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View Full Version : RAAF: "We glad we didn't see them again!"



Skoshi Tiger
09-10-2006, 04:39 AM
Hi, I was at a memorial service this morning held by 2nd 16th AIF, commemerating the end of the Battle of Kokoda in 1942.

One of the points that made the veterans quite proud was the fact that the 2/16th and 2/14th with a bit of help from parts of a few other units fought a fighting withdraw along the Kokoda Track, during which advance of the previously undefeated Japanese infantry ground to a halt. Even though the Aussies were out numbered 5 to 1.

During the campaign, one veteran maintained, that they only saw the RAAF once! They were supposed to give support to the Aussie troops, but strafed them instead of the Japanese!!!!

His closing comment which brought a few laughs was "We were all quite glad that we didn't see them (the RAAF) again!".

It is quite humbling to listen to stories from these men.

One veteran was hit by a burst of light machine-gun fire at a range of four feet. The burst entered his shirt pocket, went through the wad of letters he had recieved that morning, deflected off the steel shaving mirror that he had forgotten to put back into his pack.

One bullet went up through his shoulder, the other three down into his diaphram muscle.

He dispatched his attacker and after the immediate danger was over he was classified as a "walking wounded" and had to walk for 5 days to get back to the nearest medical aide.

Skoshi Tiger
09-10-2006, 04:39 AM
Hi, I was at a memorial service this morning held by 2nd 16th AIF, commemerating the end of the Battle of Kokoda in 1942.

One of the points that made the veterans quite proud was the fact that the 2/16th and 2/14th with a bit of help from parts of a few other units fought a fighting withdraw along the Kokoda Track, during which advance of the previously undefeated Japanese infantry ground to a halt. Even though the Aussies were out numbered 5 to 1.

During the campaign, one veteran maintained, that they only saw the RAAF once! They were supposed to give support to the Aussie troops, but strafed them instead of the Japanese!!!!

His closing comment which brought a few laughs was "We were all quite glad that we didn't see them (the RAAF) again!".

It is quite humbling to listen to stories from these men.

One veteran was hit by a burst of light machine-gun fire at a range of four feet. The burst entered his shirt pocket, went through the wad of letters he had recieved that morning, deflected off the steel shaving mirror that he had forgotten to put back into his pack.

One bullet went up through his shoulder, the other three down into his diaphram muscle.

He dispatched his attacker and after the immediate danger was over he was classified as a "walking wounded" and had to walk for 5 days to get back to the nearest medical aide.

joeap
09-10-2006, 05:56 AM
Wow, what a hell of a story.

Skoshi Tiger
09-10-2006, 06:35 AM
There was about half a dozen veterans who were asked to relate a story. They were all quietly spoken and it took some prompting from the MC to get them to open up.

In all their stories they tended to talk up the part played by others and covered their own parts very briefly.

Often one of the other men talking would add in bits the others had gossed over.

One man had just come out of hospital afer complication from a bullet fragment in his head, sixty four years after the inital injury.

-HH-Dubbo
09-10-2006, 11:41 PM
Hell of a story indeed. Thanks for sharing

smokincrater
09-11-2006, 12:14 AM
Yes, the diggers often called Kittyhawks Tomarrowhawks because for day after day they were coming tomarrow! Mind you 75 sqd had tough time of it. Their unoffical motto is 'We who are about to die salute you!'. They had some pretty tough opponets in the form Sarabu Sakai and co(sorry if I misspelt the name).

MiamiEagle
09-11-2006, 01:45 PM
Just remember the Japanese where tougher than official history gives them credit. It took skills and courage and many lives to beat them.

Because they have been degraded by historiam for years as a fighting force it always seem easier to bet them than the Germans. We never understood them as a fighting force. We also needed to feel that we where better so we believed our own exaggerations.

That we where able to beat such a tough opponent is a credit to our fighting men in general.

Miamieagle

Waldo.Pepper
09-11-2006, 11:21 PM
The movie Kokoda is well worth seeing.

blakduk
09-12-2006, 12:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MiamiEagle:
Just remember the Japanese where tougher than official history gives them credit. It took skills and courage and many lives to beat them.

Because they have been degraded by historiam for years as a fighting force it always seem easier to bet them than the Germans. We never understood them as a fighting force. We also needed to feel that we where better so we believed our own exaggerations.

That we where able to beat such a tough opponent is a credit to our fighting men in general.

Miamieagle </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't know what your history sources are, but no 'official history' i've seen states that the Japanese were an 'easy' foe to beat. Prior to WW2 some ignorant military analysts were dismissive of the Japanese armed forces and ignored the defeats they had inflicted on the Russian navy and Chinese military.
Very quickly once hostilities began in WW2 those delusions were cast aside- especially after Pearl Harbour and the catastrophe of Singapore.
If you look at the official USA history and the estimates they made of military casualties to be expected during an invasion of the Japanese home islands you can see just how much they respected their opponent.

MiamiEagle
09-15-2006, 07:00 AM
Blakduk you are right and I"m also right. Yes it has been written by many Historian that the Pacific war was tough. But what bother me is when I see does 10:1 ratios of every thing from bodies count to Airplanes in almost every Battle that recounted in the Pacific war. The reality was that it was not alway that way especialy in the air war. Yes some time we would massacre them because of the tactics they choose to fight us when we had overwhelming fire power. Like charging against Altillery and machine guns when other tatics wouls have been more useful.The Japanese and the Russian Arm Forces are the most interesting to me. They did things their way. Some time they where as good as any forces in the World and some time they use tatics that mangle our western minds.

Some time they where very efficient and organize and on other occations they left us wondering what was in their mind when the planed a Battle.

You have got to remember that the Japanese soldier where in the worst predicament of any soldier that fought in World war two.

They usualy fought in little Island with little or no chance of significant retreat or reinforcement and with no air support. If they got wounded the medical attention they would get was rudimental.They Forces they met was two or three time their size and with four or five times their fire power. Under those conditions most Battle they fought in should have been relative easy. No that was not the case. As matter of fact the taoghest Battle in World war two fought by the U.S soldiers where not in Europe but the Pacific. Considering the size of the avearge Battlefield and amount of troops involved its was more concentrating and bloodier than the European war was even the Easter Front with some exception. This in no way is ment to demean the sacrify and bravery of the European Ally soldier. They are both equal in my book. Its that some of the avearge World war two amature student that I have spoken to believe that the real war in World war two was the Europen Theater. The real fighting was done in Europe and that the Pacific war was fought against a not so siphisticated and relative easy opponent who we shoot down ten to one and killed ten to one and that the war was solely decided in Europe.

That is simply wrong. It was a World event that involved the most of the World Civilizations and all the powerful counries of that era.

It was a total World war.

PS Believe me the Air war in the Pacific was a toughr than we have been told!


Miamieagle