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D Plus 17 (D+17), 8 March, 1945

9th Marines- On March 8 the 3d Bn 21st Marines was attached to the 9th Mar. The former passed through the 1st Bn 9th Mar and attacked with the 3d Bn 9th Mar on its left. The 2d Bn held its ground of the previous day and with the assistance of tanks began a systematic cleaning up of the resistance to its front. On this day the 3d Bn 9th Mar began an attack from HILL 362 to the coastline, reaching its objective on the morning of March 10. The 3d Bn 21st on the right of the regiment hammered at what later was found to be the approximate center of the enemy position. Arty and rockets did little to soften the resistance, and the use of tanks was very restricted, the rough terrain being the limiting factor.

21st Marines

Q. 8 Mar. 3d Bn and one Co 1st Bn were Atchd to 9th Mar at 0300. The Regt jumped off in the Atk to O-3 with 1st and 2d Bns abreast with the Div Rcn co in Res at 218 H. Little or no progress was made during the day by the 2d Bn due to heavy enemy fire from the high ground on the left in the 5th Div ZofA. 1st Bn seized O-3 in its ZofA. A Prov Co composed of Pers from Wpns Co, H&S Co and the RTB established a RRL in vicinity of 218 H.

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23rd Marines - DOG PLUS SEVENTEEN, 8 MARCH, 1945

Enemy activity during the night was limited to intermittent light and heavy concentrations of mortar fire on the front line positions and in the vicinity of the BLT 2/23 CP. Occasional exchanges of small arms fire evidenced the activity of the enemy close in to the lines. Prior to daylight, Co E relieved Co K in the front line, and Co K moved into BLT reserve in positions to the rear of Co E. At King minus 90 (0620), RCT 23 (less 1/23, VAC Reserve), continued the attack in column of BLTs with BLT 2/23 (Co K attached) in assault, supported by 3/23 (less Cos I and K). The main effort of the attack was on the right, in order to facilitate execution of a change in the direction of attack to conform with the peculiarities of terrain. The assigned objective was the coast in the RCT zone of action. On the left, Co G moved out at King-Hour, and shifted laterally to the left boundary. In the center, co F regulated its advance so as to maintain contact with its adjacent units, and on its right co E continued the attack. Only slight gains were made, principally due to the extreme difficulty of maintaining contact in the broken terrain, with its obstacles of rocky ledges, outcroppings and cliffs. At about 0910, it was determined that in the change of direction co E of BLT 2/23 had shifted to the right, and was occupying a portion of RCT 24's Zone of action. This situation was remedied by shifting co E laterally to the left while co K, slightly to the rear, covered the gap to facilitate the relief of Co E by Co I of 3/24. When the lines were properly adjusted, Co E passed to BLT 2/23 reserve. Upon completion of the disengagement of Co E, co I was committed in the center of the BLT zone between Cos G and F. At 1200, co L (3/23) was attached to 2/23 for demolition work in rear of the lines. The employment of tanks was again limited by the terrain. A strong center of resistance had been developed astride the boundary between RCT 23 and RCT 24 (adjacent on the right). The attack had passed beyond this point. In order to contain this salient in our lines, co E (2/23) was committed on the right flank, and tied in over a long and difficult line with the right forward elements of RCT 23 (Co F) and the left element of RCT 24 (Co I, 3/24). At 1800, consolidation had been completed. The disposition of the units of BLT 2/23 were, from left to right, Companies G, I, and F, with Co E securing the right flank, and in contact with RCT 24. Co L was in BLT reserve, with elements supporting both flanks.

image 24th Marines - 8 March, 1945

Very little enemy activity occurred from 0001 until dawn. Orders from Division to continue the attack at King-Hour minus 90 minutes (0620) and releasing BLT 3/24 to RCT 24 at 0300 were received. RCT 24 would continue the attack, with BLT 3/24 (less Company L) with Company A attached, relieving the two left companies of BLT 2/24. BLT 1/24 (less Company A) would relieve the right company of BLT 2/24. The boundary between BLTs was adjusted so that each BLT would attack with two companies abreast. Company A attached to BLT 3/24 was given the mission of reducing the pocket on the left flank of the RCT sector in conjunction with units of RCT 23. Company L was to be in RCT Reserve until Company A reduced the pocket. BLT 2/24 when relieved by BLT 1/24 and BLT 3/24 would be Division Reserve in TA 182 O, 183K,L. BLT 3/24 and BLT 1/24 each had one platoon of Co B, 4th Tanks Bn. attached. Regimental Weapons Company (less 37mm platoons) and 2d section, 1st Provisional Rocket Detachment were to be under RCT control initially. Division Artillery reinforced by Corps Artillery and NGF fired successive concentrations along the front from 0620 until 0650. The attack jumped of on time with very little progress being made initially. At 1130 BLT 2/24 was notified to reconnoiter the zone of BLT 3/25 for possible employment there. By 1300, Company A had eliminated the pocket and was ordered to take up a position in rear of BLT 1/24 as RCT Reserve. Company L was released to BLT 3/24. Strong enemy resistance was encountered throughout the day. Heavy mortar, automatic weapons and small arms fire were received along the lines. The line was consolidated with difficulty at 1700. Company A, the RCT Reserve, was committed in the zone of BLT 1/24 to fill gaps which had been created. A total advance of approximately 75 yards was made in the RCT sector. RCT 24 had no reserve since each BLT had 3 rifle companies in the line. Commencing at dark a heavy volume of all types enemy mortar fire commenced and increased in intensity all along the line. Enemy troop movements were felt especially on the extreme left flank of BLT 3/4. Enemy fire increased throughout the remainder of the period.

image 25th Marines - D plus 17, 8 March 1945.

During the early part of the night of 7-8 March a very heavy rocket and mortar barrage fell in the lines of BLT-1 killing 10 and wounding seven more. The remainder of the night was marked only by light mortar fire and a few infiltration attempts.

Div Op Or No. 17-45 ordered a continuation of the attack with the same scheme of maneuver as for the preceding day. K?hour was set at 0750 and the 4th Mar Div attack was set at k minus 90 (0620). No advance was made in the zone of RCT-25 (Div Recon Co attached) since RCT-24 did not move its right flank. BLT-1/25 employed flamethrower and medium tanks on its right flank forward of Turkey Knob to destroy any emplacements that could be located. The Prov Bn continued burning off the area within the gap in the same fashion as on the previous day. At 1445, an extremely heavy mortar barrage was placed on the left of BLT-1/25 zone causing a number of casualties and making it necessary for the left Co to be relieved. BLT-1/25 throughout the day received MG and very accurate sniper fire particularly from the high ground on its left flank.

image 26th Marines

D+17, 8 Mar 45 Weather Cloudy and cool, visibility fair. CT 26 (less LT 226 in VAC reserve) attacked at 0815. The plan of action called for CT 28 to pinch out LT 326 and make contact with LT 126; Lt 326 only to advance through a small pocket space between the two. CT 28 failed to gain the necessary distance and Lt 126 made only minor gains which were considered untenable and given up at nightfall. Action of LT 126 was supported by fire of tanks. At about 1630 LT 226 passed from VAC reserve to CT 26 reserve. At this stage of the operation, qualified small unit leaders as well as the more aggressive riflemen have become so depleted that offensive efficiency and spirit were seriously affected, out of proportion to strength figures. Casualties: 1 Off, 74 Enl. Returned to duty: - Off, &nbspp; 10 Enl. Effective strength: 101 Off, 1986 Enl.

27th Marines - D plus 17 8 March, 1945

Enemy patrols were active during the night and small groups attempted infiltration. Small arms and hand grenade exchanges occurred at intervals during the night. Our dead were booby-trapped with heavy satchel charges in front of our lines by the enemy. Our assault units faced an inter-connected series of caves and pillboxes on the rocky ledges in T.S. 235S and progress was extremely difficult. These rocky outcroppings were defended on both sides so that our troops often were caught by enemy fire from their rear in by-passed positions. Snipers were particularly active in our zone of action. The enemy used a limited amount of mortar fire but there seemed to be no shortage of small arms ammunition. The enemy dead reported to date was 1238.

28th Marines -D+17 -1800, 7 March to 1800, 8 March.

Night Activity: The night was generally quiet except in back of LT-328's lines where the Japs attempted to come out of several by-passed caves.

Daylight Operations: Ordered by Division to attack at 0750 and seize the coast of the island within our zone of action. Boundary between CT-28 and CT-26: 234 M southwest to 251 X east. Direction of attack northeast.

LT-128 reverted to CT-28 control and passed through LT-327 in the attack to the northeast.

LT-228 passed through LT-328 and attacked to the northeast in conjunction with LT-128.

The Division Reconnaissance Company reverted to Division Control when passed through.

The Regimental Reconnaissance Platoon was detached from LT-328 and attached to LT-228.

LT-327 reverted to CT-27 when passed through.

LT-328 moved to 216 Q and became Corps reserve.

Both landing teams were able to move forward against moderate to heavy resistance. By 1730, advances up 500 yards had been made on the left and 300 yards on the right, when units commenced consolidation.

Lines at close of period: 234 A center, 234 M southeast.

CP's: LT-128 in 233 Y, LT-228 in 233 X, otherwise no change.

Casualties for period: Supporting units for period

OFF ENL

KIA & DOW 1 19 1 destroyers, 1 LC(S) WIA 51 2d Bn, 13th Marines SK (evac) 11 C Co, 5th Tank Bn. MIA 2 TOTAL 1 82

Combat efficiency: 50%

Category: Battle Summaries | Posted by IJH Staff |