Gurden M. Barnett, Jr, 0-854245 T41
Served with the 38th BG for the duration of the war, from
Australia all the way up to the occupation of Japan. He was
with the 71st BS briefly, then the 405th BS for the rest of the war. In New Guinea,
he remembers first going to 30-Mile
where he was for about a month. There, he remembered how they would go thru 100
gallons of gasoline a week burning it off to keep the mosquitoes away. They did
not have their planes there, and then went to 17-Mile
Life at 17 Mile
He was there for about 16-17
months, then went up to Nadzab. He
remembered the swamp and lake to the side of the strip, and how everyone was
afraid to swim in there due to the wildlife. He personally remembered one night
when near the lake that some guys found, and killed a snake, in the morning,
it proved to be 26' long. He also remembered many Japanese air raids against
Durand, most were night time harassment raids, by one or a few Japanese planes.
He was the communications officer, involved with working on radios an so forth.
He was a ground crew, not a pilot or gunner.
Afterward 17-Mile, he moved to Nadzab
with the unit, and served thur the Philippines
and Okinawa, and then came home at the end of the war after spending 39 months
in the combat zone. He retired a major and is now 85, in good health and has
a wonderful wife.
Learning About the Dogtag
His business associate, Roger Underwood's
friend recognized his name on list of dog
tags found by Henry Mayer in Port Moresby. He got in touch with
Mr. Barnett on October 26, and then wrote to Justin Taylan/PacificWrecks.com,
which i forwarded on to Henry
Mayer. Barnett is 'very surprised' about
the dog tag. He does not specifically remember loosing it, but is very excited
to hear about its discovery, and is very excited to write with Mr. Henry
Mayer and thank him for his good work. Today, he lives in retirement
in Casper, Wyoming.