Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

At the risk of being repetitive, some things become a tradition and I guess this has become one for Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. This picture of my Uncle Cal somewhere in the Pacific during WWII is a classic and you have seen it before on this blog. And so too is his poem honoring The Marines. It is a far more fitting tribute to all our soldiers serving throughout the world on this Veteran's Day 2011 then anything I could write. Later today or this weekend I may add a few more related items.

Uncle Cal served in the California 40th Division, 185th Regiment. He was in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The 40th trained at Camp San Luis Obispo, just a few miles from where I live. Click on images to enlarge for viewing.


"In September 1942 the division arrived in Hawaii and moved to defensive positions in the outer islands. In July 1943, the division moved to positions on Oahu. In October, with the threat of a Japanese invasion passing, the 40th took up jungle and amphibious training in preparation of offensive operations.

During December, the division moved to Guadalcanal for further training and limited combat patrolling. While on the "canal", the division didn't battle the Japanese. They instead fought the island's muddy conditions, its swamps, and mosquito-borne malaria (hmm...and take another look at Uncle Cal's pic. jr). The division, now part of the 1st Marine Amphibious Corps, then moved to Cape Gloucester on New Britain Island and relieved the 1st Marine Division on 23 April 1944. The 40th conducted combat operations until 27 November 1944, when it was relieved by the 5th Australian Division. The 40th then assembled at Borgen Bay the next day and departed New Britain on 9 December 1944 for the their next objective, The Philippines.

After brief stopovers on New Guinea and Manus Island, the 40th Infantry Division landed in the Lingayen area of Luzon at 09:36 hours on 9 January 1945. It was followed up with another landing at Bamban. While opposition during the first landing was light, Bamban was a different story. The division battled the main Japanese force in the Bamban Hills, Fort Stotsenburg and Clark Field, The Zambales Mountains, Snake Hill, Storm King Mountain, The Seven Hills, and the mountain known as the Top of the World. In the final phase the battles moved to Scobia Ridge, Hill 1700, and Williams Ridge. On 2 March, the division was relieved by the 43d Infantry Division.

The division left Luzon on 15 March 1945 and conducted unopposed landings on Paney Islands on the 18th. They conducted combat operations in those islands until the division next moved to Los Negros Island where it conducted multiple landings with little or no opposition. The division regrouped on 8 April for an attack on the Japanese forces in the Negritos-Patog area. Prior to that attack, the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment was assigned to the division, replacing the 108th Infantry Regiment. The division attacked with all three regiments (The 160th and 185th Infantry, and the 503d) on 9 April and immediately ran into stiff resistance and counterattacks. To make matters worse, the weather turned bad. Torrential rainstorms made air support impossible. Hill 3155 switched hands between the 160th Infantry Regiment and the Japanese Army several times between 18 and 23 May. Organized resistance ceased on 31 May and the 40th moved to the Otag-Santa Barbara-Taguan area for rehabilitation and training. The division was in this area when the war ended."

Related blog posts/Websites:

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Veterans Day 2010 - Thank You for Your Service & Sacrifice

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Veteran's Day & Update on my Mother, Brenda Steunenberg Richards

Monday, November 10, 2008
Veteran's Day November 11, 2008 - Staff Sargent Jule Steunenberg

Getting the Message Through

BTW, I am looking for a decent EE-8A Army Field Phone (leather case) and an M1 Carbine, both pieces of equipment Uncle Cal had probably used.

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