Seizure of Ormoc Valley
Seizure of Ormoc Valley
15-21 December 1944
General Krueger wished the two corps to attack aggressively through Ormoc Valley toward Valencia, about six and a half miles north of Ormoc. The X Corps, pushing south along Highway 2, was to seize the high ground north of Valencia and the XXIV Corps was to continue its drive north, capture Valencia, and establish contact with the X Corps. (Map 20) Driving north along Highway 2, the 77th Division was to seize Valencia and its airfield and effect a juncture with the X Corps to separate the enemy forces in the mountains east of its zone of action from those on the west coast in the Palompon area. General Bruce was to co-ordinate all artillery fires and air support missions in the Ormoc-Valencia area.1
After the seizure of Ormoc, although the 35th Army still controlled Ormoc Valley, the Sixth Army had closed the northern and southern entrances. There remained available to the Japanese as a principal port only Palompon. A road from this town through the mountains joined Highway 2 in the vicinity of Libongao and constituted the only main route from the west coast of Leyte to Ormoc Valley. The Americans noticed that the Japanese were moving supplies, men, ammunition, and artillery to the Valencia area and concluded that the Japanese would make a defensive stand in Valencia.2
By the end of 15 December the forces of General Bruce had cleared the Japanese defenders from the Ormoc area and were ready for the next phase of the drive north up the Ormoc corridor. Reports made the previous day by the reconnaissance patrols from the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments indicated that there was little enemy resistance to the west of Highway 2. These led General Bruce to decide in favor of a plan for enveloping the enemy from the west. The 306th and 307th Infantry were to strike the flanks and rear of the Japanese defending the highway and thus permit a more rapid advance along this road by the 305th Infantry.3
General Hodge had informed General Bruce that the commanding general of the Sixth Army desired to have the attack pushed "with all possible vigor." The operations of the 77th Division were to depend upon the situation and conditions then existing.4 On 14 December General Hodge visited General Bruce, who explained his plans. General Hodge thought they were "sound"5 and later told General Bruce to keep his plans flexible in order to take advantage of every break to speed the advance north. It was imperative that the XXIV
Corps secure control of the roads north before the Japanese could establish positions.
Drive From the South to the Libongao Area
Seizure of the Road Junction
According to its plan of attack for 16 December the 305th Infantry, from the vicinity of Cogon, was to continue its assault north on Highway 2, liquidate the remaining enemy forces in Cogon, and finally secure a large defensive position centered around the road junction north of Cogon. All three battalions of the regiment were to consolidate around the point while the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments were to drive toward Valencia.
The Cannon and Antitank Companies and the heavy weapons units of the other two regiments were attached to the 305th Infantry for movement only and were to be used solely in case of emergency. These units were to be sent to the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments upon call by those regiments.
At 0930 on 16 December the assault units of the 305th Infantry moved out. The 1st Battalion, on the left of Highway 2, was to attack north, and the 3d Battalion, on the right of Highway 2, was to attack north and then northeast to effect a juncture with the 1st and 2d Battalions at the road junction north of Cogon. The 2d Battalion was to attack east to flank the enemy positions along the highway. The operation was to be assisted by artillery.
During the morning the artillery in support of the 1st Battalion knocked out two antitank guns, a heavy machine gun, and an enemy dugout position. At 1035 the 1st Battalion had advanced several hundred yards. As the 3d Battalion came forward, Company L moved in on the right flank of the 1st Battalion. At 1100 the 2d Battalion had reached the enemy positions along the highway and by 1215 had cleared out the enemy pocket and the road in its sector. A light tank platoon from the 706th Tank Battalion was attached to the 1st Battalion at 1255 in order to assist the battalion in clearing the Japanese from their foxholes. Although progress was slow, it was thorough. The localized envelopments of the enemy's right (west) flank resulted in the capture of Cogon at the end of the day. The 305th Infantry advanced 400 yards north of the road junction and established night positions around it.6
Envelopment of Valencia
In the meantime, the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments had been ordered to make a series of sweeping envelopments on the Japanese right (west) flank toward Valencia. The 307th Infantry was to move northwest about six and a quarter miles through the barrios of Jalubon, Liloan, and Bao to Catayom on the Bao River, then swing northeast to the barrio of San Jose and continue northeast to the Valencia airstrip. The 306th Infantry was to follow the 307th Infantry northwest and then drive east and cut Highway 2.7
The 306th Field Artillery Battalion, though in general support, was to give priority to the 307th Infantry. The 902d and 305th Field Artillery Battalions were to support elements of the reconnaissance
troops operating on each flank of the division. The artillery battalions would fire in the regimental zones of action only on call from or with the approval of the regiments.8
On 16 December the 307th Infantry crossed the line of departure on time. Since there were no roads and the route was across rice paddies, through waist-deep rivers, and over terrain impassable for vehicles, the troops hand-carried their supplies. Arrangements were also made for Filipinos to carry supplies, and, as the advance progressed, more and more Filipinos joined the column of the 307th Infantry for this purpose.9 The regiment met only scattered resistance. Some Japanese troops encountered in the vicinity of Liloan were dispersed. At 1525 leading elements of the 307th Infantry passed through Bao and moved on toward San Jose. On the outskirts of that barrio, the troops met and destroyed two platoons of the enemy. At 1645 the 307th Infantry dug in for the night in San Jose. The regiment had covered eight miles, a rapid rate of advance considering the nature of the terrain and the load carried. At 2340 General Bruce told the 307th Infantry that an incendiary air strike would be made on Valencia before 0900 the following day and that the regiment was to hold its present position until further orders.10
At 0900 on 16 December the 306th Infantry moved past the initial point of departure on the northwestern edge of Ormoc. At 1035 the regiment was 1,000 yards west of the starting point and close "on the tail" of the 307th Infantry. The 306th waited until the 307th cleared and then moved north. Although it did not encounter any Japanese its progress was very slow because the route of advance ran through deep rice paddies. At 1730 the regiment established its night perimeter about 700 yards south-southwest of Tipic.11 During the day the 305th Infantry had cleared Cogon and occupied defensive positions around the road junction north of the town.
The Japanese had constructed defensive positions along Highway 2 in the southern part of Ormoc Valley. At the road junction of Highway 2 with the road to Liloan were many trenches three to four feet deep and parallel to the highway. Trenches had also been dug along the sides of a machine gun emplacement that occupied a slight elevation commanding Highway 2 both to the north and to the south. On both sides of the road from Cogon to Catayom foxholes lined Highway 2, in the ditches and under the shacks. Some of these positions were dug on a slant and were six to seven feet deep. At Tambuco the foxholes extended along the highway for 400 yards, with machine gun emplacements on the sides of the foxholes. Other positions along Highway 2 consisted of poorly integrated foxholes and machine guns that covered the road. The field artillery pieces between Tambuco and Catayom were placed along the highway, with the exception of a 75-mm. gun that guarded a bridge and was well concealed inside a roadside shack.12
The 14th Area Army had planned to reinforce the 35th Army by dispatching the Takahashi Detachment, which consisted of the 5th Infantry Regiment, one artillery
JAPANESE DUG-IN POSITIONS ALONG HIGHWAY BANKS delayed the advance of the 77th Division north of Ormoc.
battalion, and one engineer company and one transport company each from the 8th Division, together with the Ito Naval Landing Force of 400 troops from Luzon.
The 77th Infantry Regiment had landed at Palompon on or about 9 December from Cebu and moved to Matagob where, after assembling its troops, it began to move southeast toward Huaton, the new headquarters of the 35th Army. Huaton was a small barrio on Highway 2 about three and a half miles north of Cogon. On 13 December General Suzuki, the commander of the 35th Army, arrived at Huaton from the Burauen area. After the 12th Independent Infantry Regiment, the 4th Airborne Raiding Regiment, the Mitsui Shipping Unit, the Ito Naval Landing Force, and the 77th Infantry Regiment were assembled, General Suzuki on 15 December ordered an attack, which was to start 17 December, against the American forces in the Ormoc area.13
The fall of Cogon and the envelopment to the west forced General Suzuki to change his plans again. The 305th Infantry had captured the positions of the Tateishi Battalion of the 12th Independent Infantry Regiment, and the position of the 77th Infantry Regiment was greatly weakened. As the attack against Ormoc could not be successfully completed, the 12th and 77th Infantry Regiments were to carry out a delaying action.14
Since the fall of Valencia might break the organized resistance of the Japanese in Ormoc Valley, General Bruce decided to push
forward rapidly and take the barrio before the enemy could regroup.15 General Krueger asked General Whitehead for air strikes against Valencia. If the weather permitted, a strike would be made at 0900 and another would be delivered on call. In addition, nearly all available artillery of the division that could arrive within firing distance, as well as the 226th Field Artillery Battalion from positions east of the mountains near Daro, would shell the town until ordered to lift the fire.
The 305th Infantry was to drive rapidly north on Highway 2 and clear out the Japanese for a distance of 200 to 300 yards on each side of the road, even though it might mean bypassing groups of the enemy on the flanks. A patrol from the regiment was to operate east of its sector to locate enemy forces. The 306th Infantry was to drive rapidly east toward Highway 2 and then advance north up the highway, clearing a lane 200 to 300 yards wide. At a point 500 to 600 yards north of Cabulihan, it was to await further orders. The regiment was to be prepared to send a battalion south to assist the 305th Infantry in its advance.
General Bruce organized an armored column to carry rations and ammunition to the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments. This column, which was to move north on Highway 2, consisted of five light tanks from the 7th Division, the Cannon and Tank Destroyer Companies of the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments, part of Company C, 302d Engineer Battalion, a platoon from the 305th Infantry, and sufficient LVT's to carry men and supplies. An artillery observer accompanied the column.
Elements of the 302d Engineer Battalion were to repair immediately the highway between Ormoc and Valencia and at night retire within the nearest infantry defensive perimeter. The order was summed up as follows: "The action will be pressed with the utmost vigor by careful planning but every effort will be made to save casualties."16
At 0830 on 17 December the 305th Infantry moved out along Highway 2. At 1000 the 1st Battalion reported that it was advancing at the rate of 100 yards every ten minutes against light opposition. By 1145 the 305th Infantry was fighting through Tambuco. At a road junction just north of Tambuco, it eliminated some enemy resistance and the advance slowed down. The regiment moved forward to a point about 300 yards north of the road junction and established its night perimeter, which extended 300 yards to the northeast along the Tambuco-Dolores road in order to forestall any Japanese counterattacks from that direction.17
On the same day the 306th Infantry pushed its attack northeast at 0800. The advancing troops almost immediately encountered Japanese who, apparently taken by surprise, were unable to offer organized resistance. At 1040, when the forward elements were 1,000 yards southwest of Cabulihan, the opposition stiffened and the regimental commander therefore committed the 3d Battalion on the left of the 2d Battalion. The advance continued. As the regiment neared Highway 2, resistance became more intense. The 306th Infantry encountered the Japanese who were fleeing northwest from the assault of the 305th Infantry
and the heavy artillery that accompanied it. (Unknown to the Americans, General Suzuki and his staff were among the retreating Japanese. Suzuki succeeded in escaping to Libongao, where he established a new headquarters for the 35th Army.) At 1440 the 306th Infantry reached Highway 2 between Catayom and Cabulihan and proceeded north toward Cabulihan, its objective. Advance elements of the 3d Battalion reached the outskirts of the town but withdrew three or four hundred yards to take advantage of more commanding terrain. After combat patrols had cleared the area, the 306th Infantry established its night perimeter five hundred yards south of Cabulihan at 1600.18
General Bruce had ordered the 307th Infantry to remain in San Jose until further notice. Since the guerrilla forces had reported a large number of Japanese in the area, General Bruce had made arrangements to soften the sector with an aerial bombardment and artillery fire before the infantry attack. In response to Bruce's request, fifteen P-40's from the V Fighter Command had been made available by General Whitehead for an air strike against the Valencia area.
The 155-mm. guns of the 226th Field Artillery Battalion at Daro began firing on Valencia and the airstrip on the morning of 17 December and hit a Japanese ammunition dump. At 1245 the artillery fire was halted for the air strike, and for fifty minutes the area was bombed and strafed. With the conclusion of the air attack, at 1335, the artillery began anew to pound the area. "The medium artillery . . . reached out from Ormoc and the 'Long Toms' . . . from Daro joined in the fighting."19 In the meantime the 902d Field Artillery Battalion moved forward to a point from which it could support the advance of the 307th Infantry. At 1415 the artillery fire stopped and the 307th Infantry moved out astride the San Jose-Valencia road toward Valencia. Though the artillery fire and aerial bombardment had driven some of the Japanese from the area, a strong well-equipped force, including a number of paratroopers, remained to oppose the 307th Infantry. The regiment pushed forward, however, and at 1640 its leading elements were on the southwestern edge of the airstrip and within 1,000 yards of Valencia. The 307th Infantry formed its night perimeter on the edge of the airfield and made preparations to continue the attack on 18 December.20
During 17 December, despite the disorganization of the Japanese forces, Colonel Imahori of the 12th Independent Infantry Regiment tried to reach Ormoc, but he was unsuccessful.21 A few enemy artillery shells landed in the Ormoc area but that was all. General Bruce wrote later: "The men got a laugh because the General's latrine, unoccupied, was struck. He wished about that time that he had remained up front which he had reached by landing in a cub plane on an unimproved jungle road."22
On the morning of 18 December, since supplies and ammunition for the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments were becoming dangerously low, General Bruce pushed the armored column vigorously forward through
JAPANESE LIGHT TANK destroyed during the fighting along Highway 2. Note dugouts in the sides of banks behind the tank.
the 305th Infantry. The column swept past enemy strong points and succeeded in bringing supplies to both regiments.
The attack of the 305th Infantry was consequently delayed. The 3d Battalion of the regiment, however, jumped off in a northeast direction on the Dolores road in order to cut off any Japanese reinforcements from that area. At 0945 the rest of the 305th Infantry started out along Highway 2 and encountered little resistance. By 1400 the battalions had passed through the barrios of Dayhagan and Huaton (the former and short-lived headquarters of General Suzuki), and knocked out fifteen enemy trucks and three tanks. The 3d Battalion proceeded northeast from the road junction along the road to Dolores, and crushed all resistance. The battalion then moved west toward Highway 2, leaving a platoon behind to seal off the Dolores road from Highway 2.23
At 0830 on 18 December the 306th Infantry renewed its attack. At first the 2d Battalion moved south astride Highway 2 in order to make contact with the 305th Infantry, which was pushing north along the highway, but since there was little resistance the battalion withdrew and rejoined the regiment. As the rest of the regiment continued north it met moderate opposition but pushed ahead steadily. The troops encountered many strong points along the road but no organized main line of resistance.
The 306th Infantry proceeded astride the highway against moderate to strong opposition. An enemy force estimated as two battalions had dug in under the houses and in foxholes along the sides of the road. The Japanese tried to halt the advance with heavy machine guns and a few mortars, but without avail. Patrols from the 306th Infantry made contact with the 305th Infantry at 1500. The 306th Infantry reached the southern edge of Valencia at 1630 and tied in with the 307th Infantry. Night perimeters were established.24
At 0830 on 18 December the 307th Infantry from the southwestern edge of the Valencia airstrip renewed the attack. There was no opposition and at 0905 the airfield and the town of Valencia were in the hands of the regiment. General Bruce considered the heavy artillery and aerial assaults of the previous day "most effective." The airfield was in "fair" condition; it was safe for light aircraft and with minor repairs could be made suitable for other aircraft. The 307th Infantry spent the rest of 18 December consolidating its positions and conducting extensive patrols to the north and east. At 1630 it established physical contact with the 306th Infantry.25
In three days of relatively fast fighting and maneuvering the 77th Division had shaken the Japanese forces badly and disrupted the plans of General Suzuki. The 307th Infantry, by making a wide envelopment of the west flank, had captured Valencia and its airfield, and the 306th Infantry, making a smaller envelopment, had bisected Highway 2 at Cabulihan while the 305th Infantry moved up the highway from Cogon. All of southern Ormoc Valley from Ormoc to Valencia, a distance of about six and a half miles as the crow flies, was securely in American hands. All units were in contact and ready for the next phase of their mission.
Drive to Palompon Road Junction
Since elements of the XXIV Corps had been able to make more rapid progress through Ormoc Valley than the X Corps units, General Krueger on 19 December enlarged the zone of action of the XXIV Corps to include Libongao, the barrio just below the juncture of Highway 2 with the Palompon road.26 General Hodge thereupon ordered the 77th Division to continue north and seize Libongao and then to secure the Palompon road and establish contact with the X Corps.27
General Bruce ordered the 305th Infantry to assume responsibility for the defense of Valencia and its airfield, and thus free the 306th and 307th Infantry Regiments for new assignments. The 307th was to move north astride Highway 2 to Libongao and then continue to the junction with the Palompon road. The 306th was to move across country and strike northwest toward the Palompon road. Although its advance would parallel that of the 307th, the 306th was to be about 2,300 yards west of the other regiment. After reaching the Palompon road in the vicinity of the Togbong River the 306th Infantry would strike west for the crossing and then move east to the road
junction. The 304th, 305th, and 902d Field Artillery Battalions were to remain in the Valencia area while the 306th Field Artillery Battalion was to be prepared to move forward on call.28
At Libongao, General Suzuki prepared his defense. In the area he had his headquarters guard and a part of the 4th Airborne Raiding Regiment, in addition to a field artillery battalion, an engineering company, and a transportation company. An advance battalion of the Takahashi Detachment arrived in the sector from Palompon on the night of 17 December. General Suzuki ordered it to proceed south from Libongao and destroy the American forces in the Valencia area.29
As the 307th Infantry advanced north at 0900 on 19 December, it became apparent that General Suzuki had organized a defense of the highway. Many machine gun and light artillery emplacements were dug in along the road, and the enemy resistance became more determined as the troops moved north. A force estimated to be of battalion strength was dug in in depth along streams and ridges. With the use of grenades the 307th routed the defenders, the battalion from the Takahashi Detachment. The 307th Infantry pushed steadily north and at 1800 established a night perimeter; it had advanced nearly three miles and captured much enemy equipment during the day.30
The 306th Infantry moved out at 1100 and proceeded rapidly, without meeting resistance, to a point about 500 yards south of the Palompon road where it encountered elements of the 5th Infantry Regiment. At 1530 a battery of artillery and infantry mortars and machine guns fired upon the Japanese. In co-ordination with fire from these weapons, the 306th Infantry was then able to push forward. At 1800, though patrols from the regiment had reached the Palompon road, the regiment itself dug in for the night at a point 300 yards south of the Palompon road.31
On 20 December, after a five-minute artillery preparation to its front, the 307th Infantry moved out at 0830 and encountered the "strongest fortified positions" since it had left Camp Downes. The Japanese 5th Infantry Regiment and other elements of the 1st Division resisted any forward advance. By 1000 the 307th Infantry had "mowed down" and annihilated two suicide counterattacks of fifty men each on its right flank. An additional force, estimated at 2,000 men, well equipped with machine guns, mortars, and a limited amount of artillery, opposed the 307th Infantry from hastily constructed defensive positions. The attack of the enemy forces was not well co-ordinated; consequently the regiment, though slowed down, was able to continue forward. At 1549 the leading elements of the 307th Infantry were at Libongao. The enemy defensive fire increased in intensity on the northern outskirts of the village. At 1710, about 200 yards north of Libongao, the regiment repulsed a force estimated to consist of 200 Japanese armed with machine guns and mortars. The 307th Infantry established its night perimeter about 1,000 yards south of the road junction. During the day the regiment had captured many tons of ammunition and matériel in supply dumps, together
with more than thirty enemy trucks. The 307th Infantry put many of the latter into serviceable condition and made immediate use of them.32
For the same day, 20 December, the 306th Infantry, on the left of the 307th, was assigned the mission of advancing to the Palompon road. Upon reaching the road, the 1st Battalion on the left would turn west along it to seize a bridge crossing the Togbong River and the 3d Battalion would turn east to seize the junction of the road and Highway 2.33 During the night the enemy artillery heavily shelled the sector of the regiment. After a ten-minute artillery preparation the assault battalions moved out at 0830, and by 0925 they had reached the Palompon road. Each of the battalions thereupon started to execute its part of the mission.
The 1st Battalion pushed steadily forward and reached the eastern banks of the Togbong River at the bridge crossing, the bridge itself having been destroyed by the enemy. From a commanding ridge upon the western banks of the river, just north of the bridge site, a Japanese force estimated to be a battalion in strength opposed any further advance. The company on the left forced a passage across the river south of the bridge site, but the company on the right, despite repeated attempts, was unable to cross the river. At 1630 the 1st Battalion received orders to take up a night defensive position on the eastern banks of the river. During the night the enemy unsuccessfully launched three counterattacks against the 1st Battalion. In the morning the battalion counted more than 400 Japanese dead around its position.
The 3d Battalion, 306th Infantry, upon reaching the Palompon road turned east and encountered steadily increasing enemy opposition. By 1500, however, Company K reached the road junction. At the same time the 3d Battalion received orders to withdraw west 300 yards so that the 307th Infantry could register unrestricted fire to its front. This withdrawal was carried out and the 3d and 2d Battalions of the 306th Infantry established night positions 300 yards west of the road junction.
At 1900 General Bruce ordered the 306th Infantry to deliver harassing fire on the enemy forces to the west during the night of 20-21 December and the 307th Infantry to fire 500 yards to its front up Highway 2 and east of the highway.34
The Japanese 5th Infantry Regiment had assembled in the Libongao sector with orders to proceed to the Valencia sector, but the 77th Division had advanced so rapidly that it was attacking the 35th Army Headquarters. The Takahashi Detachment suffered heavy casualties and withdrew to Matagob, on the Palompon road between Palompon and Libongao. The field artillery battalion and the engineering and transportation companies that had been left at Matagob were absorbed by the Takahashi Detachment. On 21 December General Suzuki ordered the regiment to make a defensive stand, so that the main force of the 35th Army could withdraw to the Palompon sector on the shore of the Camotes Sea.35
During the night of 20-21 December the 77th Division artillery expended half a unit of fire, intermittently bombarding enemy positions west of the 77th Division and to the east of Highway 2. The bombardment was the most intensive made by the 77th Division during the campaign. Just before renewal of the attack on 21 December, the artillery delivered a concentrated thirty-minute preparation. General Bruce ordered the 306th Infantry to move out at 0630. Since the 1st Battalion was short of ammunition, it was to await the arrival of Company E, which had been attached to the battalion, with additional ammunition. At 1250, having received the ammunition, the battalion moved out and at 1330 secured the ridge (overlooking the bridge site), which had blocked its advance the previous day.
Immediately afterward General Bruce ordered the battalion to proceed west along the Palompon road and secure the bridge over the Pagsangahan River. The ridge was thereupon outposted as the 1st Battalion withdrew to prepare for continuation of the assault, but elements of the 5th Infantry Regiment drove the outposts off the ridge and immediately occupied it. At 1500 the 1st Battalion attacked unsuccessfully in an effort to retake the position. It formed a night perimeter at the river crossing at 1600, and at 0750 concentrated a ten-minute artillery preparation on the enemy positions on the ridge. The 1st Battalion then moved out toward the high ground and secured the ridge within twenty minutes, the Japanese offering only slight resistance.36
The 77th Division had reached the Palompon road. In its drive north the division had destroyed the major elements of the 5th and 77th Infantry Regiments and the 4th Airborne Regiment.
The 32d Division Resumes the Offensive
Elements of the X Corps were slowly moving south in an attempt to effect a juncture with the XXIV Corps. On 14 December the 126th and 127th Infantry Regiments of the 32d Division had pushed south down Highway 2 against very determined resistance and through mountainous terrain to the main defense line of the 1st Division. The Japanese were well entrenched on a series of ridges overlooking Highway 2. A heavy rain forest covered the ridges and the deep ravines in between. The enemy had carefully selected his defensive positions and camouflaged his machine guns, which were flanked by hidden riflemen. Targets could not be spotted beyond a range of about seventy-five feet. The employment of mortars was very limited because of the lack of visibility, and the hazards of tree burst were equally dangerous to both the Japanese and the Americans. The troops had to "approach within spitting distance of the [Japanese machine] guns" before they could locate the weapons.37
For the next few days the regiments of the 32d Division fought valiantly against a foe that limited the division's advance to a few score yards a day. Of the many acts of individual bravery, those of Pfc. Dick J. Vlug and Sgt. Leroy Johnson were outstanding. Private Vlug single-handedly destroyed five enemy tanks that were moving north along the highway. Sergeant Johnson threw himself upon an enemy grenade that killed him
but did not hurt those comrades near him. Both men were awarded the Medal of Honor.
On the morning of 17 December advance elements of the 126th Infantry were about 4,000 yards south of Limon. After a preparation of heavy mortar fire the 1st Battalion moved out at 0730, encountering about a platoon of the enemy on a knoll 300 yards east of the road. A bitter fire fight broke out and continued throughout the day. The battalion was unable to advance farther and set up a night perimeter. During the fight the 1st Battalion captured four enemy machine guns.
In the zone of the 2d Battalion, east of the highway, all the battalion's mortars, machine guns, and 37-mm. guns, together with four medium tanks, massed their combined fires on the enemy positions to the front. These positions consisted of numerous foxholes, pillboxes of coconut logs, and L-shaped fortifications dug into the mountain sides. A rain of steel descended upon the Japanese on the high ground directly east of the battalion. This preparatory fire had excellent results and the 2d Battalion, after moving out at 1100, quickly secured the ridge and consolidated its position. It captured three 47-mm. antitank guns, three 75-mm. mountain guns, and two 70-mm. battalion guns. About 150 of the enemy were killed by the preparatory fire and the battalion attack.
Company I, 3d Battalion, quickly secured and destroyed a roadblock that the enemy had constructed the previous day. Accompanied by the four tanks, the company then advanced down the highway just behind the 2d Battalion without encountering opposition. For the rest of the day the 3d Battalion protected the road and patrolled five or six hundred yards to the rear. The 127th Infantry to the south remained in position awaiting the 126th Infantry.38
By the following morning, 18 December, the 126th Infantry was on a line that extended east of Highway 2. To the front of the regiment, elements of the 1st Division occupied three positions on an east-west line approximately 800 yards in length and extending across Highway 2. There were actually three ridges along this line. The first ran north and south beside the road, and on it was located the western position of the enemy. From this site the Japanese were able to roll hand grenades down on the road. About 200 yards to the east was another strongly fortified north-south ridge, east of which was a small valley with a banana grove. Still farther east was a small knoll upon which was located a strong enemy defensive position. An estimated two reinforced enemy companies, well supported by automatic weapons and well dug in, occupied this position. The whole area was covered with a dense rain forest, and it was impossible to spot any Japanese fortified position more than thirty yards away.
Before the troops moved out, the mortars and tanks placed heavy fire on the Japanese positions for twenty minutes. At 1010 on 18 December the 126th Infantry attacked with the 1st Battalion on the right and the 2d Battalion on the left. In advancing to the ridge nearest the road, the American troops received considerable small arms fire just east of the road. The 1st Battalion moved ahead up the ridge east of the road and by 1230 it had advanced 200 yards to the top of the ridge. The Japanese resisted strongly and heavy fighting occurred in which both sides used machine guns, grenades, and
bayonets. By 1800 the 1st Battalion was in firm possession of the ridge. The 2d Battalion, supported by machine guns and mortars, was able to creep up through the forested ravine to within thirty yards of the enemy position on the knoll before it was fired upon. A bitter engagement then ensued. After five hours of intense fighting the battalion drove the Japanese defenders off the knoll. The 1st and 2d Battalions formed their night perimeters within fifty yards of the enemy front lines. The 3d Battalion of the 126th Infantry moved south along the road and closed the gap between the 126th and 127th Infantry Regiments.39 The artillery fired upon several buildings about 800 to 1,500 yards southwest of the forward elements of the 32d Division. Lucrative artillery targets were practically nonexistent.40
On the morning of 19 December the 126th Infantry followed the same procedure that had been used the previous day. A heavy machine gun and mortar concentration was placed upon the Japanese positions on the crest of a ridge fifty yards to the front. At 1100 the 126th Infantry moved out with battalions abreast, the 1st Battalion on the right and the 2d on the left. Six heavy machine guns immediately fired on the left flank of the 1st Battalion. The battalion withdrew and placed a concentration of more than 200 rounds of mortar fire on the position while its machine guns raked the Japanese force "fore and aft." The troops then renewed the assault but the Japanese continued to resist. Elements of the 1st Division had dug in on the top and both sides of a ridge and had utilized caves to construct a defensive position in which there were more than 100 foxholes with communicating trenches. Heavy fighting continued throughout the day. The 1st Battalion used mortars, flame throwers, white phosphorus grenades, hand grenades, rifles, and supporting flanking fire from its heavy and light machine guns, but was able to advance only seventy-five yards. Although the battalion overran many emplacements, a determined Japanese force remained to be overcome when the battalion established its night perimeter on the eastern slope of the ridge.
The 2d Battalion, 126th Infantry, encountered only scattered rifle fire that came principally from the enemy position on its right flank. During its advance the battalion delivered flanking machine gun and rifle fire in support of the 1st Battalion on its right. By 1200 the 2d Battalion had advanced 200 yards and secured the area in its zone of action. At 1530 the 1st Squadron, 112th Cavalry, which had been protecting the eastern flank of the 32d Division, relieved the 2d Battalion, which withdrew to an assembly area in the rear.
During the night of 19-20 December, the commanding officer of Company B, 126th Infantry, which had borne the brunt of the enemy resistance, placed one platoon of the company along the eastern side of the ridge and another platoon on the western side. At the same time he continued the pressure from the south. Throughout the night the company kept firing at known enemy positions and the sector in general. The company commander also required each of his men to throw hand grenades periodically. At first light and without any breakfast the troops rushed the enemy position. The Japanese had lost the power to resist and by 1000 the company had taken the last of the three enemy positions. Two hundred Japanese dead were counted in the area.
At 1245 on 20 December the 127th Infantry took over the conquered sector and the 1st Battalion, 126th Infantry, withdrew to an assembly area in the rear.41
Debouchment From the Mountains
Since the 32d Division had borne the brunt of the assault, General Sibert ordered the 1st Cavalry Division to make the main attack south. It was to assist the advance of the 32d Division to a bridge 1,000 yards north of Lonoy and then move south and make contact with the 77th Division.42 The 1st Cavalry Division had been operating in the central mountain chain on the eastern flank of the 32d Division and had been opposed by the 102d Division. The latter, after its arrival at Ormoc, had gone directly into the mountains in the vicinity of Mt. Pina.43 The 102d Division did not play a significant role in the Leyte campaign.
The 112th Cavalry Regimental Combat Team had moved south on the eastern flank of the 32d Division. The 1st Squadron of the 112th Cavalry had been able to keep pace with the 32d Division, but the 2d Squadron had encountered a very strong enemy force on a ridge overlooking the Leyte River south of Limon. The Japanese resisted all the squadron's efforts to dislodge them. The 2d Squadron, 7th Cavalry, relieved the 2d Squadron, 112th Cavalry, and on 14 December it had succeeded in overcoming the Japanese and had seized the ridge.
Spearhead of the Assault
While the 112th and 7th Cavalry Regiments were busily engaged in defending the east flank of the 32d Division in its push south along Highway 2, the 12th Cavalry was mopping up enemy groups entrenched in the mountains farther to the east. Particularly strong enemy resistance had been encountered in the Mt. Badian and Hill 2348 sector, which was about five miles northeast of Kananga, a barrio on Highway 2.44 In the process of reducing the Japanese-held area, it was estimated that an enemy force of 500 to 600 men had been wiped out. From 28 November to 9 December, the 12th Cavalry remained in the Mt. Badian and Hill 2348 sector, sent out westward patrols, and slowly moved westward.
On 10 December, General Sibert decided to have elements of the 1st Cavalry Division debouch from the mountains onto Highway 2 south of the 32d Division and in the Lonoy area. This move was to be concurrent with the expected advance of the 32d Division down the highway.45 The 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry, was in the vicinity of Mt. Cabungaan, and the 2d Squadron, on Hill 2348, was 2,000 yards northeast of the 1st Squadron. An enemy strong point existed to the north of the perimeter of the 1st Squadron. The 12th Cavalry spent 10 December in making preparations for a two-squadron assault against this enemy force. The plan was for the 1st Squadron to attack at 0830 while the 2d Squadron from Hill 2348 supported the attack by enveloping the left flank of the enemy. In furtherance
of this plan Troop E of the 2d Squadron moved off Hill 2348 at 0800 toward the southwest and dug in for the night just north of Mt. Cabungaan.46
On the morning of 11 December, an intense mortar and artillery concentration was placed upon the enemy position in front of the 1st Squadron. The fire was so close that fragments frequently fell on the waiting assault troops. After this fire, the 1st Squadron with Troop A in the lead moved out at 0715. At the same time Troop E attacked from the northeast. The enemy defenses consisted of seven or eight pillboxes and many caves dug into the very rugged terrain. The men of Troop A, closely followed by Troop B, charged up the hill "throwing grenades and firing from the hip."47 The hill fell to the 1st Squadron at 1003 after very heavy hand-to-hand fighting. Troop E had been held up by the terrain and was unable to assist the 1st Squadron. After the capture of the Japanese position, patrols established contact with Troop E at 1200. The regimental reconnaissance platoon returned from the vicinity of Lonoy with the information that the Japanese had prepared strong defensive positions in that area. The platoon had gained a good observation point 900 yards east of Lonoy.48 The next several days were spent in sending out patrols and moving the 2d Squadron to the position of the 1st Squadron.
On 14 December, the 12th Cavalry was ordered to continue west to Highway 2 and assist the advance of the 32d Division, to establish a roadblock on the highway, and to attack the hostile forces to the north between it and the 32d Division.49 In furtherance of this order, the 1st Squadron, less A and C Troops, moved west on 15 December toward a previously reconnoitered area that was about 1,800 yards east of the barrio of Lonoy. This site, a banana plantation, was chosen for its observation facilities to the west and as an excellent dropping ground for supplies. The 1st Squadron, having encountered little opposition, closed on the area before dusk. Thereupon the rest of the regiment was ordered to close in on the area before nightfall on 17 December.
The 12th Cavalry on 18 December sent out patrols to Lonoy, Kananga, and to the northwest to make contact with the nearest friendly troops. The patrols to Lonoy and Kananga, although they ran into scattered groups of the enemy, were able to locate suitable approaches to Lonoy for their squadrons.50
At 2235, on 18 December, the 12th Cavalry received orders to move out the following morning, seize Lonoy, and be prepared to seize Kananga. The commanding officer of the regiment decided to have the 1st and 2d Squadrons move out abreast with the 2d Squadron on the left. During the entire night the artillery was to deliver harassing fire on the highway north of Lonoy and on the area between the routes of approach of the two squadrons.
After a preparation on 19 December, the 1st and 2d Squadrons moved out at 0800. The 1st Squadron met only light, sporadic resistance. The troops observed many Japanese
proceeding north along the highway and had mortar and artillery fires placed upon them. At 1200, the 1st Squadron seized Lonoy, captured much enemy equipment, and destroyed many supply dumps. The 1st Squadron moved to assist the 2d Squadron in the capture of a knoll southeast of the barrio. The 1st Squadron closed on the knoll about 1400, and aided the assault of the 2d Squadron by fire and by sending a troop east to assist it.
The 2d Squadron jumped off on schedule but at 0930, when it was 800 yards short of its objective, the squadron came under heavy rifle and machine gun fire from the thick woods. The 271st Field Artillery Battalion placed fire on the area and a great many of the enemy were killed, the remainder fleeing south. The squadron received additional machine gun fire from the north but a patrol quickly silenced it. In the meantime the mortar platoon from Troop D, in support of the 1st Squadron, fired upon Lonoy. The Japanese immediately responded with fire from a 105-mm. gun, which they had cleverly concealed in the gap between the two squadrons and about 600 yards from the regimental observation post at which the gun directed its fire. The enemy gun killed one man and wounded fifteen others of the command-post group. The heavy machine guns from the Weapons troop and the artillery from the 271st Field Artillery Battalion began concentrating their fires upon the enemy gun. The Antitank Platoon was sent out to destroy the gun and its crew. Following the machine gun and artillery fire, the enemy gun was silent for about half an hour. It then suddenly opened up against the 2d Squadron at a range of about 300 yards. The enemy fire resulted in tree bursts which killed five men and wounded fifteen others. Troop G, which suffered the most casualties, and the Antitank Platoon immediately turned and attacked to the north to destroy the gun. The 2d Squadron, less Troop G, renewed the attack towards Lonoy, receiving scattered rifle fire. At 1730 it reached Lonoy and was in contact with the 1st Squadron.
Meanwhile, Troop G sideslipped to the west and with the Antitank Platoon attacked and destroyed the enemy gun and four of its crew. A patrol located another enemy 105-mm. gun but, because of darkness and point-blank fire from the weapon at a range of about twenty-five feet, it was unable to knock out the gun. At 2200 Troops G and H, the medical group, and the Antitank Platoon formed a joint night perimeter.51
Late that night the regimental commander ordered the 2d and 1st Squadrons of the 12th Cavalry to move south on the morning of 20 December along Highway 2 in a column of squadrons, with the 2d Squadron in the lead. During the night, in preparation for this advance, the 271st Field Artillery Battalion fired 1,096 rounds on Kananga, on the road north of Lonoy, and on sectors occupied by the enemy artillery. This fire destroyed the enemy 105-mm. gun.
At 0715 on the morning of 20 December the 2d Squadron, less Troop G, moved out and immediately came under heavy fire from enemy forces that had dug in underneath houses and behind small pieces of cover along the road. The squadron eliminated these pockets of resistance by direct fire and by flanking movements on both sides of the highway. At 1200 the 2d Squadron forced the Japanese off a ridge which was just east of the highway and about 500 yards north of Kananga. The squadron then
encountered heavy rifle and machine gun fire that came from a coconut grove and some houses about 200 yards south of the ridge.
In the meantime, the 1st Squadron, at 0830, moved south to support the attack of the 2d Squadron. At about 1230, the 1st Squadron arrived behind the ridge occupied by the 2d Squadron and then continued south, at 1500, seizing and completely dominating a ridge about fifty yards east of Kananga. The 2d Squadron and a platoon from the 1st Squadron attacked north, parallel to the highway, and by nightfall cleaned out the coconut grove and set up a night perimeter.
General Mudge, commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, said of the 12th Cavalry:
As a result of the stout-hearted efforts of the 12th Cavalry Regiment, elements of the Division are within 2,500 yards of making contact with forward elements of the 77th Division. Considering the fact that the regiment has been reduced to 50% strength by the rigors and deprivations of 40 days in the mountains, the display of courage, stamina, and drive on the part of the 12th Cavalry is a credit to the best traditions of the United States Cavalry.52
During the night General Mudge ordered the 12th Cavalry to move out at 0800 21 December, seize Kananga, and then make physical contact with the 77th Division, which was pushing north from Libongao. He attached the 1st Squadron, 5th Cavalry, to the 12th Cavalry.
Juncture of Forces
On the morning of 21 December the 1st and 2d Squadrons of the 12th Cavalry, supported by the 271st Field Artillery Battalion, moved out in a co-ordinated assault against Kananga. The 1st Squadron attacked from the north while the 2d Squadron drove in from the ridge on the east. The first elements of the regiment reached Kananga at 1157 and by 1425 the 12th Cavalry was in the town. The regiment methodically cleared out every hut, ferreted out each Japanese, and destroyed every installation. While the mopping up was going on, patrols from the 12th Cavalry pushed to the south to make contact with the 77th Division.
The regimental commander ordered the commander of the 3d Battalion, 306th Infantry, to push east at 0730 on 21 December along the Palompon road to the juncture of the road with Highway 2 and then turn north for 1,000 yards and attempt to establish contact with the 1st Cavalry Division. The 3d Battalion moved out on time, and within fifteen minutes reached the road junction and turned north. The battalion had gone only 200 yards north when its left-flank company came under intense fire from a ridge overlooking the road. The 2d Battalion complied with orders from the regimental commander to "put out something" on the 3d Battalion's left flank and sent out one rifle company to envelop the enemy position. This move relieved the pressure to some extent but the advance was still slow and costly.
In the meantime, the 307th Infantry reached the road junction at 0800, having advanced without incident. With the slowing up of the 306th Infantry, General Bruce ordered the commander of the 307th Infantry Regiment to send forward additional troops. The 2d Battalion, 307th Infantry, and the Cannon and Antitank Companies of the regiment were sent to the front to reinforce the 306th Infantry. This maneuver
was successful and the attacking forces pushed forward.
At 1645, the 306th Infantry and Troop A of the 12th Cavalry made physical contact. At 1115 on 22 December, Col. John H. Stadler, the commanding officer of the 12th Cavalry, representing General Mudge, met General Bruce at a bridge south of Kananga. The X and XXIV Corps had joined hands. Highway 2 was at long last open for its entire distance from Ormoc to Pinamopoan.53
The Ormoc Valley, in which the Japanese had so tenaciously resisted the American advance, was now securely in the hands of the Sixth Army. The northern and southern prongs of the trap had closed. There remained only Palompon as an exit for the Japanese forces. To the securing of that port, the X and XXIV Corps, acting in concert, could concentrate their main efforts. Plans had been readied. The Sixth Army was poised in a position from which it could drive westward to the sea and bring the Leyte campaign to a successful conclusion.
1. XXIV Corps FO 37, 18 Dec 44.
2. Sixth Army G-2 Wkly Rpt 68, 13 Dec 44, p. 14.
3. Ltr, Gen Bruce to Gen Ward, 16 Aug 51, OCMH.
4. Msg, CG XXIV Corps to CG 77th Div, 13 Dec 44, XXIV Corps G-3 Jnl, 13 Dec 44.
5. Msg, CG XXIV Corps to G-3 Sixth Army, 14 Dec 44, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl, 14 Dec 44.
6. 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 24-25; 305th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 5; 305th Inf Unit Rpt 11, 16 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 22, 16 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 16 Dec 44.
7. XXIV Corps FO 37 (Confirmatory of Oral and Fragmentary Orders), 18 Dec 44; 77th Div FO 17, 15 Dec 44.
8. 77th Div FO 17, 15 Dec 44.
9. Ltr, Gen Bruce to Gen Ward, 16 Aug 51, OCMH.
10. 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 16 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 22, 16 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 25; 307th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 6.
11. 306th Inf Unit Jnl, 16 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 22, 16 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 24-25; 306th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 9.
12. MI Div, War Dept, "Leyte Field Fortifications," Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 57 (April, 1945), pp. 108-10.
13. 35th Army Opns, pp. 99-101.
14. Ibid., p. 101.
15. 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 26, 27.
16. 77th Div FO 18, 17 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 25-26.
17. 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 17 Dec 44; 77th Div G-2 Jnl, 17 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 27; 305th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 6; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 23, 17 Dec 44.
18. 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 17 Dec 44; 306th Inf Unit Jnl, 17 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 23, 17 Dec 44; 306th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 9; 35th Army Opns, pp. 101-103.
19. Ltr, Gen Bruce to Gen Ward, 16 Aug 51, OCMH.
20. 307th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 7; 77th Div Arty Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 5-6; 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 17 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 27; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 23, 17 Dec 44.
21. 35th Army Opns, p. 101.
22. Ltr, Gen Bruce to Gen Ward, 16 Aug 51, OCMH.
23. 305th Inf Unit Rpt 15, 18 Dec 44; 77th Div G-2 Jnl, 18 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 18 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 24, 18 Dec 44; 305th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 6; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 28.
24. 306th Inf Unit Jnl, 18 Dec 44; 77th Div G-2 Jnl, 18 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 18 Dec 44; 306th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 9-10; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 28; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 24, 18 Dec 44.
25. 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 18 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 24, 18 Dec 44; 307th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 7; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 28.
26. Sixth Army FO 39, 19 Dec 44.
27. XXIV Corps FO 38 (Confirmatory of Oral and Fragmentary orders), 21 Dec 44.
28. 77th Div FO 19, 19 Dec 44.
29. 35th Army Opns, p. 103.
30. 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 19 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 25, 19 Dec 44; 307th Inf Unit Jnl, 19 Dec 44; 307th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 7.
31. 306th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 10; 306th Inf Unit Jnl, 19 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 19 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 29; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 25, 19 Dec 44.
32. 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 26, 20 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 31; 77th Div G-2 Jnl, 20 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 20 Dec 44; 307th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 7-8; 307th Inf Unit Jnl, 20 Dec 44.
33. 306th Inf FO 11, 19 Dec 44.
34. 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 30-31; 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 20 Dec 44; 77th Div G-2 Jnl, 20 Dec 44; 306th Inf Unit Jnl, 20 Dec 44; 306th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 10-11; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 26, 20 Dec 44.
35. 35th Army Opns, pp. 103-104.
36. 306th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 11-12; 306th Inf Unit Jnl, 21 Dec 44. During this action Pfc. George Benjamin, Jr., a radio operator from Company A, killed the crew of a machine gun nest at the cost of his life. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
37. 32d Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 30, 16 Dec 44.
38. 32d Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 31, 17 Dec 44; 32d Div G-3 Jnl, 17 Dec 44; 126th Inf Unit Jnl, 17 Dec 44; 32d Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 31, 17 Dec 44.
39. 32d Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 32, 18 Dec 44; 32d Div G-3 Jnl, 18 Dec 44; 126th Inf Unit Jnl, 18 Dec 44.
40. 32d Div Arty Daily Rpt, 18 Dec 44.
41. 32d Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 33, 19 Dec 44; 32d Div G-3 Jnl, 19 Dec 44; 126th Inf Unit Jnl, 20 Dec 44; 32d Div G-3 Jnl, 20 Dec 44.
42. X Corps FO 22, 20 Dec 44.
43. 10th I&HS, Eighth Army Stf Study of Opns of Japanese 102d Division on Leyte and Cebu, Interrog of Maj Chuji Kaneko, p. 3.
44. Unless otherwise stated the part of this subsection dealing with the 12th Cavalry is based on: 12th Cav Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 20-30, 76-85; 1st Cav Div G-3 Periodic Rpts 51-63, 10-22 Dec 44; and 12th Cav Unit Rpts 54-65, 11-22 Dec 44.
45. 1st Cav Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 52; 1st Cav Div FO 17, 10 Dec 44.
46. 12th Cav Unit Rpt 53, 10 Dec 44; 1st Cav Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 52, 11 Dec 44. The spelling of Mt. Cabungaan used here follows that of the maps employed by the combat troops. The Board of Geographic Names gives the spelling as Mt. Cabungangan.
47. 12th Cav Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 24.
48. 12th Cav Unit Rpt 54, 11 Dec 44; 1st Cav Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 53, 12 Dec 44.
49. 1st Cav FO 18, 14 Dec 44.
50. 1st Cav Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 60, 19 Dec 44.
51. 1st Cav Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 61, 20 Dec 44; X Corps G-2 Periodic Rpt 59, 19 Dec 44; 1st Cav Div G-3, Jnl, 19 Dec 44.
52. 1st Cav Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 62, 21 Dec 44.
53. 77th Div G-3 Jnl, 21 Dec 44; 77th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 27, 21 Dec 44; 77th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 31-32; 307th Inf Unit Jnl, 21 Dec 44; 307th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 8; 306th Inf Unit Jnl, 21 Dec 44; 306th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 11-12.