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Today is the 70[SUP]th[/SUP] anniversary of the beginning of the battle along the Driniumor River in Dutch New Guinea. Beginning on the night of 10 July 1944 and carried out with unceasing ferocity for almost three weeks afterwards, Gen. Hatazo Adachi’s Japanese 18[SUP]th[/SUP] Army fiercely attacked the PERSECUTION Force perimeter along the western bank of the Driniumor River near Aitape. Sixth U.S. Army’s PERSECUTION Force, composed mainly of the 32d Infantry Division (minus), 124[SUP]th[/SUP] RCT, and 112[SUP]th[/SUP] Cavalry RCT (minus), endured some of the most savage close-in jungle fighting of WWII to fend off the Japanese offensive and to eventually destroy the 18[SUP]th[/SUP] Army as an effective fighting force. By the end of the battle in mid-August 1944, Allied casualties totaled over 3000, with the Japanese losing over 10,000 dead. Although the Battle of the Driniumor was one of the most savage and bloodiest of the Pacific Theater (described by historian Eric Bergerud as a “knife fight out of the Stone Age”), it has been almost completely forgotten today. Wedged as it was between the ongoing campaigns in Normandy and the Marianas, historical memory has bypassed this most savage of battles. Here are some links for those who want to read further about this forgotten battle:

-Hyperwar’s copy of the “U.S. Army in WWII” official history:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-P-Approach/USA-P-Approach-7.html


-32d Infantry Division Association account of Driniumor:

http://www.32nd-division.org/history/ww2/32ww2-7.html

-Driniumor vet Aubrey Emmett Tillery’s account of the battle while with the 124[SUP]th[/SUP] RCT

http://www.kilroywashere.org/003-Pages/Tillery-Paul/03-Harm-Tillery.html

-Driniumor vet Bill Garbo’s account of the battle as a dog-handler:

http://www.kilroywashere.org/003-Pages/BillGarbo/BillGarbo.html
 
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