GHQ Operations Instructions No. 70
21 September 1944
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA
A. P. O. 500
21 September 1944.
OPERATIONS INSTRUCTIONS NUMBER 70
See current Intelligence Summaries and Annex No. 3--Intelligence.
Allied Forces occupy the line: MARIANAS-ULITHI-PALAU-MOROTAI and control the approaches to the southern and eastern PHILIPPINES.
The THIRD FLEET, Admiral W. F. Halsey commanding, covers and supports the LEYTE GULF-SURIGAO STRAIT Operations by:
Containing or destroying the Japanese Fleet.
Destruction of hostile air and shipping in the FORMOSA, LUZON, VISAYAS and MINDANAO areas during the period A-9 through A-3 and from A Day through A+30 as necessary to maintain their continued neutralization.
Destruction of ground defenses and installations and shipping in the objective and adjacent enemy supporting areas from A-2 until the escort carriers assume the mission of direct support.
Providing direct support of the landing and subsequent operations by fast carrier aircraft as required.
Coordination of operations of THIRD FLEET and SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Naval and Air Forces will be published later.
I Time (Zone-9) of Z Time will be used during the operation.
Forces of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC, covered and supported by the THIRD FLEET, will continue the offensive to reoccupy the PHILIPPINES by seizing and occupying objectives in the LEYTE and western SAMAR areas, and will establish therein naval, air and logistic facilities for the support of subsequent operations.
Target Date for A Day: 20 October 1944.
SIXTH US ARMY--Lt General Walter Krueger, US Army. As constituted, less elements assigned by subsequent orders to EIGHTH US ARMY.
SIXTH US ARMY reserve:
77th US Infantry Division-GUAM
6th US Infantry Division-CAPE SANSAPOR, DUTCH NEW GUINEA. Forces allocated for the operation as designated in Annex No. 1. Tentative Troop List for the Operation. The exact composition of the landing force as designated by Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY.
FIRST AUSTRALIAN ARMY--Lt General V. A. H. Sturdee, CBE
EIGHTH US ARMY--Lt General Robert L. Eichelberger, US Army.
As later specified.
ALLIED NAVAL Forces--Vice Admiral T. C. Kinkaid, US NAVY.
ALLIED AIR Forces--Lt General George C. Kenney, US Army.
USASOS--Maj General J. L. Frink, US Army.
The SIXTH US ARMY, supported by the ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces, will:
By overwater operations seize and occupy:
Objectives in the TACLOBAN and DULAG areas in LEYTE and such adjacent areas as are required to initiate and insure uninterrupted naval and air operations therefrom.
Objectives in the HOMONHON and DINAGAT ISLANDS and such adjacent areas prior to the main assault in LEYTE as will insure the uninterrupted access for amphibious shipping into LEYTE GULF.
Objectives in the PANAON STRAIT area that will permit passage of naval forces through the PANAON STRAIT for operations in the CAMOTES SEA. This objective will be secured simultaneously with (1) (a) above.
Establish control of SAN JUANICO STRAITS in order to permit passage of naval forces through the SAN JUANICO STRAITS for operations in the SAMAR SEA.
In subsequent operations, establish control over the remainder of LEYTE ISLAND; occupy and consolidate the western portion of southern SAMAR to include the TAFT-WRIGHT Highway and seize objectives that will permit opening of SURIGAO STRAITS for naval operations.
Prepare to conduct such operations as may be later directed by this headquarters to:
Complete the consolidation of SAMAR.
Destroy or contain hostile garrisons in the VISAYAS.
Occupy and defend sites for radar and air warning installations as arranged with the Commanders ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces.
Assume control of and direct the operations of FILIPINO Forces of the 9th Military District (LEYTE-SAMAR).
Establish facilities for minor naval operations at the earliest practicable date in the LEYTE-SAMAR area as arranged with the Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces and initiate the establishment of naval, air and logistic facilities for the support of subsequent operations to reoccupy the PHILIPPINES as directed in Annex No 4, Logistics, and Annex No 6, Engineer, and as later directed by this headquarters.
Establish air facilities in the LEYTE area with objectives as follows:
a. First Objective:
Immediately following the assault
and by A+5 for:
1 fighter gp (P-38)
1 fighter gp (P-40)
1 night fighter sq
b. Second Objective:
Additional by A+15.
1 tactical reconnaissance sq
1 photo sq
1 medium bomb gp plus 1 sq P. O. A.
3 PBY sqs (tender-based)
1 VMR sq (Marine)
c. Third Objective:
Additional by A+30.
2 light bomb gps (A-20)
1 air-sea rescue sq
1 tactical reconnaissance sq
1 fighter gp (P-38)
d. Fourth Objective:
Additional by A+45.
1 fighter gp (P-47)
1 PB4Y sq (AirEch)
2 heavy bomb gps
1 LAB sq
e. Fifth Objective:
Additional by A+60.
1 photo sq (F-5)
1 PB4Y sq (Air Ech)
2 troop carrier gps
1 combat mapping sq (Air Ech)
f. As later designated.
The Commanding General EIGHTH US ARMY, supported by the ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces will:
Relieve the SIXTH US ARMY of missions in NEW GUINEA, the ADMIRALTIES, NEW BRITAIN, and the MOROTAI area as later directed by this headquarters.
Prepare to relieve the SIXTH US ARMY in the VISAYAN area as later directed by this headquarters.
Assist the Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY by training, staging and mounting units of the SIXTH US ARMY in the EIGHTH US ARMY area of responsibility as arranged with the Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY.
The FIRST AUSTRALIAN ARMY, supported by the ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces, will continue:
The defense of naval and air installations within assigned areas of combat responsibility.
The neutralization of Japanese forces within assigned areas, seizing every opportunity for the destruction of hostile forces.
The Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces, while continuing present missions, will:
Transport and establish landing forces ashore in the LEYTE GULF-SURIGAO STRAIT area as arranged with the Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY.
Support the operations by:
Providing air protection for convoys and naval task forces and direct air support for the landing and subsequent operations, supplemented as arranged with the Commander THIRD FLEET and the Commander ALLIED AIR Forces.
Arranging direct air support and cover with carrier aircraft for minesweeping and preliminary landings in the LEYTE GULF area during the period A-2 to the time escort carriers assume the mission of direct support on A Day.
Transporting supporting troops and their supplies as required to the LEYTE GULF-SURIGAO STRAIT area in naval assault shipping.
Denying Japanese reinforcement of the LEYTE area from the SAMAR, western VISAYAS and northeastern MINDANAO areas.
Clearing the SURIGAO STRAIT area of hostile naval forces and shipping and sweeping the SURIGAO STRAIT to open it for naval operations and shipping in the CAMOTES SEA and adjacent waters, in conjunction with operations of the SIXTH US ARMY.
Provide submarine offensive reconnaissance along probable routes of hostile naval forces and of water-borne reinforcements and supplies.
Provide lifeguard services as required.
Transfer to the Commander ALLIED AIR Forces the mission of direct air support when land-based fighters and light bombers are established in the LEYTE area, at a time as arranged with the Commander ALLIED AIR Forces.
Escort and protect shipping on the lines of communication into the LEYTE and SAMAR areas.
Establish in VISAYAN waters, naval forces required to support current and future operations.
The Commander ALLIED AIR Forces, while continuing present missions, will:
Support the operation by:
Providing aerial reconnaissance and photography as required.
Neutralizing, in coordination with carrier and land-based aircraft of the THIRD FLEET, hostile naval and air forces in areas within range in the PHILIPPINE ARCHIPELAGO, intensifying the neutralization in the western VISAYAS and MINDANAO areas from D-9 to cover the movement of naval forces, the landing and subsequent operations. (Cooperation of air operations of the THIRD FLEET and SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Air Forces will be published later.)
Providing protection of convoys and naval forces and direct support of the landing and subsequent operations within capabilities and as requested by Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces.
Assuming the mission of direct support of the operations in the LEYTE-SAMAR area at the earliest practicable date after the establishment of fighters and light bombers in the LEYTE area, as arranged with the Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces.
Continuing the destruction of hostile naval and air forces and shipping in the ARAFURA and CELEBES SEA areas and by initiating strikes on northeastern BORNEO and the SULU ARCHIPELAGO at the earliest practicable date; denying use of naval facilities in the SULU ARCHIPELAGO to the Japanese and protecting the western flank of the operation.
Destroying hostile installations and sources of war materials in Eastern NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES.
Establishing and operating radar and air warning facilities as required in the LEYTE-SAMAR area, as arranged with the Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY.
Establishing air forces in the LEYTE area in the priority as listed in paragraph 3a (8).
For the coordination of planning the Commander ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces will cause their respective close support commanders to report to the Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY, who is charged with the coordination of plans.
A brief of the coordinated plan of operations will be furnished this headquarters by the Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY by 5 October 1944.
Commanders ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA, will submit to this headquarters by 1 October 1944 their respective plans for general support to be afforded by their forces during the period of operations.
During the amphibious movement and landing, the Commander Naval Attack Forces is in command of the amphibious operations; his command continues until the landing forces are established ashore. Command of the forces ashore is then passed to the Landing Force Commanders. The exact time of transfer of command from the Commanders Landing Forces will be announced by radio. The controlling considerations for fixing the time when the landing forces are established ashore will be as agreed by the Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces and the Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY, and will be announced by them to this headquarters and appropriate subordinates.
For coordination of land-based and naval aircraft in support of the operation, see Standing Operating Procedure Instructions Number 16/1, this headquarters, dated 10 August 1944.
To coordinate the attack of THIRD FLEET carrier aircraft, the Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces, in concert with the Commander ALLIED AIR Forces and Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY, will furnish the Commander THIRD FLEET at the earliest practicable date the following:
Schedule and tracks of echelons.
Target maps of air and surface bombardment.
Naval gunfire plans.
Other plans and data necessary for the support of the operation by the fast carrier forces.
Areas of responsibility for naval and air operations of the THIRD FLEET and SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Forces will be designated later.
Instructions for long range reconnaissance, and bombing and attack restrictions will be issued in subsequent Operations Instructions.
Annex No. 1 indicates the tentative troop list for the Operation, and Annex 2 indicates the troop movements for the concentration.
See Annex No. 4--Logistics, (to be issued later)
See Annex No. 5--Communications,
PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS--HAWAII
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA--HOLLANDIA
Advanced Echelon--LEYTE (date and hour of opening to be announced later)
SIXTH US ARMY--LEYTE (as announced by Commanding General SIXTH US ARMY)
FIRST AUSTRALIAN ARMY--LAE
EIGHTH US ARMY--HOLLANDIA
ALLIED NAVAL FORCES--HOLLANDIA
ALLIED AIR FORCES--HOLLANDIA
UNITED STATES ARMY SERVICES OF SUPPLY--HOLLANDIA
By command of General MacARTHUR: R. K. SUTHERLAND,
Lieutenant General, U. S. Army,
Chief of Staff.
S. J. CHAMBERLIN,
Major General, G.S.C.,
Asst. Chief of Staff, G-3.