Combat History ?

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by GT, May 13, 2005.

  1. GT

    GT Member

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  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Chaco War Veterans - Bolivia and Paraguay.
     
  3. GT

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  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Ah, ok, carried similar colors to Paraguary :oops:

    "Small Airforces Observer" had an article about the Siam AF opposing the Japanese.
     
  5. GT

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  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Battle of Prachuab Khirikhan
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    The Battle of Prachuab Khrikhan was a battle of the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II. It was fought on December 8, 1941 at the airfield of Prachuap Khiri Khan in Thailand, on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand along the Kra Isthmus. The Japanese intended to use Thailand as a base from which to strike at British possessions in Burma and Malaya. The garrison of Thai troops were overwhelmed and on December 9, 1941 the Thai government agreed to cease all resistance and allow the Japanese Army to use Thailand as a base. On December 25, 1941 Thailand allied itself with Japan and on January 25, 1942 declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

    [edit]
    Battle
    At around 03:00 on December 8, 1941, the 2nd Battalion of the 143rd Infantry Regiment of the 55th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, under the command of Major Kisoyoshi Utsunomiya, began landing troops at Prachuab Khiri Khan. When news of the Japanese attack reached Wing Commander M. L. Prawat Chumsai, the commander of Kong Bin Noi (Squadron) 5, he immediately gave orders to resist the invaders. The air force units on the airfield had six heavy and two light machine guns, which they turned against the Japanese troops trying to surround the airfield. The small garrison of ground crews and pilots were further reinforced by members of the constabulary and the Yuwachon Thaharn who had managed to escape from the nearby town of Prachuab Khiri Khan once the enemy captured the telegraph office and the police station. Despite the fact that the Japanese had taken part of the airfield, at first light, Kong Bin Noi 5's pilots attempted to take off to bomb and strafe the advancing Japanese.

    Chief Warrant Officer Prom Chuwong got off the ground in a Curtiss P-36 Hawk III, but Japanese groundfire quickly shot him down, killing him. The Japanese shot down two more Hawks, killing both pilots, while they were attempting to take off and wounded a third pilot as he brought his Hawk onto the runway. Only one pilot got airborne. Flying Officer Man Prasongdi managed to get off in a Hawk III armed with four 50 kg bombs and attempted to attack Japanese transports in Manow harbour but missed due to heavy fog and rain.

    By 08:00, most of the northern hangars were in Japanese hands. The isolated airfield control tower had its instruments smashed and was summarily burned down, as the runways were being abandoned. A new perimeter was set up, while the withdrawing airmen were successfully covered by a machine gun positioned in the clubhouse’s tennis court, manned by Airmen Singto Saensukh and Kasem Wongkangya. The machine gun would keep on firing throughout the morning, and into the afternoon.

    Pilot Officer Somsri and his men, whose strength now came up to around thirty, were also forced to withdraw, upon seeing their northern flank threatened by the abandonment of the runways.

    Having successfully secured a beachhead, the Japanese quickly proceeded on to occupy what was left of the burnt down hangars and runways, while reinforcements, including artillery and ten tanks, also landed.

    The families of the airmen took refuge on the guesthouses on Mount Laum Mwuak; the evacuation of the living quarters was supervised Pilot Officer Phol Thongpricha.

    A new perimeter was set up by the Thais, who divided themselves into three groups. One was positioned by the guest houses on Prachuab Bay, which opened fire on anything that came up the road from the guardhouse.

    The second group, under the immediate command of Wing Commander Pravasd, quartered itself up inside the area around the Command and administrative buildings, while the third and last group was situated at houses facing Manao Bay. These two groups based their area of fire on the hangars and the runway.

    The fighting continued on into the afternoon and late evening, but with less intensity. The machine gun at the tennis court persisted in firing on, while the one light machine gun held in reserve was moved about to plug any gaps in the perimeter.

    Rumours that sailors were fighting their way through to relieve the airfield kept the Thais’ spirits up and through the night. Ammunition was already running low, and, at one point, the airmen had to contain the Japanese by firing blank rounds.

    The following morning saw the exhausted Thais receive a telegram from the Ministry of the Interior, brought up by a postman during a lull in the battle, ordering the defenders to cease fighting, as an armistice has been arranged between the two countries.

    The telegram was ignored as the Thais thought it was a trick by the Japanese, thus further infuriating the invaders. Fighting again erupted with the Japanese mounting assaults with renewed vigour, forcing the defenders back. It was around this time that the lone machine gun in the tennis court was taken out; the crew severely wounded.

    By 10:00, with the Japanese closing in, Wing Commander Pravasd ordered the Command Building to be burned down, along with all documents. As flames engulfed the building, Flying Officer Prayhad Kanchonwiroj, the head medical officer, had the hospital building evacuated and set on fire.

    With hopes of relief fading away, the Wing Commander ordered that all officers should save a bullet each for themselves, and that those who wish to could and should attempt to break out and head for the forests. The rest, including the wounded, were to fall back on Mount Laum Mwuak.

    At noon, a car with a small white flag on its windshield arrived. It contained a number of Thai officials, including the province’s undersecretary, Jarunphan Isarangun na Ayutthaya. Jarunphan handed Wing Commander Pravasd a direct order from Field Marshal Phibunsongkhram to cease all forms of resistance.

    Fighting officially ended at 12:35 on December 9, 1941.

    [edit]
    Losses
    The Thais suffered 38 dead and 27 wounded.

    Japanese sources stated that the Japanese suffered 116 dead.

    Estimates of Japanese losses by the Thais were put at 217 dead and over 300 wounded, although exact details are not known.

    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Prachuab_Khirikhan"
     
  7. GT

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  8. FLYBOYJ

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  9. GT

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  10. FLYBOYJ

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    Thanks, but actually that's all I could find. In my earlier post I mentioned this periodical "Small Airforces Observer." It is from this publication that I even heard of the Siam AF challangeing the Japanese.

    Did you take those photos while in Thailand? I've been there too.
     
  11. GT

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  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I was in a place called Lop Buri inspecting Thai Army UH1s for a contract my former employer was bidding. The base looked like a JAAF Base during WW2.
     
  13. P38 Pilot

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    When i went to a family reuion, i found out that i have 3 2nd cousins that Fought in the Vietnam War! One of my cousins was there and he told about how snipers used to shoot at their base. He told me the next time he came, he would bring his Tiger stripe uniform!
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    In Lop Buri Thailand?
     
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