"SEABEES AND THE BATTLE FOR HILL 260, BOUGAINVILLE,
IP: 24.228.227.98


AN ACCOUNT OF THE BOUGAINVILLE
CAMPAIGN

By
Brigadier General Hugh M. Milton
U.S. Army.

HILL 260 WAS A LONG PROMONTORY AND THE OUTPOST OF WHICH I HAVE JUST MADE MENTION WAS ON ONE SIDE RIGHT AT THE POINT OF THIS PROMONTORY.

THERE WAS A TREE WHICH I HAVE DESCRIBED AS THE MOST EXPENSIVE TREE IN THE WORLD. IT WAS IN SUCH A POSITION THAT THE JAPANESE COULD COME UP ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE HILL AND GET INTO THE ROOTS OF THE BANYAN TREE AND FIRE AT OUR MEN WHO WERE TRYING TO GET THREE OUT OF THE "OP" (OUTER PERMITER). THIS MADE IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. WE THREW ALL OF OUR ARTILLERY AND HAND GRENADES AND OUR FLAME THROWERS, EVERYTHING AT THAT TREE.

IT WAS FINALLY REDUCED WHEN THREE SEABEES, RATHER SEEING THE SITUATION, GOT AN EMPTY CAN OF GASOLINE (OR BARREL) AND RIGGED IT UP SO THAT THEY COULD HOOK UP A ONE HALF-INCH PIPE INTO IT. THEY STOLE FROM THE HOSPITAL AN OXYGEN TANK. THEN, THEY TOOK THE TANK OF OXYGEN TOGETHER WITH THE GASOLINE BARREL NOW FILLED WITH GASOLINE TO THE FOOT OF THE HILL ON OUR SIDE OF COURSE, AND FISHED THE ONE HALF-INCH PIPE UP THE HILL. THEY TURNED ON THE OXYGEN WHICH GAVE ENOUGH PRESSURE TO FORCE THE GASOLINE UP THE HILL AND INTO THE TREE, THUS, THEY THEY BURNED THE JAPANESE OUT. OF COURSE THEY, THE SEABEES WERE DECORATED FOR IT!







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