June 30, 1943 – This Day During World War ll – Operation Chronicle

June 30, 1943 – Operation Chronicle was the Allied invasion of Woodlark and Kiriwina Islands during World War II, in the South West Pacific as part of Operation Cartwheel. An early planning name for this operation was Operation Coronet. The operation was executed without opposition on 30 June 1943.
An advanced party of 112th Cavalry Regiment under the command of Major D. M. McMains, left Milne Bay at 16:00 on 22 June 1943 aboard the destroyer transports Brooks and Humphreys to Woodlark. Arriving at Guasopa Harbour at 00:32 on 23 June landing in six Landing Craft, Personnel (Ramped) (LCP(R)). The destroyer transports left at 04:00 for Milne Bay. An Australian coastwatcher, not having been informed of the landing, almost attacked the landing force with his native guerrilla force until overhearing the troops’ broad accents. The advance party undertook reconnaissance, established defenses and facilities for the invasion force and cleared obstructions on the landing beaches.
The 158th Infantry Regiment advance party, with a detachment of the 59th Combat Engineer Company and the 158th Infantry Regiment’s communication platoon, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Floyd G. Powell, departed Milne Bay at 18:10 on 23 June aboard the returned Brooks and Humphreys. Arriving at Kiriwina at midnight on 24 June they landed in LCP(R)s along a channel winding through the reef to the beach at Losuia on Kiriwina. The ships had not been emptied before departing, returning three nights later to unload heavy communication and engineer equipment left in their holds. The advance party built a coral causeway across the reef to allow landing.
On 25 June 2,600 troops of Woodlark Force, led by Colonel Julian W. Cunningham, consisting of units of the 112th Cavalry Regiment, the 134th Field Artillery Battalion, the 12th Marine Defense Battalion (Lt.col. William H. Harrison) and quartermaster, port, ordnance, medical, and engineer units, a naval base unit and a construction battalion departed Townsville, Australia aboard six LSTs, with one subchaser SC-749 and two destroyers, Bagley and Henley, as escort. Arriving at Woodlark, with landing beginning at 21:00 on 30 June. Brooks and Humphreys carrying other troops from Milne Bay arrived at 01:00 on 1 July, with further supply echelons arriving in LCIs and LSTs.
On 30 June 2,250 troops Kiriwina Force, led by Colonel J. Prugh Herndon, consisting of 158th Infantry Regiment (less the 2d Battalion) the 148th Field Artillery Battalion with other artillery, engineer, ordnance, medical, antiaircraft, and quartermaster troops departed Milne Bay aboard twelve LCIs, escorted by six destroyers. Arriving at RED Beach near Losuia, Kiriwina at 21:00. A supply eschelon arrived on 30 June consisting of twelve LCTs and seven LCMs.
Except for reconnaissance flights and two small bombing attacks against Woodlark, the Japanese took no further action in relation to the occupation of the islands.

American troops disembarking from a LCI

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