January 1943 (2)

"Action in The Slot" by Tom Freeman

“Action in The Slot” by Tom Freeman

PT boat report for 10/11 January – The Slot action at Guadalcanal:  The Japanese ships came in under the cover of a rain squall and the 2 US scout groups missed them.  The first contact was made by strike group-1, spotting 3 destroyers off the Guadalcanal coast.  The 3 boats attacked the enemy ships but the enemy sank PT-112 and damaged PT-43 so badly, it was abandoned.  IJN destroyer Hatasukaze was hit by a torpedo, killing 8 and wounding 23, and retired to Shortland Island.  PT-43 was later sighted on the Japanese-held portion of the island and was destroyed by gunfire from a New Zealand corvette.

P-38 Lightning in Alaska

P-38 Lightning in Alaska

12-19 January – 2,000 American troops, in an amphibious landing on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians, started their operations to take back the enemy held areas in Alaska.  The USS Worden was sunk and 14 men were killed.  Six US warships began bombardment of Attu Island.

14 January – the Japanese Special Navy Landing Force went ashore at Cape Esperance on Guadalcanal to act as a rear guard for the evacuation of troops.  US radio intelligence failed to pick up the reason for Tanaka’s 19 destroyers speeding down The Slot.  Halsey feared a new offensive was about to begin.  The US motor torpedo boats went up against a supply convoy, fired 17 torpedoes and hit 3 destroyers and then withdrew.  The admiral ordered aircraft from 3 escort carriers to support the Cactus Air Force.

Cactus Air Force, Guadalcanal

Cactus Air Force, Guadalcanal

The Symbol Conference at Anfa, overlooking Casablanca, began with all sides in conflict.  Churchill worked on FDR to maintain the “Europe First” plans while the US Joint Chiefs of Staff reminded the Imperial General Staff that the Allies “could not give the Japanese any pause.”  Over cigars and cognac both sides reached an “agreement in principle.”  The British would allow an extension of the Pacific offensive if in return America accepted the invasion of Sicily.  The Casablanca Conference left many of the key strategic issues unresolved.

Click on images to enlarge

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A look at how we saw them and they saw us…..

002 (2)002

 

 

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Navy Humor – military-humor-funny-joke-navy-submarine-ships-designed-to-sink-others-require-assistance

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Farewell Salutes – 

Stanley Asksamit Jr. – Goodyear, AZ; US Army, Korea, 1st Cavalry

Robert Conquest – UK & US; British Foreign Office, WWII, Intelligence

Phillip Goedeke – Harriman, TN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO,  152nd Infantry/11th A/Bplaying-taps

James Kelly – Piedmont, AL; US Merchant Marines, WWII

Ray Lindner – Winfield, IL; USMC, WWII & Korea

Arnold Messacar – Pointe-Claire, CAN; RCL Br66, WWII

Merritt ‘Bill’ Sheldon – Granville, NY; US Navy, WWII, PTO, ocean tug

Peter Tanswell – New Plymouth, NZ; RNZ Navy # 8438, WWII, PTO

James Tinnel – Seattle, WA; US Navy, WWII, salvage diver

Lee Wintersteen – Sioux Falls, SD; US Army, 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 August 20, 2015, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 83 Comments.

  1. Thanks for reacting to my maiden venture into blogging. Yours are dauntingly more extensive compared with my “…meanwhile on the home front,” comments. I have a bit more along those lines to offer, so I’ll go at it.

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    • Most everyone starts out blogging as a complete novice and that includes ME, believe me! In fact I still haunt the WordPress Support team with questions, and my readers, like Pierre and Koji have always been there to for assistance. Keep up the posts and you’ll soon find ideas here, there and everywhere around the blog-sphere to make your site just what you want it to be.

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  2. amazing post as always, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always find the PT Boat subject highly interesting, their efforts throughout the war were outstanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The different views of the enemy are very telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    I love the war ship photo – the color and action are beautifully done.

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  6. Very informative as always. More new things I didn’t know before!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. wow.. so good to see this again… your blog.

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  8. Makes for interesting reading. Love that colour image. Tom Freeman is a wonderful naval artist.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So many things that we didn’t know. Thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Off topic (again), however I do recall from my working life in shipping that at least one MAJOR shipping line was trialling sails on their cargo vessels as a way of reducing their reliance on bunker oil. I haven’t been in the industry for the last seven years, so unsure of where it is up to now, but a hybrid vessel would seem to make sense, and over time could gain the same acceptance as the Toyota Prius electric/petrol vehicle.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. And if you’re curious: a 300 degree view of Break Neck Ridge from where I read your letter. Sorry about the music; we were singing my uncle’s regimental song. https://youtu.be/ZfZa5HdFJGY Delete if you so wish! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Those PT boats were great fill-ins while the shipyards produced capital ships… Did I read that on your blog? Old age, you know. We also forget about the battles up north in the Aleutians/Alaska, don’t we? At least I do.

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  13. Another OUTSTANDING POST! You should compile your posts in to a book, I would buy 7 copies at least!

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  14. Great pictures! Guess the posters show there are two sides to every story. But if we saw everything alike, there would be no reason for war.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I do like Freeman’s painting “Action…” – so powerful and feels as though the action happening right now – as I marvel at the painting.

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  16. Thanks for including the poster showing the Japanese propaganda at the time. The US propaganda is pretty well known, but there aren’t nearly enough posts (unless you’ve seen more of them) on the Japanese propaganda.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I always read your farewell salutes, always with deep sadness and reverence for what these men and women achieved on behalf of their country as young people. I am so proud of them, but saddened too when I think about what must be going through their minds today as they look around and survey what America has become under too many years of failed leadership.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sad but true, Mustang. But thank you very much for reading the Salutes, it takes a lot out of me to collect them, but they went through far more for you and me!!

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  18. Good Article! Smiling with the agreement over cigars and cognac, also 🙂

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  19. Their capabilities should not be underrated – an Italian equivalent actually sank a battleship. Had the torpedoes been as good as those of the enemy, the PTs would have had an even more impressive record than the one they achieved. As it is, they were a major contributor to the enemy running short on supplies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please don’t get me wrong – I was in no way down-playing their contributions. The PT report is from the US Navy and the boats were flimsy – but as you say – very effective. The Japanese hated those guys.

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  20. Great humor, GP. Who thinks this stuff up?

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  21. The lives of many decided over cognac and cigars. I guess that still goes on today.
    I didn’t realise the PT boats were planned to be disposable.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Interesting the conflicting, unflattering cartoons (How we saw them and they saw us). Both seem like exaggerated propaganda aimed at stirring up hatred for the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pierre Lagacé

    The two posters are something to ponder about GP.

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  24. Pierre Lagacé

    Disposable…

    Not only war material were disposable I’m sorry to say.

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  25. Pierre Lagacé

    “Action in The Slot” by Tom Freeman

    Most impressive painting!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I enjoy the PT stories. There is something fascinating about the notion of men going to war on a platform that would seem better suited to water skiing when compared to the enemy they were facing.

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  27. Knowing Churchill, he would have consumed the lion’s share of the cigars and cognac!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. That was another busy period in the Pacific area of operations, GP.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Reblogged this on The Missal.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. “Some ships” thats making me chuckle, correct me if I am wrong, but PT Boats were plywood in the main?

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