Thanks so much for the info. I've actually read the sites already and was in touch today with Lt. Patrinos of Co., G's first platoon (my dad as mortarman was in 4th platoon),who is mentioned on History.net a few times in their info on the Villa Verde. Mr. Patrinos is 92 and sharp as a tack. He told me that the mortarmen had a man who went up to the very front lines to relay coordinants to the rest of the guys in his squad and this may be what was meant by dad being called a gunner. Dad was the sgt of his squad so it makes sense. That the mortarmen were about 300 yards from the front positions. That there would be 5 to 6 guys in a squad. 4 squads to a platoon. Each company had a platoon of mortarmen. That a brigade was the same as a platoon. That the point man may be the guy who had to take a stick so many yards to the front and stick it in the ground so they could get their mortar barrels lined up. Mr. Patrinos was a rifleman and later over riflemen so he wasn't completely up on the lingo of the mortarmen, but thought that is what was meant. He did say that the mortarmen were targets for the Japanese snipers.
Mr. Patrinos was in the war from the start at Buna as he was a WI National Guard when the war started. He started out as a private, Sargent after Buna, and was one of very few given a battlefield commission to LT after the Aitape/Driniumor River Campaign. He was shot badly on the Villa Verde trail on May 1, 1945 and was sent home.
Thanks again for taking the time to give me the information.
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