Australia and June 1945 updates
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
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.
June events –
9 June – U.S. Marines land on Aguni Shima in the Ryukyu island chain and Japanese defenses crumble on Mindanao, Philippines.
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.
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.
Posted on February 25, 2013, in SMITTY, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged ancestry, Army, Australia, Everett Smith, family history, History, Luzon, Military, Military History, Okinawa, Pacific War, Philippines, veterans, WWII. Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.