96th Infantry Division Deadeyes Asssociation

 The 593rd JASCO  
 
Members of the 593rd JASCO (Joint Assault Signal Company) were attached to the 96th Division for landings at both Leyte and Okinawa.  At Leyte, five of us and Lt. Spears landed in the third wave in an amphibious tank with members of the 382nd Regimental Combat Team of the 96th Division.  We landed on Orange 1 or 2, whichever was on the right flank.  For an assault landing, things were pretty quiet for a while, not what we expected.  Then the Japanese (who were dug in up on Liberian Head) started dropping mortar on us.

  There were quite a few casualties, including Lt. Spears, who told me later that he didn't know that he was hit until medics were curtting open his pant leg to get at the bleeding.  There was a man, who I think came in on the tank we were on, who had a piece of shrapnel go through his helmet, which killed him.  I am sure the 96th suffered more casualties there.

   I remember being behind a coconut palm when a mortar round came in and exploded.  I turned my head and looked at a guy laying next to me, and we sort of grinned at each other.  Another one came in and I turned my head to look aqt him again and his face was covered with blood.  The medics got to him - they were the only ones moving.  God Bless Them.  I don't know what happened to him.

   As I remember it, several of the 96th went to check a bridge and met with some Japs on the other side of the bridge, which resulted in several casualties.

  The mortars let up for a while, and the Medics erected a large canvas with a Red Cross on the top.  I do believe that the Japs started zeroing in on it.

   During the let up of the mortars, three of us started digging in.  The mortar fire started again, hitting the top of a tree we were near.  The three of us tried to get to the bottom of that hole we were digging.  However, it pronbably wasn't big enough to even hold a helmet yet.

   This was the only really rough time that I experienced while there, as I didn't get away from the beach.  Our job was to establish beachhead communication, ship to shore, inland, and up and down the beach.

   After 21 days, things were secure and we left to join the 40th Division at New Britain to prepare for the invasion of Luzon, which took place at Lingayan Gulf, January 19, 1945.  Then it was back to Leyte.  On March 13, 1945 we boarded the USS Haskell attached again to the 96th Division for the landing at Okinawa on April 1, 1945.  We  stayed with the 96th Division until the end.  However, for a while, a few of us were attached to the 27th Division at the north end of Okinawa,  We felt that the 96th was our division, and we were honored to be a part of it.

   Also, about twenty of us were, at one time, a part of the 91st Division Signal Company at Camp White, Oregon during the months of September and October, 1943.  The 91st then went to Camp Adair, and I think the 96th went to Camp White.

   I might add that I felt that any outfit that had Marjorie Main as their pinup girl was my kind of outfit.

   God bless you all.