September 1942 (1)

SeaBees wade through a flood on Guadalcanal

SeaBees wade through a flood on Guadalcanal

1 September – the Naval Construction Battalion (CBs), better known as the “SeaBees” and famous for their swift and ingenious engineering work while under combat conditions, landed on Guadalcanal. [A coverage of the SeaBees will appear in the Intermission Stories between 1942 and 1943].

SeaBees building the airfield, Guadalcanal

SeaBees building the airfield, Guadalcanal

3 September – Gen. Roy Geiger arrived on the island to command the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing – nicknamed the Cactus Air Force, after the codename for the Guadalcanal operation.  When Hideki Tojo replaced Togo as Japan’s Foreign Minister, there was no longer any civilian personnel in the Japanese government – the military was in complete control of the country.

3-11 September – Japanese reinforcements landed at Bana, New Guinea.  But, the Special Navy Landing Force were compelled to withdraw from Milne Bay due to the heavy defense of the Australian 7th Brigade and the 18th Brigade of the 7th Division.  The defeat of the amphibious force cost Hyakutake’s force a loss of over 1,000 men [another source says 2,000 men], leaving only about 600 surviving.  The enemy rescue destroyer Yayoi was sunk by a US 5th Air Force B-17.  General Horii’s battalions did break through the Gap, but with RAAF support, the enemy was defeated.

map-of-kokoda-track

Kokoda Track, New Guinea

Despite the History Channel’s claim that the US poured ample power to the Pacific, the Allied generals and admirals needed, throughout the war, to fight and plead with Washington for everything they received. [Note – this is NOT my opinion, but that of every resource I’ve visited.]  At this point, Adm. King’s request for more planes was again refused.  The Joint Chiefs also refused to support the Burma plans because the Royal Marine Division was re-routed to Madagascar and the CBI was not in the US area of responsibility.  But – despite Madame Chiang’s admission of American funding being pocketed by corrupt officials, FDR sent even more money to Chiang, who proceeded to use it fighting Chinese Communists rather than Japan.  [How much more could have been done if used for King’s planes?].

USS Gregory, in finer days

USS Gregory, in finer days

5 September – As the USS Gregory and Little left Savo Island from delivering the 1st Raiders, they came upon 4 enemy ships, enroute to their home naval base at Tulagi.  A Navy pilot, believing he had seen flashes from a submarine, dropped 5 flares.  This silhouette the US ships against the black sky.  Immediately the Japanese opened fire and within 3 minutes, the Gregory began to sink.

8 September – Gen. Kawaguchi tried a 3-prong attack to capture Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.  Clemens’s scouts forewarned the Americans and Col. Edson’s Raider Battalion were sent out to establish advanced defenses on the high ground.

10 September – after extensive work by the engineers to block the marshes of Kuhlak, Alaska, the 73rd Bomb Squadron had an airfield to land on.  The 42nd Troop Carrier Squadron landed the following day.

Stringing barbed wire on Edson's Bloody Ridge, 1942

Stringing barbed wire on Edson’s Bloody Ridge, 1942

12-18 September – the first wave of the Japanese 25th Brigade (~ 6,000 men), attacked from the jungle, with support from their naval units, in an area of Guadalcanal that would become known as “Edson’s Bloody Ridge”.  At first the Raiders were cut off and the waves of the enemy kept coming. But, this was merely a prelude, nightfall brought the “Banzai”* attacks.  Chants of : “U.S. Marines be dead tomorrow.” repeatedly came up from the jungle.

To be continued…

Click on images to enlarge.

* – “Tenno Heika Banzai” (天皇陛下萬歲?, “Long live the Emperor”),

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Military Humor – army (1)

oldsalt

Look for these and others at Muscleheaded!

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Farewell Salutes – 

Ernie Barndt – Eagle River, AL; US Army (Ret. 28 years), Vietnam, Bronze Star

Norman Cleaver – Calgary, CAN; Canadian Forces, Warrant Officer (Ret.)ANZAC-Day-wreath-1

John Durak – Bayonne, NJ; US Army, WWII, ETO, Co.K/104th Inf. Reg./26th Division

James Gilman – Westfield, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO, 3rd Batt/26th Division

James Hoff – Saginaw, MI; US Army, Vietnam, Military Police

Edna Morgan – Rincon, GA; Civilian aircraft spotter, WWII

Clyde Orr Jr. – Florence, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, navigator, 94th Bomb Group

Herman Ponty – Madison, WI & CA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Lt., 100th Division, Bronze Star

Lloyd Sime – San Diego, CA; US Navy (Ret.), WWII, Korea, Vietnam & Pentagon

Adolph Alfred Taubman – Bloomfield Hills, MI, US Army, WWII

Robert Wilfling – Colorado Springs, CO; US Army, Military Police

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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 20, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. Always hard to see the ‘farewell salutes’ – RIP.

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  2. Good to see the Lest We Forget wreath, GP.

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  3. I learn so much from your posts. Thank you.

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    • My pleasure. If you have any stories from a relative, neighbor or friend, please feel free to put them here in the comments. We ALL like to read them!

      Liked by 2 people

      • My father and uncle are deceased, but maybe I can get my brother, the Master Chief, to give us a story.

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        • That would be great. I take it your father and uncle did not talk about the war?

          Liked by 1 person

          • My Uncle attended Annapolis, became a Lt. Commander. Stationed in Juneau Alaska, the Marshall Islands, Hawaii and finally retired from Mt. Holly, New Jersey. He flew combat missions during WWII and Vietnam. His name was Robert Nathaniel Copes, born in Greeley, Colorado, at or around 1923.

            My Father fought in the Korean Conflict and WWII. He earned, The Bronze Star and The Commendation Medal. If memory serves me correctly, he was aboard a ship that sunk and reportedly saved many lives by assisting in rescue operations. I wish I could recall the name of the ship. Perhaps my brother can.

            He was also a Frogman, and entered into Korea with a crew of nineteen others one dark night, scouting locations. He once gave me his small book written about known safe vegetation. It outlined safe fruits, seeds and veggies to eat until the rendezvous could be made.

            He was born at Eaton, Colorado, August 14, 1921, named, Charles Pearl Warden. He received the rank of Chief Petty Officer and retired from Port Isabel, TX., in 1959. He went on to serve with the Naval Reserves.

            I hope I can entice my brother to write about his career. He spent time in Vietnam, the Gulf of Oman and was based at what has now earned the name, Gitmo. His accolades are many, but it will be interesting to see if he’ll share. To do so he would feel as if he were bragging. I’ll work on him. All five of his sisters would thoroughly enjoy hearing about his accomplishments.

            His name is Charles Robert Warden. He became a Master Chief, and sadly, I can’t recall the E class. He was born in Wyoming, August 15, 1949. He retired from Mayport Naval Station, and lives in Jacksonville, Florida.

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  4. Wonderful history. I like how you differentiated between two opinions on how much support was being poured into the effort.

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  5. Thanks as always for the history lesson, GP. –Curt

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  6. Just a typo I know gp but you left out an A for Australia:

    “but with RAF support, the enemy was defeated.”

    ” but with RAAF support, the enemy was defeated”,

    now that looks better 😀

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  7. “What did you do in the War, Grandad?”

    “I drove a tractor, Son.”

    “Oh … er … yeah …”

    “I was a CB, Son.”

    “Oh. WOW!”

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  8. Outstanding text !

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  9. Interesting post, GP, as always. Striking flood photo. I like that even a civilian aircraft spotter is mentioned in the Farewell Salutes because my (deceased) mother-in-law did this too. She was very proud of her contribution. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you would care to include her in the Salutes, feel free to include her info here. Some of the civilians I add would worked directly with the military and she was with the Aircraft Warning System.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. About Washington’s unwillingness to give the SWPA additional resources..read Chapter 8 (First Trip to Washington) of General Kenney Reports for some more info. http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100526-032.pdf

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    • Exactly, Kenney had to talk fast and with the right people to get planes no one else wanted.[and that was in ’43 – you can just imagine what they were using in ’42] That is a terrific reference you’ve sent, I appreciate your time and effort to get it to me. I’ll be reading it in its entirety soon.

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  11. The USS Gregory… the ILL-fortunes of war. As I believe the IJN still had not equipped their ships with radar, the flares were a tragic mistake, just like the accidental bombing at Caen of our own troops. Sad…

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  12. September 1942 – I was born. 🙂

    Regards

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  13. Very interesting! Thank you.

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  14. Thank you wünsche dir eine gute Woche lieber Gruß Gislinde

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  15. Rats! …quite striking!

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  16. I had always hear of the torrential rains but had never seen an image, quite striling.

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