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AUSTRALIAN Battledress 1st USMC Div Bloodied Patch Theodore Wall


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His Casualty Card has the date of 5/3/1945 for his injury.

 

That is an exquisite tunic by the way.

 

Name: Theodore Franklin Wall

Casualty Date: 3 May 1945

Casualty Type: WIA

Unit: WPNSCO, 1STMAR, 1STMARDIV, FMF

Service Number: 372847

Collection: US Marine WWII Casualty Card Database

Location: TAB WALLACH-WALSH

Item ID: 81158

Thank you Blacksmith

Chris Carroll



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And yes I guessing he wasn't physically wounded by shell or small arms, yet injured by enemy action which resulted ears ruptured by concussion. But must have been serious enough to be evacuated. Would like to know the actions of Weapons Company 1st Regiment that day.

Chris Carroll



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For the attack on 3 May, the 1st Division designated two objective lines for the 1st Marines, the first stretching along the railroad track from the bridge across the Asa Kawa to a point opposite Miyagusuku and the second from the same bridge to Uchima and including Dakeshi. The boundary between regiments was switched to intercept the corps boundary just north of Dakeshi. The 5th Marines was given the job of cleaning out the tangled gorges and precipitous hills that became known as the Awacha Pocket.

Chris Carroll



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  • 1 year later...

THE JICHAKU PLATEAU During the first week in May, the primary concern of the Tenth Army was to straighten out and further consolidate its front line in preparation for a coordinated attack, tentatively set for 11 May, designed to overwhelm the Shun i hill mass positions of the Japanese.5 In its zone of action, the 1st Marine Division was faced with the problem of capturing the high ground overlooking the Asa Kawa from the north. With two of its regiments in the line on 2 May, the division commenced a series of attacks designed to capture this high ground comprising the Army objective in its sector. With its 1st and 3d Battalions on the line, the 1st Marines renewed the attack on the morning of 2 May. "C" Company of the 1st Battalion was to attack through Nakanishi in a southwesterly direction and cross the draw between it and the next plateau. This was intended to straighten out the left flank of the battalion line. "B" Company, on the right flank, was then to assault directly south across the ravine and seize the high ground that constituted the northern rim of the Jichaku plateau. The subsequent turn of events would determine the use of "A" Company. It was planned that "C" Company would attack at 0900 supported by tanks, although it had not been determined as yet how the tanks would negotiate the draw. After waiting for the tanks, "C" Company finally attacked at 1000. Advancing as

skirmishers through the rain and cold with two platoons abreast, the company had little difficulty in pushing through Nakanishi, although light sniper fire was experienced. On the left flank the 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, had halted before reaching its objective in

order to maintain contact with the 5th Marines on its flank; the 1st Battalion, and "C" Company in particular, had to proceed cautiously at the risk of receiving enfilading flanking fire.

At approximately 1045, the 2d platoon and a squad of the 3d platoon descended into the draw. Some men managed to cross the stream flowing through it but were quickly pinned down by deadly Hotchkiss, Nambu,* and flanking rifle fire, as well as 105mm artillery, 90mm mortar and knee mortar barrages. The heaviest small arms fire came from a group of excellently camouflaged caves dug into the cliffs at the elbow of the draw. From

these positions, the Japs were able to direct enfilading fire right up to the 3d Battalion's lines. The men were faced with so many targets it was difficult to determine which ones should be knocked out first. Casualties were piling up, no progress was being made, and the company commander requested permission to withdraw. Machine guns from the highground just south of Nakanishi covered the withdrawal which proceeded at the discretion

of the platoon leaders. The men were sent by twos and threes at a time. The evacuation of the wounded was a terrific problem and had to be executed under fire; every wounded man was brought out. The company withdrew through the road cut left of Nakanishi and established its lines for the night north of the village. "B" Company attacked at 1100. Previous to its attack, the company sent patrols into the ravine to test Japanese strength. The patrols reported the enemy encaved in the northern, as well as southern, cliffs. The effectiveness of these enemy positions was manifested in

"C" Company's plight described above. "B" Company was supposed to assault the draw at its mouth and then scale the high ground beyond. Advancing in a skirmish line, the company drew sporadic machine gun and sniper fire as it left its positions of the previous

night. The intensity of the fire increased as "B" Company descended into the draw and prepared to cross the stream at the bottom. Crossing by way of a blown-in concrete bridge,

one man at a time, the 1st Platoon drew a terrific burst of enemy small arms fire. Three of the first five men were hit. The 2d Platoon on the left crossed a small foot bridge and

received similar fire. Then, as the men scaled the ledge and attempted to crawl over its top, the enemy turned all his weapons in the immediate area upon the Marines. The Japanese had cut fire lanes to the very edge of the bank and had registered every foot of ground for machine gun and sniper fire.

The first man of the 1st Platoon managed to scramble over the bank, but the next

three were hit squarely in the head. Determinedly, one squad of the 1st Platoon and a half squad from the 2d fought their way onto the high ground. Repeated efforts by the remainder of both platoons failed to meet success and they were forced to hug the southern

bank of the draw. Until 1300 the situation remained unchanged and at that time battalion ordered a general withdrawal. Artillery threw down a curtain of white phosphorus smoke

to cover the movement but was too far out to be effective. The men gathered up smoke grenades and threw them into the draw but the enemy fired into the smoke. Men in the draw and those hugging its southern bank were organized as stretcher bearers to evacuate the wounded. Effectives left on the plateau covered the evacuation, as did the company's

six machine guns. In the confusion and lack of contact that characterized the situation, some men were left on the plateau, although this fact was not ascertained until after dusk

*Japanese light machine gun.

when two men managed to "get out from under" the enemy fire and reported to the company command post. After dusk the 1st Platoon worked its way back into the ravine, over the foot bridge, and up on the plateau. They found and brought back eighteen men, of whom five were wounded.

The battalion was not to be denied its objective. It planned to continue the attack

with two companies and, because "C" and "B" were badly mauled, borrowed "F" Company from the 2d Battalion to use with "A" Company. At 1600 "A" Company was ordered to attack at 1630 to seize ground on the high plateau further west from where "C" and "B" Companies had tried it.

"A" Company advanced with two platoons abreast, one in reserve, and descended the steep slope of the old stream bed. Clambering up the opposite bank under light sniper fire, the leading elements crawled over the edge of the south bank where they were met by heavy flanking machine gun fire from their left rear, and fire from light machine guns along their entire front. Sniper fire from camouflaged Japs in trees was effective and from the rear of a pillbox, northeast of Jichaku, the Nips hurled a steady barrage from knee mortars.

In spite of the intense enemy fire, "A" Company held its ground, dug in, and established a semi-circular line of defense about three hundred yards long, both ends of which were anchored to the edge of the south bank of the stream bed. The objective was considered won at 1930 and a platoon of "C" Company was attached to "A" to assure consolidation of the bridgehead.

Meanwhile, "F" Company of the 2d Battalion was ordered to tie in on "A" Company's right flank. Moving up along the airfield after dusk through the rain and mud, "F" Company prepared to cross the ravine and gain the plateau. The crossing was made without incident and the company formed a line on the plateau. The men dug their foxholes by

the light of the flares and received intermittent enemy mortar fire. Next morning the company discovered a Japanese bunker just twenty yards to the left front of the first platoon.

The 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, had about the same kind of day as that experienced by the 1st Battalion. For the initial phase of its attack, the battalion had one platoon of medium tanks, two flamethrower tanks and two M7 tank destroyers in support. "K" Company attacked at 0930 and was soon moving through Miyagusuku. "L" Company was forced to remain at its line of departure because of the inability of the 5th

Marine unit on its left to advance. By 1515 "K" had advanced against little opposition and passed through the village of Yafusu after standing by most of the day. "L" had still not

come abreast. Subsequent events are rather confusing. At any rate the special action report of the

1st Regiment, page 8, states: "At 1446, orders were received to change direction of the attack to 122 degrees,

maintaining contact right to left. Battalion boundaries were adjusted and orders

issued to resume the attack at 1630." The 3d Battalion further describes the situation as follows: "At 1600, oral orders were received from 1st Marines that this landing team would attack at 1630 and seize high ground south of Yafusu. At this time, heavy rains began falling in the battalion zone of action. The C.O. 3d Battalion contacted C.O. 1st Regiment and requested that the attack be delayed until the next day but the request

was denied." With little time to prepare for the attack, "K" Company moved out at 1640. The men were wet and chilled and moved slowly through the downpour. Following a ten minute

artillery barrage, the company assaulted with two platoons abreast and under the covering fire of its two sections of machine guns which delivered overhead fire from high ground on the line of departure. Upon reaching the immediate objective, the high ground, the company commander found that it was necessary to commit his reserve platoon in order to

fill a gap in the center of his line. From the moment the attack began, the company received fire from knee mortars, rifles and automatic weapons, coming from its front and its left flank. The company's 60mm mortars laid down a barrage that lessened the amount

of enemy fire considerably. As the company climbed out of the valley into which it had descended and up the slope of its objective, the Nips emerged from their caves and holes to fanatically defend their positions. Accurate enemy machine gun fire hit "K" Company

from three directions. In the meantime "L" Company had attacked too. The company advanced in line as

skirmishers on "K's" left flank with all three platoons in line. Similarly, "L" drew heavy fire from the enemy but managed to push forward for forty-five minutes with casualties increasing steadily. Communications between platoons broke down. At points of farthest

advance, each of the platoons was separated from the others by gaps of approximately two hundred yards. The confusion of the platoon leaders was aggravated by the excellence of

the enemy's camouflage and by the fact that their men's weapons were jammed with mud; only a few were in condition to fire.

At 1800 and after examining the situation closely, "L's" commander ordered a withdrawal. Circumstances did not offer the remotest possibility for establishing any reasonable defensive line. Providing their own covering smoke with white phosphorus grenades, the men began an orderly withdrawal. The company's machine guns on the high ground on its line of departure covered the movement with overhead fire. "L" Company's advance of approximately five hundred yards had placed it on "K's"

left flank. Its withdrawal presented "K" with a dangerously exposed left flank. On its own initiative, the 3d platoon curled its line back and established a perimeter of defense. The 1st platoon, which had filled in the center of the company line, placed its men back to back in order to defend north as well as south, since it was discovered that the company

had by-passed a Nip cave in the advance.

In both companies, "K" and "L", stretcher bearers worked under intense enemy fire across two hundred yards of open ground to carry out the wounded. "K" men loaded their stretchers with grenades for the return trip to the lines.

Facing a cold rainy muddy night, the prospects for "K" Company were not very bright; only one BAR and a handful of Mrs were in working order. The company's left flank was exposed for approximately five hundred yards. It proved to be a grim night. An expected counterattack developed at 0200. The enemy's plan apparently was to strike the center

of the company and to fan out to destroy it. When this strike at the center failed, the Japs slid off to the left and attempted to encircle the company's flank. This effort also failed. In striking the center, the Nips came charging out of the dark toward the 1st Platoon with bayonets fixed and hurling grenades. The Marines threw grenades in return, fired the two rifles that would fire, and used their rifles as clubs on the few of the enemy who got close

enough. This attack lasted for about twenty minutes and then the Nips moved to the left.  Led by an officer and several NCO's the enemy fared no better on the left flank. The only

BAR that would work was on this flank and accounted for the officer and seven more of the enemy. The attack on the company's right was beaten off with grenades. For both "L" and "K", the day's cost was high. "K's" losses were eleven killed and thirty-one wounded. "L's" losses were twenty three wounded and three killed.

On 3 May new objective lines were prescribed by division for the 1st Marines re-orienting the direction of attack toward the southeast(' The zone of action barely included the hill called "SUGAR LOAF" (Hill 60) on the left and the village of Dakeshi on its high ridge. Since the 3d Battalion was on 0-1 with its left flank, the plan for the day's attack called for the main effort to be made by the 1st Battalion in order to straighten out the

line in a wheeling movement. The 1st Battalion with "F" Company attached, attacked at 0933 and fought through

Jichaku, but received such heavy fire from across the Asa Kawa and from the hills north of Shun, it was forced to withdraw again due to mounting casualties. At 1100 the 3d Battalion attempted to displace its command post forward but met such determined artillery

fire it was forced to reoccupy its former position. After fruitless efforts to advance on the part of the 1st Battalion, the 3d Battalion attacked at 1630 and moved "L" Company up on the western slope of the hill just north of "SUGAR LOAF". "K" Company had moved up abreast of "L" Company but found its position untenable and was forced to withdraw.

Due to the extreme frontage of the 3d Battalion—over twelve hundred yards—it was necessary to attach "G" Company from the 2d Battalion for the night. With the exception of heavy artillery fire from 2000 to 2400 the night was uneventful.

At 2000 the 1st Battalion sent out a patrol, with engineers attached, down the road leading south from Kuran. The mission of this patrol was to reconnoiter the road and

remove all mines so that tanks could use it as an approach to Jichaku. After proceeding as far as the big bend in the road, the patrol was almost cut off by a number of the enemy and was forced to pull back and engage in a fire fight to reach its own lines.

Chris Carroll



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