The Battle of Cape Gloucester WWII
PFC CHARLES OLIVER JEANES
PFC GIBSON E. BUSH
Charles Oliver Jeanes was born in
McKinney, 23 February, 1925 and lived most of his life in Melissa. He enlisted
in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 on 16 November, 1942. After training at
Camp Elliott in San Diego, California, Private Jeanes shipped out for duty in the South
Pacific. In late 1943 he saw action against the Japanese in
the Eastern New Guinea Operation. On 26 December, 1943, he joined the battle at
Cape Gloucester, New Britain, as a rifleman with A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th
Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, (A 1/7)where he was killed in action on 6 January, 1944.
At 19 years of age Private First Class Jeanes was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism. He
is buried at Allen Cemetery, in Allen.
NAVY CROSS CITATION
PFC CHARLES OLIVER JEANES
The President of the
United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to
Charles Oliver Jeanes (488463), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
(Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving as a
rifleman of Company A, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine
Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces at Cape Gloucester, New
Britain, on 6 January 1944. Undeterred by rain, dense jungle undergrowth and
unfamiliar terrain, Private First Class Jeanes bravely advanced against the
enemy during an attack on a heavily fortified roadblock flanked on one side
by a swamp and on the other side by the sea, and prevented the Japanese from
throwing mines at the tanks. When one of our tanks became bogged down in the
mud and was menaced by mines thrown by the Japanese on the left flank,
Private First Class Jeanes quickly moved to the side of the stranded vehicle
and opened deadly rifle fire on the enemy, at the same time attempting to
catch the mines before they could damage or destroy the tank. Although
instantly killed by an exploding mine while engaged in this hazardous
undertaking, Private First Class Jeanes, by his cool courage, spirit of
self-sacrifice and unwavering devotion to duty, had contributed materially
to the success of the attack, and his conduct throughout upheld the highest
traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life
for his country.
PFC GIBSON E. BUSH
From Allen, US Marine Corps PFC Bush was Killed In Action on 14 June, 1944 in the battle of Cape Gloucester. Gibson was a machine gunner who accounted for over 100 dead enemy soldiers in the battle in which he was killed.
ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL
WORLD WAR II VICTORY MEDAL
(no photo or other information available)
The Battle of
Cape Gloucester is located on the northwest side of the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The battle took place between late December 1943 and April 22, 1944, on the island of New Britain, the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea, Territory of New Guinea. New Guinea, located just north of Australia, is the world's second largest island. The battle was a major part of Operation Cartwheel, an operation by the Allies in the Pacific theater of World War II to capture Japanese airfield at Cape Gloucester in order to contribute to the isolation and harassment of the major Japanese base at Rabaul, the capital of East New Britain province, on New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea.
Photos from the Battle at Cape Gloucester courtesy of Department of Defense USMC
|Planning the New Britain Operation, MajGen Rupertus and Gen Douglas MacArthur||The circle marks where Charles Jeanes was killed||Ships are loaded.||Marines boarding landing craft|
The day after Christmas
26 Dec. 1943
Marines wade ashore
|Two new weapons were introduced during the battle: the M1 Grand rifle and M4A1 Sherman tank||
MajGen William H.
1st Marine Division
|Marine with a Thompson sub-machine gun|
|Dense jungle, swamps, torrential rain, snakes, insects ...||New Year's Eve 1943 Marines capture Japanese airfield||Monsoon season||Mess Tent - Trying to prepare hot chow in a flood|
A recon patrol from A 1/7 poses on Target Hill, Cape Gloucester, with captured Japanese equipment
4 Jan 44. L–R: PFC Dick Saylor, GySgt Theo Dexkrow, PFC Ike Smith, PFC Tom Shanahan,
PFC Earl Quinn,
PFC DD Barrett.
Photo courtesy MSgt Charles Owens
Target Hill - Captured on the same day as the landings by assault battalions of the 7th Marines, who occupied this high ground. Counter attacked by Col. Kenshiro Katayama 141st Infantry on the night of January 2-3, 1944. They attacked without probing the line first and were repulsed.
|Marines on the front line with an M1917 Browning machine gun|
|“The day after Christmas 1943, the 1st Marine Division landed at Cape Gloucester on New Britain to put pressure on the Japanese fortress of Rabaul. The Marines moved rapidly inland toward their objectives, Hill 660 and the Cape Gloucester airfield. Right after the New Year the Marines of L Co. 7th Marines stumbled across a small stream and began to cross the obstacle which was not marked on their maps. Not long after the first few Marines cleared the far side, a ferocious volume of fire erupted from cleverly concealed Japanese bunkers on the far bank. The Marines attempted to flank the Japanese positions only to discover that the Japanese were firmly entrenched along the muddy, steep banked stream that the Marines quickly came to call “Suicide Creek”.|
|Mud bogged down the track vehicles||Pushing through jungle and swamp an inch at a time||Wounded Marine treated by a Navy Corpsman||Bodies of dead enemy soldiers|
Suicide Creek - Located to the northwest of Target Hill. Japanese had strong defenses around this location. On 3 January, tanks first tried to cross but were unable. A bulldozer worked to create a lip allowing Sherman tanks to cross while fired on by the Japanese. The next morning the tanks crossed and proceeded to Aogiri Ridge. This is where PFC Jeanes was killed.
Navy Cross citation for Charles Jeans it says that the Japanese were throwing
mines and he was trying to catch them before they hit the tank that was stuck in
the mud. Here is the official bulletin from Military Intelligence Service on the
new weapon. Throughout WWII the Intelligence Bulletin was designed to inform
officers and enlisted men of the latest enemy tactics and weapons:
Attack! Battle of New Britain
58-minute documentary produced by the Department of Defense in 1944.
This is a great film and shows what life was like for Charles Jeans and Gibson Bush at Cape Gloucester.
One of the narrators could be Humphrey Bogart.
(click on the square in the bottom right-hand corner for full screen.)
A Marine veteran recalls the Battle at Suicide Creek
To read more about the Battle of New Gloucester go here:
CAPE GLOUCESTER: THE GREEN INFERNO by Bernard C, Nalty
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