February 9, 1943: Guadalcanal Secured

America's first offensive victory in the Pacific war.

GuadLandingsLunga.jpg

A six month campaign, one of the longest in the war, fought on land, sea and air. Although the Marines initial assault was relatively unopposed, the Japanese stiffened resistance and the next six months were a bloody struggle of back and forth of intense combat and strained lines of supply.

Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, USMC, Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige, USMC, 2nd Lt. Jefferson DeBlanc, USMCR and Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, USCG were all awarded the Medal of Honor.

John Basilone is the only enlisted Marine in WWII to have received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross, the Navy Cross posthumously after combat on Iwo Jima.

Douglas Munro was the only member of the United States Coast Guard to have received the Medal of Honor. It was awarded posthumously. The full citation is below the break.

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country.

Andy and I asked the same question today, from Michener's The Bridges at Toko-Ri. Where do we get such men?

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 02:21 PM



Comments

1
Thanks, DIT.

Posted by: Ed Anger at February 09, 2013 02:29 PM (tOkJB)

2 Conspirasay

Posted by: Rawn Paul at February 09, 2013 02:30 PM (8HhF2)

3 My uncle, Theodore Conrath, went in with the Marines (he was a South Dakota National Guard infantryman).

He rarely talked about it, and when he did, the pain of remembering was visible on his face.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 09, 2013 02:31 PM (GsoHv)

4 2
Conspirasay

Posted by: Rawn Paul at February 09, 2013 02:30 PM (8HhF2
Reading at the Marine Corps Times yesterday about Dakota Meyer's asking Luap Nor to apologize for his disgusting comment about Chris Kyle, and the Paulbots came out in force calling Dakota "stupid" and Chris Kyle a "coward."

Deranged idiots.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at February 09, 2013 02:32 PM (UOM48)

5 Met Mitchell Paige a couple of times when I was stationed out at 29 Stumps. Really nice, humble, patient gentleman who would answer as many questions as he was asked, no matter how many times he had answered them before.

Posted by: Burn the Witch at February 09, 2013 02:34 PM (DvVVN)

6 He rarely talked about it, and when he did, the pain of remembering was visible on his face.

My dad was in the Pacific and he never talked about it. In his things was his old passbook from a bank in Australia, they went there for leave. I hope the Aussies showed him a good time.

Posted by: madamex at February 09, 2013 02:35 PM (+kvQd)

7 Dave in Texas,

I can answer that question.

They were the product of 2,000 years of Western civilization, ruthlessly selected by politics, war, nature, culture and some luck.

America was the beneficiary of that selection, and these men were the best America produced.


Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 09, 2013 02:38 PM (GsoHv)

8 Posted by: madamex at February 09, 2013 02:35 PM (+kvQd)

A toast to your dad and my uncle!

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 09, 2013 02:39 PM (GsoHv)

9 3 My uncle, Theodore Conrath, went in with the Marines (he was a South Dakota National Guard infantryman).

He rarely talked about it, and when he did, the pain of remembering was visible on his face.
~~~

A couple great-uncles were in the North Dakota NG, who went to Guadalcanal.

The younger of the two had a harder time of it, I was told. I talked to the older brother about it once, who was quite pleased to have gotten home in one piece.

Posted by: fluffy at February 09, 2013 02:41 PM (xWXuI)

10 CBD, *clink*

Posted by: Jane D'oh at February 09, 2013 02:41 PM (UOM48)

11 Posted by: fluffy at February 09, 2013 02:41 PM (xWXuI)

I wrote SD NG, but he was born in Mandan ND, so I am going to check.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 09, 2013 02:43 PM (GsoHv)

12 Guadalcanal, it was near run thing. But again proved who manages to hold out just a little bit longer wins. Lots of men died and were wounded in that stinking fetid hellhole that they had never heard of.

The battle also taught the US military that if they took each island the Japanese held it would be 1947 or so before they invaded Japan. So a strategy of island hopping was implement. To take islands where either the Japanese were not or they lightly held. This strategy also allowed the US to husband its scarce resources. In February 1943 the US Navy still only had two carriers - Saratoga and Enterprise as Essex was not due until the middle of the year. Hence the advance uf the Solomon Islands and to isolate Rabual would be carried out under land based air cover.

Japanese resources were also stretched thin. Their naval construction program was not geared to quickly replace their loses. The savage battles around the Solomon Islands had cost them a battleship, cruisers, and destroyers. Plus the aerial battles drained their pools of trained Navy and Army pilots while the jungles and diseases of Guadalcanal devoured the soldiers.

Midway turned the tide of battle against Japan. Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands ensured the Rising Sun was on the decline. Further proof would come on April 18, 1943 when USAAF P-38 Lightnings taking off from Guadalcanal intercepted and killed the architect for Pearl Harbor and Midway - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 02:43 PM (PMCY9)

13 All I can say is, thank God that such men existed, and still exist.


As small and as unworthy as it is, you gentlemen have my and my family's undying gratitude.

Posted by: BCochran1981 - Credible Hulk at February 09, 2013 02:45 PM (GEICT)

14 Posted by: fluffy at February 09, 2013 02:41 PM (xWXuI)

Yup, ND NG.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 09, 2013 02:46 PM (GsoHv)

15 They are still out there. Honesty. The MSM just doesn't talk about them. They are murders now.

Posted by: Billy Bob, pseudo intellectual at February 09, 2013 02:50 PM (CKNcG)

16 Thanks for the toast. Unfortunately he got hepatitis over there. I remember his big story was on the way home he was on a boat with Lew Ayres, the actor. Anyway, I think it effected his health and after a heart attack at 50 he never recovered and I lost him when I was in ealier twenties. He is in my heart forever, for he was a wonderful man.

Posted by: madamex at February 09, 2013 02:51 PM (+kvQd)

17 And some of the detritus of battle can still be found in the Solomon Islands.

http://www.ozatwar.com/airfields/kirkwood.htm

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 02:55 PM (PMCY9)

18 John Basilone's story, "Hero of the Pacific" is on my night stand. Nearly finished with Chris Kyle's book.

Posted by: Jane D'oh at February 09, 2013 02:58 PM (UOM48)

19 My Dad was there, with Carlson's Raiders.

Posted by: Buford Gooch at February 09, 2013 02:58 PM (VN2qJ)

20 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 02:55 PM (PMCY9)

Hi AP, just flipping through those pictures. That was some amazing stuff.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet, Author of Amy Lynn available on KINDLE finally at February 09, 2013 03:03 PM (l86i3)

21 Thank you. My late father was a WWII Marine. 1st Marines. Served in the Pacific Theater for 30 months (New Guinea, New Britain, Peleliu). I have to think his character was shaped by his service as well as his upbringing. I will always be so proud and thankful to be his only daughter.

Thank you, again, for posting this. We must never forget their sacrifice.

Posted by: ChristyBlinky poised in fluid situation at February 09, 2013 03:04 PM (baL2B)

22 Where do we get such men?

They're still out there. Steel is forged in fire.

Posted by: Oswald at February 09, 2013 03:10 PM (5pi9n)

23
Older friend of mine, used to be a docent with me at a Marine aviation museum, was in the New Hebrides (rear area for the Solomons) in October 1942 (volunteered @ 17 for the USMC to get 3-squares and a place to sleep - in November 1941, good timing!). His buddy was with a USMC squadron up at the Canal. When the call for replacement volunteers came after the Night of the Battleships and its many casualties, he .... volunteered. To be with his buddy. As he says, only something a young manwould do.

May have told this one before: short before leaving for the Canal, he was cut under the eye by a coral shard while jack-hammering on some construction project. Medics covered his eye with a big patch. When he arrived at the Canal, stepped off the DC-3 transport, the wounded were on litters, lined up to be flown back to Espirito Santo. One of them, seeing his eye patch, said "gosh, things must be really bad, they're sending in wounded guys as replacements!".

He arrived just as the wormy captured Japanese rice was running out as a food supply, and he says he never saw any of the captured sake or beer that was carefully hidden away by the first Marines to take Henderson. He does marvel at how the pilots did their thing, while suffering the same problems (lack of sleep, dysentery, hunger) as everyone on the ground.

One day a guy from Louisiana came in the museum. He happened to know LeBlanc's son back home. Jim ended up calling the son, who said he'd rather not put Dad on the line to talk as he was not entirely mentally lucid all the time. LeBlanc passed away some time after. Think it was his escape story that was so funny: shot down over the Slot, he made it to an island, and the natives who took him then traded him to another group that was working with an Aussie coast-watcher (who then got him back to Guadalcanal for more service). Price: one bag of rice.

As others noted above, "such men" are still out there. I was honored to be protected by them, up close, during my own time in the field during the GWOT.

In my darkest moments, I reformulate the question thus: how could such men have such a degraded and undeserving nation as their homeland?

I did say my darkest moments ......

Posted by: non-purist at February 09, 2013 03:11 PM (afQnV)

24 They're still out there. Steel is forged in fire.


Posted by: Oswald at February 09, 2013 03:10 PM (5pi9n)

Psshaw. Fire can't melt steel.

Posted by: Rosie O'Cumdumpster at February 09, 2013 03:12 PM (DZqR0)

25 I had two uncles who served at Guadalcanal. Only one came home.

Posted by: Oswald at February 09, 2013 03:12 PM (5pi9n)

26 so, on the Whte House web site, does it show a picture of Obama ("Okinawa? Is that anything like Teriyaki..?") with some elderly veterans and a text like "On this day in 1943, Americans won a victory in Guadalcanal. In 2013, President Obama fights the battle for funding for our veterans."?

Posted by: mallfly at February 09, 2013 03:14 PM (bJm7W)

27 Truly the greatest generation.

God Bless you gentlemen for your sacrifice.

Posted by: Judge_Roy_bean at February 09, 2013 03:15 PM (cCxiu)

28 If we'd botched that landing the island might have tipped over.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 09, 2013 03:16 PM (J6hHs)

29 re 24: so when they buy back guns to melt, am I to believe they can't melt Remington steel?

Posted by: mallfly at February 09, 2013 03:17 PM (bJm7W)

30 They were the product of 2,000 years of Western civilization, ruthlessly selected by politics, war, nature, culture and some luck. America was the beneficiary of that selection, and these men were the best America produced.
Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 09, 2013 02:38 PM (GsoHv)


----------------------------------------------------


I beg to differ. They were evident in Korea, Vietnam, and on through to the brave soldiers standing at the wall today.

The WWII vets just had better press.

Posted by: Soona at February 09, 2013 03:17 PM (tXtOx)

31 G-d bless them all. Gung-ho and Semper Fi.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at February 09, 2013 03:18 PM (XkWWK)

32 If you read the histories of the associated naval actions, what's crystal clear is that the USN were completely unprepared to fight the IJN at sea.

The US Navy still thought it was the best in the world even though its weapons were second-rate and its tactical doctrines were ossified. Thousands of sailors are in eternal watery graves as a result of learning the hard way.

There is another such moment coming.

Reflect upon our current Navy. It is a Navy which builds flashy new "warships" to commercial specifications that can't take combat damage. A Navy which says very explicitly that "diversity" is its top priority, instead of its top priority being warfighting. A Navy which takes perfectly good warships halfway through their service lives and scuttles them to make artificial reefs.

This will end up with that unready Navy trying to fight China and paying a horrible price, just as the Navy of 1942 was unready to fight Japan and paid a horrible price.

Posted by: torquewrench at February 09, 2013 03:20 PM (gqT4g)

33 re 30: in some ways they need to be better today. Imagine any GI getting in trouble in WW2 for smacking a captured German soldier who spit at him.

Posted by: mallfly at February 09, 2013 03:22 PM (bJm7W)

34
Dave in Texas, thanks so much for these posts. They happen to be right in my wheelhouse of obsessive interest in the WWII Pacific theater, but also important to everyone.

AnnaP, I've read that the Solomons was THE meatgrinder for Japanese air, both naval and army. As pointed out in the book Shattered Sword, Midway was devastating for Japan but not specifically because of the pilots lost, which was less than most people (reasonably) assume.

Once again I will recommend Neptune's Inferno by Hornfischer for the amazing story of the naval slugfest surrounding the Guadalcanal land and air campaign. My favorite quote, reflecting the unbelievable close-quarters at which some of these engagements were fought (like fist-fights in a dark alley): a sailor manning a radar display on one cruiser, as the US commander allowed the Japanese column to close to very short range before opening fire - "what are we going to do, board them?".

Classic, and priceless.

Posted by: non-purist at February 09, 2013 03:23 PM (afQnV)

35 J.J. Sefton interesting that you should mention the phrase 'Gung-ho' in conjunction with the Marines.

The term came to the Marine Corps via a curious route. Evan Carlson spent time in China with Mao's communist guerrillas. The term means 'work together' and when Carlson came to the Marines and pitched his idea of building raider units, in training those young men, he would use that term to exhort them to work as a team. Then the Raiders went into action launching from submarines against remote Japanese held island outposts, or digging in at Midway for an invasion that never came, or in the South Pacific going toe to toe with the Japanese the phrase 'Gung-ho' went with them. And morphed into what Americans think the term means, someone who is hyped up and very competent in carrying out the mission. When the Raider battalions were dissolved and absorbed into the regular Marine Corps the phrase transferred to the USMC.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 03:25 PM (PMCY9)

36
torquewrench, to quote Alec Guiness's great line as Prince Feisal in Lawrence of Arabia, "you tread heavily, but you speak the truth".

My favorite undocumented, off-the-cuff deep-thinker wisdom re our current military approach is to trash the F35 as a needless sinkhole for precious procurement dollars when upgraded existing platforms (F18, F15, F16) in good numbers with best-in-the-world training and flight hours would be perfectly adequate. Super-cruise and stealthiness are neat, but probably irrelevant to actual needs and vastly more expensive than the alternative. And an aircraftcan only be in one place at a time, and only on roughly the same maintenance schedule, no matter how super-dooperits technology.

The unmanned vehicle revolution - just getting started - only sharpens each of these points.

Posted by: non-purist at February 09, 2013 03:30 PM (afQnV)

37 Never forget more Navy men than Marines were killed during the Guadalcanal campaign. No doubt the living conditions on shore were subhuman, and the fighting bitter. But don't forget that the loss rate on the ships fighting in Ironbottom Sound was tremendous.

From the Naval History and Heritage Center, MOH winners including Navy:

Second World War, Guadalcanal Campaign, August 1942 - February 1943:
Bauer, Harold W., Lieutenant Colonel, USMC, Aviator, 10 May - 14 November 1942 (Posthumous award)
Vandegrift, Alexander A., Major General, USMC, 7 August-9 December 1942
Smith, John L., Major, USMC, Aviator, August - September 1942
Bailey, Kenneth D., Major, USMC, 12-13 September 1942 (Posthumous award)
Edson, Merritt A., Colonel, USMC, 13-14 September 1942
Munro, Douglas A., Signalman First Class, USCG, 27 September 1942 (Posthumous award)
Galer, Robert E., Major, USMC, 1-30 October 1942
Foss, Joseph J., Captain, USMCR, 9 October 1942 - 25 January 1943
Basilone, John, Sergeant, USMC, 24-25 October 1942
Paige, Mitchell, Platoon Sergeant, USMC, 26 October 1942

Scott, Norman , Rear Admiral, USN, 11-12 October and 12-13 November 1942 (Posthumous award)
Schonland, Herbert E., Commander, USN, 12-13 November 1942
McCandless, Bruce, Lieutenant Commander, USN, 12-13 November 1942
Keppler, Reinhardt J., Boatswain's Mate First Class, USN, 12-13 November 1942 (Posthumous award)

This list does not include Dan Callaghan, for some reason.

From Wiki:

^ Frank, p. 598618; and Lundstrom, p. 456. 85 Australians were killed in the Battle of Savo Island. Total Solomon Islander deaths are unknown. Most of the rest, if not all, of those killed were American. Numbers include personnel killed by all causes including combat, disease, and accidents. Losses include 1,768 dead (ground), 4,911 dead (naval), and 420 dead (aircrew).

Posted by: J. at February 09, 2013 03:30 PM (MWjDw)

38 35 Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 03:25 PM (PMCY9)

That's why I mentioned it. Anyway, two of the Raiders have extensive segments in "The War" and are well worth the watch. I realize it's Ken Burns, but surprisingly, the series is virtually lefty meme free. I watch it ever Memorial Day and I am sobbing all the way through.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at February 09, 2013 03:30 PM (XkWWK)

39 I really don't think today's Navy does any kind of decent job whatsoever preparing our young sailors for understanding the loss rates on ships in war, and understanding they must stick to duty.

Which makes sense, as the overwhelming part of the Navy hasn't fought a real shooting war since Tokyo Bay, and it shows.

Posted by: J. at February 09, 2013 03:34 PM (MWjDw)

40 America was the beneficiary of that selection, and these men were the best America produced.
Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 09, 2013 02:38 PM (GsoHv)

I know the best and brightest left Europe to be free and the lefttards want to grind back to which their ancestors fled.

Posted by: madamex at February 09, 2013 03:35 PM (+kvQd)

41 Imagine any GI getting in trouble in WW2 for smacking a captured German soldier who spit at him.

Imagine a general getting in trouble for slapping a coward.

Posted by: Oswald at February 09, 2013 03:35 PM (5pi9n)

42
I really don't think today's Navy does any kind of decent job whatsoever
preparing our young sailors for understanding the loss rates on ships
in war, and understanding they must stick to duty.



Which makes sense, as the overwhelming part of the Navy hasn't fought a real shooting war since Tokyo Bay, and it shows.

Posted by: J. at February 09, 2013 03:34 PM (MWjDw)

They aren't prepared at all. I was a Naval Aircrewman (SAR), and flew operations off the boat and from FOBs. The ship's company sailors never had any idea that helicopters could come back with holes in them or blood pooling in the floorboards. More than one said "but we're in the Navy" when we were offloading.

Today, ships can avoid combat. That will not always be the case, and we'll bleed for it.

Posted by: Washington Nearsider at February 09, 2013 03:37 PM (DZqR0)

43
Where do we get such men?

Look around you. That's were we get them. Normal people doing extraordinary things simply because these things need doing and if not me, who, and if not now, when?

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. -- Stuff TR Said, Vol I

Posted by: I R A Darth Aggie at February 09, 2013 03:38 PM (1hM1d)

44 In my darkest moments, I reformulate the question thus: how could such men have such a degraded and undeserving nation as their homeland?

Ironically, it is their service which affords their nation the time, freedom and wherewithal to pursue the vices that degrade it.

The most accurate observation, overheard during my time in Iraq was, "America is not at war. America is at the mall. The Army and Marines are at war."

True then. True now.

Posted by: Sean Bannion at February 09, 2013 03:40 PM (Pl0xl)

45 I really don't think today's Navy does any kind of decent job whatsoever preparing our young sailors for understanding the loss rates on ships in war, and understanding they must stick to duty. Which makes sense, as the overwhelming part of the Navy hasn't fought a real shooting war since Tokyo Bay, and it shows.
Posted by: J. at February 09, 2013 03:34 PM (MWjDw)


---------------------------------------------------


I don't think any sailor or soldier is ever "ready" for massive casualties, until they actually experience massive casualties.

Where I think our soldiers and sailors excel is adapting their tactics to give the enemy a taste of massive casualties. War is nasty. No one that hasn't experienced it is ready for it, no matter what kind of training they get.

Posted by: Soona at February 09, 2013 03:40 PM (tXtOx)

46 "My favorite undocumented, off-the-cuff deep-thinker wisdom re our
current military approach is to trash the F35 as a needless sinkhole for
precious procurement dollars"

Killing the F-35 would not only be a good thing for the Navy, but for the USAF and USMC.

It is the biggest military aviation procurement disaster in all of history. Inherently flawed in multiple ways. Unable to be put right. Incapable of meeting its design goals. Horribly expensive. Already outmatched by evolving threats.

Yet what's the collective response from the services?

"Criminy, we're in a hole! And it's awfully deep. Not sure we can climb out. And it's boding fair to cave in on us. Well, only one thing to do, boys. Roll up your sleeves and pick up your shovels and... keep digging."

Posted by: torquewrench at February 09, 2013 03:43 PM (gqT4g)

47 *sigh* I guess I should rise to the challenge. People focus on the failings of the American Navy at and around Guadalcanal but forget the wider war. Of when the First Air Fleet raided the Indian Ocean sinking RN warships. Or down in the Dutch East Indies where US Navy DesRon 29 claimed first victory for the the United States at the Battle of Balikpapan Bay in spite of a really harebrained plan of action from the Dutch ABDA Afloat commander.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 03:47 PM (PMCY9)

48 As much as we talk of the greatness of WWII Vets, let us not forget the most casualties of any war we have ever fought?



The War Between the States, over 620,000 killed.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 09, 2013 03:48 PM (wR+pz)

49 How many people still remember the saga of USS Marblehead or her sister Asiactic Fleet cruisers USS Houston and USS Boise? Parrot, Edsall, Pillsbury, John Paul, Pope, or Stewart? Bet none of those ship names ring a bell.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 03:53 PM (PMCY9)

50 The most accurate observation, overheard during my time in Iraq was, "America is not at war. America is at the mall. The Army and Marines are at war."

True then. True now.

Posted by: Sean Bannion at February 09, 2013 03:40 PM (Pl0xl)



There are those of us who remember the sacrifice. Who say the prayers for the troops. Who teach their children to say thank you to the soldiers whenever/wherever they see them. There aren't enough of us, but there are some.

Posted by: BCochran1981 - Credible Hulk at February 09, 2013 04:05 PM (GEICT)

51 Aye Sean, since WWII have the citizens of the US seen such thins as scrap metal drives? A or B stickers for gas? Rationed on how much meat to buy a week? Nope. The disconnect has been startling. Hackworth argued for an American foreign legion to fight the wars. Well with an all volunteer force it seems we have created such judging by the way most of America acts. Sad ain't it?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 04:18 PM (PMCY9)

52 re 51: gas rationing? Jimmy Carter: Moral Equivalent of War (MEOW)


Posted by: mallfly at February 09, 2013 04:23 PM (bJm7W)

53 Of the Battle of Guadalcanal, all an awestruck Winston Churchill could write was, "Long may the tale be told in the great Republic."


We are gnats standing on the shoulders of giants.‎

Posted by: Weeping for what has been squandered at February 09, 2013 04:36 PM (u3N3z)

54 We all have it in us to perform these seemingly-impossible feats. It's just that most of us have not been asked to rise to our innate capabilities since WWII/Korea.

Posted by: Captain Ned at February 09, 2013 04:48 PM (i+Fm3)

55 Interesting factoid is that the comic GI Joe was based on Basilone's exploits.

Posted by: Dennis at February 09, 2013 05:11 PM (Ggqkp)

56 Mallfly not even close. The sticker was usually put in the lower right corner of windshields to tell the the folks at the gas station how much gasoline you were authorized. There were various types from general public 'A' to 'X.'
http://www.cartype.com/pages/3635/gas_ration_stickers

The Carter era rationing in response to the OPEC cut off was nowhere near as organized or specific. Even and odd days?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 09, 2013 05:45 PM (PMCY9)

57 Re: Greatest Generation...

Lets also not forget that the merchant marines crewing many of the ships went on strike just as the fleet pulled in to start the invasion. Marines had to be held back to take possession of those ships and do all the unloading.

The Greatest Generation had its fair share of scumbags too.


PS. For anyone interested, kindle has a lot of the out of print books available for download. I believe that there's an app that allows kindle books to be read on the PC as well.
"Faithful Warriors", "Strong Men Armed", "Challenge for the Pacific", "Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Beyond", "Battleground Pacific" are all good reads of either the early Pacific Campaign or the war in the south seas in general, and "Lions of Iwa Jima" is a good cover of the Regimental Combat Teams the USMC used in that battle.

Those are the only ones on my kindle atm so can't offer word on any of the others at Amazon.

Posted by: Grimmy at February 09, 2013 06:43 PM (uUsh9)

58 46. Killing the F-35 would not only be a good thing for the Navy, but for the USAF and USMC.

It is the biggest military aviation procurement disaster in all of history. Inherently flawed in multiple ways...."

***

The Mark 14 torpedo and its Mark VI exploder of early WWII have to be on the short list of the biggest procurement disasters in Navy history. Can't imagine anything worse than being one of the dozens of American submarine captains who hit their targets only to get no explosion because of a defectively designed and constructed weapon.

Other procurement disasters include pretty much every front line naval aircraft in the inventory in December 1941. The people who sent brave American aviators to their deaths in the Brewster Buffalo fighter and the Devastator torpedo bomber in 1942 should have been put in jail or shot.

Posted by: Maybe Not at February 09, 2013 07:01 PM (u3N3z)

59 If you want to visit the Solomons, I'd recommend doing it this year. RAMSI is keeping a lid on things and it's safe enough to go galavanting around the country with cameras and laptops and such.

I'd seriously recommend _not_ visiting Papua New Guinea. Most of the violence in PNG is aimed at locals, but it's not really safe there after dark. Your mugger will be very polite, but he's still going to relieve you of your wallet, camera, and anything else worth more than a dollar.

Posted by: Topper Harley at February 09, 2013 07:09 PM (9mbNo)

60 32
If you read the histories of the associated naval actions, what's
crystal clear is that the USN were completely unprepared to fight the
IJN at sea.

The US Navy still thought it was the best in the
world even though its weapons were second-rate and its tactical
doctrines were ossified. Thousands of sailors are in eternal watery
graves as a result of learning the hard way.

***

Ditto that.

Napoleon said one big mistake commanders often make is to "form a picture" rather than to face the facts as they actually present themselves.

The U.S. Navy fit that perfectly and went into WWII intending to fight a caricature of the Japanese. Instead they got the Zero, the Long Lance torpedo and very skilled night surface warfare fighters. Read about the Battle of Savo Island for an especially embarrassing and fatal example.

Posted by: Maybe Not at February 09, 2013 07:11 PM (u3N3z)

61 Never forget most of the men who served on the 'Canal were US Army. It took 2 (25th and Americal, as well as the CAM (Combined Army-Marine, composed of elements of the 2nd Marines and Americal divisions) infantry divisions and the 2nd Marine division to finish the campaign.

And Guadalcanal was not America's first offensive victory in the Pacific war. That was in Papua where a mixed force of US Army and Australians defeated the Japanese on January 21, 1943.

Posted by: formwiz at February 09, 2013 07:18 PM (Kv1kb)

62 Douglas Munro grew up in Cle Elum, Washington and is buried there. In
2002 Michelle Malkin wrote a nice piece about his sacrifice and included
the story of that of Munro's childhood friend Army SSGT Mike Cooley-
both had gone off to war, only Mike would return alive. For nearly 40
years Mike would, twice a day, walk to Doug's grave to raise the flag in the
morning and lower it at dusk. At one time when he had pneumonia, his
daughter drove him to do the honors. He passed in 1999 and is buried
near Doug.

The Story of Doug and Mike- M Malkin

Posted by: Jason Newton at February 09, 2013 07:49 PM (OXzvH)

63 Well the link failed but it is easily searchable.

Posted by: Jason Newton at February 09, 2013 07:50 PM (OXzvH)

64 34
Strongly second the recommendation on "Neptune's Inferno". In fact, there is a terrific review on Amazon. Terrific.
Thing that struck me was that there is little report of any planning when the USN went up the Slot. Just poke around and see what we find. Maybe there was planning, but it wasn't mentioned. Infantry doctrine for planning a squad-size patrol is considerably more involved than anything Hornfischer--see "Last Stand of The Tin Can Sailors" as well--tells us about for the massive surface battles.
Used to have a neighbor, a former Marine, who'd been on the Canal. Also another Marine who'd been a 40mm gunner on the old New Mexico battleship. They were discussing regiments and the first guy hauled out his wallet."I'll show you my regiment."His wife said, "Oh, George, not that horrible death picture." It was a picture of the regiment's firstcemetery.
As to where they come from: Somebody said, they just show up.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at February 09, 2013 08:36 PM (MQcrX)

65 As a former Coastie, thanks for the nod toward Signalman First Class Douglas Munro.
Semper Paratus

Posted by: mudshark at February 09, 2013 08:45 PM (S1plt)

66 Far and awaythe best book on the subject is "Guadalcanal" by Richard B. Frank(1990). As for Papua, you can expect to be buggered after you are robbed. It's a native custom.

Posted by: Banjo at February 09, 2013 10:33 PM (BzdDN)

67 Well one thing we're safe from is either JEF or Hillarah ever getting a military award for valor.

Posted by: torabora at February 10, 2013 04:10 PM (N07uh)






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