The first step in the Southwest Pacific Area's drive to the Philippines--the seizure of the Hollandia region of Dutch New Guinea--could have far-reaching consequences. (Map I) Anchorages at Hollandia were known to be capable of basing many of the largest combat vessels, cargo ships, and troop transports. Inland plains in the area were thought to provide almost unlimited potentialities for airdrome development. Aircraft operating from fields at Hollandia could dominate most Japanese airdromes in western New Guinea and nearer islands of the Indies, could fly reconnaissance and bombing missions against the western Carolines, including the Palaus, and could provide support for subsequent landing operations along the north coast of New Guinea. Small naval vessels, such as motor torpedo boats (PT's), operating from Hollandia area bases, could interdict Japanese barge traffic for miles both east and west of that region. Finally, the Hollandia region was capable of development into a major supply base and staging1 area for the support of subsequent Allied operations farther to the west.
General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, and its subordinate commands were to have no easy task in planning the advance to Hollandia; but by March 1944 these headquarters had accumulated two years' experience with the complex air, sea, and ground operations that characterized the war in the Pacific. Indeed, the planning for Hollandia provides an excellent case study for most amphibious undertakings in the Southwest Pacific. For this reason a detailed discussion of the work undertaken by the various theater commands, the problems they faced, and the means by which these problems were solved is included here. The planning for subsequent operations within the Southwest Pacific is treated in less detail with emphasis placed principally on the differences from the Hollandia planning.
Solving the many problems faced by the Southwest Pacific commands in planning the advance to Hollandia was made more difficult by the interrelationship of many of those problems. A direct move to Hollandia from eastern New Guinea, bypassing Wewak and Hansa Bay, could not be undertaken unless carrier-based air support were made
available from the Pacific Fleet. It was also possible that a more powerful enemy force might be encountered at Hollandia than had been met during any previous landing operation in the Pacific theaters. This meant that a larger Allied force than had ever before been assembled for any single amphibious operation in the Pacific would have to be sent against Hollandia. The size of this force would complicate logistic planning and preparations and would necessitate the use of more assault shipping than was available within the Southwest Pacific Area. Finally, the advance was to be made into terrain about which many important details were unavailable and unobtainable. Thus, all interested commands of the Southwest Pacific Area were to have a thoroughgoing test of their training or past experience.
General MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Area headquarters was an inter-Allied, interservice command exercising operational and policy-making functions. The staff was organized generally along U.S. Army lines except that many technical and administrative special staff sections were not included. Administrative services for U.S. Army forces within the theater were concentrated at Headquarters, United States Army Forces in the Far East, also commanded by General MacArthur. Logistic and technical service functions for U.S. Army forces were under Headquarters, United States Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area, which also had certain inter-Allied and interservice logistic responsibilities. Allied combat operations were conducted through four operational headquarters subordinate to General MacArthur--the Allied Air Forces, the Allied Land Forces, the Allied Naval Forces, and ALAMO Force.
Allied Air Forces was commanded by Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney (USA). Its major component parts during the early period covered in this volume were the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force Command, Allied Air Forces. Later, the U.S. Thirteenth Air Force was redeployed from the South Pacific Area to pass to the control of the Allied Air Forces, Southwest Pacific Area. At the time of the Hollandia operation, General Kenney was also in direct command of the Fifth Air Force, while the Royal Australian Air Force Command was under Air Vice Marshal William D. Bostock (RAAF), who also had operational control over the few Dutch air organizations in the theater.
The Allied Naval Forces was commanded by Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid (USN), whose organization comprised the U.S. Seventh Fleet (commanded directly by Admiral Kinkaid) and ships assigned from the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy. Admiral Kinkaid's chief subordinate for amphibious operations was Rear Adm. Daniel E. Barbey (USN), who was the commander of the VII Amphibious Force, Seventh Fleet.
Allied Land Forces was commanded by General Sir Thomas Blamey (AIF), who was also the commander in chief of the Australian Army and who had operational control over the very few Dutch ground force troops in the Southwest Pacific Area. ALAMO Force was commanded by Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger (USA), also the commander of the U.S. Sixth Army. The staffs of ALAMO Force and Sixth Army were identical. As Sixth Army, General Krueger's command was subordinate to General
Operational Organization of the Southwest Pacific Area: April 1944
Blamey's Allied Land Forces, but as ALAMO Force it was subordinate only to General Headquarters. Allied Land Forces, while retaining operational control of U.S. Army troops in continental Australia for defensive purposes, controlled during the period of operations described in this volume the offensive operations of only those ground task forces primarily Australian in character. Conversely, ALAMO Force directed offensive operations of ground organizations comprising principally U.S. Army troops.2
In mid-April there were almost 750,000 troops in the various ground, air, and naval services under General MacArthur's command. Included in this total were approximately 450,000 U.S. Army ground and air personnel. Major ground combat components of the U.S. Army were 7 divisions (6 infantry and 1 dismounted cavalry), 3 separate regimental combat teams, and 3 engineer special brigades. Australian ground forces comprised 5 infantry divisions and enough division headquarters, brigades, or brigade groups (the latter equivalent to a U.S. Army regimental combat team) to form two more divisions.3
Within the boundaries of the Southwest Pacific Area were approximately 350,000 Japanese, of whom 50,000 were hopelessly cut off in the Bismarck Archipelago. In the New Guinea area were 5 Japanese divisions (3 of them greatly understrength); in the Netherlands East Indies 3 divisions and 2 independent mixed brigades (the latter somewhat larger than a U.S. Army regimental combat team); and in the Philippines 1 division and 4 independent mixed brigades.4
The Hollandia Area
The Allied organizations which were to move against the Hollandia area were to find there an excellent site for a major air and supply base, including the only good anchorage between Wewak in Australian New Guinea and Geelvink Bay, 450 miles northwest in Dutch New Guinea.5 The coast line in the Hollandia area is broken by Humboldt and Tanahmerah Bays, which lie about twenty-five miles apart. (Map 2) Between the two are the Cyclops Mountains, dominating the area. This short range rises to a height of over 7,000 feet and drops steeply to the Pacific Ocean on its northern side. South of the mountains is Lake Sentani, an irregularly crescent-shaped body of fresh water about fifteen and a half miles long. Between the north shore of the lake and the Cyclops Mountains is a flat plain well suited to airdrome construction, while other airfield sites are to be found on coastal flatlands just east of Humboldt Bay. South of Lake Sentani are more plains, which give way to rolling hills and a largely unexplored mountain range running roughly parallel to the coast about thirty or forty miles inland.
Hollandia is a wet area. In the Humboldt Bay region the average annual rainfall is 90-100 inches; around Tanahmerah Bay
Hollandia Operation Area
130-140 inches; and in the Lake Sentani depression 60-70 inches. April is neither the wettest nor the driest month--those distinctions are reserved to February and September, respectively. But rain and mud can be anticipated at Hollandia during April, when the average rainfall is eight and one-half inches and about thirteen rainy days are to be expected. The rivers in the area flood after heavy rains, but flood conditions usually last only a few hours.
The Hollandia region was well suited for defense. The Cyclops Mountains presented an almost impassable barrier on the north while the width of New Guinea, with its rugged inland mountain chains, prevented an approach from the south. Movement of large bodies of troops along the coast either east or west of Hollandia was nearly impossible. Thus, the only practical means of access to the most important military objective in the area, the Lake Sentani Plain, was by amphibious assault at Humboldt Bay, on the east, or Tanahmerah Bay, on the west. From these two bays Lake Sentani could be approached only over many hills and through numerous defiles. Roads inland through these approaches were little better than foot trails prior to the war, but it was believed that they had been somewhat improved by the Japanese.
Landing beaches were numerous in the Humboldt Bay area, but there were few along the shores of Tanahmerah Bay. Almost all beaches in the region were narrow, backed by dense mangrove swamps, and easily defensible from hills to their rear and flanks. Measured by standards of jungle warfare, the distances from the beaches to the center of the Lake Sentani Plain were long, being eighteen miles by trail from Humboldt Bay and about fourteen miles from Tanahmerah Bay.
Japanese Developments at Hollandia
Hollandia had little claim to prominence before the war. Once it had been a center of trade in bird-of-paradise feathers, but this commerce had declined after 1931. In the late 1920's and early 1930's the Netherlands East Indies Government had promoted colonization and agriculture in the area, but labor trouble and sickness had caused these ventures to be practically abandoned by 1938. The town of Hollandia, situated on an arm of Humboldt Bay, then ceased to be commercially important and served only as the seat of local government and as a base for several exploring expeditions into the interior of Dutch New Guinea.
The Japanese occupied the Hollandia area early in April 1942 but paid little attention to the region until almost a year later, when Allied air reconnaissance disclosed that the enemy was constructing airfields on the Lake Sentani Plain. This development progressed slowly until late 1943, by which time successive reverses in the air and on the ground in eastern New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago, together with increasing shipping losses in the same region, began to demonstrate to the Japanese the vulnerability of their air and supply bases east of Hollandia.6 In late 1943 and early 1944 the enemy built three airfields on the Lake Sentani Plain and started a fourth at Tami, on the seacoast east of Humboldt Bay. Their reverses in eastern New Guinea prompted the Japanese to withdraw their strategic main line of resistance to the west, and the Hollandia airdromes were developed as the forward anchor of a string of air bases stretching from the southern Netherlands East Indies into the Philippine Islands. The Japanese 4th Air Army, principal enemy air headquarters in New Guinea, established at Hollandia an air base which ultimately became so large that it was surpassed in size and strength only by the air center earlier developed by the Japanese at Rabaul. At Hollandia the 4th Air Army and its operating echelon, the 6th Air Division, felt comparatively safe, for prior to 1944 that area lay beyond the effective range of Allied land-based fighter planes.
In addition, because of shipping losses east of Hollandia, the Japanese began to develop Humboldt Bay into a major supply base and transshipment point. Large ships would unload at Hollandia, whence cargo would be carried by barge to points southeast along the coast of New Guinea as far as Wewak, 215 miles away. Much of the cargo of the large ships remained at Hollandia to build up the base there. Continuous Japanese shipping activity throughout western New Guinea indicated to General MacArthur's Intelligence (G-2) Section that reinforcements were pouring into that area--reinforcements which might reach Hollandia. At the same time, it seemed possible that the Japanese 18th Army might send reinforcements to Hollandia from eastern New Guinea. Time favored whatever development the Japanese were undertaking
LAKE SENTANI PLAIN, SHOWING AIRFIELDS. Between the north shore of the lake and the Cyclops Mountains is a flat plain well suited to airdrome development.
at Hollandia. It was highly important that the Allies seize the area before the enemy could build it into a formidable fortress.7
The Decision to Take Aitape
Preliminary planning for an advance to Hollandia had been undertaken in General Headquarters during late February 1944. On 3 March representatives from major commands in both the South and Southwest Pacific Areas gathered at General MacArthur's command post in Brisbane, Australia, to discuss the problems involved in carrying out the direct advance to Hollandia without seizing an intermediate base in the Hansa Bay-Wewak area. It was immediately apparent to the Brisbane conferees that the
basic problem was that of obtaining air support.
Obtaining Carrier-Based Air Support
Previous operations in the Southwest Pacific Area had been undertaken within effective range of Allied land-based fighter cover, but Hollandia was beyond this range, since the nearest Allied base was Nadzab in Australian New Guinea, almost 500 miles southeast of the objective. On the other hand, the Japanese had completed one airfield and were constructing two others in the Wakde Island-Sarmi area of Dutch New Guinea, only 125 miles northwest of Hollandia. Neither the Wakde-Sarmi nor the Hollandia fields could be kept neutralized by long-range bomber action alone. Fighter sweeps against both objectives would be necessary before D Day at Hollandia.
Since land-based fighters could not accomplish these tasks, the long jump to Hollandia could be undertaken only if carrier-borne air support could be obtained. The Southwest Pacific's naval arm had no carriers permanently assigned to it. Therefore, carriers had to be obtained from sources outside the theater.8
In their 12 March directive the Joint Chiefs had instructed Admiral Nimitz to provide support for the Hollandia operation.9 Now, in accordance with these instructions, Admiral Nimitz proposed that he provide air support for Hollandia by undertaking carrier-based air strikes against Wakde-Sarmi and Hollandia prior to D Day. In addition, he would provide air support for the landings and, for a limited period thereafter, operations ashore. This support was to be made available by two groups of fast carriers assigned to Task Force 58 of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, an operational part of Admiral Nimitz' Pacific Fleet.10
Initially, General MacArthur planned to have these carriers conduct fighter sweeps against Hollandia and the Wakde-Sarmi area on D minus 1 and D Day of the Hollandia operation. On D Day carriers would support the landings at Hollandia and then would remain in the objective area to furnish cover for ground operations and unloading of supplies and troops through D plus 8 or until fields for land-based fighters could be constructed at Hollandia.11 This plan was opposed by Admiral Nimitz on the grounds that it would invite disaster. In western New Guinea the Japanese were building many new airfields to which they could send large numbers of planes from other parts of the Netherlands East Indies or from the Philippines. There was no assurance that Allied carrier-based aircraft and land-based bombers could keep these enemy fields sufficiently neutralized to prevent the Japanese from staging large-scale air attacks against the Hollandia area. Admiral Nimitz therefore refused to leave the large carriers in the objective area for the period desired by the Southwest Pacific Area. Instead, he would permit Task Force 58 to remain in the Hollandia region only through D plus 3.12 General MacArthur reluctantly accepted
this condition, although it left unsolved the problem of obtaining air support at Hollandia from D plus 3 until land-based fighters could be sent there. Many solutions were proposed for this problem.
Land-Based Air Support
General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, had once given serious consideration to a plan to drop parachute troops on the Japanese-held airfields north of Lake Sentani. Since a large Japanese force was estimated to be defending Hollandia, there was no assurance that this action would be tactically successful. Even if the paratroopers captured the airfields quickly, there could be no assurance that enough men and engineering equipment could be flown to the Lake Sentani Plain in time to construct a fighter strip there before Task Force 58 was scheduled to retire. This plan was therefore abandoned.13
The Allied Air Forces proposed the establishment of land-based fighters on Wuvulu Island, which lies about 125 miles northeast of Hollandia. This plan was also given up. Little was known about terrain conditions on Wuvulu, the island was much closer to Japanese bases than to Allied, and its seizure would disclose the direction of the main attack. Furthermore, the Wuvulu operation would absorb ground forces, amphibious shipping, and engineering equipment sorely needed for the Hollandia campaign.14
A plan to develop a fighter strip at Tanahmerah (inland in south-central Dutch New Guinea and not to be confused with Tanahmerah Bay) was likewise proposed and discarded. The terrain at the inland Tanahmerah was poor and the transportation of supplies and engineering equipment to the site would present major problems. Since Tanahmerah lies south and Hollandia north of the great unexplored inland mountain range which laterally bisects New Guinea, bad weather over this range, by no means unusual, might prevent fighters based at Tanahmerah from supporting landings at Hollandia.15 Also given serious consideration was the possibility of seizing a field in the Wakde-Sarmi area simultaneously with Hollandia. The principal obstacle to the execution of this plan was lack of sufficient assault shipping and landing craft to insure tactical success. Information about the Wakde-Sarmi area was exceedingly meager, but it was estimated by General MacArthur's G-2 Section that enemy strength there was growing rapidly.16
It was finally decided to obtain land-based air support for Hollandia by seizing an airfield site on the northern New Guinea coast east of the main objective. The location chosen was a lightly held area already partially developed by the Japanese near Aitape, which lies in Australian New Guinea
about 125 miles east-southeast of Hollandia.17
The Aitape Area
Aitape had been occupied by the enemy in December 1942.18 Before the war the town was the seat of local government and an interisland trading point of but small commerce. The entire region is a coastal plain, varying from five to twelve miles in width, swampy in many places and cut by numerous streams. The only prominent terrain feature on the coast is a small hill at Aitape. There are no natural eastern or western boundaries in the area. To the north lies the Pacific Ocean, and south of the coastal plain rise the foothills of the Torricelli Mountains. Offshore, about eight miles east of Aitape, are four small islands. Good landing beaches exist throughout the region, the best a few miles east of Aitape. The absence of suitable terrain features makes difficult the defense of the area against amphibious assault. The many rivers could provide some defense against lateral movement, but these rivers vary greatly in width and depth according to the amount of rainfall.
April marks the end of the wettest season in the Aitape region, where rainfall averages about 100 inches per year. Though June is one of the dryest months, July is one of the wettest, with almost eight inches of rain. Torrential tropical downpours rather than prolonged rains are to be expected at Aitape.
Japanese development in the area centered around airfield construction near Tadji Plantation, about eight miles east-southeast of Aitape. At least three fields were begun by the enemy near Tadji at one time or another, but terrain conditions and lack of equipment prevented the Japanese from completing more than one of these strips. They used this field as a staging area for aircraft flying between Wewak and Hollandia and as a dispersal field for planes evacuated from heavily bombed airdromes east of Aitape. Intelligence reports indicated that Japanese ground defenses in the Aitape area were weak. It therefore seemed probable that there would be little opposition to a landing and that the assault force, once ashore, could quickly seize the airstrip area. It was estimated that Allied engineers could rehabilitate one of the Tadji strips for the use of fighter planes within forty-eight hours after the initial landings. Aircraft based on the Tadji strips would be within easy supporting distance of Hollandia, able to provide air cover after the carriers departed from Hollandia.19
The seizure of the Aitape area had an additional important aspect besides providing land-based support for Hollandia. Once established ashore at Aitape, Allied forces could provide ground flank protection for Hollandia against any westward movement on the part of the Japanese 18th Army.
Additional Air Support Problems
Although the decision to seize the Tadji airstrips assured that the departure of Task Force 58 would not leave ground operations at Hollandia without air support, other air
support problems arose. The seizure of the Aitape area itself required air support, but Aitape, like Hollandia, was beyond the most effective range of Allied land-based fighters. Not enough large carriers had been made available to support the Hollandia landings (providing support for operations there for a few days and carrying out air strikes against Japanese bases in western New Guinea) and also to support the landing at Aitape.
Eight escort carriers (CVE's), together with the large carriers, had been made available by Admiral Nimitz to support the Hollandia operation. At first General MacArthur planned to use the escort carriers for close support missions at both Hollandia and Aitape,20 but it was decided that Task Force 58's carriers could provide all the air support necessary in the Hollandia area. Therefore the eight CVE's were to be used to support only the assault at Aitape and to cover ground operations in that area until one of the Tadji strips could be rehabilitated. They were to be released for return to the Central Pacific Area no later than D plus 19 of the Hollandia and Aitape landings, and earlier if possible.21
In order to carry out all the air support missions which might become necessary, it was extremely important that the maximum possible number of fighters be based on the Tadji strips at an early date. Originally it was planned to send one fighter group of the U.S. Fifth Air Force to Tadji, a group containing both P-38 and P-40 aircraft; but it was expected that the airstrips, if in operation by D plus 1, would be rough and lacking many normal airfield facilities. It was therefore decided to send No. 78 Wing of the Royal Australian Air Force to Tadji. This Australian unit, which was comparable in size to an American group, was equipped solely with P-40 aircraft, planes peculiarly suited to operations under the rough conditions and incomplete facilities that could be expected at Tadji.22
The Forces and Their Missions
Once it had become certain that close air support for the assaults at Hollandia and Aitape could be obtained, it was possible to undertake detailed logistical and tactical planning. D Day, originally set for 15 April, was postponed to 22 April, with the approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Tide conditions along the north-central coast of New Guinea, the schedule of carrier operations already planned by Admiral Nimitz, and logistic problems within the Southwest Pacific Area combined to force this change in date.
On 22 April the air, sea, and land forces of the Southwest Pacific, supported by Task Force 58, were to seize the Hollandia and Aitape areas, isolating the Japanese 18th Army to the east. The operations of forces assigned to the Southwest Pacific Area were to be co-ordinated by General MacArthur's headquarters in accordance with the principles of unity of command. The action of Task Force 58 was to be governed by mutual agreement and co-operation between General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz. At
Aitape minor air and naval facilities were to be established. At Hollandia a major air base, a logistics base capable of supporting and staging 150,000 troops, and a small naval base were to be constructed.23
The Air Plan and Organization
Long-range or strategic air support, both before and during the Hollandia-Aitape operation, was to be provided by Task Force 58 and the Allied Air Forces, Southwest Pacific Area. Task Force 58, commanded by Vice Adm. Marc A. Mitscher (USN), consisted of the large carriers and escorting battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. The escort carriers scheduled to support the Aitape landing were to operate as Task Force 78 under the command of Rear Adm. Ralph E. Davison (USN).24
Prior to 22 April the land-based bombers of the Allied Air Forces were to undertake neutralization of enemy air installations along the northern coast of New Guinea as far west as the Wakde-Sarmi area. Japanese air bases on islands in the Arafura Sea, on the Vogelkop Peninsula, and in the Caroline Islands were all to be hit by Allied Air Forces bombers. The missions against the Carolines were to be carried out for the most part by planes of the XIII Air Task Force, an advanced group of the Thirteenth Air Force, the latter then in process of moving from the South Pacific to the Southwest Pacific Area. Aircraft under control of the Allied Air Forces were also to provide aerial reconnaissance and photography as required by the ground and naval forces participating in the operation.25
Land-based fighters of the Allied Air Forces were to cover convoys within range of Allied Air Forces bases, while Allied shipping beyond this range was to be protected by aircraft from escort carriers. In order to prevent the Japanese from deducing the direction and objective of the operation, General Headquarters had decided to route the assault convoys from assembly points in eastern New Guinea north to the Admiralty Islands and thence west-southwest toward Hollandia and Aitape. Since this extended route would take the convoys into ocean areas which could not be covered by land-based fighters, the escort carriers had been assigned their additional support role.26
Medium bombers (B-25's and A-20's) of the Allied Air Forces, based in eastern New Guinea, were to undertake such close support missions at Hollandia and Aitape on D Day and thereafter as might be requested by the ground force commanders and permitted by distance and weather. Escort carrier aircraft would, if necessary, fly close support missions at Hollandia as well as at Aitape after Task Force 58 left the former area. Task Force 58 planes were to operate against targets designated by General Headquarters and requested by the ground commanders at Hollandia. The primary mission of Task Force 58, however, was to destroy or contain Japanese naval forces which
Air Organization for the Hollandia-Aitape Operations (Amphibious Phase)
might attempt to interfere with the Hollandia operation. The air support missions of the force were secondary to the destruction of the Japanese fleet.27
Most of the air support tasks assigned to land-based aircraft of the Allied Air Forces were to be carried out by the U.S. Fifth Air Force. Forward area operations were assigned to the Advanced Echelon, Fifth Air Force, commanded by Maj. Gen. Ennis C. Whitehead. Many missions against the islands of the Arafura Sea and the Geelvink Bay area were to be undertaken by Air Vice Marshal Bostock's Royal Australian Air Force Command. American air missions were to be flown principally from Fifth Air Force bases in eastern New Guinea. Australian planes, aided by bombers of the Fifth Air Force and a B-25 squadron of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force, were to strike most of their targets from fields at Darwin in northern Australia.28
In addition to conducting a fighter sweep of the Hollandia and Wakde-Sarmi fields prior to D Day and covering the landings at Hollandia, Task Force 58 was assigned another important air support mission. Carrier strikes by the U.S. Fifth Fleet during February had driven the main body of the Japanese fleet west from its forward base at Truk in the Carolines. In March the Japanese began to reassemble naval power in the Palau Islands, some 800 miles northwest of Hollandia. This new naval strength constituted a potentially serious threat to the success of the Hollandia operation. It was therefore considered imperative to conduct a carrier strike against the Palaus in order to drive the enemy fleet still farther west, an operation scheduled by Admiral Nimitz for about 1 April. After the strike against the Palaus, Task Force 58 was to retire from the Carolines and western New Guinea until 21 April, D minus 1 of the Hollandia operation, when it was to return to sweep the Wakde-Sarmi and Hollandia fields.29
Admiral Nimitz requested that Southwest Pacific aircraft cover the strike against the Palaus by undertaking reconnaissance and bombardment missions over those islands and others in the Carolines during the passage of Task Force 58 to and from its objective. He also asked for missions against Japanese air and naval installations in the Bismarck Archipelago and along the northern coast of New Guinea. There were not sufficient long-range aircraft available to the Allied Air Forces to carry out all the missions requested by Admiral Nimitz and at the same time continue necessary bombing and reconnaissance preparations for the advance to Hollandia. Therefore a squadron of PB4Y's (the naval version of the Army B-24) was transferred from the South Pacific to the Southwest Pacific. These planes were stationed initially in eastern New Guinea and then sent to the Admiralties when the fields there became operational. Other long-range missions in support of the Palau strike were carried out by Fifth Air Force B-24's
and PBY's (two-engined patrol bombers) of the Allied Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific Area.30
Aircraft of the South Pacific Area (the operations of this area were under General MacArthur's strategic direction) were to continue aerial blockade of the Bismarcks and Solomons. The same air units were to assist in reconnaissance missions required to cover the operations of both Task Force 58 and the movement of Southwest Pacific forces to Hollandia and Aitape. Finally, with naval forces of the South Pacific assisting, the South Pacific air was to halt Japanese sea-borne reinforcement and supply activities within the area.31
The Allied Naval Forces was to transport and land the assault troops and supporting forces, together with their supplies, and to furnish necessary naval protection for the overwater movement to the objectives. Admiral Kinkaid's command was also to conduct hydrographic surveys of harbors and approaches at Hollandia and Aitape, undertake mine-sweeping at both objectives, and carry out submarine reconnaissance as required by General MacArthur. Admiral Kinkaid delegated control of both ground and naval forces during the amphibious phase of the operation to Admiral Barbey. In case of an engagement with Japanese fleet units, Admiral Kinkaid would assume direct command of Allied Naval Forces combat ships supporting the Hollandia-Aitape operation, but otherwise Admiral Barbey would remain in control.32
For the Hollandia-Aitape operation Admiral Barbey's command was designated Task Force 77. It contained all the attack shipping available to the Allied Naval Forces and also covering and support forces of escort carriers and American and Australian cruisers and destroyers. Task Force 77's attack shipping and fire support vessels were divided into three main sections--the Western, Central, and Eastern Attack Groups. The first two were responsible for the Hollandia area landings, while the Eastern Attack Group was to carry assault troops to Aitape.33
Naval fire support for the landings was primarily a responsibility of Task Force 77, but the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers of Task Force 58 were also to be ready to provide fire support for the landings and operations ashore at Hollandia, should such additional bombardment prove necessary.34 In case of fleet action, Admiral Mitscher's Task Force 58 would retain its independence and would not come under the control of General MacArthur or of the latter's naval commander, Admiral Kinkaid. Task Force 58 could depart the Hollandia area at a moment's notice to carry out its primary mission, destruction or containment of threatening Japanese fleet units. Conversely, the combat ships and escort carriers of the Allied Naval Forces would not pass to the control of Admiral Mitscher. There was no provision
Naval Organization for the Hollandia-Aitape Operations (Amphibious Phase)
made for unified air or naval command in the objective area--a situation similar to that which obtained six months later at Leyte Gulf.
The Ground Forces
Ground operations at Hollandia and Aitape were to be under the control of ALAMO Force, commanded by General Krueger.35 General Headquarters' early plans, which were based on the assumption that Hollandia would be a single objective, had assigned to ALAMO Force one and one third reinforced divisions, totaling about 32,000 combat and service troops. When intelligence estimates indicated that nearly 14,000 Japanese troops, including two infantry regiments, might be stationed at Hollandia by D Day, it became obvious that General Krueger would need more strength. When Aitape was added to the Hollandia plan, another need for increased strength became apparent. Japanese forces at Aitape were estimated at 3,500, including 1,500 combat troops. Since the Japanese used Aitape as a staging area for troop movements between Wewak and Hollandia, it was considered possible that before 22 April enemy strength at Aitape might fluctuate from one to three thousand above the estimated figure.36 As a result of these estimates, two and one-third reinforced divisions, totaling almost 50,000 troops, were made available to General Krueger for the assault phase of the Hollandia-Aitape operation.37
Responsibility for ground operations at Hollandia was delegated by General Krueger to Headquarters, U.S. I Corps, which for this undertaking was designated the RECKLESS Task Force. Commanded by Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger, I Corps headquarters had seen action during the Papua Campaign. Since then it had been based in Australia, operating as a training and defense command. Early in 1944 the corps headquarters had moved to Goodenough Island, off the eastern tip of New Guinea, to prepare for the now canceled Hansa Bay operation. At Hollandia General Eichelberger was to control the action of the 24th and 41st Infantry Divisions (the latter less one regimental combat team). The 24th Division, when alerted for the Hollandia operation, was finishing amphibious and jungle training at Goodenough Island in preparation for the Hansa Bay campaign. Elements of the 41st Division, which was commanded by Maj. Gen. Horace H. Fuller, had participated in the Papua Campaign, while other parts of the unit had gained experience in the Lae-Salamaua operations. At the time it was alerted for Hollandia, the 41st Division was rehabilitating and retraining in Australia.38
Two regimental combat teams of the yet untried 24th Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving, were to land at Tanahmerah Bay, while two regimental
HOLLANDIA-AITAPE PLANNERS. Left to right: Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger, Rear Adm. Daniel E. Barbey, Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Chamberlin, Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger. Officer at right is unidentified.
combat teams of the 41st Division were to go ashore at Humboldt Bay.39 At Aitape, the 163d Infantry of the 41st Division was to make the initial landings.
Operations at Aitape were to be controlled by Headquarters, PERSECUTION Task Force, commanded by Brig. Gen. Jens A. Doe, Assistant Division Commander, 41st Division. The PERSECUTION Task Force, organized on 23 March, was an Allied headquarters especially set up for the Aitape operation. It was to exercise its command functions directly under ALAMO Force and was on the same level of command as the RECKLESS Task Force.40
Until a beachhead was secured in the Aitape area, control of the landing and operations ashore was to be vested in Admiral Barbey as the Attack Force commander, who was to be represented at Aitape by the Commander, Eastern Attack Group, Capt.
Albert G. Noble (USN). General Doe was to assume command of operations at Aitape upon the seizure of the beachhead, at which time the PERSECUTION Task Force was automatically to pass from the control of the Navy to ALAMO Force.
At Hollandia the control of operations was to pass from the commanders of the Western and Central Attack Groups to the commanders of the 24th and 41st Divisions, respectively, when those units had secured their beachheads. Admiral Barbey was to retain control over ground action in the Hollandia area until General Eichelberger saw fit to move his headquarters ashore. The task force would then revert from naval control to the supervision of ALAMO Force.41
To reinforce the 24th and 41st Divisions for the Hollandia-Aitape operation, three separate field artillery battalions, four engineer combat battalions, seven (plus) antiaircraft battalions, a tank destroyer battalion, and the bulk of three engineer boat and shore regiments were made available. Other reinforcing units included a medium tank company of the 1st Marine Division, then on New Britain, and another from the 1st Cavalry Division, which was operating on the Admiralty Islands. Among the service organizations assigned to the operation was No. 62 Works Wing, Royal Australian Air Force, to which was assigned the task of rehabilitating an airfield at Aitape by D plus 1.42
General Headquarters Reserve for the operation was the 6th Infantry Division, then finishing training for amphibious and jungle warfare at Milne Bay, New Guinea. About a week before the landings the 503d Parachute Infantry, veteran of one combat jump in eastern New Guinea; was designated as an additional General Headquarters Reserve.
ALAMO Force Reserve for the Hollandia-Aitape operation was originally the 127th Infantry (and regimental combat team attachments) of the 32d Division. It was brought out of reserve and assigned to the PERSECUTION Task Force to arrive at Aitape on D plus 1 because, as D Day approached, General Krueger became increasingly concerned over the capabilities of the Japanese 18th Army, concentrating a strength of fifty to sixty thousand at Wewak, only ninety-four miles east-southeast of Aitape. The G-2 Section of General MacArthur's headquarters estimated that a large part of the 18th Army could march overland from Wewak to Aitape in two weeks, an opinion not shared by the Operations Section (G-3) of the same headquarters. The 18th Army, according to General MacArthur's G-2, could be expected to make determined efforts to recapture the Aitape area.43
General MacArthur considered General Krueger's commitment of the 127th Regimental Combat Team to operations at Aitape at least premature, if not unnecessary. The theater commander had planned to relieve the 32d Division, then at Saidor on the Huon Peninsula, with Australian troops. The division was to be staged at Saidor for an operation against the Wakde-Sarmi area in quick exploitation of expected success at Hollandia and Aitape. General MacArthur believed, however, that Aitape might ultimately have to be reinforced. Reluctant consent was therefore given to General Krueger's plan and General MacArthur made provision to use other units at Wakde-Sarmi. ALAMO Force Reserve then became the 32d Division less two regimental combat teams--the 127th at Aitape and another which was to remain in the Saidor area for an indeterminate period.44 RECKLESS Task Force Reserve at Hollandia was the 34th Infantry (and combat team attachments) of the 24th Division. PERSECUTION Task Force Reserve during the landings at Aitape was the 1st Battalion, 163d Infantry.45
Ground forces of the South Pacific Area were to continue their campaigns in the Solomon Islands and the Bismarck Archipelago during the Hollandia-Aitape operation. New Guinea Force, commanded by General Blamey and consisting principally of Australian troops, was to continue pressure against 18th Army elements southeast of Wewak. This action was expected to help prevent the 18th Army from moving westward at will either to attack or to bypass the Aitape area. New Guinea Force was also to defend all of eastern New Guinea it then occupied.46
Logistic support of the Hollandia-Aitape operation was the responsibility of the United States Army Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area. The magnitude of the logistic problem is illustrated by the fact that the grand total of all Southwest Pacific Area forces assigned directly to the Hollandia-Aitape operation was over 84,000 men. There were approximately 50,000 ground combat troops and almost 23,000 personnel of all types of service units. Allied Air Forces units scheduled to move forward to Hollandia and Aitape during the opening stages of the operation, including both ground and air echelons, totaled over 12,000 men. Of the 84,000 troops assigned to the operation, about 52,000 men were to land in the objective areas by the evening of D plus 3, considered the end of the assault phase.47 Never before had an operation of this size been undertaken in the Southwest Pacific Area.
Other problems existed, some of them directly and others indirectly related to the size of the force. Heading the list was the theater's chronic and sometimes acute shortage of ships. There were to be three widely separated beaches, each far more distant from supply bases than had been the case in
Ground Organization for the Hollandia-Aitape Operations (Amphibious Phase)
earlier operations in the theater. The necessity for hurried airdrome construction at the objectives made it imperative that large quantities of engineering equipment and material be sent to Hollandia and Aitape during the first two or three days of the operation. Plans to develop Hollandia into a major air center and logistic base involved a long-range program of construction. Staging the troops was complicated by the fact that the units were scattered from points in southern Australia to the Admiralty Islands and from the Huon Peninsula to western New Britain.
The Logistic Plan
While logistic support of the Hollandia-Aitape operation was a responsibility of the Services of Supply, ALAMO Force was responsible for the co-ordination of all detailed logistic planning.48 For the purposes of coordination, General Krueger was authorized to call to his headquarters representatives of the Services of Supply, the Allied Air Forces, and the Allied Naval Forces.
The Allied Naval Forces was responsible for the logistic support of its own elements, but in case of emergency it could draw supplies from Services of Supply stocks. All air force technical supplies required to support air force units moving to Hollandia or Aitape were to be provided by the Allied Air Forces. That headquarters was to be prepared to fly emergency supplies to Hollandia and Aitape upon call from ALAMO Force. The latter organization was to provide maintenance and rations for troops staging for Hollandia and Aitape, establish initial supply bases at the objectives, and initiate numerous construction projects, including airfields at Hollandia and Aitape.
To insure supply of units moving to Hollandia and Aitape, the Services of Supply was to provide at forward bases a thirty-day supply of rations, unit equipment, clothing, fuels, and lubricants. Six units of fire49 of all types of ammunition were to be stockpiled for ground assault troops. Construction matériel, in amounts and types determined by ALAMO Force, was also to be provided at forward bases. The responsibility for obtaining these supplies from the Services of Supply and assembling them at RECKLESS and PERSECUTION Task Force staging areas was vested in ALAMO Force.
Assault units of the RECKLESS and PERSECUTION Task Forces were to carry ashore a five-day supply of rations. Additional rations to assure food until D plus 20 for all units of the RECKLESS Task Force landed through D plus 3 were to be moved to Hollandia with those units. Sufficient rations were to be loaded for PERSECUTION Task Force assault echelons to supply them through D plus 29. Both task forces were to take with them a fifteen-day supply of unit equipment, clothing, fuels, and lubricants. Engineer construction material was to be loaded on ships scheduled to land through D plus 3 in such quantity as to satisfy the minimum prescribed
by ALAMO Force, and in additional quantities as required by the commanders of the RECKLESS and PERSECUTION Task Forces. Fifteen days' supply of other types of construction and maintenance material was to be moved to Hollandia and Aitape during the assault phase of the operations.
Provision for ammunition supply was more complex and depended to a large extent upon the nature of individual combat organizations. Assault troops moving to Hollandia were to be provided with at least two units of fire for all weapons. On the other hand, the PERSECUTION Task Force was to be supplied with four units of fire for the landing. Sufficient ammunition for field and antiaircraft artillery weapons, 4.2-inch mortars, and hand grenades was to be shipped forward on assault convoys to provide each task force with six units of fire by D plus 3. Other types of ammunition, to establish a total of five units of fire by D plus 3, would also be shipped to Hollandia and Aitape. Resupply of ammunition for the RECKLESS and PERSECUTION Task Forces was a responsibility of ALAMO Force. Two units of fire for all weapons were to be brought forward on convoys scheduled to arrive at the objectives on D plus 8. After this first automatic resupply, the two task forces would requisition from ALAMO Force ammunition as needed.
Extra rations, fuels, lubricants, and ammunition were to be stockpiled at forward bases so as to insure uninterrupted flow of these items to the objectives. The Services of Supply was to hold two large cargo vessels empty at a forward base for possible emergency use until D plus 30, and was also to furnish, prior to D Day, 1,000 tons of space on small ships for emergency use. The Allied Naval Forces and the Services of Supply were to co-operate in providing tankers for movement of bulk-loaded aviation gasoline, barges for handling such fuel at the objectives, and harbor and lightering craft. Through D plus 45 the control of all shipping moving to Hollandia and Aitape was to rest with Allied Naval Forces. After that date the Services of Supply was to assume this responsibility. Principal supply and staging bases were to be at Goodenough Island and Finschhafen. The latter base would be the point of departure for resupply ships controlled by Allied Naval Forces. Services of Supply shipping was to use such bases as might be determined by that headquarters.
Obtaining the Shipping
Early plans for the operation had indicated that 32,000 troops with 28,500 measurement tons of supplies would be ample to secure the Hollandia area. Enough shipping could have been scraped up within the Southwest Pacific to carry out an operation of that size, but the scope of the undertaking was entirely changed by the enlargement of the forces and the decision to seize Aitape. The 52,000-odd troops finally assigned to the assault phase of the operation would require 58,100 tons of supplies and equipment. There was not enough assault shipping within the theater to meet such requirements of troop and cargo space.50
Most of the necessary additional shipping was obtained by borrowing for a limited period assault vessels from the South and Central Pacific Areas and by utilizing some theater ships normally engaged in training activities or operations in rear areas, substituting civilian-manned vessels for the latter.
By mid-March it appeared that these steps had secured the minimum shipping space needed for the operation. However, requirements for hurried airdrome and base construction made it necessary to add more service troops and larger quantities of engineer equipment to assault cargoes than had been contemplated when arrangements for borrowing ships were first completed.51
General Krueger proposed that additional shipping space be obtained by using large cargo vessels (AK's) which were not usually employed during assaults. These vessels, often of the Liberty-ship type, differed from attack cargo ships (AKA's) principally in that they did not carry enough small boats to unload themselves. Four AK's, manned by U.S. Navy or Coast Guard personnel, were operating in rear areas in the theater where dock facilities and large cranes were available. General Krueger requested that these four be made available for the Hollandia-Aitape operation, a request which seemed justified in the light of expected Allied air superiority at the objectives and which had a precedent in Japanese practice during the early months of the war in the Pacific.52
Admiral Barbey, in charge of the amphibious phase of the operation, opposed this plan. He felt that AK's would be especially vulnerable to attack in the forward areas if they were to remain at the objectives until completely unloaded of a capacity cargo. The Supply Section (G-4) of General MacArthur's headquarters did not entirely agree with the admiral and was, indeed, inclined toward the point of view that AK's ". . . should be operated with a view to support rather than preservation of naval facilities. . . ."53
The G-4 Section's point of view represented one side of a basic disagreement between Army and Navy circles not only in the Southwest Pacific Area but also, to varying degrees, in other theaters of operations. To the Navy, the shipping shortage in the Southwest Pacific, together with the importance of keeping in operation ships capable of providing further logistic support, outweighed the necessity for employing merchant-type shipping, such as AK's, in the early phases of amphibious operations. The loss of a single vessel of that type would be keenly felt in both rear and forward areas in the Southwest Pacific for months to come. Moreover, to the Navy a piece of capital equipment such as an AK was not as expendable as such items of ground force equipment as an artillery piece, a tank, or a truck. An AK represented months or perhaps years of construction effort and crew training.54
Admiral Barbey finally determined to
take some calculated risks that seemed to be warranted by the importance of the cargo which AK's could carry to the objectives. He decided that two lightly loaded AK's would move to Hollandia with the D Day convoys. These two ships were to leave that area on D plus 2 whether or not their unloading was completed. Another AK was to reach Aitape on D Day and the fourth would arrive at Aitape on D plus 1. Both the latter were to have a capacity load and were to remain at Aitape until completely discharged. During the period that the four AK's were operating in the forward area, the Services of Supply, by arrangement with Allied Naval Forces, was to provide civilian-manned vessels totaling equivalent tonnage for operations in the rear area.55
The fact that the AK's scheduled to arrive at Hollandia on D Day were not to be completely loaded resulted in a reduction of tonnage space--space which ALAMO Force believed necessary for the success of the operation. During the discussion concerning the dispatch of AK's to Hollandia, the Allied Naval Forces had made available six landing ships, tank (LST's) which had not previously been assigned to the operation, apparently in the hope that ALAMO Force would accept these vessels in lieu of the AK's. Even with this addition, space was still lacking for 3,800 tons of engineering equipment and other cargo that ALAMO Force desired to send forward with initial convoys. This cargo had to wait for later convoys.56
As another result of the limitations on cargo space, the quantity of supplies to be carried forward after the assault phase, on Services of Supply ships manned by civilian crews, was increased beyond that originally contemplated. In addition, some of the ships sailing with the D Day through D plus 3 convoys would have to unload at Hollandia and Aitape, return to eastern New Guinea bases for reloading, and go back to the forward objectives with a new series of convoys beginning on D plus 8.57
The first detailed plans for the Hollandia operation had been drawn up during the last week of February 1944 and final major changes were completed in the second week of April. As a result of the various changes, ships scheduled to arrive at the objectives during the assault phase of the operation had increased as follows:
Plan of 28
Plan of 9
4 Attack Troop Transports (APA's) 8 1 Attack Cargo Ships (AKA's) 2 1 Landing Ships, Dock (LSD's) 3 10 Destroyer Transports (APD's) 14 30 Landing Craft, Infantry (LCI's) 31 27 Landing Ships, Tank (LST's) 51 -- Cargo Ships (AK's) 4
After 9 April the number of assault vessels was not changed and the quantity of personnel and supplies scheduled to be landed through D plus 3 remained substantially the same.58
Loading and Unloading Problems
Because of the shipping shortage, it was extremely important to make use of all available cargo space on each vessel. In accordance with common practice in amphibious operations, the ships of the Hollandia-Aitape assault convoy were to be combat-loaded, which is to say that supplies most needed ashore would be the last loaded at staging areas, and the most important matériel would be aboard ships to be first discharged. This would insure that priority cargo would be the first ashore. Combat loading could take a variety of forms or combinations thereof. All cargo could be loaded in bulk in the holds of ships, or could be stowed aboard wheeled or tracked vehicles, themselves to be combat-loaded. Another possibility considered during preparations for the Hollandia-Aitape operations was to lash supplies onto prefabricated platforms--known as pallets--which could easily be loaded aboard cargo ships. For unloading, these platforms could be lowered by deck cranes into small boats or, occasionally, into water to be dragged behind small craft to the beach.59
Pallet-loading had been used extensively during operations in the Central Pacific Area but had been little employed in the Southwest Pacific. The system had the advantage of saving much time and labor by reducing to a minimum the handling of individual boxes, crates, and cartons. But it had the disadvantage of using somewhat more space in holds than simple bulk stowage. Moreover, not many pallets were readily available in the forward areas of the Southwest Pacific and, again, the theater had had little experience in their use. To save all possible space and to take advantage of theater experience, ALAMO Force decided that bulk combat-loading would be employed for all cargo not stowed aboard vehicles.60
Another problem was that of lighterage at the objectives. Since the AK's did not carry small craft with which to unload themselves provision had to be made to secure such boats. For Aitape, ALAMO Force believed that one landing craft, tank (LCT), and twenty landing craft, mechanized (LCM's) would be required on D Day and twice that number on D plus 1, when the second of the two AK's was scheduled to arrive. General Krueger therefore requested that Allied Naval Forces set up an LCT-LCM convoy or its equivalent
in other landing craft to arrive at Aitape on D Day.
Admiral Barbey would not approve this plan. He felt that it would not be practical for LCM's and LCT's to move to Aitape under their own power nor to be towed there by large ships. The distance from staging areas to Aitape would increase the possibility of mechanical failures on the part of the LCT's and LCM's moving under their own power. Towing would decrease the speed of the assault convoy, thereby increasing the possibility of Japanese air attacks on the convoys and lessening chances for tactical surprise at the objectives. Admiral Barbey therefore felt that the Aitape unloading plan would have to be based on the use of small craft carried forward by the assault shipping scheduled to arrive on D Day.61
To obtain some additional lighterage, it was decided to carry extra landing craft on all large assault ships arriving at Aitape on D Day.62 In addition, three landing ships, dock (LSD's) scheduled to arrive at Hollandis and Aitape on D Day were ordered to make a rapid return trip to eastern New Guinea bases to pick up another load of small craft. On the return trip the LSD's were to carry a total of three LCT's and twenty-four LCM's to Aitape, which, together with one LCT and six LCM's that could be loaded on D Day shipping, was considered ample. It was hoped that this return trip of the LSD's could be accomplished by the afternoon of D plus 3. Because of the distances involved, however, Admiral Barbey could not promise that the LSD's would arrive at Aitape on their second trip prior to the morning of D plus 4.63
Since it was not necessary to unload as much engineering construction equipment at Hollandia during the assault phase as at Aitape, the lighterage problem at Hollandia did not appear acute prior to the landings. It was thought probable that such shortages as might occur there would be eased by sending forward extra small craft aboard the ships of the first resupply convoy on D plus 8.64
A third problem of supply movement was to find a method of transporting supplies from the water's edge to dump areas by means other than the conventional, time-consuming individual handling of each item or container. ALAMO Force decided that beach sleds--which could be dragged any place on a beach negotiable by wheeled vehicles, tractors, or bulldozers--would be the answer. About 150 sleds had been manufactured in Australia for use by the 1st Cavalry Division in the Admiralties, but they had not been ready in time for that operation. ALAMO Force obtained a high shipping priority for the movement of 34 sleds from Brisbane, Australia, to the staging area of the 24th Division at Goodenough Island.
These sleds arrived at Goodenough too late to be loaded on the Hollandia convoy.65
Meanwhile, ALAMO Force had discovered that another 26 sleds were on the way from Australia to Oro Bay, New Guinea, and that the remainder of the original 150 had supposedly been shipped during March to Cape Cretin, New Guinea.66 From the middle of March to the middle of April the ALAMO G-4 Section directed a widespread search for these two shipments, all trace of which had apparently been lost. An officer from the ALAMO Ordnance Section looked for the sleds to no avail at various Services of Supply bases in New Guinea and Australia. Finally, official channels having failed, the ALAMO G-4 Liaison Officer at Oro Bay, who was also engaged in the search, followed a hunch. He had a sergeant from his liaison group informally establish contact with a supply sergeant at the Oro Bay Base Engineer Section. This supply sergeant immediately located 60 beach sleds at the base engineer supply dump.
These sleds were perhaps not the particular ones for which the search was being conducted, since their dimensions differed slightly from those specified. However, the liaison officer was acting on instructions from the ALAMO G-4 to get some beach sleds to Cape Cretin, where some of the Hollandia-bound-convoy was loading, no later than 17 April. He therefore drew the 60 sleds from the base engineer and had them shipped forward from Oro Bay by small boat. Taking this action on his own responsibility, the liaison officer assured at least a partial supply of beach sleds for the RECKLESS Task Force.67
Problems of Subordinate Commands
While sufficient supplies were on hand within the Southwest Pacific Area to provide assault units with almost all the materials they needed for initial operations, some shortages did exist which could not be filled prior to the assault. Other logistic difficulties were caused by the rather hurried organization of the task forces and by the fact that units assigned to the operation were scattered all over the eastern part of the theater. The RECKLESS Task Force G-4 complained that many units scheduled to engage in the operation were assigned to the task force so late that it was nearly impossible to ascertain their supply shortages. General Krueger had originally approved a plan to make the task force responsible only for the supply of units specifically assigned to it. But the task force was later ordered to assure completeness and serviceability of supplies and equipment of
all units scheduled to be controlled by the task force at Hollandia, whenever assigned.68
In order to carry out its broad supply duties, the RECKLESS Task Force G-4 Section decentralized responsibility for the supply and equipment of various attached units to the headquarters' Special Staff Sections of corresponding services. This step, which speeded communication between the task force headquarters and the scattered attached units, made possible quick and accurate determination of shortages and insured that steps would be taken to fill requisitions from attached organizations. Nevertheless, because so many units were assigned to the task force quite late, the Ordnance Section declared that determination of numerous ammunition shortages could be made only on "suspicion."69
Another means by which the RECKLESS Task Force solved some of its logistic problems was to make minor modifications in the Tables of Equipment and Basic Allowances of various units assigned or attached to the task force. ALAMO Force approved this step only on the condition that such changes would not materially affect unit tonnage and space requirements, thereby creating a need for more shipping space or causing major last-minute changes in loading plans.70
Subordinate units of the RECKLESS Task Force had their own supply problems. On 8 March, with little more than a week's notice, the 41st Division had to begin moving from Australia to Cape Cretin, New Guinea, where it was to stage for Hollandia. On such short notice a good portion of the division's supply shortages could not be filled on the Australian mainland. The division sent liaison officers to Services of Supply headquarters, to ALAMO Force headquarters, and to Services of Supply forward bases in New Guinea to find out where shortages could be filled and to start the movement of necessary items to Cape Cretin. Most shortages were filled without undue difficulty from New Guinea bases, but there was a permanent shortage of wheeled vehicles. The 41st Division had no 2½-ton 6 x 6 trucks and only 50 percent of other authorized vehicles. Some vehicles were supplied in New Guinea, but the fulfillment of authorized allowances had to await post-assault shipment.71
The 24th Division, staging at Goodenough Island, had especial difficulty in procuring certain types of ammunition. The division was unable to procure enough 2.36-inch bazooka rockets to build its stocks to the prescribed level of five units of fire. Theater stocks of bazooka rockets were so low that the success of future operations might have been jeopardized if all those available were issued for the Hollandia-Aitape attacks. Therefore, only three units of fire of the 2.36-inch rockets could be issued to the 24th Division itself and only two units of fire to attached units.72 Some
lots of 60-mm. mortar ammunition supplied to the 24th Division were found to be defective--a condition which obtained for a large portion of theater stocks of this item. The division was advised that it would have to use the 60-mm. ammunition issued and that the defective lots were not to be fired over the heads of friendly troops.73 One regiment of the division was initially short of both 60-mm. and 81-mm. mortar shells. Most of these shortages were made up from stocks in Services of Supply bases in New Guinea, and the shells were shipped to Goodenough Island by small craft. The remainder was shipped by air from these bases or Australia to Goodenough just in time to be loaded on the 24th Division assault convoy.74
Like the RECKLESS Task Force, the 24th Division was not made responsible for the supply of many attached units until late in March. Some of these units had difficulty obtaining needed supplies and equipment, although they made efforts to fulfill their requirements. General Irving, the division commander, felt so strongly about the difficulties of attached units that he requested investigation of the failure on the part of some Services of Supply bases to provide spare parts and maintenance supplies for attached artillery and tank units. Spare parts for artillery mounts, tractors, and tanks were ultimately located at various Services of Supply installations and shipped to Goodenough. However, all the desired spare parts for engineer and ordnance equipment could not be found before the division left its staging area, and provision had to be made to ship such items to the objective on resupply convoys.75
The PERSECUTION Task Force had few separate logistic problems. The principal assault element of the task force was the 163d Infantry of the 41st Division, and that regiment's supply problems were solved along with those of the division. The 167th Field Artillery Battalion, which was to support the 163d Infantry at Aitape, had some difficulties. Because of the shortage of shipping space, the battalion's organic transportation could not all be sent forward on assault convoys. The unit's radio and wire would therefore have to be manhandled at the objective, and liaison and fire control parties attached to the battalion were to be without their usual transportation.76
The Hollandia Tactical Plan
While the problems of logistics were being solved, the tactical plans for the Hollandia and Aitape assaults were being drawn up. Limited knowledge of the terrain at the objectives was a major obstacle to detailed planning, but by early April the ground, air, and amphibious force commanders, in cooperation, had solved most of their problems and had published their final tactical plans.
Two regimental combat teams of the 41st Division were to start landing at Humboldt
Bay on 22 April at 0700, high tide time in the Hollandia area. Simultaneously, two regimental combat teams of the 24th Division were to go ashore at Tanahmerah Bay. After securing their beachheads, the two divisions were to drive inland through successive phase lines to complete a pincers movement aimed at the rapid seizure of the Japanese-held airfields on the Lake Sentani Plain.
It was intended that the main effort should be made from Tanahmerah Bay by the 24th Division, since known and suspected Japanese defenses seemed concentrated at Humboldt Bay. While the RECKLESS Task Force Reserve (the 34th Regimental Combat Team of the 24th Division) might actually be more needed by the 41st Division at Humboldt Bay, General Eichelberger, the task force commander, planned to land the reserve at Tanahmerah Bay in an endeavor to exploit expected enemy weaknesses there. Task force headquarters and most of the reinforcing units and service organizations were also to land at Tanahmerah Bay. The 41st Division was to be prepared to drive inland from Humboldt Bay, but its role might be limited to containing Japanese strength which could otherwise move against the 24th Division. Nevertheless, the 41st Division's plans were made to take advantage of whatever weaknesses might be found in enemy defenses at Humboldt Bay.77
The Humboldt Bay landing areas selected for the 41st Division, WHITE Beaches 1-4, presented complex problems of coordination and control. From the northwestern and southeastern shores of the inner reaches of Humboldt Bay ran two low sand spits, divided one from the other by a narrow channel leading from Humboldt Bay southwestward into smaller Jautefa Bay. Narrow, sandy beaches lined the Humboldt Bay side of the two spits, but the Jautefa Bay shore was covered with tangled mangrove swamps.
WHITE Beaches 1-3 were located on the two sand spits. None was ideally located in relation to division objectives, but the beaches were the best in the area. Access to the mainland from the spits could be obtained by movement along the Humboldt Bay side to inland ends of both peninsulas. The northern spit was flanked inland by an open-topped height called Pancake Hill, which was suspected of containing Japanese defensive installations. North of Pancake Hill, toward the town of Hollandia, lay wooded hills rising to a height of over 1,000 feet. The southern spit opened on marshy ground along the southeastern shore of Humboldt Bay.
WHITE Beach 1, about 800 yards long and 70 wide, ran along the northern spit south from the point at which that peninsula joined the mainland. WHITE Beach 2 was at the outer end of the same spit, while WHITE Beach 3 was located at the northern end of the southern peninsula. WHITE Beach 4 was on the western shore of Jautefa Bay and was situated just north of Pim, a native village at the eastern terminus of a motor road running inland to Lake Sentani and the task force objectives.78
Close air support for the landings of the 41st Division was the responsibility of planes aboard the carriers of Task Force 58. These aircraft were to maintain combat air patrols over enemy airstrips in the Hollandia area from earliest light on D Day until H plus 60 minutes (0800), or until such patrols
proved unnecessary. Fighter planes engaged in these patrol missions were to have freedom of action over the entire Hollandia region until H minus 30 minutes, after which they were to confine their operations to targets two or more miles inland from the landing beaches at both Humboldt and Tanahmerah Bays.
At Humboldt Bay, from H minus 15 minutes until H minus 4, or until the 41st Division's leading landing wave was within 800 yards of the shore, carrier-based aircraft were to hit enemy antiaircraft batteries and other known or suspected defensive positions around Humboldt Bay, especially on hills near WHITE Beaches 1 and 4. At H minus 4 minutes, carrier-based bombers were to drop their bombs on the beaches in an attempt to detonate possible beach mines. At H minus 3, when the first wave was scheduled to be 500 yards from shore, antipersonnel fragmentation bombs were to be dropped on WHITE Beach 1.
Naval fire support at Humboldt Bay was to be provided by three light cruisers and six destroyers of the U.S. Navy, firing to begin at H minus 60 minutes. Principal targets were Hollandia, Pim, heights north of WHITE Beach 1, Cape Soedja at the northwestern end of Humboldt Bay, and the four landing beaches. Two rocket-equipped landing craft, infantry (LCI's), were to accompany the leading boat waves, one to fire on Pancake Hill and the other to bombard high ground north of Pancake. A single destroyer was to accompany the first waves to bombard Capes Pie and Tjeweri (the tips of the two sand spits) and to support movement of amphibian tractors (LVT's) from WHITE Beach 2 to WHITE Beach 4.79
The first landings to take place on WHITE Beach 1, at H Hour, were to be executed by the 3d Battalion, 162d Infantry. After landing, the battalion was to push rapidly north along the beach to the mainland and make ready to descend into Hollandia from hills south of that town. One company was to move west from the main body to establish a block across a road connecting Hollandia and Pim. The seizure of the northern section of the Hollandia-Pim road was assigned to the 2d Battalion, 162d Infantry, which was to follow the 3d ashore on WHITE Beach 1. The 2d was to push up the road toward Hollandia and assist the 3d Battalion in securing that town. The 1st Battalion, 162d Infantry, was to land at WHITE Beach 1 still later and assemble inland as division reserve.
WHITE Beach 2 and Cape Pie were to be seized at H Hour by a reinforced rifle platoon from the 1st Battalion, 162d Infantry. The beach was to be used by the 3d Battalion, 186th Infantry, which, aboard LVT's, was to move across the spit, push through the backing mangrove swamp, and land on WHITE Beach 4 across Jautefa Bay. Then the battalion was to clear neighboring hills and advance south toward Pim along the Hollandia-Pim road. The rest of the 186th Infantry was to land on WHITE Beach 1 after H Hour and move inland around the upper end of the spit. The 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry, was to move to Pim while the 2d Battalion assembled in division reserve.
Seizure of WHITE Beach 3 on the southern sand spit was designed as a security measure, and the beach was to be occupied by a rifle company of the 3d Battalion, 186th Infantry, at H Hour. This unit was then to secure Cape Tjeweri, at the northern tip of the spit, and patrol southeastward from the peninsula along the shore of Humboldt Bay
to ward off or delay any Japanese counterattacks from that direction.
Artillery landing on D Day was to take up positions either on the northern spit or near the Hollandia-Pim road and from those positions provide support for infantry advancing inland and toward Hollandia. Antiaircraft artillery was to be grouped initially on or near WHITE Beach 1. The first duties of engineers were to unload ships, construct or improve exit roads from WHITE Beach 1 to the Hollandia-Pim road, and improve the latter track. The 41st Reconnaissance Troop was to scout along the shores of Humboldt Bay as far as Tami Airstrip, eight miles southeast of Hollandia, and to Imbi Bay and Cape Soedja at the northwestern limits of Humboldt Bay.80
Landing points chosen for the 24th Division at Tanahmerah Bay were designated Red Beaches 1 and 2 and the principal thrust was to be made over the latter. Situated on the east-central shore of Tanahmerah Bay, RED Beach 2 ran north and south about 800 yards, boasted clear approaches from the sea, and was steeply inclined. It was known to be narrow and backed by a swamp, the nature of which could not be ascertained before the landing. RED Beach 1 was located at the southern end of Dépapré Bay, a narrow southeastern arm of Tanahmerah Bay. The narrow approach to RED Beach 1 was flanked on each side by hills only 600 yards from the central channel, and the landing area was fronted by a coral reef, the characteristics of which were unknown before D Day.
Red Beach 1 opened on a small flat area at the native village of Dépapré, near the beginning of the only road between Tanahmerah Bay and the inland airfields. Little was known about this road, but it was believed to be extensively used by the Japanese, passable for light wheeled vehicles, and subject to rapid improvement. West and south of RED Beach 1 lay a swamp backed by heavily forested hills. To the north was more difficult terrain, dominated by three prominent hills overlooking both RED Beaches. The division expected to find a road running along the sides of these heavily forested hills over the two miles which separated the beaches.81
H Hour at Tanahmerah Bay was the same as for Humboldt Bay, 0700, and carrier-based aircraft from Task Force 58 were to support the landings of the 24th Division in much the same manner they were to support the 41st Division's assault. Naval fire support at Tanahmerah Bay would be provided by two Australian cruisers and by Australian and American destroyers. Targets and timing of naval support fires were similar to those to be used at Humboldt Bay. Most of the fire at Tanahmerah Bay was to be directed at RED Beach 2 and its environs and, prior to H Hour, only one destroyer was assigned to fire on RED Beach 1. After H Hour all fire support ships would be available to fire on targets of opportunity or objectives designated by the forces ashore. One LCI was to support the leading waves to RED Beach 2 with rocket and automatic weapons fire, which was to begin when the carrier-based planes finished their close support missions (about H minus 4 minutes) and continue until the first troops were safely ashore.82
On the northern half of RED Beach 2 the 19th Infantry (less one battalion in division reserve) was to land. The two assault battalions were to secure half the beachhead, establish left flank security for the rest of the division, prepare to assume responsibility for the protection of the entire beachhead, and undertake mopping up north of the beach. Simultaneously two battalions of the 21st Infantry were to land on the southern half of RED Beach 2. After securing their sectors of RED Beach 2, these battalions were to push overland and south toward RED Beach 1. The division planned to improve the road which supposedly connected the two beaches or, if necessary, construct a new road between the two.
Initial landings on RED Beach 1 were to be undertaken by three reinforced rifle companies of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, and were to begin at H plus 25 minutes, 0725. The primary missions of this force were to start rapidly inland over the road leading to Lake Sentani and the airfields and to report the size and condition of possible additional landing points in the Dépapré area. Movement inland was to begin before the Japanese could organize defenses along that portion of the road which wound snake-like over rugged hills south and east of Dépapré.
The Allied Naval Forces originally objected to a landing on RED Beach 1 and by arrangement with General Eichelberger had had this plan canceled. But General Irving, who wished to provide for every contingency in a landing area where terrain conditions were practically unknown, wanted the RED Beach 1 landing to remain in the plan, even if naval fire support for the assault could not be obtained. He considered it possible that failure to secure quickly the entrance to the Dépapré-Lake Sentani road might have disastrous consequences were it found impracticable to build a good road from RED Beach 2 to RED Beach 1. Seizing an opportunity to reopen the discussion of a landing on RED Beach 1, General Irving made personal pleas to General Eichelberger and Admiral Barbey, and succeeded in having the landing reinstated in the plan. This proved one of the most important tactical decisions of the Hollandia operation.83
Preliminary Operations and the Approach
Early in 1944 General MacArthur's G-2 Section had noted that the Japanese were increasing their activities in the Wewak area and near-by Hansa Bay. As D Day for the Hollandia-Aitape operation approached, it was discovered that the bulk of the Japanese 18th Army was withdrawing from forward bases at Madang and Alexishafen and was moving rapidly westward across the Ramu and Sepik Rivers to Wewak and Hansa Bay. These activities seemed to indicate that the Japanese probably expected the next Allied attack to be aimed at the Wewak-Hansa Bay area.
Every effort was made to foster in the mind of Lt. Gen. Hatazo Adachi, commanding the 18th Army, the growth of the idea that a major assault in the Wewak sector was imminent. During March and early April, Wewak was heavily bombed by the Allied Air Forces, not only to prevent the Japanese from using their airfields there but also to lead the enemy to believe that the usual aerial softening-up process preceding an amphibious operation was taking place.
Minor naval bombardments of the Wewak and Hansa areas were carried out in March and early April, and PT's of the Allied Naval Forces patrolled actively along the coast north from Madang to Wewak. By various means propaganda was spread to convince the 18th Army that a landing was soon to be made at Wewak, and dummy parachutists were dropped in the same vicinity. Allied Naval Forces submarines launched empty rubber life rafts along the coast near Wewak in an endeavor to make the Japanese believe that reconnaissance patrols were active in that area.84
One effort was made to obtain terrain information and knowledge of enemy troop strength and dispositions in the Hollandia area. About two weeks before the landing a Seventh Fleet submarine landed an Allied reconnaissance patrol at Tanahmerah Bay. The venture proved completely abortive. Local natives betrayed the patrol to the Japanese, and the members were killed, captured, or dispersed. A few men of the original party eluded the enemy and were found alive after the Allied landings.85
The scheduled strike by Task Force 58 against the Palaus, designed both for strategic support of the Hollandia operation and the destruction of enemy air and surface units, was carried out on 30-31 March. Other islands in the western Carolines, including Yap, Ulithi, Ngulu, and Woleai, were hit during the same two days or on 1 April. The raids resulted in the loss for the Japanese of almost 150 aircraft either in the air or on the ground. Two enemy destroyers, four escort vessels, and 104,000 tons of merchant or naval auxiliary shipping were sunk and many other ships, of both combat and merchant classes, were damaged. In addition, airfields and shore installations at all objectives were damaged and the main channels into the Palau fleet anchorage at least temporarily blocked by mines.
Unfortunately, Task Force 58 had been sighted by Japanese search planes prior to its arrival off the Palaus, and many enemy combat ships and a number of merchant vessels had fled from the area. The desired results were achieved, however--the enemy naval units at Palau were removed as a threat to the Hollandia-Aitape operation and driven back to more westerly bases. Task Force 58 lost twenty planes, but its ships suffered no damage.86
The efforts of Task Force 58 had been supplemented by South and Southwest Pacific aircraft which, from bases in eastern New Guinea and the Admiralties, bombed islands in the eastern Carolines and undertook many long reconnaissance missions. Meanwhile, Southwest Pacific aircraft had been neutralizing enemy air bases in western New Guinea and eastern islands of the Netherlands East Indies. Most of the strategic support missions flown to western New Guinea were undertaken by U.S. Fifth Air
Force planes while the Royal Australian Air Forces Command assumed responsibility for the majority of the strikes against the islands in the eastern Indies. These operations were intensified about six weeks before the landings at Hollandia and Aitape. From Wewak to the Vogelkop Peninsula of western New Guinea, and from Biak to Timor, the Allied Air Forces destroyed Japanese planes and airfield installations, rendered many air bases at least temporarily unusable, and hindered enemy attempts to fly air reinforcements to New Guinea from the Philippines.87
Spectacular results were achieved by the Fifth Air Force at Hollandia, where the Japanese 6th Air Division had recently retreated from Wewak and received strong reinforcements. The air unit conserved its planes, apparently waiting to see where the Allies would strike next.88 The Japanese waited too long.
The Fifth Air Force shifted the weight of its attack from the Wewak area to Hollandia, and, during the period 30 March through 3 April, destroyed or damaged over 300 Japanese aircraft, most of them on the ground. On 30 March, when over 100 planes were destroyed at Hollandia, the Japanese were caught completely unprepared. Faulty intelligence, resulting partially from insufficient radar warning facilities, found many Japanese planes on the ground refueling after early morning patrols. Others had been left unattended upon receipt of reports that a large Allied air formation had turned back eastward after bombing Aitape. Finally, earlier Fifth Air Force attacks had so cratered runways and taxiways of two of the three enemy fields at Hollandia that there was little room to disperse the planes. The Fifth Air Force, in a series of low-level bombing attacks, covered and aided by newly developed long-range fighters, found enemy aircraft parked wing tip to wing tip along the runways. By 6 April the Japanese had only twenty-five serviceable aircraft at Hollandia.89 They made no attempt to rebuild their air strength there and, after 3 April, Fifth Air Force raids were met by only a small number of enemy fighter planes which made but desultory attempts at interception.90
The Japanese did build up a small concentration of air strength farther west, at Wakde-Sarmi, and continued airfield development at still more westerly bases. The Fifth Air Force and Australian aircraft increased their efforts against these latter installations,91 while planes of Task Force 58 effectively neutralized Japanese air power at Wakde-Sarmi just prior to 22 April.
DAMAGED JAPANESE AIRPLANES. The Fifth Air Force, in a series of low-level bombing attacks, found enemy aircraft parked wing tip to wing tip along the runways.
Task Force 58's efforts at Wakde and Hollandia on D minus 1 and D Day bagged an estimated thirty-three aircraft shot down. Damage to planes on the ground at either objective was difficult to assess because of the degree of destruction previously achieved at both places by the Allied Air Forces.92
Attack Force Preparations
Meanwhile, Allied ground and amphibious forces had been engaged in final preparations and training for the coming assault and, on 8, 9, and 10 April, had undertaken last rehearsals. The 24th Division's rehearsal at Taupota Bay, on the coast of New Guinea south of Goodenough Island, was incomplete. Little unloading was attempted, and the area selected did not permit the employment of naval gunfire support. The 41st Division had a more satisfactory rehearsal, with realistic unloading and naval fire, near Lae, New Guinea.93
Final loading began on 10 April. LCI's of the RECKLESS Task Force left their loading points on 16 April in order to allow the troops aboard to disembark at the Admiralty Islands for a day of exercising, resting,
and eating. Other vessels of Hollandia-bound convoys left the Goodenough Island and Cape Cretin staging areas on 17 and 18 April. Ships carrying the PERSECUTION Task Force moved out of the Finschhafen area on 18 April and on the same day rendezvoused with the vessels bearing the 41st Division toward the Admiralties.
All convoys moved north around the eastern side of the Admiralties and, at 0700 on 20 April, the various troops assembled at a rendezvous point northwest of Manus Island. Moving at a speed of about nine knots, the massed convoys steamed westward from the Admiralties all day and at dusk turned southwest toward Hollandia. At a point about eighty miles off the New Guinea coast between Hollandia and Aitape, the PERSECUTION Task Force convoy--the Eastern Attack Group---broke off from the main body and swung southeast toward Aitape. The ships bearing the RECKLESS Task Force proceeded to a point twenty miles offshore between Humboldt and Tanahmerah Bays. There, at 0130 on D Day, this convoy split. The Central Attack Group, with the 41st Division aboard, turned southeast toward Humboldt Bay and arrived in the transport area at 0500. The ships of the Western Attack Group, carrying the 24th Division and the remainder of the RECKLESS Task Force, moved into Tanahmerah Bay at the same time.94
1. The term "staging" used in the Pacific theaters during World War II had a broader meaning than that usually applied in Europe or the zone of interior. In the Pacific a staging base was the point of departure for an amphibious operation. At such a base not only would troop units be assembled, but supplies and equipment of all types would also be gathered to be loaded for either immediate or future use at objective areas.
2. Milner, Victory in Papua, describes the establishment of the command in the Southwest Pacific Area.
3. G-3 GHQ SWPA, G-3 Monthly Sum of Opns, May 44, 31 May 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 31 May 44.
4. G-2 GHQ SWPA, G-2 Monthly Sum of Enemy Dispositions, Apr 44, 30 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 30 Apr 44. See also below, Ch. IV.
5. Terrain information in this subsection is based principally on AGS SWPA Terrain Study 78, Locality Study of Hollandia, 6 Mar 44, in OCMH files.
6. ALAMO Force, G-2 Estimate of the Enemy Situation, Hollandia-Aitape Operation, 10 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; Japanese Studies in World War II, No. 43, 18th Army Operations, III, 17-20, copy in OCMH files. The latter document is one of a series prepared in Japan by Japanese Army and Navy officers after the war and translated by ATIS SCAP. Copies of the translations as well as copies of most of the Japanese originals are on file in the OCMH. Dubious or questionable parts of the translations were checked against the Japanese originals before use was made of the documents.
7. 18th Army Opns, III, 17-20; Amendment 2, 17 Mar 44, to GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit with Respect to an Opn Against Hollandia, 17 Feb 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 29 Feb 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 Daily Summary of Enemy Intelligence [DSEI] 719, 720, and 759, 11 Mar, 12 Mar, and 20 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnls, 11 Mar, 12 Mar, and 20 Apr 44, respectively.
A Japanese area army is equivalent to the U.S. Army's field army; a Japanese army roughly equals a U.S. Army corps. Some special Japanese organizations, such as the Southern Army and the Kwantung Army, are equivalent to the U.S. Army's army group. A Japanese air army was theoretically equivalent to a U.S. Army air force, such as the Fifth Air Force; and the Japanese air division, while having no exact equivalent in the U.S. forces, would occupy the same relative command position as a U.S. bomber command or fighter command. Actually the Japanese 4th Air Army contained fewer planes than the average U.S. air group.
8. Min of Conf, 3 Mar 44, held at GHQ SWPA between representatives of GHQ SWPA, COMSOPAC, ANF SWPA, et al., in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 3 Mar 44; Rad, CINCSWPA to CINCPOA, C2853, 14 Mar 44, CM-IN 9841.
9. Rad, CofS (for JCS) to CINCSWPA, 5171, and to COMGENCENPAC (for CINCPOA), 989, Mar 44, CM-OUT 5137.
10. Rad, CINCPOA to CINCSWPA, 14 Mar 44, CM-IN 9944; Rad, CINCPOA to COMINCH, 17 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 18 Mar 44.
11. GHQ SWPA, Hollandia Outline Plan, 29 Feb 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44.
12. Memo, Asst ACofS G-3 ALAMO for ACofS G-3 ALAMO, 31 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 31 Mar-1 Apr 44.
13. Ibid.; GHQ SWPA, Hollandia Outline Plan Draft, 28 Feb 44, and Rad, ALAMO to GHQ SWPA, WF-1012, 7 Mar 44, both in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44.
14. Rad, GHQ SWPA to ALAMO, XC-1855, 8 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 8 Mar 44; Rad, ALAMO to GHQ SWPA, WF-1453, 10 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 10 Mar 44; Rad, ALAMO to GHQ SWPA, WF-1555, 10 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44.
15. GHQ SWPA Conf, 3 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA, Hollandia Outline Plan, 29 Feb 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44.
16. GHQ SWPA Conf, 3 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA Memo, no addressee, 1 Mar 44, sub: Considerations Affecting the Plan to Seize Humboldt Bay Area with Strong Support of Carriers, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit, Wakde-ALAMO Area, 8 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 8 Apr 44.
17. GHQ SWPA Conf, 3 Mar 44; Rad, GHQ SWPA to ALAMO, XC-1753, 5 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44.
18. The description of the Aitape area is based principally on AGS SWPA Terrain Handbook 21, Aitape-Vanimo, 21 Mar 44, copy in OCMH files.
19. GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit, PERSECUTION [Aitape], 24 Jan 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 26 Jan 44; Memo, ACofS G-3 GHQ SWPA for CINCSWPA, 25 Mar 44, sub: Air Tasks for the Hollandia Opn, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 31 Mar-1 Apr 44.
20. GHQ SWPA Conf, 3 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 18 Mar 44.
21. Memo, G-3 GHQ Opns Div for ACofS G-3 GHQ, 25 Mar 44, no sub, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 25 Mar 44; Memo, ACofS G-3 GHQ for CINCSWPA, 25 Mar 44, sub: Air Tasks for the Hollandia Opn, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 31 Mar-1 Apr 44; GHQ SWPA OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 28 Mar 44.
22. Rad, GHQ SWPA to ALAMO, CX-10218,. 30 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 28-30 Mar 44; Rad, Advon5AF to GHQ SWPA, R-6915-F, 31 Mar 44, and Rad, ALAMO to GHQ SWPA, WF118, 1 Apr 44, last two in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 31 Mar-1 Apr 44.
23. GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 18 Mar 44.
24. ANF SWPA Opn Plan 4-44, 1 Apr 44, in G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 6-7 Apr 44; CTF 58 Opn Plan 5-44, 9 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 21 Apr 44.
25. GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 18 Mar 44; AAF SWPA OI 49 (Rev), 30 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 30 Mar 44.
26. Memo, ACofS G-3 GHQ SWPA for CINCSWPA, 25 Mar 44, sub: Air Tasks for the Hollandia Opn, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 31 Mar-1 Apr 44; ANF SWPA Opn Plan 4-44, 1 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 6-7 Apr 44; GHQ SWPA OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 28 Mar 44.
27. AAF SWPA OI 49 (Rev), 30 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 30 Mar 44; Change No. 1, 10 Apr 44, to CTF 58 Opn Plan 5-44, 9 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 21 Apr 44; ANF SWPA Opn Plan 4-44, 1 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 6-7 Apr 44; Rad, CINCPOA to Com5thFlt et al., 27 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 27 Mar 44.
28. AAF SWPA OI 49 (Rev), 30 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 30 Mar 44.
29. GHQ SWPA Conf, 3 Mar 44; Memo, GHQ SWPA, no addressee, 1 Mar 44, sub: Considerations Affecting the Plan to Seize Humboldt Bay Area with Strong Support of Carriers, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; Rad, Com3dFlt to CINCPOA, 8 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 9 Mar 44; CINPAC-CINCPOA Opn Plan 1-44, 18 Mar 44, in G-3 Jnl, 19 Mar 44; Rad, CINCPOA to Com5thFlt, et al., 27 Mar 44, CM-IN 19262.
30. Rad, CINCPOA to CINCSWPA, 14 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 18 Mar 44; Rad, CINCSWPA to COMSOPAC, XC-2255, 20 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 20 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA OI 48, 24 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 24 Mar 44; Rad, GHQ SWPA to ANF SWPA and AAF SWPA, CX-10113, 27 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 27 Mar 44.
31. GHQ SWPA OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA OI 48, 24 Mar 44.
32. GHQ SWPA OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44; ANF SWPA Opn Plan 4-44, 1 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 6-7 Apr 44.
33. Ibid.; CTF 77 Opn Plan 3-44, 3 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 4-5 Apr 44.
34. ANF SWPA Opn Plan 4-44, 1 Apr 44; CTF 58 Opn Plan 5-44, 9 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 21 Apr 44.
35. GHQ SWPA OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 28 Mar 44.
36. Memo, GHQ SWPA, no addressee, 1 Mar 44, sub: Considerations Affecting the Plan to Seize Humboldt Bay Area with Strong Support of Carriers, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit, PERSECUTION [Aitape], 24 Jan 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 26 Jan 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI's 710-761, in G-3 GHQ Jnls, 1 Mar-22 Apr 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit, 22 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 22 Mar 44.
37. GHQ SWPA OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44.
38. ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 20-23 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA, G-3 Hist Div, Chronology of the War in the SWPA, copy in OCMH files; Memo, CINCSWPA for COMSOPAC, Comdr AAF SWPA, Comdr ANF SWPA, et al., 9 Feb 44, sub: Outline Plan Hansa Bay Opn, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 9 Feb 44; RECKLESS Task Force (hereafter cited as RTF) Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 6.
39. RTF FO 1, 27 Mar 44, atchd to RTF Opns Rpt Hollandia; RTF Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 6.
40. ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 20-23 Mar 44; PERSECUTION Task Force (hereafter cited as PTF) FO 1, 6 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 5-6 Apr 44.
41. ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44; ANF SWPA Opn Plan 4-44, 1 Apr 44; GHQ SWPA OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44.
42. Annex 1, Tentative Troop List, 13 Mar 44, to GHQ SWPA Warning Order 4, 7 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 7 Mar 44; ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44.
43. GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit, Hollandia, 22 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 22 Mar 44; Amendment 2, 17 Mar 44, to GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit with Respect to an Opn Against Hollandia, 17 Feb 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 29 Feb 44; GHQ SWPA, DSEI's 710-761, 1 Mar-22 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnls, 1 Mar-22 Apr 44; remarks of Maj Gen Stephen J. Chamberlin, ex-ACofS G-3 GHQ SWPA, at Hist Div SSUSA Seminar, 23 Jan 48, copy in OCMH files. General Willoughby, General MacArthur's G-2, as late as 4 March opposed the jump to Hollandia because he doubted the ability of distant land-based and local carrier-based aircraft to protect Allied forces until land-based planes could be established at Hollandia, and he advised adhering to the earlier plans for an operation against the Hansa Bay-Wewak area. General Chamberlin had much more faith in the carriers. General Willoughby's views are to be found in Memo, ACofS G-2 GHQ SWPA to ACofS G-3 GHQ SWPA, 4 Mar 44, no sub, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 3 Mar 44. The G-3's reply is attached.
44. GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 18 Mar 44; ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44; Rad, ALAMO to 32d Div, no number, 13 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 13 Apr 44; Memo, ACofS G-3 GHQ SWPA for CofS GHQ SWPA, 14 Apr 44, no sub; Rad, ALAMO to GHQ SWPA, WF-2393, 14 Apr 44; Rad, GHQ SWPA to ALAMO, C-10671, 14 Apr 44. Last three documents in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 14 Apr 44.
45. RTF FO 1, 27 Mar 44; PTF FO 1, 6 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 5-6 Apr 44.
46. GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44, and OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA OI 48, 24 Mar 44.
47. Annex 1, Tentative Troop List, 13 Mar 44, to GHQ SWPA Warning Order 4, 7 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl 7 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44, and OI 46 (Rev), 28 Mar 44; ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44.
48. The material in this subsection is based principally on: Annex 4, Logistics, to GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 18 Mar 44; USASOS Logistics Instructions 46/SOS, 2 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 3 Apr 44; ALAMO Force Adm O 7, 6 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 20-23 Mar 44.
49. From available evidence, it appears that at the time of the Hollandia-Aitape operation the unit of fire used in the Southwest Pacific was the same as that established by the War Department. Later, however, some changes were effected within the theater, notably an increase in the rounds per unit of fire for the BAR and the 105-mm. howitzer and a reduction in rounds for the M1 rifle. The War Department unit of fire during 1944 is to be found in the 1944 edition of FM 101-10, Staff Officers' Field Manual: Organization, Technical, and Logistical Data.
50. Annex 4, Logistics, to GHQ SWPA OI 46, 18 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA, Hollandia Outline Plan Draft, 28 Feb 44, and atchd, unsigned, undated memo, sub: Comments on Hollandia Outline Plan, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44.
51. Rad, GHQ SWPA to ALAMO, XC-1753, 5 Mar 44, and Rad, ALAMO to GHQ SWPA, WF-1012, both in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; Memo, G-3 GHQ Opns Div to ACofS G-3 GHQ, 25 Mar 44, sub: Shipping Borrowed from SOPAC, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 25 Mar 44; Memo, ACofS G-3 ALAMO for CofS ALAMO, 27 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 24-27 Mar 44.
52. Memo, GHQ SWPA, no addressee, 1 Mar 44, sub: Considerations Affecting the Plan to Seize Humboldt Bay Area with Strong Support of Carriers, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; Memo, G-3 ALAMO Plng Div for ACofS G-3 ALAMO, 11 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; Rad, Com7thFlt to ALAMO, 15 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 16 Mar 44.
53. Memo, ACofS G-2 ALAMO to CofS ALAMO, 15 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 15-18 Mar 44; Memo, ACofS G-3 ALAMO, for CofS ALAMO, 27 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 24-27 Mar 44; Ltr, Col Harold E. Eastwood [of G-4 GHQ SWPA] to ACofS G-4 ALAMO, 26 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44. The quotation is from the latter document.
54. Ltr, Rear Adm Albert G. Noble [Chief, BuOrd USN and, in 1944, one of Admiral Barbey's chief deputies] to Gen Ward, 18 Dec 50, no sub, in OCMH files.
55. Ibid.; Rad, Com7thFlt to ALAMO, 15 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 16 Mar 44; Rad ComServFor7thFlt to CTF 76, 15 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 16 Mar 44; Rad, CTF 76 to ALAMO and ANF SWPA, 1 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 31 Mar-1 Apr 44; Rad, GHQ SWPA to ALAMO, C-10273, 1 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 1 Apr 44; Rad, CTF 76 to ALAMO and Com7thFlt, 1 Apr in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-4 Apr 44; Annex 6, Assignment of Shipping, 1 Apr 44, to ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 20-23 Mar 44.
56. Memo, ACofS G-3 ALAMO for CofS ALAMO, 27 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 24-27 Mar 44; Rad, GHQ SWPA to ALAMO, CX-10175, 28 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 28 Mar 44.
57. Memo, ACofS G-4 ALAMO for ACofS G-4 USASOS, 9 Apr 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 3-16 Apr 44; CTF 77 Opn Plan 3-44, 3 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 4-5 Apr 44.
58. GHQ SWPA, Hollandia Outline Plan Draft, 28 Feb 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; ALAMO Force FO 12, 23 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 20-23 Mar 44. The second column includes the AK's, the shipping listed in CTF 77 Opn Plan 3-44 of 3 Apr 44, the ships carrying the 127th RCT to Aitape (shipping which was committed to the assault phase on 9 April), and miscellaneous other additions in the period prior to 9 April. The totals agree with those set forth in ALAMO FO 12 and with the naval reports of the operation, although not with the naval plans.
59. The water drag method could, of course, be used only for items such as canned rations which were to be used immediately ashore and which would not suffer from temporary immersion in salt water.
60. Memo, ALAMO G-3 Plng Div for ACofS 11 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; Memo, ALAMO QM for ACofS G-4 ALAMO, 21 Mar 44, no sub, in G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44.
61. Rad, ALAMO to CTF 76, WF-4237, 25 Mar 44, Rad, CTF 76 to PTF, 25 Mar 44, and Memo, ACofS G-3 ALAMO for CofS ALAMO, 27 Mar 44, no sub, all three in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 24-27 Mar 44; Memo for record, G-3 ALAMO, 28 Mar 44, sub: Status of Planning, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 28-30 Mar 44.
62. Available documents do not indicate how many landing craft were to be so carried forward nor on which large ships they were to be carried.
63. Memo, ACofS G-3 ALAMO for CofS ALAMO, 31 Mar 44, no sub, and Rad, ALAMO to CTF 76, WF-5127, 31 Mar 44, both in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 31 Mar-1 Apr 44; Rad, ALAMO to CTF 76, WF-834, 6 Apr 44, and Rads, CTF 76 to ALAMO, 6 and 7 Apr 44, last three in ALAMO Jnl Hollandia, 6-7 Apr 44.
64. Rad, CTF 76 to Com7thFlt, 7 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 6-7 Apr 44; CTF 77, Opn Plan 3-44, 3 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 4-5 Apr 44.
65. Rad, G-4 ALAMO to ALAMO G-4 Liaison Officer (LO) at Hq USASOS, WF-2088, 14 Mar 44, in 24th Div G-4 Plng Jnl, Hollandia; Rad, GHQ Chief Regulating Officer at Goodenough Island to G-4 ALAMO, WA-409, 15 Mar 44, in ALAMO G-4 Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44; Memo, Asst ACofS G-4 ALAMO for ALAMO G-4 LO at USASOS Base B, 23 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44; Memo, ACofS G-4 ALAMO for ALAMO Engr, 18 Apr 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 17-29 Apr 44; Ltr, ALAMO G-4 LO at Hq USASOS to ACofS G-4 ALAMO, 9 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 3-16 Apr 44.
66. Memo, Asst ACofS G-4, ALAMO for ALAMO G-4 LO at USASOS Base B, 23 Mar 44, no sub, and Memo, G-4 ALAMO for ALAMO Engr and ALAMO Ord O, 31 Mar 44, no sub, both in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44.
67. Rads, ALAMO G-4 LO at Base B to ALAMO, WO-1702 and WO-1710, 14 and 15 Apr 44, respectively, and Ltr, ALAMO G-4 LO at Base B to ACofS G-4 ALAMO, 15 Apr 44, all three in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 3-16 Apr 44.
68. RTF Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 65; Ltr, CofS I Corps [RECKLESS TF] to ACofS G-4 ALAMO. 15 Mar 44; Ltr, ACofS G-4 ALAMO to CofS I Corps, 22 Mar 44; Rad, ALAMO to I Corps, WF-96, 1 Apr 44. Last three in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44.
69. Rad, I Corps to ALAMO, RM-2362, 7 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 3-16 Apr 44; RTF Opns Rpt Hollandia, pp. 36, 65.
70. Rad, I Corps to ALAMO, RM-1103, 25 Mar 44, and Rad, ALAMO to I Corps, WF-4218, 25 Mar 44, both in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44.
71. Rad, ALAMO to 41st Div, WF-1247, 8 Mar 44, and Memo, ACofS G-4 41st Div for ADC 41st Div, 11 Mar 44, no sub, both in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44.
72. ALAMO Force Adm O 7, 6 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 20-23 Mar 44; Rad, ALAMO to USASOS, WF-4530, 27 Mar 44, and Rad, USASOS to ALAMO, ABO-265, 27 Mar 44, both in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44.
73. Ltr, Ord O 24th Div to Ord O I Corps, 29 Mar 44, and atchd, undated Memo for record from Ord Sec. ALAMO, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44.
74. Ltrs, ALAMO G-4 LO with 24th Div to ACofS G-4 ALAMO, 6, 11, and 15 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 3-16 Apr 44.
75. Notes of Conf between Ord O's 24th Div and I Corps, 30 Mar 44, and atchd, undated notes by ALAMO Ord O, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 11 Feb-2 Apr 44; Ltrs, ALAMO G-4 LO with 24th Div to ACofS G-4, 6 and 15 Apr 44, in ALAMO G-4 Jnl Hollandia, 3-16 Apr 44. Apparently nothing ever came of General Irving's request for investigation.
76. 167th FA Bn Opns Rpt Aitape, pp. 1-2.
77. RTF FO 1, 27 Mar 44; RTF Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 6.
78. LETTERPRESS Landing Force [41st Inf Div] FO 1, 9 Apr 44, in G-3 Annex to 41st Div Opns Rpt Hollandia.
79. CTF 77 Opn Plan 3-44, 3 Apr 44.
80. LETTERPRESS LF FO 1, 9 Apr 44.
81. NOISELESS Landing Force [24th Inf Div] FO 1, 5 Apr 44, in 24th Div Opns Rpt Hollandia, pp. 24ff.
82. CTF 77 Opn Plan 3-44, 3 Apr 44.
83. NOISELESS LF FO 1, 5 Apr 44; 24th Div Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 23; Ltr, Gen Irving to Gen Ward, 3 Nov 50, in OCMH files.
84. Memo, GHQ SWPA for ANF SWPA, AAF SWPA, and ALAMO, 30 Mar 44, no sub, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-4 Apr 44; Rad, Com7thFlt to CTF 75, 5 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 5 Apr 44; Rad, CINCSWPA to COMINCH, 11 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 12 Apr 44; 18th Army Opns, III, pp. 17-20, 39-40.
85. ALAMO Force Opns Rpt Hollandia-Aitape, pp. 20-21. For a complete account of the scouting attempt at Hollandia see Comdr. Eric A. Feldt (RAN), The Coast Watchers (Melbourne, 1946), pp. 364-74.
86. U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The Campaigns of the Pacific War, p. 207; Japanese Studies in WW II, No. 34, Naval Operations in the Western New Guinea Area, 1943-45, p. 11, and No. 60, The A-GO Operation, 1914, p. 2, copies in OCMH files.
87. USSBS, op. cit., p. 179; GHQ SWPA OI 48, 24 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 24 Mar 44; Rad, CINCSWPA to CINCPOA et al., CX-10718, 15 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 15 Apr 44; AAF SWPA OI 49 (Rev), 30 Mar 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 30 Mar 44.
88. AAF SWPA Int Sum 193, 25 Mar 44, in GHQ Jnl, 24 Mar 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI's 737 and 742, 26 Mar and 3 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnls, 26 Mar and 3 Apr 44; 18th Army Opns, III, 4-9, 17-20.
89. 18th Army Opns III, 35-37; AAF SWPA Int Sum 197, 8 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 7 Apr 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI 742, 3 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 3 Apr 44. Many additional details of AAF SWPA action against Hollandia are provided in the Air Force's official history: Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cates (Eds.), The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan, August 1942 to July 1944 (Chicago, 1950), pp. 587-98.
90. 18th Army Opns, III, 41-46; Japanese Studies in WW II, 31, History of the 2d Area Army. 1943-1945, pp. 30-40, copy in OCMH files; ALAMO Force Opns Rpt Hollandia-Aitape, pp. 45-48; AAF SWPA Int Sum 197, 8 Apr 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI 760, 21 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 21 Apr 44. For additional information on the effects of Japanese air losses at Hollandia, see Ch. IV, below.
91. GHQ SWPA, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit, Wakde-Sarmi, 8 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 8 Apr 44; GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI 760, 21 Apr 44.
92. USSBS, op. cit., p. 208; ALAMO Force Opns Rpt Hollandia-Aitape, pp. 45-46.
93. 24th Div Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 37; CTF 77 Opns Rpt Tanahmerah Bay-Humboldt Bay-Aitape, p. 29; RTF Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 3; PTF Opns Rpt Aitape, 22 Apr-4 Mar 44, p. 1; 41st Div Opns Rpt Hollandia, p. 1.
94. RTF Opns Rpt Hollandia, Map 1, p. 5; CTF 77 Opns Rpt Tanahmerah Bay-Humboldt Bay-Aitape, pp. 9-10; CTG 77.2 (Central Attack Group) Opns Rpt Humboldt Bay, p. 3; CTG 77.3 Opns Rpt Aitape, pp. 1-2.
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