1 This chapter was originally prepared in Japanese by Maj. Toshiro Magari, Imperial Japanese Army. For duty assignments of this officer, cf. n. 1, Chapter XI. All source materials cited in this chapter are located in G-2 Historical Section Files, GHQ FEC.
2 Cf. Chapter XII, section on Formosa Air Battle. Admiral Toyoda left Formosa on 17 October to return to Tokyo, where he arrived on the 20th. The initial alert order to the Combined Fleet was sent out directly from Formosa, but subsequent orders were issued through Combined Fleet headquarters in Tokyo.
3 At 0946 on 17 October, Combined Fleet dispatched a message to all major subordinate commands transmitting the following estimate of enemy intentions: "Although not yet certain, the Allied landing on Suluan Island appears to be part of an invasion move against the south central Philippines. The enemy seems to be launching the invasion in accordance with previously prepared plans, despite the unsatisfactory progress of his operations in the Palau area and the substantial losses inflicted on his fleet (in the Formosa Air Battle)." Hito Homen Kaigun Sakusen Sono Ni (Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II) 2d Demobilization Bureau, Oct 47, pp. 39-40.
4 The expected time of attack by the Kurita Force was provisionally set by this order at just before dawn on 22 October, assuming that the enemy main landing would be in the Leyte-Samar area. The Task Force Main Body was to sortie from the Inland Sea on i9 October and reach the area east of Luzon Strait by late evening of 21 October. Dai Ichi Yugeki Butai Sento Shoho (First Striking Force Detailed Action Report) Second Fleet Head quarters, 1 Dec 44, p. 39.
5 A reconnaissance craft based on Leyte made a flight over the gulf area during 17 October, but no enemy ships were discovered inside the gulf. Visibility outside the gulf was so poor due to dense clouds that observation was impossible. The 16th Division sent a staff officer on this flight to make a first-hand study of the situation. Hito Sakusen Kiroku Dai Sanki Dai Nikan Furoku Reite Sakusen Kiroku (Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, Vol. 11 Supplement: Leyte Operations Record) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Oct 46, p. 34.
6 The total number of carrier planes which attacked the Manila area and Clark Field was calculated at 100, while about 50 attacked Legaspi. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 12-3.
7 (1) Hito Koku Sakusen Kiroku Dai Niki (Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Oct 46, p. 67. (2) Statement by Lt. Col, Katsuo Sato, Staff Officer (Operations) Fourth Air Army.
8 The 30th Fighter Group had been activated in Japan on 11 October. On 18 October, the group headquarters and the 16th Fighter Brigade were already in the Philippines, while the 12th Fighter Brigade and 200th Fighter Regiment had not yet arrived. (1) Dairikumei Dai Senhyakugoju-go (Imperial General Headquarters Army Order No, 1150 11 Oct 44. (2) Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. cit., pp. 69-71.
9 The 16th Division estimate suggested the possibility that the ships in the gulf might be a group of damaged vessels retiring from the Formosa battle, which the storm had forced to put in for shelter. Hito Sakusen Kiroku Dai Sanki Dai Nikan: Reite Sakusen ni okeru Dai Juyon Homengun no Tosui (Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, Vol. II : Fourteenth Area Army Command in the Leyte Operations) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Oct 46, p. 6.
11 As a result of the transfer of the flying groups of the 3d and 4th Carrier Divisions to Second Air Fleet for the Formosa air battle, the Task Force Main Body had lost much of its planned striking power. The mission assigned to it was therefore less offensive than that assigned in the original Sho-Go battle plan. The original plan had called for a diversionary attack by the Ozawa Force against the enemy's main carrier task forces. (Cf. Chapter XI, p. 305) Under the more general terms of the 18 October plan, however, Vice Adm. Ozawa was left discretion to choose an attack target more commensurate with the strength of his force. (Statement by Capt. Toshikazu Ohmae, Staff Officer (Operations), First Mobile Fleet.
12 The Second Striking Force, for this newly-assigned mission, was to be composed only of the Fifth Fleet (two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, seven destroyers) plus the 16th Cruiser Division (one heavy cruiser, one light cruiser, one destroyer) detached from the First Striking Force. Under this plan, the 16th Cruiser Division was ordered to proceed to Manila, while the Second Striking Force main body, then at Amami Oshima in the Ryukyus, was ordered to go first to Mako, refuel, and then proceed to the Philippines. While en route from Mako on 23 October, the main body received new orders from Southwest Area Fleet changing its mission to support of the First Striking Force in the attack on Leyte Gulf. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 63-4, 83.
15 Data regarding the reasoning which resulted in the Imperial General Headquarters decision to shift the decisive ground battle area to Leyte furnished by Col. Takushiro Hattori, Chief, Operations Section, Imperial General Headquarters, Army Section.
19 The 16th Division reported that its troops had fired upon and repulsed enemy forces attempting to land on 19 October. Philippine Operations Record, Phase III, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 39-40. (American Editor's Note: The forces engaged by the 16th Division on 19 October were not, as the Japanese assumed, the initial waves of the main assault forces, but merely amphibious reconnaissance patrols and underwater demolition teams dispatched to prepare the way for the main landings.)
22 The Fourth Air Army had only a handful of planes already based in the central and southern Philippines, and some of its flying units were scattered into North Borneo, Malaya and the Celebes. The main strength of the 2d Air Division and part of the 30th Fighter Group, aggregating about 70 planes, were on Luzon. Remaining strength of the 30th Fighter Group had not yet begun deploying from the Homeland. Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. cit., pp. 68-9, Chart No. 9.
25 The concentration in the Admiralties was reported to consist of a naval force with six carriers and a transport group of 30 ships. The group at Hollandia was reported to number about 150 ships, of which about 80 were believed to be transports. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 13.
27 Both Fourteenth Area Army and Thirty-fifth Army felt that the retention of 16th Division headquarters at Tacloban, on the flank of the main coastal defense positions, was unwise. In August, they instructed Lt. Gen. Makino to relocate his headquarters and command facilities in the rear of the main defenses, near Dagami or Burauen, but since this required the prior establishment of communication, transport, supply and other necessary facilities, as well as the pacification of guerrilla forces active in the mountainous region west of Burauen, the transfer had not yet been effected when the enemy invasion of Leyte began. (1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 4. (2) Statement by Maj. Gen. Tomochika, previously cited.
9th Infantry (less three companies on Samar) 34th Air Sector Command
20th Infantry 98th Airfield Bn.
33d Infantry (less one company on Samar) 114th Airfield Bn.
22d Artillery Regt. (less 3d Bn. on Luzon) 54th Airfield Co.
16th Engineer Regt. (less 2d Co.) 2d Airfield Construction Unit
2d Co., 16th Transport Regt. 11th Airfield Construction Unit
7th Independent Tank Co. Misc. service elms.
16th Division Special Troops Naval Land Forces:
Thirty-fifth Army depot units Elms, 36th Naval Garrison Unit
Elms, 63d Indep. Motor Transport Bn. 311th Naval Construction Unit
316th Indep. Motor Transport Co. Misc. service elms.
317th Indep. Motor Transport Co.
(1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., Attached Chart II. (2) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 78. (3) Koku Butai Haichi Yozu (Air Unit Disposition Chart) Home Depot Division, 21 Jul 47. Attached Chart VI. (4) Situation Map, 16th Division. ATIS Bulletin No. 1624, 17 Dec 44 . (5) Situation Report, 16th Division, 8 Oct 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1678, 4 Jan 45. (6) Chart of Air Force Ground Units in the Tacloban Sector, 20 Aug 44. ADVATIS Bulletin No. 75, 15 Dec 44.
29 (1) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., Attached Chart I. (2) 22d Artillery Regt. Operations Order, 16 Jul 44. XXIV Corps ADVATIS Translation No. 1, 3 Nov 44. (3) Situation Report, 16th Division, 8 Oct 44. ATIS Bulletin 1678, 4 Jan 45.
30 In all defensive planning for Leyte prior to the actual enemy invasion, neither Thirty-fifth Army nor the 16th Division command had given serious consideration to the possibility of an enemy landing in the Tacloban area. The principal reason for this was the belief that the enemy would not risk sending large numbers of assault craft into the narrow confines of San Pedro Bay, where they would be more vulnerable to attack. Landings in the Dulag area, farther south, would not involve this risk. (Statement by Maj. Gen. Tomochika, previously cited.)
31 In compliance with this order, the 33d Infantry dispatched its 1st Battalion to the San Jose sector, while the 3d Battalion was ordered to take up positions in the vicinity of Palo. The reinforcing batteries of division artillery moved into position at San Jose. Regimental headquarters was set up on the heights north of Palo. (1) 33d Infantry Regiment Operations Order No. 433, 18 Oct 44. X Corps ADVATIS Translation No. 5, 28 Oct 44. (2) Reite To ni okeru Dai Juroku Shidan Sakusen Keika no Gaiyo (Summary of Operations of the 16th Division on Leyte) Summarized by Survivors of the Leyte Campaign, 23 July 49, p. 12.
33 The field positions were old-type long connecting trenches prepared in three echelons. These were difficult to defend and easily discovered from the air since camouflage was lacking. The only effective positions were the cave emplacements for artillery, which had been constructed on Catmon Hill. (Interrogation of Col. Shujiro Kobayashi, Chief, Operations Sec6ion, Fourteenth Area Army.)
34 Signal communications were impossible. Roads were washed out and impassable. Bridges were down.... For about a week from the time the storm first hit the island, elements of the division were scattered and out of contact with one another. While trying to assemble its forces for operations, the division was hit by enemy .... attack. Ibid.
35 Three divisions was the strength initially estimated by Japanese intelligence. On 26 October, the presence of a fourth division, the 24th, was ascertained. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol II Suppl., Appended Map IV.
37 A majority of the gun emplacement on the beach were destroyed, but defiladed positions and cave defenses remained intact, with only light casualties. Maj. Gen. Yoshiharu Tomochika, Gun Sambocho no Shuki: Hito Haisen no Shinso (The Truth of the Philippine Defeat: Notes of an Army Chief of Staff) Tokyo, 46, p. 19. (Maj. Gen. Tomochika was Chief of Staff of Thirty-fifth Army and was present on Leyte through the entire campaign after 30 October.)
39 (1) Statements by Lt. Col. Toshii Watanabe, Staff Officer (Intelligence later Operations), Thirty-fifth Army; and Maj. Eizo Hori, Staff Officer (Intelligence), Fourteenth Area Army. (2) Summary of Operations of the 16th Division on Leyte, op. Cit., pp. 11-2. (3) 16th Division Operation Order No. 837, 22 Oct 44. XXIV Corps ADVATIS Translation No. 13, 20 Nov 44.
40 This break in communications was complete from 2400 on 20 October until 2200 on 22 October, by which time field stations were put into operation at the division command post at Dagami. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., p. 45.
42 On 20 October the Fourth Air Army ordered the 7th Air Division in the Celebes area to dispatch immediately to the Philippines the bulk of its strength, consisting of the 3d and 9th Composite Air Brigades.
44 Vice Adm. Onishi reached Manila on 17 October from Formosa, where he had been conferring with Admiral Toyoda, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, regarding the missions of the First Air Fleet in the Sho-Go operation. Although his new command did not become effective until 20 October, Vice Adm. Onishi began on the night of the 19th to organize the first Kamikaze attack units within the First Air Fleet. Cf. Chapter XVII.
46 This unit, designated as the Tempei Battalion, was a provisional organization consisting of filler troops destined for the 57th Independent Mixed Brigade, currently being organized in the Celebes by Second Area Army. The battalion was awaiting transshipment at Cebu when the Leyte invasion began, and Thirty-fifth Army, on its own authority, decided to assume command of the unit and use it to reinforce Leyce. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit.Vol. II Suppl., p. 54.
47 The Chief of Staff, Deputy-Chief of Staff and other staff officers of Southern Army took part in these conferences. Immediately thereafter, Maj. Gen. Nishimura, Deputy-Chief of Staff of Fourteenth Area Army, was called to Southern Army headquarters and informed. (Statements by Col. Ichiji Sugita, Staff Officer (Operations), Imperial General Headquarters, Army Section; and Maj. Gen. Nishimura, previously cited.)
48 Outside of the fact that the enemy had landed, Fourteenth Area Army had absolutely no information on the progress of the ground battle on Leyte until 25 October. (Statement by Lt. Col. Shigeharu Asaeda, Staff Officer (Operations), Fourteenth Area Army.)
50 These orders were a bolt from the blue to the Fourteenth Area Army .... The Chief and Deputy-Chief of the Army General Staff had outlined this plan [to fight the decisive ground battle on Luzon] to General Yamashita when he stopped in Tokyo to confer with Imperial General Headquarters on his way to the Philippines .... General Yamashita had confirmed his own understanding of the plan by further questioning. Maj. Gen. Nishimura, Fourteenth Area Army Deputy-Chief of Staff, and others who had been with General Yamashita at the time were now dumbfounded and highly indignant. Unpublished Memoirs of the Philippines Campaign written by Lt. Gen. Akira Muto, Chief of Staff, Fourteenth Area Army, Hitosen no Jisso (The Truth of the Philippines Campaign), 15 Jun 47, pp. 1-8.
52 The total number of reported sorties by enemy aircraft over the Philippines amounted to approximately 350 on 17 October, 970 on 18 October, and 600 on 19 October. Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., Appended Chart III.
53 The 16th Cruiser Division, already under orders to proceed from Brunei to Manila, left Brunei at 1800 on 21 October. The division was not re-ordered to proceed direct to Cagayan under the reinforcement plan because Southwest Area Fleet wished to keep it outside the range of enemy carrier strikes until the scheduled time for the reinforcement operation, and also desired to brief the division commander at Manila prior to the start of the operation. (Statement by Vice Adm. Gunichi Mikawa, Commander, Southwest Area Fleet.)
54 This order formally placed the Tempei Battalion (n. 46) under Thirty-fifth Army command, effective immediately. The 10th Antitank Battalion was to embark for Leyte from the Manila area on or about 23 October. Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, Op. Cit., p. 24.
56 The 26th Division was in no condition to be moved at this time. Part of the division personnel and all of its equipment was deployed in the Tarlac and Bongabon areas. A detachment of 6000 men was on special duty in Manila as a port labor force, and preparations for a tactical move to a combat area would take a great deal of time. On 22 October, Gen. Yamashita ordered the division to prepare selected units for quick shipment to Leyte. The division began to prepare the 12th Independent Infantry Regiment for this mission. On the 24th, the Area Army commander further ordered that the main strength of the division would eventually be shipped to Leyte.
57 Orders to that effect were issued on 27 October. The 1st Division had been ordered to move to Luzon from the Shanghai area on 22 September, and was currently en route. It reached Manila on 27 October. The 68th Brigade was still on Formosa, although scheduled under the Sho-Go plans to move to Luzon and come under Fourteenth Area Army command. (Cf. Chapter XI, p. 302 and Chapter XII, p. 329.
61 Ise and Hyuga (4th Carrier Division) had been converted for use as semi-carriers by removing their after gun turrets and installing aircraft lifts and launching catapults. However, neither ship had ever been used as a carrier in combat. They were included in the decoy force mainly because of their firepower, each ship having eight 14-inch guns.
63 "The chief concern was to lure your [the American] forces north; we expected complete destruction. I thought that, if Kurita's Fleet succeeded in attacking your landing forces, I would be satisfied; if they destroyed the transports there in Leyte Gulf, I would have been satisfied." (Interrogation of Vice Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa, Commander, Task Force Main Body. United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Naval Analysis Division, Report, Interrogations of Japanese Officials. Vol. 1, p. 223.)
66 The attack date of 25 October set by Combined Fleet was actually too early for Vice Adm. Kurita's force to meet without difficulty. In order to reach the target area on scheduled time, he could not send his main force via the safest route skirting west of the Dangerous Ground, in the South China Sea, but had to navigate up the Palawan Passage, which was known to be infested with enemy submarines. The shortness of time was also a factor in Vice Adm. Kurita's decision to send Vice Adm. Nishimura's 3d Task Group through the still more dangerous Sulu Sea and Surigao Strait. The 3d Task Group included old, slow-speed battleships, which necessitated taking a shorter route in order to reach the Leyte Gulf area in time. (1) Interrogation of Vice Adm. Takeo Kurita, Commander, First Striking Force USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. I, p. 36. (2) Statement by Vice Adm. Kurita, previously cited. (3) First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. cit., p. 10.
67 During the evening of 21 October, Southwest Area Force dispatched a recommendation to Combined Fleet headquarters that Vice Adm. Shima's force, since it was to operate in the same waters as the First Striking Force, be placed under Vice Adm. Kurita to assure unified command. Combined Fleet, however, did not act on this recommendation since Vice Adm. Kurita was on the verge of departure from Brunei with his battle plan already decided. To revise the plan would have required considerable long-range radio communication, possibly compromising the secrecy of the attack plan. Also, Combined Fleet felt that Vice Adm. Shima's force should remain under Southwest Area Force command at Manila to preserve flexibility in case it became possible to start reinforcement transfers to Leyte sooner than anticipated. (Statement by Rear Adm. Toshitane Takata, Vice Chief of Staff, Combined Fleet.)
70 A number of units arrived too late to participate in the general air offensive, but early enough to engage in the first stages of the Leyte campaign. These were the 200th Fighter Regiment which arrived from the Homeland between 23-26 October, the 38th Air Reconnaissance Regiment from the Homeland on the 24th, the 33d Fighter Regiment from Malaya on the 29th, and the remaining one-half of the 12th Fighter Brigade from the Homeland and China on 24 October. Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. tit., pp. 24, 45-7, 68-9, and 76.
71 Over-all strength of the forces deployed for the air offensive by night of 23 October was as follows: Navy-First Air Fleet, about 50 aircraft of all types; Second Air Fleet, 196 aircraft. Army-Fourth Air Army, 150 aircraft, with approximately 80 additional planes to reach Philippine bases on 24 October. (1) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 14. (2) Dai Yon Kokugun oyobi Dai Juyon Homengun Shorui Tsuzuri (Documents of Fourth Air Army and Fourteenth Area Army) Plan for General Annihilation Attack on Leyte Gulf, 22 Oct 44.
72 These orders were received by Vice Adm. Shima at 1645 on 23 October, while the Second Striking Force was still en route to Coron Bay. The 21st Destroyer Division, which had been on detached service transporting ground elements of Second Air Fleet to Manila, was ordered to join Vice Adm. Shima's force immediately.
73 When the Second Striking Force put into Coron Bay at dusk on 23 October, the fleet tankers from which it was to refuel had not yet arrived. Since the time schedule made it impossible to wait, destroyers were immediately refueled from the cruisers. The force sortied at 0400 on 24 October, still without the 21st Destroyer Division which followed about four hours behind.
77 (1) Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. cit., pp. 75-7. (2) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., Appended Chart III. (3) 2d Air Division Telegram, No. 943, 25 Oct 44. ADVATIS Bulletin No. 170, 22 Jan 45.
78 At 0910 Vice Adm. Ozawa received reports of the Second Air Fleet's attacks on an enemy carrier group east of Luzon. He immediately flew off a search mission, which reported at 1105 that it had spotted an enemy group 180 miles southwest of the decoy force. After closing to about 150 miles, Vice Adm. Ozawa launched his carrier aircraft at noon for an attack. Due to bad weather conditions and the fact that most of the fliers were insufficiently trained in operating from carriers, the attack groups were instructed to proceed to bases on Luzon if, after carrying out the attack, they were unable to return to the carriers. Only a few aircraft actually returned, and these had failed to locate the enemy. However, 26 planes from his flagship, Zuikaku, had succeeded in making an attack on the enemy group, those planes not shot down continuing on to shore bases. The rest of the attacking groups were engaged by enemy interceptors and failed to find their targets. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 73-4.
79 Account of operations of the Ozawa Force is based on the following sources: (1) Ibid., pp. 73-8. (2) Interrogations of Rear Adm. Chiaki Matsuda, Commander, 4th Carrier Division, Vice Adm. Ozawa and Capt. Ohmae. USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. I, pp. 219-27, 153-60, 277-83. (3) Gunkan Senji Nisshi (Battle and Flag Logs of IJMS) Vol. I, Zuikaku, Zuiho and Chitose, Oct 44.
80 Account of operations of the Kurita Force is based on the following sources: (1) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 36-57. (2) First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. cit. (3) Battle and Flag Logs IJMS, op. cit. Vol. I, 7th Cruiser Division; Vol. II, Yamato, Nagato, and Musashi. (4) Interrogations of Rear Adm. Tomiji Koyanagi, Chief of Staff, First Striking Force; Capt. Kenkichi Kato, Executive Officer, IJMS Musashi; Comdr. Tonosuke Otani, Staff Officer (Operations), First Striking Force; Vice Adm. Kurita. USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. I, pp. 32-55, 147-52, 171-5, 171; Vol. II, p. 362.
81 Account of operations of the Nishimura Force is based on the following sources: (1) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 57-62. (2) Interrogation of Comdr. Shigeru Nishino, Commanding Officer, IJMS Shigure. USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 341. (3) Statements by Comdr. Ichio Shibayama, Commanding Officer, IJMS Asagumo, and Lt. Comdr. Tomoo Tanaka, Commanding Officer, IJMS Michishio.
83 Musashi had now taken a total of 20 aerial torpedoes and 17 large bombs, the most terrific punishment ever sustained by any battleship. Even then, she remained afloat for some four hours after the last attack, finally capsizing and sinking at 1935 with the loss of approximately half of her 2,400-man complement. The damage which finally caused her to sink came from three torpedoes, one of which reached a magazine, while two others struck the side successively in the same spot, thus penetrating the inner armor. Cumulative bomb damage hindered efforts to keep the ship afloat by pumping. Survivors of the sinking of Musashi were returned to Coron Bay in the destroyers Hamakaze and Kiyoshimo.
84 Thus far Vice Adm. Kurita had lost one battleship and two heavy cruisers sunk, and two heavy cruisers and three destroyers which had to be sent back to base. This reduced the number of ships by one-fourth, but the loss in gunnery strength was considerably greater since the casualties were mainly in heavy units.
86 Actually this message was sent out by Combined Fleet headquarters at 1813 prior to receipt of Vice Adm. Kurita's dispatch. The latter did not reach Combined Fleet until 1959, at which time Admiral Toyoda sent off a further message ordering the First Striking Force to carry out the attack. (1) Statement by Rear Adm. Takata, previously cited (2) First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. cit., p. 19.
90 The Ozawa Force was at this time still operating in two groups. From shortly after 2000 until about mid night on the 24th, the carrier main group ran northward to readjust its schedule in view of Vice Adm. Kurita's temporary retirement, then turned southeast to rendezvous with Rear Adm. Matsuda's advance guard. The latter had meanwhile failed to make contact with the enemy and was heading north again for the rendezvous point.
91 At 0330 Vice Adm. Nishimura dispatched a message to Vice Adm. Kurita reporting the damage sustained by his force in this attack. The message, however, did not reach the First Striking Force commander until 1425. First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. cit., p. 30.
92 Preceding account of the 3d Task Group action in Surigao Strait is based on the following: (1) Interrogation of Comdr. Nishino, USSBS, Interrogation of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. II, p. 341. (2) Statements by Comdr. Shibayama and Lt. Comdr. Tanaka, previously cited (3) First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. cit., pp. 19-20, 29-30.
94 At 0449 Vice Adm. Shima sent a dispatch to Vice Adm. Kurita reporting the "complete destruction" of the 2d Battleship Division (Yamashiro and Fuso) and the fact that Mogami was heavily damaged and afire. This message was received by the First Striking Force at 0532, and was the only information on the outcome of the Surigao battle to reach Vice Adm. Kurita prior to his own final thrust toward Leyte Gulf. First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. cit., p. 30.
95 At 0630, as the force reached the southern entrance of Surigao Strait, it underwent a torpedo attack by enemy PT boats but escaped without damage. (Statement by Comdr. Kokichi Mori, Staff Officer (Torpedo), Second Striking Force.
96 The first air attack was carried out at about 0730 by more than ten enemy carrier planes, and, the second at 0900 by 30 planes. In the second attack a direct hit was made on Mogami, retiring with the Shima Force, and the ship finally had to be sunk by friendly torpedoes later the same morning. Ibid.
98 Vice Adm. Kurita's belief that he was engaging a portion of Admiral Halsey's main carrier forces persisted throughout the action off Samar. Actually, the group sighted and engaged by his force was Rear Adm. C. A. F. Sprague's Task Unit 77.4.3, composed of six escort carriers, three destroyers and four destroyer escorts. Two other groups with a total of 12 escort carriers were disposed to the south and southeast of Rear Adm. Sprague's group. Both latter groups sent their aircraft to attack Kurita but were not engaged in the surface action, although the group to the southeast was spotted and briefly pursued by one of Kurita's flanking battleships. Cf. n. 101.
99 At 0702 a dispatch was sent to Vice Adm. Nishimura's 3d Task Group reporting that the Kurita Force was engaging an enemy force with six carriers off Samar, and ordering the 3d Task Group to join up as speedily as possible. This dispatch was sent because Vice Adm. Kurita, although informed of the loss of Nishimura's two battleships and damage to Mogami in the Surigao battle, thought that Mogami and the remaining elements of the 3d Task Group might have succeeded in getting through Surigao Strait. First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. Cit., p. 23.
100 The 10th Destroyer Squadron had begun firing its torpedoes at 0905 while still at extreme range of about eight miles, completing firing its first salvoes at 0915. It continued on a course parallel to the enemy while reloading for another attack, but at 0930 was obliged to break off the attack in response to an order to rendezvous with the main body to the north. At 0925 the squadron reported by radio to, Yamato that it had sunk a fleet carrier and set another afire. Battle and Flag Logs of IJMS, op. cit. Vol. I, 10th Destroyer Squadron. (American Editor's Note: The 10th Destroyer Squadron's claims regarding the results of its torpedo attack were entirely inaccurate. Actually, the torpedoes failed to reach the American carrier group, presumably because they had been fired at more than maximum range. Damage received by the carriers at this stage of the battle came from the guns of the Japanese cruisers and battleships attacking from port.
101 The second spot plane launched at 0851 reported another group of four enemy carriers, distinct from the group engaged by the Kurita Force, running south under a smoke screen laid by four destroyers. A short while earlier (0810), the battleship Haruna had reported sighting two enemy carriers, screened by four destroyers, to the southeast of the scene of action. Haruna started in pursuit but broke off at 0930 without having succeeded in getting within effective firing range.
105 Suzuya was left behind with the destroyer Okinami standing by. Fire aboard the cruiser finally reached her torpedo locker, setting off violent explosions. The Suzuya sank at 1300, 25 Oct and the Okinami took aboard survivors.
107 Sources covering the reasons for Vice Adm. Kurita's decision to abandon the penetration of Leyte Gulf are as follows: (I) First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. cit., pp. 26-7. (2) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 54-6. (3) Interrogations of Vice Adm. Kurita and Rear Adm. Koyanagi, USSBS, Interrogation of Japanese Officials, op. cit. Vol. I, pp. 32. (4) Statement of Comdr. Otani, previously cited. (5) Reports to the Throne by Chief of Navy General Staff, op. cit., 26 Oct 44.
108 (1) First Striking Force Detailed Action Report, op. Cit., p. 28. (2) In the Detailed Action Report of the Flagship Yamato, it is recorded that the telegrams from Ozawa were received at 1215 and 1430, but were not brought to the attention of Adm. Kurita until evening. Battle and Flag Logs of IJMS, op. cit. Vol. II, Yamato.
111 The attack mission was couched in these vague terms to avoid committing Vice Adm. Kurita to a specific course of action which might be impossible under the circumstances prevailing at the time he received the order. However, the phraseology implied that Kurita was to take offensive action of some kind, preferably against remaining enemy forces in the Leyte Gulf area. (Statement by Rear Adm. Takata, previously cited.
112 The First and Second Air Fleets, effective 25 October, were combined as the First Combined Base Air Force, Vice Adm. Shigeru Fukudome, Second Air Fleet Commander, assuming overall command. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 18.
113 This attack was made by a Kamikaze group, which took off from Davao at 0630. One regular enemy carrier was reported sunk. (Actually, American sources indicate that two escort carriers, USS Santee and USS Suwanee, were seriously damaged, and a third escort carrier, USS Sangamon, lightly damaged.)
114 This attack was executed by the Shikishima Unit, based at Clark Field. Two planes were reported to have crashed into and sunk one enemy medium carrier, and another plane hitting but not sinking a second carrier. (According to American sources, the escort carrier USS Saint Lo was sunk, and three other escort carriers sustained varying degrees of damage in this attack. Only one of six suicide dives made by the attacking aircraft failed to hit a target.)
115 During the morning of 25 October, an attack force of over 50 bombers and fighters took off for a strike against enemy carrier groups off the east coast of Samar. The force failed to make contact, however, and returned to base. An aggregate of more than 70 planes sortied in the afternoon, between 1215 and 1630. These groups likewise were unsuccessful in executing attacks. Reports to the Throne by Chief of Navy General Staff, op. Cit., 26 Oct 44.
117 Vice Adm. Ozawa ordered the light cruiser Isuzu and destroyer Maki to take off Chiyoda's crew and sink her. The carrier was still afloat, however, on the night of 25 October, when she was finally sent to the bottom by gunfire from American cruisers.
118 Two of the three destroyers left behind rejoined the main body late on 25 October. The third, Hatsuzuki, was believed sunk by enemy surface action while covering the retirement. Vice Adm. Ozawa thus returned with two light cruisers, two battleships, and six destroyers out of his original force of 17 ships.
119 The Kurita Force lost the light cruiser Noshiro and the destroyers Hayashimo and Fujinami, all by enemy carrier plane attack. The Shima Force lost the light cruiser Abukuma, when she was attacked by 30 enemy land bombers while limping back to Coron Bay and the destroyer Wakaba of the 21st Destroyer Division which was sunk by enemy carrier planes south of Mindoro on the morning of 24 October as the division was trying to catch up with Shima's main body.
120 Tonnage lost in the Leyte Battle was 271,000, out of a total participating tonnage of 556,800. Total surface tonnage of the fleet prior to the battle was 787,550. Losses in the Leyte battle were 26.1 percent of the aggregate losses suffered by the Japanese Navy for the entire period of the war.
121 Final estimates of the losses inflicted on the enemy by the surface and naval air forces in the Leyte battle (24-25 October) were as follows: By the First Striking Force : three or four carriers (including one of the Enterprise class), two heavy cruisers, and one destroyer sunk. By the First Combined Base Air Force: two carriers, one transport, and one light cruiser sunk: four carriers, two battleships, and one cruiser damaged. Reports to the Throne by Chief of Navy General Staff, op. Cit., 25-26 Oct 44. (According to American naval sources, actual losses on 24-25 October were one light carrier and one escort carrier sunk by air attack (escort carrier Saint Lo by Kamikaze): one escort carrier, two destroyers and one destroyer escort sunk by surface action.
122 This order also directed the 9th Infantry to secure its Catmon Hill-Tanauan positions, screening the reassembly of the loth in the Hindang area, and the 33d Infantry to continue resistance north and west of Palo in order to deny the enemy access to the vital Palo-Carigara highway, which must be used by Japanese reinforcements advancing to the front from western Leyte. 16th Division Operations Order No. 837, 22 Oct 44. XXIV Corps ADVATIS Translation No. 13, 2o Nov 44.
123 Col. Keijiro Hokoda, 20th Infantry Regiment commander, had already been killed in action on the Dulag front on 23 October. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., p. 41.
124 Under these plans, the 9th Infantry and attached units were to take up positions to the northwest of Dagami, being redesignated as the Left Sector Unit; the 20th Infantry and attached units were to become the Central Sector Unit with positions northwest of Guinarona; and the airfield troops of the 34th Air Sector command were to become the Right Sector Unit with positions to the west of Burauen. Central Sector Unit (20th Infantry Regiment) Operations Orders No. 2, 27 Oct 44; No. 6, 29 Oct 44; and No. 13, 1 Nov 44. XXIV Corps ADVATIS Translation No. 1, 3 Nov 44.
126 Ibid. (According to Japanese sources, both the Burauen North and Burauen South airfields were evacuated on 26 October. This differs from American records, which state that the Bayug (Burauen South) airfield was taken on 24 October, and the Buri (Burauen North airfield on 27 October, the latter against strong Japanese resistance.)
127 Ibid., p. 38. These troops included the remaining strength of the 2d Battalion, 33d Infantry, which had fought under 20th Infantry command in the southern sector, as well as a small number of 33d Infantry survivors who had made their way back to the division main body from the Palo front.
128 Prior to the loss of these positions, the regimental commander, Col. Tatsunosuke Suzuki, had been killed in action while leading a raid into Palo on 23 October. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., p. 42.
129 The 16th Division command was entirely unaware that an element of the enemy's northern forces had moved amphibiously to the western end of San Juanico Strait and was gradually infiltrating into the area directly northeast of Carigara. It also had no information of the landing on southwestern Samar by elements of the enemy 1st Cavalry Division. (Statement by Lt. Col. Watanabe, previously cited.
130 By agreement between Southern Army and Southwest Area Force, all the Army Air units and certain regular Navy Air units joined in the attack on ground installations (including airfields). The balance of the regular Navy units maintained shipping interdiction, while the Kamikaze concentrated on carriers.
131 Replacements available to Fourth Air Army units during the latter part of October averaged only about 52 percent of the losses sustained in combat. As of 31 October, the total operational strength of the Fourth Air Army had decreased to 148 planes of all types, while the First Combined Base Air Force was down to a total of 149 aircraft. (1) Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. cit., Attached Chart 13. (2) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., Attached Chart 3. (3) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 19.
(1) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 97 (2) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., Attached Chart 3.
133 This officer reached Cebu on 29 October, and the following day the Thirty-fifth Army Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Yoshiharu Tomochika, left for Ormoc with an advance party. The Area Army liaison officer informed Thirty-fifth Army that the 1st Division and a detachment from the 26th Division (Imabori Detachment) would land at Ormoc on 1 November, with the rest of the 26th Division and the 68th Brigade to follow to Ormoc or Carigara at dates to be communicated later. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp 52-3, 58.
134 The units disembarked were: 41st Infantry Regiment (30th Division); 169th and 171st Independent Infantry Battalions (102d Division); Tempei Battalion (57th Independent Mixed Brigade); 20th Antitank Battalion; and an element of the 364th Independent Infantry Battalion (55th Independent Mixed Brigade). Shortage of shipping made it impossible to transport in the initial movement all the reinforcements which Thirty-fifth Army planned to dispatch from within the Army area. The headquarters, artillery and engineer units of the 102d Division did not move to Leyte until mid-November, and the 172d Independent Infantry Battalion of the same division was never sent due to a change in plan. Elements of the 77th Infantry, 30th Division reached Ormoc sector in late November and early December, but the division headquarters and special troops never moved from Mindanao. Ibid., pp. 53-6, 76-7.
135 The sinking of the Kinu and Uranaini virtually wiped out the 16th Cruiser Division, since its only other unit, the heavy cruiser Aoba, had been heavily damaged by submarine attack on 23 October off the west coast of Luzon and was laid up at Manila. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 83-5.
136 The 364th Independent Infantry Battalion remained at Ormoc to secure the area and assist in future debarkation operations, while the 20th Antitank Battalion, arriving on the night of 30 October, was not ready to begin moving toward Carigara until 2 November.
137 This was the first knowledge the Japanese gained of the presence of enemy troops in the Barugo area. It was ascertained from local informants that they had landed by boat. (1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., p. 68. (2) Field Diary of a Unit of the 30th Division. ADVATIS Bulletin No. 116, 4 Jan 45.
" A completely unexpected move was the American advance through San Juanico Strait.... Our naval intelligence had estimated that the channel could not be navigated except by small native craft.... This surprise maneuver upset the plans for the recapture of Tacloban." Interrogation of Maj. Chuji Kaneko, Staff Officer (Intelligence and Operations) 102d Division.
138 The Imabori Detachment was composed of the 12th Independent Infantry Regiment (less 2d Battalion), plus reinforcing elements. It had been ordered to Leyte by the 26th Division commander on 22 October in compliance with Gen. Yamashita's orders. (Cf. p. 352
139 As it landed at Ormoc, the division was short one battalion from each infantry regiment, these battalions having been constituted as a second echelon for later shipment. Component units disembarked on 1 November were:
Dai Ichi Shidan Sakusen Kodo no Gaiyo (Summary of 1st Division Operations) Home Depot Division, 1 Mar 47, pp. 1-4, 9.
140 The convoy had moved from Luzon under strong air and surface escort and had undergone no serious attacks en route despite being spotted by enemy planes on 1 November. One ship was sunk in Ormoc harbor on 2 November, but the enemy air attack came after all troops and the bulk of the equipment and supplies were already ashore. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 85-7.
141 The three-division estimate for employment on Leyte excluded the 68th Brigade, which had not yet arrived from Formosa but was already earmarked for Thirty-fifth Army. It also excluded the 26th Division, only one element of which had so far been transported from Luzon to Leyte. (Statement by Maj. Gen. Nishimura, previously cited.)
142 This was in the nature of an emergency interim requisition made pending further examination by Southern Army of the Area Army estimate. Southern Army further requested the shipment of 800 replacement aircraft, to arrive not later than 6 November.
143 The agreement further specified the missions of the Army and Navy air forces as follows: Army air forces- (1) to neutralize enemy land air bases; (2) to secure air control over the enemy anchorage area; (3) to attack transports and interdict unloading operations; (4) to render close support to ground troops. Navy air forces-(1) to intercept enemy supply and reinforcement from the sea, including attack on enemy transports in anchorage; (2) to attack enemy carriers and gunfire support ships. Imperial General Headquarters Army High Command Record, op. cit., pp . 272-3.
146 The 20th Antitank Battalion had left Ormoc shortly before the advance guard of the 1st Division, but had been overtaken by the latter's mechanized reconnaissance elements. The battalion henceforth operated as part of the division.
147 Narrative of the operations in the Limon area is based on the following sources: (1) Summary of 1st Division Operations, op. cit. (2) Dai Hyakuni Shidan Sakusen Keika no Gaiyo (Summary of 102d Division Operations) Home Depot Division, Apr 46. (3) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., pp. 41-84. (4) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 56-152.
149 On top of the failure of the 1st and 49th Infantry Regiments to reach their attack positions, heavy rains and enemy air attack hindered the deployment of the 1st Artillery Regiment, with the result that supporting fire to neutralize enemy artillery in the Carigara sector was not opened until 8 November. Another severe rainstorm on 9 November hampered operations by logistic difficulties.
150 On 5 November air intelligence reports indicated that about 150 medium bombers and fighters were based on the Tacloban airfield, and approximately 100 aircraft of various types on the fields in the Burauen area. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., p. 90.
153 In addition to an intensification of enemy air operation from land bases on eastern Leyte and on Morotai, carrier forces continued intermittent but heavy attacks on Luzon. On 5 and 6 November, enemy carrier planes attacked Manila, Clark Field, and Legaspi in a total of 1,170 sorties. Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 22-3.
154 The Fourteenth Area Army estimate of overall additional troop requirements for the Philippine theater (cf. p. 380) had been pared down by Southern Army from five to four divisions. On 4 November, Southern Army requested Imperial General Headquarters to effect the transfer of the 23d and one other division as speedily as possible, and to assign two additional divisions for shipment to the Philippines prior to 31 December. On the same date, Southern Army received notification of the official transfer of the 23d Division to Fourteenth Area Army, but until 10 November there was no indication of Imperial General Headquarters' reaction to the troop request as a whole. This increased Fourteenth Area Army's skepticism with regard to continuation of decisive ground action on Leyte. (1) Nampo Gun Sakusen Kiroku (Southern Army Operations Record) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Jul 46, pp. 155-6. (2) Statements by Lt. Gen. Iimura and Maj. Gen. Nishimura, both previously cited.
(1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 82-3. (2) Summary of 1st Division Operations, op. cit., p. 9. (3) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., p. 36.
156 Insufficient landing craft were available at Ormoc because Thirty-fifth Army had been informed that no large ships would henceforth be employed in transport operations to Leyte. The Army was therefore employing most of its landing craft elsewhere. Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 81-2.
159 The 10th and 19th Divisions, in Formosa and Korea respectively, were officially assigned to Fourteenth Area Army on 20 November. With this action, Imperial General Headquarters had assigned three of the four additional divisions requested by Southern Army. Due to the shipping situation, it was deemed impossible to move a fourth division to the Philippines before 31 December. (Statement by Col. Hattori, previously cited.)
161 Four additional air regiments (18th, 55th, and 71st Fighter Regts and 106th Reconnaissance) arrived during the last half of November, and two (72d and 73d Fighter Regts.) during the early part of December. In addition, the 15th Air Reconnaissance Regt., which had earlier returned to the Homeland for rest and replenishment, and the 13th Fighter Regt., which was in the Celebes, were redeployed to the Philippines in early December. The ratio of replacements to aircraft losses increased from 52 percent for October to 79 percent for the first three weeks in November. (1) Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. cit. Chart XIV. (2) Daily Record of the War Situation, op. cit., pp. 14-32.
162 Four fighter regiments (the 29th, 246th, 33d, and 20th) were assigned to the 4th Air Division, the 2d Air Division retaining control of eleven fighter regiments (the 17th, 18th, 22d, 24th, 27th, 31st, 45th, 54th, 55th, 71st, and 200th), one fighter-bomber regiment (the 67th), and two reconnaissance regiments (the 2d and 38th). The 30th Fighter Group, temporarily released to 2d Air Division command on 23 October, returned to direct command of Fourth Air Army on 23 November, when it was ordered back from Bacolod to Clark Field for rest and replenishment. The remain der of the air units in the Philippines, including the entire heavy bomber force, was under direct Fourth Air Army command. Documents of Fourth Air Army and Fourteenth Area Army, op. cit. Outline of Air Operations of the Fourth Air Army in the Leyte Decisive Battle, 15 Nov 44; and Fourth Air Army Operations Order No. 593, 23 Nov 44.
164 As a result of this decision, the Third Fleet, then engaged in training carrier air units, was broken up. The 634th Air Group was assigned to Second Air Fleet, and most of the pilots and aircraft of the 601st Air Group were used as replacements to the First Combined Base Air Force. Headquarters, Third Fleet and the 653d Air Group were deactivated.
166 Marshal Terauchi had consistently maintained that Southern Army headquarters should be centrally located on the continent to assure more effective strategic control of operations throughout the southern area. In August, Imperial General Headquarters agreed in principle to a transfer of Southern Army headquarters to Saigon but left the time to be decided later. Transfer was finally authorized in October following a staff visit to Manila by Maj. Gen. Joichiro Sanada, Chief, 1st Bureau (Operations), Imperial General Headquarters, Army Section. (Statement by Lt. Gen. Iimura, previously cited.)
167 At the time of the transfer, a proposal was advanced in favor of placing the Fourth Air Army under command of Fourteenth Area Army to assure more effective coordination of ground and air operations. Southern Army rejected the proposal, however, on the principal ground that it was necessary to maintain a strategic mobility of air forces between all sectors in the Southern Army zone of responsibility. (Statement by Col. Yozo Miyama, Chief, Operations Section, Southern Army and Col. Hottori, previously cited.)
169 (1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 103-4. (2) Summary of 1st Division Operations, op. cit., p. 9-11. (3) Field Message, CO 49th Infantry Regt to CO 2d Bn, undated. X Corps ADVATIS Translation No. 23, 25 Nov 44.
170 The 169th Independent Infantry Battalion, previously ordered attached t0 the 1st Infantry, was not included in the 14 November plan. The battalion was still separated from the right flank elements of the 1st Division by a six-mile gap, and communication contact was so poor that the battalion commander did not know that he was under 1st Division command. (1) Field Message, CO 169th Indep Inf Bn to CG 1102d Div, 7 Nov 44. ADVATIS Bulletin No. 63, 13 Dec 44. (2) Summary of 102d Division Operations, op. cit., p. 15.
171 With the arrival of these elements, the total strength of the 102d Division on Leyte, less units attached after arrival, was approximately 3,600. The 172d Independent Infantry Battalion was left behind on Negros to guard the Bacolod airfields against guerrillas, and the remaining five battalions were dispersed on Negros, Panay, Masbate, Bohol and other islands of the Visayas. Reite Tonyu Heiryoku Hyo (Chart of Forces Committed on Leyte) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Dec 48.
172 The 364th Independent Infantry Battalion was now up to its full complement of 1,000 troops as a result of the movement of its remaining elements from Cebu. Upon attachment to the 102d Division, the battalion was relieved of its guard mission in the Ormoc area. (1) Ibid. (2) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 54, 112.
173 The division command post was established in the sector southwest of Mt. Pina on 21 November, but communication difficulties made it impossible to establish liaison with scattered subordinate units until about 25 November. By Army order, eight guns were released by the divisional artillery unit to the 26th Division. (1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 111-112.. (2) Field Message, Chief of Staff, 102d Division, 22 Nov 44. ADVATIS Bulletin No. 94, 24 Dec 44.
174 To relieve the threat to the 1st Artillery Regiment, Lt. Gen. Kataoka committed the division reserve (2d Battalion, 1st Infantry) to an attack along the west side of the Limon-Ormoc highway in the vicinity of Tabayho. This attack did not succeed in driving the enemy back across the Leyte River but did save the artillery positions from direct attack. Summary of 1st Division Operations, op. cit., pp. 12-3
175 The 49th Infantry units operating in the Colasian-Capoocan sector were subjected to strong enemy counter-attacks on 24 November and began pulling back the same day to positions south of Colasian. On 1 December, the 2d Battalion was ordered to evacuate these positions to reinforce the division left flank, and two days later the 1st Battalion was likewise ordered t0 the left flank sector. Ibid. pp. 11, 13.
176 Narrative of the battle of Burauen is based on the following: (1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II, pp. 20-6; Vol. II Suppl. op. cit., pp. 131-44. (2) Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. cit., pp. 94-7. (3) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. cit., pp. 71-4, 81-7, 91-2. (4) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 29-32. (5) Gohoku Sakusen Kiroku Furoku Dai Ni Dai Sanjuni Shidan (Kaede) Morotai To Sento Gaishi (North of Australia Operations Record, Supplement II, General Outline 0f the 32d Division (Kaede) Operations on Morotai) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Jul 46. pp. 25-6. (6) Statement by Lt. Col. Sato, previously cited. (7) 16th Division Report on the Wa Operation, 15 Dec 44. ADVATIS Bulletin No. 152, 15 Jan 45. (8) Airborne Raiding Unit, 2d Parachute Group. Operations Order No. 11, 28 Nov 44. ADVATIS Bulletin No. 146, 12 Jan 45. (9) Situation on Leyte, 19-20 Nov 44. X Corps ADVATIS Translation No. 39, 14 Dec 44.
177 By so November total strength, including 800 attached naval base personnel, was down to 3,350. The division staff was almost intact, but most of the company commanders and all battalion commanders and above in the infantry units, half the battalion and company commanders in the artillery, and all engineer officers had been killed. Only three infantry guns and 20 machine guns remained in the division.
178 Since no amphibious movements of enemy troops had been detected around the southern coast of Leyte, it was presumed that the force in the Caridad area had advanced from eastern Leyte over the Abuyog-Baybay road. Thirty-fifth Army had discounted the possibility of an enemy advance over this road in view of 16th Division reports to the effect that the road had been rendered impassable by road blocks and demolitions.
179 The Kaoru Detachment was organized from part of the strength of the Gi-Go Airborne Raiding Unit, a specially-trained and equipped infantry force of about company size, attached to Fourth Air Army. The Gi-Go Unit originally belonged to the 1st Raiding Unit (Cf. n. 25, Chapter XII), the bulk of which had been sent to western New Guinea and Morotai. One company remained in the Philippines and was trained for airborne operations, Fourth Air Army intending to use it on Morotai. This company was redesignated as the Gi-Go Airborne Raiding Unit.
180 The 2d Parachute Group was composed of the 3d and 4th Parachute Regiments. These regiments had been ordered to the Philippines by Imperial General Headquarters on 25 October for employment on Leyte. On 6 November, Imperial General Headquarters activated the 2d Parachute Group to command the two regiments and an air regiment assigned to provide airlift. The Group was assigned to Fourth Air Army. (Statement by Col. Hattori, previously cited.)
181 Post-war access to American documentary sources establishes that the Kaoru Detachment raid actually failed. Three of the transports overshot their targets and crash-landed in the surf at Bincay, about five miles south of Dulag, on the coast of Leyte Gulf. A fourth transport tried to land at Burauen North (Buri) Airfield but was turned back by antiaircraft fire. All detachment personnel were killed or captured.
182 Post-war access to American documentary sources reveals that these units landed on their assigned targets but were immediately engaged by elements of the enemy 11th Airborne Division and forced to withdraw from both Burauen South and San Pablo Airfields by noon of 7 December. In addition to the major airborne landings on the Burauen group of airfields, small parachute detachments were dispatched to attack the airfields at Dulag and Tacloban. The transports carrying these units, however, were unable to reach the targets due to anti-aircraft fire and never returned to base.
183 The narrative of the Ormoc battle is based on: (1) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, op. cit. Vol. II, pp. 26-33. (2) Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three op. cit. Vol. II Suppl., pp. 58, 62, 139-194 . (3) Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase Two, op. cit., pp. 95-8, 100-01, Chart XVII. (4) Outline of Operations and Lessons of the Leyte Campaign, op. Cit., pp. 92-111. (5) Daily Record of the War Situation, op. Cit., pp. 25-33. (6) Document Files, Thirty-fifth Army, op. cit. (7) Reports to the Throne by Chief of the Navy General Staff, op. cit. (8) Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 32-6, 95-5. (9) Statements of Maj. Gen. Tomochika, Lt. Col. Asaeda, and Lt. Col. Watanabe, all previously cited. (10) Field Message, Fourteenth Area Army to CG, 26th Division, 19 Nov 44. Eighth Army ADVATIS Translation No. 11, 12 Jan 45.
184 When the initial plans were formulated for the defense of Leyte, the possibility of an amphibious attack on the west coast was considered negligible since an enemy convoy would have to negotiate the treacherous and heavily mined Canigao Channel and sail close to the naval and air bases on Cebu. In mid-November, enemy PT boat activity in the Ormoc Bay area drew attention to the need of stronger shore defenses, and plans were laid for the construction of field fortifications in the foothills of the coastal range. However, since combat troops could not be spared and shipping unit personnel in Ormoc were fully engaged, little construction was ever accomplished.
185 Results claimed in these attacks were one battleship, one cruiser, two destroyers, five transports, and more than ten landing barges sunk, and eight transports damaged. (According to American sources, one destroyer, one large transport and a number of amphibious craft were damaged. The damage to amphibious shipping hampered the logistic support of the 77th Division.
186 Under a reorganization and expansion of Thirty-fifth Army headquarters, effected on 14 November, Lt. Gen. Takaji Wachi, Deputy Chief of Staff of Southern Army, replaced Maj. Gen. Tomochika as Chief of Staff of Thirty-fifth Army, Maj. Gen. Tomochika becoming Deputy Chief of Staff.
188 The 68th Brigade, commanded by Maj. Gen. Takeo Kurisu, was roughly equivalent to a regimental combat team in the American Army. The nuclear regiment was the 126th Infantry, supported by brigade artillery, engineer, signal, and medical units, aggregating (less attachments) about 5,000 men. Attached for this operation was the 380th Independent Infantry Battalion of the 58th Independent Mixed Brigade, raising the total strength to about 6,200 men. In landing at San Isidro, four ships of the 68th Brigade convoy were heavily damaged by enemy air attack and had to be grounded. The brigade got ashore but without most of its equipment, supplies and heavy guns.
189 The Ito Naval Landing Unit had been ordered under the command of the Imabori Detachment but was unable to reach the detachment positions north of Ormoc due to enemy capture of intervening territory.
190 Enemy airborne landings at points along the Talisayan-Lubi trail, carried out simultaneously with the amphibious landing on Ormoc Bay, rendered the withdrawal of the 16th and 26th Divisions doubly difficult. Remnants of the 26th Division did not reach the mountains west of Ormoc until the end of February, followed in mid-March by a handful of survivors of the 16th Division.
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