June – 11th Airborne (continued)

11th Airborne w/ 81mm mortar on Luzon

The 11th Airborne battled the Shabu Forces on a 75 mile hike in 120 degree heat to connect up with the Connolly Task Force. The combined goal was to prevent the enemy from escaping into the Cagayan Valley and out to sea. Lt. Col. Burgess met Gen. Beightler, on 26 June, and received a rather snide remark about how his men had saved the 11th A/B. Burgess became quite red-faced and replied that he was under orders to save the 37th Division. Gen. Swift, standing off to one side, laughed and said, “Well, you SOUND like one of Swing’s boys.”

Lipa Airfield, Luzon

The Gypsy Task Force marched away to the 37th’s Headquarters to request C-47s to transport the unit back to Lipa. Burgess was denied and told to counter-march to Aparri and have the trucks take them south to Manila. That would mean they would still need to march another 55 miles from Manila to Lipa. Instead, the men bribed the C-47 pilots with Japanese swords, guns and various other paraphernalia in exchange for a flight back. (Necessity is the mother of invention.)

Bold headlines exploded in the Australian newspapers: U.S. Paratroopers Land In Northern Luzon – “After the 11th A/B Division made their air-borne landing near Aparri on June 23rd., using their gliders for the first time, carrying howitzers, jeeps and mobile equipment. Each trooper jumped with 100 pounds of gear strapped to his body.”

In the 26 June 1945 issue of The Army News – “On Saturday, from 600 feet into paddy fields, the 11th Airborne dropped near the port of Aparri in a surprise move against the Japanese forces in northern Luzon. They used their gliders for the first time in the southwest Pacific…”

3 July, General Swing made an official note stating that he had implored the higher echelon of the Sixth Army two months previous with a plan to drop the entire 11th Airborne Division onto northern Luzon back when Gen. Krueger’s men were having so much trouble with the Japanese in Balete Pass. He expressed his frustration that his own plan to attack Aparri had gone unheeded. The Japanese had been given the opportunity to withdraw just enough to unite with reinforcements.

According to the US Government’s booklet on Luzon,

On 30 June 1945 Krueger’s Sixth Army was relieved by the Eighth Army, whose task was to mop up scattered Japanese positions.  [There we go with that “moping up” terminology again.]

Technically, the battle for Luzon was still not over when Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. On the northern part of the island Shobu Group remained the center of attention for the better part of three U.S. Army divisions. Altogether, almost 115,000 Japanese remained at large on Luzon and on some of the southern islands.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current News – 

The remains of 2 Civil War soldiers will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/06/20/bones-of-civil-war-dead-found-on-a-battlefield-tell-their-horror-stories/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7609f97aa01f

AND….

WWII firearms and swords were found under a Tokyo elementary school….

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/08/06/national/1400-guns-1200-swords-world-war-ii-found-buried-tokyo-elementary-school/#.W2tEg9VKiM8

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Robert Bochek – Milwaukee, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Daniel Cremin – Sydney, AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, ETO, KIA

Joseph Garron – Brooklyn, NY; USMC

Terrell J. Fuller – Toccoa, GA; US Army, Korea, Cpl., D/1/38/2nd Infantry Division, KIA

John Kain – GloucesterCity, PA; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

William A, Larkins – Pittsburgh, PA; US Army, Korea, Sgt., A/503 Field Artillery/2nd Infantry Division, KIA

John Magnon – New Orleans, LA; US Navy, WWII

Robert L. Martin – IA & IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, Tuskegee pilot

Edward Ranslow – Melville, MA; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Francis Sapp – Weston, FL; US Army

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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 August 9, 2018, in SMITTY, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 69 Comments.

  1. What a strange occurrence. Modern technology would have insured for the correct info.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Much better hats than the pink ones of today’s ladies who think they speak for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post gp, seems like a fair bit of higher echelon difference of opinions were going on at that time.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mopping up, the term, does sound a bit domestic! Just get out the pail and the mop, boys!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hello gp cox its dennis the vizsla dog hay thank yoo for the birthday wishes!!! hay that infantry dog in the cartoon up their reeminds me of my sister saya the mighty digging for gofers bak in the day!!! ok bye

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve just read this full story of the Australia KIA at
    https://www.thecatholicuniverse.com/remains-world-war-ii-pilot-found-75-years-spitfire-crash-17443
    He wasn’t KIA actually but died along with another Spitfire pilot when their planes collided over England during a training exercise. Which really is just as tragic. He won a DFC whilst serving in Africa so he certainly had courage as did all those young men.
    I find it odd that the coroner is to hold an inquest. We English are a strange lot; I wonder what they will unearth during the inquest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I consider any one wearing the uniform, on a current status, as being in action. Maybe not everyone feels that way, but I believe he would not have been at that spot at that time had he not been in the service.
      The coroner will probably check the chemical makeup, look for brain lesions, etc. Could one of the pilots been having a seizure of some sort – all the various scenarios.

      Like

      • They might have been skylarking, letting off some tension I think, they would have been in need of some relaxation I don’t doubt, and where the accident took place was relatively safe from jerry air attack.

        Like

  7. Check this out GP…an F4U Corsair and a P-38 Lightning!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. GP – I want to thank you once again for taking the time to track and post those who have departed our ranks. I often read this before I read the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Instead, the men bribed the C-47 pilots with Japanese swords, guns and various other paraphernalia in exchange for a flight back.”
    It sure beats marching for a few more days in that heat! Did your father have to part with souvenirs at any point (if he picked up any during the war)?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “120” heat !!! on top of everything else!
    I can’t even imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mopping up was no fun – or glorious in any way, shape or form – yet just as dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. privatepayne@glbb.jp

    Ray Payne, 511th PIR.

    I am among some of the last in the Airborne being trained for gliders.
    I would rather be a paratrooper any day than a glider trooper. Why, you ask? To some extent, I can control my parachute. I can slip wind to help control the direction of my fall by pulling my risers left, right, front, or back. I can control the direction of my descent somewhat before hitting the ground. But not in a glider! We are at the mercy of the pilot and the co-pilot and they are at the mercy of the glider. We have twelve glider troopers on board, plus equipment. This is a lot of weight and there are no motors! NO MOTORS!
    Gliders, after being cut loose from the plane have no choice but to go down. In combat, if they are not shot out of the sky, they do not know what hazards lie ahead: anti-glider poles, open ditches, trees, or whatever. If they miss, the landing zone there is no way out, but to land and hope that the glider can clear the obstacles. Those gliders are put together with a steel frame and fabric. I can hear them flapping in the wind- it sure gets on your nerves. Sometimes, they break apart on landing.
    My cousin Buddy Anderson, who graduated from Benning, and went on to the 82nd Airborne Division, and I are on the field training in gliders when one of the C-47’s in our training class B-13, lost one of its engines right after take-off.
    The C-47’s tow two gliders (like a goose formation). That C-47 with only one engine did not have the power to gain elevation with those two heavily loaded gliders dragging it down. They cut our gliders free. With no power, and with a prayer, the gliders had no choice but to go into the trees. Those gliders kill seven of our buddies this day. I never want to see another glider for the rest of my life.
    We lost seven friends in death, not knowing that another one of us will be joining them soon. The future may bring many unknowns along the way- some difficult. There will be many jump school quitters.

    Banish uncertainty. Affirm strength. Hold resolve. Expect death.
    Tao

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thank you very much for bringing your story to us here and I am very sorry for the loss of your friends that day. My father, as part of the 187th at its start at Camp MacKall, had similar stories of the gliders and the way too many funerals he attended for fellow troopers before ever leaving the States. Your story gives my readers a personal perspective on the glider situation and being at the mercy of the aircraft towing it, weather and terrain.
      I thank you and your fellow troopers for your service!

      Like

  13. Ik leer hier steeds wat nieuws.Verwondering bij het lezen dat zweefvliegtuigen gebruikt werdennbijna niet te geloven

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hahahaha — I think my dog is a sapper….. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The campaign to clear the Philippines is strange in some ways. It’s almost as if the desire to recapture it all was personal to the people who had been forced to leave the islands years before. It reminds me in some ways of the British efforts to rid Burma of the Japanese, right at the end of the war.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see your point, John. I can understand how Japan felt with the US and European nations colonizing in Asia. I seem to have trouble getting that point across to some people. I’m not much of a linguist I suppose.

      Like

  16. I don’t know much about military organization, life, or strategy, but I can get a fix on 75 miles in 120 degree heat. How everyone survived that is remarkable. Actually, I suppose some didn’t. My gr-gr-grandfather, in the 34th Iowa during the Civil War, marched Confederate prisoners of war through the Atchafalya swamp. That’s when his regiment took the most casualties: from malaria and smallpox.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, disease in during that war was horrendous. Our men, although vaccinated for a lot, just couldn’t fight these strange bugs. Even the Atabrine for malaria wasn’t always effective. I appreciate you taking the time, Linda, to give a peek at the Civil War connection in your family!

      Like

  17. More good writing, GP. I wonder what became of the 115,000 Japanese who were left on Luzon after the surrender. Did they also surrender?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What a story, GP. I haven’t read enough about Australia during WWII.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The Japanese troops were going full circle. I remember reading that while Baguio was being bombed at the start of the war, the Japanese ground troops were landing in Aparri.
    The discovery of the bones of Civil War soldiers is very interesting. My father-in-law would have loved to know of its discovery. He was a Civil War buffs and we ended up inheriting some of his books on Civil War. I’ve only read two of them. It was brutal the amount of casualties.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. So close to the surrender, and the fighting is still non-stop, with the Japanese as resolute as ever.
    The civil war article was of great interest to me too. Second Manassas is regarded as a convincing Confederate victory, but the casualty figures show that losses on both sides were remarkably similar.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I am fascinated that they used gliders – silent and deadly.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. LOL! Great humor as well. My dog, Sophie, was definitely in the infantry!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Well, I know she liked it. Peggy Mitchell was beloved by people in Georgia and my grandmother was born in Macon, then lived in Savannah after she was married.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Really enjoyed this GP! Thanks for taking the time to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. From his hospital bed in California, my father who was wounded in Peleliu, followed newspaper articles about Luzon. I believe I still have those newspapers laid in an old chest. The Civil War article is fascinating, and at the same time tragic. Thank you, GP for posting both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What treasures you still have!!
      I’m thrilled you found the post today interesting. I have a number of Civil War buffs reading here, so I figured I’d include that article.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My grandmother, who lived to be nearly 100, was full of stories about the Civil War told to her by her parents/relatives who lived through it. Being from middle Georgia, she had a distinct dislike for General Sherman, with handed down stories to accompany her distaste for the man. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  26. Help in sharing these stories is always appreciated!

    Like

  1. Pingback: FEATURED BLOGGER: June – 11th Airborne (continued) //Pacific Paratrooper | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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