April 1943 (1)

Alaska, 1943

Alaska, 1943

1 April –  ALASKA – (Eleventh Air Force) A joint directive by Commander-in-Chief, Pacific and Commanding General Western Defense Command orders preparations for Operation LANDGRAB, the invasion of Attu. Sixteen B-24, 5 B-25, and 12 P-38 sorties are flown against Kiska from Adak and Amchitka. Targets include a ship in Gertrude Cove, the North Head area, the Main Camp and the beach. AA fire damages two bombers. Reconnaissance covered Kiska, Attu, Buldir, and Semichis. During April, the 73d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 28th Composite Group with B-25’s transfers from Elmendorf Field to Umnak.

To see what remains on Alaska today from WWII, visit this site of Jon Sund where I have linked the underground hospital.

2nd Burma Rifles, Operation Longcloth, April '43

2nd Burma Rifles, Operation Longcloth, April ’43

5 April – the Japanese forces in the Arakan of Burma had now pushed the British troops half-way back up the Mayu Peninsula.  The British brigade headquarters was also captured.  Tenth Air Force) Seventeen B-25’s bomb railroad targets at Mandalay; two others hit Ngamya. Three B-24’s bombed the Prome railroad yards; 5 hit the Mahlwagon yards and roundhouse. 12 P-40’s and a B-25 supported ground forces in northern Burma.

13 April –   (Eleventh Air Force) Fifteen B-24’s, fifteen B-25’s, 28 P-38’s and 20 P-40’s fly eleven attacks to Kiska; 43 tons of bombs are dropped on the Main Camp, North Head, and runway. Fighters attack the Main Camp causing large fires, and also strafe aircraft on the beach. Heavy AA fire damages 2 P-38’s, 1 of which later crashes into the sea, and 1 B-25.

Yamamoto, one week before his death. (L) Pilot, Thomas Lanphier Jr. (R)

Yamamoto, one week before his death. (L)
Pilot, Thomas Lanphier Jr. (R)

Adm. Yamamoto, wearing a dark green uniform, boarded a Mitsubishi I-type twin-engine bomber with his secretary.  The plane took off precisely at 0600 hours, ( the admiral’s insistence of punctuality was well-known).  An hour and a half later, Mitchell yelled: “Bogeys at 11 o’clock high.”  The famed/infamous admiral, Isoroku Yamamoto, considered Japan’s greatest military leader, received a fatal bullet before his plane crashed.  Mitchell radioed back to base: “Pop goes the weasel,” the prearranged success code.

Thomas Lanphier Jr.; Besey Holmes, Rex Barber. The 4th pilot, Raymond Hine, did not return

Thomas Lanphier Jr.; Besey Holmes, Rex Barber. The 4th pilot, Raymond Hine, did not return

13 April –  Alaska’s (Eleventh Air Force) Fifteen B-24’s, fifteen B-25’s, 28 P-38’s and 20 P-40’s fly eleven attacks to Kiska; 43 tons of bombs were dropped on the Main Camp, North Head, and runway. Fighters attacked the Main Camp causing large fires, and also strafed the aircraft on the beach. Heavy AA fire damaged 2 P-38’s, 1 of which later crashed into the sea, and 1 B-25.

BURMA-INDIA (Tenth Air Force) In Burma, 9 B-25’s bomb the Myitnge bridge without inflicting further damage to the structure. Nine others hit Monywa Airfield. Six P-40’s knock out a bridge at Shaduzup.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Christopher Ascher – Freeport, IL; US Army, WWII

Arthur Barnes – Toowoomba, AUS; RA Air Force # 7692911986973_1183822258300441_3544440820007753006_n.jpgfrom, Falling with Hale

Albert Duda – New Orleans, LA; USMC, Vietnam

Daniel Goolsby – Brundridge, AL; US Navy, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, frogman

Thomas Hogarth Sr.; WPalm Beach, FL; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Algol

Jim Keenan – Harrison, AR; US Navy, pilot

Ronal Pollet – Bay Ridge, NY; US Army, Korea

Leslie Slade – Takanini, NZ; RNZ Army # 441184, WWII, 21st Battalion

Neil Thalaker – Baltimore, MD; US Navy, WWII

Dorothy VanWinkle (Tremaine) – Wilmington, DE; civilian US Power Squadron # 5210, 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 October 19, 2015, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.

  1. Always loved SNAFU! On your report of Yamamoto’s demise, the USAAF sent a few P-38 patrols to the island from BEFORE his known arrival and AFTER to deflect any inkling the US had listened in on their codified radio transmissions (broken their code).

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  2. A rather fitting end to the Great Isoroku Yamamoto, Death in battle, presume it was confirmed as a Death in Battle and not suicide.
    That underground Hospital looks like it will be a legacy for many years to come yet.
    Cheers

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    • Yamamoto was en-route to inspect his airfields. Being as his pilots were inexperienced, he knew their tales of grandeur had to be exaggerated and he wanted to see what was going on for himself. As far as we know, he had NO idea that his plans were intercepted – therefore YES – he was KIA.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Naively I never really thought that Alaska was much involved in the war. I always assumed incorrectly where it is isolated that it was not really affected. Interesting to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point to bring up, Elizabeth. I should make it clear, perhaps with a map, to show people just how close the Aleutians are to Asia – maybe that would instill further interest in the American Theater of Operations. (I don’t usually use that term, because most would not know what I was talking about.)

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  4. I was really happy to see you post about Alaska’s Eleventh Airforce. My husband was stationed out of Alaska for a while with the Honor Guard. One of his proudest accomplishments there was to be able to honor members of the Alaska Territorial Guard who fought in WWII and whose contribution to the safety of the Alaskan Territory is often overlooked.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. that technical fairy in the video was really fun – enjoyed the vid – and post

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice to see that someone is putting it in chronological order, I have noticed that it is a rarity myself, and good old Snafu, also found this, which you may like?
    http://natureonline.com/37/56-ap4-glossary.html

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another great history lesson for me. Tributes are difficult, but I remind myself we must think of them as a Celebration of Life AND remember to always give thanks.

    Appreciate your posts, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Pop goes the weasel” shows more originality—more class—than “Got the bugger!” or similar. For that matter, more American somehow …

    Love it! And SNAFU gets the message across much better: one cartoon is worth a thousand lectures~!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Strange – I received more comments on the success message of “Pop goes the weasel” than I did about a man like Yamamoto being assassinated.
      SNAFU – well, I can never go wrong adding him in here. The straight-laced training films put everyone asleep and SNAFU got the message across with a laugh!!
      Thanks for dropping by, Argus, always a pleasure.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jumped right into Snafu. Having wandered through the tropics and been subjected to all needle poking, I was quite amused. Maybe even empathetic. 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great stuff as always. I look forward to the day when you run out of names for the Farewell Salutes – but it’s never going to happen is it…

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  11. Very informative. Smiling also at “Pop goes the Weasel”.

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  12. The Historical Diaries

    great post , followed your blog =)

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  13. Loved watching those cartoons as a young kid. Thanks for the great memories, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Puts a whole new meaning on my little jack-in-box that played “Pop Goes the Weasel”! I know they’re not connected but that’s what popped into my head….

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  15. Flying conditions were horrible in the Alaskan campaign.

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  16. During that month, my father was in training, just before being sent to Alaska as part of the troop sent to reinforce places like Attu after driving the Japanese out.

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  17. This ‘calendar’ treatment of the Pacific war years is highly informative, and most enjoyable, GP.
    Many thanks!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always been interested in the Pacific part, my dad had a lot to do with that of course, but every book I read on the subject went from one date to the next and then back-tracked. Then, they skipped a whole part of the war and picked it up at the end. So much went on at once that it was difficult for me to put the units in the right place at the right time – so I figured I’d collect data and try to put it in order. I’m very glad you appreciate it, Pete! Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. War should never be trivialised I suppose, but “Pop goes the weasel,” is a really cool way to announce you’ve killed Admiral Yamamoto!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Great post…and comic relief, something vital for the soldiers!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. The heartfelt joy that comes in spontaneous words when enemy hit “Pop goes the weasel” – love the humour. And meeting Snafu here was delightful, thanks gp 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks for the news and the cartoon. That was a good way to start the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Neat post, I got some nice pics of the Aircobra display at the museum, it is set for the wing that was in Alaska in WW2. Pretty cool. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: My Article Read (10-19-2015) | My Daily Musing

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