Military History Free Sample Chapters from Pacifica.pmd [PDF] - Free Online Publication (2023)

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1Free Sample Chapters 1

22 Military History of Pacifica

3Free Sample Chapters 3 WELCOME TO Pacifica Military History FREE SAMPLE CHAPTER *** The sample chapters in this document are taken from all Pacifica military history books currently in print. All books appear on the Pacifica Military History website Each sample chapter in this file is preceded by a line or two of information about the book, including current status and availability. Many of the books are available in print and all of the books represented in this collection are available for Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook and other eBook editions. Check the website to see if our books are still available in other eBook editions. You can keep this Adobe Acrobat PDF file for as long as you like, and feel free to provide copies of the entire file to as many people as you like to share it too.

44 Pacifica Military History Copyright 2011 by Words To Go, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or via any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the publisher. Requests for permission to publish any part of this work should be sent to: Permissions, Pacifica Military History, 1149 Grand Teton Drive, Pacifica, California 94044

5Kostenlose Beispielkapitel 5 Inhaltsverzeichnis The Third Day on Red-3 (76 Stunden) The Hurons Attack (A Gallant Company) First Kill (Asse!) The Big B (Asse gegen Deutschland) Crippled (Asse gegen Japan) Blood On Kwajalein ( Aces vs. Japão II Salvando os bombardeiros (Ases in War) Descent into Hell (Ases in Combat) Dezembro de 1942 (Air War Europe Timeline) Novembro de 1943 (Air War Pacific Timeline) Reunion Compromise (Ambush Valley) Bet Hopeless (Crier Clash) Emboscada !(Carrier Strike) Hill 1282 (Chosin) New Britain (Coral and Blood)

66 Pacifica Militärgeschichte Die Reserven kommen an (Showdown Over The Golan) Mean Streets (Fire In The Streets) Engineers At War (First to Crossing The Rhine) Edsons Ridge (Guadalcanal: Hungerinsel) The Atlantas Tortur (Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea) Record Incoming (Khe Sanh: Siege in the Clouds) First Combat (Lima-6) The Choiseul Raid (Marines At War) OBrien Hill (Munda Trail) A Fighter Aces Batism (Mustang Ace) The Jordan Attack on West Jerusalem (Six Days in Juni) Caças da Marinha Sobre o Norte da África (The First Hellcat Ace) Comando (The Jolly Rogers) Nascido em Quatro de Julho (The Road to Big Week) Uma Morte em Beirute (The Root) Deixa a Coreia do Norte (The Three Day Promise) aus Incheon nach Nordkorea (Marine der Drei Kriege)

7free sample chapter 7

88 Pacifica Military History 76 Hours The Invasion of Tarawa By Eric Hammel and John E. Lane On the morning of November 20, 1943, the US 2nd Marine Division launched the first modern amphibious attack against a well-defended beachhead. The destination was the small island of Betio in Tarawa Atoll. The result was a tragedy, and a near defeat turned into an epic of victory and the indomitable human spirit. Although the admirals commanding the Tarawa invasion fleet had assured the Marines that Betio would be reduced to dust by a massive sea and air bombardment, the largest of its kind to date, the first waves of Marines found the Japanese defenses intact before busy. with determined enemies. Minutes after the frontal assault began, the American battle plan was in shambles and dozens of Marines were killed or wounded. The attack all but stopped at the water's edge, its momentum stalling before many Marines dismounted from the amphibious tractors that carried them to the deadly, fire-battered beach. Subsequent waves of Marines suffered heavy casualties when they were forced to wade over 500 yards in fireswept water because planners misjudged tidal conditions. Trace the bloody Battle of Betio in vivid detail as heroic American combatants take each life-threatening step across the tiny island in what many historians agree is the best and most focused Japanese-led defense of all time. necessary defenders encountered by American troops during the Pacific War.

9Free Sample Chapter 9 Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book 76 HOURS: The Invasion of Tarawa, which is available in print and electronic editions. The Third Day in Red-3 by Eric Hammel and John E. Lane Copyright 1985 by Eric M. Hammel and John E. Lane. Tarawa, November 22, 1943. The situation at Red Beach-3, the left flank of the 2nd Marine Division on the north coast of Betios, remained unchanged for a day and a half. Major Henry Jim Crowes's 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, was pulverized in the initial landing and subsequent standoff. F Company, maintaining a perimeter ten meters deep along Coconut Dam on the battalion's left flank, could barely muster enough men to equip a platoon. All of his officers were wounded. G Company was widely divided to fill gaps and plug holes in the narrow line of battle. Company E fared better. He advanced as far as seventy-five meters inland on D-Day. Losses were heavy, but E Company was still an organization. Major Robert Ruud's 3rd Battalion, 8th, also landed on D-Day to reinforce Crowes' crippled battalion, but was destroyed before they even reached the beach. Dozens of Marines from Ruud were killed or wounded wading through the fire-swept water towards Red-3, and the rest of the battalion was still dispersing, still forming into squadrons and collection platoons and reforming to form wherever they wanted. that a lieutenant, sergeant, or private could convince enough Marines to stay in place long enough to rally. No victory was achieved in Red-3 throughout November 21st, second day at Betio. The Crowes Marines had fully engaged the Red-3's incredible defenses, likely killing dozens or even hundreds of Japanese. But the main unengaged Japanese fighting units were to Crowes' left, safe from the battle and therefore a huge reserve.

1010 Pacifica Military The story can be drawn at will in the battle against the Marines fighting to expand the weak perimeter in Red-3. No matter how many enemies they killed, the Marines in Red-3 constantly had to face relatively new reinforcements. It was all the Marines could do to maintain their meager income. Between 07:00 and 07:20 on D+3, the US Navy warships off Betio fired their 14- and 16-inch guns at targets ranging from the eastern end of the island to within five hundred meters of the Crowes Lines in Red -3 at a distance. . A US Navy aircraft carrier attacked the area for thirty minutes. Between 08:30 and 08:50 the battleships fired again. Then there was another air strike. Between 09:30 and 09:50 the battleships fired again, and then there was another air attack. And then the battleships fired one last time between 1030 and 1050. The objective was to destroy Japanese manpower and resources in the eastern half of Betio. * At the start of D+2, Major Jim Crowe issued general orders calling for an all-out assault on the defense complex on his left flank below Burns-Philp Pier. Consisting mainly of a large covered bomb-proof bunker and two auxiliary bunkers, the complex had blocked F and K companies for almost 48 hours, blocking the road to the wharf and the entire east end of Betio. With almost all of the D+1 spent preparing the way, the two underutilized rifle companies and several mixed units under the command of Major Bill Chamberlin were ready to go. The rest of F Company pulled up the steel bunker that covered the pier and northeast corner of the bomb test. G Company was there. A short distance to the south, Company K, supported by two 37mm anti-tank guns and its own 60mm mortars, would attack the coconut tree bunker which protected the southern and southeastern parts of the air raid shelter. The most successful unit's strike teams would be pitted against the bombproof ones. There were no plans for further advances by any of the units in Red-3; They would be issued if the bomb test fell. When the anti-bomb fell. Preparations for the attack began around 09:30, when most of the front line machine gunners, particularly those carrying F

11Free Sample Chapters 11 Company, changed for better guidance as expected. At the same time, Marines began cleaning their rifles and automatic weapons in squads; The filth of two days' battle so spoiled the weapons that they became unreliable. Also at 09:30, 60 mm mortars were launched in support of Company K in the Coqueiro position and surroundings. No fire was directed at the covered bunker as it would have been a waste of valuable ammunition. A shell from a K company mortar hit an unknown ammunition dump, which exploded with a bang. The embankment, to everyone's astonishment, was in the same spot that had delayed the advance for two full days. Machine gun fire from this barracks was no longer a problem. As infantry preparations continued, the Colorado, the only surviving medium tank of 1st Lt. Lou Largey, fighting his way through the assembled gunners on the beach to a position behind the east end of F Company's dyke line, 75mm cannon in the steel bunker and a quick succession of direct fires cleared the position and gave F Company full control of the territory. At 10:00 am, shortly after Colorado destroyed the steel bunker, the bomb test attack was called off. Instead, F Company must attack east to outflank the main defensive point. Then the Main Event would begin. The emaciated remnants of F Company had only a hundred yards, the same thirty yards they had allowed the day before, to strengthen their position on the beach. Many things happened to weaken and demoralize F Company in two days of fighting, so it took Captain Martin Barrett several hours to get his troops into position. Company F attacked at 13:00 and was immediately met with heavy defensive fire from infantry positions along the beach and across the bridge. Although small gains were made, it was decided that the bombproof attack should be carried out without the added benefit of flanking control. * Since the covered bunker was the main objective in his sector of Red-3, Commander Bill Chamberlin was more or less left with the task of organization

1212 Pacifica Military History Proceedings. With Company F bogged down in the dike and Company K deployed on the bombproof western flank, it was impossible to call up an organic infantry formation for the attack. Chamberlin began to steal. One of the first men captured in the Major League raid was TSgt Norm Hatch, the only combat film cameraman on Red-3 (and the only one on Betio until D-Day and D+1). Using his reach and considerable mass to bolster his innate organizational skills, Hatch helped Major Chamberlin assemble a mixed group of rogue and specialist Marines. After organization, the group gathered under the promenade for a short briefing. Chamberlin pointed to the bomb test magazine and told the men: If I call, follow me! You follow me like a bomb. Leaning against the wall with Technical Sergeant Hatch, Chamberlin watched and waited a moment. The fire did not subside and the scene did not change at all. The older man shrugged, got up without looking back and shouted, "Follow me! Follow me!" Norm Hatch ran upstairs with him. At the top of the hill, the Major and the cameraman with his film camera watched in amazement as a platoon of Japs surged into open space and they loomed against the smoky horizon. Chamberlin immediately prepared to fire. It was only then that he realized he was unarmed. Norm Hatch watched without saying a word. The eldest looked at him and urged him into action. Hatch tucked his prized camera under his arm and began digging through his film-filled shoulder bags for his . He looked at Chamberlin with helpless dismay, and Chamberlin muttered a curt suggestion: Let's get out of here! The two turned and walked off the hill, unharmed and angry. * As Chamberlin and Hatch, 1st Lt. Sandy Bonnyman of F Company, 18, has assembled a mixed group of rogue engineers, sappers and marines to launch a bombproof attack. Bonnyman had been protecting and training his platoon on an ad hoc basis since D-Day.

13Free trial chapter 13 late, waiting for the right moment to reach the impressive position in the right place in the right way. Shortly after Bill Chamberlin and Norm Hatch went into hiding, Bonnyman decided it was time to move on. Working along F Company's seawall line, his group sought the shelter of an L-shaped wooden fence six feet high that ran perpendicular to the seawall near the northwest corner to deter bombs. The air raid shelter was closer to a hill in Betio. With both innings proving impossible to open a gap, Bonnyman's only remaining tactic was to move up the hill. The Japanese engineers who designed the air-raid shelter left several large black fans sticking out of the well-camouflaged ceiling. These fans would be Sandy Bonnyman's main targets. A burning fuel fired at them would certainly propel the defenders out into the open. The alternative was air too hot to breathe and therefore suffocating. Then Bonnyman's group, supported by 37 mm anti-tank guns, 60 mm mortars and several infantry automatic weapons, lined up under the seawall and dismounted in single file. Each of Bonnyman's men, one at a time, leapt over the bridge to the higher ground behind the L-shaped fence. From there, following the hand signals of spotters who could clearly see the target, the men advanced closer to the bridge. bottom of the slope, where they were stopped by heavy gunfire. Cape Harry Niehoff's demolition team was intercepted by Commander Chamberlin returning from a short shore raid. Chamberlin asked Niehoff if explosives were available, and Niehoff replied that he still had several charges. Where are they going to be used, sir? Chamberlin pointed to the hidden armor and explained that the Japanese were reinforcing from the southeast, but their access road was well camouflaged and had yet to be found. Harry Niehoff dropped several charges over the bombproof roof and took cover behind the Promenade as a barrage of fire pursued him. When the shooting stopped, he led his engineers to the L-shaped fence and prepared to climb to the top.

1414 Pacifica Military History Private First Class Johnny Borich, piloting one of the two flamethrowers in the Red-3, was the leader. He lightly sprayed the top of the bunker as Harry Niehoff launched a massive attack hoping to overwhelm the defenses. Then Borich stepped forward to spray a concentrated burst of flames. As Niehoff was about to launch another charge, Borich shouted: Grenade! Everyone fell to the floor. Once the dust had settled, Corporal Niehoff dropped another large charge. He blew and all the men behind the fence crowded into the open space and clambered over with their legs. All across Red-3, curious Marines stopped to watch Sandy Bonnyman and half a dozen Marines climb to the top. TSgt Norm Hatch captured the trailer with his film camera. The first key was turned by Johnny Borich and Harry Niehoff. The combination of flames and TNT killed the crew, who manned a machine gun in the bunker, and set fire to camouflage palm fronds to cover the advance. The next switch was turned by a pioneer named Earl Coleman. While Sandy Bonnyman rooted for the team and issued a steady stream of orders, Pappy Coleman screamed for TNT and threw molten charges as fast as he could to ignite them. In moments, he had blown the cover of a camouflaged entrance in the southeast corner of the massive building. As hundreds of helpless Marines looked on, a large group of Japanese exited through the exposed entrance and formed up to thwart a counterattack by Bonnyman's team. At the time, there were only half a dozen men at the forefront of the bomb test. Private First Class Johnny Borich threw burning diesel fuel into the fans, forcing the Japanese to evacuate. Pappy Coleman, Corporal Harry Niehoff and Sergeant Elmo Ferretti angrily threw blocks of TNT. Sandy Bonnyman faced the Japanese alone with his .30 caliber light carbine. Bonnyman leapt to the front edge of the base alongside Harry Niehoff, fired a full fifteen-round clip, and quickly fired at the oncoming Rigosentai. Some fell. Most kept coming back. With the Japanese only a few yards away, Bonnyman fired another shot, killing three, just as naval reinforcements attacked from the rear of the bunker, blunting and turning the Japanese advance.

15Free Sample Chapters 15 But help came too late for Sandy Bonnyman. He had been shot in the final moments of his individual defense of the bomb-proof summit. As soon as Harry Niehoff heard the fatal shot to Sandy Bonnyman's body, he fell to the ground. He arrived just in time as one of Pappy Coleman's powerful attacks fired into the group of defending attackers, knocking the men back. Sergeant Elmo Ferretti was seriously stunned and had to be led back to the promenade. Moments later, when Harry Niehoff fired his carbine in the midst of another Japanese attack, he heard something land near his head. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a grenade. Without thinking, he leapt over the lieutenant's body and interposed himself between him and a dead Japanese machine gun. But nothing happened. Moments later, Niehoff risked a look and saw an unarmed American grenade carefully tucked away by one of the men at the bomb test base. The tension, the smoke and the stench of burning flesh finally got to Harry Niehoff. The corporal ran out of TNT and ammunition for his carbine and returned to rest. He had not suffered a scratch, although thirteen of the first twenty-one men to reach the peak of the bomb test were either dead or wounded. The Japanese lost the attempt to reach the summit and tried to give up the position. they dropped out of the two entrances and moved away to the east. Most of these were cut down by F Company, 8th. Many defenders turning south to flee F Company were shot down by two 37mm guns, which fired shells as fast as the gunners could reload. * After leaving the air raid shelter, Corporal Harry Niehoff walked along the beach to his platoon CP and found a large amount of TNT. Overcoming his exhaustion, he loaded an ammunition cart with explosives and, with the help of nearby Marines, pulled it onto the beach next to the bombshell. By the time Niehoff got there, however, dozens of Marines were swarming the area, preying on survivors and snipers. Corporal Niehoff decided to give up. He sat down to rest and after some myopic reverie found a pile of glass at his feet.

sixteen16 Pacifica Military History The glass was of a type familiar to all Marines, the type used to make beer bottles. Niehoff lazily sifted through the rubble and found the best bounty he could hope for. He produced a tempting bottle of Kirin Ale, albeit lukewarm, full and unopened from what was once a good supply. Tongue trembling wildly, Harry Niehoff prepared to open his award. But a voice from behind broke his loneliness. Commenting on the corporal's ideal happiness, Major Bill Chamberlin looked at the lone beer bottle with eyes that became a gateway to his soul. The major looked as bad as the corporal felt. Harry Niehoff succumbed to one of the hardest decisions of his life and quietly passed the price of his life on the greater one. * After destroying the bombproof defenders, the rifle companies were on the move. Major Jim Crowe ordered his command to attack east along the north coast until stopped by nightfall or by divisional order. While F Company held a holding position, E and G Companies moved to the north side of the bombproof building. To the south, Company K withdrew to cover a demolition team moving to seal off the bombproof southeast entrance. No one wanted to enter the building, and no one wanted more Japs to exit the building after dark, when they would be well behind Marine lines. Company K and Colorado attacked in parallel with Company E along the south side of the bomb test. A team of Riflemen that stayed behind to protect the south side of the armor spent the afternoon throwing grenades through every opening they could find. Over time, an excavator with an armed armored cabin arrived and began to seal the entire structure with sand. No doubt any Japanese still hiding inside were suffocated. Companies E, G and K had a great day. Everything collapsed in front of them. Trenches, buildings and bunkers were blown up wherever they could be found. Although several Marines were wounded, no one was killed. Lieutenant Robert Rogers, commander of E Company, was nearby when he turned and saw a Japanese officer walking towards him with a drawn sword.

17Free Trial Chapter 17 high for a fatal blow. The assailant was shot by a nearby sniper. * The last major target of Crowe's advance was the huge concrete bunker that housed the headquarters of the 3rd Special Konkyochitai. For nearly three days, the gunners on the flat roof of the headquarters bunker had an unobstructed view of the Marines' dispositions. Their machine guns had claimed the lives of many Marines. While a line of machine guns was deployed to prevent the Japanese from hugging the numerous bunkers through gaps, a large group of combat engineers cautiously approached the bunker in short leaps. The target was the bunker's massive steel doors, which minutes earlier had been slammed shut by seven fleeing Rigosentai. The engineers placed and detonated a powerful charge and turned the corner. The door was smashed open, and Private First Class Johnny Borich pushed through the rising dust and smoke to spray the bunker's interior with a heavy dose of burning fuel. As Borich turned to let the waiting gunners through, he was greeted with a standing ovation by dozens of Marines who watched his calm actions. Marines passed through here. The advance was so rapid and steady that Colorado, supporting K Company, was never called up for support. Later estimates concluded that nearly one hundred Japanese across the region committed suicide in the face of successful naval attacks. This explained above all the low casualties among the attacking units; Only three men were wounded after the first few ranks passed the Burns-Philp Pier. In the end, Jim Crowe's two mixed battalion landing parties covered nearly a quarter mile in a straight line. By late afternoon, however, divisional orders had pushed Crowes' forward elements nearly 150 yards back towards the airport's turning circle. It was feared that the firing ranges at Crowes would endanger the 1st Battalion, 6th, which was rapidly approaching the area south of the Tropic Tropic.

1818 Military History of Pacifica

19Free sample chapter 19

2020 Pacifica Military History A BRAVE OPERATION The Men of the Great Escape Jonathan F. Vance On the night of March 24/25, 1944, seventy-nine Allied airmen descended into one place through a tunnel from Stalag Luft III in East Germany and Hollywood dubbed The Great Escape. The culmination of more than four years of hard work, triumph and agony, the breakout was intended to cause as much turmoil as possible in Hitler's Europe. The refugees succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, but the eruption sent shockwaves through the German high command that were to have tragic consequences. This is the story of this remarkable struggle to escape captivity. Built around a colorful and compelling cast of characters from all corners of the world, it depicts their constant struggle to outsmart their captors, the increasing sophistication of their escape attempts, and their ambitious plan to build three massive escape tunnels and disperse hundreds of aviators. occupied Europe. It's a tale of ingenuity, perseverance and courage, and a testament to what ordinary people can achieve under extraordinary circumstances. Jonathan F. Vance became interested in The Great Escape as a teenager and has spent over twenty years gathering information on the subject and interviewing survivors of The Fifty, escape organizers and family members. He has published many books and articles on POWs and refugees, as well as other aspects of military history. His book Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning and the First World War won the Most Canadian Historical Writing Award in 1997. Vance is an associate professor of history at the University of Western Ontario and lives in London, Ontario with his wife and two children.

21Free Sample Chapter 21 Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book A GALLANT COMPANY: The Men of the Great Escape, which is only available as an e-book edition. Ferrets Attack Jonathan F. Vance Copyright 2000 by Jonathan F. Vance As the breach approached, Jimmy Catanach, Alan Righetti and a few other Australians gathered a homemade Ouija board and tried to unlock the mysteries of the future. There were some weak ventriloquists and some table fights that nobody wanted to admit to, but the only information the board gave was that there would probably be veal patties for dinner the next day. Around the same time, Johnny Pohe managed to get past one of the censors. Glossy pictures of the life of a prisoner of war had been published in England and perhaps New Zealand, he wrote his family, and you could believe they were Tito's. Since none of the camp censors spoke Maori, they didn't know that Tito meant a lie. However, it wasn't easy to get your bearings everywhere. Dennis Cochran shared a room with several Englishmen, a Canadian and a Brit from Uruguay, but not everyone understood the importance of Dennis' work as a liaison. Whenever their tamed bully showed up, it was clear the rest of the boys would walk away and let Dennis talk to their man in private. Unfortunately, one of the roommates considered his bunk bed his untouchable personal space and resented having to leave his room every time the tamed bully showed up. Gradually, a deep resentment developed between Cochran and his roommate, and one afternoon they got into a heated argument. After the words fell silent, the roommate thought for a while, then walked and walked behind Dennis.

2222 Pacifica Military History patted him on the shoulder. When Cochran turned around, the other guy nearly knocked him unconscious and went back to his bunk. The others in the room returned a few minutes later to find Dennis lying on the floor, dazed and bleeding, his eyes badly bruised and nearly shut. He definitely wasn't in the best shape to travel peacefully around Germany during the war. * The morning of February 20th was mild, as most of the New Year. It was just briefly cold enough to freeze on the camp's ice rink. But on this cloudy morning it was even hotter than usual, as it was the day of the long-awaited draw for tunnel places. In all, 510 names were drawn. The top 100 were specifically selected by the breakout leaders as having made the greatest contribution or the best chance of a successful breakout, while the rest were drawn from the overall payroll of the organization's workers. In addition, the camp's administrative and entertainment staff put forward eight names. Although these men did not help in the preparations for the breakout, it was rightly decided that their valuable contributions to the running of the camp as a whole should be recognized. The selection process consisted of a series of different draws. The first 30 names drawn into the final starting order were those the organizers considered most likely to win. They would travel by train without charging for Red Cross supplies or large maps. After this group, the names of forty of the most outstanding workers were hung and twenty were drawn. The names of the next thirty outstanding workers were then added and twenty were drawn at random. To complete the top one hundred, the remaining names from previous draws were put back into the hat and the last thirty spots were awarded. Finally, the remaining four hundred and ten names were entered and one hundred drawn at random to complete the starting order. When the list of two hundred refugees was drawn up, it still needed to be verified. On the night of the escape, men were stationed in Piccadilly, Leicester Square and the exit shaft to lead the fugitives through the tunnel. These men were known as porters, and each of them dodged twenty fugitives before leaving. He

23The final roster had to be adjusted so that in each group of 20 three experienced excavators acted as tugs. Red Noble and Shag Rees killed the second hundred, but were given numbers seventy-eight and seventy-nine so they could act as transporters. Ivo Tonder, Tony Bethell and Bob Nelson were also entrusted with transport duties. * Once the refugees were informed of their final exit numbers, they were free to proceed with their plans. Bill Fordyce planned to go with Tom Leigh, an Australian-born former Halton trainee who was shot down in 1941, but the latter tied in his 40s, while Bill tied for number 86. He was consequently joined by Roy Langlois, who also published a later edition. Paul Royle drew number 55 and, without any specific plan, contacted number 54, who turned out to be Edgar Hunk Humphreys, another student of Halton's and a prisoner since December 1940. Hunk was happy to have company, so they left. from there. Others, believing that a single refugee would draw less attention, chose to travel alone. One of them was Flight Lieutenant Albert Shorty Armstrong, a Bolton native and trained electrical engineer, who was shot down over North Africa in August 1942. Shorty was one of the few who could travel alone, but the prospect of a solitary journey did not. it bothers you. On the contrary, he really wanted to start. Finally, when the decisive moment arrived, some of the fugitives had a nervous breakdown and asked to be removed from the list. Paul Brickhill had a spot in the second hundred and Harry could see for himself. As soon as she reached the bottom of the entrance shaft and looked down the tunnel, she knew she couldn't get through, the claustrophobia was too strong. Very sheepishly, he turned to Roger Bushell and explained his request to be removed from the list. Someone panicking in the tunnel on the night of the escape could be disastrous. Thanks for being so honest, Paul, Roger said. You are the eleventh man on the list this morning. * After the draw was completed, the idea of ​​escape suddenly became more real for the prisoners as they saw the chance to break out of the prison camp backlog. much more was lost

2424 Pacifica Military History their years in captivity. Certainly the prospects for promotion dwindled by the month, and the more adventurous among them missed combat operations they would likely never see again. But most importantly, their lives passed them by. The homes each one left the day before the last surgery were no longer the same. Dennis Cochran's mother died during his time in captivity, Johnny Stowers' mother was seriously ill, and Bob Stewart's two sisters died. Men who left their boyfriends at home, like Cookie Long and Tom Leigh, found the separation very difficult to accept. As pieces of their old lives disappeared, others waited helplessly for their new lives to go on without them. Pawel Tobolski had never seen his son, who was being raised by his wife in Scotland. His roommates always joked that it would be difficult to get the boy out of the kilts when they returned to Poland. Jack Grisman's daughter, born on the last day of 1941, had just turned two and still hadn't seen her father. Her twin brother died in childbirth, a loss Marie Grisman had to bear alone. Things like that constituted the true tragedy of captivity. Others never stopped planning for the future. Brian Evans and Joan Cook were officially engaged in 1943; Brian said he'd rather have certain things than just an understanding. Tom Kirby Green was looking forward to a new life with Maria in Tangiers. He had inherited a piece of land from a wealthy uncle and planned to settle there after the war. He had no idea what they were going to do, but he was sure something would happen. * However, the captives were still a few feet of sand separating them from freedom, and their removal was the top priority. When Walter told Wally Valenta that Rubberneck would be taking two weeks off in early March, organizers saw an opportunity to finish off Harry and lock him up completely before the hated ferret returned. So, the day before his vacation, Rubberneck punched him goodbye. Without warning, he and a security guard, Broili, brought a group of guards to the scene and began to insult them.

25Free Sample Chapter 25 A total of 19 police officers were called, rigorously searched and escorted through the gates of Belaria, a relief camp some eight kilometers away. Purges were standard procedure, but this time the Germans got lucky and caught some of Organization X's best men: Wally Floody, chief tunnel engineer; Peter Fanshawe, head of dispersion; George Harsh, Chief of Security; Kingsley Brown; Bob Stanford Tucker; Jim Tyrie; and thirteen more. The bandits could hardly have made a better choice had they known the full set-up of Organization X. It was a cruel blow, but the progress of preparations for escape made it bearable. Ker Ramsay took over as tunnel engineer, and the deputy from the other departments was able to oversee operations in the few days until the planned break. However, the disruption to travel plans proved less easy to overcome and some men faced rapid improvisation. Gordon Brettell reached out to his roommate and fellow forger, Henri Picard, and devised a new plan that took advantage of Picard's native language. They would travel to Danzig as French workers and look for a ship to take them to Sweden. As Gdansk was known to be full of French workers, the two expected help when they reached port. Tom Kirby Green's partner was also included in the purge, so he had to make other arrangements as well. Gordon Kidder planned to travel with Dick Churchill as a Romanian lumberjack, but Organization X decided that Kidder should join Kirby Green, with the pair going as Spanish laborers. Dick Churchill agreed to the plan and joined Bob Nelson. The arrangement was satisfactory, although no one liked to make such big changes at such a late date. * Without his Russian-speaking companion, Roger Bushell first chose to travel alone, then decided to team up with Lieutenant Bernard Martial William Scheidhauer, a soft-spoken Free French officer who was not as English as Bob Tuck. About 1.60 m tall, with light blue eyes and brown hair, Bernard was one of the X Organization's intelligence specialists specializing in his home country. More importantly, he knew one area of ​​the frontier particularly well. His father had commanded a battalion of the Moroccan infantry regiment.

26Bernard was born on August 28, 1921 in Landau near Saarbrücken. His father retired when Bernard was young and the family moved back to his hometown of Brest. where Bernard studied. He was a charming boy, full of exuberance, with a dignified and almost aristocratic countenance, and he became popular at the Brest Lyceum. Young Scheidhauer was finishing his studies at the Lycée when German troops arrived in Brest in the summer of 1940. He had planned to receive pilot training after graduation, but his father recommended that he flee to Britain, so Bernard went to south to Bayonne, hoping to reach England via Gibraltar. However, he did not pass Saint Jean de Luz and had to return to Brest. Undaunted, Bernard arranged with five others to sail to England in a small boat called La Petite Anna. On 19 October 1940 they left the port of Douarnenez for Cornwall. A few days later, however, their boat was caught in a storm and they used what was left of the fuel to try to survive. The storm passed, but the six were left helpless and adrift for days. Eventually they ran out of food and water and were still afloat. Finally, on the twelfth day, they were spotted by a Scottish freighter, half-starved, thirsty and frozen, which picked them up and took them to England. Less than a week after the ordeal, Bernard was enlisted in the Free French Air Force. He completed flight training and was posted to 53 OTU in March 1942. In late May he was briefly hospitalized after a plane crash, but on 24 June he was assigned to the famous 242 Squadron, with the which performed his first operation. On September 4, Bernard was transferred to the 131st (French) squadron. The unit was busy patrolling convoys and crossing the English Channel that autumn, and Bernard completed over forty sorties in just a few weeks. On 11 November 1942 he and his unit departed Westhampnett in their Spitfires to scout the Somme estuary. They found nothing, but on the way home they encountered a huge cumulus cloud. The first section of three aircraft turned to port and missed the shore, but the Blue Section, with Bernard Scheidhauer flying third, crashed into the clouds on the aft line. It was a pretty bumpy ride, but it didn't get too scary until Bernard suddenly appeared.

27Free Preview Chapters 27 saw an elevator appear in front of him. He lowered his nose and dove to port, but not before hearing a tremendous crash as he hit the plane. Emerging from the cloud at two thousand feet, Bernard was counting his blessings as his engine died. Then he realized he was a good forty centimeters from the propeller blades. Without hesitation, Scheidhauer abandoned his mortally wounded Spitfire, easily parachuted out and climbed into his boat. He was later picked up wet but unharmed by a Royal Navy Walrus flying boat. A week later, on 18 November, Bernard was back at work, looking for trains on the Caen-Cherbourg railway line. He and his wingman claimed to have hit four locomotives, but on the way home Bernard's Spitfire began to misbehave, presumably damaged by debris from one of the trains. Realizing he would never make it to England, he turned his attention to the nearest country, which turned out to be Jersey in the Channel Islands. It crashed and was picked up by German soldiers. His first interrogation was a little tricky. Intrigued by the sound of his name, interrogators were even more interested when they discovered that Bernard was born in Germany. The Air Force noted this in its files and forwarded it to Sagan. Scheidhauer was happy to be of service to Organization X's intelligence department, but it was his hometown that caught Roger's attention. As a boy, Bernard played in the hills and fields around Landau, observing everything around him with the keen eye of youth. Something in her past could one day hold the key to her successful crossing to France. * Before Rubberneck's chair got cold, the organization had been changed to compensate for the purge. More men were now working the tunnel than ever before: two at the front; two in each of the middle houses; and one in the entryway. During the first nine days of March, they excavated the final 100 feet of the tunnel, including an 18-foot chamber at the base of the exit shaft. On March 4, workers dug a record 14-foot tunnel. After the final chamber was completed, surveyors descended and carefully examined the tunnel. They calculated the distance to the edge of the forest to be 335 feet and

2828 Military History of Pacifica His measurements showed that Harry was 348 feet long from well to well. The exit must be well located among the trees. Now comes the hard part. It was decided to dig almost to the surface, leaving half a meter of earth to be removed on the night of the leak. The most experienced diggers did this work because the risk of falling was high. It was such a complicated job that it took until March 14th to finish. Shortly after roll call that day, Johnny Bull and Red Noble disappeared into the tunnel to dig the last few feet and secure the top of the exit shaft. As they climbed the exit stairs, a loud, deep rumble echoed through the tunnel. Jesus, what the hell was that? whispered Taurus. Seconds later, another rumble surrounded them as the two looked at each other curiously. Noble was the first to speak. It must have been something that led down that path. Either it was a very noisy truck or they were very close to the road! said the Canadian. We'd better finish this little job and talk to Roger. Before they started digging, Johnny grabbed a broken fencing screen and pushed it up to measure the amount of dirt they needed to remove. Then he had his second scare of the day. The blade didn't go more than six inches before breaking the surface. He went back to Red, who was crouched down with the tools. There's maybe six inches of topsoil between us and fresh air, he said hastily. Lucky for me I didn't start with the shovel right away. Johnny went back up the ladder to put up some boards from the bed to make the roof, then he piled up the sand behind her. Red pulled the last handle and the exit was guaranteed if a stray bandit stepped on it. The two worked in silence, both reflecting on the discoveries they had made. The fact that the tunnel was so close to the surface was worrying, but not particularly dangerous. Six inches of soil should be enough to keep the trap from sounding hollow when a guard steps on it. Far more alarming, however, was the roar of the trucks. If the trucks were as close as it looked, the tunnel exit was less than twenty feet from the road, in the middle of an open field. This meant that Harry could have been at least ten meters tall.

29Free Samples Chapter 29 That night, outbreak leaders discussed the discovery. Once again they checked the research team's measurements and the math boys went back to Harry to confirm their calculations. Everything looked fine, and the loud bang was attributed to the properties of the sand. After Johnny and Red left the tunnel, anything that wasn't strictly necessary was taken out and burned or stored in Dick. Pat Langford sealed the trap and then mopped the floor around it, causing the boards to swell and close the cracks. He did the same task twice a day until the tunnel ruptured. The next day, Rubberneck returned from his vacation and announced his arrival by walking down 104th with a squadron of ferrets. As usual, they found nothing. * With Harry's sealing, a state of excited anticipation swept over the camp. Many inmates couldn't help but throw it in their letters home. The decisive day we all long for, wrote Brian Evans to his fiancée Joan, is closer than we think. Tim Walenn wrote to his brother: We all hope to be home in a few months. John F. Williams was a little more practical, asking the parents to stop sending cigarettes or tobacco, while Henri Picard told the family that he didn't need any more drawing supplies at the moment. Still, it was crucial that some semblance of normality be maintained. Ian Cross took the time to tidy up the scattered areas under the theater to head to the East Compound for a football game. There, he caught up with his old friend and escape partner, Robert Kee, and talked excitedly about the upcoming vacation. Arsenic and Old Lace played in the camp theater and Tony Hayter planned the garden of the year. It didn't look like anything out of the ordinary. New prisoners arrived at Sagan every day, and Dulag Luft's purges included a recently arrested Canadian named Freiburger. Freiburg. . . the duty officer intoned appreciatively. He is a good German name. Well, I'm from Canada, the newcomer replied without a pause, and there are all the good Germans!

3030 Military History of Pacifica * The morning of March 20 was very cold and windy, and as is often the case on such mornings, the roll call was not at the parade ground but in the open space between the first two rows of booths. they left the tents and took their places; Alex Cassie, Des Plunkett and the other Lunatic Friends remained between cabins 103 and 110, talking and laughing as they waited for the duty officer. Tim Walenn wasn't with them that morning. For the last few days, he had been lying in his bunk during the roll call to be placed on the sick list. The real purpose behind this was to track down the bulky bag of stamps that Dean and Dawson were using. Indeed, they should always have been stored at Dick's, and Bushell would have had to pay dearly if he discovered the practice. But Tim was concerned about the amount of work still to be done and decided that connecting and disconnecting Dick's seals was taking up too much valuable time. There were similar security breaches across the complex, committed solely for the sake of speed. Plunkett and Cassie were happily chatting about the status of preparations when a group of guards entered and surrounded cabin 120. Apparently, a search was planned. "Well, that's a little difficult," Alex said with a groan. Now I think we're going to be here for hours. At least we showered this morning which will give us a little break! Suddenly Plunkett blanched and grabbed Cassie's arm, his other hand freezing in her robe pocket. Oh God, he gasped, my letter book! I must have left it on my bed. It contains the names of everyone leaving and the cards they need. Plunkett was beside himself for a moment. If that little notebook fell into the hands of the Germans, it would ruin the whole escape. And only poor Des would be to blame. However, Plunkett was nothing more than a royalist and quickly pulled himself together. His mind began to race, trying to come up with a plan to retrieve the precious book. In a surprisingly short amount of time, he described his plan to Alex. It all depended on two things: the fact that Tim Walenn was still in the dressing room; and your planned bath party. Des soon gathered a few more from the dressing room and put the plan into action.

31Free Sample Chapter 31 Very casually and with a cheerful whistle, he approached cabin 120 and called the guard into his room. He politely told the idiot that this cubicle was supposed to go to the shower block that morning, but they hadn't taken their shower kit with them. Would the guard be so kind as to take his out of his locker and give it to you? Others around the hut were asking the same question, and soon several guards were distributing small bags and parcels. When Plunkett's guard asked permission from his superior, Des Walenn, sitting in his bunk just below the window, quickly whispered something about the book to Des Walenn and asked him to release it if the opportunity arose. The security guard turned to Des and said he would pass along the necessary supplies. Plunkett smiled his thanks and directed the guard to his hallway locker. As soon as the guard left the room, Tim jumped out of bed and grabbed the map book. He stuffed it into the bag with his stamps, stuffed the pile into his shower bag, and handed it to the guard on his way back down the hall. The unknown sentry then handed everything through the window to Des, who gratefully accepted the package and returned to the pool of fire with the vital escape kit safely in his robes. After that, the Friendly Lunatics never mentioned the danger again; it was better to forget. * After completion of the tunnel, the organizers set the best date for the break. The eclipse of the moon was at the end of the month, the best days were from the twenty-third to the twenty-fifth. The twenty-fifth was quickly dropped. As it was Saturday, train travelers had to deal with Sunday train schedules. There was the night of the 23rd or the night of the 24th. As there was no difference between the Friday and Saturday train schedules, any day would do. However, there were still many final preparations to be made. On 20 March, Crump Ker Ramsay inspected all the bags the fugitives were carrying to ensure they would pass through the tunnel with ease. Some of them were quite dented, having been bought from Schubin in the early days.

3232 Pacifica Military History So began a seemingly endless round of briefings. From the twenty-second, Crump and Johnny Marshall explained to all the refugees how to get through the tunnel. Lie down in the cart, Marshall yelled, and for God's sake keep your head down. There's nothing to see, so don't look up because if you do, you'll hit your head and knock everything over. Keep your bags in front of you and keep your elbows bleeding or you'll fall into a frame. And whatever you do, don't drop the cart! A hand was tentatively raised from the back of the room. What if the cart tips over, Johnny? asked one of the listeners. Johnny smiled and spoke sweetly, sensing some nervousness in the room. This shouldn't happen if you do what I said. But if you do, the first thing to remember is not to panic, because once you panic, you'll get restless and drop a board. Get off the tram as carefully as possible and crawl to the nearest rehabilitation center. Don't try to get back in the cart and don't leave the cart in the tunnel, just pull it behind you! Any more questions? Seeing nothing, Johnny wished the group good luck and made room for Crump to pass with the next group. * One of the most important instructions was given to marshals, the men assigned to lead groups of ten fugitives out of the compound. Most went west, but there were also a few groups heading south along the railway to Tschiebsdorf. In a way, quarterbacks were one of the most important cogs in the escape wheel. If they failed in their task and got into trouble near the camp, the entire operation could be ruined. Because of this, Tony Bethell, Jack Grisman, Hank Birkland, Larry Reavell Carter and the rest of the bailiffs listened carefully to the briefing and repeated the exercise several times. Each marshal waited in the woods until his ten men arrived and then went into the woods. Keen Type had briefed Marcel Zillessen extensively on the paths through the forest and how far the trees stretched in all directions, giving them a good idea of ​​where to go. First they had to navigate a bit

33Free sample Chapters 33 illuminated area a few hundred meters from the camp. It was supposed to be an ammunition depot or an electrical installation, but the organizers were sure that this had to be avoided at all costs. The group then had to go through the other links on the Sagan Link, crossing a narrow road and coming to a railroad junction. They would follow this until they reached the north-south main line, where they would split. The distance was just over a kilometer. From then on, the fugitives were on their own and had to get around various obstacles on their own. Those wanting to go further south had to overcome a main road and the small towns of Hermsdorf and Tschirndorf before reaching their first major obstacle, the federal road to Berlin-Breslau. Refugees heading west had to face Sorau, a larger city of similar size to Sagan, while those heading east had to face Sprottau, another large city. Only those heading north had a relatively easy journey until they reached the Oder, some fifty kilometers north of Sagan. Information recently received at the camp indicated that the river was flooded and would probably be very difficult to cross. As it is important to stick to a schedule, train travelers would go through the forest and receive explicit instructions for the hike. You would have to go northeast about a quarter of a mile and then find a path that ran approximately northwest to southeast past the station. Next to this road was a fence leading to the station entrances. There were three possible entrances to the station. Most desirable was a route across the tracks east of the platforms, but if that was impossible, there was an elevated walkway to the west of the station. Only when neither was available did refugees use the metro, which ran under the tracks to the main reservation hall. This route was the busiest and therefore the most dangerous and should only be used as a last resort. In addition, each refugee received a special briefing from one or more experts in the region, depending on their individual travel plans. For example, those traveling south to Czechoslovakia have heard from Wally Valenta, or another Czech official from the Giant Mountains,

3434 Pacifica Military History the mountains that stretched on both sides of the Czech-German border, which they knew better than anyone else. They were also taught to say in Czech: I swear on my mother's death that I am an English officer, and they were assured that this oath would make them believe anywhere in the country. They were also briefed by Wing Commander John Ellis, an outdoor survival expert, who offered tips to make the journey of the toughest ones more bearable. Those who left for Switzerland heard from Roger Bushell and Johnny Stower, who related their experiences at the frontier, and information about the location of border posts, which Zillessen had received from Keen Type. This helpful ferret also provided him with a list of provisions that were available without ration cards and directions to the berths in Gdańsk and Szczecin normally reserved for Swedish ships. Eventually Roger found all the fugitives in bathroom 104. He confidently spoke to the officers about the arrangements made and gave them some contact information. For those heading south, there was the address of a baker just over the Czech border and the name of the hotelier in Prague who had helped Johnny Stower the year before. Roger also gave the address, coded to Schubin in 1942, of a brothel in Stettin frequented by Swedish sailors. He wished everyone the best and then stayed to talk to each of the train's passengers. Bushell reminded them of various German customs and gave them available information about timetables and fares. Keen Type provided details of all the trains at Sagan Station, and from various sources Valenta was able to put together a complete timetable showing times and prices. This allowed train travelers to plan their travel route before leaving camp. * By this time, most of the material arrangements had been made. Nearly three thousand cards had been pulled out and sorted into groups, and Johnny Travis had made metal water bottles out of old cans and solder. At Hut 112, the Canton cooks were busy mixing hundreds of four-ounce cans of exhaust mix. There were two varieties, both based on nutritionist David Lubbock's recipe: a mixture of sugar and granola; and a pre-cooked solid of cocoa, chocolate, fat, sugar and Klim. Each can of pre-cooked mix was enough to provide what was needed

35Free example of chapter 35 diet for two days. The hard workers were given six cans and the train passengers four, although many chose not to take the cans with them, which, if searched, would immediately identify them as escaped POWs. As their escape approached, many of the boys wrote home, some hoping that this would be their last letter since their captivity. I have a major role to play in one of our Kriegie plays, wrote George Wiley to a friend in Canada, and I'm a little nervous about doing my part well. . . maybe we'll see each other sooner than expected. On the morning of March 23, there was still a good six inches of snow on the ground, but winter finally seemed to be over. There was a new sweetness in the air and a slight thaw had set in. It was obvious that spring was coming. There was still a crackle in the air, but it was more electricity than cold, because everyone knew that silence would return in the next few days. The optimists' sentiment was further confirmed when Organization X leaders slowly and obliquely made their way to Booth 104 for another meeting. One of the men who climbed the steps of 104 did not attend such meetings and, for those who knew him, his presence was significant. The new face was Flying Officer Len Hall of the RAF Meteorological Section, who had a dubious reputation for being one of the few officers on Sagan to be sunk and not shot down. The ship that took him from Nigeria to England had been torpedoed in the Caribbean and Len spent four weeks as a prisoner on a submarine before returning to the mainland. Apparently the Germans didn't know what to do with it because they moved it between Dulag Luft and a naval transit camp for almost two months before finally deciding to include it in Luft III. The organization was happy with this decision as it urgently needed a trained meteorologist. Since all the heads of the organization knew the score, the first questions went to Len. How about the next few days, Len? Roger asked softly. Very good actually, Len started. As you know, it's dark because of the moon right now and there should be pretty good clouds for the next two

3636 Pacifica Military History of the nights to make them even darker. I'm afraid the temperature won't help much, but you'll probably have a little wind to muffle the noise. It's the best I can do with what I have to do to keep going. Can you give me something longer term? asked Rogelio. Leon shook his head. I'm sorry Rogerio. This German weather can get terribly uncomfortable and it's too soon to say that winter is finally over. Roger grunted and looked at his lieutenants. It was clear he wanted to move. Well, we'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to decide for sure, but I think we should give it a try if the weather doesn't change. Any objections? Everyone in the room knew Roger well enough to know when he was making a decision, and this was one of those times. Everyone shook their heads. Tim Walenn said he needed as much time as possible to stamp and sign all the forged documents and Ker Ramsay wanted at least half a day to make final preparations in the tunnel. Otherwise, there was nothing left. After the meeting ended, Johnny Marshall stayed behind to speak with Roger. And the stubborn one, Roger? asked. There's still three meters of snow in the forest, so they don't stand a chance. Bushell was adamant. It is an opportunity they must seize. We can't risk staying with Harry until the next moonless time. You saw that the trap deforms more every day. We're the way it is on borrowed time. If we don't move soon, we'll probably lose everything. How about taking some passengers off the train now and taking Harry until the weather clears up? In a few months, the stragglers would have a better chance. Come on, Johnny, Roger said. You know that once we use the tunnel, it will never be subjected to a major search. Also, it has to be all or nothing. The entire plan relies on taking out large numbers of fugitives at once; some train passengers just didn't want to. There was no point in arguing further, especially since Marshall knew that all of Bushell's points were valid. He still compelled the conversation

37Free sample Chapters 37 Big X to reconsider Walker's problem and after contemplating it in the afternoon sought advice from Wings Day. He told the Wings that he hated making a decision that would jeopardize the tough guys' chances, but saw no other alternative. Wings was quick to respond. We both know, Roger, that the odds are at best against the hardest. We've both come a long way in the past, you know as well as I do that the odds are a thousand to one against you, even under the best of conditions. Also, no one will freeze to death when things turn sour, they can only face themselves. It's usually warm enough in the fridge! Roger smiled when he saw Wing's big smile. That is true! he said darkly. Anyway, there's a bigger issue here. You've said it yourself a dozen times that the greatest value in a breakout is the number of guys that leave first, not the number that make it home. Even though none of the Hardarser survive two days, they took effect as soon as they took off. Bushell was silent for a moment, then looked up and said simply, Thank you, you're right, before going to his cabin. Wings watched him pace and reflected on what the South African had accomplished. He took a camp full of very different characters and gave them a common purpose. Soon he would free up to two hundred refugees, and for the seventh time, Wings Day would be one of them. There was a heavy snowfall that night and the matter was again in doubt when the committee members met on the morning of the 24th to reach a decision. At 11:30 am, they gathered in a room in cabin 101. They all left just ten minutes later. was up Tim Walenn went straight to stamping the start date and signing the papers. That work had to be postponed until the last minute so that the refugees could make the most of their temporary travel documents. Most documents also needed to be signed, including Roger Bushell's royal visa, which he had received during one of his escapes. Cassie painted the visa stamp in pink-purple

3838 Pacifica Military History and then signed with the name of a chief of police whose actual signature they bore. Alex practiced signs for two days to get it right. Meanwhile, Crump let Harry down to do the final work on the tunnel. He started by hanging two blankets in the exit chamber to block out light and sound. As an added precaution, strips of cloth were nailed to the first and last fifty feet of wagon track. Blankets were also spread on the floor of the entry and exit shafts to muffle any noise, and were placed in both half-houses so that vendors would not get their clothes dirty. Additional lights were installed every twenty-five feet to provide a little more light and comfort for those prone to claustrophobia. Ultimately, the wagons had to be modified to handle the large numbers of men who would be using them. Additional boards were added to the top to give the fugitives a better platform to lie down, and four hundred feet of 1-inch (2.5 cm) brown rope intended for the camp's boxing ring were removed and attached to the boxcars. Finally, four bent shoring boards were replaced and a specially designed wooden shovel was brought down the exit shaft to break up the tunnel. Meanwhile, the Little Xs made their way through the organization's various departments to gather all the equipment for the refugees in their hut. They had already interviewed each refugee and carefully checked their clothes, luggage and papers, and now they needed to deliver the pack of equipment and some final advice. The Little Xs also gave each man explicit instructions on when and how to go to Booth 104. In the days leading up to the breakout, spotters counted the number of men entering and leaving the block on a typical day. To avoid a spike in traffic on the day of the leak, these numbers were used to create a series of routes and times. There was a 30-second pause between moves, and each fugitive had a specific time and direction to go. When he reached 104, he was directed to a bunk to await his number's arrival. The regular occupant of this berth went to the cabin of the other fellows and stayed there until the next morning. Tension grew around the camp. There were a few more forced smiles, and many of the kriegies tried to calm their nerves.

39Free example of chapter 39, meaningless talk. Len Hall's afternoon weather class was noticeably smaller than previous days and there were fewer people in the theatre. The night before, there was a dress rehearsal for the new production of Pygmalion, starring Roger Bushell as Professor Henry Higgins. A deputy was waiting in the wings for the star to be unavailable. Back in his room, Hank Birkland bent over a final letter to his family. I received a letter last month which I cannot reply to, he wrote in his typically direct style. I can't keep up a long letter-to-letter correspondence. A little after six, a few men gathered in Johnny Travis's room for a last supper of meatballs and Gerley Glop, a mixture of barley, Klim, sugar, and raisins. Roger Bushell, Bob van der Stok, Digger McIntosh and Shorty Armstrong were all there, but there was little talking. No one seemed to have much of an appetite, despite Traviss' assurances that the feast would keep him full for days. At Shack 112, George Wiley cleaned up a few things before heading to Shack 104. George looked like the youngest of all the escapees. Although he had turned 22 in January, he looked 16 with his blond hair and straight features, and George was used to teasing that the authorities had to let boys into the Air Force to do men's jobs. Today, however, George's boyish face showed both fear and excitement. He didn't speak German and realized that his chances of getting out clean were slim to none, especially as his leg was giving him trouble again in the cold. He expected it to be picked up in the Sagan area and estimated that it would likely spend a week or two in the fridge before returning to the compound. While George was tidying up his bunk, he chatted with Alan Righetti, who was staying in 112. The Australian noticed that his flatmate was restless and tried to cheer him up with a few words of encouragement. Alan has been involved in quite a few breaks in Italy and knew what it was like to go out for the first time in the hours leading up to a break. George was comforted by Alan's words, but as he got up to go to 104, the Canadian turned to his roommate and supported him.

4040 Pacifica Military History from his watch and a few other things he collected during his year in captivity. Alan, if I don't, can you make sure these things get to my mother in Windsor? It's all right, George, Alan said calmly. Are you sure you don't want to hold her? You can see them before me! he added happily. Wiley smiled and patted his friend on the back with a few parting words. As he turned to leave the room, Righetti couldn't help thinking that George Wiley looked young and innocent enough to step out into the unfamiliar snow of a cold March night. * As night fell, the exodus continued. Mike Casey put on his coat and said goodbye to his roommates in Vault 122. I'm out everyone, he said with his hand. It's time for my forest run! Mike reported to the 122 controller, who consulted his timesheet, got his dummy's approval, and shoved the Irishman out the door with a sharp slap on the back. Casey headed east around the south end of cabin 121 and then entered cabin 109 through the south door. He went straight to Room 17, where Wings Norman was sitting with another timesheet. Oh, Mike, Norman said cheerfully, punctual as always. So go away and stay out of trouble! Mike said goodbye with a firm handshake. He continued down the hall to the north end of 109, where another doll was standing, holding the door closed. She peeked through the crack, then opened the door, giving Mike a thumbs-up as she passed. The Irishman ran across the path by the brazier and stopped on the south stairs of cabin 104. The door opened and Casey informed Dave Torrens, who assigned her a room and bunk. Mike had escaped before, but in his nearly five years as a prisoner, he had never seen anything like it. Inside the crowded hut was the strangest conglomeration of figures, some in rough working clothes and some in smart suits. Some stood smoking, others chatted quietly, and two couples huddled together and played bridge. Many just sat and said nothing, looking up briefly with a smile as Mike walked by.

41Free Trial Chapter 41 Twice a minute the door opened for another kriegie who entered silently and was stopped by Torrens. So far everything had gone exactly as planned. Then, at about quarter to eight, the door opened again. Immediately silence fell in the hallway and Casey poked her head out of the room to see what was going on. There, at the end of the hall, was a Luftwaffe soldier.

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4444 Pacifica Military History Ace! A WWII Navy night fighter pilot Colonel R. Bruce Porter with Eric Hammel the right stuff. The instructor got me and himself out of trouble and never made a despondent sound. Until we were safely on the ground. Then he looked at me like a wet rag, sweating fear and embarrassment into my heavy flight suit, and said exactly what would make my day: Porter, you will never be alone. You're the dumbest cadet I've ever seen. As! is the life of Bruce Porters as a Navy fighter pilot from his early days as a pre-World War II Naval Aviation cadet, through his adventures protecting America's most advanced defense line in the South Pacific, to his aerial dogfights in the Islands. Solomon. Follow Bruce Porter through his rigorous night fighter training and fly with him on his rare double kill night mission over Okinawa in 1945. Colonel Robert Bruce Porter, USMCR (retired) enlisted for his final flight on April 20, 2009. What the Marine Aces said about Ace! Since flight training, Bruce Porters' aeronautical skills as a Navy day and night fighter pilot have defined the term fighter pilot! Bruce's book reflects the sharp, analytical mind of a fighter pilot's technical skills designed for combat. This book is a must have for anyone interested in the history of fighter aviation. Navy Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jeff De Blanc [in his book], Bruce relives the challenges, frustrations, and triumphs of training through his victories on the Corsair in the Solomon Islands, and then achieves status with a sweep of Okinawa as a to the. read and enjoy

45Free Sample Chapter 45 Fabulous Sea Aviation Battle Story. BrigGen Joe Foss, the book by Navy Medal of Honor recipient Bruce Porters, is great. It shows a lot of detail and answers a lot of questions about operating an aircraft carrier. . . . This explains why, even without enemy intervention, continued operations in bad conditions will cost us pilots and aircraft. . . . I recommend Ace! BrigGen Bob Galer, Navy Medal of Honor recipient You must read this excellent book. You'll be glued to the sides while sitting in the cabin with Bruce. . . . It is very well written and personal. Colonel Jim Swett, recipient of the Navy Medal of Honor in the book Ace! by Bruce Porter, talks about our Wildcats flying together off Pearl Harbor, their Corsair victories in the Solomon Islands, and their great night flight in Okinawa. I recommend Ace! Lieutenant Colonel Ken Walsh, Navy Medal of Honor recipient

4646 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book ACE!: A Marine Night Fighter Pilot in World War II by Colonel R. Bruce Porter, starring Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $24.95 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. First Assassination of Colonel R. Bruce Porter with Eric Hammel Copyright 1985 by Robert Bruce Porter and Eric Hammel Robert Bruce Porter earned his wings and was commissioned in July 1941 as a Second Lieutenant in the Navy. He sailed to American Samoa in March 1942 with the first US fighter squadron sent to this threatened front line. After more than a year of rigorous training in Samoa, Porter transferred to Navy Fighter Squadron 121 (VMF-121), which at the time was being converted to the new F4U-1 Corsair fighter. The squadron moved to Henderson Field from Guadalcanal on 9 June 1943 to begin its third combat tour of the Solomon Islands. It was at this point that Captain Bruce Porter, a veteran senior pilot and one of the first Navy aviators to serve on the front lines in the Pacific, was finally faced with the prospect of witnessing combat against Japanese fighter planes. My first air raid on Guadalcanal took place on June 12, 1943. It would be my first intercept and my first engagement. I was the squadron's flying officer at the time, and as of June 12, I was flight director for the two four-aircraft warning divisions of VMF-121. Pilots not yet waiting in their cockpits were in the squadron prep room, a large tent at the edge of the main runway, not far from our Corsairs. When the alarm went off, I ran to the planes waiting like cow ponies on the scatter pads beside the taxiway.

47Free Samples Chapter 47 I climbed onto the left wing of the first plane I came across and jumped into the cockpit. With the help of the plane's captain, I slid into my seat and parachute and plugged in my throat mic and headset. As the plane's captain stepped off the wing and stepped back, I checked the lever that was supposed to lock me in the cockpit. Then, one by one, I heard the roar of the high-powered engines, which had already been started by the plane captains, roaring at full power. At this point, all pilots checked both magnets to ensure each was holding a full power charge. If the magnets were weak or another problem was detected, the pilot would quickly cut the engine, reverse the immigration procedure and head to the nearest reserve plane, of which there were always one or two. Sometimes, when many planes crashed, some pilots were unable to take off. The scary thing about Scrambles was the complete lack of radio communication. The whole development was so automatic that, except in an extreme emergency, no conversation took place. We just increased power and taxied to take off into the wind. As my plane leapt into the air, I lifted the landing gear lever with my left hand. Then, overcoming the danger of hitting the ground, I switched the joystick to my left hand and closed the cage hood with my right. Then I put on my oxygen mask, which is mandatory above 10,000 feet. Within minutes, half of my squadron was looking for a height advantage over the oncoming enemy and trying to rendezvous with him as far away from friendly bases as possible. As we climbed, we each loaded and tested all six .50 caliber winged guns on our six Corsairs. There was no point in continuing to fly if the weapons didn't work. The lineup kind of took care of itself. Shortly after reaching altitude, we almost always had a few stragglers or gaps in our formation. This meant that we had to rebuild elements and divisions of two aircraft as we headed into combat. * We were at 18,000 feet and heading northwest towards the Russell Islands, which were about 80 miles from Henderson Field. The rest

4848 Squadron Pacific Military History and three other squadrons of guards spread out near or directly behind us, covering various elevations and sectors. So we had 32 Corsairs and Wildcats flying at the front and an almost identical number at the back. The New Zealanders managed to launch a further 30 P-40 fighters. During all those long months of practicing and performing in Samoa and Turtle Bay, I didn't have a calm cell in my body. Even in the tropics, it's unusual to sweat at high altitudes, but my bodily fluids came out in rivulets. I was even afraid that my blouse would fog up with so much humidity. I wasn't scared, but my bloodstream was full of adrenaline and, I'm sure, other life-sustaining substances, giving off a rancid odor and a lot of sweat. In a way, my uneasiness kept me from thinking too much about the possible consequences of the impending confrontation. I don't think I've ever been as excited as I was during this flight. The Russells were recently captured by Marine Raiders and a new forward combat range was being built. It was not clear if the approaching Japanese intended to attack the new base or if they were heading for Guadalcanal. Anyway, we barely had time to intercept them northwest of the Russells. Conversations between the Corsair pilots never ended, especially the unconfirmed bogies, presumably enemy radar contacts from our ground controllers on Guadalcanal. Within 30 minutes of the alert, we were over the Russell Islands. Below I could see the wakes of ships making their way through the blue water. He scanned the entire sky, looking for any telltale movement between distant storm clouds and white cumulus clouds against a beautiful blue canopy. I was just telling myself what a beautiful day it was when my headphones suddenly popped out as a message came from all squads: Tally ho! zeros to eleven. Angeles 25. This meant that enemy fighters were seen flying at 25,000 feet and on a course just to the left of dead center. (Imagine a clock. The front right is 12 o'clock, the back is 6 o'clock, the right is 3 o'clock, and the left is 9 o'clock.)

49Free Sample Chapter 49 I loaded my guns and turned on my refractor scope, which projected the image of a scope, complete with range calibrations, onto the windshield in front of my face. Within seconds, I saw flashes of silver against a bright blue sky. Enemy fighter units came from all directions. Coastal observers reported no enemy bombers manning various secret observation posts in the Solomon Islands, and none were sighted as the opposing forces charged at each other at over 500 miles per hour. We were plain and simple on a hunting round. More than 70 Zeros came just to challenge our fighters. Good. * Approaching the fast silver bars and trying to block one of mine, I could see in the middle distance that other privateers from my two divisions were already in the fight, as there was a large brown stain against a point. Cumulus clouds to mark the location where a Zero exploded. I didn't see any parachutes. So we got into it. To my left, the second element of my own division suddenly broke free to face an approaching Zero. But I had just enough time to see the first tracer beam erupt from one of the Corsair's six .50-caliber wing guns. The best training in the world couldn't lessen the moment of sheer surprise when my eyes found a target of their own. The Zero was about to overtake me from right to left when it collided with one of the Corsairs from my second attacked element, which was behind and below me at the time. I was pretty sure the Japanese pilot had never seen me when he opened fire with his two .30 caliber machine guns. I saw his pink tracker cross my line of vision, which was obscured by my long corsair nose. Then, just in case, he fired four rounds from a 20mm cannon that whizzed past me like flaming popcorn balls; I was surprised to see how slowly they seemed to travel. I never consciously pressed the button on my pistol. I had practiced this encounter a thousand times and seemed to know enough to allow myself to do it.

5050 Pacifica Military History my instincts conquer my mind. My guns were aimed to converge in a cone about 300 yards in front of my Corsairs' rotating propeller. Anything within that cone would be hit by a hail of half-inch steel-coated bullets. My Corsair shuddered slightly as all the guns went off, and I saw my tracker fly just above the roof of the Zero's cage. Then it happened to me. I stopped behind him on my left. So did, I hoped, my wingman, 1st Lt. Phil Leeds, who was staggering right and back, right next to my right wing. It was just my turn. I didn't get many Gs, so my head was perfectly clear. I thought of a deflection shot and decided to give it a try. I gave Zero a good lead and again fired all my weapons. As planned, my trackers got ahead of him, but at just the right level. I kicked my left rudder to shoot him in the nose. If this Japanese pilot had flown in a straight line, he would have been a dead man. Instead, this excellent pilot presented me with a demonstration of the Zero's best flight characteristics, the only thing a Zero could do to save its pilot from death almost every time. He listened to dozens of F4F and F4U pilots marvel at the maneuver he was about to experience, but until a split second he had no idea how aerodynamically incredible the Zero fighter really was. As soon as my prey saw my tracker fly in front of the nose of his plane, it just stopped and literally disappeared from my searchlight field of view and my entire line of sight. My tracker reached an empty space. I was so surprised by the maneuver that I trembled with envy. I had time to mentally catch a glimpse of the surroundings: the sky was full of zigzag planes, clouds of smoke and flames, flickering cannons and lines of marking against that beautiful blue background with its distant storms and cumulus peaks. . . So I put my joystick on my belly and leaned to the left as hard as I dared. I was there! My scope reflector ring was directly to his right. It was out of my league. If he wanted a clear shot, he had to do it.

51Free sample chapters 51 stop at an even steeper climb. Even so, he had the best climb speed and constantly opened up the range. But he wanted the motherfucker to avenge Sam Logan. I held my breath and swallowed to counteract the pressure, but I felt gravity steadily increasing, pinning me against the seat; I felt the thought blood draining from my brain. I couldn't get him in my sights; it was a little too high and too far to the right. He had me in a tight circle up to that point. He knew he couldn't maintain the consciousness expansion maneuver indefinitely. I realized he was running out of ammo. All alarm bells went off in my head at once, but I persevered despite the gray veils that covered my eyes and my mind at the same time. Finally I reached the top of the loop, a point where all forces were balanced. Suddenly, the G forces relaxed. I wasn't totally weightless, but I wasn't totally weightless either. There was a moment of drowsiness, then the gray shell completely fell off. I realized that the horizon was upside down and that Zero was there. . . in my opinion! It was about 300 meters ahead of me, at an extreme distance and slowly retreating. It was now or never. I blocked out everything else in the world except that silver zero and the tools at my disposal, which are now just extensions of my mind and senses. Nothing in the world was more important than keeping track of Zeros. I would have flown towards the ocean at full speed if that enemy pilot had taken me there. I pressed the gun button under my right index finger. The eerie silence in my cabin was broken by the steady roar of my machine guns. Zero never stood a chance. He flew straight into the cone of half-inch deadly rounds. I was able to catch him easily as the tracking beam first grazed the leading edge of the left wing. I saw small pieces of metal flying out of the impact area and clearly thought I should slide my telescope, i.e. all my Corsaira hair, to the right.

5252 Pacifica Military History The tracker jet entered the cockpit. I clearly saw the glass ceiling shatter, but there was so much shiny glass and debris that I couldn't see the pilot. The Zero lurched and my tracker landed first on the root of one wing, then the other, hitting the enemy's exposed fuel tanks. The Zero suddenly exploded, vaporized. * Instinctively I ducked, knowing I would be hit by debris moving at hundreds of miles an hour. I could feel things hitting the Corsair, but I quickly broke through the spreading cloud of greasy debris and flew into the clear sky. When I got back into the rigid routine of turning my head left, right and up to face enemy planes, I felt rather than saw Phil Leeds approaching. It was only then that I realized that my trusty Phil had followed me during the grueling chase and through the cloud of debris from the evaporated Zero. Now it was his turn. Just a few seconds after walking through the rubble of my death, another Zero passed right in front of us, from right to left and a hair above us. Phil was in the best position to catch him; we both knew it. As Phil stalked him like a hawk chasing a mouse, I backed away and fixed my gaze on Phil's wing. Phil slid to the left and struggled as hard as he could to grab the Zero's tail. However, when he turned around, I saw a pink stripe marking the right rear windshield. My eyes darted to the right rearview mirror and caught the glint of sunlight on the silver hooves of our attackers. Phil also saw the second zero and pulled me to the left. There we both saw a third Zero coming towards us from below! Phil launched a diving frontal attack from the right against the third zero. Even as the pink marker of the second Zeros pistols passed to the right, I could see Phil landing solid hits with the third Zero. I also noticed that there was no return fire from the third Zero.

53Free Sample Chapters 53 So it was time to get out of the way. We fly backwards in a closed loop. Just as we finished the high-G maneuver, the second Zero caught up with us and darted under my wing. Phil was firing all of his weapons at the second Zero when it passed under his wings. I lost sight of Phil's bullets and all the zeros for a moment as I checked for more zeros heading our way. Looking back, all I could see was a huge white parachute opening under a huge cloud of black smoke. Nearby, the lifeless remains of the second Zero fell into the sea. Neither the first nor the third zero was anywhere in our part of the sky. I think Phil's death lasted no more than ten seconds. * The sky around us was empty; the air battle had passed us by. In the distance, I could see planes maneuvering against the background of clouds. For a brief moment, I considered joining the action, but I was worried about our stockpile of .50 caliber ammo. He knew very well that only very stupid pilots consciously use all their bullets when there are still enemy fighters nearby. I motioned for Phil to sit on my cock, which he did while checking our location on my map. Once I spotted a distinct island below, I climbed back up to 18,000 feet and set a course for home, far to the southeast. It was only now that I realized that my overalls were soaked with sweat. And I could feel a strong throbbing in my temples, which indicated that a large amount of adrenaline was coursing through my bloodstream. My breathing became shallow and I felt very weak. I took a few deep breaths with pure oxygen and it cleared me up. * After a return flight of less than 30 minutes, we land at Cape Esperance, on the northwest tip of Guadalcanal. It was around 11:30 am. At that moment, Phil and I spotted a lone Zero circling the beach about 5,000 feet below us. I had a vague impression that the pilot might be talking to someone on the ground over the radio. I knew he was low on ammo and would have left Zero alone, but Phil radioed me that he wanted to try, though he had no idea how many rounds he had left.

5454 Pacifica Military History I handed Phil the leash and followed him down a steep dive out of the sun. It was all over in seconds. Phil simply immobilized the Zero, which turned its nose down and dove straight into the sea. It didn't even burn. We circled the Zeros' tomb once and then headed home, where we routinely landed and taxied to the distribution area to see how our comrades were doing. Coincidentally, Phil and I were the first to return. We get handshakes from our plane captains after we break the good news to them, and then we wait to check our Corsairs for damage. Neither plane suffered bullet holes, but my plane's nose and leading edges were riddled with debris, and there was a large black smear on my spinner nose and nose, probably burning oil or jet fuel from my fighter. After about 30 minutes everyone was back. It turned out that VMF-121 was the only squadron to score that day. Captain Bob Baker was credited with a probable zero; Captain Ken Ford got two solid kills and one probable; Captain Bill Harlan got a kill and two chances; Captain Bruce Porter scored a kill; and First Lieutenant Phil Leeds got two kills. That's six kills and four chances against no defeat of their own. A very good day! * Not only did I survive the first match, but I also got my first kill. I was baptized. I had earned my spurs. It wasn't until late at night that I realized I had also killed a man.

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5656 Pacifica Military History ACES AGAINST GERMANY The American Aces Speak By Eric Hammel In the second volume of his critically acclaimed series, The American Aces Speak, military historian Eric Hammel brings new first-person accounts of US Army Air Corps battle barrels. US in the skies over North Africa, the Mediterranean and northern and southern Europe in the great crusade against Hitler's Luftwaffe and other Axis air forces. Along with a concise historical account of the US air war against the Axis powers in Europe and North Africa, Hammel's in-depth interviews bring to light the most moving experiences of some of our nation's best pilots. Climb aboard a P 38 Lightning as Major Bill Leverette battles the Luftwaffe for the highest score in America's personal duel. And climb into the cockpit of a P 47 Thunderbolt as Captain Don Bryan, winner of 15 victories, carries out the slaughter of his dreams in Europe in the last days of the war, outwitting the pilot of a much faster German jet. As he did in four companion volumes, Hammel collected some of the best air combat stories of the US war against Germany. Almost every story in Aces Against Germany has never been told before, and the rest are augmented with details and points of view that Hammels provided in interviews with Together, the five volumes containing nearly 200 first-person stories of aerial combat in World War II, world, Korea and Vietnam presented as an enduring testament to the fighter pilots who fought their wars strapped into the cockpits of America's high-performance deadly fighter jets. Aces Against Germany is a highly emotional interpretation of the now dark days of personal struggle on the margins of our vibrant national history. There never was such a war and there never will be again. These are the stories of the American Eagles in their own words.

57Free Samples Chapter 57 Critical Praise for the American Aces Speak Series Book World Says: Aces Against Japan is a roaring personal adventure book that gives our men in the sky their own voice Book page says: Eric's Book Recommended Reading Hammels. Indispensable on every historian's shelf. The Library Journal says: No PR hype or dry prose here. Hammel lets his pilots tell their stories in his own way. Exciting stuff that aviation and WWII fans will love. The Providence Sunday Journal says: A delight that deftly combines a Pacific War chronology with narratives that would rival an action-packed Saturday matinee. Infantry Magazine says: If you want to read a book that gives you both a broad overview and an in-depth look at a fighter pilot's aerial warfare, this is the book. The Bookshelf says: Hammel is one of our best military historians when it comes to bringing this often complex subject to the attention of the general public. He's shown that skill in a few good books before [Aces vs. Germany] and now he's doing it again. It should not be overlooked by laypeople or academics.

5858 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book ACES AGAINST GERMANY: The American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. THE BIG B by Eric Hammel Copyright 1992 by Eric Hammel. Maj. TOM HAYES, USAAF 364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group Berlin, March 6, 1944 * Portland, Oregon. Thomas Lloyd Hayes Jr. Last year of high school. Earlier this year, a Soviet plane on a much-heralded flight from Moscow to San Francisco was forced to end its journey in Portland's neighbor Vancouver, Washington. Young Tom Hayes was one of the first civilians to salute the Russian occupation. Emboldened by his touch of reflected fame, Hayes tried to enroll in the US Navy's flying program as soon as he graduated from high school in June of that year. He was rejected because of his age and was advised to pursue university studies to qualify. Hayes dutifully enrolled at Oregon State University, but all he really cared about was qualifying for Navy flight school. However, in May 1940, the month Germany invaded the Netherlands, Hayes attended an Army Air Corps air show in Corvallis, Oregon. When he learned from the program that he only needed two years of college to qualify, she applied immediately. Within a month, Cadet Hayes was enrolled in major flight training in Glendale, California, graduating on February 7, 1941, with a Class 41-A at Kelly Field, Texas. Lt. Hayes was assigned to the 35th Air Force Group. In November 1941, the group was forced to do so.

59Free samples Chapter 59 Philippines, but as of December 7, a third of the group included by Tom Hayes still hadn't boarded. In January 1942, Hayess' group of pilots, crew chiefs, gunsmiths and P-40 fighters landed in Java and fought the Japanese. On February 19, Hayes was shot down by a Japanese Zero fighter and seriously wounded. He was evacuated to Australia as American survivors of the one-sided fighting withdrew. After recovering from his injuries, Hayes helped restart the 35th Pursuit Group. He flew Bell P-39 Airacobras with the 35th over New Guinea until October 1942, when he was sent home to prepare newly trained fighter pilots for the rigors of combat flying in the Pacific. After completing a month-long War Bond tour, Captain Hayes was assigned as flight director for a P-39 reserve training group in Northern California. In May 1943, he was chosen by the commander of the new 357th Fighter Group to replace a squadron commander who had died in a training accident. Hayes took command of the 364th Fighter Squadron based in Tonopah, Nevada and helped train the new P-39 unit. On October 1, 1944, the 357th Fighter Group was ready to leave its base at Marysville, California; he was trained to perfection and ready in every way to go to war. Instead, the group was ordered to leave immediately for various bomber bases in Nebraska, Wyoming and North Dakota. * We didn't know what was going on. Turns out we were always supposed to fly to England on October 1st. Groups new to England must complete their training periods every six weeks and then move on to new bases. But, as we finally found out, we couldn't go straight to England because our base wasn't ready yet. They sent us to the upper Midwest to tell the time. While we were there, we honed our flying skills by simulating German fighter attacks on heavy bombers. This helped certify B-17 and B-24 crews a little faster for overseas deployment. The scales turned out to be very valuable. We quickly learned that the shortage of small arms ammunition during the war led to a sharp increase in the local population of pheasants and other game birds, say fifteen or twenty.

6060 peaceful military history of us in charge of our shotguns. After we finished flying everyday and honed our flying skills in aggressive and high speed attacks without just real shooting, we set out to hunt birds. We shot so many pheasants that we could feed the entire troop of over 300 people every night. More importantly, we sharpen our shooting eyes. After about a month, we left the P-39 behind and boarded the Queen Elizabeth for a high-speed journey to Scotland. We spent Thanksgiving at sea. When we finally arrived in England and were assigned to the 9th Air Force, we were told that we would be the second fighter group in England to be equipped with American P-51 Mustangs. We didn't know anything about the Mustang other than that it was more or less a dive bomber with no altitude capability. Little did we know that the 354th Fighter Group (our immediate predecessor in the US training cycle) had been re-equipped with an improved version of the Mustang when it arrived in England in mid-October. The Mustang we knew had been built by North American Aviation on behalf of the RAF as a ground support aircraft. The first Army Air Force version was known as the A-36 and was used as a dive bomber for some time. There was also a fighter version called the P-51A, but both this and the A-36 were fitted with an undersized 1200 hp Allison engine. The P-51A and A-36 could not exceed 17,000 feet. Unknown to us, the Mustang was the subject of an intensive development program that began in late 1942 with the Merlin. . Later in the process, the urgent need for long-range fighters in Europe led to the addition of an 85-gallon fuel tank behind the P-51's cockpit, causing some delays. The result, with all its flaws corrected, was the P-51B, which the 354th Fighter Group was about to face when the 357th Fighter Group arrived in England. Unfortunately, the P-51Bs were not enough for us or for the 4th Fighter Group, which was also to be converted to the new type. The 354th suffered operational and training losses and

61The free sample Chapter 61 was destined to suffer combat casualties once escort duty began with the heavy bombers. All initial production went to the 354, and all or most of the replacement Mustangs that arrived in England would be used to keep the 354 up to date. When we were in England for a month, we still had no planes. All we did was splash around in the mud and take plane identification classes in the morning and afternoon. But we don't fly. They examined me in a P-51, but only because I was a squadron commander. We ended up getting a few of our own, but barely enough to see the other riders in the group. Finally, on January 24, an important decision was made. In addition to maintaining rank 354, all P-51Bs available in England would be allocated to Eighth Air Force. A few days later, the 358th Fighter Group, a P-47 group of the Eighth Air Force, was transferred to the Ninth Air Force and the 357th Fighter Group was assigned to the 66th Fighter Wing, Eighth Air Force. Within days, the 358th moved from its base, Leiston, to our base, Raydon Wood, and we moved from Raydon Wood to Leiston. That way we would be to the north, about forty kilometers closer to the bomber routes to Germany, and the 358 would be to the south, closer to France. Eighth Air Force couldn't get us up and running quickly enough. Within a week, our group of P-51Bs had grown from a dozen to seventy-five aircraft. I was busy. In addition to checking the planes, we had to check all the pilots. And meanwhile, our group of commando pilots, squadron and flight leaders began to go on missions with the 354th Fighter Group to learn more about the war in Northern Europe. The 357th Fighter Group was declared operational on February 8, 1944. After three relatively easy group combat missions in France on February 11, 12 and 13, we went to Germany for the first time on February 20. It was the first departure of the Big Week and the destination was Leipzig. The 362d and 363d Fighter Squadrons recorded their first victories in this mission. My 364th Fighter Squadron recorded its first three victories during the February 22 mission, which took place against the Me-109 factory in Regensburg, Germany and the Kugellager factory in Germany.

6262 Pacifica Military History Schweinfurt. We were grounded on February 23rd because of the weather, but on February 24th, while escorting heavy bombers to the Me-110 factory in Gotha, Germany, I received credit for an Me-109 that likely overshot the target flown. We flew to Regensburg on February 25th and to Braunschweig on February 29th. I shot down an Me-109 on our March 2nd mission to Frankfurt. In all, the group was credited with twenty confirmed victories so far and we were ready and confident. At the end of the Big Week, on February 29, everyone was talking about Berlin. We had flown close enough to the German capital several times to see it, but Eighth Air Force had not flown a single mission there. Everyone was like when the hell are we getting to the Big B? Before each mission we went to the briefing booth and they opened the curtains that covered the map that showed our route to the destination. We were just waiting to see the red ribbons marking the way to Berlin. When we finally saw that it would be Berlin on the 3rd of March, our feelings certainly changed. Bravery has left us. The weather was terrible. Of the entire Eighth Air Force, only the 4th Fighter Group and one of the P-38 groups flew to the target, but they did not even see the ground. All bombers were withdrawn or pursued secondary targets. In England the weather was so bad that we couldn't assemble the 357, so we were called back. I logged ninety minutes of flight time, all on instruments. We lost two pilots on March 3rd and nobody knows how. In my opinion, these losses were weather related. If the group lacked something, it was instrumental training. It's easy to lose track of the ups and downs in the clouds. If you don't overcome your instincts and force yourself to fly the instruments, you can easily slip into an uncontrollable spin or even crash the plane to the ground. The weather in northern Europe was terrible at that time of year and I'm sure all groups lost pilots and planes in the clouds due to disorientation or mid-air collisions. They sent about 500 B-17s and over 750 fighters to Berlin on March 4th, but there were only a few holes in the clouds and few German fighters could find us. Just a fighter squadron consisting of thirty-eight

63Free Sample Chapter 63 The bombers were really coming to Berlin, and these planes bombed the holes in the clouds, not knowing what lay under the residential suburbs. There was almost no combat action. Only seven German planes were destroyed by our fighters that day, but the 357 pilots took two of them with them. On March 5, we escorted B-24s from the 2nd Bomber Division to Bordeaux in the south of France. En route to the objective, some of the B-24s dropped supplies against French resistance fighters in the foothills of the French Alps. Over Bordeaux, our group encountered several FW-190s that were shot down and our pilots also encountered three four-engine FW-200 Condors taking off from a grassy airfield. One plane was shot down, but the pilot, Flight Officer Chuck Yeager, ended up returning to the group via Spain. Unfortunately, on the way home, the group's commander, Colonel Henry Spicer, was shot down by flak during a low-level machine-gun run and captured. The deputy commander of the group, Lt. Colonel Don Graham took charge of the group when we got home. On the night of March 5th, all Smart Money were on another mission to Berlin. Of course I knew it was going to be Berlin when we got the news that we were going to go out with maximum effort. We were also told that the weather should improve. Maintenance said they could only get forty-eight Mustangs in the air the next morning, just what we needed but no parts. That's why we programmed the first team, our best and most experienced drivers. There was no harm done that night. We had work to do, so everyone went to bed early. The bombers had to take off hours before the fighters. There were hundreds of them and they had to form their battle chests, battle wings and battle divisions. That took a long time. In addition, the Germans had deployed an 88 mm belt and other anti-aircraft guns along the Dutch and Belgian coasts, which were often crossed by bombers. higher and higher with their heavy bomb loads as they still flew over England. Hundreds of bombers circled long before we had to get up. As usual, I woke up

6464 Pacifica Military History drone from its engines. With the bombers overhead, I knew the mission was under way long before it was officially announced. I also knew that their contrails unfortunately created overcast skies through which we had to take off later that beautiful spring morning. I was leaving as an assistant mission director, so I met with Don Graham early to make final arrangements for the entire group. This was Don's first mission as group leader and first as a reserve. We've created some non-verbal cues so we can communicate over the air if one of us gets into trouble. We also decided what the group would do on the way home based on what had happened before we were released from escort duty. The pilots went to the canteen to have breakfast, then we asked the group to report the basic information that would lead us to our destination. The weather in England was fine, but we were told the front was moving east. The closer we got to Berlin, the worse the weather got. When it was clear, all we had to do was follow the stream of bombers from England and catch up with the lead bombers before they reached their target. But when the weather was bad, we couldn't fly above the stream of bombers for fear of hitting the bombers in the clouds. Or, in the case of this mission, the bombers didn't even fly directly to Berlin. To confuse the Germans that the target was elsewhere, the bombers flew from Munster to Meppen, from Goslar to Uelzen and from Halle to Ratheneau, which would have been too long for us anyway. Halle was southwest of Berlin. To save fuel, we had to fly virtually east along the Dutch coast to Berlin. As one of three or four P-51 groups available for the mission, the 357th, as usual, would collect the crate of lead bombers around 1:00 pm and about 120 kilometers from the target. We were to be ahead of the bombers as they approached the target and then hand over the escort to new groups of P-47s or P-38s about 120 kilometers down the initial route. On March 6, bombers would pass through Berlin to conduct their bombing raids on different parts of the city, from west to east or from south to north. That way they would already be pointing home when

Sixty-fiveFree sample chapters 65 changed their pumps. We followed them as they completed their run from Halle to goal, leaving them for the first leg to England. After the group briefing, the pilots split up for squadron briefings. Here, parachutes, oxygen masks and escape equipment were distributed, and squadron leaders organized the flight order and made necessary last-minute changes to leaders and flight elements. Additionally, each squadron leader told the pilots what the squadron would do on the way home from the target if it was a milk run. After we finished the escort portion of the mission on March 6th, my 364th Fighter Squadron was scheduled to return home on deck. If we had enough gas, we could go to Austria to film some of the German flying schools. Otherwise we would spend our ammunition on targets of opportunity on the direct course from Germany to the North Sea. It took us fifteen or twenty minutes for the squadron briefing and then off to the airline for our planes. Each pilot checked his own aircraft, buckled up and went through the usual pre-flight routine with the crew chief. We start at 10:30 am. We had an abortion policy and it was the same as every other Eighth Air Force combat group. Ideally, we wanted to hit the target area with three squadrons of sixteen aircraft per squadron. For most operations, we transport up to four spare parts most of the way across the North Sea. If miscarriages occur, spare parts can replace them. If there were fewer Squibs than spares, the remaining spares returned home before the party crossed the border. If someone thought they couldn't complete the entire mission if there was a problem, or if a pilot thought there was going to be a problem, they would have to turn around and go home while we were still in the North Sea. That way we wouldn't have to send a good fighter jet to protect the troubled plane. As we approached the Dutch coast, Don Graham moved his plane forward to indicate that he was going to abort. When I recognized him, he immediately bowed and went home. Shortly after Don left, a few others returned home as well. When we landed in Holland, we only had forty planes left.

6666 Pacifica Military History The problem was that we had flown every day for six days and on March 6 we had no spares; We had exactly forty-eight aircraft in action that day. The 357th Fighter Group was still in the learning process. I imagine some pilots are still, shall we say, queasy from combat flying. And Berlin was considered a particularly dangerous place. We had yet to see what German fighters would do to protect their capital. Maybe too many pilots had butterflies in their stomachs that day, or maybe the busy schedule of six out of six combat missions had worn out the planes more than we thought. Whatever the reasons, we keep losing planes after landing. In all, fifteen of our forty-eight Mustangs broke down before we reached Berlin. My own two-flight segment, intended to include eight aircraft, ended up with five eccentrics. I had the group. I had to sail to Berlin and find the bombers in the cloud before they hit the target. I knew it was important to stay the course and get where we were supposed to be on time. It was time and distance. The weather got worse and worse during the flight. We stopped flying in the usual tight formation and split the squadrons into the two main cloud layers. There was a thick layer of undergrowth that ranged from 15,000 to 20,000 feet and a good one that started at about 28,000 feet. We fly between these layers, we separate. We flew really well, but I had no idea where the hell we were, no idea. I couldn't see any landmarks on the ground and had to assume the wind was correct as stated in our briefing. If it wasn't, you could be out of the way and never know. He could only fly the stated course and pray. During the flight, I switched to the bomber's frequency several times to find out what was going on. I was able to check in with them to at least see if my schedule was still ok. He may have gone off course, but if he was on course, I would hit the bombers in time. Around midday I heard that German fighters were after the bombers and that our P-47 groups were attacking them. But there was still an hour to go before the meeting. All he could do was listen and hope to find the suicide bombers. I was concerned and asked Captain William Obee O'Brien of the 363rd Fighter Squadron to find out if he thought

67The 67 free sample chapters were on the right track. Some of the other drivers broke radio silence to piss me off a little. They said things like where the hell are we? And I bet we overshot the mark. Exactly what I needed to hear! When someone said, my God, we must have surpassed Russia! I said Gowdy Red, here. radio silence! I understand? he knew his voices; I knew who was bothering me. You didn't make this any easier on my mind. I had to worry that I'd make it to the engagement if the weather was bad, but I also had to worry that maybe the bombers were out in that damn cloudy sky and I'd shoot them down. And I was really worried that I didn't get the course right or that the bombers were ahead of me or behind me or something. Suddenly I saw a big gap in the clouds. For the first time on this entire mission since leaving England, I could see the ground. And all I could see was a large urban area. Red tile roofs as far as the eye can see. With the clock showing 13:00, it had to be Berlin. Voices on the group's radio network began saying: Hey, that sounds like Berlin! and yes, it should be. Then someone shouted: There are the suicide bombers! I looked left and there were the B-17s. And then, at that moment, someone shouted: Bogies! Two and three! It was a trio. I found out later that we were about forty kilometers southwest of the city center. That meant we were a little behind or the bombers a little ahead. But it was still a perfect date. He flew all the way at 26,000 feet. My high squadron was at about 27,000 feet and my low squadron was at about 25,000 feet. The bombers were stacked between 22,000 and 26,000 feet. There were clouds above us at about 28,000 feet and clouds below us at about 15,000 feet. It was overcast due to cloud layers, but visibility was sufficient. From the bombers' plane to the upper cloud cover, German fighters were piled up. They were still just dots when I saw them. They looked like a swarm of bees, perhaps seven or ten miles away. They flew right in front of the bombers. Thirty or forty twin-engine fighters would fire missiles first to break

6868 Pacifica Military History in the bomber cases. And behind the twin-engine fighters came many single-engine fighters, Me-109 and FW-190. Further up was the upper deck, thirty or forty Me-109s. Between them and the bombers was the 357th Fighter Group, there were thirty-three of us. We had enough time to switch to inboard tanks and engage our launch tanks before the first Mustangs got close enough to open fire on the twin-engine fighters. I didn't even have time to issue orders. I was in the middle, leading what was left of the 364th Fighter Squadron. Squadrons 362 and 363 snaked above and below me, a mile on either side. If the Germans ignored us and went straight for the bombers, our standard tactic was for the upper squadron, 363, to take their upper cover, while the middle squadron, 364, turned to attack the Germans from the front, and the lower squadron, 362d , open to attack the Germans from behind. But the plan went awry as soon as we saw the Germans; there was no time to put it into action. As the Germans closed in, the 362d turned left, entered just behind the first wave of single-engine fighters, and began shooting them down. As soon as the landing tanks were knocked out, I turned left to get behind the Germans. Rather than going straight for the bombers, some of the Germans turned to combat. This was natural, but about half of the twin-engine fighters crashed into the lower clouds. These may have been night fighters commissioned to protect the capital. If so, this wasn't their type of fight and they showed. We flew straight into the main German formation. We could have done more damage if we were more, but we were apparently able to break through his main attack. In seconds it was a disaster. Everything ran in all directions at once. Everywhere individual dogfights broke out. I was able to keep my group of five planes together. As the German twin-engined fighters moved towards or away from us, I left them to other P-51s and turned to attack the German upper deck. There were only eight or ten Me-109s above us now, but they were coming towards us from behind. I turned to the group and yelled

69Chapter 69 free sample, I'll get the best! I assumed he was the leader because the others were above him. Things got messy and happened fast. The next thing I knew, I had my hands full with this 109. We spun and spun, but neither of us fired. We went up, down and up again, turning all the time. The 109 was in front of me. He chased me and I chased him to the left in a tight circle. The Me-109 was a good aircraft at altitude, and the German pilot kept trying to climb to gain an advantage. I finally managed to defeat him. And then she ran away from him and went straight downstairs. He was too far back to fire, but he closed the gap. From previous experience and lots of advice, he knew that all he had to do was follow the 109 and keep an eye on him. If we landed on deck, a mustang could outrun a 109. There were no clouds in the area, but the Germans had smoke generators all over Berlin, and the smoke reached 15,000 feet. Although I got closer, the 109th blackened in smoke and then disappeared completely. I left at about 15,000 feet. When I stopped to look for 109 or anyone else, something immediately happened. Then all of a sudden something else happened and this time I was able to identify it. It was a 500 pound bomb. It felt like a staircase going straight down with all the steps and no handrail. I was in the wrong place! I looked around and there were many more stairs. I looked up and all I could see were four motor bombers. Oh my God! The bombers were above me and Berlin was below me! I thought which way should I turn? I kicked the plane and rolled down. At least he was now parallel to the falling bombs. I left at 500 feet and must have flown between the bombs. I started climbing on my way to the next rural area to the west. Going back to about 15,000 feet, lo and behold, I got my original section of P-51s, plus Obee OBrien, from the 363d. While I was busy with my 109, three of these pilots shot down two Me-110s. I took the lead and turned back to escort the bombers that were still approaching the city. We take a stand on the west side

7070 Pacifica Military History was a stream of bombers and patrolled back and forth in search of German fighters. At about 1:20 pm, we encountered an Me-110 at low altitude. We all go down. The guy who called him shot 911 while the rest of us covered for him. Then other fighters came to replace us. We had all the ammo left, so we stayed at 500 feet and looked for targets on the ground. We drive about 280 degrees, back to the Dutch North Sea coast and home. As we approached Uelzen around 2:20 pm, I saw a single-engine fighter ahead of us. He was 150 meters on an opposite course and a few kilometers to my right. I thought it might be a P-51 whose pilot needed company, so I turned ninety degrees to the right to have a look. As I approached, I could see that it was an Me-109. The German didn't see us as we continued to stare at him. The 109 was flying so slowly and I was closing in so fast that I was only 200 meters away when I opened fire. As soon as I pulled the trigger I had to duck the nose to pass under the 109. I don't think the pilot ever saw me. The 109th fell straight to the ground and caught fire. At the same time, someone shouted: There is an airfield! He was nearly dead ahead. Apparently, the 109th was about to land. That explained why he was flying so slowly, but his approach was too long and he must have been looking for us. At the edge of the airfield were He-111 bombers. I opened fire on them as soon as I saw them, and the other pilots in my squadron did the same as they followed me across the airfield. I hit at least one of the bombers and the others shot whatever was right in front of them. We couldn't burn any He-111s, but I'm sure we did a lot of damage. When I left, I said on the radio, ok, that's enough. Let's get out of here before they shoot us. We returned home. On the way to Holland we filmed some trains and trucks. We landed at 4 pm. It was a five and a half hour flight. We thirty-three are credited with twenty of the eighty-one fighters lost by the Germans to our fighters on March 6, 1944

71Free Sample Chapter 71 If we could have put more of our planes over Berlin that day, we could have done more damage. We didn't suffer any casualties. * Commander Tom Hayes scored his third victory, an Me-410 on the March 8 mission to Berlin and an Me-110 on the March 16 mission to Berlin. He was named deputy group commander on March 28, and promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel shortly after achieving ace status by shooting down an Me-109 on April 19, 1944. Hayes then shot down an Me-109 on April 28. May. an Me-109 and Me-410 joint on 29 June and a final Me-109 on 14 July 1944. In September 1944 he returned to the United States to become operations officer for the training center at Luke Field, Arizona. . Tom Hayes retired from the Air Force as a brigadier general in 1970.

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7474 Pacifica Military History Aces vs. Japan American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel In this superbly conceived work, celebrated military historian Eric Hammel brings us first-person accounts of thirty-nine American aces as they battled through the skies. of the Pacific and East Asia from December 7, 1941 to the final air battles over Japan in August 1945. In addition to insights into the US air war against Japan, Hammel's in-depth interviews bring out the most exciting things of the world . - Air combat cockpit experiences chosen by the best pilots in the Army, Navy and Marines of the Pacific Wars. Meet Frank Holmes, who defied death in an old-fashioned P-36 while still wearing the striped suit he wore to mass that morning. Fly with Scott McCuskey as he single-handedly defeats two waves of Japanese dive bombers attacking his prized aircraft carrier at Midway. Sweat every last drop of precious fuel in a malfunctioning Marine Wildcat fighter as Medal of Honor winner Jeff DeBlanc pursues his goal of maintaining loyalty to the bomber crews he is tasked with protecting. Experience the ecstasy of total victory as Ralph Hanks becomes the Navy's top Hellcat Day One ace by destroying five Japanese fighters in a single mission over the Gilbert Islands. An excellent interviewer, Hammel collected some of the best air combat stories from America's war with Japan. Along with the other four volumes in The American Aces Speak series, this work will provide an enduring testament to the brave men who fought in the first and last air wars, dominated by powerful piston-powered fighters. These are tales of bravery and survival, of man and machine fighting each other in harrowing, relentless high-speed combat. American Aces Speak is a highly emotional interpretation of what men felt in the now dark days of personal struggles at the edges of our vibrant national history. There never was such a war and there never will be again. These are America's eagles, and the stories are theirs, in their own words.

75Free Preview Chapter 75 Critical Praise for the American Aces Speak Series The Marine Corps Aviation Association Yellow Sheet states: Each story is told in the pilots' own words. This is a powerful technique that draws readers into the action and introduces them to the world of fighter pilots. The American Fighter Aces newsletter says: Some [of the] episodes are known; others have never been written before. But each report offers something very personal about the Pacific Air War. The Library Journal says: No PR hype or dry prose here. Hammel allows his pamphlets to tell their stories. . . Exciting stuff that aviation and WWII lovers will love. The book page reads: For those interested in WWII or who just enjoy reading about the drama in the sky, Eric Hammels [Aces Against Japan] is recommended. Indispensable on every historian's shelf. The World War II Aviation Book List says: Hammel delivers a veritable feast of aviation combat narrative. As always in this series, the entries [in Aces at War] have been carefully chosen to give readers the most enjoyable ride possible. Simply the best aerial combat series available! Get them all!

7676 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book ACES AGAINST JAPAN: The American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. CRIMPLED by Eric Hammel Copyright 1992 by Eric Hammel First Lieutenant CORKY SMITH, USAAF 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group Cape Gloucester, December 26, 1943 * Cornelius Marcellus Smith of Brooklyn, New York, graduated from Roanoke College in Salem , Virginia, in June 1940. He worked in industry for over a year, then quit his job to join the Army Air Corps when war broke out. He earned his wings in September 1942, trained on P-39s in Florida, and left for New Guinea in November 1942 to join the 8th Fighter Group. Form. On 21 June 1943 he shot down 3 Zeros and claimed 1 Probable Zero in action near Lae. Smith scored another probable zero over Wewak on 15 September; a confirmed Tony wrestler, also via Wewak, on October 16; and another confirmed Zero over Rabaul on 24 October 1943. * The 80th Fighter Squadron, also known as the Headhunters, had been involved in the war since August 1942. Equipped with P-39 and P-400 fighters and originally based at Port Moresby , the squadron moved to Milne Bay, in the extreme south of New Guinea, in early October 1942. At Port Moresby, the squadron saw active combat and its pilots shot down 6 Zeros. Despite taking down another Zero in

77Free Sample Chapters On January 77, 1943 at Milne Bay, pilots' morale was low due to the few recent occasions they had seen combat. The P-39 proved ineffective against faster and more maneuverable enemy fighters. Its range and height limitations were also major drawbacks. In addition, a malaria and dengue epidemic incapacitated many pilots and ground crew. It was time for a change. At the end of January, the unit withdrew from New Guinea and moved to Mareeba, Australia. Rest and rehabilitation to recover from malaria and dengue were the main reasons for the move, but more important was the news that our P-39 and P-400 aircraft would be replaced by large twin-engine Lockheed P-38 Lightning Prestige fighters equipped with four .50 caliber machine guns and a 20 mm cannon. Morale skyrocketed. The move was completed in early February. In early April 1943, Headhunters brought their new P-38s to Port Moresby. Our camp was the Kila Airdrome, better known as the 3-Mile Strip. In the following months the %Vi squadron proved to be an excellent fighting unit. The P-38 was in many ways superior to the Japanese Zero fighter we were dealing with. By mid-December, we had contributed a total of 136 confirmed kills to the war effort. All but 7 of them were killed by P-38 guns. At the end of November 1942 I joined the Headhunters in Milne Bay. A year later I was credited with 5 aerial victories, all with the P-38. Pilot and ground crew morale was at an all-time high. We welcome the increasing opportunities to take the war to the enemy with our long-legged fighter. On 12 December 1943, the 80th Fighter Squadron completed a permanent transfer from the Kila to the newly constructed multi-base airfield complex at Dobodura on the east coast of New Guinea. During October and November 1943, our air attacks on Japanese air and naval bases in New Britain and along the north coast of East New Guinea seriously impaired the enemy's ability to pose a major threat to our air installations. We had taken control of the New Britain and southern New Guinea airspace and the sea lanes necessary for our logistical support. General McArthur

7878 Pacifica Military History The Leapfrog strategy moved north. Lae and Salamaua fell to our forces and we largely denied the Japanese the ability to operate forces from Rabaul, Wewak, Madang and Cape Gloucester. We also captured Finschhafen, an enemy air base on the coast of New Guinea, just about 80 miles from the western tip of New Britain. In New Britain, Cape Gloucester was home to an airfield still maintained by the Japanese. Our engineers developed Finschhafen as a new air base and it was fully operational. In short, the conditions were met for our Armed Forces to take the long-awaited initiative and repel the enemy. When we arrived at Dobodura on December 12th, unbeknownst to us, there were plans to invade the Japanese bases at Arawe and Cape Gloucester in New Britain in the immediate future. Cape Gloucester was to be developed for use by the Allies as a forward air base. Madang and Wewak on the coast of New Guinea were to be bypassed and the Japanese bases on Manus Island (about 50 miles from Wewak), Aitape (north of Wewak) and Hollandia (further north) taken and converted into forward American bases. Once that was done, we would attack and capture key areas in northern New Guinea; Java and its surrounding waters; and finally the Philippines. The first operations against Arawe took place immediately after our arrival in Dobodura. Headhunters took part in pre-invasion missions on December 14th and reported the actual invasion on December 15th. On 18th December we took part in a bomber cover to flatten Cape Gloucester in the morning and returned to Arawe in the afternoon. There was no Japanese air activity on any of the missions. On December 22, I shot down a Zero fighter, my sixth victory while escorting bombers to Wewak, and was shot myself. I did it again on an engine. On December 25th, I helped to cover an American naval convoy entering Finschhafen. On the evening of 25 December, 8th Fighter Group Headquarters informed us that we would provide air cover for an amphibious landing at Cape Gloucester the following day. That was good news; We went to bed in a good mood. On the morning of December 26th, we were called into our air operations cabin and briefed on the mission. we wanted to deliver

79Free sample Chapter 79 air coverage over the new beachhead about 200 miles away starting at 2pm. Control of all flights over the beachhead would be carried out by a team aboard a destroyer. We will contact the ship upon arrival for further instructions. Major Edward Porky Cragg, our commander, would lead the mission. Major Carl Freddie Taylor, our operations manager, would also be involved. As it looked like a large operation with a likelihood of combat, the most experienced pilots were chosen to fly. Our call sign would always be: Copper. We would be flying sixteen P-38s in normal flight formation. The red, white, blue and yellow callsigns would be used in that order. Major Cragg was Copper-1, his wingman was Copper-2, and so on. He would lead the element in the fourth flight, Copper Yellow-3. Since we had to start the engines around 11:45 am, we had to be in our cabins or near the aircraft by 11:30 am. Taxis would be in flight order. The launch would be by elements of two ships. Exit and mount would be the usual left circular pattern. We would climb to 12,000 feet and maintain a loose formation heading straight for the New Britain coast. The formation would then narrow for the remainder of the distance across the island to Cape Gloucester. After takeoff, radio silence was maintained by all. Aircraft breakdowns, if any, would indicate intentions to flap their wings before breaking formation. Unless you are in extreme trouble, the departing plane will not be escorted back. After departing Cape Gloucester, the remaining fuel would dictate the route back home. If possible, the aborted plane would return to Dobodura. If necessary, Finschhafen or Nadzab would substitute. Weather forecast was CAVU throughout the mission, but isolated low clouds are possible in the beachhead area in the afternoon. We should use our drop tanks and dry them unless we are in a combat situation. If we found enemy planes, it would likely be Rabaul dive fighters. His most likely approach was from east to south of the hill-to-mountain terrain that runs east to west through central New Britain. We were told to pay special attention to planes leaving behind this ridge. We were to replace another squadron's P-38s that were already in the area. P-47s from the 348th Fighter Group would also be available.

8080 Cover of Pacifica's Military History. No P-40s or P-39s were expected in the vicinity; Its mission would be to provide air cover for Finschhafen, our alternate destination. In short, the only friendly single-engines we would see near the cape would be the P-47s. The size of this type of fighter would be enough to identify him as a friend. We pilots were all on our plane well before 11:30am. Shortly after, a jeep drove by with the order to start the engines. After takeoff, the tower gave the order to roll. We launched as planned in two-ship formations; we climbed to 12,000 feet; and it started around 12:15. The weather was perfect on the way. At approximately 1:45 pm, Copper Red-1 contacted our ship control. We were given instructions to maintain our altitude of 12,000 feet and patrol the beach area. We circled around for about 20 minutes watching the LSTs and other Navy vessels coming and going from the beach. I watched fire from several warships and saw some of our Marines and their vehicles on the beach. Everything seemed to be going well, but there was less activity than I expected. The calm atmosphere was broken when our control boat informed us that a large speck had appeared on radar 20 to 25 miles off shore north of the beachhead. They ordered us to climb to 20,000 feet and gave us an intercept course. The radar sighting indicated a large force of aircraft at high altitude. We spent about 10 minutes under radar control, following direction and altitude instructions, but saw nothing. We were then informed that the signal had completely disappeared from the radar and that we should return to the beachhead immediately. We made a quick 180 degree turn and came back as we descended to the originally assigned altitude of 12,000 feet. We had barely started our return trip when the destroyer contact informed us that a large force of enemy fighters and dive bombers had come from the south under cover of the mountains and were attacking the beachhead and sailing in the area. Copper Red-1 gave the order to drop the tanks on their belly and get into track formation. That done, the controller instructed us to divide our troop. The first two flights, red and white, were intended to engage enemy planes attacking the low-level area. The last two blue and yellow flights should remain at 10 thousand tons

81Free Samples Chapter 81 12,000 feet to intercept a second wave of fighters and dive bombers if it appears. As I was on the yellow flight, I would stay with the big group. During our brief absence from the beachhead, low clouds had formed over the hills and parts of the beach. Though sparse and scattered, they made it difficult to see the coast. Several warships fired at low flying enemy aircraft and I observed several explosions in the beach area. The red and white planes had left our altitude and were rapidly approaching the ground. As the blue and yellow squadrons reached the beach at our assigned altitude, we positioned ourselves on the ridge line to act as a shield against any attacking force. I couldn't see either the red or white flights because of the low clouds. Blue Flight was then tasked with supporting our first two low-altitude flights. Yellow Flight must maintain our patrol altitude. We had barely resumed our patrol when my radio went dead. All sounds stopped. I pressed the button on my mic to call my wingman but got no response. He could easily see me in the booth, so I informed him of my situation by pointing to my headset and shaking my head. He took the photo and stated that he couldn't hear any transmissions from me. He intended to follow the flight up and back. When I did, I checked my headphones and various channels on my radio, but to no avail. I was broken when it came to communication. That was for the birds. I wanted to join in with what was going on below me, not fly around looking for enemy planes that I couldn't report should one arrive. I stopped beside my flight guide, flapped my wings and waved to indicate he was leaving. He smiled and gave me a thumbs up. I broke free and went downstairs to find something to shoot. Coming under the clouds, I found eight or nine P-47 Thunderbolts engaged in aerial combat four Oscars north and east of the beachhead and about two miles from my position. There wasn't a P-38 in sight. I decided to help the 47. As I headed towards combat, three of the Oscars detached and flew southeast of the P-47.

8282 Pacifica Military History already outnumbered them, and the arrival of my P-38 only reduced their chances. However, one of Oscar's pilots decided to hold out a little longer and continued with the 47. When I got to about 2,000 yards, he decided to pull away and came back about 500 yards with three of the Thunderbolts on the stern. He had played mock fights with 47s before and knew they couldn't outrun a 38. Besides, he didn't think a 47 in a low-altitude pursuit could win an Oscar. So I went after them, even though I was farther away than I initially thought. The start of the chase was at about 4,000, possibly 4,500 feet altitude. The Oscar was a quarter of a mile out to sea, heading east at a good pace, parallel to the shore on a slight incline. His speed surprised me, but I felt he could catch Oscar in the long run if he maintained a straight course without trying to turn and overrun. I planned to get real close, fill my sights, and hit the Oscar with all four .50 and 20mm calibers at once. Hopefully 47 will be behind and cover me if other Japanese fighters show up. But this shouldn't be the case. Every 47 was starting and heading back to the beachhead when I caught up with them. Then I realized I had put 15 to 20 miles between me and the beachhead. Even though I was alone, I felt like continuing the hunt. My adrenaline level was at its peak! We were close to the surface of the sea now and the Oscar had started to stabilize. I was right in front of him. I was aware of my vulnerability to attacks from other Japanese fighters, should anyone seek help. I stayed alert and waited for one to appear. My view over the water was clear, but low clouds over land obscured my view in that direction. My intention was to wait until the Oscar had more than filled my scope before opening fire. This would guarantee destruction. When I was about 500 meters away, a zero appeared at 1 o'clock, coming towards us through the clouds. It came quickly. I knew it was a matter of instinct if I could hold my fire long enough to secure a kill before the Zero opened fire on me. However, I knew the pilot was going to face a strong bait shot, so I took the chance and focused on Oscar. As Oscar filled my sights, I dropped my .50 and 20mm and hit them with everything I had, tail to fuselage and

83Free sample cockpit chapters 83. The Oscar did not explode, but parts of the ship, including much of the stern section, went all over the place. Certain death! The Zero was close behind me, firing as I stalled on a sharp right to gain altitude and veered 90 degrees off course. I felt like my .38 had been hit by her fire, apparently on the right side of the engine. I flew at high speed in a shallow climb over the coast, trying to put as much distance as possible between myself and my attacker while gaining some altitude to improve my maneuverability in case he stepped up his attack. My right engine started to overheat, indicating damage and loss of coolant. I landed at about 5,000 feet, still due south. I was right on the ground when I cut the engine and turned the propeller. I searched the sky in all directions, but I didn't see my attacker. I had no desire to jump anywhere in New Britain or land in case my good left engine died or some attacking Zero knocked me over. Hostile natives reportedly cut off the heads of American airmen, and the Japanese were known to do the same. Submitting to capture held no appeal. I returned to the coast and the calmer sea. There was still no sign of my attacker so I decided to drive four or five miles out to sea and then on to Finschhafen via Cape Gloucester. I climbed back up to about 10,000 feet, high above the sea, and plotted a course. The left engine ran fine, the flight controls showed no damage, the voltmeter was fine, and I saw no signs of damage to the aircraft. However, I knew that my right engine had taken a few hits and I had no intention of starting it again. The P-38 flew well with one engine. I had no doubt that I would reach Finschhafen. I had already completed four single-engine landings in 38 seconds, so I was feeling pretty confident. Fuel was not an issue; I had left my two belly tanks at Cape Gloucester, but I had plenty of fuel in the main and reserve tanks. I passed the cape about four miles out to sea and saw some P-47s over the beach area. A ship burned off the coast. It appeared to be a destroyer, but given my height and distance I wasn't sure. Other than these sightings, the area was clear. During my flight I did not see my attacker or any other enemy aircraft. About it

84In the sea between New Britain and the coast of New Guinea, I saw a P-39 flying, but nothing else. As I approached Finschhafen, I saw that the runway and adjacent airspace were very active. Many aircraft, mainly P-38s and P-47s, took off, followed the traffic pattern and maneuvered close to the field. This was not the place to attempt a single-engine landing without communications. I was unable to draw anyone's attention to my situation. If I were to get on another plane to visually indicate my position so I could talk to the tower, I would have to dismount. The loss of altitude did not please; I would need all the altitude I could get if my good left engine failed. Furthermore, the Finschhafen range stretched from the sea to the neighboring tall forest. Landings were made from the sea. If I went over the runway trying to land, I would have to drive with one engine. This was not recommended practice, especially with a wall of tall trees to contend with at the end of the track. I decided to continue towards Nadzab and ended up there in one of several lanes. This would increase my flight from 50 miles to 75 miles, but it wasn't a problem. I went to class. About 10 miles out of Finschhafen my left engine started to misfire which is not a good sign. I immediately turned 180 degrees and went back to check the cockpit instruments. Fuel pressure was fine, but my RPMs fluctuated noticeably and didn't settle down. I went back on the gas and found the engine ran great with about 15 inches of thrust and about 1600 rpm. However, any increase in rpm or throttle trim caused the engine to misfire, and increased rpm increased shudder. A landing was essential. Losing altitude, he couldn't waste time. I also noticed that my voltmeter needle was shaking slightly, which indicated an electrical problem. It came out all at once! I was close enough to the field to slide and do it. I wondered about the condition of the hydraulics and whether I could lower the landing gear. I was not thrilled with the possibility of a wheeled landing, particularly in the Perforated Steel Plank (PSP) range. Landing without wheels would increase the risk of fire and could render the runway inoperable if the planks broke. Also, I wouldn't have control of the plane if it overtook me and slid into the trees on the other side.

85Free Sample Chapter 85 When my waterworks weren't working right, I planned to leave. He had no other way of alerting the tower than cruising the runway at a brisk pace, wheels out, fuselage and landing lights on, wings flapping for attention. From past experience, he knew that if he went from 800 to 1000 feet at 150 mph or more with the gears down, he could complete a 360 degree descent to the end of the runway. If you weren't too hot, you could use landing flaps to avoid landing too far down the runway. I turned on my navigation and landing lights and went downstairs. I dropped my gear at about 2000 feet. Fortunately, the gear indicator appeared and locked. I decided to abort the landing because I couldn't rely on the left engine. My only problem now was getting the towers' attention so the crew could warn other planes to clear the area for my approach. I observed several aircraft taxiing into takeoff position and others were in the traffic pattern. The tower didn't notice me. I hit the very hot runway at about 1,000 feet at about 200 mph, flapping my wings violently. I started a sharp turn halfway up, climbed a bit to pick up speed and stay pretty close to the field. I exited about 1,200 feet before the end of the runway approach, touched the side flaps and continued the turn. It read about 120mph, still hot, so I dropped half fins. At that point I got a green light and slowed down to just under 100 mph. I set my glide angle and turn off the main ignition switch and the fuel mixture to protect myself from the fire in case the transmission breaks down. I got off about 500 feet from the end of the approach and came into a rolling gyro on the right side of the runway. I did a final cockpit check, took off with my parachute and other equipment, and was met by a group of aircrew. In the morning, I was informed that a P-38 was to be transported on the track to the home team in Dobodura. I offered to fly the plane to the base of operations and quickly accepted the offer. I quickly checked, landed, signed ok and flew home. The receiving unit, parked in another lane, took me to the headhunters' camp.

8686 Pacifica Military History Upon arrival, I learned that our Commanding Officer, Major Porky Cragg, along with our Operations Officer, Major Freddy Taylor, had been shot down at Cape Gloucester. Both were listed as MIA. On the afternoon of December 28th, Freddy Taylor returned home to everyone's surprise. His return boosted morale enormously and gave us hope that Porky Cragg might have survived as well. Unfortunately, Porky never returned. He was a good man, a natural leader in every way. At the time of the loss, he had a total of 15 confirmed aerial victories and was one of America's top playmakers. I considered myself very fortunate because on December 22nd an engine attacked me at Wewak, just four days before I lost an engine at Cape Gloucester. Two round trips on a single engine in one month! I didn't need more! * When Captain Corky Smith returned to the United States in May 1944, he had brought his total of confirmed victories to 11, including 2 Zeros destroyed at Wewak on 18 January 1944; a Mitsubishi Ki-46 Dinah high-speed reconnaissance bomber over the Netherlands on March 31; and a Ki-61 Tony fighter over Lake Santani on April 12. He toured with War Bond and then served as a P-38 instructor in Santa Rosa, California for the remainder of the war. Smith remained in the Air Force after the war, retiring as a colonel in December 1968.

87Free sample chapter 87

8888 Pacifica Military History Aces vs. Japan II American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel Combat historian Eric Hammel presents a fascinating new collection of first-person accounts of World War II American aces. Along with a clear look at America's air war against Japan, Hammels' in-depth interviews feature the most thrilling cockpit experiences that the legendary aces of the Army, Navy, Marines and Flying Tigers of WWII chose to tell. Ride with Second Lieutenant Jack Donalson as he shoots down three Zeros over Luzon on the second desperate day of WWII in the Philippines. Share three lone air battles over Burma and China with Flying Tiger RT aces Smith, Dick Rossi and Joe Rosbert. Hear the victory cry as 2nd Lt. Don McGee survived another encounter with Zeros over Port Moresby, New Guinea, in his P-39. Feel the fear as injured Ensign Ed Wendorf races the clock to land his damaged Hellcat aboard the USS Lexington before it bleeds to death. And experience the thrill of the chase as Pearl Harbor veteran 1st Lieutenant Frank Holmes seeks personal revenge against Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in one of the most thrilling and meaningful combat missions in history. American Aces Speak is a loaded, five-volume excursus of life and death in the air, told by men who distinguished themselves in aerial combat and triumphed and lived to tell the tale. Critical acclaim for the American series Aces Speak The Book World says: Aces Against Japan is a roaring, personal and adventurous book that gives our men in heaven their own voice. The book page says: Eric Hammels' book is recommended reading. Indispensable on every historian's shelf.

89Free Sample Chapter 89 Library Journal says: No PR hype or dry prose here. Hammel allows his pamphlets to tell their stories. Exciting stuff that aviation and WWII lovers will love. The Friday Review of Defense Literature says: Aces Against Japan is filled with individual heroism and personal exploits that almost defy comprehension. A thoroughly entertaining trip into the cockpits of World War II fighter pilots. The Providence Sunday Journal says: A delight that deftly combines a Pacific War chronology with narratives that would rival an action-packed Saturday matinee. Infantry Magazine says: If you want to read a book that gives you both a broad overview and an in-depth look at a fighter pilot's aerial warfare, this is the book. The Bookshelf says: Hammel is one of our best military historians when it comes to bringing this often complex subject to the attention of the general public. He's demonstrated that skill in several excellent books before [Aces Against Germany] and he's doing it again now. It cannot be overlooked by either the layman or the scholar.

90Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book ACES AGAINST JAPAN II: The American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. BLOOD ON KWAJALEIN by Eric Hammel Copyright 1996 by Eric Hammel. Ensign WENDY WENDORF, USN VF-16 (USS Lexington) Kwajalein Atoll December 4, 1943 * Edward George Wendorf was born February 22, 1922 in the small town of West, central Texas, about 80 miles south of Dallas. He grew up in West and attended school there until 1939, when he went to the University of Texas at Austin on a football scholarship. Between his freshman and sophomore years, Wendorf became interested in aviation. When a friend suggested that for just fifty dollars they could take the civilian pilot training course at Hillsboro Junior College, just fifteen miles north of West, Wendorf agreed. In Hillsboro, the young people received all the necessary ground courses and about forty hours of flying in Piper Cub and Taylorcraft aircraft. Upon graduation, they received private pilot licenses. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Ed Wendorf entered the naval aviation cadet program on the condition that he would not enter pilot training until June 1, 1942 to complete his sophomore year of college. In June, the Navy scheduled his transfer to the Secondary Civilian Pilot Training Center at Browning Field, Austin, where he trained on Waco biplanes. After completing his course with Browning in September 1942, Cadet Wendorf was posted to the Navy Preflight School in Athens, Georgia. In December, he was assigned to Naval Air Station Dallas,

91Free sample chapter 91 for primary flight training. Then we went to Corpus Christi for basic and advanced flight training. He was promoted to ensign in June 1943 and promoted to naval aviator. After earning his wings, Ensign Wendorf was assigned to Lee Field in Jacksonville, Florida to train with an operational training unit on Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters. He then went to Glenview, Illinois, where he qualified as an aircraft carrier aboard the USS Sable. He was then ordered to report to San Diego for another assignment, and after only one day in San Diego, he boarded a ship for Pearl Harbor. * I enlisted and was assigned to Fighting-16, then Naval Air Station Kaneohe. I received an operations manual for the F6F Hellcat on a Friday night and was told to be ready for a familiarization jump at 08:00 the next morning. I checked in as scheduled and flew training and artillery flights in the afternoon. On Sunday morning I received a rejection exercise for carrier review. The USS Lexington (CV-16) departed Pearl Harbor on Monday morning. Ensign Edward Tiger Rucinski, another reinforcement, and I flew to the ship and were carrier-classified with six landings each as we headed into battle. Here I was, with less than 200 total flight hours and less than 10 hours in the F6F, heading to my first engagement: US Marines take Tarawa. The schedule for this departure was mid-November 1944. We had been en route to the Tarawa area for several days, and upon arrival Air Group 16 was given several assignments. First, prior to the Marines' amphibious assault on Betio, we carried out several attacks on installations, aircraft, and defense systems on Tarawa Atoll. Secondly, we patrol the area between the Tarawa beaches and the northern islands to intercept and stop invader attacks. And third, from time to time we were called upon to provide close air support to bomb and attack a specific fort that was causing problems for the marines. We did patrolling and wiretapping duties for a week or ten days, occasionally chasing a random ghost from the area, but really didn't see anything of note.

9292 Pacifica Military History When the Marines were protecting their beachhead at Tarawa, the decision must have been made to launch a hit-and-run attack on Kwajalein Atoll, particularly the Roi Island airfield, in order to cause maximum damage. possible damage to aircraft and facilities. dish as possible, and take some. Photographs of the beaches and defenses for use in the landings that were going to be made there. When I joined the squadron, I was assigned to fly on the wing of one of the division's commanders, Lieutenant Jim Alkie Seybert. The nickname Alkie was short for alcohol, which may have referred to his past drinking habits, but it certainly didn't reflect his drinking habits during the time I knew him. Jim was an exceptional pilot and a wonderful person. We developed a very close bond over the next few months, vowing to protect each other at all costs. As we both came out of the tour unscathed, we consider our performance a success. My big day arrived on December 4, 1943. We entered Kwajalein Atoll as a group with three layers of cover to protect the dive bombers and torpedo bombers. We had low coverage at 7,000 feet, medium coverage at 12,000 feet, and high coverage at 18,000 feet. Jim's division was designated mid-level coverage. We arrived at the target area early in the morning around 07:00 and started scanning the area for hostile ghosts. Seeing no resistance in the air, we were ordered to fire machine guns at Roi's airfield. Our main targets were parked planes, of which there were few, and hangar areas. Alkie put me on a step to the right of his Hellcat, signaled for me to brake, and slid to the left. I waited a few seconds and launched my own attack. I kept my eye on Alkie, but I stepped aside to his right so I could focus on my strafe targets and keep an eye on him too. I fired a few long-range shots at some planes on the hangar deck, then switched sights to an open hangar and fired a long shot. At that time, I experienced several concussions from anti-aircraft shells detonating very close to my plane, so I turned around several times and juketed (changed altitude and direction) to distract my target. Alkie and I agreed to meet on the left over the water at 5,000 feet, but the AA was so intense I had to veer to the right. I was just starting my recovery when I saw a lone Betty Twin Engine

93Chapter 93 Bomber Gliding Deep In Water Free Sample. I don't know if he had just left or was returning from another field. Anyway, I had to slow down a lot, as the speed of my dive would have me rushing past him. I turned right and walked back to Betty's house. Then I fired a short burst from all six .50 caliber pistols. The bullets skimmed over him, so I lowered my nose and aim and fired two long bursts at the bomber. It began to dissipate, leaving a trail of thick smoke, and began to slowly dip to starboard before falling into the water. I pressed the throttle and began to climb slowly to port in pursuit of Alkie Seybert's F6F. Rising to about 7,000 feet, I saw a swarm of four planes overhead in the sun. I assumed they were friendly because we had observed quite a bit of radio silence and had not heard any reports of enemy planes in the air. Little did I know that the tremors I felt during my strafing run were several real hits to my torso from 37mm anti-aircraft missiles that disabled my radio. The pilots didn't notice me as I approached the swarm of four planes from the inside and below. As I approached the formation, I was surprised to see that they all wore the red meatball of the rising sun and were actually a swarm of four zeros. There was little I could do except slide to starboard, line up the two outer planes, and open fire. The outer zero exploded almost immediately, and the second one began to burn as it fell to the right. By this time, the leader and another wingman had obviously seen me. As they headed off in opposite directions, all I could do was follow one of them and I chose the leader. However, it turned abruptly to port and I soon lost it. By this time the other wingman had stopped and was behind me. As I made a sharp right turn, I saw some bulges of trackers fly over my head. I dove in to try and lose him, but he stayed close to my cock, so I gave him a hard pull. As I got closer to the front and lost speed, I decided to pull up and loop. As I approached the inverted position I could see the zero moving forward like crazy and I knew I would be in a great position

9494 peaceful military history makes me recover. I decided to push the stick forward and fly backwards for a few seconds. The Zero's pilot was so intent on penetrating me that I think the move surprised him. He lost sight of me and continued his retreat. After delaying my withdrawal for a few more seconds, I almost found him in my crosshairs as he recovered. It was a little out of range initially and I had to speed up to close before firing. I don't think he saw me until I opened fire and then it was too late. It soon caught fire and fell into the sea. It was a thrilling few minutes that resulted in four wins for Betty and three for Zeros. There were several skirmishes, so I decided to climb the next one, dive in for a speed advantage, and see if I could help separate an enemy plane from someone's tail. As I climbed up to join the fray, I had to admit that all my attention was on me, not behind me. Suddenly I saw 7.7mm rounds and 20mm cannon shells ripping through parts of my wing cover and a few tracer shots passed me. My first reaction was to look back and peer through my armored back. I started looking when a 7.7mm bullet passed over my left shoulder, hit me in the temple above my left eye and went through and out the front right side of my hood. I felt like someone had hit me over the head with an SUV. I was momentarily groggy and groggy, and I can't remember how much time passed before I realized I'd been hit. My first thought at the time was to get out of there. We're told that one of the best evasive maneuvers is diving at terminal velocity. I think the maximum speed allowed on the Red Line was 400-425 knots with a sharp right turn. I did, and apparently it worked because the Zero pilot didn't want to be with me, for which I was very grateful. Coming off the jump at high speed, I felt blood spurting and dripping onto my left hand that was on the accelerator. I immediately placed my left hand on the artery leading to my wound and applied pressure. That seemed to stop most of the bleeding, but there was still some blood running down her arm and leg. A friendly submarine was positioned a few kilometers offshore to rescue the stricken airmen. I believe the submarine was to the northeast.

95Free sample Chapter 95 on the Kwajalein Atoll side, but remained submerged until someone told him there was a flyer in the area. Since I was alone and without a radio because of the AA fire, there was no way to communicate with the submarine. I was bleeding profusely so it was time to pick! Would I stay conscious long enough to enter underwater territory, get into my raft and risk someone seeing me and alerting the sub to my location? Or would it take enough time to be in the air for 45 minutes to get back to the ship? I considered my options for a moment and decided to return to the ship. The correct compass direction for my return was about 45 degrees. When trying to plot this course I noticed that my RMI compass wasn't working as well because of this AA hit and the net compass was fluctuating around 30-40 degrees and therefore wildly inaccurate. I decided to take a route that divided the north-south and east-west runways in Roi, line up on two clouds and fly in that direction. If it went over one of the clouds used to line up the 45 degree course, it would line up two more. The weather was clear with scattered clouds and visibility was about four to five miles. I flew over scattered clouds most of the way. After 45 minutes, I decided to dismount under cloudy skies and start an extensive square search until I found the Lexington. I had just completed two stages of the quest when I saw the contrail of an aircraft carrier. I felt enormously relieved. Unfortunately, the number on the ship's dovetail was 10 for our sister ship, the USS Yorktown. By this time, my wound had shrunk to a bristle, but I was still bleeding, so I wanted to recover in any transport. As I flew over Yorktowns Island, I flapped my wings to show that I had no radio. As I did so, I noticed many TBFs, SBDs, and F6Fs appearing from cover, ready to launch another attack on Kwajalein. Visibility was still four to five miles, so I looked everywhere for the Lexington, but I couldn't see it. The people of Yorktown understood my problem. They used white material to make an arrow pointing south and also the number 12 to indicate the distance in miles to my aircraft carrier. I flap my wings again to show I understand

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9696 Pacifica Military History, and then I went back to that heading and started looking for Lex. After only a few minutes of flying, I registered the ship's wake. When I saw her, I noticed that the deck was clear and ready to receive planes. The ship immediately gave me a Morse Code Prep Charlie with an Aldis lamp, indicating that it was all right to begin the boarding. They soon sent a Charlie, also with the Aldis lamp, meaning it was okay to land. I turned into the wind and began my approach. To my chagrin, I found that my rear hook rail had gone off and there was no hydraulic pressure to lower my wheels or flaps. There was a bottle of compressed air to pop the wheels in case of an emergency, and since I definitely thought it was an emergency, I used it to lower my gear as I approached. The deck was clear, but as I approached the ramp, the LSO waved me off. As I flew, he gave me the signal to lower the tail hook and lower the flaps. I flapped my wings again to indicate I understood, but I couldn't do anything either. I continued into the wind and launched another approach. I had my shirt down and trying to fly the plane with both hands. The wind blew into my face and I could no longer hold the pressure point on my temple, causing the wound to bleed profusely. The flowing blood completely obstructed the view in my left eye. Believe me, it is very difficult to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier with both eyes, but it was extremely difficult with only one eye! Approaching the ramp on my second approach, I noticed a crashed Hellcat with wheels on the deck. As it turned out later, he had received several 20 mm rounds in the cockpit, which seriously injured the pilot's hand. The LSO put this F6F on a direct approach, but the injured pilot was unable to lower the landing gear and flaps before landing. I felt fine except for the bleeding. I didn't feel weak or dizzy and the wound above my eye was a little numb. The hardened blood helped to stop some of the flow. Although I wasn't in much pain, I didn't like the idea of ​​being spun around while the deck crew cleaned up the wreckage. But he really had no choice.

97Free Sample Chapter 97 After circling for about fifteen minutes, I received Charlie's signal to land again. This time, the deck crew, realizing that there was no aft hook or flaps, placed the barrier in the flight deck. The barrier consisted of several 1-inch strands of wire that would stop the aircraft in its course. I approached a second time and soon found that I couldn't see well enough to cheat unless I put my left hand to my temple to stem the flow of blood. Holding my temple with my left hand on approach, I flew the plane and adjusted the throttle and finally caught the cut, all with my right hand. I landed successfully and slowed my spin to a near stop before hitting the barrier and lifting the nose. It had been an ordeal, but he had survived. They took me off the plane, put me on a stretcher and took me to the infirmary. My flight suit was soaked in blood, and blood was even running down my leg and my left shoe, which was crushed in the few steps I took alone. The flight surgeon told me later that he estimated that I had lost almost two liters of blood. I was sedated and remember little more than the next 24 hours. But as exciting as my day was, it wasn't over yet. Air groups attacked Kwajalein repeatedly throughout the day, and then the task force withdrew east and returned to Pearl Harbor. As we retreated, we were attacked by several Bettys who were chasing the carriers and trying to launch aerial torpedoes in our direction. At about 10:00 pm, one of them was successful and the Lex was hit below decks near the sickbay. As far as I know several people died including the doctor who put a compress on my head to stop the bleeding and the compartment was partially flooded. As I later learned, the gunner-captain of the 40mm gun outside my cabin learned that I had been wounded and came to see me in sickbay just as the torpedo hit the ship. Looking through the plexiglass inspection window into the sickbay, he saw me and another injured pilot moving around in bed, so he got in and carried us to safety. I understand that the compartment I ended up in was completely flooded. Had the captain in arms

9898 Pacifica Military History did not choose to visit me at the time, it is doubtful that anyone else noticed and saved us. What a day! I was full of happiness. I am certain that I owe my happiness to the intervention of Divine Providence. I prayed long and loud throughout the ordeal and had a strong will to survive. I know I wasn't ready to go that day, it just wasn't my time to go. I was at Pearl Hospital for about a week and then I went back to the squadron. After regaining full vision in my left eye for about a month, I returned to flight status and continued my voyage aboard the USS Lexington for another seven months. I returned to the United States and was posted in July 1944. Comparing the performance of the Hellcat to the Zero, I think the Hellcat was by far the more durable of the two aircraft, largely due to the fact that the wing fuel tanks they were independent. The seal from a bullet or incendiary device could pass through the wing tank, which would instantly seal without causing a fire or explosion, and because the pilot had a lead armor silhouette protecting his tail. On the other hand, the Zero was faster and more maneuverable thanks to weight savings from not using self-sealing fuel tanks and armor that protected the pilot. This was a net downside in my opinion. In the fights that followed, I was defeated several times, the Zero spun towards me, and my plane was hit but not disabled. On the other hand, just a few shots fired at the Zero usually resulted in the pilot being hit and the Zero falling into the sea, or a fire and the aircraft burning or exploding. As an example of the toughness of the Hellcat, the plane I was flying the day I was shot had three 37mm bullet holes, about seven 20mm bullet holes, and over 250 7.7mm bullet holes. or small artillery fragments. Some of the smaller fragment holes were in the engine area, but good old Pratt & Whitney kept purring until I surfaced on deck. The skill and caliber of the Japanese pilots I recruited also declined greatly as the war progressed. I'm only speaking from our experience in VF-16, but I hope it compares with that of other squadrons operating at the same time. At the beginning of the war, around Kwajalein,

99Free Sample Chapters 99 The Japanese pilots were extremely tough and our kill ratio was only 5:1. Later around Truk, Palau and Hollandia our ratio grew to around 12:1. And near the Marianas on that day of firefighting Turkey, VF-16 shot down between twenty-five and thirty Japanese planes without losing a single plane or pilot to enemy planes. I'm sure this is down to the burnout of top Japanese riders and Japan's inability to train replacements in an orderly manner. * In addition to the Japanese aircraft that shot them down over Kwajalein on 4 December 1943, Ensign Wendy Wendorf shot down an Imperial Army Ki-61 Tony fighter over Truk on 29 April 1944 and a bomber over the Mariana Islands on 19 June, 1944 After a well-deserved vacation home, Lt. (jg) Wendorf joined a group of six newly appointed and commissioned airmen, whom he guided through operational training and carrier qualifications before they were all assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Savo Island. The ship and her composite squadron were joined by several similar units in Adak, Alaska, where they were preparing for the imminent invasion of Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the war quickly ended. After the war, Lieutenant Wendorf received a commission in the Regular Navy. During the first of two consecutive voyages as a flight instructor at Pensacola, Wendorf became engaged and soon married a Navy air traffic controller. He retired from the Navy in 1968 and worked in the aircraft industry for nearly two decades.

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102102 Pacifica Military History Aces at War The American Aces Speak By Eric Hammel In addition to the first three volumes of his acclaimed The American Aces Speak series, noted combat historian Eric Hammel presents another fascinating collection of 38 first-person accounts. by American fighter aces who served in World War II, the Israeli War of Independence, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. who excelled in air combat with piston engines and jet engines and lived to tell the tale. It's a moving portrait of how brave aviators felt and how they fought in the now dark days of living American national history. Travel with Flying Tigers ace Charlie Bond as he bursts into flames over the Chinese city, only he could defend against the Japanese bombers. Share the loneliness of command as Lieutenant Commander Tom Blackburn decides the fate of a fellow Navy pilot whose F4U Corsair fails in a desperate battle for Rabaul. Feel Second Lieutenant Deacon Priest's overwhelming sense of duty to a friend as he lands his P-51 Mustang behind German lines to rescue his downed squadron commander. Share Ten's despair. Colonel Ed Heller struggling to eject from his uncontrollable F-86 Saber jet on the wrong side of the Yalu River. And join Major Jim Kasler as he leads what may be the greatest air strike of the Vietnam War. These are America's eagles, and the stories they tell are yours, in your own words. Critical acclaim for the American series Aces Speak The Book World says: Aces Against Japan is a roaring, personal and adventurous book that gives our men in heaven their own voice.

103Free Sample Chapters 103 Book page says: Eric Hammel's book is recommended reading. Indispensable on every historian's shelf. The Library Journal says: No PR hype or dry prose here. Hammel allows his pamphlets to tell their stories. Exciting stuff that aviation and WWII lovers will love. The Providence Sunday Journal says: A delight that deftly combines a Pacific War chronology with narratives that would rival an action-packed Saturday matinee. Infantry Magazine says: If you want to read a book that gives you both a broad overview and an in-depth look at a fighter pilot's aerial warfare, this is the book. The Bookshelf says: Hammel is one of our best military historians when it comes to bringing this often complex subject to the attention of the general public. He's demonstrated that skill in several excellent books before [Aces Against Germany] and he's doing it again now. It cannot be overlooked by either the layman or the scholar.

104Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book ACES AT WAR: The American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. SAVE THE BOMBERS by Eric Hammel Copyright 1997 by Eric Hammel First Lieutenant FRANK GERARD, USAAF 503d Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group Annaberg, Germany September 11, 1944 * Francis Robert Gerard was born July 11, 1924 in Belleville, New Jersey. He He He graduated from high school in June 1941 and rode his bicycle from his Newark home to the Lyndhurst recruiting station on October 22. He intended to enlist in the Marine Corps, but was arrested at the entrance to the building because of a sign with Uncle Sam pointing the finger and the question: Can you fly? Young Gerard, a top athlete and a first-class scholar, decided why not and approached the Army Air Force recruiter. He passed the written test with ease, but when he returned for the exam the next day, he couldn't get the recruiter to commit to leaving early for training, so he threatened to join the Marine Corps. At that moment, the teenager was taken to a colonel's office, who questioned him about various aspects of his life. Finally, the colonel promised that the young recruit would take office on the 26th of October and leave as soon as possible. The colonels' word was golden: Gerard was inducted into the army on October 26, 1942 and left for training on December 18. 19-year-old Second Lieutenant Frank Gerard left flight training with Class 43-H on August 30, 1943 at Craig Field, Alabama. After completing his training with a reserve training unit, he was assigned to the 339th Fighter-Bomber Group. that had formed

105Free Sample Chapters 105 was formed as a light dive bomber unit in mid-1942 and was now trained as a P-39 fighter-bomber unit at Rice Field, California. The group was sent to England in March 1944 and transferred to P-51s for escort duties with the 66th Fighter Wing of VIII Fighter Command. The group flew its first mission, one fighter ahead of the heavy bombers, on April 30, 1944. First Lieutenant Frank Gerard scored his first aerial victory, a Bf-109, which he shot down with just 42 hits while escorting bombers in near Gotha, Germany. , 16 August 1944. * I flew my entire combat period as a member of the 503rd Fighter Squadron, 339th Fighter Group, based at Station 378, Fowlmere, England. On September 11, 1944, we were awakened early by the many B-17s and B-24s flying overhead to complete their mergers in the overcast weather that was common in England at that time of year. I remember very well that it was quite cloudy that morning, so I expected to sleep a little longer. It wasn't to be, so my five Nissen cabinmates and I donned our wet coveralls and waded through the mud to enjoy our sumptuous breakfast. We then cycled to the briefing booth to receive our assignment for the day. At first, it was a typical briefing, but when it came to the tactics the bombing crates would use that day en route to Grimma, Germany, and how we would conduct rendezvous and escort procedures, I could sense my colleague's interest. pilots and operational officers. On the way to the finish near Leipzig we were told that we would not be using the normal pit formation on the trail. Instead, the bomber's boxes would basically fly straight to Germany and then taxi towards a specific point in front of the Starting Point (IP). We could only conclude that this method of approach was intended to confuse the German air defenses. And it caused confusion, of course, but mainly from the escort of the 8th Air Force, both P-51 and P-47. When it was time for the Fortresses to advance towards the PI, the 503rd Fighter Squadron, totaling fourteen Mustangs

106106 Pacifica Military History was the only combat unit in position to cover the many crates of bombs. While we were still moving towards the target area, the Germans sent several Bf-109s as decoys to lure our fighter units away from the bombing force. Our squadron was commanded by Major John Aitken, an experienced fighter pilot. We stayed with the B-17s, ignoring the decoys and maneuvering to the front of the scattered bomber formation. When we were close to Annaburg I summoned a mob of bandits and Major Aitken gave the order to drop our external fuel tanks. It certainly was a terrifying sight to see the two groups of fighters closing in on the bombers. Each pack consisted of over fifty enemy aircraft, and the sight of them gave me goosebumps, as did the other thirteen Mustang pilots in our formation. I thought that's it! However, we continued despite our instincts warning us that we would not return from this mission. But it was our duty to protect the bombers as best we could. As the enemy bomber force planes approached, we descended and began the attack. At first, all I thought about was trying to distract the 109th from its goal of destroying the B-17 by merging them with us. To that end, I fired a volley in the general direction, but fired out of range. This premature action had no effect on the deadly resolution of the 109th and 190th. He flew as the main element in Major Aitken's flight and was initially positioned a little ahead of the others, closer to the enemy packs. After my vain attempt to distract the enemy, he said to himself: Calm down, little one. Focus on one at a time. So I took a 109 that was about 300 meters away, crossing in front of me at a 40 degree angle. It was Charlie in the tail of a flight of the 109. I put all my experience in football passing and target shooting at the time. I gave him a good advantage while aiming a little high due to the distance. I then fired a short burst of fire at it with my six .50 caliber machine guns and it exploded with soda and flames pouring out. My wingman, 2nd Lt. Raymond Mayer saw the wheels turn and the pieces fly, so it was a confirmed victory. As scared as I was at the time, my luck gave me a lot of confidence and euphoria.

107I pushed the melee, and when we caught up with the American bombers, I frantically maneuvered into position while protecting my tail. All hell broke loose around me and there were so many planes involved that it was hard to tell friend from foe, but thank God there were so many of us. I finally decided on an FW-190 that was in a light dive. I climbed on his cock and gave it a quick nudge and he immediately exploded. Captain James Robinson confirmed this death. I then damaged another 109, but in the confusion of diving through the bomber formation I could have sworn I could hear the rapid fire of B-17 heavy guns, and the sky around me was filled with parachutes and flying debris as I could not follow him to confirm this death. There was still much to be done to help the bomber crews and their planes. I accelerated to the maximum and attacked another 109 that was descending, but when I positioned myself over it, I saw two more 109s approaching from my rear. Since we were already entering some kind of lufbery, I accelerated my spin and squeezed so hard I thought my overalls were going to rip me in half. (We were one of the first groups to test the pneumatic g-suit, and I said at the time that I never wanted to fly a fighter without wearing it.) Because of the benefits of the g-suit, I was able to turn my head passed out and was able to maneuver both 109. I was determined that they would never fight our brave bomber crews again. I've put the P-51 in every corner it was designed for and more. In fact, I twisted so hard I was afraid the wings would fall off, but I tried. After two or three laps I was behind them. Even though I was pulling out a lot of Gs, I lined up with the closer of the two 109s and hit him with two or three short jabs. The pilot must have been surprised by the turn of events as his previous target was now the attacker and he was landing shots all over the plane. It exploded and began its final descent. I followed him into a steep dive and saw him turn towards the ground. During that steep dive, Major Aitken passed me. I was on the stern of another 109 and got hit hard everywhere. I stopped because my speed was too high and that gave me a chance to jump another 109. I pressed the attack for what it felt like.

108108 Pacifica Military History enough time before he is ready to fire. This 109 rider was aggressive. He tried to outwit me with various maneuvers and tactics while dismounting. However, he was determined not to let this fight another day. It was crazy up there back then, but I positioned myself for a good long-range shot. When I got close enough I gave it a quick push and it exploded and did a crazy spin. As I stopped on a sharp turn to clear my tail and look for other enemy planes, I saw my 109 hit the ground. When it hit, it was still spinning. Then I saw six more 109s to break cover. I rolled in after them, but only had 110 gallons of gas left, so I called off the attack, climbed to 15,000 feet, and started my long, lonely flight back to Fowlmere. It had been a long day. The mission lasted seven hours and forty minutes, but considering the fog-delayed launch time, I was stuck in this Mustang for over nine hours. My muscles and my mind were heavily challenged. I thought of many different things that day, but most of all I felt proud to be a part of the 503rd Fighter Squadron and grateful for Major Aitken's wisdom in not being fooled and for his dedication to protecting the bombers. Crews who follow orders and don't fly the skies for personal glory. We did our best that day, but it wasn't good enough. Twelve B-17s went up in flames before other American fighters finally arrived to protect them on the flight home. I don't think I ever had the courage to fly a bomber over Germany. I had and still have the utmost respect for the courage and dedication of these brave crews. The 503rd Fighter Squadron shot down fifteen German fighters in this action and we damaged many more. The 339th Fighter Group received the Presidential Unit Citation for its services on 10 and 11 September 1944 and I received the Silver Star for Gallage in Action. * Frank Gerard received four confirmed wins in the 9/11 12-minute fight against Annaburg; He was a five kill ace and just a month past his twentieth birthday. He then shot down two Bf-109s and damaged a third near Magdeburg on 2 March 1945; and shortly after rising to the rank of captain, he completed his eighth

109Free Sample Chapters 109 and Final Victory on March 18, 1945, when he shot down an FW-190 near Dummer Lake. After World War II, Frank Gerard served in the New Jersey Air National Guard while graduating from college. He earned a law degree in 1949, but his legal career was cut short when he was called up for active duty during the Korean War. He then split his time between various civilian activities, the New Jersey Air National Guard, and several active duty tours with the Air Force, including a tour during the 1962 Berlin Crisis. He flew fighter jets until 1976 and retired from the Air Force. for a few years later with the rank of major general.

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112112 Pacifica Military History ACES IN COMBAT The American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel In addition to the acclaimed first four volumes of his gripping cockpit series The American Aces Speak, noted combat historian Eric Hammel presents another fascinating collection of first-person accounts of American fighter, served him in World War II and the Korean War. Like the previous four volumes, Aces In Combat is a highly charged tour of life and death in the air, narrated by men who excelled in piston and jet air combat and lived to tell the tale. It's a moving portrait of how brave aviators felt and how they fought in the now dark days of living American national history. See the Battle of Midway through the eyes of Lieutenant Jim Gray as he balances the needs of his fellow pilots with the needs of his nation. Share the fear with Captain Charlie Sullivan as the would-be saviors try to turn him into a bloody victim deep in the New Guinea jungle. Maneuver a Canadian Mosquito night fighter as Lieutenant Lou Luma chases the cunning Hun and drops an ace over an airfield deep in Germany. Share the lieutenant's pain. Bud Fortiers and Major George Lovings, on missions nearly eight years apart, watch helplessly as trusted men fall to their deaths in treacherous ground attacks. And watch with anticipation as Captain Tom Maloney hovers between life and death for ten lonely days after stepping on a mine on an enemy beach. These are America's eagles, and the stories they tell are yours, in your own words. Critical acclaim for the American series Aces Speak The Book World says: Aces Against Japan is a roaring, personal and adventurous book that gives our men in heaven their own voice.

113Chapter 113 Free Reading Sample Book page says: Eric Hammels book is recommended reading. Indispensable on every historian's shelf. The Library Journal says: No PR hype or dry prose here. Hammel allows his pamphlets to tell their stories. Exciting stuff that aviation and WWII lovers will love. The Providence Sunday Journal says: A delight that deftly combines a Pacific War chronology with narratives that would rival an action-packed Saturday matinee. Infantry Magazine says: If you want to read a book that gives you both a broad overview and an in-depth look at a fighter pilot's aerial warfare, this is the book. The Bookshelf says: Hammel is one of our best military historians when it comes to bringing this often complex subject to the attention of the general public. He's demonstrated that skill in several excellent books before [Aces Against Germany] and he's doing it again now. It cannot be overlooked by either the layman or the scholar.

114Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book ACES IN COMBAT: The American Aces Speak by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. DESCENT INTO HELL by Eric Hammel Copyright 1998 by Eric Hammel Captain TOM MALONEY, USAAF 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group near Aix-en-Provence, France August 19 – September 1, 1944 *Thomas Edward Maloney was born in Cushing , Oklahoma, born January 21 November 1923. Right out of high school he enlisted in the Army Aviation Corps and was enlisted on June 13, 1941. In early 1942 he qualified for flight instruction and began flying train in September of that year. Cadet Maloney completed primary flight training at Thunderbird Field, Arizona, March 1943. Basic at Pecos, Texas, May 1943; and advanced at Williams Field, Arizona. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and strapped to his wings on July 2, 1943 as a member of Class 43-G at Williams Field and Lomita Air Force Station, California, then departed the United States for North Africa in September 1943 He was assigned as a reserve pilot to the veteran Fighter Squadron 27 of the 1st Fighter Group, then part of the Twelfth Air Force. The 1st Fighter Group, based in Mateur, Tunisia, served primarily as an escort for medium bombers flying against tactical targets in Italy. However, on 9 December, 1st Fighter Group was transferred to the new Fifteenth Air Force and tasked with long-range escort duties for B-24s and B-17s attacking strategic targets across southern Europe.

115Free Sample Chapter 115 Second Lieutenant Tom Maloney was the first to draw blood on March 28, 1944, when he shot down a Bf-109 (and probably a second) over Italy. On 23 April, she shot down two Me-110s (and damaged a Bf-109) while escorting heavy bombers over Hungary and Austria. Then, on May 28, 1944, he shot down a Do-217 medium bomber over Buzim, Yugoslavia, and on May 31, 1944, he achieved ace status when he shot down a Bf-109 while shooting the heavy bombers over escorted Ploesti. . Romania. . The sixth victory of the 1st Lt. Maloney carried an FW-190, which he shot down over Oberstdorf, Germany, on 18 July; and completed his score with a pair of Bf-109s shot down on 15 August 1944 near St Tropez, France. This made him the highest-scoring war ace of the 27th Fighter Squadron, a distinction any of his companions would later match, but none surpass. * During the Allied invasion of southern France from 15 August 1944, two P-38 groups, the 1st and 14th, were sent on independent services from Foggia, Italy to Corsica to support the landings. The main reason the P-38 was there was to cover the beachhead. It was assumed that Allied troops would easily recognize them as friendly aircraft, meaning that American, British and French gunners on the ground would not fire at us as they had in previous landing operations. I'd like to talk briefly about the aircraft we fly, the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter. Many aviation writers tend to downplay the effectiveness of the P-38, as the three Air Force Eighth Battle Groups that flew P-38s out of England suffered from various problems and lack of success. I was lucky enough to understand their problem when I was sent to England with five squadron mates to bring back three-month-old P-38s from a group that received the latest model. As it was, the older P-38s in this group were newer models than what we had! There I met many of my comrades from Class 43-G who had been assigned to this group before it was sent overseas. These pilots were scared to death. They had many engine failures, suffered from a lack of leadership and, most importantly, a lack of combat experience. The whole group started the fight

116116 Pacifica Military History had no experience and the pilots acquired it on the spot. Instead, I was lucky enough to be assigned to one of the first units to fly the P-38 fighter. So when we went out on missions, the 27th Fighter Squadron consisted of experienced pilots with fifty or more missions, as well as new pilots with no missions. I have never met a pilot who has flown the P-38 in combat who has not loved the aircraft, and that includes many who have also flown the P-51. To be fair, the P-38 engines were very delicate and had to be handled with kid gloves. Most authors ignore the fact that the P-51 was originally the A-36 land fighter and that the A-36 used the same Allison engine as the P-38. The A-36 certainly wasn't much of a problem as a fighter. I've always wondered what the P-38 could have been like with two Merlin engines, the same engines the P-51 ended up getting. The P-38's flight characteristics were excellent. Meek as a lamb, he announced all positions and could take on any fighter except Spitfire and Zero. Furthermore, its counter-rotating propellers eliminated the torque problem so common in single-engine fighters. Very early in its operational history, the P-38 gained a reputation for being very difficult to fly. This was not the case, but the first high-performance fighter to enter service with the Army Air Force caused fear in many, believing it too complicated for a single man to fly. On the morning of August 19, 1944, I flew a beachhead cover mission, and that afternoon our new squadron commander, Major Frank Pope, intended to lead a four-ship swarm of the 27th on a bombing mission on a diving directed by an aus flight of four ships of the 94th Fighter Squadron commanded by Captain Ed LaClare. The target was a railway bridge in the city of Avignon, just below the confluence of the Durance and Rhône rivers. There was a chance that we would be intercepted by German fighters just north of the invasion area. Major Pope had toured Alaska before joining the 27th as a commander and did not have much combat experience with the Germans at the time. I was 27 Squadron's operations officer and the most experienced pilot in the group, so I thought it wise to fly the mission as Major Potatoes.

117Free sample chapter 117 Leaders of the elements in case we are invaded. This was my sixty-fourth combat mission. The mission went as planned, but with only fair results. Since we only carried one bomb at a time and had used belly tanks most of the way to the target, we still had our internal fuel tanks nearly full. One of the 94th Squadron's P-38s ran into trouble during the bombing run and returned to base, but the rest of us searched for suitable targets by following the railroad track that ran west to southwest in search of a military train or truck. We drove around Nimes and further along the railway and soon found a train at a small station later identified as Le Cres. The locomotive appeared to be entering the water. First, the locomotive was knocked out by our guns. The cars he pulled appeared to be boxcars loaded with Bundeswehr trucks, a tank or two, and other military equipment. This small station was in a relatively open field and there were no soldiers in sight in the area. There was no evidence that anyone had shot at us. As the train appeared to be carrying valuable military cargo, our mission director, Ed LaClare, decided to violate our one-time strafing code. I agreed. We form a circle and pull each car in turn. A large number of carriages exploded, sending us through the ensuing firestorm. The resulting debris was like flak. As I left my third target, a plane from the 94th Squadron, third in the circle, flew straight ahead, right engine on fire. As it was the last plane of '94, nobody saw it on its own flight, so I flew right behind it and urged it to jump. After about five miles, the pilot made a 170 degree turn to the left and landed face down on a fairly flat area. He ran off the wing before the plane came to a complete stop. It wasn't until many years later that I learned that the pilot was First Lieutenant Dick Arrowsmith and that he had successfully escaped capture, was later taken back to our lines by French resistance fighters and returned to his squadron to complete his mission. of combat. When I got back on the train, my right engine started to knock. An oil pressure and temperature check showed that it had lost oil.

118118 Pacifica Military History of that engine, so I marked the propeller and called Major Pope to say I was heading back to the Mediterranean and Corsica. The Major and the other two planes from 27 Squadron broke their low-level passes to escort me. After about ten minutes, I noticed oil leaking from the left engine nacelle. An oil pressure check revealed that he would soon lose this engine as well. I was five or six miles from the French coast and there was solid cloud about 800 feet. I decided to land on the water, even though the waves crossed my flight line. I had no problem landing on the crest of a wave after letting go of my canopy, but I immediately found the P-38 floating like a stick. My dinghy was attached to my Mae West with half an inch of braided wire, and when I pulled on the wire it looked like the dinghy would not come loose from the parachute pack and I would go down with it. After one last frantic tug, it came out and I filled it. What a surprise! The boat was big enough that one side was under my knees and the other under my shoulders. Only my head and knees were out of the water. The three P-38s on my flight stayed aloft as long as fuel allowed. Shortly after the last one left, two ships appeared on the horizon, moving slowly towards me towards our beachhead. Although it was almost dark when they arrived it looked like the next ship was about to pass me but as it got closer I could see it was 150-200 meters out to sea. I could see the sailors on deck looking for me, but the swell prevented me from seeing myself. They sailed slowly past me about a mile, turned out to sea and back. But they never got as close as they did on the first pass. It was already dark, but they remained in the area for at least another hour, lighting torches and illuminating the sea. Finally they left and I was alone on a pitch black night. Much later, around midnight, I began to hear explosions, faint at first, then louder. I noticed that the tide and the waves that came from the south took me to the beach. I knew I had descended about twenty-five miles west of Marseille, and as this was four days after the invasion, I figured the coast here would probably be heavily patrolled by German soldiers. However, I landed without a

119Free example of a chapter 119 incident. I was very tired and sleepy having been up since 6am and having flown two missions, but I needed to find a place to hide my boat and Mae West. If these were found by a sentry at dawn, the Germans would surely know that someone had staged a mini-invasion during the night. I crept cautiously inland, looking for bushes where I could hide the boat and Mae West, and hid so I wouldn't be woken by someone poking me with a gun. The night was so dark I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. I had moved between five and twenty-five feet inland when I froze with a clicking sound, like someone pulling the bolt on a rifle. I had a lot of time to think about the war on the ship that took me from the United States to North Africa. I often thought about how lucky I was to be a pilot. I was glad I wasn't in a submarine where I could drown or be left behind forever; and I was glad I wasn't an infantryman and had to deal with land mines I couldn't see. Immediately upon hearing the click, I realized that one of my two biggest fears was about to come true. The mine that exploded below me broke both feet and caused compound fractures in both legs just above the ankles. In addition, several large pieces of metal were hammered into my left knee, holes were drilled in both legs from calves to hips, a piece of metal cut into my left bicep and numbed my arm, my face was torn apart. of shrapnel and gunpowder, and my pants exploded six inches below the waist. I noticed a huge hot foot on my left foot. My right shoe flew, but my left shoe stayed. When I tried to take off my left shoe, I discovered that my foot had been pierced by shrapnel from the mine that had penetrated the sole of the shoe, the foot, and then the upper part of the shoe. The pain was excruciating, but I had to pull the shard through the sole of my left shoe to get it out. My escape gear was still attached to my belt, so I opened it and found a small tube of sulfathiazole ointment. I spread the pitifully small contents of the tube over the sores in my feet; then I passed out.

120120 Military History of Pacifica When I woke up on the morning of August 20th, I found that I had landed on a fairly flat area, a little sandy and covered in undergrowth. There was nobody there. Very close to me were several trip wires for more mines. Knowing that I was seventy-five miles or more behind enemy lines, it seemed to me that there was no hope of rescue. Raised as a good Catholic boy, I uttered an act of repentance as best I could and resigned myself to dying there. The truth is, few of those who survived the war are luckier than I am to be alive. In fact, he should be dead. On the morning of the second day, I tried to drink from the canteen with my escape gear, but it was empty. For the rest of the day, I would pass out and wake up alternately. I was only conscious for a short time. On the third and fourth day, the 21st and 22nd of August, it became clear that I would die of thirst if not my wounds, so I climbed to a rise of two or three feet, separated by a row surrounded by bushes. this. the summit. The bushes were about fifty feet away. I lifted one leg, brought it down and moved the other, careful not to hit another mine or trip as I crawled. Being only conscious for short periods of time, it took several bursts of consciousness to travel fifty feet. On the far side of the rise was a six-inch-deep pool of stagnant water, and I drank gratefully, even though it was dirty. I spent that night and the next day, August 23rd, by that pool. As before, I was unconscious most of the time. During one of the periods when I was awake, I noticed a sensation of movement in some of my wounds. An examination revealed that all my open wounds were crawling with worms, leading me to believe I was being eaten alive. Every time I became conscious after that, I killed as many worms as I could. (Only much later did the doctors tell me that the worms only ate the dead flesh, thus delaying the onset of gangrene.) On the fifth day, August 24th, I raised my head as high as possible to see if there was anything. approach. You can try to seek help. To the east, about half a mile away, I could see the top of a tall wooden lookout point. I certainly thought it was manned, and so

121Free sample of chapter 121 when I got a German who came to capture me. However, at the end of the day I had not made any progress towards the tower and I slept where I woke up. On the sixth day, August 25th, I walked towards the tower and by nightfall I was less than a hundred meters from it. There was a marsh between me and the tower, and at sunset I could see that at the base of the tower was a log cabin that looked like a hunting lodge. Both the tower and the hut were apparently abandoned. On the seventh day, the 26th of August, I entered the swamp, which was between two and four feet deep. By chance, he landed in a vast marsh called the Camargue, at the mouth of the Rhone. I could move very well in the water because my legs were swimming. I crept into the cabin as carefully as I could because there were signs in German, Attention! Minenand knew what that meant. The swamp near the cabin was about 100 feet wide and 500 feet long and turned a corner at the other end. There was a walkway that connected the cabin to the shorter side of the pool. It was made of rough logs, about a meter long and a meter wide, held together by a kind of wire. Over the next two days, August 27th and 28th, I worked to dismantle the bridge and build a raft with four beams tied together. At the end of the second day, I completed the raft and, with two long poles, made my way through the marsh, hoping that this would lead me to the open sea. However, as I turned the corner, I found that the swamp ended about twenty feet ahead of me. It was quite late, so I got to the bank, secured the raft as best I could, and climbed out of the swamp about six feet. There I spent the night on the bench. I later learned that the Camargue was one of the five most mosquito-infested areas in the world. The mosquitoes were so big and dense that they buzzed constantly. I just covered my face with my hands and let them attack me. The next morning, August 29th, I got back on the raft to go back to the cabin. As I turned the corner, I could see the people in the booth and

122I yelled at her as I approached. Six Frenchmen came out to start cleaning up the mess made by the Germans. They put me in the back of their old pickup truck and drove down a trail. The shock of the journey was more than I could physically bear, so they took the long front seat of the taxi and put me in it. Four of the men lifted the seat, one at each corner, and led me down the path. The truck driver stepped forward to arrange for an ambulance. The last man hexed one of the men carrying me and they continued hexing each other until we reached the street where an ambulance was waiting. On the way to the hospital, the ambulance stopped at a house where a French woman fed me soup, my first meal in ten days. Needless to say, I thought the soup was the best I've ever had. The ambulance then took me to a hospital in Aix-en-Provence, which was close to the liberated city of Marseille. My stay in the French hospital was almost as bad as my ten days on the beach and marsh. Until then, shock had spared me the excruciating pain I now felt. No one at the hospital spoke English and I didn't speak French so there was little communication with the hospital staff. On my second day there, August 31st, they put me on an operating table and ten or twelve people surrounded me. The doctor had antiseptics but no anesthetics and the extra people were there to hold me while the doctor removed splinters from my legs and left knee. After that ordeal, I found an orderly who understood some English and convinced him to find a Confederate soldier and bring him back to the hospital. The orderly soon returned with a British soldier whose Cockney accent made him almost as difficult to understand as his French. I gave the soldier one of my dog ​​tags and asked him to find an American officer and explain where I was. I asked the soldier to hurry because I wasn't sure he could handle the medical treatment he was receiving. When no one showed up that day or the next, September 1st, I was very disheartened. Later that night, however, I was awakened by a US Army captain with a medical badge on his shirt collar. He gave me an injection for the pain and I passed out.

123Free Sample Chapter 123 I was taken by ambulance to a field hospital located near our base in Mateur, Tunisia, when I joined the 27th Fighter Squadron. At that time, nurses were very popular with my squadmates and we used to socialize with them. When I woke up, I was being attended to by a familiar nurse. My mood quickly improved. While I was in the field hospital, my multiple wounds were operated on to prepare me for evacuation. It wasn't long before I was transferred to 118 Station Hospital in Naples, Italy, where I received extensive medical care. When the commander of the 1st Fighter Group, Colonel Robert Richard, was informed that I was alive and in a hospital in Italy, he gave orders that every day, weather permitting, a pilot from the 27th Fighter Squadron P- 38 to land in the vicinity of Capodichino. airfield and visit me. In Naples, the doctors decided that amputating my legs was the best option. I begged Colonel Richard to make the doctors reconsider. With the help of him and our wing commander, the paramedics decided to try to save the legs. They brought me back home in October. The date of the flight was known at 1st Fighter Group headquarters, and after the C-54 I was aboard took off from Capodichino and landed level, a dozen red-tailed P-38s from the 27th Fighter Squadron showed up. . and they settled on either side of the van. They looked like silver ghosts. They escorted me 100 miles across the blue Mediterranean Sea, then silently left, one by one, and went back to war. Years later I learned that Colonel Richard had issued an order that henceforth in Fighter Squadron 27 all aircraft numbered 23, my old aircraft number, would forever be known as Maloney's Pony. This order was not followed for thirty years after World War II, but since 1975, when the 27th, 71st and 94th Squadrons regrouped as the 1st Fighter Squadron, aircraft No. 23 of the 27th Fighter Squadron was named Maloney's Pony. I arrived in the United States in November 1944 and worked as close as possible to where I lived, at McCloskey General Hospital in Temple, Texas. I underwent several operations and was bedridden until September 1945, when I was able to take a few steps with him.

124124 Pacifica Military History crutches. I came home for the holidays, married my childhood sweetheart, Ms. Patricia Jean Driggs, and I went back to the hospital for another operation. In February 1946, as McCloskey Hospital was closing, I was transferred to William Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso. While I was there, I was only rehabilitated. I was then transferred to the Neurology Center at O'Reilly General Hospital in Springfield, Missouri for repairs to the peroneal nerve damage in my left leg. When the OReilly doctors decided that the nerve damage was inoperable, I was transferred to Pratt General Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida, for further treatment in September 1946. There I received only rehabilitation treatment and the hospital closed in April 1947. Eventually I was taken to Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco for treatment on my legs and feet. I was sent to the Board of Pensions in October 1947 and retired on physical disability with the rank of major to which I was promoted in April 1946. * After leaving Letterman General Hospital, Tom Maloney enrolled at Oklahoma State University, and spring has begun. semester there in January 1948. In January 1951 he graduated with a degree in accounting and began working at an oil and gas drilling company. In 1954 he helped start his own drilling company, but in December 1976 problems related to his injuries forced him to sell his shares. He later returned to the company and finally retired in 1985. In 1992, Tom Maloney was inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame. In late 1995, Tom Maloney was contacted by Jean Robin, an amateur historian who lived near Le Cres train station, who had been targeted in the 19 August 1944 machine-gun attack by seven P-38s of the 1st Fighter Group German. the war effort inflicted considerable damage on recently invaded southern France. When the attack began at 7:20 pm, two trains were at the station. One stayed on a siding without a locomotive. It consisted of thirteen boxcars, possibly containing incendiary bombs.

125Free samples of some type of Chapter 125 ammunition. Explosive and incendiary projectiles fired from .50 caliber P-38 machine guns and 20 mm cannons started fires in these cars and the cars and their contents were completely destroyed and blown to cracked pieces. Just before the bombing began, the second train was stopped at the station by a red traffic light. This was undoubtedly the train that Captain Tom Maloney saw when the attack began. It consisted of fifty-two flatcars and boxcars. Several Royal Tiger heavy tanks were in the flatcars and ammunition was stored in many of the closed cars. Panzer crews from the Waffen-SS and Panzergrenadiers were also in the closed carriages. As the low-level attack began, the locomotive was pierced by bullets and finally stopped. Of the fifty-two cars pulled, nineteen were blown up and destroyed. 26 others remained on the tracks but were completely blown to pieces. When the P-38s left the scene, only seven flatcars and boxcars remained intact. In addition to the total destruction of the locomotive and 58 carriages and their contents, the attack blocked the main railway line with all adjacent sidings filled with rubble, some of which continued to boil and burn uncontrollably overnight. For a few days. Live ammunition was scattered throughout the station area and at several nearby vineyards. The exchange office was demolished and the telephone lines running through the station were cut. Many Waffen-SS soldiers were apparently killed in the attack or trapped in the rubble, where they perished in subsequent explosions and fires. Jean Robin, passing by after the war, described it to Tom Maloney as a tangled heap of rubble, hell! He also reported that only one French railway worker was injured by an ordnance explosion. His action, wrote the Frenchman in 1995, completely halted the German retreat by rail. All convoys from Montpellier were destroyed either by Allied aircraft or by the Germans themselves.

126126 military history of Pacifica

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128128 Pacifica Military History AIR WARFARE EUROPE Timeline of the United States Air War against Germany in Europe and North Africa, 1942-1945 By Eric Hammel THE GREAT AIR CRUSADE OF WORLD WAR II: There never was, and never will be, a campaign military like this. This is an opportunity to follow the great crusade that took place in the air over the Nazi Empire in North Africa and Europe. This comprehensive timeline sheds a fascinating light on the course of the American air war against Germany and its allies. * The Air War Europe Timeline is a daily account of all major combat operations conducted by US Army Air Forces and US Navy Aviation Units in theaters of operations in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa during World War II. World War. * A special introductory narration explains the crucial development of combat tactics in Western Europe and how it led to the inexorable defeat of Hitler's vaunted Luftwaffe. * All US Army Air Forces battle aces are covered, including unit affiliation, date and time ace status was achieved, and date and time of major victories (more than ten). * Information on the arrival, activation, transfer, departure and disbandment of air commands, combat units and special forces. The comings and goings of commanders of the most important aviation units are also covered. * Provides a rich contextual framework for ground campaigns; international and high command conferences and decisions

129Free Sample Chapters 129 ions affecting air campaigns and strategies; and advances in the development of specialized techniques and equipment, such as B. the development of the role of escorts and the strategically crucial introduction of auxiliary combat fuel tanks. * Bibliography, list of abbreviations, maps and two indexes.

130Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book AIR WAR EUROPE: ChronologyAmericas Air War Against Germany in Europe and North Africa, 1942-1945 by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $35 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. DECEMBER 1942 by Eric Hammel Copyright 1994 by Eric Hammel December 1, 1942 ENGLAND: After receiving orders from Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz departs for Algeria to serve as Eisenhower's air adviser. MajGen Ira C. Eaker replaces Spaatz as Commanding General, Eighth Air Force. TUNISIA: Twelfth Air Force begins regular pattern of airstrikes on Tunis/El Aouina airfield. The first, conducted before 09:00, saw the base attacked by six A-20s and 13 B-17s, closely followed by nine A-20s and six light bombers from RAF Bristol Bisley. An estimated 30 aircraft are destroyed on the ground and a P-38 pilot from the 14th Fighter Group shoots down a Bf-109 mid-air over the airfield. In the afternoon, an attack by 12 B-26s destroyed around 15 GAF aircraft on the ground. XII Fighter Command P-38 attacks German army tanks near Djedeida. December 2, 1942 ENGLAND: Brigadier General Newton Longfellow succeeds Major General Ira C. Eaker as Commanding General of Eighth Bomber Command. TUNISIA: Twelfth Air Force A-20s followed by B-26s attack Tunis/El Aouina airfield; B-17s of the 12th Air Force attack the Bizerte/Sidi Ahmed airfield and the port of Bizerte; and B-25s from the 12th Air Force attack anti-aircraft batteries near Gabes airfield.

131Free Sampler Chapter 131 A total of nine GAF fighters are shot down throughout the day by pilots from the 1st, 14th and 52nd Fighter Groups conducting a series of escort missions and aggressive attacks into enemy territory. December 3, 1942 TUNISIA: B-17s of the 97th Heavy Bombardment Group attack the port and shipping facilities at Bizerte around 10:30 am. Forewarned by radar, the GAF fighters engage the bombers, but are in turn attacked by the P-38 1st Battle Group. Three Bf-109s are shot down against the loss of five P-38s. The A-20 15th Light Bomb Squadron, escorted by P-38s, attacks the Tunis/El Aouina airfield and the P-38s and Spitfires engage a variety of ground targets during long range and reconnaissance missions. During these missions, pilots from the 14th and 52nd Fighter Groups shot down three Bf-109s. December 4, 1942 ITALY: 20 IX Bomber Command B-24s attack Italian Navy warships and port facilities in the port of Naples in the first USAAF air strike directly into Axis European territory. Hits are scored on various warships, including a battleship. No USAAF loss. TUNISIA: XII. Commando B-17 bombers, followed half an hour later by B-26s, attack the port and maritime facilities in the port of Bizerte. While escorting the bombers and conducting long-range sweeps and reconnaissance missions, pilots from Fighter Groups 1, 14 and 52 shot down five Bf-109s and one Bf-110. December 5, 1942 ALGERIA: Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Allied Air Forces Northwest Africa. The 3D reconnaissance group, equipped with F-4 and F-5 aircraft (P-38 variants), arrives at the Orán/La Senia airfield in support of the Twelfth Air Force. LIBYA: The 9th Air Force's 12th Medium Bombardment Group, in B-25s, recommits to combat after a period of retraining. From its new base at Gambut, the group will join the 57th Fighter Group and RAF light bomber units to put pressure on Axis support air groups.

132132 Pacifica Military History leads the battle line of the German army at El Agheila. During the first half of the month, USAAF and RAF pressure specifically against the Axis Air Establishment eventually moves all Axis aircraft away from all landing sites within 90 miles of the front lines. TUNISIA: Aircraft of the XII. Bomber Commands and the XII. Air support commands from the Twelve Air Forces launch a combined bombing raid on German ports in Tunisia. The objective is to stop the influx of German troops and supplies into Tunisia, while Allied ground forces prepare for a full-scale offensive to liberate the entire country. At the start of the new operation, B-17s from XII Bomber Command escorted P-38s from 14th Fighter Group attack ports and maritime installations in Tunisia. Pilots of the 14th P-38 Fighter Group shot down two Bf-109s near the Bizerte airfield. B-25s of the 12th Air Force attack Bizerte/Sidi Ahmed airfield and A-20s attack German Army positions at Faid Pass. December 6, 1942 ENGLAND: 93rd Heavy Bombardment Group, in B-24s, assigned to Bomber Command's VIII Heavy Bombardment Wing. FRANCE: In the main action of the day, 37 of 66 B-17s from VIII Bomber Command attack the locomotive factory in Lille. Casualties include one B-17 shot down and nine damaged, one crewman killed, two crewmen wounded, and ten crewmen missing. Although B-24s of the 44th Heavy Bombardment Group withdraw from a mission against Abbeville/Drucat Airfield, a squadron of six of the heavy bombers takes no orders and continues. One B-24 is lost and another damaged, leaving ten crew missing and three crew wounded. TUNISIA: Fifteen B-17s of XII. Bomber squadrons attack the port of Tunis; 15th A-20 Light Bombardment Squadron attacks the bridge over the River Medjerda at El Bathan; and the P-38 14th Fighter Group flies a Ju-88, two Bf-110s and a Ju-52 in two separate actions. The 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Group, in P-40s, moves into the sparse forward combat area of ​​Thelepte, becoming the first USAAF unit stationed in Tunisia. The unit will be main

133Free Sample Chapter 133 responsible for supporting ground forces and low-level attacks against transportation targets such as rail lines, bridges, and road traffic. December 7, 1942 ALGERIA: Three squadrons of the 93rd Heavy Bombardment Group, Eighth Air Force in B-24s arrive in Algeria to reinforce XII Bomber Command. (The fourth squadron of the group remains in England for experiments in night operations.) TUNISIA: XII. Bomber Command B-17s escorted by P-38s, attack port and shipping facilities in Bizerte. Also, A-20s, escorted by P-38s, attack German Army tanks in the Teboura El Bathan area, but other A-20s sent to attack La Hencha and Sousse are repulsed by bad weather. Two Ju-52 tri-engine transports shot down by two P-38 pilots of the 14th Fighter Group near Sfax. December 8, 1942 FRANCE: The results of a recent bomb damage assessment show that bombing raids on U-boat bunkers in western France with the bombs available in the Kingdom at the time failed to penetrate the roofs of the bays. ITALY: IX Bomber Command B-24s attack targets in Naples. A B-24 376th Heavy Bombardment Group is shot down by flak. LIBYA: Pilots of the 57th P-40 Fighter Group shot down seven Bf-109s in an early morning skirmish over Marble Arch airfield TUNISIA: Twelfth Air Force fighter units stage numerous clearance and reconnaissance missions, although bad weather has interrupted the bomber operations. December 9, 1942 ALGERIA: A Ju-88 medium bomber is shot down by a pilot of the P-40 33rd Fighter Group on his unit's first combat mission of the war.

134134 Pacifica Military History December 10, 1942 EGYPT: On the first anniversary of Germany and Italy's declarations of war against the United States, a pilot of the 57th P-40 Fighter Group shoots down a BF-109 in combat at Marble Airfield Arch. 1942 ALGERIA: Colonel Charles T. Phillips replaces Colonel Claude E. Duncan as commanding officer of XII Bomber Command. To better oversee flight operations and administration in the vast area for which it is responsible, the Twelfth Air Force establishes five regional commands: the Moroccan Composite Squadron, the Western Algerian Composite Squadron, the Central Algerian Composite Squadron, the XII. Bomber Command; and XII Combat Command. ITALY: The B-24 of the IX. Bomber squadrons attack the docks and the area around the Port of Naples. A B-24 98th Heavy Bombardment Group is shot down by flak. LIBYA: The 57th Fighter Group advances to the airfield near Belandah in anticipation of the British 8th Army's offensive against the Axis line group El Agheila, scheduled to begin on 14 December. TUNISIA: XII. Bomber Command B-25s attack railway bridges at La Hencha with fighter escort. December 12, 1942 ALGERIA: Two pilots of the 1st P-38 Fighter Group disembark from an Italian Air Force seaplane over the Mediterranean Sea north of Philippeville. ENGLAND: The Air Squadron's 315th Troop Transport Group arrives from the United States after an enforced one-month stay in Greenland caused by bad weather. The C-47 unit is attached to VIII Air Support Command as a general transport organization. FRANCE: 78 B-17s from VIII Bomber Command sent against Romilly-sur-Seine airfield, but heavy clouds prevent them from bombing. In the end, 17 of these B-17s manage to locate the Rouen/Sotteville marshalling yard, where they drop 40 tons of bombs. TUNISIA: XII. Bomber Command B-17 attacks port facilities in

135Free sample Chapter 135 Sfax for the first time; B-17s escorted by P-38s also attack port and railway facilities in Tunisia; and the B-26s sent to Sousse and La Hencha stop because of bad weather. 1st Lt. Virgil H. Smith, a P-38 pilot with the 48th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Groups, achieves ace status when he shoots down an FW-190 over Gabes Airfield during an afternoon mission. December 13, 1942 LIBYA: After several weeks of stalemate as the British 8th Army prepares for a major offensive to clear Libya, German forces holding the El Agheila Line make a last-minute sudden withdrawal towards Tunis. As British ground forces struggle to pursue the Germans, the WDAF, including the 12th Medium Bombardment Group and the 57th Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force, keep up the pressure and try to intercept the retreat routes. Pilots of the 57th P-40 Fighter Group shot down two Bf-109s near El Agheila. TUNISIA: Seventeen B-17s of the 97th Heavy Bombardment Group attack port facilities in Tunisia; ten B-17s of the 301st Heavy Bombardment Group and 19 B-24s of the 93d Heavy Bombardment Group attack port facilities in Bizerte; B-25s attack port facilities in Sousse; B-26s attack a bridge north of Sfax; P-38s escort medium bomber missions, air patrols, and attack Axis road convoys and individual vehicles north of Gabes. December 14, 1942 ENGLAND: New report indicates that efforts to build and resupply Twelfth Air Force at the expense of Eighth Air Force result in critical loss of the latter's ability to complete training cycles and conduct combat operations. LIBYA: Pilots of the 57th P-40 Fighter Group shot down two Bf-109s at the expense of a P-40, with the pilot missing. TUNISIA: B-24 of the XII. Bomber commandos attack ports and maritime installations in Bizerte and B-17s attack ports and maritime installations in Tunisia. In the morning, nine A-20s from the 15th Light Bombardment Squadron, escorted by eight P-38s from the 14th Fighter Group and twelve P-40s from the 33rd Fighter Group, attack Sfax railway station. During the

136136 Pacifica Military History In the afternoon, nine A-20s from the 15th Light Bomb Squadron, escorted by P-38s, attack the same target. P-38s attack several Axis ships at sea off the coast of Tunisia, bomb traffic on the coastal road between Tunis and Bizerte, and bomb trains near Kerker and La Hench. December 15, 1942 ALGERIA: Colonel Carlyle H. Ridenour replaces Colonel Charles T. Phillips as commanding officer of XII Bomber Command. LIBYA: 9th Air Force B-25s and P-40s continue to attack tactical ground targets in support of the British 8th Army. Eighteen B-25s of the 12th Medium Bombardment Group join 36 RAF light bombers in a particularly effective attack on a concentration of motor vehicles west of Marble Arch First blood of his unit when he shoots down a Bf-109. TUNISIA: Three A-20s from the 15th Light Bomb Squadron attack several bridges connecting Gabes to Sfax; six A-20s attack Pont-du-Fahs; B-26 of XII. Bomber Commands Attack Tunis/El Aouina Airfield; and B-17s from XII Bomber Command attack port facilities at Bizerte. On the first mission of the IX. Bomber commands to Tunisia in support of XII. Bomber squadrons closing Tunisian ports and supply lines for German reinforcements and supplies, nine B-24s of the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group attack the marshalling yard, roundabout and repair facilities at Sfax. B-24s destroy a locomotive workshop. December 16, 1942 LIBYA: B-25s and P-40s of the Ninth Air Force attack and pursue German Army troops in the El Agheila area. TUNISIA: On separate missions, A-20s of the 15th Light Bombardment Squadron and 47th Light Bombardment Squadron of the 86th Light Bombardment Squadron (the latter in their units' first combat deployment of the war) attack Hub columns on the road between Mateur and Massicault. These are the first of many attacks of this type that will destroy around 100 vehicles along this highway by the end of the month.

137Free Sample Chapter 137 XII P-38 Fighter Command attacking Axis ships at sea off the north coast of Tunisia claim one ship was hit directly by a bomb and two P-38 pilots of the 1st Fighter Group found a lone Ju-88 shot down . December 17, 1942 TUNISIA: A total of 36 B-17s from XII. Bomber squadrons attack port facilities in Tunis and Bizerte; A-20 strike directed north and west of Gabes airfield and Axis airfield at Sidi Tabet; B-25s and B-26s of XII Bomber Command sent to attack Axis ships in the Gulf of Tunis fail to locate their targets; XII Fighter Command P-38 escorts all bombers; and 1st Fighter Group P-38s fly a Ju-88 and two Bf-109s in separate midday actions. December 18, 1942 LIBYA: The British 8th Army's chase of retreating German forces towards Tunis is interrupted. B-17 of XII. Bomber squadrons attack port and maritime facilities in Sousse. Eighth Air Force's 93rd Heavy Bombardment Group in B-24s transfers from Twelfth Air Force to Ninth Air Force. The group begins to move towards Gambut's main airfield. TUNISIA: Thirty-six B-17s of XII. Bomber squadrons, escorted by 16 P-38s from the 1st Fighter Group, attack Bizerte via German fighters, claiming a direct hit on a ship. However, four P-38s and a B-17 are shot down over the target by GAF fighters, and another B-17 is written off after crash-landing at a friendly base. Eleven B-26s from XII Bomber Command escorted by P-38s and other rail installations in Sousse. Flak shoots down two B-26s. Twelfth Air Force A-20s, escorted by P-38s, attack airfield, distribution areas and railway facilities at Mateur. A Ju-88 and an FW-190 are shot down by 33d Fighter Group P-40 pilots during the day.

138138 Military History of Pacifica December 19, 1942 TUNISIA: Twelfth Luftwaffe A-20 escorted by 33rd P-40 Fighter Group at Sfax and a pilot from 33rd P-40 Fighter Group shoots down a Ju-88 at Sfax. December 20, 1942 FRANCE: First mission for Eighth Air Force, four B-17 task forces operate under the authority of the 1st Heavy Bombardment Wing and its sole B-24 task force operates under the authority of the 2nd Bombardment Wing Heavy. , 60 B-17s and 12 B-24s drop more than 167 tons of bombs on Romilly-sur-Seine airfield. The resistance of fighters is extremely strong. While bomber gunners claim 53 GAF fighters were shot down and 13 likely shot down, enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire definitely downed six B-17s, damaged one B-17 beyond repair, and damaged 29 B-17s and one B-24. Also, two B-17s crashed in England. Crew losses amount to two dead, 58 missing and 12 wounded. Overall, these are the worst single-day losses Eighth Air Force has suffered so far in the war. TUNISIA: IX Bomber Command B-24s sent against Sousse port disintegrate in bad weather, but three of them claim to have destroyed an Axis ship north of Sfax. December 21, 1942 ALGERIA: P-38s of the 14th Fighter Group fly from base at Youk-les-Bains and shoot down 3 Ju-88s in the afternoon. TUNISIA: Bad weather prevents the XII. Bomber Command B-17s preparing to attack Sfax or Gabes and 93d Heavy Bombardment Group B-24s under IX control. Operated by Bomber Command, unable to attack Sousse harbor due to bad weather. However, XII Fighter Command's P-40s destroy a tank and several motor vehicles near Kairouan. December 22, 1942 TUNISIA: Bad weather prevents the B-17s from XII. bomber squadrons preparing to attack Bizerte or secondary targets in Sfax and Sousse; and only two 93d Heavy Bombardment Group B-24s sent against Sousse

139The 139 free sample chapters send bad weather to the target, but some of the demolitions manage to attack Monastir and the railway facilities in Mahdia. Two GAF medium bombers are shot down by 33d Fighter Group P-40 pilots during a midday mission. December 23, 1942 ALGERIA: 17th Medium Bombardment Group, B-26s arrive via the southern ferry route after direct movement from the United States. BAY OF BISCAY: Two Ju-88 medium bombers shot down by pilots of the P-38 82nd Fighter Group as the unit traveled from England to Gibraltar for eventual deployment to North Africa as part of XII Fighter Command. This unexpected encounter marks the combat debut of the 82nd Fighter Group. EGYPT: 376th Heavy Bombardment Group, in B-24s, moved from Palestine to a base in Egypt and 8th Fighter Wing HQ begins monitoring several 9th ​​Air Force Fighter Groups. ITALY: On the night of December 2324, B-24s from IX. Bomber squadrons attack the port of Naples and a B-24 attacks Taranto. TUNISIA: The winter rainy season officially begins. An impenetrable cloud cover causes the B-17 of the XII. Bomber commands to stop their reported attacks on Tunis and Bizerte airfields. December 24, 1942 ENGLAND: The first batch of USAAF P-47 fighters arrive aboard a US ship. TUNISIA: Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower decides to halt the Allied land attack on Tunisia until the end of the rainy season in early 1943. However, the British 8th Army will continue to cautiously advance into Libya. The B-24 of the IX. Bomber squadrons sent to attack Tunisia break up in bad weather. December 25, 1942 ALGERIA: P-38s of the 82nd Fighter Group arrive at Oran/Tafaraoui Airfield from England via Gibraltar. Some of them are instant

140140 Pacifica History servicemen dispatched to fly a large anti-submarine patrol to protect two Allied convoys moving into the area. ICELAND: The 25th Composite Squadron in Iceland is activated to supervise USAAF units and personnel assigned to the defense of the strategically important island. TUNISIA: P-40s from XII Fighter Command bomb German Army troops near Sfax. Two Italian Air Force Mc.202 fighters shot down by two Spitfire pilots from the 52nd Fighter Group. December 26, 1942 TUNISIA: B-17 of XII. Bomber squadrons attack the port of Sfax and maritime installations. GAF fighters and heavy artillery shot down two B-17s and two P-38s, but a squadron of four P-38 fighters from the 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group shot down three of the GAF fighters. Twelfth Bomber Command B-17s escorted by P-40s claim three Axis ships damaged while carrying out a second attack on port and maritime facilities at Sfax. On reconnaissance patrols, P-38s from XII Fighter Command fired on three locomotives and several motor vehicles. On the night of December 2627, three B-24s from IX Bomber Command attack Tunis port facilities, a B-24 attacks Sfax and a B-24 attacks Sousse. December 27, 1942 TUNISIA: B-17 of XII. Squadrons of bombers, escorted by P-38s, attack Sousse harbor and shipping facilities, claiming direct hits on four ships. December 28, 1942 TUNISIA: IX Heavy Bombers XII Bomber Command. Bomber Commands and the RAF (the latter under the control of IX Bomber Command) organized four separate raids on Sousse harbor and maritime facilities during the day and night. Serious damage to shore facilities and direct impacts to several ships are accused.

141Free Trial Chapter 141 During several air-to-air operations throughout the day, P-38 pilots from the 1st and 14th Fighter Groups grouped a Ju-88 and four Bf-109s. December 29, 1942 ALGERIA: Spitfire pilot of 52nd Fighter Group shoots down BF-109 near Bone. TUNISIA: B-17s from XII Bomber Command escorted by P-38s attack the port of Sousse; 12th Air Force A-20s attack bridges at La Hencha and escort P-40s attack a locomotive and wagons at Ste.-Juliette; and P-38s from XII Fighter Command attack a German Army tank depot near Pont-du-Fahs, followed by an attack on the same target by A-20s. IX B-24s of Bomber Command, sent to attack the port of Tunis on the night of December 2930, are diverted to Sousse due to bad weather. December 30, 1942 FRANCE: 40 of 77 B-17s from VIII Bomber Command attack the U-boat base at Lorient with nearly 80 tons of bombs. Bomber gunners claim that 29 GAF fighters were shot down and seven were likely shot down. Three B-17s are lost and 22 damaged with crew losses estimated at two killed, 30 missing and 17 wounded. TUNISIA: In their debut in unit combat, six B-26s of the 17th Medium Bombardment Group escorted by the P-38 14th Fighter Group attack Gabes airfield in the afternoon. Five of the B-26s are damaged by anti-aircraft fire and Bf-109 attacks and one B-26 is canceled after a belly landing at Telergma airfield. A P-38 pilot shoots down a Bf-109 close to the target. B-17s from XII Bomber Command escorted by P-38s attack marshaling yards and port facilities at Sfax, and then B-25s from XII Bomber Command again attack marshaling yards; The twelfth Luftwaffe A-20 attacks German army concentrations, the Gabes airfield and a fuel depot near El Aouinet; and P-40s escorting A-20s attacking targets of opportunity near El Guettar.

142142 Pacifica Military History 1st Lt. Virgil H. Smith, a P-38 pilot with the 48th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group who gained ace status on 11 December, is shot down near Gabes and killed. December 31, 1942 TUNISIA: IX Bomber Command B-24s escorted by RAF Liberators attack harbor and shipping facilities at Sfax; The B-17 of XII. Bomber squadrons with fighter escorts also attack the port of Sfax. Twelfth Air Force A-20 with combat escort organizes two attacks on shipyards and port of Sousse; Twelfth Air Force B-26s with fighter escort attack Gabes airfield and rail and sea bridges in Bizerte and Tunis areas; and XII Fighter Command P-38s on reconnaissance missions claim that several motor vehicles were destroyed.

143Free Sample Chapter 143

144144 Pacifica Military History PACIFIC AIR WARFARE Timeline United States Air War against Japan in East Asia and the Pacific, 1941-1945 By Eric Hammel THE GREAT AMERICAN AIR CRUSADE OF WORLD WAR II: There never was and never will be a military campaign like this one . This is an opportunity to follow the great crusade unfolding in the air over Japan's illicit empire in East Asia and the Pacific. This comprehensive timeline sheds a fascinating light on the course of the American air war against Japan from all active theaters of war. * The Air War Pacific Timeline is a daily report of all major fighter jet missions flown by the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Marine Corps, and United States units and American Volunteer Group commands in China, Burma, India and anywhere in the Pacific run during WWII. * All Flying Tigers Army, Navy, Navy, and Air Force battle aces are covered, including unit affiliation, date and time ace status was achieved, and date and time of highest win count (more than ten ). * Information on the arrival, activation, transfer, departure and disbandment of air commands, combat units and special forces. The comings and goings of commanders of the most important aviation units are also covered. * Provides a rich contextual framework for ground campaigns; international and high-level conferences and decisions that affect air strategy and campaigns; and advances in the development of specialized techniques and equipment. * Includes bibliography, list of abbreviations, maps and two indexes.

145Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book AIR WAR PACIFIC: ChronologyAmericas Air War Against Japan in East Asia and the Pacific, 1941-1945 by Eric Hammel. The book is currently only available as an eBook edition. NOVEMBER 1943 by Eric Hammel Copyright 1998 by Eric Hammel November 1, 1943 ALASKA: Formed Alaska Theater of Operations and Alaska Defense Command separate from Western Defense Command, renamed Department of Alaska and placed under direct control of Department US Warfighters BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Two P-38 pilots of the 347th Fighter Group shoot down a G4M near Cape St. George at 09:50. This is the first victory for Solomon Islands fighters in the Bismarck archipelago. 40 IJN B5N, 45 D3A, 82 A6M transport aircraft and six reconnaissance aircraft arriving from Japan via Truk Atoll at Rabaul, bolstering the approximately 200 aircraft already stationed there. On the night of 12 November, two SB-24s of Heavy Bombardment Squadron 394 attack a convoy west of Cape St. Louis. George. CHINA: Six B-25s of the 11th Medium Bomb Wing and nine P-40s attack railway yards in Yoyang. NEW GUINEA: V Fighter Command fighter jets begin using the unpaved airstrip at Gusap, which is planned to be expanded into a large airfield. Simultaneously with the construction of new and improved airfields, great efforts are being made in building roads to supply remote inland airfields with fuel, spare parts and other necessities. In fact, a battalion of aeronautical engineers is deployed to help build a road from Lae to Nadzab. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Covered by three squadrons of F4U AirSols and

146Backed by naval fire, 31 USMC TBFs and eight VC-38 SBDs attack Cape Torokina invasion beaches on Bougainville's Empress Augusta Bay before waves of the US Marine 3rd Infantry Division delay the start of Operation RO, a plan to defend the northern Solomon Islands IJN air strikes against the invasion fleet completed offloading operations, but the invasion is considered successful despite fierce resistance from a small defending force, confining the Marines to a head of shallow beach. AirSols fighter jets based in the central Solomon Islands provide ample cover for the invasion force, and Task Force 38* AirSols USN aircraft carrier-based fighters and light bombers and USN surface warships completely counteract the now-ignored IJN air bases south of Bougainville and the Shortland Islands. However, at 0735, nine D3As based at Rabaul, escorted by 44 A6Ms, attack the invasion flotilla via an AirSols covering a force of eight VF-17 F4Us and eight RNZAF Kittyhawks. A USN destroyer takes light damage from a near miss. A second airstrike on Rabaul in the early afternoon does no damage, but a USN transport ran aground while maneuvering to avoid the bombers. RNZAF Kittyhawk pilots shot down five A6Ms over Empress Augusta Bay between 07:45 and 08:00 by seven A6Ms and VF-17 F4U pilots; Pilots of the P-38 347th Fighter Group shot down seven A6Ms over Imperatriz Augusta Bay between 08:10 and 08:20; VF-17 F4U flying an A6M over Imperatriz Augusta Bay at 13:30; and VMF-215 F4U pilots shot down four A6Ms and one B5N over Imperatriz Augusta Bay between 1:45 pm and 1:47 pm. Four Allied fighters lost during the day. First Lt. Robert M. Hanson, a VMF-215 F4U pilot, achieves ace status when he shoots down a B5N and two A6Ms over Empress Augusta Bay at approximately 1:45 pm. Twenty-one B-24s from XIII. Bomber squadrons attack Bougainville/Kahili airfield; B-24 AirSols, SBDs and fighters attack Bougainville/Kara airfield; and B-25s of the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack barges and docks in Faisi. On this first day of the Bouginville offensive, AirSols has the following units and aircraft at its immediate disposal: On Guadalcanal

147Free Preview of Chapter 147 VB-102 in 15 PB4Ys, VB-104 in 12 PB4Ys, the 5th and 307th Heavy Bombardment Groups in 48 B-24s and four SB-24s, VS-54 in 14 SBDs, the 44th Fighter Squadron 18th Fighter Group in 25 P-38s, 3 RNZAF Squadron in 15 PBYs, VP-23 in 12 PBYs, VP-54 in 6 PBYs, VP-71 in 15 PBYs, VS-64 in eight OS2Us, VS-68 in eight OS2Us , SCAT in 21 C-47s and R4D, VD-1 in seven PB4Y photo reconnaissance, three F-5 from the 17th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, 10 P-39 reserves and 10 P-40 reserves; on MundaVF(N)-75 in six F4U night fighters, 12th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group in 25 P-39s, VC-24 in 24 SBDs, VC-38 in nine SBDs and nine TBFs, VC-40 in nine SBDs and nine TBFs, VMSB-144 in 24 SBDs, VMSB-234 in 10 SBDs, VMSB-244 in 24 SBDs, VMTB-143 in 10 TBFs, VMTB-232 in 20 TBFs and three F-5s from Recon Squadron Photographic 17; in the Russell Islands, three squadrons of the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group in 48 B-25s, VB-138 in 12 PVs, VB-140 in 15 PVs, VMF-211 in 20 F4Us and VMF(N)-531 in five PV night fighters ; in SegiVF-33 in 26F6F, VF-38 in 12F6F and VF-40 in 12F6F; at OndongaVF-17 in 36 F4Us, 70th Fighter Squadron of the 347th Fighter Group in 25 P-39s, 15th Squadron RNZAF in 21 Kittyhawks and 17th Squadron RNZAF in 21 Kittyhawks; and on Barakoma VMF-212 in 20 F4U, VMF-215 in 20 F4U and VMF-221 in 20 F4U. On the night of 12 November, two SB-24s from Heavy Bombardment Squadron 394 spotted an Imperial Japanese Navy surface task force heading towards the Empress Augusta Bay invasion fleet. They sound the alarm and attack the IJN's flagship, a heavy cruiser. This action triggers the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, a crucial nighttime surface battle that forces IJN forces to retreat after a light cruiser and destroyer are lost to fire from a USN surface battleship. * Task Force 38 [RAdm Frederick C. Sherman, Commander, Carrier Division 1]: USS Saratoga (Carrier Air Group 12) and USS Princeton (Light Carrier Air Group 23).

148148 Military History of Pacifica November 2, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: In support of the Bougainville and Treasure Islands landings, 78 V Bomber Command B-25s escorted by 70 V Fighter Command P-38s and P-47s (including two squadrons that used to bomb). before bombers), attacking anti-aircraft emplacements and ships in Simpson Harbor. The mast bombardment is very accurate and it is claimed that three IJN destroyers and eight freighters were sunk or sunk. In the strongest opposition encountered by Fifth Air Force in World War II, IJN fighters and anti-aircraft guns shot down eight B-25s and nine P-38s. V Fighter Command P-38 and P-47 pilots shot down 31 Japanese fighters in the Rabaul area between 13:15 and 14:00. Major Raymond H. Wilkins, the commander of the 8th Light Bombardment Squadron of the 3d Light Bombardment Groups, sinks two Japanese ships and then deliberately directs enemy anti-aircraft fire at his B-25s to allow other aircraft units to be safely removed. Maj Wilkins' plane is shot down and everyone on board is lost. Maj Wilkins receives a posthumous Medal of Honor. 1st Lt. Grover D. Gholson, a P-38 pilot with the 475th Fighter Group 432nd Fighter Squadron, achieves ace status when he shoots down an A6M and a Ki-43 over Rabaul at 1:30 pm; 1st Lt. Marion F. Kirby, a P-38 pilot with the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, achieves ace status when he shoots down two A6Ms over Rabaul at 1:40 pm; 1st Lt. Lowell C. Lutton, a P-38 pilot with the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Groups, achieves ace status when he shoots down an A6M near Rabaul at 13:40, but is shot down and killed in that engagement; 1st Lt. Arthur E. Wenige, a P-38 pilot with the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, achieves ace status when he shoots down two A6Ms near Rabaul at 1:40 pm; and Captain William F. Haney, a P-38 pilot with the 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, earns ace status by shooting down two A6Ms over Rabaul at 1:45 pm. On the night of 23 November, RAAF Beauforts attack Rabaul/Tobera airfield. CHINA: Five B-25s from the 11th Medium Bomb Squadron and 12 P-40s from the 14th Air Force warehouses and attack docks in Shasi.

149Free Sample Chapters 149 NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-25 attack communication lines around Fortification Point; and V Fighter Command P-39 fighter-bombers attack targets in the Bogajim area. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Following the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, over 100 IJN bombers and fighters based at Rabaul attack USN surface forces at 08:00. Anti-aircraft fire distracts most attackers, and a light cruiser takes very little damage from two direct hits. Twenty XIII Bomber Command B-24s attack Bougainville/Kahili airfield; and USN aircraft from Task Force 38 conduct two penalty attacks at Buka and Bougainville/Bonis airfields. Task Force 38 then leaves the area to resupply. VF-33 F6F flying one G4M, three D3As and two A6M over USN surface strike force at Empress Augusta Bay at 0815; a VF-12 F6F pilot shoots down a Ki-21 at sea at 08:38; and a VMF-221 F4U pilot shoots down two D3As over a US Navy task force at 6:30 pm. One USMC F4U was lost. Marine BrigGen Field Harris establishes new Aircraft headquarters, Northern Solomons (AirNorSols) ashore at Cape Torokina to coordinate air activities on and around the Bougainville beachhead. November 3, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: V-Bomber Command B-24s stage light anti-ship attacks on Cape Gloucester and Talasea, but planned attacks on Rabaul are called off due to bad weather in the target area. BURMA: Eight Fourteenth Air Force P-40 fighter-bombers attack Lashio airfield. CHINA: Twenty-one B-24s of the 308th Heavy Bombardment Group attack Kowloon Harbor; and nine B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Group and nine P-40 strike targets around Hwajung, Owchihkow and Shihshow. Pilots from the 74th P-40 Fighter Squadron shot down three A6Ms near Canton in the early afternoon. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-25s attack targets around Madang; and V Fighter Command P-39s bomb Bogadjim.

150150 Pacifica Military History SOLOMON ISLANDS: Nineteen B-24s from Bomber Command XIII attack convoy near Mussau Island, claiming hits on three ships. November 4, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: B-24s of V Bomber Command sink ship north of New Britain in armed reconnaissance attacks, but planned attacks on IJN warships in Rabaul harbor are canceled due to bad weather in target area . PB4Y AirSols patrolling the Sea of ​​Bismarck locate and attack a Japanese convoy carrying reinforcements from Rabaul to Bougainville and an Imperial Japanese Navy surface fighting force. Two two transports are damaged. These results led to a sortie by a USN surface combat force and a naval attack on Rabaul by a USN aircraft carrier scheduled for the next day. BURMA: Chinese Army infantry units held at Ngajatzup in northern Burma would be resupplied by Tenth Air Force cargo planes. CHINA: The CACW makes its combat debut as the CACW's 1st B-25 Medium Bombardment Group hits military targets in Amoy and Swatow. NEW GUINEA: V Fighter Command P-40 fighter-bombers attack IJA ground forces in the combat area. SOLOMON ISLANDS: 23 B-24 of the XIII. Bomber squadrons attack Buka airfield. The US Navy's 2nd Parachute Battalion at Choiseul, failing to receive much attention from the Japanese forces, retreats under cover of light bombers and AirSols fighters. UNITED STATES: The US War Department's Division of Operations recommends that the Fourteenth Air Force launch a limited but sustained bombing offensive against Japanese bases and supply and communications lines, among other issues related to US involvement in China . November 5, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Started 1010 as USN F6Fs at Vella Lavella/Barakoma Field engaged the carriers, 22 SBDs, 23 TBFs, and 52 F6Fs of Task Force 38 Attack Boats and Fa-

151Free Sample of Chapters 151 Cities in the Port of Rabaul. At a cost of one SBD, four TBFs and five F6Fs lost (mostly to flak), four IJN heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and two destroyers are badly damaged (mainly to SBDs) and USN F6F pilots (and several SBD and TBF) shot down a Ki-21 and 27 A6Ms and Ki-61s. Five F6Fs and five USN aircraft carriers with seven pilots and eight crew are lost. As a result of this attack, all IJN surface warships at Rabaul are sent to Truk Atoll, ending the threat of a surface attack on Bougainville's invasion fleet. With the days of the Rabaul strike over, Task Force 38 withdraws from range of Japanese ground planes. As Japanese aircraft stationed at Rabaul searched in vain for the USN, B-17 and B-24 aircraft carriers of 90 V Bomber Command, escorted by 67 V Fighter Command P-38s, they passed abandoned airfields in the Rabaul area and, in instead, they attacked Rabaul's wharf. area. (This is the last appearance of the B-17 in the SWPA.) A P-38 pilot from the 49th Fighter Group shot down two A6Ms over Rabaul at 12:15. The combined USN and USAAF bombardment of Rabaul neutralizes the threat posed by IJN surface forces to the Bougainville invasion fleet. CENTRAL PACIFIC VD-3 PB4Y begin their first mission to the Marshall Islands, where they will photograph the defenses and installations of Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: B-25s and B-26s of the 22nd Medium Boarding Group attack IJA infantry positions near Bogadjim with 23-tonne bombs dropped from very low altitude; B-25s from V Bomber Command attack ground positions near Dumpu; and V Fighter Command P-39 fighter-bombers attack Madang. Bomber Command V's 22nd Medium Bombardment Group, in B-25s and B-26s, receives an award as a unit for accurately bombing IJA infantry trenches near Australian Army ground forces. Pilots of the 348th P-47 Fighter Group shot down five Ki-61s and an A6M near Wewak at 11:05 am. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Six B-25s of the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group

152152 Military History of the Pacifica in an arc around Bougainville attacking a camp at Kieta and several barges. After Task Force 38's alleged sighting at 14:45 by a Rabaul-based search aircraft, 18 B5Ns based at Rabaul attack a small convoy consisting of a USN gunboat, a PT boat and a USN landing craft. The PT boat takes damage when hit by a B5N and the gunboat takes damage from a torpedo that fails to explode. Despite this, returning IJN pilots report the sinking of two aircraft carriers, three cruisers, and a destroyer. A B5N collides with the PT boat and another is shot down by the fire from the boats. 6 November 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: V Fighter Command P-40s attack Gasmata, but a planned heavy bombing raid on Rabaul is canceled due to bad weather. CENTRAL PACIFIC: Seventh Air Force, VII Bomber Command, VII Fighter Command, and VII Air Force Services Command establish forward headquarters at Funafuti Airfield in support of the impending invasion of the Gilbert Islands. NEW GUINEA: Japanese bombers carry out unopposed attacks on Dumpu, Finschhafen and Nadzab. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Nine B-25s from 42d Medium Bombardment Group attack Buka airfield and port; a B-25 attacks Kieta; SBD AirSols and fighters attack Bougainville/Kara airfield, then 24 B-25s from 42nd Medium Bombardment Group again attack Bougainville/Kara airfield; and 17 B-24s from Bomber Command XIII attack the Bougainville/Bonis airfield. Four VF-17 F4U pilots shot down a G4M over Bougainville at 10:40 am; and a pilot from the 6th P-38 Night Fighter Squadron shot down an A6M near Santa Isabel at 1 pm. SOUTH PACIFIC REGION: VMF-216, in F4Us, arrives in Espírito Santo from Hawaii. November 7, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Twenty-five V Bomber Command B-24s and 64 V Fighter Command P-38s attack Rabaul/Rapopo airfield

153Free trial by Chapter 153 pilots of 8 and 475 P-38 Fighter Groups shot down six Japanese fighters over the Rabaul area between 12:20 and 12:30. Five P-38s are lost. 1st Lt. Allen E. Hill, a P-38 pilot with the 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, achieves ace status by shooting down an A6M over Rabaul at 12:20 pm; and 1st Lt. Jack C. Mankin, a P-38 pilot with the 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, achieves ace status by shooting down a Ki-61 and a Ki-43 over Rabaul at 12:30 pm. CENTRAL PACIFIC: VB-108 moves to newly commissioned Nukufetau airfield. CHINA: Two B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron attack the port of Amoy; and six P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack a bridge in Hsiangyangchiao. NEW GUINEA: Nine B-25s from V Bomber Command attack Wewak, but more than 40 become separated when their escorts are intercepted by large numbers of Japanese fighters over Nadzab. Japanese bombers carry out unopposed attacks on Nadzab and Bena Bena airfields. Sixteen USAAF aircraft are destroyed on the ground. Pilots of the P-38 49th Fighter Group shot down three A6Ms near Alexishafen at 07:20; Pilots from the P-47 8th Fighter Group and P-39 35th Fighter Group pilots shot down five Ki-21s and two Ki-43s near Nadzab between 08:10 and 08:15; Pilots of the 348th P-47 Fighter Group shot down four A6Ms between Saidor and Lae at 0855; and pilots of the P-38 49th Fighter Group shot down three A6Ms over Bogadjim at 14:00. Lieutenant Colonel Robert R. Rowland, the senior officer of the 348th Fighter Group, achieves ace status in a P-47 when he shoots down two A6Ms over Saidor. The 71st Reconnaissance Group arrives in Port Moresby from the United States to serve with Fifth Air Force. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Twenty-one B-24 AirSols attack Buka airfield; and eight 42d Bombardment Group Medium B-25s attack barges and coastal targets in Atsinima Bay.

154154 Military History of Pacifica November 8, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Planned Fifth Air Force mission to Rabaul is canceled due to bad weather over target. BURMA: On the night of November 1989, five B-24s of the 7th Heavy Bombardment Group laid mines in the Rangoon River. CHINA: Two B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron attack Kiungshan Airfield; and six P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack a bridge in Hsiangyangchiao. SOLOMON ISLANDS: 22 B-24 AirSols attack Bougainville/Bonis airfield; six B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Kieta; and six B-25s attack targets of opportunity in Bougainville. Twenty-six IJN D3As and 71 A6Ms attack USN transports and warships in Empress Augusta Bay at midday, but are intercepted by 28 AirSol fighters before they can do much damage. A USN transporter is slightly damaged by two direct hits. Eight AirSol fighters are lost. A VF-17 F4U pilot shot down a transporter over Buka airfield at 07:10; VF-17 F4U pilots shot down three A6Ms west of Bougainville at 11:00 am; VMF-212 F4U pilots shot down three D3As and VF-33 F6F pilots four D3As and four Ki-61s over Imperatriz Augusta Bay at noon; and XIII Fighter Command P-38 and P-40 pilots shot down eight D3As and seven A6Ms over Cape Torokina between noon and 12:30 pm. Lieutenant (jg) James J. Kinsella, a pilot of the VF-33 F6F, achieves ace status when he shoots down three Ki-61s over Empress Augusta Bay at noon. Between 7:11 pm on 8 November and 01:00 on 9 November, 21 B5Ns, D3As and G4Ms stationed at Rabaul conduct unopposed attacks against a USN surface force off Bougainville. Ten bombers are shot down by anti-aircraft fire, but a light cruiser is damaged by two bombs and a torpedo. 9 November 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: V Fighter Command P-40 attack near Gasmata capsizes and patrolling V Bomber Command B-24s sinks an IJN destroyer near Kavieng, but Fifth Air Force's planned mission to Rabaul becomes operational canceled due to bad weather.

155Free Preview Chapters 155 NEW GUINEA: Over 40 V Bomber Command B-25s and A-20s attack Alexishafen Airfield. V Fighter Command P-38, P-39 and P-40 pilots defeated 15 Japanese fighters in a series of engagements over Alexishafen, Lae and Nadzab between 10:15 and 11:20. 1st Lt. James C. Ince, a P-38 pilot with the 475th Fighter Group 432nd Fighter Squadron, achieves ace status when he shoots down an A6M near Alexishafen at 10:15 am; Major Charles H. MacDonald, a staff officer in the 475th Fighter Group whose first combat mission was over Pearl Harbor, achieves ace status when at 10:20 am he shoots down two A6Ms near Aliexishafen; and Captain Daniel T. Roberts, Jr., a P-38 ace of the 475th Fighter Group 433rd Fighter Squadron, brings his final personal tally to 14 victories by shooting down an A6M over Alexishafen at 10:30 am. However, Roberts is killed in an accident after his P-38's tail is cut off by another P-38 in flight. 2dLt John C. Smith, a P-38 ace of the 475th Fighter Group with six wins, died in a dogfight over Alexishafen. PACIFIC OCEAN: Task Force 57 is activated at Pearl Harbor under the command of RAdm John H. Hoover (Commander, Aircraft, Central Pacific) to oversee all land-based aircraft in the Central Pacific. Initially, the new command will include the 7th Air Force (Task Group 57.2 or Strike Group), the 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing (Task Group 57.4 or Ellice Defense and Utility Group) and six USN Patrol Squadrons (Task Group 57.3). or Search and Reconnaissance Group). SOLOMON ISLANDS: More than 20 B-24 AirSols attack Bougainville/Kahili and Bougainville/Kara airfields; B-25s of the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Buka and Kieta airfields; and AirSols bombers and light fighters attack Ballale and Bougainville/Kara airfields. November 10, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: B-24s of V Bomber Command attack Rabaul/Lakunai Airfield and an airfield under construction on Duke of York Island; and B-25 and V Fighter Command P-38 attack ships.

156156 Pacifica Military History On the night of November 1011, the RAAF Beauforts attack targets around Rabaul. CENTRAL PACIFIC: On the night of November 1011, three IJN bombers escape from VMF-441 F4F (operating without radar guidance) and bomb Nanomea airfield. An American soldier is killed, a B-24 is destroyed, and several other aircraft are damaged. CHINA: Fighters of the 14th Air Force attack river traffic. WEST INDIES: B-24s of the 380 Heavy Bombardment Group invade Soerabaja, Java. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-25s attack Alexishafen airfield. SOLOMON ISLANDS: More than 20 B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Ballale and Bougainville/Kara airfields and marine targets. In response to the first request for air support from the Bougainville operation (sent in the early afternoon), 18 VMTB-143 and VMTB-233 TBF arrive at the station over the Piva River area at the Bougainville beachhead at 09:15. At 10:15, each of the 12 TBF drops 12 100-pound bombs at ground targets marked with colored smoke. Many of the bombs hit targets within 120 meters of USMC ground forces, killing an estimated 40 IJA troops. The attack, the first of its kind in the Pacific, is considered a success and a model for future operations. November 11, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPALGO: Before dawn, B-24s of 23rd Bomb Command V brave bad weather to attack Rabaul/Lakunai airfield, but subsequent attacks withdraw as the bad weather persists. This concludes the Fifth Air Force offensive against Rabaul. As F4Us VMF-212 and VMF-221 reinforce combat air patrol over the carriers in the morning, 239 USN Carrier bombers and fighters attacking in two waves launch extremely heavy strikes on Rabaul. In the air battle over Rabaul, USN F6F pilots (and several SBD crews) shot down 38 A6Ms between 09:00 and 09:30. This mission marks the combat debut of the new SB2C dive bomber (from Fleet Carrier Air Group 17).

157Free Sample Chapter 157 Forty-two B-24s from XIII. Bomber squadrons attack Rabaul from high altitudes just as the last transport plane leaves the area. Cloud cover obscures the results as two B-24 squadrons drop their bombs from 16,000 to 20,000 feet. 23rd Heavy Bombardment Squadron of 5th Heavy Bombardment Group engages 8,500-foot light cruiser. Several G4Ms based at Rabaul, 14 B5Ns, 27 D3As and 67 fighters opened a counterattack against the USN carrier force at 13:15, but USN fighters, including a land-based F4U squadron (VF-17) and a Land-Based Das F6F - Squadron (VF-33), operating from the carrier decks, repulsed the Japanese attack and claimed large numbers of Japanese aircraft, which were shot down at sea and on the carriers between 1:15 pm and 2:15 pm. (USN pilots claim 111 victories, but it is estimated that two G4Ms, 14 B5Ns, 17 D3As and eight fighters were actually shot down.) Three A6Ms are also shot down during the night by VF-18 F6F patrol pilots at sea. Eleven USN fighters were lost and the USS Essex was lightly damaged in a near miss. By night, Task Group 38 and Task Group 50.3 are disbanded and the five USN carriers are ordered out of the area to join the US 5th Fleet in the upcoming Operation GALVANIC, the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. * Task Force 38 [RAdm Frederick C. Sherman, Commander, Aircraft Carrier Division 1] USS Saratoga (Carrier Air Group 12) and USS Princeton (Light Carrier Air Group 23). Task Group 50.3 [RAdm Alfred E. Montgomery, Commanding Officer, 12th Carrier Air Group] USS Essex (9th Carrier Air Group), USS Bunker Hill (17th Carrier Air Group), and USS Independence (22nd Carrier Air Group) Light Aircraft Carrier Air). CHINA: Six B-24s of 308 Heavy Bombardment Group attack targets on Burma Road; eight P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack river targets; and six P-40s attack a gun position, barracks and radio station near Yoyang. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-25 attacks targets around Madang and V Fighter Command P-39 bombs Bogadjim.

158158 Pacifica Military History A P-39 pilot from the 35th Fighter Group shot down a D3A at 0737 near Alexishafen. SOLOMON ISLANDS: B-25s of the 42d Medium Bombardment Group and F4U AirSols bomb coastal targets and barges in Matchin Bay. November 12, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: The Imperial Japanese Navy ends Operation RO and withdraws all 52 of its surviving carriers (out of 173 engaged) from Rabaul to Japan via Truk Atoll. Although still heavily defended by an infusion of ground aircraft dispatched from the base at Truk, Caroline Islands, Rabaul's Air Force moves primarily defensively and therefore no longer poses a serious threat to Allied forces in the Solomon Islands or New Guinea. In November 1213, two B-24s of the 7th Heavy Bombardment Group laid mines in the Rangoon River. CENTRAL PACIFIC: Two squadrons from the 30th Heavy Bombardment Group of VII Bomber Command in B-24s move from Hawaii to Nanomea Airfield; and a squadron moves to Nukufetau Airfield. CHINA: Ten B-25s from the 11th Medium Bomb Squadron and 24 P-40s from the 14th Air Force attack marshalling yards, anti-aircraft positions and warehouses in Yoyang; five B-25s attack port areas in Puchi and Yangchi Kang; and one B-25 and 15 P-40s engage targets of opportunity in armed reconnaissance missions. WEST INDIES: B-24s of the 380th Heavy Bombardment Group attack multiple targets in Amboina and Java. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command's B-25 and B-26 bombers invade Japanese-controlled villages between Finschhafen and Saidor. SOLOMON ISLANDS At 04:20, four G4Ms attempt a torpedo attack against USN warships in Imperatriz Augusta Bay. Then, at 04:55, four G4Ms torpedoed a USN light cruiser, scoring a hit, severely damaging the ship, killing twenty of her crew and wounding eleven. Eighteen B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Tarlena; six B-25s attack Matchin Bay; and eight P-38s from XIII Fighter Command attack the Bougainville/Bonis airfield.

159Free Sample Chapter 159 Eighteen USN VC-38 and VC-40 ground TBFs drop 100-pound bombs on IJA defense positions just 100 meters from friendly troops in response to a request for a close air support mission sent the previous afternoon. With the attack, the IJA troops give up their positions. New Zealand Army forces defeat the last remnants of the IJA garrison on Mono Island in Treasure Group. November 13, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Fifth Air Force bombers and fighters begin pre-invasion bombing campaign against IJA defenses and installations in western New Britain. Nine V Bomber Command B-25s and 18 RAAF Kittyhawks attack Gasmata and photograph a wide area around Gasmata. BURMA: On the night of November 1314, a B-24 Heavy Bombardment Group 7 lays mines in the Rangoon River. CENTRAL PACIFIC: IJN bombers attack Funafuti airfield, where two planes are destroyed on the ground. GILBERT ISLANDS: Eighteen B-24s of the 11th Heavy Bombardment Group, based on or passing through Funafuti and Nanomea airfields, attack Betio Island with 27.5-ton general purpose bombs and 126 20-pound cluster bombs. There is no resistance from the IJN fighters, but anti-aircraft defenses are strong and a B-24 is shot down. On the night of November 1314, ground bombers from USN Task Force 57* attack targets on Tarawa and Makin atolls and on the island of Nauru. * For the upcoming invasion of the Gilbert Islands, Task Group 57 is organized as follows: Task Group 57 [RAdm John H. Hoover, USN]: Task Group 57.2 (Strike Group) [MajGen Willis H. Hale, USAAF, Commanding General, Seventh Air Force] 11 and 30 Heavy Bombardment Groups (90 B-24s); Task Group 57.3 (Search and Reconnaissance Group) [RAdm John H. Hoover] VD-3 (6 PB4Y), VP-53 (12 PBY), VP-72 (12 PBY), VB-108 (12 PB4Y), VB-137 (12 HP), VB-142 (12

160160 PV by Pacifica Military History) and the auxiliaries USS Curtiss, USS Mackinac and USS Swan, based at Nanomea, Nukufetau and Funafuiti; Working Group 57.4 (Ellice Islands Defense and Services Group) [BriGen Lewie G. Merritt, USMC, Commanding General, 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing] Marine Air Group 13 and Marine Air Group 31 (90 F4U and 72 SBD), VS-51 (8 SBD and OS2U), VS-65 (8 SBD and OS2U), VS-66 (8 SBD and OS2U) MARSHALL ISLANDS: B-24 11th Heavy Bombardment Group, based at Ellice Islands, attacks the Mille airfield in; and VD-3 PB4Ys, based at Canton Island Airfield and passing through the Ellice Islands, are conducting their first photo reconnaissance missions on Wotje and Maloelap atolls. NEW GUINEA: Nearly 120 V Bomber Command B-24s and B-25s attack Alexishafen; B-24s attack Kaukenau and Timoeka; and V Fighter Command P-40 engage targets in and around Alexishafen. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Seventeen B-24s from Bomber Command XIII invade Bougainville/Bonis airfield; and six B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group make a low-altitude attack on Buka airfield. On the night of November 1314, the 6th P-70 Night Fighter Squadron flew night missions against airfields and targets Bougainville/Bonis and Bougainville/Kahili in the Shortland Islands. A VMF(N)-531 PV night fighter crew shot down a G4M 50 miles southwest of Cape Torokina at 0420. This is the USMC's first night victory and the first by a Vice President. November 14, 1943 CBI: Work Orders for US Army Engineer Battalions and other units that will be involved in the construction of airfields capable of supporting the deployment of B-Very Heavy Bomber Unit 29 in 1944 (Operation TWILIGHT) to support. GILBERT ISLANDS: Nine B-24s of the 11th Heavy Bombardment Group based in or passing through Funafuti and Nonomea airfields attack targets on Tarawa Atoll. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-25s attack convoy and camp near Sio.

161Free Preview Chapter 161 MARSHALL ISLANDS: Nine B-24s of the 11th Heavy Bombardment Group, based at Funafuti Airfield, attack Mille Atoll. SOLOMON ISLANDS: On the night of November 1415, the 6th P-70 Night Fighter Squadron conducts night missions against targets in the Faisi and Shortland Isles. November 15, 1943 CENTRAL PACIFIC: More than 20 B-24s from Bomber Command VII, based at Canton Island and Nonomea airfields, attack Jaluit and Mille atolls in the Marshall Islands and Makin atoll in the Gilbert Islands. VMSB-331, on SBD, arrives at Nukufetau Airfield from the United States. CHINA: Fifteen of the 20 B-24s of the 308th Heavy Bombardment Group sent against Hong Kong and Kowloon abandoned due to bad weather, but five B-24s managed to attack the port area of ​​Kowloon. NEW GUINEA: Over 30 V Bomber Command B-24s attack Alexishafen; 88 B-25s abort a planned mission against Wewak and Boram when they and their 16 P-40 escorts are attacked by many Japanese fighters. The P-40 49th Fighter Group flies a Ki-48 and six fighters over Dumpu and Gusap at 10:10; P-40 8th Fighter Group pilots shot down three G3Ms and eight fighters over Ramu Valley at 10:10; and P-38 pilots from the 348th Fighter Group shot down five fighters between 11:15 and 11:30 in the Wewak area. Two P-40s from the 49th Fighter Group are lost. 1st Lt. Richard L. West, a P-40 pilot with the 35th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group, achieves ace status by shooting down two G3Ms and two A6Ms (and probably one of each). the Ramu Valley at approximately 10.10 SOLOMON ISLANDS: Twenty XIII. Bomber Command B-24s attack Buka Airfield; and eighteen B-24s attack Kahili. The 419th Night Fighter Squadron, in P-38s and several P-70s, arrives from the United States to serve with Thirteenth Air Force. The new unit replaces Detachment B, 6th Night Fighter Squadron. 100th Medium Bombardment Squadron in B-25s arrive in Solomon Islands to serve with Thirteenth Air Force. the unit will

162162 Pacifica Military History attached as Fifth Squadron to the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group in January 1944. On the night of November 1516, the 6th P-70 Night Fighter Squadron attacked Bougainville/Kahili airfield. November 16, 1943 BURMA: P-38 pilots of the 459th Fighter Squadron, Tenth Air Force shoot down three Ki-43s at 11:00 am while escorting bombers to Meiktila. CENTRAL PACIFIC: USMC Central Pacific Combat Air Transport Service (CenCATS) is established at American Samoa/Tutuila Airfield to oversee Navy airlift in the Central Pacific region. The B-24s of VII Bomber Command, based at Nanomea and Funafuti airfields, initiate intensive anti-ship searches daily to cover the approach of the Gilberts invasion fleet. (Other long-range aircraft in the South Pacific and Midway cover overlapping search sectors.) CHINA: Eleven B-24s from the 308th Heavy Bombardment Group, two B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron, and four P-40s from the Fourteenth Attack Air Violent in Kowloon Waterfront; B-25s of the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron conduct anti-ship attacks off the coast of China; and a B-25 and 12 P-40s engage an IJA cavalry column and other targets around Shihmen. A pilot from the 74th P-40 Fighter Squadron shot down a Ki-43 over Wuchow at 09:45. FRENCH INDOCHINA: Six Fourteenth Air Force P-40s bomb railroad targets and barracks during an armed reconnaissance mission. GILBERT ISLANDS VII B-24 Bomber Command, based at Nanomea and Nukufetau airfields, organizes individual attacks on Makin and Tarawa atolls. The VD-3 PB4Y explores and photographs Tarawa Atoll. INDIA: Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten officially activates the new Southeast Asia Command (SEAC) headquarters in New Delhi to oversee all Allied operations in the CBI theater. MARSHALL ISLANDS: VII B-24 Bomber Command, based at Canton Island, Nanomea and Nukufetau airfields, attacks Jaluit, Maloelap,

163Free Sample Chapters 163 and Wotje Atolls; and B-24s carry out individual strikes against Kwajalein Atoll. Several B-24s damaged in A6M attacks. VD-3 PB4Y and VII Bomber Command B-24s inspect and photograph defenses and installations on Jaluit Atoll. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-25s overrun Finschhafen and nearby targets; and V Fighter Command P-39 fighter-bombers attack barges between Madang and Saidor. 475th Fighter Group P-38 pilots shot down three A6Ms over Wewak at 0950, an A6M over Wewak at 1040 and a Ki-61 over Finschhafen at 1040. Two P-38s are lost. Solomon Islands: Four B-24s from Bomber Command XIII and 20 B-25s attack Buka airfield; and more than 20 B-25s and more than 30 P-39s and P-40s from XIII Fighter Command attack targets of opportunity along the coast of Bougainville. On the night of November 1617, over 30 B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Buka airfield. and eight B-24s from XIII. Bomber squadrons attack Bougainville/Bonis and Buka airfields at different times. 17 November 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: RAAF Kittyhawk fighter-bombers attack Gasmata. BURMA: Eight Fourteenth Air Force P-40s engage Pingkai and nearby targets of opportunity. CENTRAL PACIFIC: IJN bombers attack Funafuti airfield, killing 2 Seabees and destroying a B-24 and a C-47. CHINA: Eight P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack Kengtung airfield and nearby IJA HQ. WEST INDIES: V Bomber Command attack freighter B-25s near Tanimbar Island, Moluccas. On the night of November 1718, B-24s from V Bomber Command attack Pasar, Soerabaja and Tjepoe. FRENCH INDOCHINA: Four Fourteenth Air Force P-40s attack Dong Cuong airfield. GILBERT ISLANDS: B-24 Bomber Command VII, based at Canton Island and Funafuti airfields, invade Tarawa Atoll. MARSHALL ISLANDS: VII B-24 Bomber Command based at Can-

164164 Military History Pacific Airfields Ton Island and Funafuti attack Maloelap/Taroa and Mille airfields. VD-3 PB4Ys detect and photograph Wotje Atoll. NEW GUINEA: 58 B-24s from V Bomber Command sent against Sattelberg in support of Australian Army ground forces, but due to bad weather only 3 B-24s and 12 RAAF bombers reach the objective. P-47s of the 348th Fighter Group bombed ships between Finschhafen and Saidor. SOLOMON ISLANDS: At 0350, IJN D4Y dive bombers launch an unopposed attack on a USN reinforcement convoy near Bougainville. (These D4Ys, an entirely new type, have just been withdrawn from land service in the Marshall Islands.) A destroyer loaded with troops is sunk, the only ship sunk by Japanese aircraft during Operation Bougainville. 64 crew and 52 marines are lost. Five D4Y are killed for flak. At 08:00, AirSols intercept 10 D4Ys and 55 Japanese fighters in an anti-ship attack in Empress Augusta Bay. VF-17 F4U flying one B5N, two Ki-61s and six A6Ms over Imperatriz Augusta Bay between 08:00 and 08:15; and two VMF-221 F4U pilots shot down three D4Ys over Cape Torokina at 08:00. Two VF-17 F4Us were lost. the thirteenth B-24 Bomber Command attacks Buka Airfield; and three B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Kieta. Marine Air Group 21 headquarters depart from Banika airfield to the rear. When a planned reinforcement of Japanese air units at Rabaul is held back by superior headquarters in the face of heavy casualties since 1 November, Operation RO, the Solomon Islands' northern air defenses, is effectively (but not formally) over. November 18, 1943 BURMA: Four Fourteenth Air Force P-40 attack ferries at Tahsai in support of Chinese Army ground forces. CHINA: Twelve P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack IJA ground forces and load a barge full of troops into Shihmen. GILBERT ISLANDS: Due to bad weather at designated destinations

165Free Samples Chapter 165 Marshall Islands, nine B-24s of VII Bomber Command based at Nanomea Airfield attack Tarawa and Makin atolls and the island of Nauru; Task Group 50.4* USN Carriers attack Nauru; and USN aircraft carriers of Task Group 50.3 attack Tarawa Atoll with 115-ton bombs. (A USN aircraft carrier from Task Group 50.1 guards the northern approaches to the Gilbert Islands, and Task Group 50.2 positions itself further to attack Makin Atoll and other northern targets.) A VF-9 F6F pilot shot down a F1M over Tarawa Atoll at 11:30 and a VF-18 F6F pilot shot down an E8N at sea at 16:06. * For the initial phase of Operation GALVANIC, the invasion of the Gilberts, the carriers are organized as follows: Task Force 50 [RAdm Charles A. Pownall]: Task Group 50.1 (Carrier Interceptor Force) [RAdm Charles A. Pownall, Commander, Aircraft Carrier Division 3]: USS Lexington (Carrier Air Group 16), USS Yorktown (Carrier Air Group 5) and USS Cowpens (Light Carrier Air Group 25); Working Group 50.2 (Carrier Air Group Northern) [RAdm Arthur W. Radford, Commander, Carrier Division 11] USS Enterprise (Carrier Air Group 6), USS Belleau Wood (Light Carrier Air Group 24) and USS Monterey (Light Carrier Air Group 30) ); Task Force 50.3 (Carrier Air Group South) [RAdm Alfred E. Montgomery, Commander, Carrier Division 12] USS Bunker Hill (Carrier Air Group 17), USS Essex (Carrier Air Group 9) and USS Independence (Carrier Air Group 9) . light aircraft carrier) 22); and Working Group 50.4 (Carrier Relief Group) [RAdm Frederick C. Sherman, Commander, Carrier Division 1] USS Saratoga (Carrier Air Group 12) and USS Princeton (Light Carrier Air Group 23). Task Force 52 (Northern Strike Force): Task Group 52.3 [RAdm Henry M. Mullinnix, Commanding, 24th Aircraft Carrier Division] USS Coral Sea (VC-33), USS Corregidor (VC-41), USS Liscome Bay (VC-39), USS Nassau (with part of VF-1) and USS Barnes (with part of VF-1). [The VC-39 and VC-41 fighter components are equipped with FM fighters,

166166 Pacifica Military History, a four-barreled Wildcat variant built by the General Motors Eastern Aircraft Division, but generally identical to the F4F. In the future, all new Wildcats will be FM, and all squadrons made up of aircraft carriers will be equipped with it. Additionally, the VC-39 torpedo boat contingent consists of the first 12 TBMs to be deployed. The TBM is a twin TBF built by General Motors Eastern Air Division in place of Grumman.] Task Force 53 (Southern Strike Force): Task Group 53.6 [RAdm Van H. Ragdale, Commander, Carrier Division 22]USS Chenango (Escort Carrier Air Group 35), USS Sangamon (Escort Carrier Air Group 37) and USS Suwanee (Escort Carrier Air Group 60). MARSHALL ISLANDS: Due to bad weather over Wotje Atoll, VII Bomber Command's B-24s based at Nanomea airfield attack Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-24s attack Fak Fak; over 30 V Bomber Command B-25s and B-26s attack IJA ground positions around Sattelberg; and V Fighter Command P-40 fighter-bombers attack Iworep. SOLOMON ISLANDS: VMF-212 F4U pilots shot down two A6Ms over the Zoller Islands at 0825. Marine Air Group 24 Headquarters arrives at the Russell Islands. On the night of November 1819, five Marines were killed on the Bougainville beachhead when a night breaker penetrated the night fighter's screen. 19 November 1943 AUSTRALIA: 58th Fighter Group, P-47, arrives in Sydney for action with V Fighter Command. BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: V Bomber Command B-25s attack Kentengi Anchorage.

167Free Samples Chapter 167 CHINA: B-25s of the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron attack docks and warehouses, Swatow and conduct anti-ship raids in the South China Sea. GILBERT ISLANDS: Thirty B-24s from Bomber Command VII join USN warships to bomb Japanese positions on Tarawa and Makin atolls and Nauru Island; Task Group 50.4 Nauru Aircraft Carrier Attacks; and Task Group 50.3 aircraft carriers attack Tarawa Atoll with 69-tonne bombs; and the Task Group 50.2 aircraft carrier attack on Makin Atoll. Lieutenant (jg) Hamilton McWhorter, III, pilot of the VF-9 F6F, becomes the F6F Hellcat's first ace when he shoots down a G4M near Tarawa Atoll at 05:50; four VF-2 F6F pilots in an E8N near Makin Atoll at 0830; four VF-22 F6Fs shot down by a G4M at sea at 0830; a VF-60 F6F pilot shoots down an H8K at sea at 09:45; a VF-18 F6F pilot shoots down a G4M near Tarawa Atoll at 10:40 am; two VF-9 F6F pilots in a G4M at sea at 14:55; and VF-23 F6F pilots shot down two A6Ms over Nauru at 15:55. INDIA: Provisional Air Service Area Command 5309 is activated at Chabua Airfield to oversee fueling and maintenance of USAAF aircraft in the area. MARSHALL ISLANDS: Task Group 50.1 attack Mille Airfield and seaplanes and seaplane fighters anchored in Jaluit Atoll. NEW GUINEA Approximately 30 V Bomber Command B-25s and B-26s attack IJA ground positions around Sattelberg; and 3D Light Bombardment Group A-20s attack Finschhafen. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Ten B-25s of the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Ballale Airfield and Matchin Bay. VMF-221, in F4U, is moving from Guadalcanal to New Georgia/Munda Field. November 20, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Fifty B-24s from V Bomber Command attack Gasmata. On the night of November 2021, PBY VP-101 Black Cats sink a freighter in the port of Rabaul.

168168 Pacifica Military History CHINA: Two B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron are capable of attacking barracks and warehouses on Nampang Island, although bad weather precludes further missions. GILBERT ISLANDS: US forces launch Operation GALVANIC, invasion of the Gilbert Islands. After intense sea and air bombardment, the US 2nd Marine Division landed on Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll and parts of the US 27th Infantry Division landed on Butaritari Island in Makin Atoll. At 06:11, a USN aircraft carrier from Task Group 50.2 (Carrier Force North) conducts a 20-minute attack on the beach defenses at Butaritari and then prepares to cover the USN surface bombing force and provide support. ground if necessary. As US Army ground forces begin landing at 08:32, transport planes bomb preselected indoor targets. At 06:15, the USN aircraft carrier of Task Group 50.3 (Carrier Group South) launches a seven-minute fire attack on the coastal defenses at Betio and then prepares to cover the USN surface bombing force and provide ground support, if necessary. Due to delays in landing the first waves, the carrier again attacked the coastal defenses at 08:55. Subsequently, the F6Fs provide continuous standby support for USMC ground forces. A VF-16 F6F pilot shoots down a G4M at sea at 09:30. Beginning at approximately 5:55 pm, 16 Marshalls-based G4M night torpedo boats attack Task Group 50.3 as USN aircraft land. The pilots of the VF-18 F6F shot down five G4Ms and the ships' gunners four, but a G4M hits a single torpedo on the USS Independence (Light Carrier Air Group 22), which is forced to look for Funafuti, the base's closest friend, to to remove . On the night of November 2021, a USMC reconnaissance company landed on Abemama Atoll from a USN submarine and quickly occupied the atoll against negligible resistance. Abemama will be the site of a new airfield. INDIA: 308th Heavy Bombardment Group, Fourteenth Air Force begins temporary deployment to Bengal region of India to join 7th Heavy Bombardment Group and RAF heavy bombers

169Free Sample Chapters 169 Campaign against strategic targets in Burma. Two squadrons are based at Pandaveswar Airfield with two squadrons from 7th Group and two squadrons are based at Pangarh Airfield also with two squadrons from 7th Group. MARSHALL ISLANDS: Carrier Task Group 50.1 attacks Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: Fifty B-25s and B-26s from V Bomber Command attack IJA ground positions around Sattelberg and Lugger in Hansa Bay; and 3D Light Bombardment Group A-20 targets around Lae. V Fighter Command's 49th Fighter Group moves from Dobodura Airfield to Gusap Airfield. SOLOMON ISLANDS: B-25s, P-38s and PVs of USN 13th Air Force attack Bougainville/Bonis airfield and several B-25s attack coastal targets around Empress Augusta Bay. A VMF-222 F4U pilot shoots down a Ki-49 bomber near Bougainville at 08:30. Maj. Gen. Ralph J. Mitchell is taking over the ComAirSols role from Maj. Gen. Nathan F. Twining, who was given a senior leadership position in Italy. Mitchell will continue to command the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and MASP. VMSB-243 on SBD is deployed to New Georgia/Munda Field after garrison service in Johnston and Palmyra Islands. SOUTH PACIFIC REGION: VMF-321, in F4U, arrives at Efate/Vila Field from the United States. UNITED STATES: XX Bomber Command formally activated under Brig. Gen Kenneth B. Wolfe and initially assigned to Second Air Force pending the creation of an Air Force to oversee B-29 very heavy bomber operations. The 73d Very Heavy Bombardment Wing is also activated. And the 58th Heavy Bombardment Squadron, already training in B-29s at Smoky Hill, Kansas, will be redesignated 58th Very Heavy Bombardment Squadron. 21 November 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: B-24s of V Bomber Command attack Gasmata.

170170 Pacifica Military History CHINA: Four B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron attack Taiping-hu Airfield and stage naval attacks in the South China Sea; four B-25s and 12 P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack Tzeli; 29 P-40s attack small boats on Tungting Lake; 12 P-40s attack five ships and other targets in the Shihmen area; and eight P-40s attack IJA riverboats and ground forces near Tsowshih. GILBERT ISLANDS: B-24s of the 11th Heavy Bombardment Group based at Funafuti and Nonomea Airfields invade Nauru Island; and VD-3 PB4Y escorted by the 30th B-24 Heavy Bombardment Group photograph the island. Fighting continues on Tarawa and Makin atolls. USN aircraft carriers continue to provide ongoing guard support to landing forces. VF-2 and VF-6 F6F pilots shot down two G4Ms overboard at about 0610. The MARSHALL ISLANDS Task Group 50.1 aircraft carrier attacks Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-24 and B-25 attack marine targets; and 3d Light Bombardment Group A-20 targets in the Finschhafen area. SOLOMON ISLANDS Small numbers of B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group bomb Kieta while conducting anti-ship patrols. VF-17 F4U pilots shot down six A6M aircraft over Imperatriz Augusta Bay at 05:35. and a P-39 pilot of Fighter Squadron 67 shot down a Ki-61 over Cape Torokina at 0630. 22 November 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: Over 100 V Bomber Command B-24s and B-25s attack Cape Gloucester and Gasmata ; and the B-24 attack ships opposite Kavieng. CHINA: Sixteen P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack ships loaded with troops at Tungting Lake and P-40s attack traffic on the Yangtze River. EGYPT: Allied leaders attend SEXTANT conference in Cairo to consider changing war situation. GILBERT ISLANDS: Fighting continues on Tarawa and Makin atolls.

171Free Sample Chapter 171 MARSHALL ISLANDS: Eleven B-24s from Bomber Command VII based in attack on Canton Island Airfield Mille Atoll; and Task Group 50.1 aircraft carriers attack Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: Twenty-two V Bomber Command B-25s and A-20s attack IJA ground forces around Sattelberg. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Five USN PB4Y, eight P-38 AirSol and eight F4U AirSol attack Buka airfield; and XIII Fighter Command's P-38s attack barges and land targets in Chabai. 23 November 1943 CHINA: Thirteen B-25s of the 11th Medium Bomb Squadron escorted by 24 P-40s of the Fourteenth Air Force and seven A-36s, attack depots and marshaling yards and Yoyang; and eight P-40s engage IJA cavalry and river traffic near Hanshow. WEST INDIES: V Bomber Command attack convoy B-24s near Halmahera Island. GILBERT ISLANDS: VF-16 F6F pilots shot down 17 A6Ms near Makin Atoll at approximately 10:05. Lieutenant (jg) Eugene R. Hanks, a VF-16 F6F pilot, becomes the F6F's first ace in one day when at 10:06 he shoots down five A6Ms (and probably a sixth) near Tarawa Atoll. US Army troops break resistance on Butaritari Island in Makin Atoll and US Marines secure Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll after particularly bloody fighting signaling low effectiveness of air and sea attacks. Measures are being taken to fully protect the two atolls and some outlying island groups still under Japanese control. MARSHALL ISLANDS: Six B-24s from Bomber Command VII based at Nukufetau Airfield raid Jaluit Atoll; and Task Group 50.1's aircraft carrier attacks Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: B-25s and A-20s of V Bomber Command attack occupied villages around Finschhafen. P-40 pilots with the 40th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group in an A6M and a Ki-43 near Saidor at 09:55.

172SOLOMON ISLANDS: Nineteen B-24s from Bomber Command XIII attack Bougainville/Bonis and Buka airfields; 23 B-25s of the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group, six USN PVs and 24 AirSols F4Us attack Chabai; and four B-25s attack coastal towns in Bougainville while conducting anti-ship patrols. VMF-216 in F4U moves from the New Hebrides to Banika airfield to release VMF-211 from patrol duties. SOUTH PACIFIC: Maj. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon is named acting commander, South Pacific, and Colonel Earl W. Barnes becomes commander of XIII Air Force. combat commands. November 24, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: More than 20 V Bomber Command B-24s attack Gasmata. This ends a five-day bombing offensive that totaled 133 B-24 sorties and 63 B-25 sorties. CHINA: Five B-25s from 11th Medium Bomb Squadron and 16 P-40s from 14th Medium Bomb Squadron attack Hanshow; and two B-25s attack Amoy. WEST INDIES: Eighteen B-25s from the V Bomber Command raid on Halmahera. GILBERT ISLANDS: An IJN submarine sank the aircraft carrier USS Liscome Bay off Makin at 0513. Six hundred and forty-four men are killed, including many airmen from the VC-39 and RAdm Henry M. Mullinnix, commander of the 24th Port Division -planes. VF-16 F6F pilots shot down two G4Ms and 10 A6Ms near Makin Atoll at 12:30 hrs. Work begins on refurbishing and improving the former IJN airfields on the islands of Betio and Butaritari, both needed to support the planned advance into the Marshall Islands. INDIA: Airfield units begin arriving at Indian bases from the United States. MARSHALL ISLANDS: Twenty Bomber Command VII B-24s based at Nanomea Airfield attack ground targets and ships in Maloelap Atoll; and Task Group 50.1's aircraft carrier attacks Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: More than 30 V Bomber Command B-25s, B-26s and A-20s attack Kalasa; and 15 B-25s and A-20s attack Finschhafen.

173Free Preview Chapter 173 Colonel Neel E. Kearby replaces British General Paul B. Wurtsmith as head of V Fighter Command. SOLOMON ISLANDS: 25 B-24 of the XIII. Bomber commandos attack Buka and Chabai; 20 42d B-25 Medium Bombardment Group attacks Bougainville/Kahili airfield; and six B-25s attack a possible radio station at Mutupina Point. The six-man B-25 crew of a USN PBY within antiaircraft range of Bougainville/Kahili Airfield. A USMC SBD makes a successful crash landing on the near-completed Bougainville/Torokina combat airstrip in Bougainville. November 25, 1943 BURMA: A coordinated joint USAAFRAF bomber offensive begins against strategic targets in the Rangoon area. Despite bad weather in the region, 11 B-25s from the 490th Medium Bomb Squadron and an unknown number of RAF bombers attack Japanese installations in the Rangoon area, including Rangoon/Mingaladon Airfield. Escort for the B-25 is provided by the 530th Fighter Squadron. Sixty B-24s of the 308th Heavy Bombardment Group, on loan to Tenth Air Force, are unable to locate Zyatkwin Airfield or Insein Locomotive Repair Shops due to heavy clouds over either target, but several B-24s attack Akyab Airfield on the return India flight . Two B-24s crash on takeoff, killing all aboard, and a B-24 fatally damaged by ground fire on target crashes with all aboard. P-51 pilots from the 530th Fighter Squadron, 311th Fighter Group shot down four Ki-45s over Rangoon and Mingaladon at 13:00. However, two P-51s are lost. This marks the combat debut of the 311th Fighter Group and the first combat appearance of P-51 fighters anywhere in the world. Colonel Harry R. Melton, Jr., commander of the 311th Fighter Group, is captured after his P-51 is fatally damaged by a Ki-45 over Rangoon/Mingaladon Airfield. FORMOSA: Based on recent air intelligence reports, Fourteenth Air Force conducts first strike against Formosa/Shinchiku Air-

174174 Pacifica Military History Drome. Led by the commanding officer of the 23rd Fighter Group, Colonel David L. Hill, 14 B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron, eight P-38s from the 449th Fighter Squadron, and eight P-51A fighter-bombers from the 311th Fighter Group- Bombers. by Hill, several other pilots from the 23rd Fighter Group and several pilots from the 311th Group) fly from their temporary base at Suichwan Airfield across the Formosa Strait at low altitude to attack the crowded Formosa/Shinchiku Airfield. P-51A and P-38 pilots shot down 14 fighters, bombers and transports over the base at 17:00, and then the B-25s and P-51As destroyed 42 Japanese aircraft on the ground. No USAAF loss. Sixteen Fourteenth Air Force P-40 attack boats in the Changte Hanshow area. GILBERT ISLANDS VF-1, in F6F, arrives at Tarawa Atoll aboard two escort aircraft carriers. Once the Betios airfield (renamed Hawkins Field) is rehabilitated, the VF-1 will begin a ground combat tour. Shortly after sunset, 13 G4Ms stationed in Marshalls use parachute flares to torpedo the US invasion fleet on Makin Atoll. No hits are scored. In a second attack against the USN Northern Carriers, USN F6F pilots guided by a TBF equipped with VT-6 radar shot down three G4Ms at sea between 17:25 and 19:28. Lost in this action, however, is LCdr Edward H. (Butch) OHare, the commander of VF-6, the US Navy's first World War II fighter pilot and Medal of Honor winner. OHare's F6F could fall victim to the TBF, who also claim an aerial victory tonight. MARSHALL ISLANDS: Carrier Task Group 50.1 attacks Mille Atoll. NEW GUINEA: V Fighter Command fighter-bombers attack targets in Bogajim Strait. A P-47 pilot from the 348th Fighter Group shot down a Ki-46 near Wewak at 10:10 am. Australian Army ground forces capture Sattelberg. SALOMON ISLANDS VMSB-236, on SBD, moving from Guadalcanal to New Georgia/Munda Field. Additionally, the VMTB-134 comes to the US TBF via New in New Georgia/Munda Field

175Free sample chapter 175 Hebrides. The new unit will conduct aerial bombardments against targets in Bougainville. November 26, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: B-24s of V Bomber Command attack Gasmata and an IJN cruiser off Ubili. BURMA: Despite a days heavy bomber mission against Rangoon canceled due to bad weather, 13 RAF Wellington raid the city's shipyards during the night of November 2627. CHINA: Five B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron and 16 B -25s of Air Force Fourteenth Squadron P-51s and P-40s attack Kiangling Airfield; two B-25s attack a freighter in Honghai Bay; and 12 P-40 attack boats in the Changte-Tehshan area. EGYPT: Prior to the conclusion of the SEXTANT conference, Allied leaders agree to launch an amphibious invasion of Burma (Operation CHAMPION) and open a land route from India to China through Burma. Leaders also approve plans for Operation TWILIGHT, the USAAF's very heavy B-29 bomber base in China. FRENCH INDOCHINA: Eight P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack railway facilities in Cam Duong. GILBERT ISLANDS: After an actual occupation by USMC scouts, a large occupation force lands on Abemama Atoll, where a new airfield will be built. A new airfield is also being built on Makin Atoll. The first US aircraft to land at Betio/Hawkins Field is a VMJ-353 R4D. NEW GUINEA: Nearly 40 V Bomber Command B-25s and B-26s attack barges near Sio; and V Fighter Command P-40s and P-47s attack occupied villages and targets of opportunity around Alexishafen, Madang and Nubia. Pilots from the P-40 8th Fighter Group and P-39 35th Fighter Group repelled Japanese bombers on their way to Finschhafen and shot down seven Ki-43s and two A6Ms between Finschhafen and Saidor between 11:00 and 11:30.

176176 Pacifica Military History SOLOMON ISLANDS: 40+ XIII Bomber Command B-24s, 30+ 42d Medium Bombardment Group B-25s, and 30+ AirSols attack Bougainville/Bonis and Buka airfields; a B-25 attacks Ballale airfield; and several USN PVs attack Nissan Island in the Green Islands. 27 November 1943 AUSTRALIA: The 6th Air Force Photo Reconnaissance Group moves from Sydney to Brisbane. BURMA: Despite interception of targets by up to 40 Japanese fighters, all available B-24s of the 7th and 308th Heavy Bombardment Groups and B-25s of the 490th Medium Bombardment Squadron, escorted by P-38s and P-51s, destroy 70 % of locomotive workshops in Inseína. Three B-24s, four P-51s and two P-38s are shot down by Japanese fighters, but P-51 pilots from the 530th Fighter Squadron, 311th Fighter Group shot down four Japanese fighters over Rangoon at 13:00. During the night of 27–28 November, seven RAF Liberators attacked the port area of ​​Rangoon. CHINA: Four B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron attack convoy near Amoy and Swatow docks. MARSHALL ISLANDS: Eight B-24s from VII Bomber Command based at Canton Island and Nukufetau airfields attack Mille airfield. NEW GUINEA: V Bomber Command B-25 and B-26 attack Boram, Finschhafen and Wewak. SOLOMON ISLANDS: More than 20 B-24s from XIII. Bomber squadrons attack Buka airfield; 19 B-24s attack Bougainville/Bonis airfield; five B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Queen Carola Harbor; and small numbers of USAAF B-25s and USN PVs engage targets near Mutupina Point. November 28, 1943 BURMA: B-24s of the 7th Heavy Bombardment Group storm Rangoon docks; and B-25s of the 490th Bombardment Squadron attack Sagaing. P-51 pilots of the 530th Fighter Squadron, 311th Fighter Group shot down four Japanese fighters over Rangoon at 11:55.

177Free Sample Chapters 177 On the night of November 2829, RAF Wellington targets in Rangoon attack. CHINA: Eight Fourteenth Air Force P-40s attack barracks and other targets in Litsaoho; and eight P-40 munitions dropped from the air to encircle Chinese forces at Changte. FRENCH INDOCHINA: Six P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force bomb Luang Prabang and Tran Ninh airfields. GILBERT ISLANDS: Eleven B-24s from Bomber Command VII based on attack on Nanomea Airfield, Nauru Island. Tarawa Atoll is declared safe. USMC scouts begin surveying other atolls in the Gilberts. During the night, a small number of G4Ms stationed in Marshalls engaged several USN surface warships from Working Group North, but no damage was done. The ships claim to have shot down several of the G4Ms. NEW GUINEA About 50 V Bomber Command B-24s attack Boram and Wewak airfields; and over 40 B-25s, B-26s and A-20s attacked tracks near Finschhafen and occupied towns on the Huon Peninsula. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Six B-25s from the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack targets around Point Mutupina; and AirSols fighters strike multiple targets in Bougainville and the Shortland Islands. VMF-214 is dispatched from New Georgia/Munda Field to Vella Lavella/Barakoma Field. VMF-123 withdraws to the United States for retraining and reorganization. November 29, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: 35 B-25s and B-26s of V Bomber Command invade Cape Gloucester. CHINA: Six B-25s from the 11th Medium Bombardment Squadron attack targets in Amoy and Swatow and along the nearby coast; 24 P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force drop ammunition and food to encircled Chinese army forces at Changte and attack ground targets on the return flight. GILBERT ISLANDS: A VF-18 F6F pilot shoots a G4M into the sea at 12:45.

178178 Pacifica Military History NEW GUINEA: Six B-24s from V Bomber Command storm the barracks at Manokwari. Australian Army ground forces advancing up the coast from Sattelburg take several towns, including a Japanese supply base, without a fight. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Twenty-one B-24s of the XIII. Bomber commandos attack Kieta; 18 42d Medium Bombardment Group B-25 and AirSol P-39 and SBD attack targets off the coast of Bougainville. Work begins on the Tio Bougainville/Piva airfield. November 30, 1943 BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO: V Bomber Command B-24s attack New Britain/Cape Gloucester Airfield; and B-25s attack targets off the coast of New Britain. BURMA: Night 30 November to 1 December RAF Wellingtons attack Rangoon targets. CENTRAL PACIFIC: After being relieved by a P-39 squadron from VII Fighter Command, the VMF-441 withdraws from Nanomea Airfield to Samoa to transition from F4F to F4U. CHINA: Eight Fourteenth Air Force P-40 warships at Ansiang; six P-40 fighter-bombers attack fuel and ammunition depots in Luchiangpa; and air supplies of P-40s to encircle Chinese forces at Changte. GILBERT ISLANDS: Six VMSB-331 SBDs and maintenance personnel are being transferred from Nukufetau airfield to Betio/Hawkins field. MARSHALL ISLANDS: Eighteen VII Bomber Command B-24s sent from Nanomea Airfield to attack Maloelap Atoll abort due to bad weather, but two from that flight and ten others based at Canton Island Airfield are able to complete the mission. NEW GUINEA: B-24 Bomber Command V attacks Alexishafen; and B-25s attack Kalasa and motor vehicles near Waroe. SOLOMON ISLANDS: Seventeen B-25s of the 42nd Medium Bombardment Group attack Malai in the Shortland Islands; several USN PVs attack Mawareka; and AirSols fighters attack multiple targets in Bougainville, Choiseul and Shortlands

179Free Sample Chapter 179 VF-33, at F6F, moves from New Georgia/Segi Field to New Georgia/Ondonga Field. Around this date, VMF-222 is moving in F4U from New Georgia/Munda Field to Vella Lavella/Barakoma Field; VMF-223, also in F4U, moves from Midway to Vella Lavella/Barakoma Field; and VMSB-234 withdraws to the United States for reorganization and retraining as a carrier-based TBF squadron.

180180 Military History of Pacifica

181Free Sample Chapter 181

182182 Military History of Pacifica AMBOSH VALLEY I CORPS, VIETNAM, 1967 The Story of a Marine Battalion's Struggle for Survival By Eric Hammel In the summer of 1967, the Marines of the I Corps, the northernmost military region of South Vietnam , were doing everything they could to put pressure on the reduced Con Thien's beleaguered combat base. Still fresh after months of relatively light action around Khe Sanh, the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines was dispatched to the Con Thien region to protect the main vulnerable supply route from the battle bases. On 7 September 1967, its first full day in the new theater of operations, individual elements of the battalion were attacked by at least two North Vietnamese infantry battalions, both of which were nearly defeated in night fighting. On 10 September, while en route to a new sector near Con Thien, the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines was attacked by at least a full North Vietnamese regiment, the same NVA unit that had attacked it two days earlier. Isolated on two separate defensive perimeters, the Marines fought through the afternoon and into the night against repeated attacks by waves of NVA regulars eager to claim a major victory. In a battle called Custer's Last Stand With Air Support, the Americans prevailed by a very narrow margin. Ambush Valley is an unforgettable tale of bravery and survival under impossible conditions. Told in the words of the men who faced the ordeal together, an unprecedented mosaic of action and emotion woven into an incredibly clear and vivid combat narrative from one of today's most effective military historians. Ambush Valley sets a new standard for oral history. It's a war story not to be missed. Ambush Valley Praise Ambush Valley recounts the heroic performance of the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines in the summer of 1967. . . how he championed the US fight

183Free Sample Chapters 183 based on a hill called Con Thien. . . . [It's] a fresh, highly personalized, and vibrant narrative that focuses on the backdrop of the Vietnam War from the perspective of those who fought there. Sea Power Another of the harrowing eyewitness accounts of a Vietnam War campaign that remains a confusing episode in a bitterly debated conflict. . . . [The] Firsthand Memories provides a vivid and inspiring chronicle of bloody combat. . . Kirkus Reviews This harrowing action is told almost entirely in the words of the survivors, in a style reminiscent of a documentary script. By switching between voices, Hammel can amplify or amplify moments of action; The device elevates this oral history of small-unit action above most of its kind.Library JournalDesperate defensive tactics and the raw emotions of men are vividly conveyed in this memorable mosaic of focused warfare. Great oral history. Publishers Weekly Hammel deftly wove the memories of various participants into a concise but vivid story of survival. I was impressed with its ability to present a complete story without gaps or reliance on lengthy narratives. . . . I was so involved that I didn't want to stop. Marine Corps Gazette The narrative is tough and gritty to the core. Friday Defense Literature Review

184Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book AMBUSH VALLEY: I Corps, Vietnam, 1967A Marine Infantry Battalions Battle for Survival by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. INVOLVEMENT IN THE MEETING by Eric Hammel Copyright 1990 by Eric Hammel Con Thien Battle Base, an isolated hilltop position overlooking the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Vietnamese, was under siege. During the last week of August 1968, intelligence analysts with the Marines Amphibious Force III discovered that the 812th Regiment of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was preparing to cut the lifeline of Con Thiens, the main route of Supply from Cam Lo-Con Thien. In response to the threat, the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment (3/26), which would be the next battalion to roll to Con Thien, was tasked with detaching two companies from the 1st 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment (1/ 9), at a position on the road known as the Cemetery, north of Fire Base C-2 (Charlie-2), midway between Cam Lo and Con Thien. Three of the four infantry companies of the 26th March and most of the battalion's headquarters and service companies gathered at the cemetery in the late evening of 6th September 1967. The following morning, parts of India/3/26 and Mike/3/26 were ordered to conduct patrols. Both companies operated around Khe Sanh Combat Base during the summer and neither company ever operated in the Con Thien area between National Route 9 and the Demilitarized Zone. The patrols of 6 September were more orientation tours than attempts to locate the enemy. Indeed, half of the 1/9th that relieved the main part of the 3/26th had not seen the enemy for over a week.

185Free Sample Chapter 185 Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Commander 3/261 September 7th was the anniversary of my departure from the United States for Vietnam. The India Company was ordered to conduct a patrol in a northwesterly direction. Lieutenant Bill Cowan's 3rd Platoon stayed behind to take over the company position, but the rest of the company left, including Captain Wayne Coulter and Executive Lieutenant Bob Stimson. Lance Corporal CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 3/26, 1st Platoon On the morning of September 7, Sergeant Armstrong attended a meeting at CP Company. When he came back he said we were going to patrol. He was a very enthusiastic Marine and was happy to volunteer for us. He said we were going to lead the patrol. Everything was in a hurry! To move! 1st Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Director The company did well on its own, so my role as Executive Director was more tactical, assistant to the company commander, rather than administrative. I went out on patrol on the 7th of September because I left earlier when all or most of the company was on patrol. A standard infantry company then had 210 officers and enlisted men. When we entered the cemetery, we couldn't have been more than 165. We were way below. With Lieutenant Bill Cowan's 3rd Platoon being left behind to liquidate the entire corporate sector, we would be without officers. Platoons 1 and 2 were commanded by NCOs. Captain Coulter, the artillery FO, and I were the only officers on patrol. We left about 80 forts. * Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, 3/261st Platoon Commander It was a very pleasant day. There was still a lot of dew on the grass and the undulating terrain looked peaceful and calm. The birds were singing, the sky was clear, the flowers were fluttering in the wind. It reminded me of my home in eastern Nebraska. It was so beautiful that I was a little scared. He

186186 Pacifica Military History The stillness of what he saw and the chaos of the war he found himself in were a mismatch. Our job was to take a morning walk in the sun, see what we could see, and return to the battalion boundary. 1st Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Director The last civilians were forcibly evacuated from the DMZ area about a year earlier. He had once flown over the area in a helicopter as we were arriving in the country. So there were some people living in the area, but not many because there were already saturation pumps. Since no one lived there other than the Marines and the NVA, the acreage was fallow and overgrown. Several times on patrol, squads went out to check areas we couldn't see from the main body. Many of these compartments served for security purposes, for example before the main body could cross a clearing or path. They were routine events and saved us time, although the overall pace was very slow. We would have to drive slowly, even if there was no danger from nearby enemy troops. We needed three to four hours for just 1,000 to 1,200 meters in altitude, although we certainly didn't drive in a straight line. The ground was very uneven and hedgerows blocked us on all sides. This terrain was as difficult to move as any he had experienced. It was too tight, too scary. He had an uncomfortable feeling being in such dense growth. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Commander 3/261 We marched about a kilometer and the two platoons broke up. I was to patrol in one direction and Platoon 2 was to patrol in the other. We crossed fields and small devastated towns. We had a general direction to go and a general area to explore, but there were so many obstacles, buildings, forests and undergrowth that it left us quite fragmented. My method was to send two or three Marines ahead of the main squad at a faster pace while the rest of us fanned out to the sides. They were all very relaxed. Often when working on a small

187In a built-up area, I joined a team of firefighters and worked with them as they checked abandoned houses and sheds to see what we could see, looking for signs of occupation or military activity. The terrain was not particularly rough. The ground meandered here and there in small bumps. All that was below were paddy fields, and everything from the edge of the paddy fields to the top of every hill was covered with foliage. He couldn't tell if the growth was natural or if it had been planted by the Vietnamese. It was such a huge combination of trees and bushes that we couldn't see it without going inside. It was very difficult to navigate because we couldn't see far enough to find waypoints on our maps or resection to pinpoint our position. Also, our map sheets converged in this area, making it doubly difficult to be sure that a feature on the map was the feature we could see. Walking was not difficult, but navigating was difficult and tedious. Another factor that held us back was that this was our first trip to this new area. We had a very short rotation the previous 1/9th afternoon, not enough time to get details on local topography or places to look out for. It was a rule to move into a new area with fear, so moving relatively short distances took longer because we tend to be more careful. Also, I wasn't sure what our purpose for being there was. He didn't know what to look for or what to do. After a while we came to a patch of grass and found four very clear tracks in the grass where a military unit had marched four abreast. I knew we were somewhere close to the area of ​​responsibility of a 4th Marine unit, but I wasn't sure where the area began. As soon as I recognized the footprints in the grass as a sign of a large military unit passing by, I thought, my God, I had no idea the 4th Marine was so close to us! I put it on the ground and kept the train moving. Lance Corporal CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 3/26, 1st Platoon After being out a long time we saw some smoke. It was above a rice field with tall grass. We come across a large black teapot.

188188 Military History of Pacifica There was neither VC nor NVA and no one around, but the rice was boiling in the cauldron. Staff Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, 3/261st Platoon Commander A little later we emerged from a bush in sight of two blown up churches about 75 meters away. Parts of the two bell towers were still standing. I found two ruined churches on my map, but the visibility was so bad I couldn't tell if they were the same churches. I led the group to the nearest church and climbed one of the crumbling bell towers to try to find a land feature to focus on so I could pinpoint our position on my map. I climbed as high as I could to get a view of the treetops. My years as a grout welder instilled in me the habit of knowing exactly where I was so I could call fire if necessary. And he wanted to see if he could find the second train. We kept in touch on the radio but hadn't seen him since we broke up. The view, both beautiful and calm, allowed me to pinpoint our position, but I couldn't see the second train. Shortly after I climbed down from the steeple and started moving again, Captain Coulter's radio operator called and ordered us to rendezvous with Group Command and 2nd Platoon. I established a direct vector and we set off at a good pace along a small trail. The connection was uneventful and the company headed northwest. Eventually we cleared a tree line and started crossing a large open area of ​​rice fields. The open land was only about 250 meters ahead of us, to a stretch of forest to the west, but we could always see left and right, north and south. The paddy field was dry; it probably hadn't been grown in years. We cross with the 2nd train ahead and enter the forested area. It was almost noon and I waited for the commander to ask for a lunch break, but apparently he wasn't ready. As we entered the forest, we encountered a large dry stream or drainage ditch, probably eight feet deep and about ten feet wide. It didn't appear to be man-made. It had a rounded bottom and semi-slanted sides. It would take some effort to get up and out of it. The floor was dry. Trees grew along the edges.

189Free Sample Chapter 189 Cpl 1st Class CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 3/26, 1st Platoon We checked the trench as it would be a good spot for an ambush. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Commander 3/261st followed. It was easier to move there than on the rough terrain on either side. 1st Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26th Executive Director Although part of the company managed to use the drainage ditch, progress remained slow as firefighters and squads had to fight their way through bush on both sides to protect the rest of us. . Walking was as difficult for them as going out into the ditch. Lance Corporal CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 3/26, 1st Platoon I was a flanker. I was really tight over the ditch so I was inside the ditch edge most of the time. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, 3/261st Platoon Commander Suddenly at 11:50 our left flanks began to receive some sporadic fire, fire, fire and then nothing. Lance Corporal CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 03/26, 1st Platoon Shots were fired. There were many shots from various automatic weapons. I hit the deck and started returning fire. Corporal Lance Gary Lindsay was the next man to my left, about twenty feet away. I saw him fall. He knew he had been hit, but he didn't know how much. He tried to direct the fire to where they were shooting at us. They were dug up. They were only 75 to 80 feet from me. I yelled at Lindsay as soon as I could, but the guy didn't respond. I snuck up there and took a few shots as I went. Lindsay was hit in the head. He was already dead, never knew what hit him.

190190 Pacifica Military History The NVA kept firing at us and I kept firing at them, but I felt like I had to get Lindsay in the foxhole. I couldn't leave it out there. *Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Commander 3/261 We had no way of knowing how many EVN there were, a lone gunman, a firefighting team or whatever. In the direction from which the fire came, to our left and ahead to our left, there was a flat meadow, and beyond that, 75 to 100 yards away, was another dense line of trees through which I could not see the light that day. it shone on this line of trees, but the vegetation was so dense that he could not see the rays. 1st Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Director The company command group was in the middle of the column in the trench. Once the flankers were hit, Captain Coulter began to fight back, but the troops also fought back on their own. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Commander 3/261 We immediately put up a hasty defence. More or less instinctively, the unit chiefs pushed the troops out of the trench to form a perimeter of 20 to 30 meters in our direction of march. If the front was twelve, then the perimeter was nine to three to twelve. The second move was to the right, from twelve to three, and my first move was to the left, from nine to twelve. The company command, the two platoon commanders and part of the troop stood in the middle of the perimeter, in the ditch. I have ordered everyone to stay where they are and not attempt to attack the enemy position. Near the ditch were some low, waist-high bushes. Troops used them as cover. My radio operator told me that the message on the corporate network was that 2nd Platoon had wounded three of their flankers in the first salvo. No one said anything, but I assumed Captain Coulter was calling a medic over the battalion network and we would wait until the WIAs left.

191Free Sample Chapter 191 There were some shots and some explosions, RPGs or grenades, but I don't think anyone in the trench could see the enemy. could not *Captain TOM EARLY 3/26 Communications Officer When the India Company made contact at 11:50 am, the first message we heard from CP Battalion was the noise of small arms over the Battalion's tactical radio network. We then received verbal reports that they had reached out. We found out where they were and that they were immobilized. 1st Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Officers' radio equipment at the time only provided platoon-level radios. We do not rate radios. According to the book, an infantry company executive failed to evaluate a radio. However, based on our experience, we acquired more than we had qualified for. Captain TOM EARLY 3/26 Communications Officer The primary radio we used was the Marine PRC-25. For anyone who was around for more than a year or two during the transition from the PRC-8, -9, and -10, suddenly even one type of communication sounded good because of their radios. The main benefit of the PRC-25 was that it worked when you turned it on. This made everyone not only happy, but also shocked, because this was not the case with previous radio stations. The PRC-25 was a VHF FM radio and we depended on it. It was used not only in the battalion's communications network, connecting the battalion commander to all his company commanders, but also in each company's tactical network. I would give any company the amount of PRC-25 they need; He had privileges to hand out, so whoever had a good reason got some. In many cases, the company's tactical network would span not only the company commander and platoon commanders, but also the reach of these additional radios. It would also cover squad leaders and platoon sergeants.

192192 Military History of Pacifica 1st Lt. BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Officer I had my own radio operator and we had radio communications at more or less squadron level, although I doubt every squadron had one. The result was that everyone's demand for reports was high. People got their asses if they didn't get on the radio right away and let the next level know what was going on. Everyone in the chain of command was aware of this. I know it was me, so the natural inclination was to honk your horn right away and let the next man in the chain of command know, because if you didn't, you'd know a voice was coming. about the channel asking why you didn't get in touch. Militarily, adherence to reporting procedures has resulted in many missed opportunities to take advantage of situations. The North Vietnamese were not constrained by similar requirements, allowing them to keep moving. It was the hallmark of the NVA to fight us from the side, for example, and within a minute or two you had to be ready to be attacked from the rear. They were experts at it. So while the Marines played around with that incriminating situation report, the casualties, the number and type of shots expended, all of that was kept in the statistical quagmire of the Vietnam War, the NVA infantry fired and maneuvered against us. They figured out how to beat us while we were saddled with all the statistics the Marines and the Department of Defense needed to determine if and by how much we would win the war. It was crazy! Captain TOM EARLY 3/26 India Company Communications Officer relayed the message to our battalion CP group through the battalion tactical network. In Vietnam, very few of our networks had security devices. Therefore, if something was reported on an unprotected network, it was assumed that the enemy who had captured many PRC-25s was on that frequency. We assumed that NVA was monitoring everything and knew exactly what we were doing. This gave the NVA a tremendous advantage as they knew exactly how the Indian company was pinned down, where it was pinned down, what they were asking for fire support and what

193Free Sample Chapters 193 help they needed. The NVA knew all the essential information probably as quickly as the battalion's CP group. 1st Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Officer As soon as the shooting started some of the more adventurous squadron leaders fired and maneuvered and did what infantrymen were supposed to do. But others and their superiors, the platoon commanders, Captain Coulter and I, had to report the situation upriver before we could do anything about the battle. Once we did that, it was too late to blow up everything we were involved in. In the meantime, I'm pretty sure all the NVA were shooting, maneuvering, or trying to estimate what they were up against. The closest NVA to my position was very close, certainly no more than 25 yards. There were small open spaces in the area, but it was mostly tall bushes, tall grass, and trees. If they were further away, they would never have seen us. His vision was as obscured by dense vegetation as ours. I'm pretty sure the guys who found us first didn't see us until they were directly above us. I'm sure they didn't know if we were a platoon, a company or a battalion. When trying to figure out what we were, most of our guides didn't. We all try to get in touch. I provided information from platoons and squadrons to Captain Coulter and the battalion. It wasn't until we completed the first wave of reports that we started trying to send commandos and fire teams in a centrally organized and controlled manner to see what we were dealing with. We did what they did, but later. * Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG India Company, Platoon Commander 3/261 Shortly after establishing our hurried defense line, I asked my squadron leaders to report. Two of them responded immediately, but the last one, Sergeant Alexander Chisholm of my 2nd Squadron, did not respond. Scotty Chisholm was an interesting guy. He was 28 years old and originally from Scotland. He had served in the British Army in a Highland unit for five or six years and had finished his education. i think he could

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194194 Pacifica Military Stories were official. He was not a US citizen, but he had a green card, which put him in first place in the draft. He was an exceptional land navigator; It depended a lot on him. I don't think there was any place in Vietnam he couldn't take us. Thanks to him, 1st Platoon was at the center of the company almost every time we were away. Scotty didn't respond when I asked the squadron leaders to report so I had to ask him to report. She finally came to me and said I think Lindsay might have been hurt. This was Corporal Lance Gary Lindsay, the leader of the 2nd Fire Team of the 2nd Squadron. Chisholm and Lindsay were very close training partners. I asked are you sure? No, not sure, he replied. I yelled across the field to the left of the ditch where we thought Lindsay would be. Around eight-thirty I could see someone's shoulder and boot. They were about 15 meters away. There was no response, so I climbed over the edge of the ditch and accelerated. I fell to the ground, rolled over, got up and kept running. I did this a few times until I was only a few feet away from Lindsay, then I yelled Lindi, dammit! Still no reaction, so I crawled over to him, reached out and grabbed him. I was soft. I turned him over and saw that his head had a big hole in it. He was dead, but I called a doctor, adding that I wanted some men to help him out. One of the medics answered and he and two or three Marines did what I did, running and rolling until they caught up with us. Lance Corporal CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 3/26, 1st Platoon Gary Lindsay was one of the best guys I met in Vietnam. He was there when I arrived and took me under his wing. He taught me the ropes. He was a good talker and a very strong man, a bodybuilder. I always laughed. Lindsay was an excellent Marine and a good friend. He taught me not to make friends there, but he was my friend.

195Free Sample Chapter 195 1st Lt. BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Director Lance Corporal Lindsay was one of the stars at the Battle of Hill 689 in late June. He really asserted himself there, showed a lot of strength that afternoon. Lance Corporal CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 3/26, 1st Platoon Lindsay was strong-built and big-boned; he was muscular and heavy. And he had all his gear. It was difficult to move. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Leader 3/261 The troops removed their belts and tucked them under Lindsay's arms. When they were ready to move it, I went back and crawled into the ditch. Most of the men were in charge of a perimeter. Only the company command and one or two platoons remained in the trench. Also Scotty Chisholm. As the troops dragging Lindsay pushed him to the edge of the ditch, I looked directly at Scotty, who was sitting on the bank. He had piercing blue eyes, but now they seemed to look 5,000 meters into the distance. In his mind, he was sure, it was a long way from Vietnam. Scotty was the most efficient squadron leader I've ever had. He was supposed to rotate with me and most of the rest of the old battalion. I decided then and there that, as soon as we got back to the battalion border that night, I would get him a job in the rear. I was exhausted; I had enough. *First Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Director They continued to investigate us with fire. With that, we wanted to get a response from our M-60s and mortars to see how impressive we are as a unit. I'm sure they moved around us, maneuvering closer and closer to find out who we were. I was busy. I was also very cautious and scared. However, I think the professional skills we developed worked for us. Despite having a late start due to reports, we knew what we had to do.

196196 Military History of the Pacific and we did it. They all knew and they all did. Captain Coulter and I never worked in the same location, so I'm not sure what he did other than answer questions from the battalion. While the captain continued to talk to the battalion, I moved around and provided tactical support to the platoons and squadrons. The company command group remained in the trench, but I moved everywhere outside the trench. I think we were initially vetted by several firefighters from very small NVA units. I was never sure because my vision was limited by the brush. But what I heard, bursts of small arms fire at intervals from different locations, led me to this conclusion. They seemed to move around a lot so I had no idea how many firefighters there were. The entire NVA squad may have only been one or two squads total, but they kept us very busy and confused, firing from several different locations around our position. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Commander 3/261 I was very worried. I had no idea what was in store for us, no idea what was in store for us. I knew most of my men only had two or three weeks left. One of my temporary workers was dead, another seemed to have lost its effectiveness. Whatever enemies were out there, we contained them with cannon fire. They were close, but too far away to reach us or be hit with hand grenades by us. Our fire was reactionary; Every time they fired from the forest, we returned fire. We didn't know what we were shooting at; we couldn't see anyone. We just fired at the source of their fire, muzzle flashing when we could see them. When their fire stopped, ours stopped. We didn't fire again until they started shooting again. In time, all three of the wounded flanks and Lindsay were carried into the trench by 2nd Platoon, but another Marine who did not respond to calls could not be recovered from the bomb crater into which he had fallen. Enemy fire was so intense that no one could reach him. I heard that the captain called a rescue helicopter, but there was a long delay.

197Free Sample Chapters 197 Captain TOM EARLY 3/26 Communications Officer It took a long time to get the helicopters from Phu Bai or wherever they had come from. Our order had to go through the helicopter request network, it had to be confirmed, and then they had to send the helicopters. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, Platoon Commander 3/261 I also heard that the captain had requested air support but, like the medical evacuation, it was delayed. Captain TOM EARLY 3/26 Communications Officer Above was an AO [Air Observer]. The AOs were always on the same frequencies. We knew these frequencies; we all had them in our notebooks. Any CP could come and talk to him, ask him any questions he wanted. The AO was an artillery officer who could assist our FOs on the ground or call in artillery himself. You can also call naval fire when a ship is on station, or you can fly fixed-wing when there are fixed-wing aircraft in the area, or you can help Arty FO on the ground see exactly where the rounds need to go. enemy positions. This allowed us to control air from the ground with the FAC or from the air with the AO. It was certainly easier for the AO because he was up there and could see more dogs and birds from this little plane. * The AO was aboard a single-engine Bird Dog light observation aircraft. He reached the India Company position 30 minutes after the initial exchange of fire. Circulating widely, he spots an NVA bunker and six NVA soldiers in battle holes. He also reported that one of the NVA soldiers had an automatic weapon. The AO requested immediate air support. Normally, it took Navy fighter-bombers based in Danang on the coast at least 30 minutes to take off and reach the station along the DMZ. Therefore, they should arrive around 1 pm, about 70 minutes after the first shots were fired. *

198198 Pacifica Military History Lance Corporal CHUCK BENNETT India Company, 3/26th, 1st Platoon The NVA continued firing at us. They would fire and then move and fire again. It was an intermittent fire. They searched, trying to find out what we had. Fast vehicles arrived and dropped bombs near us. They had to cover us up so we could get out of there. They landed right on top of us, very close. They shook the ground very hard. Sergeant RUSS ARMSTRONG Indian Company, 3/261st Platoon Commander 2d Platoon succeeded in recovering the Marines from the bomb crater. By the time they reached him, he was dead. 1st Lieutenant BOB STIMSON India Company, 3/26 Executive Officer Suddenly he calmed down. I think they left because they found what they wanted to find out. We had to take the wounded to an LZ [landing zone] about 100 meters from our point of attack. They were all serious enough that I had to use them. An H-34 arrived and picked them all up, but the two dead Marines were not taken. * The medical evacuation took place at 1:20 pm, 90 minutes after the first shots were fired and at least an hour after the medical evacuations were called. At 1:25 pm, the AO conducted another fixed-wing attack. The pilots claimed four NVA-confirmed kills. When the India Company returned to the main body of the battalion at 14:00, the AO spotted an NVA squadron about 400 meters northwest of the original point of contact. He asked for artillery fire. The guns were fired, but the AO was unable to determine the result. Around the same time, and several hundred meters southwest of the original point of contact, the AO located a new trail and many new bunkers nearby. Although 1/9 reported that there were no contacts at the cemetery, many NVA lived in the area. The India Company contact and AO sightings were not considered significant. Given the number of NVA's in the area, it was inevitable that the Marines would encounter them from time to time.

199199 free sample chapters

200200 Pacifica Military History Aircraft Carrier Disengagement The Invasion of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the East Solomon Islands August 1942 By Eric Hammel The Battle of the East Solomon Islands was the third aircraft carrier to fall in history. In a US Navy and Imperial Navy aircraft carrier collision following the invasion of Guadalcanal, an airfield the United States desperately needed and which the Japanese were eager to recapture, the battle was fought at sea in and around Guadalcanal , the Lunga-Naval Perimeter besieged August 24, 1942. Based on the first half of Eric Hammels' acclaimed battle history, 1987's Guadalcanal: The Carrier Battles, and primarily on key new information from Japanese and American sources, Carrier Clash reveals many of the mysteries and misconceptions that have become this complex. . struggle for more than half a century. Beginning with detailed accounts of the carrier's history, the evolution of aircraft tactics, carrier pilot training, and countless operational considerations that defined the way aircraft battles should be fought, Carrier Clash takes the reader to the heart of of brave fighter pilots of the US Navy Air protects its ships and the Guadalcanal invasion fleet from determined Japanese air attacks on August 7 and 8, 1942. After setting the stage for the Battle of the Solomon Islands on August 24, author Hammel places the reader directly in the cockpits of the US Navy Dauntless Bombers as they dive onto the Imperial Navy aircraft carrier Ryujo and bombard the ship with 500-pound bombs. . Once again in this bizarre battle against each other, the US Navy's Wildcat fighter pilots must defend their ships against attacks by Imperial Navy Val dive bomber pilots determined to sink US aircraft carriers or die trying. Hammel's account of the bombing damage to the USS Enterprise and its crew's subsequent rescue and firefighting efforts is particularly compelling.

201Free Samples Chapter 201 Carrier Clash is the definitive combat story of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the third battle in history (of only five) between American and Japanese aircraft carriers. Critical Praise for Carrier Clash: The Bookwatch Says: Carrier Clash takes the reader through the skies with fearless US Navy pilots. . [It is] an important contribution to the military history of the World War II battle for control of the Pacific. The Book World says: Carrier Clash is a stark revelation of a complex encounter. Military Magazine says: Mr. Hammel presents the entire battle in a clear and easy-to-understand manner, while interspersing interesting views of the [Battle of the Eastern Solomon Islands] as seen by participants on both sides. Military Review says: The book is filled with excellent graphics (maps), orders of battle, and other hard-to-find details. Although Hammel portrays naval battles on land and sea, his forte is his vivid depiction of aerial combat during the [Guadalcanal] Invasion and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Canadian Military History Says: Eric Hammel continues his tradition of well-crafted, gripping books on the Pacific War with this account of the aircraft carrier battles that accompanied the American landings on Guadalcanal. . . . There is no denying that this is an excellent read and an excellent companion to Hammel's other books on the Guadalcanal campaign. Sea Power says: Acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel presents a seminal history of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. . . Drawing on recently declassified information from American and Japanese sources and many other archival sources, Hammel brings a fresh perspective

202202 Pacifica Military History the outcome of the war as a whole. . . . [It] accurately and insightfully describes the major events in the Guadalcanal/East Solomon campaigns, the strategic implications of the battle, and the impact on the overall battle plans of both adversaries. Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book CARRIER CLASH: The Invasion of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, August 1942, by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in paperback for $27.50, published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. DESPERATE GAM by Eric Hammel Copyright 1997 by Eric Hammel It is unclear what RAdm Sadayoshi Yamada and his staff and commanders had in mind when they authorized the 5th Air Strike Force's second mission on 7 August. Zeros escorted nearly all of the 4th Air Group's operational Bettys to the Tulagi area, and Rabaul's air command felt that an attack by a US Navy aircraft carrier was imminent. But someone must have convinced Admiral Yamadaor, perhaps convinced himself, that he had not done enough to attack the Allied invasion fleet around Tulagi. Shortly after Bettys of the 4th Air Group finished taking off, nine of the sixteen Aichi D3A Vals newly arrived from the 2nd Air Group were also launched from their base at Rabaul. But unlike the long-distance Bettys and Zeros, this task force had no hope of returning from the mission. If he flew to Tulagi, he couldn't even get back to Buka Strip. All vals must be sacrificed. A seaplane and a Mavis seaplane were sent to rescue the pilots and crew stranded on the Shortland Islands near Bougainville to the south, but no one could put much faith in that plan.

203Free Sample Chapters 203 The Val was an aircraft carrier bomber with a range of around 275 miles, which in most cases was sufficient for an aircraft carrier bomber, but not even close to being replaced as a land based bomber under the prevailing conditions on February 7, 1942... .in the region attacked by the Allies. No additional fuel tanks were foreseen in the aircraft's design, no way to accumulate significant additional miles. Furthermore, in the 2nd Air Group's inventory, the land-based Waltz carried only two 60-kilogram wing-mounted bombs and no 250-kilogram center bomb. If they attacked the Allied ships off Tulagi, there was very little hope that their bombs would sink or even do much damage. There must be no battle escort. 2nd Air Group Zero Squadron was equipped with short-range Zero Interceptors that could not fly as far as the short-range Waltzes, and there seemed to be no point in having an escort of only six long-range Zero Groups to be dispatched. from Tainan Air. . , that's all that the experienced group of ground fighters left in operational condition at the Lakunai airfield. Nine 2d Air Group Waltz under the command of Hikotaicho, Lieutenant Fumito Inoue, began taking off at 10:30 am. of bombers and fighters based in New Guinea, mainly around Port Moresby. It was no feat for the US Army Air Forces to provide much-needed assistance in the Southwest Pacific conflict, but it did. B-26 medium bombers flown by the 22nd Medium Bombardment Group of V Bomber Command attacked Lae during the day to prevent Imperial Navy bombers and fighters from being taken to Rabaul to launch attacks against the invasion fleet in company from Guadalcanal. And at 12:20, thirteen B-17 heavy bombers from the 19th Heavy Bombardment Group, based in Australia and refueling in Port Moresby, attacked Rabauls Vunakanau airfield. At the forefront of the attack was Lieutenant Colonel Richard Carmichael, the veteran commander of the 19th Bomb Group. The attack on Vunakanau was far from selfless. Allied intelligence suspected that 150 Imperial Navy fighters and bombers were deployed

204204 Pacifica Military History and another fifty aircraft were based at Lakunai. It was as important to Allied Commands in New Guinea as it was to Allied Commands in the South Pacific that these forces be reduced. A B-17 taking off from Port Moresby crashed before it could take off, and two B-17s returned to base with mechanical problems minutes after takeoff. One of the returning B-17s was flown by Captain Harl Pease, who immediately transferred his crew to another heavy bomber known to be in less than ideal condition. Pease joined the remainder of the task force at Vunakanau, where the heavy machinery was intercepted by fifteen short-range Zeros from the 2nd Air Group and three long-range Zeros from the Tainan Air Group. Captain Peases' bomber managed to drop the bombs aboard his plane, but the B-17 was attacked by several Zeros and eventually removed from the pack. It continued to fall behind the rest of the group, eventually falling out of the sky, seemingly killing everyone on board. Captain Pease received a posthumous Medal of Honor. No Japanese aircraft were grounded or even damaged, and no Zeros were shot down, although B-17 gunners claimed seven. The airstrip at Vunakanau, which suffered only minor damage, was repaired long before Lt. Renpei Egawa and LCdr Tadashi Nakajima returned with their 4th Bettys Air Group and Tainan Air Group Zeros. Shortly afterwards General Kenney of the Allied Air Forces, who would go on to become a distinguished combat commander, learned by decoded radio that the 5th Air Strike Force had thirty Bettys operating out of Vunakanau that night. Kenney derived this number from the very high intelligence miscalculations that led to the midday attack on Vunakanau and announced that the B-17 19th Heavy Bombardment Group had destroyed 75 Japanese bombers on the ground. Indeed, the number of Bettys available at Rabaul increased at 9 pm when a Misawa Air Group chutai arrived from Tinian in the Mariana Islands. It was the arrival of these Bettys that led to Admiral Yamada's report that led to General Kenney's error of judgment. * After the engagement with the 4th ended, energy and engagement aboard US Navy aircraft carriers off Guadalcanal was frantic

205Chapter 205 Air Group Bettys and Tainan Air Group Zeros Free Sample. Many fighters were launched from the three carriers and search missions were sent to look for downed fighter pilots on Guadalcanal and in the sea near Santa Isabel. By 1400, there were forty-four Wildcats on the carriers and eighteen in the invasion fleet. Also at 2:00 pm, the commander of the invasion fleet, RAdm Richmond Kelly Turner, raised a strange false alarm. Fighting-6's battle with the Bettys was not over at Santa Isabel when Turner warned that a Japanese dive bomber attack was imminent. And then Task Force 61 sent out a warning that 25 enemy bombers would attack from an altitude of 8,000 feet. At the time, there were no Japanese aircraft near Guadalcanal or the carriers, but these warnings made everyone nervous, as the implication was that Japanese carriers were in the area, despite US naval intelligence. The US correctly reported that all Japanese aircraft carriers were in local waters. . The false alarm was not caused by any of the Allied Coast Guards hiding in central or northern Solomon Islands, as Lieutenant Inoues of the 2nd Valchutai Air Group skirted the northern island chain at nearly 10,000 feet, out of the Guard's line of sight. Coastal. Seasons This track brought the waltzes to the North Island side of Florida at 2:30 pm. They were out of range of US Navy radar and US Navy combat patrols. Upon seeing his dive bombers engaging the invasion fleet, Inoue signaled to turn south. There were clouds over Task Force 62's northern flotilla, but Inoue had a clear view of many ships to the south facing Guadalcanal. As the Val Chutai closed in on these ships, Inoue directed the three-plane Shotai under WO Gengo Ota to engage a force of cruisers and destroyers to the west, while the remaining six Val went after the beach-anchored transports. * The first American to realize that an attack was underway was Lt. Scoop Vorse leading some other Fighting 6 Wildcats across the west harbor of Guadalcanal. Vorse looked down from 11,000 feet in time to see Petty Officer Otas Shotai roll in his dive to the battleships below. Vorse was overpowered, a feeling he overcame in a split second and rolled straight into a free fall. To be

206Two wingers saw him go but could not follow and saw no targets in time to see what was happening. A little late, lucky to have hit the mark. Vorse could barely keep up with the deep waltz. The best he could do now was park well behind the rear Val and open fire at long range. With all the big targets ahead, lots of cruisers, for some reason Petty Officer Ota turned his attention to the Mugford, an old destroyer that was on the western anti-submarine screen. At 2:47 pm, according to Mugford records, a lookout spotted two fixed-gear aircraft emerging from a cloud over the ship's stern and heading straight for them. The sailor shouted a warning and then saw two more planes come out of the cloud. Although he wasn't sure what was happening, the captain of the Mugfords instinctively ordered a sharp turn to starboard. Ota and his wing followed the destroyer around the turn and dropped their four 60-kilogram bombs. Otas missed the ship's starboard side, but one of Koji Takahashi's PO2 bombs hit Mugford's aft superstructure, killing twenty-one of her crew. The third Val, commanded by PO2 Minoru Iwaoka and piloted by S1 Seiki Nakamoto, did not move on the wounded destroyer, nor on any other ship. Perhaps Scoop Vorse killed Iwaoka or Nakamoto with their guns blazing the entire time; Bullets from it certainly hit the val, as the plane's descent was marred by a cloud of smoke. Whatever happened, the Val dove right into the water without queuing up for a boat or opening the dive brakes. One points for Lieutenant Scoop Vorse, who wanted to chase after Ota and Takahashi but couldn't find them. * The six Vals of the 2nd Air Group, led by Lieutenant Fumito Inoue, never reached Allied transports. Crossing the channel between Florida and Guadalcanal at 10,000 feet, they were spotted by Lieutenant Hayden Jensen, whose Fighting 5 section was part of a six-aircraft division led by Lieutenant Dick Gray. Although the Waltzes were 3,000 feet above the Wildcats and well to the west, Jensen looked right at them as they appeared. He did indeed spot the Waltzes when three of them, Petty Officer Otas, broke free and fired to attack the warships further west.

207Free Sample Chapters 207 Instead of filling the hunting channel, Jensen ran to the head of the hunting department and flapped his wings to sound the alarm. He then went full steam ahead and led the way into Waltz's larger group. During the ascent, a Wildcat crashed when its pilot discovered that its weapons were inoperable. Around the time that the Grays division led by Jensen began scaling the six Vals of the 2nd Air Group, Lieutenant Dave Richardson and Ens Charles Davy of Fighting-5 spotted the same enemy bombers from their position at 13,000 feet and north. . When Richardson descended, he hoped to arrive in time to rendezvous with the Waltzes before combat dives began on one of the channel's attractive targets. If the Waltzes ducked before Richardson and Davy reached them, those wildcats would have no way of messing up the dam. Lieutenant Inoue likely saw five of Dick Grey's wild cats coming towards his waltz and this apparently caused him to change his aim. There was no way to reach the transports before his slow dive bombers were hit by carrier fighters, so he opted for what he believed was a much closer light cruiser. In fact, it was another old destroyer, the Dewey, that was to the west of the transports, protecting it from submarine attacks. The Waltzes had just changed course to board the Dewey when Lieutenant Jensen came within range of Division Commander Grays. Jensen attacked from the side on a slight rise and fired on the next Val, who staggered in flight as the bullets clearly found their target. The injured Val broke away from the rest of the group and headed for the water. Jensen stayed with him and fired the entire time. The Dewey and other ships opened fire on anything in the air. Huge tufts of time-fused 5-inch anti-aircraft missiles and trackers blossomed and snaked at every level, from slightly taller than the US Navy's Japanese dive bombers to slightly lower fighters. But the rest of the Grays division continued. Lieutenant (jg) Carlton Starkes and Lieutenant Marion Dulfiho followed the Waltzes on their dive, firing on any targets that presented themselves. Ens Mark Bright had so much speed that he rolled over the back Val. Ignoring the threat of dive bombers with two hooded 7.7mm machine guns, he pressed his attack against the approaching Val and was answered with a 7.7mm beam.

208208 Pacifica Military History rounds from its spotter gunner. Undeterred, Bright held her course until flames erupted between the fixed landing gear and spread back and forth. Lieutenant Grey, following Bright, fired a shot into Val's back, but realized someone better be on the lookout for more attackers, so he stopped abruptly and got to his feet. Lieutenant Richardson and Ensign Davy did not arrive in time to defeat the Waltzes in their dive, so they fell back and, like Dick Gray, sought more attackers. Lieutenant Inoue and PO3 Seiji Sato reached the drop point on the Dewey without being hit by flak or fired directly by the Wildcats. All four of her bombs failed. Seconds later, two rear Shotai Waltz reached the launch point, but their bombs also missed the twisted destroyer. It was then that Mach Don Runyon arrived on the scene with the other three members of his Fighting 6 Wildcat Division. Alarmed by the conversation in the hunting channel, Runyon knew where to go and what to do when he got there. Dodging friendly fire from below, he attacked the first Val he could get his sights on. It should have been correct, but the dive bomber was hit by Runyon's second section leader, AP1 Howard Packard. The Val definitely crashed from Lunga, and all credit to Packard, but it is certain that this aircraft took damage under the guns of Dulfiho, Starkes and Runyon, and perhaps Jensen and Bright as well. Lieutenant Dulfiho spotted one of the survivors of the Shotai rear guard as he completed his recovery in front of the Dewey. This Val headed south and tried to avoid it by flying through the mountainous interior of Guadalcanal. The experienced Wildcat pilot, whose first mission was an aircraft carrier attack in February, closed to within 50 meters of the Vals' stern and opened fire. Unfortunately, at the crucial moment, Dulfiho's windshield was covered with oil gushing from his own engine. He broke through the canopy and ducked, resuming fire and trying to align his aim with the fall of his tracker. But it was useless and Dulfiho cut contact. By this time, AP1 was on Packard's trail and doing his best to catch up with the fleeing Val. But Don Runyon got there first, front and bottom, and Packard winger Ens Dutch Shoemaker boxed him in from the wing. The three

209Free Sample Chapters 209 The Wildcats fired as the Val flew into a ravine and exploded. Runyon was the head of the department; have the credit. Lieutenant Inoue and one of his companions escaped. However, the Shotai leader of the rear, WO Seisuke Nakagaki, was fired upon and claimed individually by Ens Mark Bright and Mach Don Runyon as he pulled away from the Allied ships. Nakagaki was then captured by Ens Dutch Shoemaker and Runyon's winger Ens Harry March as he approached Savo on a course for the Shortland Islands. As Shoemaker prepared for a run on the high side, March roared on Waltz's tail and fired despite a hail of bullets fired by Nakagaki's gunner. March thought his bullets had started a fire, but Lieutenant Hayden Jensen, closing in quickly, thought the plume of white smoke was from a non-fatal pipeline rupture. Anyway, Jensen closed in on the wounded Val and fired shots from 350 meters below. Its bullets definitely set the oft-injured Nakagakis on fire, and the dive bomber landed safely in the water. Almost everyone involved received full official credit for this single victory. In all, the nine Fighting-5 and Fighting-6 Wildcat pilots attacking Lieutenant Inoue's Six Waltzes achieved thirteen complete victories, with Lieutenant Scoop Vorse claiming one of the three Waltzes attacking the Mugford. The warships firing at the waltz claimed two. * The four survivors of the 2nd Air Group, claiming a damaged light cruiser, reached the Shortland Islands around 17:00. Warrant Officer Ota and Warrant Officer Takahashi got their waltzes into the water as planned, and the four airmen swam. wait mavis It didn't take long for Lieutenant Inoue and his wing to float the seaplane near the rendezvous point. Inoue and his observer were rescued by the ship when it reached the scene, but the second pilot and his companion simply disappeared. In exchange for superficially damaging a US Navy destroyer and killing twenty-one of her crew with one of the eighteen 160-pound bombs carried 600 miles from Rabault, the 2nd Air Group lost all nine Val and twelve of the eighteen pilots and observers. *

210210 Pacifica Military History All Fighting 5 pilots involved in the confrontation with Inoues Vals disembarked on board the Saratoga in time. Vorse, Runyon, Packard, and March barely made it back to the Enterprise with the last of their fuel, and Dutch Shoemaker landed aboard Saratoga. A Fighting-71 Wildcat left a night patrol over the transports, became separated from its division and was lost. It ran out of fuel over Guadalcanal and crashed into a stand of trees far from friendly lines. The wounded pilot ended up in the hands of the Marines almost a week later, but this was another Wildcat that had disappeared from Frank Jack Fletcher's original Ninety-Nine. Later, around 1730, Ens Dutch Shoemaker, Ens Earl Cook, and Mach Pat Nagle, all of Fighting-6, were dropped from Saratoga to fly an ad hoc combat air patrol over the transports. Nobody needed to send fighters to a distant station so close to dusk, but someone in authority was clearly intrigued by the day's two bombing raids. Shoemakers Wildcat suffered an engine failure on the way out and was nearly shot down on the way home by fellow Fighting 6 pilots who recognized their Wildcat at the last moment and took it to their ship. Cook and Nagle were ordered back to the Enterprise as soon as they reported to the station. Nagle developed an unknown issue on postback. Although Cook reported completing a successful water landing, he was never seen again. Ensign Cook called for help returning to the ship by radar and the porters even flashed their deck lights to guide her, but she kept failing and finally reported that she had run out of fuel at 7:15 pm. He was never seen again. , any. It has been speculated that the two Enterprise Wildcats never refueled during their hour-long stay aboard the Saratoga, an understandable omission on such a busy day but no less tragic in its consequences.

211Free Sample Chapters 211

212212 Pacifica Military History STRIKE The Battle of Santa Cruz Islands October 1942 By Eric Hammel The Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, a strategic naval engagement in the bitter Guadalcanal Campaign, was the fourth naval battle in history between aircraft carriers and aircraft carriers. Although technically a Japanese victory, the battle turned out to be the last serious attempt by the Japanese Empire to win the Pacific War through an all-out confrontation with the aircraft carriers. In the Pacific War, there was only one more aircraft carrier battle in the Philippine Sea in June 1944. By then, however, the US Navy's Aircraft Carrier Task Force was operational and the fleet increasingly Japan's smallest aircraft carrier was outnumbered and outnumbered. Although hundreds of Japanese naval aviators died in the June 1920, 1944, Greater Marianas Turkey Shoot, it was during the first four carrier battles in the six-month period from early May to late October 1942 that the The fate of Japan's elite small naval aviation arm fleet was sealed. In the Coral Sea, the Japanese giant was blunted over the Pacific in May. By mid-June, Japan's large fleet of aircraft had been reduced to a manageable size. And it was off the eastern Solomons in August and Santa Cruz in October that Japan's last best carrier groups were reduced to dust. After the technical victory at Santa Cruz, the Japanese withdrew their aircraft carriers from the South Pacific and could never again use them as a strategic weapon. Of the four Japanese aircraft carriers that participated in the Battle of Santa Cruz, only one survived the war. After Santa Cruz and the subsequent series of air and surface engagements known as the Battle of Guadalcanal, the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Navy was never again involved in any significant strategic engagement with the US Pacific Fleet. Subsequent surface wars in the Solomon Islands were clearly Japanese victories, with short-lived results. After November 1942, Japan lacked the stamina and willpower to wage strategic warfare with its navy. Once experienced carrier groups were destroyed

213Free Sample Chapter 213 East Solomon Islands and Santa Cruz, Japanese aircraft carriers ceased to be a strategic weapon. The confrontation at Santa Cruz was counted as a Japanese victory, as US naval forces withdrew from the battlefield. In this way, victory and defeat are strictly determined. But on the broader strategic level, the US Navy won at Santa Cruz because it achieved its strategic objective of holding the line and buying time. Japan failed in its strategic objective of defeating the US Pacific Fleet in a final, decisive all-or-nothing battle. The technical victory cost Japan any serious hope of winning the naval war in the Pacific. The victory at Santa Cruz cost Japan its last great hope of winning the Pacific War. Once again, author and historian Eric Hammel brings the reading public a gripping narrative, filled with the latest information and written in the haunting style readers have enjoyed for nearly two decades in nearly thirty acclaimed military history books. . Like its companion volume, Carrier Clash, this new book is based on American and Japanese combat reports and the reminiscences of the many airmen and sailors involved. Critical Acclaim for Eric Hammel's Previous Books on the Guadalcanal Campaign: Sea Power Says: Acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel presents a seminal history of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. . . Drawing on recently declassified information from American and Japanese sources and many other archival sources, Hammel brings a new perspective on the outcome of the war as a whole. . . . [It] accurately and insightfully describes the major events in the Guadalcanal/East Solomon campaigns, the strategic implications of the battle, and the impact on the overall battle plans of both adversaries. Kirkus Reviews says: Hammel is an expert at conveying the horrors of firefighting a ship. . . as it provides concise assessments by superiors. . . . Official stories aside, [Guadalcanal: The Carrier

214214 Pacifica Military History Battles is] the most comprehensive tribute to date of the carrier battles of Guadalcanal; commendable. Lansing State Journal says: For military fans, [Guadalcanal: Starvation Island] is an excellent resource. For the casual reader, it is a well-written account of one of the most important moments in American history. ALA Booklist says: [Eric Hammel] effectively uses the participants' accounts of the battle to add a vivid dimension to the battles. . . Library Journal says: Hammel does not write a dry story. His fight sequences are masterfully portrayed. Canadian Military History says: Hammel's descriptions of combat on land, in the air, and at sea are written quickly and engagingly, and he has a knack for weaving characters and circumstances into an easy-to-read story. The book world says, [Guadalcanal: Starvation Island] is bare, bare and brutal. . . . It's an excellent, hard-fought account of the genius of war and is often worthy of inclusion in any library worthy of the name.

215Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book CARRIER STRIKE: The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, October 1942, by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $22.95 paperback edition published by Zenith Press. It is also available as an eBook edition. AMBUSH! by Eric Hammel Copyright 1999 by Eric Hammel The first American bombers, seven Scouting-8s and eight Bombing-8 Dauntlesses under the command of Scouting-8s LCdr Gus Widhelm, did not begin liftoff until 0732, almost twenty minutes after the first Japanese launch. The Dauntlesses were followed by six Avengers under the command of Torpedo 6 Commander Lieutenant Iceberg Parker. The last aircraft were two divisions of Fighting-72 under the command of Squadron Commander LCdr Mike Sanchez. This attack, under the overall command of Lieutenant Commander Widhelm, was aimed at the last reported position of the Japanese carriers. The next strike group left the Enterprise at around 07:50, nearly twenty minutes into Widehelm's attack. This force was led by Cdr Dick Gaines, commander of Air Group 10, who flew his own Avenger commando. It consisted of just three Bombing-10 Dauntless piloted by Scouting-10 pilots; seven Avengers under the Commander of Torpedo-10, LCdr Jack Collett; and eight Wildcats under Fighting-10 LCdr Jimmy Flatley. Several Avengers were available aboard Enterprise, but could not be launched for this impromptu mission because three Avenger flight crews were trapped aboard the anti-aircraft destroyers that exploded during the night landing fiasco. In addition, two crews from Torpedo 10 were temporarily stranded aboard Hornet, having been forced to spend the night after transporting two spare TBFs in the late morning. The irrelevant display of

216216 Pacifica Military History Enterprise dive bombers was the result of morning search and anti-submarine patrol maintenance requirements for the entire task force. The Enterprise strike party, such as it was, took a long time to get started. Torpedo 10 Lieutenant Doc Norton, who was one of the last in line, saw each pilot stop in front of him to read a sign held up by a member of the flight deck crew. When Norton's turn came, he read Next Without the Hornet. Norton, taking off a few minutes later, did not even see a Hornet aircraft, although the ship was clearly visible on the horizon. Beginning at 08:10, approximately forty minutes after the Widehelms attack began, Hornet Air Group Commander Cdr Walt Rodee, flying his Avenger command, led the second Hornet attack: nine Dauntlesses under the command of Lt. Johnny Lynch, the bombshell 8 executive; eight Avengers under the command of Lt. Ward Powell, CEO of Torpedo-6; and seven Fighting-72 Wildcats under Lieutenant Warren Ford. This was the cleanup formation; it would attack what could still be attacked, aircraft carriers or surface warships. The problem with the experimental plan of attack was that it wasn't coherent. Both airlines launched for the first time whatever bombers and fighters were available from the flight deck or ready and within reach in the hangar. With each strike group being forced to fly up to 200 miles to reach the Japanese, one circumstance was compounded by the need for American carriers to sail away from the Japanese during takeoff in prevailing winds, forming the first Hornet groups into a single unit. . considered too demanding for fuel supply. Furthermore, there was no American doctrine that would permit the subordination of one air group commander to another, or the combination of squadrons from one air group with similar squadrons from another. US strike groups were then launched as a stream of separate mixed units, each comprised of the aircraft available at the time of launch. In fact, each of the three strike groups lacked internal cohesion; each stretched over distances of several kilometers. Throughout 1942, the US Navy worked hard to develop formation types that would group bombers together so that they could

217In Chapter 217 of the free sample they lean on and make the most of machine guns firing forward and backward, but there was no doctrine for mixing dive bombers and torpedo bombers in the same formation. Escort procedures for fighters were also relatively rudimentary, but even rudimentary methods were avoided by the distance that had to be covered between the front and rear bombers of each strike group. The Wildcat divisions, two from each strike group, typically stayed tall because the Wildcats needed an early height advantage to effectively counter the faster-growing Zeros. In the case of the two combat divisions escorting Hornet's main attack, one division had to fly to cover with the larger Dauntlesses, while the other had to fly with the Avengers at just 2,000 feet. Enterprise's mixed attack aircraft flew at approximately the same altitude, with the two fighter divisions split to cover each flank directly from the bombers. * The opposing attacking formations began to cross each other around 08:30 when Gus Widhelm's main attacking force was just 60 miles from the Hornet. The low group of Avengers escorted by Wildcat really did well under the larger Japanese formation. Widhelm and his pilots eyed LCdr Shigeharu Murata's attack squadron suspiciously, and Murata and his pilots turned him back. Many individual gunners from both forces trained their machine guns, but none opened fire and none of the fighters broke formation to disrupt the enemy. Within minutes, the invaders' paths crossed. Assuming that the Japanese had warned their ships of their presence and therefore did not feel the need to maintain radio silence, both Widhelm and Mike Sanchez communicated to Task Force 61 that a major Japanese attack was imminent. Murata did the same; He radioed the carrier group that fifteen enemy bombers were approaching. High above formations of passing bombers, 29 Zuikaku Zero pilots were unable to spot the American aircraft. * Then about ten miles beyond Widhelm, 5,000 feet below and slightly to the east, was Dick Gainess's smaller Enterprise strike group, which had been launched only twenty minutes earlier and was only forty-five miles away. The Enterprise group was still low and was climbing very slowly to save fuel, with the exception of the Commander.

218218 Pacifica Military History Gaines, who carried more fuel than the other pilots and quickly climbed much higher than everyone else. The Dauntlesses, the slowest of the three American aircraft types, took the lead to allow the faster Avengers to hold above them. This required the Avengers to fly in newly developed staggered diamond-shaped defensive formations, to weave a bit to avoid overtaking tense SBDs on the long, slow climb. The two fighter divisions LCdr Jimmy Flatleys on the right and Lt(jg) John Lepplas on the left zigzagged back and forth 1,000 feet above and just ahead of the bombers to match the much slower speed of the Dauntlesses. Flatley and Leppla were Coral Sea veterans. In fact, they both earned Navy Crosses in history's first aircraft carrier battle: Flatley for his outstanding combat skills and Leppla for being the most aggressive Dauntless pilot in living memory. (The backseat of the Lepplas at Coral Sea, also bearing the Navy Cross, was the ARM2 John Liska, who was at that very moment returning home on the Enterprise with Scouting-10s Lt(jg) Doan Carmody.) Few attack aircraft of the Enterprise had lit. muted their radios to better maintain radio silence. They were still climbing when Gus Widhelm and Mike Sanchez relayed their warnings to Task Force 61, which did not intercept the messages and no one on any of the Enterprise planes heard the warning. Lieutenant Saneyasu Hidaka, who commands nine Zuiho Zeros, was frustrated with the lieutenant. Commander Murata's lack of orders to attack the passing Hornet attacks, so he did not wait for Murata's word as he watched the Enterprise's forces swell. Although bouncing off the second wave of American bombers would deprive Murata's forces of close support, Hidaka apparently figured that a quick pass of 14,000 feet would give him enough time to rendezvous with the bombers before hitting the American attack. porters began. At 08:40, Lieutenant Hidaka signaled the other eight pilots of Zuiho Zero to follow him in rope formation against the American aircraft carriers. After the zeros make a downward rotation of 180 degrees,

219In Chapter 219, the attack would be launched against the rear of the Enterprise formation and out of the Sun. Hidaka's attack took the Americans completely by surprise. Ironically, shortly before the Japanese attack, LCdr Jack Collett, in command of the Avenger, questioned aloud the complete lack of radio communications, as radio silence was rarely maintained perfectly, and asked ARM1 Tom Nelson if the radio it was working. . In fact, Nelson discovered that someone had adjusted the torpedo's channel frequency selector and made the necessary change. But it was too late. * The first American fighter to be attacked by Japanese fighters was the Collets. ARM1 Tom Nelson had just heard a bogey bleat! over the radio and was firing up his tunnel-mounted .30-caliber machine gun when he heard the raspy voice of the .50-caliber turret above him. A moment later, the Avenger shuddered directly under its fuselage and involuntarily slipped. Then the starboard wing dipped slightly. Nelson noticed that the torpedo boat was falling into the sea. A quick look from port to starboard revealed a rather disgusted expression on the face of Lieutenant (jg) Robert Oscar, the TBF pilot, who climbed up from Collett's starboard wing. Oscar's expression told Nelson it was time to go. He was about to move when he noticed smoke coming out of the plane's fuselage. He grabbed the intercom microphone and shouted to get Collett's attention, but there was no response. It became increasingly apparent that the engine had been damaged or destroyed and the pilot injured or killed. When Nelson called to let Collett know, Collett had already left the cockpit. Lieutenant (jg) Raymond Wyllie, the rear pilot of the TBF in Colletts Division, saw the squadron commander reach the right wing and parachute out. He was never seen again. Meanwhile, Tom Nelson crawled into the radio compartment and pulled the hatch's safety latches, which he flung into space. AM1 Steve Nadison was still in the tower, so Nelson had to get his attention and hand him the parachute. He noticed that Nadison had refused even to wear his parachute harness on the narrow tower.

220220 Military History of Pacifica So while Nelson just had to attach his spare parachute to his harness, Nadison had to climb into his harness and then attach the chute. It was a difference of life and death. Nelson paused to help Nadison get into his harness, but the radio compartment was too narrow for all this frantic movement, made even more difficult by the fact that the Avenger was veering wildly to the right. Seemingly realizing that Nelson couldn't help him, Nadison looked Nelson straight in the eye and tilted his head, signaling Nelson to clear space by jumping. With that, Nelson hooked up his parachute and stood in the hatch. The wake was strong and the plane continued to accelerate as it plunged into a right-hand spiral towards the ocean. Nelson needed a good amount of energy to jump through the small hatch, but he managed. The last thing he saw on the Avenger was the altimeter reading 2,000 feet. Tom Nelson immediately pulled the D-ring on his parachute pack, too soon for inertia to overcome his momentum, which matched that of falling planes. The force of the pilot kick hitting the air stream knocked him off the main kick and knocked Nelson off his feet. When the radio operator woke up, he was floating under a beautiful white silk canopy. A quarter mile away, he saw a large layer of fuel burning on the surface of the sea. This was undoubtedly his plane. He quickly looked around for more parachutes, but there were none. Just then, a Zero fired a pass at Nelson and the parachute was badly punctured. However, Nelson entered the water a moment later and dove below the surface. The truce was short-lived; He outwitted the Japanese pilot, but one of the parachute lines got tangled in his flight suit buckle. He was pulled under the heavy, sodden parachute as he found and released the tangle. He put double D-rings on his Mae West life jacket, but only one side automatically inflated. He blew the other side through the mouthpiece and found it had a hole in it, giving him something to focus his attention on. I had no idea what to do next. *

221Free Sample Chapter 221 AMM3 Tom Powell, the turret gunner aboard Lieutenant (jg) Robert Oscars TBF, stationed on the right wing of LCdr Jack Collett, leader of the Avengers, watched the right side of the formation as the Zeros attacked. This was his role in a new formation defense method known as concentrated cone fire. All right turret gunners turned right and fired right, and all left turret gunners turned left and fired left. The area above and between the right and left aircraft was a clear fire zone. The tunnel gunners drew their attention and fired with the same method. From the moment the Zeros emerged from the sun and all their weapons went off, Powell was intent on getting their eyeballs to return fire. He didn't even notice that the lead Avenger had broken formation. During a long shot from a zero-shotai, Powell thought he saw one of the enemy fighters explode in mid-air, but his attention was immediately drawn elsewhere. A few moments later, taking a quick look around the plane, he definitely saw another Zero smoking while another Avenger's trackers flew by. The subsequent crash was attributed to ARM3 Charles Shinneman, the turret gunner aboard Lieutenant Tommy Thompson's TBF, the lead aircraft in the 2nd reduced torpedo element. Powell kept his eye on no fewer than three zeros at all times during the brief engagement. * The stern Avenger on the first leg, piloted by Ens John Reed, was fatally hit by the second Zero-Shotai as she transitioned from bow to stern. AMM3 Murray Glasser, the turret gunner, barely had time to fire a few rounds at the passing Zeros when Ensign Reeds broke out the shouts, Get out! Exit! At that moment, Glasser noticed pieces of the plane passing by the tower and thought he saw the tips of the flames licking its pole. He immediately locked the turret and dropped into the large radio compartment. The gunners' chest parachutes, too large for use in the narrow turret and tunnel, were attached to the bulkhead with large bungee cords just above the starboard hatch. Glasser was the first to reach them and threw one at the RM3 radio bomber Grant Harrison, who was sitting in the folding seat facing the bombsight. He

222It took Glasser a moment to realize that Harrison was already opening the hatch against the conveyor belt, even though he wasn't using a parachute. Glasser was about to say something to Harrison, but he saw that the radio operator's eyes were glassy and realized that he had slipped into a catatonic state. Glasser dove through the open hatch and removed the D-ring from his parachute. As the parachute inflated overhead, he saw a Zero knife directly in the water. Minutes later, losing track of time, he smoothly entered the water and easily disentangled himself from the heavy parachute harness. When he looked again, the sky was empty and strangely still. * After the initial attack on the main Avengers, it took a few seconds for the rear Zero-Shotai to release Lt. Doc Norton, who was second to last in the Avengers back lineup. Both Norton's plane and the last one flown by Lieutenant (jg) Dick Batten were armed with 20 mm cannon and 7.7 mm machine guns. However, the two turret gunners fired on one of the Zeros as it wheeled forward, and the Zero exploded like a flare just before hitting Norton's right wingtip. Although all the gunners probably destroyed part of the Zero, the complete kill was credited to Batten AM2 Tunnel gunner Rex Holmgrin. Batten's Avenger was hit by the passing Zeros. A fire started in the hydraulic line that controlled the port aileron in a vertical position. Holmgrin shouted a warning to Batten, who replied, Prepare to jump. I'll put her in the water and then I open the radio channel to say she's on fire and sinking in the water. The burning TBF fell out of formation, but the damaged aileron fell off the wing and the hydraulic fire went out. The bomb bay doors could not be opened and therefore the torpedo, which was probably damaged, could not be disposed of. Batten found that he could keep the damaged Avenger in the air, so he cautiously returned to Section 61, hoping to look after her the entire way home. * The first American fighters to fight were John Leppla and his Wildcat Fighting division 10 Ens Al Mead, Ens Dusty Rhodes and

223Free Sample Chapter 223 Ens Chip Reding. All but Leppla were novices. Leppla flew straight into the oncoming Zeros. All four Wildcats took instant hammer blows from hundreds of 20mm and 7.7mm rounds. Chip Reding, leader of Lepplas' second section, only saw the rear Zero Shotai as he approached the Avengers. He immediately loaded his guns and dropped the wing fuel tank. However, the transition from drop tank to main tank was not smooth and Reding temporarily lost airspeed. Within a second or two, the fuel-hungry engine sputtered and died, and the Wildcat spun into the ocean as Reding desperately tried to restart the engine. Dusty Rhodes, winger for the Redings, and Charlie, goalkeeper for the division, also had issues with their wing armoring. It stayed in place when he tried to get rid of it and was set ablaze by a Japanese incendiary or tracer shell. However, Rhodes remained on the station over Reding while the latter was at sea and until he restarted her engine. During those few dark moments, the oncoming Zeros darted through Rhodes' canopy, firing most of his instruments and knocking the raised goggles off his forehead without harming him. Meanwhile, the side tank continued to spit dangerous flames. When his engine restarted, Chip Reding clearly saw two Avengers hit by Zeros attacking from above and on both sides straight from the sun. He aimed Rhodes directly at the attackers, but other Japanese fighters intervened, pressing their own attacks at such steep angles and in such rapid succession that neither Reding nor Rhodes managed to hit any of the zeros in their reflector sights. At some point in the turbulent fighting, however, the fire died on the Rhodess wing armor, little consolation until then. John Leppla is gone. The last person to see him was Dusty Rhodes, who looked around just once to see Leppla running head-on towards a Zero with a second Zero clinging to his tail. A few moments later, Rhodes saw a partially deployed parachute run towards the water and thought it might be Leppla, but there was no way to be sure because by then several Avengers had been knocked out of formation. Long before the last sighting of Rhodess and just a moment into the action, Lepplas winger Al Mead evacuated his disabled Wildcat. He safely jumped into the water with his parachute.

224After a minute or two, Reding and Rhodes broke away. Each of his fighters suffered severe damage. Rhodes had no instruments and Reding's electrical system was down, meaning he was unable to use his radio or fire his weapons. Each pilot instinctively looked for the other and managed to get back together. They had been flying as a team for months and had just fallen into an immaculately executed scissor mesh less to outwit Zeros because none of the Wildcat could fire their weapons than to outrun Zeros. Slowly, the two feral cats were sprayed. But none of the pilots had been hurt yet. Then Rhodess' engine burned out and he froze. He was at 2,500 feet. He lowered his nose to gain speed and turned into the wind to prepare for landing. A dead Zero opened fire aft, 7.7mm rounds cutting through the rudder control cable. At this point, Rhodes was approaching 1,000 feet. It was time to go. He pulled back what was left of the top of the Wildcats, scrambled to his feet, kicked the stick straight into the instrument panel, and pulled the D-ring off his parachute. The unfurling canopy of silk plucked Dusty Rhodes from his dead hunter and carried him gently out to sea, where he landed. When Rhodes looked up again, Chip Reding was walking away with three zeros in his wake. Reding tried to stay on Rhodes, but the zeros on his tail quickly drove him away. He dove into the water and was less than 30 meters away before evading the attackers. The attack group had long since left, and the Japanese seemed to have left as well. Chip Reding turned the nose of his Junkerfighter to the Enterprise's last known position. * LCdr Jimmy Flatley's division initially saw neither Zero's attack nor Lepplas's response because the Lepplas division pulled away from the main formation when the attack began. By the time Flatley realized that his group was being attacked, the relative position of Lepplas's division had shifted from the port vanguard of the formations to the stern. At the same moment, Flatley saw a Zero take position below and in front of the TBFs. As soon as Flatley saw the attack on the Avengers begin, he dodged into the main formation to harass the nearest Zero.

225Free sample Chapters 225 so far well advanced in its approach among the Avengers. Flatley executed a diving turn, fired a full deflection shot, and fired a volley of .50 caliber rounds. The Zero stalled and pulled away from the Avenger as Flatley recovered and pulled away to bowl a second run. Flatley brought the Zero back into view and immediately pressed the pistol button on his joystick while still at extreme range. A Zero almost never stayed long enough for a perfect setup. The risk paid off: Zero started smoking. A third broadside attack sent the Japanese fighter into the waves. As Jimmy Flatley looked for more targets, he saw that the Zeros were gone and the Avengers Torpedo-10 group had been reduced from eight to six. Leppla's Wildcat Division was gone. The score for this unforeseen competition was four out of nine Zeros shot by TBF gunners and F4F pilots, two out of eight TBF kills, and three out of eight F4F kills. The human toll was four Japanese pilots lost, five American pilots and crew killed, and two Wildcat pilots and two Avenger crew in the water. * When the Zeros came out, they just made a wide pass. Doc Norton checked his drilled TBF for damage and found he had no hydraulic power. This meant that the bomb bay and the .50 caliber turret were out of order. The Avengers' right wing flapped in its wake, its control cable was severed, and there was a large hole in the right wing, oddly close to the locking mechanism. A closer look at the right wing showed that the red warning flap was coming off, a pretty clear sign that the locking pin was not set correctly and the folding wing could fold at any moment. Fortunately, no one on Norton's plane was injured. Norton had a brief internal argument with himself: he was right that the Japanese airlines were ahead, and it was to get the Japanese airlines that he was asking for money. But the fact that the bomb bay doors were hermetically sealed by disabled hydraulics and that the rear turret could not operate at optimal performance for the same reason argued against a sequel. The highlight was this protruding wing lock warning flap. There was even a better chance than this

226The right wing would retreat if Norton pulled too many negative Ges, and that was pretty much a certainty in a combat torpedo approach. Norton then gave the department head, Lt. Tommy Thompson, the hand signal to the sick plane, and carefully returned home. By this time Lieutenant (jg) Dick Batten had broken formation and the two damaged TBFs joined together for the voyage back to the Enterprise. Of course, it occurred to many of the six aviators aboard the returning Avengers that they were behind the Japanese strike group. They all had an uneasy feeling about what they would find the next time they saw Task Force 61. For their part, the Zuiho Zeros stayed for today. Four of the nine were shot down and one or two more, including possibly Lieutenant Hidakas, were badly damaged. With the feeling that none of his Zeros matched the lieutenant. Murata Commander could reach him, Hidaka returned home with the remaining four Zeros of his squad. The Zuiho Zeros did much to weaken the power of the Enterprise strike group, but Lieutenant Hidaka's hasty decision to attack would pay off when Murata's forces came within range of the Wildcats protecting Task Force 61.

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228228 Pacifica Military History CHOSIN Heroic Evidence of the Korean War By Eric Hammel Told from the perspective of the men in the trenches and tanks, outposts and command posts, Eric Hammel's Chosin is the definitive account of the epic December retreat under fire from the 1st Division of Marines at Chosin Reservoir 1950. The author first describes the mistakes and miscalculations on the part of the US high command that left the Marines dangling at the end of a narrow path tens of kilometers from the sea. He then dives right into the action: the concentration of Chinese forces into a ten-to-one force; Marines experience hardship and high levels of overconfidence due to climate and terrain; and the beginning of the overwhelming Chinese attack. Filled with tactical detail and small-scale action, Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korea War is the most comprehensive and compelling book ever written about this legendary battle. Author Eric Hammels' masterful account provides an invaluable perspective on the war. The book of praise for Chosin Hammels is full of accounts of the material of the legends. It's a moving story and he tells it brilliantly. Readers, beware: just like in the campaign itself, where there was no rear echelon and everyone was also a fighter, if you go to Yudam-ni with the marines, you better be prepared to be with them at all times. to Hungnam and freedom. Sea Power Magazine This is a view over the edge of the trenches. It focuses on the supreme effort, suffering and bravery of the young marines, sailors and soldiers who, in quilted uniforms, faced the enemy and refused to be slighted... a piercing look at war at its worst and men at their best . union of san diego

229Free Samples Chapter 229 The men's plot, the crises and the numbing coldness of the authors leave the reader in awe of this feat of arms, in which soldiers and marines fought an epic struggle for survival. . . . Hammels' book is highly recommended. Infantry Magazine emotionally immerses the reader in a kaleidoscope of different individual perceptions, from officers in their headquarters, to marines shivering in the trenches... to the actions of small units, which collectively shaped the final course of battle. Military History Magazine

230230 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book CHOSIN: Heroic Ordeal of the Korea War by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $19.95 paperback edition published by Zenith Press. It is also available as an eBook edition. 1282 HILL by Eric Hammel Copyright 1981 by Eric Hammel The 1st Marine Division was heading for the Yalu River. If the weather cooperates, with any luck, the United Nations police operation in Korea will be over in a few weeks. The 5th Marine Regiment (5th Marines), most of the 7th Marines and three artillery battalions of the 11th Marines spent the daylight hours on 27 November 1950 taking the scene in the town of Yudam-ni in the valley North Korean Mountain on the icy banks of the Chosin River - Reservoirs. While company-sized units of the 7th Marines patrolled during the day and struggled to protect the sprawling ridges overlooking the valley, a battalion of the 5th Marines mounted a limited attack aimed at reaching the unguarded interior of North Korea. . Interestingly, with the Marines having faced no serious opposition for over a month, all of their patrols, sweeps, and advances on 27 November were heavily contested. Unbeknownst to the Marines, tens of thousands of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers were deployed that same night to lay an impressive trap in the main body of the 1st Marine Division. At 21:00, massive infantry attacks were simultaneously launched around the Yudam-ni valley. The temperature was minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving everyone but the regular guards huddled in their soft sleeping bags, barefoot and exhausted from the day's incredible physical exertion. and the cold below zero. Yudam-ni was considered a temporary meeting place by all higher headquarters. No strong enemy action was expected, and there were none

231Free sample Chapter 231 central authority that determines where this battalion or company is placed. Too large to be defended by a continuous line, the Yudam-ni Valley was simply defended by several isolated Marine units: How Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines (How/3/7) to the northwest; Charlie/1/7 to the southeast; Dog/2/7 and Easy/2/7 to the east. Units from the 5th Marines, trapped at the border, were there as the day's activities drew to a close. There was nothing wrong with the ad; Indeed, it was an appropriate reaction from the planners' solid combat experience to the latest information from higher headquarters. The orphaned companies of the 2nd Battalion, 7th were orphaned by the naval divisions at the time not being built. They were not built to travel and refuel on very long supply lines. There weren't enough motor vehicles in the 1st Marine Division to get so many men so quickly over so many miles of road to a place like Yudam-ni. Due to movement plans drawn up by besieged motor transport officers juggling conflicting priorities, it happened that the 2nd Battalion, 7th split for the longest time. By 26 November, there were enough trucks to take two companies from Hagaru-ri to Yudam-ni. The rest of the battalion had to wait for the vehicles that brought relief from the south on 28 November. The two companies, about four hundred strong, advanced early and administratively became Ray Davis' 1st. Battalion, 7th, attached. thus clearing them out of the way in the hills east of the long central valley of Yudam-ni. * Despite being largely reservists, Dog and Easy Company, 7th were considered first class combat units. They were christened on the Inchon-Seoul Expressway in September and have been in constant service since Wonsan. After reaching Yudam-ni on 26 November, the companies were sent to the outposts of Hills 1240 and 1282 east of the city, the former a few thousand meters east south of the latter. The relative isolation of their positions was not lost on company commanders. Patrols were sent to inspect and cover the raised floor in the first

232232 Military History of the Pacific Day and Night. As well as the other units of the 7th Regiment that guarded the heights on the banks of the valley, the two companies of the 2nd Battalion, 7th, were to be supported with the guns of the 3rd, 11th Battalion, 4.2nd Regiment - customs mortars and other mortars and guns heavy weights that could be used in an emergency. It was a standard solution to a standard problem. On the night of 26 November, an Easy/7 light gunner spotted movement ahead of him on the extreme left of the company's line on Hill 1282. He threw a grenade and caught a Chinese infantry officer busy planning the company's position when it arrived to the end. Scattered over the body were a slate, tape measure, and lite. Documents on the dead identified him as a member of the PLA's 79th Division. * Most of Captain Milt Hull's Dog/7 left in the late morning of November 27 to scout the compound north of Hill 1240. After three hours of driving, the leading party found a dozen Chinese and dispersed them. Then the middle train passed over the top and turned east towards Kyodong-ni village on the shore of the frozen reservoir. The village had previously been burned down by stray Navy fighter-bombers and is said to have been abandoned. However, the lead platoon came under heavy fire as it crossed low ground in preparation for entering the ruins. A strong Chinese force was entrenched on high ground to the north and west of the village. Four Marine Corsairs advanced towards the village as Dog Company's two platoons fanned out to launch an attack. One platoon commander was initially seriously wounded, but the other continued on when a second airstrike took place. The Chinese had the advantage of terrain and superior firepower, and the Marines were repulsed. Point Squad's leader was killed trying to resist. Captain Hull informed his nominal superior, Lt. Colonel Ray Davis, that Dog/7 was under a lot of pressure. Unable to do anything more constructive, Davis ordered Hull to return to Hill 1240 under air cover and friendly mortar. The Chinese pursued Dog Company until

233Free sample chapters 233 as they dared, and then set off for Kyodong-ni. In all, sixteen Marines were killed or wounded. * Easy/7 did not have as dramatic a day as its sister unit, but the troops remained alert to almost constant sightings of white-clad Chinese in the distant mountains. Originally, Captain Walt Phillips had only two moves to defend Hill 1282. These were positioned in crescent-shaped arches on the ridge, one facing northeast and the other northwest. The detached platoon, which had spent the day guarding the regimental command post, returned in the early afternoon of 27 November. This unit positioned itself on a low spur to the south of the crest of Hill 1282, several dozen meters ahead. the lines of their sister platoons, almost like a tail sticking out from the main body of the company. The company's three 60 mm mortars were positioned below the ridge between the two forward artillery platoons and the company's CP. All light and heavy machine guns were used with it. advancing rifle platoons. Although the troops received no official warning of an imminent attack, they routinely dropped flares along the front line and all weapons were searched on any possible approach to company lines. The Milt Hulls Dog Company on Hill 1240 was similarly vigilant, although their position was just below the actual crest of the hill and possibly hidden from Chinese observers stationed on the edge of the hills to the east. The PLA 79th Division was deployed to capture three of the four hills that protect the west side of Yudam-ni Base. It is evident, though not certain, that each of the divisions' three regiments was assigned an objective that to Chinese observers did not appear to be occupied by US Marines: the rightmost Chinese regiment was to take Hill 1384, behind which stood the Taplett Battalion arrived. to rest in the late afternoon of November 27th. The Chinese Middle Regiment would take Hill 1240, behind the summit of which Milt Hull's Dog/7 had been encamped since 26 November. The leftmost Chinese regiment would occupy Hill 1167, which was unmanned by marines. In the middle just Cerro 1282

234234 Pacifica Military History Hills 1384 and 1240, would be spared. The Chinese have Walt Phillips' Easy/7 under direct observation since November 26th; In fact, they had lost a map officer to Phillips' vigilant guard that very night. It seems that the commander of the PLA 79th Division decided to advance through the defenseless heights into the Yudam-ni Valley against as little resistance as possible. The threatening terrain distorted the Chinese plan. The regiment heading for Hill 1384 found its way, but the two southern regiments, attacking in columns of battalions mounted on columns of companies, turned north. Therefore, the unoccupied hill was not invaded in 1167; The regiment heading for this moved to Hill 1240, and the regiment heading for Hill 1240 diverted to Hill 1282. Although this endangered both shipping companies, the Chinese advantage of freedom of movement was negated by the fact that the troops had their attacks launched over completely unknown terrain, at night, against unforeseen odds. * The first activity near Hill 1282 was observed around 10:00 pm, when PLA squadrons approached the previously cleared rear branch and approached 1st Lt. bumped into Bob Bey. There was light skirmishing for about thirty minutes, during which time the scouts were driven off at the cost of three wounded Marines. The Dog Company to the east was also easily investigated. Communicating by telephone, the company commanders agreed to blow their horns and cancel routine patrols to cover the open ground between the ridges. * In late 1942, John Yancey was a corporal with the Carlsons Raiders on Guadalcanal. At age 24, Arkansan aspired to become the best Marine in the Marine Corps, having received a Navy Cross and a battlefield commission as proof of his coolness under fire. In the late 1950s, John Yancey was a 32-year-old family man and owner of a Little Rock liquor store that he built between the wars. Older and wiser, he volunteered to fight again in Korea, more out of a desire for action than anything else. In that sense, First Lieutenant John Yancey commanding Easy/7's 1st Platoon was typical

235Free sample chapters 235 from many Pacific War veterans who remained in the reserves during the late 1940's and who were called up in the summer of 1950 in the colors of good jobs and fledgling business. But John Yancey was a certified hero and the desire to stand up and fight was still very strong in him. The second round of Chinese investigations took place right in front of Yancey's train. They were light, as usual, and the Chinese resorted to contact, contenting themselves with opening fire to learn the whereabouts of the rifle pits and machine guns in support. Yancey wasn't too worried about the probes. He ordered his gunners to cease fire so as not to reveal their positions. Everything was as usual, but only for a few moments. The eerie silence was replaced by the rhythmic sound of thousands of sneakers crunching through the thin layer of snow. In the distance, Yancey and his men could hear the rhythmic chanting of a single voice above the creak. The former invader pushed his hearing to the limit and thought he heard the words: Nobody lives forever. You die! repeated several times in heavily accented English. It was almost too weird to believe. John Yancey turned on his noise-operated telephone, and the company's CEO, 1st Lt. Ray Ball answered in a whisper. Ray, warned Yancey, they are preparing to attack. Take the 81 and give us some light, then lie down on the ridge and come back to us. Ball revealed that there are 81 to go. We can't give you too many. Yancey's platoon waited as the dark mass of Chinese peasant-ant-soldiers approached. Aside from the crunch of feet on snow, the only sound was that lonely Chinese voice: Nobody lives forever. You die! Index fingers easily traced the contours of the trigger guard and trigger guard. Moments passed and those fingers played with the first pull, then tensed and froze before amplifying and firing the last pull. It was midnight. The torches of the first trip went out, creating the illusion that the Chinese were immobile silhouettes. The image etched into the retinas and memory cells of Yancey Marines was unprecedented, terrifying.

236236 Pacifica Military History The Chinese lines stretched seemingly endlessly from flank to flank. Each was exactly fifty feet from the first, as far as the eye could see. At the head of the mass of white-clad infantry was a lone officer who was shouting in heavily accented missionary English: Nobody lives forever. You die! John Yancey leapt to his feet and challenged the Chinese officer, but his voice was lost in the rumble of Chinese chant and the cacophonous bleat of whistles, bugles, and shepherd's horns. Don't worry, Ray, Yancey blasted the board of directors over the phone. He dropped the phone and fired a full magazine at the Chinese officer leading the charge. As the Marine line exploded in gunfire, 60mm and 81mm mortars rained down on the Chinese, starting long and closing in to form a protective screen. But the supply of mortar ammunition was limited and the fire was quickly extinguished. White-robed figures raced between the trenches to gather near the center of the company's position, immune to the fire of Marines who feared hitting their own. Confident that Yancey's 1st Platoon was bearing the brunt of the attack, Captain Walt Phillips leapt from his command post and moved forward to assume command. He found John Yancey and his platoon sergeant jumping from hole to hole, shouting encouragement and handing out spare ammunition. Yancey could barely breathe as shrapnel pierced the bridge of his nose; his report was delivered amid much hawking and spitting of the blood that trickled uncomfortably down his throat. As Yancey moved in one direction, Walt Phillips moved in the other, roaring encouragement, eagerly evacuating the wounded and calling his meager reinforcements from the Company CP area. Despite receiving bullets in the arm and leg, Captain Phillips remained steadfast and set an example for his troops. First Lieutenant Bill Schreier, the company mortar officer, was leading his teams through the explosion of hand grenades and mortar shells when he looked up to see half a dozen PLA infantrymen heading straight for him. He raised the carbine and fired, delaying the attackers for a moment until the simultaneous explosions of several shells were heard.

237Free Sample Chapters 237 forced him into a crouch. Schreier then saw about twenty Chinese people coming towards him. His fire had little or no effect, so he made his way up the hill to the company command post, where he found the company commander wounded. Phillips and Schreier spent the next few minutes forming a line around the command post. There were no more than ten Marines and there was no cover. White figures moved across the company premises and grenades exploded in batches like fireworks. Schreier had the distinct impression that the Chinese grenadiers were dragging baskets of concussion grenades across trains on the line, stopping every now and then to hurl whole groups of them. He felt a twinge in his left leg as he fired his carbine at the grenadiers, but he didn't have time to see if there was a wound. Two or three shells practically went off the mortar officer, and he was wounded in the arm, wrist and chest. The Chinese attack faltered and then retreated. By then it was almost silent, except for the incoherent volley of guns that startled the men of both armies, who were firing at real and imaginary targets. It appeared to the Riflemen in the line that hundreds of dead and dying Chinese had been piled ten feet from Yancey's line and around the entire perimeter. * One thousand yards to the right of Hill 1282, through an open saddle used by the Chinese as a route into the center of the Yudamni Valley, Captain Milt Hull's Dog/7 fought a back-and-forth battle to hold Hill 1240 The usual PLA - As investigations were followed by cruel and harrowing attacks on the Hulls Line. The company commander lined up the three platoons of junior marines and all three were struck repeatedly by equally concentrated hammer blows. Two officers were lost on patrol to Kyodong-ni during the day and two more were lost that night with a large and growing number of gunners and gunners. In time, repeated body punches triggered the middle train, forcing the entire company, any Marines still able to move, to retreat headlong down the hill.

238The attack was broken up by the burly, bull-necked Milt Hull, who placed his burly, doubly wounded body between his Marines and their rearguard. Slowly, Dog/7 reformed under heavy pressure, regaining a few square meters of lost ground, then following the determined company commander up the dark, slippery slope to the summit. The Chinese were taken by surprise and allowed themselves to be expelled from their newly conquered territory. But they recovered within minutes and charged to retake the top of Hill 1240. About thirty of them dodged the fight and set up a machine gun post on the right rear of the marines. Hulls' last officer was wounded, as was his main platoon sergeant. Milt Hull raged at survivors: Wait! It's just a weapon and it can't kill us all. The gun was knocked out with a grenade and the reinforced Dog/7 squadron held out. * Walt Phillips called the lieutenant. Colonel Ray Davis at the first opportunity: We stopped the first attack, Colonel, but took heavy casualties. We need help. In Yudam-ni there was no general base commander, only two regiment commanders, each with his own problems. Homer Litzenberg was Ray Murray's superior by far, but he didn't have the mandate to take charge, and he didn't. Murray, on the other hand, controlled the only viable reserve force in the valley, Lt. Colonel Jack Stevens' 1st Battalion, 5th encamped in the shadow of Hill 1282. Stevens was eventually ordered to raise a relief force. to rescue the orphaned companies at Hills 1282 and 1240. The only officer in Stevens' battalion who was ever on Hill 1282 was Second Lieutenant Nick Trapnell, a professional Marine who had commanded his platoon in constant action since joining Able Company, 5th as a reserve on the Inchon-Seoul Expressway. In the late afternoon, when Captain Walt Phillips, with whom he had shared some pre-war duties, established an advance guard line between his CP battalion and the bulk of the hill, he showed Trapnell the formidable terrain. Phillips tried to draw Trapnell's attention to the many white-clad Chinese in the distant hills.

239Free Audio Samples 239 The night's action began for Nick Trapnell when one of his dispatchers crashed into the squadron's command post and yelled, They're coming! They are coming! There are thousands of them! Frightened by the prospect of being trapped in low ground in the dark, Trapnell immediately began to assemble at the fire station outposts he had set up in open ground, and redeployed his platoon into low ground without instructions. Closer to Hill 1282, Trap-nell's platoon was the first of Stevens' units ordered to support Easy/7. This platoon consisted of no more than thirty-five men, probably fewer than the casualties Easy/7 had already suffered. The hike to the summit of Hill 1282 was scary, strange and confusing. The trackers passed overhead, but the sound was not heard by the reinforcements until they were practically on the besieged ridge. Not knowing where to go, not knowing if Easy/7 still existed, Trapnell's platoon surged up, shouting in vain at the oncoming void: Eas-ee Compan-ee! Simple society? * John Yancey spoke to the correct platoon commander, 1st Lt. Leonard Clements, trying to coordinate a defense as the Chinese approached in the almost silent darkness. Before any of the men could react, a large hole appeared in the front of Clements's helmet and blood gushed out. Although the two men and their wives were the best of friends, John Yancey wasted no time checking his handler, as it seemed obvious that Clement's forehead shot had been fatal. Yancey made his way to join their skinny platoon. Although Clements was knocked unconscious, he was not seriously injured. The bullet ricocheted off his head at an angle and harmlessly bounced off the helmet lining. The PLA 1st Battalion, 235th Regiment broke into the Easy/7 line after a lull of thirty minutes. Strong double blows hit one flank, then the other. The Marines were deafened by the hail of bullets and point-blank fire from their own shells and from the Chinese. The line thinned as more and more Marines were killed or disabled. John Yancey was again seriously injured when shrapnel pierced his palate. And Walt Phillips got cut

240240 Pacifica Military History by machine gun fire just as he was driving a bayonet rifle across the frozen ground. This is Easy Company, he yelled a moment before the deadly explosion knocked him to the ground, and let's stop here! First Lieutenant Ray Ball, a senior company officer, badly wounded to assume command of the company, stooped to the gunner's position beside his trench and, for telling effect, fired his carbine as his blood flowed and fell in frozen puddles, spreading out beside him. In time, he collapsed and died. Nick Trapnell's Able/5 platoon found its way into the position of the rearmost Easy/7 unit, 1st Lt. Bob Bey, 3rd Platoon. The Bey had no idea of ​​the desperate situation his company was in, so he suggested that Trapnell's small platoon move to the right to cover the open ground between Hills 1282 and Hills 1240, bravely leading his Riflemen into the void and leaving them fall in pairs until he was alone on the hanging flank. Able/5's next move up the hill came in right behind Easy/7's attacked part and was cannibalized to kill Yancey and Clements' grappling moves. News of the company's plight first reached Bob Bey when a squadron leader and four Riflemen from Yancey's platoon nearly fell from the top into the arms of Beys' platoon sergeant, First Sergeant Daniel Murphy. When he first heard the full story of the fight overhead, Murphy ran to the Bey, repeated the gruesome story, and asked permission to bring any man he could find to help him. Out of touch, unable to even hear the sounds of the raging battle due to the strange cracks in the ground, Bey felt he couldn't spare more than a squadron and the squadron medic who volunteered to help escort them. It wasn't much: Sergeant Murphy, the medic, twelve Marines from 3rd Platoon, the five stragglers from 1st Platoon. As Murphy's party attacked the ridge, they clashed with a herd of Chinese who had just broken through the center of the naval line. The small group of Americans crawled across the trampled ground, broke into the intruding company's CP, and regrouped while the medic tended to the wounded.

241Free Preview Chapters 241 Walt Phillips was dead, Ray Ball was dead, Leonard Clements appeared to be dead. Bill Schreier went down with shrapnel in his wrist and lungs. The young commander of the Able/5 reinforcement platoon was seriously injured. No one knew where John Yancey was, probably cut off somewhere to the left. The company's senior petty officers were also absent. The rest was up to Daniel Murphy. The platoon sergeant shouted for attention and rallied isolated Marines to their positions beside the CP. He would kill those who came his way, move a machine gun to gain the upper hand, kick ass, make threats, and prepare for the worst. It didn't take long for her to arrive. Crowds of white-clad Chinese rushed out of the darkness and slammed into the Marines. Murphy distributed the last of the grenades and began dismantling the BAR magazines to remove the last of the .30 rounds. * Across the gap, John Yancey counted nine men left to fight alongside him. Hoping to instill some confidence in the nearly defeated men, Yancey spat blood and gargled the war cry he had learned as a marine: GUNG HO! It means cooperation and is spoken in the Cantonese language native to most of the peasant soldiers who victoriously conquered the Hilltop in 1282. LIKE IT! Ten exhausted and wounded Marines rose, attached their bayonets and shuffled forward, their shrill battle cry carried by the shrill night wind, their bayonets outlined in the firelight. DID YOU LIKE IT! John Yancey fell to his knees as a fierce Chinese soldier fired a Thompson machine gun right in his face. The impact of the single bullet that hit him took out the attacker's left eye. The stunned squadron leader replaced the slimy orb in its place and blindly crawled up the blood-spattered slope. DID YOU LIKE IT! The thin line of marines swayed, dissolved.

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244244 Military History of Pacifica CORAL AND BLOOD The US Marine Corps Campaign in the Pacific By Eric Hammel In just one lifetime, the US Marine Corps' long Pacific Island campaign became an enduring legend. We have only a few Pacific warriors who have witnessed this and who can tell us about it from their own experiences. Now, in Coral and Blood, acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel, who specializes in writing about Marines in the Pacific, has compiled a brief but comprehensive history of the Marines' island warfare. This book is intended as a starting point for readers who have not read much about the Pacific War, but is also intended to provide a simple but comprehensive overview for seasoned Pacific War enthusiasts who have not yet examined the island's campaigns as a all integrated. . Perhaps by discovering battles that have not yet been studied, a seasoned Pacific War enthusiast will find inspiration to move on to new battles and seek an even broader understanding. Following the general outline of his esteemed one-volume illustrated work, Pacific Warriors, Hammel begins to develop the unique amphibious doctrine of the US Marine Corps, then quickly moves into the Pacific War, listing the Marine Corps presence on the eve of the war. . It then examines all the major actions involving US Marines during World War II, from Pearl Harbor and Wake Island to Okinawa, including Marine Air's role in the Philippines. In many cases, longer and more detailed discussions are presented in this volume than in Pacific Warriors. Experienced reader or not, you are sure to find something new and interesting in Coral and Blood. At the very least, you'll find Coral and Blood, at a respectable 96,000 words, valuable but not overwhelming as a one-volume survey of the Marines' legendary efforts in the Pacific War.

245Free Sample Chapters 245 The following article is an excerpt from the book CORAL AND BLOOD: The U.S. Marine Corps Pacific Campaign by Eric Hammel. The book is currently only available as an eBook edition. New Britain December 1943April 1944 by Eric Hammel Copyright 2008 by Eric Hammel The 1st Marine Division's campaign to seize Imperial Japanese Army airfields and bases in western New Britain was unique in that it resulted in the placing of Marines entirely under command of the US Army. area that was considered a province of the US Army. The Cape Gloucester campaign was actually an offshoot of the New Guinea campaign and not an extension of Solomon's campaign. The impetus for the landings at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, was the need to deny the Japanese the ability to launch air attacks against the open right flank of Royal Australian Army units located within combat range of Cape Gloucester airfields along the coast of Advance in New Guinea. , especially between Finschafen and Saidor. At the time of the invasion, the AirSols assets operating out of Bougainville would be able to relieve the US Fifth Air Force based in New Guinea and parts of the Royal Australian Air Force of the burden of neutralizing Rabaul and the Fifth Air Force and the Australians. . Bombers and fighters, including those planned to be based at Cape Gloucester, can help speed the land advance into New Guinea. Likewise, the Straits of Vitiaz, the sea passage between Cape Gloucester and New Guinea, would be firmly under Allied control and thus provide free passage for shipping along the continuous route of advance to the coast of Africa. New Guinea, as well as the Philippines. The 1st Marine Division was chosen to star in New Britain because it had recovered and returned to training in Melbourne, Australia.

246246 Pacifica Military History after her ordeal on Guadalcanal; He was ready to return to combat at a time when General Douglas MacArthur's command in the Southwest Pacific needed an infantry division with amphibious capability for the Cape Gloucester mission. Final training and examinations took place in New Guinea. * Cape Gloucester is among the wettest regions on Earth and landings must take place at the height of the northwest monsoon season. Furthermore, as in the case of Cape Torokina in Bougainville, the landing area was mostly dotted with uncharted swampy plains, high ridges and rugged rainforests with few trails and waterways to facilitate movement through the region. On a typical day, temperatures would get extremely humid and exhausting at 90 degrees and 72 degrees at night. The main targets were two airfields just beyond Cape Gloucester, but hundreds of square miles of land had to be secured to deny access to the airfields to nearly the equivalent of an Imperial Army infantry division stationed in western New Britain. Therefore, the New Britain operation considered the rehabilitation of existing airfields and the development of a strong defensive cordon around them, as well as the pursuit and annihilation of Japanese ground forces in a vast area where few axes were advancing. Advantages on the invaders' side were air supremacy, freedom of amphibious movement on the periphery of the combat area, and the deterioration of Japanese command and control after more than a year of intense ground warfare in New Guinea. * The first Marines to see action in New Britain were crews from A Company, 1st Amphibious Tractor Battalion, who participated in the landing of US Army troops at Arawe on December 15, 1943. Direct involvement in overpowering a Japanese force . The net result of the landing at Arawe was the dispersion of the Japanese garrison and the dispatch of a thousand experienced troops from Cape Gloucester to Arawe just days before the Marines landed at Cape Gloucester.

247Free Sample Chapter 247 * The main pre-landing bombardment of Cape Gloucester was carried out by Fifth Air Force bombers and fighter-bombers over a period of months under conditions of total air supremacy. The target airfields were no longer operational by the end of November and the garrison was completely demoralized. From December 18, many air attacks were carried out against prepared defenses in the immediate invasion zone, which were almost destroyed. From 07:43 on 26 December, two companies of infantry from the reinforced 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (2/1) landed east of the main beaches aboard the LCM with almost no incident. The mission was to block the routes that connected the airfields to the main landing beaches. This landing is notable because it was preceded at the last moment by the first missile fire mounted by amphibious vehicles, in this case US Army DUKW multi-launcher amphibious trucks. The Marines discovered a system of trenches and bunkers, but found no Japanese troops. The remainder of the 2/1st landed without incident from LCI and LCT and the entire force went to work on defensive measures within 500 meters of the beach. Before the main landing at Cape Gloucesters Beach Yellow, two Royal Australian Navy heavy cruisers and two US Navy light cruisers opened fire at 06:00 on beach targets with a 90-minute barrage, equivalent to 3,605 8, 6 and 5 minutes. inches round. Five squadrons of Fifth Air Force B-24 heavy bombers attacked a feature known as Target Hill between 07:00 and 07:20. Then, when naval fire ceased at 07:30, a squadron of B-25 medium bombers dropped 8 tons of white phosphorus bombs on Target Hill as well. While smoke from the Target Hill fires certainly obscured the Japanese observer landings as intended, it also engulfed the beaches up to 10,000 feet out to sea as the landing craft approached them. As planned at 07:45, two LCI missiles fired last minute salvos into the beachhead area. Between 07:41 and 07:48, the leading elements of the 1/7th and 3/7th arrived at the respective beaches in a dozen LCVPs. There was absolutely no one at home. The biggest problem the stormtroopers faced was the twisted remains of hundreds of trees felled by

248248 Military History of Pacifica the bombing before landing. In fact, the first casualties were caused by mined trees that fell when the Marines touched them. The first Japanese opposition was the long-range machine-gun fire that followed I Company 3/7 as they cut through the dense jungle and emerged onto the coastal path after their LCVPs were lost in smoke and they had launched another 300 yards... beyond the edge of the bridgehead. As the reinforced 1st Marines (minus 2/1) aboard the LCI landed behind the 7th Marines, the 3/1st, who were to lead the advance on the airfields, were ordered to attack the bunkers from which the fire had originated, activating the path to the D-Day goal of 3/1. Aside from the bunker dwellers, the landing force encountered no human resistance, but an unknown deep swamp just beyond the beach, as well as other natural obstacles rearranged by pre-invasion bombing, took extreme steps towards the D-Day objective slowly. Almost as soon as it began its entry into the bunkers in a two-company front, the 3/1 had to reconcile its formation with a column of companies. When the 3rd/1st vanguard overtook the 1st company, the 3rd/7th blockade position under heavy fire in front of the bunkers at 10:10. The battle did not go well for the Marines. An ad hoc bombardment using new 2.36-inch rocket launchers (bazookas) and 37 mm anti-tank guns proved ineffective as the spongy logs the bunkers were built out of absorbed the shock; The 3/1st was unable to advance in the face of concentrated fire until an LVT carrying supplies from the beach ran over one of the bunkers, collapsing it. This allowed the infantry to penetrate the defensive zone. A platoon of five Sherman M4 medium tanks arrived to seal the defenders' fate. In all, seven Marines and twenty-five Japanese were killed and seven Marines wounded. The 3/1s then advanced to their D-Day phase line and dug in. On the left, the 1/7th encountered only light resistance on its way to Target Hill. This hill was occupied against slight resistance and 1/7 was also excavated. In the middle, 2/7th advanced through the deep marsh towards the shore path; seized an abandoned Japanese supply depot; and attacked in dense swampy forest by irregular resistance. the battalion arrived

249Free Trial Chapter 249 their D-Day phase line in the late afternoon and dug into high ground, unable to connect with neighboring units on either flank. In the course of the afternoon, days 3/7 through a swamp towards its target and also dug. Like the 3/7. was ordered to move to the left to face the 2/7th. to join in, vigilant Japanese soldiers tried to infiltrate the abandoned position, so the naval battalion was called back to defend that ground. Behind this shield of four infantry battalions landed 1./1. as a reserve force and stationed at the Japanese supply depot, and 2/11. installed their 75 mm howitzers on dry ground along the coastal path that ran past the beachhead. . Two other artillery battalions, 1/11th with 75 mm pack howitzers and 4/11th with 105 mm field howitzers, had much greater difficulties landing in marshy terrain. The 75s went to dry locations aboard Amtracs, but the 105s were too heavy for that. Ultimately, the Amtracs cleared paths by crashing into dense vegetation, allowing artillery tractors and troops with blocks and rigging to move the guns, of which only three (out of twelve) were deployed by dusk. Faced with the problem of unknown swamps on the proposed embankments, the division's engineer battalion (now designated 2nd Battalion, 17th Marines or 2/17th) faced problems similar to those at Bougainville, including a 4-foot flood, for the same reasons raised. Unloading supplies, many of them aboard US Army preloaded trucks driven by US Army gunners, became increasingly difficult as the D-Day process progressed, and the long lines of trucks lengthened. made an obvious target, as eighty-eight Imperial Navy Zero fighters and D3A dive bombers based at Rabaul attacked in the afternoon. One destroyer was sunk and another badly damaged, but so many Japanese planes were shot down by anti-aircraft guns and two squadrons of P-38 fighters that the invading force was never again harassed during the day. The 1st Marine Division's forward command post landed shortly after the attack and supervised the approximately eleven thousand Marines who landed at dusk. The D-Day operations, a resounding success, cost 21 dead and 23 wounded. That night, the divisional commander called up his reserve force.

250250 Pacifica Military History Two reinforced battalions of the 5th Marines landed as soon as they could be transported from the South East Cape, New Guinea, to Cape Gloucester. * The Japanese also sent all available forces to Cape Gloucester. Most left on the night of 26 December, and at least one Imperial Army infantry battalion attacked the night before 2/7 December. The. As the Japanese moved to a line of fire facing the 2/7th, the individuals opened fire on every target they could discern on a dark, moonless night. Eventually the Japanese scouts discovered that the 2/7th was in an isolated position with a swamp to the rear and no friendly units on either flank. While the Marines carrying the teams maintained a flow of ammunition across the swamp, the 2/7th held back the developing counterattack with remarkably accurate fire combined with iron discipline. Marines only fired at clear targets, and especially only when fired upon. It rained all night, but the rain eased by dawn just as the Japanese troops were advancing towards a gap in the line. At that moment, troops arrived from a 37 mm anti-tank battery of the 1st Special Weapons Battalion, having laid down their weapons to transport ammunition across the swamp to close the breach. The day was saved in a fast-paced seesaw battle, in which the Marines ended up winning. The Japanese persistently launched increasingly feeble attacks for three days while the Marines built their line with all types of troops. In the tradition that every Marine is a gunner, the line in the center of the beachhead was lengthened, reinforced and completed with 37mm gunners, engineers and other special forces acting as infantry. As the battle progressed on the 2/7th, each regimental component lengthened its line to link up with neighboring units. while 2/7th extended to the right to connect with 3/7th, Gun Company, 7th Marines filled in part of 1/7th's original line to allow the battalion to slide right to connect with 2/7th to connect the flank left. In due course, the Japanese were routed by an unbroken line of battle-hardened Marines, eighteen killed, three missing, and fifty-eight wounded. The Japanese lost at least two hundred killed or wounded, and the battalion around which the counterattack was built was permanently crippled.

251Free Sample Chapter 251 * With the 7th Marines anchored in the center and many of its own troops deployed as infantry, it was evacuated on 2/17, reinforced to a strength of 1,400 by several hundred replacements previously assigned to the Polluted Beaches of the Marine Division. Block; the reinforced 5th Marines prepared to land at Cape Gloucester; and the 1st Marines (2/1 down) moved to the airfields. The Engineers of 17 January and the Seabees of 17 March moved in the wake of the infantry to clear roads and drain embankments across the beachhead. Whenever the roads failed, US Army LCMs and LCVPs dropped supplies along the beach in front of needy troops, and the supplies were carried inland by work crews. The vanguard of the advance on the airfields was the 3/1, which, after a first peaceful night on the ground, advanced along the narrow strip of land that supported the path to the coast. The advance was orderly, deliberate and steady behind a line of combat patrols and artillery cover on duty. * The innovation of the time was in tank-infantry coordination. The 1st Marine Division saw action at Cape Gloucester with two companies of new, modern M4 Sherman medium tanks and a company of sixteen tanks was attached directly to the 1st Marines. The regimental commander, Colonel William Whaling, was a noted logger who organized and trained a reconnaissance force on Guadalcanal and commanded several offensive operations. He took the fledgling tank and infantry doctrine of the day very seriously and vigorously applied it to the incipient advance on Cape Gloucester. Simply put, he linked a squadron of infantry per medium tank to support each other during the advance. The 3/1 vanguard was preceded by a twelve-man reconnaissance force; then a column of armored teams and infantry advanced cautiously but steadily, one after the other, to form lines half a mile to three-quarters of a mile apart. Between the phase lines, infantry combat patrols were deployed on the left (inland) side of the coastal route to probe the dense forests and swamps to secure the advance against Japanese scouts, probes, and counterattacks.

252The tanks did a lot to overcome two belts of bunkers and bunkers encountered along the way. In fact, they took primary responsibility for mining each position with their 75 mm main guns. In return, the infantry stayed close to prevent the tanks from being overwhelmed by Japanese infantry. In this way, at 1:50 pm on 27 December, the 3/1 advanced 5,000 meters towards their target. Before him was a wide, continuous belt of bunkers, bunkers and trenches, centered on a feature that eventually came to be called Hell's Point. * The December 28 attack was postponed to allow time for the 5th Marines to reach Cape Gloucester and deploy in support of the 1st Marines. A message announcing a day's delay in the reinforcement operation was too confusing to understand, but it was determined that the reserve regiments were not arriving, so the 1st Marines resumed the attack after a short delay. Starting at 08:00, the 11th of February bombed the Japanese Defense Zone and at 09:00 Fifth Air Force A-20 ground attack bombers arrived to bomb and bomb the target for an hour. The first Marines should have given up as the last of the A-20s left the scene, but Colonel Whaling requested an hour delay to bring in more tanks. At 11:00 sharp the 3/1 departed for Hells Point in the same formation they had used the day before. Then 1/1 moved to cut a side path through the woods to the side of the coastal path. The Japanese were ready. Although the Defense Zone was built to repel a beach attack, many positions could be reset to face the 1st Marine. An intact infantry battalion, supported by dual-purpose 75 mm guns, controlled the defences. The battle began at 11:45 am on the flank when one company, 1/1, ran into prepared defenses 500 yards from the beach. The first shots were fired by hidden Japanese troops as A Company emerged from the woods into an area of ​​chest-deep grass. The Marines retreated to the tree line that hid them; and then the fighting turned into a four-hour stalemate, with equal forces with rifles and machine guns facing each other. The Marines repulsed two flanking infantry attacks, but were unable to overcome the strong Japanese position by any available means. Eventually, A Company, 1/1, withdrew under cover of the fires, which were extinguished on 11 February.

253Free sample of chapter 253 at night to bring ammo to your battalion perimeter. A stronger attacking force, starting on the morning of 29 December, landed on ground that had been abandoned overnight. Meanwhile, on 28 December, the 3/1 pierced the main line of defense right at Hells Point. The rain and heavy foliage helped protect both sides from the fire, but it also hurt both sides equally. The Marines' armored infantry teams manned defensive positions protected by land mines and barbed wire, as well as interlocking ranges of fire from other positions, with 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, 70 mm infantry guns, and at least three 75 mm. In some places, the infantry-backed M4s rolled over the bunkers, crushing them and exposing the occupants to direct infantry fire, but for the most part, the infantry-backed tanks stayed clear of their targets, cutting down position after position with accurate fire. of 75 mm. Fire. The hellish battle ended at 4:30 pm, when the last bunker on the beach was taken without a fight, after its occupants withdrew minutes earlier in general retreat. There was nothing between the Marines and the airfields. During the night, 266 Japanese corps were counted in the Hells Point defense zone. Less than twenty Marines were killed and less than fifty wounded in the two-day battle, a testament to the effectiveness of the armored and infantry teams. * Half of the 1/5th, most of the 2/5th, Headquarters of the 5th Marine Regiment and various supplies landed at the newly opened Praia Azul, right behind the vanguard of the 1st Marine Corps, starting at 07:30 on the day December 29th. the remaining elements of the 5th Marine Regimental Combat Team landed at Praia Amarela at 09:35 and were sent to the front line. The air and artillery opened at noon on 29 December, ahead of the 1st and 5th Marine Regiments. The Marines attack would be driven 1/1 to the right towards No. 2 airfield; and 2/5 left, towards a range of hills believed to be the site of a Japanese defensive zone. Support was provided by 75 mm 2/11 howitzers, 4/11 105 mm field howitzers, and a pair of DUKW missiles. Attack in the rain and supported by tanks and 75mm half-tracks forced to remain on solid coastal track hit 1/1 die

254254 Pacifica Military History of the airfield against incoherent opposition in 1755 and was soon joined by the 3/1 to defend the area. Meanwhile, 2/5th fell behind as it crossed unexpectedly deep swamps and did not join the attack until 15:00. He found Japanese defensive positions but no Japanese troops in the hills, so he moved down to help secure No. 2 Airfield, where he was tied at 1/1 and 3/1 to complete the night defense perimeter. Still in the woods at dusk, the 1/5th established a defensive position throughout the night. * On 30 December, two reinforced companies of the 2/5th marched past No. 1 Airfield, while the 1/5th moved to No. 2 Airfield. in the Japanese troops, possibly the vanguard of a battalion which should have occupied the important ground a day or two before. A platoon from F Company, 2/5th, was sent to finish off the Japanese, but came under fire from a larger force while climbing one of the hills. Reinforcements arrived from both sides. The Japanese attacked to drive the naval platoon out, but mortar fire held them back and the rest of F Company arrived in time to drive them off. Tanks were called forward; then F Company attacked the Japanese. By 11:30 am, thirty prepared positions were overrun by tanks and marines. Over 150 Japanese bodies were counted against the loss of 13 Marines killed and 19 wounded. Meanwhile, 1/5th rushed into the prepared defenses east of Razorback Hill, but 3/1st and supporting medium tanks charged 1/5th and overpowered the defenders. That night, the 1st and 5th Marines held both airfields and all the major high ground they overlooked. The strategic objectives of the operation were and remained firmly in American hands. On 30 December, an informal flag-raising was held at Razorback Hill by I Company, 3/1, and on 31 December, the formal flag-raising took place at the airfield. * The main objectives of the Cape Gloucester campaign were in the hands of the Marines. after just five days of fighting, but the campaign

255Free Trial Chapter 255 in western New Britain advanced through March 1944, leading elements of the 1st Marine Division in several amphibious landings, long pursuits, and some hard fighting as they extended the beachhead, absorbed several Japanese counterattacks, and pursued the Japanese forces. of all sizes and descriptions, and bases and camps stretching across the west end of the island. The main objectives of the ongoing and expanding offensive were to prevent attacks on Cape Gloucester airfields and to prevent the equivalent of a Japanese division from engaging in any significant operation against Allied forces. All missions were more than accomplished and many hundreds of Japanese were killed or displaced. Unfortunately, the advances of the Southwest Pacific Force into New Guinea and the islands off New Guinea in early 1944, in the run-up to the invasion of western New Britain in 1943, were faster than expected, and the The importance of the Cape Gloucester base diminished even as Engineers and Seabees conquered the Cape beachhead, Gloucester, improved and expanded it and rehabilitated airfields. None of the airfields were in particularly good terrain, and Airfield No. 1 was soon abandoned entirely. The first landing at Airfield No. 2, on January 28, 1944, was that of the personal plane of the General Commander of the 1st Marine Division. Two Fifth Air Force fighter squadrons were stationed there briefly, but both withdrew when the ground war left them behind. By the end of April 1944, the entire 1st Marine Division had been relieved by US Army units and withdrawn to a new training base at Pavuvu in the Russell Islands. A total of 310 members of the division were killed in New Britain and 1,083 wounded in action.

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258258 Pacifica Military History GOLAN DUEL The 100-hour battle that saved Israel By Jerry Asher with Eric Hammel The first Saturday in October 1973: A traditional Jewish Sabbath in Israel. It's also Yom Kippur, and the Israel Defense Forces are preparing to celebrate the holiest of all Jewish holidays. Meanwhile, the Syrian Army, the pinnacle of the modern Syrian state, is gathering in the Golan Heights. Along with newly arrived Soviet equipment, 1,200 main battle tanks, 1,000 armored personnel carriers, 1,000 artillery pieces and over 100 mobile anti-aircraft missile carriers are ready to attack in a lightning-fast offensive that will launch into the sea and will cut off Israel. . in two. Mourning for the Golan Heights, the first book written on this aspect of the Yom Kippur War, is based on interviews with participants on both sides. As such, it remains a compelling and powerful account of one of the greatest tank battles since World War II. It also offers the first in-depth analysis of how and why fewer Israeli defenders were able to inflict one of the greatest defeats in modern military history on powerful Arab forces. Here are the intimate details of tank-on-tank combat, whether retreating, ambushing or charging. Here are the stories of incredible bravery and individual initiative as Israeli defenders struggle to contain the unexpected Syrian onslaught. During the 100-hour battle that saved Israel, every Israeli tank involved in fighting the Golan was hit by enemy fire at least once, with some commanders firing at five or six tanks below them. By the end of the war a few days later, Israeli forces had counter-attacked and advanced as far as their artillery could hit Damascus International Airport and other strategic targets with pinpoint accuracy. The Syrian Army was virtually destroyed in the field, as were contingents from other Arab states such as Iraq and Jordan. How these remarkable twists came about is cleverly portrayed. This insightful account of a battle that changed Middle East history is especially relevant today, as tensions in the region rise again.

259259 Free Sample Chapters Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book DUEL FOR THE GOLAN: The 100-Hour Battle That Saved Israel by Jerry Asher, starring Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. The book is also available in an e-book version. BOOKINGS ARRIVE! by Jerry Asher featuring Eric Hammel Copyright 1987 by Jerrold S. Asher and Eric Hammel The call-up of experienced crews to the IDF reserve brigades began this morning. The reservists were older than the drafted crewmen of the 7th and Barak Brigade centurions, and there was little joy in being back in uniform. Some, like Amos Ben David, took the time to call friends before leaving home. Others simply said goodbye and went to their mobilization centers. For most, the juxtaposition of Yom Kippur celebrations and mobilization gave this meeting a unique character. The mobilization had its own pace. Armored infantry was called up after the tankers. This frustrated David Givati, who had to stand at his apartment window and watch as trucks pulled up to pick up men with higher priorities. Givati ​​decided to kill time with a nap, but soon found himself walking again. Finally there was a knock on her already welcoming door. Another armored infantryman, Benjamin Sheskapovits, was equally impatient. After hours of waiting, he said to the woman: If you don't come soon, I'll go myself. A short time later he was called. Some men mobilized. When Ehud Dafna learned of the mobilization, he called to locate old friends. He found out that they were on their way to the Golan so he ventured to his house.

260260 Pacifica Military History to join them. Giora Bierman, a staff officer, was being treated in a hospital for jaundice. Deciding that his comrades needed him more than he needed perfect health, he unloaded and headed for his storeroom. Each individual struggled with issues and passages. Many chatted and speculated as they waited at pickup points for transport. On the other hand, Sorial Birnbaum ignored the rumors as best he could to concentrate on the Saturday and Yom Kippur celebrations that this huge commotion had interrupted. A piece of paper, a phone call or a verbal message does not turn a civilian into a soldier, or even a soldier into a combatant. The man must leave the house with the necessary equipment that he keeps there, arrive at a meeting point, be transported to a warehouse, be registered as present and be instructed by the career military that make up the permanent staff of his unit what to do is . . If the system is working, the arriving reservist will find all or most of his equipment in order, perhaps stacked on the floor of a building, lined with piles of equipment awaiting the arrival of the other members of his platoon or company. . Personal weapons and ammunition must be delivered by the armory with all required documentation. Vehicles need to be located and made available and serviced at the last minute. In case of delays or illness of the men, gaps due to incomplete transfers or extensions, replacements must be found and trained in vehicle teams or service and support units. Slowly, individuals marry into their organizations and organizations rebuild into cohesive fighting units. Within hours, commanders like Moshe Waks, now Captain Waks again, can declare: The company is ready. Of course, the news that war had indeed broken out added a great sense of urgency to what for many was an annoying lull in holiday celebrations or just real life. Somehow, in evil whispers, the government has been replaced by the many names Israelis have for their enemies. The company commander of Lt. Moshe Nir was on vacation outside of Israel, so Nir was appointed acting company commander. When issuing orders, Nir was approached by one of his men who clearly needed confirmation. Do you know, asked the man, is there a war?

261Free Sample Chapters 261 In an army where the authorities routinely turn a blind eye when men organize jeeps, half-tracks, and even tanks, improvisation was a given. For example, Lieutenant Shimon Ryan couldn't find his jeep despite searching the entire depot for his units. Eventually he went to his company commander and admitted failure. The company commander left Ryan, but returned minutes later in a new jeep he had stolen. (The owner found Ryan a month and a war later and, of course, demanded he return the vehicle.) Little did Amos Ben David, Moshe Waks, Giora Bierman, Moshe Nir, and Shimon Ryan know that the hundreds of small decisions made in those critical first hours would fundamentally reverse the course of the war. They rushed through the familiar process because a war was in progress, but they were not fully aware of the ultimate importance of these preparations for senior commanders. * Out of the chaos of thousands of individual arrivals, Northern Command expected that three fully trained reserve brigades, the 679th, 9th and 70th, and two separate reserve battalions would be stationed on the Golan before nightfall on 7 October. It was about twenty-eight hours into the war. The 159 tanks allocated to reserve units were about equal to the number of tanks Northern Command could station on the Golan at the start of the war. There were significant differences between reserve units. Colonel Gideon Gordon's 70th Armored Infantry Brigade was a unit that time had forgotten. There were actually plans to decommission it because it was equipped with unmodified WWII Sherman tanks and equally old M3 half-tracks. Troops still wore old football helmets instead of the modern plastic helmets distributed almost universally in all IDF armored and mechanized units. All in all, the brigade was a perfect snapshot of a 1963 formation. It was thought that the 70th Brigade could be called upon to defend prepared positions or protect lines of communication, but no one believed that the unit could be used effectively, even safely. on the attack. .

262In stark contrast, Colonel Mordechai Ben Porat's 9th Armored Infantry Brigade, also equipped with Shermans, was seen as a useful striking force. The Shermans had been extensively and expensively upgraded and modernized, and the troops were younger than the veterans of the 70th Brigade. Furthermore, the 9th Brigade had long been a steady force, almost always operating in the Northern Command. Most of the officers and troops had been trained on the Golan and knew the way. Colonel Uri Orrs's 679th Armored Brigade, a relatively new formation, was equipped with early models of Centurion tanks that would be updated in the coming years. Crews consisted of younger men. Overall, the 679th Brigade was considered only slightly inferior to the Barak Brigade. The two independent reserve battalions, the 71st Armored Infantry Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Yoav Vaspe and an unnumbered Armored Battalion reporting directly to Northern Command, were considered absolutely first class units. Battalion 71, which included two biotank companies and an APC company, was assigned to liaise directly with the Barak Brigade. The Northern Command Tank Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Uzi More, was equipped with fully upgraded Centurions. officially, it was to operate as a weapon of opportunity under the direct control of Northern Command Headquarters. The two separate reserve battalions were specially trained for use on the Golan. * Brigadier General Rafoul Eitan emerged as the spark that ignited Israel's war engine. As a parachute officer, Eitan trained for many years in the art of instantly judging battlefield puzzles and the art of moving troops and equipment quickly to solve them. While his colleague, Major General Yitzhak Hofi, kept his attention on the big picture and his ear glued to the telephone that connected him to the Chief of Staff and the Government, Eitan focused his energy and power of concentration on events, changing reports. and fragmentary. of heavily hit bunkers and tank battalions.

263Eventually, his observations led him to place an urgent call to the reserve armored unit whose depot was closest to the Golan. He demanded that a force, any force at all, be sent into the air immediately. Colonel Ran Sarig, who oversaw the deployment of the deployed tank battalion, was more surprised by the fate of the troops than the urgency of Eitan's request. Mobilization was faster than normal. If crew integrity and unit cohesion were ignored, men and machines could be made available to Eitan. Colonel Sarig, a highly qualified professional tank officer well versed in his branch's doctrine of using mass on the battlefield, asked Eitan whether it was really desirable to divide up even the few tanks he could muster. Eitan confirmed his feelings that in this case it certainly was. Back then, Sarig could only create eight Centurions to meet Eitan's demands. Barring tragedy, the makeshift force would arrive at the front sometime on Sunday morning. * The deployment of the first group of eight tanks was further pressure on the reservists who were still on the move. The yelling and pushing was not part of the traditional run and wait practice. The troops perfectly understood the urgency of the orders and oaths. They felt needed. The Syrian advance near Hushniya showed them how important their presence on the battlefield could be. Colonel Yitzhak Ben Shoham summed up his priorities: one or two tanks. Under the direct leadership of each battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Uzi More, the eight centurions climbed the Golan escarpment to Vasit and then moved south along the Petroleum Road to link up with the Zvika force. When More reached Zvika, a second group of fourteen centurions climbed the cliff. They were under the command of More's deputy Major Baruch Lenschner and Captain Moshe Waks. General Hofi considered Lensschner's Baruch Force to be a great force. The commanding general felt this was what he needed to stem the Syrian advance into Hushniya.

264264 Pacifica Military History * Colonel Ben Shoham urged the use of more force in an immediate counterattack against the Syrians controlling the Oil-Hushniya Pass. In Ben Shoham's interpretation of the battle, time was a more important factor than mass. As he told Hofi, what we can do now we might not be able to do later. With the Baruch Force on its way, Hofi authorized Ben Shoham's immediate nighttime counterattack with the eight Centurions of More. As soon as More was informed by Zvika, he decided to attack in two columns. Zvika would have four tanks in the right column and More would lead the other five on the left. The attack began immediately. The first tank in Zvikas' column was set on fire by a bazooka. Seeing that the path ahead was blocked by Syrian tanks equipped with searchlights, Zvika paused for a moment to think. He then ordered one of the remaining tanks forward to rescue the burning Centurion's crew, and positioned his own tank to cover the flank. Both Zvika's tank and the rescue tank were hit. Zvika's gunner was wounded and the lieutenant felt the shock of the explosion and a stab of pain. He climbed out of the tower and landed awkwardly on the ground. Zvika lay back for a moment and regained her senses, but the realization that she was standing next to a burning tank that could explode at any moment was enough to get her to her feet. Without thinking, he rushed straight at the Syrians and extinguished all the tanks in his column. He had been wounded in the upper part of his left arm and the left side of his face, but felt no need to be evacuated. He mounted the last battle-fit centurion in his column and ordered his commander to turn and leave the precincts of battle. * Unbeknownst to Zvika, the Syrians had regrouped after the failed attack. He found them on the street, lined up in a column preparing to move. The attack was misunderstood by the commander of the Syrian 452nd Tank Battalion, Major Farouk Ismail, who assumed he had engaged a larger enemy force. Ismail decided to wait until dawn first

265Free Sample Chapters 265 went ahead and ordered their troop leaders to establish defensive positions along a two kilometer front. Lieutenant Colonel Mores' attack with five tanks accompanied Zvikas for a long time. This went a long way to confirm Ismail's beliefs, but the initial contact angered More, who argued that his attack was based on misinformation about Syrian preparedness and, apparently, the composition of the Syrian military. In the heat of their brief, bitter confrontation, Zvika failed to notice the mechanized infantry escorting Ismail's tank. Mores' tanks were hit and disabled one by one. Seeing a Syrian aiming an anti-tank missile at his command tank, the battalion commander grabbed his courtesy machine gun and opened fire. But the machine gun blocked and the Syrian grenadier fired. Uzi More lost an arm and an eye in the explosion. Zvika emerged from the darkness and stood in the tower of the only centurion to survive his columns' failed assault. He radioed Colonel Ben Shoham and reported the destruction of More Force. On his part, Ben Shoham recognized that what cannot be done immediately must be done later. He caught Eitan on the command rail and told him of the failed counterattack, suggesting that the Baruch Force had disbanded to reinforce Zvika in the Oil Force. The remainder of Major Lenschner's tanks would establish defensive positions on the Sindiana Road. * At this stage of his battle, Eitan ruled out certain limited counterattacks in order to establish a coherent line of defenses on the southern Golan. What Eitan proposed was a considerable undertaking, given the number and disposition of men and equipment and the complexity of moving them across the battlefield in the dark. Eitan drew a new line of defenses from Bunker 110 in the east through Tel Yosifon to Kuzabia Crossing in the west. The line was then extended south through the falls area to Tel Bazak and on to El Al Ridge. The forces involved were not large, but included regulars and reserves in six different movements and concentrations.

266266 Pacifica Military History The southern anchor of Eitan's new line was with the lieutenant. Colonel Yair Yaron, who could still station several squadrons of infantry carrying APC near Ramat Magshimim and Tel Saki. In addition, Yaron unwittingly and temporarily received support in the form of several jeeps and APCs manned by Israeli border guards. The curious patrolmen didn't bother to report to their own headquarters, let alone Yaron's, and simply leaned in the direction of the shots. In time, they collided with Syrian tanks. Amidst the heated exchange of gunfire and crude Arabic epithets at El Al Ridge, the border police did the sensible thing and fled. North of Yaron, on a dirt road known as Cascade Road, was Colonel Ben Shoham with his command tank and a communications half-track. Nearby, in Tel Bazak, the gunners, who were forced to give way earlier, were working on a new battery site. Northwest of Ben Shoham was the Arik Bridge, Jordan's southernmost crossing in the Golan sector. The bridge's route was the most direct from the Jordan Valley to the Hushniya area, so Eitan used it to send Major Gideon Weiler's Centurion Force of the Tank School's Tank Battalion to establish a defensive position that will overwhelm Tel Zohar by crossing Kuzabia. . To the northeast of Hamlet's position was Baruch Force, fourteen Centurions from the Northern Command Tank Battalion deployed to cover the two roads leading out of Hushniya. * Alongside Ben Shoham and Eitan's concerns about time and movement, Colonel Hassan Tourkmani's 9th Infantry Division attempted to exploit Hushniya's advance. Tourkmani was controlled to the north and west by the Tank Battalion of the Northern Command and ordered the Tank Battalion of the 43rd Mechanized Brigade to advance on the Rafid-Kuneitra road. This movement was detected by the Israelis occupying a nearby outpost and a very accurate report was sent to General Eitan claiming an attack by forty Syrian tanks. Tourkmani managed to find the one approach the Israelis had not covered. Eitan struggled to find a way to block this new threat. The reservists were too far to the west to be of any use in the counterattack.

267Free Sample Chapters 267 Tourk-mani is a new impetus and Ben Shoham had absolutely nothing to lose. Eitan called Colonel Ben Gal of the 7th Armored Brigade and ordered him to take command of RafidKuneitra Road. Previously, Ben Gal had kept company with Captain Meir Tiger Zamir of the 82nd Tank Battalion as his unofficial reserve. He now ordered commander Eitan Kauli to use Zamir's company to stop the Syrian advance. * Tiger Zamir deployed two tanks as rearguard in front of Bunker 109, two more tanks on the same hill but further south, and a single Centu-rion on a small hill overlooking the road. The second-in-command was given four tanks and sent to another small hill a mile to the south, from which he would launch the ambush Zamir had in mind. When all the tanks were deployed, Tiger returned to Bunker 109 in his own tank and ordered all crews to close and wait in complete silence for the Syrian column's approach and the searchlights of its attachments. The Syrians rolled down the street, ignoring the waiting Israelis. Although Tiger had planned to contain all Syrian tanks between the ends of his ambush, he had to allow a dozen of them to pass through the head of the ambush before the last of them got past the second-in-command. The gunners were going crazy with the strain of waiting with so many good targets so easy to hit. The searchlight came on, followed by the instant bark of a 105mm tank gun. All Israeli gunners had tracked targets, so they opened fire within seconds. To the right, under their seats, the well-trained porters released new anti-tank shells and hit the gunners, informing them that they could continue firing. Load, fire, train, load, fire, train. The gunners and loaders worked in close harmony as the second-in-command lit the road. The Syrians returned fire, but the Israelis were sunk, virtually undetectable except for the second-in-command, whose searchlight drew heavy fire. Suddenly the light went out. Zamir at first feared that his gunners would not be able to hit their targets, but there was more than enough light from the burning hulls.

268With nearly 25 Syrian tanks destroyed, Tiger reorganized his company and drove them south to reach the survivors. To his surprise, his entire company was still operational, including the deputy commander's tank. The latter relieved and angered Zamir, who asked the lieutenant why he turned off the light. The man muttered that it was dangerous. The lieutenant was right and he was wrong. Previously, Zvika had used Syrian searchlights to locate targets and the Tigers ambush was certainly successful as the road was amply lit by burning tanks. However, Tiger felt that his deputy had given in to his fears before the company could safely relinquish the light. As an officer, Tiger argued, his assistant had primary responsibility for the mission and only secondarily for himself. * Eitans' calculated maneuvers and the timely introduction of the first small reserve formations halted Hushniya's advance, but he still had to face a threat. north to eradicate with available resources.

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270270 Pacifica Military History FIRE ON THE ROAD The Battle of Hue, Tet 1968 By Eric Hammel The Tet Offensive of January 1968 was the most significant military campaign of the Vietnam War. Once considered the jewel of Indochina's cities, the ancient capital of Hue was one of the main targets of this surprise communist offensive, launched on Vietnam's most important holiday. But when the North Vietnamese launched their massive invasion of the city, instead of the general civil uprising and easy victory they were hoping for, they faced a US-South Vietnamese counterattack and a devastating battle of attrition with heavy casualties on both sides. sides. In the end, the Battle of Hue was a clear military and political victory for both South Vietnam and the United States. In Fire in the Streets, the dramatic narrative of battle unfolds hour by hour, day by day. The focus is on US and South Vietnamese soldiers and Marines, from top commanders to frontline infantrymen, and the men and women who supported them. Eric Hammel, renowned military historian, deftly draws on first-hand accounts of combatants in this gripping mix of action and commentary. In addition, Hammel examines the tremendous strain the surprise attack placed on the US-South Vietnamese alliance, the outrageous brutality of the communist liberators, and the lessons learned from US Marines forced to fight in a city, a task for which they did not. were available. everything prepared and which has particular relevance today. With access to rare documents from North and South Vietnam and hundreds of hours of interviews, Hammel has produced the only complete and authoritative account of this crucial historic battle in highly entertaining style.

271Free Sample Chapter 271 Critics Praise for Fire in the Streets The US Naval Institute lawsuit says: Surprise the reader with the scale and intensity of action required to retake the city of Hue. . . Hammel's narrative style. . . connects the reader to the topic [and] indeed to the participants. Military Magazine says, [Fire in the Streets] is true military history at its finest. Hammel writes in a very entertaining style that anyone would love to read. Armor Magazine says: The author has done an excellent job of reconstructing the details of the battle's actions through extensive interviews with the people who fought in the battle. Sea Power Magazine says: A detailed and fascinating report. . . The extensive use of memorabilia by American and South Vietnamese frontline commanders and troops lends immediacy and credibility to Hammel's account of one of the bloodiest battles of the war. . . Library Journal says: The authors' trademark, detailed war scenes and compelling storytelling are taken for granted. Infantry Magazine says: Written in a vivid and readable style, it is the most comprehensive and detailed account of this pivotal action of the war. Highly recommended. Leatherneck magazine says: Mutton is at his best, piecing together the individual stories of pain, frustration, hope and heroism from the multitude of players caught in the maelstrom of death and destruction in the city of Hue in February 1968.

272Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book Fire in the Streets: The Battle for Hue, Tet 1968 by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $32.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. The book is also available in an e-book version. MEAN STREETS by Eric Hammel Copyright 1996 by Eric Hammel On the afternoon of January 31, 1968, the first day of the communist Tet2/5 offensive, a coordinated effort by three companies was underway to evacuate an NVA battalion from the area around the vital stretch double to vacate. Troi Bridge Complex, eight kilometers south of Phu Bai. Suddenly, without warning, the 5th Marines ordered Fox/2/5 to break contact with the enemy and immediately report to Phu Bai for an unspecified mission. The order was binding and non-negotiable; Fox/2/5 broke away from the battalion line and gathered in a field to head north to Phu Bai. Fox/2/5 was in excellent form leaving Troi Bridge for Phu Bai. Although the unit suffered several casualties around the bridge on 31 January, hardly anyone was in R and R; all men who were lightly wounded, wounded or sick returned to duty; and the few necessary spare parts arrived. So Fox/2/5 was almost at full power, rested and well integrated. It had its full staff of lieutenants and noncommissioned officers, and all squads were led by experienced sergeants or noncommissioned officers. When Fox/2/5 arrived at Phu Bai by truck in the late afternoon, Company Commander Captain Mike Downs was instructed to report to Task Force X-Ray CP. There, Downs met with the task force's operations officer and his assistant, both lieutenant colonels. Although Downs didn't know anything about the situation in Hue or even Phu Bai, he couldn't imagine why CP was confused.

273Free sample of 273 panic chapters. After an unsuccessful briefing, Downs was sent to the 1st Marine CP, where the Regimental Operations Officer informed him that Fox/2/5 would be flying to Hue the next day to operate with Lieutenant Colonel Mark Gravels 1/1. Once again, Captain Downs emerged from a perfunctory briefing with only the vaguest idea of ​​what was going on in Hue. As far as Downs could tell, enemy troops were in Hue and Fox/2/5 was needed to drive them off. Downs' impression was that his company would be back on Phu Bai quickly, a few days at most. Like Golf/2/5 before him, Fox/2/5 went to Hue without its packages. The troops had landed their personal belongings before attacking Troi Bridge and there was no time to retrieve them when the call came to inform Phu Bai. All they had was ammo, guns, networking equipment and whatever else they carefully stuffed into their pockets. The troops were given a hot meal that night and everyone slept under tarps that night. On the morning of February 1, the troops learned through unofficial channels that they were on their way to Hue. None of them had ever been to Hue, but pretty much all of them were happy to go. Fox/2/5 had been in the bush for months, suffering losses and had little to show other than corporate bitterness over the experience. The NVA is said to have held out and fought in Huesome, something neither the NVA nor their VC allies had ever done in the bush that Fox/2/5 trampled. It is said that Hue was the place to get something, the place to avenge all the unavenged losses Fox/2/5 suffered in the bush. Reinforced with two 81 mm mortars and two 106 mm recoilless guns, Fox/2/5 began takeoff from Phu Bai at 2:58 pm on 1 February aboard a small number of CH transport helicopters. They were on their way to Doc Lao Park LZ. In addition to shooting down Fox/2/5, Navy helicopters were tasked with carrying a significant supply of ammunition and other supplies for the 1/1 and the two Navy companies already based in Hue. The Fox/2/5 Marines and their officers were unprepared for the sporadic fire that hit most of the helicopters as they landed on the

274274 Pacifica Military History Doc Lao Park LZ. In some cases, helicopters were hit by small arms fire, penetrating the thin layer of metal and startling the unconscious troops inside. Fortunately no one was hurt, but the Marines attacked in earnest from the helicopters' rear ramps, certain that the landing zone itself was under ground attack. Among the many frightened by the oncoming fire were a crowd of American reporters who arrived in Hue aboard Mike Downs' CH-46. Shortly after landing, the company commander was only able to deal with two of the reporters, a team from United Press International. Downs assumed that the other journalists had returned to Phu Bai without leaving the helicopter. There were not enough helicopters to carry the reinforced company the short distance to Hue in a single flight, so the last squadrons did not arrive until 1705. By this time, the main elements of Fox/2/5 were engaged in a bloody battle. *according to Mike McNeil's Golf/2/5 platoon fought all day to replace the GVN force at the provincial jail, six long blocks southwest of the MACV. A dogged effort had Captain Meadows' tired troops crossing the street and climbing fifty feet into the first block of Tran Cao Van Street, but NVA resistance had increasingly stiffened. The attack had stopped. As the hours passed, the mission narrowed. All Meadowss and McNeils' platoon needed to do was reach a small compound that housed a United States Air Force communications contingent. The hideout was just a few blocks southwest of Highway 1, halfway to the prison. Three blocks or six blocks, it doesn't matter: the Golf/2/5 was stuck less than half a block from its starting line. The revelation of the day for Chuck Meadows and his Marines was how many men it took to secure various buildings. To accomplish this, Golf/2/5 learned that a unit had to protect every room in every structure; he had to wage a war in three dimensions instead of the usual two. Once two Fox/2/5 platoons were assembled at MACV, Lt. Colonel Gravel to send them to pick up speed on their way to the Air Force bunker. Captain Downs had

275Once he reported to CP Mark Gravels at MACV, an Air Force sergeant who lived in the barracks was assigned to guide the company. Captain Downs' company then proceeded one block southeast on Highway 1 and turned right southwest onto Tran Cao Van, the first cross street. The entire drive looked as if a cyclone or war had occurred. Shortly before reaching Tran Cao Van, Mike Downs met with Chuck Meadows and Captain Jim Gallagher, the 1/1's new operations officer. Gallagher, a communicator by trade, had recently extended his tour of duty in Vietnam to try commanding an infantry company. As soon as he took over Delta/1/1, news of Commander Walt Murphy's death reached him. As senior captain of the 1/1, despite his lack of infantry experience, he felt compelled to fly to Hue to take over Murphy's duties until a more suitable replacement could be found. Captain Gallagher had arrived aboard one of the night medevac helicopters and assumed his new duties as soon as he arrived at the MACV. He spent the entire day with Chuck Meadows, learning. Learning as you go has been the way Fox/2/5 has operated, as has Golf/2/5 since the service launched in Hue. Learning to deal with the defended urban terrain cost the Golf/2/5 two killed and five wounded on 1 February, for a total of seven killed and fifty-seven wounded in twenty-four hours. Now it was Fox/2/5's turn to pay the price for the experience. * Corporal Chris Browns's 2nd Platoon squadron of 2nd Lieutenant Rich Horners captured Point Fox/2/5 just as Chuck Meadows and Mike Downs completed the formal surrender. By order of Lieutenant Horner, the Browns force was to turn the corner of Highway 1 towards Tran Cao Van and attack on the right sidewalk. Another squadron of the Horners platoon would follow, then break free to attack the left side of the tree-lined residential street. The officers had already told everyone that all buildings on both sides of the street would have to be fully secured from the bottom up before anyone could proceed to the next building, and that units on both sides of the street would have to dodge. quickly from the NVA by opening fire flanking the windows on the second floor. The senior Air Force sergeant joined the Browns' squad just before the Marines turned the corner. The first thing he said to Chris

276The military story of 276 Pacifica Brown was that the Golf/2/5 had been trying to fight its way up the road since dawn and the men had been butted every time. He went on to express his opinion that the mission was suicidal. Corporal Brown turned to the lieutenant. Horner, to express the sentiments of the Air Force sergeants, but Horner just shrugged and said, "Let's go." The Horners platoon advanced about fifty feet on Tran Cao Van, with two squadrons in front and one in reserve, a classic infantry formation. After passing the Gulf/2/5, the two Marines who made up the Corporal Browns main crew deployed behind a shoulder-high wall to provide cover. This was another classic infantry maneuver, strictly by the book. Although Fox/2/5 had never fought in a village and the young troops had never been properly trained for house-to-house combat, the troop leaders knew very well how to fight in enemy terrain. But by this time Corporal Brown, Lieutenant Horner and Captain Downs were beyond the knowledge that kept them and large numbers of Marines like them alive in the wild. That's when Fox/2/5 learned what the term Streets really means. Private First Class Louis Gasbarrini came out first. He stepped out from behind the wall and ran along the sidewalk to the nearest tree. Corporal First Class Charles Campbell was next and climbed the wall. Before Campbell hit the ground, Gasbarrini had been seriously wounded in the arm by an AK-47 blast that could have come from anywhere. Someone yelled, doctor! and Hospital 3rd Class husband James Gosselin, a 26-year-old former Green Beret, emerged from behind the wall. He was halfway to Gasbarrini when he was shot, Fox/2/5's first kill in Hue. Once Doc Gosselin was down, the NVA turned their fire on Corporal Brown; Air Force Sergeant; and Private Stanley Murdock, the Browns radio operator. No doubt the NVA was attracted to Murdock's radio antenna. Corporal Lance Carnell Poole was a few paces behind the three men when they were hit by automatic weapons fire. Poole clearly saw the stream of bullets pinning Murdock against a wall behind him; the sheer force of the bullets kept the radio operator on his feet. The shooting stopped, but Murdock stood there, holding his m-

277Free Sample Chapters 277 16 indistinctly next to him, panting every few seconds. In extreme slow motion, before Corporal Lance Poole or any of the other startled onlookers could do anything, Private Murdock's eyes clouded over and his breathing stopped. Fox/2/5 suffered his second kill in seconds. The Air Force sergeant was seriously injured in the same explosion. Despite or because of the shots that hit the bottom of the wall, several members of the Browns brigade went out into the street to reach what appeared to be the safer left side. Most of the men managed to take cover, but Corporal David Collins, Private First Class William Henschel and Private First Class Cristóbal Figueroa-Perez were all shot. When the dust settled, none of them moved. As Chris Brown shrugged in the shock of almost sudden death, Lieutenant Homer's piercing scream reached him: Move! Brown looked up, but there was no one around. For a second, the squad leader didn't know what to do. Then he went into automatic overdrive, moving with training and instinct. Brown darted around the wall and zigzagged along the sidewalk. When the time seemed right to dive, he landed next to Corporal Lance Campbell, who told Brown that whenever he tried to fire on the NVA inside buildings, the bullets threw cement dust in his face. Corporal Brown shouted at Private First Class Gasbarrini, who was standing in front of everyone. Gasbarrini shouted back that he was hit in the arm and was playing dead because he was afraid to move behind the nearest cover. Corporal Browns force was blocked. If anyone moved, the EVN soldiers would shoot Tran Cao Van in the buildings facing the street. Brown informed Lieutenant Horner that Gasbarrini was injured and out of range. Horner informed Brown that he was trying to bring in a tank to cover a rescue operation. Brown ordered as many as possible to retreat behind the wall. So Fox/2/5 prepared to wait. There was nothing else anyone could do. Minutes later, Lieutenant Colonel Gravel Fox/2/5 to call it a day and return to the MACV as soon as the company is able to monitor its victims. It felt like hours to Chris Brown before two Navy M-48 tanks entered the Tran Cao Van and raced towards the Private First Class Gasbarrini. When the lead tank stopped at the level of the Brown Wall

278Using this as a retreat, he carefully positioned himself behind the armored car and carefully followed it along the right side of the road. The tank passed Gasbarrini and stopped, a steel wall to protect the evacuation. As Chris Brown bent down to help the wounded man, a hail of bullets raced towards them. Brown felt a rush of warm liquid onto his outstretched hands; he was sure Gasbarrini had been injured again, but it was just water. A round had passed through the Gasbarrinis' cantina. Brown pushed the wounded man behind the tank, and other members of the squadron helped Gasbarrini to the rear. As the main tank stood guard and surveyed the surrounding buildings with fire from its .50 caliber canopy gun, members of Brown's force carefully gathered in the street to lift their wounded and dead comrades onto the flat rear deck of the second tank. Four of the men, Dr. Gosselin, Private Murdock, Corporal Collins and Private First Class Henschel turned up dead. A fifth, Private First Class Figueroa-Perez, appeared to be seriously injured. As the rear tank, also firing its .50 caliber machine gun, retreated, a B-40 missile was fired from a second story window, hitting directly into the side of the engine compartment. Two of the bodies on the rear deck, which was above the engine, were thrown onto the street. Immediately piercing screams erupted from one of the bodies. Several Marines ventured back to the tank to see who it was and why. The man shouting was Private First Class William Henschel. He had been shot in the head and knocked unconscious while trying to cross Tran Cao Van. No wonder his frightened comrades had presumed him dead; his gruesome head wound looked fatal and there was no time for a thorough examination amidst the bullet-riddled Tran Cao Van. When the B-40 blasted Henschel out of the tank, he apparently woke up from the shock of the explosion. Upon closer inspection, HenscheP was found to be missing his left leg below the knee. No one could say if it had been blown up by the B-40 or if the tank had turned back on it. It didn't matter; the leg is gone. Henschel was known as Marine Doc on Fox/2/5. Although he had no formal training in first aid, he carried a pack of Unit One supplies, as did the Navy medics. He still had it when his shocked and stunned comrades plucked it from the surface of Tran Cao Van. AND

279A free sample of 279 chapters was used to place a tourniquet to control the bleeding in his leg. The head wound turned out to be superficial. After the tanks had retreated around the corner of Highway 1, another Marine was left immobile in an exposed position about twenty meters from Tran Cao Van. A nose count revealed that it was Private Roberto de la Riva-Vara. Everything was done to reach de la Riva-Vara's body, but the tanks were unable to protect the rescuers and the NVA kept an eye on him, certain that they could kill any rescuer who went in search of him. Lieutenant Horner had had enough. With nothing to show, Fox/2/5's 2nd platoon suffered fifteen casualties, three of whom were known to be dead, one (Figueroa-Pérez) presumed dead and one (de la Riva-Vara) presumed dead. The lieutenant asked Captain Downs if he could call him one day; there was no point in losing more men to save de la Riva-Vara's body. Mike Downs wouldn't leave anyone behind. After the wounded and dead had been unloaded from the tank and sent to the MA ACV, Downs ordered both tanks to withdraw to Tran Cao Van to cover Lieutenant Horner's recovery of de la Riva-Varas' body. The tanks fired their machine guns on the way and cautiously passed where one of them had already been hit by a B-40. Not much happened. The NVA fired their AK-47s at the tanks, but no B-40s were fired. The tanks moved forward and the foot soldiers followed. When they reached De la Riva-Vara, he waved his arms a little. He had been shot in both legs and had cunningly played dead. On the way back, Lieutenant Horner was wounded. The victims of Fox/2/5 were returned to MACV without further incident. Later that night, all of the day's heavy casualties, including Lieutenant Horner, were evacuated from the LZ at Doc Lao Park. In contrast to the previous night's bloody medevac sorties, the convoy to the LZ was led by one of the M-48 tanks, simply passing through houses and backyards on a path that NVA gunners could never have marked out in advance. Before dawn, news broke that Private First Class Cristóbal Figueroa-Perez had died of his wounds at the Phu Bais triage centre. ***

280280 Military History of Pacifica

281Free Sample Chapter 281

282282 Military History of Pacifica FIRST AROSS THE Rhine The 291st Combat Engineer Battalion in France, Belgium and Germany Colonel David E. Pergrin starring Eric Hammel First Across the Rhine is the first-person narrative from the Commander of the acclaimed 291st Combat Engineer Battalion of Combat, one of the US Army's tough, hardworking combat engineering units that literally paved the way from Normandy to the Rhine and beyond. After landing in Normandy shortly after D-Day, the 291st quickly built a reputation as a smart and capable engineering combat unit. During the assault on France and Belgium in the summer of 1944, the 291st acted as the United States' main engineering battalion. First Army In December 1944, the lightly armed 291st found itself virtually alone as it attacked the Panzer Spearhead route with the leadership of Army Group North in Hitler's final offensive in the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge. Tough and confident, the 291st blew up key bridge after key bridge in the face of the German attack, denying Germany the victory it needed in the West. Weeks later, the 291st was selected from all of the US Army's combat engineer battalions in Germany to build the first bridge across the Rhine, against tremendous opposition. So he built Europe's longest combat bridge in record time and opened up Germany's heartland to the Allied giants. Few US combat units have equaled the distinction and recognition bestowed on the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion. Here, in the words of its sole combatant commander, the 291st's recipe for success is rigorous training and team spirit to excel. This is a gripping and inspiring story about a vital aspect of warfare that has been all but ignored in the thousands of WWII books that have flooded the market over the last half century.

283Free Sample Chapters 283 Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book FIRST AROSS THE RHINE: The 291st Engineer Combat Battalion in France, Belgium, and Germany by Colonel David E. Pergrin and Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $17.95 paperback edition published by Zenith Press. The book is also available in an e-book version. ENGINEERS AT WAR by Colonel David E. Pergin and Eric Hammel Copyright 1994 by David E. Pergin and Eric Hammel. Lieutenant Colonel David Pergrin's 291st Engineer Combat Battalion was the US Army's leading engineering unit in the European theater of World War II. The combination of being in the right place at the right time, having the ingrained skills to get the job done in any conditions, and having the kind of leadership and human quality that make any task seem easy earned the 291 more praise than anyone else. others. its wonderful sister engineering units. The two greatest achievements of the battalions in this war were, firstly, stopping almost single-handedly the powerful German tank advance in the northern Ardennes during the Ardennes offensive, and secondly, building the first technical bridge over the Rhine at Remagen in March from 1945. But in these towering historic developments where the action took place, luck was in the game, and so the fair way to judge the 291 is by what it accomplished on the job. After helping elements of the US First Army retake all the territory lost during the Battle of the Bulge, the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion was tasked with helping the 82nd Airborne Division take on a dangerous new objective. The objective of the 82nd Airborne Division in late January 1945 was to break through the Siegfried Line near Losheim, the same point the Germans had crossed in the opposite direction at the start of their Ardennes offensive. For the new attack, Colonel H. Wallis completes Anderson's Combat Engineer 1111

284284 The Pacifica Military History Group was attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps, so the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion was transferred from a temporary deployment to the 1186th Engineer Combat Group under the direct command of Colonel Anderson, under which it served most of the time. the time since it had landed in Normandy in June 1944. * At 06:00 on 29 January, Maj. Gen. James Gavin's 82nd Airborne Division leapt through the 7th Armored Division towards the Losheim Gap. Holding a front line between Born and Ambleve, the 82nd Airborne attacked northeast over the high ground overlooking Wereth, with the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment to the left, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment to the left, right and the 505th and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in reserve. To the left of the 82nd attacked the 1st Infantry Division. The men of the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion did not follow the lead companies of the 82nd Airborne Division to Losheim Gap as we had followed the lead companies of the 30th Infantry Division to St.-Vith. No, we mainly guided the paratroopers through waist-deep ice and snow, clearing trails through trackless minefields with our armored tractors so that the paratroopers and glider infantry could move lightly armed and largely armed. no support. From the start, we braved a howling snowstorm and freezing temperatures through dense forest with no rudimentary trails. The problems and difficulties we faced were surmountable, but only by battle-hardened troops with strong hearts and iron determination. Fortunately, the 291 had them in abundance. Of particular interest was the heroic action of Herbert Helgerson, a Fifth Grade Technician, a B Company dredge operator, on 29 January near Wereth. Helgerson did an excellent job clearing accumulated snow from a supply road along the front lines. Often working in front of the infantry, he was once pinned down by German machine gun fire and faced almost constant mortar and artillery fire, called out by German spotters who appeared to be watching him during his mission. Despite the alarming proximity of the fire, Helgerson managed to clear a way for the infantry to receive vital support from behind.

285Free Sample Chapters 285 Another notable achievement was that of Corporal Edward Woertz, who became so immersed in his work that he worked eighteen hours or more straight for four consecutive days. Indeed, at one point, Woertz continued to work despite German machine-gun fire hitting the body of his bulldozer. Not surprisingly, some of the bravest men were those who had already proven themselves in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. One of those who continued driving his armored bulldozer straight into enemy positions was Tom Noland of Tech 4th, whose exemplary leadership did much to save the day against the Skorzeny Brigade at Malmedy. Ultimately, however, Tom was seriously wounded by a barrage of German gunfire as he cleared the way for troops of the 325th Glider Infantry in front of an active German defensive position. Furthermore, Lieutenant Wade Colbeck, working far beyond his expected capacity, took pathetic, life-threatening shifts in the cabs of armored bulldozers when the dazed operators on their trains needed a breather or relief. In addition to bulldozers and bulldozers, we were directly involved in infantry support, we had up to ten bulldozers and five bulldozers working continuously behind the lines, laboriously opening or cutting supply and escape routes. The Germans had mined every possible route through the forest, but our mine clearance teams seemed to have found all the mines along the routes we cleared and used. Despite formidable natural obstacles and difficulties, on 28 January the 504th Parachute Infantry advanced seven thousand meters and captured Herresback, having killed 65 and captured 201 Germans without loss. The 325th Glider Infantry faced increased resistance in its area and suffered corresponding casualties. However, he also ended the day way ahead of his starting lineup. The 82nd Airborne Division's attack continued in a northeasterly direction on 29 January, but atrocious weather conditions and a heavy snowstorm limited the 325th and 504th Regiments to average advances of 2,000 metres. A relief attack by the 505th Parachute Infantry to the southeast on the climb towards Honsfeld was only 1,500 meters. The 291 was therefore still in the same area as

286286 Pacifica Military History Belgium, where we had operated prior to the German offensive that had begun some six weeks earlier. On January 30, at 05:00, the 325th Glider Infantry jumped to the northeast. At about 3 pm, parts of the Bucholtz regiment reached the Honsfeld-Losheim railway line. As night fell, patrols of skidding infantrymen were returning from the German side of the border. Also on this day, the newly deployed 508th Parachute Infantry captured Lanzerath and the damaged highway bridge over the railway line. This gave American troops possession of Kampfgruppe Peipers' original starting position, a significant gain. On 31 January, a day of consolidation in the 82nd Division's area, the 505th Parachute Infantry fought its way towards Losheim-Ergraben against moderate resistance. As Fifth Grade Tech Mike Popp and I toured the border area and visited my operational platoons, we noted how many German vehicles and horse-drawn artillery units had been shot down by our tactical air. Furthermore, many of the villages suffered extensive damage from our fighter-bomber pilots and there was no evidence of German civilians in the area. Apparently, an order from Hitler to civilians to defend the fatherland to the death was strictly ignored. Captain Bill McKinsey reported that the Lanzerath Bridge, which the 82nd Airborne relied on to advance its mobile artillery and armour, was impassable. Based on the Bills frontline survey, we are preparing to construct a 180-foot Bailey span through an 80-foot-deep rail cut through the Lanzerath Ridge. The location of the new bridge would be right on the Belgian-German border, our first construction contract in the Nazi homeland. The work was a typical rush. General Gavins's divisional command wanted to reinforce the positions of the 508th Parachute Infantry on the hill between Losheim and Manderfeld with the self-propelled guns of the 629th Panzer Destroyer Battalion. The 508th had already parried a German counter-attack with its light infantry weapons, and although Bill McKinsey reported seeing German infantry retreating, no one knew what the Germans would launch next in a symbolic defense of their frontier.

287Free Sample Chapter 287 On 1 February the CP 291st Battalion advanced from Malmedy to Meyerode and Companies A and C joined together to construct the Lanzerath Bridge. However, before they could advance to the bridge site, our mine clearance teams had to move forward and clear all approaches. Not surprisingly, the Germans had mined all the side areas with anti-tank and anti-personnel devices and, unsurprisingly, had set up numerous booby traps whose sole purpose was to kill or maim the engineers clearing the mines. As usual, we had no casualties, but working in snow and ice made things extremely difficult. Major Ed Lampps's plan was to begin work on the bridge at 12:30 pm on 2 February. Long experience had instilled in Ed the belief that a bridge as vital as this one would be watched by German artillery spotters, so his typical response was to do as much work as possible under the cover of darkness. At sunset, the two engineering firms and their entire staff moved to holding areas within a mile of the bridge site. For the next six hours all the troops worked feverishly to prepare for the vast and miserable work that lay ahead. Then, at 12:30, Captain Warren Rombaughs of C Company advanced en masse to the bridge site to begin the first continuous 12-hour shift. Because it was so cold, Warren could only work on the trains for four hours straight, which we learn can last as long as humans can withstand the superhuman task of installing the impossibly cold two-hundred-pound steel plates. The night was cloudy and hail was constantly falling on all the men whose duties prevented them from a rudimentary shelter. The hail slowed progress a little, forcing all the workers to put on their woolen caps to cover their ears and face. Sporadic artillery fire contributed significantly to the weather's retarding effect, but fortunately caused no casualties. One of the biggest dangers was that the bridge's glazed steel plates could slip or slide through the 25-metre-deep rail cut. Again, no one was hurt, although there were intermittent heartbeats during the ordeal. All of this was done with the knowledge that the lightly armed and relatively unsupported paratroopers of the 508th Paratrooper Infantry were waiting.

288288 Pacifica Military History their tank destroyers in vulnerable infantry positions about a mile from the bridge. Mike Popp fought our command car to the bridge site around 03:00 on February 2nd, immediately after one of the numerous artillery barrages. Watching the extremely cold, battle-hardened soldiers of C Company pass through the 5' x 5' panels of the double-triple Bailey Bridge over an 80-foot deep gorge in an ice storm, I became confident. finish anything, literally anything any combat engineer could dream of. The bridge, which would be two panels thick and three panels high, with a single-span walkway deck, required 216,500-pound panels to be placed. When completed, with one end in Belgium and the other in Germany, the 180-foot span could carry a 40-ton load moving at ten kilometers per hour. We opened the bridge to traffic at 5 pm on February 3, forty and a half hours after work began. We did this after a continuous effort by two full companies of combat engineers and without suffering a single casualty or injury, despite relentless German artillery fire and incredibly dangerous working conditions. Our first customers were all self-propelled tank destroyers of the 629th Tank Destroyer Battalion. And the reward that soon followed was a widely supported coordinated attack across the Lanzerather Bridge, in which the 325th Sailing Infantry Regiment and the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment quickly and decisively smashed the Siegfried Line between Neuhof and Udenreth north of Losheim. Loophole. As quickly as possible, the 291st followed the 82nd Airborne through the Dragon's Teeth and the impressive array of bunkers and bunkers that make up the Siegfried Line. Behind us was the long-awaited advance on the enemy frontier, and before us victory, but not without difficulties and struggles, hope and glory such as we had never seen before. * On February 7, 1945, Colonel Anderson contacted me with orders to move the entire 291st Combat Engineer Battalion to a new base at Hurtgen Woods. The news was not well received and immediately

289The 289 free sample chapters became a matter of deep concern among those of us who followed the largely unsuccessful efforts of as many as 120,000 pre-Bulge Americans to protect this vital, heavily forested border region. Unfortunately for many Americans who tried and failed, and for many more of us who would try again, the capture of the Hürtgen Forest was absolutely essential to the intended Allied broad front attack across the Cologne Plains to the river, which was the last step. important. natural barrier that separates us from the western heart of Germany. Significant features of the forest region were two huge hydroelectric power stations, Urftallsperre and Schwammenauel, which regulated the water level of the Rur flowing northwards. If the Allies fail to capture the dams intact, the Germans may flood the Rur valley and deny us the wide frontal access to the Rhine that seems essential to our strategic concept. The earlier fighting at Hurtgen was the worst of the war in Western Europe. Not only did the Germans make a special effort to lay mines and booby traps, they also knew how important the region was to us, but they also liked to fire their artillery into the dense treetops to create hails of shrapnel and pieces of firewood, which foot soldiers could fire. Advancing openly, they could not defend themselves in any way. Coupled with many extremely complex, extensive, continuous, interlinked and ground-hardened defense sectors, these assets resulted in over 9,000 casualties in the Ardennes. The news of our commitment to Hürtgen's renewed campaign shocked us doubly, as we had narrowly avoided a commitment in December due to the start of the German offensive in the Ardennes. He had already traveled through the American-held Hürtgen region in the days immediately preceding the German offensive to examine how the 291st would be deployed to capture the Roer dams. I frankly hoped in the weeks following the Ardennes that the headquarters responsible for reducing Hürtgen's defenses would have forgotten about the probable engagement of the 291st. In the end, my wishes were not granted. To prepare for Hurtgen's new journey, the entire battalion traveled by caravan from Meyerode to Walheim, a German town east of the Siegfried Line.

290290 Military history of Pacifica near Schmidt. We were still with the 1111th Engineer Group, but now under the control of Maj. Gen. John Millikin's III Corps, which was in the center of the US First Army zone, directly opposite Hurtgen Forest. To our left was VII Corps and to our right was V Corps. If the III. Corps could not keep the Roer dams intact, the US 9th Army, which adjoins the 1st Army to the north, could not attack the Roer Valley for fear of being swamped by the Germans, which eventually shaped our strategy. If the US 9th Army could not advance, then neither could Field Marshal Montgomerys in his entirety, the 21st Army Group to which he was attached. And if the 21st Army Group could not advance, so could the four Allied armies in the center and south, the US 1st and 3rd Armies in the 12th Army Group area, and the US 7th Army, the US and the French 1st not it is 6th Army Group territory. . Ultimately, an Allied advance towards the strategic Rhine barrier led to the hoped-for success of the III. Body in the Huertgen Forest. * Whole corps preparations for the attack on the Roer dams gave us some time to clean up and do overdue tasks and settle in after our harrowing weeks on the front lines of the attack on Germany. The barracks we occupied for the troops were acceptable, but they were warm and comfortable compared to where we had been holed up for weeks. Everyone had the opportunity to follow my instructions for shaving each day, and the showers were prepared to meet everyone's needs. Slightly less important than supplying and sustaining the troops was the opportunity the lull afforded us to repair, restore, and relocate our distressed equipment. A flood of letters was immediately offset by the arrival of a ton of mail that had been chasing us across the battlefield for weeks. This included hundreds of responses to the 650 Christmas cards sent by battalion headquarters personnel to our men's families shortly before the start of the Ardennes. It was an enjoyable read, although relatives of several of our dead comrades sent some replies in the mail before news of the deaths reached home. A surprising number of letters and cards complained to me that children and husbands

291Free Sample Chapters 291 I hadn't been writing at home and asked Johnny to write more often. The many packages that arrived late before Christmas brightened our rest with a dizzying array of goodies from home. Like the old man, he had to taste more sweets than any human being should. Given our apprehensions of the battalions' imminent battle, the considerate attitude of our family and friends back home was sweeter news than I can express. We maintained our skills with a variety of local engineering assignments. The area around Walheim was littered with unclean minefields and Captain Jim Gamble's A Company kept fit by building a small airstrip near Schmidt for use by the Piper Cub light artillery reconnaissance aircraft. Of course, all the postal companies were out every day from sunrise to sunset, repairing the muddy and bomb-damaged roads and bridges that would bring back supplies and casualties when the new attack began. * There was no certainty that the 291 would end up having anything to do with the Roer dams, but the bets among senior officials were largely in that direction. Major Ed Lampp was extremely blunt in such predictions. We knew we were considered the top battalion. Being judged like that had its upsides, but it also meant taking on the dirtiest tasks. Furthermore, our preparations before the Ardennes were aimed at the dams; There was no reason to believe that people who remembered our early surveys and reports would forget those plans. To be sure, I had Captain Bill McKinsey send out a reconnaissance team on February 9th to inspect the dikes as closely as possible and assess the general situation in the HI Corps area. Bill belatedly reported to battalion headquarters and company commanders. The 78th Infantry Division jumped onto the dykes on 5 February after a series of failed attacks on Schmidt. (The mission to capture Schmidt was given to the 82nd Airborne Division by Maj. Gen. James Gavins on February 2, and Gavin entered the city by a new route directly along the main road through Lammersdorf, rather than overland through Lammersdorf.) through the often

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292292 Pacifica Military History made heavy use of and defended Kail Gorge.) Also on 5 February, Kampfkommando R of the 9th Panzer Division (Reserves) marched south of the 78th Division near Wahlerscheid in the Monschau Forest, an area within Hürtgen. It was a great relief to learn that Roer's second highest prize, the Urftallsperre, had fallen intact to the 9th Ironclad on the first day of their attack. As Bill McKinsey gleefully pointed out: That's one dam we don't need to rebuild! The main attack, that of the 78th Infantry Division, met light resistance on 5–6 February, but still proceeded cautiously. On February 7, the divisional commander decided to try to advance to the unsecured Schwammenauel embankment with his three infantry regiments. A company from the division's organic engineering battalion, the 303rd, was placed at the head of each of the charge infantry regiments. In the ensuing action, engineers alone destroyed over two hundred concrete bunkers in the defended section between Lammersdorf and the Rur, or directly assisted in the destruction. Bill McKinsey saved the best news for last. The 9th Panzer Division was sent on 9 February to assist the 78th Infantry Division in allowing the 78th Division to divert its 309th Infantry Regiment across the country towards the Schwammenauel Dam. By the end of the day, just hours before Bill was to conduct his briefing, the vital prize had fallen into the hands of the 309th Infantry. Even better, the dam was intact. Best of all, the dam breach allowed the 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, to leap right into Schmidt. All goals from III. Bodies were taken and the full SHAEF assault on the Rhine could begin without the 291st having been involved in bloody fighting in the Huertgen Forest. * Early in the morning of February 10th, Colonel Anderson called the CP Battalion and asked me to change the group with Major Ed Lapp immediately. There, Major Harry Webb, the group's operations manager, briefed Ed and me on Operation GRENADE, the planned attack across the Roer River.

293Free Sample Chapters 293 First, Webb told us that while the Germans hadn't destroyed the dams, they had done a lot of damage. In particular, they destroyed the mighty dam wall and drainage valves of the Schwammenauel and diverted water behind the Urftallsperre behind the Schwammenauel. The effect was not, as had been feared, an unstoppable torrent of water, but we were faced with the containment of a relentless flood which would flood the Rur Valley unchecked for about two weeks. If that happened, the advance of the US 9th Army towards the Rhine would be seriously delayed and this would have a ripple effect on the entire SHAEF front. According to Webb, it looked like the attack would be delayed for about two weeks. The Germans not only destroyed the machines, but also blew up part of the spillway, leaving a large gap over the dam. The 25 meter drop prevented the 78th Infantry Division from receiving armored support across the bridge to the thin infantry screen defending the bridgehead on the east bank of the Rur. Major Webb then drew our attention to his map. He told us that at the start of Operation GRENADE we were to directly support the 78th Infantry Division by building a bridge across the gap at the Schwammenauel Dam to ensure the free flow of armored vehicles and supplies to the east. As Webb spoke, Ed Lapp looked me in the eye and smiled as if to say, I told you so! In fact, he had done this many times over the last few days. After informing us that the effort would undoubtedly come under direct German fire, Webb ended the briefing on an overly cheery note: “You got the contract.” Before returning to my CP to assemble the battalion, he called me Colonel Anderson aside. He told me that the 291st had been chosen for the post by senior officers of the 1st Army because of their high regard for us. Ed and I returned to CP and called a meeting of senior and line officers to discuss the new and challenging mission. Bill McKinsey immediately dispatched patrols to inspect the entire rear of the 78th Division and report any damaged or destroyed bridges and road sections that needed mine clearance or repair. Until then the

294294 Pacifica's Military History The initial thaw had left many long stretches of vital roads in complete disrepair as our Army's steel-clad tracked vehicles drove over them. As soon as Bill left to send out the patrols. Captain Max Schmidt contacted the group by phone to gather our fair share of available engineering supplies. * The general plan of Operation GRENADE was to launch the attack from the northern edge of the battlefield, building bridges in the area of ​​the assault divisions further north in the 19th century. Corps of the US 9th Army was built, which had already been an established beachhead east of the river, successive divisions would cross the same bridges and hook up with the earlier units to the south. Thanks to the slow flooding of the Schwammenauel dam, the Rur was in the 19th century. Corps increased from thirty to over a hundred. This caused untold delays as engineers tried to figure out whether they should bridge the river, which was wider than expected, or wait for the water to subside, in which case they would be left with a huge muddy swamp over the plain that would otherwise remain. back. It was decided to wait. When the battalion's CP was transferred from Walheim to Rotgen, west of Schmidt, the 291st's map companies used the delay to clear mines and restore the road network in our area. We also looked at the heavy field guns of the Artillery Battalion of the 78th Division. On 18 February, the group called to say they had just received a telegram from III. The first President Roosevelt signed the Presidential Unit Citation for which the 291st was recommended because of its extensive service during the Ardennes. Colonel Anderson asked me to stop by corporate headquarters to give my approval to a signature stub that included Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Bradley, and Hodges. All battalion men and those who were wounded and evacuated during and after the actions in which we had earned this honor received a copy of the summons and became eligible to wear the ribbon. However, we didn't have time for a formal ceremony because we were too busy getting ready for our next big adventure.

295Free Sample Chapter 295 On February 19, a damaged B-24 heavy bomber crashed in a small field south of Rotgen. We at CP heard the plane land, so I jumped in my command car with 5th grade coach Mike Popp and ran to see what was going on. The makeshift airstrip, part of an extensive minefield, was in the platoon area of ​​C Company Dom Davis. When I arrived, the heavy bomber crew was disembarking at the request of Don and his men. remain until a safe route through the mines has been cleared with the help of mine detectors. The bomber's new crew, who all looked to be about eighteen, ignored the instructions and scrambled towards us across the muddy field. When they got to the road, we pointed out the many signs warning of mines in the field, but these smug boys laughed and bragged: If we can crash-land a heavy bomber in a small field like this, there's no way we can do it. minefield that can kill us. As these mindless pilots watched, Davis's men immediately set to work clearing mines from the exact route they had taken from the bomber. When the airmen saw the mines, they were so excited that they refused to go back to the bomber for their personal belongings. * By February 22nd, flooding in the Roer Valley had subsided enough for Operation GRANADE to begin the following day, February 23rd. As planned, the attack started from the north, towards Jülich, in the southernmost area of ​​the 19th century. Corps of the US 9th Army. German air and artillery knocked out the assault bridges in the 102nd Infantry Division's area, but the engineers, using a huge smokescreen in the adjacent 29th Infantry Division's area, broke the flow. Late in the day, the tanks advanced to Jülich. In the area to the south, elements of the 30th Infantry Division stormed across a river in boats, but no bridges were completed in their area and therefore it was not possible to send armor to support the bridgehead. In the 1st Army's northern sector, VII Corps failed to bridge the Roer on 23 February, but the next day engineers built a Bailey bridge on piers of the blown-up main road bridge at Dren. that was the

296296 Pacifica Military History the only bridge built to withstand the VII Corps attack that day. A pontoon bridge scheduled to cross the river on 24 February was delayed by a strong defensive effort by the 12th Volksgrenadier Division. This bridge was eventually completed, but the Germans continued to harass units crossing it. Until February 28, parts of six divisions in the areas of the XIX. and VII Corps crossed the Rur and advanced towards the Cologne plains towards the Rhine. In the morning, our battalion liaison officer, Captain Lloyd Sheetz, called from KP of the 78th Infantry Division to tell us that the three regiments of the 78th Lair had safely crossed the river and prepared to attack along the long side of the 9th Division. Panzer across the Plain of Colonia the next day, 1 March. Among other things, the 291st must contain the attack of the III. Help the Corps by building a Bailey Bridge in Blens. * As soon as we received Lloyd Sheetz's message, Ed Lampp sent Bill McKinsey to Blens to inspect the bridge site. Around the evening of the 28th, Bill returned late from his last-minute scouting trip with an oddly tormented expression on his face. As the story unfolded, Bill's recon team approached the destroyed bridge at Blens to confirm the length measurement of the Bailey Bridges, which we planned to launch the next day. The Germans on the east bank of the Rur apparently spotted Bill and his team and went to great lengths to apprehend them. The scouts crouched behind a pillar all day, escaping only after dark. Commander Lampp assigned the Blens Bridge to Captain Frank Rhea's B Company. Frank, in turn, assigned Blens' work to Lieutenant John Kirkpatrick's platoon. Frank moved CP Company B to a building near the bridge site around noon on March 1 so that he could oversee the preparation of the bridge crew. However, almost as soon as Frank arrived, the Germans opened heavy artillery fire. The bombardment continued as Kirkpatricks' platoon emerged to lower the nose of the bridge over the turbulent Rur. The Blens Bridge was to have a triple span of 130 feet. We had built dozens of bridges like this one in France and Belgium, but the project

297The 297 free sample chapters in Blens presented us with several unique challenges. The main problem for us was the fact that the counterweight on the far bank sloped down, which put the nose of the launch way too high. This was solved by using a heavy-duty cable attached to an excavator winch to level and grade the bridge while the structure was pushed by pulleys built into the nearby embankment. The initial artillery barrage subsided, but the German guns opened with renewed fury around 11:00 pm. One of the large caliber shells hit the bridge itself and the resulting shrapnel explosion injured five engineers. Although German shells continued to fall around the bridge, Lieutenant Kirkpatrick remained at the wingspan with the wounded and helped medics administer aid and dress the wounds. Then, with more artillery blasts, John helped evacuate the wounded. Once the bombardment subsided, John calmly reorganized the train and led his engineers back to the stage. Sporadic artillery fire followed, but Kirkpatricks' platoon completed the job at 03:10 on 2 March, in a record fifteen hours and ten minutes. Once the bridge was completed, the tanks and assault guns already lined up behind cover in the town moved forward to join the expecting infantry components of the 78th Division. Soon the parliamentarians were leading the German prisoners across the Blens Bridge. * While B Company struggled with the tricky and dangerous Blens Bridge captain Jim Gambles, A Company prepared to face a different but equally challenging headache in Heimbach. The objective placed in the hands of the platoons of Lieutenant Bucky Walterss and Lieutenant Arch Taylor was the construction of a 110-foot triple span Bailey to replace a dilapidated stone arch bridge that had been built across a curve. Working against established practice, Jim Gamble wanted the bridge to be commissioned in broad daylight, as his trains would have great difficulty installing a straight bridge over a curve. Therefore, the works began on March 2 at 2:30 pm. As the existing part of the bridge was too narrow for the feet, Lieutenants Taylor and Walters had their men put in spars to extend the width of the existing structure.

298When I arrived to inspect the progress, the bridge was gliding slowly across the river, despite some very inaccurate shells. As troops added each new ten-foot section, the entire structure was gently sloped over rollers of floor plate, the only available solution for building a forty-ton assault bridge in such a difficult location. The work was not only exhausting, but also dangerous. Perfect timing was needed to prevent the entire structure from plunging forty feet into the river. The commander of the 303rd Engineer Combat Battalion of the 78th Division, Lieutenant Colonel. Colonel John Cosner arrived shortly after me. He had just returned from seeing Blen's Bridge for the first time and was effusive in his praise. After seeing what A Company is doing up close in Heimbach, Cosner expressed his surprise. As we watched, the 310th Infantry Regiment guarding the bridge area drove back some fifty German prisoners, a real boost for the engineers, whose backs were breaking from the effort. They finished the job at 09:00 on March 3 in eighteen and a half hours. * As soon as I got back to Rotgen to report to CP Battalion on the morning of March 3rd, I got a message that Colonel Anderson wanted me to call him back. I dutifully followed, but the colonel was not there. Major Webb, operations officer for the 1111 Group, told me that the colonel wanted to know how the bridge construction was going. I told him that the Blens Bridge was ready and that the Heimbach Bridge had been completed an hour earlier. The next step was the bridging of the Schwammenauel Dam, which Captain Warren Rombaugh's C Company was due to start in a few hours. I told Webb that we had heard from sources in the 78th Division that the infantry had advanced well beyond the bridge beachhead and that they did not expect much artillery fire to be directed at C Company. Before hanging up, Webb told me that the Colonel wanted to meet me at the causeway bridge in an hour. I immediately left the CP Battalion and went to meet Lt. Colonel Cosner of the CP's 303rd Combat Engineering Battalion. We had previously agreed to visit the three bridge sites and discuss plans to support the 78th Division's advance across the Colony Plains. Cosner had information that all 78 divisions had three infantry regiments

299The 299 free sample chapters, together with the 9th Armored Division, quickly advanced against the waning opposition. According to Cosner, Kampfkommando B of the 9th Panzer Division and the 310th Infantry Division of the 78th Division were already about fifteen miles east of the Rur. As we drove, we considered breaking through the next big barrier, the mighty Rhine. We were certain that the Germans would blow up every inch of the mighty river from the Swiss border to the North Sea, and every soldier, every weapon, and every armed aircraft available to them would prevent any Allied army from crossing. All was well with Heimbach and Blens. Maintenance crews were working on both bridges and my engineers were examining the last mines. Speed ​​limit signs had already been put up on both bridges, which were heavily traveled. We arrived at Schwammenauel Dam at 1:30 pm on March 3rd to find the platoons of Lieutenant Don Daviss and Lieutenant Tom Stacks of Captain Warren Rombaugh's C Company enjoying themselves. The views to the east and west were absolutely breathtaking, with lush pine forests stretching into the misty Roer valley and snow capped hills stretching as far as the eye could see. We heard the boom of artillery, but it was too far east of the bridge, well out of range. The breach where the Germans had ripped out the spillway was eight meters wide. It must have taken several tons of explosives to do the job. Work had started at 12.45pm, just after lunch, and was supposed to finish before dinner, say around 6.30pm. The bridge had a double Bailey span of 25 meters and the work was extremely uncomplicated as C Company only suffered one casualty, a sprained back. The lines were about two-thirds done when Colonel Anderson finally arrived. I knew everything was going well when I saw the glint in the old man's eyes. As Cosner and I watched the final act of the long, bloody battle in the Hurtgen Forest come to an end, the Colonel reminded us that the ordeal had begun with an attack by the 28th Infantry Division, the Pennsylvania National Guard unit with which he fought. in World War I and whose Regiment of Engineers he commanded when the division was activated

300300 Pacifica military history before America's involvement in World War II. Perhaps because I was a Pennsylvania native, the Colonel felt nostalgic for the dozens of Pennsylvania infantrymen and engineers who died on the way to that dam. Returning to his quarters that night, Colonel Anderson wrote in his nightly letter to his wife: I didn't sleep well last night. Pergrin participated in the construction of three bridges over a river where the danger was extremely obvious due to all the dangers of war. As I didn't hear from him this morning, I went to the construction sites and saw three masterpieces of engineering and courageous leadership. I will sleep well tonight. Shortly thereafter, the 291st Combat Engineer Battalion was called upon to build the first Allied engineer bridge over the mighty Rhine at Remagen.

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302302 Pacifica Military History GUADALCANal Hunger Island By Eric Hammel The Japanese defeats at Midway and Guadalcanal decided the outcome of the Pacific War. Guadalcanal was the classic three-dimensional campaign. Fierce battles were fought on land, sea and air, with both sides pushing their supplies and equipment to the limit. The campaign lasted six months, involved nearly a million men, and halted Japanese expansion in the Pacific. When the campaign began on August 7, 1942, neither side knew exactly how to conduct it, as Eric Hammel demonstrates in this masterful account. Guadalcanal: Starvation Island corrects numerous errors and omissions in the official records perpetuated in all previously released books about the campaign. Hammel also draws on the reminiscences of more than 100 participants from both sides, mostly from the top teams. His words take us to the heart of the fight, showing the fight with precision, realism and power. Guadalcanal: Starvation Island follows the men and commanders of this pivotal World War II campaign in an integrated, brilliantly told narrative of desperate combat at sea, on land and in the air. In Praise of Guadalcanal: Starvation Island and Eric Hammel A Complete History of the Guadalcanal Campaign. . . [and] a balanced account. Well written and fast moving. Marine Corps Gazette Hammel wrote the most comprehensive popular report to date. . . and reveals controversial issues that are often overlooked, Publishers Weekly

303Free Sample Chapter 303 Hammel takes the reader behind the scenes and describes how decisions were made. . . and how they affected the troops who executed them. He tells the story in a very human way. Leatherneck Magazine A great capture of this pivotal campaign. Hammel offers a wealth of new material from archival documents and the memoirs of 100 surviving participants. . . . A commendable contribution to the tradition of Guadalcanal. Kirkus Reviews Hammel's ability to reveal the immediacy and humanity of war without judgment or bias makes all of his books readable and scholarly. San Francisco Chronicle Hammel does not write a dry story. His fight sequences are masterfully portrayed. library journal

304304 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book GUADALCANAL: Starvation Island by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. EDSON'S RIDGE by Eric Hammel Copyright 1987 by Eric Hammel The invasion of Guadalcanal on August 7-8, 1942 was almost without incident. But the Imperial Navy successfully defeated the invading Allied fleet in a daring night action on the island of Savo, and the American transports and warships fled. The prize on Guadalcanal for both sides was Henderson Field, the only airstrip within 600 miles of the main Japanese regional base at Rabaul. With the Marines hanging on to an inadequate supply line, Japan gained control of the seas around Guadalcanal, allowing it to land infantry troops with little impunity. The first major infantry force, inadvertently goaded by the Marines into an early attack in late August, was routed. A much larger second force of Japanese infantry landed east of the Marines' Lunga perimeter. He had marched overland to launch what his commanders believed to be a crushing attack on the naval line south of Henderson Field. *September 12, 1942 was a big day for Lt. Colonel Merritt Red Mike Edson, who received his first mail from home in months. For a few hours in the afternoon, the soldiers were left alone to contemplate and talk of a life few could believe they had ever lived. In the rainforest south of the T-shaped ridge, Kawaguchi Butai's main force completed preparations to seize the airfield. It wasn't until after dark that MGen Kiyotake Kawaguchi first learned of this.

305Free Sample Chapter 305 The Revolt Ridge, manned by the Marines, lay between their assault force and the main airstrip. There was no time to go around the ridge; The starving and exhausted Japanese would have to advance on defended ground. Last minute task forces and scouts were mobilized to clear roads and observe the enemy. In a mood of relief, the Emperor's soldiers prepared to do their duty. Memories and words of encouragement were exchanged between old friends or from officers to their husbands. A night patrol from Lt. Colonel Sam Griffith and two marines brought the lieutenant. Colonel Red Mike Edson received word that a large Japanese force was at the front. Griffith was unable to determine how many Japanese were there or where they were going. Edson decided to launch several strong combat patrols the next morning and called his company and staff commanders to his CP for an afternoon planning session. Most of the raiders and parachutes went to bed for the night while the sentries settled into what was expected to be a silent vigil. * The T-shaped ridge rose from the rainforest about a mile south of the main line, its trunk running north to south for about 1,000 meters parallel to the Lunga River about 600 meters to the west. The beam was high, clear and quite rough terrain dominated by four distinct spurs, two on each side of the trunk. Steep canyons and jungle-clogged ravines cut off the bare summit in most directions. The only possible route from the south of the ridge to the Lunga Plain was the longitudinal axis of the foothills and trunk. Two companies of Raiders were lined up: B Company was on clear, high ground, its right flank was linked with C Company, Raiders, which extended to the right, and its own right flank overhung laterally on the tree-covered level below. of the Lunga River. A and D companies, Raiders, were nearby in reserve. Battalion headquarters and elements of E Company, the weapons unit, camped several hundred yards behind T. B Company, Chutes, about 70 soldiers attached to B Company, Raiders, East. (left) central trunk that served as a battalion boundary; A and C companies,

306306 Chutes Pacifica Military History, were stored in the woods right behind and under the stem. The tiny headquarters of the Parachute Battalion was in the rear, close to CP Edson. An addition to the 1st Engineer Battalion occupied the top of a hill overlooking the west bank of the Lunga, well to C Company's right. Raiders and elements of the 1st Engineer Battalion were on another nearby hill to the left of the footprints. *Started when Red Mike was finishing his briefing. As the main elements of Kawaguchi Butai briefly staggered across the jungle plains below the ridge in search of the first line of naval listening posts, the artillery, supported by Ichiki Butai's rear echelon, opened fire east of Alligator Creek a few minutes before 21:00, direct advance time. . Immediately, a Japanese naval seaplane approached the canal and dropped a parachute flare south of the main runway. Two Japanese cruisers and a destroyer opened fire on the T-shaped ridge, several overs killing several advancing Kawaguchi infantrymen. Japanese screams! and here they come! interspersed with screams from Totsugeki! To load! Several listening posts protecting the front of the Raider were swept away in the initial charge, then the Japanese slammed into the manned main line at points of impact by platoons of B and C Companies, Raiders. The Japanese stretched from left to right, twisting and twisting, firing fireworks to frighten the defenders. C Company's platoons, hard pressed, slowly retreated from their position overlooking the river. Communications were broken along the line as attackers and defenders mingled under the ominous glare of shells and parachute flares. Before the Marines could react effectively, the Japanese soldiers cut the lines of fire through the dense undergrowth and fired into the stunned Raiders. Within minutes, a second platoon of C Company was sliced ​​through by a human wedge of expletive Japanese. Any disorganized invaders who might retreat. Severely handicapped within the first few minutes of the fight, C Company, the Raiders were forced to concede. This, in turn, forced neighbor B

307Free Sample Chapters 307 Company to make a fighting retreat to hold its now hanging right flank. When the withdrawal was completed, B Company's right platoon withdrew, maintaining a north-south line. The Japanese were unable to assert their advantage over the main body of B Company because they were occupied with isolated individuals and raiding parties unable to retreat with the band. The attackers were so taken aback by the unexpectedly strong opposition that the fighting subsided immediately after the first attacks reached their objective. Heavy fighting took place during the long night, but all Japanese withdrew by dawn. * Early on September 13, pilots from the aircraft carriers Hornet and Wasp airlifted eighteen new F4F-4 Wildcat fighters to Cactus pilots whose own Wildcats had been lost in heavy air combat the previous week. Hornet and Wasp pilots flew later that day. Lieutenant O Smokey Stover of Fighting-5 roared into the air at 08:30, one of seventeen Navy and Navy fighter pilots to receive an early air strike. Stover was at 25,000 feet scanning the sky for targets when his headset crackled with the excited voices of his department heads: Zero! The Americans encountered two reconnaissance planes escorted by twenty Zeros. The Japanese were not there to fight, nor did they expect one. Their only task was to find out who owned the air base after General Kawaguchi's devastating night attack. They boldly turned towards the approaching Americans. The four Fighting 5 pilots descended steeply, passing 18,000 feet before Smokey Stover even saw the quarry. Stover immediately saw his partner get out of his burning Wildcat. He was then attacked by a Zero, which doggedly pursued him into the clouds at 6,000 feet. Stover hugged the clouds and positioned himself to cradle a Zero. The Japanese stopped right in front of it, but Stover managed to stabilize and fire all six of their .50 calibers until the Zero burst into flames and crashed into the rainforest. Next, Stover forced a Zero to engage him head-on as he backed away from a firefight against another Wildcat. Stover saw good hits on the Zeros

308Hull of the 308 Pacifica military history. He watched it spin and leave a trail of smoke, but he didn't see it go down, so he said it was likely. Fighting-5 claimed three Zeros definitely destroyed and one probable. The Marines made no claims. A Fighting 5 airman was lost with his Wildcat and another Smokey Stovers veteran, Ens Don Innis, suffered severe burns before ejecting; he was picked up in the Channel by a landing craft from Kukum. A third Navy pilot was injured but landed safely. The 11th Air Fleet's reconnaissance report led to a bomber attack on artillery positions near Taivu Point later that day. The Bettys destroyed most of what was left of Kawaguchi Butai's supplies. The Japanese bombers were first attacked by Major Bob Galer and two other naval aviators as they made their way home. Each of the three Marines claimed a kill. Smokey Stover, in one of seven Navy Wildcats involved in the close combat, reached 25,000 feet in time to make a pass, but with no observable results. Other Fighting 5 pilots destroyed two Bettys over Savo. However, a furious Wildcat vs. Zero claimed the lives of three Marines and two Japanese. A Navy F4F was lost in a launch accident. Late in the afternoon, two Zero seaplanes caught everyone off guard and set fire to a Navy SBD preparing to land, killing the pilot and gunner. Ten minutes later, the anti-aircraft gunners opened fire on a dozen intruders, but luckily failed to score. The invaders were US Navy SBD Dauntless dive bombers, manned by Scouting-3 teams, which after departing Saratoga after landing on the 31st became. * The Raiders moved to regain lost ground after dawn. Japanese snipers were plentiful, so the advance of B and C Company elements was cautious and slow. B Company Marines, who managed to retake their lost fighting holes during the night, found that the equipment left behind had been looted by the Japanese and that they had much of their food.

309The 309 free trial chapters stolen from Tasimboko have finally reached the stomachs they were intended for. One company, the Chutes, had no contact with the Japanese during the night and were sent out into the jungle plains to assist the invaders in their attempts to retake their original positions. The company advanced only a little way before being held up by fire from concealed positions. Not wanting to risk any major combat while deployed on such a narrow front, Captain Bill McKennan ordered his unit to stay away from the Japanese. However, once it was clear, McKennan advanced from a different direction, this time with artillery support. The second attempt produced a few Japanese snipers, but they did little to disrupt the Chutes, who were completing their mission that afternoon. One company returned to the summit at 3:30 pm to find that the cooks had put away the morning's food. Everyone had their first meal of the day and then got in line to get their afternoon snack, which was always served promptly at 4:30 am. C Company, Raiders, badly maimed in the night fighting, withdrew from the front. Company One, the only Raider unit at near full strength, and the remnants of Company D, which had been disbanded to fill the ranks of the other companies, were sent to hold Raider rights. Red Mike decided to shorten the line slightly, pulling back almost 100 meters to force the attackers into open ground through automatic weapons fire. Improved firing ranges were cut and much of the line was surrounded. Deeper combat holes were dug and automatic weapons repositioned. When asked by Archer Vandegrift what he thought of the night's action, the fierce and stubborn Red Mike whispered that he thought it was a test. Then he smiled his peculiar bloodless smile and added that the Japanese would be back that night. Vandegrift commanded the 2nd Battalion, 5th, which had fought alongside the Raiders at Tulagi five weeks earlier. As the reserve battalion was held up by the day's heavy air activity when crossing the main airstrip on its way from Kukum, Lt. Colonel Bill Whaling, a senior officer in the 5th Marines, and Marine company commanders at Edson's CP later in the day, surveying the country. Was a

310Be careful, because the main body of the battalion would be held back until after dark. In the late afternoon, No. 5 Battalion's twelve 105 mm howitzers were fired upon by Lt. Colonel Hayden Price, with the help of the prisoners, moved from his forest cover to more exposed firing positions south of the main line. The gunners quickly plotted general and direct support concentrations on their charts, and zone records soared before dark. The bonfire caused a commotion along the ridge, where raiders and kickers stopped to see if they were under fire. Seeing the bullets fall well past his position, Captain Bill McKennan, who had spent night and day supervising his A Company chutes, fell asleep. After the guns were searched, all but the gunners were brought back into the woods to man a secondary line. If the Japanese passed between the Raiders and the Chutes, they would undoubtedly outnumber the howitzers. There was nothing between the gunners and the vital airfield. * The First Raider Battalion mustered just over 400 soldiers. They had an 1,800-yard line anchored on the south slope of a tall bulge that jutted out to the right of T Company's stern center. B Company was on the left and A Company and what was left of D Company on the right. . C Company, battalion headquarters, and E Company elements were the reserve. The First Parachute Battalion had yet to make contact with Kawaguchi Butai. B Company, numbering about seventy-five men, was linked with B Company Raiders in the middle of the ridges. C Company, which had landed less than eighty men at Gavutu and now had no more than fifty, was behind B Company's left rear and occupied about 200 yards along a bulge overlooking the jungle plains. One company, the battalion reserve, was in the woods just behind C Company. The battalion was reduced to less than 200 soldiers out of the total of 377 soldiers who landed at Gavutu. As with most naval battalions in the east

311Free Sample Chapters 311 Solomons, 1st Chutes had lost far more Marines to plagues and plagues than to enemy bullets and bombs. General Kawaguchi estimated that he had organized around 1,000 troops for the next attack, a number far exceeding the combined strength of the two battalions defending the ridge. Despite casualties sustained the night before and the fact that many stragglers did not return to their companies, early in the day Kawaguchi decided to launch a new attack. As night fell, raiders and parachutes could hear more and more conversations from the forest to the front lines. The Raiders responded with insults and curses. Bullets flew sporadically as each side recovered. Captain Bill McKennan, A Company, Chutes, was awakened from his nap by a jogger who called him to CP Battalion. In the pitch-black night, he made his way through the dense forest and knew that the situation at the front had become threatening. A company would climb the summit. McKennan returned to the Company camp and ordered Master Sergeant Marion LeNoir to call the troops. The tension eased when a young soldier said to McKennan in the dark, I think we've got an hour and a half for this, Captain. The men crouched by the side of the road to wait for the attack to begin. * Company B, Raiders, took on head-on at 6:30 pm on September 13th. The Japanese attacked harder on the right, right where they had encountered C Company the night before. One platoon was quickly cut off and surrounded by the rest of the company. Company B then disintegrated under repeated hammer blows. Pushed back, the Raiders formed up just beyond the summit and moved forward to regain some of the lost ground. But the Japanese broke through a 200-yard gap on the line. Within minutes, B Company's front line was reduced to a series of tiny pockets and strong points manned by desperate men. A company, Raiders, cut off from the Lunga on a flank and in the gap at its junction with Company B, was not seriously disturbed by the main efforts of Kawaguchi Butai, directed to the foot of the ridge to take a direct road to reach the columns. -child field.

312312 Military History of Pacifica Shortly after the collapse of B Company, Red Mike moved his CP toward the skyscraper overlooking the south end of the ridge, just a few feet beyond the forward machine gun position. As Edson tried to stabilize his threshing troops, Corporal Walt Burak, his messenger, in search of the spliced ​​communication cable in the battalion's communications center, slipped back and ran back to the division's CP, where the superiors were located. waiting. News. Edson was cold-bloodedly determined to hold his position, although, like all the men around him, he could barely lift his head for fear of being blown away by the plates of fire the Japanese were firing. Edson introduced the lieutenant. Colonel Jerry Thomas, the division's operations officer, who directed the entire effort from his operations center north of the ridge. (Red Mike would only have his CP exposed once that long night, and then only jump back briefly to alleviate some of the confusion his superiors were experiencing at division headquarters.) He glided forward. As the fight to the death unfolded on the battlefield, Red Mike called in C Company to defend the button he had placed his Forward CP on. The besieged B Company was then allowed to retreat. Only sixty raiders responded, but many more B Company Marines fought individually and in small groups elsewhere on the battlefield. * The Fifth Battalion, 11, had the busiest night in its short history. Its twelve 105 mm howitzers came so close to the summit in the afternoon that crews had to dig holes under the breech blocks to absorb recoil when firing from an extremely high angle. The tubes were inclined in such a way that the projectiles described trajectories similar to those of mortars. Initial firefights consisted of individual concentrations directed by forward artillery spotters trained in Kamm or by infantry officers and noncommissioned officers who had open lines to battery fire control centers. All that separated the howitzers from the Japanese was the line of raiders and chutes on the ridge. Private First Class Larry McDonald, nineteen-year-old engraver for O Battery, was forced to use a narrow-beam pen.

313Free Sample Chapters 313 Light to ensure your records and readings match. In a short time of action, he attracted sniper fire every time he used the light, no matter how briefly. Despite the danger, it was imperative that McDonald and other registrars continue; All guns were positioned on base azimuths and any deviation to the right, left, up or down should be noted to bring them back to base. Communications between the forward artillery observers and the firing batteries were broken early in the action. When Red Mike called for an urgent replacement at dusk, Major Charles Nees, deputy chief of operations for the 11th Marines, volunteered to take over. The 33-year-old reservist moved forward and around 8 pm found a seat from which he could observe the forward and adjacent positions. He informed Red Mike, who was directing the artillery, simply by shouting that he had arrived, was in position and established communications with the 105mm fire control centre. Nees immediately began calling the very fires the Raiders and Chutes needed to survive. At the time Nees reported, an aristocratic silver-straw private named Tom Watson was leaving his job as a clerk at the 105mm battalion's headquarters battery to serve as a forward observer. Watson would be second lieutenant in the morning, such was his mastery of guns. At 21:00, the howitzer crews switched from called fire to box locks and then to rolling locks, firing a full-altitude salvo and subsequent salvos in increments of fifty yards to 300 yards, then firing fifty yards at a time. . The gunners could not believe the ranges of Raiders and Chute calling so close to their own positions, but complied. The only time the guns stopped firing was when the battery managers in charge of the fire control centers cleaned and cooled the individual barrels. A Japanese officer was so impressed with the rapid-fire howitzers that he later referred to them as automatic artillery. Much of the artillery's success was due to Japanese attack tactics: whenever the emperor's soldiers wanted to launch a new attack, they fired a red flare from their starting position. The Japanese who made it through the Steel Curtain often fired calcium rockets at the Americans.

314314 Pacifica Military History Lines, and these drew even more fire. The quality and speed of the artillery paid off. * The tiny battalion of paratroopers rescued the night before bore the brunt of a fierce frontal attack. The action on the Chutes front began when two mortars hit C Company's lines, killing one soldier and wounding another. The Chutes responded by throwing hand grenades down the steep slopes to the murmur of voices. As the action heated up and the Japanese advance routes were revealed, A Company was ordered by Captain Bill McKennan to advance from its reserve position to man a secondary line on the rear slope of the ridge behind B and C Companies. a powerful attack could breach his weak line, Captain Justin Duryea, whose B Company was defending the mid-ridge clear area just below Red Mike's forward CP, ordered smoke pots lit to protect his forehead. At the moment of detonation, a red flare exploded overhead, its light reflecting off the foggy black curtain. Someone shouted: Gas attack! Blood froze as smoke billowed onto the red-lit floor; all of them had taken off their gas masks a long time ago. The Japanese attacked as additional flares were fired into the red sky, rolling across the foothills and rushing wildly along the jutting ridge and dark fringes of the low jungle plains. They charged forward, the officers brandishing their swords as they shouted Totsugeki! and banzai! at the top of your lungs. The gunners fired their 25 caliber Arisaka rifles and 7.7mm Nambu machine guns, threw grenades and fired their strange knee mortars. They shouted their oaths, fired their weapons and sacrificed their lives for their Emperor. Most of B Company's soldiers held their ground, and the Japanese rolled to the right and attacked Captain Dick Johnson's C Company platoon. Corporal Ernie DeFazio, a squadron leader whose squadron had disbanded, was shooting the sounds in the dark when he saw a bright red light heading towards him. There was barely time to grab the helmet with his left hand and duck. The object, a grenade fired from a knee mortar, exploded over his head, severely injuring DeFazio's left hand. DeFazio did

315Not daring to get up and knowing that screaming for medical help over the noise would be a wasted effort, he scrambled backwards until he passed out from the shock and pain. Most of C Company's soldiers took off, but the Japanese were briefly stopped when a C Company gunner grabbed his rifle and charged forward with a long volley of fire. The attackers were only stopped for a moment when the gunner was shot dead. The incessant and repeated hammering finally forced Duryeas B Company to yield. This, in turn, caused most of the remainder of Johnson's C Company to flee. As soldiers from the front companies advanced headlong back, McKennan's A Company revealed itself to the Japanese by opening up powerful defensive fire, centered on three well-placed medium machine guns. The Japanese Nambus, whose flash suppressors made it extremely difficult to spot at night, emerged from the darkness to engage the Navy's machine guns. The American gunners fell one by one, but volunteers from the marine squad replaced them. One company held its line. Private First Class Larry Moran of B Company ran nearly 1,000 yards to the base of the ridge before being stopped by First Sergeant Donald Doxey, who reorganized the B Company stragglers into a group of trees. Doxey ordered the Chutes to retake the lost ridge. As Larry Moran advanced, he could hear howling voices from the lines of invaders, telling the troops to keep firing the machine guns and killing the Japanese bastards! Elements of B Company, including Private First Class Larry Moran, retook the summit, but Moran was soon knocked overboard by a concussion grenade. He regained consciousness unharmed and climbed the slope to rejoin the fight. Suddenly, a challenge was issued overnight. Moran recognized the voice as MG Bob Manning, but could not remember the password. Mr. Manning, you called. Yes, Manning replied. Your Moran; I can't remember the password. All right, go up.

316Suddenly, another voice called out to Manning, telling him that reinforcements were coming from the right and telling him to let his soldiers hold their fire. Expecting no help from any direction, Gunner Manning alerted the men around him to the ruse and then shouted in agreement. The penetration attempt was easily repulsed. At 10:00 pm, three and a half hours after the battle, Red Mike informed Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Thomas that his force of raiders and chutes had been reduced to around 300 organized troops and that the Japanese still needed to relieve the pressure. Isolated groups and individuals continued to contribute to the effort's success, disrupting runs and confusing Japanese troop leaders by firing at odd times from odd places. However, while many Japanese fell, the Marines were increasingly outnumbered. Private First Class Larry Moran was hit in the thigh by red-hot shrapnel. He fought on until a lull allowed him to limp with another wounded Marine to an aid station about 100 yards away. When the two arrived at the infirmary, they were told that the doctor was on the line and that no one was qualified to treat their injuries. The two continued to retreat, permanently out of the fight. Private First Class Bill Keller, a member of A Company's BAR, shot down three Japanese who emerged from the trees just below his position. One screamed for endless minutes, his wounds were so painful. A doctor asked Keller what the problem was. When the BAR man said that a wounded enemy soldier was making all the noise, the medic smiled and jumped through the trees to reach the wounded man. The screams subsided, but Bill Keller never learned the result, as two Japanese concussion grenades detonated three feet from his position. The next thing Art knew, he was being loaded onto a jeep at the base of the ridge. Shrapnel wounds pierced his lower face and upper back. His prize pole was clenched tightly in his fists. Captain Bill McKennan was working on his CP, just behind the forward machine guns, when he and his Sergeant Marion LeNoir saw a Japanese shell firing in the dark. LeNoir dove one way and McKennan the other, just in orbit of a second projectile he didn't see. McKennan then discovered that he was rolling downhill and

317Free Sample Chapters 317 stopped on the road parallel to the base of the ridge and faced a gunman who had been knocked out by the same explosion. Stunned, the two got to their feet and tried to reorient themselves, then groped their way through the trees along the road until they reached an aid station. The two men were placed in a jeep and thrown to the back. An infiltrator threw a grenade into the darkness, but the jeep rolled through the explosion and the two stunned and wounded Marines were taken to a tent, where their wounds were cleaned with sulfur compounds. McKennan went down like morphine combined with the effects of forty-eight hours of activity. * In conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Thomas at 2:30 am, Lieutenant Colonel Edson said he was out of danger. Although the Japanese had not yet begun to admit defeat, there was a general feeling that they had worn themselves out. Thomas informed Edson that the 2nd Battalion, 5th was behind the 5th Battalion, 11th and would soon approach the ridge to assist. G Company, 5th, appearing on the left aft side of the T at 04:00, was soon pinned down by heavy fire from the woods on its left. He suffered many dead and wounded before getting behind the parachutes and moving forward against heavy resistance. In all, G Company lost thirty killed and wounded by dawn. When E Company attacked from the stern right, they lost five killed and nine wounded to snipers who missed them in the dark. * The Japanese made a final attack at dawn, but ran straight into the guns and bombs of the last three P-400S operating at Henderson Field. Abandoning their high-powered takeoffs, the three Army pilots descended the summit, causing incredible damage to the Kawaguchi Butai, which returned enough fire to force two of the planes to slide back onto the runway, engines running. * Corporal Carlo Fulgenzi, an eighteen-year-old suburban New Yorker who served at Company Headquarters of the 1st Infantry Division

318318 Pacifica Military History the effects of malaria or other tropical diseases. Positioned on the jeep track at the foot of the summit, Fulgenzis' group was crushed by Japanese infiltrators during the long night, but the survivors held out. Around 05:00 Fulgenzi decided to venture to the summit to meet a friend whose machine gun had stopped firing hours earlier. He stopped when he found about thirty laughing and joking Japanese people who simply wandered through the top American positions. All Carlo Fulgenzi had to fight them was a .32 Colt revolver that he had smuggled ashore, a gift from his father. It only had the six rounds in the cylinder. Moving away from the Japanese, Fulgenzi found a shelter and rolled inside while silently praying for deliverance. He was shaking so badly he had to hold the gun between his knees. The Japanese gossips stopped in front of the shelter. Some climbed coconut tree trunks over the engineers' heads, while others continued to destroy tents throughout the area. They soon discovered that there were wounded and sick Marines in the stores and proceeded to skin two of them with bayonets and knives. A grenade landed in the ditch leading to Fulgenzi's shelter and a piece of steel tore into his left leg. Four Japanese immediately dove into the trench; they couldn't see Corporal Fulgenzi, but he could make out their silhouettes in the doorway. The leader was only a foot away when Carlo Fulgenzi raised the muzzle of his Colt pistol and fired a bullet into the man's forehead. The first Jap dove to the side and Fulgenzi fired into the second's head. And the third. It's the room. He was just starting to come off the bench to escape when he ran headfirst into a fifth Japanese. The man had his rifle raised and was already pulling the trigger when Fulgenzi shot him. Fulgenzi turned back to his quarters, but had gone only eighty feet when he saw a dozen Japs slipping through the trees. They shouted curses as Fulgenzi attacked a nearby machine gun emplacement, not knowing whose it was. He found three Marines turning their guns to the flank, cutting down every Japanese in sight. After one of the marines presented a submachine gun in the position of the Fulgenzi machine gun, the corporal engineer bandaged the leg wound and bandaged it.

319Free Sample Chapters 319 limped to the CP 1st Engineering Battalion to issue a warning about the infiltration. He then volunteered to lead a patrol to rescue the sniper he had previously sought. Four of the patrol's eight engineers were wounded as they crawled face down amid a hail of sniper fire towards the silent machine gun. It took what seemed like hours to cover just a hundred meters. Groaning from the position, however, took the rescuers. Carlo Fulgenzi came out and jumped into the pit. A Japanese machine gun that opened fire when Fulgenzi was in the air went through his left wrist, but he ignored the wound when he saw the two Marines manning the position. The dead man above had a dozen bayonet holes in his chest. The survivor was shot in both legs above the knees and one leg cut to the bone with a sword. Ful-genzi was helping to load the injured man onto a stretcher when he was shot in the right arm. Despite the excruciating pain, he helped move the injured Marine to safety, then turned himself in to tend to his own wounds. * There was a moment of heartbreaking drama in CP Division as a sword-wielding Japanese officer with two marines stepped out and headed straight for Archer Vandegrift, who was alone and unarmed outside. MG Sheffield Banta, a completely unflappable old man, delayed writing a report long enough to draw his .45 caliber automatic pistol and kill the officer. A non-commissioned officer, pistol jammed, tried to subdue one of the enlisted men, but two quick shots at close range brought the loot practically to the commanding general's feet. The third intruder remained where he was, and later a fourth intruder was kicked out of the divisional commanders' office. * Companies A and B, 1st Marines, were dispatched from reserve positions at Alligator Creek before dawn to carry out a sweep below the ridge to cut off the Japanese line of retreat. Although these Marines were veterans who survived the coconut grove carnage of August 21, many were deeply shocked by what they saw as they walked through the Tiny.

320320 remnants of the Pacific Military History Parachute Battalion; Mail and debris were strewn everywhere, and grim, haunted-faced Marines looked nervously at the jungle plain below. The two companies cautiously advanced west and south without resistance for almost two hours. Company A was then targeted by a small blocking force. Captain Charlie Brush ordered Lieutenant John Jachyms' platoon to hold the stern while the rest of the company withdrew. Although unable to understand why the powerful force would not launch an attack on the Japanese at the front, Jachym fought off a slow rearguard action. When A Company was reformed, Captain Brush stated that he had been ordered back to Alligator Creek to withstand an attack there. However, he also received news that B Company had been attacked by a far superior Japanese force. He ordered Jachym's platoon to embark in a detachment. When Lieutenant Jachym reported to B Company CP, he found four company officers wringing their hands over the possible fate of a platoon of marines who had been ambushed and trapped in the thicket. As the officers spoke, Japanese machine guns opened fire on them on the opposite bank of the Lunga River. Then a mortar landed at his feet. The five officers and their runners were thrown in all directions from the point of impact and took cover. The round was a failure. John Jachym realized that the demoralized officers of B Company were unwilling to commit themselves to rescuing the missing platoon, and felt that he needed more than his own platoon to do the job. He sent his runner after the rest of A Company, who reached B Company CP in time, out of breath but eager to make an effort. Captain Brush informed Battalion HQ, which informed Division HQ, which replied that it could not have both companies involved in the rescue mission. Brush was ordered to hastily retreat to Alligator Creek. The abandoned B Company train wrecked. A total of 24 Marines were killed in a fight to the last bullet. One of the few survivors, Private Harry Dunn, spent three days carrying a wounded comrade to safety; He hid during the day and traveled at night. It was a remarkable feat of survival and dedication.

321Free Sample Chapter 321 * Over 600 Japanese bodies were counted at Bloody Ridge, as it was later called; many wounded were laboriously carried into the rain forest by their exhausted comrades; Large numbers of dead or missing soldiers were never found, not even by American patrols who spent days combing the jungle plains south of the mountains. Perhaps 1,200 Japanese officers and men followed their general away from the stricken zone west of Lunga to join Colonel Okas' stricken contingent. The march was too much for many wounded; Dozens of wounded Japanese were left in the streets with dozens dead. They had neither food nor medical care. On the fifth day, non-commissioned officers beat their flag attacks with sticks and verbally assaulted them. In the end, the survivors emerged from the forest near Point Cruz and ran to catch the water that washed up on the beach. Many died, convulsing in agony. Of the 2,100 souls that Kiyotake Kawaguchi brought to the Bloody Ridge base on September 12th, only 1,000 returned safely. The Raiders lost 31 killed and 104 wounded, and the Chutes lost 18 killed and 118 wounded. Company B, 1st, lost 24 dead. Several dozen engineers and gunners were also killed. The September Japanese offensive was over.

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324324 Pacifica Military History GUADALCANAL Decision at Sea The Battle of Guadalcanal November 1315,1942 By Eric Hammel Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea is a thorough and vividly detailed investigation of the naval battle of Guadalcanal, November 1315, 1942, a crucial step towards the America's victory over the Japanese in World War II. The three-day air and sea battle was the decisive surface battle of America's war and the only naval battle this century in which US warships directly engaged an enemy warship, mortally wounding it. This American victory decided the course of the naval war in the Pacific, indeed the entire Pacific War. Hammel combined the detailed historical records with personal accounts from many of the officers and men involved, creating a fascinating narrative of the strategy and fighting on both sides. It also includes important new insights into the crucial details of the battles, including a fascinating account of the failure of American forces to use their radar advantage effectively. Originally published in 1988 as the final volume in a series of three independent books by Eric Hammels focusing on the Guadalcanal Campaign and examining all the elements that made it a turning point in the war in the Pacific, Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea is set just to demanding standards. and expectations that have shaped this author in many historical books and articles. In Praise of Guadalcanal: Decision at Sea and Eric Hammel Hammels' description of surface tactics, naval artillery, and what happens when the order to abandon ship is given is vivid and memorable. weekly editorial

325Free Sample Chapter 325 [Hammels] The detailed, fast-paced chronicle contains a number of incidents and anecdotes not found in the more prosaic official history books. Sea Power Meticulously well-researched and scholarly, yet readable. Author Hammel presents a compelling account of the three-phase battle, with plenty of gripping ship-to-ship, plane-to-plane, and blow-to-blow narratives, loaded with plenty of human interest vignettes from both sides. The Hook [Hammer] mixes the action with its story and the result is a very entertaining and hard to put down story. Riverside Press-Enterprise Hammels' meticulous reconstruction offers not only a wealth of strategic and tactical detail, but also a wealth of critical judgment. . . . a kaleidoscopic but always understandable presentation of key actions. . . Kirkus Reviews Hammel does not write a dry story. His fight sequences are masterfully portrayed. library journal

326326 Military History of Pacifica Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book GUADALCANAL: Decision at Sea by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. THE TEST OF ATLANTAS by Eric Hammel Copyright 1988 by Eric Hammel It's Friday, November 13, 1942. Thirteen US Navy cruisers and destroyers are combing the waters off Savo Island, adjacent to Guadalcanal, in hopes of avoiding a bombing raid. Imperial Navy warships, including two, impede warships. The USS Atlanta is the fifth ship in the American column, behind a vanguard of four destroyers, followed by several cruisers and several additional destroyers. The enemy is out there somewhere. At 01:50, the beam of a sharp searchlight from the destroyer Akatsuki pierced the darkness towards the tallest silhouette of the nearby American column. Light from the port bow hit Atlanta on the port wing of her bridge and startled everyone nearby with its intense glare. The light source was so close and the light itself so intense that Lt. Stew Moredock, operations officer for RAdm Norman Scott, could almost feel the heat radiating off him. Immediately, Atlanta's gunnery officer turned his attention from a solid radar target crossing port to starboard north and 3,000 yards ahead and shouted, "Start firing!" Backlight! When her four 36-inch searchlights came on, Atlanta was the first ship on either side to open fire. Immediately, her rear group of four twin 5-inch guns fired straight into her beam, straight into the spotlight, straight into Akatsuki. The target was only 1,600 meters from the harbor, too close to miss.

327Free Samples Chapter 327 At the same time as the Atlanta gun group opened fire on the Akatsuki, their front group of three dual 5" mounts switched to a possible destroyer Inazuma about 300 meters behind the Akatsuki. groups looked dead on their targets. At least twenty shells were observed hitting all parts of the destroyer's aft hull and upper parts, and several hits were scored on the Akatsuki. But not soon. Particularly concerned about her team of engineers hidden below decks In the fire and engine rooms, Atlanta's chief engineer, LCdr Arthur Loeser, arranged for surface announcers to keep him informed of what was happening outside while he was broadcasting. station in advanced engineering. Because of this, engineering personnel across the cruiser listened as Lieutenant Commander Loe be described the first few seconds of the exchange of fire. They actually shot her with bullets! Even when at least one of the two Atlanta targets disappeared from view, the forward superstructure of the American light cruiser was hit by a dozen 5.5-inch shells fired from the light cruiser Nagara, which had then returned to the path , which he had left . came and went then. Fast sailing to starboard and on the same general course as the American column. Among other things, the Atlanta Charthouse and the 5-inch Advanced Weapons Director were targeted. But the worst blows fell on several of them in the area of ​​the bridge and on the men who manned it. Lieutenant Stew Moredock, watching the action from the port wing of the bridge just ahead of the control room, was hit by shrapnel in his right arm, but felt no pain and was unaware that he had been wounded. However, as soon as Moredock tried to use the injured limb, he felt intense pain. Instinctively, he glanced at Admiral Scott, who was standing directly in front of the navigation room. At that moment, the admiral was about to step forward. He then collapsed dead onto the steel deck as he passed out. Three of Admiral Scott's employees died with him; only Stew Moredock survived. Only three of the thirteen sailors on the bridge survived, along with Lieutenant Moredock and two or three other officers. One of the survivors was Captain Samuel Jenkins, who happened to travel there

328328 Military History of Pacifica to find targets for your ships' torpedo mounts. Although the captain turned back to starboard when Nagara's 5.5-inch shells hit the bridge, he was protected from the effects of the blast and suffered no injuries. * Just as Atlanta's bridge was vandalized, Japanese destroyers fired at least eight rounds on the port side of the ship, from near Atlanta's bow to just below Hill-2. One of these shells detonated directly on Mount-1, killing all but one of the right cannon's crew. Another bullet hit the mounts' upper control room, killing and wounding everyone there and cutting off the flow of ammunition to the operating left gun. Once Mount-1S's right gun was disabled, GM3 Ed Huddleston, the left gun's first gunner, took command of the wounded turret captain. Although Huddleston's ears were still ringing from the effects of the direct hit on his mount, he called Lieutenant Lloyd Mustin, the assistant artillery officer, to ask permission to take cover. Mustin agreed, but warned Huddleston to be careful as the ship was still being hit. Just as Huddleston entered the main deck hatch, a Japanese shell ignited the ammunition and gunpowder in the top terminal of Monte-2. Though a cloud of shrapnel and debris erupted from the stricken room, Huddleston was unaffected, so he turned to help the nearest man down from his own mount. All of the Monte-1 wounded were placed on the main deck adjacent to the Monte and given rudimentary first aid. Then, as Japanese shells continued to hit the ship, Huddleston was confronted by a panicked lieutenant who shouted Abandon ship! Huddleston was not easily disturbed, but other sailors immediately ditched several lifeboats and headed straight for the sea. * One of Nagara's 5.5" shells killed two passing waiters as they ran from their battle station in each of the ship's center 20mm ammunition storage rooms to the opposite side of the ship. None of these places was damaged and no one in them was injured.

329Free Sample Chapter 329 A 5-inch shell fired from the port side struck the mast, knocking it off its feet and scattering shrapnel into the adjacent aft stack and across the aft searchlight platform. Another Japanese shell penetrated the unmanned flag cabin, and two more 5-inch shells hit the rear superstructure. One went through Mount-4, the port hip mount, and then pierced the entire ship. In fact, this armor-piercing shell detonated only when it entered Hill 5, the Starboard Belt Hill. All but one member of the gun's crew were killed; The survivor was thrown into the water after being violently thrown out of the undergrowth when his roof collapsed. Eventually, three lighter shells, probably 3-inch anti-aircraft shells, fired from the starboard side of Nagara, hit Mount-6. * The Mound 5 dispatch room crew evacuated the compartment unharmed after the mound directly above was hit. However, since the ammunition dealers were on the starboard unmanned deck, someone mentioned that at least several 5-inch rounds were rolling around in the dispatch room. S2 Don McKay volunteered to pick her up. The room was full of stale smoke, so someone tied a rope around McKay's waist and promised to bring him over if he was in trouble. With that, McKay held his breath and groped his way into the dark compartment. He found several grenades on the deck, picked them up and handed them out one by one. Then he took a deep breath. As McKay completed his second trip to the smoky compartment, an officer appeared and asked what was going on. He ended McKay's travels when he learned that McKay did not have a gas mask, let alone a more sophisticated device called an RBA (Rescue Breathing Apparatus). The officer believed that, alongside the stale smoke, the compartment was likely full of poisonous gas. A broker was sent out to find someone with an RBA. * The captains of the leading Japanese destroyers, perfectly trained in their navy's highly aggressive torpedo tactics, capitalized on their immediate head start by supplementing their fire with several salvos from their deadly 24-inch Long Lance torpedoes. Crew members in technical blind spots throughout the ship listened to the microphone of LCdr Arthur Loeser

330330 Pacifica Military History reopened. Loeser said: Oh... and the whole world came crashing down. Loeser's voice stopped mid-sentence and forever. The first Japanese torpedo to find a target hit Atlanta on the port side, almost amidships and due to amidships in her forward engine room. Not only did the explosion kill virtually everyone in the forward engine room, it also blew a hole through the roof, killing almost all of the crew at a damage control station in the crew mess. The impact of the huge explosion lifted the light cruiser out of the water. Upon landing, Atlanta went down with a bump that sent shivers and shivers down the spines of every member of her crew who were still standing. The BM1 Leighton Spadone, whose 1.1-inch mount was on the ship's starboard side and well aft of the explosion, was hit hard as the entire ship flexed and stretched as the steel decks and bulkheads flexed in all directions with the force from the point of impact echoed by the explosion. Spadone and many others on the stricken cruiser clearly heard and felt another large explosion shortly after the first. Many thought this was caused by a second torpedo, but it was almost certainly a sympathetic detonation in the engineering rooms. EM3 Bill McKinney and S2 Dan Curtin, occupying a damage control substation in a large crew quarters on the fourth deck, two compartments forward of the forward firebox, were knocked out by the force of the explosion. The two immediately jumped in and scanned the area, but found no damage. A quick check also revealed that the ships' battle and service phones were dead and their only light came from a battery-powered battle lantern. McKinney knew that Atlanta's guns had stopped firing and that the ship was slowing down. From above, he could clearly hear ripping and tearing sounds, as if the ammunition elevators that ran through the compartment to Mount-3 were derailing. Most of the firefighters, colleagues, and water carriers working in the forward engine room were killed or injured in the torpedo explosion, which destroyed all but one of the cruisers' emergency diesel generators. The Navy's first anti-aircraft cruiser ran out of power and drifted away minutes after opening fire.

331Chapters 331 of the Free Sampler * Immediately after the torpedo hit, the survivors of her guards in the engine room and fire room were left to their own devices. The occupants of the post-fire room were immediately harassed by a huge wave of water through the broken double front bulkhead. Fortunately, all hands went up the stairs leading to the escape cases above. Those who climbed the port ladder managed to reach safety without too much difficulty, but three of those who unwittingly chose the starboard ladder were haunted by strictly enforced rules regarding the integrity of the ship's watertightness. MM1 machine shop superintendent Ross Hilton and another engineer were barely recovering from the effects of the explosion just below their station when they saw someone below loosening the clamps securing the heavy starboard counterbalanced escape hatch to the ship's center aisle. However, just as Hilton began loosening the clamps on her side of the hatch, an overexcited lieutenant appeared and yelled, "Dog, that hatch is coming back, Hilton!" But, sir, protested Hilton, someone else lives down there. I do not care! track it! Sir, they are trying to get out. Are you alive! The cop grabbed his .45 caliber pistol, fixed Hilton with a murderous glare, and said in his high-pitched voice, Go after him or I'll blow your brains out! Hilton was considering what to do or say next when a sailor appeared behind the officer and informed him of urgent matters that required his presence elsewhere. After the officer was distracted and walked away, Hilton and her partner reached down to open the hatch. At this point, the man under the hatch was nearly done with the job, so Hilton and his companion opened the hatch. Immediately, an engineer covered in fuel and two firefighters covered in fuel were thrown onto the deck. Behind them, the water had risen two feet above the top; All three would have drowned in moments. Hilton and his partner immediately closed the hatch as the rescued engineer explained that everyone else in the furnace had escaped via the port ladder.

332332 Military History of Pacifica * After S2 Don McKay helped remove explosive ordnance from the Monte-5 dispatch room, S2 Don McKay escorted an officer and several other sailors on their way to check the deck for damage from the detonation from the torpedo. As the small group passed through an escape hatch out of the damaged engineering rooms, the officer ordered McKay to replace several clips that someone had left open. McKay said he thought someone was trying to get out, but the officer stood his ground; He had direct orders from his superiors to close all hatches. As they spoke, a thin drop of water gushed from the edge of the hatch. The officer left McKay and several others to check this hatch and others in the area. He said he would come back for her. By this time the forward engine room and aft firebox were flooded to the rafters and all the men remaining in the first were dead. while the action was hot but a distinct tremor that Driscoll felt at the start of the action followed orders to stop firing. Aware for the first time of the intense physical test of continuously throwing heavy 5-inch shells at the moving crane, Driscoll and the other gunners responded to the truce order by dodging onto the deck or crashing against the support. through the bulkheads of the gray steel chamber in which they were sealed. After a minute or two, the murmur of many confused voices coming from the weapons room above the elevator was suddenly drowned out by an unwanted command: Abandon ship! S2 Driscoll responded by repeating the command on the powder elevator to the men saddled in the Mount-8 magazine. Then, as others climbed Mount-8, Driscoll opened the control room hatch to gain access to an adjacent docking bay. With no one in the docking room, Driscoll defied the strict rules and opened the hatch leading to the loader. He was immediately confronted by the lower terminal crew, all wearing expressions of pure animal fear mixed with pure human relief. S2 Dave Driscoll joined the thundering herd and climbed the nearest flight of stairs to the main deck.

333Free Sample Chapters 333 * Despite all the obvious knocks and bumps it received from the torpedo explosion, the BM1 Leighton Spadone was not overly concerned until he noticed that his ship was no longer firing her guns. As Spadone's confidence hit rock bottom, he found himself muttering, Please God, stop them, stop the shooting, stop the shooting. ... his prayers, however, were answered by knocking that seemed to come from somewhere at the stern of the ship. Atlanta was in the final stages of accelerating and completing a right turn to regain her position in the column when she was hit by the torpedo. He aimed south and glided helplessly at the end of that maneuver as San Francisco's main battery fired a nine-gun salvo at what should have been Hiei. Atlanta's unbridled advance put them squarely in San Francisco's line of fire. Each of the flagships, nine 8-inch shells and each closer, hit Atlanta from a relative angle of 240 degrees behind the port beam at an estimated range of about 3,600 yards. Captain Jenkins, who had not yet had a chance to assess the damage or extent of casualties on his destroyed bridge, prepared to fire at the attacking ship with his remaining 5-inch gun mounts, but recognized the shape of the Flagship ship . fro known Americans were burning their own main battery and rescinded the order as soon as he gave it. In any case, it is doubtful that the command could be transmitted to the guns, as all power and communications were lost across the affected ship. Mount-3 received two direct 8" hits, as did Mount-6 and Mount-5. The remainder of the 8-inch hits were split into two large groups along the fore and aft superstructures. Far from fatal for the stricken ship , the oncoming friendly rounds killed many of the Atlanta crew One of the tellers assigned to the crew operating the ammunition elevator for the two half-ships I. The One-Inch Mounts died of fear of being hit in the head and Tired of being stuck in the small and vulnerable compartment with nothing to do, the F1 Chuck Dodd, who commanded the crew, gave the order to leave

334334 Pacifica Military History Ship's starboard side. One of the 8-inch San Francisco shells detonated nearby as Dodd opened the hatch. Its explosion shook the steel ladder that led across the compartment from the bulkhead. The heavy ladder fell on the startled waiter, crushing his helmet and skull. * RM3 Ray Duke, a member of a repair crew stationed at the top of a corridor outside the radio communications room, was cutting a fire extinguisher from an external bulkhead when he was struck in the right knee by shrapnel. The force of the impact, which broke his knee, sent Duke and the heavy TBS transceiver he was carrying upside down down an 11-foot ladder. Duke landed on his head and shoulders, but was saved by his steel helmet, which took the brunt of the impact as he landed. The nearby 1.1-inch ammunition handling room was on fire and the area was filled with smoke. Slightly dazed and in need of air, the RM3 Duke lurched to starboard free and took a deep breath to regain her composure. His ordeal was just beginning. Lungs of fresh air Duke limped into the blazing and steaming 1.1-inch equipment room to see if he could help there. He immediately found a friend lying in the middle of the ruins with his right leg injured at the knee. Duke offered to carry morphine for the other man and staggered to the nearest deck to find a boatswain he knew was authorized to carry the narcotic. However, when Duke demanded morphine, the bosun stabbed him with a full syringe and forced him to lie on deck. Duke tried to protest but was stunned by shock and smoke inhalation and could never get the words out. Once Duke was on deck, the adjacent tollbooth took a direct hit. The beam from the large flashlight he still carried revealed a hole in the bulkhead about half the size of a basketball. Fragments of the explosion passed right between Duke's legs, tearing a large chunk of flesh from his left thigh just above the knee and severing the femoral artery. Blood gushed from the wound in streams that felt as thick as her wrist. Another piece of shrapnel slipped between Duke and the steel deck, tearing through the back of his right thigh.

335Free sample of 335 chapters from knee to buttocks. Simultaneously, shrapnel pierced the 1.1-inch coolant tank just above and Duke was doused in hot salt water. Once Duke regained his senses, he and a seaman next to him helped each other up a nearby ladder and crawled to the port quarterdeck. At that point, Duke got up and walked 10 feet before his damaged right knee gave out. He landed heavily on deck and stayed there until someone came along and gave him a second shot of morphine. A short time later, a supply officer held Duke's head in his lap while an EMT washed the wounds, applied bandages and administered another dose of morphine. With that, RM3 Ray Duke lost sight of his surroundings. * Other electricians manning the sternlights were in danger of being roasted alive by fires that almost reached the height of the platform on which they were trapped. In addition to there being no obvious exit from the platform, thick smoke and flames rising from the shrapnel holes in the rear pillar to which the searchlight platform was attached completely obscured the view and blocked any possible escape routes. In fact, there was so much acrid smoke around the rear reflectors that the operators weren't sure whether they would die grilling or inhaling the smoke. Suddenly, just when the situation looked hopeless, the spotlight was aided by a sudden rise in his fortune, a change in wind that blew away the smoke and revealed Hiei's silent stride just 100 meters from the ship. Although the searchlight operators were sure they were dead meat as they looked up into the searchlights of the battleships 20 feet above their heads, Hiei continued on his way without shooting the burning Atlanta. Meanwhile, the wind lifted the smoke and blew the flames away from the searchlight platform, causing all crew to descend to the relatively safe main deck, where they set to work putting out the fires. At 1:56 am, the Atlanta emergency diesel generator turned its lights on again. Fortunately, by this time, Atlanta was out of the line of fire and the rising battle fury overcame them.

336336 Military History of Pacifica

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338338 Pacifica Military History Siege KHE SANH in the Clouds An Oral History by Eric Hammel Critically acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel has a vivid oral account of the Tet Siege of Battle Base Khe Sanh in 1968. The words of the American combatants who died in prison in seventy-seven-day mortal probation, create a harrowing tapestry of tragedy and triumph. As two divisions of the North Vietnamese army try to surround them, the heavily outnumbered US Marines rush to reinforce their defenses at the isolated base and at various positions in the nearby hills. Communist forces repeatedly attack, are repeatedly repulsed, and then swoop in to take the US base by siege: the makings of a classic and modern strategy, in which the defenders become bait to tie the attackers to fixed positions where they can be beaten and beaten. pulverized by the Americans. artillery and air support. Khe Sanh: Siege in the Clouds is a groundbreaking step in the oral history genre. This compelling and moving narrative springs from the masterfully woven threads of nearly a hundred men who bravely endured the harrowing all-out battle to keep the battle base and its outposts vulnerable. Praise for KHE SANH: Siege in the Clouds and Eric Hammel A harrowing and visceral chronicle of Khe Sanh's campaign in the Vietnam Wars. . . a living record, day after day. . . . Hammel conveys both the irony and the horror of the prolonged engagement. Kirkus Reviews A remarkably accurate account of a decisive 77-day battle. . . Khe Sanh: Siege in the Clouds is retold as an oral history of the men who fought in it, giving the story not only a vividness and immediacy but also a human perspective that so many other reviews lack. playboy

339339 Free Sample Chapters The author sets the stage for this epic battle, but then turns the narrative into vivid accounts of nearly 100 people who survived. Accounts cover everything from soldiers in the trenches to cooks, chaplains and commanding generals. . . . A masterful narrative. The story of Air Force Magazine's thankless siege is told in this vivid oral history by nearly 100 articulate survivors, mostly US Marines, who convey the frustration experienced by men trained for aggressive mobile warfare, largely confined to a crowded perimeter. Publishers Weekly Hammel's book captures every flavor of everyday life and death that was Khe Sanh. The Marine Corps Gazette Hammels' ability to reveal the immediacy and humanity of war without judgment or bias makes all of her books readable and scholarly. He also raises the bar on oral history with Khe Sanh: Siege in the Clouds. chronicle of san francisco

340340 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book KHE SANH: Siege in the Clouds, Tet 1968 by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History for $32.95. It is also available as an eBook edition. RECORD INCOMING by Eric Hammel Copyright 1989 by Eric Hammel 1stLt FRED McGRATH Bravo Battery, 1/13 The incoming sound is like no other in the world. We had many opportunities to listen to it, learn from it, adapt it, and eventually live with it. From the descriptions of battles during World War II and in Korea, we at Khe Sanh get an idea of ​​what our fathers went through. It was a constant reminder that even though we were in a very picturesque mountain valley, someone didn't want us there. There were many men who were afraid to die. And there were many opportunities. Like day and night, the base took care of 1300 incoming rounds. HN ROD DeMOSS 26th Marine Regiment Auxiliary Post Another medic and I were at the top of the bunker entrance talking to some guys across the street when we heard a bang. We go down and soon we hear the sound of the round nearby. The two guys we spoke to were hit head-on. All that was left were parts of two bodies. Cpl DENNIS SMITH Bravo Company, 1/26 Lt. Kim Johnson was our 1st Battalion supply officer. He was handsome even with glasses, tall, articulate, a practicing Mormon, married to a former Miss Arizona who studied in Hawaii while she awaited his return. He had the opportunity to see to the supply of things on Phu Bai, the rear of the battalion, but he sent his artillery

341Free Sample Chapters 341 sergeant there in his place so he could stay with his men. The battalion supply boys noticed the strange underwear he wore on his lower body. He referred to it as anti-mortar and anti-missile overalls. From time to time he had silent religious discussions with his men. they loved him. The last week of February was the climax of the siege. On February 23, we recorded the total encirclement record [1,307] rocket and artillery shells in a 24-hour period. That afternoon, during the most terrifying rocket launch imaginable, LCpl James Jesse and I were in our house hugging sandbags and silently acknowledging the absolute fear in each other's eyes. The explosions were constant, building to a deafening crescendo of deafening noise and knocking knees. I cannot adequately describe the horror I felt that afternoon. We should have gotten used to it, right? Lieutenant Johnson was in his bunker, not far from mine, with the battalion's force transport officer. An explosion that knocked Jesse and me off our feet hit the lieutenant's spirit head-on. I looked out and saw battalion support men climbing out of their holes, so despite Jesse's protests, I ran across the street to help. All the salespeople were yelling at me: Go back. Take good care of him Carry on! There were already four or five guys there throwing boards and sandbags like crazy, machines, so I went back. At the next break, one of the salespeople came up to us. He was the very picture of depression and despair. He told us that Lieutenant Johnson died of a broken back. There were no other visible injuries. The motorized policeman was taken to the aid station; Her legs looked so bad that everyone thought she was going to lose them. When the salesman left, I sat and watched. Something in me was broken. Jesse said, Smitty, you're pale and shaking. Have a Salem. That's when I started the four-pack-a-day habit. The arrivals didn't stop, but they did become a little more erratic. I was still sitting watching when my eyes fell on a small leather-bound Bible I kept on a shelf. I opened it impulsively with my right index finger. I got dizzy looking at Psalm 91, verse five. then the verses

342342 Pacifica Military History six and seven. I felt no comfort. I could only think, why the lieutenant? Why that? We were told at the training ground not to befriend anyone we went into battle with because if it was wasted, it risked falling apart and losing its combat effectiveness. Good advice, but impossible to follow. We were too dependent on each other not to become friends. Major TOM COOK 26th Marine Logistics Petty Officer One of the shells hit the ammunition depot and caused a low-order explosion which set the depot on fire. The fire grew hotter and hotter, and eventually the embankment exploded. I saw all these things explode. It was one of the most incredible sights I've ever seen, all those mortars, hand grenades, whatever, going up into the sky. I stood there and watched in utter amazement. Then it suddenly dawned on me that this was all going to happen again. In fact, it had already begun to sink. I was about twenty or thirty meters from a bunker. I ran outside and barely got there when I started hearing all these things falling to the floor. He dropped mortars a mile from the embankment. A helicopter pilot flying near Hill 881S at the time told me he thought it was a nuclear explosion because there was a fireball 1,400 feet high. 26th Marine Command Timeline The approaching enemy opened fire on the ASP-1. The fire department responded, but at 5:05 pm the ammunition began to vaporize. The fire destroyed 1,000 rounds of 90 mm explosive, 500 rounds of 106 mm Beehive, and 120 rounds of 90 mm canister ammunition. Major TOM COOK Logistics Warrant Officer 26th Marines We had to have the EOD people come in from Danang and clean everything up. It was all a mess. It also made my job a little more difficult because I had to inventory and rearrange all this stuff.

343Free Preview Chapters 343 Minion LIONEL TRUFANT 106mm Squadron, 3/26 The shells kept coming. There was such a concentration of artillery hitting us! When the artillery arrived, we usually sat in our bunker and played cards. We just finished playing chicken with the usual appetizers and sat in the bunker. When things got really tough, we usually jumped to the ditch line, which was a smaller target. But on that particular day things got so violent that the three of us hid in the little machine gun bunker. We just hugged on the floor, scared. I had never smoked in my life, but that day I did. I also prayed a lot. Every once in a while, one of us had to get up and make sure Charlie didn't come. We knew it was Dienbienphu. This was the day. Once, when I was looking through the hole, a bullet went very close. Dirt, rocks and other things hit me right in the face. I thought I had been hit. I touched my face and thought aloud, my God, I got punched. One of my friends thought it was funny. Damn it, he said, you're not hurt. HN ROD DeMOSS 26th Marine Aid Station Two Marines escorted a gunnery sergeant to the regimental aid station. He walked in shaking without speaking, holding his helmet to his head with both hands and shaking every time a shot was fired. He was shocked, of course, but I was shocked because here was this tough Marine sergeant who's been through all kinds of shit and it's driving him crazy. Then I realized that war shock can happen to anyone. Lieutenant RAY STUBBE Chaplain of Battalion 1/26 [Entry in Journal] Standing in the new Operations Room bunker, he visited all the wounded who had arrived during the afternoon. One of them had a pressure sore on his foot. I was in a lot of pain even with morphine. Another said his legs hurt no matter where she put them. He was also in a lot of pain and was given a shot of morphine, but it still hurt. The doctor said it was broken and it still hurt.

344344 Pacifica Military History More and more new arrivals. The 106 mm recoilless rifle bunker near us where he slept on 7 February was hit directly, and in the adjacent ditch he wounded one and killed four. I ran across the inner barbed wire with the Catholic chaplain. There were parts of weapons and bodies. One had no head; we couldn't find it. There were small pieces of meat everywhere. I knew them all very well. . . . I endured a lot, but I couldn't cry. Parts of a man's body were hanging as I held him in my arms and carried him to the ambulance. A hand, an arm, a piece of stringy flesh wrapped in cloth and covered in mud. The 106mm recoilless rifle was fully intact. I went back to my bunker. The west wall next to my shelf protruded like it was caving in on top of my shelf. Things inside had changed. We received the following today: 476 artillery shells, 42 60mm shells, 372 82mm shells, 4 120mm shells, 437 122mm shells and 5 recoilless rifle shells. 1336 in total. But the lieutenant. Colonel Wilkinson reported (from the regimental briefing) a total of 1,407 shots. Major Smith, CO of FOB-3, told me that we received 1,700 rounds, including those that hit his area. 1st Lt. FRED McGRATH Bravo Battery, 1/13th It was fortunate that the NVA gunners had no fuses, as many shells would have done much more damage if they had exploded. The rounds that didn't merge were particularly scary. they whistled. We knew they wouldn't explode, but when they did hit they were like wrecking balls. No shrapnel damage, but what a hole! As it was, they dug up a lot of dirt and nothing more. When the EOD dug them up, they found the lifting lugs still attached to the shells. Captain DICK CAMP 3/26 Deputy Chief of Operations By sundown, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I just wanted to go to sleep. Adrenaline had been pumping through me for hours and I was about to crash.

345Free Sample Chapter 345 Finally the shelling stopped and I walked out into the street through what was left of the trees that once shielded the CP Battalion from view. I wandered through the trees, looked at the stars and felt life returning to a landscape that resembled the surface of the moon. So I went back inside and got two cups of coffee from the eternal urn. As I was offering Major Matt Caulfield a cup, I heard an observer on Battalion Network Hill 881S say: Arty! Pretentious! Pretentious! Co. Rock. Instinctively, I rested my head on my shoulders and asked myself aloud, So where is this going to hit? The next thing I knew there was a huge explosion and all the lights went out. The bunker immediately filled with dust and there was dead silence. I think I was the first one to ask one of those stupid questions: Is everyone okay? It was really dark in there, so I was immensely relieved when I heard people say, yes, I'm fine, I'm fine and I'm not sweating. Everyone was heartbroken, but no one was hurt. There was only one round. There was nothing to do inside until someone got our generator working again, so we all went outside to see what hit us. The grenade had come in at an angle, right through the trees, right through the tent we'd set up to camouflage the bunker. It hit the outer layer of 1 inch plywood and it exploded exactly as expected. There was six feet of dirt, wood, rock and metal between us and the explosion, but the explosion had blown half a meter away from all that material and collapsed the three-layer walls we'd built around the bunker. Two Marines, emerging from a tent across the street, were saved by blast walls that deflected the full force of the explosion in a different direction. We found her rolling on the ground, dazed but unharmed except for a few minor shrapnel wounds, little more than scratches. We took a direct hit from 152mm or 130mm rounds, but no one was permanently injured. It was a miracle of foresight and faith in our two main gods, Dirt and More Dirt. *

346346 Pacifica Military History 1stLt FRED McGRATH Bravo Battery, 1/13th Bravo Battery pumped over 1,250 rounds in response. Bravo was really a battery and a half. That means we control six of our own 105mm howitzers and three from Charlie Battery. So we combined our resources and created a nine-gun battery. At various times during that very busy day and night, I had five separate and distinct shooting missions going on simultaneously. To the everlasting credit of naval line gunners, they never missed an order or fired the wrong missions. In fact, Colonel Lownds personally came to our position the next day and thanked all Marines in the position for the excellent fire support his regiment had received. HN ROD DeMOSS 26th Marines Aid Station One of my most gruesome tasks was identifying and labeling bodies for transport home. I kept thinking: It could be me. I was grateful that wasn't the case, but I felt bad because I knew it was someone who had family or a friend who would be grieving, someone who had a girlfriend or wife at home. However, he could only close the bag and try to get through without ending up there.

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348348 Military History of Pacifica LIMA-6 Commander of a Naval Company in Vietnam by R. D. Camp. Jr. with Eric Hammel In this vivid first-person narrative, retired Navy Colonel Dick Camp vividly recounts the day-to-day combat operations and command decisions of his Vietnam experience as Lima 6 Commander Lima, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines, June 1967 to January. 1968. Upon arrival in Vietnam, Captain Camp made his way to immediate command of Lima Company following the death of his previous commander near Khe Sanh. He immediately immersed himself in the tense experience of patrolling the beautiful and deadly jungle valleys around Khe Sanh and escorting supply convoys along the besieged Highway 9 between Dong Ha and Khe Sanh. For a full six months, Dick Camp commanded Lima Company in alternating periods of intense fighting and intense waiting, a typical, almost emblematic experience shared by his comrades in the 1967-1968 phase of the war in northern Quang Tri Province, on the border with DMZ and the North. Vietnam. In early September 1967, near besieged Con Thien, Camps' battalion was nearly overrun in an ambush by an entire North Vietnamese Army regiment. In early January 1968, Lima Company ambushed the commander and staff of a North Vietnamese regiment allegedly accused of invading naval lines at Khe Sanh. Three weeks later, Lima Company and the rest of the reinforced 26th Marine Regiment were besieged inside Khe Sanh Combat Base by two North Vietnamese divisions. As much as Lima 6 is about combat in the Vietnam War, it is also the story of the Marine Company's close camaraderie of men from very different backgrounds who come together to make or break as a fighting force. It's a compelling human story of an infantry company at war, seen through the eyes of its commander, the lone man on whose leadership, wisdom, strength and humor all others depend.

349Free sample Chapter 349 Lima-6 is an extremely honest and always humane treatise, without emphasizing political or ideological points. It is a combat commander's candid and refreshing account of the experience of command and the brotherhood of men in war. Lima-6 is first and foremost an honest, life-or-death account of the heart of the Vietnam War. Lima-6 was critically acclaimed A solid contribution to Vietnamese literature. . . . Always legible, often vivid. Booklist Magazine Camps' dark narrative is impeccable, taking the reader through six months of the Vietnam War through the eyes of an infantry officer. . . Mandatory for anyone who wants to understand the great responsibility of a company commander in war. An honest portrait. Vietnam Bookstore Book Report Solid, down to earth and faithful in describing what it was like [for] a Navy Company Commander. Leatherneck An honorable and utterly honest tale. Kirkus's autobiography, Reviews Camps, underscores the essential distinction often displayed by men living in difficult circumstances. Cincinnati Investigators

350350 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book LIMA-6: A Marine Company Commander in Vietnam by Colonel R.D. Camp, Jr., with Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $24.95 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. This book is also available as an eBook edition. FIRST COMBAT by Colonel R.D. Camp Jr. with Eric Hammel Copyright 1989 by R. D. Camp Jr. , accepted. 26th Marine Regiment in late June 1967 in the field near Khe Sanh. During July and the first half of August, the company patrolled extensively around Khe Sanh, escorting convoys from supply depots near the coast to the mountain base. In mid-August, Lima and another company from the battalion were temporarily transferred to the 9th Marine Regiment to participate in clearing operations in the Leatherneck Square area around Con Thien, south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). On 20 August, the other company returned to Khe Sanh and Lima Company was attached to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines (2/9). * It was the afternoon of the 20th of August and the 2/9th was advancing along a track in the area immediately north of the sector where our half of the 3/26th had been operating the week before. I was starting to get anxious because I didn't know the 2/9 people and I didn't like the way they were handling it. As we walked down the trail and up a hill, there was a terrible explosion behind me. The entire column stopped as I thought, oh shit. I wonder what the hell happened this time. I climbed up the column to find that an Ontos we had with us had blown the shit out of it.

351Free Sample Chapter 351 An Ontos was a slim, tracked fighting vehicle that mounted six 106mm external recoilless rifles. It wasn't armored at all. In fact, a 50 caliber bullet could go straight through. As far as I was concerned, bad things always happened to Ontos and the men around him. It appeared that our Ontos had been the victim of a command-detonated mine, usually the equivalent of a dummy 500-pound bomb dropped from our side and retrieved from the other for use against tanks, Ontos and Amtracs. This mine, fortunately little lighter than a 500-pound bomb, detonated under Ontos, severing the track, driving wheels and all three recoilless guns on one side. When I arrived, the two crew members were sitting on the ground near the trail, stunned but unharmed. Everyone else stayed around. It was getting dark and we were still on the road. I was worried and so were the troops. When we finally got up the hill and crossed, the CP battalion told me to go to the right side of the road and make a boundary. As we entered, I saw that there was a large open area right behind us. Fortunately, I had worked out a SOP so we could form a perimeter in running order. The lead platoon moved directly to the next designated position first, followed by the middle platoon on the right and then the rear platoon. As soon as we received news from the battalion, I called the platoon commanders and told them verbally. Every one of them said, Okay, and we literally started sending in the troops so we could dig in before the sun went down. I reported to the drivers, who escorted me through their train section as quickly as possible. As we went along, I checked the location of each combat pit and, specifically, the firing range of each M-60 machine gun. I got tougher here and there, but the platoon commanders knew me from my first day at Lima Company and trained their troops my way. It only took a few minutes to scan the entire company and ensure we were linked to the companies on our left and right flanks. After dark, while my troops were deploying, the battalion, without warning me, sent its platoon of 81mm mortars straight at our company's position. It was pitch dark now, but the mortar squad came in with flashlights.

352352 Pacifica Military History on and portable radios blaring. I was very upset, so I went to the 81mm platoon commander and said if you don't kill this shit, I'll shoot you myself. I hated being with 2/9. I wasn't positively impressed from day one when we were operating with your Echo company a week earlier, I wasn't impressed with the battalion commander, I wasn't impressed with how late we got to sleep, and I was definitely not impressed with the sense of noise and discipline. of light from the trains of 81mm. Fortunately, and despite the sleepless hours of worry, we had a peaceful night. Nothing happened. The next morning, August 21, the CP Battalion informed me that the Lima Company was carrying out an independent company-sized raid. He didn't want to be around 2/9 and he was used to operating alone. I could not be happier. * Early in the morning, Lima Company moved along a ridge through a dense thicket of bamboo that took us down the only trail. The bamboo was so dense that we had to stand in the way to get through. As we drove along the small ridge, which was only fourteen or fifteen feet high, the tip curved a little too far to the right and began to descend the ridge into an open area, a complex of rice fields, when the first four or five men straying from the command element approached the nearest rice field, they received several sniper fire. As soon as I heard the sniper's volley, I radioed the main platoon commander, Artillery Sergeant of the 3rd Platoon Almanza. OK, Gunny, what's up? And there? He knew he was already trying to find out with his strike team, but he wanted news as soon as possible. We had four or five sniper rounds, but that was enough. They stopped the tip and the tip stopped the entire column at the ridge line inside the bamboo. The main part of the company never came to light, as it was unlikely to have been seen. When Gunny Almanza confirmed that the spot was picked, I told him, okay, wait. I keep. I worked my way through

353Free sample chapters 353 by the troops going down the slope. As I approached the point, I saw the rice fields for the first time. Behind them, directly ahead of us, was another low hill. Another low hill was behind us. I called the train behind and said to Little John, go back along the path, turn left and see what you can see along the ridge behind us. Now look down here. Little John's second move fell behind as ordered, and Little John finally surfaced with his report on the web. He made his way to the left and saw a bunker complex. It made me extremely nervous. The main part of the company was on the side of a hill. To the right, behind, there was another ridge with a bunker complex. Ahead of us was an open area with rice fields. There were snipers out there, probably on the ridge beyond the open area. Lima Company was in a box. There was no way out. Normally, Lima Company would have qualified a Forward Air Controller (FAC), a fully qualified naval aviator, a pilot of the rank of lieutenant or even a captain. However, this time we had no FAC. There wasn't enough to go around on 2/9. What we had was a Tactical Air Control Group (TACP) operator, Private First Class Terry Smith, trained primarily to operate helicopters for resupply and medical evacuation. As I considered my options, Terry came up to me and said in a very calm and controlled voice, Skipper, would you like to get some air? I said shit I would like some air. I didn't know it at the time, but Terry had never conducted a tactical air strike. He had been trained to hail jet planes but had never done so. Terry got on the tac-air frequency and called an aviator to answer. Fortunately, a bird dog was nearby and he answered Terry's first call. He said he was right above us and was expecting some high-speed jets. Terry told him we got stray sniper fire from our front lines and gave him an azimuth. I switched to tac-air frequency and added that I will fire my mortar section into the rice field if you make sure the ridges are pretty clear. The Air Observer (AO) flew over our flanks and reported that they could not see anything in the hills. In the meantime, I ordered the mortar

354354 Pacifica Military History and gave the head of the division, Corporal Patrick McBride, an azimuth to fire. After McBride looked over the firing range and said the guns were ready, I told him I'd check. We fired several shots right at the edge of the open field and the AO burst into the air with an exultant voice: My God, you just threw some of them into the trees! I immediately yelled at McBride, Leave her. You just shot NVA into a tree! That was all the gunners needed to hear. They went into automatic overdrive. They fired mortars through the tubes as fast as they could. They were indeed running low on mortar supplies, no doubt spurred on by a desire to reduce the size of ammunition wagons. The AO continued to report, omg you are spot on. I see her running Like ants coming out of a broken nest. They just threw a few more of them into the trees. Then he added: I'm going to catch my breath here. Just five minutes after the AO quickly called the vehicles, Lima Company had front row seats at the biggest air show we've probably ever seen. The AO brought flight after fixed-wing flight. They used napalm and 500 pound guns. They really dusted that hill. They worked on it for twenty or thirty minutes without a break. Throughout the process, I continued to improve the battalion. The commander was very interested, but when I said I wanted to go up the hill, he replied: No, no, no! Wait a little. Bring some artillery with you. So let's wait a little longer and call in the artillery. When I reported that the artillery had indeed cleared the hill again, the commander said that was fine. I'm sending two tanks. Wait for her, then head up the hill. The tanks swarmed towards us, and once they arrived, I began moving the Lima Company to the edge of the nearby rice field and up the hill that was about 250 meters to our right as we walked. . The company was open, well distributed, but we received no fire. As we climbed the hill, we headed back to the bamboo. It was so dense that we had to stop and wait for the tanks to clear some paths for us to walk. I didn't like it when the company formed two columns behind the tanks, but there was no other way to force their way through the dense vegetation. talk about it

355Tunnel Vision: In addition to what we could see in front of us, in addition to the tanks, we were completely surrounded by bamboo. Suddenly, the tank he was following fired its 90mm main gun. Instantly I was on the intercom mounted on the rear fender of the tank, screaming to be heard over the ringing in my ears: Why the hell did you do that? What are you doing? The tank commander told me that the tank had just hit an invisible trail when the gunner spotted a North Vietnamese RPG team just in time to press the fire button on the 90mm gun. Noticing it, the tank commander added with great pleasure: we just dusted them off. Where those guys have been, there's only blood and guts. The tank started again and we followed it the rest of the way to the hill that had actually exploded. The napalm had burned most of the growth and there were deep bomb craters everywhere. We found nothing, but we smelled death. We found no sign of the NVA or their positions. He had no idea what the AO had seen, but he could smell death. As the platoons formed up and continued to comb the hill, my company's radio operator, Corporal Johnson, sat down on the edge of a huge bomb crater and removed the radio. I went to find him, but when I approached, I smelled a terrible smell. Damn it, John, there's something dead around here somewhere. He said I know sir I can smell it I can smell it. He got up and looked around. Right where he was sitting there was a large piece of meat that looked like it had come from the corpse of a North Vietnamese soldier. Johnson sat right on top of her. The fat from that piece of meat had seeped into his pants and it smelled like heaven. When I realized what had happened, he said: Get out! just go away And he mumbled: Oh my god! Oh shit! My earnings! Little John's second platoon was pulling away from the crest of the hill towards a small shoulder to the left of our old line of march. On the back slope of the hill, the Marines began to touch ground that had not been burned or bombed. A marine suddenly shouted: Hey, I have some bunkers here. And a few other people said the same thing. One of

356356 Pacifica Military History Marines, Private First Class David Francis stuttered whenever he was excited. As the other Marines yelled around the bunkers, I heard Francis yell even louder, I-I-I-I-I-I-see-them! I s-s-s-s-I see her! As soon as he pulled, a terrible blast of fire fell on us. It felt like a shooting range, when everyone is shooting at their targets at the same time. Everyone but me fell. There I was, kneeling on the floor next to the remote control. I was kneeling there like an idiot when it hit me: it was the first time I'd been shot. The troops, even the Greens, were a little smarter than I was. They all went upside down as my little pea brain thought, hey, I'm getting shot. Like a broken record, my mind froze on that central fact: I will be shot. They are shooting at me! Leaves and branches torn from a tree fell on my head. When I realized what was happening, I started to go deeper and deeper. Finally he was upside down. If I could cut my shirt buttons off by then, I would. My two radio operators, Johnson and Vogt, were behind me in the bomb crater. They were screaming from the moment the first shots were fired, but it took me a while to realize they were screaming at me: Skipper, come here, come here. Enter this bomb crater. I crawled back and jumped into the bomb crater beside them. As I focused on the wider views, I heard how many shots were being fired, how many screams and screams there were. Machine guns and dozens of rifles exploded. It was a big mess. As I pulled myself together and tried to figure out how to respond, I realized that I couldn't make out most of the sounds and voices. I jumped to the bottom of the bomb crater. Just as I did, a bullet hit me in the side. It obviously came from somewhere high in the treetops. As I was articulating the thought in my head, an M-60 gunner crawled to the edge of the crater, knelt down, looked in, and announced, There's a goddamn idiot in that tree. With that, the M-60 gunner dropped to his knees, shouldered his gun, and began firing. From where I was sitting at the bottom of the crater, I could see pieces of a palm tree about fifty or sixty years old flying by.

357Experience the free chapters from 357 meters away. The M-60 gunner fired forty or fifty rounds into the palm and then stopped. He looked right at me and said I think I still see that motherfucker. Then he felled the tree again with another fifty shots. I screamed, Jesus Christ, if that damn NVA is still alive after this, don't shoot him again. You just make him angry. The M-60 gunner looked at me and said, Oh yes, sir. So he crawled. I was still trying to control the situation when, amid the roar of many M-16s and a few M-60s, I heard someone nearby shouting threats. I climbed back up to the crater rim and watched as our senior rescuer, Doc Bratton, punched a Marine in the chest and cursed at the top of his lungs, Damn it, you're not going to die! Damn motherfucker, breathe! Breathe! When the shots stopped, it was all ours. I found another Marine lying on his rifle in another bomb crater. He was kind of kneeling on the edge of the crater, his arms and hands in a firing position on his rifle, but his head was resting against the rifle on the ground. I said are you ok navy? I grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back. It was Private Francis, the stutterer. His eyes and mouth were wide open, but a second look revealed that she'd taken a blow right in the back of the head. He was dead, the first dead marine he had seen. I called one of the doctors to see Francis and then went to see Dr. Bratton to see how he was with the injured man. Doc pounded on the man's chest to try to keep his heart pumping. I saw that the Marine was one of my best squadron leaders, Corporal Pat Cochran, a former semi-pro football player, a handsome six-foot Texan with massive broad shoulders. Cochran fired a shot into the first volley of enemy fire that rippled across his scalp. Lance Corporal Anthony Benedetto was kneeling over him when Cochran turned to him and said, "I'm hurt." Benedetto said, sure, and got a bandage. By the time Benedetto turned around, Cochran had taken another blow right to the head. The second grenade entered Cochran's skull and went straight to his brain. He was brain dead, but his body

358The 358 Pacifica Military History events were still going on, so Doc Bratton tried to keep it alive. Although the shooting subsided, Lima Company was still involved in tremendous confusion. First Sergeant Marvin Bailey, the company gunner, called out for the stretcher bearers and Sergeant Vogt began asking the battalion CP for information about the casualties. CP said he tried to board a helicopter for an emergency medical evacuation. The NVA then began firing again and all Marines on one side of the hill returned fire. There was tremendous confusion. The battalion commander kept calling, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Tried to get reports from train drivers but couldn't make sense of the confusion so couldn't deal much with the CO. I suddenly realized that we were the only ones shooting. Just like a lot of other people. I shouted ceasefire! Stop the fire! and soon everyone was shouting: Cease fire! Stop the fire! When the final shots were fired, Little John came to inform me. Tears streamed down his face. I said: What's the matter, John? And there? He told me he was moving towards the sound of the original gunfire with his radio operator in tow when an NVA soldier jumped right in front of him and killed the radio operator. Little John had a clear shot at the NVA, but his rifle jammed. He was still so angry that tears flowed uncontrollably from his eyes. Helicopters began to arrive and look for the victims, who were placed on the hillside near the large burned area. The columns of garbage that Gunny Bailey had organized were really sweating. It takes six or seven men to lift a makeshift poncho. We got the two serious WIAs on the first helicopter and Cochran and Francis were waiting for the second. Two other Marines, lightly wounded, chose to remain with the company. I looked up from talking to a platoon operator and saw the CO 2/9 approaching. He must have left in one of the rescue helicopters. Hey captain, he said as he reached my side, what's up? I tried to explain what I knew, which seemed to satisfy him, because after listening to me, he ordered, Okay, I want you to proceed in that general direction. I acknowledged receipt of the order and he left the hill aboard the second helicopter.

359Free Sample Chapters 359 * It was too late when we restructured the company and started over. I was afraid I would have to quarter again after dark, but the battalion commanders' orders to track the fleeing NVA were clear. But just as the peak was pulling away from the top of the hill and starting along the ridge bordering another paddy field to our right, the battalion commander ordered us to turn back as it was getting too late to break through the area. He didn't get any arguments from me.

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362362 Pacifica Military History MARINES AT WAR 20 True and Heroic Stories of the US Marines in Combat 1942-1983 By Eric Hammel In twenty hard-hitting, action-packed true and heroic stories, Eric Hammel traces the creation of the modern US Marine Corps from the desperate Guadalcanal landings in 1942 to the tragic bombing of naval headquarters in Beirut in 1983. This collection includes stories from all of Hammels' books on naval combat and several articles he wrote for Leatherneck and other magazines over the years. years of solo combat in the South Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, and Beirut, and stories of naval aviators serving in three wars. Marines at War will inspire Marines, former Marines, friends of the US Marine Corps, and any other reader of military history who wants to know what war looks like from below. Eric Hammel is well known among military history readers for his ability to connect intriguing accounts of men at the bloody spearhead with the bigger picture. His mix of facts and analysis is the essence of his writing. Several of the chapters from Marines at War have been translated into actual Marine words.

363363 Free Sample Chapters Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book MARINES AT WAR: 20 True, Heroic Tales of U.S. Marines in Combat, 1942 - 1983 by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $24.95 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. The Attack on Choiseul October 28 November 3, 1943 Copyright 1999 by Eric Hammel Charles J. Nick Waddell and C.W. Seton served for many months as coastguards on the large island of Choiseul in the central Solomon Islands. His only contact with the outside world was his radio transmitter and receiver. Although many Japanese also served on the island, Waddell and Seton felt quite safe. The islanders were friendly and almost entirely loyal to the Crown. Like coast guards serving in other occupied Solomon Islands territories, Waddell and Seton expected a major Allied invasion, for by October 1943 even the most loyal islanders were becoming depressed after so long under Japanese rule; they didn't understand why the all-powerful British didn't drive out the inferior and sometimes brutal Japanese. Seton was also more restless than Waddell; he wanted to go into the bush and kill Japanese. Although he and Waddell had armed about twenty-five scouts with captured Japanese weapons and ammunition, orders from higher headquarters called for avoiding engagement with the Japanese. The Coast Guard was too valuable in intelligence to risk their lives on nuisance raids that had nothing to do with the progress of the war. His only recourse was to wait, watch, and wait. * Unbeknownst to Seton, Waddell, and their scouts and followers, the Allies planned to bypass Choiseul; without invasion and without

364364 Pacifica military history liberation would take place. Instead, the 3rd Marine Division would land at Empress Augusta Bay on the west coast of Bougainville on 1 November. In this phase of the Solomon Islands campaign, air strategy gave shape to land strategy. Choiseul was a dead end; There was no place worthy of air attack that was within range of possible air bases on the island. But from the center of Bougainville, Allied fighters managed to reach Rabaul, the main Japanese base in the region. As the combined Japanese forces, who had many bases in Bougainville, were quite powerful and the Allied forces relatively weak, it was decided early in the planning of the invasion to trap large numbers of Japanese, forcing them to explore as many locations as possible to defend against the attack. . Invasion. In fact, the Japanese seemed more likely to invade the Shortland Islands or south of Bougainville, where several well-developed air and naval bases had already been established. This was reasonable logic by Japanese standards, but the Allies very quickly learned to build airfields from scratch, eliminating the need to attack and capture a defended base. That's why Empress Augusta Bay was chosen. It was easily defended and new airfields could be built quickly where none existed before. And those bases would be more than 80 kilometers closer to Rabaul than existing Japanese bases in southern Bougainville and the Shortland Islands. Choiseul was not in favor of bases to attack Rabaul, but a logical argument could be made for an Allied invasion there. The Japanese garrison of the islands flanked Allied holdings in central Solomonson, New Georgia, Vella Lavella and Kolombangara, and the Allies had never bypassed a Japanese base before, so they were not expected to do so now. To help the Japanese concentrate on the unnecessary defenses of Choiseul, South Bougainville and the Shortland Islands to tie down Japanese land forces to the defense of isolated and scattered bases, a New Zealand Army brigade occupied on 27 October 1943 Treasure Islands . The Parachute Battalion conducted an attack on Japanese bases at Choiseul. The treasures had some value to the Allies, but Operation Choiseul was a ruse that served no strategic purpose other than to contain the Japanese while the invasion of Empress Augusta Bay took place.

365Free Sample Chapter 365 * Before Choiseul was eliminated from active consideration as an invasion target, operational intelligence had been systematically gathered from the Japanese garrison on the islands. Small patrols were organized and deployed by submarines, PT boats and amphibious bombers at various points in Choiseul. One such patrol, moving under cover of darkness by PT boats on 6 September 1943, proceeded from the landing site on the southwest coast to a point south of the Japanese base at Kakasa on Slot (New Georgia Sound). side of the island. From there, the patrol turned inland and crossed the island. He arrived safely in Kanaga and was received at Seton and Waddell Coast Guard Camp. US Navy PBY amphibious patrol bombers flew in the night of September 12 and took off from patrol without incident. Two more patrols were sent to the northern tip of the island and Choiseul Bay on 22 September. They visited their assigned areas and withdrew without incident on 30 September. The Marines and New Zealanders who made up these two patrols reported that about a thousand Japanese were at Kakasa and about three hundred others maintained a barge depot in Choiseul Bay. Both patrols found several suitable airfields and marked several suitable landing beaches. Regarding Japanese military activity, only foot patrols were sighted and only in the immediate areas of Kakasa and Choiseul Bay. * After the capture of Munda Field, New Georgia, in August 1943, Seton and Waddell were very busy. Not only did they have to rescue, shelter and send home growing numbers of downed Allied airmen, or support the few patrols that got in the way, but they also had to keep an eye on Japanese activities in their realm. During the Japanese evacuation of the central Solomon Islands, Choiseul became an important relay point in the movement of troops and equipment from Kolombangara to Bougainville. Barges constantly dropped troops at the southern tip of the island, and other barges gathered troops in Choiseul Bay for an open water voyage to Bougainville. Waddell and Seton had to keep an eye on shipping traffic to and from

366366 Pacifica Military History of Bougainville and the many hundreds of Japanese soldiers who had to march south from Choiseul to Choiseul Bay. On October 13, 1943, Seton radioed liaison officers on Guadalcanal that between 3,000 and 4,000 Japanese had passed through the Bambatana Mission, about 50 kilometers south of Choiseul Bay. On 19 October he reported that the Japanese camps near Choiseul and Sangigai Bay were occupied by no fewer than 3,000 Japanese, apparently waiting to be transported to Bougainville. According to their scouts, Seton reported, these men were low on funds and living in scattered camps. The islanders' gardens were looted and groups of foragers were constantly in the bush in search of edible wildlife. Seton added that these Japanese troops were particularly nervous and had blocked off all avenues, tightened security and had become accustomed to shooting first and asking questions later. Seton failed to mention that this growing unrest was likely the result of a minor attack on 2 October in which seven Japanese were killed by 25 of their armed scouts. With this information, Allied Headquarters South Pacific made the final and definitive decision that no major effort would be made against Choiseul. However, on October 20, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Williams, commander of the Marines' 1st Parachute Regiment, and Lieutenant Colonel Victor Krulak, commander of the Marines' 2nd Parachute Battalion, were called from their camp at Vella Lavella to Guadalcanal for a briefing conducted by I Marine. Officers of the General Staff of the Amphibious Corps (IMAC). In fact, it was IMAC's secretary of staff, Major James Murray, who first thought of conducting an attack on Choiseul, and it was such a massive attack that Williams and Krulak were called to Guadalcanal to discuss it. All Lieutenant Colonel Krulak's battalion needed to do was land safely north of Choiseul and cause a ruckus large enough for the Japanese to believe a major invasion was underway or imminent. Simultaneously, albeit unremarkably, several reconnaissance missions would be undertaken and a potential site for a possible PT boat base would be assessed. The release order for Operation BLISFUL was issued by IMAC HQ on 22 October. Based on a suggestion by Seton, the

367Free Sample Chapter 367 was scheduled to land in Voza, a town midway between Choiseul Bay and Bambatana Mission. The beaches were supposedly good and the local islanders were loyal and willing to help in any way they could. More important was the fact that, although Voza was directly on the Japanese evacuation route, there were no known Japanese in the area. Once Krulak received his operational orders, he prepared to return to his battalion at Vella Lavella. While waiting for his plane, he wrote the entire work order for the mission. * The 2nd Parachute Battalion had never seen combat, but they trained hard and prepared for combat. In fact, it was possibly tougher than many battle-hardened units of the time. Krulak's original plan called for a combat jump to Voza, but there was no suitable landing zone nearby; tropical jungle as dense as any of the Solomon Islands enveloped the target, stretching for many miles in all directions but one, which was to the west in New Georgia Sound. Furthermore, there were not enough transport aircraft in the South Pacific to transport an entire battalion and all necessary supplies and equipment to any location in a single flight. As the only other Marine Parachute Battalion that had to fight at Gavutu on 7 August 1942, the Krulaks had to make an amphibious landing. This was painful for everyone in the battalion, but the fact that combat was imminent was more important to many than the method of deployment. The Krulaks Battalion had four days to prepare and get there. In the camp of the 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment in Vella Lavella, a frenzy reigned when all the necessary equipment was sorted into four huge piles, all orders were given to the three companies of paratroop infantry and support units ( The regimental gun company's mortars and machine guns were also at work, as well as a detachment of an experimental rocket platoon armed with bazookas and rockets. enlisted.*

368On the night of 27 October 1943, US Navy transport destroyers Ward, Kilty, Crosby and McKean arrived at Vella Lavella after participating in the landing of a New Zealand Army brigade on the Mono Treasure Islands. Ready with all their equipment and supplies aboard eight LCM landing craft, the 2nd Parachute Battalion boarded the destroyer transports quickly, a testament to the discipline of the units. The entire operation was completed in a record time of 45 minutes. In 1921, laden destroyer transports sailed to Choiseul with the destroyer Conway as escort. Conways radar would locate the landing site off the coast of Choiseul. Also on board the ships was Coast Guard Seton, who had been plucked from Choiseul to lead the parachute battalion. Shortly after 11:00 pm, the ships were spotted in column by a Japanese patrol plane, which dropped a single bomb and fled. The bomb landed close to the rear ship and caused no damage. Shortly after midnight, about 2,000 meters off the northwest coast of Choiseul, the small flotilla stopped. A reconnaissance party was ordered alongside one of the ships, and these marines rowed ashore in an inflatable boat. While reconnaissance was underway, Lieutenant Colonel Krulak ordered Company G and Company F to board their landing craft. When the correct signal came from the beach, a single light indicating that the area was clear of Japanese, the two companies would be ready to land. As the parachutes waited, it was noticed that the destroyer transports were getting further and further away. On 28 October 0019, Company F aboard Kilty was closer to the beach, although Company G should have landed first. The commander of G Company, Captain Spencer Pratt, was ordered to lead his men to the beach. With no light coming from the reconnaissance team, Pratts Company expected to fire. But nothing happened. The patrol was waiting on the beach. The signal light was seen at 0023 aboard the ships, but not by the landing Marines. After G Company established a defensive line on the ground, Krulak ordered the rest of the battalion to land. As soon as the main troops landed, the landing craft returned to the ships.

369Free sample of 369 chapters to start loading supplies. As supplies were brought ashore, the Conway, which was far out to sea, was spotted and attacked by a lone Japanese aircraft. The destroyer's captain did not want to draw the attention of the larger Japanese forces, so he held fire as two bombs landed near his ship. An Allied night fighter pilot who was above the flotilla to prevent such an attack received much criticism for not being low enough to intercept enemy aircraft. Around 02:00, with the parachutes safely removing their equipment from the beach, the entire convoy set sail and headed for Vella Lavella. Four LCP(R) landing craft and their crews remained with the chutes. These ships secretly scattered along the coast near the island of Zinoa. CW Seton, who had gone into the woods immediately after landing, returned to the beach with a large group of islanders, who immediately set to work helping the Marines to retrieve their supplies from the beach. All the equipment was safely hidden in the bushes when a group of Japanese planes arrived at dawn to bomb the newly cleared beach. On 28 October, the Chutes established a base of operations a mile offshore on a plateau northwest of Voza. Outposts were erected and cable connections laid. The base of operations was hidden by rainforest and on defensible terrain. As the base was being set up, a second swarm of Japanese aircraft bombed and bombed the landing beach. The islanders virtually obliterated all beach wear after everything was safely distributed and camouflaged inland. In fact, they created a fictional beachhead several kilometers north of Voza to give the Japanese something to attack and think about. The 2nd Parachute Battalion saw action on 29 October. The day before, Seton's scouts had informed Krulak that there was a launch pad eight miles south of Sangigai naval base and an outpost seventeen miles north at Sangigai. the warrior river. Therefore, on the morning of 29 October, Krulak sent combat patrols in both directions to locate routes, locate Japanese positions, and familiarize himself with the area. Krulak accompanied the patrol to Sangigai. As they approached the Vagara River, halfway to Sangigai, the patrol split up.

370Half of the Marines headed inland to scout the area and find an inland approach to Sangigai, and Krulak continued with the rest towards the Vagara River. On the river, the Marines stealthily and silently watched ten Japs unload a barge on the bank. The battalion commander decided it was a good time and place to deliver his business card and ordered his troops to open fire. Seven of the Japanese were killed and the barge sank. Krulak then led his men back to base camp. The second half of the patrol returned to base camp shortly after Krulaks, and so a squadron was sent to the Vagara River to find out what the Japanese would do about the attack. He ran into a platoon of Japanese about three-quarters of a mile from the original landing site, but was able to fend off the superior force. * On the morning of October 30, Krulak led E Company, F Company and the IMAC Missile Detachment aboard the LCP(R), which was hidden in Voza, and prepared to sail for Sangigai Shuttle Base, which was marked for destruction. The strength of the Japanese in Sangigai was estimated at one hundred and fifty men at gunpoint. Seton warned the Chutes that the base could be easily reinforced from the south and probably had been doing so since the battalions landed. To reinforce the impression that Choiseul was the scene of a full-scale invasion, Krulak called in heavy air support for the attack. As the crews were preparing to depart Voza, one of the LCP(R)s was damaged in an attack by a US fighter jet. As a result, the attack plan had to be changed. At 06:10, the planned air strike reached Sangigai. As twenty-six Allied fighters flew under escort, twelve Navy TBF Avenger light bombers dropped over two tons of bombs on the Japanese base. Meanwhile, Krulak ordered the two companies, with more troops than three landing craft could carry, to march overland to the Vagara. Seton and his scouts moved on. Company F followed Seton along with a machine gun division and an IMAC missile division, and Company E followed with attached units.

371Free Sample Chapters 371 Nothing happened until 1110 when Japanese troops stationed on the Vagara River opened fire on the head of the approaching battalion column. The parachutes returned fire and the Japanese were forced to retreat to Sangigai. At this point, Krulak ordered Captain Robert Manchester's E Company to advance along the coast while the rest of the force moved inland to secure positions on the high ground behind and east of the Japanese defences. At Hour H, Krulak's siege force was still tangled in the dense, mountainous rainforest beyond Sangigai. When the sound of gunfire reached the inland forces from the beach, Seton's scouts told the beleaguered battalion commander that the Japanese were well ahead. Captain Manchester's troops opened the attack only a few minutes late. The Japanese held out for a few moments, but naval rocket and mortar fire combined with rifle and machine gun fire proved too much for them and they charged out of the village, freeing E Company to take aim and advance. almost unimpeded. Marines from Krulak squadron spotted the Japanese on the beach a few minutes into the action and moved to prevent the enemy from dispersing into the undergrowth. This was of paramount importance as Krulak wanted to destroy rather than scatter the Japanese force. It was more a matter of luck than timing, but the Japanese were forced to land in prepared positions, which were immediately contained by parachute. As the Japanese advanced north of the village, they faced Captain Spencer Pratt's F Company, which immediately opened fire on them. A fierce battle lasted for nearly an hour. F Company then managed to complete the desired encirclement behind a shield of light machine gun fire. The Japanese panicked and launched several uncoordinated attacks that only resulted in additional casualties. As the Marines maneuvered to close the right flank, the Japanese broke contact and about forty of them escaped into the bush. However, seventy-two Japanese were killed in the action. Four Marines were also killed and twelve wounded, including Krulak and Captain Pratt.

372372 Pacifica Military History While F Company was fighting in the bush, E Company had blown up the Japanese base. New barges were sunk, all Japanese supplies were destroyed, and many documents were taken, including a map showing all naval minefields south of Bougainville. After the Sangigai base was destroyed, E Company retreated to the Vagara River and the four landing craft (the damaged one had been repaired) picked it up and brought it back to Voza. Meanwhile, Krulak and the rest of the attackers buried the dead in the bush and proceeded to the Vagara River, where they arrived without incident after E Company left. When E Company returned to Voza at dusk, Commander Warner Bigger, senior officer of the battalion, canceled the planned pickup of Krulak's force, as the operation had been delayed by many hours. Unfortunately, Krulak's radio command failed, leaving him with no say in Bigger's decision and only able to guess at what his second-in-command was up to. The battalion commander and his troops had an extremely restless but uneventful night. At dawn on 31 October, the landing craft arrived and pulled Krulak's forces off the beach. On his return to Voza, Krulak ordered armed ambushes and aggressive patrols sent to see what the Japanese would do with the defeat at Sangigai. On 1 November, a Navy PBY landed in Voza waters to collect the wounded parachutes and captured documents. Also, in response to an urgent request, 1,000 pounds of rice for Seton's scouts, 500 pounds of TNT and 250 hand grenades were dropped near Voza. Several clashes between patrols took place during the day, but the base camp was not threatened. Seton's scouts reported that the Japanese had reoccupied Sangigai. * On November 1, Major Bigger led a combat patrol of eight to seven men from Captain William Days' G Company towards the village of Nukiki, about ten miles north of base camp. This was the second time Biggers went to Nukiki; he had inspected the place the day before. The purpose of the large patrol was to verify reports from Seton's scouts that a large Japanese force was occupying an outpost on the Warrior River.

373Free Sample Chapters 373 Major was moving by Nukiki; cross the warrior; destroy all Japanese installations, outposts and positions in your path; and advance close enough to the main base at Choiseul Bay to attack the site with 60mm mortars. Krulak approved Guppy Island in Choiseul Bay as an alternate target in case Biggers' patrol fails to reach the main base. Biggers' squadron passed Nukiki without incident, but the LCP(R)s he was riding constantly ran aground in the shallow estuary of the Warrior River. The sound of engines firing to break free of the muddy ground was quite loud, and Bigger feared that everyone for miles could hear it. So he ordered his men ashore and sent the boats downriver to hide them in a bay near Nukiki. Four marines and a radio were left on the east bank of the river and all surplus equipment was put away. The Chutes marched inland for a considerable distance before crossing the river. In mid-afternoon, after a long march, the scouts confessed to Major Bigger that they were lost. Deciding to wait and rest, Bigger ordered his troops to camp there, despite being in the middle of a swamp. A small patrol was sent out by radio to alert the base of the problem. Upon receiving the report, Krulak asked Seton if a man who knew the area was available. Seton supplied the only man he had with him who was from the area, and that scout was immediately dispatched to locate Biggers' force. Meanwhile, the LCP(R) was sent back to Voza on Biggers' orders. Biggers' small main force patrol spent the night with the radio equipment. When they awoke the next morning, they found that about thirty Japanese had moved between their position and Biggers. Before the Japanese could act, a handful of marines snuck onto the landing craft still hidden in the Guerreiro Estuary bay and immediately returned to Voza, where they reported everything to Krulak. Upon receiving the message, the battalion commander requested immediate air support from IMAC, as well as PT launches that could be arranged to arrive quickly. Meanwhile, Major Bigger was unaware of the activities behind it. He had lost a lot of time, so he decided to attack head-on.

374374 Pacifica Military History of Choiseul Bay. The position of the patrols was determined and a second small patrol was sent to the radio location to request boats to pick up the main body that afternoon. Shortly after setting off, the second small patrol discovered that a large Japanese force was following Bigger. These Marines were unable to return to Biggers' forces, but managed to fight their way to Nukiki, where they were soon spotted by the Landing Craft crews. Meanwhile, Seton's guide had found Bigger and was leading the patrol through the sparse jungle to the foot of Choiseul Bay. When the Marines reached Redman Island, a small stretch of rock off the coast, a four-man Japanese outpost opened fire on them. Three of the Japanese were immediately shot dead, but the fourth managed to escape and apparently raised the alarm. The surprise was lost. As the forest along the beach was too sparse to provide adequate shelter, Bigger decided to bomb Guppy Island. The Chutes positioned themselves in front of the island, but soon found that the growth of the forest was obscuring the mortar fire. The mortars were brought ashore and placed with their bases partially submerged. The Chutes then fired 143 high-explosive shells at Japanese fuel and supply depots on the island. As they withdrew, at least two large fires were discovered in the target area. Fueled by return fire, the Marines retreated towards the Warrior River. The Japanese wanted the Biggers' fur. Groups of foot soldiers were dispatched on fast barges, from which they landed at various points along Biggers' expected escape route. The retreating Chutes were attacked four times before reaching the Warrior River, but overcame the opposition each time. When they reached the river, they set up a defensive line and waited for the landing craft. When they felt the pressure had eased, several slides ventured into the surf to wash away some of the jungle grime accumulated during the grueling trek. They were fired upon from the opposite bank of the river. The exposed Marines took cover in the nearest cover, but thought their comrades would fire on them.

375Free Sample Chapter 375 Marines who arrived at the scene to reinforce their group. Several American flags were raised on the Bushwhackers, but this only resulted in increased fire. Biggers' force sent heavy return fire, forcing the much smaller Japanese force to retreat. Bigger ordered three strong swimmers to enter the water to try to reach the expected rescue party and warn them of the ambush. Several Japanese remained in the trees on the opposite bank of the river and shot the three helpless swimmers, only one of whom survived to return to Biggers' group. As the firefight intensified, Marine Biggers saw the four LCP(R)s approaching. But there was also a storm and the sea was quite rough. Under heavy covering fire from Biggers' troops, the ships ran aground on the west bank of the river and Biggers' men boarded. As the small flotilla pulled away from the beach, the engine of one of the fully loaded LCP(R)s was swamped by the waves and drifted towards the Japanese-controlled side of the river. Luckily he got dirty on a coral rock. At this moment, two PT boats (one commanded by Lieutenant John Fitzgerald Kennedy) launched from the sea, with all guns firing into the Japanese-controlled side of the river. As the .50 caliber and 20 mm PT guns swept through the Japanese positions, Chutes quickly exchanged the jammed LCP(R) for another. The defective LCP(R) was towed from the beach and its engine restarted. All landing craft were then pulled out of range of the beach under cover of a storm. The Campo de Munda aircraft and the two PT boats provided cover during the return trip to Voza. * Also on November 1, around the time the Bigger Patrol was leaving Base Camp, a second strong combat patrol was marching towards the Vagara River in hopes of driving back a strong Japanese infantry force back to their base at Sangigai. The Japanese encountered by this patrol put up a particularly tough fight. In assessing the various actions that night, Lieutenant Colonel Krulak and his staff concluded that the small size of their force and, in all likelihood, their intentions were, to some extent, guessed at by their

376376 Opponents of Pacific Military History. The findings of several naval patrols were evaluated and it was found that more and more well-armed and well-organized Japanese were moving closer and closer to base camp. It seemed only a matter of time before the Japanese located the 2nd Parachute Battalion's hideout and discovered that they were facing a very limited attack rather than a full-scale invasion. If so, Chutes would be extremely vulnerable to an organized mop by large numbers of Japanese apparently gathered close to Voza. Although Krulak had originally planned for an eight to ten day mission, he now realized that the time to retreat was fast approaching. The clincher came on 3 November when a reconnaissance party from Seton reported that a force of 800 to 1,000 well-armed Japanese was at Sangigai and that another strong force was north of Voza at Moli Point. After Bigger's patrol was picked up in Nukiki, IMAC HQ communicated with Krulak to ask him if he thought his mission could be completed. By this time, on 3 November, the bulk of the 3rd Marine Division had successfully completed the Empress Augusta Bay landing at Bougainville and the Japanese quickly concluded that this was the case and that American activity at Choiseul was obviously a distraction. However, with Bougainville now in the spotlight, the Japanese needed their evacuation route from Choiseul more than ever, as their many bases south of Bougainville and the Shortland Islands were bypassed. They had to evacuate or redeploy many of their units, and Choiseul was still the best route for many of these moves. It became painfully evident that the Japanese at Choiseul now realized that they faced an assault force of approximately battalion strength and that they were eagerly preparing to launch a counterattack within 48 hours. Krulak told his superiors that his food supplies would last another seven days, that ammunition was plentiful, and that he was in a strong position, but added that IMAC might well evacuate his battalion if his mission had actually achieved its objective. strategically. Goal.

377Free Sample Chapter 377 Krulak later wrote about the situation: In fact, I felt that it would not be possible to retreat before the [Japanese] cut off the beach route. However, we were so much better off than the [Japanese] that it wasn't a concern (now say that!). The natives were on our side, we could move around the island much faster than the [Japanese] could keep up with, and I felt that if they didn't catch us on Voza's side, we could make it to the other side. Seton agreed and we had already planned such a move. Furthermore, we were confident that our position was strong enough to hold if necessary. However, on the night of 3 November, three large LCI landing craft arrived north of Voza and began to board the waiting 2nd Parachute Battalion. Loud explosions could be heard as troops climbed the ramps, presumably from mines and booby traps set up by the Marines to prevent the approaching Japanese. The Krulak Marines loaded up all their equipment (minus the food that was going to Seton) and boarded in good order while nervous LCI crew members pleaded with them to hurry. The entire loading process took fifteen minutes. The LCIs withdrew from the beach and proceeded to Vella Lavella, arriving just after dawn on 4 November. was largely wrong. Only a few hours after the withdrawal and less than two days later, as the battalion commander presumed, large and powerful Japanese infantry units were closing in on base camp and the beach positions previously occupied by the 2nd Parachute Battalion. Indeed, the Japanese were very surprised by the Marines' initial actions at Choiseul and, in the words of the assessment, [they] were undoubtedly misled by the battalion's rapid activity over a 25-mile area with regard to force size. landing. Forehead. However, when the big show in Bougainville began, there was much less doubt in the Japanese minds as to the significance of Choiseul's action. It turned out that a very small force was conducting a very limited diversion operation at Choiseul and steps were taken immediately to eliminate this force and restore much needed evacuation routes.

378378 Pacifica Military History The operation cost the Japanese 143 known casualties in actions at Warrior River and Sangigai. Equipment losses included two barges, over 180 tons of equipment and supplies, the complete (but temporary) destruction of the Sangigai base, and an unknown but presumed large loss of fuel and supplies in the Guppy Island landfills. Minefield maps recorded at Sangigai reassured many Allied naval officers and eventually led to the mining of additional water around Bougainville. Although sources vary, it appears that nine Marines were killed in action at Choiseul, fifteen were wounded, and two were missing in action (and later presumed dead). The actual overall effect of the diversionary operation was small. The 2nd Parachute Battalion arrived at Choiseul very close to the moorings at Empress Augusta Bay to major changes in the appearance of the entire Japanese defense system. Had the battalion landed a week earlier, the Japanese could have moved a large force of infantry and adequate supporting weapons from Bougainville and the Shortlands. Furthermore, the small size of the Krulak force limited its effective area of ​​operations. Parachute battalions were smaller than other naval infantry battalions and their largest support weapons were 81mm mortars. There was little damage the assault force could have done and little lasting damage it did. The Choiseul attack was a minor success of little strategic value, but a good show nonetheless. It was the only time the carefully trained 2nd Parachute Battalion saw action since the 1st Parachute Regiment was disbanded in 1944 and its personnel converted to regular infantry, many of whom took part in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

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380380 Pacifica Military History TRAIL OF THE WORLD The New Georgia Campaign June-August 1943 By Eric Hammel The Solomon Islands archipelago stretches roughly east to west from New Guinea to St. Kitts. For Japanese Imperial forces in 1942, it was a natural highway to the South Pacific. When these troops checked Guadalcanal, they found that they had moved eastwards too quickly and that their defeat was due in part to the insufficiency of air bases between the front lines and their headquarters at Rabaul, over 600 miles away. When the last of the Japanese battalions clashed with the Marine defenses on Guadalcanal, the decision was made to build Munda Airfield on New Georgia, right in the middle of the Solomon Islands chain. The Americans also recognized the Solomon Islands as a highway, but in another direction, to Rabaul, to the Philippines, and finally to Japan. The two great Pacific powers clashed in the middle of this strategic island corridor in June 1943, when a fledgling US Army infantry division invaded New Georgia and began advancing up the Munda Trail to capture the airfield. This forgotten battle was indeed one of the first sustained US offensive actions in the Pacific, and as such, it taught both Green troops and US Green commanders the realities of jungle warfare. Munda Trail is the dramatic and moving story of green American soldiers who, for the first time, encounter impenetrable swamps, solid tropical jungles, invisible coconut log bunkers, tenacious snipers tied to trees, torrential tropical rains, aircraft counterattacks. enemy fires and naval guns, and the logistical nightmare of living and moving in endless mud. A carefully planned offensive quickly degenerates into isolated actions by small units, as the terrain destroys unit cohesion and leads inexperienced soldiers into deadly ambushes. As physical and psychological stress mounts, Army medics begin to define a new disease approaching epidemic proportions to combat fatigue. Men without injuries will be easy

381Free Sample Chapter 381 useless for new battles, progress falters. But over time, frightened American soldiers find their inner resolve and step out of the psychological abyss, emerging steadfast and true, finally victorious combat veterans. The New Georgia Campaign was, in Hammels's words, a vivid study of the universal military truths related to feeding the innocent to ravenous war dogs. However, when it was over, there was no doubt that the tide had turned, that the forces moving through the Solomon Islands would be American and moving towards Japan.

382382 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book MUNDA TRAIL: The New Georgia Campaign, July - August 1943 by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $24.95 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. This book is also available as an eBook edition. OBRIEN HILL by Eric Hammel Copyright 1989 by Eric Hammel In the area of ​​the 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Slaftcho Joe Katsarsky's infantry companies descended early on July 27 into the lowland rainforest opposite OBrien Hill and they climbed the next hill, another nameless hump soon to be named after a fallen American. C Company was in the lead, with B Company close behind. The battalion advanced continuously until it reached the target base. The Japanese on the heights then fought back with light and heavy machine guns, Japanese rifles, captured American rifles, and Japanese and American automatic rifles and hand grenades. As B Company pushed into the woods to close an ever-widening gap between Katsarsky's battalion and the adjacent 1st Battalion, 145th, C Company pushed deep into the Japanese defences. Lieutenant Louis Christian was leading his C Company platoon up the hill when his men froze under fire from automatic weapons stationed in a bunker at the front. Christian had been a regimental sergeant during the fighting on Guadalcanal, but accepted a battlefield assignment. That day, the new lieutenant crawled alone through the light undergrowth, right in front of the bunker blocking his platoon. He threw several hand grenades that silenced the Nambu. The entire company was going through a bad time. Troops came under fire from several positions, but were forced to halt when they came under fire from machine-gun fire. So the Japanese

383Free Sample Chapters 383 The infantry launched a swift counterattack from the ridge line. Lieutenant Louis Christian was taking a deep breath when he saw his platoon fall behind. As the surprised American gunners turned back to find safe positions to counter the counterattack, Christian remained where he was supposed to direct fire from the supporting mortars. A short burst of machine-gun fire hit him as he searched for targets, and he died in a pool of blood. The hill had a name. C Company retreated and buried itself. An artillery spotter spoke some desperate words into his field phone, and after a moment the ridge exploded under 105mm shells. The 1st Battalion's 81 mm mortars were quickly repositioned and fired. Japanese 90 mm mortars responded. Lieutenant Colonel Joe Katsarsky ordered C Company to return to O'Brien Hill. * The ordeal of the 1st Battalion, 161st was just the beginning. Shortly after the battalion's main body returned to O'Brien Hill, a large American unit passed from the north. He was followed by a large group of Japanese people. Nobody really knew what was going on, but Katsarsky's battalion inherited the Japanese. This was at 2:30 pm. The first contact came when several Japanese stumbled into the firing zones of several American machine guns and scattered. Shortly after that rather harmless initial encounter, the Japanese launched several troop-sized probes to determine what they were up against. They had a good idea in 1630, when Americans in the battalion line first heard Japanese soldiers in the woods preparing for a big fight. There was a low saddle on the battalion's right flank and a ravine running left to right along the immediate front. Dense vegetation filled the canyon. The front slopes of O'Brien Hill were close to the edge of the forest, within a wooded rim that overlooked the top of the high, open hill. The battalion command post was only fifty feet behind the line of advance. The Japanese would taunt their opponents and get excited about each other, shouting curses into the night, causing fear even among the veterans on top of the hill and moving noisily.

384384 Military History of Pacifica over the low saddle and over the tree-choked ravine. American hand grenades rained down on them from above, as did American 60mm and 81mm mortars. The screech of the Nambu light machine guns echoed through the hoarse salvos of mortars, and streams of glowing tracer material poured through the solid black wall of night towards O'Brien Hill. The first attack was launched by about a platoon. He was stopped by methodical dirty-faced gunners and artillerymen who manned the air-cooled and water-cooled battalions. 30-caliber Browning. Two more platoon-strength frontal attacks collapsed as soon as they cleared the ravine and saddle. Then the Japanese withdrew. They knew what they had come to learn; Katsarsky's battalion was tracked. Joe Katsarsky learned at about 08:00 on 28 July that his battalion had been cut off. Palanquin trying to reach the regiment's aid station was shot along the track behind O'Brien Hill; Several stretcher bearers and previously wounded soldiers were killed. Jeeps carrying the necessary ammunition from the regimental supply depot were fired upon as they approached O'Brien Hill. Several drivers were killed and four crashed jeeps blocked the vital link. All Katsarsky could do was pull some of his troops out of the line and send them down the trail to finish off any bushwhackers along the way. The heavily armed combat patrol moved cautiously along the narrow road and tree line at its edge for two hours. For two hours these sleepless soldiers killed. At 10 am, the path appeared to have cleared. The patrol climbed the rear slope of O'Brien Hill and broke away to return to the line. Somehow, as the runway was cleared, the Japanese sensed that the American battle line was weakened and prepared an attack. The first Japanese line was pulling out of the woods when the patrol broke up to return to the lines. The outposts got to him first. When the mainline bullets passed inches above their heads and the Japanese bullets passed directly below, the soldiers manning the posts fell back. Pink-white markers streaked the air, and Japanese explosive bullets exploded loudly as they slammed into earth, wood, and flesh. Half the shelters the Americans spread over their battle holes to protect them from the sun were destroyed.

385385 free sample chapters in minutes; They had to be lowered to avoid becoming entangled in the gun barrels protruding from the edges of the fighting holes. The battalion's supply station, located at the top of the hill, had to be pulled back to allow medics to safely move among the wounded and carry others to relative safety. The battalion's communications center was threatened by machine gun fire and the communicators had to leave their radios for cover. A sniper on the line was hit by a bullet. Two medics advanced through the piercing fire and lifted him, one on either side. They staggered across the stricken area. Another sniper was shot and fell to his knees screaming: I'm hurt! A moment later, he fell forward and yelled, I'm dead, and was gone. Captain Ralph Phelps, the battalion's senior officer, ran through the fire to speak with Captain Donald Downen, commander of A Body Company. The two jumped off the ground and ran for cover to end the argument. A Japanese sniper armed with an American BAR was seen and attacked with a grenade from his position in the treetops. A noncommissioned officer, second in command of a platoon of marines, was shot while carrying ammunition for his men. A lieutenant who was cut in the neck when a bullet pierced his helmet while clearing the road bled for two hours before he was able to seek treatment. The attack came mainly from the right. The Japanese had made an excellent place for themselves, as most of the troops sent on the road clearing patrol had been withdrawn from that sector and replaced by a few mortars armed with pistols. On the right side was an air-cooled .30 caliber Browning light machine gun, but the gunner was absent due to illness and the gunner's submarine had gone into a latrine just before the attack began. The only man in the weapons pit was Private James Newbrough, a green ammunition loader. After a bizarre exchange of jeers, three Japanese men carrying Nambu loaded Newbrough's gun. Two died and the other retired. Newbrough kept firing bullets, but the more he fired, the more

386386 Pacifica Military History attracted more attention. Half of the shelter above the weapons pit was destroyed and nearby brush was cut to the ground. Private Newbrough eventually discovered that by disengaging the machine gun's transverse mechanism, he could aim the gun under the barrel, meaning his head would be much lower. He released the mechanism and sprayed and sprayed. And pulverized. Corporal Dick Barrett brought up the rear as the fighting began. As soon as he realized that Private Newbrough was alone in the gun pit, he gathered what ammunition he could and left it behind. Barrett arrived just as Newbrough was preparing for the range. As Corporal Barrett fed a fresh belt of ammunition and sat behind the machine gun, Private First Class Hollis Johnson, a BAR man, moved forward to cover the gunners. And everyone sprayed and sprayed. And pulverized. For the men involved, the fight seemed to last for hours. It ended at 10:45 pm, after just forty-five minutes.

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388388 Pacifica MUSTANG ACE Military History Memoirs of a P-51 Fighter Pilot By Robert J. Goebel When Bob Goebel left home for the Army Air Corps in 1942, he was 19 and a high school graduate. The only time he traveled away from his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin, was on an adventure trip in the summer of 1940, when he and a friend traveled by train to Texas and back to visit two of Bob's brothers who were in the military service. Even during the weeks of preparation for his escape, young Goebel was at home on the job and, out of patriotism and longing, he looked forward to the great adventure he had embarked on. A quiet and quick learner, Kadett Goebel worked steadily through the elementary, elementary and advanced stages of military flight training and discovered a gift for flying within himself. However, like most of his comrades, Goebel could not learn to hit a flying target with the guns mounted on the trainers he had flown. However, he and she both graduated from combat school, and after earning their wings and commissions, they were sent to a combat operations unit in Panama. Months of rigorous operational flying in Panama trained Lieutenant Goebel and his young companions to be better aviators, but did little to improve their gunnery skills. With the arrival of a new generation of novices, Goebel and his companions were on their way to Europe to join the fight. They landed in North Africa in the spring of 1944 with orders to join the 31st Fighter Group in Italy. Just as Goebel and his young companions were about to join the lead group of fighters in the Mediterranean theater of operations, the 31st switched from its British-built Spitfire fighters to new P-51 Mustang fighters. Within a few weeks, Bob Goebel flew his first combat missions and lost the leader of his element, who was shot down in a dogfight.

389389 Free Sample Chapters But he masters the work he has done. A constant succession of bomber escort missions over southeastern Europe forced Lieutenant Goebel to settle down and master air rifle shooting and the mentally grueling high-speed dogfights in which he engaged. Finally, he shot down his first German fighter. And he rose to leadership positions and, in due course, led the entire 31st Fighter Group deep into enemy territory. Eventually he shot down a fifth German and became the Mustang Ace's ace. And then he shot down three Germans in one day during an operation in Ploesti, Romania. He flew to Russia and back and supported the invasion of southern France. By the end of September 1944, he had eleven confirmed victories and was one of the most respected fighter leaders in the 308th Fighter Squadron. When he was sent home at the end of his mission, Captain Bob Goebel was not yet 22 years old.

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390390 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book MUSTANG ACE: Memoirs of a P-51 Fighter Pilot by Robert J. Goebel. The book is currently available in paperback for $27.50. This book is also available as an eBook edition. THE BAPTIZATION OF AN ACES FIGHTER by Robert J. Goebel Copyright 1991 by Robert J. Goebel. My first real baptism of fire was on April 21, 1944, with the first visit on April 31 to the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. The milk trips are over. During the briefing, all eyes were on the red wire that ran the length of the huge map on the front wall. It ran east from the spur of the Italian boot across the Adriatic Sea, through Yugoslavia to the bombers' hangout and finally ended in Bucharest, nearly 600 miles away. None of the group had flown such a mission before, especially in a formation of forty-eight aircraft. The German war machine needed gasoline and lubricating oil, and most of it came from the Balkans, from Ploesti. The oil fields, as well as the extensive refineries that supported them, had to be destroyed even though they were American owned. We dutifully observe the bearings and times on the compass. I also watched the engine start or PT. PT was a term carried over from the Spitfire days, when the start and power-up buttons were next to each other and had to be pressed at the same time. PT stood for Pushing Boobs. The intelligence informant took the stage and spoke about the anti-aircraft installations and concentrations of enemy fighters in the immediate vicinity of the target. His writing was a masterpiece of reporting worthy of Philadelphia's finest attorney. A statement that 63 large-caliber anti-aircraft guns would be in the area south of the target always gave me food for thought. Believed by whom? And did he really think it was sixty-three, or was it a good number between fifty and a hundred? I had the feeling that someone was trying to measure a fly spot to three decimal places with a folding ruler. guaranteed,

391Free Sample Chapter 391 Intelligence work was a shady business, and I'm sure if better information had been available we would have gotten it. Still, I waited in vain when I found out that someone was on that stage and said, I have no idea what you're going to find up there. Bad weather was predicted until the finish line, but it wasn't new either. In the absence of reliable data, I believe the meteorologist played it safe and predicted bad weather everywhere. So I was able to walk the path I told you in the stinking weather. Or he could discount the surprisingly good condition as having something to do with the improvement. At the conclusion of the briefing, we piled into the various jeeps available to travel to the airfield and squadron operations. Aircraft missions were posted in the operational tent. As always, each pilot noted the location and signaling of the aircraft to follow to exit the parking lot. Thorsen reviewed the flight positions and discussed where he wanted the other three flights. The 308 was the lead squadron today, so it would also lead the platoon. Each squadron was supposed to place sixteen aircraft and two spare aircraft, which would return to the Yugoslav coast if no one stopped. In standard formation, the sixteen Mustangs were grouped into four flights of four aircraft each. The main flight was called Red Flight and the support flight was Yellow; The second section consisted of Blue and was supported by Green Flight. As before, I was Thorsen's wingman, so my callsign was Border Red Two. Lam, the squadron intelligence officer, handed each of us two small packages that would fit in the pockets of our coveralls. One was an escape/evasion kit that contained a few sticks of concentrated food, amphetamine, a morphine syringe, and other bits and pieces. The other was a wad of used and crumpled money from the countries we planned to fly over. A little more tinkering and then it was time to go. I went to my machine very excited, with my heart racing, but also excited and full of anticipation. No more runny milk. No more silhouettes like aircraft reconnaissance exercises. Now he would see the real thing.

392392 Pacifica Military History The pre-flight check was a perfunctory and tedious affair. Then I wanted to pee, but it was the second time in two minutes, and despite the urge, I only managed to pee a few drops. The team leader helped me into my bulky RAF Mae West lifejacket and parachute harness. Then, when I was in the cab, he held the straps up so I could thread the ends through my lap belt and lower it. I felt like I had to go again, but I knew that even if I sat down and tried, nothing would come of it. So I checked the cockpit, selected Nightshade and concentrated on her propeller until she started to move. I started; gave the starting signal; and when the crew chief was safely seated on the wing, he ejected and took up position behind Thorsen as he headed towards the end of the runway. The Mustang's long nose made forward visibility very poor, and with sixteen aircraft kicking up dust, it was absolutely necessary to keep rehearsing and watching the wing mechanic for hand signals. We were finally on the runway. The crew chief jumped up and waved at me and I got to the starting position. As soon as Thorsen reached the center of the floor, I wiped my sweaty hands on the thighs of my coveralls; had a rolling magnet exam; and pushed the throttle to the gate, 61 inches. I had the day off. I closed in on Thorsen fast and hard, occasionally glancing past him to the rest of the squadron as each following aircraft caught up and took up position. Finally the major started. When I relaxed my stance a bit to look around, I was in high spirits: our squadron was perfectly positioned, and on either side, above us, the other two squadrons were equally well positioned. The Adriatic Sea glittered below and was dotted with the white sails of Italian fishing boats. As we gained altitude, the Italian coast gradually receded. To the east, a cluster of cumulus clouds dotted the Yugoslav coast. Soon we were at our cruising altitude. As the weather deteriorated, squadrons began to maneuver around the imposing structures as they tried to maintain contact. My attention was fully focused on holding the position on Thorsen's wing, so I only had a vague idea of ​​what was going on. None of us knew that Fifth Air Force Headquarters had withdrawn the mission because of the weather, but the B-24s and 31s didn't notice and proceeded towards the target.

393Free Sample Chapters 393 The encounter with the bombers went off without a hitch. Each squadron took up position over the stream of bombers, dodging back and forth, trying to stay out of the clouds but not outrun the slow-flying B-24s. Shortly after the appointment, someone broke radio silence to call out enemy fighters. I tried in vain to locate them with quick glances at Thorsen's machine, but I couldn't see anything but clouds and more Mustangs. The next thing I knew, the traffic on the R/T was building in volume and intensity until it was chaos; they cursed and screamed at the same time. Here you come! break, break good! Under your attention, level four o'clock, blue leader. A bunch of motherfuckers. . . Red leader, break right! Thou hast it. You have it! Where the hell are you, Four Greens? The high-pitched cacophony in my headphones gave me the creeps, but I was super busy with Thorsen as he performed some very loud G tricks. My vision was blurry from stress. Clouds and wisps of horizon passed in very strange places. I saw what I thought were trackers sliding my wing between me and Thorsen and I wanted to shout a warning. But she couldn't think of the right words to pause. I'm suffocating After a few minutes that felt like hours, it was all over and we tried to reform. I was drenched in sweat and so sensitive that the first sound of a routine radio call made me visibly shiver. I finally got my nerves under control, but when we got back to the house, I felt nauseous. I was still nervous as we started our descent and after launching and running my pattern I just guided it to the wheels and let it roll. At the end of the course, all the team leaders were huddled together. When the other's plane arrived, I boarded the wing for the taxi back to the parking lot. When it was locked, I turned it off, unbuckled it and went to the ops shop to have a look. Fortunately no one was interested in questioning me. I hadn't really seen much beyond Thorsen Nightshade's website and would have been embarrassed to admit it. I found that the group had attacked two groups of thirty planes each and destroyed sixteen of them. We lost four ourselves. One of the lost pilots was Jackson, a classmate from Moore Field.

394394 Pacifica Military History assigned to the 309 when we came from Telergma three weeks ago. It was the first combat casualty for our group from Panama, but certainly not the last. The 308 had done well, catching four of the forwards and getting four chances on the deal. Claude had one of the odds that Dr. Tom's compensation claim was hit. I was depressed, I hadn't seen or shot anything. One of our guys from Panama would one day get a confirmed victory and I knew it wouldn't be me. Later that night, lying in my bag, I reflected on the day's events and tried to put things in order. One thing was clear to me: Flying in such close formation that I wouldn't have gotten lost or separated was preventing me from doing my job of watching my leaders and keeping them at bay. I had to relax and take the risk of being with him. I also realized that in the heat of battle there was no time to think. Time to think was on the floor. If you don't do something instinctively, it won't get done. Expectation was the thing. Be ready. He had to act without hesitation when the time came. He turns on the gun and looks at the first boogeyman. Have the tank dump arm fire early so the drop tanks move away a split second after the command. Get ready for a suspended tank. Get ready for the mix of auto-rich, full throttle and RPM. And most importantly, be ready to immediately call pause if you bounce off an enemy plane, and use the correct callsign so as not to scatter all other flights across the sky. On the next mission two days later he would fly as the Green Four on Johnson's wing. He didn't know whether he had graduated or been demoted. There was no explanation or comment, so I chose to believe that Thorsen had given me the green light to fly general wing and was hiring a new man to fly his wing. Johnson had a reputation for being a tiger in the air, so I knew he didn't want to act. We drove to Wiener Neustadt, a modern city near Vienna, where the Me-109s were assembled. That probably means we put a stick in the wasp's nest. Vienna, or Wien as the Austrians called it, was 450 air miles from San Severo, almost to the north. the direct way

395The 395 free sample chapters would take us across the Adriatic and the Yugoslav coast west of Split. After crossing the Coast Mountains, we would almost cross Zagreb into the Croatian plains. The very large and prominent Lake Balaton would lie to the east of Hungary. Much closer, almost below our trail, would be the city of Graz, Austria, just 120 kilometers from Wiener Neustadt. Getting started and joining was routine. As the group headed north across the sea, I had ample opportunity to look around. Forty-eight aircraft plus six backup aircraft formed an impressive force and took up much of the sky. I was happy to be a part of it, rather than having to watch from the cockpit of an Me-109 or FW-190. Close to the border between Yugoslavia and Austria, the bogies were called a little lower at one o'clock. This time I looked closely and saw about a dozen Me-109s going one to three in close proximity. As the squadron began to turn towards them, Johnson dropped his tanks, cut off our leading group sharply and began to go down behind them. I barely had time to catch a glimpse of our lead plane as it taxied to follow Johnson. I was horrified to see the rest of the squadron return to their original course, leaving us waiting to dry out. I looked at Johnson. He was already pulling away from me, turning into a tight vertical bank and quickly approaching a 109. I pushed him as hard as I could. But if I was going to keep him, I knew I had to keep cornering him. The 109th outside of us, which Johnson expected to be attacked by the squadron command section, could easily fall behind. But I figured as long as he pulled four or five g's he was relatively safe. I pulled that stick as hard as I could and, in half a swing, I contracted my abs, contracted all my muscles and tried to keep my head up against the cruel and unrelenting force of increasing gravity. She couldn't remember if she was in the same piece of heaven as Johnson; the positive gs drained the blood from my head and I went blind. After another second or two, I let go of the stick until I could see again, hoping Johnson was still ahead of me. no joy. That part of the sky was empty. At eight, a mile or two away, I saw a parachute. Two planes came towards me a little closer. They didn't have a deep air intake in the middle, but instead had two flat radiators underneath.

396396 Pacifica Military History on the wings and near the fuselage, as well as the reconnaissance silhouette. They were unmistakably Me-109s! I walked over to the War Emergency 67" pressure manifold and entered a cloud bank to my left. I slammed them against the clouds, a stratus layer that was pretty soft on the inside. For the moment he was safe; visibility was less than 20 ft. If I was chasing someone in cloud cover, he would appear at the top, fly in a straight line, and wait for them to leave. Waiting for them to do the same, I slowed down and started to turn, rolling as I reversed course. After a few minutes, I stopped in the sunlight and did a sharp 90 left and then a right to get free. I was alone. I had no idea where they had gone, but I really didn't care. Now what? I decided walk the short distance to the destination and join someone rather than risk flying home alone. I set course for the target area and climb back up to group level, often turning to look back and constantly scanning the sky for those fast moving black dots. The target area was easy to spot through the dark cloud of anti-aircraft explosions and the heavy bombers could be seen for miles. I cautiously approached the first batch of Mustangs I came across. The big letters WZ on the side told me they were from a sister squadron, 309. The leader threw me a quick glance, raised a gloved hand to acknowledge my presence, and went about his business. I felt like the lost kitten that found its mother. But I couldn't help but wonder what happened to Johnson. Was it his parachute or a German pilot? After landing and parking, I walked slowly to the surgical tent to report, dreading questioning and my admission that I had lost my element leader. I told Lam my story in as much detail as I could while he took notes. Johnson had not returned and no one reported seeing him. Two of the senior chiefs, who had finished their run on Spitfires and were waiting to go home, seemed interested that he had passed 109 in level flight. I asked one of them, he was the team's top scorer with six wins, if that was wrong. He laughed and said no. I heard none of the criticism from the other riders that he expected. Granted, he didn't let Johnson take a picture or anything on purpose; Still, I lost him and he still hadn't returned. Interviewed some of the senior pilots

397Free Samples Chapter 397 your action by dropping tanks and engaging bombers before the encounter. I went outside, sat on a wooden bench and looked for another Mustang in the night sky. After half an hour, Lam came out and asked me if I wanted to go back to the residential area. Everyone had already left so it was just the two of us in the jeep. We walked back in silence. I felt really bad. Two other squadron pilots besides Johnson failed to make it back to Trafton and Hughes. Although nobody knew it at the time, Trafton was injured but successfully saved and would return to Italy three months later. Hughes was dead, he had told Lam before walking to his plane, isn't it a nice day to be shot down? Did he have a premonition or was it just a casual observation? Who knows. But he was right about one thing: it had been a beautiful day.

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400400 Pacifica Military History SIX DAYS IN JUNE How Israel Won the 1967 Arab-Israeli War By Eric Hammel Respected military historian Eric Hammel is the first chronicler of the 1967 Six-Day War, gathering the story of the development of daring military training and planning of Israel with a detailed narrative account of its impressive victories in Sinai, Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. In contrast to all previous accounts of the 1967 war, Hammel's overarching narrative shows how, beginning in the early 1950s, the Zahal Israel Defense Force waged a relentless and often visionary campaign to prepare for the inevitable war for survival. that radically changed the Middle East. East when he came and has had a lasting impact on international politics ever since. Israel's brilliant and innovative military thinkers developed extremely flexible strategies, operational plans and battlefield tactics designed to defeat several large Arab forces with Zahal's much smaller army and air force. Zahal's innovations proved so effective and fundamentally sound that they set the standards for modern military planning and performance that carried the United States and its coalition allies through the 1991 Blitzkrieg Desert Storm campaign. Israel's overwhelming victory in 1967 was either a miracle or an accident. He explains how a small Third World nation, by necessity and covertly, developed a First World military force that is the envy of every nation in the world. Mutton is at his best when describing the actions of men in war. Six Days in June seamlessly blends classic military history with the human drama of Israel's heyday.

401Free Sample Chapters 401 Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book SIX DAYS IN JUNE: How Israel Won the 1967 Arab-Israeli War by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $32.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. This book is also available as an eBook edition. Jordanians Attack West Jerusalem by Eric Hammel Copyright 1992 by Eric Hammel King Hussein of Jordan ordered his forces on the morning of June 5, 1967 to start a war, which they did not have to fight just as he finished his speech on Radio 0930 Die Os The nation's 155 mm Jordanian field guns, positioned in western Samaria overlooking Israel's narrow belt and in northern Samaria overlooking the Jezreel Valley and Beit Shean, opened fire on carefully pre-selected targets until the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv. Most of the slow and systematic fire fell on Israeli military installations. With Israeli attention focused on the falling artillery shells, small groups of Egyptian assault commandos began to fight their way from Latrun to Israel's international airport in Lod. Apparently, the commandos were acting on orders from General Riadh in Amman and without the direct knowledge or consent of King Hussein or any senior Jordanian official. At the time, the Israelis knew nothing about the Egyptian infiltrators and were willing to stop the Jordanian bombing, believing it was Hussein's way of showing other Arab leaders that he was a brother in the fight against Zionism. No Israeli leader expected Hussein to plunge his country into war. Unfortunately, when the Israeli guns fell silent, the Jordanians grew bolder. At 10:00 am, a volley of 155 mm shells hit the north of the Jezreel Valley and fell

402402 Pacifica Military History on and around the runway at Ramat David Air Base, the largest IAF facility north of Tel Aviv. Even though Zahal did not intend to go to war against Jordan, he did intend to drive the Syrian army out of the Golan Heights, and Ramat David's air support was vital to that attack, and indeed to the defense of northern Israel. Israelis won't say what event or events led them to war with Jordan, but the worst thing Jordanians did to Israel on the morning of June 5th was the bombing of Ramat David. Certainly the Israelis put a lot of thought into the war with Jordan, but they did not issue their final troop orders or commitments until after the attack on Ramat David between 1000 and 1015. - The Infantry Brigade was transferred from HQ to Central Command Reserve, and responsibility for Northern Samaria was transferred from Central Command to Northern Command. Harel's Armored Infantry Brigade was the only Israeli unit that came close to having a strategic reserve in central Israel. Its only purpose until about 5 June 1030 was to be ready to stop an advance into the Mediterranean by whatever forces the Arabs could muster from northwest Samaria or the Golan Heights. Until Zahal's GHQ confirmed its liaison with Central Command at 10:30 am, Harel's armored infantry brigade had no place in Zahal's or Central Command's contingency plans for an Israeli invasion of the West Bank. And realistically, there could not have been an invasion of the West Bank. excluding the Harel Brigade tanks and half-tracks. Likewise, Northern Command's armored Udah, commanded by Brigadier General Elad Peled, was fully focused on Syria until around 10:30 am on 5 June, when it was alerted to a possible attack to extinguish Jordanian artillery fire. directed to Ramat David. It is unclear whether General Peled had tactical maps of northern Samaria at the time of the alert. * The Jordanians acted first. The Jordanian plan was ostensibly improvised but grew out of a wish-fulfillment of sorts for the Jordanian monarch. Although Hussein did little to prepare

403When he deployed his army for an offensive war against Israel, he almost certainly expected to emerge from the war with at least West Jerusalem in his possession. While little was done elsewhere except to pursue the Israelis north and west of Samaria, a real offensive plan was launched inside Jerusalem. After several hours of bizarre small arms explosions along and around the Green Line, the armistice line between Jordan's East Jerusalem and Israel's West Jerusalem, Jordanian 2-inch light mortars suddenly went into action at 11:00 am. 15 against several Israeli border posts manned by Second-line Troops of the Jerusalem Infantry Brigade. When light mortars opened fire, the Israelis escalated the violence by firing bazookas (2.76-inch rocket launchers) at Jordanian positions, which had previously only responded with small arms. This growing exchange was typical; they have erupted with sickening regularity since the armistice lines were drawn in 1949. For a change, however, there were no Israeli citizens to mow in the streets; They were all within, or at least away from, the line of truce. Duels with mortars, grenades and guns along the Green Line increased in intensity. Then, at 11:30 am, Jordanian 25-pound light guns opened fire on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, the Israeli settlement that protects West Jerusalem from the south. At the same time, a mixed barrage of mortar and artillery shells fell on Mount Scopus, an Israeli enclave in the northern part of East Jerusalem. The Israelis returned Jordanian artillery fire with their own artillery, but fire from the Jordanian 25-pound batteries never let up. * As artillery duels began in and around Jerusalem, news reached Central Command Headquarters that the Royal Jordanian Air Force was attacking Israeli cities and several Israeli air bases in central Israel, and that flights retaliatory IAF fighter-bombers would be launched to hit the two to eliminate dozens of jet fighters under King Hussein's command. In total, sixteen Jordanian Hawker Hunters attacked Israeli air bases and towns around Netanya, Kfar Sirkin and Kfar Saba. The Jordanians claimed to have destroyed four Israeli planes on the ground, but this

404404 Pacifica Military History Israelis admit loss of a single Noratlas transport. There were no lives lost. What was really lost was the Royal Jordanian Air Force. Fourteen of the sixteen fighters that took part in the attack returned safely to one of Jordan's two air bases, and there the ground crews began the arduous task of resupplying and arming them. It would be two hours before the first fighters could fly again, but it only took the Israelis about ten minutes to deny them the opportunity to do so. Two IAF Mirage flights, totaling just eight aircraft, were withdrawn from the rotation against Egypt, and their pilots were quickly instructed to attack Jordanian air bases in Amman and Mafraq, the latter in northeast Jordan. The Mirages reached their targets at 12:15 pm and began using their 30mm gun to bomb individual aircraft at low altitude. During the destruction of the partially fueled fighters, the Mirages also dropped a series of 1,200-pound cement burst bombs, bringing both runways to a standstill. The only challenge came from two hunters returning late from a mission over Israel. The two brave Jordanian pilots attacked the Mirages over Mafraq, one was shot down immediately. Hunter's second driver was extremely good; He survived three rounds from the Air Combat Mirages, which were a little slow at low altitude, but then he and his plane were ripped apart by a blast of 30 mm cannon shells in the cockpit. Eighteen of the Royal Jordanian Air Force's twenty-four Hawker Hunters were destroyed in one attack, with the remaining six badly damaged. The only pilot deaths were the two shot down over Mafraq. There were also two helicopters parked and three light transporters parked at Mirages Airport via Amman, one of which unfortunately belonged to the British Air Attache. Simultaneously, a flight of four Mysteres bombed the Royal Jordanian Air Force radar station on Mount Ajlun, causing extensive damage. * At 1:30 pm, after two hours of sporadic and fruitless dogfights along the Jerusalem Green Line, the little war in Jerusalem finally broke out. The event that finally compelled Israel to act on a much larger scale has begun.

405Free sample Chapters 405 at noon with an order from King Hussein to Brigadier General Ata Ali Hazaa, commander of the King Talal Infantry Brigade based in Jerusalem, home of the British High Commissioner for the League of Nations Mandate in Palestine, and more recently , headquarters of the United Nations Armistice Monitoring Organization (UNTSO). The sprawling UN complex and the entire hill on which it is situated offer an impressive view of the entire southern half of the city. The Israelis, who had seen little benefit from the British and now held little more than contempt for what they saw as a pro-Arab UN, liked to call the hill by its biblical name, Jebel Mukaber, the Hill of Evil Counsel. Interestingly, Radio Amman announced the arrest of Jebel Mu-kaber at 10:30 am, three hours before the start of the operation in Jordan. The Israelis became aware of the announcement, but the government was unwilling to do anything to prevent the alleged attack in advance. In any case, taking Jebel Mukaber was a real risk for Jordanian troops; it was an act that would undoubtedly provoke a hostile reaction from the Israelis. It was also an act that immediately intrigued and alarmed Israeli military authorities, as the hill was south of the city, exactly opposite Mount Scopus, where the Israelis expected a Jordanian coup to fall. There were 120 lightly armed Israelis on Mount Scopus, with many more as close as possible. But there were only five Israeli soldiers near the government building. They guarded Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, which had been evacuated days earlier. * The unit specifically ordered by Hussein's Brigadier Hazaa to seize Government House was a battalion of the Iman Ali Infantry Brigade rushed to East Jerusalem on 2 June. Indeed, during his June 3 inspection tour of Jerusalem, the King gave Hazaa and the battalion commander, Major Badi Awad, direct orders to patrol Jebel Mukaber and the government building on the Jordanian side of the ceasefire line. . What had Major Awad done when

406406 Military History of Pacifica The moment of truth had arrived, he was ready to send two of his three small companies of infantry up the hill. The 150 Jordanian infantrymen walked up the hill on a motorized road. They found most of the UN staff and some of their families, numbering around 100 souls, in a small wooded area north of the main UN building. Civilians took refuge in the forests after several Jordanian artillery shells directed at targets in West Jerusalem over the hill hit several hilltop buildings. While a handful of UN military officers and civil servants complained bitterly to Major Awad and other officials about the incursion into the neutral zone, Jordanian foot soldiers began digging in along the western and southern ridges of the ridge. Several jeep-mounted 106mm recoilless rifles were flown in from East Jerusalem, and an artillery targeting team began aiming fire at targets previously visible only on maps. UN officials could do little to stop the Jordanians from occupying the surrounding forests and buildings, but several of them set up a Jordanian machine gun in front of the government building as the crew tried to plant the weapon in a second-story window. The UN commander, Norwegian Air Force General Odd Bull, argued vigorously but in vain with Major Awad. It was not long before the Jordanian artillery forward observer diverted fire from a 25-pounder battery on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel to the south and Zahals Allenby Barracks to the west. At that time, one of the four infantry battalions of the second line of the Jerusalem infantry brigades was deployed in the barracks. Squad Five at Ramat Rachel was forced to take cover and the second line infantry battalion was forced to evacuate barracks after the battalion commander, a company commander and several soldiers were wounded. Once Jebel Mukaber was firmly under his control, Major Awad ordered his reserve company to advance against Ramat Rachel and a platoon was dispatched to seize the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture's experimental farm in the neutral zone west of Government House. Higher authorities allowed the five Israeli foot soldiers occupying the small kibbutz to escape, but the Jordanian troops went to the experimental camp.

407Free Sample Chapters 407 The farm was brought to a halt when the farm manager's wife and an elderly policeman shot them with an old-fashioned Czech light machine gun. Jordanian troops retreated to a tree fringing the farm, and before they could make another attempt, two reinforced companies from the 161st Infantry Battalion, Jerusalem Infantry Brigades moved up the hill to occupy the experimental farm in force. The remainder of the 161st Infantry Battalion routed the Jordanian company at Ramat Rachel. * Along the ceasefire line, Jordanian soldiers reiterated their positions as they waited to see what the Israelis would do in the face of mounting provocations, particularly the capture of Jebel Mukaber. Most Jordanian troops and officers didn't know much about what was going on beyond their hostile little nodules, but all the news that came in was good. Amman Radio reported the death of the Israeli Air Force and the undeniable incursion of several Egyptian divisions into southern and south-central Israel. Across the street, where Israeli reservists from the Jerusalem Infantry Brigade were trying to break through, there wasn't much news. Kol Yisrael, Israel's national radio station, went silent. However, both Jordanians and Israelis thought: now is the time; Now is the time to attack. Now it's time to correct the mistakes of 1948.

408408 Pacifica military history

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410410 Pacifica Military History THE FIRST HELLCAT ACE By Cdr Hamilton McWhorter, III, USN (Ret) with Jay A. Stout Although he objected to being so named, Hamilton McWhorter III stands among America's greatest generation for his service to family and to the country. Mac McWhorter, a Georgia native whose family roots trace back to the settlement of this region in the 17th century, was a cadet in naval aviation training when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. After earning his Golden Wings in early 1942, Ensign McWhorter trained as a fighter pilot in the rugged but outdated F4F Wildcat. Initially assigned to VF-9, an extremely energetic and hard-working fighter squadron saw its first combat against Vichy French forces in North Africa in November 1942. Upon returning to the United States, VF-9 was the first unit to be converted to the new Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter, the fighter used by the United States Navy to support the Japanese Air Force during the long offensive from the southwest Pacific Ocean to the coasts that would crush Japan. Beginning in mid-1943, Hamilton McWhorter was constantly involved in the relentless and deadly aerial warfare that characterized the battles against Imperial Japan. His fifth aerial victory in November 1943 over Tarawa Atoll made him Hellcat's leading ace, and seven subsequent victories ensured his place in the annals of air-to-air combat. McWhorter's combat service from the beginning of the war to the final campaign off the coast of Okinawa makes his story essential reading for any serious student of Pacific air warfare. Hamilton McWhorter III retired from the Navy as a major in 1969. He died in 2008. Lt. Colonel Jay A. Stout was a Navy F/A-18 pilot from 1981 to early 2000 and a combat veteran with more than 4,600 hours of flying time. He is also the author of Hornets over Kuwait, which recounts his own experiences during the Gulf War.

411Free Sample Chapters 411 What the Experts Say About the First Hellcat Ace Mac McWhorter not only survived three carrier sorties during World War II, but also earned a reputation as one of the deadliest fighter pilots in the Navy. Her memoir captures the attitude of her generation: heroism and sacrifice and returning to a loving family. It was a time never to return. Barrett Tillman, author of Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Mac McWhorter became an important naval ace during World War II, his three carrier engagements marred by heavy fighting, the loss of several squadron mates and the grief of separation from his wife. and family. His memoir is not the legend or glamor so often associated with fighter pilots, but a sensitive look at the realities faced by carrier aviators in distress. Bruce Gamble's book, author of Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory Pappy Boyington Hamilton McWhorter is not only a gripping account of some of the great air battles of the Pacific War, but also provides a window through which to view a generation of young in war can. , impressed by their camaraderie and spirit, and humbled by the difficulties and fears they overcame. M. Hill Goodspeed, Historian, US Navy Aviation Museum Today, US Navy fighter pilots in World War II are less well known than their US Navy counterparts, the Army Air Forces. Part of the reason is that they left far fewer memories, a big loss because nothing can replace authentic descriptions of fighters from those who actually fought. A member of the elite 9th Fighter Squadron, fighter pilot Hamilton One Slug McWhorter flew for most of the war, first over northwest Africa, then the Central Pacific offensives of 1943-44, and finally the fierce raids on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. . and in heaven. about the Japanese homeland. Vividly written, The First Hellcat Ace is an important contribution not just to the Pacific, but to air warfare in general. John Lundstrom, author of The First Team: Pacific Naval Dogfight from Pearl Harbor to Midway

412412 Military History of Pacifica Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book The First Hellcat Ace by Cdr Hamilton McWhorter III with Jay A. Stout. The book is currently available in a $24.95 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. NAVAL COMBAT OVER NORTH AFRICA By Hamilton McWhorter III with Jay A. Stout Copyright 1997 by Hamilton McWhorter III and Jay A. Stout Neighborhood flights were scheduled for 05:00 on November 8, 1942, so I got up at 03 :30 for showering, shaving and breakfast. The ship's doctor recommended that all crew members take extensive showers that morning to reduce the risk of infection in the event of an injury. I actually washed off as much as possible in the onboard shower. We couldn't afford to stand under a hot shower because fresh water was always in short supply. The exercise consisted of getting wet, turning off the shower, soaping him up, then turning on the shower just long enough to rinse off. After changing into a clean khaki uniform and black tie (we had to wear ties at this point in the war, even in combat!), I headed downstairs to the mess hall and found the kitchen staff preparing an excellent breakfast of ham and eggs and sausages. prepared. , waffles, pancakes and more. This was much fancier than our usual fare. As I sat down to eat, a wise man entered and commented that the scene reminded him of the last meal of the damned. After breakfast, I went to our waiting room, right in the middle of the ship, on the gallery deck, just below the flight deck. He wanted to get there before headquarters rang; Otherwise, all hatches would be closed, making movement around the ship quite difficult.

413Free Sample Chapters 413 Although we had done most of our briefings the day before, Mac Wordell, one of the VF-41's lead pilots, went over all the details again. Our mission was not complicated: a combat air patrol (CAP) over the invading forces in Fedala. We had to keep the Vichy planes away. During the briefing, I checked my navigation chart to make sure I had all the information I needed: ship's position, patrol positions, radio frequencies, etc. Information about the current situation on the ground was very incomplete. There was much confusion over the course of the landing, which had begun a few hours earlier, and strangely it was still unclear whether or not the French would resist the invasion. After the briefing, we all sat in the prep room, sat spunky, and made small talk. Most of us, however, have poked our heads out more than once to pee nervously. As planned, VF-9 took off at 0610 and VF-41 soon followed. I listened as they thundered across the flight deck high above our heads, jealous that they took off first. It was much better to fly than to sit and sweat. Only when they were en route to their targets, around 06:40, did VF-9 and VF-41 receive the Play Ball signal, which meant that the French had not laid down their arms and were resisting the invading force. When we heard that, the knots in our stomachs tightened a little more. After the first two launches were completed, the deck was restocked with new aircraft and we received our aircraft assignments. Aircraft were assigned to the pilots of each division in the same order in which they were seen or parked in the flight deck. This kept the divisions together and helped make the post-launch meeting a lot easier. Around 07:00, we received orders to man our planes. I strapped on my heavy .45 caliber pistol, put on my cloth helmet (with side-mounted headphones), and donned my Mae West life jacket. I finally grabbed my board and left the prep room with the other riders. *

414414 Military History of the Pacifica On the flight deck, I searched the group of parked planes as I tried to find my designate. They were painted a specular gray color. The red dots in the center of the national emblem's star had been removed months earlier; It was feared that they could be confused with the red meatball on Japanese state emblems. I saw my plane at the end of the group and walked through the wooden flight deck, skirting around and under other planes to get there. After greeting the captain of my plane and inspecting the plane with him, I climbed onto the left wing and descended into the cockpit. I sat in the seat and the captain of the plane helped me with my parachute harness and seat belt; so he went down to check the plane again. Even after not flying for two weeks, my expert hands moved around the cabin with almost no conscious effort, preparing the Wildcat for engine start. After completing the pre-takeoff checks, I signaled to the aircraft captain that I was ready. Other fighters before me had already started their engines and I had my goggles against their propulsion. The loud noise in the flight deck grew louder and louder as more plane engines came to life. Checking as best I could that my bow of propulsion was clear, I crouched down, started the engine, turned the ignition on and pressed the start button. As soon as the engine started, I took a quick look at the cabin instrumentation to make sure everything was hot, cold, lubricated and pressurized in the right places. Looking ahead, I could see the first planes taxiing from takeoff to takeoff. It was supposed to be a launch for all fighters; SBD Dauntless dive bombers launched the first attack. Our mission was combat air patrol. We had to make sure that no enemy aircraft were harassing any part of the invasion fleet or the landing itself. Finally, at intervals of about 30 seconds, each of the planes taxied into position in front of me, started the engines, released the brakes, and taxied into the cockpit into the wind. Even without the catapult launch, the Ranger only had one catapult anyway, the fighters were airborne long before they ran out of deck space. Finally it was my turn. I moved the throttle forward and let my plane crawl as I followed the plane captain's hand signals. Finally I arrived at the starting point. Here I turned my attention to the cockpit officer. His signal is followed by the rapid rotation of a small flag

415I slammed on the brake with my right hand raised and floored the accelerator with my left hand. At full power, the plane vibrated wildly and he struggled to break free and dart across the deck. I rechecked the cockpit instrumentation, rechecked the flap and propeller pitch settings, and greeted the waiting flight deck officer. With a flourish, he lowered his right arm and pointed to the deck. I immediately released the brakes and moved the rudder to keep the fighter pointed towards the deck. A few seconds later, I felt the plane lighten as it picked up speed. With my right hand, I pulled back on the stick and was airborne before the last crew member disappeared below me. Once airborne, I scanned the sky around me as I manually raised the landing gear. This was a grueling effort that required twenty-seven rotations. It can also be dangerous. When a pilot lost his balance, the stick would swing wildly in the opposite direction with overwhelming force as gravity pushed the landing gear down. There have been many Wildcat drivers with broken wrists. Aside from running the landing gear, there was of course still a lot to do. I repositioned the propeller and adjusted the fuel mixture; At the same time, I monitored my engine and flight instruments and closed the formation with the rest of the flight. Sixteen aircraft took off and formed into two groups of eight, one about two hundred feet behind and slightly apart from the other. * The division, four aircraft, was the Navy's standard air combat unit; It consisted of two sections, each with two aircraft. The two sections flew together in a formation called the Finger Four. It was a formation adopted by the British early in the war and was very reminiscent of the outstretched fingertips of a hand. The tip of the middle finger was the division leader or aircraft number one, while the wing of the division leader, aircraft number two, was represented by the index finger. The tip of the ring finger was the leader of the second section, or plan number three, and the tip of the little finger was its wingman, plan number four. This formation was flexible and allowed the division leader to maneuver quite aggressively without worrying about the other pilots in the formation flying towards him or each other.

416416 Military History of Pacifica * When everyone was in sight, I joined Danny O'Neil's division as section leader of the last section of an eight-man swarm led by Jake Onstott. Shortly thereafter, Jim Feasley moved to my right wing. Our division flew a little behind and swerved around Jakes to give him room to maneuver his own division. In return, Onstott held off our two combined divisions and pushed them out of Mac Wordell's flight of eight ships. On my wing, Feasley was the last plane in formation. We were still junior ensigns and had been for some time. As such, we've become used to being Tail Charlies. Once connected, our two flights of eight flew southeast to take up positions over the invasion beachhead northeast of Casablanca near the town of Fedala. On the way, we loaded and tested our weapons. Loading weapons on the Wildcat was tedious and time-consuming. Each of the six guns had to be loaded by pulling a handle attached to a cable leading to the gun. A total of six separate strong strikes. Arriving at the station, we established a loose left orbit at about 10,000 feet, using the same formation we used on the route. Each pilot divided his attention between flying into position and scanning the sky for enemy aircraft. Nothing happened. By this time most of the first attack had returned to the fleet. From time to time we saw them in small groups or pairs or sometimes alone. It was evident from their broken formations and occasionally cheery radio messages that they were met with stiff resistance. Below us we saw small ships and landing craft going back and forth between the beach and the larger ships out at sea. They reminded me of water bugs; they ran busy here and there with no obvious purpose from where I was sitting. Further down the beach, I couldn't see any of the fighting I assumed was going on. Despite this, our CAP did not find any of the enemies. Finally, after about forty-five minutes at the beachhead station, the radio crackled at 08:25 with new information. The warships left the port of Casablanca. Without hesitation, Wordell radioed us and directed us to the port.

417Free Sample Chapters 417 Casablanca was only about twelve miles to the southeast, so a short time later we could see the wake of three French destroyers leaving the harbor and heading north along the coast towards the invading forces. in Fedala. They sailed in single file formation. As we approached the three enemy ships head-on, Wordell cut a starboard cut and prepared to strike on the port side of the lead destroyers. Just before beginning the dive, she flapped her wings to attack and pushed to strafe the lead destroyer. At the same time, he shouted over the radio: Okay, gang, that's it! The destroyer crews had already spotted us and heavy anti-aircraft fire began to rain down. I need anti-aircraft fire. Halfway there, the plane was hit by Wordells and started to smoke. I'm catching, I'm catching, I'm falling, he shouted excitedly. I remember thinking that wasn't a good start. Our lead aircraft in our first combat attack had been badly hit, leaving a trail of smoke and fire. To say he was scared might not be entirely accurate, but the frown factor was certainly there. I watched Mac fly his plane along the beach as the rest of our flight continued the attack. His plane was smoking heavily, the fire seemed to have died down, and he was still talking animatedly on the radio. Out of reflex, fear or something else, he pulled the trigger and the smoke from his six machine guns intensified into the smoke billowing from his plane. The last time I saw him, before starting my own dive, he started to sink into a field behind the beach. After fourteen planes launched their attack, it was finally my turn. Composing myself, I gave Jim Feasley a quick look over my shoulder, stepped on the gas and made a sharp left. I entered the port beam of the leading ship at an angle of about forty-five degrees. The noise from the airflow passing over my plane increased dramatically with increasing speed. Crouched behind my crosshairs, a glass reflector with an illuminated center crosshair surrounded by concentric rings, I flew through the flak current and watched the enemy ship grow in size as it waited to come into range. At the same time, I could see other wild cats in different phases of attacking, diving, shooting, withdrawing.

418As I got closer, I could see the upturned faces of French sailors crouched in the mouths of the ships, firing AA bursts at me. I've been waiting forever for the area to close. Finally, at about 3,000 feet, I took a slight lead and opened fire on the ship's bridge. The roar of the six guns, added to the already deafening roar of the engine and draft, was almost hallucinatory. I watched in fascination as my weapon tracker arced toward the ship, seemingly in slow motion. Then, in a burst of sparkling lightning, my balls hit the target of the destroyer's bridge. At the same time, I could see glass from the bridge windows falling to the deck and the explosive flashes of my incendiary grenades. In total, each Wildcat carried 1,440 rounds in a ratio of five armor-piercing, three incendiary, and two tracer rounds. That meant that for every flash I saw, too many to count, another four rounds of ammo hit the target. The effect of our recordings was dramatic. The lead ship was already foaming. Coming out of the dive, my face sagged under the increased G-forces of the pull-out. Flattening out just above the bridge at high speed, I could see the sailors running around and doing what sailors do when their ship is under attack. Under fire from the opposite side of the ship, I checked the throttle again to the limit. I looked back over my shoulder to see the flashes of the anti-aircraft guns and consciously willed my plane to climb faster. Unhurt and back, I turned left and prepared for another attack. By this time, our flight had more or less broken up into a group of individual planes which attacked the French ships, taking care not to collide with each other. In all, we made several more runs against all three destroyers. With each run I was amazed at how effective my weapons were against the thin-skinned ships. And the other pilots were just as successful. The decks and superstructure of French ships were full of holes, and soon no one moved above. Anti-aircraft fire also dropped sharply. At the time we ran out of fuel and ammunition and began to reform our flight for the return trip.

419Free Sample Chapters 419 Rangers, the enemy ships were spitting smoke flames visible in some places and turning towards the beach. To our great satisfaction, we learned later that day that they had not reached the invasion beach. After regrouping and returning to the ranger, we discovered that Mac Wordell was the only loss from our flight. With a little jolt, Jake Onstott took the lead and led the field across the entire fleet. A few minutes later we started our approaches and landed on board the ship without incident. Once I was off the lines, the deck crew folded my Wildcats wings and walked me to a parking lot, where an airplane captain chocked the wheels while I killed the engine. The propeller had barely stopped turning when I left the cockpit with my flying gear and headed below deck for the remainder of the flight. He would go on and on as everyone tried to tell his story to the others, who were obviously only interested in their own story. The hands became airplanes, darting across the waiting room, the right hand chasing the left or crashing into the counter or whatever was nearby. We were excited and a little proud to have driven the French ships away from the beachhead. * We didn't have much time to relive the events, as we were soon cornered and instructed to another mission. Once our fighters were fueled and upgraded, we headed back to deal with them. At 11:45 am, we repeat the morning launch sequence. With Jack Raby at the head of a flock of twelve Wildcats, we took off again and headed for invasion territory. Somehow, in the confusion of the day, I ended up back in VF-9. It didn't take long for the captain to locate a target. A small tank truck kicked up a column of dust as it rolled down one of the coastal roads. Raby was there right away. From a quick, shallow dive, he opened fire with all six guns, pulverizing the truck at high speed. Almost immediately caught fire and stopped. What I saw next was one of those images so vivid and terrifying that it burned into my memory: the driver had been

420420 Pacifica's military history turns into a human torch. I winced when I saw him fall from the cab of the truck and roll to the ground as he waved and tried to put out the flames. Even if he had doused the flames, he wouldn't have survived the burns. We keep flying. Shortly thereafter, we received the coordinates of a target known as the Vichy command post. He was housed in a large white cinder-block house on a hill. As we dove in to attack, the cannons dug around the building fired bursts of anti-aircraft fire. It was heavy, but not as dense as what the destroyers had lifted that day. For our part, the attack was a little frustrating. We could see the flashes of our .50 caliber rounds hitting the building, but they had little effect on the masonry. We certainly couldn't make it burn. It didn't take me long to conclude that the return on that investment wasn't worth it. I saw bullets coming towards me during one of my strafing runs, then heard a loud pop and felt a rush of air in the cockpit. A small caliber anti-aircraft shell hit the left front panel of my windshield, flew across the cockpit, missed my face by inches, and shot out the rear of the hood. I could see pieces of Plexiglas on the outside of my glasses, caught in the strong wind whipping through the cabin. He really wasn't interested in bombing this building anymore. Finally, like a pack of panting, bloodied dogs that have lost interest in a forest animal, we rallied and surrounded the command post from afar. It didn't look much different than before our attack. We were low on ammunition; It was time to go home. We climbed to the top and back, a little disappointed that our efforts did not produce more spectacular results. Trouble awaited us when we arrived at the Ranger at 2:25 pm, more than two and a half hours after takeoff. Our lack of carrier landing practice over the last few weeks has finally caught up with us. The nature of the struggle being what it is, the cycles of occupation and recovery have gone wrong. Our landing skills declined and recovering pilots received more salutes than usual. Consequently, the

421Free Sample Chapters 421 The recovery cycle was delayed and I was sent along with three others to the next companion Suwannee. Although the Ranger was small compared to the other wielders, Suwannee looked extremely small. Fortunately, under pressure and despite a lack of practice, our flight recovered without incident aboard the small vessel. Of course, one of the many disadvantages associated with operating aboard an aircraft carrier is that there is only one place to take off and land. Unlike a land base, an aircraft carrier does not offer the option of launching on a different runway or in a different direction. Until the Rangers deck was cleared and ready for salvage, we couldn't get back on board to outfit and upgrade. Meanwhile, Suwannee was busy with her own plane. When our Wildcats were finally resupplied, the Rangers deck was clear and he was able to save us. Back aboard the Rangers and still full of excitement, he was ready to go again, but the last few missions had already been dispatched; I'm done flying for today. I made my way to squadron headquarters, hung my flying equipment on a hanger, and entered the staging area, where most of the non-flying pilots had already assembled. The mood was mixed. The emotion was great, as we had some good hits, especially against targets on the ground. Jack Raby achieved the squadrons' first aerial victory that morning over what he identified as a twin-engined French LeO 451. It was probably one of the few British Hudson aircraft lost in an anti-submarine patrol. The two aircraft looked similar and the French and British circular markings were quite similar. The confusion of the first fight and the split-second duel contributed to this tragic failure. Raby wasn't the first to make such a mistake, and he wouldn't be the last. * Along with the excitement of our accomplishments, there was also the realization that we had lost some dear friends. forever Tom Willy Wilhoite was one of those gone. Willy was from Kentucky and was one of my good friends. He looked like he had just come from the farm and always had a smile for everyone. Just a happy, friendly

422422 Pacifica Young Military History. I've known him since the early days of my recruitment in Atlanta. Born just four days apart, we almost trained together while reporting to VF-9 and becoming roommates. On his second mission that day, he flew on the wing of Hugh Winterss in an attack on Port Lyautey airfield. After shooting and destroying a Dewoitine fighter, Willy was pinned down by French anti-aircraft gunners. He shouted over the radio: You got me Pedro (Winterss' nickname) and a moment later he crashed about a kilometer from the airfield. Willy was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. The mention highlighted his remarkable bravery and fearlessness during the day's attacks, as well as his excellent flying skills and dogged dedication to how he executed his attacks. Mac Wordell was also missing from our previous attack on the Vichy destroyers. Someone had seen the plane land on his stomach, so there was hope he had survived. Each dealt with these losses in their own way. I think many of us, myself included, don't realize that our friends are truly gone forever. We consciously knew they were dead, but it would take some getting used to not seeing them on the flight deck or lounging in the mess or in the dressing room. Few of us show emotion on the outside, but on the inside we all suffer in our own ways. I'm sure some pilots thought back to the night thoughtfully and stared wide-eyed into the darkness. Like most other pilots, I brush off the deaths of my squadmates throughout the day. They were something to deal with later, when there was time. It wasn't a cold or cruel reaction. It was necessary. Focusing our attention on the pain would have been dangerous. I mourned our lost friends. We all did and still do.

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424424 Military History of Pacifica THE JOLLY ROGERS The Story of Tom Blackburn and the Navy's VF-17 Fighter Squadron By Tom Blackburn with Eric Hammel Presented by Vice Admiral James Stockdale, USN (ret.) The Jolly Rogers is the true story of one of the United States Navy's finest World War II fighter squadrons, the VF-17, and its charismatic commander, fighter pilot Tom Blackburn. In his action-packed memoirs of the war and unit history, Blackburn describes VF-17's intense and successful campaign against the Japanese in the northern Solomon Islands and Rabaul in late 1943 and early 1944. Beginning with his own experiences as a trainer of fighter pilots in early 1944. During World War II and his command of a small carrier-based fighter squadron that supported the invasion of North Africa, Blackburn provides a rich and detailed account of how he transformed a crew of overzealous big shots in one of the most successful fighter squadrons. of World War II. In just seventy-six days of combat, Tom Blackburn's Jolly Rogers shot down a record 154 enemy fighters, and Blackburn himself became one of VF-17's leading aces with 11 kills. At times rowdy and at times sober, Blackburn explains the methods he employed and the example he set in designing and handling the VF-17 before and during its combat tour in the South Pacific. Last but not least, the challenges faced by Blackburn and VF-17 included taming the attractive new Vought F4U Corsair fighter. Originally intended for service aboard an aircraft carrier, the VF-17 was eventually transferred to ground service when landings on the carrier's deck proved the Corsair too hot to handle. Although the Corsair's initial problems were resolved by others, it eventually became an excellent carrier-based fighter-bomber, but it was Blackburn and his Jolly Rogers that demonstrated the Corsair's full potential as a killer of enemy aircraft. Blackburn's story is as much a war memoir as it is a loving tribute to the aggressive, ruthless young men he trained and led into battle, and is an epic in the annals of World War II history.

425Free Sample Chapter 425 Critical Praise for The Jolly Rogers Publishers Weekly Says: Blackburn was an exceptionally gifted, resourceful and inspiring leader who instilled a fierce warrior ethic in his men. . . Noteworthy is the author's direct description of the methods he used to organize, train, direct, and develop flight tactics for his pilots in combat. Shipmate says: Tom Blackburn [was] extraordinary, as was his book. The Hook says: Tom Blackburn [was] one of the most successful fighter squadron commanders the US Navy has ever produced. . . It's not just a good story, but a valuable introduction to dealing with the gruff individualists that populate naval aviation. Highly recommended. The San Diego Union says: [This] gripping saga is about unsung heroes. Stars and Stripes says: In a book of air combat tales, Blackburn recounts the days he spent building VF-17 as a team with its own identity and then leading his men into combat. . . Naval Institute records say: Excellent. . . a complete and coherent story centered on intense combat. . . As a professional account of your squads. . . War, Blackburns has no equal. Kirkus Reviews says: A macho memoir, so to speak. . . a gritty, action-packed slice of life in World War II.

426426 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book The Jolly Rogers: The Story of Tom Blackburn and Navy Fighting Squadron VF-17 by Tom Blackburn and starring Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $27.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. COMMAND by Tom Blackburn with Eric Hammel Copyright 1997 by James Blackburn and Eric Hammel John Thomas Blackburn, son and brother of professional Navy officers, graduated from Annapolis in 1933, reluctantly completed his mandatory two years in the surface fleet, and in first opportunity, voluntarily for flight training. He was a fighter pilot by choice and temperament. When war broke out, Lieutenant Blackburn was teaching tactics to new fighter pilots at the Navy's new combat training center in Opa-Locka, Florida. He asked to be returned to a carrier squadron, was refused, but was eventually ordered to form and command Carrier Escort Fighter Squadron (VGF) 29, and led it on the first day of the invasion of northern Africa. Africa (when it was assigned to was forced). digging after a radio blackout left him far from the fleet without fuel). Upon returning to the United States, Lieutenant Commander Blackburn was ordered to form and command VF-17, the Navy's first Vought F4U Corsair squadron, for service aboard the new aircraft carrier Bunker Hill. The Corsair had to be tamed for carrier duty, and Blackburn and his crew of young men did, but the Hellcat was running strong and it was decided to ground the VF-17 in the Solomon Islands to avoid the hassle of keeping the Corsairs at bay. . a special supply line for Grumman F6F Hellcats. The VF-17's first trip took place in mid-1944 from one of Mundas' satellite fields. While covering the Torokina landings and related operations, Tommy Blackburn destroyed four Japanese aircraft.

427427 free sample chapters including three fighters. More importantly, his command hit the Victory Columns in a big way. After a hiatus in Australia, the VF-17 was transferred to one of the new Bougainville fighter airstrips to cover bombers at Rabaul. After that, the VF-17 racked up kills with frightening regularity, and the innovator Blackburn oversaw the development of some pretty brilliant new combat tactics. As of January 31, his own score was seven, all but one of the fighters. VF-17 and Tommy Blackburn were classified with nearly 150 aerial wins at the expense of just nine lost in their numbers. * On the 4th of February I sent out twenty of our privateers. Once again our loads were B-24s, this time bound for Tobera. I had a new lieutenant on my wing, a solid-looking senior pilot I wanted to check out before I reassigned him to head a section or even a division. Only twenty Zeros and ten Tonys came to challenge us. However, when Ens Perce Divenny approached us, who had joined us in Espiritu but already had two kills under his belt, he made a very stupid mistake. Instead of opening the valve that released CO2 into the Corsair's wing cleaning system, he opened the adjacent valve that activated its emergency landing gear system. After descending that way, there was no way to get the wheels back in flight. At that point we were too close to the target to allow Perce to abort, and when I saw his reason for retreat I radioed him to stay under the heavy bombers. If Perce understood and did exactly what he was told and stopped, he would; the Zekes could never catch up. We were pulling away from the bombing site when, to my utter horror, I saw Divenny's Corsair slowly descend behind the B-24. We could never find out what happened; Perce was a cold hand, so the only theory that remained was that his Hog had some sort of engine power loss. In any case, the Zeros were nibbling our flanks right now, looking for an opening to get to the Liberators or bounce off exposed fighters. Our job was to protect the B-24 and we were all busy with that, so I made the brutal decision not to cover Divenny. Of course, the Zeros go into at least eight

428428 Pacifica Military History Perce. As they began, Earl May emerged from his position on the bomber's deck and led his wingman, Beads Popp, to the rescue. The two reached Divenny's lost fighter and sank their claws into one of the Zekes. Earl received credit for an assist and Beads received full credit for the kill. However, the rest of the Zeros pounced on them, and May and Popp had to flee to safety. A Zeke landed on Perce's tail, hitting him in a fatal dive. As the retreating bombers left the shore, six Zekes hit the 500-foot formation in low cover flight. These Zekes attacked from behind and made a series of aggressive runs down the high sides. The rear division, commanded by Lieutenant (jg) Paul Cordray, attacked the Zekes, and the Zekes broke contact. However, as Paul returned to join the bombers, two Zekes passed and established passing fire on the rear element, Lieutenant (jg) Hal Jackson followed by Lieutenant (jg) Don Malone. Jackson was right behind Cordray and his wingman, and Malone was even further behind Jackson. Cordray gave a frantic close-up zoom signal and Jackson ran. Malone, long behind in formation, did not respond to the unmistakable succession of short dives and zooms, even Don! To place! close up! Close-up of Paul frantically broadcasting on the radio. When the Zekes were stopped at the end of their one-shot run, Malone's Corsair caught fire and crashed. Lured by Cordray's futile warning, several of us watched as Don's parachute deployed. We hoped he'd come down safely, but we had to go. Nobody saw Don again. * As soon as we landed, I confronted Earl May in the prep room and let him deal with my anger. I literally felt nauseous watching Divenny go down, but I made the painful decision to fulfill our responsibility to defend the bombers. It turned out that we couldn't do that and cover Divenny as well. In my opinion, it was a hard fact of life that Perce lost by not being able to stay under the heavy bombers. The only thing that kept Earl from grounding me was the happy fact that no enemy fighters had yet attacked through the hole his group had left in our formation.

429Free Sample Chapters 429 Check this out, Earl. No one has ever questioned his bravery. You don't need to prove that he is an arrogant student. You didn't have to leave your beaded cover position to face all those Japanese. For what? Sure, you and Beads talked about it, but you didn't help Divenny. You were very lucky, you and Beads didn't make it either. You know, if the enemy hadn't squandered his chance, he would have had three easy kills instead of just one. Worse, you exposed the rest of us and the suicide bombers. Our job is to get that garbage in and out in one piece. I'm proud that we haven't lost anyone yet. You depend on us. This is a team operation. There is no place for a wild donkey struggling to be the heroic White Knight riding to the rescue. I will not tolerate this shit. It is clear? Earl was mad at me, his body language said so, but he was wrong and I was right and he knew it. I'm embarrassed, I understand, Skipper. If you weren't such a good man who's always done great work before, I'd rip his ass off. You are no longer a division manager. You fly to the wing where I can watch you. I was so obviously upset for the rest of the day that no one came within 10 feet of me if I could help it. My general reaction and anger over the two losses may seem irrational, but both were firmly rooted in my lifelong realization that duty must come before my personal feelings for my subordinates, however strong they may be. All Seventh Hand stragglers like Perce Divenny knew it was our responsibility to protect the Bombers at all costs. In part, though, the anger was a mask for my deep pain. The two unnecessary casualties were almost more than he could handle. Secretly, I felt at least a little guilty on both counts. Regarding Perce's fatal error, I allowed the wing discharge and emergency landing gear CO2 cylinders to remain next to each other, although I could easily have gotten Vought, or even our own mechanics, to remove one from the other with security. The potential for error was so obvious! Surprisingly, Divenny's mistake was the first of its kind in hundreds of combat missions.

430430 Pacifica Military History The loss of Malones was a little different, and I took more direct responsibility. Everyone knew that Don had a strong tendency to be late. Perhaps I should have driven harder or moved forward from the definitely vulnerable slot at the end of the tail. We knew that Imperial pilots like ourselves could detect and catch a straggler quickly. Worst of all was my belief that I had been through both situations. I'd certainly seen Divenny hold back, and I'm pretty sure I'd seen Malone on the mission before. In Divenny's case, I could have risked going back or sending help, but I made a conscious decision not to. Cordray could have helped with Malone, but Paul knew and accepted my reasoning, so he didn't dangerously expose his department or put others at risk as May had. These were two more painful examples of loneliness in leadership. I found after a long soul-searching that I wouldn't have acted differently in either case. But I contributed to Malone's death by being overly indulgent; I should have chastised him for his inability to fix what seemed like an old problem. It was a bomb that was ticking and ticking until it exploded in Don's face.

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432432 Military History of Pacifica THE ROAD TO THE BIG WEEK The Struggle for Daytime Air Supremacy in Western Europe July 1942 February 1944 By Eric Hammel The Road to The Big Week begins with a comprehensive examination of the American development of strategic bombing doctrine since its inception. initial conception in the years after the First World War. Balancing the Ground Army's desire and need for close air support and the visionary perspective of early Air Corps leaders such as General Billy Mitchell with the dire circumstances of the Great Depression and the restrictions imposed by congressional peace lobbyists. , the Air Corps was able to deliver a fully worked out doctrine that initially could not be supported by adequate aircraft or even public acknowledgment that the pressure for perfect strategic bombing was on. Before the doctrine of a fully operational heavy strategic bomber was perfected, the United States was involved in World War II. Facing numerous unrealized peacetime obstacles, including bad weather, early American efforts to launch a strategic bombing campaign in northern Europe failed due to unsustainable casualties and inefficient strategic direction. Only the late modernization of escort policy saved the strategic bombing force from failure and really formed the foundation on which the strategic bombing campaign finally grew and achieved success. In this compelling, comprehensive account of the transition from idea to near-failure to ultimate success, respected military historian Eric Hammel takes all the dots and connects them in a conversational style accessible to all readers.

433Free Sample Chapters 433 What the Experts Say About the Road to the Big Week Eric Hammel convincingly shows that the road to the big week in February 1944 lasted over twenty years. With a passion for factuality and attention to detail, he describes the development of the US Army Air Forces' self-defense bomber and Nazi Germany's efforts to preserve and repair the roof of the Third Reich. Although the European war continued for another fifteen months, Hammel shows that until the end of the Great Week there was no way to reverse traffic on this bloody road. Barrett Tillman, author of Clash of the Carriers, Eric Hammel, has done it again with a clear account of the growth of American bomber theory from the armistice of 1918 to the crucial days over Germany when the Eighth Air Force disbanded the Luftwaffe. Some books related what happened during the Great Week. Hammel explains why and highlights points that are as important today as they were in 1944. Colonel Walter J. Boyne, National Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee On the way to Big Week, Eric Hammel deftly hits a very diverse collection of points, which are the development of the United States as the world's leading air power. These connections describe how the US Army Air Forces grew in size and capability just in time for American airmen to prevail in the legendary air battle that ultimately ensured the defeat of Nazi Germany. Hammels' meticulous research and eminently readable style make this standard work an engaging read. Lieutenant Colonel Jay A. Stout, author of Fortress Ploesti Eric Hammel has a gift for combining musty wartime protocols and intimate personal accounts into one gripping story. . . If you think there's nothing new to learn about World War II, if you think the Allies never had a chance to lose, if you think one side outsmarted the other, The Road to Big Week will surprise and change perception forever. of what happened in those high and besieged skies. Robert F. Dorr, co-author of Hell Hawks!

434434 Pacifica Military History Note: The following article is an excerpt from THE ROAD TO BIG WEEK: The Struggle for Daylight Air Supremacy Over Western Europe, July 1942-February 1944 by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in a $34.50 paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History. It is also available as an eBook edition. BORN JULY 4TH by Eric Hammel Copyright 2009 by Eric Hammel The 15th Light Bombardment Squadron was thrown out of its night fighter school when the RAF abruptly ended the course on June 29th 1942. As a quick fix, American aircrews A Up to 20 were assigned to RAF 226 Squadron and instructed to undergo daytime bombing familiarization training. On the same day, 29 June, the squadron commander, Captain Charles Kegelman, flew with the 226th Squadron on a mission against Hazebrouk, an industrial center in northern France. Eaker and his crew were eager to make themselves known in England, and Captain Kegelman's fighter showed them the way. There were enough well-trained airmen from the 15th Light Bombardment Squadron available to participate in a mission. It was decided that six crews of three, pilot, bomber and radio operator/gunner per aircraft, would accompany 226 Squadron on a series of sorties scheduled for 4 July. American participation was seen as deeply symbolic. There were no USAAF A-20s in England; The 15th Light Bombardment Squadron had trained in the export variant, which the British nicknamed Boston. In fact, they were planes originally bought by the French; They ended up in British hands after the fall of France. As such, they lacked many modern conveniences built in.

435Free sample Chapter 435 American A-20 Superchargers, for example, because Hap Arnold won his 1940 dispute to keep such goodies. Eaker and Ike traveled to 226 Squadrons base on 2 July to speak with the six American pilots who had volunteered for the 4 July mission. The young people were enthusiastic and confident, so the generals gave their blessings. The mission plan called for escorted flights of three Bostons, each with twelve light bombers, to attack four Luftwaffe airfields in Holland and Norway at very low levels. The fighter escort seems to have achieved nothing. The various flights crossed the North Sea at low altitude to avoid German radars. At De Kooy airfield in the north of the Netherlands, an American-manned Boston was shot down by extremely heavy and unexpected anti-aircraft fire. Captain Kegelman's Boston, also on De Kooy, had its starboard propeller shot out and the damaged starboard engine had to be shut down. Boston was so low when it fell out of the flak that the starboard wingtip and aft fuselage grazed the ground, but the plane remained airborne. Kegelman overshot his target while restarting his plane and dropped his bombs. Seeing an anti-aircraft turret with his gunners following him, he veered off course and hit the German position with four fixed .303 caliber machine guns mounted in two double-barreled bubbling bladders, one on either side of the aircraft's nose. This survivor flew low all the way back home on his only good engine. Another American-manned Boston was shot down by a flak over Bergen/Alkamaar airfield in Norway and an RAF Boston was shot down by a German fighter after being hit by a flak. Overall, only two American-occupied Bostons dropped their bombs. The Americans unwittingly faced unprecedented anti-aircraft concentrations, so the losses and mishaps were not attributed to their inexperience in warfare. The RAF attributed the heavy resistance to a possible earlier sighting of a German ship in the North Sea. Indeed, these Americans were privileged to witness firsthand the most difficult and dangerous use of offensive aircraft in World War II. Airfields are always huge flat open areas, defended by numerous

436436 Pacifica Military History Wide-fire anti-aircraft guns designed to hit low-flying aircraft from multiple angles simultaneously. Captain Kegelman was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's second highest medal for gallantry, and promoted to major. The six American crew shot down on July 4 were captured. The Fourth of July mission was full of irony. At that time, America's only strategic air force was flown by fighter jets. His only tool was his long-neglected punching arm. The aircraft used for the mission were borrowed from the RAF. The Bostons were second-rate A-20s built for the defunct French Air Force. It was flown in broad daylight by crews trained for night missions. It faced the largest anti-aircraft concentrations faced by 226 Squadron in months of similar missions. It was intended to herald the United States' entry into the air war over Europe, but only RAF markings were affixed to each aircraft; The Germans had no idea they had been attacked by the Americans until they had six live American airmen on their hands. And the mission itself was a complete failure, causing little or no damage to the four airfields. 15th Squadron had a chance to even the score on 12 July. Six volunteer crews, borrowed again from Boston, participated in the 226 squadron attack on Abbeville/Drucat airfield. The mission flew at a respectful 8,500 feet. Two American-controlled Bostons were lightly damaged by anti-aircraft fire, but there were no casualties and all bombs were safely dropped. After the mission, which turned out to be a final exercise, No. 15 Squadron was separated from No. 226 Squadron and over time was given aircraft of its own, initially more on loan to Boston. * Help was on the way. On 23 June, fifteen B-17s assigned to the 97th Heavy Bombardment Group departed Presque Isle, Maine, on the first leg of the USAAF's new Northern Ferry route to the British Isles. All fifteen made it to Goose Bay, Labrador without incident. A P-38 flight also completed this leg of the first flight of its kind outside the United States. The B-17s remained at Goose Bay until 26 June, when they took off for Greenland's two airfields, Blue West 1 at Narsarssuak in the far south and Blue West 8 at Sondre Stromfjord on the west coast.

437Free Sample Chapters 437 The flight was a disaster; Six B-17s returned to Goose Bay and three more crashed into the Greenland ice sheet, albeit with no casualties. Weather permitting, the B-17s flew to Reykjavik, then to Scotland and the south of England. The first American-manned B-17 to arrive at Bolero's terminal, Prestwick Airfield, Scotland, was an aircraft from the 97th Bomb Group, which arrived safely on 1 July. Behind him were briefly over forty B-17s, eighty P-38s and fifty-two C-47 transports. And behind them tens of thousands of bombers, fighters and transports that would be assigned to the US Air Force in Northwest Europe for three years. Despite the fact that July 1 was a special day at the other end of the northern ferry route, USAAF Headquarters in Washington revised downwards its estimate of sixty-six operational forces in England for March 1943. The estimate required that only fifty-four groups take place on the scheduled date, as the needs of other theaters would have to be met, at least in part, by future Eighth Air Force assignments. By 10 July, however, the estimate of Luftwaffe groups stationed in England at the end of 1943 was a staggering 137. Seven P-38s from the 1st Fighter Group arrived at Prestwick on 9 July and further aircraft emerged from the transport pipeline. in the following days. But on July 15, bad weather forced six P-38s and two B-17s, acting as navigation guides for the fighters, to descend over the Greenland ice sheet. Thanks to bad weather and increased caution, it was not until 25 July that the last aircraft of the Eighth Air Force's first deployment of fighters, bombers and transports arrived at Prestwick. The final flight of the deployment consisted of 60th Troop Carrier Group C-47s. On their way across the sea were the ground squadrons of the 14th Fighter Group, a P-38 unit; the 92nd and 301st Heavy Bomb Groups, both B-17 units; and the 64th Troop Carrier Group, a C-47 unit. Aircraft from these units were assembled on Presque Isle at the same time and shipped in batches depending on weather conditions. Between 15 and 27 August, the 92nd Heavy Bomb Group flew direct loads nonstop from Gander, Newfoundland to Prestwick. Thus, at the end of August, the first stages of Operation BOLERO were prepared

438438 Military History of the Pacifica in England a force of 119 B-17s, 164 P-38s and 103 C-47s on the northern ferry route. Thirty-eight aircraft crashed en route, an unsustainable 10% loss rate, but over time the loss rate dropped to a reasonably constant 5.2%. In the future, all ferry services from the north would have to be suspended with the onset of winter. The new southern ferry route was operationally tested beginning July 14, when Egypt-bound B-25 medium bombers departed Florida for a tour spanning South America, West Africa and Central Africa. In due course, year-round ferry services would open between West Africa and the UK. * The arrival of fighter planes in England triggered the establishment of a huge growth of headquarters in Great Britain. The forward squadrons of the 1st and 2nd Heavy Bombardment Wings were established in mid-August to supervise three heavy bomb groups each. VIII Air Ground Support Command was established in July, despite the fact that no ground support aircraft had been sent to the British Isles for almost a year. This headquarters, renamed VIII Air Support Command in September, initially oversaw some training and acted administratively on behalf of a set of troop transport and reconnaissance units. Training of operational units would fall under Air Force Composite Command VIII, established in September, but combat units arriving early were trained at their own bases, leaving Composite Command simply to plan ahead. Key to the operations of the burgeoning Eighth Air Force was the Eighth Air Force Service Command, which oversaw supply and maintenance throughout the British Isles, eventually assuming responsibility for all replacement crews of unassigned troops, for example . The Eighth Air Force itself reported directly to ETOUSA, and Tooey Spaatz reported directly to Ike, for whom he also served as a theater air officer. The only point of overlap, and therefore point of contention, between Eighth Air Force and ETOUSA was where the functions of Eighth Air Force Service Command overlapped with those of ETOUSA Supply Service (SOS). The top tier was responsible for all construction of American units in the British Isles and in the air, as well as item delivery.

439Free selection of 439 chapters used by ground and air organizations. SOS also prioritizes goods shipped from the United States. Ike and Spaatz were unwilling to argue over pieces of the supply puzzle, and SOS and the service command chiefs resolved disagreements early and amicably, although there were occasional outbursts. Service Command occupied the main air depot at Burtonwood, established several smaller regional depots, and activated several mobile depots. To help the Americans get as close to Germany as possible, the British initially assigned the Eighth Air Force to forty-five bases in five groups in southern England, running west to east from Huntingdonshire to East Anglia. The Americans decided which battle group would go to which base. As combat units arrived, the British provided anti-aircraft units and communications equipment, as well as other services required by units far from their homeland, either temporarily, such as logistics and headquarters elements, or permanently. Some British paraphernalia, rubber lifeboats, for example, were superior to similar American items, so the British supplied these items in whatever quantities the Yankees needed. They also initially supplied and installed VHF radios for use by ground controllers on all US-built aircraft arriving in the British Isles in 1942 to ensure a unified system for both air forces. The level of cooperation was impressive. The British people literally treated the Yankees as saviors, opening their homes, hearts and businesses to their English-speaking cousins ​​across the seas. Fully aware of the strains they were placing on British supply systems and British personnel, the Yankees did what they could to retaliate. For example, the USAAF offered to provide all the combat airlift of troops that both armies would need for training and the eventual invasion of France. * There was an implicit political commitment that the United States had to make in order to enlist the full cooperation of the hard-pressed British, and it was the guarantee that every brutal effort was in the service of a planned invasion of France in the spring of 1943. He hoped that by then the Americans had sent to England a land force of one million men and an air force of nearly three thousand fighter planes. There was one

440There was also a second plan in play, Operation SLEDGEHAMMER, which called for an initial, partial and superficial penetration of France should the Soviet Union be on the brink of collapse. SLEDGEHAMMER was designed to withdraw German ground and air forces to help the Soviets rebuild. But the invasion plans of 1942 and 1943, and the compromises behind them, were literally shattered when Prime Minister Churchill berated President Roosevelt at the July meetings for participating in an invasion of French northwest Africa. Churchill's hope was to ease Axis pressures against the Suez Canal in the near future by drawing the Axis powers of Egypt and Libya into Algeria and Tunisia. But the prime minister had been obsessed since World War I with defeating Germany through what he called the dark side of Europe. To get to that belly, the Allies would have to drive the Axis powers out of all of Africa. Roosevelt supported Churchill's plan because internal pressures, particularly the upcoming congressional elections, forced him to send American ground forces to fight the Germans. Northwest Africa looked like a place for inexperienced American air and ground forces to assert themselves. An invasion of French northwest Africa in late 1942 ensured that any invasion of France would be delayed until the spring of 1944 and that the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing offensive in Germany would be eroded before it even began. Churchill assured Roosevelt that he was willing to make the inevitable sacrifices, and the deal was struck. The first planning conference for the invasion of northwest Africa was held in England on July 18, 1942. Ike, who had been appointed head of the invasion force while retaining command of ETOUSA, chaired the planning session. In a short period of time, Ike appointed Spaatz as his air chief in northwest Africa. The two developed a deep, trusting relationship after only a few weeks of working together, and they both hated breaking up so quickly. Eaker was notified that Eighth Air Force would become his when the time came for Spaatz to devote all of his energies and attention to Operation TORCH. Any frenzy Eaker achieved over his possible promotion was tempered by the knowledge that his Air Force would lose most of its strength temporarily, but mostly permanently to the new Twelfth.

441Free Sample Air Force Chapters 441 (which would be activated in August). In a sense, the Eighth had been relegated to training command status for the Twelfth just as it was struggling to engage. In addition, Egypt's fledgling Air Force, which would eventually become the 9th, was reinforced with combat units from the United States that might otherwise have been sent to England to serve with the 8th. If there was any doubt that Churchill would temper his plan, the Prime Minister blew it on 23 July. A German advance between the Don and Volga rivers in the Soviet Union led to a request by Prime Minister Stalin to the Western Allies to hastily open a second front. . Operation SLEDGEHAMMER was obviously impossible at this point: there were no troops and Churchill's attention was focused on North Africa. He dismissed any ideas lingering from Stalin that the English Channel invasion would take place in 1942 and thought, more or less privately, that a 1943 invasion of France had become fanciful. The only concession the British and Americans could make to the Soviet problems was to plan for TORCH before December 1, 1942. At that time, there were too few combat units in Britain to launch a strategic bombing offensive against Germany and the B-groups. 17 who arrived were not fully trained. His presence in England was just that, a presence, a sign of future intentions. But Spaatz and Eaker, both career fighter pilots with no personal or professional interest in the concept of strategic bombing, felt they owed it to their service to conduct at least reportable demonstration missions against nearby targets while they still had a force on hand. . Army Air Forces bomber doctrine allowed air superiority as a requirement for successful bombing. There were German-controlled airfields in France that needed some cleaning. In addition, airmen were eager to start war work. A few short-range bombing runs would certainly serve as finishing exercises for hard training groups in England. And bombing nearby targets would certainly be a means of doing so.

442442 Pacifica Military History tested two decades of strategic thinking and preparation, and the study of tactical flourishes, and provided the first entries in the lessons learned book. * The first mission using aircraft with USAAF markings took place on 26 July 1942. Six Spitfires of the 31st Fighter Group joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Spitfire Squadron on a routine overflight of the English Channel near Gravelines, St Omer and Abbeville. The six American pilots were senior officers on their first introductory jump over enemy territory. Jet fighters were the means by which British-built short-leg fighters maintained control of German air operations in the region, supporting the French, Belgian and Dutch coasts overlooking the English Channel and North Sea. The Germans rarely responded; They were too skilled in warfare to risk damaging their planes, let alone their lives in combat in the service of nothing. Spitfires could do little damage to the German war effort, so why bother challenging them? On the 26th of July, German fighters accepted the challenge. In a split-second dogfight, one of the German pilots shot down one of the White Star Spitfires. The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Albert Clark, was the executive air officer of the 31st Fighter Group. He survived the ordeal and was captured. (Far from losing an opportunity to make war against the Germans, Clark became a key operator in the March 1944 POW adventure known as the Great Escape.) The 31st flew again on 5–6 August. In both cases, eleven Spitfires were released for practice in a program called RODEO. The 31st encountered zero resistance on both of its practical RODEO missions, but some of its base pilots learned to operate wisely with their hearts in their throats. The RODEO missions were modeled precisely after British fighters, a concept borrowed straight from the pack by VIII Fighter Command boss Monk Hunter, a WWI ace who grew up in the Dawn Patrol era. Hunter, whose HQ was very close to RAF Fighter Command HQ, visited him

443The 443 free sample chapters, with their often opposite number, were fascinated by all things British; He never thought outside his host box. The first American airman to fly a US fighter to put bullets in a German fighter was Major Harrison Thyng, squadron commander of the 31st Fighter Group, escorting an RAF coastal patrol near Shoreham, England, on 9 August. Contact was made around 20:00 and resulted in Thyngs being credited with damage to a Focke-Wulf 190 (Fw 190) fighter taking part in a sweep along the English coast. The 31st flew about a dozen aircraft per mission at RODEOS on 11, 12 and 15 August and the Germans ignored them. Two Spitfires from 31st Group made a familiarization flight with a routine RAF convoy patrol over the English Channel on 15 August, but nothing happened. The first complete victory awarded to the USAAF in the war against Germany was an Fw 200 naval bomber, which on the 14th Josef Schaffer. Flying a 33d P-40 Fighter Squadron. (The 27th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Group was temporarily assigned to Iceland to reinforce the independent 33rd Squadron, the only air defense unit permanently stationed on the island.) August 1942.

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446446 Pacifica Military History THE ROOT The Marines in Beirut August 1982-February 1984 By Eric Hammel Looking north from a second-story window, the corporal was shot through the window into the air. He fell ten meters to the ground and landed on his feet. He was unharmed until debris hit his head and shoulders. Almost every other member of the reconnaissance platoon in his compartment died in Hell. At 6:22 am. On October 23, 1983, a yellow Mercedes truck drove through the parking lot at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. He fell through a screened door at the headquarters of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit and ran through a hut and into the open atrium of a terminal building where the men were billeted, many of whom were still asleep. The truck lurched to a stop. Seconds later, 12,000 pounds of explosives piled in the back of the truck detonated. The four-story steel and concrete building swayed and collapsed. 241 Americans died and many more were injured in the disaster. Shortly after the 24th MAU returned to the United States in November 1983, the Marine Corps gave Eric Hammel an unprecedented opportunity to interview bomb survivors and those who came to their rescue. The Root is the result of these interviews. It is a narrative of the Marines' mission to Lebanon and shows their growing involvement in the largely unreported battles that took place in and around the devastated city of Beirut. And it details the terrorist attack on the unit's headquarters. The Root focuses on the nearly 200 people, soldiers and officers interviewed by the author, who were still reeling from the shock and terror of the bombing. Their reactions to danger, what they survived and how they survived it, their concerns and insights make The Root a timeless chronicle of the human spirit and as relevant as today's headlines.

447Free Sample Chapter 447 In Praise of the Root illustrates Washington's extraordinary reluctance to accept facts that contradict his preconceived notions. . . . It's time we learn from our mistakes and never again put our people in situations we don't understand. A first step is to read how our efforts in Beirut have gone from a noble cause to our troops being pinned down in an escalating civil war we don't understand. Colonel Thomas X Hammes, USMC (Ret.), Author of The Sling and the Stone It's a good book. . . a fascinating record of the life of a military unit. . . The New York Times Hammel pieced together a story that often got darker as it unfolded. The Los Angeles Times Hammel's detailed account of each rescue effort is extremely descriptive. . . . It's first-hand and realistic. It is not sensationalized or trivialized. new york tribune

448448 Pacifica Military History Eric Hammel's well-written book. . . strikes a deep emotional chord. . . Proceedings of the Naval Institute (The Root) is a book about the violence of combat, a firsthand account of death and danger, fear, pain and survival. . . . Baltimore Sun An incredibly accurate, well-researched (and) well-made portrayal. . . . Kirkus Reviews This is a moving book that tells a story that needs to be told. San Diego Union Note: The following article is an excerpt from THE ROOT: The Marines in Beirut, August 1982 - February 1984, by Eric Hammel. The book is currently available in paperback for $24.95, published by Zenith Press. It is also available as an eBook edition. A DEATH IN BEIRUT by Eric Hammel Copyright 1994 by Eric Hammel The 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) and Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/8 arrived in quiet Beirut in May 1983 as part of the multinational forces force Western peacekeepers. On August 29, 1983, in the sudden resumption of the Lebanese Civil War, the Marine Corps battalion lost two killed and fourteen wounded and began a series of firefights that were not widely reported in the American media. On September 6, two more Marines were killed and fighting between Marines escalated in earnest. Throughout September, the Marines fought a daily war with Muslim militants belonging to various factions of the Shiite Amal (Hope) coalition. In addition to the four Marines killed, nearly seventy were wounded, many seriously. Hampered by rules of engagement that severely limited their ability to retaliate, the Marines

449However, they killed dozens and perhaps dozens of Muslim militants who fired on their positions on a daily basis. * The role of 2nd Lt. Most appreciated by Bill Harris of Charlie Company, the 1/8th of a second rotation to the north end of Beirut International Airport (BIA) on October 3, 1983 was the opportunity it gave him to exercise independent command. Harris's 1st Platoon was positioned on a series of sandbagged posts along the north end of the BIA and several hundred meters down along the east edge of the Marine Corps 24th Amphibious Unit compound. 3rd Platoon's line started over a mile away and 2nd Platoon held Battle Post 11 and cut off Battle Post 76. More importantly, from Lt. Harris, the Charlie Company command post was over a mile away. The focus of militia activity in the new Charlie Company sector was Café Daniel, directly opposite the Harris train, in the northeast corner of the BIA compound. This Amal encounter was under the control of a local warlord known to the Marines as Castro, a nickname derived from his martial demeanor and bushy beard. Castro was something of a renegade, a man committed to carrying out his own program of social reform in Hooterville, even if it meant going against the policies of Nabieh Berri, the Shiite lawyer turned leader of the Amal coalition developed. Although peace talks were ongoing and Shia Amal was part of them, Castro exercised his independence by putting almost constant pressure on the Marines within his reach, Bill Harris's Charlie Company platoon. The nearest Amal bunkers were just 100 meters north of Harris Sector, an easy shot, and Café Daniel was about 400 meters from the nearest naval emplacement, as was a red-striped concrete structure believed to be an armory known as the main one. function. Behind Harris was an LAF training ground, the perfect excuse for Amal to shoot 1st Platoon. Sniper fire was sporadic during Harris's first week at the new post, so it was hardly worth answering that it might disturb the shaky peace.

450450 Pacifica's military history passed to the rest of the BIA. Things got ugly one night when a guard heard a bang! and realized that a hand grenade had detonated in an unmanned bunker just below his post. Three militia gunners opened fire. The Marine lit a torch and saw several dark figures running across an adjacent field. The next morning, Captain Chris Cowdrey accompanied Lieutenant Harris on a walk along the road that separated the MAU from Castro's militia. The two Charlie Company officers found the blade of a Soviet hand grenade in the open field east of the road, but could not find any shells left by the gunners. As Cowdrey and Harris turned to go, a small boy ran up to them and showed them a handful of shells he had picked up at daybreak. Three different types of weapons were fired during the night, a clear sign that the incident was committed by irregular militia. The pace of firefights quickened. Two nights after the grenade incident, four rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) flew over 1st Platoon's outposts, then machine gun fire pierced the night air. The Marines responded by bringing in two snipers from the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) platoon, who located the militia's favored firing positions and prepared to give some examples. Then, with great show, the Marines moved four dragon launchers and a tank into positions just behind 1st Platoon. The new weapons were unearthed, but kept in the hope that Castro and his subordinates would see the light of day. * Suddenly, new players started showing up in Hooterville in the second half of the week of October 10th. Many of them were experienced, professional-looking soldiers who wore Russian Combat Uniforms (BDUs), similar to the Navy's Cam-Mies, but in rust and beige in color. Castro is said to have made a deal with the Syrian army. Another motley crew that differed significantly from Amal's combat units also settled around Café Daniel. What distinguished this group was the white belt with red Arabic letters worn by each fighter. They are believed to be members of the Islamic Amal, Iranians from the Syrian-sponsored Baalbek training camp in the Beqaa Valley. Immediately the number and quality of bunkers that could be observed

451Marines Free Sample Chapters 451 has been increased, as has the accuracy of small arms sniper fire. Adding to the growing sense of unease and isolation on the north end of the BIA was news that large numbers of Hooterville residents were leaving town. Soon, Charlie Company Marines could see flagged buses picking up entire families from nearby neighborhoods. It was evident that the sudden departure of noncombatants heralded a major battle. * Sergeant Dennis Allston has been in Beirut longer than any other Marine, nearly 400 days, since he accompanied the first Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) detachment sent to the BIA to retrieve unexploded ordnance for the 2/8th Battalion (BLT) in October 1982 The 25-year-old from Philadelphia had seen it all and had mixed feelings about the city where he had spent two birthdays: he loved the city and its different people, I hated these people in the name of religion and to do politics together. On Friday, October 15, 1983, Allston was a temporary corporal in charge of the EOD department. He and his good friend Sergeant Allen Soifert, a 25-year-old Canadian career soldier, decided to personally respond to a routine call from a Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) unit in Hooterville, which discovered what appeared to be a round of RPG not blown up to be. The two left the 24th MAU Service and Support Group (MSSG) headquarters and drove along the bypass to Hooterville, where they found the casing of a malfunctioning RPG that appeared to have detonated without actually detonating. The reasonably undamaged steel box was thrown into the back of the EOD jeep and the two sergeants climbed in to head home. Between the time Allston and Soifert boarded the platoon of 2nd Lt. Bill Harris on his way to the RPG, and as they were coming around the corner on the way home, the BDU-clad Syrian snipers stationed around Café Daniel began firing indiscriminately at passing American vehicles. The first firefight occurred when an MSSG-24 dump truck swerved around the corner. A few rounds bounced off the truck's thick steel frame before the driver realized he was in danger. by pressing the

452The 452 Pacifica military history truck accelerated and pulled out of the area, the shaken young man speaking a hurried warning into the vehicle's headset. Several other passing vehicles were also attacked by snipers in the immediate vicinity of Café Daniel. One of them, a jeep, was under the control of Arms Company LCpl Bill Riddle, who was taking his military driving test. Riddle was shot in both legs while passing Café Daniel. Other vehicles on the perimeter road shot out of the area as radio waves crackled with dire warnings. A Navy bulldozer driver was forced to stop and take cover behind the rear tire of his vehicle when Charlie Company Marines attacked Syrian Muslim and now Iranian gunmen. MAU headquarters ordered the outer ring road to be closed to all traffic. Bill Harris's platoon was on high alert, ready to engage the shooters if they could be identified. The EOD jeep driven by Sergeant Allston was not stopped or informed of the road closure. Allston and Soifert played to pass the time until they returned to MSSG, just a few minutes away. Just before the jeep reached close to Café Daniel, Charlie Company sentries assigned to block the road to vehicle traffic were forced to take cover by heavy Muslim gunfire. It was 1000 hours. As the jeep turned south towards the corner opposite Café Daniel, the two sergeants instinctively leaned back and screamed in surprise as they simultaneously realized that several shells in front of them had landed between their faces and the windshield. . Allston realized that the shots came from a line of trees about 100 yards to his right. As Allston turned his head to identify the source of the fire, other guns along the route fired at the Jeep. Instinctively, he floored the accelerator, hoping to survive the challenge. I've been hit, said First Sergeant Soifert calmly. In the trunk. Allston then felt his passenger pass out next to him. The jeep quickly approached an intersection where Lebanese workers had built a manhole. This was the safe route, so Allston steered the jeep to the right. At that moment, Allston felt Soifert slide down the right side of the jeep. Without thinking, the driver took his right hand off the steering wheel and

453Free Sample Chapters 453 grabbed his trembling mate. This action prevented Allston from completing the round. The jeep spun widely and both left tires hit a low berm that protected the newly placed culvert. The jeep overturned and Allston was thrown about ten feet. There was just time to duck and roll before Allston raced back to the jeep, which had turned driver's side up, under sustained fire. The only luck was that the jeep now formed a substantial barrier between the two marines and direct fire. Allen Soifer's right foot was under the side of the Jeep and his left shoelace was tangled in the frame of the passenger seat. He landed on his buttocks, his head shaved or cut by the edge of his helmet. Or perhaps he was grazed by a passing bullet when the gunmen, presumably Iranian, first opened fire. Soifert was fully conscious. He spoke to Allston in a very calm voice. Allston felt that the injured person had more control over himself than he did, Allston, Soifert reconfirmed that he had been shot in the chest, but when Allston reached under Soifert's bulletproof vest, he could not see a wound. entrance or find blood. In fact, Soifert had been shot just below the right nipple. The projectile entered his sternum, severed his windpipe and lungs, rearranged vital organs, and lodged near his left kidney. Allston reached into the Jeep's trunk for the radio. I was not present. As he searched for the lost radio, he spotted a lone gunman at the tree line. Allston drew and cocked his .45 caliber automatic pistol and fired several shots, missing the man. However, as he crouched behind the jeep, he saw the radio, which had been thrown away when the jeep overturned. Now he was out in the open, more or less where he had landed before. Allston plucked up courage and dove into the open air. He was lucky that no one fired directly at him, although he had heard shots flying over his head since they hit the ground. Allston returned the radio to the leeward side of the Jeep and turned on the receiver. Anything. As Allston considered his next move, he saw movement about 300 yards away on the BIA side of the road. Marines fired M-16s and M-60s at nearby Muslim positions and rooftops

454454 Military History of the Pacific Hooterville. First Sergeant Allston shouted at them, hoping they would send help, but he knew there would likely be more casualties if they did. Allen Soifert, fully aware of the severity of his injuries and having a very keen sense of the severity of his injuries, expressed Allston's feelings of despair and indeed proclaimed that he did not want other Marines to risk their lives for him. There was nothing to worry about. Lieutenant Harris' heart was touched by the two men trapped outside, but he knew he would be killed and wounded if he sent one of his marines to help them. His decision to keep his troops under cover was confirmed within minutes in a message from Captain Cowdrey, commander of Charlie Company. Soifert then scolded Allston for not reaching the radio, jokingly suggesting that his nominal supervisor forgot to turn it on, plugged in the headset, or misconfigured the antenna. It was typical of Soifert's subtle sense of humor. Allston didn't sense the injured man's cheerful energy, so he responded malevolently, prompting Soifert to respond in a good-natured way. Allston's continued efforts to get the radio working were unsuccessful. Eventually Soifert said he would try to pass. Allston complied, but by then it was obvious that the radio had either been damaged in the accident or had not worked that morning. As the two sat down, Allston thought he heard a tank passing nearby. In fact, Sergeant Richard Smith tried to maneuver his heavy tank into the street to provide direct fire support or, if the opportunity arose, break out and capture the two EOD noncommissioned officers. The noise of the tank drew the attention of militiamen on the opposite flank, and several of their RPGs passed close enough to force Smith to reconsider his audacity. I knew very well that an RPG could destroy a tank. Then a jeep transporting 1st Lt. Nick Nanna of Charlie Battery and two crew members beside the overturned jeep. Nanna pulled out behind the damaged vehicle just as heavy fire hit the Muslim-held tree line. He picked up a small radio

455He ordered the jeep out of the way and crouched down beside Soifert to see if he could help. Lieutenant Nanna took command and broke into the battalion's tactical network with a report of his arrival and Soifert's injuries. The radio operator on the other end of the line was incredibly slow and completely messed up the message three or four times. Dennis Allston's seething frustration turned to open rage and he yelled at Nanna to stop making puns with the idiotic radio operator and ask for help. Nanna asked to send the doctors with an ambulance. Second Lieutenant Mike Murphy, MSSG-24's communicator, was outraged by the events unfolding in his tactical network. Murphy, a highly motivated young officer who might have become frustrated with his inner duties while his comrades were in combat for a month, volunteered to lead the rescue. He was rejected but could not be kept. HMC BC Miller and HM3 Ken Boyer were on duty at the MSSG supply station when a courier arrived to announce that an MSSG member had been shot dead on the outer perimeter road. Miller and Boyer grabbed their Unit 1 medical kits and went upstairs to meet the train ambulance. They found out that he was going somewhere else. The two paramedics then proceeded to the BLT Motor Park to borrow the jeep ambulance from the battalion supply station. Your application was rejected. Boyer and Miller cursed a storm, spent a generous dose of guilt, and won. When Boyer started the engine, he and Miller were joined by HN Gary Cooper and 2dLt Mike Murphy. The highway was blocked at a Navy checkpoint by a dump truck, perhaps the one targeted earlier by the militia. While the orderlies and Lieutenant Murphy worried, the driver and the guard talked. Murphy yelled, Hey Ma-rine! several times before the truck driver looked up. When Murphy identified himself, the dump truck moved out of the way, but the guard moved to block the road. Hey! We have snipers down there. Yeah, Boyer called through, we were going to get the guy who got shot.

456456 Pacifica Military History When Boyer pulled up behind a dirt shoulder, Murphy, Cooper, and Miller jumped out, grabbed a plank, and headed for the road. Boyer was out of the vehicle, but decided to turn off the jeep's engine. He was about to lie down when a high-velocity bullet shattered the driver's side windshield. He left the engine running. Sergeant Foster Hill, one of the lieutenants. Harris, watched paramedics race across the open area toward the overturned jeep as Lt. Colonel Larry Gerlach, who had arrived at his office, asked him for news. Elbow without warning or entourage. Hill delivered his report and then turned to watch the drama unfold. When Murphy, Miller, Cooper and Boyer arrived alongside Soif-ert, the EOD Staff Sergeant sank. Until then, he had maintained a good-natured humor, realistic about his condition but very much in control of his emotions. As the shots continued to fly over his head, Soifert discussed his condition with doctors. He knew he had been hit in the lungs and said so, but the doctors didn't think so at first because he wasn't coughing up blood. He too was shocked and offered advice on how the doctors would treat him. Doc Boyer ran his hands over Soifert's torso, checking the wounds. Reaching the wounded man's kidneys, he caught a 7.62 mm bullet. He gave it to Sergeant Allston and put a combat bandage on it. As Chief Miller continued to tend to the wounded Marine, who was already drooling blood between his blue lips, Boyer and Cooper got to work pulling Soifer's foot out of the seat. It became clear that the ankle had been broken from the rotating fall, so it was decided to keep Soifert's boots if possible; at least he provided some support. The laces were so tangled that Boyer decided to take the seat apart. He turned nuts and bolts and operated a huge set of pliers for them to do their jobs. Finally, as Soifert's eyes rolled back and pink foam appeared on her lips, the jeep's seat was removed and the injured man was placed on the road. A little push on the jeep itself, using both hands, freed the trapped right foot. Doc Boyer knelt over the descending patient to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

457Free Sample Chapters 457 Sergeant Richard Smith briefly returned with his tank to open its main gun towards the Muslim-controlled buildings, but was again threatened by RPG and ordered to step down. This time at least the marines and medical staff behind the overturned jeep could see the attempt and that was somewhat encouraging. An Amtrac pulled up behind a nearby curb and everyone grabbed the backboard where Soifert had been placed and walked up the ramp into the lighted interior. Charlie Company's 1st Platoon opened fire on the Muslim fighters, forcing many of them to take refuge in the armory. Lt. Harris then released his grenadiers, who fired their M-203 high-explosive (HE) shells into the building's thick concrete walls. It is doubtful that the Muslims were killed, but they were certainly expelled. Allen Soifert eventually lost consciousness when the Amtrac driver reversed the huge vehicle and drove straight across the road to the battalion supply station, where a column of garbage was waiting. Dennis Allston stood in the doorway of the BLT for a moment, then heard his name called from the MSSG building. Reluctantly, he pulled away, knowing he would work on forgetting the morning's trauma. Major Doug Redlich, commander of MSSG-24, was in Green Beach when he learned of the shooting. He arrived just as the Amtrac pulled up in front of the main entrance. Redlich had been an MSSG executive during his previous assignment in Beirut, and Soifert was affiliated with the EOD at the time. In fact, Redlich had applied to the NCO program for Soifert last time. He knew Soifert well and liked him. Soifert looked stunned, but nothing Doug Redlich saw was particularly alarming. He touched Soifert on the arm and said, You are now an official veterinarian in Beirut. Soifert was taken away and Redlich turned to BLT S-3 Major Andy Davis for details. 1st Lt. Chuck Dallachie was on duty at the Combat Operations Center (COC) during the rescue. He was at the bottom of the stairs coming out for air when garbage trucks burst into the BLT lobby. Dallachie tried to dodge, but then realized he needed to get upstairs, which he did as quickly as possible. The crowd of bodies took him straight to the operating room, where an unconscious Allen Soifert was placed on the table. unable to

458Making her way to the door, Dallachie squeezed into a corner and stared wide-eyed at the drama unfolding before him. Dr John Hudson was in the Navy for one reason only: He was halfway through medical school without tuition and the Navy paid him. He was a good, caring doctor, but he didn't have a sense of military discipline or an excellent job of resisting an officer's increasing glares. Stories of his military ineptitude were legend in the battalion, and he struggled to gain weight, his way of handling the lanky Marines he served with. On this day, games were placed in front of the operating room door. John Hudson just wanted to save a life. Danny Wheeler, the battalion chaplain, severely stripped Allen Soifert of the Allen Soifert bulletproof vest and Cammie blouse. The surgeon examined the bloodless wound below the right nipple. At first Hudson was certain that Soifert's heart had been cut out and he was ready to cut open the sergeant's chest, but within seconds he decided that the heart was unaffected. He also discovered that Soifert was as good as dead. But as much as he was never the same, the overweight Georgia doctor worked to stabilize his patient, who would not survive any surgery unless his shock could be controlled. The wisdom and downfall of a battalion supply station is that complex and sophisticated equipment is later reserved for medical facilities. All a battalion surgeon has to do is take care of the wounded who may still be alive and hand them over to increasingly better equipped surgical teams. Most of the time the system works. Large numbers of Surgeons do not risk the close combat that is common in rifle battalions, but are available in safe places where they can best serve the majority. Each of the naval battalions that saw the heaviest fighting in Vietnam had a single surgeon, a staff of less than twenty first responders, and limited equipment. That is uncompromising wisdom, but for John Hudson and Allen Soifert on that October afternoon, it was a curse. Soifert's treatment was simply beyond the capabilities of the Battalion Supply Station, and Soifert was in no shape to be transferred. Hudson did what he could, but it wasn't enough. Minutes after his arrival, Allen Soifert fell into a coma and stopped breathing. John Hudson made Soifert's heart race, but it failed again. And again. So there was no way to bring him back.

459Free Sample Chapter 459 Chaplain Danny Wheeler, a Lutheran, performed the last rites, a Catholic ritual, on the dead Marine, who was Jewish. Dennis Allston was informed within an hour of his arrival at the aid station. Allen Soifert, who became a US citizen in 1968 at the age of ten, was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Nashua, New Hampshire, a week after his death in Beirut at the age of twenty-five. * When word reached Charlie Company on the afternoon of October 15th that Allen Soifert had been killed, some members of 1st Platoon of 2dLt Bill Harris decided to get some. The M-203 shells were placed just behind many of the walls that Muslim snipers used for cover. Some of the grenadiers became so adept with this type of fire that they soon began ricocheting their HE shells off buildings to get them into hard-to-reach Muslim positions. The platoons' M-60 machine guns were used to suppress the militia's automatic weapons. Word reached reporters traveling between Hooterville and the BIA that night that the Marines had wounded women and children, forcing Harris to order his men to hold back the general fire. Although MAU HQ was reluctant to allow Harris's platoon to engage in a general firefight, they sanctioned the use of STA snipers to begin a careful target suppression routine the next day. Upon hearing the news, Lieutenant Colonel Gerlach dispatched four additional snipers to Harris's sector, bringing the total to six. In addition to their own specialist equipment, STA gunners were required to use the optical rangefinder equipment aboard Sergeant Richard Smith's heavy tank, an excellent way of locating targets in the built-up areas ahead of Harris' positions. Fearing that his platoon's teeth had been knocked out by mistake, Sergeant Foster Hill came up with a plan aimed at finding a more favorable balance for the Marines without endangering the lives of noncombatants. Hill didn't think it was worth wasting a lot of ammunition chasing five or six militiamen here and five or six there. Instead, the grenadiers could push the small groups into the alley opposite the cafe.

460460 Military History of Pacifica Daniel and the Arsenal, and the STA snipers could take them out with almost no problem. Harris thought it was worth a try. When militia warriors opened fire on Harris's platoon on the morning of October 16, Harris had his grenadiers bring in additional ammunition and then sent them to work. Sergeant Hill did the honors. Its M-203 gunner fired several rounds directly over the armory. The smaller bullets failed to penetrate the concrete ceiling, but the deafening noise forced the gunmen hidden inside to rush into the alley. With the help of the spotters, the STA snipers had a great day. With the full approval of higher headquarters, Lieutenant Harris simply reread the rules of engagement and decided that anyone caught with a gun was easy prey as long as the firefight continued. This small rule change surprised many previously untouchable militia officers. Militia cowboys who left the armory with weapons were dumped in the alley between it and Café Daniel without warning. Five Amal warriors died forever that day and at least ten others were seriously injured by high-velocity shells. Finally, word came that the Amal leaders had called for a ceasefire. Harris' Marines immediately followed. They knew that the Muslims would not have called for a truce if the Charlie Company fire had not worked. * Just eight days after the murder of Sergeant Allen Soifert on October 23, 1983, Marine Battalion Landing Team headquarters was blown up killing 241 other Marines. Among those killed that morning was Dr. John Hudson. Chaplain Danny Wheeler and Lt. Colonel Larry Gerlach was injured in the explosion. Captain Chris Cowdry, Lt. Mike Murphy, First Sergeant Dennis Allston, and the MSSG-24 Corpsman who brought in Allen Soifert were among the rescuers. It is almost certain that Lieutenant Bill Harris's Shiite opponent, Castro, whose real name was Imad Mughniyeh, was the main executor of the plan that planted the truck bomb in the main Navy building. He eventually became a senior military commander in the Iranian-backed Shiite fundamentalist faction Hezbollah. It was blown up by Israelis in Damascus on February 12, 2008.

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462462 Military History of Pacifica THE THREE DAY PROMISE Memoirs of a Korean Soldier by Donald K. Chung, M.D. The Three Day Promise is an inspiring saga that traces the author's life from his humble birth in Korea to his distinguished medical position in the United States. Dr Chung documents this half-century passage with powerful insights into Korean culture and vivid images of its people. Dr Chung offers an intimate understanding of the Korean War from his perspective as a soldier. The book deftly goes beyond a rigorous study of war, making it the context for the study of human values. Out of love, young Chung promises his mother that he will return from the war in three days. The war that separated his family from his country prevented the vow from being fulfilled for more than three decades. dr Chung's desire to reunite with his mother, reunify Korea, and recognize all veterans of this forgotten war is eloquently expressed in the book and its purpose: he donated all proceeds to the War Veterans Memorial of Korea in Washington, D.C. With generous support from Abigail Van Buren in her Dear Abby column, and her own tireless advocacy, Dr. Chung donated over $400,000 to the fund, his largest single donation. Donald K. Chung was born in rural northeast Korea in 1932. The author's early medical training was interrupted by his participation in the Korean War. Chung was one of the few in his frontline combat unit to survive. Unable to see his family in the north after the war, he stayed in Seoul to complete his medical degree magna cum laude. He then came to the United States to study cardiology. He is the author of several medical texts and articles.

463463 Free Sample Chapters Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book THE THREE DAYS OF PROMISE: Memoirs of a Korean Soldier, by Donald K. Chung, M.D. The book is currently available as an eBook edition. LEAVING NORTH KOREA by Donald K. Chung Copyright 1989 by Donald K. Chung The night I fled Chu-ul was eerily dark. Snow crunched underfoot and blanketed the surrounding terrain, visible through the motor division's headlights. The longest trip I've ever taken was a three-hour walk from the Harbin racecourse the day my dad was playing and lost his bus ticket. It didn't take a statistical genius to figure out that this previous record had no chance of surviving the ordeal to come. People of all ages, men and women, limped with sore or frozen feet. Their numbers increased as the terrible night wore on. Many older men and women limped with canes and sometimes even crutches. As expected, they fell further and further behind and were unable to keep pace with the advancing crowd. From time to time, younger family members would slow down to help older ones, but many younger refugees were desperate at all costs to keep up with the line of retreating soldiers and army trucks. As the march moved south, the crowds grew. Many ox-drawn wagons, overloaded with household items and human cargo, slid along the treacherous, icy roads into ditches filled with ice and sleet. If the oxen could not get up on the path, the soldiers shot them, no doubt by order, as they struggled desperately.

464Unsurprisingly, more and more refugees from the south fell further and further behind. I, young and in good health, and driven by my relentless fear, managed to keep up with the bulk of the Death Skull's troops that came from Chu-ul. We arrived at Myungchon as the sun was rising on December 3rd. At that moment, the soldiers stopped at the local school and broke into the courtyard to build a fire and prepare breakfast. I went to a farm on the outskirts of town and asked for food and a place to rest. The farmer was very friendly under the circumstances. He welcomed me into his home and presented me with a hot breakfast consisting of a baked potato, a small spoonful of rice, and some hot soy cabbage soup. While eating, I noticed that one of the farmer's sons had an infected sore on his right thigh. Why was this wound not treated? I asked. The war took away our family doctor, replied the farmer. As soon as I finished eating the leftover hot breakfast, I cleaned the wound and gave the farmer several packets of sulfa from my emergency kit. I was happy to be able to repay this man for his exceptional kindness. I lay down for a short, deep nap and then, with mutual wishes of well being, I hurried outside to join the military column. The next day, December 4th, he came and went as I followed the ROK Army motor column. The third day, December 5th, was the day I promised Mom I would come home. I don't know why he made such a reckless and impossible promise. The words had just come out of my mouth, not with a conscious thought of their own, but with a careless rush, as if they were written from memory. Aware of my broken promise, I left for the south, though my spirit fled my body and hovered over the small house in Chu-ul where my mother lived. Now I, too, felt motorized, propelled along by the rising tide of events beyond my control. He was lost in time, forgetting everything but moving on. I ate what was left of the rice and squid my mother packed in my backpack. I put on the last of the three pairs of socks he had given me. I was tired, confused and scared.

465Free Sample Chapters 465 We arrived in the great city of Kilchu on the afternoon of December 6th. Wandering through the streets in search of food or a warm or sheltered place to rest, I saw a dozen young people sitting in a group in the courtyard of the village school. All the men wore armbands that said Local Youth Volunteer Group. I assumed, correctly, that the group had been formed to help the ROK Army in some way. I slipped into the backyard and fell behind the rest of the group. When the young people got up some time later, I went with them. We all ended up at the group leader's house nearby. The man didn't seem to have a clear idea of ​​how to proceed, but he announced: The Republic of Korea army is withdrawing into South Korea. Then we were treated to a hearty dinner of steaming rice, hot soup and kimchee, pickled Korean cabbage. During the meal, I dared introduce myself to as many people as possible. This very heterogeneous group included men of all ages up to the age of 50. It turned out to be one of the youngest, as usual. There were siblings and parents and children, teachers and students. Most of the men were well-educated college students or graduates. I assumed that many, perhaps most, of the men had strong anti-Communist sentiments. Most, however, said they joined the slow-growing group out of a sense of security rather than political conviction. I wasn't sure what to do for the ROK army, nor what the rewards should be. As so often in my life, I contented myself with slipping the distinctive bracelet onto my coat sleeve and following him. I certainly didn't ask myself why I was so easily deceived. At noon the next day, December 7th, our group returned to the school where they met him. Word spread that we would be receiving instructions from the soldiers of the Republic of Korea Army. It was a clear day and much hotter than it has been since I left Chu-ul. Marching through streets covered in melting snow became difficult. Kilchu was crowded with ROK soldiers, army vehicles and countless refugees sheltering from the wind on the sidewalks or under the eaves.

466As I marched along, grateful for the warm air that soothed my earlier bite, I was startled to see my dad sitting in front of a house dipping his feet in a bowl of water. With him was my third uncle, the one whose wife had been brutally murdered in the hot springs of Chu-ul and whose body he had identified. His guy was leaning on a cane, his feet bandaged. I broke away from the group of young volunteers and ran towards them. Dad, I screamed, I knew you would come with me. In that moment, all the years of emotional deprivation I'd endured because of that cold, distant figure melted away as I instinctively reached out to hug him. He hugged me vigorously, something he had never done before. All the animosity built up over the years seemed to suddenly and quickly disappear. It felt like the start of something new and wonderful. Dad looked completely lost. Aside from the blisters on his soaked feet, his lips were a mass of cold sores. Her previous elegant clothes are gone too, replaced by tattered clothes like mine. Despite their complete exhaustion, father and uncle looked happy to see me, Dong-kyu, standing in front of them. Dad immediately opened his package and took out two pieces of rice cake, which he handed to me. I hesitated and took a small bite. Then, as if the present was washing over me like a tidal wave, I hurriedly muttered, Goodbye. Soon we will meet again in the South and hurry to meet the Young Volunteer Group. Whether it was a rebirth of lifelong loyalty to mother and embedded memories of father's denial of all parental affection, I ignored the momentary childlike reaction I felt at seeing my father in his pitiful state. Now it was I who guided my steps as I saw my true future beckon, knowing that the past, like a long-standing umbilical cord, had been finally and irrevocably severed from my body. The ROK Army did not really assign a mission to the Young Volunteer Group that day or ever, but we were given clear orders to reach Songjin as soon as possible.

467Free Sample Chapters 467 Much later, I learned that large units of the People's Army of North Korea, supported by even larger units of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, were steadily moving south from the Chongjin area and arrived alongside north of Myungchon on December 7. On the same day, a regiment of the ROK 3rd Division made contact with North Korean soldiers before withdrawing via Kilchu and Songjin to be evacuated by boat with the main body of the division. In the late evening of December 8th it started to snow. The Young Volunteer Group column had climbed another seemingly endless series of mountain passes. Gone was the hot air of the day before. The path we stumbled down was slick with snow. A strong north wind pressed the falling snow against our shores. A single thought carried us past this stage. We knew that at the end of the long slope leading south was the port of Songjin. ROK military police set up a checkpoint at the top of the pass. Each refugee underwent a thorough inspection before being allowed to descend into the city. As if the progress of this human phalanx had not already been relentlessly halted by their own hunger, weariness, disease and the ferocity of the weather, they were now being forced by thousands upon thousands to crouch upright against the bitter onslaught of the elements, suddenly, the bureaucratic catch-22 was caught. Finally my group reached the checkpoint. The armbands of our youth volunteer group were prominently displayed as parliamentarians lit their torches over our bodies and faces. Finally the light that burned in the Stygian darkness found my face. I heard a disembodied voice warning me to continue. With that, our group, now numbering over 200, formed up and marched quickly down the mountain towards the city. The landscape before us was in near total darkness. Only a few faint, widely scattered glimmers of light shone here and there from a single house. Well after midnight, we were taken to an empty factory warehouse and told to get some sleep. That was one of the easiest commands I've ever had to obey. I would simply pass out as soon as my head touched my backpack, so deep was the pent-up physical and emotional tension I had been experiencing for the past week.

468468 Pacifica Military History Get up and meet outside immediately. That's how I woke up on the morning of December 9, 1950. It was still dark. A cold wind blew as we crawled sleepily out of the warehouse and into line. I could see crowds of ROK army vehicles, soldiers and refugees in the darkness, and they all seemed to be moving towards the harbor. After a brief wait, we joined the endless column, following the group leader's flashlight beam. To my surprise and relief, the docks were just a few blocks from the warehouse. After waiting for most of the army's vehicles, equipment and troops to be loaded onto the huge gray-painted ship moored at the quay, my group was led down the gangplank by an MP, even though we were in some ways particularly privileged beings. . . A guide met us at the top of the ramp and led us down to an open basement floor that housed army vehicles and equipment. I thought of the tens of thousands of refugees from across northeastern Korea who were trapped outside the port area. Everyone was desperate to get a seat on one of the few overcrowded ships. Looking around the basement, I noticed that most of the refugees were young men. What agony they must have suffered by choosing to follow the ROK Army aboard the ship rather than wait to see if they could all be rescued with their families unharmed. I was deep in such gloomy thoughts when, about one o'clock in the afternoon, the plank was raised and our ship, the United States Navy transport St. Wind, was thrown overboard. Later, men outside on the main deck told me that hundreds of refugees had fallen into the icy waters and drowned, while the whole mass of waiting humanity surged forward in a last spasm of hope and fear. The sea was stained with blood and the faces of many of the men on deck were wet with frozen tears. As soon as we left the port, I went looking for my father and uncle. Despite searching as much as I could on the ship, I couldn't find any of them. This was the first time I had been aboard a large ship sailing the open sea. It was very different from the Saturday night steamboat cruises on the Sungari River that my family had previously enjoyed in Harbin.

469Free sample of 469 chapters related to the end of World War II. Then we were treated to good food, comfortable seats and great music, and the sailing was so smooth, the wine in Dad's glass never stirred. Now here I was, on a big gray whale on a ship that was moving slowly out to sea. The trip wasn't as smooth or comfortable, but I was happier than I've ever been on those cruises on the Sungari in a long time. I stayed on deck and watched until the pier I had crossed in the morning darkness finally disappeared from view. In time, I could no longer see any land. The boat stopped late at night, but I couldn't see well enough to know where. Someone in my group later reported that we were docked at Hungnam, and years later I learned that the 105,000 Americans who made up the US X Corps, along with 91,000 North Korean civilian refugees, were shipped from that main port within ten days. , 17,500 vehicles and 350,000 tons of inputs and equipment. A total of about 109 oceangoing ships made a total of 193 round trips between South Korean ports and Hungnam and other ports in eastern North Korea. When we left Hungnam on the evening of the 10th of December the wind was strong and the sea rough. I felt my stomach churn and I vomited profusely until only yellow bile came out. I knew I was dehydrated, so I tried to crawl up to the main deck for some fresh air and some water to roll around in my bad-tasting mouth. I came to a hatch and felt more movement than below. I could see the waves breaking on the rails. There were no lights on the main deck or on the high bridge, or in any direction outside the ship. He had not eaten since the ship left Songjin on 9 December; There was no food for the refugees on board. Besides, he was too sick to save food. My dehydrated and weakened state confused me, maybe a little delusional. In total darkness, I managed to climb aboard a ROK Army Truck lashed to the deck and covered with a tarp. I reached into the back compartment and grabbed a handful of something from a large trash can. I clutched my find to my chest and snaked my way to the next

470470 Pacifica Military History without looking at what he had stolen for fear of being ambushed by ROK military police patrolling the ship. Reaching for the light, I opened my hand and discovered that I had stolen dried and salted anchovies bound for the Republic of Korea mess hall. I was so hungry that I fought all those anchovies down my throat without thinking about the consequences. I licked my hand and went back to join the group of young volunteers. Within a minute I was seized with a violent thirst, but my frantic search of this part of the ship turned up no fresh water. Finally, exhausted, I collapsed on the deck among the trucks stored in the hold. On the morning of the 12th of December, I was awakened by the noise of many people entering the main deck. I tried to get up but felt weak and dizzy, which I vaguely recognized as the result of severe dehydration and malnutrition. I finally managed to get on deck and get some fresh air, which made me feel a little better. A round red sun was rising in the east over the sea. To the west I saw land for the first time since boarding the ship. I noticed that the strong winds had subsided and the sea was calm. As the ship approached the shore, I saw that the land was brown, not white, with snow. As we approached the coast, I was surprised to see women walking along the mountain paths overlooking the sea with heavy loads on their heads and without coats, despite the fact that it was the middle of winter. Then I noticed for the first time that the air was temperate and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky. The St. Wind docked at the tiny southern port of Kuryongpo-ri around 8 am on December 12, 1950. Ten days had passed since I left Chu-ul, and I was seven days late on my last voyage. Promise to the Mother It took a long time to unload the military vehicles, equipment and soldiers. I stayed in one corner of the deck to watch, but I couldn't control the thoughts that raced through my mind as I looked out over the city and the mountain beyond. I kept repeating to myself, Kuryongpo-ri is part of the motherland. Your people are my people. You speak my language. I knew before World War II it was every country boy's dream to go to Seoul

471Free Sample Chapters 471 Studied at Imperial University. Well, I thought, Seoul is the capital of half the Korean nation, the half I haven't had access to since my years in Manchuria. Here I am, looking out over a small Korean port in a part of the country that calls itself the Republic of Korea. I come from a part of the country that calls itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. You two are home. But they changed because of the policies of two foreign powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, and because of the conflicting political beliefs of rabid communists and rabid anti-communists who won the support of one or the other. foreign powers. I couldn't muddle my mind because the tenets of Marxist-Leninist doctrine had been hammered into my mind for five long years. I stayed away from my southern cousins ​​for five years because, my guides told me, they were seduced by the impure principles of capitalist-imperialist greed. I've been led to believe that on June 25th, just six months ago, these rabid canine cousins ​​I'm about to face were tricked suddenly and without apology into embarking on a military adventure against me and their peace-loving kin. . I was ready to take my first step on South Korean soil, not because I really wanted to, much less because I believed that half the people in Korean nations were more right than the other half. He was here because he had chosen to save me from decided execution by placing me in the care of the army of my southern cousins, and that army almost belatedly allowed me to accompany him in his wake when he returned to his part of the homeland. . . It occurred to me that I should start tracking my third and fourth cousins ​​who came south from Chu-ul in 1947. So I got distracted by thinking of all the fancy cars and possessions these southerners must have owned. As I navigated my confused emotions and strange daydreams, the hour of midday approached and the group of young volunteers were ordered to abandon ship.

472472 Military History of Pacifica

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474474 Military History of Pacifica THREE MARINES Pacific - Korea - Vietnam By Colonel Francis Fox Parry, USMC (ret.) Presented by General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., USMC (ret.) After graduating from Annapolis in February 1941, Francis Fox Parry and his colleagues were sent directly to an impromptu artillery course. After the simplest training imaginable, without firing a weapon and without even attending the elementary school where naval officers normally receive their indoctrination, Parry served in a hastily activated reserve artillery battalion. Just over a year away from the Naval Academy and having learned all he could on the job, Parry was out in the Pacific, an ill-prepared defender of an isolated island fortress. In September 1942, Parrys Artillery Battalion landed on Guadalcanal and took immediate action. The opening chapters of Three-War Marine chronicle America's makeshift efforts in the early days of the war. The fact that Fox Parry's generation rose so quickly to command artillery batteries in combat after receiving such poor training reveals the underlying problem with the preparedness with which the United States faced two of Parry's three wars. At the end of the Okinawa campaign, where he served as an executive officer of the artillery battalion, Parry still did not feel that he knew much about the black art of gunners. Rounding out Parry's account of his peacetime service after World War II is his training at Fort Sill, the Army Gunnery College. Only then, admits Parry, did he get the feeling that he understood his job. And not too soon, just a few months after graduating, Parry commanded an artillery battalion in Korea at Inchon, Seoul and Chosin Reservoir. Once again, Parry faced the problem of deploying an improvised unit into combat at the start of a war his nation was unprepared for. The story of Parrys' battalion in Korea is simply uplifting. Few Marine field artillery units played as competently and bravely as Fox Parry's 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, at Chosin Reservoir.

475Free Sample Chapter 475 In his later years in the Marine Corps, Parry helped plan the failed invasion of Cuba and was a key player in the establishment of General William Westmorelands' combat operations center in Saigon in 1966. was a respected veteran planner, Fox Parry was able to spot the symptoms of many things going wrong in Vietnam early in Westmorelands' tenure there. Any serious student of the Vietnam War should read his careful analysis. The Three War Marines spans thirty action-packed years. In it we see the maturing naval combat officer: the inexperienced battery commander; the confident battalion commander; and the fully competent colonel overseeing day-to-day operations in a vast war zone. Three-War Marine is an inside look at the Marine Corps in its most exciting decades.

476476 Military History of the Pacific Note: The following article is an excerpt from the book DRIVING NAVY: The Pacific - Korea - Vietnam by Colonel Francis Fox Parry. The book is currently available in a premium paperback edition published by Pacifica Military History for $24.95. It is also available as an eBook edition. FROM INCHON TO NORTH KOREA Colonel Francis Fox Parry Copyright 1989 by Francis Fox Pary Crossing the Han In the early evening of September 1, 1950, we left the glorious port of San Diego and headed into the sunset. It was an unforgettable experience. As a Navy band played Goodnight, Irene, a favorite of the moment, thousands of soldiers filling the deck of the USS Bayfield broke into song. Families and loved ones who crowded the pier were soon reunited. As we passed Point Loma toward the darkening Pacific, the harbor echoed with that haunting refrain. Although 3/11 [3. Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment] divided into seven ships, I ordered each battery commander and key staff officer to do their best to conduct the necessary training. At Bayfield, among others, the FDC [fire control center] and the communications department were able to conduct much-needed exercises. In fact, the FDC had to be organized and trained almost from scratch, as we had only brought four trained men from Camp Lejeune, that is, about a third of the necessary manpower. It was commendable that the FDC was operational in less than three weeks available and in the cramped conditions on board the ship. The success was due equally to the knowledge and dedication of Maj. [Jimmy] Callenders and the quality of bookings we get at Camp Pendleton at the last minute. About 170 men, or about 25% of our

477Free Sample Chapters 477 Strength, joined the night before we set sail. Bookings came primarily from the states of Oregon and Houston, Texas. Many were college students or graduate students at the University of Oregon or Oregon State. Their intellectual abilities were so great that they only needed to know the details of their work once. Jimmy's FDC was full of men who had scored over 140 on the General Classification Test (GCT), high scores even for journeymen. The FDC, the three senior officers of the fire battery, the eighteen artillery section chiefs and their artillerymen and the communicators who unite them make up the artillery team. The Artillery Crew is the heart of the Field Artillery Battalion. It's a heart that must beat with power and precision to quickly convert spotter fire calls into battery fire orders. Fire orders are quickly translated into range and deflection settings for each howitzer. The speed and accuracy of this operation is the true measure of an artillery battalion. Of course, the battalion must position and reposition tactically to do its artillery work most efficiently. The battalion must also be protected from disruptive forces and supplied with ammunition. The FOs [Forward Observers], communicators and service elements are also an important part of the battalion, but it is the artillery team that must deliver the battalion's firepower in the right amount, where and when it is needed. This requires knowledge, training, teamwork and dedication to the intricacies of artillery at all levels. The fact that this level of proficiency in this critical area was achieved despite the drawbacks (including the fact that the FDC did not control a single round of battalion fire in training) says a lot about the 3/11 caliber. After a smooth sailing, we sailed into the port of Kobe on the afternoon of September 16th, only to learn that our stay in Japan would last for hours, not months. I was able to get the battery commanders and personnel from their various ships together and formulate a landing plan. This consisted primarily of each unit commander using his initiative to gather his personnel and equipment and proceed to the rendezvous point as quickly as possible. We were to leave for Inchon at dawn, so there was no freedom of troops. Some officers went ashore for dinner and to visit a geisha house, but our hearts weren't in it.

478478 Pacifica Military History On September 21, we landed at Inchon, which until then had been a rearguard area. The front lines were deep inland near Kimpo airfield. For almost three days we fought valiantly near the beach and in a collection area inland to recover all our equipment, much of it still wrapped or in boxes we had never seen before. The most critical shortage was that of radio communication equipment and field telephones. Some were never found. (We fired our first fire mission with the FDC manning a field phone borrowed from Item Battery.) As the 7th Marines crossed the Han River almost unopposed in a reversal from Seoul from the north, I requested permission to cross the river so we could support more effectively. The regiment agreed and we prepared to cross at daybreak. Headquarters crossed the Han Flood, which was about 100 meters wide at the time, in a DUKW on 11 March. We watched as the floating barges pushed by the LCVP loaded the eighteen truck-pulled 105mm howitzers. Then, to my annoyance, the tanks started crossing. Much of the FDC and communications department and ammunition trucks were trapped as tanks monopolized the barges. I crossed the river again to find out why my units had been held up. The crossing of the river was controlled by the 1st Battalion of the Coast Party, commanded by a colorful and tough hero of the Pacific Island campaigns, Colonel Henry P. Jim Crowe. I researched and made my case. He wasn't moved. After agreeing that priority should be given to crossing the 3/11th across the river, he stated: Your battalion has eighteen howitzers, correct? Yes sir, I replied. Well, Major, I carried eighteen grenades across the river, what's your problem? My grenades are practically useless without our fire control center, communications department and ammunition truck. The gnarled old colonel turned and waved me away. I led your battalion to the other side as ordered. Locating the nearest field phone, I called G-3 Division Colonel Al Bowser, who had been my riding instructor at Quantico years ago. As a Chaser, Bowser immediately understood my dilemma. Put Colonel Crowe on the phone for me, Fox, he ordered.

479Free Sample Chapters 479 Crowe picked up the phone, listened briefly, looked at me, and issued the necessary orders to complete the March 11th delivery to the northern bank of the Han as a matter of priority. By the time the last vehicle crossed, the day was over, but we were able to advance about 10 miles along the Han and take up a firing position behind some hills west of Seoul. We turn on the batteries before dark. It should be noted that the 1st Marine Division was capable of credible action within a few weeks, having been made up of two divisional shells and supplemented by reserve units from across the country. that he could successfully pull off such a difficult attack landing as the one at Inchon in September 1950 was almost a miracle. Dedicated marines and reservists with new experience in the Pacific War saved the nation's political leadership, which did not deserve such a gracious fate. Fire mission The 7th RCT circles Seoul and the advance through the valley to Uijongbu was not met with strong resistance. The 1st and 5th Marines broke the backbone of North Korean resistance; The 7th faced only rearguard action. However, it was an extremely useful test for the 7th RCT, which was much more heavily booked with reserves than the rest of the division. We were aware of the urgent need to improve military skills and complete the RCT in peak physical condition. After a period of active fire mainly devoted to the support of Dog Company, 2/7 [2. 8th Battalion, 7th Marines] (which had diverted to the 5th Marine sector and encountered a North Korean battalion) moved north from Seoul on 11 March in preparation for the Uijongbu advance. While waiting for the firing batteries to arrive at the selected location, 1/7 went up the road and began to camp in our field. I found the dreaded Lieutenant Colonel Raymond G. Davis and told him that the field for our firing batteries was already guarded. I hadn't seen much of Ray, who was three years older than I was, since we met Colonel [Homer] Litzenberg at Camp Pendleton. (Both

480(We had complained to Litz about our battalions being spread across so many ships.) But I knew something about his background. A native of Georgia, he started out as a gunner and was a senior officer under Bob Luckey in the 1st Special Weapons Battalion in the English Channel. Later, at Cape Gloucester, Davis took command of the 1/1 and began his illustrious career as an infantry commander. He had a calm demeanor, bright blue eyes, and a reputation as a tough, dynamic leader. He earned the Navy Cross as Major Commander 1/1 on Peleliu. He was not a man to be confronted with. I respectfully declare, Colonel, that I position the battalion in this field; soon they will go up the street. We've marched 18 miles and the men are exhausted. Ray replied: That's all we can do. Then 1/7 encamped at the edge of the field and in the adjacent forest. As the batteries arrived minutes later, I placed them in the field as planned. An hour or two later, when batteries of fire began to register, Ray apparently had a change of heart and urged his tired troops to a quieter rest area. There are better places to relax than face to face with artillery shells. This small confrontation illustrates what became common practice in the 7th RCT3/11 from then on, of giving priority to the choice of shooting ranges. While the priority in Seoul was not critical, it was in the narrowest mountains of North Korea. For the journey north, which would be a 10-mile tank and infantry to Uijongbu, a battery of 155 mm naval howitzers and a battery of Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons (AAA-AW) were joined by the 11th Air Force. . In accordance with accepted tactics, tracked vehicles armed with two 40mm AAA cannons and quadruple .50 caliber machine guns were deployed in the engine column. The 155th and my own Item Battery remained in position to support the advance, their fire controlled by the Item Battery firing diagram, reinforced by communicators and FDC battalion personnel. However, several tanks were pinned down by mines, forming effective barricades. Eager to use George and How's batteries in an advanced position from which we could reach beyond Uijongbu, we weren't just frustrated

481Free sample chapters 481 the tanks, but also the chased AAA. It was necessary to order the AAA to the side of the road so that we could maneuver the batteries of fire through them and up the road to their position. In fact, we learned that putting an AAA battery in a field artillery battalion is not a good idea. It is almost impossible to locate tracked vehicles without interfering with artillery movements, communications and ammunition resupply. your desire to reposition yourself is often disturbing; Controlling their often indiscriminate fire is difficult; and draw attention. In short, a field artillery battalion is better off without any contribution the AAA makes to local security. My recommendations to Colonel Litzenberg in this regard were straightforward and no AAA was subsequently attached to the 7th RCT. That night, we shot front and back. Whenever we were shooting enemy targets from behind, moving the element battery forward was not advisable. This was our first experience of a split FDC, a practice that has become common in the North. During that time Captain Ben Read and I visited the front line on a hill a few kilometers north of Seoul. While Ben communicated with his liaison officer and the infantry battalion commander, I looked for the FO in that sector. Second Lt. Donald H. Campbell was a reservist from Aptos, California who had never conducted a firefighting operation. I taught him for fifteen minutes in the simplest words I knew. That night he called a fire mission and, with some patience and the help of the FDC, managed to fire on an enemy target. Don was not unique. Eight of my nine FOs were reservists, and I suspect most were at least rusty in shooting technique, if they ever fired an actual mission. These inexperienced observers, important keys to the success of 9/11, were our main weakness, our only serious one. The light action around Seoul and Uijongbu was an opportunity to give these officers some much needed training. It wasn't much, but they learned their trade. When they were put into production in North Korea, they were ready.

482482 Pacifica Military History Night shift historians and other commentators have questioned the wisdom of General MacArthur's sudden order to hold back the 1st Marine Division north of Uijongbu. The division retreated to Inchon and eventually made an amphibious turn to Wonsan. It is undeniable that this took the ground pressure off the retreating North Koreans. It seems indisputable that he gave the Chinese a few more days to prepare for an intervention. But it is doubtful that MacArthur's sudden command contributed much to the results. At that point, some of us at Uijongbu jumped to the stupid and, in hindsight, silly conclusion that General MacArthur wanted a US Army division to be the first to cross the 38th parallel into North Korea. However, our cynicism was not unfounded. We had learned, for example, that despite the fact that frontline troops needed supplies of all kinds, the first pontoon bridge over the Han River lay unused for many hours until MacArthur arrived to cut the ribbon and inaugurate it. its use. In Inchon, we board the USS Aiken Victory and USS Titania, as well as Supreme Command, Allied Forces, Japan (SCAJAP) ships LST QO44 and LST Q092. We sailed through the Yellow Sea, the Korea Strait and the Sea of ​​Japan to leave Wonsan while the Navy carefully cleared the harbor of mines. It was a chilling experience to share the LST with a Japanese crew who had been our mortal enemy just five years before. At each of the three daily meals, the Japanese ate first. The staff cleaned up the kitchen mess and mess quickly and efficiently and then handed them to our cooks and waiters. We eat completely different foods. We even had pizza one afternoon to boost morale, though it was only a modest culinary success. We spent LST from 15th to 26th October drilling holes in the water near Wonsan most of the time. There were no unpleasant incidents between the marines and the Japanese. About a week before landing at Wonsan, we lost our first officer. Captain Robert A. Thompson, our duty battery CO and logistics officer, developed an eye infection so severe that

483Chapters 483 of the free standard had to be transferred to a destroyer for later delivery to a hospital ship by buoy in the open sea. Bob had done an excellent job in the harshest of conditions, from assembling the munitions at Camp Pendleton, to supplying the battalion with vehicles and equipment, providing logistical support from Inchon to Uijongbu, and boarding a ship in Inchon. To say he wasn't missed would be wrong. But we had so many talented officers in a single battalion as never before or since that their replacement was not a serious issue. This was not entirely coincidental, as the 3/11 command philosophy emphasized pooling talent. Three of my most valued officers, Major Callender and Captains Read and McLaurin, were sought and acquired at Camp Lejeune. At Camp Pendleton, we scoured the base for competent officers, gunners, and the like. At Inchon, April 11th, I discovered Captain Robert T. Patterson engaged in menial labor, and persuaded Major Bill McReynolds to surrender him to me, with a promise that I would give him good quarters. (As a first lieutenant on Okinawa, Bob had commanded the K/4/15 and knew its value.) Of course, there are times when excessive talent causes problems, but combat is probably not one of them. . Officers are killed, wounded, sick, or transferred to other units, and the availability of a capable replacement can mean the difference between superior or mediocre infantry support. When we landed in Wonsan we were a little annoyed that Bob Hope and his tour company were already entertaining the military in the area. However, we soon found out that serious business was to come. On October 27, the 3/11 was reinstated with the 7th Marine Corps. I briefed Colonel Litzenberg at his CP, a school north of Wonsan, and learned that the 7th RCT would lead the 1st Marine Division north to the Yalu River on the Chinese border. With little resistance expected, we had to hurry, infantry battalions jumping onto the trucks whenever possible. As soon as the division can release new winter gear, we should get started. A long winter campaign in the North Korean mountains was not expected, and scarce cold weather equipment was readily available.

484The military history of the 484 Pacifica was a far cry from the clothing and gear that Korean veterans of future winters would wear. Our shoe packages caused specific problems. He wore the same paratrooper boots he wore in Okinawa because the lining of the shoes tended to freeze all the way to his feet when they sweated and then cooled down. Major Dave Mell, logistics officer for the 7th Marines (S-4), was instructed to think of an additional 700 for any supplies needed for the journey north. Though taken aback by our needs for gas, communications, and changing ammunition, he accepted the extra burden without complaint. Disassembled so that all equipment and ammunition could be transported in a single transport on an organic transport, it was driven 65 miles to Hamhung on 11 March over steep mountain roads. The roads were well prepared for an ambush, but we arrived without incident. After a briefing at 1st Republic of Korea Army Corps (ROK) headquarters, I positioned the battalion facing west in a field about a mile south of the bridge towards Hamhung. While we waited for the infantry battalions to arrive by train, we explored the wide valley that stretched west of Hamhung to where the ROK lines were drawn. It was a pleasant 30 mile ride through the narrow valley in the cool of autumn. We drive along a clear and fast stream. Our 1:250,000 scale map told us that the current would follow us up the mountain to Chosin Reservoir, which was less than halfway from our destination on Yalu. In Majon-dong, a village about a mile from the end of the valley, I met with a US Army major and captain, military adviser to the 26th Infantry Regiment of the Republic of Korea Army (ROK), who informed me that the Chinese volunteers hit the ROK head-on and drove them out of Sudong. They now attempted to retake suitable ground to ease the 7th Marines through the lines. When I got back to Hamhung, I reported to Colonel Litzenberg and was instructed to lead the regimental column to Majo-dong in the morning. Right after Reds Miller, Jimmy Callender and I went to bed around 11pm, someone knocked on the window of the school building we were using as a CP. There were two marines with a real pumpkin they stole to let Halloween pass without warning.

485Free Sample Chapters 485 Around midnight, Colonel Litzenberg called to order the March 11th to cross the river to Hamhung immediately. It was reported that a Chinese Communist division was approaching us from the southwest. With the 7th Marines north of the river, we found ourselves in an untenable position; he wanted us to march into town and be ready to fire southwest. An unplanned night shift is one thing. Add to that the unpredictability of a foreign Asian city and a moonless night, and you have the makings of disaster. My small reconnaissance troop, consisting mainly of three gun battery commanders, purposely ran into the dark night in search of a suitable battalion position. The reds must form the battalion, lead it to a certain place and wait for us. In near-total darkness, we carefully explored the city in search of a suitable park or open space. After carefully searching street after street, we arrived at a fairly large schoolyard. When we got back to the staging area, the Reds were a little nervous. He had the battalion circling to the side several blocks, preferring to move rather than sit in tense wait. We arrived at the schoolyard around 3 am. m., we put the batteries in position and made some excavations. As our orders for the morning were still in effect, we set out again at daybreak. As we traversed the quiet valley on a route that would become famous before the end of the month, I had ample opportunity to reflect on the lesson of the strange night. The message seemed clear: patrol the positions in all directions, however unlikely the possibility of an occupation. At 9:00 am we took up position in Majon-dong to await the arrival of the 7th Marines. That night we went to sleep without firing a bullet.

486486 Pacifica Military History For the latest book descriptions, ordering information, and links, visit the Pacifica Military History website at Feel free to share this file with other readers of Good Military History Books Military History . Pacifica Military History Military History You Can Trust 1149 Grand Teton Drive Pacifica, CA 94044[email protected]

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