D Plus 18 (D+18) 9 March, 1945
9th Marines- The 3d Bn 21st Marines continued its attack in the face of fierce resistance, on March 9 and 10, and made small gains. These gains, though they did result in the overrunning of some positions, did not noticeably decrease the enemy's defensive power. It was decided to further envelop this strong point by attacking the ridge 202-A,B,G,H from the south rather than frontally, and to then push to the coast on the right of the Regtl Z of A and join the 3d Bn 9th Mar on the beach. Orders were issued accordingly to the 1st Bn, and it jumped off on an attack to the north at 1535 10 March. The attack was met immediately by enemy small arms fire and this battalion succeeded no farther than to a smaller ridge at 201-N, 600 yards from its objective where it tied in on the left with the 3d Bn 21st Mar.
R. 9 Mar. The Prov Co evacuated RRL and Pers reverted to parent units. 1st Bn patrolled beach area in right Regtl ZofA and conducted moping up operations. 2d Bn blasted caves and conducted mopping up operations in vicinity of 218 D. Prov Co, Rcn Co took up positions in vicinity of 218 H for the night.
23rd Marines - DOG PLUS EIGHTEEN, 9 MARCH, 1945
At about 1900 on the previous night, Division Operation Order 18-45 for the continuation of the attack on 9 March was received, and instructions were immediately issued by dispatch to the subordinate units of the RCT. Enemy activity began at about 1800 and mounted in intensity, reaching the maximum around 2330. Rocket, heavy mortar, grenade and small arms fire was received along the entire RCT line, being particularly heavy on the right of the zone, along the boundary with RCT 24. At 2300, BLT 2 reported large scale attempts at infiltration on the right of the RCT zone, to the front of Co E. What initially appeared as infiltration tactics developed into a carefully planned enemy counterattack in force to seize a definitely assigned objective. The attack was preceded by probing of the front lines to determine the weak spots. The enemy made good use of the torn and twisted terrain to infiltrate our lines and collect behind them. The point of heaviest enemy activity continued to be along the RCT boundary. In this area Co E took the brunt of the Jap attack, accounting for the annihilation of some 400 enemy troops during the night. Intense close quarters fighting prevailed throughout the hours of darkness, with the enemy being killed up to the very edge of the fox holes in the company position. Small groups of enemy succeeded in breaking through the line positions and managed to get into the rear area in the vicinity of the BLT 2/23 CP, at TA 201 K. All were well armed with grenades, and some carried demolition charges. Close-in fighting and grenade exchanges continued in the CP all night, ending at dawn when all the enemy were wiped out. A total of 30 Japs had penetrated in to the BLT CP. In the left of the RCT zone, the enemy had attempted infiltration on a lesser scale. During the preliminary stages of the enemy attack, elements of Co L had been dispatched to reinforce Co E, which had suffered some casualties as the result of enemy action. At daylight, the elements of Co L returned to company control, and immediate mopping-up operations were instituted in the RCT zone. At King-Hour (0700), BLT 2 remained in position, prepared to continue the attack in conformity with the advance of RCT 21 on the left and RCT 24 on the right, and supported by fire and advance of RCT 24. No change of line positions was effected during the morning since the adjacent units were unable to advance. Mopping-up operations continued in entire RCT zone and were completed by 1200. At 1430, 1/23 was released from VAC reserve and reverted to RCT control. by 1445, the left elements of RCT 24 had come abreast of BLT 2/23. At 1500, Co L passed through Co F (in the right of the 2/23 zone). The attack continued with companies G, I and L in assault. Resistance was substantially decreased from that encountered in the same area on the previous day, this being attributed to the large number of enemy killed during the night in the unsuccessful attempt at counterattack. Approximately 200 additional enemy dead, evidently killed by our artillery and mortar concentrations, were found in the newly seized area. At 1600, Companies E and F were detached from 2/23, and joined Co K under BLT 3/23 control. 3/23 then passed to VAC reserve, completing assembly in TA 165 BC prior to 1700.24th Marines - 9 March, 1945
The enemy activity increased throughout the night. An attempt in some force to penetrate the lines was made in the sector of Company L, BLT 3/24 on the RCT left flank. Small groups attempted to break through at various other places in the RCT sector. All attempts to break through were repulsed and the majority of the attackers were killed. There were 253 enemy dead counted along the front lines in the RCT sector at daylight. heavy mortar, machine gun and rifle fire continued until dawn. Orders were received from Division to continue the attack at King-Hour (0700). Both BLT 3/24 and BLT 1/24 were unable to jump off on time. BLT 3/24 had to mop up remnants of the enemy from the night attack that were in its immediate vicinity and BLT 1/24 had to reorganize. At 0730 BLT 3/24 jumped of after a five minute artillery preparation. The resistance met was considerably less than had been met previously. BLT 1/24 reorganized into 2 rifle companies and attacked at 1300, making small gains against strong enemy resistance. The advance, once started, continued slowly but steadily in the face of increasing resistance, except on the right flank where the resistance was still strong. 4 air strikes, artillery and NGF supported the attack throughout the day. When the units consolidated at 1700 a gap of approximately 150 yards existed between BLT 3/24 and RCT 23. This gap was filled by RCT 23. The left flank of RCT 24 had advanced approximately 500 yards and the right flank had advanced about 200 yards. Very little enemy fire was received during the remainder of the period.
25th Marines - D plus 18, 9 March 1945.
At 2000, on the night of 8?9 march the Prov Bn reported small patrols of the enemy working along its front and at 0500 several groups of the enemy attempted to infiltrate through the lines of the Prov Bn. The enemy groups worked across the whole front of the Prov Bn and several of the enemy succeeded in reaching the left flank in TA 183?I and placed or threw mines on the 37mm prime movers in that area. No damage was done and none of the enemy succeeding in penetrating the lines. At daylight, 36 enemy dead were counted by the Prov Bn. Minor infiltration was attempted in the zones of the other BLTs and sporadic mortar fire fell on the front lines during the night.
Div Op Or No. 18-45 ordered a continuation of the attack with K-hour at 0700. BLT-2/24 was attached to RCT-25 (Div Recon Co attached) at 0500 and at 0600 relieved BLT-3/25 in its zone of action and BLT-3/25 was detached from RCT-25 and reverted to Div Res. Co F, BLT-2/25 (RCT Res) relieved Co L, BLT-3/25, which had been assigned to the Prov Bn. BLT-1/25 on the left made no movement until 1400 when BLT-1/24 on its left was able to move forward 50 yards; the left of BLT-1/25 moved forward accordingly. Throughout the day flamethrower and medium tanks were used on the right of BLT?1/25s zone and in the gap by the Prov Bn. During the day a warning order was received from Div giving the boundaries and scheme of maneuver for the following day and appropriate plans were made and orders issued to BLTs. At 1545, the Prov Bn was disbanded and BLT-2/25 was assigned its mission. Co F BLT-2/25 and Div Recon Co were attached to BLT-2/25. Turkey Knob, which had been used as an artillery and mortar registration point by the Japanese, was ordered by the RCT Comdr to be blown down and during the day Co A, 4th Engr Bn succeeded in carrying out this mission.
D+18, 9 Mar 45 Weather: Cloudy and cool, visibility fair. At 0700 LT 226 (plus co "A", 5thEngrBn) relieved left elements of LT 126 in the line. Co "H" reverted to LT 326 reserve on being passed through. The scheme of maneuver for this date called for CT 26 to hold up until CT 28 gained position abreast of CT 26; then to regulate advance upon CT 28, pinching out LT 326 as previously planned. Until 1530 CT 26 elements held positions and engaged in local mopping up only. At 1530 CT 28 reached position abreast and at 1545 LT 326 and LT 226 jumped off in a coordinated attack on order from CG, 5thMarDiv. This attack bogged down without appreciable gain, in the face of heavy fire delivered at very close range from a blockhouse and from many concealed cave positions in very rugged ravines. Casualties: 3 Off, 84 Enl. Replacements: 1 Off, 115 Enl. Returned to duty; - Off, 2 Enl. Effective Strength 99 Off, 2019 Enl.
27th Marines - D plus 18 9 March, 1945
The enemy attempted to infiltrate our lines during the night and a lively skirmish resulted in which 25 enemy troops were killed. Our battle raged throughout the day at close ranges. The enemy continued to defend from caves and rocky cliffs. The enemy dead reported to date was 1336.
28th Marines - D+18
1800, 8 March to 1800, 9 March.
Night Activity: Enemy infiltration attempts resulted in numerous grenade battles all along the line.
Daylight Operations: CT-28 ordered by Division to continue the attack at 0700 to seize the northeast coast of the island in our zone of action. Direction of attack northeast.
CT-28 continued the attack at 0700, two landing teams abreast, LT-128 on the right, LT-228 on the left. Moderate resistance was encountered and gains up to 400 yards on the left and 200 yards on the right were made by 1200 when LT-128 ran into heavy resistance. At 1545, the attack was resumed on the right in conjunction with LT-326. Some progress was made and elements of LT-326 were pinched out.
No tank were employed.
Three air attacks were executed in our zone.
LT-328 continued in Corps reserve.
Lines at close of period: 234 B north, 234 N center.
Casualties for period: Supporting units for period
OFF ENL KIA & DOW 1 32 1 destroyers, 1 LC(S) WIA 3 55 2d Bn, 13th Marines SK (evac) 5 TOTAL 92
Combat efficiency: 45 %