July 1942 (2)

1st Marine Division, Wellington docks, New Zealand, 1942

1st Marine Division, Wellington docks, New Zealand, 1942

 

In New Zealand, MGeneral Alexander Vandergrift was attempting to assemble his scattered 1st Marine Division while organizing the shipping and equipment that would be needed to prepare for Guadalcanal.  Being as most people were quite unfamiliar with the Solomon Islands, “National Geographic” and German WWI maps and charts were being used.  Teams began combing Australia to locate missionaries, sea captains and copra planters for more data on the region.

1st Marine Div. at Camp Paekakariki, outside Wellington, New Zealand, 1942

1st Marine Div. at Camp Paekakariki, outside Wellington, New Zealand, 1942

Detailed reconnaissance photos were needed to be taken of the Japanese airfield and Lunga Point before Operation Watchtower could be executed.  This plan also became known as “Operation Shoestring” by the men – simply because of the hastily way the ‘dress rehearsal’ of their amphibious landing was put together.  26 July – the practice run was a “complete bust.”

Henry J. Kaiser

Henry J. Kaiser

30 July – Industrial magnate, Henry J. Kaiser, who revolutionized production of the US Liberty Cargo vessels, (nicknamed “Ugly Ducklings”), by using assembly line construction, was ‘enlisted’ by the American government to produce aircraft, armored vehicles and warships.  With the troops in training still using WWI equipment, replacement matériel was required immediately.

SS Joseph Teal, Liberty ship, built in 10 days at Kaiser's Oregon Shipyard 1942

SS Joseph Teal, Liberty ship, built in 10 days at Kaiser’s Oregon Shipyard 1942, Kaiser is below on right.

31 July – with Japan beginning to reinforce their already acquired territories, they started work on an airfield on Guadalcanal; later known as Henderson Field by the US.  The Americans began attacking on this date to obstruct the enemy’s “Tokyo Express” – a chain of naval supply ships and the airfield.  The airfield on Tulagi was also bombed as part of this operation.

Gen. Vandergrift (L) w/ staff on USS McCawley: LtCol Gerald Thomas, LtCol Randolph McPate, LtCol Frank Goettge, Col William James

Gen. Vandergrift (L) w/ staff on USS McCawley: LtCol Gerald Thomas, LtCol Randolph McPate, LtCol Frank Goettge, Col William James

Click on images to enlarge.

Marine Corps photos courtesy of the 1st Marine Division website.

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Military Humor – 

With budget cuts, we now have Army Ducks - we start 'em out young!

With budget cuts, we now have Army Ducks – we start ’em out young!

courtesy of Patrick @ The Linden Chronicles (link below)

courtesy of Patrick @ The Linden Chronicles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick @ The Linden Chronicles

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Farewell Salutes – 

Jerry Akes – Big Lake, AK; US Navy, Vietnam

Chuck Bednarik – Bethlehem, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, gunner on B-24, (famed NFL player)

David Dinwiddie – Motueka, NZ; RNZ Navy # 19515

George Finison – Macon, GA; US Army, Korea, Signal CorpsEagles with bowed heads

Bert Hansen – Elgin, IL; US Army, WWII

Dean Lupkey – McKinney, TX; US Army, LtCol (Ret.), WWII, ETO,/Korea

Charles McVicker – Silverdale, WA; US Coast Guard, WWII

Alvin Potter – Rockford, MI; US Navy, WWII, USS Cocopa (tug)

John Rodgers – No. Sydney, AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, 78th Squadron “Kittyhawks”

Edwin Stone – Piedmont, AL; US Army, Vietnam, Purple Heart, Bronze Star

Arthur Willing Jr. – Wellington, FL; US Army, Korea, Purple Heart

Spencer Wurst – Hamot, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 82nd Airborne

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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 April 2, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 64 Comments.

  1. That war must take the award for breaking all production records in regards to all pieces of military hardware, when you consider the SS Joseph Teal, Liberty ship, built in 10 days.
    Phenomenal.

    Like

    • Ah yes, Ian – records were broken!! You’ll hear all during this series – ‘the best up til now’ or ‘the highest in the war’, etc. latest highs and lows broken all the time. Hope you had a good Easter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Absolutely love the squirrel!! It fits perfectly on your page 🙂

    Like

  3. A ship in Ten Days. And now we have union downtimes and Occupational Health and Safety regs. What a difference a war makes. It just proves it can be done if it has to be done.

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  4. Maybe Mustang will correct me but the Marines truly were ill-equipped to take battle to the enemy in 1942… but they did. Even the US Army had the M1’s but the Marines were still stuck with the 1903 Springfield as an example. And once again, the posters you selected were outstanding.

    Like

  5. Those ducklings carrying weapons are so funny.

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  6. Excellent as usual–until I got to the cartoons. I’m not to the point yet where I can laugh at the budget cuts I hear about from my military children. sigh.

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    • We have protests about EVERYTHING from so many – if I make the budget cuts comprehensible to the public – they can take up a valuable cause for once and fight “city hall” for our military!! Thanks for your opinion, maybe I should tone it down.

      Like

  7. literaturechic13

    gpcox, Congrats, I have nominated you for the Liebster award. instructions are on my blog.
    http://www.literaturechic13.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • I thank you very much, Laura, but I need to decline. I feel the troops I write about did all the work, I’m here to keep their memories alive. I appreciate and and am honored by your offer. I sincerely hope you do not take any offense. You have a lovely Disney blog, I will visit again.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve read that the Marines had been issued left over WWI era K-rations and many of them got disentary , and that the Australian dock workers were on strike so the Marines had to unload their own equipment . Shoestring indeed !( info from William Manchester , who was a 1st Marine bound for Guadalcanal ).

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  9. Interesting story, Everett. Once again learned something new. You are right about American students not getting the full story when it comes to the rest of the world. Smiling at that squirrel 🙂

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  10. Learning about a foreign terrain and customs would have been so much more difficult back in the 1940s. Today internet research would bring a much better overview. I’m sure our military were in for some big culture shocks!

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    • You are quite right, Bev. Today, we can find out about every nook ‘n cranny, but yes, men like my father who grew up on the island of Broad Channel, NY, New Guinea was another planet. [thank goodness he enjoyed learning about other people and places as much as he did.

      Like

  11. I was told my father was over in the Solomon Islands. My brother has a photo of him with two Marine buddies. Dad had a pet monkey that was sitting on his shoulder in the photo.

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  12. Copra planters? Dud I miss a post explaining what those are?

    Speaking of developing the assembly line, it would be a massive undertaking but how interesting to compile all of the technical, medical, procedural, and mechanical inventions that originated out of necessity during wartime and have become mainstreamed – often without the public understanding from whence these ‘convenience’ originated or the price in human toll.

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    • Copra is dried coconut meat used to extract the oil from. It is also used for livestock feed.
      Compiling that list you would quite the undertaking to say the least, you would even need to get into the medical advances that were developed in the field! WOW!

      Like

  13. The first photo made me smile…..those rain capes mean that Wellington was putting on the type of winter’s day we know only too well in NZ. Imagine going from that to the heat of the tropics. An old film which is based on a James Michener story of these times in NZ is Until they Sail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSyeltoxNMU

    Like

  14. I didn’t realize the extent of how makeshift the first efforts were, especially the maps.

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    • Unfortunately, American students had not been taught very much about the rest of the world in school – hence, you have one of the reasons that were mentioned in the POW camp post about Australians and British disliking the US for their ignorance of that area.
      I suppose when FDR thought about getting Japan angry with us, he didn’t bother to let the military prepare for an all-out war in the Pacific.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. “Liberty ship built in 10 days.” I wonder if it is one of those that split in half? I had a class in college where we studied how the fix was made for that particular problem. It was one of the case studies on stress fractures.

    My Dad was on a Liberty just passing Hawaii when the war with Japan ended. They diverted him to the Phillipines.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lucky man, your father!! Thanks for visiting today, Dennis.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the “fix” would have been knocked down in today’s lawyer-driven society but it was all-out war then. The subsequent Victory ships were of some improvement, yes? A neighbor who fought in the SWP said the ship he was transported in creaked and moaned constantly… Plus the latrines are just essentially troughs that would slosh out in even slightly rough seas. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dad had pretty much the same story. He said that when they returned home they tracked a typhoon most of the way. Almost everyone was hanging over the railings throwing up due to the rocking of the waves!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I would imagine typhoon type rocking would put ANYONE bending over the railing! What an ending, eh? After all he went through – he even gets treated with a dose of seasickness!!

          Like

  16. Father Paul Lemmen

    Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow, 10 days? I would suggest that most would struggle to match that today..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The army ducklings… 😀 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. That squirrel with the bazooka looks like he means business.

    Like

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