Two good friends Ed Monahan (left) and John Mulcahy (right) pose, likely on Fiji. Source: Edward Monahan Collection.
This photo of John Mulcahy (note the pipe he is holding) was likely given to Ed Monahan. The note on the back - in French - reads (roughly) "Listen well. I thank you very much for all the things that you did for me. You have a good head (perhaps a little small without hair, but that means nothing to me). From one soldier to another, you are always near my heart." Source: Edward Monahan Collection.
Poem composed by John Mulcahy, printed in the local Franklin Sentinel on Memorial Day 1943, several months after McCahill was killed on Guadalcanal. Source John Mulcahy Collection.
This scathing poem written by John Mulcahy lashes out at the men leading the Americal Division, and the difference between life on Guadalcanal, and life on Fiji. Source: John Mulcahy, Jr.
John Mulcahy, born in 1916, was one of the men drafted into Company G in the spring of 1941. Hailing from Arlington, MA, he enjoyed writing poetry. While the 182nd was stationed on New Caledonia, he was assigned to the new “Peep Patrol,” a fast response unit that used Jeeps to motor around the island. This unit was inactive when the regiment moved to dense jungle islands without good roadways, like Guadalcanal. Mulcahy was good friends with Ed Monahan, and the two made mutual friends among the locals on New Caledonia and Fiji, including Catholic nuns. Photo #1 shows the two men (likely taken on Fiji), with Mulcahy on the right. Photo #2, from Ed Monahan’s things, featured an inscription in French on the back written to Monahan: “Listen well. I thank you very much for all the things that you did for me. You have a good head (perhaps a little small without hair, but that means nothing to me). From one soldier to another, you are always near my heart.” Also note the pipe he is holding in this studio portrait.
Mulcahy frequently composed poems about Army life. He wrote the piece in Photo #3 about Daniel McCahill, killed in action on Guadalcanal. The poem was published in the local newspaper of McCahill’s home town of Franklin, MA on Memorial Day 1943. While stationed on Fiji, Mulcahy composed a sarcastic poem (Photo #4) about life behind the front lines, entitled “Ode to Our Leaders.”
Soon enough, the men of Company G were back in a combat zone, on Bougainville. Mulcahy was awarded a Bronze Star for his role in the battle for Hill 260, and survived the Philippines campaign. He was shot in the face on Cebu in April, 1945, but was fitted with dentures and returned to action a month later. He was rotated home on points in July, and discharged 1 September, the day before the war officially ended in Tokyo Bay.
Mulcahy married his neighbor Helen O’Brien soon after retuning home. He spent the rest of his life in Massachusetts, and became an avid golder. He served as a pall bearer for the repatriation of Eddie McCarthy in 1949, and attended the funeral of Ed Monahan in 1991. Mulcahy passed away in 1998.