Chapter XII

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. The effectiveness of Japanese air patrols was reduced by the fact that radar equipment was still in the developmental stage. Also the shortage of planes made it impossible for the First Air Fleet to cover all sectors in its air search and patrol operations. Hito Homen Kaigun Sakusen Sono Ichi (Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part I) 2d Demobilization Bureau, Aug 47, pp. 43, 46.

3. The 201st Air Group, containing the bulk of First Air Fleet fighter strength, had displaced from Davao to Cebu between 3 and 6 September owing to the increasing frequency of raids on Davao bases by enemy land-based bombers operations from Sansapor. These raids had resulted in the destruction of a considerable number of aircraft. The 761st Air Group had moved earlier to bases at Zamboanga, on western Mindanao, and on Jolo Island, in the Sulu Archipelago. No Army air units of any importance were stationed anywhere on Mindanao at this time. (1) Ibid., p. 45. (2) Teraoka Nikki (Diary of Vice Adm. Kimpei Teraoka) First Air Fleet Commander.

4. "The 100th Division was hurriedly concentrating near Davao, but the military strength immediately available in that area in the middle of September consisted of not more than two infantry battalions. Moreover, no defense installations of any kind had been built in the vicinity." (Statement by Col. Muneichi Hattori, Chief of Staff, 100th Division.)

5. This erroneous report was evidently due to the fact that the lookout post observers, nervously expecting an enemy invasion, mistook some unusual wave contours on the horizon level at the entrance of Davao Gulf for ships and promptly reported that enemy landing craft were approaching. Philippine Naval Operations, Part I, op. cit., pp. 48-9.

6. Diary of Vice Adm. Kimpei Teraoka, op. cit.

7. Cf. Chapter XI, p. 314. Hito Sakusen Kiroku Dai Sanki Dai Nikan Furoku: Reite Sakusen Kiroku (Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, Vol. II Supplement: Leyte Operations) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Oct 46, pp. 28-9.

8. Cf. Chapter XI, p. 307.

9. In accordance with these orders which reached Menado on the night of 10 Sep, Lt. Gen. Masao Yamase, 2d Air Division commander, took his headquarters back to Bacolod. Kimitsu Sakusen Nisshi (Top Secret Operations Log) Aug-Sep 44, Fourth Air Army Staff Files: 2d Air Division Detailed Action Report, 16 Sep 44.

10. Cf. Chapter XIII, p. 338.

11. Training in skip-bombing had been under way since late August for fighter units. Basic training was scheduled to be completed in mid-September, and the flying personnel were gradually developing confidence in the new technique. However, the Cebu raids caused training to be broken off, and all units became so preoccupied with combat operations and maintenance that the program was never completed. Philippine Naval Operations, Part I, op. cit., pp. 35-6.

12. Naval vessels sunk were: 8 PT boats, 3 converted gun-boats, 1 converted minesweeper, and 1 submarine chaser.        Three torpedo boats were heavily damaged, and six others received lesser damages. Ibid., pp. 51-2.

13. Nampo Gun Sakusen Kiroku (Southern Army Operations Record) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Jul 46, pp. 143-5.

14. Col. Miyama reached Tokyo late on 18 September and laid the Southern Army recommendations before the Army Section of Imperial General Headquarters the following day. (Statement by Col. Yozo Miyama, Chief, Operations Section, Southern Army.

15. Between 6 and 14 September inclusive, enemy aircraft flew a total of 1,647 sorties against Peleliu, Koror, and Babelthuap Islands. The attacks were heaviest on 7 September, when a total of 583 sorties was recorded. Pereriu Angauru-to Sakusen no Kyokun (Lessons of the Peleliu and Angaur Operations) Imperial General Headquarters, Feb 44, pp. 4-6.

16. Naval surface bombardments were carried out on 7, 12, 13 and 14 September. Ibid., p. 5.

17. The main strength of the 14th Division, 53d Independent Mixed Brigade, and 30th Special Naval Base Force was disposed on Babelthuap and the adjacent island of Koror. Units garrisoning Peleliu were: 2d Infantry Regiment, 14th Division; one battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 14th Division; one infantry battalion, 53d Independent Mixed Brigade; 14th Division Tank Unit; 33d, 35th, and 38th Provisional Machine Cannon Units; elements, 14th Division Special Troops. Naval Units were: Headquarters, West Carolines Airfield Unit; elements, 45th Naval Garrison Unit. (1) Ibid. Attached Charts II, III, and V. (2) Chubu Taiheiyo Homen Sakusen Kiroku (Central Pacific Operations Record) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Vol. II, pp. 2-3, 98-9.

18. General narrative on the Peleliu fighting is based on Lessons of the Peleliu and Angaur Operations, op. cit.

19. Japanese units on Angaur at the time of the enemy landing were: 1st Bn. 59th Infantry Regiment, 14th Division; one battery, 59th Infantry Regimental Artillery Battalion; elements, 14th Division Special Troops. (1) Ibid., Attached Charts II and IV. (2) Central Pacific Operations Record, op. cit. Vol. II, pp. 101-3.

20. The troops on Babelthuap were powerless even to prevent Allied use of Kossol anchorage, situated just north of the main island. The Japanese expected that this anchorage would be made the main advance base of the enemy fleet for subsequent operations against the Philippines. However, a submarine reconnaissance on 7 October revealed that Ulithi Atoll, in the northwestern Carolines, had been occupied by the enemy and was being used instead of Kossol as the main advance fleet base. The Japanese had no forces on Ulithi and were unaware until this discovery that the enemy had captured the atoll.   (Statement by Capt. Toshikazu Ohmae, Staff Officer (Operations), First Mobile Fleet.)

21. Until the enemy invasion, seaplanes of the 30th Base Force and small elements of the First Air Fleet used Palau as a reconnaissance base. Stoppage of this activity meant that the Japanese now became virtually blind to enemy fleet movements in the western Carolines and Philippine Sea areas.

22. This concentration was reported to include two aircraft carriers, three battleships, eight cruisers or destroyers, and 110 transports. Gohoku Sakusen Kiroku Furoku Dai Ni: Dai Sanjuni Shidan Morotai To Sento Gaishi (North of  Australia Operations Record, Supplement 2: 32d Division Operations on Morotai) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Jul 46, p. 4.

23. These losses, suffered as a result of submarine attacks on the Take convoy, reduced the 32d Division to only five infantry battalions and one and a half artillery battalions. Cf. Chapter X, p. 252.

24. It appeared probable at this time that Second Area Army would receive neither air nor ground reinforcements for the defense of the vital northern Moluccas. The Area Army expected that the enemy's attack would be directed at Halmahera and therefore considered it necessary to concentrate the bulk of its meager troop strength on that island. (Interrogation of Lt. Gen. Takazo Numata, Chief of Staff, Second Area Army.)

25. The raiding unit (yugekitai) was a relatively new permanent-type organization established by Imperial General Headquarters as a result of the successes achieved in eastern New Guinea by provisionally-organized volunteer groups using infiltration and guerrilla tactics. Cadres for the new permanent units were trained at a special school in Tokyo under the direction of the Director of Military Intelligence, Army Section, Imperial General Headquarters. The training course covered infiltration tactics, demolition, and use of special weapons and equipment. Due to the late date at which the organization and training of such units began, their deployment to active fronts was delayed. On 15 January 1944 the 1st Raiding Unit, planned to consist of ten raiding companies, was added to the order of battle of Second Area Army, and in April and May two companies and the headquarters were ordered to Western New Guinea. Four other companies were still in process of organization in Japan, and four were to be activated by Second Area Army in the field. Although the headquarters reached Western New Guinea and was attached to Second Army, shipping difficulties held up the movement of subordinate units to such an extent that none had yet arrived by the time the enemy capture of Sansapor virtually terminated the New Guinea campaign. One company which had reached Luzon was subsequently assigned to Fourth Air Army for conversion to an airborne raiding unit, and elements on Halmahera were reorganized by Second Area Army in July as the 2d Provisional Raiding Unit, attached to the 32d Division. (1) Statements by Maj. Takenobu Kawashima, Commander, 2d Provisional Raiding Unit, and Lt. Col. Kotaro Katogawa, Staff Officer (Operations), Second Area Army.  (2) Second Army Operations Order No. A-142, 9 Jul 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1457, 20 Sep 44.

26. 32d Division Operations Order No. A-491, 20 Jul 44. ATIS Bulletin No. 1570, 9 Nov 44, p. 1.

27. Japanese units present on Morotai at the time of the enemy landing were:

2d Provisional Raiding Unit Headquarters
4 provisional raiding companies
1 plat., 11th Co., 211th Infantry Regt.
1 plat., 1st Co., 32d Engineer Regt.
Elms, 8th Field MP Unit
Elms, 36th Div. Sea Transport Unit
Elms, 26th Special Naval Base Force

(1) North of Australia Operations Record, Suppl. 2, op. cit., p.2 (2) Statement by Maj. Kawashima, previously cited. (3) Miscellaneous field orders, official files, letters, notebooks and diaries published in the following ATIS Bulletins: No. 1542, 29 Oct 44, p. 1; No. 1583, 14 Nov 44, p. 7; No. 1632, 22 Dec 44, p. 5; ADVATIS Bulletin No. 161, 18 Jan 45, p. 2.

28. General narrative of the Morotai campaign is based on the following sources: (1) Butai Ryakureki Dai Ni Yugekitai (Unit History, 2d Provisional Raiding Unit). (2) North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit, Suppl. 2, pp. 4-6. (3) Statement by Maj. Kawashima, previously cited.

29. During the period 15-19 September, the 7th Air Division flew a total of 33 sorties against the enemy at Morotai. Reported results were: 30-40 enemy landing craft sunk or damaged; one cruiser and one large transport heavily damaged. Five aircraft failed to return. The 7th Air Division continued similar small-scale night raids during the next three months, at least two of these attacks (on 22 and 30 November) doing considerable damage to enemy aircraft and installations on Doroeba airdrome. North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., pp. 24-6.

30. Unit History, 2d Provisional Raiding Unit, op. cit.

31. The battalion did not finally make contact with the 2d Raiding Unit until 20 November. Disease, starvation and casualties caused by enemy action had reduced its strength by this date to no more than 100 effectives. (Statement by Maj. Kawashima, previously cited.)

32. Up to 15 December the Japanese forces on Morotai claimed to have inflicted a total of 4,031 casualties on the enemy, in addition to the capture of substantial amounts of arms, supplies and equipment. On 1 December the Second Area Army cited the entire garrison for its exploits. North of Australia Operations Record, op. cit., pp. 20-2.

33. On 16 November the 211th Infantry Regiment (Morita Detachment successfully landed 1,900 reinforcements south of Wadjaboela. Col. Morita, the regimental commander, took command of all forces on Morotai, and raiding activity was intensified during December. After 1 January 1945, however, enemy torpedo boats tightened the blockade of the island, and it was impossible to ferry in the ammunition and rations required for a major offensive effort. Ibid., pp. 17, 23.

34. Philippine Naval Operations, Part I, op. cit., 99. 54-5.

35. Ibid., pp. 55-6.

36. Ibid., pp. 56-8.

37. Daikaishi Dai Yonhyakurokujuni-go (Imperial General Headquarters Navy Directive No. 462) 21 Sep 44.

38. Imperial General Headquarters Army and Navy Section orders required Imperial signature, whereas directives were issued in the name of the Army and Navy Chiefs of General Staff. Since the Army Section on this occasion issued an order, its issuance was delayed one day by the necessity of obtaining the Imperial signature.

39. Dairikumei Dai Senhyakusanjugo-go (Imperial General Headquarters Army Order No. 1135) 22 Sep 44.

40. Dairikumei Dai Senhyakusanjuroku-go oyobi Daisenhyakusanjuhachi-go (Imperial General Headquarters Army Orders No. 1136 and 1138) 22 Sep 44.

41. Under the Sho-Go plans, enemy task forces conducting raids prior to invasion were to be attacked only by designated air units. These units, with the exception of some army air units equipped with Type IV bombers and undergoing special training in Japan Proper, were entirely navy.   The Fourth Air Army at this time had no units equipped with Type IV bombers or trained in attacking carriers. Under the more flexible policy established by Imperial General Headquarters, Fourth Air Army units executed a number of hit-and-run raids on enemy carrier groups during the latter part of September, but no appreciable results were obtained.

42. This brought the number of stand-by reinforcement regiments to be sent to the Philippines to 11, three more than provided for in the original Sho-Go plans. In addition, the 67th Fighter-Bomber Regiment was ordered to the Philippines on 22 September for anti-submarine patrol work. (1) Dairikumei Dai Senhyakuyonju-go (I) Imperial General Headquarters Army Order No. 1140) 22 Sep 44, (2) Dairikushi Dai Nisenhyakushichijugo, Dai Nisenhyakushichijuroku, Dai Nisenhyakushijushichigo, (Imperial General Headquarters Army Directives No. 2175, 2176, 2177) 22 Sep 44.

43. Dairikumei Dai Senhyakugoju-go (Imperial General Headquarters Army Order No. 1150) 11 Oct 44. (All regiments assigned to the 30th Fighter Group were equipped with the new Type IV fighter, the only army aircraft which could engage in combat against the latest type American carrier-borne fighters on anything like even terms.)

44. The attack on Coron Bay was a complete surprise since the Navy believed that this area lay beyond the range of the enemy's carrier planes. Philippine Naval Operations, Part I, op. cit., pp. 58-9.

45. The 22d Special Naval Base Force at Balikpapan first reported that this raid was carried out by carrier aircraft. It was subsequently established, however, that the raiding planes were land-based, presumably operating from Morotai. (Statement by Comdr. Masataka Chihaya, Staff Officer (Operations), Fourth Southern Expeditionary Fleet.)

46. A minority of the Southern Army staff had held this view from the initial formulation of the Sho-Go plans. As a result of the damaging enemy air attacks during September, it gradually became the majority opinion. (Statement by Lt. Gen. Jo Iimura, Chief of Staff, Southern Army.)

47. Statement by Col. Takushiro Hattori, Chief, Operations Section, Imperial General Headquarters, Army Section.

48. Hito Sakusen Kiroku Dai Sanki Dai Ikkan Hito ni okeru Dai Juyon Homengun no Sakusen Jumbi (Philippine Operations Record, Phase Three, Vol. I: Operational Preparations of the Fourteenth Area Army in the Philippines) 1st Demobilization Bureau, Oct 46, pp. 38-43.

49. Between 0640 and 1600 four waves of enemy planes attacked, aggregating about 400 aircraft sorties. The attacks covered Okinawa, Amami Oshima, Oki Erabu, Minami Daito, Kume and Miyako Islands. Hito Homen Kaigun Sakusen Sono Ni (Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II), 2d Demobilization Bureau, Oct 47, p. 4.

50. Naval search planes established at 1540 on 10 October that two task groups were operating to the east­southeast of Okinawa, at distances of about 100 and 140 miles, respectively, from Naha. One group was reported to have a nucleus of three carriers, and the other to consist of two carriers and about ten cruisers and destroyers. Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 5.

51. Cf. Chapter XI, p. 296.

52. The Sho-Go plan provisions regarding air operations were discussed at a Combined Fleet operational conference at Kure on 22 August and again at a conference in Tokyo on 8 September, attended by Admiral Toyoda, Second Air Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Fukudome, and Vice Chief of Navy General Staff Vice Adm. Seiichi Ito. These conferences resulted in a decision that the time for initiating general attack by the naval air forces against enemy task forces must be left flexible, to be determined by the Combined Fleet on the basis of circumstances as they arose. (Diary Notes of Capt. Bunzo Shibata, Staff Officer (Operation), Second Air Fleet).

53. Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 5.

54. Ibid., pp. 5-6.

55. Original plans called for the transfer of the Second Air Fleet main strength to Formosan bases in September. Because of incomplete training, however, only a portion of this strength had moved to Formosa by 12 October.

56. These air groups were then located at Oita and Kagoshima in Kyushu, at Kure and Iwakuni in western Honshu, and at Tokushima on Shikoku. The air groups of the 4th Carrier Division completed concentration at southern Kyushu bases by the evening of 13 October, while those of the 3d Carrier Division sent off their first echelon for Okinawa early on the 15th. (1) Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, Op. Cit., p. 6. (2) Statement by Capt. Ohmae, previously cited.

57. These Army air units were assigned to the Second Air Fleet. Cf. Chapter XI, p. 308.

58. Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 6, 9.

59. Ibid., pp. 6-7, 9.

60. This was a special operation conceived by Admiral Toyoda outside the framework of the Sho-Go plans covering surface forces. As constitute for this special mission, the Second Striking Force consisted of two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and seven destroyers. After executing its mission, the force was to return to the Inland Sea and hold itself in readiness to execute the planned Sho-Go Operation for the surface forces. (Statement by Capt. Ohmae, previously cited.)

61. Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 7, 9.

62. Gunreibu Socho no Sojosho (Report to the Throne by the Chief of Navy General Staff) 16 Oct 44.

63. Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 8.

64. Ibid., pp. 9-10.

65. On the afternoon of 16 October, Combined Fleet be ready to sortie from Lingga anchorage. His plan was to throw this force against the remnants of the enemy carrier groups after further damage had been inflicted in continued attack operations by the naval air forces. Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., pp. 38-9.

66. Ibid., p. 10.

67. Imperial General Headquarters Communique, 19 Oct 44. Asabi Shimbun (Tokyo Asahi Newspaper) Tokyo, 20 Oct 44.

68. Philippine Naval Operations, Part II, op. cit., p. 10.

69. Ibid.

70. Statement by Capt. Ohmae, previously cited.

71. It had been tentatively decided at the end of September that Vice Adm. Ozawa, First Mobile Fleet commander, would go south with the carrier force as soon as the refitting of the ships and the training of the air groups were completed. These forces were to join the First Striking Force, which henceforth would operate under Vice Adm. Ozawa's direct command. This was a long-rang plan, and it was not believed that it could be carried into effect until November. For that reason, no orders were issued, and the task organization of the fleet under the Sho-Go plans remained unchanged. (1) Statement by Capt. Ohmae, previously cited. (2) United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Naval Analysis Division, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Vol. I, pp. 219-220. (Interrogation of Vice Adm. Jisaburo Ozawa.)

72. Statement by Col. Takushiro Hattori, previously cited.

Chapter XII

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