D Plus 19 (D+19) 10 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.
S. 10 Mar. The Prov Co evacuated RRL and Pers converted to parent units. Elements of the 27th Mar passed through the 2d Bn attacking due north. Little or no advance was made by the 27th mar and the 2d Bn continued to hold in the high ground in vicinity of 218 D. 1st Bn extended the Regtl right flank to the beach area in 219 D.
23rd Marines - DOG PLUS NINETEEN, 10 MARCH, 1945
The enemy was relatively quiet during the night, and only minor activity was reported by the front-line units. For the first time there was no enemy mortar or artillery fire in the RCT zone. At King-Hour (0800) BLT 3/24 was attached, and RCT 23 took over the left sector of RCT 24, in which 3/24 had been operating and was then in the line. The attack was continued with 2/23 and 3/24 abreast, 3/24 on the right. 1/23 remained in RCT reserve in rear of 2/23 prepared to support the attack, and mopped-up caves in the rear areas. 3/23 (less Cos I and L, and with Cos E and F attached) continued in VAC reserve. On the left, considerable progress was made against light resistance in the nature of rifle fire from the cliff-line along the left (Division) boundary. On the right, 3/24 advanced slowly, encountering small pockets of stubborn resistance in caves and sniper positions in the deep fissures along the broken ridge lines to the front. After steady pressure during the day considerable progress was made, and favorable positions were occupied along a general line 400 to 600 yards inland from the beach. In the right of the RCT zone, the right company of BLT 3/24 was retarded by strong resistance along the RCT boundary. In the left BLT zone, the left company (G) had encountered little resistance, and had pushed forward over 200 yards. Here it had been forced to halt, since the adjacent units of the 3d division on its left had been unable to advance onto the high nose along the Division boundary. The cliff on the south side of this nose loomed on Co G's left, and any further advance would have cause dangerous exposure on its flank. Security for the opened flank had been obtained by establishing a platoon from Co C (1/23) on commanding ground at 202 F. In order to flank the stubborn positions on the high nose and to the north of it, one 3d Division BLT (1/9) was sent around behind 2/23. After some adjustment of positions, this BLT attacked to the north, but was stopped at the foot of the cliff at TA 202 FGM. 1/9's inability to secure this commanding position prevented the advance of 2/23 to the coast, but at 1500 a patrol was sent to the coast in the vicinity of TA 186 A. By 1700, this patrol had returned without encountering any enemy personnel or active installations. During the day the whole of Co C, 4th Engr Bn, had been attached to BLT 2/23 for heavy demolitions work on cave positions and for clearing mine fields along the roads in the BLT zone. Operating from these roads, the tanks of Co C, 4th Tank Bn delivered effective fire in support of the attack of 1/9. During the afternoon 3/23 was released from VAC reserve to RCT control, and it assembled in RCT reserve in vicinity of the sugar refinery at 201 K. Preparations for the night were initiated about 1600, with two platoons of Co A, 1/23 being attached to 3/24 to assist in securing a gap in depth it had created on its right. Sewing-up was expeditiously effected being completed by 1700.
24th Marines - 10 March, 1945
Little enemy activity occurred from 0001 until dawn. Orders were received from Division for BLT 3/24 to become attached to RCT 23. RCT 25 with BLT 2/24 attached was to relieve BLT 1/24 in its zone of action. RCT 24 (less BLT 2/24** and BLT 3/24) was to become Division Reserve in TA 182 O, 183K,L. BLT 1/24 was relieved and in its assembly area by 0800. At 1130 BLT 1/24 was released by Division to become Corps Reserve. RCT 24 (less BLTs 1/24, 2/24, and 3/24) remained in Division Reserve. The remainder of the day was spent in the assembly area. There was no enemy activity in the RCT area during the remainder of the period.
25th Marines - D plus 19, 10 March, 1945.
The night of 9-10 March was relatively quiet. In accordance with Div Op Or No. 19-45, BLT-3/25 relieved BLT-1/24 in its zone commencing at 0500 and completed the relief at 0600. RCT-25 (BLT-2/24 and 4th Recon Co attached) jumped off at K?hour (0800) with BLT-3/25 on the left, BLT-1/25 and BLT-2/25 in the center, and BLT-2/24 on the right. The plan of attack was for BLT-3/25 and BLT-1/25 to attack to the SE toward the ocean. As BLT-3/25 moved abreast of BLT-2/25, BLT-1/25 would be pinched out and BLT-2/25 would then swing its left flank and tie in with the right flank of BLT-3/25 and the attack continue toward the ocean. The Recon Co and F Co, BLT-2/25 were to mop up the area of the pocket and the gap. BLT-1/25 and BLT-3/25 jumped off at K-hour and made fairly rapid advances against moderate to heavy opposition. BLT-3/25 was able to move faster than BLT-1/25 and on its right and in order not to slow the attack BLT-3/25 was ordered to break contact with BLT-1/25 if necessary. By 1100, an advance of 500 yards was reported by BLT-3/25. BLT-1/25 made contact on its right with BLT-2/25 at 0845 thus closing the gap and eliminating the pocket. BLT-3/25 continued its advance an additional 200 yards where its right flank made contact with the center of Co of BLT-2/25 which had swung out to meet it. BLT-2/25 and jumped off in the attack at 0800 on its extreme left and was able to mop up the pocket of resistance by 1300. As BLT-2/25 pushed its center company forward to meet BLT-3/25 an area was by?passed in TA 184-I-N. At 1600, BLT-3/25 and BLT-2/25 occupied the controlling ground I the vicinity and were consequently ordered to dig in for the night in that position. The by-passed area in TA 184-I-N was completely surrounded by units of BLT-1/25 and BLT-2/25. At 1200, as BLT-2/25 moved its center Co, Co A of BLT-1/25 was pinched out. At this time Co A was attached to BLT-3/25 for use as a Res Co since BLT-3/25 had been forced to employ the majority of its Res Co on its left flank to maintain contact with RCT-23 on the left. The Div Recon Co was placed in a position in the vicinity of Turkey Knob for the night in order to prevent any enemy from infiltrating into emplacements in that vicinity.
During the day a total gain of 700 yards was made by RCT-25 and the pocket of resistance in TA 183-O and 184-K were completely eliminated.26th Marines
D+19, 10 Mar 45 Weather: Clear and warm. At 0630 LT 226 relieved remaining elements of LT 326 and established contact with CT 28. Lt 326 assembled in reserve position. A coordinated attack was launched at 0800, and later attempts made to resume advance, but gains were negligible. At 1230 LT 326 passed to status of VAC reserve, maintaining position occupied. LT 126 and the sector held passed to CT 27 control at 2000. All carrier troop support aircraft were withdrawn.
Casualties: 6 Off, 120 Enl. Replacements: - Off, 115 Enl. Returned to duty: - Off, 29 Enll. Effective Strength: 93 Off, 2028 Enl.
27th Marines - D plus 19 10 March, 1945
During the night, the unit on our left reported the enemy digging in front of our lines. They were fired upon with machine guns and a large explosion resulted. This indicated that the enemy may have been carrying demolition charges. The unit on our right reported small enemy engagements during the night in which 16 enemy dead resulted. The enemy's major defense continued to be made with small arms and mortar fire from caves and crevices. The use of heavy mortars was very limited. Land mines were encountered in the vicinity of T.S. 234N. This was the first day in which no enemy artillery fire was reported. Snipers continued to operate at very short ranges and their fire proved to be deadly. The enemy dead reported to date was 1381 with a total of 8 POW's.28th Marines - D+19 1800, 9 March to 1800, 10 March.
Night activity: Small enemy infiltration attempts during the night resulted in grenade battles. All attempts were repulsed.
Daylight operations: CT-28 ordered by Division to continue attack at 0800. Boundary between CT-28 and CT-26: 234 N center, 235 K south to 251 Y south. Direction of attack, northeast.
The attack began on time with LT-228 on the left LT-128 on the right. The ridgeline about 200 yards to the front was the first objective for the day.
Progress as usual was painfully slow. LT-128 was able to get part of the way up on the ridge line in the center, but was forced to withdraw slightly because it was receiving fire from both flanks.
LT-228 met a considerable pocket of enemy resistance on its left. The pocket was finally overcome and LT-228 moved forward and was able to tie in with 128 on the right.
Total advance for the day was 150 yards on the left and 75 yards on the right.
LT-328 continued in Corps reserve.
The Regimental Reconnaissance Platoon was detached from LT-228 and returned to Combat Team. Lines at close of period: 250 W west, 234 O west.
This date one hundred artillerymen were received from the 13th Marines and sent to LT-328 as infantry replacements.
CP's: CT-28 CP in 233 W, otherwise no change.
Casualties for period: Supporting units for period
KIA & DOW 2 38 1 destroyers WIA 2 73 2d Bn, 13th Marines SK (evac) 10 MIA 1 TOTAL 4 122
Combat efficiency: 40%