Cincpac File A16-3/FF12 UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
AND PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief
10 December 1945.
C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L From: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas. To: Chief of Naval Operations. Subject: Operations in Pacific Ocean Areas -- August 1945. References: (a) Cincpac Sec. ltr. A6-5, serial 004576, dated 10 December 1945.
(b)Cincpac Conf. ltr. A6-5, serial 034292, dated 10 December 1945.
Enclosures: (See Table of Contents Following.)
- Subject report is forwarded herewith.
- References (a) and (b) contain most of the source materials on which this report is based.
- The operations described herein include those of the Southwest Pacific Area for the same period in order to show their relationship with concurrent operations in the Pacific Ocean Areas.
- This report is CONFIDENTIAL, and shall be safeguarded in accordance with the provisions of Article 76, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920.
BatRonComdrs (3 ea.) BatDivComdrs (2 ea.) BBs (3 ea.) ComCruPac (160) CruDivComdrs (2 ea.) Cruisers (2 ea.) ComDesPac (550) TaskFlotComdrs, DesRons, DesDivs, CortDivs, Tenders, DDs, DEs, and Frigates (1 ea.) ComAirPac (350) ComTFComdrs, ComEsCarPac, ComAirPacSubComFord, ComTraCarRonPac, ComFAIRS, ComAirEvacWing, ComGenAirFMFPac, MarAirWingComdrs (3 ea.) CVs, CVLs, ComAirNorSols, ComCarDivs (2 ea.) CVEs, ComAirGrpComdrs, ComFAIRPhotoGrps, MarAirGrpComdrs (1 ea.) ComFAIRWings (4 ea.) ComSubPac (300) AdComPhibsPac (2600) ComServPac (19) AdCominPac (100) ComMTBRonsPac (10) ComSoPac (7)
ComMARIANAS (10) IsComs, AirComs, AirDefComs, AtComs, NAB COs, NavBases, NOBs (2 ea.) ComMarGilsArea (50) IsComs, AtComs, NAB COs, AirComs, and AirDefComs, NOBs (2 ea.) ComGenTEN (5) Com U.S. NavForces, AUSTRALIA, NEW GUINEA (5) ComNavForces, RYUKYUS (5) ComNABs OKINAWA (5) ComNorPac (10) ComTHIRDFlt (5) ComFIFTHFlt (5) ComSEVENTHFlt (5) ComWesSeaFron (3) ComHawSeaFron (5) ComAlasSeaFron (5) ComPhilSeaFron (190) ComTraComdPac (2) ComTraComdPEARL (1) ComTraComdWest (1) ComTraComdMARIANAS (1) ComTraComdPHILIPPINES (1) ComTraComdRYUKYUS (1) CinCAFPac (1) CinCLant (10) SecNav (1) AsstSecNav (1) UnderSevNav (1) CNO (42) BuShips (1) BuDocks (1) BuAer (1) BuOrd (1) GenBoard (1) NAS Pearl (1) NAS Kaneohe (1) NAS Honolulu (1) NAS Barbers Point (1) NAS Johnston (1) NAS Midway (1) NAS Palmyra (1) NAS Alameda (1)
NAS Seattle (1) NAS Adak (1) NAS Dutch Harbor (1) NAS Kodiak (1) NAS Moffett Field (1) NAS Attu (1) Com 11 (20) Com 12 (12) Com 13 (13) Com 14 (5) Com 15 (200) Com 17 (5) ComGenPOA (2) ComGenUSASTAF (4) ComGenFMFPac (3) Comdt NYD M.I. (1) Comdt NOB Tutuila (1) Historian, OffNavRec&Libr (1) OffNavRec&Libr (2) CO NOB Canton (1) CO NOB Fanning (1) CinCEI (1) CinCBPF (1) SUSNLO BPF (1) ChSigOff Hdqr FMF San Diego (1) Naval War College (1) A/N/ Staff College (1) NTS (Tactical Radar) Hollywood, Fla (1) OinC PacFlt Radar Center (7) ComdtMarCorps (1) ASWTU, USNTS NOB Norfolk (1) Comdt Coast Guard Including ChIntell (1) USCG Academy New London, Conn (2) ANIS (1)
/signed/ J.M. LEE,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reference numbers are to Page and Paragraph PART I INTRODUCTION 1 - 2 1 - 8 PART II LOSSES - 2 9 - 10 PART III NORTH PACIFIC - 3 11 - 16 A. Surface Operations - 3 11 - 14 B. Air Operations 3 - 11 15 - 16 PART IV CENTRAL PACIFIC 3 - 16 17 - 91 A. Third Fleet Operations 3 - 11 17 - 55 The Situation on 31 July; Composition of Task Force 38; Operations of 9 and 10 August; Final Air Operations Against Tokyo; Summary of Operations 1-15 August; Combined Summary of Operations from 10 July to 15 August; Operations 16 August to 2 September. B. Land-Based Air 12 - 14 56 - 77 B-29 Operations; Tactical Air Operations; Search and Anti-Shipping Operations in Forward Areas; Operations in the By-Passed Areas. C. Logistic Developments 14 - 15 78 - 81 D. Other Operations 15 - 16 82 - 91 Strikes Against Wake Island; East China Sea Operations; Attacks on Ships in BUCKNER Bay; Pilot Rescued from Tokyo Bay; Minesweeping Operation in East China Sea. PART V SUBMARINES 17 - 27 92 - 117 A. Pacific Fleet Submarine Operations 17 - 26 92 - 114 Summary; Outstanding Patrols; Fifth War Patrol of Tang; Summary of Pacific Fleet Submarine Accomplishments for World War II. B. Anti-Submarine Activity - 27 115 - 117 General; Attack by Healy. PART VI SOUTHWEST PACIFIC 27 - 33 118 - 157 A. Ground and Naval Operations 27 - 29 118 - 129 General; Capture of Japanese Hospital Ship. B. Land-Based Air Operations 29 - 30 130 - 137 C. Submarine and Anti-Submarine Operations 30 - 32 138 - 153 Summary; Outstanding Patrols; Anti-Submarine Operations. MISCELLANEOUS 32 - 33 154- 157 Additions; to Pacific Fleet; Administrative and Command Changes; British East Indies Fleet Operations. ANNEX A THE LAST EIGHT MONTHS OF THE WAR 34 - 42 1 - 43 A. General - 34 1 - 5 B. Chronology for 1945 35 - 39 C. Major Command Changes from January to September 1945 39 - 42 6 - 443
The situation on 31 July.
- The month of August 1945 brought to an end more than three years and eight months of arduous (and sometimes desperate) fighting in the Pacific. Under the combined blows of sea, air, and ground forces of the United States and her Allies, Japan finally gave up the struggle, and agreed to unconditional surrender under the terms of the Potsdam Proclamation. An end to hostilities was officially ordered on August 15th.
- Representatives of the Japanese Government arrived by air in Manila on the 19th to arrange details of the formal surrender with General of the Army D. MacArthur, who had been designated as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers for the surrender and occupation of Japan. Unopposed airborne and amphibious landings were made near Tokyo in the last few days of August, and preparations were in progress for formal surrender ceremonies to follow on September 2nd.
- Before hostilities ceased on 15 August , fast carrier forces of the THIRD Fleet had operated continuously off the Japanese homeland for 36 days, hammering with air strikes and surface bombardment at the remnants of the enemy's fleet and air forces and his cities and industries, and encountering comparatively little opposition of any kind. This demonstration of power must necessarily have played an important part in convincing the Japanese of the futility of further resistance.
- Continued destruction of Japanese cities and factories by land-based aircraft, culminating in the dropping of one enormously powerful atomic bomb on the city of HIROSHIMA (in Honshu) and another on NAGASAKI (in Kyushu), the entry of Russia into the war, and the effective blockade of Japanese shipping by submarines, aircraft, and mines, were all additional factors in the final crushing of the once-formidable Japanese war machine. The relative effect of each of these agencies in bringing about the desired result is a matter for future analysis (and will not be gone into herein).
- Amphibious and ground forces throughout the Central and Southwest Pacific were principally engaged during the early part of August in regrouping, training, and logistical preparations for future operations against Japan itself. The sudden cessation of hostilities necessitated sweeping changes of plans to provide for occupation forces at the earliest possible date. These developments, and the actual operations involved in the surrender and occupation of Japan, will be described in the September report.
- This report of operations for August will be the last monthly report submitted by Cincpac-Cincpoa in the usual form, in which operations in the various geographical areas are described in separate sections of the report. The organization evolved for the surrender and occupation of Japanese-occupied territory required the integration under a combined plan of all Allied land, sea and air forces previously controlled by different commanders in the Central Pacific, the Southwest Pacific, the North Pacific, and the Asiatic mainland. The operation as a whole, therefore, will be described in a single account in the September report of operations, with particular emphasis on the part played by naval forces.
- Supplementing the yearly chronologies of important events which have been included in each December Report of Operations throughout the war, there has been included in this report a chronology covering the final events of the war until the final surrender terms were signed on 2 September 1945.
- Unless otherwise noted, local times and dates are used throughout this report.
- The following is a summary of losses suffered by the Pacific Fleet and forces operating from the Pacific Ocean Areas, and of the losses which these forces inflicted upon the enemy. This tabulation does not include losses in the Southwest Pacific Area, which appear in Part VI of this report.
- Losses for the Pacific Ocean Area were:
Ship Losses UNITED STATES JAPANESE Sunk: Sunk: Combatant: 1 SS. Combatant: 1 DD, 9 FF, 1 AM, 1 PC, 2 SS, 1 SC. Auxiliary: None Auxiliary: 59 ships including small craft totalling over 46,800 tons (Tonnage of ships sunk by FAW 18 not available.) Damaged: Damaged: Combatant: 1 OBB, 1 CV, 1 DD, 1 SC. Combatant: CM, 2 SS, 1 Ice Breaker. Auxiliary: 1 APA, 1 Merchant Auxiliary: 71 ships including small craft totalling over 84,660 tons. (Tonnage of ships damaged by FAW 18 not available.)
* NOTE: Includes B-29 losses and aircraft destroyed by them. The figures for enemy losses in the air do not include "probables"; and those for planes destroyed on the ground are based for the most part on photographic evidence.
Aircraft Losses.* Approximate U.S. losses in combat missions whether from enemy action or operational 145 Destroyed in the air
Destroyed on the ground
Destroyed by British TF
A. SURFACE OPERATIONS
- Activity of North Pacific forces in the first two weeks of August conformed to the usual pattern. There were no offensive operations after 14 August.
- On 12 August, Task Force 92, including Richmond and Concord (CLs), and John Hood, Bearss, Jarvis, Anderson, Hughes, Remey, Mertz, McDermut, McNair, McGowan, Melvin, and Monssen (DDs), commanded by Rear Admiral J. H. Brown Jr., bombarded Japanese installations on MATSUWA Island, and at KURABU Cape and SURIBACHI Bay on PARAMUSHIRO Island. Preceeding the bombardment, units of the force sweeping through the OHKOTSK Sea, west of the Kuriles, succeeded in sinking 10 trawlers and a sub-chaser. No damage was incurred by the force, which returned to Attu on the 13th.
- On the last day of the month, destroyers of Task Force 92, plus Panamint (AGC), under the command of Vice Admiral F. J. Fletcher, (Commander North Pacific Force) sortied from KULUK Bay, Adak, enroute to OMINATO (Northern Honshu), to enforce the surrender of Japan north of 40° North Latitude.
- On 28 August, Vice Admiral Fletcher had reported to Cincpac-Cinpoa that an intercepted plain language message from MATSUWA had announced Russian landings there on 26 August.
B. AIR OPERATIONS
- Task Force 90, consisting of the ELEVENTH Air Force (6 squadrons) and Fleet Air Wing FOUR (5 squadrons), commanded by Major General J. B. Brooks, (USA), continued offensive operations until 14 August. Photographic reconnaissance missions over the Kuriles planned for execution after that date were prevented by poor weather. Three new Navy squadrons arrived to relieve three others upon completion of their tour of duty. Two squadrons were equipped with "Privateers", the first four-engined Navy planes assigned to this area.
- The principal targets continued to be KATAOKA naval base. On the 4th, the "Privateers" made their debut in this theatre, strafing installations on PARMUSHIRO. On 8 August, Liberators struck KATAOTA, and in a finale on 13 August 13.5 tons were dropped on KASHIWABARA, causing large fires. There were no losses reported for August.
THIRD FLEET OPERATIONS
- On 31 July, Admiral W.F. Halsey's fast carrier forces had retired to the fueling area after having delivered the third in a series of heavy air assaults on the Tokyo area on the 30th. For three weeks the planes and surface ships of the THIRD fleet had ranged up and down the coast of the Japanese homeland, bombing and bombarding important military installations and other strategic targets contributing to the enemy's war effort. These attacks, together with those of Allied based planes, were part of a pre-invasion campaign to destroy both the ability and will of Japan to continue the war.
Composition of Task Force 38.
- On 1 August, Task Force 38, as part of the THIRD Fleet under Admiral Halsey, was composed as follows:
Task Force 38 - Vice Admiral J. S. McCain in Shangri-La. Task Group 38.1
Rear Admiral T.L. Sprague
Task Group 38.3
Rear Admiral G.F. Bogan
Task Group 38.4
Rear Admiral A.W. Radford
Bennington (3 CV)
Essex (3 CV)
Yorktown (4 CV)
Bon Homme Richard
San Jacinto (2 CVL)
Monterey (2 CVL)
Independence (2 CVL)
Massachusetts (3 BB)
North Carolina (2 BB)
Iowa (3 BB)
Topeka (7 CL)
Pasadena (6 CL)
Quincy (4 CA)
San Diego (2 CL)
DeHaven (21 DD)
Lyman K. Swenson
Samuel N. Moore
Erben (19 DD)
Remey (22 DD)
- Admiral Halsey was present in his flagship, Missouri. For the bombardment of KAMAISHI on 9 August TU 34.8.1 was temporarily formed as follows:
Indiana (3 BB)
Quincy (4 CA)
Chauncey (9 DD)
- Task Force 37, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings (RN) was composed of the following British ships on 1 August: (This force operated at this time under THIRD Fleet command as part of the Fast Carrier Task Forces.)
King George V (1 BB) Formidable (4 CV)
Newfoundland (3 CL)
Euryalus (3 CL AA)
Wakeful (18 DD)
Operations of 9 and 10 August.
- Typhoon Delays Operations - On 1 August, the THIRD Fleet proceeded southward in order to avoid the track of a typhoon moving northward from the Philippine Sea. The storm headed toward Kyushu, against which the next operations were scheduled for 5 August, making it necessary to defer them. For several days thereafter, practice operations were carried out by the various task groups while the storm was spending itself. On the 7th, course was set for the launching area for strikes against the northern Honshu-Hokkaido Area, but continued bad weather necessitated a further delay in air operations scheduled for the 8th.
- Carrier Strikes of 9 August - At 0330 on 9 August, Task Force 38 and Task Force 37 began launching strikes against airfields and shipping in the northern Honshu-Hokkaido Area. Previous reconnaissance had indicated that the enemy was concentrating the major portion of his waning air strength in this region. No air opposition was encountered over the target areas, and a record day was enjoyed by our forces. A total of 189 planes were destroyed on the ground, and 102 were damaged, indicating the accuracy of the pre-strike reconnaissance. In addition, six warships and two merchant ships were sunk by the days strikes.
- Planes from the British carriers, striking at similar targets, destroyed 22 planes and 24 gliders on the ground. The British also assisted in inflicting heavy damage on hangars, warehouses, barracks, and other ground installations. Seven British and seven American planes were lost during the days operations.
- Suicide Attack on Borie - While the planes were comparatively unopposed over the target areas, the ships of the task force were encountering heavy opposition. The destroyer picket group and combat air patrol were able to take care of the major part of the attack, however, and together they knocked down 12 enemy planes. Destroyer picket group No. 1 was the target for four suicide attacks. At 1454 on August 9th, Borie (DD) in this group was hit and badly damaged by one of these planes. It dropped one bomb which missed; then made a sharp turn to come in on Borie from astern and crashed into her number one stack, causing heavy damage to the bridge structure. Borie was the only ship of the THIRD Fleet to suffer serious damage during this entire period of operations.
- Bombardment of KAMAISHI - while the air strikes against the northern Honshu-Hokkaido Area were being launched, TU 34.8.1 was temporarily detached and proceeded toward KAMAISHI (on the northeastern coast of Honshu) to bombard targets in the area. Rear Admiral J. F. Shafroth, Jr., in South Dakota was in command of the operation. Two British cruisers, Gambia and Newfoundland, also participated in the bombardment.
- At 1254, the battleships and cruisers opened fire with their main batteries, while the destroyers served as a screen. The attack was broken off after two hours of bombardment, and the task unit retired. The extent of the damage done in this second bombardment of KAMAISHI could not be accurately assessed because the target was obscured by a heavy pall of smoke. Several holes were torn in roofs of buildings of the important iron works located there, but whether or not explosions occurred within the structures was not known.
- The only enemy forces encountered were one small freighter and a single plane. The destroyer screen sank the surface ship with gunfire, while the plane was driven off by AA fire. No damage was inflicted on any ship in the task force, which rejoined the THIRD Fleet in the operating area on the morning of 10 August.
- Carrier Strikes of 10 August - On 10 August, the fast carrier forces continued their strikes against northern Honshu, two airfields previously untouched by our attacks and discovered only that morning serving as the chief targets. A total of 150 planes was destroyed on the ground, and 105 more were damaged. Considerable merchant shipping was also hit in the ports of the area, and railroads provided important secondary targets. No enemy opposition was encountered, and only moderate AA fire. Our combat losses totalled 13 planes. British aircraft destroyed 25 planes during the day (all on the ground), while their losses were six planes.
- After the planes had returned to their carriers for the night, the first word of Japan's willingness to accept the Potsdam terms was received by the THIRD Fleet. Although the task forces had not been attacked during the day, special alertness was ordered for that night in case of a possible surprise attack.
Final Air Operations Against Tokyo.
- Strikes of 13 August - On 11 August, the ships of the fast carrier task force refueled. On the 12th, scheduled strikes against the Tokyo area were cancelled because of inclement weather. On the 13th, operations were resumed in spite of continued unfavorable flying conditions, and heavy destruction was inflicted upon the Japanese capital. No enemy airborne opposition was encountered over the target, and the planes of Task Force 38 destroyed 254 aircraft on the ground and damaged 149 more. Important electronics plants in the Tokyo area were also hit, as well as the usual airfield installations.
- The Japanese, meanwhile, were concentrating their efforts on the surface ships. All day long, enemy planes attempted to break through, but the combat air patrol was successful in holding them off. Toward dusk, the enemy intensified the attack, but with no better success. During the day, 18 planes were shot down by CAP, and one by returning strike planes.
- Action of 15 August - August 14th was spent in the fueling area, but on the morning of the 15th, the fast carriers were back in the operating area, ready to renew their attacks on the Japanese homeland. At 0411, the carriers commenced launching against Tokyo airfields the first strikes scheduled for the day. At 0633, just after the second strikes had been launched, word was received that the Japanese had accepted the Allied surrender terms. Cincpac-Cincpoa therefore ordered the cessation of all offensive operations, and Commander THIRD Fleet relayed the order to his ships.
- The planes of the second strikes were recalled, jettisoning their bombs before returning to their carriers. The first strikes were already over Tokyo, however, where they met heavy airborne opposition. They shot down 26 enemy planes and destroyed 10 on the ground before returning to the task force.
- At 1130 several Japanese planes approached the surface ships, but were driven off by combat air patrols after eight of them had been shot down. Seven of our planes were lost in combat on this last day of hostilities, while four were lost operationally.
- Combat air patrols were maintained throughout the day, and toward night the force began retiring to the fueling area to rendezvous with TG 30.8.
Summary of Operations 1-15 August.
- The order for cessation of hostilities brought to an end a period of 36 days of offensive operations against the Japanese homeland by the fast carrier forces of the THIRD Fleet. The air strikes and bombardments carried out by Admiral Halsey's forces during this period had played an important part in reducing the enemy to the point where he was willing to accept unconditional surrender.
- Sorties Flown and Ammunition Expended - On the four days of operation in August, American carrier-based planes flew a total of 3598 combat sorties, dropped 1500 tons of bombs, and fired 7962 rockets at target areas.
- Enemy Plane Losses - The damage inflicted on the Japanese air force during the August strikes is summarized in the following table:
Japanese Aircraft destroyed in the air 64 Japanese Aircraft destroyed on the ground 603 Total 667
- The figures for each day of strikes and sweeps during August were as follows:
Date Sorties Tons of Bombs Rockets Fired Enemy Planes Destroyed In the Air On the Ground August 9 1212 588 2258 7 189 August 10 1215 520 3245 0 150 August 13 995 380 2175 19 254 August 15 176 12 284 38 10 Totals 3598 1500 7962 64 603
- On August 9th and 10th, British planes flew a total of 478 offensive sorties, and destroyed 73 aircraft on the ground and one in the air. The British totals for August 13th and 15th are included in the figures for those dates in the table above, since this force became TG 38.5 on 12 August.
- Own Aircraft and Personnel Losses - American and British losses of planes and personnel during August were as follows:
Aircraft Losses In combat
Total 87 Personnel Losses Combat and Operationally 50
- Damage to our Ships - The only major damage inflicted on ships of the THIRD Fleet operating with fast carrier task forces was that done to Borie (DD) by the suicide plane on 9 August 1945.
Combined Summary of Operations from 10 July to 15 August.
- During the 36 days of operations by the fast carrier task forces of the THIRD Fleet, a total of 10,678 combat sorties were flown, 4620 tons of bombs dropped and 22,036 rockets fired. The figures for each day of strikes and sweeps were as follows:
Date Offensive Sorties Tons of Bombs Rockets Fired Enemy Planes Destroyed In the Air On the Ground July 10 1160 450 1648 2 109 July 14 696 336 1809 1 24 July 15 736 335 2093 10 July 17 146 16 374 4 July 18 528 217 635 30 July 24 1115 559 1707 13 40 July 25 513 185 1162 18 61 July 28 1180 605 2050 21 115 July 30 1006 417 2596 115 Aug. 9 1212 488 2258 7 189 Aug. 10 1215 520 3245 3 150 Aug. 13 995 380 2175 19 254 Aug. 15 176 12 284 38 10 Totals 10,678 4,620 22,036 122 1,111
- In addition, during July and August, the plane and ships of the THIRD Fleet inflicted damage on Japanese surface ships as follows: (Losses during August alone are included in Part II of this report.)
Warships Sunk - 37 1 BB
2 old CA
4 midget SS
4 old DD
Warships Damaged - 99 1 BB
1 CV hull
2 old CA
1 Ice breaker
5 Naval Aux.
6 midget SS
18 DD and ODDs
Merchant Ships Sunk - 393 9 AO
8 Train Ferries
27 AP/AK over 1000 tons
63 AP/AK under 1000 tons
286 Small craft
Merchant Ships Damaged - 764 16 AO
3 Train Ferries
73 AP/AK over 1000 tons
121 AP/AK under 1000 tons
551 Small craft
- Other Enemy Losses - The surface bombardments and the plane strikes also inflicted heavy damage on vital Japanese transportation facilities and shore installations. The destruction and damage reported by Task Force 38 was as follows:
Destroyed 173 Locomotives
41 tank and freight cars
2 round houses
23 fuel tanks
40 hangars and barracks
2 gasoline trucks
1 light house
7 factory buildings
1 power house
1 ammunition depot
20 city blocks burned out
Damaged 95 locomotives
20 railroad cars
10 railroad stations
4 railroad yards
5 fuel tanks
25 radio or radar stations
80 factory buildings
9 power houses
1 ammunition depot
- Own Plane Losses - The total THIRD Fleet losses for July and August in planes were:
Operations 16 August to 2 September.
- General - On 16 and 17 August, Task Force 38 (including the British carrier task force, which had been reorganized as TG 38.5 on 12 August) cruised southeast of Tokyo, awaiting developments following the sudden cessation of hostilities. On the 19th, the organization of fleet Marine and bluejacket landing force units from the officers and men of TF 38 was begun. These men were transferred to transports, which then reported to TF 31 (Rear Admiral O. C. Badger) which was to assume the responsibility for landing at the occupying YOKOSUKA Naval Base.
- On 23 August, planes from TG 38.4 conducted a search for Japanese shipping between HACHICHO Jima and BONIN Islands. Such activity would have been contrary to surrender instructions, but no violations were reported by the planes participating in the search.
- Beginning on 25 August and continuing to 2 September, the various task groups operated independently in accordance with orders from Commander THIRD Fleet. Each group made surveillance flights over Japan for the purpose of patrolling Japanese airfields and shipping movements, locating and supplying prisoner of war camps, and providing combat air patrols over the first occupation forces. Japan was divided into three areas for these duties, TG 38.1 covering Honshu north of the Tokyo plain, TG 38.4 the Tokyo area, and TG 38.3 southern Honshu and part of Shikoku.
- On 25 August, TG 38.3 was operating in an area close to the center of a typhoon. Wasp (CV) was the only ship to suffer any extensive damage, the forward part of her flight deck collapsing under the force of the storm.
- Beginning on 27 August, carriers of the task force launched patrols to fly over fleet units entering and at anchor in SAGAMI Wan and Tokyo Bay, and over Army airborne forces landing at ATSUGI Airfields on 28 August.
- POW Missions - The majority of flights during this period were flown in search of prisoner of war camps. As a result of careful reconnaissance, a total of 77 camps were accurately located, and 34 of these were photographed. The prisoners aided in this work by painting the letters "P W" on roofs, or otherwise indicating their location. Supplies of food, vitamins, cigarettes and medicines were dropped in 75-pound parcels attached to parachutes. Information was also received from the prisoners by various methods and passed on to Commander TG 30.6, whose group was assigned the task of rescuing these prisoners, and this information materially aided them in expediting the evacuation when the work got under way.
- Reorganization of Task Force 38 - For purposes of participating in the occupation of Japan, Task Force 38 was reorganized on 20 August. Many ships were shifted from one task group to another in order to make their composition better suited to the particular duties assigned them, while some ships were detached and assigned to other task forces. Missouri (BB), Nicholas, O'Bannon and Taylor (DDs) were assigned to TG 30.1 (Fleet Flagship Group). South Dakota (BB), Cowpens (CVL), Quincy, Boston, Saint Paul, Chicago (CAs), Topeka, Pasadena, Springfield, Wilkes-Barre (CLs), Buchanan, Lansdowne, C.K. Bronson, Cotten, Gatling, Cushing,Colohan, Uhlmann, Benham, Cogswell, Caperton, Ingersoll, and Knapp (DDs) were assigned to Task Force 35 (Support Force for landing). Iowa (BB), San Diego (CL), Wedderburn, Twining, and Stockham (DDs) were assigned to Task Force 31. (YOKOSUKA Occupation Force). San Juan (CL) was given the duty of assisting in the rescue of prisoners of war, and was included in TG 30.6
- The British ships were all re-assigned either to Task Force 37 or to TG 30.2 (British Flagship Group).
- Summary of Operations 16 August to 2 September - From 16 August to 2 September, 1945, planes of Task Force 38 flew a total of 7726 sorties. These were distributed as to activity as follows:
Tokyo mass flight
A total of 24 planes were lost during this period in the various operations, and there were six personnel losses.
B. LAND BASED AIR
- During August. B-29s of the newly formed Strategic Air Force, commanded by General C. A. Spaatz, USA, and under operational control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, operated on only seven days of the month before cessation of hostilities was announced. These seven days, however, overshadowed all other strategic air assaults on Japan; for, during this period, two atomic bombs were dropped, in each case by single B-29s. Each bomb was estimated to be the equivalent of a 2000-plane raid with maximum bomb loads. By the 14th of the month, B-29 offensive operations had ceased.
- On 1 August, the heaviest normal bombing raid of the war occurred when some 800 B-29s (774 effective) delivered a 6,632-ton raid on four Japanese cities on Honshu and on KAWASAKI petroleum processing plant. On the last day of July, leaflets had been dropped in the second of a series of warnings announcing that these cities were scheduled for destruction, and advising that evacuation should begin at once.
- On the 5th of August, another five previously warned cities, and the UBE Coal Liquefaction Company plant (Japans largest synthetic oil producer) were struck by 588 B-29s which dropped approximately 4200 tons. Three of these targets were on Honshu, one on Shikoku, and one on Kyushu.
- Early on the same day a single B-29 had dropped on the city of HIROSHIMA one bomb which was estimated to have the blast effect greater than 20,000 tons of TNT. Reconnaissance photographs taken the following day showed that 60%, or 4.1 square miles out of 6.9 square miles (total built-up area) had been completely destroyed in this largest city on Honshu west of KOBE.
- On 7 August, 114 planes dropped 937 tons of explosives in daylight on the TOYOKAWA Naval Arsenal. The following day, over 2000 tons were dropped by 378 B-29s on four targets, the principal one being YAWATA, the location of the steel mills which had been the target for the first China-based B-29 raid in June 1944.
- NAGASAKI, the industrial port city on the west coast of Kyushu, was struck at noon on 9 August by the second atomic bomb to be used against Japan. Brigadier General T. F. Farrell, in charge of atomic bombing operations, stated that the bomb dropped on NAGASAKI was different from and more powerful than the bomb dropped on HIROSHIMA. Reconnaissance photographs, however, revealed that this bomb destroyed only 29.6% of the built-up area of this city, or less than one square mile. It is believed that at NAGASAKI the bomb exploded at a lower altitude. Another factor contributing to the less extensive damage was the irregular topographical nature of the city itself, which reduced the blast radius by confining the blast wave within a smaller area, but caused greater destruction in the area affected.
- On the same day, 100 effective B-29s dropped over 800 tons on the AMAGASAKI unit of the Nippon Oil Company.
- The final raid before hostilities ceased was a 725 plane effort divided among the arsenals at HIKARI and OSAKA, the rail yards at MARIFU, the oil storage plant at AKITA, and the urban areas of ISEKAZI and KUMAGAXA. The last named target was struck by 82 B-29s of Lt. General J. A. Doolittle's newly formed EIGHTH Air Force component of the Strategic Air Forces. This was their first and only offensive mission against Japan, and the last for the B-29s.
- The mining effort was continued to the very end, over 12,000 mines having been laid in enemy waters by B-29s during the course of the war.
- A total of 36,612 B-29 sorties had been flown, and 169, 421 tons of bombs dropped in the 14 months of war operations. A total of 437 B-29s had been lost in combat, and about 3000 men killed or missing. Over 600 B-29 crew personnel had been saved by naval air-sea rescue agencies. It was officially estimated that 2285 Japanese planes had been destroyed or damaged by B-29s, all but 350 in air combat.
Tactical Air Operations.
- The Tactical Air Force under General G. C. Kenney, composed largely of the FIFTH and SEVENTH Air Forces, flew 6372 sorties in the first 12 days of August. Of these, 49% were directed against manufacturing and dock areas, 19% against shipping, and 16% against airdromes and lines of communication.
- An average of over 600 sorties per day was flown (mostly against Kyushu targets) in an effort to isolate that island more completely from the rest of Japan. "Liberators" and "Mitchells" with "Thunderbolt" escort went out during daylight in successive waves; "Black Widows" took over at night. On 5 August, 400 fighters and bombers struck TARAMIZU, dropping hundreds of napalm bombs. On the 10th, the Tactical Air Force sent 500 planes against KUMAMOTO, a large military supply depot; this being the largest land-based tactical strike yet directed against Japan. Accurate figures and estimates of results are not yet available.
- After the 12th, no offensive missions were flown, but personnel were active in increased surveillance, photography, dropping off supplies to the widely scattered prisoners of war camps, and making a show of strength in anticipation of treachery on the part of the Japanese. When the Japanese government officially notified the Allies of their acceptance of the peace terms, all troop carrier squadrons in the Pacific prepared to coordinate with "Skytrains" and "Skymasters" of the Air Transport Command. On 30 and 31 August, combined efforts enabled the 11th Airborne Division to make efficient and uneventful occupation of the YOKOHAMA Area, which will be described in greater detail in the September report.
Search and Anti-Shipping Operations in Forward Areas.
- Both Fleet Air Wing ONE (Commanded by Rear Admiral J. Perry) and Fleet Air Wing EIGHTEEN (Commanded by Admiral M. R. Greer) conducted full scale operations against the enemy until the actual cessation of hostilities on 15 August.
- Seaplanes of Fleet Air Wing ONE were based at CHIMU Wan, Okinawa, and all land planes at YONTAN Field, Okinawa. Three Marine squadrons came under the operational control of the Wing, including VMB-612, the rocket firing anti shipping unit for night work, which had been so successful in the previous nine months.
- In the period 1-15 August, intensive search revealed relatively few shipping targets, testifying to the effectiveness of the ever-tightening blockade of the past six months. The TSUSHIMA Straits area, where a large part of the months toll was taken, afforded the best hunting. The totals were 31 ships sunk (tonnage 10, 960) and 38 ships damaged (tonnage 35, 160).
- Fleet Air Wing EIGHTEEN planes destroyed 4 ships and damaged some 15 others. More than 74 sorties on air-sea rescue missions were flown during August. On the second day of the month, a "Ventura" pilot of this command, on a routine reconnaissance flight from Peleliu, made the initial sighting of survivors of the Indianapolis (CA) disaster. Planes of VPB squadrons 152 and 133 flew an additional 28 missions in connection with this vital rescue work.
Operations in the By-Passed Areas.
Strikes against Wake Island.
- There was no reduction in the number of scheduled strikes on the isolated enemy bases in the Marshalls, Carolines, Bonins, and on Wake or Marcus until the "cease fire" order was received on the 15th of the month. For example, WOTJE (in the Marshalls-Gilberts area) received 28 tons on the first of August, and MALOELAP was also struck on the same date. Other reconnaissance and harassing missions were flown on the 4th, 5th, and 9th.
- In the Carolines, targets on Truck, Yap, Woleai, and Ponape received considerable attention. Atolls in the first mentioned group were hit on the 7th with 133 tons, 88 of which were dropped by 11 B-29s on a shakedown flight.
- B-29s on other practice missions hit CHICHI Jima in the Bonins on 4 August, and on the same day four other "Superfortresses" each dropped 10 tons on Marcus. Twelve more returned on 7 August and released a total of 92 tons.
- Land-based planes flew regular reconnaissance missions over Wake Island, and on the final day before hostilities were concluded, planes of Marine Air Wing FOUR strafed Wake.
- The last two weeks of August featured continual reconnaissance to detect possible indications of willingness to surrender, and the dropping of hundreds of leaflets and surrender notices.
C. LOGISTIC DEVELOPMENTS
- In August, the termination of hostilities brought increased, rather than diminished efforts for logistic units throughout the Pacific. In addition to replenishment support for the various task forces at sea, considerable planning and preparation were initiated to obtain service troops, equipment, supplies, transportation, and other essential requirements for support of tactical operations connected with the occupation of Japan.
- The Army and Navy continued to maintain separate responsibility in logistic matters wherever expedient; and whenever integrated action was desirable, special coordination was worked out on the scene. An example of this was the preparation for occupation of the key ports of Shanghai, Canton, and Tsingtao, along the China coast, for which the Commanding General, China Theatre, requested aid from Cincpac-Cincpoa forces, the importation to the coastal area of bulk avgas.
- At the end of the month, ComServRon SIX was providing replenishment at sea for Fast Carrier Task Forces, and ComServRon TEN was responsible for mobile base services in the Ryukyus, Marianas, Marshalls-Gilberts and Leyte Areas, and for allocation to other service divisions in occupied areas of Japan. Service Divisions 101, 102 and 103, under the direction of the Commanders, SEVENTH, THIRD, and FIFTH Fleets respectively, were ready to move forward for occupational support duty.
- Both Naval Air Transport Service and the Army Air Transport Command were making their largest combined effort of the war in support of the occupation of the Japanese homeland.
D. OTHER OPERATIONS
- Strike on 1 August - On 24 July, TG 12.3, composed of Pennsylvania (BB), Cabot (CVL), and a destroyer screen, left Pearl Harbor en route to Eniwetok. On 1 August, Cabot launched strikes against shore installations on Wake Island, while Pennsylvania bombarded targets ashore. Reports indicated that several gun installations were destroyed and a power plant damaged. Only light anti-aircraft and shore battery fire was encountered, and two planes from Cabot were lost operationally.
- Strikes on 6 August - While enroute from Pearl Harbor to join Task Force 38, Intrepid (CV) launched planes on 6 August to bomb buildings and gun positions on Wake Island. Considerable damage was done to shore installations, and one plane was damaged by anti-aircraft fire. After completing this action, Intrepid proceeded to the operating area for the THIRD Fleet strikes against the Japanese homeland.
- Strikes on 9 August - TU 12.5.6, composed of New Jersey (BB), Biloxi (CL), and four destroyers, bombarded Wake Island on 9 August while enroute from Pearl Harbor to Eniwetok. Some damage was done to shore installations, but previous attacks on this target made it difficult to asses the amount accurately. The enemy did not oppose the task unit with either planes or surface craft, and sent only moderate anti-aircraft fire against the spotting sea planes, but inflicted damage on them.
East China Sea Operations.
- On 1 August, TG 95.2, a fast striking group composed of 2 CBs, 4 CLs, and 9 DDs, under the command of Rear Admiral F. S. Low, left Okinawa and proceeded into the East China Sea to conduct anti-shipping sweeps in the Shanghai are. TG 95.3, composed of 3 BBs, 1 CA,1 CL, 3 CVEs, 6 DDs, and 3 DEs, under the command of Vice Admiral J. B. Oldendorf, accompanied TG 95.2 to furnish covering support. A blockade of Shanghai was maintained for four days, but only a negligible amount of ocean-borne shipping was encountered, and no surface attacks were made. On 6 August, planes from the carriers of TG 95.3 (Lunga Point, Makin Island and Cape Glouster) struck at shipping in TINGHAI Harbor. Visibility was poor, but the pilots managed to destroy a barge, and to score hits on a small cargo ship and seaplane facilities. Intense anti-aircraft fire was encountered, and one plane was shot down.
- Neither of the two task groups was attacked by enemy planes during the four days of operations, but four enemy aircraft were shot down by CAP. The ships returned to BUCKNER Bay on 7 August.
Attacks on Ships in BUCKNER Bay.
- Damage to Pennsylvania - At 2045 on 12 August, Pennsylvania was hit by an aerial torpedo while at anchor in BUCKNER Bay. It was a clear night, but the plane came in low and was undetected. The damage included a large hole in the bottom of the ship and two broken propeller shafts. Vice Admiral Oldendorf was on board, and shifted his flag to Tennessee after the attack.
- Suicide Attack on La Grange - On 13 August, while at anchor in BUCKNER Bay, La Grange (APA) was hit by a suicide plane, causing fires, and killing 15 men. The plane had come in undetected, and, from an almost completely dark sky, crashed into La Grange squarely amidships. This plane was one of numerous enemy aircraft which endeavored to harass American shipping in the Okinawa area during the first two weeks of August, but no other serious damage was reported.
Pilot Rescued from Tokyo Bay.
- On 13 August, the three crew members of a torpedo bomber from Ticonderoga (CV) were forced to jump from their planes after a mid-air collision with another American plane. They parachuted without injury to the surface of Tokyo Bay. Five hours later, an Army PBY, with one fighter for protection, came in, picked them up, and returned to IWO JIMA. This was the first time that an American plane had successfully completed rescue operations from the waters of inner Tokyo Bay, and it was accomplished at a point midway between YOKOHAMA and KISARAZU.
Minesweeping Operation in East China Sea.
- On 11 August, TG 95.4 composed of 4 DMs, 40 AMs, 10 YMSs, and various supporting vessels, under the command of Captain H. J. Armstrong, left BUCKNER Bay and proceeded into the East China Sea to conduct mine sweeping operations. A single plane was the only enemy opposition encountered, and it was driven off by ships gunfire. The only damage inflicted on ships of the task group occurred when a mine exploded 50 yards from one of the minesweepers, but she was quickly repaired and remained operative.
- A total of 578 mines was destroyed during the eleven days of sweeping, and on 25 August, the task group returned to Okinawa.
A. PACIFIC FLEET SUBMARINE OPERATIONS
- Pacific Fleet Submarines (Task Force 17), under Vice Admiral C. A. Lockwood, Jr., reported 72 underseas craft either on patrol or enroute to or from patrol stations when the order was given, on 14 August, that no submarines were to depart from port until further notice. These submarines reported the following estimated damage during the month:
Ships sunk: (34,600 tons) Combatant
1 SS, 4 PF
7 AK, 1 AO, 23 Small
Ships Damaged: (16,300 tons) Combatant
2 AK, 1 AO, 12 Small
- The figures are not comparable with previous months of 1945, because there were only 15 days of hostilities during August. The absence of large ships and the increasing number of small craft attacked by our submarines are indicative of the virtual disappearance of the Japanese merchant fleet from the waters in and around their home islands. During the first half of the month, 35 members of "ditched" Allied crews were rescued by submarines of the Pacific Fleet.
- Fourth War Patrol of Spikefish - The Fourth War Patrol of Spikefish was conducted in the East China Sea and Yellow Sea from 8 July to 31 August, 1945. During this period she was credited with sinking two ships, totalling 1750 tons. One of these was a small sea truck, which Spikefish easily sank by gunfire shortly after midnight on 11 August.
- At 2010 on 13 August, Spikefish made radar contact with a target, and after closing to 3500 yards, identified it as a large submarine. Shortly thereafter, it submerged, and Spikefish waited at a safe distance for it to reappear. Careful computation of the probable course the suspected submarine would follow while underwater resulted in a reestablished contact shortly after midnight. In order to avoid making a tragic mistake, however, the commander of Spikefish decided to track the target until dawn.
- At 0419, from a submerged position, Spikefish was able to identify the other ship as Japanese, and immediately attacked. Six torpedoes were fired at 1500 yards, two of them hitting and causing the submarine to sink. Spikefish then surfaced and closed to the scene of the sinking, where considerable debris was floating. Five Japanese survivors were floating about but refused to come aboard the American submarine. Finally, the Spikefish crew succeeded in looping a life line around one of them and pulled him aboard. He reluctantly identified his ship as the I-382.
- Fourth War Patrol of Jallao - The Fourth War Patrol of Jallao was conducted in the Sea of Japan from 16 July to 9 September, 1945. The submarine negotiated TSUSHIMA Straits between Korea and Kyushu on 8 August and spent 23 days in the area.
- At 2140 on 10 August, Jallao made radar contact with a ship at 17,000 yards. The range was closed to 6800 yards, and at that point the target was identified as a long, single-stacked Japanese ship. The submarine submerged, and at 1670 yards fired four torpedoes, two of which hit the 6500-ton vessel. The target remained afloat, however, and two more torpedoes were fired from the after tubes, but both missed. At this point, the enemy ship began to circle, listing slightly but not sinking. Two more torpedoes were fired from the after tubes, but both missed. At this point, the enemy ship began to circle, listing slightly but not sinking. Two more torpedoes were therefore fired from the forward tubes at a range of 1000 yards. One of these hit the target amidships, causing a tremendous explosion and sinking the ship in five minutes.
- The cessation of hostilities on 15 August terminated Jallao's offensive action, but she remained in the area 17 days longer to carry out lifeguard operations, although fortunately this service was not necessary.
- Fifth War Patrol of Segundo - The Fifth War Patrol of Segundo was scheduled to take place in the vicinity of the KURILE Islands, but the Japanese Government capitulated before the area was reached. Segundo was ordered to remain at sea, however, and await further orders.
- At 0700 on 29 August, while cruising off the northeast coast of Honshu, Segundo made contact with, and identified a large Japanese submarine. During the next four hours, Segundo tracked the target, and at 0417 gave the order for the Japanese to stop, which they did. After considerable negotiation, an American prize crew was placed aboard the enemy ship, which was identified as the I-401, with a displacement of approximately 5,000 tons. The two submarines then proceeded toward YOKOSUKA Naval Base in Tokyo Bay. The Japanese retained control of their ship, but under the supervision of the American boarding party. On the morning of the 31st, the Japanese commanding officer formally surrendered his ship to the commanding officer of Segundo, just a few hours before they entered SAGAMI Wan with the American flag hoisted on both submarines. The I-401 was subsequently delivered to the custody of an American surface ship, while Segundo, along with 10 other American submarines, proceeded into Tokyo Bay to be present at the formal surrender of the Japanese Government.
Fifth War Patrol of Tang
- The Fifth War Patrol of Tang was not made during August, 1945. In fact, it was made nearly a year before, but her commanding officer, Commander R. H. O'Kane, has only recently been released from a Japanese prison camp and returned to make his report. It is considered appropriate, therefore, to include the account of Tang's Fifth War Patrol in this months report, which also covers Japans surrender announcement.
- On 24 September, 1944, Tang left Pearl Harbor en route to the FORMOSA Straits, where it arrived on 10 October. Commander O'Kane's own account of the remainder of the patrol is quoted below.
11 October 1944: ATTACK NO. 1 0400 When about four miles west of Upki Kaku made radar contact at 17,000 yards on a ship moving up the coast from Pakusa Point. Tracked him at 14 knots, making us at first suspicious of his character, but as the range closed he was observed to be a large modern diesel freighter, heavily loaded, presenting a low silhouette. Moved on to his track and dived for one of those never-failing crack-of-dawn attacks. Manuevered for an 800-yard shot as he came by and fired three Mark 18 Mod. 1 bow torpedoes, spread to cover his length. The first two hit exactly as aimed, sinking this overloaded ship immediately. Surfaced as soon as the smoke cleared away to find no survivors and only wreckage and several empty landing craft half swamped, drifting in the water. Proceeded at full power down the coast for a submerged patrol during the day well clear of the opposition which would arrive shortly ... 1000 A strong northerly wind sprang up against the prevailing current, which quickly whipped the surface into a sufficiently severe chop to make depth control difficult. This same chop, however, was soon to stand us in good stead; for at noon the masts of another north-bound freighter were sighted down the coast. He was running inside the 10 fathom curve, zigging frequently. Though we could reach his track by moving in at high speed and have some battery left for evasion, our original plan of tracking till dark seemed more prudent under the circumstances. There then developed our longest submerged tracking problem, which we moved with our target 27 miles up the coast. This seemed surprising, but with the enemy zigging frequently and bucking a heavy wind and sea, his speed made good was little more than ours running on a straight course at 80 feet between observations. Our tracks converged and he passed directly over us at sundown. ATTACK NO. 2 At dark we surfaced 4,000 yards astern of him, passed him up at the same range, avoided a couple of stationary patrols, moved on his track, then turned off for a stern shot as he came by. The night was black and spumey, permitting us to lie with our stern to him at 500 yards as he bucked the heavy seas. 2100 With a salvo of three ready to fire with a liberal spread, fired a single Mark 18 Mod. 1 torpedo at his middle with practically zero gyro on a 75 port track. Our experience of the morning was not a mistake. We were clicking, and this one hit with a terrific explosion. Only the first few members of the fire-control party to reach the bridge saw any of the ship before it went down. We now experienced something new in anti-submarine tactics, in the nature of estimated 40-mm fire from the beach. It was directed straight up, however, and we were quite content to let them believe that our China-based planes were aloft. 12 October. 0600 Commenced submerged patrol off the Formosa Coast. Only patrol boats and planes were sighted throughout the day ... 15 - 17 October 1944. Moved over to the China coast and conducted submerged periscope patrol just south of Haitan Island ... However, absolutely nothing was sighted, so after two days in those treacherous waters we moved into the center of the Strait. 18 October 1944. Patrolled in Formosa Strait, encountering nothing but patrol craft ... 19 October 1944. 2200 Headed for the China Coast, having received word of an enemy task force heading north along the China Coast. Commenced a full power dash which would intercept them before dawn. 20 October 1944. 0400 Made radar contact at 30,000 yards on an enemy group heading south instead of north as expected. There followed an approach which quickly developed into a trailing operation as our target, a Katori cruiser and two destroyers, were making 19 knots. Their erratic zigs at least every three minutes permitted us to close on the quarter where with a bit of luck or with steam torpedoes an attack would have been possible. Five times in a row we guessed wrong as to the direction of his next zig, and firing remained impossible, as our slow Mark 18's just plain wouldn't reach him before he would have been off on another leg.
As it was necessary to slow to twelve knots before releasing these torpedoes, and the cruiser would be opening the range during this slowing down period, it was necessary to reach a position not more than 600 yards astern of the cruiser for an up-the-tail shot. Dawn was approaching, and so was the Formosa Bank just north of the Pescadores, when we crawled in to 800 yards. That is as far as we got, however, for he illuminated us. We got down before the bullets landed and expected a severe drubbing from depth charges. We were disappointed in the outcome, and swore never to be without steam torpedoes again.
The enemy evidently suspected other submarines and did not release the escorts to work us over. A good air and surface craft search started about noon, but we were well to the north of their probing. On surfacing, the hunt was still on, and with a sick radar we went north clear of the Strait for repairs and a little rest from almost continuous operations.
21 October 1944. Continued submerged patrol north of the Formosa Strait then proceeded back to the China Coast off Turnabout Island. 2000 Tracked and nearly fired on a PC-DE type patrol proceeding down the coast in dark stormy weather. We didn't like the looks of the situation as seas were rolling nearly over our bridge, and his erratic zigs made a surface attack precarious. When the range was 2, 500 yards with angle on the bow about 20°, as if by mutual consent the enemy reversed course and high-tailed it. We did likewise, probably as happy as he at the outcome. Our evasion course headed us back toward the Formosa coast, so continued on for a submerged patrol on the following day. 22 October 1944. Continued on toward the coast commencing a submerged patrol at about 1000. The usual numerous aircraft were sighted during the day. Their quantity and types indicated an influx of planes, probably as replacements for those destroyed during the Formosa raids, and very possibly also for support in the Philippines. 1800 Shortly after surfacing, the SJ radar became temperamental and quit. Our industrious radar technician and officer commenced the usual non-stop repairs. Headed north for a safer operating area until they were completed, as this was no place to operate without an SJ. 23 October 1944. 0300 On the first trial of the revamped SJ the operator reported land at 14,000 yards where no land ought to be. Commenced tracking, immediately discovered a small pip moving out in our direction. Put him astern and bent on the turns. He evidently lost his original contact on us, for he changed course and commenced a wide sweep about the convoy which was now also in sight. A submariner's dream quickly developed as we were able to assume the original position of this destroyer just ahead of the convoy while he went on a 20 mile inspection tour. The convoy was composed of three large modern tankers in a column, a transport on the starboard hand, a freighter on the port hand, flanked by DE's on both beams and quarters. After zigging with the convoy in position 3,000 yards ahead, we dropped back between the tankers and the freighter. On the next zig, stopped and turned right for nearly straight bow shots at the tankers as they came by, firing two torpedoes under the stack and engine room space of the nearest tanker, a single torpedo into the protruding stern of the middle tanker and two torpedoes under the stack and engine space of the far tanker. The minimum range was 300 yards and the maximum 800 yards. Torpedoes were exploding before the firing was completed and all hit as aimed. It was a terrible sight to see three blazing, sinking tankers, but there was only time for just a glance, as the freighter was in position crossing our stern. Completed the setup and was about to fire on this vessel when Leibold, my Boatswains Mate, whom I've used for an extra set of eyes on all patrols, properly diagnosed the maneuvers of the starboard transport who was coming in line like a destroyer attempting to ram. We were boxed in by the sinking tankers, the transport was too close for us to dive, so we had to cross his bow. It was really a thriller-diller with the Tang barely getting on the inside of his turning circle and saving the stern with full left rudder in the last seconds. The transport commenced firing with large and small caliber stuff, so cleared the bridge before realizing it was all over our heads. A quick glance aft, however, showed the tables were again turned, for the transport was forced to continue her swing in an attempt to avoid colliding with the freighter which had also been coming in to ram. The freighter struck the transports starboard quarter shortly after we commenced firing four stern torpedoes spread along their double length. At the range of 400 yards the crash coupled with the four torpedo explosions was terrific, sinking the freighter nose down almost instantly, while the transport hung with a 30° up angle.
The destroyer was now coming in on our starboard quarter at 1,300 yards, with DE's on our port bow and beam. We headed for the DE on our bow so as to get the destroyer astern and gratefully watched the DE turn away, he apparently having seen enough. Our destroyer still hadn't lighted off another boiler and it was possible to open the range slowly, avoiding the last interested DE. When the radar range to the DD was 4, 500 yards, he gave up the chase and returned to the scene of the transport. We moved back also, as his bow still showed on the radar and its pip was visible. When we were 6,000 yards off, however, another violent explosion took place and the bow disappeared from sight and the radar screen. This explosion set off a gun duel amongst the destroyer and escort vessels who fired at random, apparently sometimes at each other, and sometimes just out into the night. Their confusion was truly complete. It looked like a good place to be away from so we cleared the area at full power until dawn.
Our attack log showed that only 10 minutes had elapsed from the time of firing our first torpedo until the final explosion when the transports bow went down.
0600 Dived north of the Strait for submerged patrol. 2000 Surfaced. Nothing but patrol boats were sighted during the day, but at night a search similar to the one previously encountered indicated the possibility of this being a trap. In any case, there was little doubt about the heat being on in this area. Headed north where deeper water would at least give us a better sense of security. 24 October 1944 0600 Commenced periscope patrol. On surfacing at dark, headed for Turnabout Island, feeling that the Japs would now scarcely run traffic other that in the shallow protected waters along the China Coast. O approaching the islands at a range of 35,000 yards, other than land pips appeared on the radar screen, until at tracking ranges the SJ was absolutely saturated.
The staff had been correct in their estimate of the situation that the Japanese would likely send every available ship in support of the Philippine Campaign. The Leyte Campaign was in progress, and the ships of this convoy, as in the one of the 23rd, were heavily loaded. The tankers all carried planes on deck, and even the bow and sterns of the transports were piled high with apparent plane crates.
ATTACK NO 4 The convoy was tracked on courses following the ragged coast at 12 knots. The Japanese became suspicious during our initial approach, two escorts commencing to run on opposite course to the long column, firing bursts of 40 mm and 5" salvoes. As we continued to close the leading ships, the escort commander obligingly illuminated the column with 36" or 40" searchlights, using this to signal with. It gave us a perfect view of our first selected target, a three deck, two stack transport; of the second target, a three deck one-stacker; and of the third, a large modern tanker. With ranges from 1400 yards on the first transport to 900 yards on the tanker, fired two Mk. 18 torpedoes each in slow deliberate salvoes to pass under the foremast and mainmast of the first two vessels and under the middle and stack of the tanker. In spite of the apparent early warning, and the sporadic shooting which was apparently designed to scare the submarine, no evasive tactics were employed by any of the ships. The torpedoes commenced hitting as we paralleled the convoy to search for our next two targets.
Our love for Mk 18 Mod. 1 torpedoes after the disappointing cruiser experience was again restored as all the torpedoes hit nicely. We passed the next ship, a medium freighter, abeam at 600 yards and then turned for a stern shot at another tanker and transport astern of her. Fired a single stern torpedo under the tankers stack and one at the foremast, and one at the mainmast of the transport. The ranges were between 600 and 700 yards. Things were anything but calm and peaceful now, for the escorts had stopped their warning tactics and were directing good salvoes at us and the blotches of smoke we left behind on going full power to pull clear of the melee. Just after firing at the transport, a full fledged destroyer charged under her stern and headed for us. Just exactly what took place in the following seconds will never be determined, but the tanker was hit nicely and blew up, apparently a gasoline loaded job. At least one torpedo was observed to hit the transport, and an instant later the destroyer blew up, either intercepting our third torpedo or possibly the 40 mm fire from the two DE's bearing down on our beam. In any case, the result was the same, and only the transport remained afloat, as she apparently stopped.
We were as yet untouched, all gunfire either having cleared over our heads or being directed at the several blurbs of smoke we emitted when pleading for more speed. When 10,000 yards from the transport we were all in the clear, so we stopped to look over the situation and re-checked our last two torpedoes which had been loaded forward during our stern tube attack.
A half hour was spent with each torpedo, withdrawing it from the tube, ventilating the battery and checking the rudders and gyros. With everything in readiness, started cautiously back in to get our cripple. The two DE's were patrolling on its seaward side, so made a wide sweep and came in very slow as not to be detected even by sound. She was lower in the water, but not definitely not sinking. Checking our speed by pit log at 6 knots, fired our 23rd torpedo from 900 yards, aimed just forward of her mainmast. Observed the phosphorescent wake heading as aimed at our crippled target, fired our 24th and last torpedo at its foremast. Rang up emergency speed as this last torpedo broached and curved sharply to the left. Completed part of a fishtail maneuver in a futile attempt to clear the turning circle of this erratic circular run. The torpedo was observed through about 180o of its turn due to the phosphorescence of its wake. It struck abreast the after torpedo room with a violent explosion about 20 seconds after firing. The tops were blown off the only regular ballast tanks aft, and the after three compartments flooded instantly. The Tang sank by the stern much as you would drop a pendulum suspended in a horizontal position. There was insufficient time even to carry out the last order to close the hatch. One consolation for those of us washed off into the water was the explosion of our 23rd torpedo and observation of our last target settling by the stern. Those who escaped in the morning, were greeted by the transports bow sticking straight out of the water a thousand yards or so away.
- The explosion was very violent, breaking high-pressure air lines, bouncing deck plates around, and causing casualties from broken limbs as far forward as the control room. Subsequent events, as pieced together from Commander O'kane's report and from further questioning, are also of interest. In addition to the three after compartments, which flooded immediately, the forward engine room was half flooded before the door leading aft could be closed. The depth of water under the submarine was about 180 feet, which resulted in the sterns resting on the bottom, while the bow was probably at the surface, with the boat lying at an angle greater than 35°.
- Personnel in the control room succeeded in closing the lower conning tower hatch, but it was sprung, and leaking badly. They then leveled off the bottom of the boat by flooding one of the forward ballast tanks, and proceeded to the forward torpedo room (where the forward escape trunk is located), carrying the injured in blankets.
- When the men in the forward engine room and after battery room started forward to reach an escape position, they found the control room more than half flooded ahead of them; but after checking to find it was not completely full, they opened the watertight door, allowed the water to run aft, and proceeded through the control room to the forward torpedo room.
- The communication officer started burning the secret and confidential publications in the control room, but was driven from that compartment by continued flooding and rising pressure caused by broken air lines. He then completed his work in the forward battery compartment, a great deal of the smoke entering the forward torpedo room, causing much discomfort. The high pressure and smoke to which the communication officer was subjected at this time are believed to have contributed to his later death from "bends" after escape from the boat.
- A total of about 30 men reached the forward torpedo room, but escape was delayed by the presence of Japanese patrols which ran close by, dropping occasional depth charges. Commencing at about 0600 on the 25th, four parties of three to four men, equipped with "lungs", left the submarine through the escape trunk, using an ascending line attached to a buoy. An odd feature of this escape was the fact that the buoy intended for this purpose carried away upon being released, and was replaced by a Japanese life ring which the submarine had carried. This life ring was seen by the Japanese who picked them up, but apparently the enemy thought the buoy had been found accidentally by the survivors in the water, and did not realize that it was marking the position of the submarine on the bottom. They evidently assumed that Tang had been sunk by a torpedo from another member of a large "wolfpack", which is not surprising, considering the amount of destruction to their ships.
- The delay in escaping was unfortunate, since by the time the last party left, a fire in the forward battery compartment had reached such intensity that paint on the after bulkhead of the torpedo room was scorching and melting, and smoke was seeping past the gasket of the watertight door. The rising pressure added to the intense heat, causing prostration of a number of men, and those remaining are believed to have been asphyxiated. By another freak of chance, however, the torpedo officer, who was prostrated, happened to lie directly under the drain from the escape trunk, and when this was opened after a previous party left, the deluge of water revived him enough to enable him to escape and eventually survive.
- A total of 13 men escaped from the forward torpedo room, but only five of them were eventually picked up at the buoy, the others either drowning or dying of "bends" due to rising too rapidly, or failure to complete the ascent for unknown reasons. It was still dark when the men reached the surface, perhaps five or six hours after the torpedo struck.
- There had been nine officers and men, including the commanding officer, on the open bridge, three of whom were able to swim throughout the night, until picked up about eight hours later. Another officer escaped from the flooded conning tower, and remained afloat until rescued, by using his inflated trousers for buoyancy. A total of nine survivors were picked up by a Japanese destroyer escort, which was one of four craft engaged in rescuing Japanese troops and personnel from their sunken ships. Commander O'Kane states "When we realized that our clubbings and kickings were being administered by the burned, mutilated survivors of our own handiwork, we found we could take it with less prejudice."
- The termination of Tang's outstanding patrol by being struck by the last of her own torpedoes highlights only one of the inherent hazards of submarine warfare. In a 14-day period, Tang fired 24 torpedoes, 22 of them hitting their targets. A total of 13 enemy ships, aggregating 107, 324 tons, had been sunk in one of the greatest submarine patrols of all time. This total included 3 AK, 5 AO, 4 AP, and 1 DD, nearly half of them being sunk in the last attack.
Summary of Pacific Fleet Submarine Accomplishments for World War II.
- With the war at an end, and the final returns from the various subordinate commands in, it is interesting to review the statistics which picture better than paragraphs the large part played in Allied victory by the Pacific Fleet submarines. The diminishing returns so apparent in the figures for 1945 are not indicative of any loss of effectiveness on the part of our submarines; rather, they emphasize the toll of Japanese ships and shipping which they had taken in the previous years. These figures final corrected were reported by ComSubPac to be as follows:
Ships Sunk Ships Damaged Submarines
January 1945 47 35 9 44 187,300 17 2 19 91,900 February 1945 49 14 8 22 37,800 3 15 18 12,900 March 1945 57 20 13 33 91,500 5 9 14 11,700 April 1945 55 35 12 47 120,500 7 7 14 30,600 May 1945 51 19 38 57 62,800 2 6 8 9,600 June 1945 66 58 58 116 197,800 4 9 13 18,500 July 1945 70 31 107 138 102,900 5 5 10 6,500 August 1945 61 13 23 36 34,600 4 12 16 16,300 Monthly aver. 1942 15 12.3 2.2 14.5 79,400 4.9 .3 5.2 35,700 Monthly aver. 1943 24 22.3 3.5 25.8 149,600 18.0 1.3 19.3 135,800 Monthly aver. 1944 46 43.9 7.1 51.0 269,000 16.6 1.8 18.4 114,800 Monthly aver. 1945 61 30.0 35.7 65.7 111,400 6.3 8.6 14.9 26,400 Monthly aver. for war 34 26.8 9.7 36.5 155,800 12.0 2.4 14.4 83,500 Totals for 1942 180 147 27 174 952,900 58 4 62 458,500 Totals for 1943 292 267 42 309 1,795,300 217 15 232 1,629,500 Totals for 1944 555 526 86 612 3,227,900 199 22 221 1,377,900 Totals for 1945 456 225 214 439 835,200 47 65 112 198,000 Totals for war 1485 1165 423 1588 6,611,300 521 106 627 3,633,900
- Submarines lost - During the entire war, 5 S-type and 44 Fleet type submarines were lost in the Pacific (including the South West Pacific), or 19.5% of the 251 submarines which have operated in the Pacific.
B. ANTI-SUBMARINE ACTIVITY
- Only one definite submarine contact was reported in the Central Pacific during August. Other sonar contacts were reported, but they were subsequently assessed as non-subs.
- During the first two weeks of August, anti-submarine support for TG.8 (logistics support group of Task Force 38) was furnished by TG 30.6 (redesignated 30.7 from August 12th on), under the command of Captain G. C. Montgomery, and composed of ANZIO (CVE) and five DEs. During August, this task force made no contacts with enemy submarines, and after the order to cease hostilities on 15 August, it discontinued A/S searches because of their offensive nature.
Attack by Healy.
- On the morning of 16 August, after the cessation of hostilities, Healy (DD). while on an escort mission, made a sonar contact with an under-water object about 100 miles east of Iwo Jima. The destroyer challenged the contact, but received no answer, and therefore commenced a series of three depth charge attacks. The first of these was followed by a muffled underwater explosion which was definetly not one of the depth charges. The second attack was followed by the appearance of a diesel oil slick in the area, while the third resulted in no observable evidence. No further sonar contacts were made, although additional search units were sent to the scene from the Marianas area.
(Although not under the command of Cincpac-Cincpoa, operations in the Southwest Pacific under General of the Army D. MacArthur are briefly described in these reports to clarify their strategic relationship to operations in Pacific Ocean Areas, and for their general interest.)
A. GROUND AND NAVAL OPERATIONS
- No amphibious operations of consequences were mounted in the Southwest Pacific Area during August. Until the cessation of hostilities on 15 August, however, fighting continued against isolated enemy forces in mountain areas in the Philippines, and against enemy garrisons which had been driven back from Borneo, New Guinea, New Britain and Bougainville.
- When offensive operations were suspended on the 14th, Japanese troops were still resisting from three mountain pockets northeast of Baguio, and in the northeastern mountain range of Luzon, one east of Manila, one each in northern Negros and northern Cebu, two in central Mindanao, one north of Zamboanga (Mindanao), and another on the island of Jolo. None of these groups, however, was considered capable of organized offensive action, and their existence had in general been reduced to a struggle for survival.
- In spite of orders from their Emperor to lay down their arms, Japanese forces in the field for some time showed little sign of surrendering, perhaps due to lack of communications with the Empire. To facilitate the process, numerous radio sets and leaflets were dropped from aircraft, with instructions to tune in on broadcasts from Tokyo, after which capitulation by small groups increased.
- On 19 August, 16 representatives of the Imperial Japanese Government arrived in Manila to arrange details of the occupation of Japan.
- The largest single surrender in August occurred on the 29th, when the garrisons of Halamahera and Morotai, comprising about 31, 700 Army and 5,000 Navy personnel, laid down their arms. On Luzon, General Yamashita was in direct communications with U.S. commanders as the month ended, and surrender of all forces was imminent.
- The anticipated schedule for the occupation of Japan was delayed 48 hours by a typhoon which swept over the Empire, but on the 28 August a group of 150 communications personnel started landing by air at ATSUGI Airdrome (near Tokyo), and set up equipment to handle major airborne landings.The 11th Airborne Division commenced landing at ATSUGI Airdrome on 30 August, and General of the Army MacArthur, who had been designated as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers for the surrender and occupation of Japan, arrived at the field on the same date.
- No opposition was offered by the Japanese. One regiment of airborne troops moved east from the field to occupy the YOKAHAMA dock area, and then moved south to establish contact with the 4th Marines, who had made amphibious landings at the YOKOSUKA Naval Base. These and subsequent events in the occupation of Japan will be described more fully in the September report.
- During August, the SEVENTH Fleet was principally engaged in convoy, patrolling, and aerial reconnaissance duties. Base developed throughout the Philippines, and salvage work in Manila harbor continued. As the month ended, the SEVENTH Fleet prepared to assume its assigned duties in the occupation of areas in Japan, China, and Korea, under the command of Cinpac-Cincpoa. No ships of the SEVENTH Fleet were reported lost or damaged during August.
- Casualties in the Southwest, Pacific Area for the period of 1 to 15 August were reported by CinCWPA as 141 U.S. Army killed, 302 wounded, and 13 missing; as compared with 10,081 enemy killed and 1, 156 captured.
Capture of Japanese Hospital Ship.
- A special mission performed by Charette and Conner (DDs) is of interest. The two destroyers left Morotai on 31 July with the mission of intercepting and searching the Tachibana Maru, a hospital ship which had been reported by air patrols en route through the Banda Sea from the KAI Islands (southwest of New Guinea) to Celebes and Soerabaja.
- Contact with the ship was made by radar at 2035 on 2 August, after which Charette and Conner trailed 15 miles astern of her until daylight. At 0637 the target was closed and signalled to stop. During the approach, a number of weighted bags were seen to be thrown overboard. A visit and search party was put on board, and discovered arms and munition stored below in boxes marked with red crosses and labeled medical supplies. On receipt of this information, a prize crew was directed to take over the vessel, and she was taken to Morotai for examination.
- Over 1500 "patients" were found on board, but a visiting doctor considered the majority of them in good health, although all feigned illness. Most of the more senior Japanese officers were transferred to the destroyers, which probably helped to forestall trouble with the enemy troops, many of whom were later found to have been sleeping on rifles, machine guns, ammunition, and hand grenades. The prompt and well-planned action of the prize crew, totalling only 80 Marines and Bluejackets, evidently had been effective in discouraging resistance.
B. LAND-BASED OPERATIONS
- Operations of land-based aircraft in the Southwest Pacific continued to follow the pattern of previous months, but on a considerably reduced scale, with all offensive missions at a complete halt by the beginning of the third week in August.
- Activity over Formosa, which had diminished to heckling missions in recent weeks after months of concentrated bombardment, was stepped up just before the end of hostilities. In the first 15 days of August, 295 tons of bombs were dropped by THIRTEENTH Air Force mediums and heavies. The principal targets were airdromes at TAKAO and SHINCHIKU.
- In the Philippines, the remaining Japanese forces in northern Luzon, Mindanao, and Negros received a total of 634 tons of bombe (largely napalm); P-38s and B-25s leading the attacks. On Mindanao, First Marine Air Wing fighters and fighter-bombers averaged 40 sorties a day against enemy pockets near DAVAC and MALAYBALAY, furnishing close air support to the X Army Corps. B-24s struck at the enemy in the hills on Negros Island.
- In the Netherlands East Indies areas, air operations had largely been taken over by the RAAF; but THIRTEENTH Air Force planes. and VPB units of the SEVENTH Fleet continued to assist. On Borneo, the 517 reported sorties were largely flown against targets at KUCHING, JESSELTON, MIRE and BANDJERMASIN. Small groups of planes struck at other targets in the Celebes, Halmaheras, Lesser SUNDAS, and shipping at large in the Java, Flores, and Banda Seas.
- In the by-passed Solomons-Bismarcks theater, Marine Corps F4Us and B-25s continued to supplement the RNZAF in strikes against the enemy on Bougainville, New Britain, and New Ireland. On the latter island, the main targets continued to be RABAUL and KAVIENG.
- On New Guinea "Beauforts", "Spitfires", and "Kittyhawks" harassed the enemy, striking at MAPRIK, MAFFIN BAY, and NABIRE. A total of 289 tons was dropped.
- Patrol Squadrons of the SEVENTH Fleet continued on dual function of search and attack. During the period 1-15 August, only 15 enemy aircraft were sighted, and these two were destroyed. In addition, 89 ships were reported sunk for a total of 11,289 tons, and 165 ships damaged for a total of 18,940 tons. None of the ships destroyed or damaged was larger than 300 tons, and only three ships larger than this were sighted in the entire area during the period.
- In all areas, with surrender being largely a problem of communication with isolated enemy garrisons, much of the air activity after August 15th consisted of leaflet drops, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
C. SUBMARINE AND ANTI-SUBMARINE OPERATIONS
- Submarines operating in the Southwest Pacific sank one enemy merchant ship during the last two weeks of hostilities. In addition, 125 small merchant craft (under 500 tons) and luggers were reported sunk by submarine gunfire, for a total of 10,400. The only warships destroyed were seven small patrol craft.
- The figures indicate that few suitable targets were available during August in this area, and the large number of small targets taken under attack is indicative of the makeshifts used by the Japanese merchant marine. The majority of the enemy vessels sunk were either in the Gulf of Siam or the Java Sea. The coast of Indo-China was almost completely devoid of shipping during this period.
- Submarines in this area also stood by for lifeguard rescue work, but, fortunately, no rescue of downed planes was necessary. Cod (SS), however, did rescue officers and crew of the Dutch submarine O-19, which was damaged by enemy action and was not considered worth salvaging.
- During the entire war submarines under Southwest Pacific Command reported sinking a total of 3,870,400 tons of ships, and damaging a total of 2,131,700 tons.
- Third War Patrol of Bugara - The Third War Patrol of Bugara took place in the Gulf of Siam from 14 July to 17 August. No enemy ships worthy of torpedo attacks were contacted, but Bugara disposed of 57 small ships, totalling 5, 284 tons. Seven times during these attacks Bugara was forced to dive in 10 fathoms of water, in order to avoid attacks from enemy planes.
- One of the more interesting attacks made by Bugara was on a 150 ton schooner. It turned out to be a Japanese ship, manned by a Chinese crew, and at the moment was under attack by Malay pirates in canoes. Bugara took off the Chinese crew, and sank the canoes.
- Eighth War Patrol of Ray - The Eight War Patrol of Ray was conducted in the Gulf of Siam from 21 July to 22 August. No contacts worthy of torpedo fire was sighted, but RAY sank 35 small craft, totalling 2, 915 tons, by gun attack. On the night of 8 August, two boarding parties in rubber boats left Ray to set fire to seven junks anchored in four feet of water. They successfully completed their task and returned to the submarine without meeting any opposition.
Additions to Pacific Fleet.
- Summary - Enemy submarines continued to operate along the route between Okinawa and Leyte Gulf during August. Two torpedo attacks on U.S. convoys were reported before hostilities ceased on August 15th, and one sonar contact was made on August 16th, after the cease fire order had been given. One midget submarine was sunk along this route, and two others attacked. The only other reported enemy submarine contact in this area was in TORRES Strait.
- Torpedo Attack on Earl V. Johnson - At 1226 on 4 August, while acting as escort for 25 LSTs, Earl V. Johnson (DE) made a sound contact approximately 350 miles east northeast of Luzon. The range was approximately 800 yards, and Earl V. Johnson immediately gave the order for the convoy to turn 45 degrees to port in order to avoid. The destroyer escort then proceeded to drop 10 depth charges, with all negative results. A search was then started by the escort ships, but without success, although several sonar contacts were made during the afternoon.
- At 0209, on 5 August, a new series of contacts was made with an underwater target, and nine depth charges were dropped without apparent result. A half hour later, a torpedo crossed Earl V. Johnson's bow about 100 yards ahead. Immediately, course was changed to run down the track, after which two more torpedoes bore down on the ship from the port side. The first passed less than 10 yards ahead, while the second passed directly under the ship. A few seconds later, there was an explosion 1000 yards off to starboard, and a cloud of black smoke appeared. Following these attacks, a whole series of wakes appeared in the area, resulting in constant echoes. The situation was becoming so confused that the escort vessels decided to clear the area temporarily and let the waters settle.
- An hour later, a new sonar contact was made and a depth charge pattern was again fired. After all the charges had exploded, another underwater explosion occurred, and a large column of white smoke appeared. Rumbling and breaking-up noises were heard for a full minute after this delayed explosion, which was so violent that it damaged Earl V. Johnsons steering control. The destroyer escort then rejoined the convoy, since it was considered dangerous to remain in the area in a damaged condition. The commanding officer believed that the last attack had destroyed the submarine.
- Midget Submarine Attack Johnnie Hutchins - On 9 August, Johnnie Hutchins (DE) was operating with TG 75.19, which was carrying out ASW sweeps on the convoy route between Leyte and Okinawa. At 1208, the destroyer escort came upon a midget submarine with her decks awash. Gradually the range was closed, and the enemy vessel was shelled by the 20 MM and 40 MM batteries. At 100 yards a direct hit was scored by a five-inch gun, causing the midget submarine to explode and sink.
- While this attack was going on, a second periscope was sighted at 1500 yards. After destroying the first submarine, Johnnie Hutchins turned to attack the second, which had disappeared in the meantime. Suddenly, from the direction where the second submarine had been sighted, a torpedo wake was seen approaching and passing along the starboard side. Two depth charge patterns were dropped over the point where the periscope had been seen and numerous explosions were heard, after which the sound contacts were lost, and Johnnie Hutchins rejoined the task group.
- At 1332, a light slick, 2,000 yards on the port beam, was sighted from Johnnie Hutchins, and permission was obtained to investigate. As they approached, a periscope came into view near the slick, and then suddenly disappeared. A depth charge attack was made at that point, and just before the explosions began, the periscope reappeared, passing close aboard to port, and disappearing before it reached the stern. The depth charge pattern covered this area, three charges exploding in the vicinity where the periscope had disappeared. A minute after the last charge exploded, a violent explosion was felt, and a geyser of water rose 30 feet in the air. It was powerful enough to be felt by another ship of the task group nearly a mile away. No further contacts were made, and the Johnnie Hutchins rejoined the formation.
- Torpedo Attack on Oak Hill and Thomas F. Nickel - On 12 August, Oak Hill (LSD) was enroute from Okinawa to Leyte Gulf, with Thomas F. Nickel (DE) as escort. At 1826, a periscope was sighted 1000 yards on the port quarter of Oak Hill, but it disappeared immediately. Shortly thereafter a wake was observed following Oak Hill, and when ever the ship changed course, the object following did likewise. Suddenly, when about 2000 yards astern, the suspected piloted torpedo broke surface and exploded.
- In the meantime, the periscope had reappeared long enough to enable Thomas F. Nickel to sight it and drop a depth charge pattern in the area. Subsequently, the destroyer escort found a large oil slick at that point, and no further contacts were made.
- During August, the following ships and craft reported to Cincpac for duty:
Combatant: Siboney (1 CVE); Kearney, Gleaves, Woolsey, Edison, Frankford, Murphy, Parker, Ericsson, Kendrick, Nields, Soley, Rogers, Perkins (13 DD); Edsall, H.C. Jones, D.L. Howard, Farquhar, J.R.Y. Blakely, Fessenden, Frost, Huse, Inch, Blair, Micka, Gustafson, Stewart, Sturtevant, Moore, Keith, Tominch, Otterstetter, Sloat, Snowden, Stanton, Daniel, D.W. Peterson, M.H. Ray, Vance, Lansing, Durant, Calcateer, Haverfield, Sweening, Willis, Janssen, Wilhoite, Camp (34 DE); Chopper, Conger, Medregal (3 SS); Key West, Gladwyne, Moberly (3 FF); 6 PCE; 27 LCI (G); 9 LSM (R); 1 PGM. Auxiliary: 1 APA, 7 AKA, 7 APD, 4 ACM, 9 AM, 1 AN, 1 AK, 1 ADG, 1 AF, 1 AFGL, 1 AGP, 4 AO, 2 AOG, 1 APB, 1 APL, 2 ARB, 1 ARDC, 2 ARG, 1 ARL, 2 ARV, 1 ATA, 1 ATF, 1 ATO, 1 ATR, 3 AVP, 1 USCG cutter, 10 LST, 9 LSM, 7 YMS, 6 YF, 2 YTB, 2 YO.
Administrative and Command Changes.
- Major administrative and command changes for August are included in Section C of ANNEX A which follows.
British East Indies Fleet Operations.
- At the conclusion of hostilities, The British East Indies Fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir A. J. Power, consisted of two battleships, HMS Nelson and Richelieu, (French), nine cruisers, (including the Dutch Van Tromp), 14 escort carriers, 25 destroyers, and numerous auxiliaries. Based at Trincomalee and Colombo in Ceylon, this fleet formed part of the Allied Forces under the operations control of the Southeast Asia Command.
- Late in August, units of this fleet were massed off the NICOBARS awaiting to proceed to Singapore. Another force had already reached SABANG off the northern tip of Sumatra. Still a larger force, under the command of Vice Admiral Walker in HMS Nelson, was anchored off PENANG (Malaya) while surrender negotiations were under way. Minesweepers were busy clearing the approaches.
THE LAST EIGHT MONTHS OF THE WAR
- With the Report of Operations for December 1943 there was included a brief chronology of major events in the Pacific up to the end of that year. Similarly, the Report of Operations for December 1944 carried that chronology through the year 1944. Official surrender terms were signed at Tokyo on 2 September 1945; hence this ANNEX will complete the chronology to the end of the war.
- Many events of supreme importance to the participants have had to be omitted for the sake of brevity in the section which follows. Such omission is in no way intended to minimize the importance of the event, or the services performed. The chronology is merely intended as a convenient check-off list, and is generally limited to dates of initial landings, the dates when organized resistance ceased, major carrier raids, major losses to ourselves or the enemy, bombardments, etc. The dates of certain major events elsewhere in the world have occasionally been inserted so that the reader may orient himself. A section has also been devoted to major command changes during the same period.
- The last eight months of the war saw a steady increase in the weight and tempo of the blows struck against the Japanese, rising finally to such a level as to convince them of the futility of further resistance. The year started with major amphibious landings on Luzon, and lesser amphibious landings at various points in the Philippines and Borneo continued until July. At the same time, Central Pacific forces were blazing a more direct path toward Japan with amphibious landings at Iwo Jima in February, followed in April and May at Okinawa by the largest amphibious operation yet mounted in the Pacific. By these operations, more and greater bases for the staging of even larger operations against the Japanese home islands were secured for our use, while the enemy was steadily weakened by submarine, air, and surface attacks on his dwindling forces. His isolated garrisons in by-passed islands were being harassed by air and surface attacks, starvation, and disease, while his stolen empire in the East Indies was of further little use to him because his lines of communication to it had been cut.
- Apparently the Japanese could only hope to stem the tide by further development of their recently adopted suicide tactics, using suicide aircraft, suicide boats, and suicide torpedoes in an effort to make our further advance excessively costly. These efforts were partially successful, and caused heavy losses to Allied ships, but came to late to affect the final outcome, since our resources had now been built up sufficiently to enable us to replace such losses without interrupting the program.
- The first half of August brought the entry of Russia into the Pacific war, and a powerful new weapon, the atomic bomb. Superimposed on an already desperate situation, these new factors proved sufficient to convince even a fanatical enemy that he had reached the end of the road.
B. CHRONOLOGY FOR 1945(1 January to 2 September)
Local Times and Dates. JANUARY 1945 2 Jan. Landings made on east and west of MINDORO. 2-3 Jan. TF 38 planes destroy 111 enemy planes, sink 27 ships off OKINAWA and FORMOSA. Our losses 32 planes. 3 Jan. Landings made on MARINDUQUE. 4 Jan. Ommaney Bay (CVE) sunk off PANAY by enemy suicide attack. 5 Jan. CHICHI and HAHA Jima bombarded by TG 94.9 (3 CA, 6 DD) with air support. 5 Jan. Light surface forces (TF 92) bombarded KURILES. 5-6 Jan. Enemy suicide planes score hits on 19 ships in Philippine Area. 6- 8 Jan. TF 38 planes strike LUZON airfields, destroying 111 enemy planes, losing 45. 6 - 7 Jan. Combined air and surface bombardment of LINGAYEN area by TF 77. 9 Jan. Amphibious landings at LINGAYEN Gulf. Four beaches seized. 12 Jan. TF 38 planes hit INDO-CHINA coast (SAIGON-QUINHON Area), 111 enemy planes destroyed, 23 U.S. planes lost, 197,000 tons of shipping sunk and damaged. 15-16 Jan. FORMOSA, HONG KONG, HAINAN, SWATOW hit by carrier planes of TF 38.61 U.S. aircraft lost. 21 Jan. FORMOSA again struck by carrier planes of TF 38; 149 enemy planes destroyed and 114,000 tons of shipping destroyed or damaged. 23 Jan. Barb (SS) attacks shipping inside NAMKWAN Harbor, China. (1 AK, 2 AE sunk, 2 AK, 1 UN damaged. 24 Jan. Combined air-sea bombardment of IWO JIMA. (1 BB, 3 CA, 7 DD, 1 DM) 25-29 Jan. British East Indies Fleet strikes SUMATRA. 29 Jan. 38th Division lands in ZAMBALES sector of western LUZON, northwest of SUBIC Bay. 30 Jan. GRANDE Island in SUBIC Bay seized. 31 Jan. 11th airborne Division lands on NASUGBU, at southern entrance to MANILA Bay. FEBRUARY 1945 Local Times and Dates. 8 Feb. Light surface forces (TF 92) bombard KURILES. 13 Feb. MARIVELES-CORREGIDOR combined operations commence with preliminary bombardment and minesweeping. 13 Feb. NICHOLS Field and CAVITE captured. 13 Feb. Batfish (SS), on War Patrol, sinks her third enemy submarine in four days. 15 Feb. MARIVELES landings begin. 16 Feb. Parachute troop and amphibious landings made on CORREGIDOR. 16-17 Feb. TF 58 aircraft hit TOKYO area, destroying 509 enemy planes. U.S. losses 49. 19 Feb. 4th and 5th Marine Divisions land on IWO JIMA, following heavy bombardment. 19 Feb. Planes of Strategic Air Force strikes IWO JIMA for 74th consecutive day. 20 Feb. MOTOYAMA Airfield No. 1 on IWO JIMA overrun. 21 Feb. Saratoga (CV) hit and seriously damaged by bombs and four suicide planes, Bismark Sea (CVE) sunk off IWO JIMA by suicide planes. 22-26 Feb. In Philippines area, landings made on CAPUL, BIRI, VERDE. 23 Feb. Mount SURIBACHI on southern tip of IWO JIMA captured. 24 Feb. Japanese resistance in MANILA ceases. 25-28 Feb. TF 58 again strikes TOKYO area. 26 Feb. MOTOYAMA Airfield No. 2 on IWO JIMA secured. 26 Feb. Lieutenant General M. F. Harmon, (ComGenAAFPoa, ComGenStratAirPoa, and Deputy Commander TWENTIETH Air Force), missing on flight from KWAJALIEN to OAHU. 28 Feb. MOTOYAMA Village and Airfield No. 3 on IWO JIMA captured. MARCH 1945 1 Mar. Carrier planes from TF 58 strike RYUKYUS. 10 Mar. Amphibious landings on ZAMBOANGA Peninsula (MINDANAO). 13 Mar. Light surface force (TF 92) bombards MATSUWA in the KURILES. 16 Mar. Organized resistance ends on IWO JIMA. 18 Mar. Landings made on PANAY. 18-20 Mar. TF 58 strikes KYUSHU, destroying more than 300 planes. 19 Mar. Franklin (CV) heavily damaged by aerial bombs. 21 Mar. First recorded use of Baka Bomb by enemy. 23 Mar. Beginning of operations preliminary to invasion of OKINAWA: carrier strikes, intensive surface bombardment, minesweeping, underwater demolition. 23 Mar. Europe-Four Allied Armies bridge RHINE River. 26-31 Mar. KERAMA RETTO, adjacent to OKINAWA, invaded and secured by 77th Division. 26 Mar. Americal Division lands on CEBU. 26 Mar. British Carrier Force (TF 57) commences first of 10 attacks between that date and 20 April on SAKISHIMA GUNTO. TF 57 also makes two attacks on FORMOSA in this period. APRIL 1945 1 Apr. 50,000 troops (1st and 6th Marine Divisions and 7th and 96th infantry divisions) land on Okinawa. YONTAN and KADENA Airfields captured. Opposition stiffening during the day. 1 Apr. Landings made on LEGASPI in southern LUZON. 2 Apr. Sea Devil (SS) sinks convoy of six ships in YELLOW Sea. 6 Apr. Planes and AA guns of Essex (CV) shoot down 65 attacking planes in area of OKINAWA. 7 Apr. First units of Tactical Air Force commence ground support operations on OKINAWA. 7 Apr. TF 58 planes sink Yamato (BB), Yahagi (CL), and four DD in the Battle of the East China Sea. 9 Apr. JOLO invaded. 8-11 Apr. Hancock and Enterprise (CVs) put out of action by suicide planes. 12 Apr. President F. D. Roosevelt dies. Vice President H. S. Truman succeeds to the Presidency of the United States. 15-16 Apr. TF 58 planes strike KYUSHU, destroying 174 planes in the air and 106 on the ground. 17 Apr. 50,000 Army troops land at PARANG and MALABANG on MINDANAO. 17 Apr. Amphibious landing made on IE SHIMA, west of OKINAWA. 20 Apr. Japanese forced from MOTOBU Peninsula on OKINAWA after very strong resistance. 22 Apr. Organized resistance overcome on IE SHIMA. 25 Apr. Europe - U.S. and Soviet Armies meet on ELBE River. 29 Apr. Europe - Nazi and Italian Fascist troops to northern Italy surrender unconditionally. MAY 1945 1 May Australian troops land on TARAKAN, off Borneo. 2 May Europe - Berlin falls to Russians. 3 May RANGOON falls to British troops. 4 May DAVAO City captured by American troops. 4 May TF 57 commences strikes against SAKISHIMA GUNTO. 7 May Europe - Germans sign unconditional surrender at General of the Army D.D. Eisenhower's headquarters at REIMS. 13-14 May TF 58 conducts sweeps against KYUSHU Airfields, destroyed 7 Japanese planes in the air and 73 on the ground. 14 May Enterprise and Bunker Hill (CVs) hit by suicide planes. 16 May British East Indies Fleet sinks Haguro (CA) off PENANG. 16 May B-29s drop 3367 tons of bombs on NAGOYA in the heaviest air raid up to this date. 18 May Marines enter NAHA City (OKINAWA). 18 May Chinese troops capture FOOCHOW, China. 19 May TG 92.2 conducts bombardment of KURILES. 24 May TF 58 again strikes KYUSHU airfields. Eighty of our planes destroyed. 30 May SHURI line on OKINAWA cracked as Marines capture SHURI Castle. JUNE 1945 1 Jun. Naval Air Base TARAWA decommissioned. 2-3 Jun. TF 38 continues to strike KYUSHU airfields. 5 Jun. Typhoon inflicts damage on 21 ships of fleet. 8 Jun. HMS Trenchant (SS) sinks Ashigara (CA) off eastern SUMATRA. 9-10 Jun. KYUSHU sweeps continue, surface ships and carrier aircraft bombard OKINO and MINAMI DAITO SHIMA. 9 Jun. Troops enter CAGYAN Valley, LUZON. 10 Jun. Australians make four landings in BRUNEI Bay area of northwestern Borneo. 11-12 Jun. Japanese resistance broken on OROKU Peninsula, OKINAWA. 11 Jun. TF 92 conducts bombardment of MATSUWA. 14-15 Jun. TRUK bombarded by air and sea by TG 111.2 (British), (1 CV, 1 CVE, 4 CL, 5 DD). 18 Jun. JALUIT bombarded by air and sea forces. (TU 96.9.1), (1 BB, 2 DD). 18 Jun. Lieutenant General S. B. Buckner, commanding ground forces on OKINAWA, killed by shellfire. 20 Jun. Mop-up of ANGAUR completed with closing of Army Garrison Force Headquarters. 20 Jun. TG 12.8 (2 CV, 1 CVL, 5 DD) bombards WAKE Island. 20 Jun. British East Indies Fleet strikes at MEDAN, SUMATRA. 21 Jun. Organized resistance on OKINAWA ends on 82nd day. 30 Jun. KUME Island (west of OKINAWA) seized by Marines. JULY 1945 1 Jul. Amphibious landings made at BALIKPAPAN, Borneo. SEVENTH Fleet provided support for Australian troops. 10 Jul. 1000 carrier planes of TF 38 strike at TOKYO Plains area, destroying 109 planes on the ground and damaging 231. 14-18 Jul. First surface bombardments of Japanese homeland, by TU 34.8.1 (3BB, 9 DD). Targets include KAMAISHI, MURORAN, HITACHI, and CAPE NAJIMA, HONSHU. TF 38 planes hit northern HONSHU and HOKKAIDO, sinking 101,000 tons of shipping. 19 Jul. TF 38 planes strike TOKYO Bay area, including YOKOSUKA, cripple Nagato (BB). 22 Jul. TF 92 bombard PARAMUSHIRO. 23 Jul. Barb (SS) lands eight "commandos" on coast of KARAFUTO (SAKHALIN). Blow up train. 24-25 Jul. TF 38 makes INLAND Sea strikes, sinking or damaging 258,000 tons of enemy shipping. Hyuga (XCV / BB) sunk. 26 Jul. POTSDAM Proclamation issued. 28 Jul. Further TF 38 air strikes in INLAND Sea area. Ise (XCV-BB), Aoba (CA) and Oyodo (CL) sunk, Haruna (BB) beached, 123 Japanese planes destroyed on ground, 21 in the air. U.S. losses: 35 planes. 29 Jul. Indianapolis (CA) torpedoed and sunk by enemy submarine approximately 420 miles east of LEYTE. 29 Jul. Callaghan (DD) sunk while on radar picket station 50 miles south west of OKINAWA by suicide plane. (last vessel to be sunk by suicide attack during war). 30 Jul. TU 34.8.1 bombards HAMAMTSU. AUGUST 1945 1 Aug Heaviest B-29 raid to date; 774 planes dropped 6,632 tons on five different targets on the Japanese homeland. 1 Aug. TG 12.3 bombards WAKE Island. 6 Aug. First atomic bomb dropped on HIROSHIMA, HONSHU. 9 Aug. USSR declared war on Japan. 9 Aug. Second atomic bomb dropped on NAGASAKI, KYUSHU. 9-10 Aug. TF 38 strikes at northern HONSHU and HOKKAIDO; surface units bombard KAMAISHI. 13 Aug. Final bombardment of KURILIES. 14-15 Aug. First and only mission flown against Japan from OKINAWA by B-29s of recently reactivated EIGHTH Air Force. 15 Aug. Final carrier plane strike against Japan. Second strike recalled enroute to target, jettisons bombs. 15 Aug. Hostilities officially suspended. 19 Aug. Japanese delegates arrive in MANILA to receive surrender instructions. 19 Aug. Japanese in MANCHURIA surrender to USSR. 27 Aug. THIRD Fleet ships enter SAGAMI Bay. 28 Aug. First advance units of specialists land in Japan at ATSUGI Airdrome. 30 Aug. THIRD Fleet Landing Force takes over YOKOSUKA Naval Base; Army units land at ATSUGI Airdrome and occupy YOKOHAMA Area. 30 Aug. General of the Army MacArthur (recently appointed Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in the occupation and surrender of Japan) lands at ATSUGI Airdrome. 2 Sept. Formal Japanese Empire surrender ceremony takes place aboard Missouri (BB) in TOKYO Bay.
C. MAJOR COMMAND CHANGES FROM JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER 1945
- On 26 January, Admiral R.A. Spruance, Commander FIFTH Fleet, assumed command of the Central Pacific Task Forces, relieving Admiral W.F. Halsey, Jr., Commander THIRD Fleet.
- On February, Major General T. Moore, USMC, became Commander Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, vice Major General P. Mulcahy, USMC. On 26 February, Rear Admiral W.K. Harrill relieved Rear Admiral H.B. Sallada as Commander Marshalls-Gilbert Area (Task Force 96).
- On 2 March, Major General W. H. Hale assumed the responsibilities assigned Lieutenant General M.F. Harmon (missing) as ComGenAAFPoa, ComGenStratAirPoa, and Deputy Commander TWENTIETH Air Force.
- On 6 March, Vice Admiral W. W. Smith assumed duties as ComServPac, in place of Vice Admiral W.L. Calhoun.
- On 13 March, Vice Admiral W.L. Calhoun relieved Vice Admiral J.H. Newton as ComSoPac, and Vice Admiral Newton departed NOUMEA for Pearl Harbor to assume duties of Inspector General, Pacific Ocean Areas.
- On 15 March, Task Force 112 and 113 of the British Pacific Fleet reported to CinPac for duty.
- On 26 March, Island Command IWO JIMA established, Major General J.E. Chaney, USA, commanding.
- On 6 April, in accordance with a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States Army Forces were established as a new organization. This command, under General of the Army MacArthur (short title CinCAFPac) consisted of the forces previously assigned to ComGenUSAAFE and ComGenPoa, with the exception of the U.S. Army forces assigned to CinpacCincpoa, which were to remain under his control until passed to CinCAFPac by mutual agreement between Cincpac-Cincpoa and CinCAFPac, or by direction of the joint Chiefs of Staff. Cincpac-Cincpoa would have command of all naval forces and resources in the Pacific theater. Operational control of the SEVENTH Fleet would remain with CinCSWPA until a time agreed upon by CinCAFPac and Cincpac-Cincpoa. ComGenPoa reported to ComGenAFPac for purposes of Army administration on 16 April; and on 20 April, Commander SEVENTH Fleet reported to Cincpac-Cincpoa for purposes of naval administration.
- On 22 April, Vice Admiral H.W. Hill became Com5thPhibFor, succeeding Vice Admiral R.K. Turner, who retained command of Amphibious Forces, Pacific.
- On 4 May, Lieutenant General B. M. Giles became ComGenAAFPoa, ComGenStratAirPoa, and Deputy Commander TWENTIETH Air Force, relieving Major General W. H. Hale (acting)
- On 6 May, Commander SEVENTH Fleet ordered type commanders of the SEVENTH Fleet to report to appropriate type commanders in the Pacific Fleet for purpose of type administration.
- On 24 May, Vice Admiral R. K. Turner (ComPhibsPac) was promoted to the rank of Admiral.
- At 2400 on 27 May, operational control of all forces under Commander FIFTH Fleet (Admiral W.F. Halsey, Jr.). At the same time, Vice Admiral J.S. McCain relieved Vice Admiral M.A. Mitscher as Commander Fast Carrier Task Force, the designation of which was changed from TF 58 to TF 38.
- On 1 June, Vice Admiral J.H. Hoover reported for duty as Commander MARIANAS, a redesignation of his command previously known as Commander Forward Area, but without change in the limits, mission, or organization involved.
- On 16 June, Rear Admiral J.F. Shafroth, Jr., relieved Vice Admiral W.A. Lee, Jr., as ComBatRon Two.
- On 18 June, Rear Admiral F.B. Royal died suddenly from a coronary thrombosis while acting as Commander Amphibious Group SIX engaged in the BRUNEI Bay operation.
- On 18 June, Lieutenant General S.B. Buckner, Commanding General TENTH Army and Commander of ground forces on OKINAWA, was killed by an enemy shell. Major General R.S. Geiger, USMC, Commanding General III Amphibious Corps, was directed to assume immediate command in the area, and by the following day his nomination to the rank of Lieutenant General was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
- On 23 June, General J.W. Stilwell, USA, assumed command of the TENTH Army, relieving Lieutenant General Geiger.
- On 1 July, Lieutenant General R.C. Richardson, Jr., was appointed Commanding General, Middle Pacific.
- On 3 July, Lieutenant General R S. Geiger assumed command of the Fleet Marine Force Pacific, relieving Lieutenant General H.M. Smith, USMC, who had held that title since the organization's establishment.
- On 7 July, General C.A. Spaatz, USA, was designated Commanding General of the new Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (short title ComGenUSASTAF) with all B-29 activities transferred to his command. In this new organization were Lieutenant General J.A. Doolittle's reactivated EIGHTH Air Force and the TWENTIETH Air Force, under Major General C.E. LeMay. Lieutenant General B.M. Giles became deputy to General Spaatz, who was to be directly responsible to General of the Army H.H. Arnold, executive agent of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for this purpose.
- On 13 July, Rear Admiral W.H.P. Blandy hoisted his flag as ComCruPac and ComDesPac, relieving Rear Admiral W.L. Ainsworth.
- On 13 July, General G.C. Kenney, USA, ComGenFEAF, became head of the new Tactical Air Force Pacific, which was composed of the FIFTH, SEVENTH, and THIRTEENTH Air Force.
- On 14 July it was announced that Vice Admiral J.H. Towers would relieve Vice Admiral J.S. McCain as Commander Second Carrier Task Force. (Vice Admiral McCain later died on 6 September of a heart attack, two days after his return to the United States). Vice Admiral F.C. Sherman was to succeed Vice Admiral M.A. Mitscher as Commander First Carrier Task Force.
- On 16 July, following the resignation of Major General C.L. Chennault, USA, Commanding General FOURTEENTH Air Force in China, it was announced that Lieutenant General G.E. Stratemeyer, USA, would assume command of all Army Air Forces in China, under Lieutenant General A.W. Wedemeyer, USA, chief of all United States forces in China.
- On 21 July, Rear Admiral A. E. Montgomery relieved Vice Admiral G.D. Murray as ComAirPac.
- On 24 July, Vice Admiral Murray assumed duties as Commander MARIANAS, relieving Vice Admiral J. H. Hoover.
- On 25 July, Vice Admiral S.E.A. Taffinder relieved Vice Admiral D. W. Bagley as Commandant 14th Naval District and Commander Hawaiian Sea Frontier.
- On 27 July, Vice Admiral J.H. Hoover relieved Vice Admiral J. H. Towers as Deputy Cincpac-Cincpoa.
- On 31 July, Lieutenant General N.F. Twining succeeded Major General C.E. LeMay as Commanding General TWENTIETH Air Force. General LeMay then became General Spaatz's chief of staff.
- On 31 July, control of the RYUKUS and Army forces therein passed to the control of CinCAFPac. CinCAFPac now controlled all Army forces in the Pacific except for the Strategic Air Force of General Spaatz. Naval bases and naval forces in the RYUKUS continued to remain under the control of Cincpac-Cincpoa.
- On 3 August, the Strategic Air Forces Pacific Ocean Areas (StratAirPoa) (TF 93 and TG 93.4) were dissolved, and CTG 93.4 reported, with the forces under his command, to ComGen USASTAF for duty.
- On 15 August, Vice Admiral G.D. Murray (Commander MARIANAS) relieved Rear Admiral E. Buckmaster as Commander Western Carolines Sub-Area (the latter having assumed command from Rear Admiral J.W. Reeves on 27 January 1945).
- On 15 August, Service Force, SEVENTH Fleet, and ServRons 3, 4, and 9 were dissolved, being re-established respectively as Service Squadron 7 and Service Divisions 71, 72, and 73.
- On 18 August, Western Carolines Sub-Area was dissolved, with jurisdiction vested directly in Commander MARIANAS. The Island Commander PELELIU and the Atoll Commander ULITHI were to report directly to Commander MARIANAS.
- On 28 August, Vice Admiral J.H. Newton relieved Vice Admiral J. H. Hoover as Deputy Cincpac-Cincpoa.
- On 28 August, administrative and operational control of the SEVENTH Fleet passed from CinCSWPA to Cincpac, and Admiral Kinkaid (Com7thFLT) embarked in Minneapolis (CA) and sailed for Korea. Admiral Kinkaid retained his title as Commander Allied Naval Forces Southwest Pacific Area, and became Commander Task Force 70. All other functions and responsibilities previously assigned Commander SEVENTH Fleet were assumed in the Philippines by Commander Philippine Sea Frontier (Vice Admiral J.L. Kauffman), and in the Australia-New Guinea (Rear Admiral C.E. Van Hook), both of whom remained under CinCSWPA control.
- On 30 August, Rear Admiral A.S. Struble relieved Rear Admiral A. Sharp as Cominpac.