Today in History: Marine Raiders Land on Bougainville

78 years ago today, November 1st, 1943, men of the 2nd and 3rd Marine Raider Battalions landed at Cape Torokina and Puruata Island as the opening phase of Operation Cherry Blossom. For Bougainville the 2nd and 3rd Raider Battalion were organized into the 2nd Raider Regiment. After the landing the Raiders pushed inland against light resistance. They spent most of the week manning a roadblock until the Japanese from the north and south outposts reached the Marines and counter attacked. After driving off the counter attacks the Raiders extended the perimeter of the beachhead on the 25th of November. Later on the 29th the Company M of the 3rd Raiders reinforced the Paramarines in their abortive landing at Koiari. The Raiders and Paramarines then acted as the corps reserve for about a month. The on December 21st the Raiders, Paramarines and a battalion of the 145th Infantry took over the 3rd Marines position. They would remain there until January 11th when an Army unit relieved them. Little did the Raiders know that this would be the last battle fought by the Raiders. The men of the Raider Battalions would continue on but as regular Marine Regiments.

I used From Makin to Bougainville as more source for this article. Its a good quick read. Go download it and read it yourself.

Below are what photos I could scrounge up of Raiders on Bougainville or at least purported to be of Raiders.

Bougainville Operation, November 1943
Marine raiders marching back from the Point of Empress Augusta Bay, near Cape Torokina, after fighting for twenty-seven straight hours, circa 1-9 November 1943.
80-G-212235:  Bougainville Campaign, November 1943-August 1945.   November 29, 1943.  In a field hospital wounded Marines are given first aid by doctors and Corpsmen during raid behind Japanese lines on November 29.  Shown:  PhM1c Don A. Lancaster; PhM2c Sidney G. Jeffcoat, who holds a plasma unit; Lieutenant Joseph C. Humbert, MC, USN, Marine Raider surgeon hero preparing a second plasma unit and CphM Claude E. Creech.    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.  (2017/05/02).
November 29, 1943. In a field hospital wounded Marines are given first aid by doctors and Corpsmen during raid behind Japanese lines on November 29. Shown: PhM1c Don A. Lancaster; PhM2c Sidney G. Jeffcoat, who holds a plasma unit; Lieutenant Joseph C. Humbert, MC, USN, Marine Raider surgeon hero preparing a second plasma unit and CphM Claude E. Creech.
Marine Raiders in Jungle on Torokina Beach
Raiders
Marine Raiders, Bougainville campaign: wwiipics
Marine Raiders return from front line to Bougainville Base
Marine Raiders return from front line to Bougainville Base
2nd Raider Battalion and war dogs during a patrol
2nd Raider Battalion and war dogs during a patrol into the interior of Bougainville 3 November 1944
Men of a 2nd Marine Raider Battalion
Men of a 2nd Marine Raider Battalion patrol crouch in dense jungle undergrowth during mopping up operations on Cape Torokina 1943
Rangers, SEALs, now Raiders: Marines resurrect historic name | Nation &  World | meridianstar.com
1st Marine War Dog Platoon and 2nd Marine Raiders | World War Photos
1st Marine War Dog Platoon and 2nd Marine Raiders

Here’s some pictures of Paramarines as a bonus

1st Parachute Battalion Marines under fire at Koiari
1st Parachute Battalion Marines under fire at Koiari
Silk Chutes and Hard Fighting: US. Marine Corps Parachute Units in World  War II (Bougainville)

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