Elements of Yasuda & Tsukioka Butai attack elements of the American 2nd Battalion, 126th Infantry, 32nd Division led by a stubborn 10-2 leader, Herman Bottcher. Following the December 5, 1942 assault by American troops, Bottcher volunteered to lead a group to drive a wedge into the Japanese flank towards the beach at Buna. With a dozen men, he crawled through a swamp. After hours of combat using their Thompson submachine guns and throwing grenades, the group made it to the beach and dug in.
On the beach, they claimed to have killed 40 Japanese and wounded a dozen more. They fought off attacks for seven days, dragging back abandoned enemy machine guns to use. Before being relieved, his party claimed to have killed a total of 120 Japanese. The rest of the 32nd Division was able to advance to the beach, putting a wedge between the defending Japanese forces.
Wounded twice in the battle, his first wound put an arm in a sling. His second wound saw him relieved from combat. General Eichelburger crawled out to his position to congratulate him and awarded him the Distinguished Service Cross (DFC) and a field promotion to Captain.
Attacker: American (2nd Battalion, 126th Infantry, 32nd Division)
Defender: Japanese (Yasuda & Tsukioka Butai, 14th & 15th Construction Units, 144th Infantry Regiment and Kiowai Battalion)