With Allied strategic objectives for 1943 determined at Casablanca, the next task facing the Army and Navy commanders in Washington and in the Pacific was the selection of exact tactical objectives. Two considerations would be paramount in making a choice: the military value of the objectives, and the resources that would be available. The process of selection was not completed until a full-dress conference involving the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff Planners, and representatives of all the Pacific commands had met in Washington.1 Such a conference was made necessary by the large disparity between the size of the forces General MacArthur asked for to take his objectives and the size of the forces that were actually available.
Preliminary Theater Planning
General MacArthur's Plans
In the Southwest Pacific, General MacArthur had begun planning for the offensive against Rabaul at an early date. His plans for Tasks Two and Three--mutually supporting advances along two axes, culminating in a converging attack against Rabaul--were the same in early January 1943 as those outlined in July of the previous year. But his forces could not start Task Two until the Allies had successfully completed the Guadalcanal and Papuan campaigns in the first two months of 1943. There were not enough ground troops to undertake any offensive moves immediately, MacArthur reported, and there were far from enough air forces to conduct the campaigns.2
In order to advance against Rabaul in one continuous movement, MacArthur wished to assemble all the necessary forces before starting the offensive, and substantial reinforcements would be required. In both South and Southwest Pacific Areas there were troops equivalent to fifteen and two-thirds American, New Zealand, and Australian divisions, but not all were trained and equipped for offensive action. Of the six trained Southwest Pacific divisions, five would be resting and reorganizing for some time to come, after fighting in Guadalcanal, Papua, and the Middle East. There were seven trained divisions--six American and one New Zealand--as well as some separate infantry and cavalry regiments in the South Pacific. Three of the divisions and one regiment had seen service on Guadalcanal and were enjoying
a well-deserved rest. The equivalent therefore of only five divisions plus several separate regiments could be counted as ready for immediate use.
In naval strength, MacArthur was limited to cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. He had no carriers, no battleships, and few cargo ships, transports, and landing craft. The greater part of the Pacific Fleet, including aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, was operating in the South Pacific Area. Both areas boasted a total air strength of about 1,850 land-based planes of all types--bombers, fighters, and cargo planes. These planes came from the U.S. Army Air Forces, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the Royal Australian Air Force.3
At this time General MacArthur was looking forward to targets well beyond Rabaul; he had set his sights on the Philippine Islands. In February 1943 he and his staff concluded that the completion of the campaign against Rabaul could secure for the Allies "important, but not decisive advantages." These advantages would certainly aid future operations but, except for the destruction of precious shipping, would do little damage to Japan's main economic structure. Since the Netherlands Indies contained the great economic wealth, especially oil, taken by Japan in 1941 and 1942, a decisive blow could be struck, MacArthur reasoned, by cutting the lines of communication between Japan and the Indies. As the Philippine Islands lay squarely athwart all sea and air routes between Japan and the Indies, the Allies could cut them by establishing air and naval bases in the Philippines. General MacArthur concluded that he should move to the Philippines by advancing westward along New Guinea's north coast, then swinging northwest through the intermediate islands into the Philippines. The advance along the New Guinea coast might be started about the time that the siege of Rabaul began, but could not safely start until Rabaul was neutralized lest ships and planes based there harry or obstruct the advance.4
This plan for advancing to the Philippines, called RENO, had not yet been transmitted to Washington. It looked far into the future. There were not enough forces to inaugurate the Rabaul plan, ELKTON. Certainly not enough were available to begin RENO.
Admiral Halsey's Plan
In the South Pacific, Admiral Halsey looked on Munda Point in New Georgia as the most likely first objective for his forces under Task Two.5 The Japanese had started an airfield at the Australian Methodist Mission on Munda in November 1942 when their attempts to recapture Henderson Field on Guadalcanal had faltered. The new field was intended to serve as an advanced air base in another
attempt to retake Henderson Field in 1943.
The Japanese exhibited skill and cunning in concealing their activities at Munda. Even though the Allies had long known that Munda Point was being used as a staging area, they were not sure that an airfield was under construction until 3 December. The Japanese had rigged cables to the tops of the palm trees, then cut the trunks away and left the cables holding up the treetops. Thus hidden from aerial observation, they built their runway and then cut down the camouflage. The day they completed the runway, 15 December 1942, the Japanese decided to build a second airfield at Vila on nearby Kolombangara.6 The airfields at Munda and Vila, only 180 nautical miles from Henderson Field, presented a serious threat to the Allied positions in the Solomons and New Hebrides.
In Allied hands, Munda would be invaluable for continuing the advance against Rabaul, and Admiral Halsey's forces pressed on. They capped their success on Guadalcanal with the bloodless seizure of the Russell Islands on 21 February 1943. This shortened the airline distance to Munda by sixty-five miles and provided torpedo boat and landing craft bases to assist in the capture of all New Georgia, an operation then being planned by Halsey and his subordinates.
Munda Point was, physically, one of the best sites for an air base in the Solomon Islands. Strategically, it was well situated to support an advance to Bougainville, which would be necessary if South Pacific aircraft were to strike Rabaul effectively.7 South Pacific forces would have to use aircraft carriers to advance directly from Henderson Field to Bougainville, but possession of Munda Point would enable them to advance progressively under cover of land-based fighter planes and bombers and obviate the need to use precious carriers close to islands that were studded with enemy airfields.8
The Pacific Military Conference
Neither MacArthur nor Halsey could start his offensive yet. They had not yet agreed on a co-ordinated plan, and they lacked enough forces to begin. Allotment of forces would depend on decisions by the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff, who at Casablanca had decided on the program for 1943 without knowing how many troops, planes, and ships would be needed for Rabaul.
Shortly before leaving Washington for Casablanca, the Joint Chiefs had instructed MacArthur to submit detailed plans for carrying out their directive of 2 July 1942 and authorized him to exchange views with Nimitz and Halsey. They suggested personal meetings by the
commanders or by their staffs to prepare a broad plan that would enable the Joint Chiefs to give careful consideration to such matters as timing, reinforcement, supply, and the transfer of command over Tasks Two and Three to MacArthur.9 Maintaining that it was inconvenient for high commanders to undertake long journeys away from their headquarters, MacArthur radioed his ideas for Tasks Two and Three to Nimitz and Halsey. On 11 February Halsey sent his deputy commander, Rear Adm. Theodore S. Wilkinson, to Brisbane to begin a co-ordinated plan.10
Shortly thereafter MacArthur asked the Joint Chiefs for permission to send his chief of staff and several other officers to Washington to explain his plans. The Joint Chiefs approved, but stipulated that representatives from Halsey's and Nimitz' areas should also come for a general discussion of Pacific problems.11 The delegates reached Washington on 10 March and two days later met with Admiral King and various officers from the Army and Navy planning and logistical staffs.12
Thus began the series of meetings, generally known as the Pacific Military Conference, which were to produce a new directive for operations. This conference constituted an excellent example of the detailed and undramatic, but absolutely essential, spadework that had to precede major decisions affecting the course of the war in the Pacific.
The ELKTON Plan
After Admiral King opened the first session on 12 March with a strategic review of the world situation, Maj. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, MacArthur's chief of staff, presented the ELKTON plan
to the conference.13 This plan, bearing the date 28 February 1943, was a revision of the first ELKTON plan, which was dated 12 February, and prescribed the same general scheme of maneuver as MacArthur's earlier plans for the reduction of Rabaul. MacArthur had prepared it on the assumption that he would control both the Southwest and South Pacific forces for Tasks Two and Three, for the Joint Chiefs' directive had stated explicitly that these would be conducted under his command. Halsey, according to MacArthur, had already assented to ELKTON.
ELKTON's intelligence estimate pointed out that the Japanese generally controlled the north coast of New Guinea northwest of Buna, as well as New Britain, New Ireland, and the Solomons northwest of Guadalcanal. Japanese defenses were concentrated, as were Allied holdings in the region, in the vicinity of airfields. Except for the perimeters around the airfields and naval bases, the land areas were pretty well unoccupied.
Between 79,000 and 94,000 Japanese troops were thought to be stationed in the New Guinea-Bismarck Archipelago-Solomons area. Enemy air strength was estimated at 383 land-based planes, while 4 battleships, 2 aircraft carriers, 14 cruisers, 11 seaplane tenders, about 40 destroyers, numerous auxiliaries, and about 50 merchant ships of 3,000 tons or over were on hand for operations. It was expected that the Japanese, if attacked, could be immediately reinforced by 10,000 to 12,000 troops and about 250 planes as well as major portions of the Combined Fleet from the Netherlands Indies, Japanese home waters, and the Philippines Islands. In six months, 615 more aircraft could be committed, and 10 or 15 divisions might be dispatched if shipping was available.
Having described the forbidding nature of the enemy stronghold, General Sutherland proceeded, in his presentation of the ELKTON plan, to outline the contemplated Allied moves. The execution of Tasks Two and Three would require mutually supporting, co-ordinated advances along two lines: one, by Southwest Pacific forces in the west, from New Guinea to New Britain; the other, by South Pacific forces in the east, through the Solomons. ELKTON broke Tasks Two and Three into five operations:
Seizure of airdromes on the Huon Peninsula of New Guinea to provide air support for operations against New Britain;
Seizure of Munda Point as well as other airdromes on New Georgia to cover operations against New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago and the remainder of the Solomons;
Seizure of airdromes on New Britain and Bougainville to support operations against Rabaul and Kavieng in New Ireland;
Capture of Kavieng and the isolation of Rabaul, although it was considered possible that Kavieng might be taken after Rabaul;
Capture of Rabaul.
The timing of these missions was not rigidly fixed, nor was there an estimate of the time required to carry them out.
Large forces, assembled in advance, were required to execute the five operations of ELKTON--and there was the rub from the point of view of the Washington planners faced with global responsibilities. They listened as Sutherland read a detailed accounting of forces on hand and forces requested. The plan, in brief, called for five additional divisions, forty-five additional air groups, or about twice the 1,850 land-based planes then on hand, and an unspecified number of warships, transports, cargo ships, and landing craft sufficient to mount and support all the operations.14
The official records do not disclose with what emotions the officers from the various Washington agencies received the information about the necessary reinforcements, but it is not difficult to imagine that some were surprised. At Casablanca the Americans had assumed the capture of Rabaul in 1943 as a matter of course, and had confidently discussed the possibility of advancing beyond Rabaul.
The Pacific delegates learned immediately that there was virtually no chance for them to get all the reinforcements that they wanted.15 It was possible to effect some increases in the number of aircraft, but to give General MacArthur everything he asked would have cut too deeply into the bomber offensive against Germany. There were several trained divisions available in the United States, but there were not enough transports to ship them overseas in time, or to supply them after their arrival. Everyone at the conference was convinced of the necessity for offensive operations, but it was recognized that the operations would be limited by the available means. Admiral Halsey's representatives, Lt. Gen. Millard F. Harmon of the Army, Brig. Gen. Dewitt Peck of the Marine Corps, and Capt. Miles R. Browning of the Navy, endorsed the ELKTON plan, but some of the Navy planners in Washington were dubious of its value. They believed it would tie up too many ships and too many troops for too long a time, and would not achieve decisive results. The Washington planners informed the Pacific representatives that only two or three more divisions and a few more planes could be sent overseas.16
The solution therefore was to replace the ambitious directive of 2 July 1942 with something more realistic. Before deciding on a new directive, the Joint Chiefs instructed the Pacific delegates to decide what offensive operations they thought could be undertaken in 1943 with the allotted forces. It was understood that the Pacific commanders would not be committed by their subordinates' recommendations.17
The Pacific delegates answered promptly. They stated that the South and Southwest Pacific forces would be able to advance as far as the southeast part of Bougainville, seize eastern New Guinea up to Madang, extend to Woodlark and Kiriwina in the Trobriand Islands, and advance to Cape Gloucester
in western New Britain. These operations were essentially the second task of the directive of 2 July 1942.18 With this statement, the Pacific Military Conference as such came to a close, although the Pacific representatives remained in Washington a few days longer at the request of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Preparation of the Directive of 28 March 1943
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, having approved the additional Pacific reinforcements and heard the opinions of the Pacific delegates, immediately accepted the proposal that South and Southwest Pacific operations in 1943 be limited to Task Two, and turned to consideration of new orders for Halsey and MacArthur.19
Neither the limitation of operations to Task Two nor the inclusion of Woodlark and Kiriwina was an entirely new idea. The Joint U.S. Strategic Committee, commissioned by the Joint Staff Planners to prepare a plan for the defeat of Japan, in February had considered the means for, and limiting factors affecting, the operations planned at Casablanca, and recommended that only Task Two be carried out in 1943. The committee felt that the capture of Rabaul, which could not be undertaken until fairly late in 1943, might interfere with the recapture of Burma, an operation which was considered to be on a priority with the advance through the Central Pacific and the support of China. The Strategic Committee had also recommended capture of Woodlark and Kiriwina.20
Seizure of these islands would bring Rabaul and the northern Solomons within range of fighters and medium bombers, and would thus compensate for the absence of enough heavy bombers. The islands, which lie outside the bad weather belt that frequently blankets the southeast tip of New Guinea, would also serve as staging bases for the rapid switching of air units between the South and Southwest Pacific. In December of the previous year, Admiral Halsey had suggested to MacArthur the establishment of an air base at Woodlark or Kiriwina, and offered to furnish some of the necessary troops. This project had the approval of Marshall and King.21 The seizure of Woodlark and Kiriwina was included as part of Plan ELKTON of 12 February, but had
been omitted from the version of ELKTON which Sutherland brought to Washington.
Although the Joint Chiefs had accepted the delegates' proposals in principle, they were concerned about the timing of operations. They brought the Pacific representatives and some of the Joint Planners into their meeting on Sunday morning, 21 March, to help settle matters.
The Southwest Pacific delegates argued that lack of adequate forces would keep the South Pacific from beginning operations against New Georgia and southern Bougainville until after the Southwest Pacific had seized the Huon Peninsula in New Guinea, an operation that would take place about August. This sequence was approximately that set forth in the ELKTON plan. The South Pacific delegates, especially Harmon, felt that it would be better to move against New Georgia before the capture of the Huon Peninsula. A reasonable margin of safety would require that enough strength be mustered for a drive right through to Bougainville after Munda's capture.
The views of the Southwest Pacific delegates on New Georgia are somewhat curious. At an early meeting of the conference, Rear Adm. Charles M. Cooke, Jr., of Admiral King's staff, had asked Sutherland for MacArthur's opinion on the operation against Munda for which the South Pacific was then preparing. Sutherland replied that his chief would be unable to make recommendations until he had been "apprised" of the operations, the forces involved, and the amount of assistance he would be expected to contribute.22
Admiral King was disturbed by the idea of postponing action in the Solomons, for the Japanese fleet was no longer pinned down by the Guadalcanal Campaign. If the Solomon operations were to be postponed, he suggested, the American fleet units assigned to the South Pacific might be more profitably employed elsewhere, perhaps in the Central Pacific. The Joint Chiefs directed the Joint Planners to draft a plan, but did not immediately attempt to decide on the timing of operations.23 In the message the Joint Chiefs sent to MacArthur, Nimitz, and Halsey about the additional reinforcements, they stated that "prevailing opinion" in Washington favored launching the invasion of Munda after the establishment of an air base at Woodlark and possibly after the conclusion of the planned advance in New Guinea.
MacArthur replied at once to express his vigorous opposition to what he, Sutherland, and Kenney called "divergent action," that is, concurrent operations
SOME PACIFIC PLANNERS IN CONFERENCE. From left, Capt. Cato D. Glover, Jr., Maj. Gen. Richard J. Marshall, Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney, Lt. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, Rear Adm. Forrest P. Sherman, and Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Chamberlin. Photograph taken in Brisbane, Australia, March 1944.
against New Georgia and New Guinea by the South and Southwest Pacific Areas. Neither area, he asserted, would be strong enough for independent action. The South Pacific would need strong air support from its neighbor in the New Georgia action, and there simply were not enough planes. He therefore recommended that the New Georgia invasion be postponed at least until the seizure of the Lae-Madang area guaranteed control of the Vitiaz Strait between the Huon Peninsula and western New Britain, prevented the Japanese from moving reinforcements to Rabaul from the west, and enabled the Southwest Pacific to support and protect its neighbor by bombing Rabaul heavily. Then New Georgia could be taken, and the South and Southwest Pacific Areas, now mutually supporting, could begin the reduction of Rabaul.24
The question of timing was never finally determined by the Joint Chiefs. Speaking at their meeting on 28 March when the Joint Planners' draft of a new directive for Halsey and MacArthur was considered, King again emphasized the dangers of allowing the South Pacific to stand idly by while waiting for the northeast New Guinea coast to be
cleared. Marshall, whose talents included great skill at reconciling divergent points of view, offered the opinion that both MacArthur and Halsey would take every advantage to press forward whenever Japanese resistance was weak. The Japanese would find themselves in a difficult position. If they strengthened the Solomons at the expense of New Guinea MacArthur could move forward, and Halsey could take advantage of any shifts of troops to New Guinea. Halsey himself, although willing to postpone the advance against New Georgia until after Woodlark and Kiriwina were taken, had stated that he would not remain idle. He intended to hit the Japanese with land-based aircraft and to be prepared to move into New Georgia and southern Bougainville if the Japanese weakened their defenses to such an extent that he could advance without precipitating a major engagement. King withdrew his objections, subject to the proviso that MacArthur submit detailed plans showing timing and sequence of operations and the composition of task forces.25
One final question, command, remained to be decided before the Joint Chiefs could issue a new directive. This question was settled fairly quickly.26 The directive of 2 July 1942 had provided that Tasks Two and Three would be under MacArthur's direction. This principle continued to be accepted by the Joint Chiefs without serious challenge. Both the Army and the Navy had been arguing somewhat heatedly over the question of a unified command for the entire Pacific, but the warmth of their debate did not seriously interfere with the preparation of the new directive. The possibility of mutual co-operation by Halsey and MacArthur was rejected. Some naval officers, including King, suggested that since Halsey would be operating west of the line of demarcation (longitude 159° east), it should be moved westward again, but did not press the point.27 It was agreed that MacArthur would command the operations by the Southwest Pacific forces, and that Halsey's operations with South Pacific forces in the Solomons would be under MacArthur's "general directives."
One particularly important aspect of the command question related to the Pacific Fleet units that would take part in the operations. Admiral King always opposed any tendency to break up the Pacific Fleet by permanently assigning its units to any particular area, for then the fleet would lose part of its striking power as well as strategic and tactical mobility. For these reasons King had previously proposed that Nimitz' authority be extended to include the waters of the Southwest Pacific Area, but had apparently never insisted on this as a solution. The Joint Chiefs settled the matter on 28 March by agreeing that all units of the Pacific Ocean Areas other than those assigned by the Joint Chiefs to task forces engaged in the operations would remain under Nimitz' general control. This meant that MacArthur
would exercise strategic direction only over Halsey's forces that were engaged in the Solomons west of longitude 159° east, and that Halsey's other forces, as well as Pacific Fleet units not assigned by the Joint Chiefs, would remain under Nimitz.28 With the question of command settled and the problem of timing left largely to the commanders' discretion, the Joint Chiefs on 28 March approved a directive providing for offensive operations by MacArthur and Halsey in 1943.29
The 28 March Directive
Brief crisp orders were dispatched to Halsey, Nimitz, and MacArthur on 28 March. The Joint Chiefs canceled their directive of 2 July 1942. They ordered MacArthur and Halsey to establish airfields on Woodlark and Kiriwina, to seize the Lae-Salamaua-Finschhafen-Madang area of New Guinea and occupy western New Britain, and to seize and occupy the Solomon Islands as far as southern Bougainville. The operations were intended to inflict losses on the Japanese, to deny the target areas to the enemy, to contain Japanese forces in the Pacific by retaining the initiative, and to prepare for the ultimate seizure of the Bismarck Archipelago. As previously indicated, operations would be conducted under MacArthur's command. The advances in the Solomons were to be under the direct command of Halsey, who would operate under MacArthur's strategic direction. Except for those units assigned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to task forces engaged in these campaigns, all elements of the Pacific Ocean Areas would remain under Nimitz. MacArthur was directed to submit detailed plans including the composition of task forces and sequence and timing of operations.30
With this directive, the Joint Chiefs set the program for 1943 in the South and Southwest Pacific. There can be no doubt that they were disappointed by their inability to approach the goals set so freely at Casablanca, but the 28 March directive possessed the virtue of being based on assumptions that were realistic, even pessimistic. The defined objectives were believed to be surely attainable.
1. See below, pp. 11-15.
2. Rad to MacArthur, 7 Jan 43, CM-OUT 2273; Rad to MacArthur, 8 Jan 43, CM-OUT 2833; Rad from MacArthur, 10 Jan 43, CM-IN 4574.
3. Information on strength and plans at this time is drawn from GHQ SWPA, ELKTON Plan for the Seizure and Occupation of the New Britain-New Guinea-New Ireland Area, 12 and 28 Feb 43, and from U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, The Employment of Forces Under the Southwest Pacific Command (Washington, 1947), p. 18. The latter is an almost verbatim copy of a series of monographs prepared during and immediately after the war by the Historical Section, G-3, GHQ, SWPA.
4. GHQ SWPA, Estimate of the Situation and Rough Draft, RENO Plan, 25 Feb 43, OCMH.
5. The name "Munda" is apparently a phonetic rendition of a native term rather than a reflection of Caesar's glory.
6. Southeast Area Naval Operations, I, Japanese Monogr No. 48 (OCMH) in the series Japanese Studies in World War II, 47, 52; ONI USN, Combat Narratives: Solomon Islands Campaign, X, Operations in the New Georgia Area, 21 June-5 August 1943 [Washington, 1944], 1-2.
7. From Henderson Field to the Shortland Islands is 285 nautical miles, to Kahili, 300 miles, to Buka Passage, 363 miles. From Munda, which is within fighter range of Henderson and the Russells, to the Shortlands is 100 nautical miles, to Kahili, 125 miles, to Buka Passage, 234 miles, and to Rabaul, 394 miles.
8. Adm William F. Halsey, Jr., Narrative Account of the South Pacific Campaign, 3 Sep 44, OCMH; Lt Gen Millard F. Harmon, The Army in the South Pacific, 6 Jun 44, p. 7, OCMH; Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey and Lt Comdr J. Bryan, III, Admiral Halsey's Story (New York: Whittlesey House, 1947), p. 154.
9. Rad to MacArthur, 8 Jan 43, CM-OUT 2833; Rad to Maj Gen Rush B. Lincoln, New Caledonia (to be passed to Halsey), 8 Jan 43, CM-OUT 2834; Rad to Lt Gen Delos C. Emmons, Hawaii (to be passed to Nimitz), 8 Jan 43, CM-OUT 2835; Rad to MacArthur, 11 Jan 43, CM-OUT 3664.
10. Rad from MacArthur, 27 Jan 43, CM-IN 12553; Rad from MacArthur, 11 Feb 43, CM-IN 5610; Commander, South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force, War Diary: 1 January 1943-30 June 1944 (hereafter cited as COMSOPAC War Diary), 11, 12, 14-15 Feb 43 entries.
11. Rad from MacArthur, 15 Feb 43, CM-IN 7418; Rads to MacArthur, 16 Feb 43, CM-OUT 5656 and CM-OUT 5660; Rads to Harmon (for Halsey), 16 Feb 43, CM-OUT 5658 and CM-OUT 5661; Rads to Emmons (for Nimitz), 16 Feb 43, CM-OUT 5657 and CM-OUT 5659. The Pacific representatives timed their trip to accompany Brig. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer to Washington. Wedemeyer, a member of the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff and of the Joint and Combined Staff Planners, visited the Southwest Pacific to explain the Casablanca decisions to MacArthur and to become better acquainted with the area.
12. To represent him, Halsey had selected General Harmon, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area; Maj. Gen. Nathan F. Twining, commanding the Thirteenth Air Force; and two staff officers, Brig. Gen. Dewitt Peck, USMC, his war plans officer, and Capt. Miles R. Browning, USN, his chief of staff. MacArthur sent Maj. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, his chief of staff; Brig. Gen. Stephen J. Chamberlin, his operations officer; and Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney, Commander, Allied Air Forces, SWPA. Representing Nimitz were his deputy and chief of staff, Vice Adm. Raymond A. Spruance, General Emmons, and Capt. Forrest P. Sherman. Present at the first meeting besides King and the Pacific delegates, were Lt Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army; Lt. Gen. Stanley D. Embick, of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee; Maj. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, Chief of the Air Staff; Maj. Gen. Thomas T. Handy, Assistant Chief of Staff, Operations Division, War Department General Staff; Maj. Gens. LeRoy Lutes and Lucius D. Clay, of Headquarters, Army Service Forces; Vice Adm. Russell Willson, of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee; Rear Adm. Charles M. Cooke, Jr.; and Wedemeyer.
13. Notes on Pac Conf Held in Mar 43, 1st mtg, 12 Mar 43. George C. Kenney, General Kenney Reports: A Personal History of the Pacific War (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949), devotes one chapter (VIII) to this conference.
14. GHQ SWPA, ELKTON Plan . . . 28 Feb 43.
15. Rad, Sutherland to MacArthur, 12 Mar 43, CM-OUT 1930.
16. For the detailed record of debate and discussion at the various meetings of the Pacific Military Conference, see Notes on Pac Conf Held in Mar 43, with Inclosures and Annexes. See below, Bibliographical Note.
17. Min JCS mtg, 19 Mar 43.
18. Memo by Reps of the Pac Areas, in JCS 238/2, Mar 43.
19. Min JCS mtg, 21 Mar 43.
20. Memo, Secretariat JUSSC for Secretariat JPS, 13 Feb 43, sub: Opns in S and SW Pac Areas During 1943 and Their Relation to the Concept of Mil Strategy for 1943 as Set Forth in the Anfa Papers, with Incls A and B, attached to JPS 67/2, 4 Jan 43, title: Proposed Dir for a Campaign Plan for the Defeat of Japan, ABC 381 Japan (8-27-42), Sec 1. This paper is also filed as JPS 67/3, 15 Feb 43, title: Opns in S and SW Pac in 1943. The Casablanca Conference was held at Anfa and is often referred to as the Anfa Conference, although its code name was SYMBOL. The Joint U.S. Strategic Committee was renamed the Joint War Plans Committee in March 1943, and should not be confused with the Joint Strategic Survey Committee, which was composed of senior officers who advised on broad strategic matters.
21. See COMSOPAC to COMSOWESPAC [CINCSWPA], 17 Dec 42; COMINCH to COMSOPAC, 18 Dec 42; Memo, King for Marshall, 20 Feb 43, sub: Instal of Airstrips on Kiriwina Island or Woodlark Island; Memo, Marshall for King, 22 Feb 43, same sub. All in CNO File A 16-3 (4) No. 1, Warfare Opns, SWPA, 1943, and made available by Lt. Grace P. Hays, USN, of the Hist Sec, JCS. See also Halsey and Bryan, Admiral Halsey's Story, p. 154.
22. Notes on Pac Conf Held in Mar 43, 3d mtg, 13 Mar 43. It is difficult to comprehend Sutherland's statement as reported in the official record. MacArthur's message regarding Wilkinson's visit to Brisbane indicated that an exchange of views had taken place. According to the COMSOPAC War Diary, 4 March 1943 entry, MacArthur was informed on 4 March that South Pacific headquarters hoped to seize New Georgia about 10 April. Halsey discussed the action with Sutherland and Kenney at his headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, and made it clear that MacArthur would not be asked for any assistance except for limited air action against the Shortland Islands. Finally, the 28 February ELKTON, which Sutherland read to the conference, specifically called for an invasion of New Georgia and made an estimate of the forces that would be needed.
23. Min, JCS mtg, 21 Mar 43.
24. Rad from MacArthur, 25 Mar 43, CM-IN 13461; Comments by Gen Kenney on draft MS of this volume, attached to Ltr, Gen Kenney to Maj Gen Albert C. Smith, Chief of Mil Hist, 11 Nov 53, no sub, OCMH.
25. Min, JCS mtg, 28 Mar 43; COMSOPAC War Diary, 28 Mar 43 entry.
26. But see Rad, Sutherland to MacArthur, 25 Mar 43, CM-OUT 9499.
27. Kenney, General Kenney Reports, p. 213, indicates that discussions of this point in and out of the conference room were heated. The minutes do not yield much information about the emotions of the protagonists.
28. The command question is treated in the following documents: Ltr, COMINCH-CNO [King] to CofS USA [Marshall], 6 Jan 43, no sub, included in JCS 112/1, 14 Oct 42, title: Mil Sit in the Pac, ABC 370.26 (7-8-42), Sec 1; Memo, Gen Handy for Capt Connolly, Naval War Plans Div, 29 Dec 42, no sub, OPD 384 PTO (12-29-42), Sec 2, Case 43: Memo, Marshall for COMINCH, 8 Jan 43, sub: Strategic Dir of Opns in the SW Pac, same file; Memo, COMINCH for CofS USA, 18 Feb 43, sub: Opns in SOPAC-SWPA, OPD Exec Off File No. 10, Item 67c: Memo, CofS USA for CNO, 19 Feb 43, same sub, same file; JCS 238/3, 21 Mar 43, title: Plan of Opns for Seizure of Solomon Islands New Guinea-New Britain-New Ireland Area; JCS 238/4, 27 Mar 43, title: Plan of Opns for Seizure of Solomon Islands-New Guinea-New Britain-New Ireland Area--Offen Opns in the S and SW Pac During 1943; JCS 238/5/D, 28 Mar 43, title: Dir-Plan of Opns for Seizure of Solomon Islands-New Guinea-New Britain-New Ireland Area; and Min JCS mtg, 28 Mar 43.
29. Min, JCS mtg, 28 Mar 43.
30. JCS 238/5/D, 28 Mar 43.
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