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Townsville, Australia today

On August 13, 1943, struggling with two barracks bags of clothing and equipment, we climbed aboard the Liberty ship S. S. Sea Snipe. We sailed under the Golden Gate bridge, nearly all of us leaving the United States for the first time, and departing for an unknown destination. After nearly a month following a zigzag course, we reached Townsville Australia and thus began a tour of the South West Pacific Islands lasting two years and four months. Our mission was to persuade the fanatical Japanese to leave the areas they had recently invaded and return to their homeland.

This was obviously a treacherous undertaking, but just as treacherous were the tropical heat, torrential rains and rare and unknown diseases. Those diseases leaving a lot of us with permanent problems. Having accomplished our mission, not all but most of us returned to our homes carrying scars, both mental and physical from our experiences.

Since 1984, we have held annual reunions, traveling these United States and meeting in friendship. We tell tales, recounting events, remembering funny things that happened and finding humor in some of the tragic times we lived through. Now we find comfort in one another's company and recall with sadness those of our group no longer with us. Each year our group of remnants dwindles even though many of the widows continue to attend alone.

It has been a long full life filled with mostly good times. How fortunate we are to be AMERICANS!!

Bob George