|Eau Claire Army Captain Tells of Mad Jap Charge|
|Stanley Sergeant Hero of Break Through|
|BY FRED HAMPSON
A BATTALION OUTPOST, AITAPE, DUTCH NEW GUINEA, August 10 (Delayed) (AP) —Japanese forces trapped at Wewak attacked a few days ago in such terrific strength that they smashed into the center of the Americans' Driniumor River line, virtually isolating two Yank battalions.
The Yanks finally escaped by fighting down the Anamo Trail, the sole escape avenue. It was bitter and bloody, and the losses were pretty bad.
Afterward, when that ground was retaken and the bodies counted, old GI Joe was a Big Leaguer compared to the Japanese. One American company killed the enemy at a ratio of 15 to 1.
Although the Americans were trapped and were fighting to free themselves, several Japanese came in, waving white flags. Tank destroyers fumbled through the jungle, were led to Japanese gun emplacements by scouts, and shot them up.
Heroes came in job lots. There was Lieutenant Fred J. Seiter of Utica, NY. He saw one of his men felled by an enemy sniper. Spitting contemptuously between his teeth, he strode forward and carried the man 60 exposed yards to safety, as the sniper peppered away.
The Japanese used all their tricks. There were "banzai" charges. Sometimes they charged to the blast of a bugle.
They always massed behind a small front, a couple of hundred yards, and attacked in waves until every last one of them had been used," said Captain Harry Lusk, Eau Claire, WI.
"They don't care a damn about losses. What makes it so tough, they usually kept coming until all forward outfits were out of ammo."
There were night snoopers. Some came laden with dynamite, trying to blast artillery. None succeeded, and all were killed.
Stanley Man a Hero
Technical Sergeant Carroll Booth of Stanley, WI led the forward platoon of the assault company which spearheaded the battalion's effort to break through and rejoin its regiment.
As they neared the enemy trail block, some members of the platoon hesitated; wavered. Some crawled back. The moment had come when the platoon either broke and ran or reached into its reservoir of courage and went on. It was up to Booth.
The Sergeant raised himself from the jungle undergrowth and opened up with his Tommy gun, striding slowly forward. He almost fell into a foxhole containing three Japanese. He killed them and went on. The wavering platoon followed, taking courage from its leader.
They fired and inched forward. Finally, Captain George Hess, Edgerton, WI, brought up reinforcements. They slugged it out for half an hour, until some tank destroyers got in. Then the Japanese broke, rolled back into the jungle; the assault company dashed onto the breach, cleared the flanks—the escape road was open.
Booth? He didn't get a scratch.
Additional Information Submitted by Audree Ayres, Eau Claire
T/SGT. CARROL C. BOOTH RECEIVES SILVER STAR AWARD
Technical Sergeant Carroll C. Booth, Infantry, U.S. Arnyc has been awarded the Silver Str, a Presidential citation, for gallantry in action near New Guinea, on July 13, 1944. Sgt Booth led his platoon across a cree, and there, under heavy enemy machine gun fire reformed his men in a skirmish line. He then led his platoon in a series of rushes against fixed enemy positions in the face of heavy fire. He himself killed three of the enemy with his submachine gun. Sgt. Booth's courageous and inspiring leadership contributed materially to the success of the attack.
CARROL BOOTH WRITES TO THE HOME FOLKS
Well, I guess I will drip you one of my notes again, I guess it wouldn't be right to call them letters as there is so little in them.
Suppose you know we have been in combat, but now are back in a rest area. I've seen a few dog fights. It's quite a thrill to see the Zeros peel off and go down in flames. It seems to happen to them much more often than to our planes.
There isn't much more to write about as far as “shop” is concerned.
There's a large group of natives just passing by. Seems to be composed mostly of women. They carry some terribly big loads. They have a net that sort of fits over their head and forms a bag on their back. This bag is filled with fruit and cocoa nuts and the weight is all carried on their head. There's a few men who always go along on these parties to keep the women moving. They usually have a little naked baby astride their neck. Thats about all they carry. Some of the men have on sock on or a shoe or maybe a cartridge belt they've picked up some where. It's quite amusing to watch them There are some pitiful things to see, too. There;s a little bridge over a small gully here. It is not very sturdy and has a lot of holes in it. An old man with a stick has just felt his way across. He must be blind from the way he taps his way forward. One native woman was afraid to cross the bridge so she waded across. Some of the little kids, only big enough to walk it seems, cross this bridge faster than I dare myself.
Hope everyone at home is okay as I am. Must sign off now,
P.S. Have been promoted to Staff Sergeant.