|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, N Y. 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.