A Day: 20 October 1944
Bombardment of the Shores of Leyte
The waters of Leyte Gulf were glassy calm as the convoys bearing the assault forces steamed into their appointed positions off the shores of Leyte in the very early morning hours of 20 October 1944.
There were three stages of the naval gunfire support: the pre-A Day bombardment, A Day bombardment, and close supporting missions to be delivered after H Hour and to continue until 24 October. A portion of the fire support group in support of the underwater demolition teams had bombarded the southern landing beaches and the town of Dulag on 18 October, a process which was repeated on the following day in support of the underwater demolition teams on the northern landing beaches.1
At 0600 on A Day, 20 October, the battleships assigned to the Southern Attack Force opened fire on the beaches. A lone Japanese plane appeared at 0612 over the northern beaches, circled the convoy, and despite gunfire from the Maryland and West Virginia disappeared unscathed.2 At 0700 the battleships of the Northern Attack Force commenced firing. For two hours the six battleships, three to each attack force, fired on the beaches. Since no specific targets could be discerned or determined, the gunfire was directed at areas. Many enemy supply dumps and minor military installations were destroyed. An observer reported:
Gray smoke plumes are rising from the shores. Battleship Mississippi is now working on the northern beaches. She is joined by the Maryland whose fire has apparently caused a large shore explosion. Jap ack-ack is fired at spotting planes but the performance is weak.
Battleships move inshore and renew their constant thunder. Helldivers and Avengers from our CVE's are heading toward the shore. . . .3
At 0900 the battleships ceased their fire and the cruisers and destroyers moved in closer to the shore to deliver their scheduled bombardment.4
At 0850 gunfire was suspended in the vicinity of Catmon Hill, the most prominent coastal terrain feature near Dulag, in order to allow an air strike against installations in the interior by the planes from the CVE's of the amphibious force. During the day a total of 500 sorties by more than 140 planes were flown in direct support. Twelve direct support missions were carried out, nine against selected targets requested by ground troops and three against targets of opportunity. Dawn and dusk fighter sweeps were made against airfields.5 The aircraft from
CONVOY OFF LEYTE at dawn on A Day.
the carriers, which were beyond the range of the guns of enemy coastal defenses, did not attempt secondary missions upon the completion of a mission in the target area.6
The principal bombing and strafing targets were revetments, dispersal areas, supply dumps, and bivouac areas, together with aircraft on islands near Leyte. Grounded planes were strafed and destroyed. The commander of the escort carriers made the surprising estimate that aircraft from his carriers had destroyed 125 planes on the ground and damaged an additional 90 more in the first three days of this "close support at a distance."7 Aircraft did not bomb the shore line, since gunfire from the vessels within the gulf was considered more effective.
At 0900 the cruisers commenced bombarding the beaches. They were joined at 0930 by the destroyers. At 0945 the cruisers and destroyers lifted their fire and directed it at the inland areas, at the flanks of the landing beaches, and at important roads and towns.8
At 0800 the first anchor chains of the vessels had rattled out; LCVP's were quickly swung over the sides; boats circled mother ships and moved to their rendezvous areas.9 The LCI mortar and LCI rocket ships took their places at the head of the
assault waves. It was now 0945, fifteen minutes before H Hour. The LCI's raced simultaneously to the shores of Leyte, raking the landing beaches with rocket and mortar fire. The bombardment grew heavier and more monotonous. Hundreds of small boats, flanked by rocket ships and destroyers, headed toward the beaches; thousands of rockets hit the beaches with the rumble of an earthquake. It was impossible to distinguish one explosion from another in the unbroken roar.10 Over a smooth sea a hot, brilliant, tropical sun beat down. The American forces were ready to land.
X Corps Goes Ashore
Hours earlier reveille had sounded on board the transports and the troops had dressed by the red lights in the holds where they were quartered. There was very little talking. Many of the men sat on their bunks giving their weapons a final check. Others lay back and smoked in silence. A few sought the chaplains.11
Missions of Sixth Army Summarized
The Sixth Army had been ordered to seize and establish beachheads in the Dulag and Tacloban areas and to secure the airfields in order to provide naval and air bases; and to seize such objectives in the Panaon Strait area as would permit safe passage of naval forces through the strait to the Camotes Sea.12 To carry out the operation General Krueger had assigned the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, to gain control of Panaon Strait; the XXIV Corps was to secure the Dulag area and its airstrip; and the 1st Cavalry Division of X Corps was to land in the Marasbaras area and, by advancing north, capture the Tacloban airdrome, the most important A Day objective for the Sixth Army. At the same time, the 24th Division, less the 21st Infantry, of the X Corps was to seize Palo and advance rapidly to the northwest.13 The seizure of these areas would secure the important coastal airstrips for future air operations, cut off any Japanese attempts at reinforcement from the southern Philippines through the Mindanao Sea and Sogod Bay, secure the important eastern entrances into the interior, and enable the American forces to control San Pedro Bay and San Juanico Strait.
The northernmost unit of X Corps, the 1st Cavalry Division, was to land in the vicinity of San Jose (also called San Ricardo and San Jose Ricardo) about three miles north of Palo, on WHITE Beach. WHITE Beach extended southward 2,000 yards from the Cataisan Peninsula. There was an interval of 1,500 yards between this beach and the northern limit of RED Beach, which was also 2,000 yards long.14 The 24th Division, less the 21st Infantry, was to land in the vicinity of the town of Palo, on RED Beach. (Map 3)
1st Cavalry Division
WHITE Beach had a fairly good landing surface of white coral sand, but even at high tide it was suitable only for shallow-draft landing craft. Its average width was fifteen yards at low tide, at which time a small irregular bank two to three feet high appeared at the water's edge. The underwater gradient was shallow, extending out half a mile in places. An irregular fringe of coconut trees ran the length of the beach. In the
LANDING BEACHES. WHITE Beach is in the foreground, with RED Beach, bounded by the Palo River, beyond.
southern section this fringe was narrow, with very wet and swampy cleared land behind it. Highway 1 roughly paralleled the beach about a mile inland.15
The roar of many guns could be heard as the 1st Cavalry Division prepared to disembark into landing boats, which were to rendezvous at the line of departure 5,000 yards from shore. A pall of lazily billowing yellow smoke obscured the shores of Leyte.16
The 1st Cavalry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Verne D. Mudge, was to land on WHITE Beach with brigades abreast--the 1st Brigade on the left (south) and the 2d Brigade on the right (north)--and advance inland. The 1st Brigade, under Brig. Gen. William C. Chase, was to reconnoiter the hills on the west side of Tacloban Valley and establish observation posts which would command the entrances to the valley. The 2d Brigade, under Brig. Gen. Hugh F. Hoffman, had the most important mission of the day. It was to advance northwest, capture the Tacloban airdrome and seize the Cataisan Peninsula, reaching Cataisan Point, the northern extremity of the peninsula, by 1400. Col. William J. Bradley's 8th Cavalry Regiment of the 2d Brigade was held afloat in division reserve and was to be prepared to reinforce either the 1st or 2d Brigade.17
Flanked by rocket and gunboat LCI's, and preceded by amphibian tanks, the 5th and 12th Cavalry Regiments, which formed the 1st Brigade, and the 7th Cavalry, which with the 8th Cavalry (in reserve) composed
X Corps Landings
20 October 1944
the 2d Brigade, raced for the shores of Leyte. The escorting rocket ships laid down a heavy barrage which covered the beach defenses to a depth of 1,800 yards inland and left the enemy incapable of organized resistance. As the boats neared shore, only small arms and machine gun fire opposed the landing.18 As planned, the regiments landed abreast, the 7th Cavalry Regiment on the right (north), the 12th Cavalry Regiment in the center, and the 5th Cavalry on the left (south).
The 1st Squadron of the 7th Cavalry was to land north of the 2d Squadron on the northern end of WHITE Beach, which at this point coincided with the narrow neck of land connecting the Cataisan Peninsula to the rest of the island, and then go directly north to secure the entire peninsula and the airstrip. On its left the 2d Squadron, 7th Cavalry, was to land on the right flank of WHITE Beach, push inland, capture San Jose and a bridge across the Burayan River northwest of the town, and seize a beachhead line a thousand yards west of Highway 1 and three thousand yards from WHITE Beach. The Cataisan Peninsula would then be sealed off.
Both squadrons landed on schedule, with only slight opposition, and immediately began to execute their assignments. The 2d Squadron, within fifteen minutes after landing, knocked out two pillboxes on the beach, killing eight Japanese in one and five in the other. It then organized rapidly and pushed on to secure its first objective, the town of San Jose. In the town the squadron engaged in a house-to-house search but found few Japanese. By 1230 twenty-four Japanese had been killed, San Jose was in American hands, and the Cataisan Peninsula was sealed off. The 7th Cavalry Regiment established its command post on the west side of the town at 1245. The troops of the 2d Squadron then set out in a northwesterly direction astride the hard-surfaced, narrow San Jose-Tacloban road, but they were slowed down by swamps and flooded rice paddies on either side.19 At 1400 they crossed the Burayan River on a bridge which the 33d Infantry Regiment had attempted to destroy but had only damaged. The engineers strengthened the bridge so that the medium tanks could cross, and at 1420 the forward movement continued. By 1630 the squadron had reached its objective--a point 3,000 yards from WHITE Beach--and immediately set up its night perimeter.
The 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry, landed in amphibian tractors on the north end of WHITE Beach a few minutes after initial assault waves of the 2d Squadron, 7th Cavalry, had cleared the beach. It moved west off the beach 100 yards, pivoted to the right, and began to move up the Cataisan Peninsula. The squadron was expected to secure the peninsula and the airstrip with great speed. Engineer units had landed just behind it and were waiting to start work on the airstrip as soon as it was seized. The 1st Squadron met with only light enemy opposition, the chief obstacles being the swamps, unoccupied pillboxes--each of which had to be checked--and the numerous Filipino shacks that afforded possible protection to the enemy. By 1600 the squadron had secured the airstrip and the Cataisan Peninsula.20 Later in the afternoon the squadron, less Troop A, was withdrawn from the peninsula.
TROOPS OF THE 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION wade through a swamp to their A Day objective.
The 5th and 12th Cavalry Regiments landed on WHITE Beach without incident at exactly 1000. Immediately beyond the narrow landing beach was a deep swamp through which the regiments must move to reach Highway 1. The morass was often waist deep, in places even up to the armpits, and men of the advancing line of troops cursed heartily as they floundered toward the highway.21 Under such circumstances it was impossible for the men to carry all of their personal equipment, and they had to make three trips in order to complete the crossing of certain areas. At 1100 a reconnaissance platoon of the 5th Cavalry Regiment made physical contact with elements of the 34th Infantry, 24th Division, on its left. By 1500 both cavalry regiments were on Highway 1. They pushed westward immediately toward the next objective--the foothills west of the highway.22 Col. Royce E. Drake, the commanding officer of the 5th Cavalry Regiment, went forward with a patrol from F Troop. At 1900, about three quarters of a mile south of Caibaan, the patrol made contact with the enemy. In the ensuing fight ten Japanese and one American were killed and two Americans wounded. At 1915 the 12th Cavalry Regiment closed in on its A Day objective and formed its night perimeter.23 The 5th Cavalry Regiment formed its night perimeter at 2135, a few hundred yards short of the objective.24
The first elements of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2d Cavalry Brigade, the corps reserve, moved to WHITE Beach at 1040, and by 1130 the entire reserve regiment was ashore. The regiment continued in corps reserve throughout the day and spent its first night in the Philippines on the western edge of San Jose.25
At 1400 General Mudge assumed command ashore of the 1st Cavalry Division and by 1630 had established the divisional command post at San Jose.26 Preceded by a ground reconnaissance of the unit commanders, all of the 1st Cavalry Division artillery landed on WHITE Beach at 1330 and immediately established a position in the vicinity of San Jose. Before nightfall all battalions had registered and were prepared to fire, and beginning at 2115 the 61st Field Artillery Battalion throughout the night delivered harassing fire on the hills south of Tacloban.27 By the end of the day the division had secured the Cataisan Peninsula and the Tacloban airstrip and, after crossing Highway 1, had made physical contact with the right flank of the 24th Infantry Division.28
24th Infantry Division29
In the southern part of the X Corps zone, to the left of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 24th Infantry Division (less the 21st Infantry), under Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving, was to land on RED Beach on the morning of A Day.30 Although there were no underwater obstacles, mines, or barbed wire along RED Beach, the water was too shallow to permit vessels the size of LST's to come in and make a dry landing. RED Beach was narrow but consisted of firm sand. Back of it was flat, marshy ground covered with palm trees and jungle growth, extending inland in a southwesterly direction from the northern end of the beach. General Makino had converted a small stream bed in this area into a wide and deep tank trap which paralleled the beach for 1,500 yards. Several large, well-camouflaged pillboxes, connected by tunnels and constructed of palm logs and earth, were scattered throughout the area. Between the swamp and a low range of hills one and a quarter miles inland were open fields and rice paddies. The most prominent terrain feature was Hill 522 just north of Palo. This hill commanded the beach area, the town of Palo, and Highway 2, leading into the interior. It was partly wooded, and the 33d Infantry Regiment had interlaced it with tunnels, trenches, and pillboxes.
From the beach a single deeply rutted and muddy exit road ran south to the Palo River, where it turned westward to Highway 1. The river was just north of the town of Palo and roughly paralleled Highway 2, which ran in a northwesterly direction from Palo into the interior, between the hills dominating this entrance to Leyte Valley.
The 24th Division was to occupy Palo, advance with regiments abreast into the interior in a northwesterly direction,31 occupy the Capoocan-Carigara-Barugo area, and secure Highway 1 between Palo and Tanauan. The 19th Infantry on the left (south) was to establish an initial beachhead, advance to the west and south, seize Hill 522, and move on and capture Palo. The 34th Infantry on the right (north) was
to establish an initial beachhead, then move westward into the interior and be prepared to assist the 19th Infantry in the capture of Hill 522.32
The assaulting forces, having been transferred to landing craft, met at the line of departure 5,000 yards from shore. After grouping, they dashed for the landing beaches, each regiment in column of battalions. The division landed at 1000 with regiments abreast according to plan. The Japanese allowed the first five waves to land, but when the other waves were 3,000 to 2,000 yards offshore, they opened strong artillery and mortar fire against them.33 A number of the landing craft carrying the 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry, were hit and four of them sunk. There were numerous casualties: the commanding officer of Company C was killed; a squad of the Ammunition and Pioneer Platoon was almost wiped out; and the Cannon Company suffered the loss of two section leaders, a platoon leader, and part of its headquarters personnel.
Among the vessels hit by Japanese artillery were four LST's, one of which was set on fire. Of the five remaining, two were driven away and three did not get in until much later. The enemy fired upon the retiring LST's, which carried with them the artillery and most of the tanks. The commanding officer of Headquarters Company and the division quartermaster, together with the latter's executive officer, were wounded. Many of the division headquarters personnel were killed or wounded.
The first elements of the 3d Battalion, 34th Infantry, inadvertently landed 300 yards north of the assigned area and were immediately pinned down by heavy machine gun and rifle fire. The commanding officer of the regiment, Col. Aubrey S. Newman, arrived on the beach and, noting the situation, shouted to his men, "Get the hell off the beach. Get up and get moving. Follow me."34 Thus urgently prompted, the men followed him into the wooded area.
Company I was able to advance, but Company K ran into a defensive position of five pillboxes along a stream about seventy-five yards from the beach. It successfully stormed these pillboxes with rifles, BAR's, and hand grenades. The 3d Battalion then halted for reorganization. Company L, the reserve company, moved into the line south of Company K to close the gap between the 19th and 34th Infantry Regiments, a gap created when part of the 34th landed too far north.
By 1215 the 34th Infantry had cleared the beach area of the enemy, and the 3d Battalion was ready to advance across an open swamp to a line of trees 150 yards away. A preparatory concentration by 81-mm. mortars, tanks, and heavy machine guns was first laid down. At 1230 the 3d Battalion moved in. Although the going was rough and the mud waist deep, the troops reached the trees at 1300 and waited for the mortars and machine guns to arrive. The 3d Battalion then pushed on an additional 250 yards.
The 2d Battalion, 34th Infantry, passed through the 3d Battalion, crossed Highway 1 at 1550, and dug in for the night 100 yards west of the highway.35
The 34th Infantry established contact with the 1st Cavalry Division on the right and the 19th Infantry on the left. The 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry, remained in the beachhead area.
To the south the 19th Infantry, with the 3d Battalion in the lead, had also struck heavy opposition on its sector of the beach. Through error the first waves of the regiment landed almost directly behind the 34th Infantry and 800 yards north of the proposed landing point. The later waves landed at the planned spot.
Company K did not land on schedule, because its command boat broke down. Going in under heavy fire, the company had all its officers except one killed or wounded. One of its platoons was unable to make contact with the rest of the company until the following day.
Company L, on the right, met little opposition on landing, established contact with the 34th Infantry, and reached the initial phase line 500 yards in from the beach. Company I, on the left, encountered stiff resistance fifty yards off the beach. The defenses of the 33d Infantry Regiment in this sector consisted of a tank ditch and light automatic weapons, mortars, 75-mm. guns, and light and heavy machine guns in prepared positions. Company I hit a group of pillboxes and knocked out several of them as well as a 75-mm. gun. In this action Pfc. Frank B. Robinson played a spectacular role. Crawling behind a pillbox, he dropped three grenades into it and then reached down and pulled the machine gun barrel out of line. After a further advance of 200 yards, when a flame thrower aimed at a pillbox failed to ignite, he threw a bundle of lighted papers in front of the pillbox. The operator of the flame thrower then fired through the blaze and the charge was ignited. By openly exposing himself to fire from a third pillbox, Robinson enabled tanks to locate its position.36
During the next few hours platoons and squads fought independently. The 3d Battalion, 19th Infantry, drove into the interior about 500 yards, where it reorganized, made contact with adjacent units, and then established its perimeter on Highway 1.37
The 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry, had come in under intense fire in which several boats were hit, and numerous casualties occurred. The battalion landed 300 yards north of its selected area, moved in 200 yards, and then made a left, oblique turn in order to reach its predetermined assembly area. Company B suffered several casualties when it ran into strong rifle and pillbox fire, which pinned it down. The company was ordered to break off fighting and move to the northern edge of the Japanese positions. Lt. Col. Frederick R. Zierath, the commanding officer of the battalion, ordered the self-propelled guns to be brought up. They successfully neutralized the pillbox and a supporting position behind it. Company C, landing on the left flank of the battalion, was immediately pinned down by hostile fire. Zierath ordered it to disengage and proceed to the designated assembly area. Company A, which was split by enemy fire, regrouped inland and reached the assembly area just ahead of Company C.
The 2d Battalion, 19th Infantry, arrived at the beach just as the 1st Battalion was bypassing the initial resistance. By noon its first defense was formed around the beachhead. At 1245 Company E, with a rocket launcher, silenced a 75-mm. gun which had been firing on the LST's. In its advance the company located two more 75-mm. guns which had been abandoned. Company G relieved Company E and prepared to move along the beach road southwest toward Palo. As the point started to move out at 1300 it
75-MM. M8 SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZERS move in to support the infantrymen in their advance from the beach.
was attacked by approximately a platoon from the 33d Infantry Regiment which attempted to retake the gun positions. The Japanese were repulsed by rifle fire, leaving eleven dead.
At 1430 Company G, in resuming its advance, ran at once into a series of mutually supporting pillboxes about 500 yards inland, where the beach road turns to meet Highway 1. A stiff rifle fire fight followed, in which the Americans suffered fifteen casualties. Since darkness was approaching, the battalion broke off the action and dug in along the road for the night.
While the 2d Battalion, 19th Infantry, was proceeding cautiously forward the 1st Battalion was working toward Hill 522. This hill, which rose directly from the river's edge north of Palo, overlooked the landing beaches and its upward trails were steep and winding. Hill 522 presented the most significant terrain feature which would have to be overcome before the American forces could push into the interior from Palo and it constituted one of the chief objectives for A Day. Three months earlier General Makino had started to fortify it, impressing nearly all of the male population of Palo for the work. By A Day they had constructed five well-camouflaged pillboxes of rocks, planking, and logs, covered with earth. Numerous tunnels honeycombed the hill; the communications trenches were seven feet deep.
During the preliminary bombardments the Navy had delivered some of its heaviest blows on the hill, and the bombardment was continued by Battery B of the 13th Field
MAJ. GEN. FRANKLIN C. SIBERT (left), X Corps commander, confers with Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving, commander of the 24th Division, at a forward command post.
Artillery Battalion and Battery A of the 63d Field Artillery Battalion. The 1st Battalion of the 19th Infantry sent reconnaissance parties to locate a northern route to the hill. The plan had been to move inland from the extreme south of the beachhead, but that area was still in Japanese hands. At 1430, when scouts reported finding a covered route on the northern side of the hill, the 1st Battalion immediately moved out in a column of companies. The column had barely started when Company A, in the lead, was held up by enemy fire from the five pillboxes. The remainder of the battalion moved north around Company A, and, skirting the woods, attacked Hill 522 from the northeast, with Company C on the right and Company B on the left.
The men, although tired from the day's activity and strain, made steady progress up the slope. As the troops moved upward, American mortars started to shell the crest of the hill. It was thought that this was artillery fire and a request was made that it be lifted. It came, however, from the chemical mortars. After a short delay the firing ceased. At dusk Company B reached the first crest of the hill and was halted by fire from two enemy bunkers. The company thereupon dug in.
At the same time scouts from Company C reached the central and highest crest of the hill and espied about two platoons of Japanese coming up the other side. They shouted for the remainder of the company to hurry. Company C got to the top of the hill barely ahead of the Japanese, and a sharp engagement took place in which about fifty Japanese were killed. Company C held the highest crest of the hill. During this attack,
1st Lt. Dallas Dick was struck in the leg and his carbine was shot from his hands, but he continued to command his unit until his evacuation forty-eight hours later.
During the night the Japanese made frequent but unsuccessful attempts to infiltrate the company area and in the darkness they carried away their dead and wounded. During the action to secure Hill 522, fourteen men of the 1st Battalion were killed and ninety-five wounded; thirty of the latter eventually rejoined their units. General Irving, who had assumed command of the 24th Division ashore at 1420, later said that if Hill 522 had not been secured when it was, the Americans might have suffered a thousand casualties in the assault.
By the end of A Day, the division had crossed Highway 1 and established physical contact with the 1st Cavalry Division on its right flank. In spite of strong opposition on its left flank, the 24th Division had secured Hill 522, which dominated the route into the interior and overlooked the town of Palo, the entrance point into Leyte Valley. Furthermore, the X Corps had now secured a firm beachhead area averaging a mile in depth and extending over five miles from the tip of the Cataisan Peninsula to the vicinity of Palo, and had captured the important Tacloban airstrip on the Cataisan Peninsula.
XXIV Corps Goes Ashore
While the X Corps was engaged in seizing a beachhead and capturing the Tacloban airfield, the XXIV Corps was carrying out its mission more than fourteen miles to the south. (Map 4) It was to land in the Dulag-San Jose area and establish a beachhead between Dulag and Tanauan. The Dulag airstrip was the primary objective. The 7th and 96th Divisions--the 7th on the left (south) and the 96th on the right (north)--made the landings. The most prominent terrain feature near the shore line is a short, finger-like hill range between the mouth of the Labiranan River and the village of Pikas. Ranging from 400 feet at its southern extremity, known as Labiranan Head, to 1400 feet at Catmon Hill, southeast of Pikas, this hill mass dominates the surrounding plain for miles around. (The entire hill mass will hereafter be referred to as Catmon Hill.)
The 9th Infantry Regiment, less one battalion, was guarding the Catmon Hill area while the 20th Infantry Regiment, less one battalion, was defending the Dulag area.38
Immediately northwest of Dulag and just off the beach was a swamp,39 and along the coast were coconut groves interspersed with rice fields. Many streams and rivers cut across the coastal plain.40 Between Dulag and Labiranan Head was a good section of firm sand beach, backed by a broad alluvial plain extending ten miles inland.
96th Infantry Division
In the early morning hours of 20 October the Southern Attack Force moved to a location off the shores of Leyte near the town of Dulag. The 96th Division was to land with regiments abreast in the area between the Calbasag River and the town of San Jose--the 382d Infantry on the left (south) and the 383d Infantry on the right (north). The southern half of the division's beachhead area was designated BLUE Beaches 1 and 2, and the northern half was known as ORANGE Beaches 1 and 2. The beaches had
XXIV Corps Landings
20 October 1944
an average length of about 525 yards. The northern extremity of ORANGE Beach was about ten miles from the southernmost beach of the 24th Division in the X Corps sector.
The order to "land the landing force" of the 96th Division came at 0845, and LVT's immediately began to spill out of the LST's and head for the line of departure. By 0930 the assault waves, preceded by the amphibian tank wave, had arrived at their appointed position 4,500 yards offshore.41 At the head of the column were LCI gunboats which were to give fire support and act as guides for succeeding waves. The assault waves then headed for BLUE and ORANGE Beaches.
When the landing craft were within 100 yards of the shore, the LCI's fired into the interior and to each side of the landing beaches. Thereupon the amphibian tanks began to fire directly beyond the beaches, in front of the advancing assault forces. The 382d Infantry under Col. Macey L. Dill landed at 0950 on BLUE Beach, and the 383d Infantry under Col. Edwin T. May landed ten minutes later on ORANGE Beach.
The 383d Infantry landed with two battalions abreast--the 2d Battalion on the left and the 1st Battalion on the right. By 1045 both battalions had landed all of their assault troops and had advanced 1,200 yards inland, encountering no resistance except intermittent mortar fire from the 9th Infantry Regiment in the vicinity of Catmon Hill.42 Immediately beyond the highway the two battalions reached an unsuspected swamp. The amphibian tanks bogged down at 1045 and were unable to catch up with the assault troops during the rest of the day. Intermittent Japanese fire continued to fall on the beach area. The 2d Battalion crossed the swamp without encountering the enemy and established its night perimeter 2,600 yards inland from the landing beaches.
The 1st Battalion, 383d Infantry, pushed northwest through the barrio of San Jose, which was on the beach, and along the marshy ground and swamps on the south bank of the Labiranan River for 2,200 yards. It crossed the river at 1610. Company C placed a roadblock at the point where Highway 1 crossed the Labiranan River. After advancing 400 yards farther northwest the battalion ran into fire from elements of the 9th Infantry Regiment. At 1900 the battalion, still under enemy fire, dug in for the night. At the close of the day's action it was at the base of Labiranan Head in a position which would permit an attack to be launched on that terrain feature from the west.
The 3d Battalion, which had been held afloat in regimental reserve, came ashore at 1045. It mopped up in the rear of the 1st and 2d Battalions and established its night perimeter 800 yards away from the 1st Battalion on the south bank of the Labiranan River. During the day the 383d Infantry Regiment, slowed by the terrain, had advanced 2,600 yards inland.43
As heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire fell on the beach, the 382d Infantry also landed with two battalions abreast--the 2d Battalion to the right (north) at BLUE Beach 2 and the 3d Battalion to the left (south) at BLUE Beach 1. The 2d Battalion, though momentarily stopped by debris on the shore, was able to advance quickly and by 1025 had penetrated 300 yards inland. This gain was increased to 700 yards by 1115. The battalion crossed Highway 1 before it encountered the first defensive positions of the 9th Infantry Regiment, a series of zigzag
BEACH AREA as seen from Hill 120.
deserted trenches roughly paralleling the beach. Although the 2d Battalion met no enemy opposition, the intense heat and the swampy ground made progress slow. At 1630, when the battalion formed a perimeter for the night, it had pushed inland approximately 2,500 yards.
The amphibian tractors carrying the 3d Battalion, 382d Infantry, were held up by the tank barriers of coconut logs and debris on the beach, and the troops were forced to debark at the water's edge. Several hundred yards off the beach this battalion began to receive heavy fire from Hill 120, which was about 600 yards from the beach. The hill dominated the regimental beach area44 and was the A Day objective for the battalion. The fire pinned down the battalion, which thereupon called for mortar support and naval gunfire. The resulting barrage forced the Japanese out of their positions, and at 1040 the battalion advanced and captured Hill 120.
The 1st Battalion, 382d Infantry, which had been in floating reserve, landed on BLUE Beach 1 and moved to the foot of Hill 120 to support the 3d Battalion. Immediately beyond the hill there was a small meadow rimmed by a deep swamp. The enemy fired upon the hill throughout the day but could not dislodge the 3d Battalion. This steady fire and the presence of the swamp limited the A Day advance of the 3d Battalion to 1,300 yards inland from the landing beach.
At the end of the day, despite the swampy terrain and the harassing fire of the Japanese, the 382d Infantry had advanced approximately 2,500 yards on the northern
flank and 1,300 yards on the southern flank. Contact had been established at 1600 with the 32d Infantry, 7th Division, on the left flank, and the 383d Infantry, 96th Division, on the right flank.45
At 1630 the assault forces of the 96th Division consolidated their positions and set up defense perimeters for the night. During the day the division had captured the barrio of San Jose, established control over both sides of the Labiranan River, captured Hill 120 overlooking the beach area, and progressed well inland. Although all units of the division fell considerably short of the objective for A Day, this delay was due fully as much to the swampy and difficult terrain as it was to enemy resistance. The 381st Infantry Regiment remained in Sixth Army floating reserve throughout the day.46
Maj. Gen. James L. Bradley arrived ashore at 1750, and at 1800 he assumed command of the 96th Infantry Division. The three light artillery battalions of the division had landed and were in position by 1800.
7th Infantry Division
Concurrently with the landings of the 96th Division, the 7th Division, on the left, was establishing a beachhead in its zone of action just south of the 96th Division. At 0800 the assault troops of the 7th Division began to clamber down the nets of their transports into landing boats which were to carry them in the dash for the shore.47 By 0815 they were boated and at the line of departure.
The 7th Division was to land on VIOLET and YELLOW Beaches. VIOLET Beach extended 785 yards north from the northern edge of Dulag. The northern half of YELLOW Beach, called YELLOW Beach 2, which was south of VIOLET Beach and contiguous to it, was 400 yards long. Between the northern and southern halves of YELLOW Beach was a swamp. The southern half of YELLOW Beach, YELLOW Beach 1, was approximately 425 yards in length and was located south of Dulag and north of the Daguitan River mouth.
The 7th Division was to go ashore between the Calbasag and Daguitan Rivers with regiments abreast--the 32d Infantry on the right (north) and the 184th Infantry on the left (south); the 17th Infantry, less its 3d Battalion, was in reserve. The principal A Day objectives were the barrio of Dulag and its airstrip. The 3d Battalion, 17th Infantry, was to swing south and secure the bridge and the crossing of the Daguitan River at Dao and the crossing of the Talisay River.
The 32d Infantry, under Col. Marc J. Logic, was to land on the northern and southern portions of VIOLET Beach, drive into the interior, and protect the right flank of the division. The 184th Infantry, commanded by Col. Curtis D. O'Sullivan, was to land on YELLOW Beach 1 and YELLOW Beach 2 and then drive inland, directing its main effort toward an early seizure of the airfield west of Dulag. It was also to seize and secure the crossings of the Daguitan River.
After the landing waves had formed at the line of departure, the landing craft started for the beaches, preceded by the
776th Amphibian Tank Battalion. As it got ashore, the tank battalion received hostile mortar and small arms fire that came from a tank barrier of coconut palm logs near the water's edge. The battalion overcame this opposition fifteen minutes after landing and advanced a distance of 200 yards inland to positions from which it could support the infantry.48 According to plan, the 32d and 184th Infantry Regiments followed abreast. The 32d Infantry landed with two battalions abreast--the 2d on the right and the 3d on the left. The regiment encountered minor resistance at the beach, consisting of light rifle fire and sporadic artillery and mortar fire. By 1023 the 3d Battalion had landed all its assault troops and by 1030 seven assault waves of the 2d Battalion had reached the shore. As the two battalions proceeded inland, they met opposition from the enemy.
The 2d Battalion landed on the edge of a cemetery in which were small groups of the enemy very much alive. By 1100 these were subdued by rifle fire and the battalion was able to advance without difficulty into the interior. At about 1300 the 2d Platoon of Company F, after advancing some 600 yards, ran into fire from three pillboxes concealed in the tall cogon grass on the right flank. Tanks were brought up to knock out the enemy pillboxes. The advance then continued. By 1315 the 2d Battalion made physical contact with elements of the 96th Division on the right. Shortly after 1400 the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 32d Infantry made contact and reached Highway 1.49
Companies L and K of the 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry, landed abreast. Company L, on the left, ran into heavy fire from Japanese machine gunners who had waited until the leading elements of the company exposed themselves. The Japanese were entrenched in bunkers emplaced in hedgerows and banana groves. The pillboxes, which were mutually supporting, were located at the ends of the hedgerows and occasionally in the middle of an open field. Each pillbox had machine guns and antitank guns. Company L suffered a number of casualties and was pinned down. The enemy gunners then turned to Company K and stopped its forward movement. In the space of fifteen minutes two officers and six men of the 3d Battalion were killed, and one officer and eighteen men wounded. Of the medium tanks that had come ashore at 1030, three were sent to support Company L and two to support Company K. The latter two were knocked out before they could adjust their fire on the pillboxes. The leading tank sent in support of Company L was knocked out by a direct hit from an antitank gun. With two tanks remaining, it was decided to hit the flanks of the entrenched pillboxes at 1345. A platoon of Company K went to the right and another platoon from the company to the left. Simultaneously the remaining elements of the two companies, coordinating with the tanks, assaulted the pillboxes. The heavy volume of fire kept the enemy guns quiet until they could be finished off with grenades. The pillboxes were knocked out without further casualties.
Paralleling the route of advance of Company L were several hedge fences, behind which were enemy machine guns and mortars. Although under heavy fire, the company was able to break through the first barriers with the aid of the tanks. At 1630, since the enemy fire continued in volume, the 32d Infantry withdrew and established a defensive position for the night. During the day the 32d Infantry had reached a
general line along Highway 1. The 2d Battalion had advanced 400 yards beyond the highway and the 3d Battalion 100 yards.50
The 184th Infantry landed at 1000, two battalions abreast--the 1st on the southern half of YELLOW Beach and the 3d on the northern half. They encountered surprisingly little resistance on either beach and were able to push inland at a much greater speed than had been anticipated. The 3d Battalion drove through the town of Dulag, which lay directly in its path, to the Dulag-Burauen Highway. The 1st Battalion pushed inland and reached the highway at 1210, just fifteen minutes after the 3d Battalion. At 1530 the two battalions established physical contact and maintained it throughout the day as they continued their advance along the highway. At 1255 the 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, landed on YELLOW Beach and went into regimental reserve on the regiment's southern flank. As the advance of the 32d Infantry on the right slowed up, Company G, 184th Infantry, was committed to fill the gap which had developed between the two regiments. At 1835 the 184th Infantry, although it had failed to secure the Dulag airstrip, formed its night perimeter along the edge of the strip.51 At the end of the day the regiment had no battle casualties, but three men had been overcome by the heat. Eleven Japanese had been killed in the regiment's zone.52
The 17th Infantry, less its 3d Battalion, was kept in 7th Division reserve. The 3d Battalion of the 17th had come ashore at 1500 on the southern end of YELLOW Beach. The battalion pushed west and south through light opposition, seizing the bridge over the Daguitan River at Dao, and by 2100 had established a bridgehead south of the river and made contact with the 184th Infantry on the right. At the end of the first day's fighting the 7th Division had gained possession of the Leyte shore in its zone and penetrated inland 600 yards on the right and nearly 2,300 yards on the left. It had also reached the edge of the Dulag airstrip. By nightfall the XXIV Corps had established a firm beachhead line extending along the coast from San Jose on the north to just below Dao on the south.
Seventy miles to the south the 21st Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division, which was detailed to land in the vicinity of Panaon Strait on 20 October at 0930, half an hour before the launching of the great offensive, and to secure control of that entrance to Sogod Bay, successfully accomplished its mission. It encountered no Japanese.
Thus at the end of A Day the Sixth Army had succeeded in landing assault forces all along the eastern coast of Leyte and was in control of Panaon Strait. Its casualties amounted to 49 men killed, 192 wounded, and 6 missing in action. There remained a gap of nearly ten miles between the X and XXIV Corps. The Tacloban airstrip on the Cataisan Peninsula had been secured and the American forces were on the edge of the airstrip at Dulag. Nearly as important as the capture of the airstrip was the seizure of Hill 522, which commanded the entrance to the broad Leyte Valley at Palo. The advance echelon of General Headquarters had opened on Leyte Island at 1200.53 On the following day, when adequate communication facilities had been established, Generals
LT. GEN. WALTER KRUEGER AND COL. RUPERTO K. KANGLEON of the guerrilla forces head for the beach (above). Krueger talks with men of the 7th Division on the beach near Dulag (below).
Krueger, Sibert, and Hodge assumed command ashore of the Sixth Army, X Corps, and XXIV Corps, respectively.
Most of the 16th Division had withdrawn during the naval and air bombardment which took place just prior to the landing. The immediate invasion of the troops after this pounding enabled the Americans to secure most of the coastal defenses before the enemy could regroup and return. As a consequence, the only Japanese forces encountered were those left behind to fight a delaying action. The meeting with the enemy in force was yet to come.
Bringing in Supplies
While the assault forces were securing the beaches of Leyte, supplies were being poured in to support the operation. Within an hour after the first assault wave hit the hostile shores, rations, equipment, and other supplies were being rushed to the beaches. Each man going ashore carried a change of clothing in his pack, two days' supply of emergency rations, one day's supply of D rations, and two filled canteens, in addition to his gas mask, weapons, and ammunition.
The Navy was responsible for transporting the troops and supplies to the target area. Ships' companies unloaded the cargo from the cargo vessels and transported it in small craft to the beaches. Many of the ships had been improperly loaded for the journey to Leyte. The cargo should have been so loaded that articles first needed would be the last put on board; instead it had been stowed haphazardly, with little attention given to the problem of unloading.
As a result of the faulty stowage of supplies on the ships, many badly needed items were at the bottoms of the holds, and articles that would not be needed until later in the operation were piled on top of them. The supplies were set ashore in random fashion and then were carelessly thrown on trucks and other vehicles. This sort of handling resulted in a loss of carrying capacity, in slow removal of the loads, and in a consequent delay in the return of vehicles to the landing beaches.
The LSM's were used to very good advantage in the unloading of the APA's and AKA's. Vehicles and supplies could be loaded on them without difficulty, and in addition, two hatches on the LSM's could be worked at the same time. On each of the APA's, AKA's, and LST's which carried troops, a labor crew was detailed to remain on board to assist in the unloading.54
At the beach, the Army took over the cargo and moved the supplies to prearranged dumps. On the northern beaches in the X Corps sector, the Army shore party was composed of the 532d and 592d Engineer Boat and Shore Regiments of the 2d Engineer Special Brigade. After landing, these units facilitated the movement of troops, vehicles, and supplies across the beaches and controlled all unloading operations.55 The 1122d and 1140th Engineer Combat Groups supervised the unloading in the XXIV Corps sector. They were assisted by naval beach parties from the VII Amphibious Force, which brought the cargo ashore.
The beachhead areas at which the supplies were unloaded varied in quality and depth. Most of the beaches on which the 7th and 96th Divisions landed were very good,56
UNLOADING SUPPLIES AT DULAG on A Day (above), and (below) general view of the beach area on 22 October 1944.
as contrasted with those in the X Corps area where the 24th Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry Division came ashore. The greatest difficulty was encountered along RED Beach, where the 24th Division landed. This stretch of coast line was ill adapted to the unloading of supplies, having poor exits and offering few dispersal areas ashore.57
LST's approaching RED Beach were under intense enemy fire. Four of them received direct hits.58 Nearly all of the LST's were grounded 100 to 200 yards from the beach. Only one of them was able to come within forty to fifty yards of the beach, and it succeeded in unloading its cargo of heavy equipment only with considerable difficulty.59 Another put off a bulldozer, which disappeared in seven feet of water. With difficulty the other LST's withdrew and returned to the transport area.60
The shore parties on both RED and WHITE Beaches (X Corps sector) did not land early enough to effect a proper organization before the cargo began to come in. Although the parties worked hard, they were undermanned, and it was necessary to augment them by "volunteers" in order to unload the large volume of cargo.61 It had been planned to establish temporary beach dumps at the point of unloading of each LST, but since at RED Beach the LST's could not get ashore, the plans had to be changed. These craft were diverted to the 1st Cavalry Division's WHITE Beach 2,000 yards north. The LSM's and LCM's were able to discharge their vehicles in three or four feet of water. Many of these, being poorly waterproofed, stalled and had to be pulled ashore. Once there, the heavily loaded vehicles churned up the sand, and many of them sank so deeply that they had to be pulled out.62
The strong resistance of the Japanese and the difficult terrain limited the depth of the 24th Division's beachhead and prevented the establishment of division dumps beyond the beachhead areas. As a result, most of the supplies and nearly all supporting and service troops had to be concentrated on the first three or four hundred yards of the beachhead. Fortunately there was no bombing or strafing of the area, and although the development of exit roads was slow, the congestion on the beach was cleared before trouble developed.63
The diversion of the 24th Division's LST's to the beaches of the 1st Cavalry Division naturally strained the facilities of the beach and shore parties on WHITE Beach. The southern end of WHITE Beach also proved unsuitable for landing LST's, which consequently were shifted to the northern end.64 However, the Army shore parties organized WHITE Beach immediately upon landing. A two-way road was cleared along the beach with military police directing traffic. Dump areas were marked off by white ribbons, and sign posts were erected. The supplies were unloaded from the landing craft by roller conveyors and "fire brigade methods" directly onto the waiting trucks and trailers.65 After the ships had been unloaded
the shore parties consolidated all of the supplies into dumps as rapidly as possible. The rations and ammunition, which were loaded on fifteen LVT's, were kept mobile to the rear of the troops.66
When Leyte was substituted for Yap as the target, it had been decided that the 96th Division should unload troops and supplies at Leyte as rapidly as possible. Consequently, supplies were unloaded with little regard for the order in which items would be needed ashore.67
There was no general unloading on the beach in the XXIV Corps area until the late afternoon of A Day, when water, rations, and ammunition were sent ashore. For about an hour the unloading proceeded satisfactorily, but the beach soon became congested. The beach parties brought in the supplies faster than they could be handled by the shore parties.68 At one time more than eighty loaded boats waited over five hours before they could be unloaded. The slowness of the shore parties in unloading the boats was not entirely their fault. Many of the boats were improperly loaded with mixed cargo, a situation which caused the boats to ship water. They were forced to come in to the beach or sink. The shore parties were also handicapped by a lack of workers. A shore party of 250 men included headquarters personnel, military police, and communications men, leaving only fifty or sixty workers. The unloading was further retarded by lack of sufficient mechanical equipment and failure to make full use of available transportation.69
Loose cargo piled up on the beaches faster than it could be taken to the dump sites.70 A deep swamp, 250 yards inland and parallel to BLUE Beach, also limited the extension of dumps in that area. The congestion was relieved the next day, when the supplies were taken to selected dump sites nearly as fast as they could be removed from the boats.
In the Dulag area, the organization of the shore party and its operations were well co-ordinated.71 In the initial phase the 7th Division employed the "drugstore system" whereby DUKW's carried the supplies directly to the front-line consumers of the division from specially loaded LST's which had been anchored off the landing beaches.72 By using this method the division was able to deliver critical supplies to the combat troops within an hour after the request was received. At the same time, other supplies and equipment could be put ashore without interruption.
In the wake of the initial assault waves, the engineer troops landed and began at once to clear the beaches, prepare dump sites, and build access roads. The men worked around the clock in six-hour shifts.73
Within four hours the 7th Division's shore party was prepared to start full-scale operations, and two hours later began to issue supplies to the assault forces. Since the cargo came ashore in nets, it was possible to use cranes and bulldozers to good advantage. The cargo was initially moved over the
landing beaches to regimental beach dumps 500 yards inland, and as vehicles landed they were driven to temporary assembly areas or directly to their organizations.74 Six hours after the first assault wave hit the beaches the 7th Division abandoned the floating drugstore system, since by that time sufficient supplies had been brought ashore to fill requisitions directly from the dumps.75
During the day a total of 107,450 tons of supplies and equipment were discharged over the beaches of the Sixth Army. Although the beaches in some instances were extremely congested, steps had been initiated to relieve the situation.
News of the success of the American forces in establishing a beachhead on Leyte--the first foothold in the Philippine Islands--was joyfully received by the American nation. The President radioed congratulations to General MacArthur and added, "You have the nation's gratitude and the nation's prayers for success as you and your men fight your way back. . . ."76
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (4) * Next Chapter (6)
1. CTF 79 Opns Rpt, Ser 00323, 13 Nov 44. (All naval records cited are in the Office of Naval Records and Library.)
2. COMBATDIV 4 Opns Rpt, Ser 0322, 28 Dec 44.
3. Tarbuck Rpt.
4. COMBATDIV 4 Opns Rpt, Ser 0322, 28 Dec 44.
5. COMINCH P-008, pp. 2-8.
6. Com3dAmph Force Opns Rpt, Ser 00317, 11 Nov 44.
7. CTG 77.4 (Com Escort Carrier Group), Opns Rpt, COMINCH P-008, 30 Apr 45, Part 2, pp. 9, 10.
8. CTF 78 Opns Rpt, Ser 00911, 10 Nov 44.
9. 24th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 4. Unless otherwise stated all records of tactical units are in DRB AGO.
10. Tarbuck Rpt.
11. 24th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 4.
12. GHQ SWPA Opns Instns 70, 21 Sep 44.
13. Sixth Army FO 25, 23 Sep 44.
14. CTF 77 Opns Rpt, Ser 00911, 10 Nov 44.
15. CTF 78 Opns Plan 101-44, 3 Oct 44.
16. 1st Cav Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 17.
17. 1st Cav Div FO 1, 2 Oct 44.
18. Unless otherwise stated the material on the 1st Cavalry Division is taken from 1st Cav Div G-3 Jnl, 20 Oct 44, and 1st Cav Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 2-4.
19. 7th Cav Regt Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 2-4.
21. 1st Cav Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 17.
22. 1st Cav Brig Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 2.
23. 12th Cav Regt Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 1-2.
24. 5th Cav S-3 Periodic Rpt 1, 20 Oct 44.
25. 8th Cav Regt Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 5.
26. 1st Cav Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 19.
27. 1st Cav Div Arty Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 3, 1st Cav Div Arty Unit Jnl, 20 Oct 44.
28. 1st Cav Div Msgs to X Corps, 20 Oct 44.
29. Unless otherwise stated information in this subsection is taken from 24th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 2-10, and 24th Div G-3 Jnl, 20 Oct 44.
30. X Corps FO 1, 30 Sep 44.
33. 19th Inf Regt Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 1.
34. 24th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 7.
35. 34th Inf Unit Rpt 1, 20 Oct 44.
36. Private Robinson was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
37. 19th Inf Unit Rpt 1, 20 Oct 44.
38. 35th Army Opns, p. 27.
39. CTF 79 Opns Rpt, Ser 00323, Encl A, 13 Nov 44.
40. 383d Inf Regt FO 6A, App. A, 30 Sep 44.
41. CTG 79.2 Opns Rpt, Ser 0032, 4 Nov 44.
42. 383d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 1.
44. 382d Inf Unit Jnl, 20 Oct 44.
45. 382d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 2.
46. 96th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 33-37.
47. Unless otherwise stated, the part of this subsection dealing with the 7th Infantry Division is taken from the following: 7th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 3-5; 7th Inf Div G-3 Jnl, 20 Oct 44; and 7th Inf Div FO 9, 1 Oct 44.
48. 776th Amph Tank Bn Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 4.
49. 32d Inf Unit Jnl, 20 Oct 44.
50. 32d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 4.
51. 184th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 2.
52. 184th Inf Jnl, 20 Oct 44.
53. Rad, GHQ SWPA to CG Sixth Army, Sixth Army G-3 Rear Jnl, 21 Oct 44.
54. Extracted Report of Landing on Leyte in the Philippine Islands by an Australian Officer Attached to the Northern Assault Force Landing at RED Beach. Copy in OCMH.
55. 2d ESB Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 1.
56. Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, Engr Rpt, p. 232.
57. Sixth Army Opns Rpt Leyte, G-4 Rpt, p. 218.
58. Ltr, CG 2d ESB to CG Sixth Army, 22 Oct 44, 2d ESB Jnl and Jnl File.
59. CTU 78.1.7 Opns Rpt, COMINCH P-008, Part 5, p. 2.
60. Ltr, CG 2d ESB to CG Sixth Army, 22 Oct 44, 2d ESB Jnl and Jnl File.
61. CTU 78.2.1 and 78.2.3 Opns Rpt, COMINCH P-008, Part 5, p. 3.
62. Lts, CG 2d ESB to CG Sixth Army, 22 Oct 44, 2d ESB Jnl and Jnl File.
63. Maj F. W. Doyle to Brig Gen L. J. Whitlock, Rpt of Observations, KING II Opn, 4 Nov 44, GHQ G-4 Jnl, AGO KCRC.
64. 2d ESB Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 6.
65. Maj Doyle to Gen Whitlock, Rpt of Observations, KING II Opn, 4 Nov 44, GHQ G-4 Jnl.
66. 7th Cav Opns Rpt Leyte, Supplementary Annex, p. 3.
67. 96th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 73.
68. Rpt of Sup Off to CO Funston, 23 Oct 44, in CO USS Frederick Funston Opns Rpt, Ser 0101, 31 Oct 44. The boat crews and beach parties had been fortified with a lunch consisting of turkey salad, ham and cheese, hot steak sandwiches, ice cream, and cold fruit juices. The Army assault troops carried K rations.
69. Com3dAmph Force Opns Rpt, Ser 00317, 11 Nov 44.
70. 96th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, pp. 73-75.
71. CTG 79.1 Opns Rpt, COMINCH P-008, Part 5, p. 15.
72. 7th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, G-4 Rpt.
73. CTG 71.1 Opns Rpt, COMINCH P-008, Part 5, p. 15.
74. 7th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, G-4 Rpt.
75. 1140th Engr Const Gp Shore Party Opns Rpt Leyte.
76. The New York Times, October 20, 1944.