Arthur Savaloja WWII story

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JAPS WHO WOULDN'T STAY DEAD HARASSED YANKS This is the 2d in a series of 3 articles on combat experiences of American soldiers who fought in Kwa- jalein and the Palau Islands. They are based on stories first printed in the Army paper 'Midpacifican'. By Camp Newspaper Service Lessons learned in combat exert great influence on training doctrine. The reception and evaluation of information concerning battle experiences is the job of G -3, the operations and training division of the General Staff. Some of the reactions of individual soldiers to the fighting on Kwajalein and the Palau Islands are given below. The problem under consideration is the destruction of Jap pill-boxes. Sgt Paul K. Barry, assistant rifle squad leader reports: "The enemy pill-boxes and bunkers on Kwajalein Island were often connected by tunnels, which made it extremely hazardous to go inside a knocked-out emplacement to check it for enemy soldiers. The enemy would crawl into the tunnel while the bunker was being blown up, and then come out into the bunker again when things quieted down. It is better to burn them out and then cover up the opening." From S Sgt George H. Kolbe, rifle squad leader: "Our first night on the island was one of many experiences. We had all dug in and made preparations to spend the night. Just as it got dark, we had a pretty good scare. A bunker was located in the center of our area, out of which ran about 6 Japs. During the day, that particular bunker was grenaded quite a few limes. In fact, our outfit had dropped 8 grenades into it. "The only way you can make sure of those bunkers is to burn them or blow them sky high. The Japs can take a lot of punishment and are harder than hell to kill. A bunker that is leveled with the ground is the only good bunker." S Sgt Arthur Savaloja, rifle squad leader, has the floor: "We found an interesting use for the smoke grenade on the aiternoon of Feb 4. "The engineers who worked with our squad on a large bunker were having quite a time. They had thrown a satchel charge inside the bunker, waited, and nothing happened. They tried another with the same result. 'We knew live Japs were inside and that gave one of . ,,'*; ;ui iava. He threw a smoke grenade into the bunker first, then, when the interior was full of smoke, another satchel charge was tossed inside and a huge explosion followed. The <-ngmo<.r had. figured that the Japs were finding the satchel charges and pulling the fuses until they were blinded by the smoke of the grenade." Sgt Myles Champion, assistant squad leader: "In this particular case, we were advancing behind the 2d battalion when we stopped near a pill-box. Assuming everything was already cleared out by the front line troops, we failed to take cover and bunched up like bananas on a stalk. About the time we decided to do some checking up, the Japs beat us to the draw by appearing just out of the entrance to the pillbox and firing a few shots at a very surprised bunch of dogfaces. Mr. Sanjo could have made it bad for us had he been more of a marksman and had we been lacking several fast- thinking men."

Clipped from
  1. The Gruber Guidon,
  2. 08 Dec 1944, Fri,
  3. Page 2

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