Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wake Island

Dennis Bishop is doing research into a possible Wake Island game and provides this update.
"Wake is turning out to be quite interesting. I have Mike Taylor’s prelim stuff on Wake and I have found that he is wrong in several areas. All that I have do is put my research into context. One thing that does not help is that 149 of the Marines on Wake were the Pioneer platoon and the USMC documentation for 1940 pioneer platoons has gone AWOL from the USMC 1937 – 1940 Handbook on organizations. I also know that 49 officers and Marines were assigned as gunners, allowing only about five trained gunners per gun, but one Battery, F I think, had no crews. Marine infantry squads in 1941 (these were probably the 200 who later arrived) consisted of 9 men: corporal, BAR gunner, assistant BAR gunner, and six riflemen. There were BARs on the islands because Corporal Hamas is noted as unpacking the guns. My challenge now is to divide the known gun crews and MG crews (a .30 cal. Machinegun had a crew of six allotted: Corporal, Gunner, Assist. Gunner, and three Ammo Bearers as an example) and there were 30 of these on the islands, although about three lacked crews. In summary, I am sorting out just how many combat troops were actually on the islands. Every Marine had am 03’ Springfield issued, and there were enough to supply the rest of the battalion when it arrived (it never arrived), and these were offered to the contractors. However, few of the contractors accepted a combat role, and most preferred to sit the battle out or act in support capacities. I also have not run down the medical staff as of this time. The reason for this is that the 449 Marines listed as being on the island includes ALL Marines regardless of the duty roster assignments. Then there are the Japanese – this will present an entirely different amount of searching."

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