December 1944 (2)

Avenger on the deck of the USS Anzio, Typhoon Cobra, December 1944

16 December – Douglas MacArthur was promoted to Five-Star General.  It seemed that General MacArthur’s promotion to General of the Army would require assistance from many sides.  It posed a problem in the respect that there was no such object as a five-star insignia in existence in the Pacific.  A clever Filipino silversmith created one from a miscellaneous collection of Dutch, Australian and Filipino coins.

USS Langley (CVL-27), Typhoon Cobra

17 December – Typhoon Cobra hit the Philippine Islands.  TF-38 was caught off-guard and the destroyers, USS Hull, Mongham and Spence were sunk and 22 other vessels received damage.  While 150 aircraft were blown off the decks of the carriers, more than 750 sailors drowned.

19 December – Adm. Nimitz was made Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Fleet and Pacific Areas, thereby promoting him to Fleet Admiral of the US Navy, a 5-Star Admiral.

USS Bryant

21→22 December – an American destroyer, the USS Bryant was damaged by the Japanese kamikaze pilots off Mindoro, P.I.  The Bryant had seen the plane approaching and while maneuvering to avoid collision, the kamikaze basically just clipped her and exploded beneath the waves.

22→29 December – Japanese Gen. Yamashita radioed Gen. Suzuki’s headquarters in Cebu City: “RE-DEPLY YOUR TROOPS TO FIGHT EXTENDED HOLDING ACTIONS IN AREAS OF YOUR CHOICE.  SELECT AREAS SUCH AS BACALOD ON NEGROS WHICH ARE HIGHLY SUITABLE FOR SELF-SUSTAINING ACTION.  THIS MESSAGE RELIEVES YOU OF YOUR ASSIGNED MISSION.”

Gen. Yamashita

This message would not reach Suzuki for 3 days, by which time his troops were being surprised by Gen. Bruce’s men.  The enemy fled to San Isidro and Palompon was taken by the 77th Division unopposed on Christmas Day.  Suzuki and about 10,000 of his troops concentrated at Mount Canquipot, whose eastern and western slopes made the sector a natural fortress.  They could hear Christmas carols coming from the G.I.’s.  Stragglers arrived from the Japanese 1st Division and 68th Brigade, but lost 100 men a day due to starvation.

29 December – Suzuki received a mess age from Gen. Fukue stating that the 102nd Division were leaving in boats for Cebu.  When Suzuki ordered them to remain in place – his message was ignored.  Approximately 743 men, all that remained of the prize Gem Division would evacuate by 12 January 1945.  Gen. Eichelberger’s 8th Army closed in on Suzuki and Mount Canquipot.

25 December – Yamashita informed Suzuki that he considered Leyte a lost cause and this date was originally designated as the end of organized resistance on Leyte, but the troops that remained assigned to the “mopping-up” of the island [7th Division] would beg to differ.

26 December – a Japanese naval force bombarded US installations on Mindoro and the Americans sank the IJN destroyer Kiyoshimo, (清霜, “Clear Frost”).

click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – for those finally returning home…

Homer Abney – Dallas, TX; US Army, Korea, Sgt., KIA

Robert Barnett – Austin, TX; US Air Force, Vietnam, Captain, pilot, KIA

Murray Cargile – Robertsonville, NC; US Navy, Pearl Harbor, Seaman 1st Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA

Louis Damewood – Carroll County, MD; US Army, Korea, Cpl.,HQ/3/38/2nd Div., KIA

Joseph Durakovich – Gary, IN; US Army, Korea, MSgt., KIA

William Kennedy – Titonka, IA; US Navy, Pearl Harbor, Fireman 1st Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA

James Mainhart – Butler, PA; US Army, Korea, Cpl., KIA

George Perreault – Burlington, VT; US Army, Korea, Cpl., KIA

William Ryan – Hoboken, NJ; USMC, Vietnam, 1st Lt., KIA

James Whitehurst – Dotham, AL; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc., KIA (Tarawa)

Those that still remain missing – 

from WWII – 73,060

Korea – 7,751

Vietnam – 1,611

Iraq – 6

At the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

A military ceremony was held for unclaimed cremains of five Veterans from Potter County (Amarillo), Texas. The Veterans are:

Michael Topp
Michael Papencheck
Ronald Stevenson
Laird Orton Jr.
Jerry Harris

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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 May 15, 2017, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 96 Comments.

  1. Reading this, it’s hard to believe that the war still had another eight months to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks to your interesting blog i know now must more of history

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, so interesting. My grandpa was in the Phillipines during World War II. Thanks for sharing a little bit of his personal history with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have so many people tell me that. I take it your grandfather didn’t talk much about the war, but did he happen to mention anything you can share with us?

      Like

  4. I always learn something new or get reminded of the crazy things that happened during the war in the Pacific

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting article (1942) regarding the damage the weather caused! Its easy to forget about the danger of nature, when reading about the combat situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Looking at the Anzio snap … there’s ‘nonch’, and there’s foolhardy. Those guys would have been well advised to use lifelines … but it probably helps explain the losses 0f men to typhoons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The original caption said ‘during’ the typhoon, but further analysis of the surrounding weather appears to be ‘after’ the typhoon or it was just about to pass.

      Like

      • Perhaps in the eye of the typhoon—been through quite a few, but only once bothered going out on the upper deck whilst in the eye—it was weird, the air absolutely still, the seas wild, no horizon and everything tinted coppery.

        Those guys in the pic look relaxed and un-windblown, so my vote is ‘eye’ …

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Love those cartoons—especially that ‘warm up my arm’ one~! (Ouch)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Blogs are always interesting.Any further, comments are interesting!!!:D

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bill Gindhart

    RIP🇺🇸

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Super post, GP. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. December ’44 was the official month in which the Japanese government declared my uncle KIA. They documented an area near Mt. Canquipot and Villaba as his place of death, just across from Cebu. May all who perished be at peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I couldn’t remember exactly when you had said he died, thank you for adding that here. This war, [as all wars I suppose], no one actually wins – it’s a matter of who lost more. Very sad situation for all concerned. Thank you for taking the time to visit, Koji. When you get a chance, let me know how everything is going. And how are the kids?

      Liked by 2 people

  12. The typhoon did a lot of damage to the US naval forces, but it did not save Japan from ultimate defeat, like the British were saved by a terrible storm storm from the Spanish Armada in 1588.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Having to go to War would be bad enough. But who would expect a typhoon? Or drowning?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Samantha Litten

    Good Morning,

    My name is Samantha and I work with Drugrehab.com, a free web resource that provides information about substance abuse, mental health issues and PTSD.

    I’m writing you to see if you are still actively updating your page: pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/

    Our parent organization has recently released a brand new veterans page that goes well as a resource with our veterans and addiction page:

    http://www.drugrehab.com/addiction/veterans/
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    I read through your blog and commend all of the wonderful work you are doing. I thought your audience might benefit from sharing our resources. Would you consider sharing these resources on your page to help spread awareness?

    Thank you for your time. Have a great rest of your day!

    Like

  15. Admiral Nimitz was a gem of a commander. Unlike MacArthur, his rank never went to his head. He never forgot that he had come up through the ranks. He could have been buried at Arlington, but instead, he along with his wife, Catherine and Admirals Raymond Spruance, Kelly Turner and Charles Lockwood (submarines) and their wives, chose to be buried among the ranks who served with them in the Pacific and using the same tombstones as the ranks in the military cemetery at San Bruno, California on the San Francisco peninsula.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you for letting us see the real deal.

    Like

  17. We’d love to promote you to head of the army but unfortunately we don’t have any insignia spare, sorry…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bill Gindhart

    My dad, B Company 511 PIR, I think was on a ship when a typhoon hit and he saw a ship lost.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If your dad was in the 511th, he went through the typhoon, but on land. As part of the 11th Airborne Division, he was fighting on Leyte, just as my father was at the time in 187th. If he was on the coast during the storm, I’m sure he did see a ship go down.
      Any stories you recall your father telling you about the war, please feel free to share them here.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Interesting, but for the cleverness of Filipino silver smith …

    Liked by 1 person

  20. As always, an interesting post. I wanted to let you know that we lost my father, Ralph Pierman, last week. He served in WWII in the US Navy from 1942-1945 as a Carpenter First Mate. He earned 3 bronze stars and his ship earned five battle stars.

    Like

  21. In this modern age how on earth can there be six missing in Iraq.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m always enjoying reading these detailed events. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  23. This post reminded me of how many men were lost to things other than fighting. Drowning in bad weather, starvation, and disease. So many lost, the sheer numbers begin to weigh you down after a while.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. The numbers missing always give a jolt to the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: December 1944 (2) – Welcome to Gerry Stewart's

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