American Defense Philippine Defense American Campaign PTO Campaign ETO Campaign Philippine Liberation WWII Victory Occupation

Brightwood Boys, The History of the Men from the North End of
Springfield, Massachusetts, During World War II
by Christopher P. Montagna



Within days of the victory on Guam, the Marines landed on another key Japanese held island.  The 4th Marine Division landed on 24 July 1944, supported by naval bombardment and artillery firing across the strait from Saipan. A successful feint for the major settlement of Tinian Town diverted defenders from the actual landing site on the north of the island.


U.S. Marines wading ashore on TinianThe Japanese adopted the same stubborn defensive tactics as on Saipan, retreating during the day and attacking at night. The gentler terrain of Tinian allowed the attackers more effective use of tanks and artillery than in the mountains of Saipan, and the island was secured in nine days of fighting. On July 31, the surviving Japanese launched a suicide charge.


During the night of July 31, the Japanese mounted a suicide attack. The Japanese charged the Marine lines three times during the night but did not break through. At dawn over one hundred enemy dead were discovered. On the evening of August 1, the island was declared secure.  Mop-up operations continued for a few days, after which  Edmund Olbrych embarked aboard the SS Jean La Fayette at Tinian on August 8 and arrived at Pearl Harbor on August 24, 1944.


That same day, August 24, 1944, Nino Montagna embarked aboard the USS Aquarius at Pavuvu Peninsula, Pavuvu Island, Russell Group, BSI and sailed from there on August 26, 1944 arriving at Guadalcanal – Tulagi Area, BSI on August 27.  While on this second tour on Guadalcanal, Nino participated in combat operational maneuvers with the First Marine Division (Reinf) at Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal Island, BSI.