October 1943 (2)

Location of Hai Phong.

Location of Hai Phong.

26 October – in the CBI Theater, the 10th Air Force,  71st Liaison Squadron, US Army Forces,  transferred from Ramgarh to Ledo, India with L-4’s and L-5’s.  The 14th Air Force, 13 B-24’s and 15 P-40’s pounded railroad yards at Hai Phong, Indochina (now called Vietnam).  Two B-25’s attacked several vessels at Kiungshan, claiming 4 sunk or badly damaged; later 6 more B-25’s hit shipping nearby, claiming 1 freighter sunk.   Kiungshan Airfield was strafed by one of the B-25’s.

Showing islands involved.

Showing islands involved.

27 October – the 13th Air Force’s B-24’s pound Kahili and Kara airfiels.   The Allies over over Kahili claimed three Zekes shot down.  The P-38’s, P-40’s, and P-39’s, plus some RNZAF P-40’s and P-39’s, covered the landing by New Zealand troops on Stirling and Mono. The fighters claimed destruction of twelve enemy dive bombers attacking the landing force and afterwards claimed three fighters shot down.

Falamai village, by Russell Clark

Falamai village, by Russell Clark

 The 8th NZ Brigade made ²/³ of the landing party on the Treasury Islands. (US Marines made up the balance).  The 250 Japanese defenders fought to the death ; only 8 of the enemy were taken.  Falamai village, Mono Island, the location of the Japanese HQ, was captured early in the campaign.

As a prelude to “Cherryblossom”, US Navy Task Force 31 bombarded the village area prior to the Allied landing by the New Zealand Army and US Navy 87th Construction Battalion “Seabees”, Company A under the command of Carl J. Mitchell landed at “Purple Two Beach”. Japanese opposed the landing from coconut log bunkers and with mortar fire from two hills inland from the beach, and with snipers in the village.

A mortar shell hit an ammunition dump on the beach, causing a large explosion and wounded Seabee Herb Bodine, who was evacuated. Other mortars his food dump and another hit one of the LSTs. After the area was secured, the village huts were bulldozed, and road construction began. That night, Japanese aircraft attempted to bomb the landing force, but were ineffective.

27 October – The 5th Air Force intercepted an escorted Japanese bomber force dropping supplies over the Sattleburg area; the US fighters claimed 12 airplanes downed. A-20’s hit the harbor and supply dump area at Gasmata.  The US lost the B-24D “Shack Rat” near Nadzab, New Guinea.

Operation Blissful began with the US 2nd Marine Para Battalion landing on Choiseul Island.  This campaign would hopefully divert enemy attention from Bougainville.

New Zealand brigade landing

New Zealand brigade landing

To read more of this island’s campaign and the command of Pvt. Joe Smith – CLICK HERE!

The USS Cony was attacked by Japanese aircraft while covering a landing.  The following are excerpts from the shipboard diary of the rear gunner, Stanley Baranowski:

“27 Oct – … at 3:oo PM got contact with a lot of planes – enemy… at 3:15 they came at us.  So many of them.  We started to fire everything we had… 3:25 we got 2 direct hits on port and starboard… Lots of men were hit.  Worked on fires.  Was up all night taking care of wounded.

“28 Oct – Still working on fires… we started to throw ammo over the side.  Ship was listing to port… 11:15 AM port engine gave out.  Tug came along and started to tow us.  12 PM fire was out.  1 PM moored to taker “Oragon” and took off wounded men.

“29 Oct – Got up at 6:30 AM.  Worked like hell and at 1:35 PM took off 2 dead fellows burned to death – what a horrible sight.  Admiral came on board to look things over, said it’s a State-side job and at 5:30 PM a show started named – ‘Accidents Will Happen.’”

USS Cony

USS Cony

31 October  – Lieutenant H. D. O’Neil of VF(N)-75, operating from Munda, New Georgia, flying a radar equipped F4U-2 destroyed a Betty during a night attack off Vella Lavella, the first kill by a radar-equipped night fighter of the Pacific Fleet.  Major T. E. Hicks and Tech Sergeant Gleason from VMF(N)-531 provided ground-based fighter direction.

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Military Humorous Mags – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Alfred Abramczyk – Philadelphia, PA; US Army, WWII

Jack Blanchfield – Tacoma, WA; US Army, WWII, PTO, 96th ‘Deadeyes’, Bronze Star

William Camire – Lake Worth, FL; US Air Force0083f165f66161f63454e92890403bcd

Jack Foote – Thames, NZ; NZ Army # 261006, 5th Field Artillery

Raymond Hoffman – Cochrane, CAN; RC Army, WWII, Calgary Highlands

Charles Isaacs – San Jose, CA; USMC, WWII, PTO

John Lasater – Durham, NC; US Navy, WWII

Jack Parish – Washington, IA; US Navy, WWII

Leonard Thuro – Rahway, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 188th Medical/11th Airborne

Warren ‘Buzz’ Whitmore Jr. – Fairfax, VA; US Air Force, Vietnam, Warrant officer, KIA

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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 February 8, 2016, in First-hand Accounts, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.

  1. Really gives you an idea of how horrible a war it was to fight. Great post GP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lloyd. I must also give you huge Thank you for all the time you have spent here reading, commenting and answering others! You deeply honor the memory of these troops and the horrible war they endured.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am always amazed that the obsolete P-39 remained in operations for so long. It was so obsolete, it had a door. Nevertheless, it was much easier for the pilot to bail out of than a “state-of-the-art” P-38.

    We need to remember that for every Lib that went down, 8 to 10 men died if they were unable to bail out. While surviving a mission was a joy, its aftermath stayed with the young man for the rest of his life.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Vietnam full of horror.and the lost of zo many soldiers.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You posts are always so enlightening about events many of us would probably not know of otherwise.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Most people don’t know of them because even the most popular historians have treated this war as ‘second fiddle’ to Europe and 1943 disregarded as little action. The media basically only followed the most dramatic of USMC battles, otherwise they concentrated on the ETO, an area most people could relate to.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The journal entries about him dealing with all those fires and consequent burned victims was just chilling. Someone had to do it, but what a horrible responsibility.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Interesting juxtoposition on October 29th between the horrors of war and watching a movie. “Accidents Will Happen,” BTW, starred Ronald Reagan. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I learned how they call some planes used in world war 2… The L planes. I swear I didn’t know that single propeller fighter jets were called L4 and L5 ( that’s what appeared when I googled it). There’s so many planes mentioned in this epic that my mind is reeling… I need some coffee! Hehehe!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Little by little by little, the Allies make progress, paying a tax in men’s lives, until evil is driven from the land.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It must have seemed even slower progress to the men. Just think, there were so many islands involved that I’ve missed a lot of the action in these posts. That’s one reason why I consider personal accounts of the war so important. Thanks for sticking with us here, John.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You bring it all alive, GP …

    Liked by 3 people

  10. So much going on in such a short time, it is making me dizzy, just to to keep up! I never fail to be staggered by the sheer number of sorties and operations that were undertaken on a daily basis, all over the globe.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The journal is chilling. What a few days for that man–and many more.

    Liked by 2 people


  12. Ist immer gut zu lesen vom 2 Weltkrieg Wünsche eine gute neue Woche Gruß und Umarmung Gislinde

    Liked by 2 people

  13. GP..Great Post! Any chance you could do a series on OSS and SOE Operations during WWII? I am currently reading a book on the Jedburghs and would love to see what you can come up with on the subject!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Te rog să ai o zi bună!


    Liked by 3 people

  15. I thank you for helping me to keep these memories alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: My Article Read (2-8-2016) – My Daily Musing

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