Tue March 2, 1943

My prayers are answered for my son is somewhere over there and I know I’ll see him. I have faith to that effect. We were activated today & are now the 8th Combat Camera Unit and are on detached service to the 1st Motion Pic Unit. We found out also where we are to go & are lucky. It’s England.

Wed March 3, 1943

I went home tonite & had dinner. Rosemary made me a very nice cake & I brought some back to the boys. Today was my birthday. Mary had a picture made of her for me & it was swell. It was a tinted miniature. I sure like it. I hope to carry it on me overseas. We are setting up our supply room now.

Thu, Mar 4, 1943

The boys left for the rifle range this morning. I had to stay behind to work. I’ll go later. Bobbie O’Neal was the third highest man and I hope to be the first when I go. We have to keep the O’Neals out in front. He scored 141 out of 200. It was the first time to have a rifle in his hand.

Fri, Mar 5, 1943

We got our overseas equipment issued to us today & I handed it out to the men. Our helmets, field bags, rifle belts, tent, gas mask, and carbine. They sure are a honey of a gun. I guess it won’t be long now. Mary and I & Rosemary & Ronnie went to the Soldiers dance over in Burbank. Had a pretty good time.

Sat, March 6, 1943

Went home at 5 after sleeping on my cot from 1:00 till then. We saw our first three pictures. Learn & Live, Identification of a Jap Zero, and a Xmas short taken by Combat Crews. They were all pretty good. They were the first ones and I was in several scenes. Went over to visit Bob & Clara & had a few drinks. Mary & Ronnie & I went to the show in Van Nuys. I slept thru both of them. I was tired & the drinks sort of made me sleepy.


Sun, March 7, 1943

Was home all day & went to 12:00 mass. After mass went up to see Don Triano’s mother. All three of her sons is in the Army now. Had several drinks of wine & came home.

Mon, March 8, 1943

Went to Sawtell to get my teeth looked after was there until 3:00 and have to go back tomorrow. Went to the show at Culver City & left in the middle of the second. It sure smelled. Was in bed early.


Tue, March 9, 1943

Went back to Sawtell to finish getting my teeth looked after. They are going to repair my bridge. Get them Thu nite. Came back at noon & helped pack our equipment. I am going to write a few letters tonite & get caught up on my diary. I have to stay in. No teeth “ha, ha”

Wed, March 10, 1943

Still packing.


Thu, March 11, 1943

Went to Sawtell Hosp & got my teeth. Had an appointment for 7 got out at 10:00. Went over to Santa Monica & saw some friends was home in bed at 11:00.


Fri, March 12, 1943

Still packing. Went to the dance with 10 of the boys from the unit. All had a swell time. Mary & Rosemary were there & we sang a couple of songs for the dance & all in all we had a good time.


Sat, March 13, 1943

Still packing.


Sun, March 14, 1943

Went home Sat evening & Sunday Doggie Dickines from Manhattan called up & came out to see me. He is in the Army Intelligence. We had a few drinks & went over to Kelly Brennan’s for a few more. Had a wonderful visit & a swell time.


Mon, March 15, 1943

Still packing & making boxes.


Tue, March 16, 1943

Still packing & more boxes to be made. Wish we would get the h___ out of here.


Wed, March 17, 1943

What a great day for the Irish. We worked hard all day & this evening some friends came over & we took in the Post show. “The Moon is Up” was on and it was a good pic. We went to the a bar after & by 2:00 in the morn we all had had enough. Was in good spirits even if it was raining.


Thu, March 18, 1943

Still packing.


Fri, March 19, 1943

We got a truck today & all of our unit but 5 men went in a body over to the Burbank Civic Hall today to the Service Men’s dance. Mary & Rosemary met me there & we sure had a swell time. All of us were drinking but none got out of hand. We sang in groups several songs for the crowd. It was the first chance that so many of us went out together like that & I think we all had a swell time.


Sat, March 20, 1943

Was packing up till noon & after lunch we had a 2 hour play period. The NCO’s played the PFC’s & we beat them 20 to 15. We had the rest of the day off. I was home at 5:00 & at 7:00 Al called & I went to the car line at N. Hollywood to meet him. He stayed a couple of hours then we took him to meet his girl. He gave her his room & came back & spent the night with us.


Sun, March 21, 1943

Went to 12:00 mass & at 2:00 Albert called & I went to N. Holly to pick him & his girl Rosemary up. We then drove to the beach & came back & then Mary & I & Al & Rosemary went to the Florentine Gardens. We had a swell time & Albert was the host. He bought a bottle of Burgundy champagne & we had a wonderful dinner & saw a swell show. Mary & I danced two dances & we took them home & was in bed at 1:30.


Mon, March 22, 1943

Put in a hell of a day was half sick and tired. All the boys but 4 & myself went out to RKO & made a news reel shot. We stayed behind & worked on the parallels. After supper I started on my picture frame made out of a B26 nose. I went to bed at 9:00 & did I sleep.


Tue, March 23, 1943

We started on our new schedule today. Had camera instruction in the morning & afternoon. At play period we had an hour of hand ball. Some fun. Our Col from the 8th Air Force in England was here & he’s going to give us a talk soon. The USO in Culver City opens tonite & all the boys are going.


Wed, March 24, 1943

Had a hell of a time last nite at the USO. We took a lot of pictures & I was in two of them. One a waltz and the other a conga. Had enough by 10:30 & went to Bob’s where the gang finished out the nite. Spent most of the day with camera instructions.


Thu, March 25, 1943

Went to the Air Force Relief Corps & saw about a loan to get Rosemary operated on with. It’s all fixed up for $150.00 and my mind is freer now. Had the car this afternoon & after taking it home came back to camp & worked. Am going to bed early tonite for we have to go out to the range in the morning.


Fri, March 26, 1943

Was up at 6:00 and 7:00 left for the rifle range. I was one of the camera men & shot 100 ft. of film of the action on the range. I think I got some nice shots but will say later just how nice they were. I fired 40 rounds at rapid fire & had 13 bhles & 15 4s. I made a score of 125 out of 200 which isn’t bad considering that it’s been 23 years since I held one of them on a range.


Sat, March 27, 1943

Well all hell broke lose today. We got our orders & we started packing in great shape. We are to leave soon. We are to be in here at 12:00 noon tomorrow to go up for our flight. Everybody seems to be keyed up now & they sure did work like hell today. Went home with Bud Shockey & Bud brought a pt. of whiskey & by  the time I got home I was almost plastered.


Sun, March 28, 1943

Came over here at noon after going to 10:00 mass & it was such a bad day. Our flight was cancelled. Mary waited for me & we took Jean Harm & Zusser with us. We went over to sis’s & then over to Buff’s. We had a qt. and pt. to drink there & then came home ate supper & at 10:30 Mary brought us back to camp & we went to bed early.


Mon, March 29, 1943

Well we are really hot now & it wouldn’t surprise me to see us off in a week. We almost finished packing today. We are restricted tonite & have to get our barracks bags marked & get rid of our personal stuff. I am kind of glad for I need the rest. If I get done in time I’ll have my wife come over after me tonite.


Tue, March 30, 1943

Well one of the units C pulled out today for the New Guinea & Australia front. There were a lot of goodbyes said & one of my best friends left with them. Irving Silbert. Used to work at Warner’s with me. I called his sis for him & told her. I hope we will be next.


Wed, March 31, 1943

Looks kind of dead around here & also sounds dead for C unit had lots of pep. We can’t finish packing now until we get our orders. I hope they come soon. Another unit will leave soon now. Went home tonite & it was sure tough to tell the family goodbye. Hope I don’t have to tell it very often.


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