Monthly Archives: September 2012

Camp MacKall & the Knollwood Maneuvers

WACO glider at Camp MacKall – reverse side reads: “Hello Mom, Finally got some cards that can let you see what these gliders we ride around in look like. This picture was taken on our camp field. I have a few more that I’ll sens to you. Regards to all. Hope to be home this Wednesday.” Everett

The type of construction used for the barracks at Camp MacKall and the above hospital is called a “theatre of operations.”  Built on pilings and constructed of green sawed pine boards which is then covered with type 4 black tar paper.  The wood was cut from trees on the camp property using 7 sawmills running 24/7.  When the boards dried out, the 2 pot-bellied stoves were incapable of keeping the men warm.  Smitty spent some time at that hospital when the army discovered he did not perspire.  The medication took 3 weeks to kick in and then he was back to marching.

The Knollwood Maneuver would not only be the deciding factor for the 11th Airborne, but also for future paratrooper divisions as a whole.  5 December 1943, Army Ground Forces test team deployed a composite combat team from the 17th A/B, plus a battalion from Col. Duke McEntee’s 541st Parachute Infantry Regiment to be situated at Knollwood Airport and other critical points to act as the ‘enemy.’

Viewer to this operation included: Under Secretary of War, Robert Patterson; General McNair; General Ridgeway (82nd A/B); BGen. Lee Donovan; Airborne Command and several teams of high-ranking inspectors from the War Dept., Army Ground Forces and Army Air Forces.

On midnight of Dec. 6, 1943, 200 C-47 Dakota transports carried the troopers and towed the 234 gliders from five separate airfields to begin the operation.  The lift-offs were timed so that each plane would join the column in its proper place.  The aircraft became a vee-of-vees, nine ships wide as the formations grew larger.  They made a rendezvous on the Atlantic coastline and took a 200 mile circular route before aiming toward the inland drop zones; most of the men would jump during evening’s darkness at 1200′.  Almost all the troopers and gliders hit the proper DZ (drop Zones) and LZs (landing zone).  However, the division chief of staff and his glider load landed in a road on the Fort Bragg artillery range.

Weather conditions were not condusive for jumping as the rain became sleet, but still, 85% were successful.  There were 2 casualties and 48 injuries.  The 11th Airborne “captured” and “held” the Aberdeen and Knollwood Airports from the defending forces.  The exercise came to an end on Dec. 12 – Smitty’s 29th birthday.  The War Dept., after reviewing the reports, replied to Gen. Swing that they had been wrong and the training for such a specialized unit should proceed. (As it would turn out, their training had only just begun. )

News from home: Smitty’s friend, George Dunlop rescued two Navy pilots after their training plane crashed into Jamaica Bay.  The company of soldiers that were stationed on Broad Channel became an actual camp and decided to call it — Camp Smith!  War bond drives were going on as well as the dimming of the street lamps.

Below is the graduation class of the 187th regiment, 11th Airborne Division – Everett Smith is in the back row, fifth from the right (in front of the tree), Arthur G. Weyant (bottom row, far left)

187th, Headquarters Company

On Jan. 1, 1944, the Headquarters Building for the 11th burnt to the ground.   Jan. 2, the division began its train ride south to Camp Polk, LA.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – From the 82nd A/B Div. Assoc.

airborne_agenda

tell_me_a_again

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

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Airborne & Camp MacKall

Read the rest of this entry

Setting the stage for war …

Pres. T. Roosevelt, courtesy of Saturday Evening Post

Pres. T. Roosevelt, courtesy of Saturday Evening Post

For centuries Asian products were desired, but one of the most profitable trade routes operated from India to China, introducing opium into that country.  This market accounted for 20% of the British Empire’s revenue and was the basis of the Roosevelt family wealth.

Teddy Roosevelt, a frail and sickly aristocrat, was taught thru his youth and at Harvard of Aryan supremacy in government and intellect.  Columbia University professor John Burgess impressed him with white American world domination.  With this ideology, he followed the European nations in absorbing colonies.  He pushed for control of the Philippines where the American behavior was deplorable, but overlooked.  The U.S. Minister to Japan, DeLong, encouraged “General” Charles LeGendre to go to Japan and instruct them on invasion tactics and instigate his “Monroe Doctrine” for Asia. (Three decades later it would be known as the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere of WWII).  When Japan invaded Manchuria, Roosevelt said, “I was thoroughly pleased with the Japanese victory for Japan is playing our game.”  Although U.S. advisors assured Korea that America was their “Elder Brother,” in 1905 Roosevelt closed the embassy and said, “I should like to see Japan have Korea.”  The Nobel prize committee did not know of his secret meetings with Japan during the Russo-Japanese War and gave him the Peace prize anyway.

Roosevelt had not only opened the door for Japan to conquer neighboring nations, he gave them the ideal instructor and plans to do it with.  For detailed information see: The Imperial Cruise, by James Bradley

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Being that Japan found it necessary to import food, fuel and American planes parts, here was the edge that FDR needed to coax the U.S. public into war.  When Germany failed to declare war, he froze Japan’s assets on July 26, 1941.  The ABCD powers (American, British, Chinese & Dutch) followed suit and this became a choke chain around Japan’s neck which FDR jerked as he saw fit until Pearl Harbor exploded into a scene of destruction.  This action not only got the U.S. into the war, but FDR made certain that the major effort would be to assist his friend Winston Churchill – not the Pacific.

A rough background …

 

Pvt. Everett "Smitty" Smith, Camp MacKall, NC

Pvt. Everett “Smitty” Smith, Camp MacKall, NC

RE-POSTED IN HONOR OF SMITTY’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

 

Everett Smith was born Dec. 12, 1914 and grew up across from the gentle waves of Jamaica Bay on an island one mile long and barely four blocks wide.  This was the tight-knit community of Broad Channel, New York.  He resided with his mother

young Everett and Mother, Anna

Anna on peaceful East 9th Road and spent his days between school, working and helping to care for his grandmother.  Everett’s nickname had always been “Smitty” and so, the name of his fishing station came to be.  In 1939, at 24 years of age, he married a woman named Catherine and she joined the Smith household.

boats on Jamaica Bay from Smitty's Boat Station

boats on Jamaica Bay from Smitty’s Boat Station

News of Hitler and his rise to power filtered into the newspapers and radio, but the Smith’s still had the memories of WWI and their financial struggles in what would be become known as the Great Depression.  The majority of the U.S. population held the ideal of isolationism in high regard and the Smith household agreed wholeheartedly.  Everett was baffled by FDR’s election as his past political and personal records indicated both amoral and often criminal behavior.  The president began to stretch his powers to the limit to assist his friend, Winston Churchill, but U.S. citizens were straining to survive.

On Oct. 30, 1940, Roosevelt spouted in Boston, “I give you one more assurance.  I have said it before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent to any foreign wars.”  My father did not believe FDR then and as we look back — he was right.

Grassy Point, Broad Channel - where Smitty would often tend bar

Grassy Point, Broad Channel – where Smitty would often tend bar

Everett received his draft notice in Sept. 1942.  He would be sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey where he volunteered for the paratroopers.  He would immediately then be sent to Camp MacKall, North Carolina for the start of his vigorous training.  Smitty became part of one of the most unique army units of its day, the 11th Airborne Division, Headquarters Company, 187th regiment.

You're in the Army now!

You’re in the Army now!

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Farewell Salutes – 

Paul Cross – Virginia Bch, VA; USAAC, WWII, 152nd Artillery, 11th A/B

Gerald Dickey – Richfield, MN; USAAC, WWII Company A, 187th/11th A/Bpatch

Raymond Durr – Abbeville, LA; USAAC, WWII, Company E/187th/11th A/B

John Kozeletz – Coral Springs, FL; USAAC, WWII, Company B/187th/11th A/B

Howard Schleimer – Cleveland, OH; USAAC, WWII, 457th Artillery/11th A/B

Everett Smith – Broad Channel, NY/Hallandale, FL; USAAC, WWII, HQ Co/187th/11th A/B

Kenneth Staples – Stroudesburg, PA; USAAC, WWII, Company F/187th/11th A/B

Robert Teske – Fort Myers, FL; USAAC, WWII, 187th/11th A/B

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One of our fellow bloggers, Prior – that can be viewed HERE!! – was kind enough to put this together for Smitty____

Please click on to enlarge.

Please click on to enlarge.

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Everett Smith’s scrapbook

  Everett A. Smith at Camp MacKall, NC

During my project of  transposing my father’s scrapbook into my computer to preserve it, my research into the 11th Airborne, the Pacific War and the state of the world during that era grabbed my interest.  I amassed a nice size manuscript with bibliography.  And I do not appear to be alone in this interest.

I discovered a multitude of forums and websites dedicated to that era and people searching frantically for any information on their relatives.

In the posts to follow I will include not just the photographs, information and portions of letters (if not all) from the scrapbook, but the political aspects of the past that brought the world to such an explosive state.  I will make every attempt to only post the facts.  Should I find that I wish to make my own opinions on a matter, I will state it as so.

I sincerely hope you not only enjoy this site, but also locate information that is helpful.

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