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D Plus 23 (D+23) 14 March, 1945

9th Marines- The same attack was continued on March 13th and again on 14th March. The 1st Bn relieved the engaged elements of the 3d Bn 21st Mar on the morning of March 13th and the latter reverted to control of its own regiment at 0930 13 March. Definite progress was made by the 1st Bn who, with the use of tanks, succeeding in knocking out many well fortified positions. The 3d Bn had cleared its zone of action and had withdrawn on the morning of 14 March to the vicinity of HILL 362 there to commence systematic mopping up. AT 1530, the 2d Bn 9th Mar reverted from Div Res to control, and at 1745 passed through the 1st Bn in an attack on the remaining enemy pocket which at this time had been reduced to an area of about 150 yards square. At 1100 on the 14th the Weapons Company 9th Marines commenced mopping up and aforementioned remaining caves along the seaward cliff face of the ridge and on top of the ridge at the SE tip. The enemy forces here, were not large, but were as tenacious as elsewhere and resisted to the last.

21st Marines

W. 14 and 15 Mar. Regt continued to patrol beach area, close caves, mop up and protected 5th Div right flank.

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23rd Marines - DOG PLUS TWENTY-THREE, 14 MARCH, 1945

No positive contacts with the enemy were made during the hours of darkness. Some minor attempts at infiltration were reported which were believed to be isolated individuals or small groups of the enemy, cut off in the rear areas and wandering about aimlessly. At 0630, RCT 23 continued mopping-up, burial of enemy dead, salvage and general police within the zone of responsibility. Around 0810, the unimproved road in the vicinity of TA 185 ABG was subjected to enemy small arms fire and traffic on the road was temporarily suspended pending the reduction of the enemy fire by patrols of 3/24. Mopping-up activity was continuous in the zone throughout the entire day with large quantities of demolitions being expended on sealing the entrance to the open caves remaining within the area. At 1315, Det of 7th War Dog Platoon was released from RCT 23 control and reassigned to the 3d Mar Div. At 1750, Cos I and L (3/23) were established on an RCT rear security line in the vicinity of TA 201 KPU to prevent any infiltration into the rear areas from the 3d Mar Div zone of action. These companies closed in the new defensive area at 1930. Prior to 2100, all units were ordered to continue assigned missions in the present areas on 15 March and further, to be prepared to release the maximum organizational equipment for loading aboard ships when ordered. Embarkation points had been established and ship alignments were completed on this date.

24th Marines - 14 March, 1945

Orders were received from Division to continue with the missions previously assigned on 12 March, 1945. BLT 3/24 and BLT 2/24 remained attached to RCT 23 and RCT 25 respectively. RCT 24 (less BLT 2/24 and BLT 3/24) remained in Division Reserve and continued to police its assigned area, salvage gear and equipment and patrol for enemy. Reconnaissance of forward area continued. No enemy activity occurred in the RCT area during the period.

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25th Marines - D plus 23, 14 March, 1945.

During the night of 13-14 March, 1945, activity by the enemy constricted in the zone of RCT-25 consisted principally of knee mortar and hand grenade fire and some infiltration attempts in the zone of BLT-3/25. The infiltration was beaten off by hand grenades and no enemy was able to penetrate our lines.

At 0500, adjustments were made in the line to put relatively fresh troops in the attack. Co C relieved Co I, Co I and Co K relieved Co G, and Co E relieved Co L. From left to right the units on the line were then: BLT-2/25 with Co E and Co F, with Co G and Co A (attached) in reserve; BLT-3/25 with Co E and Co F, with Co G and Co A (attached) in reserve; BLT-3/25 with Co K and Co I, with Co L in reserve; BLT 1/25 (less Co A) with Co C and Co B; BLT-2/24 with Co G and Co F. This relief was completed by K-hour (0630) and the attack of RCT-25 (BLT-2/24 and Div Recon Co attached) jumped of with BLT-2/25 and BLT 3/25 making the main effort. The RCT Comdr supervised the shifting of troops from the BLT-1/25 CP and then moved up to direct the attack from the BLT-3/25 CP Forward CP. The advance was slow against very stiff opposition and by 1500 the center of the line had only been able to gain but 50-75 yards. BLT-2/25 suffered particularly heavy casualties from both small arms and mortar fire. At 1500, BLT-2/24 the only fresh and strong force left, was ordered to pull out of its position astride the beach road and to relieve the left elements of BLT-2/25. This relief was ordered to take place by 1630 and the attack continued at 1700 but, due to the heavy fire on the front lines from the front and from a position to the left rear, behind the lines in the area of RCT-23, the relief was not totally completed until after dark. A Prov Co composed of R/W Co personnel and a group from Reg H&S Co, and the 81mm Mortar platoon of BLT-1/25 was organized and ordered to take up the defensive position astride the beach road that had been vacated by BLT?2/24. The Div Recon Co was ordered to take up positions on a secondary defense line behind the Prov Co and to protect the beach against any enemy attempting to make a counter landing on the RCT right flank. Co A of BLT-1/25 was detached from BLT-2/25 and attached to BLT-2/24 for use as a Res Co. (Flamethrower tanks were used throughout the day in burning draws inland from the beach road). At 1700, when it was seen that the relief of BLT-2/25 by BLT?2/24 would not be completed prior to dark, all units were ordered to dig in and consolidate their positions for the night. All units reported being completely tied in at 2300 when contact was finally made with RCT-23 on the left.'

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26th Marines

D+23, 14 Mar 45 Weather Clear and warm. At daybreak LT 326 relieved left two companies of LT 226. At about 0810 a coordinated attack, supported by tanks, was commenced. At 1200 LT 126 occupied forward assembly area. Elements of 5thPioneerBn in the line on the left of LT 326 were attached to CT 26 and in turn to LT 326, subject to restriction that they were not to be used for a general advance.

Terrain being entirely unsuitable to tank movement, tank, dozers and armored bulldozers wee used to doze tank routes to firing positions close in front of lines. This procedure was repeatedly used in the latter stages of this operation with considerable success against positions too close in for any other supporting arms. Casualties: 5 Off, 89 Enl. Returned to duty: - Off, &nbspp; 8 Enl. Effective strength: 89 Off, 1780 Enl.

27th Marines - D plus 23 14 March, 1945.

Enemy resistance continued to be fanatical to the end. The enemy remains in his positions to the least. Flame throwing tanks is the only weapon that has ever caused the enemy to break and run. Some enemy have been observed running out in front of our lines and committing suicide by holding grenades to their heads. Several instances have been observed of enemy in spider-trap fox holes having large satchel charges of demolitions which they threw at whatever might pass their holes. If they were observed before this could be accomplished, they blew themselves up. Hand placed charges are being used against our tanks causing them to work in pairs. Tanks flushed about 75 enemy from a cave in T.S. 235O. A number of these were reported to have jumped off the high cliff in that sector. The enemy dead reported to date was 1833.

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28th Marines - D+23

1800, 13 March to 1800,14 March

Nightly activity: Continued infiltration attempts were unsuccessful.

Daylight operations: Ordered by Division to continue the attack at 0630 and seize the remainder of the island in our zone of action. Boundary between CT-28 and CT-26: 235 K west to 250 J south. Direction of attack, northwest.

LT-228 was ordered to hold in its position and support by fire LT-128 and LT-328 as they advanced to the northwest.

LT-328 was unable to make any advance. LT-128 gained the ridgeline to its immediate front. The Division Reconnaissance Company was attached to CT-28 in the afternoon, and further attached to LT-128 to be put in line on its right flank so as to enable 128 to tie in with 328 which was at the time 150 yards behind LT-128's right.

Lt. Col. Shepard, commanding LT-328, was sent to the Regimental Aid Station for treatment. Major Smoak, Executive Officer, took command of LT-328, and Major Peatros, R-3 was detached from H&S Co and assigned duty as Executive Officer of LT-328.

Captain Bachman, commanding H Co, was seriously wounded while moving from a machine gun position to his OP and later died of wounds.

Lines at close of period: 250 W center to 235 K center.

CP's: No change.

Casualties for period: Supporting units for period

OFF ENL

KIA & DOW 1 37 1 destroyer, 1 LC(S) WIA 1 67 2d Bn, 13th Marines SK (evac) 11 TOTAL 2 115

Combat efficiency: 38%

Category: Battle Summaries | Posted by IJH Staff |