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Matanikau CVE-101 - History

Matanikau CVE-101 - History


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Matanikau
(CVE-101: dp. 7,800; 1. 512'3"; b. 65'; ew. 108'1"; dr. 22'6"; a. 19 k.; cpl. 860; a. 1 5", 16 40mm., 20 20mm., 28 dct; cl. Casablanca; T. S4-S2-BB3)

Matanikau (CVE-101) was laid down as Dolomi Bayunder Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co., Inc. Vancouver, Wash., 10 March 1944; renamed Matanikau 26 April 1944; launched 22 May 1944, sponsored by Mrs. Robert A. Grant, delivered to the Navy 24 June 1944, and commissioned at Astoria, Oreg., the same day, Capt. W. L. Erdmann in command.

Following the training in Puget Sound,Matanikau steamed to San Diego 25 July. After embarking 191 military passengers and loading 56 planes, she departed 1 August on an extended shakedown and ferrying run to the South Pacific. She touched at Espiritu Santo and Finschafen; reached Manus, Admiralties, 23 August; and, after discharging men and planes, she carried 112 sailors and 41 damage aircraft back to the west coast, arriving San Diego 19 September.

Matanikau's run to the Admiralities and back marked her closest advance to the sea war in the Pacific On 14 October she embarked Composite Squadron 93 and began duty as qualification carrier for naval and marine aviators. Operating along the west coast out of San Diego she played an important, if unspectacular, role while training hundreds of pilots during the closing months of World War II. For more than 8 months she conducted flight training and qualification landings. Between January and June 1945 she qualified 1,332 aviators, and during these 6 months pilots completed 12,762 landings on her flight deck. On 25 May alone fighter and torpedo planes of Marine Air Groups CVS-454 and CVS-321 made 602 daylight landings

Matanikau departed San Diego 28 July and carried 65 planes and 158 troops to the Marshalls. Operating under Carrier Transport Squadron, Pacific Fleet, she reached Roi Island, Kwajalein 10 August, then returned to Pearl Harbor the 16th. On 31 August she sailed for the western Pacific to support occupation operations in Japan. As a unit of TF 4, she reached Omi,nato, Honshu, 11 September. During the next 2 weeks she supported operations along the northern coast of Honshu,, including landings by the 8th Army at Aomori 25 September. After steaming to Yokosuka, she departed Tokyo Bay 30 September, touched at Guam and Pearl Harbor, and arrived San Francisco 23 October.

Assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty, Matanikau between 3 and 19 November steamed to Saipan where she embarked more than 1,000 returning veterans. Departing for the west coast the 21st, she reached San Pedro 5 December. Six days later she again sailed for the Marianas. She arrived Guam 27 December, embarked 795 troops of the 3d Marine Division, and departed the next day for China. Arriving Taku 3 January 1946. Matanikau debarked the marines who were part of an American force supporting the Chinese Nationalists in their struggle against the Communists for control of China.

Matanikau sailed for the United States 9 January and entered San Diego harbor the 29th. Between 1 and 5 February she steamed to Tacoma, Wash., where she remained during the next 8 months in an inactive status. She decommissioned 11 October 1946 and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet. While berthed at Tacoma, Matanikau was reclassified CVHE-101 on 15 June 1955, and again reclassified AKV-36 on 7 May 1959. Ordered disposed of in March 1960, Matanikau was struck from the Navy list 1 April 1960. She was sold to Jacq. Pierot, Jr. & Sons of New York 27 July 1960.


Service history [ edit | edit source ]

World War II [ edit | edit source ]

Following training in Puget Sound, Matanikau steamed to San Diego on 25 July. After embarking 191 military passengers and loading 56 planes, she departed on 1 August on an extended shakedown and ferrying run to the South Pacific. She touched at Espiritu Santo and Finschhafen, reached Manus in the Admiralty Islands on 23 August, and after discharging men and planes, she carried 112 sailors and 41 damaged aircraft back to the west coast, arriving San Diego on 19 September.

Matanikau ' s run to the Admiralties and back marked her closest advance to the sea war in the Pacific. On 14 October, she embarked Composite Squadron 93 (VC-93) and began duty as qualification carrier for naval and marine aviators. Operating along the west coast out of San Diego, she trained hundreds of pilots during the closing months of World War II. For more than 8 months, she conducted flight training and qualification landings. From January–June 1945, she qualified 1,332 aviators, and during these 6 months, pilots completed 12,762 landings on her flight deck. On 25 May alone, fighter and torpedo planes of Marine Air Groups CVS-454 and CVS-321 made 602 daylight landings, the greatest number on an aircraft carrier in one day. Ώ]

Matanikau departed San Diego on 28 July and carried 65 planes and 158 troops to the Marshall Islands. Operating under Carrier Transport Squadron, Pacific Fleet, she reached Roi Island, Kwajalein on 10 August, then returned to Pearl Harbor on the 16th. On 31 August, she sailed for the western Pacific to support occupation operations in Japan. As a unit of Task Force 4 (TF 4), she reached Ominato, Honshū on 11 September. For the next 2 weeks, she supported operations along the northern coast of Honshū, including landings by the 8th Army at Aomori on 25 September. After steaming to Yokosuka, she departed Tokyo Bay 30 September, touched at Guam and Pearl Harbor, and arrived San Francisco 23 October.

Assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty from 3–19 November, Matanikau steamed to Saipan, where she embarked more than 1,000 returning veterans. Departing for the west coast on the 21st, she reached San Pedro, California on 5 December. Six days later, she again sailed for the Marianas. She arrived Guam on 27 December, embarked 795 troops of the 3rd Marine Division, and departed the next day for China. Arriving Taku Forts on 3 January 1946, Matanikau debarked the marines who were part of an American force supporting the Chinese Nationalists in their struggle against the Communists for control of China.

Decommissioning [ edit | edit source ]

Matanikau sailed for the United States on 9 January and entered San Diego harbor on the 29th. From 1–5 February, she steamed to Tacoma, Washington, where she remained during the next 8 months in an inactive status. She decommissioned on 11 October and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet. While berthed at Tacoma, Matanikau was reclassified CVHE-101 on 15 June 1955, and again reclassified AKV-36 on 7 May 1959. Ordered disposed of in March 1960, Matanikau was struck from the Navy list on 1 April 1960. She was sold to Jacq. Pierot, Jr. & Sons of New York on 27 July 1960.


One Man's War -Part 16: October 1, 1944 - December 1, 1944

This story appears courtesy of and with thanks to Robert H Allison.

The arrival on October 1st at Los Alamitos was to begin a pre-departure training period. This was to consist of simulated strikes, field carrier landing and formation tactics. The bomber squadron was sent to San Diego for anti submarine warfare training. Also included in our program was carrier qualifications aboard the USS Matanikau, CVE 101. It was from the Matanikau that Ensign Robert Reed made a high and fast approach for a landing and sailed over the barrier ran off the forward end of the flight deck and dumped his plane in the ocean ahead of the ship. He escaped the disaster unharmed and fortunately did not have his crew with him. No harm, no foul, just embarrassment.

Some of the older members of the squadron had not been subjected to carrier landings in combat type planes and were about to make their first. Most did OK, but our executive officer Lieutenant Occo Gibbs could not bring himself to land aboard the carrier. He was disqualified for carrier operations by the Captain of the Matanikau and was released from the squadron. Occo was an OS2U observation plane pilot and had always been catapulted from a cruiser and landed on the water prior to coming to the squadron. He just couldn't get the nerve to come aboard the carrier. Might not have been nerves so much as just plain smart. He had to fly back and land at San Diego.

Los Alamitos is near Seal Beach, Ca. and just east of Long Beach. The inclement weather gave the members of the squadron a sizable amount of liberty. We would wake up in the morning, look out the window, see the fog or rain, call the flight line to find that flying had been canceled then get an early start for Long Beach or Los Angeles. These nasty mornings were called "Crapo secure us", a play of words on the various cloud formations. Results-- more sack time!

So it was on one of these days that another pilot, Charlie Janson, and I took off for Long Beach. I have no idea what we had in mind for that day, but what ever it was, we stopped in a restaurant on Ocean Boulevard, sat down at the counter and lo and behold my future was sitting at the other end. She was with another female which made it just right for making a pass. I believe it was Charlie who had the glib tongue and made the first move. It was the beginning of a pair of very nice friendships for Charlie and me. Not only were they nice looking, but friendly and they had a car. In the two months that we were stationed at Los Alamitos, Charlie and his lady friend, Wilda, with my future and me spent several very enjoyable days and evenings in and around Long Beach and Los Angeles. My female interest, Margie, and Wilda had been student nurses and roommates at Los Angeles General Hospital. Margie still worked there. The four of us remained close friends until Charlie and I sailed away. I continued to correspond with Margie all the time we were at sea. I don't know if Charlie and Wilda had any contact during this time but theirs was not to be a lasting affair, anyhow. Charlie was killed a few months later. I'll get back to Margie and me later.

While at Los Alamitos the USO presented a program featuring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. This was without a doubt the number one attraction of all USO shows along with a few "Big Bands". It was rumored that the reason Los Alamitos got the show was because it was so near Hollywood and the station chaplain, a Catholic priest, was a friend of Crosby's. Stands to reason!

You can believe that we were more than eager to see them. It was like the young people today seeing the Beatles or the Rolling Stones or Elvis in their prime. But it was not to be! It was a couple of days before the show that the squadron received orders to report to the USS Matanikau. So we spent the evening of the show listening to their broadcast on radio on board the ship and griping all the while.

If there had been any vindication for us it was because Crosby, Hope and the Chaplain refused to begin the show until a large section of the seats in center and down front that had been set aside for senior officers and their spouses or lady friends had been cleared of these civilians and replaced with service men. The high ranking officers and their friends left. If you had ever been confronted with "RHIP" (Rank has it's privileges) as existed in the service you can well imagine what
this did to the morale of the sailors. You can well imagine the political influence Crosby and Hope carried to be able to attack the brass in their own lair.

Toward the end of our stay at Los Alamitos the squadron held a party at the Pacific Coast Club in Long Beach. Due to the presence of some of the wives of the married officers the party didn't get too much out of hand although a large quantity of hard liquor was consumed. At least the bill for the booze was six hundred dollars which, at that time, was a considerable amount of liquor. But, we had our drunks and my friend Wells was one of them. He spent most of the evening with his head hanging in the toilet with me holding him up so that he wouldn't drown in his own puke. Don't remember how we got back to the station. I'm sure we had Skinner and the doctor to thank for it.

Continued.
'This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his / her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.'

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Jon King (porn star)

Jon King (12 January 1963 Jacksonville, Florida - 8 March 1995 Santa Fe, New Mexico) Born John Nelson Gaines, he died of complications of AIDS at the age of 32. One of the most popular gay adult film stars of the 1980s. When asked in interviews, Jon rarely discussed his life in Florida in much detail, except that it did involve quite a bit of getting into trouble. He had been interested in pornography since finding a Playboy magazine his father owned when he was twelve years old. At some point in his teens he had read about Jack Deveau, owner of Hand In Hand Films, and sent the producer some dark and fuzzy pictures of himself. Deveau politely turned him down. Deciding that he was going places and doing things hed never done before John Gaines and his then-lover came to Los Angeles while on summer vacation in 1980, with plans to go back to school in Florida after he had finished having fun. This changed when his lover got a job and the two young men decided to stay. Eventually John picked up a guy cruising who happened to be a model who had an appointment later that day with a photographer. John tagged along to the interview, and was soon on his way as an adult film performer. His start acrobat reader download in adult films came with the 1981 film Brothers Should Do It, where he was billed as Jon King, the younger brother of J.W. King. Though the two strongly resembled each other, they were not related. He next appeared in Bikers Liberty, with Kristen Bjorn, Printers Devils, and These Bases Are Loaded, again with J.W. King. Later, he would complain that the man who helped him get started in the industry was a psycho who screwed him over for money. In 1982, just as he was at the seeming peak of his popularity, he stole and wrecked a car, and for this spent eleven months in prison. Jon would later prove reluctant to discuss his time in prison to interviewers, only saying that it wasnt fun, particularly since his twentieth birthday was spent behind bars. Making a comeback in 1983, Jon King continued to appear in films and videos throughout the 1980s. Among these were Big Summer Surprise, The Biggest One I Ever Saw (with Lee Ryder and Rick Donovan), Hot Off The Press, Hotel Hell, Inevitable Love, Perfect Summer, Screen Play (again with Lee Ryder), Studhunter, Trick Time (with Tim Kramer), Tyger Tales, Wild Country, and Wild Oats. One of his most memorable scenes was in a hot tub with veteran adult star Kip Noll in 1984s Kip Noll - Superstar. Around 1989 Jon retired from the business and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he attended culinary school. Apparently his dreams of becoming a chef did not work out. He made a second comeback in the early 1990s, appearing in Fade In, Fade Out, Wild Country, and adobe acrobat download the sequel These Bases Are Loaded 2. His last video, Pumping Iron, came out in 1995. Jon King had been HIV positive for acrobat reader free download a number of years and soon after completing Pumping Iron became extremely ill with AIDS. He moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to live with a friend who looked after his needs. It was here that Jon King died from AIDS complications on 8 March. He was cremated and his ashes mixed and scattered with those of his beloved dog, who had died some years earlier. Jon Kings tight, boyishly muscular body, combined with his thick black hair, deep dark eyes, and a youthful innocence and vulnerability made him very popular with most everyone who saw him. He was often described as a gentle, loving person, who sadly spent his whole life searching for a lasting happiness which he never found. When asked about his popularity, laurag23b John Gaines commented that being recognized and approached in public as Jon King actually made him uncomfortable, and that he had even quit going to gay bars for that reason. Its not that I dont appreciate it, he once said of the admiration he received, I just want to be myself.

Videography


Actions Along the Matanikau: 1942, 1970, 2013

Except for scholars of the battle, October 9, 1942 is not a particularly noteworthy day in the history of Guadalcanal. American presence on the island, while not exactly secure, was at least not as tenuous as it had been. The Cactus Air Force was developing a daily routine, and Japanese raids came in like clockwork. The battles of the Tenaru, Savo Island, and Edson’s Ridge were in the past Battleship Sunday, the attack on Henderson Field, the Matanikau Offensive and the Long Patrol had not yet occurred. The main activities on October 9 were the arrival of the First Battalion, Second Marines from garrison duty on Tulagi, and the successful conclusion of a flanking attack along the far bank of the Matanikau River that removed a thorn in the side of the Marine perimeter. Both of these actions resulted in men killed, wounded, and missing.

The remains of at least twenty-five Marines lost on this date were declared non-recoverable after the war.* This, sadly, is not terribly unusual. What is interesting about October 9, 1942 is how many of the men who went “missing” that day have been recovered.

Unfortunately, for the company that lost the heaviest, nothing can be done—they were lost at sea in a tragic accident. These are the fourteen Marines of Company B, Second Marines. Their initiation to combat on August 7 had been fierce—after landing unopposed on Florida Island that morning, they assaulted Tanambogo that evening against resistance so sharp that only one-third of their men reached the shore a five-hour battle resulted in a fighting withdrawal. The following two months were spent in garrison duty on Tulagi in stultifying boredom. On October 9, they received word to board a small fleet of Higgins boats to make a battalion-strength landing on Guadalcanal. The boats would be towed by YP craft for the trip to Guadalcanal. Unfortunately, the Higgins boats were tied in a chain to each YP, which put a great deal of strain on the first boat in line. One such boat, containing Lieutenant Floyd Parks’ Second Platoon, was violently pulled apart in the middle of Sealark Channel, dumping the entire unit into the ocean. Loaded as they were for a combat landing, many Marines were pulled under by the weight of their equipment. Parks, along with thirteen of his men, were drowned. No bodies were recovered, and given the nature of their loss there can be no reasonable hope for recovery these 14 men join the dozens of Marines and hundreds of sailors lost in shipwrecks off Guadalcanal.

The remaining eleven men belonged to the Seventh Marines. On this date, their regiment was involved in the culminating fight of a two-day operation aimed at wiping out Japanese defenses on the west bank of the Matanikau River. Attempts to broaden the Marine-held Lunga Perimeter past the Matanikau had been stymied by tough resistance 1/7 had already made two attempts, one by land and the failed “Little Dunkirk” expedition by sea. The new plan (the October Offensive, or Third Action Along The Matanikau) grew out of lessons learned in the failed attacks, and involved a march through the jungle to a single log bridge that spanned the river. After crossing, the Seventh Marines and the “Whaling Group” of scouts and snipers would attack towards the ocean, rolling up the Japanese right flank while the First Raider Battalion and the Fifth Marines kept up the pressure on the riverbank. The plan worked most of the Japanese defenders were killed and the survivors scattered in disorder.

Naturally, the Marines took casualties as well and followed the standard operating procedure of burying their dead in the field. The official practices were laid out in the 1941 Technical Manual 10-630, but this tome was not high on the reading list for Marines in the field. Instead, the dead were buried as quickly, grouped together when possible, and a marker erected on the spot. Whenever possible, the coordinates were noted to make eventual retrieval easier. Such was the case with most of the burials conducted by the Seventh Marines on October 9, 1942.

Casualties reported by 7th Marine Regiment, October 9, 1942
Names with an asterisk were declared “non-recoverable” after the war.

*PFC MORRISSEY, Harry C. 9, killed in action by enemy fire at about noon GO #20 does not apply char. Exc 9, remains temp interred in the field.
PFC RUST, William A. 9, killed in action by enemy fire at about noon GO #20 does not apply char. Exc 10, remains interred in 1 st Mar Div Cemetery, Row #26, Grave #5.

*PFC DRAKE, Francis E. 9, killed in action by enemy fire at about noon, west of the MATANIKAU RIVER, GUADALCANAL, B. S. I. remains interred in Grave #3, LUNGA AREA, vicinity MATANIKAU RIVER, GUADALCANAL, B. S. I. Map 104. (69.9-199.5)
PFC MARTINCHAK, Andrew 9, killed in action by enemy fire at about noon at GUADALCANAL, BRITISH SOLOMON ISLANDS, west of the MATANIKAU RIVER 10, remains interred in 1stMarDiv Cemetery, Row #46, Grave #7.
PFC NOVAK, Leonard T. 9, killed in action by enemy fire at about noon at GUADALCANAL, BRITISH SOLOMON ISLANDS, west of the MATANIKAU RIVER 10, remains interred in 1stMarDiv Cemetery, Row #26, Grave #6.

*Pvt. BERNES, Albert LeR. 9, killed in action by enemy fire, GO #20 does not apply char. Exc 9, remains interred in the field at approximate map reference: map 104, Lunga area, north coast Guadalcanal, grave #2 (69.9-199.5)

Cpl. LANGLEY, Edwin M. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply. Buried (69.75-200-15) Map 104, Lunga Area, North Coast, Guadalcanal.
*Cpl. SUGGS, John F. 9, killed in action char Very Good GO#20 does not apply. Buried (69.75-200-15) Map 104, Lunga Area, North Coast, Guadalcanal.
*PFC HUNTER, Godfrey E. Jr. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply. Killed in action in an area about 2000 yards south of Point Cruz and about 1000 yards west of the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal. Buried in the Field.
PFC JENKINS, Alba W. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply. Killed in action in an area about 100 yards west of the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal. Buried in the Field.
*PFC JOHNS, David W. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply. Killed in action in an area about 2000 yards south of Point Cruz and about 1000 yards west of the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal. Buried in the Field.
PFC MULLINS, Rollen 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply. Killed in action in an area about 2000 yards south of Point Cruz and about 1000 yards west of the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal. Buried in the Field.
*Pvt. GAGNON, Paul E. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply. Buried (69.75-200-15) Map 104, Lunga Area, North Coast, Guadalcanal.
*Pvt. JOHNSTON, Eugene 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply. Killed in action in an area about 2000 yards south of Point Cruz and about 1000 yards west of the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal. Buried in the Field.

*PFC EBERLE, Robert O. 9, killed in action at Cactus, GO 20 does not apply char Exc 9, buried in the field at (69.7-200.4), Map #104, North Coast, Guadalcanal, B. S. I.
*PFC STRICKLAND, Hugh G. 9, killed in action at Cactus, GO 20 does not apply char Exc 9, buried in the field at (69.75-200.4), Map #104, North Coast, Guadalcanal, B. S. I.

*Sgt. CUSACK, William J. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply remains interred at (70.4-200.2) Map #104, Lunga Area, North Coast Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands.
PFC LAWSON, James M. Jr 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply remains interred at (69.9-200.2) Map #104, Lunga Area, North Coast Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands.
PFC LOUDER, John W. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply remains interred in 1 st MarDiv Cemetery, CACTUS area, Row #26, Grave #8
PFC MC GETTRICK, Gerald J. 9, killed in action char Exc GO#20 does not apply remains interred at (69.9-200.2) Map #104, Lunga Area, North Coast Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands.

It is interesting to note the slight differences in notation across the different companies. Each had a different clerk responsible for typing up the muster roll, and while most contain the same basic information, the individual style of each clerk can in some instances make recovery efforts difficult.

While looking at these individual records, a few patterns come to light

Several Marines may have died en route to the perimeter, or of wounds later in the day.
According to the “Division Commander’s Final Report on Guadalcanal Operation,” the orders for October 9 were “to continue the attack as planned until the envelopment was complete but to undertake no further movement to the west. The maneuvering force [Whaling Group and 7 th Marines] to withdraw on order in successive echelons along the coast after envelopment was completed.”[1] This order was adhered to and “accomplished smoothly and according to plan, 5 th Marines covering the movement of Whaling Group, 2d Bn 7 th Marines and 1 st Bn 7 th Marines, in the order named. The entire enveloping force was east of the river and en route to Lunga Point by 1400.”[2] Thus, the entire attack on October 9, 1942, lasted from dawn until two o’clock in the afternoon at latest, when Puller’s 1/7 returned to the perimeter. As the only notation of time comes from 1/7, who notes its casualties were suffered “about noon,” it can be assumed that the climax of the action occurred around then, leaving less than two hours for the collection, identification, and burial of the dead. Those who lived long enough to regain the perimeter were all buried the following day, in sequential graves in one row of the cemetery:

PFC Rust Row #26, Grave #5. Punchbowl Cemetery, 1948
PFC Novak Row #26, Grave #6. St. Michael’s Cemetery, 1949
PFC Martinchak Row #46, Grave #7 [note: 46 is a typo in the original roll] Gettysburg Cemetery, date unknown
PFC Louder Row #26, Grave #8 Rose Hill Cemetery, date unknown

In relating the story of the day’s action, Sergeant Joe Goble (B/1/7) reveals the fate of three men from his battalion, one of whom is William Rust.

We were ordered to cross a narrow valley waist-high in jungle grass. Part of us had gotten across when two machine guns opened up, killing two of our men. We took the ridge but continued to receive heavy mortar fire. Some of my men were hit, but not badly enough to keep them from fighting…. I planned to dig in for the night. Someone yelled for me. I went up the line of men and found Corporal Rust hit in the stomach. He was sitting there rocking back and forth. I grasped him under both arms and began dragging him off the ridge. Then, suddenly I was lying on my back with Corporal Rust on top of me. I had been shot in the leg by a sniper…. I don’t remember much about getting out. We arrived at the beach where several boats were waiting for the wounded. Each boat was loaded full, and I was placed beside several dead bodies. I pulled the blanket back off the one nearest me and found it was Corporal Rust.[3]

So William Rust, at least, died while being evacuated it may not have been long after (note that he is also listed as “killed in action about noon”) but he was not killed outright if he had been, he would have received a field burial. Of the two men Goble reports hit by a machine gun, one is almost certainly Harry Morrssey the other might have been Albert Bernes of Company D.[4] Marines went to great lengths to help their wounded buddies PFC Francis Drake lost his life trying to carry a wounded man to safety behind the ridge where he was killed. This meant that all available resources would have to be dedicated to carrying out the wounded men 1/7 alone had twenty-five men in need of medical care.[5] Unfortunate as a field burial was, in the case of those killed on October 9, there was simply no other option. The wounded were returned by boat the able-bodied had to march, which had its own dangers.

All graves locations were marked.

The KIAs from 1/7 – Morrissey, Bernes, and Drake—are noted as being buried in graves 1, 2, and 3 in the Lunga Area, making something of a miniature cemetery in the field. Map coordinates were later taken for this area, but it was clearly assumed that this would be enough information to locate and identify the bodies in future. The precise coordinates were noted in their individual service record books, as was a carefully drawn sketch of the (As will be seen, this was not the only precaution taken.)

Companies F and G took the precaution of noting the grid coordinates on their muster rolls. Fox Company’s dead, Eberle and Strickland, were not killed in the attack itself, but on the way back to the Lunga perimeter. Of this journey, Philip J. Magnan writes,

Returning was no picnic. A marine had to be alert for occasional artillery fire and the ever-present possibility of enemy rifle shots coming up from the jungles beneath the ridge trails. There were also “grasscutterss,” bombs that exploded upon contact, sending shock waves straight out along the ground, flattening the high, coarse kunai grass. A concussion could kill a man too slow to dive into his foxhole as easily as a slug through the heart. On the way back, F Company’s Privates first class Robert Eberle and Hugh Strickland were killed. Corporal Edward Killiany was wounded by shrapnel.[6]

The two slain Marines were buried, if not together then close nearby, along the trail.[7] A similar fate may have befallen PFCs Lawson and McGettrick of Company G, also buried close together. Sergeant Cusick was less fortunate his lone grave disappeared.

In Company E, only three graves are pinpointed: Langley, Suggs, and Johnston. All three show the same grid coordinates, yet of those three only Langley was located after the war. Despite the vague directions, PFC Jenkins’ grave, separate from the others (and closer to the Matanikau, suggesting that he was killed as the attack commenced) was located, as was PFC Mullens, buried in same area as Hunter, Johns, and Johnston.

Why pinpoint only a few graves? It is probable that the precise locations were entered in the record books, as they were for Drake, Morrissey, and Bernes. Any graves registration team heading out to investigate the burials would be armed with a list of those to look for it’s possible that a single notation was thought necessary—a team would start at that location, and presumably find a common grave.

This system did work some cases, but was by no means ideal. Of our October 9 examples, only five were found in the years following the battle. Identification documents exist for James Lawson, found in an “isolated grave” and later repatriated. However, the Graves Registration service had yet to perfect their craft, and many more went undiscovered or unidentified.

The exact circumstances surrounding the location of Langley, Jenkins, Mullins, Lawson and McGettrick are not known, but all were accounted for by 1950.

Corporal Langley Cemetery unknown
PFC Jenkins Mobile National Cemetery
PFC Mullins Grafton National Cemetery
PFC Lawson Knoxville National Cemetery
PFC McGettrick Punchbowl Cemetery

Efforts to recover additional field burials on Guadalcanal came to an official halt in 1949. All traces of the burial sites of the eleven remaining were obliterated Graves Registration teams tried using the grid coordinates, but the Guadalcanal jungle was notoriously difficult to penetrate and its rapacious growth reclaimed landmarks. The searches made were of varying quality some were thorough, some perfunctory, and in at least one case a negligent team submitted a false non-recoverable report.[8] Some skeletons were recovered in the Point Cruz area, but had no identification with them. Some blame lies with the combat units who, although meaning well, were either ignorant of the proper procedure for field burials, or were under too much duress to properly note the location of the graves. However, this does not seem to be the case with the 7 th Marines.

In 1970, Mrs. Y. Timothy Kwaimani the wife of a forestry ranger on Guadalcanal made a grisly discovery—a partial human skeleton, brought to the surface by accident. In what was either a stroke of pure luck or evidence of a carefully prepared field burial, the body had with it a single dog tag bearing the name of G. E. Hunter. Records were checked for a matching name and location meanwhile, further digging unearthed yet more remains. It turned out to be the grave of the Easy Company contingent: in addition to Godfrey E. Hunter, the earth yielded the bones of John Suggs, David Johns, Paul Gagnon, and Eugene Johnston. They had not been recovered earlier, said the Corps, because “artillery barrages and rapid jungle growth hid the grave sites, and only three of the eight were later found by the graves registration service.” Two years later, the Marines were buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in the presence of some 40 surviving relatives. The book was closed at last on the missing from E/7 th Marines.

Oelwin Daily Register, June 28, 1972 The Victoria Advocate, June 29, 1972 The burial site. Photograph from arlingtoncemetery.net

In April 2013, Michael Tokuru Junior was out doing some digging for a local kitchen on Honiara picturesque Skyline Ridge. Like Mrs. Kwaimani, he found a bone buried just beneath the surface—and, as before, a single dog tag. This one belonged to Drake, F. E. Jr. 299871. The Tokuru family took to the Internet (the senior Mr. Tokuru manages the Solomon Islands Tourism Bureau) to ask about the identity of the man who had once worn the tag. A dig revealed two more sets of remains nearby. By June, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command learned of the discovery, and in October the Solomon Times reported on the discovery. John Innes, a Guadalcanal resident whose work in researching MIA servicemen helped in the identification of Sgt. John Branic in 2006, gave an interview about the discovery. Although official identification is still pending from JPAC, Innes is confident that the remains of the other two men are those of Harry Morrissey and Albert Bernes. The formal investigation is being handled by JPAC hopefully an official announcement of identification will follow before long.

The MIAs of October 9, 1942 are thus reduced to three. Seventy-two years after they lost their lives on Guadalcanal, the whereabouts of Sergeant William Cusack, PFC Robert Eberle, and PFC Hugh Strickland are still not known for certain. The question “why not” seems academic on the surface there should be enough information to recover these sets of remains. After all, Map #104 is no longer a secret document.

This is the map on which Guadalcanal operations depended. It was not widely available until several weeks into the campaign previous maps were little more than sketches, and the dearth of solid information contributed in part to the ill-fated Goettge Patrol. The remains of 21 Marines of that patrol were last observed in various states of burial and dismemberment on the coast of Point Cruz. The very western extremity of Map 104 also encompassed the “Little Dunkirk” operation of 1/7, which PFC Harry Morrissey experienced and survived he may have recognized Hill 84 from his vantage point before he was killed.

Here are the locations of the burial sites of the various groups from the 7th Marines.

“Suggs Group” includes Suggs, Gagnon, Hunter, Johns, and Johnston, recovered in 1970.
“Drake Group” includes Drake, Morrissey, and Bernes, tentatively recovered in 2013.
“Eberle Group” includes Robert Eberle and Hugh Strickland, still MIA.

Why not rush out to the map locations and speedily recover Eberle, Strickland, and Cusack? The simple answer: it’s not so simple.

Guadalcanal has changed significantly in the last seven decades. If the veterans of the Third Matanikau were to re-visit the battlefield today, the “boondocks” through which they slogged would be unrecognizable.

Honiara, Guadalcanal. Point Cruz is now an industrial area, and suburban housing spreading out from the Solomon Islands’ capital has overtaken the jungle.

Graves Registration teams reported tremendous changes in the landscape of Guadalcanal that obliterated known landmarks, from shellholes to entire groves of trees. And this, recall, was about five years after the fighting – long before the suburbs of Honiara sprang up. Years of construction, development, and the simple facts of nature have all contributed to the disappearance of the three American graves. And we are presuming here that the locations noted were entirely accurate. In attempting to grid Map 104, the author ran into several inconsistencies the squares themselves are not exactly square, being 1/10th wider than they are high, and the ruled lines are not entirely straight. In contrast to the mathematically precise gunnery maps developed for later invasions at Saipan, Peleliu, and Iwo Jima, Map 104 was a “best guess” effort, traced from aerial photographs. Yet without it, the Marines would have had no intelligence about the topography of Guadalcanal – and no way to locate their dead. (They could at least be sure that Graves Registration had to use the same maps.) Despite this, even the carefully taken notes were not always sufficient. Take for example this map included with Harry Morrissey’s service record. Identical ones were drafted for Drake and Bernes.

This discrepancy of nearly 200 yards was way more than enough for a Graves Registration team to miss the burial site. Note, also, that these burials almost uniformly took place in open grassy areas (easy to locate) but close to the border of the jungle (a good visual reference point). Was the team looking for Bernes, Drake, and Morrissey directed to the wrong location? Or were they stymied by the encroaching jungle? We do not know it was only chance that turned up Francis Drake’s dog tag.

And it may be luck in one of these (VERY) rough locations that delivers the remains of Eberle, Strickland, and Cusack.

* It is important to note the distinction between “missing in action,” “not recovered,” and “lost at sea.” “Missing in action” means precisely that – an individual has vanished, with no eyewitnesses or physical evidence to confirm their fate. In some events – a plane crash, a massive explosion, or incident at sea – an assumption can be made, but unless hard evidence is obtained, an individual is presumed to be alive for one year and one day after they are last seen.The fourteen Marines from B/2nd Marines lost in Sealark Channel were technically declared to be “missing” at first the nature of the accident led to a quick change to “lost at sea” before any names were submitted to the Prisoners Of War and Missing Persons Detachment at Headquarters, USMC. In the case of the eleven Marines from the 7th Marine Regiment lost on this date, all had eyewitnesses to their death, all remains were identified and buried, and all were listed as “killed in action” rather than “missing.” After the war, when their remains went unfound, their designation was changed to “not recovered.” Never technically missing, their cases still fall under the jurisdiction of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, and within the purview of this website.

[1] Major General A. A. Vandegrift, “Final Report of Guadalcanal Operation, Phase V,” (Headquarters USMC, 1 July 1943) 12.

[3] Sgt. Joseph Goble (B/1/7), memoir submitted to The Lower Deck: Newsletter of the Warships & Marine Corps Museum, September 2002.Sergeant Goble’s leg was shattered by the sniper’s bullet his war was over.

[4] In a subsequent fight, Private Ed Poppendick (D/1/7) recalls his machine gun squad as “attached to B Company.” Splitting the personnel of a weapons company like D/7 th Marines among rifle companies was SOP Bernes was a communications man and could easily have been attached to Company B for the duration of the Matanikau expedition.

[6] Philip J. Magnan, Letters from the Pacific Front: My Father’s Adventures from Guadalcanal to Okinawa (New York: Writer’s Advantage, 2002), 107.

[7] There is a .05 degree of difference between the listed locations this may have been a clerical error.

[8] It was later found that the Graves Registration personnel had been drinking heavily in a native village instead of doing their fieldwork their targets, Privates Robert Budd and Thomas Phillips, are still unrecovered.


Con tàu được đặt lườn như là chiếc Dolomoi Bay tại Xưởng tàu Vancouver của hãng Kaiser Company, Inc. ở Vancouver, Washington vào ngày 10 tháng 3 năm 1944. Nó được đổi tên thành Matanikau vào ngày 26 tháng 4 năm 1944 trước khi được hạ thủy vào ngày 22 tháng 5 năm 1944 được đỡ đầu bởi bà Robert Allen Grant, phu nhân Dân biểu Robert A. Grant của tiểu bang Indiana. Con tàu được hải quân sở hữu và nhập biên chế tại Astoria, Oregon vào ngày 24 tháng 6 năm 1944 dưới quyền chỉ huy của Hạm trưởng, Đại tá Hải quân W. L. Erdmann.

Sau khi hoàn tất huấn luyện tại Puget Sound, Matanikau lên đường đi San Diego vào ngày 25 tháng 7 năm 1944, nơi nó đón lên tàu 191 hành khách quân sự cùng 56 máy bay trước khi lên đường vào ngày 1 tháng 8 cho chuyến đi vận chuyển đồng thời chạy thử máy đến Nam Thái Bình Dương. Chiếc tàu sân bay ghé qua Espiritu Santo và Finschhafen, rồi đi đến đảo Manus thuộc quần đảo Admiralty vào ngày 23 tháng 8. Chất dỡ số máy bay thay thế và tiễn hành khách tại đây, nó lại vận chuyển 112 thủy thủ và 41 máy bay bị hư hại quay trở về vùng bờ Tây, về đến San Diego vào ngày 19 tháng 9.

Matanikau đón lên tàu Liên đội Hỗn hợp VC-93 vào ngày 14 tháng 10, và bắt đầu làm nhiệm vụ huấn luyện chuẩn nhận tàu sân bay cho phi công và các đội bay. Nó hoạt động dọc theo vùng bờ Tây, và từ tháng 1 đến tháng 6 năm 1945 đã chuẩn nhận 1.332 phi công, thực hiện 12.762 lượt hạ cánh trên sàn đáp của nó. Chỉ riêng trong ngày 25 tháng 5, máy bay tiêm kích và máy bay ném bom-ngư lôi thuộc các phi đội CVS-454 và CVS-321 Thủy quân Lục chiến đã thực hiện 602 lượt hạ cánh vào ban ngày, số lượt hạ cánh lớn nhất từng thực hiện trên một tàu sân bay.

Matanikau rời San Diego vào ngày 28 tháng 7, 65 vận chuyển máy bay và 158 binh lính đi sang quần đảo Marshall. Hoạt động cùng Hải đội Tàu sân bay Vận chuyển thuộc Hạm đội Thái Bình Dương, nó đi đến đảo Roi, Kwajalein vào ngày 10 tháng 8, rồi quay trở về Trân Châu Cảng vào ngày 16 tháng 8. Đến ngày 31 tháng 8, nó lên đường đi sang Tây Thái Bình Dương hỗ trợ các hoạt động chiếm đóng tại Nhật Bản. Trong thành phần Lực lượng Đặc nhiệm 4, nó đi đến Ominato, Honshū vào ngày 11 tháng 9, và trong hai tuần tiếp theo đã hỗ trợ các hoạt động dọc theo bờ biển phía Bắc của đảo Honshū, bao gồm cuộc đổ bộ của Tập đoàn quân 8 lên Aomori vào ngày 25 tháng 9. Nó đi đến Yokosuka, rồi lên đường từ vịnh Tokyo vào ngày 30 tháng 9, ghé qua Guam và Trân Châu Cảng trước khi về đến San Francisco vào ngày 23 tháng 10.

Được phân công nhiệm vụ Magic Carpet, Matanikau khởi hành vào ngày 3 tháng 11 và đi đến Saipan và ngày 19 tháng 11, nơi nó đón lên tàu gần 1.000 cựu chiến binh hồi hương, rồi khởi hành vào ngày 21 tháng 11 và về đến San Pedro, California vào ngày 5 tháng 12. Nó lại lên đường sáu ngày sau đó để đi sang khu vực Mariana, đi đến Guam vào ngày 27 tháng 12 và đón lên tàu 795 binh lính thuộc Sư đoàn 3 Thủy quân Lục chiến, và khởi hành vào ngày hôm sau để đưa họ đến Trung Quốc. Đi đến Đại Cô Khẩu vào ngày 3 tháng 1 năm 1946, nó cho đổ bộ binh lính Thủy quân Lục chiến trong thành phần lực lượng Hoa Kỳ trợ giúp cho lực lượng Quốc dân đảng để kháng cự lực lượng Cộng sản.

Matanikau lên đường quay trở về Hoa Kỳ vào ngày 9 tháng 1, và về đến cảng San Diego vào ngày 29 tháng 1. Nó lên đường đi Tacoma, Washington từ ngày 1 đến ngày 5 tháng 2, nơi nó ở lại trong tám tháng tiếp theo trong trạng thái không hoạt động. Con tàu được cho xuất biên chế vào ngày 11 tháng 10 năm 1946 và đưa về Hạm đội Dự bị Thái Bình Dương. Đang khi neo đậu tại Tacoma, nó được xếp lại lớp thành CVHE-101 vào ngày 15 tháng 6 năm 1955, rồi thành AKV-36 vào ngày 7 tháng 5 năm 1959. Tên nó được cho rút khỏi danh sách Đăng bạ Hải quân vào ngày 1 tháng 4 năm 1960, và con tàu được bán cho hãng Jacq. Pierot, Jr. & Sons tại New York để tháo dỡ vào ngày 27 tháng 7 năm 1960.


USS Matanikau (CVE-101)

Авіаносець «Матанікау» був закладений 10 березня 1944 року на верфі Kaiser Shipyards у Ванкувері під ім'ям Dolomoi Bay. 26 квітня 1944 року перейменований на «Матанікау». Спущений на воду 22 травня 1944 року. Вступив у стрій 24 червня 1944 року.

Після вступу у стрій «Матанікау» використовувався як навчальний авіаносець. На ньому пройшли підготовку майже півтори тисячі пілотів, які здійснили більше 12 000 тренувальних польотів.

Після закінчення бойових дій корабель перевозив американських солдатів та моряків на батьківщину (операція «Magic Carpet»).

11 жовтня 1946 року «Матанікау» був виведений в резерв. 15 червня 1955 року «Матанікау» був перекласифікований в ескортний вертольотоносець CVHE-101. 1 квітня 1960 року корабель був виключений зі списку флоту і того ж року проданий на злам.


Construction

Her construction was awarded to Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington under a Maritime Commission contract, on 18 June 1942, under the name Dolomi Bay, as part of a tradition which named escort carriers after bays or sounds in Alaska. [6] [7] The escort carrier was laid down on 10 March 1944, MC hull 1138, the forty-seventh of a series of fifty Casablanca-class escort carriers. She therefore received the classification symbol CVE-101. On 26 April 1944, she was renamed Matanikau, as part of a new naval policy which named subsequent Casablanca-class carriers after naval or land engagements. She was named after the Actions along the Matanikau, a series of engagements conducted as part of the larger Guadalcanal campaign. [8] She was launched on 22 May 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Margaret Anna McLaren Grant, the wife of United States Representative Robert A. Grant transferred to the United States Navy and commissioned on 24 June 1944, with Captain William Lawrence Erdmann in command. [1] [9]


The Final Matanikau Offensive

November 1942 was the month in which the tide was seen to turn on Guadalcanal. It was the month in which the beleaguered Marines in the Lunga Perimeter went on the offensive.

In late October 1942, only days after the reinforced 1st Marine Division turned back the supreme Japanese ground effort to destroy the Lunga Perimeter and retake Henderson Field, General Vandegrift authorized a major offensive of his own. The Marines’ objective was to push elements of the Japanese 17th Army far enough to the west to obviate the use of Japanese 150mm long-range artillery against the American air-base complex at the center of the three-month-old land, sea, and air campaign. In what was to be the largest and strongest coordinated American ground operation to date on Guadalcanal, Vandegrift foresaw the use of six Marine infantry battalions in the attack, a U.S. Army infantry battalion in reserve, and elements of two Marine artillery regiments in support. The immediate objective was the coastal village of Kokumbona, which had once, briefly in August, been in Marine hands and which, for some weeks, had been the headquarters of Lieutenant General Harukichi Hyakutake’s corps-level 17th Army. If it was possible for the Marine battalions to drive beyond Kokumbona, they were to do so.

There were mitigating factors to be reckoned with. The main power of the new offensive was to be provided by Colonel Red Mike Edson’s 5th Marines. This renowned regiment had made the initial landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi on August 7, and it had since been in a number of serious battles and skirmishes. The 5th Marines was a regiment in name, and its morale remained high, but it was no longer a regiment in strength. Illness, hunger, and battle casualties had withered each of the battalions, and most of the officers and men who remained were malnourished and nearing the limits of physical and emotional endurance. Two battalions of the 2d Marines, a 2d Marine Division regiment that had been on loan to the 1st Marine Division since the start of the campaign, were in slightly better shape. These somewhat larger and stronger battalions had seen far less direct action against the Japanese, but they had been subjected to as much physical and emotional abuse as the battalions of the 5th Marines. Likewise, 3/7, which had been ashore since mid-September and had seen virtually no action, had suffered losses through illness and in the course of several major bombardments leading up to the 17th Army’s October offensive. The army battalion, 1/164, ashore on Guadalcanal for a little over two weeks, was by far the strongest of the battalions assigned to the Kokumbona offensive, and it was in by far the best shape. But it had seen no combat, and that was a factor. Of the artillery battalions, all fielded short-range 75mm pack howitzers whose shells had very limited effect in the closed terrain of rain forests and coconut groves that would be encountered during the coastal sweep.

The Japanese living in the target area were known to be veteran jungle fighters, and Marine scouts reported in advance that the Japanese had dug into several formidable defensive sectors between the Matanikau River and Kokumbona. No one knew how many Japanese soldiers the assault force might encounter, nor how many other Japanese soldiers might be called in to help parry the assault.

The Marine assault battalions moved into their jump-off positions on October 31. At 0630, November 1, a platoon of Company E, 2/5, paddled across to the west bank of the Matanikau River in rubber assault boats and, without opposition, established a shallow bridgehead. Then, in the first operation of its kind undertaken in World War II, three Marine engineer companies threw three prefabricated footbridges across the Matanikau River. The rest of 2/5 quickly crossed to the west bank and attacked straight into the rain forest. At 0700, 1/5 attacked parallel to 2/5, straight up the beach and right across the sandspit at the mouth of the river. The regimental reserve, 3/5, followed 1/5. Farther inland, 1/2 and 2/2 crossed the river and hunkered down to await further orders. The last battalion to cross was 3/7, which passed through the units of the 2d Marines and advanced on 2/5’s inland flank to screen against Japanese countermoves from that direction. The supporting artillery and 1/164 remained east of the river. Working ahead of the advancing battalions were two U.S. Navy cruisers and a destroyer, which were able to deliver pinpoint, on-call fire support as well as area gunfire. And overhead, Marine SBD Dauntless dive-bombers, Army Air Forces P-39 fighter-bombers, and even Army Air Forces B-17 heavy bombers struck Japanese supply dumps, lines of communication, and the Japanese base at Kokumbona.

2/5 met very little opposition as it advanced westward along a line of inland ridges running parallel to the beach, but 1/5 bumped into powerfully manned Japanese emplacements almost as soon as it began its advance on the regimental right, along the beach. Farther south, 3/7 couldn’t find a single Japanese.

The remnants of the 2d Infantry Division’s 4th Infantry Regiment had holed up in a complex of extremely well-camouflaged mutually supporting bunkers and pillboxes around the base of Point Cruz. 1/5 had advanced directly into outposts screening the eastern side of the complex, but 2/5 had passed around the defensive position. Movement along the coast slowed to a crawl as the two leading Marine infantry companies became entangled within the Japanese defenses.

Gains by 1/5 were eventually measured in feet until, during the afternoon, the Japanese counterattacked a platoon of Company C that had extended itself too deeply. Many Marines retreated under the intense pressure, but one who did not was a determined machine gunner, Corporal Louis Casamento. Loading and firing his .30-caliber machine gun alone, Casamento stopped the Japanese in his sector and killed many of them, even though he was soon delirious with blood loss from fourteen separate gunshot wounds. As Casamento finally passed out, Company C swept forward again and retook the lost ground. Because all of the eyewitnesses to Louis Casamento’s incredible stand were wounded and scattered to the winds, it would be nearly forty years before his heroism was officially recognized in the form of a Medal of Honor.

The fight seesawed through most of the day. The 1/5 reserve company was committed without much effect, and finally two reinforced companies of 3/5 were fed in along the beach while 1/5 shifted to the left to try to find the extremity of the Japanese position. No more forward progress was made on November 1, but 1/5 and 3/5 did seal the 4th Infantry Regiment bunker complex on the eastern and southeastern flanks.

The next morning, 2/5 advanced around to the western side of the Japanese position and stretched itself to the beach. The attachment of a company from 3/5 enabled 2/5 to link up with 1/5. The 4th Infantry Regiment was sealed in at the base of Point Cruz, but it remained to be seen if the 5th Marines had the strength to root it out and destroy it.

Heavy artillery concentrations were laid on the dug-in 4th Infantry, but the shells were for the most part unable to penetrate the thick jungle growth, much less the formidable coral-and-log pillboxes that protected the Japanese. Attack after attack was beaten back by the cornered defenders, but a number of Japanese positions were inevitably reduced, so some gains were made.

On November 4, two companies each from 2/5 and 3/5 attacked toward one another along the beach. Hand-to-hand fighting on both flanks reduced several more Japanese pillboxes, and then a 37mm antitank gun was carried by hand to the 2/5 front line. Canister tore away a good deal of the dense growth in that sector and revealed a number of pillboxes, which could then be taken more easily. And so on, until the defense simply collapsed in the middle of the afternoon. A total of 239 Japanese corpses were counted, including those of the commander of the 4th Infantry Regiment and most of his staff.

After burying the Japanese dead on the spot and carrying away tons of stores and weapons, the 5th Marines prepared to continue toward Kokumbona. Before the attack could resume, the regiment was ordered to return to the defense of the Lunga Perimeter. It appeared that a Japanese attack against the perimeter’s eastern flank was imminent. The 5th Marines did withdraw, but the Point Cruz area—which had been repeatedly attacked and even occupied several times since August—was not abandoned 1/2 and 2/2 were left on the newly conquered ground, and 1/164 was placed in a reserve position a short distance away. The Marines had fought their way across the Matanikau River for the last time.


Operation Coronet1 March 1946(Invasion of Honshu)

First Army (General Courtney H. Hodges)

III Marine Amphibious Corps
1st Marine Division
4th Marine Division
6th Marine Division (available from Y+5)

XXIV Corps
7th Infantry Division
27th Infantry Division
96th Infantry Division (available from Y+5)

Follow-On Un-Named Corps (Transferred from Europe)
5th Infantry Division
44th Infantry Division
86th Infantry Division

Eighth Army (Lt. General Robert L. Eichelberger)

X Corps
24th Infantry Division
31st Infantry Division
37th Infantry Division (available from Y+5)

XIII Corps (Lands on Y+10)
13th Armored Division
20th Armored Division

XIV Corps
6th Infantry Division
32nd Infantry Division
38th Infantry Division (available from Y+5)

Follow-On Un-Named Corps (Transferred from Europe)
4th Infantry Division
8th Infantry Division
87th Infantry Division

Commonwealth Corps

X Corps (Lt. Gen. Sir Charles F. Kneightley) (Afloat Reserve for CORONET)
3rd British Division
6th Canadian Division
10th Australian Division
Unnamed British Division available from Y+40
Unnamed British Division available from Y+40

Army Forces Pacific Reserve

97th Infantry Division
11th Airborne Division (Available Y+35)

Un-Named Corps
2nd Infantry Division
28th Infantry Division
35th Infantry Division

Un-Named Strategic Reserve Corps (Philippines &ndash Available Y+35)
91st Infantry Division
95th Infantry Division
104th Infantry Division

Fourth Army

Notes: Fourth Army was in Texas preparing for operations in the PTO when V-J Day occurred. It was to be sent to the PTO to support continued operation on Honshu if it proved necessary.

Tenth Army (General Joseph W. Stilwell)

Notes: Originally, Tenth Army was to take part in CORONET, but early on in planning, MacArthur stripped Tenth Army of its combat units and distributed them to other units leaving Tenth Army as an occupation force in Okinawa. If however, the need for more higher level HQs had become acute during operations in Japan, Tenth Army could have been deployed to Japan.


Watch the video: Marine Time Machine. Crossing the Matanikau River (July 2022).


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