Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
Volume 6850

Wartime Journals of Correspondent Edgar Rice Burroughs
or Buck Burroughs Rides Again

Written April 1943 ~ Copyright ERB, Inc.
Transcribed and Illustrated for ERBzine by Bill Hillman

PAGE FIFTY (Conclusion)

March 2, 1943: Diamond Head ~ Pearl Harbor ~ Hickam ~ United Press ~ Hully
. . . from this direction before. It took us some time to locate Diamond Head, which is usually an unfailing landmark. Many patrol ships and planes guarded us as we approached the harbour. By now it was full daylight, and the island presented a beautiful picture.

We passed the sunken Oklahoma and Arizona, and a little after 9:00 tied up alongside a dock. Jose and Vincente, two Filipino mess attendants carried my gear to the Officers Club, where I telephoned Hully, who seemed both surprised and glad to hear my voice.

I had been gone three months, had a wonderful time, and written twenty-five stories, practically non of which have ever reached United Press. They have so notified Frank Tremain, UP Bureau Chief in Honolulu. We think they may be mouldering in the War Department in Washington, where Colonel Stead asked me if he might send them direct.

Hully drove over to Pearl from Hickam and picked me up. And, gosh! was I glad to see him!!

June 8 1943


1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu 42 Hawaii
16 January 1944

16 January 19441st Lieut. Michael Pierce,
Bel-Air Rangers, Bel-Air,
Los Angeles, California.
Dear Mike:

Thanks a lot for your letter of December 22, which reached me a few days ago.   It takes a long time for mail to get here from the Mainland, but not as long as it did immediately after Pearl Harbor. Very often, then, it took over a month.

As a Ranger, you would have enjoyed being with me the other day when I visited a jungle training unit.  The colonel commanding took two public relations captains and myself in a jeep and drove us around for about six hours.  I wrote your mother something about it, but there is a lot more which I think will interest you.

The training is certainly rugged.  The men engage in personal combat without weapons, learning all the dirty fighting tricks that gangsters, muckers, Apaches (the French kind), and hoodlums ever devised, to which have been added some super-duper atrocities heretofore unknown, plus judo.  While I was watching one class, the men were tossing each other all over landscape - and hard.

Another class was being instructed in river crossing under fire. Some of the men, wearing only their birthday suits, were swimming the river, pushing their clothing and equipment ahead of them in little boats made of a shelter half filled with brush.   Others were crossing in similar but larger boats made of truck tarpaulins -about seven men to a boat.  These men were fully clothed and equipped.

Others were crossing on a rope bridge which they had strung across the river between two trees. It was about ten feet above the water. Another unit built a narrow foot bridge that floated on the surface. All the time, TNT and dynamite were being exploded on land and in the water to simulate bombs, shells, and grenades.  Water and mud flew a couple of hundred feet into the air, nearly swamping the boats or almost knocking the men off the rope bridge, and deluging the innocent bystanders, of whom I was one.

Another unit was learning jungle infiltration tactics.  Two men at a time would sneak down a steep, muddy jungle trail with fixed bay-onets ready for any emergency.  From behind a tree, a Jap would leap out and swing a mean haymaker at the leading man.  If he ducked in time, O.K.   If he didn't, he got a wallop that sat him down hard. At the bottom of the ravine, a Jap sniper hid behind a tree.  As
16 January 1944a soldier bayoneted him, another Jap swung, down from a tree on the side of the ravine and knocked him sprawling into the mud.  While I was watching, I saw a captain get it - and how.

These Japs were. of course, dummies.  But the boys went after them as though they were the real thing.  The jungle is real jungle - worse than anything I saw in the South Pacific.  I was surprised that we had such jungles here.  So the training is most realistic, and should save many lives by training our men how to meet Jap tactics in a favorite Jap terrain.

There was lots more that I saw, but these that I have told you and the village fighting were the most interesting.

I hope, Mike, that you will never have to fight in a war; but I also hope that you will get all the military training you can and that your generation will insist on compulsory military training for all young men.  If we train our millions and maintain a large Navy and Army in peace time, no nation will dare make war unless we are on its side.  So there won't be any war - I hope.

Lots of love to you all,
Edgar Rice Burroughs

If there is any question about passing this story of the Jungle Training Unit, please return the letter to me rather than clip it. The information herein is largely identical with a news release that has been passed by G-2.


ERB: The War Years
Diary of a Confused Old Man :: Buck Benny Rides Again
Illustrated Journal Summary I
Illustrated Journal Summary II


Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2019/2022 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.