7 March 1942

7 March 1942

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7 March 1942

March 1942



First overseas deployment of the Spitfire sees fifteen Mk Vbs flown to Malta from HMS Eagle.

The division was activated on 1 March 1942 out of "surplus" elements of the reorganized 3rd and 5th Armored Divisions, itself reorganized on 20 September 1943. The 7th Armored Division trained at Camp Coxcomb in California. The 7th Armored Division arrived in England in June 1944. Throughout most of its existence the 7th Armored Division was commanded by Major General Lindsay McDonald Silvester, an infantryman who had distinguished himself in World War I.

Composition Edit

The division was composed of the following units: [2]

  • Headquarters Company
  • Combat Command A
  • Combat Command B
  • Reserve Command
  • 17th Tank Battalion
  • 31st Tank Battalion
  • 40th Tank Battalion
  • 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 38th Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 48th Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
  • 33rd Armored Engineer Battalion
  • 147th Armored Signal Company
  • 7th Armored Division Artillery
    • 434th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
    • 440th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
    • 489th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
    • 129th Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
    • 77th Armored Medical Battalion
    • Military Police Platoon
    • Band

    Action in France Edit

    The 7th Armored Division landed on Omaha and Utah Beaches, 13–14 August 1944, and was assigned to U.S. Third Army, commanded by Lieutenant General George S. Patton. The division drove through Nogent-le-Rotrou in an attack on Chartres. The city fell on 18 August. From Chartres, the division advanced to liberate Dreux and then Melun, where they crossed the Seine River, 24 August. The division then pushed on to bypass Reims and liberate Château-Thierry and then Verdun, 31 August.

    The 7th Armored halted briefly for refueling and then on 6 September drove on toward the Moselle and made a crossing near Dornot. This crossing had to be withdrawn in the face of the heavy fortifications around Metz. The 7th Armored then made attempts to cross the Moselle northwest of Metz but the deep river valley was not suitable terrain for an armored attack. Elements of the division assisted the 5th Infantry Division in expanding a bridgehead east of Arnaville, south of Metz, and on 15 September, the main part of the division crossed the Moselle there. The 7th Armored Division was repulsed in its attacks across the Seille River at and near Sillegny, part of an attack in conjunction with the 5th Infantry division that was also repulsed further north.

    Support of Operation Market Garden Edit

    On 25 September 1944, the 7th Armored Division was transferred to the U.S. Ninth Army, under Lieutenant General William Hood Simpson, and began the march to the Netherlands where they were needed to protect the right (east) flank of the corridor opened by Operation Market Garden. They were to operate in the southeast Netherlands, so that British and Canadian forces and the 104th Infantry Division could clear the Germans from the Scheldt Estuary in the southwest Netherlands and open the shipping lanes to the critical port of Antwerp, to allow Allied ships to bring supplies from Britain.

    On 30 September, the 7th Armored Division launched an attack from the north on the town of Overloon, against significant German defenses. The attacks progressed slowly and finally settled into a series of counter-attacks reminiscent of trench warfare of World War I. On 8 October, the division was relieved from the attack on Overloon by the British 11th Armoured Division and moved south of Overloon to the Deurne–Weert area. Here they were attached to the British Second Army, under Lieutenant General Sir Miles C. Dempsey, and ordered to make demonstration attacks to the east, in order to divert enemy forces from the Overloon and Venlo areas, where British troops pressed the attack. This plan succeeded, and the British were finally able to liberate Overloon.

    On 27 October 1944, the main part of the 7th Armored Division was in essentially defensive positions along the line Nederweert (and south) to Meijel to Liesel, with the demonstration force still in the attack across the Deurne canal to the east. The Germans launched a two-division offensive centered on Meijel, catching the thinly stretched 87th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron of the 7th Armored Division by surprise. However, the response by the 7th Armored and by British Lieutenant General Sir Richard O'Connor's British VIII Corps, to which the division was attached, stopped the German attack on the third day and then from 31 October to 8 November gradually drove the enemy out of the terrain that they had taken. During this operation, at midnight on the night of 31 October–1 November Major General Lindsay Silvester, who had led the division since its activation, was relieved [3] as commander of the division and replaced by Major General Robert W. Hasbrouck.

    Refit and retraining Edit

    On 8 November 1944, the 7th Armored was again transferred to the Ninth Army and moved south to rest areas at and east of Maastricht. Following an inflow of many replacements, they began extensive training and reorganization, since so many original men had been lost in France and the Netherlands that a significant part of the division was now men who had never trained together. At the end of November, the division straddled the Dutch-German border with one combat command in Germany (in the area of Ubach, north of Aachen) and two in the Netherlands.

    Elements of the division were attached to the 84th Infantry Division for operations in early December in the area of Linnich, Germany, on the banks of the Rur (Roer). The 7th was preparing to drive into Germany when the Ardennes offensive began on 16 December 1944.

    Battle of the Bulge Edit

    The division was transferred to the U.S. First Army, under Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges, and ordered to St. Vith, Belgium, a critical road and rail center needed by the Germans to supply their offensive. Over the course of almost a week, the 7th Armored (along with elements of the 106th, the 28th Infantry Division and 9th Armored Divisions) absorbed much of the weight of the German drive, throwing the German time table into great disarray, before being forced to withdraw west of the Salm River on 23 December. The division moved to the area of Manhay, Belgium, and by the end of December had cleared the town of the enemy. They were then relieved by the 75th Infantry Division. After a brief rest in January 1945, the division returned to positions near St. Vith, attacked, and re-captured the town on 23 January 1945.

    Movement into Germany Edit

    In February 1945, now attached to the U.S. First Army's V Corps, the division returned to Germany. In the first week of the month, Combat Command R was attached to 78th Infantry Division for attacks on Strauch, Simmerath, Steckenborn, and other towns in the area of the Huertgen Forest. The Division remained in the area of Steckenborn, Germany throughout the month, waiting for the flood waters to recede after the Germans destroyed major dams in the Allies' path. However, large contingents of men were sent back into Belgium and attached to Engineer Combat Battalions (e.g. most of the men of 38 AIB were attached to 1110 Engineers at Stavelot) from 12 to 27 February, for use as laborers in using logs to build a solid base for the torn-up roads through the Ardennes Forest.

    In March 1945, the 7th Armored took part in two major breakthroughs with a two-week period during which they established and maintained an important defensive position. The first breakthrough came early in March when the division, as part of the III Corps, pushed east from the Rur river to establish a defensive position along the west bank of the Rhine, south of Bonn to Unkelbach. The second major breakthrough began 26 March when the division, still under III Corps control, took part in an armored offensive intended to break the thin crust ringing the Remagen bridgehead and overrun the rich German farmland to the east and north and surround the Ruhr Pocket in a double envelopment.

    In April, the 7th Armored Division completed their part of the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket and captured the critical Edersee Dam. They then attacked into the Ruhr Pocket, in order to reduce it. On 16 April the LIII Panzer Corps surrendered to the division and the eastern sector of the pocket collapsed. The 7th Armored, after a brief rest, were then transferred once again to the British Second Army and moved north to the Baltic Sea. From this area, Lieutenant William A. Knowlton led a force eastward to make contact with the Red Army. The 7th Armored Division remained in this area until the war in Europe ended.

    Casualties Edit

    • Total battle casualties: 5,799 [4]
    • Killed in action: 898 [4]
    • Wounded in action: 3,811 [4]
    • Missing in action: 165 [4]
    • Prisoner of war: 925 [4]

    Occupation duty Edit

    The division was then moved into the future Soviet zone of occupation, at Dessau, Germany. President Truman wanted one of his armored divisions parading in front of him on the 4 July in Berlin, and 2nd and 7th Armored were both prepared for the honor. When the 2nd Armored was chosen for the parade, 7th Armored immediately moved southwest to the future American zone of occupation.

    The division then began to be gradually filled with more and more new faces, as the veterans were transferred elsewhere. The first large contingent of veterans left in mid July: these were low-point men who were headed back to the United States to begin training for the invasion of Japan. Other large groups of high-point men were transferred to other units that were going back home before the 7th Armored Division was inactivated.

    Inactivation Edit

    The division returned to New York and was inactivated on 11 October 1945.

    Achievements Edit

    During its service in World War II, the 7th Armored Division captured and destroyed a disproportionate number of enemy vehicles and took more than 100,000 prisoners. [5]

    Enemy vehicles destroyed and prisoners captured Edit

    • Armored vehicles destroyed: 621
    • Armored vehicles captured: 89
    • Miscellaneous vehicles destroyed: 2,653
    • Miscellaneous vehicles captured: 3,517
    • Armament destroyed: 583 pieces
    • Armament captured (only pieces larger than 50mm included): 361
    • Prisoners taken: 113,041.

    Division statistics Edit

    • Distance travelled 2,260 miles (3,640 km)
    • Gasoline consumed 3,127,151 US gallons (11,837,550 l 2,603,898 imp gal)
    • Ammunition expended
    • 105mm: 350,027 rounds
    • 76mm: 19,209 rounds
    • 75mm: 48,724 rounds
    • .50cal: 1,267,128 rounds
    • .45cal: 540,523 rounds
    • .30cal: 9,367,966 rounds

    Decorations awarded Edit

    Korean War activation Edit

    The division was reactivated in the early 1950s, but was not sent to Korea. It was stationed at Camp Roberts, California for the duration of the conflict. [6]


    Note that unlike other infantry battalions in the Marine Corps, 1/7 does not follow the traditional usage of the NATO phonetic alphabet for naming their companies. Suicide Charley uses an incorrect way of spelling "Charlie" in reference to their history.

    The 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment was created on 1 April 1921 in San Diego, California. In September 1924, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines was deactivated with its personnel being absorbed by the newly organized 4th Marine Regiment. For the next twenty years 1/7 was activated, re-designated, and disbanded on numerous occasions until being reborn on 1 January 1941.

    World War II Edit

    Just over a year after its rebirth, 1/7 deployed to take part in the Pacific Theater during World War II. 7th Marines and 1/11 were detached from the Division to form the 3rd Marine Brigade and were sent to Samoa. From where the battalion rejoined the 1st Marine Division, to see their first action of the war at Guadalcanal. Under its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, the battalion distinguished itself many times over for valor, and bravery held its positions against the onslaught of a regiment of seasoned Japanese attackers. It was also during this campaign that Sgt "Manila John" Basilone was awarded the Medal of Honor for defending his exposed position from a comprehensive Japanese assault using only a machine gun. Throughout the remainder of the war, the "First Team" distinguished itself throughout many campaigns, including the Battle of Cape Gloucester, the Battle of Peleliu and the Battle of Okinawa.

    At the end of the war in the Pacific, 1/7 deployed to China as an element of Operation Beleaguer to assist in repatriation of the defeated Japanese military to Japan.

    Korean War Edit

    Following World War II, the "First of the Seventh" was sent to Camp Pendleton in California where it was deactivated on 5 March 1947. However, in response to the invasion of South Korea by the communist North Korea, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines was again called into action. On 21 September 1950, 1/7 carried out an amphibious landing at Inchon. Once more the "First Team" distinguished itself in battle fighting its way to and from the Chosin Reservoir and in the First Battle of the Hook Lt Col Raymond C. Davis of the Battalion received the Medal of Honor for fighting at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.

    Following the cessation of hostilities in Korea and through 1965, 1/7 spent time both in Camp Pendleton and Okinawa while maintaining its combat readiness.

    Vietnam War Edit

    In August 1965, 1/7 was once again called to service, this time in the Republic of Vietnam. The 1/7 commander, Lt. Colonel James P. Kelly, led the "First Team" in 1965-1966 as they participated in numerous combat operations such as 'Starlite', Piranha', 'Mameluke Thrust' and 'Oklahoma Hills'. During these operations and many others, 1/7 was honored repeatedly, earning the Presidential Unit Citation Streamer four times and the Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer three times. [4] Corporal Larry Eugene Smedley, Delta Company /1/7, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for action that took place on Dec. 20, 1967 and Private First Class Ralph Dias, Delta Company, 1/7, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for action that took place in November 1969. In 1998, Robert R. Ingram was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton for his actions on March 28, 1966 while he was assigned as a Navy hospital corpsman in B Company, 1/7.

    Five Marines from 1/7 were responsible for the only war crime brought to charge against the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. On 19 February 1970, in the Son Thang massacre just southwest of Danang, a five-man patrol from the Battalion executed five women and eleven children. One member of the team was convicted of premeditated murder, but had served less than a year in prison [5]

    Gulf War Edit

    The 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, was the first unit to man defensive positions in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield in August 1990. The Battalion was an integral member of Task Force Ripper. As Desert Shield became Desert Storm, 1/7 participated in the diagonal thrust to the perimeter of Kuwait City, spearheading the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq. 1/7 returned to Twentynine Palms in California, in March 1991.

    Somalia Edit

    On 11 December 1992, the first elements of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, arrived at Mogadishu, Somalia for Operation Restore Hope. 1/7 operations were conducted in Baidoa, Bardera, Oddur, Afgoye and Mogadishu. The Battalion relieved Task Force Mogadishu for occupation of the Stadium Complex in Mogadishu on 25 January 1993. The following night, Lance Corporal Anthony Botello was killed while on point, during a night patrol in the city. [6] Botello was the only other Marine besides Pfc. Domingo Arroyo (3rd Battalion 11th Marines) to be killed in action in Somalia. 1/7 turned over their mission and area of operations in Mogadishu to the 10th Baluch Battalion on 24 April 1993 and returned to Twentynine Palms.

    Operation Iraqi Freedom Edit

    In January 2003, 1/7 was deployed on Operation Iraqi Freedom. It crossed the Kuwaiti border into Iraq on 18 March its first mission was to seize the strategically prominent oil pumping and control station in Az Zubayr. This station was so important because more than 50% of Iraq's oil was controlled by it. [7] 1/7 saw significant combat action on its way to Baghdad and in the streets of the Iraqi capital. On 23 April, 1/7 turned over control of their sector to the U.S. Army and took up positions in the city of An Najaf. After countless extensions, the Battalion returned to Twentynine Palms, on 5 October 2003.

    In August 2004, 1/7 deployed once more, but this time to Western Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. There the Battalion conducted security operations in the cities and roadways along the Euphrates River and Syrian border to include Husaybah, Karabilah, Sadah, Ubaydi, Al Qa'im, Haditha, Hit and Haqlania. Involved in combat operations on a daily basis, 1/7 personnel conducted mounted and dismounted urban patrols, cordon knocks, Main Supply Route (MSR) security, sweep operations, and border security to clear the battalion's Area of Operation (AO) of enemy insurgents.

    In March 2006, 1/7 again deployed to Iraq and operated near the Iraqi-Syrian border, conducting dismounted urban patrols, weapons cache sweeping and vehicle checkpoints. [8] It returned in September 2006. [9]

    1/7 returned to Western Al Anbar in August 2007. Assigned to AO Hīt, "Task Force 1/7" conducted thousands of combat patrols and weapon cache sweeps. TF 1/7 found over 22,000 pieces of ordnance during the deployment and captured over 200 suspected terrorists and criminals. TF 1/7 was partnered with two Iraqi infantry battalions and two police districts. The training and development of the Iraqi units was so successful that the city of Hit was the first city within the Al Anbar Province to be returned to Iraqi control. The Battalion returned to Twentynine Palms in March 2008.

    In February 2009, 1/7 returned to the Al Anbar province. Assigned to Fallujah and Al-Karmah, it was tasked to maintain security in the area with close cooperation with Iraqi police, the Iraqi Army and Provincial Security Forces. Upon departing the region in August and September 2009, 1/7 turned over the AO to Iraqi control before returning to the United States.

    Operation Enduring Freedom Edit

    In March 2012, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines deployed to Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations and support the transition of authority from U.S. forces to the Afghan National Security Forces. The Battalion returned in October 2012.

    In March 2014, 1/7 again deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The Battalion retrograded from Sangin district on 5 May 2014, and turned over security responsibility of the area to the Afghan National Army. 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, was the final Marine Corps unit to occupy FOB Sabit Qadam and the surrounding area in Sangin District. [10] During the Battalion’s approximately seven-month-long deployment, the "First Team" was responsible for a number of successful missions throughout Helmand province.

    File #429: "Operations Directive No. 7 March 12, 1942.pdf"

    familiar with certain fundamentals of the Rules of Land
    Warfare and that Civil Air Patrol operations be conducted in acorda n c e w i t h t h e s e R u l e s . To t h i s e n d , U n i t C o m m a n d e r s w i l l r e g u l a r l y
    bring to the attention of all members of the Civil Air Patrol the
    R u l e s o f L a n d Wa r f a r e . T h e e x t r a c t s f r o m t h e R u l e s o f L a n d Wa r f a r e
    presented herewith will be read to all enrollees when the oath of
    office is given. Unit Adjutants will occasionally call attention
    to these Rules at drill formations.

    ar Department, Basic
    F i e l d M a n u a l F M 2 7 - 1 0 p " R u l e s o f L a n d Wa r f a r e " .

    Copies of this Directive will be distributedtoUnits on
    the basis of four copies per Unit.

    . Rules
    A s a Vo l u n t e e r C o r p s s e r v

    a s a n a u x i l i a r y t o t h e A r m e d
    Forces9 the members and Units of the Civil Air Patrol will observe
    the following rules:
    a. Obey their officers.
    b. Wear the Civil Air Patrol shoulder patch sewn on
    t h e i r c l o

    c. Carry openly such arms as may be required.
    d. Conduct operations according to laws and usages
    o f w a r,

    S h o u l d a C i v i l A i r P a t r o l m e m b e r b e c a p t u r e d b y a n e n e m y,
    the ene

    Intelligence 0ffieer would probabl

    mnh as possible about our Ax

    and Maw/. Under
    t h e R u l e s o f L a n d Wa r f a r e , i t i s n o t n e c e s s a

    1 o a n s w e r t h e s e q u e s t i o n s .
    Prisoners of war under these Rules are required to give on

    the followi m g i n f o r m a t i o n t o t h e e n e o

    : " N a m e , g r a d e a n d s e r i a l n u m b e r. .

    Due to the importance of this Directive, its contents will be
    impressed upon members of the Civil Air Patrol by frequent reiteration.
    By Command of Major General

    Operations Direotive No. 7

    ( Wa r D e p a r t m e n t B a s i s F i e l d M a m m l F M 2 7 - 1 0 )

    R u l e s o f L a n d Wa r f a r e a r e b a s e d o n v a z i o u s t r e a t i e s
    which the United States has entered into with other nations of the
    world. As ear]

    as 1864, Red Cross oonventions were held. The Hague
    Convention, first held in 18

    , relates to the laws and eusto

    l a n d . S u c h s u b J e o t s a s t h e

    r e a t a e n t o f p r i s o n e r s o f w a r,
    their parole, the rights of citizens in oooupled oo, m

    es, and the
    prohibition of the use of certain types of weapons were set forth in
    treaties to which the United States and other nations beoame signat o r i e s . T h e r e a r e a l s o u n w r i t t e n r u l e s a n d l a w s o f w a r.
    2 . W h e n a n e n e = 7 o o o u p i e s a h o s t i l e o o u n t r y, t h e p o p u l a t i o n
    is divided into two general classes, known as the a

    lation. Both olasses have distinot rights, duties and
    diskbiltties. No person

    belligerents observe the
    R n l e s o f L a n d Wa r f a r e s o t h a t w h e n e a p t t t r e d t h e y w i l l b e t r e a t e d a s
    p r i s o n e r s o f w a r.
    4- La

    belligerents are composed of axles, militia, and
    volunteer oorps.

    e laws, rights and duties of war app]7 not on]7 to
    araies, but also to militia and volunteer oorps fulfilling the followiDg oondltions:

    e d b y a p e r s o n r e s p o n s i k l e f o r h i s
    To h a v e a fi x e d d i s t i n c t i v e e m b l o n r e c o g n i z a b l e a t
    a distanoe.
    To c a r

    To c o n d u c t t h e i r o p e r g t i o n s i n a o e o r d a n o e w i t h t h e
    l a w s a n d u s a g e s o f w a r. I n o o u n t r l e s w h e r e m i l i t i a
    or volunteer oorps oonstituto the ar

    , or form part
    of it, they are inoluded under the denomination "army".

    Combatants and nonoombatantss--The armed foroes of the
    belligerent parties Nay oonsist of combatants and noncombatants. In
    the ease of eapture by the ene

    March 7, 1942: The First Class of Tuskegee Airmen

    March 7th marks the 75th anniversary of the first class of Tuskegee Airmen completing training and setting the bar for future classes.

    Issues In Training The Tuskegee Airmen

    In addition to a training regimen that was intensified with the outbreak of war, the stress was unfathomable, most of the training for Black service members took place in the racially segregated south. This made for an environment rife with stress.

    The situation with the Tuskegee Airmen was no different. With the added pressure to create a flawless flying force, the program suffered from being extremely crowded. This was in part because of the success of that first class.

    While their counterparts in other branches were rotated among different bases, there was too much going on at Tuskegee Airfield to not move pilots around to other bases.

    By the following year, the Tuskegee Airmen would be activated and take to the skies of North Africa and Europe. Only the 99th Pursuit Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group would see combat.

    The 761st Tank Battalion: The Black Panthers

    Making history a week later would be the fearless 761st Tank Battalion. This force was also known as the Black Panthers and was the first all-Black tank force and experienced many of the same roadblocks as the Tuskegee Airmen.

    While the Airmen were in combat by 1943, the Black Panthers were considered battle-ready in 1942 and activated in October 1944. This was also the same time as the 92nd Infantry or the Buffalo Soldiers. Several exemplary soldiers came out of the Black Panthers with Sgt. Warren G.H Crecy being one of the best known. Crecy was known as an even-tempered soldier who was the bane of the Germans.

    For more Black Air Force history, read up on General Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the first Black general in the U.S Air Force.

    World War Photos

    SBD-5 Dauntless flying over USS Enterprise (CV-6) enroute to Emirau 1944 SBD-2 white 6 BuNo 2106 at Midway in June 1942 SBD Dauntless of the VB-6 crashes on USS Enterprise 1942 SBD-2 Dauntless white 6 BuNo 2106 at Midway with over 200 holes in it
    SBD code B-11 during Battle of Midway SBD-5 white 10, 15, 25 of the VB-9 USS Essex during raid on Tarawa 1943 SBD-5s white 21, 8 of the VB-10 pass over USS Enterprise prior to recovery aboard the carrier following strikes against Palau SBD-3 at Safi Morocco during Operation Torch in November 1942
    SBDs S12, S11 scout bombers en route to Rekata Bay SBD-5 from USS Lexington (CV-16) flies over inavsion craft off Saipan SBD-5 from VB-10 fly in formation near their carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) 1944 SBD 1943
    SBD on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) – April 1942 SBD Dauntless landing on aircraft carrier during Battle of Midway SBD May 6, 1942 SBD Dauntless on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) in late 1941
    USMC pilot Charles Fink of VMSB-244 after 55th combat mission Damaged SBD-3 white 15 of the VMSB-132, February 1943 SBD Dauntless of the VB-41 on the flight deck of USS Ranger (CV-4) USAAC ground crew talking to pilot on a A-24, October 1941
    Capt. John F. Adams of VMSB-231 on the wing of his SBD, color photo SBD crash lands on deck of US carrier SBD-3 B15 of VB-6 aboard USS Enterprise SBD lands on USS Lexington (CV-16) during the Marshalls and Gilberts Operation in November 1943
    Crashed SBD 1943 SBD Dauntless over Segi Point New Georgia Lt. James K. Brothers of VB-9 inspects damage to his SBD-5 after returning safely to the aircraft carrier USS Essex (CV-9) following raid on Tarawa 1943 SBD prepares to takeoff from aircraft carrier USS Santee (CVE-29)
    SBD-4 Dauntless in flight on March 6, 1943 SBD-3 B15 of the VB-6 unable to reach the carrier USS Enterprise on the deck of Yorktown CV-5 RNZAF SBD-5 Dauntless NZ5049 on Rabaul Mission 1944 Crewmen aid SBD landing on carrier
    Marine SBD white 182 and 178 over Rabaul April 1944 Victory marking being added under the windscreen of SBD-3 Dauntless aboard USS Wasp, 28 August 1942 A-24A Banshee #2110 pulling target for AA practice at Camp Davis 2 SBD black 15 and sailors duck walk for exercise aboard carrier
    Marine SBD white 105 in Solomon Islands 1943 SBD Dauntless coded R38 during training – color photo SBD R32 during training – color photo SBD of VB-4 landing on aircraft carrier USS Ranger 1942
    SBD-3 aboard USS Ranger (CV-4) during Operation Torch Marine radio gunner Richard Payne by SBD 󈧯 SBD on anti submarine patrol over Pacific 󈧮 SBD-3 Dauntless of VB-3 ditching near USS Astoria, Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942
    SBD Dauntless of VB-6 USS Enterprise during Marcus Island raid, 4 March 1942 Marines sleeping under wings of SBD on Bougainville SBD from VS-5 USS Yorktown during Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942 SBD-5 Dauntless aboard USS Yorktown (CV-10) November 1943
    SBD-5 white 9 prepare to take off from aircraft carrier SBD Dauntless on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) on 3 May 1942 A-24 Banshee August 1941 Loading a 1000 pound GP bomb on a SBD-5
    SBD Dauntless on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier – Gilbert Islands Campaign 1943 SBD gunner John Liska A-24B Banshee serial 42-54459 of the 531st FBS, Makin atoll SBD, F6F and TBF on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier 1943 – color photo
    SBD-5 Dauntless of the VB-16 on USS Lexington (CV-16), September 1943 SBD-5 of the VS 37 over Atlantic A-24 Banshee and Jeep, 1941 A-24A Banshee 42-60881 pulling target for AA practice at Camp Davis
    SBD 41-S-3 of VS-41 USS Ranger , during Operation Torch 1942 Factory new SBD-5 July 1943 SBD-3 from VB-5 aboard USS Yorktown, Coral Sea April 1942 SBD Dauntless #16 aboard USS Ranger during operation Torch
    SBD-3 ground crew loading 12,7 mm ammo SBD-5 white 6 and 18, Palau Islands March 1944 SBD on flightdeck of USS Hornet, July 1942 SBD-5 from VB-16 off the carrier Lexington CV-16 fly low over Japanese installations on Param Island Truk Atoll on April 29 1944
    Formation of SBD in flight on 9 November 1942 SBD Dauntless during flight operations on the light carrier USS Princeton (CVL-23), 21 June 1943 SBD-5 of the VB-10 (USS Enterprise) during a mission against Palau March 1944 SBD Dauntless black 22-C-19 of VC-22 aboard USS Independence (CVL-22), 30 April 1943
    SBD-5 C29 en route to support ground units during the assault against Eniwetok on 18 February 1944 SBD-3 Dauntless of the VGS-29 on the forward part of the flight deck of the carrier USS Santee (ACV-29) on December 27, 1942 SBD-3 41-S-16 of the VS-41 traps on board the carrier USS Ranger (CV-4), 15 October 1942 Marine SBD Dauntless taxi on the runway at Bougainville 1944
    SBD-5 white 2 of the VB-5 makes a belly landing on the flight deck of the carrier Yorktown (CV-10) after strike against Truk Atoll on February 22, 1944 SBD-4 Dauntless assembly line at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant at El Segundo February 4 1943 SBD black 22-C-17 of VC-22 aboard USS Independence (CVL-22), 30 April 1943 SBD-5 Dauntless of the VMSB-231 at Majuro prior to launching for an attack against Japanese installations on Mille Atoll in 22 August 1944
    SBD formation during a training flight in December 1943 SBD-5 M23 makes a low pass over the flight deck of the carrier Lexington CV-16 to make a message drop on April 16, 1944 Douglas SBD Dauntless in flight over an escort carrier during Operation Torch SBD-5 Dauntless of the VC-40 at Piva Uncle Airstrip Torokina prior to taking off on strike against Talili Bay Rabaul on 6 April 1944
    Ordnancemen load a bomb onto an SBD Dauntless of the VS-6 on board the carrier USS Enterprise invasions of Guadalcanal and Tulagi on August 7, 1942 SBD of the VS-6 in flight 17 October 1941 SBD of VS-5 USS Enterprise taking-off for an early morning attack against Tulagi 7 August 1942 SBD-5 Dauntless white 14 of the VMSB-231
    SBD-4 white 10 of the VS-64 over New Georgia – 27 December 1943 SBD and A-24 Banshee at the Douglas Aircraft Companys El Segundo plant on March 16, 1943 SBD-5 Dauntless of the VB-16 flies an antisubmarine patrol low over the USS Washington (BB-56) en route to the invasion of the Gilbert Islands on November 12, 1943 SBD of the Air Group 12 (USS Saratoga) during attack on Rabaul 5 November 1943
    SBD-4 of the VB-41 and 42 on board the carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) during operations in the Atlantic SBD-5 Dauntless of VB-16 flies over ships of the invasion force to strike Japanese installations ashore on D-Day for the invasion of Saipan on June 15, 1944 SBD and TBF from USS Cabot CVL-28 in flight on 2 October 1943 Strike photograph taken from an SBD – Tenamgogo Island, Gavutu Island is in the background and Florida Islands is in the distance. 4 August 1942
    SBD-5 Dauntless of VB-16 ready for launch on the flight deck of the carrier USS Lexington (CV-16) invasion of Saipan 15 June 1944 Marine SBD white 301 over Luzon Philippines Marine SBD-5 during bombing mission against Japanese targets on Rabaul 22 April 1944 Marine SBD Dauntless white 106 leaves Henderson Field on Guadalcanal for Munda raid
    SBD-2 code 6-S-14 of the VS-6 over USS Enterprise – 1941 SBD-4 Dauntless in flight SBD-3 of the VB-6 aboard USS Enterprise CV-6 during Wake Island Raid, 24 February 1942 War weary SBD Dauntless of VMSB-233 in the boneyard at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal
    Brand new SBD-3 Dauntless ready for delivery – MArch 1942 SBD-3 of VB-5 aboard USS Yorktown, North Atlantic SBD-3 Dauntless of the VB-6 during Wake Island Raid, 24 February 1942 2 Marine SBD leave Henderson Field for raid on Kolombangara 1943
    British Dauntless Mk I serial JS997 Dive bomber SBD-3 white 38 SBD-5 white 36 of the VB-10 March 1944 SBD of VB-10 over USS Enterprise Enroute to Palau Raid 1944
    Former college football star Lt Robert Barnett in gunner’s Seat of SBD – 1944 SBD-5 white 5 over Turtle Bay, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu February 1944 SBD-5 Dauntless White 119 named “Push Push” of VMSB-144, flown by Major Frank E, Hollar, supporting the landings at Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville SBD-3 Dauntless with dive flaps extended
    Major Harry William Reed and Major John Stanley Flickinger commanding and executive officers of VMSB-244, studying a map before takeoff, 1944 Marine SBD-1 coded 1-MB-1 of the VMB-1 SBD of the VB-10 from USS Enterprise enroute to Emirau SBD-3 on flight deck of USS Lexington (CV-2) 1942
    Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless

    By NHHC

    U.S. Navy Seabees with Underwater Construction Team Two (UCT-2) at Diego Garcia British Indian Ocean Territory, step into the water at the beginning of a scheduled dive July 9, 2004. Photo by U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Hight

    By Lara Godbille, Ph.D., Director, US Navy Seabee Museum, Naval History and Heritage Command

    Since March 5, 1942, the U.S. Navy has employed an elite cadre of construction battalions better known as Seabees. Guided by the motto, “We Build, We Fight,” over the past 72 years the Seabees have served in all major American conflicts, supported humanitarian efforts, and helped to build communities and nations around the globe. Today, Seabees young and old are celebrating the birthday of this unique organization however, March 5 th has not always been its birthday.

    Rear Adm. Ben Moreell personally furnished Seabees with their official motto: Construimus, Batuimus — “We Build, We Fight.”

    From its inception during World War until 1954, the anniversary of the Seabee was observed on December 28 th . This was the date on which Adm. Ben Moreell requested authority from the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation to recruit enlisted personnel to serve in a naval construction force. Rear Adm. John R. Perry, CEC, USN, the Chief of Bureau of Yards and Docks (the predecessor to NAVFAC), made the decision to change the Seabee birthday. When serving as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Port Hueneme, Calif., in the early 1950s, Perry recognized the Seabee birthday occurred at a hectic time of the year. Many the Seabees were on holiday leave during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Family commitments coupled with the financial strain of the holidays made it difficult for all to participate in what Perry considered a suitable celebration for the Seabee birthday.

    Several historically significant dates in Seabee history were considered for the new birthdate. For example, October 31 st was a contender as it was the day in 1941 that the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation directed Adm. Moreell to form of a Headquarters Construction Company of ninety-nine men for duty in Iceland. These men, combined with four other companies formed the core of what would be the Bobcats and the First Naval Construction Battalion. March 19 was also contemplated as it was the day in 1942 that the Secretary of the Navy authorized Civil Engineer Corps Officers to serve as Commanding Officers of the newly formed Construction Battalions.

    Built by the 111th Naval Construction Battalion,
    the Mulberry at Normandy had large concrete and/or steel pontoons installed at regular intervals for strengthening. Omaha shoreline is viewed in background in this June 1944 photo.

    After deliberations by leadership in the Bureau of Yards and Dock’s Seabee Division, March 5 th was determined to be the most appropriate day to celebrate the Seabee birthday as it had dual significance. Not only was March 5 th the date in 1942 that the Construction Battalions were given official permission to assume the name of Seabees, but it was also the anniversary date of the Civil Engineer Corps which had been established in 1867.

    Seabee Construction electrician works on improvements to the power distribution system at Camp Hoover, Da Nang, Vietnam, Nov. 21, 1968. U.S. Navy photo

    Even though some aspects of the Seabee organization have changed throughout the years – including its birthday – there is a distinctive ethos that defines and binds the Seabee community whether they served in Guadalcanal or in Afghanistan. This attitude is hard to define, but you know it if you’ve ever known a Seabee no matter their era I like to describe it is “Can do!” coated in compassion. This sense of Seabee pride and connectedness to a larger Seabee community that spans both geography and time is what is make days like this one as special as it is.

    Godbille is the director of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum. Part of Naval History and Heritage Command’s nine museums, the mission of the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum is to select, collect, preserve and display historic material relating to the history of the Naval Construction Force, better known as the SEABEES, and the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. The second oldest of the official Navy museums, the Seabee Museum was established in 1947 in Port Hueneme, Calf., which today is part of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC).

    Mon – Sat: 9am to 4pm, Sun: 12pm to 4pm, closed all Federal holidays

    Admission and parking are free.

    The Museum is open to the public and tours can be arranged for schools or other groups. Call (805) 982-5167 or email [email protected]

    To read about the Seabees during World War II and their efforts with building for a nation and for equality click here .

    Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

    In her five decades as a recording artist, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul,” became a music legend. Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. Her family soon relocated to Detroit, Michigan, where her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, became a minister at New Bethel Baptist Church. Rev. Franklin was a prominent gospel performer in his own right and his career exposed his daughter to gospel and soul music and to civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and contemporary or future musical icons such as Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Clara Ward, and Bobby “Blue” Bland. Unfortunately, Aretha’s life was marred by tragedies that included the death of her mother when she was 10, physical abuse by her first husband, and the tragic shooting of her father in 1979. He remained in a coma until his 1984 death.

    Aretha Franklin recorded her first album at the age of fourteen, The Gospel Sound of Aretha Franklin, while singing solos in New Bethel and going on tours with her father. In 1960, she signed with Columbia Records. Despite producing ten albums and her concert performances netting $100,000 in nightclubs and theaters, the Columbia style, featuring Top 40 pop ballads, proved an uneasy fit. Columbia tried to turn Aretha into a jazzy pop singer while she was determined to draw on her background in blues and gospel music. In 1966, Franklin signed with Atlantic Records which gave her more creative control, and she began revolutionizing soul music by creating a sound all her own.

    By 1968, Aretha Franklin was considered a symbol of black pride and soul music. Her songs “Respect,” “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” “Young, Gifted, and Black,” and “Think” became anthems reflecting the growing militancy of African Americans in challenging racial oppression. Her Amazing Grace album released in 1970, which returned her to her church roots, sold over two million copies and made her one of the most successful gospel singers of the era. Franklin received an award for excellence from Dr. Martin Luther King in 1967 and appeared on the cover of Time magazine on June 28, 1968.

    In the early 1970s, despite the success of her landmark 1971 album Aretha Live at the Fillmore West, her career began to decline. She worked on the soundtrack to the 1976 film Sparkle with Curtis Mayfield, which produced her last Top 40 hits of the decade.

    In the 1980s Franklin moved to Arista Records where she has recorded everything from gospel to dance music. While her last big hit was A Rose Is Still a Rose, produced by Lauryn Hill in 1998, Franklin continued to be a significant presence in the music industry and the African American community. In 2001, she wowed audiences across the globe with her performance in VH1’s Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin, and in 2009, she sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

    Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1987). She had the largest number of Top 40 singles of any female performer (forty-five) and was also the youngest recipient of the John F. Kennedy Center Honors (1994). Over her career, Franklin won seventeen Grammys and had twenty Number 1 R&B hits. Her 1967 album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You, is considered the greatest soul album of all time, while her 1971 Aretha Live at the Fillmore West is called one of the top five greatest live albums of the rock era.

    Aretha Louise Franklin died in Detroit, Michigan of pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018. She was 76.

    The Japanese Attack the Philippines

    MacArthur's headquarters received word of the 7 December Pearl Harbor attack at 0230 on 8 December 1941, but did not act immediately. Ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese staged disastrous air attacks against Clark Field and Iba Field, destroying half the heavy bombers and fighters of MacArthur's Far East Air Force. The next day they struck at Cavite, the main naval base, causing heavy damage, and precipitating a naval retreat to bases in Java and Australia, 1,500 miles away. With MacArthur's air and naval defenses crippled, the Japanese made three preliminary landings on Luzon in the next weeks to secure airfields and to support the main landings to come.

    On 22 December, Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma's Japanese 14th Army came ashore at Lingayen Gulf, about 135 miles north of Manila, with 80 ships and 43,000 troops, followed by units with tanks and artillery. The Philippine Scouts staged a heroic but futile defense, but the performance of the untrained and poorly equipped Philippine Army troops was the clearest sign of disaster. At the first appearance of the enemy, they broke and fled, disorganized to the rear. MacArthur never publicly acknowledged the poor performance of the Army he had done so much to organize and train.

    In a few weeks, the Japanese had achieved aerial and naval supremacy in the Philippines, isolating MacArthur's force from Australia to the south and from Hawaii and the United States to the east. On Christmas Eve 1941, more of Homma's forces landed to the southeast of Manila at Lamon Bay and began their advance toward the capital, preparing to crush the American-Philippine forces in a pincer maneuver, on the verge of total victory.

    Luftwaffe units in Norway, 7th March 1942

    Post by Alexhickman » 13 May 2012, 22:48

    Hi all, I'm planning an wargame based on Operatio Sportpalast, the sortie by Tirpitz on 7th March 1942 to intercept convoy PQ12.

    I'm aware of the frankly incompetent level of cooperation between Luftwaffe and Kr ie gsmarine, but I'd like to include some air support for the naval units.

    So I was wondering, what units would be available from 7th March, capable of operating around 300-400nm north of Narvik, both in terms of recon and attack aircraft.

    If nothing else, a list of units and types of aircraft would be most useful.

    Re: Luftwaffe units in Norway, 7th March 1942

    Post by Larry D. » 14 May 2012, 02:36

    Re: Luftwaffe units in Norway, 7th March 1942

    Post by Alexhickman » 14 May 2012, 12:04

    Sorry ladies and gentlemen, you are quite right Larry, I should do my own research first, before pestering others. My sincere apologies.

    Re: Luftwaffe units in Norway, 7th March 1942

    Post by Larry D. » 14 May 2012, 14:11

    As you can see from the account below, there was no Luftwaffe air cover available to Tirpitz. No explanation is given (Fighters unavailable? Bad weather?). There are several books in both English and German covering Sportpalast and they should address the issue of air cover. L.

    1.– 13.3.1942
    Operationen gegen die alliierten Konvois PQ.12 und QP.8.
    Konvoi PQ.12 verlässt am 1.3. Reykjavik mit 16 Schiffen. Western Local Escort bis zum 4.3. durch drei bewaffnete Trawler. Von fünf ex-norw. Walfangbooten Shera, Shusa, Stefa, Sulla und Svega, die an die Sowjetunion überstellt werden sollen, stoßen am 4.3. nur 2 zum Konvoi, 2 kehren um und eines dampft ungesichert als Einzelfahrer nach Russland. Ab 4.3. übernehmen die Zerstörer Offa (bis 12.3.) und Oribi (bis 10.3.) das Ozean-Geleit, Kreuzer Kenya wird von der Deckungsgruppe detachiert und stößt vom 8. bis 12.3. zur Geleitgruppe hinzu. Die Oribi wird in der Nacht zum 7.3. durch Packeis beschädigt und die Shera kentert am 9.3. bei stürmischem Wetter. PQ.12 wird am 11.3. von der Local Eastern Escort mit Sowjetzerstörer Gremyashchi und den brit. Minensuchern Harrier, Hussar und Speedwell übernommen und erreicht am 12.3. Murmansk.

    Konvoi QP.8 verlässt am 1.3. Murmansk mit 15 Schiffen. Eastern Local Escort bis zum 3.3. durch die sowj. Zerstörer Gremyashchi, Gromki und die brit. Minensucher Harrier und Sharpshooter. Ozean-Geleit von Anfang an durch Minensucher Hazard, Salamander und die Korvette Oxlip und Sweetbriar. Vom 2.- 7.3. Ferndeckung durch Kreuzer Nigeria. In der Nacht zum 4.3. zwingen Eisgang und Sturm mit Windstärke 10 zur Auflösung des Konvois. Auf dem Rückmarsch wird Gromki in schwerer See beschädigt. Für kurze Zeit treten die Schweren Kreuzer Kent und London zur Nahsicherung, am 9.3. wird der Konvoi aufgelöst, am 11.3. erreichen die Schiffe isländische Häfen.

    Am 5.3. erfaßt eine Fw 200 den PQ.12 rund 70 sm südlich Jan Mayen. U 134, U 377, U 403 und U 584 bilden daraufhin einen Vorpostenstreifen. Am 6.3. gehen das Schlachtschiff Tirpitz (mit VAdm. Ciliax) und die Zerstörer Paul Jacobi, Friedrich Ihn, Hermann Schoemann und Z 25 von Trondheim in See, um den Konvoi anzugreifen. — »Ultra« entschlüsselt Meldungen über das Auslaufen der dt. Schiffe, auch eines der vor Norwegen stehenden brit. U-Boote, Seawolf (Lt. Raikes), meldet den auslaufenden Verband und ermöglicht Gegenmaßnahmen. Inzwischen haben sich die Deckungsgruppe (VAdm. Curteis) mit den Schlachtschiffen Renown, Duke of York, dem Kreuzer Kenya und den Zerstörern Faulknor, Eskimo, Punjabi, Fury, Echo, Eclipse und der Hauptteil der Home Fleet (Adm. Tovey) mit dem Schlachtschiff King George V., dem Träger Victorious, dem Kreuzer Berwick und den Zerstörern Onslow, Ashanti, Intrepid, Icarus, Lookout und Bedouin vereinigt. Die Kenya wird als Nahsicherung zum PQ.12 detachiert. Die Berwick bleibt mit Maschinenschaden liegen. Der zur Ablösung der Berwick auslaufende Kreuzer Sheffield wird durch Minentreffer beschädigt und muß umkehren. Wegen schlechter Sichtverhältnisse findet die Home Fleet die Tirpitz nicht, aber auch die dt. Schiffe verfehlen knapp den nur von 2 Minensuchern und 2 Korvetten gesicherten QP.8, die Zerstörer finden lediglich einen Nachzügler, den sowj. Frachter Izora (2815 BRT), der von Friedrich Ihn versenkt wird. Am 9.3. wird Tirpitz vor dem Westfjord erfolglos von 12 Albacore-Torpedoflugzeugen der 817. und 832. Sqn. FAA der Victorious angegriffen, die ihrerseits durch die Zerstörer Faulknor, Eskimo, Bedouin und Tartar gesichert wird. 2 Flugzeuge werden abgeschossen. Ein Versuch, mit 3 Ju 88 am 9.3. den brit. Flugzeugträger anzugreifen, bleibt erfolglos. — Die Tirpitz läuft zunächst in Narvik ein. Am 11./12.3. versuchen die Zerstörer Faulknor, Fury, Intrepid, Icarus, Bedouin, Eskimo, Tartar und Punjabi die vor Bodö erwartete Tirpitz abzufangen, doch das Schlachtschiff verlegt erst in der Nacht darauf nach Trondheim.

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