Southern Leyte Valley: Part Two
Before the invasion, the Japanese had reached the conclusion that if and when the Americans landed on Leyte it would be in the Dulag area, and their greatest efforts had therefore been directed toward making that area impregnable. General Makino, commanding general of the 16th Division, had stationed the following units in the Dulag sector: the 20th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Col. Keijiro Hokoda; elements of the 22d Field Artillery Regiment; the 54th Air Field Company, commanded by Comdr. Kazumasa Kumazawa; and the 7th Independent Tank Company.1 At 0300 on 21 October, General Makino withdrew from the Dulag area to Dagami and established his command post in that sector.2 The effective fire of the preliminary naval bombardment had driven the Japanese from the landing beaches.
The Dulag-Burauen Road
The beachhead quadrangle of the XXIV Corps was bounded, generally, by the Dulag-Burauen-Dagami-Tanauan road. The sections of the road bordering the northern edge of the quadrangle (Dagami to Tanauan) and the eastern edge (Tanauan to Dulag) were, in general, in the 96th Division zone of action. The southern and western sides of the quadrangle were assigned to the 7th Division. The road that ran along the coast between Dulag and Tanauan was a one-way thoroughfare which soon disintegrated under the heavy rainfall and military traffic. (Map 6)
Besides the Dulag airstrip, which was approximately one mile west of the town, there were three other airfields in the zone of action of the 7th Infantry Division. The San Pablo airstrip was approximately five miles west of Dulag and two miles east of Burauen. Its runway extended generally east to west with a width of 164 feet and a length of 4,920 feet. The field was overgrown with weeds and had not been occupied by the Japanese. The Bayug airstrip was just north of the highway and a half mile east of Burauen. It had a runway approximately 5,000 feet long. The Buri airstrip, the most important one in the 7th Division zone, was about one mile northeast of Burauen, ran in a general east-west direction, and was also 5,000 feet long.3
Halfway to Burauen
General Hodge ordered the 7th Division to capture the Dulag airfield and then drive west along the Dulag-Burauen road to seize Burauen and its airfields. After this was
7th Division Advance to Dagami
21-30 October 1944
DULAG AND BAYUG AIRSTRIPS as they appeared in 1946. Dulag is above.
MAJ. GEN. JOHN R. HODGE, XXIV Corps commander, outlines plans to his staff at corps headquarters in Dulag.
done, the division was to turn north along the Burauen-Dagami road and capture Dagami.4 The 32d Infantry was to protect the division's right (north), maintain contact with the 96th Division, and, if necessary, help the 184th Infantry on its left to secure the Dulag airstrip west of the town of Dulag. Securing the airstrip was to be the main effort of the 184th Infantry.5
At the end of A Day (20 October), all the assault battalions of the 32d and 184th Infantry Regiments of the 7th Division were ashore. The 32d Infantry was on the right (north) flank and the 184th Infantry on the left (south) flank. The 32d Infantry had advanced just beyond Highway 1 in the area northwest of Dulag.6 The 3d Battalion, 184th Infantry, was on the southern edge of the Dulag airstrip, while the 1st Battalion of the regiment was directly left of the 3d, and the 2d Battalion was in reserve.7 The 3d Battalion, 17th Infantry, protecting the left flank of the XXIV Corps, was across the Daguitan River at Dao;8 the 1st and 2d Battalions of the same regiment were to remain in division reserve.
The 7th Division had scarcely established itself for the night of 20 October when the Japanese launched two small-scale tank attacks against the perimeter of the division. Since a gap existed between the 184th and
32d Infantry Regiments, Company G of the 184th was committed to fill the space. As the men of the company were digging in for the night, three tanks from the 7th Independent Tank Company came down the road and sprayed the area with machine gun fire, but the fire was high and there were no casualties. Though the company fired rifles, bazookas, and mortars against them, the tanks escaped without injury. An hour later, when one of the tanks returned, it was knocked out and its crew were killed by a rifle grenade. An enemy scout car then dashed down the road, and its occupants killed two men and wounded three others.
The 3d Battalion, 184th Infantry, had established its night perimeter on the edge of the Dulag airfield, with its right flank on the Dulag-Burauen road. At 0130 three Japanese medium tanks moved along this road. Pfc. George W. Tilk of Company M stopped one of these, as it came into range, with one shot from his bazooka. The other two tanks continued down the road but on their return trip they were destroyed--one by the battalion supply detail and the other by Pfc. Johnnie Johnson with his bazooka.9
The uneasy repose of the 7th Division was again broken at 0400 on 21 October when six enemy tanks attacked the sector of the 3d Battalion, 184th Infantry. Within thirty minutes the battalion knocked out two of the tanks and forced the others to retreat.10 The next disturbance was at 0530 when about fifty Japanese launched a limited counterattack against the night perimeter of Company K, 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry, with light machine gun and rifle fire. The Americans broke up the attack with machine guns, mortars, and artillery.11 Daylight revealed thirty-five enemy dead in front of the company perimeter, and there was evidence that others had been dragged away.
Maj. Gen. Archibald V. Arnold, commander, ordered the 184th and 32d Infantry Regiments of the 7th Division to move west toward the Burauen airstrips abreast. Since a gap of several hundred yards existed between the two regiments, the battalions of the 184th Infantry were ordered to veer to the right. At 0800 the 7th Division attacked, the 184th Infantry on the left and the 32d Infantry on the right. There were four battalions in the assault, from left to right: 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry; 3d Battalion, 184th Infantry; 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry; and 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry.12
As the 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry, moved forward, it encountered Japanese entrenched in positions along the hedgerows. Knocking out these positions from hedgerow to hedgerow greatly retarded the advance. The 3d Battalion on the left faced an impassable swamp. In order to establish contact with the 184th Infantry and cover the area, Company I moved around the left side of the swamp, and Company L went around the right; Company K was to cover the gap between the 2d and 3d Battalions until the 2d Battalion could close it.
There was an enemy strong point between the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 32d Infantry, but since Colonel Logic was anxious to
continue the advance of the regiment and straighten the line between the battalions, he ordered the battalions to bypass the strong point, while the 1st Battalion under Maj. Leigh H. Mathias was ordered to move from its assembly area and reduce it. The lines were straightened somewhat, but the swamps and the heavy foliage made contact very difficult.
The 2d and 3d Battalions came under fire from 75-mm. guns emplaced in bunkers; tanks reduced these bunkers and the advance continued. A report of the 32d Infantry boasts that "the reduction of pillboxes was right down our alley."13 By 1520 the 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry, had reached the regimental beachhead line; shortly thereafter the 2d Battalion came abreast of the 3d.
The 1st Battalion of the 32d Infantry, however, experienced difficulty in reducing the bypassed strong point, which it reached in the middle of the afternoon. The Japanese defenses consisted of one 75-mm. and one antitank gun emplaced in bunkers and four machine guns in pillboxes; these were completely surrounded by an elaborate system of trenches and foxholes and were occupied by approximately two platoons of riflemen.14 When the battalion reached the position, Companies A and B, with Company A on the right, were on a line behind five medium tanks and one M8 self-propelled 75-mm. howitzer from the Cannon Company. As the troops moved across an open field toward a hedgerow, the Japanese opened fire upon Company A. Company B also received fire as it moved beyond the hedgerow. After several men had been killed and others wounded, Company B halted until the Japanese positions could be neutralized by the tanks and the howitzer.
As the tanks emerged from the hedgerow they came under heavy fire from the Japanese antitank gun. Although some of the tanks were hit, no serious damage was done; but the howitzer received a direct hit that set it ablaze and exploded its ammunition.15 The crew abandoned the burning vehicle. Pfc. Fedele A. Grammatico crawled up under enemy fire, removed the machine guns, which were intact, and brought them safely back behind the lines. In the meantime, Company A tried to advance and knock out the enemy antitank gun but the Japanese stopped the company with direct fire.
Both companies were halted. The struggle resolved itself into a battle between the tanks and the Japanese in entrenched positions. The tanks finally silenced the enemy, and the infantrymen moved in with rifles and bazookas and cleared out the foxholes. After the reduction of this strong point, the 1st Battalion tried to overtake the 2d and 3d Battalions. This was not possible, and at 1800 the 1st Battalion formed its own perimeter.
The 184th Infantry found little opposition in its area, but excessive heat and the difficulty of maintaining communication in the high cogon grass rendered its progress difficult. At 0900 the regiment secured the Dulag airstrip and continued its forward movement against sporadic rifle and machine gun fire. Contact had been broken with the 32d Infantry, and at 1245 a gap of 3,000 yards existed between the regiments. At 1515 the 184th Infantry was ordered to hold up its advance and establish contact with the 32d.16 It had advanced
approximately 1,000 yards beyond the division beachhead line.
On 21 October an unidentified Japanese soldier wrote in his diary:
Finally the enemy's gunfire and bombardment has reached our field and road area (except the runway). Gunfire seems to fade to Dulag area during the night. It seems that enemy tanks are approaching San Pablo vicinity. We are preparing for them. . . . Barracks and fuel dumps are to be burned. I am awaiting the opportune moment. . . .
I feel alive during the night and dead during the day. Though life and death are separated by a thin sheet of paper I will not die until I see a face of a Yankee.17
During the night of 21-22 October all field artillery battalions delivered harassing fires, and just before the assault they fired a fifteen-minute barrage.
At 0800 the 32d Infantry moved out to the attack. The 2d Battalion on the right faced difficult and swampy terrain lying along the winding, steep-banked Calbasag River, which the troops had to cross twelve times during the day's advance. In the afternoon a platoon of amphibian tractors and another of amphibian tanks were sent to the aid of the battalion, and engineers from the 13th Engineer Battalion constructed temporary bridges over the river when necessary.18 The 3d Battalion of the regiment paced its speed of advance with that of the 2d.
In the meantime the 1st Battalion overtook the others and at 1000 moved to the right of the 3d Battalion, bringing the three units into line. Earlier, at 0925, the 3d Battalion was advancing just to the right of the Dulag-Burauen road when it received enemy artillery fire, which came from four 75-mm. field pieces to the rear of a hedgerow 600 to 700 yards ahead. When the companies reached the hedgerow, Company L received heavy fire from four machine guns which had been emplaced to protect the field pieces.
Light machine guns and mortars were brought up, and the 31st Field Artillery Battalion placed a five-minute concentration on the enemy strong point. Three tanks from Company C, 767th Tank Battalion, were poised for an assault. As soon as the artillery lifted its fire, the tanks dashed forward and destroyed one machine gun and one 75-mm. field piece immediately. The tanks then covered the rest of the area with machine gun fire until Company L moved up and destroyed the remaining gun positions with rifles and grenades. The action ended at 1240.
As the 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry, was destroying the artillery position, Company G of the 2d Battalion received heavy enemy machine gun and rifle fire near the banks of the Calbasag River. The 3d Platoon of Company G walked into an ambush of machine guns, which fired from two pillboxes under native shacks. The platoon was pinned down, having suffered ten casualties from the first burst of fire. To keep the advance moving, Company G remained behind to knock out the bunkers while Company F went forward to continue the advance with Company E. Since the swamps prohibited the use of tanks, and the mutually supported pillboxes prevented envelopment, and since the nearness of friendly troops made the use of artillery dangerous, all of Company G was held up. The 3d Platoon hugged the ground until darkness enabled it to withdraw.
At 0900 on 22 October, planes from the Seventh Fleet bombed the Japanese fortifications in front of the 184th Infantry. As
on the previous day, the heat, tangled foliage, and deep swamps, rather than enemy action, slowed the advance of the regiment. Since the 184th Infantry's rate of advance was more rapid than that of the 32d Infantry, orders were issued to the 184th after it had moved forward an additional 2,800 yards to hold its position until the 32d Infantry could close the gap.19 The 184th maintained contact with the 3d Battalion, 17th Infantry, by means of patrols.
The 184th Infantry waited most of the day for the 32d to come abreast. By 1800 the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 32d Infantry had advanced approximately half the distance to Burauen. The 3d Battalion, 17th Infantry, on the southern flank of the division, sent out reconnaissance patrols, which encountered small groups of the enemy 1,000 to 1,200 yards south. The rest of the 17th Infantry moved into an assembly area in the vicinity of the Dulag airfield.20
Changes in Plans
On the evening of 22 October both General Makino, commander of the 16th Division on Leyte, and General Arnold, commander of the 7th Division, made changes in their plans.
The 16th Division was divided into the Northern and Southern Leyte Defense Forces. The Northern Leyte Defense Force, consisting of the 9th Infantry Regiment reinforced by elements of the 22d Field Artillery Regiment, would defend the Catmon Hill area against the 96th Division. The Southern Leyte Defense Force, which opposed the 7th Division, was composed of the 20th Infantry Regiment, less one battalion, the 2d Battalion of the 33d Infantry Regiment, the 7th Independent Tank Company, and two platoons of the 16th Engineer Regiment. Some troops were to occupy the area in the vicinity of San Pablo and the Calbasag River. The main force was to be centralized in a prepared position near Hindang. Another group was to occupy Julita, from which it would make small night raids. At the same time part of this force was to operate along the right bank of the Daguitan River, protecting the 16th Division's right flank. Another unit of approximately 600 troops was composed of the 98th Airfield Battalion, the 54th Airfield Company, and air-ground service units. It was to occupy the key positions--the high ground west of Burauen, the south end of Burauen, and the Buri airfield--and thus prevent the Americans from using the airfield and stop the advance of American tanks along the road. The main strength of the artillery (22d Field Artillery Regiment, less the 6th Battery) would support the Southern Leyte Defense Force. The engineers were to be prepared to demolish the road between Dagami and Burauen and between Dagami and Tanauan. The main force of the engineers was to secure the road connecting Dagami, Hiabangan, Rizal, and Tingib. A naval unit was to protect a supply dump east of Dagami, and all remaining units, together with the 16th Division command post, would occupy positions in the vicinity of Dagami.21
Three of the four airfields in the zone of the XXIV Corps were in the vicinity of Burauen. General Arnold wished to seize them as soon as possible, and at the same time he was anxious to advance so rapidly that the Japanese would not have time to
DISABLED M4 TANK on the Dulag-Burauen road.
construct additional fortified positions near the airfields. He accordingly rearranged the assault troops. The 17th Infantry, less the 3d Battalion, with the 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, attached, was ordered to pass through the 184th and 32d Infantry Regiments at 0830 on 23 October, attack west astride the Dulag-Burauen road, and capture the San Pablo airfield. The 767th Tank Battalion, in support of the regiment, was either to precede the 17th Infantry or to operate with it, as the terrain permitted. It was to jump off from the vicinity of the Dulag airfield thirty minutes earlier than the assault units of the 17th Infantry. The 32d and 184th Infantry Regiments were to follow 1,000 yards behind the 17th.22 It was hoped that this "flying wedge" formation would catch the Japanese off balance and that the rear elements of the wedge would be able to take care of any disorganized enemy units that had been bypassed.
On to Burauen
The flying wedge was very successful. The tanks of the 767th Tank Battalion moved out at 0730 on the morning of 23 October. Though one of the tanks was knocked out about 3,000 yards west of Julita at 1000, the others reached the western edge of Burauen at 1712 and scattered the enemy forces in that area. At 0800 the assault units of the 17th Infantry jumped off, 400 yards to the rear of the tank battalion.
Because of the narrow front the column of troops was elongated, and it was not until shortly after 0900 that the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry, was able to move forward. Because of the difficult terrain and the blazing heat, the infantrymen experienced difficulty in keeping up with the tanks. The troops encountered sporadic opposition during the day, passed rapidly through the barrios of Julita and San Pablo, and secured San Pablo airfield. At 1115 General Arnold notified Colonel Logic that the 32d Infantry was to be responsible for the right flank of the 7th Division's zone of action, less the 200-yard front covered by the 17th Infantry.
At 1700 the units prepared their night perimeters, the 1st Battalion of the 32d, 400 yards south of the San Pablo airstrip; the 3d Battalion, 1,500 yards north of Julita; and the 2d Battalion in division reserve, 500 yards southeast of Julita.23 At the same time the 17th Infantry was on the west end of the San Pablo airfield.24 The 184th Infantry, minus the 2d Battalion, was south of the highway between San Pablo and Julita. During the day's action, the commanding officer of the Japanese 20th Infantry Regiment was killed.25 The action for the next few days resolved itself into two separate engagements--the seizure of the Buri airstrip and the battle for Dagami.
Securing the XXIV Corps Beachhead Line
The 7th Division attacked at 0830 on 24 October, using the same formation employed on the previous day except that the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry, reverted to regimental reserve. The 1st and 2d Battalions, 17th Infantry, continued along the road to Burauen; the 32d Infantry crossed San Pablo airfield and then went to the right in a north-northwest direction toward the Buri airstrip. The 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry, fought its way through the northeastern part of the town of Burauen and managed to reach the road to Dagami. As the main part of Burauen is south and west of the road, the barrio was in the zone of the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry, which was advancing along the left side of the road.
The 17th Infantry reached the edge of Burauen at 1030. As the troops explored the situation, they found that though there was no organized resistance in the town, scattered throughout Burauen were elements of the 20th Infantry Regiment, dug in under the buildings in spider holes and armed with satchel charges, Bangalor torpedoes made of bamboo, and antitank mines.26
As the American tanks moved through the barrio, some of the Japanese jumped out of their spider holes and held explosive charges against the tanks in an attempt to destroy them at the cost of their own lives. The assault forces of the 17th Infantry, despite the difficulty of flushing the enemy from the spider holes under the buildings, made steady progress and by 1400 had mopped up and secured the town. The battalions re-formed and were ready to go north to Dagami.
The Buri Airstrip
At 0800 on 24 October, Colonel Logic was transferred to the headquarters of the 7th Division and Lt. Col. John M. Finn
BURAUEN is searched for the enemy by troops of the 17th Infantry.
assumed command of the 32d Infantry. Colonel Finn ordered the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry, to advance to positions across the San Pablo airfield and then continue the attack northwest toward the Buri airstrip. The 2d Battalion remained in division reserve.
The Buri airfield was northeast of Burauen, with a heavily wooded area on its northern edge. On the northern and western edges the Japanese had constructed pillboxes in the high grass and heavy brush, together with mutually supporting machine gun pillboxes interlaced with extensive trench systems. On the southern side of the airstrip the enemy had twenty strong field fortifications. Approximately 1,000 enemy troops were defending the sector--elements of the 20th Infantry Regiment, the 98th Airfield Battalion, and the 54th Airfield Company. The airfield had been extensively mined with 100-pound aerial bombs buried nose up in the runway and scattered throughout the dispersal area. Some of these bombs had electric fuzes and could be detonated by enemy troops hidden in foxholes a short distance away.27
The 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry, met no resistance as it moved out from the vicinity of the San Pablo airstrip at 1123, but when the battalion was 1,000 yards northwest of the airfield it ran into well-camouflaged enemy positions. About 1400 the battalion attacked the emplacements with Company A on the right, Company C on the left, and Company B in reserve on the right rear of Company A. In the face of intense enemy resistance, Company A moved forward and
placed heavy rifle and machine gun fire on the Japanese positions, which crumpled under the attack.28
Although Company C fought valiantly to keep abreast of Company A, the bulk of the enemy strength was in front of it. Heavy machine gun fire on its left flank and in front pinned the company down and kept it from moving forward. This delay created a gap between the two companies which a platoon from Company B was ordered to fill.
When he found that Company C could not move, Major Mathias, commander of the 1st Battalion, started out to locate Company A but was wounded before he could reach it. Maj. Robert C. Foulston, Jr., the battalion's executive officer, assumed command of the battalion as Major Mathias was evacuated.
Intense enemy rifle and machine gun fire hit both of the flanks and the front of Company C and forced the company to start a confused withdrawal. The 2d Platoon pulled back, but four of its men were cut off from the others and went the wrong way. These men, picking up another who was seriously wounded, proceeded three quarters of a mile behind the Japanese lines before they discovered their mistake. To cover the withdrawal of the rest of the company a holding force, consisting of one platoon from Company C and one platoon from Company B, together with a section of heavy machine guns, was set up about 500 yards to the rear of Company C.
As Company C started its withdrawal, the enemy moved forward. Keeping well concealed, the Japanese edged forward and laid down a heavy volume of rifle, machine gun, and mortar fire on the troops, but the holding force stopped the advance. An intense fire fight broke out in which both sides suffered many casualties. The Americans held on grimly.
At 1530 Colonel Finn ordered the 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry, to move to the left of the 1st Battalion, but the swamps and heavy foliage made progress slow. By 1630 the 3d Battalion was 600 yards to the left rear of the 1st Battalion.
During the fight Colonel Finn went forward. Grasping the seriousness of the situation, he ordered the 1st Battalion to withdraw to San Pablo airstrip and sent one platoon of the 3d Battalion to assist the 1st Battalion in its withdrawal. The rest of the 3d Battalion was to protect the withdrawal of the 1st. The troops rapidly carried out the orders and withdrew to the airstrip. The 2d Battalion, released from division reserve that evening, moved up on line with the 3d Battalion. The 32d Infantry formed a defensive perimeter for the night.29
During the day the 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry, captured a Japanese private, Isamu Nakamaru, who had been a mechanic with the 7th Independent Tank Company. He informed his captors that his company originally had eleven tanks. Eight of these were lost in the action near Julita; the others were at Buri but were out of commission. All the tanks were obsolete and had been used mainly to clear and roll the airstrips.30
On the morning of 25 October the 49th Field Artillery Battalion fired concentrations from 0800 to 0830 in front of the 32d Infantry and covered an area of 400 yards on each side of the Buri airstrip.31 At 0700 the 3d Battalion moved to the right and in front of the 1st. The 32d Infantry was to
move out at 0830 with the 2d and 3d Battalions abreast, each battalion to be preceded by a platoon of tanks.
At 0830 the battalions attacked, both advancing 1,500 yards before they encountered any serious obstacle. The 2d Battalion on the right ran into the system of bunkers that protected the Buri airstrip. The 3d Battalion halted and waited for the 2d to overcome the bunkers and move forward. Though an antitank gun was brought up to fire on the bunkers, two futile attacks were launched against them and it became apparent that the 2d Battalion would be considerably delayed. Colonel Finn therefore ordered the 3d Battalion to advance and secure the edge of the Buri airstrip, and, with its reserve company, to close the gap thus created.
Colonel Finn also ordered the 1st Battalion to move closer to the right flank of the 3d and prevent an enemy envelopment. Meanwhile, strong patrols which the 3d Battalion had sent to within 300 yards of the airstrip reported that they had encountered only one strong point in the 3d Battalion's zone of advance. In order that the 3d Battalion could be certain it was moving in the direction of the airstrip, Colonel Finn requested an artillery liasion plane to drop a flare over the southwest edge of the airfield. After this was done the battalion resumed its attack and at 1700 reached the edge of the airstrip. Fortunately the battalion immediately went into a defensive position, for at 1715 a sharp enemy assault had to be repulsed with machine gun and rifle fire.32
Meanwhile the 2d Battalion probed at the bunkers located at the edge of the heavy woods on the northern fringe of the Buri airfield. These defenses consisted of three bunkers connected by an elaborate system of trenches and spider holes. Both flanks of the 2d Battalion received machine gun fire, which became heavier upon any attempt to carry out an enveloping movement. Under cover of fire from American heavy machine guns, the 2d Battalion withdrew its wounded. It then formed a night perimeter and waited for heavier supporting weapons to be brought up.
On the following day the 2d Battalion was to move from its night perimeter on a 400-yard front and secure the western end of the airstrip. The 3d Battalion, 32d Infantry, was to follow the 1st Battalion and protect the regiment from an attack from the north. Each of the assault battalions was to have attached a platoon of medium tanks and a platoon from the Cannon Company.33
On the morning of 26 October, the 49th Field Artillery Battalion for ten minutes concentrated its fire for 500 yards on each side of the airstrip. At 0800 the 32d Infantry attacked. The artillery fire had been effective, and the 2d Battalion knocked out the pillboxes that had stopped its advance the previous day. Aided by tanks, the battalion was able to advance 700 yards along the south side of the airstrip by 1700.
The 1st battalion, on the right, passed through the 3d and attacked west on the north side of the airstrip on a 400-yard front toward the other end of the airstrip. The 1st Battalion immediately encountered a highly intricate system of pillboxes and bunkers, which slowed the attack until the tanks arrived. From that time on, a fiercely contested struggle continued throughout the afternoon. The battalion employed tanks,
antitank guns, artillery, and mortars to cover its advance, and destroyed many bunkers with grenades, demolition charges, and automatic rifles.34
Company B bore the brunt of the assault and, fighting tenaciously, had battled through 900 yards of the fortified area by 1700. The 1st and 2d Battalions made contact on the edge of the airstrip and formed their night perimeters; the 3d Battalion protected the rear. During the night the 32d Infantry repulsed several light counterattacks.
On the following day, 27 October, the time for the attack was set an hour earlier in the hope that the Japanese would be caught off guard. At 0700 the 32d Infantry moved out, with the assault battalions in the same formation as on the previous day.35 To their happy surprise the troops encountered little opposition as they readily secured bunker after bunker. The 20th Infantry Regiment had spent its strength. The American troops found enemy dead "in every bunker, trench, foxhole and bush," and wreckage of enemy 75's, machine guns, grenade launchers, and rifles was scattered about. More than 400 Japanese dead were found in the sector of the 1st Battalion.36 The infantrymen encountered only an occasional rifleman while mopping up. By 1130 the Buri airstrip was secured.
On 28 October the 2d Battalion was alerted to move to Abuyog at 0400 on the following day. The 3d Battalion was ordered to move to Guinarona for possible attachment to the 17th Infantry, which had committed all three of its battalions in the fight north along the Burauen-Dagami road.
On to Dagami
After securing the barrio of Burauen at 1300 on 24 October, the 17th Infantry had rested for an hour before attacking along the Burauen-Dagami road.37 The 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, remained attached to the 17th. As the 17th Infantry started north, a patrol of four jeeps was sent ahead to reconnoiter. It encountered a strong force of the enemy on a road that forked off to the Buri airfield, and after a short but determined fire fight the enemy withdrew north. On its return the patrol reported that the road to Dagami had been mined with aircraft bombs that were buried nose up in the road and covered with palm fronds and other vegetation. A platoon from Company A, 13th Engineer Battalion, removed the mines and the column continued forward.
About 1530 the right flank of the 17th Infantry came under mortar and machine gun fire which came from a ridge north of Burauen and east of the road to Dagami. The ridge was about 700 yards long, 50 feet high, heavily wooded, and covered with dense undergrowth. Most of the fire seemed to be coming from an eastern spur that overlooked the Bayug and Buri airfields. On the left (west) of the road the terrain was flat and marshy.
At 1630 the 17th Infantry began to form its night perimeter on the southern edge of the ridge. The 1st Battalion protected the left (west) flank and tied in at the road with the regiment's 2d Battalion. The lines of the 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry, covered the forward line of the ridge that extended
to the rear where the 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, held the entrance to the eastern finger. The perimeter of the 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, extended south to tie in with the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry.
Only the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry, was able to set up its night perimeter without incident. The 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, ran into determined resistance but was able to establish a firm bivouac for itself, using the vacated enemy positions. The 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry, received scattered rifle fire but did not encounter any of the enemy. During the night the 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, and the 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry, were harassed by patrols of ten to twenty Japanese each, probing for a break in the lines.
Shortly after nightfall there were two abortive charges against the American lines. As soon as the troops heard the enemy, they called for protective fire, which prevented any of the Japanese from entering the lines. The enemy, however, continually fired into the area throughout the night. Earlier in the day an American tank had bogged down in a swamp to the left of the road, and the crew was forced to abandon it under fire, leaving the guns intact. During the night the Japanese captured the tank and sprayed the areas of the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry, and the regimental command post with the tank's 37-mm. and machine guns, and with four of their own machine guns. Fortunately the bullets passed harmlessly over the heads of the troops.
During the night Lt. Col. Francis T. Pachler discussed plans for the following day, 25 October, with his battalion commanders. He was faced with a choice between two courses of action. On the one hand, he could take advantage of the tactical surprise occasioned by his rapid advance, attempt to bypass the Japanese forces on the ridge, and make a dash along the Burauen-Dagami road, disregarding losses that might be inflicted on his flank; or, on the other hand, he could destroy the enemy forces on the ridge before advancing to Dagami. The first alternative must allow for a strong possibility that fire from the 32d Infantry, which was pushing west, might fall upon the 17th Infantry if it continued its advance before the Buri airfield was secured. After prolonged discussion, Pachler decided to destroy the enemy forces on the ridge before proceeding to Dagami.
Colonel Pachler therefore ordered the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry, to remain in its present position until the 2d Battalion, echeloned to its right rear, could swing up on line facing north. While waiting for the 2d Battalion to move up, the 1st Battalion would send a strong reconnaissance patrol along the road north to the barrio of Buri to determine Japanese strength, and the condition of the road and terrain. The 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, would attack and destroy the enemy force on the finger of the ridge and then come up, also facing north.
The patrol moved out at 0730 on 25 October. A rifle platoon mounted the tops and sides of five tanks and headed north towards Buri. On its way, the platoon encountered and killed Japanese troops who were emplaced in spider holes and coconut log pillboxes under buildings, but a destroyed bridge at the edge of Buri prevented any further advance. The platoon returned at nightfall with the report that the road to Buri was clear and that it had killed forty-nine of the enemy.
The 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry, made its move without incident. The 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, advancing from its position on the heavily wooded eastern finger of the
ridge, was forced to meet and destroy the enemy force with bayonets and grenades. Its progress was slow until a platoon of the Cannon Company and a platoon of medium tanks made a wide encircling movement through the Bayug airstrip and were able to bring fire to bear on the Japanese. By 1300 the enemy threat was removed and the battalion commenced its swing to the north to join the other two battalions. At dusk the three units were in line; the combat teams had advanced 400 yards and formed their night perimeters.
At 1700 Colonel Pachler rearranged his troops and made plans for the following day. The 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, was detached to guard the ridge. The 3d Battalion, 17th Infantry, which had been guarding the divisional left flank south of Dao since A Day, was brought forward by truck to rejoin the regiment. The 17th Infantry would move out along the highway in a column of battalions--the 1st, 2d, and 3d.38
The 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry, moved out at 0700, Company A on the left (west) and Company C on the right (east). Since the tanks were forced to remain on the road because of swamps on either side, tank support was reduced to a platoon. After having moved about 300 yards beyond the line of departure, Company C ran into a small pocket of enemy resistance which it soon destroyed with hand grenades and small arms fire; twenty-one of the enemy were killed and one was captured. Company A also met and overcame some resistance from enemy in foxholes in its zone, but was not held up. At 1000 the 1st Battalion received machine gun fire to its front and observed a movement in the marsh on its right flank. When the heavy machine guns and 81-mm. mortars were brought to bear upon the marsh, approximately sixty Japanese began to run across the open fields. The 4.2-inch mortars of the 91st Chemical Company also fired on the fleeing enemy.
When the forward elements were about 1,100 yards south of Ginogusan, Company A encountered a rice paddy to its front. One platoon of the company went left to move around the rice field, and the support platoon was committed to close the gap thus created. As the leading elements got past the field, an enemy force, which was entrenched just beyond it, started firing. The rear elements of the 1st Battalion immediately closed in and killed fifteen of the enemy with grenades and small arms fire. In the meantime, Company C encountered about twenty-five Japanese who had dug in under native shacks. Two tanks were called up, and after they had knocked over the shacks the infantrymen closed in and destroyed the enemy.
During this action the 3d Platoon of Company F, 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry, reinforced by one squad of the antitank platoon of the battalion Headquarters Company, established a roadblock on one of the roads that led to the Buri airfield. The troops came under rifle and machine gun fire from their front. Within a few minutes the platoon leader and two other men were killed and another man was wounded. The platoon withdrew about one hundred yards and called for an 81-mm. mortar concentration on the area. The rest of Company F was committed against the Japanese south flank.
In the face of heavy fire Company F pushed through the difficult terrain and forced the enemy to withdraw. However, four Japanese machine guns remained in
ENGINEER TROOPS of the 13th Engineer Battalion rebuild a bridge near Burauen.
position and fired into the company. The leader of the antitank squad, though wounded in both legs, ran back to the battalion command post and asked for tanks in support. A cannon platoon which was sent up silenced the enemy guns. While continuing the fight during the enemy withdrawal, the company evacuated its wounded on improvised bamboo litters.
Company F was then relieved by the 2d Battalion, 184th Infantry, which established a roadblock nearer the main highway. Company F rejoined its battalion and the regiment formed its night perimeter about 600 yards south of Guinarona. The night was comparatively peaceful except for a minor bombing in the 2d Battalion area. The troops of the 17th Infantry were ordered to move out on 27 October in a column of battalions in the following order: 3d, 2d, and 1st, with a distance of 500 yards between battalions.39 Since aerial photographs showed that all the bridges had been blown, a platoon of the 13th Engineer Battalion was attached to the 3d Battalion.
At 0700 the regiment moved out, with the 3d Battalion in the lead, on a 100-yard front on both sides of the highway. The tanks were forced to stay on the road. The 3d Battalion was able to cross a small stream south of Guinarona, although the bridge had been damaged. When it reached the northern bank of the stream the battalion ran into the enemy. Approximately twenty Japanese were dug in around a schoolhouse, with two machine guns mounted in the building. Company K, the lead company, under cover of machine gun and
mortar fire, successfully stormed the schoolhouse and killed seventeen of its defenders. The engineer troops from the 13th Engineer Battalion advanced and quickly repaired the bridge, after which the rest of the 17th Infantry moved forward. Since the bridge north of Guinarona was also damaged, the same tactics were used. The infantrymen of the lead company crossed the stream and stood guard while the engineers repaired the bridge. For 2,500 yards the advance continued, unopposed except for small groups of Japanese. The heavy machine guns of the regiment fired from the flanks of the American forces and covered the swamps on both sides of the road. The 17th Infantry went into night perimeter about 2,200 yards south of Dagami and about 200 yards south of a demolished stone bridge. As the regiment started to dig in, enemy rifle and machine gun fire fell on the front of the 3d Battalion but mortars returned the fire and silenced the enemy. Although there was sporadic air and ground activity during the night, no attempt was made to penetrate the lines of the regiment.
Entrance Into Dagami
The 17th Infantry learned from Japanese prisoners that in addition to elements of the 20th Infantry Regiment in the Dagami sector, the following units were present: the 2d Battalion, 33d Infantry Regiment (about 200 men), together with scattered elements of the 16th Engineer Regiment and the 9th Infantry Regiment.40
The Japanese had firmly established themselves in positions in depth about 1,000 yards south of Dagami. These defenses consisted of mutually supporting pillboxes made of logs and sandbags, from which the Japanese could deliver interlocking bands of machine gun fire. They were situated on higher ground and could be approached only across open rice paddies.41
As the American forces came close to Dagami, the 17th Infantry was moving north along the Burauen-Dagami road, and the 382d Infantry, 96th Division, was approaching the road between Dagami and Tanauan.
Lt. Col. Kakuda, the commander of the Japanese Central Area Unit of the 20th Infantry Regiment, issued a series of operational orders. At 1800 on 27 October he ordered the 20th Infantry Regiment to take a position southwest of Dagami and annihilate the Americans.42
The 17th Infantry estimated that there were from 1,500 to 2,500 Japanese in the vicinity to oppose the regiment's advance and that about 500 of these withdrew from Dagami in orderly fashion.43 The commander of the 17th Infantry prescribed a column of battalions for the attack of 28 October. The 2d Battalion would pass through the 3d Battalion, and the attack north would be in the order of 2d, 1st, and 3d. All of the supporting arms were attached to the 2d Battalion for its attack.44
At 0730 the 2d Battalion attacked and immediately met very strong opposition. The stone bridge and road were in the
middle of a strip of waist-deep swamp 100 yards wide, which funneled out to form a larger swamp. A crescent-shaped coconut grove lay beyond the swamp, one end in front of the road and the other bent to the south about 800 yards west of the road. The road and the curve in the coconut grove divided the swamp into three segments--one on each side of the road, and the third west of and parallel to the road. In the face of intense rifle, machine gun, and mortar fire coming from an unknown number of Japanese, Company F and three tanks managed to cross the creek. The tanks continued north up the road. As Company F waded through the waist-deep swamp, it pushed through direct enemy fire and past a large tank trap and found a line of pillboxes to its front and left flank.
The company commander ordered his unit to hold its position and then returned south of the bridge to bring up more tanks. The 1st Platoon of Company F moved to the left rear to protect that flank, which was receiving considerable enemy fire. As the company commander rushed back to get the tanks, about twenty Japanese attacked the 1st Platoon in an attempt to envelop the left flank of the company. The platoon leader ordered his men to hold their fire until the enemy was only five yards away, and nearly all of the Japanese were killed in the initial volley. The platoon held its ground to prevent any further enveloping attempts by the Japanese. Meanwhile, Company F's commanding officer found that no tanks were available, since they could not cross the weakened bridge. He returned to Company F and ordered it to retire to the tank trap, reorganize, and evacuate the wounded.
In the meantime, in order to relieve the pressure on Company G (on the right), which had run into somewhat the same situation, Lt. Col. William B. Moore, the battalion commander, committed Company E to the right (east) flank. Company E initially encountered determined opposition but managed to flank the enemy and assist Company G in its sector. At the same time the engineer troops of the 13th Engineer Battalion, working feverishly under heavy fire, tried to repair the damaged bridge. One of the armored bulldozers lost three drivers, successively, to enemy fire.
Under the close supervision of Colonel Moore, who was in the front lines, the 2d Battalion pressed the attack. Two M8 armored cars were brought wide around the right flank in order to avoid the swamp. With their aid, Companies E and G rolled up the east flank of the 20th Infantry Regiment and broke through the pillboxes in their own area.
Company C was committed to the left of Company F in order to aid it. Although this move was partially successful, Company C found itself pinned down by an enemy force entrenched in pillboxes and zigzag trenches. Since the Japanese defense line extended beyond the regiment's left (west) flank and around it to the south, Company B was committed further left to hit the southern flank of the enemy. Although Company B could not break through the line, it was able to locate the enemy right flank and neutralize the fire on that flank.
One of the three tanks that had gone north in the morning returned at 1400 and was guided into the sector of Company F. With all of its guns blazing, the tank broke through the enemy fortifications, and Companies C and F were then able to move in and mop up the enemy. The other two tanks had gone up the road some 250 yards when
they met antitank fire which completely destroyed one and immobilized the other, trapping its crew. As soon as the bridge was made passable, two M8's, a medium tank, and a squad from Company F were sent to rescue the trapped crew. While the medium tank and the infantry covered the damaged tank, the M8's drew up to it and allowed its crew to escape into their open turrets. The detail withdrew, having suffered no casualties, and the immobilized tank was then destroyed.
At dusk the 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry, and the committed companies from the 1st Battalion pushed some 300 yards beyond the enemy strong point and formed a perimeter defense for the night.45 Company B on the far left flank was withdrawn and closed into the perimeter. Although machine gun and mortar fire came from the left line of fortifications, there was no major action on the part of the Japanese. A few of the enemy, attempting to crawl through a trench into the position of Company F, became ensnarled in the concertina wire and were then destroyed by grenades.
Since the 2d Battalion had borne the brunt of the fighting on 28 October and had suffered numerous casualties, the regimental commander decided to have the battalion drop back into reserve. Although the drive to Dagami was to continue, the north-south line of enemy pillboxes on the left flank of the regiment could not be ignored. At 0800 on 29 October the regimental lines were to be reorganized so that the 3d and 1st Battalions, less Company B, would pass through the 2d Battalion, which would become the regimental reserve. Company B with a platoon of M8's would attack the flank and rear of the enemy in the left line of pillboxes.
At 0800, under cover of a heavy artillery concentration from the 49th Field Artillery Battalion, the 1st and 3d Battalions, 17th Infantry, passed through the 2d Battalion without incident. Company B, reinforced by the platoon from the Cannon Company, moved out to destroy the enemy force on the regiment's left flank. The company fought the Japanese from pillbox to pillbox, catching the enemy on his flanks and rear by rifle and machine gun fire, together with time-burst fire from the self-propelled howitzers. This completely demoralized the Japanese, some of whom threw down their arms and tried unsuccessfully to escape. More than 120 enemy dead were counted in the area. The 1st Battalion entered the southern part of Dagami without encountering serious resistance. It then came under artillery fire from the hills west of the town.
The 3d Battalion proceeded east of the road in a column of companies in the order L, K, and I, and met no serious opposition until it reached a cemetery south of Dagami. Overgrown with weeds seven to ten feet high and containing stone crypts built off the ground, the cemetery was divided by a path running east to west. As Company L moved into the burial ground, Company I swung around the right (east) side to come into position for the night. The leading elements of Company L passed through the cemetery and Company I moved into position without incident, but as the 1st Platoon of Company L, the reserve platoon, crossed the path, a headstone tilted back and from the open grave four Japanese opened fire
with an American Browning automatic rifle and other small arms. The small arms of the 1st Platoon had no effect and it became necessary to bring forward a flame thrower to burn the enemy out. At the same time the platoon received fire from other open graves, from which the Japanese had removed the bodies. By punching holes through the stone they used the crypts as individual foxholes. The platoon broke into small units and pushed through the cemetery, destroying the enemy forces wherever they could be located.
Company K, which followed Company I, placed two platoons abreast behind Company L. As it came through the weeds past the cemetery path a Japanese officer charged on the right flank with his saber and wounded one man before he could be brought down. Since the platoons were also receiving heavy fire from the tombs, the commander of Company K drew his men back to the path where they reorganized. Preceded by a battery of six flame throwers, the men then marched shoulder to shoulder through the cemetery and burnt out the enemy. About 1900 the regiment completed the action and formed its night perimeter.
During the fighting, the regimental operations officer, hearing the heavy fire and not being able to communicate with the 3d Battalion headquarters, called Company K direct to ascertain if the Japanese had broken through the American lines. "Hell no," was the reported reply, "we're breaking through theirs and fighting for our bivouac."46 During the night small infiltration parties of Japanese tried unsuccessfully to penetrate the regiment's defenses, and sporadic artillery fire was received from the hills west of Dagami.
By 1040 on 30 October Dagami was securely in American hands, and the 17th Infantry continued to mop up for the rest of the day. The 19th Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division, X Corps, across the Binahaan River north of Dagami, was reached by an airdrop message from the artillery spotter plane, and patrols reached the 382d Infantry of the 96th Division on the east. The mission of the 17th Infantry Regiment--securing the town of Dagami and effecting junction with the X Corps and the 96th Division--was completed. The regiment spent the next two days in mopping up and patrolling the area around Dagami.
The 7th Division had secured the limits of its beachhead line, but the southern approaches to the line had not yet been secured. The road farther south, running across the island from Abuyog on the east coast to Baybay on the west coast, offered a potential route along which the Japanese might pour in reinforcements.
At 0530 on 29 October the 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry, left Burauen for Abuyog via Dao and the coastal road, Highway 1. Its progress was impeded by muddy roads and the previous destruction of the bridge over the Bito River. The battalion, less one company, crossed the river by DUKW's at 0940 and by 1000 was in Abuyog, having encountered no Japanese. The 7th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, acting as an advance guard for the battalion, pushed west from Abuyog inland four miles on the road toward Baybay.
On 30 and 31 October the 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry, remained at Abuyog, but on the latter day it sent Company G, reinforced, toward Baybay on the Abuyog-Baybay road, which corkscrewed through the mountains for about twenty-seven miles between
the east and west coasts. The company encountered no Japanese. On 1 November no forward progress was made, but all elements of the 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry, patrolled. On 2 November Company G moved along the road and closed in on Baybay at 2200.
Far to the south the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Division, had been engaged since A Day in extensive patrolling of the Panaon Strait area. On 31 October the 1st Battalion, 32d Infantry, left the Bayug airfield for Dulag and at 2200 sailed from Dulag to relieve the 21st Infantry. The battalion arrived at Panaon Island at 0700 on 1 November and during the day effected the relief of the 21st Infantry, which then moved north to rejoin the 24th Division.47
The initial mission of the 7th Infantry Division--to land between the Calbasag and Daguitan Rivers, advance rapidly inland along the axis of the Dulag-Burauen road, seize hostile airstrips in its zone of action, secure the Burauen-Dagami road, and protect the XXIV Corps' left (south) flank--had been accomplished.
Since landing, the 7th Division had killed an estimated 4,211 Japanese and had taken 19 prisoners.48 Up to 1000 on 1 November, 32 officers and 290 enlisted men of the division had been killed; 48 officers, 1 warrant officer, and 777 enlisted men wounded; 15 officers and 223 enlisted men injured; and 21 enlisted men were missing in action.49
By 2 November, General Hodge's XXIV Corps had finished its assigned role for the second phase of General Krueger's plan for the capture of the island of Leyte. It had seized the southern part of Leyte Valley with its important roads, airfields, and potential base sites. An element of the corps had pushed to the west coast of the island, and was preparing for the move toward the important port of Ormoc as part of the third phase of the plan. General Makino had been forced to give up his Dagami headquarters and other positions on the heights overlooking the town. Far to the north, the X Corps was engaged in securing the northern part of Leyte Valley.
1. 7th Inf Div G-2 Periodic Rpt 2, 21 Oct 44, and Rpt 4, 23 Oct 44.
2. 35th Army Opns, p. 27.
3. Fifth Air Force Opns Instns 6, Engr Annex, 28 Sep 44, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl, 30 Sep 44.
4. XXIV Corps Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 6.
5. 7th Inf Div FO 9, 1 Oct 44.
6. 32d Inf Regt Jnl, 20 Oct 44.
7. 184th Inf S-3 Periodic Rpt 1, 20 Oct 44.
8. 17th Inf Unit Jnl, 20 Oct 44.
9. Lt Russell A. Gugeler, Battle for Dagami, pp. 10-11, MS in OCMH. The author, a combat historian attached to the 7th Division after the operation, knew many of the participants and has been able to give details that do not appear in the official records. Much of the material in this chapter is based on his manuscript.
10. 184th Inf Unit Jnl, 21 Oct 44.
11. 32d Inf Regt Jnl, 21 Oct 44.
12. 7th Div, Detailed Division Narrative, KING II, p. 4, DRB AGO.
13. 32d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 5.
16. 184th Inf Regt Jnl, 21 Oct 44.
17. 7th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, App. C to Annex 2.
18. 13th Engr Bn Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 6.
19. 7th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 3, 22 Oct 44.
21. 96th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, Annex C, Part III, Trans, KAKI Operational Order A-837, 22 Oct 44.
22. 7th Div FO 11, 22 Oct 44.
23. 32d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 6.
24. 7th Div G-3 Periodic Rpt 4, 23 Oct 44.
25. 35th Army Opns, p. 28.
26. 17th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, The Battle for Dagami, Annex A, p. 1.
27. 7th Inf Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 7.
28. 32d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 7.
29. Ibid., pp. 7-8.
30. Attachment to 7th Div G-2 Periodic Rpt 5, 24 Oct 44.
31. 49th FA Bn Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 4.
32. 32d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 8.
33. 32d Inf FO 6, 25 Oct 44.
34. 32d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 9.
35. 32d Inf FO 7, 27 Oct 44.
36. 32d Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 9.
37. Unless otherwise stated the material on the drive to Dagami is based on 17th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, Annex A, The Battle for Dagami, pp. 1-9.
38. 17th Inf FO 3, 25 Oct 44.
39. 17th Inf FO 4, 26 Oct 44.
40. 7th Inf Div G-2 Periodic Rpt 9, 28 Oct 44. Unless otherwise stated the entrance into Dagami is based upon 17th Inf Opns Rpt Leyte, Annex A, The Battle for Dagami, pp. 1-9.
41. 7th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, p. 9.
42. Central Area Unit Opns Order 2, 27 Oct 44, trans in App. C to Annex 2, 7th Div Opns Rpt Leyte.
43. 17th Inf FO 5, 27 Oct 44.
44. These were the Cannon Company, a platoon of the Antitank Company, a platoon of the 13th Engineer Battalion, 767th Tank Battalion, and the 91st Chemical Company minus the 1st and 3d Platoons.
45. During the day's action, Pfc. Leonard C. Brostrom of Company F and Pfc. John F. Thorson of Company G so distinguished themselves that they were awarded the Medal of Honor. Private Brostrom singlehandedly destroyed a pillbox and killed six Japanese before collapsing from his wounds. Private Thorson sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself upon an enemy grenade that landed in his platoon's defensive position.
46. 17th Inf Opns Rpt, Battle for Dagami, App., p. 9.
47. 7th Div G-3 Periodic Rpts 10-14, 29 Oct-2 Nov 44.
48. 7th Div G-2 Periodic Rpt 13, 2 Nov 44.
49. 7th Div G-1 Weekly Rpt 2, 31 Oct 44, Incl 2, Part 2, 1 Nov 44; 7th Div Opns Rpt Leyte, G-1 Rpt.