Los Banos part 2

Los Banos depicted by: Mariusz Kozik

First Lt. John Ringler was in charge of those troopers who would drop 900 yards from the camp. They made their jump at approx. 500 feet instead of the usual 700-1,000′ since the drop zone was so small and the men would have less exposure time. They made three V’s-in-trail by the nine Douglas C-47s from the 65th Troop Carrier Squadron/ 54th Troop Carrier Group/5th Air Force. Some of the men ran across open fields to achieve their assigned positions. Ringler and his company went down a riverbed from the northeast (photo) while others came from the south and southeast.

Major Burgess went across Laguna de Bay with the amphibious vehicles as the main attacking force. The noisy amtracs slowly made their progress to shore with hopes the enemy had not heard their arrival. Once on the beach, the 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion dismounted at San Antonio to defend the area.

Los Banos rescue map

On land, Lt. George Skau and his 31-man platoon infiltrated with the Filipino guides and banca crews. (a sailing vessel usually used for fishing and trade) Once the men eliminated the tower sentries and guards, the soldiers attacked and entered the camp. The internees ran into their barracks or ditches when the firing began. One man said that at the start of the war, they were still using WWI materiel, so when they spotted the domed helmets of the troopers, they believed the Germans were there to help the Japanese. When the reality of the situation became apparent to them, the G.I.s had over 2,000 excited and hysterical people to contend with, but many of them were unable to walk. Every moment was crucial as the enemy could arrive at any minute. Sometime during this period, the guerrillas faded back into the jungle.

11th Airborne aiding a Los Banos internee

The 11th Airborne’s G-4 amassed 18 ambulances and 21 trucks to take the 2,122 internees to the New Bilibid Prison, where they would remain for a few weeks before being shipped home to the U.S.. They had been prisoners for three years.

The 188th had some casualties while confronting the enemy, but not one person was killed during the raid. The story of the Los Baños Raid and rescue 26 miles behind enemy lines was downplayed in the newspaper because of the fall of Iwo Jima. Reporter Frank Smith was at the raid, so the story did get out somewhat.

The Japanese supply warrant officer, Sadaaki Konishi, who actually ran the camp, was able to escape the American raid unharmed. He, along with others of the enemy and the YOIN (Filipinos that were pro-Japanese – makapili) continued to kill and burn the homes of the surrounding population. He was later accused of six counts against the laws of war, tried and found guilty of five charges. Sadaaki Konishi was executed on 17 June 1947.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

First-hand accounts from this mission will follow in next Monday’s post.

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MILITARY  HUMOR –

PARATROOPER HUMOR

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FAREWELL SALUTES – 

Donald H. Arsen – Centerline, WI; USMC, WWII, PTO

Edward L. Blount – Pocahontas, MO; US Army, WWII

George K. Bryant – Pensacola, FL; US Navy, WWII, aviator, Bomb Sq. 75

Jean Chancellor (105) – Jerome, ID; Civilian, WWII, War Dept.

Robert Clingen – Luzon, PI; Los Baños internee, WWII  /  US Navy, Vietnam

Lydia Daikens – Oakville, CAN; Lee-Enfield rifle production / WREN, WWII

Sherri Fox – Virginia Beach, VA; US Army WAC, WWII

Jack Garrett – New Hyde Park, NY; US Navy, WWII

Alvin Henderson – Sacramento, CA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, pilot  / Civilian, Air Force

Arthur W. Latta – Boulder City, NV; USMC, WWII & Korea, (Ret. 23 y.)

Richard Zimmerman – Pittsburg, PA; US Navy, WWII

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 6, 2022, in SMITTY, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 103 Comments.

  1. If only we stopped and listened.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a daring and well executed operation. And no US KIA too. Amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for your likes of my articles on Daniel; I appreciate your kindness, very much. Please continue all that you do with your deeply conscientious writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. PRIVATE NOTE: I was hospitalized early in the morning of June 7th with a heart attack, unusual as I have no cardiac risk factors and I am a small, thin person. I now have a stent in my heart in one of the arteries. I was told if I had come in any later I would be dead. I got out last Thursday the 9th and went back to work yesterday. Technology has come a long way over the years.

    I do love these war stories. They tell me yes, things can come out of left field and hit you, but it is possible to fight or figure the way out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “The 188th had some casualties while confronting the enemy, but not one person was killed during the raid. ” That is amazing! Thank you for posting these stories, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. GP sorry for being off-topic and feel free to delete this but I decided to shut down PoliticsRewritten some folks do not like to hear about God and Politics. As a Christian, they go hand in hand. So I parked that blog for good.

    I did begin a new blog. I don’t know you so I don’t know if you’d like it or not. But I wanted you to know who I am when I post under this alias. I am the gal from PoliticsRewritten now on blogspot as Don’t Walk Alone https://dontwalkalone2022.blogspot.com

    No pressure to visit. Just want you to know I will still come around here. I really like your blog. I also respect the service of all vets. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What an amazing operation. I keep thinking about the limitations of the communication systems available to them, and how well they did despite it all. It’s a good reminder that high tech isn’t always necessary for great success! Beyond that, no deaths? Even more amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “the G.I.s had over 2,000 excited and hysterical people to contend with.” I’ll bet… I can only imagine, G. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

  9. FAREWELL SALUTES –
    Edward L. Blout – North East Arkansas; US Army, WWII

    Should read “Edward L. Blount (Saint Charles, Missouri), born in Pocahontas, Missouri, who passed away on May 27, 2022 at the age of 94.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, I will edit. Can’t imagine what obit I was reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The problem is usually in the underlying sources. I’m sort of a name-nut, having once read the LA Central Phone Directory for amusement. Thus any name that stands out gets a second look from me. “Blout” would be a very unusual name, outnumbered by the “Blounts” ten-to-one or more. A peek at similar entries revealed “Blout” as an ordinary typo in the source material. Just keep doing what you’re doing, GP, and know that the Farewell Salutes are being read closely by at least one subscriber.

        Liked by 2 people

        • That makes it all worthwhile! My cousin read the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, but even though I have always been an avid reader – I was never as ambitious as you two!

          Like

  10. Weer een mooi stukje geschiedenis en wat een moedige mannen komen hier even op de voorgrond

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bedankt voor je interesse in deze geschiedenis, MaryLou. Ik betwijfel of we ooit nog een generatie zoals deze mannen zullen zien.

      Like

  11. This was the right understanding of beein in duty, and taking responsibility for the comrades. Sometimes a very horrible decision. Thanks and best wishes, GP! xx Michael

    Liked by 3 people

  12. GP

    The 31 men led by Lt George Skau were the 11th Airborne Recon platoon. They split into teams. Each team had a number of guerillas attached. Terry Santos, one of the Recon Platoon men told me that the actual firefight started before B company could get to the camp from the DZ. It wasn’t clear to Terry who fired first but he thought it was either a Filipino guerilla or a Japanese sentry who spotted men infiltrating the camp. Of course, all hell broke loose!

    On another note, hopefully, you’ll be able to link to the video of the re-activation of the proud 11th Airborne Division at Ft Wainwright on 6/6/22. It is now known as the 11th AB “Arctic Airborne”.

    The “patch” is back!

    Regards, Craig Davis

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, thank you for adding to the post, Craig. I notified The 11th Airborne Association of the upcoming activation, which actually [finally] happened last Monday, on 6 May, so the news could be put into the next “Voice”. I was happily surprised to hear the news and couldn’t wait to have everyone know!
      I appreciate you keeping me up to date. Where can I locate the video?

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Los Banos is a remarkable rescue mission in that no American men got killed. It was one of the most daring missions in the military history. Well-planned and executed!

    Liked by 5 people

  14. This story is awesome. The rescue kept me on my toes.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. The fact that not one US soldier was killed speaks well of some very careful planning, and a very efficient implementation of those plans by brave men.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. An interesting follow up to your earlier post. What captured my attention, though, was the reference to the round helmets. My sister works in marketing for a returned serviceman’s club, which means she is in charge of displays as well as other things. On our recent Anzac Day, she raided the storeroom, and included some helmets that to me, initially, looked German. I asked her to find out more, but am still waiting for an answer, LOL. Perhaps some WWII American issue has found its way into their memorabilia.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. A brave rescue from Hell

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Jumping into a zone of action would have been quite dangerous. I would think that many would have been shot on their way down but perhaps they landed ahead of the action. This all sounds so dangerous and so many lives were put at risk.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, they were in grave danger, which is why Gen. Swing planned it as well as he possibly could.

      Like

    • The chances were slim that those parachuting would be fired on.
      Information provided by escaped prisoner Pete Miles established
      that during a specific time period the bulk of the guards were engaged
      in calisthenics with their weapons stacked together instead of next to
      the soldiers. The rest of the sentries were guarding the prisoners.
      The routine nature of the calisthenics made it possible to adjust the
      timing of the jump so that the threat of ground fire on the parachutists
      was almost non-existent.

      Further, the drop zone was a fair jaunt from the camp and the sentries
      were being fired at by the recon platoon and guerillas and, lastly, the
      parachute jump altitude was only 400-450 ft from the C47s. That is about
      as low a jump as possible. The troopers said there wasn’t even time
      for a full pendulum swing before hitting the ground after the chutes
      opened.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. What a superb operation!

    Liked by 6 people

  20. Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News and commented:
    Today is the 6th of June – D-Day in Europe, 1944.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Using 39 vehicles to rescue 2,122 prisoners and set them free was an amazing achievement. It deserves far more publicity than it has ever received. It would have made a really great film with a couple of the usual 1950s or 60s suspects such as Kirk Douglas or Burt Lancaster as the paratroopers’ officers. It would have been a very unusual war film too, in that it had a really happy ending and nobody on our side was killed. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.

    Liked by 6 people

  22. Thanks for bringing us this story, GP.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. It’s amazing how committed these warriors were. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Incredible rescue operation! Amazing story!

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Layla Elizabeth Kanas-Gonzalez

    What a most interesting post. I know little about these sorts but truly enjoy learning about it. Thanks! 😊

    Liked by 5 people

    • Unfortunately our school systems are only able to skim over history and don’t adequately show younger generations how rough they really it the first half of the 20th Century.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Layla Elizabeth Kanas-Gonzalez

        That is so true, GP. It is a shame how watered down, omitted, and misleading history that is being taught in schools today. Certainly nothing like history whilst I was in school. It is a real travesty and disservice to our youth. Today the youth is so undereducated and seriously sad to say bordering on ignorant due to their stupidity.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. I can only imagine the extreme motivation helping these men face long odd without question. A small miracle that no one was killed. Some of those prisoners surely would have died if they hadn’t been rescued.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. It’s amazing that any POWs actually survived the Japanese camps.

    Liked by 4 people

    • They had underestimated just how many POWs they would have – for any of their camps and being as their own people were starving – I totally agree with you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Wonderful rescue. Happy D-Day, GP.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. What an incredible rescue!

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Amazing operation! Well-planned and executed, successful because of the skill and fortitude of the men doing the fighting. Great that they were able to rescue those POWs.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Could have gone so wrong!

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Today is the 78th Anniversary of D-Day. Please take a moment and Remember the Sacrifice and Courage of all. Thanks GP for all you do to Honor the Memory of the WW2 Generation.❤️️👍

    Liked by 6 people

  33. This shows the importance of clockwork and speed so as to minimize friendly casualties. It’s like setting off a row of dominoes.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks you, Swabby. Gen. Swing designed this so well that it is still studied in West Point today. It is the epitome of MOSSCOMES. (to be explained in a later post.)

      Liked by 2 people

  34. Thank you, Ned. Greatly appreciated.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Los Banos part 2 – Nelsapy

  2. Pingback: Los Banos part 2 | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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