by Jack Jorgensen, Life Member # 795.*A Book Review by the Editor
In Talomo Beach, Jack Jorgensen tells how he
got to the Beach from basic at Camp Roberts, CA., to New Guinea and
then to Leyte, Mindanao, and elsewhere in the Philippines.
Jack and Christel Jorgensen 2008
First assigned to a rifle company in the 34th Regiment, he was reassigned to the Adjutant General’s office because of his clerical skills.
His jobs were varied, but included a stint with the Awards and Decorations section, where he described the honor and historical significance he felt in writing the Medal of Honor citation for Pvt. Harold Moon, “G” company, 34th Infantry Regiment (see back cover of the Taro Leaf, Volume 59, Number 1, Winter 2005).
He tells of the intense feelings when they received word of the Japanese surrender, and of the concoction they created from a variety of sources to “celebrate” the apparent end of the war. He also tells of the many GIs that would still die at the hands of Japanese who refused to surrender, leading Jack to conclude that “they were a barbaric race.”
He devotes several chapters to various men whose paths crossed his, including James Thompson from IL, Alfred Moses from Jack’s home town of Winner, SD, and a medic named Charlie Anderson.
The one about Thompson is especially poignant because in their long discussions during their 30-day voyage to the South Pacific, Thompson tells Jack he believes he will die, and wonders what will become of his wife and young son. He died in the Leyte landing!
Jack the recruit.
In discussing his relationship with officers, Jack says: “I was to learn to respect the officer corps much more than the enlisted non-coms, who seemed to be more brutal than anything and were impressed by their power over the lower ranks.”
Throughout this rather short, easy-to-read 117-page book, Jorgensen seemed to dwell most on the personal relationships he developed, and how fragile most of these were.
He says “I never let myself get too close to those men I served with, though I valued their friendship. But we knew that someday… we would be forgotten in the mists of time.”
To me this is the power of Talomo Beach; how we shared with those with whom we served, yet how this mostly vanished once we re-immersed ourselves into the rest of our lives. TJT
* You may order “Talomo Beach,” from Jack for $15.00, includes shipping.
John P. Jorgensen
1481 S. Danube Way #104
Aurora, CO 80017-6393
Ph: (720) 535-4285
The Taro Leaf, Vol. 63(1), Winter 2009, pg. 46.