Before 7 December 1941, while war was actively being waged in Europe and the Far East, the United States, still a neutral, was expanding its manufacturing facilities to meet the demands for additional war materials, both for the growing U.S. forces and those of the Allies. On 7 December the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor in an attempt to so cripple U.S. naval power that future Japanese conquest and occupation in the Pacific would meet with little or no opposition. This attack dealt a serious blow to Navy and Army Air Forces units stationed in the Hawaiian Islands. On the same day two Japanese destroyers attacked the island of Midway, but were beaten off by the defending troops. On 8 December Wake was assaulted. The attacks on Wake were continued for two weeks and the small U.S. garrison was forced to surrender on 23 December. Another weak garrison on the island of Guam, unable to resist the enemy attacks, fell on 10 December.
The Allied Defensive1
Early on the morning of 8 December the U.S. forces in the Philippines were notified that a state of war existed and a full war alert was ordered. On the same day the first Japanese aerial attack on the Philippines took place. This was followed by others and on 10 December enemy landings were made on Luzon. Expect- ing an early victory, the Japanese sent a large force, but it was not until 6 May 1942 that the Japanese were able to conquer the American and Filipino defenders who fought a delaying action down the Bataan Peninsula and made a final stand on the island of Corregidor. All military resistance ended in the rest of the Philippine Islands by 17 May except for small bands of guerrillas who continued to fight the enemy until 1945 when the U.S. forces landed in the Philippines. In March 1942 the commander of the United States Army Forces in the Far East was ordered to move to Australia by the President of the United States. Troops from the
1. See Louis Morton, The Fall of the Philippines, in preparation for the series U. S. ARMY IN WORLD WAR II.
United States began arriving in Australia in December 1941 for the build-up in preparation for the defense of Allied bases and the recapture of enemy-held islands and bases in the Pacific.
While some Japanese forces were carrying out the attacks in the Pacific, others were overrunning Malaya, North Borneo, and Thailand. After eighteen days of fighting Hong Kong was captured on 25 December 1941. Thailand, unable to resist the Japanese, agreed to co-operate with them. Early in 1942 the Japanese took Borneo and by 15 February the British garrison in Malaya capitulated. In the Netherlands East Indies the U.S. Navy inflicted damage on an enemy convoy in the Battle of Makassar Strait, the first important surface action of the war for the U.S. Navy. On 9 March 1942 formal surrender by the Dutch ended all resistance in the Netherlands East Indies. By these conquests in Asia and the Pacific, the Japanese gained valuable territory rich in natural resources and were ready to expand in other directions.
During the first six months of 1942 the U.S. Navy fought the Japanese Navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, and raided the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. Army Air Forces medium bombers took off from a carrier at sea and bombed Tokyo in April 1942 in a surprise attack. As part of the Midway operations in June, planes of the Japanese Navy bombed U.S. installations in Alaska and enemy troops landed in the Aleutian Islands on Attu and Kiska.
The Allied defensive phase of the war in the Pacific ended on 6 August 1942, with the Allies ready to strike the enemy-held islands in the South Pacific.
INFANTRYMEN DURING A FIELD INSPECTION in the Hawaiian Islands, January 1941. From 1935 on the U.S. garrison in the Hawaiian Islands was larg- er than any other American overseas outpost. However, by 1940 there was a shortage of modern equipment and trained personnel, and not until February 1941 did troop reinforcements and up-to-date equipment begin to arrive in Hawaii. The United States was not prepared for war and the men and equipment did not meet the necessary requirements.
COAST ARTILLERY BATTERY training in Hawaii. Man at left is placing a round in the manual fuze setter of a 3-inch antiaircraft gun M1917M2. A plan for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands had been set up and joint maneuvers (land, air, and naval forces) were held periodically to test the various security measures.
4.2-INCH CHEMICAL MORTAR CREW in action during maneuvers (top); 75-mm. gun M1917A1 in a camouflaged position (bottom). As in all U.S. military commands, the Hawaiian Department was faced with the problem of training the largely inexperienced forces available at the time.
BROWNING ANTIAIRCRAFT MACHINE GUN on a runway at Wheeler Field, Oahu, in the Hawaiian Islands. Early in December 1941 all the U.S. troops, including antiaircraft batteries, were returned to their stations from field maneuvers to await the signal for riot duty. Trouble was expected, and while Japanese diplomats in Washington talked peace, their Pearl Harbor Striking Force was moving eastward toward Hawaii. During this movement the fleet maintained radio silence and was not detected as it approached the islands. (.50-caliber antiaircraft machine gun, water-cooled, flexible.)
FLYING FORTRESSES, BOEING B-17C heavy bombers, burning at Hickam Field, Oahu, on 7 December 1941 (top); wreckage at the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor, after the enemy attack, 7 December (bottom). At 0730 on 7 December the first waves of Japanese aircraft struck the U.S. defenses. Although a few U.S. fighter planes managed to get into the air and destroyed some of the Japanese planes, the attack wrought severe damage. After neutralizing the airfields the Japanese struck at the U.S. Navy warships in the harbor.
THE DESTROYER USS SHAW EXPLODING during the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December. The first attack on the U.S. warships anchored in the harbor was delivered at 0758. By 0945 all the Japanese aircraft had left Oahu and returned to their carriers. The U.S. Pacific Fleet suffered a major disaster during the attack which lasted one hour and fifty minutes. Sunk or damaged during the attack were the destroyers Shaw, Cassin, and Dowries; the mine layer Oglala; the target ship Utah; and a large floating drydock. Also hit were the light cruisers Helena, Honolulu, and Raleigh; the seaplane tender Curtis; and the repair ship Vestal.
U.S. BATTLESHIPS HIT AT PEARL HARBOR. Left to right: West Virginia, Tennessee, and Arizona (top); the West Virginia aflame (bottom).
DAMAGED WARSHIPS. The U.S. destroyers Dowries, left, and Cassin, right, and the battleship Pennsylvania, in background, shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Of the eight battleships hit, the Arizona was a total loss; the Oklahoma was never repaired; the California, Nevada, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee were repaired and returned to service. The slight depth of Pearl Harbor made possible the raising and refitting of these ships.
DESTROYED CURTIS P-40 FIGHTER PLANE at Bellows Field (top); wrecked planes at Wheeler Field after the 7 December attack (bottom). Of the Army's 123 first-line planes in Hawaii, 63 survived the attack; of the Navy's 148 serviceable combat aircraft, 36 remained. Only one small airfield on the north shore near Haleiwa was overlooked during the raid.
JAPANESE MIDGET SUBMARINE which ran aground on the beach outside Pearl Harbor, 7 December. Early on the morning of 7 December at least one Japanese submarine was reconnoitering inside Pearl Harbor, having slipped past the anti- submarine net. After making a complete circuit of Ford Island the submarine left the harbor and later ran aground on the beach where it was captured intact.
DESTROYED HANGAR AT HICKAM FIELD, 7 December. During the attack the Army lost 226 killed and 396 wounded; the Navy, including the Marine Corps, lost 3,077 killed and 876 wounded. The Japanese attack was entirely successful in accomplishing its mission, and the U.S. forces were completely surprised both strategically and tactically.
SOLDIERS LEAVING PIER to board trucks for Schofield Barracks, Honolulu. As a result of the disaster at Pearl Harbor, the Hawaiian command was reorganized. There was little enemy activity in the Central Pacific after the 7 December attack. The Japanese had seized Wake and Guam and were concentrating on their southern campaigns. As the build-up of men and equipment progressed, reinforcements began to pour into Hawaii for training and shipment to Pacific stations.
CONSTRUCTION WORK AT WHEELER FIELD, 11 December 1941. After the Japanese raid many destroyed or damaged buildings were rebuilt.
ARMY TROOPS IN LCP(L)'S, during an amphibious training exercise, leave Oahu for a beach landing. After the entry of the United States into World War II training was intensified, and specialized training in amphibious landings was given the troops arriving in the Hawaiian Islands since most of the islands to be taken later would have to be assaulted over open beaches. In February 1943 the Amphibious Training Area, Waianae, Oahu, was activated for training units in amphibious landings. LCP(L)'s had no bow ramp for disembarking troops.
DEPLOYING FOR ADVANCE INLAND after landing on the beach. During the war more than 250,000 men were given instruction in amphibious assault operations.
U.S. LIGHT TANK M2A2 during maneuvers on Oahu, 1942. This light tank with twin turrets, one containing a .50-caliber machine gun and the other a .30-caliber machine gun, was first manufactured in 1935. In December 1942, when it was declared obsolete, there were 234 left in the Army. The M2A2 light tank is a good example of the type of equipment available shortly after the entry of the United States into World War II.
LIGHT TANK M3 being refueled during jungle maneuvers. This tank, which replaced earlier light tank models, had as its principal weapon a 37-mm. gun.
A BATTERY OF 105-MM. HOWITZERS M2A1 firing during maneuvers (top); ordnance men repairing small arms (bottom). Two men are holding .45-caliber automatic pistols M1911; in the vice on the table is a .30-caliber Browning automatic rifle M1918A2; on the table are two .30-caliber rifles M1.
MEN CLEANING A 3-INCH ANTIAIRCRAFT GUN M3 (top); members of a machine gun crew operating a Browning machine gun HB .50-caliber, flexible (bottom).
MORTAR SQUAD ASSEMBLING AN 81-MM. MORTAR M1 during training in the Philippine Islands in 1941 (top). New recruits are given instruction in use of the Browning .30-caliber machine gun M1917A1 (bottom). In 1936 a program for national defense was initiated in the Philippine Islands. A military mission of U.S. officers was charged with the organization and training of Filipino regular troops. In July 1941 the Philippine Army was ordered into the service of the Army of the United States and U.S. troops were sent to the islands from the United States.
FILIPINO TROOPS training with a 37-mm. antitank gun M3. As a result of the war warning to all overseas garrisons on 27 November 1941, the U.S. forces in the Philippines went on a full war alert. Over a period of years the Japanese had collected a valuable store of information about the Philippines and planned to occupy the Philippine Islands, eliminating all U.S. troops there.
LOADING A BAMBOO RAFT before crossing a river during maneuvers (top), troops and mules preparing to swim a river (bottom). By December 1941 U.S. ground forces in the Philippines numbered about 110,000, of which a little over 10,000 were U.S. personnel. The remainder were Philippine scouts, constabulary, and Philippine Army troops. As in the Hawaiian garrison, the hastily mobilized army lacked training and modern equipment.
ENGINEER TROOPS stand ready to place sections of a ponton bridge in position during a river-crossing maneuver in the Philippines, 1941.
TROOPS CROSSING the newly constructed pontoon bridge.
CAVITE NAVY YARD, Luzon, during a Japanese aerial attack. Early on the morning of 8 December 1941 the Japanese struck the Philippine Islands. By the end of the first day the U.S. Army Air Forces had lost half of its bombers and a third of its fighter planes based there. During the morning of 10 December practically the entire Navy yard at Cavite was destroyed by enemy bombers. The first Japanese landings on Luzon also took place on 10 December. On 14 December the remaining fourteen U.S. Army bombers were flown to Port Darwin, Australia, and the ships that were undamaged after the attack were moved south.
RESIDENTS OF CAVITE evacuating the city after the Japanese bombing raid of 10 December. After the destruction of the Navy yards at Cavite, the remaining 11 naval patrol bombers were flown to the Netherlands East Indies. The ground forces were left with little or no air support. The Japanese, having control of the air over the Philippines, began to mass their troops for the capture of the islands.
MEDIUM BOMBERS, B-18'S (top) and pursuit planes, P-36's (bottom) of the U.S. Far East Army Air Force attack infantry troops during 1941 maneuvers in the Philippines. When the Japanese attacked the Philippine Islands the United States had some 300 aircraft in the Far East Air Force, but of these only 125 were suitable for combat. The 300 planes represented over 10 percent of the total U.S. air strength at this time. The pilots and crews were well trained and lacked only combat experience.
JAPANESE ADVANCING during the drive on Manila. The medium tank is a Type 94 (1934), with a 57-mm. gun with a free traverse of 20 degrees right and left. It had a speed of 18 to 20 miles an hour, was manned by a crew of 4, weighed 15 tons, and was powered by a diesel engine.
CAMOUFLAGED 155-MM. GUN M1918 (GPF) parked on the Gerona-Tarlac road, December 1941. The Japanese forces moved down Luzon forcing the defending U.S. troops to withdraw to the south. On 30 December a large-scale attack was launched and the U.S. troops were driven back ten miles to Gapan. After another enemy attack they fell back twenty miles farther. A secondary enemy attack at Tarlac failed to achieve important gains. The northern U.S. force protected the withdrawal of the southern force by a delaying action. All troops were beginning to converge in the vicinity of Manila and the Bataan Peninsula.
AERIAL VIEW OF CORREGIDOR ISLAND off the tip of Bataan. On 25 December, Headquarters, United States Army Forces in the Far East, was established on Corregidor. Manila was declared an open city on the following day and the remains of the naval base at Cavite were blown up to prevent its supplies from falling into enemy hands.
TANK OBSTACLES AND BARBED WIRE strung to delay the enemy advance on Bataan (top); members of an antitank company in position on Bataan (bottom). As the Japanese advanced, the defending forces withdrew toward the Bataan Peninsula. The rugged terrain, protected flanks, and restricted maneuvering room on Bataan limited the enemy's ability to employ large numbers of troops. Preparations for the defense of the peninsula were intensified and the stocks of supplies were increased.
JAPANESE PRISONERS, captured on Bataan, being led blindfolded to head- quarters for questioning. On 1 January 1942 the Japanese entered Manila and the U.S. troops withdrew toward Bataan. Army supplies were either moved to Bataan and Corregidor or destroyed. The remaining forces on Bataan, including some 15,000 U.S. troops, totaled about 80,000 men. The food, housing, and sanitation problems were greatly increased by the presence of over 20,000 civilian refugees. All troops were placed on half-rations.
WOTJE ATOLL IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS during the attack by a naval task force, February 1942 (top); Wake during an attack by a Douglas torpedo bomber (TBD) from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (bottom). On 1 February the Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy began a series of offensive raids against the most prominent Japanese bases in the Central Pacific area. The first of the attacks was carried out against Kwajalein, Taroa, Wotje, and other atolls in the Marshall Islands, as well as Makin in the Gilbert Islands. On 24 February a task force made a successful air and naval bombardment against Wake.
PT (MOTOR TORPEDO) BOAT NEAR MARCUS ISLAND, which was attacked 4 March 1942 (top); U.S. cruiser firing at Wake, 24 February 1942 (bottom). The aircraft carrier Enterprise, two cruisers, and seven destroyers comprised the task force attacking the island of Wake. The Enterprise and two cruisers were the main ships used during the Marcus Island attack, 1,200 miles from Japan. Losses to the U.S. forces during these attacks were light and the effectiveness of the use of fast, powerful, carrier task forces was demonstrated.
JAPANESE SOLDIERS FIRING A MACHINE GUN TYPE 92 (1932) 7.7-mm. heavy machine gun, gas-operated and air-cooled. This was the standard Japanese heavy machine gun (top). Japanese firing a 75-mm. gun Type 41 (1908), normally found in an infantry regimental cannon company (bottom). Called a mountain (infantry) gun, it was replaced by a later model. Light and easily handled, it was very steady in action. When used as a regimental cannon company weapon it was issued on the basis of four per regiment.
GUN CREW WITH A 3-INCH ANTIAIRCRAFT GUN M2. The U.S. troops moving southward down Bataan in front of the enemy forces continued their delaying action as long as possible. The Bataan Peninsula, 32 miles long and 20 miles across at the widest portion, is covered with dense woods and thick jungle growth. Through the center runs a range of mountains. The limited area and difficult terrain made the fighting more severe and added to the problems of the advancing Japanese. However, the situation became steadily worse for the defending troops and on 9 April 1942 the forces were surrendered to the Japanese.
B-25'S ON THE FLIGHT DECK of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet before taking off to bomb Tokyo on 18 April 1942 (top); B-25 taking off from the flight deck of the Hornet (bottom). In a small combined operation in the western Pacific by the U.S. Navy and the Army Air Forces, sixteen planes took off from the carrier Hornet, 668 nautical miles from Tokyo, to bomb the city for the first time during the war. The Japanese were completely surprised because, even though they had received a radio warning, they were expecting Navy planes which would have to be launched from a carrier closer to Tokyo, and therefore would not reach the city on 18 April.
CREW IN CHINA after raiding Tokyo. About noon on 18 April the medium bombers from the Hornet reached Tokyo and near-by cities. After dropping their bombs they flew on to China where they ran out of fuel before reaching their designated landing fields. The crews of only two of the planes fell into Japanese hands. The others lived in the mountains for about ten days after assembling and were later returned to the United States. The news of the raid raised morale in the United States and while the damage inflicted was not great, it proved to the Japanese that they needed additional bases to the east to protect the home islands of Japan.
JAPANESE TROOPS ON BATAAN during the spring of 1942. The Japanese commander insisted upon unconditional surrender of all the troops in the Philippines and was furious when he learned that only the U.S. forces on Bataan Peninsula had surrendered. The forces on Corregidor held their fire until the captured Bataan troops were removed from the area. (This picture was reproduced from an illustration which appeared in a captured Japanese publication.)
U.S. PRISONERS ON BATAAN sorting equipment while Japanese guards look on. Following this, the Americans and Filipinos started on the Death March to Camp O'Donnell in central Luzon. Over 50,000 prisoners were held at this camp. A few U.S. troops escaped capture and carried on as guerrillas.
SOLDIERS IN MALINTA TUNNEL on Corregidor, April 1942. With food, water, and supplies practically exhausted and no adequate facilities for caring for the wounded, and with Japanese forces landing on Corregidor, the situation for the U.S. troops was all but hopeless. The commander offered to surrender the island forts on Corregidor to the Japanese. When this was refused and with the remaining troops in danger of being wiped out, all the U.S. forces in the Philippines were surrendered to the enemy on 6 May 1942. Couriers were sent to the various island commanders and by 17 May all organized resistance in the Philippines had ceased.
COASTAL DEFENSE GUN on Corregidor (top); 12-inch mortars on Corregidor (bottom). Corregidor's armament comprised eight 12-inch guns, twelve 12-inch mortars, two 10-inch guns, five 6-inch guns, twenty 155-mm. guns, and assorted guns of lesser caliber, including antiaircraft guns. The fixed gun emplacements were in open concrete pits and exposed to aerial attack and artillery shelling. The Japanese kept up strong concentrations of fire against the defenses on Corregidor until most of the defending guns were knocked out.
JAPANESE TROOPS posed in the streets of Shanghai. The Japanese had been fighting in China since the early 1930's. During late 1941 and early 1942 Hong Kong and Singapore fell to the enemy along with Malaya, North Borneo, and Thailand. Control over the latter gave Japan rich supplies of rubber, oil, and minerals--resources badly needed by the Japanese to carry on the offensive against the Allies.
U.S. TROOPS ARRIVING IN AUSTRALIA. In March the headquarters of the Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific was established at Melbourne. The Netherlands East Indies had fallen to the enemy and it was necessary to build up a force in the Southwest Pacific area to combat the Japanese threat to Australia. With the Japanese blocking the sea lanes of the Central Pacific, a new line of supply to the Far East was established by way of the Fiji Islands, New Caledonia, and Australia.
COAST ARTILLERY TROOPS entraining at Melbourne, March 1942. The Japanese air attack on Darwin in February proved that the north coast of Australia was too open to attack by enemy planes and thereafter the Allies concentrated their forces along the eastern coast from Melbourne to Townsville.
AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LEXINGTON burning after the Battle of the Coral Sea. The Japanese planned to strengthen their bases in the Southwest Pacific and to sever the line of communications between the United States and Australia. One enemy task force, sent to take Tulagi in the southern Solomons, was attacked at sea and lost a number of ships, but nevertheless landed troops and captured Tulagi. Another task force intended for Port Moresby did not reach its objective because of an attack by U.S. naval forces. This battle, called the Battle of the Coral Sea, was fought on 7-8 May 1942 and was the first carrier against carrier battle in history.
SURVIVORS OF THE USS LEXINGTON after the Battle of the Coral Sea. The Lexington was so badly damaged that she had to be sunk by torpedoes from U.S. destroyers. Both the U.S. and Japanese Navies inflicted damage on surface ships and both lost aircraft in the battle. The opposing forces withdrew at about the same time and the action can be considered a draw. Following this battle the enemy no longer tried to send troops to Port Moresby by sea, an advantage to the Allies who began to develop the area of northeastern Australia and New Guinea. Instead, the Japanese sent troops overland to drive on Port Moresby and by 28 July 1942 had captured Kokoda, key to the mountain pass through the Owen Stanley Range.
SOLDIERS PRACTICE LOADING into small boats during training in Australia. Cargo nets on a transport could be used with a great degree of efficiency as they could accommodate far more troops at one time than ladders.
3-INCH ANTIAIRCRAFT GUN M3 being decontaminated by members of a coast artillery battery after the gun had been subjected to mustard gas during training in chemical warfare (top). After firing, artillerymen open the breech of their 155-mm. howitzer M1918 mounted on an M1918A3 carriage (bottom).
BURNING JAPANESE AIRCRAFT CARRIER during a bombing attack at the Battle of Midway, 3-6 June 1942. The Japanese Grand Fleet, comprised of 4 aircraft carriers, 11 battleships, 14 cruisers, 58 destroyers, and all the requisite auxiliaries, left Japan to engage the U.S. Fleet in a major battle, if possible, and at the same time to occupy Midway Island. The U.S. Fleet, warned of the impending attack, divided its ships into two carrier task forces consisting in all of 3 aircraft carriers, 8 cruisers, and 14 destroyers. Twenty-five submarines covered all the approaches and heavy and medium bombers were flown to Midway to supplement the air power on the island.
THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS YORKTOWN during the attack (top) and burning (bottom). At the Battle of Midway the Yorktown was badly damaged and while being towed was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine. After losing all four of its aircraft carriers and 250 planes, the Japanese fleet abandoned the assault and retired from the scene. During the battle the main body of the fleet had come no closer than 500 miles to Midway. As in the Battle of the Coral Sea, surface vessels made no contact during the engagement. The Battle of Midway, one of the decisive battles in the Pacific, stopped Japanese expansion to the east, and Midway remained in U.S. hands. The U.S. losses were one aircraft carrier, one destroyer, and 150 planes. From this time on the balance of power in the Pacific shifted steadily in favor of the Allies.
DUTCH HARBOR, ALASKA, with buildings burning after the Japanese bombing of June 1942. On 3 and 4 June the Japanese attacked the Army installations there. Of the two bombings, the first resulted in little damage, but the second considerably damaged ground installations. On 4 June the Japanese landed a battalion on Attu, and on the 6th troops landed on Kiska. Since most of the available U.S. ships, planes, and trained troops were needed in other areas, no immediate action was begun to recapture Attu and Kiska. Both the United States and Japan learned that, because of the extremely bad weather conditions, this area was one of the most unsuitable in the world for combat operations and the Aleutians were not used as an important base for operations.
MILITARY MOTOR CONVOY IN AUSTRALIA. Great distances had to be traveled in Australia by rail and motor convoys, many miles of which were through barren or waste land such as shown in these photographs.
AN ARMY NURSE giving an enlisted man an inoculation. Troops arriving in Australia were prepared for transshipment to the enemy-held islands during the latter part of 1942. Since the number of troops in the Southwest Pacific was limited during the early stages, future operations were based on the movement of air force units from island to island to gain air superiority, provide cover for the advancing ground forces, and isolate enemy positions. As the ground forces moved to a new position, airfields were to be established for the next jump. Some of the first enemy positions to be taken were near Port Moresby and in the Solomons.
COMPLETELY EQUIPPED TROOPS GOING UP A GANGPLANK at Melbourne to go on the way to their new station in the forward area. After receiving additional training in Australia, troops were sent out to carry the offensive to Japanese-held bases.
TROOPS EN ROUTE TO NEW CALEDONIA; in foreground is a 37-mm anti-tank gun M3 (top). Men cleaning their weapons aboard a transport (bottom). Some troops arrived in New Caledonia directly from the United States while others went by way of Australia.
ARMY TROOPS ARRIVING AT NOUMÉA, New Caledonia, in March 1942 aboard a transport (top); troops arriving at the dock after leaving the transport (bottom).
TROOPS WEARING GAS MASKS cross a stream under a protective cover of smoke during maneuvers (top); infantrymen and jeeps (1/>4-ton 4x4 truck) crossing a stream during training on New Caledonia, summer 1942.
PACK MULE TRAIN of a cavalry unit during training.
ADVANCE COMMAND POST of an infantry division stationed on New Caledonia, 1942.
TYPICAL TERRAIN OF NEW CALEDONIA; the rugged terrain and dense woods and growth made maneuvering in the Pacific islands extremely difficult (top). Small infantry bivouac area, showing the native-type huts occupied by some of the U.S. troops stationed on the island (bottom).
INTERIOR OF A NATIVE-TYPE HUT occupied by U.S. troops stationed on New Caledonia (top); headquarters building of an infantry division, New Caledonia (bottom). Huts of this type were used as troop quarters and as office buildings since the material for construction was easily accessible and the huts were also an effective camouflage measure against enemy aerial observation.
AMPHIBIAN TRUCK, 21/2-ton 6x6, nicknamed "the Duck," standardized in October 1942, proved to be an extremely valuable piece of equipment. It could operate on land or water and was often used to bring supplies ashore where there were no ports or harbors available for larger craft. Supplies loaded from ships onto the Ducks could unload at the supply dumps, saving the extra handling involved when lighters or similar craft were used. This vehicle could carry approximately 25 men and their equipment or a 5,000-pound payload.
NATIVE NEW CALEDONIANS unloading mail for troops stationed on the island. Throughout the Pacific natives were used whenever possible for construction work on airfields, to transport supplies and equipment, and in all other types of work calling for unskilled labor.
U.S. AND NEW ZEALAND SOLDIERS comparing weapons. The Australians and New Zealanders took part in a number of the operations in the Southwest Pacific Area.
SOLDIER STANDING IN A CAMOUFLAGED FOXHOLE during an infantry training problem in jungle warfare (top). An Australian sniper in a camouflaged position during training (bottom). Every effort was made to teach all troops all methods of jungle warfare so that they could better combat the enemy who was well trained in jungle fighting and living.
MEN OF AN ORDNANCE UNIT ASSEMBLING VEHICLES which had arrived crated in sections. By October 1942 twenty-five men were completing six vehicles a day on this assembly line.
ENLISTED MAN CATCHES UP ON LOST SLEEP after spending all night packing and moving with his regiment to the port of embarkation in preparation for a move from New Caledonia to another South Pacific island. The hilt of the saber which shows on the right side of the pack is that of an Australian cavalry saber issued in lieu of a machete.
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