COMBAT PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE SECOND BATTLE OF BOUGAINVILLE

War, as soldiers learn, is not all fighting, but a good part traveling to fight and a good part waiting for the fight to begin. Therefore, pictures of actual infantry combat are none too plentiful even in this best-photographed of wars. On these pages are some of the best action pictures taken since the epic battle for Tarawa. They were all made under fire by U.S. Army Signal Corps photographers as men of the 37th Infantry Division and the Americal Infantry Division mopped up after the Second Battle of Bougainville in which 7,000 Japanese were killed.



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Behind a tank, infantry advances, one man is leaving a foxhole, another crawls, another stands and fires, another–his back to the tank–rushes a bipod to a BAR teammate.

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These infantrymen are concentrating their fire on a pillbox occupied by infiltrating Japanese, using rifles and grenades to dig ’em out of their nest.

bougainville 37th division americal division

There was machine-gun around these soldiers as they ran through the Bougainville jungle. The man at the left is carrying a BAR, the man at right a carbine.

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Japanese snipers were plenty active. This rifleman, behind a tree in the brush, has spotted one of them and is just about to let him have a bit of lead.



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Now pitching for the Yanks Sgt. Charles H. Wolverton. The 37th Division soldier bites his tongue as he starts a grenade toward Japanese emplacements.

bougainville 37th division americal division

These infantrymen are concentrating their fire on a pillbox occupied by infiltrating Japanese, using rifles and grenades to dig ’em out of their nest.

bougainville 37th division americal division

Once more behind a tank the infantry moves up. Bayonets are fixed for some expected close-quarter work. The expectations incidentally were fulfilled.

bougainville 37th division americal division

Sometimes neither rifle nor grenade can rout Japanese from their deep and strong holes. Then the flame thrower tries to burn them out. The rifleman keeps shooting.



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