Courage under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of WWII. Pt 4

Courage under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of WWII. Pt 4

Courage under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of WWII. Pt 4

Dusty Roots & Forgotten Treasures

The Battle of Buna Gona

It was a savage journey over the Owen Stanley Mountains for the men of the 2/126th. They finished their march and filed into the Natunga area on November 2, 1942. The arduous ordeal they experienced had taken its toll on the unit. The men wore ripped uniforms, most of them had missing underwear and socks. Their shoes were falling from their feet. Men, bearded and muddy, emerged after 42 days in the mountains. They were hungry, sick, and exhausted. They would get a few scant days to recover.

“before the 32d Division had its baptism of fire, the troops were covered with jungle ulcers and riddled with malaria, dengue fever, and tropical dysentery.”

Commander of the 2/126th General Eichelberger

Suck it up and soldier on

The men of company E. spent a week getting resupplied and fed in the Natunga region. The battle of Buna…

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Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of WWII Pt 3

Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of WWII Pt 3

Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of World War II. Pt 3

Dusty Roots & Forgotten Treasures

The Papuan Campaign

Fred L Jacobs

On September 28, 1942 Fred would have been with the rest of the men of Co. E at Bootless Bay where they bivouacked. The rest of the 32nd Infantry Division would arrive at Port Moresby by air on September 29, 1942.

During this time a battle plan was being developed for an attack on the enemy. General MacArthur and Australian, General Sir Thomas Blamey, hatched a plan which would see the Australian forces drive the Japanes forces down the Kokoda Trail. The combat leaders wanted to send the entire 32nd Division to march over the mountains to flank the enemy in the area of Buna. Less hasty minds understood the journey would have a negative effect on troop readiness. Eventually MacArthur and Blamey decided on splitting the force. Only one battalion would march across the mountains. The rest would be transported.

Allied Advance Across…

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Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of WWII. Pt 2

Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of WWII. Pt 2

Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of World War II. Pt 2

Dusty Roots & Forgotten Treasures


The Louisiana Maneuvers

Fred Jacobs spent his 18th birthday in Louisiana. Camp Beauregard was a case of embrace the suck. The troops grew to refer to the place as Camp Dis-regard. The camp was equipped to handle a single regiment. The entire 32nd Division was sent there anyway. The troops set about training for whatever the future would bring.

On August 12, 1941 congress passed legislation extending the federalized service of the National Guard units from 12 months to 18 months. At the same time congress approved the use of National Guard units outside of the Western Hemisphere. The 32nd Infantry Division was destined for overseas service.

Soldiers conducting daily exercise in a bivouac area during the Louisiana Maneuvers in September 1941.

During August and September of 1941 the state of Louisiana became the mock combat zone for massive war games meant to prepare the troops…

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Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of World War II. Pt 1

Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of World War II. Pt 1

Courage Under Fire: Growing up in the South Pacific of World War II. Pt 1

Dusty Roots & Forgotten Treasures

History remembers the celebrated. Genealogy remembers them all.

Fred L. Jacobs service photo

Frederick L Jacobs has been a topic of genealogical curiosity for me. Like most my research subjects I never met him. He has been the topic of many stories, most of which are long on vagueness and short on detail. Fred was my husband’s grandfather.

Fred Jacobs spent a fair portion of his life haunting a bar stool at the bar in a small Michigan town by the name of Paris. His wife tended that same bar. Every day he could be found wearing blue jeans, a pocket t-shirt, suspenders, and his highly decorated American Legion hat. Fred was a popular relic in the small town farming community where he spent most of his life.

This blog series is my attempt at trying to trace his life during World War II.

Just a small town boy

I had all the genealogical vital…

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A farewell tribute to General Gotze Légion d’Honneur

I had written about him on Lest We Forget in 2012.

Someone else wrote this in 2018.

https://wp.me/p6Ms3W-6xy

This is one of the post I had written about him.


About…

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http://saafww2pilots.yolasite.com/albie-götze.php

About the creator of the Website…

I am an engineer and worked for 14 years in the SA arms industry mainly designing rocket motors and aircraft parts. For the past 17 years I have been in the private sector working in the flour milling industry.

My interest in WW2 SAAF history was inspired by conversations I had with WW2 pilots back in 2010. Since then I have traced and visited many ex-WW2 SAAF pilots and aircrew, recording their stories. This fascinates me and it always strike me how incredible humble these people are regarding their war service. Through the internet I have been contacted by many family members who’s ancestors served and want information on their whereabouts. It thrills me if I discover something that is of importance to these families.

In my opinion the history of our South African forces’ participation in the second world war has been badly neglected over the years since 1948, when a new government came to power that opposed SA’s involvement to the war. Unlike other Allied Commonwealth countries where their WW2 military achievements and sacrifice are cherished and honoured through school syllabus, media and commemoration events, this is not happening in South Africa with the same level of importance. Our war hero’s with the likes of Sailor Malan, Thomas Pattle, etc., never featured in any school history books and remained unknown to the public. Same with the 330 000+ South African volunteers that served in the war. They never got their deserved and rightful place of honour in our rich South African history.

The situation has further deteriorated when a new government came to power in 1994. This government understandably has absolute no interest in this part of the South African history and now even the three SAAF museums are under threat due to budget and resource allocation cuts.

My goal with the WW2 SAAF heritage work is to promote this aspect of our history and make it accessible to public via the internet as token of homage, appreciation and respect to our WW2 servicemen. I try to locate and video interview veterans and copy their precious photograph albums and log books. I also strive to get hold of family members of those who served in an effort to copy historical memorabilia and make it available on the internet for the public in appreciation for what they did.

For me as an enthusiast I do all of this as a hobby with no commercial intent.

Tinus le Roux
January 2014

What If: The Kamikaze and the Invasion of Kyushu? III

What if… Part Three

Weapons and Warfare

Typhoon Louise Strikes

“Was it Louise,” asked one, “was it the October typhoon that
killed the plan?”

“Ultimately, yes. It had been a hard sell to begin with. The
shipping crisis that had come to a head at Leyte had never been completely
solved and there was a legitimate concern that if too much was lost during
Bugeye we would be hard-pressed to fulfill our needs during Majestic. We
received the go-ahead for Bugeye only after certain numbers of assault ships of
every category had been pulled from the operation. Vessels like the
thirty-eight to be used as blockships for Coronet’s ‘Mulberry’ harbor would
have been completely satisfactory for the feint, and yet though many were
virtual derelicts, we were nevertheless required to preserve them for Tokyo. I
need not remind you that construction of the artificial harbor carried a priority
second only to development of the atom bomb, and…

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What If: The Kamikaze and the Invasion of Kyushu? II

What if… Part Two

Weapons and Warfare

The officer students were more willing to respectfully interject
themselves into Commodore Bates’s comments than they were to interrupt Turner,
and a former destroyer captain immediately spoke up.

“That’s theoretically true, sir, but anyone who experienced the
Philippines and Okinawa, or the raids on Japan, knows that in most instances
you can’t actually do that and live to tell about it. The suiciders had
apparently been told that, since they didn’t need the broad targets normally
required for aiming bombs, the best results in their type of mission would come
from bow—or stern—on attacks that allowed them to be targeted by the least
amount of defensive fire. I’d seen new skippers follow COMINCH advice on this
matter and the only thing that happened was a sort of Divine Wind ‘crossing the
T,’ made much easier by less radical destroyer maneuvers.”

A former executive officer chimed in. “I’ve been told that

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