August 1942 (3)

USMC-III-I

While I chose to keep the activities in the Solomon Islands area in August intact, action was going on around the rest of Asia and the Pacific as well ____

12 August – Japanese forces in Shantung Province, China took advantage of hostilities between the Communist and Nationalist Forces.  The Japanese launched a huge new offensive against the Nationalist troops.

Nautilus, Argonaut & Narwhal

Nautilus, Argonaut & Narwhal

17-25 August – US submarines Nautilus and Argonaut delivered the USMC 2nd Raider Battalion to Makin Island [now known as Butaritari], in the Gilberts.  Their mission was to attack enemy installations, gail intelligence and divert attention away from Guadalcanal.  They went ashore on 2 beaches in high surf and headed inland.  The Japanese garrison was wiped out, but the retrieval of all of the Marines went awry due to high seas, seaplane strafing.  As a result, 11 Marines were captured. Koso Abe was later tried and executed for the murder of 9 of the men.  The operation was considered a failure.

Papuan carriers toted the huge quantities of supplies and medical equipment.

Papuan carriers toted the huge quantities of supplies and medical equipment.

18-19 August – while the main pass across the Owen Stanley Mountains in New Guinea was in the hands of the Japanese, the Australian 7th Division started their amphibious landings at Port Moresby.

26 August – the Australian 39th Battalion and 2/14th, with support of the 2/16th and 53rd Batt. were able to temporarily hold the Japanese at Isurava, on the Kokoda Track.  This was an intense 5-day battle.  High in the remote jungles, trudging in ankle-deep mud, the enemy outnumbered the Australians 5 to 1.

Pvt. Bruce Steel Kingsbury

Pvt. Bruce Steel Kingsbury

On the 29th, the enemy attacked in such force that they broke through the right flank.  Pvt. Bruce Kingsbury, who was one of the few survivors of a platoon which had been over-run, immediately volunteered to join a different platoon for a counter-attack.  He rushed forward firing his Bren gun from the hip through machine-gun fire and succeeded in clearing a path through the enemy.  After continuing to sweep the enemy positions with his fire and inflicting a high number of casualties, Pvt. Kingsbury was then seen to fall to the ground shot dead by a sniper.  The first Victoria Cross granted in the New Guinea campaigns was awarded posthumously.

Kingsbury family receive the Victoria Cross

Kingsbury family receive the Victoria Cross

30 August – the 807th Engineer Aviation Battalion landed at Kuhlak Bay, Alaska.  US Army and Navy troops occupied Adak in the Aleutians with the intent to use it as an airfield and naval base for the North Pacific sector, codenamed ‘Longfellow.’  This would become the home of for parts of the 36th Bomb Squadron, 54th Fighter Squadron, 21st and 404th Bombardment Squadron and P-39D Airacobras of the 42nd Fighter Squadron providing defense for Kodiak.

Once the Solomons were made the priority of the Imperial General Headquarters, their 17th Army’s drive in New Guinea to capture Port Moresby would pay the price due to cutbacks in supplies and reinforcements.  The Japanese Operation RE became stalled, which allowed the 18th Australian Infantry and 1,300 US troops to be rushed in.  The enemy only landed  about 1,300 of the Special Force Imperial Marines, underestimating the Allies, who also had support from 2 RAAF Squadrons to protect Milne Bay.  Hyakutaki continued to request assistance, but Tokyo refused.  The enemy were now outnumbered 10 to 1 and tried suicidal tactics to put a dent in the Australian defense and failed.

 

################################################################################

Aussie Humor – 

funny-WWII-planes-fake-wooden

image0011Only-in-Australia08

 

 

################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

James Abbott Sr. – Yankton, SD; US Army Air Corps, WWII, SSgt., B-24 gunner, PTO

Austin Bagby – Jackson, MO; US Army, WWII, PTOBaby on tombstone.jpg Those left behind.

Arthur Deacan – New Auckland Place, AUS; RA Air Force # 171525

Joel Forest – Sun City, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 305th Bomb Group, ETO

Gene Kreidt – Augusta, GA; US Army, Vietnam, Bronze Star

James McIntyre – Little River, NZ; RNZ Army, WWII, Captain,/RA Army, 3rd Batt/Royal Australian Reg., Korea/RNZA, Vietnam

Clemente Pacheco Sr. – Grants Pass, OR; US Army, Vietnam, 723 Maint. Batt./23rd Infantry Division

Thomas Robinson – WPalm Beach, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO

Mario “Tank” Sauceda – Tracy, CA; US Army, Iraq, 82nd Airborne

Jefferson Yeiling – Birmingham, AL; USMC, WWII, 306th Airdrome Squadron, PTO

################################################################################

Advertisements

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 16, 2015, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. As you know but perhaps not your good readers, about 19 (can’t recall the exact number) of the Marines killed in action and sadly left on the island were finally recovered in 2000. A child who was present after the battle and when the natives kindly buried the brave men recalled the location. This child was an elderly man by then. When found, many still had personal effects and other items amongst their remains. A Marine Raider honor guard went to retrieve the remains. The then old man who led the archaeologists to the burial site was present as the Honor Guard (apparently very tearful) departed but died shortly thereafter.

    Like

    • Yes, Koji, I do remember that and thank you for adding the information for everyone else. I remember thinking, it was almost like the old man had been a ghost child, there to make sure the men returned home and then his job was done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post, Everett. Really enjoyed reading your post and the way that you bring things to life!!

    Like

  3. Great post gp,Pvt. Bruce Kingsbury really epitomized the gallantry of our soldiers at that time, a VC well earned. I appreciate their efforts after my stint in the highlands of Papua New Guinea in 69, the terrain is formidable.
    Like the cartoons, the first one is typical Aussie humour, Like the one on Glendambo, coincidentally I drove through it last year on my way to Coober Pedy, think I mentioned it in one off my blogs at that time.
    Our Anzac day here this Saturday so much going on around our country.
    Cheers.

    Like

    • I can imagine a lot is going on there. As you can see, I’ve been gradually working up to it – I hope my post Saturday shows the amount of respect I have for them. Cheers, Ian.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks mate, your respect for the Australian soldier certainly is evident, I look forward to your Saturday post, out of curiosity, I wonder how many Aussie soldiers are in your followers list, particularly because of the theme of your site ?
        Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I could probably pick out most of the Australian readers, but number of vets I do not know. I let the readers tell me only what they feel comfortable disclosing. If you ask in the comment section for a few posts – maybe you’ll get some answers – I love seeing the visitors talking to each other.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know how many of your followers have any idea of the “Bren Gun” I had the dubious pleasue of learning to handle the “Bren” when I was in the Australian Army back in the early 1950’s and let me assure you it was not a weapon that one could pick up easily and fire from the hip whilst attacking an enemy, Indeed the British Armies had what was known as a “Bren Gun Carrier” to cart these things around. I’d never have attempted it and would probably have been courtmartialed if I had!

    To do what Private Kingsbury did took great strength, great courage and a firm belief in what was right, it’s a great pity; indeed shame; that the world has not learnt the lessons from such men as Private Kingsbury, as we say in Australia : “I dips me lid” .

    A real hero.

    Like

    • You’re quite right, Beari; I should have explained or at least included a photo of the Bren gun. I appreciate you taking the time to explain what Private Kingsbury did so grandly!

      Like

  5. I finally got around reading this excellent post. My attitude on reading blogs is: Read them thoroughly or don’t read them at all. I like how you use maps to provide geographic details for a better understanding of the war in the Pacific.

    Like

    • Back in WWII, not very many people knew where their loved ones were – who ever heard of these islands? Today, the situation hasn’t changed all that much, [according to what I see and hear]. I keep coming across places I had never heard of before too, small isles that never made a big splash in the newspapers. I agree with thoroughly reading each post, but I have to apologize for not commenting more. My computer time is usually limited and so I comment when I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Picked up on the part where the Germans built fake airfields filled with fake wooden planes— and the Allies dropped wooden bombs on them. Made me laugh, and reminded me of the importance of humor, even in war. –Curt

    Like

  7. Such a poignant video. Almost couldn’t watch it to the end.

    Like


  8. Schönes wwkend liebe Grüße Gislinde

    Like

    • Now, that’s a fantastic dream to have and be able to come true! Another local museum wins!! When the Boomerang is completed, do you plan on going home, Ian?

      Like

  9. That movie was heart-breaking. So much bravery, so young.

    Like

    • Yes, it was. Thank you for watching it, Jacqui.
      [can you please do me a favor? I’ve lost which post on which of your blogs has the list of reading for the Marines. Is it possible for you to send me that link?]

      Like

  10. Pity Kingsbury didn’t live to get his VC.
    Love that Australian humour – particularly the wooden bomb!

    Like

  11. Thank you for writing this post and letting us know about this area of WWII fighting. I was touched to see the video about these brave men and their missing medals

    Like

    • I’m so glad you watched the video, I so rarely include one in my posts, but this one I could not resist. [plus I’m very inept at doing it! O_o ] So much was omitted from newspapers and overlooked by historians; on some subjects you really have to dig at it. Hillary researches and writes about the CBI, she knows exactly what I’m talking about!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That is, if it is not copyrighted. Please advise. Thanks

    Like

  13. Great map! I’m going to use it on the page I’m making for my uncle who fought on one of those islands.

    Like

  14. Thanks for writing about this in blog form – it makes learning and appreciating more digestable for those of us who have good intentions, but shorter attention spans and limited experience with military things. I tried to struggle through Studs Terkel’s The Good War in the 80’s and failed miserably, but am finding this less daunting.

    Great tribute to the Aussies and the bit about the wooden bomb is brilliant. I’ve become fond of them through blogging.

    Like

    • Well, for one thing [or two] – it’s free and easy for a computer illiterate [on a budget] like myself to do! O_o But I understand what you’re saying. Military books tend to bounce around with the dates, back-tracking at will. Trying to keep things in order is trying for me as well, so I’m glad you are benefiting from my methods. People usually hear about what the Australians and New Zealand troops did in the Middle East and ETO, but they fought some of their toughest battles right near home in the Pacific. A tough bunch! Thank you for your efforts, Beth.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. You are so thorough in your stories of our forgotten heroes. Thank you again for keeping their history alive.

    Like

  16. By the time I had finished watching the most poignant video I felt immensely sad and wondered how the Kingsbury family coped with receiving that VC

    Like

    • I have been through it, but there is no way on God’s green Earth that I could describe it. But, knowing that you will now remember him I’m certain will warm the hearts of his descendants.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks for the video clip, GP. I thought the performer of that song might be Eric Bogle, and it was. “The Gift of Years”. Beautiful song, hadn’t heard it before and now I will learn it. You may have heard his song about WWI “Green Field of France”.

    Another story about my father, who fought in this area – after he retired, he decorated empty coconut shell halves, attached clothespins on top of a small totem pole of shells, acorns, etc. mounted on the coconut to hold papers he was working on. He gave them all names of islands. One sticks out in memory – it was called Pavuvu.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll bet this was his wahe men he fought with, Lavinia. I had to smile reading the latest story of your father. Wish I had met him.
      I’m afraid I am terrible when it comes to song titles, so I can not say if I ever heard Green Field of France – sorry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dad was quite the character. He was among the firsts of Tiny Living, way back when. He took a 1969 VW Beetle, removed the back seat and passenger seat and converted it into a camper! He would travel south yearly, visiting relatives in his “mobile home”. As you may guess, he was not a tall man, but was full of spirit.

        Like

        • Necessity sure was the mother of invention back then. Nowadays, it’s – what new app can I dream up to make me a millionaire?!! A ’60 VW Beetle? Whoa!

          Like

  18. Another excellent and informative post and the video really complemented it. I just hope all the medals get back to the families.

    Like

  19. Oh, let us never forget the sacrifices . Thank you for this fine article, the link, the pictures, impacting images that make one catch their breath. Thank you Brad.

    Like

    • That is my goal, Hollie and I appreciate you taking the time to read here and help their memories stay alive. I wish everyone felt the same. I see I lost 2 followers since this morning – I obviously offended somebody.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t imagine anyone finding offense, but you can’t please all the people as they say. I think you are providing a great service and tribute to those brave soldiers who have offered up their lives for our freedom and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you Brad!

        Like

  20. Such miserable conditions. I can’t imagine existing there, let alone fighting in such places.

    Like

  21. Many great men lost their lives bravely and their stories should be told just as you do, gp. It’s the brave individuals that made up the great armies. No individual’s story is too small that it is of lesser importance to another. Kingsbury’s story will never be forgotten just as his actions weren’t way before the VC came. The Kokoda Track was most vicious. Lest We Forget.

    Like

  22. Reblogged this on Life after work and commented:
    Their lives were cut short that we might enjoy ours for longer. They may have feared but they did not falter

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You put a human face on the forgotten and anonymous. It is much appreciated.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: