Memories of John Wayne...
Soldier:
Pfc James T. Moon
Date: 1944 - 1945
Location: Japan
Unit: U.S. Army, Mountain Maneuvers Special Troop #1686

My name is James T. Moon 3422069 I was born in Lula, Georgia on June 4, 1913. I enlisted in the Armed Services at Ft. Benning, Georgia. From there I went to Ft. McClellan, Alabama and on to Indian Town, Pennsylvania where I joined the Infantry. Mountain Maneuvers Special Troop #1686. From there onto Ft. Meade, Maryland and to Oakland, California. I boarded a ship in Oakland to go to Brisbane, Australia and onto the New Guinea Jungles with the 870th Batallian for three years.

I was a Medic and Cook and helped with the building of airstrips. While in the jungles I crawled a mile or more through the jungles to shoot at the Japanese which was my only time on the front lines. In the jungles were the biggest snakes that I had ever seen before or since! I used what medical skills that I had to patch up the wounded. One time I attached an arm as best as I could, using a regular needle and thread and pouring alcohol over the wound. This soldiers arm had been cut to the bone by a Japanese soldier. A lot of my medical knowledge was taught to me by my Mother who was a midwife and knew a little about all types of medicine.

I remember when Gen. Douglas McArthur announced his support for The Australian Government. This was that no more African-American troops would be sent to Australia during World War 2. There was talk about trouble but I never saw it.

I remember one of the best times that I had during the war. It was when John Wayne, the actor, camped in a tent near mine. He gathered us all around a campfire and talked with us most of the night. We went into Australia for R&R every so often. I was well treated by the Australian people.

James T. Moon
as told to Iris Thompson Fry.

Personal Photographs

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