11th Airborne Division, May 1945

Japanese Army areas of responsibility, WWII

Shobu Group had lost one of the three legs of its defensive triangle, but the battle on northern Luzon was far from over. Until the end of the war, Sixth Army forces continued to push Gen. Yamashita’s men farther into the mountains, taking heavy casualties in the process. The 32d Division, which had also seen heavy fighting on Leyte, was worn down to almost nothing, but the defenders suffered even heavier battle casualties as well as losses to starvation and disease.  By the end of the war, the Japanese were still holding out in the rugged Asin Valley of the Sierra Madre in north-central Luzon, enduring the drenching summer monsoons.

1 May 1945, the recon platoon found a company-sized unit of the enemy in the 187th’s zone of responsibility. The 2d battalion, along with 81mm mortars and LMGs (light machine guns) spread out to attack the enemy on three sides. F Company had a kill count of 92 Japanese versus one man of theirs missing the following day. From 3 May on, the fighting was considerable. 10 May, with the situation easing, the division left the area to be patrolled by Filipino guerrillas and was once again united and prepared to set up their base camp among the ruins of Lipa.

Lipa, Luzon ruins, WWII

During the month of May, a new T O & E (Table of Organization and Equipment) was put into effect as replacements finally arrived. A battalion was added to each glider regiment. The 188th Infantry and the 674th Field Artillery became parachute units. The 472d Field Artillery Battalion was added to Division Artillery and the 187th became a Para-Glider Infantry Regiment. For the first time since their creation, the 11th A/B totalled 12,000 men.

7 May 1945, the war in Europe was over, the famous V-E Day, and the men of the 11th Airborne were very happy for their counterparts in the ETO, but they knew the Japanese would remain solid and faithful in their convictions. The fighting in the Pacific would continue, it was a matter of honor. My father, Smitty, had told me of the hatred the G.I.s felt for the enemy and granted, he wasn’t overjoyed at the prospect of getting shot at, but he said he had to have respect for their patriotism and tenacity. (Yamato damashii – Japanese spirit and Bushido – the way of the warrior.)  Now, the troopers began to wonder if they would receive ample reinforcements. Rumors began to fly.

Gen. Yamashita Tomoyuki

10 May, the 11th A/B Division regrouped outside Lipa.  If a soldier was not at an outpost or out on patrol, he was helping to build a camp in the coconut groves with those all too familiar pyramidal tents.  Bamboo and steel matting was used to raise the tents up about a foot since it was about to become rainy season once again.  Between two mountains, USO shows and movies began to arrive and a jump school and glider classes were held for the “green” replacements.

11 May, was the first span of 24 hours in a total of 101 days that no one from the 11th Airborne Division had killed one of the enemy. Their average before that had been 93.8 Japanese per day and during that time General Swing was unable to afford even one company to be in reserve.

Click on images to enlarge.

############################################################################################

Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

############################################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Pete Acuff – Olvey, AR; US Army, WWII,  driver

Stewart Barnett – AUS; D COY 4 RARNZ Battalion, Pvt. # 5715206, Vietnam, KIA

Clifford Doer – Milwaukee, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO & Korea, 11th Airborne Division

Harlan Ellison – Cleveland, OH; US Army / (sci-fi author)

David Franklin – Lake Worth, FL; USMC

Larry Hickman – Winston-Salem, NC; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Robert Keown – Decatur, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 2nd LT., P-38 pilot, KIA

Brian Monks – Hampton, NZ; INZ Regiment, Vietnam, Colonel # 35187

Lawrence Sweet – Broad Channel, NY; US Navy, WWII

George VanArsdale – Hugo, CO; US Navy, WWII

###########################################################################################

Advertisements

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 July 2, 2018, in WWII, SMITTY and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 68 Comments.

  1. Engaging and informative as always, GP. Thank you for what you do. Thank you Smitty, for your service.
    Would you kindly permit me a “Farewell Salute” to my father, Lieutenant Colonel Richard B. “Rick” Long, Sr., United States Army (retired), Seven Lakes, North Carolina. 2/25/37 – 3/31/18

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy reading the personal observations of your Father gp, it really provides a link from the here and now, to the actual events unfolding, you have a great legacy to continue your life with mate.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that “jury summon” lol…I can see it truly happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I especially love your accounts of the Philippines, where my dad served. Makes me understand a little more about what he went through. He really never shared the hardships of the war, only the stories about his buddies and the camaraderie. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your father sounds a lot like my own, Toni. I’m glad I can shed some light on what they endured over there. If you recall any stories your father told you, feel free to put them here – we ALL like the eye witness accounts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A summons for jury duty … what part of New Zealand did you say he was from?

    Like

  6. Thank you for that, I enjoyed it. It must have been very difficult for men to risk their lives to finish off a war that was clearly won. It’s a pity that they could not have bypassed some of these places and used ships and submarines to stop their ammunition getting through. That may be just simplistic, of course, and it is certainly said with a huge benefit of hindsight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite a bit of the Japanese supply lines were sunk and damaged at this point, but after years of building and preparing these tunnels and fortifications, they were well stocked.

      Like

    • The Japanese gov had been negotiating for 8 months to Avoid War.But,
      Suddenly, In 1941, Cordell Hull thrust “Hull note” (↓ four Hull principles) to Japan for drag into WAR.If you do not know, look this public docment, pls.

      https://www.jacar.go.jp/english/nichibei/popup/pop_26.html

      Like

        • Great Thanks,Dear GP Cox!!:D
          I read this article,you are Hardworking!
          There are commentator is cleaver,too.:D
          Since when did a part of anti-Japanese commentators began to gather here,I wonder?…mmm…

          By the way,About resources.
          Japan whose resource was cut off by the ABCD siege network was the only way left to “for self-defense of Japan” to capture the British important Singapore and secure the oil resources of the Dutch colony Indonesia . And British colonial rule The release of Singapore was the first step in opening up Asia.
          In other words, the Malaysia-Singapore strategy is the purpose itself of the Great Easter Asian War of Japan’s self-existence self-defense and the opening of the Asian colonial rule.

          Why Hull suddenly cut off the negotiations which pourpose of avoid War after for 8 months, put conditions on Japan to abandon sovereignty of territory. Moreover, why did not Roosevelt appear in the request of meeting of Japan?

          Everything is a Trap by Allies to drag Japan into war.
          It is WW! ,Churchill issued a request for relief many times to the Japanese Navy that had a Japanese-English alliance.
          (This is my personal opinion, I think that Churchill used Japan for his own status recovery.)
          All started not from WW 2 but from WW 1 already.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hull was what we call a “Hawk”, meaning he wanted war, plus he had his orders from FDR.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oh! thanks Soo much!☺️✨✨
              If you know the public document that Hull was the Comintern, please tell me URL by all means!
              Because Roosevelt was called by a cover name, his circumference was much Comintern which was proofed of document of the government.
              However, I do not know the evidence that he was the Comintern,yet.😭

              Liked by 1 person

  7. It must have taken tremendous strength of character for our soldiers once they heard about V-E day. I suspect there was quite a mix of emotions: happiness, yes, but perhaps a bit of envy or even resentment that they weren’t yet at a point where it could “all be over.”

    An odd little detail: I read in another post yesterday about a town in France that was bombed nearly into oblivion by Allied forces in 1944, because of Hitler’s turning those towns into “fortifications” and insisting that his commanders never surrender. I’ve never considered the thought that Hitler and some of these Japanese commanders had certain similar personal characteristics.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I appreciated reading your dad’s perspective of hatred vs. respect… I imagine that is true of many soldiers. I have such a respect for our soldiers that fought through those conflicting thoughts and did what had to be done.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It had to be pure Hell for Smitty and his brothers in arms

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! Such great determination!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Four more months. It must have seemed forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am proud of my Ancestors.
    JAPAN fought all on our own against allied nations.
    How STRONG JAPANESE are!
    Ahem!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As you stated earlier, much about the Bushido Code actually contributed to them losing. Not to mention prolonging unnecessary injury and suffering. When a Code becomes just a mindless and destructive mindset it has outlived it’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The cartoon – Jury duty?! Just humor, or did service personnel really get that nonsense in their mail?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I was surprised to read that some of the island territories were still being controlled by the Japanese forces. Were these places of lesser strategic importance? Just wondering …

    Liked by 1 person

  16. That General Yamashita looks like a pretty tough dude, to me. He had a good war face.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I was watching a show this weekend about the war in the Philippines. They mentioned the initial effort to spare Manila from being destroyed, but how eventually buildings had to be fired upon. If ever the Japanese would see the end coming and bargain for peace, it would have been after VE Day. They had to know there was no way to win at that point.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Where was your father at this point? Those statistics are frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. With the war in Europe over, our men in the Pacific still could not see the end of their war and now facing the rainy season could be worst for the troops. I saw the ruins of Lipa and could not imagine how the fighting there was. Lipa suffered more than property damage – more than 2000 civilians were massacred there in Feb. 1945.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somehow I did not know about the civilians.

      Like

      • The following data came from “The Battle for Manila” by Richard Connaughton, John Pimlott and Duncan Anderson. Somehow I saved it in my computer. You can keep it here or include it at a later post if you have something about Yamashita’s trial. My mother told me about the massacre in Bauan where people were called in for a town meeting, locked them up in schoolhouse and then threw kerosene and burned the building. A couple of her relatives died in one of those massacres. Same thing happened in Cuenca and Lipa which are towns closer to my hometown.

        In Batangas alone, the following Bills of Particulars arising during the course of General Yamashita’s trial reveal the extent of the massacres. These are a few of the examples arising over a short period of time.
        Feb. 16 – Mar. 19, 1945 in Santo Tomas, Batangas, 1500 civilians massacred.
        Feb. 16-18, 1945 in Lipa, Batangas, more than 2000 civilians massacred and property destroyed.
        Feb. 19, 1945 in Cuenca, Batangas, 984 civilians massacred and property destroyed.
        Feb. 20, 1945 in San Jose, Batangas, 500 civilians massacred.
        Feb. 28, 1945 in Bauan, Batangas, 500 civilians massacred and property destroyed.

        The data came from “The Battle for Manila” by Richard Connaughton, John Pimlott and Duncan Anderson.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I can imagine the determination of Smitty and his colleagues to keep fighting, and get the job done. So many long years behind them, and the loss of so many friends too.
    Four months goes by quickly in ‘normal’ life, but must seem like that many years, in combat.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Such a shame they had to continue

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 11 May must have felt like a very strange day!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: