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S/Sgt. Maynard M. Reese Biography-3

Lt. Edward E. Bailey - Only "Little Stinky" Survivor

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Lt. Edward E. Bailey​'s Amazing Jungle Survival


After the crash, Bailey hoped the smoke and sound might attract the rest of the crew but realized they might have landed miles away. He remained at the crash site overnight waiting for them. On Dec 23, 1943, he managed to remove one of the life rafts and survival gear from the fuselage. Bailey inflated the life raft and used it to float with the current that flowed northward. For the next two days, he floated and dragged the raft over shallow areas until the river became a small stream.

Abandoning the raft, Bailey began walking but was unclear of his location or which direction was safety. On January 1, 1944 he was found by a patrol from an Australian Commando Squadron and carried him to their base at Faita Airfield where he was admitted into their unit hospital.


"Little Stinky" Wreckage Recovered: This B-25 crashed on the Sogeram River near Musak north of the Ramu Valley in New Guinea. After the crash, locals reported the crash site to Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit  Patrol Officer England in Bena Bena District who instructed the Australian Commando Squadron to locate the aircraft. On January 9, 1944 the patrol visited the crash site but found no evidence of any of the crew.

Book no.1

Pvt. Paul R. Thomer Biography-1

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Paul Thomer's Watch Returned to His Family - Sept 2023

On Sept 9, 2023, Pvt. Thomer’s watch was returned to his daughter Deborah and her four siblings, exactly 80 years after Paul purchased it. They will treasure it as a tangible memory of their courageous Dad. Semper Fi.

Pvt. Paul Thomer -- 1942 Guadalcanal Marine & His Watch

Private Paul R. Thomer (1923–1992) fought at Guadalcanal as a member of the famed 1st Marine Division. Paul was from Pittsburgh PA, and enlisted in the Marines in January 1942.

The 1st Marine Division sailed from San Francisco in June, and landed on the island of Guadalcanal on Aug 7, 1942. This was the first major US amphibious landing of World War II. The invasion ignited a ferocious struggle with Japanese forces, marked by seven major naval battles, numerous clashes ashore, and almost continuous air combat through December 1942.

The fighting at Guadalcanal took a terrible toll; the 1st Division suffered 650 killed in action and 1,278 wounded, with a further 8,580 contracting malaria and other diseases. As one Marine recalled, ”the Division suffered 100% casualties, with the dead, wounded, and those sick from malaria, dengue fever, jungle rot, malnutrition and combat fatigue… “.

Battle-weary and in poor health following the Guadalcanal campaign, the men of the First Marine Division were shipped to Melbourne Australia for nine months recuperation in January 1943. “They were greeted with warm hospitality; these 15,000 young American men found a home away from home”.

On Feb 10, 1943, Paul Thome  purchased a steel-cased wristwatch from a local Melbourne jewelry store, and had it engraved “Paul R. Thomer ~ U.S.M.C. ~ 343824 ~ Australia ~ 2-10-43”.

The 1st Division returned to  combat in the South Pacific in October 1943, leading the December offensive at Cape Gloucester, New Britain. “The action they found there has been described as the toughest man has ever endured.” In July 1944, the 1st Division returned to the US for stateside duty. Paul was honorably discharged in 1945.

In 1954, Paul married Frances Mary LaRoche in Pittsburgh; in 1962, they moved to California. Paul and Frances had five children – two sons and three daughters.  Paul died on February 16, 1992, and is buried with Frances in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, CA.

Book no.1
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