1949 Timeline
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This Page Last Updated  7 September 2015
General HQ
Service Group
720th MP
     To better understand the situation in Occupied Japan that affected the mission of the battalion, one must also be aware of the diplomatic, political and civil climate of the United States, world and Japanese theater of operations at that time.
     All major theater improvements, Cold War events or incidents, including those leading up to the Korean War that affected the 720th MP Battalion’s force allocations, training, operations, deployments, morale or history are shown in blue American Typewriter Font.
Security Duty, Tokyo, Japan

     At the start of the year the 720th MP Battalion and its organic units, HQ & HQ Company, Able, Baker, Charlie and Dog Companies and a Medical Detachment were stationed on occupation duty in Tokyo, Japan subordinate to Headquarters & Service Group, General Headquarters (GHQ), Far East Command.

     The battalion was still quartered in Camp Burness at Z and 20th Streets, Tokyo performing traditional military police functions and the maintenance of a mobile alert force for use in the event of emergencies.

     Personnel turnover problems remained the same, and during the year the battalion gained twenty-six officers and 346 enlisted men, and lost eighteen officers and 295 enlisted men.
    The troops remained very active and competitive in intramural athletics, fielding teams in the major competitions of baseball, basketball, and football, and also participated in flag football, bowling, and tennis.

    The 1949-1950 intramural baseball league was expanded by the Special Services Section of HQ & Service Group, GHQ to include two loops of competition, The Tokyo League and the Occupation League.

    The Tokyo League included teams from the 441st Counter Intelligence Center, the Civilian Army Civil Service (composed of ex-GI’s and their dependents), 71st Signal Service Battalion, HQ & Service Group Staff Battalion, Translator & Interpreter Services, Tokyo Quartermaster, and the 720th MP Battalion.

     The Occupation League teams were the GHQ Motor Battalion, 8th Army Stockade, 94th Engineer Maintenance Company, 64th Engineer Topographical Battalion, Grant Heights (housing), 49th General Hospital, 22nd Ordnance Base, and 361st Station Hospital.

     The teams played their afternoon games at six different ball diamonds, and at the end of the season their inter-league championship. The championship series involved the top four teams from each league competing in a double elimination playoff.

     The battalion team won the Baseball Tokyo league championship, and In basketball, the battalion was tied for second place in the 1948-1949 season, and in the 1949-1950 season had a record of 8 wins with no losses at the end of the year.
Personal Reflections

     “It was New Years Day and we had the football playoff between the 11th Airborne and the 8th Army. During that time, about 300 airborne troops went AWOL, and it took us about three months to round them all up.

     This was the time we were all put into [airborne style] jump boots, and these airborne guys would tackle our men and cut the boots off their feet.”   SGT James P. Robinson, Sr., Charlie Company, 1947-1950.

13 January There was an editorial block in the sports section of the Pacific Stars and Stripes Newspaper called “Chotto Matte,” which in Japanese means, one moment, wait a moment, just a moment, just a minute, or hang on, take your pick. In January 1949 it was written by SFC Dick Harn the papers Sports Editor. Harn was so impressed with the 12 January basketball game between the battalion team and the team from GHQ Translator’s Interpreter’s Service (TIS), that he devoted the entire 13 January editorial to it.

CPL Robinson

     Saw one of the best exhibitions of how basketball should be played out at National Gym last night when the 720th Military Police edged TIS 32-30 in a Tokyo League game. Play was fast and furious, hard-fought, but clean throughout. Each man on both teams was in there to win, and each literally played his heart out.

     We believe the happiest man we have seen in a long time was LT O. E. Cartmel, and therein lies a story. We do not know the name of the 720th’s coach, but he certainly brought his team along in fine style. But getting back to the lieutenant. We believe much credit should go to him for the spirit which prevails on the team.

     It was our pleasure to have visited Cartmel Christmas morning. During out visit all members of the basketball team came in. Once they were assembled, Cartmel talked to them. It was an inspiring talk, and we know that the members of the team will long remember and cherish the things he told them.

     Yes, its hats off today to LT Cartmel, to the coach, and the basketball team of the 720th MP’s. In downing the TIS team, they did something we do not believe any other team has been able to do in league play this season. They defeated one of the finest teams in Tokyo, a team which plays hard, clean, offensive basketball.

     It is an impossibility to pick the star or stars of the game. There were just two fine teams playing as single units. Black, of the winners, bucketed 11 points. He was ably assisted by CPL Frederick E. Ayres of HQ Company, who counted six markers.  Here are the names of those who sent TIS down to their first defeat: [PVT Marshall D.] Tull, [PFC Russell A.] Yoder, [PVT Dewey] Hicks, [PFC William] Nichols, [CPL Doyt] Pritchard, [PFC Frederick] Ayres, [Lyman S.] Black and [CPL Thomas E.] Eves.

     In conclusion, hats off to the TIS five. They’re a swell group, and they have a fine team.”
LTC Kenworthy

17 January MAJ William C. Smith passed command of the Battalion to LTC Aubrey S. Kenworthy. LTC Kenworthy was the former Tribunal Provost Marshal, and commander of the military police detachment for the International Military (War Crimes) Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE).

Personal Reflections

     “We had a visiting doctor in those early months, but our MSC (Medical Service Corps) officers, [1LT] Wade H. Dexter and, later, Joe Carr, were the PA’s (Physician Assistants) of the time. The medics were allowed a free reign unknown today, in this medical-legal morass we currently live with. I was always looking for the sick and injured to practice wound dressing and suturing on, and I occasionally gave classes in first aid.

     The first night on the town with the boys, down Z Avenue someplace, the odor of post-war Japan- and perhaps something I ate- made me ill. I spent the night throwing up. But I recovered, and conditions in Japan also improved noticeably during my time.

      During those early post-war years, public transportation was free in Occupied Japan, and we used it often traveling in Tokyo and elsewhere throughout the country.

    The medics competed with each other for patients that were victims of Venus [cockney rhyming slang for penis]. We had a PRO Station in the back of the Dispensary, which was never much used. Penicillin was dispensed on the QT for inflated prices. None of us got rich on this black market, though.

     “Shanker Mechanic” was not an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), but that was a name common to medics back then. Venereal disease was an offense back then, and men were busted for it or had their promotion delayed. That left little incentive for a routine report to sick call, and so they came to us.”   CPL (COL Retired) Thomas P. Chisholm, Medical Detachment, 1949-1952.

CPL Chisholm
19 January It was a busy day for battalion patrols and the Tokyo fire departments throughout the Metropolitan Tokyo area. A total of seventeen fires occurred during the day setting a single day record for the start of the new year. Although the patrols usually handle only the rerouting of traffic, and barricades to keep back onlookers, or help in manning the fire hoses, at times they are the first responders and face the dangers of finding, extracting, and caring for the injured until emergency medical personnel arrive.

20 January After spending the day before responding to fires throughout the city, at 1700 hours a fire broke out at Camp Burness, and the MPs one again found themselves not only acting as first responders, but also as firemen trying to stop the spread of the blaze to the enlisted men’s and officers barracks building.

     According to CPT Alfred J. Carey the battalion adjutant, the fire was believed to have started in the wiring of one of the workshops, quickly spreading to three others, and seriously injuring a Japanese mechanic. The MPs continued to man the fire extinguishers on the roofs the buildings, even after the arrival of Japanese fire departments that were kept busy fighting the main blaze.

     By their quick response, the battalion staff was credited with adverting further damage to the other buildings in the compound. No military personnel were injured in the fire, which took nearly two hours to extinguish. Once extinguished, an investigation commenced to estimate the extent of damage.
25 January With one makeup game still to be played, the battalion basketball team with a record of 8 - 1 in the 1948-1949 season was in second place of the eleven teams, and one game behind the Translators and Interpreters Service team in the General HQ Basketball League, Tokyo Division.
26 January HQ & Service Group listed the top scorers for the first half of the 1948-1949 season. Of the seventeen players on the list who have scored over 100 points was the battalion’s CPL Frederick E. Ayres of HQ & HQ Company in 5th place with 157.

31 January Supreme Commander of Allied Forces (SCAP) announced that their Educational Division was to distribute 40,000 copies of a discussion pamphlet, “What Shall We Do For The Construction Of A New Japan” to the Japanese Ministry of Education for distribution to the people of Tokyo through select community leaders.

     The pamphlet presents discussion, in Japanese, of local self-government, the revised Civil Law, the Livelihood Protection Act (a form of social security), the necessity of increasing industrial production, labor problems, inflation, land reform, farm cooperatives, the food problem, United Nations and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations.
Baker Company.
Charlie Company standing retreat.
Personal Reflections

     “I was in the 1st Cavalry MP Company [545th] and in December 1947 I went to the Honor Guard in GHQ. After being there one year anyone was allowed to transfer. In February 1949 I went to see CPT Moses and came to Baker Company, 720th MP Battalion. A total of four from the Honor Guard came with me. They were James Gillespie, James Mortimer, and Villard Killen. I was the only one of the four who went to the X Corps MP Company (provisional) in 1950.

     After leaving the battalion I did see these men that had served in Baker Company: Burton Jamison who was in the 38th Infantry Regiment [Korea). In 1954-1955 I saw James Gillespie who was an inmate at Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks. I also came across Legard Ball who had been a lieutenant in Baker Company. He had been riffed, and was a master sergeant in charge of the Fort Leavenworth hospital prison ward.

     In 1952 while I was the sergeant in-charge of the post stockade at Camp Crowder, Missouri. I received a prisoner who was AWOL. It was Bill Walls who had been in Baker Company in Tokyo. When the Korean War started in 1950 he went to an infantry company, and was shot up pretty bad. When I saw him at Camp Crowder he was AWOL from Letterman General Hospital [San Francisco]. He had been there undergoing multiple operations since 1950.

SGT Thurman
Baker Company 2nd Platoon
     In the period of 1959-1962 I saw Walls several times at his place of business in Seneca, Missouri. Last of all I came across Villard Killen through a newspaper article about Killen and MacArthur’s pilot living on the same street in Jacksonville, Florida. I went to see him several times until his death in 1997.”   SGT Samuel R. Thurman, Jr. Baker Company, 1949-1950.
14 February The battalion basketball team shamed the 49th General Hospital team 86 to 26 in the GHQ Tokyo League. The battalion’s CPL Frederick E. Ayres of HQ & HQ Company was the games high scorer, with a total of 22 points.
25 February The battalion basketball team succeeded in a close contest with the 71st Signal Service Battalion beating them 38 to 28 in the GHQ Tokyo League. The win tied the battalion with the Translators & Interpreters Service team for first place with identical records of 16 and 1.
17 March In the GHQ Basketball League inter-league tournament, the battalion team knocked off the National League leading GHQ Supply team 57 to 33. The battalion’s Lyman S. Black scored 16 points, and Russell A. Yoder 13. The tournament would end with the battalion taking second place in both league and tri-league tournament play.
22 March The battalion bowling team won two of their three game series with the favored Translator Interpreter Service team in the International League, single elimination bowling tournament at the Perishing Heights alleys.
27 March After a successful season, the battalion bowling team lost the GHQ International Bowling League championship to the Building Section team at the Perishing Heights bowling alley. The battalion team was off to a strong start by winning the first match 986 to 737, but lost the final two matches 776-738 and 757-724.

Exact Date Unknown PVT Russell A. Yoder of HQ & HQ Company, a member of the battalion basketball team, was presented an appropriately inscribed basketball from MAJ Richard F. Hill, HQ and Service Group Special Services officer.

     PVT Yoder topped all competitors in a GHQ tri-league foul shooting contest in Tokyo by converting 39 of 50 attempts.

Personal Reflections
     “I arrived in Yokohama in April, from there we boarded a train for Camp Zama, and the replacement depot. After three days I received orders for to report to the 720th, APO 500. What the hell did “APO 500” mean? It meant Tokyo. The Sumida River and the Tsukiji fish market. I thought I’d died and went to heaven. Simbashi and the Ginza were icing on the cake. It was quite a shock seeing all those thousands of bicycles, and taxis (their exhaust was so bad we called them charcoal burners), sumo, geisha’s, baseball, driving on the left side of the road, and sipping brew! Japan was a whole new world for me.
      Being a military policeman in downtown Tokyo was quite an experience, to say the least. An MP saw it all and did what he had to do while in the performance of his duties. The MP was always required to set the example for other military personnel. We performed a multitude of details, including foot patrol, traffic, beer hall check, guard duty, jailer and many other jobs. Some I care for, others I didn’t.”

     I always enjoyed being assigned to work at the Main PX, located downtown on the Ginza. It was a large store, about four or five stories high, and offered everything you would expect to find at Macys or Gimbels. We were required to check identification cards of all authorized civilians before they entered the store.

     It was while on duty at the Main PX that I first met Mrs. Douglas MacArthur. She approached the entrance and was reaching in her purse for her ID when I waved her through, saying she didn’t need to display her ID at all. The sweet lady stopped in front of me and said she was no different than anyone else, and produced her identification. We then chatted and she asked me where I was from. She said that the general lived some years in Milwaukee as a young boy.

     We met again a few months later at the same door. She came through with her son, Arthur, and an aide. Again, she presented her ID and remembered me as the young many from Wisconsin. We chatted, and as she left, reminded me to write to my parents often. Right then and there I fell in love with her.”   CPL Joseph Selovich, Baker, HQ and Able Companies, 1949-1952.

Editors Note: Joe Selovich founded the 720th MP Battalion Reunion Association in 1982.

CPL Selovich

4 April With the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, the new military defense confederation became the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

     Influenced by the Soviet threat of further European expansionism, the U.S. needed a strong alliance of the free world countries in the region with an ability to counter any armed attack of Western Europe through mutual defense. To that end the U.S. proposed the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed by the twelve nations of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States.

     Its headquarters was located in Brussels, Belgium. In the first few years the organization was nothing more than a political association of like-minded nations until the start of hostilities in Korea. It was then NATO gained new members, formed its military structure and was able to project a much stronger threat of regional deterrence to the Soviet’s.
6 June The battalion baseball team was having a dismal 1948-1949 season in the GHQ Tokyo League with a record of two wins and eight losses, and in a disappointing sixth place out of the seven participating teams.
13 June The GHQ Provost Marshal Tokyo announced that the Avenue “A” bus route was being extended on the south end to 15th Street on Avenue A, making a left loop on 15th Street and Ryokan Avenue to the Dai Ichi Hotel, Headquarters and Service Group Motor Battalion, GHQ.
Editors Note: There has never been any mention of it before in official battalion records, and this story was actually found in the Stars & Stripes Newspaper. It appears that the battalion utilized a rather unusual ceremonial event to mark their selection of the most outstanding military policeman of the battalion. One would draw from the article that the selection of the outstanding MP was done on a yearly, rather than a monthly basis as show in later historical records.

15 June CPT A. J. Carey, battalion adjutant; opened the ceremony, introducing the master of ceremonies, PFC Leonard Siwek of HQ & HQ Company. PFC Siwek in turn, introduced COL Aubrey S. Kenworthy, battalion commander, who placed a crown on the head of PFC Olen R. Hinshaw of Dog Company, followed by congratulations on his selection as the outstanding Battalion MP, and “King of the Day.”

     PFC Hinshaw, a nine-month veteran of the battalion, succeeded SGT Elyar P. Bray of HQ & HQ Company, who reigned as the outstanding Battalion MP in 1948.

     MAJ William C. Smith, battalion executive officer, awarded the new King his presents: a five-day pass, an electric razor and sterling silver fitted traveling case from the White Derby Service Club, a pen and luggage from the Officers Club, and a wrist watch and band from the Enlisted Men’s Club. The runners-up, who served as the King’s Court, were: PFC Milton C. Herber of Able Company; CPL Joseph E. Nardine of Baker Company; CPL Benjamin Weisenberg of Charlie Company; and CPL Floyd J. H. Dicke, Jr. of HQ & HQ Company. Each of the runners-up received a three-day pass from the battalion, and an electric razor set from the Service Club.

     Climaxing the evening’s ceremony, PFC Hinshaw, arrayed in in royal cloak, crown, and scepter, led the procession to the barbecue pits for dinner.

18 June The battalion held their first formal Military Policeman’s Ball at their officers club at Camp Burness. The battalion officers, who were required to wear white helmets and MP brassards while in attendance, conceived the idea for the affair.

     Admittance of guests and prominent members of the occupation forces was gained by the previous roadside stop or office visit presentation of “DR’s” (disciplinary reports) or summonses by 1LT’s Ralph E. Dillard and Frederick F. Davis, both of HQ & HQ Company.

     In keeping with the theme, solitary confinement cells were set up, and battalion officers acted as desk sergeants and court officers. The “victims” who had received the DR's were summoned for judgment. In addition, numerous stunts and crimes were perpetrated upon the guests during the evening.

20 June SCAP’s Economic and Scientific Section announced that the Foreign Exchange Control Board authorized 130 agencies in fifty Japanese cities to purchase for Yen U.S. dollar and sterling traveler checks through the Bank of Japan, effective immediately. The agencies were in addition to foreign licensed banks, and were comprised of branches of Japanese Foreign Exchange Banks, the Japan Travel Bureau and Bank of Japan agencies at customs houses.

     The service enabled Occupation personnel and tourists to acquire Yen for local purchases while traveling anywhere in Japan.

     The Tokyo Provost Marshal’s Office announced that eight vehicle accidents occurred the day before on slippery blacktop pavement in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, due to excessive speed and following other vehicles to closely. Poor visibility, skidding on streetcar tracks, as well as the wet hazardous blacktop accounted for the accidents.

     Two involved pedestrians running out of streets and alleys, one driver lost control of his vehicle, one vehicle side-swiped two other automobiles, and automobile-streetcar collisions accounted for the remainder of the accident toll.

29 June The battalion baseball team lost a marathon seventeen-inning game, the longest in the season, to the HQ & Service Group Staff Battalion at Stateside Park, on a score of 6-5.

     The battalion was leading the game at 5-4 after scoring four runs in the top of the ninth. Staff scored one run in the bottom of the inning to send it into extra innings. It then became a pitching duel until a substitute Staff outfielder got his first hit of the season with bases loaded in the bottom of the seventeenth inning to take the win.

15 August CPL Larry Sakamoto of Stars & Stripes Newspaper (Tokyo Edition) wrote a human-interest story on the battalion’s mascot, a mixed breed dog named “Butch” that liked to ride around on patrol with his MP partners in Tokyo.

     Butch was adopted as a puppy by battalion troops serving in the Philippines. When they were deployed to Japan in September 1945 he accompanied them as their mascot. His current master was PFC James Coffee of Baker Company, a motorcycle mechanic.

     Desk Sergeant Roy V. Jenning of Able Company said, “the dog knows all the beats the MPs take. He likes to accompany the boys around.”

     For the interview, CPL Terry W. Sox of Dog Company, the Tokyo Provost Marshal Office radio dispatcher, called in the patrol so a photograph could be taken of Butch and his patrol partner PFC Buford M. Heiser of Able Company.

     On the same date, and for reasons not explained in the sports section of the Tokyo editions of the Stars & Stripes Newspaper, GHQ formed a new Meiji Baseball League for the 1949-1950 season consisting of the 720th MP Battalion, GHQ Motor Battalion, GHQ Staff Battalion, 71st Signal Service Battalion, Translator & Interpreter Services, and the Civilian Army Civil Service. The season lasted through 14 September, and the teams played all their games at the Stateside Park diamond in Tokyo.

      CPT William E. Ghan of Baker Company coached the battalion team through the previous GHQ Tokyo League schedule, and with their less than stellar record made some radical positional and roster changes. His new program, in which many of the players found themselves, wearing two or more hats, often in the same game, proved so successful that the battalion team went undefeated wining ten games and the new league’s championship.

     CPT Ghan’s feat earned him selection as the top coach (of three selected) of the Army-Navy All-star team, composed of players from every service command in Japan. The All-stars were scheduled for two games, 19 and 22 October, at Osaka, Japan against the San Francisco Seals of the Triple A Minor League Pacific Coast Baseball League.

CPT Ghan
29 August The Soviet Union successfully tested its first atomic bomb at Semipalatinsk Test Site in what is now known as the Republic of Kazakhstan, and entered the nuclear armament arena. The event would drastically change U.S. defense policy and military training and preparedness throughout the world.

31 August Typhoon “Kitty” struck the Tokyo area and left in her wake considerable damage of battalion equipment and facilities at Camp Burness.

     From reconnaissance reports the maximum sustained winds were reported to be near 110 knots 12 hours prior to landfall, but had fallen to minimum typhoon strength by the time it reached Honshu Island. The death toll reached 123 due to rainfall induced flooding and landslides, and caused about 15 billion yen in damages to Japan.

     The contents of the Post Exchange building, later converted to the gymnasium, had to be moved because the storm serge from the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay tore off a part of the building and undermined the foundation.
2 September Four members of the battalion were selected for the General Headquarters rifle and pistol teams to participate in an upcoming Far East Command competition. The fifty troops selected for the final competition from HQ and Service Group had been competing for a place on the rifle team since 1 July. Selected from the battalion were PVT's John A. Bossenberry and Keith B. Dickman of Able Company, and CPL Glen P. Tripp of Dog Company.
      The competition for the pistol team that began on 15 July was narrowed down to thirty troops for the final shooting match. CPL Charles King of Charlie Company was the lone battalion representative.
30 September In Washington D.C., both houses passed and sent a $5,809,000,000 foreign economic aid bill to President Truman for signing. The day before Congress also approved the separate $1,314,010,000 arms-for-friends aid bill. The Congressional action brought to the [then] staggering sum of $7,123,000,000, funds voted within twenty-four hours to stop the communism threat.

1 October The Chinese Communist forces (People’s Republic of China) supported financially and materially by Soviet Russia, and lead by Mao Zedong, declared victory over the Nationalist Chinese of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek on Mainland China, effectively bring an end to the on again-off again civil war that began in 1927.

     Mao proclaimed it’s new capital of Beiping, and changed its name to Beijing. By the end of the year, the approximately two million Nationalists were forced to escape to the island of Formosa, now called Taiwan.

     With tons of captured U.S. arms and munitions, and the appearance that the U.S. government was disinterested in continuing aid to the Nationalist’s, Mao began planning the invasion of Formosa.

Chairman Mao
GEN Kai-shek
8 October The battalion officers club held a grand reopening by holding a formal dance and floorshow to highlight the event.
15 October The battalion reorganized under TO&E 19-55 with an authorized strength of 24 officers, 1 warrant officer, and 619 enlisted personnel.

15 November The Eighth Army Headquarters Civil Communications Section announced that for the first time since the beginning of the occupation, International Postal reply coupons were available for sale at all larger Japanese post offices. The coupons enabled the Japanese to pass them along with self-addressed envelopes to the recipient’s of their foreign correspondence to respond. The coupons could also be exchanged in any member nation of the Universal Postal Union for postage of that country.

Editors Note: The Universal Postage Union was first formed by international treaty in 1874 at Berm, Switzerland as the General Postal Union. The purpose of the treaty was to unify disparate postal services and regulations so that international mail could be exchanged freely.

     Eighth Army announced they were now allowing Overseas Sales Stores, Export Bazaars, and Japanese retail stores to sell Japanese seafood and certain indigenous fruits and vegetables directly to occupation personnel. The vendors had to first file the proper application, and receive approval that the goods would continuously meet all applicable standards of production and merchandising, to insure their quality and sanitary condition. The big concern as to sanitation was due to the standard practice of Japanese farmers using un-composted human waste as their primary source of fertilizer.

16 November The annual Headquarters and Service Group Autumn Field Day event was held at Nile Kinnick Stadium where a crowd of civilians and soldiers numbering in the hundreds were in attendance to examine the static and instructions displays, and watch as the organic units competed in military events for the honor of top unit.

    When the competition ended, the battalion placed third behind the Honor Guard Company and Motor Battalion. The battalion also provided one of the more exciting display’s of coordinated drill when they performed a realistic riot dispersal demonstration for the audience. Cups were awarded to the winning units by MG Walter L. Weible, the commanding general of HQ and Service Group.

Editors Note: The Nile Kinnick Stadium was located in Meiji Park in central Tokyo, and was built by the Japanese for the 'Olympics' scheduled for the 1940's. During the occupation it was used by the U. S. Army as a recreational facility, and was renamed Kinnick Stadium in honor of Nile Kinnick, a student and college Hall of Fame football player from the University of Iowa who died in a training accident on 2 June 1943 while serving as a U.S. Navy aviator.
28 November The GHQ, Headquarters & Service Group’s 1949-1950 basketball league season began with the battalion team winning their opening day game against the GHQ Translator & Interpreters Service team by a score of 53-51. The battalion’s CPL Doyt Pritchard of HQ Company was the team top scorer, however, the winning basket came with seconds left on the clock by a side court shot of PVT Gerald O. Puffer of Baker Company.

25 December The battalion troops received the first (known) Souvenir Album or Year Book. It cited a commendable statistic, “Since the occupation of Japan began, the 720th Military Police Battalion has set a record that very few police departments in the United States can equal. Ninety percent of all stolen vehicles have been recovered and the city [Tokyo] has one of the lowest crimes rates of any large city in the world.”

Battalion Headquarters and Company command staff at the time were: LTC Kenworthy- Battalion Commander, MAJ W. C. Smith- Executive Officer, CPT A. J. Carey- Adjutant, 1LT R. E. Dillard- S2, 1LT B. K. Sandera- S3, 1LT B. J. Price- S4, WOJG D. C. Alford- Personnel, CPT W. E. Doyle- Repair & Utilization, 1LT Frederick F. Davis- Mess Officer, 1LT H. L. Peterson- Motor Officer, 1LT W. H. Dexter- Medical Officer, and 1LT Sheldon Coloff- Dental Officer.

Headquarters Company: LT Frederick Davis- Commanding Officer, and MSG A. C. Guerbadot- First Sergeant.

Able Company: CPT William C. Ghan- Commanding Officer, 1LT John P. Duffy, 2LT Donald E. DuChane, and MSG Cecil J. Nicholson- First Sergeant.

1949 Year Book

Baker Company: CPT John M. Moses- Commanding Officer, 1LT Legard Rall, 2LT Ray C. Clark, and 2LT Francis L. Roche.

Charlie Company: CPT Samuel T. Denton- Commanding Officer, 1LT Frank H. Hart, and 2LT Frank M. Robbins.

Dog Company: CPT Harold I. Funk- Commanding Officer, 1LT Frederick G. Peacock, 1LT William E. Van Buskirk, and 2LT Charles H. Avent.

30 December, 1900 hours In the Sakamoto district of Tokyo, 18-year-old PFC William B. Moore of Charlie Company shot and killed 19-year-old Hiroko Ito, his alleged Japanese girlfriend in her home, and then fled into the city in a rickshaw. Approximately ten minutes later he came upon and shot and wounded Akio Yajima, a Tokyo Metropolitan policeman, and then shot and killed 34-year-old Gihei Goto a nearby pedestrian of Japanese decent.

     PFC Moore then went to the Tokyo Provost Marshal MP Desk where he entered by a rear door, stood before the desk sergeant with the pistol at hand and shouted, “What’s the matter with you MPs- can’t you find a murderer?” After making the statement, PFC Moore raised the pistol and shot himself in the head. He died on the way to the hospital. Officer Yajima’s wound was slight because the bullet was deflected by a fountain pen and metal pencil.

     PFC Moore was relatively new to the battalion having arrived in October, and those that knew him could only speculate on a domestic argument being the motive that started the shooting rampage.
1949 Miscellaneous Photographs Index
This Index contains miscellaneous photographs from 1949 that have yet to be directly linked to any specific Battalion Timeline event. If you can date any of the events depicted, or identify them as part of a specific event, operation, exercise or special duty assignment, please use the Email Link on the photograph or this page to notify the History Project Manager.
A "?" preceding the photo number denotes further identifications are needed, and an Email Link is provided.
  Members of Charlie Company partying at the RAA Beer Hall.
  Members of Baker Company and Australian MP's at the Shinjuku Beer Hall, Tokyo.