July 1944 (1)

503rd Regiment at Noemfoer, 2 July 1944

503rd Regiment at Noemfoer, 2 July 1944

1 July – on Saipan, the US 27th Infantry Division and the 2nd and 4th Marine divisions were within 5.5 miles (9km) of the northern tip of the island.  On the left flank of the advance they had taken the heights overlooking Tanapag Harbor.

2 July – for Operation Cyclone, paratroopers of the 503rd Regiment [not yet a part of the 11th Airborne Division] dropped on Noemfoor Island, off New Guinea.  Sgt. Ray Eubanks received the Medal of Honor for his actions here posthumously.  A landing was also made in the vicinity of Kaimiri Airdrome on the northwest coast of Noemfoor.

Sgt. Ray E. Eubanks

Sgt. Ray E. Eubanks

The amphibious attack force, under the command of Rear Admiral Fechteler, consisted of an attack group, a covering group of cruisers and destroyers, a landing craft unit, and a landing force built around the 148th U. S. Infantry Regimental Combat Team reinforced. Prior to the landing nearby Japanese airfields were effectively neutralized by the 5th Air Force.  Enemy opposition was feeble, resistance not reaching the fanatical heights experienced on other islands.

On Iwo Jima, US carrier aircraft shot down 16 Japanese planes and destroyed 29 more on the ground.

bonin%20islands

4 July – in a combined US strike in the Bonin Islands and Iwo Jima, aircraft, destroyers and carriers worked together and sank 4 enemy destroyers and several transport vessels.

6 July – in China, the 14th Air Force was in continuous bombing missions to hit river shipping, bridges, troops concentrations, road traffic and any other general target of opportunity around Tungting Lake and the Yangtze River.  B-25’s closer to the Burma border caused damage at Tengehung and dropped supplies to Chinese ground troops.

7-9 July – the final banzai* charge on Saipan appeared to some like a stampede.  As the enemy confronted US machine-gun fire, some brandished swords, others with knives, sticks and stones.  Even the wounded hobbled forward on crutches.  Their leaders: Gen. Yoshitsugo Saito, Adm. Chichi Nagumo and Gen. Igeta, performed the ritual seppuku**.  Being as the Americans would probably arrive before they bled to death, 3 men [2 were chosen, one volunteered] shot them in the head once the ritual was completed.

Saipan suicides

Saipan suicides

Bulldozers had to be brought in the next morning to bury the 4,000 Japanese troops.  On the 9th, it was announced that Saipan was in American hands.  Civilians began mass suicides in front of the appalled US soldiers.  The island, only 10 miles long cost the US approximately 3,126 KIA and about 13,000 WIA.  The enemy suffered over 27,000 KIA (8,000 suicides), with the civilian deaths, this made it the most costly operation of the Pacific estimated between 40-50,000.

9 July – The 10th Air Force in Burma supported the ground forces at Myitkyina.  Elsewhere enemy buildings, railroad boxcars, trucks, factories and supply areas were being bombed by the aircraft.  A detachment of the 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron/8th Photographic Recon Group started operating at Myitkyina.

* the word banzai was never actually used by the Japanese.  The official battle cry was Wah! Wah!

** Senjinkun (Battle Ethics): “I will never suffer the disgrace of being taken alive.  I will offer up the courage of my soul and calmly rejoice by the eternal principal.”

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

 

military-humor-spider-slayer-tank

Helmsman with an attitude.

Helmsman with an attitude.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Albino Boroevich – Burnaby, BC, CAN; RC Army, WWII

Guido Cavallo – Washington, DC; US Army Air Corps, WWII11986973_1183822258300441_3544440820007753006_n-jpgfrom-falling-with-hale

Randolph Christensen – New Rochelle, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO, 86th Black Hawk Div.

Ellis Hoskins –  Shawanee, TN; US Army, 11th Airborne Division, MSgt.

Robert Leckrone – Joliet, IL; US Navy, WWII, ATO (Alaska)

Eric Morgan – Waikanae, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 76210, WWII, Squadron Leader

Wilbur Nelson – Perth Amboy, NJ; US Navy, WWII, ETO, Corpsman

Boyd Parish – Elba, ID; US Army, WWII

Stratis Paul – brn: Andros, GRE/Bronx, NY; US Army, WWII, Bronze Star

James Smith – St. Cloud, MN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI

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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 November 14, 2016, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. And very funny and tickling cartoon about killing that spider!!! 👅👅😅😅 The military does think overkill.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very important and factual timeline. Almost feels as if I was looking at the battle through another pair of eyes. Interesting historical piece!

    Like

  3. Did the civilians commit suicide because of honour or because they had been taught to fear something worse from the invading soldiers?

    Like

    • They believed the Japanese soldiers when they said that Americans would rape and kill each one of them – man, woman and child. They died rather than have that happen. Such a waste. A member of their community kept pleading with them over a loud speaker as they jumped off the cliffs.

      Like

  4. hello gp cox its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow luk at all those parashoots!!! we liv rite neer an airport ware peepul parashoot all the time but i think that is not as seeryus a bizness as in this pikcher heer!!! ok bye

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting, Dennis! Yup, the parachutes you see today are quite the improvement over the originals from back in WWII’s era! You even had to be certain to go feet first to keep from getting tangled up in the ropes!!

      Like

  5. Another excellent historical military post gp.
    With your research and commitment, you could be classified as quite an expert on WW2 military history by now.
    I admire your dedication.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, and the b/w photographs are just stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been watching so many DVDs on the Pacific of late.
    excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm..interesting the battle cry was “wah, wah” sounds like an infant’s cry…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course I thought that as well. And when I punch it into google translate, it came out WOW WOW. I’ll have to ask Koji for an accurate translation.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I received an answer from Koji on that Wow Wow translation google gave me – I didn’t think that sounded accurate! Here is what he said….
      Well, during hostilities, Japanese military yelled, “Tenno heika, Banzai!”. or… Wait for it… 天皇陛下万歳. Betcha never seen that before, eh? 😉
      Answer is complex. Just like our kids today, young Japanese kids know very, very little of WWII. My guess us if you asked one, “What does 天皇陛下万歳 mean?”, they would have no idea.
      In my humble opinion, current kids do likely use banzai to mean like “hurrah”, or “Yeah!! Exams are over!” Therefore, the “wow”.
      But during WWII, it had the context of exulting Hirohito as their god, king, emperor, whatever… Like “His Majesty, the Emperor!” or if you were British, “Long live the King!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember I read somewhere that Japan had altered their history books to make it seem as if they were not the perpertrators which explains why kids don’t know much of what happened in WWII. I think it means something of what you said Long live the king, the translation though seems a little off. Probably means the emperor has arrived, all bow to something of that effect.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. An incredible sad story, GP. So many ghosts of war …the last photo is very moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are not very many left from WWII. I read an article yesterday that said about 1,500 men were called fighting aces during the war and there are only 70 of them remaining. It does make me incredibly sad. I thank you everything, Lavinia, your visits always make me smile.

      Like

  10. Your first photograph is just stunning with all those greys of different shades and tones.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am close to tears. Thank you for mentioning my grandfather. Truly. I will share this post with my family and know they will be as appreciative as I am, GP. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What hard fighting and the mindset you must have. Smiling at the humor section especially the 1 degree 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That photo of the paratroopers was very well done. Haven’t seen it before. The last photo you included is still powerful no matter how many times it’s viewed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So sorry I must send it 2 times but all words are standing on an other place after i sent them

    Like

  15. I’ve never heard of Japanese civilians committing suicide over an American victory, before. It’s a little difficult to fathom. What a strange culture.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I was at a football game last night. The NFL was honoring Veterans this week and we had a WWII Vet on the field who served in the Pacific. They all got applause, but he got a little extra from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dan. Those who fought in other areas of operation beside the ETO have taken a back seat long enough – especially now that we have so few of them left!!
      I liked seeing the military bands perform the anthem on the games I watched. They really are special.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Good information but so sad for the solders in 1944.Hope one day war will stop but on this fighting for freedom and a better worldmoment poor solders over all the world

    Liked by 1 person

  18. As a Christian, I will never understand a culture that encourages suicide. What a waste of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Such a tragic waste of life during those futile Japanese attacks. So much fighting going on, and still so much more to come. Just reading about it is depressing and exhausting, let alone having to actually endure it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Very informative as well as lovely read!

    Liked by 1 person

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