January 1944 (2)

Pappy Boyington, famed rebel leader of the Black Sheep Squadron

Pappy Boyington, famed rebel leader of the Black Sheep Squadron

3 January – Greg “Pappy” Boyington commanded 46 fighters, flying from Ondonga, to Rabaul.  Several needed to abort due to mechanical failure.  From 20-24,000′ they dove to intercept 27 Zeros of the 253 Kokutai, while they were already confronted with 27 Zeros of the 204 Kokutai.  Boyington’s F4U 17915 and his wingman F4U 02723 were shot down and both men were listed as missing.

New Britain

New Britain

4 January – the ‘Snooper Squadron’ of the 13th Air Force flew their first mission. Fifteen B-24’s, escorted by 70 or more P-38’s and US Navy F6F’s bombed Lakunai Airfield, near Rabaul, on New Britain.  The enemy sent 80-90 fighters to intercept.  The US claimed 20 enemy aircraft downed and lost one B-24 and 2 damaged.  Twelve other aircraft supported ground troops on Bougainville.

Marines on Cape Gloucester

Marines on Cape Gloucester

6-9 January – Australian troops at Cape Gloucester in northern New Britain experienced heavy fighting on these 3 days as they advanced to the Aogiri River.  By the 9th, they had taken the Aogiri Ridge.

11 January – US B-24 Liberators made a Low-level attack on Japanese shipping around Kwajalein Atoll.  They sank 2 vessels and damaged 4 others.  The carrier aircraft would continue bombing in preparation for Operation Flintlock for the Marshall Islands.  This area comprises 32 island groups, the largest being Kwajalein that consists of some 100 islets that form a lagoon 66 miles long and 20 miles wide.

Gen. Adachi at Buna, New Guinea

Gen. Adachi at Buna, New Guinea

On New Guinea, 9 days after the US landed at Saidor, Gen. Adachi was back in Madang, but the 14,000 troops he sent ahead on foot, would not reach him until 1 March.  More than 4,000 men of the Japanese 20th and 51st divisions had died enroute.  Between the terrain, shortage of supplies and American strafing, they were ill-equipped to fight for the town.

Japanese Sgt. Eiji Lizuka, 51st Div., survived the journey: “We passed many dead and dying soldiers.  As we had no fresh uniforms or shoes we would strip the dead and take theirs.  Sometimes we took clothes and boots from men who were still alive, but could no longer move, and we said to them, ‘You don’t need such fine shoes any more.’  They would watch us with dull eyes and let us do anything.  We even took water canteens from them.  That was the worst, to hear a soldier say, ‘Don’t take my canteen away from me, I’m still alive.”‘

In Burma, 36 A-36’s, P-51’s and P-40’s of the 10th Air Force, pounded an encampment of approximately 4,900 enemy troops and a large amount of supplies, causing considerable damage.

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Men of the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group

13 January –  in China, two B-25’s of the 14th Air Force made a sweep from Hong Kong to Hainan attacking 4 large boats, several warehouses, a radio station and a car at Fort Bayard, China.  One of the vessels exploded.
15 January – on New Guinea, the Australian troops took Sio, which put them 50 miles from the American troops at Saidor.  The Japanese on the Huon became disorganized as the Australians took over the Finiesterre Range in the northern sector of the peninsula.

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Matariki Maori Festivals – 

The Pleiades star cluster.

The Pleiades star cluster.

No Matariki Maori festival can be official with out a Haka.  This particular dance was performed to honor a veteran….

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Military Humor – 

new_zealand_army_soldierfunny-road-sign-new-zealand

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

George Bellamy – Nelson, NZ; RNZ Navy # 4342, WWII, Signalman

Samuel Christie – Atlanta, GA; US Merchant Marine, WWII

Margraten Cemetery, Netherlands

Margraten Cemetery, Netherlands

Leonard Irons – Ormeau, AUS; RNZ Expeditionary Force # 41691, WWII, 27th Battalion, POW

Henry Logan – Sleepy Hollow, NY; US Air Force, intelligence

Edward McAleer – Chelmsford, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 188th/11th Airborne Division

Michael Norin – Los Angeles, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, cryptographer

Maurice O’Connor – Auckland, NZ; RNZ Army # 21089, WWII, gunner, Anti-Tank Regiment

Benjamin Prange – Hickman, NE; US Army, Afghanistan, SSgt., 4th Infantry, KIA

Glen Stockton – St. Joseph, MO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, pilot

Paul Tully – Short Hills, NJ; US Army, 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 June 16, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. Major Morrie Stanley was a very special man. Down in the rubber plantation in the midst of the firefight he called in the fire missions from Nui Dat where Australian, NZ and American gunners worked non-stop to bring firepower to an infantry fight where the 6RAR grunts were desperately outnumbered. If not for the superior fighting of the Diggers and the shells from the L5s their position would have been overrun.http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/nz-digger-called-in-howitzers-at-nui-dat-20100928-15vox.html

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  2. Lovely to see you sharing a haka!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Twentysomething Social Recluse

    I didn’t know about the Haka. I learn something new every time I read your blog! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  4. Luv the sheep 😊

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  5. First time I have seen the Haka being performed in army uniform – such great pride and determination in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This video was incredibly powerful and shows what great warriors the Maori were. I was even more impressed by the mix of ethnicity of the soldiers who had learned the haka. I had the privilege of watching a Maori group greeting the inaugural Air New Zealand flight to Houston. We were very excited about half-naked men…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fine to read this story

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  8. Thanks for posting that video of the Haka for The Long Tan Veteran gp.
    Reading your story really made me think, what would make one soldier take the water from a dying soldier? as illustrated in this comment,We even took water canteens from them. That was the worst, to hear a soldier say, ‘Don’t take my canteen away from me, I’m still alive.”‘
    What would drive a man to such an action, I will never know.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Survival is rather powerful natural instinct.
      You are very welcome for the haka. I have watched a lot over the years and put in one for a veteran’s funeral KIA in the Middle East, so this time I chose this veteran. We have to have a haka for a Maori New Year!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Japanese clearly got the worst end of the war. If they hadn’t been so fanatical they would have probably surrendered before we dropped the a-bombs on them.

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    • The government, business and media were all controlled by the military – all the people knew was what they were told by them. What we saw as fanatical was by and large to them a call to save their country, the Oriental way of life and the Emperor. Remember – there is always more than one side to a story – usually – theirs, ours, and the truth.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Haka is all very well when they’re doing it for you … not so when they’re doing it AT you. Brrrrr~!

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  11. Loved the Haka. Thanks

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  12. Glad to read about the New Guinea campaign. One of my grandfathers was in the 8th Army, after high school, but the war ended before he was done training, so he was in the Occupation. He always told my father, that he was very relieved not to be sent to New Guinea, because the older vets told him, it was dangerous just walking around, even with out the Japanese. Poisonous snakes, land leeches, ticks, poisonous spiders, etc.

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    • That’s exactly right. The New Guinea climate, terrain and all that came with it claimed more men than the enemy. (and that means on both sides of the war). Thanks for dropping by, Robert.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The lamb: definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and not hiding it very well. Enjoyed the Maori ceremony. Made me want to stick my tongue out.
    As for taking the water canteens, another example of the inhumanity of war. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I also wasn’t familiar with the haka. That’s why I love your blog as I always find out something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for including info on New Guinea. I’m learning so much here, that I never even heard of before.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I appreciate your farewell salutes. Thank you for taking the time to post these men’s names.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate you taking the time to read them, Karen. We’re losing them so quickly, I really should put in a longer list. Do you happen to have a name and info for a friend or relative you want included?

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  17. So much going on, in just two weeks of January. And so much more war left to fight, before the end.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. That was some festival. Never saw that before. And I love the attack sheep.

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  19. Loved the Haka. Every school should try it!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thany you lieber Freund toller Beitrag Gruß und Umarmung Gislinde

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi GP. I wasn’t familiar with the Haka. Thanks for sharing. Huge hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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