Blog Archives

March 1942 (1)

Japanese in N.E.I.

Japanese in N.E.I.

The arrival of Japanese units on Java gave the enemy the important naval base at Surabaya and access to the valuable assets of oil, rubber, bauxite and rice.  This positioning would aid the operations targeting assaults on Australia.

HMAS Yarra

HMAS Yarra

2-4 March – The HMAS Yarra arrived at Tjilatjap with the depot ship Anking, the tanker Francol and the minesweeper MMS-51, the sloop was ordered to escort the other 3 ships to Freemantle.  A day later, the ship rescued forty survivors of the Dutch ship Paragi from their life rafts.  By the 4th, the convoy encountered an enemy fleet with the cruisers Atago, Takao and Maya and 4 destroyers.  Despite the gallant efforts of the Yarra, all 4 ships were pursued and sunk.  There were originally 34 survivors, but rescue did not arrive until the 9th and there were only 13 remaining. Holland_Japanese_IndonesiaA_280x196 JapBikes 9 March –  prisoners of war were rounded up nearing 98,000 and two days after the last Allied troops surrendered on Java, Emperor Hirohito warned Marquis Kido, Lord Privy Seal, “The fruits of victory are tumbling into our mouths too quickly.”  It was his 42nd birthday.  As the Japanese Empire grew in size each day, they were faced with the problems of defending and administering to their newly acquired territories. By this time, Churchill made even more demands of the US for tanks, aircraft and troops to be shipped to Britain.  But, with the added concern of protecting Australia and New Zealand, FDR warned him that the original build-up plan must be cut for the emergency status in the Pacific.  This gave Admiral King the opportunity to try to push his “Pacific-First” campaign.

a 1942 sample of war news. Click on to read.

a 1942 sample of war news.
Click on to read.

The Director of War Plans, BGen. Eisenhower, insisted on (A) maintenance of the United Kingdom; (B) retention of Russia in the war; (C) maintenance of the Indian-Middle East area to prevent a junction of the Axis enemies. [C- was actually a misconception here as Japan felt no attachment to Germany other than one old trade agreement.  It was the Allied powers that created the “link” between the 2 nations.].  King continued to argue that the US priority was the Pacific, while Ike called him “an arbitrary and stubborn type with too much brain…”  Marshall put forward a compromise, which went into effect, favoring the Atlantic.

Japanese soldiers teach New Guinea villagers songs as part of their indoctrination.

Japanese soldiers teach New Guinea villagers songs as part of their indoctrination.

8-17 March – on New Guinea, Japanese forces invaded with 2 battalions at Lae and Salamaua in the Huon Gulf.  Two days later, the enemy started their air raids on Port Moresby as the Allies sent aircraft to strike the Japanese positions.  Enemy forces secured the northern coastline with a landing at Finschafen.  The US cruisers Enterprise & Lexington launched major air raids against enemy shipping and landing parties.  The US Navy reported 2 enemy heavy cruisers, 5 transport vessels, 1 light cruiser and possibly 3 destroyers sunk; 1 destroyer and 1 cruiser damaged.  Those included the Armed Merchant Cruiser Kongo Maru, aux. minelayer Tenyo Maru [that broke in 2 pieces before sinking] and the transport Yokohama Maru.  The USS Yorktown was credited with the destruction of seaplane tender Kiyokama Maru. Click on images to enlarge and read. ################################################################################## MILITARY  HUMOR – Pin-ups became VERY popular – 

Vivian Austin

Vivian Austin

Ann Miller, Yank Magazine

Ann Miller, Yank Magazine

################################################################################## BENEFITS FOR TODAY’S VETERANS – submitted by Sheri DeGrom, we both hope these links will assist any veteran! www.va.gov military advantage VA Registry  ################################################################################## Farewell Salutes –  James Biden – El Paso, TX; US Army, Korea & Vietnam

Michael Davison – Vernon, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETOBN91311

John Eldridge Jr. – Fairbanks, AK; US Army (Ret. 20 years), Vietnam, Bronze Star

Gordon Jones – NH, MA & FL; US Navy, USS Cecil J. Doyle, navigator

Peter Kassig – Indianapolis, IN; US Army, Ranger, Iraq

Kenneth Leisy – Sun Lakes, AZ; US Army Major (Ret.), WWII John McEwing – Dargaville, NZ; RNZ Army #443847, WWII, Lance Cpl.

Terry Sato – Denver, CO; WWII internee Paul Tidwell Jr. – Delray Bch, FL; US Air Force, Korea ##################################################################################

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A Correspondent’s View

POWs

POWs

 

Kenneth Attiwill, Australian playwright, journalist and author described the conditions of Malaya for the Allied troops as they were being pushed back to Singapore.  The picture he molds with his words is dramatically similar to what was faced throughout the Pacific.  To give you an insight_____

“…the jungles, mangrove swamps and thickly treed areas of cultivation present a particular problem.  Visibility is limited…there are no fields of fire and tactical features become insignificant.

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“…the jungle itself – a terrifying morass of tangled vegetation, steamy heat, nerve-racking noises and the discomfit of mosquitoes by the myriad, moths, beetles, insects of all kinds, biting, buzzing, irritating and debilitating.

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“Rubber too, with its dampness and sound-deadening effect breeds a feeling of isolation…Noise is difficult to pinpoint…In the monsoonal season there is the added handicap of torrential rain, hissing down incessantly upon the greenery, dripping on heads and bodies, humid, sweaty, destructive…article970368-3-001

Within little more than a month, the Japanese had advanced from Siam all the way down the peninsula into northern Johore…Yet, in Johore, the commanders chose to try to defend one strong point, only to be destroyed piecemeal.”

“Withdrawal into Singapore was inevitable.  That was the pattern — errors by commanders; insufficient or inadequately trained troops and continuous under-estimation of a savage, speedy, highly skilled and highly mobile enemy.”

Kenneth Attiwill became a POW of the Japanese and was interned on both Java and later Japan.  He survived his ordeal and married author, Evadne Price.  He wrote “The Singapore Story” to describe the events up to the surrender and “The Rising Sunset” about his time in captivity.  Mr. Attiwill passed away in 1960 and the youthful age of 54.

Click on images to enlarge.

 

News articles are courtesy of Trove.com

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Current News –     THE AMERICAN VETERANS DISABLED FOR LIFE MEMORIAL  HAS NOW BEEN DEDICATED – Take a moment.

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Does Little Rock like this one?  Did I do the veterans justice?  Let me know.

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Paintings by WWII POW Lance Bombardier, Des Bettany –

Where's the cookhouse?

Where’s the cookhouse?

 

 

 

Prison library

Prison library

Heigh-ho-heigh-ho

Heigh-ho-heigh-ho

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Farewell Salutes – 

Joseph Brugliera, Jr – Jupiter, FL; US Navy, WWII, destroyer radioman

Richard Bensacca – Soledad, CA; US Army, WWII, aircraft engine mechanicA-Single-Tear-Ach-Hold-Inspirational-Life-Quotes

John Cain – Ottawa, CAN; RC Army, P.P.C.L.I., Korea

Jack Dahlgren – Oilton, OK; US  Army, 291st Antitank/75th Div., USAAF, P-38, P-47 pilot, WWII

George Hill – Las Vegas, NV; US Air Force (Ret. E-6 20 years), 3 tours Vietnam

Harvey Johnson – Kansas City, MO; US Navy, WWII, pilot

Bruce McRobie – Northbridge, NZ; RNZ Navy, WWII

Lloyd Oczkewicz – Everett, WA; US Army,WWII, ETO, Bronze Star

Robert Pratt – Lake Worth, FL; US Army, Korea

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February 1942 (1)

(top) Navy plane over Wotjie Atoll, smoke is from fuel & ammo dump eruption.  (bottom) 2 US vessels during battle

(top) Navy plane over Wotjie Atoll, smoke is from fuel & ammo dump eruption. (bottom) 2 US vessels during battle

 

1 February – Adm. Halsey sent aircraft from the Enterprise and Yorktown to strafe and bomb Kwajalein and 5 other sites during the Marshall-Gilbert raids.  A fleet that also included the Salt Lake City and Northhampton.  Enemy transports were sunk or damaged and the Japanese commanding admiral was killed, at the cost of 13 planes.  The enemy retaliated and hit the Enterprise.  The US exaggerated the success of this battles by using headlines that read, “Pearl Harbor Avenged.”

Further information on this___Link Here.

In the Java/Sumatra area, allied naval forces were small compared tho the enemy fleet.  After a confrontation occurred between the two sides, the USS Marblehead found it necessary to go to Ceylon for repairs and the Houston‘s rear turret was out of commission.  Australian and Dutch troops on Sumatra were driven south.  The following day, the Dutch naval base at Surabya, on Java, was heavily damaged by an enemy air attack.

Port facilities at Oosthaven, Sumatra destroyed.

Port facilities at Oosthaven, Sumatra destroyed.

4 February – in the Madura Strait, Netherlands RAdm. Doorman suffered a massive air attack as his allied naval forces attempted to intercept a Japanese invasion fleet off Borneo.  One Dutch cruiser and 2 US cruisers were damaged.  10-20 February – the Japanese made paratrooper drops on Sumatra as Borneo and Celebes went under the enemy’s control.  The Japanese then followed up with jumps on Kupang, Timor.  Dutch and US ships engaged the enemy’s navy in the Badeong Strait (east of Bali).  One Japanese destroyer was damaged and the Dutch lost 2 vessels.

Japanese at Singapore

Japanese at Singapore

Gen. Percival had made the error of concentrating his force of the 18th British Division on the coastline of Singapore and the 22nd Australian Brigade in the dense mangrove swamps.  On 7 February – Gen. Yamashita sent the Konoye Division across the strait, headed directly to those swamps.  By dawn of the following day, 30,000 enemy troops were ashore attacking in bayonet charges during the pouring rain and pushed the Allies into retreat.  The 27th Brigade, in the central area were left defending their front.  13 February – almost all of the ships carrying evacuees fell prey to the enemy bombers and vessels; the Japanese picked up some of the survivors.

The ABDACOM area of responsibility

The ABDACOM area of responsibility

Despite Churchill’s insistence that Singapore could hold out for 6 months, the ‘City of Lions’ fell.  15 February – at 1800 hours, Percival and his officers emerged from his headquarters in front of Japanese reporters and newsreel cameramen to record a stage-managed surrender to Yamashita.  The battles had cost both sides about 10,000 men.  European women and children were then incarcerated in Changi camp and thousands of Chinese civilians were executed.  On the Japanese home front, the government decreed 2 bottles of beer or sake per family and a bag of candy for the children in celebration.

The staged Singapore surrender.

The staged Singapore surrender.

Sir Max Hastings, British journalist, historian and author, has said, “At Singapore the Japanese had a brilliant general and a terrific army up against one of the most incompetent range of commanders that the British army has ever put in the field.”  Hastings believes that the “British forces in Singapore was not unique in the context of the Second War War…the British convinced themselves that if the other side had air superiority, then the British were entitled to expect to lose the ground battle….The British Army was just not very good.”

The Japanese continued to advance to Burma and the Allied ABDA Air Command was down to 55 fighters.  Gen. Wavell sent a cable out: “Loss of Java, though a severe blow…would not be fatal.  Efforts should NOT therefore be made to reinforce Java which might compromise Burma and Australia.”  Prime Minister Curtin recalled his 1st Australian Division from sailing across the Indian Ocean.  But, Churchill interceded and redirected the division to Rangoon, telling Curtin, “…your greatest support in this our of peril must be drawn from the U.S.” (Once again, Australia had lost a method of self-defense).

Click on images to enlarge.

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Humor –  Aussie and British style today….

Tank crew poster at Aberdeen training grounds.

Tank crew poster at Aberdeen training grounds.

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Owen Boyd – Lynnwood, WA; US Army, Korea

Tom Chappell – Born in England, Belle Glade, FL; RAF & RCAF, WWII, instructor at Clewiston, FL pilot & Bombardier school

Keith Dawson – Manurewa, NZ; RNZ Army # 815463 / RNZ Air Force # 44883, WWIIlib-bell

William Howell – South Jordan, UT; US Army, Korea, 4th Signal Battalion

Obrad Marinkovich – San Antonio, TX; US Air Force, fighter pilot (Ret. 30 years)

Bernard Murphy, FL; US Army, MSgt (Ret. 22 years), Korea & Vietnam

John O’Kane – Waltham, MA; US Army, WWII, ETOGeorge Scherr – Washington, IL; US Army, Korea, Engineers

Henry Turner – Canton, GA; US Army, WWII mortar crew, Korea & Vietnam

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Japanese Blitzkrieg (2)

"Prince of Wales" & "Repulse"

“Prince of Wales” & “Repulse”

After hearing President Roosevelt’s ‘Infamy’ speech, the British War Cabinet suggested to their Prime Minister to continue their same gentle approach in dealing with America.  Churchill replied, “Oh!  That is the way we talked to her while we were wooing her; now that she is in the harem, we talk to her quite differently.”

9 December, the Thai capital of Bangkok became occupied by the Japanese.  The Gilbert Islands, Tarawa atoll and Makin of the Central Pacific were now in the hands of the enemy.

Royal Engineers prepare to blow a bridge at Kuala Lampur

Royal Engineers prepare to blow a bridge at Kuala Lampur

In Burma, Betong fell on 10 December and Alor Setar, on the northwest coast, 3 days later, which secured all the airfields in the northern sector.  Britain had the 9th and 11th British/Indian divisions along with some Malayan and Australian units for defense.  Their 110 planes (only 50 remained after the initial attack) were up against Japan’s 530 aircraft of Force Z.

Wake Island location

Wake Island location

Adm. Kimmell, at Pearl Harbor, a midst the cleanup, had already made plans to send relief to Wake Island and deploy the 3 cruiser groups Japan had failed to locate: (1)- Adm. Wilson Brown’s to the Marshalls to keep the enemy busy in the south; (2)- Adm. Fletcher’s to Wake directly with a new fighter squadron, and; (3)- Adm. Halsey to guard Pearl Harbor and then follow behind Brown’s group.

Frank Mason's rendition of the "Prince of Wales" & "Repulse" destructions

Frank Mason’s rendition of the “Prince of Wales” & “Repulse” destructions

10 December, off Kuantan, in the South China Sea, the HMS Prince of Wales and the Repulse were by enemy submarine torpedoes and aircraft in a series of 4 attacks that lasted 2 hours; 840 seamen were KIA.

On Guam, the Government House in Agana was bombed.  The Japanese force of 8 destroyers, 2 gunboats, 6 sub-chasers, 2 minesweepers, 2 tenders and the 5th Defense Force had arrived.  The Guam Insular Force Guard (GIFG) and a small American garrison (about 400 men) were quickly defeated as over 5,000 troops of the Japanese South Seas Detached Force landed at Tumon Bay and Talafofo Bay.  The GIFG had 4 KIA and 22 WIS; the US forces lost 13 KIA and 13 WIA.

Clark Field shortly before attack

Clark Field shortly before attack

By this date about half of the Far East Air Force was destroyed on the ground at Clark, TBU and Nicholls airfields in the Philippines.  The Japanese 16th Division landed in southeast Luzon at Lamon Bay and cut across to Tiaong on their way to Manila.  By the 13th, Filipino and US forces were about to be surrounded.

For an excellent post about the Philippine attack, I suggest this article by Rosalinda Morgan…

https://subliblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/remembering-dec-8-1941/

 

Wake Island

Wake Island

11 December, on Wake Island, the defenses repulsed an attempted Japanese landing with the remaining maintenance crews still on the island all volunteering to act as soldiers.  Despite the 3 days of enemy bombardment, the US shore gunners sank 2 destroyers and damaged a cruiser.  The Japanese fleet they were up against included the 6th Destroyer Squadron under RAdm. Sadamichi Kajioka on his flagship Yubari, 2 medium transports, 2 submarines, 2 light cruisers Tenryu and Tatsuta, 2 destroyers under RAdm. Kuninori Marumo.  The aerial bombing would continue for 8 days.

Click on images to enlarge.

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For Family Service – 

courtesy of fellow blogger, Patty B.

courtesy of fellow blogger, Patty B.

To view an example – check out the Family History category for fellow blogger Jim Reillly – CLICK HERE!

To visit Patty B – CLICK HERE!

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Humor of the Day –

frieside

wwii

 

These humorous postcards are courtesy of Chris, who you can locate RIGHT HERE!

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Herman Boles – Mongomery, AL; US Army, WWII

Never Forget

Never Forget

Frank Butcher – Maryborough, AUS.; RA Navy # B4606, WWII, Stoker 1st Class

Marion “Bill” Cabble Jr. – Princeton, WV; US Army (Ret. 26 years), Vietnam

James Fleming – Richmond, CAN; RC Army, WWII, South Saskatchewan Regiment

Carl Hoberg – Ridgecrest, CA; US Army, Sgt., Combat Engineers, Vietnam

James Jolly – Fresno, CA; US Army, WWII, 69th Div., ETO, 2 Bronze Stars, Purple Heart

William MacMcShane Jr. – Erie, PA; US Navy, SeaBee, Vietnam

Alice Payne – Kingsport, TM; WACS, Korea

Alex Woolston – Manunui, NZ; RNZ Navy # 16496

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In the Jungle – POWs 3

The CBI Theater of Operations is rarely heard of and Hillary’s posts on the subject deserve attention_________

Green Writing Room

Barry and the men of 27 Line Section, arrived in Singapore in the Autumn of 1941. They spent very little time in that teeming, multicultural city, before being posted into mainland Malaya as an independent unit.

This picture shows some of the men in a very relaxed state in Kota Tinggi. Barry and his Lieutenant were familiar with life in Malaya and unfussy about uniforms and the men adapted quickly to the climate and the work.

27LineS1941_1

They did encounter occasional problems. Barry remembers:

So in late 1941, based at Kota Tinggi in Johore, No. 27 Line Section went on with their job of building telephone lines between the many small headquarters, unmanned but established, “Just in Case”, and the small air strips in Johore and Pahang. I don’t remember much in detail of this period just before the invasion but one incident vividly comes to mind. I was with a small party…

View original post 362 more words

7 December 1941 (1)

 
Japanese Type 00 fighters just proir to take-off. Courtesy Japanese Archives

Japanese Type 00 fighters just proir to take-off.
Courtesy Japanese Archives

1200 hours – the lights of Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii were visible from the 2-man units of Commander Nagi Iwasa’s Special Attack Force 4 midget submarines.  An hour later, they reached the booms that guarded the mile-wide mouth to the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s anchorage.
Orders for the men of the USS "Enterprise"

Orders for the men of the USS “Enterprise”

0300 hours – The crew of the Japanese aircraft, from 6 carriers, ate a celebratory breakfast, donned their “thousand-stitch” good luck belts, left family letters with clippings of hair and fingernails with their belongings and drank their sake toasts.  At their final briefing, Commander Mitsuo Fushida wrote, “the room was not large enough for all the men, some of whom had to stand in the passageway.  On the blackboard was written the positions of ships in Pearl Harbor as of 0600 hours 7 December. (Tokyo time).
0430 hours –  one midget submarine crept past Keanpapuaa Point and found the boom open to admit 2 minesweepers.  It circled Ford Island and logged in the warships through its periscope.
Japanese midget submarine

Japanese midget submarine

0530 hours –  with the Pearl Harbor Strike Force now 200 miles north of Oahu, seaplanes left the cruisers “Tone” and “Chikuma” to make predawn recon sweeps of Pearl Harbor and Lahaina while rows of attack aircraft were loaded up.  On the north Malayan coast, the enemy arrived at Kota Bharu, while the pillboxes and defenses manned by the 9th Indian Army Division were bombed.   Gen. Percival called the Governor to alert him, and Sir Shenton Thomas replied, “Well, I suppose you’ll shove the little men off.”
 
o600 hours –   the first planes to leave the Japanese Strike Force’s 6 carriers: 183 aircraft – 49 Val bombers with winged armor-piercing shells; 40 “Kates”, each with oxygen-powered Long Lance Torpedoes and an escort of 43 Zero fighters.  They joined up and went into formation for an estimated 90 minute flight.  The Imperial Navy battle ensign was broken out above Togo’s famous Z pendant signal at the “Akagi’s masthead as Fushida fastened the Hachimaki headband given to him from the crew.
0637 hours –  A midget submarine was spotted by the destroyer, USS “Ward,” as the booms opened again to allow the “Antares” into the harbor.  At 0645 hours, LtComdr. William Outerbridge ordered a gunfire and depth charge attack.  A report was transmitted, but given low priority.  See the after-action report below____
After-action report for the USS "Ward"

After-action report for the USS “Ward”

0700 hours – one of 3 US PBY flying boats, on submarine patrol, depth-charged a different attack and also signaled his report in code back to the base – the message took more than half an hour to be passed for circulation.  The 2-man crew of the Army radar post at Opana spotted unusual blips on the screen – they were told: “Don’t worry about it.”
Bachok Beach, Kota Bharu, Malaya.  Japanese landing point.

Bachok Beach, Kota Bharu, Malaya. Japanese landing point.

0730 hours (0130 hours in Singapore) – The first strike of 7 December was at Kota Bharu, northern Malaya, one hour and 20 minutes before Pearl Harbor.  In pouring rain and rough seas, the 5,000 troops of Gen. Yamashita’s 56th Infantry Regiment went ashore at Singora Beach without firing a shot.
0735 hours – Fushida’s command plane listened to a Hawaiian radio station as the aircraft flew over Kahuka Point, Oahu.
 
………..To be continued……..
 
Click on images to enlarge.
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Political cartoon of the times____

Dr. Seuss gives his opinion again….

jeez - how did that happen?

jeez – how did that happen? – check the War Warnings posts if you missed them

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Current news isn’t all bad____

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Farewell Salutes – 

Joseph Baker, Mesa, AZ; US Army, WWII, Bronze Star

Thomas Decker – Quincy, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS  Hull & Endicott

Doyle Engle – Grays Knob, KY; US Army, Vietnam304229_408732649208035featured_1689121699_ne

Thomas Heran – W.Palm Bch, FL; US Air Force, Korea

Elizabeth Knowles – Bangor, ME; WAVES, WWII, Phar.Mate First Class

James Lattanzio Sr. – Rockville, CT; US Army, WWII, 3rd Battery/390 Infantry Regiment

John Phillips – Des Moines, IA; USMC, Korea

Thomas Vecchio – Palo Alto, CA; US Army, Medical Corps

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