April 1942 (2)

USS Tenedos

USS Tenedos

1-6 April – off the coast of Ceylon ( now known as Sri Lanka), the Japanese sank the USS Tenedos in Columbo Harbour during an air attack.  As the Japanese Blitz raged on, enemy troops made amphibious landings on Bougainville in the Solomons and in the Admiralty Islands.  On the coast of India, the enemy attacked Vizagapatam and Cocanada.

5-9 April – as Bataan fell, the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean, also was facing humiliation.  Five WWI battleships led by HMS Warspite and 3 carriers had been sent to protect the shipping to Burma.  As church bells rang out over the bay for Easter in Ceylon, Japanese aircraft bombed the installations at Columbo Harbour.  Six Zeros were shot down at the cost of 20 RAF planes

Thirty-one hits on HMS Dorsetshire lifted her out of the water and she sank.  HMS Cornwall received 8 hits, rolled over and sank as well.  About 1,100 men were rescued by destroyers, but the first objective of the enemy’s Operation C was a success, stage 2 would follow 3 days later.

HMS Hermes & HMAS Vampire

HMS Hermes & HMAS Vampire

The second phase began as a raid on Trincomalee, Ceylon.  Adm. Nagumo’s aircraft destroyed cranes, workshops, ammunition dumps and fuel tanks.  Eight Allied planes and 15 enemy aircraft were downed during aerial combat.  HMS Hernes and HMAS Vampire were discovered trying to escape.  The Hermes and the Vampire were both sunk, but remarkably, most of the crew-members were rescued by the hospital ship, Vita.

Across the Bay of Bengal, Admiral Ozawa’s cruisers sank 23 merchant ships.  Shipping between Burma and India came to a screeching halt and the Allies had lost 100,000 tons of matérial.

10 April – the US Pacific Fleet started being organized according to type: battleships, cruisers, destroyers, carriers, Service Force, Amphibious Force, Submarine Force and Patrol Wings.  /  On Burma, the “BurCorps” were continually pushed north by the enemy, but they destroyed the oil facilities as they retreated.

Britain/India negotiations

Britain/India negotiations

11 April – Britain denied India’s independence demands from President Nehru, but the Indian leader pledged continual support for the Allies despite their political differences.

18 April – the Doolittle Raid off the USS Hornet was launched 150 miles further from Japan than originally planned to avoid detection from the Japanese.

Taking off from the USS Hornet

Taking off from the USS Hornet

Once the shock of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor subsided, US military planners turned to retaliation.  Lt.Colonel James H. Doolittle presented his daring and unorthodox plan:  B-25 bombers, normally land-based, to be transported by carrier.  The top-secret training program began immediately and B-25 aircraft were modified for the operation.  The naval fleet used were nicknamed, Task Force Mike, for the operation and the bombers chalked messages on their cargo such as: “I don’t want to set the world on fire, just Tokyo.”

one of the bombers that crashed in China

one of the bombers that crashed in China

Further information and Eye Witness Story to follow……….

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor –  [ what the Sarge didn’t tell you ]

What the manual doesn't tell you is........

What the manual doesn’t tell you is……..

CPR exhibited by one who knows.....

CPR exhibited by one who knows…..

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Farewell Salutes – 

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Donald Barnes – Arlington, VA; US Army, WWII

Elmo Copeland – Greenville, FL; US Army, Vietnam

Dominick D’Anna – Tucson, AZ; US Air Force, Lt. Col. (Ret.), Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis, Bronze Star

Lewis Giers – Holly, MI; US Army, WWIIpatriotic1

John Joplin – Ft. Smith, AR; US Army, Korea, 3rd Infantry Division

Walter Malec – LaPorte, IN; US Army, WWII, Sgt. PTO

Philip Pelkey – Hampden, ME; US Navy, SeaBee

Ian Seaman – Henderson, NZ; RNZ Air Force # F77538

Malcolm Youker Jr. – Eugene, OR; US Army, WWII, Capt., Counter Intelligence Corps, PTO, Bronze Star

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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 December 29, 2014, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.

  1. Interesting aspect in that post gp, is the fact that there was dialogue between Britain and India regarding India’s independence, a discussion that didn’t deter India’s support.
    Ian

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    • Britain really had no intention of giving independence during a war and as we all know, when a president say something – not every one listens. So, many Indians did go over to the side. I’ve found many mention of them being POW guards in the CBI camps. You might say it was in the usual style of politics, at least IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting information – as always. I did get a smile out of the ‘I don’t want to set the world on fire, just Tokyo.’

    A play on the old 1941 song by the Ink Spots…

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  3. Thank you for your visit to my blog and for the like. More of God’s blessings to you. Happy new year 🙂

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  4. This post was so interesting, thank you for sharing it with us, for real 🙂

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  5. Sending you the very best wishes for peace and happiness in 2015. Eddie

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  6. Thanks gpox for revisiting the early Burma and Ceylonese campaigns. Yes we were woefully undermanned and unprepared for the might of Japan at that time.We learnt not to underestimate their skills, but at a heavy cost.

    Blessings
    Ron

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    • My pleasure, Ron. So much from that area was lost in our education and we can only try to find the pieces nowadays to get even a chunk of the story. My data is usually gleaned from at least 5 or more different references, but Hillary has been doing very in-depth research into Burma for her book, so be sure to keep track of her posts. You – take care of yourself!

      Like

  7. This was a whole other war to the one going on in Europe – except that there was a lot of suffering on both these fronts. Great post – thanks

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    • The Pacific was an entirely different kind of war than most nations had ever fought. For one thing the area was huge, battles fought with no front line, at the same time – hundreds and thousands of miles apart – against an enemy whose culture and train of thought were alien to the Allies [unless they had lived in the Orient for any length of time]. But, as you say, the men had the suffering in common. Thank you for adding to the discussion here, Carol.

      Like

  8. Hi gpcox I will pass this one onto Ron, he is resting after his Operation but I’m sure he would be interested.

    Blessings – Anne

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  9. May New Year have bright new beginnings for you and safety.

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  10. Interessanter Beitrag Ein gutes Jahr 2015 wünsche ich dir lieber Gruß Gislinde

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  11. Grin … Vietnam 1968-1970
    “What the manual doesn’t tell you is”
    Been there done that
    happy Safe New Year

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    • Ah, and Jacqui Murray thought the picture was photo-shop! Thank you for your service – I’d like to hear some stories when/and if you would like to share them.
      HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

      Like

  12. I was very interested to read about the naval engagements. My maternal uncle was sunk on three Royal Navy warships during the war, most notably when serving on HMS Barham, which was destroyed with the loss of 850 men.
    My Dad’s brother was captured by the Japanese when fighting in Burma, and had a terrible time in the prison camps. Both men were terribly affected by these experiences in later life.

    Thanks for all the great articles during the past year gp. I wish you and yours a very happy 2015, and send my best wishes from England. Pete.

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    • I would be very interested in any stories you heard from them over the years. There are now half enough of these memories noted down.
      I thank you for taking the time to comment here, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The uncle who was a prisoner developed such a hatred of the Japanese, that during the 1960s, he was arrested in South London for throwing stones at cars in a Nissan (then Datsun) dealership, and breaking windows there too. He would have nothing Japanese made in his house, and once stopped talking to his daughter, when he realised that her Sony TV was made by a Japanese company (albeit in a factory in Wales). He witnessed both starvation deaths and executions by beheading in the camps, and told of his pals who were shot or bayoneted when they could not march, and left wounded, to die in the jungle. He had not surrendered, but been overrun in a firefight, when his 25 pounder gun had no ammunition left, and he had been knocked out with a rifle butt. He was a corporal (bombardier) in the artillery.
        The uncle who was a sailor had a friend who jumped ship during a visit to the USA. That man became a successful bar owner in Brooklyn, and after 30 years, was pardoned, and allowed to visit the UK once again. My uncle never really recovered from the war, and was a heavy drinker for the rest of his life. He died of cancer, aged 73.
        Both men were regulars before the war. One joined the Navy in 1937, the other joined the Army in 1936. My own dad joined up in 1937 too, and served as RSM in the Artillery, mostly in India. He survived the war too, and didn’t see any real fighting.
        Best wishes, Pete.

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        • Thank you very much for sharing these moments from your family – truly members of the Greatest Generation! It was a shame that your uncle’s hatred [though understandable] ruled his life to such an extent. The CBI was a horrid place to be [ not that there were many good ones], and what these young men saw would undoubtedly stay with them throughout their lives. Thankfully they all came home.

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  13. “Thirty-one hits on HMS Dorsetshire lifted her out of the water and she sank.” As a non-military person, it is difficult to imagine the power that could lift a warship out of the water. And those weapons are over seventy years in the past.

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  14. What a tank picture. My brain is buzzing how they took that. Best guess: Photoshop.

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    • If it isn’t photoshop – somebody’s in deep trouble. Looks as though it came off the rather steep cliff behind it. I’m sure stranger things have happened!

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  15. So many variables providing a rich source of material for the entertainments industry.
    I especially love a telling scene in one of the Pearl Harbor movies (‘Tora Tora Tora’?) where the low flying plane goes over the officers in their ice-cream suits saluting the flag and one guy turns to his companion and says words to the effect “He’s too low, dammit—get that guy’s number~!” … which sums it all up nicely, I think.

    Now I’m well into my recently arrived book by Ennes on the attack on USS Liberty—if you haven’t read it yet you’d be well advised to, quite an eye opener (for some).
    Be warned: entertaining, it ain’t.

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    • Thanks, Argus but I’ll have to start a new list. Santa did a good job of getting me the books that readers suggested in 2014 – now it’s catch-up time. I appreciate the new suggestion!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. . . . and the Japanese were reaching the limit of what they could control while the U.S. was organizing for their destruction. Foolish leadership always overreaches its capability.

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    • And you know they definitely over did it! The military was running the show and even other Japanese say that the higher echelon was drunk with success. All they could see was the next victory. Thanks for adding to the discussion, Allen.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I do know that my parents were very concerned that the Japanese would attack Australia. And there were mini subs in Sydney Harbour and Darwin was hit and the extent of damage understated so as not to panic the population.

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  18. Interesting article and can see why when those to do operation Mike that they stayed further away to avoid detection.

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  19. My ears perked up on the Burma part, GP. The Japanese were eager to cut off all supplies to China. The need for creating a major resupply effort across the Hump was drawing near. I posted the second blog about my father-in-law’s experience in flying the Hump this morning. On February 10, 1945, the C-109 he was flying ran out of fuel in the middle of a horrendous storm. John and his crew bailed out into a pitch-black night into a jungle they couldn’t see. –Curt

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    • I hadn’t been on the Reader since very early this morning, wanted to answer any comments here first, but I made a special trip back to read John’s story – and glad I did! Thanks for giving me a heads-up.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Another great post. I agree with you about the audacious Doolittle raid. In many ways the RAF’s Dambusters fulfilled the same task: to show the enemy that an apparently dead dog still has a few bites left in him.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. The political situation in South Asia was very complicated at around this time. The Indophile in me liked this posting.

    Like

  22. Doolittle was a genius. I wonder if he shortened the war. For when Tokyo was bombed the Japanese realized that they were vulnerable.

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