Monthly Archives: December 2015

August 1943 (1)

IJN Amagiri & PT-109; US Navy painting

IJN Amagiri & PT-109; US Navy painting

1 August – The Japanese destroyer, Amagiri rammed the US Naval fast patrol boat, PT-109, and 2 seaman were killed.  All members, including John F. Kennedy, were reported as missing.  After 3 days, the US Navy rescued the survivers after receiving word from friendly neighbors of their location on a near-by island.

The Japanese, as an advancement ploy of their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, announced that Burma was an independent nation.  The puppet-leader, Dr. Ba Maw, immediately declared war on the Allies.

5-7 August – The US 43rd Division made their way to conquer the vital Japanese base at Munda in the Solomon Islands.  The engineers began their work immediately to repair and enlarge the airfield to be used as a forward base for the Solomon Campaign.  An enemy supply convoy headed for Kolombangara came in contact with 6 US destroyers in the Vela Gulf.  With no US losses, the Japanese suffered 1210 KIA and 3 destroyers sunk.

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 11 August –  as the 43d Division widened its cleanup efforts around the airfield, a patrol confirmed reports of Japanese activity on Kolombangara. The following day, a company-sized unit moved by landing craft to the island. As the soldiers disembarked, a withering fire from the jungle felled about half of the force and forced its withdrawal. Two days later, while an artillery barrage from 155mm guns hastily-emplaced at Munda paved the way, two battalions of the 169th made an unopposed dawn landing on the shore opposite the site of the ill-fated assault of the 12th. As the infantrymen moved inland, crossing the island from east to west, resistance stiffened. An estimated 400 Japanese manned a strong line of hastily-built fortifications blocking the advance.

Kolombangara Island

Kolombangara Island

 16 August – two battalions of the 172d Regiment went to Baanga to reinforce the attack. As more artillery units (including the 155mm gun batteries of the 9th Marine Defense Battalion) moved into position at Munda and on the offshore islands, and systematically knocked out every known enemy gun emplacement, resistance dwindled. Increased barge traffic on the night of 19 August indicated that the Japanese were withdrawing. The following day, the southern part of the island was quickly occupied, and two battalions then moved north along opposite coastlines. Only scattered stragglers were encountered; the enemy had abandoned Baanga. The 43d Division lost 52 men killed and 110 wounded in the week-long battle.

7-15 August – There was so much fighting between the Nationalist and Communist troops in China that the Japanese took advantage of the situation and launched an offensive.  The Nationalist LI Corps was nearly destroyed.

Gen. Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief India, proposed no further British offensives in Burma, but rather concentrate on air supplies to China.

13-24 August – Upon Churchill’s arrival to the States, he and FDR had a private meeting.  The Prime Minister wished to urge the president to make the next step in Europe, the Balkans and Norway.  He was unaware that the influential Secretary of War, Henry Stimson already urged FDR to hold to his promise to Stalin and invade France, thereby creating a “Second Front.”

Chateau Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac

The military conference “Quadrant” at the Château Frontenac overlooking the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, the usual heated debates transpired.  In regards to the CBI, VAdm. Louis Mountbatten was made head of the South East Asia Command (SEAC) which covered Burma, Malaya, Sumatra, Thailand and Indochina.  The objectives for the SEAC: draw Japan out of the Pacific and assist China.  There were no strategic decisions made.  For the SW Pacific areas, any future ideas would depend heavily on the progress in New Guinea and MacArthur was notified of this, in so uncertain terms, by Gen. Marshall.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current News –

Joint efforts to locate WWII airmen lost in Malaysia…

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Military Island Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Victor Bean Sr. – Juneau, AK; US Army, Vietnam

Howard Coble – Greensboro, NC; US Coast Guard (Ret. 29 years), US Congressmane9dd0162494da2d1aba873c634610321

Melvin Garten – Oswego, OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Div.

Nicola Goddard – CAN, brn: New Guinea; RC Army, Afghanistan, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Capt.; first Canadian woman killed in combat

Barbara Hawkins – Long Beach, CA; US Navy Waves

Robert Meacham – Traverse City, MI; US Air Force (Ret. 20 years), Lt.Colonel

Alfree Nabob – Middletown, DE; US Army, WWII, ETO, 1st Infantry Div., Purple Heart

Albert Palko – Cleveland, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Purple Heart & Korea

Tibor Rubin – Garden Grove, CA; US Army, Korea, Medal of Honor

Frank Surridge – Lower Hutt, NZ; RNZ Navy # 3065, WWII

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Pearl Harbor battleships after WWII: part I

A series here that deserves attention!

HERE find the 5 myths about Pearl Harbor!!!!

wwiiafterwwii

Except for USS Arizona, all of the battleships attacked at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 were later raised, and saw the end of WWII. This three-part series will show their peacetime use and final fates after WWII.

location

(Recovered in 1945 during the occupation of Japan, this photo was taken by a Japanese airman and shows the opening seconds of the 7 December 1941 attack, and the location of the American battleships: 1) USS Nevada 2) USS Arizona 3) USS West Virginia 4) USS Tennessee 5) USS Oklahoma 6) USS Maryland 7) USS California and 8) USS Pennsylvania, out of the picture to the right. Two other warships are a) USS Vestal and b) USS Neosho. Circled are two Aichi D3A “Val” dive bombers of the strike force.)

View original post 6,433 more words

South Sea Scouts

The Ol' Officer's Mess

The Ol’ Officer’s Mess

This is basically a follow-up to the post, Fiji Guerrillas, which can be reviewed first if you so desire.

At the end of 1942, the Americans on Guadalcanal had requested more Fiji guerrilla troops and this was met by the dispatch of 2 further units – 1 Commando Fiji Guerrillas and 1 Battalion Fiji Brigade Group.  Both of these landed on 19 April 1943.  Commanded by C.W.H. Tripp, they would now be labeled the South Sea Scouts, made up of 39 New Zealand officers and NCO’s from the Southern and Eastern Independent Commandos and 135 Fijians from the same units.

 

28 Tongans, under Lt. B. Masefield, increased the strength of Tripp’s unit to 203 before it went into action on New Georgia.  During this time, 200 Solomon Islanders were absorbed into the unit and changes were made in the organization.  Each platoon became a patrol, commanded by a New Zealand sergeant with a New Zealand corporal as his second-in-command.

WH2IP-CommP004a

On New Georgia, US units of 14 Corps had established a beachhead at Zanana at Roviana Lagoon and the Fiji patrols went ashore.  This started the slow and exhausting move through dense forest country to Bariki River.  The final advance of 4 miles on Munda airfield was to be made on narrow, boggy native tracks.

Conditions and territory, the worst as yet, hindered all action.  The Tongans under Masefield became valuable assets as the barriers and thin trails were stoutly defended by the Japanese strong-posts.  Between Zanana and the airfield was a swamp cut by the outlets of the river, but a patrol of Tongans, led by Sgt. B.W. Ensor, reconnoitered territory behind the enemy lines and discovered a good bridgehead site at Laiana, close to Munda.

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Tripp’s unit was assigned to clearing the islands in the Roviana Lagoon, which proved as easy task.  Patrols were then allotted to the units of the US 43rd Division, 169th Regiment on the right flank and others to the 172nd Regiment – both combat teams.  On 23 July, the US 37th Division relieved the 43rd and the fresh troops continued with the commandos, in point, to direct the artillery.

By 2 August, the US #rd Division, 25th and the Scouts moved in as the Japanese retreated to Ondonga, fighting as they went.  A general evacuation of the enemy was planned for Kolombangara.

The data here was developed from information attained from NZetc.victoria.ac.nz which I received from Ann at Silkannthreads.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – ...Oh, you're also lost in the jungle?

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“Even if this is a booby-trap, can you think of a better way to go?”

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

William Arbuckle – Wichita, KS; US Army, WWII, CBI, Merrill’s Marauders, Bronze Star

Ida Briggs – E.Stoneham, ME; US Navy(’42-’43), US Army (’43-’44), WWII, Nurse

Ronald Clemons – Convoy, OH; USMC, Captain (Ret.)6MCl-1qX-1

Rodney Eielson – North Haven, CT; US Navy, WWII, USS Hampton

Burke Hensley – Banning, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th A/B Div.

Herbert Holt – Fayetteville, NC; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, 187th RCT

Douglas Kendall – Taumarunui, NZ; NZ Army # 69019, WWII, PTO, Suva/Fiji

Darby Morin – Big River First Nation  , CAN; US Army, Afghanistan, 10th Mountain Div., Sgt.

Robert Olson – Montana; US Army, WWII, ETO

William Walsh – Salem, NH; US Navy, WWII

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