October 1944 (6)

While the Imperial Navy was floundering in their attempts to halt the persistent invasion of Leyte, Gen. Yamashita was in his headquarters at Fort McKinley on Luzon.  He was receiving very little information from his own people and upon hearing of the US landing, he was heard to say, “Very interesting.  But where is Leyte?”  [The Japanese general had only just been transferred from Manchuria.]

Yamashita did not feel that the Japanese all-out standing defense should be on Leyte and he refused to supply more troops to the island.  But he was overruled.  Gen. Terauchi, knowing that the island’s occupation by the Americans would divide their bases, so reinforcements would be sent in.

MacArthur inspecting the beach

21 October – Most of the Japanese beach defenses had been shattered by bombing and strafing and a majority of the 1st Battalion/16th Division had been wiped out.  Parts of Tacloban had been liberated by the US troops and Gen. Makino was now forced to split the remainder of his 16th Div. in half, North and South Defense Forces.

As the ground forces continued fighting, Japanese aircraft from all other bases in the Philippines arrived on Luzon to support the plans for a counteroffensive.

25 October – Gen. Sosaku Suzuki, in charge of defending the Central Philippines, still was receiving inferior or misleading intelligence and remained confident of Japanese victory because:  He still expected support from the Navy; he had glowing reports concerning Formosa; he was told that ALL US carriers had been sunk and no American aircraft were flying over his headquarters on Cebu.  Suzuki told his Chief of Staff, Gen. Tomochika, “…we are about to step on the center of the stage.  There is no greater honor or privilege.”

Two Japanese units were on en-route to Luzon:  the Japanese 1st Division [the Gem Division] to land at Ormoc on the west coast and the 26th Division at Carigara in the north.

MacArthur’s summary:

“The assault continued after a rapid consolidation of the first few days  objectives.  Numerous enemy counterattacks were beaten off in all areas during the next few days as advancing forces reported increased resistance on every front.  By the end of the third day, over 2,000 Japanese had been reported killed…

“On 24 October, elements of the XCorps began a drive up the Leyte side of San Juanico Strait, while farther south other units of the Corps pushed westward.  At the same time, the XXIV Corps directed attacks northward and westward.  The 96th Div., moving inland from Dulag, met heavy opposition from fortified positions on Catmon Hill, a terrain feature dominating the division’s zone of action and giving protection to enemy mortars bobbing shells toward the assault shipping in Leyte Gulf.  Catmon Hill was initially by-passed, then neutralized by naval guns and field artillery and finally cleared of the enemy by 31 October.”

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor –

 

“try to say something funny, Joe”

 

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Farewell Salutes –

Jack Agnew – Hamilton, CAN; RC Navy, WWII

Leonard Beford – Falmouth, MA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Herbert Creacey – Roseburg, OR; US Navy, WWII

Catherine Ewell – Zachary, LA; US Army WAC, WWII, nurse

Herbert Good – Bound Brook, NJ; US Army, WWII

Frank Hill –  Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Navy, WWII

Ralph Konze – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Lt.Colonel (Ret.)

Caldon Norman – Mineapolis, MN; US Army, WWII, ETO, POW

John S. Powell Jr. – Ft. Lauderdale, FL; US Army, Korea, Captain

Gerald Shepler – Liberty, IN; US Army, Korea, K/3/187th Airborne RCT, KIA

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on March 13, 2017, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.

  1. Julia C. Tobey

    So interesting to see how clueless the Japanese leadership was.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, as to be expected gp, that piece illustrates the lack of complete knowledge on Lyete by the Japanese.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry i haven’t visiting your blog.I has so much work in the garden and with the excellent weather i hope I can make my garden ready before it raining again.Lovely military humor

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always learn something new reading your posts.
    I will never forget what these brave men did in the Pacific and the ETO

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The history you share is always interesting and important…and often very sad. But, we must hear these stories!(Thank you for sharing them.) We must remember the past and learn from it.

    I always pause to read each individual name in your Farewell Salutes. Makes me sad, reminds me to be appreciative.

    Oh, BTW: Happy Pi Day to you, GP!!! 😀
    3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279+ HUGS!!! 😛
    I wonder when it is Pie Day?!?!? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The posts do become sad to read, but I keep hoping people will finally learn! And to also remember what these troops did so that they have the freedoms that they take for granted. I knew few actually read the Farewells, but they matter to me and to people such as yourself!!!
      I’m afraid we missed National Pie – it was January 23rd.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I am with you in appreciating our troops…past, present and future. I’m at an age where the young men and women I know (who are in the military) look like 12 year olds! They look so young!

        Aw, well, I’ll have to mark the calendar for next Jan 23 and have a piece of pie that day! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s always a tragedy when thousands of people or soldiers are killed no matter from which side. Can’t imagine how it was fighting in the Pacific during WWII.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Japanese general probably had more excuse than the politician who asked ‘What’s Aleppo’.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m fascinated as I read what you post, GP, but I’m with Amy – the statistics are tearfully horrific.

    No matter which side is being tallied, each and every death means, not only the end of a young life, but heartbreak back home: parents who will grieve until they die themselves, often fatherless children (in this war – fathers and mothers both in wars more recent), widows who will struggle as single parents – and wishes for retribution in many.

    War is hell – and “leaders” who don’t recall, know or consider history would doom us all to have to live through it again with their thoughtless incendiary words and actions.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Again friend I like your blog very much . It is very informative. Thanks. Ciao from Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am a Japanese.
    Thank you for accessing my blog.
    I read your blog with interest.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do follow two other Japanese blogs. I have always been drawn to the beauty of your country and the kindness of the Japanese people I’ve known. I only hope the computer translator is being accurate for both of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There can’t be many funny sides to the situation when you’re standing in a landing craft on your way to meet a few thousand Japanese soldiers!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amazing about Gen. Yamashita being in the dark. You would have thought he would have taken a tour of his area when he first arrived.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Got to learn so many new things through your post

    Liked by 2 people

  14. There is no greater tragedy in warfare than overconfidence and misinformation. Similar stories can be dug up from the Eastern Front on the European theater. A great lesson to learn even for our everyday life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I’m sure there are many of these instances, but the causes are not always taken into consideration when history tells their story. Thanks for coming by, Peter. I look forward to your ETO/PTO comparisons.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Two thousand killed in such a short time. How awful. I know it was a war, but nevertheless, awful.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Nice, succinct summary of that phase of the battle. In case you haven’t already read it, Samuel Eliot Morrison’s volume on Leyte in his “History of US Naval Operations In World War II” gives a detailed account of all phases of Leyte.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Philippines has always held a strong interest for me, since this will be where my father starts his own combat experiences. My friend Koji even went there and carried a letter for me to act as my proxy in a ceremony there. Thank you for thinking to bring this title to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Liked the phrase “still was receiving inferior or misleading intelligence”. Makes one wonder how all would have turned out had he received information to the contrary? Isn’t it so true that decisions must be made on sound intelligence.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. A Wonderful account GP. I have been reading “the Thin Red Line” by James Jones based on his personal experiences (particularly gruesome) during the war with the Japanese. It is a chilling and realistic view of war. Hopefully we will never send our youth off to fight and die so horrifically again. Thank you for your wonderful posts GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Even this late in the war, it seems the Japanese were still able to mount some fierce counter attacks. The amount of supplies needed, the ammunition, food, fuel, etc must have been enormous. Small wonder that they lost so many transport ships. After all that effort, they continued to waste the lives of their soldiers with suicidal charges.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

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