JANUARY 1943 (1)

MT_AUSTEN_info_2

1 – 5 January 1943 – The US troops, totaling approximately 50,000 on Guadalcanal at this point had massive amounts of air, artillery and naval support at their disposal.  The Japanese, who were struggling with about half the amount of men and no hope of new supplies, now faced Gen. Patch’s XIV Corps as they pushed outward from the Lunga perimeter.  Despite the odds, as the American troops (Army & Marine assisted by Solomon islanders) hit Mount Austen (a high ground between the Lunga and Matanikau Rivers), they were beaten back by the exhausted enemy.  It was on the 5th that Mt. Austen was captured and the men fought off 6 enemy counterattacks to keep it.

“Calvertville”, PT boat base at Tulagi

2/3 January – The PT boat report for this date in the Tulagi/Guadalcanal area states: RAdm. Tanaka, injured as a result of a PT boat sinking his flagship, was replaced by RAdm. Koyanagi.  TheMBT Flotilla One attacked enemy ships for 2 hours, firing 18 torpedoes.  The boats sustained enemy shelling, strafing and searchlights plus air cover from the 3 new Japanese floatplanes that spotted the PT wake easily, even in the darkness.  PT-45 put a claim in for a hit, but it was unconfirmed, and the Japanese reported receiving 5 days worth of supplies.

Japanese coconut palm bunker at Buna

Japanese coconut palm bunker at Buna

2 – 13 January – the Japanese still refused to leave Buna, New Guinea and the US troops received vast amounts of resistance before it was taken; the final cost totaled 2,870 casualties.  From the 6th to the 9th, waves of US aircraft attacked the enemy supply convoys headed for Papua.  They sank 3 transports and downed 80 Japanese planes with few losses of their own.  The troops from the Australian 17th Brigade were air-lifted into Wau under enemy fire.  This prevented the enemy from taking over the airfield.  But heavy fighting continued in the surrounding jungles.

a Japanese work map for the New Guinea operations

a Japanese work map for the New Guinea operations

4-6  January – Adm. Halsey sent a bombardment force of 3 light cruisers and 2 destroyers, under RAdm. Walden Ainsworth, to hit Munda Field on the island of New Georgia.  Behind them were 3 light cruisers, 1 heavy cruiser and 3 destroyers, under RAdm. Mahlon Tisdale, for support.  Their orders were to divert any enemy aerial reinforcement that might disrupt the actions on Guadalcanal.

USMC-M-CSol-1

Within 50 minutes, 3,000 rounds of 6″ shells and 1,400 5″ shells hit the airfield.  As the ships left the area, the Japanese sent their planes out on a retaliatory strike; but they only managed to do minor damage to a turret on the New Zealand light cruiser, Achilles.  The USS Grayback, acting as the beacon ship for the bombardment later picked up 6 downed airmen; CO Edward Stephan would received the Navy Cross for his actions during the operation.

9 January – the Japanese-established government of China declared war on the United States and Britain.  To show good faith, Japan reduced their claims on some Chinese territories and hostilities toward the sovereignty.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Navy Humor – wwii

jokes

courtesy of Chris @ Muscleheaded……

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Farewell Salutes – 

Stephen Byus – Columbus, OH; US Navy, Afghanistan, Lt.

Robert Dombrowski – Salisbury, MD; US Air Force (Ret. 26 years), Colonel, Bronze Star

Vivian Given – Toronto, CAN; RC Women’s Air Force, WWIIFUNERALPICKET-610x406

Corey Hood – Cincinnati, OH; US Army, Iraq & Afghanistan (5 tours), Golden Knights

Robert McCarroll – Waikato, NZ; RNZ Army # 421836, WWII, 35th Battery

Concetta Monda – Bridgeport, CT; US Navy, WAVE, WWII

William Rundell – Orion, KY; US Army, WWII, ETO

Harold Smith – Kokomo, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 221st Medical/11th Airborne

Joshua Stevens – Dagsbord, DE; US Air Force, Korea, 187th RCT

William Whitman – Fairbanks, AK; US Army, Korea

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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 August 17, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. Once again, Thank you for your tireless research efforts and unending story’s of the bravery and endurance of America’s finest. Keep the story’s coming. I am also loving the “post education”………with every one.

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  2. I appreciate these guys’ guts but I just don’t know how they put up with the climate and environment for so long… and while under fire… They’re all true heroes – not that Jenner thing who killed someone while driving distracted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And to think they had their uniforms, packs and weapons too. I suppose the human body can truly endure more than we believe we can. Yes – hero is the word!!

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  3. Your work is such a compelling read, always! One of my 4th graders chose a book about Pearl Harbor from the school library yesterday. I told him about my 3 visits there and how I cannot visit Hawaii without a visit to the Arizona Memorial, the the USS Missouri and to the attack diesel sub and then i thought of you and wished you could share with him even as you share with your lucky readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see no reason he can not share in the posts. I try not to use large words, cussing, gruesome scenes, etc. for just that reason – we do get younger visitors sometimes. I didn’t cover Pearl quite so much due to the fact there are so many books on the subject. Make certain you tell him NOT to accept just one historians view on a subject! We taught Japan how to conquer just as we, the UK, Dutch and French did – and then condemned them when they succeeded – and the dominoes began to fall into place. So…
      As is expressed in this quote:
      “We find few historians who have been diligent in their search for truth. Thereby repeating what has been said before, making it true.” ___ Dryden

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was in Papua New Guinea, as it was known then, in 1969, there is much history hidden in the mountains and valleys there, also the islands off the coast.
    When I read your posts, and see the casualty list, it makes me wonder just how many servicemen are now at rest in New Guinea’s mountainous ranges.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Every time I read one of your posts, I am astonished at my lack of knowledge. I had no idea about the work camps on New Guinea. Your blog is excellent.

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  6. Great post and very informative!

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  7. So much history, so little time. I hope our country has learned many a lesson, but most importantly, I hope our leaders become Statesmen. We are at a crossroads. Each of us must demand more from Washington. One life lost is one too many.

    Thank you to our fallen heroes. Gone, but never forgotten.

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    • Truer words never spoken. The president has been so busy appeasing other countries though that ours is going to hell in a hand-basket. We should quit sticking our noses where they don’t belong.

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      • Of my heavens, no truer words have been spoken! This Iranian thing is an absolute joke. I am now convinced that his goal is reparations. Since Congress voted against them for former slaves, here, he, in his deluded mind has set about to “free” the world of oppression. Saddest of all things, he has a “God Complex” and is placing every single one of us Americans in the firing line.
        “Reparations Genocide.”
        I am not worried about being politically correct. I’m worried that my words are weak in the midst of the crowd of Kool-Aid drinkers.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. The NZ ship Achilles was involved in the first major naval battle of WWII, The Battle of the River Plate on the 13th December 1939, in company with the HMS Exeter and HMS Ajax the put paid to the Graf Spee

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  9. If that’s the same ‘Achilles’ involved in the earlier Battle of the River Plate, I think it was more light cruiser than destroyer~? (They got around a fair bit in those days …)

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  10. It is so hard to comprehend the enormous cost for such tiny parcels of land. The more I learn about the Pacific war, the more I understand why my father never talked about it.

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    • Understanding the situations certainly puts things into perspective, don’t they, Dan! This generation handled this war the only way they knew how. I often think the price is way too high for these islands; if we had by-passed some, but put under blockade, the enemy would be forced to surrender or starve…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It constantly amazes me how so many men in different parts of the world were able to communicate with each other and plan their attacks back in the 1940s. We didn’t have a telephone at home then…or even electricity. How did they do it?

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    • Do you mean the home front or war zones? Homes had radios and some had telephones. The governments had those plus cable transmissions, portable radios,etc. The necessity of war increased the research and development of the media along with weapon and equipment.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Your post piqued my curiosity, so I did some reading about the Guadalcanal campaign. I never realized this campaign lasted 6 months, and mainly consisted of the U.S. military trying to prevent the Japanese from retaking Guadalcanal (which we easily captured in a surprise attack in August 1942). After Guadalcanal, the Japanese were put on the defensive for the remainder of the war. I love learning about the history of this war.

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    • I am very happy to hear of a person’s curiosity being sparked and further research being done. But remember to never take just one historian’s slant on the issues….
      “We find few historians who have been diligent in their search for truth. Thereby repeating what has once been said – making it true”___Dryden

      Liked by 1 person

  13. 2,870 casualties. It was never easy with the Japanese, was it? And thanks, by the way, for another very interesting blog post.

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  14. Thank you for the fine post, I especially appreciate the mention of the fallen heroes! thank you.

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  15. Whatever I think about the Japanese war machine, and government, those individual soldiers showed such amazing resilience, and thirst for action. They must surely have been the most difficult enemy to overcome, of all the Axis forces.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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