June 6, 2014
Shortly after arrival in New Guinea, the unit learned that their searchlights had been deployed elsewhere in the theater. They got to work improving their camp and taking on their new mission at Base “A”. That mission included unloading ships and working in the Quartermaster warehouses. Here is the report from the Unit Newsletter;
“Like pioneers of old, everyone worked together putting in hard and long days. Truck loads of gravel had to be brought in to provide traction to walkways, drainage ditches were dug, trees were cut to provide room for administrative headquarters and tents. Structures were raised and flooring installed – kitchens, showers, mess halls, day rooms, and post exchanges were erected. Ammunition dumps and a chapel were rapidly built. Sweaty clothing remained a problem until each battery had installed its own laundry service.
Soon our training program was underway covering many new subjects with special emphasis on jungle tactics and camouflage. Orientation classes explaining the program of the war on the various fronts proved to be highly popular. For recreation, loudspeakers in the battery area brought the latest world news and American radio programs. Special Services provided abundant reading material and athletic equipment. The 224th soon made a name for itself in a long series of victories, winning the baseball and basketball championships of Base “A” (Milne Bay). Open air theaters, were available for movies. USO and GI shows were enjoyed occasional]y, and were very good shows. Religious services for the various faiths were conducted weekly. Probably the greatest morale builder of all was the mail we received from home.
A class in Master Gunnery was inaugurated on 10 May, including one representative from each battery and the battalion Master Gunner. The rainy season came and we soon learned the value of shoe dubbing. It rained in varying degrees of intensity for nearly fifty-nine days. We gradually became seasoned to it. From the first month special details were assigned to work on the docks, loading and unloading ships. This was halted on 24 May and training resumed until 28 June, when battalion was again organized for and dock duty.” NL