Other Pacific events

Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima and landing craft

Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima and landing craft


As the 11th Airborne Division worked its way to Mount Macolod, other events were transpiring around the Pacific. As stated in the Los Banos post, 23 February 1945 was also the date on which Ole’ Glory was raised on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima. This event was portrayed in the newspapers as the day the Americans won the island, but the Marines would actually face another month of fighting.
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Tokyo received heavy bombing from the aircraft carriers on the 25th and later that night, 172 Boeing B-29 bombers dropped 500 tons of incendiary bombs on the city. (You will find that this action is constantly repeated.)
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The Army’s 41st Division landed on Palawan Island, P.I. to secure the excellent port facilities for the Navy on 28 February. All through the month of March, U.S. forces invaded the numerous islands of the southern Philippines to ensure the safety of the entire country.
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On 3 March, Manila was considered to be in American hands. Japanese resistance within the city limits appeared to be eradicated.
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B-29 in flight

B-29 in flight

During a night raid on Tokyo, 279 B-29 Superfortress aircraft dropped nearly 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs over the capital. The resulting firestorm killed between 80,000 and 130,000 people and destroyed approximately 300,000 buildings. Two nights later, 285 B-29’s did the same to Nagoya. After that, 274 bombers erased Osaka from the map. These bombing runs were becoming a daily event. (With all this damage being inflicted during the start of March, were we still required to drop the A-bomb five months later?)
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The USS Randolph aircraft carrier was badly damaged by the suicide aircraft in the Caroline Islands on 11 March. I mention this because the practice of kamikaze warfare will emerge more and more after this attack. I will be having a separate post to discuss this subject further.
USS Randolph  getting repairs on forward deck

USS Randolph getting repairs on forward deck


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Other weapons were being developed by the Japanese as the last year of the war unfolded such as the “Cherry Blossom,” the Ohka rocket-powered bomb with a 2,646 pound warhead. To be certain the pilot delivered his package to the target, he was sealed into his cockpit for a one-way journey. Clearly this was an act of desperation – not one of strategy.
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Current news – The U.S. Submarine Veteran’s Pelican Harbor base wants to hear from the men that served aboard a submarine – irregardless of which era: ussvi.org/base/PelicanHarbor.asp. During the war in the Pacific, submarines were responsible for sinking 55% of the enemy ships lost. (or 1,314). Out of the 16,000 submariners in WWII, 3,500 died on the 52 U.S. subs destroyed.

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 3, 2013, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Love your posts. super cool and educational!

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  2. I’m hoping to become a Military Historian, I’m only 17, and this blog and others are truly brilliant! This is a truly informative blog :)!

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    • I’m very glad to hear of your enthusiasm for history. All I can say for you to do now is read and read some more, go to college and I wish you all the best. I deeply appreciate your comments.

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  3. I spent a year in Iraq but have no idea of the significance of WW 2..

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  4. Fascinating information. Thank you.

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  5. For the younger generations, I think it’s very hard for them to realize the depth and breadth of this war. All of this was going on in the Pacific, but there was a lot going on in Africa, Europe and so many other fronts. Only information, like your blog, can help us see and remind us of of a war that lasted about seven years. Thank you for all that you do in these posts.

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  6. A reblogué ceci sur Lest We Forget and commented:
    So people will remember those you came back and those who did not.

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  7. I always had an interest in the Pacific campaign. Last year I found out about a distant relative of mine through my research on my ancestors. I knew nothing about that family branch of Lagasse. He was the son of Edna Lagasse, my grandfather’s niece. Edna’s son was Robert Ritchie. So I wrote about him so his name will never be forgotten.

    http://steanne.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/robert-j-ritchie/

    I also wrote about his brother… William.

    http://steanne.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/a-time-to-remember-william-ritchie/

    Now you know why I like this blog.

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  8. Yes, the Japanese were desperate when they introduced the kamikaze pilots. They had plenty of planes but no pilots and in an effort to keep the defense up they only had time to teach the pilots how to take off and fly the planes. Dying for the country was one of the highest honors a Japanese soldier could have. Nowadays, we would look at this as an irrational cult like activity.

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