GRIMM, Dale Eugene, WWII
Posted By: Sharon R Becker (email)
Date: 7/24/2016 at 13:28:42
Dale Eugene Grimm
The Leon Journal-Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
July 27, 1942
Mrs. GRIMM of Grand River has received an interesting letter from her son, DALE, who is stationed in New Guinea, describing natives of the villages on that island. He writes:
“Southwest Pacific Area,
“June 22, 1944.
“Dear Mom and All: Yesterday we went out on the crash boat. We followed the coast line up for about two hours to a large native village. On the way up a B-25 gave us a buzz job, clearing the mast about one foot at the most, also we were all ready to take our chances in the ocean. We saw the largest fish I have ever seen on the way up also. We ran into a school of porpoises. They were about five feet long and a foot and a half thick with fins that stick above the water. As the water is perfectly clear we got several good pictures of them. They are brown in color and there is a $500 fine for killing them in the states, as they keep the water clean. If someone is drowned, within 24 hours they will push his body to shore. They also keep rubbish, etc., out of the water. We also saw several coral reefs which as have explained, is a growth rock formation of all different colors on the bottom of the sea. We dropped anchor outside the native’s dock which they used for their own boats carved out of logs. There was a mountain back of the village completely covered with jungle, and at the foot of the mountain are large cocoanut groves in which the natives have their grass houses. Then there is a long sandy beach leading out to the sea. By the time we had anchored about fifty or more kids all the way from one year to five ran around on the beach. We swam into shore, taking our cameras, etc., by rub boat. We spent some time taking pictures of the native kids, then a native guide told us that if we wanted to buy bananas to take the road up to the main village. On the way up at the sides of the paths were natives sewing grass with vines so as to make houses. They sew them by punching a hole in the grass and running the vine through it. When we came to the main village the huts all had shrubbery around them and looked fairly neat. We passed through the village with about a hundred dogs barking at us and crossed a stream on the footbridge and went up a rise to the big chief’s house. He had a nice house. The guide took us on the porch where the big chief and about six of his wives were. Boy, he had the cream of the crop in the women. He stood at attention and saluted us as we came in and we all sat down on benches around his throne. We gave him and his guards cigarettes which they were glad to get then explained to him that we wanted to buy bananas. He stood up and started shouting his voice of authority and from about three directions came native men with bunches of bananas, pampan, bread fruit, pumpkin, squash, etc., and piled about a wagon load at our feet. We started picking out what we wanted, but that wasn’t for them. The chief was a really high pressure salesman. He stood up and said ‘You can buy all or none, and go.’ He said it in such a way that inferred that I inferred that if we didn’t he would as soon have our heads stuffed for his dinner, so to oblige and keep peace we bought the whole works for twelve shillings.”
[Dale was the son of Vernie Clate & Nellie May (Reed) Grimm.]
Decatur County Auxiliary Scrapbook
Submission by Decatur County Historical Museum, Sara Rose Joan LeFleur, June of 2016
Decatur Documents maintained by Sharon R. Becker.
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