Friday, November 14, 2014

November 1944

On September 26, 1944, Daddy flew from Peleliu on a C-46 (Curtis R5C in the Marine Corps), "Little Angel" to the island of Manus.
Curtis R5C in World War II

Monday, September 15, 2014

12th AAA War Diary - September 15, 1944

September 15, 1944 - D-Day on Peleliu

The first wave of LVTs moves toward the invasion beaches, passing through the inshore bombardment line of LCI gunboats. Cruisers and battleships are bombarding from the distance. The landing area is almost totally hidden in dust and smoke. Photographed from a USS Honolulu (CL-48) plane.
70 years ago today, the 1st Marine Division began the invasion of Palau (Peleliu and later, Anguar and Ngesebus Islands.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bob Hope on performing for the First Marine Division on Pavuvu

Crowd of Marines for Bob Hope's show on Pavuvu

Bob Hope performed for the First Marine Division on Banika and Pavuvu in mid to late August of 1944.  In an interview later in life, he shared how much that show impacted him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

12th AAA War Diary Entry : August 19-26

Beginning today, I will be updating the blog with the unclassified war diary entries of the 12th AAA from these dates in 1944.  I was able to make copies of these documents in August of 2009 at the National Archives.  There are quite a few dates with nothing substantial, but some are quite interesting, and especially so once the unit lands on Peleliu September 15.

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 1944 - Banika

Daddy, and his battalion were transferred to Guadalcanal, then Banika Island in June 1944.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sid Phillips on his reunion with Eugene Sledge on Pavuvu and the conditions there

Sid Phillips (author of You'll Be Sor-ree!: A Guadalcanal Marine Remembers the Pacific War and major character in the HBO mini-series The Pacific) recalls seeing his good friend from Mobile, Alabama after being separated for months.  Sledge had just arrived in the Pacific and Phillips had fought at Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester and was about to go home.  He also mentions, towards the end of the clip, the terrible conditions the Marines had to put up with on Pavuvu.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20, 1944 - Pavuvu

May 20 marks the day that Daddy arrived on Pavuvu, the largest of the Russell Islands located northwest of Guadalcanal.  The 1st Marine Division (which included the 12th Defense Battalion) had been sent there for encampment, training and R&R prior to their next engagement (which turned out to be the Battle of Peleliu.)

Pavuvu was intended to be a rest area for the 1st MarDiv, to recover from the bitter jungle warfare of Cape Gloucester, and previously, Guadalcanal.  It turned out to be nothing of the sort.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1, 1944 - Letter From Cape Gloucester

This was the last letter from Cape Gloucester.  According to his date book, Daddy arrived on Pavuvu May 20, 1944.

The 1st Marine Division departed in two echelons on 6 April and 4 May. Left behind was the 12th Defense Battalion, which continued to provide antiaircraft defense for the Cape Gloucester airfields until relieved by an Army unit late in May. Cape Gloucester : The Green Inferno by Bernard C. Nalty

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19, 1944 - Letter from Cape Gloucester

Dear Mother & All,

I am writing you V-mail again today only because my time is limited & don't think I could get in a regular letter but will do so tomorrow.  I'm still fine & hope you are all the same.

Had three letters today, and was certainly glad to get them, two from you and a V-mail from W.D. Hope your Easter was a nice one & bet that was an awfully nice sunrise service & only wish that I could have been there.

Guess that's about all for now -
all my love,

(Click Here For Full Size)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2, 1944 - Cape Gloucester

Daddy arrives at Cape Gloucester, New Britain as part of the 41st Replacement Battalion on April 2, 1944.  He could not recall, when asked in the interview my sister conducted with him, his exact duties when he first arrived on the islands as part of the replacement battalion.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

December 1943 to May 1944 : 12th Defense Battalion on Cape Gloucester

The light antiaircraft artillery of the 12th Defense Battalion on the deck of an LST approaching Cape Gloucester, New Britain, is poised to fire on Japanese aircraft. Department of Defense photo (USMC) 71623

By late March 1944, Daddy was still considered as part of the 41st Replacement Battalion, but was on his way to Cape Gloucester (arrived April 2, 1944.)  The 12th Defense Battalion, as part of the 1st Marine Division, had been there since the invasion on December 26, 1943.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In His Own Words - March 1944 : Guadalcanal and Malaria

Upon arriving in the Pacific Theater, Daddy was greeted with Malaria.  This was very common for troops on this side of the war, and he makes it sound like it was just part of life in the Pacific.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21, 1944 : Guadalcanal

Guadalcanal 1944 - A U.S. Coast Guardsman directs traffic at Guadalcanal as landing craft bring in supplies to American bases there.
Daddy arrived at Guadalcanal, which had been secure for a little more than a year.  Guadalcanal was desired by both Japan and the United States for the air strip, and the U.S. quickly turned the island into a forward operating base.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 12, 1944 - New Caledonia

After sailing for 3 weeks from San Diego, Daddy and the S.S. Tyler made it to port in New Caledonia.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 23, 1944 - Sailing from San Diego to New Caldonia

Daddy sailed from San Francisco San Diego on the SS President Tyler (no pictures to be found) Jan 23, 1944, arriving at New Caledonia Feb 12, 1944.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18, 1944 - Promoted to PFC

Daddy noted that the promotion warrant was dated January 5th.  I'd bet he made sure any pay change reflected that date!