New Year's Day on a troop train. I've seen all of Texas I want to. Nothing but plains all day. Saw the Rio Grande River and old Mexico.
New Mexico and Arizona today. Ate lunch in Solomon's home town, Tucson, Arizona. Entered California tonight.
Going up through California today. San Bernardino Valley. Very beautiful country. Pulled into San Francisco right after dark. Saw Golden Gate Bridge.
Pulled into Camp Stoneman last night. It's a paradise compared to Claiborne. Fine meals. Milk and cereal and things we had forgotten existed.
Took a 12 mile hike up into the mountains today. Full packs, gas masks and rifle. Boy! I have my fill of mountains after that.
Talk going around that we're pulling out soon. Don't know where or how though.
Ate early lunch today and hiked to Pittsburgh and boarded ferry there. Probably take us to San Francisco. Pulled out at 1:15 P.M.
Arrived San Francisco. yesterday 7 P.M. Boarded 4th largest luxury liner in the world, S. S. Mauretania. Pulled out of San Francisco today 2:15 P.M. On our way.
This is some ship. We're on "A" deck, four decks from the top, but one of the best. The part of the ship out of the water is higher than a five story building.
Still looking the ship over. Has bars, dance halls, libraries, sports decks, gym, theater, cafe, everything to support a city the population of Madisonville.
We're having fine weather. Life boat drills about every other day. Lots of sea sick boys on board.
We still feel a little wary of submarines, but beginning to forget all about them. Should arrive in Pearl Harbor tomorrow.
Sighted Hawaii about 6 A.M. Steamed by ships sunk in Jap raid. Anchored right by battleship lying on the side.
Pulled out of Pearl Harbor about 11 A.M. Very beautiful country. All afternoon the sea has been smooth as glass.
The ship went closer to the Solomon's today than they intended today. Firing was reported heard.
It's getting hotter every day. We're right near the equator.
We crossed the equator today. That's a very special occasion and honor.
We cross the international date line today, so gain a day, missing January 29th. So I won't have a birthday this year.
No such day for us. This will be something to remember.
We arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, today 11 A.M. Cleanest and prettiest looking city I've ever seen. Some of the fellows hiked.
We took a hike through Wellington today. Very beautiful. People very friendly. Girls came out to talk to us easily. They all admire Americans. One lady at Wellington, New Zealand, said when they saw the Americans coming they felt as safe as though there wasn't a war going on.
Steamed out of Wellington today at 12:30 P.M. Sorry to leave there. I'd rather been stationed there than anywhere in the world.
The sea is very rough today and wind so strong and cold you can hardly stay on deck.
Sea is rougher than ever today. Waves coming two stories high.
Two destroyers met us this morning and formed an escort.
Docked at Freemantle, W. Australia, tonight at 7:30 P.M. Australian soldiers' band playing on the docks for us.
People friendly. Threw money, fruit, watermelons to us. A train load of girls gave a dance expecting us, but we couldn't get shore leave.
American motion pictures are shown here the same as New Zealand. Freighter beside us had been bombed 800 miles from port. Pulled out 7 A.M. Had four destroyers as escort (one Dutch and three French) and two Aussie bombers.
Indian Ocean now. Lots of flying fish. Weather warm
Most beautiful sunset I've ever seen, with a perfect calm on the ocean. Recrossed equator.
Boy! It's fun working with these Army nurses. They're very pretty, too.
A beautiful sunrise this morning. Ocean still as peaceful as a pond. Lt. Tanning paid me $6 for orderly during trip.
Just received another $5 tip. We're expected to reach Bombay sometime tomorrow afternoon. I'll sure hate to leave this ship.
Pulled into Bombay, India, at 10 A.M. Dropped anchor about 2 miles out.
Natives in small boats all around selling fruit, etc. I bought a hammock from one. They're dressed just as you see in books of India.
Transferred to a smaller ship today, "Rajala British." Received shore leave. City very pretty, except for the natives. Very few white people.
The Rajala pulled out into the bay today and anchored close to the Mauretania to wait for rest of the Company.
At 2:10 P.M. we pulled anchor and steamed out of Bombay with three other troop ships.
We're in the Arabian Sea now. On our last lap. The food on this boat is filthy. Cooked by natives. Has bugs, weevils and everything in it.
Saw several whales today. Also lots of sharks. Have boat drills every morning.
Have a famous Flying Boat with us. It took part in the sinking of the Graf Spee. Sank several subs, ships, and been riddled with bullets.
We sighted Oman on our port side today, entering the Persian Gulf.
The ship's gun crew had target practice today. Shooting at a kite high in the air, towed along by the ship.
Dropped anchor at 8 A.M. Waiting to go into port with tide. 10 A.M. A North American B 26 bomber flying Russian insignia flew about our ship doing all sorts of stunts. Went up the Euphrates 12 noon.
Disembarked this morning and set up camp until arrangements are made to move the shop. Nomad camp 100 yards from us.
Heard jackals last night. Straightened up camp today. Russian planes flying over all day. Very low.
We'll certainly get fat if we stay here. Plenty of good food to eat. Loafing around.
I trained all night and today. We're walking in mud and water up to our knees and slipperier than ice. Solomon drew guard today, of all the times to do it.
Still loafing and eating good. Just waiting to move on inland. It's hard to get up at 6:15 A.M. and stand in that cold and mud for reveille.
Sunday, but just another day to us. Two engines ready now. Should be ready to move in three or four days. Almost froze to death last night.
Received $50 yesterday. It amounted to $1600 in Iranian money. We're certainly millionaires over here.
Our first diesel engine moved out today. It makes us feel good. Pioneers in Diesel Railroading.
Another diesel pulled out today with our advance detail. We're expecting to pull out tomorrow but tonight the entire camp was put under quarantine.
Very sick all day. I didn't get up for anything, not even chow.
Still sick. Can't write much. Came to hospital about 8:30 P.M. First Sgt. tried to make me get up but I refused to.
Beginning to see a few things around me now. Very pretty nurses.
Nurses take great pains to see that you are as comfortable as possible.
It feels good to have a real bed with mattress and sheets and a pillow to sleep on.
Letting me walk around a little now.
Had a motion picture tonight. I was not supposed to go, but I did. Makes you homesick to hear that music and think of what you're missing.
Nothing new today.
Solomon came today. He's in for bronchitis. Everywhere one of us goes seems like the other one must go, too.
Had a relapse today. Put back to bed. I still say this country is no place for a white man.
Natives working in here now putting up partitions. Can't rest for them.
These natives are going to drive me crazy. My head has been about to split wide open. Hurts continuously, day and night.
Started giving me some sort of sulfur pills about the size of a wagon wheel.
Worse today. Rolled all night with fever, headache, and it seems as though I can't stand it another minute.
Doctor thinks maybe the pills are making me worse. Stopped them today.
Rested easier last night.
Up and about again. Hospital is a very pretty place.
Saw picture tonight. "Orchestra Wives" with Glenn Miller. Swell picture.
Tonsils becoming inflamed again, but going to tell the Doc I want out. I can suffer on the outside as well as in here.
They released me today. Returned to the Company. Have had fever all day and throat and neck so sore it's awful.
Little better today although my throat is so sore I can hardly turn it. Taking things easy though.
Improving steadily. Lt. Black is very considerate. Wants me to rest all I need to. Not many officers would think of a fellow like that.
Driving around in the truck with Saylor today. Getting the layout of the Camp. Hope my camera gets here O.K. Hardly think it has a chance though.
Russia is certainly getting an enormous amount of equipment from the U.S. Every kind imaginable.
These Arabian and Persian kids go crazy over a magazine. I have a lot of fun showing them the pictures.
We took off to Basra, Iraq last night AWOL 27 miles across desert. It's a very nice town. People dress as we do. Girls very good looking. We were in a dark street and saw M.P.'s coming towards us. We turned around and started back through the dark street. Four natives were carrying a stiff in a sack and laid him down on the sidewalk of the street. We had our choice of going on by those guys or facing the M.P.'s. We took the natives.
I've seen some cute little girls and boys here. If they were only cleaned and dressed as they should be.
Easter Sunday. We're working as usual, though. I began to feel ill this afternoon.
It looks like I have dysentery. Boy, I feel awful.
Have been passing blood all night and day. This is the rottenest country on the map. Not fit for a snake to live in.
There a lots of Polish refugee women here. Also Russian. They're the only white women we see.
Talked to a Russian officer today. He was very nice. Admired our American products.
Same old thing every day. Boy, how I hate this place. Not a single place to go restaurant, town, or anything.
If the people at home could only see how these people live. Rotten, filthy and no standard of living whatsoever.
Cut me a pair of shorts out of my khaki trousers today. Sergeant gave me the devil but I told him what I thought of him, and the rest of this Army.
Pay day again. First time I've been paid since we came across.
Made a trip up the line tonight. One of our engines had six hot boxes. Certainly glad we didn't meet any of those Arabs in the desert.
I bought a Hamilton wrist watch from an American sailor today. Practically the same as the one I left home.
A guard and three or four other soldiers in the Battalion we're attached to were attacked by natives last night and cut up seriously. It isn't safe to be out at night alone.
We had a concert last night put on by the Russians.
Had our first casualty the other day. Fellow my age from Paducah. Swell guy. Found him on the railroad cut up. Can't understand how he was killed.
We only have about 17 diesels to go. Boy! I hope we head for home then. It's almost unbearable here with the heat and filth and diseases.
Truck ran over my foot last night. Guard at the station killed an Arab last night. The body lay there all day long today swelling up in all this heat. He was stealing sugar.
Not many more diesels left now. Rumors are that we'll be pulling out then. Might go to either Africa, China, Alaska, or Syria.
Dust storms have been terrific here the last two days. Sometimes impossible to see 50 ft. in front of you. This whole country is sickening.
Lord, what a country! A hog is cleaner than these people. Filthiest rottenest creatures that ever lived. No civilization at all hardly.
Excitement aplenty. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment destroyed by fire at G.M.C. plant. We were fighting all afternoon trying to get flames under control. Sabotage.
Almost hit by a train yesterday morning. Only about 6 ft. clearance when I got my truck across the tracks from the oncoming train.
Took our trucks from us yesterday. Solomon and I don't have much to do now but lay around wishing this war was over. Our new trucks are in.
Brought us down a truck from Ahwaz today. Rides like a new automobile compared to the others.
Almost got a coolie today. He was against the bumper when I stopped. Only one truck now. Solomon gone to work with the fellows.
Twenty hour day for me yesterday. I don't want much more of that. Sand storms getting worse. Today at times impossible to see five yards ahead of me.
Feeling very ill again. Boy! If we don't leave this country soon there isn't going to be anything left of me.
Running a temperature of 103.8°. This sun together with that is blistering. Was taken to the hospital tonight.
Feel good here at the hospital anyway.
The two night nurses are swell and are they beauties.
I finally wormed it out of the doctor what I have. Some sort of blood disease called infectious mononucleosis.
Released me today. I'll probably be back in there in a couple of months, though.
I talked to a Russian boy today. He was in the battle for Stalingrad. Saw his mother and dad both killed. Buried his mother himself. He was wounded and only one to escape in his party.
Everything's rushing at full speed now. Only have ten more diesels and about a thousand cars. We're all planning on being home for Christmas. Anywhere in the U.S. will be home.
I didn't do much today. Still recuperating from my second sickness. Slept till 10 this morning.
We're having shows regularly now. It's the only amusement we have in this forsaken place.
Ran all over this part of the country today trying to find a belt for my truck. Spare parts are almost as hard to get here as a T bone steak.
Temperature 167° today. Getting pretty warm
Finished our last diesel today. All of them came over safely. Part of our fellows are going to Ahwaz tonight.
Getting ready to move to Ahwaz. I'll have to find me a new Arabian girl I guess.
Left at 12:15 last night. We traveled in a box car, about fifteen of us. It wasn't bad, though, but I'll never forget that night.
Well we're back with this no good sergeant and officers. Everything's got to be done just as they say.
We go into town here anytime we want to. It's a little better than Khorramshahr. At least there's an English canteen we can go to for eats.
Went out by myself last night. Coming back to camp I had a long stretch to walk down the railroad yards in the dark. Maybe you think I didn't feel funny.
Went to Andimeshk as guard on a truck of equipment today. One hundred miles across the desert. It isn't safe on that desert. Natives will shoot you for a dime.
Boy! Some of these Polish refugee gals are sure beauties. They have them in the N.A.A.F.I. now. Some can speak a few words of English.
One of our fellows was cut and beat up by natives last night. In the hospital in serious condition.
It's getting hotter than blue blazes here. I certainly agree that this is the worst place on earth.
Temperature 143°. Sandstorms you can't see 10 ft. in.
These Polish girls would make an American girl look silly when it comes to making a good wife.
Received my first letter from Gladys since April today. Boy, it felt good to hear from her.
Well, this is supposed to be our hottest month, though I don't see how it can be any hotter. The hospitals are full of heat cases.
You walk into the mess hall and it feels like you're walking into an air conditioned building, but still the temperature runs from 110° to 120° in there.
Went Gazelle hunting today. Boy, is that fun! Tearing across the desert 50 miles an hour, zigzagging, trying to get close enough to shoot. We got ten in our truck.
Gazelle hunting again today. Most sport I've ever had. Smitty got lost and we sent out a search party. Found him with two flat tires.
We're spending nearly all our money on watermelons now. We have to eat something and this canned GI stuff isn't fit for a hog.
Excitement aplenty today. First, I get stuck out on the desert in the sand, miles from anyone. Then late this afternoon hit a drosky (taxi), or rather it hit me. The drosky hit me on the side of the truck (a 5 tonner). I stopped and saw the front of the drosky was torn to pieces and both horses laying in the street. In about a half minute I think three fourths of the population was around me. That's when I tore out for camp, before they got too riled up and before the M.P.'s caught me. I kept the truck wide open all the way and made every short cut and alley I could find, expecting every second to hear an M.P. behind me. Reached Camp O.K. though, and had a trip ticket made out in my name just in case.
Had a full eclipse of the moon here last night. The natives worried about it and said it told of big battles and wars going on somewhere. Ha!
Went to Khorramshahr again today. Left right the heat of the day. Boy, that desert's awful. Coming back tonight our lights went out halfway here and we met a convoy.
Another trainload of Polish refugees left tonight. They're certainly living a hard life. Losing everything they love. Being herded around like cattle.
Received greatest news of the war tonight. Italy surrendered unconditionally.
We had a swell show tonight. Jack Benny, Winnie Shaw, Anna Lee and Larry Adlers. Boy, was Winnie a beauty!
We had a dance at the Officer's Club tonight with the Polish girls. They were all very beautiful girls and friendly, too.
I was gigged on inspection again today. I haven't seen Radamacher yet, so I don't know what he's going to do.
We had one of the worst sand storms today since we've been over here. Blew all afternoon. A regular gale and I had to drive through it all.
My sinus is killing me again. It started right under my left eye lash and now working up my forehead.
Sinus is worse than ever today. A almost passed out this morning. The pain is terrible.
My sinus is still giving me trouble. Through the day, it's all I can do to keep going.
Had a swell time tonight. Our Company had another party with the Polish girls. I drove them and had two girls in the front seat and a soldier. Boy, was she a beauty. Hope we meet again.
Had a dance at R.A.F. base tonight, but couldn't go. Whole Motor Pool was drunk and I was on duty. This is the swellest bunch of guys you could have, here in the Motor Pool.
Bill Gremling and I went to the Polish camp tonight. Met three girls. They couldn't speak any English, but we got along. They sang for us.
Picked up a couple of beautiful Polish girls tonight. The best thing was they could speak very good English.
M.P.'s caught me tonight at the Polish girl's camp. Brought me to camp and let me go.
Borrowed 1000 rials to go to Tehran Friday. Still having fun with the weapons carrier. I love to get a Sergeant in it.
Had three good scares in my weapon's carrier today. I get a kick out of giving these guys the ride of their lives. Some are scared to ride with me.
Finally got my leave. Left for Tehran tonight on the mail train.
Traveled all day today. Reached Tehran this evening. Can't leave camp until morning, though.
Tehran isn't bad at all. Very expensive, though. We met a Polish girl working in the American Bar that we're all crazy about. Tashua.
This is our last day. Just getting going good today.
Left at 8 this morning.
About 6 hrs late on account car burned last night on a freight and held up traffic. Reached Ahwaz about 2 P.M.
Rode my first motorcycle today. Fun! Had her wide open in 2nd the first time I got on it.
We're changing Colonel's now. The one we had was bad enough, and this one's no better.
Celebrated the first anniversary of our Battalion today. No work. Topped it off with a dance, in our new recreation hall, with the Polish girls.
Temperature still reads 120° but seems cool after passing through that terrible summer.
I chauffeured our Colonel up to Andimeshk today. Solomon came along as guard.
Loafed all morning. We all went out to Dizful this afternoon. Oldest city in the world. Started for Ahwaz 2:30 P.M.
Bad luck today. Burned up the motor in one of the one and one half ton trucks. Boy, did it make the mechanic mad. It'll give him something to do for a change.
Finally got a top on "Leapin Lena." Best little job in the bunch.
Had some fun tonight. Started in the gate with Lt. and saw Capt. so we lit out in the desert. Lt. didn't want Capt. to know he had the truck.
More sabotage. We heard sirens and jumped on the fire truck. Was ammunition car. Bullets already exploding. Five men blew up in one big blast. It was awful. Several of our men hit by flying shrapnel four officers and about twenty men in our outfit. Lt. near death. We were about 100 yards from it when it went off and dived underneath the trucks. Huge shrapnel flew everywhere, buildings and all.
Had a little fun yesterday. Pulled out with my weapons carrier just after dinner for the Polish camp. It seemed about all the girls were out. Kept the truck out all afternoon.
Lt. Hovins died today 2 P.M. Best man in the outfit. It would have to be him instead of some of the other officers in here. Lt. Mann is still critical. May need amputation.
Rained cats and dogs last night. First rain in almost 8 months. Woke up about 4:30. Wind blowing and rain coming through the roof all over us. Mud and water. What a country!
More Polish refugees came in yesterday. We'd be all set if there was only someplace to take them, besides just driving.
Pinched by the M.P.'s again today. Those guys just wait for you to come along.
Had an alert tonight, but Hostetler and I were out running around in his truck. We sure expected to get called up for it, too.
Bill Gremling has left for home. The lucky guy. He's certainly a happy boy.
Had a close call with the M.P.'s tonight. They just missed spotting me with a Polish girl in the truck.
Rumors are still going that we are leaving for India soon. Some say Italy. I hope it is Italy. Sabotage today. Warehouse burned.
Driving tonight. Lt. Daugherty came in so drunk he could hardly walk. I had to put up with him nearly all night.
Another trainload of Polish refugees came in tonight. More gals running around here than you can shake a stick at.
One day extra guard duty today. Dug a ditch. Another dance with the Polish gals tonight. Over one hundred.
The dance went over big last night. You can sure have a lot of fun with Polish girls.
Two weapons carriers went gazelle hunting today. One didn't come back. We organized a searching convoy at 3 P.M. It was 1:30 A.M. before we found them stuck in a swamp.
Another native knocked off by a truck today. It's a wonder there isn't more of them killed.
Boy, I'm a homesick guy today! Every time I look at my pictures of the folks, I just hurt all over. Will this thing never end?
I'm on night duty now for a week. I hope I can keep it steady. More chance to get by the officers this way.
Thanksgiving Day! No difference here, though. We did have canned chicken, ice cream, pie and cake for supper.
Boy! I have a lot of fun with Lt. Daugherty and Lt. Black. They're two regular guys.
Rumors that Roosevelt and Churchill in Tehran. I see by the news they left Africa last week for an unknown destination. It's probably true. They're probably here to meet Stalin.
Trainload of Polish refugees pulling out tonight. Sure hate to see them go. They're the only people around here civilized they way we are.
Fresh meat today. Wild Boar. Really good, too. Best thing of all, though, was the fresh butter, straight from the states. I never tasted anything so good.
We had fresh roast beef and butter tonight from the U.S. Best meal I've had in a long time. We're supposed to get it every day from now on.
Heard yesterday over the radio that Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met somewhere in the Middle East. Bet anything they're in Tehran. All trains in and out of Tehran have been cut off for a week. No military personnel allowed in.
All the big shots were in Tehran alright. Wonder what will come of it. Sure had the town well guarded. Russian, Indian and American soldiers with tommy guns everywhere.
A P 47 Douglas Bomber landed while I was getting ice, so I drove over to watch. They're sure sending Russia a lot of planes and material.
Rog celebrated his 11th wedding anniversary tonight. Three fourths of the Motor Pool was drunk, so I had to drive again.
Went to Ahwaz today to have my picture taken to send home. I'll bet they look awful. Boy, what a stinking, no good town!
The Polish Army sure has some pretty bugle calls. You can hear them here. They blow some call at 5 A.M. I head it just now, with drums. Cold morning, moon bright.
I tried my weapons carrier out against a Mac today. Came out on the better end, though. Only bent my bumper and cracked my windshield. Broke his bumper.
Received package from Charlie today. Couldn't have been better, either.
Received package from Mom & Dad today. It was swell, too. Everything done up in Christmas paper and ribbons. Makes a guy so home sick he doesn't feel like living.
Raining off and on the last three days. Roads are slipperier than greased ice now. Trucks piling up everywhere. It's going to be some fun.
Heard there was an American officer murdered in Ahwaz. Wonder we don't slaughter a million natives ourselves they way we plow down the road.
Dizful, oldest city in the world, is off limits now. An average of one truck and driver have been disappearing there each day the past two weeks. No trace whatsoever.
We're not going to have such a bad Christmas, as far as eating is concerned. One carton of cigarettes, nuts, oranges, turkey, ice cream, and a party for the Polish kids.
Christmas Eve and I'm off today and also off tomorrow. Not anything like Christmas, though.
Everybody off today. Boy! The Motor Pool's been stoned since last night. We painted the sergeant's face red, white and black and put a bunch of waste around his head, gave him a barracks bag full of empty beer cans, and we all went through the barracks playing Santa. I never laughed so much in all my life as the last twenty four hours. We paid a social visit to the officers quarters this morning and before we left Rog was out like a light. Lt. Kelly was a drunk boy last night, too. Menu tonight was turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, dressing, cranberry sauce, bread and butter, pie, cake, candy, ice cream, coffee, oranges and nuts. It was perfect.
We didn't do much today. Had a Christmas party for the Polish children this afternoon. About 500 there. It made you ache all over to see how they appreciated it.
Had beef steak tonight for supper. It was the toughest meat I've ever tried to eat, though. The firm that sent that stuff over here ought to be sued.
Was on rations detail today. We went to the show between times. Saw a news reel showing WAC's arriving in England. Wish they'd send a few thousand over here.
Great news for some of the fellows. They're sending home those who were unable to stand the heat and diseases of this country. Also the 38 year old's. Doesn't look good for us, though.
Well, the last day of another year. Heaven only knows where this next year will find us and the world. May peace and happiness come with it, though.