Lessons Learned

Operation Bobcat might not have been quite as eventful as the Soldiers expected, but the mission was an important learning experience for the men of the 198th, the U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy. The men of the 198th had the good fortune to avoid combat on the island post and they were able to become acquainted with a new culture different from their own. Many went on to make important contributions in different theaters of the war. For better or worse, the Bora Borans also learned about the West, which prepared them for future economic enterprises. The Army and Navy gained valuable experience based on the logistical mishaps at Bora Bora. Their lessons learned about how to land and unload men and supplies on a beach would prove vital to the success of later missions, including D-Day.  Today, the Soldiers of the 198th Coast Artillery Regiment’s legacy is carried on through the men and women of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, Delaware Army National Guard.

The remains of Operation Bobcat ammunition bunker that stored all ammunition utilized by Army and Naval forces on the island. Credit: Pam Gonce, Colonel Retired, Delaware Army National Guard, 2018.

The remains of Operation Bobcat ammunition bunker that stored all ammunition utilized by Army and Naval forces on the island. Credit: Pam Gonce, Colonel Retired, Delaware Army National Guard, 2018.

The 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion unfurls the colors at Camp Cowpens, Kandahar, Afghanistan in April 2013. The Lineage of the 198th Regiment is stepped in history, as the unit carries battle streamers from the Revolutionary War to the Global Wars on Terrorism. The contemporary 198th stands on the shoulders of their World War II Coast Artillery predecessors. Credit: Public Relations Office, Delaware Army National Guard.   

Contemporary cruise ship tours led by Bora Borans include a stop at this now-abandoned American artillery piece and ammunition bunker on the island. The artifact stands as a reminder of war in the Pacfic and the collaboration between the islanders and the 198th. Credit: Pam Gonce, Colonel Retired, Delaware Army National Guard, 2018.