February 1944 (2)

Green Island area taken from a PT boat's view.

Green Island area taken from a PT boat’s view.

Picture courtesy of PT Boat Red

16 February – 160 miles north of the Truk Atoll, (today known as Chuuk Islands), the US submarine, Skate, sank the Japanese light cruiser Agano in the Central Pacific zone.  They fired 4 Mark 14 torpedoes, 2 hit the starboard side and set her on fire and the boiler room flooded.  The IJN Oite rescued 523 men, including Captain Matsuda.

17 February – for Operation Hailstorm, the US forces headed for the vital air and naval facilities in the Caroline Islands between New Guinea and the Marianas.  Naval Task Force – 58, under Adm. Mitscher, had 9 carriers, 6 battleships sporting a support fleet of 10 cruisers and 28 destroyers, began their wave attacks on Truk Atoll.  The pilots were disappointed that the heavy vessels of the Imperial Navy were not there; Adm. Koga had moved the ships to the Palaus.  But, the airmen did destroy over 200 enemy aircraft and over 200,000 tons of auxiliary vessels.

IJN Naka, April '42

IJN Naka, April ’42

The vessels that did manage to escape, such as the IJN Naka, were eliminated by surface and submarine forces in the area.  The Naka was a Sendai-class light cruiser.  She lost about 240 men KIA and 210 survived, including her CO Capt. Yoshimara Sutezawa.

The US carrier-aircraft had an overwhelming success on their first radar-guided night operations; Truk, the “Gibraltar of the Pacific”, was neutralized.

Task Force – 38,4, composed of destroyers, Farenholt, Buchanan, Lansdowne, Lardner and Woodworth conducted a shore bombardment of east New Britain, near Rabaul.  This was known as the Battle of Karavia Bay.  They fired on Praed Point and a gun battery at Raluana.  The observation plane dropped a stick of bombs on Cape Gazelle shore batteries.

9783606ea9.jpgCaroline islands

17-20 February – while Truk was being completely annihilated, Adm. Turner’s forces attacked Eniwetok Atoll for Operation Forager in the Marianas.  Engebi Island was taken in one day by a combined reserve Marine force and the 27th Infantry Div.  The Japanese documents that were captured informed the Americans that a strong enemy garrison was on Parry and Eniwetok islands. (contrary to intelligence reports).  This caused an immediate boosting of strength.  The NY National Guardsmen of the 27th Div. took 2½ days to capture Eniwetok and the Marines took Parry in one.

18 February – the IJN destroyer, Oite, (Pursuing Wind), carrying a crew and the survivors of the Agano attempted to return to Truk.  As she approached the islands, TF – 58 aircraft torpedoes and sank her – only 20 survived.  [The remains of IJN Oite were located in 1986, in 2 pieces, 40 feet apart from each other.]

 

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

military-humor-stuck-army-truck-mud

military-humor-murphys-military-law-22

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Eric Barley – Wales, UK; British Forces, WWII, ETO, 12th Batt./6th Airborne Division

vday16

Thanks, Veterans for walking the walk!

Leroy Blaisdell – Lynn MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Sgt.

Joseph Coughlin – Ottawa, CAN; RC Army, WWII, Black Watch Royal Highland Regt.

Robert Douglas – Whangerei, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 4311039, WWII

Donald Gerel – East Meadow, NY; US Air Force, Vietnam

James B. Johnson – Poughkeepsie, NY; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc, KIA (Tarawa)

Elmer Mack – St. Joseph, MI; US Navy, WWII, USS McDougal

Charles McEntire – Arkansas Pass, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQS/ 11th Airborne Division

James Symes – Guernsey; British Army, WWII, ETO, Major, POW

Walter J. Weyres – Marlboro, MD; US Navy, WWII, PTO,  PCE-897

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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 30, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. I must say that with all the knowledge you impart on WWII, you have achieved expert status for sure! And I love your military humor! Have a safe and beautiful 4th of July holiday! God bless all the men and women who made it possible! 😄🇺🇸

    Liked by 1 person

    • What an unexpected compliment, Linda – I really don’t deserve it. But I hoping for a nice quiet 4th – hope you and the whole family enjoy yours.

      Like

  2. I have to say again what a great site you have crafted. Heroism and sacrifice like this should not be forgotten. Have a wonderful 4th!

    Like

  3. wonderful detailed text as always Brad, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an amazing story

    Like

  5. This is a nice tribute to your father. The map was fascinating since I know I have followers in that part of the world. My father spoke very little of his WWII years when he was in Europe. Mainly Germany and France I believe. My uncles served as well. The closest I came to the military was as a German teacher. When I taught at Old Dominion University, I had assignments to teach the Navy Seals and UDT officers and also Ph.D. candidates in engineering at NASA Langley Air Force Base. When I travel and see military people in uniform, I thank them for their service. Thank you for the visit today.

    Like

  6. Casualty lists always provide me with an idea of the scope of the battles, even down to the details you post gp. What an amazing story the survivors of the Oite crew and those of the Agano could tell, don’t think there would be any alive today, but what a story.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I met a girl from Truk when I was living in Hawaii in the 1980’s; I’d never even heard of it before that, so it’s interesting to hear a bit of its history here! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Man, I enjoy reading your posts! By the way, I posted one more about my cancer last week. I am hoping to post another one within the week. I am hopping mad so will be writing an uncharacteristically mad post soon!

    Like

  9. When your report mentions two “light cruisers” getting sunk, that may not sound like major ships, to non-Navy people (like myself) but I walked around the USS Little Rock, docked in Buffalo, that was a WWII light cruiser (then converted to missile cruiser) and they are pretty impressive ships.
    Good post, I’m learning a lot. Thank you for including a good map, too.

    Like

  10. It would be interesting to know what the Japanese high command thought of all these defeats and losses. Have you ever run across any accounts of arguments and conflicting strategies proposed at top-level meetings?

    Liked by 1 person

    • With the Japanese? Most definitely. They would even argue as to whether or not to inform the Emperor; at this time, they did not – no one wanted to be the bad-news messenger.
      I haven’t put in a post of the Japanese lately, thanks for reminding me.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post Everett! Love the fact that they were able to get some intelligence from the Japanese documents. Smiling at the humor section especially “It’s not stupid if it works” lol.

    Like

  12. All that in just five days! It carries on amazing me, GP.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Like

  13. There had to be a sense of momentum building among the forces, but I wonder if also a sense of dread given the thinking that an invasion of Japanese mainland would be eventual outcome.

    I love the “Army stuck” cartoon

    Like

    • With the successes mounting of the Allies, I’m sure confidence of a sort was building. But remember each man was dealing with their own little part of it all and couldn’t see the increased withdrawal of the enemy as we are witnessing (now that it’s over).
      That Army stuck cartoon seems to be the hit of the day, Dan. Glad I found it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve heard of Truk, but never had it placed geographically or historically. I was glad to learn a bit more about it. As for that photo of the “Army stuck” truck — well, it just made me laugh. When I lived in Liberia, certain roads became impassable during the rainy season. I suspect this video of the Lofa road would be familiar to many who served around the world.

    Like

    • So many names have changed since the war, that’s one reason why I use a number of maps to try and keep everything understandable. The Pacific War was so huge and had names that some can not even pronounce, it becomes difficult to collect all the info going on at the same time. Glad you got a laugh at the humor, it’s a big morale booster to the troops.
      I think any country that gets an actual rainy season has experienced this sort of ‘mishap?’ 🙂

      Like

  15. Really like the first pic, annotated too, passed it on to ptboatred..
    I guess that strategy and logistics get a bit easier when you know what the other side are doing eh? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for helping me to continue keeping these troops in the public eye.

    Like

  17. Thank you very much.

    Like

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