Tag Archives: Military

54th Troop Carrier Wing and the 11th Airborne Division

Thanks to both GP Cox, (Pacific Paratrooper) and IHRA.  This is one of GP’s “Intermission” stories, so visit his page and IHRA for info on the CBI (China-Burma-India) theater, and other neglected areas which have undeservedly been in a backwater.

The 54th Troop Carrier Wing was established on 26 February 1943 [one day after the 11th A/B Div. at Camp MacKall] and commenced air transport and medical air evacuation operations in support of Fifth Air Force on 26 May 1943. advancing as battle lines permitted.

The unit took part in the airborne invasion of Nadzab, New Guinea in September 1943 by dropping the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, as well as Australian engineers and heavy equipment.

The wing employed C-47’s almost exclusively, but during late 1943 and much of 1944 also used 13 converted B-17E’s for armed transport missions in enemy-held territory. The 54th supported every major advance made by the allies in the Southwest Pacific Theater operating from primitive airstrips carved from jungles and air-dropping cargo where airstrips unavailable.

In July 1944, the wing dropped 1,418 paratroopers on Noemfoor Island to aid the allied invasion forces. Then assumed the task of handling all freight and personnel moving in troop carrier aircraft in the Southwest Pacific, in addition to scheduled and unscheduled air movement of cargo and troops, and air evacuation of wounded personnel.

Click on red link for much more on the 54th.

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They don’t teach this in Common Core

The source site contains the usual copyright claim, hence this small excerpt.  Check out the link; well worth the read.  And you thought you knew about our Marines…

Excerpt from The History Reader:

“The Marines’ victory helped Hamet Caramanli, Yusuf’s deposed brother, reclaim his rightful throne as ruler of Tripoli. In gratitude, he presented his Mameluke sword to Lieutenant O’Bannon. This famous sword became part of the officer uniform in 1825, and remains the oldest ceremonial weapon in use by U.S. forces today. Derna was the Marines’ first battle on foreign soil. Lieutenant O’Bannon and his men are immortalized in the “Marines’ Hymn”: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.”

This is from a lengthy excerpt from Fred Pushies book MARSOC: U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command

 

Honoring a Japanese American WWII Veteran on Veterans Day

Courtesy of International Historical Research Associates-

YouTube video, posted by Heather Wokusch, a 2012 interview with Kazuo “Fred” Yamaguchi, who served in the U.S. Military Intelligence Service.

Published on Sep 25, 2012

“American Heroes” Documentary – ABC-TV
In December, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The US was at war. Americans of Japanese Decent suddenly found themselves labeled “Enemy Alien”. Over 100,000 were rounded up and forced into Relocation Camps. Despite this indecency, something remarkable began to take shape.

Out of the despair, grew a resolve within the Japanese American community. A desire to prove their loyalty to the United States. From behind the barbed wire, young men volunteered for military service by the thousands. The US Army put them in their own segregated unit, combining them with young men from Hawaii, who also had something to prove. Together they formed the 100th infantry battalion…the beginning of what would soon evolve into the 100th/442nd/MIS.

By the end of the war, they became the most decorated unit in US military history. But, more importantly, they helped change the world. History books, shamefully, omit their incredible contributions. “American Heroes” shines light on the brave, patriotic legacy of The Japanese-American Soldier of World War Two.

Produced by David Ono & Jeff MacIntyre/Content Media Group
The show won three Emmy Awards.
2012 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winner

From The History Channel:

Navajo Code Talkers Day – Aug 14th

Courtesy of Pacific Paratrooper

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During WWI, the Choctaw language had been used to transmit U.S. military messages.  With this thought in mind, Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary grew up on a Navajo reservation and spoke the Diné tongue fluently, brought the suggestion of a similar code to General Clayton Vogel early in 1942.  The Diné language has no alphabet, uses no symbols and one sound may hold an entire concept.  The idea was tested and proved to be faster and more reliable than the mechanized methods.  The language has more verbs than nouns, that helps to move the sentences along and makes it far more difficult for outsiders to learn – making it the most ingenious and successful code in military history.

Much more at his site – (name is live link)

Who Dares Wins – The SAS

The Creation of the SAS      sas-crest

david stirlingIn 1941 Lieutenant Archibald David Stirling, a supplementary reserve officer of the Scots Guards, along with five co-founders created the Special Air Services, know then as the SAS Brigade. It was formed as a volunteer desert raiding airborne force unit who secretly fought far behind enemy lines. Additionally, there were three units created within the SAS; the Special Boat Service (SBS), the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), and the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG).

The SAS became a key entity during the Second World War, as the Regiment’s motto is “Who Dares Wins.” World War II involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, to include the SAS, making it the most widespread war in history. It resulted in the death of over 60 million people, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.  More information at this site HERE

Another account of the SAS in five segments, HERE

Combat Outpost Keating “‘The Outpost’ That Never Should Have Been”

As a preface to this most treasonous deed, foisted on troops who were about to come safely home by (omitted) armchair Generals, and a Government quite adept at aiding and abetting the enemy with their “rules of engagement”;  I ask you to please view a post I made Oct 16th, 2012 on Afghanistan, all the reasons why the U.S. should have gotten the hell out of the U.N. long ago, and told that globalist pack to fend for themselves. Afghanistan – Vietnam revisited

*                   *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

‘The Outpost’ That Never Should Have Been

“They thought they were going home: ‘We have survived. We made it.

I only have two more days and then I’m going home. I will see my wife.

I will see my baby. I survived. I lived.’ … And all of a sudden word came in that their tours were extended three or four months. It was crushing … because they were convinced that this decision would mean somebody would lose their life who ultimately would not have.”

“One only need watch the movie, “Restrepo,” named after the first medic to lose his life in the cinema veritas format, meaning actual footage of actual combat, no actors; those that die actually die and never return home with the exception of being in a flag draped coffin.” 

Reposted in part from JCscuba –  Learn much more about the tragic event HERE

           On the particulars of the attack on Combat Outpost Keating on Oct. 3, 2009

“It’s a nightmare, and it’s one that I hear about from these soldiers to this day. A lot of them are still grappling with the terror of that day, but … you’re in this camp you’ve always known has been vulnerable. It’s so vulnerable that even to go outside to go to the bathroom you have to put on your gear because you might be shot, and all of a sudden you look up and there are so many muzzle flashes and explosions and smoke coming from the hills aimed at you that, to return fire, you wouldn’t even know where to start. The ground is crackling like popcorn with bullets. Eventually the camp catches on fire from the rocket-propelled grenades and mortars coming in. … It is one of the most well-planned and carefully choreographed attacks in the history of the Afghan war. People in this country think of Taliban as cavemen from a previous century, but whatever you think of their ideology, these are fierce and smart fighters.”

 

Willie, Joe, and Bill in WWII

Courtesy of a veteran friend I “met” while on JibJab; a considerable amount of my postings on PWE came from e-mails received from him.

Willie, Joe, and Bill in WWII

Get out your history books and open them to the chapter on World War II.  Today’s lesson will cover a little known but very important hero of whom very  little was ever really known. Here is another important piece of lost U.S. History.

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Makes ya proud to put this stamp on your  envelopes… 

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Bill Mauldin  stamp honors grunt’s hero. The post office gets a lot of criticism. Always has, always will. And with the renewed push to get rid of Saturday mail  delivery, expect complaints to intensify. But the United States Postal Service deserves a standing ovation for something that happened last month:

Bill Mauldin got his own postage  stamp.

Mauldin died at age 81 in the early days of 2003. The end of his life had been rugged. He had been scalded in a bathtub, which led to  terrible injuries and infections; Alzheimer’s disease was inflicting its cruelties. Unable to care for himself after the scalding, he became a  resident of a California nursing home, his health and spirits in rapid  decline.

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He was not forgotten, though. Mauldin, and his work, meant so much to the millions of Americans who fought in World War II, and to those who had waited for them to come home.  He was a kid cartoonist for Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper; Mauldin’s drawings of his muddy,
exhausted, whisker-stubble infantrymen Willie and Joe were the voice of truth about what it was like on the front lines.

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Mauldin was an enlisted man just like the soldiers he drew for; his gripes were their gripes, his laughs their laughs, his heartaches their heartaches. He was one of them. They loved him.

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He never held back. Sometimes, when his cartoons cut too close for comfort, superior officers tried to tone him down. In one memorable incident, he enraged Gen. George S. Patton, who informed Mauldin he wanted the pointed cartoons celebrating the fighting men, lampooning the high-ranking officers to stop.  Now!

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“I’m beginning to feel  like a fugitive from the’ law of averages.”

The news passed from soldier to soldier. How was Sgt. Bill Mauldin going to stand up to Gen. Patton? It seemed impossible.
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If, in your line of work, you’ve ever considered yourself a young hotshot, or if you’ve ever known anyone who has felt that way about him or herself, the story of Mauldin’s young manhood will humble you. Here is what, by the time he was 23 years old, Mauldin  accomplished:

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“By the way, wot wuz them  changes you wuz
Gonna make when you took over
last month, sir?”

He won the Pulitzer Prize, was featured on the cover of Time  magazine. His book “Up Front” was the No. 1 best-seller in the United States.

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All of that at 23. Yet, when he returned to civilian life and  grew older, he never lost that boyish Mauldin grin, never outgrew his excitement about doing his job, never big-shotted or high-hatted the people with whom he worked every day.

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I was lucky enough to be one of them. Mauldin roamed the hallways of the Chicago Sun-Times in the late 1960s and early 1970s with no more officiousness or air of haughtiness than if he was a copyboy. That impish look on his face remained.

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He had achieved so much. He won a second Pulitzer Prize, and he should have won a third for what may be the single greatest editorial cartoon in the history of the craft: his deadline rendering, on the day  President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial slumped in grief, its head cradled in its hands. But he never acted as if he was better than the people he met. He was still Mauldin, the enlisted  man.

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During the late summer of 2002, as Mauldin lay in that California nursing home, some of the old World War II infantry guys caught wind of it. They didn’t want Mauldin to go out that way. They thought he
should know he was still their  hero.

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“This is the’ town my  pappy told me about.”

Gordon Dillow, a columnist for the Orange County Register, put out the call in Southern California for people in the area to send their best wishes to Mauldin. I joined Dillow in the effort, helping to spread the appeal nationally, so Bill would not feel so alone. Soon, more than
10,000 cards and letters had arrived at Mauldin’s bedside.


Better than that, old soldiers began to show up just to sit with Mauldin, to let him know that they were there for him, as he, so long  ago, had been there for them. So many volunteered  to visit Bill that there was a waiting list. Here is how Todd DePastino, in the first paragraph of  his wonderful biography of Mauldin, described  it:


“Almost every day in the summer and fall of 2002 they came to Park Superior nursing home in Newport Beach , California , to honor Army  Sergeant, Technician Third Grade, Bill Mauldin.  They came bearing relics of their youth: medals, insignia, photographs, and carefully folded newspaper clippings. Some wore old garrison caps.  Others arrived resplendent in uniforms over a half century old. Almost all of them wept as they filed down the corridor like pilgrims fulfilling some  long-neglected obligation.”

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One of the veterans explained to me why it was so important:  “You would have to be part of a combat infantry unit to appreciate what moments of relief Bill  gave us.

You had to be reading a soaking wet Stars and Stripes in a water-filled foxhole and then see one of his cartoons.”

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“Th’ hell this ain’t th’  most important hole in the world. I’m in it.”

Mauldin is buried in Arlington National Cemetery . Last  month, the kid cartoonist made it onto a  first-class postage stamp. It’s an honor that most generals and admirals never receive.

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What Mauldin would have loved most, I believe, is the sight of  the two guys who keep him company on that stamp. 

Take a look at it.  There’s Willie.  There’s Joe.

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And there, to the side, drawing them and smiling that shy, quietly observant smile, is Mauldin himself. With his buddies, right where he belongs. Forever. 

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What a story, and a fitting tribute to a man and to a time that few of us can still remember. But I say to you youngsters, you must most seriously learn of and remember with respect the sufferings and  sacrifices of your fathers, grand fathers and great grandfathers
in times you cannot ever imagine today with all you have. But the only  reason you are free to have it all is because of  them.

I thought you would all enjoy reading and seeing this bit of American
history!