|Preface||Chapter 16||Chapter 18|
Scheduled bombing had of course gone on during the search for Colonel Spencer, and other heckling missions were dispatched. Lieutenant McLaughlin of the 390th led a successful medium level strike over Kaoe on the 5th of October, followed by Lieut. R. H. Partrick on the 6th. Searching on the 8th, Lieut. J. J. Collins of this Squadron sighted a life raft off Cape Balansoe and summoned Dumbo; this sortie also reported the oil tanks at Boela aflame. Lieut. J. R. Campbell, 70th, had a rough time on the night of the 10th. His left engine cut out near Namlea at 0015. After the crew had salvoed bombs and jettisoned everything that could be spared to lighten the ship, the refractory engine cut in again and pulled a bare 15 inches for a limping trip home in the small hours.
On a weather and photo reconnaissance over Ambon, Laha, Liang, and Haroekoe, Lieut. L. J. Ruff, 390th, dropped bombs among 11 barges and strafed 700 rounds into them, using his last bomb and remaining rounds to strafe the lighthouse on Manipa Island. Lieut. B. Houser was in the lead of his flight of the 390th hitting Laha.
Lieut. John J. Darragh of the 390th, taking off for a late afternoon combat strike on Sorong, met with a takeoff accident from which all members of the crew escaped, although three were injured.
It is not often that an opportunity presents itself to relate an instance of the quiet heroism of Air Force medics, although the traditions of the medical branch of the air arm are as proud as those of the ground forces. A remarkable display of courage and devotion to duty was a feature of this unfortunate accident, which offers a fine illustration of the part the Group medical staffers played in its accomplishments. From a 390th press release:
HEADQUARTERS, 13TH AAF, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC.--Three members of a fire-fighting unit who were critically injured and burned in the freak crash of a bomb-laden Army aircraft at a New Guinea airfield, owe their lives to the quick action of Capt. Albert H. Meyer of Brooklyn, N. Y., Flight Surgeon in a medium bombardment squadron of the 13th AAF. Though himself injured by flying shrapnel, Captain Meyer remained at the scene of the accident with two medical corpsmen, rendering aid to other victims until ambulances arrived.
The accident occurred as a flight of Mitchell medium bombers was taking off for a raid in the Netherlands East Indies. Captain Meyer was standing by at the take-off with two medical corpsmen, S/Sgt. Eldon 0. Iverson of Papillion, Nebraska, and Pfc. Charles V. Crooks of Manhattan, Kansas, when the last bomber in the formation blew a tire as it was about to leave the ground. The airplane careened to the left across the runway, and Captain Meyer immediately started for the scene in a jeep. followed by his assistants in an ambulance. They arrived on the spot as the plane crashed into an embankment at the left of the runway, bursting into flames.
Leaving their vehicles, the Captain and his aids approached to within 30 feet of the plane as a fire-fighting crew attempted to repel the flames of burning gasoline sufficiently to permit the crew of the plane to escape. The plane carried a ton of high explosive bombs which all knew would be set off by the flames in a matter of seconds. The fire fighters succeeded in driving the flames to the forward end of the ship and Captain Meyer and the men closed in, hoping to assist the plane crew to escape through midship and tall hatches. Airfield workers who did not know that the plane carried bombs also approached to help, and about 30 persons were in immediate vicinity when the bombs exploded.
The Doctor did not know at the time that the airplane's mid-section had broken apart on the opposite side from his position and that this fortunate development afforded the plane crew an extra means of escape which all were able to use before the detonation.
The blast of the exploding bombs threw the aid party and bystanders to the ground, all receiving wounds from flying shrapnel. Captain Meyer received a fragment in the right shoulder which twirled him around and threw him to his knees. Iverson and Crooks were also caught by shrapnel, another fragment opening a deep four-inch cut in Crooks' back.
Captain Meyer was the first to recover, and disregarding his own injuries, assisted Crooks and Iverson to their feet and hastily ascertained that their wounds, while bleeding profusely, could be treated later. The three immediately set about rendering first aid to the other injured. Their ambulance and jeep had been demolished by the explosion, but another soon arrived on the scene and Captain Meyer dispatched the most seriously wounded to a field hospital, continuing to aid other injured until more ambulances and another physician and assistants arrived to take over. Private Crooks was also sent to the hospital, but Captain Meyer and Sergeant Iverson declined to go, and accepted treatment themselves only when the other victims had been attended.
There was an ironic twist given to this mishap, for after the crew got away safely, four bystanders were killed outright when the plane exploded. Another Crusader standing by for "rescue-duty" was Pfc. Thomas Day. Although hurt by the blast, Day stayed on the job assisting in attending the wounded. He was later awarded the Soldier's Medal, while Captain Meyer, Sergeant Iverson and Pfc. Crooks received letters of commendation from General Kenny, Commanding General of the Far Eastern Air Forces.
* * *
One of the Borneo targets that was later to receive our personal attention was the important oil-producing center of Balikpapan. Combined heavy units of the 5th and 13th Air Forces hit this target in mid-October, flying through a terrific concentration of flak, and warding off enemy fighter planes in running battles of an hour and even longer. Mar Strip at Sansapor became the sanctuary for the lads in the B-24s coming back from "Balik", for the strike represented a gruelling 15 to 16-hour mission. Low on gas, or carrying wounded personnel in need of medical attention, the hospitality of the Crusaders was extended to these long-rangers on several different occasions. Between the 10th and 15th of the month, one or all Crusader squadrons moved over to Wakde for a night, to permit the B-24 crews returning from the long Balikpapan haul to use the Mar Strip. Group and Squadron Intelligence Officers assisted in interrogating these crews, who were then housed overnight with the squadrons.
During this period the general or "Nan" search was inaugurated. This was a search by sectors of the area west of the Vogelkop, the purpose of which was to maintain vigilant guard against enemy shipping moving either north or south. After the Balikpapan strikes, instructions were given to searchers to be particularly watchful for survivors of ditched B-24s. The importance of the continuing neutralization and destruction of Molucca area airdromes was well illustrated during these first Liberator strikes on Balik. Morotai, Noemfoor, and Biak were crowded with aircraft parked nose to nose at periods during the month, and one enemy attacker could undoubtedly have knocked out many, many times his value in heavy and medium bombers and fighters-had there been a serviceable airfield for him to take off from. No raider made his appearance, and the strategic strikes were accomplished.
An uninterrupted offensive was pushed through the balance of October with first one squadron and then another carrying the ball. Returning from an unsuccessful attempt to reach Ambon on the 14th, S/Sgt. William I. West, an engineer-gunner of the 70th, proved himself a navigator of great capability when he navigated Lieut. John P. Witt's plane home through some of the most difficult weather encountered in the Squadron's history. The initial complication for Lieutenant Witt was a wrong heading given by another plane's navigator and not discovered until considerable fuel had been wasted. With the aid of Sergeant West, the crew cleared a 10,000 foot peak on Ceram, flying on instruments, and made it safely back to base. West received an official commendation from General Kenny for this feat.
On the 17th, the 100th staged a notably successful attack on Namlea from medium attitude. Lieut. Frank D. Unetic, lead bombardier, dropped 90% of his bombs squarely on the target, with the black and white smoke resulting seen to climb to 2,000 feet. The relentless pounding of Ambon cost the 70th Lieut. Harold Watts and crew. In the course of an attack on October 20th, the formation encountered fierce AA from Amahai, Ambon, Laha, Liang, and Haroekoe. Bursts came in triplicate, building up from 9,500, 10,000 and 10,500 almost simultaneously. The fire bracketed the second element. Lieutenant Watts, flying left wing, was hit squarely on the right engine, which exploded. The plane did a falling leaf and fell sharply away, almost on its back. The flaming plane disappeared into an undercast at 8,000 feet. Reports of members of the crew taking to parachutes could not be satisfactorily confirmed.
Records show that on the 17th, a 390th newcomer, Capt. James E. Robison, flew one of his first leads, a shipping sweep of the Halmaheras, which bagged two barges. Captain Robison joined the Group at Hollandia with a long background of flying in the States, finishing up as Assistant A-3 of the Second Tactical Air Command. He attended the Command and General Staff School before going overseas to make his name as a Crusader and later as the Squadron Commander of the 75th.
The intensive combat schedule of October makes it a trying task indeed to select the most difficult, successful or noteworthy missions without slighting some squadron. On the 25th the 100th marked its first year overseas. Ambon and Piroe Town were well pasted by the 69th, Lieut. James W. Weaver leading; 70th, Capt. Andrew Elliott leading; 100th, led on its 130th mission by Lieut. Herbert J. Sunderman; and 390th, Capt. Short leading. The 69th marked its 300th mission in the Pacific this day. A mild flurry of excitement swept the squadrons on October 26th-27th; an alert was received in connection with the naval battle of the Sulu Sea. However, the Jap fleet was dispersed and the alert ended without action.
The 28th proved a good day for barge harrying. Capt. John F. Wolfe, 75th, out on the northern sector of the Nan search with Lieuts. Robert A. Plympton and Edward Powlenko, attacked three 40-foot barges at the fork of the Ngoala and Kaoe rivers and a camouflaged 75-footer near Pasirpoetih Town, using 2000 rounds on each fray. The 69th and 70th hit Ambon with a spate of quarter-tonners, removing the artillery barracks and occupants from the scene. Lieut. V. R. Fetner led the 69th.
On leaving the target, Lieut. E. W. Johnson, flying wing on Lieut. W. B. Spicer's 70th formation, saw two 50-foot power boats and a 30-foot barge between Poea and Boano Islands. He fired 1100 rounds on two strafing runs, setting one power boat afire and exploding the other.
Lieut. Robert S. Moyna led the 390th's six over Hatetabako runway late on the morning of the 29th to drop quarter-tonners on the north dispersal area. Lieut. R. H. Partrick, out on the Squadron's weather mission, ran into heavy weather and light flak damage over Galela, returning to Sansapor on one engine.
Hitting Piroe again on the 30th, Lieut. V. R. Fetner, in the lead of the 69th, had his hydraulic system shot out by intense, accurate heavy AA. Lieut. A. F. Alagna took over the lead, and with two additional runs succeeded in getting all bombs away.
Strikes on Miti, Piroe, and Soebaim, with a variety of reconnalssances, closed out the month. All squadron historians agreed with the Group recorder that October was the busiest month in the Group's history. Five squadrons were kept in operation on a round-the-clock schedule for all concerned. One hundred and seventeen missions were dispatched involving 950 sorties. The total bombing for the month was not impressive by itself, but this was more than accounted for by the large number of photographic and search missions which did not expend either bombs or ammunition. The sections had few idle moments in October, with bomb loading, maintenance, and meals at all hours of the day and night.
A headlined story appearing in the El Reno, Oklahoma, papers in October related a development of great importance within the Crusader ranks--assumption of Command by a veteran of "the other war."
HEADQUARTERS, 13TH AAF, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS--In October, a B-25 Billy Mitchell banked a sharp turn into the pattern at the AAF's most advanced base in the Netherlands East Indies. Bulldozers and engineers were still working on the strip as the plane greased in to land, tired and empty from a mission to the Jap airfield at Namlea, Boeroe Island.
Col. Charles C. Kegelman, El Reno, commanding officer of the Crusaders, 13th AAF veterans of the Solomons and Rabaul, taxied into a revetment and completed his first mission in his third war theatre.
On July 4, 1942, the El Reno airman led the first American mission to German-held territory, landing his A-20 Havoc on one engine after a wild return ride that made headlines in every American newspaper. For nine months after that, as Squadron Commander, he led his planes against Channel ports and Nazi airfields. When the African invasion began, General "Jimmy" Doolittle sent him to Southern Tunisia, where, with a P-38 fighter group, his squadron of A-20s constituted the entire American Air Force during the early days of the campaign.
After three months in North Africa, its planes flown to junk, and without replacements, the Squadron's flying personnel were returned to the States. Here, for the next 14 months, the pilot who had landed in England with the first American airmen as a Captain and had returned a Lieutenant Colonel, imparted his combat knowledge to fledgelings in his own country. Then, at his request, he was transferred to the Southwest Pacific in September, 1944.
New Guinea was a far cry from El Reno, Oklahoma, his home and the home of his wife and parents, Colonel Kegelman was graduated from El Reno High school, attended Oklahoma Military Academy, and was graduated from Oklahoma University in 1936. His desire to fly then led him to Texas and to his wings and commission in 1937. With the advent of World War II he got ever farther and farther from Oklahoma. The Colonel was, inevitably, asked to compare flying in the ETO with the Crusaders' flying in the Pacific, and his remarks are worthy of quotation.
"This is rough country," he said. "Rough to live in, and rough to fly in. I've never known an area to be as unforgiving of errors on the part of plane crews. In England and Africa we worried about interception and flak, but not about getting to the target or getting back from it. We had accurate and up-to-the minute weather information. If an engine quit over England, it was a rare instance when you couldn't limp into a near-by emergency field; if you "ditched" in the channel, an AirSea Rescue Boat was on its way to you before you had your life raft inflated; the worst you could expect was a safe but dreary captivity if you had to bail out over the continent.
"That isn't true out here. There are no emergency strips or open fields to skid an ailing plane into. If you ditch in the Pacific, unless you have planes from your own squadron along with you, you can look forward to hunger and thirst and possible eventual death in an open raft while planes search thousands of square miles of open water for you. If you bail out in sight of enemy gunners you'll never live to touch ground, and if you land in enemy territory you face almost certain death if you are caught.
"Our crews take off with meagre or no weather information. CAVU weather enroute to the target doesn't mean CAVU weather coming home. There's nothing a flyer fears more than the sight of an enormous tropical front filled with rain, turbulence, and thunderheads between him and his base. Whole formations have been forced to fly themselves out of gas to get around them. Navigation here differs from that in Europe; instead of flying from one landmark to another, from a road junction to a power line to a bend in a river, the planes cross mile after mile of open ocean. Errors in navigation are costly. Faulty navigation and weather cost us men and airplanes.
"Most flyers fear the weather more than combat. Our flights are long. When 13th AAF heavies hit Balikpapan, Borneo, from Noemfoor for instance, they flew about 3000 miles--that's farther to the target than bombers hitting Berlin from England fly on the round trip. On one of those missions they had a running battle with Nip interceptors for 45 minutes at the end of eight tiring hours of flying, then had eight more hours to fly with damaged planes and wounded men. That's a strain."
The colonel grinned ruefully when the question of months of jungle life and its psychological effect was brought up.
"I think", he declared, "the maddest man I have ever known was an officer who received a letter from a friend in Europe shortly after the invasion began in June. The officer had been in the Solomons for several months, then came to New Guinea. For nearly a year he had lived in nothing but tents, got all his drinking water from a canteen, and shaved daily in a helmet, had never had an adequate supply of fresh water, and could count on his fingers the days each month he had fresh meat, and who, while reading the letter, had to move his bed twice to get away from the rain streaming through new leaks in his tent.
"The friend was complaining bitterly about the rigors of the invasion. He had to live for a week in a tent in an apple orchard in Normandy, and hadn't been able to shave because he hadn't yet found an outlet of the same voltage as his electric razor!
"Not only are the living conditions tougher, the opportunities for civilized relaxation are non-existent. The European flyer, when he completes a mission, can take off for town, drop in at the local pub, go to a dance, or perhaps have a date. When the Pacific flyer lands and finishes his C ration dinner, he can read, go to bed, or join a bull session, or read, go to bed, or join a bull session. At night there's a movie. Hundreds of thousands of men in the Pacific during the past three years have lived that existence.
"Whenever the flyers here think of the opportunities for relaxation and entertainment afforded the flyers in Europe their one desire is to see the reactions of those flyers after V-E Day, when they get out here. Even that prospect is dulled by the probability that some will be lucky enough to get stationed in the comparative civilization of even the more remote parts of the Philippines. It's a dead cinch that any comments made by the transferred ETO flyers will be met with the Pacific battle cry, 'You shoulda been here when it was rough!'
"Of course, we'll admit that during the time of actual combat, the ETO crews have a tougher time. We pull strafing missions at negligible cost out here that would be fatal over German territory. German fighter pilots are a hardier, more persistent lot, but at the same time they don't show any willingness to make suicide crash attacks such as the Japs frequently make. German anti-aircraft gunners will not duck behind the revetments and cease firing when a strafing plane throws a squirt at them. They'll stick to their guns and trade burst for burst. Point your nose at a Jap position, however, and the Nip turns gopher.
"Pacific flyers do of course get occasional rest leaves in Australia. After each 15 or 20 missions they are sent to Sydney for a week of rest and recuperation. The ear banging that goes on after a man returns from Sydney generally indicates he's had plenty of recuperation, but very little rest. Rest, sleep, or as it is called in the jungle, "sack time" is a drug on the market in New Guinea, where 12 hours sleep a night is not uncommon.
"Ground crews are not so fortunate. Lucky is the officer or enlisted man who gets to Australia after 15 or 20 months in the bush. The ground crews have a rumor afloat that you can tell when a man needs a rest leave by watching him walk. If he walks sideways between two mountain peaks 20 miles apart, 'It means that the hills have closed in on him and it's time he got a chance to see a town. Returning GI's say that the most soothing sound in the world is the click of leather heels on an Australian sidewalk.
"Despite the griping, the insidious comparisons made with other combat areas, there is a surprising lack of morale problems, I must say.
"The men realize that they're engaged in a nasty job, but they hold on to the knowledge that 'the damned war can't last forever.' Perhaps a better explanation is the one given me by a Staff Sergeant Intelligence Clerk the other day. He said 'Colonel, after a man takes his first look at a jungle camp, anything that happens to his morale after that is bound to be for the better."'
This was the slight slim Oklahoman, bearing his eagles so modestly, who was to be the Group's second overseas commander, taking over from Colonel Wilson, who returned home on rotation on November 16.
Various changes in command of the squadrons took place in October. Major Henson left the 100th to become Assistant Group S-3 and Capt. Charles W. Wolfendale, the squadron's ranking pilot, and S-3, became Squadron Commander in his place.
On October 18th, Maj. Merrill W. Longwill went home on rotation, and Capt. Robert W. Thorndyke assumed command of the 75th, with Lieut. Edward Powlenko replacing Capt. Otto H. Hartwig as Operations Officer.
On October 20th came the announcement that every one had been waiting for. Leyte had been invaded by General MacArthur's troops. The "Return to the Philippines" had begun.
Although no reader who did not play a personal part in the Pacific Air War would or will believe it, a long dawn-to-dusk shipping alert on which no call materialized, and which was spent entirely in reading, writing letters, or trying to catch up on sack time on the hard briefing benches of the S-2 shack, will often be remembered by a crewman quite as vividly as an alert that did bring a call to go out searching. One of the memorable features of these otherwise blank alerts was the multifarious S-2 "poop", bulletins, extracts, summaries, "Ditching Dope"--the forms were as varied as the content. This history would be incomplete indeed if it did not set aside a few pages in which to recall some of the fascinating facts this welcome reading material offered, and because during our Sansapor period these alerts were most constant, some of the choicest items came to light.
Some of the best laughs came from Axis Radio and Morse intercepts.
If you Have Tears, Prepare to Shed Them Now.
Tokio, In English: "Koiso is very humane in private life and writes to his grandchildren twice a month. Also, whenever he visits the grave of his parents, he wears all his decorations in order to show them to their spirits."
* * *
And Then Columbus Shouted "Banzai"
Tokio, in English: "Electrical wave armaments and optical armaments are of decisive importance in this war. Radio location has become indispensible. You will be surprised to hear that it was invented by a Japanese, Dr . . . . . . Yagi."
Nazis still Advancing to Berlin
Tokio, Domestic: "German losses have been great, but Soviet losses were several times greater. In fact, Soviet losses were such that they are now not very far from Warsaw."
* * *
Next Target: New York.
Singapore, in English:--"Well-informed circles in Berlin declare that plans were approved by the Fuehrer to attack New York with robot bombs launched from submarines in the Atlantic."
* * *
Saipan as an Allied Telescope
Tokio in German: "The actual ground of Saipan Island is most suitable for the building of airfields from which heavy bombers can take off. Although Japan is a bit too far for four-engine bombers, yet the new B-29s will easily be able to reach it. Truk, the Philippines are well within reach of Saipan. The enemy's possibilities of reconnaissance have also been extended. This is serious, for in the past the Japanese Command had depended to a large extent on the element of surprise in military actions."
Department of Interesting Comparisons
Tokio, in Mandarin:-"The raid over Manchukuo, on the 29th by enemy America, was merely a show off; it did not cause any damage to the cities at all."
Tokio, In English:--"Bomber formations of B-29s of the China-based American Air Force raided Anshan and Dairen in Manchukuo. The loss of one enemy plane over Anshan has so far been ascertained. As announced in the communique, damage was slight and limited to residential quarters."
Tokio, Domestic:--"A few enemy bombers including B-29s came to attack Anshan in Manchukuo and Darien in Kwantun Territory the day before yesterday. Enemy raiders that penetrated to the skies of Anshan, however, were frustrated in their attempts to reach bombing height over the targets owing to activities of our 'air-dominating' units, and they fled after causing destruction to only a part of a factory."
* * *
Women's Association to Be Reorganized.
Batavia, in English:--"It has been decided to reorganize the Women's Association of Java. Those which are working separately will be now united by the Public Service Association shortly. After this, the formation of Girls' Shock Troops will be considered."
* * *
Sober Enthusiasm in Manila.
Manila, in English:--"In keeping with the spirit of the times, all night clubs, cabarets, and dancing schools in the city will close starting from tomorrow, in accordance with the executive order issued a fortnight ago by President Jose P. Laurel. Mayor Leon Guinte informed the President that the order was enthusiastically received by the general public here."
* * *
So They Waited a Couple of Days.
Tokio, 6 August, In German:--"The whole Japanese people now are ready to follow the lead of the Government and are only waiting for the day when the signal will be given. However, there is no need for excessive hurry."
Tokio, 8 August, in English:--Extract from Koiso's speech-"The opportunity for which the supreme efforts of our 100,000,000 people should be made is now at hand and will, I believe, never come again."
DEPARTMENT OF INTERESTING COMPARISONS.
Let's Discuss This Thing Again Divisions
Berlin, W/T:--"The big naval battle to the West of the Marianas is the most important and biggest since the outbreak of war, and its aim is to break the Americans' temporary and locally limited naval and air supremacy on Saipan. The echo in public allows the conclusion that this aim has not yet been reached in the first assault and that the battle will be continued and perhaps is already continuing at this moment. The whole Japanese air and sea supremacy in the Western Pacific would become doubtful if the Americans were successful in establishing a strong naval base on Saipan. From this, every Japanese can see what is at stake and every Japanese understands why the battle must be continued."
Berlin, in German:--"The loss of the Marianas is not vital for Japan and does not force the Japanese command into impulsive naval action, the result of which would be uncertain in view of American air superiority in the South-West Pacific."
That Fatal Nothing Division
W/T in English--First paragraph of broadcast: "Back from the fierce heat of the firing lines came an Ensign of the Imperial Navy with a battle report of actual conditions experienced under a rain of earth-shaking bombs plummeted from hundreds of enemy planes roaring through the pale blue tropical skies. 'You might think we were "goners" under so many bursting bombs, but it is nothing at all,' the Ensign declared."
Last paragraph of same broadcast, same Ensign:--"The last dying words of men who died on my ship invariably were 'Exact revenge from the enemy. And when you get him strike him one for me as well.' Uncontrollable burning rage--fierce fighting spirit--wells from the depth's of one's heart when one looks upon the dead corpse of a fighting comrade."
To Hell with the Poetry, Get those Supervisors
Tokio, Domestic:--"There is the term 'bottleneck' in war times, which is applied when production and transportation are not in smooth operation. However, it is not the fault of those occupied in such work. Bottlenecks can be eliminated when they are studied. That such are thought difficult may also be because of the formation of bottlenecks in the thinking of the supervising officials. It is necessary to instill the spirit of mutual kindness among the men, and everyone should each unto himself be introspective, in order to overcome the various bottlenecks found in aircraft and shipping production. Poems of Emperor Meiji should be read daily, since they would give you the encouragement necessary for self-examination."
* * *
Recognition in Japan
Tokio, 9 August, in English:--"Dal Nippon National Defense Association and Dal Nippon Aeronautical Association yesterday jointly presented a group of four models of enemy war planes each to Prince Field Marshall Norimasa Nashimoto, President of both associations, and Prince Narahuko Higasikuni. These models were submitted by members of the defense patrol throughout Japan in a contest sponsored with the aim of furthering their ability to distinguish various types of enemy war planes."
* * *
A good evening to yourself and what'll you bet?
Tokio, 11 August, in English:--"Despite the wrenching of Saipan from our hands and the current battles on Guam, I can still wish you a good evening. The picture looks dark for us here in Japan. It may become even darker, but we do not forget the enemy's proverb that every cloud has a silver lining. We give the Americans till September or October at the latest, to bask in the glory of their present successes. With the cool winds of autumn, the overhanging clouds will be dispersed as the Japanese Navy goes into action."
* * *
So Was Europe
Batavia, 12 August, in English:--"Japan is keeping her pledge to protect the Philippines. Japan's grand armed forces are ready to fight and Japanese planes are continually patrolling the skies over the Philippines. The Philippines are one impregnable fortress."
* * *
Unthinkable:--What's Your Salary, Nakamura?
Batavia, 24 May, in English:--"Writing in the May issue of Pacific, Admiral Nakamura said, 'It is unthinkable that the USA, although they occupy part of the Gilberts and Marshalls, should carry out an invasion of the Carolines and Marianas due to distance and geographical factors in the Pacific.' "
I've Heard That Song Before
"Japan never grabbed even an inch of foreign territory and never had any ambitions at colonial aggrandizement."
* * *
Take-off Times Unchanged
Owl Island Raid:--"Japanese air units attacked Owl Island, northeast of New Guinea and east of Biak Island on August 12th. In defiance of enemy opposition, more than 13 large planes were set ablaze, whilst direct hits destroyed the area of the runway. The whole region was wrapped in flames."
* * *
Chandelle College Graduation Exercises
Tokio, 16 August, Domestic:--Rabaul--"Domei says that in the morning of the 14th some 60 enemy bombers and fighters raided Rabaul and machine-gunned the base."
* * *
New Driving School
Bandoeng, 8 August, in Malay:--" Beggars who bid been admitted to the Institute for the Blind are gradually being trained as useful members of the community. Some of them have already become chauffeurs."
* * *
Think Nothing of it Department
Domei W/T, 14 August, in English: "A single unarmed Japanese ambulance plane on 4 August engaged and brought down two U. S. planes which wantonly attacked the ambulance plane clearly marked with Red Cross insignias. Subjected to enemy attacks while transporting wounded to our base, the ambulance plane, although already in flames, adroitly dodged further enemy attacks, and shot down one enemy plane into the Yangtze River. Continuing the struggle against the remaining enemy attackers, our ambulance plane destroyed another enemy plane."
* * *
We Lost Four Planes
Domei, W/T 21 August, in English: "Imperial Headquarters this afternoon announced definitely confirmed results achieved by our interception units during the enemy's air raid on Northern Kyushu and Western Chugoku areas late on Friday afternoon. According to the announcement, the enemy lost 23 out of a total of about 80 aircraft."
Domei, W/T August, in English:--"Tbe enemy China-based air force, which boldly and recklessly attacked Northern Kyushu and western Chugoku areas late yesterday afternoon while there was still daylight, suffered severe treatment at the hands of our alert and indomitable defense units. At least 29 enemy planes were destroyed--25 shot down confirmed, and 5 probables."
Enemy Confirmation of Kill by P-38s
W/T, 23 August in English:-"On 28 July, Commander Shimada met his end in a gallant action. How it came about is a story that touches our innermost feelings. It so happened that contact was lost with one of his planes combing the seas over a certain area for enemy submarines. Fearing for the safety of his men, Commander Shimada personally took the stick and set out in search of them. On his search, he suddenly ran into a formation of enemy planes heading westward. Nothing daunted, Commander Shimada single-handedly, took on 21 enemy P-38s and fought them fiercely for 30 minutes before his plane was hit and caught fire. Seeing his plane spitting black smoke, Commander Shimada attempted to ram against an enemy plane. However, unable to do so owing to loss of maneuverability, the brave commander headed his plane straight down to the sea, and died gallantly in action."
Comment: On 28 July, 17 P-38's sighted a VAL and one unidentified airplane over Elpapoeth Bay, Ceram area. The P-38's reported that the unidentified airplane escaped into a cloud but that the VAL was destroyed.
* * *
Hitler's Choice Shames Hobson
Domei W/T 15 August, in English:--"The Reich has two trump cards in her hand, namely, choice of concentrating efforts on one front at a time or dividing the main forces into two and dealing with the enemy in the east and west simultaneously."
* * *
Gates for Scrap Iron
20 July, in Malay:--"The population of Indonesia has been notified that the scrap iron collection will start its work on 22 July. This work will consist of pulling down iron gates."
Numerology Division; What Language Do You Speak?
Berlin 15 August, in German:--"In Japan the shipbuilding program is carried out with high efficiency, worthy of our deepest satisfaction. It is delightful to see the high wartime standard and the program developing without a hitch."
W/T, 8 July, Romaji:--"The wooden ship construction of the financial year 1943-1944 ended with a poor result, on account of material shortages and for other reasons." Berlin, 15 August: "Japan today has the largest aircraft production in the world."
Tokio, 17 August, English: "The air power of Japan is roughly one-third that of the enemy."
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Tokio, 25 August, Domestic:--"The book Jinno-Seito-Ki clearly states that this is God's country. A poem states that those enemies who intend to come to Japan must give consideration before trespassing on God's Country.
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Wings of an Angel
The following Japanese wireless transmission, purportedly from an SWPA base, contains several accounts of actions in New Guinea. None of them are dull, but the last one is undoubtedly the best, easily exceeding a previous story that "one unarmed Japanese Ambulance plane shot down two enemy planes."
W/T, 31 August, in English:--"Japanese base in Southwest Pacific:--Let us mutually quit night bombing attacks," was the terse unofficial circular dropped at this base by an enemy airman seeking relief from the havoc-wrecking battering of Japanese night assaults on enemy bases in this hotly contested advance front. That wail, squeezed from the enemy, comes at a time when our air forces steadily impound the sinews of battle for an all-out offensive. A dynamic swing in the tide of battle for an all-out offensive impends, and our airmen are determined to get on the offensive."
Radio Tokio: "The annihilation of the American Task Force which is now considered completed, has caused the streets of Tokio to ring with praise for our glorious fleet. In Malaya, the population, wild with joy and exultation, hail the American naval debacle as the turning point in the war... This great victory, is however, only a prelude to greater progress and new blows to justify the tactical sacrifices we have made in the Pacific. During the week, we sank half a million tons of American warships, destroyed 1000 planes, and killed more than 25,000 men. These figures, the Navy Minister pointed out, are based on the most conservative estimate . . . the Americans learned a bitter lesson in the results of the engagement, for by sending aircraft to attack Taiwan (Formosa), they foolishly weakened the defense of the task force.... Our victory has not yet been enough to discourage the enemy's plans. We shall have to strike again and again until final victory."
An announcement by Admiral Nimitz brings out this authentic information: "During the past seven days, we have sunk 73 Japanese ships and destroyed 843 planes for the loss of 53 American planes. Japanese opposition has resulted in no damage of consequences and in only very few casualties. The only ships damaged were two which were hit by aerial torpedoes. They were damaged, but have not dropped out of the Task Force. On the three days from Friday to Sunday, when 191 Jap planes attacked, 95 were shot down for the loss of 5 navy fighters. On Sunday alone, 50 out of 60 attacking planes were shot down by fighters and AA. Enemy losses could have been lighter if the Japanese had chosen to come out and fight on a larger scale."
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