CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 137, OCTOBER 1, 1944
Isolated enemy forces resisting bitterly from caves situated on Bloody Nose Ridge at Peleliu Island were bombed by aircraft of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on September 23 (West Longitude Date). Numerous 1,000 pound bombs were dropped to demolish remaining enemy fortifications on the ridge. With the exception of the resistance at Bloody Nose Ridge (Umurbrogol Hill) and in a small pocket on Angaur Island, the islands of Peleliu, Ngesebus, Kongauru, and Angaur are secured. Elimination of the remnants of the
Japanese defenders continues. More than 10,000 enemy troops have been wiped out in the Southern Palau area since the invasion began.
On September 29 Liberators of the Eleventh Air Force bombed Shimushu Island in the Kuriles. Moderate antiaircraft fire was encountered. All of our planes returned.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 138, OCTOBER 2, 1944
Military government was proclaimed on Angaur Island on September 30 (West Longitude Date), as mopping up operations proceeded on Angaur and Peleliu. A few fanatical enemy troops, holed up in caves, continued to resist with small arms fire. On the same day, Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed the airfield on Babelthuap Island. Antiaircraft fire was intense.
On September 30, 9,076 enemy troops had been killed on Peleliu and 1,075 on Angaur, while a total of 187 prisoners have been captured on the two islands.
Seventh Army Air Liberators on September 20, dropped approximately 37 tons of bombs on Moen and Eten Islands in Truk Atoll. Antiaircraft fire was meager.
Another formation of Seventh Army Air Force Liberators bombed runways and airdrome facilities at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on September 30. Antiaircraft fire was moderate but eight aggressive enemy fighters intercepted our planes. One of the Liberators was shot down while several of the others were damaged.
Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing attacked gun positions on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshalls with 33 tons of bombs on September 30. In the attack a small raft was sunk after strafing. Heavy antiaircraft fire damaged one of the Corsairs.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 139, OCTOBER 3, 1944
During October 1 and 2 (West Longitude Date) continued progress was made toward eliminating the last enemy resistance at Bloody Nose Ridge on Peleliu Island, and mopping‑up operations proceeded on Angaur Island. The difficult work of rooting out enemy troops from nearly inaccessible caves continues. On the night of October 1 a single enemy plane dropped two bombs in a swamp near the airfield at Peleliu, which did no damage.
On October 1 Seventh Air Force Liberators dropped 31 tons of bombs on the airfield at Dublon Island in the Truk Atoll. Two enemy planes attempted unsuccessful interception. Two Liberators were damaged by moderate antiaircraft fire.
The SS Elihu Thompson, a Liberty ship operated by the War Shipping Administration and chartered by the Navy, struck a mine while entering a South Pacific port on September 25. Eleven Army personnel on board the vessel were killed by the resultant explosion and 22 are missing. No casualties were suffered by Naval or Merchant Marine personnel. Survivors were removed from the Thompson by patrol craft and the ship's own boats, and a Navy salvage unit took the vessel in tow and beached her. The ship can be restored to service. All next of kin of casualties have been notified.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 140, OCTOBER 4, 1944
Further reducing the remnants of enemy troops still resisting on Peleliu and Angaur Islands, Marine and Army troops destroyed the occupants of a number of enemy‑held caves on October 3 (West Longitude Date). Mopping up operations on Angaur continued. The bodies of more dead Japanese soldiers have been counted, a total of 9,878 on Peleliu and 1,109 on Angaur.
Search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Four bombed Paramushiru in the Kuriles on October 2. Meager antiaircraft fire was encountered. All our planes returned.
Seventh Air Force Liberators on October 1, scored a direct hit on an enemy cargo vessel near Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands. Two enemy planes were in the air, but did not attempt interception. Shipping in Chichi Jima Harbor was attacked by Seventh Air Force Liberators on October 2. Antiaircraft fire varied from moderate to meager.
Buildings, gun emplacements, and docking facilities at Pagan Island were bombed and rocketed on October 2 by Thunderbolts of the Seventh Air Force. No antiaircraft fire was encountered.
Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed the runway and installations on Marcus Island on October 2. Antiaircraft fire was meager.
Corsairs and Venturas of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing bombed communications facilities and gun positions at Jaluit Atoll on October 2. Antiaircraft fire, which was moderate, damaged one Ventura. All our planes returned safely. Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing flew through meager antiaircraft fire to bomb installations at Taroa Island in the Maloelap Atoll.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 141, OCTOBER 5, 1944
United States forces on Peleliu Island continued to apply heavy pressure to the remaining pocket of enemy resistance at Bloody Nose Ridge on October 4 (West Longitude Date). Several defensive positions and caves were cleaned out during the day. Mopping up operations on Angaur Island are being continued.
During the operations in the Southern Palau Islands from September 25 to October 5 the following casualties were incurred
First Marine Division: 81st Infantry Division
Killed, 191 Killed, 145
Wounded, 1,011 Wounded, 696
Missing, 0 Missing, 8
The total in the missing category for the First Marine Division has been revised downward from 401 to 267 for the entire campaign.
During the same period an additional 2,618 enemy troops were eliminated on Peleliu and 137 were eliminated on Angaur.
Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, operating from the airfield at Peleliu, bombed Babelthuap Island on October 4, hitting the airstrips and strafing a concentration of motor vehicles. Warehouses at Koror were also bombed during the day.
Eleventh Air Force Liberators strafed a small cargo vessel near Onekotan in the Kuriles on October 3. On returning to their base the bombers were Intercepted by two enemy fighters near Paramushiru but were not damaged.
Seventh Air Force Liberators on October 3 bombed a large cargo ship and a destroyer northwest of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands. Antiaircraft fire from the destroyer was meager. On the same day, Marcus Island was bombed by Seventh Air Force Liberators.
Thunderbolt fighters of the Seventh Air Force dropped bombs and rockets on gun positions and shore installations at Pagan Island on October 3. Other planes bombed barracks and communications facilities the same night.
Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing dive‑bombed airfields and installations at Ponape Island on October 4. Antiaircraft fire was inaccurate.
Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed enemy positions on Jaluit Atoll on October 4. One Corsair suffered minor damage from antiaircraft fire.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 547, OCTOBER 5, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. U. S. submarines have reported the sinking of 11 vessels, including three combatant ships, as a result of operations against the enemy in these waters as follows
1 escort vessel
4 small cargo vessels
1 cable ship
1 medium cargo transport
1 converted seaplane tender
1 medium cargo vessel
1 large tanker
2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 142, OCTOBER 7, 1944
Employing tanks and artillery, United States forces made some progress against stubbornly held enemy positions on Umurbrogol Mountain on Peleliu Island during October 6 (West Longitude Date). Total enemy killed at date total 11,083 on Peleliu Island and 1,128 on Angaur Island. Our forces have captured 214 prisoners on Peleliu and 10 on Angaur.
On the same day, Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked several small villages on Babelthuap Island, damaging nine fuel dumps, five supply dumps, two ammunition dumps, two buildings and 28 trucks. Three boats and seven barges in the vicinity of Komeball Lagoon were strafed also.
Liberators of the Eleventh Air Force, flying through weak antiaircraft fire, bombed Paramushiru on October 4. On the same date, Eleventh Air Force Mitchells struck at enemy shipping at Paramushiru and Shimushu, probably sinking a cargo ship and damaging a barge. Returning from the raid, the Mitchells were challenged by 15 to 20 fighters. Two enemy planes were probably destroyed and two damaged. Some of our planes suffered slight damage.
A Navy search plane bombed the airfield and gun positions on Yap on October 4. Antiaircraft fire was meager and ineffective.
Seventh Air Force Liberators dropped 33 tons of bombs on the airstrip and hangars on Moen Island in the Truk Group on October 5. Antiaircraft fire was meager and the three or four enemy fighters that rose to intercept did no damage to our planes.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 143, OCTOBER 8, 1944
Supported by Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, which dropped 1000‑pound bombs, U. S. Forces on Peleliu Island made further advances against enemy‑held positions on Umurbrogol Mountain on October 7 (West Longitude Date). On Angaur Island, mopping up operations continued. Enemy dead number 11,083 and Peleliu and 1,150 on Angaur. On Peleliu 214 prisoners have been captured, and on Angaur 11 have been taken. A fuel dump and two small buildings were destroyed by our planes in an attack on the villages of Ngatpang and Gamilangel on Babelthuap Island.
Military government was set up on Peleliu Island on September 16 and on Kongauru and Ngesebus Islands on September 30. As previously announced, military government was established on Angaur Island on September 30.
Two Liberators of the Seventh Air Force bombed Wake Island on the night of October 6 without encountering antiaircraft fire.
Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands was bombed on October 6. There was no antiaircraft fire.
The airfield and gun positions on Nauru Island were bombed by Seventh Air Force Mitchells on October 5. Antiaircraft fire was ineffective.
Neutralization raids against enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands continued.
OCTOBER 9, 1944
The following joint Anglo‑American statement on submarine and antisubmarine operations is issued under the authority of the President and the Prime Minister:
"During September there has been a lull in U‑boat activity, which is possibly seasonal. This year, as last, the enemy may hope to renew his offensive in the autumn and may rely on new types of U‑boats to counter our present ascendancy. Shipping losses have been almost as low as in May, 1944, the best month of the war. The rate of destruction of U‑boats in proportion to shipping losses remains satisfactory.
"The U‑boat war, however, demands unceasing attention. Only the zeal and vigor of the Allied air and surface forces have procured the comparative safety of our shipping and the enemy's scant success."
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 144, OCTOBER 9, 1944
Units of the Pacific Fleet attacked Marcus Island on October 8 (West Longitude Date) and throughout the day subjected enemy installations and shore defenses to deliberate and destructive gunfire in good visibility. Considerable damage was inflicted and the greater part of the coast defense batteries were silenced. Buildings were hit and fires were started.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 145, OCTOBER 9, 1944
Elements of the 81st Infantry Division landed on Garakayo Island in the Southern Palau Islands on October 8 (West Longitude Date). A beachhead has been secured and patrols are advancing inland against light opposition. On Peleliu Island Marines continued mopping up operations in the vicinity of Bloody Nose Ridge. Elements of the 81st Infantry Division are continuing to clean up on Angaur. Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed Umurbrogol Mountain on October 8, strafed small craft in Ngatpang Bay and bombed fuel dumps and warehouses on Babelthuap Island. All of our aircraft returned.
Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands was attacked on October 8 by Seventh Air Force Liberators which bombed the airfield and adjacent installations. Six to eight enemy fighters intercepted our force and two of the fighters were shot down and two were damaged. Antiaircraft fire was moderate.
On October 8 a single Navy search plane of Fleet Air Wing One shot down an enemy bomber while on routine patrol. On the same day another Navy search plane bombed and damaged an enemy picket boat.
A lone Catalina search plane of Fleet Air Wing One sighted four small enemy ships near Iwo Jima on October 8. The largest of the four was bombed and strafed. A direct hit was scored seriously damaging the vessel.
During October 6 Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed two small enemy cargo vessels northeast of Marcus Island and attacked targets on the enemy-held island on both October 6 and 7. The Liberators encountered meager antiaircraft fire. Other Liberators raided Wake Island on the night of October 6 and on October 8.
On October 7 the air strip, radio station, buildings, beach defenses and other military installations on Pagan Island in the Marianas were bombed and rocketed. No antiaircraft fire was met. One of our planes was shot down by antiaircraft fire over Rota Island on the same date.
Enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands were bombed on October 7.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 146, OCTOBER 10, 1944
Carrier‑based aircraft of the Pacific Fleet swept over the Ryukyu Islands in great force on October 9 (West Longitude Date). All naval and merchant ships that could be found were attacked and severe damage was done to shore installations. Preliminary reports indicate that the following damage was Inflicted on the enemy:
1 submarine tender
2 medium cargo ships
2 small cargo ships
5 coastal cargo ships
2 medium cargo ships
4 small cargo ships
1 medium oil tanker
7 coastal cargo ships
3 medium cargo ships
6 small cargo ships
2 small oil tankers
In addition to the foregoing, more than 20 luggers and other small craft were sunk or damaged.
Complete surprise was achieved in the attack. More than 75 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Fourteen enemy aircraft were shot down. Buildings and defense installations on the islands were severely bombed and strafed, and many were left burning. There was no damage to our surface ships, and our plane losses were light.
The carrier task forces which conducted the attack are part of Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet, and the carriers are under the immediate command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 147, OCTOBER 10, 1944
Garakayo Island in the Southern Palau Group which was occupied by elements of the 81st Division on October 8 (West Longitude Date) was completely secured by October 9. On Peleliu Island several hillside and ravine caves were cleared of enemy troops and a small hill was occupied as Marines made some progress in reducing the last stubborn pocket of enemy resistance. On Angaur sniper demolition teams of the 81st Division continued mopping up operations. Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed four small boats and nine barges in a sweep over the east and northwest coasts of Babelthuap Island.
A single Navy search plane on the night of October 8‑9 bombed Nauru Island. There was no antiaircraft fire.
Neutralization raids by our aircraft in the Marshall Islands continued on October 8 and 9.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 148, OCTOBER 11, 1944
Troops of the 81st Infantry Division landed on Bairakaseru Island in the Palau Islands on October 10 (West Longitude Date). No opposition was encountered. Meantime troops of the First Marine Division continued to make slow but steady progress against the remaining pocket of enemy resistance on Bloody Nose Ridge. During the day a sizeable ammunition dump was exploded within one of the largest enemy‑held caves. On Angaur mopping up operations by the 81st Infantry Division proceeded. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas communiqué Number 143 stated in error that enemy dead on Peleliu number 11,08'3. This figure should have read 10,083. Enemy dead counted on Peleliu through October 10 were 10,305 and on Angaur 1,165. On Peleliu 284 enemy troops have been made prisoners of war and on Angaur 11 have been taken. In addition 184 civilians have been interned on Angaur. On October 10, the airstrip at Babelthuap was bombed by Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing and several small craft were damaged by strafing in Gamilangel Bay.
The airfield and shipping in the harbor at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands were bombed on October 9. Eight enemy fighters rose to Intercept; two were shot down, one was probably shot down and one was damaged. One of our planes suffered minor damage.
Supply dumps, personnel areas and a radio station on Pagan Island in the Marianas were bombed and strafed on October 9. One of our planes was shot down by antiaircraft fire but the pilot was rescued.
On October 9, Liberators of the Seventh Air Force bombed Wake Island.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 149, OCTOBER 12, 1944
A large force of carrier aircraft from a task force of the Pacific Fleet struck enemy air bases and installations on Luzon during the afternoon of October 10 (West Longitude Date). Detailed reports of the damage inflicted are not yet available.
During October 11 elements of the First Marine Division continued to root out enemy troops from caves on Bloody Nose Ridge at Peleliu Island.
A commanding height was seized during the day which overlooks the small area held by the beleaguered defenders. On Angaur enemy troops have been confined to an area 150 yards square by the mopping up of troops of the 81st Infantry Division. A single enemy plane bombed Angaur during the night of October 10‑11 but did no damage and was later shot down by one of our night fighters. Elements Of the 81st Infantry Division reconnoitered Arimasuku Island during the day and found it unoccupied.
Three of our planes while on patrol near Iwo Jima on October 10 were attacked by eight enemy fighter planes. Six of the eight enemy planes were shot down. No damage was inflicted on our planes. Seventh Air Force Liberators sank a small enemy cargo ship south of Haha Jima in the Bonins on October 11 while other Liberators bombed shipping and installations at Chichi Jima. Antiaircraft fire on these attacks were moderate.
Thunderbolts of the Seventh Air Force bombed and rocketed Pagan in the Marianas once on October 10 while Liberators and Thunderbolts struck twice on October 11. Liberators of the Seventh Air Force attacked Marcus Island on October 11 experiencing meager antiaircraft fire. Liberators attacked Wake Island on October 10.
On the same day Seventh Air Force Mitchells bombed gun emplacements and the runways at Nauru Island. Moderate antiaircraft fire was encountered. On the night of October 10 Nauru was attacked by a single Navy search plane of Fleet Air Wing One.
Liberators of the Seventh Air Force dropped 55 tons of bombs on the airfield and other installations at Moen Island in the Truk Atoll on October 9. Antiaircraft fire was meager. Three enemy fighter planes attempted interception without success.
The Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing conducted further neutralization raids against enemy‑held islands in the Marshalls on October 10.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 150, OCTOBER 13, 1944
Carrier aircraft of the pacific Fleet fast carrier task force striking Formosa on October 11 (West Longitude Date) shot 124 enemy aircraft out of the air and did heavy damage to enemy shipping and shore defense works. Preliminary pilot reports and photographs show that 97 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Initial reports indicate the following damage to enemy shipping
Large cargo ships‑2
Medium cargo ships‑2
Small cargo ships‑12
Large cargo ships‑2
Medium cargo ships‑7
Small cargo ships‑10
In addition to the foregoing, extensive damage was done to hangars, buildings, oil dumps, warehouses, docks and industrial establishments at Einansho, Okayama, Tamsui, Heito, Reigaryo and Taichu. Our losses were 22 aircraft. There was no damage to our surface ships.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 151, OCTOBER 13, 1944
During the late evening of October 11 and night of October 11‑12 following the first day of its attack on Formosa, small groups of enemy aircraft attacked one of our fast carrier task forces operating in the approaches to the Japanese positions in Formosa and the Ryukyus, and repeatedly attempted to torpedo or bomb the carriers or supporting ships in the force. Night fighters sent up by our carriers shot down three fighters in the early evening, and later eight enemy aircraft were sent down in flames by ships' antiaircraft fire.
During the day of October 12 Formosa and the Pescadores were again brought under attack by fast carrier task forces, and heavy damage was done to the enemy air force and its bases, to shipping, port facilities, and shore installations.
A preliminary resume of damage inflicted upon the Japanese in the two-day strike which began before dawn on October 11, shows the following totals:
Enemy aircraft shot down, 221.
Enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground, 175.
2 large cargo ships
4 medium cargo ships
9 small cargo ships
12 coastal cargo ships
1 large cargo ship
3 medium cargo ships
3 small cargo ships
1 oil tanker
5 coastal cargo ships
6 medium cargo ships
15 small cargo ships
1 large troop transport
In addition to the foregoing 37 small craft were sunk or damaged. We lost 45 planes in the two‑day attack. Reports are not yet available as to flight personnel rescued.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 152, OCTOBER 13, 1944
More complete reports of the strike made by carrier‑based aircraft of the United States Pacific Fleet on October 9 (West Longitude Date) against the Okinawa Islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago indicate that the following damage was inflicted upon the enemy (the following figures are a revision of those previously announced in United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas communiqué No. 146, and do not represent figures on the recent Luzon and Formosa strikes).
1 destroyer escort
4 small submarines
14 cargo ships
1 submarine tender
25 small ships
41 barges and small craft
10 small ships
9 small craft
8 cargo ships
1 medium landing ship
1 light minelayer
10 small ships
Numerous sampans, luggers and barges
23 shot down in the air
59 destroyed on the ground
37 damaged on the ground
Installations destroyed or damaged
1 ammunition dump
3 fuel dumps
Many barracks, buildings, warehouses, etc.
In addition on Yama Island in the Harbor of Naha on the Island of Okinawa and also the North shore of the Harbor of Naha were devastated by explosions and fire.
United States losses:
Our own losses were relatively light: 8 planes in combat, 5 pilots and 3 aircrewmen.
In the attack on Luzon Island on October 10, more complete reports indicate that numerous buildings were set afire in the region of Aparri, on the Northern Coast, and that 10 to 15 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground. There was no enemy airborne opposition.
Organized resistance in the Southern Palau Islands ceased on October 12, with mopping up operations continuing on Peleliu and Angaur Islands. Small pockets of enemy resistance on both of these islands have been further reduced by United States troops.
Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing continued attacks against shipping and enemy installations on Babelthuap Island, sinking or damaging 11 barges in the Ngatpang River; and sinking or damaging 17 barges, 2 small boats and 8 motor launches off the west and east coasts of the Island. In addition boathouses at Arumonogui Point and Gamilangel Bay were damaged and a locomotive near the villages of Ngardmau was strafed and bombed. One of the Corsair pilots was forced to bail out of his plane but wits rescued later.
Liberators of the Seventh Air Force bombed enemy installations on Yap Island on October 12, encountering no antiaircraft fire.
Truk was also bombed on the night of October 11, by another group of Seventh Air Force Liberators.
Enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands were bombed on October 11.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 153, OCTOBER 15, 1944
During the night of October 12‑13 (West Longitude Date) strong counterattacks were delivered against task forces of the Pacific Fleet operating in the area of Formosa by aircraft of the Japanese Imperial Air Force. During these attacks on one of our task groups 13 enemy aircraft were shot out of the air by our own fighters and 7 by antiaircraft fire.
Beginning at dawn on October 13 carrier aircraft of the Third Fleet continued their destructive attacks against enemy forces and defense installations on Formosa Island and Luzon. Little air opposition was encountered over the targets. Preliminary reports indicate 11 enemy aircraft were shot down and 30 were destroyed on the ground.
In the mid‑afternoon of October 13 our forces were attacked by numerous single and twin‑engine enemy aircraft. A combat air patrol of one of our task groups shot down 28 of these aircraft and two were destroyed by antiaircraft fire. Complete reports are not yet at hand regarding known attacks on other units of our force, but it is known that many additional enemy aircraft have been shot down. Our plane losses so far have been light.
This fight is continuing. Further details will be released as they become available.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 154, OCTOBER 15, 1944
Troops of the First Marine Division on Peleliu Island sealed off several ire caves occupied by the enemy during October 13 (West Longitude Date). Angaur, the few remaining Japanese were kept under continual pressure.
Navy search planes of Fleet Air Wing One bombed and strafed two small coastal vessels and five barges off the coast of Iwo Jima on October 13. Other search planes damaged a small cargo ship and shot down an enemy torpedo bomber in the same area.
On October 12 Eleventh Air Force Liberators attacked nine small cargo vessels near Matsuwa Island in the Kuriles. The Liberators suffered slight damage from antiaircraft fire, but all returned safely. Mitchell bombers of
Eleventh Air Force on October 12 bombed buildings and installations on Shimushu and Paramushiru Islands. A single Navy search plane of Fleet Air Wing Four bombed Paramushiru Island on October 12. Two enemy aircraft made unsuccessful attempts to intercept, and antiaircraft fire was light. The Eleventh Air Force attacked Paramushiru again on October 13. Installations on the Eastern Coast were hit by Mitchell bombers. Moderate antiaircraft fire was encountered. Other Mitchells strafed a two‑thousand ton cargo ship and seven small cargo ships at Suribachi Bay. Liberators started several fires in the North, while other Liberators scored direct hits on docking facilities on the Southern tip of the Island. All planes returned safely.
Pagan Island was strafed and bombed by Seventh Air Force Thunderbolts on October 13. A Navy search plane of Fleet Air Wing One bombed the airfield and supply dumps at Rota Island on October 13.
Nauru Island was bombed by a single Catalina search plane of Fleet Air Wing One on the night of October 12. The airfield and other aviation installations at Nauru were also hit by Mitchells of the Seventh Air Force on October 13. Antiaircraft fire was meager. Seventh Air Force Liberators met moderate aircraft fire in bombing the airfield at Marcus Island on October 13. Other Liberators in a night raid dropped explosives on Wake Island.
Neutralization of enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands by air attacks was continued on October 13 and 14, by the Fourth Marine Air Wing.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 584, OCTOBER 15, 1944
The United States naval forces which have been operating in the sea approaches to Formosa are units of the Third Fleet, commanded by Admiral F. Halsey, Jr., USN, with Vice Admiral W. A. Lee, Jr., USN, as second in command.
In command of the entire Fast Carrier Task Force Is Vice Admiral M. A. Mitscher, USN. Carrier units included are under the command of Vice Admiral J. S. McCain, USN; Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman, USN; Rear Admiral R. E. Davison, USN; Rear Admiral G. F. Bogan, USN, and Rear Admiral H. B. Sallada, USN.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 155, OCTOBER 16, 1944
Aparri on the north coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines was swept by fighter aircraft of the Pacific Fleet on October 13 (West Longitude Date). Only two twin‑engine and three single engine aircraft were observed on the
ground, and all were destroyed by strafing. No airborne enemy opposition was encountered. Ground installations in the area were severely strafed
On October 15 a large force of carrier aircraft was launched against airfields in the vicinity of Manila Bay. This force was intercepted by an estimated 50 Japanese fighter aircraft. From 30 to 40 of the intercepting enemy planes were shot down. An additional 15 to 20 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Nichols, Nielson, and Mariveles Airfields. Meantime the ships in one carrier task group underwent persistent aerial attack during the day, and 30 Japanese aircraft were shot down in the vicinity of the group. Only superficial damage was done to our surface ships in this attack.
Nine enemy aircraft were shot down in the vicinity of another fleet unit. Complete reports from all units are not yet available.
Mitchell bombers of the Eleventh Air Force on October 14 bombed installations on the south coast of Paramushiru. Later, two Liberators of the Eleventh Air Force attacked wharves and shipping installations on the northeast coast of Paramushiru. Antiaircraft fire was meager and all our aircraft returned.
Seventh Air Force Liberators on October 14 dropped approximately 48 tons of bombs on the air strip, supply dumps and gun positions at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands. Antiaircraft fire was moderate but eight aggressive enemy fighters, using phosphorous bombs, attacked our planes. One of the enemy fighters was probably shot down while three others were damaged. We suffered no losses.
The airfield runway on Moen Island in Truk Atoll was bombed by Liberators of the Seventh Air Force on October 13. Three enemy fighters were air, borne but did not press home their attack. Antiaircraft fire was meager.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 156, OCTOBER 17, 1944
Carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet are continuing to attack targets on Luzon Island in the Philippines.
Further details now available concerning the results of some of the carrier aircraft attacks on Formosa on October 11, 12 and 13 show that at Tainan the airfield was hard hit and seven hangars were completely destroyed and five heavily damaged. Several buildings in the barracks area were also destroyed.
At Takao the harbor area received severe damage. Thirty large ware houses along the dock area were completely destroyed; ships were dunk it the harbor; heavy damage was inflicted in the industrial area. The airfield at Takao was heavily hit and several adjacent buildings were damaged.
The Okayama Airfield and assembly plants, many shops, administrative buildings and hangars were destroyed or damaged.
At Heito, approximately 15 miles inland from Takao, 14 buildings near the airfield were completely destroyed and eight were heavily damaged. At another airfield near Heito, five barracks were destroyed.
Most of the airstrips at the fields which were attacked have been heavily pitted by bomb blasts.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 157, OCTOBER 17, 1944
During the fighting between our carrier task forces and the enemy air forces based on shore in the Ryukyus, Formosa and Luzon Island in the Philippines from October 10 (West Longitude Date) until the time of this
communiqué, there has been no damage of consequence to our battleships or carriers. However, two medium‑size ships were hit by aircraft torpedoes and are retiring from the area. Fortunately, the personnel casualties in these two ships were small.
Japanese Fleet units were sighted approaching the area in which U. S. Pacific Fleet Forces have been operating in the Western part of the Philippine Sea, but on discovering our fighting strength unimpaired have avoided action and have withdrawn toward their bases.
During October 13, 14 and 15, 191 enemy planes attacked one of our Task Groups off Formosa by day and night. Ninety‑five enemy planes were shot down by our fighters and antiaircraft fire, while we lost five planes. On October 15, fighters from two of our carriers shot down 50 more enemy aircraft out of approximately sixty planes which attempted to attack our damaged ships. On the same day an additional fifteen enemy planes were destroyed by search and patrol flights from our carriers.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 158, OCTOBER 17, 1944
Elements of the 81st Infantry Division covered by ships of the Pacific Fleet occupied Ulithi Atoll in the Western Carolines on September 20 and 21 (West Longitude Date). On September 20, advance patrols landed on Fassaran and Mangejang Islands on either side of the main entrance into Ulithi Lagoon, and on September 21, our troops occupied Mogmog, Asor, Patangeras, and Sorlan Islands. The landings were not opposed. The possibility that the enemy may not have been immediately aware of these landings led to the withholding of this information until this time.
Pagan Island in the Marianas was bombed by our aircraft on October 14 and 15. Runways and storage areas were hit.
During the night of October 14‑15, and during daylight on October 15, Wake Island was bombed by Seventh Air Force Liberators.
On October 16, Eten Island in Truk Atoll was attacked by Seventh Air Force Liberators, and on the same day Haha Jima in the Bonin Islands was raided. In the latter attack Okdoura Town was hit, and several small ships in the harbor were bombed.
Carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet are continuing to attack objectives in the Philippines.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 548, OCTOBER 18, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. U. S. submarines have reported the sinking of 32 vessels, including ;even combatant ships and one naval auxiliary, as a result of operations against the enemy in these waters, as follows:
3 escort vessels
1 large cargo transport
3 medium cargo transports
1 medium tanker
1 medium naval auxiliary
12 medium cargo vessels
3 small cargo transports
4 small cargo vessels
2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 159, OCTOBER 18, 1944
Carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet again swept over Northern Luzon Island in the Philippines on October 17 (West Longitude Date). Preliminary reports indicate that the following damage was inflicted upon enemy shipping
At Camiguin Island, North of Luzon, two medium transports were sunk, one large transport and a small oil tanker were set afire, and two medium transports were left beached and burning; at Aparri one coastal cargo ship and fuel storage areas along the waterfront were set ablaze. One airborne enemy plane over San Vicente was shot down while 18 were destroyed on the ground, 15 of them at Laoag. Action is continuing and further details will be released as they become available.
A re‑assessment of plane losses inflicted upon the enemy, but based upon still incomplete reports, shows that during the seven‑day period, October 9 to 15, carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet destroyed approximately 915 Japanese airplanes of which 350 enemy planes were destroyed on the ground and 565 planes were destroyed in the air in the Ryukyu‑Formosa‑Luzon area. Of those shot down 269 were over the targets, 256 were in the vicinity of our fleet and 40 were knocked down by antiaircraft fire.
Based upon more complete information, the following damage was Inflicted upon enemy shipping at Formosa by our carrier aircraft on October 11: (These losses are in addition to those reported in United States Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas communiqués Number 150 and 151)
3 medium cargo ships
2 coastal cargo ships
34 small craft
1 large cargo ship
1 oil tanker
3 medium cargo ships
5 coastal cargo ships
2 escort vessels
7 small cargo ships
11 coastal cargo ships
1 oil tanker
34 small craft
United States Losses
Ngulu Atoll in the western Caroline Islands was occupied by United States forces on October 15. Only slight resistance was encountered. Seven of the enemy were killed and one taken prisoner.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 160, OCTOBER 19, 1944
Carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet on October 16, 17 and 18 (West Longitude Date) continued to attack whatever enemy aircraft and shipping could still be found in the Manila area, Luzon Island, in the Philippines.
On October 16 aircraft from one group of carriers encountered up to 40 aggressive enemy planes over Clark Field, destroying 20 of them in the air. Another 30 or 40 planes on the ground were probably destroyed or damaged.
Incomplete reports show that on October 17 over Manila our fighters shot down 17 enemy planes which, although airborne, did not prove aggressive. An additional 13 enemy planes were shot down in the air and 15 were destroyed on the ground at Clark and Nichols Fields. Barracks, fuel dumps, hangars and ground installations at the two airfields were also heavily bombed.
On the same day in the south harbor of Manila Bay, an oil tanker, four medium cargo ships and a floating drydock were destroyed. In addition six large or medium cargo ships were damaged in Manila Bay while a large oiler was damaged in Mariveles Harbor.
Preliminary reports show that our own losses for the action on October 17 were four planes, two pilots and two aircrewmen.
On October 18 carrier‑based planes in a strike against enemy shipping in the south harbor of Manila Bay sank an oil tanker and damaged two large cargo ships, two large transports, six medium cargo ships, four small cargo ships and two medium oil tankers. Four enemy aircraft were destroyed over the target while one was probably shot down and one was damaged on the ground.
Seventh Air Force Mitchells bombed runways and installations on Nauru Island on October 17. One Mitchell sustained minor damage. Heavy to moderate antiaircraft fire was encountered.
Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing on the same day bombed and strafed runways and storage areas at Ponape Island. Fires were started. Antiaircraft fire was moderate.
Corsairs and Dauntless dive bombers continued bombing and strafing attacks on enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands on October 17 and 18. Two planes were slightly damaged by antiaircraft fire at Jaluit on October 17, while one plane was shot down and another damaged at Jaluit on October 18. There were no personnel losses.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 591, OCTOBER 19, 1944
Admiral C. W. Nimitz, U. S. Navy, Commander in Chief, U. S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, has received from Admiral W. F. Halsey, Jr., U. S. Navy, Commander, Third Fleet, the comforting assurance that he is now retiring toward the enemy following the salvage of all the Third Fleet ships recently reported sunk by Radio Tokyo.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 161, OCTOBER 20, 1944
Hellcat and Corsair fighters, Avenger torpedo planes and Helldiver bombers of the fast carrier task force, in support of the invasion of the Philippine Islands, attacked targets at Leyte, Cebu, and Negros Islands on October 19 (West Longitude Date). Ground installations were bombed and rocketed. The San Pablo and Dulag Airfields on Leyte were attacked, and direct hits were obtained on revetments and other installations. The town of Dagami was heavily pounded, and a bridge was knocked out. At Cebu Airfield five enemy aircraft on the ground were strafed. An afternoon fighter sweep over airfields at Negros Island found little enemy activity. There was no airborne enemy opposition during these raids. One of our fighters was shot down by antiaircraft fire. A single engine enemy torpedo plane was shot down in the vicinity of our surface ships.
Additional reports have been received regarding strikes by carrier aircraft which occurred on October 17 and 18 in the vicinity of Manila and in the northern part of Luzon. On October 17 a large cargo ship and a patrol vessel were sunk at Laoag Bay on Luzon's northwest coast. A landing ship, a coastal cargo ship, and two luggers were probably sunk at Aparri. An escort vessel, two medium cargo ships, three small cargo ships, 16 coastal cargo ships, and 28 small craft found along the Luzon coasts were damaged by bombing, strafing, and rocket fire. Three enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground, and extensive damage was done to ground installations. At Laoag several barracks and fuel dumps were destroyed.
On the same day, in the vicinity of Manila, Clark, Tarlac and Mabalacat Airfields were attacked. Several intercepting fighters were shot down, 19 twin‑engine enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Mabalacat, 10 twin‑engine aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Tarlac, and one at Legaspi. Aviation installations at Clark and Mabalacat Fields were bombed and rocketed. We lost two fighters in this attack.
On October 18 our attacks in the Manila area continued, and Clark, Nielson, Pasig, and Nichols Airfields were further reduced. Seven enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Nielson Field, 10 at Clark Field, four at Pasig Field, and one at Angeles. An additional 26 enemy aircraft were damaged on the ground at the several fields. Only slight airborne enemy opposition was encountered in these attacks. During the day a medium cargo ship found at San Fernando, a seaport on Lingayen Gulf, was attacked and damaged. Two barracks were destroyed at Clark Field, three hangars were blown up at Nielson Field, and two fuel dumps at Nielson Field were hit and destroyed. Extensive damage was done to dispersal areas and airport facilities in these strikes. Four of our aircraft were lost in these attacks, but the crew of one plane was rescued.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked Yap Island on October 17, and left two enemy planes on the ground afire. Gun positions south of Yap Town were bombed by a single Navy Ventura search plane the same day. Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force on the following day dropped bombs on bridges and in the town area of Yap.
On October 18, in a night attack, the Second Marine Aircraft Wing's Hellcats shot up runways on Rota Island.
On October 19 Corsair fighters and Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued neutralization raids in the Marshall Islands.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 162, OCTOBER 21, 1944
Carrier aircraft of the, Pacific Fleet on October 20 (West Longitude Date) continued to attack enemy aircraft and shipping targets 3n the Philippines. At Coron Bay, southwest of Mindoro Strait, a cargo ship, previously damaged, a small coastal cargo ship and a small escort vessel were sunk. Four enemy PT boats, three at Batangas Bay and one at Cebu Harbor, were also sunk. Several ammunition barges were destroyed in Masbate Harbor, while two medium cargo ships and two luggers were damaged. At Bulan, ground installations and a hangar near the airfield were bombed.
During the day, 13 enemy planes were shot down and 37 destroyed on the ground, some of which previously had been reported damaged. Our losses were three planes, one pilot and one aircrewman.
In the month‑long operations against the Philippines, Ryukyus and Formosa which commenced on September 21, and have continued until the present, the carrier aircraft employed have consisted of Hellcat fighters, Avenger torpedo planes and Helldiver dive bombers.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 549, OCTOBER 23, 1944
1. The submarines USS Herring and USS Golet are overdue from patrol and presumed lost.
2. Next of kin of casualties have been notified.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 163, OCTOBER 23, 1944
Mopping up operations on Angaur and Peleliu Islands in the Palau group continued on October d and 21 (West Longitude Date). Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, in support of ground operations, dropped incendiary bombs on the holed‑up enemy. Corsairs also bombed a lighthouse and gun emplacements on Babelthuap Island on October 20.
Seventh Army Air Force Liberators bombed Yap Island on October 20 and 21. A single Navy Ventura search plane attacked the island also on October 21. Antiaircraft fire was meager.
Liberators of the Seventh Air Force loosed 49 tons of bombs on the airfield and installations at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on October 20. Eight intercepting enemy planes were encountered; three were shot down, one was probably destroyed and one damaged. One of our Liberators was lost.
A Navy search Liberator on October 21 bombed and strafed a small cargo ship west of Iwo Jima.
Corsairs and Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued neutralization raids in the Marshall Islands on October 20 and 21. One of the Corsairs was shot down but the pilot was rescued.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 164, OCTOBER 24, 1944
On October 23 (West Longitude Date) enemy forces including battleships and cruisers were sighted moving eastward through the Sibuyan Sea and Sulu Sea in the Philippines and were attacked by carrier aircraft of the Third Fleet. Further details are not yet available.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 165, OCTOBER 25, 1944
October 23 (West Longitude Date) searches from carriers of the Third Fleet located two enemy forces headed eastward through the Philippine Archipelago. The first force which consisted of three or four battleships, ten cruisers and about 13 destroyers was sighted south of Mindoro and later moved eastward through the Sibuyan Sea. It was attacked repeatedly by carrier aircraft and incomplete reports indicate that all battleships were damaged by bombs, at least one was hit by a torpedo, and one cruiser was torpedoed too. A second enemy force was sighted in the Sulu Sea southwest of Negros Island which consisted of two battleships, one cruiser and four destroyers. Both battleships were damaged by bombs and the light units were severely strafed.
In the late afternoon of October 23, a third enemy force was located southeast of Formosa approaching from Japanese home waters.
During the action an October 23, a strong force of shore based aircraft attacked one of our Task Groups and succeeded in seriously damaging the USS Princeton, a light carrier. Subsequently the Princeton's magazines exploded and the ship, badly crippled, was sunk.
Her Captain and 133 other officers and 1,227 enlisted men were saved.
Casualties among her personnel were light. Approximately 150 enemy aircraft were shot down during this attack.
On October 24, the enemy forces were brought to action. Reports which are as yet incomplete indicate that severe damage has been inflicted on the enemy, that at least one of his large carriers has been sunk and that two others have been severely damaged. General action is continuing.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 550, OCTOBER 26, 1944
1. During the Allied operations for the liberation of Northern France the following U. S. Naval vessels were lost as the result of enemy action or the perils of the sea.
USS Miantonomah (Mine Vessel)
LST's‑314, 376, 496, 499, 528 and 921
LCI (L)'s‑85, 91, 92, 98, 219 and 232
YMS's‑301, 850 and 878
2. In addition to the above, a number of smaller landing craft were lost.
8. The next of kin of casualties have been informed.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 166, OCTOBER 26, 1944
On October 24 (West Longitude Date), the enemy carrier task force which had been sighted in the Philippine Sea on the previous afternoon approaching from Japanese home waters was attacked by a concentration of aircraft, surface ships and submarines of the Pacific Fleet during the day and the following night. Despite their support by enemy aircraft from Luzon, the following damage was inflicted with no damage to our ships involved in this action:
One large carrier exploded and sunk; one large carrier was severely damaged by bombs and torpedoes and is believed to have sunk; one light
carrier was definitely sunk; two battleships were probably sunk; two light cruisers were definitely sunk; and two battleships, three cruisers and a number of destroyers withdrew to the northward in a damaged condition.
On October 24, a carrier task group of the Third Fleet assisted units of the Seventh Fleet in striking a force of enemy battleships, cruisers and destroyers which had sortied through San Bernardino Strait and was attacking escort carriers of the Seventh Fleet off the Leyte Gulf. Fragmentary reports available indicate that in cooperation with the aircraft from the escort carriers the following damage was inflicted on this enemy force
One heavy cruiser was seen to sink; four battleships were heavily damaged by bombs and left the scene at low speed trailing oil; one destroyer was left dead in the water.
About midnight October 24‑25, this enemy force withdrew through the San Bernardino Strait in a badly damaged condition. During the night, surface ships of the Pacific Fleet sank a cruiser of this enemy force. Pacific Fleet carrier aircraft on October 25 were continuing to attack this force during its retirement through the Sibuyan Sea.
This incomplete report will be amplified as further details become available.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ N0. 167, OCTOBER 26, 1944
Two groups of Eleventh Air Force Liberators hit gun positions and Installations on Onekotan Islands and Paramushiru Island in the Northern Kuriles on October 23 (West Longitude Date). Another group of Eleventh Air Force Mitchells bombed buildings on Paramushiru the same day and was intercepted by five enemy fighters. No damage was done to our aircraft. On October 24, Eleventh Air Force Mitchells bombed and left burning a 6,000 ton cargo ship south of Paramushiru. Navy search Liberators and Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Four on the same day bombed Paramushiru, Matsuwa, and Shimushu. All our planes returned.
Four grounded enemy planes were destroyed by Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing which bombed and strafed the airfield at Yap Island on October 21. On October 22, 23, and 24 similar attacks were repeated. One of our planes was shot down on October 23 by intense antiaircraft fire. Liberators of the Seventh Air Force also bombed Yap on October 21, 22, 23 and 24, setting fires near the airfield and in Yap Town.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed and strafed enemy-held positions in the Northern Palau Islands on October 22, 23, and 24, destroying trucks and barges and setting fuel tanks and storage areas ablaze.
Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands was bombed by a single Liberator of the Seventh Air Force on October 22. On October 24, Seventh Air Force Liberators hit Iwo Jima again with approximately 58 tons of bombs. Three enemy fighters intercepted our planes but no damage was done.
Pagan Island was bombed by Seventh Air Force Liberators on October 22 and strafed by Thunderbolts on October 23 and 24. Rota Island was strafed by Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on October 22, 23, and 24.
Antiaircraft gun positions at Nauru were bombed by Mitchells of the Seventh Air Force on October 22.
Dauntless dive bombers and Corsair fighters of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing dropped 36 tons of bombs on Jaluit on October 22. Other enemy-held positions in the Marshall Islands were hit by neutralization raids.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 551, OCTOBER 27, 1944
1. According to latest information received, the following U. S. Naval vessels, in addition to the USS Princeton (light carrier), have been sunk during the recent operations in the Philippines:
2 escort carriers
1 destroyer escort
2. No details have been received.
3. Next of kin of casualties aboard the above vessels will be notified as soon as possible.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 168, OCTOBER 29, 1944
Amplifying reports on the second battle of the Philippine Sea, although still subject to revision as more information is received, indicate an overwhelming victory for the Third and Seventh United States Fleets. The Japanese fleet has been decisively defeated and routed. The second battle of the Philippine Sea ranks as one of the major sea battles of World War II in the Pacific‑together with the Battle of the Coral Sea, May 4‑8, 1942; the Battle of Midway, June 3‑6, 1942 ; the Battle of Guadalcanal, November 12‑15, 1942 ; and the first battle of the Philippine Sea, June 19, 1944.
Movements of major Japanese fleet units northward from the Singapore area were detected on October 21 and 22 (West Longitude Date). Submarine scouts sighted the enemy force, sank two Atago Class heavy cruisers and severely damaged a third. Ships of the Third Fleet were moved into position to the eastward of the Philippines off Surigao Strait, San Bernardino Strait, and the Poillo Islands. On October 23 carrier searches discovered two strong enemy naval forces moving eastward, one through the Sibuyan Sea and the other through the Sulu Sea.
Photographs by carrier aircraft showed that the force moving eastward through the Sibuyan Sea included five battleships, thought to be the Yamato, Musashi, Nagato, Kongo and Haruna; eight cruisers, two Mogami, two Tone, two Nachi, one Atago, one Noshiro; and 13 destroyers. The force moving eastward through the Sulu Sea consisted of two battleships of the Yamashiro Class, two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and seven or eight destroyers.
AS soon as the presence of the two enemy fleet forces in the Philippine Islands was discovered on October 23, Hellcat fighters, Avenger torpedo planes and Helldiver dive bombers from the Third Fleet carriers were launched to attack both forces. In the Sibuyan Sea, one battleship and one cruiser were severely damaged and set afire and may have sunk. Three other battleships received bombs and torpedoes; three other heavy cruisers received bombs and torpedoes; and one light cruiser was torpedoed, capsized and sank. In the Sulu Sea bomb hits were made on both battleships. Cruisers and destroyers were strafed with rockets and machine guns.
Meanwhile, to the eastward of the Philippines, enemy shore‑based aircraft were attacking our carriers. In the aerial battle that ensued, more than 150 enemy aircraft were shot down. Our losses, on which exact figures are not yet available, were light. In this attack, the carrier Princeton was hit by a bomb which caused a bad fire. Later the Princeton's magazine blew up and the ship was so badly damaged that she had to be sunk by our own forces.
Also on the afternoon of October 23, a land‑based Navy search plane dis‑
covered the presence of an enemy carrier force approximately 200 miles off Cape Engano of Northern Luzon, heading south. This force consisted of 17 warships including a large carrier, believed to be of the Zuikaku Class; three light carriers of the Chitose and Zuiho Classes; two battleships of the Ise Class with fight decks aft; a heavy cruiser of the Mogami Class; a light cruiser of the Noshiro Class; three cruisers of the Kiso Class; and six destroyers.
To meet this serious threat the Commander, Third Fleet, concentrated several of his carrier task groups and started northward at high speed for a dawn attack.
These units of the Third Fleet steamed north at full speed through the night and caught the enemy so completely by surprise on the morning of October 24 that there was no effective air opposition. Later in the forenoon enemy carrier aircraft which had been refueled ashore in the Philippines flew out to join their ships which had already met disaster. The enemy planes arrived too late to get into the fight and 21 were shot down by our combat patrols. In this action, the following destruction was inflicted upon the enemy:
One carrier of the Zuikaku Class, sunk by carrier aircraft. One light carrier of the Zuiho Class, crippled by carrier aircraft and later sunk by the gunfire of cruisers and destroyers. Two light carriers of the Chitose Class, sunk by carrier aircraft. One light cruiser or large destroyer sunk by gunfire. One destroyer sunk by carrier aircraft. One cruiser was severely damaged by carrier aircraft and was sunk during the night by a submarine.
One battleship hit by 2‑4 torpedoes and many bombs. One battleship hit by bombs. Three cruisers damaged by bombs and gunfire. Four destroyers bombed, strafed or hit by gunfire.
None of the Third Fleet ships engaged with the enemy carrier force were damaged. The Third Fleet in this phase of the action lost 10 planes, eight pilots and 10 aircrewmen, all shot down by antiaircraft fire. Before all the damaged enemy ships could be tracked down and destroyed the engagement was broken off to proceed to the assistance of Seventh Fleet carrier escort groups then under attack off Samar Island.
The enemy force of battleships, cruisers and destroyers which had been attacked in the Sibuyan Sea had sortied through the San Bernardino Strait in spite of damage inflicted by our carrier aircraft, and had attacked units of the Seventh Fleet off Samar Island during the morning of October 24. In the ensuing battle, most of the enemy's heavy ships were badly damaged by Seventh Fleet units assisted by carrier aircraft from the Third Fleet. One cruiser of the Mogami Class was seen to sink and one destroyer was left dead in the water. The enemy force ran northwest from the scene of the action and during the early hours of darkness passed westward through the San Bernardino Strait. About 2 a.m. a straggling cruiser was sunk by gunfire of the Third Fleet.
Meanwhile the southern enemy force had crossed the Sulu Sea, the Mindanao Sea, had attempted to pass through the Surigao Strait, and met the Seventh Fleet in a night action October 24‑25. As announced by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, all units of this enemy force were sunk or decisively defeated.
On October 25, carrier aircraft of the Third Fleet were launched against
the crippled and damaged enemy fleeing westward through the Sibuyan Sea. Damage done to the enemy during the retirement of the enemy forces from San Bernardino Strait by the combined efforts of the Third and Seventh Fleets and shore‑based aircraft of the Southwest Pacific Area included one Mogami Class cruiser sunk off Mindoro Island, one Noshiro Class cruiser sunk south of Mindoro Island, one battleship possibly sunk, and three other battleships and three other cruisers further damaged.
The total damage inflicted on the Japanese fleet during the period October 22‑27, 1844, included:
Six heavy cruisers
Three light cruisers
Three small cruisers or large destroyers
Severely damaged and may have sunk:
Three heavy cruisers
Two light cruisers
Escaped in a damaged condition:
Four heavy cruisers
One light cruiser
During the same actions the losses sustained by United States Naval forces were one light carrier (Princeton), two escort carriers, two destroyers, one destroyer escort and a few lesser craft.
The following battleships seriously damaged at Pearl Harbor took part in these actions: West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, California, and Pennsylvania. The new carriers Lexington, Wasp and Hornet also participated.
In all these actions, United States submarines played a highly important part and are credited with sinking and damaging several enemy warships‑both before and after the air and sea battles on October 23, 24 and 25.
Much of the credit for the destruction inflicted on the Japanese fleet goes to the Naval airmen who gallantly and relentlessly pressed their attacks home with telling effect.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 169, OCTOBER 30, 1944
Carrier aircraft of the Third Fleet continued to attack targets in Southern Luzon on October 28. In Manila Harbor a heavy cruiser, previously damaged was probably sunk while another cruiser was damaged. A third cruiser off Cavite was hit by two 1,000 pound bombs and severely damaged. An oil tanker was also damaged when it received a hit from a 1,000 pound bomb. Airfields in the vicinity of Manila were attacked. Twelve or more planes were destroyed on the ground and several large fires were started. Our aircraft were intercepted by a number of enemy fighters over Southern Luzon, 46 of which were shot down. One of our carrier groups was attacked
by enemy fighters and dive bombers, of which 12 were shot down. Two more enemy planes were shot down the next day over our carriers.
In the Central Philippines, search and patrol flights by carrier‑based aircraft of the Third Fleet on October 28 and 29 shot down 19 enemy fighters and destroyed three coastal cargo vessels near Cebu.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed the airfield on Yap Island on October 25. Seventh Air Force Liberators attacked the same airstrip on October 26, 27 and 28. Moderate antiaircraft fire was encountered.
Enemy barges were strafed off Babelthuap Island in the Palau Group and a radio station was hit by Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on October 25. Our fighters met meager antiaircraft fire.
Seventh Air Force Thunderbolts attacked targets on Pagan Island on October 25. Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed gun emplacements near the Rota Airstrip on October 25 and 27.
Five enemy barges were damaged by a single Navy search plane at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on October 26. Navy search Liberators bombed the airfield on October 27. Another Navy search plane destroyed a radio and weather station and left fires on Muko Jima in the Bonin Islands on October 27. Seventh Air Force Liberators started fires and bombed shipping in the Haha Jima Harbor on October 27. The next day another group of Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed the same harbor installation and shipping again.
Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed objectives on Wake Island on October 24. Two sampans were strafed. Enemy antiaircraft fire was inaccurate.
Mitchell bombers of the Seventh Air Force bombed the airfield and defense installations on Nauru Island on October 26, causing large fires. Antiaircraft fire was meager. Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing hit the airfield on Ponape during October 24. One of our planes was slightly damaged by antiaircraft fire.
Corsairs and Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two continued neutralization raids in the Marshall Islands during October 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 610, OCTOBER 30, 1944
Reflecting the growing importance of minecraft in the Pacific war, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, today announced the establishment of the command of Commander, Minecraft, Pacific Fleet.
Rear Admiral Alexander Sharp, USN, of Welcome, Charles County, Md., has been appointed to the new post.
Before coming to the Pacific area, Rear Admiral Sharp was Commander, Service Force, Atlantic Fleet. Prior to that, he commanded all battleships in the Atlantic, which included active direction of various task forces.
As commander, Minecraft, Pacific Fleet, Rear Admiral Sharp will be concerned with the establishment of policies relating to the organization, maintenance and employment of all ships in the Pacific Fleet primarily employed In mine laying, mine sweeping, net laying, net tending and degaussing.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 552, OCTOBER 31, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. U. S. submarines have reported the sinking of 18 vessels, including one combatant ship, as a result of operations against the enemy in these waters, as follows:
3 medium cargo transports
1 large transport
2 small cargo transports
4 small cargo vessels
5 medium cargo vessels
1 medium tanker
1 small auxiliary
2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 170, OCTOBER 31, 1944
A conservative recapitulation of enemy aircraft losses during the past two months from August 30 to the present, reported by the Third and Seventh Fleets (the latter operating under General MacArthur) shows that 1,462 planes were shot down in the air and 1,132 destroyed on the ground, making a grand total of 2,594 destroyed by Pacific Fleet carrier aircraft. In addition, 252 planes were probably destroyed or damaged. Our own losses during this period were approximately 300 carrier planes, with pilot and aircrew losses considerably less because of rescue operations which saved many lives.
The enemy suffered its greatest losses during the following periods: September 9‑24 in Philippines by Third Fleet, shot down, 362; destroyed on ground, 584.
October 10‑16 in Nansei Shoto Islands, Philippines, and Formosa by Third Fleet, shot down, 528; destroyed on ground, 304; damaged, 59.
October 17‑18 in Philippines by Third Fleet, shot down, 55; destroyed on ground, 31; damaged, 55.
October 22‑27 in second battle Philippine Sea, by Third and Seventh Fleets, shot down, 392; destroyed on ground, 31; damaged, 20.
Liberators of the Seventh Air Force bombed shipping in Chichi Jima Harbor in the Bonins on October 28 (West Longitude Date). Other Liberators bombed barges at Haha Jima on the same day.
Search planes of Fleet Air Wing One carried out strafing and bombing attacks on five small cargo ships at Kita Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands. One of the ships was sunk, one was badly damaged and one was set ablaze.
On October 28 Corsair fighters of Marine Air Wing Two strafed Installations at Rota Island. Antiaircraft fire was intense. The next day Corsairs again bombed Rota, hitting the airfield; while Thunderbolts of the Seventh Air Force bombed Pagan Island.
Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed the airfield and gun positions on Yap Island on October 27 and 28. Corsair fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed barges at Yap on October 28. Antiaircraft fire was meager.