World War Two: Japanese Imperial Navy: Battle of Badung Strait 19-20 February 1942

On 19 February 1942 ABDA Command knew that a Japanese occupation force was at sea, because an invasion armada had left Ambon on 18 February, backed by seaplane tender Mizuho, sailing from Kendari to provide air cover over the Banda Sea. ABDA Command felt (wrongly) that Timor would be the objective of the next invasion, and had tried desperately to reinforce the island’s defenses with a convoy of troops, escorted by the heavy cruiser Houston, which had sailed from Port Darwin on the 15 February. This convoy had come under bomber attack, however, as it neared Timor the following day, and consequently was recalled.

Admiral Doorman could have taken on the Bali Occupation Force successfully, if his forces had been concentrated. His one task force, however, was just disengaging itself at the eastern end of Java, while four American destroyers were refueling at Ratai Bay, in south Sumatra. British ships were escorting a convoy of troopships through the Sunda Strait, and the heavy cruiser Houston was returning to Java from Port Darwin. Still, while he could not gather all his naval forces, Admiral Doorman used whatever he could to fight it out with the Bali Occupation Force. Later on 18 February, coming from Tjilatjap, he took to Sanur Roads his two light cruisers, the De Ruyter and Java, the destroyer Piet Hein (destroyer Kortenaer was unavailable, after running a ground in the treacherous entrance at Tjilatjap harbor during the sotie) and the American destroyers Pope and John D. Ford. A second group, formed at Surabaja, contained the Dutch light cruiser Tromp and the American destroyers Stewart, Parrott, John D. Edwards, and Pillsbury. This group was due to arrive at Badung Strait shortly after Admiral Doorman’s force had made an first attack and retired to the north. A third group of eight Dutch Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB) would attack last.

Doorman’s battle plan was for his group to attack Japanese escort warships and transports which were involved in a reported landing at Sanur Roads, on the southeast coast of Bali. A little before midnight 19 February. The group would make its approach through Badung Strait, a narrow channel only fifteen miles wide, separating Bali and the island of Nusa Besar. After a strink and the partial destruction of the Japanese force, the second wave would arrive several hours later. Finally the MTB’s would arrive in the confusion of the battle to create further havoc.

Admiral K. Kudo in the light cruiser Nagara had reason , then, to move his occupation force swiftly as he reached the perimeter of ABDA’s remaining strength. The convoy made the voyage in one day, 18 February, arriving at Sanur Roads shortly after midnight. There was no effective opposition to the landing, and the transports were unloaded quickly. Admiral Kudo want to leave this advanced and exposed position as soon as possible. On the next day, his force was harassed by sporadic B-17 raids; one transport, the Sagami Maru, received a serious hit but was able to get under way homeward that afternoon, protected by the destroyers Arashio and Michishio. The other transport Sasago Maru, was leaving for Makassar, escorted by the Asashio and Oshio, when Doorman’s first wave arrived. The Battle of Bali was about to begin.

The Bali Invasion force was now scattered. The Arashio and Michishio were escorting the damaged Sagami Maru to a safe port, and the Nagara and her destroyers were bound for Makassar. At 23000, just as the Asahio and Oshio were weighing anchor, the enemy ships were spotted to the south, headed on a northerly course. The light cruisers De Ruyter and Java, in column, led their three destroyers, with the Piet Hein 5,000 yards astern, and the Pope and John D. Ford the same distance behind Piet Hein.

At once the Asashio and then the Oshio left their transport, turned on their searchlights and illuminated the are with star shells, and headed east. This course closed the range and put them in the position of crossing the British light cruisers’ “T”. The Java immediately fired on the Asashio, and the De Ruyter on the Oshio, at a range of 2,200 yards. The fire was returned by the Japanese ships; however, neither side scored any hits. After the initial salvos, the two light cruisers turned northeast and retired from the battle, finally heading north. The Asashio steamed east for several minutes and then turned south-southeast. The Oshio followed a parallel course but went farther east before taking a southeasterly course, which put her on the Asashio’s port beam.

At 2305, the Piet Hein, still coming north, made smoke which obscured the Pope and Ford, but which also hid the two Japanese destroyers from the two American destroyers. It was a dark, cloudy night, and as so often happens in night battles, it became difficult to tell foe from friend. Finally the Piet Hein, turning south, fired torpedoes at the Asashio and opened gunfire at 2310. Within a minute the Asashio returned fire, as the two antagonists closed range. At 2316, the Piet Hein was torpedoed, and sank at once.

The Pope and John D. Ford had also turned south, away from the battle, and were also paralleling the Asashio. ( the Oshio was screened by the Piet Hein’s smoke, and had not yet entered the fight) At 2324 the Asashio opened fire on the two U.S. destroyers, which then made smoke and continued south. The Asashio followed them, exchanging torpedoes with the Pope and Ford, and firing at the Ford. To avoid the Asashio’s fire, the two American destroyers began to circle, first theading south then, in accordance with Admiral Doorman’s pre-battle orders, trying to exit to the north. There ensued another brief but brisk engagement, as the two Japanese and two American destroyers followed parallel courses. The Asashio and Oshio continued firing, while dodging five torpedoes launched by the Pope. The American destroyers, temporarily screened from the Asashio and Oshio by smoke made by the Ford, then retired to the southeast.

As the Oshio reversed from the retiring American destroyers, sighted still another ship, thought to be an American destroyer, and opened fire. Fire was returned, but after a few minutes it died down, and the Oshio joined the Asashio. Each ship claimed she had fired on and sunk an American destroyer. It was later determined, however, that only two American destroyers had been involved in this phase of the battle, and neither was sunk, which suggest that the Oshio and Asashio had probably been firing on each other. The Pope and John D. Ford heard the gunfire to the north as they retired, and were puzzled by it. The intrepid Asashio and Oshio then returned to their damaged transport.

The second wave of the ABDA attack was, however, about to strike. Four U.S destroyers, the Stewart, Parrott, John D. Edwards, and Pillsbury, followed by the Dutch light cruiser Tromp, were entering Badung Strait, following the same course taken by the first wave. Sailing up the strait , they saw a number of green signal lights, which confused them. (ABDA Command had complied French/English code books, but they had not been distributed to Doorman’s ships, so there was confusion as to whether the lights were signals of friend or foe) Commander T. H. Binford USN, commander of the American destroyers was in a blind situation on a dark night not knowing what to expect.

The first blow would be crucial, however , so at 0045 he ordered his destroyers to fire torpedoes to port. The sent fifteen torpedoes in the direction of the Asashio and Oshio, and the Sasago Maru, still bearing off Sanur Roads. The torpedoes were avoided, and once again the Asashio and Oshio went out to face an enemy of unknown strength.

The two were then spotted by the Stewart off her port beam. The Stewart illuminated the area, and began firing at 0215. The John D. Edwards also attempted a torpedo launch at the same time, but was only able to launch two. The Oshio and Asashio answered with rapid and accurate fire, and the Stewart received a direct hit, knocking out her steering engine room. The John D. Edwards had to veer hard to starboard to avoid a collision with the Parrott. The Pillsbury had left the column formation early, following a course parallel to the other ships on her starboard side. The fire of the Oshio and Asashio was so effective that the American destroyers never did charge, as was their assignment, into the transport anchorage site, and were instead forced to the northeast.

The light cruiser Tromp brought the rear. The course of the Asashio and Oshio cut the wakes of the John D. Edwards, Parrott, Stewart, placing the Japanese between the three-destroyer column and the Pillsbury. The Tromp found herself farthest to the west, acting as arear guard against the aggressive Asashio and Oshio. The tow opposing forces followed roughly parallel courses, bearing to the northeast. Little gunfire was exchanged until the ABDA force turned east, then at 0241, the Tromp was hit eleven times on her superstructure by gunfire from Asashio. At the same time, she managed to avoid torpedoes launched by Oshio. ( her damage was sufficient that she was later sent to Australia for repairs.) The Oshio was hit forward, with seven men killed. Finally, the Oshio and Asashio, like good shepherds circled to starboard and gain returned to their transport.

By this time ABDA forces were considerably scattered. The Parrott, then the ship closest to Bali, ran aground briefly but was able to get way again. She did not renter the battle, however. At 0241, the John D. Edwards and the Stewart were still in column, steaming northeast. The Tromp was on a easterly course, 8,000 yards off the starboard quarter of the two American destroyers. The Pillsbury, on a northeasterly course , was 3,000 yards away on the Tromp’s starboard beam, on an intersecting course. At that moment, destroyers Michishio and Arashio, which had left the damaged transport Sagami Maru and returned to aid the Japanese ships still at Bali, came rushing in on a southwest-by-west course; they soon found themselves at close quarters, between the John D. Edwards and the Stewart on their starboard beam and the Tromp and Pillsbury on their port beam. The Stewart turned on her searchlights, and both sides began firing and launching torpedoes at 0247. The Michishio could not withstand the concentrated attack from both flanks, so she veered to the north to avoid Stewart’s searchlights, only to be hit repeatedly by fire from the John D. Edwards. The Michishio went dead in the water, out of the fight, with thirteen men killed and eighty-three wounded. (She survived, was repaired, and eventually returned to duty) The battle was over, for the opposing columns had closed at high speed, and after passing in their firefight, neither reversed course. It is understandable that they felt confused and uncertain at this point; because this was a night engagement, neither side knew the size or position of its opposition.

The planned strike by eight Dutch MTBs went through the strait on schedule, in two waves of four. Originally nine were sent out, but on leaving Surabaja one hit a lightbouy and retired, so the formation was revised. The first wave spotted some ships at a distance, but fired no torpedoes, while the second wave saw nothing. (Because a MTB lies so low in the water, her crew has a short field of view.)

The box score of the battle was un-impressive, given the number of ships involved and the disparity in numbers. One Japanese destroyer severally damaged, two were lightly damaged, and two transports damaged; but the entire Bali Occupation Force returned safely to port. On ABDA’s side, the light cruiser Tromp was badly damaged, and the destroyer Piet Hein was sunk.

The ABDA fleet has frequently been criticized for fighting the Battle of Badung Strait ineptly. True its ship were not so concentrated as they would have been, had time allowed; and the cruisers, their crews desperately tired, met only two destroyers, when they were looking for larger ships to engage. These factors contributed to the ABDA force’s inept fighting. However, it must be noted that, while it is true the Japanese destroyers were never, stronger, and more heavily armed than the Allied destroyers, it was the two destroyers Oshio and Asashio that waged efficiently and audaciously fought battles that, in the end, negated Doorman’s battle plan.

Bali and Lombok fell to Japanese forces on 19 February, and the Bali airfield was receiving Japanese planes the next day. No place in Java was then out of reach of Japanese power, and no ABDA reinforcements, air , naval, or army, could now be provided to the forces there.

SOURCE: Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy 1941-45; BY: Paul S. Dull

World War Two: Japanese Imperial Navy; Isolation of Java Completed

World War Two: Japanese Imperial Navy: Makassar Straits / Darwin Raid, February 1942


Today’s Extra: 7 Ways to Give Yourself More Free Time

7 Ways to Give Yourself More Free Time

Are you happy with the amount of free time you have? Time with no obligations, when you can relax and do whatever you want? For many of us, unscheduled free time is at a premium. Between work, family and other obligations, there’s very little “me” time left at the end of the day.

But research shows having adequate free time is vital for your mental and physical health. Free time helps reduce stress, increase concentration and productivity, enhance your problem-solving ability, and can even improve your relationships.

So, how much free time is enough? A survey by Oranje Casino found that people were happiest when they had at least 4-5 hours of free time per day. This may sound like an unreachable goal, but some basic steps can help you reclaim your free time and the benefits that come with it.


What would your ideal day look like? If you’re not sure, try considering this question and write down the most important things that come to mind.

Also, what would you do with more free time if you had it? Simply having a clear vision of what you really want can help clarify what action you need to take to achieve it.

This exercise can also help you see what you should be prioritizing in your life, and what may need to go.


Are you simply filling your free time, or are you using it to do things that recharge your mental and physical energy? There’s a big difference.

A British study found that the quality of your free time is more important than the quantity. Time spent doing what you love can lead to better work-life balance and greater overall wellbeing. This means using your fee time purposefully can maximize the benefits you receive from it, even if you aren’t getting in as many free hours as you’d like.

Start by taking a close look at what you currently do in your free time. Maybe keep a journal for a week and note what you do for how long. Then look for patterns. Do you do some things out of habit that aren’t really necessary, like channel surfing when you know there’s nothing on TV you want to watch?

Aim to remove time “fillers” like these and replace them with activities you’re excited about. In Oranje Casino’s survey, the respondents’ top choices for spending their free time included socializing with loved ones, relaxing and practicing mindfulness, learning a skill, exercising and being entertained.

Try scheduling your favorite revitalizing activities as appointments to make sure you include them throughout your week.


Taking time out from technological distractions can give you a better perspective on how electronic devices can be unnecessarily consuming huge chunks of your time.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can start by taking some time out from devices for an hour in the evening, or over lunch. But take that time to do unplugged things you enjoy and reflect on how technology has impacted your life.

And when you start reintroducing technology back into your life, make sure you’re only using your devices in ways that improve your life. If you find yourself starting to waste time on them, turn them off and get back to doing what’s important to you.


Grouping smaller tasks together can save a huge amount of time. An excellent example is checking your email. Rather than checking your inbox regularly throughout the day, set aside one or two time slots to read and reply to email. Otherwise, don’t let it disrupt your day. The same goes for social media and many other online activities.

You can also try keeping an ongoing shopping list, but only go shopping once a week. You can do meal prep and cooking in large batches, do all your weekly paperwork at once, or group anything else you do on a regular basis.

And you can rest assured that binge-watching your favorite shows is actually more efficient than tuning in once per week. You don’t have to feel guilty anymore, you’re actually saving time.


Sometimes it makes sense to delegate tasks to other people when appropriate, or outsource tasks and pay others to do them. This can be true at work or at home.

At work, look for tasks you may have taken on that don’t belong to your position, which may be leading to overload and cutting into your personal free time. Check if these can be taken on by other coworkers to give yourself more space.

At home, make sure everyone is involved in house tasks. Your spouse, kids and roommates can all take a share of the household responsibilities, such as cooking, cleaning and running errands. Even if you have small children, you can include them in age-appropriate chores.

Also investigate what you can afford to pay others to do for you. Oranje Casino’s survey found that people would most like to outsource cleaning services in their home. Other areas you could look at outsourcing are yard maintenance, home repairs or shopping services.


You can use short gaps of time that would otherwise be wasted, such as breaks at work, waiting for dinner to cook, standing in line or driving. You can use these times to fit in small, practical tasks or consider them free time for briefly recharging yourself.

As you’re waiting, you can formulate shopping lists or your upcoming schedule in your head, and write it down if possible. Some errands, cleaning tasks or other small jobs can be done in 5- or 10-minute gaps. You can also read a book, phone a friend or even do a short meditation. has a great 5-minute meditation you can try.


Warren Buffet, the well-known investor and entrepreneur, once said “the difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”

You don’t have to say “no” to almost everything, but saying “yes” isn’t always as helpful as it may appear to be. We often agree to do things for other people because we’re afraid of being judged or criticized, or afraid we’ll miss out on something.

Saying “no” isn’t about being disagreeable. It’s about respecting yourself and establishing healthy boundaries with other people. And you can find ways to respectfully say “no” to others without being aggressive.

Research has shown the most effective way to refuse something is to say “I don’t”. This works when speaking to other people, or even for self talk. For example, one study showed that women who told themselves “I don’t miss workouts” were 50 percent more likely to stick with their workout goals than those who told themselves to “just say no” when they were tempted to skip out.



The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Jan. 17: 5 NATURAL SORE THROAT REMEDIES



By The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Here are five simple natural sore throat remedies to help ease the discomfort! Let us know how they work for you!

When you have a sore throat, it’s your body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections. Sore throats can be quite uncomfortable, especially when you swallow. The mucous membranes in your throat are inflamed and swollen.

Of course, the most important thing you can do is drink fluids and stay well hydrated! Keep your throat’s mucous membranes moist so it can heal.

Try drinking or at least sipping water every hour. If it’s uncomfortable, try drinking warm herbal tea such as Echinacea, peppermint, and chamomile. Sucking on an herbal throat lozenger also produces saliva and soothes the throat.

Here are some natural sore throat remedies to provide relief, using simple ingredients from your pantry.

Of course, one common way to ease the discomfort of sore throat is gargling with salt water. The salt helps reduce swelling.

Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Gargle with a mouthful of this mixture for 30 seconds, once per hour.

Sage is a wonderful herb used in cooking, but also has antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties to help soothe and help a sore throat.

Mix 1 teaspoon of herb in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain.


Not only does lemon contain vitamin C and antioxidants, but it increases the amount of saliva you produce to keep your mucous membranes moist and soothe your sore throat.

For a particularly scratchy throat, take one tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice followed immediately by a tablespoon of honey just before bed, which will usually soothe your throat until morning.

Find more household uses for lemons.


Apple cider vinegar has been used in folk medicine remedies for centuries. It contains acetic acid which has antibacterial properties.

To help relieve throat pain, mix 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey or sweetener in a cup of warm water.

Note: Honey shouldn’t be given to children under the age of one.


Ginger has been shown to relieve inflammation which should help sooth a sore throat. There also studies that show ginger has antibacterial powers.

You can purchase ginger tea or make your own tea with fresh ginger.

Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Turn off heat, add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root, and cover for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey (or sweetener) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drink warm or cool. Reheat if desired.

Tea with ginger, lemon, and honey. And cold medicine. Photo credit: Fogey/Shutterstock

Here are a couple of age-old recipes that readers swear by!

Horseradish Cocktail: “Make a syrup of 1 tablespoon horseradish, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix in a glass of warm water and drink slowly.”

Cider Vinegar With Pepper: “Put a cap full of apple cider vinegar, 3 shakes each of cayenne pepper and black pepper into a cup of warm, salted water. Gargle as many times as needed. This remedy is said to change the pH balance in your throat.”

Of course, there are also medications including NSAIDs and throat sprays. But we hope that these home remedies soothe the pain of your sore throat and help relieve your discomfort.

Note Be sure to see doctor if your sore throat lasts more than a few days as you could have strep throat or another infection.


–The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Jan. 17: NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ARTHRITIS



By The Old Farmer’s Almanac
If you feel pain and stiffness in your joints caused by inflammation, see our natural remedies for arthritis.

Did you know more than 15 million people over the age of 45 complain of osteoarthritis? We don’t want you to suffer any more, so check out these tips.


  • Ice your affected joints right after doing an activity. Don’t allow them to become inflamed.
  • Capsaicin—the “hot” chemical in chili peppers—can relieve the pain of arthritis. You can find it over the counter at drugstores. Don’t get carried away with this idea and try smearing yourself directly with chili peepers—that’s a higher potency than most skin will tolerate.
  • Increase the amount of fish in your diet or take fish oil pills.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Stretch for 18 to 20 minutes a day. Focus your stretching where it hurts the most, but increase flexibility all over.
  • Pack a small jar with golden raisins and cover them with gin. Eat nine raisins every morning, squeezing the extra gin back in the jar.
  • Bee-vemon contains anti-inflammatory peptides that act against the pain and inflammation of your arthritis. If you’re allergic to bees, do not use this remedy without the supervision of a doctor. Even if you aren’t allergic, buy a bee sting kit from your pharmacy and keep it handy.

Do you have any tips or tricks that help your arthritis? Let us know below!

–The Old Farmer’s Almanac




By Margaret Boyles & Margaret Ross
If you suffer from frizzy hair, itchy skin, chapped lips, or one of many other common cosmetic issues, try these easy and time-tested natural remedies!


  • First, forget the idea that drinking plenty of water will keep your skin (eyes, nasal passages, nails) moist and your hair well behaved. Dermatologists say that while drinking water is important for overall health, as far as moisturizing skin, hair, and nails are concerned, you need to add moisture from the outside and prevent it from escaping into the drier surrounding air.
  • Humidifying dry indoor air helps to provide that indoor moisture. It’s especially important if you suffer bloody noses and lots of respiratory infections. You could run an electric humidifier, but passive solutions may do the trick for you. We maintain a lot of well-watered houseplants that transpire water into the indoor air. We keep steamers going on each of our stoves that pump moisture into the air whenever the stove is running.
  • Hanging your laundry on bars indoors is another great strategy. It doesn’t take much longer to dry near the woodstove than it would in an electric dryer, and while it dries, your laundry humidifies the air around it.


Dull, Frizzy, Dry Hair

  • Use lemon juice as a rinse over freshly washed hair to induce natural highlights, especially if you’re a blond. It’s instant sunshine for your hair, in a fruit.
  • Beer has long been used—even by professionals—as a setting lotion and conditioner. Pour straight from the can or bottle, comb through and rinse.
  • Mayonnaise, straight from the jar, will make hair soft and shiny. The egg nourishes brittle hair with protein, while the vinegar gives it body and bounce.
  • Try this mixture to regain supple hair: Mix one teaspoon powdered brewers’ yeast with four ounces of apple cider vinegar to create an after wash rinse. Pour it over wet hair and let stand at least a minute before rinsing.
  • To tame flyaway hair, try a weekly deep-conditioning. For a rich conditioning treatment that you’d pay $30 to $100 for at a salon, mix a couple of tablespoons of olive, coconut, or castor oil with ½ cup of full-fat mayonnaise (alternatively: a ripe, mashed avocado), and massage into your hair and scalp. Then wrap your hair in a large plastic grocery bag and top it off with a warm, dry towel for about 30 minutes. Wash and rinse as usual (but sometimes twice is needed, to remove the oil).
  • To make a light and moisturizing leave-in conditioner, mix two parts water, one part witch hazel, two parts vegetable glycerin (a natural moisturizer available online or in health/natural food stores), and a tablespoon of olive or other cooking oil per cup of liquid in a spray bottle. If you have aloe vera gel on hand, add one part of that to the mixture. A few drops of essential oil will give you a scented product. Spritz on wet or dry hair before styling.

Oily Hair and Skin

  • Add one teaspoon baking soda to two ounces of your shampoo. This works as an alkali to absorb excess oil.
  • Baking soda works the same way with skin, it will absorb oil and also neutralize excess acid in your skin. Make a paste with baking soda and water.
  • Try lemon juice as an astringent facial cleanser.

Dry, Itchy Skin

  • You could use a commercial moisturizer or simply apply a thin coat of olive oil immediately after showering or bathing.
  • Dermatologists also suggest taking shorter baths or showers in warm (not hot) water. Use a mild, glycerin-based soap. And stay away from hair or skin-care products that contain any forms of alcohol, which are drying agents.
  • If you have itchy skin, try a soothing oatmeal bath.
  • For a homemade scrub, mix ground oats and honey. Rub all over your face—especially your nose. The abrasive will remove dry, scaly skin while the honey seeps in as a moisturizer. Rinse completely off and pat dry, and your skin will be glowing and baby soft. Only use this remedy once a week.
  • For superdry skin, use olive oil. Rub it in prior to a bath or shower. You may substitute peanut, sesame or sunflower oil.
  • A quart of milk in a hot bath is a luxury as well as a skin toner. It’s a trick nearly as old as time..

Puffy, Tired-Looking, Dry Eyes

  • Used teabags make excellent eye cosmetics. After being dunked (and allowed to cool slightly), drain the tea bag and place it over your closed eye (one for each) and hold it there for a few minutes. Redness, soreness, swelling and irritation will disappear like magic.
  • If you suffer from dry, scratchy, itchy, eyes, try laying a warm, moist washcloth over your closed lids for a few minutes each day.
    • This simple, effective treatment helps to liquefy the lubricating oil in glands located along the eyelids. It may take a few days, but if you use the compresses faithfully, you should experience relief.


Dry, Chapped Lips

  • To prevent cracked or chapped lips, use a lip balm and apply it often. It’s inexpensive and easy to make your own. If you make a big batch that’s a bit heavier on the olive oil, you can use your homemade balm for hands, fingernails, facial moisturizer, and (just a dab) hair conditioner, too.
  • Plain honey is an excellent remedy for chapped lips. Leave on overnight—it makes for sweet dreams!

Brittle Nails and Ragged Cuticles

  • To prevent brittle nails and ragged cuticles, use your homemade balm or a commercial conditioning agent after bathing or doing dishes. Some dermatologists suggest coating hands and nails with Vaseline or another moisturizing product and wearing cotton gloves overnight to treat dry nails and cuticles.
  • If you polish your nails, find an acetone-free polish remover, as acetone is a serious drying agent.
  • Also make sure to wear gloves or mittens when you go outside to prevent the dry winter air from drawing moisture from your hands and nails.


Parts adapted from The 1977 Old Farmer’s Almanac.

World War Two: Papuan Campaign (7); Road to Ioribaiwa

General Horii Pushes the Australians Back: While the battle of Milne Bay was being fought, the Japanese on the Kokoda Trail were winning some of their most spectacular victories of the campaign. General Horii, who had left for the front on 22 August, had issued orders on the 24th for a general offensive. The attack began at dawn on 26 August and developed such power after a week of unremitting pressure that the Australians found themselves unable to stand firm with the forces at hand. They had no choice but to give ground. Not only were they heavily outnumbered, but their supply difficulties were greater than those of the Japanese who were supplied from nearby Kokoda and whose way, once their supply parties had reached the crest of the range, lay down, not up.

The enemy advance continued despite the mountain trail, the bitter resistance of the Australians, and the sustained bombing and strafing of Japanese supply lines by the Allied Air Force. By 7 September, the date organized resistance ceased at Milne Bay, the troops of the South Seas Detachment had made tremendous gains. They had driven the Australians from Isurava, Alola, Eora Creek, and Templeton’s Crossing.

They had gained possession of the Gap, had taken Myola, Kagi, and Efogi on the southern slopes of the range, and stood poised to take Menari, Nauro, and Ioribaiwa, the last villages between them and Port Moresby.

The Opposing Forces

General Horii had opened the attack with the 144th Infantry, reinforced by elements of the 55th Mountain Artillery, miscellaneous mortar and machine gun units, and the main body of the 15th Independent Engineers. The artillery troops had left their guns behind pending a study of how they were to be brought forward, and the engineers were advancing with the infantry troops, improving the track as they went.

One of the two battalions of the 41st Infantry, which had come in from Rabaul a few days before, joined in the attack on 28 August. The remaining battalion was held in reserve in the Kokoda area, where it helped out with supply. On the night of 2-3 September, approximately 1,500 Japanese reinforcements from Rabaul were landed safely at Basabua from a large convoy which managed to elude detection by the Allied Air Force. The reinforcements included the remaining battalion of the 41st Infantry and the rear echelon of the Nankai Shitai—the 67th Line of Communications Hospital, more service troops, and an “emergency” transport unit including vehicles and 300 pack horses. The incoming battalion was immediately ordered to the front and reached the scene of operations a few days later.

In contrast to General Horii’s five reinforced battalions, the Australians, until Efogi was reached, never had more than three battalions in the forward area to oppose the Japanese advance. One of them was the depleted 39 Battalion, which had been in action for more than a month and should have been relieved long before. The Japanese, using continuous flanking operations, had no trouble driving the Australians back. Two regimental combat teams, one under command of Colonel Masao Kusunose, commander of the 144th Infantry, and the other under Colonel Yazawa, commander of the 41st Infantry, alternated in pressing home the attack. They were thus able to outflank the Australians almost at will and, by bringing pressure to bear from different directions, to push them from one ridge after another.

When the Japanese opened their offensive in late August, the only combat troops facing them were the 39 Battalion, 30th Brigade headquarters, and the 53 Battalion. Two battalions of the 21st Brigade, the 2/14 and 2/16 Battalions (which were to be followed by the third battalion, the 2/27), were on the way to the forward area but had not yet arrived. They began arriving company by company the following day, each company being thrown into battle as soon as it came up.

The fighting was desperate and the Australians, weighed down with heavy packs and cumbersome .303 rifles, outnumbered and repeatedly outflanked, suffered heavy casualties. The 2/14 Battalion relieved the 39 Battalion on 29 August, and the latter unit moved to the rear to reorganize, as did the 53 Battalion which had been badly cut up in the battle. From 1 September to 5 September the 2/14 and 2/16 Battalions, bearing the full brunt of the enemy attack, were under such heavy pressure that they were forced to withdraw through the Gap and take up positions on the other side of the range.

The Australians found it impossible to make a stand, not only because they were outnumbered but also because they were running short of food and ammunition. Their supplies had come either via native carriers or by airdrops, and neither carriers nor planes had been able to get enough supplies to them for more than hand-to-mouth operations. The forward supply system on the trail, which at best had operated only by fits and starts, collapsed completely when the Myola dropping grounds were lost, and the natives, demoralized by the Japanese advance, began to desert in large numbers. Suffering from exhaustion, fever, and dysentery, the Australians had to pull back to a defensive position closer to their source of supply, from which, after being properly reinforced, they could hope to launch an effective counterattack. The retreat was bitterly contested but, despite the enemy’s superior strength, orderly.

The enemy’s losses were heavy, but the cost to the Australians, continuously in danger of being surrounded and overwhelmed if they held a position too long, were heavier still. When the 2/14 and 2/16 Battalions fell back on Efogi Spur on 6 September (where they joined the 2/27 Battalion which was already in position there), the 2/14 Battalion was at half-strength and the 2/16 Battalion only a company stronger.

General MacArthur Plans a Turning Movement

All this time General Headquarters had strength on the trail was slight, and that the enemy had no real intention of advancing on Port Moresby. It therefore did not immediately understand the reason for the swift Japanese advance. General MacArthur indeed found himself puzzled by the situation. Being certain, he said, that the Australians on the trail outnumbered the Japanese, he had General Chamberlin ask Allied Land Forces on 7 September for an explanation of the repeated Australian withdrawals.

The explanation came the next day from General Rowell himself, and was communicated immediately to General Chamberlin. General Rowell pointed out that, contrary to the prevailing opinion at General Headquarters, his forces had been heavily outnumbered during the previous week’s fighting. He added that the Japanese appeared to have on the trail the maximum number of troops that they could supply there.

While he was certain that he could regain the initiative with the help of the 25th Brigade, which was then disembarking at Port Moresby, he felt that he would need more troops later on in the operation. Because none of the CMF brigades at Port Moresby seemed to have enough training for the task, he asked that one of the two 6th Australian Infantry Division brigades that had recently come in from Ceylon be transferred to Port Moresby at once for action on the trail.

On 9 September the 16th Australian Infantry Brigade of the 6th Division was ordered to Port Moresby, and the 25th Brigade was rushed to the front. Since there now appeared to be sufficient Australian troops to contain the Japanese advance, General MacArthur began to plan a flanking movement by an American regimental combat team which would cut in on the enemy’s rear and hasten his withdrawal from the Kokoda-Gap area.

Choice of the unit was left to Major General Robert L. Eichelberger (then newly arrived in Australia and soon to be promoted to lieutenant general), to whom as Commanding General, I Corps, U. S. Army, the 32nd and 41st Divisions had been assigned on 5 September. General Eichelberger had already decided that the 32nd Division would precede the 41st to New Guinea. He made this decision because the training camp of the 32nd Division at Camp Cable near Brisbane was inferior to that of the 41st Division at Rockhampton. The general believed the 32nd should go first because it would in any event have to be moved to another camp.

After consulting with General Harding, commanding general of the 32nd Division, and learning from him that the 126th Infantry under Colonel Lawrence A. Quinn was the best-trained and best-led of his three regiments, General Eichelberger chose the 126th for the task. The regiment was at once alerted for transfer to New Guinea. The men prepared for immediate movement, and, on General Eichelberger’s orders, a Brisbane cleaning establishment began dyeing the men’s fatigues a mottled green for action in the jungle.

General MacArthur’s plan of maneuver was ready on 11 September, and he communicated it at once to General Blamey, Commander Allied Land Forces, to whom I Corps had been assigned for operational control. He was satisfied, General MacArthur wrote, that the dispatch of the 25th and 16th Brigades to Port Moresby would probably be sufficient to arrest any further forward movement of the Japanese toward Port Moresby, and ultimately to drive them back across the Owen Stanley Range. Since the Japanese were known to be extremely tenacious in holding ground once they had gained it, he believed that to force the Japanese back by direct attack along the Port Moresby—Kokoda track alone would be a very slow business. To hasten a Japanese withdrawal, he had therefore ordered “a wide turning movement” by the 126th U. S. Infantry to cut in behind the Japanese at Wairopi. This, General MacArthur thought, could best be accomplished by an overland advance from Port Moresby, via Rouana Falls and the Mimani, Irua, Mugoni, and Kumusi Rivers, a route his staff had particularly recommended be used.

The following day, Brigadier General Hanford MacNider, of the G-4 Section GHQ SWPA, who had been chosen by General MacArthur to make advance arrangements for the regiment’s reception and march over the mountains, left for Port Moresby by air.

General MacNider was accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph S. Bradley, the 32nd Division G-4 (who returned to Australia several days later), and members of Colonel Quinn’s staff including Major Bernd G. Baetcke, his executive officer, Captain William F. Boice, his intelligence officer, and Captain Alfred Medendorp, the assistant S-4. Suitable arrangements were made by these officers for the reception of the troops, and two days later, 15 September, the first element of the 126th Infantry left Brisbane for Port Moresby by air, the men’s fatigues still wet with dye.

The movement consisted of Company E, a medical officer, Captain John T. Boet, four aid men, and an attached platoon of Company A, 114th Engineer Battalion. The detachment, 172 men in all, was under command of Captain Melvin Schultz, commanding officer of Company E. These former National Guard troops, most of them from Big Rapids, Michigan, arrived at Port Moresby from Amberley Field near Brisbane on the afternoon of 15 September, the first American infantry unit to set foot in New Guinea.

General Harding had come down to Amberley Field to see the company off and, before it left, had given the men a little talk, in which he referred to them as “The Spearhead of the Spearhead of the Spearhead.” Pleased with the general’s happy phrase, Company E called itself thereafter, “The Three Spearheads.”

General MacNider’s group had no sooner arrived at Port Moresby than it discovered that the route proposed by General MacArthur’s staff for the advance to Wairopi was an impracticable one. Not only did it intersect the Australian rear and extend into an area where troops using it could be cut off by the Japanese, but it was so rough and mountainous that the only way to supply troops using it would be from the air.

Consideration was then given to an alternative route—the eighty-five mile trail, Port Moresby-Kapa Kapa-Kalikodobu-Arapara-Laruni-Jaure. From Jaure lesser trails led to Wairopi and Buna. Little was known about the route for it had not been used in years. The coastal natives avoided it because they believed it to be haunted, especially at the divide; and no white man had passed that way since 1917, a quarter of a century before. Although the route had the advantage that troops operating over it could be supported logistically by land and sea for about a third of the distance, it had also a very serious disadvantage—a 9,100-foot mountain crossing, which the Australians feared was impracticable for marching troops. General Rowell strongly opposed using it and favored an alternative route running from Abau to Jaure where the crossings were under 5,000 feet.

After thinking the matter over, General MacNider and his group decided to send a pathfinder patrol, under Captain Boice, to reconnoiter the Kapa Kapa-Jaure trail; and General Casey, who was at Port Moresby at the time, ordered his deputy, Colonel Lief J. Sverdrup, to reconnoiter the Abau route.

On 17 September, the same day that Colonel Sverdrup and a small party left for Abau to reconnoiter the route Abau-Debana-Namudi-Jaure (the Abau track), Captain Boice, accompanied by 1st Lieutenant Bernard Howes and six enlisted men of Company E, an officer of ANGAU, and forty native carriers, left Port Moresby for Kapa Kapa by lugger to begin the reconnaissance of the track leading from that point to Jaure.

The rest of Company E and its attached medical personnel and engineer platoon were moved out to help a company of the 91st U. S. Engineers construct a motor road from Tupeselei (a few miles southeast of Port Moresby) to Kapa Kapa, and thence to a rubber plantation at Cobaregari near Kalikodobu where an advanced base was to be established. The opening of the road Tupeselei-Kapa Kapa-Kalikodobu, as General McNider explained, would allow the advance base near Kalikodobu, nicknamed “Kalamazoo,” to be supplied both by road and by water and would remove entirely the need for air supply until the mountains were reached.

The main body of the regiment was now ready to move. The combat team, less artillery—180 officers and 3,610 enlisted men—took ship for New Guinea on 18 September. Colonel Quinn, who had been at Brett’s Wharf, Brisbane, to see his men off, arrived at Port Moresby by air on the 20th, accompanied by two of his staff officers, Major Simon Warmenhoven, the regimental surgeon, and Captain Oliver O. Dixon, the regimental S-3, and reported at once to General Rowell.

The regiment reached Port Moresby in convoy on 28 September to find that the 128th Regimental Combat Team, also less its artillery, was already there, having completed its move to Port Moresby by air five days before. The two American regiments, each with attached division engineer, medical, and signal troops were parceled out on arrival to different Australian commands.

The 128th Infantry, commanded by Colonel J. Tracy Hale, Jr., was assigned to the Port Moresby garrison force, and, as such, came under the operational control of Headquarters, 6th Australian Infantry Division, which was then in charge of Port Moresby’s ground defense. It relieved the 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion (which had been pulled from its normal airfield construction duties and given a combat role) and took up a defensive position along the Goldie River, north of Port Moresby. The 126th Infantry and attached troops were assigned directly to New Guinea Force for use in the advance on Wairopi. They went into bivouac at Bootless Inlet and were for the time being kept in garrison reserve.

The reason for the swift and dramatic movement to New Guinea by air of the 128th Infantry (the greatest that the Air Force had undertaken up to that time) soon became obvious. It lay in the continued advance along the Kokoda Trail of General Horii’s troops. Not only did Horii still have the initiative, but he seemed to be threatening Port Moresby as it had never been threatened before.

The Japanese Take Ioribaiwa

When General Horii attacked Efogi spur on 8 September, he had five reinforced battalions of infantry in action. The 21st Brigade, on the other hand, was down to nine companies, and only four of them (the four companies of the 2/27 Battalion) had fresh troops. Exploiting their numerical superiority, the Japanese first struck the 2/27 Battalion, cutting it off from the balance of MAROUBRA Force, then pushed the unit completely out of the fight by forcing it off the trail. Another Japanese column struck elements of the 2/14 and 2/16 Battalions echeloned along the trail in rear of the 2/27 positions, established a trail block, and isolated 21st Brigade headquarters and a company from the 2/14 Battalion. With control lost, the command group and the Australian infantrymen fought their way through the block and with the rest of the 2/14 Battalion withdrew through the 2/16 Battalion to Nauro by nightfall on 9 September. General Horii had meanwhile called in his reserve, the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry. After its arrival in the front lines about 12 September, the Japanese had two full infantry regiments on the trail, depleted in strength but with engineer and other attached troops, a force of at least 5,000 men.

[NOTE: G-2 Daily Summaries Enemy Intel No. 170, 8-9 Sep 42, No. 171, 9-10 Sep 42, No. 172, 10-11 Sep 42: Lanops Bul No. 30, 9 Sep 42, in G-3 Jnl, GHQ SWPA; ALF, Rpt on New Guinea Opns, Buna-Ioribaiwa; Nankai Shitai Opns Order No. A-115, 11 Sep 42, in ATIS EP No. 33; Diary, Actg Comdr No. 2 MG Co, 2nd Bn, 144th Inf , in ATIS CT 29, No. 358. The figure, 5,000, is of course an approximation, but it appears reasonably clear from captured enemy records that General Horii’s frontline force, even allowing for heavy losses, and the diversion of part of its strength to supply duties, was at least 5,000 strong at the time.]

The 2/14 and 2/16 Battalions, now with a combined strength of 320 men and fighting as a composite battalion, yielded Nauro and fell back to an east-west ridge north of Ioribaiwa during 10-11 September. Already established on the ridge were the 2/1 Pioneer Battalion and the 3 Battalion, 14th Brigade (which had come up from Port Moresby ahead of the 25th Brigade). The 2/31 and 2/33 Battalions, the leading elements of the 25th Brigade, under Brigadier Kenneth W. Eather, reached Ioribaiwa on 14 September and attempted to drive past both flanks of the Japanese position. When these flanking movements were met by a strong counterthrust that pierced the Australian line, a further withdrawal was ordered to the Imita Range, a strong defensive position, a full day’s march from Ioribaiwa, and separated from it by the deep valley of Ua-Ule Creek.

The Japanese reached Ioribaiwa on 16 September and took up a position there. The Allied situation was not as difficult as it seemed. The Australians, then only one pack stage away from Uberi, their main rearward supply base, were finally in position to counterattack. The Japanese supply situation had by this time become impossible. That this was the case was in large part due to General Kenney, who had taken command of the Allied Air Forces on 4 August. The Fifth Air Force, the American element of the Allied Air Forces, which Kenney in the interests of greater operational efficiency had established as a separate command in early September, had completed disrupted Japanese supply. The advance echelon of the air force at Port Moresby, under General Kenney’s deputy commander, Brigadier General Ennis P. Whitehead, was doing a magnificent job of pulverizing Japanese lines of communication.

[NOTE: Msg, Gen Kenney to Gen Marshall, No. A-201, CM-IN 1752, 4 Aug 42: Fifth Air Force GO No. 1, 3 Sep 42. When he established the Fifth Air Force, General Kenney drew a clear line of demarcation between its responsibilities and those of the RAAF. Thus, while the Fifth Air Force became responsible for operations in the Northeast Area, the RAAF took over the responsibility for defense of the Australian continent and particularly of the Darwin area. In practice, the Fifth Air Force always had the support of Australian squadrons in its operations to the northeast of Australia, and the RAAF in turn was repeatedly reinforced bv Fifth Air Force units, especially at Darwin, which was still under regular Japanese air attack. From Darwin, in turn, attacks were being mounted on strategic points in the Netherlands Indies. AAF, Air Actn in Papua. 21 Jul 42-23 Jan 43, pp. 51-52, copy in USAF Hist Off.]

After considerable experimentation it had been found that the A-20 bomber, modified to carry eight forward machine guns and using a parachute fragmentation bomb invented by General Kenney himself, was particularly effective in low-level attacks on Japanese supply trains, dumps, and landing barges.

The runway at Buna and the suspension bridge at Wairopi were under almost continuous attack. As fast as the Japanese naval construction troops at Buna filled in the runway, the Fifth Air Force would see to it that it was pitted again; and efforts of the 15th Independent Engineers to keep the Wairopi Bridge in use were being continually set at naught by Fifth Air Force and attached RAAF units that would roar in at low levels to demolish it. Because of the relentless air attack, Japanese supply trains were virtually forced off the trails.

Food, as a result, though still available to the Japanese in the rear areas, was not getting through to the front lines. Whole battalions of the South Seas Detachment were foraging everywhere along the trail for food. Native gardens along the line of march were being stripped of sugar cane, taro, yams, pumpkins, melons, and everything else that was edible, but there was not enough food in that poor upland area to feed such a host for long. By September the front-line ration was down to less than a cupful of rice per day. By 17 September, the day after the Japanese seizure of Ioribaiwa, with the beach at Port Moresby almost visible from the height on which the Japanese found themselves, there was not a grain of rice left on the ridge for issue to the troops.

General Horii’s Orders Are Changed

When he first opened his offensive on 26 August, General Horii’s objective had been Port Moresby. The deterioration of the situation at Milne Bay, and the difficulty of getting troops ashore at Guadalcanal in the face of Allied naval and air forces operating in the Solomons area, caused General Hyakutake on 29 August to instruct General Horii to halt the South Seas Detachment as soon as it had reached the southern foothills of the Owen Stanley Range. The advance was not to be resumed, he was told, until such time as Milne Bay had been taken and the Guadalcanal operation was progressing satisfactorily. Imperial General Headquarters concurred in these orders and two days later directed that General Horii go on the defensive as soon as he had crossed the Owen Stanley Range.

Upon receipt of these instructions, General Horii had pressed through the Gap, looking for a defensible position on the other side of the range which he could hold until he was ordered to resume the advance on Port Moresby. Horii’s first choice had been Nauro, but after sending out a reconnaissance party forward of Nauro he chose Ioribaiwa as the place to make his stand. The day after its seizure the troops holding it were told that they were to wait there until the middle of the following month, when it was expected that the final push against Port Moresby would be undertaken.

On 20 September General Horii called together his commanders at a hill near his headquarters at Nauro and told them how things stood. He praised them for the way in which they and their men had succeeded in crossing “the so-called impregnable Stanley Range,” and explained that the reason for the halt was to regain their fighting strength, so as to be able, at the proper time, “to strike a crushing blow at the enemy’s positions at Port Moresby.” How this was to be done with the existing state of supply was not explained.

Shortly after General Horii had ordered his subordinate commanders to hold Ioribaiwa he received, as a result of further Japanese reverses at Guadalcanal, instructions which in effect ordered his withdrawal from Ioribaiwa. The Kawaguchi Detachment, which had finally reached Guadalcanal in late August, was virtually wiped out on the night of 13-14 September, in the Battle of Edson’s or Bloody Ridge. The Japanese were thus left without an effective striking force on the island. Because of this new reverse, and the complete failure of the Milne Bay operation, Imperial General Headquarters felt impelled once again to revise its operational plan for Port Moresby. On 18 September new orders were issued which emphasized that everything was to be subordinated to the retaking of Guadalcanal.

Existing positions in New Guinea were to be held as long as possible, but the South Seas Detachment was to be absolved of the responsibility of maintaining itself indefinitely in the southern foothills of the Owen Stanley Range. Instead, it was to begin preparations at once for the defense of the Buna-Gona beachhead, which it was to hold as its primary defensive position until again ordered to advance.

By concentrating on the Guadalcanal operation and ordering the South Seas Detachment back from the southern foothills of the range to the more easily defended beachhead, Imperial General Headquarters could still hope to retrieve the situation in both the Solomons and New Guinea.

It was now planned that, as soon as Guadalcanal was retaken, the forces committed to that operation would be diverted to New Guinea. A part would seize Milne Bay and then, in accordance with the original plan, would move on Port Moresby by sea. The rest would be used to reinforce the South Seas Detachment, which, at the proper time, would sally forth from the beachhead, recross the mountains, and, in spite of all previous reverses, complete the Port Moresby operation in concert with the forces coming in from Milne Bay.

Complying with his new instructions, General Horii began at once to prepare for an orderly withdrawal that would commit a minimum number of troops while allowing the forces to the rear the maximum possible time to reinforce the beachhead.

He left the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 144th Infantry at Ioribaiwa and two companies of the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry, immediately to the rear at Nauro. The and supporting troops General Horii ordered to Isurava. The main body of the 41st Infantry, less the two companies at Nauro and a company at Kokoda, was ordered to the Sanananda—Giruwa coastal area. General Horii’s instructions to the main body of the 144th Infantry were that it was to hold Ioribaiwa as long as possible and then retire northward to be relieved at the proper time by the troops in the Kokoda-Isurava area. As the latter fell back, they would be relieved in turn by troops from the beachhead.

On 24 September, the day the 2nd Battalion, 144th Infantry, was pulled out of the line and sent to Isurava, the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry, reached Giruwa. It was followed in a few days by the main body of the 41st Infantry, under Colonel Yazawa. The naval garrison and the airfield at Buna were under the command of Navy Captain Yoshitatsu Yasuda, who had come in from Rabaul on 17 September with 280 Yokosuka 5th SNLF troops. Colonel Yazawa took over command in the Giruwa coastal area, where were to be found the main Japanese supply dumps and the most important medical installation, the 67th Line of Communications Hospital.

Work on beachhead defenses was well under way by 23 September. There were several thousand service troops in the rear area to do the job, and as each new increment of troops reached the coastal area it joined with the others in building bunkers, emplacing guns, clearing fields of fire, and otherwise preparing the beachhead for defense.

The Australians Take the Offensive

Allied Land Forces lost no time in taking the offensive. On 23 September General Blamey, Commander ALF, arrived at Port Moresby and took over command of New Guinea Force. Lieutenant General Edmund F. Herring, succeeding General Rowell, became Commander, Advance New Guinea Force.

On 26 September, after aggressive patrol action to fix the enemy’s position, and a short preparation which included an artillery bombardment by two 25 pounders brought up from Uberi, the 25th Brigade began an all-out attack on Ioribaiwa, taking it with relative ease two days later. The Japanese had put up only token resistance. Instead of making a stand, they had abandoned their elaborate positions on Ioribaiwa Ridge almost on contact, and had retreated so swiftly up the trail that the Australians, who took up the pursuit, were unable to keep up with them. Like the attempt to take Milne Bay, the Japanese overland offensive had collapsed.

The Japanese had again done the unexpected. Instead of holding Ioribaiwa tenaciously as General MacArthur had assumed they would, they had thinned out their lines and withdrawn after the opening encounter. Their withdrawal, if unexpected, nevertheless enabled GHQ for the first time in the campaign to issue a comprehensive plan on 1 October looking to the envelopment and destruction of the enemy at the Buna-Gona beachhead. This plan and the more detailed instructions of 11 October provided for the recapture of Goodenough Island and stipulated that the troops available to the Commander, New Guinea Force, would move on the beachhead along three axes of advance: along the Kokoda Trail; via the Kapa Kapa-Jaure track or the Abau-Namudi-Jaure route; and up the coast northwestward from Milne Bay.

The advance would be in two stages. The troops moving overland would, before any further advance, secure the line of the Kumusi River from the Owalama Divide (north of Jaure) to the crossing of the Buna-Kokoda track at Wairopi. Those moving up from Milne Bay would first secure Goodenough Island and the coastal area to the northward as far as Cape Nelson. When these areas were secured, a concerted advance by all land forces upon the Buna-Gona area would be ordered.

SOURCE: Victory in Papua, BY: Samuel Milner (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: Papuan Campaign (8); Recapture of Kokoda

World war Two: Papuan Campaign (6): Japanese Offensive Collapses




By The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Herbs and natural remedies can help calm anxiety and stress. Here’s a list of ways to relieve anxiety naturally.

First, attempt to calm thyself. If gardening or another relaxing activity doesn’t calm your nerves and make you sleep well, you’ll have to try some of these other tips involving herbs for anxiety and anxiety remedies. If gardening does help, you can grow some of these herbs so that you can beat your anxiety in two ways.

Insomnia can often be caused by stress or anxiety, or insomnia can lead to anxiety. For this reason, we include some natural remedies for insomnia here as well.


  • Teas of chamomile, basil, marjoram, sage, or mint help ease stress. Use about 1 ounce fresh herbs (half of that if dried) for every 2 to 3 cups water.
  • A tea of elderberry flowers is considered relaxing to the nerves and is sleep-inducing, too. (Caution! Avoid if pregnant.)
  • For insomnia, drink bee balm. It acts as a mild sedative, calming the nerves and aiding sleep. Take an infusion of 2 teaspoons chopped leaves in 1 cup boiling water.
  • Drink rosemary tea to alleviate melancholy or depression.
  • Native American tea ingredients for insomnia included lady’s slipper (decocted), yarrow, mullein, hops, and purslane (decocted).
  • Valerian tea (or capsules) is a natural sleep aide. In infusions, 1 ounce of the roots in 1 pint boiling water is a common recipe, consumed by wineglass as needed. (Caution: Too high a dose may lead to negative side effects!)


  • First, do not eat your final meal late in the evening, and keep the meal light.
  • Eating lettuce with your dinner is supposed to be calming, helping you to sleep and have pleasant dreams. Some say you should not have vinegar with your lettuce.
  • Mandarin oranges are soporifics, so consider adding them to your evening meal to help insomnia.
  • Native Americans reportedly ate raw onions to induce sleep. (They also used a variety of herbal syrups and poultices, but they’re a bit too complicated for most of us today.)
  • Trying to remain relaxed but alert? Some studies suggest that the smell of apples, apple cider vinegar, or spiced apples have this effect. The right smell can make all the difference.
  • Adding some calm-inducing foods to your diet can also be helpful. Try this collection of herb recipes to see if you can incorporate beneficial herbs into your meals.


  • Massage your temples with lavender oil. See more about the benefits of lovely lavender for the health and home.
  • A warm bath with a couple of drops of chamomile oil aides sleeping. Add a splash of lavender oil for a relaxing aroma.
  • For a relaxing body rub, soak equal parts finely chopped dandelions, burdock (roots and/or aerial parts), yellow dock, and lobelia in a mason jar of vodka for two weeks. Apply externally (and avoid the temptation to drink the solution).


  • Strew lavender in the linen closet to scent your bed sheets with this mildly narcotic herb.
  • Try putting a few drops of lavender oil in or right under your nose—gently, with a cotton swab (Q-tip).
  • Sprinkle infusions of dill on your pillowcases and quickly iron them dry or fluff them in a clothes dryer.
  • Dill will also lull cranky babies to sleep. Add dill infusion to the bath, sprinkle on a baby’s blanket, or use as a hair rinse. (We all know babies can cause stress—if they can sleep, maybe you can sleep, too!)
  • Sage is considered a “ghost medicine,” used to prevent stressful nightmares. Strew it on the floor or in the bed.
  • Keep in mind: Not every fragrant herb is suitable for a good night’s sleep. Some can have the reverse effect. You may wish to consult an herbalist.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.
–Irish proverb


This page was first published in 2009 and is regularly updated.

Holidays Around The World for Jan. 17: Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday

Franklin’s (Benjamin) Birthday

January 17

This holiday is a commemoration of the birth of Benjamin Franklin—printer, scientist, inventor, statesman, diplomat, writer,editor, wit, and aphorist. Born in Boston on this day in 1706, Franklin helped edit, and was a signer of, the Declaration ofIndependence. He also helped to frame the Constitution. The commonsense moralities of his Poor Richard’s Almanacbecame catch-phrases in his time and are still quoted today—for example, “Make haste slowly”; “Fish and visitors smell inthree days”; “He that goes a-borrowing, goes a-sorrowing.”


Franklin invented bifocals, proposed Daylight Saving Time in 1786, and unsuccessfully recommended the wild turkey ratherthan the bald eagle as the national bird. When he died in 1790 in Philadelphia, he was given the most impressive funeral thatcity had ever seen: 20,000 people attended.


Since 1991, the Bower Award and Prize in Science—a cash prize of more than $300,000—has been presented on Jan. 17by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to a person who has made a scientific contribution of a practical nature in the mannerof Franklin. Also in Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute Science Museum holds a two-day “birthday bash” that often involvespeople dressing as Franklin. The celebration takes place on the weekend preceding Martin Luther KingJr. Day, which is theMonday after Jan. 15.


Franklin Institute Science Museum
222 N. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20540
202-707-5000; fax: 202-707-8366
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 65
AnnivHol-2000, p. 10
DictDays-1988, p. 44

This Day In History: Captain James Cook Crosses Antarctic Circle (1773)

Captain James Cook Crosses Antarctic Circle (1773)

James Cook

Profession: Explorer

Nationality: British

Why Famous: Cook explored thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe, surveying, recording and naming features for the first time. He had a unique combination of seamanship, surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage and leadership.

Born: October 271728
Birthplace: Marton, Yorkshire, England
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: February 141779 (aged 50)
Cause of Death: Killed in a fight with Hawaiians

Married Life

  • 1762-12-21 British Explorer Captain James Cook marries Elizabeth Batts

Historical Events in the Life of James Cook

    • 1768-08-25 Captain James Cook departs from Plymouth, England, on his first voyage on board the Endeavour, bound for the Pacific Ocean
    • 1769-10-08 Captain James Cook lands in New Zealand (Poverty Bay)
    • 1770-04-19 British explorer Captain James Cook first sights Australia
    • 1770-04-20 Captain James Cook arrives in New South Wales
    • 1770-04-28 British Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour, lands at Botany Bay in Australia
    • 1770-06-11 Captain James Cook discovers Great Barrier Reef off Australia
    • 1770-08-22 James Cook’s expedition lands on the east coast of Australia
    • 1771-07-12 James Cook sails Endeavour back to Downs, England
    • 1772-07-13 Captain James Cook begins 2nd voyage aboard the Resolution to the South Seas to search for Terra Australis (Southern continent)
    • 1772-10-30 Captain James Cook arrives with ship Resolution in Capetown
    • 1773-01-17 Captain James Cook becomes 1st to cross Antarctic Circle (66° 33′ S)
    • 1774-01-30 Captain James Cook reaches 71°10′ south, 1820km from south pole (record)
    • 1774-07-17 Captain James Cook arrives in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu)
    • 1775-07-30 Captain James Cook with Resolution returns to England
    • 1776-07-11 Captain James Cook begins his third voyage
    • 1776-11-30 Captain James Cook begins 3rd and last trip to the Pacific
    • 1777-12-08 Captain James Cook leaves Society Islands
    • 1777-12-24 Kiritimati, also called Christmas Island, is discovered by James Cook
    • 1778-01-18 Captain James Cook stumbles over Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands)
    • 1778-03-07 Captain James Cook 1st sights Oregon coast, at Yaquina Bay
    • 1778-03-15 Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island discovered by Captain James Cook
    • 1778-03-22 Captain James Cook sights Cape Flattery, now in Washington state
    • 1778-08-09 Captain James Cook reaches Cape Prince of Wales, Bering Straits
    • 1778-10-03 Captain James Cook anchors at Alaska
    • 1778-11-26 British explorer Captain James Cook is the first European to visit Maui in the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii)
    • 1779-01-17 Captain James Cook’s last notation in Discovery’s ship’s log



Conquest of Canada (1758-63)

During the Seven Years’ War, he served in North America as master ofPembroke.[13] In 1758, he took part in the major amphibious assault thatcaptured the Fortress of Louisbourg from the French, after which heparticipated in the siege of Quebec City and then the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. He showed a talent for surveying and cartography,and was responsible for mapping much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege, thus allowing General Wolfe to make hisfamous stealth attack on the Plains of Abraham.[6]

Cook’s aptitude for surveying was put to good use mapping the jagged coast of Newfoundland in the 1760s, aboard HMSGrenville. He surveyed the northwest stretch in 1763 and 1764, the south coast between the Burin Peninsula and Cape Rayin 1765 and 1766, and the west coast in 1767. At this time Cook employed local pilots to point out the “rocks and hiddendangers” along the south and west coasts. During the 1765 season, four pilots were engaged at 4 shillings a day each: JohnBeck for the coast west of “Great St. Lawrence”, Morgan Snook for Fortune Bay, John Dawson for Connaigre and HermitageBay, and John Peck for the “Bay of Despair.” [14]

His five seasons in Newfoundland produced the first large-scale and accurate maps of the island’s coasts and were the firstscientific, large scale, hydrographic surveys to use precise triangulation to establish land outlines.[15] They also gave Cook hismastery of practical surveying, achieved under often adverse conditions, and brought him to the attention of the Admiraltyand Royal Society at a crucial moment both in his career and in the direction of British overseas discovery. Cook’s map wouldbe used into the 20th century—copies of it being referenced by those sailing Newfoundland’s waters for 200 years.[16]

Following on from his exertions in Newfoundland, it was at this time that Cook wrote that he intended to go not only “fartherthan any man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for a man to go.”[11]

Voyages of exploration

First voyage (1768–71)

In 1766, the Royal Society engaged Cook to travel to the Pacific Ocean toobserve and record the transit of Venus across the Sun. Cook, at the age of39, was promoted to lieutenant and named as commander of the expedition.[17][18] The expedition sailed from England on 26 August 1768,[19] roundedCape Horn and continued westward across the Pacific to arrive at Tahiti on 13April 1769, where the observations of the Venus Transit were made. However,the result of the observations was not as conclusive or accurate as had beenhoped. Once the observations were completed, Cook opened the sealedorders which were additional instructions from the Admiralty for the secondpart of his voyage: to search the south Pacific for signs of the postulated richsouthern continent of Terra Australis.[20] Cook then sailed to New Zealandand mapped the complete coastline, making only some minor errors. He thenvoyaged west, reaching the south-eastern coast of Australia on 19 April 1770,and in doing so his expedition became the first recorded Europeans to haveencountered its eastern coastline.[NB 2]

On 23 April he made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians at Brush Island near Bawley Point,noting in his journal: “…and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear’d to beof a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the C[l]othes they might have on I knownot.”[21] On 29 April Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as theKurnell Peninsula. Cook originally christened the area as “Stingray Bay”, but he later crossed it out and named it Botany Bay[22] after the unique specimens retrieved by the botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. It is here that JamesCook made first contact with an Aboriginal tribe known as the Gweagal.[23]

After his departure from Botany Bay he continued northwards, and a mishap occurred, on 11 June, when the Endeavour ranaground on a shoal of the Great Barrier Reef, and then “nursed into a river mouth on 18 June 1770″.[24] The ship was badlydamaged and his voyage was delayed almost seven weeks while repairs were carried out on the beach (near the docks ofmodern Cooktown, Queensland, at the mouth of the Endeavour River).[3] Once repairs were complete the voyagecontinued, sailing through Torres Strait and on 22 August he landed on Possession Island, where he claimed the entirecoastline he had just explored as British territory. He returned to England via Batavia (modern Jakarta, Indonesia, wheremany in his crew succumbed to malaria), the Cape of Good Hope and the island of Saint Helena, arriving on 12 July 1771.


Cook’s journals were published upon his return, and he became something of a hero among the scientific community. Amongthe general public, however, the aristocratic botanist Joseph Banks was a bigger hero.[3] Banks even attempted to takecommand of Cook’s second voyage, but removed himself from the voyage before it began, and Johann Reinhold Forsterand his son Georg Forster were taken on as scientists for the voyage. Cook’s son George was born five days before he leftfor his second voyage.[25]

The routes of Captain James Cook’s voyages. The first voyage is shown in redsecond voyage in greenand thirdvoyage in blueThe route of Cook’s crew following his death is shown as a dashed blue line.

Second voyage (1772–75)

Shortly after his return from the first voyage, Cook was promotedin August 1771, to the rank of commander.[26][27] Then, in 1772,he was commissioned by the Royal Society to search for thehypothetical Terra Australis. On his first voyage, Cook haddemonstrated by circumnavigating New Zealand that it was notattached to a larger landmass to the south. Although he chartedalmost the entire eastern coastline of Australia, showing it to becontinental in size, the Terra Australis was believed to lie furthersouth. Despite this evidence to the contrary, Alexander Dalrymple and others of the Royal Society still believed that thismassive southern continent should exist.[28]

Cook commanded HMS Resolution on this voyage, while Tobias Furneaux commanded its companion ship, HMS Adventure.Cook’s expedition circumnavigated the globe at a very highsouthern latitude, becoming one of the first to cross theAntarctic Circle on 17 January 1773. In the Antarctic fog,Resolution and Adventure became separated. Furneaux madehis way to New Zealand, where he lost some of his men duringan encounter with Māori, and eventually sailed back to Britain,while Cook continued to explore the Antarctic, reaching 71°10’Son 31 January 1774.[11]

Cook almost encountered the mainland of Antarctica, but turned backnorth towards Tahiti to resupply his ship. He then resumed hissouthward course in a second fruitless attempt to find the supposedcontinent. On this leg of the voyage he brought with him a youngTahitian named Omai, who proved to be somewhat less knowledgeableabout the Pacific than Tupaia had been on the first voyage. On hisreturn voyage to New Zealand in 1774, he landed at the Friendly Islands, Easter Island, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu.

Before returning to England, he took a final sweep across the SouthAtlantic from Cape Horn and surveyed, mapped and took possessionfor Britain of South Georgia, explored by Anthony de la Roché in1675, discovered and named Clerke Rocks and the South Sandwich Islands (“Sandwich Land”). He then turned north to South Africa, andfrom there continued back to England. His reports upon his return homeput to rest the popular myth of Terra Australis.[29]

Another accomplishment of the second voyage was the successful employment of the Larcum Kendall’s K1 copy of John Harrison’s H4 marine chronometer, which enabled Cook to calculate his longitudinal position with much greater accuracy.Cook’s log was full of praise for this time-piece which he used to make charts of the southern Pacific Ocean that were soremarkably accurate that copies of them were still in use in the mid-20th century.[30]

Upon his return, Cook was promoted to the rank of post-captain and given an honorary retirement from the Royal Navy, as anofficer in the Greenwich Hospital. His acceptance was reluctant, insisting that he be allowed to quit the post if the opportunityfor active duty presented itself.[31] His fame now extended beyond the Admiralty and he was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded the Copley Gold Medal, painted by Nathaniel Dance-Holland, dined with James Boswell anddescribed in the House of Lords as “the first navigator in Europe”.[11] But he could not be kept away from the sea. A thirdvoyage was planned and Cook volunteered to find the Northwest Passage. Cook travelled to the Pacific and hoped to traveleast to the Atlantic, while a simultaneous voyage travelled the opposite way.[32]

Third voyage (1776–79)

On his last voyage, Cook once again commanded HMS Resolutionwhile CaptainCharles Clerke commanded HMS DiscoveryOstensibly, the voyage was planned toreturn Omai to Tahiti; this is what the general public believed, as he had become afavourite curiosity in London. Principally the purpose of the voyage was an attempt todiscover the famed Northwest Passage.[33] After returning Omai, Cook travelled northand in 1778 became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands. In passing andafter initial landfall in January 1778 at Waimea harbour, Kauai, Cook named thearchipelago the “Sandwich Islands” after the fourth Earl of Sandwich—the actingFirst Lord of the Admiralty.[34]

From the South Pacific, he went northeast to explore the west coast of North Americanorth of the Spanish settlements in Alta California. He made landfall at approximately44°30′ north latitude, near Cape Foulweather on the Oregon coast, which he named.Bad weather forced his ships south to about 43° north before they could begin theirexploration of the coast northward.[35] He unknowingly sailed past the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and soon after entered Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. He anchorednear the First Nations village of Yuquot. Cook’s two ships spent about a month inNootka Sound, from 29 March to 26 April 1778, in what Cook called Ship Cove, nowResolution Cove,[36] at the south end of Bligh Island, about 5 miles (8 km) east acrossNootka Sound from Yuquot, a Nuu-chah-nulth village (whose chief Cook did not identifybut may have been Maquinna). Relations between Cook’s crew and the people ofYuquot were cordial if sometimes strained. In trading, the people of Yuquot demandedmuch more valuable items than the usual trinkets that had worked for Cook’s crew inHawaii. Metal objects were much desired, but the lead, pewter, and tin traded at firstsoon fell into disrepute. The most valuable items the British received in trade were seaotter pelts. Over the month-long stay the Yuquot “hosts” essentially controlled the tradewith the British vessels, instead of vice versa. Generally the natives visited the Britishvessels at Resolution Cove instead of the British visiting the village of Yuquot atFriendly Cove.[37]

After leaving Nootka Sound, Cook explored and mapped the coast all the way to the Bering Strait, on the way identifyingwhat came to be known as Cook Inlet in Alaska. It has been said that, in a single visit, Cook charted the majority of the NorthAmerican northwest coastline on world maps for the first time, determined the extent of Alaska and closed the gaps in Russian(from the West) and Spanish (from the South) exploratory probes of the Northern limits of the Pacific.[11]

The Bering Strait proved to be impassable, although he made several attempts to sail through it. He became increasinglyfrustrated on this voyage, and perhaps began to suffer from a stomach ailment; it has been speculated that this led to irrationalbehaviour towards his crew, such as forcing them to eat walrus meat, which they found inedible.[38]

Cook returned to Hawaii in 1779. After sailing around the archipelago for some eight weeks, he made landfall at Kealakekua Bay, on ‘Hawaii Island’, largest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Cook’s arrival coincided with the Makahiki, a Hawaiianharvest festival of worship for the Polynesian god Lono. Coincidentally the form of Cook’s ship, HMS Resolution, or moreparticularly the mast formation, sails and rigging, resembled certain significant artefacts that formed part of the season ofworship.[3][38] Similarly, Cook’s clockwise route around the island of Hawaii before making landfall resembled the processionsthat took place in a clockwise direction around the island during the Lono festivals. It has been argued (most extensively byMarshall Sahlins) that such coincidences were the reasons for Cook’s (and to a limited extent, his crew’s) initial deificationby some Hawaiians who treated Cook as an incarnation of Lono.[39] Though this view was first suggested by members ofCook’s expedition, the idea that any Hawaiians understood Cook to be Lono, and the evidence presented in support of it waschallenged in 1992.[38][40]


After a month’s stay, Cook got under sail again to resume his exploration of the Northern Pacific. Shortly after leaving HawaiiIsland, the foremast of the Resolution broke and the ships returned to Kealakekua Bay for repairs. It has been hypothesisedthat the return to the islands by Cook’s expedition was not just unexpected by the Hawaiians, but unwelcome, because theseason of Lono had recently ended (presuming that they associated Cook with Lono and Makahiki). Tensions rose, and anumber of quarrels broke out between the Europeans and Hawaiians. On 14 February 1779, at Kealakekua Bay, someHawaiians took one of Cook’s small boats. As thefts were quite common in Tahiti and the other islands, Cook would havetaken hostages until the stolen articles were returned.[3] He attempted to take hostage the King of Hawaiʻi, Kalaniʻōpuʻu. TheHawaiians prevented this, and Cook’s men had to retreat to the beach. As Cook turned his back to help launch the boats, hewas struck on the head by the villagers and then stabbed to death as he fell on his face in the surf.[41] Hawaiian tradition saysthat he was killed by a chief named Kalanimanokahoowaha or Kanaina.[42] The Hawaiians dragged his body away. Four of theMarines with Cook were also killed and two wounded in the confrontation.

The esteem in which he was nevertheless held by the Hawaiians resultedin his body being retained by their chiefs and elders. Following thepractice of the time, Cook’s body underwent funerary rituals similar tothose reserved for the chiefs and highest elders of the society. The bodywas disembowelled, baked to facilitate removal of the flesh, and thebones were carefully cleaned for preservation as religious icons in afashion somewhat reminiscent of the treatment of European saints in theMiddle Ages. Some of Cook’s remains, disclosing some corroboratingevidence to this effect, were eventually returned to the British for a formalburial at sea following an appeal by the crew.[44]

Clerke took over the expedition and made a final attempt to pass throughthe Bering Strait.[45] Following the death of Clerke, Resolution andDiscovery returned home in October 1780 commanded by John Gore, aveteran of Cook’s first voyage, and Captain James King.[46] Cook’saccount of his third and final voyage was completed upon their return byKing.

David Samwell, who sailed with Cook on the Resolutionwrote of him: “He was a modest man, and rather bashful; of anagreeable lively conversation, sensible and intelligent. In temper he was somewhat hasty, but of a disposition the most friendly,benevolent and humane. His person was above six feet high: and, though a good looking man, he was plain both in dress andappearance. His face was full of expression: his nose extremely well shaped: his eyes which were small and of a brown cast,were quick and piercing; his eyebrows prominent, which gave his countenance altogether an air of austerity.”[47]