February 1944 (3)

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The quick and massive defeats in the Marshall Islands brought alarm in Tokyo and a renewed rise in the rivalry between the Imperial Army and Navy.  Prime Minister Tojo used the loss of Truk as an excuse to oust Adm. Nagumo as Navy Chief of Staff and install the pliant Adm. Shigetaro Shimada.  He then fired Gen. Sugiyama as the Army Cmdr-in-Chief and took the position for himself.  He decided the Philippine Islands and Formosa would be the next “last line of defense.”

23 February – for Operation Forager in the Marianas, the islands of Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam were bombarded by the aircraft of RAdm. Mitschell’s Fast Carrier Task Force.  Saipan would be a vital necessity for the bombers who were to hit the Japanese mainland.

Admiralty islands location

Admiralty islands location

24-29 February – after eaves-dropping on Japanese radio traffic operating between their garrisons, it was confirmed that Los Negros Island, in the Admiralty island chain, was weakly defended.  Preparations for the landing were rushed to move in 4 days ahead of schedule; what MacArthur described as a “reconnaissance in force.”  The crew of the USS Phoenix were rounded up in Brisbane and given 2 hours to report.

The first wave of 4 LCPR’s (Landing Craft, Personnel, Ramped), with 37 men each went ashore without casualties.  But after the naval bombardment ceased, the enemy appeared and the scouts reported from the island, “Los Negros is lousy with Japs.”

The second wave in received so much crossfire from the dugout’s rifles, machine-guns and shore batteries that they were forced to change course until destroyer fire suppressed the enemy.

First wave in on Los Negros

First wave in on Los Negros

The third and fourth waves also came under fire as the amphibious landing proceeded.   MacArthur went ashore with the men and while disregarding his own safety, walked among the troops  congratulating the.   The fighting here would continue through March.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current News –

Kwajalein Lagoon recoveries ____

http://www.stripes.com/military-life/military-history/diving-for-history-1.379190?utm_source=Stars+and+Stripes+Emails&utm_campaign=Military+History&utm_medium=email

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Farewell Salutes – 

Norman Anderson – Tauranga, NZ; NZ Expeditionary Force # 33623, WWII

Charles Besser Jr. (100) – Sun City, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 pilot (Ret.)

Edward Clee – Trenton, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWIIs-l1000

Robert Fenholt – Charles City, IA; US Navy, WWII, USS Libra (AKA-12)

William Hamilton – Rockhampton, AUS; RA Air Force

Ross Landesman – Plainview, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Medical Corps

John Mulholland – Cincinnati, OH; US Army, Korea, 187th Regiment

Jack Taylor – St Louis, MO; US Navy, WWII PTO, USS Enterprise

Frank Towers – VT; US Army, WWII, ETO, 120th/30th Infantry Division

Theodore Winters – Brule, NE; US Army, WWII, PTO, Americal Division (Ret. 29 years)

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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 July 13, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. Quick side note – I miss beetle Bailey – remember it vaguely from childhood – never read it too much – but those days we read the Sunday comics because it was what ya did!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Grandad was born a month after this, when I think these were the world situations at the start of his life I wonder what people will be writing in 70 years time. I’m just about to watch the film Unbroken that is about the life of Louis Zemperini.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Each generation certainly see it’s trials and history records each one as that generation handles those trials. I can not fathom what US history texts 70 years from now will say about the America, there seem to be more battles here now than ever.
      I never saw the movie, but Unbroken, but if it is as good as the book – you’ll be riveted !!
      Have a wonderful week, Charlotte!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How many generals go to the frontline to congratulate their troops while fighting was going on?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. https://itzeyblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/

    Thanks for liking my posting of They Left Us Everything. You might also like my review of Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of WWII.

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  5. You mentioned eavesdropping on the Japanese radio communications. That could well have been carried out at a secret Signals Base at Mt Bundy station in the Northern Territory manned by both US and Australian personnel. I visited Mt Bundy in 2011 and a lot of detective work had been carried out by one of the people working there (since left to live in NSW). Here’s my Blog entry on that visit.
    http://farcanal.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/2011-trip-mt-bundy-station.html

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    • I tried 6 times to comment on your site, but it would not accept it. I thought it was a great post; like taking a step back in time with Doug as your guide. And it is quite possible the data on Los Negros (or any other island in this war) came from there. Thank you for the link.

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      • Yes, I used to get a lot of Spam and set it to Google account holders only, and I have to approve it before publication.
        I’ll play around with the settings.

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        • I thought it odd, because it asked which profile and I clicked on the WP logo. Here at WP, we have a Spam folder very similar to that of e-mail Spam, so we very rarely have that problem.

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  6. “The crew of the USS Phoenix were rounded up in Brisbane and given 2 hours to report.” So there you are in a bar, maybe with a pint in your hand and a lovely lass on your arm, and suddenly you are told you have two hours to report and head out on a critical mission where your life may be lost. Such incredible contrast. –Curt

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    • That’s about what happened, Curt! The research did mention getting most of them out of the bars! Nothing like getting jolted back into reality, eh?

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  7. Even though the war was terrible, I always liked the Beetle Bailey comic strips! Thanks GP for all the interesting WWII history. 🇺🇸 Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve wondered sometimes … naval gunnery of the time being actually pretty bloody good, why they couldn’t have kept the bombardments going until the troops were almost ashore, and then ‘walked’ it ahead of them? Hell, they eventually learned to do that in WW1 …

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the case of Ebeye Island, the bombs did not eliminate the enemy because they were dug in too well. Amphibious landings and guerrilla warfare were still being learned by trial and error – none of this was common in past wars or going on in Europe.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Commented on the other one. Not sure why I got 2 notifications of post.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. How did we get away from Beatle Bailey. What a character he is.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am intrigued by the eaves-dropping on Japanese radio traffic 24-29 Feb. I wonder if there is more details on that in any publications ?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have only located bits and pieces of transmissions in my books. If there is one it would have to be rather large, listening in on the enemy was done by so many. It would be interesting to read some of the most important ones. Thanks for having an interest here, Mike.

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  12. I think Tojo may have been kind of right about the Philippines being a last line of defense. I understand we were still fighting for territory there in August of 1945, at the time Japan surrendered.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So many Japanese ships were lost in Truk lagoon, there is a thriving modern-day diving industry surrounding the wrecks. You probably know that, GP, but here’s a link for your readers.
    http://trukwreckdiving.com/index.php/wreck-site-map
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Pete. I had heard about it, but never saw a map indicating the sites for the wrecks. I appreciate you bringing this over here for everyone!
      Have a good evening.

      Like

  14. I used to always enjoy reading Beetle Bailey.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great that military humor.

    Liked by 1 person

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