Left Brisbane Australia on January 4th 1943 . Arrived in Melbourne , Australia on January 26th 1943 and was put in the Melbourne Cricket Ground . Had good Liberty in Melbourne Australia .

During my stay here I caught Malaria . I was off duty for about 2 months . The Battalion went to Seymour on land manouvers . I missed that because of a bad foot . Went aboard the Australian ship the MANOORA and went on ship to shore manouvers . Left Melbourne and operated near Balcombe . The last morning of operations I had a close shave but came out without serious injury . The water was too cold for the men , so the manouver was called off and we came back to Melbourne . Left the Cricket Ground for Dandenong Camp , Rowville for rugged training .

                                                       DIARY ENDS

After Guadalcanal George served at Cape Gloucester before being
rotated home to the States in early 1944 to train MG Company replacements at Quantico. He served in the Marines until 1947 and then returned to Melbourne to marry his Australian girlriend.

I got to know George in 1997,but sadly he died in early 1998 before I could ask him about Guadalcanal in depth. He kept a diary on loose sheets of paper in pen and ink,which his son Michael has let me transcribe.

I have typed exactly what George wrote at the time.I wish I had been able to sit down with him and go through it entry by entry. Semper Fi George!