E Company 162 Infantry

by Sergeant Floyd West

 

Continued from Salamaua Campaign…

Landing on 22 April 1944 with 162 Infantry at Hollandia, I was assigned a bazooka. At 0750, E 162 led our 2nd Battalion from the west shore of Jautefa Bay to cut the track from Pim Village on the coast to Hollandia.

Across a narrow mangrove beach covered with Jap supplies, we entered a wide mangrove swamp, not shown on the sand table we had seen earlier. We had to walk on slippery mangrove roots above the mud - hardly 100 yards in an hour. I fell on my bazooka and bent it on a root. But with others' help, I managed to straighten it out between two trees.

Above us on the Pim-Hollandia Track, we saw a Jap heavy machine gun firing down the track from a shelf 10 feet above it. Cliffs behind and over the shelf protected the gun-crew. The crew never saw E 162, for they had never expected us to come in from the swamp upon their flank. We were well concealed on a slope 50 feet below.

I loaded a bazooka round and killed the heavy machine gun. That was my major action at Hollandia.

 

Continued on Biak Campaign…