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Memorandum for Colonel Grogan1
April 20, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
Along with this air impact publicity of yesterday evening and this morning I think the following from the Southwest Pacific Area might be worked into the picture today:2
During the period April 1 to April 15 the Allied combat losses in planes amounted to 8 destroyed and 17 damaged. In the same period the enemy losses were 82 destroyed and 46 damaged, or a total of 128 put out of action in 15 days.
During the same period our bombing resulted in one heavy cruiser and one light cruiser sunk, two explosions on one large destroyer, maybe sunk, two other destroyers hit and a fourth destroyer hit, followed by explosion and fire, one submarine sunk, an escort vessel afire and a gunboat beached. In addition the following is reported against merchant or cargo vessels:
One 10,000 ton vessel hit
One 10,000 ton merchantman left burning furiously
Three 8,000 ton cargo vessels—one left afire, one left listing and one definitely sunk
One 7,000 ton cargo vessel left listing and settling
Two 6,000 ton cargo vessels hit, one with a resulting explosion and the second left afire and sinking
One 1,000 ton cargo vessel destroyed and a smaller cargo vessel left sinking.
There were near misses which probably caused serious damage and may have resulted in some cases in actual sinkings, one light cruiser, one destroyer, one large unidentified ship, two smaller unidentified ships, an 8,000 ton merchantman which was probably hit, a 6,000 ton vessel thought to be left settling, one 4,000 and two 3,000 ton cargo vessels and one smaller cargo vessel, and finally one still smaller cargo vessel, thought to be left sinking.
There were also two cargo yessels strafed with gunfire, three small fishing boats similarly strafed and five barges destroyed, three set afire and nine damaged.3
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Colonel Stanley J. Grogan worked in the office of the Bureau of Public Relations in Washington, D.C.
2. On April 19 the War Department had reported that on April 18 the Allied forces in North and Northwest Africa and the Middle East had destroyed ninety-eight planes at the cost of eleven United States planes; in the South Pacific the score was six to one. (New York Times, April 21, 1943, p. 3.)
3. The War Department issued this information to the press on April 20 reporting Japanese and Allied losses in the Southwest Pacific for April 1-15. During the fifteen days, the Japanese had 128 planes destroyed or damaged, nineteen warships and cargo vessels sunk or damaged, and twelve other ships possibly damaged. The Allied air forces had eight planes destroyed and seventeen damaged. (Ibid., pp. 1, 3.)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 654-655.