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May 1943 (2)

4th Infantry, Massacre Bay

4th Infantry, Massacre Bay

11 May – the 11th Air Force flew missions to support US forces landing on Attu: 1 air-ground liaison sortie by 1 B-24; a B-24 supply sortie dropping supplies to ground forces; and 5 attack missions, flown by 11 B-24’s and 12 B-25’s. The first attack mission could not find the target and instrument-bombed targets which include the runway, radar, submarine base, and camp area. Because of the poor visibility the next two missions hit Kiska, where the runway and Main Camp were attacked. Two B-24’s then bombed the Chichagof Harbor area through fog while another dropped leaflets on Attu.

12-30 May – The submarines, Nautilius  and Narwhol, led  RAdm. Francis W, Rockwell’s 29-vessel fleet, including the battleship Idaho and the reconstructed Pennsylvania and Nevada, under concealment of a heavy mist.  Col. Yamazaki’s 2,400 men were well dug-in at their positions as the US 11,000 man 7th Infantry Division made an amphibious landing with the 17th Infantry Regiment spearheading.

5 Castner Cutthroats

5 Castner Cutthroats

The US also employed Alaskans to act as scouts; they were called Castner’s Cutthroats, after their commander.  An in-depth article on these commandos can be found here at History.net.

Poor beach equipment for the tundra territory, frostbite and some having been trained in the Mohave Desert for African combat all went to aide the enemy.  Both sides received heavy casualties and it would take 2 weeks to contain the resistance around Massacre Bay.

Attu, May 1943

Attu, May 1943

The US forces took the high ground overlooking Holtz Bay on the 17th.  Despite the Arctic weather, P-38 Lightening fighter-bombers supported the ground attack through the Sarana Pass and approached Chicagof Harbor where the remaining enemy was held up.  Attu Village was then wiped out and the P-38s shot down Japanese bombers.  On the 24th, after hand-to-hand combat, Chicagof Valley was cleared.

The last 1,000 enemy troops made a final banzai charge and initially overran 2 US command posts.  On their last charge, screaming, “Japanese drink blood wine!” the fire power proved to be too much for them.  What Japanese forces were not killed, committed suicide.  Only 28 surrendered.

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Current News – 

Remains of US soldier returned from North Korea.

Cpl. Robert V. Witt

Cpl. Robert V. Witt

BELLFLOWER, Calif. — The remains of a formerly missing U.S. soldier have been returned to California nearly 65 years after he is thought to have died, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.  Army Cpl. Robert V. Witt, a 20-year-old Bellflower man missing since the Korean War, was returned earlier this week to his sister Laverne Minnick, 82.  Witt will be buried with full military honors at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier on Friday.

 In late November 1950, Witt was assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said in a statement.  They were attacked by Chinese forces at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. On Dec. 1, 1950, remnants of the 31st Regimental Combat Team tried moving to a position south of the reservoir, but the next day, Witt was reported missing in action, the statement said.

In 1953, during prisoner of war exchanges, repatriated U.S. soldiers told officials that Witt had been captured during the battle and died from malnutrition. It’s believed he died on Jan. 31, 1951.  This article was retrieved from the Stars & Stripes.

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COLD Humor – 36fac507dcd06672a6b3077f8e3ec4aa

 

winter-humor

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Clarence Amos – Columbus, MT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQ/11th A/B

Maynard Dawson – Terre Haute, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 221st Medical

Aleutians, 1943

Aleutians, 1943

Leroy Ewing – Urice, MO; US Army, Korea, F Co/187th RCT

John France – Denver, CO; US Air Force, Vietnam, MajGen. (Ret.), 239 combat missions

Cecil ‘Gene’ Judy – Kansas City, KS; USMC, WWII

Richard Karrer – Chicago, IL; US Army, Korea

Edward McGowan – Jupiter, FL; US Army

Victor Oros – Aurora, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS Seminole

Bryan Rousseau – Woodsocket, RI; US Army

Taj Sareen – San Francisco, CA; USMC, Middle East, Major, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

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