Chapter XI
Logistics and Civil Affairs

The old saw that for want of a horseshoe nail the kingdom was lost is applicable in some degree to the story of logistics on the island of Leyte. Fortunately the outcome in Leyte was less serious than that recounted in the proverb. But the cumulative effect of many unfavorable conditions, each capable of being overcome in itself but each entangled with the others, resulted in a protraction of the campaign and a slowing of the schedule for future operations in the Pacific.

Despite the forebodings of Sixth Army engineers with regard to developing major logistical and air bases in Leyte Valley, General MacArthur had assigned logistical missions to the Sixth Army which, even under the best of circumstances, would have taxed its facilities to the utmost. General Krueger thought that in the planning stages greater emphasis should have been placed on an appreciation of terrain when selecting landing beaches and their exits, as well as sites for base development, airdrome construction, and headquarters installations. Terrain information should have been carefully analyzed by competent personnel in order that tactical and development plans could be based on the utilization of suitable terrain. The target dates and phase lines should have been flexible enough to allow for unsatisfactory terrain features. "Airdromes cannot be built speedily across rice paddies and swamps; bivouac areas, depots and dumps cannot properly be established in swamps and rice paddies."1


Scarcely had the assault troops landed when the gloomy predictions of Colonel Ely that conditions of soil and weather on the island would make it unfit for the establishment of major bases began to be realized. Nevertheless, the necessity for early establishment of land-based air forces to support the operation made it imperative that the engineers start work immediately on rehabilitation of existing airfields. Before this task could be carried out, however, it would be necessary to strengthen and widen the roads in order to move heavy construction equipment to the airfields. A breakdown of the transportation system for even a few days could affect adversely all aspects of the Leyte operation. Because of the shortage of engineer troops, the lack of road metal, and the continuous traffic, the construction and maintenance of roads presented a critical and continuing problem.

Road Construction

The troops found their progress greatly hampered by the poor quality of roads leading to the interior of the island. The type of soil made it difficult to provide sufficient approach


roads and to maintain all-weather roads. Drivers did not dare come too near the edge of the pavement in passing, even on the major two-lane roads, since their vehicles would probably become mired on the shoulder. The edges of hard-surfaced roads broke down under the constant wear until the roads were no longer wide enough for two-way traffic. Vehicles would often sink to their axles on the shoulders of the highway and on the many access roads, and frequently the roads into camp areas became unsuitable for traffic of any sort.2

In the 24th Division zone the engineers undertook to build an ancillary road, from the beachhead area to the existing coastal road, over the deep swamps and flooded rice paddies. After twenty-four hours' labor they abandoned the project as not feasible and in a few days rebuilt a trail that skirted the swamp along higher ground. This new thoroughfare was pronounced an "excellent" three-lane egress road.3

By utilizing a narrow road leading inland to Highway 1, egress from the 1st Cavalry Division beachhead area was accomplished. Since the road forked near the beach and ran north to Cataisan Point it became an access road to the Tacloban airfield. All supplies were routed along Highway 1 into the interior. When this road went to pieces under the heavy rains of 25 October, no means remained of getting overland from the area of the 24th Division to that of the 1st Cavalry Division. The open country back of the Dulag area made the road problems of the XXIV Corps zone a little more manageable than those in the X Corps area. Dulag itself offered graveled streets for traffic, but unfortunately only one very narrow road, with deep ditches on both sides, led west toward the mountains. With the coming of heavy rains, this road was chewed to bits by heavy traffic.

In order to preserve the roads as far as possible, the transportation officer of the Sixth Army decided to allow their use only to vehicles having the highest priority and to hold the transportation of civilians to a minimum. He forbade the use of trucks and other heavy vehicles for carrying personnel when lighter transportation was available.4 Throughout the Leyte operation, though the engineering troops worked unceasingly, the condition of the roads remained a tremendous unsolved problem. A rainfall of 23.5 inches during the month of November forced a continuous contest with the mud, and men and equipment employed on the airstrips had to be diverted to the roads, some of which were closed for days at a time while under repair. Traffic censuses were made as a basis for many corrective measures that were introduced to control, reduce, and equalize the flow of traffic. Supplies were issued at night to avoid congestion at peak periods. ASCOM made strong efforts to keep the road construction equipment in use and in workable condition, and placed stress upon provision for proper drainage. Filipino pick-and-shovel crews were used as much as possible. In spite of these measures, at the end of November the condition of the roads was "a major hindrance to base development and operations."5


The condition of the airstrips produced an even more perplexing problem than the


ACCESS ROAD FROM WHITE BEACH under repair (above). Filipino road workers on Route 2 (below).


roads. Immediately upon their arrival, engineer reconnaissance parties followed the assault infantry and examined the various sites which had been selected during the planning for airfields. By 22 October they reported that all the proposed airdrome sites except Tacloban were unfit for use during the rainy season.

Elements of the Sixth Army had captured both the Dulag and Tacloban airstrips within twenty-four hours after landing, but the Dulag airstrip was found to be out of use and unserviceable.6 Since the Tacloban field was shorter than had been estimated and was in need of resurfacing, it was necessary to construct practically a new airfield. Although Japanese air resistance was moderate for the first few days and the weather temperate, progress was slow because of the condition of the roads and congestion of traffic. Trucks bearing gravel moved at a snail's pace.

On 25 October the 7th and 8th Fighter Squadrons of the 49th Fighter Group assisted in the work on the Tacloban strip. The 8th Squadron was dismayed. The entire Cataisan Peninsula, on which the airstrip was located, was an "unadulterated bog" and the "confusion was awe inspiring." Labor details were called to work and then dismissed. Upon returning to their bivouac area, they would be recalled, and the process repeated.7 On 25 and 26 October the Japanese air force came over the airfield in great waves. Many times the men were forced to drop their tools and sprawl into gullies and slit trenches as the Japanese "returned for more blood."8

With the naval battle of Leyte Gulf under way, activities on the airfield were further hampered. Construction crews attempted to lay a base of coral on the airfield for the steel matting at the same time that Navy planes used the field for emergency landings. About a hundred aircraft used the field on 25 October, and twenty-five of these were destroyed in crash landings, one of which set the fuel dump afire at night.9 In spite of enemy air raids, the landing of naval aircraft, and the wrecked planes littering the airstrip, construction continued. By 30 October some aircraft were arriving and making satisfactory landings on the runway, which at that time had nearly 4,000 feet of matting.10

On 27 October the Fifth Air Force took over the mission of supplying air support. Because of the poor condition of the airstrips and the scarcity of available aircraft, however, it was announced on 31 October that only "sporadic bomb support by the heavy bombers" and strafing could be accomplished. Work on the airstrips had barely got under way at the end of October.11

At the same time General Casey, commanding the Army Service Command, painted a dark picture of the future. He stated that the construction of airfields in the Dulag area would require more effort than had been anticipated during the planning phase, since the Japanese, contrary to expectations, had placed little or no surfacing material on the runways and since soil conditions were such that an eight-inch sand and gravel base covered with steel mat would be


required to support bomber traffic.12 Furthermore, the labor crews that were to have been used in airfield construction were being diverted to road building, still further reducing "the already insufficient amount of engineer effort available for drome construction."13 Aside from labor shortages, the chief causes for the disappointing delay in airfield construction were poor soil conditions, enemy air raids, and rain.14 Under such inauspicious circumstances, the Allied Air Forces undertook the mission of furnishing air support on Leyte. Because of the poor condition of the airfields, only a token force from the Fifth Air Force was able to come in.

Much ingenuity was exercised by the engineers in overcoming difficulties. In enlarging the Tacloban airstrip, one of the greatest impediments to progress was the limited supply of coral for surfacing the runways. The engineers conceived the idea of having the dredge Raymond, which had been brought forward to dredge the navigational channel, used to pump coral from the channel bottom onto the runways. The 2,800-horsepower pumps could transport solid matter one mile through pipes that extended across the bay and onto the land, and they could also raise the dredged matter as much as 300 feet above sea level. The engineers found that this pipeline was the quickest way to transport material to the Tacloban airstrip, though mechanical difficulties sometimes developed.15

Despite constant work on the morasses that constituted the San Pablo and Buri airfields, these strips continued to be in a generally unusable condition. Finally, on 25 November, ASCOM dropped all construction work on them. The Fifth Air Force, however, felt that it was necessary to continue using the Bayug airfield, and at least one aviation battalion remained at work on that strip.

When work on the airstrips at Buri and San Pablo was abandoned, the Sixth Army units thus released began the construction of a new airfield on the coast at Tanauan, midway between Tacloban and Dulag. This field became operational on 16 December 1944.16 The fact that the main part of the Fifth Air Force was unable to displace forward to Leyte made it possible for the Japanese to reinforce their Leyte garrison and thus prolong the campaign.

Although his engineers, before the opening of the campaign, had protested vigorously to General Headquarters against the establishment of a major base upon Leyte, General Krueger felt constrained to take the responsibility. Said he:

There is no doubt that if I could have made adequate airdromes available on Leyte as scheduled we would have had ample air forces on hand to stop all Jap reinforcements from coming in. But this proved to be impossible, because of terrific rains that flooded all level areas on the island. In consequence, we lacked the air support necessary adequately to support the operation. This was not the fault of the Allied Air Force, however, but mine.17

Base Construction

After the assault troops had cleared the beach areas, a perplexing problem came to the fore. In the plans for the Leyte operation


TANAUAN AIRSTRIP built to replace San Pablo and Buri airfields.

General Krueger had assigned to the various commands areas for such facilities as their supply dumps and hospitals. Upon arrival on Leyte, the Army Service Command discovered that many of the sites were swamps; the tactical situation delayed reconnaissance for others.

Throughout November the allocation of areas to the units continued to present difficulties. On 12 November General Krueger formed the Area Allocation Group, which consisted of representatives from MacArthur's General Headquarters, the Sixth Army, the Air Forces, the Navy, and the Army Service Command. The various units submitted requests for particular areas to this group, which accepted or rejected the requests, or allocated different sites. Since many of the applicants wished to be in the Tacloban area, some of the requests could not be granted because of insufficient space. Many of the sites best suited for hospitals or storage were occupied by MacArthur's advance headquarters and other headquarters. The search of ASCOM for suitable storage areas continued throughout the month.18 On 28 November General Krueger moved the Sixth Army command post from Tanauan to Tolosa so that an airstrip could be constructed in the Tanauan area.19

By 20 November General Krueger's program for hospital construction was far behind schedule. Of the eight hospitals planned for the area only one was as much as 34 percent complete, and one was only 5 percent complete.20 The lack of hospital facilities, which continued throughout December,


was somewhat offset by the rate of evacuation and the use of hospital ships and LST's operating under naval medical procedure. Next to airfields and roads the construction of hospitals was given priority. But "an adequate number of engineer battalions . . . to do justice to the original requirements" was not available. At the same time General Krueger ordered that the hospitals be given first priority on structural materials and on portable buildings. No lumber, including ship dunnage, could be used in constructing quarters for either officers or enlisted men until the hospitals were completed.21 All units that could be spared from airdrome and road construction were used to build either hospitals or port and POL (petrol, oil, and lubricants) installations.

As for port facilities, the Japanese failed to destroy two existing deepwater berths at Tacloban. Despite numerous enemy aerial attacks on these docks and on shipping, no material damage resulted. By 1 December ASCOM had constructed an additional dock and several lighterage wharves. During November the Army Service Command established, in addition to the main supply base at Tacloban, a subbase at Dulag for the southern areas and a supply point at Carigara for the troops of X Corps.22


Since the assault troops had brought with them only limited supplies and ammunition and since they were deep inside Japanese territory and 1,500 miles from their nearest supply base, at Hollandia, the need for immediate establishment and stocking of supply bases was especially urgent.23

Because some of the LST's offshore in the vicinity of Hill 522 and Palo were heavily shelled by the Japanese on A Day, the remaining LST's were directed to the Cataisan Peninsula, where many of them discharged their loads on the Tacloban airfield, over which the supplies were scattered. The proposed runway and dispersal areas were strewn with hundreds of vehicles, together with thousands of tons of ammunition, rations, and petroleum products. Since there was only one egress road, the airstrip became tremendously congested.24

Another important cause of the congestion was the dictum of General Headquarters that certain airfields were to be operational by an early date. The Air Forces had therefore loaded the vessels with a considerable number of service troops and a quantity of equipment which could not be used until the airfields were in operation. When construction of the airfields was delayed, these troops and equipment were unemployed for many days, thus cluttering the beaches and adding to the congestion. Ironically, because of limited shipping space, they had displaced "engineers and other service troops which would have been of great value."25

On 8 November an estimated 120,000 American troops were on Leyte. The rations of some of these were on board the vessels that had brought them to the island, and cargo was not being discharged at a


LST'S UNLOADING AT TACLOBAN AIRFIELD. The causeways leading from the beach to the ships were built by bulldozers scraping sand and earth to each ship as it landed.

satisfactory rate. Col. William N. Leaf, the supply officer of the Sixth Army, did not believe that more than sufficient rations, clothing, and construction equipment to meet minimum requirements could be unloaded unless the discharge capacity of the ports was substantially increased. While this condition was not entirely satisfactory, it was not as bad as appeared, since incoming units brought and discharged thirty days' supply for themselves.26 General Krueger set up a committee to determine the priority of discharge for the various classes of cargo. On 9 November the committee gave top priority to the following items, in order of preference: ammunition, 1,400 tons a day; rations, 1,000 tons a day; bridge timber, no specified amount; landing field mats, 500 tons a day; and aviation gasoline, 1,000 drums a day.27

On 27 November the priorities committee reviewed the status of shipping in the harbors and established new priorities for the unloading of cargo. In order of priority, the following commodities were given preference: rations, ammunition, landing mats, and aviation gasoline.28 Not all the vessels followed the priorities that had been set up for the discharge of cargo. General Krueger ordered that "appropriate disciplinary action"


be taken against any Army personnel who were responsible.29

Since successive resupply convoys arrived at Leyte before vessels of the preceding echelon had been unloaded, thus congesting the harbor, and since the Japanese were bombing the vessels, the assistant G-4 of Sixth Army suggested on 2 December that the number of vessels to be called forward from the rear area to be kept to an absolute minimum.30 The time allocated for the discharge of cargo was steadily increased: from 20 October to 3 November it was twelve hours a day, from 4 November to 8 November eighteen hours a day, and from 9 November until Christmas, twenty-four hours a day.31

During the first thirty days the supplies in tons, stockpiled on Leyte or available on board ship for discharge, over and above current needs, increased as follows: 20 October, 30,313; 21 October through 30 October, 128,051; 31 October through 9 November, 193,838; and from 10 November through 19 November, 319,418.32

After the supplies were ashore and stored, the problem of getting them to the divisions and thence to the front-line troops presented tremendous difficulties. Nearly all types of transportation were utilized. As the roads disintegrated, more and more dependence was placed upon water transportation. Naval vessels and amphibian vehicles were used to carry the supplies as close as possible to the front-line troops, and motor vehicles transported them for the remaining distance whenever feasible. At other times the troops and Filipino civilians often had to hand-carry supplies to the assault forces. In addition there were many airdrops to troops who were otherwise completely cut off from the rest of the Sixth Army.

Medical Support

As the assault forces moved across the beaches, medical units accompanied them. The 110th Portable Surgical Hospital supported the operations of the 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion in the islands of Leyte Gulf. In the northern part of Leyte the 19th and 27th Portable Surgical Hospitals went ashore with the 1st Cavalry Division in the Tacloban area, while the 16th Portable Surgical Hospital supported the 24th Infantry Division in the Palo area. The 38th and 58th Evacuation Hospitals also landed on A Day in the X Corps zone but did not establish themselves in positions to receive patients. In the zone of action of XXIV Corps in the vicinity of Dulag, the 7th and 96th Infantry Divisions were accompanied by the 51st and 52d Portable Surgical Hospitals, the 394th Medical Clearing Company, and the 644th and 645th Medical Collecting Companies. Later in the day a platoon from the 69th Field Hospital landed and before nightfall was ready to receive patients. Earlier on the same day the 7th Portable Surgical Hospital had accompanied the 21st Infantry Regiment to Panaon Strait.33

Evacuation of Casualties

General Bradley attached to each assault battalion a platoon from one of the collecting companies of the 96th Division Medical


ROAD CONDITIONS. Disintegration of the roads greatly increased the supply problem. Filipino carriers unload an amphibious LVT(4) (above); carriers for the 1st Cavalry Division near Carigara (below).


Battalion. These platoons landed with the assault waves, collected the casualties on the beach, gave them the necessary treatment, and then evacuated them to designated ships by landing craft. After the Navy beach parties had established aid stations the medical units cleared casualties through them.34

As the battle moved on beyond the beaches, the remaining medical units came ashore and hospitals were put into operation. For the first few days, however, the medical units evacuated all casualties to naval vessels in the harbor, whereupon the vessels sailed for a rear area base. It frequently happened that a man with a minor wound or illness, or a nonbattle injury, would be well and fit for further duty by the time the vessel reached the rear area.35

After the campaign had progressed beyond the beaches, both the corps evacuated to rear areas only those casualties who required prolonged hospitalization. The Filipino civilian employees of the Army and members of the Filipino armed forces received treatment but were not evacuated from the island without approval from Sixth Army headquarters. Wounded or sick Japanese prisoners were segregated in the hospitals but, otherwise, they received the same treatment as other patients.36 Within three days after landing, the XXIV Corps set up a field hospital which was ready to receive patients on the following day. Consequently, all casualties who had already been evacuated to the ships but who required hospitalization for less than fifteen days were brought ashore and held in the shore party medical section or admitted to the hospital.37

Co-operation between the medical services of the Sixth Army and those of the Seventh Fleet was excellent. Col. William A. Hagins, Sixth Army Surgeon, praised the medical service of the Seventh Fleet in unstinting terms: "The LST's equipped to provide surgical service conformed to the highest professional standards and they, together with the APH's (transports for wounded) and the small PCE(R)'s (patrol craft, escort (rescue)) formed a floating hospital reserve that varied between 3,000 and 5,000 beds. Without this service, which relieved the hard pressed hospitals of many cases, the level of medical and surgical care on Leyte would certainly have been sub-standard."38

After the action had progressed beyond the beaches, the evacuation of troops became more difficult. Each medical collecting company of the 96th Division was furnished nine ¼-ton trucks and three other cargo carriers. The swamps and steep hills precluded the use of trucks, however, and the number of cargo carriers was insufficient for the task. The latter were most useful in evacuating casualties across swamps and rice paddies. It was necessary to use litter bearers in the mountains, but the narrow trails permitted the use of only two men to carry each litter. For some unexplained reason, attempts to use Filipinos as litter bearers were not successful.39 The 24th Division, unlike the 96th, found the Filipinos to be excellent litter bearers and recommended their use whenever possible, since they were willing workers who conserved the efficiency of a combat unit by replacing the combat soldiers.40


Medical Treatment

With very few exceptions, all casualties were treated within one hour after the wound had been inflicted. At the forward aid stations the wounded soldier received only initial treatment necessary before evacuation to the collecting station. When the casualty arrived at that point, he was bathed and prepared for further evacuation to a clearing station. There the necessary surgery was performed to make the patient safe for further evacuation, and he was then taken to a rear area. Because of the swamps and steep hills in the 96th Division sector, the time lag in evacuation from the forward aid station to the clearing station varied from one hour to thirty hours.41 In the 24th Division zone, the clearing stations remained mobile. Only in rare instances, where it was impossible to remove patients because of heavy fighting, was a casualty more than four hours in reaching the clearing station.42

Initial measures at the aid stations consisted of treatment for shock, stopping hemorrhage, administering plasma, applying splints, and dressing wounds. At the clearing stations and portable surgical hospitals, the initial surgical care consisted mainly of débridements, emergency laparotomies, and amputations. The medical officer performed surgical operations in these forward medical facilities only when it was thought that the wounded soldier could not stand the arduous trip to the rear or when his condition would not permit the delay necessary for evacuation.43

A great many chest wounds and compound fractures were treated. The fractures were cleansed, injured tissue was removed. and a splint or cast applied. The biggest problem in fractures was the immobilization of the humerus. If the nerves could be readily found they were anchored. Plasma was extensively used, and whole blood, considered indispensable by the surgeons, was generally available.44

In the first days of the Leyte Campaign, because of the prelanding bombardment, more civilians than soldiers required treatment by medical units. In the 7th Division sector for the first two days, 75 percent of the medical facilities of the only clearing company in operation were used in caring for civilian casualties. On 24 October the Army established a separate hospital on Leyte for civilians.45

The Sixth Army made a survey of 519 patients who died from injuries suffered in battle. Of these 1 died of bayonet wounds, 2 of blast concussion, 249 of gunshot wounds, 170 of fragment wounds, and 97 of unclassified injuries, many of which were believed to have been inflicted by bomb or shell fragments. The location of the gunshot wounds was as follows: 66 in the abdomen, 21 in the back, 7 in the buttocks, 67 in the chest, 49 in the head, 18 in the lower extremities, 9 in the upper extremities, 3 of multiple character, and 9 of unclassified location. Of the fragment wounds 25 were in the abdomen, 7 in the back, 6 in the buttocks, 30 in the chest, 33 in the head, 37 in the lower extremities, 11 in the upper extremities, 12 multiple, and 9 unclassified.46

Medical Supply

The Sixth Army plan called for the assault troops to go in with five days' medical



A CASUALTY RECEIVES TREATMENT at a forward aid station.





supplies. The other units would go in with thirty days' supply. The original plan provided for 300,000 troops over a sixty-day period only. Thereafter, it was expected that Sixth Army would depend upon resupply shipping and the diversion to Leyte of shipments intended to fill theater requirements of the Southwest Pacific area. The resupply shipping consisted of medical maintenance units. Since the average medical maintenance unit contained less than 700 items as compared to the 3,000 to 3,500 items eventually needed for a balanced supply, the medical plan of the X Corps called for loading three days' supply on their organic transports and on their personnel. The rest of the supplies were bulk loaded. The X Corps also had an emergency resupply of two medical maintenance units, one of which was never unloaded because of damage to the ship on which it was carried.47

When the XXIV Corps was ordered to prepare for the Yap operation, the 7th Division began to make its medical plans. After receiving permission to take a thirty-day supply for 22,000 men on its assault shipping, the division separated the stock into two sections, consisting of a ten-day supply and a twenty-day supply. The former was packed in ten identical units with one unit to a pallet, each weighing 1,840 pounds and having a volume of seventy-two cubic feet. One of these units was allotted to each battalion of the division and one to the division headquarters. The twenty days' supply was packed in three identical units, each weighing about 21,648 pounds and having a volume of about 864 cubic feet.48

The 24th Division drew approximately thirty tons of medical supplies from the base medical supply. The division then mobile-loaded twenty of these tons on five 2½-ton trucks and assigned a truck to each collecting company. The remaining medical supplies were bulk loaded. Each medical unit also carried a five-day supply for immediate use upon commitment.49

When put into practice, however, this system of the 24th Division was not entirely satisfactory. Because of the rapid advance of the assault troops and the lack of transportation, the system of supply became an acute problem. Resupply became co-ordinated with the chain of evacuation. Forward units would submit informal requisitions to the clearing companies at the second echelon of evacuation, whereupon the supplies would be issued and brought forward by ambulances on their return to the front. The clearing companies would submit requisitions to the main dump. The difficulty of resupply can be appreciated when considerations of time and distance are understood. For instance, the round trip from Carigara to Tacloban, where the main dump was located, amounted to about seventy miles.50 As greater and greater dependence was placed upon human carriers to bring out the wounded and bring in supplies, it proved indeed fortunate that the Sixth Army had established amicable relations with the Filipino civilians.

Civil Affairs

Although the United States Government had interested itself in the civil affairs of the Philippines as early as 13 January 1944, it was not until 10 November, after the Leyte Campaign had been launched, that General


MacArthur received his first directive on civil affairs. Between the two dates strong disagreements developed between the War and Interior Departments as to who should administer civil affairs in the Islands. The Interior Department insisted that a civil representative of the High Commissioner of the Philippines should accompany the assault troops, and General MacArthur was equally insistent that he should not. The President finally resolved the question in favor of MacArthur.51 Lacking a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General MacArthur devised his own policy for civil affairs during the reoccupation of the Philippines.

The formulation of this policy may be said to have started on 22 July 1944 with a memorandum from Brig. Gen. Bonner F. Fellers, personnel officer of General Headquarters, to General MacArthur. He stated that although President Manuel Quezon had established a Division of Civil Affairs in the Philippine Army, the actual work would have to be done by the United States Army. General Fellers, therefore, recommended that General Headquarters immediately assume full responsibility for civil administration during the reoccupation. Administration in the occupied areas should be done, however, in the name of the Philippine Commonwealth and in complete co-operation with its official representatives.52

On 30 August General MacArthur issued a directive creating a civil affairs unit in his headquarters and outlining the broad policies that were to be followed in the Philippines.53 This directive was subsequently expanded on 28 September54 but it was not until 9 October, eleven days before the landing on Leyte, that MacArthur issued detailed instructions on the procedures to be followed.55

During the combat stage General Krueger, the senior tactical commander, was to be responsible for such civil administration and relief as would be possible under the existing tactical situation. General MacArthur would delegate the administration of civil affairs and relief in the liberated areas as promptly as possible to the authorized representatives of the Commonwealth Government. The only restrictions placed upon the Filipino people were to be those required by military necessity. By arrangement with General MacArthur the Philippine Commonwealth was, in general, to determine the guilt or innocence of suspected collaborationists, though the U.S. Army commanders were to retain complete authority to deal with the suspects if necessary.

General MacArthur also established the financial policies to be followed. A new series of Philippine Treasury certificates called "Victory Pesos" would be introduced in the liberated areas. The exchange rate would be two for an American dollar. All prewar currency and all emergency currency officially determined to be bona fide would be accepted at face value. All other Philippine or enemy currency would be worthless. Wage rates to be paid Filipino labor were established and ceiling prices consistent with the approved wage scale were set.

General Krueger delegated authority for civil administration and relief to Generals Hodge and Sibert for their respective corps areas. The commanding general of the


AN OFFICER OF A CIVIL AFFAIRS UNIT pays off civilian workers with the new "Victory Pesos."

Army Service Command was responsible for the recruitment and maintenance of civilian labor. General MacArthur attached to the Sixth Army eight Philippine civil affairs units, which were to assist the field commanders in the administration of civil affairs and relief. Two of these were retained by Sixth Army, two were attached to each of the corps, and two to the Army Service Command.56

As soon as the conflict had passed by an area, a civil affairs unit of the Sixth Army stepped in and started to restore the normal community life. Temporary appointments of Filipino officials were made, such appointments going to men who had been screened by the Counter Intelligence Corps or who were sponsored by Filipinos whose loyalty was unquestioned. In nearly every case the Philippine Commonwealth ratified these appointments. In every area reached by the Sixth Army, civil officials were appointed as soon as the tide of battle passed, and without exception cordial relations were established. The civil affairs officers of the Sixth Army did not attempt to interfere with civil operations unless requested to do so, or unless the military situation made it necessary.

Relations With Filipino Refugees

While the American assault forces were hitting the shores of Leyte, a delegation of Filipinos boarded the Blue Ridge and gave General Irving of the 24th Division information


regarding conditions on the island. They received a cordial welcome, the Filipino steward's mates giving them much of their spare clothing.57

Many refugees who had been driven from their homes by the naval bombardment came into the American lines on the beaches seeking comfort and aid. These Filipinos had been without food or water for a considerable time, some of them for as long as twenty-four hours. Many of those who had remained in foxholes during the naval shelling were badly shaken up.

Palo Sector

In the area around Palo58 fifty to seventy-five civilians had arrived by nightfall on A Day, 20 October. The Army gave them food and drink and then quartered them in two houses on the beach. By the following morning the influx of Filipinos had become very great and the arrival of many more was expected. The civil affairs officers therefore secured two more dwellings, had latrines dug, and maintained constant policing of the area, which was finally encircled by wire enclosures. The Army set up an evacuation hospital unit in the bivouac area to take care of the wounded and sick. A baby was delivered in an emergency obstetrical tent, "both mother and child faring well."

Wells were dug to provide water for washing. During 21 October between 1,500 and 2,000 refugees crowded into the area. By 22 October the congestion had become so great that a larger site was imperative. General Sibert decided to move the civilians to Palo, even though the town had not yet been cleared of Japanese. After an Army chaplain had said Mass, the refugees proceeded on foot, in single file, to Palo. The Army adopted this mode of advance in order to minimize interference with troops, supplies, and equipment and also to protect the refugees from mines and booby traps which the Japanese had placed on the shoulders of the road. Many of the civilians carried all of their effects with them; children, as young as three or four years, were impressed into carrying their share of the family's meager possessions.

Because of the inpouring of refugees from surrounding districts, Palo suddenly grew from a normal population of about 6,000 to one estimated at 12,000 to 15,000. Nearly 5,000 people with their animals crowded into a church and its adjacent compound. Sanitary conditions were very bad.

The Army fed these refugees from captured stocks of rice and appointed a force of civilian police. After a survey of the area, the Army instituted sanitary measures for cleaning up the church and its compound, with removal and burial of the dead animals. Civilian laborers who had been checked for their loyalty undertook the burial of American and Japanese dead and the unloading of ships in the harbor. The Army disarmed all Filipinos except guerrillas and enforced security regulations, which prohibited civilians from appearing on the streets after dark. As more military units entered the town, 5,000 of the refugees were moved to its outskirts. The Army set up a hospital in the compound and surgeries in the schoolhouses, with separate wards for men and women. Teachers and other qualified women assisted as practical nurses. Within one week the Army had organized the town and begun work toward rehabilitation.



Dulag Sector

On the beaches of XXIV Corps a naval civil affairs unit controlled the Philippine civilians.59 This unit arrived ashore at 0700 on 21 October. The area which had been previously allocated for a civilian compound was found to be a swamp. Approximately 1,500 refugees were scattered around the landing beaches. The Army assembled these and moved them to a new site in the town of Dulag, but the location had undergone a three-day naval bombardment which had reduced it to smoldering rubble. The Army recruited laborers to clean the area.

The military police assisted in control of the civilian population and procured and distributed food and water. A medical officer and several enlisted men from the 7th Division gave medical aid to large numbers of civilians who were treated for minor wounds, injuries, tropical ulcers, and other ailments. By 22 October the medical officer had referred at least 100 of the more serious cases to an Army field hospital near by. Fifteen unclaimed and unidentified civilian dead were buried in the Filipino cemetery.

By the morning of 22 October, since the civilian population of Dulag had grown to approximately 10,000, General Hodge issued orders to move the refugees to a new location. By 23 October, when a suitable place had been found, the number of refugees had risen to approximately 30,000. The mass migration to the new location, which was two miles from Dulag, was most


difficult, and not until the civil affairs officers had sent food and water to the new site could civilians be persuaded to move. The selected area measured about 1,000 by 600 yards and consisted of a coconut grove and a beach. Except for its inadequate size and its infringement upon military installations, it was completely satisfactory. After 24 October the civilians were removed from camp and sent back to their home villages as soon as the latter were declared secure.

Issuing of Supplies

By the morning of 24 October the Sixth Army was taking care of some 45,000 people, most of the population of about fifty-six communities. Although at first there was a shortage of food and water, by 24 October there was an adequate supply. Before that time the Army supplied the civilians with C and K rations, since it could not locate an appreciable quantity of the civilian food supplies. Seventy percent of these supplies, consisting of fish, rice, and meat, were later found and distributed by the civil affairs officers.

The Army originally distributed food to individuals but later made distribution through leaders in the barrios until it could establish a general store. The civil affairs officers distributed 28,700 full rations, fifty cases of condensed milk for infant use, and five tons of captured Japanese rice. About 5,000 full rations were stolen or not accounted for. An Army purification unit set up a 3,000-gallon canvas water tank and furnished water to the area.

A general store was in operation by 26 October for the sale of necessities. Clothing, rice, biscuits, salmon, and candles were the items most in demand. Some articles were ill adapted to the use or customs of the Filipinos. "The people would not buy or use the 4,000 rat traps or the rolls of toilet paper furnished nor would they buy or use canned or powdered milk."60 Prices were fixed at prewar levels.

The civil affairs units of the Sixth Army opened about 500 schools in the principal barrios, those in Tacloban being the first to open. Many school buildings were either rebuilt or repaired under the direction of civil affairs officers and with funds furnished by them. Since there were no primary textbooks, in one instance the civil affairs units mimeographed a series of three schoolbooks which were illustrated by an Army artist. The teachers of Leyte not only provided excellent service in school work but also acted as relief workers, sanitarians, and assistants in the dispensaries and hospitals.

At first, a number of improvised hospitals were opened up. When the civilian hospital supplies arrived, however, modern hospitals were established at Tacloban, Baybay, and Carigara. These were staffed by local doctors and nurses, but the civil affairs unit continued to furnish food and supervision. Twenty-seven permanent dispensaries were also established. These were greatly needed, since the Japanese had not given the people any medical aid and had stopped all preventive medical measures. Dental treatment was given to more than 2,000 Filipinos, and smallpox inoculations were administered to more than 8,000. Also, when they seemed to be required, inoculations were given for typhoid, typhus, and cholera.

The prescribed amount of civilian medical supplies proved to be inadequate, a situation which placed an undue burden upon


the medical units and facilities of all echelons of the Sixth Army. The food supplies, however, were more than adequate. The sizes of clothing and shoes were often too large and there was not a sufficient supply of women's and children's garments. On the island 10,000 tons of civilian supplies were landed, of which 6,830 tons were distributed. About 1,102 tons of rice were sold or given away, a figure which does not include captured Japanese stocks of rice. More than 400,000 refugees were fed and 287,000 relief clients were cared for.61 By 25 December the relief rolls included only the aged, sick, and infirm, and members of families without a breadwinner.

Recruitment of Filipinos

"Hundreds of self appointed guerrillas whose only claim to participation in the guerrilla organization was a recently realized ambition to be of service to their country and to their allies" confronted the assault forces on the beachheads. These individuals caused endless confusion, since it was practically impossible for the Americans to distinguish between the genuine guerrilla and his opportunistic counterfeit. After the first few days, however, the Army made contact with guerrilla headquarters and established liaison with the bona fide guerrillas.62

General Krueger made the guerrillas a part of his armed forces, and they became a source of additional strength to the Sixth Army. These men frequently operated and patrolled in enemy-held territory and brought the Americans valuable information on Japanese movements and dispositions; the unit commanders of Sixth Army, however, tended to discount reports from such sources with regard to the size of Japanese forces. The guerrillas also guarded supply dumps and depots, bridges, and other installations in the rear areas.

The generosity of the American soldier in giving away supplies made it difficult to recruit civilian labor. Since gifts of food to prospective laborers diminished their incentive to work, the Sixth Army issued an order prohibiting such gifts. As early as 21 October the Army got in touch with political and labor leaders to serve as advisers and assistants, telling them from day to day how many laborers would be needed. The Filipino leaders were very co-operative and made arrangements to secure the necessary labor. Good results were obtained by enlisting the support of local leaders, especially the parish priests. General Krueger declared: "In all reported instances, the priests lent willing assistance and their information on individuals and conditions was found reliable and outstandingly impartial."63 As the fighting reached past Carigara and Dagami and into the central mountain range the Filipinos acted as supply carriers for the troops and worked on the roads and trails. At one time there were as many as 8,000 Filipinos engaged in this labor. Army furnished transportation to the site of the work and paid wages according to the Commonwealth Government wage scales.

Throughout November the logistical situation on Leyte remained bad. Work on roads, together with that on airfields and other installations, consisted largely of temporary expedients. The difficult problem of getting supplies ashore and to the troops had


not been completely solved, a situation which hampered the progress of the tactical troops. The lag in construction of airdromes made it impossible for land-based air forces to give adequate close air support to the ground forces. This lack of support was another handicap to General Krueger's men as they fought their way into the mountains.


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1. Ltr, CG Sixth Army to CG X Corps et al, 25 Nov 44, p. 24.

2. Hist of Fifth Air Force, Ch. 5, pp. 34-35. AAF Archives.

3. Sturgis, Engineer Operations in the Leyte Campaign, p. 6. Unless otherwise cited, the material on construction is taken from this study.

4. Draft of Memo, 30 Oct 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 30 Oct 44.

5. ASCOM Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 8-9.

6. RAD, CTF 78 to CG Sixth Army, MC 1280, 22 Oct 44, Sixth Army G-3 Wasatch Jnl, 23 Oct 44.

7. Hist 8th Fighter Squadron, October 1944, p. 7, AAF Archives.

8. Hist 7th Fighter Squadron, October 1944, pp. 4-5, AAF Archives.

9. Opns Rpt, Comdr Support Aircraft to Comdr Seventh Fleet, no serial, 2 Nov 44.

10. Hist 8th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group, 86th Wing, V Fighter Command, Fifth Air Force, October 1944, p. 7, AAF Archives.

11. Rad, Col Quinn to the 6, 8, and 9 Air Liaison Parties, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl, 31 Oct 44.

12. Ltr, Maj Gen Hugh J. Casey, CG ASCOM, to Gen Krueger, CG Sixth Army, 31 Oct 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 7 Nov 44.

13. Ibid.

14. Hist Fifth Air Force, Ch. 5, p. 33, AAF Archives.

15. Hist of Engineer Corps in the Pacific, Ch. VI, Philippine Campaign, pp. 327-29. Copy in OCMH.

16. Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 69.

17. Ltr, Gen Krueger to Gen Ward, 13 Aug 51, OCMH.

18. Army Service Comd Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 6, 9.

19. Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 69.

20. 5201st Engr Const Brig Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 5.

21. Sturgis, Engineer Opns in Leyte Campaign, p. 15.

22. Army Service Comd Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 9; Memo, G-4 Sixth Army for DG ASCOM, 11 Nov 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 11 Nov 44.

23. Sturgis, Engineer Opns in Leyte Campaign, p. 5.

24. Ibid., p. 6.

25. Ltr, Gen Decker, formerly CS Sixth Army, to Gen Ward, 9 Jul 51, copy in OCMH.

26. Memo, G-4 Sixth Army for Transportation Sec Sixth Army, 8 Nov 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 8 Nov 44.

27. Rpt of Conference on Establishment of Priorities, 9 Nov 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 30 Nov 44.

28. Rpt of Conference on 27 Nov for the Establishment of Unloading Priorities, 28 Nov 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 30 Nov 44.

29. Ltr, CG Sixth Army to CG ASCOM, 30 Nov 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 1 Dec 44.

30. Memo, Asst G-4 Sixth Army to QM et al. Sixth Army, 2 Dec 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 2 Dec 44.

31. Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 218.

32. Memo, G-4 Sixth Army to Transportation Off, 27 Nov 44, Sixth Army G-4 Jnl, 27 Nov 44.

33. Rpt of Surgeon, Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 262.

34. 96th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 95.

35. Rpt of Surgeon, Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 262.

36. X Corps Rpt of Medical Service Leyte Campaign, pp. 3-4.

37. XXIV Corps Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 38.

38. Rpt of Surgeon, Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 263.

39. 96th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 95-96.

40. 24th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 197.

41. 96th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 96.

42. 24th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 134.

43. Ibid.

44. Ibid.

45. 7th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, Medical Rpt, App. C to G-4 Rpt, p. 5.

46. Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 263.

47. Army Service Forces Monthly Rpt, Sec 7, Health, Jun 45, p. 10.

48. 7th Div Medical Rpt, App. C to G-4 Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 3.

49. 24th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 135-36.

50. Ibid., p. 136.

51. History of Civil Affairs Div, WD Special Staff, Philippines, pp. 1-17, typescript in OCMH.

52. Memo, Gen Fellers for CINCSWPA, 23 Jul 44, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific, Report on Civil Affairs (2 vols), II, 1.

53. GHQ SWPA Staff Memo 35, 30 Aug 44; Rpt cited n. 52, pp. 6-9.

54. GHQ SWPA Staff Memo 40; Ibid., 28 Sep 44, pp. 12-15.

55. GHQ SWPA, Standing Operating Procedure Instns 26, 9 Oct 44: Ibid., pp. 22-42.

56. Sixth Army Admin O 14, Annex 8, Civil Affairs Plan, 30 Sep 44.

57. Tarbuck Report.

58. The material on refugees in the Palo area is taken from 24th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, Annex 13, pp. 146-48.

59. Material on refugees in the Dulag area is based on the Report of Naval Civil Affairs Unit, 7 Dec 44, 7th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, Incl 1, App. G to Annex 1.

60. Civil Affairs, Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 279.

61. Ibid., p. 279.

62. 1st Cav Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 22-23.

63. Ltr, CG Sixth Army to CG X Corps and others, 25 Nov 44.

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation