My name is James R. "Rube" Garrett...
I was a Corporal, Ammo Chief for I Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Regiment and a charter member of the 1st Marine Division, formed in Cuba in 1940. The following are my diary entries for the Battle of Guadalcanal. What is there are the impressions of a young 20 year old Marine just as they were written 53 years ago. They detail the war in the Solomons as I lived it...one day at a time.
Excerpt from A Marine Diary: My Experiences on Guadalcanal -
November 12, 1942
Was given word to pack up and move at 3 o'clock. In rear echelon. Saw the most unusual sight yet. 16 torpedo planes shot down by 28 ships that were in the harbor. Big planes being shot down by Grummans and anti-aircraft fire. Really beautiful.
"They flew in low, about 50 feet over the water. I remember we had 30 or 40 or 50 ships sitting in the harbor there, and tall grass covered dunes which you could get on and pretty much have a panoramic view of the whole bay. I remember seeing a big air raid come in and black anti-aircraft fire was coming crazy from all the ships in the harbor -- all kind of puffs of smoke hit the sky. In fact there were 16 torpedo bombers come over and I don't think they hit a thing; they were all being shot down and I think one or two got past the fleet. Our planes were after them too. And way out there on the horizon, we saw the last one go down -- all of them were shot down -- we could see the fire and the smoke. These were big two motor bombers: Japanese bombers burn real good."