Records and studies on the Leyte operation fall into eleven general classes: Joint Chiefs of Staff records, U.S. Army Air Forces records, U.S. Army records, U.S. Marine Corps records, U.S. Navy records, guerrilla records, Japanese studies, interviews, manuscript histories, special studies, and published works.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Records
The official records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as those of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, are now in the custody of the Research Analysis Section, Joint Chiefs of Staff. They consist primarily of the formal papers and minutes of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. An almost complete file of these JCS and CCS papers and minutes was kept for the Army during the wartime period by the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff and is now in the possession of the G-3 Division, the successor to the Operations Division. This Army file contains plans for projected operations, the working papers of the Army planning personnel, and correspondence with officers in the Pacific theaters, as well as the copies of the JCS and CCS minutes and papers.
Army Air Forces Records
The archives of the United States Army Air Forces contain manuscript histories of the various units and commands, written during or shortly after the war. The quality of these varies considerably. The following histories are of especial value for a study of the Leyte Campaign: those of the 7th, 8th, and 9th Fighter Squadrons of the 49th Fighter Group, 86th Fighter Wing, V Fighter Command, Fifth Air Force; V Fighter Command; V Bomber Command; XIII Bomber Command; Fifth Air Force; Thirteenth Air Force; and Far East Air Forces. Two studies are also useful: Far East Air Forces Staff Study Operation KING II, 12 July 44; and Fifth Air Force Fighter Cover Plan for Ormoc Bay Operation, file 731.326.
The voluminous Army records on the Leyte Campaign vary considerably in quality and content. The documents range from messages between the Chief of Staff and theater commanders to company journals.
The Chief of Staff's Log, 1944, which is in the Staff Communications Office, Office of the Chief of Staff, contains the daily high level radiograms and telephonic communications between Washington and the theaters. These give a concise daily summary of the strategic situation throughout the world, shed considerable light on joint and combined command, and summarize important plans and decisions.
Most of the records of General MacArthur's headquarters are in Japan. Available in the Historical Records Section of the Adjutant General's Office is a nearly complete file of the G-3 journals for the entire war period. The "Top Secret" messages are
not included. In addition there is a nearly complete file of Allied Translator Interpreter Section, GHQ SWPA, "Current Translations" and "Enemy Publications." The Allied Geographical Section, GHQ SWPA, made terrain studies of the geographical regions in the Southwest Pacific Area. Although they contain errors three of these were of value--Special Report 55, Airfields, Landing Beaches and Roads, Samar, Leyte and Dinagat Group, 10 July 1944; Terrain Study 84, Leyte Province, 17 August 1944; and Terrain Handbook 34, Tacloban, 25 September 1944. The Military Intelligence Section prepared information bulletins on the guerrillas that were of some use. These are: The Resistance Movement on Leyte Island, 7 October 1944, and The Resistance Movement on Samar Island, 10 October 1944.
The records of the Sixth Army for the campaign are very complete and in excellent condition. In addition to a fine operations report, there are complete G-2, G-3, and G-4 journals. These journals contain the daily messages, reports, and memoranda exchanged between Sixth Army, General Headquarters, responsible naval commanders, and subordinate units of the Sixth Army, as well as planning papers, periodic reports of Sixth Army and subordinate units, field and administrative orders, interrogations, and estimates of the enemy situation. For the period after 26 December 1944 the operations report of the Eighth Army is useful.
The operations report of the X Corps is helpful but too brief. The journals (G-2, G-3, and G-4) of the corps, however, are good. The XXIV Corps prepared an inadequate and incomplete operations report and its journals as a whole are inferior to those of the X Corps. The sections and subsections of the headquarters of the XXIV Corps completed "histories." These consist mainly of photographs of individuals and notations of changes in personnel. The "history" of the Sixth Army Service Command is poor and there are few records of ASCOM in the Historical Records Section, Adjutant General's Office.
The records of the 1st Cavalry Division and subordinate units are generally adequate, although those of the two brigades are inferior to those of the division and of the regiments. The narrative of the operations report of the 7th Division is inferior but the appendixes are excellent and very complete; the journals of the division are good. In general the operations reports and journals of the infantry regiments are very helpful. The operations report of the 32d Infantry is excellent and a model for a perfect regimental operations report. In contrast, the operations reports and journals of the 11th Airborne Division and subordinate units are very poor and incomplete. The 24th Infantry Division prepared a superb operations report and kept good journals. The records of the regiments of the division are sparse and incomplete and their operations reports are either inadequate or nonexistent. The records and operations reports of the 32d Division and its regiments are extremely sketchy and inexact. The 38th Division used Leyte as a staging area; when the Japanese parachuted into the Burauen airfields, its 149th Infantry was committed. The operations report of that regiment for the resultant action is far too brief. The 77th Infantry Division and its regiments have very good operations reports but their journals are inadequate. The operations reports and journals of the 96th Division are good.
The journals and operations reports of the Americal Division are only fairly good. There are "histories" and operations reports of small independent or attached units, but these are frequently one to three pages in length and very incomplete. Finally, it should be noted that the operations reports of the various artillery units are in the main poor and incomplete and the journals are highly technical.
Special Action Report of Corps Artillery, V Amphibious Corps, 28 December 1944.
The naval records that were consulted include the operation plans and reports by naval commanders. Copies of most of these are among the records of the Historical Records Section, Adjutant General's Office, Department of the Army. All of the documents are in the files of the Office of the Naval Records and Library, Department of the Navy.
There is in the Office of the Chief of Military History a large, completely disorganized collection of heterogeneous materials by and about the guerrillas in the Philippine Islands. These are incomplete, inadequate, and controversial. Some of the guerrilla bands had no records and all that is known of others is from violently prejudiced sources. Some of the American guerrillas published books on their experiences. These are impressionistic, generally replete with derring-do, and consequently possess scant value as sources. The Combat History Division, G-1 Section, AFWESPAC, prepared a four-volume work--"Triumph in the Philippines," the third volume of which, entitled "Guerrillas: Enemy Occupation," is colorful, but poor history.
At the cessation of hostilities, General MacArthur ordered the former Japanese War and Navy Ministries to prepare studies on Japanese plans and operations in World War II. The resulting studies, translations and originals, of which those mentioned below deal with the Leyte Campaign, are on file with the Office of the Chief of Military History. Although there are errors in dates, designations of units, and frequently in facts, these are the best sources for information on Japanese plans and operations. An exception is the independent study by General Tomochika, which despite its garish title is very good and contains much human interest. Tomochika, evidently a man of strong prejudices, at times was unduly critical of some of his fellow officers. Japanese Studies used in this volume are:
Tomochika, Maj. Gen. Yoshiharu, The True Facts of the Leyte Operation, typescript of translation, 10th I&HS, Eighth Army, 3 December 1946
Japanese Studies in World War II, 5, 4th Air Army Operations, 1944ñ45
----, 7, 14th Army Operations on Leyte
----, 11, 35th Army Operations, 1944-45
----, 14, Naval Operations in the Philippine Area, 1942-45
----, 21, History of the Southern Army, 1941-45
----, 72, History of the Army Section, Imperial General Headquarters, 1941-45
----, 102, Philippine Area Naval Operations, October 1944-December 1944, Part II, The Battle of Leyte Gulf
The following U.S. Army officers furnished the author valuable information on the Leyte Campaign: Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger, Maj. Gen. George H. Decker, Col. W. J. Verbeck, Col. Fred Weber, Col. Sidney F. Mashbir, Col. John M. Finn, Capt. Francis Cronin, Capt. Robert Ross Smith, and 1st Lt. James J. Frangie. Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Lt. Comdr. Henry M. Dater, Lt. Comdr. Russell L. Harris, Lt. Comdr. Philip A. Crowl and Lt. Roger Pineau of the U.S. Navy were very co-operative, helping to clear up moot points that arose. Capt. Samuel E. Morison furnished information on the Pearl Harbor Conference of July 1944.
There are in the files of the Office, Chief of Military History, the following manuscript histories of certain phases of the campaign:
Dean, Captain Tucker--The Liberation of Leyte. A preliminary work based principally upon the earlier study by Capt. Russell A. Gugeler.
Gugeler, Captain Russell A.--The 7th Division on Leyte. A good study although poorly documented.
History of the Engineer Corps in the Southwest Pacific, Chapter VI, Philippine Campaign.
There are available in the Office, Chief of Military History, copies of special studies that bear upon the Leyte Campaign. As a group they are capably done, although, of course, some are better than others.
Air Evaluation Board, POA, Leyte Campaign, 1944. Highly critical of Army close air support.
Committee 16, Officers Advanced Course, The Armored School, Fort Knox, Kentucky, Armor on Leyte, May 1949.
Division of Naval Intelligence, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, O. N. I. No. 93, Field Monograph of the Philippines, 3 parts, III, Visayan Islands, January 1944.
Grigg, Maj. Martin C., The Operations of the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry . . . in the Battle for the Buri Airstrip . . . Advanced Infantry Officers Class, 1948-1949, The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia.
MacLaughlin, Maj. Charles V., Operation of the XXIV Corps in the Invasion of Leyte Island, Advanced Infantry Officers Class, 1947-1948, The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia.
Military Intelligence Division, War Department, "Leyte Field Fortifications," Tactical and Technical Trends, April 1945.
Military Intelligence Service, General Staff, War Department, Survey of the Philippines, 3 volumes, 15 February 1943.
National War College, Analytical Study, Japanese Opposition at Leyte and Okinawa, 1948.
Fellers, Col. Bonner F., Psychological Warfare in the Southwest Pacific Area, 1944-45, 15 March 1946.
Staff Study of Operations of the Japanese 35th Army on Leyte, typescript of translation,
10th I&HS, Eighth Army (not dated), 4 parts.
Staff Study of Operations of the Japanese 102d Division on Leyte and Cebu, typescript of translation, 10th I&HS, Eighth Army (not dated).
United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Employment of Forces Under the Southwest Pacific Command, February 1947.
Williams, Maj. E., Intelligence Activities During the Japanese Occupation (not dated).
Arnold, General Henry H., Global Mission (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1949).
Cronin, Capt. Francis D., Under the Southern Cross, The Saga of the Americal Division (Washington, Combat Forces Press, 1951).
Davidson, Orlando R., Williams, J. Carl, and Kahl, Joseph A., The Deadeyes: The Story of the 96th Infantry Division (Washington, Infantry Journal Press (now Combat Forces Press), 1947). A divisional history definitely above the average.
Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Gate, eds., The Army Air Forces in World War II: V, The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1953).
Eichelberger, Robert L., Our Jungle Road to Tokyo (New York, The Viking Press, 1950).
Field, James A., Jr., The Japanese at Leyte Gulf, The SHÕ Operation (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1947). An excellent study based upon Japanese documents and interrogations. There are many superb photographs, maps, and charts.
Flanagan, Maj. Edward M., Jr., The Angels: A History of the 11th Airborne Division, 1943-1946 (Washington, Infantry Journal Press, 1948). A popular history written for the men of the division.
Halsey, Fleet Admiral William F., and Bryan, Lt. Comdr. J., Admiral Halsey's Story (New York, Whittlesey House, 1947). An interesting and popular account, of value in showing Halsey's strong interest in an early return to the Philippines.
Johansen, Maj. Herbert O., "Banzai at Burauen," Air Force, XXVIII, 3 (March, 1945). A popular account based entirely on American sources.
Kenney, George C., General Kenney Reports (New York, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949).
Karig, Capt. Walter, USNR, Harris, Lt. Comdr. Russell L., and Manson, Lt. Comdr. Frank A., Battle Report, Victory in the Pacific (New York and Toronto, Rhinehart and Co., Inc., 1949) (5 vols.), V. A highly readable journalistic salty account based upon documentary sources and interviews. There are many excellent photographs.
Leahy, Fleet Admiral William D., I Was There (New York, Whittlesey House, 1950). Excellent. Based entirely on his diary and notes written at the time.
Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, July 1, 1943, to June 30, 1945, to the Secretary of War (Washington, 1945).
The Medal of Honor (Washington, 1948). A history of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the official citations of the men who had been awarded the medal.
Morton, Louis, "American and Allied Strategy in the Far East," Military Review, XXIX, 12 (December, 1949). An excellent analysis of prewar strategy up to the summer of 1941.
Reel, A. Frank, The Case of General Yamashita (Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1949). An able pleading for General Yamashita by one of his defense counsel at his trial as a war criminal.
Sturgis, Brig. Gen. S. D., Jr., "Engineer Operations in the Leyte Campaign," reprint from The Military Engineer, November, December 1947, and January 1948.
United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Pacific, Naval Analysis Division, prepared two studies on the Pacific campaigns which are valuable for the student of the Leyte operation. The Campaigns of the Pacific War (Washington, 1946) is excellent for a study of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The Interrogations of Japanese Officials (2 vols., n. d.) contains much highly important material but it should be remembered that the interrogated Japanese officers were naturally desirous of making a good case for themselves and at the same time were anxious to give an answer which would please the interrogator.
Valtin, Jan [Richard J. Krebs], Children of Yesterday (New York, The Reader's Press, 1946). An excellent popular account of the activities of the 24th Division.
Verbeck, Col. W. J., A Regiment in Action, (n. p., n. d., privately printed, copy in OCMH). The story of the 21st Infantry Regiment which consists mainly of excerpts from the operations reports and journals of higher echelons.
Woodward, C. Vann, The Battle for Leyte Gulf (New York, The Macmillan Co., 1947). An extremely readable popular account based upon American and Japanese sources and interviews with which Dr. Woodward became acquainted while an officer on duty with the Office of Naval Intelligence during the war. The book is valuable in spite of a few minor errors of fact.