Chapter IV-2
Kyushu Deployment to December 1945


Original plans for the occupation of Japan had contemplated military government of the surrendered nation, coupled with close operational control over the disarmament and demobilization of the Japanese armed forces. During the course of conferences with enemy surrender emissaries at Manila radical modifications of these plans were made, however, "based on the full cooperation of the Japanese and [including] measures designed to avoid incidents which might result in renewed conflict."2

Instead of instituting direct military rule, the responsible occupation force commanders were to supervise the execution of SCAP directives to the Japanese government, keeping in mind MacArthur's policy of using, but not supporting, that government.3 An important element of the surrender was the clear statement by the Allied powers that from the moment of capitulation, the Emperor and the Japanese Government would be under the absolute authority of SCAP. The Japanese military forces were to disarm and demobilize under their own supervision, and the Allied forces were to occupy assigned areas at the same time that Japanese demobilization was underway.

The infantry regiment (and divisional artillery operating as infantry) was to be "the chief instrument of demilitarization and control. The entire plan for the imposition of the terms of surrender was based upon the presence of infantry regiments in all the prefectures within the Japanese homeland."4 In achieving this aim, a fairly standard pattern of occupational duties was established with the division of responsibilities based on the boundaries of the prefectures so that the existing Japanese government structure could be utilized. In some instances, especially in the 5th Marine Division zone the vast size of certain prefectures, the density of civilian population, and the tactical necessities of troop deployment combined to force modifications of the general scheme of regimental responsibility for a single prefecture.

Generally speaking, the method of carrying out the regimental mission varied little between zones and units, whether Army or Marine. After selected advance parties of staff officers from higher headquarters and the unit concerned


had established initial liaison with local Japanese authorities, the regiment moved into a bivouac area in or near the zone of responsibility. Reconnaissance patrols were sent out to verify the location of military installations and check inventories of war material submitted by the Japanese. With this information, the regimental commander was able to divide his zone into battalion areas, and the battalion commanders could, in turn, assign their companies specific sectors of responsibility. Billeting and sanitation details preceded the troops into these areas to oversee the preparation of barracks and similar quarters, since many of these buildings were in a deplorable state of repair and rather filthy.

The infantry company or artillery battery then became the working unit that actually accomplished the occupation duties. Company commanders were empowered to seize any military installations in their zone and to use Japanese military personnel not yet demobilized or laborers furnished by Home Ministry representatives to dispose of all material within the installations. SCAP directives governed disposition procedures and divided all material into the following categories:

  1. That to be destroyed or scrapped (explosives and armaments not needed for souvenirs or training purposes).

  2. That to be used for our operations (telephones, radios, and vehicles).

  3. That to be returned to the Japanese Home Ministry (fuel, lumber, etc.).

  4. That to be issued as trophies.

  5. That to be shipped to the U.S. as trophies or training gear.5

The dangerous job of explosive ordnance disposal was handled by the Japanese with a bare minimum of American supervision. Some explosives were either dumped at sea or burned in approved areas, some were exploded in underground sites; and because it was too dangerous to enter certain explosives storage tunnels, these were sealed and the contents left buried.6 Weapons and equipment declared surplus to the needs of occupation troops were converted into scrap, mainly by Japanese labor, and then turned over to the Home Ministry for use in essential civilian industries. Foodstuffs and other nonmilitary stocks were returned to the Japanese for distribution.

Although prefectural police maintained civil law and order and enforced democratization decrees issued at the instance of SCAP, constant surveillance was maintained over Japanese methods of government. American intelligence and military government personnel, working with the occupying troops, acted quickly to stamp out any suggestion of a return to militarism or evasion of the surrender terms. Regarding the handling of war criminals, the JCS, on 14 September, had directed MacArthur to "proceed without avoidable delay with the trial before appropriate military courts or tribunals and the punishment of Japanese war criminals as have been or may be apprehended, in accordance with the desire of the President."7 Known or suspected war criminals were therefore apprehended and sent to Tokyo for processing and possible arraignment before an Allied tribunal.


In addition to the apprehension of war criminals and the exercise of supervisory control of Japanese demobilization of the home garrison, occupation troops were responsible for ensuring the smooth processing of hundreds of thousands of military personnel and civilians returning from the outposts of the now defunct Empire. At the same time, thousands of Korean, Formosan, and Chinese prisoners and "voluntary" laborers had to be collected, pacified at times,8 housed and fed, and returned to their homelands. In all repatriation operations, Japanese vessels and crews were used to the fullest extent possible in order to conserve Allied manpower and allow for an accelerated program of postwar demobilization.

Soon after the initial VAC landings on Kyushu, investigation disclosed that the Japanese had begun repatriation of their own people from Korea and were returning Koreans home from Japan. The port of Hakata, a short distance up the coast from Fukuoka, was being utilized as an embarkation point, and Moji and Shimonoseki were employed as receiving and holding areas. The Japanese used small craft for the repatriation program, "and processing centers, records, sanitation, etc., were conspicuous by their absence.)"9 Confronted by the first groups of incoming Japanese, the 5th Marine Division set up a repatriation center at Uragashira, which shortly after 26 September was receiving and processing nearly 3,000 repatriated and demobilized Japanese troops a day. Soon after, Hakata and its receiving area were operating under occupation supervision. The ports of Moji and Shimonoseki were closed down and not authorized for purposes of repatriation because the harbor approaches were still heavily mined and had not yet been cleared.

According to reliable information available to the occupation authorities, there were well over a million Koreans to be repatriated from Japan, and additional ports and receiving centers were set up immediately. Following their inspection, Senzaki, Hakata, Sasebo, and Kagoshima were authorized as VAC zone ports of embarkation and the Japanese were instructed to improve and expand facilities there. Available Japanese shipping, however, fell far short of port capacity.

In addition to the Koreans discovered in the zone, the Americans found that some 40,000 Chinese had to be repatriated; 6,000 of these were in the VAC zone of responsibility along with approximately 7,000 Formosans and 15,000 Ryukyu Islanders. Higher headquarters advised VAC that the Ryukyuans and Formosans--half of whom were demobilized soldiers--could not be repatriated yet, but the Chinese could. The return home of the Chinese on Japanese shipping began early in October from Hakata, and it was found necessary to place U.S. guard detachments on many ships to prevent disorder because the Japanese crews could not control the returnees. The Koreans,


on the other hand, were relatively docile.

With "their constant drift out of nowhere"10 into repatriation centers, the Koreans soon clogged these points beyond the capacity of available shipping. SCAP authorized the use of 80 LSTs for a China-to-Sasebo run for the repatriation of Japanese, and a Saseboto-Korea or -China run for others. After 30 November, the port of Kagoshima was used as a repatriation center. The first Chinese repatriates, a total of 2,800, left Sasebo on 24 November under this system.

The pattern of progressive occupation called for in SCAP plans was quickly established by VAC:

After the 2d and 5th Marine Divisions had landed, VAC'S general plan was for the 2d Marine Division to expand south of Nagasaki to assume control of the Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima Prefectures. The 5th Marine Division in the meantime was to extend east to the prefectures of Saga, Fukuoka, Oita, and Yamaguchi. The latter division was to be relieved in the Fukuoka, Oita, and Yamaguchi areas upon the arrival of sufficient elements of the 32d Division.11

Troops occupying Sasebo found a serious breakdown in those sanitary and public services12 ordinarily rendered by the city. Containing the third largest naval base in Japan, Sasebo was a city whose normal population was approximately 300,000 until 29 June 1945. On that day, Sasebo suffered its only B-29 raid of the war which destroyed a large portion of the city, but left the Navy yard area relatively undamaged. This raid made over 60,000 Japanese homeless and killed 1,000.

On 27 September, four days after he had first landed at Sasebo, General Bourke moved his CP to the naval recruit training center at Ainoura, seven miles to the west of Sasebo.13 The 5th Pioneer Battalion with military police and motor transport units attached, garrisoned Sasebo. This reinforced battalion furnished working parties for the 5th Division quartermaster, unloaded ships, provided guards for supply dumps and water points, and established military police patrols for the city.

As the 5th Marine Division established order in the Sasebo area, it began preparations to extend the occupation throughout the northern area of Kyushu and onto nearby islands, including southern Honshu. A reinforced company of the division was established at Omura almost immediately after landing, and motorized patrols reconnoitered the approaches to Sasebo. Very poor road conditions existing along the route from Sasebo to Omura were particularly bad on the outskirts of the


former city. The many narrow bridges encountered were often in poor repair or entirely impassable. Japanese males met by the patrols were usually friendly, but the woman and children appeared frightened. As the Japanese populace grew more accustomed to the presence of the Marines and became assured that the occupation forces would not harm them, their shyness and fear disappeared.

During the latter part of the first, week of occupation, VAC continued to extend its zone of occupation operations, guarded Japanese military installations and arms and supply dumps, and began to inventory and dispose of the material in these dumps in line with prescribed regulations. The 2d Marine Division established detachments at Isahaya (northeast of Nagasaki) and Kawatana at the same time that patrols exercised surveillance over all roads and strategic areas.

One week after the initial landings, the 5th Division zone of responsibility (Z/R) was extended to include Yagihara, Miyazaki, Arita, Takeo, Sechibara, and other small towns to the north and west of Sasebo. The normal occupation missions of the division continued to proceed in a satisfactory manner. Japanese equipment was inventoried rapidly and Japanese guards were relieved by Marine sentries as soon as the inventories were completed. On 29 September, VAC published an operation order for the occupation of Fukuoka. (See Map 28.)


The decision to occupy Fukuoka, largest city in Kyushu and administrative center of the northwestern coal and steel region, was made almost immediately after the initial landings. Because the waters of Fukuoka harbor were liberally sown with mine% the movement to the city was made by rail and road from Sasebo. An advance party, consisting of officers from VAC and the 5th Division, reached Fukuoka on 27 September and began making preliminary arrangements for the entry of the troops. Meetings were held with Japanese military and civilian authorities regarding the conduct of the occupation. Leading elements of the occupation force began arriving on 30 September. Brigadier General Ray A. Robinson, Assistant Division Commander of the 5th Marine Division, was given command of the Fukuoka force which consisted of the 28th Marines (Reinforced) and Army augmentation detachments.

The Fukuoka Occupation Force (FOF), which was placed directly under VAC command, began sending reconnaissance parties followed by company- and battalion-sized occupation forces to the major cities of northern Kyushu and across the Straits of Shimonoseki to Yamaguchi Prefecture in southwestern Honshu. Because of the limited number of troops available to FOF, Japanese guards were left in charge of most military installations, and effective control of the zone was maintained through the use of motorized surveillance patrols.

In order to prevent possible outbreaks of mob violence, Marine guard detachments were set up to administer the Chinese labor camps found in the area, and Japanese Army supplies were


requisitioned to feed and clothe the former POWs and laborers. Some of the supplies were also used to sustain the swarms of Koreans who gathered in temporary camps near the principal repatriation ports of Fukuoka and Senzaki (Yamaguchi Prefecture) while they awaited shipping to return to their homeland. The Marines supervised the loading out of the Koreans and made continuous checks on the processing and discharge procedures used to handle the Japanese troops who returned with each incoming vessel. In addition to its repatriation activities, the FOF located and inventoried vast quantities of Japanese military material for later disposition by the 32d infantry Division.

On 1 October, General Robinson conferred with ranking Japanese officers concerning orders and instructions pertaining to the occupation. At the direction of higher authority, the FOF commander ordered sentries posted at the more important buildings and dock facilities, and in a swift move to crush a suspected black market operation in foreign exchange, he immediately closed the branches of the Bank of Chosen throughout the FOF zone, posted guards at these branches, sealed their safes and vaults, and impounded the records of the bank.

Further establishment of occupation forces throughout the zone began on 4 October with the movement of a reinforced company from 3/28 into Shimonoseki as the Shimonoseki Occupation Group. On 6 October, another reinforced company of the battalion was sent into the Moji area. The rest of the battalion moved into Moji on 10 October, the day that the Shimonoseki-Moji Occupation Group was formed. A detachment was sent from Shimonoseki to Yamaguchi the next day, and eight days later, occupation forces were set up at Senzaki.

As General Robinson's force took control of Fukuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures, the 5th Marine Division expanded its hold on the area east of Sasebo. On 5 October, the division Z/R was extended to include Saga Prefecture and the city of Kurume in the center of the island. The 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, moved to Saga city, operating for a short time as an independent occupation group. On 24 October, the regiment (less 1/27) established its headquarters in Kurume and assumed responsibility for the central portion of the division zone, which now extended to the east coast (Oita Prefecture). Through all of these troop movements, the maintenance of roads and bridges was a constant problem since the inadequate road net quickly disintegrated when punished by the combination of heavy rains and extensive military traffic. The burden of supplying and transporting the scattered elements of VAC was borne by the Japanese rail system.14

After it had moved to Saga, 2/27 discovered on the airfield there 178 Japanese fighter planes, all but 8 of which


had been damaged by typhoons. The battalion also uncovered a vast "ammunition dump where the Japanese had stored approximately one-fifth of the country's ammunition for home defense."15 A battalion patrol located an internment camp at Shimizu, where Dutch, British, Italian, Portuguese, Swiss, and Belgian nationals had been confined during the war. Upon entering the camp, the Marines found that:

The only remaining internee was an 82-year old Swiss who amazed everyone by proving that he was an ex-U.S. Marine. Edward Zillig had enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1888 in Philadelphia, had been discharged in 1893, and then had reenlisted during the Spanish-American War. He produced a letter from the Veterans Administration showing that he had received a pension. From 1936 until his house was blown to bits, he had lived in Nagasaki with his Japanese wife. Zillig turned over two items to the patrol: (1) a statement of the kind treatment he had received from a Japanese police sergeant, and (2) a request for renewal of his $60-a-month pension.16

Zillig also had a request for the "one more thing I want to see in life," a full-dress Marine Corps parade.17 The old man received his wish shortly thereafter, when he stood beside Lieutenant Colonel John W. A. Antonelli 2/27 commander, and "watched the modern Leathernecks swing by--and he remembered to salute at the right time."18 The former Marine's pension was renewed, for as soon as the Veterans Administration received evidence of Zillig's existence, it began sending him a check again. Veterans legislation that had been passed in Congress during the war years had increased Zillig's pension to $75 a month. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to cash more than a few checks, for he committed suicide on 9 March 1946.


When it was decided to occupy Oita Prefecture, the entire 180-mile trip from Sasebo to Oita city was made by rail. The occupation force, Company A (Reinforced) of the 5th Tank Battalion, operating as infantry,19 set up in the city on 15 October and conducted a reconnaissance of the military installations in the coastal prefecture by means of motorized patrols. The company served as an advance party for 32d Infantry Division troops, and because of its small size, was forced to rely on Japanese labor for most of its material inventory work.

The Marines found that the naval air station at Oita had been almost completely destroyed by American bombs, although nearly 100 dispersed Japanese planes remained in semi-operable condition. Despite the fact that Oita had never been singled out as a primary target for AAF raids, approximately 40 percent of the city had been razed because B-29s


Battered Buddhist figures symbolize the atomic destruction suffered at Nagasaki
BATTERED BUDDHIST FIGURES symbolize the atomic destruction suffered at Nagasaki.
[USMC 136176]

More than 200 Japanese planes are destroyed at Omura as part of the Allied disarmament program
MORE THAN 200 Japanese planes are destroyed at Omura as part of the Allied disarmament program.
[USMC 139991]


had been diverted there when their primary target could not be hit or when the a bomb load left over from those dropped on the initial target. From Oita, the occupation spread northwest along the east coast of Kyushu to Beppu, where the most famous beaches and shore resorts of Japan are located.

The 13th Marines, occupying the area to the south and east of Sasebo in Nagasaki and Saga Prefectures, supervised the processing of Japanese repatriates returning from China and Korea, and handled the disposition of the weapons, equipment, and ammunition that were stored in naval depots near Sasebo and Kawatana. The 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, which was detached from its regiment, was stationed in Sasebo under division control, and furnished a portion of the garrison for the city as well as detachments that investigated the island groups offshore. The division reconnaissance company was sent in DUKWs to Hirado Shima, north of Sasebo, on 2 October. Finding everything in order, the company returned to Sasebo on the 4th.

The 26th Marines, whose patrols ranged the hinterland north and east of Sasebo, had a very short tour of duty in Japan. on 13 October, the regiment was alerted for transfer to the Palau Islands.20 While the 26th was making preparations to move to Peleliu and supervise the repatriation of Japanese troops from the Western Carolines,21 the first elements of the 32d Division began landing at Sasebo. An advance party of the division had arrived in Fukuoka earlier, on 3 October. The 128th Infantry, followed by the 126th Infantry and division troops, moved straight on through the port and entrained for Fukuoka, where the Army units came temporarily under the control of FOF. The V Amphibious Corps placed the 127th Infantry (less 1/127), which landed on 18-19 October, under the operational control of the 5th Division to take over the zone of responsibility of the 26th Marines.

The Fukuoka Occupation Force was dissolved on 24 October when it was relieved by the 32d Division, which opened its command post in Fukuoka on the same day.22 At this time, the Fukuoka Base Command, composed of the service elements that had been assigned to General Robinson's force, was set up to support the operations in northern Kyushu and continued to function until 25 November, when the Army division took over its duties. The 28th Marines


and the 5th Tank Battalion occupation forces were relieved by Army units: the 128th RCT23 took over Yamaguehi Prefecture, the 126th patrolled Fukuoka and Oita Prefectures, and the 127th, after it was relieved by the 28th Marines in the zone formerly occupied by the 26th Marines, occupied Fukuoka and the zone to the north.

The 26th Marines began boarding ship on 18 October and 127th Infantry units moved into the vacated billets. On 19 October, the Marine regiment was detached from the division and returned to FMFPac control as loading continued. Before the transports departed on 21 October, orders were received from FMFPac designating 2/26 for disbandment, and the battalion returned to the Marine Camp, Ainoura-the 5th Division headquarters outside of Sasebo. On 31 October, 2/26, the first of many war-born Marine infantry battalions to end its Pacific service passed out of existence and its men were transferred to other units.

While Brigadier General Robert B. McBride, Jr.'s 32d Infantry Division moved north to take over the area occupied by the Fukuoka and Oita Occupation Forces, the 2d Marine Division gradually expanded its hold on southern Kyushu. Immediately after landing, the 2d and 6th Marines moved into billets in the vicinity of Nagasaki, with the missions of surveillance in their assigned areas and of disposition of enemy military material in the nearby countryside and on the many small islands in the vicinity of the coast. The 8th and 10th Marines went directly from their transports to barracks at Isahaya, where they began patrolling the peninsula to the south and the rest of Nagasaki Prefecture in the 2d Division zone.

On 4 October, VAC changed the boundary between divisions to include Omura in General Hunt's zone. The 5th Division security detachment at the Marine air base was relieved by 3/10 and returned to parent control. Shortly thereafter, the 10th Marines took over the whole of the 8th Marines area in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The corps expanded the 2d Division zone on 5 October to include all of highly industrialized Kumamoto Prefecture. An advance billeting, sanitation, and reconnaissance party of the 8th Marines travelled to Kumamoto city in the southwestern part of the island to make contact with the Japanese authorities and pave the way for regimental assumption of control. By 18 October, all units of the 8th Marines established themselves in and around Kumamoto and began the by-now familiar process of inventory and disposition. In line with SCAP directives outlining measures to restore the civilian economy to a self-supporting level, the Marines assisted the local government wherever necessary to speed the


conversion of war plants to essential peacetime production.24

The remaining unoccupied portion of Kyushu was taken over by the 2d Division within the next month. Advance parties headed by senior field grade officers contacted civil and military officials in Kagoshima and Miyazaki Prefectures to ensure compliance with surrender terms and adequate preparations for the reception of division troops.25 Miyazaki Prefecture and the half of Kagoshima east of Kagoshima Wan were assigned to the 2d Marines. The remaining half of Kagoshima Prefecture was added to the zone of the 8th Marines; later, the regiment was also given responsibility for conducting occupation operations in the Osumi and Koshiki island groups, which lay to the south and southwest respectively of Kyushu.

On 29 October, a motor convoy carrying the major part of 1/8 moved from Kumamoto to Kagoshima city to assume control of western Kagoshima. The battalion had to start anew the routine of reconnaissance, inspection, inventory, and disposition that had occupied it twice before. The 2d Battalion, 2d Marines, assigned to the eastern half of Kagoshima, found much of its preliminary occupation spadework already done. The Army task force at Kanoya had been actively patrolling the area since it had come under VAC command. When 2/2, loaded in four LSTS, arrived from Nagasaki on 27 October, it was relatively easy to effect a relief. The Marines landed at Takasu, port for Kanoya, and moved by rail and road to the airfield. On 30 October, 2/2 assumed from 1/127 operational control of the Army Air Force detachment manning the emergency field, and the 32d Division battalion prepared to return to Sasebo to rejoin its regiment.

The remainder of the 2d Marines also moved by sea from Sasebo to Takasu and thence by rail to Miyazaki Prefecture in early November. Regimental headquarters and 3/2 set up their bases of operations at Miyakonojo, and the 1st Battalion moved into billets in the city of Miyazaki.26 By 14 November, with the occupation of Miyazaki complete,


VAC had established effective control over its entire zone of responsibility.27

At the end of November, VAC could report substantial progress in its major occupation tasks. Over 700,000 Japanese returning from overseas had been processed through ports and separation centers under corps control. The tide of humanity had not all flowed from one direction, since 273,276 Koreans, Chinese, and Okinawans had been sent back to their homelands. On 1 December, only about 20,000 Japanese Army and Navy personnel remained on duty, all employed in demobilization, repatriation, minesweeping, and similar activities. On that date, in accordance with SCAP directives, these men were transferred to civilian status under newly created government ministries and bureaus. The destruction or other disposition of war material in the Corps area proceeded satisfactorily with surprisingly few mishaps,28 considering the enormous quantity of old and faulty munitions that had to be handled.

The need for large numbers of combat troops in Japan steadily lessened as the occupation wore on, and it became increasingly obvious that the Japanese intended to offer no resistance. Reporting to Washington in September, General MacArthur told General Marshall that he had inspected the occupied areas about Tokyo Bay, and that he believed that Japan was very near to economic and industrial collapse. MacArthur went on to say: "It appears the fire raids have so destroyed the integrity of the industrial establishment as to prevent continuance


of modern war."29 MacArthur continued:

Manpower alone is the only warlike resource available or potential. The Japanese Imperial Government and the Japanese Imperial General Staff are fully cognizant of these conditions and as near as can be judged are completely through with this war. Their attitude encourages the strong belief that these agencies are striving to their utmost to effect rapid disarmament and demobilization. They are submissive and apparently sincere. . . . I feel confident that the strength of occupation forces may be cut and retrograde movement of units to the United States well under-way by the 1st of the year or shortly thereafter.30

The first major Marine unit to fulfill its mission in southern Japan and return to the United States was MAG- 22. On 14 October, Admiral Spruance, acting for CinCPac, had queried the Fifth Air Force if the Marine fighter group was still considered necessary to the Sasebo area garrison. On 25 October, the Army replied that MAG-22 was no longer needed, and it was returned to the operational control of the Navy. Both the group service squadron and its heavy equipment, which had just arrived from Okinawa, remained on board ship, and in less than a week AirFMFPac directed that the unit return to the United States. Its planes were flown to an aircraft replacement pool on Okinawa, and low-point men were transferred to MAG-31 as replacements for men eligible for rotation or discharge. On 20 November, after picking up MAG-31 returnees at Yokosuka and similar Army troops at Yokohama, MAG-22 left for home. The Marine Air Base, Omura, remained in operation, but its aircraft strength consisted mainly of light liaison and observation planes of the observation squadrons assigned to VAC divisions.31

The redeployment of MAG-22 was only a small part of the general pattern for withdrawing excess occupation forces. On 12 November, VAC informed the Sixth Army that the 5th Marine Division would be released from its duties on 1 December for return to the United States. By the turn of the year, the 2d Marine Division would be the only major Marine unit remaining on occupation duty in southern Japan.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (IV-1) * Next Chapter (IV-3)


1. Unless otherwise noted, the material in this section is derived from: CinCPac WarDs, Sep-Nov45; Sixth Army Rpt; VAC OpRpt; VAC WarDs, Sep-Nov45; 2d MarDiv OpRpt; 5th MarDiv OpRpt; 5th MarDiv WarDs, Sep-Nov45; Fukuoka Base Comd OpRpt, Occupation of Japan, dtd 25Nov45; Conner, 5th MarDiv Hist; Shaw, Marine Occupation of Japan.

2. Eighth Army Monograph I, p. 12.

3. SCAP, Summation No. 1 of Non-Military Activities in Japan and Korea, Sep-Oct45, p. 3 (Army See, WWII RecDiv, NA).

4. Sixth Army Rpt, p. 35.

5. Ibid.

6. Col Saville T. Clark Itr to Hd, HistBr, G-3 Div, HQMC, dtd 8Dec65.

7. CinCPac WarD, Sep45.
[For the trials of the "major war criminals," see the Judgment of the International Tribunal for the Far East. --HyperWar]

8. Deep-rooted feelings of antipathy towards the Japanese among the Koreans and Chinese, coupled with delays in the repatriation program caused by lack of shipping, sometimes led to riots and disturbances. Most of these were handled by Japanese police, but American troops occasionally had to intervene to prevent serious trouble.

9. VAC OpRpt, Anx D, App 3, pp. 1-2.

10. VAC OpRpt, Anx D, App 3, p. 4.

11. Sixth Army Rpt, p. 26.

12. For example, the telephone service in Sasebo, and western Japan as well, was atrocious. "A telephone call to a point 50 miles away often took many hours for a connection and then [one was able to get] only an unintelligible response." To improve these conditions, VAC established a line of sight system similar to that used in Hawaii, where there was a scrambler unit at the origin and an automatic unscrambler at the receiver. "An unsung triumph of the communicators," this system was used throughout the VAC area and was "finally extended to Tokyo" with excellent results. Rogers ltr.

13. It was later discovered that the defenders of Tarawa had trained at Ainoura. BGen Clarence R. Wallace ltr to CMC, dtd 4Jan66.

14. The state of the Kyushu road net, much of which would not support even medium-sized vehicles, and the extensive rice paddy areas contiguous to these roads would have constituted extremely serious obstacles to the prosecution of OLYMPIC, the projected invasion of Kyushu. Fortunately, the extensive Japanese rail network was capable of handling most of the supply requirements of the occupation forces.

15. Conner, 5th MarDiv Hist, p. 153.

16. Ibid.

17. Washington Star, 3Dec45.

18. Ibid.

19. "Tanks were never used even for show purposes because the soft roads would not bear their weight. The Iwo-scarred Shermans had been landed and parked at the Sasebo naval air station, and there they stayed." Conner, 5th MarDiv Hist, p. 155.

20. The 6th Marines of the 2d Marine Division was originally scheduled to answer this call from CinCPac, and when its Palau alert was cancelled, it was directed to stand by to move to Sasebo to replace the 26th Marines. On 17 October, this second alert was cancelled when VAC attached the 127th Infantry Regiment to the 5th Marine Division.

21. See pt III, chap 3, "Return to the Islands," above.

22. "The movement of the 32d Army Division to the Fukuoka area created a problem. It was unsafe to send [it] by sea because of the remaining harbor mines. Overland was almost impossible because of the narrow bridges and turns" facing the division's heavy equipment, and surmounting all of this was the impossible loading situation in Sasebo. The 32d "finally went overland in what was a really remarkable logistic feat." Rogers ltr.

23. The infantry units of the 32d Infantry Division were organized as RCTs comprising an infantry regiment, an artillery battalion, and other attached division and corps troops to perform occupation duties, In the Marine divisions, where the artillery regiment was an organic unit, it was reinforced and used as an occupation force in the same manner as the infantry regiments.

24. A military government team, composed primarily of Army and Navy officers, was assigned to each regimental headquarters and performed a valuable liaison function between the Marine commanders and local government agencies. LtCol Duncan H. Jewell ltr to Hd, HistBr, G-3 Div, HQMC, dtd 3Jan66.

25. Colonel Samuel G. Taxis, the G-3 of the division, headed up the team which went to southern Kyushu to meet with the commanders of the Forty-seventh and Fiftieth Armies and the head of the Naval Base Force at Kagoshima to explain the provisions of the surrender. When Colonel Taxis compared the strength of the Japanese forces with that of the occupation forces, he came to the conclusion that "a boy was sent to do a man's job." BGen Samuel G. Taxis comments to HistBr, G-3 Div, HQMC, dtd 28 Dec65. General Taxis also recalled that his team was purposely composed of only a few Marines in the belief that if a show of force had been made in the south, the Japanese armed forces there would react. Ibid.

26. Subsequently, one reinforced company was deployed to a small coastal town half-way between Miyazaki and Oita, and remained there until the entire regiment was withdrawn. Ibid.

27. In late November, in order to determine whether the VAC plan for OLYMPIC was valid and feasible, Brigadier General William W. Rogers, VAC chief of staff, called into Sasebo for a three-day war games session the commanders, chiefs of staff, and principal staff officers of the Japanese forces which were to have defended Kyushu. In the course of these sessions, the play of the games was based on the VAC plan and the defense orders and plans which the Japanese participants brought with them, after some initial reluctance to do so on their part. Questions were asked at random, capabilities and reaction times were measured, and all conceivable factors were taken into consideration. The Japanese were asked how long it would have taken them to move one division. Instead of the 36 hours that the Marines had expected, the answer was 9 days. The reason was that the former enemy commanders could only move their troops at night, and by foot, because of the complete American air superiority over the target by day. At the completion of the war games, it was decisively proven that U.S. air superiority had in fact guaranteed success to the VAC plan. In addition, although the strength of Japanese forces in the south of Kyushu was great, many soldiers were armed with spears only. The more than 2,000 aircraft on Kyushu posed a threat to the American landing, but these planes were held back to be employed in a mass Kamikaze attack which was never ordered. The entire three days of sessions were conducted on a thoroughly professional basis with attention paid to mutual courtesy and respect. In the end, General Rogers was satisfied that the VAC plan would have been valid, if OLYMPIC had been consummated. Col Robert D. Heinl, Jr., comments to HistBr, G-3 Div, HQMC, dtd 19Aug66.

28. In November, several accidents in the VAC zone occurred during the munitions disposition program. At Kanoya, a dump of parachute flares was accidentally ignited and the resulting fire touched off a major explosion. At Soida, in the 32d Infantry Division zone, a cave full of propellant charges and powder exploded in a devastating blast, which spread death and destruction among nearby Japanese. No American personnel were injured in either accident.

29. CinCAFPac Adv 041207Z of Sep45 to WARCOS in CinCPac WarD, Sep45 (OAB, NHD).

30. Ibid.

31. MAG-22 WarDs, Oct-Nov45. A third Marine air base at Iwakuni to support operations in the Kure area had been a part of original occupation plans. It was not established, however, and the transport squadrons of MAG-21 intended for it were reassigned, VMR-353 to Guam and VMR-952 to Yokosuka. ComFifthFlt AR, pt VI, sec L, p. 2.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation