Official caption: “PFC Kenneth C. Crowley, USMC, Plymouth, Mass., crouches behind a log on the first day of action on Cape Gloucester. A few minutes after this picture was made, he advanced with his unit and helped knock out a Japanese pillbox. Hdqtrs No. 72489. Marine Corps Photo.”
Note Crowley’s M1 Garand– which the Marines had only been issuing for about a year at this time–, extra bandoliers of clipped 30.06 ammo, and camo helmet cover. NARA 127-GR-85-72489
The 1st Marine Division hit the beaches at Cape Gloucester on 26 December 1943, fighting Iwao Matsuda’s Imperial Japanese Army’s 65th Brigade to annihilation over the course of a three-week campaign in thick jungle, suffering 1,300 casualties in the process.
While there are three Crowleys listed from Massachusetts as having died in WWII while serving with the Department of the Navy, none are the above-mentioned Kenneth.
“Ack Ack in the sky: When Japanese bombers attempted to sneak in on Cape Gloucester under cover of darkness, Marine units there sent up this concentration of ack-ack tracer fire. It makes very pretty pattern picture but the Japanese didn’t appreciate it and they abandoned the attack.”
USMC Photo 127-GR-87 by Sgt. George Sylvester
74 Years ago today, these Devils would probably rather be back home over an open fire than on a sandy beach.
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Caption: The Marines Land. Marines hit three feet of rough water as they leave their LST to take the beach at Cape Gloucester, December 26, 1943