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35th Transportation Corps Service Group

WW2 Transportation Group 35th.gif (96983 bytes)

WW2 Transportation Group 35th uniform.gif (116905 bytes)

This is an Australian made on wool shoulder patch of the 35th Transportation Corps Service Group. This is one of the rarest patches of WW2 with only about six presently known in existence.

The unit was not the most exciting or secretive of all units in WW2, but nevertheless it did play a very important part in the winning of war.  When supplies were delivered by boat to the South West Pacific Area, Gen MacArthur would keep these boats and used them to transport men and supplies in his island hopping operations. Gen MacArthur actually had more boats in the Pacific than the US Navy.  

The 35th Transportation Service Group started out as the 1st Ship & Gun Crew Command that has a campaign credit for New Guinea & Papua. It changed to the 35th Transportation Service Group at the end of the war with a campaign credit for the Philippines. This unit provided AA gun crews on board these ships to protect them from enemy aircraft as well as radio operators and crews. 

Former 35th Transportation Service Group member....

I served in the South Pacific and was a member of the 1st Ship & Gun Crew Command. This started with 2 survivors of Corregidor and at the end of the war was the 35th Transportation Service Group. I have never been able to track down any information, but we operated many ships with crews, gun crews, and radio operators. I served on the SS Hanyang a British freighter that operated out of Hong Kong prior to the war. I also was on the TP 101 and LT530, both Army Tugs. The TP 101 lies at the bottom of Marivelies harbor - we went thru the typhoon of 1944 and made it safely back then the old 101 just gave up the ghost. However, the 35th ran freighters, oilers, refrigerator ships, tugs, landing craft, patrol boats- you name it.

 Tom Field

The message from Tom Field illustrates the way in which things had to be put together in the wake of the Japanese sweep through Southeast Asia and the islands of the Western Pacific. Vessels from as far as Singapore, even China, moved through the Dutch East Indies and Philippines to reach hoped for safety in Australia. Australia was in danger until the Battle of the Coral Sea stopped the Japanese advance. The refugees, ships and men, were the core for striking back.

 The Jeremiah M. Daily (used by the 35th Transportation Group)
"A suitable ship to carry us into battle"

"You have my permission to use my story for your Army Ship pages if you wish."......James Flaugher

I have a Liberty Ship story from the SWPA. In 1944 I was a sergeant in an Ordnance unit based in Brisbane, Australia, which was destined to be part of the invasion of the Philippines scheduled for that October. I have just read about the Liberty Ships and how the Army commandeered them for use in the SWPA. That is exactly how it happened with us. Our company commander, myself, and another enlisted man searched the Brisbane docks for a suitable ship to carry us into battle. We eventually chose the Daily, which had just come in to Brisbane empty after discharging a cargo of bombs at Calcutta.  

It was not the first ship we looked at along the Brisbane docks. Several days before we had gone down and looked at a British tramp, about the size of a Liberty, with a Malay crew. Our CO was a little hesitant about the Malay crew, but I assured him they were among the world's finest seamen and had served on British ships for generations. The real reason we did not choose the British ship was that the crew kept a large pen of goats on the afterdeck for butchering and we were going to need all the deck space we could get for our equipment.  

At the end of the 3,700-mile, three-week voyage from Brisbane to Leyte, via New Guinea, where we picked up additional troops, the Daily was kamikazed on the morning of our arrival off Leyte. The Japanese had just begun suicide missions and, because of the outcome of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in which we lost air support from the baby carriers guarding the beaches, we were surprised and unprotected. Out of about 500 on the Daily, more than 250, or half of the ship's crew and soldiers aboard, were killed, wounded or missing. The ship's master, chief officer, third engineer, radio operator and the Armed Guard lieutenant were among them.  

Rather than resent us, the officers and crew of the Daily did all they could to make our situation a little more bearable. For example, we were allowed to file through the port alleyway (as long as we did not clog it) and drink from the water cooler there. This was the only chilled water on the ship. We were also allowed to use the radio room as our office. This was the only air-conditioned space on a Liberty ship. The radio operator gave me permission to come in at any time and listen to radio broadcasts. As a final act of kindness toward their soldier-passengers, on the morning after the attack, the galley shared what prepared food they had with us. The army field kitchens, on which we depended for our meals, had been destroyed in the attack. I have been on both Army and Navy troop transports during my years in the Southwest Pacific, but I never again encountered the real feeling of comradeship that manifested itself between the soldiers and the ship's crew on the Daily.  

James Flaugher

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