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Another Bayonet Lug in the South Pacific

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Dan Pinto, Photo Editor

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    Posted: Oct 11 2020 at 6:42pm
2020-J     

Jap Weapon for POW's
                                         
Commander Charles E. Houston of Park Rapids, Minn., a Long Range Bomber Pilot who was Downed over Yellow Sea in June, 1945,
shows a bat used to beat prisoners at Ofuna Prison Camp near Yokohama, to Lt. Robert G. Smith, Dalton, Mass.,
with the Personal Recovery Service with the 11th Airborne Division.

http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/forum/uploads/3657/2020J.jpg

Note the Type 3 barrel band on carbine that the Lieutenant has slung muzzle down.

An article in the November 2011, CCNL 368, based on the research of Don Hillhouse give accounts of an after action report that suggests that carbines with the bayonet lugs arrived overseas prior to the end of the war. However, at this point no dated photographic evidence had been uncovered.

CCNL 141, August 1988, has a photograph of a GI on occupation duty in Tokyo with a bayonet lug. The picture was from "The 1st Cavalry Division in WWII" and is presumed to have been taken in late 1945.
In that article Marty Black recalls a photograph in a museum showing a slung carbine with a low wood stock. milled adjustable rear sight, late came slide and a 4 rivet handguard. That photograph (not shown) was dated "Tokyo 2 Sep 1945"

CCNL 377, January 2014, presented what is believed to be the earliest documented photograph of a Type 3 barrel band in the WWII combat zone
Research suggests that the picture was from a May 25, 1945 ditched B-29 "Superfortress".
The photograph of the soldier guarding the plane has a flip sight. This suggests that this type 3 barrel band was installed in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

The Ofuna Prison Camp was run by the Guard unit of the Yokosuka Naval District rather than the Imperial Japanese Army which usually ran P.O.W. camps.

The Japanese Navy ran the secret Ofuna Camp in violation of international agreements as well as in violation of the Geneva convention.

Ofuna was never reported as a prisoner camp and was claimed by the Japanese as a temporary holding facility for prisoners who would be transferred elsewhere.
Though they would normally hold a prisoner for 8 days many were detained much longer.
The prisoners that were sent to Ofuna were mostly officers who might have had intelligence. The prison camp received the nickname of the 'Torture Farm" by it inmates who were beaten with wooded clubs for refusing to answer questions or other infractions as the interrogators saw fit.


Some of you may be familiar Ofuna from the book, and later movie "Unbroken" as it was about Olympic runner and war hero Louis Zamperini who was interned at Ofuna and the abuse that took place.

Excerpts of the Reports of MacArthur in Japan: The Occupation: Military Phase, Volume 1 Supplement:
Bestial beatings were common especially at Ofuna, inquisitorial den of brutism.
Ofuna, had been the Gestapo center of Japan.

On the 21st of August, 1945 the Ofuna camp was liberated with the 126 remaining American and nine British prisoners.

This would date this photograph the end of August, making it the second earliest photograph with a bayonet lug that we can narrow the date.

We would like to thank Marty Black for submitting this photograph above.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 11 2020 at 8:42pm
Commander Charles E Houston is a true Navy War Hero who was the recipient of the Navy Cross, citation below:

"The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Commander Charles Edward Houston (NSN: 0-77014), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism as Plane Commander of a Patrol Bomber Plane in Patrol Bomber Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR (VPB-124), in action against enemy Japanese forces in the East China Sea, on 26 June 1945. Sighting an enemy convoy of five vessels, including two destroyers and a 10,000-ton transport, while leading a two-plane section in a combat air patrol, Commander Houston singled out the transport as his main target and immediately pressed home an aggressive low-altitude attack in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire from the entire convoy. Undaunted by direct hits on his plane, which probably killed his bow gunner and radio operator, he courageously completed his run with one of his engines on fire and another completely neutralized, scoring a direct hit on the stern of the enemy ship while a second bomb exploded at the vessel's waterline, ultimately sinking the transport. Continuing the attack against another enemy ship, he released two more bombs and, with two engines out of commission and part of the controls shot away, skillfully piloted his plane a distance of eight to ten miles from the convoy before he was forced to ditch the aircraft into the sea. By his brilliant airmanship in this emergency landing, he was directly responsible in saving the lives of eight members of his crew who were able to escape on inflated life rafts. His indomitable fighting spirit, outstanding courage and staunch devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon Commander Houston and the United States Naval Service."
Wayne
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 11 2020 at 11:19pm
Wayne, Good stuff!
He spent two months in the Ofuna Prison Camp.

He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He went on to serve in Korea. He retired from the service in 1960. Later he worked in Vietnam as a civilian for about a year.

The Bomber he was flying was a PBAY-2 "Privateer" Long-range bomber which is a modified B-24 design that was used by the Navy.  It was slightly longer than a B-24, had a single huge vertical tail instead of a twin tail of the B-24, and had slightly different turrets and slightly different engines.
(thanks go to Marty Black for that descriptive)

He was also a helicopter pioneer. In 1950 he was the head of the Rotary Wing Design Branch

http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/forum/uploads/3657/CEHouston.jpg


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2020 at 9:41am
Bottom left corner of pic.
Is that blood on the club or a smudge on picture ?

Those Bast@rds !

Good Stuff Guys,

Ch-P777
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Beezer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2020 at 12:27pm
Originally posted by painter777 painter777 wrote:

Bottom left corner of pic.
Is that blood on the club or a smudge on picture ?

There is a red smudge but it is not part of the club as it is in color and the photo is not.  Further up in the club you can make out a fingerprint that is also on the photo and not in it if that makes sense.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2020 at 1:55pm
Unbroken - that was a great book to read.

About the type 3 band usage - I'm sure I must be missing something - given that Inland was using type 3 bands in the fall of 44 I'd have to assume they went into service and thus in theater?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2020 at 4:42pm
Originally posted by Beezer Beezer wrote:

Originally posted by painter777 painter777 wrote:

Bottom left corner of pic.
Is that blood on the club or a smudge on picture ?

There is a red smudge but it is not part of the club as it is in color and the photo is not.  Further up in the club you can make out a fingerprint that is also on the photo and not in it if that makes sense.  

Good Job Beezer Thumbs Up

I thought I might catch someone hung over from the weekend and not realize it's a Black and White photo.

I've read so many posts about stains on stocks that HAVE to be from blood.

Cheers,
Charlie-P777
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote firstflabn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2020 at 11:22am
Originally posted by GotSnlB28 GotSnlB28 wrote:

About the type 3 band usage - I'm sure I must be missing something - given that Inland was using type 3 bands in the fall of 44 I'd have to assume they went into service and thus in theater?

Photos are a lousy way to draw conclusions about such broad logistics issues. If you had your picture taken outside the stadium wearing a shirt in your team colors with the logo plastered all over it, what would that tell you about how many similar shirts were at the game? Answer: nothing. An anecdote can confirm it happened once but, at best, even properly used within its limitations, can only lead to a better defined question, not an answer.

Lacking documentation setting carbines with Type 3 bands (or just the bands alone for MWO mods) as an overseas shipping priority or records of issuance to late deploying units, we are left with looking at the big picture. But first, one more chance to beat up on those who rely on anecdotes: CCNL 377 shows 14,124 M2 Carbines in the hands of troops in the ETO. To the best of our current understanding, these would have had Type 3 bands. Where are the photos of these M2s? Bueller?

Now, back to the big picture. A possible answer to why Type 3 bands are not seen all over the Pacific is: by the time the Type 3 came about, the supply pipeline was filled. With no evidence of being assigned a high priority or as a special project, the extremely long shipping times could mean the clock simply ran out. Long range planning - both for production and shipping capacity - requires estimates of expenditure rates (based on field experience) for each item in the supply catalog. For carbines in the Pacific in early 1945, the attrition rate was either 2 or 3 percent per month. Further, rear areas in the SW Pacific and South Pacific departments were being rolled up, so even those tiny loss percentages might have been made up mostly from existing reserves in the region rather than from stateside.

Another category, newly deploying units fresh from the U.S. are another likely suspect - but nobody has gone through the dozens or hundreds of units' records hoping to find a mention of late issuance of updated carbines.

One more point on the supply pipeline. OD records show on 31 Jan 45 they had 229,847 carbines 'Total Supply Ready For Issue'. That month, 38,447 were requisitioned for overseas shipment (for the whole world - but excluding swabbies and maureens). A major effort to reequip stateside training bases for units that would redeploy through the US to the Pacific after V-E Day was just about to begin, so that may account for a portion of new production.

By the time of Okinawa, it was almost too late for a large scale effort to replace complete carbines or perform the bayo band MWO. There was time to do so for the invasion of Japan - but does anyone know where to find an official record stating it was a priority? Guess that wouldn't show up in a photo.

That's a long non-answer; allow me to muddy the waters further. Here's a fuzzy picture of an ETO engineering battalion organic to the 63rd Infantry Div. The undated photo is in a section covering the Occupation, but the division arrived in Marseilles in Jan 45 and returned stateside in Sep 45, so it had to be taken sometime in between. Are those MWO Type 3 bands - or factory M2s?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GotSnlB28 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2020 at 10:43pm
Good summary of the logistics and uncertainties, thanks for that. My simplistic view going in was "if carbines with type 3 bands were manufactured for 11 months till VJ day..." and that rifles with the latest updates would logically have been deployed first from supply. But then with no distinct part number (aside of M2) or labeling a crate of rifles is a crate of rifles? And it also ignores supply chain logistics of which depots were shipping what and everything already in transit. Yep it's complicated.
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