Japanese Field Marker, Munda

Japanese Field Marker, Munda

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Japanese Field Marker, Munda

A Japanese field marker on Munda Airfield, seen soon after the airfield fell to the Americans.

Japanese Field Marker, Munda - History

This section is dedicated to provide an in depth view at various topics that directly relate to the history of the Japanese military forces.

JAPANESE SAMURAI SWORD HISTORY This section provides information about the different periods of the sword. A brief description of the history of Japan is also discussed.
SAMURAI SWORDSMITH SCHOOLS The sword makers are a crucial component of the history of the Samurai. This section provides information about the various schools that trained swordsmiths.
SAMURAI SWORD ANATOMY This section of the web site provides a break down of the sword and the names given to each component.
SAMURAI ARMOR ANATOMY The Samurai armor is a very unique piece of equipment used by the warrior. This page provides the visitor with a break down of the anatomy of the armor along with a brief history of its use.
SAMURAI ARMOR - MODERN REPLICA The Samurai armor is a very interesting piece of history. Its intricate construction required very skillful craftsmen to build. The armor featured here is a well made copy of the Samurai armor.
SAMURAI HELMET ANATOMY The helmets worn by the Samurai were a very distinct component. Similar to an indivisual's signature. This page discusses its history and anatomy.
READING SAMURAI SWORD SIGNATURES The Samurai sword was often signed by the master who made it or the factory it produced it. This section provides an understanding of how to interpret the signatures.
JAPANESE BLADE MARKINGS A comprehensive study of the different military markings stamped on the Japanese blades. From the Samurai swords to the bayonets.

The Samurai swords are often signed on the tang of the blade. This section of the website explains the basics of how to read the signatures.

After Japan surrendered there was a large cache of weapons and equipment that was captured by the Americans. Some of the items were brought back by GI's as war souvenirs. Others were destroyed.

This photographed was taken by Clinton O. Daly. While he was in the Mariana Islands he got to witness barges being filled with Japanese weapons and equipment, they were floated to the deep waters of the lagoons where they were sunk.

There are basically four striking points allowed in a Kendo match. Using the bamboo sword the fighters can strike the top of the head, the wrist, the ribs and a straight thrust to the throat. All of this areas are protected by an armored structure whose components include canvas, wood and metal.
Kendo matches are very lively and action packed. Fighters move swiftly striking with deadly accuracy as they yell the name of the technique they are executing. This action is reminiscent of the begining days of the Samurai warrior where opponents at war would face each other and yell out their resumes (name of school where they learned to fight, family name, number of battles, etc.) as they charged towards each other with sword in hand.

You may call us at (623) 934-8181 or contact us via email.

We offer a quick tutorial on how to photograph a Samurai sword . we point out the things we need to see in order to review the sword.

You may call us at (623) 934-8181 or contact us via email.

The field of military antiques and collectibles is growing. Some people get involved in the field out of their passion for historical items. Other individuals happen to come across military antiques by pure chance. sometimes items are purchased at yard sales, flea markets, etc. Other times a person may inherit militaria from a relative.

Regardless of its point of origin, this website can provide you with information that will help you identify the items, and in many cases, find the value of the item.

After WWII, US Soldiers brought back an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 swords back with them.

This section of the web site is dedicated to providing detailed information regarding the Samurai sword. It provides the visitor with a way in which to identify a sword and determine its value in the market, answering one of the most common questions asked: How much is my sword worth?

23 Showa Period KATANA - Machine MADE
26 WWII KATANA - Ishido Teruhide blade
27 WWII KATANA - Koto blade

More swords are available for viewing.

Japanese soldiers took their family swords to battle with them, in very much the same way the shogun did hundreds of years before. If a soldier did not have a family sword or did not want to take it, the government would provide him with a machine made sword. After defeating the Japanese battles throughout the South Pacific, GIs would collect the swords from the battle field and send them back home. Unfortunately, many of these swords were used as tools for working around the yard, which would damage the blade severely.

Many other swords met a fiery end at the hand of foundry workers who were ordered to melt them at the end of the war or during the last days of the war when the Japanese military was running out of metal.

Most of the samples shown here are for the WWII period. However, blades from other eras are also featured.

Most of the samples shown here are for the WWII period. However, blades from other eras are also featured.

This information helps identify military collectibles. It also contains information regading the value of Japanese military uniforms.

This information helps identify military collectibles. It also contains information regading the value of Japanese military hats and helmets.

Japanese Field Marker, Munda - History

The Allied landings in the Central Solomons and the New Guinea area caused Japanese planners some anxious moments. Plainly, the situation called for prompt action to relieve the pressure on the first defensive lines of Japan's war-flung empire, but the question was: Where should the major effort be directed? To date, all attempts to repulse the landings had proved futile, and prospects for future success didn't look too promising, either. Mindful of earlier basic plans to retain the Central Solomons while holding out in New Guinea, the Japanese commanders at Rabaul scheduled a conference for 4 July to reach a decision.

To General Sasaki and Admiral Ota, ruefully watching the Rendova operations from a well-protected headquarters on Kokengola Hill at Munda airfield, the situation was a bit more pressing and a lot more personal. From observation it was apparent that the troops across the channel had come to stay and were building up for an offensive in strength. When 155mm guns and howitzers began to register on the airfield, the pattern of the campaign became all too clear. Munda was going to need reinforcements, and quickly, if it was to be held.

The two commanders reported their appraisal of the situation, and then took steps to strengthen the airfield defenses as best they could with the troops available. In a series of orders signed jointly by Sasaki and Ota, all eastern New Georgia lookout detachments were recalled on 30 June, and two recently arrived 140mm guns and two smaller mountain guns were ordered rushed overland from Bairoko. In addition, a reserve force, the 12th Company, 229th Regiment. was alerted to move from Kolombangara to New Georgia.

As the Allied buildup on Rendova continued, however, these defensive measures began to look woefully weak, so the remainder of the 3d Battalion, 229th Regiment, was ordered to Munda's aid. By Sasaki's own estimate, all defenses must be ready by dusk on 3 July. Meanwhile, the combined Army and SNLF units were exhorted to "maintain alerted conditions throughout the night and guard against enemy landings if the enemy commences

to land, destroy them at the water's edge." On 2 July, the command relationship was changed. Sasaki, as the senior officer, "in response to the conditions in this area," assumed sole command of all New Georgia garrisons. Admiral Ota, relieved of his landing forces, was assigned control of Army and Navy barge and shipping units in the area. 2

The actual invasion of western New Georgia was not the direct assault on Munda airfield which Sasaki and Ota believed was coming. Instead, in a landing on 30 June which actually preceded the Rendova assault by several hours, soldiers of Companies A and B, 169th Infantry scrambled ashore on the islands that guarded the Onaiavisi Entrance to Roviana Lagoon. Lashed by heavy rain squalls and hampered by the darkness, the soldiers nevertheless managed to make contact with a waiting pre-D-Day amphibious patrol and native scouts. The landing was unopposed, but not uneventful. The mine sweeper Zane, which had been used as a transport, went aground on a small island just inside the entrance, and lay exposed as a telltale marker. Her helpless state and the landing area were ignored, however, by Japanese planes striking at the Rendova landing. The ocean tug Rail, summoned from Guadalcanal, pulled the Zane off the reef late that afternoon.

After securing the entrance islands, the soldiers began the move to Zanana Beach on the shore line of New Georgia. Earlier plans had called for Company O of the 4th Marine Raider Battalion to act as scouts for this phase of the operation, but with the raiders still at Segi and Viru, reconnaissance teams from the Rendova forces were organized. These were later augmented by a company of Fijian and Tonganese scouts, who were aggressive and skilled jungle fighters. 3 (See Map 5.)

The patrols moved into the area between Zanana and the Barike River, marking water points, trails, coastal roads, possible artillery positions, and all avenues of approach to Munda. They were also ordered to probe Japanese defenses between the airfield and Bairoko Harbor, and to report all barge activity observed. One of the first radioed messages from the patrols reported a successful ambush of a Japanese group and that uniform markings on a dead enemy rifleman indicated that he had been a member of the 229th Regiment. The ambushed Japanese had been part of the 5th Company, 2d Battalion, which had been ordered to investigate the Onaiavisi Entrance landings and "drive out the enemy who has landed there and make the area secure." 4 Later the 5th Company was told to resist stubbornly against this new phase of landings and fight to the last at their present positions. These instructions set the pattern for Japanese resistance in New Georgia.

General Hester received Admiral Halsey's approval to proceed with the New Georgia phase of T OENAILS on 2 July. That night, elements of the 172d's 1st Battalion began the move from Rendova to Zanana Beach. The troop transfer was

made in landing craft, which towed additional rubber boats carrying soldiers. Torpedo boats furnished an escort across Blanche Channel, and, at Onaiavisi Entrance, native guides in canoes took over and directed the landing craft through the lagoon to the beachhead. The following day, 3 July, Brigadier General Wing established the 43d Division's forward command post (CP) on New Georgia. A 52-man detail from the 9th Defense Battalion's special weapons group arrived on 4 July and immediately emplaced four 40mm guns for antiaircraft protection. Four .50 caliber machine guns were sited to protect the antiaircraft positions and to add depth to the firepower of the soldiers.

The Japanese air attack of 4 July at Rendova managed to make targets out of most of the troops that were to participate in the push on Munda airfield. The 172d was still in the process of shuttling troops to Zanana Beach and the fifth echelon of the NGOF, the remainder of the 169th Infantry and the 136th Field Artillery Battalion carried in 14 LCIs and 4 LSTs, had just arrived at Rendova Harbor. The 169th had remained in the Russells as division reserve during the early part of the operation, and the 136th was detached from the 37th Division on Guadalcanal. The air attack hit as the 169th and 136th were debarking. Unloading activities were abruptly abandoned. Luckily, no ships were hit. But for the new arrivals, the bombing attack following a sea-tossed trip from the Russells was a rough welcome to New Georgia.

Transferring their equipment and supplies to small craft from the Rendova boat pool, the soldiers began the movement to Zanana almost immediately. The 155mm howitzers of the 136th were unloaded on one of the islands guarding Onaiavisi Entrance and positioned to provide artillery support to the troops attacking Munda. Other heavy weapons, the 105mm howitzers of the 169th and 103d Field Artillery Battalions were also emplaced on the offlying islands for additional fire support. By dusk of 5 July, the 172d and the 169th Infantry were ashore on New Georgia, ready to begin the march toward the line of departure along the Barike River. A secondary landing, early on the morning of 5 July by the Northern Landing Group (NLG), commanded by Marine Colonel Liversedge, established a beachhead at Rice Anchorage on the north coast of New Georgia to threaten Sasaki's forces from that direction. 5

On the 6th, the 172d moved west toward the Barike. Little opposition was encountered. The next day, however, as the 169th Infantry began its move to positions north of the 172d, determined enemy opposition decisively stalled the entire regiment. Stopped short of the Barike, the 169th went into bivouac.

Accounts of the action during the night of 6 July combine fact and fancy. Reports that Japanese riflemen had infiltrated the loose perimeter set up by the 169th's leading battalion caused a panic among the soldiers. Although the regiment had been on Guadalcanal and the Russells prior to New Georgia, the troops evidently were not prepared for jungle combat at night. Soldiers reported the next morning that enemy infiltrators threw grenades, screamed, whistled, shouted invective, and jumped into foxholes to bayonet

the occupants. After a wild night of grenade bursts, shooting, and screaming, however, no enemy dead were found in the perimeter when dawn came and the soldiers were able to look around. But NGOF casualties were numerous.

The action on the night of 6 July, which started a wave of near hysteria among the troops, seriously impaired the combat efficiency of the 169th Infantry. Despite many later aggressive and determined attacks, the 169th's initial failures along the Barike River were attributed to an apparent lack of combat conditioning and training. 6

Regardless of speculation as to whether such night attacks were wholly real or in part imagined, there was no denying the end results--the loss of many front-line troops through actual wounds and war neurosis. Later all regiments in the attack were subjected to this type of enemy tactics. In defense against such raids, 43d Division soldiers adopted a policy of joint foxholes for two or more men protected by trip wires with noise makers attached. In addition, a rigid fire plan was adopted which prohibited promiscuous shooting and movement at night and allowed only the outside perimeter to fire or use grenades. These defensive measures restored discipline and stability.

After delaying most of the morning of 7 July in reorganization, the 169th resumed its push toward the Barike. Again the regiment was stopped almost immediately by aggressive enemy resistance. Although the 169th managed to overcome this first enemy opposition, the soldiers had to fight another lengthy action before reaching the low hills east of the river. The 172d, in its zone of action, had pushed to the Barike without too much trouble. When it became apparent that the 169th could not reach the Barike River in time to begin the attack on 8 July as planned, General Hester--with Halsey's approval--ordered the operation delayed one day. The NGOF commander also cancelled that part of his plan that called for a direct assault on the airfield over Munda bar by a battalion of the 103d Infantry with Marine 9th Defense Battalion tanks in support. Mounting evidence that the Japanese held the area in great strength dimmed the prospects for the success of such a thrust.

After another night of infiltrators' attacks, during which soldiers crouched sleepless in foxholes, the advance was resumed the next morning. The 172d moved fairly easily along a coastal trail in a column of battalions. The 169th, struggling through the jungle with an open flank screened only by the Fiji scout company, was echeloned to the right rear. A heavy concentration of mortar and artillery fire on the Japanese position to the immediate front of the 169th broke resistance there and, aided by a flanking attack by the 172d hitting from the left, the 169th was able to push ahead. Late in the afternoon of the 8th, the fatigued 169th struggled into position on line with the 172d to start the drive toward Munda the following morning.

NGOF in Attack: Zanana to Laiana 7

Booming salvos from four destroyers at 0512 on the 9th of July signalled the start of the NGOF attack. The one-hour naval bombardment, which dumped 2,344 five-inch shells on positions in the rear of the enemy lines, was followed by a cannonade by all artillery battalions of the NGOF. The shelling combined the fires of two 155mm howitzer battalions, one 155mm gun battalion, and two 105mm howitzer battalions. In all, the Munda-Barike area was battered by 5,800 rounds of high explosives. Enemy defensive positions, lines of communication, bivouac areas, and command posts were blasted for one hour before the fires were shifted to the area to be assaulted by the ground troops. As artillery lifted, 52 Navy and Marine torpedo bombers and 36 scout bombers struck, dropping high explosive and fragmentation bombs on the area. At 0900, heartened by this extreme concentration of firepower, the 43d Division started its attack toward the NGOF objective--Munda airfield.

After clearing the initial Japanese resistance, the advancing soldiers encountered only snipers and small outposts. Progress, however, was slow. Each new enemy opposition forced deployment and attack. Hidden snipers, pinning down the advance units, held up the regiments for hours. Every step forward was a struggle against a determined enemy and multiple jungle obstacles--dense, vine-choked underbrush, steep ridges, numerous swamps, constant and enervating heat, and almost incessant torrents of rain.

The only maps provided the attacking force were sketches based on aerial photos. The drawings outlined jungle areas with conventional symbols which did not reveal the intricate, abrupt mass of hills, ridges, and swamps--jumbled without pattern--that lay under the thick jungle canopy. Contour lines on the maps were based on scouting reports, and, as 43d Division soldiers discovered, were usually in error. The ridges and hills, bending and twisting in all directions, forced the attacking units to move in one direction, then another. As a result, by the end of the second day of the attack, both regiments had become intermingled and were attacking in virtually a single column. The initial frontage of 1,300 yards had collapsed to almost one-half that distance. In addition, the lines of communication and supply were now stretched over two miles through the jungle from Zanana Beach, an extension exceedingly vulnerable to counterattack from the north, or right, flank.

For the 169th, the advance had been particularly harrowing. Given a zone of action that forced them to cross the meandering Barike River a number of times, the soldiers slowly pressed forward over the steep ridges and through the deep swamps in the upper river region. Fatigued from the initial struggle through the jungle from Zanana, and continually harassed at night by enemy soldiers probing at the exposed right flank, the 169th was a dispirited outfit. After such a

disappointing start, the regiment mustered only lethargic attacks against enemy opposition. Wounded soldiers and combat fatigue cases wandered back along the trail to Zanana, draining the front lines of needed strength and creating a serious evacuation problem. Additionally, with the regiment so strung out, troops were needed to carry food, water, and ammunition to the attackers as well as help evacuate the wounded, tasks which further sapped the fighting strength of the outfit.

The pattern of enemy resistance developed by the end of the second day of attack, 10 July, plainly indicated that the Japanese were holding a barrier position in the high ground east of Munda airfield which they would defend in strength. The NGOF offensive--grinding against this line of mutually supporting fortifications of logs and coral, strongly defended by automatic weapons, mortars, and artillery--faltered.

As the NGOF struggled against the jungle and a tenacious enemy, engineers attempted to established a supply route to the front lines by hewing a jeep road out of the matted underbrush. Native guides pointed out a trail which took advantage of as much high ground as possible, but most of the route had to follow the marshy banks of the Barike River and in some instances ran parallel to the front lines. Bridging of the Barike was accomplished in several spots by trestles made of felled timber. Even while constructing the road in the rear of the front lines, however, the engineers were under almost constant attack from bypassed snipers and wandering squads of enemy. Bulldozer operators were a prime target, and engineer casualties mounted as the road clearing proceeded. Metal shields were eventually welded to the tractors to protect the 'dozer operators. Since no heavy graders were available, the jeep road could not be ditched or crowned, and any traffic over the road after a rainstorm usually meant extensive road repairs. 8

With the need for a closer reinforcing and resupply point made obvious by conditions to the rear of the NGOF front, Hester's staff focused attention on Laiana Beach. Rejected earlier as a landing site because it was deemed too heavily defended and too inaccessible for quick resupply, Laiana now appeared to be the answer to NGOF logistic problems. The beach was some 5,000 yards closer to Munda, and its possession would shorten supply, evacuation, and reinforcement lines as well as put fresh attacking troops considerably closer to the main objective. On 11 July, General Hester ordered the 172d to disengage from the frontal assault and pivot southwest in an attack toward the coast line to secure Laiana Beach. At the same time, the NGOF commander alerted the 3d Battalion, 103d Infantry and the tank platoon of the 9th Defense Battalion to be ready to leave Rendova for Laiana as soon as the 172d reached the coast.

Though the 172d was only a short distance northeast of the beach when directed to attack, the area was not secured until 13 July. Despite near-constant artillery assistance which shredded and blasted the jungle covering from defenses on the sharp hills between the 172d and Laiana, the enemy clung stubbornly to his positions. Repeated air strikes failed to dent the defenses, and the Japanese, apparently aware of NGOF intentions, rained mortar and artillery fire between the 172d and its

AVENGER TORPEDO BOMBERS wing toward New Georgia on 9 July 1943 to strike Munda airfield in support of the 43d Division's attack. (USMC 57685)

MARINE LIGHT TANK, accompanied by Army infantrymen, moves through the jungle toward the front lines on New Georgia. (SC 395877)

objective. Marine tanks and the 103d Infantry Battalion, scheduled to land on the 12th, were held back. The 172d reached Laiana on the 13th, and, on the following day, landing craft and tank lighters carried the reinforcements ashore. Artillery smoke shells covered the landing activities. Although the infantry hit the shore line without incident, enemy 75mm guns hidden in the jungle fired random shots at the lighters. No hits were scored, and all tanks were put ashore without damage. From his headquarters at Munda, General Sasaki observed the smoke screening this new development but in his orders for the 14th of July, he erroneously reported that 70 large barges had attempted to land but had been repulsed with the loss of 15 of the barges. 9

While the 172d held the new beachhead area and waited for the 169th to close the gap between the two regiments and come abreast, the Marine tanks and 3/103 moved into division reserve. A special weapons detail from the 9th Defense Battalion accompanied the infantry to Laiana and set up 40mm, 20mm, and .50 caliber antiaircraft weapons for protection against Japanese strafing and bombing attacks.

In the 169th's zone, strong mortar and artillery fires were placed on Japanese defensive positions in an effort to reestablish forward movement, but the enemy resistance continued. At this time, the regiment--tired and understrength--was opposed by a determined, dug-in enemy to the front and continually harassed by snipers and infiltrators in the rear areas. On the 11th, the 169th's commanding officer and his staff were relieved by Colonel Temple Holland and a staff from the 145th Infantry, 37th Division. The new regimental commander postponed further attacks by the 169th until the next day so that he might have time to reorganize his command.

A new push by the 169th on the 12th, following a rolling artillery barrage, failed to gain ground, however, and a return was made to the line of departure. The following morning, 1,000-pound bombs dropped by 12 scout bombers of Com Air New Georgia further hammered the defenses holding up the 169th's progress. Pilots returning from the strike noted that the target area marked by smoke shells was 600 yards east of the grid coordinates given in the air mission request, an indication of the difficulties the 169th was experiencing in locating its position on the ground. The whole regiment was committed to the attack after the air strike, but only the 3d Battalion on the left managed to gain ground. Successful in seizing the crest of a small knoll about 600 yards to the front, the battalion hung grimly to its position and repelled several strong counterattacks. During the next two days, the 3d Battalion took 101 casualties, dead and wounded. Despite strong enemy pressure, the infantrymen held their position. Barrages fired by supporting artillery units boxed the front and flanks of the salient, and discouraged the development of a large-scale Japanese counterattack.

In an effort to aid the beleaguered 3d Battalion, the 1st Battalion attacked on the 15th toward a dominating rise of ground about 400 yards to its right front. When opposition failed to develop, the attackers clambered to the top of the ridge, only to find deserted pillboxes, abandoned foxholes,

and empty trenches. The Japanese defenders had finally withdrawn.

The victory lifted the spirits of the entire regiment, but more heartening was a glimpse of the NGOF's ultimate objective--Munda airfield. On its coral white runways and taxiways some three miles away could be seen wrecked and burned enemy planes. With new vigor, the 169th took over the enemy positions and prepared to defend the newly won ridgeline.

Counterattack Preparations 10

While General Hester's NGOF fought its way from the Barike to Laiana, General Sasaki's defenders were operating on the simple strategy of trading space for time. Considerably outnumbered, the 229th Regiment and 8th CSNLF had nevertheless forced the invading American division to move slowly and cautiously. Sasaki's defensive lines had reduced the NGOF invasion to a groping, stumbling advance--much in contrast to the swift, hard-hitting operation envisaged earlier by the Americans. The Japanese played for time during which reinforcements could arrive.

The plight of the Munda defenders had received immediate attention. General Imamura, commanding the Eighth Area Army at Rabaul, on 3 July ordered the New Georgia defense augmented by the remainder of the 13th Regiment as well as by additional antitank, mountain artillery, engineer, and medical units. In addition, the rear echelons of the 229th Regiment, which were still in the Shortlands area, were ordered to join their parent unit. A number of large landing barges were also dispatched to New Georgia. Most of the fresh troops were to stop at Kolombangara, but the elements of the 229th, the antitank units, and most of the engineers were to go directly to Munda. 11 In all, Imamura ordered about 3,000 troops from the Shortlands-Faisi area to the New Georgia Group. More reinforcements were to follow. The joint Army-Navy conference at Rabaul, on 4 July, cemented the understanding between the Eighth Area Army and the Southeast Area Fleet that the main sea and air effort would be directed against the Central Solomons while the troops already on New Guinea would hold out without additional help for the time being.

Imamura's promised reinforcements started to New Georgia on schedule, but the transports bumped into an Allied destroyer force lurking in Kula Gulf and turned back to the Shortlands to await a better time. The next night, 5-6 July, the transports sailed again, and, although part of the force was ambushed by Allied ships, the Japanese managed to land about 850 troops on Kolombangara. 12 On New Georgia, General Sasaki shoved all available 229th Regiment, 8th CSNLF, and 38th Division support troops into the defense of the airfield in an attempt to hold out as long as possible. His line of fortifications,

spiked with seacoast and dual-purpose guns, ringed the coastline of Munda Point for some 6,500 yards and then swung inland from Roviana Lagoon for almost 3,000 yards. As NGOF troops were to find out, it was a formidable area to crack.

Sasaki's tactics in the defense of the terrain between the Barike River and his main positions around the airfield were to counterattack continually in the hopes of offsetting any gain which the NGOF might make. Skillfully deploying the forces available, his field commanders ordered one company to hold and threaten a flank of the Allied line while other units slipped to the rear of the attackers to raid and cut communications. This infiltration had the calculated two-fold effect of creating casualties and demoralizing the attacking force. In instances where it became necessary to hold a particular strong point, an ambush squad with orders to fight to the death was left in position.

While part of the Munda defense force wrestled with the advancing Allied units, other engineers and soldiers feverishly built pillboxes, dug trenches, and cleared lanes of fire in defensive lines to the rear. Each time the Japanese gave ground, they fell back to another strong position. Well-camouflaged and protected, the barrier of mutually-supporting positions allowed Sasaki's troops to contest any advance stubbornly. The terrain was an ally, since it hid the Japanese defenses and forced the Allied attackers to battle against the jungle and enemy troops simultaneously. Sasaki had another advantage, too. He was close to Bougainville and the Shortlands, and although reinforcements--mainly machine gun, antitank, and artillery units--dribbled into New Georgia in an unsteady stream, his strength remained nearly constant. Troops from Kolombangara, transported to Munda by barges during the night, were at the front lines the next day.

With the Allied lines inching slowly toward Munda, the Japanese were aware that the only means of re-establishing any type of order in New Georgia depended upon a strong counterattack. Weighing the time element against the danger, the Japanese decided on a delaying action in the Munda area while a counterattacking force struck through the upper Barike River region. As reinforcements arrived at Kolombangara, this counteroffensive was kept in mind. The ground attack would be staged simultaneously with a sea campaign, which would cut Allied supply lines while the air fleets pounded the Allied lines and rear areas on New Georgia. 13

The 13th Regiment, which had moved in parcels from the Shortlands, was selected to straighten the lines in New Georgia. On 8 July, Colonel Tomonari was alerted to send the 2d Battalion to Bairoko Harbor to help Commander Saburo Okumura's Kure 6th SNLF defend that area from another but smaller Allied landing force. At the same time, Tomonari was to relinquish command of Kolombangara's defenses to the commander of the Yokosuka 7th SNLF and with the remaining two battalions of the 13th Regiment advance to Munda for the new attack. 14 Okumura, at Bairoko, was to cover the 13th's advance from Kolombangara and then defend the Bairoko area without further assistance. Sasaki's orders

to Tomonari were for the counterattacking force to move to a bivouac area on a plantation about five miles north of Munda. The 13th was to remain there until Sasaki deemed that the time was opportune for the attack.

To ensure that the operation would go smoothly, Sasaki established a liaison post at the plantation area and then sent a guide to meet Tomonari at Bairoko. Plans proceeded without a hitch as the first echelon of about 1,300 men moved by barge to Bairoko on 9 July. On the 11th, another 1,200 troops moved across Kula Gulf and a further 1,200 men made the cross-channel journey by barge on the night of the 12th. The movements were postponed several days by naval action in the gulf, but just as soon as they were able to make the crossing, all units of Colonel Tomonari's attacking force, mainly the 1st and 2d Battalions, assembled at Bairoko.

In moving into the bivouac area, Tomonari's force abruptly ran into a trail block set up by part of Colonel Liversedge's Northern Landing Group. In a brief but sharp encounter, the American force scattered the 13th Regiment's leading elements, and reported to Liversedge that a large movement of Japanese reinforcements had been prevented from reaching Munda. Actually, Tomonari had broken off the engagement so as not to disclose the impending counterattack. Instead of staying to slug it out with the NLG, Tomonari withdrew his two battalions, and Sasaki's guides then led the Japanese soldiers toward Munda over another trail. By the morning of the 13th, Tomonari's main elements were at the plantation assembly area.

With two regiments now in position to oppose the landing force hitting toward Munda on the south, Sasaki was confident of his ability to reclaim the initiative. Some of his optimism could have been used by his superiors, however, because Army-Navy disagreements were stalling the progress of further help in the airfield's defense. The Navy, seeking the commitment of an additional Army division in New Georgia, wanted reassurance that Navy installations in Bougainville, the Shortlands, and Rabaul would be protected. The Navy suggested a possible 2,000 troops for the Rice Anchorage area, 3,000 more for Munda airfield, another 2,000 to take over the Roviana Lagoon islands, and an additional 4,000 to be used as an attacking force.

The Army turned thumbs down. The Eighth Area Army had no intention of further reinforcing the New Georgia area. To Army planners, there was no way in which the war situation could be altered, and, as a matter of fact, a reappraisal of the situation had convinced them that Bougainville could not be held long if the Allies attacked there. While this difference of opinion existed, General Sasaki would have to make do with the Southeast Detachment Forces already at hand and those few scattered rear echelon and support troops which destroyer-transports could rush to Kolombangara for barge transfer to New Georgia.

Marine Tanks vs. Pillboxes 15

The occupation force's struggle to advance on New Georgia was anxiously

watched by the remainder of the NGOF on Rendova and the barrier islands. Artillerymen, executing fire missions, noted that front lines did not move forward. Landing craft coxswains, returning from supply runs to Zanana and Laiana beaches, brought back reports of the fighting and distorted stories of the Japanese infiltration raids. All NGOF units knew that the 172d was stalled in the hills west of Laiana and that the 169th was understrength and fatigued by the struggle through the jungle. Despite the continual and intense pounding by three 155mm and three 105mm gun and howitzer battalions, which seemed to have leveled all above-ground installations, the enemy still seemed as strong as ever and apparently as disposed to continue the fight. Air strikes, which included as many as 70 planes, bombed the enemy defenses without apparent results except to strip foliage from the jungle.

Realization that more Allied troops would be required had come early in the campaign. On 6 July, General Hester had requested, and had been granted, the use of the 148th Infantry (less one battalion with the NLG) as division reserve. The 145th Infantry (also less one battalion with the NLG) was additionally attached to Hester's NGOF. Both regiments were alerted for possible commitment to combat and, prior to 14 July, were moved to Rendova where they would be readily available.

With the addition of two regiments as NGOF reserve, a needed change in the command structure became more apparent. For some time, observers had believed that General Hester's 43d Division staff, split between the two tasks of directing a division in combat and a larger occupation force in a campaign, had been unequal to the job. Moreover, on the 13th, General Griswold of the XIV Corps had some disquieting reports for Admiral Halsey and General Harmon:

From an observer viewpoint, things are going badly. Forty-three division about to fold up. My opinion is that they will never take Munda. Enemy resistance to date not great. My advice is to set up twenty-fifth division to act with what is left of thirty-seventh division if this operation is to be successful. 16

Halsey, on 9 July, had directed Harmon to name a corps commander to take command of all ground troops on New Georgia. Now, after Griswold's first-hand report from the front lines, Halsey told Harmon to take whatever steps he thought necessary to straighten out the situation. Griswold and his XIV Corps staff was ordered to assume command of the NGOF and Hester was returned to the command solely of the 43d Division. 17 All ground forces, including those of the 37th Division, now in the NGOF, as well as the 161st Regiment from the 25th Division, were assigned to Griswold's command. The new NGOF leader, requesting a few days for reorganization, promised a prompt, coordinated attack. The command change was effective at midnight, 14 July, a date which happened to coincide with the long-planned relief of Rear Admiral

Turner by Rear Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson as Commander, III Amphibious Force. Turner returned to Pearl Harbor to take command of amphibious forces in the Central Pacific.

The addition of tanks and a fresh battalion of infantry to the forces at Laiana beach buoyed the hopes of the NGOF that the impetus of the attack could be resumed. The tank platoon of the 9th Marine Defense Battalion had landed on Rendova with its parent unit, but had not been required for seizure of the island. The tanks later moved to Zanana Beach to support an engineer mission shortly after the NGOF began its attack. The marshy ground in the vicinity of the Barike balked attempts to use armor in support of infantry operations, however, so the eight tanks were withheld from action until Laiana was taken. Here, it was reported, the ground was more firm and could support armored operations.

Forward movement of the 172d Infantry in the Laiana area had virtually ceased when the Marine armor arrived. The enemy's defensive line, a series of pillboxes dug into the hill mass rising just forward of the American lines, stubbornly resisted attack. Infantrymen attempting to push ahead were driven back by fierce machine gun fire from the camouflaged positions. In the hopes that a coordinated tank-infantry thrust could crack the defenses, an attack was planned for 15 July.

On the morning of the 15th, three tanks reported to the 2d Battalion, 172d on the left, while another trio of tanks moved toward the 3d Battalion on the right. Tangled underbrush hid stumps and logs that hampered attempts to get into position, and the drivers had to back and turn the machines constantly to move ahead. In the left zone, the first opposition, which came from a log and coral emplacement, was promptly knocked out by 37mm high explosive rounds and machine gun fire. Two grass bivouac shelters were peppered with canister rounds 18 and machine gun fire, and six to eight dead enemy were reported in each by the 172d's infantrymen following the machines.

Further progress was stopped, however, by enemy machine gun and rifle fire which began to pour from other camouflaged positions. The infantrymen sought cover. The Marine tanks, without infantry support, were forced to resort to a deadly game of blind man's bluff. Hit from one direction, the tanks wheeled--only to receive fire from another quarter. By alternating canister with high explosive rounds, the tankers stripped camouflage from emplacements and then blasted each bunker as it was uncovered. Enemy soldiers attempting to flee the positions were killed by machine guns. Opposition gradually ceased, and the infantrymen moved forward. The advance marked the first significant gain in several days.

In the right zone, the other three tanks were also blasting hidden positions which supporting infantrymen marked with tracer bullets. At one time the tanks were under fire from five hidden bunkers and dugouts. Combat was so close in the thick, hilly jungle that in several instances the muzzles of the 37mm guns could not be depressed enough to engage the enemy positions. Continually drummed upon by small-arms fire, and blasted repeatedly by grenade and mortar bursts, the armor withdrew after clearing the enemy from one hill. The 3d Battalion immediately

occupied the positions and set up defenses. The only casualty suffered by the Marines in the engagement was one driver injured when a hidden log jammed its way through a floor hatch.

On the following day, three tanks with six infantrymen following each machine moved around the base of the hill taken by the 3d Battalion and pushed through the heavy jungle toward the next hill. The tanks raked the underbrush with fire and then pumped explosive shells into the enemy positions. A number of pillboxes, dugouts, and enemy shelters were knocked out. Only rifle and automatic weapons fire opposed the advance, and the infantrymen quickly moved forward. In the 2d Battalion zone on the left flank, defenses on the coast were outflanked by the tanks, which maneuvered along the shore line firing at the blind sides and rear of the bunkers. After nearly 200 yards of progress, the tankmen discovered they were without infantry support and returned to the lines. A second attack was stalled by heavy mortar fire which drove the supporting infantrymen back to their foxholes.

Unprotected by infantry, the tanks kept firing to the front and sides to keep enemy soldiers from attacking. Heavy jungle growth limited visibility to only a few yards and restricted maneuver of the machines. While trying to disengage from the battle, the tanks were rocked by heavy explosions, apparently from magnetic antitank grenades tossed against the machines by enemy soldiers hidden in the dense thicket all about the armor. The rear machine was blasted twice, and each of the other two tanks was damaged slightly by similar explosions. Swiveling and turning, the tanks fired at every movement in the brush, and, by sweeping the jungle with canister and machine gun fire, managed to break clear and crawl back toward friendly lines.

That night, the 3d Battalion, 103d Infantry relieved 2/172 in the left zone and another coordinated tank-infantry attack was scheduled. Working all night, 16-17 July, the Marines had five tanks available for combat. By prior agreement, 30 infantrymen were to accompany each machine and the tanks were not to move unless soldiers supported them. The day's attack had hardly begun, however, before stiff enemy opposition developed. Machine gun and rifle fire spewed from a number of concealed positions, and bullets ricocheted among the infantrymen following the armor. Soldiers, returning the fire, attempted to locate the emplacements so that the tanks' 37mm guns could be directed against the enemy.

As the tanks maneuvered toward the enemy defenses, the lead machine was suddenly sprayed with flame thrower fuel by a Japanese in a camouflaged position. The fuel did not ignite, and the enemy soldier was quickly killed. In such close combat, however, even nearby infantrymen could not protect the tanks from hidden enemy soldiers who suddenly appeared to toss magnetic grenades on the tanks. The third machine, hit by such a missile, took a gaping hole near the hull. Two crewmen were wounded. A hasty look behind them convinced the Marines that the infantrymen had fallen behind, and that protection was gone. Covering each other by fire, the tanks moved back with one of the undamaged vehicles towing the disabled machine.

Although no long gains had been made in the three-day attack, the commitment

of armor on the extreme left flank of the NGOF front had helped wedge an opening into Sasaki's defenses. A line of pillboxes stretching from Laiana beach northwest for more than 400 yards had been breached. Typical of the defenses was a cluster of seven pillboxes which covered a frontage of only 150 yards, each position defending and supporting the next. Overhead and frontal protection consisted of two thicknesses of coconut logs and three feet of coral. Skillfully camouflaged, with narrow firing slits, the bunkers were virtually a part of the terrain and surrounding jungle.

Tomonari Repulsed 19

The Japanese counterattack hit just as the NGOF paused to consolidate its gains, restore contact and communication, and effect a reorganization and reinforcement. Through coincidence or superior combat intelligence, General Sasaki committed the 13th Regiment at a time when its appearance would provide the greatest shock effect. (See Map 6.)

Following its arrival at Bairoko and the move to the plantation area, the Tomonari Force scattered in small groups to reassemble north of the Barike River area. Sasaki's orders to Tomonari were:

The 13th Regiment will immediately maneuver in the area of the upper reaches of the Barike River seek out the flank and rear of the main body of the enemy who landed on the beach east of the Barike River and attack, annihilating them on the coast. 20

To accomplish this task, Colonel Tomonari was to take over the defensive positions in the designated area and establish a base from which attacks could be staged. Colonel Hirata's 229th, with as much strength as possible, was to coordinate with the 13th and attack the American left flank.

Despite Sasaki's precautions, however, the Tomonari Force was observed moving toward the Barike. On 17 July, the 43d Division Reconnaissance Troop, screening the open right flank of the NGOF, reported that a large body of enemy, numbering from 200 to 300 men, had been observed moving toward the rear of the NGOF. One platoon of the troop attempted to ambush this force but was overrun. Sasaki's admonitions to keep contact notwithstanding, communication between the Tomonari Force and the 229th was broken, and the two counterattacks were never synchronized. On the right flank of Sasaki's units, the 3d Battalion, 229th was kept off balance by the tank-infantry attacks of the 172d. Farther north, the 169th was in a commanding position and was able to call down artillery fire on any observed group of enemy infantry, and thus effectively forestalled any threat of a push through the center of the line. Only the attack from the upper Barike materialized.

Shortly after dark on the 17th, enemy troops hit almost simultaneously at the rear area and beach installations of the 43d Division. Soldiers helping to evacuate wounded were themselves cut down.

In a series of sharp skirmishes, Japanese infiltrators struck at the medical collecting station, the engineer bivouac area, the 43d Division CP, and the beach defenses. For a short time, the fate of the command post was held in one thin telephone line. Although most lines were cut, contact with the artillery units on the adjacent islands was still open over one line, and support was urgently requested. Accurate and destructive artillery fire that virtually ringed the command post was the quick reply. In several instances, concentrations within 150 yards of the CP were requested and received. In a matter of moments, the Tomonari Force was scattered, and although the CP area was under attack all during the night, repeated concentrations falling almost within Allied positions kept any large-scale assault from developing.

In the beachhead area, Army service units, the 172d's antitank company, and the 9th Defense Battalion's antiaircraft detachment were also hit. A Marine patrol, investigating the CP situation, returned to report that a body of enemy infantry of near battalion strength was moving between the CP and the beach. Reclaiming two .30 caliber machine guns from an Army supply dump by piecing together parts from a number of guns, half of the 52-man Marine detachment went forward to set up an ambush ahead of the advancing Japanese, while the other half remained behind to man the antiaircraft defenses. The ambush stopped the first enemy attack, and, after the Marines fell back to the beach defenses, the attack was not renewed. The reason was apparent the next morning. Two Marines who volunteered to remain behind at the ambush had effectively stopped the counterattack by repulsing four attempts. Only one of the two Marines survived the attack, which left 18 enemy dead littered about the guns.

The night of 17 July virtually ended all Japanese attempts to regain the initiative. The Tomonari Force, in small groups, appeared from time to time in various areas, raiding and infiltrating, but was not an effective threat. Up to the time of the resumption of the NGOF attack, Sasaki still harbored hopes that he could collect his scattered forces for another attempt, but the rapidly-accelerating Allied buildup nullified all his efforts.

Corps Reorganization and Attack 21

A number of Army units were close at hand for ready reinforcement of the NGOF lines. These were promptly ordered to New Georgia when the Japanese

counterattacked. The 148th Infantry was on Kokorana when the emergency alerted that unit at 0100 on the 18th the 1st Battalion, dispatched immediately, came ashore at Zanana fully expecting to find the beach area in enemy hands and the 43d Division CP wiped out. By this time, however, the serious threat had passed and when the regiment was assembled, it began moving to the front lines. Although an advance party was hit by remnants of the 13th Infantry, the 148th pushed forward aggressively, cleared the opposition, and moved into the rear area of the 169th by nightfall of the 18th.

The 145th Regiment, which already had one battalion in place as reserve for the 43d Division, reached the rear of the 169th lines on the 20th. Upon the arrival the same day of Major General Robert S. Beightler, the 37th Infantry Division assumed responsibility for the sector and the 169th Infantry was relieved. Colonel Holland, who had directed the 169th in its capture of the hills overlooking Munda, returned to command of the 145th. The 169th's 1st and 2d Battalions, tired and badly depleted, departed for Rendova for a needed rest. The 3d Battalion remained on New Georgia as 43d Division reserve.

The arrival of other units also strengthened the NGOF lines. The 161st Infantry, detached from the 25th Division on Guadalcanal, debarked on the 21st. Attached to the 37th Division, the regiment moved into bivouac on the division's right flank. The remainder of the 103d Regiment joined the 3d Battalion on New Georgia on the 21st and 22d of July, and, from that point on, the 103d (less the 1st Battalion still at Segi) fought as a regiment. Additional antiaircraft protection against the periodic Japanese air raids on New Georgia and Rendova was provided by a detachment of 4 officers and 140 men from the Marine 11th Defense Battalion. Alerted early in the campaign for possible commitment, a 90mm battery, augmented by four 40mm guns and four .50 caliber machine guns, was sent to Kokorana Island from Guadalcanal on 18 July.

During the period 18-24 July, while the NGOF swelled in size as fresh regiments poured in, the front lines of the New Georgia Force remained static. At this time, the main positions of the NGOF traced an irregular pattern through the hilly jungle in a northwest direction from Laiana Beach to the steep hills guarding the northern approach to Munda. Into this 4,000-yard front, still about three miles from Munda, General Griswold moved the two divisions with orders to continue the attack on the 25th. In the southern sector, General Hester's 43d Division had the 103d Infantry (Lieutenant Colonel Lester E. Brown) anchored to the coast with the 172d Infantry (Colonel Ross) on the right. In the 37th Division's zone of attack on the north, General Beightler had placed the 145th Infantry (Colonel Holland) on the left flank and the 148th Infantry (Colonel Stuart A. Baxter) on the extreme right flank with the added mission of protecting the right flank and rear of the NGOF. The 161st Infantry (Colonel James M. Dalton) was assigned as the interior unit between the 145th and the 148th. To insure a rapid advance, the frontline units were directed by General Griswold to bypass all strong points, leaving these for the reserve units to eliminate.

Combat action during the period in which the NGOF reorganized and rested was limited. As each front-line unit moved into place, patrols sought to determine

the disposition and strength of the Japanese units to the front. Occasionally, scattered bands of 13th Regiment's soldiers were encountered, and a number of confused, short skirmishes resulted. Casualties to both sides were light.

The NGOF had one advantage. The ground fighting had been relatively free of air interference, and most of the bombing attacks were by friendly planes on rear area enemy defenses. The Japanese had attempted but failed in several attempts to locate the NGOF front lines for a bombing and strafing attack. Segi, Wickham, and Viru, however, were visited regularly by nocturnal aircraft which the troops--conforming to South Pacific custom--tagged with the euphemisms of "One-Bomb Bill" or "Washing-machine Charlie." Most of the Japanese air attempts, though, appeared to be aimed at Rendova where the bulk of supplies was stockpiled. An alert air cover, helped by antiaircraft batteries, kept enemy planes at a wary distance.

Air support missions requested by General Mulcahy as ComAir New Georgia were generally directed at the easily identifiable targets around Munda field. Close air support for troops fighting in dense jungle had proven impractical with target designation so difficult. Air-ground coordination, struggling against the handicaps of visibility and communications, was not helped by the inaccurate operation maps. Even though gridded, the photo-mosaics were not precise enough for such close work, where a slight error might result in heavy NGOF losses. Then, too, in the fighting where daily progress was measured in 200- or 300-yard gains, the troops were reluctant to withdraw for an air strike. Soldiers reported that when they had pulled back to provide a zone of safety for air strikes or artillery and mortar preparations, the enemy simply moved forward into the abandoned area and waited for the bombing or artillery to lift before moving back into their original positions in time to defend against the expected ground attack.

Requested support missions were flown by Strike Command, ComAirSols. The New Georgia support was in addition to the repeated bombing and strafing strikes at enemy shipping and airfields at Kahili, Ballale, Vila, Enogai-Bairoko, and Bougainville. The planes flew cover for task groups and friendly shipping as well. During the period 30 June to 25 July, the start of the corps offensive in New Georgia, the Strike Command squadrons flew 156 missions involving 3,119 sorties. In addition to more than four million pounds of explosives dropped on enemy installations, the ComAirSols planes counted 24 enemy ships sunk and another 28 damaged. A total of 428 fighter planes and 136 bombers were reported as destroyed by ComAirSols pilots. Strike Command losses in the Central Solomons during the period were 80 planes.

The final push on Munda promised the hardest fighting of the campaign. Between the NGOF and its objective were more than 4,500 yards of low but steep hills, irregular and broken, densely covered with tropical rain forest, and laced with enemy defenses. Reports of the patrols and observation of bunkers already taken indicated that the enemy soldiers were dug in and covered by low, two-level camouflaged coral and log emplacements with deadly interlocking fields of fire. Trenches bulwarked by coconut logs connected the bunkers. NGOF soldiers were

well aware that the enemy would have to be routed from these positions and that resistance until death was standard practice. Further, the soldiers knew that the enemy often abandoned one bunker to man another, and then, after the first bunker had been overrun, returned to defend it again. An area gained in attack during one day had to be cleared of infiltrators the following day.

Prior to the 25 July attack by the NGOF, an attempt was made by Marine tanks to crack the hill complex south of Laiana Beach and bring the 43d Division units on a line with the 37th Division. Withdrawn from further engagements in that sector after the 17 July attack, the 9th Defense Battalion tanks were sent into action again on the 24th. An artillery preparation prior to 0700 pounded a 100-yard zone in front of the lines before the armor moved out from the lines of the left battalion of the 172d Infantry. Repulsed by a strongly defended position in that sector, the Marine tanks tried again from the adjoining battalion of the 103d Infantry on the left. Although several pillboxes were knocked out, the tanks were forced to withdraw after one machine was blinded by hits on the periscope. Two other machines sputtered with engine trouble caused by low-octane fuel and overheating. The withdrawal was made under fire, the disabled machine under tow by another.

Another point of tenacious defense was met by the 161st Infantry. Dalton's regiment, attempting to move up to the line of departure, was told that only two pillboxes were to his immediate front. A reinforced platoon, making the initial attack, knocked out the two pillboxes but then uncovered another network of fortifications. A strong company was sent into the area. Two more pillboxes were knocked out, but 12 more were uncovered. At this point, the regiment moved in and knocked out these strong points before discovering more pillboxes. At last, with the 25 July attack impending, the regiment bypassed the fortifications and moved up to the line of departure. But before the pocketed strong point was reduced, "it took the combined efforts of two battalions, 3,000 rounds of 81mm mortar fire, the use of tanks, and the passage of seven day's time." 22

As General Griswold's NGOF poised for the final make-or-break assault on Munda, his adversary was forced to face the contest with a dwindling stack of chips. XIV Corps intelligence officers estimated that General Sasaki had lost about 2,000 troops, including 1,318 counted dead, of the more than 4,500 which he had available earlier. 23 His biggest gamble had failed--matched and beaten by a larger reserve. The 13th Regiment had now filtered back toward Munda to take up defensive positions to the northeast. The main units of the 229th Regiment, which had so bitterly contested the advance of the NGOF from the Barike, had taken steadily mounting casualties. Nearly cut off from the rest of the command by the pressure of the NGOF attack, the 229th took up final positions in the Munda hills, the battalions and companies considerably intermingled. General Sasaki, hoping to avoid some of the pounding aimed at Kokengola Hill, moved his headquarters from the airfield to the plantation north of it.

With the worsening situation in New Georgia came new realization and uneasiness that Japanese positions in Bougainville would be as quickly overrun. A seaplane carrier protected by five destroyers, trying to reach that island on 22 July, was attacked by a force of 16 dive bombers, 18 torpedo bombers (all from VMTB-143), and 16 heavy bombers which stopped the reinforcement effort cold. Only 189 men out of 618 Army personnel aboard the carrier survived. Also lost were 22 tanks, heavy equipment, guns, fuel, and ammunition destined for the Central Solomons defenders. The destroyers, however, managed to land some troops.

Sasaki continued to hope for reinforcements, but the Allied clamp on Kula Gulf was too tight. The only major unit to reach New Georgia was the understrength 230th Regiment, a remnant from the Guadalcanal withdrawal. Only about 400 men reached Munda, and these were put into the final defense around Kokengola Hill. The pincers movement of the NGOF and the concentrated shelling and bombing counted toward making the Central Solomons situation doubtful, but the blockade of Kula Gulf by Allied destroyer forces, torpedo boats, and night and day air patrols was perhaps the telling factor. "Consequently," the enemy was forced to admit, "the fate of the Munda sector became a matter of time." 24

General Sasaki, a realist, confessed that the Allies had complete material superiority and that a sustained push by the NGOF would collapse his command. Although he was envious of his opponents' artillery, communication, and large landing boats, he was critical of the NGOF soldier--who, he said, advanced slowly, failing to take advantage of his strength and equipment:

They awaited the results of several days' bombardments before a squad advanced. Positions were constructed and then strength increased. When we counterattacked at close quarters, they immediately retreated and with their main strength in the rear engaged our pursuing troops with rapid fire. The infantry did not attack in strength, but gradually forced a gap and then infiltrated. Despite the cover provided by tank firepower, the infantry would not come to grips with us and charge. The tanks were slow but were movable pillboxes which could stop and neutralize our fire. 25

The defense of the airfield had also depleted Sasaki's forces. The Japanese soldier, fatigued and muddy, was forced to fight in some instances on only one rice ball a day. Kept irritated and sleepless by the constant bombardment, the Munda defender was gaunt, weary, and hungry--but still determined. Despite the hardships, morale was high and the Japanese soldier was "prepared to die in honor, if necessary." 26

The NGOF attack, now corps-size, opened on 25 July when five-inch shells rained upon the Munda area from seven destroyers. At 0630, heavy bombers began dropping 500-pound bombs and followed up with a rain of 120- and 300-pounders. Next came flights of torpedo bombers and scout bombers which dropped 2,000-pound and 1,000-pound bombs. In all, 171 planes took part in the saturation bombing of the area paralleling the entire front lines. Special attention was given to defensive positions in the

hills near the lagoon and the heavily defended strong point in the center of the Japanese defensive line, which the NGOF troops called Horseshoe Mountain because of its U-shaped appearance. Bibolo Hill, guarding Munda, was also worked over. (See Map 6.)

As the attack began, Japanese air units attempted to retaliate. At 0930, a flight of from 60 to 70 enemy fighters bore down on New Georgia, but the air cover provided by ComAirSols held off the attack. Additional Allied fighter planes, hastily scrambled from Segi's newly completed airstrip, arrived in time to discourage a second attempt by the enemy planes.

NGOF artillery, firing parallel to the front lines, lashed the area to be attacked and, with this awesome display of firepower to pave the way, the NGOF regiments began to move forward. One Japanese soldier, astounded by the volume of shelling, wondered, "Are they intending to smash Munda with naval and heavy artillery?" 27 In the 43d Division sector, the 9th Defense Battalion tanks were called to rescue troops of 3/103 held up by a strong point. Aided by a flanking movement of the 172d's 2d Battalion, the tanks slashed through the rear of the enemy positions facing the 103d, and the Japanese hastily abandoned their positions to flee toward the next line of hills. Elements of the 103d then pushed toward the relatively clear plantation area between Laiana and Munda. The advance was about 500 yards. The 3d Battalion of the 169th then moved out of reserve positions to fill the gap between the 103d and the 172d.

The main effort of the first day's attack was made in the 37th Division zone. The 145th Infantry, the left flank unit, held its positions in order to straighten the NGOF lines, while the 161st and 148th pressed the attack. Stiff resistance from the defenders of Horseshoe Mountain held the 161st to a slight gain, but the 148th easily advanced about 600 yards against occasional fire from small outposts. By nightfall, the NGOF had pressed itself against the Japanese front lines.

Marine tanks were in support of both divisions the following day. A newly arrived weapon making a first appearance in the fighting, the flame thrower, was combined with tanks from the 9th Defense Battalion to crack a belt of 74 pillboxes on a 600-yard front which faced the 103d and 172d regiments. The day's attack put the 43d Division well into the rear of the Laiana defenses. Farther north, the 145th continued to hold fast while the 161st attempted to crack the resistance to the front. A fresh Marine tank platoon, six of the machines from the 10th Defense Battalion, was committed to action in an attempt to clear the Horseshoe Mountain defenses.

After a five-hour struggle against the thick jungle and steep terrain, a total of 14 pillboxes had been demolished. The tanks, crashing through a thick underbrush tangled by fallen logs and stumps, finally located the enemy fortifications near a large clearing. Infantry support, however, was often pinned down by murderous enemy fire, and the tanks were forced to twist and turn, pivot and backtrack, to keep enemy riflemen from assaulting the machines with magnetic grenades. Three tanks were knocked out and abandoned before the Marine tankers could disengage from the furious fighting. The strong point remained, however, only partially silenced. That night, close-in artillery fire ringed the abandoned tanks so

that enemy soldiers could not use them as pillboxes.

On the far right, Colonel Baxter's 148th Infantry continued to drive ahead against only slight resistance, advancing another 800 yards the second day. The move, however, put the 37th Division far ahead of the 43d Division. To straighten the lines, the next attack effort would be directed against the enemy in the south. If the 103d and 172d could press past the open south side of the Horseshoe Mountain defenses, the penetration might relieve the pressure on the central portion of the NGOF line.

Marine tanks were to spearhead the 43d Division attack in the south on the 27th, but the advance had hardly started before the lead tank was blasted by an antitank gun. Confusion resulted. The first tank, with casualties among the crew, stalled. As it started again and attempted to back up, it rammed the. second tank. A third tank was hit immediately by antitank fire. As a fourth and fifth machine moved up, one was blasted by magnetic mines and the other, after raking the jungle with machine gun fire, was also disabled by a grenade. All machines, however, by mutual fire assistance, managed to limp back to friendly lines. But the day's attack virtually ended the combat efficiency of the 9th Defense Battalion tank platoon. Of the eight machines brought ashore, five had been disabled that day, a sixth had been disabled previously, and two others were under repair. Four tanks were reported deadlined permanently. In addition, the platoon had a number of drivers and crewmen killed or wounded.

Progress along the line on the 27th had been slight, for two localized strong points continued to hold up the advance. The 43d Division still faced a rugged defensive area in the south which repeated tank-infantry assaults had failed to dent, and the 37th Division was hung up against the Horseshoe Mountain line, kingpin of Sasaki's resistance. To XIV Corps observers, it was plain that the capture of either strong point would result in the downfall of the other.

On 28 July, 3/103 followed four Marine tanks into attack on the coast area after a 30-minute mortar and artillery preparation. The attack proved to be the finest example of tank-infantry tactics of the campaign. With the machines guarded and supported by the infantry, the battalion advanced in a series of spurts. For the first time, the tanks were operating over relatively flat and open terrain with dry footing. Enemy opposition began to falter, then dwindled rapidly, as the attackers rushed ahead. Even three direct hits by antitank guns on the lead tank failed to stop the attack. The enemy gun emplacement was overrun a few moments later. Completely routing the enemy in a 500-yard advance, the infantrymen took up defensive positions while the tanks continued to range ahead. One tank was hit, but managed to limp back to the lines. The day's advance had completely broken the Japanese defenses in the south.

In the north, the 161st jumped off in an attack without prior artillery preparation and caught the enemy unawares. In a brief skirmish, the 161st occupied a ridge which had held up the advance for two days. At this time, the attention of the NGOF was suddenly drawn to the right flank where the 148th had abruptly found itself in trouble. As Colonel Baxter ruefully admitted later: "Don't forget, being

too aggressive can often get you into as much hot water as doing nothing." 28

Baxter's regiment, pushing ahead against weak and scattered opposition, had reached the Munda-Bairoko trail, but in so doing had opened a hole between the 148th and 161st. With two battalions in the attack, the 148th had been unable to plug the gap, and, as at the Barike River earlier, alert Japanese soldiers quickly infiltrated. That night, the rear supply dump of the 148th was under determined attack by an enemy force of considerable size. Support troops managed to beat off a three-sided enemy assault by using ration boxes and supply cartons as barricades, much in the manner of frontier wagon trains under attack by Indians. Elements of the 148th, which had reached as far as Bibolo Hill west of the airfield to confirm indications that the enemy was abandoning that front, now rushed back to the defense of the supply dump. In this instance, the 148th virtually had to fight its way to the rear as about 250 Japanese in small bands with machine guns and mortars, probably remnants of the Tomonari Force, harassed the unit for three nights. The 148th reached the supply dump and established contact with the 161st before turning about to resume the attack toward the northern part of Bibolo Hill.

Although the 43d Division, now under the command of Major General John R. Hodge who had relieved General Hester, continued to push forward along the coast in rapidly increasing gains, the center of the NGOF continued to be snagged on the enemy defenses on Horseshoe Mountain. First break in the barrier came on 30 July when the 172d attacked and occupied a small ridge complex southeast of the main defenses. The following day, 31 July, the 169th attacked and completed the reduction of the southern anchor of the Japanese strong point. The advance, however, still failed to break the Horseshoe defenses.

On 1 August, the 43d Division punched through to the outer taxiway of Munda airfield. The move put the Allied force almost in the rear of Sasaki's last strong point, and enemy resistance on Horseshoe Mountain suddenly dissolved. The airfield defenders had at last succumbed to the steady pressure of the NGOF.

The withdrawal had been ordered after the New Georgia Defense Force had become steadily weakened by lack of ammunition, food, and additional troops. Although a few destroyers managed to make Kolombangara, practically all Japanese transportation and supply lines had been strangled. On 29 July, an officer courier of the Eighth Fleet had arrived at Munda to relay to Sasaki the order to fall back to the line of hills ringing Munda for a last-ditch stand. The airfield was to be defended even at the price of Kolombangara. Reinforcements would come. Following instructions, Sasaki pulled what scattered elements he could find back to his last defense. As the campaign drew to a close, his line was held by the 229th Regiment on the south part of Bibolo Hill with the undermanned 230th Regiment on Kokengola Hill. On the extreme left flank were units of Tomonari's 13th Regiment 29 Remnants of the 8th CSNLF were combined with Army units for a last-ditch stand.

At the close of the fighting on 2 August, the 43d Division was perched on the last

low row of hills overlooking Munda airfield, and the 37th Division was gradually tightening the lines around the northern part of the airfield. The following day, Hodge's troops captured the southern part of Bibolo Hill while the 37th Division moved cautiously but swiftly through isolated pillbox areas northwest of the field. The 148th, reaching the Munda-Bairoko trail once more, ambushed a large force of enemy fleeing the area. (See Map 7.)

As the two divisions resumed the attack on 4 August, the only opposition facing the 43d Division came from Kokengola Hill in the middle of the airfield. While a rain of artillery and mortar shells blasted the hill, Marine tanks from the 10th and 11th Defense Battalions roamed about the airfield, flushing snipers and blasting rubble-hidden fortifications. The tanks from the 11th Defense Battalion had been hurriedly dispatched to take part in the assault of the airfield after the 9th Battalion's tanks had been deadlined. Alerted on Tulagi since 30 June, the Marine tankers reached New Georgia on 3 August, just in time to join the final attack.

North of Munda, while the 145th mopped up the last shreds of opposition, the 161st and 148th Regiments plunged rapidly through to Diamond Narrows. In that final drive, the 37th Division soldiers staged a slashing, stabbing charge that overwhelmed all outposts. That night, the last shots fired were those sent after Japanese trying to swim to islands across the Narrows.

The following day, 5 August, tanks of the 10th and 11th Defense Battalions--accompanied as a courtesy gesture by the sole remaining operational tank of the 9th Defense Battalion--made five sorties over the airfield. The only fire received was from Kokengola Hill, and this the Marine tanks quickly squelched with 37mm rounds. At 1410, the airfield was officially declared secured, and Allied troops took over the enemy fortifications ringing the war prize which had taken more than a month of bitter combat to obtain. Along the blasted and cratered runways were hulks of 30 enemy airplanes, some still in revetments. All were stripped of armament and instruments. None would ever fly again. Japanese supplies, including tasty tinned foods, beer, sake, and rice gave triumphant infantrymen a change from the weary routine of combat rations.

Beach defenses were strengthened the next day, and grimy soldiers bathed, washed clothes, and rested from the tough grind of battle. Patrols, ranging far to the north, reported no opposition. The patrols' only result was the capture of one forlorn Japanese soldier, whom one officer described as typical of the enemy who were thwarted in their attempts to hold their precious airfield: "Injured, tired, sick, no food, dirty torn clothes, little ammunition and a battered rusty rifle." 30 For both victor and vanquished, the campaign had been hard.

The fall of Munda almost coincided with another disaster which heaped additional misery upon the Japanese. In a belated and ill-fated attempt to help Sasaki hold the Central Solomons, the Seventeenth Army at Bougainville organized two well-equipped infantry battalions, bolstered by the addition of artillery and automatic weapons. The troops were taken from the 6th and 38th Divisions. The reinforcement unit started for New Georgia on the night of 6 August in four destroyers. As the ships steamed through the

north entrance of Vella Gulf trying to make Kolombangara, an ambush set by an Allied force of six destroyers (Commander Frederick Moosbrugger) struck suddenly. In a matter of moments, three of the Japanese destroyers were in flames and sinking. The ambush in Vella Gulf resulted in the loss of 820 Army troops and 700 crew members in a single stroke. It was the last attempt by the Japanese to reinforce the Central Solomons.

Munda's capture was marked by the commitment of the 27th Infantry from Major General J. Lawton Collins' 25th Division. Augmented by division support troops, the regiment joined the NGOF on 2 August and took over the mission of guarding supply and communication lines along the 37th Division's right flank. After Munda was taken, the 161st Infantry reverted to 25th Division control and joined the 27th Infantry in a new push toward Kula Gulf.

With hardly a pause at the airfield, the two regiments pivoted north to complete the rout of all enemy forces in the area between Diamond Narrows and Bairoko Harbor. Only spotty resistance was encountered, for increased barge activity revealed that the Japanese were feverishly trying to evacuate the scattered remnants of the New Georgia garrison. After two weeks of locating and eliminating Japanese positions north of Munda, the 27th Infantry declared its zone secured. The 161st, meanwhile, had advanced toward Bairoko after knocking out enemy strong points on two jungle peaks. The final ground action on New Georgia came on 25 August, when the 161st Infantry combined with Liversedge's force to attack the harbor area from three sides--only to find that the Japanese had just completed evacuation of the area. All organized enemy resistance on the island was ended.

Rendova: Final Phase 31

During the period that NGOF soldiers slogged their way through jungle mud on the way to the airfield, the Rendova force settled into a routine of firing artillery missions and combatting enemy air raids. After the initial units of General Hester's force departed for New Georgia, the harbor at Rendova became the focal point for all reinforcements, supplies, and equipment moving into the Central Solomons.

During July, daily transport shuttles from the rear echelons on Guadalcanal poured a total of 25,556 Army, 1,547 Navy, and 1,645 Marine troops into Rendova for eventual commitment in New Georgia. Additionally, the beaches at Rendova and its offshore islands became piled high with rations, oil and lubricants, ammunition, vehicles, and other freight, all of which found its way to the NGOF.

This bustling point of entry--with troops unloading and stockpiles of material lining the beaches--was a tempting target to the Japanese. The Rendova air patrol of 32 fighter planes constantly flying an umbrella over the island drained the resources of ComAirSols, but, at the same time, was a successful deterrent to enemy attacks. During the New Georgia campaign, only three enemy hits were

registered on ships in the harbor by bombers or torpedo bombers, and only one horizontal bombing attack was able to close on Rendova during the daylight hours when the fighter umbrella was on station.

Playing a major role in the defense of the harbor, the 90mm batteries and the Special Weapons Group of the 9th Defense Battalion shot down a total of 24 enemy planes during the month of July. For the Marine antiaircraft crews, the defense of Rendova was virtually an around-the-clock operation which was a deadly contest of skill between enemy and defender. The Japanese tried all methods of attack, including hitting the target area with planes from various directions and altitudes simultaneously. Since large areas of the search radar screens were blocked by mountains on New Georgia, this approach route became the favorite of the Japanese pilots. Warnings for attacks from this direction were so short as to be almost useless, so Marines were forced to keep at least one 90mm battery manned continually with fire control radars constantly in operation. The Marines found that early in the campaign the enemy pilots dropped their bomb loads as soon as they were fired upon or pinpointed by searchlights. Later attacks, however, were pressed home with determination, and only well-directed shooting deterred them.

Marines also had a prominent part in the artillery support of the NGOF. After registering on Munda field prior to the NGOF overland attack, the Marine 155mm guns began a systematic leveling of all known enemy installations and bivouac areas. Since the exact location of the NGOF front lines was ill-defined most of the time, the Marine group left the close support firing missions to Army 105mm units which were much nearer to the combat. The Marine guns were directed instead against rear installations, supply and reinforcement routes, and targets of opportunity.

Most of the firing missions were requested by NGOF headquarters with corrections directed by aerial observers or spotters at the 43d Division observation post. The Marine group had notable success interdicting supply dumps, bivouac areas, and enemy positions in the immediate vicinity of Munda field. Cooperation between air spotters from the 192d Field Artillery Battalion and the 155mm Group of the 9th Defense Battalion reached such a high state of efficiency that missions were fired with a minimum of time and adjustment. The Marines were occasionally rewarded by the sight of towering columns of smoke, indicating that a supply or ammunition dump had been hit.

Ammunition problems plagued the 155mm batteries. On the 13th of July, just as the NGOF stalled against General Sasaki's defenses, an ammunition restriction was placed on the Marine batteries and the number of rounds expended dropped abruptly. After four days of limited firing, all shooting was stopped entirely while the NGOF reorganized in New Georgia. The only mission fired during this interval was on 20 July in answer to an emergency request to keep Japanese troops from moving back into an area which had been shelled and neutralized previously. The ammunition limitation resulted from powder becoming wet and unserviceable in containers broken from much handling. Further compounding the difficulties was the fact that during the period of ammunition scarcity, 11 miscellaneous

lots of powder were used which resulted in varying initial velocities. Marines could only guess from one shot to another whether the shell would be over the target or fall short. When the powder situation was remedied and the 43d and 37th Divisions began the final drive for Munda, the Marine gunners, now experienced field artillerymen, returned to firing accurate missions.

After the fall of Munda, the 9th Defense Battalion began the move to New Georgia to help defend the newly won prize. Antiaircraft batteries were placed around the airfield and 155mm gun positions established on offshore islands and at Diamond Narrows. The 9th was relieved on Rendova by the Marine 11th Defense Battalion, which moved to that island from Guadalcanal to take part in the final stages of the Central Solomons fighting.

Although the capture of Munda was essentially an Army operation and the number of Marines participating was proportionately small, the contributions of the Marine Corps tanks, artillery, and antiaircraft units were essential to the success of the operation. Their exploits are an integral part of the story of the campaign. A handful of Marine tanks spearheaded most of the successful attacks and even though handicapped by the rugged terrain, the armored vehicles were usually the factor which tipped the balance to the Americans' favor. Victory at Munda was won by inter-service teamwork--one of the frequent examples of coordinated Army, Navy, and Marine Corps effort in World War II.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Trico China is a Tashiro Shoten Mark (see White'book mark #11)

This is a new one to me "Kongo China"


What is the mark of the 5 petaled flower with horizontal lines on it?

I'm having a hard time visualizing it.

I am curious if you know the maker of the teapot with 16 petal chrysanthemum with a T at the center mark.

Many of the pre war marks are not known. Many small shops were destroyed and records lost.

Hello, I am an archaeologist excavating in the State of Israel and have recovered a tea cup base with "Japan" stamped on the bottom. As you note above, exports from 1921-1941 bore this mark. Can you provide a reference for this? I would be extremely grateful and will credit your assistance.

I have a tea cup with "Japan" stamped on the bottom. As you note above this was apparently common from 1921-1941. Would you be willing to provide any references for this? I would be extremely grateful. Thank you!

Since I cannot see your cup I cannot verify its age. Japan and Made in Japan were used between 1921-1941, followed by the war when there were no exports, then Made in Occupied Japan. After the Occupation, Japan and Made in Japan were implemented again. There are many resources that have this information. I have several books listed on my blog. Here are three that include information on the 1921-1941:
"Japanese Ceramics of the Last 100 Years" by Irene Stitt (1974)
"Collector's Guide to Made in Japan Ceramics" Carole Bess White Vol. 1-4
"Made in Japan Ceramics 1921-1941" by Barbara Ifert (1994)

Hi Marnie, do you know this mark? I have a small vase with this mark.Thank you.

Factory made export ceramics, Kozan Gama or tiger mountain kiln. 虎山窯

Hello Marnie, would you please identify this mark. Square red with 4 letter " 光 和 陶 噐 " as top left possition, bottom left , top right , bottom right as order each word above. Thank you very much and have a good day.

Hello Marmie,
I saw a dish set at a thrift store ànd on the bottom, no other marks beside the word Japan in a red square. Any idea what this mark is?
Thank you!

It is hard to determine. It is a generic mark. Without seeing the item it is impossible to ascertain who made it and where.

Hello - I have searched and searched and can not ID this mark on a porcelain lusterware tea set that has a picture of victorian era people. Any idea of who the mark is for and time period? My guess is MCM, 60's. I don't see a way to upload the pic but it's gold, kind of looks like a rope that winds around like two upside down U's with another line in the middle and says only Japan. I'll be happy to send you a pic. Thank you!

That does not ring a bell.

I have an old teapot that has a wooden handle. The markings on the bottom says Hand Painted Japan in a banner and there is a K with 3 petals. I can't find any information about it. Can you help? Thanks

Many decorating houses went out of business with the war. Most records were lost.

Hello, I’ve got a lustreware teapot with a mark on the bottom that I have been able to identify. It has a cherry blossom in the center of two concentric circles. Inside the out circle it says “hand paint hand made in Japan”. Does this ring a bell? I can send a picture, if it helps. Thank you!

I think I know which one you mean. Some records were destroyed during the war. I do not know who produced this. There were many decorating houses 1920-1940 that are no longer in business.

I have a red clay teapot set found in a recycle shop. Cups all stamped with Rising sun, main teapot looks like Mt. Fuji and many Japanese writing. Probably confiscated during surrender in WW2.

As noted at the top of my blog, I do not take personal queries.

I have a set of china with a sango made in japan. I have found the same makers mark, with made in occupied japan. any idea what the difference is?

Made in Occupied Japan wares were produced from 1946-1952. After 1952 Made in Japan was used again.

My blue vase has a seal onbottom that says RAY JAPAN with 3 japanese symbols and what looks like 8h8 or BHB. Any ideas?

I will research it for you if you give me permission to use the photos for my blog. Can you send a picture of the piece and the markings to [email protected]?

Hi Marmie, I have a set of the triple leaf marks if you'd like a picture of them. It sounds like they're unidentifiable, though.

Thank you for the offer. If I have the mark already I don't think I would need additional pictures unless it is a variation of the mark already posted.

Hi I have an old vase with a mark ‘s.s.c’ and made in Japan I cannot identify this mark?

It does not sound familiar. Many cottage industries existed before the war. Most records have been lost or destroyed.

I have a vintage jewelry casket/trinket box that says made in Japan but also has what looks like the liberty bell stamped on it with, I believe intitals MTO? I can't seem to locate this stamp anywhere. Any info you can give me about this?

I am not sure I have seen that mark but it is possible that a company ordered specialty ware from Japan.

I have a green jug with a squirrel on the handle ist is marked Marutom Ware made in Japan

How old would this be, value??

That would probably be Maruhon. I don’t really give values but let’s just say you won’t be growing your retirement account by selling it. I’m not sure of the age as I don’t have a photo of it. I don’t really have time to take personal queries as mentioned on my blog.

I have a pink glazed / gilded tea set with teapot. It is blush pink all over with pink and white roses. On the base it says 'made in japan' with a symbol that looks lik this )=( but the middle two lines do cross the outer brackets - would you have any ideas?

Does the mark look like this 井? It is hard to say but it may be Imura but it is hard to say without seeing the piece.

I have a set of china with the mark on bottom in red which looks like a closed tic-tac-toe square with Made in Japan wrapped around it. Do you know what the make is? I need to find one cup to complete the set.

Your description doesn’t ring a bell for me.

Hi, I have a pink 'lustre' style teaset with gold edging. It says Made in Japan on the evey item with two opposing brackets like this )( and then this symbol right across the middle = so it looks like this. )=( but with the 'equals' sign crossing over the brackets. if that makes sense! Does this sound familiar at all? The cups are either made of bone chine or porcelain, very light. My guess would (considering the preivous owner) that they were made in the 50s but I cannot be certain. Thanks!

I have a set of floral pattern China. The back stamp is a red circle with a 5-point star over what may be a flower with "made in Japan" and a small crown over the circle. Not asking for identification help (I've got Replacements trying) but would be happy to share photos with you for your hobby.

I have a lovely pattern with this same 5 pointed red star. Did you find out anything? I would like to know.

Thank you for your kind offer. The blogger set up makes it hard to share photos.

Thanks for your reply, very close but not quite. it is just like this but the two middle lines slightly cross the two outer brackets )=(

I have an old ceramic trinket box from my grandmother with a made in Japan stamp. Trying to identify & date. Three Black concentric circles with Made in Japan between the outer & second circle. There is then an inner circle with a geometric flower petals inside that circle. The very tiny circular center of the petals is blank. Any ideas? THANK YOU!

As mentioned in my blog in several places I am not able to take personal inquires. It became too time consuming to answer so many questions and blogger does not make it easy to share photos for inquiries.

I have an openwork pink porcelain bowl with gold accents and handpainted floral in bottom. Marked JAPAN(no surround..circle or otherwise) in black. Just looking for an idea of age :) Thank you for any help you can offer.

As mentioned on my blog, I no longer take personal inquiries.

I have a small white porcelain vase with the mark in red and a diamond shape with i believe to be C 1 in red as well and japan on bottom can you tell me what that means

Many of the little companies that made items for export were destroyed during the war. Very few records remain.

Hi Tim here, very informative site , i bought a set of colourful tea cups and saucers with star motif , the brand reads Pagoda China , Japan, i cant find them with google, could they be a recent product? Cheers Tim.

Hi Tim here i am enjoying your site , I bought a set of colourful cups and saucers in primary colours , with makers mark Pagoda China , Japan , couldnt find it via google anywhere, could it be a new reproduction, they look new old stock? Cheers Tim

I think I have come across Pagoda China MIJ but don’t really have anything on it in my files.

Any ideas when this one came from and from what manufacturer? It's similar in style to the Morimachi mark but has an S in the crown instead. Also, anyone know what this fragment belonged to?

I don’t know. There were so many small producers before the war. Most of them did not come back after the war and records were lost.

have a two handle glass with two children holding up flowers on each side. bottom has a capitol K and underneath Japan surrounded by what looks like a flower petal.what is this

Hello Marmie! Thank you for this resource! Just wondering if there is anyway for me to send you a photo of a mark I cannot identify?

Marco, you may have missed the fact ( written in a few places on my blog) that I no longer take queries on individual pieces. As you can imagine over time the number of free queries I have received is more than I can handle.

I have a little white lion or bear figurine, maybe 2 inches tall, with the word JAPAN carved into the back side. I dug it up in my yard & am just curious as to when it was made

Without seeing the item it is hard to give you more information. Japan and Made in Japan was used from 1921-1942 and again 1952 to the present day.

I have part of an old tea set I believe from the early 1900's that says HAND PAINTED JAPAN around 3 five pointed stars in a circle. Any idea when made or value?

It is hard to say for sure without a picture, however it may be pre-war and possible by Mitsuboshi meaning three stars. I do not give valuations. Let me just say that I wouldn’t expect it to help your retirement savings much.

Hi, I have a tea set.It looks like it is hand painted with gold relief.
The mark underneath has a mountain with the initials RS and Japan.
I have tried to research it but no luck. Please could anyone help ?

Thank you for all your insight above!
I wonder if you may provide information for a speckled cream bud vase I have, the speckled colors are robins egg blue & terra cotta tones.

The stamp overall occupies the center in of a rectangular area.
LOGO: A capitol M & below the M & offset-left is a 9, below the M & offset-right is a lower t with the tail of the t extending a great deal.

The text "Made in Japan" sits justified to the top of the M and just above the small t's extended tail.

Hi! Would you know anything about a maker called Blue Bird? I have been trying to research about it and have not found anything about them. A set of plates and tea set in the family has Blue Bird Japan among with the logo stamped on the back. I would appreciate any information.

I do not k ow anything about it.

Hi, im looking for a specific "made in japan" plate. One of my friend has bought a plate that its mark is "SHIMATSO" (original). Its a white plate with gold round. That plate is marked made in Japan.
Just wanna know is there any japanese brand in that name? Thank you

There is no such name in Japanese as Shimatso. There is shimatsu, or Shimazu, but I did not find anything like you described.

Hello! So interesting but I didn't find the mark I was looking for so i suspect mine is just a modern day piece for the Western Market. I have some Satsuma plates which say "Hand Painted Sastsuma 4" and above have a logo which looks like a flower and the initials LD. The marking is red. Does it ring any bells? Thanks!

Sorry, doesn’t ring a bell. If it has hand painted Satsuma written it certainly was made for export.

Curious about some plates my grandmother left me. Beautifully painted flowers with a half daisy in red (one plate it’s in black) with the marking Made in Japan Hand Painted

You are probably very busy and I appreciate any time you give to my query: I have a vase/urn in what looks like Satsuma - orange, turquoise, with raised gold gild piping the makers mark is red and looks like a Buddhist Temple with Made in Japan (although it look like it bled when fainted and is very smudged). If you could share anything you might know on its origins I would be eternally grateful!

Since I cannot see your piece it is difficult to give you any assistance. From what you described it sounds like Kyo-Satsuma export ware.

Hi.. I need assistance with the seal at the back of my japanese dragonware set? Is there a way you can assist me? I don't know how to attach photos here

There is no way for you to post on my blog. I would suggest trying the Facebook group “Collecting Japanese Ceramics and Arts”.

I just got a creamer with japanese men all around it gold detailing. There is a 3d 5 point star on the bottom. Haind painted japan is in a circle with a star of david and an s in the center. To no avail I cannot find the maker. Would you please help me?

The description does not ring a bell but a lot of the MIJ companies prior to WWII were destroyed, went out of business and left no records.

Hi I have a tea set probably post war. The red mark is a ring with MADE IN JAPAN and in the center is a triangle with KB. Below the mark curving around the ring is HAND PAINTED with a backwards n in painted. The set is opalescent with white flowers not the classic chrysanthemum but similar. Have you ever seen anything like this?

Hi from Norway. If you have the opportunity, could you please enlighten me with regard to a Western style painted tea set.

It eggshell thin and is stamped with Fujiyama and stream and the kanji 汎山善田.

I saw the same one at Gotheburg, but marked 'unknown', so I was hoping you could help with name, period or any info really. Thanks a lot for your time!

Without seeing it it is difficult to determine age. I did a quick search in Japanese but nothing came up.

I have had two pieces, a child's tea set and a pumpkin shaped covered, handled and footed bowl, both with hand painted scenes. What is distinguishing about both is they have/had roughly painted red rims and handles, whereas the scenes painted have more of a deliberate style. I had always thought of these kind of dishes as being from the 1920's or 30s but the covered bowl is not stamped "Japan", whereas the child's tea set was. Google translate translates the 2 marks on the bowl as Oyama, but I have little faith in Google translate. Could you comment on this style of seemingly "slapdashed" red rimmed porcelain ware?

Without a picture it is hard to be of much help. Oyama is 大山 in Japanese. After 1920 exports could be marked Japan or Made in Japan.

Hi, I have a large decorative wall plate which I believe is handpainted. The only mark on the back is Made in Japan in red writing. Is there any way to identify the maker?

Unlikely, especially without seeing it. which doesn’t work with a blog platform.


Without seeing the toothpick holder it is impossible to tell you if it is pre or post WWII as stuff like that was produced during both periods.

Hello I have a very plain mustard coloured Imari urn the only decoration is two yellow flowers the watermark is a brown square I don’t know how to read it and which way I turn it to be right way up one on the symbols is a rectangle with a line going through the middle a little above and longer at the bottom the symbol under this looks like a tree trunk with a line then two inverted v either side and on top two tridents these are on the right hand side the left is blurry but The bottom symbol looks like 3 lines joined at the left hand side above this is a long u shape on its side with a small line that acts like a neck and from the bottom of the line a curve with a line that goes down the right hand side of the 3 other lines above this symbol isn’t clear but on the bottom is a line what looks like 3 and a dot but the 3 is tipped over above this a 7 on its side and then a rectangle that doesn’t connect and has a dot on the bottom Line of the rectangle to the right a B but with another loop above and a dot Botton left curious to know what the jar is used for the glaze has a crackle to it but inside doesn’t show any crackle on the white interior

Although you tried to describe the characters it is hard for me to understand what they would be. I don’t think your yellow vase is Imari. Given the brown square mark it might be Chinese, or possibly Kyoto export ware but it is impossible to determine without seeing a picture. I usually do not take readers inquiries as I am busy and it is difficult to answer personal questions, especially with a blog format.

What to Look For

The most commonly found Occupied Japan forms are cups and saucers and figurines. Additional ceramic forms included miniature ashtrays, dinnerware, lamps, souvenirs, tea sets, and vases.

Occupied Japan ceramic figurines mimic American and European examples. Many were copycat (stylistic) reproductions of Hummel, Meissen, Royal Doulton, and Victorian area figurines.

It is a mistake to assume all Occupied Japan ceramics are of poor quality. Some figurine pieces were well done.

Collector interest in Occupied Japan materials began in the late 1960s.

In addition to ceramics, many other collectibles items such as dolls, lighters and other metal objects, and toys were made during the Occupied Japan period. The 1980s-1990s was the Golden Age for Occupied Japan collectibles. By the mid-2010s, secondary market pricing was depressed.

Florence Archambault of Newport, Rhode Island, ended her involvement with The Occupied Japan Club in 2014. Soko Tanaka and Kathy Gardner assumed responsibility for the newsletter. Collectors now gather on Facebook using the hashtag @theoccupiedjapancollectors.

Reproduction Alert

Beware of Occupied Japan reproductions (exact copies), copycats (stylistic copies), fantasy pieces, and fakes. Period marks tend to be underglaze. They will not scratch off. Rubber-stamped fake marks will. The marks on recent reproductions are excellent.

Many African-American themed pieces have been reproduced.

Shape, form, color, and aging characteristics are the primary means of distinguishing period pieces from later examples.

Find the Value of your Occupied Japan Ceramics. WorthPoint is the largest resource online for identifying, researching and valuing antiques. Explore over 425 Million “sold for” prices with item details and images.

Japanese Field Marker, Munda - History

By Eileen Natuzzi, M.D.

The downwind approach of my Boeing 737 into Honiara International Airport goes over Iron Bottom Sound, with Savo Island off in the distance. Below are the rusted remains of two Imperial Japanese Navy transport ships that ran aground on the northern coast of Guadalcanal in November 1942.

On final approach, the plane glides over World War II battlefields now converted into squatters’ camps built of wood, tin, and grass. The white triangular battlefield marker at Bloody Ridge is visible as the plane settles onto the runway. There is one taxiway at the airport and the rusted old control tower built in 1943 is still standing along its western side.

Honiara International Airport is Henderson Field, the very airstrip the Guadalcanal campaign of World War II was fought over. The runway is paved now and it has been extended to allow larger jets, like the 737 I arrive on, to land.

I travel to the Solomon Islands three times a year. I am a doctor, a surgeon. I work in the Solomons because there is only one doctor for every 18,000 people. Outside the capital, Honiara, located on Guadalcanal, there is virtually no surgical care available. A child with appendicitis must travel hundreds of miles by boat to get surgical care. Even in Honiara at the country’s main hospital, the National Referral Hospital (NRH), there are backlogs of patients waiting for surgical treatment.

The skeleton of the Henderson Field control tower, built in 1943, sits on the edge of the runway of what is now known as Honiara International Airport.

NRH is the old 9th Army Field Hospital, and some of its buildings are left over from World War II. The walls are crumbling and the electrical wiring and plumbing are falling apart. Open sewer drainage ditches run between the hospital’s buildings and ultimately empty directly into the sea. There are three surgeons providing surgical care for the entire country. There is no intensive care unit for critically ill patients, no CT scanner, and limited surgical supplies.

A Death on the USS Quincy

In 1942, nearly every American could tell you where the Solomon Islands were located and why they were important to us. Some of the fiercest and most savage battles between Allied and Japanese forces were waged on land, sea, and air throughout these islands. Over time, and with the accelerating loss of many of our World War II veterans, most Americans do not even know this small island country exists.

I first heard of the Solomon Islands as a child during family gatherings. My mother’s oldest brother, Billy, went there while serving in the Navy during World War II. Billy was killed in action when his ship, the heavy cruiser USS Quincy (CA-39), was sunk during the Battle of Savo Island. While my mother and her brothers and sisters would mention Billy, my grandparents would not speak of him. The pain they felt at losing their eldest son was deep, and the lack of information surrounding the battle in which he was lost left them bitter. Billy’s Purple Heart medal, awarded posthumously, was stored in the very back of a dresser drawer out of my grandparents’ sight. All those years growing up, my cousins and I knew of our uncle Bill, but we never really knew who he was until 2004.

Formerly the 9th Army Field Hospital, this clinic building located on the campus of the National Referral Hospital (NRH) at Honiara is a relic of the American occupation. Most of the hospital was built in 1950 with funding from the Republic of China, Taiwan.

I made my first trip to Guadalcanal and Savo Island in 2004. I tacked the visit onto the tail end of a surgery teaching trip at the Fiji School of Medicine. This teaching trip was a part of the Loloma Foundation’s academic exchange program. When my aunts and uncles heard I was going to visit the site where their brother Billy died, they asked me to deliver a memorial capsule into the waters of Iron Bottom Sound over the Quincy where Billy is entombed. They filled this capsule with some very powerful and emotional letters written by each of them. The letters were frozen in time: 1942, when they last saw him. As a result of these letters, and this memorial service, my family now talks more openly about Billy. We shared his last letters home and even the telegram the Navy Department sent to my grandparents.

The author’s late uncle, Apprentice Seaman Billy Stack, photographed in April 1942 at the Newport (Rhode Island) Naval Training Center. Stack and his boot camp colleagues pooled their money and bought the Brownie camera used to take this picture.

Billy was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States when he was four years old. He came from a long line of Irish Republican soldiers who fought for Ireland’s independence. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, Billy, like most young men, announced to the family that he wanted to enlist. On his 17th birthday in February 1942, Billy persuaded my grandparents to sign him into the Navy. After a month of boot camp training at the Newport (Rhode Island) Naval Training Center, Billy was assigned to the Quincy as a gunner’s mate and was stationed on one of the newly installed 20mm Oerlikon cannons on her aft superstructure.

The Navy Department telegram sent to the author’s grandparents more than a month after Billy Stack died in the Quincy’s sinking. Her grandparents were frustrated by the lack of information about what happened to their son.

The Quincy joined other ships in Operation Watchtower and sortied to Guadalcanal. In the early morning hours of August 9, 1942, Gunichi Mikawa’s Japanese Navy Eighth Fleet sank the Quincy, Vincennes, Astoria, and Canberra, killing 1,077 men, including Billy.

The Legacies of War: Unexploded Ordnance, Rusting Debris

Since my 2004 trip to Solomons, I have been working with the Loloma Foundation, taking teams of doctors and nurses to Guadalcanal and the outer islands where 80 percent of Solomon Islanders live. We provide much-needed volunteer medical and surgical care as well as equipment. I was not a World War II buff before my first trip but I have become one now. It is virtually impossible to ignore the World War II history we work among, and after every trip I find myself researching the history of the area we visited.

Leftover World War II debris is evident all over the islands. It is remarkable how rusting hulks have been reprocessed into the daily lives of modern Solomon Islanders: Marston matting that once formed airfield runways is now used as fencing, and Quonset huts as business warehouses. In Taroaniara, at Lyons Point near Purvis Bay, the clinic building we worked in was the original Solomon Islands WWII Navy Headquarters. The huge, beached bow of LST 342 is located nearby, hauled there from the Kula Gulf.

Beached on the northern coast of Guadalcanal is the rusted wreck of the Kinugawa Maru, a Japanese transport bombed by the Cactus Air Force, and today a popular snorkeling and swimming destination. (The Cactus Air Force was a name given to the Allied air power based on Guadalcanal from August 1942 until December 1942. After December, the name officially became Allied Air Forces in the Solomons. The word “Cactus” refers to the Allied code name for the island.)

Traveling from island to island to provide surgical care, we have touched down on historic airstrips––like the Seghe fighter airstrip, built in just 10 days by the 47th Naval Construction Battalion Seabees, and the Munda airstrip, built by the Japanese but taken by Allied forces in August 1943 during the New Georgia campaign.

Although covered by a patina of rust, this 6-inch Japanese coastal defense gun, one of four guns at Enogai inlet on New Georgia Island, still looks lethal. Posing on the gun is Ken White, a Navy Corpsman Reservist and OR technician working with the Loloma Foundation.

Our team has treated hundreds of people in Tulagi, Savo Island, and the Russell Islands, including Puvuvu, the site of the 1st Marine Division’s rest camp. In the western portion of the country, four Japanese 6-inch coastal defense artillery guns are still positioned on shore at Enogai inlet, looking, despite the rust, as ready for battle as they did back in 1943. On the edge of a Bairoko Harbor village, there is an M3 Stuart light tank that is remarkably intact.

While working on Guadalcanal, we have crossed the Matanikau and Lunga Rivers. We have provided surgical care at a small hospital on the edge of Tetere where children play soccer among hundreds of amtraks that once carried Marines to shore. Having World War II relics located in a Solomon Island village is like gold for the people of that village. It allows them to charge visitors a custom fee of between $5 and $10 U.S. to see the wrecks. These custom fees are used to cover educational and medical expenses for people living in the village.

But leftover war relics can come with a steep price if they are unexploded ordnance. Many an arm, leg, eye, and even life has been lost when the bombs and shells and other munitions explode while their gunpowder is harvested for use in reef fishing or when one is dug up accidentally.

Treating Diseases on the Solomons

When our medical team arrives in a village or hospital to work, the people of the Solomon Islands welcome us. They are happy to have doctors––especially surgeons––there to treat them. They are also happy to know that the Americans are back again. Many of the older villagers remember bikfala faet. They worked as scouts with the coast watchers or as members of the Labor Corps. They are proud to tell us of their experiences working with Allied forces.

The diseases and maladies that Solomon Islanders suffer from present in advanced stages. What we are seeing is the natural history of disease untreated. Breast, ovarian, lung, and laryngeal cancers are on the rise, as are diabetes and heart disease. Children have a spectrum of congenital anomalies such as an untreatable encephalocele and cleft lips. And then there is malaria. Ironically, the very same disease that plagued our Marines during World War II still plagues modern Solomon Islanders today. More than 30 percent of islanders have the disease at any given time.

The rusted hulk of an M3 Stuart light tank is slowly being reclaimed by the jungle on the edge of a Bairoko Harbor village, New Georgia Island.

The Pacific Malaria Initiative oversees the current eradication program. Today Coartem has replaced the Atabrine that was used to treat malaria during the war. Despite improved drug therapy, children still die from cerebral edema secondary to Plasmodium falciperum infection. Children die from diarrhea and dysentery as well. People suffer from filariasis, leprosy, and tuberculosis. A young girl paralyzed from the waist down was brought into our clinic on Savo Island. She had a form of tuberculosis known as Potts disease. The TB bacteria had eaten away at her vertebral bodies, causing them to collapse and compress her spinal cord. We initiated antibiotic therapy and transported her to the NRH.

Providing Surgery and Emergency Services

We have provided surgical care for hundreds of Solomon Islanders during our visits. Some patients are lucky that their surgical emergency happens when we are there to treat them, like the 28-weeks pregnant woman with appendicitis, or the woman pregnant with twins, one breech, who needed an emergency C-section. I feel good about helping those patients, but it is the people who need emergency lifesaving surgery when we are not there who worry me.

To solve the problem of surgical access, we have begun training Solomon Island doctors in surgical techniques. We have established a teaching partnership program in which U.S. specialty surgeons travel to Guadalcanal and teach skills and new techniques to the three talented and hardworking surgeons at the National Referral Hospital, as well as the doctors working in the remote provincial hospitals.

One of the Loloma Foundation’s missions is to teach local doctors to perform surgery. Here the author (left) instructs Dr. Andrew Soma in a hernia repair.

There are 75 Solomon Island medical students currently studying at Cuban medical schools. They will graduate in 2013 and will return to the Solomon Islands to obtain postgraduate training. We are working with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health on establishing training sites for these graduates at some of the country’s provincial hospitals. These locally trained doctors will improve medical and surgical care in the provinces and create sustainable solutions to the health care shortage. We are also working toward improving the infrastructure of the hospitals and introducing new medical equipment that has been generously donated by Stryker, Olympus, Gore, Sonosite, Abbot Point of Care, Direct Relief International, and Professional Hospital Supplier, to name a few.

A Living Memorial

Loloma Foundation is one of the only American organizations providing medical and surgical care as well as training consistently in the Solomon Islands. Nearly all aid to the country is provided by Australia, the Republic of China, Taiwan, and Japan. The United States government provides virtually no health care assistance to the people of the Solomon Islands today. In a small way, I see the work we are doing as a way to reconnect with a country that has shared history with us. American soldiers had a positive impact on Solomon Islanders. While assisting our troops with reconnaissance, loading and unloading supplies, and even carrying the injured and dead off the battlefields, Solomon Islanders changed.

A man named Billy Alli, a former scout, put it succinctly: “U.S. soldiers showed us how white men and black men could work together as equals. American soldiers made us feel important.” This feeling of being valued and respected helped Solomon Islanders to organize the Maasina Ruru or Marching Rule Movement, which ultimately resulted in the country gaining its independence from Britain in 1978.

A Quonset hut from the war is now used as a warehouse on Ghizo Island, 236 miles west of Honiara.

In addition to rekindling a connection with the people of the Solomon Islands, the work we do is a kind of “living memorial” to the men who served and to those who died in the Solomon Islands. Virtually every World War II veteran I have spoken with expresses the same concern: With time, what they did, and the sacrifices of those who never came home, will be forgotten. Our work is a way to keep their memory alive. The hard-fought campaigns on Guadalcanal and in the western Solomons are fast being forgotten. History can record these battles but, unlike the 6-inch steel guns that stand guard at Enogai inlet, our veterans are disappearing and so, too, are their firsthand accounts of the men left behind.

“I Sense the Horrors That Went on Here 68 Years Ago”

In 2004, when I dropped the memorial capsule full of letters from my aunts and uncle to Billy, I thought about how Billy and some of his shipmates are entombed within the Quincy on the bottom of Iron Bottom Sound. While crossing Iron Bottom Sound on the way to Tulagi Hospital, I have tried to imagine what it must have been like in these waters nearly seven decades ago. These thoughts have stayed with me.

Dr. Gerry Schneider, one of the surgeons who has worked with me in the Solomons, articulated beautifully what I have felt since 2004: “I feel uneasy and disturbed in the Solomon Islands, not just for the diseases and medical problems we see, but also because I sense the horrors that went on here 68 years ago.” On Guadalcanal and all throughout the Solomon Islands, the energy of the thousands of young lives lost can still be felt.

Two of over 70 amtraks left near Red Beach in Tetere appear to stand guard as Solomon Island children play soccer.

As the result of my own family’s tragic loss, I volunteer my time working in the shadows of World War II history. I do it with profound respect for all those Americans who came here before me who sailed the seas, landed on the beaches, and touched down on the airstrips during one of the most violent, yet unique, times in our history. I do it so they are not forgotten. But I also do it because the people of the Solomon Islands deserve a better health care system than they currently have.

This article was originally published in the Fall 2011 issue of WWII Quarterly

The Munda Languages

Mundari is mainly spoken in the state of Jharkhand, which was recently set up by the Government of India on 15 November 2000, and in the adjoining states of Orissa and West Bengal in India. Muɳɖa means &lsquovillage-headman&rsquo in Mundari. But the language name muɳɖārī is given by the neighbouring peoples, the indigenous name is hoɽo jagar &lsquohuman language&rsquo or muɳɖa jagar &lsquoMunda language&rsquo.


1 Introduction

Mundari is mainly spoken in the state of Jharkhand, which was recently set up by the Government of India on 15 November 2000, and in the adjoining states of Orissa and West Bengal in India. Muɳɖa means &lsquovillage-headman&rsquo in Mundari. But the language name muɳɖārī is given by the neighbouring peoples, the indigenous name is hoɽo jagar &lsquohuman language&rsquo or muɳɖa jagar &lsquoMunda language&rsquo.

As Gregory Anderson shows us in the Introduction of this book, Mundari belongs to the Kherwarian group of the North Munda branch. According to the Census of India 1991, the number of speakers of Mundari is 861,378. The same Census reports the number of speakers of Munda as 413,894. The names Munda and Mundari seem to confuse. It is likely that the census officer did not have perfect criteria for naming the languages in India. There is actually no difference between the Munda language and the Mundari language linguistically. Thus, the total number of the speakers of Mundari is likely to be more than one million. From a linguistic point of view, the designation Munda is used for the language family. Mundari, on the other hand, refers to an individual language, namely the language of Munda people.

As Hoffmann reported in the Encyclopaedia Mundarica, Vol.1, page (6), Mundari has four dialects that is, Hasada from hasa-daʔ &lsquo(literally) land water (place name)&rsquo in Mundari, Naguri from naguri (place name), Tamaria from tamaɽ-ia &lsquolanguage of Tamar (place name)&rsquo, and Kera from keraʔ (perfect ending, instead of keda in another dialect). Munda (1980:kha) has proposed the name Latar dialect (latar means &lsquolow&rsquo) instead of Tamaria. I do not adopt this term here because I have never heard latar jagar in Mundari.

The Hasada dialect is considered as the standard variety among Munda peoples. Hasada speakers are located on the eastern side of Ranchi&ndashChaibasa Road while Naguri speakers are situated on the western side. The Tamaria dialect is distributed in the Panchpargana area (Bundu, Tamar, Silli, Baranda and Rahe). Further, Kera is mainly spoken by the inhabitants of Ranchi city and the adjacent area, who ethnically belong to the Oraon tribe. According to Pinnow (1959:2), Ho should be considered as a dialect of Mundari from a linguistic point of view 1 We, however, regard the Ho language as a separate language on the basis of the ethnic identity of its speakers (see the chapter on Ho and the other Kherwarian languages in this book).

The study of Mundari started in the nineteenth century for example, Haldar (1871), Whitley (1873), Nottrott (1882). These works are neither comprehensive, nor reliable from a linguistic point of view. For example, the glottal stops were not described in these works. Linguistically oriented grammars have been written by Hoffmann (1903), Cook (1965) (his data are collected not by him but by Hoffmann), Sinha (1975) (his descriptions contain a lot of self-contradiction and some data are not reliable), Munda (1980) (this is written in Hindi and contains reliable data but is not comprehensive), and Osada (1992) (the section on syntax is very poor) phonology by Gumperz with Biligiri (1957) and Sinha (1974) (the data are not reliable the same as Sinha 1975) verbal morphology by Langendoen (1966, 1967) (his data are based on the Naguri dialect he applied Mundari data to the standard theory by Chomsky but unsuccessfully as I show in section 3.2), Munda (1971) (this paper is focussed on aspect but incomplete) morpho-syntax by Osada (1999, 2007). A dictionary of Mundari has been compiled by Hoffmann (1930&ndash1978), Bhaduri (1931), Prasad (1973, 1976) (in these dictionaries she missed a description of the glottal stops), and Mundu (1995). The most influential work is Hoffmann&rsquos Mundari Grammar (=MG) and Encyclopaedia Mundarica (=EM). The descriptions in MG and EM differ in dialect. MG is mainly based on Naguri while EM mainly on Hasada. The data in EM are more comprehensive and reliable than those in MG. In addition to EM, Munda as a native speaker has given us reliable data. Thus I utilize the data from EM and Munda (1971, 1980).

2 Phonology

2.1 Phonemic inventory

Mundari has a five-vowel system as shown in Table 3.1. Vowel length and nasalization are not phonemic. It is, however, very important to make the distinction phonetically. As regards vowel length, an open and monosyllabic /CV/ is realized as two morae for example, /ru/ &lsquoto beat a drum&rsquo [ruː]. 2

  • /(C)VɳV(C)/ for example, /ceɳe/ &lsquobird&rsquo [ tʃɛ0303ɳɛ0303], /aɳeʔ/ &lsquoto pour out a liquid&rsquo [ãɳẽʔ], etc.
  • /C N V/ (C N means a nasal consonant) for example, /mu/ &lsquonose&rsquo [mũ:], /nu/ &lsquoto drink&rsquo [ nũ:]
  • /jV/ (optionally) for example, /ji/ &lsquosmell&rsquo [dʒĩː], /ja/ &lsquoany&rsquo [dʒãː] or [dʒaː], but /jo/ &lsquofruit&rsquo [dʒɔː].
  • /oe/, /oa/, /ua/ (optionally) for example, /koe/ &lsquobeggar&rsquo [kɔ0303ɛ0303] /koasi/ &lsquofog&rsquo [kõãsi], / cua/ &lsquoto extract a liquid by fire&rsquo [tʃũã] or [ tʃua ].

If expressives are considered, nasalization becomes (very marginally) contrastive. We note the following minimal pair in the expressives soe soe &lsquosound of boiling water&rsquo and sõẽ sõẽ &lsquoto sit in a slovenly fashion&rsquo.

Japanese Field Marker, Munda - History

Locality Name : Biharipur Munda ( बिहारीपुर मुंडा )
Block Name : Tilhar
District : Shahjahanpur
State : Uttar Pradesh
Division : Bareilly
Language : Hindi and Urdu
Current Time 09:55 PM
Date: Tuesday , Jun 22,2021 (IST)
Time zone: IST (UTC+5:30)
Elevation / Altitude: 163 meters. Above Seal level
Telephone Code / Std Code: 05841

Assembly constituency : Tilhar assembly constituency
Assembly MLA : roshan lal verma
Lok Sabha constituency : Shahjahanpur parliamentary constituency
Parliament MP : Arun Kumar Sagar
Serpanch Name :

Enter Serpanch Name : Update

Main Village Name : Biharipur Munda

About Biharipur Munda

Biharipur Munda is a small Village/hamlet in Tilhar Block in Shahjahanpur District of Uttar Pradesh State, India. It comes under Biharipur Munda Panchayath. It belongs to Bareilly Division . It is located 24 KM towards west from District head quarters Shahjahanpur. 203 KM from State capital Lucknow

Biharipur Munda is surrounded by Madnapur Block towards South , Khudaganj Katra Block towards North , Jaitpur Block towards west , Dadrol Block towards East .

Tilhar , Shahjahanpur , Powayan , Shahabad, Hardoi are the near by Cities to Biharipur Munda.

Demographics of Biharipur Munda

Politics in Biharipur Munda

Polling Stations /Booths near Biharipur Munda

HOW TO REACH Biharipur Munda

By Rail

Tilhar Rail Way Station , Bahadurpur Halt Rail Way Station are the very nearby railway stations to Biharipur Munda.

Mountain Bike Morning – Mundaring Weir Hotel to Camel Farm

Watching the weather all week and hoping for a break of rain, we were super excited when that day came over the weekend. And so we loaded the bikes into the car and headed up to the Kalamunda Mountain Bike trails. We soon changed our plans thinking a cross country ride might be better given the rainfall and the chance of encountering slippery jumps. Fortunately Kalamunda and the surrounding Mundaring area offers plenty of excellent forest riding options. We settle on a section of the Munda Biddi Trail from Mundaring Weir Hotel to Calamunda Camel Farm.

Route: Mundaring Weir Hotel to Calamunda Camel Farm, return same route

Length: 20.5km approximately

Highlights: Riding the Munda Biddi trail, touring route, wildflowers (spring), possible kangaroo sightings, riding in the forest, mtb and xc trails at Kalamunda and a coffee opportunity at the end

Deviations: Mundaring Weir Dam and the 1st pump station, Mt Gunjun downhill mountain bike tracks

We arrive at Mundaring Weir Hotel to a crisp morning chill and grey skies, though from experience days like these in winter turn out to be perfect conditions for riding or hiking. We locate the hotel along Mundaring Weir Road quite easily, after the dam turn right onto Hall road.

The 1898 Mundaring Weir Hotel and nearby water dam offers significant history to Western Australia’s past. A water pipeline, designed by C.Y. O’Connor carries water all the way to Kalgoorlie some 557kms away. It was quite the idea and a bit surprising that it was widely condemned at the time. Perhaps it was too radical of an idea? There is a long time running joke that a large majority of West Aussies tend to complain about new changes and I say this with lighthearted humour. One thing is for sure, it helped the town during the economical gold rushes. Bill from Follow My Ride, extends a great run down of the surrounding area on his blog. Having frequented the mountain bike trails at The Dell, it was interesting to read about Edgar Dell and establish that historical connection. The hotel looks inviting and boasts a picturesque beer garden. If we planned our trip a little better we would have stopped by for breakfast and coffee. I make a side note for next time even thinking a glass of wine post ride would be even better!

Opposite the hotel, near the gallery you may see the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi Trail marker, this heads north to Mundaring. In the car we spotted a marker off Mundaring Weir Road, shortly before we turned into the hotel, so we set off in the direction of that marker enjoying a decent length downhill.

The trail takes us alongside the pipeline and the Munda Biddi conveniently and cleverly diverts on and off the pipeline trail saving us from a couple of uphill climbs. This is very considerate and we thank the Munda Biddi however I have a feeling we are in for some hard work at some point during the ride.

The trail is compact to ride on, I imagine in the drier months pea gravel could be a challenge. The winter rains have resulted in some visible ruts, however they are easy to spot from far away giving us time to go around. Same with the odd puddle, I take the route around because I have a thing about getting my feet wet whilst having a dry body. Even though I enjoy riding in the rain.

The wildflowers have appeared early and as it was a grey day they couldn’t have come at a better time. They really brighten up the scene. I was intrigued with a purple flowering bush and I’m afraid I don’t know the name. Although I think I’m correct in saying it’ is of a lavender variety. The flowers contained a mixed aroma of lavender and eucalyptus – beautiful.

After we turn and progress away from the pipeline we come across a small river crossing, very small. There was no threat of being washed away, infact the sign of such a small crossing shows its been a good winter here in Perth. My Instagram feed is showing some lovely photos of the local rapids and waterfalls and the Avon Descent is expected to be a great race this year!

It’s noisy in this part of the forest and we find ourselves out numbered by forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos. They are THE bold and beautiful of the forest – loud, boisterous and messy eaters, shredding seeds off trees and discarding them all over the place. The existence of these not so common birds is dependent on native forests in Western Australia because they roam quite a bit. I’ve seen groups hang around older Perth areas like Bold Park and Perry Lakes where native trees haven’t been removed for landscape gardens and designer water thirsty trees. The cockatoos seem to follow us above, settling on a tree before moving to the next. While the attraction to the forest is the peaceful surroundings, we absolutely enjoy the wildlife encounter.

From Mundaring Weir we are riding into the lower Helena River Valley and this gives us a couple of good vistas across a couple of farms.

We reach a burnt out section of the forest and the silence becomes oddly eerie. The cockatoos are noticeably not around anymore and by the strong smell of smoldering ash, the prescribed burn off has recently been carried out. At some point two kangaroos cross the path ahead of us unfazed or possibly unaware by our presence because they don’t turn to look at us.The lack of scenic landscape makes the uphill climb out of the valley slow and we feel the leg burn. On the upside, I begin to think about the fun downhill for the return journey and this keeps me motivated and more importantly pedalling.

A couple of times we walk the bikes up the trail to conserve a little energy. It’s all part of the Munda Biddi experience, be content at taking the trail at your own pace. I haven’t worked out my strengths quite yet when it comes to tackling the Munda Biddi. All I know is I just keep going because how else am I going to return back to the car!

We reach a Munda Biddi marker with a second symbol for a touring route option – distinctly identifiable by the green symbol. At this point we have climbed 111 metres and feeling it all over.

The Munda Biddi Foundation website details the touring route to be an easier option than the Munda Biddi trail. It also heads towards the Camel Farm. Whereas the Munda Biddi trail cuts through the Dell and Mt Gunjin before continuing to the next hut. I’ve copied the map below for reference from the Kalamunda Collective website.

The touring route incorporates approximately 2.6km of Asher Road and the sealed road conditions definitely makes it an easier option compared to off road. However with that said, it is a constant uphill but not overly steep pedal. Before it becomes boring we spot the Kalamunda trail markers on both sides of the road. We take the trail marked ‘dugite’ which is a good flowing two way trail connecting straight onto ‘joeys line’ before spitting us out into the rear of the Camel Farm. It’s an interesting place at the Camel Farm. Background noises of goats and camels combined with mountain bikes rolling on the gravel. I have to say it’s a great place to break up the ride.

We sit on a log and pull out some banana and olive oil cake I made a few days ago. Unfortunately I only packed two slices and when that’s not enough we pull out some Cadbury chocolates which leads to a bit of debate over choices.

The return journey on the same trail…

The strongest benefit to this route and the direction from Mundaring Weir is the majority of the hill climbs are knocked out by the time the Camel Farm appears. The return journey contains less climbs and more downhill runs. On the way back I found I was enjoying more of the scenery because when climbing uphill, the attention is focused more on the trail and less on the surroundings. In saying this, it’s always good to break a couple of times and appreciate the surroundings. There are two steep sections marked with warning signs, please be careful. If you are a regular at the Kalamunda Mountain Bike trails you will thoroughly enjoy the steep wide run however if you are new to off road please proceed carefully or perhaps walk the bike down instead. Do the trail during the week and you’ll probably have it all to yourself.

This route is great training for the Munda Biddi as well as endurance MTB events. It’s short enough to regularly train on and hilly enough to really make you work those legs and basically every inch of body. Riding in the forest is incredibly relaxing and anything nagging in the mind simply disappears – I love it and hope you do too!

Japanese Field Marker, Munda - History

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated at San Diego. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as B-24D-35-CO Liberator serial number 42-40210. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 5th Bombardment Group "Bomber Barons", 72th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "My Baby Bubb". Also known as simply "#210" for the last three digits of the serial number.

When lost, engines R-1830-43 serial numbers 42-45640, 42-42759, 42-45433 and 42-45365. Weapon serial number not noted in Missing Air Crew Report 803 (MACR 803).

Mission History
On October 10, 1943 took off from Carney Field (Bomber 2) on Guadalcanal piloted by Captain Charles K. Frampton as one of twenty-four B-24s on a bombing mission against Kahili Airfield on southern Bougainville. The formation was escorted by more than fifty P-38 Lightnings, P-40 Warhawks and P-39 Airacobras. Also participating were fifty U.S. Navy (USN) fighters and dive bombers including eight F4U Corsairs from VMF-214 "The Black Sheep" but two aborted the mission due to mechanical difficulties.

Inbound the weather was 3/10 cloud cover and bad weather enroute. Over the target, the B-24 formation bombed Kahili Airfield and the surrounding areas, hitting runways, a fuel dump, supply area, buildings, while the Navy dive bombers attacked gun positions on Malabita Hill. The bombing was not accurate with about half the bombs falling into the sea "killing many small fish" off southern Bougainville.

After the bomb run, the formation was jumped by 10-15 Zeros and targeted by accurate anti-aircraft fire from guns emplaced around Kahili on southern Bougainville and from Ballale Island. During the interception, two B-24s were damaged. US planes claim 15 interceptors shot down, but Japanese records only show the loss of two Zeros from the 201 Kokutai.

This B-24 was attacked by a Zero from the 2 o'clock position between bomber no. 1 and no. 2 and the third element that hit and caused this bomber's no. 2 and no. 3 engines to burst into flames. Damaged, this B-24 continued to hold position for 30-40 seconds then went into a glide, pulled up momentarily and then went into a spin at 15,000' burning with gray-white smoke observed pouring from the waist windows.

Three of the crew were observed to bail out from the rear hatch, followed by two other crew bailing out later. As the five crew descended, they were observed to be strafed by Zeros.

The bomber was seen to crash into the sea between Fauro Island and Choiseul Island and did not immediately break up. Missing Air Crew Report 803 (MACR 803) estimated the position to be 15 miles northwest of Choiseul. This bomber was seen to crash by Lt. Col. Marion D. Unruh, Major Byron Sanson and 1st Lt. Michael A. Lord. When this bomber failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

1st Lt. Michael A. Lord statement via Missing Air Crew Report 803 (MACR 803) page 5:
"Airplane #210 [this bomber], piloted by Captain Charles K. Frampton was leading the second element of three planes and when fifteen miles off the NW tip of Choiseul at about 1130 a Zeke came in from 2 o'clock between planes #1 and #2 of the first element attacking plane #210 and peeling off between planes #1 and #2 of the third element. Engines #2 and #3 of airplane #210 were seen to burst into flames and plane held position for 30 to 40 seconds, then went off in a long glide, pulled up momentarily then went into a spin at 15,000 ft., and was seen to crash into water, but did not immediately break up. Airplane #210 was burning fiercely when it went into spin and heavy greyish-white smoke was seen pouring from waist windows. Three of the crew were seen to bail out of back hatch when plane first went into glide and two other crew members bailed out later, all parachutes opening and the chutes being strafed by the enemy."

That afternoon, a single PBY Catalina was sent to search for this crew, escorted by sixteen F4U Corsairs, eight P-40 Kittyhawks from the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) and eleven P-38 Lightnings from Munda Airfield at 2:45pm to search for survivors. They searched as far north as Kieta but failed to locate any of the crew.

The entire crew was declared dead on October 10, 1943. All are memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing.

Frampton earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Purdy earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Oak Grove Cemetery in Gardiner, ME. He also has a memorial marker at Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery at section GR, site 1. He is also memorialized at the war memorial in Gardiner, ME and the war memorial in Farmingdale, ME. On Purdy also has a memorial marker installed on July 23, 2014 at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery at section GR (garden of remembrance), site 1. A memorial service ceremony was observed on August 9, 2014 attended by his family members including niece Barbara Purdy Gipson. In the Spring 2019, Purdy will also be commemorated on the The American Legion Department of Maine POW/MIA Memorial in Winslow, Maine.

Farrar earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously. He is also memorialized on his parents grave at Kirkwood Cemetery in London, OH.

Konkle earned the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has has a memorial marker at Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, TX at section H, lot 101N.

Shephard earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Shofler earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Betts earned the the Air Medal and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Russell earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Landerud earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Howard earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Reardon earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Charles E. Russell (nephew of Charles E. Konkle)
"My uncle, Lt. Charles Konkle was a Bombardier in B-24's with the 13th AAF, 5th Bomb Group, 72nd Bomb Squadron. His plane, a B-24D named 'My Baby Bubb' was shot down by Japanese Zero fighters near Bougainville Island on October 10, 1943. The plane and crew were never found. I have a very high level of interest in this aspect of WWII and will appreciate any information that can be provided about the 13th AAF during this period of the war. I was born on 11/06/1943, less than a month after my uncle's loss and I am named in his honor. Obviously, I never actually knew him, but I have always known him and he has been an important part of my life. Thank you again for your interest in my uncle and for all you do at Pacific Wrecks."

Barbara Purdy Gipson (niece of Wilder Purdy)
"On behalf of Wilder's family, I extend extreme gratitude."

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-24D-35-CO Liberator 42-40210
"40210 40210 (5th BG, 72nd BS) shot down by fighter NW of Choisuel [sic Choiseul], Solomons Oct 10, 1943. MACR 803."
Missing Air Crew Report 803 (MACR 803)
Warren Tribune "Obituary Sgt Robert William Betts" February 22, 1946
"Sgt Robert William Betts--24: A 1939 graduate from Mineral Ridge High School was officially declared dead in a notice received by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. William Betts Youngstown, from the US Government. His plane was one of a squadron which set out from the Solomons on a mission against Japanese bases 10 Oct 1943. At the southern tip of Bougainville, enemy planes appeared. After a sharp fight, Sgt Betts' plane began going down. Five parachutes opened, but Jap fighter planes machine-gunned them. No survivors were found after an extensive search. He worked for Dean & Best garage at Niles until he went to Patterson Field near Dayton as an airplane mechanic. Also surviving are two sisters: Frances Ruth Tomp-kins-Mineral Ridge & Jayne Reed-Youngstown & a brother: Machinists Mate Richard Betts-in the South Pacific."
The Black Sheep page 248-250
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles K. Frampton
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Wilder G. Purdy
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John X. Farrar Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Charles E. Konkle
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Walter A. Shephard
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Leonard W. Shofler
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert W. Betts
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Grady M. Russell
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Gilbert L. Landerud
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Earl T. Howard
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - John T. Reardon
FindAGrave - Capt Charles K Frampton (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Wilder G Purdy (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - 1LT Wilder G Purdy (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - Wilder G. Purdy (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - 1Lt John Xerxes Farrar, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1LT John Xerxes Farrar, Jr (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Charles Edward Konkle (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - 1LT Charles Edward Konkle (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - 1Lt Walter Alfred Shephard, Jr (tablets of the missing photos)
FindAGrave - TSgt Leonard W Shofler (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Robert William Betts (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Sgt Robert William Betts (obituary, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - TSgt Grady M Russell (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Corp Gilbert L Landerud (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt Earl T Howard (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - SSgt John T Reardon (tablets of the missing)
Scootin' Thunder page 122
Diary of Lt. Robert Houser October 10, 1943: "The Zeros flew by, missing our ship, and raked Captain Frampton's cockpit. His plane My Baby Bubb, slid out of formation then reared into a violent stall and fell away into a spin. I saw three guys bail out. Two of them opened their chutes immediately and were strafed by Zeros and probably killed. One delayed the jump and popped his chute out of the top hatch. It had barely blossomed when the ship crashed into the sea between Bougainville and Choiseul, its nose glowing red hot from the fire within."
Bomber Baron News July 2017 "How and Where to Begin!!" by Barbara Purdy Gipson page 10-11
Thanks to Charles E. Russell, Barbara Purdy Gipson and 5th Bomb Group Association: Rich O'Brien and Joanne Emerick for additional information

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