October 1942 (1)

USS Grouper

USS Grouper

 

Late September, MGen. Robert Eichelberger and the bulk of the 32nd Division arrived at Port Moresby, New Guinea.  By early October, the 5th US Air Force began transporting troops to the Buna-Gona sector, but the bulk of their matériel had been sunk by Japanese bombers.  Gen. Harding felt it would not be a problem, being as that “Buna would be easy pickings.”

Lisbon Maru

Lisbon Maru

1 October – the enemy ‘hell ship’ Lisbon Maru, with 1,816 Allied prisoners on board, was torpedoes by the US submarine Grouper off the coast of China.  The Japanese seamen closed the hatches and 843 POWs went to the bottom.  Many of the men managed to get out of the wreckage, but were machine-gunned as they surfaced.  Only 724 survived.  Enemy prison ships did not display a red cross to signify that their “cargo” was human and the conditions were so horrifying on board that approximately 22,000 prisoners died on them during the war.

the sinking of the Lisbon Maru

the sinking of the Lisbon Maru

3-4 October – in the skies over Guadalcanal, American and Japanese aircraft battled.  Seven Navy Wildcats shot down 9 Zeros as they attacked US positions on the island.  The antiaircraft batteries brought down another 2 enemy planes during the night.  US Navy and Marine aircraft bombed a Japanese convoy as they landed reinforcements and hit one cruiser.

US Marines man a 75mm gun on Guadalcanal Oct. 1942

US Marines man a 75mm gun on Guadalcanal Oct. 1942

5-7 October – US Carrier aircraft made a strike at a concentration of Japanese ships grouped around Shortland Island, south of Bougainville in the Solomons.  Six vessels were damaged and approximately 10 enemy aircraft were destroyed.  The Marines on Guadalcanal met with heavy resistance as they moved westward.  The main combat zone was at the Matanikau River.

 

Battle of Cape Esperance

Battle of Cape Esperance

USS Helena (CL-50) by: Marii Chernex, Military Art Gallery

USS Helena (CL-50) by: Marii Chernex, Military Art Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-25 October – the US cruiser force under RAdm. Scott, on the flagship San Francisco, after receiving an intelligence report, intercepted a Japanese supply convoy covered by an enemy cruiser squadron.  This convoy was under the command of RAdm. Goto and located between the East & West Solomons.  Their contact would come to be known as the Battle of Esperance.

sailor points to the USS Boise's scoreboard

sailor points to the USS Boise’s scoreboard

As the battle proceeded to halt the convoy from reaching Guadalcanal, the The US had inefficient communication problems and poor tactical maneuvering issues, but the ships’ radar guided them to eliminate the destroyer Fubuki.  The enemy cruisers, Furutaka and Aoba were heavily damaged.  The Japanese retaliated and crippled the Duncan so badly, she had to be run aground.  The cruiser, Salt Lake City took action to cover the damaged Boise, yet the battle caused the enemy to retreat.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – by Disney –

falloutfallin_111111_short_0 donaldv2-08

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Herbert Acton – San Francisco, CA; US Army, WWII

Elsie Coulsen – Edmonton, CAN; CWAC (Canadian Women’s Army Corps), WWII

Heroes R.I.P.

Heroes R.I.P.

Robert Davis – North Lewisburg, OH; US Army, WWII, ETO, C Co./#1 Assault Team/8th Regt/1st Btn/4th Infantry Div.

Frank Eaton – WPalm Bch, FL; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Lloyd Hadley – Evansville, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Christopher E. Mosko – San Diego, CA; US Navy, Lt., Afghanistan, Navy Explosives Ordnance Disposal

Walter Pope – Carthage, TN; US Navy, Korea & Vietnam, Navy Seal, Bronze Star

Ronald Smith – Matamata, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 4312063, WWII

Fernand Violette – Lake Worth, FL; US Army, WWII ETO, Bronze Star (Patton’s driver)

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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 30, 2015, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. The hatches on the ship – hard to believe that anyone could be that callous.

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  2. It’s still incredible to believe these Marines were fighting to stay alive with 1903 Springfields. There were also several USS Laffey’s. I believe this one exploded and sank with nearly all hands shortly thereafter but in this battle, damaged the Aoba as you mentioned. Great loss of life for all involved.

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  3. In the chronicles of war, the atrocities carried out must be considered among the highest crimes that can be conceivable, for the Japanese seamen to close the hatches and 843 POW’s sent to the bottom must rank on the highest order, of inhumanity.
    Informative post gp.

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  4. Wünsche dir einen glücklichen schönen ersten Mai lieber Gruß von mir Gislinde

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  5. Amazing battles. Keep ’em coming.

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    • Yes, we do have a long way to go this time, don’t we Jacqui! I felt the series should be more international to tell as much of the complete story as I could, but it is moving slowly, isn’t it?

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  6. Given revelations and the change in awareness that comes after experiences, one can understand why the Japanese were quickly dehumanised to ‘rat’ status and simply exterminated wherever possible.

    The gentlemanly and ‘noble’ sides of war are for the spectators, later historians, commenters and nice folks never involved. My hat comes off quickly to anyone who can go through those experiences and still retain a modicum of humanity (either he’s very very human — or loopy).

    As for ‘spirit of the Samurai’ … many of the treasured swords (some of them extremely valuable heirlooms) ended up as impromptu tripods ever the cooking fires of ‘barbarians’.

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  7. Glad that that the pow’s are not forgotten. Such horrible conditions!

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  8. Another excellent blog post. I am glad you are telling the tale which stops those 843 POWs being forgotten. And I agree strongly too with Dan Antion. This kind of action has no place in war,

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is so hard to imagine the mindset that would make a person decide to trap men in a sinking ship or shoot the ones who managed to escape the wreckage. I know, war, but…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. War is really such an horrific waste.

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  11. Looking forward to part 2.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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