Memoir "Bulldozing the Way: New Guinea to Japan"

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Memoir "Bulldozing the Way: New Guinea to Japan"

Post by Edward »

A collection of "Original letters and photos describing the everyday life and problems of an enlisted man in a US engineering battalion during World War II in New Guinea, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan from 1943-1946."

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"This book describes the every day life and problems of enlisted men in the 1897th Aviation Engineering Division from stateside training to New Guinea, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan from February 1943 to January 1946. The problems of ordinary military life in the South Pacific were greatly different from the well documented campaigns in Europe and North Africa. Even if not in combat all soldiers had serious problems coping with dense tropical jungle, heavy rainfall, malaria and assorted other tropical diseases, serious and sometimes fatal accidents, high humidity and temperatures, a limited diet and lack of recreational facilities."

Peter Davidson (Pete) is a chemical engineer, retired from Anvil Corporation of Bellingham, who felt that the story of the ordinary soldier who served in New Guinea has not been adequately told. He gathered up the letters he wrote and the pictures he collected while in the Army Corps of Engineers in the South Pacific during WW-II and donated them to the Library of Congress Veterans’ Project. Then he realized that the letters and the pictures alone did not tell very much so he wrote this book around them.

"After a year of training, the 1897th [Battalion] shipped out for the South Pacific in 1944. Pete described the close quarters on the Victory ship during the 31 day journey, with soldiers’ bunks stacked 15 high in the bow of the ship. The 1897th first landed in Finschafen, New Guinea to allow the soldiers to acclimate to the tropical climate and prepare for their invasion of Cape Sansapor, where they constructed their first airstrip. Pete described working 24 hours a day to clear trees and vines in the swamp before packing the airstrip with coral and covering it with an asphalt seal; a steel landing mat in the center of the runway completed the airstrip."

"Pete Davidson Bulldozed the Way" ... /4613.aspx
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Re: thank you Memoir "Bulldozing the Way: New Guinea to Japa

Post by janetbw »

Thank very much for this reference. My dad was in NG with the 114th Army Corps of engineers Mass. National Guard. I have many pictures, but no narrative. I have been working on putting his story together for the last year. Any other suggestions would be helpful.

I am not sure, if these answers can go to my home email, which is

Thank you for your help,

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