October 1944 (1)

Causeway with 2 damaged Sherman tanks, Peleliu

Causeway with 2 damaged Sherman tanks, Peleliu

3  October – the Marines on Peleliu attacked the “Five Sister,” a coral hill with 5 sheer peaks and the Japanese defensive fire was deadly accurate.  Four days later, in an Army tank/Marine infantry operation, they made their assault in a horseshoe shaped valley after 2 ½ hours of big gun artillery fire.

The odor on the island of decaying bodies and feces, (latrines could not be dug in the coral), became extreme.  The flies were uncontrollable.  The [now-banned] pesticide of DDT was first used on Peleliu, but with very little success.

Napalm strike on Five Sister, Peleliu

Napalm strike on the Five Sisters, Peleliu

On 12 October, Captain Andy “Ack-Ack” Haldane, well-respected leader and veteran of Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester and Peleliu, was killed on Hill 140 in the Umurbrogol Pocket.  This was also the date that organized resistance on the island was declared over.

10 October – The 3rd Fleet of aircraft carriers made a major attack on the enemy naval and shore installations on the Ryukyu Islands.  Their arrival took the Japanese by surprise and destroyed 75 planes on the ground and 14 in the air; 38 ships were either sunk or damaged.  Other US Navy surface vessels conducted a 15-hour bombardment of Marcus Island.  This would give the US a forward base less than 1000 miles from the Japanese mainland.

Formosa and the Ryukyu Islands

Formosa and the Ryukyu Islands

12→15 October – after refueling, the 3rd Fleet’s 1000 carrier fighters and bombers conducted a campaign over Formosa along with 100 Superfortresses of the US Army’s 20th Air Force coming out of the Chingtu bases.  The 500 enemy aircraft of Adm. Fukudome’s Imperial Navy 6th Air Force were manned by inexperienced pilots.  On the 13th along, 124 enemy fighters were shot down during a massive dogfight and 95 more were destroyed on the ground.  As Fukudome himself described it, “Like so many eggs thrown against the stone wall of indomitable enemy formations.

More than 70 enemy cargo, oil and escort ships were sunk in the area.  The US lost 22 aircraft.  The carrier, Franklin, and the cruiser, Canberra, were hit, but the latter was towed to safety.  Due to the inexperienced Japanese pilots misinformation, Tokyo Rose announced, “All of Admiral Mitscher’s carriers have been sunk tonight – INSTANTLY!”  Japan claimed a second Pearl Harbor and a public victory holiday was proclaimed.

Arisan Maru

Arisan Maru

In October, the Japanese ‘hell ship’, Arisan Maru, departed Manila, P.I. with 1800 American prisoners on board held in her unventilated hold.  It was sunk by the USS Snook, killing 1795 POW’s.

The Japanese attempted to break the build-up of Allied forces in Manila Bay, Luzon, P.I., but the result was losing approximately 30 more aircraft to US fighters and antiaircraft fire.

October 1944 was an extremely active month and it will take at least 5 posts to just put the basics down.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – military-humor-funny-surrounded-attack-soldiers-meme

11

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Farewell Salutes – 

Paul Alamar – Scranton, PA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, minesweeper

Robert Brooks – Ontario, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, 143rd Air Wing, radio operations

Peleliu cemetery

Peleliu cemetery

Harold Girald – Mah-wah, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Ken Hartle (103) – San Francisco, CA; US Navy, WWII, SeaBee

Melvin Hill – Pomona, CA; Korea, 31st RCT, KIA

Harold “Hal” Moore, Jr. – Auburn, AL; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, 1/7th Cavalry Reg., Lt.General, West Point Grad, DSC

Allen “Bud” Moler – Dayton, OH; USMC, PTO, KIA (Roi-Namur)

Brent Morel – Martin, TN; USMC, Iraq, 1st Marine Recon Battalion, Navy Cross, KIA

Richard Lyon – Oceanside, CA; USMC, WWII, PTO / Korea, Admiral (Ret. 41 years)

Elizabeth Zarelli Turner – Austin, TX; US Army WAC, WWII, pilot

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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 February 13, 2017, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 76 Comments.

  1. The sinking of the Arisan Maru must be considered a major tragedy, there must be more to that story for it to be sunk by Americans, seems like it was not identified as carrying POW’s.
    Thanks for that great post gp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Ian, it was not designated a POW ship. The only ships that were designated as such were vessels carrying Japanese troops and/or war supplies – so either way, she probably would have been torpedoed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As the Allies, meaning principally the U.S., began rolling the Japanese back to their home islands the fighting became increasingly fierce as the fanatical Japanese dug in rather than give up. This was a prelude to what we would have found had we actually invaded the home islands. Truman was right in dropping the A-bombs. The estimates that the U.S would have suffered a million casualties in the invasion of the home islands are likely conservative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the closer the Allies came to the mainland of Japan, the longer the enemy had had time to dig in, accumulate supplies and organize. At this point, their desperation is added to that mix. You are quite right, things are about to become even more intense.

      Like

  3. All those poor men on the hellship!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of our relatives was aboard the “hell ship” Arisan Maru. We have also learned of other friends who had relatives who died on the ship. RIP, Bill Lang.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So much death and horror…your professional posts makes this readable and understandable to those so far removed by time and experience of the events. With a heavy heart reflecting on the past, the present.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The horror. Unimaginable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Conditions on Peleliu sounded worse than terrible, but perhaps these same conditions existed quite often in many places. Interesting that Tokyo Rose again got in on the action.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I learned that dirty tactics on many sides also involved using the Red Cross emblem to disguise military vehicles and vessels to sneak through enemy territory. In our modern era it has become acceptable practice for extremists to use prisoners and even civilians as a human shield. I was shocked to read about the loss of so many lives when the Japanese ship was sunk, because it was not marked as a POW carrying ship.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. All these little steps, with one objective. It’s amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always thought it was more like an operation leap-frog rather than Operation Cartwheel – but whatever you call it – it worked.
      Thank you for visiting, Dan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’re right. And, I might have misspoke (that’s the correct term these days, I think) about there being one objective. They did seem to leap-frog their way closer, but in several steps, they secured landing strips that were close enough to support various missions.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Right you are, Dan.
          [wow, these days we even try to say our errors(?) in politically correct terms. Pretty soon I’m going to give on talking altogether. unless that makes too many people happy lol]

          Liked by 1 person

  10. 1800 POWs on the Arisan Maru and 1795 casualties due to their own country’s attack. Did I read that correctly? That is staggering. ~~dru~~

    Like

    • There 1800 POWs on board the Arisan Maru only 5 survived (other accounts say that 8 survived).
      As far as those lost due to the month-long battle:
      2,336 US KIA
      10,900 Japan KIA

      Like

  11. What our soldiers endured to make this country great brings tears of gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 😦 So sad. 😦

    I always love your Military Humor! 😀

    And I always read each name and pause for a moment in your Farewell Salutes section.

    (((HUGS)))
    PS…I saw an amazing movie recently that was based on a true story…USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This may be one of the most gruesome posts I’ve read of yours. How awful. War sure is hell. The numbers are in a way numbing until you realize there were names and families and lives behind those numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What an obscene month. Can you imagine the Seabed floor littered with ships?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many these days are being illegally salvaged as scrap metal. I most recently read about this happening to the old Japanese ships. They are basically the tombs of the sailors who served on them [no matter which side] and should be respectably left alone as such, but money conquers all, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Found on Web archives

    Genealogy research

    So if anyone wants to climb a portion of my tree you can find it at
    http://www.familytreemaker.com/users/n/e/h/Larry-K-Nehls/index.html
    This page at FTM is dedicated to my parents:

    Herman and Lois Hausam Nehls

    My e-mail address is lnehls@bentonrea.com

    Or snail mail address is

    Larry Nehls

    P.O. box 212

    Paterson , Wa. 99345-0212

    I would like to take this opportunity to add a letter to this page in honor of my uncle. Who was killed in WWII.
    Four Christmases in Hell for Bud Hausam’s family, was the title of a newspaper article written by Paul Fridland in Dec. 1984.

    A letter from Bud Hausam reads,

    “Dear Mother, I am still in very good health. I hope this finds you and all the folks in the best of spirits. Tell everyone hello for me. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. As ever, Bud.”

    Bud was writing from a Japanese prisoner of war camp in the Philippines. During his two & ½ year imprisonment, Bud was only aloud to send a few short post cards.

    Another card arrived on Christmas day 1944. In it Bud wrote. “Hope this finds you in good health. Try and answer. Give my regards to everyone”.
    That card was a cruel irony. It arrived two months after his death on Oct. 24, 1944.

    Alfred William Hausam was born February 9, 1913 to Clifford William Hausam and Edna May Myers Hausam of Fort Scott Kansas. Alfred was known to his family and friends as Bud.

    In 1934 Bud enlisted in the U.S. Navy, in 1938 he was sent to the Philippines on the Marblehead # C1-12 and stationed at the navel base at Cavite. He was a torpedo man first class and may have worked at the military post office at Cavite. It is not known if Bud was captured at Cavite or Corregidor. If he was captured at Cavite then he was on the Bataan Death March and if he was captured on Corregidor then he was not on the Bataan Death March.

    Below is information leading up to the capture of Corregidor.

    On Saturday, February 28, 1942 the submarine Permit (SS-178) delivers ammunition to Corregidor, and evacuates certain military personnel.

    On March 11, 1942 Douglas MacArthur, ordered by Franklin D. Roosevelt leaves Corregidor with his wife, Gene and son, Arthur age 4, for Mindanao.
    On April 5, 1942, the submarine Snapper (SS-185) delivers food to Corregidor, and evacuates certain military personnel.

    On April 8, 1942, the submarine Seadragon (SS194) delivers food to Corregidor, and evacuates certain military personnel.

    On April 9, 1942, the US and Philippine forces on Bataan surrender to the Japanese.
    On April 9, 1942, Luzon- At 0330, emissaries of Gen. King start to the Japanese lines under a white flag to arrange for surrender. Gen., King surrenders the Luzon Force unconditionally at 1230, and a grim march of prisoners from Balanga to San Fernando follows. The fall of Bataan permits Japanese aircraft previously employed against it to devote their full attention to Corregidor. For the first time since the end of March, Japanese planes attack in force. Japanese artillery emplaced at Cabcaben, south Bataan, opens fire on Corregidor.
    On April 12, 1942 the Japanese, employing guns on Bataan and Cavite, intensify the artillery bombardment of Corregidor.

    On April 29, 1942 the pre-invasion air and artillery bombardment of Corregidor became intense.

    On May 3, 1942, the submarine Spearfish (SS-19) evacuates certain military personnel from Corregidor.

    On May 4, 1942, US Navel vessel sunk mine sweeper Tanager (AM-5) by coastal guns, Corregidor.

    On May 5, 1942, Japanese forces land on the island of Corregidor.

    When Corregidor fell on May 6, 1942, the last of the Death Marchers had already entered the hellhole called Camp O’Donnell on April 24, 1942, twelve days before the surrender of Corregidor. The POWs, from the Death March, arrived in Camp O’Donnell everyday from April 12, 1942 up to April 24, 1942.

    Captives on Corregidor did not leave the island for two weeks’ time, pending the surrender of Fil-American forces in the southern islands of the Philippines.

    The captured POW’s were sent to Manila, where they were forced to march through the streets of that city to impress the Filipino with the might of the Japanese military forces.

    On May 13, 1942, Bud was listed as missing in action.

    On October 6, 1943, Bud was listed as a prisoner of war.

    One account has Bud at Cabanataun and another has him at camp #8. Camp #8 may be a misprint because I’m told that there were only camps #1 & #3 at Cabanatuan and all other camps had names. Camp #3 at Cabanatuan was only inhabited at the beginning and thwe POW’s were sent to camp #1.

    Bud survived the Japanese prison camps at Cabanatuan and camp # 8 only to be killed by friendly fire a few years later.

    On October 10, 1944, Bud was put on a transport ship headed for Japan. Buds prisoner number was 1-11782.

    Cabanatuan, for most prisoners, ended up being a temporary camp. The Japanese had a policy (which was a direct violation of the Geneva Convention) that prisoners were to be used as a source of labor. They sent most of the prisoners, from Cabanatuan, to various other camps in the Philippines, China, Japan, and Korea, where they were used as slave labor. Some worked in mines, others on farms, others in factories, and others unloading ships in port areas, for the remainder of the war.

    Most prisoners who left Cabanatuan in 1942, were sent to the other countries mentioned, in ships appropriately called,”Hell Ships”. These “Hell Ships” sailed from Manila to their various destinations in Japan, Korea, or China. As mentioned earlier, the Japanese did not mark these ships as being prison ships, so they were targets for American planes and submarines.

    Thousands of Americans, who were passengers on these ships, met their deaths by drowning at sea.

    The Arisan Maru was a Hell Ships sunk on Oct. 24, 1944.

    The Arisan Maru, sailed from Manila on October 10, 1944 for Japan. This ship was sunk by the American submarine,USS Snook (Shark?) with three torpedoes, east of Hong Kong, on October 24, 1944. There were 1800 POWs aboard – 1793 died. Eight men survived this sinking. Two days later, five of the survivors were rescued by a Chinese fishing junk. The Chinese helped them reach American Air Corps forces. Other survivors were recaptured by a Japanese destroyer and taken to Formosa.

    This Hell Ship sank in the South China Sea making it the worst naval disaster in the history of the United States.

    Information states that Skipper Edward Noe Blakely ( Annapolis, class of 1934 ) was in command of the U.S. submarine Shark ( second U.S. Navy sub of that name ) when it torpedoed a japanese freighter that was carrying about 1,800 POW’s from the Philippines.

    All but eight POW’s were lost. Five somehow got to China and made contact with friendly forces, reporting the tragedy. Counting the work of Paddle on September 7 and Sealion, Growler and Pampanito on September 12, this new loss meant that U.S. submarines had accidentally killed or drowned well over 4,000 Allied POW’s within a period of six weeks. Perhaps more went unrecorded.

    Blakely reported to Ashley in Seadragon that that he was making this attack. That was the last word ever heard from Blakely. Japanese records revealed that on October 24 a submarine was attacked in Blakely’s vicinity and that “bubbles, and heavy oil, clothes, cork, etc.” came to the surface.

    The Shark was sunk by a depth charge attack, presumably by a Japanese warship.
    Only ten days after Bud was killed. Bud’s younger brother Herb Hausam landed on the island of Leyte, on November the 4, 1944, only about four hundred miles from Corregidor.

    Four Christmases passed for the Hausam family without the joy of the holiday with their son. Two passed without their knowing weather Bud was alive or dead, one passed knowing he was a prisoner of war, and the fourth passed thinking he was alive when he had already been killed.
    May 24, 1999
    Fivety four years and seven months to the day, Herberb Hausam received the medals that Alfred (Bud) Hausam had earned posthumously for his part in the fighting on the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island near Manila during World War 11. The medals, a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star were awarded at the ceremony and there will be another medal sent to Herbert Hausam for Bud’s service in the Philippines.

    Written In honor of Alfred William (Bud) Hausam

    The Arisan Maru, at her launch day June 5th, 1944 Mitsui Shipyard, Japan.

    Alfred William Hausam (Bud)

    A web site that should be checked out is http://harrisonheritage.com/adbc/

    For more information about the Battle of Bataan – June 1942 see the Memorial Page at the VFW Post 7591 Madison, Wisconsin website. http://home.pacbell.net/fbaldie/Battling_Bastards_of_Bataan.html
    On July 10, 2000, I (Larry Nehls) received information from the National Personnel Records Center on William Alfred (Bud) Hausam. Below are the letters I received.

    PAGE 1.

    Nav 642 AMG
    341 83 48
    February 19, 1942

    Subject: HAUSAM, Alfred William, TM1c, USN.

    Information concerning.

    My dear Mrs. Hausam:

    Repling to your letter of February 13, 1941, only meager information has been received by the Bureau relative to the enlisted personnel on duty in the Philippine Islands.

    Communication Facilities with these activities have have been cut off and at the present time the Bureau can furnish you no definite information and cannot now predict when positive information will be available.

    The Bureau appreciates your anxiety concerning his serious injury or death you will be immediately notified.

    Sincerely yours,

    RANDALL JACOBS

    Chief of Bureau

    C.B. Hatch
    By direction

    PAGE 2.

    TELEGRAM

    MAY 12, 1942
    MRS. C. W. HAUSAM

    BOX 174

    PROSSER, WASHINGTON

    THE NAVY DEPARTMENT EXCEEDINGLY REGRETS TO ADVISE YOU THAT ACCORDING TO THE RECORDS OF THIS DEPARTMENT YOUR SON

    ALFRED WILLIAM HAUSAM TORPEDOMAN FIRST CLASS US NAVY WAS PERFORMING HIS DUTY IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY IN THE MANILA BAY AREA WHEN THE STATION CAPITULATED . HE WILL BE CARRIED ON THE RECORDS OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT AS MISSING PENDING FURTHER INFORMATION . NO REPORT OF HIS DEATH OR INJURY HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND HE MAY BE A PRISONER OF WAR . IT WILL PROBABLY BE SEVERAL MONTHS BEFORE DEFINITE OFFICIAL INFORMATION CAN BE EXPECTED CONCERING HIS STATUS .

    SINCERE SYMPATHY IS EXTENDED TO YOU IN YOUR ANXIETY AND YOUR ARE ASSURED THAT ANY REPORT RECEIVED WILL BE COMMUNICATED TO YOU PROMPTLY .

    REAR ADMIRAL RANDALL JACOBS

    CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION

    PAGE 3.

    NAVAL MESSAGE P-5320-341 83 48-MT

    Telephone Ext. No. 7746

    From BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL

    Released by COMDR. H. B. ATKINSON

    TO:

    MRS. MARY BERNICE HAUSAM

    Date 31 JULY 1945

    404 SOUTH STATE ST.

    UKIAH, CALIF.

    I DEEPLY REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT THE STATUS OF YOUR HUSBAND ALFRED WILLIAM HAUSAM TORPEDOMANS MATE FIRST CLASS USN WHO HAS BEEN CARRIED ON THE RECORDS OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT AS A PRISONER OF WAR HAS BEEN CHANGED AFTER A CAREFUL REVIEW OF ALL EVIDENCE TO DECCEASED AS OF 24 OCTOBER 1944.

    A LETTER GIVING ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION WILL BE FORWARDED TO YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE. ON 21 JUNE 1945 THE NAVAL DEPARTMENT FORWARDED A LETTER NOTIFYING YOU OF THIS CHANGE IN STATUS TO 6709 PALM AVE. RIVERSIDE, CALIF. I WISH TO EXTEND MY SINCEREST SYMPHATHY TO YOU IN YOUR GREAT SORROW.

    VICE ADIRAL RANDALL JACOBS

    CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL

    PAGE 4.

    Pers- 102M-GS
    MM 341 83 48

    19 DEC 1946

    Mrs. Mary Bernice Hausam

    9709 Palm Avenue

    Riverside, California

    Dear Mrs. Hausam:

    The chief of Naval Personnel takes pride in forwarding herewith the Army Distinguished Unit Badge with Oak Leaf to which your husband, the late Alfred William Hausam, Torpedoman’s Mate first class, United States Navy, is entitled by virtue of his services in defense of the Philippines.

    By direction of Chief of Naval Personnel.

    Sincerely your,

    JOE H. FLOYD
    Lt. Comdr., USN, Director

    Enlisted Processing & Transmittal

    Medals and Awards

    Encl. (HW) (1)

    PAGE 5.

    CERTIFICATION OF

    MILITARY SERVICE

    This certifies that ALFRED WILLIAM HAUSAM

    341 83 48
    was a member of the UNITED STATES NAVY

    From 18 AUGUST 1933

    to 17 AUGUST 1939

    Service was terminated by HONORABLE DISCHARGE- TO IMMEDIATELY REENLIST USN

    Last Grade, Rank, or Rating TM2c

    Active Service Dates SAME AS ABOVE

    This page last updated 10/6/2000

    Like

  16. POW ship – brought a tear to my eye. All the war stories are dreadful but for some reason this one just hit me differently.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I read stories about Peleliu in the 100 Best True Stories of WWII. It’s heart wrenching–what all went on there. Tough men.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What an awful thing for at least one member of the crew on the Snook. Just dreadful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was an awful shame that these events happened. The vessel appeared to be an enemy freighter, no markings of being a POW ship. When the Japanese did mark a ship as being a hospital ship, they were carrying weapons and supplies – so when to shoot? when not? Thank you for reading here today, John.

      Like

  19. I used DDT when I was at war with the army ants in West Africa, G. It was before we knew what harm it caused. I built a small trench/moat around our house and filled it with the poison to keep the invaders out.
    The war has a feeling of inevitability to me now, like it is over but the Japanese don’t get it. I wonder if it is just hindsight from my perspective. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Captain Haldane, is he the captain who dies in the mini-series The Pacific? Noticed the shout out to General Moore of We Were Soldiers fame.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Looks like the Japs took a beating.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The Franklin was crippled in March 1945. Only damaged at Peleliu.

    Wikipedia

    On 4 September, Franklin took on supplies at Saipan, and then she steamed in TG 38.1 for an attack against Yap Island (3–6 September) which included direct air coverage of the Peleliu invasion on the 15th. The Task Group took on supplies at Manus Island from 21 to 25 September.

    Franklin, now the flagship of TG 38.4, returned to the Palau area where she launched daily patrols and night fighters. On 9 October, she rendezvoused with carrier groups cooperating in air strikes in support of the coming occupation of Leyte Island. At twilight on the 13th, the task group came under attack by four bombers, and Franklin twice was narrowly missed by torpedoes. An enemy plane, a harbinger of the coming kamikaze campaign, crashed on Franklin’s deck abaft the aircraft carrier’s island, sliding across the deck and into the water on her starboard beam.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I had to check since I had never heard of a carrier named Canberra. The carrier Franklin of course I knew was crippled.

    Like

  24. The cruiser, Franklin, and the carrier, Canberra, were hit…

    Should be the other way around.

    The cruiser, Canberra, and the carrier, Franklin, were hit…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. What a tragedy that so many US prisoners were killed on a ship sunk by one of their own submarines.
    Interesting that DDT did not kill flies on the island. A rolled-up newspaper is more effective, it would seem.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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