Category Archives: Uncategorized

Veteran’s Day ~ Remembrance

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“FOR TOO LONG, TOO MANY OF US HAVE PAID SCANT ATTENTION TO THE SACRIFICE OF A BRAVE FEW IN OUR MIDST.  IT IS UNHEALTHY FOR A NATION TO BECOME DETACHED FROM THOSE WHO SECURE IT.”_______Howard Schultz, author of For Love of Country

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I first want to give my personal THANK YOU to each and every veteran that fights for peace and freedom!!!  I tear up and become speechless at the mere sight of any one of you!!

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 Here in the United States of America we do our best to convey our gratitude to these men and women for giving so much of themselves for our safety on this day.  In such nations as: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, India, Mauritius, South Africa and many in Europe, a day set aside is called Remembrance Day and was recently observed.

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Our fellow blogger @ Parent Rap led me to this –  100 Ways to Honor a Veteran – if you care to view it – CLICK HERE.

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FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

by: Cadet Major Kelly Strong, Air Force Junior ROTC, Homestead Senior High, Homestead, FL 1988

watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.
 
looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out in any crowd.
 
thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mother’s tears?
 
How many pilot’s planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldier’s graves?
No, freedom is not free.
 
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a certain chill.
 
I wondered how many times
that Taps meant “Amen,”
When a flag draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
 
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
 
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
O unmarked graves in Arlington
No, freedom is not free.
 
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Farewell Salutes –

Andrew Byers – Rolesville, NC; US Army, Afghanistan, 10th Special Forces Group, Capt., Bronze Star, Purple Heart, KIA

Jason Finan – Anaheim, CA; US Navy, Iraq, Chief Petty Officer, KIA veterans_day

Ryan Gloyer – Denton, PA; US Army, Afghanistan, 10th Special Forces Group, Sgt., Bronze Star, Purple Heart, KIA

William Hobbs – Marietta, GA; US Army, WWII, PTO, 187th Reg/11th Airborne & later 82nd difference-memorial-veterans-day-640x480Airborne (Ret.)

Matthew Lewellen – Kirksville, MI; US Army, Jordan, Special Forces, SSgt., KIA

Kevin McEnroe – Tucson, AZ; US Army, Afghanistan, Jordan, KIA

James Moriarty – Kerrville TX, US Army, Jordan, KIA

Dakota Stump – Avon, IN; US Army, 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood

Adam Thomas – Lyon County, MN; US Army, Afghanistan, !0th Special Forces A/B, SSgt., Bronze Star, Purple Heart, KIA

David Whitcher – Bradford, NH; US Army, SSgt., 1st Special Warfare Training Group

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US Marine Corps Birthday ~ 10 November 1775

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What does the celebration mean to Marines across the globe?  To General John Lejeune it meant a great deal.  On 1 November 1921, he issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921, which provided a summary of the history, mission and traditions of the Corps and directed that the order be read to every command each subsequent year on 10 November.

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To see 29 facts you may not know about Marines – check out the USO blog HERE!!!

Illustration of the first successful amphibious operation by the Continental Marines. WWII USMC combat artist, Col. Don Dickson

At the Marine Corps Ball, one key piece of the ceremony is to present the first piece of cake to the oldest Marine in the room, who in turn gives the next to the junior Marine.  This symbolic gesture is the passing of experience and knowledge from the veteran to the recruit.  We should all emulate their example and take part in history.

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To all those who are able – Enjoy the fruits of your labor and revel in the spectacle and unabashed camaraderie that is the U.S. Marine Corps!!

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (R) w/ Capt. Greg Youngberg, of Boynton Bch, FL; Aviator of the Year for USMC

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US Marine Corps [USMC] [Emblem][1_5]

Recruitment poster from early 1900's

Thank You

No words necessary.

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Leatherneck Humor – 01b89b817f7687eadf45c7e60e0252f8

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Farewell Salutes –

Marvin Jackson – Speedway, IN; USMC, WWII, PTO, Cpl.

Robert Juergens – Cleveland, OH; USMC, Korea120507-m-0000c-005

Harry Lord – Jacksonville, NC; USMC, GySgt. (Ret.)

Austin Maloney – Jersey City, NJ; USMC, Korea

Eugene May – Scranton, PA; USMC, WWII, PTO

John O’Leary – Flushing, NY; USMC, Korea, Purple Heart

Leon “Red” Rickman – Wichita, KS; USMC, WWII, PTO

James Sheehan – Framingham, MA; USMC, Lt.Col. (Ret.)

Sandra Shepard – Cincinnati, OH; USMC, Vietnam

Donald Shockey – Savannah, GA; USMC, Lt.Col. (Ret.)

Jerry Vovcsko – Springfield Center, NY; USMC

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Smitty ~ Letter IX

New Guinea, WWII

New Guinea, WWII

Letter IX                                            “A Day’s Venture”                           Monday 6/26/44

Dear Mom,

Yesterday, being Sunday, a day of rest, I decided to ride around this place and see something.  I made up my mine though that this sightseeing tour of mine, this time, would be done as a civilian completely forgetting I’m in the army.  You have to do this in order to see the place in its true light, otherwise if you don’t all you can see is hardship and work.  With my mind cleared of Khaki, I set forth in a jeep with a buddy of mine; who I dare say couldn’t see the sense of our venture.

As we drove along in the still quiet, the thought kept coming to me of the enormous job the boys before us had to confront and overcome.  Here and there along the way you could see some old emplacement or deserted village.  These villages were really something to see with their straw-thatched roofs and open sided houses.  We wouldn’t call them shed, but that is just what they looked like.

New Guinea 10/24/44

Smitty in New Guinea

One can readily understand why the authors of those travelogues really go all out when describing these islands.  You forget the heat as cooling breezes blow over you from the coast and the shade of the giant coconut trees gradually engulf you.

We passed one spot close to the coast that suddenly shook us with the horrible realization of our place and mission.  It wasn’t large or spread out, but all was peaceful and quiet though men were gaily chatting and swimming nearby.  We entered by an archway on which was inscribed, “Japanese Cemetery.”  We passed now upon some of the little white markers all neatly lined up and lettered.  Although they were once an active enemy, one could not help but see the shame and waste of war.

The water off Lae, New Guinea

The water off Lae, New Guinea

We looked around the beach for a while, then decided to go in for a swim.  The water here is amazingly warm and clear.  You could never believe it unless you could see it as I have.  How crystal clear and immune of blemish this water here is.  Why, to peer down 25 feet and see bottom is really an easy thing to do.  The bottom is sand, sand at its finest and whitest literally covered with shells of every shape and color with here and there a grotesque piece of coral.  You can really pick out the coral as it shows up a faint green while the shells throw all colors of the rainbow up at you until your eyes are completely dazzled by the many-colored lights.

By this time, the sun was well on its way toward the horizon and dusk rapidly approaching.  Here and there a faint star twinkled until suddenly the sky was almost completely covered with thousands.  The moon finally appeared in all its bright glory and reflected itself a hundred times over on the waves before us.  The end of the day had come and with it also my venture into a world never to be forgotten.  This day will long be remembered and stored with the rest of my most treasured memories.

Good night!  And may God bless you,  Everett

PS.  I shall write to Joe Dumb as soon as I send this letter on its way.  Be good and take care of yourself.

 

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Military Humor –

misslerange

"And, that's an order!"

“And, that’s an order!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

Alvin Ake – Perkins, OK; US Army, WWII, 324th Infantry Regiment

Raphael Clothier – Canberra, AUS; RA Air Force # 20871, Cpl.vietnam-memorial-640x360

Robert Hoover – Nashville, TN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 52nd Fighter Group, pilot, POW (escaped)

Richard Jacobs – Waikato, NZ; NZ Expeditionary Force # 622312, RNZ Army, WWII

Thomas Kearns – Woburn, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, T5 antiaircraft gunner

George Martini – Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS Essex

John Osika – Port Vue, PA; US Army, WWII

Joyce “Lucky” Parker – Bartow, FL; US Army, WWII

James Smith – Liberty, MS; USMC, WWII, PTO, Pfc, KIA (Tarawa)

Charles Wilkinson – Ormond-By-The-Sea, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers/11th Airborne Div.

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The Firebombing of Tokyo – Part 2

As fighting on Saipan continued, other units of the Allied forces were busy elsewhere. Mustang Koji’s posts offer an insight from both sides.

Masako and Spam Musubi

Fifi 1 Fifi – the last flying B-29 Superfortress in the world. Taken by me flying over my house on November 13, 2010. Copyright Koji D. Kanemoto

Superfortress.

Or the “Superfort”.

That’s what we called them here in the States; nicknames for the Boeing B-29 bomber.

My aunt called them “地獄からのトンボ” or dragonfly from hell.

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Development

The development of the B-29 actually started before WWII began for the US – in 1939.  Perhaps there were some shenanigans back then but Boeing had engineered a pressurized cockpit for their B-17 Flying Fortress (from whence the nickname Superfortress hailed from) for the USAAF.  Conveniently, the USAAF put together in 1939 a call for a new bomber capable of 400 mph while carrying a 20,000 pound payload.  The B-29 was born.

frye Destroyed Frye Packing Plant. Boeing archives.

Her development was not smooth.  Indeed, it was the most advanced aircraft design of its time with…

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June 1944 (4)

Tanapag, Saipan, June 1944. Image by Life photographer W. Eugene Smith

Tanapag, Saipan, June 1944. Image by Life photographer W. Eugene Smith

19-20 June – the second stage of the naval battle in the Philippine Sea, the Japanese fleet finally had come within range of Adm. Spruance and his carrier aircraft went airborne. [between the Spruance fleet and Mitscher’s, there were 956 aircraft]  Even as the enemy retreated, the aircraft, running low on fuel, engaged in an even larger “turkey shoot”. [differences claim conflicting numbers, but to estimate: Japan had 450 carrier planes and 300 land based – with a loss of 550-645.  The US lost 123].  The Japanese carrier IJN Hiyo sank after 2 torpedo hits and bombs damaged the Zuikaku and the Chiyoda.  Night rescues for US aircraft crews went out for the survivors.

Battle of Saipan, June 1944

Battle of Saipan, June 1944

A third wave of attacks caused more losses for the enemy and on the fourth wave Adm. Ozawa barely had over a hundred aircraft remaining.  Many of were diverted due to a false sighting over Guam and were caught on the ground as they were ordered to refuel.  The Japanese admiral dictated a letter of resignation to Adm. Toyoda, who refused to read it, instead, he took complete responsibility for the defeat.

20-30 June – a bitter dispute arose between the US Army and Marine brass when the Army’s 27th became stalled at “Death Valley” on Saipan, but the Marines were at a standstill as well.   Marine General Holland Smith, unsatisfied with the performance of the 27th Division, relieved its commander, Army Major General Ralph C. Smith. However, General Holland Smith had not inspected the terrain over which the 27th was to advance. Essentially, it was a valley surrounded by hills and cliffs under Japanese control.

Tanapag, Saipan, June '44. by W.Eugene Smith

Medic seeing to wounded while GI in background foxhole continues to fight. Tanapag, Saipan, June ’44. by W.Eugene Smith

The 27th took heavy casualties and eventually, under a plan developed by General Ralph Smith and implemented after his relief, had one battalion hold the area while two other battalions successfully flanked the Japanese.  With what remained of the Imperial Combined Fleet heading back to Okinawa, Gen. Saito issued orders for a suicidal defense.  This caused the US troops more and more resistance as they pushed north on the island.

The Marines eventually broke through and took Mount Tapotchau and the 27th entered Death Valley.  General Saito, with only about 1,200 men and 3 tanks remaining of their ground force, radioed out that Saipan could not be held.

An investigation ensued after the Saipan defeat by the Japanese General Staff’s Conduct of War Section.  Col. Sei Matsutani concluded: “…now there is no hope for Japan to reverse the unfavorable war situation.  The state of Germany today is about the same as Japan’s and grows gradually worse.  It is time for us to end the war.”  The General Staff agreed with the findings, but forbade the colonel from presenting the case to the Prime Minister Tojo.  The outspoken officer did so despite the warning and found himself transferred to China.

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Military Humor – 

Try to say something funny, Joe.

Try to say something funny, Joe.

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Farewell Salutes – 

George Anfang – Maplewood, MN; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Gettysburg Cemetery

Gettysburg Cemetery

Joseph Cooley Jr. – Waynesboro, GA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Louis Gust – Chicago, IL; US Coast Guard, WWII

Raymond Haerry – W.Warwick, RI; US Navy, WWII, USS Ranger & Arizona, Pearl Harbor survivor

Donn Fendler – Rye, NY; US Navy, WWII / US Army Special Forces, Vietnam

Steven Loy Jr. – Houston, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division, 1st Lt.

Kenneth McCurdy – Lloydminster, CAN; RC Navy, WWII

Eric Roediger (106) – W. AUS; RA Army, WWII, 2/3 Machine-Gun Batt., POW, Death Railroad survivor

Robert Ricci – Bristol, CT; US Navy, WWII, USS Baker, Franklin Bell Tolovana

Richard Sheerer – Kansas City, KS; US Army, WWII, ETO, 83rd Infantry Division

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Smitty ~ Letter VIII

Troopers of the 11th Airborne heading out for a jump

Troopers of the 11th Airborne heading out for a jump

At this point in time, the jungle war training for the 11th Airborne Division had live firing and everything was becoming a bit clearer, a bit more realistic.  Yet, Smitty still does not mention any of this in his letters home.

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the Pyramidal tent

the Pyramidal tent

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Letter VIII                                G.I. Labor                                         6/17/44

Dear Mom,

Work!  Work!  And more work.  After a week here, we still can’t figure when it is all going to end.  We put tents up, then take them down.  That is our biggest problem — tents.

The War Department in Washington has its offices in a large air-conditioned building costing hundreds of thousands of the taxpayer’s money.  In this building, they have all the inventing geniuses of the land.  All they do is design equipment and little what-nots for us.  After that, it is submitted to the boards of Strategy, Health, Welfare, etc.

Now, some poor weak underfed inventor designed in a moment of frenzy and excitement, the Pyramidal Tent number M.6606.  It passed everything and every board with flying colors — until finally — we got hold of it.  We put them up with the loss of tons of perspiration and energy, only to find out later that someone, someplace around here didn’t like the way they looked.  That job of putting the tents up was simple and much too easy.  They sent down a set of blue prints that reminded me of the Empire State Building with the Holland Tunnel thrown in.

Well, next day, bright and early we arose wearily to find that we were to be split up into different sections such as log cutters, tent putter-uppers, log setters and log finders.  We, the pole setter-uppers, sat down and pondered over the blue prints.  We had to raise the center pole 16 inches, while on the four corners erect eight-foot poles.  Then, connecting these  poles at the top of 16-foot logs.

Sounds very easy, but for some reason or other, the trees grew in the jungle across a stream which all in all made log cutting and finding an exasperating business.  Undaunted though, the men went in laden down with axes, saws and prismatic and soon logs were being cut — also fingers, arms and legs.  It wasn’t long before we had the amount of lumber necessary to start work on the first domicile, house or tent.  We were all set and ready, four men were holding up the corner poles and one man steadied the center pole.  The whistle blows for us to fall in and be counted.  We fall in, the corners fall out and the blame tent fell down.  Oh Well!!  What the heck, tomorrow’s another day and after all, the boys that belonged in that tent can sleep out.

This routine kept up for days until finally all our tents were erected and set.  “Looks good,” we all said and good it was, but not to some of the higher-ups who again decided the tents were now too high and would we please, under threat of court-martial, lower the 4 corner posts to 5 feet.  (Oh death, where is thy sting?)  Upon completing this last detail, they then decided the tents should all be moved and then lined up on a new line.  This has been going on for so long that each morning we have to stop, think and hold ourselves in check, for a few times we caught men automatically tearing down tents or putting up poles where there wasn’t anything to put up.

“The heat!” they said, and then gave us half a day off, only to try to squeeze it out of us the next afternoon.  Well, maybe they can get blood out of a stone.

“Well, that’s all for that in this letter as I don’t want to tire you out completely listening to some of our other minor details that are stuck in here and there, such as digging latrine holes, building officer’s tents and officer knickknacks, polishing up, which we are experts at, K.P. duty, inspections, washing clothes and at night making little things for ourselves such as tables, desks, clothes racks, rings out of coins, wristwatch bands and loads of other do-dads.  I guess though the hardest thing is trying all day not to do all this work and go on the gold-bricking standard.  That last line would be understood by any buck private or G.I. as absolute fact and truth.

Wearily I end this letter and sleepily say regards to all. 

With love and kisses,  Everett

 

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Military Humor –

JOIN THE ARMY THEY SAID... SEE THE WORLD, THEY SAID...

JOIN THE ARMY THEY SAID… SEE THE WORLD, THEY SAID…

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Farewell Salutes –

Missing Man formation

Missing Man formation

Clinton Anderson – Portland, OR; US Army, WWII, ETO

Mariano Berona – Santa Ilocos Sur, PI; Philippine Scouts US Army, WWII, Sgt. (Ret. 22 years), POW, Bronze Star

Gideon “Indian” Checote – Okmulgee, OK; US Navy, WWII & Korea, Navy Chief (Ret.)

Bobby Davis – Dallas, TX; US Navy, WWII, PTO, pharmacist’s mate

Milton ‘Snow’ Fairclough – Perth, AUS, RA Army, WWII, ETO & CBI, 2/3 Machine Gun Batt., POW, Death Railroad survivor

Albin Hammond – Polson, MT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, B/457 Artillery/11th Airborne Division

George Kahan – Fort William, CAN; RC Navy, WWII, HMCS Oakville

Earl ‘Bud’ Moore – Springfield, MA; US Army, Vietnam, LT

Milford Ort – N.Tonawanda, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

Wayne Williams – Nashville, TN; US Army, WWII & Korea, Purple Heart

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Baker Company Portrait

So that we will remember!

First Battalion, 24th Marines

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Photo Source: Martindale Family Tree, uploaded by user “plaxamate1”

A neat souvenir photo of four Baker Company Marines, probably taken late in 1943, and a good representation of the casualties suffered by 1/24 during the war. None of these four men was in combat for more than five cumulative days, yet two were killed and the other two received crippling wounds.

Standing at left is Edward Duclos of West Springfield, Massachusetts. PFC Duclos was killed on Saipan, June 16 1944.

Beside him is Homer L. “Drummer” Hager. Hager, a bazooka man, was wounded in action on Namur, February 1 1944. He returned to the company as a bazooka team leader in a demolitions squad, but was hit a second time, also on June 16, and was permanently removed from combat.

Squatting at left is Ellis Thomas. “Wiley” Thomas, a rifleman, was promoted to corporal following the…

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June 1944 (3)

Saipan landing

Saipan landing

15-20 June – H-hour for the landing on Saipan was 0840 hours.  A protective reef, some distance offshore made it necessary to use amphibian tractors (amtracs), for the landing.  The US Army 534th and 773rd Amphibian Tractor battalions, along with the Marine amtracs (making it 350 vehicles), put 4,000 4th Marines ashore in the first 20 minutes.  The US Army 708th Armored Amphibian Battalion spearheaded the landing and blasted a path to a ridge-line running parallel to the shoreline.  Gen. Saito’s 43rd Division was not prepared for all this.

LVT's attacking Saipan, 1944

LVT’s attacking Saipan, 1944

When opposition did come it was artillery fire from Hill 500 on the slopes of Mount Tapotchau and heavy casualties resulted.  At 0300, the evening of 15-16 June, about 1,000 of the enemy came charging down the hill with 36 tanks.  Gen. Saito sent a signal to Tokyo announcing his counterattack to “annihilate the enemy in one swoop.”  But the US destroyers delivered such accurate shell fire, the assault was halted and 15 Japanese aircraft were shot down as they attempted to hit the ships.  Saito decided to await assistance from the Imperial Navy before taking on another offensive.  On the 16th, the US Army 27th Infantry Division landed.

Red Beach 2, Saipan

Red Beach 2, Saipan

Aslito airfield when it was still in Japanese hands, 1944

Aslito airfield when it was still in Japanese hands, 1944

Despite serious opposition, the US troops captured the Aslito airfield in the southern area (later called Iseley).  Adm. Spruance sailed to join up with Lee’s battleships and the returning TF-58.  As the 5th Fleet Commander, he radioed out: “OUR AIR WILL FIRST KNOCK OUT ENEMY CARRIERS… THEN WILL ATTACK ENEMY BATTLESHIPS AND CRUISERS… LEE’S BATTLE LINE WILL DESTROY ENEMY FLEET… ACTION AGAINST A RETREATING ENEMY MUST BE PUSHED BY ALL HANDS…”

Radio direction findings spotted the Japanese force 600 miles west of Guam heading straight for the patrol line of 6 US submarines.  Their orders came directing from CINCPAC: “SHOOT FIRST AND REPORT LATER.”  During the battle, the USS Albacore torpedoed the largest carrier of the Imperial Navy, the IJN Taiko.  One hit caused gas fumes to build up like a bomb.  The Taiko would continue to sail for 3½ hours, then she blew apart.  The second torpedo was spotted by Warrant Officer, Akio Komatsu, who dove his plane into it.

The submarine USS Cavalla, under Commander Herman Kessler, moved in on the IJN Shokaku and released six torpedoes – 3 of which hit.

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Adm. Ozawa believed his battle plan would be supported by 500 land-based aircraft, when in fact, Adm. Kurita had sent his planes out to dispense any diversionary attacks.  US Adm. Mitscher’s TF-58 Hellcats and Avengers hit Guam in what would be labeled by the pilots as “The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.”

Fighter plane contrails, Great Marianas Turkey Shoot

Fighter plane contrails, Great Marianas Turkey Shoot

US aircraft had shot down 25 of the enemy force of 68 before they reached the fleet.  Those 43 that did get through were met by hellish anti-aircraft fire and only 27 escaped.

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Military Humor – 10917034_508938132578654_4177597521600009923_n-577x640

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Farewell Salutes – 

Russell ‘Buck’ Adkins – Sweetland, WV; US Army, WWII, PTO, Engineers

Anthony Baldino – Dania, FL; US Navy, WWIImm105-3

William Bolin Crow – Abilene, TX; US Army, Korea, 1st Sgt., 187th RCT

John Eresman – Fox Valley, CAN; RC Army, WWII, Prince of Wales Rangers

Nona Gabriel – St. John, KY; US Army WAC, WWII, ETO,  11th Field Hosp., nurse

James Hankins – Memphis, TN; US Navy, WWII, USS Bradford

Donnie Hendrickson – Janesville, WI; US Army, Korea, Cpl., KIA

Richard Pittman – Stockton, CA; USMC, Vietnam, MSgt. (Ret. 21 years), Medal of Honor

Victor VanFleet – Kalamazoo, MI; US Navy, WWII

Burton Wallace – Plymouth, IN; US Army, WWII, medic

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Smitty and the 11th Airborne Division

The origin of the nickname, “Angels” for the 11th Airborne has always been up for debate.  At Dobodura, New Guinea, while unloading the supplies off the ships that were constantly pulling into port, it became well-known that the troopers of the 11th A/B were a bit more light-fingered than the other units.  The distribution of the food and war materiel was severely unbalanced, with the bulk of it going to the troopers.  It was definitely at this time that they acquired the title of “Swing and his 8,000 Thieves.”  My father and many other troopers believe that the title remained with them up until the release of the internees at Los Baños prison on Luzon, when a nun looked up and said that the parachutists looked like “angels sent to save us.”

One other theory I found, while still on New Guinea, a senior officers questioned General Swing about the uneven delivery of supplies.  Swing , with a rather tongue-in-cheek attitude, replied that it could not possibly be due to his “angels.”

And yet, there is another idea on the subject.  The troopers, with their antics, were often in trouble.  After a rather rough weekend, a senior officer asked just how many of the 11th airborne’s “little angels” were in the stockade.  The reply, of course,  was, “none of my angels are.”

No matter what the reason or nickname, this undermanned and under-equipped division trudged on.

Dobodura, New Guinea, 11th A/B

Dobodura, New Guinea, 11th A/B

You may notice in Smitty’s letters that he will not mention his rigorous training or even combat in his later ones.  I am unaware as to whether it was concern for his mother’s feelings or censorship restrictions.  As a child I asked if I would ever catch him in one of the old news reels and he said that he surely doubted it.  He made a point to avoid any photographers in the event his mother caught sight of the pictures of him in combat.  No matter how hard things had become, he found something else to talk about, but he did have a tongue-in-cheek humor that could both amuse someone even while he was complaining.

At this point in time, the jungle war training had live firing and everything was becoming a bit clearer, a bit more realistic.

Major Burgess left the units temporarily to set up a jump school.  This would give the glidermen and Burgess himself an opportunity to qualify as paratroopers.  The parachutists began their glider training at Soputa airstrip that was no longer in regular use.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

glider_infantry_poster

Okay - so now we go to Plan-B.....

Okay – so now we go to Plan-B…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Max Bolton – Taranaki, NZ; RNZ Navy # N455266, WWII031%20fallen%20soldiers%20memorial%20old%20north%20church

Carl E. Clark – Columbus, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th A/B Div. & Korea, Sgt., 187th RCT

Elizabeth Dow Crawford (101) – Tomahawk, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

James Elwood – Wichita, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Richard Gamlen – San Francisco, CA; US Army, WWII, ETO, MSgt.

Peter Kizer – Princeton, IL; US Air Force

Albert Movitz – Brooklyn, NY; US Navy, WWII

Peter Raymond – Norristown, PA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Herbert Stone – Pine Bluff, AR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI

Lee Travelstead – Holland, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 101st & 82nd A/B, Silver Star

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Saipan Beach H-Hour, in Color

Pacific Paratrooper has reached the H-Hour of the Saipan invasion and nothing tells the story better than this post and the short film included by John R. Bruning!

Being as some people have been unable to see the video, I have included another.


The American Warrior

USMC Series WWII Saipan 1st wave hits beach LVT 061544  (1 of 1)In just two hours on June 15, 1944, three hundred amphibious tractors (LVT’s) carried over eight thousand heavily armed U.S. Marines onto Saipan Island in the Marianas Chain. It was a masterful display of amphibious warfare tactics and doctrine, but it also set the stage for a brutal, close range battle for control of Saipan’s sandy west coast. In places, the Marines found themselves pinned down by intense mortar, artillery and automatic weapons fire, and it took hours just to claw a foothold ashore. But by nightfall, the Marines had established themselves enough to repel the first of many Japanese counter-attacks.Marines struggling on the beach at saipan 5x7

This short film clip is raw footage shot by one of the Marine combat cameramen who went ashore with one of the first waves. It is silent, as was most of the footage shot, but that only adds to the poignancy of these scenes. The images are striking, not only…

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