Stories by Sixth Division Marines
A Special Christmas Memory
by John McCulloch (22nd Mar-2-HQ)
John Wells and I had just been given several boxes of K-rations, and I complained about extra dinners. They featured Corned Pork Loaf. I just could not get that stuff down. The rest was okay, but not that.
We watched while a tank with a flame thrower was clearing out the Nip-occupied caves at the edge of a Cain field. The Nips had two choices: run out and get cut down by our Marines or stay in and suffocate. The tank was about 200 yards in front of us, and it finally pulled out of the area. John said, "Hey Mac, look at this." Two little Okinawa kids came out of the Cain field with their hands up. A boy and a girl about 5 or 6, they were surrendering to us.
We motioned for them to turn around to see if they were hiding explosives. (It was common for the Nips to use children that way.) Then we motioned to them to come into our foxhole and out of danger.
They were skinny as rails with dirty faces and ragged clothes. John said, "Mac, let’s clean them up, and when it calms down, we'll send them back to a safer area."
I took out my handkerchief and using water from my canteen cleaned up the face of the girl. She looked at the water, and I could tell she wanted a drink. John did the same with the boy. Then I beamed to John, "Do you think they might like some Corned Pork Loaf?" "Give it a try," John said.
Wow, did they! They probably had not eaten in days.
Near dusk we sent them back to safety with four boxes of dinner K-rations. Then I ate the breakfast K: chopped ham and egg whites. We both smiled as they looked back at us. We waived.