Tag Archives: WW II

Mount Belvedere – The Battle of the Gothic Line in 1944.

 From Battlefront – WWII: Road To Victory

Background on the 442nd at Wikipedia  Includes their other achievements as well as action at the Gothic Line.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is an infantry regiment of the United States Army, part of the Army Reserve. The regiment was a fighting unit composed almost entirely of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought in World War II. Most of the families of mainland Japanese Americans were confined to internment camps in the United States interior. Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in Europe during World War II,[2] in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany.

The 442nd Regiment was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare.  The 4,000 men who initially made up the unit in April 1943 had to be replaced nearly 2 times. In total, about 14,000 men served, earning 9,486 Purple Hearts. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (five earned in one month).[4]:201 Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor.[2] Its motto was “Go for Broke”.

President Truman salutes the colors of the combined 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, during the presentation of the seventh Presidential Unit Citation. The Regimental Combat Team (less the 552d Field Artillery Battalion) received the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding accomplishments in combat in the vicinty of Serravezza, Carrara, and Fosdinovo, Italy, from April 5 to April 14, 1945.   Date – 12 July 1946

Source http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/apam/100-442_photos.html

442nd Infantry Regiment DUI.png  Unit Insignia



Pacific Paratrooper – Lingayen Gulf, 2-8 January 1945

Prior to the 2016 elections, I attended a caucus which happened to be held at a local high school.  To be brief, instead of their auditorium, we were divided into several groups, and sent to specific classrooms.

My assigned room happened to be a Social Studies classroom.

Perusing a nearby textbook, much to my disgust, I discovered that WW II had been severely abbreviated – only two or three pages; little more than a bad Cliff Note.  This is only one, among other reasons why I created Profiles In Courage, and the impetus behind posts I, Pacific Paratrooper, and other bloggers like us do what we do.

Revisionist history must be countered.  Hollywood fictions about real events must be countered. Outright lies about our Constitution, and the Founding Fathers intentions MUST BE COUNTERED.  “X”

Above photo – USS Louisville, hit by kamikaze

Excerpt from Pacific Paratrooper : An eye witness account of the attack on the USS Louisville, from John Duffy.  [name is a live link]

“All of a sudden, the ship shuddered and I knew we were hit again.  I was in charge of the 1st Division men and I yelled, “We’re hit, let’s go men!”  I was the first man out the Turret door followed by Lt.Commmander Foster and Lt. Hastin, our Division Officer, then a dozen more men.

“The starboard side of the ship was on fire from the forecastle deck down.  One almost naked body was laying about ten feet from the turret with the top of his head missing.  It was the kamikaze pilot that had hit us.  He made a direct hit on the Communications deck.”

The Legacy – Survivors Stories of the USS Indianapolis

My second post about the USS Indianapolis.  This time you get the testimony of its survivors, a look at the commander of the sub which sank it, and other facts, not the Hollywood version.

They carried the components for Little Boy to the island of Tinian on July 26,1945, the first Atomic Bomb later dropped on Hiroshima.

Their mission was so secret, they were denied a proper escort to protect from submarine attack, because “they weren’t there”.  A distress signal they sent was ignored as a Japanese ruse.

While over 900 of the 1,100 plus crew survived the sinking, only some 300 were rescued.  Hundreds were killed by repeated shark attacks.  Just 317 survived, only to band together again in a fifty-year fight to clear their captain’s name.


The original post:

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage

Taffy 3: The Dragons of Samar

Obtaining the most appropriate material to remember our vets, in place of the usual fare, took more time than I had thought; which is why this is being posted at 0145 hrs on November 12th.

One of the most famous last stands of the Second World War.  In the waters off Samar, 13 escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts were the only elements of our fleet in place to defend the Leyte Gulf invasion forces.

October 25 1944:

The US Third Fleet, having fallen for a decoy operation, left the American Invasion beaches of Leyte Gulf all but defenseless, with the exception of a small group of escort carriers, destroyers, and destroyer escorts known as Taffy-3.  For the better part of the day, Taffy-3 endured the full power of the Japanese counter-attack.  Despite overwhelming odds, managed to stop the Japanese fleet, but at a price.

By the time the guns of the Battle off Samar fell silent five of Taffy 3’s 13 ships: USS Gambier Bay, USS St. Lo, USS Johnston, USS Hoel, and USS Samuel B Roberts had been sent to the bottom, along with 898 sailors, airmen and marines, many of whom would fall victim to shark attacks over the next two days.

When the War Got Personal: The Story of the Men of the USS Hoel

This video doesn’t actually start til 0:26; the essential part begins at 2:08. Made in 2015, these were some of the survivors of the Battle off Samar.

Published on May 21, 2015

In October 2014, twelve First Class Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (all History majors) attended the reunion of Taffy III in San Diego to conduct oral histories of those World War II survivors from the Battle off Samar. This documentary reflects part of that work.

USS Johnston Survivor’s Story Part I

Skip to 1:14:30 in this documentary; emphasis being the battle of Leyte Gulf, and the heroic stand by Taffy 3. Only four destroyer escorts, a few destroyers, and the slow, small, escort “jeep” carriers, with no armor, would find themselves taking on a large Japanese force of battleships, cruisers and destroyers.

The Norwegian Resistance – Max Manus: Man of War

I only just today found out about Max; a Norwegian saboteur and others with him who fought the Nazis after Quisling’s betrayal.  While the film makers may have “created situations for dramatization”, this is a true story, and testament of their gallant, courageous resistance.

Red title is a live link.  English subtitles.

Max Manus: Man of War