Woodbury County

Pfc. Robert D. Ling




Says Japs Are Full Of Tricks
Private Robert Ling Compares Solomons to Indian Warfare

Private First Class Robert D. Ling, recuperating from malaria in Schick general hospital, Clinton, Iowa, after four years service in the army declared that fighting on the Solomons was an accelerated Indian warfare such as Americans have not engaged in since the days of our ancestors.

“The Japs are full of tricks and it meant constantly being on guard.” And then he explained further, “They had a habit of slipping through the lines and shooting off firecrackers behind us to draw our fire and they made a weird sound like a woodpecker by hitting two bamboo reeds together, and after a time it wore on the nerves.”

“It didn’t’ take them long to catch on to the names used and some of them would call out at night, “Joe, got a light?” or “Hey, Jake, that you?” but the Americans had been warned what to expect. At times they would call out, “Hey Medics, and the medics have to answer every call from the Americans to give medical treatment. It was just another trick to learn our position.”

Since his first meeting with the Japs December 7, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Private Ling has been constantly on their trail through the fight on Guadalcanal until evacuated to New Caledonia for treatment.

Finally returned to the hospital at Clinton, Iowa, he will report there again following a 10-day furlough spent in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Randi Ling, 920 Division Street.

Source: Sioux City Journal, December 1943