Little Known Facts
by charles E Kelly
Rated "G" by the Author.
edited: Monday, September 07, 2009
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008
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The Hero of Inchon
2nd Pearl Harbor
Korea-the flying cheetahs
Forgotten hero of PT 109
THE SECOND PEARL HARBOR
THE FLYING CHEETAHS
Almost every one has heard of the Tuskegee Airmen, who served our country so well during World War II, but how many have heard of the Flying Cheetahs of South Africa, who not only served in the Second World War, but in the Forgotten war in Korea, as well.
During the Second World War Squadron 2 of the South African Air Force saw action against the Italians in East Africa in support of 1 South African Brigade. It was here that they were nicknamed "The Flying Cheetahs" because they kept two pet cheetahs as mascots. When the Korean war broke out on 25 June 1950 with some 90,000 North Korean soldiers and hundreds of Russian-built T-34 tanks crossing the border and overwhelming the South Korean forces, South Africa, as one of the founding members of the United Nations, decided to contribute a fighter squadron to the Allied Forces
The S.A.A.F. entered the air war fray on November 16 of 1950. With Squadron No. 2 “Flying Cheetah’s” flying their Mustangs into airfield K-9 at Pusan. The unit joined the 18th FBW as it made its move into North Korea and was therefore attached to the 18th FBW for the duration of the war. On 5 December the first SAAF aircraft was lost when it attacked a railway truck that turned out to be loaded with explosives. The resulting blast knocked the pilot temporarily unconscious and he was forced to crash land. An American L5 aircraft later landed on a narrow road near the crash site and was able to rescue the pilot and his observer
Many F-51’s suffered heavy battle damage and were able to fly or glide back to friendly territory crash landing their fighters. U.S. ground crews were always available to assist the South Africans with repairs. . On 1 March the squadron flew 32 sorties in one day, establishing a new record in 18 Fighter-Bomber Wing, destroying 7 vehicles and 2 tanks, but at the same time losing another 2 pilots. On 24 June another SAAF pilot won the American DFC when he led 3 other Mustangs in an attack on enemy troops that were poised to overrun an American position. SAAF records show 95 Mustangs were bought; with 74 lost to all causes… the greatest cost were the 34 pilots killed or MIA
The increasing appearance of MiGs led to No 2 Squadron being re- equipped with F-86F Sabre jets, and training courses were held in Japan. The last mission flown by Mustangs was on 27 December, and by January the first Sabres had arrived. The overall total of sorties flown by Squadron 2 during the war was 12,067 and altogether 34 pilots and 2 ground crew had been lost. By October all operational flying had ended and at the end of the month the SAAF pilots began to return home to South Africa.
The Battle of New Orleans
THE HERO OF INCHON
Little known facts
Commander Eugene F. Clark,USN, was deployed (as a Lieutenant) to the Channel, leading into Inchon, and with his Guerrilla group, landed on Yonghung-do Island in Inchon harbor in advance of the US forces led invasion of Inchon leading to the Battle of Inchon. Clark, and his Korean officers secured the help of the people on the island and using captured junks began to run raids on the North Korean occupied islands of Taebu-do and the harbor fortress of Wolmi-do. He also ran daily mine patrols up and down the channel to ensure the invasion fleet would not be so hampered. This was in addition to other information about tides, mudflats and seawalls, that was of the utmost importance to the planners of the coming invasion.
The North Koreans had been slowly infiltrating men onto Yonghung-do for many days and on the night of September 14, the day before the invasion, they struck. Lieutenant Clark and his men bravely fought off the assault by a numerically superior force of North Koreans. However, they were forced to evacuate themselves and all who assisted them to the previously secured lighthouse island of Palmi-do. A day Later, at Clark’s insistence, a Battalion of marines retook the island from the North Koreans, and found that 50 of the Koreans who had been murdered in repriseal for helping clark.
Lieutenant Clark was awarded the Silver Star for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" in obtaining "vital intelligence information" which was paramount in the successful invasion, . He was also awarded the Legion of Merit.
Later, in advance of the UN Forces making their way to the Yalu River, Clark, Lieutenant Youn Joung, and 150 South Korean guerillas went island hopping up the west coast of North Korea. After several fierce firefights, Clark’s group was secure and began infiltrating agents. When they reached the Yalu, in late October, they made a shattering discovery. Large numbers of Chinese Communist troops were crossing the Yalu into North Korea. Clark fired this information off to the Far East Command in Tokyo, but they ignored it. . Lieutenant Clark received another Silver Star for that mission.
In his last mission in early 1951, Clark escorted Brigadier General Crawford Sams, one of the Army's top doctors into Chinese held Wonsan to investigate a reported outbreak of bubonic plague. Killing the sentries, Clark's team penetrated a small hospital and Brig. Gen. Sams concluded that it was a brand of smallpox. For this, Eugene Clark was awarded the Navy Cross.
Commander Eugene Franklin Clark retired from the United States Navy in 1966, and lived quietly in California and Nevada with his wife Enid until his death in 1998 at age 86. He wrote this account for his Korean comrades who fought and died with him on the Flying Fish Islands. However, he never attempted to publish it at all in his lifetime. It wasn't until the summer of 2000 that his family discovered his memoires, written shortly after he retired, and had DOD permission to publish it in a book titled”the secrets of Inchon”.
FORGOTTEN HERO OF PT 109
Little known facts
Everyone is familiar with President John F Kennedy, both as a very popular President, who was assassinated, and of his heroics while serving in the U.S. Navy as Captain of the PT boat 109. If it were not for an Australian coast watcher, who saw the PT 109 being run into by a Japanese Patrol boat, his heroics, and the history of the United States Presidency may have been completely changed. A movie titled “PT 109” tells of all the heroics that took place before the rescue of Captain Kennedy, and the boat’s crew, but makes very little mention of the coast watcher, without whom, History may have taken a completely different turn.
There were about 400 Coast watchers in all, mostly Australian Military officers, New Zealand servicemen, and some native Pacific Islanders. Their actions were particularly important in monitoring Japanese activity in the roughly one thousand islands that make up the Solomon Islands. A coast watcher, Australian Lt Arthur R. Evans, observed the explosion of the PT-109. Despite U.S. Navy crews giving up the crew as a complete loss, Evans dispatched two Solomon Islander scouts in dugout canoes to search for them. The scouts found the men. Kennedy scratched a message to Evans on the coconut describing the plight and position of his crew. The future U.S. President was rescued shortly after, along with his crew
Evans was just one of the most effective volunteer groups in the Pacific, during the war. In 1942, two coast watchers on Bougainville, Read and Mason, radioed early warning of Japanese warship and air movement (citing the numbers, type and speed of enemy units) to the U.S. Navy. Coast watcher reports allowed U.S. forces to launch aircraft in time to engage the attackers. Admiral William Halsey Jr. was later to say that the two men had saved Guadalcanal.
20 years later, Then President Kennedy welcomed Evans to the White House. One of the scouts who had been sent to find the crew of the PT 109, Biuki Gasa, was also invited, but Gasa did not make the trip, later claiming he received the invitation to attend but was fooled into not attending by British colonial officials.
Little known facts
In December 1941, Japan bombed the Americans at Pearl Harbor and entered the Second World War. Within ten weeks, Japan controlled Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore and the Australian territory of Rabaul.
Darwin, the largest town in the north of Australia, was a key defensive position against an aggressive Japan. Australia developed Darwin's military ports and airfields, built coastal batteries and anti-aircraft guns and steadily enlarged its garrison of troops. Darwin was seen as a key port for the Allied ships, planes and forces defending the Dutch East Indies.
On 19 February 1942, 188 Japanese planes were launched against Darwin, whose harbour was full of Allied ships. It was the largest Japanese attack since Pearl Harbour, On that day there were 27 Allied ships in the harbour and approximately 30 aircraft at the Darwin Civil and RAAF airfields.
The first attack lasted approximately forty minutes. The land targets included the Post
Office, Telegraph Office, Cable Office and the Postmaster's Residence, where postal workers were killed. The second attack began an hour after the first ended. Heavy bombers attacked the Royal Australian Air Force Base and lasted about 25 minutes. Both attacks were planned and led by Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese commander responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor
From the first raid until the last on 12 November 1943, Australia and its allies lost about 900 people, 77 aircraft and several ships. Many military and civilian facilities were destroyed. The Japanese lost about 131 aircraft in total during the attacks. Two weeks after the Darwin bombing, on 3 March 1942, the Western Australian town of Broome suffered Australia's second worst air raid. The attack killed seventy people and injured another forty, as well as eight large aircraft and 16 flying boats, 24 aircraft in total. This was the first time since European settlement that mainland Australia had been attacked by a foreign enemy. In the final Japanese attack, a raid on Darwin on 12 November 1943, there were no casualties and only minor damage was caused around the town. In all, there were 64 air raids on Darwin.