Elmer Che, Colorado, Camp Carson discussed on Catholic Mass
Stories from the second World War. There's a lot of times. Like when I was in it before it went overseas at camp Carson in Colorado. Night. Oh, they're just shit out there and just look up at the sky and see the mountains outline against the fingering will Rogers monument in there. And just just sit there and think. What what's going to happen? What am I gonna make out? Kind of hoping for the best in. Fortunately did came through. Okay. Made meter rule will I'm Tom Swope. My guest this week on legacies is Elmer Che on December. Seventh nineteen forty one. Elmer was a paper boy when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor harbor. I'll still at school, but also papers on the shaker square. In the special edition came out. So we give a bunch of period, and we were walking up and down the streets around shaker heights. Papers. War war declared. Doing but I finished school. Sure. A gun out of school. Army says come on we need you. So think ahead about a week or they're being graduated graduated deducted. So that was in forty three after Omer was inducted. The army tried to figure out what to do with him. Let's see I went to Columbus. Or they're sent me to. Camp Carson, Colorado in mule pack. They wanted people that are six feet tall handle. We're a field artillery unit. We break the guns down into six speeches in climb mountains with it. So we we're climbing the rocky mountains or they're in Denver. We did our training there. Decided we wanted to make shadow us. So they issued us. Skis all winter stuff. And we're going to go camping. Colorado on train over there. Change your mind. At the last minute. I guess because the European theater was more or less drawing to a close. So then we they made us a motorized field artillery. They took away five howitzers and give us one will fives. And we that was in the seventy first division at camp. Carson. And we trained with one zero five howitzers. Corporal, gunner gonna core corporal in charge of a firing battery. She thought he could finally settle in with an outfit. He was wrong. Let's see after that there. They wanted replacement. It always sent overseas to another outfit. In NEW GUINEA, we're joined a twenty four th infantry corps as a instrument corP when Elmer landed at Port Moresby NEW GUINEA in nineteen forty four the area was secured good thing because the landing did not go as planned. Get off the ship. I gotta remember getting on you so floating amphibian. Alligators took me off the ship on that in while we're going to shore or there something happened with the rudder. Zigzag all over the place until the guy got down in Abaco. Their start guiding us towards the shore where you're working rudder by hand from underneath us picking up over the top. And looking where we are going to finally made it to shore on NEW GUINEA cheese outfit trained for the invasion of the Philippines. When they were out at sea before landing. There was an eerie comb. I remember. We're going on an invasion sitting on the fan over the ship were there and looking back over the water. It is nighttime in phosphorus into water weather water. Everything is kinda peaceful to stars in the sky. You can counter restore your so so clear and bright. I mean at nighttime when the twenty four th hit the beach on Mindoro in the Philippines, they landed under fire. Remember exactly where the L S T at one time coming in on vision. Memento? The shell can't through decided to ship were when I was in the back of the ship weather. Overlooking the deck where vehicle restored and it hit gasoline drums, right at my feet or their fortunately. The. It just. Blue opened a tank a gasoline draws been sprayed gasoline into foot. But it didn't explode added. I was fortunate will there. So I went back to the crew's quarters in to shower and wash myself out kazaa starting to feel a little tingling what areas starting to burn my skin. The ship is started listing a little bit. So we had to pull back out. We came you the next day repair Dolgin ship, I guess used to be taken on water soon after his arrival on Mindoro chain witnessed the brutality of war. You just do win through in Doral go to the jungles of. In the one we're going up a trail, and it was actually road. We came upon a a truck parked is headed into the woods, and we can see of demand hit in through the rear window their Filipino scouts with us in he knew Japanese. So here's the Japanese personally commodity the truck in I guess, he wouldn't sold a couple of guys took aim and fired blue. Blueback was head off. Jay was a forward. Observer? The house with four reserving party mostly. We. I was coordinating the field artillery you at the targets, obviously this job put Elmer in harm's way up there a couple of times. I can see what the infantry goes through other than when I came back. Somebody else took my place it and the. Whoever took who took my place. Oughta here's leeann NextRadio Lieutenant who is in charge. He had a sniper fire here to write their forehead. So at that could have been me. This was not the last close call for. We're. Clamp on a now for some reason to top just Nola was all the trees in danger is cut down here. Beer knoll. And there's a little little shack on top of it. That was been the winter. Filipino is residents are seventy is just a small shack and all went to machine-gun start opening up on us all there, and I could see everybody hit the ground dirt related. I saw it. She ain't got pattern come across the ground right across the guy's rear end. Got him. I jumped down in trying to crawl underneath a little shack raised off the ground is only about a foot high. I just couldn't make it under their entrees Crawley's my helmet. That was. That was another time when the men were back at the camp they felt relatively safe but Elmer remembers one day when a sniper caused chaos and anger. Just gotten a clean up, my uniform, nice and clean. Dry and. I was walking to compound in all at once a sniper start shooting at me. I could feel bullish we're hitting around me. And there's a foxhole. Oh, right right next to me was full of water. So I wasn't about to jump in here and get all wet again. But after about the third shadow other jumped in the water, it is so got away from him. And I guess that same same sniper weather. He came into camp that night while we're all sleeping, and somehow he got on top of one six by Sixers, and there's a thirty caliber machine gun modern on the thing. And that was it was the kitchen GMC. The he started opening up with that. I think he shot up that whole kitchen. I don't think there's a pop and pan left the whole by the next morning while they're the took off. And I guess no. I wanted a fighter Adam 'cause they didn't want to expose their position. That's the only reason I can't understand why nobody shot at him. So the next morning went on patrol. Looking for them. We found us sleeping. Oh, I don't know. How far away we walked quite a ways into the jungle and we found him sleeping at the base of a tree or they're covered with ponchos hadn't everything was covered in their army ponchos. He had with him GI stuff. And I'm telling everybody just laid back in Philly in full of holes. So I think like it. They just there was nothing left there him, but he had GI canteen, a GI poncho and. The other American equipment autumn a. He must must've got it off some dead, the dead soldiers, something one of the more chilling tactics of the war in the Pacific with the Japanese bonds, I attacks there's a house in one of those Japanese bonds, I a tax there. We had a we had a hill. This is in mentor. Also. The Japanese attacked, and they somehow they they took one one half the hill, and we had the other half. It was no more than. About one hundred hundred fifty yards difference between the whole top of the hill. I could hear one of the. Vaginas. You're calling from mortar fire all the time to repel Japanese hacking on that side. Fortunately, I was on the other side of the hill from where they are tacking it. It is. But the Japanese took that side of the hill. We could you could hear one Japanese soldier young each shoe sheets ourselves in the I don't I think he's calling somebody. The. I don't know what happened but in in the morning. Called up a. Small tank with a certified heart or are there? He blasted that side of the hill. There we got the hill back weather, and then we going down through the trenches. You're looking at some Japanese were still alive. But. Infantry or there they know remorse or no pity shot him in this one. The soldier other. He falls all this Japanese you. I saw his a big big round facial looked up at the g I I saw him Kennedy smile, which has got the m one just smashed is facing. But it's kind of scary. Oh, it didn't happen often. But occasionally the men did get a break from the stress of the war. Well, we used to there was we saw movies every once in a while. I remember at one time we go at night. There's the air bomber squadron. Airport era Eleni ship were there show movies that night? So we took it must have been bottom. Half mile mile, mild overweigh water, and we walked water just to see the movie. Remember, they had the US showed at one time. Bob Hope which was to be there with our so far back. I recognize there are so many of us are now his way in the back, and I could hear the music in talking, but I could hardly make out the figures on the stage. It was just too far away. Good used.