Monday, February 15, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Mandell Newmark - January 1944

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them. If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post in the comments.

Below I continue the transcription of the war diary belonging to my great uncle, Mandell Newmark (1923-1945). I left off on New Year's Eve, 1943

January 8. The past week has been a hard one, we were out every day and a couple of the nights. We made landing after landing and I can say, all of us are a little tired of this crap and we are sure glad our training here ended yesterday. We had our last big problem yesterday, had breakfast at two. I did not sleep because we played cards until two and I was really tired. I won by the way $15.00.

About 3:30 we got on a LCU and spent the usual time in the water and made our landing at [?]. The problem was the same as the one a couple of weeks ago and we had to march across the island, and it just about killed me but I’m still alive and now waiting for that great thing in the army, “Saturday inspection.”

Jan 11. Things have been a little better lately, infact we have been doing nothing. We are now waiting to go back to Rocky and I think we will leave around Sat of this week. We have been going to shows in the evening and playing cards and relaxing during the day. The only thing bad is our mail is going on to Rocky.

Jan 14. Things are still the same, we leave tomorrow evening and all we have done this week is just take it easy. It’s a great life but the only trouble it only last for a week. The rumors now are we will be going up soon and that we have replacement waiting for us in Rocky.

Sunday Jan 16. We arrived back in Rocky, after that dirty, long and hot trip. It was even good to see the place again and that shower sure felt good. I’m sure glad to be back, infact it like home to me now. Tomorrow I plan on going into town and seeing the bright lights.

Jan 18. Here it is Tuesday and let me say this Rocky is plenty hot. We just finished having a show town inspection so it looks like we won’t be here too long. Marshall and I went into town last night and the town is still the same. No good. We saw the Tuckers and the were glad to see us back. I don’t think we will go in into the weekend now.

Fri Jan 24. We just came back from a two day problem and I’m a little tired. We left yesterday morning and it was really raining but we stayed out just the same. Made the attack Fri morning and then started back to camp. Arrived about 1:30 pm. It looks like we’re going to get the training now.

Mon. Jan 24. Here it is Monday morning after a pretty nice weekend. Ed and I went into Rocky Sat. went to a show and then out to the Tuckers. We spent the weekend there and Sat. evening some of the F friends came over and Ed played the piano. I slept late Sunday and just took it easy all day. Next week end the Tuckers are going to have a little birthday party for me.

Sat Jan 29. While I am waiting for inspection I will write you about the last two days. Thursday morning we went on a little hike and went out about 15 miles over the hills and mountains and under that damn hot sun. In the evening Stoll and I were sent to I Co. to act as aid men for the rest of the problem. After getting to I Co. we were told that I Co. was getting up at three A.M. to make an attack so it meant going to sleep right away. It rained all night and we got plenty wet because we did not have time to put up a tent. At 3 A.M. we were up and marched about 3 mi across country and at daylight my platoon made an attack. As we crossed the field running the guns were going off all around us and it seemed like real warfare. After we won the battle we started back and made it to camp around noon to find out we had to get ready for a dress parade. Will we ever stop marching? No!!!

January 31. Here it is my birthday and I am now a man. Gosh it feels great, who am I kidding? The weekend was spent at the Tuckers and they gave me a swell little party with friends of the Tuckers being there and the Hayward family. Ed and Dan went out with me and Ed played the piano all evening. I really enjoyed myself and will never forget my 21st Birthday. I spent Sunday there and just took thinks easy and the Hayward girls came over afternoon and evening.

This morning I awoke and it was really raining. Thank god because it saved us from going on a big hike.

I believe "Rocky" is Rockhampton, Australia. He was definitely stationed there, and spent most of his service there, as well as in Indonesia and the Philippines.

I'm not sure who the Tuckers or the Haywards were. It's likely "Ed and Dan" were Edward Maloney and Danny Stoll, and "Marshall" was "Richard Marshall", three of his friends in the service.

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