By Cpl. Ralph Boyce

YANK Staff Correspondent

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 the 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 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. 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.

saidor WWII 32nd infantry division

Aerial view of Saidor, New Guinea.

For More Reading Check Out:

War at the End of the World: Douglas MacArthur and the Forgotten Fight For New Guinea, 1942-1945

The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea–The Forgotten War of the South Pacific

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