August 1942 (2)

LVT-1 Alligator hits Guadalcanal

LVT-1 Alligator hits Guadalcanal

With the American and Japanese troops dug in at their present locations on Guadalcanal, the New York Times described the situation: “It is as if the Marines held Jones Beach and the rest of Long Island [N.Y.] were loosely dominated by the enemy.”  Japanese bombers arrived daily at 1300 hours, which due to their regularity, became known as “Tojo Time,” but they were a minor problem compared to the torrential rains.

The enemy ground troops attacked so fiercely on 19 August that the Marines had to pull back.  One of Coastwatcher Clemens’ scouts, captured, tortured and trussed-up, Jacob Vouga, chewed through his bonds and escaped (despite his bayonet wounds) trekking through copra plantations, to report the enemy’s advancements.  The next day, cheers went up as the Dauntless dive bombers went to work.

1st Marines us a M1918 155mm howitzer, based on a WWI French design.

1st Marines us a M1918 155mm howitzer, based on a WWI French design.

18-24 August – a regiment of 900 men under Col. Ichiki Landed at Taivu, 20 miles east of Henderson Field and headed west.  After several attacks, the enemy was decimated by the strong perimeter defense and the colonel committed suicide.  The 1st contingent of land-based aircraft, 31 fighters, arrived at the airfield.  The Japanese made and aerial attack and lost 21 planes versus 3 for the U.S.

21-22 August – 15 fighters, fondly called the “Cactus Air Force” from the USS Long Island, battled with the Japanese.  The next day, the US Army’s 67th Fighter Squadron arrived as reinforcements.  By this time, both sides were well aware of the major operation they were in to control the Solomons.  The USS Blue had to be scuttled after a torpedo hit.  Yamamoto ordered Nagumo to put his strike force into the mix for the new Operation KA.  This would provide air cover for the 1,500 Imperial Marines about to go ashore.

Part of the Cactus Air Force

Part of the Cactus Air Force

23 August – the Japanese resupply convoy for Guadalcanal, protected by the carriers, Ryujo, Zuizaku and Shokaku was intercepted by Admiral Fletcher’s Task Force – 61, with 3 carriers: the Saratoga, Wasp and Enterprise.  The Ryujo was caught while refueling her planes and sank within four hours.  The Enterprise and North Carolina were hit by aircraft from the other 2 enemy vessels.  The smoke rising from the “Big E” convinced the Japanese that she was mortally damaged.

The USS Saratoga‘s puny 7-plane group served well by finding and attacking Admiral Kondo’s Advance Force. During battle, the seaplane tender, Chitose was put out of action.

Admiral Fletcher

Admiral Fletcher

25 August – land-based Marine dive bombers sank 2 enemy transports, the Jintsu and Kinryu Maru and the destroyer, Mutsuki.  Afterward, Japanese supply runs were made at night.

27-28 August – Yamamoto called off the operation and the Japanese detachments commenced landings by the 30th when 1,00 men went ashore.  The US Army Air Corps aircraft attacked one reinforcement convoy and the destroyer Asagiri was sunk and two others were damaged.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

aairwarden

afanny

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cartoons are courtesy of Chris at the Muscleheaded site.

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Artaz – Grand Junction, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Alexander Ashby – Worrigee, AUS; RA Air Force # 424012, WWIIimg_96953714425802

John Dawson – Whitinsville, MA; US Army, Afghanistan, 1st Squadron, 33 Cavalry Reg/3rd Brigade/101st A/B Div.

Richard Dysart – Santa Monica, CA; US Air Force, Korea (beloved actor)

Patrick Gould – Palmerston No., NZ; RNZ Army # 614404/ RNZ Air Force # 452742, WWII

Milton Hertzberg – NY, ME & FL; US Army, WWII

Joseph Lodoly – St. Louis, MO & Tampa, FL; US Army, WWII, PTO, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

William Mahn Jr. – Jupiter, FL; US Army, Vietnam

Anthony Panehal – Lakewood, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 351 Bomb Group/8th Air Force

Eldon Tanner – Anchorage, AK; US Air Force, Korea

Ernest Travolo – Sherbrooke, CAN; Canadian Forces, Algonquin Regiment, WWII

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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 13, 2015, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. I have been trying to look up information about my grandfather who passed away last week, and it brought me to your blog, as you mention my great uncle in your blog, Anthony Panehal, he passed away 3 months before my grandpa, Robert Panehal, they were brothers. Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for honoring my great uncle, and also to ask you if you have any tips into helping me find more information on my grandpas time in WWII? We found out at the time of his death, that he was awarded 3 bronze stars, that the entire family was unaware of, my grandpa was a very humble man, and never spoke of his time in the war, but our family would love to know what he may have been honored for. We have no idea where the medals are, we have collected all his belongings, it may just be a secret he wanted to keep…

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  2. The Marine pilots of the Cactus Air Force, after helping attack the Japanese landing force, learned of the limitations of their antiquated F4F Wildcats the hard way against the Zero. These young men are owed endless thanks.

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    • Yes they are, Koji. How they knew of their planes’ limitations and still went up is remarkable indeed. Thank you for coming by; after losing 2 followers today – I’m not all that happy, I keep wondering what I did wrong.

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  3. There was certainly a heck of a lot going down in August ’42! I hope Vouga was duly decorated.

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  4. Our boys have such spirit. It comes through in every article, GP.

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  5. More examples of ferocious fighting and bravery. Nice mix with the ‘lighter side’ – really informative!

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  6. “One of Coastwatcher Clemens’ scouts, captured, tortured and trussed-up, Jacob Vouga, chewed through his bonds and escaped (despite his bayonet wounds) trekking through copra plantations, to report the enemy’s advancements.” If ever their was a definition of a hero, this it it. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Some of your readers may be interested in this report on our National Radio this morning. It is about the Battle of Tarawa, amongst other things, and there are some recent photos of the memorial to Coast watchers. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/galleries/kiribati-postcard

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    • Fantastic, Ann. Tarawa has not come up yet [horrible battle, to say the least] and I am planning another Coastwatcher post for the intermission stories between 1942-43 – so this fits right in!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Father Paul Lemmen

    Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.

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  9. Great historical post as usual gp, tried to do some research on Jacob Vouga, the coast watcher hero, came up blank, that man should have been awarded some form of recognition.
    Cheers.

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  10. I appreciate seeing the Farewell Salutes. Do you have a searchable database of these names? Thanks

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  11. Another interesting post, and I too like the art work of the air raid warden postcard! Just one question, are the Cactus Air Force planes P-47s or maybe Grumman Wildcats?

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    • On 20 August 1942, 12 SBD bombers and 19 F-4F fighters arrived at Henderson Field. In 1943, New Zealand joined in. Thanks for being so interested, John.

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  12. Interesting quote and analogy from the NYT. Growing up on Long Island and spending every summer at Jones Beach, I never thought of it that way ; ).

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  13. Today’s cartoons are funny, in part, because they’re somewhat politically incorrect. Cartoon history is rather interesting, too.

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    • Yup, people back then did not have to analyze every word before they said it. Cartoon history is interesting. I have the Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Cartoons – great book!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. There’s something eery that is going to stick with me from the analogy to Jones Beach and Long Island. I lived in Queens for a year, and somehow that makes this a little easier to understand and fear. Great job though, again, battles I know very little about are starting to fit into a chronology.

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  15. Apart from all the real stuff I also liked the Air raid warden.

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    • Thank you very much, Renny, for this re-blog. It means to me that you help us to keep the memories of these men alive.
      [I apologize for the delayed response on my part. Somehow this comment ended up in my Spam folder.]

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