By Alex Kunevicius
After receiving his draft observe on March five, 1941, 21-year previous Alex Kunevicius harbored desires of becoming a member of George Patton's First Armored department. as an alternative, he used to be positioned in a noncombat military Ordnance corporation and taught to fix guns, an project within which he at the start observed little glory. After Pearl Harbor, besides the fact that, he and his fellow technicians proved quintessential by means of conserving American weapons firing in the course of the invasion of island after island within the South Pacific. during this memoir, Kunevicius recounts his reports as an ordnance guy, from the sea voyage to the Pacific Theater to years struggling with warmth and illness as his unit supplied severe upkeep for attacks on Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, and different goals whereas withstanding unending air raids and shelling. His memories provide a vibrant portrait of lifestyles in the back of the strains and show the big price of help positions to the conflict attempt.
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Additional resources for 585 Raids and Counting. Memoir of an American Soldier in the Solomon Islands, 1942–1945
On one occasion on a Sunday we drove to Dumbeia Valley to her brother’s farm. I met her brother, Ermond, his wife, Tesa and Jean’s father, the professor. He had a little mustache and a goatee; he looked like a professor. And there I met Jean’s little daughter. Her name was Jeanine. She was small, she had dark hair and she was very pretty. Her brother and his wife had no children. I thought perhaps that’s why little Jeanine was living there. 45 585 Raids and Counting Jean’s father spoke some English.
When we got to the main road, Jim turned the truck south. I settled in the front seat and Ralph got comfortable in the extra seat right behind me. S. Army vehicles, trucks, command cars, and jeeps. A safe travel speed was 20 to 25 miles per hour and in some places along the road you had to bring your speed down to a crawling pace. It was well known that some speed demon drivers with no brains drove their vehicles off the road into thousand foot ravines, never to be heard from again. We were about halfway to Nouméa at a high spot in the mountains when Jim double-clutched the truck and shifted into a lower gear to start the drive down a very long decline.
On the third day out of Panama we crossed the equator. The news came over the ship’s loudspeaker and it was a shock to some of the guys. Apparently we were not going to Hawaii or the Philippines as some of the men thought we were. Even though the ship was traveling southwest, the Philippines or Hawaii was our destination according to the rumor mongers. That rumor died instantly. As we crossed the equator the ship’s crewmen performed some sort of ceremony for the men, an old sailor’s tradition that called for dousing some with water as a blessing for crossing the line into the other side of the world, the bottom side.