Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nothing Like a Little Surprise

SAIDOR, NEW GUINEA—An Ordnance mechanic's life is supposed to be pretty dull, and generally it is. But three ordnancemen in the American force here have made the discovery that sometimes it isn't.
Sgt. Emil Raninen of Detroit, Mich , who holds the Silver Star for gallantry at Buna, was exploring the area near his jungle hammock, in company with Cpl. Eugene Weinard of West Bend. Wis. They found a dugout cleverly hidden beneath a huge log.
"That was used by the Japs all right," said Raninen. "It would take a good hit to blast a guy out of there."
Next morning they brought S/Sgt. Charles Allhands of Madison, Wis., to see the dugout. Peeking into the hole, Weinard suddenly noticed some rags that hadn't been there the day before.
Allhands crawled down into the hole to investigate. The rags, he discovered, were the remains of an American shelter half.
"I started to pull it out," he said later, "and the whole thing came alive. I scrambled back out, scared as hell, and then we could hear jabbering from beneath the shelter half."
The men drew their guns and waited. Out crawled a miserable, half-starved Jap, without an ounce of fight left in him.
They took the straggler prisoner and proudly escorted him back through their camp to headquarters.
Now Raninen, Weinard and Allhands are trying to decide who gets the prized souvenir, an official receipt for one Jap prisoner. Meanwhile the dull routine of keeping the trucks rolling goes steadily on.


YANK 31 March 1944