December 1943 (1)

Crewmen wheel bombs to aircraft during the Marshall raids.

Crewmen wheel bombs to aircraft during the Marshall raids.

1-6 December – The Big Three [or aka Second Cairo Conference], restarted with Turkish President, Ismet Inonu in attendance.  Despite his country being technically neutral, he pledged friendship to the Allies.  Gen. Eisenhower was chosen to command the Normandy invasion at this meeting.

Operation Buccaneer, a previously planned assault of Japanese targets in Burma was cancelled.  FDR reneged on a private promise to Chiang Kai shek.  The Nationalist leader, in response, attempted to demand more money and matériel in exchange for his troops’ cooperation to fight.  But – US Treasury Secretary, Morgenthau, flatly refused to take the plan to Congress.

Australian troops (center of pix) scale 'Shaggy Mountain"

Australian troops (center of pix) scale ‘Shaggy Mountain”

1-8 December – the Australian troops on New Guinea captured Huanko on the 1st of the month.  They continued forward to take Wareo on the 8th and set off to Wandokai.

4 December – In the Marshall Islands, the Kwajalein and Wotji Atolls were bombed by 6 carriers.  They destroyed 72 Japanese planes on the ground and sank 6 transport vessels.  In retaliation, the enemy damaged the carrier, USS Lexington with an aircraft torpedo.

 

11-18 December in the Chinese province of Hunan, 40 US Army Air Corps and Chinese aircraft were destroyed in a surprise nighttime attack on the airfields.  The Japanese mission was to cut off the Allied supplies to Kung-an.

14 December – Adm. Nimitz called a meeting to discuss future Pacific plans.  Operation Flintlock for the Marshall Islands would continue with Kwajalein as the next target rather than the weakly-defended smaller islands.  Adm. Halsey received approval to by-pass Kavieng, New Ireland and go on to capture the Green Islands.

001 (800x753)

15-24 December – with the US Naval base now operating in the Treasury Islands, it put air control for the Solomons within American control.  RAdm. Merrill’s Task Force of 3 cruisers and 4 destroyers conducted heavy bombardment of the Buka-Bunis region of northern Bougainville.

The Army/Navy dispute over who should control the final offensive against Japan became somewhat heated as MacArthur criticized the “Naval Cabal” for not understanding the strategy of the Pacific.  “These frontal attacks by the Navy, as at Tarawa, are tragic and unnecessary massacres of American lives.”  But, at this point, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were not yet ready to commit to a single road to Tokyo.

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Military Humor – 

budget cuts

budget cuts

Military Intelligence sounds better on paper.

Military Intelligence , it sounds better on paper.

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Buscemi – Valley Stream, NY; US Army Air Corps, Korea, Medical 187th RCT

Edward Evans – Everett, MA; US Navy, Korea, USS Newport Newsuntitled

Richard Ferguson – Pittsburgh, PA & FL; US Army, Vietnam

Oscar Jones – Flat Gap, KY; US Army, WWII, PTO

Mary Lettow -Palm Beach, FL; civilian, Lackland AFB, Cold War Russian decoder (Ret.)

George Martin – London, ENG; Royal Navy, WWII, pilot, (“Beatles’ band manager)

Ariel Olsen – Mint Creek, ID; US Navy, WWII/ Korea, USS Tarawa

Alan Rook – Waihi, NZ; RNZ Navy # P/KX765295, stoker mechanic

Carl “Bill’ Suchocki – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Bronze Star

Thomas Vettere – Patterson, NJ; US Army, WWII, SSgt., 112th Field Artillery

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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 March 24, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Hello GP! It’s been way too long since I’ve visited! I know you understand.
    Reading this post is a reminder of the ego, indecision, and gravity involved in these life and death situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seems to me like new leadership might have helped solve some of the problems. When you use the term “Military Intelligence”, it sounds like an oxymoron to me. Is Ego always of utmost importance to leaders?

    Like

  3. It sounds like the high command is in a bit of a disarray, not a good situation for those forces in the front line.

    Like

    • There never was a war this size and egos were bound to show up, each trying to make a name for themselves and each believing they had the best answer to its finish. Besides, Army/Navy has always been in competition, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your posts give more insight into the various conflicts than many books gp, you bring those moments to life.
    Happy Easter mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ew, that military spending pic.. Cost must have been sky-high 🙂

    Like

  6. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the capture of the Solomons and New Guinea. Looking forward to your posts about the remaining part of the Pacific war. Or I may just cheat, and do my own research.

    Like

  7. Agree no festive cheer at all. Smiling at military intelligence 🙂 Interesting post!

    Like

  8. The strategy and tactics of the’ Pacific island hopping’ campaigns always amazes me. We know how difficult amphibious operations are, Omaha beach at Normandy being especially tough, yet those guys in the Pacific theatre had to do it time and time again. I am always impressed and humbled by your accounts GP. Thank you.

    Like

  9. Always a pleasure to learn from this amazing site. As a civilian, I enjoy the human touch in these story’s as well as the lesson in war.

    Like

  10. Yes, we still get a lot of laughs out of that phrase “military intelligence”!!

    Liked by 1 person


  11. Thany you auch dir wunderschöne Ostertage lieber Gruß Gislinde

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m glad we never figured out who would lead that invasion. Estimates vary greatly, but it’s certain that many lives would have been lost.

    Like

  13. A big build-up to the Christmas season back then. Sadly lacking in festive cheer, for those involved.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Like

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