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War Information Bulletin No. 29

ANNOUNCED ABOARD SHIP - Jan. 14 - ... This afternoon a 150 mile search was scheduled for six SBD's. This flight was cancelled because of severe rain squalls. The second Inner Air Patrol was landed between squalls about 1400. By 1600 the weather had improved, so four TBD's and two VF were launched to take up an Inner Air Patrol. The last flight landed at 1745.

Lt (jg) J.C. Kelley of VF-6 made the 18,000th landing today.

War Information Bulletin No. 31

ANNOUNCED ABOARD SHIP - Jan. 16 - ...An unfortunate accident occurred during this morning due to a failure of the arresting system. A plane in landing rolled into the port gallery walkway. The pilot and passenger were not injured. LAWHON, George F., ACMM, USN, received serious head injuries to which he succumbed at about 1900 this evening, when the plane crashed into his station. LAWHON was in charge of the barriers and their repair, including the arresting gear. He had to his credit many improvements to carrier barriers and arresting gear invented by him. In addition to his high professional standing, LAWHON was a loyal shipmate whom all shall miss.

One of the TBD's on the afternoon search failed to return to the ship. It is hoped that a scouting flight may locate pilot and passengers in their rubber boat. DIXON, H.F., ACMM(NAP), was pilot, and the passengers were PASTULA, A.J., AOM 2/c, and ALDRICH, G.D., RM 3/c.

At 1800 we were about 540 miles from Pago Pago. Tomorrow fueling operations are scheduled.

War Information Bulletin No. 47

ANNOUNCED ABOARD SHIP - Feb. 1 - Today in its hard hitting attacks on certain Japanese islands and its successful countering of the attempted counter-measures of the Japanese, the Enterprise went through its baptism of fire and came out with colors flying.

It is sincerely hoped that the Enterprise will continue throughout this war as a hard hitting, efficient ship and that some day it will be remembered among the illustrious ships whose name it carries as the "Lucky Little Enterprise".

Press reports received indicate that:

Units of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet sank 5 more vessels, two large cargo vessels, of about 6,000 tons or better; two large transports of about the same size and one medium sized transport.

Our forces on the Island of Luzon are undergoing incessant attacks and effort is being made by the enemy to infiltrate and sever our lines of communication.

British Imperial Forces are holding and inflicting serious damage to the enemy's efforts in Malaya. Australian reinforcements have relieved the weary British and Indian troops who have bore the brunt of the Jap assault for more than a month.

Soviet troops continue to advance, the recapture of additional villages was reported without details.

War Information Bulletin No. 48

ANNOUNCED ABOARD SHIP - Feb. 2 - We are deeply indebted to the weather man for providing us with a front and the accompanying rain and low visibility, which made air operations unnecessary. It is probable that any aerial attack the Japs could have thrown at us at this distance could have been repelled. We would, of course, much rather not be attacked.

Last night a small group of enemy planes passed about 35 miles south of us. We changed course and the range opened rapidly. In the bright moonlight our wake could have been seen at a considerable distance, and fighter defense would not have been practicable.

At 0900 this morning the radar picked up a plane 70 miles south of us. At 1055 another plane showed up on bearing 202°, distance 40 miles going away. These planes must have been approximately on the southerly edge of the front which was providing us such fine cover.

The van destroyer contacted a submarine at 1715. The heavy ships increased speed and made radical changes in course, while two destroyers proceeded to the contact area but dropped no depth charges. Lookouts reported sighting the periscope and there was fire of all calibers from our starboard batteries. Fueling of destroyers, which had been scheduled for 1800, was postponed until 2100 to put more distance between us and the position of the submarine contact.

At 0600 tomorrow we will be over 800 miles from the nearest Marshalls and approximately 500 miles west of Johnston Island. The possibility of Japanese aerial attack will be practically nil. We will still have the threat to which we have become so well accustomed - submarines. Our flight operations will fall into the old routine of Scouting Flights and Inner Air Patrols.

Press reports received indicate that:

Our forces on the Island of Luzon are still repelling, with heavy losses, the attacks of the enemy.

British forces have withdrawn from the mainland of Malaya and are now entering a state of siege for the defense of Singapore.

The Axis forces are continuing the counter-offensive in Libya.

The Russians are continuing to report new gains.

Capt. Browning Says Blitz Part Payment for P. H. Raid

Pearl Harbor was fairly well repaid except for the absence of the foul note of treachery, Capt. Miles Browning, Chief of Staff to Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, said this morning in a radio talk describing the U. S. Navy's surprise attack on the Marshall and Gilbert islands.

Capt. Browning's talk, which originated here, was broadcast to the nation by all networks.

The text of Capt. Browning's talk follows.

Good morning to all Americans who are listening to this broadcast, wherever you may be.

The action in the Marshalls and the Gilbert Islands by the U. S. naval forces under the command of Vice Admiral Halsey was one of our first replies to the treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7.

To those of us who were fortunate enough to be there it was a reply deeply satisfactory in every way. A few of our shipmates did not return. I know that those men would share that satisfaction were they here today.

#   #   #

The Marshall islands form the most eastern positions of Japan's military organization in the Pacific. They, together with the Gilberts slightly to the south, lie about 2,000 miles southwest of the main Hawaiian islands.

The Marshalls have been held by Japan under League of Nations mandate since World War I.

Their fortification or military employment in any way is prohibited as one of the sacred obligations of that mandate. We have suspected for years that Japan has long been secretly and underhandedly engaged in installing naval bases and air fields in these islands in spite of her denials.

Since the war broke out many of her operations against U. S. forces and positions have used the Marshalls as their springboard.

Her attacks on our island of Wake, so heroically defended, took off from the Marshalls.

The Gilbert Islands were British. Early in December Japan struck these defenseless places and has since been operating forces from the northernmost of them which she seized.

#   #   #

So much for the geography of the action. Early one morning - like Pearl Harbor - one Sunday morning - like Pearl Harbor - some six of the most important of these Japanese strong points were the subject of visits by the bombs, torpedoes and shells of the aircraft and surface ships of Admiral Halsey's force. The first blow fell on each of these widely separated points at the same instant and shortly before sunrise.

Surprise was complete and I think it may honestly be said that Pearl Harbor was fairly well repaid except for the absence of the foul note of treachery.

#   #   #

(Capt. Browning then detailed the damage inflicted on the enemy by the American forces. Since it is covered in full elsewhere in today's Star-Bulletin that portion of his talk is omitted here.)

The day was replete with instances which brought pride to all of us as we watched and listened to progress of the action.

Two of our fighters found themselves engaged by 12 Jap fighters from Maloelap immediately following the first attack. Each of these two American pilots shot down two of the enemy and then returned aboard to, in their own words, "get more ammunition." One of them had between 35 and 40 bullet holes in his plane when he landed on the carrier.

The commander of a flight of torpedo planes, each torpedo of which was lovingly marked in chalk by its plane crew "open on arrival," electrified us with his attack order. It was, "Take them home, boys."

Shortly thereafter we heard this same officer admonish one of his accompanying planes, "No you don't - ease over to the right - the big one's mine, you take that cruiser."

There were many other intercepted orders which were alive with the spirit of our pilots in attack. A direct repetition of them is unfortunately not permitted me here due to the frankness of some of the language used in the heat of action but we had full reason to be proud of our men - every one of them!

Earlier I mentioned the counter-attacks by Japanese planes based on Maloelap. These, while ineffective, were characterized by a ferocity born, so it seemed to us, of a spirit of desperation.

The terrific pounding which the Japs were given and the sudden and widespread scope of the attack seemed to arouse the few Jap planes left to a suicidal ignoring of antiaircraft fire and fighter attack. They paid heavily for this.

One of the big bombers, shot down and in flames, endeavored to crash on the deck of a carrier and actually succeeded in flying into the edge of the ship.

The plane disintegrated at this point and its occupants went on into the sea and were not seen again. Damage to the carrier was superficial.

My time is up. Thank you for listening. When we left the Marshalls and the Gilberts the Japs knew we had been there. Let them not forget Pearl Harbor and let us remind them of it many times!

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