January 1945 cont’d

11th Airborne, Leyte

 

As the fighting for the 11th Airborne Division, on Leyte, came to a close, the battalions worked their way back to Bito Beach.  The 674th and 675th Glider Field Artillery and the 457th Parachute Field Artillery remained in strategic positions to cover them.

The Luzon Attack Force, commanded by VAdmiral Kinkaid, under MacArthur, was composed of 7th Fleet units and numbered more than 850 ships. This was divided into the Lingayen Attack Force (Vice Admiral Wilkinson commanding), the San Fabian Attack Force (Vice Admiral Barbey), a reinforcement group (R Admiral Conolly commanding), a fire support and bombardment group ( VAdmiral Oldendorf ) and surface and air covering groups (Rear Admiral Berkey and Rear Admiral C.T. Durgin, respectively, commanding). The Luzon Attack Force was to transport, put ashore and support elements of the 6th U.S. Army (Lieutenant General Walter Krueger) to assist in the seizure and development of the Lingayen area.

2→3 January – A military report showed that 111 enemy aircraft were destroyed on and above Formosa and the Ryukyu Islands.  B-24’s hit Haha Jima and Iwo Jima over a seven hour period and areas of Luzon and the Netherland East Indies (NEI) continued to be hit.

In preparation for the upcoming invasions of Iwo Jima, Okinawa and eventually Japan, Gen. MacArthur was placed in command of US ground forces and Adm. Nimitz over all naval forces.

3→4 January – the 3rd Fleet, operating under Admiral Halsey, with its fast carrier task force commanded by VAdmiral McCain, was to cover and protect the operation by air strikes over Luzon.  There was little airborne opposition, but unfavorable weather conditions somewhat reduced the toll of enemy ships, planes and facilities destroyed.

Yamashita’s division of Luzon

Early in January, Japan’s General Yamashita pulled his Fourteenth Army (260,000 men) back off of Luzon’s beach to conserve them. He was aware of the forthcoming invasions of American troops.

Yamashita divided his men into three defensive groups; the largest, the Shobu Group, under his personal command numbered 152,000 troops, defended northern Luzon. The smallest group, totaling 30,000 troops, known as the Kembu Group, under the command of Tsukada, defended Bataan and the western shores. The last group, the Shimbu Group, totaling 80,000 men under the command of Yokoyama, defended Manila and southern Luzon.

Yamashita tried to rebuild his army but was forced to retreat from Manila to the Sierra Madre Mts. of northern Luzon, as well as the Cordillera Central Mts. Yamashita ordered all troops, except those tasked with security, out of the city.

Almost immediately, IJN RAdm. Sanji  Iwabuchi re-occupied Manila with 16,000 sailors, with the intent of destroying all port facilities and naval storehouses. Once there, Iwabuchi took command of the 3,750 Army security troops, and against Yamashita’s specific order, turned the city into a battlefield.

Major Thomas McGuire

7 January – US pilot and ace, Major Thomas McGuire (38 victories) was killed in a low-level combat with a group of Japanese Zero fighters, led by Shiochi Sugita, the 3rd highest scoring ace of the IJN Air Force, over Negros Island.

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Military Humor – 

If it’s stupid, but it works > it ain’t stupid.

If at first you don’t succeed > call in an airstrike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

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Farewell Salutes – 

James J. Bednarcik – Cleveland, OH; US Navy, WWII, PTO, SeaBee

Lawrence Brooks (112) – Norwood, LA; US Army, Australia, Pfc., 91st Engineering Battalion

Final Mission

Vincent D’Andrea – Sloatsburg, NY; US Navy, WWII, USS Broome

John Farnsworth (101) – Salem, MA; Civilian Conservation Corps  / US Army, WWII

David Gilbert (105) – South Bend, IN; US Navy, WWII

Richard “Dick” Lutes – Wiscasset, ME; US Navy, Vietnam, Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic, Black Beret, River PT Sailor

Timothy D. Minatrea – Quitman, TX; US Navy, Desert Storm, Aviation Electricians Mate 1st Class

David V. Nguyen – Oakland, CA; CA National Guard, 870th MP Co.

Charles A. Peachtree Jr. – Lexington, KY; US Army, WWII, infantry

Juanita Quintero (100) – Pinole, CA; Civilian, welder, Richmond Shipyards

Edwin Schmidt – Alton, IL; US Army, WWII, PTO, cartographer

Billy Turner – Ardmore, OK; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Seaman 1st Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor, HI)

Wesley Woods – Hornlake, MS; US Army, MSgt., 1st Stryker Brigade/25th Infantry Division

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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 January 10, 2022, in SMITTY, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 82 Comments.

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

    I like your Coffee’s Ready picture. There are a few roosters in the area here who are up early. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great, informative post! So important to learn from History.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks a lot for your history lessons, dear GP 🙏 🙏 It’s interesting like always and shows how horrible war is.
    We are amazed at how many troops the Japanese had.
    Keep healthy and happy
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Snap nog altijd niet maar ze al die troepen bleven halen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your like of my post, “NJ Abortions Legal Up To Birth;” The subject was too important to not comment on its horribleness..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not for the first time, I wonder at the extent of human endeavour. What as waste to expend so much on war – though, of course, it had to be done. Than God we prevailed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. While reading, I realized once again how many people and material were moved here. Thanks for sharing the information, GP. Have a beautiful weekend! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lulu: “When our Dada gets something done and tells his boss it’s not pretty but it works, his boss always tells him, ‘works’ counts for a lot!”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thanks for your like of my article, “Daniel Prophecy – Chapter 2;” you are very kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting post and I hope you have a great New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was fascinated by the different units with their different responsibilities in the Luzon Attack Force, G.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know it’s my imagination, but even without computers to figure logistics, they seem quite organized in such a huge conflict as compared to today’s high tech smaller ones. I figure your son would never agree, but what what is your opinion?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love your posts…..Happy New Year!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I had the same question as Peter Klopp, so thank you for answering him, GP

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Strange that I didn’t know this, but here’s what I learned from this post: Admiral Halsey was American, not British! As soon as I read his name, I heard that old Beatles’ song playing in my head, and got curious. Here’s what Paul McCartney said about it:

    “I had an uncle – Albert Kendall – who was a lot of fun, and when I came to write ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ it was loosely about addressing that older generation, half thinking ‘What would they think of the way my generation does things? ‘That’s why I wrote the line ‘We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert’. There’s an imaginary element in many of my songs – to me, Admiral Halsey is symbolic of authority…”

    I suppose I thought Admiral Halsey was British because the Beatles sang about him. Now I’m up to speed!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. The sheer numbers of Japanese troops are astounding.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Haha Jima is a funny name although an invasion would certainly have been no laughing matter. Disobeying orders regarding Manila may indicate that Japanese command and control was starting to have serious problems.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. My question with regard to the fate of Manila is: How could a Japanese officer get away with disobeying orders from the high command and thus turn the city into a battleground?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Things were in disarray, communications were awful and much was done without the Emperor’s knowledge – Tojo was in total charge of everything.
      Thanks for your curiosity, Peter!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Not apropos of this particular post but it’s interesting (as I recently learned) that Rod Serling was with the 11th Airborne in Leyte.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Thanks for sharing, GP. You keep great history.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. This underscores the importance of strategy. Very interesting, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I too did not realise how many troops the Japanese had at their disposition.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Thanks, GP, for your informative and well-written posts. They always awe me.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. To get such high troop numbers in Japan, did they have conscription or was this considered more a social thing to volunteer as they considered the Emperor God like?

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Another excellent post, GP. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. It is hard to imagine a battle like this to me. The conditions in the picture look horrific and that pilot it sad he didn’t make it after doing so well. Very interesting. Thanks GP. Thank you all for your bravery and service.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Like others, I wasn’t aware of the number of troops remaining. That’s a lot, especially given their mindset toward fighting.

    Where does Vice Admiral stand in the rank system? Feel free to be like my father and say “this is why we bought those encyclopedias.” 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  27. So much fighting. How did they do it? I love the ‘toons, especially the rooster and chicken. Murphy’s first joke reminds me of two scenarios, ‘Unless otherwise ordered, I plan…” or “Its better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.”

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I hadn’t realised that the Japanese ever had such numbers of troops as the 260,000 men of the Fourteenth Army on Luzon’s beach.
    Mind you, I think we’ve probably all seen beaches as crowded as that, particularly in good weather.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I have seen beaches like that (maybe that’s why at my age now, I never go there! haha).
      I have to admit, Japan had far more troops than I first thought.

      Like

  29. So much more fighting still to come. They must have all been completely exhausted by now too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. Thank you, Ned.

    Like

  1. Pingback: January 1945 cont’d – Nelsapy

  2. Pingback: January 1945 cont’d — Pacific Paratrooper | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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