Jack Olsson - Invisibility of the enemy

Running time
1 min 40 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


The Japanese there disappeared into trees and it wasn't as if they, it wasn't a real sight, you know, you couldn't see people standing up and saying "Oh. I'm here".

It reminded me of an ants nest, disappearing and the only time you knew they were there you'd hear [sound of bullets] shots going into a tree or something.

So you just kept your head down but clearly you knew there was a bunch that needed to be destroyed and the platoon commander and myself would talk together and decide "Yeah. Give it a burl." Give probably three rounds of gun fire or something like that.

I'd send the message by phone, that's where my signals got killed by the way, bringing back a line to the guns which would be two miles behind me on a telephone. The telephone worked sometimes, a big old-fashioned telephone.

It worked sometimes, it depends on where you were. If you were in amongst a lot of trees it wouldn't work so you had to rely on the telephone and as soon as you know where you've got to fire you look at your map, work it out on the map, what line, range, angle and sight and send that order down to the gun position officer, call the first round to come over.

If the first round comes over, if it needs correcting you correct it. You go for gun fire. You'd either concentrate all your guns or do it on a parallel.

It's a very quick action. Of course you were very well trained, very well trained. The gunners were good. The gun position officer was excellent. I knew him very well, of course.

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.