124th Infantry Regimental Combat Team Command
Driniumor River Campaign

By Ken Walters

This was one of the most vicious battles of the entire war. It has been described by one historian as "A knife fight out of the stone age," ". . . some of the harshest terrain ever faced by land armies in the history of the war," ". . . one of the forgotten, grislier, campaigns of WWII."

In 2010, National Geographic reported that there were still headhunters and cannibals on New Guinea. They were smart enough to hide out during this campaign.

KilroyWasHere.org editor

". . . most merciless and most primeval battles."

George Johnston, an Australian war correspondent

The "ultimate nightmare country."

General Hugh Casy, MacArthur's chief engineer.

New Guinea head hunters
Image courtesy www.offbeat-news.com

"war would be almost impossible to wage on this island."

General Hugh Casy, MacArthur's chief engineer.

It was in 1968 during the height of the Cold War and the war in Viet Nam raging. I was attending the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C. Our speaker, a Mr. Cabot Lodge, told of an abortive raid by a team from the USSR. A small armed force went deep into New Guinea to start a communist movement. Their usual method was to kill any leader that arose making it easy to control leaderless natives. Mr. Cabot Lodge concluded by "the mission failed. They were eaten . . . They didn't try again."

KilroyWasHere.org editor

This is another first hand record about this battle. Some parts are not easy to read. It is certainly not for the queasy. Pat Harrison Bullock tells it like it was.

New Guinea Man
Image courtesy janesoceania.com

1 The Unit Journal. This includes more information about the battles including an article by Arthur Veyseym, Chicago Press Service. It also includes names as well as casualties. This is in Adobe Acrobat format to preserve the original look and feel.

This is in Adobe Acrobat format. If you need the free program, click the image
Click this star to open the Unit Journal

2. Notebook PFC Pat Harrison Bullock's personal notes while in combat in the New Guinea jungles of 1944. It pulls no punches. It was typed from the original for readability.

Click this star to open the Notebook

3. Memoirs PFC Pat Harrison Bullock's comments about the battle written much later.

Click this star to open the Memoirs

Additional reading in KilroyWasHere about this awful battle

Click this image to Read Bill Garbo's Dog Platoon

Click this image to read James McConnell's I Remember grandpa

Click this image to read Mike Sheehan's The Battle . . .

Click this image to read Jim McCracen's Patrol to River X

Click this image to read Jim McCracen's amazing Return to Drinuimor

Click this image to read Paul Tillery's History of the 124th

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