Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day!...Graphic combat story taken from my father, Bill Williams, memories of World War 11

Bill Williams with his uncle Tom Lyle Williams at the Villa Valentino

When Bill and a few other men were sent out into the jungle to find the enemy hiding in the hills, he was excited to finally be part of some action. The worst part about looking for Japanese snipers was that they really knew how to hide well in the tropical environment and could sneak up on a soldier from behind and kill him without being detecting.

Bill and his bride, Pauline Mac Donald Williams,  My parents

It wad a well known fact that a guy could get killed right next to his buddy before anyone could do a thing. Bill had gotten used to firing at anything that moved, because back at camp, when on night duty, he was told to shoot at anything that caused the tin cans to rattle from the bobbed wire. He had machine gunned down a few dogs who snuck around at night looking for food and accidentally hit the tin cans. Maybe the men were taught to be trigger happy, and shoot first, ask questions later, rather then take chances and risk their own lives or the lives of their buddies.
Bill in the Philippians on Reconnaissance Mission
When Bill and the men got to the spot on the map where the Lieutenant reported Jap's hiding, he thought he saw something cross his path and yelled "halt, who goes there." The sniper didn't answer, and then took off running. Bill yelled again, "halt" but when he he kept running he shot him and killed him. The men slowly approached the body, to make sure he was indeed dead, and not faking it. There had been many stories of how Japs lay waiting for a soldier
to approach a dead body, then are ambushed and shot to death. Bill yelled for the others to cover him while he checked the sniper who was just a kid himself.

The other soldiers stood about 15 feet while Bill grabbed some souvenirs off the dead body, it was a right of passage,
as a soldier, his first and only kill before the war ended. Bill quickly stripped souvenirs off the enemy while the other men watched for snipers. "The only good Jap is a dead Jap," one guy said as Bill cut the snipers pockets open, reached in, and was shocked to find them full of blood. He didn't let that stop him and pulled out some Jap money, pictures, cards, and some letters. He took an aluminum canteen with carvings of a Japanese garden on it, a Japanese flag,

binoculars, and a knife. One man said to check for gold teeth, but when he looked in his mouth, he decided it would take too long to pull them out. He grabbed a watch, a compass, and a bayonet, and finally reached for the Jap's belt, only to stick his hands into his warm guts. It was an eerie feeling, but he was so pumped up that he simply
got up, didn't look back and headed down the hill with the other men.
Bill with his mother, Evelyn Williams

The G.I. 's had been warned about live mines, and it was one of their biggest fears. Stepping on a live mine could blow a man's limbs off, decapitate him, rip his guts out, blind him, and finally kill him if he was lucky. Japanese mines were very hard to find when they were buried. The men made it back to camp in one piece, and Bill told his
commanding officer about the Jap he killed, and he told Bill that he'd done the right thing, because if he hadn't of killed him, they might all have been killed. His Captain told him that it takes blood and guts to be in the infantry, and that he was proud of him.

Read more about this and more in my memoir, The Maybelline Story,  Buy my book

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