By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Cape Gloucester: The Green Inferno
Author: Nalty, Bernard C.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cape Gloucester: The Green Inferno" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.




[Illustration: _A Marine patrol crosses a flooded stream and probes for
the enemy in the forests of New Britain._ Department of Defense (USMC)
photo 72290]

[Illustration: _On 26 December 1943, Marines wade ashore from beached
LSTs passing through a heavy surf to a narrow beach of black sand.
Inland, beyond a curtain of undergrowth, lie the swamp forest and the
Japanese defenders._ Department of Defense (USMC) photo 68998]

Cape Gloucester:
The Green Inferno

_by Bernard C. Nalty_

On the early morning of 26 December 1943, Marines poised off the coast
of Japanese-held New Britain could barely make out the mile-high bulk of
Mount Talawe against a sky growing light with the approach of dawn.
Flame billowed from the guns of American and Australian cruisers and
destroyers, shattering the early morning calm. The men of the 1st Marine
Division, commanded by Major General William H. Rupertus, a veteran of
expeditionary duty in Haiti and China and of the recently concluded
Guadalcanal campaign, steeled themselves as they waited for daylight and
the signal to assault the Yellow Beaches near Cape Gloucester in the
northwestern part of the island. For 90 minutes, the fire support ships
blazed away, trying to neutralize whole areas rather than destroy
pinpoint targets, since dense jungle concealed most of the individual
fortifications and supply dumps. After the day dawned and H-Hour drew
near, Army airmen joined the preliminary bombardment. Four-engine
Consolidated Liberator B-24 bombers, flying so high that the Marines
offshore could barely see them, dropped 500-pound bombs inland of the
beaches, scoring a hit on a fuel dump at the Cape Gloucester airfield
complex and igniting a fiery geyser that leapt hundreds of feet into the
air. Twin-engine North American Mitchell B-25 medium bombers and Douglas
Havoc A-20 light bombers, attacking from lower altitude, pounced on the
only Japanese antiaircraft gun rash enough to open fire.

The warships then shifted their attention to the assault beaches, and
the landing craft carrying the two battalions of Colonel Julian N.
Frisbie's 7th Marines started shoreward. An LCI [Landing Craft,
Infantry] mounting multiple rocket launchers took position on the flank
of the first wave bound for each of the two beaches and unleashed a
barrage intended to keep the enemy pinned down after the cruisers and
destroyers shifted their fire to avoid endangering the assault troops.
At 0746, the LCVPs [Landing Craft, Vehicles and Personnel] of the first
wave bound for Yellow Beach 1 grounded on a narrow strip of black sand
that measured perhaps 500 yards from one flank to the other, and the
leading elements of the 3d Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel
William K. Williams, started inland. Two minutes later, Lieutenant
Colonel John E. Weber's 1st Battalion, on the left of the other unit,
emerged on Yellow Beach 2, separated from Yellow 1 by a thousand yards
of jungle and embracing 700 yards of shoreline. Neither battalion
encountered organized resistance. A smoke screen, which later drifted
across the beaches and hampered the approach of later waves of landing
craft, blinded the Japanese observers on Target Hill overlooking the
beachhead, and no defenders manned the trenches and log-and-earth
bunkers that might have raked the assault force with fire.


The Yellow Beaches, on the east coast of the broad peninsula that
culminated at Cape Gloucester, provided access to the main objective,
the two airfields at the northern tip of the cape. By capturing this
airfield complex, the reinforced 1st Marine Division, designated the
Backhander Task Force, would enable Allied airmen to intensify their
attack on the Japanese fortress of Rabaul, roughly 300 miles away at the
northeastern extremity of New Britain. Although the capture of the
Yellow Beaches held the key to the New Britain campaign, two subsidiary
landings also took place: the first on 15 December at Cape Merkus on
Arawe Bay along the south coast; and the second on D-Day, 26 December,
at Green Beach on the northwest coast opposite the main landing sites.


[Sidenote: Major General William H. Rupertus

Major General William H. Rupertus, who commanded the 1st Marine Division
on New Britain, was born at Washington, D.C., on 14 November 1889 and in
June 1913 graduated from the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service School of
Instruction. Instead of pursuing a career in this precursor of the U.S.
Coast Guard, he accepted appointment as a second lieutenant in the
Marine Corps. A vigorous advocate of rifle marksmanship throughout his
career, he became a member of the Marine Corps Rifle Team in 1915, two
years after entering the service, and won two major matches. During
World War I, he commanded the Marine detachment on the USS _Florida_,
assigned to the British Grand Fleet.

Between the World Wars, he served in a variety of assignments. In 1919,
he joined the Provisional Marine Brigade at Port-au-Prince, Haiti,
subsequently becoming inspector of constabulary with the Marine-trained
gendarmerie and finally chief of the Port-au-Prince police force.
Rupertus graduated in June 1926 from the Army Command and General Staff
College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and in January of the following
year became Inspector of Target Practice for the Marine Corps. He had
two tours of duty in China and commanded a battalion of the 4th Marines
in Shanghai when the Japanese attacked the city's Chinese defenders in

During the Guadalcanal campaign, as a brigadier general, he was
assistant division commander, 1st Marine Division, personally selected
for the post by Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, the division
commander, whom he succeeded when Vandegrift left the division in July
1943. Major General Rupertus led the division on New Britain and at
Peleliu. He died of a heart attack at Washington, D.C., on 25 March
1945, and did not see the surrender of Japan, which he had done so much
to bring about.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 69010

_MajGen William H. Rupertus, Commanding General, 1st Marine Division,
reads a message of congratulation after the capture of Airfield No. 2 at
Cape Gloucester, New Britain._]]

                        _Two Secondary Landings_

The first subsidiary landing took place on 15 December 1943 at distant
Cape Merkus, across the Arawe channel from the islet of Arawe. Although
it had a limited purpose--disrupting the movement of motorized barges
and other small craft that moved men and supplies along the southern
coast of New Britain and diverting attention from Cape Gloucester--it
nevertheless encountered stiff resistance. Marine amphibian tractor
crews used both the new, armored Buffalo and the older, slower, and more
vulnerable Alligator to carry soldiers of the 112th Cavalry, who made
the main landings on Orange Beach at the western edge of Cape Merkus.
Fire from the destroyer USS _Conyngham_, supplemented by rocket-equipped
DUKWs and a submarine chaser that doubled as a control craft, and a
last-minute bombing by B-25s silenced the beach defenses and enabled the
Buffaloes to crush the surviving Japanese machine guns that survived the
naval and aerial bombardment. Less successful were two diversionary
landings by soldiers paddling ashore in rubber boats. Savage fire forced
one group to turn back short of its objective east of Orange Beach, but
the other gained a lodgment on Pilelo Island and killed the handful of
Japanese found there. An enemy airman had reported that the assault
force was approaching Cape Merkus, and fighters and bombers from Rabaul
attacked within two hours of the landing. Sporadic air strikes continued
throughout December, although with diminishing ferocity, and the
Japanese shifted troops to meet the threat in the south.

The other secondary landing took place on the morning of 26 December.
The 1,500-man Stoneface Group--designated Battalion Landing Team 21 and
built around the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, under Lieutenant Colonel
James M. Masters, Sr.--started toward Green Beach, supported by 5-inch
gunfire from the American destroyers _Reid_ and _Smith_. LCMs [Landing
Craft, Medium] carried DUKW amphibian trucks, driven by soldiers and
fitted with rocket launchers. The DUKWs opened fire from the landing
craft as the assault force approached the beach, performing the same
function as the rocket-firing LCIs at the Yellow Beaches on the opposite
side of the peninsula. The first wave landed at 0748, with two others
following it ashore. The Marines encountered no opposition as they
carved out a beachhead 1,200 yards wide and extending 500 yards inland.
The Stoneface Group had the mission of severing the coastal trail that
passed just west of Mount Talawe, thus preventing the passage of
reinforcements to the Cape Gloucester airfields.

The trail net proved difficult to find and follow. Villagers cleared
garden plots, tilled them until the jungle reclaimed them, and then
abandoned the land and moved on, leaving a maze of trails, some faint
and others fresh, that led nowhere. The Japanese were slow, however, to
take advantage of the confusion caused by the tangle of paths. Not until
the early hours of 30 December, did the enemy attack the Green Beach
force. Taking advantage of heavy rain that muffled sounds and reduced
visibility, the Japanese closed with the Marines, who called down mortar
fire within 15 yards of their defensive wire. A battery of the 11th
Marines, reorganized as an infantry unit because the cannoneers could
not find suitable positions for their 75mm howitzers, shored up the
defenses. One Marine in particular, Gunnery Sergeant Guiseppe Guilano,
Jr., seemed to materialize at critical moments, firing a light machine
gun from the hip; his heroism earned him the Navy Cross. Some of the
Japanese succeeded in penetrating the position, but a counterattack led
by First Lieutenant Jim G. Paulos of Company G killed them or drove them
off. The savage fighting cost Combat Team 21 six Marines killed and 17
wounded; at least 89 Japanese perished, and five surrendered. On 11
January 1944, the reinforced battalion set out to rejoin the division,
the troops moving overland, the heavy equipment and the wounded
traveling in landing craft.

[Sidenote: The Fortress of Rabaul

Located on Simpson Harbor at the northeastern tip of New Britain, Rabaul
served as an air and naval base and troop staging area for Japanese
conquests in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. As the advancing
Japanese approached New Britain, Australian authorities, who
administered the former German colony under terms of a mandate from the
League of Nations, evacuated the Australian women and children living
there. These dependents had already departed when the enemy landed on 23
January 1942, capturing Rabaul by routing the defenders, some of whom
escaped into the jungle to become coastwatchers providing intelligence
for the Allies. The Australian coastwatchers, many of them former
planters or prewar administrators, reported by radio on Japanese
strength and movements before the invasion and afterward attached
themselves to the Marines, sometimes recruiting guides and bearers from
among the native populace.

Once the enemy had seized Rabaul, he set to work converting it into a
major installation, improving harbor facilities, building airfields and
barracks, and bringing in hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors,
and airmen, who either passed through the base en route to operations
elsewhere or stayed there to defend it. Rabaul thus became the dominant
objective of General Douglas MacArthur, who escaped from the Philippines
in March 1942 and assumed command of the Southwest Pacific Area.
MacArthur proposed a two-pronged advance on the fortress, bombing it
from the air while amphibious forces closed in by way of eastern New
Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Even as the Allies began closing the pincers on Rabaul, the basic
strategy changed. Despite MacArthur's opposition, the American Joint
Chiefs of Staff decided to bypass the stronghold, a strategy confirmed
by the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff during the Quadrant
Conference at Quebec in August 1943. As a result, Rabaul itself would
remain in Japanese hands for the remainder of the war, though the Allies
controlled the rest of New Britain.]

                         _MacArthur's Marines_

After the fierce battles at Guadalcanal in the South Pacific Area, the
1st Marine Division underwent rehabilitation in Australia, which lay
within General MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Area. Once the division had
recovered from the ordeal of the Solomon Islands fighting, it gave
MacArthur a trained amphibious unit that he desperately needed to
fulfill his ambitions for the capture of Rabaul. Theoretically, the 1st
Marine Division was subordinate to General Sir Thomas Blamey, the
Australian officer in command of the Allied Land Forces, and Blamey's
nominal subordinate, Lieutenant General Walter Kreuger, commanding the
Sixth U.S. Army. But in actual practice, MacArthur bypassed Blamey and
dealt directly with Kreuger.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 75882

_During the planning of the New Britain operation, Gen Douglas
MacArthur, right, in command of the Southwest Pacific Area, confers with
LtGen Walter Kreuger, left, Commanding General, Sixth U.S. Army, and
MajGen Rupertus, whose Marines will assault the island. At such a
meeting, Col Edwin A. Pollock, operations officer of the 1st Marine
Division, advised MacArthur of the opposition of the Marine leaders to a
complex scheme of maneuver involving Army airborne troops._]

When the 1st Marine Division became available to MacArthur, he still
intended to seize Rabaul and break the back of Japanese resistance in
the region. Always concerned about air cover for his amphibious
operations, MacArthur planned to use the Marines to capture the
airfields at Cape Gloucester. Aircraft based there would then support
the division when, after a brief period of recuperation, it attacked
Rabaul. The decision to bypass Rabaul eliminated the landings there, but
the Marines would nevertheless seize the Cape Gloucester airfields,
which seemed essential for neutralizing the base.

The initial concept of operations, which called for the conquest of
western New Britain preliminary to storming Rabaul, split the 1st Marine
Division, sending Combat Team A (the 5th Marines, reinforced, less one
battalion in reserve) against Gasmata on the southern coast of the
island, while Combat Team C (the 7th Marines, reinforced) seized a
beachhead near the principal objective, the airfields on Cape
Gloucester. The Army's 503d Parachute Infantry would exploit the Cape
Gloucester beachhead, while Combat Team B (the reinforced 1st Marines)
provided a reserve for the operation.

Revisions came swiftly, and by late October 1943 the plan no longer
mentioned capturing Rabaul, tacit acceptance of the modified Allied
strategy, and also satisfied an objection raised by General Rupertus.
The division commander had protested splitting Combat Team C, and
Kreuger agreed to employ all three battalions for the main assault,
substituting a battalion from Combat Team B, the 1st Marines, for the
landing on the west coast. The airborne landing at Cape Gloucester
remained in the plan, however, even though Rupertus had warned that bad
weather could delay the drop and jeopardize the Marine battalions
already fighting ashore. The altered version earmarked Army troops for
the landing on the southern coast, which Kreuger's staff shifted from
Gasmata to Arawe, a site closer to Allied airfields and farther from
Rabaul with its troops and aircraft. Although Combat Team B would put
one battalion ashore southwest of the airfields, the remaining two
battalions of the 1st Marines were to follow up the assault on Cape
Gloucester by Combat Team C. The division reserve, Combat Team A, might
employ elements of the 5th Marines to reinforce the Cape Gloucester
landings or conduct operations against the offshore islands west of New

During a routine briefing on 14 December, just one day before the
landings at Arawe, MacArthur off-handedly asked how the Marines felt
about the scheme of maneuver at Cape Gloucester. Colonel Edwin A.
Pollock, the division's operations officer, seized the opportunity and
declared that the Marines objected to the plan because it depended on a
rapid advance inland by a single reinforced regiment to prevent heavy
losses among the lightly armed paratroops. Better, he believed, to
strengthen the amphibious forces than to try for an aerial envelopment
that might fail or be delayed by the weather. Although he made no
comment at the time, MacArthur may well have heeded what Pollock said;
whatever the reason, Kreuger's staff eliminated the airborne portion,
directed the two battalions of the 1st Marines still with Combat Team B
to land immediately after the assault waves, sustaining the momentum of
their attack, and alerted the division reserve to provide further

                 _The Japanese in Western New Britain_

A mixture of combat and service troops operated in western New Britain.
The _1st_ and _8th Shipping Regiments_ used motorized barges to shuttle
troops and cargo along the coast from Rabaul to Cape Merkus, Cape
Gloucester, and across Dampier Strait to Rooke Island. For longer
movements, for example to New Guinea, the _5th Sea Transport Battalion_
manned a fleet of trawlers and schooners, supplemented by destroyers of
the Imperial Japanese Navy when speed seemed essential. The troops
actually defending western New Britain included the _Matsuda Force_,
established in September 1943 under the command of Major General Iwao
Matsuda, a specialist in military transportation, who nevertheless had
commanded an infantry regiment in Manchuria. When he arrived on New
Britain in February of that year, Matsuda took over the _4th Shipping
Command_, an administrative headquarters that provided staff officers
for the _Matsuda Force_. His principal combat units were the
understrength _65th Infantry Brigade_--consisting of the _141st
Infantry_, battle-tested in the conquest of the Philippines, plus
artillery and antiaircraft units--and those components of the _51st
Division_ not committed to the unsuccessful defense of New Guinea.
Matsuda established the headquarters for his jury-rigged force near
Kalingi, along the coastal trail northwest of Mount Talawe, within five
miles of the Cape Gloucester airfields, but the location would change to
reflect the tactical situation.

As the year 1943 wore on, the Allied threat to New Britain increased.
Consequently, General Hitoshi Imamura, who commanded the _Eighth Area
Army_ from a headquarters at Rabaul, assigned the _Matsuda Force_ to the
_17th Division_, under Lieutenant General Yasushi Sakai, recently
arrived from Shanghai. Four convoys were to have carried Sakai's
division, but the second and third lost one ship to submarine torpedoes
and another to a mine, while air attack damaged a third. Because of
these losses, which claimed some 1,200 lives, the last convoy did not
sail, depriving the division of more than 3,000 replacements and service
troops. Sakai deployed the best of his forces to western New Britain,
entrusting them to Matsuda's tactical command.

                      _Establishing the Beachhead_

The landings at Cape Merkus in mid-December caused Matsuda to shift his
troops to meet the threat, but this redeployment did not account for the
lack of resistance at the Yellow Beaches. The Japanese general, familiar
with the terrain of western New Britain, did not believe that the
Americans would storm these strips of sand extending only a few yards
inland and backed by swamp. Matsuda might have thought differently had
he seen the American maps, which labeled the area beyond the beaches as
"damp flat," even though aerial photographs taken after preliminary air
strikes had revealed no shadow within the bomb craters, evidence of a
water level high enough to fill these depressions to the brim. Since the
airfields were the obvious prize, Matsuda did not believe that the
Marines would plunge into the muck and risk becoming bogged down short
of their goal.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72833

_Marines, almost invisible amid the undergrowth, advance through the
swamp forest of New Britain, optimistically called damp flat on the maps
they used._]

Besides forfeiting the immediate advantage of opposing the assault force
at the water's edge, Matsuda's troops suffered the long-term, indirect
effects of the erosion of Japanese fortunes that began at Guadalcanal
and on New Guinea and continued at New Georgia and Bougainville. The
Allies, in addition, dominated the skies over New Britain, blunting the
air attacks on the Cape Merkus beachhead and bombing almost at will
throughout the island. Although air strikes caused little measurable
damage, save at Rabaul, they demoralized the defenders, who already
suffered shortages of supplies and medicine because of air and submarine
attacks on seagoing convoys and coastal shipping. An inadequate network
of primitive trails, which tended to hug the coastline, increased
Matsuda's dependence on barges, but this traffic, hampered by the
American capture of Cape Merkus, proved vulnerable to aircraft and later
to torpedo craft and improvised gunboats.

The two battalions that landed on the Yellow Beaches--Weber's on the
left and Williams's on the right--crossed the sands in a few strides,
and plunged through a wall of undergrowth into the damp flat, where a
Marine might be slogging through knee-deep mud, step into a hole, and
end up, as one on them said, "damp up to your neck." A counterattack
delivered as the assault waves wallowed through the damp flat might have
inflicted severe casualties, but Matsuda lacked the vehicles or roads to
shift his troops in time to exploit the terrain. Although immobile on
the ground, the Japanese retaliated by air. American radar detected a
flight of enemy aircraft approaching from Rabaul; Army Air Forces P-38s
intercepted, but a few Japanese bombers evaded the fighters, sank the
destroyer _Brownson_ with two direct hits, and damaged another.

The first enemy bombers arrived as a squadron of Army B-25s flew over
the LSTs [Landing Ships, Tank] en route to attack targets at Borgen Bay
south of the Yellow Beaches. Gunners on board the ships opened fire at
the aircraft milling overhead, mistaking friend for foe, downing two
American bombers, and damaging two others. The survivors, shaken by the
experience, dropped their bombs too soon, hitting the artillery
positions of the 11th Marines at the left flank of Yellow Beach 1,
killing one and wounding 14 others. A battalion commander in the
artillery regiment recalled "trying to dig a hole with my nose," as the
bombs exploded, "trying to get down into the ground just a little bit

By the time of the air action on the afternoon of D-Day, the 1st Marine
Division had already established a beachhead. The assault battalions of
the 7th Marines initially pushed ahead, capturing Target Hill on the
left flank, and then paused to await reinforcements. During the day, two
more battalions arrived. The 3d Battalion, 1st Marines--designated
Landing Team 31 and led by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph F. Hankins, a
Reserve officer who also was a crack shooter--came ashore at 0815 on
Yellow Beach 1, passed through the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, and veered
to the northwest to lead the way toward the airfields. By 0845, the 2d
Battalion, 7th Marines, under Lieutenant Colonel Odell M. Conoley,
landed and began wading through the damp flat to take its place between
the regiment's 1st and 3d Battalions as the beachhead expanded. The next
infantry unit, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, reached Yellow Beach 1 at
1300 to join that regiment's 3d Battalion, commanded by Hankins, in
advancing on the airfields. The 11th Marines, despite the accidental
bombing, set up its artillery, an operation in which the amphibian
tractor played a vital part. Some of the tractors brought lightweight
75mm howitzers from the LSTs directly to the battery firing positions;
others broke trail through the undergrowth for tractors pulling the
heavier 105mm weapons.

Meanwhile, Army trucks loaded with supplies rolled ashore from the LSTs.
Logistics plans called for these vehicles to move forward and function
as mobile supply dumps, but the damp flat proved impassable by wheeled
vehicles, and the drivers tended to abandon the trucks to avoid being
left behind when the shipping moved out, hurried along by the threat
from Japanese bombers. Ultimately, Marines had to build roads,
corduroying them with logs when necessary, or shift the cargo to
amphibian tractors. Despite careful planning and hard work on D-Day, the
convoy sailed with about 100 tons of supplies still on board.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo

_As the predicament of this truck and its Marine driver demonstrates,
wheeled vehicles, like those supplied by the Army for mobile supply
dumps, bog down in the mud of Cape Gloucester._]

While reinforcements and cargo crossed the beach, the Marines advancing
inland encountered the first serious Japanese resistance. Shortly after
1000 on 26 December, Hankins's 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, pushed ahead,
advancing in a column of companies because a swamp on the left narrowed
the frontage. Fire from camouflaged bunkers killed Captain Joseph A.
Terzi, commander of Company K, posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for
heroism while leading the attack, and his executive officer, Captain
Philip A. Wilheit. The sturdy bunkers proved impervious to bazooka
rockets, which failed to detonate in the soft earth covering the
structures, and to fire from 37mm guns, which could not penetrate the
logs protecting the occupants. An Alligator that had delivered supplies
for Company K tried to crush one of the bunkers but became wedged
between two trees. Japanese riflemen burst from cover and killed the
tractor's two machine gunners, neither of them protected by armor,
before the driver could break free. Again lunging ahead, the tractor
caved in one bunker, silencing its fire and enabling Marine riflemen to
isolate three others and destroy them in succession, killing 25
Japanese. A platoon of M4 Sherman tanks joined the company in time to
lead the advance beyond this first strongpoint.

Japanese service troops--especially the men of the _1st Shipping
Engineers_ and the _1st Debarkation Unit_--provided most of the initial
opposition, but Matsuda had alerted his nearby infantry units to
converge on the beachhead. One enemy battalion, under Major Shinichi
Takabe, moved into position late on the afternoon of D-Day, opposite
Conoley's 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, which clung to a crescent-shaped
position, both of its flanks sharply refused and resting on the
marshland to the rear. After sunset, the darkness beneath the forest
canopy became absolute, pierced only by muzzle flashes as the intensity
of the firing increased.

[Illustration: _On D-Day, among the shadows on the jungle floor, Navy
corpsmen administer emergency treatment to a wounded Marine._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 69009]

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72599

_The stumps of trees shattered by artillery and the seemingly bottomless
mud can sometimes stymie even an LVT._]

The Japanese clearly were preparing to counterattack. Conoley's
battalion had a dwindling supply of ammunition, but amphibian tractors
could not begin making supply runs until it became light enough for the
drivers to avoid tree roots and fallen trunks as they navigated the damp
flat. To aid the battalion in the dangerous period before the skies grew
pale, Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. Puller, the executive officer of the
7th Marines, organized the men of the regimental Headquarters and
Service Company into carrying parties to load themselves down with
ammunition and wade through the dangerous swamp. One misstep, and a
Marine burdened with bandoliers of rifle ammunition or containers of
mortar shells could stumble and drown. When Colonel Frisbie, the
regimental commander, decided to reinforce Conoley's Marines with
Battery D, 1st Special Weapons Battalion, Puller had the men leave their
37mm guns behind and carry ammunition instead. A guide from Conoley's
headquarters met the column that Puller had pressed into service and
began leading them forward, when a blinding downpour, driven by a
monsoon gale, obscured landmarks and forced the heavily laden Marines to
wade blindly onward, each man clinging to the belt of the one ahead of
him. Not until 0805, some twelve hours after the column started off, did
the men reach their goal, put down their loads, and take up their

Conoley's Marines had in the meantime been fighting for their lives
since the storm first struck. A curtain of rain prevented mortar crews
from seeing their aiming stakes, indeed, the battalion commander
described the men as firing "by guess and by God." Mud got on the
small-arms ammunition, at times jamming rifles and machine guns.
Although forced to abandon water-filled foxholes, the defenders hung on.
With the coming of dawn, Takabe's soldiers gravitated toward the right
flank of Conoley's unit, perhaps in a conscious effort to outflank the
position, or possibly forced in that direction by the fury of the
battalion's defensive fire. An envelopment was in the making when
Battery D arrived and moved into the threatened area, forcing the
Japanese to break off the action and regroup.

[Sidenote: The Jungle Battlefield

On New Britain, the 1st Marine Division fought weather and terrain,
along with a determined Japanese enemy. Rains brought by seasonal
monsoons seemed to fall with the velocity of a fire hose, soaking
everyone, sending streams from their banks, and turning trails into
quagmire. The terrain of the volcanic island varied from coastal plain
to mountains that rose as high as 7,000 feet above sea level. A variety
of forest covered the island, punctuated by patches of grassland, a few
large coconut plantations, and garden plots near the scattered villages.

Much of the fighting, especially during the early days, raged in swamp
forest, sometimes erroneously described as damp flat. The swamp forest
consisted of scattered trees growing as high as a hundred feet from a
plain that remained flooded throughout the rainy season, if not for the
entire year. Tangled roots buttressed the towering trees, but could not
anchor them against gale-force winds, while vines and undergrowth
reduced visibility on the flooded surface to a few yards.

No less formidable was the second kind of vegetation, the mangrove
forest, where massive trees grew from brackish water deposited at high
tide. Mangrove trees varied in height from 20 to 60 feet, with a visible
tangle of thick roots deploying as high as ten feet up the trunk and
holding the tree solidly in place. Beneath the mangrove canopy, the maze
of roots, wandering streams, and standing water impeded movement.
Visibility did not exceed 15 yards.

Both swamp forest and mangrove forest grew at sea level. A third form of
vegetation, the true tropical rain forest, flourished at higher
altitude. Different varieties of trees formed an impenetrable double
canopy overhead, but the surface itself remained generally open, except
for low-growing ferns or shrubs, an occasional thicket of bamboo or
rattan, and tangles of vines. Although a Marine walking beneath the
canopy could see a standing man as far as 50 yards away, a prone
rifleman might remain invisible at a distance of just ten yards.

Only one of the three remaining kinds of vegetation seriously impeded
military action. Second-growth forest, which often took over abandoned
garden tracts, forced patrolling Marines to hack paths through the small
trees, brush, and vines. Grasslands posed a lesser problem; though the
vegetation grew tall enough to conceal the Japanese defenders, it
provided comparatively easy going for the Marines, unless the grass
turned out to be wild sugar cane, with thick stalks that grew to a
height of 15 feet. Cultivated tracts, whether coconut plantations or
gardens, posed few obstacles to vision or movement.]

[Sidenote: Rain and Biting Insects

Driven by monsoon winds, the rain that screened the attack on Conoley's
2d Battalion, 7th Marines, drenched the entire island and everyone on
it. At the front, the deluge flooded foxholes, and conditions were only
marginally better at the rear, where some men slept in jungle hammocks
slung between two trees. A Marine entered his hammock through an opening
in a mosquito net, lay down on a length of rubberized cloth, and zipped
the net shut. Above him, also enclosed in the netting, stretched a
rubberized cover designed to shelter him from rain. Unfortunately, a
gale as fierce as the one that began blowing on the night of D-Day set
the cover to flapping like a loose sail and drove the rain inside the
hammock. In the darkness, a gust of wind might uproot a tree, weakened
by flooding or the effect of the preparatory bombardment, and send it
crashing down. A falling tree toppled onto a hammock occupied by one of
the Marines, who would have drowned if someone had not slashed through
the covering with a knife and set him free.

The rain, said Lieutenant Colonel Lewis J. Fields, a battalion commander
in the 11th Marines, resembled "a waterfall pouring down on you, and it
goes on and on." The first deluge lasted five days, and recurring storms
persisted for another two weeks. Wet uniforms never really dried, and
the men suffered continually from fungus infections, the so-called
jungle rot, which readily developed into open sores. Mosquito-borne
malaria threatened the health of the Marines, who also had to contend
with other insects--"little black ants, little red ants, big red ants,"
on an island where "even the caterpillars bite." The Japanese may have
suffered even more because of shortages of medicine and difficulty in
distributing what was available, but this was scant consolation to
Marines beset by discomfort and disease. By the end of January 1944,
disease or non-battle injuries forced the evacuation of more than a
thousand Marines; more than one in ten had already returned to duty on
New Britain.

The island's swamps and jungles would have been ordeal enough without
the wind, rain, and disease. At times, the embattled Marines could see
no more than a few feet ahead of them. Movement verged on the
impossible, especially where the rains had flooded the land or turned
the volcanic soil into slippery mud. No wonder that the Assistant
Division Commander, Brigadier General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., compared
the New Britain campaign to "Grant's fight through the Wilderness in the
Civil War."

[Illustration: _The monsoon rains flood a field kitchen at Cape
Gloucester, justifying complaints about watery soup._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72821]

[Illustration: _Flooding caused by the monsoon deluge makes life
miserable even in the comparative comfort of the rear areas._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72463]]

             _The Capture of the Cape Gloucester Airfields_

The 1st Marine Division's overall plan of maneuver called for Colonel
Frisbie's Combat Team C, the reinforced 7th Marines, to hold a beachhead
anchored at Target Hill, while Combat Team B, Colonel William A.
Whaling's 1st Marines, reinforced but without the 2d Battalion ashore at
Green Beach, advanced on the airfields. Because of the buildup in
preparation for the attack on Conoley's battalion, General Rupertus
requested that Kreuger release the division reserve, Combat Team A,
Colonel John T. Selden's reinforced 5th Marines. The Army general
agreed, sending the 1st and 2d Battalions, followed a day later by the
3d Battalion. The division commander decided to land the team on Blue
Beach, roughly three miles to the right of the Yellow Beaches. The use
of Blue Beach would have placed the 5th Marines closer to Cape
Gloucester and the airfields, but not every element of Selden's Combat
Team A got the word. Some units touched down on the Yellow Beaches
instead and had to move on foot or in vehicles to the intended

While Rupertus laid plans to commit the reserve, Whaling's combat team
advanced toward the Cape Gloucester airfields. The Marines encountered
only sporadic resistance at first, but Army Air Forces light bombers
spotted danger in their path--a maze of trenches and bunkers stretching
inland from a promontory that soon earned the nickname Hell's Point. The
Japanese had built these defenses to protect the beaches where Matsuda
expected the Americans to land. Leading the advance, the 3d Battalion,
1st Marines, under Lieutenant Colonel Hankins, struck the Hell's Point
position on the flank, rather than head-on, but overrunning the complex
nevertheless would prove a deadly task.

Rupertus delayed the attack by Hankins to provide time for the division
reserve, Selden's 5th Marines, to come ashore. On the morning of 28
December, after a bombardment by the 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, and
strikes by Army Air Forces A-20s, the assault troops encountered another
delay, waiting for an hour so that an additional platoon of M4 Sherman
medium tanks could increase the weight of the attack. At 1100, Hankins's
3d Battalion, 1st Marines, moved ahead, Company I and the supporting
tanks leading the way. Whaling, at about the same time, sent his
regiment's Company A through swamp and jungle to seize the inland point
of the ridge extending from Hell's Point. Despite the obstacles in its
path, Company A burst from the jungle at about 1145 and advanced across
a field of tall grass until stopped by intense Japanese fire. By late
afternoon, Whaling abandoned the maneuver. Both Company A and the
defenders were exhausted and short of ammunition; the Marines withdrew
behind a barrage fired by the 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, and the
Japanese abandoned their positions after dark.

[Illustration: _A 75mm pack howitzer of the 11th Marines fires in
support of the advance on the Cape Gloucester airfields._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 12203]

Roughly 15 minutes after Company A assaulted the inland terminus of the
ridge, Company I and the attached tanks collided with the main defenses,
which the Japanese had modified since the 26 December landings, cutting
new gunports in bunkers, hacking fire lanes in the undergrowth, and
shifting men and weapons to oppose an attack along the coastal trail
parallel to shore instead of over the beach. Advancing in a drenching
rain, the Marines encountered a succession of jungle-covered, mutually
supporting positions protected by barbed wire and mines. The hour's wait
for tanks paid dividends, as the Shermans, protected by riflemen,
crushed bunkers and destroyed the weapons inside. During the fight,
Company I drifted to its left, and Hankins used Company K, reinforced
with a platoon of medium tanks, to close the gap between the coastal
track and Hell's Point itself. This unit employed the same tactics as
Company I. A rifle squad followed each of the M4 tanks, which cracked
open the bunkers, twelve in all, and fired inside; the accompanying
riflemen then killed anyone attempting to fight or flee. More than 260
Japanese perished in the fighting at Hell's Point, at the cost of 9
Marines killed and 36 wounded.

With the defenses of Hell's Point shattered, the two battalions of the
5th Marines, which came ashore on the morning of 29 December, joined
later that day in the advance on the airfield. The 1st Battalion,
commanded by Major William H. Barba, and the 2d Battalion, under
Lieutenant Colonel Lewis H. Walt, moved out in a column, Barba's unit
leading the way. In front of the Marines lay a swamp, described as only
a few inches deep, but the depth, because of the continuing downpour,
proved as much as five feet, "making it quite hard," Selden
acknowledged, "for some of the youngsters who were not much more than 5
feet in height." The time lost in wading through the swamp delayed the
attack, and the leading elements chose a piece of open and comparatively
dry ground, where they established a perimeter while the rest of the
force caught up.

Meanwhile, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, attacking through that
regiment's 3d Battalion, encountered only scattered resistance, mainly
sniper fire, as it pushed along the coast beyond Hell's Point.
Halftracks carrying 75mm guns, medium tanks, artillery, and even a pair
of rocket-firing DUKWs supported the advance, which brought the
battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Walker A. Reaves, to the edge
of Airfield No. 2. When daylight faded on 29 December, the 1st
Battalion, 1st Marines, held a line extending inland from the coast; on
its left were the 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, and the 2d Battalion, 5th
Marines, forming a semicircle around the airfield.

The Japanese officer responsible for defending the airfields, Colonel
Kouki Sumiya of the _53d Infantry_, had fallen back on 29 December,
trading space for time as he gathered his surviving troops for the
defense of Razorback Hill, a ridge running diagonally across the
southwestern approaches to Airfield No. 2. The 1st and 2d Battalions,
5th Marines, attacked on 30 December supported by tanks and artillery.
Sumiya's troops had constructed some sturdy bunkers, but the chest-high
grass that covered Razorback Hill did not impede the attackers like the
jungle at Hell's Point. The Japanese fought gallantly to hold the
position, at times stalling the advancing Marines, but the defenders had
neither the numbers nor the firepower to prevail. Typical of the day's
fighting, one platoon of Company F from Selden's regiment beat back two
separate _banzai_ attacks, before tanks enabled the Marines to shatter
the bunkers in their path and kill the enemy within. By dusk on 30
December, the landing force had overrun the defenses of the airfields,
and at noon of the following day General Rupertus had the American flag
raised beside the wreckage of a Japanese bomber at Airfield No. 2, the
larger of the airstrips.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 71589

_On 31 December 1943, the American flag rises beside the wreckage of a
Japanese bomber after the capture of Airfield No. 2, five days after the
1st Marine Division landed on New Britain._]

The 1st Marine Division thus seized the principal objective of the Cape
Gloucester fighting, but the airstrips proved of marginal value to the
Allied forces. Indeed, the Japanese had already abandoned the prewar
facility, Airfield No. 1, which was thickly overgrown with tall, coarse
kunai grass. Craters from American bombs pockmarked the surface of
Airfield No. 2, and after its capture Japanese hit-and-run raiders added
a few of their own, despite antiaircraft fire from the 12th Defense
Battalion. Army aviation engineers worked around the clock to return
Airfield No. 2 to operation, a task that took until the end of January
1944. Army aircraft based here defended against air attacks for as long
as Rabaul remained an active air base and also supported operations on
the ground.

                  _Clearing the Shores of Borgen Bay_

While General Rupertus personally directed the capture of the airfields,
the Assistant Division Commander, Brigadier General Lemuel C. Shepherd,
Jr., came ashore on D-Day, 26 December, and took command of the
beachhead. Besides coordinating the logistics activity there, Shepherd
assumed responsibility for expanding the perimeter to the southwest and
securing the shores of Borgen Bay. He had a variety of shore party,
engineer, transportation, and other service troops to handle the
logistics chores. The 3d Battalion of Colonel Selden's 5th Marines--the
remaining component of the division reserve--arrived on 30 and 31
December to help the 7th Marines enlarge the beachhead.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USA) photo SC 188250

_During operations to clear the enemy from the shores of Borgen Bay,
BGen Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., (left) the assistant division commander,
confers with Col John T. Selden, in command of the 5th Marines._]

Shepherd had sketchy knowledge of Japanese deployment west and south of
the Yellow Beaches. Dense vegetation concealed streams, swamps, and even
ridge lines, as well as bunkers and trenches. The progress toward the
airfields seemed to indicate Japanese weakness in that area and possible
strength in the vicinity of the Yellow Beaches and Borgen Bay. To
resolve the uncertainty about the enemy's numbers and intentions,
Shepherd issued orders on 1 January 1944 to probe Japanese defenses
beginning the following morning.

In the meantime, the Japanese defenders, under Colonel Kenshiro
Katayama, commander of the _141st Infantry_, were preparing for an
attack of their own. General Matsuda entrusted three reinforced
battalions to Katayama, who intended to hurl them against Target Hill,
which he considered the anchor of the beachhead line. Since Matsuda
believed that roughly 2,500 Marines were ashore on New Britain, 10
percent of the actual total, Katayama's force seemed strong enough for
the job assigned it.

Katayama needed time to gather his strength, enabling Shepherd to make
the first move, beginning at mid-morning on 2 January to realign his
forces. The 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, stood fast in the vicinity of
Target Hill, the 2d Battalion remained in place along a stream already
known as Suicide Creek, and the regiment's 3d Battalion began pivoting
to face generally south. Meanwhile, the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines,
pushed into the jungle to come abreast of the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines,
on the inland flank. As the units pivoted, they had to cross Suicide
Creek in order to squeeze out the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, which would
become Shepherd's reserve.

The change of direction proved extremely difficult in vegetation so
thick that, in the words of one Marine: "You'd step from your line, take
say ten paces, and turn around to guide on your buddy. And nobody
there.... I can tell you, it was a very small war, and a very lonely
business." The Japanese defenders, moreover, had dug in south of Suicide
Creek, and from these positions they repulsed every attempt to cross the
stream that day. A stalemate ensued, as Seabees from Company C, 17th
Marines, built a corduroy road through the damp flat behind the Yellow
Beaches so that tanks could move forward to punch through the defenses
of Suicide Creek.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 69013

_Marines and Seabees struggle to build a corduroy road leading inland
from the beachhead. Without the log surface trucks and tanks cannot
advance over trails turned into quagmire by the unceasing rain._]

While the Marine advance stalled at Suicide Creek, awaiting the arrival
of tanks, Katayama attacked Target Hill. On the night of 2 January,
taking advantage of the darkness, Japanese infantry cut steps in the
lower slopes so the troops could climb more easily. Instead of
reconnoitering the thinly held lines of Company A, 7th Marines, and
trying to infiltrate, the enemy followed a preconceived plan to the
letter, advanced up the steps, and at midnight stormed the strongest of
the company's defenses. Japanese mortar barrages fired to soften the
defenses and screen the approach could not conceal the sound of the
troops working their way up the hill, and the Marines were ready.
Although the Japanese supporting fire proved generally inaccurate, one
round scored a direct hit on a machine-gun position, killing two Marines
and wounding the gunner, who kept firing the weapon until someone else
could take over. This gun fired some 5,000 rounds and helped blunt the
Japanese thrust, which ended by dawn of 3 January. Nowhere did the
Japanese crack the lines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, or loosen
its grip on Target Hill.

The body of a Japanese officer killed at Target Hill yielded documents
that cast new light on the Japanese defenses south of Suicide Creek. A
crudely drawn map revealed the existence of Aogiri Ridge, an enemy
strongpoint unknown to General Shepherd's intelligence section.
Observers on Target Hill tried to locate the ridge and the trail network
the enemy was using, but the jungle canopy frustrated their efforts.

While the Marines on Target Hill tabulated the results of the fighting
there--patrols discovered 40 bodies, and captured documents, when
translated, listed 46 Japanese killed, 54 wounded, and two missing--and
used field glasses to scan the jungle south of Suicide Creek, the 17th
Marines completed the road that would enable medium tanks to test the
defenses of that stream. During the afternoon of 3 January, a trio of
Sherman tanks reached the creek only to discover that the bank dropped
off too sharply for them to negotiate. The engineers sent for a
bulldozer, which arrived, lowered its blade, and began gouging at the
lip of the embankment. Realizing the danger if tanks succeeded in
crossing the creek, the Japanese opened fire on the bulldozer, wounding
the driver. A volunteer climbed onto the exposed driver's seat and took
over until he, too, was wounded. Another Marine stepped forward, but
instead of climbing onto the machine, he walked alongside, using its
bulk for cover as he manipulated the controls with a shovel and an axe
handle. By dark, he had finished the job of converting the impassable
bank into a readily negotiated ramp.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72292

_Target Hill, where the Marines repulsed a Japanese counterattack on the
night of 2-3 January, dominates the Yellow Beaches, the site of the main
landings on 26 December._]

On the morning of 4 January, the first tank clanked down the ramp and
across the stream. As the Sherman emerged on the other side, Marine
riflemen cut down two Japanese soldiers trying to detonate magnetic
mines against its sides. Other medium tanks followed, also accompanied
by infantry, and broke open the bunkers that barred the way. The 3d
Battalion, 7th Marines, and the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, surged onward
past the creek, squeezing out the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, which
crossed in the wake of those two units to come abreast of them on the
far right of the line that closed in on the jungle concealing Aogiri
Ridge. The 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, thereupon joined the southward
advance, tying in with the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, to present a
four-battalion front that included the 2d Battalion and 3d Battalions,
7th Marines.


Once across Suicide Creek, the Marines groped for Aogiri Ridge, which
for a time simply seemed to be another name for Hill 150, a terrain
feature that appeared on American maps. The advance rapidly overran the
hill, but Japanese resistance in the vicinity did not diminish. On 7
January, enemy fire wounded Lieutenant Colonel David S. MacDougal,
commanding officer of the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines. His executive
officer, Major Joseph Skoczylas, took over until he, too, was wounded.
Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. Puller, temporarily in command of the 3d
Battalion, 7th Marines, assumed responsibility for both battalions until
the arrival on the morning of 8 January of Lieutenant Colonel Lewis W.
Walt, recently assigned as executive officer of the 5th Marines, who
took over the regiment's 3d Battalion.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72283

_From Hell's Point, athwart the route to the airfields, to Suicide Creek
near the Yellow Beaches, medium tanks and infantry team up to shatter
the enemy's log and earthen bunkers._]

Upon assuming command of the battalion, Walt continued the previous
day's attack. As his Marines braved savage fire and thick jungle, they
began moving up a rapidly steepening slope. As night approached, the
battalion formed a perimeter and dug in. Random Japanese fire and sudden
skirmishes punctuated the darkness. The nature of the terrain and the
determined resistance convinced Walt that he had found Aogiri Ridge.


Walt's battalion needed the shock action and firepower of tanks, but
drenching rain, mud, and rampaging streams stopped the armored vehicles.
The heaviest weapon that the Marines managed to bring forward was a
single 37mm gun, manhandled into position on the afternoon of 9 January,
While the 11th Marines hammered the crest of Aogiri Ridge, the 1st and
3d Battalions, 7th Marines, probed the flanks of the position and Walt's
3d Battalion, 5th Marines, pushed ahead in the center, seizing a narrow
segment of the slope, its apex just short of the crest. By dusk, said
the 1st Marine Division's special action report, Walt's men had "reached
the limit of their physical endurance and morale was low. It was a
question of whether or not they could hold their hard-earned gains." The
crew of the 37mm gun opened fire in support of the afternoon's final
attack, but after just three rounds, four of the nine men handling the
weapon were killed or wounded. Walt called for volunteers; when no one
responded, he and his runner crawled to the gun and began pushing the
weapon up the incline. Twice more the gun barked, cutting a swath
through the undergrowth, and a third round of canister destroyed a
machine gun. Other Marines then took over from Walt and the runner, with
new volunteers replacing those cut down by the enemy. The improvised
crew kept firing canister rounds every few yards until they had wrestled
the weapon to the crest. There the Marines dug in, as close as ten yards
to the bunkers the Japanese had built on the crest and reverse slope.

At 0115 on the morning of 10 January, the Japanese emerged from their
positions and charged through a curtain of rain, shouting and firing as
they came. The Marines clinging to Aogiri Ridge broke up this attack and
three others that followed, firing off almost all their ammunition in
doing so. A carrying party scaled the muddy slope with belts and clips
for the machine guns and rifles, but there barely was time to distribute
the ammunition before the Japanese launched the fifth attack of the
morning. Marine artillery tore into the enemy, as forward observers,
their vision obstructed by rain and jungle, adjusted fire by sound more
than by sight, moving 105mm concentrations to within 50 yards of the
Marine infantrymen. A Japanese officer emerged from the darkness and ran
almost to Walt's foxhole before fragments from a shell bursting in the
trees overhead cut him down. This proved to be the high-water mark of
the counterattack against Aogiri Ridge, for the Japanese tide receded as
the daylight grew brighter. At 0800, when the Marines moved forward,
they did not encounter even one living Japanese on the terrain feature
they renamed Walt's Ridge in honor of their commander, who received the
Navy Cross for his inspirational leadership.

One Japanese stronghold in the vicinity of Aogiri Ridge still survived,
a supply dump located along a trail linking the ridge to Hill 150. On 11
January, Lieutenant Colonel Weber's 1st Battalion, 7th Marines,
supported by a pair of half-tracks and a platoon of light tanks,
eliminated this pocket in four hours of fighting. Fifteen days of combat
since the landings on 26 December, had cost the division 180 killed and
636 wounded in action.

[Illustration: _LtCol Lewis W. Walt earned the Navy Cross leading an
attack up Aogiri Ridge, renamed Walt's Ridge in his honor._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 977113]

The next objective, Hill 660, lay at the left of General Shepherd's zone
of action, just inland of the coastal track. The 3d Battalion, 7th
Marines, commanded since 9 January by Lieutenant Colonel Henry W. Buse,
Jr., got the assignment of seizing the hill. In preparation for Buse's
attack, Captain Joseph W. Buckley, commander of the Weapons Company, 7th
Marines, set up a task force to bypass Hill 660 and block the coastal
trail beyond that objective. Buckley's group--two platoons of infantry,
a platoon of 37mm guns, two light tanks, two half-tracks mounting 75mm
guns, a platoon of pioneers from the 17th Marines with a bulldozer, and
one of the Army's rocket-firing DUKWs--pushed through the mud and set up
a roadblock athwart the line of retreat from Hill 660. The Japanese
directed long-range plunging fire against Buckley's command as it
advanced roughly one mile along the trail. Because of their flat
trajectory, his 75mm and 37mm guns could not destroy the enemy's
automatic weapons, but the Marines succeeded in forcing the hostile
gunners to keep their heads down. As they advanced, Buckley's men
unreeled telephone wire to maintain contact with higher headquarters.
Once the roadblock was in place and camouflaged, the captain requested
that a truck bring hot meals for his men. When the vehicle bogged down,
he sent the bulldozer to push it free.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 71520

_Advancing past Hill 660, a task force under Capt Joseph W. Buckley cuts
the line of retreat for the Japanese defenders. The 37mm gun in the
emplacement on the right and the half-track mounted 75mm gun on the left
drove the attacking enemy back with heavy casualties._]

[Illustration: _Gaunt, weary, hollow-eyed, machine gunner PFC George C.
Miller carries his weapon to the rear after 19 days of heavy fighting
while beating back the Japanese counterattack at Hill 660. This moving
photograph was taken by Marine Corps combat photographer Sgt Robert R.

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72273]

After aerial bombardment and preparatory artillery fire, Buse's
battalion started up the hill at about 0930 on 13 January. His
supporting tanks could not negotiate the ravines that scarred the
hillside. Indeed, the going became so steep that riflemen sometimes had
to sling arms, seize handholds among the vines, and pull themselves
upward. The Japanese suddenly opened fire from hurriedly dug trenches at
the crest, pinning down the Marines climbing toward them until mortar
fire silenced the enemy weapons, which lacked overhead cover. Buse's
riflemen followed closely behind the mortar barrage, scattering the
defenders, some of whom tried to escape along the coastal trail, where
Buckley's task force waited to cut them down.

Apparently delayed by torrential rain, the Japanese did not
counterattack Hill 660 until 16 January. Roughly two companies of
Katayama's troops stormed up the southwestern slope only to be
slaughtered by mortar, artillery, and small-arms fire. Many of those
lucky enough to survive tried to break through Buckley's roadblock,
where 48 of the enemy perished.

With the capture of Hill 660, the nature of the campaign changed. The
assault phase had captured its objective and eliminated the possibility
of a Japanese counterattack against the airfield complex. Next, the
Marines would repulse the Japanese who harassed the secondary beachhead
at Cape Merkus and secure the mountainous, jungle-covered interior of
Cape Gloucester, south of the airfields and between the Green and Yellow


                  _The Mopping-up Begins in the West_

At Cape Merkus on the south coast of western New Britain, the fighting
proved desultory in comparison to the violent struggle in the vicinity
of Cape Gloucester. The Japanese in the south remained content to take
advantage of the dense jungle and contain the 112th Cavalry on the Cape
Merkus peninsula. Major Shinjiro Komori, the Japanese commander there,
believed that the landing force intended to capture an abandoned
airfield at Cape Merkus, an installation that did not figure in American
plans. A series of concealed bunkers, boasting integrated fields of
fire, held the lightly armed cavalrymen in check, as the defenders
directed harassing fire at the beachhead.

Because the cavalry unit lacked heavy weapons, a call went out for those
of the 1st Marine Division's tanks that had remained behind at
Finschhafen, New Guinea, because armor enough was already churning up
the mud of Cape Gloucester. Company B, 1st Marine Tank Battalion, with
18 M5A1 light tanks mounting 37mm guns, and the 2d Battalion, 158th
Infantry, arrived at Cape Merkus, moved into position by 15 January and
attacked on the following day. A squadron of Army Air Forces B-24s
dropped 1,000-pound bombs on the jungle-covered defenses, B-25s followed
up, and mortars and artillery joined in the bombardment, after which two
platoons of tanks, ten vehicles in all, and two companies of infantry
surged forward. Some of the tanks bogged down in the rain-soaked soil,
and tank retrievers had to pull them free. Despite mud and nearly
impenetrable thickets, the tank-infantry teams found and destroyed most
of the bunkers. Having eliminated the source of harassing fire, the
troops pulled back after destroying a tank immobilized by a thrown track
so that the enemy could not use it as a pillbox. Another tank, trapped
in a crater, also was earmarked for destruction, but Army engineers
managed to free it and bring it back.

The attack on 16 January broke the back of Japanese resistance. Komori
ordered a retreat to the vicinity of the airstrip, but the 112th Cavalry
launched an attack that caught the slowly moving defenders and inflicted
further casualties. By the time the enemy dug in to defend the airfield,
which the Americans had no intention of seizing, Komori's men had
suffered 116 killed, 117 wounded, 14 dead of disease, and another 80 too
ill to fight. The Japanese hung on despite sickness and starvation,
until 24 February, when Komori received orders to join in a general
retreat by _Matsuda Force_.

Across the island, after the victories at Walt's Ridge and Hill 660, the
5th Marines concentrated on seizing control of the shores of Borgen Bay,
immediately to the east. Major Barba's 1st Battalion followed the
coastal trail until 20 January, when the column collided with a Japanese
stronghold at Natamo Point. Translations of documents captured earlier
in the fighting revealed that at least one platoon, supported by
automatic weapons had dug in there. Artillery and air strikes failed to
suppress the Japanese fire, demonstrating that the captured papers were
sadly out of date, since at least a company--armed with 20mm, 37mm, and
75mm weapons--checked the advance. Marine reinforcements, including
medium tanks, arrived in landing craft on 23 January, and that
afternoon, supported by artillery and a rocket-firing DUKW, Companies C
and D overran Natamo Point. The battalion commander then dispatched
patrols inland along the west bank of the Natamo River to outflank the
strong positions on the east bank near the mouth of the stream. While
the Marines were executing this maneuver, the Japanese abandoned their
prepared defenses and retreated eastward.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 75970

_Maj William H. Barba's 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, prepares to outflank
the Japanese defenses along the Natamo River._]

Success at Cape Gloucester and Borgen Bay enabled the 5th Marines to
probe the trails leading inland toward the village of Magairapua, where
Katayama once had his headquarters, and beyond. Elements of the
regiment's 1st and 2d Battalions and of the 2d Battalion, 1st
Marines--temporarily attached to the 5th Marines--led the way into the
interior as one element in an effort to trap the enemy troops still in
western New Britain.

[Illustration: _An officer of Maj Gordon D. Gayle's 2d Battalion, 5th
Marines, displays a captured Japanese flag from a window of the
structure that served as the headquarters of MajGen Iwao Matsuda._

Department of Defense (USA) photo SC 188246]

In another part of this effort, Company L, 1st Marines, led by Captain
Ronald J. Slay, pursued the Japanese retreating from Cape Gloucester
toward Mount Talawe. Slay and his Marines crossed the mountain's eastern
slope, threaded their way through a cluster of lesser outcroppings like
Mount Langila, and in the saddle between Mounts Talawe and Tangi
encountered four unoccupied bunkers situated to defend the junction of
the track they had been following with another trail running east and
west. The company had found the main east-west route from Sag Sag on the
coast to the village of Agulupella and ultimately to Natamo Point on the
northern coast.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 77642

_The capture of Matsuda's headquarters provides Marine intelligence with
a harvest of documents, which the enemy buried rather than burned,
presumably to avoid smoke that might attract artillery fire or air

To exploit the discovery, a composite patrol from the 1st Marines, under
the command of Captain Nickolai Stevenson, pushed south along that trail
Slay had followed, while a composite company from the 7th Marines, under
Captain Preston S. Parish, landed at Sag Sag on the west coast and
advanced along the east-west track. An Australian reserve officer,
William G. Wiedeman, who had been an Episcopal missionary at Sag Sag,
served as Parish's guide and contact with the native populace. When
determined opposition stopped Stevenson short of the trail junction near
Mount Talawe, Captain George P. Hunt's Company K, 1st Marines, renewed
the attack.

On 28 January, Hunt concluded he had brought the Japanese to bay and
attacked. For three hours that afternoon, his Marines tried
unsuccessfully to break though a line of bunkers concealed by jungle
growth, losing 15 killed or wounded. When Hunt withdrew beyond reach of
the Japanese mortars that had scourged his company during the action,
the enemy emerged from cover and attempted to pursue, a bold but foolish
move that exposed the troops to deadly fire that cleared the way for an
advance to the trail junction. Hunt and Parish joined forces and probed
farther, only to be stopped by a Japanese ambush. At this point, Major
William J. Piper, Jr., the executive officer of the 3d Battalion, 7th
Marines, assumed command, renewed the pursuit on 30 January, and
discovered the enemy had fled. Shortly afterward Piper's combined patrol
made contact with those dispatched inland by the 5th Marines.

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 77436

_LtCol Lewis H. Puller, left, and Maj William J. Piper discuss the route
of a patrol from the village of Agulupella to Gilnit on the Itni River,
a two-week operation._]

Thus far, a vigorous pursuit along the coast and on the inland trails
had failed to ensnare the Japanese. The Marines captured Matsuda's
abandoned headquarters in the shadow of Mount Talawe and a cache of
documents that the enemy buried rather than burned, perhaps because
smoke would almost certainly bring air strikes or artillery fire, but
the Japanese general and his troops escaped. Where had _Matsuda Force_

Since a trail net led from the vicinity of Mount Talawe to the south,
General Shepherd concluded that Matsuda was headed in that direction.
The assistant division commander therefore organized a composite
battalion of six reinforced rifle companies, some 3,900 officers and men
in all, which General Rupertus entrusted to Lieutenant Colonel Puller.
This patrol was to advance from Agulupella on the east-west track, down
the so-called Government Trail all the way to Gilnit, a village on the
Itni River, inland of Cape Bushing on New Britain's southern coast.
Before Puller could set out, information discovered at Matsuda's former
headquarters and translated revealed that the enemy actually was
retreating to the northeast. As a result, Rupertus detached the recently
arrived 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, and reduced Puller's force from
almost 4,000 to fewer than 400, still too many to be supplied by the 150
native bearers assigned to the column for the march through the jungle
to Gilnit.

During the trek, Puller's Marines depended heavily on supplies dropped
from airplanes. Piper Cubs capable at best of carrying two cases of
rations in addition to the pilot and observer, deposited their loads at
villages along the way, and Fifth Air Force B-17s dropped cargo by the
ton. Supplies delivered from the sky made the patrol possible but did
little to ameliorate the discomfort of the Marines slogging through the

[Illustration: _Marine patrols, such as Puller's trek to Gilnit,
depended on bearers recruited from the villages of western New Britain
who were thoroughly familiar with the local trail net._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 72836]

Despite this assistance from the air, the march to Gilnit taxed the
ingenuity of the Marines involved and hardened them for future action.
This toughening-up seemed especially desirable to Puller, who had led
many a patrol during the American intervention in Nicaragua, 1927-1933.
The division's supply clerks, aware of the officer's disdain for
creature comforts, were startled by requisitions from the patrol for
hundreds of bottles of insect repellent. Puller had his reasons,
however. According to one veteran of the Gilnit operation, "We were
always soaked and everything we owned was likewise, and that lotion made
the best damned stuff to start a fire with that you ever saw."

As Puller's Marines pushed toward Gilnit on the Itni River, they killed
perhaps 75 Japanese and captured one straggler, along with some weapons
and odds and ends of equipment. An abandoned pack contained an American
flag, probably captured by a soldier of the _141st Infantry_ during
Japan's conquest of the Philippines. After reaching Gilnit, the patrol
fanned out but encountered no opposition. Puller's Marines made contact
with an Army patrol from the Cape Merkus beachhead and then headed
toward the north coast, beginning on 16 February.

To the west, Company B, 1st Marines, boarded landing craft on 12
February and crossed the Dampier Strait to occupy Rooke Island, some
fifteen miles from the coast of New Britain. The division's intelligence
specialists concluded correctly that the garrison had departed. Indeed,
the transfer began on 6 December 1943, roughly three weeks before the
landings at Cape Gloucester, when Colonel Jiro Sato and half of his
500-man _51st Reconnaissance Regiment_, sailed off to Cape Bushing. Sato
then led his command up the Itni River and joined the main body of the
_Matsuda Force_ east of Mount Talawe. Instead of committing Sato's
troops to the defense of Hill 660, Matsuda directed him to delay the
elements of the 5th Marines and 1st Marines that were converging over
the inland trail net. Sato succeeded in checking the Hunt patrol on 28
January and buying time for Matsuda's retreat, not to the south, but, as
the documents captured at the general's abandoned headquarters
confirmed, along the northern coast, with the _51st Reconnaissance
Regiment_ initially serving as the rear guard.

[Illustration: _On 12 February 1944, infantrymen of Company B, from
LtCol Walker A. Reaves's 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, advance inland on
Rooke Island, west of New Britain, but find that the Japanese have

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 79181]

Once the Marines realized what Matsuda had in mind, cutting the line of
retreat assumed the highest priority, as demonstrated by the withdrawal
of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, from the Puller patrol on the very
eve of the march toward Gilnit. As early as 3 February, Rupertus
concluded that the Japanese could no longer mount a counterattack on the
airfields and began devoting all his energy and resources to destroying
the retreating Japanese. The division commander chose Selden's 5th
Marines, now restored to three-battalion strength, to conduct the
pursuit. While Petras and his light aircraft scouted the coastal track,
landing craft stood ready to embark elements of the regiment and
position them to cut off and destroy the _Matsuda Force_. Bad weather
hampered Selden's Marines; clouds concealed the enemy from aerial
observation, and a boiling surf ruled out landings over certain beaches.
With about 5,000 Marines, and some Army dog handlers and their animals,
the colonel rotated his battalions, sending out fresh troops each day
and using 10 LCMs in attempts to leapfrog the retreating Japanese. "With
few exceptions, men were not called upon to make marches on two
successive days," Selden recalled. "After a one-day hike, they either
remained at that camp for three or four days or made the next jump by
LCMs." At any point along the coastal track, the enemy might have
concealed himself in the dense jungle and sprung a deadly ambush, but he
did not. Selden, for instance, expected a battle for the Japanese supply
point at Iboki Point, but the enemy faded away. Instead of encountering
resistance by a determined and skillful rear guard, the 5th Marines
found only stragglers, some of them sick or wounded. Nevertheless, the
regimental commander could take pride in maintaining unremitting
pressure on the retreating enemy "without loss or even having a man
wounded" and occupying Iboki Point on 24 February.

Meanwhile, American amphibious forces had seized Kwajalein and Eniwetok
Atolls in the Marshall Islands, as the Central Pacific offensive
gathered momentum. Further to complicate Japanese strategy, carrier
strikes proved that Truk had become too vulnerable to continue serving
as a major naval base. The enemy, conscious of the threat to his inner
perimeter that was developing to the north, decided to pull back his
fleet units from Truk and his aircraft from Rabaul. On 19 February--just
two days after the Americans invaded Eniwetok--Japanese fighters at
Rabaul took off for the last time to challenge an American air raid.
When the bombers returned on the following day, not a single operational
Japanese fighter remained at the airfields there.

The defense of Rabaul now depended exclusively on ground forces.
Lieutenant General Yusashi Sakai, in command of the _17th Division_,
received orders to scrap his plan to dig in near Cape Hoskins and
instead proceed to Rabaul. The general believed that supplies enough had
been positioned along the trail net to enable at least the most vigorous
of Matsuda's troops to stay ahead of the Marines and reach the fortress.
The remaining self-propelled barges could carry heavy equipment and
those troops most needed to defend Rabaul, as well as the sick and
wounded. The retreat, however, promised to be an ordeal for the
Japanese. Selden had already demonstrated how swiftly the Marines could
move, taking advantage of American control of the skies and the coastal
waters, and a two-week march separated the nearest of Matsuda's soldiers
from their destination. Attrition would be heavy, but those who could
contribute the least to the defense of Rabaul seemed the likeliest to
fall by the wayside.

The Japanese forces retreating to Rabaul included the defenders of Cape
Merkus, where a stalemate had prevailed after the limited American
attack on 16 January had sent Komori's troops reeling back beyond the
airstrip. At Augitni, a village east of the Aria River southwest of
Iboki Point, Komori reported to Colonel Sato of the _51st Reconnaissance
Regiment_, which had concluded the rear-guard action that enabled the
Matsuda Force to cross the stream and take the trail through Augitni to
Linga Linga and eastward along the coast. When the two commands met,
Sato broke out a supply of sake he had been carrying, and the officers
exchanged toasts well into the night.

Meanwhile, Captain Kiyomatsu Terunuma organized a task force built
around the _1st Battalion, 54th Infantry_, and prepared to defend the
Talasea area near the base of the Willaumez Peninsula against a possible
landing by the pursuing Marines. The _Terunuma Force_ had the mission of
holding out long enough for _Matsuda Force_ to slip past on the way to
Rabaul. On 6 March, the leading elements of Matsuda's column reached the
base of the Willaumez Peninsula, and Komori, leading the way for Sato's
rear guard, started from Augitni toward Linga Linga.


[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 86249

_A Piper Cub of the 1st Marine Division's improvised air force snags a
message from a patrol on New Britain's north coast._]

                        An Improvised Air Force

At Cape Gloucester, the 1st Marine Division had an air force of its own
consisting of Piper L-4 Cubs and Stinson L-5s provided by the Army. The
improvised air force traced its origins to the summer of 1943, before
the division plunged into the green inferno of New Britain. Lieutenant
Colonel Kenneth H. Weir, the division's air officer, and Captain
Theodore A. Petras, the personal pilot of Major General Alexander A.
Vandegrift, then the division commander, concocted a plan for acquiring
light aircraft mainly for artillery spotting. The assistant division
commander at that time, Brigadier General Rupertus, had seen Army troops
making use of Piper Cubs on maneuvers, and he promptly presented the
plan to General MacArthur, the theater commander, who promised to give
the division twelve light airplanes in time for the next operation.

When the 1st Marine Division arrived at Goodenough Island, off the
southwestern tip of New Guinea, to begin preparing for further combat,
Rupertus, now a major general and Vandegrift's successor as division
commander, directed Petras and another pilot, First Lieutenant R. F.
Murphy, to organize an aviation unit from among the Marines of the
division. A call went out for volunteers with aviation experience; some
sixty candidates stepped forward, and 12 qualified as pilots in the new
Air Liaison Unit. The dozen Piper Cubs arrived as promised; six proved
to be in excellent condition, three needed repair, and another three
were fit only for cannibalization to provide parts to keep the others
flying. The nine flyable planes practiced a variety of tasks during two
months of training at Goodenough Island. The airmen acquired experience
in artillery spotting, radio communications, and snagging messages, hung
in a container trailing a pennant to help the pilot see it, from a line
strung between two poles.

The division's air force landed at Cape Gloucester from LSTs on D-Day,
reassembled their aircraft, and commenced operating. The radios
installed in the L-4s proved too balky for artillery spotting, so the
group concentrated on courier flights, visual and photographic
reconnaissance, and delivering small amounts of cargo. As a light
transport, a Piper Cub could drop a case of dry rations, for example,
with pinpoint accuracy from an altitude of 200 feet. Occasionally, the
light planes became attack aircraft when pilots or observers tossed hand
grenades into Japanese positions.

Before the Marines pulled out of New Britain, two Army pilots, flying
Stinson L-5s, faster and more powerful than the L-4s, joined the
division's air arm. One airplane of each type was damaged beyond repair
in crashes, but the pilots and passengers survived. All the Marine
volunteers received the Air Medal for their contribution, but a
specially trained squadron arrived from the United States and replaced
them prior to the next operation, the assault on Peleliu.]

                       _The Landings at Volupai_

By coincidence, 6 March was the day chosen for the reinforced 5th
Marines, now commanded by Colonel Oliver P. Smith, to land on the west
coast of the Willaumez Peninsula midway between base and tip. The
intelligence section of division headquarters believed that Japanese
strength between Talasea, the site of a crude airstrip, and Cape
Hoskins, across Kimbe Bay from Willaumez Peninsula, equaled that of the
Smith's command, but that most of the enemy troops defended Cape
Hoskins. The intelligence estimate proved correct, for Sakai had been
preparing a last-ditch defense of Cape Hoskins, when word arrived to
retreat all the way to Rabaul.


To discover the extent of Japanese preparations in the immediate
vicinity of Volupai, a reconnaissance team landed from a torpedo boat at
Bagum, a village about nine miles from Red Beach, the site chosen for
the assault landing. Flight Lieutenant G. H. Rodney Marsland of the
Royal Australian Air Force, First Lieutenant John D. Bradbeer--the
division's chief scout, who had participated in three similar
reconnaissance patrols of the Cape Gloucester area before the 26
December invasion--and two native bearers remained ashore for 24 hours
and learned that Red Beach was lightly defended. Their sources,
principally natives who had worked at a plantation that Marsland had
operated in the area before the war, confirmed Marine estimates of
Terunuma's aggregate force--some 600 men, two thirds of them located
near Talasea, armed with mortars and artillery.

Bristol Beauforts of the Royal Australian Air Force based at Kiriwina
Island bombed the Volupai-Talasea region for three days and then
conducted a last-minute strike to compensate for the absence of naval
gunfire. Smith's force, designated Landing Team A, loaded into a small
flotilla of landing craft, escorted by torpedo boats, and set out from
Iboki Point. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Amory, Jr., an Army officer in
command of an engineer boat unit, took command of the collection of
small craft, some of them manned by his soldiers and the others by
sailors. A storm buffeted the formation, and after the seas grew calm,
the boat carrying the Army air liaison party broke down. Major Gordon D.
Gayle, the new commander of the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, who already
was behind schedule, risked further delay by taking the disabled craft
in tow. Gayle felt that Combat Team A's need for the liaison party's
radio equipment justified his action.

At 0835 on 6 March, the first of the amphibian tractors carrying the
assault troops clawed their way onto Red Beach. During the movement
shoreward, Sherman tanks in Army LCMs opened fire with machine guns and
stood ready to direct their 75mm weapons against any Japanese gunner who
might oppose the landing. Aside from hard-to-pinpoint small-arms fire,
the opposition consisted mainly of barrages from mortars, screened by
the terrain from the flat-trajectory cannon of the tanks. When Japanese
mortar shells began bursting among the approaching landing craft,
Captain Theodore A. Petras, at the controls of one of the division's
Piper Cubs, dived low over the mortar positions and dropped hand
grenades from the supply he carried on all his flights. Natives had
warned Marsland and Bradbeer of a machine-gun nest dominating the beach
from the slopes of Little Mount Worri, but the men of the 1st Battalion,
5th Marines, leading the way, found it abandoned and encountered no
serious opposition as they dug in to protect the beachhead.

Meanwhile, Gayle's Marines pressed their attack, with four medium tanks
supporting Company E as it tried to push farther inland. One of the
Shermans bogged down almost immediately in the soft sand of Red Beach,
but the other three continued in column. The tank in the lead lost
momentum on a muddy rise, and two Japanese soldiers carrying land mines
burst from cover to attack it. Riflemen of Company E cut down one of
them, but the other detonated his mine against the vehicle, killing
himself and a Marine who tried to stop him. The explosion jammed the
turret and stunned the crewmen, who were further shaken, but not
wounded, when an antitank grenade exploded against the armor. The
damaged Sherman got out of the way; when the other two tanks had passed,
it returned to the trail only to hit a mine that disabled it.

Despite the loss of two tanks, one temporarily immobilized on the beach
and the other out of action permanently, Gayle's battalion continued its
advance. During the fighting on the approaches to the Volupai coconut
plantation, the body of a Japanese soldier yielded a map showing enemy
dispositions around Talasea. By mid-afternoon, Smith's regimental
intelligence section was disseminating the information, which proved
valuable in future operations.

While Company E of Gayle's battalion followed the trail toward the
plantation, Company G kept pace, crossing the western shoulder of Little
Mount Worri. Five Army Air Forces P-39s from Airfield No. 2 at Cape
Gloucester arrived overhead to support Gayle's attack, but the pilots
could not locate the troops below and instead bombed Cape Hoskins, where
there was no danger of hitting the Marines. Even without the aerial
attack, the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, overran the plantation by dusk
and dug in for the night; the unit counted the bodies of 35 Japanese
killed during the day's fighting.

On D-Day, Combat Team A lost 13 killed and 71 wounded, with artillery
batteries rather than rifle companies suffering the greater number of
casualties. The 2d Battalion, 11th Marines, set up its 75mm pack
howitzers on the open beach, exposed to fire from the 90mm mortars upon
which Petras had ineffectually showered his hand grenades. Some of the
corpsmen at Red Beach, who went to the assistance of wounded
artillerymen, became casualties themselves. Nine of the Marines killed
on 6 March were members of the artillery unit, along with 29 of the
wounded. Nevertheless, the gunners succeeded in registering their fires
in the afternoon and harassing the enemy throughout the night.

[Illustration: _At Volupai, as on Cape Gloucester, sand, mud, and land
mines--sometimes carried by Japanese soldiers who detonated them against
the sides of the vehicle--could immobilize even the Sherman M4 medium

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 79868]

While the Marines prepared to renew the attack on the second day,
Terunuma deployed his troops to oppose them and keep open the line of
retreat of the _Matsuda Force_. In doing so, the Japanese commander fell
back from his prepared positions on the fringes of Volupai
Plantation--including the mortar pits that had raised such havoc with
the 2d Battalion, 11th Marines--and dug in on the northwest slopes of
Mount Schleuther, overlooking the trail leading from the plantation to
Bitokara village on the coast. As soon as he realized what the enemy had
in mind, Gayle sent Company F uphill to thwart the Japanese plan, while
Company E remained on the trail and built up a base of fire. On the
right flank of the maneuver element, Company F, the weapons platoon
burst from the undergrowth and surprised Japanese machine gunners
setting up their weapon, killing them and turning the gun against the
enemy. The advance of Company F caught the Japanese in mid-deployment
and drove them back after killing some 40 of them. Gayle's battalion
established a nighttime perimeter that extended from Mount Schleuther to
the trail and embraced a portion of both.

The action on 7 March represented a departure from plan. Smith had
intended that both Barba and Gayle attack, with the 3d Battalion, 5th
Marines, commanded since 12 January by Lieutenant Colonel Harold O.
Deakin, assuming responsibility for the defense of the beachhead. The
landing craft that had carried the assault troops departed from Red
Beach during D-Day, some of them carrying the seriously wounded, in
order to pick up the 3d Battalion at Iboki Point and bring it to
Volupai. The day was waning by the time enough landing craft were on
hand for Deakin's battalion. For the reinforcements to arrive in time
for an attack on the morning of 7 March would require a dangerous
nighttime approach to Volupai, through uncharted waters studded with
sharp outcroppings of coral that could lay open the hull of a landing
craft. Rupertus decided that the risks of such a move outweighed the
advantages and canceled it at the last moment. No boat started the
return voyage to Red Beach until after dawn on 7 March, delaying the
arrival of Deakin's battalion until late afternoon. On that day,
therefore, Barba's 1st Battalion had only enough time to send Company C
a short distance inland on a trail that passed to the right of Little
Mount Worri, en route to the village of Liappo. When the trail petered
out among the trees and vines, the Marines hacked their way forward
until they ran out of daylight short of their objective.

On 8 March, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, resumed the advance,
Companies A and B moving on parallel paths leading east of Little Mount
Worri. Members of Company A, peering through dense undergrowth, saw a
figure in a Japanese uniform and opened fire. The person was not a
Japanese, however, but a native wearing clothing discarded by the enemy
and serving as a guide for Company B. The first shots triggered an
exchange of fire that wounded the guide, killed one Marine, and wounded
a number of others. Afterward, the advance resumed, but once again the
formidable terrain--muddy ravines choked with brush and vines--slowed
the Marines, and the sun set with the battalion still on the trail.

Meanwhile, Gayle's 2d Battalion probed deeper into Terunuma's defenses.
Patrols ranged ahead on the morning of 8 March and found the Japanese
dug in at Bitokara Mission, but the enemy fell back before the Marines
could storm the position. Gayle's troops occupied Bitokara and pushed as
far as Talasea, taking over the abandoned airstrip. Other patrols from
this battalion started up the steep slopes of Mount Schleuther and
collided with Terunuma's main strength. Fire from small arms, a 90mm
mortar, and a 75mm field gun killed or wounded 18 Marines. Rather than
press his attack in the gathering darkness, Gayle pulled back from the
mountain and dug in at Bitokara Mission so artillery and mortars could
hammer the defenses throughout the night, but he left one company to
defend the Talasea airstrip.

[Illustration: _Cpl Robert J. Hallahan, a member of the 1st Marine
Division band, examines the shattered remains of a Japanese 75mm gun
used in the defense of Mount Schleuther and rigged as a booby trap when
the enemy withdrew._

Department of Defense (USA) photo SC 260915]

[Illustration: Department of Defense (USMC) photo 69985

_Marines struggle to winch a tractor, and the 105mm howitzer it is
towing, out of the mud of New Britain. The trails linking Volupai and
Talasea proved as impassable for heavy vehicles as those on Cape

On the morning of 9 March, Company G of Gayle's battalion advanced up
Mount Schleuther while Companies B and C from Barba's command cleared
the villages around the base. Company G expected to encounter intense
opposition during its part of the coordinated attack, but Terunuma had
decamped from the mountain top, leaving behind one dead, two stragglers,
and an artillery piece. The enemy, however, had festooned the abandoned
75mm gun with vines that served as trip wires for a booby trap. When the
Marines hacked at the vines to examine the weapon more closely, they
released the firing pin and detonated a round in the chamber. Since the
Japanese gun crew had plugged the bore before fleeing, the resulting
explosion ruptured the breech block and wounded one of Gayle's men.

Besides yielding the dominant terrain, Terunuma chose not to defend any
of the villages clustered at the base of the mountain. The 5th Marines
thus opened a route across the Willaumez Peninsula to support further
operations against Matsuda's line of retreat. Since 6 March, Colonel
Smith's force had killed an estimated 150 Japanese at the cost of 17
Marines killed and 114 wounded, most of the casualties suffered on the
first day. The final phase of the fighting that began on Red Beach
consisted of securing Garua Island, abandoned by the Japanese, for
American use, a task finished on 9 March.

The results of the action at the base of the Willaumez Peninsula proved
mixed. The grass airstrip at Talasea lacked the length to accommodate
fighters, but the division's liaison planes made extensive use of it,
landing on either side of the carcass of a Japanese aircraft until the
wreckage could be hauled away. The trail net, essentially a web of muddy
paths, required long hours of hard work by Company F, 17th Marines, and
Army engineers, who used a 10-ton wrecker to recover three Sherman tanks
that had become mired during the fighting. By 10 March, the trails could
support a further advance. Two days later, elements of Deakin's 3d
Battalion, 5th Marines, having moved inland from the beachhead, provided
a guard of honor as Colonel Smith and his executive officer, Lieutenant
Colonel Henry W. Buse, raised over Bitokara the same flag that had flown
over Airfield No. 2 at Cape Gloucester.

                       _Final Combat and Relief_

The flotilla of Army LCMs and Navy LCTs that supported the Volupai
landings inflicted further damage on Japanese coastal traffic, already
hard hit by air strikes. On 9 March, a convoy of landing craft carrying
supplies around the tip of the peninsula for delivery to the advancing
Marines at Talasea spotted four enemy barges, beached and sloppily
camouflaged. An LCT took the barges under fire from its 20mm cannon and
machine guns, destroying one of the Japanese craft. Later that day, two
LCMs used the 37mm gun of the Marine light tank that each was carrying,
to fire upon another barge beached on the peninsula.

The enemy tried to make the best possible use of the dwindling number of
barges, but the bulk of Matsuda's troops moved overland, screened by
Terunuma's men during the transit of the base of the Willaumez
Peninsula. About a hundred Japanese dug in at Garilli, but by the time
Company K of Deakin's 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, attacked on 11 March,
the enemy had fallen back to a new trail block about three miles
distant. For four days, the Marines fought a succession of sharp
actions, as the Japanese retreated a few hundred yards at a time,
dragging with them a 75mm gun that anchored each of the blocking
positions. On 16 March, Deakin himself joined Company K, arriving in an
LCM that also carried a section of 81mm mortars. The Japanese turned
their cannon seaward to deal with this threat but failed to hit the
landing craft. Shortly after the Marine mortars landed and went into
action, Terunuma's men again withdrew, but this time they simply faded
away, since the bulk of _Matsuda Force_ had escaped to the east.

Having secured the Red Beach-Garua Bay-Talasea area, the 5th Marines
dispatched patrols southward to the base of the Willaumez Peninsula,
capturing only the occasional straggler and confirming the departure of
the main body of Matsuda's command. The 1st Marine Division established
a comfortable headquarters, training sites, a hospital that utilized
captured stocks of Japanese medicine, and a rest area that featured
swimming off the Garua beaches and bathing in hot springs ashore. The
Navy built a base on the Willaumez Peninsula for torpedo boats that
harried the surviving Japanese barges. Unfortunately, on 27 March, the
second day the base was operating, Allied aircraft mistook two of the
boats for Japanese craft and attacked, killing five sailors and wounding

One of the courses taught at the new Garua training center sought to
produce amphibious scouts for the division's future operations. The
school's headquarters decided that a reconnaissance of Cape Hoskins
would serve as a suitable graduation exercise, since aerial observers
had seen no sign of enemy activity there. On 13 April, Second Lieutenant
Richard R. Breen, accompanied by Lieutenant Marsland of the Royal
Australian Air Force, embarked with 16 trainees, two native guides, and
a rifle platoon from the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, in a pair of LCMs.
While two instructors stood by in one of the landing craft, the platoon
established a trail block, and the future scouts advanced toward the
Cape Hoskins airfield, no longer used by the Japanese. En route to the
objective, however, the patrol encountered fire from small arms and
mortars, but the Marines had apparently learned their lessons well, for
they succeeded in breaking off the action and escaped without suffering

Meanwhile, the Japanese retreat continued. Komori's troops, blazing the
trail for Sato's command from Augitni to the northern coast, encountered
a disheartening number of hungry stragglers as they marched toward a
supply depot at Kandoka, roughly 10 miles west of the Willaumez
Peninsula. Crossing the Kuhu River, Komori's soldiers came under
ineffectual fire from an American landing craft. The rain-swollen Via
River, broader than the Kuhu, proved a more serious obstacle, requiring
a detour lasting two days to reach a point where the stream narrowed.
Komori's provisions ran out on 17 March, forcing the soldiers to subsist
on taro, birds and fish, and vegetables from village garden plots,
supplemented by some welcome coconuts gathered from a plantation at
Linga Linga. After losing additional time and a dozen lives crossing yet
another river, the Kapaluk, Komori's troops straggled into Kandoka on
the 24th, only to discover that the food and other supplies had been
carried off toward Rabaul. Despite this crushing disappointment, Komori
pressed on, his men continuing to live off the land as best they could.
Five more men drowned in the fast-moving waters of the Kulu River, and a
native hired as a guide defected. Already weakened physically, Komori
came down with an attack of malaria, but he forced himself to continue.

[Illustration: _Before the building of a rest area at Garua Bay, with
its hot springs and bathing beaches, these Marines relax in one of the
crystal clear streams running into the sea from New Britain's
mountainous interior._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 78381]

The survivors struggled onward toward Cape Hoskins and ultimately
Rabaul. On 9 April, Easter Sunday, four half-starved Japanese wandered
onto the San Remo Plantation, where Gayle's battalion had bivouacked
after pursuing the enemy eastward from the Willaumez Peninsula. The
Marine unit was preparing to pass in review for the regimental commander
later that day, when a sentry saw the intruders and opened fire. The
ensuing skirmish killed three of the enemy. One of the dead proved to be
Major Komori; his pack contained a rusty revolver and a diary describing
the sufferings of his command.

Colonel Sato, with the rest of the rear guard for the _Matsuda Force_,
set out from Augitni on 7 March, one day after Komori, who sent back
word on the 19th that patrols from the 5th Marines had fanned out from
the Willaumez Peninsula, where the reinforced regiment had landed almost
two weeks earlier. When Sato reached Linga Linga and came across a
bivouac abandoned by a Marine patrol, his force had dwindled to just 250
men, less than half the number that started out. He received a shock the
following day when American landing craft appeared as his men prepared
to cross the Kapaluk River. He immediately set up a perimeter to beat
back the expected attack, but the boats were carrying elements of the 2d
Battalion, 1st Marines, under Major Charles H. Brush, Jr. A patrol from
Brush's Company F landed on a beach beyond Kandoka, the former site of a
Japanese supply cache, and dispatched one platoon, led by First
Lieutenant William C. Schleip, westward along the coastal track, even as
Sato, aware only of the general location of the landing, groped eastward
toward the village. On 26 March, the two collided, the Japanese
surprising the Marines in the act of crossing a small stream and pinning
them down for some three hours until the approach of reinforcements from
Company F forced the enemy to break off the action, take to the jungle,
and bypass Kandoka.

As the head of Sato's column disappeared in the jungle, one of the
division's light airplanes, scouting landing sites for Brush's
battalion, sighted the tail near Linga Linga. The pilot, Captain Petras,
turned over the controls to Brigadier General Earl C. Long, also a
pilot, sketched the location of the Japanese, and dropped the map to one
of the troop-laden landing craft. Petras then led the way to an
undefended beach, where Brush's Marines waded ashore and set out in
pursuit of Sato. On 30 March, Second Lieutenant Richard B. Watkins, at
the head of an eight-man patrol, spotted a pair of Japanese, their
rifles slung, who turned out to be members of a 73-man patrol, far too
many for Watkins to handle.

Once the enemy column had moved off, Watkins and his men hurried to
Kandoka, where he reported to Major Brush and obtained mortars and
machine guns before again taking to the trail. Brush followed, bringing
a reinforced rifle platoon to increase the Marine firepower. Meanwhile,
the Japanese encountered yet another Marine patrol, this one led by
Sergeant Frank Chliek, which took up a position on high ground that
commanded the trail. When they heard Chliek's group open fire, Watkins
and Brush hurried to its aid; the resulting slaughter killed 55
Japanese, including Colonel Sato, who died sword in hand, but the
Marines did not suffer even one casualty.

On 9 April, the 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, under Lieutenant Colonel
Hankins, replaced Brush's 1st Battalion and continued the search for
enemy stragglers. The bulk of the _Matsuda Force_, and whatever supplies
it could transport, had by this time retreated to Cape Hoskins and
beyond, and Army troops were taking over from the Marines. Almost four
months had elapsed since the landing at Cape Gloucester; clearly the
time had come for the amphibious troops to move on to an operation that
would make better use of their specialized training and equipment. The
final action fought by the Leathernecks took place on 22 April, when an
ambush sprung by the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, killed 20 Japanese and
resulted in the last Marine fatality of the campaign. In seizing western
New Britain as part of the isolation of Rabaul, the division suffered
310 killed in action and 1,083 wounded, roughly one-fourth the estimated
Japanese casualties.

Early in February 1944, after the capture of the Cape Gloucester
airfields but before the landing at Volupai, General Rupertus warned
that his 1st Marine Division might remain on New Britain indefinitely.
Having the unit tied down for an extended period alarmed the recently
appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Vandegrift. "Six
months there," he remarked, referring to an extended commitment in New
Britain, "and it will no longer be a well-trained amphibious division."
Vandegrift urged Admiral Ernest J. King, the Chief of Naval Operations,
to help pry the division from MacArthur's grasp so it could again
undertake amphibious operations. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in
Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, wanted the division for the impending
invasion of the Palau Islands, the capture of which would protect the
flank of MacArthur's advance to the Philippines. In order to obtain the
Marines, Nimitz made the Army's 40th Infantry Division available to
MacArthur, in effect swapping a division capable of taking over the New
Britain campaign for one that could spearhead the amphibious offensive
against Japan. MacArthur, however, briefly retained control of one
component of the Marine division--Company A, 1st Tank Battalion. That
unit's medium tanks landed on 22 April at Hollandia on the northern
coast of New Guinea, but a swamp just beyond the beachhead prevented the
Shermans from supporting the advance inland.

The commanding general of the Army's 40th Infantry Division, Major
General Rapp Brush, arrived at New Britain on 10 April to arrange for
the relief. His advance echelon arrived on the 23d and the remainder of
the division five days later. The 1st Marine Division departed in two
echelons on 6 April and 4 May. Left behind was the 12th Defense
Battalion, which continued to provide antiaircraft defense for the Cape
Gloucester airfields until relieved by an Army unit late in May.

In a campaign lasting four months, the 1st Marine Division had plunged
into the unforgiving jungle and overwhelmed a determined and resolute
enemy, capturing the Cape Gloucester airfields and driving the Japanese
from western New Britain. A number of factors helped the Marines defeat
nature and the Japanese. Allied control of the air and the sea provided
mobility and disrupted the coastal barge traffic upon which the enemy
had to depend for the movement of large quantities of supplies,
especially badly needed medicines, during the retreat to Rabaul.
Warships and landing craft armed with rockets--supplemented by such
improvisations as tanks or rocket-equipped amphibian trucks firing from
landing craft--supported the landings, but the size of the island and
the lack of fixed coastal defenses limited the effectiveness of the
various forms of naval gunfire. Using superior engineering skills, the
Marines defied swamp and undergrowth to bring forward tanks that crushed
enemy emplacements and added to the already formidable American
firepower. Although photo analysis, an art that improved rapidly,
misinterpreted the nature of the damp flat, Marine intelligence made
excellent use of captured Japanese documents throughout the campaign. In
the last analysis, the courage and endurance of the average Marine made
victory possible, as he braved discomfort, disease, and violent death
during his time in the green inferno.

[Sidenote: New Weapons in the Division's Arsenal

During the period of rehabilitation following the Guadalcanal campaign,
the 1st Marine Division received two new weapons--the M4 medium tank,
nicknamed the Sherman in honor of William Tecumseh Sherman whose Union
troops marched from Atlanta to the sea, and the M-1 rifle. The new
rifle, designed by John C. Garand, a civilian employee of the
Springfield Armory in Massachusetts, was a semi-automatic, gas-operated
weapon, weighing 9.5 pounds and using an eight-round clip. Although less
accurate at longer range than the former standard rifle, the M-1903,
which snipers continued to use, the M-1 could lay down a deadly volume
of fire at the comparatively short ranges typical of jungle warfare.

In addition, the division received the M4A1, an early version of the
Sherman tank, which MacArthur valued so highly that he borrowed a
company of them from the 1st Marine Division for the Hollandia
operation. The model used by the Marines weighed 34 tons, mounted a 75mm
gun, and had frontal armor some three inches thick. Although a more
formidable weapon than the 16-ton light tank, with a 37mm gun, the
medium tank had certain shortcomings. A high silhouette made it a
comparatively easy target for Japanese gunners, who fortunately did not
have a truly deadly antitank weapon, and narrow treads provided poor
traction in the mud of New Britain.

[Illustration: _Marine infantrymen, some of them using the M1 rifle for
the first time in combat, and a Sherman tank form a deadly team in the
comparatively open country near the Cape Gloucester airfields._

Department of Defense (USMC) photo 69146]]


Three books have proved essential to this account of the fighting on New
Britain. Lieutenant Colonel Frank O. Hough, USMCR, dealt at length with
the campaign in _The Island War: The United States Marine Corps in the
Pacific_ (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1947). With Major John Crown,
USMCR, he wrote the official Marine Corps historical monograph: _The New
Britain Campaign_ (Washington: Historical Branch, G-3 Division, HQMC,
1952). The third of these essential volumes is Henry I. Shaw, Jr., and
Major Douglas T. Kane, USMC, _Isolation of Rabaul--History of U. S.
Marine Corps Operations in World War II_, vol 2 (Washington: Historical
Branch, G-3 Division, HQMC, 1963.)

Other valuable sources include: Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate,
eds., _The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan, August 1942-July 1944--The
Army Air Forces in World War II_, vol 4 (Washington: Office of Air Force
History, reprint 1983); George McMillan, _The Old Breed: A History of
the First Marine Division in World War II_ (Washington: Infantry Journal
Press, 1949); John Miller, Jr., _The United States Army in World War II;
The War in the Pacific: CARTWHEEL, The Reduction of Rabaul_ (Washington:
Office of Chief of Military History, 1959); Samuel Eliot Morison,
_Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, 22 July 1942-1 May 1944--A History of
United States Naval Operations in World War II_, vol 6 (Boston: Little,
Brown, and Company, 1950).

The _Marine Corps Gazette_ printed four articles analyzing aspects of
the New Britain campaign: Lieutenant Colonel Robert B. Luckey, USMC,
"Cannon, Mud, and Japs," vol 28, no 10 (October 1944); George McMillan,
"Scouting at Cape Gloucester," vol 30, no 5 (May 1946); and Fletcher
Pratt, "Marines Under MacArthur: Cape Gloucester," vol 31, no 12
(December 1947); and "Marines Under MacArthur: Willaumez," vol 32, no 1
(January 1947).

Of the Marine Corps oral history interviews of participants in the New
Britain fighting, the most valuable were with Generals Lemuel C.
Shepherd, Jr., and Edwin A. Pollock and Lieutenant Generals Henry W.
Buse, Lewis J. Fields, Robert B. Luckey, and John N. McLaughlin.

Almost three dozen collections of personal papers deal in one way or
another with the campaign, some of them providing narratives of varying
length and others photographs or maps. The most enlightening commentary
came from the papers of Major Sherwood Moran, USMCR, before the war a
missionary in Japan and during the fighting an intelligence specialist
with the 1st Marine Division, who discussed everything from coping with
the weather to understanding the motivation of the Japanese soldier.

                           _About the Author_


Bernard C. Nalty served as a civilian member of the Historical Branch,
G-3 Division, HQMC, from October 1956 to September 1961. In
collaboration with Henry I. Shaw, Jr., and Edwin T. Turnbladh, he wrote
_Central Pacific Drive_, volume 3 of the _History of U.S. Marine Corps
Operations in World War II_, and he also completed a number of short
historical studies, some of which appeared as articles in _Leatherneck_
or _Marine Corps Gazette_. He joined the history office of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff in 1961, transferring in 1964 to the Air Force history
program, from which he retired in January 1994.


THIS PAMPHLET HISTORY, one in a series devoted to U.S. Marines in the
World War II era, is published for the education and training of Marines
by the History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps,
Washington, D.C., as a part of the U.S. Department of Defense observance
of the 50th anniversary of victory in that war.

Editorial costs of preparing this pamphlet have been defrayed in part by
a bequest from the estate of Emilie H. Watts, in memory of her late
husband, Thomas M. Watts, who served as a Marine and was the recipient
of a Purple Heart.


             Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Ret)

                           _GENERAL EDITOR._
                             Benis M. Frank

                       _CARTOGRAPHIC CONSULTANT_
                         George C. MacGillivray

 Robert E. Struder, Senior Editor; W. Stephen Hill, Visual Information
    Specialist; Catherine A. Kerns, Composition Services Technician

                     Marine Corps Historical Center
                   Building 58, Washington Navy Yard
                      Washington, D.C. 20374-5040

                           PCN 190 003128 00

Transcriber Notes:

Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

Passages in bold were indicated by =equal signs=.

Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs and so that they are next to the text they illustrate. Thus
the page number of the illustration might not match the page number in
the List of Illustrations, and the order of illustrations may not be the
same in the List of Illustrations and in the book.

Sidenotes in the original have been repositioned between the sections of
the main text, marked as [Sidenote:], and treated as separate sections.

Errors in punctuation and inconsistent hyphenation were not corrected
unless otherwise noted.

On page 10, "though" was replaced with "through".

On page 13, "nd" was replaced with "and".

On page 21, "away" was replaced with "way".

On page 22, a period was removed after "72836".

On page 24, "your" was replaced with "you".

On page 31, a comma was removed after "General Rupertus".

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cape Gloucester: The Green Inferno" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.