Segment 4

Annotation

Bailey was assigned to unloading ships. When he wasn't unloading ships he was walking around. He couldn't stay still.One day Bailey saw a Japanese plane that was heading right for him shot down by a Hellcat [Annotator's Note: US Navy Grumman F6F "Hellcat" fighter aircraft].On 9 May [Annotator's Note: 9 May 1945] Bailey was put aboard a truck and sent to the front. He was in the lead truck of a four truck convoy. During the trip they passed a battery of 155s [Annotator's Note: 155mm howitzers], then a battery of 105s [Annotator's Note: 105mm howitzers], then mortars, and when they got to where rifles were being fired, he knew they were at the front.At the front line, Bailey was assigned as a loader on a bazooka [Annotator's Note: shoulder fired M1A1 2.36 inch rocket launcher] team.When Bailey boarded the truck bound for the front lines he was transferred from the 32nd Replacement Draft to being attached to J, K, and L Companies, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He arrived at the front around 4:00 in the afternoon on the 9th and the following day they advanced into Death Valley.The ones who went in before Bailey couldn't stay. They had six rocket trucks with them that fired 60 rockets each.When the wounded were carried out Bailey recognized one of them who had stolen his clothes back at Camp Pendleton. Bailey had some words with the man but felt bad about doing that later.During the entire time they were advancing, the artillery they had passed fired continually.When they jumped off a .30 caliber machine gun opened up. The men took cover then advanced again. A knee mortar [Annotator's Note: Japanese military Type 89 50mm mortar] began firing at them and they got pinned down in the ditch. They were knee deep in water in the ditch.Bailey followed the ditch until it ended.The following morning the Japanese launched a banzai attack. A sword waving lieutenant led the charge. One of the Marines had a machine gun set up and killed all of the Japanese except one. After the attack ended, Bailey and Sammy Diego were told to bring the bazooka forward. When they arrived at the sight of the attack the surviving enemy soldier jumped up and took off running. The Marines opened fire with rifles, machine guns and eleven rockets from Bailey's bazooka. Sam told Bailey that all eleven rockets were duds except the last shot.

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