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Naval Beach Battalions


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#1 nobody73

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:56 PM

Hello, Im new on the forum but I wanted to put this subject out. I did a two year search about this subject that started with stories of my grandfather being passed down. And a unique patch on his naval uniform no one could explain.

The story was that my g-pa was working with Marine Corps Raiders as a naval radioman doing reconnaissance prior to the battle of bougainville. Well after contacting several raiders they denied this possibility for good reason, they had their own radiomen. I knew that the story wasnt a lie but may have been distorted by my uncle who isnt very good at details. So I started with his uniform and saw the Naval Amphibious Forces patch which took me about a year to find out what it was. Its a Red and Gold Anchor with Crossed Rifles. Very marine corps like. Once I found what it was, I was onto something.

Problem #1 is that the only 'Beach Battalions' were used in European theaters along with the Seabees and NCDU units. This caused consternation as to whether there were even these guys in the south pacific as naval personnel. I finally found a guy with a website and book that explained to me that they were called Beach Parties in the South Pacific and worked independently with the Marine Corps in prepping Beaches and ship to shore communications. Something the Raiders vehemently denied. But with no Unit History I was at a loss how to verify the story of being launced from a sub in rubber boats and being stuck on bougainville 3 days longer than was expected.

I searched virtually every Naval and Marine Online Archive I could find and one dejected day I found the history of the Intelligence gathering operations to prepare the island Bougainville for invasion. Sure enough, there were several recon missions launched from either a PT boat or a submarine and unlike the other patrols, one was stranded for 2 extra days longer than anticipated.

So, the point of my post is do any of you have information on Amphib Landings and Naval participation or Shore Parties activities in the SP or personal stories ? thanks.

BTW, never give up on a topic you are researching. Its quite rewarding to be vindicated !;)
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#2 bill39

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:02 PM

You might try going here and posting a message. This is the website for the Air-Naval-Gunfire Liasion Companies. : ANGLICO

But during WWII I believe it was known as JASCO (Joint Assault Signal Company). Here is a website with JASCO info: History of 295th JASCO in World War II. Pacific Assault Operations.

May not be what you're looking for but might get you started.

#3 Thurman

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 05:50 PM

Here is a citation for the 1st Marine Amphibious Corps later changed to III Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion on Bougainville.

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
Washington

The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending the

III AMPHIBIOUS CORPS SIGNAL BATTALION

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:
"For extremely meritorious service in support of military operations, while attached to the I Marine Amphibious Corps during the amphibious assault on Bougainville, and attached to the 111 Amphibious Corps during operations at Guam, Palau and Okinawa, during the period from November 1, 1943 to June 21, 1945. The first American Signal Battalion to engage in amphibious landings in the Pacific Ocean Areas; the III Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion pioneered and developed techniques and procedures without benefit of established precedent, operating with limited and inadequate equipment, particularly in the earlier phase of these offensive actions, and providing its own security while participating in jungle fighting, atoll invasions and occupation of large island masses. Becoming rapidly experienced in guerrilla warfare and the handling of swiftly changing situations, this valiant group of men successfully surmounted the most difficult conditions of terrain and weather as well as unfamiliar technical problems and, working tirelessly without consideration for safety, comfort or convenience, provided the Corps with uninterrupted ship-shore and bivouac communication service continuously throughout this period. This splendid record of achievement, made possible only by the combined efforts, loyalty and courageous devotion to duty of each individual, was a decisive factor in the success of the hazardous Bougainvillea, Guam, Palau and Okinawa Campaigns and reflects the highest credit upon the III Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion and the United States Naval Service."

All personnel attached to the III Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion who actually participated in one or more of the Bougainvillea, Guam, Palau and Okinawa operations are hereby authorized to wear the NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION Ribbon.

JAMES FORRESTAL
Secretary of the Navy
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#4 nobody73

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:38 PM

Thats another great find.Thank you.

#5 tmixjr68

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:51 AM

My dad was in the navy and was on bougainville as a "Am2" 2nd class aircraft structural mechanic. I will dig out his scrapbook and pictures and see what all I have. I've just started researching,because I just bought my first computer. Dad talked alot about the seabees building the airstrips at bougainville. I just wished he was here to see the computer age,he passed away in'91.He coulda contributed a whole lot of information. I just wish I could remember all the stories he told,or I would have recorded them. -LoL - sincerely , tmixjr68..

#6 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 04:16 AM

Here's some photos of typical beach operations:

Attached Files


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#7 nc67

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 06:23 AM

"Well after contacting several raiders they denied this possibility for good reason, they had their own radiomen."

The Marines may have had their own radiomen but they must have been in short supply. My father enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and upon graduation from radioman school in San Diego half the entire graduating class, including my father, was transferred to the Marines due to their critical shortage of radiomen. Specifically, he was in Comm Unit 41 (Navy), but was attached to the 3rd Marine Division. He took part in several island landings but spent most of his time in Guam during and after the 2nd Battle of Guam in 1944.

#8 Victor Gomez

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 04:50 PM

Thanks for your continued search for information of particular groups in the PTO as it is lacking so many times in the details of especially the beach landings and details of activities after the landings in many areas of the Pacific. It seems that events in the ETO were well documented but the same events in the PTO we end up really scratching for the same kinds of details.

#9 macrusk

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 06:28 PM

Would this possibly be related?

HyperWar: USMC Monograph--Marines in the Central Solomons

"...In addition to aerial reconnaissance which furnished useful information throughout the operation, a ground patrol was landed by submarine (U.S.S. Guardfish) in the area above the Laruma River; aided by native guides, this patrol scouted the area and tentatively selected an airfield site. Reports by this patrol further confirmed selection of Cape Torokina as the landing beach.47 "

also, "....While planning was underway, meanwhile, combat intelligence preliminary to the operation was being gathered on a scale not heretofore attempted. Many patrols were landed on proposed objectives, while map and aerial photograph studies were made of the areas. Interviews were held with individuals who were acquainted with the localities which were under study. Slowly the early trickle of information grew into a flooding tide. "

" Accumulation of Intelligence
Various means were employed to collect combat intelligence for the Bougainville operation. Amphibious reconnaissance patrols were landed by submarine, seaplane, and motor torpedo boat to penetrate defended beaches; these were the first to be undertaken on so wide a scale in the South Pacific and they key-holed the Shortland area, the Treasury Islands, Choiseul, Santa Isabel, and the Kieta and Numa Numa areas.67 Extensive aerial reconnaissance provided much valuable information in regard to southern and northern Bougainville. In order to obtain specific information relating to terrain, hydrographic conditions, enemy dispositions and defenses, and any other information that might be of use, three patrols were landed from a submarine in rubber boats on Shortland and on the Treasury Islands on the night of 22-23 August. These patrols were withdrawn by the same means on the night of 27-28 August.68

--14--


On 3 September 1943, at 2230, a patrol composed of Captain J. R. Harper, Lieutenant R. C. Parlier, USN, Lieutenant Morse Holladay, Platoon Sergeant W. A. Dunsworth, Corporal D. L. Kettler, and Private First Class T. G. Simpson debarked from a patrol torpedo boat into native canoes at a point southwest of Rhodes Island, and landed on Santa Isabel just opposite Bero Island, crossed the main island and reconnoitered the Rekata Bay area as far south as Suavanu Point, and Papatura Fa Island. Having completed reconnaissance of the Suavanu Point area. Harper's men moved via native canoe to the Kia Bay area where they reconnoitered but found only negative information. Upon returning to its starting point, the group left the Santa Isabel area on 9 September at 2230.69

On 6 September 1943, at 2300, a patrol composed of Captain Gordon Warner, Captain William R. Helmer, Lt (jg) K. P. Hill, Corporal Edgar C. Terrell and Corporal William Weber, was discharged from a PT boat into a native canoe about one-half mile southeast of the Ruravai Island mission, off the southwest coast of Choiseul. Landing at the mission wharf on the southeast side of the island about 0115, the patrol spent the remainder of the night in the wharf boat shed. Next morning the group proceeded via canoe in a northwesterly direction along the shore toward Posarai Village, to observe shore line, beaches and jungle. On reaching Posarai Village at 0830, Warner's men proceeded to move along inland waterways to Todoro Lagoon, where they disembarked and continued northwest by native trail to a village on the Doroko River, just north of Mount Sambe. At this point the patrol made camp for the night.70

On 8 September 1943, the party left the Doroko River and proceeded south to the high cliffs overlooking Zoga where an observation post was established in order to observe Japanese positions, the beach, harbor channels, and terrain. After spending the day thus occupied, the patrol left its observation point and traveled in a northwesterly direction to the village of Gorabara, where it arrived at 1800 and set up camp for the night.

The following day the five men traveled for a period of two hours via canoe to Panai, where they landed and followed a native trail to a point of observation about one mile north of Kakasa. Information was gathered in regard to the Kakasa area, before they retired northwest at 1530 in order to make camp on the bank of the Verulatu river. Ascent of Mount Maitabe to the north consumed the entire working day on 10 September, and it was not until 12 September that the group reached the coastwatcher's station just north-northwest of Kanaga village.71 From Kanaga village, the party proceeded via canoe downstream on the Kanaga river to the north coast of the island, along which it proceeded along the inner reef to Nanano Island, where it arrived at approximately 0900, and finally made the contact at 1215 with a Navy patrol bomber, which had been directed to rendezvous with it.

During their travels the men observed some Japanese activity, and made a study of the beaches and terrain which indicated that there were few good airfield sites or landing beaches on the parts of the island observed. Upon returning to Guadalcanal, the patrol reported its findings to the planners.72
Two patrols, number one being composed of Commander W. Painter, (CEC) USNR, Captain J. J. Delahanty, Lt. (j. g.) F. B. Rauch,

--15--


USN, Pilot Officer Leatham (of the Royal New Zealand Air Force), and Private A. N. James; number two consisting of Captain R. Enich, Lieutenant W. T. Manley, Lt. (j. g.) E. Greathead, USN, and Sergeant J. Mandel, were landed from a Navy patrol bomber at Nanano Island off the northeast coast of Choiseul on 22 September 1943, at 1500, where the first patrol was joined by Sub-Lieutenant C. W. Seton of the Royal Australian Navy, the coastwatcher in this area.

From this point the groups proceeded by native canoe to the village of Mamarana, near the northwestern tip of the main island, where they arrived at 0600 the next day. Upon landing, the parties moved overland toward Mount Gaili in the west, and, on arriving at that position at 1100 on 24 September 1943, separated, the first reconnoitering to the west, the second to the south. General mission of patrol number one was to reconnoiter in the Choiseul Bay area and then work northwest along the coast away from Japanese-occupied areas in an effort to study the terrain with a view to establishment of radar stations, airfields, bivouac areas, dump areas, and landing beaches. Patrol number two had the same general mission as patrol number one, except that the area in which it was to conduct its reconnaissance lay between the mouth of the Warrior River Point and Moli Island, thence overland to Bubukana.

Patrol number one bivouacked east of Terikukure Plantation at 1700 on the evening of 24 September 1943, shortly after hearing Japanese activity. The following day it reconnoitered the Choiseul Bay area and in the evening observed a B-24 attacking Japanese positions there. On 25, 26, and 27 September, the area along the beach from Poroporo to Maramana was studied. On 28 September the party proceeded to the rendezvous at Salamanda to meet patrol number two.

In the meantime, patrol number two had passed 24, 25, and 26 September reconnoitering along the beach southwest to the vicinity of Moli Island. The following two days were spent traveling overland from Vudertaru to a point on the beach near Pola, where it boarded a canoe and proceeded to the rendezvous at Salamanda, and rejoined patrol number one. Patrol number two did not observe any Japanese land or sea activity but did spot Japanese planes on 25, 26, and 28 September. Accompanying natives, however, reported Japanese activity in the vicinity of Moli Island, and at mouths of various rivers in the area.

After joining forces, the groups returned to Nanano via Susuka and boarded the Navy patrol bomber about 1500. They had observed several fair airfield sites in the vicinity of Choiseul Harbor, and had definite knowledge of enemy barge activity in that area. They had also located several good landing beaches and, from conversations with natives and the coastwatcher, were able to estimate that there were about 300 Japanese in the Choiseul Bay region and about 1,000 in the Kakasa Region.

Along the southwest coast of the island, the patrols reported, there was no suitable site for a landing strip; however, there were some level areas on the island, but these were swampy, and a great deal of work would be necessary in order to drain them. On the other hand there was a suitable area slightly northeast of Poroporo, although it would probably require 30 days' work on the part of an entire construction battalion or its equivalent to grade and surface a strip of 150 by 4,000 feet, and a suitable beach road had to be constructed before work on the airfield could begin. It was also noted that a strip could be built on Kondakanimboko Island if the landing beach could be improved, the channel between island and mainland were filled in, and a road were built from the beach to Sipasai and Taro Islands.

Reported further were some locations where radar could probably be placed, but these would have to be spotted after troops had come ashore. The nature of the terrain had prevented direct observation to locate those positions accurately.

These findings were immediately conveyed to planners upon the patrol's return to Guadalcanal, and the planners incorporated the findings into operation plans.73
Two patrols composed of Navy and Marine
--16--


Corps personnel were sent to Bougainville on 23 September 1943, one going to the Kieta area on the northeast coast and the other going to the Cape Torokina area on the southwest coast. On the northeast coast the party was composed of Captain Bertram S. Behrens, First Lieutenant Oscar Salgo, Lieutenant Stuart (RANVR), Lt. (j. g.) Woods, USN, Lt. (j. g.) Reed, USN, Platoon Sergeant Gwost, Sergeants Hagler, Schramm, Bisol, Ober, Clark, and LaMonte, Corporals Aaron and Splain, Private Roberts, and four native guides, embarked in the Submarine U.S.S. Gato. This group had as its mission reconnaissance of probable landing beaches in the vicinity of Cape Mabiri, from Asitavi to Metong Plantation. To accomplish this mission, the party divided into two sections each night and reconnoitered specific sections of beach area. In the meantime the submarine took soundings off shore for the purpose of charting the coast. As the men moved from submarine to beach, they took soundings on the way in. When ashore, patrol members would examine the beach area and the land directly behind it.
A considerable amount of Japanese activity in the area was noted, but despite this, a reasonably accurate and complete survey of landing beaches and approaches thereto in the area was made. The men returned to the submarine each night, and at 0145 on the morning of 28 September, returned for the last time.74

The party on the southwest coast consisted of Captain Harry B. Barker, First Lieutenant James C. Clemmons, USA, Lts. (j.g.) Kenneth P. Hill and Edward C. McBurney, Ensign Morris N. Palmer (all three USN), Second Lieutenant William C. Langdale, Ensign Antone Jossten (RANVR), 30 enlisted men, and four natives. This group was to reconnoiter beaches and terrain between the Torokina River and Atsinima Bay, five miles inland and the islands offshore. Embarked in the submarine U.S.S. Guardfish, the men landed in rubber boats and operated ashore from 2000, 23 September 1943, to 2000, 26 September 1943.

While ashore, this party observed that terrain behind the beaches was extremely swampy, and that few suitable sites for airstrips existed, neither did it find the reported road along the coast. On 11 different occasions, Japanese planes were sighted flying along the coast. Other Japanese activity noted was the presence of one sentry at the mouth of the Laruma River, and the sound of heavy guns in the vicinity of Mutupena point, and glare of antiaircraft searchlights sweeping the sky from the vicinity of Mavavia.75 In the meantime the Guardfish had made an extremely accurate surey of hydrographic conditions offshore. All information obtained was duly reported upon return to Guadalcanal.76

On 1 October 1943, a low level aerial reconnaissance mission was flown over the Cape Torokina region by a PB2Y piloted by Lieutenant (j.g.) Hager and carrying an observation party consisting of Lieutenant Colonel S. S. Wade, Lieutenants (j.g.) Kenneth P. Hill and Edward C. McBurney. This party also noted that swamps existed inland from the beaches, and that the small coconut grove just east of Cape Torokina might be a suitable site for a small landing strip.77
Lieutenant Colonel James M. Smith, 3d Division Headquarters, and Captain John I. Delehanty, 21st Marines, landed at Atsinima Bay on the night of 27 October with a coastwatcher party under direction of Lieutenant Keenan (RANVR)78 in order to determine strength, location, and disposition of Japanese forces and location of their coast defense guns in the Cape Torokina area. This information was to be communicated via radio to Commander, Task Force 31 by 1200, 30 October. If the Japanese did not have more than 200 to 300 men in the area, a large fire, visible to seaward, was to be lighted on the beach. Furthermore, this party was to locate high, dry, ground behind the beach between Cape Torokina and the Laruma River, and to be prepared to guide assault troops to it. Native scouts were to be sent to the Jaba area

--17--


to observe and report on Japanese activity noted in recent photographs of that area. This information was to be made available to the Commanding General, IMAC, and the Commander of Task Force 31, immediately after landing of assault units had been accomplished.

Existence of high ground about 1,000 yards east of the Koromokina River, suitable for radar installations was to be determined. Immediately upon landing of the first wave of invasion forces, the party was to rejoin our forces by approaching from the west displaying an American flag.79

Intelligence information regarding the strength and disposition of Japanese forces in the Cape Torokina area was meager, and the very nature of the jungle in that area prevented secrets hidden beneath dense foliage from appearing on aerial photographs. True, there were signs of activity on Cape Torokina itself, but the character of the photographs prevented an exact determination of the extent or characteristics of activity there. Equally obscure was the size and extent of swamp areas immediately inland from the beach, and to complicate matters there was practically no reliable hydrographic information available. Charts of the northern Empress Augusta Bay area were vague, and an aerial photographic survey of the region had disclosed that the coast line was eight to ten miles removed from positions indicated on the charts. Early reconnaissance by the submarine Guardfish had indicated presence of uncharted shoals. Consequently, approach to the target had to be scheduled to occur after daybreak.."


Edited by macrusk, 20 February 2011 - 06:39 PM.

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Regards, Michelle

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#10 macrusk

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 06:47 PM

In the same document at HyperWar, the footnotes includes these pieces of information:


68. Their reports indicated that the best landing beaches in the vicinity that were suitable for all types of landing craft were located between the Saveke River mouth and Falamai Point. Furthermore, these beaches had an ample water supply nearby and also had adequate dispersal and bivouac areas. The party saw signs of Japanese activity but actually sighted no Japanese.

In order to obtain last minute information before the GOODTIME (Treasury) operation, a reconnaissance party of two New Zealand noncommissioned officers (Sgt. W. A. Cowan of the 8th Brigade Intelligence Section and Corporal Nash of the Australian Naval Intelligence Service), and some natives was landed by patrol torpedo boat on Mono Island, the largest of the Treasury Group on the night of 21-22 October and was withdrawn in the same manner the following night. This party reported that according to natives, the Japanese had recently landed reinforcements in the area and that their strength was about 225 men; that medium caliber guns had recently been emplaced on both sides of Falamai Point; that machine guns were emplaced on Mono Island along the approaches to the landing beaches; that there was an observation post located at Laifa Point with direct wire communication to the radio station near the Saveke River; and that Stirling Island was unoccupied by the Japanese. When they were withdrawn, the party brought with them several Mono Island natives who were to serve as pilots for the attacking forces on the day of the landing.
Finally on the night of 25-26 October an advance party of three New Zealanders and two natives led by Sgt. Cowan was landed in order to cut the communication lines between Laifa Point and the radio station (Combat Narratives, 12-13) at 0400 on 27 October, to establish an observation post in order to observe Japanese movements, and to furnish native guides to the combat units. (Row Rpt. 3. The correct title of this document is "HQ 8 (NZ) Bde Gp, 3 (NZ) Div NZEF, In the Field, REPORT ON OPERATIONS--TREASURY IS., (OP 'GOODTIME')" 30Nov43).


Once again OpanPointer's HyperWar site is a remarkable resource or original reports.



69. 3d MarDiv, Santa Isabel Patrol Report. See bibliography for complete description of this document.

70. For map of Choiseul showing patrol routes, see Map 24.

71. LtCol Warner reports that his patrol was the first group of white men to scale Mount Maitabe.

72. 3d MarDiv, Patrol Reports-Choiseul, "K" Patrol. See bibliography for clarification.

73. Ibid., IMAC Patrol.

74. IMAC Patrol Report on Empress Augusta Bay Area. See bibliography.

75. 3d Amphibious Force Reconnaissance Report. See bibliography for complete description of this document.

76. CTF-31 Opn Rpt, 5.

77. IMAC Opn Rpt, I, 18.

78. Feldt, op. cit., 161-162.

79. IMAC Opn Rpt, I, 20. Because of excessive terrain difficulties encountered, and because of radio failure, none of the information that this group obtained was made available to the invading forces until they were finally ashore; furthermore, the fire was not lighted. Lieutenant Colonel Smith rejoined the American forces as planned on 1 November, and made an oral report to General Turnage. Smith displayed the first American flag to be shown ashore. The remainder of the patrol proceeded to the Numa Numa area to act as a coastwatcher party.

80. Ibid., 17.
81. Ibid., 4.
Regards, Michelle

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#11 macrusk

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 06:53 PM

In the bibliography of the above document:

Keller, Albert J. Operations of the Signal Battalion, IMAC, During the Bougainville Campaign, MSS., Quantico: Marine Corps Schools, Amphibious Warfare School, Senior Course, 1947.

Joint Intelligence Group, Pacific Ocean Area. "Bougainville Diary." Weekly Intelligence Bulletin, 8 January, 1945.

Operations Division Intelligence Bulletin (Navy Department). "Operations on Bougainville." Issue for 10 May, 1944.
Regards, Michelle

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#12 USMCPrice

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 01:09 AM

The story was that my g-pa was working with Marine Corps Raiders as a naval radioman doing reconnaissance prior to the battle of bougainville. Well after contacting several raiders they denied this possibility for good reason, they had their own radiomen. I knew that the story wasnt a lie but may have been distorted by my uncle who isnt very good at details. So I started with his uniform and saw the Naval Amphibious Forces patch which took me about a year to find out what it was. Its a Red and Gold Anchor with Crossed Rifles. Very marine corps like. Once I found what it was, I was onto something.



They could very well both be telling the truth, a lot depends upon the perception of the participants. The Raiders were probably referring to personnel actually on the patrol. In which case they would be correct. You stated that your grandpa was a radioman and therefore probably enlisted (I'll get back to this). The Raiders during the Bougainville Campaign, were a IMAC asset, (1st Marine Amphibious Corps). You state your grandpa had a Naval Amphibious Forces patch, contrary to Thurman's post, IMAC and Naval Amphibious Forces are two different creatures. Marine Amphibious Corps were designed to provide administrative control over larger than divisional sized units, and to provide assets not intrinsic to the divisional TOE's.
From your description I think this is the patch you found on your grandpa's uniform:


Posted Image

This is the basic IMAC Patch

Posted Image

This is the IMAC Raider Patch

Posted Image

This is the IMAC Marine Parachute Patch

Posted Image
Thurman's post concerns I-MAC Corps Signal Battalion one of it's subordinate units. I Corps Signal Battalion was a Marine Corps unit and in all likelyhood had nothing to do with Nobody73's sailor. I-MAC assets during the Bougainvile Campaign were:

-1st Parachute regiment (1st,2d,3rd Parachute Battalions)
-2d Raider regiment (Provisional) (2d, 3d Raider Battalions)
-1st Corps Signal Battalion (the one mentioned in the citation)
-2d 155mm Artillery Bn (Provisional)
-3d Defense Bn
-Branch 3, 4th base Depot
-3rd Marine Division

I MAC was redesignated III MAC in April 1944, when it began operations with III Naval Amphibious Force.


I finally found a guy with a website and book that explained to me that they were called Beach Parties in the South Pacific and worked independently with the Marine Corps in prepping Beaches and ship to shore communications. Something the Raiders vehemently denied. But with no Unit History I was at a loss how to verify the story of being launced from a sub in rubber boats and being stuck on bougainville 3 days longer than was expected......So, the point of my post is do any of you have information on Amphib Landings and Naval participation or Shore Parties activities in the SP or personal stories ? thanks.


Like I said it can be confusing, Beach Parties are the Naval element, Shore Parties are the Marine Corps element. The Naval element normally consisted of personnel tasked from the supporting ships, the Marine element comprised of divisional assets, personnel from the Pioneer and Naval Construction Battalions. Both elements reported to the landing force commander and the Beach Party was subordinate to the Shore Party commander, starting in August 1942. The Navy Beachmaster was normally responsible for up to the high water mark where the Shore Party took over. Beach Party was responsible for beach reconnaissance, marking landing beaches, and navigation hazards. Overseeing the unloading of troops and supplies, sorting and storing supplies in beach dumps, landing craft control and casualty evacuation. The Beach Party consisted of landing craft units, stevedores, and ship to shore communications units, (later war UDT's also). The Shore Party was responsible from the high water mark inland. They selected and marked routes inland, assigned bivouac and dump sites, coordinated the movement of troops and supplies inland to the front and controlled stragglers and enemy POW's.

The point of all of this is to say, a Beach Party element, probably wouldn't have been tasked for a small reconnaissance mission, so don't disregard what the Raiders told you. Beach Parties were involved in larger landings.

Michelle however may have given you a clue from her posts. She does however support the Raiders stories.
-Patrol 1) Captain J. R. Harper, Lieutenant R. C. Parlier, USN, Lieutenant Morse Holladay, Platoon Sergeant W. A. Dunsworth, Corporal D. L. Kettler, and Private First Class T. G. Simpson
-Patrol 2) Captain Gordon Warner, Captain William R. Helmer, Lt (jg) K. P. Hill, Corporal Edgar C. Terrell and Corporal William Weber
-Patrol 3 & 4)Commander W. Painter, (CEC) USNR, Captain J. J. Delahanty, Lt. (j. g.) F. B. Rauch, USN, Pilot Officer Leatham (of the Royal New Zealand Air Force), and Private A. N. James; number two consisting of Captain R. Enich, Lieutenant W. T. Manley, Lt. (j. g.) E. Greathead, USN, and Sergeant J. Mandel.
-Patrol 5) Captain Bertram S. Behrens, First Lieutenant Oscar Salgo, Lieutenant Stuart (RANVR), Lt. (j. g.) Woods, USN, Lt. (j. g.) Reed, USN, Platoon Sergeant Gwost, Sergeants Hagler, Schramm, Bisol, Ober, Clark, and LaMonte, Corporals Aaron and Splain, Private Roberts, and four native guides.
-Patrol 6) Captain Harry B. Barker, First Lieutenant James C. Clemmons, USA, Lts. (j.g.) Kenneth P. Hill and Edward C. McBurney, Ensign Morris N. Palmer (all three USN), Second Lieutenant William C. Langdale, Ensign Antone Jossten (RANVR), 30 enlisted men, and four natives.

I bold faced all the mentioned Navy personnel, all were officers, probably intelligence or engineer types. There was an Army Lt and several allied Australia/New Zealand officers mentioned. I am sure all were intelligence types or had some special skill/knowledge crucial to being included on the patrol.
If I were to make an educated guess I'd say your grandpa didn't actually participate in one of the Raider intell gathering patrols. What is more likely is that he was pulled from his job based upon his specialty, he may have landed with a small party of sailors from the sub and have been tasked with communicating with the patrol and the sub. Ship to shore communications were most often handled by Navy personnel. Remember for secrecy reasons and to avoid air attacks the sub would have had to stay submerged during daylight hours. Man pack radios of the time had limited range and were most often line of sight so it is doubtfull the patrol could establish nightly communication with the sub. So, he would have been working with the Raiders (as he said) but not actually part of the patrols. If I were you, I'd try to track down all the subs operating in the area at the time and look into their histories. I'm sure they logged the personnel they put ashore.
"I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you f**k with me, I'll kill you all."Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders
"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."Gen. Alfred Gray, 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps

#13 Thurman

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 06:40 PM

COMMUNICATION UNIT 41 (NAVY) LISTED BELOW IN THE GUAM LANDING FORCES, ALSO GARRISON UNITS ON THE 76TH SEABEES WEBSITE. IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY, TRY CONTACTING THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES IN COLLEGE PARK, MD. THEY WERE VERY HELPFUL IN PROVIDING DOCUMENTS ON THE ABOVE MENTIONED 4TH BASE DEPOT, MY FATHER WAS ASSIGNED TO THIS UNIT AT VELLA LAVELLA AND BOUGAINVILLE.

The National Archives at College Park, Maryland

Guam Order of Battle - 5th Naval Construction Brigade

Southern Troops and Landing Force
Order of Battle for Guam
1944
FORCE TROOPS--Major General Roy S. Geiger

Headquarters and Service Battalion, III Amphibious Corps (less detachments)
Signal Battalion, III Amphibious Corps (less detachments)
4th Marine Ammunition Company
Detachment, Argus 17 (Shore-based Fighter Director Unit)
Detachment, Marine Air Warning Squadron-2
Detachment, 756th Air Warning Company (Army)
Communication Unit 41 (Navy)

III AMPHIBIOUS CORPS ARTILLERY--Brigadier General Pedro A. del Valle

Headquarters and Headquarters and Service Battery, III Amphibious Corps Artillery
1st 155mm Howitzer Battalion (less Battery C attached to Brigade Artillery Group on landing)
2d 155mm Howitzer Battalion
7th 155mm Gun Battalion

3D MARINE DIVISION (Reinforced)--Major General Alan H. Turnage

9th Combat Team
9th Marines
1st Battalion (less Companies B and C), 19th Marines (Engineers)
Company D, 19th Marines (Pioneers)
Company G, 25th Naval Construction Battalion (plus detachment, Headquarters Company)
3d Tank Battalion (less Companies B and C)
Reconnaissance Company (less 2 platoons), 3d Headquarters Battalion
1st Messenger Dog Section (less 1 squad), 2d War Dog Platoon
1st Scout Dog Section (less 1 squad), 3d War Dog Platoon
Company A, 3d Motor Transport Battalion
Company A, 3d Medical Battalion
1st Band Section
Detachment, 3d Joint Assault Signal Company


21st Combat Team
21st Marines
Company B, 19th Marines (Engineers)
2d Battalion (less Companies D and F), 19th Marines (Pioneers)
Company H, 25th Naval Construction Battalion (plus detachment, Headquarters Company)
1st and 2d Platoons, Company B, 3d Tank Battalion
2d Platoon, Reconnaissance Company, 3d Headquarters Battalion
2d Messenger Dog Section (less 1 squad), 2d War Dog Platoon
2d Scout Dog Section (less 1 squad), 3d War Dog Platoon
Company B, 3d Motor Transport Battalion
Company B, 3d Medical Battalion
2d Band Section
Detachment, 3d Joint Assault Signal Company


3d Combat Team
3d Marines
Company C, 19th Marines (Engineers)
Company F, 19th Marines (Pioneers)
25th Naval Construction Battalion (less Companies G and H and 2 detachments, Headquarters Company)
Company C, 3d Tank Battalion
3d Messenger Dog Section (less 1 squad), 2d War Dog Platoon
3d Scout Dog Section (less 1 squad), 3d War Dog Platoon
Company C, 3d Motor Transport Battalion
Company C, 3d Medical Battalion
3d Band Section
Detachment, 3d Joint Assault Signal Company

12th Marines (Reinforced)
12th Marines
14th Defense Battalion (less 155mm Seacoast Artillery group, 2 90mm batteries, 1 searchlight platoon, and detachments, Headquarters and Service Battery)
Artillery Liaison Group, III Amphibious Corps


1st Armored Amphibian Battalion (less Companies A and B )


3d Amphibian Tractor Battalion (Reinforced)


Motor Transport Battalion (less Company C), III Amphibious Corps (DUKW's)


Reserve Group
3d Headquarters Battalion [less 3 Band Sections and 3d Reconnaissance Company (less 4th Platoon)]
Company B (less 2 platoons), 3d Tank Battalion
2d War Dog Platoon (less 6 squads)
3d War Dog Platoon (less 6 squads)
3d Joint Assault Signal Company (less detachments)
Detachment, Signal Battalion, III Amphibious Corps


Engineer Group
19th Marines (less 1st and 2d Battalions)
2d Separate Engineer Battalion
Company B, 2d Special Naval Construction Battalion
Garrison Beach Party


Service Group
3d Service Battalion (less detachments)
3d Medical Battalion (less Companies A, B, and C)
3d Motor Transport Battalion (less Companies A, B, and C )
Detachment, Service Group, 5th Field Depot
2d Marine Ammunition Company (less 4th Platoon)

1ST PROVISIONAL MARINE BRIGADE (Reinforced)--Brigadier General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr.

Brigade Troops
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade
Military Police Company (less 1st and 2d Platoons), 1st Provisional Marine Brigade
Signal Company (less detachments), 1st Provisional Marine Brigade


4th Combat Team
4th Marines
Tank Company, 4th Marines
Engineer Company, 4th Marines
Pioneer Company, 4th Marines
Medical Company, 4th Marines
Motor Transport Company, 4th Marines
Reconnaissance Platoon, 4th Marines
Ordnance Platoon, 4th Marines
Service and Supply Platoon, 4th Marines
1st Platoon, Military Police Company, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade
4th Platoon, 2d Marine Ammunition Company
Detachment, 5th Field Depot
1st War Dog platoon
1st Joint Assault Signal Party, Signal Company, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade


22d Combat Team
22d Marines
Tank Company, 22d Marines
Pioneer Company, 22d Marines
Engineer Company, 22d Marines
Medical Company, 22d Marines
Motor Transport Company, 22d Marines
Reconnaissance Platoon, 22d Marines
Ordnance Platoon, 22d Marines
Service and Supply Platoon, 22d Marines
Band Section, 22d Marines
2d Platoon, Military Police Company, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade
1st Provisional Replacement Company
Detachment, 5th Field Depot
Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 515 (Navy)
2d Joint Assault Signal Party, Signal Company, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade


Companies A and B, 1st Armored Amphibian Battalion


Amphibian Tractor Group
4th Amphibian Tractor Battalion (Reinforced)
Company C, Motor Transport Battalion, III Amphibious Corps (DUKW's)


Artillery Group
Artillery Headquarters Detachment, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade
75mm Pack Howitzer Battalion, 4th Marines
75mm Pack Howitzer Battalion, 22d Marines
305th Field Artillery Battalion (attached on landing)
Battery C, 1st 155mm Howitzer Battalion (attached on landing)


305th Combat Team (USA)
305th Infantry
305th Field Artillery Battalion (detached on landing)
Battery A, 7th Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion (detached on landing)
Company C, 706th Tank Battalion (less 1 platoon)
242d Engineer Combat Battalion
Company A, 302d Engineer Combat Battalion
Company A and 1 platoon, Company D, 302d Medical Battalion
1 platoon, Company A, 88th Chemical Battalion
Detachment, 77th Signal Company
Detachment, 777th Ordnance Company
Detachment, 292d Joint Assault Signal Company
Detachment, Prisoner of War Interrogation Team


Antiaircraft Group
9th Defense Battalion (less 155mm Seacoast Artillery Group, 90mm Antiaircraft Group, and detachments, Headquarters and Service Battery)
Battery A, 7th Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion (attached on landing)


53d Naval Construction Battalion


Medical Battalion, III Amphibious Corps (Reinforced)

77TH INFANTRY DIVISION (Reinforced) (USA)--Major General Andrew D. Bruce

Division Troops
Headquarters, 77th Infantry Division
Special Troops

Headquarters Company, 77th Infantry Division
Military Police Platoon, 77th Infantry Division
777th Ordnance Company (Light Maintenance) (less detachments)
77th Quartermaster Company
77th Signal Company (less detachments)
77th Infantry Division Band
77th Reconnaissance Troop
Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 77th Infantry Division Artillery
306th Field Artillery Battalion
302d Engineer Combat Battalion (less Companies A, B, and C)
302d Medical Battalion (less Companies A, B, C, and 1 platoon, Company D)
36th Field Hospital (less 2 platoons)
95th Portable Surgical Hospital
Company A (less 1 platoon), 88th Chemical Battalion
92d Bomb Disposal Squad
292d Joint Assault Signal Company (less detachments)
7th Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion [less Companies A, B, and C (less 1 platoon)]
404th Ordnance Company (Medium Maintenance)
Prisoner of War Interrogation Team (less detachments)
Detachment, Counter Intelligence Corps
Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas Team
Signal Photo Sections 1 and 2


306th Combat Team
306th Infantry
304th Field Artillery Battalion
Company B, 302d Engineer Combat Battalion
132d Engineer Combat Battalion
Detachment, 292d Joint Assault Signal Company
Company B, 302d Medical Battalion
Battery B, 7th Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion
Detachment, 77th Signal Company
Detachment, 777th Ordnance Company
Company B, 706th Tank Battalion
1st Platoon, 36th Field Hospital


307th Combat Team
307th Infantry
902d Field Artillery Battalion
Company C, 302d Engineer Combat Battalion
233d Engineer Combat Battalion
Detachment, 292d Joint Assault Signal Company
Company C, 302d Medical Battalion
Battery C, 7th Antiaircraft Artillery (Automatic Weapons) Battalion
Company A, 706th Tank Battalion
Detachment, 77th Signal Company
Detachment, 777th Ordnance Company
2d Platoon, 36th Field Hospital

GARRISON FORCE (when released by Southern Troops and Landing Force)--Under Island Commander, Major General Henry C. Larsen, USMC

1st Provisional Base Headquarters Battalion
3d Marine Division (Reinforced)
14th Defense Battalion (less detachments)
9th Defense Battalion (less detachments)
2d Special Engineer Battalion
25th Naval Construction Battalion
53d Naval Construction Battalion
Company B, 2d Special Naval Construction Battalion
Communication Unit 41
5th Field Depot
Detachment, 5th Naval Construction Brigade
Detachment, Marine Air Group 21
Detachment, Lion 6 Advance Naval Base
Detachment, Argus 17
Detachment, Marine Air Warning Squadron 2
Detachment, 746th Air Warning Company
Army defense troops
Other units as assigned.

#14 1ST Chutes

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:34 PM

My Uncle Ted was assigned to the Medical section as a Corpsman in 7th NBB and landed at Normandy. The NBB's in the ETO according to my conversations with him handled a myriad of beach duties. The Mediacl sections set up triages and clearing stations and supervised loading of wounded, Comm Sections handled ship to shore and shore to ship comms and relayed to Army personal as well as directing NGFS support. Boat repair sections cleared or repaired damaged landing crafts, others kept landing lanes cleared, prior to Overlord NCDU's were attached to blow obstacles in the surf and on the beach.

After 7th NBB was pulled from Normandy the NBB's in the ETO were levied for personel to go the PTO in preparation for the planned Invasion of Japan, my Uncle being one of them. Beach Parties in the PTO were not effectively configured as NBB'S according to him but more loosely configured into semi independant sections i.e Medical, Demo, Boat Repair, Comm (JASCO). He was in Operation Iceberg on Okinawa were he was aboard and wounded on an APA that was hit by a Kamakazi before he was sent ashore, he said beach parties in the PTO were sent ashore more piece meal.

Here's a site that gives the basics on NBB's:

Welcome to the WWII US Naval Beach Battalion Web
  • LRusso216 likes this

#15 LRusso216

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:39 PM

Thanks for the link, Chutes. Right into my bookmarks.

image001.png

Lou


#16 1ST Chutes

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:26 PM

The Beach Parties were smaller in the PTO, SWPC, and SOPAC. In the central Pacific, the Shore Party was an integral part of a combat division and was organized around a Marine Corps Pioneer Group or Army Combat Engineer Group. In both services the Shore Party formed the nucleus to which the various elements were assigned for an operation. The attack transport ships supplied the Beach Party elements of the Shore Party by providing a Beach Party Team of approximately two officers and thirty men to support a battalion of landing troops. The Beach Party Team would land at the objective area and take charge of the beach, but were normally withdrawn with the parent ship. The Shore Party was considered an instrument of the assault and would be relieved promptly by garrison elements, including a garrison beach party.

PTO Beach Party more at link.
World War II Amphibious Operations Procedures Overview (article) by Michael G Walling on AuthorsDen

More on the NBB's
68 - Navy Beach Battalions - WWII Archives

#17 1ST Chutes

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:26 PM

Thurman's post concerns I-MAC Corps Signal Battalion one of it's subordinate units. I Corps Signal Battalion was a Marine Corps unit and in all likelyhood had nothing to do with Nobody73's sailor.


According to Marine Division TO&E F-100 4, May 1944 (J)ASCO was a MAC asset until that date, with the new TO it became a Divisional Asset.

http://www.fireandfu...s/pacusmcob.pdf
Page 9 note 1

(J)ASCO from it's inception was a multi-service unit that included ground, air and naval assets, as ordained by JCOS so it's possible that nobody73's sailor was assigned to IMAC Signal Bn in the Naval section at the time of the Bougianville operation.

Eventually the change in TO in 1944 that made the (J)ASCO a divisional asset paved a road that lead to the eventual dispensing with of the Naval Sections role in the Assault Signal Companies, due reasons enumerated in Lt Col Hienl's Minority Report on (J)ASCO 1947.

1stAngHistory

A large part of the total strength, mainly in shore party communications, consisted of the so-called Naval Section. This was made up of Navy communication personnel --- signalmen and radiomen --- who were to be used for communication with ships. This section was an administrative sore thumb, and like any other group of sailors ashore, particularly the hastily trained wartime variety, ill-prepared or indoctrinated for what would con- front them on the beaches. It is small wonder that Army divisions, themselves understandably unfamiliar with service afloat or amphibious operations, were equally at a loss in training or preparing these strange Naval Sections for duties ashore. The operational lesson gained quite speedily from early performance of the Naval Section was don't use it. As a result, although the Naval Section survived in the T/O for some time, it was in fact dispensed with piecemeal from JASCO to JASCO and operation to operation. The experience of Marine and Army JASCOs was rather similar in this respect, although Marine organizations, being themselves part of the Naval Service, were inherently much better fitted to absorb a Navy component.

Edited by 1ST Chutes, 08 June 2011 - 02:45 PM.


#18 USMCPrice

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:10 AM

Thurman's post concerns I-MAC Corps Signal Battalion one of it's subordinate units. I Corps Signal Battalion was a Marine Corps unit and in all likelyhood had nothing to do with Nobody73's sailor.

The above quote is mine and was in reply to post #3 where Thurman posted a NUC citation for I MAC Signal Battalion. You replied.

According to Marine Division TO&E F-100 4, May 1944 (J)ASCO was a MAC asset until that date, with the new TO it became a Divisional Asset.


I may have missed something but how did we get from IMAC Signal Battalion to (J)ASCO? Furthermore, I MAC became III MAC in April 1944 and they retained their signal battalion. In fact the citation mentions it as still being a Corps asset for Guam, Palau and Okinawa.

My complete statement was:

Thurman's post concerns I-MAC Corps Signal Battalion one of it's subordinate units. I Corps Signal Battalion was a Marine Corps unit and in all likelyhood had nothing to do with Nobody73's sailor. I-MAC assets during the Bougainvile Campaign were:

-1st Parachute regiment (1st,2d,3rd Parachute Battalions)
-2d Raider regiment (Provisional) (2d, 3d Raider Battalions)
-1st Corps Signal Battalion (the one mentioned in the citation)
-2d 155mm Artillery Bn (Provisional)
-3d Defense Bn
-Branch 3, 4th base Depot
-3rd Marine Division

I MAC was redesignated III MAC in April 1944, when it began operations with III Naval Amphibious Force.


1stChutes wrote:

(J)ASCO from it's inception was a multi-service unit that included ground, air and naval assets, as ordained by JCOS so it's possible that nobody73's sailor was assigned to IMAC Signal Bn in the Naval section at the time of the Bougianville operation.

Yes, but JASCO units didn't stand up until late 1943, under T/O and T/E, 11 147 Signal, dated 21 October 1943. The Bougainville landing took place 01 November with recon necessarily taking place prior to this date, JASCO wasn't there. Even when they became part of the Amphib Corps TO&E they were a seperate company sized unit and not part of the Signal Battalion. In my reply I did tell nobody73 that his G-dad could very easily have been detached from the Naval Ampibious Forces, as they were tasked with providing beach party and he had indicated that he had a Naval Amphibious Forces patch:

So I started with his uniform and saw the Naval Amphibious Forces patch which took me about a year to find out what it was.


Which was probably indicative that his grand dad was attached to supporting fleet elements.

Eventually the change in TO in 1944 that made the (J)ASCO a divisional asset paved a road that lead to the eventual dispensing with of the Naval Sections role in the Assault Signal Companies, due reasons enumerated in Lt Col Hienl's Minority Report on (J)ASCO 1947.



Good info and I'm filing it away in the knowledge locker but probably irrelevant to nobody73's specific case.
"I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you f**k with me, I'll kill you all."Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders
"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."Gen. Alfred Gray, 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps

#19 nobody73

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:13 PM

Thanks so much. Some of the info on intell gathering on the solomons is what I found. The rest of the info will be a goldmine of research. I wish I had more info but my grandfather passed away a long time ago. As far as the raiders go, I understand the distinction you are making. He never claimed to be fighting with the raiders just worked with them. All this goes right over the head of alot of family members but as amateur historians, this stuff matters ! Thank you. I havent had time to be on the board lately.




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