Reorganization for Victory
WITH the liberation of the Philippines and the seizure of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, U.S. forces had brought the Japanese to bay in their home islands. Already the B-29's had pierced the inner defenses of the homeland to attack the very means for waging war, and such hope as the Japanese had of maintaining their war effort was threatened by a continuing air bombardment and by a sea and air blockade that was becoming ever more tight. In the atom bomb, as events proved, the United States possessed the means to force a decision by Japan in favor of an early surrender rather than a suicidal last-ditch defense, but American planners had not been able to count upon that result. Consequently, plans for the final assault upon Japan looked to joint action by all arms, and the question of a united command became now a critical one.
The Pacific war had been fought without the aid of a united command. MacArthur's Army forces, with assistance from the Navy and the Marines, had fought their way along the upper coast of New Guinea to positions making possible the reconquest of the Philippines. Under Nimitz the Navy, assisted by Army units, had driven across the central Pacific into the Marianas and to Okinawa. As these forces came together within striking distance of the enemy's homeland, it was apparent that a continuing division of command in the face of an entrenched and fanatical enemy might add greatly to the cost of a final victory. The unique arrangements for command of the B-29's further complicated the problem.
Strategy and Command
The idea of a united command for the Pacific was not new. After an inspection trip to the South Pacific in the fall of 1942, General Arnold
had been convinced that there should be only one Allied leader for Pacific Operations.1 And on the eve of the SEXTANT conference of November 1943, Admiral King had suggested that the JCS approach the British regarding the designation of a supreme commander, but the command of OVERLORD was yet to be settled and Admiral Leahy pointed out that the British government could hardly agree to an American supreme commander both in Europe and the Pacific.2 The Army seems to have been reluctant thereafter to challenge the Navy's assertion that its interest in the Pacific was paramount lest it get a decision which would make more difficult its own problem of dealing with MacArthur; the Navy perhaps knew some reluctance, lest the decision give it a supreme commander in the person of MacArthur. And so the war had continued under the divided command of MacArthur and Nimitz, with overlapping lines of communication, overlapping air operations, and overlapping sea operations.
As usual the problem of command was intimately joined to that of strategy. By September 1944 the hope of an early victory in Europe was well enough grounded to permit the CCS to include seizure of "objectives in the industrial heart of Japan" in the official statement of the Allied mission in the Pacific.3 This meant, of course, the Tokyo area, but even after the decision to bypass Formosa and take the Ryukyus and Iwo Jima, Washington planners were uncertain as to the best approach to that objective. The difficulties resulting from inadequate air preparation for the Leyte landing convinced them that the approach to Tokyo must afford good bases for preparatory air bombardment.4 Hokkaido, Kyushu, Korea, and China could be used as supporting bases, but the last two areas would require major land battles to win the bases. Because of weather, Kyushu, the best supporting air-base area, could not be safely invaded until September 1945; the weather at Hokkaido, on the other hand, would be best in May.5 Although the latter had climate and terrain which were less satisfactory than Kyushu's and was out of the general line of attack fixed by previous operations, AAF planners argued that plans for its seizure as an intermediate step between the Ryukyus and Kyushu should not be discarded; the operation promised an additional advantage should Russia enter the war and render her supply lines from the U.S. vulnerable.6 Admiral King also believed other operations would be needed after the seizure of the Ryukyus and before Kyushu: he advocated taking the Chusan archipelago, located in Chinese
coastal waters south of Hangchow and Shanghai, to secure bases for a more effective blockade of Japan.7 To this end, Nimitz sent in a plan, with target dates between 20 August and 15 September, even though he professed his inability to consolidate the Ryukyus without redeployed forces from Europe.8 On 17 January 1945 the JCS could agree on no more than a directive for Nimitz to proceed with the Ryukyus invasion, leaving Chusan for future consideration.9
Whatever the ultimate decision on strategy, there was no escape from the problem of command; indeed, the delay in reaching a decision on strategy was obviously related to the continuing uncertainty as to leadership. If it were assumed that leadership in the assault on Japan properly fell to Nimitz because all of the Pacific north of the Philippines lay in his theater, there remained the question of what to do with MacArthur's combat-seasoned troops, who would have no mission after the conquest of the Philippines and whose record was one of maximum achievement with minimum loss. They might of course be transferred to Nimitz, but such a transfer without MacArthur made little sense; and to suggest the inclusion of MacArthur in the transfer was to face again the question of command, for that question rarely can be considered apart from the personalities involved. Suggestions that MacArthur might be employed in the capture of Hainan, leaving Nimitz to depend chiefly upon ground forces redeployed from Europe, met with the former's opinion that Hainan offered no opportunity of real military significance.10 In MacArthur's opinion, moreover, it was unthinkable that an admiral, or some inexperienced general under an admiral, should command forty or fifty divisions in an invasion of Japan. Not only would it be "trifling with American lives," but it would jeopardize the future of the U.S. Army.11
To General Arnold the problem was intimately joined with the need to strengthen the organization of AAF units in the Pacific. For him and his staff the position of the seven different air forces engaged in the war with Japan--the Fifth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Twentieth--had long been a source of frustration12 and by the fall of 1944 the shrinking perimeter from which air assaults in ever mounting weight were being launched against the enemy had accentuated already difficult problems of operational and logistical control. With the imminent deployment to the Pacific of
much of the vast AAF resources assembled in Europe, reorganization had become an urgent necessity.
Arnold felt that the answer to the over-all problem lay in the appointment of a supreme commander, with coequal status for his air, ground, and naval subordinates-an arrangement which would permit consolidated control of all AAF units in the Pacific by the top air commander. This solution was one for which Arnold long had struggled in Europe. There his hope of bringing under one air command all air forces engaged in the war with Germany had been frustrated, but he at least had gained a single headquarters controlling all AAF strategic operations in Europe and holding administrative authority over all AAF units in the United Kingdom.* If this headquarters only in part realized Arnold's hope for a command structure fully geared to his conception of the flexibility of air power, it was nevertheless a step in the right direction and a precedent that might prove helpful in the Pacific.
In the absence of any immediate prospect that a supreme commander for the Japanese war would be designated, Arnold on 27 October 1944 urged Marshall to appoint one air commander to coordinate all strategic bombing of Japan.13 Such a commander necessarily would enjoy a status comparable to that of ranking ground and naval commanders, and his appointment might in itself serve as a step toward placing all forces--air, naval, and ground--under one supreme theater command.14 That the experience gained in Europe served in some measure to suggest this idea and to provide an argument for its adoption is shown in a Spaatz memorandum of early November.15 This recommended the designation of a "Commanding General, United States Army Air Forces in Pacific and Far East" who would then be responsible directly to the Commanding General, AAF. As Arnold's deputy, this new commander would have not only direct command of the Twentieth Air Force but all heavy bomber units in the Pacific, China, and India, together with supporting fighter and service units. Tactical air forces would remain under the operational control of the several task force and theater commands, but administrative control of all air units--that is, training, the determination of
operational techniques, and the control of all AAF supply items--would be centralized under the new strategic air command. Army commanders would provide only such items of supply as were common to all Army units. In short, though there might continue to be several different air forces with distinct missions, they would be subordinate in vital ways to an over-all air command whose operational mission was to be considered paramount.
In an attempt to adapt these proposals to the hard facts of the situation in the Pacific, Maj. Gen. Laurence S. Kuter (AC/AS, Plans) proposed that all land-based aircraft committed to the strategic air offensive against Japan be assigned to the Twentieth Air Force.16 Maj. Gen. John E. Hull of OPD rejected the proposal on the ground that it was not calculated to meet theater approval, although his objection also seems to have been based on the fear that agreement might perpetuate current methods for control of B-29 operations against Japan. "Command of great masses of airplanes from Washington," he advised Arnold, "is no more justified than would be the command of the Pacific Fleets by Admiral King from Constitution Avenue, or General Marshall's attempting to fight the ground battles of the Pacific from the Pentagon."17 Hull also suggested that since carrier-based aircraft might be effective against certain strategic targets, they might be given a role comparable to that of the RAF in the Combined Bomber Offensive against Germany.
As the discussions between OPD and Kuter continued, the latter on 12 December 1944 reported agreement on the need for one commander of all land-based aircraft engaged in the strategic bombardment of Japan and for close coordination of land- and carrier-based strikes. But it was recognized that the proposal "would arouse strenuous objections by all the theater or force commanders" in the Pacific. An"educational requirement" made necessary a plan to attain the objective "by successive steps in the development of air command in the Pacific"; nothing should be done to jeopardize Marshall's effort to straighten out command problems between the Army and Navy. Although Kuter and OPD would continue to outline proposals for the air organization, the paper was not to be presented to the Navy until the larger question of Pacific command had been settled.18
If the AAF effort to secure one air commander coequal with Army and Navy leaders had been thus temporarily stalled, it also had served
perhaps to suggest a way out of the MacArthur-Nimitz debate. On 21 December Marshall informally proposed to King a functional division of responsibility, with all Army resources in POA and SWPA to be placed under MacArthur and all naval resources under Nimitz.19 MacArthur already had agreed that such a division, depending upon cooperation between the two services, might be better than the elevation of either himself or Nimitz to supreme command.20 Arnold, who continued to believe that a supreme commander with three coequal subordinates was the only proper solution,21 later speculated that MacArthur was convinced the Navy would find some way to escape the control of any unified command.22 Marshall's proposal had come in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge, which destroyed all hope of early redeployment from Europe to the Pacific; indeed, two divisions already committed to the Pacific were ordered to ETO instead,23 and it was clear that Pacific questions for the time must be given a position of secondary importance.
Not until late February 1945 did Marshall make a formal proposal for a functional division of command responsibilities in the Pacific. Arnold agreed but insisted on continued independence for the Twentieth Air Force.24 Admiral King, who found it "impracticable to separate command questions from the operations," responded on 8 March, conceding Army command of operations against Japan but keeping the Chusan area on the China coast as an immediate objective to be seized under a Navy command.25 His proposal maintained all geographical divisions theretofore recognized and added the Japanese Area. The commander in this area, in addition to leading the final assault, would have "administrative and logistical responsibility" for all Army forces in the Pacific, less those in the Southeast Pacific Area. Similarly, CINCPAC-CINCPOA would have command of all Pacific naval forces, less those in the Southeast Pacific Area. The commander in the Japanese Area would be charged to allocate necessary Army forces to POA and SWPA; and while the latter completed the conquest of the Philippines and North Borneo, the former would plan for the landings at Chusan and other operations necessary to keep open a sea route to La PCrouse Strait against Russia's entry into the war. In sum, the Army would gain control of all its Pacific resources and the promise of leadership in the final assault on the Japanese home islands; the Navy would have first claim on those and other resources
for its Chusan operations. Such, at any rate, seems to be a fair reading of what General Hull aptly described as a remarkably complex proposal.26
Between 10 and 16 March the Joint Planning Staff sat in daily sessions, only to send the two proposals back to the JCS with the ambiguous comment that either of them must be considered an improvement over past practice.27 The Navy planner had twice tried to get agreement on a draft directive for operations, leaving command to further consideration, and he had repeatedly insisted that existing logistic organization not be disturbed.28 The Navy planners argued that an advanced naval base at Chusan might be needed to support the Kyushu attack and that air bases there would be needed to interdict Japanese communications with the mainland.29 A little later, the Navy talked of a new line of strategy through the Yellow Sea, with Chusan, the Shantung Peninsula, Korea, Quelpart Island, and Tsushima Island mentioned as objectives that might be taken to isolate Japan.30 Finally, on 20 March King presented a new draft command directive dropping the commander of the Japanese Area and proposing a Commander in Chief, Army Forces in the Pacific (CINCAFPAC) to (6 coordinate the administration and logistical support" of all Army forces in the Pacific, through existing area commanders, and to assume operational command of the Japanese invasion. King suggested that if such a command decision was not acceptable, the JCS should nevertheless issue a directive for immediate operations without further delay.31
Whether President Roosevelt broke the impasse is not clear, but he did send word by Kenney on 20 March to MacArthur that he would "have a lot of work to do well to the north of the Philippines before very long.32 On 29 March OPD drafted a message to MacArthur indicating substantial approval of the Marshall proposal,33 and on 3 April the JCS approved Marshall's draft directive as emended by General Hull and Admiral Cooke.34 By this directive MacArthur was designated Commander in Chief, Army Forces in the Pacific, with control of all Army resources in the Pacific theater, less those in the southeast Pacific and in the Alaskan Department; all naval resources in the Pacific (less those in the Southeast Pacific Area) were placed under Nimitz. The JCS would normally charge CINCAFPAC with land campaigns and CINCPAC with sea campaigns, and any exchange of units between these two was to be by mutual agreement. The
Twentieth Air Force, for the present, was to continue under JCS control. The accompanying operational directive instructed Nimitz to complete the Ryukyus operation, maintain sea communications with the western Pacific, continue planning for a Chusan operation, plan to keep open a sea route to La Pérouse Strait, provide naval forces to support CINCSWPA, and plan for the naval and amphibious phases of the invasion of Japan. MacArthur was to complete the liberation of the Philippines, plan to occupy North Borneo with Australian troops, provide Army forces needed by Nimitz, and make plans for the campaign in Japan. The Twentieth Air Force was to cooperate with both commanders.35
MacArthur promptly assumed command as CINCAFPAC. U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, it was decided, would be retained as a legal fiction for the time being, and U.S. Army Services of Supply, MacArthur's former logistical headquarters, was discontinued: the functions of both were absorbed in a new headquarters, U.S. Army Forces, Western Pacific (AFWSPAC). USAFPOA was discontinued and replaced by U.S. Army Forces, Middle Pacific (AFMIDPAC). FEAF, presumably with Kenney at its head, was to continue to serve as MacArthur's air command; for AAFPOA headquarters he had no use.36 This reorganization assumed that SWPA ultimately would be dissolved, with all territory south of the Philippines, except for the U.S. fleet base in the Admiralties, going to the Southeast Asia Command. Although the JCS shared MacArthur's hope that this transfer might be effected on or about 15 August 1945, Lord Mountbatten was hesitant to accept the responsibility prior to the capture of Singapore. Discussion continued but the transfer had not been completed at the time of the Japanese surrender.37
With the question of the over-all command settled, AC/AS, Plans, during April restudied the issue of a Pacific air command. Kuter now recommended establishment of the United States Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (USASTAF) ,to consist initially of the combat and service units assigned to the Twentieth Air Force, together with all other elements of the AAF formerly assigned to AAFPOA, excepting the Seventh Air Force and those units assigned to theater commanders for defensive purposes or for operations against bypassed islands. The commander of USASTAF was to be charged with broad administrative and logistical responsibilities for AAF forces assigned to him as well as for all AAF units in his air-base area.38 To prepare
for the activation of the new command by 1 July 1945, Lt. Gen. Barney M. Giles, AAF deputy commander, was appointed commanding general of AAFPOA and deputy commander of the Twentieth Air Force.39 Giles departed for the Pacific on 1 May and was joined later in the month by Kuter, who had been named as Giles' deputy.40 Giles had been told by Arnold that his new assignment would include neither administrative nor operational control of the B-29 forces and that LeMay was to be acting deputy commander of the Twentieth Air Force.41 Yet Giles was named as deputy commander; on 5 May Norstad told LeMay that, while the plan was not firm, it was expected that Giles would take over operational control of both XX and XXI Bomber Commands.42 In the end it was belatedly decided to move Spaatz to the Pacific. After a visit with Arnold in Italy on 27 April, Spaatz wrote Eaker, who had succeeded Giles as deputy commander of the AAF, that Arnold seemed convinced that a setup similar to USSTAF in Europe was the logical one, with MacArthur having administrative control of the Twentieth Air Force, with strategic directives issued by the JCS through Arnold, and with MacArthur having full call on the strategic forces whenever the tactical situation required it.43 Spaatz added that this, "in my opinion, is the best present solution," but there was no indication that he had any thought that he himself might be designated for the new command. A letter of the same date from Eaker to Spaatz indicated that he was scheduled to return to the United States about 1 July to assume command of the new Continental Air Force.44
Arnold's decision to name Spaatz to the command of USASTAF was announced in a letter dated 21 May and delivered to Spaatz in England by Robert A. Lovett, Assistant Secretary of War for Air.45 After explaining the discussions which had taken place since their recent conversation in Italy, Arnold wrote:
My present thought is that we should form the same set-up in the Pacific which was so successful in Europe--the Eighth Air Force with 720 B-29's operating out of the Okinawa Area under Doolittle, and the Twentieth Air Force, perhaps under Twining's eventual command, operating out of the Marianas with 720 B-29's, and an overall USSTAF command, coordinating with MacArthur and Nimitz on the strategic and logistic side. . . . [As for command of USASTAF,] I have come to the conclusion that we have nobody for the job except yourself. I do not believe that Giles has the combat experience to justify our putting him over Doolittle and Twining, with their long and successful
experience in the European war. Also, I believe we need somebody who can work more nearly on-parity and have more influence with MacArthur and Nimitz. . . . I can see nobody else who has the chance to save for us a proper representation in the air war in the Pacific, and who can assure that we will have bases from which we can launch and express a proper scale of air effort against the Japs.
Following a conference with Giles, MacArthur had on 14 May announced his own plans for the realignment of Army Air Forces in the Pacific.46 Throughout the preceding month staff consultations had continued on the knotty problems involved in the exchange of forces and responsibilities between MacArthur and Nimitz. Although many hitches had developed and there were charges of bad faith, agreement on the reassignment of air force units had come with relative ease. At Guam in mid-April Kenney made detailed proposals for moving the Fifth Air Force to Okinawa, and Navy spokesmen promptly accepted.47 It was subsequently agreed that all Seventh Air Force units, except for a small force left to defend Hawaii and for the VII Fighter Command units on Iwo Jima needed for the B-29 campaign, would be transferred to Okinawa and be assigned to FEAF. Fighter units at Iwo would be assigned to the Twentieth Air Force. At Manila on 16 May, Nimitz' representatives agreed to press necessary airfield construction in the Ryukyus on the assurance that MacArthur would provide substantial engineering assistance. AFPAC units on Okinawa were to be supplied by MacArthur except for petroleum products, which Nimitz promised to provide.48 A reinforced FEAF, cut clear of its responsibilities for the rear areas, was soon to be in position to assume a major role in the air bombardment of the Japanese home islands.
At the close of April the Joint Planning Staff, after discussions which were at times almost reduced to haggling, had discounted the idea of encircling Japan.49 Admiral King then promptly proposed on 30 April the issuance of a directive for an air-land-sea assault on Kyushu, southernmost of Japan's home islands.50 On the joint planning level the debate on the implications of parity between MacArthur and Nimitz continued; the Navy argued that in any amphibious assault Nimitz should carry the chief responsibility up to the actual lodgment of ground forces ashore; Army and AAF representatives adamantly insisted that the primary responsibility for the planning of such an assault belonged to MacArthur.51 At the level of the Joint Chiefs, King could not agree "that the control of any part of the
amphibious phase of the operation, including the amphibious assault," should be under the control of MacArthur.52 General Marshall feared a dangerous division of control, and bluntly demanded that the JCS assign a primary command responsibility.53
Finally, on 25 May, the JCS spelled out a directive for the landing on Kyushu (OLYMPIC) with a target date of 1 November 1945.54 For this landing MacArthur was assigned the "primary responsibility," which included control of the actual amphibious assault through appropriate naval commanders, but he was directed to "cooperate" with Nimitz in planning the amphibious phase of the operation. For this phase Nimitz was charged with the responsibility, and he would "correlate" his plans with MacArthur. The Twentieth Air Force would "cooperate" in the execution of OLYMPIC and might be placed under the "direction" of either Nimitz or MacArthur for the support of their operations. Like all compromises, the actual interpretation of the agreement would depend much upon circumstances and the personalities of key commanders, but the directive also specified: "The land campaign and requirements . . . are primary in the OLYMPIC operation. Account of this will be taken in the preparation, coordination and execution of plans."
Once the problem of the high command had been settled, General Arnold was at last able to bring his plans for USASTAF to the attention of the Joint Chiefs. On 26 May he requested JCS approval for the movement of Twentieth Air Force Headquarters from Washington to Guam, effective 1 July, and its simultaneous redesignation as the U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces with Spaatz in command and with two strategic air forces operating under its control. The XX Bomber Command units, deployed to the Ryukyus, were to be assigned to the Eighth Air Force, and XXI Bomber Command was to become the Twentieth Air Force. This much of Arnold's proposition met no real challenge in JCS discussions, but then he stated that "due to the growth and continuing expansion of this air force [USASTAF] I consider that it is no longer practicable for a force of this magnitude to depend on other commanders for complete administration and logistical support." He expected General Spaatz to command USASTAF as he had USSTAF in Europe.55 Admiral Leahy viewed Arnold's proposal as a violation of the principle of unity of command,
* Because of a possible compromise of the code name through its publication in a restricted document, MAJESTIC was substituted for OLYMPIC on 9 August 1945.
arguing that it was "essential to efficiency" that USASTAF be subordinated to Brig. Gen. Lauris Norstad, the MacArthur;56 new AC/AS, Plans, countered that the very coequal status of Nimitz and MacArthur obviated considerations of command unity,57 General Lincoln of OPD thought that Arnold's bold statement should be watered down to note that "a review of the adequacy of existing administrative and logistical support arrangements is in order.".58 Unable to secure approval for his proposed directive at a JCS meeting on 29 May, General Arnold withdrew the whole paper.59
After additional thought, the JCS on 1 June sent out a message detailing the proposed air force reorganization, with the observation that the command reorganization will enable COMGENUSASTAF to present to CINCAFPAC and CINCPAC his requirements so that adjustments necessary to meet changing conditions will whenever possible be made in the Pacific." At Admiral King's insistence, Nimitz and MacArthur were invited to comment on the reorganization.60 Nimitz quickly radioed his concurrence,61 but MacArthur objected. He insisted that all land-based air forces be put under a singIe commander--who obviously would fall under his own control.62 It was suspected that MacArthur's objection was to Spaatz rather than to the proposed organization, and that the objection had been entered for the protection of Kenney and as a safeguard against the development of an over-all air command independent of AFPAC.63 MacArthur's nonconcurrence, however, prompted Admiral King to propose that the Twentieth Air Force be transferred to the theater without redesignation and that existing arrangements and directives should continue in force. He now suggested that Nimitz might even have a "continuing requirement" for Headquarters, AAFPOA, to control such AAF units as might be assigned to him.64 To clear up MacArthur's objections and other questions, on 8 June Arnold left for the Pacific, where he conferred with Nimitz, MacArthur, and other key commanders.65
Back in Washington, Arnold, on 2 July, secured general JCS agreement to the organization of USASTAF, and by 10 July a compromise had been reached.66 The directive provided that the new command consist initially of the combat and service units currently assigned to or operating with the Twentieth Air Force, the headquarters and headquarters squadron of the Eighth Air Force, and other elements to be agreed upon mutually by USASTAF, CINCAFPAC,
and CINCPAC or to be assigned by higher authority. USASTAF was charged with the conduct of land-based strategic air operations against Japan "with the object of accomplishing the progressive destruction and dislocation of Japan's military, industrial, and economic systems to a point where her capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened." Coordination of this effort with strategic bombing by the land-based aircraft of CINCAFPAC and by the carrier-based aircraft of CINCPAC was to be effected through directives issued by the JCS, with Arnold acting as executive agent. USASTAF was further directed to cooperate with MacArthur and Nimitz in the preparation and execution of their plans for the final defeat of Japan. Internal administration and internal logistical support of all its forces was the responsibility of USASTAF, but MacArthur and Nimitz were charged with responsibility for meeting USASTAF's needs. A headquarters was to be designated to discharge the functions of AAFPOA which did not pass to USASTAF, and the transfer of AAFPOA functions was to be effected by mutual agreement between USASTAF, CINCAFPAC, and CINCPAC. Finally, all agreements and directives of the Twentieth Air Force were to be binding on USASTAF until changed. Implementing the JCS directive, a War Department letter of 12 July delineated the necessary changes in organization, to be effective on 16 July.67 Headquarters redesignations were to be undertaken as planned, USASTAF would absorb the personnel of AAFPOA, and a division of the bulk allotment of personnel and service units between USASTAF and CINCAFPAC was to be effected by agreement with AFMIDPAC.
The unique experiment in air command represented by the original Twentieth Air Force was thus scheduled for an early termination. That experiment had been undertaken in part because of the extraordinary complexity which characterized the command of U.S. forces engaged in the war with Japan,* and it had made its own contribution toward rendering the command structure even more complex. If Arnold had been primarily responsible for this last development, he had also been the leading advocate of a single supreme commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific. In the effort to win approval for this principle he had failed: under the new arrangement there would not even be unified control of all air forces. But there was logic in the arrangement, for FEAF now combined the three air forces which
* See above, p.35.
would carry the main burden of tactical operations in support of the Japanese invasion, and USASTAF incorporated the forces for an expanding strategic bombardment designed to render that invasion unnecessary. Moreover, Kenney was the AAF's most experienced and distinguished leader in the Pacific war, and Spaatz, fresh from the victory in Europe, enjoyed an unequaled prestige in the field of strategic bombardment.
Preparations for OLYMPIC
While the decision on command was pending, MacArthur's staff, in consultation with Nimitz' representatives, made plans for the invasion of Japan. On 28 May, three days after receipt of the JCS directive, MacArthur issued a strategic outline which contemplated invasion of southern Kyushu (OLYMPIC) on 1 November 1945 and of Honshu (CORONET) on 1 March 1946.68 The two operations were to be continued and extended until organized resistance in the Japanese archipelago was ended.Although CORONET would depend heavily on forces redeployed from Europe, MacArthur planned to undertake OLYMPIC with forces already in the Pacific--chiefly those of his veteran Sixth Army. On D-day, Marine V Amphibious Corps was to land near Kushikino on the southwestern peninsula, Army XI Corps in Ariake Bay, and Army I Corps near Miyazalti on the east coast of Kyushu. The Twentieth Air Force, based in the Marianas and Ryukyus, was to continue its destruction of Japanese industrial power. Carrier air forces, starting at the earliest practicable date, were to make repeated attacks into critical areas of the archipelago to destroy hostile naval and air forces, interrupt land and sea communications, and attack strategic targets in cooperation with the Twentieth Air Force. Land-based air power in the Ryukyus was to neutralize hostile air forces in the Japanese islands and on the Asiatic mainland, interrupt and destroy shipping between Japan and the mainland, shatter communications, isolate southern Kyushu, and reduce defensive installations in the objective area.69
The Pacific Fleet staff study on OLYMPIC, dated 18 June, threatened to reopen the command controversy. MacArthur specifically disagreed with the statement: "When the Commanding General Expeditionary Troops . . . assumes command of the ground forces established ashore he will report to CINCAFPAC who then assumes
command and responsibilities for the campaign in Japan." MacArthur announced that he intended to accompany the ground troops and meant to exercise control, as required, of the actual amphibious assault.70 More immediate, however, was the problem of coordinating air operations against Japan. MacArthur proposed that the 135th meridian be used to divide the responsibilities of carrier planes and of FEAF, with the latter taking the area west of that line. Thus it would have been FEAF's sole responsibility to soften up Kyushu, although both Army and Navy planes might, with proper coordination, go after targets across the line. The Twentieth Air Force could operate in both sectors provided proper coordination had been made. In Nimitz' staff study, however, MacArthur discovered strong implications that the Navy wished to restrict AAF operations against shipping and to limit Army planes to land targets, a suggestion dismissed by Arnold as "one hell of a way to run a war."71 Nimitz denied such an intent, but he insisted that his carriers must be free to cross into the Philippine, the East China, the Japan, and possibly the Yellow seas.72 The Twentieth Air Force also thought the area restrictions cumbersome.73 After USASTAF's establishment,* a conference at Manila on 1 August accepted most of MacArthur's ideas. The dividing line ran from Kinosaki on the north coast of Honshu southward through Himeji to the easternmost point of Shikoku, and USASTAF was to coordinate attacks against strategic targets. FEAF and carrier air generally were to attack tactical targets, and in an emergency any of the forces might hit a target without regard to location, informing the other forces as quickly as possible. After D minus 8, naval aircraft were to be employed primarily against targets in the area of amphibious assault, while FEAF was to operate outside this area and west of the dividing line.74 MacArthur, still not quite satisfied, wanted the Navy made responsible for air defense of the objective area but with the understanding that FEAF aircraft might be employed in the area on strikes managed by a naval commander after D minus 8 if needed.75 As early as September 1944, General Whitehead had seen the strategic importance of the Ryukyus for an air campaign against Japan, and by the following February FEAF planners had worked out a study to determine what FEAF units could be based on Okinawa.76 Both Kenney and Whitehead believed that the enemy might be whipped without redeployment from Europe if only, as Whitehead
* See below, p. 700.
put it in a letter to Kenney of 8 April 1945,"we keep crowding him." Whitehead did not believe that the Japanese could be defeated solely by B-29 raids on their cities, nor did he believe that carrier air could effectively sever Japanese sea lanes to the mainland of Asia or prepare adequately for an invasion of Kyushu. The most efficient instrument for the pre-invasion aerial offensive against Japan would be land-based air power concentrated in the Ryukyus. "I naturally believe," he added, "that the Fifth Air Force is the best equipped and best trained air force in the world to accomplish this job."77
Invasion of the Ryukyus, however, was a POA task, and the first land-based air units installed there would be Marine and Seventh Air Force organizations. The capture of Japanese airfields enjoyed high priority, and when the attack on Okinawa lagged shortly after the landings on 1 April, the seizure of nearby Ie Shima, desirable because of its three Japanese airstrips, was accelerated. A division landing at Ie on 16 April took this "most valuable eleven square miles of land in the western Pacific" in a six-day battle. Complete possession of Okinawa was delayed until late June,78 and planes for tactical support of the ground campaign had first claim on captured Japanese air facilities. POA engineers found the Okinawa airfields both lightly surfaced and badly damaged. Although Yontan, one of the major fields, had virtually been destroyed by naval bombardment, hurried grading permitted Marine fighters to base there on 7 April. At Kadena the problem was even greater: coral to augment the thin Japanese surfacing could be had only after a difficult haul. But again the aviation engineers were most efficient: a strip was ready for dry-weather use in two days, and by 1 May, despite continuous bombing, strafing, and shelling, the engineers had it in all-weather operational condition. By 30 April the surface of the Japanese strips on Ie Shima had been restored and extensive mine fields removed. By 12 May an all-weather strip was ready there, and the following month two all-weather strips with crowded parking for over 450 planes were operational.79
Original plans had called for eight airstrips on Okinawa and two on Ie Shima, with additional airdrome areas to be taken on Miyako Island as a third-phase operation. On 9 April, however, the Tenth Army reported excellent sites for VHB bases on Okinawa, and with JCS approval the Miyako operation was suspended on 26 April,80 Sites for twenty-two runways on Okinawa and Ie Shima were found by the Fifth Air Force engineer, who warned that topographical conditions
would require half again as much construction effort as usually was employed in SWPA to build standard airfields.81 By an agreement between Nimitz and MacArthur on 16 May, fields in the Ryukyus were to be developed for fifty-one air groups, including twenty-nine Fifth and Thirteenth Air Force groups which would move forward as soon as facilities were ready;82 on 4 June eleven airstrips were committed to FEAF, six to B-29 groups, and three to Navy and Marine units. An air depot was to be built at Naha for joint use by FEAF and the redeployed Eighth Air Force. After further reconnaissance of the island, FEAF agreed to reduce its pre-OLYMPIC air group objective for the Ryukyus to twenty-one and three-fourths groups.83
To build so many airfields in so short a time required the largest aviation engineering project ever attempted. There were to be some twenty-five miles of paved airstrips, while the hardstands, taxiways, and service aprons would require a paved area equal to 400 miles of a two-lane highway. Some five and a half million truckloads of coral and earth would have to be moved. And there were the usual difficulties: heavy rains at the end of May forced suspension of airfield work until mid-June, while engineer units kept roads open for the Tenth Army; by 22 June, moreover, only 31,400 of 80,000 scheduled construction troops had reached Okinawa.84 After Arnold interceded with Nimitz on this point, aviation engineer shipments were accelerated, including the eight battalions which AFPAC was moving forward, and on 11 July Kenney could write Arnold that new fields were "appearing like magic and construction is going on faster than I have ever seen it before."85 Transfer of the Ryukyus to MacArthur on 31 July was managed without delaying the-works program; AFPAC merely redesignated the island command as AFWESPAC's Army Service Command I without other reorganization.86 Construction agencies were also allowed wide freedom of action.87 Hardstands at Machinato airdrome, for example, were reduced in number and increased in size to accommodate planes at an earlier date.88 By 6 August, six of the new airfields were operational and most projects were due to be completed by mid-October.89
Marine, Navy, and Seventh Air Force tactical units had moved into the Ryukyus as quickly as enemy airfields could be made ready. The Tenth Army Tactical Air Force (Task Group 99.2), which was headed by a Marine air general, exercised operational control of all tactical air units. Its principal components were the Air Defense
Command, Okinawa (Task Unit 99.2. 1) , the bomber command (Task Unit 99.2.2), and the photo unit (Task Unit 99.2.5). The Air Defense Command, also under a Marine, controlled, in addition to the 2d Marine Air Wing's Groups 14, 22, 31, and 33, the 301st Fighter Wing, whose 318th Group came up from the Marianas and whose 41 3th and 507th Groups arrived at Ie Shima fresh from the U.S. during May and June. The bomber command, under Col. Lawrence J. Carr, was actually VII Bomber Command: it comprised the 11th (B-24) and 41st (B-25) Bombardment Groups, redeployed from the Marianas, and the 494th (B-24) from the Palaus; all three groups went into action during the first ten days of July. The last unit of VII Bomber Command to reach Okinawa was the 319th Bombardment Group, a medium bomber unit redeployed from Italy; re-equipped in the U.S. with new A-26's, the 319th flew its first mission from Okinawa on 16 July. The fighters could be crowded into Ie Shima, but it was much more difficult to base the bombers. The 41st and 319th Bombardment Groups used Kadena strip, a future B-29 field, until Machinato could be captured and repaired. The heavy bombers based at Yontan, while Marine fighter groups shared both Yontan and Kadena until they could move to their new bases at Chimu and Awase. The photo unit's principal organization, the 28th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, began arriving at Ie Shima from Oahu on 23 April.90
Convinced that "speed is important" and suspecting that Nimitz might attempt to monopolize airdrome space for short-range defense planes.91 General Whitehead had planned to rush his Fifth Air Force planes forward as soon as he could find space for them. Brig. Gen. D. W. Hutchison opened the 308th Bombardment Wing Headquarters at Okinawa on 15 June, and simultaneously was recognized as Commanding General, Advon, FEAF.92 A stream of radiograms alerted units in the Philippines, and by 2 July the 35th Fighter Group was at Yontan with seventy-seven P-51's, after a movement so speedily managed that Nimitz did not learn of it until Hutchison filed intent for a second fighter sweep to Kyushu.93 After this initial sprint, however, Whitehead insisted that aircrews not move forward until some sort of ground echelon was in place.94 Although this policy slowed the northward movement of combat units, by the end of the war four Fifth Air Force fighter groups and two night fighter squadrons had begun operations from the Ryukyus--the 35th Fighter Group on 3 July, the 348th Fighter Group on 14 July, the 58th Fighter Group
and 418th Night Fighter Squadron on 28 July, the 421st Night Fighter Squadron on 8 August, and the 8th Fighter Group on 10 August, Like those of the Seventh Air Force, these units operated from improvised airfields, often flying from runways which were still under construction. The 35th and 58th Fighter Groups camped near Machinato airdrome, which was not usable until 15 August; the 35th flew from Yontan and the 58th from Kadena and Bolo; the 348th and 8th Fighter Groups operated from Ie Shima.95
Since AFPAC had agreed to perform the aerial photography needed by the ground troops for the Japanese campaign,96 movement of the 91st Reconnaissance Wing and its units into the Ryukyus was expedited in July and August.97 By the end of July, the 38th and 345th Bombardment Groups (L) and the 43d Bombardment Group (H) were flying from Ie Shima; 101 B-24's of the 22d, 90th, and 380th Bombardment Groups reached Okinawa on 23 July, but when movement of the water echelons of these groups dragged on into August, flight crews had to operate as best they could without proper maintenance. The short and uphill strip used by the bombers on Ie Shima added to the difficulties of the aircrews. The 386th Bombardment Squadron flew its new B-32's from Yontan strip during the last several days of the war.98
On 14 July, most of its tactical units having reached Okinawa, the Seventh Air Force was formally transferred to FEAF.99 Under a new commander versed in SWPA air operations, Brig. Gen. Thomas D. White, the Seventh for the first time was to operate as an integrated air force under AAF leadership.100 Even though VII Fighter Command came to FEAF in name only, the Seventh Air Force did get some fighters: by prior agreement the 301st Fighter Wing was attached to it.101 FEAF also assigned the 373d Bombardment Squadron, a B-24 "snooper" unit transferred from China, to the Seventh Air Force and the 494th Bombardment Group on 22 July.102 After the Tenth Army Tactical Air Force was dissolved on 14 July, Nimitz passed responsibility for air defense of the Ryukyus to Task Group 99.2, now limited to units of the 2d Marine Air Wing.103 On 31 July, when MacArthur took control of the Ryukyus, these air defense units and their function passed to FEAF and thence to the Seventh Air Force. By this reorganization the Seventh Air Force, long accustomed to operating under the control of Navy and Marine air commanders, found itself operating a number of Marine tactical units.104
To effect tactical coordination of the air units in the Ryukyus, General Whitehead assumed command of Advon, FEAF, on 16 July105 and thereafter made himself general manager of the air war from Okinawa. A joint operational conference was held daily at his headquarters, where the targets, if a complaint of the Seventh Air Force intelligence officer may be trusted, "were pulled out of Whitehead's back pocket."106 A loosely ordered direction of operations from advanced bases was nothing new to the Fifth Air Force, and Whitehead's continued dependence on Fifth Air Force personnel made his headquarters in effect another outpost of that air force. The last echelon of Seventh Air Force headquarters reached Okinawa on 28 July, but it had never before controlled its units in combat and was slow to get under way.107 Shipping difficulties delayed complete movement of the headquarters of the Fifth Air Force and its subordinate commands to Okinawa until 4 August, when the air force command post opened near Motobu. The two air force headquarters were only beginning to function normally when the war ended.108
The Air War from Okinawa
Whitehead's instructions for employment of FEAF from the Ryukyus were of broad scope--to conduct counter-air force operations against the Japanese Empire, to attack enemy shipping lanes in order to isolate Japan from Asia, to interrupt land communications in Kyushu and western Honshu, to destroy or neutralize military concentrations and vital installations in the same area, to conduct aerial reconnaissance and photography, and to provide air protection for naval forces as requested by CINCPAC.109 Effective 20 July (after such attacks had already begun), MacArthur authorized FEAF to strike air installations, rail, road, and water communications, industries, and port facilities in China and Korea, north of the line Shanghai-Nanking. After neutralizing enemy air power, FEAF was expected to blockade the Yangtze River, destroy port facilities on the Korean coast, and knock out rail repair facilities. Area bombing of Chinese cities was forbidden.110 Whitehead's own plan was to destroy enemy air power within the arc from Nagoya to the Siberian border in three phases of intense fighter and medium bomber activity. After lucrative air force targets had been exhausted, he planned to turn his fighters and attack bombers against rail communications within the same area. He was especially anxious to avoid a "leak" of his plans to the Navy.111
but this did him no good; he got orders to concentrate on Kyushu airfields to cover Third Fleet carrier strikes against Japan.112
Neutralization attacks on the enemy's Kyushu-based air had been begun by two Seventh Air Force P-47's on the night of 17 May. Although the P-47's lacked radar equipment and homing aids needed for night intrusions, such heckling missions continued until 16 June, when the 548th Night Fighter Squadron and its better-equipped P-61's arrived at Ie from Iwo Jima to undertake the task. Day fighter sweeps, undertaken soon after the inauguration of night attacks, were at first hotly contested by Japanese fighters, despite the concentrated B-29 attacks on their airdromes. During the week ending 13 June planes of the 318th Fighter Group were intercepted by 244 Japanese aircraft over KYLIS~U, of which the P-47's shot down 48 at a loss of 3 of their own number.
On 21 June P-47's of the 413th Fighter Group joined in the sweeps,113 and on 1 July Seventh Air Force bombers and the 507th Fighter Group arrived. The Japanese quickly lost their aggressiveness. On 2 July, forty-seven P-47's escorting five reconnaissance B-24's were intercepted by sixteen enemy fighters, but the latter showed little inclination to give battle. It was also evident that the Japanese once more were following a policy of wide dispersion to escape bombardment. During the first two weeks of July the AAF bombers could claim no more than two Japanese planes destroyed on the ground, and they met no enemy aerial opposition. Only minor flak damage bothered the 286 medium and heavy bomber sorties flown against Kyushu between 1 and 13 July.114 By 14 August, V Fighter Command, which began flying against Kyushu on 3 July, had destroyed thirty-two airborne planes, losing only one plane to air interception, four to hostile AA, and fourteen to unknown or operational causes. Failing to meet serious resistance in the air, AAF fighters had quickly turned to "general Hell raising"--attacks on rail communications, bridges, shipping, and other such targets of opportunity.115 Reconnaissance fighters on at least two occasions reported that they had strafed civilians in the fields and on the roads.*
* Following the announcement of the formation by the Japanese of a Peoples Volunteer Corps, making all men from 15 to 60 and women from 17 to 40 liable for defense duties, Col. Harry F. Cunningham, A-2 of the Fifth Air Force, had declared in an official intelligence review on 21 July that "the entire population of Japan is a proper Military Target . . .,THERE ARE NO CIVILIANS IN JAPAN. We are making War and making it in the all-out fashion which saves American lives, shortens the agony which War is and seeks to bring about an enduring Peace. We intend to seek out and destroy the enemy wherever he or she is, in the greatest possible numbers, in the shortest possible time." (Fifth Air Force Weekly Intelligence Review, No. 86, 15-21 July 1945.)
Fifth and Seventh Air Force bombers attacked enemy airfields and railroad marshalling yards on Kyushu and in the Shanghai and Hangchow areas of China. Seventh Air Force bombers flew 784 sorties and dropped 961.1 tons of bombs on Kyushu's airfields and another 489 sorties with 667.5 tons of bombs on China air and transportation targets. Fifth Air Force bombers made 138 sorties with 150.8 tons against Kyushu airfields.116 Probably the hardest-hit transportation target on Kyushu was Kagoshima, one of the principal port and rail cities of the island and site of a rail repair center of local importance. Between 17 July and 6 August the Seventh Air Force placed 211 effective sorties over the town, dropping 325 tons of bombs and 15,840 gallons of napalm. Twenty-one Fifth Air Force B-24's attacked the railway yards there on 31 July.117 The railroad bridge at Nobeoka, a critical 1,485-foot span on Kyushu's east coast, was bombed by Seventh Air Force B-24's on 16 and 29 July and further damaged to near impassability by 318th Group P-47's on 11 August. After much effort the Seventh Air Force finally destroyed the road bridge at Miyazaki, but it remained unable to cut the railway bridge there. Rail terminals in Nagasaki's port area were successfully bombed by Seventh Air Force B-24's on 31 July and 1 August, a week before the atom bomb fell.118 All types of FEAF planes helped enforce the shipping blockade of southern Japan. Seventh Air Force P-47's had begun shipping sweeps to the Chusan archipelago on 30 June and had made three more missions there before 13 July. Three P-47's were lost to destroyer fire in these forays. On 22 July three groups of 301st Wing fighters joined the 41st Bombardment Group in a raid against a convoy at the mouth of the Yangtze River, reporting hits on several merchant ships and one destroyer and fires in the nearby dock and oil storage areas. The 41st Group also experimented with newly developed glide torpedoes, which could be released at medium altitudes and at great distances from a target, in not too successful efforts against Sasebo, Makurasaki, and Nagasaki harbors.119 Fifth Air Force fighters made shipping attacks off the China coast, and between 28 July and 14 August five P-51 shipping sweeps were flown to the coasts of Korea.120 Night-flying B-24's of the 63d and 868th Squadrons (the latter belonging to
XIII Bomber Command) went into action on 26 July and 7 August, with night sorties to Korea. The redeployed 373d Bombardment Squadron, however, brought inexperienced crews and was confined to night patrols over the Inland Sea.121 On 28 July, in a mission understandable only as competition with the Third Fleet, which had attacked the targets on the 24th and was again attacking them that day, seventy-nine FEAF B-24's attempted to bomb Japanese capital ships anchored at Kure. The only results recorded by the Japanese were four bomb hits which chopped the stern off the cruiser Aoba, a ship already grounded as a result of the earlier carrier attacks. Most of the vessels in the anchorage had been hopelessly damaged, but their crews put up a "most terrific curtain of flak" which brought down two Seventh Air Force B-24's and damaged fourteen others.122
While FEAF was principally committed to tactical targets of value to OLYMPIC, it did not ignore industrial opportunities. On 7 August twenty-three B-24's of the 11th Group, covered by eighteen P-47's of the 301st Wing, raided the Mitsui Coal Liquefaction Plant at Omuta, one of the largest of its kind in Japan and a producer of 60-octane gasoline for the Japanese Army. Air photos revealed most bombs off the target, but postwar interrogation disclosed that one lucky hit had severed a gas line and that the plant was still out of operation seven weeks later. The Miike Dyestuffs Plant just north of the aiming point, moreover, had been severely damaged, and coal-washing equipment destroyed had caused a restriction of about 500,000 tons in the output of the Mike and Takashima coal fields.123 Possibly the most spectacular FEAF air actions against Kyushu were incendiary attacks upon urban targets, ostensibly to destroy industrial plants. On 5 August combined Fifth and Seventh Air Force missions struck Tarumizu where a factory was reported to be making rocket suicide planes. Sixty-three B-24's, eighty-four B-25's, thirty-two A-26's, ninety-seven P-47's, and forty-nine P-51's covered the town and factory site with general-purpose and napalm bombs. A similar raid in lesser number by Seventh Air Force planes fired Kumamoto on 10 August; next day the two Seventh Air Force heavy groups put fifty-three B-24's over Kurume with incendiaries. As ground reconnaissance later revealed, the mission had been entirely successful: fanned by a northeast wind and with the water supply cut off by a power disruption, the flames had destroyed 28 per cent of the homes of the city, leaving 20,023 persons (26 per cent of the population)
homeless.124 It seemed that FEAF planes were prepared to obliterate whatever the B-29's may have left of Japan's urban centers.
On 4 August, two days before the first atomic bomb exploded, Fifth Air Force pilots reported that Japanese civilians were waving white flags from their fields and villages.125 On 10 August the Japanese radio announced the Japanese desire for peace, and next day President Truman suspended USASTAF operations, although FEAF was allowed to continue until 12 August. FEAF was ordered to attack once more on 14 August, but early on the next day a cease-fire order came through and efforts were made to call back the few planes already out. Reconnaissance was to be continued, however, and crews were to fight back if attacked.126 On 17 August four 3d Group B-32 Dominators, flying one of their first missions from Okinawa, were attacked by fifteen enemy fighters while reconnoitering Tokyo; B-32's were again attacked on the 18th' and in the two days' actions the Dominators shot down at least three planes. Then, at 1245 hours on 19 August, two white Betty's set down at Ie Shima with the Japanese envoys commissioned to sue for peace.127 Surveillance missions were continued without incident except that two 49th Fighter Group pilots, violating their orders under a plea of need for fuel, landed on 25 August at Nittagahara airdrome, Kyushu, where the Japanese greeted them with candy.128
The Japanese surrender c ile FUF was still building up its Ryukyus garrison for a full-s ack. While the Seventh Air Force was nearing its peak capacity, the Fifth had flown only 1,993 sorties against Kyushu, expending 1,491.7 tons of bombs and 64,030 gallons of napalm.129 Between 1 July and 31 August the Seventh Air Force had flown 4,442 sorties.130 So Plane losses were amazingly light: the Fifth Air Force lost only ten planes to enemy action in July and twenty-one during August;131 the Seventh Air Force lost ten planes to enemy AA and two to enemy interceptions during the same two months.132 Altogether, FEAF had distributed 7,100 tons of bombs over half-a-dozen target systems: only 15 per cent of its effort had been directed against railroads, 9 per cent against shipping, and another 9 per cent against port areas; an unnecessarily large percentage of the effort had been devoted to attacks on industrial and urban targets, none of which were of major importance to the defense of Kyushu. After the war USSBS concluded that FEAF might better have concentrated against rail targets, ten of which (five yards and five bridges) were vital to
both military and economic traffic between Honshu and Kyushu.133
In defense of FEAF, it must be noted that its air units were still feeling out Japanese resistance when the war unexpectedly ended. A systematic USASTAF-FEAF transportation assault had been planned, and the first USASTAF operation of the series took place on the last day of the war.134 It was recognized that the Kammon Tunnel between Kyushu and Honshu was the most important single transportation target in Japan,135 but the target was being saved until four disguised air rescue boats, remotely controlled and each loaded with 25 tons of high explosives, could be run into the west entrance of the tunnel and detonated. This project was canceled as the war ended.136 FEAF had also intended to emphasize napalm attacks, of proved worth in the Philippine campaigns, but there was time only for the preliminary tests. The Japanese already were licked. As Whitehead summed it up, the enemy "could decide that enough Nips had been killed or he could commit national suicide. He chose the former."137
Although the reorganization of USASTAF had not been completed by V-J Day, General Spaatz had made much progress in his command arrangements. He had arrived in the theater on 29 July and by 1 August had organized his staff at Guam: Lt. Gen. Barney M. Giles was deputy commander; Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, chief of staff; Brig. Gen. Kenneth P. McNaughton, A-1; Brig. Gen. Norris B. Harbold, A-2; Brig Gen. Thomas S. Power, A-3; Brig. Gen. Charles L. Booth, A-4; and Brig. Gen. Richard C. Lindsay, A-5.138 Headquarters of the Twentieth Air Force in Washington had become USASTAF Rear on 16 July only to be inactivated on 20 August. At the same time USASTAF Administration at Hickam Field, which had served to bridge the gap between AAFPOA and USASTAF, came to its end, and Guam in every sense became the headquarters of AAF strategic bombardment.139 As in Europe, Spaatz aimed at establishing a streamlined headquarters with small staff sections responsible for planning and supervision. He viewed his mission as primarily that of coordinating the operations of his own forces with those of MacArthur, Nimitz, and Kenney.140 Consequently, he delegated broad responsibility for day-to-day operations, both administrative and combat, to the Eighth and Twentieth Air Forces.141
Plans called for the creation of two strategic air forces with identical
strength, each consisting of five B-29 wings, a fighter command, and a service command with a depot. Lt. Gen. Nathan F. Twining, formerly commander of the Thirteenth Air Force and then of the Fifteenth, replaced LeMay in command of the Twentieth Air Force on 2 August. The new Twentieth Air Force, the old XXI Bomber Command plus the fighters of VII Fighter Command, had already come into being on 16 July as a full-fledged fighting force, though the war ended before it achieved full strength with a service command and supplementary fighter groups. Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle established the command post of his Eighth Air Force at Okinawa on 19 July, and the first elements were nearing combat readiness as the Japanese surrendered. Of units scheduled to be in place on 15 August, the air echelon of the 316th Bombardment Wing had arrived, and the aircrews of the 333d and 346th Bombardment Groups had begun to fly into Kadena on 7 August. The Eighth Air Force assumed command of the 301st Fighter Wing on 17 August. According to program, the Eighth would have reached maximum strength in February 1946.142
During its short period of operations, USASTAF had generally harmonious relations with FEAF. Airfield construction on Okinawa was managed to the satisfaction of both, a satisfactory plan was worked out for joint use of the air depot at Naha, and cooperative plans for air-sea rescue were managed. Conferences between Generals Spaatz and Kenney resulted in agreements whereby FEAF would furnish USASTAF its daily air intent. More important, however, was the "complete agreement" between the two air generals "that the Army Air Forces in the Pacific would present a unified front to all comers."143
The establishment of USASTAF did not provide an immediate solution for most of the difficult logistical problems which the VHB wings had faced since their arrival in the theater. USASTAF was charged with "internal" logistic support but was to look to CINCAFPAC and CINCPAC for "theater" support. The very terms lacked as yet any clear definition. It was the AAF view that "logistical support" included all phases of military operations not covered by the terms "tactics" and "strategy" and properly consisted of such things as supply, construction, maintenance, transportation, traffic control, area administration, and allied subjects. It was also the AAF view that everything which moved to an air force should be regarded as "external"
or "theater" logistical support, whereas everything which moved within the air force organization on air command channels should be regarded as "internal" support.144 What practical interpretation would be given their respective responsibilities by MacArthur and Nimitz was not fully clear when the fighting stopped. One particularly grave controversy arose over the assignment of support troops. USASTAF felt that a large number of support troops would be needed to maintain its combat strength and was reluctant to relinquish control of such units to AFMIDPAC. AFMIDPAC insisted that it could not transfer any of its scarce support units unless it were relieved of the task of providing USASTAF with "theater" logistical support. The seven weeks' history of USASTAF was marked by other conflicts with theater authorities over several additional problems of administration and logistics.145 And some of the problems, no doubt, eventually would have required settlement by the JCS had it not been for the early surrender of Japan.
Notes to Chapter 22
1. H. H. Arnold, Global Mission (New York, 1949), pp. 342-43.
2. JCS 567/1, 8 Nov. 1943; min., JCS 122nd mtg., 7 Nov. 1943.
3. CCS 680/2, 16 Sept. 1944. For additional discussion concerning Allied lans to end the war with Japan, see also Kay S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, U.S. Army in World War II, (Washington, 1951). pp. 333-51.
4. Memo for Arnold from Maj. Gen. H. A. Craig, Chief, Theater Gp., OPD, 3 Nov. 1944.
5. JCS 924/8, 23 Nov. 1944.
6. Mm., JPS 176th mtg., 25 Oct. 1944; JCS 924/7, 6 Nov. 1944; min., JPS 180th mtg., 22 Nov. 1944.
7. JCS 924/6, 3 Nov. 1944; min., JPS 182d mtg., 6 Dec. 1944.
8. Msg., CINCPOA to COMINCH, 172352 Dec. 1944; CINCPAC-CINCPOA, Joint Staff Study, LONGTOM, 27 Feb. 1945.
9. JCS 713/20, 11 Jan. 1945;msg., JCS to Nimitz, WARX-22012, 17Jan. 1945; CCS 417/11, 22 Jan. 1945; min., CCS 184th mtg., 1 feb. 1945.
10. Msg., Marshall to MacArthur, ARGONAUT #59, 7 Feb. 1945; msg., CINCSWPA to WD, CA-50688, 26 Feb. 1945. The JCS believed that Hainan would furnish air bases opening up the interior of China to attack; it might be of especial value if the invasion of Japan had to be delayed into 1946. (Min., CCS 184th mtg., 1 Feb. 1945.)
11. Memo for C/S USA from Col. George A. Lincoln, OPD, 8 Mar. 1945.
12. Staff memo, Hq. USSTAF, Centralization of Control of U.S. AAF Operating in the War Against Japan, 4 Nov. 1944, p. 1.
13. Memo for Marshall from Arnold, 27 Oct. 1944.
14. See also memo for Hull from Arnold, 8 Nov. 1944; memo for Giles from Kuter, n.d.; JCS 1259/1, 28 Feb. 1945.
15. Staff memo, Hq. USSTAF, 4 Nov. 1944.
16. Draft memo, AC/AS Plans, Direction of the Strategic Air Offensive Against Japan, n.d.; memo for Combined and Joint Staff Div. from Kuter, AC/AS Plans, 12 Dec. 1944.
17. Memo for Arnold from Hull, AC/S OPD, 24 Nov. 1944.
18. Memo for Combined and Joint Staff Div. from Kuter, 12 Dec. 1944.
19. Memo [for King] from Marshall, 21 Dec. 1944.
20. CM-IN-16870, MacArthur to Marshall, 17 Dec. 1944; memo for C/S from Craig, 4 Jan. 1945.
21. JCS 1259/1, 28 Feb. 1945.
22. Arnold, Global Mission, p. 569.
23. See Strategy and Policy Group, OPD, Compilation of Material for use at ARGONAUT, addendum 5B.
24. JCS 1259/1, 28 Feb. 1945.
25. JCS 1259/2, 10 Mar. 1945, records the substance of comments at the JCS meeting on 8 Mar. 1945; JCS 1259/3, 16 Mar. 1945, includes the memos of Marshall and King.
26. Memo for Marshall from Hull, 13 Mar. 1945.
27. Min., JPS 192d mtg., 10-16 Mar. 1945; JCS 1259/3, 16 Mar. 1945. Army and AAF planners asserted, however, that the Navy proposal was workable only in case CINCSWPA were also CINCJAPA and CINCAFPAC, a proposition to which the Navy planners did not agree.
28. Lincoln, notes on JCS 1259/3, n.d.
29. Memo for Marshall from Hull, 13 Mar. 1945.
30. Memo for Marshall from Hull, 28 Mar. 1945.
31. Memo for JCS from King, 20 Mar. 1945. Kuter, in marginal comments, considered the proposed directives not acceptable. King would have had the Twentieth Air Force remain under direct control of the JCS "until such time as they may determine that its operational control should be shifted in order to provide for coordination of air effort against Japan." Kuter thought this "new & interesting" and "dangerous." It is pertinent to contemporary Navy opinion to note that on 10 Mar. 1945 Secretary James Forrestal informed Admiral Leahy that ". . . the matter of the 21st Bomber Command . . . should be settled, that they were now operating almost entirely on their own without reference to any other military efforts in the Pacific. . . ." Forrestal thought that the B-29's "should be brought into the pattern if full advantage was to be taIen of their capabilities. . . ." (Walter Millis, ed., Forrestal Diaries [New York, 1951], p. 32.)
32. George C. Kenney, General Kenney Reports (New York, 1949). pp. 532-33; see also Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, An Intimate History (New York, 19481, pp. 877-78.
33. Msp, Hull to MacArthur, 29 Mar. 1945. This message may not have been sent.
34. JCS 1259/4. 3 Apr. 1945; See also memo for Marshall from Hull, 31 Mar. 1945; ltr., Giles to Arnold, 5 Apr. 1945.
35. CM-OUT-62773, JCS to CINC-SWPA et al., 3 Apr. 1945; CM-OUT-62774, JCS to CINCSWPA et al, 3 Apr. 945.
36. Msg., MacArthur to COMAAF-SWPA et al., 9 Apr. 1945; msg. C-16063, GHQSWPA to WAR, 12 May 1945.
37. Msg. C-17386, GHQSWPA to WD, 30 May 1945; JCS 1357, 17 May 1945; JCS 1357/1, 1 June 1945; CCS 890, 8 July 1945; CCS 890/2, 18 July 1945; min., CCS 200th mtg., 24 July 1945; SACSEA, Rpt. to the CCS, pp. 221-22; CCS 852/2, 10 Aug. 1945; CCS 946, 20 Aug. 1945; CCS 901/10, 22 Aug. 1945.
38. Memo for Arnold from AC/AS Plans, in Daily Activity Rpt., 30 Apr. 1945; draft memo for JCS from CG AAF, n.d., with App. B, Delineation of Logistic Responsibilities of CINCAFPAC, CINCPAC, COMGENUSASTAF, and App. C, draft directive for establishment of USASTAF.
39. Hq. DC 20th AF GO 10, 4 May 1945.
40. TC H-16-10, Norstad to Giles, 16 May 1945.
41. CM-IN-13960, Arnold to Giles, 15 Apr. 1945; CM-IN-13927, Arnold to Norstad, 15 Apr. 1945; TC G-17-1, Norstad to LeMay, 17 Apr. 1945.
42. TC, Norstad (Washington) with LeMay (Guam), work copy No. 1, 5 May 1945.
43. Ltr., Spaatz to Eaker, 2 May 1945.
44. Ltr., Eaker to Spaatz, 27 Apr. 1945; see also ltr., Arnold to Spaatz, 21 May 1945.
45. Ltr., Arnold to Spaatz, 21 May 1945.
46. Msg. CX-16199, GHQWPA to WD, 14 May 1945.
47. General Kenney Reports, pp. 537-38.
48. Msg. CX-16553, GHQSWPA to WD, 19 May 1945; ltr., Vice Adm. C. H. McMorris, C/S PACPOA to CINCPAC-CINCPOA, 19 May 1945.
49. JCS 924/15, 25 Apr. 1945; memo for Marshall from Hull, 28 Mar. 1945; The Forrestal Diaries, p. 70.
50. JCS 1331, 30 Apr. 1945.
51. JWPC 350/1, 1 May 1945; memo for Lincoln from Adm. D. B. Duncan, Mar 1945; memo for Duncan from Lincoln, 2 May 1945; min., JPS 200th mtg., 2 May 1945; memo for C/S from Lincoln, 8 May 1945; JCS 1331/2.
52. Memo for Marshall from King, 19 May 1945.
53. Memo for CINCUS and CNO from C/S USA, 22 May 1945; see also memo for C/S from Hull, 24 May 1945; memo for CINCUS and CNO from C/S USA, 25 May 1945.
54. JCS 1331/3, 25 May 1945. President Truman approved the Kyushu invasion on 15 June 1945. (See Leahy, I Was There, p. 384.)
55. JCS 742/9, 26 May 1945.
56. Memo for Marshall, King, and Arnold from JCS Secretariat, 28 May 1945.
57. Memo for Arnold from Norstad, 29 May 1945.
58. Memo for Norstad from Col. Curtis R. Low, 27 May 1945.
59. Memo for Leahy, Marshall, and King from Arnold, 30 May 1945.
60. JCS 742/10, 31 May 1945; CM-OUT-10463, JCS to Nimitz and MacArthur, 1 June 1945.
61. CM-IN-1727, Nimitz to King, 2 June 1945.
62. CM-IN-2386, MacArthur to WD, 3 June 1945.
63. Draft msg., Eaker to Arnold, 21 June 1945.
64. JCS 742/11, 8 June 1945.
65. Arnold, Global Mission, p. 569.
66. Memo by CG AAF, 2 July 1945; memo for Leahy, Marshall, and King from Arnold, 7 July 1945; memo for Arnold from King, 10 July 1945; JCS 742/12, 11 July 1945; CM-OUT-29978, JCS to MacArthur, Nimitz, and Spaatz, 11 July 1945.
67. Ltr., S/W to CG AAF et al., 13 July 1945; see also TC-12-10, Arnold to Giles, 12 July 1945.
68. GHQAFPAC, DOWNFALL, The Strategic Plan for Operations in the Japanese Archipelago, 28 May 1945; see also msg. CX-16533, GHQSWPA to WD, 19 May 1945; ltr., McMorris to CINCPAC-CINCPOA, 19 May 1945.
69. GHQAFPAC Staff Study, OLYMPIC, Operations in Southern Kyushu, 28 May 164s.
70. MSP. CX-24142, CINCAFPAC to CINCPAC, 9 July 1945.
71. Arnold, Global Mission, p. 570; msg. CX-24152, CINCAFPAC to Guam, 9 July 1945.
72. Msg., CINCPOA Advon to CINCAFPAC, 100218 July 1945.
73. TC-WD-TT-3373, Giles to Eaker, 10 July 1945.
74. CM-IN-7313 (8 Aug. 45), CG USASTAF to WD, 7 Aug. 1945.
75. Msgs. CX-30410 and CX-30958, CINCAFPAC to CINCPAC Advon, 3 and 4 Aug. 1945.
76. Ltr., Whitehead to Kenney, 18 Sept. 1944; FEAF, Draft Study on STINGER ONE, FEAF Concept of Air Garrisons for ICEBERG, 6 Feb. 1945.
77. Ltr., Whitehead to Kenney, 8 Apr. 1945. This letter acquires additional interest when read with Kenney's published statement that he reported to Marshall on his trip to Washington in the preceding March that "Japan was through." (General Kenney Reports, p. 530.)
78. For the ground campaign in the Ryukyus see Roy E. Appleman, James M. Burns, Russell A. Gugeler, and John Stevens, Okinawa: The Last Battle, U.S. Army in World War II (Washington,1948) [hereinafter cited Appleman, Okinawa].
81. Rpt., Lt. Col. D. R. Ward, Actg. Air Engr., 5th AF, 24 Apr. 1945; check sheet, 5th AF A-4 to Supply Div., FEASC, 28 Apr. 1945.
82. Msg. C-16548, GHQSWPA to WD, 19 May 1945; msg. CX-17134, GHQSWPA to CG AFPOA, 27 May 1945.
83. Ms ., CINCPAC to COMINCH, 041231 Tune 1945; msg. CX-17860, CINCAFPAC to WD, 6 June 1945; USPAC-POA, Agreement Relative to Reinforcement of Army Air Forces at Okinawa, 6 June 1945.
84. Appleman, Okinawa, p. 419; ltr., Brig. Gen. David Hutchison, CG 308th Bomb, Wg. to CG 5th AF, 17 June 1945; see also Clive Howard and Joe Whitley, One Damned Island After Another (Chapel Hill, 1946), p. 361.
85. Ltr., Kenney to Arnold, 11 July 1945.
86. Msg. CX-28598, CINCAFPAC to COMGENAFMIDPAC et al., 27 July 1945; GHQAFPAC, Engineers in Theater Operations, I, 298-306.
87. Msg. CX-31262, CINCAFPAC to CG 10th Army, 6 Aug. 1945.
88. Msg., CG Advon FEAF to CG 10th Army, 201810 July 1945; msg., CG 10th Army to CINCPAC, 210143 July 1945.
89. Air Engr., FEAF, Wkly. Gen. Constr. Rpt., 6 Aug. 1945.
90. Hist. 7th AF, I Apr. 1945-14 July 1945, pp. 15-27, 98-101-
91. Ltr., Whitehead to Kenney, 8 Apr. 1945.
92. Msg. U-897-G, 308th Bomb. Wg. to CG FEAF, 16 June 1945; msg. AX-70655, CG FEAF to 308th Bomb. Wg., 15 June 1945.
93. Msg. U-3908-F, CG 5th AF to CG V FC, 20 June 1945; msg. U-4767-E, CG 5th AF to 309th Bomb. Wg., 30 June 1945; msg., CO 35th Ftr. Gp. to COMAAFSWPA, 020918 July 1945; msg., CINCPOA Advon to CG 10th Army, 040546 July 1945; msg., CG 10th Army to CINCPOA Advon, 051325 July 1945.
94. Msg. Y-1092-E, CG 5th AF to V FC et al., 2 July 1945; msg. Y-1260-E, CG 5th AF to CG 13th AF, 4 July 1945.
95. Hist. V FC, I Apr.-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 49-50. Before the end of the war two more fighter groups, the 49th (25 August) and the 3d Air Commando (29 August), had begun operations from Okinawa.
96. Msg., CINCPOA Advon to CINCPOA Pearl, 182108 May 1945.
97. Hist. 91st Rcn. Wg., 1 June-31 Aug. 1945.
98. Hist. V BC, Aug. 1945, p. 4; msg.Y-1204-A, 308th Bomb. Wg. to CG 5th AF. 11 July 1945; msg. Y-1611-E, Advon FEAF to V BC, 23 July 1945; Hist. 43d Bomb. Gp., July 1945, p. 27.
99. Msg. Y-1286-A, CG 308th Bomb. Wg. to CG FEAF, 14 July 1945; msg., CG 7th AF to CG FEAF, 140001 July 1945.
100. Hist. 7th AF, 14 July 44-Sept. 1945, pp. 2-5.
101. Msg., DC 20th AF to CINCAFPAC, 091245 July 1945.
102. Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, p. 13; msg. AX-77301, CG FEAF to CG 7th AF, 16 July 1945.
103. Msg, CG 10th Army to CINCAFPAC, 150433 July 1945.
104. Msg. CX-28598, CINCAFPAC to COMGENAFMIDPAC, 27 July 1945; Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, p. 6.
105. Msg. AX-77185 CG FEAF to CG Advon FEAF et al., 15 July 1945.
106. Msg. Y-1732-E, Advon FEAF to CG 7th AF et al., 25 July 1945; Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, p. 21.
107. Hist. 7th AF, 1 Apr.-14 July 1945, p. 105, and 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, appended notes.
108. Hist. 5th AF, 15 June 1944-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 92-94.
109. 5th AF OI #15 (Rev.), 7 July1945; msg. AX-75775, CG FEAF to CG Advon FEAF, 11 July 1945; msg. AX78507, CG FEAF to CINCAFPAC, 25 July 1945.
110. Msg. CX-26004, CINCAFPAC to FEAF, 17 July 1945.
111. Memo for Donald Hutchison from Whitehead, 11 July 1945.
112. Msg., COM3DFLT to XX BC et al., 132145 July 1945; msg. CX-25865, CINCAFPAC to CG FEAF, 16 July1945; msg. AX-77476 CG FEAF to CINCAFPAC, 17 July 1945; msg. AX-80359, CG FEAF to Advon FEAF, 7 Aug. 1945.
113. Hist. 7th AF, 1 Apr.-14 July 1945, pp. 76-82.
114. Ibid., pp. 82-95.
115. Hist. V FC, 1 Apr.-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 5-51:
116. Hist. 5th AF, 15 June 1944-2 Sept. 1945, chap-10, pp. 6-34.
117. Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, p. 25; 34th SCU, Area Bomb. Study Nine, Japan.
118. Hist. 7th AF, 14 July--2 Sept. 1945, PP. 49-62.
119. Ibid., 1 Apr.-14 July 1945, pp. 86-88, and 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 42-44, 76-78.
120. Hist. V FC, 1 Apr.-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 55-58.
121. Histories of 63d and 868th Bomb. Sqs., July-Aug. 1945; Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945. p. 74-75.
123. Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 70-71; USSBS, The Effects of Strategic Bombing on Japan's War Economy, p. 47; Advon FEAF, 2d and 3d OAS, Memo Rpt.: Evaluation of 7 August 1945 Thousand Pound GP Raid on Omuta Industrial Plants, 31 Oct. 1945.
124. Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 65-67, 69-70; Advon FEAF, 2d and 3d OAS, Eval. of . . .Attack . . . Kyushu, 11 Oct. 1945.
125. Ltr., Whitehead to Chennault, 21 Aug. 1945; ltr., Whitehead to Lt. Gen. Sir Edmund Herring, Comdg. Australian Military Forces, 17 Sept. 1945.
126. CM-OUT-47889, Marshall to MacArthur, 11 Aug. 194s; msg. AX-82071, COMAAFSWPA to CG 5th AF, et al., 12 Aug. 1945; msg., Kenney to Whitehead, 141245 Aug. 1945; msg. AX-82369, CG FEAF to CG 5th AF et al. 15 Aug. 1945; msg. AX-82383, COMAAFSWPA to CG 5th AF et al. 15 Aug. 1945.
127. Hist. V BC, Aug. 1945, pp. 13-23; Hist. 7th AF, 14 July-2 Sept. 1945, pp. 118-26.
128. Hist. V FC, 1 Apr.-2 Sept. 1945, p. 59.
129. 34th SCU, Area Bomb. Study Nine, Japan.
130. 9th SCU, 7th AF, Sum. Combat Opns., Assigned and Attached Units, 28 Aug. 945.
131. 34th SCU, 5th AF Stat. Summaries, July-Aug. 1945. Only 90 planes were lost due to all causes in July and 104 during August.
132. 9th SCU, 7th AF, Sum. Combat Opns., Assigned and Attached Units.
133. USSBS, The Effects of Strategic Bombing on Japan's War Economy, pp. 61-65.
134. Ibid., p. 44.
135. Msg. WAR-65143, AFIJT to CINCSWPA, 7 Apr. 1945.
136. Msg. CX-30940, CINCAFPAC to Guam, 5 Aug. 1945; msg. A-80388, CG FEAF to WD, 7 Aug. 1945; msg. CX34703, CINCAFPAC to WD, 18 Aug. 1945.
137. Ltr., Whitehead to Chennault, 21 Aug 1945.
138. Hist. Air War POA, 11, 446.
139. Ibid., pp. 449-50.
140. Min., conference of Spaatz with staff at Hq. USASTAF Admh., Hickam Field, 27 July 1945; special committee, Brig. Gen. A. R. Maxwell, chairman, unpublished rpt. to the JCS by the CG AAF on the Strategic Air War in Europe and the Pacific, 1947, sec. III-B, pp. 7-8.
141. Ltr., CG USASTAF to CGs 8th and 20th AF's, 6 Aug. 1945.
142. Hist. Air War POA, II, 484-90; 8th AF GO 1, 19 July 1945; Daily Activity Rpt., AC/AS OC&R, 15 May 1945.
143. Ltr., Brig. Gen. Richard C. Lindsay, AC/AS A-5, USASTAF to Norstad, 6 Aug. 1945.
144. Rpt. of Ladd Bd. on Internal and External Requirements for Self-sustaining VHB wing Opns., Sept. 1945, pp.7-8.
145. Hist. Air War POA, Vol. II, chaps. XI, XII, XIII.