Monthly Archives: January 2016

R.A.A.F. Transport Pioneers

Added information about New Guinea.

The Rant Foundry

Aircrew and servicing personnel who travelled on the Lockheed Lodestar aircraft of No. 37 Squadron RAAF which escorted the Supermarine Spitfire aircraft of No. 452 Squadron RAAF during the move from Sattler airfield, near Darwin, NT, to Morotai Island in the Halmahera Islands, Dutch East Indies. They are seen here at Merauke, Dutch New Guinea, the first stop on the long flight. [AWM OG3059] Aircrew and servicing personnel working on a Lockheed Lodestar aircraft of No. 37 Squadron RAAF seen here at Merauke, Dutch New Guinea, the first stop on the long flight. [AWM OG3059] During 1943, an Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircrew pioneered the longest transport route in the world to be flown by a single crew, from Laverton in Victoria to the Kamiri strip in Noemfoor Island, Dutch New Guinea, a distance of over 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) across the towering unexplored mountain ranges of central New Guinea. The pioneer crew on this record-making run were Flight-Lieutenant R.W. Shore – captain; Flight-Lieutenant W.O. Francis – observer; Flight-Sergeant J. Caduch; Flight-Sergeant D. Sherton; and Sergeant N. Lazarus.

The route eventually became a regular run for the 37th Squadron’s aircrews who, flying Lodestars, linked Melbourne with the farthest RAAF outposts of New Guinea. Regularly flying 44 hours, these young Australians, most of whom…

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September 1943 (3)

Australian troops with a 25-pounder

Australian troops with a 25-pounder

Picture by Roy Cecil Hodgkinson and courtesy of Rant Foundry.

19-26 September – American and Australian forces continued to close their ring around the port at Nadzab, New Guinea.  The Japanese command withdrew some troops to defend Lae, but this action was too late.  The enemy retreated towards Sio as the Allies advanced.  On the 22nd, Lae fell into Australian hands and the enemy was forced to take the only route out, over the mountains to the north coast. (See map below).

The Australian Infantry Battalion of the 9th Division made an amphibious landing north of Finschhafen.  They were met by a counterattack of 5,000 Japanese troops who failed.  Finschhafen would be captured 2 October.  US aircraft continued to hit the enemy airstrip at Wewak; more than 60 aircraft were destroyed on the ground, while offshore, 6 enemy ships were sunk.

14th NZ Brigade at Vella Lavella

14th NZ Brigade at Vella Lavella

 

20-24 September – New Zealand forces cleared the island of Vella Lavella of all Japanese oppositions.  This allowed operations to begin from the newly acquired airfield as air coverage for the North Solomon Island campaigns.

limpet mine, attached by magnets

limpet mine, attached by magnets

26-27 September – 6 Australian Special Force men, led by Major Ivan Lyon, used canoes under cover of darkness to penetrate the enemy shipping at Singapore harbour.  They placed limpet mines on select vessels; 2 enemy transports sunk and 5 others were damaged.

The swift and powerful momentum of the Allies in capturing the Huon Peninsula of New Guinea gave them a jumping-off base to invade New Britain.  This alarmed the Japanese command at Rabaul at the other end of the island.  The enemy garrison on Bougainville (300 miles to the southeast) was all that stood between the main Japanese base in the South Pacific and the other wing of Allied advance.

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Japanese Imperial General Headquarters reversed their plans once more by ordering Imamura’s reserve troops to hold Bougainville and made it the Japanese priority.  The Japanese Combined Fleet was ordered to assist in this operation, but Admiral Koga was already planning to meet the Americans in the Central Pacific.  He moved to Eniwetok and ended up arriving too late to prevent the US landing on Bougainville. (This will be discussed in future posts).

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Please Remember Them – image025

President Nixon ordered a cease-fire for midnight 27/28 January 1973 – and our men started coming home!!!!  Please remember those who did not…..

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Robert Bold – Chaseley, ND; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, navigator/Morse Code

Helen Castellano – Peekskill, NY; NY Military Academy, nurse (Ret. 22 years)Lonely_candle

Stan Emiec – Williamstown, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 188th/11th Airborne Div.

Albert Gutierrez – Miami Beach, FL; USMC, Kuwait, Major, KIA

William Hiatt – Denver, CO; US Army, Colonel, Surgeon

Christopher Buck Johnson – Alva, OK; US Army, Vietnam, helicopter pilot, Purple Heart, Bronze Star

Joseph Mazza – Pittsburgh, PA; US Navy, WWII, USS Wichita, medical

John Rowlands – W.AUST; British Army, WWII, 20th King’s Hussars

Edward Stapela – Waterloo, IA; US Army, WWII

James Whyte – Tauranga, NZ; RNZ Army # 240826, WWII

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503rd PIR, Nadzab, New Guinea

503rd PIR patch

503rd PIR patch

Many members of MacArthur’s staff were not enthusiastic about the plan. Allied resources were thin, and Japanese air and ground strength was formidable. Many military planners were skeptical of airborne operations. Some questioned the viability of the entire concept. German paratroops had suffered unsustainable casualties assaulting Crete in May, 1941. Allied airborne operations had met with disaster invading Sicily in July, 1943. Experience argued against establishing additional airborne units. Nevertheless, Kenney was convinced that with proper planning and support his plan would succeed. Fifth Air Force firepower was committed to provide close air support, and the troopers would be dropped in one lift to achieve mass and surprise. 

This was the first combat jump for the 503rd PIR.

The U.S. 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) was tasked to jump on Nadzab, New Guinea, to seize, clear and defend the airstrip. The 503rd PIR was one the first operational airborne units created by the U.S. Army. The paratroopers had been training for eight months in Australia and were ready to fight. The regiment was reinforced by a section of Australian parachute field artillery. They would later be joined by a small, elite unit of Australian engineers tasked with making the field operational. The U.S. 871st Airborne Engineer Battalion would be air-landed after the initial drop to clear the way for the transports ferrying in the Australian infantry. The operation started on September 5, one day after the amphibious assault by the 9th Australian Division south of Lae.

Landing of the 503rd Parachute Regiment

Landing of the 503rd Parachute Regiment

That dawn, seventy-nine transport planes and swarms of fighters and bombers departed from eight forward airfields scattered across New Guinea. They flew fast and low through the misty mountains of the Owen Stanley Range and rendezvoused over Nadzab. Allied fighters established a multi-layered air umbrella; medium bombers strafed and bombed suspected enemy positions while attack bombers put down smoke screens along the edges of the drop zones. Three columns of transport planes, flying at an altitude of 600 feet, dropped the paratroopers. Once the troopers had secured and marked the drop zones, heavy bombers, carrying 300 pound supply parcels rigged with parachutes, began to circle and drop additional supplies to the ground force.

503rd landing behind smoke screen

503rd landing behind smoke screen

The Japanese were completely surprised. They had no troops in the area, and within hours the airstrip at Nadzab was firmly in Allied hands. The engineers worked feverishly to improve the strip while the paratroopers established a defensive perimeter and sent out reconnaissance patrols toward Lae. Advanced elements of the Australian 7th Division flew into Nadzab on September 6. By September 10, the division’s lead brigade, supported by Fifth Air Force transports and bombers, was on its way to Lae. The Japanese could not stop the assault, and the fortress fell on September 16. The supply lines to Rabaul were cut, and the Allies passed another milestone on their way to Tokyo.

The 503rd PIR assault on Nadzab was one of history’s most successful airborne operations. General MacArthur called it the greatest example of combat efficiency he had ever witnessed. The results had skeptical minds in the army and elsewhere reconsidering their objections to airborne operations. General Kenney’s imaginative use of airpower and willingness to accept risk, combined with the flexibility of Australian ground commanders and the superb tactical skill of Allied soldiers and airmen, did more than shorten the war in the Pacific.  (This action was prior to the regiment joining the 11th Airborne Division.)

Information acquired from the U.S. Army.

Here is a very short video made of the jump!

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PERSONAL NOTE –  Our fellow blogger Mustang Koji and his family are supporting a worthy program for our deployed troops, Operation GratitudePlease pay them both a visit!

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HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY 2016!! Australia-Day-January-26-2016-with-the-Australian-Map (640x480)

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Military Humor –

"Yum, what a dish that is!

“Yum, what a dish that is!

Pict0023

 

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Farewell Salutes –

Francis Blackwell Alley – Tyron, NC; US Army WAC, WWII

Mark Cofield – Colorado Springs, CO; US Army, Iraq, XVIII A/B Corps, Sgt., KIA0083f165f66161f63454e92890403bcd

Jerry Davis – Cedar Ridge, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Edwin Fields – VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 8th Air Force, B-24 gunner

Leo Hallahan – Dubuque, IA; US Army, WWII, PTO

Earl Martin – Brush Prairie, WA; US Merchant Marines, WWII

Alex Ochipa – Berwick, PA; US Army, WWII

Orville Petty – Jacksonville, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Vincent Quigley – Scarborough, CAN; RC Army, WWII, Irish Regiment

William Unger – Belvidere, KS & New Orleans, LA; USMC (Ret. 30 years), WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Navy Cross

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A Story of WWII from My Father

Andrew has a story from his father!!

Andrew's View of the Week

My father was a great story-teller.  He had a story for every occasion and could enthrall an audience with his wit and humor.  His memory and stories often come to my mind this time of year with memorial day just past and the anniversary of the WWII D-Day invasion just coming up this next week on the 6th.  He could take the simplest event and spin an engaging story about it – often with a punch line.  The story always had a point, either humor or something he was trying to teach.

When I was a boy I especially liked his Army stories.  Father served in WWII as a radar maintenance man in the 279th Army Coast Artillery Corp in the Aleutian Islands.  He repaired and operated the SRC-296 gun sighting radar and later the SCR-584.  He served time on different islands but most often talked about Attu. Shemya and…

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Tribute – Ernest V. Plantz, USN

Ernest Plantz

Ernest Plantz

GROTON, Conn. (Tribune News Service) — A standing-room-only crowd of veterans, family, friends and fellow shipmates in the U.S. Navy jammed the Noank Baptist Church on Saturday to remember the life of Ernest V. Plantz, a recipient of a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and his “love, strength and courage.”  Plantz, one of the first inductees to the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame, died on Dec. 19 at his Gales Ferry home at age 95.

He spent three-and-a-half years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp after he and others on the crew of the USS Perch were captured.  Plantz weighed just 80 pounds when he was freed and needed 10 months in a Navy hospital to recuperate, yet went on to serve for 30 years in the Navy as soon as he was able.

He retired at the rank of lieutenant as director of advanced engineering at the Naval Submarine School in Groton.

“Ernie was a bullheaded, stubborn person, yet he was filled with love for all,” Jack Gallimore, base chaplain of the U.S. Submarine Veterans Groton Base, told an overflow crowd at the church.  Gallimore said he always made it a point to get a hug from Plantz whenever he could.

“I will miss that,” Gallimore said.

Two dozen submarine veterans in uniform stood in Plantz’ honor at the front of the church. Trumpeters played “Taps” and “Reveille.”

Caroline Plantz, Ernie Plantz’ wife, said she thought her husband had suffered some hard knocks in life, but “he always said that he had a good life,” she said.

Plantz’ daughter, Nancy Grant, remembered her father as a humble, thoughtful and loyal dad who loved to garden, paid homage to his southern roots while cooking and delighted in a good prank.

She recalled how his hugs let his children know they were loved, and that when things were tough, “Dad always believed that things would get better.”

The Rev. Kevin Bedford, of Progressive Baptist Church, described how Plantz touched his life. Bedford recalled he once considered resigning the Navy, and told Plantz.  “I gave him my resignation, and he ripped it up and said, ‘Call me when you make commander,’” Bedford said. So Bedford did, and called Plantz.

Then, when Bedford’s father died, Plantz said to him, “I bet you didn’t know you had a second dad.”

 Capt. Paul F. McHale described how Plantz, known as “the kid” for being the youngest man on the USS Perch, returned to the Navy despite his suffering as a prisoner of war.
USS Perch, first submarine sunk by the Japanese.

USS Perch, first submarine sunk by the Japanese.

The Perch was on its second war patrol when a Japanese destroyer escort forced it to submerge and was joined by other Japanese ships that dropped depth charges on it.

The sub was badly damaged but not destroyed because it sank into a muddy bottom. But the attack continued.

Then later, when the sub surfaced, the crew realized it could not submerge again. Plantz found himself in the water with his 59 shipmates, McHale said.

Seeing the USS Perch sink for the final time was, in Plantz’ words, “like watching your house burn,” McHale said.

Yet even after the misery that followed Plantz’ capture, he returned to service on submarines.  “The man had a huge heart,” McHale said.  McHale said his oldest son interviewed Plantz for an English course once, and asked Plantz a question: Knowing he would be captured, spend three years in a POW camp and be tortured, would he still have joined the Navy?

Plantz told him absolutely.

Ernest Plantz

Ernest Plantz

d.straszheim@theday.com

©2016 The Day (New London, Conn.)
Visit The Day (New London, Conn.) at http://www.theday.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Current News –

Remains of Korea War MIA to be buried

After 75 years, remains of 5 USS Oklahoma sailors are identified

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 Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Everett Armstrong – Vona, CO; US Army, WWII, ETO, Purple Heart

Leslie Beck – Oklahoma City, OK; US Army, Vietnam

Stephen ‘Skip’ Bignell – Whangarei, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 47003 & 44904, WWII, J Force Squadron

Gerard Fromm – Juno Beach, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWIItribute

Virgil Lanpher – Thorntown, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers/11th Airborne

Warren McDonough – Central City, KY; US Army, WWII, ETO, Purple Heart

Kenneth Olsen – Windsor, CAN; Canadian Merchant Navy, WWII

Donald Reeve – Oakdale, MN; US Navy, WWII

David Stewart – Auburn, AL; US Air Force, Korea, Distinguished Flying Cross

Ken Williamson – Gympie Qld., AUS; RA Air Force # 022971, Squadron Leader

Try to keep in your thoughts that this year is the 25th Anniversary of the Gulf War.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War

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September 1943 (2)

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The Australian 7th Division had already seen service in the Middle East but were thrust back into the action on New Guinea. Here they joined the US forces in the drive for the major Japanese base at Lae.

The U.S. forces had parachuted in, followed by a large part of the Australian 7th Division who were airlifted to front line airfields. The operation began badly when over a bomber crashed into one of the transport planes killing the 11 man crew and 60 men in the transport, more died amongst 90 injured men during the following days. The remainder of the shocked airborne force had to carry on with the operation.

One man who landed in the remote jungle that day was Private Richard Kelliher, a man determined to prove himself. He had been arrested earlier in the campaign for running away from the front lines. In fact his section leader had sent him back for information – but the man had been killed. Without any witnesses to his version of events, Kelliher had to face a Court Martial. He managed to convince them, but was now determined that he would ‘show them’.

Kelliher probably should not have been in the ranks at all, he suffered from very poor health before joining up, the result of Typhoid and Meningitis. In June he had been hospitalized with Malaria contracted on the campaign.

It was only a matter of days later that he got his opportunity to ‘show them’, although it seems his motivation was largely to save a friend rather than any personal heroics. A concealed machine gun post killed five of his section and wounded three more, pinning down the remainder:

I wanted to bring [wounded] Cpl Richards back, because he was my cobber, so I jumped out from the stump where I was sheltering and threw a few grenades over into the position where the Japanese were dug in. I did not kill them all, so went back, got a Bren gun and emptied the magazine in the post. That settled the Japanese. Another position opened up when I went on to get Cpl Richards, but we got a bit of covering fire and I brought him back to our lines.

Richard Kelliher, 1946

Richard Kelliher, 1946

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:—

No. QX 20656 Private Richard Kelliher, Australian Military Forces.

During an attack by this soldier’s platoon on an enemy position at Nadzab, New Guinea, on the morning of 13th September, 1943, the platoon came under heavy fire from a concealed enemy machine-gun post, approximately 50 yards away. Five off the platoon were killed and three wounded and it was found impossible to advance without further losses.

In the face of these casualties Private Kelliher suddenly, on his own initiative, and without orders, dashed towards the post and hurled two grenades at it, killing some of the enemy but not all.

Noting this, he then returned to his section, seized a Bren gun, again dashed forward to within 30 yards of the post, and with accurate fire completely silenced it.

Returning from his already gallant action Private Kelliher next requested permission to go forward again and rescue his wounded section leader. This he successfully accomplished, though under heavy rifle fire from another position.

Private Kelliher, by these actions, acted as an inspiration to everyone in his platoon, and not only enabled the advance to continue but also saved his section leader’s life.

His most conspicuous bravery and extreme devotion to duty in the face of heavy enemy’ fire resulted in the capture of this strong enemy position.

Story retrieved from WW2 Today.

Click on images to enlarge.  I apologize that the print so small, couldn’t seem to enlarge it.

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Military Humor –article-1357224-0D3319E3000005DC-554_634x675

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Farewell Salutes –

Ernest Yazhe – Naschitti, NM; USMC, WWII, PTO, Navajo Code Talker

For the 12 U.S. Marines still missing off Oahu, Hawaii – 

Major Shaun Campbell, 41, College Station, Texas

Captain Brian Kennedy, 31, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaU-S--Marine-Corps-Celebrates-234th-Birthday---22429167

Captain Kevin Roche, 30, St. Louis, Missouri

Captain Steven Torbert, 29, Florence, Alabama

Sgt. Dillon Semolina, 24, Chaska, Minnesota

Sgt. Adam Schoeller, 25, Gardners, Pennsylvania

Sgt. Jeffrey Sempler, 22, Woodruff, South Carolina

Sgt. William Turner, 25, Florala, Alabama

Cpl. Matthew Drown, 23, Spring, Texas

Cpl. Thomas Jardas, 22, Fort Myers, Florida

Cpl. Christopher Orlando, 23, Hingham, Massachusetts

Lance Cpl. Ty Hart, 21, Aumsville, Oregon

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Try to keep in your thoughts that this year is the 25th Anniversary of the Gulf War.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War

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The 345th and Operation Postern

Additional data on the 5th Air Force activities in early September 1943____

IHRA

For a number of weeks, General Kenney had been working on a plan to take Lae out of Japanese control. Operation Postern, as it was known, was approved by Gen. MacArthur and put into effect in early September 1943. The 345th Bomb Group took part in the huge raid on Nadzab on September 5th. That morning, 48 B-25 crews from the 345th were joined by two more B-25 squadrons to soften up the area. They completed bomb runs from approximately 1000 feet and also released 20-pound fragmentation bombs. The B-25s were followed by A-20s from the 3rd Bomb Group’s 89th Bomb Squadron, which laid down a smoke screen to cover the 82 C-47s that were dropping paratroopers from the 503rd Parachute Regiment. Kenney and MacArthur observed the entire operation from above in B-17s that circled the area.

Paratroop Landing on Nadzab

As the paratroopers jumped from the C-47s, the B-25s dropped down to…

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September 1943 (1)

Minami-Torishima, Marcus Island

Minami-Torishima, Marcus Island

1 September – the Japanese positions on Marcus Island in the mid-Pacific received an early morning attack from US Navy dive-bombers.  The records report that 85% of the enemy’s military installations were destroyed, 2 airstrip severly damaged and 7 aircraft destroyed on the ground.  The US lost 2 fighters and one torpedo-bomber.

This is actually Nov. 24, 1950, but gives you an idea of Mac's bird's-eye view.

This is actually Nov. 24, 1950, but gives you an idea of Mac’s bird’s-eye view.

4-5 September – a part of the 9th Australian Division (veterans of the El Alannein W.Desert Campaign, ETO), and the 41st US Army Division landed just miles from Lae, in the Huon Peninsula, New Guinea.  The next day, MacArthur watched from his B-17 “Bataan” as the 503rd Parachute Regiment (Not yet a part of the 11th A/B Div.), dropped over Nadzab to take the airstrip.

The envelopment of the Huon Peninsula.

The envelopment of the Huon Peninsula.

12-16 September – The Australian 3rd Division and 17th Brigade broke out of Wau, going toward Salamura and Nassau Bay.  Salamura fell on the 12th and Lae fell 4 days later.  This put an important port and airfield in Allied hands.  The New Guinea offensive was now split.  One followed the coastline and the other went inland on a northwest route toward Kaiapat.  This operation threatened to encircle the enemy on the Huon Peninsula.

13 September – a flight of B-24 Liberators and B-25 Mitchell bombers attacked Japanese shipping and ground installations at Paramushiru in the north Pacific.  Four enemy vessels were damaged, but 10 US aircraft were downed after being hit by 25 opposing airplanes.

Nadzab, September 1943

Nadzab, September 1943

Chiang Kai-shek became Chairman and President of the Nationalist Government of China, but continued to show very little interest in fighting Japan.  His relationship with Gen. Stillwell became very tense as the Allied Chief of Staff in the CBI recommended that the Nationalists and Communists troops should join forces to combat the common enemy.

18-19 September – the US began to heighten their air campaign by bombing Tarawa, Makin and Apamama  Island groups in the northern Gilberts and Nauru Island.  Over 200 land and carrier-based aircraft participated.

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Military Humor – 

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"Great road fellas."

“Damn fine road, men!”

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Ralph Cano Jr. – NYC, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO

George Cockram – Box Hill, AUS; New Guinea Volunteer Rifles NG X426 ANGAUUS-Australia-Flags

William Dobell – AUS; RA Army # VX86577, V15014, 2/10 Commando Squad

Walter Heller Sr. Munhall, PA; US Army, WWII, Bronze Star

Jack McGrath – Aenod, MO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Medical/11th Airborne

Betty Nixon – Sydney, AUS; Australian Army Nursing Service, WWII

Ed Oliver Sr. – Mobile, AL; US Navy, Korea

Francis Piper – Canberra, AUS; # NX126790, WWII, SW PTO

Milt Saunders – Rush City, MN; US Navy, WWII

Leo Turini – Clinton, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII & Korea

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Japanese Sub on Kiska

A-type Midget submarine ( Ko-hyoteki 甲標的甲型 )

A-type Midget submarine ( Ko-hyoteki 甲標的甲型

Members of the USA Fish and Wildlife Service from their research ship called “Tiglax” visited the Aleutian island of Kiska in June 2015 to investigate the rusting hulk of a Japanese midget submarine left lying in the grass of the island since the Second World War.

The submarine left on Kiska is an A-type midget, 78 feet long. Its shape is unusual in resembling an orca or killer whale. The Japanese had transported six such subs to the island in July 1942. Similar midget submarines were used in the Pearl Harbor attack further south. The submarines moved to Kiska were actually sent there when their intended destination, the Midway Atoll, was lost to the USA.

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From time to time, scientists and archaeologists spend time on Kiska and other Aleutian islands to document the fauna, flora and historical artifacts there. One archaeologist, Debra Corbett, lived on the island for several weeks in 2014. She and Richard Galloway, another researcher on the island, described the submarine on the website of the Aleutian Island Research Group, which brings together researchers who focus on the island chain.

Corbett described how claustrophobic it must have been for the men who crewed these tiny subs. A pair of men would just manage to squeeze into the space. War historians have even likened the sub to a torpedo, so it was like a large torpedo which could fire a smaller one. It is possible for visitor to the island to squeeze into the rusty submarine to get a sense of how it must have felt to the Japanese crew.

There is a lot of other evidence left behind on Kiska by the Japanese. Where the hulk of the submarine is lying, there is a rail structure, which would have been used to help guide the submarines in and out of the water. There are some sheds which were used to conceal the subs. There is an underground hospital.  Corbett points out that the Japanese defenses were quite substantial, with anti-aircraft batteries in the valleys. There was also a seaplane base. In the end, the Japanese stayed for only fourteen months, but these structures show that they had intended to stay longer, the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

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The USA re-occupied the island in August 1943. They expected resistance but discovered that the Japanese had slipped away. They had used explosive charges to render the submarines unusable before they left. Eventually all but one of the six were destroyed or sunk in the island’s small harbour. Galloway has written that the cold subarctic climate of the Aleutians has slowed corrosion of the metal objects, but eventually even this last submarine will rust entirely away.

Article from: Warhistory online and Traces of War.

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Military Humor –

Young submariners learn quickly to heed all signs!! SIGN reads: "SECURE! Sanitation tanks under pressure!

Young submariners learn quickly to heed all signs!!
SIGN reads: “SECURED! Sanitation tanks under pressure!

empty-launch-tube-submarine-slbm-navy-typhoon-demotivational-poster-1287174667

EMPTY LAUNCH TUBE? I don’t know where it went… Let’s check CNN…

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

James Crawford – E.Concord, NY; US Navy, Bahrain, Cmdr, KIA

Gavin Ferguson – Edmonton, CAN; RC Army, WWII, Signal Corps

"Tribute to Courage" by Rich Thistle

“Tribute to Courage” by Rich Thistle

David Jackman – Newcastle, AUS; RA Army, Vietnam

Lewis Jennings – Colby, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Medical/188th/11th Airborne Div.

Leonard Larsen – Beloit, WI; US Army, WWII,Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Matthew McClintock – Des Moises, WA; US Army, Afghanistan, SSgt.,  KIA

Richard Newdick – Whakatame, NZ; Z Special Force # 636815, WWII

Vernon Orr – Chandler, OK; US Army, WWII, Mechanic

Christian Rivera – Miami, FL; USMC, Afghanistan, Cpl., KIA

Kiernan Wimmer – Elizabeth City, NC; USMC, 1st Marine Special Ops Batt.

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Nisei in Alaska

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Condensed from Yankee Samurai, by Joseph D. Harrington

With Attu secured, Kiska was next in the Aleutians.  An exercise in total futility ensued.  More than 29,000 US troops and 5,000 Canadian ones were assembled, plus some Eskimos and Alaska Scouts.  Nobuo Furuiye served with the Canadians.

The invasion of Kiska was preceded by a fiasco called “The Battle of the Pips”.  A Fire Controlman who served on the battleship Mississippi during the shoot-up said, “We fired a million bucks worth of ammunition into a rainstorm!”

For the Canadians, the taking of Kiska was a biter blow.  Don Oka was with the Alaska Scouts.  He stood offshore in a ship, listening to the tremendous firing ashore.  Tad Ogawa, Ted Ishida and Shigeo Ito also participated.  All were certain, from the noise, that a battle as bloody as Attu was taking place.

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None was, the Japanese had left.  But, they did leave the Nisei a gift however, a cave full of food with a sign in Japanese that said: “Help Yourself.  This is not poisoned.”  John White’s (Nisei commander) men did not seal the food caves.  Instead, according to Shigeo Ito, “we partook voraciously.  Such things as tsukemono, Mandarin oranges, nori, bamboo shoots, and so forth.”  White said there was “lots of rice, clams, and canned meat.  The Nisei were their own chefs and our intelligence detachment became the most popular unit in the command.”

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Shigeo Ito was among those that returned to the US with some of the prisoners taken at Attu, while the more experienced  men were sent elsewhere.  Yoshio Morita was one left behind, but he didn’t mind.  Yutaka Munakata, head of the translation section at MISLS, expressed gratitude for having “huts to sleep in, warm clothes and wholesome food.”  He had a pretty good idea where Nisei who left Alaska were headed and malaria, dysentery and dengue fever did not inhabit the Arctic.

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Contributed by Pierre Lagacé – video about the Alaskan campaign!!

Excellent addition for this section!    CLICK HERE!!

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WWII female pilots now banned from burial at Arlington Cemetery ____

http://features.aol.com/video/group-heroic-wwii-pilots-are-now-banned-arlington-national-cemetery?icid=aol|carousel|dl1

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Cold Humor –

Sign reads: "TREE - only one on Attu"

Sign reads: “TREE – only one on Attu”

"Are you sure it's worth it, Joe?"

“Are you sure it’s worth it, Joe?”

 

 

 

winter-humor-1

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Farewell Salutes – 

Ronald Abbott – Rutland, VT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne, G-2 / CIA

Raymond Clark – Wellington, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 4211662, WWII

Thank You Veterans for walking the walk.

Thank You Veterans for walking the walk.

Raymond Delano – Lee, ME; US Army Air Corps, WWII

George Dunn – Ottawa, CAN; RC Navy, WWII, HMCS Antigonish

Calvin Lien – Edwina, MN; US Navy, WWII

Andy Morales – Longwood, FL; US Army, Iraq, Sgt., 143rd Sustainment Cmd., KIA

Frederick Robins – W. AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, Catalina pilot

Isadore Troise – Wilmington, DE; US Army, WWII, ETO, MIA/POW, 16th Cavalry Recon, Purple Heart

Ennis Warren – Mobile, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 top turret gunner

Wayne Watson – Riverside, CA; US Army, Vietnam

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