DIARY OF AN UNKNOWN JAPANESE N.C.O.
HEADQUARTERS LANDING FORCE
Attu Island

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May 12th - Wednesday. Heavy fog. Reveille at 0100. Due to heavy fog we waited for the chance. At 0200 enemy planes came to bomb. We took our positions. Until about 1000 enemy reconnaissance planes flew around. At 1030 about 15 enemy barges were advancing. Therefore, a number A not ready for enemy attack. About 1300 we received information that about 27 enemy barges succeeded in landing on Massacre Bay and West Arm Cape. The enemy fired naval guns. We carried ammunition to the artillery guns without sleep.

May 13th - Thursday. Clear. From about 0300 the enemy fired naval guns fiercely. Also heard rifle and machine gun firing very severely at West Arm. From about 0600 heavy fog lifted and about 10 enemy fighter planes attacked us. From about 0800 a formation of bombers dropped bombs on our positions vigorously, however, no damage. There were several severe battles today and many bombs were dropped around our protective position for artillery. We fired 117 rounds of ammunition. From about 1100 naval guns started firing again. Fierce battle is still continuing. Our only hope is the arrival of a transport convoy and planes. We started to carry ammunition again after supper.

May 14th - Friday. Heavy fog. Breakfast at 0200, and then carried ammunition for A.A. guns off West Arm. From about 0500 we heard naval guns firing again. We were on security duty at a gun position on East Arm. Battle is still continuing.

May 15th - Saturday. Heavy fog. At 0300 I was relieved from Security Section Leader, but did not get any sleep. Then carried ammunition for mountain gun to Arai Pass by order of 2nd Lieut. Sano. Walked about three ri (about 7 1/2 miles) both ways. Upon returning the enemy were firing machine gun from the sea so I was appointed leader of 10 men and helped to change our position. At 1800 we finished carrying ammunition to Arai Pass. Enemy attack becomes superior to cure. All supply is distributed for the hard fight. Prepared supper for anti-aircraft unit of West Arm and aided them. Now waiting for reinforcements.

May 16th - Sunday. Fine weather. Since we have been having heavy fog lately, everyone is full of pep and willing to fight hard. Fired at enemy skirmishers from our positions. It seems that many enemy are advancing toward West Arm. At 1000 I took the Battalion Commander to his CP on top of Zekkei Dai. I was acting as a liaison N.C.O. For the first time I looked down upon the enemy position that had been fired on by our troops, and it was a thrilling sight. We struggled up mountain side and picked some flowers. At about 1830 gunners of heavy guns and trench mortars with their Battalion Commander returned to the position of Koyama Unit. My duty for the day is finished.

May 17th - Monday. Clear. At 0300 enemy Curtis P-40's strafed us. They were only about 10 meters in the air and we shot two of them down. It seems that a fierce battle is taking place in the direction of X mountain. About 0800 enemy planes returned to strafe again. Fighting desperately. Arranged position at XX. Cannot fire the gun due to trouble. It is our last gun. Our old position is now the enemy target. PFC Tsuchyiya has not returned yet. Sgt. Major Nishijima received an injury. At 1800 transferred patients from the hospital and assembled at the airfield.

May 18th - Tuesday. Advanced to Umanose, now the last time on East Arm. Became wet with perspiration and mist while passing over passes and snow. Reached Umanose at daybreak and continued marching on snow, and reached Chichagof Harbor at 0500. Prepared for the next order. At 1830 prepared for night battle. My comrade had not returned yet.

May 19th - Wednesday. Clear. Sea is calm. Day breaks before the construction of position is completed. A PBY was seen reconnoitering at about 0100. We stayed in the shelter. Enemy ships and planes are constantly reconnoitering off shore. It is monotonous spending long hours in the shelter. At 1630 we started constructing our first line of resistance.

May 20th - Thursday. Clear. Sea is calm. Constructed the first line of resistance without sleep. I came down to the cape at daybreak, 0100. Enemy reconnaissance planes commenced action. Four planes flew over our line of resistance, and gun shells passed over. The hours are long. Could do any type of hard work if I could only get two rice-balls day. I haven't slept for the past eight days. We received fierce naval gun fire. At 1830 it started to get dark, so we dispersed our guards for the night.

May 21st - Friday. Clear. Heavy fog and cold wind follows. Day breaks around 0030. I guarded the protective position area. Enemy ships commenced action again. Another day in the hole again. Heavy shells are dropping near the shelter. Although it is the middle of May the wind is cold and my hands and feet are cold at night., so the temperature is about the same as that of January in Japan proper. Can sleep well even in the midst of gunfire. Due to enemy ships and airplane patrols,  I cannot even step out of the shelter for one step. Heard the battle success of our navy. We are now waiting for reinforcements by two battleships, two cruisers, two aircraft carriers, three destroyers, and four transports with high morale. The situation report announces this convoy due on the 24th.

May 22nd - Saturday. Cloudy, heavy fog, cold. From early morning enemy seaplanes came in to strafe. Since Superior Private Ishiro is missing. I was ordered to report to the LKamoto (sp?) Unit as a gunner. Warships are still patrolling so action in open area is impossible.

May 23rd - Sunday. Cloudy, rain, and snow in the afternoon. It is very cold since I got cold by mist during the night. Warships come close to shore and fire heavily on us. At 1200 four of our planes appeared over the horizon and attacked enemy warships. I was very happy to see it. Due to bad weather they hurriedly went back. From about 1400 it started to hail. Guard duty is becoming more strict around this cold hole, however, when I think of those infantry and mountain artillery units that are struggling with difficulty at Arai Pass and Umanose Pass, it is nothing. They are struggling in snow several feet deep and have been overwhelming the enemy for the past ten days. I hope the day of victory is soon. They are certainly fighting hard with very little food and no fire, and disregarding inconveniences. One mentions inconveniences in Japan, but compared to this situation it is nothing. By all means we must fight to the finish with Yamato spirit. The sea is getting rougher. Our transport convoy will arrive here tomorrow. The naval gunfire and trench mortar fire from Massacre Bay is terrific. Superior Private Mori was wounded while working on lashing detail for Battalion Headquarters. We built a new siding trench. 

May 24th - Monday. Snow and rain. We are still receiving naval gun and machine gun and machine cannon fire. Enemy warships are patrolling the sea. Mount Hokuchin is completely covered with snow. The anticipation of two destroyers arriving here became impossible. Our only hope is reinforcement.

May 25th - Tuesday. Clear. This morning it cleared up from snow and rain and now the weather is fine. Naval guns started firing heavily early this morning. A formation of K and NA, eleven planes, dropped bombs. I am getting hungry and no rations, received only three rice-balls. This is the time to endure hardship and struggle through. 

May 26th - Wednesday. Clear. Types K, NA, and seaplanes came for bombing attack. Heard the news that transport convoy would come in.

May 27th - Thursday. Clear. Naval gun is constantly firing on us.

---- END OF DIARY----

 


By May 30th, 1943 all organized Japanese Army resistance ended in the Aleutians. Apparently this Japanese N.C.O. was killed on the day of his last entry.

Text provided by Kenneth Jakubec
Published by HLS on the Williwaw Website, 8 Sep 2000

(See also the diary of Dr. Nebu Tatsuguri)