Yanks at Home and Abroad - 6 April 1945
Eastern Command, USSTAF, Somewhere in the Soviet Union—Reverse lend-lease in the form of a good-will gesture was made here recently when 1st Sgt. Peter F. Sabakar of the Red Army painted a portrait of President Roosevelt to accompany one of Marshal Stalin. Both portraits now hang on the stage of a theater built jointly by American and Russian GIs.
Sgt. Sabaker, a self-taught artist, did the job in one day from a photograph that appeared in Stars & Stripes. He has been in the Soviet Army since the beginning of the war, was awarded the Medal for Courage and was recently retired from active duty because of a bad bullet wound in his hand. -s9t. samuei chavkin
YANK Field Correspondent
1st Sgt. Morris Hornstein (center) turns postman for Pfc. Godin (left) and Pfc. Cerrato outside The Tent.
Home Is Where You Make It
New Hebrides—In the beginning it was just another GI pyramidal tent. Now it’s known as The Tent and is the home of Pfc. Gerald Godin of Auburn, Maine, and Pfc. Mike Cerrato of New York City. It has easy chairs, a chicken yard, vegetable and flower gardens and even a mailbox.
Around the front is a white picket fence, with a latticed arch for a gateway. The tent has neatly screened sidewalls. The smooth floor is painted red and white in a checkerboard design. On one side is a kitchen cabinet, equipped with a Coleman stove. On another side is a writing desk with chair to match. About the only things lacking are a piano and the little woman.
The furniture was all made by Godin, a former shipyard worker. Cerrato is responsible for the landscaping details.
Oh, yes. There is also a boarder. He’s the first sergeant, who came to dinner one night and has lived there ever since. _sgt. james goble
YANK Staff Correspondent
Rough on Rats
Mindoro, Philippines—Before the war, the owner of the land on which this AAF Squadron built its camp spent $13,000 to clear the area of rats. He was not successful.
The rat situation is so bad on the field that special measures have had to be devised. The I & E Section advertised for a cat because rats were eating their recordings. T/Sgt. Robert C. Wilson and T/Sgt. Lloyd R. Newton built an electronic rat trap, which can electrocute 10 rats at a time. They bait their trap with pork, bacon, corn kernels or cookies. They refuse to use bully beef because they say they don’t want to torture the rats, they just want to kill them.
Right now the two men are working on a new model with a mirror arrangement and light beam, to check the height, weight and resistance of each rat. The measuring devices will be (looked onto a voltmeter, which will give small jolts to small rats and large jolts to large rats. The inventors say the saving in juice will be sensational.
T-5 Robert J. Keegan is another who considers the use of bully beef for bait unsportsmanlike. He believes, however, that it is unbeatable in its tin jacket for individual combat with the enemy, in an official combat report, written after an engagement with , a rat that was after a sandwich Keegan was eating, he wrote: “The enemy came up from 7 o’clock. I executed an evasive turn, completed it with a snap roll to the left and, as expected, found the enemy in my sights. I used a deflection shot consisting of one two- second burst from my bully-beef can. The enemy took the burst square in the motor and spiraled and when last seen was flaming toward the ground. My camera was not functioning at the time, but Fit. Lt. (T-5 Leon) Shippie, my wing man, will confirm the victory.”
The squadron newspaper, Mud-n-Dust, spoke for everyone when it said in a flaming editorial: “We will fight them in our tents; we will fight them in the company streets; in the latrine; the mess hall. We will never surrender!”
-Sgt. RAY FORER YANK Reid Correspondent
Amazon Valley Post
Somewhere in the Amazon Valley—This emer- gency-landing strip is 300 miles from nowhere in a land nobody wants, but it is home to the GIs stationed here.
The oldest living resident, S/Sgt. Lonnie Williams of Indianapolis, Ind., has sweated it out for 16 months. The nearest settlement is Amapa, which can be reached by a two-hour boat ride through crocodile- and snake-infested swamps. It consists only of a couple of rows of native grass shacks.
Hunting leads the’ extra-curricular pastimes. One day some GIs brought back a 17-foot anaconda weighing 187 pounds. Other game includes crocodiles, panthers and leopards.
The climate is also ducky. Rainfall during the December-April season exceeds 160 inches. The entire area becomes a sticky steaming bog, and clothing, bedding, everything mildews. Barracks are built up on pilings like the native huts.
There is a meagerly stocked PX, movies are shown two or three times a week and the chow isn’t bad. But that’s all, brother. That’s all.
-Sgt. DON COOKE YANK Staff Correspondent
With the Fifth Army, Italy—Sgt. Charles Hooper of Woodsfield, Ohio," is not a mess sergeant. He is NCO in charge of a gun section with the 175th Field Artillery, 34th Division. All of which is probably why he has had enough imagination to defy the instructions on his ration wrappers and develop a new dish for winter warfare.
The wrapper on the chocolate bars shipped to the Fifth Army front read “Tropical Chocolate.” Sgt. Hooper could read and he knew he wasn’t in the tropics. “It just didn’t seem to apply here,” says Sgt. Hooper. “Since it didn’t apply here, I decided to make ice cream out of mine. I chipped the bar up fine, mixed it with some condensed milk and topped it off with some good, clean snow. When I whipped the mixture up, out in the cold, it became ice cream.” As easy as that.
-CpI. NATHAN S. LEVY YANK R*ld Correspondent
A Difference in Rank
With the First Convoy to. China Over the Ledo-Burma Road—At one of the many parties thrown for the officers and men of the convoy on its way through China, a member of the Chinese Army was placed as host at each table of GIs.
At one table a GI driver began calling the Chinese Army man “Butch” and getting very chummy, although neither could speak more than a few words of the other’s language. Finally the host asked the GI, “What is your commission in the Army, sir?”
The GI grinned and replied, “Corporal. What’s yours, Butch?”
The Chinese Army man had to get an interpreter to find out what the GI said, then he answered, “Lieutenant general, sir.”
“Geez,” said the GI later. “It’s good he doesn’t know what a corporal is.” _5gt dave richardson
YANK Staff Correspondent
With the 41st Division, the Philippines— Men of the 186th Infantry, who captured Puerto Princessa Palattan, the westernmost point thus far in our Pacific advance, unearthed three huge pits filled with the charred bodies of Jap- massacred American PWs.
The story of what happened to these men was told by nine of their number who escaped. One was Pvt. Glenn Weddell McDole, who fought with the 4th Marines on Corregidor. McDole stated that the 40 Americans had congregated in pits used as air-raid shelters, after the airraid warning had sounded.
“Then I looked out of my pit and saw a Jap captain come running followed by about 50 Jap soldiers armed with light machine guns and rifles and carrying buckets. I ducked back into my pit, when all of a sudden an explosion sounded, and I heard men screaming and the sound of machine guns. One man looked out of the pit and said, ‘They are murdering the men in A Company pit.’ I looked out and saw one man coming out in a sheet of flame, and he was shot down with a machine gun.”
McDole and some others managed to get out of their pit through a prepared escape hatch, just before the Japs threw a bucket of gasoline and a torch into it. They hid under a pile of rubble on the beach as the Japs went up and down killing all the prisoners they could find.
“About 30 meters down the beach I could see six Japs with an American in the center who was being slowly tortured with bayonets while another Jap joined the group with a bucket and torch. The American screamed in such a high voice I could hear him. Then I could see them pour gasoline on one foot and burn it, then the other until he collapsed. Then they poured gasoline on his body and set it afire.”
The nine prisoners known to have escaped swam the bay and were picked up by guerrillas. The statements made by all—some sailors, some marines and some soldiers—were identical except for minor details. _Cpt. john F. McLEOD
YANK Staff Correspond*!)!
ALTITUDE. GIs of the Seventh Army in France pay a visit to Georges Kieffer, "Giant of Alsace." He is 8 feet 6'A inches tall, weighs 268 pounds and wears a size 26 shoe. The Nazis didn't draft him because they figured his upkeep would cost too much.