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Current News – WWII Chapel in Australia + Purple Heart Day

St. Christopher’s

ROCKHAMPTON, Australia — As 33,000 troops take part in Talisman Saber war games near Rockhampton along the central Queensland coast, a small chapel overlooking a pasture serves as a reminder of when about 70,000 U.S. soldiers called the city home.

The nondenominational Saint Christophers Chapel, built in 1943 by the Army’s 542nd Engineer Battalion, is the only structure remaining from when Rockhampton served as a springboard and training location for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s World War II island-hopping campaign. The city hosted the 1st Cavalry Division and the 24th, 32nd and 41st infantry divisions on a half-dozen camps between 1942-44.

Along with the open-air, pavilion-style chapel, the grounds include a band rotunda dedicated to a servicemember who helped maintain the chapel decades ago. A concrete pillar from an artillery declination station used by 41st Infantry Division howitzers stands at the chapel’s foot, a

Cliff Hudson, 79, of Sawtell, New South Wales, first visited the chapel about 30 years ago because it shares its name with his son.  “My wife always wanted our daughter to get married here because of the Christopher name,” he said.

Hudson said he is drawn by the chapel’s interior boards listing names, sporting events and results of competitions from the 1940s. The boards were taken from a nearby war-era sports field and placed inside and U.S. and Australian flags and seals adorn the gates and interior.

Saint Christopher’s nearly deteriorated in the years after WWII. Vandals destroyed parts of the chapel in 1959, prompting locals and the 41st Infantry Division Association to start caring for the site. Today, the chapel and its grounds are immaculately maintained, and church services are held each year on the Sunday closest to the Fourth of July.

Julie Henderson, 77, of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, said she’s glad the chapel still stands.  “It’s nice to come and remember the soldiers who served in the war because we weren’t there,” she said.

 

 

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For further information about the chapel please click HERE!

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Military Humor – from the Prisoners themselves – 

Air Activity in Java

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Farewell Salutes –

William Andrews Jr. – Palm Springs, FL; US Air Force, Korea, Bronze Star

Lowell Bailey – Thomaston, GA; US Army, Korea, POW

Bruce D’Agostino – Natick, MA; US Air Force, photographer (Founder of Humanitaian International)

John Ekenbarger – Nashua, NH; US Army, Korea, POW

Richard Ford – Broad Channel, NY; US Army, WWII

George Franklin – Pensacola, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers/11th Airborne Division, demolition

Quentin Gifford – Mankato, MN; US Navy, WWII, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

Thomas Madison – Austin, TX; US Air Force, Vietnam, Col. (Ret. 20 yrs.), pilot, POW

Warren Glenn Ranscht – Racine, WI; US Army, WWII, ETO, WIA

Albert Zuidema – Falls Church, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, pilot, WIA

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Personal Note – for Purple Heart Day posts click HERE!

Please remember that today 7 August is the U.S. observation of Purple Heart Day.  Shake the hand of a veteran!

And say a prayer for our 3 Marines missing in the waters off Australia.  Thank You.

Lt. Benjamin R. Cross of Bethel, Maine; Cpl. Nathan Ordway of Wichita, Kansas; and Pfc Reuben Velasco of California.

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Dowsett’s War, Part 6 – Changi Prisoner

In leading up to Purple Heart Day on Monday, 7 August 2017, we honor another POW for his sacrifices.

The Rant Foundry

Three prisoners at Shimo Songkurai in 1943. The effects of malnutrition can be seen in their skeletal frames and the stomach of the man on the right, distended by beri beri. The photograph was one of the last to be taken by George Aspinall on the camera he smuggled up to the Thai–Burma railway from Changi. [By courtesy Tim Bowden] Three Australian prisoners at Shimo Songkurai in 1943. The effects of malnutrition can be seen in their skeletal frames and the stomach of the man on the right, distended by beri beri. The photograph was one of the last to be taken by George Aspinall on the camera he smuggled up to the Thai–Burma railway from Changi. [Photo by G. Aspinall]

“The place earned the title of Hellfire Pass, for it looked, and was, like a living image of hell itself.”
Jack Chalker, Burma Railway: Images of War, London, Mercer Books, 2007, 59

For the other chapters of Dowsetts War, click here.

Douglas France Dowsett, a driver with the 22nd Infantry Brigade Australian Army Service Corps Supply (AASC) Section was held along with roughly 15,000 other servicemen of the Australian Army’s 8th Division in the British Army’s Selarang Barracks, Changi. It was a prisoner of war camp holding some…

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Sandakan POW Camp & Australian Soldiers

Billy Young decided to enlist at age 15.

Billy Young decided to enlist at age 15.

It remains the single-worst atrocity against Australians at war. Yet many Australians have probably never heard of Sandakan. So few men returned from the Japanese prisoner of war camp on the island of Borneo after World War II it has become a neglected chapter in Australia’s wartime history.

In fact 2,000 Australians spent time as POWs at Sandakan. And of the nearly 1,800 still captive there at the end of the war, only six men survived.

All of which makes Sydney man Billy Young rare indeed. He spent three years as a POW under the Japanese.

He is the only surviving rank and file Australian soldier who spent time at Sandakan.  And he is the only POW still alive who was imprisoned at Outram Road Jail in Singapore.

Now aged 90, he has written a book about his inspiring story. “Billy: My Life as a Teenage POW”, co-written with historian Lynette Silver.

Mr Young would never have gone to war if his mother had not abandoned him as a baby.  Adora Shaw walked out on Billy and his father William in Hobart in about 1927 and returned to Sydney with another son Kevin, from an earlier relationship.

Billy never saw her again. One of his earliest memories is of his father taking him to Sydney to search for her, and later showing him her grave.  She had apparently died of tuberculosis.

William "Big Billy" young and son Billy, aged 6.

William “Big Billy” Young w/ his son Billy, age six. in Sydney. photo courtesy of: Lynette Silver

A decade later his father also died. He had joined the Australian Communist Party and gone to Spain to fight in the civil war, but was caught and shot by forces loyal to dictator General Franco.

“When he was gone, I was like a wild animal,” Mr Young says from his home near Hurstville.  “I was a rebel. I wanted my dad.  He was the only person of authority I could listen to.”

At 15, a fellow student told him he wanted to enlist in the army. It was 1941. Australian troops were fighting overseas. Billy decided to join him.  “The fella said to us ‘what mob do you want to join?’ And we said the one that goes overseas. He said ‘that’s the AIF’, and I said ‘that’s us’. He said ‘how old are you?’ And we said ‘how old have you gotta be?’ He said 19. We said ‘well, we’re 19’.”

See Billy Young, only a short 1:41

With no parents to give consent, the boys took the enlistment forms and signed each other’s paper. At 15 they were soldiers.

Hoping for a boys’ own adventure, they joined the 100,000 allied troops in Singapore. Mr Young says initially there was no fear of the Japanese.  “Intelligence officers used to say to us: ‘Those Japanese — they’re nothing. They’re blind. They all wear glasses, they’re short-sighted’,” he says.

“But when they came down it was no laughing matter. They knew what they were doing.”

Soon after Billy’s 16th birthday the allied forces crumbled under the Japanese. Billy was suddenly a prisoner of war at Changi.

Then, with hundreds more soldiers he was shipped to Borneo to build a Japanese airstrip at Sandakan in the Malaysian jungle. It was stinking hot, humid and overrun by mosquitoes. But it was nothing against the brutal treatment of the Japanese.

The lack of food and water, torture and beatings were all common.  “Sandakan was tremendously brutal towards the end of the war. Food was cut back to below starvations rations,” co-author Ms Silver says.

“And as Japan was losing the war, the punishment handed out was far more brutal than in the beginning. People were placed in a cage for 40 days and 40 nights. And some of them actually died in the cage.”  Mr Young survived the Japanese brutality. But he watched other POWs suffer from starvation and the worst violence.

Mr. Young's depiction of Jimmy Darlington's punishment

Mr. Young’s depiction of Jimmy Darlington’s punishment

One such victim was a young Aboriginal soldier Jimmy Darlington, who had dared to strike a Japanese soldier for washing his clothes in the prisoners’ cooking pot. He was bound and tied to sharp stakes of wood and left to suffer.

“One of the Japs grabbed a bucket of water,” Mr Young says.

“Another was grabbing ropes and he put it in the water, and knelt him on the platform and tied him down with ropes, or wet ropes.  The sun started to shine and dried the ropes.  And the ropes tightened up, and cut right into his wrists and his legs.”

Only after Mr Young and his mates created a diversion to distract the Japanese could another Australian soldier — an ambulance officer — move in to cut the ropes. Without it, Mr Young says Darlington would have died.

Black and white painting of a prisoner collecting his luchtime rice ration.

Prisoners line up for rice.

But far worse was in store for Mr Young. After a failed escape he was tried and sent to the hellhole that was Outram Road jail back in Singapore. He spent six months in solitary confinement — forced to sit cross legged for hours at a time.

Food rations were so pitiful prisoners, including Mr Young, became skeletal. He sat by while one of his fellow prisoners, a Dutch man, died of Beri-Beri in his arms.

“I put his head on my lap. I chatted to him and I pushed his chest and felt it. And you could feel it going up and down as he was panting for breath,” Mr Young says.  “But death must have had slippers because he died and I didn’t know. So I waited.

“I put him down and I didn’t tell the guard, and I waited till his box of rice came and I put Peter’s bowl by him. And I got mine, I ate mine, and then I ate Peter’s. And that’s the only banquet we ever had between us you know.”

The bombing of Hiroshima signaled freedom for Mr. Young.  Returning to Sydney, he couldn’t wait to reunite with his old mates from Sandakan.

But he couldn’t find them.  “I waited and waited and waited. It took me ages to find out,” he says.

Only six men of the nearly 1,800 Australians in Sandakan at the end of the war survived.  Many had died in the so-called Death Marches, when the Japanese forced them to walk as near-skeletons, 250 kilometres across Borneo.

Hundreds more starved to death. Still others were executed even after the war ended.

“The death rate at Sandakan for the Australians, 1,787 died, was 99.75 per cent,” Ms Silver says.

Some of Mr Young’s mates from Outram Rd also didn’t last long.

A black and white photo of the Outram Rd Jail building in Singapore.

Outram Road Jail, Singapore.

“One of my dear friends got home in Tasmania and not home long and he went into his mum and dad’s orchard and blew his brains out with a rifle,” he sobs.

Mr Young was only 19 when he returned to Sydney. He had his own demons to confront.  “We had no one who understood the trauma.  Not the.  Even now… at 91 almost, there are still stories I cannot tell.  I bawl like a little baby,” he said.

But 70 years on, the wounds have finally healed.  Mr Young today is an avid painter. His home is filled with paintings of his time at Sandakan and Outram Rd Jail.

“He very rarely has a down moment. He is just so positive, and I think that his positive attitude has gotten him this far,” his daughter says.

Mr Young’s paintings — and now the book he has written with Ms Silver — will remain a lasting record of the mates he lost at Sandakan.  “For Billy and me they are frozen in time,” she says.  “We know them as they were – as 18-year-old men.  And that’s probably the great thing about the ode that we say – they shall grow not old as we that are left grow old…”

“For the two of us they are still the people that left Australia as young people, young men with hope for the empire and their country. Taking on the Japanese, and who never came home.”

Click on images to enlarge.

Article contributed by Beari

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Military Humor – from Lt. Ronald Williams, POW Java

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Farewell Salutes –

Ila Albert – Belmont, MA; US Army WAC; WWII, ETO

Robert Anderson – Omaha, NE; US Army Air Corps, WWII, radar operator

Eric Boyd – Bathurst, AUS; British Navy, WWII

Charles Carlson – Queens, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, Lt., P-47 pilot, KIA

Gennis ‘Pete’ Elks – Farmville, NC; US Navy, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Sr. Chief Petty Officer (Ret. 32 yrs.)

James Garner – Bridgeville, PA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Dick Helf – Wichita, KS; US Navy, WWII/ US Air Force, Korea

Effie (Robertson) Morton – NZ; RNZ Army WAAC, WWII # 813367, gunner

Ara Parseghian – Akron, OH; US Navy, WWII, (Hall of Fame coach of Notre Dame Univ.)

Amory Shields – Toronto, CAN; RC Navy & Dept. of National Defense

Garnet Winfrey – Bramwell, WV; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Sgt., 11th Airborne Division Honor Guard

Intermission Story (5) – HMAS Patricia Cam

HMAS Patricia Cam

A bombing, a beheading, and an incredible escape from drowning using a pocket knife.

It sounds like the plot to a Hollywood film, but this is a piece of history about a World War II bombing off the East Arnhem Land coast that has been discovered accidentally after 74 years.

Reverend Len Kentish

One morning in 1943, coastwatcher and missionary Reverend Len Kentish and five Yolngu men from Arnhem Land communities jumped on board the HMAS Patricia Cam to go to Yirrkala.

The ship was then bombed and machine gunned by a Japanese sea plane.

“It blew the bottom out of the ship and she started to go down immediately,” historian Mike Owen said.

Mandaka Marika lives in Yirrkala, and his uncle Milirrma Marika died in the attack along with Djimanbuy, Djinipula Yunupingu and six other seamen.

“It’s a very sad feeling just like losing someone, a loved one … In our heart we remember our brave uncle,” Mr Marika said.

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Reverend Kentish was taken as a prisoner of war, the only Australian to be captured from home waters.

“The pilot got out with a pistol and beckoned to one of the men, and it happened to be the Reverend Kentish, and he swam over and got on board and was given a drink and they took off,” Mr Owen said.  “He was held captive for a couple of months … he was taken out and beheaded by his captors.”

Narritjin Maymuru and Paddy Babawun survived the bombing after an incredible fight.

They were underwater from the force of the bomb and drowning under a tarp, but they managed to free themselves by cutting through it with a pocket knife and their teeth.

“When they shot the boat, [Narritjin Maymuru] was underneath the water with a tarp … he had a pocket knife, he cut it and came up through that one,” Mr Maymuru’s nephew Danadana Gundara said.

But this story was lost in history for 74 years.

Mr Owen discovered it while looking for African coins in East Arnhem Land.

“On our last day we found a large piece of timber from a ship, and while I was investigating the find I realized it was in the right place for a Patricia Cam … So I started chasing the story down,” he said.

HMAS Patricia Cam Memorial in Yirrkala

A ceremony to commemorate those who died was held in Yirrkala this year for the first time, and a plaque in the community is the only memento for those who died in the attack.

“Every year we should remember these brave men working for the Australian Army that were killed there,” Mr Marika said.

The Yolngu men’s descendants are now calling for them to be commemorated at the Australian War Memorial.

“They offered their life, they sacrificed their lives for family and the land. That’s an excellent job,” Mr Gundara said.  “We are Australians and we have to do the same things for all, for black and white, we’re all working together.”

The additional survivors after reaching Darwin.

Click on images to enlarge.

This story is from ABC News Australia, 17 May 2017.

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Military Humour –

There’d better be some beer in THIS drop!

Smart Move!!

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Farewell Salutes –

Mavis Amon – Wellington, NZ; WA Air Force # 420507, WWII

Nichael Bond – Reading, ENG; RAF & Army; WWII, ETO, Middlesex Regiment

Harold Brown – Hunter’s Hill, AUS; RA Air Force # 74174

Patrick Crowe – Warrnabool, AUS; RA Air Force # 13544, WWII

George Davidson – Newtown, NZ; RNZ Navy # 8832 / RNZ Army # 620738, J Force & # 206028, K Force, WWII

Frank Hirst – Adelaide, AUS; RA Air Force, WWII

Hansen Kirkpatrick – Wasilla, AK; US Army, Afghanistan, Pfc, 1st Armored Division, KIA

Raymond Parris – San Antonio, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B/187/11th Airborne Division

Robert ‘Bobby’ Temple – Shiloh, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS Oklahoma, Seaman 1st Class, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

Robert Towns – Canberra, AUS; RA Navy, HMAS Barcoo

In honor of the Australian veterans that we have lost, please listen to “The Last Post” given to us by Paol Soren!!

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A Memorial for Australia’s Z Force

Jack Tredrea w/ several Z-Force members and local fighters

Jack Tredrea w/ several Z-Force members and local fighters

Members of a secret Australian military unit that conducted more than 80 operations into enemy territory during World War II have been recognized at the Australian War Memorial.

The Z Special Unit conducted missions in the Pacific and South East Asia, but their achievements were classified for decades.  Senior historian at the memorial Dr Karl James said members of the unit conducted some of the most courageous and extraordinary acts of World War II.

“It is only given the passage of time say from the 1980’s onward, the wartime records relating to Z Special Unit have been cleared and opened, that we are now able to talk about some of these pretty remarkable exploits.”

Jack Tredrea

Jack Tredrea

Dr James said the unit was comprised of about 1,700 members who were sometimes deployed in two-man teams working alongside a wide range of other allied services.

“They worked much more closely with local people, like villagers and they were also given some language training,” he said.

There were also women members of the unit supporting missions from Australia as professional ciphers.

Jack Tredrea, 96, of Adelaide, unveiled a plaque commemorating Z Special Unit at a service at the War Memorial, which he lobbied for alongside ANU anthropologist Christine Helliwell.

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One of the few surviving members, Mr Tredrea, was deployed with Z Special Unit as part of the stealth Operation Semut in Malaysian Borneo, that involved parachuting into the jungle with weapons and cyanide pills.

“We didn’t know whether the Japanese had arrived up in the highlands, we were jumping in blind,” he said.  “But luckily they hadn’t got into the highlands and we were welcomed that day by the villagers. Semut consisted of Semut 1, 2, 3, and 4, and each one had eight personnel … at the end of the war we [had made] over 2,900 kills and taken over 300 prisoners.”

Mr Tredrea and his comrades were sworn to secrecy for 30 years after the war.  He said the new Canberra plaque and the public recognition it brought meant a lot to him and other surviving veterans and families.

Z-unit, Borneo

Z-unit, Borneo

“For all these years no-one knew anything about Z which I think was a great pity because even the SAS today tell us that they are still working on what we started,” he said.

“I was always so proud of the work that Z Special did and when Dr. Christine Helliwell approached me with this idea [for the plaque and service] I was absolutely chuffed.  There are a lot of fellows looking down on us from upstairs with big smiles too.”

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ANU anthropologist Dr Helliwell came across witnesses to some of the units’ secret missions during her field work with indigenous Diak people in the highlands of Malaysian Borneo, near the Indonesian border, in 2014.

“I was expecting that the locals might not have been flattering about Australian soldiers as a lot of people were resistant to colonialism,” she said.

“But in fact the Japanese did not have a good reputation through Borneo and they really liked the Australian Z Specials who really worked hard to get along with the local people.  That’s why they were so successful in Borneo and they actually formed guerrilla armies and fought with the locals.”

Z-Force Borneo

Z-Force Borneo

She described the members of Z Special Unit as national war heroes.

“There were groups that went into rescue American airmen that went down, coming in at night on a submarine and then these little canoes,” she said.  “Those are really brave and risky things to do.”

Hundreds of people including veterans, widows, families and dignitaries attended the plaque unveiling, which Dr Helliwell worked with veterans and the ACT SAS Association to have installed.

Among them were about 20 surviving veterans of the Z Special Unit and 10 families of veterans from New Zealand who also served with the unit.

It was the first time a national commemoration has been held to recognize the service of the members of Z Special Unit.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Australian Military Humor – 005-478x640

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Farewell Salutes – 

Virgil Boyd Atkins – W.VA; US Army, Korea, 65th/3rd Infantry Div., Pvt., POW, Silver Star

Joe Hosteen Kellwood – Sunnyslope, AZ; USMC, WWII, PTO, Navajo Code Talker128075867

Roy Kellwood – Sunnyslope, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO

Dabney Montgomery – Selma, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, Tuskegee ground crewman

Allen Kenji Ono – Honolulu, HI; US Army, Lt.General (Ret.)

George Saxton – Worcester, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Sgt., Infantry

Gordon Eugene Thompson – MT; USMC, WWII, PTO, Captain, pilot

Charles Trout – Hernando, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

John Whalen – Broad Channel, NY; US Army, Korea

Byres Wylie – Burnie, Tas., AUS; RA Navy # H2890 & RA Air Force # A22496

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Making Maps Under Fire: Surveying New Guinea in World War II

Ever wonder how the operations of the Pacific were planned? Where did all those maps come from?

The Rant Foundry

Filed in: War History  –  Author: JF Dowsett

HMAS Whyalla in camouflage in New Guinea HMAS Whyalla in camouflage in New Guinea

On January 2nd 1943, the Australian Navy corvette HMAS Whyalla was anchored deep in the Maclaren Harbour inlet on the Cape Nelson Peninsula in New Guinea. She had been brought in close to the shoreline and camouflaged with a bewildering array of branches, vines and bushes that were doing their best to hide 730 tons of steel ship from the Imperial Japanese Air Service, who at that stage still menaced Allied naval operations in the area.

Like a lightning storm a force of 18 Japanese dive bombers approached undetected and attacked in a terrifyingly determined manner. The Whyalla had field survey parties out on duty and her two tenders, the requisitioned trawlers HMAS Stella and Polaris, were sounding off the harbour entrance. Several bombs narrowly missed the Whyalla, which suffered damage from…

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January 1944 (1)

The New Year in the Pacific started off with a bang! Literally.

New Britain

New Britain

1 January – US aircraft from the USS Monterey and Bunker Hill attacked Kavieng, New Ireland and destroyed 7 enemy planes.  RAdm. Sherman’s carrier task force bombed a Japanese convoy of transports and several cruisers in those waters.  Fifteen B-24 bombers escorted by 68 fighters hit Rabaul, New Britain.

After a strike on Rabaul.

After a strike on Rabaul.

In other areas, the USS Finback sank and enemy tanker in the East China Sea, hitting her with 5 of the 6 torpedoes fired.  The USS Puffer sank the freighter  Ryuyo Maru and damaged another ship south of the Philippine islands.  The USS Ray sank the converted gunboat IJN Okuyo Maru in the mouth of Ambon Bay, Java.

until-the-arrival-of-dedicated-units-like-the-us-army-air-corps-burma-bridge-busters-low-level-attacks-on-japanese-supply-lines-were-carried-out-by-royal- (800x600)

The 10th Air Force in Burma attacked a bridge on the Mu River.  Major Robert Erdin, in the lead B-25, pulled up to avoid a tree; as he did, he released his bombs and toppled 2 spans of the bridge.  Further testing of this method proved successful.  The 490th Bombardment Sq. became so proficient at it, they became known as the “Burma Bridge Busters.”

snooper02

The 13th Air Force, 868th Bombardment Sq. was activated to work directly under the XIII Bomber Command.  Their B-24’s were equipped with radar for night missions and would become known as the “Snooper Squadron.”

The 5th Air Force, with 120 aircraft (B-24’s, B-25’s and A-20’s) pounded the Saidor area on the north coast of Papua New Guinea, in preparation for an Allied invasion the following day.  The eventual objective was Hollandia, once the Dutch capital was now the Japanese center for shipments in the southwest Pacific.  Other B-25’s bombed Madang and Alexishafen.  Troop concentrations in the Cape Gloucester area were hit as well as positions at Borgen Bay.  P-39’s strafed enemy barges along New Britain’s coast.

The 7th Air Force used their P-39’s to strafe the harbor of Mille Atoll and attack the shipping north of the islands.  Two small vessels were heavily damaged.

Saidor, New Guinea

Saidor, New Guinea

2 January – Operation Dexterity was launched by the US 126th Regiment/32nd Division, who made a large scale-scale landing at Saidor, Papua New Guinea.  Although this was a harbor, with a nearby airstrip, it was poorly defended and the landing was covered by the guns of the 7th Fleet, making this an easy objective.

saidor3 (640x356)

This action put the enemy roughly midway between the west and east Allied advances and would sever the Japanese rearguard of the 20th and 52st divisions from the main enemy base at Madang, (about 55 mile [88 km] away).  Approximately 20,000 troops of the Japanese 18th Army escaped the trap of being caught between the Australians and Americans and were forced into the jungle interior of Huon Peninsula.

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When Saidor was taken, Gen. Hatazo Adachi decided to go to Sio to supervise operations personally.  His submarine was hit by one of the PT boats now patrolling the waters, but he managed to make it back to shore.  He ordered all troops to converge on Madang on foot while he waited for another submarine.

Gen. MacArthur would one day remark on the terrain of New Guinea as an enemy, “Few areas of the world present so formidable an obstacle to military operation.”

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Military Humor – SNAFU

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Donald Bruckner – Broad Channel, NY; US Air Force, Korea

David Bauders – Seattle, WA; US Army, Iraq, 176th Engineers, 1st Lt.228685_214560631902034_100000442955388_742352_2701778_n

Glenn Covert – Manteno, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Frederick Gervig – Los Angeles, CA; US Navy, WWII

Henry Luers – NJ; US Army, WWII, Vietnam, pilot (Ret.)

Francis McGrath – Winchester, MA; US Navy, WWII

John Panasik – Allentown, PA; US Air Force, 1st Lt.

George Spear Jr. – Stamford, CT; US Navy, WWII

Stan Tomkins – Ottawa, CAN; RC Army, WWII

Ian Wilson – Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Air Force, WWII, Lt., pilot

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CAPTAIN REG SAUNDERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY

An article by Lloyd Marken about a remarkable man. The Maori say it almost musically…
Kia kaha, kia maia, me te aroha.
(Be strong, be courageous and compassionate.)

lloydmarken

Two decades before he was recognised as a citizen of his country he fought for it in two wars. He couldn’t vote in his own country where his people had been for thousands of years. This was nothing new. His father Walter (Chris) Saunders and uncle William Reginald Rawlings MM had done so before him in the Great War, the uncle not returning home. His family would continue to pay a cost for serving the nation. His brother Harry Saunders would die at Kokoda and his first marriage would not withstand his time away in Korea. What did change was that he became the first Aboriginal to be commissioned into the Australian Army going on to command 100 men in combat.

He was born in Victoria of the Gunditjmara people and worked in a sawmill from a young age. In 1940 he joined the Australian Imperial Force immediately displaying natural leadership skill, in…

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Tribute to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels of New Guinea

Papuan natives, known affectionately to the Australians as 'Fuzzy-Wuzzy angels', carry supplies during the fighting near Wau in New Guinea. The Australian forces owed much to native carriers who kept the forward troops supplied and helped to evacuate the wounded. AUS 1726 Part of AUSTRALIAN SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

Papuan natives, known affectionately to the Australians as ‘Fuzzy-Wuzzy angels’, carry supplies during the fighting near Wau in New Guinea. The Australian forces owed much to native carriers who kept the forward troops supplied and helped to evacuate the wounded.
AUS 1726
Part of
AUSTRALIAN SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION

THE “FUZZY WUZZY” ANGELS

Many a mother in Australia
When the busy day is done
Sends a Prayer to the Almighty
For the keeping of her Son.

Asking that an Angel guide him
And bring him safely back
Now we see those prayers are
Answered on the Owen Stanley track.

Tho’ they haven’t any halos
Only holes slashed through the ear
Their faces marked with tattoo’s
And scratch pins in their hair.

Bringing back the badly wounded
Just as steady as a hearse
Using leaves to keep the rain off
And as gentle as a Nurse.

Slow and careful in bad places
On that awful mountain track
And the look upon their faces
Made us think that Christ was black.

Not a move to hurt the carried
As they treat him like a Saint
It’s a picture worth recording
That an Artist’s yet to paint.

Many a lad will see his mother
and the husbands, weans and wives
Just because the Fuzzy Wuzzies
Carried them to save their lives.

From Mortar or Machine gun fire
Or a chance surprise attack
To safety and the care of Doctors
At the bottom of the track.

May the Mothers of Australia
When they offer up a prayer
Mention these impromptu Angels
With the “Fuzzy Wuzzy ” hair.

by NX6925 Sapper H “Bert” Beros of the 7th
Division, 2nd AIF; it was actually written on the Kokoda Track/Trail !!!!

A MOTHER’ S REPLY

We, the Mother’s of Australia
As we kneel each night in prayer
Will be sure to ask God’s blessings
On the men with fuzzy hair.

And may the Great Creator
Who made us both black and white
Help us to remember how they
Helped us to win the fight .

For surely He, has used these
Men with fuzzy wuzzy hair
To guard and watch our wounded
With tender and loving care.

And perhaps when they are tired
With blistered and aching back
He’ll take the Yoke On himself
And help them down the track.

And God will be the Artist
And this picture He will paint
Of a Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel
With the Halo of a Saint.

And His presence shall go with them
In tropic heat and rain
And he’ll help them to tend our wounded
In sickness and in pain.

So we thank you Fuzzy Wuzzies
For all that you have done
Not only for Australians
But for Every Mother’s Son.

And we are glad to call you friends
Though your faces may be black
For we know that Christ walked
With you – on the Owen Stanley track.

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f-wuzzy-pic

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Military Island Humor – booby-601x800

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Believed to be the last “Fuzzy Wuzzy” Angel recently passed away>>>

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Faole Bokoi – Papua, New Guinea, WWII

Click on link above to read his story.

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Alfonso Carrasco – Phoenix, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQ/187/11th Airborne Division

Charles Hart – W.AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, PTO

Coastwatcher's  Memorial; Papua, New Guinea

Coastwatcher’s Memorial; Papua, New Guinea

Thomas Hayes – Sydney, AUS; 3 RAR, Korea

James Lang – Newcastle, AUS; RA Army, Vietnam

James Miller – Dayton, OH; US Army, WWII, PTO

Ernest Patterson – W.AUS; RA Army, WWII

Pat Rogers – NYC, NY; USMC, Vietnam, Chief Warrant Officer

Frank Streather – Sydney, AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, 452 Squadron

Hugh Thomson – AUS; RA Army, WWII

Warren Warchus Sr. – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, B-29 bombardier

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ANZAC Day

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In honor of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who have fought in numerous wars for their freedoms and the rights of others; 25 April is the designated date for memorial ceremonies and tributes.

ANZACs hard at work

ANZAC’s hard at work

There are ceremonies for the ANZAC’s and there are other poems, but I believe this says it all…

Ode of Remembrance

ShowImage - CopyThey shall grow not old, as we are left grow old;ShowImage - Copy (2)
Age will not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
 
 

Gone but not forgotten

Gone but not forgotten

The Spirit of ANZAC

The Spirit of ANZAC

Remembrance

Remembrance

Click on images to enlarge.

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If you have the time – Please visit my past post for the Anzac Centenary and others.  Besides these, you could add ANZAC DAY to your Tags on your Reader pages to honor these troops. 

https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/anzac-centenary/

From Su Leslie ____

https://zimmerbitch.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/six-word-saturday-aucklands-wwi-dead-lest-we-forget/

From John’s Storybook ___

https://johnsstorybook.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/anzac-day/

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Farewell Salutes –

Dick Beitler – Berne, IN; US Army, WWII, PTO

Mark Briggs – (Memoriam) – NZ Army, WWI, WIA

U.S Forces Honor Guard to honor all those that served for our freedoms in every war.

U.S Forces Honor Guard to honor all those that served for our freedoms in every war.

Donald E. Cook – Princeton, IL; US Navy, Korea, USS Columbus, Underwater Demolition Team

Gary Hardman – Newcastle, AUS; RA Navy, Vietnam, HMAS Paramatta, Ibis & Torrens

Alfred Hudson – NZ; RNZ Navy # C/SSX16068, WWII, ETO

James Lang – Hunter, AUS; RA Army, Vietnam

Carl Mankey – N.E. IN; USMC, WWII, PTO, 2 Purple Hearts

Francis Queenin – Puhinui, NZ; NZ Air Force # 34677, driver

Marquerite Schouten – Wairarapa, NZ; British Army # W/315535, Cpl.

Frank Streather – Sydney, AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, 452 Squadron

Honore Wright – Tauranga, NZ; WWII, ambulance driver

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