CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 171, NOVEMBER 1, 1944
In the second Battle of the Philippine Sea, October 22‑27 (West Longitude Date), several United States ships of the Third and Seventh Fleets (the latter operating under the command of General MacArthur) were damaged. The names of these ships will not be made public, nor will the extent and amount of damage be announced at the present time. Such information would be of value to the enemy in estimating accurately the size of our Naval forces operating in Philippine waters and what ships are available for immediate action.
Mitchell bombers of the Eleventh Air Force bombed Paramushiru in the Northern Kuriles on October 30, setting buildings afire and damaging several small craft. Antiaircraft fire was inaccurate and all planes returned.
A single Navy search plane bombed the airfield at Iwo Jima on October 29. Antiaircraft fire was not encountered.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed personnel areas on Rota Island on October 30. Antiaircraft fire was meager.
Seventh Air Force Liberators on October 29 dropped bombs on the airfield at Yap Island, causing fires and explosions. Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing also bombed the airstrip and set a fuel dump ablaze.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on October 29 strafed targets on Babelthuap Island in the Northern Palau Islands and sank two barges.
Seventh Air Force Mitchells bombed the airstrip and gun installations on Nauru Island on October 30.
Enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands were bombed in neutralization raids on October 29 and 30.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 172, NOVEMBER 2, 1944
A single enemy PT boat on the night of October 26 (west Longitude Date) attempted to attack one of our beaches on Peleliu Island in the Southern Palaus where cargo unloading was in process. A torpedo is thought to have been launched but it did no damage. There were a few personnel casualties, however, from enemy machine gun fire from the vessel. The PT boat was sunk as it tried to escape northward.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed and strafed shipping installations and oil storage areas on Koror Island in the Northern Palaus on October 30. A second group of Corsairs hit trucks and barges at Babelthuap Island on the same day.
The airfield at Yap Island was bombed and strafed by Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on October 30.
A single Navy search Liberator bombed targets on Iwo Jima through meager antiaircraft fire on October 30.
Seventh Air Force Thunderbolts strafed installations and gun positions on Pagan Island on October 31.
Neutralization raids against enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands continued on October 30.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 173, NOVEMBER 3, 1944
During the night of November 1‑2 (West Longitude Date) nine enemy twin‑engine bombers, presumably from bases in the Bonins, bombed and strafed Isely Airfield on Saipan and the northern airfield in Tinian. Three of the enemy raiders were shot down, one by night fighter aircraft and two
by antiaircraft guns. Our personnel casualties were four killed and one seriously injured when one of the enemy planes was shot down and crashed on the field. Minor damage was suffered at both airfields.
An enemy reconnaissance sea plane attacked Peleliu Island on October 31 but was shot down by one of our Hellcat night fighters.
One of the Third Fleet carrier groups was attacked by enemy fighters and dive bombers on November 1, inflicting some damage to several ships and light personnel casualties. Six enemy planes were destroyed by antiaircraft fire and four others were shot down by our aircraft.
Eleventh Air Force Mitchell bombers dropped fragmentation and incendiary bombs on Paramushiru on October 31. One of our planes was attacked by five enemy fighters but is reported to have landed safely.
Seventh Air Force Army Liberators and Navy search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing One teamed up to hit enemy positions in the Volcano Islands and the Bonins on October 31. Airfields at Chichi Jima and Iwo Jima were bombed, shipping at Iwo Jima was attacked, and buildings at Haha Jima were hit. Antiaircraft fire was intense. Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed four cargo ships at Chichi Jima on November 1, scoring several direct hits. One ship was sunk, one was left burning while the other two were damaged. Seventh Air Force Liberators also bombed shipping in the harbor at Haha Jima on the same day.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing set barges afire at Babelthuap Island in the Northern Palaus on October 31. Corsairs also bombed the airfield at Yap Island.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed enemy targets on Rota Island on October 31. On November 1 targets on Rota were again strafed by Corsairs while Seventh Air Force Thunderbolts launched rockets against supply dumps on Pagan Island.
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 617, NOVEMBER 3, 1944
Rear Admiral Walden L. Ainsworth, USN. of Wonalancet, N. H., has assumed command as Commander Cruisers and Commander Destroyers, Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, announced today.
Rear Admiral Ainsworth succeeds Rear Admiral James L. Kauffman, USN, of Miami Beach, Fla., who has been assigned another sea command. Before taking over his new post, Rear Admiral Ainsworth was commander of a cruiser division.
A veteran campaigner, the flag officer has commanded numerous task forces in the Pacific since the outbreak of war. With one exception, he participated in every major naval action in the South Pacific area since December, 1942. Units under his command have engaged in most of the recent combat in the Western Pacific.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 174, NOVEMBER 4, 1944
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed and strafed targets on Yap Island and in the Northern Palaus on November 1 (West Longitude Date). Two small cargo ships were heavily damaged near Babelthuap, while barges and trucks were destroyed at both Babelthuap and Yap.
Seventh Air Force Thunderbolts bombed Pagan Island on November 2, destroying a twin‑engine bomber as it neared the airfield. Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed gun emplacements at Rota Island on the same day.
Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed the airstrip and installations at Marcus Island on November 1, repeating the attack the next day.
A single PBY of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed Nauru Island on the night of November 1‑2. Antiaircraft fire was inaccurate.
Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued to neutralize enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands on November 2.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 175, NOVEMBER 5, 1944
Liberators of the Seventh Air Force attacked enemy shipping in Chichi Jima Harbor in the Bonin Islands on November 2 (West Longitude Date). Targets included two destroyers, one large transport, four medium transports and four small transports. Other Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed a large enemy transport at Haha Jima on November 2. Land objectives at Haha Jima were attacked by Liberators the next day.
A Navy search Liberator attacked Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on November 2. Seventh Air Force Liberators bombed the airstrip on Iwo Jima on November 3. Two grounded enemy planes were destroyed and one probably destroyed. Six to eight Japanese fighters were seen in the air but did not attack our planes. Five Liberators were damaged by intense antiaircraft fire.
Koror Island in the Northern Palaus was heavily attacked by Seventh Air Force Liberators on November 2. Large fires were started and explosions were observed.
Thunderbolts and Liberators of the Seventh Air Force damaged the airfield on Pagan Island in the Marianas on November 2 and 3. Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed enemy installations on Rota Island on November 3.
Yap was hit by Seventh Air Force Liberators on November 2.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 176, NOVEMBER 6, 1944
Catching the enemy apparently by surprise, carrier‑based Hellcat fighters, Avenger torpedo planes and Helldiver dive bombers of the Third Fleet bombed airfields, shipping and ground installations in Southern Luzon on November 4 (West Longitude Date). Preliminary reports show that much damage was done in Manila Harbor, and at five airfields in the vicinity.
Over Clark Field our fighters were intercepted by 80 enemy planes, of which 58 were shot down. Enemy air opposition became less effective during the remainder of the day, but an additional 25 enemy interceptors were shot down over other targets. Five more enemy planes were shot down in the vicinity of Third Fleet carriers and three more were destroyed by our night fighters over Clark Field. More than 100 planes on the ground were also destroyed during the operation. Our losses have not yet been reported.
Over Manila there was only light opposition. Shipping in the Harbor was heavily bombed, with preliminary reports showing the following results one heavy cruiser burning and left in a sinking condition from several bomb
and torpedo hits. One light cruiser damaged. Three destroyers damaged. Several cargo ships damaged. One subchaser sunk (off Lubang Island).
At Clark Field, oil storage areas, shops, and hangars were bombed and set afire. At Batangas Field, Lipa Field, Lagaspi Field, and Lubang Field, ground installations were heavily damaged.
Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Four strafed targets at Tori Shima, an island east of Paramushiru in the Kuriles on November 4. Eleven aggressive enemy fighters intercepted our planes and shot one of them down. Eleventh Air Force Liberators bombed installations at Kurabu Zaki on the southern tip of Paramushiru and started several fires. Antiaircraft fire was moderate.
Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force bombed two 180 foot enemy transports at Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands on November 4. Results were not observed. Other Liberators hit Haha Jima on the same day. Our planes were intercepted by two enemy fighters, one of which was damaged.
Catalinas of Fleet Air Wing One attacked targets on Koror Island in the Northern Palau Islands on November 3. On November 4, Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing bombed and strafed airfields on Babelthuap Island and started fires in the Northern Palau Islands. Other Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing strafed the airstrip on Yap Island.
Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed Wake Island on November 1. Enemy defense installations and airstrips were attacked. Antiaircraft fire damaged two Venturas, but none of our pilots or crewmen was injured. There was no enemy air opposition.
Seventh Air Force Liberators attacked air defenses and enemy shipping at Marcus Island on November 3 and 4. Two Liberators were damaged by antiaircraft fire.
Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing bombed Nauru on November 4. One small explosion was observed. Enemy antiaircraft fire was intense but inaccurate. A single Catalina of Fleet Air Wing Two attacked Nauru the night of November 4.
Corsairs and Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued neutralization raids on the Marshall Islands on November 4.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 177, NOVEMBER 7, 1944
Hellcat fighters, Avenger torpedo planes and Helldiver dive bombers of the Third Fleet on November 5, (West Longitude Date) continued attacks on Southern Luzon which had been begun the previous day. Preliminary reports show that additional heavy damage was inflicted upon the enemy's air strength, shipping and ground installations by our airmen on the second day of the operation.
In addition to the 191 planes destroyed on November 4 (as previously announced in communiqué No. 176), an additional 249 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground and in the air on November 5. Many others were damaged on the ground by strafing. A recapitulation of the number of enemy aircraft destroyed in the two day strike totals 440; with 113 of these having been shot down in the air and 327 destroyed on the ground. The largest concentrations of enemy planes were found at Nichols Field, Clark Field and Nielson Field, Lipa Field, Tarlac Field, Bamban Field and Mabalacat Field. Figures on our own losses are not yet available.
Heavy damage was inflicted upon enemy ground installations during the attack on November 5. Three oil storage areas were set ablaze at the North
Clark Field; fire resulted from a tremendous explosion at the Northeast Clark Field; a railway engine and five tank cars were destroyed north of Malvar.
Shipping in Manila Harbor was again brought under aerial attack on November 5, and the following damage was inflicted on this day:
Three cargo ships sunk
One oil tanker sunk
One destroyer probably sunk
Two destroyers damaged
Two destroyer escorts damaged
One trawler damaged
Several cargo ships damaged (making a total of 14 cargo ships damaged for the two day strike)
A single Liberator of the Eleventh Army Air Force bombed three small transports off the northeast coast of Onekotan Island on November 5. Other Eleventh Air Force Liberators also bombed the island the same day. In a running battle with seven enemy fighters the Liberators shot down one plane and probably destroyed another. Two Liberators were damaged. A single Liberator also bombed Otomari, south of Onekotan. Results were unobserved. Tori Shima, a small island east of Paramushiru, was bombed and strafed by Eleventh Air Force Mitchells on the same day. All planes returned.
Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force bombed three cargo ships and a tanker at Haha Jima in the Bonins on November 5, but results were not observed. On the same day other Liberators bombed Ant Jima in the Bonins.
Corsairs and Avengers of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on November 5 strafed and bombed Rota Island, the phosphate plant being the principal target.
Neutralization raids by Corsairs and Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing were continued in the Marshall Islands on November 5.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 178, NOVEMBER 8, 1944
Eleven enemy aircraft raided Saipan and Tinian Islands shortly after midnight on November 6 (West Longitude Date), causing no damage or personnel casualties. Three planes were shot down by antiaircraft fire while a fourth was probably destroyed.
Seventh Army Air Force Liberators dropped bombs on an airfield and revetments at Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on November 6. A large fire resulted and two twin‑engine bombers on the ground were probably destroyed. A Navy search Liberator also bombed Iwo Jima on November 5.
Thunderbolts of the Seventh Army Air Force attacked Pagan Island twice on November 6, rocketing and strafing installations.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked enemy barges and small craft in the Northern Palau Islands on November 6.
Seventh Army Air Force Liberators bombed antiaircraft gun positions and a radio station on Marcus Island on November 6.
Navy search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed and strafed gun positions, airstrips and ground installations on Wake Island on November 6. Large fires were started.
Neutralization raids were made over the Marshalls on November 6 by Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing.
JOINT STATEMENT, NOVEMBER 10, 1944
The following joint Anglo‑American statement on submarine and antisubmarine operations in October is issued under the authority of the President and the Prime Minister:
"The scope of the German U‑boats' activities in October 1944 was materially below that of any other month of the war; in consequence of which the number of United Nations' merchant vessels sunk by German submarines during the month was also the lowest of any month of the entire war.
"Although the number of German U‑boats destroyed was less than what has come to be considered a good monthly 'bag', it compares very favorably with the number of Allied merchant vessels sunk by U‑boats.
"The Allies continue to supply on schedule their ever‑growing armies in Europe."
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 553, NOVEMBER 10, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. U. S. submarines have reported the sinking of six vessels, including one combatant ship and one Naval auxiliary, as a result of operations against the enemy in these waters, as follows:
1 light cruiser
1 medium converted seaplane tender
3 medium cargo vessels
1 medium tanker
2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 179, NOVEMBER 10, 1944
On November 6 (West Longitude Date) Mitchells of the Eleventh Army Air Force and Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Four bombed and strafed Tori Shima Island in the Northern Kuriles, and attacked nine self‑propelled wooden barges off the east coast of Paramushiru, two of which were seen to blow up and sink. Our aircraft were intercepted by 15 to 29 enemy fighters, three of which were shot down, one probably shot down, and one damaged. One of the Mitchells was lost. On November 8, Eleventh Army Air Force Liberators attacked Paramushiru, Matsuwa and Onekotan Islands, but results were not reported.
Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force on November 7 bombed two barges at Haha Jima in the Bonin Islands with unobserved results. At Chichi Jima, a direct hit was scored on a medium cargo ship. A Navy search Liberator bombed Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on November 8.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed the phosphate works and air strip at Rota Island on November 7, while Corsairs and Avengers destroyed a sugar mill on November 8. Thunderbolts of the Seventh Army Air Force strafed supply dumps and installations on Pagan Island on November 8.
Seventh Army Air Force Liberators bombed Marcus Island on November 8.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 180, NOVEMBER 11, 1944
Carrier‑based Hellcat fighters, Avenger torpedo planes and Helldiver dive bombers of the Third Fleet attacked a 10‑ship enemy convoy just outside Ormoc Bay on November 10 (West Longitude Date), destroying or probably destroying nine ships. The convoy consisting of three large transports, one medium transport, five destroyers, and one destroyer escort, was apparently attempting to reinforce enemy positions on Leyte Island. The damage inflicted upon the enemy consisted of the following
Transport seen to explode and sink.
The three other transports seen to sink.
Two destroyers seen to sink
One destroyer escort seen to sink
One destroyer left awash, thought to have sunk.
One destroyer with bow blown off, thought to have sunk
One destroyer damaged
(These ships destroyed and damaged are in addition to the ones destroyed the previous day in the same general area by General MacArthur's land‑based aircraft and reported previously by him.)
Approximately 20 aggressive enemy fighters furnished aerial cover for the convoy attacked by the carrier‑based planes. Of these 13 were shot down and five were probably destroyed. In addition, a two‑engined reconnaissance plane and a dive bomber were shot down near our carriers. Our losses were nine planes but it is believed that most of the pilots and aircrewmen were rescued.
Catalinas of Fleet Air Wing One on the night of November 8 bombed ground installations at Koror Island in the Northern Palau Islands. Hellcats of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing harassed the Arakabesan Area on Babelthuap in night sorties. Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed Yap Island, hitting the airstrip, hangars and small craft.
Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force on November 8 bombed antiaircraft gun positions and harbor shipping at Haha Jima in the Bonins. Other Liberators bombed Okimura Town on Haha Jima, causing two large explosions near antiaircraft gun positions. A Navy search Liberator bombed Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands while Army Liberators strafed Kita Iwo Jima. On November 9 Seventh Army Air Force Liberators again bombed Iwo Jima, hitting the airfield. Our planes were intercepted by from three to five enemy fighters, of which one was shot down and two damaged.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed enemy targets on Rota Island on November 9.
A single Navy search plane on November 9 dropped bombs on the airfield and barracks at Nauru Island while Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued to neutralize enemy‑held positions in the Marshall Islands.
NOVEMBER 13, 1944
U. S. SUBMARINE DESTROYED TO PREVENT CAPTURE
The submarine, USS Darter, was destroyed by her own crew in order to prevent capture by the enemy after the vessel had run aground in an area under enemy control. All officers and men were rescued unharmed and are now at an advance Naval base.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 181, NOVEMBER 13, 1944
Under cover of a storm during the night of November 7‑8, an enemy force of approximately 200 troops, equipped with knee mortars and machine guns, went ashore on Ngeregong island northeast of Peleliu in the Palau Group. This island had previously been occupied by a small patrol of United States Marines. Several LCI's took off our patrol without casualties. Two of our gunboats and a destroyer blocked Denges Passage to the north from which the enemy troops had apparently come, and bombarded the island. On November 9 our planes bombed and strafed the island, sinking a barge.
On November 9 Corsairs and Avengers of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked Ngesang on Babelthuap Island in the Northern Palaus, sinking one barge and setting fire to a fuel tank. Moderate antiaircraft fire was encountered. Hellcat fighters bombed Koror and Babelthuap. Corsairs sank a barge at Babelthuap and scored a direct bit on a radio station. Yap Island was bombed by Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on November 10 sank a Japanese destroyer previously damaged near Golou in the Palau Islands. Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force on November 10 bombed Koror Island starting large fires. Several small islands in the Northern Palaus were hit by Catalinas of Fleet Air Wing One and Corsairs and Avengers of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing in night operations, and two fuel dumps were set afire.
Airfields on Peleliu Island and Angaur Island are now being used by United States land‑based aircraft of the Seventh Army Air Force and the Second Marine Aircraft Wing.
On November 10 Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force bombed airstrips on Iwo Jima causing large fires in storage areas. Meager antiaircraft fire was encountered. Another force of Liberators bombed the Iwo Jima airfields the next day. Three enemy fighters were seen in the air but did not attack our planes.
Thunderbolts of the Seventh Army Air Force attacked Pagan Island In the Marianas without encountering resistance on November 10 and 11. Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing also attacked installations on Rota on November 10 and 11.
On November 10 enemy‑held positions. in the Marshall Islands were further neutralized by Navy search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two and Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 182, NOVEMBER 14, 1944
Hellcat fighters, Avenger torpedo planes and Helldiver bombers from carrier task groups of the Pacific Fleet attacked enemy shipping and installations in and around Manila Bay on November 12 (West Longitude Date). The following damage was done to enemy shipping:
One light cruiser badly damaged.
Two destroyers exploded.
An estimated 11 cargo vessels and oilers sunk or blazing.
One floating dock hit by torpedoes.
Many docks in Manila Bay and at Cavite Navy Yard were struck.
In the attack, 18 of 20 intercepting enemy aircraft were shot down over Luzon and 10 others were shot down near the task groups.
An estimated 130 to 140 single and twin‑engined enemy planes on Legaspi, Manila and Clark Airstrips were strafed.
One of our surface ships was damaged.
The carrier task groups engaged in this operation were under the tactical command of Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman, United States Navy.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing strafed and bombed the Northern Palau Area on November 11. One small enemy vessel was sunk. Hellcats bombed Koror , Malakal and Arakabesan in the Palaus on the same day. Avengers and Corsairs loosed bombs on the Yap Airstrip the same day. Liberators of the Seventh Air Force bombed a power station at Koror on November 11, but results were not observed.
A Navy search Liberator of Fleet Air Wing One dropped bombs on Iwo Jima in the Bonins on November 11. Results were unobserved.
Aircraft of Fleet Air Wing One bombed islands in the Bonins on November 13. A near miss was scored on a medium cargo vessel, and two near misses on an escort surface craft at Chichi Jima. A few airborne enemy planes which were over Iwo Jima did not attack our planes.
NOVEMBER 15, 1944
ADMIRAL INGRAM SUCCESS ADMIRAL INGERSOLL AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF, ATLANTIC FLEET
Admiral Jonas H. Ingram, USN, former Commander of the Fourth Fleet, assumed his new duties as Commander in Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet, today at a brief ceremony on board his flagship at the Washington Navy Yard.
Earlier in the morning Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, USN, relinquished his command as Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and departed to assume his new duties as Commander, Western Sea Frontier, in which he will have the status of a Deputy Commander in Chief, U. S. Fleet, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.
Both ceremonies were held on the quarterdeck of the flagship, with the ship's company and staff at attention. The Admirals read their respective orders and the flag of the former Commander in Chief was hauled down and the flag of the new Commander in Chief was hoisted to the mainmast.
Visitors during the ceremonies included Vice Admiral Richard S. Edwards, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations; Vice Admiral Patrick N. L. Bellinger, U. S. N., Commander Air Force, Atlantic Fleet; and Rear Admiral F. L. Reichmuth, U. S. N., Commandant, Washington Navy Yard.
NOVEMBER 15, 1944
DETAILS OF SURFACE BOMBARDMENT OF MARCUS ISLAND
An advanced base in the Western Pacific, October 9‑(Delayed)‑In a surprise dawn assault against another of Japan's inner island defenses, U. S. Navy surface units today heavily bombarded enemy shore installations on strategic Marcus Island.
It was the first American surface ship bombardment of the island, which lies 989 miles southeast of the Japanese mainland and 727 miles northeast of the U. S.‑held Mariana Group.
Units of the Third Fleet, cruisers and destroyers commanded by Rear Admiral Allan E. Smith, U. S. N., of Fairfax, Virginia, lobbed heavy caliber shells into the enemy positions intermittently during the 15‑hour attack period. Shore battery fire directed against the American warships was moderate. Most of the island defense batteries were silenced during the engagement.
There was no damage to the American ships.
In a continuous procession, the warships steamed past the island and hammered defense positions with accurate 8‑inch and 5‑inch rifle fire. Several fires were started and hits were scored on the enemy radio station, operations and administration buildings, and other shore installations.
The attack was conducted in three phases and was concluded with a night operation during which the American warships used smoke screens and night emergency pyrotechnics.
Air spotting revealed that the enemy garrison sustained considerable damage in the battering assault by the big Navy guns.
There was unrestricted visibility and an unlimited ceiling, but no Jap aircraft was encountered.
Rear Admiral Smith's flagship during the engagement, a veteran of numerous Pacific bombardments, is commanded by Captain Henry Hartley, USN, of Bladensburg, Maryland. Other cruisers and destroyers supported the assault with sustained gun fire.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 183, NOVEMBER 16, 1944
A revision based on evidence gathered after the carrier task group attacks in the Manila Bay Area on November 12 (West Longitude Date) raises the damage figures (given in communiqué Number 182) on Jap ship losses. It is now known that:
A light cruiser was sunk, it had been reported as badly damaged.
Four destroyers were sunk; two had been reported as exploded.
Eleven cargo vessels and oilers were sunk; this number had been reported as sunk or blazing.
There are no other revisions of any information contained in communiqué Number 182.
On the night of November 10‑11 (West Longitude Date) search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing One bombed airplane storage areas on Iwo Jima in the Bonin Islands. Weak fighter opposition was encountered. On November 12 Navy search Liberators again bombed installations on Iwo Jima and scored near misses on a medium cargo vessel at Chichi Jima. The following day a Navy search Liberator was credited with probable hits on a small cargo ship near Iwo Jima. On November 13 a Mitchell of tile Second Marine Aircraft Wing made possible hits on a medium cargo vessel near Haha Jima.
Search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing One bombed installations on the Yap Airstrip on the night of November 10‑11, meeting meager antiaircraft fire. On November 12 Corsairs and Hellcats of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing with Navy search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing One bombed and destroyed warehouses and vehicles on Japanese bases in the Northern Palau Islands. Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing struck the airstrip on Yap on the same day.
Strafing Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing sank several barges and small craft on November 13 in the Northern Palaus and Yap areas and
struck the airstrip on Yap, and Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force pounded docks and a radio station on Arakabesan. Hellcats of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing made harassing attacks on Japanese bases in the Palaus on the night of November 13.
On November 13 bombers of the Seventh Army Air Force and Navy search Liberators struck the airstrip and installations on Woleai in the Western Carolines.
Avengers and Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed Rota in the Marianas on November 12‑13. Thunderbolts of the Seventh Army Air Force hit Pagan on November 13.
Continuing neutralization raids were made in the Marshalls on November 11. Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and a Navy search Ventura of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed Jaluit on the same day. Nine fires were seen. Dauntless dive bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing attacked installations at Mille on November 11.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 554, NOVEMBER 17, 1944
Based on reports‑necessarily incomplete due to the necessity of radio silence for certain fleet units and the impossibility of having some officers in attendance at evaluation conferences because of continuing operations of fleet units‑the following information is now available on the second Battle of the Philippines:
A series of naval engagements and, in terms of victory, ones which may turn out to be among the decisive battles of modern times, were won by our forces against a three‑pronged attack by the Japanese in an attempt to prevent our landings in the Philippine Islands.
The fact is known. Progress of the three‑day battle which began October 23 was promptly reported to the American public as far as military security permitted. It is now, possible to give a chronological and diagrammatic review of the second Battle of the Philippines, which left the United States Fleet in command of the eastern approaches to the Philippines, providing support for General MacArthur's invading forces and maintaining without interruption the sea‑borne supply lines pouring men and munitions into the combat area.
The Japanese are still wondering what hit them. It is impossible, therefore, to identify the composition of our naval forces or to describe the damage-other than losses‑suffered by us in the three‑day fight. All damage, however, was remediable and some of the United States ships hurt in the fight are already back on duty.
We lost one light carrier, the USS Princeton, two escort carriers, the USS Saint Lo and USS Gambler Bay, two destroyers, the USS Johnston and USS Hoel, and one destroyer escort, the USS Samuel B. Roberts and a few lesser craft.
Against this, the Japanese definitely lost two battleships, four carriers, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and an undetermined number of destroyers. These ships were seen to go down. So severely damaged that they may have sunk before reaching port, and in any event removed from action for from one to perhaps six months, were one Japanese battleship, three heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and seven destroyers. In addition, damaging hits
were noted on six battleships, four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and 10 destroyers.
The victory not only made possible the continuing supply of men and munitions to General Douglas A. MacArthur's successful invasion forces, but by its magnitude can conservatively be said to have greatly reduced future casualties in both men and water‑borne equipment.
Like all battles, this one did not just happen. The engagements, in one of which surface ships slugged it out against each other, and in which the far‑ranging carrier‑borne United States aircraft both intercepted and pursued enemy ships with conspicuous success, were preceded by a series of other actions which fall into a definite, strategic pattern when reviewed in order.
Preliminaries to the show‑down battle can be said to have opened with the landings on Peleliu and Morotai, southwest of the Philippines, on September 16. These landings in themselves were preceded by a two‑weeks' series of feints and thrusts, by Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's carrier task force of the Third Fleet, which kept the Japanese forces off balance while whittling down their aerial strength by some 900 planes.
These successes indicated the feasibility of advancing the date for the Invasion of the Philippines, and the date of October 20 was set by General MacArthur in consultation with Admiral Nimitz and approved by the high command.
However, a great deal of hard, tough work had to be accomplished first, As much damage as possible had to be inflicted upon the enemy over the widest available area guarding the Philippines. Additionally, by hitting the Japanese hard, and again and again, the enemy was to be confused, and kept confused, as to the ultimate objective of our far‑ranging forces.
On October 9, surface forces bombarded Marcus Island, and on the following day a carrier task force struck at Okinawa, in the Nansei Shoto group, about 1,500 miles to the westward. The Japanese defenders were caught off base each time, losing 82 planes at Okinawa and 46 ships, not counting 11 probably destroyed.
On October 11, while the enemy was still trying to figure out what had hit him to the northward, the airplanes of one carrier group swept over the northern part of Luzon, main island of the Philippine Commonwealth, while the other carrier forces were refueling. That strike cost the Japanese 10 to 15 airplanes destroyed on the ground. Enemy opposition was inconsequential.
Three times, in as many days, the United States forces had struck at three different and widely separated strongholds of the enemy. On the fourth day, October 12, a fleet appeared in the enemy's own backyard, off the island of Formosa, from which the aerial attack against the Philippines had been launched by the Japanese nearly three years before. Our objectives were the 26 to 30 first‑class military airfields on Formosa, the airplanes based there, and, of course, any other military establishments on shore and the enemy shipping in the harbors.
Our fleet maneuvered in the vicinity of Formosa for three days, October 12, 13 and 14. Fifty‑five enemy vessels of all kinds were certainly destroyed, and 32 were probably sunk, while approximately 396 airplanes were destroyed in the air or on the ground. On the last day, and on October 16, Formosa was additionally the target of U.S. Army B‑29s, flying from China.
The effrontery of the attack on Formosa from the sea provoked the Japanese into immediate counter‑action. Strong units of bomber and torpedo planes swept down from the islands of the Empire, to be met and broken up by fighters from our carriers. Two Japanese planes which forced, their way through found targets in a couple of United States medium‑size ships, which were damaged by torpedoes but which successfully retired to the eastward.
Now comes one of the most fantastic chapters of the war. The Japanese aviators who managed to reach home reported an amazing victory, and Tokyo was quick to claim‑for the fifth or sixth time‑that the Naval strength of the United States had been rendered puny. But, this time the Japanese believed their own propaganda, that at least 15 carriers had been sunk and varying quantities of other warships.
A task force of the Japanese navy was sighted leaving the Empire to give the American fleet its coup de grace, but when the astonished pilots of the enemy scouting force saw the size of the healthy opposition deploying to receive them, the Japanese expedition wheeled and ran back to the safer waters of the Empire. Admiral Halsey ironically observed that his ships sunk by Jap radio announcement had been salvaged, and were "retiring at high speed toward the Japanese fleet."
On October 14, our carrier planes began working over the Philippine Island of Luzon, and the lesser islands of the archipelago to the south and east, in order to come into immediate support of the amphibious forces approaching for the invasion. Only about 85 enemy planes were bagged in the sweeps over approximately 100 airfields up to the time our carriers, both the large and fast ones and the smaller escort ships, converged in support of the landings of the United States amphibious forces on Leyte. The strategy had succeeded, and the landings were effected by General MacArthur's forces in complete surprise.
The invasion of the Philippines employed a grand‑scale use of all arms of modern warfare: land and amphibious forces, surface and sub‑surface ships, and, of course, a tremendous air coverage.
A look at the chart will show the confusion of islands upon whose Perimeter the initial assault was made. They form a maze of channels, of which the two providing the best egress to the Pacific are San Bernardino Strait in the north, between Luzon and Samar Islands, and Surigao Strait in the south, between Leyte and Mindanao.
One of the precautions our forces took against a Japanese incursion from the westward was to post submarines on the opposite side of the archipelago. Early on the morning of October 23, before daylight, two of our submarines flashed the word to the invasion forces that a strong Japanese fleet was headed north‑eastward from the South China Sea into Philippine waters‑and characteristically reported, also, that they were moving in to attack. They sent four torpedoes in each of three heavy cruisers, two of which were reported to have been left sinking and the third heavily damaged. The enemy forces scattered, and in the pursuit one of our submarines ran on a reef in the middle of the restricted channel and had to be destroyed, after all of the crew was removed to safety.
Later that day other contacts with the enemy were reported, in Mindoro Strait, south of Luzon, and oft the mouth of Manila Bay where the reporting
submarine badly damaged another heavy cruiser, which managed, however, to limp into the bay.
Thus alerted, the carrier air forces immediately extended their patrol searches westward over the Visayan Sea and the Sulu Sea. On Tuesday, October 24, two large enemy fleets were seen making their way eastward. One, in the Sulu Sea, was obviously headed for the Mindanao Sea and its exit into the Pacific, Surigao Strait. It consisted of two battleships, Fuso and Yamashiro, two heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and eight or 10 destroyers. Our carrier planes attacked and inflicted some damage on the battleships, one of the cruisers and two of the destroyers, but the enemy continued doggedly on the way to the strait, at whose mouth, where it debouched into Leyte Gulf, a surprise reception committee was being assembled.
The larger enemy force of the central prong of attack was initially composed of five battleships, the modern Yamato and Musashi, and the Nagato, Kongo and Haruna. In support were seven heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and from 13 to 15 destroyers. This task force was also engaged as it steamed through the Sibuyan Sea by the carrier force of the Third Fleet. One of the
Japanese battleships and two of the cruisers were heavily damaged and most of the other vessels in the group received hits. After engaging in a running battle, the Japanese turned back upon their course as if decided not to attempt to force San Bernardino Strait.
While these carrier strikes were being made against the two enemy fleets, our own ships and landing forces were being subjected to a very heavy air attack by hundreds of land‑based planes darting out from the Philippines' 100 or more air fields. During these attacks the Princeton was hit and set on fire, and so damaged that the carrier had to be destroyed.
Among the attacking Japanese planes was one group of carrier‑based aircraft which flew in from the north, so search groups were dispatched from the Third Fleet to track them down. At 3:40 in the afternoon of that same Tuesday, October 24, two enemy forces were detected coming down from the northern tip of Luzon to join battle. They included two battleships, the Ise and Hyuga, four carriers, including one large ship of the Zuikaku class, a heavy cruiser, three light cruisers and six destroyers. The Third Fleet, upon receipt of this information, turned to meet the oncoming enemy.
The United States forces aiding and protecting the landing on Leyte were now the target for three converging Japanese groups totaling, without estimating submarines, nine battleships, four carriers, 13 heavy cruisers and seven light cruisers, and 30‑odd destroyers. The stage was set.
Shortly after midnight, our PT boats off the southern approaches to Surigao Strait detected and reported the approach of the enemy's southern force, the one that had been battered but not deterred. The PTs reported that two of their torpedoes had probably struck as many ships, but still the enemy came on. Three hours later, United States destroyers on picket duty in the Strait discovered the Japanese coming through in two columns, making about 20 knots. The destroyers attacked, and almost simultaneously the battle ships and cruisers stationed at the mouth of the Strait opened fire. The enemy was caught in narrow waters, and caught in the fire, too, of five battleships, he had accounted as lost in the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor
the West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, California and Pennsylvania all modernized and more powerful than ever.
The Japanese columns slowed indecisively to 12 knots, and then, as shell after shell from the American vessels found their marks, the enemy tried to reverse course and escape. Of the two battleships, two heavy cruisers and two light, and 10 destroyers, all were sunk except one battleship, one or two cruisers, and perhaps half the destroyers. The next day our aviators discovered the battleship and a fugitive cruiser, badly crippled, and finished them off.
Our losses in the entire action were one PT boat sunk and one destroyer damaged.
While the southern prong of the Japanese attack was being obliterated by surface action, the northernmost had been located from the air during the night‑and it promptly swung from a south‑easterly course to a northerly one. Hot pursuit resulted in a new contact early in the morning of the 25th. The Japanese carriers had few planes on their decks‑they had sent their aircraft out against our ships the day before, and the planes apparently had to refuel on Luzon before returning to their mother ships. Indeed, the Japanese airplanes came in to rejoin their carriers while the United States bombers and torpedo planes were sending three of the four ships to the bottom and making the deck of the fourth no fit landing place for anything. Twenty‑one of the homing Japanese airplanes were intercepted and destroyed by the fighter‑cover of the United States forces.
Not only did the aerial assault sink three of the four carriers and damage the fourth, but two of the Japanese destroyers were sent down. The enemy force turned and made their way toward Japan, with some of our ships crowding on all steam to catch them‑the remainder of the Third Fleet units turned south at full speed for a reason about to be made clear. Our cruisers and destroyers quickly overtook the surviving but crippled Japanese carrier and sent it down without effort. During the night, one of our submarines intercepted a damaged cruiser, and finished it off with torpedoes.
What had caused Admiral Halsey to divert part of his force southward was the report that a group of our escort carriers operating in support of the landings on Leyte was being threatened by superior enemy forces. The antisubmarine patrol of this group of six escort carriers and seven destroyers and destroyer escorts had detected in Wednesday's dawn an approaching Japanese force of four battleships, seven cruisers and nine destroyers. These were apparently the surviving elements of the enemy task force which had been attacked from the air in the Sibuyan Sea and forced to flee westward. During the night the group had traversed San Bernardino Strait.
The escort carriers, silhouetted against the dawn, came under heavy fire from the Japanese force which, in the western gloom and with the Philippine hills providing further concealment, possessed every advantage of position and firing power. The carriers, converted merchantmen, headed off to the eastward into the east wind at the top of their limited speed, launching aircraft to attack the enemy. But the enemy's superior speed and gun power swiftly told. The Japanese continued to close in, hauling around to the northward and forcing this carrier group to head southward, under continuous fire from the enemy's 16", 14" and 8" shells. Japanese marksmanship was poor, and American seamanship excellent, however, and although frequently straddled, our ships were not heavily hit during the first part of the engagement. By 9 o'clock, though, despite a sustained air attack on the enemy and the best
efforts of the destroyer support with smoke screens and forays against the Japanese, the carriers began to take considerable punishment. One of them was sunk. Two destroyers and a destroyer‑escort which courageously charged the Japanese battleships went down under the enemy's heavy shells. Nevertheless, the Japanese paid an exorbitant price for their success, such as it was. Two of their heavy cruisers were sunk, and one‑perhaps two‑of their destroyers went down under the concentrated counter‑attack from surface and air.
Still the enemy pressed his advantage, and by 9:20 the carrier group had been jockeyed into a situation with the Japanese, only 12,000 yards distant, and in position for the kill.
Then, suddenly, the enemy ships hauled away, gradually widening the distance, and to the astonishment of the battered American forces, broke off the battle with a final and harmless spread of torpedoes before steaming over the northern horizon at high speed, trailing oil from pierced hulls as they fled.
What had happened can be reconstructed from the events already reviewed. The Japanese admiral, with a costly local victory in sight, received word of the destruction of the southern force in Surigao Strait and the utter rout of the northern force with the destruction of its carriers. He had to get back through San Bernardino Strait, or face annihilation.
Further, though the Jap may not have known it, we had a battleship and cruiser force‑a part of the 7th Fleet‑in Leyte Gulf for the purpose of protecting the transports and landing craft from any enemy force attempting to destroy them. This was the force which so completely defeated the Japanese Southern Force before daylight in the southern part of Leyte Gulf, almost annihilating it‑and which was still available‑almost unscathed‑to prevent the entrance of the Central Force.
The vanguard of the returning Third Fleet units caught one straggling enemy destroyer before it reached the Strait and sank it. Early the next day air groups from our carriers ranged over the Sibuyan Sea and continued attacks on the fugitives, probably sinking one heavy cruiser and a light cruiser.
Back at the scene of the attack on the carriers, the Japanese continued to harass the American ships with land‑based planes, resulting in the sinking of a second of the CVE's, but the Second Battle of the Philippines was over and decisively won. The enemy fleet had sustained losses and damage which materially weakened their over‑all Naval and air strength against the final drive of the United States forces against the Empire.
We must not, however, allow ourselves to feel that this victory effectively prevented any reinforcement of the Jap forces on Leyte and Samar, because he can still, by the very nature of the geography of the islands which afford protection and hiding places for short, fast transportation runs, continued his reinforcements at an increasingly diminishing rate. He cannot, however, prevent our own reinforcement and supply of General MacArthur and his gallant troops. Our Naval and air forces will continue to insure the control of these sea approaches to the Philippines and the effective support and supply of our troops.
The Third Fleet was under command of Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., USN, during the operations, and the Seventh Fleet was under command of Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 184, NOVEMBER 19, 1944
Before dawn on November 10 (West Longitude Date) ships of the Pacific Fleet bombarded installations on Iwo Jima in the Bonins. Several explosions were observed after the first salvos. Large fires ashore were started, which could be seen by ships 35 miles away. The enemy apparently was surprised, and his shore batteries replied ineffectively to our fire, causing no damage or casualties to our forces. Only one enemy plane was in the air.
On November 14 units of the 81st Army Division reoccupied Ngeregong Island in the Palaus without resistance. The island had been occupied by an enemy force of approximately 200 men on the night of November 7‑8 (reported in communiqué Number 181) which meanwhile had been heavily attacked with bombs and gunfire. Corsairs and Hellcats of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing with Navy search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing One bombed enemy‑held islands in the Northern Palaus on November 14, destroyed vehicles and barges and starting fires in ammunition dumps. Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing pounded the airfield on Yap the same day.
Navy search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing One attacked Haha Jima and Iwo Jima in the Bonins on November 14. On the next day Navy search Liberators hit Chichi Jima and Haha Jima. One coastal cargo ship was hit at Chichi Jima. Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force on November 16 sank one medium cargo ship at Haha Jima in the Bonins and caused explosions and fires in two other cargo ships. Other Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force the same day struck at shipping in Chichi Jima, and Navy search Liberators of Fleet Air Wing One bombed Okimura Town on Haha Jima. Results were not observed.
From November 14 to 16 Marine units on Saipan killed 248 and captured 47 Japanese in a drive to clear the island of remnants of the enemy garrison. A number of machine guns were captured. Our losses were nine killed and 40 wounded.
Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing blasted airfields at Yap on November 16. Fires were started in fuel storage spaces and storage buildings In the Northern Palaus.
Avengers and Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing hit Rota on November 17.
Eleventh Army Air Force Liberators on November 16 bombed Suribachi in the Northern Kuriles. Meager antiaircraft fire was met.
Fighters of the Seventh Army Air Force made strafing attacks on Pagan in the Marianas on November 15.
The Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued neutralizing attacks in the Marshalls on November 16.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 555, NOVEMBER 20, 1944
1. The following vessels of the Southwest Pacific Force have been lost as the result of enemy action or the perils of the sea in the Philippine Area, but not in the battles of October 24‑25:
The Destroyer USS Abner Read
The Destroyer Escort USS Eversole
PT's 320 and 821
Fleet Tug Sonoma
2. The following vessels of the Southwest Pacific Force have been lost in the New Guinea Area as the result of enemy action or the perils of the sea :
The Destroyer Escort USS Shelton
PT's‑368 and 371
3. The nest of kin of casualties have been informed.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 185, NOVEMBER 20, 1944
Aircraft from a carrier task force under the tactical command of Vice Admiral J. S. McCain struck at shipping and airfields in and around Manila on November 18 (West Longitude Date). Incomplete reports show that two large cargo ships and one large oiler were burned in Manila Harbor and about 100 enemy planes were destroyed on the ground. Light fighter opposition was met over the targets and 10 Japanese aircraft were shot down. Our fighters destroyed eight additional attacking planes near our carriers.
Fighter planes of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing hit a fuel dump and other storage areas on Babelthuap in the Palaus and sank two enemy barges in waters around this island on November 17. On the same day Catalinas of Fleet Air Wing One bombed the town on Koror in the Palaus. Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing pounded the runways on Yap Airfield.
On November 18 strafing and bombing attacks were made by planes of Fleet Air Wing One on barges near Kits. Iwo Jima in the Bonins. Unaggressive attacks were made on our planes by five enemy fighters.
Liberators of the Eleventh Army Air Force on November 18 bombed targets in Suribachi in the Northern Kuriles. Intense antiaircraft fire was encountered.
Second Marine Aircraft Wing fighters attacked the phosphate plant on Rota in the Marianas on November 18.
Fighters of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing encountered intense antiaircraft fire in bombing attacks on the power plant and other installations on Nauru on November 18. An explosion was observed near the power station.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 186, NOVEMBER 21, 1944
Army and Marine Infantry units in the Marianas and Palaus continued to clear captured islands of remnants of Japanese garrisons. Total enemy casualties given below are through November 13 (West Longitude Date)
Saipan, killed, 26,277; captured, 2,068
Guam, killed, 17,238; captured, 463
Tinian, killed, 6,893; captured, 316
Angaur and Peleliu, killed, 12,980; captured, 420
On November 18, aircraft of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing made a strafing attack on installations on Haha Jima and shipping at Chichi Jima.
Additional reports on aircraft strikes by carrier‑based planes over Manila on November 18 now show that a total of 26 Japanese planes were shot out of the air. Four of these were destroyed by ships' antiaircraft fire. (A total of 18 planes had been reported shot down in communiqué No. 185. )
Japanese bases in the Palaus were hit by planes of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing and Fleet Air Wing One on November 18. Several large fires were started. On the same day fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing carried out bombing attacks on the airfield at Yap.
Air attacks were made on enemy‑held bases in the Marshalls on November 19 and 20 as the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and search planes of Meet. Air Wing Two continued neutralizing raids on those islands. The enemy sent up meager antiaircraft fire.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 187, NOVEMBER 22, 1944
Further reports of the air strikes in and around Manila on November 18 (West Longitude Date) reveal the following total damage to shipping and Installations by planes of the Third Fleet:
One medium cargo ship and one small coastal cargo ship set afire in Subic Bay.
Two medium cargo ships burning and one small coastal cargo ship sunk near San Fernando.
One cargo ship burned and another burning in Manila Bay.
An oiler in flames and one medium cargo ship and two other oilers hit in Manila Bay.
Five luggers burning off Batangas and another sunk at Laoag.
Locomotive destroyed at Lucena.
Our planes strafed a heavy cruiser which appeared to be beached or in shallow water near Santa Cruz.
Ten fires were started in fuel dumps at San Fernando, Del Carmen Field and Clark Field while buildings and other installations were destroyed at West Lipa, Nichols, Malvar and Del Carmen Fields.
Liberators and Lightnings of the Seventh Army Air Force on November 21 strafed and bombed airfields on Truk. Five enemy fighters were seen of which four were destroyed.
Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on November 19 hit Babelthuap in the Palaus, setting fuel dumps afire, and pounded the airfield on Yap.
Defenses on Rota in the Marianas were pounded by fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on November 19.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 188, NOVEMBER 23, 1944
Matsuwa in Kuriles was bombarded by a Naval task force on November 21 (West Longitude Date). Large fires and explosions were observed. Enemy guns did not reply. None of our ships was damaged.
Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing destroyed an ammunition dump and set fire to trucks and a barge at Babelthuap in the Northern Palau Islands on November 20. One of our planes was lost, but the pilot was rescued.
Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed the airstrip on Yap on November 20.
Aircraft of the Seventh Army Air Force bombed and strafed shipping and harbor installations at Chichi Jima and Haha Jima in the Bonin Islands on November 20. One enemy plane was seen over Chichi Jima. Antiaircraft fire was moderate.
Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed and strafed the barracks area and power plant on Wake Island on November 22. A large explosion was observed north of the power plant. Antiaircraft fire was meager and Inaccurate.
Search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two and fighters of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued neutralization raids in the Marshall Islands on November 21 and 22.
N. D. COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 556, NOVEMBER 25, 1944
Pacific and Far East.
1. U. S. submarines have reported the sinking of 27 vessels, including two combatant vessels, as a result of operations against the enemy in these waters, as follows:
1 converted gunboat
1 large transport
1 large tanker
1 large cargo transport
2 medium tankers
2 medium cargo transports
11 medium cargo vessels
1 small tanker
6 small cargo vessels
2. These actions have not been announced in any previous Navy Department communiqué.
3. A Netherlands submarine, while operating under U. S. control, has sunk 4,500 tons of enemy shipping in Netherlands East Indian waters. This submarine was built in England.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 189, NOVEMBER 25, 1944
Seventh Army Air Force planes bombed shipping and dock installations at Chichi Jima and Haha Jima in the Bonins on November 22 (West Longitude Date). Hits were scored on docking facilities on Haha Jima. On November 24, Chichi Jima was again struck by Seventh Air Force planes.
On November 22, Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing destroyed a number of barges and struck at installations in the Northern Palaus. The airfield at Yap was hit on the same date by Marine Corsairs.
Three barges were sunk and fires were started in enemy‑held bases in the Northern Palaus which were attacked by Second Marine Aircraft Wing fighters on November 24. On the same date Seventh Army Air Force planes bombed Arakabesan, leaving large fires.
Installations on Marcus Island were bombed by Seventh Army Air Force Liberators on November 24.
Second Marine Aircraft Wing Corsairs encountered moderate antiaircraft fire in attacks on Yap airfield on November 21. On the same date, Marine night fighters hit enemy‑held bases in the Northern Palaus and Seventh Army Air Force bombers pounded Arakabesan and Yap.
Thunderbolts of the Seventh Army Air Force attacked the airfield on Pagan in the Marianas on November 21. A Japanese reconnaissance plane was shot down by an Army fighter over Saipan on November 24.
Ponape in the Carolines was bombed on November 21 and 23 by fighters of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing. Targets were hit in the area of the airfield, the seaplane ramp and fuel dumps.
Planes of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing on November 21 and 23, carried out neutralization raids in the Marshalls.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 190, NOVEMBER 26, 1944
Carrier based planes of the Third Fleet on November 24 (West Longitude Date) attacked shipping and airfields in and around Luzon in the Philippines. Incomplete preliminary reports indicate the following damage done to enemy forces:
One heavy cruiser of the Kumano class, previously reported damaged, near Santa Cruz. (communiqué No. 187.)
Four ships tentatively identified as small fast transports, at Marinduque.
Nine cargo ships.
One small oiler.
Four cargo ships.
Our planes shot 29 enemy aircraft out of the air and ships' antiaircraft fire accounted for eight more and an additional 35 were destroyed on the ground.
Near Nichols Field seven tank cars were strafed and burned.
A strafing attack was made on a convoy of 150 trucks south of Manila.
Radio installations on Chichi Jima were bombed by Navy search planes on November 24. Despite moderate antiaircraft fire a hit was scored and a large fire started. Other targets on Haha Jima and Muko Jima in the Bonins were also bombed by Navy search planes on the same date.
Mitchells of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked harbors and shipping in the Bonins on the night of November 24. Hits were scored on a ship at Chichi Jima.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed installations on Rota in the Marianas on November 24.
Neutralizing raids on Japanese‑held atolls in the Marshalls were continued on November 24 by Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 191, NOVEMBER 27, 1944
Revised estimates of damage done by carrier‑based aircraft of the Third Fleet in strikes on enemy shipping around Luzon in the Philippines on November 24 (West Longitude Date) are as follows:
(This is primarily a revision as to types rather than an appreciable increase in number of ships sunk. The number of ships damaged is increased.)
One heavy cruiser at Santa Cruz, on the West coast of Luzon. (communiqué No. 190.)
One destroyer at Santa Cruz.
Two old destroyers at Marinduque Island.
Three medium landing ships, 10 miles west of Santa Cruz.
One destroyer escort 10 miles west of Santa Cruz.
One cargo ship north of San Fernando.
One small cargo ship off Subic Bay.
Four oilers near Lubang Islands.
Four small coastal cargo ships at Banton Island.
Two luggers west of Bataan.
Two cargo ships, hit in previous raids, near San Fernando, torpedoed, beached and wrecked.
One cargo ship, previously damaged, bombed and set ablaze, 30 miles south of San Fernando.
Three landing craft beached near Santa Cruz.
Two medium cargo ships bombed and believed sunk off Hermana Mayor Island.
One small oiler bombed and wrecked on beach near Del Monte northwest Mindoro.
Two destroyers or small transports, bombed at Marinduque.
One oiler, three large cargo ships, two medium cargo ships, one small coastal cargo ship and one small cargo ship, hit in Manila Harbor.
Three luggers hit near the South shore entrance to Manila Bay. Six luggers hit on West coast of Bataan.
A total of 58 enemy planes were shot down by our fighters and ships' antiaircraft fire and 29 more were destroyed on the ground with probable damage to an additional 32 on the ground.
Six enemy fighters were shot down by our fighter planes over Saipan and Pagan in the Marianas on November 26 and seven more were destroyed by antiaircraft fire.
Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force on November 24, bombed shore installations at Chichi Jima in the Bonins and Iwo Jima in the Volcanos. An enemy radio station was hit at Chichi Jima and bombs were dropped on installations at an airfield on Iwo Jima.
Mitchell bombers of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing struck harbor installations and shipping at Chichi Jima on November 25.
Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on November 24, strafed and set afire an ammunition dump, power installations and a lumber mill and struck other targets on Babelthuap in the Palaus. Enemy‑held bases throughout the Northern Palaus were attacked by Marine Hellcat fighters. On the same date Marine Avengers and Corsairs bombed the airstrips on Yap.
Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing scored a direct hit on radio installations on Rota in the Marianas on November 25.
On November 25, planes of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued attacks neutralizing enemy‑held islands in the Marshalls.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 192, NOVEMBER 29, 1944
Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force, escorted by Lightning fighters, dropped 112 tons of bombs on two air strips on Iwo Jima in the Volcano islands on November 26 (West Longitude Date). Our fighters shot down two of five to seven intercepting enemy planes. On November 27, Liberators dropped another 53 tons on one of the air strips at Iwo Jima, causing fires and explosions. One enemy fighter was seen. Moderate antiaircraft fire was encountered, causing damage to one Liberator. On the night of November 27, a single Army Liberator attacked objectives on Iwo Jima.
Mitchells of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked shore installations at Haha Jima in the Bonin Islands on November 26.
Corsairs of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing and Seventh Army Air Force Liberators bombed enemy held bases in the Palau Group on November 25. Buildings were set afire on Babelthuap and fires were started on Arakabesan. Marine Corsairs bombed the airstrip on Yap on the same date. Hellcats of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked Palau Island on the night of November 25.
Thunderbolts of the Seventh Army Air Force bombed and strafed the airfield on Pagan Island in the Marianas on November 25 and 26. Two enemy planes were shot down over Pagan on November 26. On November 27, Marine Corsairs again struck the airstrip.
The Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed the airstrip and radio station on Rota on November 26.
The Seventh Army Air Force hit installations on Marcus Island on November 27. One Liberator was damaged by antiaircraft fire.
Corsairs of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed fuel storage tanks and a power plant on Nauru on Novem‑
ber 27. A large fire was started and an explosion was observed. Intense antiaircraft fire was encountered.
Fleet Air Wing Two also hit enemy held bases in the Marshalls on November 25, and the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing continued neutralization raids in the Marshalls on November 26 and 27.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 193, NOVEMBER 30, 1944
Between October 20 and November 26 (West Longitude Date) 81st Army Division Units killed 1,300 Japanese and captured 142 prisoners on the Island of Peleliu in the Palaus. Main points of resistance offered by these remnants of the enemy garrison were the caves on the island. Our forces lost 92 killed, 622 wounded and 5 missing.
Bombers and fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing attacked enemy-held bases in the Palaus on November 27, setting fire to buildings on Babelthuap and sinking one barge.
Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two bombed and strafed installations on Wake Island on November 28. One plane was damaged by antiaircraft fire but returned safely.
Installations on Haha Jima in the Bonins were hit by a Mitchell of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing on November 28.
Before dawn on November 28, a small force of Japanese bombers attacked Saipan and Tinian in the Marianas. A few bombs were dropped, causing no damage. One enemy plane was destroyed and another probably destroyed.
Fighters of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing bombed installations on Rota in the Marianas on November 28. On the same date, Seventh Army Air Force and Marine fighters bombed and strafed the airstrip on Pagan. One Japanese plane was destroyed on the ground.
Planes of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and Fleet Air Wing Two made bombing and strafing attacks on Ponape in the Carolines on November 28, encountering moderate antiaircraft fire.
Neutralizing attacks were continued on November 28 on Japanese‑held bases in the Marshalls by planes of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing and Fleet Air Wing Two.