Australia and June 1945 updates

Brisbane 1945

Brisbane 1945

8 June 945, Cpl. Everett Smith found himself and four others from the division on leave in Australia and Smitty was determined to have a good time! Those that went to Brisbane on the same orders for TDY were:
Lt. Col. Francis W. Regnier MC HQ 11th A/B Div.
Major George K. Oliver INF HQ 11th A/B Div.
T Sgt. Manuel C. DeBeon Jr. 187th Glider Infantry
Tec 4 Beverly A. Ferreira HQ 11th A/B Div.
The orders were signed by Major E.W. Wyman Jr., Adjutant General

Townsville Queensland WWII

Townsville Queensland WWII

My father never told me very much about his R&R and probably for a good reason. (For one, my mother was always around listening.) He did say that when he first arrived in Australia, he wanted a haircut and a shave. While the barber was working on him, he remarked that the pores in Smitty’s nose appeared enlarged. My father answered, “You spend five months in the jungles of New Guinea and see what your nose looks like.” Dad said after that, his money was no good. Everyone in the barbershop made such a fuss over him that henever got a word in edgewise. They were so extreely grateful to anyone who helped to stop the Japanese. Smitty did always tell me he wished he could make a trip back there; he thought Australia and her people were great, but sadly, he never did.

Perhaps the young lady, Joan, was the reason Smitty wouldn’t talk about his time on leave.

Happy Flying, Love, Joan

Happy Flying, Love, Joan

WWII postcard

WWII postcard

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June events –

9 June – U.S. Marines land on Aguni Shima in the Ryukyu island chain and Japanese defenses crumble on Mindanao, Philippines.

Australian soldiers at Wewak

Australian soldiers at Wewak

10 June – Australian troops land at Brunei Bay, Borneo and by the 25th, they capture major oil fields and the island of Tarakan.

21 June – As Japan commanders commit suicide and 7,500 soldiers surrender, Okinawa falls. The devastating figures:
approximately 100,000 Japanese soldiers dead and a loss of 8,000 aircraft (4,000 shot down by combat missions)
7,613 U.S. Marines and Army infantry killed
31,807 U.S. wounded
U.S. Navy lost 4,900 seaman, 36 vessels sunk and 368 damaged
U.S. lost 763 aircraft

________________________________________________________________________________________________

More current news –

Recently I discovered that a WWII Marine veteran was living nearby. Joseph Dryer Jr. landed on Iwo Jima 68 years ago as a lieutenant. A Japanese hollow point bullet (dum-dum) came directly at his chest 26 days later. It hit his dog tags, cut off his locker box keys and drove everything into his chest. But, he was too tough for one bullet – at 91 years young, he lives in his Palm Beach home today surrounded with emorabilia of his amazing life. Let’s give a salute.

Lt. Joseph Dryer Jr. (in circle) Iwo Jima

Lt. Joseph Dryer Jr. (in circle) Iwo Jima

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

References: The Palm Beach Post, Everett’s scrapbook, Angels: History of the 11th A/B, by Gen. Flanagan; The Pacific by John Davison

Personal not – I believe my next post will be a flashback to the Battle of Leyte Gulf. I will do my utmost to do it justice.

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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 25, 2013, in SMITTY, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.

  1. Wonderful post. Always fine to read it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed the first part on Brisbane so much, particularly since I’ve lived there for many years. Great memories.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and liking several posts.

    Like

  3. I need to come back another day to read everything else. Wonderful stuff.

    Warmly,
    Mary

    Like

  4. Mr. Smith,
    I realize now you found my blog through WordPress. I am still not that familiar with all of the features, and how it operates, but I am learning as I go. I did select your blog to follow, after I looked down your various posts. They look very interesting to me, but it will take me awhile to catch up–you have a longer head start at this. I am also going to send the link to your blog to my sons to look into. They are very interested in WWII and the Pacific Theater because their grandfather Hart (my dad) served in WWII in the Army and was in the Philippines and New Guinea. We do not know that much about his service because he never told stories and he died before I even married, so my sons have acquired a fascination for knowing about the war and the areas where he served. I noticed Luzon in one of your posts. I do know that my father’s war record indicates he received the Bronze Star for service in the Battle of Luzon. Unfortunately, all Bronze Star records for his part of the alphabet burned up in a fire in St. Louis many years back–so we know nothing about that as well. I look forward to seeing what you have posted, and again thank you for being the first person to sign in on my own work. Best wishes, James Hart

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am very happy that chose my site to write to and I hope you and your sons will not be disappointed. Any info at all might help me to aid in getting some insight into your father’s service. My father’s was lost in the St. Lois fire as well. I had to learn blogging as I went along also, so keep clicking and looking around, when all else fails, ask here (someone will chime in) or go to Support or Forum for assistance. Good Luck.

      Like

      • Thank you. Will do. I just changed the name at the top of my page–the address will remain the same to get there, harthouseblog.wordpress.com but I did not like that as the display name, it just came up automatically when I first registered. But after I found the right location under customize, I renamed it to “Harthouse on Main” at the top of the page, which is more attractive and more appropriate. Thanks again, jh

        Like

  5. About the plane over the bridge, I don’t have permission right now to post it. I will keep you updated on this story.

    Like

  6. I had the shivers reading this…old photos are places in time that we can never revisit, but only through our writing and imagination. Wonderfully written, we should always remember soldiers, and their sacrifices.

    Like

  7. I’m sure there were quite a few “Joan’s”, either where they went or back home. When my Dad was drafted in 1942, he was dating Cecelia (called Babe) and there are many mentions of her in the letters.He came home on furlough in September, 1943, but on his return trip soon realized that he was getting happier and happier the closer he got to CA and Marian. They were married on November 14, 1943. I have a letter from Cecelia congratulating them both – done with “class”, even when she asked for her picture back!

    Like

  8. Enjoyed the read. My father took R&R in Australia on his way to India and Burma.

    Like

    • Tell us, what unit was he in? What year? etc.

      Like

      • This is sketchy from his letters. Feb. 15-17th 1942 in ports of Wellington, NZ, Freemantle, Aus. On troop ship USS Monticello from California. Pvt. C. F. Adam, 115 Ordnance Co., Don’t know what battalion. Stationed at Assam, India. He worked as a mechanic at “The worlds largest gas station” along the Ledo Road. Under command of Maj. Gen. Wheeler, Brig. Gen. Lewis Pike, the road was AKA “Pick’s Pike.” Also under Lt. Col. A. A. Kaufman. He was discharged in early summer of ’45. I’ve thought about putting some of this into a blog entry.

        Like

  9. Another very nice write-up. Thank you.

    Like

  10. I enjoyed reading about your father’s leave in Brisbane (my home town). Did you know that General MacArthur was stationed here and there is a building named after him on the corner of Queen and Edward Streets. It’s very interesting history. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  11. Isn’t this history you’re compiling so amazing – just think what our children could be learning in school if they had this to read! Really, so touching – and I love the pic of your mom. My dad didn’t serve in WWII, but five of his brothers did. They are all gone now and he’s only just starting to share with me some of the memories. Brutal all. Still, important to remember.
    Lovely post, really.
    Sue

    Like

    • Schools teach what they want to. The pix wasn’t my mom, but an obvious reason why she didn’t want dad to go back to Australia.

      Like

    • Meant to ask – do you have any info on your 5 uncles – all information is welcome here.

      Like

      • Sure do – all Ferry’s from Vermont – Earle, Roger, Everett, Clarence, Hiram and Roger. Clarence served as a cook on a destroyer that was shot out from underneath him in the Pacific – then sent on another destroyer to D-Day landing. Roger was shot down (tail gunner) over the Sea of Japan. He was really hurt – parachute didn’t open right- and was disabled pretty much for life. Everett was infantry, also D-Day, and lived his entire life with a German bullet lodged in his back. Hiram served here in America (only one who didn’t see action). Earle was also at Normandy and spent 6 weeks lost behind enemy lines. My dad had lots of details that I wrote down and don’t remember – but this is the gist of it.
        their mother, my Gram, prayed the rosary for her boys every night. When a neighbor suggested they couldn’t all come home she replied, “I can and I do.”
        And they did.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You should read this blog from the start.
      I did in one day.
      I just could not stop.

      Like

  12. Great pictures…and pretty ones, too! Woo Hoo!
    I love that you’re posting your sources and the names of the men he was with.

    Lt. Joseph Dryer Jr …Thank you for your service, Sir! Please continue to bend the ear of anyone who will listen. We are honored to have you here!

    Like

  13. Interesting to read of his leave in Australia. What a shame he didn’t get back to Australia.

    Like

  14. A reblogué ceci sur Lest We Forget and commented:
    More from Pacificparatrooper

    Like

  15. Lt. Col. Francis W. Regnier MC HQ 11th A/B Div.
    Major George K. Oliver INF HQ 11th A/B Div.
    T Sgt. Manuel C. DeBeon Jr. 187th Glider Infantry
    Tec 4 Beverly A. Ferreira HQ 11th A/B Div.

    By adding this information, people who will Google these names just for curiosity one day will stumble on your blog.

    And then, Epiphany!

    I know the feeling…

    http://no23squadron.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/r-c-harris/

    Like

  1. Pingback: My First Award | notestoponder

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