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CBI Theater – January 1945

Here are snippets of what was going on in the China-Burma-India Theater at the opening of 1945.

Happy New Year, From Over “The Hump”

EAC HQ. – The light of a full moon gave EAC planes an opportunity to hit Jap-held railways, roads, rivers and airfields and smash enemy communication lines, as decisive daylight support was given ground forces on the Burma battlefronts this week.
B-25’s of the 10th Air Force strafed motor vehicles at night in North Burma. The 10th also hit enemy fields at Lashio during daytime, setting two planes afire.
The night intruders, composed of USAAF B-25’s and RAF Mosquitos, Beaufighters and Hurribombers, carried out their operations as far south as Hninpaze, near the mouth of the Sittang River.
Well over 150 sorties were flown in support of the 15th Indian Corps in its current drive in the Arakan.
On the Irrawaddy-Chindwin front, RAF Hurribombers attacked objectives on the road to Yehuphonu. The village of Tabayin was left aflame.

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 KANDY – Maj. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, commanding the American Forces in China, and Maj. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, commanding the Eastern Air Command, have been awarded the Order of the Bath by King George VI, it was announced this week.

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US Infantry meeting up with the Mars Task Force

The 533rd Brigade (Provisional) was activated on 26 July 1944. It soon came to be known as the MARS TASK FORCE. It was designed as a Long Range Penetration Force and training, equipment and organization were all directed toward this end.

Mars Task Force

MARS was able to profit by the experience of Wingate’s Raiders and Merrill’s Marauders in Burma jungle operations. The leaven of veteran jungle fighters was mixed with the freshness of volunteers and the assignment of the 124th Cavalry Regiment.

FAMILY TIES

 1328TH ATC BASE UNIT, ASSAM – It’s usually the father who offers guidance and advice to the son, but the combination of the Army and India has proved too much even for such a stalwart tradition.
Cpl. Kadzie Goodwin arrived here recently on a change of station and not long afterward encountered his father, S/Sgt. William A. Goodwin, who he hadn’t seen for more than a year.
Now Kadzie, a ground radio technician in the Army Airways Communication System, guides his father, an aerial radio operator flying The Hump for the ATC’s India-China Division, over the treacherous transport routes between Assam and China.

The Chan brothers.

THE WOMBAT SQUADRON – The story of how two Burmese youths walked 900 miles over some of the most treacherous terrain in the world to evade the Japanese and join the American forces was revealed recently with the appearance of two new waiters in the officers mess hall at this “Liberators of China” field.

after 2 years, Mj. Arthur Walker (R) meets up with his son, Pfc. Peter Walker of the Mars TF, in Burma

TENTH AIR FORCE HQ, BURMA – Probably the first instance of twin brothers meeting in the I-B Theater after a long separation occurred recently when Eugene and Edward Crivaro, 19, of Carnegie, Pa., met each other at a base in Burma. In most cases, twins in the Army remain in the same outfit throughout their service.

Edward and Eugene Crivero

Pvt. Eugene, bomb maintenance man for a service group in China, requested and was granted permission to fly over The Hump. Arriving in Burma, he immediately began a quest for his twin whom he had not seen for 20 months. Using an APO number as a guide, Eugene was soon directed to a 10th Air Force fighter control squadron of which Pfc. Edward was a member. Reunion… at long last.
Eugene spent seven hours in the cold Atlantic waters a year ago when the ship taking him overseas was sunk by German torpedo bombs.

Football Round-up

Rice Bowl
GROUND FORCES BEAT SOS (Services of Supply)

Rice Bowl Champs

HQ CT & CC, CHINA THEATER — Capitalizing on two pass interceptions and a safety, the Army Ground Force, touch football champions of China, fought off a strong SOS team to win the New Year’s Day Rice Bowl classic, 16-0, before a large G.I. crowd.
Ground Force grabbed a slight edge, on a safety in the first Period, adding touchdowns on pass interceptions by Wolfe for 40 yards in the third and Bruner for 60 yards in the fourth. Ben Schall booted both extra points.
SOS often penetrated enemy territory but could not muster a score. Of 20 aerials they tossed in the second half, only four were completed.
The Lineups:
GROUND FORCE: Uhlen, Meyers, Autry, Petiit, Wolfe, Chapman, Schall, Bruner and Becker.
SOS: Crowe, Demski, Harding, Roland, Snyder, Staley, Hardee, Sleteher and Heckman.

Information from CBI Theater.com and CBI Roundup.  Clark King & Gary Goldblatt also have a CBI website.

Clark King & Gary Goldblatt

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

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Military Humor – CBI Style – 

Oh sure – they’re real.

Oops! Not enough money for this place!!

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Florence Blohm – Wooster, OH; US Navy WAVES, WWII

Peter Carrie (102) – Dundee, SCOT; RAF, WWII, ETO, Flt. Engineer / CBI, Tank Corps

Alan Dick – NZ; RNZ Air Force, Wing Commander (Ret.)

Raymond Evans – Stollings, WV; US Army, Vietnam

Harry Hanen – Alberta, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

Keith Iwen – Milwaukee, WI; US Navy, WWII

Mancel King – Agra, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-24 pilot

William Marshall – Vine Bluff, UT; US Navy, WWII

Edward Reimuth Jr. – Poughkepsie, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 7th Infantry & 11th Airborne Div.

Harold Wilbur – New Castle, DE; US Navy, WWII / US Coast Guard, Korea

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The Elephant Company – Intermission Story (14)

(c) Cuneo Estate; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Cuneo Estate; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

James Howard “Billy” Williams went to Burma in 1920, fresh out of the service for WWI, for a position as a ‘forest man’.  It was there he became increasingly educated on the intelligence, character and welfare of elephants.

When Japan invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite British Force 136.  [a unit that today would compared to Rangers, SEALs and Delta Force].  Being older and wiser in the ways of the jungles, Williams’ tale of war and daring would become legendary.

In 1944, Lt.Colonel Williams, along with his Karen workers, uzis, elephant tenders, and the animals themselves made the stairway in Burma.  They go upward, a sheer rockface escarpment, narrowly escaping the Japanese hot on their trail, through the mountains of Imphal.

While many times the massive beasts stood on their hind legs to scale an ascent that surpassed Hannibal in the Alps.  All 53 elephants were successful and the workers and refugees alike followed close behind to the ridge and eventual safety.

Williams’ sketch of the ridge.

Years later, General Slim would say of the climb, “This is the story of how a man, over the years, by character, patience, sympathy and courage, gained the confidence of men and animals, so when the time of testing came – that mutual trust held.”

Williams and his company would continue in Burma to alter history with the 270 bridges built and erected to create the largest known Bailey bridge across the Chindurin at Kalewa in December.

Williams’ sketch for his memoir cover

James “Billy” Williams was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1945.  He would forever cherish his memories of the animals and the jungle, as shown in his memoir, “Elephant Bill” published in 1950. (originally titled, “1920-1946, Elephants in Peace, Love and War”)

Williams passed away on 30 July 1958, at the age of 60, during an emergency appendectomy operation.  His son, Treve, had gone to Australia for veterinary school a year previous.

Williams’ sketch of the Bailey Bridge

This information and pictures were derived from “Elephant Company” by Vicki C. Croke.

Click on images to enlarge.

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 CBI Roundup – Military Humor – 

“The folks at home are going to love this shot of me!”

“You can stand there all day – but you’re NOT getting a Section 8!”

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Farewell Salutes – 

Kevin Bushell – MD; US Navy, USS John McCain, Electrician Tech 2nd Class, KIA

Timothy Eckels Jr. – MD; US Navy, USS John McCain, Information Systems Tech 2nd Class, KIA

Charles N. Findley – MI; US Navy, USS John McCain, Electrician Tech 1st Class; KIA

James L. Hutchinson – CA; US Army Air Corps # 1014403, WWII, PTO, POW, KIA (Bataan, Camp O’Donnell, Section # 4)

Cory G. Ingram – NY; US Navy, USS John McCain, Information Systems Tech 2nd Class, KIA

Abraham Lopez – El Paso,TX; US Navy, USS John McCain,Interior Communication Electrician 1st Class, KIA

James McMillen – Jonesboro, GA; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, 11th and 101st Airborne Divisions, CO for 16th Battalion, Lt.Col.

Peter Roper – London, ENG; RAF, WWII, ETO / Korea, aviation medicine

Alan Sayers (102) – NZ; RNZ Navy # 1/15/2685

Louis Vetere – Brooklyn, NY; US Army, WWII, PTO

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December 1944 (4)

British troops rest with their mules after crossing the Chindwin River near Sittaung, Burma, 1944

4 December – in Burma, the British 14th Army established 3 beachheads on the Chindwin River as part of Operation Extended Capital.  From here, XXXIII Corps drove southeast towards Schewbo and Mandalay in a 2-prong attack: in the south, IV Corps would push down Kabbaw Valley about 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Mandalay; in the north, the 19th Indian Division would start a decoy offensive from Sittaung towards Indaw.

6 December – in the Mariana Islands, one US B-29 Superfortress was destroyed and 2 more damaged during an early morning raid by 10 Japanese Betty bombers.  Six of the enemy aircraft were downed by antiaircraft fire.

8 December – the US Army Air Corps began one of the the most extensive aerial campaigns of WWII.  A 72-day bombardment of Iwo Jima by B-24 and B-25 bombers.  Despite the island having already sustained previous attacks, this was the preparation for a mid-February 1945 US invasion.

With the defeats of the Japanese Operation Inchi-Go in China, Stilwell saw this as an opportunity to command all the armies to remove the enemy.  Chiang insisted to FDR that Stilwell be removed – and he was.  New York Times correspondent Atkinson, stationed in the CBI theater, wrote:

The decision to relieve General Stilwell represents the political triumph of a moribund, anti-democratic regime that is more concerned with maintaining its political supremacy than in driving the Japanese out of China. The Chinese Communists… have good armies that they are claiming to be fighting guerrilla warfare against the Japanese in North China—actually they are covertly or even overtly building themselves up to fight Generalissimo’s government forces… The Generalissimo [Chiang Kai-shek] naturally regards these armies as the chief threat to the country and his supremacy… has seen no need to make sincere attempt to arrange at least a truce with them for the duration of the war… No diplomatic genius could have overcome the Generalissimo’s basic unwillingness to risk his armies in battle with the Japanese.

Burma 

15 December – in Burma, the British troops in the north met up with the Chinese and American forces at Banmauk.  The combined troops set off to focus in on Schwebo and Mandalay.  They started by way of the Myitkyina-Mandalay railway and the Irrawaddy River.

16 December – British carrier aircraft in the Dutch East Indies bombed the Japanese oil installations at Belawan-Deli on Sumatra.

19 December – in the East China Sea, the American submarine USS Redfish attacked and sank the Japanese carrier IJN Unryu.

23 December – in Burma, the 74th Brigade/25th Indian Div. took Donbaik.  The 81st and 82nd W.African Div. advanced southeast to Muohaung and isolated the enemy in Akyab from the main Japanese 28th  Army.  By the end of 1944, the 36th Div. was across the Irrawaddy River.

Soldiers of the E.African Army crossing the Chindwin River by ferry, Burma, Dec. 1944

27 December – US submarines reported sinking 27 Japanese vessels throughout the Pacific and Far Eastern waters; including a carrier, destroyer, cruiser and the remainder a list of cargo and escort ships.

29 December – Gen. Groves, Commander of the Manhattan Project, sent a top-secret report to the desk of Gen. Marshall, “The first bomb, without previous full scale test, which we do not believe is necessary, should be ready about 1 August 1945.”

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – STRICTLY G.I.  by EHRET, from CBI Roundup

“WHAT’S THIS RUMOR ABOUT GOING OVERSEAS?”

“LET’S PICK UP THIS FOX HOLE AND PUT IT OVER THERE.”

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Farewell Salutes –   

George Aylmore – W.AUS; RA Air Force, WWII, ETO

Douglad Baptiste – Manitoba, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

Carl Eckman – Broad Channel, NY; US Army, WWII

Ward Goessling Jr. – Norman, OK; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT, Lt.Colonel (Ret.)

Anthony Read – King’s Lynn, ENG; British Army, WWII, Captain

James Smith – Dallas, TX; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, Colonel (Ret.)

Herbert Thorpe Sr. – Marlboro, MA; US Army, WWII

Lawrence Ulrey – Columbus, OH; US Navy, WWII, PTO, radarman, USS Mobjack (AVP-27)

William Vassar – Cromwell, CT; US Army, WWII, PTO / Korea Lt.Colonel (Ret.)

Calvin Young – Lancaster, PA; US Army, WWII, ETO, 134th Division

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October 1944 (7)

Chiang Kai-shek and Gen. Stilwell

2 October – Lord Mountbatten, Commander of the SEAC, continued issuing pressure on the Japanese 15th Army in Burma.  The British IV and XXXIII Corps pursued the enemy even throughout the monsoon season.

6 October – FDR relieved Gen. Joseph Stilwell of his post as Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-shek in an effort to appease the Nationalist leader.  [Chiang wanted to withdraw his Y Force, the Chinese Nationalist Revolutionary Army) from Burma, but when Stilwell notified FDR of his plans, he lost his patience.  FDR had tried to put Stilwell in charge of the Y Force so it could be reenforced, but Chiang became offended and the President made an about-face.

Gen. Stilwell in the field

Stilwell’s domain was split into two parts.  MGen. Albert C. Wedermeyer became Chiang’s new Chief of Staff and Chief of the China Theater.  Lt.Gen. Daniel Sultan, and engineer officer and Stilwell’s CBI deputy, now took over the India-Burma Theater.

10 October – The oil refineries at Balikpapen were devastated by a US raid using B-24 bombers in North Borneo.  Being as this area was producing 40% of Japan’s oil imports at this stage, the attack greatly affected the enemy’s resources.

As the British XV Corps prepared to advance down the Burma coastline, Gen. Sultan could now call on one British and 5 Chinese divisions, as well as a new long-range penetration group, the 532nd Brigade, known as the Mars Task Force.  This brigade-size unit consisted of the 475th infantry, containing survivors of Operation Galahad and the recently dismounted 124th Cavalry of the Texas National Guard.  A detailed account of their movements can be found HERE!

The Allies possessed nearly complete command of the air and an Allied victory in Burma was only a matter of time.  The CBI’s logistics apparatus was well established as their advance continued in 2 stages.

The suicide kamikaze attacks increased around Leyte.  The destroyer, the USS Abner Road, was sunk.  The US Vessels, Anderson, Claxton, Ammen and two other destroyers received damage.

“Burma Peacock” salvage boys shown in this photo are: W/O Herbert Carr, Capt. Charles A. Herzog, S/Sgt. Don Hall, M/Sgt. Irving C. Sallette, Pfc. Ernest Luzier, Sgts. Roland Wechsler and Clifford Baumgart.

CBI Roundup – October 26, 1944 –  “Bring ‘Em Back Alive” they’re beginning to call Chief W.O. Herbert W. Carr of this Air Service Group’s reclamation detachment. Carr makes a specialty of going into jungle or rice paddies or the mountain country in search of crashed airplanes; of bringing out those ships whole or in “complete pieces;” and recently he climaxed all his previous Frank-Buck exploits.
He took a crew behind Jap lines, and brought back a C-47 which had crashed into a crater hole – the location being behind the known perimeter of the Jap knees.
According to the commander of Carr’s outfit, the “Burma Peacock’s,” the opportunity to attempt reclamation came by merest chance, when a liaison airplane reported having seen a mired C-47 on the ground.
The party was flown into the area by Capt. Charles A. Herzog, on a UC-64 light cargo ship.  Equipment consisted of two five-gallon cans of drinking water, K-rations, 180 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of tea, and 20 pounds of sugar, in addition to kits of tools, a chain hoist, axe and other items for the job. The rice, tea and sugar were for such coolie helpers as they hoped to impress from neighboring jungle settlements.
For the next six days the men fumed and tussled in the hot sun; gradually jacked up and pulled the C-47 from the bottom of a bomb crater; repaired its gear and got its engines going.
At first, no coolies appeared, so a runner was dispatched to try to rent some elephants, when and if the pachyderms could be located. One elephant almost arrived on the job, but unfortunately Dumbo put his foot into a booby trap and plunged, screaming with hurt, through the grass, his body stinging with shrapnel. In a day, the coolies, ever sensing the need for their well-paid services, began to show up.
The extra workmen were sorely needed, according to Carr, who was forced to call off work on the first all-day shift, due to excessive heat and lack of salt to counteract the drain of energy. Eventually, the C-47 was removed from the crater by piece-meal hauling along a fresh-cut incline up the mud slopes.
When the airplane was on dry land again, engines were turned up, and the craft soon was lined up for take-off. However, an overnight wait came into the picture, the ship being absent one pilot. In the morning Combat Cargo Command dropped in with a pilot; the rejuvenated C-47 took off like a breeze, and another craft had been brought back “alive” under the ministrations of “Frank Buck” Carr.
No trouble was caused by Japs during the stay of the mechani-commandos. The Japs had learned from previous experience that Chindits and Chinese-American forces do not allow Nippons to intrude on workers without one hell of a fight.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – CBI Round-up style – 

“You Myitkyina boys should have seen the Carolina maneuvers!”

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Farewell Salutes – 

Jack Albert – Charleston, WV; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Medical Corps

Jack Bates – Presque Isle, ME; US Army, WWII, ETO

Ronald Cagle – Palm Beach, FL; US Army, 11th Airborne Division, communications

Dorothy Cook Eierman – Townsend, DE; civilian aircraft spotting station, WWII

painting “Take a Trip With Me” by SFC Peter G. Varisano

Gordon Fowler – Ottawa, CAN; RC Army, WWII

Vernon Galle – San Antonio, TX; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Pres. Jackson

Leslie Langford – Battle Creek, MI; US Army, WWII, ETO

Eric Mexted – Waikato, NZ; RNZ Army # 242467, WWII, 22nd Battalion

Donald Peterson – Salt Lake City, UT; US Navy, WWII

Marge Tarnowski – Madison, FL; US Coast Guard, WWII, radio operator

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June 1944 (5)

Clearing a road-block on the Imphal-Kohima Road

Clearing a road-block on the Imphal-Kohima Road

Around the wide Pacific…….

14 June – Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Island group, and Chichi Jima & Haha Jima, in the Bonins, were attacked by US carrier aircraft.  Installations were bombed and strafed.  The Japanese lost: 39 planes shot down, 25 aircraft destroyed on the ground, 2 freighters sunk and several heavily damaged.  The US lost: 8 aircraft, with 3 more downed the following day.

15 June – on Biak Island, New Guinea, US ground forces were not making progress due to cliff-side ambushes.  MacArthur sent in Gen. Eichelberger to take over the command.

In Japan, 47 China-based B-29’s bombed Yawata, the nation’s steel center.  Not much damage was incurred on the plant although the civilian casualty rate was high.  This was the first attack by land-based aircraft on Japan’s mainland.

Ichi-Go Plan

Ichi-Go Plan

18 June – the Japanese Ichi-Go offensive captured Changsha, Burma.  They continued to advance, which put Gen. Chennault’s B-29 bases in jeopardy.

19-20 June – enemy installations on Pagan were bombed and strafed by US aircraft.  From here, until 7 July, Guam and Rota were attacked each day at least once by carrier forces.

Japanese tanks and troops in CBI

Japanese tanks and troops in CBI

22-26 June – in the CBI, the enemy siege and fighting at Imphal, India lasted 88 days.  The Japanese U-Go offensive unraveled as the British 2nd Division and 5th Indian Division finally met up at the Imphal-Kohima Road, Milestone 107.  In Burma, the town of Mogaung fell to the 77th LRP Brigade and the Chinese 38th Div.  They then turned east to Myitkyina, where the US and Chinese forces were already laying siege.

Kuril Islands

Kuril Islands

In the Kuril Islands, Kurabu Zaki, on Paramushir, and important enemy base, was bombarded by ground units.  This action would be repeated on 30 June.

28 June – US troops on Saipan reached Nafutan Point on the southeast tip of the island.  It had taken nearly 2 weeks to cover 4 miles (6 km).

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Melvyn Douglas

Melvyn Douglas

Article from the ‘CBI Roundup’ newspaper

MELVYN DOUGLAS CRASH LANDS

INDIA – Capt. Melvyn Douglas, motion picture star now serving in CBI as a Special Service Officer, and 17 other passengers on an airplane owe their lives to the cool piloting of 1st Lt. Harold L. Griffith, of Los Angeles, Calif., it was revealed this week.

After riding out a severe storm and bucking terrific headwinds, Griffith was forced to make a difficult “belly landing.” The dangerous crash landing was made on a dry lake, flanked on three sides by hills, and was accomplished without a moon for illumination.

Capt. Douglas and the other passengers, including Capt. Roger F. Howe, Seattle, Wash., and Glenn Abbey, of Dodgeville, Wis., member of the American Mission at New Delhi, had high praise for Lt. Griffith and his co-pilot, Lt. James M. George, of Seminole, Tex., and Sgt. E. B. Halzlip, Eatonton, Ga., radio operator.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

CBI humor

CBI humor

CBI humor

CBI humor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Gloria (Gove) Allen – Delray Beach, FL; USO, WWII

Luxembourg American Cemetery

Luxembourg American Cemetery

Paul Chess (Fiszel Czyz) – brn: POL/Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII

Cyrus Duval – Twinsburg, OH; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

John Farrel Sr. – Bronx, NY; US Coast Guard, WWII

Paul Healy Newport, RI; US Army, Vietnam

Edward Isbell – OK; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Charles Kessler – Denver, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII

John McCreight – Toronto, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, navigator

Charles Prophit – Tquesta, FL; US Navy, Vietnam

Geneva (Shepard) Richard – Womelsdorf, PA; US Army WAC, WWII, driver

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April 1944 (2)

Battle of Kohima

Battle of Kohima

4 April – In the CBI, the Japanese started their offensive towards India by attacking Kohima, India.  This operation would suffer from supply problems and the typhoon season.  Over 30,000 of the enemy would eventually be lost to due to disease and starvation.  Ground troops in Burma received support from the 10th Air Force as over 120 aircraft struck Japanese railroads and supply areas.

5-6 April – the Japanese 138th, 58th and 24th regiments of the 31st Div. surrounded the Allied troops at Kohima into a 10-mile pocket.  The 58th attempted to make a surprise attack at the center, but were thwarted by the Royal West Kents.   Within the circle, dependent on air supply were the 17th Indian Light Div., 50th Parachute Brigade, 5th Indian Div, 23rd Indian Div. and the 254th Tank Brigade.

10th Gurkha Rifles clearing 'Scraggy Hill' at Imphal

10th Gurkha Rifles clearing ‘Scraggy Hill’ at Imphal

6-18 April – the Japanese 53rd in Burma took the Chindit supply base known as “White City.”  The Chindits in northern Burma received glider-borne reinforcements.  They then occupied the Japanese base at Indau and that cut the enemy off from southern Burma.

7 April – in Japan, it was decided that despite the Army being overstretched in the Pacific and Burma, the new offensive in China would commence.  Inchi-Go’s objective was to occupy south China, thereby providing open land routes to their other forces in Malaya and Thailand while crushing US air bases.

7-13 April – in India, the Japanese 138th Regiment encircled the 161st Indian Brigade and took Kohima, but further into the settlement, 1500 troops [mostly the Assam Rifles and 4th Royal West Kents), best back the invaders.

14-18 April – the Allied XXXIII Corps began to try relief operations in the Kohima area.  The 5th Brigade/2nd Div. smashed the Japanese roadblock at Zubza and made a break in the circle around the 161st Indian Division.

18 April – the Allied troops were finally relieved in the Kohima area as the 5th Brigade reached them.  This does not in any way slow the fighting down.  Both sides tried to encircle the other with flanking maneuvers.

Kohima War Cemetery

Kohima War Cemetery

26-27 April – the Allied XXXIII Corps started a major offensive to retake Kohima.  The 5th attacked the Japanese right flank from the north and the 4th Brigade came from the south.  After the British took the road junction, both sides took entrenched positions about 72 feet apart, around the “Tennis Court”.  The following 2 weeks would bring heavy and close-quarter battles.

27-28 April – in New Guinea, the Cyclops Airdrome had limited operation.  With the swift success at Hollandia, plans by generals MacArthur and Kenney began to take form on heading west.

A short gallery of photos of constructing an airdrome in WWII.

Click on images to enlarge.

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CBI Military Humor – 

The CBI version of being sold the Brooklyn Bridge.

The CBI version of being sold the Brooklyn Bridge.

"Corporal Gee Eye" always getting into trouble!!

“Corporal Gee Eye” always getting into trouble!!

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Eddie Agurkis – Newburgh, NY; USMC, WWII & Korea

salutetop

The Salute

Simon Bromley – AUS; RA Air Force

Ethel Gay Carmichael – Leader, CAN; RC Air Force (WD), WWII

Edward Ebanks – Hollywood, FL; Merchant Marine (Ret. 45 years)

Paul Kelly Sr. – Brighton, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-17 pilot “Millie K”

John McCambridge – Broad Channel, NY; US Army, WWII

Samuel Prather – Seattle, WA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 1st Lt.

Andrew Repasky – Library, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne, artillery

Robert Segil – Salt Lake City, UT; US Army, WWII, PTO, Lt., tank destroyer unit

Ruth Turner – Knoxville, TN; US Cadet Nursing Corps, WWII

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March 1944 (1)

Marauder Sgt. Gerald Silvey watches Sgt. Robert Passanisi repair the 60 ib. SCR 300 FM Transceiver

Marauder Sgt. Gerald Silvey watches Sgt. Robert Passanisi repair the 60 ib. SCR 300 FM Transceiver

5 March – in the CBI, the Chinese 22nd and 38th divisions captured Maingkwan in the Hukawng Valley in Burma.  On their left flank, the US troops of Merrill’s Marauders crossed the Tanai River and took Walaboum.  Despite a serious lack of food and enduring combat, including suicidal bayonet charges of the Japanese 18th Division, under Gen. Tanaka, the Allied casualties were light.

Chindit forces in north Burma launched Operation Thursday.  The 77th and 111th LRP (Long Range Patrol) Brigades, (~ 9000 men), along with their 1,300 mules were deployed by glider and transports by the recently formed American Air Commando, under Col. Phillip Cochrane.  Their mission was to establish landing strips for air supply and to cut the flow of enemy supplies and communication in the Mitkyina area.  More of the brigades would be flown in over the next 3 months.

Gen. Renya Matguchi’s plan of U-Go began in Central Burma with the 33rd, 15th and 31st divisions, with 7,000 of Bose’s Indian National Army in support.  Their goal was to halt any Allied offensive in that sector, enter India and cut off the Tiddim-Imphal Road; a major supply route.

Chindit operations map

Chindit operations map

On the 12th of March, the enemy reached Witok on the approach to Shenan Saddle.  The 17th Indian Div., under Lt.Gen. A.P. Scoones, became trapped by the Japanese 33rd Div. and the 28th Indian Div. was encircled by Matguchi’s 15th Div.  Mountbatten called in the American Hump and the RAF for assistance.  Other units of the 15th attacked “Broadway”, an Allied airfield in the Chindit area the following day.

As those Allied units fell back from the Japanese offensive, the troops in the Arakan made progress.  They recaptured Buthidawng and the enemy fortress at Razabil.

Chindits, 77th Division

Chindits, 77th Division

15-16 March – the second phase of U-Go started with the Japanese troops, east of Imphal, heading west to meet up with the other units coming up from the south.  Meanwhile, the enemy 33rd Div. began a 3-prong assault toward Kohima.  Chindit troops cut the Japanese supply railways on the 16th.

23-30 March – the 14th LRP Brigade landed at “Aberdeen” landing zone in support of the Chindits near Manhton.  On the 25th, MGen. Orde Wingate, leader of the Chindits and pioneers of Tactical innovations, was killed in an air crash over Burma.  MGen. W. Letaigne would succeed him.  By the 30th, the Chidit operations began to falter.  The 16th Brigade retreated from the Japanese 53 rd. defense at Indaw.

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C.B.I.  Military Humor – 

r3260

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Farewell Salutes – 

Charles Anderson – Grand Rapids, MI; US Army, WWII, ETO, Corps of Engineers

Roy Anderson – Cloquet, MN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI, 330th Troop Carrier Sq. (The Hump), C-47 pilot

John Burke – Shelley, ID; US Army, WWII, CBIimages-1

Brett Burney – Hamilton, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 403939, WWII, Africa & Burma

Llyod Diedrichsen – Scribner, NE; US Navy, WWII, CBI, Scouts & Raiders

Bruce Evans – Cold Lake, CAN; Vintage Wings of Canada pilot

Steven Harris – Huntsville, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 127th Engineers, 11th Airborne Division

Magdalena Leones – Lubuagan, PI; Philippine-American Army (USAFIP), WWII, PTO, Silver Star

Richard Reinhardt – Rochester, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO, 172nd Combat Engineers

Charles Smith – Winfield, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII

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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.

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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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December 1943 (2)

Cape Gloucester

Cape Gloucester

15-31 December – the US Army’s 112th Cavalry tried to surprise the enemy at Arawe, south-central New Britain in rubber boats, but the flimsy vessels were shot to pieces.  The main force did get ashore by conventional means, however.  After suffering numerous air raids, they repulsed a Japanese counterattack.  This landing was intended as a diversion for the following attack.

At Cape Gloucester, on the north side of New Britain, the 1st Marine Division, with the 11th Marine Artillery Regiment, under Gen. William Rubertus, found the same situation of mud, swamp and unbroken jungle as the 112th did, making advance to Rabaul impossible.  In retaliation, the Japanese sank the destroyer, USS Brownson and damaged 3 other vessels including a landing boat.

Cape Gloucester airdrome during pre-invasion bombing

Cape Gloucester airdrome during pre-invasion bombing

The main operation for this began 26 December with a naval barrage from both the US Navy and RAN warships.  This was followed by air attacks from the US Army Air Corps and RAAF aircraft, who also created a smoke screen for the ground troops.  The enemy they faced were the Japanese 17th Div. under MGen. Matsuda, augmented by the “Matsuda Force” consisting of the 65th Infantry Brigade and elements of the 51st Div.  (The remainder of the 51st were on New Guinea.).

soldiers moving sacks in the Ramu Valley, New Guinea, 1943

soldiers moving sacks in the Ramu Valley, New Guinea, 1943

On New Guinea, the Australian 7th Div., under Gen. Vassey, were ahead of schedule going through the Ramu Valley on the south side of the Finschhafen Mt. Range.  They took the 6,000-foot pass nicknamed “Shaggy Peak” on the 26th.  The 6th Army received orders to take Saidor, thereby cutting off the Japanese retreat.

Australian troops (center of pix) scale 'Shaggy Peak"

Australian troops (center of pix) scale ‘Shaggy Peak”

During December, Britain’s XV Corps were building up their forces to face the Japanese 15th Army on Burma, as they planned an offensive operation into eatern India.  The enemy increased their bombing of Indian Allied air bases and coastal positions.  Calcutta was hit, killing 350 people.  The airfield at Tinsukia alone was hit by 70 Japanese aircraft.

Troops of the Japanese 15th Army in Burma

Troops of the Japanese 15th Army in Burma

Air Chief Marshall, Sir Richard Peirse, became the overall commander of the Allied air unites, including the USAAF, within the South East Asia Command (SEAC).  The RAF 3rd Tactical Air Force was formed; and the SEAC’s name was changed to the Eastern Air Command.

Gen. Stilwell took command of all the Chinese troops operating in the India/Burma area on the 15th.  On the 24th, this force pushed forward into the Hukawng Valley in an offensive operation aimed for Myitkyina and the vital airfield situated nearby.

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Current News –

Naval Base Guam – treatment chamber for decompression sickness is good to go!  Divers, read HERE!

Eielson AFB – airmen build an ice bridge in Alaska.  Read HERE!

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Envelope Art during Christmas – 

envelope art

envelope art

1942_0159

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Ken Adam – brn: Berlin, GER, London, ENG; RAF, WWII,pilot

Charles Brady – Lake Park, FL; US Navy, Koreadogtagslg

Robert Dyson – Stubenville, OH; US Army, WWII, ETO, 11th Armored Division

Walter Edwards – Deland, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS Fallriver/Korea, USS Newport News

Martin T. Feeney – Broad Channel, NY; US Coast Guard, WWII

Albert Friedman – Spokane, WA; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Victor Giusti – Memphis, TN; US Navy, WWII, Norden Bombsight

Robert Hoasley – York, UK; RAF, WWII, ETO, 617th Squadron, gunner & radioman

Robert Prout – Barrington, RI; US Army, WWII

Elwin Schott – Plantation, FL; US Army, WWII, POW

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May 1943 (1)

2 Spitfires take off from an airfield near Darwin.

2 Spitfires take off from an airfield near Darwin.

2 May – Darwin, Australia was bombed by 20 Japanese bombers and Zero fighter aircraft.  This was the 54th airstrike on the country.  The No. 1 Wing RAAF intercepted the enemy planes after the attack and suffered heavy losses.Buildings were damaged, but there were no casualties.  Further data on Australian bombings can be located  here.

5 May – in Alaska,   an 11th Air Force weather reconnaissance airplane over Attu observed a floatplane burning on the water. Fourteen B-24’s, 17 B-25’s, 16 P-38’s, 32 P-40’s, and 5 F-5A’s flew 4 attack missions to Attu and 6 [partly with Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots] to Kiska targets that included Main Camp, a radar site, North and South Head, a runway, and Gertrude Cove installations. Bombs were dropped on Attu installations and fighters strafed and set afire one seaplane and silenced the AA guns.

Dinnertime on Kiska

Dinnertime on Kiska

Japanese forces in Central China began a massive offensive into Hunan Province in an effort to gain territories of rice production.  US commanders that would have liked to put air bases in China were disappointed by intermittent Chinese cooperation with the enemy.

7 May –  5th Air Force B-17’s and B-24’s bombed supply dumps, and other targets at Madang and Madang Airfield.  Meanwhile, Japanese fighters from Wewak were on patrol and intercepted seven B-17s and six B-24s over Madang.  The B-17s reported interception by seven Japanese fighters including two that dropped aerial bombs that missed by a considerable distance. Four B-17s were damaged, one seriously.//

Chindits behind enemy lines, Burma, May 1943.

Chindits behind enemy lines, Burma, May 1943.

7-14 May – in Burma, the British offensive into the Arakan finally collapsed and were driven north.  The Japanese retook Maundau and Buthidaung, which put the Allies back to their starting positions.nventional attacks.  A-20’s hit forces in the Green’s Hill area. On Timor, B-25’s pounded Penfoesi.  The B-17F “Reckless Mountain Boys” 41-24518 was lost.   Returning from a mission to Aru , the RAAF Hudson A-16-116 was lost.

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8 May – as part of the Operation Cartwheel, US Dauntless and Liberator aircraft bombed various enemy installations throughout the Solomon Islands.  Three Japanese destroyers were damaged; one seriously.

 Port Moresby Station Hospital

Port Moresby Station Hospital

9 May –  5th Air Force B-24’s and B-17’s bombed Manokwari, Nabire, Kaimana, Madang Airfield and the Wewak area. B-25’s hit the airfield at Gasmata.

10 May –  the 10th Air Force in Burma had 6 P-40’s bomb and strafe Kwitu, leaving several areas burning fiercely in China.  The 14th Air Force in French Indochina had eight P-40’s fly an offensive sweep against communications in the Nam Dinh and Hanoi areas. Four locomotives and 3 riverboats are destroyed, a train carrying troops and supplies was heavily damaged, and several trucks of troops were destroyed.//

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Military Rivalry Humor – military-humor-marines-vs-army

0ec78c9958d3d6954d74171a7e89ce4c

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Marvin Alderson – Hartford, SD; US Army, ETO, 3rd Armored Division, Signal Corps, Sgt.

Albert Alderton – Tamahere, NZ; British Navy, WWIITaps

Tony Bruno – Gurnee, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-29 gunner

William Halsey III – Huntsville, AL; US Army, WWII, Engineer Amphibian, Major

Joseph Iannuzzi Jr. – Port Chester, NY; US Army, Korea, 2 Purple Hearts, Silver Star

Samuel McNeill – Southern, NJ; US Army, Vietnam, Dental Corps

Francis ‘Fritz’ Reardon, US Navy, WWII

Jordan Spears – Memphis, IN; USMC, Tiltrotor Sq. ’63/Marine Aircraft Group 16, USS Makin Island, pilot

William Tremaine – Wilmington, DE; US Army, WWII & Korea

Joshua Wheeler – Muldrow, OK; US Army, Iraq, Delta Force, Master Sgt., Bronze Stars

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