March 1944 (3)

Admiral Raymond A. Spruance w/ his staff

Admiral Raymond A. Spruance w/ his staff

In other areas of the Pacific during this month_____

16 March – as the Japanese 12th Destroyer Group returned home. HIJMS Shirakumo and the cargo ship, Nichiren Maru, were sunk by the US submarine Tautog off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan.

18-19 March – a US task force group bombarded Mili Island in the Marshalls from air and sea.  The battleship, USS Missouri was hit by a shell from a coastal gun and was the only ship damaged.  A two-day bombardment at Wewak on enemy positions on the northern coast of New Guinea were carried out by US destroyers.

20 March –  the invasion of Emirau Island by the USMC 4th Division went without a hitch.  There were no Japanese on the island, and so the marines were able to make an unopposed landing and complete a circle of enemy-held Rabaul.  Work began on turning the island into a powerful base. The first airfield was ready by May, and was followed by a bomber base.

30-31 March – Under command of Adm. R. A. Spruance, Commander 5th Fleet, including carriers, fast battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, attacked the Western Carolines.  Carrier-based planes struck at the Palau group with shipping as primary target. They sank 3 destroyers, 17 freighters, 5 oilers and 3 small vessels, and damaged 17 additional ships. The planes also bombed the airfields, but they did not entirely stop Japanese air activity. At the same time, our aircraft mined the waters around Palau in order to immobilize enemy shipping in the area.

carolineisl27th

Part of the force struck Yap and Ulithi on 31 March.  Although the carrier aircraft encountered active air opposition over the Palau area on both days, they quickly overcame it.  Enemy planes approached the task force on the evening of 29 March and 30 March, but were destroyed or driven off by the combat air patrols. During the 3-day operation US plane losses were 25 in combat, while the enemy had 114 planes destroyed in combat and 46 on the ground.  These attacks were successful in obtaining the desired effect, and the operation in New Guinea went forward without opposition from the Western Carolines.

31 March – Japanese Adm. Koga and Adm. Fukudome headed to Mindanao, P.I. in 2 separate seaplanes.  After encountering a storm, Koga’s aircraft disappeared and was never seen again.  Fukudome, with the plans for Operation Z in a briefcase, went down off the waters of Cebu.  He and most of the flying boat’s crew were rescued by guerrillas. [2 escaped and made it back to Japanese HQ].  The head of the local guerrillas, Lt.Col. James Cushing, radioes MacArthur via Col. Wendell Fertig.

Fukudome had convinced his captors that he was Koga and MacArthur ordered Cushing, “the enemy prisoners must be held at all costs.”  But Cushing exchanged Fukudome for a ‘truce’ between the local guerrillas and enemy Col. Onishi’s troops.  The briefcase, with TOP SECRET stamped on its contents, made its way back the Gen. Mac by way of a submarine.

Fukudome was returned to Japan in disgrace.  Adm. Soemu Toyoda replaced Koga as Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, with Adm. Ryunosuki Kusaka as his Chief-of-Staff.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current –  27 July 1953, Armistice is called in Korean War – 

korean-war-memorial-wall

https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/national-korean-war-veterans-armistice-day/

 

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Military Humor – Sad Sack – 

SadSack310

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Farewell Salutes – 

Tatsuo Asamen – Westmorland, CA; WWII Relocation Camp; US Army, Korea, 71st Mil. Gov’t. HQ

Dave Bald Eagle Jr. – Cheyenne River Rez, Sioux Falls, SD, US Army, WWIIflag-draped-american-caskets-on-national-mall

Tubencio Carpio – Moline, IL; US Army, WWII & Korea

Robert Cox – Hoover, AL; US Navy, WWII & Korea

John Jerome – Hanover, MA; US Navy, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, (Ret. 25 yrs.)

Richard Kogut – Celoron, NY; US Air Force, WWII, Korea & Vietnam (Ret.)

Tony Lukasavge – Sweet Valley, PA; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Michael Palazzo – Wild Wood, FL; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Edward Roche Jr. – Chesapeake, VA; US Army, Korea, 64th Field Artillery Batt. Medical Corps, Bronze Stars

Harold Smith Jr. – Ithaca, NY; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT, Bronze Star

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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 27, 2016, in Korean War, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. Lovely and interesting to read

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome photos to go with an equally awesome blog. We are discovering some Veterans with severe brain injuries and who have a hard time talking about their own experiences are particularly enjoying your blog. I’ve heard over and over, “Have you been reading about WWII like so and so suggested.” I wish I could hang around at the hospital to send you specifics. All I can say is please keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The amount of unwritten history,that went to the deep waters off New Guinea is phenomenal, not only for the Allies but the enemy, the amount of Japanese shipping lying at the bottom is huge.
    I hazard a guess but think Fukudo may have died according to the Bushido tradition.
    Great post mate.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The awful irony is that the Japanese enemy ended up in modern times as allies and the Chinese allies ended up as enemies and the stupid futility of it all is overwhelming. But nothing is as amazing as the effort that was put in by the individual man on the ground.

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    • Mostly true, John. I do not feel that the Chinese were actually allies. The Communist side rejected our whole philosophy and the Nationalist enjoyed taking our money, but gave very little assistance – even after Madam Chiang informed FDR of the corruption. But I firmly agree about Japan and the efforts of our troops!! That was a generation we will never see again.

      Like

  5. Great cartoons in this post

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Was Cushing penalized for not following the direct order of Gen. MacArthur to hold the hostages at all cost?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting to follow the strategic approach over the 2 weeks. The coordination of air and sea attacks is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • After the horror shows, such as Tarawa, they began to learn about amphibious invasion and the coordination between land, sea and air troops was improved. This type of war had been completely alien to them previously. I appreciate your interest, Jonathan, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Buddy! Check this out! http://www.DDAYOHIO.US for D-DAY CONNEAUT reenactment living history style. Eric Montgomery is trying to help me get GBT III stone correct. It isays G was in the 17 and not 82nd. We are working on proof and Eric Montgomery worked for 5 years to correct a mistake for his great uncle. He is one of the planners for this living history event! A veteran friend of mine has gone on some of their tours, three in fact. Bil says they are very professional and historical. I thought you might be interested in letting your followers know about this event! Smiles. . . . . Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have it written down to put this link in the Monday post (if I forget – kick me to wake up!) I believe reenactors are the best way to teach history, so I do want them to get as much support as possible. Thanks, Anne.
      Your ears must have been ringing. I was just on your site getting pix, etc. for a new frame I’m going to pick up for my “Paratrooper’s Faith”. It has been above my desk all this time and I want to be certain it doesn’t become weathered. I’ll wait for Bil to do the research on your brother’s outfit before sealing the frame up.
      Thanks for letting me know all this.

      Like

  9. Hope you realize that people in the future are going to be so thankful for your collection of these detailed facts regarding the war. Great job for preserving history!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Interesting post and you can sure see the losses with the enemy losing 114 planes in just a 3 day period.

    Like

  11. I wonder if the Sad Sack cartoon is a reflection of what became known as “chickenshit” officers in the military. I’ve read that the term “chickenshit” to describe overbearing, martinetish officers was invented by sailors in the Navy, and that these kinds of officers were a bit of a problem during WWII.

    Like

    • You have the term of chickenshit very close. As far as my references go, the terms is attributed to either G.I.’s or Marines for unnecessary harassment or pettiness on the part of a pretentious leader; one who followed the rules TOO closely with no exceptions. But poor old Sad Sack is the ordinary soldier who just can’t seem to do anything right (no matter how hard he tries) or is in the wrong place at the wrong time!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reading this carefully, it begins to become apparent how the heavy Japanese losses were leading to a situation where they were less able to offer much resistance. The war of attrition was not on their side, by this stage of the conflict.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Allies were putting quite a dent in the enemy arsenal, but the determination of each unit continued to make them a formidable enemy. In the statistics, the Allies do not lose as much equipment, but remember the generals and admirals were forced to beg Washington for every piece of equipment and every unit of replacement troops until Germany surrendered.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s amazing how the carriers became such important platforms. Hitting targets in the air, at sea, on the ground, they really allowed us to take the war to the enemy,

    Like

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