June 1942 (7)

shell crater examined at Fort Stevens

shell crater examined at Fort Stevens

 

The result of the Battle of Midway was a definite shift of balance of naval power in the Pacific.  The Japanese Combined Fleet of 145 ships burned more fuel for this operation than the entire Imperial Navy had used in the previous year – they could ill afford to do that again.  The Japanese had lost 4 carriers, one cruiser, 234 planes and 2,200 men KIA [ other resources list up to 292 planes and 2,500 KIA].  The Americans had lost one carrier [Yorktown sunk by sub I-168], one destroyer, 145 planes and 305 KIA.  All this for 2,000 acres of Pacific coral.

Meanwhile, other action transpired in the that wide ocean area ____

5 June – a large convoy of British troops and war matérial safely arrived at India.  The British ship Elysia was not so lucky to avoid the enemy raiders operating in the Indian Ocean and sank.

minor shell damage on 8 June 1942, Sydney

minor shell damage on 8 June 1942, Sydney

8 June – Australia received more attacks.  New Castle was hit by submarine I-121, under the command of Matsumura Kanji, luckily only one house was damaged.  Fort Scratchley, Sydney was attacked by sub I-29, under the overall squadron leader, Hankyu Sasaki, but inflicted no damage.  This attack ended in failure for both sides as the competence of Commander Muirhead-Gould came into question.

20 June – FDR and PM Churchill engaged in a meeting whereby they decided to pool both of their nation’s efforts and pay whatever price was necessary to develop the atomic bomb.  The British Tube Alloys Project had already proved that such a weapon was feasible, but Great Britain wanted the US industrial and financial resources to develop it. Within 2 months, the multi-billion dollar technological effort, disguised as the Manhattan Engineer District was set up with unlimited and top-secret funding.

21 June – Fort Stevens, on the Oregon coast, received 17 shell firings from Japanese submarine I-25, manned by Tagami Meiji.  The fort commander had ordered a black-out and no return fire, leaving the enemy with no target to aim for and the shells went awry, no damage reported.

24 June – 600 Allied POWs and Asian slave laborers began work on an extension of a railroad line [the Burma Railroad] in between Thanbyuzayat, Burma and Nong Pladuk, Thailand.  This was intended to give better access to shipping through the Gulf of Siam for the Japanese.  The route was 200 miles (321 km) of mountainous jungle area with temperatures 100°F or more and usually 100% humidity.  Disease without medical attention became a major issue.  In all, the Japanese used 61,000POWs and more than 270,000 Asian slaves.  They lost about 12,000 POWs and 90,000 others due to the beatings, executions, torture and the brutal 14 hour work days.

The infamous bridge that crosses over the river Khwae Yai at the town of Kanchanaburi, cost an average of 425 deaths per mile to complete and did NOT significantly improve the enemy’s logistics.  The bridge was later destroyed in 1944 by Aerial bombings, rather than Hollywood’s memorable epic film version, “Bridge Over the River Kwai”, which was only loosely based on the facts.

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By the end of June, the Japanese had abandoned their plan to assault Samoa.  It was by which they had hoped to further harass Australia, but the Allies at the time, had no knowledge of this change in enemy plans.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

military-humor-funny-joke-army-soldier-bomb-technician-if-you-see-me-runnin

military-humor-funny-sheep-where-is-big-bad-wolf.jpgnow to get him off the ground...

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Emmett Andrews – Oxford, MS; US Navy, SeaBees

Robert Bernstein – Boynton Beach, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Clyde Bowyer Jr. – Alexandria, IN; US Navy, Vietnam, submarine service

Goodbye For Now

Goodbye For Now

Jimmy Cloud – No. Augusta, SC; US Air Force, Korea

Bobby Holt – Sylvania, OH; US Navy, electrician

Robert Marston – Juneau, AK; US Army, WWII

Elmer Matthews – Sea Girt, NJ; US Navy, 2nd Lt., Signal Corps

Charles Skinner – Birmingham, AL; US Navy, Utilities officer

Terence Stanaway – Hillsborough, NZ; RNZ Navy #9392, WWII

Joseph Tito – Hicksville, NY; US Air Force, Korea

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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 March 23, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. Over 100,000 prison camp deaths! I had no idea that 90% of them were slaves from the region. Sobering information GP.

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    • Once the blitz was about stalled, the Japanese found they had a rather large Empire to take care of. To increase their logistics, they were not concerned about laborers.

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  2. I am constantly amazed at the secrecy used by our government in so many projects. Are they afraid the American public will not be able to handle the news? Thanks for coming by, Bev, always good talking to you.

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    • FDR created the censorship bureau right after Pearl Harbor for reasons of national security and to maintain the gung-ho enlistments and war bond sales. The public is on a need-to-know basis. Often when secrets are revealed, the info is out of context or not complete, etc., so to save time explaining every detail of every operation – say nothing.

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  3. This is close to home now. I am curious about the photo labelled Wampo Viaduct. This should have a sheer rock face on one side… see the last photo on this post http://greenwritingroom.com/2013/08/01/wang-po-wampo-a-handmade-viaduct-pows-11/

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  4. Great reading, wonder what the story was behind the competence of Commander Muirhead-Gould coming into question.
    Somewhere I recall being told the the Bridge was actually known as the Bridge along the River Kwai, not over it.
    Regards and thanks for the great post.

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  5. I’ve also seen the Bridge Over the River Kwai. It’s interesting that it was only loosely based on facts.

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    • Hollywood did quite a bit for the war effort – but when it came to films – they make a movie they believe will sell. (even if they put a love story in the middle of telling the Battle of Midway!)

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  6. What a frightening time in history. Love the tshirt. I’m sure if I searched the internet, I’d find that, and I might.

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  7. Sheep with weapon— That’s one baaaa’d dude. Visited Fort Stevens on my trip down the Oregon Coast in October. Quite interesting. –Curt

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  8. When I read accounts of battles of any war I continue to be stunned at the “acceptable losses” that each battle charged. I have never been in the military and I have the utmost respect for our armed forces. I just cannot imagine these poor guys and gals losing so much with each battle they fight.

    The statistical cost of building the bridge was nearly 500 lives per mile! Were these all POWs? Heartbreaking, simply heartbreaking. My heart goes out to all who had to say good-bye to their brave loved ones. Thanks, as always, for the thorough reconstruction of an important historical event because all were important and each and every life mattered. I couldn’t even imagine trying to reintegrate to society after walking within the bowels of hell.

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    • I’m very happy to see you appreciate all that those troops endured. Not all were Allied POWs, there were also Asian slave laborers – who basically were prisoners also.

      Liked by 1 person

      • War holds so many layers of horror. Sadly, “peacetime” differs little except that the barbarism goes underground. So many lives and families destroyed and for what?

        Liked by 1 person

        • “Man’s inhumanity to man” isn’t just some quote – it seems to our nature. Very sad instincts indeed.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Precisely. Being a former history teacher, I have had the opportunity to delve into human history and it is not pretty. We may have advanced in many ways but it has always borne a very high price. People look at the world today and think, erroneously, that there has never been a time where so much evil existed. They are wrong, for humanity has a long history of ignoring the lessons of their ancestors; thereby, falling into the same traps. So many lives have been taken in the most horrific manners and for the most animalistic reasons. We are each here for such an incredibly brief time when compared with the scope of human history and by the time we realize that change must happen, we have wasted at least half of our time. If only we were born with the wisdom we accumulate throughout our lives so more good and positive change could be realized. As it is, we are like a skipping record because people refuse to study their past and learn from it.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. June 20th what a faithful day that was! Also you are telling me that “Bridge Over the River Kwai” was not a documentary and that it was another Hollywood movie? 🙂

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    • I’m afraid so. The movie was “loosely based on facts” Yes, there were prisoners who worked on the Burma Railroad and thousands died for it – beyond that – just a movie. It was a good film though,, eh?

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      • Yeah, I remembering watching on network TV when I was a kid! I always kid around about Hollywood making “documentaries”. They always romanticized events in order to sell tickets. The exception is when they get it right!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I did not know the fort on the Oregon coast got shelled. The things I have learned here!

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  11. Interesting post, Everett! I remember seeing the movie ” The Bridge of River Kwai” and not surprised that it was only loosely based on facts since it was a Hollywood version.

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  12. 425 deaths per mile – that statistic certainly puts the brutal conditions in perspective. Great photos.

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  13. Norma pegged my thoughts. That’s a high casualty figure, sadly the Japanese felt the duty more important than the lives of those that died. Manual laborers were thought of as dispensable.

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  14. Another enjoyable post. I am glad that publicity is still being given to events such as “In all, the Japanese used 61,000POWs and more than 270,000 Asian slaves.They lost about 12,000 POWs and 90,000 others”. Let’s hope that nothing like that ever occurs again.

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  15. I am happily surprised by how much I’ve learned from this series. I have read a lot about this battle. I never knew that the west coast had been shelled by a sub. I also never considered the cost in fuel, which must have hit Japan very hard.

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    • As you can see, they surely had to adjust their original plans. Logistics on the maintance of their victories was becoming increasingly difficult. Thanks for being here, Dan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It always makes me wonder if the island hoping strategy proposed wouldn’t have been a better idea than the route through the Philippines. On the one hand, it seems likely that we could have skipped several islands, but on the other hand, it means my father might have been part of an invasion of the mainland. No good way to know I guess.

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        • I know the theory that MacArthur only went there because he was ordered to leave, but even so, I tend to agree with going the route there. We did skip over quite a few. There are 7,107 islands in the P.I. archipelago – 2,000 of which are inhabited [Japanese were not on all of them, of course]; therefore if we had skipped over them entirely, we would have had an awful large enemy army sitting at our rear. IMO

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  16. Interesting post! Did the Aerial bombers whistle the famous tune? 😉

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  17. Great pictures. I am always amazed at the scope of the war. It was everywhere.

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  18. Father Paul Lemmen

    Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.

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  19. I knew that Japanese submarines had gotten into Sydney Harbour but I didn’t know about Newcastle. The Japanese were brutal as you mentioned and the POWs suffered terribly. An interesting post GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. enjoyed part 7 – side note – if I ever see “Bridge Over the River Kwai” I will keep in mind that it is only partially based on facts.
    and those very old pics in the slide show were interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

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