Leyte | start of November 1944

Pacific Paratrooper

3 November – When the Japanese 57th Regiment arrived at Limon, Gen. Krueger’s 24th Division was on the other side of the mountain range.  Rather than attack the lightly defended enemy positions, he halted his troops.  For some reason, he was expecting a possible enemy amphibious landing and the US attack would not begin for 2 more days.

5→10 November – in the 19th year of Showa, for the Japanese, the G.I. mortar and machine-gun fire seemed to nearly wipe out the squad scaling the ridge.  As the brush caught fire, the Americans of I Company/3rd Battalion/21st Infantry Regiment/ 24th Division, attacked and charged over the ridge until the enemy’s big guns opened up.  Another Japanese force arrived and the US troops retreated.  This would be known as Breakneck Ridge [Yahiro Hill to the Japanese].

Breakneck Ridge, Leyte; courtesy of Koji Kanemoto

Even with the support of the 1st…

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Marine Killed In Action During World War II Laid To Rest In Kansas

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. Private First Class Glenn Franklin White.

A Marine who lost his life fighting the Japanese in the Tarawa Atoll has been laid to rest in his hometown of Emporia, Kansas. Private First Class Glenn Franklin White’s remains were located on the island of Betio in 2019 and accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Account Agency (DPAA) on June 7, 2021.

Two Marines carry another Marine over a wooden fence
Marines during the Battle of Tarawa Atoll, November 1943. (Photo Credit: National Museum of Health and Medicine / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

White’s remains arrived at the Kansas City International Airport on September 17, 2021 and escorted to Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home in Emporia. The next day, his casket was escorted to Memorial Lawn Cemetery by the Patriot Guard, Lyon County deputies and officers from the Emporia Police Department.

He was repatriated next to his family with full Military Honors. A “Missing Man” fly-by was provided by the United States Marine Corps.

White was just 18 years old when he enlisted in the Marine Corps in the winter of 1942. He was in high school at the time and dropped out to enlist, traveling to a recruiting center in Kansas City, Missouri on February 10, 1942.

After completing training in San Diego, California, he was assigned to the Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force as an automatic rifleman.

Military portrait of Pfc. Glenn F. White
Pfc. Glenn F. White. (Photo Credit: DPAA)

In November 1943, he and his unit were sent to the Gilbert Islands, where they were tasked with securing the small island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll. The Marines were met with heavy Japanese resistance. On November 22, 1943, White’s squad pushed ahead of Alpha’s main line of resistance to provide a screening force. They came under fire, and the young Marine was mortally wounded.

Despite his injuries, he continued to man his weapon, allowing those behind him to engage in the firefight. While the US forces were able to secure the island, 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed in the engagement and another 2,000 were injured. The Japanese were virtually annihilated.

White was reported to have been buried in Row D of the East Division Cemetery, now known as Cemetery 33. For his efforts, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal in June 1944. It is the US Armed Force’s third-highest honor for valor during combat and is awarded to those who show gallantry in action against enemy forces.

Marines standing behind a log wall
US Marines during the Battle of Tarawa Atoll, November 1943. (Photo Credit: Education Images / Getty Images)

In 1946, the 604th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company centralized all of the American remains found on the Tarawa Atoll at Lone Palm Cemetery for repatriation. Unfortunately, due to construction errors on Betio Island, over half of known casualties were never located, including White. As such, a Board of Review declared him “non-recoverable” in October 1949.

In 2009, a non-profit organization called History Flight Inc. began work to recover and identify those buried in the lost cemeteries of Betio Island. A decade later, in March 2019, several remains were found in Row D of Cemetery 33 and subsequently identified as Marines from the Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force.

The remains were transferred to the DPAA laboratory at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. White’s remains were among them. To obtain a positive identification, scientists with the DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. As well, scientists with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Front lawn of the National Cemetery of the Pacific
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. (Photo Credit: Gerald Watanabe / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

White was officially accounted for on June 7, 2021. His name was recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, along with other missing military members from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has since been accounted for.

A Soul Lost From WWII Comes Home – Epilogue

Masako and Spam Musubi

Fortune in War

I believe there is fortune in war.

Before Pearl Harbor, the US was still not recovered from the Great Depression.  With the money printed in great quantity – as a necessity – by the US government, the US war machine rolled into action.  Many executives and businessmen taking part in this frantic and mass expenditure of government money with their companies gained their financial fortunes from this great war as did a large number of Congressmen.

The boots on the ground also had fortune – but it was MISfortune.  Misfortune fell upon the millions of brave young men who were sent to war because world leaders had their own agendas.  Millions were killed like my dad’s favorite brother, my Uncle Suetaro.

Misfortune, unfortunately, also followed home for the rest of their lives those young men who survived combat.   Men like Smitty, Old Man Jack and

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A Soul Lost in a Faraway Jungle – Part 2

Masako and Spam Musubi

It is believed I occupy a potentially unique position when it comes to looking at history as it pertains to the Pacific Theater in World War II.  I am American first and foremost and have studied WWII history out of curiosity.  As expressed in the description of my blog, my viewpoint is from “one war, two countries, one family”.  However, one potential uniqueness is that I am able to read a bit of Japanese; you may be amazed to read what is written about WWII from the Japanese viewpoint of history. As such, I believe each battle will have in the background two broad, driving and dissimilar viewpoints: one from America and one from Japan.  The attack on Pearl Harbor is one example. But that is but the surface on war’s history – a high altitude view.  One that can be easily manipulated politically. But being on the ground dealing…

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Leyte continued

Pacific Paratrooper

LST’s # 66,67,18,245,102 on 20 October 1944

While the Imperial Navy was floundering in their attempts to halt the persistent invasion of Leyte, Gen. Yamashita was in his headquarters at Fort McKinley on Luzon. He was receiving very little information from his own people and upon hearing of the US landing, he was heard to say, “Very interesting. But where is Leyte?” [The Japanese general had only just been transferred from Manchuria.]

Yamashita did not feel that the Japanese all-out standing defense should be on Leyte and he refused to supply more troops to the island. But he was overruled. Gen. Terauchi, knowing that the island’s occupation by the Americans would divide their bases, so reinforcements would be sent in.

Yamashita Tomoyuki, 1945

21 October – Most of the Japanese beach defenses had been shattered by bombing and strafing and a majority of the 1st Battalion/16th Division had been wiped…

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Leyte, Philippines begins

Pacific Paratrooper

Leyte, Oct. 1944

20 October – the X and XXIV Corps of the 6th Army, under General Krueger, made their amphibious landing on a 25-mile (40 km) stretch of coastline between Dulag and Tacloban on the eastern side of Leyte.

At 0945, the 1st Cavalry went ashore on White Beach, the 24th Infantry Division went on their left at Red Beach and the 96th Infantry Division landed further south on Orange and Blue Beaches.  They all moved inland for about a mile, hitting stiffer resistance as they went.

MacArthur observing the beach at Leyte

The 7th Infantry Division at Violet and Yellow Beaches had the lightest opposition, but Dulag was taken by the following day.  MacArthur described the view he witnessed from the flag bridge of the USS Nashville:

“Landings are explosive once the shooting begins and now thousands of guns were throwing their shells with a roar that…

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Fauci Calls for ‘Many, Many More’ Vaccine Mandates

H/T Western Journal.

Why does Fauci have any credibility as he has been wrong every time he opened his pie hole?

Fauci sounds like some third world thug demanding more mandates to force people to comply with his dictates.

Pile enough mandates upon Americans and they will do as they are told, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke to CNN’s Jen Christensen on Sunday.

The White House’s chief medical adviser said the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 is the fault of those who do not listen to experts such as himself.

Fauci said part of the solution to reducing the virus’ spread is for Americans to rely on what he called “trusted public messengers who put aside political ideologies and convince people to get vaccinated.”

The alternative is for them to be forced to do as they are told, he said.

“The other way to do it is to have many, many more mandates,” Fauci said.

“I know that rankles a lot of people,” he told Christensen, “but you’re going to see situations locally — I don’t think you’re going to see centrally derived mandates — but there are going to be mandates where colleges, universities, places of business, large corporations, they’re going to say, ‘If you want to come work for us, you’ve got to be vaccinated.’

“I believe that’s going to turn this around, because I don’t think people are going to want to not go to work or not go to college or not go to a university. They’re going to do it.

“You’d like to have them do it on a totally voluntary basis, but if that doesn’t work, you’ve got to go to the alternatives,” he said.

Last week, President Joe Biden said he would use his rule-making powers to force businesses with more than 100 workers to institute vaccine mandates. Fauci said the administration had to act because of one group.

“We have a really unfortunate situation that we have a pretty hardcore group of people that we’re trying to persuade them — or mandate them, if they’re not persuaded — to get vaccinated,” Fauci said.

He estimated that about 75 million Americans are eligible for vaccinations but have not yet gotten the shots.

“That’s the key to ending this. I mean, that would be the key,” Fauci said, calling those who have decided against the vaccine a “recalcitrant group.”


“We have the tools to end this and yet we’re not doing it,” he said.

Fauci, who has been criticized for hiding the full story of whether funds he controlled were steered to a Wuhan lab that could be the source of the coronavirus outbreak, said the reasons for the rejection of the vaccine were “inexplicable.”

“People because of their political bent feel that they don’t want to be told to mask up and they don’t want to be told to get vaccinated,” he said.

Fauci said it was “inexplicable … to have people, because of the divisiveness in society, not wanting to contribute to the solution and by doing that they become part of the problem. But that is, again, the way it is, unfortunately.”

A Tasty Italian Tradition

H/T Dellallo.com

I have never met a salami I would not eat.

With at least 300 different denominations hailing from every region in Italy, salami is not just a kid favorite, but a classic and seemingly simple way to enjoy a meal.

A Tasty Italian Tradition

Like the cheeseburger for Americans, this is a food that retains a special place of affection for many Italians because of early childhood memories. Salami (plural form) in Italy are truly exceptional. Though there are no exclusive claims for the production of it—for instance, in France they do make some great ones—nowhere else on earth can you find the vast variety of shapes and flavors that are available in Italy. There are at least 300 different denominations of salami hailing from every region of the country; one life wouldn’t be enough to try them all.

Some of the Most Celebrated Salume

  • Starting in Lombardy, there are three notable types of salami: Brianza (D.O.P.), Varzi (D.O.P.), and Milano.
  • The Veneto region is famous for salame nostrano and salame Veneto
  • Piemonte is renowned for their traditional salam’d la douja which is preserved in pork fat called “douja”
  • Emilia-Romagna is known for salame Piacentino (D.O.P.) and salame Felino
  • In Liguria, there is the celebrated salame genovese di Sant’Olcese
  • Tuscany is famous for Finocchiona, salame Chianino and salame di Cinta Senese
  • In Umbria, where there is a great tradition of salumeria in general, there are many superb salami such as salame Corallina, salame Perugino and local salsicce (hard, dry sausages). Around the town of Norcia, some of the salami and sausages are made from wild boar, which are particularly plentiful here.
  • The Marche region is renowned for salame Fabriano
  • Lazio produces the salame del Reatino
  • Abruzzo makes the celebrated Ventricina and the salame d’Aquila
  • Campania produces salame Napoli
  • In Sardegna, there are the Sartizzu and Salsiccia sarda varieties
  • Calabria makes salame di Crotone
  • Sicily is famous for salame di Sant’Angelo in Brolo (discussed below)


History of Salami

It’s unknown when the first salami as we know them today were made. In Roman times, they belonged to a group of food called salsum, meaning “salted.” Even in prehistoric times, salt was known to be an indispensible way to preserve meat; salt naturally expels water and blocks the proliferation of bacteria. Salame, like sopressata, sausages and others, belongs to the category of air-cured pork meats called salumi insaccati (“incased”), which means the meat is wrapped in a natural skin (usually) made from pig intestines. Salami are almost always made with pork meat—though in special variations, wild boar and even duck may be used instead. The meat is ground and kneaded to achieve the desired texture, and then various spices are added according to specific recipes. In general, the cuts of pork used are the thigh, shoulder, loin, filet, belly and the succulent fat from the pig’s jowls (guanciale). Salami are usually aged between 30 and 90 days—and beyond. A good salame has to have the right balance of lean meat and fat. The tendency today, especially for industrial products, is to make leaner salami, which affects the taste and texture. The best salami are artisanal—“fatti come una volta” as we say, which means “made as they used to be.”

As the list above shows, there are countless examples of artisanal salami in almost every region of Italy, using methods and recipes that go back hundreds of years. The oldest type of salame in Italy is made in northeast Sicily, in Sant’Angelo in Brolo, which is prepared with the incredibly succulent meat of a breed of pigs called Nero di Nebrodi. These pigs, which are similar to wild boars, roam freely in the large beech-tree forest in this area of the island. It’s not surprising that in this part of Sicily, they also produce other excellent salumeria, such as capocolli (made from pork shoulder or neck) and pancette (made from pork bellies). Sometimes in a single area, a variety of different salami are made, each one following a small local tradition. In 2009, a salame from Abruzzo, called the Ventricina del Vastese won first prize in a national competition. The meat for this prize-winning salame is still cut manually with a knife as it used to be—and the taste and texture is superlative. Another interesting variety which is made in many different regions of Italy is called Salamini alla Cacciatora (D.O.P.), also known as cacciatorini. These are very small salami that used to be carried by hunters for a quick snack and later became a quick snack for everybody. The meat used for cacciatorini is particularly delicious, derived from the same high-quality breed of pigs used to make the famous Prosciutto di Parma and San Daniele.


Snacking and Antipasto Staple

In Italy, pane e salame—bread and salami—is a metaphor for simple, genuine, good food. Besides being an essential part of traditional appetizer plates, such as antipasto di salumi and antipasto misto (a mixed meat antipasto), salame is most often enjoyed simply with bread—in a panino (bread roll) cut in half with nothing else—except, of course, a glass of good red wine.

The Showers

Pacific Paratrooper

Unfortunately, I do not remember which island this story occurred on.

Smitty did not write home about his experience with the showers. .. BUT,

He was coming back into camp after having a nice cold shower.  He walked back with a towel wrapped around his middle and held it closed with his left hand.  The jungle appeared quiet except for the buzzing of the insects whizzing around him.  [The New Guinea “salute” is said to actually be the act of swatting the insects!)

He said, “You know how annoying just one mosquito can be when it’s hovering by your ears.  This was like a swarm and I tried like hell to use my right hand to swat them away from my face.  When I began to approach our tents there was not one man to be seen and I couldn’t imagine where they all went.  As I got closer I could…

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Letter XIII Latrines

Pacific Paratrooper

High class facilities in the Philippines, 1944

Back in the states, people were still dancing to the tunes of The Dorsey Brothers, Count Basie and Artie Shaw.  They listened to the songs of Doris Day, the Andrew Sisters, Lena Horne and Rosemary Clooney.  But, some others weren’t so lucky, in the army there was always latrine duty, as depicted in the following letter from Smitty.


Letter XIII                               Latrines                        Wednesday 9/5/44

Dear Mom,

Many are the times you have heard me refer to the latrines.  Never before had I any conception or realized the amount of genius and mathematical figuring that was necessary for the building of one of these casual looking comfort stations.

Yesterday I had the dubious honor of being selected, with four other disgruntled G.I.s, to labor on a detail whose sole aim and mission was the digging and building of a latrine.  It seems that in order…

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