Leyte continued

LST’s # 66,67,18,245,102 on 20 October 1944

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.

Yamashita Tomoyuki, 1945

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.

airfield construction

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 surveys Leyte beach, 1944

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.”

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Military Humor – 

“You’re doing it wrong.”

Practice aircraft carrier??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Keefe R. Connolly – Markesan, WI; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Hospital Apprentice 1st Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

Daniel Coons Jr. – Fort Madison, IA; US Army, WWII

Joe Chadwell Tullahoma, TN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Charles A. Day – Redwood, CA; US Army, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Colonel (Ret.)

Stanley L. DeWitt – Royal City, IN; US Army, Korea, Sgt., Medical Detachment/57th FA/ 7th Infantry Division, Bronze Star, KIA (Chosin Reservoir, NK)

Robert C. Martin – Lakemore, OH; USMC, WWII, PTO, radio/gunner, Putple Heart

Mortimer Goodkin – Short Hills, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ATO (Adak, AK)

Robert Killey Sr. – Elmira, NY; US Coast Guard

Reuben Klamer – Canton, OH; US Navy, WWII, PTO, V-7 program  / boardgame developer

Michael T. MIles – Wikes Barre, PA; US Army

Joe R. Nightingale – Kalamazoo, MI; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Seaman 1st Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor)

Elizabeth Thew – Hopeswell, VA; Civilian, WWII, Corsair cockpit construction / military librarian

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About GP

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

Posted on September 27, 2021, in First-hand Accounts, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 105 Comments.

  1. Thank you again for the history lesson, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE your military humor!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting as always, GP. The details continue to amaze me. Stay safe and well. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank goodness the Japanese had been misinformed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is some awesome thinking. I love this! Wonderful ideas!💓

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really like rhis post, knowing about history, is a thing that makes me happy and relaxing. It’s really informative.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I want help tell the Pacific War story

    Liked by 1 person

  8. GP, do you remember several months ago you agreed to be interviewed this fall? Would you still be willing to do that? What would be the easiest way to send you the questions? I can certainly put them in the comment section for you to copy and paste with answers. If you still agree to do this, how would you like to proceed? Thanks. Pat
    PS You control what you will answer, how you would like the questions phrased and what questions you wish you had been asked.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been reading in the comments after a MacArthur video on YouTube, comments extremely critical of him and comments greatly praising him. I’d be curious to know what your general opinion of him was?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mac was a true soldier. He is condemned by many because he abandoned the Philippines, but he was under orders from FDR, as a soldier, he obeyed his Commander in Chief. He refused to condemn the Emperor of Japan, but as someone who grew up in the Orient, he understood that Japan would not sit tight if the Emperor was harmed – in Any way. The man seemed unfeeling, but by many soldiers, they knew he asked the opinions of Privates as well as officers. There is always another side to any argument.
      I, personally, was very glad my father served under him, met him and came home unharmed. Without him, we may not have won, at least not that quickly.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Reading your post, it struck me that battle strategy seems like an elaborate game–only thousands of people die. In a way, it’s quite confounding.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I have at least some sympathy and one thing in common with that Japanese general; I, too, have asked, “But where is Leyte?” Thanks to you and your blog, now I know. Despite being newly arrived from Manchuria, the good general could have profited by having you around to offer tidbits of information!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. THanks for this post

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It is incredible that Japanese generals could still be confident of victory given the capability of the forces arrayed against them and the difficulty of defending an island chain with so many potential points of attack. Koji’s posts are very helpful in getting the full picture of what was going on.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good to be able to read about both sides’ views of the conflict.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. More important information for this Eurocentric reader

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think there was a fear of failure in the Japanese forces and any talk or hint of defeat would not be tolerated. In the end it lead to their downfall. Perhaps if accurate and honest intelligence was used things may well have been different – for a while anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Found it interesting that Gen. Suzuki was receiving misinformation about all US carriers being sunk and no aircraft overhead. Has the government been sending misinformation throughout history?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The misinformation here came because of a lack of communication network. Often they relied on firsthand info from people too afraid of telling a superior officer bad news.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aviation Trails said it far better than I did,
      “I think there was a fear of failure in the Japanese forces and any talk or hint of defeat would not be tolerated. In the end it lead to their downfall. Perhaps if accurate and honest intelligence was used things may well have been different – for a while anyway.”

      Like

  18. Reblogged this on T. W. Dittmer and commented:
    GP posted this about the battle for Leyte, the Philippines, during WWII, and I was so wowed I wanted to share it.

    Like

  19. Wow. What a battle. Good job informing us, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I went up Catmon Hill one time I was in Leyte. Very strategic indeed. It has lots of Memorials for American as well as Japanese soldiers there. There was a big battle to take it from the Japanese forces.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. In General MacArthur’s summary, he uses words such as “advancing forces, began a drive, pushed westward, directed attacks, moving inland and cleared of the enemy”. Yet those few, simple words describe a tax in men’s lives, in parents’ sons, that has to be paid in war, if you want to win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mac’s summary, like his communiques, are often written to give people hope in a good outcome. It was mainly for that reason that the Filipinos loved him.

      Like

  22. Gotta wonder who was running Japanese intelligence. Good to look at the other side, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m always surprised, how long Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan first held out, and then how quickly they collapsed.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. That Japanese general was unusually misinformed. Reminds me of what I read about Hitler toward the end of WWII in Europe. Another informative post GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Een stuk geschiedenis waar ik nooit iets van gehoord heb

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dat is niet ongebruikelijk, MaryLou. Het was echt een wereldwijde oorlog en om alles te weten zou een enorme en onmogelijke prestatie zijn om te volbrengen. Ik waardeer uw bezoek zo trouw!

      Like

  26. Seems the Japanese were very ill-informed indeed.
    Lots of farewell salutes today, GP. May they rest in peace.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. The USS Hancock (CV-19) had joined the fleet earlier that month and was in combat at this point. (CEM Donald W. Wilson was a plank-owner on this carrier as well as the CV-5, which was lost at Midway.) Thanks for this post. I haven’t studied what was going on onshore.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you for this history post, GP. This is indeed new and far detailed than our Highschool history course text book on Philippine History. Blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Between bad intelligence, bad assumptions and (likely) over confidence, they never had a chance. It’s sad that their culture was one that demanded so many deaths.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. There is some irony that the enemy was subdued on Halloween.

    Liked by 4 people

  1. Pingback: Leyte continued — Pacific Paratrooper | Ups Downs Family History

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