May 1944 (2)

Fuel drums being unloaded on Biak

Fuel drums being unloaded on Biak

9 May – per a request from MacArthur, Gen. Kenney went to Finschaven for a conference with the the 6th Army, 7th Fleet and Allied Air Forces to discuss Biak, New Guinea.  It became a bit heated when the 6th Army’s supply staff said that making Biak an objective was impractical and there was no way of getting matériel ashore.  Kenney replied that the Japanese had put 8-10,000 troops and equipment for 3 airfields.  Adm. Flechtler said he wasn’t worried about getting everything ashore. Kenney reminded Gen. Krueger that Mac got them together to decide how to carry out the operation, not when or if they should.

Maffin Bay and airfield

Maffin Bay and airfield

16-17 May – The US Army’s 41st and 6th divisions landed on northern New Guinea in the Wadke-Toem area with Kenney’s 5th Air Force giving support.  These operations went so successfully, MacArthur decided to put the “Tornado Task Force/163rd RCT into Maffin Bay to take an airfield.  Another unit would take the airfield at Wadke.  The Army Intelligence crew kept the general informed of the enemy’s weaknesses in up-to-the-minute detail which aided their success.

Simultaneously, US carrier aircraft attacked Soerabaja, Java.  At least 10 Japanese ships were damaged, 26 enemy aircraft destroyed and ground installations were crushed.  The destroyers were sent to bombard Maloelap.

Soerabaja, Java, 17 May 1944

Soerabaja, Java, 17 May 1944

19-20 May – US carrier aircraft spent these 2 days bombing and strafing Marcus Island.  Cruisers and destroyers bombarded enemy positions in the Shortland Islands, south of Bougainville.

21-26 May – Heavy bombardments continued in the Pacific: Land-based aircraft hit Wotje in the Marshalls; the following day destroyers also hit Wotje and the carrier aircraft bombed Mille. (as per the US Naval Dept. report).

27 May – after a week of bombing, the US Army 158th, 162nd and 186th Infantry Regiments invaded Biak Island, off New Guinea as part of the Cartwheel Operations.  They were supported by shelling from the 7th Fleet.  Biak is 45 miles long and 20 mile wide.  It held 3 airstrips that were defended by 10,000 Japanese.

Troops approaching barrtle, Sherman tank visible.

Troops approaching battle on Biak, Sherman tank visible.

The landing was unopposed, by as the troops neared the airstrip at Mokner, the enemy sprang from caves and camouflaged areas with machine-gun, artillery and mortar fire from cliff-side positions.  A huge fire-fight ensued.  The US and Japanese troops also engaged in their first tank battle of the Pacific and ended in a Japanese defeat.  Biak is only 80 miles from Davao in the Philippines.

29 May – Medina, on the northern coast of New Ireland, was bombarded by Pacific Fleet destroyers, yet no invasion was planned.  This was merely a preliminary for what was to come.

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Donald Atkins – Walbridge, OH; US Army, MPwp-1473294032699

Max Clark – No. Huntington, PA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, SeaBee

Victor Davis Sr. – Decatur, TN; US Army, WWII

Elwood Euart – Field Artillery, RI; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Captain, KIA

Frank George – Broad Channel, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Bob Hill – Eugene, OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, 11th, 82nd & 101st A/B Div., 4 Purple Hearts

Tom Jarvis – Ft. Lauderdale, FL; US Navy, USS Yancey

Noel Peacock – Tuggeranong, AUS; RA Air Force & RA Navy

Maxine Priest – Newton, KS; ‘Harvey Girl’ for troop trains

Milton Schwartz – Bronx, NY; US Army, Korea

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Curator’s Corner- NMCB 74 and the FEARLESS Beaver

A piece of history we don’t want to miss.

U.S. Navy Seabee Museum

Fearless Beaver of NMCB 74https://www.facebook.com/FEARLESS74The FEARLESS Beaver of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 [U.S Navy Seabee Museum] Many Seabee Battalions can trace their battalion history back to World War II and the creation of the Construction Battalions. The “Fearless 74,” better known as Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74 (NMCB) is one of those battalions. Originally known as the 74th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB), they were activated April 28, 1943, at the Naval Construction Training Center in Camp Perry, Williamsburg, Virginia.

From the battalion’s humble beginnings during WWII, the 74th NCB used the beaver as their battalion logo. Frank J. Iafrate, who created the idea for the Seabee logo, his first idea was originally a beaver, the builder. But after some research, it was found that while beavers are good builders, however when threatened, they retreat; where bees are both builders and fighters. So the beaver idea was abandoned.

patch for NMCB 74 with beaver Mobile Construction…

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Smitty ~ Letter V

King Neptune and the Pollywogs

King Neptune and the Pollywogs

When Smitty’s ship passed the equator, as per naval tradition, the ship’s crew donned their apparel of King Neptune and his court in preparation of handing the “Pollywogs” (the soldiers) their certificates of crossing.  The Royal Barber tried to cut the hair of the crew-cut troopers and the Royal Executioner paddled a backside with an oar if the receiving line moved too closely to a snail’s pace. (which one can imagine was every G.I. derriere that went by!) Smitty was one to really enjoy this sort of tomfoolery — even if it was with the navy!  The water damage you see to Smitty’s certificate (pictured below) is one of the reasons I began to make a facsimile of his scrapbook onto the computer.  The more research I did, the more people I discovered who were out there, also looking for data on their own relatives, ergo – this blog.  I have re-typed the contents of the certificate to show the humor involved — despite a war.

equator crossing

equator crossing

To All Sailors, Marines, Whatever Ye Maybe: Greetings: and to all Mermaids, Whales, Sea Serpents, Porpoises, Sharks, Eels,Dolphins, Skates, Suckers, Crabs, Lobsters and all other Living Things of the Sea:

Know ye, that on this June 15 ’44 in Latitude 00000 and Longitude Cape Mendacia there appeared within Our Royal Domain the bound Southwestward for the Equator, the South Sea Islands, New Zealand and Australian ports BE IT REMEMBERED That the said Vessel and Officers and Crew thereof have been inspected and passed on by Ourselves and Royal Staff:

AND BE IT KNOWN By all ye Sailors, Marines, Landlubbers, Soldiers and all others who may be honored by his presence, that Pollywog Everett A. Smith 32816491  Having been found worthy to be numbered as one of our Trusty Shellbacks he has been duly initiated into the SOLEMN MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THE DEEP  Be It Further Understood:  That by Virtue of the power invested in me I do hereby command all my subjects to show honor and respect to him wherever he may be.

Disobey the Order under Penalty of Royal Displeasure. (bottom left) Given under our band and seal this Davey Jones, His Majesty’s Scribe – (bottom right)  Neptunus Rex, His Servant – the signature appears to be Gregory Cullen

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World map in WWII era

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Letter V                                                                                                       Yep!  Still at sea

Dear Mom, 

I was seriously thinking of tearing this letter up, as I couldn’t for the life of me locate an airmail stamp aboard ship.  I kept at it though until finally fortune smiled down on me and success was mine.  I have been pretty lucky so far at my card playing activities and should it hold out until we reach some civilized port, why I’ll be ahead and you will be pleasantly surprised when you receive my check for like amount.  We can cable home money from abroad so might just as well take your advice — surprised? — and send it home for that day when we shall all return.

We have a large map of the world hanging up on the wall, which supplies us with as much amusement trying to figure out just where we are.  According to figures, dates, times and patience, we should be hitting a port sometime real soon.  In fact there is a rumor being whispered about that we will hit one tomorrow.  Now this rumor comes from good authority seeing that it came from a fellow whose first sergeant is a second cousin to the uncle of the father of the first mate whose brother is third cook on this boat.  Now, can’t you see why we are so glumly overjoyed?  All kidding aside though, we should be nearing one soon.

We saw a movie last night down in the mess hall.  It was quite an old picture, but luckily for me, I hadn’t seen it before, so therefore I spent my most enjoyable hour so far on this trip.  The officers on this trip haven’t been having it quite as tough as us, but rough enough.  In order to pass away their time they have taken up the game of badminton with a zeal and I must say have really kept at it until now this regiment can boast it has not only badminton players, but experts as well.  By the way, I have also learned how to play the old card game of Cribbage.  Ever hear tell of it before? 

Well mom, that is all for today, so once again I’ll sign off, but before I do, give my regards to all and I’ll write again soon. 

Love and kisses, Everett

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Military Humor –

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The new terrorist ‘catch and release’ program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

Mary Adams – Shenandoah, PA; US Army WAC, WWII, nurse

official wreath laying ceremony

official wreath laying ceremony

Frederick Brooks – Richmond, VA; US Navy, WWII

John Dane – Fairbault, MN; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Robert Emmons – Ontario, OR; US Navy, WWII, PTO

George Katzman – NYC, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO

Edmund  Leszczynski – Dearborn Hgts., MI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, P-38 pilot

Raymond Plaisted – Midland, GA;  US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO/US Army, Korea, Vietnam 187th RCT/11th Airborne Div.

Ralph Sullivan Jr. – Winston-Salem, NC; US Army, WWII

David Toms – Waikato, NZ; RNZ Navy # 3504, WWII

Richard Washburn – Denver, CO; USMC, WWII, PTO, 3 Purple Hearts

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May 1944 (1)

 

Japanese gun on Ponape Island

Japanese gun on Ponape Island

1 May – Ponape (Pohnpei) Island was bombarded by the battleships of the 5th Fleet and supported by carrier aircraft.  Numerous buildings, the seaplane base and the wharf were destroyed.  The Air Force TF-13 hit Woleai and Eauriprik Atolls, all in the Caroline Island group.

On New Guinea, 180 B-25s, A-20s and fighters of the 5th Air Force hit the Wewak and Hansa Bay areas.  Airfields, villages, antiaircraft gun positions, barges and offshore islands were bombed.

Location of Jaluit Island

Location of Jaluit Island

4-15 May – a US naval and air base were established on Majuro Atoll in the Marshalls.  Six days later, the naval base on Eniwetok island operational.  On the 12th, naval air bases were up and running at Ebeye and Roi-Namur, in the Kwajalein Atoll.  During 13-14 May, land-based bombers heavily attacked Jaluit in the Marshalls.

Today - an IMEJ-battleship rusts slowly in the Jaluit Lagoon.

Today – an IMEJ-battleship rusts slowly in the Jaluit Lagoon.

6 May –  the Gato-class submarine, USS Gurnard (SS-254), attacked an enemy convoy in the Celebes Sea.  She sank the troop-carrying army cargo ships, Aden Maru, Amatsuzan Maru, and Tajima Maru, en route to New Guinea.

13th May – the 13th Air Force was busy sending out over 50 aircraft to attack the coastal areas at Ratsua, Porton, Chabai and Tarlena.  Over 30 fighter-bombers hit supply areas, the Hahela Mission and villages along the Numa Numa Trail in Indonesia.  New Britain and New Ireland continued to be bombed.

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The following is a direct quote from the US Army Military History books.

By April of 1944, under the impact of General MacArthur’s two-pronged offensive against the Japanese forward line in the southeast area and the parallel enemy thrust into the outer defense rampart of the Central Pacific mandated islands, the operational center of gravity in the Pacific theater of war was moving relentlessly closer to the line which the Army-Navy Central Agreement of 30 September 1943 had defined as the boundary of Japan’s “absolute zone of national defense.”1

In drafting this agreement, Army and Navy strategists recognized that the continuous attenuation of Japan’s fighting potential made it unwise, if not impossible, to attempt a decisive defense of the existing Pacific front line under the increasing weight of Allied offensives. Therefore, the mission of the forces in Northeast New Guinea, the Bismarcks, Solomons, Marshall and Gilbert Islands was limited to one of strategic delay, and plans were laid to build a main line of resistance along a restricted perimeter from the Marianas and Carolines to Western New Guinea and the Banda and Flores Seas.  These were to be flanked by the Bonins and Kuriles to the north and the Sundas to the west.

To give an idea of size discussed - the U.S. map is superimposed over just the SW Pacific area.

To give an idea of size discussed – the U.S. map is superimposed over just the SW Pacific area.

The essential points of the Army-Navy Central Agreement embodying this vital revision of Central and South Pacific war strategy were as follows:3

1. Key points in the southeast area, extending from Eastern New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, will be held as long as possible by destroying enemy forces whenever they attack.4

2. With a view to the rapid completion of counteroffensive preparations, the following missions will be accomplished by the spring of 1944:

a. Defenses will be strengthened, and tactical bases developed, in the areas of the Marianas and Caroline Islands, Western New Guinea, and the Banda and Flores Seas.

b. Bases will be developed in the Philippines area for strategic and logistic support.

c. Ground, sea, and air strength will be built up in preparation for counteroffensive action.

3. In the event of an enemy approach toward the areas mentioned in paragraph 2a, powerful com-

 


ponents of all arms will be concentrated against his main attacking front, and every means will be employed to destroy his forces by counteroffensive action before the attack is launched.

4. After the middle of 1944, if conditions permit, offensive operations will be undertaken from the area including Western New Guinea and the Banda and Flores Seas. Separate study will be made to determine the front on which such operations should be launched, and necessary preparations will be carried out accordingly.

The deadline fixed by Imperial General Headquarters for the completion of preparations along the new defense perimeter was based upon the estimate that full-scale Allied offensive operations against either the Western New Guinea or Marianas-Carolines sectors of the line, or possibly against both sectors simultaneously, would develop by the spring and summer of 1944. Although a six months’ period was thus allowed for execution of the program, its actual start was somewhat delayed. Moreover, the scope of preparations envisaged was so vast that it was problematical whether the nation’s material and technical resources would be equal to the task.

Primary emphasis in these preparations was placed upon the development of air power. After the bitter lessons taught by the southeast area campaigns of 1942-43, Army and Navy strategists unanimously agreed that the air forces must be the pivotal factor in future operations, whether defensive or offensive. To successfully defend the new “absolute defense zone” against the steadily mounting enemy air strength, they believed it imperative to have 55,000 planes produced annually. At the same time a large number of air bases, echeloned in depth and mutually supporting, had to be built and equipped over the widely dispersed areas of the new defense zone.

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To view my Air Force Birthday post – Please click – HERE!

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Military Humor – 

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Ooh - those pesky budget cuts!!

Ooh – those pesky budget cuts!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Lillard Brown – Ft. Thomas, KY; US Army, WWII, PTO, Americal unit, Bronze Star

Larry Chavez – Albuquerque, NM; US Army WWII, Purple Hearttributesarmy

Bill Edwards Jr. – Durham, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-24 top turret gunner

James Hayes – Ariton, AL; US Army

Irene Michak – Lexington, MA; USO, WWII

Hugh O’Brien – Rochester, NY; USMC; WWII, PTO, (beloved actor)

Charles Pranio – Edison, NJ; US Army, WWII

Brian Rix – Cottingham, UK; RAF, WWII, ETO, (beloved actor)

Louis Roth – St. Augustine, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. E/188th/11th Airborne Division

Joseph Stewart – Olathe, KS; US Navy, Korea, USS Boxer, Corsair “Bitter Bird” pilot

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Smitty ~ Letter IV/ and POW/MIA day

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Just two days out of San Francisco, CA, the dismal conditions aboard Smitty’s troop ship, heading southwest, took a turn for the worse.  The cool weather became stifling hot and humid.  The fresh meat and vegetables ran out and Spam sandwich became the lunch cuisine of record.

The troops learned that dehydrated potatoes, cooked to the consistency of pebbles; powered eggs, unrecognizable except for the color; and hot dogs of no discernible pedigree were to be the standard ‘menu’.  Nobody asked for seconds!

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Shut-eye?

 

Letter IV                                                                                                      Still at sea in a quandary

Dear Mom, 

Well, here I am again as promised.  Yesterday we had a little something different to sea besides the sea.  Notice that I’m getting so that I can only spell  the sea when I mean to write see.  Early in the morning we had the pleasure of seeing another ship and must say it sure made one feel good.  Why it should though I can’t say unless it is the thought that someone else is having it just as tough.  Guess there is some truth in the saying, “Misery loves company.”  We also had the pleasure of watching some islands in the far off distance.  I won’t try to describe them to you, as that would be too much to expect to pass. (Censorship blacked out the next paragraph) 

You will kindly take notice that I used the words “pleasant” and “pleasure,” if I keep that up you might get the idea this is getting to be that kind of voyage.  Some amusing things do happen though, such as the boys sleeping out on the deck getting caught in the rain or some clumsy ox slipping and sliding his way along the boat.  By the way, I forgot to tell you that we get the regular news everyday in a printed form resembling a newspaper.  Also music by record sounds tinny, but anything out here is good.

You can readily see I haven’t much ambition for writing today, which reminds me   Smitty was blacked out by censors.  Matter of fact, the way I feel right now, I don’t care much whether I do or not. 

Well, that is all for today’s report on nothing, so with all my love, I am your ever obedient son,

  Everett

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POW/MIA Day recalled – 

To visit my past POW/MIA posts, please click HERE and then HERE – Thank you for honoring these troops.

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Military Humor – 

Well landlubbers, a funny thing happened our first few days aboard our troops ship....

“Well landlubbers, a funny thing happened the first few days aboard our troops ship….”

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Farewell Salutes –

Richard Adams – Lakewood, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

Aubrey Brady – Booker, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO/Korea, 5th Air Force Cmdr., Lt.Col. (Ret.)wp-1473294032699

Louis Ciavarro – W.Palm Beach, FL; US Navy

Kenneth Eade – Hanna, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Marlin Fife – Logan, UT; US Army, WWII, ETO, communications

Thomas McGuire – Sebring, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Major, pilot, Medal of Honor, KIA

Clarence Mellbye – Salem, OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Jeremiah O’Keefe – Ocean Springs, MS; USMC, WWII, PTO, “Death Rattlers” pilot

Thomas Schaeffer – Rochester, NY; US Air Force, Iran, Colonel (ret.), pilot, POW

Donald Wilson – Lincoln, RI; US Navy, Korea

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Japanese WWII Vet Sees Trouble on the Horizon

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Kaname Harada, 98, holding a picture of himself when he was a fighter pilot

NAGANO, Japan — Kaname Harada was once a feared samurai of the sky, shooting down 19 Allied aircraft as a pilot of Japan’s legendary Zero fighter plane during World War II. Now 98 years old and in failing health, the former ace is on what he calls his final mission: using his wartime experiences to warn Japan against ever going to war again.
This has become a timely issue in Japan, as the conservative Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has called for revising Japan’s pacifist Constitution. On a recent afternoon in this alpine city near his home, Mr. Harada was invited to address a ballroom filled with some 200 tax accountants and their business clients.
After slowly ascending the stage with the help of his daughter, he stopped to hang up hand-drawn war maps and a sepia-toned photo of himself as a young pilot in a leather flight suit glaring fearlessly into the camera.  It was the same face that now turned to look at the audience, creased by age, and somehow softer and wiser. His body was so frail that his suit hung loose like a sail, but he spoke with a loud voice of surprising vigor.
“Nothing is as terrifying as war,” he began, before spending the next 90 minutes recounting his role in battles, from Japan’s early triumph at Pearl Harbor to its disastrous reversals at Midway and Guadalcanal. “I want to tell you my experiences in war so that younger generations don’t have to go through the same horrors that I did.”

model aircraft Mr. Harada uses while he describes his experiences.

model aircraft Mr. Harada uses while he describes his experiences.

It is a warning that Mr. Harada fears his countrymen may soon no longer be able to hear. There are only a dwindling number of Japanese left who fought in the war, which in Asia began when Imperial Japan invaded northeastern China in 1931, and claimed tens of millions of lives over the following 14 years.
In an interview after his speech, Mr. Harada described himself as “the last Zero fighter,” or at least the last pilot still alive who flew during that aircraft’s glory days early in the war with the United States. He recounted how in dogfights, he flew close enough to his opponents to see the terror on their faces as he sent them crashing to their deaths.
“I am 54, and I have never heard what happened in the war,” said Takashi Katsuyama, a hair salon owner, who like many in the audience said he was not taught about the war in school. “Japan needs to hear these real-life experiences now more than ever.”
Mr. Harada’s talk was filled with vivid descriptions of an era when Imperial Japan briefly ruled the skies over the Pacific. During the Battle of Midway in 1942, he said, he shot down five United States torpedo planes in a single morning while defending the Japanese fleet. He described how he was able to throw off the aim of the American tail gunners by tilting his aircraft to make it drift almost imperceptibly to one side as he closed in for the kill.

Mr. Harada during one of his talks.

Mr. Harada during one of his talks.

He also described his defeats. He said he had to ditch his plane in the sea after Japan lost all four aircraft carriers it sent to Midway, the battle that turned the tide of the war in favor of the United States. Four months later, he was shot down over the island of Guadalcanal. He survived when his plane crashed upside down in the jungle, but his arm was so badly mangled that he never fought again. He spent the rest of the war training pilots back in Japan.
After Japan surrendered, he said, he hid from what he feared would be vengeful American occupiers. He worked for a time on a dairy farm, but found himself plagued by nightmares that made it tough to sleep. In his dreams, he said, he kept seeing the faces of the terrified American pilots he had shot down.  “I realized the war had turned me into a killer of men,” he said, “and that was not the kind of person I wanted to be.”
He said the nightmares finally ended when he found a new calling by opening a kindergarten in Nagano in 1965. He said he was able to alleviate the pangs of guilt by dedicating himself to teaching young children the value of peace. While he has now retired, he said he still visits the school every day he can to see the children’s smiling faces.

Harada in days gone by.

Kaname Harada in days gone by.

He said it took many more years before he could finally talk about the war itself. The turning point came during the Persian Gulf war in 1991, when he was appalled to overhear young Japanese describe the bombing as if it were a harmless video game. He said he resolved to speak out. – He has been talking about his war experiences ever since.
“Until I die, I will tell about what I saw,” Mr. Harada concluded his speech to the accountants’ group. “Never forgetting is the best way to protect our children and our children’s children from the horrors of war.”
From a “New York Times” article, written by, Martin Fackler, and submitted to Pacific Paratrooper by Christina @ http://bowsprite.wordpress.com/

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Farewell Salutes – 

Doyle Baker – Cherokee, OK; USMC, Vietnam, 3rd Marine Air Wing, Lt.

Jack Bryce – Auckland, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 429941, WWII0083f165f66161f63454e92890403bcd

Lawrence Ericksen – Vernal, UT; US Coast Guard, WWII, Merchant seaman

Frederic Gilbert – El Paso, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Bronze Star

Riley Hammond – Lexington, SC; US Navy, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, (Ret. 30 years)

Paul Ladd – Miami, FL; US Navy, Dental Corps, Capt.

David Manwarring – Covina, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 457 Ordnance/11th Airborne Div.

Mel Martin – NY; US Army, Capt., Commander of West Point Medical Corps

Dempsey Syvet – Gaspe, CAN; RC Army, WWII, CBI, Royal Rifles of Canada

Edward Tice Jr. – Allentown, PA; USMC, WWII, PTO

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Personal Note –  

I attempted to condense this post for the readers, but I just could not see where anything could be taken out.

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WWII Veteran Travels To Teach History

Jerry Yellin, WWII pilot

Jerry Yellin, WWII pilot

I discovered this article and simply felt the day after 9/11 was perfect for repeating it.

Retired Army Air Corps Capt. Jerry Yellin is a man on a mission, and that mission is to speak to young people across America about World War II and the futility of war. His life’s motto is, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and he firmly believes that the young people of today do not appreciate the reality of war and what it was like to fight in one.

Jerry Yellin climbing into a trainer aircraft

Jerry Yellin climbing into a trainer aircraft

Yellin was an Army pilot during WWII [the 78th Fighter Squadron, “The Bushmasters”], with 19 missions over Japan to his credit, but now he is a worried man. In an interview with Channel 12 News, he said, “It’s 2016. I’m 92 years old. I’m reading the same headlines in the newspaper about race, religion, terrorism and killing people for (beliefs) that I read when I was 12 years old in 1936. It’s no different.”

He fears that young people do not understand how the fueling of hatred over differences plays into the hands of warmongers, “We’re an angry nation,” said Yellin. “We’re a divided nation: Culturally, monetarily, racially and religious-wise we’re divided.”

Yellin has a simple message that he is trying to get across to the leaders of tomorrow. No matter how naive he may sound, he simply wants people to draw closer together, “We all need three meals a day,” he said. “We all need a bed to lie down on. We all need something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to for happiness.”

Retired U.S. Army Air Corps Capt. Jerry Yellin attends the 71st Commemoration of the Battle of Iwo Jima at Iwo To, Japan, March 19, 2016. The Iwo Jima Reunion of Honor is an opportunity for Japanese and U.S. veterans and their families, dignitaries, leaders and service members from both nations to honor the battle while recognizing 71 years of peace and prosperity in the U.S. – Japanese alliance. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by MCIPAC Combat Camera Lance Cpl. Juan Esqueda / Released)

Ret. Capt. Jerry Yellin attends the 71st Commemoration of the Battle of Iwo Jima, March 19, 2016.

This aging pilot and humanitarian has already spoken to the students at the University of Washington, and he has several other speaking engagements set up. This weekend he will be at the Sioux Airshow, in the Sheehan Mack Sales & Equipment’s tent where he will be very happy to chat to you.

Hopefully, many young people will heed the important message that this veteran carries. All nations need someone to unite them instead of serving up reasons to divide the population against one another.   Yellin said, “I just want (people) to know what the 16 million (veterans) did in World War II and why we did it. There were 16 million of us, now there’s maybe 300,000 of us. Most of us can’t walk and talk, but I can, so I’m doing it.”

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“Telling them the story of World War II — why we fought, and why we can’t fight any more wars.”

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Military Humor –11133852_544721869000280_6531901680391445584_n

How else can we expect to pay for this war?

How else are we going to to pay for this war?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

Richard Alkema – Belmont, MI; US Navy, WWII

Donald Blakely – Woodbury, MN; US Navy, WWII11986973_1183822258300441_3544440820007753006_n.jpgfrom, Falling with Hale

Dorothy Clapshaw – Waihi, NZ; JP # 810166, WWII, Medical ship, Oranje, ETO to PTO

Peter Collins – UK; RAF, test pilot

Arthur Marshall – No.Vancouver, CAN; WWII, ETO, Calgary Highlanders

Thomas Parkhurst – Prague, OK; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 187th/11th Airborne Division

Robert Schaeffer – Allentown, PA; US Army, WWII, MSgt. (Ret. 31 yrs.), Bronze Star

Thomas Wickline Sr. – Hillsboro, WVA; US Army, Korea

Melvin Witt – Muskegon, IL; US Army, Korea

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9/11 Patriot and National Service Day

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Patriot Day is the annual observance for those who were injured and died due to the 9-11 terrorists attacks.  This was not only an assault on the U.S., but against every nation and individual who do not follow their fanatical ideologies.

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This is NOT to be confused with Patriot’s Day which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord of 1775.

This speaks for itself.

This speaks for itself.

To observe the official moment of silence – the accurate time should be at 8:46 AM (EDT).

In their memory.

In their memory.

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THE HERO DOGS

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And Let’s NOT forget the passengers of Flight 93 who gallantly saved the White House and those at the Pentagon!!!

The shadow of....

The shadow of….

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Farewell Salutes – 

Richard Alkema – Belmont, MI; US Navy, WWII. / Detroit Police Dept.kroger-honor-heros

Charles Andres III – Harvey, LA; US Army, WWII, Lt.Col. (Ret.)/ Lake Hermitage Vol. Fire Dept.

Eugene ‘Shorty’ Bruns – Burketsville, OH; US Navy, / Burketsville Vol. Fire Dept.

John Bussman – Monroe, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Div./ Warren Vol. Fire Dept.

John Cox – Roseland, NJ; US Navy, WWII, submarines / Newark Police Dept.

Edward Early Sr. – New Egypt, NJ; US Army, WWII / Plumsted Chief of Police

Ercole Fioravanti – Rochester, NY; US Army, WWII, / E. Rochester Fire Dept.

Gordon Healy Sr. – Green Bay, WI; US Army, WWII, / Green Bay Police Dept.

Peter Vassello – Smithtown, NY; US Army, Korea, / Smithotwn Fire Dept.

Willis ‘Bucky’ Wise – Bakerstown, PA; US Navy, Korea, USS Soley, / Richland, Fire Dept.

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A Memorial for Australia’s Z Force

Jack Tredrea w/ several Z-Force members and local fighters

Jack Tredrea w/ several Z-Force members and local fighters

Members of a secret Australian military unit that conducted more than 80 operations into enemy territory during World War II have been recognized at the Australian War Memorial.

The Z Special Unit conducted missions in the Pacific and South East Asia, but their achievements were classified for decades.  Senior historian at the memorial Dr Karl James said members of the unit conducted some of the most courageous and extraordinary acts of World War II.

“It is only given the passage of time say from the 1980’s onward, the wartime records relating to Z Special Unit have been cleared and opened, that we are now able to talk about some of these pretty remarkable exploits.”

Jack Tredrea

Jack Tredrea

Dr James said the unit was comprised of about 1,700 members who were sometimes deployed in two-man teams working alongside a wide range of other allied services.

“They worked much more closely with local people, like villagers and they were also given some language training,” he said.

There were also women members of the unit supporting missions from Australia as professional ciphers.

Jack Tredrea, 96, of Adelaide, unveiled a plaque commemorating Z Special Unit at a service at the War Memorial, which he lobbied for alongside ANU anthropologist Christine Helliwell.

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One of the few surviving members, Mr Tredrea, was deployed with Z Special Unit as part of the stealth Operation Semut in Malaysian Borneo, that involved parachuting into the jungle with weapons and cyanide pills.

“We didn’t know whether the Japanese had arrived up in the highlands, we were jumping in blind,” he said.  “But luckily they hadn’t got into the highlands and we were welcomed that day by the villagers. Semut consisted of Semut 1, 2, 3, and 4, and each one had eight personnel … at the end of the war we [had made] over 2,900 kills and taken over 300 prisoners.”

Mr Tredrea and his comrades were sworn to secrecy for 30 years after the war.  He said the new Canberra plaque and the public recognition it brought meant a lot to him and other surviving veterans and families.

Z-unit, Borneo

Z-unit, Borneo

“For all these years no-one knew anything about Z which I think was a great pity because even the SAS today tell us that they are still working on what we started,” he said.

“I was always so proud of the work that Z Special did and when Dr. Christine Helliwell approached me with this idea [for the plaque and service] I was absolutely chuffed.  There are a lot of fellows looking down on us from upstairs with big smiles too.”

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ANU anthropologist Dr Helliwell came across witnesses to some of the units’ secret missions during her field work with indigenous Diak people in the highlands of Malaysian Borneo, near the Indonesian border, in 2014.

“I was expecting that the locals might not have been flattering about Australian soldiers as a lot of people were resistant to colonialism,” she said.

“But in fact the Japanese did not have a good reputation through Borneo and they really liked the Australian Z Specials who really worked hard to get along with the local people.  That’s why they were so successful in Borneo and they actually formed guerrilla armies and fought with the locals.”

Z-Force Borneo

Z-Force Borneo

She described the members of Z Special Unit as national war heroes.

“There were groups that went into rescue American airmen that went down, coming in at night on a submarine and then these little canoes,” she said.  “Those are really brave and risky things to do.”

Hundreds of people including veterans, widows, families and dignitaries attended the plaque unveiling, which Dr Helliwell worked with veterans and the ACT SAS Association to have installed.

Among them were about 20 surviving veterans of the Z Special Unit and 10 families of veterans from New Zealand who also served with the unit.

It was the first time a national commemoration has been held to recognize the service of the members of Z Special Unit.

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Australian Military Humor – 005-478x640

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Farewell Salutes – 

Virgil Boyd Atkins – W.VA; US Army, Korea, 65th/3rd Infantry Div., Pvt., POW, Silver Star

Joe Hosteen Kellwood – Sunnyslope, AZ; USMC, WWII, PTO, Navajo Code Talker128075867

Roy Kellwood – Sunnyslope, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO

Dabney Montgomery – Selma, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, Tuskegee ground crewman

Allen Kenji Ono – Honolulu, HI; US Army, Lt.General (Ret.)

George Saxton – Worcester, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Sgt., Infantry

Gordon Eugene Thompson – MT; USMC, WWII, PTO, Captain, pilot

Charles Trout – Hernando, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

John Whalen – Broad Channel, NY; US Army, Korea

Byres Wylie – Burnie, Tas., AUS; RA Navy # H2890 & RA Air Force # A22496

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Smitty’s Cruise Begins – Letter III

USS Heyward - Heyward class troop ship

USS Heyward – Heyward class troop ship

From my father’s description of his transport ship out of San Francisco and the approximate number of soldiers that were aboard, I can speculate that it was a Heywood class ship, as seen in the above photograph.  As the ship lumbered out to the ocean swells, many of the young men took their final glance of the USA.  Smitty thought that his most boring time in the army was while he sailed on this cruise –  although – he did quite well in learning how to play cards – as did many other G.I.’s.

As they boarded, the ship’s crew immediately began enforcing the security procedures.  All portholes and hatches were covered and no lights were allowed after dusk.  The heat below deck in the cramped quarters would soon become intolerable.  The arrival of the “ditty bags” filled with toiletries, cigarettes, gum and a harmonica brightened their spirits; but many of the mouth organs were quickly sent flying overboard when the noise coming from the tin-eared soldiers became too much for the ship’s officers to endure.  This cruise would take 28 days to complete, so Smitty had plenty of time to write home.

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Letter III                                                                           Somewhere at sea at a loss

Dear Mom, 

  We have been on this tub for quite some time now and I must say that although the army doesn’t go to any great pains making you comfortable, they sure do go to extremes making it unpleasant.   I can’t tell you as much as I would like to about the  trip or what we are doing.  One reason is that we don’t know where the heck we are anyway and as for what we are doing, well anything we might like to do would be stopped sooner than it got started.  It has gotten so that now we have to play cards, if money is displayed, down in the hold.  Seems as though the sea gulls over this ocean are the pious type and the sight of men gambling is revolting — or they think it is food.

To try and describe the food or the mess hall would curtail the use of profanity the like of which I wouldn’t attempt to use.  To call it food in the first place is flattery at its best.  Mess Hall is very appropriate — it is some MESS.  This is the first time in my life that I can truthfully say I dread the thought of eating.  We are supposed to tell you that on board ship we can purchase cigarettes for 4 1/2 cents a pack, also candy and a load of other stuff at cost price.  We can also buy bottles of coca cola, but the blame stuff is so hot that we are of the opinion that loaded down with this coke in our stomachs, we might be used as depth charges if a sub should show up.  We did receive free, with no strings attached, a bag full of necessary things from the Red Cross.  It really was worthwhile going after.

Where we might be bound for is still a very big question that will no doubt be answered only when we finally arrive there.  After all, if we knew, we might tell it to the stars and that would be just awful.  I realize this doesn’t sound like a very pleasant letter, but then you must take into consideration this isn’t a very pleasant trip.  None of those romantic moonlit nights. 

Well, that is all for today, so until later on when I will be back to add to this, I’ll say so long for now and all my love,  Everett

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Military Humor –

"How can you feel queasy, we're barely out of port."

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Farewell Salutes –

James Audet – Walpole, NH; US Army, Korea, Morse Code operator

Varskin Baydarian – Detroit, MI; US Navy, WWII, PTO

THANKS Veterans for walking the walk!

THANKS Veterans for walking the walk!

Harvey Fritz – Gary, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Div.

Wilfred Green – East Meadow, NY; US Merchant Marine

Orvin McGavin – Idaho Falls, ID; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 187th/11th Airborne Div.

Robert Parker – Scotsdale, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQ/674 Artillery/11th Airborne Div.

Donald Pigford – Wilmington, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, P-47 pilot

Franklin Rinker – Allentown, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, D/152 Artillery/11th Airborne Div.

Stanley Wojcik – Windsor, CAN; WWII, RC Air Force

Eileen Younghusband – London, UK; British Army WAAF, WWII

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