Distinguished Unit Citations
The Papuan Forces, United States Army, South-West Pacific Area, are cited for outstanding performance of duty in action during the period July 23 1942 to Jan. 23 1943. When a bold and aggressive enemy invaded Papua in strength, the combined action of ground and air units of these forces, in association with Allied Units, checked the hostile advance, drove the enemy back to the seacoast in a series of actions against a highly organized defensive zone, and utterly destroyed him. Ground combat forces, operating over roadless jungle-covered mountains and swamps, demonstrated their courage and resourcefulness in closing with the enemy, who took every advantage of the nearly impossible terrain. Air Forces, by repeatedly attacking the enemy ground forces and installations, by destroying his convoys attempting reinforcements and supply, and by transporting ground forces and supplies to areas where ground forces were nonexistent, and sea routes slow and hazardous, made possible the success of the ground operations. Service units, operating far forward of their normal positions, and at times in advance of ground combat elements, built landing fields in the jungle, established and operated supply points, and provided for hospitalization and evacuation of the wounded and sick. The courage, spirit and devotion to duty of all elements of the command made possible the complete victory attained.
G. C. MARSHALL,
Chief of Staff
With great pleasure the Commander-in-Chief Publishes to the command the
following letter of commendation from the Prime Minister of Australia.
The Order of the Day issued by you at the concluding stage of the operations in the South Eastern New Guinea Area marks a notable and historic stage in the war in the Pacific, as the enemy has not only been defeated in his further attempt to reach Port Moresby, but also has suffered the destruction of the forces he landed for this purpose.
I would express to you, your Commanders, and all ranks of the Australian and American Forces, the thanks and admiration of the Australian people and the Government for their magnificent service.
The campaign has been fought under the most trying conditions in one of the most difficult regions of the world. The Forces under your command have not only overcome these immense natural difficulties, but have also decisively defeated a tenacious and stubborn foe.
This campaign has been a demonstration of comradeship in arms and cooperation between the Forces of the United States and Australia, which I am sure will continue until the common foe is totally defeated.
By command of General MacArthur.
R. K. SUTHERLAND,
Major-General, United States Army
Chief of Staff.
The 22d Bombardment Group (H) is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy on 5 November 1943. At that time the advance of Australian ground troops in the Faria River Valley, New Guinea was held up by many strongly defended Japanese positions well dug in and covered with logs, in an area 300 by 500 yards. Artillery had not been able to dislodge the enemy and the ground troops had already suffered many casualties. When the commanding general of the Australian forces requested close air support the 22d Bombardment Group (H), then consisting of one squadron of B-26's and three squadrons of B-25's based at Dobodura, New Guinea was designated to wipe out the Japanese positions. As the 22 medium bombers neared the target, cloud cover forced them down to a dangerously low altitude. Although they could honorably have turned back, they continued their descent, braved the concentrated antiaircraft fire, and accurately pinpointed over 23 tons of bombs on extremely small targets difficult to locate because of the terrain and situated only a few hundred feet in front of the Australian forces. Every known enemy occupied position in the area was destroyed, enabling the Australian ground troops to advance and drive out the remaining Japanese. The precision with which the 22d Bombardment Group (H) smashed enemy entrenchments not only saved the ground troops from further heavy casualties but also permitted the Allied drive to continue resulting in the capture of the Bogadjim road which the enemy had built from the Madang area into the Markham Valley. The courage and skill of the 22d Bombardment Group (H) in carrying out these low-level attacks and the efficiency of the ground personnel in keeping the aircraft in combat readiness reflect great credit on the armed forces of the United States.
General Orders 1073 Headquarters Far East Air Forces, 7 June 1945, as
approved by the Commander in Chief, United States Army Forces Pacific