The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Bullock (Pat H.) World War II Papers
Collection Number M278
Dates: November 1942-November 1946
Volume: .65 cubic feet
Pat Harrison Bullock, son of Frank and Erin Bullock, was born on May 1, 1912, and raised in Sanford, Mississippi. Throughout his childhood and early adult life, Bullock was a humble and sensitive man. He was a cotton farmer and any excess crops he had, he distributed throughout his community.
Bullock was a true patriot, and when the United States government instituted the draft in June of 1940, he immediately signed up for active duty. However, because of his lack of education, only completing two years of grammar school, the Army did not call him for duty until two years after his registration.
On November 14, 1942, Pat Bullock received a notice from the United States Army to report to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for active military service. While at Camp Shelby, he was trained as an automatic rifleman and was assigned to Company I, 124th Infantry, of the Dixie Division. After training, Bullock and his division were sent to Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia, where he remained until the end of January of 1943. On February 14, 1944, Bullock's unit received orders to board an Army transport whose destination was Buna, New Guinea. By March, his ship had sailed through the Panama Canal to the South Pacific with plans to stop for supplies at Milne Bay, Goodenough Islands, and Dobudura, Oro Bay. In early May of 1944, the transport arrived in New Guinea and the soldiers immediately began training in jungle warfare. Then in July, Bullock and his platoon were ordered North to fight the Japanese at Aitape Beach, New Guinea.
On July 5, 1944, the 124th Infantry team landed at Aitape Beach, on Morotai, New Guinea. The unit's assignment was to sever Japanese communication and supply lines serving the island. To that end, the infantry battled the Japanese troops and demonstrated America's will to defeat the enemy. Then on September 15, the division attacked the coral-rimmed beaches on Morotai, and was then able to establish a vital air strip on the island. By Christmas, the Japanese resistance on the island subsided and the Dixie Division successfully liberated Morotai.
The next battle the Dixie Division fought in began on April 22, 1945, when the soldiers landed at Darang, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. The division attacked the Japanese near the Mindanao River and on the Sayre Highway. During the expedition, Bullock was second scout of his unit and his company led the march with Company K, of the Dixie Division. The purpose of the mission was to chase the "Nips" (the pro-Japanese natives) into their mountain hideouts and defeat the enemy. The battle ended at Malaybalay when the Philippine Islands were liberated.
After his military service, Bullock was awarded several medals for his actions in combat: Good conduct; Asian Theater of Operations (ATO) Medal; Asian Philippines Theater of Operations (APTO) Medal; Philippines Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star; World War II Victory Medal; and a Bronze Arrowhead. On December 24, 1945, Bullock received an honorable discharge from the Army, his unit having been demobilized on August 10, 1945. Once at home, Bullock immediately returned to his cotton farm in Sanford, Mississippi, where he worked until his death on February 9, 1983. Pat Harrison Bullock is buried in the Bullock family cemetery in Sanford.
The Pat Harrison Bullock World War II Papers consist of a variety of materials relating to Bullock's military service during World War II. Included are personal correspondence to family and friends, casualty reports for the Morotai and Mindanao Campaigns, the Dixie Division Photograph Album, rules and regulations for guard duty, newspaper articles, and a series of photographs.
The collection spans the years from 1942 to 1946, with the majority of the material pertaining to the Morotai, New Guinea and Mindanao, Philippine Islands campaigns. These materials discuss not only military actions during World War II, but also how the war affected the enlisted man.
The papers are arranged into five series.
Series I contains the 124th Infantry Combat Team's unit journal and casualty reports which outline the day by day action of warfare in New Guinea and the Philippines. The records begin with orders to reinforce other artillery units of the Dixie Division in clearing Morotai Island of the Japanese. Battles involved in this action were those of Aitape and Driniumor River. The second campaign chronicled in the journal was that of Mindanao Island, Philippines. The account begins on April 22, 1945, and discusses how the Dixie Division landed at Darang, Mindanao. Bullock was second scout in Company I which alternated with Company K to lead the march through the Mindanao River Valley and along the Sayre Highway. The division's purpose was to chase the "Nips" into their mountain hideouts. The campaign ended at Malaybalay when Mindanao Island was liberated. Also included in this series are two newspaper clippings, "Morotai Landing," Yank Down Under, October 20, 1944, and "Precipitate Jap Retreat to Hills," Guinea Gold, October 24, 1944. Of particular interest in this series, is the "Dixie Division: An Album of Photographs" which pictorially describes the Morotai and Mindanao expeditions.
Series II consists primarily of personal correspondence from Bullock to his sister, Vianmie. The few exceptions are letters from Edna White, sister of John Billington, (Bullock's close friend who was killed in action during the Mindanao campaign). Of added interest is a spiral notebook in which Bullock wrote memoirs of both campaigns, as well as an enlisted man's reactions to jungle warfare. Because of his limited level of education, the personal letters and memoirs are difficult to read. Bullock does not use punctuation and spells words phonetically.
Series III contains several documents relating to Bullock's military service: honorable discharge certificate, letter of appreciation for military service, immunization form, and U.S. Army classification and mail cards. The final item pertains to an agreement for temporary custody of property, which allowed Sim Bullock, Pat's brother, to control Pat's assets in Seminary, Mississippi, while he was at war in the Pacific.
Series IV is a collection of war memorabilia which includes: World War II medals, infantryman badges, division and rank patches, service bars, and insignias.
The last section, Series V, contains photographs of Dixie Division troops in the jungles of New Guinea and in the hills of the Philippines, including pictures of Japanese causalities on the battle field which bring to life the horrors of warfare.
The World War II papers of Pat Bullock provide insight into infantry combat during the Morotai and Mindanao expeditions. More specifically, there are valuable details and descriptions of the guerilla warfare involved in penetrating enemy lines. For those interested in the Pacific Theater of action during World War II, particularly fighting in New Guinea or the Philippines, this collection will be useful.