Friday, January 31, 2020

Operation MIKE SIX Continues

WED 31 JAN 1945
TG 78.2 (Rear Admiral William M. Fechteler) lands Army troops (two RCTs of the 11th Airborne Division) at Nasugbu, south of the entrance to Manila Bay in Operation MIKE SIX; TG 77.4 (Rear Admiral William D. Sample) provides cover. A third RCT of the 11th Airborne is airdropped at Tagtaytay Ridge, 14 miles inland and the three RCTs link up on 3 February. This operation, designed to outflank the enemy forces defending Manila, meets little resistance at the outset; Japanese assault demolition boats attack the screen, however, and sink submarine chaser PC-1129, the flagship for the control unit, TU 78.2.7, 14°05'N, 120°30'E.

Submarine Boarfish (SS-327) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Enki Maru 50 miles southeast of Tourane, French Indochina, 14°55'N, 109°01'E, and damages cargo ship Taietsu Maru, which is run aground (see 1 February) 14°56'N, 109°00'E.

Submarine Pargo (SS-264) damages Japanese escort vessel Manju, 11°51'N, 109°12'E.

Submarine Spadefish (SS-411) unsuccessfully attacks Japanese ship Nanshin Maru in Yellow Sea west of Ch'uja Kundo, Korea, 34°14'N, 122°36'E.

Motor torpedo boat PT-338 irreparably damaged by grounding (see 27 January) is destroyed by demolition squad off Semimara Island Luzon, 12°06'N, 121°23'E.

USAAF B-25s (Far Eastern Air Force) sink Japanese escort destroyer Ume and damage destroyer Shiokaze and escort destroyer Kaede west of Takao, Formosa, 22°30'N, 12°00'E.

Japanese small cargo vessel No.4 Kiri Maru is sunk by mine off Cape Tavoy, Burma, 13°32'N, 98°10'E.
Another month nearer the end!

Today In Show Biz Lice: No Balls

A sadly suitable end to the first month of the new decade.
File under: Things I didn't really need to know.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

"no enemy opposition"

TUE 30 JAN 1944
TG 78.3 (Rear Admiral Arthur D. Struble) lands army troops (38th Infantry) on Grande Island Subic Bay, in Operation MIKE SEVEN; they encounter no enemy opposition. Light cruiser Denver (CL-58) and destroyers Fletcher (DD-445) and Radford (DD-446) provide gunfire support. TG 77.4 (Rear Admiral William D. Sample), consisting of six escort carriers and their screen, provide direct air cover. Attack transport Cavalier (APA-37) is torpedoed by Japanese submarine RO 46 off Subic Bay, 14°48'N, 119°18'E.

Destroyer Burns (DD-588) sinks Japanese guardboat No.2 Hokoku Maru off Ojae, 08°42'N, 167°44'E.

Submarine Bergall (SS-320) damages Japanese storeship Arasaki, 08°26'S, 115°40'E.

Submarine Threadfin (SS-410) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Issei Maru off southern Honshu, 33°30'N, 135°34'E, but although damaged by depth charges from escorts, 33°20'N, 135°30'E, remains on patrol.

British submarine HMS Tantalus sinks Japanese fishing boat No.12 Taisei Maru in northern approaches to Bangka Strait, 01°26'S, 105°01'E.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Serpens Story

MON 29 JAN 1945
TG 78.3 (Rear Admiral Arthur D. Struble) lands troops (38th Infantry and 34th RCT of 24th Infantry) near San Antonio, northwest of Subic Bay. They encounter no enemy opposition, move rapidly inland and seize all initial objectives.

Landing craft repair ship Amycus (ARL-2) and medium landing ship LSM-135 are damaged when accidentally bombed by SBD, Lingayen Gulf, 16°20'N, 120°10'E.

Cargo ship Serpens (AK-97) is sunk by explosion of undetermined origin off Guadalcanal; the blast damages submarine chasers PC-588, SC-1039, and SC-1266; motor minesweeper YMS-281; and district patrol craft YP-514.*

Destroyer Lardner (DD-487) is damaged when she runs aground off Ngesebus Island Palau.

Submarine Picuda (SS-382) attacks Japanese convoy in Formosa Strait, sinking army cargo ship Clyde Maru about 50 miles northwest of Keelung, 25°20'N, 121°06'E.

USAAF B-25s sink Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser No.10 Takunan Maru off Chichi Jima, 27°45'N, 142°00'E.

Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.47 is damaged by aircraft, 20°45'N, 142°00'E.

*The rest of the story:
Packed with 600 tons of ammo and explosives, the USS Serpens died in a flash beneath a full moon at 11:18 p.m. on Jan. 29, 1945.

The blast was so violent it rained shrapnel and debris on the island of Guadalcanal a mile away, killed a soldier onshore, knocked everyone standing within that radius off their feet, and flung one sailor into another vessel moored 650 yards away. That ship, the USS YP 514, had its bow and crow's nest demolished, and counted 14 injuries as "missiles" and "screeching shells" continued to explode and turn night into day.

Witnesses said the calamity generated an eight-foot tidal wave, and that the ground shock rippled five miles out. Some said the sky drizzled oil for up to two hours. When bystanders regained their senses, the 100-ton barge that had been transferring bombs onto the Serpens had vanished, and all that was left of the 441-foot cargo ship was its sinking bow, keel up.

Miraculously, two sailors who had been asleep in a forward hold survived. Few other bodies were recovered intact. When the counting was done, 193 Coast Guard crewmen, who had been manning the Navy ship, were gone -- along with 56 Army stevedores and an onboard civilian doctor. It was, in short, the most catastrophic single-event loss of life in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Four years later, in what Arlington National Cemetery describes as "the largest group burial" ever hosted, the remains of the 250 casualties from that disaster were retrieved from Guadalcanal, placed in 52 flag-draped coffins, and laid to rest in 28 graves.

According to the Navy, which conducted the investigation, the Serpens blew up during the accidental mishandling of bombs, torpedoes and depth charges. But the son of a crew member isn't buying it.

After pressing Florida politicians and pursuing government records with Freedom of Information Act requests, Robert Breen of Venice has discovered curious gaps in the Serpens' obituary. And at 76, the retired Central Intelligence Agency senior finance officer and certified fraud investigator wonders if he's onto one of the last coverups of World War II.

Alongside 249 other names, "Gerald C. Breen F2 USCGR" is engraved into the octagonal granite marker dedicated to the USS Serpens in Arlington. As a 29-year-old reserve fireman, Gerald Breen was one of a quarter million Coast Guardsmen deployed in the Second World War. According to the letters he wrote home, the Boston native had it made.

"They ate like kings because it was a supply ship. It was like they had Thanksgiving dinner every Sunday," says Gerald Breen's only child, who has no memory of his father. "They even had bathtubs."

Commissioned in 1943, the Navy cargo ship spent much of her short life in the South Pacific ferrying supplies to Allied forces. Gerald Breen, who enlisted the same year, joined the Serpens in October 1944. In November, the ship was modified in New Zealand to carry ordnance.

When it reached the Solomon Islands in January 1945, the Serpens' load included 3,399 unfused bombs, each containing 350 pounds of high-explosive Torpex. The vessel anchored a mile off Lunga Point, on the north shore of Guadalcanal.

Two years earlier, Guadalcanal was the site of the Allies' first major land victory over Japan, a bloody affair that took six months to resolve. By early 1945, the front lines had swept more than 2,500 miles to the west. The U.S. fleet had fought its way to the Japanese doorstep, reloading and mobilizing for the invasion of Iwo Jima.

On the evening the Serpens was destroyed, eight of its crew, including Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Perry Stinson, had gone ashore. Eyewitnesses remember hearing two consecutive explosions, the second of which expelled the fireball that vaporized the ship. The Navy was responsible for perimeter security.

An only child raised by his widowed mother, Robert Breen had an aptitude for crunching numbers. After college, in 1966, he answered a Boston Globe want ad soliciting government accountants for an unnamed employer. It would be Breen's entree into the CIA, where he would climb the ladder into the Agency's Office of Logistics, its Commercial Systems Audit Division, the Office of Finance and the Office of Inspector General. Foreign assignments included posts in Paris, Rome, and Iran.

As Breen built a career pursuing efficiency and accountability, something his mother said about his Dad's death nagged him for much of his adult life.

Mom was officially notified by the USCG of her husband's death on April 9, 1945, in a letter stating that Gerald Breen was killed when "the vessel ... was torpedoed by the enemy." But she told her son she understood that none of the Serpens' crew received the Purple Heart, awarded to military personnel killed or wounded during hostilities, because the explosion had subsequently been ruled accidental.

Things got more curious in 1995, when Breen attended a 50-year anniversary memorial service in Arlington for the crew. That's where he learned that seven of those aboard the Serpens had in fact received Purple Hearts.

Furthermore, on the eve of that anniversary, one of those survivors, Kelsie Kemp, told a Virginia newspaper the ship had been torpedoed by a Japanese submarine that had been detected shadowing the Serpens prior to the explosion. And in a most puzzling twist, Kemp also remembered seeing a Japanese weather plane beforehand, and that deck gunners were ordered to hold their fire.

"That little plane came out buzzing like a skeeter and we couldn't do anything," recalled Kemp, since deceased. "There's probably a picture of me in Japan looking up with my mouth gaping open."

Both Kemp and fellow survivor George Kennedy were among the seven who received Purple Hearts.

Last year, Douglas Campbell, a retired naval intelligence officer, military historian and author, was conducting research at on an unrelated WWII matter when he got sidetracked by the Serpens disaster. He'd never heard of it. Fascinated, he began Googling more recent developments. And he discovered the fierce tenacity of Robert Breen, who launched his quest for answers in 2012.

In the fall 2018 issue of its newsletter, "The Quarterdeck Log," the Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association revisited the greatest tragedy in USCG history with a four-page spread on the Serpens sinking and its aftermath. Specifically, it focused on documents Robert Breen had acquired through FOIA requests and with the assistance of then-U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

Highlights included a report filed by the Serpens' commanding officer, Perry Stinson, just two days after the explosion: "I am unable to state whether the explosion which destroyed the ship was due to enemy action and the explosion of the depth charges constituting its cargo or to the explosion of the cargo alone."

Stinson's uncertainty was challenged by a Navy report dated March 21, 1945: "It is believed that the original blast was caused by enemy action, probably by an enemy submarine, since Tokyo radio boasted of the explosion before they possibly could have learned about it from us."

That finding augmented the March 1, 1945, Navy Department Communique No. 583, which announced the Serpens "has been lost in the South Pacific Area as a result of enemy action."

And then there's an undated document emerging from the Navy Court of Inquiry hearings from 1945. It was endorsed by four U.S. commands, including three within the Pacific Fleet and another from the South Pacific Area and Force.

"There is a possibility that the explosion was due to rough handling and the court could not reach an agreement on probable cause," it states. "The majority of the court blamed it on enemy action, while a minority report blamed it on rough handling.

"There was, however, absolutely no evidence of rough handling and the minority report was obviously based on the bad reputation which Torpex has."

But by the time the Coast Guard conducted official burial ceremonies at Arlington in 1949, and for reasons unknown, the minority report had prevailed. The USCG's appeals for media coverage stated the explosion was "determined [to be] not the result of enemy action."

Why the about-face? Breen went searching for the evidence that figured into Navy Judge Advocate General's conclusions on the Serpens in 1949. He also wanted to know who those board members were.

Breen discovered the records had been checked out of the National Archives Records Administration in 2003 by the Navy JAG's office and never returned. Furthermore, Breen's appeals to JAG for the name of the ship that attempted to hunt down the Japanese submarine, as well as its logs, were unsuccessful.

Campbell was intrigued. "It cannot be explained," he says, of why only a handful of selected members of the Serpens were awarded Purple Hearts. "Based on the findings of 1945, they would've all been automatically nominated for the Purple Heart."

Alternately, if Purple Hearts were wrongly awarded, they should be revoked and returned.

Breen suspects the Navy blamed the explosion on crew failure rather than enemy activity in order to insulate itself from charges it failed to provide adequate security. Although stringing anti-torpedo netting around anchored vessels was a standard precaution during the war, they were not 100% fail-safe. But there are no records indicating whether or not those measures were taken with the Serpens.

Campbell, however, isn't sure if an intentional whitewash was in play.

"I've got to go with incompetence," he says from his home in Southern Pines, North Carolina. "I just don't totally believe they purposefully destroyed Navy records to hide anything. I think there would be a lot of other things they wouldn't have wanted out that did get out."

Campbell remembers requesting information from JAG about an American sub sunk by friendly fire in the Caribbean during the war. He received the findings of the Navy's board of investigation and its subsequent formal board of inquiry. A year later, however, Campbell was contacted by another researcher looking into the same accident, only to be informed by JAG it couldn't find the records.

"After they sent me my copies," Campbell says, "they evidently misplaced the originals."

Campbell and Breen are collaborating on a fuller accounting -- "The Long Blue Line Disrupted: USS Serpens (AK-97) and the Largest Loss of Life in U.S. Coast Guard History" -- which they intend to publish by the end of the year, and in time for January's 75th anniversary. It is incomplete, as neither were able to obtain Japanese records of relevant submarine activity.

The book will also include a cautiously crafted foreword by retired Coast Guard admiral and former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security James Loy. His statement avoids the controversy, but he declares "the Serpens story is a significant part of [the USCG] legacy and deserves to be told wide and far."

Breen is also circulating a petition encouraging the USCG to convene a new investigation for the purposes of awarding Purple Hearts to all the victims of the explosion, including his father.

Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association President Stephen Petersen has written Breen a letter expressing "our unqualified endorsement of your efforts." As Petersen told the Herald-Tribune, 75 years in limbo is long enough. "They should've gotten these medals from the very beginning. And we shouldn't have to beg for them."

The Coast Guard did not comment on Breen's lobbying campaign.

The co-authors will also travel to Guadalcanal in September, where a team of divers, including two of Breen's sons, hope to retrieve photos of what little remains of the Serpens.

"I'm not saying this was definitely a coverup," Breen says. "But it has all the indications that someone doesn't want the truth out there."

© Copyright 2019 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

This article was written by Billy Cox for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Spadefish Sinks Ships

SUN 28 JAN 1945
Submarine Spadefish (SS-411) attacks Japanese convoy in the southern Yellow Sea and sinks escort vessel Kume, 33°50'N, 122°55'E and transport (ex-seaplane carrier) Sanuki Maru, 34°02'N, 123°00'E.

Accuracy In Miniature

Monday, January 27, 2020


SAT 27 JAN 1944
Motor torpedo boat PT-338 is damaged by grounding off Semimara Island Luzon, 12°06'N, 121°23'E.

Submarine Bergall (SS-320) sinks Japanese auxiliary minesweeper Wa.102 in Lombok Strait, 08°34'S, 115°50'E.

Japanese merchant cargo ship Ryuzan Maru is sunk by USAAF mine off Hankow, China, 29°46'N, 116°52'E; cargo ship Hsin Yang Maru is sunk by USAAF mine (laid by 14th Air Force B-24 on 19 January ) off Kiukiang, China, 29°55'N, 115°20'E.

Japanese transport Nagatsu Maru is damaged by mine off Chichi Jima.

U.S. freighter Ruben Dario is torpedoed and damaged by German submarine, most likely U-852, off Saint George's Channel, 52°27'N, 05°21'W. There are no casualties among the 27-man Armed Guard.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

"lost in amphibious operations"

FRI 26 JAN 1945
Tank landing craft LCT-1151 is lost in amphibious operations, 01°00'N, 138°36'E.

Submarine Tautog (SS-199) sinks Japanese merchant sail fishing boat No.11 Naga Maru, 30°00'N, 136°20'E.

Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Hakko Maru is sunk by aircraft off Corregidor.

Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser No.13 Kyo Maru is sunk by mine off Bengeri Point.

Japanese merchant cargo ship No.1 Tamon Maru is sunk by mine (laid by submarine Dace [SS-247] on 16 December 1944) off Gambir Island French Indochina, 13°36'N, 109°18'E.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Greenling (SS-213) Forced To Terminate Patrol

THU 25 JAN 1945
Submarine Greenling (SS-213) is damaged by depth charges off Nansei Shoto, 29°27'N, 130°09'E, and is forced to terminate her patrol.

Submarine Silversides (SS-236), despite presence of auxiliary submarine chasers Cha 90 and Cha 168, sinks Japanese army cargo ship Malay Maru, 31°18'N, 130°08'E.

Destroyer McLanahan (DD-615) shells German command post and then silences shore battery on the Italian Riviera.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Good Job, Guardfish

WED 24 JAN 1945
Preceded in their approach by a barrier patrol of PB4Ys, TG 94.9 (Rear Admiral Oscar C. Badger), consisting of battleship Indiana (BB-58), three heavy cruisers, seven destroyers and a light minelayer, bombards Iwo Jima, together with USAAF B-24s (escorted by P-38s). Northeast of Iwo, destroyers Dunlap (DD-384) and Fanning (DD-385) sink transport I-Go Yoneyama Maru and auxiliary minesweepers Keinan Maru and No.7 Showa Maru, 24°50'N, 141°22'E, a small Japanese three-ship convoy that had just arrived that morning.

Navy land-based planes flying from the Philippines bomb Japanese shipping at Keelung, Formosa, sinking merchant cargo ship Beiju Maru and damaging cargo ship Taizatsu Maru, 25°09'N, 121°45'E.

Dock landing ship Shadwell (LSD-15) is damaged by aerial torpedo, P.I., 09°01'N, 123°45'E.

Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Shunyo Maru is sunk by aircraft off Corregidor.

Submarine Atule (SS-403) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship No.1 Taiman Maru in the central Yellow Sea, 36°47'N, 123°59'E.

Submarine Blackfin (SS-322) sinks Japanese destroyer Shigure 160 miles east of Khota Baru, Malaya, 06°00'N, 103°48'E, and teams with Besugo (SS-321) to damage merchant tanker Sarawak Maru off east coast of Malay Peninsula, 06°00'N, 103°45'E (see 19 March).

Submarine Guardfish (SS-217) mistakenly sinks salvage vessel Extractor (ARS-15) in Philippine Sea, 15°44'N, 133°29'E.

German planes bomb Antwerp, Belgium, damaging U.S. freighter Alcoa Banner; she is later written off as a total loss.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

F.D.R. Embarks To Malta & Yalta;
Barb (SS-220) Bullshits

TUE 23 JAN 1945
President Roosevelt embarks in heavy cruiser Quincy (CA-71) at Newport News, Virginia, on the beginning of the trip that will include his participation in ARGONAUT Conferences at Malta and Yalta.

Destroyer escort Conklin (DE-439), supported by sisterships Corbesier (DE-438) and Raby (DE-698) sinks Japanese submarine I 48 (fresh from her unsuccessful kaiten mission to Ulithi), 25 miles off Yap, 09°45'N, 138°20'E.

Submarine Barb (SS-220) enters Namkwan harbor, China, and despite her claim that she sinks three ships, "probably" sinks a fourth, and damages two more, she actually destroys only a single vessel, merchant cargo ship Taikyo Maru 27°04'N, 120°27'E.

Submarine Nautilus (SS-168) delivers supplies to east coast of Mindanao.

Submarine Sennet (SS-408) sinks Japanese guardboat No.7 Kainan Maru in Hangchow Bay, China, 30°00'N, 120°16'E.

Mines laid by RAF Liberators the previous day sink Japanese merchant tanker No.1 Hozan Maru and cargo ship Nikkaku Maru south of Sembilan Island Sumatra, 04°08'N, 98°15'E.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Adm. McCain Pounds Again

MON 22 JAN 1945
TF 38 (Vice Admiral John S. McCain) pounds Japanese shipping, airfields and other installations in the Ryukyus; TF 38 planes sink motor sailships No.1 Iroha Maru and Myooei Maru, and fishing boat No.1 Waei Maru. TF 38 planes also sink cargo vessel Suma Maru in Gima harbor, Kume Island; merchant tankers No.2 Nanko Maru and No.2 Nanshin Maru off Miyako Jima; and merchant cargo ship Hikosan Maru in Toguchi harbor, Okinawa, 26°39'N, 127°53'E. Guardboat No.6 Chitose Maru is sunk, probably by aircraft in Nansei Shoto.

Japanese submarine chaser Ch 42 is damaged by mine off Chichi Jima.

Japanese river gunboat Saga is sunk by aircraft at Hong Kong.

British submarine HMS Spirit sinks Japanese ship Ryushin Maru in Java Sea, 06°02'S, 110°41'E.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Grandpappy McCain At It Again

SUN 21 JAN 1945
TF 38 (Vice Admiral John S. McCain) attacks Japanese shipping and airfields on Formosa, and in the Pescadores, as well as in Sakashima Gunto and on Okinawa in the Ryukyus. Japanese planes make concerted counterattacks on the task force ships; kamikazes damage carrier Ticonderoga (CV-14), 22°40'N, 122°57'E and destroyer Maddox (DD-731), 23°06'N, 122°43'E; small carrier Langley (CVL-27) is damaged by bomb, 22°40'N, 122°51'E. Accidental explosion of bombs carried by TBM (VT 7) damages carrier Hancock (CV-19), 22°40'N, 122°30'E.

TF 38 planes sink fleet tankers Eiho Maru and Manjo Maru; cargo ship Kuroshio Maru; army cargo ships Enoura Maru, Asaka Maru and 2 Nichiyo Maru and Teifu Maru; army tankers Shincho Maru and 3 Hoei Maru and 5 Hoei Maru, and Yamazawa Maru; fishing boat Brunei Maru*; cargo vessels Daijo Maru and Yayoi Maru; and damage destroyers Kashi and Sugi landing ships T.114 and T.143, merchant cargo ship Yulin Maru and water supply vessel Nikko Maru off Takao, Formosa; planes from carrier Yorktown (CV-10) and small carrier Cabot (CVL-28) sink merchant tanker Munakata Maru at Keelung; TF 38 planes damage destroyer Harukaze off Mako.

USAAF B-24s (14th Air Force) sink Japanese salvage vessel Haruta Maru at Hong Kong, 22°20'N, 114°10'E.

Submarine Tautog (SS-199) sinks Japanese merchant tanker Zuiun Maru, 33°33'N, 129°33'E.

Japanese army cargo ship Shoshin Maru is sunk by gunfire, 23°48'N, 125°16'E.

Landing craft LCT-253 founders and sinks in heavy weather en route to Tarawa.

U.S. freighter George Hawley, in convoy TBC 43, is torpedoed and irreparably damaged by German submarine U-1199 off the Isle of Wight, 49°53'N, 05°44'W.

*Kinda chickenshit to attack fishing boats innit?

Monday, January 20, 2020

Hungarians Quit Like Dogs;
Operation KONGO Concludes

SAT 20 JAN 1945
Hungary surrenders to the allies.

Naval Technical Mission in Europe (Commodore Henry A. Schade) is established with headquarters in Paris, France. [Nice work if you can get it, as they say. — M.B.]

Submarine Nautilus (SS-168) lands supplies on south coast of Mindanao, P.I.

Submarine Spot (SS-413) sinks Japanese merchant fishing boat Tokiwa Maru 34°45'N, 124°10'E.

Submarine Tautog (SS-199) sinks Japanese torpedo recovery vessel Shuri Maru at southern end of Tsushima Strait, 33°37'N, 128°40'E.

Operation KONGO concludes with Japanese submarine I 48 carrying out unsuccessful Kaiten attack on U.S. shipping at Ulithi (see 23 January).

Today's Eat The Rich Item

Oxfam Report Calls Extreme Wealth a Sign of a Failing Economic System

“I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason we’re in trouble,” former Vice President Joe Biden told an audience at the Brookings Institute in 2018. It was a few months before he’d officially declare his candidacy for president, but Biden’s position was clear: “The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”


Amid the evergreen insistence that the world’s richest deserve to stay that way, and just as the World Economic Forum—the annual gathering of political and economic elites—gets underway in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam, the global charity, has released its annual report on global wealth inequality. Its title could double as a demand to the likes of Biden and Zuckerberg: “Time to Care.”

“Extreme wealth,” the authors say, “is a sign of a failing economic system.”

Using data from Credit Suisse Research Institute’s “Global Wealth Databook (2019)” and the 2019 Forbes billionaire list, Oxfam found that just 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people combined. The report also focuses on how sexism and other forms of discrimination exacerbate inequality. For example, the 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

The authors also calculate that women and girls perform 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work, including caring for their families, “a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion a year, more than three times the size of the global tech industry.”

As Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar said in a statement ahead of the report’s release, “Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist.”
Many of us question why anything should exist. Or if anything does exist.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

U.S.S. Spot (SS-413) & H.M.S. Supreme Sink Ships

FRI 19 JAN 1945
Submarine Spot (SS-413) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Usa Maru, 39°07'N, 122°51'E.

British submarine HMS Supreme damages Japanese auxiliary netlayer Agata Maru south of Ross Island, Andaman Islands.

Today In Eviction Resistance:
Burn, Baby, Burn!

Pig landlord stabbed, three coppers plugged, two of 'em dead, & four houses of the affluent burned to the fucking ground. Not bad. This reporter hopes to do as well when they come for him.


Go 'Niners!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Raiding Parties Unsuccessful

THU 18 JAN 1945
Japanese raiding parties land on Peleliu, Palau Islands. The attempt to damage aircraft on the ground and destroy ammunition is not successful.

Tank landing ship LST-219 is damaged by grounding off west coast of Luzon, 16°10'N, 120°22'E;

Tank landing ship LST-752 is damaged in collision off Leyte, 11°11'N, 125°05'E.

Infantry landing craft (gunboat) LCI(G)-396 is damaged by mine, Palaus.

Japanese merchant cargo ship Reizan Maru (previously damaged on 31 August 1944 by 14th Air Force planes) is sunk by mine in upper Yangtze.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Indian Fascism/Final Solution On March In Kashmir

Alt-Title: Is This What We'll Have To Do W/ Republicans?

NEW DELHI — India’s top military commander has created shock waves by suggesting that Kashmiris could be shipped off to “deradicalization camps,” which rights activists consider an alarming echo of what China has done to many of its Muslim citizens.

It was far from clear what the military commander, Gen. Bipin Rawat, chief of India’s defense staff, meant when he made the public comments on Thursday or whether a plan was afoot to set up large-scale re-education camps in the part of the disputed Kashmir region that India controls.

But rights activists and Kashmiri intellectuals were deeply unsettled, saying that the general’s words revealed how the highest levels of the Indian military viewed Kashmiri people and that his comments could presage another disturbing turn of events.

“It’s shocking he would even suggest this,’’ said Siddiq Wahid, a Kashmiri historian who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard. “It reminds me of the Uighur camps in China. I don’t think the general realizes the insanity of what he is talking about.”

Over the past three years, the Chinese government has corralled as many as a million ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and others into what it calls vocational training centers but what rights activists say are internment camps and prisons. The Uighurs, like Kashmiris, are Muslims who are part of a minority that is often viewed with suspicion by the central government.

Kashmir has been mired in crisis for decades and this past year the Indian government upended decades of delicate, albeit flawed policies by unilaterally revoking the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, the part of the region it controls. It sent in thousands of additional troops, arrested practically the entire intellectual class there, including elected representatives, business people and students, and shut down the internet.

All of that was highly unexpected and is what makes Kashmiri intellectuals fear the general’s comments. They say that under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, just about anything — however unbelievable just a few years ago — is possible.

Mr. Modi’s party has been pushing a religious nationalist ideology that critics say favors India’s Hindu majority and deeply alienates its Muslim minority. Just last month, Mr. Modi’s government passed a highly divisive law that creates a special path for migrants to get Indian citizenship — if they are not Muslim. Outrage at the law set off weeks of nationwide antigovernment protests, which are continuing.

Kashmir was India’s only predominantly Muslim state until August, when Mr. Modi’s government summarily erased its statehood. Since then, it has been suspended in tension, with most internet service still shut off and schools deserted.

General Rawat made the suggestion about sending Kashmiris to deradicalization camps at an international affairs conference in New Delhi attended by government officials, foreign diplomats, business executives and scholars.

Responding to a question on how to fight terrorism, the general said that in Kashmir, “Girls and boys as young as 10 and 12 are now being radicalized. These people can still be isolated from radicalization in a gradual way, but there are people who have completely been radicalized.”

“These people need to be taken out separately, possibly taken into some deradicalization camps,” he continued. “We’ve got deradicalization camps going on in our country.”

His statements became front-page news across India on Friday and left many analysts scratching their heads.

Saket Gokhale, a civil rights activist in Mumbai, said this was the first he had ever heard of deradicalization camps inside India.

He said that in some areas where the security forces were battling armed groups, such as the Maoist belt in central India, the military ran deradicalization programs including community visits and vocational training. But those were voluntary and did not involve confinement.

“There have been outreach programs, but a deradicalization program is very different from a deradicalization camp,” Mr. Gokhale said.

Mr. Wahid, the historian, said he was concerned about the general’s use of the word “camps.”

“Are we talking about summer camps or one-year camps where you strip people of their identity and rebuild them?’’ he asked.

Indian military officials declined to clarify the general’s remarks.

General Rawat, a four-star general, has spent much of his career leading counterinsurgency operations in northeastern India and Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan. He has a history of using hard-nosed tactics.

In 2017, he gave an award to a major who had tied a young Kashmiri man to an army jeep and used him as a human shield against stone throwers.

“In fact, I wish these people, instead of throwing stones at us, were firing weapons at us,” the general said in an interview at the time. “Then I would have been happy.”

If the demonstrators had been wielding guns, the general said, then he could have done what he wanted to do, according to Indian news reports.

Many Kashmiri intellectuals denied that Kashmir had a radicalization problem, at least not a religious radicalization problem. The militancy is minuscule — fewer than 300 armed fighters by most estimates — and much of the combatants’ ideology turns on political differences with the Indian government, not religious ones.

Noor Ahmad Baba, a professor of political science at Central University of Kashmir, who has studied patterns of radicalization, said India was taking its cue from China and might now try to crush all political dissent.

“Kashmir is a political issue — it needs a political resolution, not deradicalization camps,” he said. “And where is the radicalization?”

“The general should understand that such statements are extra-constitutional and he should speak cautiously,” Professor Baba added. “Even thinking of a deradicalization camp is a dangerous precedent.”

“It is not compatible with the democratic setup,” he said.
Hari Kumar contributed reporting from New Delhi, and Sameer Yasir from Tokyo.
We do like the idea of just up & unilaterally revoking statehood. That'd take care of the Senate problem real quick.

LST-906 Refloated

WED 17 JAN 1945
Off Philippine Islands, escort carrier Nehenta Bay (CVE-74) is damaged by storm, 17°41'N, 117°33'E.

Submarine Tautog (SS-199) sinks Japanese fast transport T.15 off southern Kyushu, 31°09'N, 130°29'E.

British submarine HMS Stygian sinks small Japanese cargo vessel Nichinan Maru off Perak, 05°42'N, 98°57'E.

Japanese cargo ship Minka Maru is sunk by mine on Yangtze, above Kiukiang, China.

Tank landing ship LST-906 which had been aground at Leghorn, Italy, since 18 October 1944, is refloated.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Dark Clouds Ahead

Things do not look good.

Original "Deflate-Gate"

TUE 16 JAN 1945
TF 38 (Vice Admiral John S. McCain) strikes Japanese shipping and installations at Hong Kong, Hainan Island and along the China coast. Off Hong Kong TF 38 planes sink transport Hokkai Maru; merchant tankers Tenei Maru, Matsushima Maru, and Sanko Maru; and merchant cargo ship No.2 Anri Go. They also damage oiler Kamoi, destroyer Hasu, fast transport T.108, escort destroyers Shinnan and Nomi, and Coast Defense Vessel No.60; off Yulin, TF 38 planes sink merchant tanker Harima Maru, and damage escort destroyer Daito. Guardboat No.1 Taiyo Maru is sunk east of Hainan; merchant tanker No.6 Nanryu Maru is sunk off coast of South China.

Destroyer escorts Otter (DE-210), Hubbard (DE-211), Hayter (DE-212), and Varian (DE-798) sink German submarine U-248 at 47°43'N, 26°37'W.

U.S. freighter Marina is damaged by mine outside of swept channel to Le Havre, France; there are no casualties.

Non-rigid airship ZPNK 123 is accidentally deflated at Port Lyautey, French Morocco; the envelope is damaged beyond repair.

50 Yrs. Ago Today: I Was There

Commissioned by impresario Gabriel Astruc, the theatre was built from 1911 to 1913 upon the designs of brothers Auguste Perret and Gustave Perret following a scheme by Henry van de Velde and became the first example of Art Deco architecture in the city. Less than two months after its inauguration, the Théâtre hosted the world premiere of the Ballets Russes Rite of Spring, which provoked one of the most famous classical music riots.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

"accidental explosion of bombs"

MON 15 JAN 1945
District patrol craft YP-73 sinks after running aground 1,000 yards east of Spruce Cape signal station, Kodiak, Alaska. Coast Guard tender Bittersweet (WAG-389) rescues survivors.

Escort carrier Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75) is damaged by accidental explosion of bombs as aircraft (VC 88) lands on board as the ship operates off west coast of Luzon, 17°01'N, 119°20'E.

TF 38 (Vice Admiral John S. McCain) attacks Japanese shipping and aircraft off Formosa and the China coast. Carrier planes sink destroyer Hatakaze and fast transport T.14 at 22°37'N, 120°15'E; fleet tanker Mirii Maru and army cargo ship Enoshima Maru off Takao; destroyer Tsuga off Mako, 23°33'N, 119°33'E; and damage auxiliary minelayer Maroshima off Formosa and army cargo ships Beiju Maru and Yoshun Maru off Keelung.

TF 38 planes sink Japanese salvage ship Horei Maru, San Fernando, Luzon.

Japanese auxiliary minesweeper No.1 Kyo Maru is sunk by mine (laid by British submarine HMS Porpoise on 9 January), south of Penang, Malaya, 05°18'N, 100°20'E.

Japanese merchant cargo ship No.5 Kujyo Maru is sunk by aircraft southwest of Paramushiro Island Kurils.

Japanese river gunboat Narumi is damaged by USAAF aircraft near Hankow, China.

Destroyer Swanson (DD-443) bombards Rota Island; she repeats the operation the following day.

Destroyers Boyle (DD-600) and McLanahan (DD-615) support British and American light craft, including U.S. motor torpedo boats, in a night interdiction operation aimed at enemy coastwise shipping.

RAF Spitfire sights one large and one small enemy destroyer west of Portofino, Italy; PT-313 and British MTB 378 engage a southbound convoy of five flak lighters, sinking one and damaging another. The presence of the destroyers, however, results in the operation being discontinued.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Martin Van Buren Is A Total Loss

SUN 14 JAN 1945
Submarine Cobia (SS-245) sinks Japanese minelayer Yurijima off east coast of Malaya, 05°45'N, 103°13'E.

Motor torpedo boat PT-73 damaged by grounding, 13°50'N, 120°10'E, is beached and abandoned.

Army freight supply vessel FS 41 breaks loose from her moorings at Amchitka, Alaska, in heavy weather, and demolishes 300 feet of an Army dock; fleet tug Sarsi (ATF-111) is sent from Adak to go to the ship's assistance.

USAAF P-51s (14th Air Force) sink Japanese army cargo ship Akatsuki Maru in the Yangtze between Wuhu and Kiukiang, 29°00'N, 116°00'E.

U.S. freighter Martin Van Buren, in Nova Scotia-bound convoy BV 141, is torpedoed by German submarine U-1232 at 44°27'N, 63°26'W; 3 of the 27-man Armed Guard (members of a 5-inch gun crew) perish when blown overboard. Despite salvage efforts, the ship subsequently drifts ashore and is written off as a total loss.

U.S. freighter Michael de Kovats is damaged by explosion of German V-2 rocket bomb at Antwerp, Belgium; none of the 27-man Armed Guard are casualties.

Project Veritas Locates
Left-Wing Loon

Sounds good to this reporter. Gawd will know his own.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Fri. The 13th A Day Late As
O.S.S. Blows Itself Up

SAT 13 JAN 1945
Japanese kamikaze attacks against Lingayen Gulf invasion shipping culminate in suicide plane crashing and damaging escort carrier Salamaua (CVE-96), 17°09'N, 119°21'E.

Destroyer escort Fleming (DE-32) sinks Japanese submarine I 362 320 miles north-northeast of Truk, 12°08'N, 154°27'E.

Open lighter YC-912 founders in heavy weather, North Pacific Ocean.

Ex-USAAF aircraft rescue boat P 584, under administrative control of Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and manned by a navy crew, is destroyed by explosion at Leghorn, Italy, injuring 11 sailors. [I'd like to know more about that. Betcha the boat was filled w/ explosives in some inane/bizarro scheme. — M.B.]

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Southeastern French Indochina Attacked

FRI 12 JAN 1945
TF 38 (Vice Adm John S. McCain) operating in the South China Sea hits Japanese shipping, airfields, and other shore installations in southeastern French Indochina. TF 38 planes sink training cruiser Kashii north of Qui Nhon, 13°50'N, 109°20'E; escort vessel Chiburi, Coast Defense Vessel No.17, and Coast Defense Vessel No.19 off Cape St. Jacques, 10°20'N, 107°50'E; submarine chaser Ch 31, minesweeper W.101, Patrol Boat No.103 [ex-U.S. minesweeper Finch (AM-9)], Coast Defense Vessel No.35, Coast Defense Vessel No.43, and merchant tanker Ayayuki Maru off Cape Padaran, 11°10'N, 108°55'E; submarine chaser Ch 43 near Cam Ranh Bay, 11°53'N, 109°08'E; landing ship T.140 and victualling stores ship Ikutagawa Maru at Saigon, 10°20'N, 107°50'E; Coast Defense Vessel No.23 and Coast Defense Vessel No.51 north of Qui Nhon, 14°15'N, 109°10'E; auxiliary minesweeper Otowa Maru at Cam Ranh Bay, 11°50'N, 109°00'E; oil tanker Kumagawa Maru and transports Shinsei Maru and Toyu Maru off Cape St. Jacques, 10°20'N, 107°45'E; transport Kembu Maru and army cargo ships Yushu Maru and Kyokuun Maru north of Qui Nhon; army cargo ships Kiyo Maru and No.17 Shinsei Maru, Saigon; and merchant cargo ships Kenei Maru and Taikyu Maru and tanker No.9 Horai Maru at Saigon; tanker Akashi Maru off Cape St. Jacques; cargo ship Eiman Maru and tanker No.2 Nanryu Maru, east coast (exact location unspecified) of French Indochina; tanker Shoei Maru, cargo ships Hotsusan Maru, Tatsuhato Maru, Otsusan Maru, Yujo Maru, and No.63 Banshu Maru north of Qui Nhon; and tankers Koshin Maru, Ayanami Maru, Hoei Maru, and Eiho Maru, and cargo ship Kensei Maru, southeast of Cape St. Jacques. TF 38 planes also damage escort vessels Daito and Ukuru, Coast Defense Vessel No.27, and fleet tanker San Luis Maru north of Qui Nhon; submarine chaser Ch 34 and merchant cargo ship Ryuyo Maru at Cam Ranh Bay; landing ships T.149 and T.137 and fleet tanker No.3 Kyoei Maru off Cape St. Jacques; landing ship T.131 near Saigon; guardboatNo.2 Fushimi Maru at entrance to Vung Tau; army cargo ship France Maru and merchant tanker Shingi Maru, southeast of Cape St. Jacques; and merchant cargo ships Chefoo Maru and Kanju Maru at Saigon. Vichy French ships, due to their proximity to Japanese vessels, also come under attack: TF 38 planes sink light cruiser Lamotte-Picquet off Cat Lai, and sink French surveying vessel Octant. Other Japanese casualties include Coast Defense Vessel No.2 damaged by aircraft (location unspecified); and auxiliary vessel Keishu Maru damaged by aircraft off Longhai.

Off the west coast of Luzon, kamikazes damage destroyer escorts Richard W. Suesens (DE-342) and Gilligan (DE-508), 16°20'N, 120°10'E; attack transport Zeilin (APA-3), 15°23'N, 119°25'E; and tank landing ship LST-700, 14°04'N, 119°25'E; suicide pilots target U.S. merchant ships, damaging freighters Elmira Victory (there are no casualties to either the merchant complement or the 27-man Armed Guard) 16°11'N, 120°20'E (friendly fire also accounts for damage to the ship); Otis Skinner, on board which Armed Guard sailors contribute to fire-fighting efforts, 14°42'N, 119°35'E; Edward M. Wescott off the west coast of Luzon (10 of the 25-man Armed Guards are wounded by flying debris); Kyle V. Johnson, (on board which 129 of 506 Army troops, being transported, die) at 15°12'N, 119°30'E; and David Dudley Field at Subic Bay (Armed Guard gunfire deflects the kamikaze so that it only strikes the ship a glancing blow). Friendly fire accounts for damage to high speed transport Sands (APD-13) and tank landing ships LST-710 and LST-778, 15°00'N, 119°30'E.

Operation KONGO continues; submarine I 47 launches kaitens that damage U.S. freighter Pontus H. Ross off Hollandia, New Guinea, 02°33'S, 140°06'W; there are no casualties among the merchant sailors or the 27-man Armed Guard. Efforts by submarines I 53 at Kossol Roads, Palau; I 56 at Manus, in the Admiralties; and by I 58 at Apra Harbor, Guam, are not [sic] unsuccessful (see 20 and 23 January).

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Scouts Extracted From Jaluit

THU 11 JAN 1945
Motor minesweeper YMS-14 is sunk in collision with destroyer Herndon (DD-638) in north channel of Boston Harbor.

Off Luzon, high speed transport Belknap (APD-34) is damaged by kamikaze, 16°20'N, 120°10'E; tank landing ships LST-270 and LST-918 are damaged by shore battery, 16°20'N, 120°10'E; and tank landing ship LST-700 is damaged by friendly fire, 16°43'N, 119°58'E.

U.S. destroyer gunfire sinks Japanese auxiliary minesweeper Wa.10, south of Vigan, 17°20'N, 120°00'E. Auxiliary minesweeper No.56 Banshu Maru and auxiliary submarine chaser Hakuyo Maru are scuttled as blockships at south entrance of Manila Bay, Luzon.

During hunter-killer operations near Yap, destroyer Evans (DD-552) and destroyer escort McCoy Reynolds (DE-440) bombard Japanese defenses; they repeat the operation the following day.

Destroyer escort Brackett (DE-41) extracts party of Marshallese scouts from Jaluit, where they had been landed on 9 January to determine the condition of the garrison there.

Japanese submarines commence operation KONGO, employing suicide torpedoes [kaitens]; I 36 launches kaitens that damage ammunition ship Mazama (AE-9) and infantrylanding craft LCI-600 at Ulithi (see 12, 20 and 23 January).

Japanese merchant cargo ship Kinsei Maru is sunk by marine casualty in Osaka Bay, Japan.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Collisions Galore!

WED 10 JAN 1945
Japanese assault demolition boats infiltrate the transport areas off Lingayen, sinking infantry landing craft (mortar) LCI(M)-974, 16°06'N, 120°14'E and infantry landing craft (gunboat) LCI(G)-365, and damaging destroyers Robinson (DD-562) and Philip (DD-498), transport War Hawk (AP-168) and tank landing ship LST-610. Japanese air attacks against the fleet off Lingayen continue, damaging destroyer Wickes (DD-578), 16°04'N, 118°55'E; kamikazes damage destroyer escort Leray Wilson (DE-414), 16°20'N, 120°10'E, and attack transport Dupage (APA-41), 16°17'N, 120°15'E.

Off west coast of Luzon, high speed transport Clemson (APD-31) and battleship Pennsylvania (BB-38) are damaged in collision, 16°20'N, 120°10'E. Clemson is also accidentally rammed the same day by attack transport Latimer (APA-152), 16°20'N, 120°10'E; oiler Guadalupe (AO-32) is damaged in collision with Nantahala (AO-60), 20°06'N, 121°34'E; tank landing ship LST-567 is damaged in collision with LST-610, 16°20'N, 120°10'E.

Submarine Puffer (SS-268) sinks Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.42 and damages Coast Defense Vessel No.30 in the East China Sea, 26°45'N, 126°11'E.

Merchant vessel No.2 Seikai Maru is damaged by aircraft off Mukai Jima.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Self-Awareness, David Brooks Style

Invasion Forces Vexed

TUE 9 JAN 1945
Under the overall direction of General Douglas MacArthur, USA, TF 77 (Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid) lands Sixth Army troops (Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, USA) at Lingayen Gulf under cover of heavy gunfire from the bombardment force, TG 77.2 (Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf) and aircraft from the escort carrier force, TG 77.4 (Rear Admiral Calvin T. Durgin). The troops initially encounter little resistance, but Japanese air attacks and assault demolition boats continue to vex the invasion forces off the beaches. Kamikazes crash battleship Mississippi (BB-41), 16°08'N, 120°18'E; light cruiser Columbia (CL-56), 16°08'N, 120°10'E; and destroyer escort Hodges (DE-231), 16°22'N, 120°12'E, in addition to Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, which is finally sent to the rear areas for repairs. Friendly fire damages battleship Colorado (BB-45), 16°08'N, 120°10'E; Japanese assault demolition boats damage transport War Hawk (AP-168) and tank landing ships LST-925 and LST-1028, 16°20'N, 120°10'E.

TF 38 (Vice Admiral John S. McCain) supports the landings at Lingayen Gulf with attacks on Japanese airfields and shipping in the Formosa, Ryukyus, and Pescadores Islands areas. Off Formosa, TF 38 planes sink Coast Defense Vessel No.3 north of Keelung, 27°10'N, 121°45'E; submarine chaser Ch 61, 22°40'N, 120°04'E; and fleet tanker Kuroshio Maru, merchant tanker Kaiho Maru, and cargo ship Fukuyama Maru south of Formosa; and small cargo vessel No.21 Ume Maru off Keelung; cargo ship Hisagawa Maru, 23°04'N, 119°51'E. They damage escort vessel Yashiro, oiler Kamoi, and escort destroyer Miyake and cargo ship Tainan Maru off Takao; Coast Defense Vessel No.9, Coast Defense Vessel No.13, and Coast Defense Vessel No.60 off Saei; auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 161 in Formosa Strait; minesweeper W.102 and auxiliary submarine chaser No.22 Nitto Maru off Keelung; and auxiliary submarine chaser Kinsui Maru north of Formosa.

Japanese merchant tanker Hikoshima Maru sinks as the result of damage inflicted by submarine Barb (SS-220) and beaching the previous day, 24°37'N, 120°31'E.

Dutch submarine HNMS O 19 sinks gunboat No.1 Shinko Maru off Tandjung Puting, Borneo, Banten Bay, 03°41'S, 111°57'E.

Other Japanese shipping casualties include merchant tanker No.4 Nanshin Maru sunk by aircraft off northwest tip of Luzon; merchant cargo ship No.9 Hokoku Maru is sunk by aircraft off Ishigaki Jima; auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 216 is damaged by aircraft off Paishatun.

U.S. freighter Jonas Lie, in New York-bound convoy ON 277, is torpedoed by German submarine U-1055 at the entrance to the Bristol Channel, 51°43'N, 05°25'W. The ship, abandoned, later sinks on 14 January.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

"suicide swimmers"

MON 8 JAN 1945
During continuing Japanese aerial onslaught on the Lingayen Gulf invasion force, kamikazes damage escort carriers Kitkun Bay (CVE-71), 15°48'N, 119°09'E, and Kadashan Bay (CVE-76), 15°10'N, 119°08'E. A suicider also crashes close aboard Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, ending her support operations that day.

Infantry landing craft (gunboat) LCI(G)-404 is damaged by suicide swimmers, Yoo Passage, Palaus.

Submarine Balao (SS-285) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Daigo Maru southwest of Korea, 34°28'N, 122°39'E.

Coordinated submarine attack group, TG 17.21 (Commander Charles E. Loughlin) attacks Japanese convoy off northwest coast of Formosa. Barb (SS-220) sinks merchant cargo ships Anyo Maru, 24°34'N, 120°37'E, and Shinyo Maru, 24°55'N, 120°26'E (which explodes violently, forcing Barb deep and tearing off deck gratings); and merchant tanker Sanyo Maru, 24°37'N, 120°31'E, and damages army cargo ship Meiho Maru, 24°25'N, 120°29'E; Picuda (SS-382) damages cargo ship Rashin Maru, 24°41'N, 120°40'E; and Queenfish (SS-393) damages tanker Manju Maru, 24°25'N, 120°28'E. In the confusion generated by TG 17.21's attack, merchant tanker Hikoshima Maru runs aground in Tungshiao Bay.

Submarine Piranha (SS-389) damages auxiliary netlayer No.2 Shinto Maru in the Nansei Shoto, 29°55'N, 130°05'E.

Japanese ship No.22 Seikai Maru is sunk by mine off Haha Jima.

Cargo ship Malay Maru is damaged by mine (laid by British submarine HMS Stoic on 3 June 1944) off west coast of Malaya, 05°57'N, 100°14'E.

U.S. freighter Blenheim is damaged by explosion of German rocket bomb at Antwerp, Belgium; Armed Guard quarters are wrecked and there are 20 casualties among the 44 merchant sailors, 25 Armed Guard and one passenger on board at the time.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Submarine Spot (SS-413)

SUN 7 JAN 1945
Bombardment and fire support group, TG 77.2 (Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf) and planes from escort carrier group, TG 77.4 (Rear Admiral Calvin T. Durgin), begin pounding Japanese defenses of Lingayen Gulf. Enemy air attacks in the area, however, continue: high speed minesweeper Hovey (DMS-11) is sunk by aerial torpedo; high speed minesweeper Palmer (DMS-5) by bombs, 16°20'N, 120°10'E. Kamikazes damage attack transport Callaway (APA-35), 17°00'N, 120°00'E, and tank landing ship LST-912, 16°20'N, 120°10'E. Destroyers Charles Ausburne (DD-570), Braine (DD-630), Russell (DD-414), and Shaw (DD-373) sink Japanese destroyer Hinoki, 50 miles west-southwest of Manila Bay, 14°30'N, 119°30'E.

Submarine Picuda (SS-382) damages Japanese army tanker Munakata Maru 28 miles northwest of Fukikaku, Formosa, 25°42'N, 121°08'E. Munakata Maru puts in to Keelung for repairs (see 21 January).

Submarine Spot* (SS-413) sinks Japanese guardboat No.2 Nichiei Maru in the Inland Sea, 31°20'N, 123°40'E.

USAAF B-24s (14th Air Force), attacking Japanese convoy in the South China Sea, sink stores ship Shinsei Maru in Formosa Strait, 22°40'N, 118°45'E.

*[N]amed for the spot, a small sciaenoid food fish of the Atlantic coast, with a black spot behind its shoulders.

Phony War Gets Real

Ballistic missile attack on U.S. airbase in Iraq, Iran allegedly takes credit.
At least 10 rockets hit al-Asad airbase in Iraq, which houses US forces, a Sunni commander of the paramilitary forces in a nearby town told CNN.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Medal Of Honor Earned

SAT 6 JAN 1944
Japanese suicide plane attacks intensify against Lingayen Gulf invasion force; kamikazes damage battleships New Mexico (BB-40) (killing members of an observing British military mission) and California (BB-44), light cruiser Columbia (CL-56) and destroyers Newcomb (DD-586) (she is also hit by friendly fire) and Richard P. Leary (DD-664), 16°20'N, 120°10'E, heavy cruiser Louisville (CA-28), 16°37'N, 120°17'E,2 destroyers Allen M. Sumner (DD-692) 16°40'N, 120°10'E, and O'Brien (DD-725), 16°23'N, 120°14'E.

Destroyer Lowry (DD-770) is damaged by friendly fire, 16°40'N, 120°10'E.

Kamikazes attack minesweeping group, sinking high speed minesweeper Long (DMS-12), 16°12'N, 120°11'E, and damaging high speed minesweeper Southard (DMS-10), 16°11'N, 126°16'E, and high speed transport Brooks (APD-10), 16°20'N, 120°10'E.

Destroyer Walke (DD-723), on detached duty covering the minesweeping operations, 16°40'N, 120°10'E, is attacked by four enemy aircraft; one crashes the ship's bridge, drenching it with burning gasoline and mortally wounding Walke's commanding officer, Commander George F. Davis. Davis nevertheless remains at his post, conning his ship amidst the wreckage and rallying his crew. Carried below only when assured that his ship would survive, he dies of his wounds within hours. He is subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously.

As a consequence of the kamikaze attacks, TF 38 (Vice Admiral John S. McCain) shifts its focus from Formosa to begin operations against Japanese airfields and shipping in Luzon area. In South China Sea off northern Luzon, Navy carrier-based planes sink army cargo ship Kyodo Maru and merchant tankers No.1 Nanko Maru and 8 Iyasaka Maru and 6 Kyoei Maru and 10 Nanshin Maru and 10 Kyoei Maru and No.3 Kyoei Maru.

Submarine Besugo (SS-321) sinks Japanese fleet tanker Nichei Maru in Gulf of Thailand 06°45'N, 102°55'E. Coast Defense Ship No.17 carries out ineffective countermeasures.

Submarine Sea Robin (SS-407) attacks Japanese convoy, and sinks fleet tanker Tarakan Maru east of Hainan Island 19°45'N, 111°25'E.

USAAF aircraft sink auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 64 off Poulo Condore Island 08°55'N, 106°30'E, and merchant tanker No.3 Iyasaka Maru off Cape St. Jacques, French Indochina.

U.S. freighter Isaac Shelby is damaged by mine when she straggles from Naples-bound convoy NV 90; fortunately, there are no casualties to either the merchant complement or the 12-man Armed Guard. The ship, however, is later declared a total loss.

Sick Of The Bullshit

Sunday, January 5, 2020

More Poor Seamanship

FRI 5 JAN 1945
Japanese air attacks continue against Lingayen Gulf-bound forces in the teeth of heavy antiaircraft fire and combat air patrol. Of the minesweeping group, infantry landing craft (gunboat) LCI(G)-70 is damaged by kamikaze, small seaplane tender Orca (AVP-49) and fleet tug Apache (ATF-67) are damaged by near-misses of suiciders, 15°36'N, 119°20'E and 15°53'N, 120°00'E, respectively. Kamikazes attacking the bombardment and escort carrier groups succeed in damaging heavy cruiser Louisville (CA-28) and destroyer Helm (DD-388), 15°00'N, 119°00'E, escort carriers Manila Bay (CVE-61), 14°50'N, 119°10'E, and Savo Island (CVE-78), 14°50'N, 119°00'E, and destroyer escort Stafford (DE-411), 14°00'N, 120°00'E. Suiciders also damage Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and destroyer HMAS Arunta. Japanese escort destroyers approach minesweeping group but turn away at approach of destroyer Bennion (DD-662) and Australian frigate HMAS Gascoyne and sloop HMAS Warrego; subsequently, planes from TG 77.4 (escort carrier group) sink Momi 20 miles southwest of entrance to Manila Bay, 14°00'N, 120°20'E, and damage Hinoki and Sugi west of Manila Bay. TG 94.9 (Rear Admiral Allan E. Smith), three heavy cruisers and six destroyers, together with USAAF B-24s (escorted by P-38s) jointly pound Japanese shipping and installations on Chichi Jima, Haha Jima, and Iwo Jima, Bonins. Approaching Chichi Jima, Dunlap (DD-384), Fanning (DD-386) and Cummings (DD-365) damage landing ship T.107; Fanning sinks her, 26°27'N, 141°11'E. Off Chichi Jima, David W. Taylor (DD-551) is damaged by mine, 27°04'N, 142°06'E, destroyer Fanning by gunfire. Off Iwo Jima, Dunlap, Cummings, Ellet (DD-398) and Roe (DD-418) sink landing ship T.154, 24°27'N, 141°20'E.TF 92 (Rear Admiral John L. McCrea), three light cruisers and nine destroyers, bombards Japanese installations (airfield and fish canneries) at Suribachi Wan, Paramushiro, Kurils.

Destroyer escort Edwin A. Howard (DE-346) is damaged in collision with destroyer escort Leland E. Thomas (DE-420) off Mindanao, 09°48'N, 127°15'E.

Minelayer Monadnock (CM-9) is damaged by grounding off Ilin Island, Luzon, 12°22'N, 121°01'E.

Submarine Cavalla (SS-244) sinks Japanese auxiliary netlayers Kanko Maru and Shunsen Maru in Java Sea, 05°00'S, 112°16'E.

Destroyer escort Brackett (DE-41) shells Japanese installations on Taroa, Marshalls.

PB4Y-1s (VPB 111) sink Japanese midget submarine Ha.71 two miles southwest of Chichi Jima.

Train To War

Prescient purchase.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Kamikazes Get Some

THU 4 JAN 1945
TF 38 continues operations against Japanese airfields and shipping in the Formosa area. Navy planes sink auxiliary submarine chasers Cha 163, Cha 176, and Cha 210 and damage escort vessel Ikuna and auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 204 in Formosa Strait; sink auxiliary netlayer Iwato Maru northeast of Taiwan; and damage minesweeper W.41 near Takao, Formosa. Japanese air attacks continue against Lingayen Gulf-bound forces; a kamikaze crashes escort carrier Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) in the northeastern area of the Sulu Sea, irreparably damaging her; another suicider narrowly misses escort carrier Lunga Point (CVE-94). Destroyer Burns (DD-588) scuttles Ommaney Bay, 11°25'N, 121°19'E, but not before destroyer Bell (DD-587) is damaged by collision with the escort carrier as the former fights fires. South of Mindoro, a kamikaze crashes U.S. freighter Lewis L. Dyche (carrying bombs and fuses), which disintegrates, killing all hands, including the 28-man Armed Guard; debris from the exploding freighter damages nearby oiler Pecos (AO-65) and minelayer Monadnock (CM-9), 12°19'N, 121°04'E; small seaplane tender Half Moon (AVP-26) is damaged by near-miss of bomb.

USAAF planes damage Japanese submarine chasers Ch 17, Ch 18, Ch 23, Ch 37 and Ch 38 off San Fernando, Luzon.

Fais Island is formally occupied (see 1 and 3 January).

Japanese army vessel No.15 Horikoshi Maru is sunk by mine off northeast shore of Mukai Jima.

Car float YCF-59, fills with water while in tow of rescue tug ATR-57 while en route from New York to Philadelphia and is beached in Delaware River.

Lying Christian Scum Up-Date

Today it's walking wooden mannequin Mike Pence.
It remains unclear if the GOP will maintain one rationale for the targeted killing, Mike Pence’s swiftly rebuffed claim that Soleimani was directly connected to the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001.
Jesus Christ, the Gawd of Lies. Sickening.

'Bout an hr. later:
Zach Montague / New York Times:
Pence Links Suleimani to 9/11. The Public Record Doesn't Back Him.
David Harsanyi / National Review:   Pence Is (Mostly) Right About Iran and the 9/11 Hijackers
Jason Easley / POLITICUSUSA:   Mike Pence Goes Full WMD and Falsely Links Suleimani To 9/11
DNyuz:   Iranians Close Ranks Behind Leaders After U.S. Kills Popular General
Maanvi Singh / The Guardian:   Mike Pence pushes 9/11 conspiracy theories to justify Suleimani killing
Jordan Hoffman / Vanity Fair:   No One Knows Where Mike Pence Got His Soleimani Facts From
Daniel Politi / Slate:   Pence Falsely Links Soleimani to 9/11 to Justify Assassination
Belén Fernández / Jacobin:   The Mainstream Media Is a Cheerleader for War With Iran
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:   Pence's dubious tweet tying Qasem Soleimani to 9/11
Mother Jones:   With a War Against Iran Brewing, Don't Listen to the Hawks Who Lied Us Into Iraq
Sarah K. Burris / Raw Story:   Mike Pence blames Iran for 9/11 attacks — but the official commission found the opposite

Friday, January 3, 2020

New Yr., Old Tabs

Older tubes.

Just Sayin'

Bret Stephens, As In BULL SHIT!

What a pathetic fucking joke the "paper of record" is.
Michael Calderone / Politico:
NYT editorial page editor James Bennet says a Bret Stephens column advancing a race-based theory of “Jewish genius” was fully edited before publication
@hunterwalk:   @JBennet do better
Karen McGrane / @karenmcgrane:   This... is much less reassuring than it was intended to be
Parker Molloy / @parkermolloy:   This makes the Times look worse
Dvora Meyers / @dvorameyers:   It doesn't say much about the quality of the final product when an editor has to insist that the column was actually edited and fact checked.
Justin Baragona / @justinbaragona:   This actually makes it worse, right?
Susie / @banikarim:   cool. this makes it ... much worse.
@politico:   New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet did not discuss specifically how references to bogus claims about Ashkenazi Jews having superior intelligence made it through their editing process
@susanoftexas:   He is either lying or he overrides the editors. Not to mention fact that I spent 9 years fact-checking Megan McArdle when she worked for him and yes, I found errors. Many, many errors.
David Sirota / @davidsirota:   makes it even worse
Thomas Levenson / @tomlevenson:   Then the problem runs a deeper than Stephens, as his columns as published do not reflect any rigorous process.
John Panzer / @jpanzer:   That's a blogging platform, not a newspaper. (I have worked on building 2 blogging platforms.)
Heidi N. Moore / @moorehn:   This is astounding. You can't run a railroad like this. “In interviews with POLITICO, Times insiders described an ad hoc system, with veteran columnists typically not having a primary editor while newer hires are often assigned one.”
Osita Nwanevu / @ositanwanevu:   The big takeaway from this piece is that the current era of Times columnists is not only being edited, but being edited now for the first time ever after many years of Times columnists not being formally edited at all.
Abraham Gutman / @abgutman:   I think that if we are honest, writing for the Times is a dream for many journalists. How couldn't it be? Very few media institutions have the prestige and legacy of The Gray Lady. But today, after reading that, I'm so very grateful for my editors at The Inquirer. Truly blessed.
Benjamin Mazer / @benmazer:   Maybe I'm just a bad writer but everything I've written has been massively improved by editors and fact checkers. Why would you want to avoid this, unless your “voice” is ignorance?
Heidi N. Moore / @moorehn:   Do you know what *hoops* we had to jump through for those of us who were Guardian columnists? Editors, subeditors. Pitch meetings. And Times columnists are basically blogging and using Clippy to spellcheck. Amazing.
Abraham Gutman / @abgutman:   Every writer and editor let a mistake through to print. Editor's notes and corrections happen even to the best. Here the mistake wasn't mistaking a fact. It's about judgment, not sloppiness. The column *was* the mistake.
Damon Kiesow / @dkiesow:   What percentage of the perceived problems at the NYT are a result of the typical GoT jockeying for the corner office one wonders?
Michael Calderone / @mlcalderone:   Times columnists had long not had editors, though that's changed in recent years as new hires have typically been assigned editors.
Heidi N. Moore / @moorehn:   It's fine if things worked this way *once* but Bennet has been op-ed editor for years now and installed no useful and reliable editing process? This is the crisis that should show it's necessary.
Michael Calderone / @mlcalderone:   James Bennet says all Times columns are edited and fact-checked, including Stephens:
Heidi N. Moore / @moorehn:   NYT op-ed editor says essentially (not a quote): Yes of course we edited and fact-checked Bret Stephens' column and *of course* we left a link to white supremacist ideology, only to correct and rewrite it later. Of course this was all intentional.
Michael Calderone / @mlcalderone:   “Staff writers should get challenged more than the guest writers are. Their reputations land on the Times itself,” said @sivavaid, who has written NYT op-eds. “If I mess up I take all the blame. If Stephens messes up it speaks poorly of Bennet's judgment and the whole paper.”
Megan Carpentier / @megancarpentier:   Uh, holy shit this is a terrible, terrible editorial policy + worse than I thought (and is clearly only applied to columnists and not outside contribs) and explains far too much. From @jackshafer
Jeff Jarvis / @jeffjarvis:   Good column about the problem columnist — you know who — at the @nytimes by @sivavaid. Is the problem the columnist or opinion editor? That's a question, not a statement. ...
Tim Morris / @tmorris504:   “The Times disavowal and re-edit (tellingly neither co-signed nor acknowledged by Stephens) was too little and too late—if you're going to edit a piece, the smart move is to edit before it publishes” Solid journalism advice there.
Charlie Nash / Mediaite:
NYT deletes a tweet calling Eddie Gallagher a “retired” Navy SEAL with a new apparel line while failing to mention his court martial and clemency from Trump
@nytpolitics:   We have deleted an earlier tweet to this story that lacked context. Edward Gallagher, who was acquitted of charges that he killed a wounded captive in Iraq, later received clemency from President Trump — information that's provided in the article.
@slpng_giants:   “Nike has their First Amendment right to make individuals such as Colin Kaepernick their brand ambassadors. We have the right to make patriots like Chief Gallagher one of ours.” Because kneeling and being convicted of war crimes is totally the same thing.
Paul Rieckhoff / @paulrieckhoff:   NYT with a weak non-apology. Here's the original tweet which was appropriately criticized for normalizing all this. The “context” lacking is that Gallagher is not just a retired Navy SEAL—he's a war criminal who's men testified against him. The SEALs wanted to take his trident.
Roberto Abramowitz / @robabramowitz:   The @nytimes is getting lapped by the @washingtonpost. They better change and fast.
Oliver Willis / @owillis:   again and again you do this
@sc_yog:   12/27/19 from @nytimes
Suzan Scott / @newsjunkieblu:   This is why I subscribe to @washingtonpost and not the @nytimes. This tweet says he was acquitted and received clemency...not a mention of his conviction.
James E. Ford / @jefordnctoy:   Between this and the eugenics article, it is clear corporate news is consciously aiding in the present political atmosphere, enabling white supremacy and demonstrably failing the public.
Soledad O'Brien / @soledadobrien:   Thank you. I am aware the detail is in the article. Many people don't read the article—or subscribe—so tweets themselves should also have context.
Kerry Flynn / @kerrymflynn:   How did this take TWO days?!
Mike Brest / Washington Examiner:   New York Times deletes tweet calling Eddie Gallagher ‘retired’ while featuring his clothing line
Lindsey Ellefson / The Wrap:   NY Times Deletes Tweet About Former Navy SEAL Granted Clemency by Trump: It ‘Lacked Context’
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:   Navy SEAL Leader Accused Of War Crimes Threatens Defamation Suit Against NY Times Reporter …
Bess Levin / Vanity Fair:   Edward Gallagher, Trump's Favorite War Criminal, Is a “Conservative Influencer” Now