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Roy Michie, World War II

Roy D. Michie    

Roy D. Michie, World War II

U. S. Army Military History Institute
ATTN: WWII Veteran Survey Coordinator (B)
950 Soldiers Drive
Carlisle, PA 17013-5021

Roy D. Michie, "Mitch", World War II Memories.
June 26, 1920 – June 3, 2015

PFC Roy D. Michie, "Mitch", entered the Army at FT. MacArthur, CA at the age of 26 on 11/6/1944 and was separated from the Army at FT. MacArthur, CA on 3/21/1946. He was the "BAR" man for Co E, 3rd Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, 25th Division, "The Wolfhounds".

He and the other soldiers left FT. MacArthur by troop train and 5 days later was at "Camp" Hood, TX, (FT. Hood now). They arrived in the dark, early between 3:00 AM and 4:00 AM in the morning and waited on the train station's "Dirt" platform. In the distance they saw lights, which was a truck convoy to pick them up. "Mitch" had his basic training at "Camp" Hood from 11/19/1944 to 3/3/1945.

Roy D. Michie, # 39731888, Has Successfully Completed the Prescribed Course of Training, 19 November 1944 to 3 March 1945. Specially Qualified for: Rifleman (745), signed by BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S.A., J.F. Bresnahan, Commanding.)

The CO of the Training Company was a Captain Kleinbell who was an older person but in great shape. All of the training personal at "Camp" Hood had fought in the Aleutian Islands campaigns and were combat-seasoned Army personnel. During training at "Camp" Hood, "Mitch" and a Sgt. Skitter saw Captain Kleinbell coming down the dirt road towards them. Sgt. Skittish was going to play a trick and "test" the Captain as to his integrity. He threw his wallet out on to the road to see what the Captain would do. Captain Kleinbell picked the wallet up and saw whom it belonged to and told Sgt. Skittish he found his wallet and gave it to him. The Sgt. informed "Mitch" that they could trust the Captain.

While at "Camp" Hood during Basic Training, the NCOs had the soldiers march many miles each day. There were two tall towers with red lights on top of the towers somewhere in the middle of "Camp" Hood. The NCOs told the soldiers that they would be marching until they could no longer see the lights. They did this training march many times while at "Camp" Hood.

On Thanksgiving of 1944 a family from Killeen, TX or Temple, TX asked "Mitch" and 2 other soldiers to join them for their Thanksgiving meal. The soldiers were picked up in a "Willies" Automobile and all 3 soldiers had to sit in the back seat, which was very cramped up. They went to the family's home and had a great celebration. The meal was wild duck and home made biscuits which was the family's traditional Thanksgiving meal and very good. The family even wrote back to Mrs. Michie to tell her that "Mitch" was doing well and he was OK.

After basic they got back on a troop train and 5 days later were at FT. Ord, CA for demolition training, close combat training and "hand to hand combat" training. While at FT. Ord, the troops one evening went to Stillwell Hall (the enlisted mans Soldier's Club) for a few drinks. While there a big fight broke out between Air Borne Troops and Troops of different units and "tore" up the Club. The next morning the NCOs rounded up the soldiers and they had them go back to straighten up and fix the Club. "Mitch" also remembers that a couple of days before leaving FT. Ord, a Calvary Regiment, probably from FT. Riley, KA. arrived and all the Calvary Soldiers had to turn in their "Calvary Boots and Spurs" which were put into large barrels for these soldiers were being converted to Infantry Soldiers. Of course this made the Calvary Soldiers very MAD. After training at FT. Ord, "Mitch" and the troops were back on a troop train and went to San Francisco, CA. However, prior to leaving FT. Ord, a mess Sgt. made all the soldiers a sack lunch to eat on the train. Two days later they were bussed to Oakland, CA., where Salvation Army girls/women gave them a brown paper bag with a Jungle cigarette lighter made of brass, cigarettes, "Lucky Strikes", a comb, shaving cream, and razors inside. They shipped out of Oakland, CA on a Transport Assault Ship, named "Sturgis". The first meal was hot dogs, which all the troops got very sick. After that they started feel better. On the ship they ate breakfast at 4:00 AM in the morning and dinner between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM each night. "Mitch" slept "top side" on a winch control box and the deck for it was too hot to sleep down below. They crossed the equator on 17 April 1945 were "Mitch" was awarded the "Domain of the Golden Dragon", "Ruler of the 180 Meridian" and initiated into the "Silent Mysteries of the Far East". (See Certificate dated: 17 April 1945.) Also on board, the different units would have boxing/fighting matches. "Mitch's" unit had a soldier who was a Hawaiian Judo expert wrestler named Kahueacua Hanna who weighed over 300 lbs. He also was the Color Guard Holder for the 25th Division. Needless to say "Mitch's" unit won every match. Thirty-Four days later they landed in Holandia, New Guinea and 3 days later they sailed and landed in the Philippians on Luzon.

They were transported to "Camp Patrick" which was the 25th Division's Re-Grouping Camp. The Camp was near the towns of Tarlac and ParnPango. When "Mitch" arrived at Co E of the 27th Regiment, "Wolfhounds", the 1st Sgt., Joe Malloy gave him an old BAR and told him that he was going to be the BAR man for the Company. "Mitch" replied "Yes Sir" and 1 st Sgt. Malloy told him, "do not "Sir" me, I am not an Officer", and "Mitch" understood and said "Yes Sergeant". Also later "Mitch" did get a newer BAR. He fought the battles and campaigns on: Luzon, Battle of Balete Pass, Crow Valley, Lone Tree Hill and other battles. He was the BAR man for Co E, 3rd Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, 25th Division, The "Wolfhounds". While at the Battle of Balete Pass he killed many of the enemy and on one of the Japanese Soldiers killed, he retrieved the Japanese Flag that they wore in to battle. Later when he and his squad got back to Camp Patrick for R & R, they signed the flag and took a picture of them hold the flag. He still has the flag and the picture of them hold the flag. The squad members shown in the picture who signed the flag are: Japanese World War II Flag, Luzon 1945. Co E, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

Besides the soldiers who signed his Japanese Flag, he also remembers the following soldiers in his Platoon/Company. The medic, PPC. "Doc" Resse, (who's carbine rifle was always rusty), T/Sgt. Seven Bongiorno, (Weapons Platoon Sgt.), a very large/big man with a handle-bar mustache, Pf'C, Hoppe, (who got shot in the leg, and while leaving the unit he told everyone, "I'm out of here and good-by". However, 2 weeks later he returned to the unit), Pf'C. MacIntyre, (the Company Bugler), Sgt. Edgame, (Supply Sgt.), Pf'C. Shagnabe "Shag" (the Company Barber. He was a Winnebago Indian and the Company Commander always said he would wait until "Shag" was sober before he would get his hair cut), Sgt. Johnson, (the Mess Sgt.). (During the Battle of Balete Pass, Co E was running out of Ammo. Sgt Johnson volunteered to go up in a spotter airplane and drop Ammo from the plane in to the Co's Area of Operations. For this act he was awarded the Air Medal). Sgt. Jackson, (the 1st Scout, from Tennessee. He loved to chew on the Philippian cigars rather than smoke them which always made "Mitch" mad), Sgt. Lindburg, (a tall skinny person from the New York Area), Sgt. Lilly, (who shot him self in the wrist so he could go to the rear lines), Sgt. Jerry Gerellage, (weapons Platoon Leader, from Galveston, TX. ), Pvt. Ed Wheeler, (a Rifle man who could really shoot good, and was from Beaumont, Texas), Pvt. Garcia, (was bayoneted twice by the Japanese), PVT Bulldorum. (He loved coffee and would start a small fire to warm his coffee, which caused smoke, which the enemy would see and send in artillery on their location. The CO. heard about this and pulled PVT Bulldorum a side and said, "if he ever caught him making/heating coffee again he would personally shoot him). PVT Brownstein, from New York City who was "Mitch's" BAR Ammo Carrier. He was a big person who would always borrow items. 1st Sgt. Joe Malloy (from Portland, Oregon), and Sgt. Major, Sable, (who was the Battalion Sgt. Major, who was shot 4 times but was always there). Also he remembers the 25th Division Flag Holder by the name of Kamonhu, (A Portuguese I Hawaiian), and the 25th Color Guard Holder, Kahueacua Hannah the 300 lbs expert in Jude Wrestler. The Officers "Mitch" remembers are: 1st Lt. Dana, who he always speaks very highly of. His home was in Monterey, CA and was a profession card player. , Lt. Haywood the Executive Officer, Lt. Beckham, and another Lt. who was a small person they called "Mickey Mouse". Although he cannot remember the Company E, Commander's name, he does remember he was a great Officer, and a real big person.

He also remembered he was awarded a Silver Star for the battle of Ballate Pass and Lone Tree Hill. During the battle of Lone Tree Hill the whole Company was involved in this action and his Captain got hit by a mortar fragment in his back. "Mitch" and his platoon were on constant "patrol action" while at Balete Pass. 1st Sgt. Joe Malloy would say ... "Get your gang together Mitch, (normally it was Jackson and Munson) and go out and check it out". While on a patrol, near Santa Fe in the Balete Pass, they "got" some Japanese binoculars that were on a tri-pod. They look through them and he saw the "BIGGEST TANK" he had ever seen. It was the new "Sherman Tank". Prior to that time all they had was the "M - 7" Tank from World War I which had "metal baskets" on top with either a machine gun or howitzer in the Basket. The Japanese would fire and drop mortar rounds in to the "basket" and kill the u.s. tankers. Also while there, 1st Sgt. Malloy sent he and another soldier, PFC. Shagnabe, down to a watering hole to fill some Jerry Cans and to bring water back to the camp. They had to use canteen cups to fill the Jerry Cans. While there a Japanese Patrol came and he and the PFC. Shagnabe had to sneak away. PFC. Shagnabe was wounded in the thigh by a Japanese sniper while trying to get out of there. When they got back to camp,1st Sgt. Malloy was mad for they did not fill the Jerry Cans. (The 1 st Sgt. knew why and was just kidding around with his men). "Mitch", "thought the world" of his 1st Sgt. Joe Malloy. According to "Mitch", Balete Pass, (The gateway to the Cagayan Valley), ran North to South on Luzon with the Japanese on the North and the u.S. Forces on the South. It was approximately 12 miles in length, a very narrow 2 lane road, some paved some not, which curved like a snake on the top edge of the canyon which look like a small "Grand Canyon", with a river running in the canyon. The cliffs went straight down to the bottom. If a truck in a convoy got stuck they would have to push it off over the edge so the other trucks could pass. The U.S. convoys and troops on the "Pass" were easy targets for the Japanese for on each turn in the road the Japanese normally had machine gun emplacements set up either in pill boxes or in caves which they dug. "Mitch" said the U.S. Soldiers would climb up on top of the caves with 5 gallon cans full of gas, light them and by rope would swing them down in to the caves to remove the Japanese. While fighting at Balete Pass, "Mitch" saw Major General Smith and Colonel Dalton drive by in their jeeps. Colonel Dalton was later killed in action in that area. (Note, In memory of the battle, Balete Pass was renamed "Dalton Pass" after Col. James L. Dalton II, 161st Infantry Regiment Commander, 25th Division, I Corps, US Sixth Army, which led the main attack to Balete Pass.) Also at Balete Pass during one of the battles, "Mitch" had his Left Ear Drum blown out by Japanese artillery.

He remembers that down one of the canyons the Japanese had planted a potato patch where he and some soldiers went down to gather potatoes to eat. Also the local villagers would give "Mitch" and U.S. soldier's Filipino cigars ("Mitch" did not smoke cigarettes). The cigars were very good, and his soldier friend, Sgt. Jackson never smoked them but he chew on them. The villagers also gave them Filipino Rum that was very good, and "5 Star Whiskey". While fighting at Balete Pass, the soldiers bathed in the Santa Fe River. Halfthe platoon would stand guard while the other half would bath and wash there clothing. Then they would dry their clothing on the Rocks along side the river. His unit also worked with the native "Igaroot Tribes who were very good at sneaking up on the enemy Jap soldiers and cutting their necks and then sneak away. "Mitch" contracted Malaria at Balete Pass and was sent back to the Artillery Aid Station. While there he asked the Doctor "when could he go home" and the doctor told him "when you go home you will only go feet first". He was there approx. 2 to 3 days and when released he had to walk back to his Company for no U.S. vehicles stopped to pick him up. While walking back to his unit he did see many U.S. trucks carrying many GI bodies back from the front lines. Finally an Australian Captain saw him walking and picked him up and gave him a ride to the Santa Fe River crossing where he had to get across to get back to his unit. During the battle of "Corranglan", (Crow Valley), "Mitch's" Platoon and another Platoon "backed up" and fought along side a Filipino "ill - regular" unit against a Japanese Regiment of some 1200 men. They traveled by truck and it took 2 days to get there. After 7 to 1 0 days of supporting the Filipino unit, the u.S. soldiers were pulled back, and approximately 2 weeks later the Japanese Regiment came out of the Valley and killed all the Filipino soldiers. "Mitch" relates the story how the Regiment Commander learned that in Manila there was a warehouse where Filipino whiskey was stored. 1 st Sgt. Malloy told some of his soldiers to go there and "Do not come back without a supply of the whiskey". After they came back with the whiskey, each soldier got a canteen full.

After the war his unit was shipped to Japan for the Occupation Force in Japan. When they arrived in Japan the 27th Infantry Regiment Commander, Lt. Colonel Poole, presented Roy D. Michie and each soldier with a "Memory Of Landing" Flag. Japan, 1946. (He still has the flag given to him.) While in Japan the unit stayed near the Towns/Cities of: Kalamahira, which also had an Air Base, Gifoo, Naka, where "Tojo's Palace is located. He also had to go to the large Military Hospital located at Kyoto because of the malaria he contracted in the Philippians. He was there 3 days for observation and treatment. While at Kalamahira, the soldiers would play poker in the barracks. Many times 1st LT. Dana would come down from the Officer barracks on the second floor, take off his LT. BARS, bring a bottle of booze and play poker with the soldiers. "Mitch", also "thought the world" of his LT. Dana. At this base, Sgt. Jackson was on guard duty at the Base Entrance and "went off his rocker" and would not let any personnel come in or out of the Base. They finally sent the Chaplin down to talk to him and bring him back the unit. M.P. Duty ... He told me about the time that he and another soldier had M.P. patrol duty and had to go into the town of Tiegakara where their were 4 square city blocks of "Ladies of the Night Houses". His mission was to make sure all U.S. Personnel were out of the "Area" by the 10:00 PM curfew. They went in to one of the "HOUSE" and found 3 to 4 sets of U.S. combat boots down stairs. Up stairs in rooms there were U.S. Army Air Corp Officers who owned the boots. "Mitch" and the other soldier rounded them up and took them to the Units JAG Officer, LT. Beckham, who read them the Military Articles that regulated such and incident. "Mitch" said you could hear the LT. "chewing them out all over the Base. The Potato Incident...Sgt. Johnson the Mess Sgt. had the unit troops pealing potatoes. They also had Japanese helpers in the kitchen. All the soldiers noticed that the Japanese always were laughing at he troops as they were peeling the potatoes. Finally they asked why and they pointed to a very large round machine in the comer of the kitchen, which turned out to be a potato peeler. Needless to say the troops did not have to peel potatoes after that.

1st Sgt Joe Malloy Going Home ... 1st Sgt Molloy had told his men that he wanted to go home to Oregon just the way he had come into the Army, "drunk". So his men gave him a send off party and the next morning they loaded him on the back an Army truck "drunk as a skunk"

Rocks/Cobble Stones on Parade Grounds ... The Regiment, located in Naka, Japan, there was large Parade Grounds. The Regiment Commander had all the troops pick up all the rocks/cobble stones on the Parade Grounds so the troops could march and have "Pass in Review" and formations on level ground. Once again the Japanese saw what the U.S. Troops were doing and they were laughing and no one knew why. A month later the Monsoons came to Japan and the Parade Grounds was under water. When the Regiment Commander saw this he understood why the Japanese were laughing and had the Troops go back and replace the rocks/cobble stones back on the Parade Grounds.

American Flag Down at exactly at 5 :00 PM every Day ... The Regiment Commander was real strict about having the American Flag coming down at exactly 5:00 PM. He would always be there looking at his watch to make sure the Flag came down at the proper time. PFC. MacIntyre, (the Company Bugler) also sounded the proper Salute.

Silk for a Wedding Dress ... One of "Mitch's" soldier friends, Pvt. Bouchard, from Maine, was going home and would be getting married when he got home. His fiancée wrote to him and asked if he could send her some Japanese Silk. "Mitch" heard about the request and said he would be able to get the silk for him. "Mitch" and another soldier went to a Japanese warehouse building and brought back two parachutes that were made of silk. Prior to packing them up, another soldier who had a 30 Caliber "Tommy Gun" asked if he could mail in the same box as the parachutes his "Tommy Gun". They did this and when the package arrived in the States the bride to be was very pleased with the "Silk" but did not understand why the "Tommy Gun".

1945 Christmas Present from wife Mary ... "Mitch's" wife Mary, for Christmas 1945 mailed / sent "Mitch" a Christmas Present of a loaf of bread. However in side the loaf was a bottle of "Jim Beam" Bourbon. When it arrived 2 weeks after Christmas, "Mitch" shook the box and knew what was in the box. He asked another soldier, Pvt. Sandy Sanches to join him out side in the very cold and snowy Japanese weather to help him celebrate Christmas there in Japan.

Mitch's going Home ... One day, LT. Danna called "Mitch" in to his office and told him " ... You lucky S.O.B., pack up, your going home tomorrow and getting out of this Army".

"Mitch" returned to the United States on March 3, 1946 on the USS General John Pope (AP-ll 0) (DD-225?) from Yokohama, Japan to Seattle, Washington. (See Article in "Mitch's" album), where they quarantined the Ship out in the harbor for a week. "Mitch" then went to Fort Lawton, WA where they waited until a Train Strike was over and then went down to Los Angles,CA He was separated from the Army at FT. MacArthur, CA on 3/2111946. Interesting note: when "Mitch" went into the Army he weight approx. 240 LBS when he got out and came back to San Diego he weight approx. 178 LBS and his sister-in-law did not recognize him.

The Medals Awarded to Roy D. Michie:

The Bronze Star.
 Good Conduct Medal.
 Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
 Philippine Liberation Medal with Bronze Star
 World War II Victory Medal.
 Combat Infantryman Badge.
 Honorable Service Lapel Button, (World War II).

He also is in the Library of Congress's "Veterans History Project"

Sincerely,
Charles Lentz, Colonel, Ret. USA.

Roy Michie Gallery

27th Infantry Regimental Historical Society
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