D Plus 12 (D+12), 3 March 1945
9th Marines - Attacks were made on 3, 4 and 6 March against enemy positions in this area. On each day the 1st and 2d Bns attacked abreast after the usual heavy artillery, air, and NGF preparation. In spite of all of the preparatory fires (artillery alone fired upwards from 1500 rounds per preparation), no large gains were made. Supporting fires were not confined to preparations, but continued almost constantly and still the enemy persisted apparently unaffected. Advances up to a total of 150 yards were made during these three days, after which no noticeable decrease of enemy resistance prevailed. The Regtl frontage during this period was about 500-600 yards running north and south, and the center of the front lines was about 600 yards due east of MOTOYAMA.
L. 3 Mar. 2d Bn jumped of in the Atk to seize O-3 at 0745. 3d Bn 9th Mar was ordered to hold Hill 362 (219 U). Regtl CP displaced to 200 F at 1600. 1st Bn made good progress against stubborn enemy resistance. Most of the high ground northeast of Airfield No 3 was taken and the beach area in 236 could be observed from same. Contact was established right and left. The following line was held during the night: 218 C,D,I,N,M.
23rd Marines - DOG PLUS TWELVE, 3 MARCH 1945
Enemy activity during the night was again limited to periodic rounds of mortar or artillery fire. About 2330, division Operation Order 12-45 was received, committing RCT 23 to the attack. RCT Operation Order 8-45 was issued to all units of the RCT by 0200, and all supplementary instructions had been completed by 0230. With King-Hour at 0745, the 4th Mar Div was to continue the attack at King minus 75, and seize O-3. Corps and Division artillery supported the attack, firing a counter-battery on known or suspected targets from King minus 75 to King plus 30. 2/14 was assigned to direct support of the RCT. RCT 23, less 2/23 (VAC reserve), and with BLTs 2/25 and 3/25 attached, at 0630 continued the attack with 1/23 relieving 1/25 on the line. BLT 3/23 reverted to RCT 23 at King minus 75, and was to assemble in RCT Reserve as rapidly as Cos I and L could be disengaged. Since BLTs 2/25 and 3/25, in the center and right of the RCT zone respectively, had advanced 200 to 300 yards forward of BLT 1/25 (on the left) during the preceding days of attack, it was planned that they should maintain their presently held positions, while the heavy resistance in the left of RCT zone was reduced. RCT 24, adjacent on the left, had been able to advance on its left, but on its right was held up by same general area of resistance that had been confronting 1/25. This enemy stronghold was established on the most favorable ground within the Division zone, and appeared to be the core of the enemys final positions. It was organized on the highest ground in the area, the westernmost part being HILL 382, and extensive fortifications had been dug into the broken rocky ridges and were well concealed by the undergrowth and scrub that covered the zone. Because of this situation, it was imperative that the cliff line pocket near the left RCT 23 boundary, in TA 183 INO, which formed a salient into our lines, be eliminated. In order to achieve this, while BLTs 2/25 and 3/25 held their positions, BLT 1/23 after relieving 1/25, was to attack at 0630, initially advancing one company (Co A) on its left, in contact with RCT 24. This would enable Co C, on the BLT right, to cut off the cliff-line strong point, and establish contact with BLT 2/25, on its right. The initial phase of the attack progressed favorably. Progress on the right was impeded by a blockhouse located on a promontory at TA 184G, known as "Turkey Knob". The routes of approach to the blockhouse had been mined with anti-personnel mines, which were covered by heavy sniper fire. At about 1400, this blockhouse was partially reduced as a result of the action of infantry demolition teams and flame thrower tanks. At 1600, Co B, BLT 1, was committed to pass through Co C and continue the attack. BLTs 2/25 and 3/25 had maintained their initial positions, prepared to continue the attack when the contact on the left was established. The main enemy resistance encountered during the day consisted of extremely heavy automatic and sniper fire protecting approaches to covered enemy positions. Enemy light and heavy mortar fire was sporadic throughout the day in the RCT zone, BLT 3/23, in RCT Reserve, upon resuming control of Cos I and L instituted reorganization of these elements. Co K, with tanks and 75mm halftracks remained below the cliffline at TA 183 INO, mopping up the cave positions with flamethrowers and demolitions. The 1st Section, 1st Provisional Rocket Detachment supported the attack during the day with fire missions called by the assault BLTs. The employment of Co C, 4th Tk Bn, vehicles during the day was again limited due to unfavorable terrain. The general advance during the day averaged approximately 200 yards on the left and 150 yards on the right. At 1700, positions were consolidated for the night. Co C had not established contact with BLT 2/25, so, in order to contain the pocket, Co I of BLT 3/23 took up positions to the right rear of BLT 1 and line adjustment was effected enabling Co K to tie in with Co I and BLT 2/25. Earlier in the day, at 1100, 197 enlisted replacements had been received; these were assigned to R/W Co, BLT 1/23 and BLT 3/23 in proportion to the losses sustained by these units. No displacement of the RCT CP occurred during the day.24th Marines - 3 March, 1945
Very little enemy activity occurred during the hours of darkness. Division Operation Order 12-45 was received and RCT 24 with RCT 23 on its right was ordered to continue the attack in the southeast direction at King-Hour minus 75 (0630). No artillery preparation would precede the attack. All attachments remained the same. The attack jumped off at 0630 with BLT 3/24 on the left, BLT 2/24 in the center and BLT 1/14 on the right. Initial gains of 100 yards were made by the right of BLT 2/24 and the left of BLT 1/24. The remaining units of Company L, BLT 3/24 (RCT Reserve) were committed on the RCT left flank to relieve a company of RCT 9 which was supposedly in our sector. 22 casualties were received while effecting this relief. The attack continued throughout the day against heavy enemy resistance. By 1500 BLT 2/24 had pinched out Company A of BLT 1/24. Company A then became RCT Reserve. At 1700 the lines were consolidated for the night. Gains had been made along the entire RCT sector with the largest of approximately 350 yards being made by BLT 2/24. HILL 382 had been secured. Company A, BLT 1/24 (RCT Res) was moved into the zone of BLT 2/24 to give the BLT depth. Contact with RCT 9 on the left and RCT 23 on the right had been maintained throughout the day. Two air strikes had been made in support of the RCT attack. Artillery and NGF placed observed fire on enemy targets. Defensive fires and illumination were provided for the night. Sporadic enemy fire and activity continued along the front until the end of the period.
25th Marines - D plus 12, 3 March 1945.
In accordance with Div Op Or No. 12-45, RCT-23 relieved RCT-25 in its zone of action commencing at 0500. BLT-2/25 and BLT-3/25 remained in the line and were attached to RCT-23. BLT-1/23 relieved BLT-1/25 (less Co B, which remained in position on the south of the gap); BLT-3/23 reverted to control of RCT-23; RCT?25 (less BLT-2/25 and BLT-3/25) closed in Div Res in TA 182-W at 0830. Co B remained under control of BLT-1/25 but was ordered by Div to remain in position on the south of the gap until such time as RCT-23 could effect its release. This was not accomplished until the following day. BLT 1/25 commenced reorganization and rehabilitation.
26th Marines - D+12, 3 Mar 45 Weather: Clear and warm.
LT 226 and Lt 326 attacked at 0745, supported by tanks, the scheme of maneuver being to make the main effort in the center, straightening and shortening lines by pivoting on extreme flanks. LT 126, acting in close conjunction with CT 28, attacked at 0745 to clear pocket of enemy existing in the left of CT 26 zone adjacent to CT 28. Lt 226 was also to accomplish relief of 3dMarDiv troops on hill 362, prior to 1000, but the company sent out met heavy enemy resistance from this hill and was stopped. At 1000 LT 127 was attached to CT 26 and one company therefrom was at once attached to LT 226 for completion of relief of 3rdMarDiv troops in CT 26 zone of action. About 1630 the reserve company of LT 126 was moved to the right flank to relieve the company of LT 127, becoming attached to LT 226 as the company belonging to LT 127 reverted. Late in the day 3rdMarDiv troops were contacted, and relieved to the boundary between divisions by extending lines to the southwest of the hill. At this time CT 26 right flank extended approximately across the center of Hill 362, a very rough, craggy area, slightly higher than the surrounding area.
Enemy resistance was chiefly on the flanks, the center being somewhat more flat and clear of crags during the advance. At the end of the day all elements were engaged in the more rough and rocky terrain in extremely close quarter fighting. The number of caves increased considerably in the north end of the island, requiring more demolitions, and generally slowing progress of advance. Lt 126 was engaged with an active enemy force throughout the night of 3-4 March in grenade exchanges and very close quarter fighting. (Hand grenade exchanges were common during the remainder of the operation, nearly all fighting taking place under very close contact in terrain as described above. Casualties: 8 Off, 273 Enl. Replacements: 2 Off, - Enl. Returned to duty: 2 Off, 34 Enl. Effective Strength 110 Off, 2247 Enl.27th Marines - D plus 12 3 March, 1945.
This combat team continued to be in division reserve and there is no enemy activity to report. The enemy dead reported to date was 1047. 28th Marines
28th Marines D+12
1800, 2 March to 1800, 3 March.
Night Activity: Sporadic mortar and light artillery fire fell on our lines during the night. About 50 enemy were killed coming down from Hill 362 in back of LT-228.
Daylight Operations: Ordered by Division to continue the attack at 0745 to seize O-3.
CT-28 commenced the attack on time with landing teams in the same line-up as on D+11, CT-26 on our right. Boundary between CT-28 and CT-26: 217 B north to 234 J north.
H Co, LT-328, was attached to LT-128 at daybreak.
Progress was painfully slow against heavy resistance. By 1500 all reserve elements had been committed and one company of LT-327 was sent to 216 R as combat team reserve. Also the Division Reconnaissance Co was sent to RJ 65 in 215 P as Combat Team Reserve.
The Combat Team OP moved to 199 K.
Lines for the night: From the west beach in 233 U center to 216 D center to 217 A center.
Casualties for period: Supporting units for period
KIA & DOW 3 56 2 destroyers, 1 LC(S) WIA 5 161 2d Bn, 13th Marines SK (evac) 1 12 B & C Co's, 5th Tank Bn. MIA 2 TOTAL 9 231
Combat efficiency: 45%