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CBI – British receive POW’s / Vietnam in the picture

Japanese POWs in Malaya

“From May onwards, prisoners in a terrible state came in daily,” recorded a British gunner unit in Burma, “many of them armed with nothing more dangerous than bamboo spears, trembling with a mixture of malaria and humiliation.”

British soldiers in Burma

But if some proved ready to quit, others did not.  To the end, most Japanese who lost their ships at sea deliberately evaded Allied rescuers.  On the deck of HMS Saumarez, destroyer Captain Martin Power was directing rescue operations after sinking a Japanese convoy off the Nicobars, when he suddenly heard a “clang” against the ship.

Andaman and Nicobars Islands

Peering over the side, he saw a bald, heavily built Japanese man clinging to a scrambling net with one hand, while hammering the nose of a shell against the hull with the other.  Power drew his pistol, leaned over and whacked the man’s head.

“I could not think of anything else to do – I spoke no Japanese.  Blood streaming down his face, he looked up at me, the pistol 6 inches from his eyes, the shell in his hand…  I do not know how long I hung in this ridiculous position, eyeball to eyeball with a fanatical enemy, but it seemed too long at the time.  At last he dropped the shell into the sea, brought up his feet, and pushed off from the ship’s side like an Olympic swimmer, turned on his face and swam away.”

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By this time of the Pacific War, the Vietnam area of Indochina was in dispute.  DeGaulle demanded that the current Vichy government take a firm stand, but this was a disaster.  The Japanese had staged a pre-emptive coup against the Saigon administration.  Frenchmen became POW’s and their future fate would cause Anglo-American arguments.  When US planes arrived from China to carry out evacuations, the French were furious that the aircraft did not bring them cigarettes.

London’s Political Warfare Executive sent a directive to Mountbatten that highlighted the political and cultural complexities of the CBI: “Keep off Russo-Japanese, Russo-Chinese and Sino-Japanese relations except for official statements.  Show that a worse fate awaits Japan if her militarists force her to fight on… Continue to avoid the alleged Japanese peace feelers.”

The Dutch, French and British owners of the old Eastern empires were increasingly preoccupied with regaining their lost territories – and they were conscious that they could expect scant help from the Americans to achieve this.  The British Embassy in Washington told the Foreign Office:

“If we prosecute the Eastern War with might and main, we shall be told by some people that we are really fighting for our colonial possessions the better to exploit them and that American blood is being shed to no better purpose than to help ourselves and Dutch and French to perpetrate our degenerate colonial Empires; while if we are judged not to have gone all out, that is because we are letting America fight her own war with little aid, after having her pull our chestnuts out of the European fire.”

Quotes taken from “Retribution” by Max Hastings

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Edward Bailey – Parma, MI; US Navy, WWII, PTO, 2nd Lt., pilot, KIA

David Cruden – Hurtsville, AUS; RA Air Force # 422443, 460 & 582nd Bomber Command Squadrons

Fred Hermes Jr. – Villas, NJ; US Coast Guard, Academy Grad., Commander (Ret.)

William A. Laux – LaCrosse, WI & Arrow Lakes, CA; US Army, WWII, ETO

John Moore – Baltimore, MD; US Navy, WWII, Captain (Ret.)

Ronald S. Richardson – Gisborne, NZ; RNZ Air Force, WWII, ETO, Lt. Commander, pilot, KIA

Robert Stoner – Buffalo, NY; US Navy, minesweeper

Harry Thomas – Marlington, WV; US Army, WWII

Michael C. Ukaj – Johnstown, NY; USMC, Iraq (the NY limo crash on his 34th birthday)

Elwood Wells – Epsom, NH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI, Captain, 1337 A.F. Base, KIA

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Lt. Alec Horwood, in the C.B.I. Theatre

Lt. Alec George Horwood, Victoria Cross; Queen's Royal West Surrey Reg., British Army

Lt. Alec George Horwood, Victoria Cross; Queen’s Royal West Surrey Reg., British Army

As the Japanese prepared for a major assault through north Burma into India, the British were attempting a more aggressive approach into occupied Burma. The fighting was conducted in dense jungle where the Japanese strong points were well concealed – and they fought to the death.

As a Sergeant in the 6th Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment Alec Horwood had been captured at Dunkirk but had escaped as they were being escorted through Antwerp, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. After being Commissioned he was attached to the 1st Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment and he now found himself in the jungle fighting of Burma:

Queen's Royal West Surrey Regimental badge.

Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regimental badge.

At Kyauchaw on 18th January 1944, Lieutenant Horwood accompanied the forward company of The Northamptonshire Regiment into action against a Japanese defended locality with his forward mortar observation post.

Throughout that day he lay in an exposed position which had been completely bared of cover by concentrated air bombing and effectively shot his own mortars and those of a half troop of another unit while the company was maneuvering to locate the exact position of the enemy bunkers and machine-gun nests. During the whole of this time Lieutenant Horwood was under intense sniper, machine-gun, and mortar fire, and at night he came back with most valuable information about the enemy.

On 19th January, he moved forward with another company and established an observation post on a precipitous ridge. From here, while under continual fire from the enemy, he directed accurate mortar fire in support of two attacks which were put in during the day. He also carried out a personal reconnaissance along and about the bare ridge, deliberately drawing the enemy fire so that the fresh company which he had led to the position, and which was to carry out an attack, might see the enemy positions.

Lieutenant Horwood remained on the ridge during the night 19th-20th January and on the morning of 20th January shot the mortars again to support a fresh attack by another company put in from the rear of the enemy. He was convinced that the enemy would crack and volunteered to lead the attack planned for that afternoon.

He led this attack with such calm resolute bravery, that the enemy were reached and while standing up in the wire, directing and leading the men with complete disregard to the enemy fire which was then at point blank range, he was mortally wounded.

on patrol in Burma, 1944

on patrol in Burma, 1944

By his fine example of leadership on the 18th, 19th and 20th January when continually under fire, by his personal example to others of reconnoitering, guiding and bringing up ammunition in addition to his duties at the mortar observation post, all of which were carried out under great physical difficulties and in exposed positions, this officer set the highest example of bravery and devotion to duty which all ranks responded to magnificently.

The cool, calculated actions of this officer, coupled with his magnificent bearing and bravery which culminated in his death on the enemy wire, very largely contributed to the ultimate success of the operation which resulted in the capture of the position on the 24th January.

London Gazette
30th March 1944

Information from WWII Today.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor –

aaa5

 

 

morale

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Farewell Salutes –

Stuart Boze – Genesee, MI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Vincent Chatfield – Plimmerton, NZ; RNZ Army # 537217, WWII

They all stand together.

They all stand together.

Andrew Clement – Quincy, MA; US Navy, Djibouti (Op. Enduring Freedom), Petty Officer

Donald Morris – Moore, OK; US Army, WWII/ US Air Force, Korea

Francis John Pound – Winnipeg, CAN; Royal Canadian Navy, WWII, KIA

John Quinn – Indianapolis, IN; US Army, WWII, Purple Heart

Harmon Smith – Chester, SC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Korea

Calvin Tackett – Longview, TX; US Army, WWII

Paul VanLuvender – Scranton, PA; US Navy, WWII, USS Melvin

Raymond Walters – Trenton, NJ; US Navy, WWII

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Eyewitness to Malaya

001 (800x579)

This 2-part story is condensed from an article that ran in The West Australian newspaper on Saturday, 7 March 1942.  It is the report of Major General Henry Gordon Bennett:

 

General Bennet

General Bennet

The first defensive position in country near Gemas was covered by young rubber trees 4′ or 5′ high and the ground was fairly open and hilly.  The Australian line was covered by the guns of a very efficient artillery regiment from Queensland and New South Wales.  It was some miles in advance of this position at Gemas that the 30th New South Wales Battalion decided to ambush the enemy.

Far East/Malaya map

Far East/Malaya map

Click image to enlarge.

 

The 30th inflicted heavy casualties.  It was our first clash with the Japanese… LtCol. Galleghan was awarded the D.S.O. (Distinguished Service Order), for his conduct in this battle… He led his men personally.  On one occasion, Brigadier Duncan Maxwell sat beside him while a captain sent back ball-to-ball description of the fight, “They are coming at us now.  They are attacking from the left.  They are holding their hats in their hands.  They are shouting not to shoot because they are Indians.”  Maxwell replied, “Tell them to shoot – there are NO Indians in that front sector.”

There was dog-fighting for 2 days.  We had strong patrols on each flank preventing infiltrating parties of the Japanese.  It had just been decided to replace the tired 30th with the 29th when the situation at Muar on the west coast became critical.  The 45th Indian Brigade could not stop the Japanese who crossed the Muar River.  As a consequence, the 29th was hustled into lorries and driven to that front.  They arrived just in time to stop the advance.

The Argylls in Malaya

The Argylls in Malaya

Realizing that the position was vital and its loss would threaten our line of communications well to the rear, we withdrew the 19th Battalion from Mersing to help the 29th.  This left me with 2 battalions at Mersing, 2 at Gemas in the centre of the peninsula and 2 at Muar.  Soon after the 19th arrived near Muar, the Japanese attacked with tanks.  Our gunners realized they had to make sure they were completely destroyed.  Some of the disabled tanks were finished off with Molotov cocktails.

To be continued….With many thanks to Trove.com

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POLITICAL CARTOONS of 1942 – 42edit

42091803

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Farewell Salutes – 

Anthony Bonvetti Sr. – Wilmington, DE; US Army WWII

Malcolm Dewar – Vancouver, CAN; Royal Air Force, WWIIOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jesse Dyess – Jacksonville, TX; US Army, WWII, ETO, 270th Field Artillery Battalion

Marlene Graham – Colorado Springs, CO; FBI, WWII

Geoffrey Hardwick – Mitchell, AUS; RA Navy, WWII

Eric Larsen Sr. – Kiln, MS; US Army, WWII, ETO

Christ Rink – South Bend, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Herbert Stanley – Anchorage, AK; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Thomas Tyson – Taumarunui, NZ; RNZ Air Force, WWII, #EC15591, Captain

Lionel Violette – Palm Beaches, FL; US Air Force, LtColonel (Ret. 25 years), pilot

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“The Hook” Third Wave

Dukes of Wellington Regiment

Dukes of Wellington Regiment

The Hook, near Kaesong, was the site previously mentioned in the post:  https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/korean-war-34/

battle of Hook map, end of May 1953

battle of Hook map, end of May 1953

This area was a persistent zone of attack waves by the Chinese and the closer the peace talks came to a close, the more the enemy pushed.  During the night of 12-13 May 1953, the Duke of Wellington Regiment relieved the Scottish Black Watch during a lull of combat activity.  The CCF could be heard returning to the area on the night of 17-18 May and after a small skirmish, a POW warned them of another impending wave.  For 2 weeks after their arrival, the Dukes were under constant sniper, mortar and artillery fire.

Black Watch commander, Lt. Col David Rose (right) w/ Gen. Collins at the Hook

Black Watch commander, Lt. Col David Rose (right) w/ Gen. Collins at the Hook

27 May, the CCF started their heavy artillery and mortar fire and the enemy troops attacked in force.  The barrage landed accurate hits on both Green Finger and Warsaw outposts.  On the next day, one of the 2 troops of C Squadron/1st Royal Tanks of Centurions was hit, but they remained in action.  Bunkers began to collapse with men inside and gaps in communication were apparent; wireless communication was maintained with the Americans.

The Chinese began to climb Green Finger and Ronson ridges while the British and Turkish troops returned fire.  When a second attack came up Warsaw, the fighting resulted in fierce hand-to-hand combat.  Another platoon was sent from Hill 121 and those men suffered severe casualties from enemy tank and machine-gun fire.

men of the Dukes

men of the Dukes

The CCF switched their attention to Hill 146 where 2 companies of Kingsmen awaited their arrival.  The Chinese battalion was wiped out as they formed up in front of Pheasant ridge.  Another attack following never stood a chance as they approached Ronson.

In the early morning hours of the 29th, the Chinese attacked once more, but again, they were forced back.  The Dukes secured the Hook at 0330 hours and an operation began to free the men who had been trapped in the tunnels, bunkers and collapsed dugouts.  At noon, the 1st Battalion/Royal Fusiliers began to relieve the Dukes.

men of the Dukes

men of the Dukes

The U.S. Army I Corps Artillery, from a rocket battery, had been firing during these battles in assistance.  The Royal Australian Regiment would see action here in July.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Personal note-

A story from the Daily Mail.co.uk, a first hand piece concerning this  event, will be posted during the intermission time between the Korean War and WWII along with other accounts I missed adding as I collect my notes and research for the early starts to WWII.

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WWII Update – 

A wonderful tribute and Farewell Salute has been posted by fellow blogger, Jacqui Murray concerning Nelson Draper (96).  A Navajo Code Talker from Barstow, CA; USMC in the PTO.

Please read:  http://usnaorbust.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/wednesday-hero-ssgt-darrell-shifty-powers/

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Farewell Salutes – 

UN Service Medal

UN Service Medal

Bill Austin – Midwest City, OK; US Navy, WWII, mine sweeper

Allan Cabot – Springfield, VA; US Navy, Captain (Ret. 30 yrs.), Vietnam

Timothy Canonico – Merrick, NY; US Army, Cavalry Scout

Pearl Dakin (99) – Washington DC; Washington Naval Yard, WWII homefront service, retired

Joseph DePippo – Massapequa, NY; USMC, WWII, Korea, Iraq (2 tours)

Edward “Ted” Edwards – Whangarei, NZ; RNZAF # 412303 & RAF # 59653

Alan T. Proffitt – Wellington, NZ; RNZAF # 43949, WWII

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