D Plus 24 (D+24) 15 March, 1945
9th Marines- On the 15th and 16th of March the 2d Bn and the Wpns Co continued their actions against respective pockets. The 2d Bn had use of a large flame thrower tank which belonged to the 5th Mar Div and used it to excellent advantage. This tank, which shoots a flame about 125 yards, proved to be the weapon that worked when all others failed. Its long flame range and the area covered by one burst were the contributing factor to its remarkable success. The Weapons Co used its 75mm guns to blast caves in the seaward face of the cliffs on 14th March, and the entire Co operated as infantry on the 15th and 16th in an attack SE down the top of the ridge.
W. 14 and 15 Mar. Regt continued to patrol beach area, close caves, mop up and protected 5th Div right flank.
23rd Marines - DOG PLUS TWENTY-FOUR, 15 MARCH, 1945
Enemy activity during the night was limited to unsuccessful attempts at infiltration in the center of BLT 3/24 zone of action. Commencing at daylight patrols were sent out from 3/24 to locate an enemy machine gun reported by RCT 25 to be in the vicinity of TA 185F. After close search of the indicated area the patrols returned with negative reports. At 0830, the advance parties of RCT 23 began movement to Beach Blue 2 for embarkation on shipping assigned to the RCT. Mopping-up and salvage in the RCT area of responsibility was continuous during the day, but because of enemy action from pockets of resistance in the 3d Mar Div zone complete mopping-up was not ccomplished. This was especially true of areas adjacent to and along the Division left boundary. At 1110, small patrols were sent forward from 3/24 to eliminate scattered sniper fire in the vicinity of 185 AF. By 1700 Co L (3/23), attached to 3/24, was pinched out on the line by the advance of RCT 25 on the right, and the company remained in position attached to 3/24 for the night. By 1745, positions were consolidated for the night in the same areas as occupied on the previous nights.
24th Marines - 15 March, 1945
Orders were received from Division to continue 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 (less BLT 2/24 and BLT 3/24) remained in Division Reserve. Policing of area, salvaging of gear and equipment, patrolling of TA 182 and cleaning of weapons continued throughout the day. Close liaison was maintained with RCT 23 and RCT 25 relative to the results of the mopping up. There was no enemy activity within the RCT area during the period.
25th Marines - D plus 24, 15 March, 1945.
The enemy, probably realizing its hopeless situation and constricted by continued pressure, attempted to come through the lines of BLT-1/25 and BLT-3/25 during the night in grater force than on previous nights. At 2200, approximately 25 japs tried to walk in column through the lines of BLT-3/25; they were killed. BLTs reported extensive infiltration attempts and hand grenade and small arms skirmishes took place throughout the night. No naval gunfire illumination was provided during the night.
The attack of RCT-25 (BLT-2/24 and Div Recon Co attached) jumped off at K minus 60 (0630) with BLT-2/24 making the main effort. All BLTs were ordered to maintain contact but at 1100, when BLT-2/24 had been unable to move its right flank, orders were issued for BLT-2/25 and BLT-3/25 to attack the beach road regardless of contact. BLT-3/25 moved out rapidly and by 1430 reached the beach road making an advance of over 200 yards. As BLT-3/25 moved forward, its right flank moved across the front of BLT-1 and when BLT-3/25 reached the beach road, BLT-1/25 had been completely pinched out.
BLT-2/25 made slower progress than BLT-3/25 but pushed its right flank to the beach road at 1600. As BLT-2/25 moved forward Co A (attached to BLT-2/24) was committed on the right flank of BLT-2/24. Co A and Co F, the left company of BLT-2/24, were both to attack on either flank of Co G, the right company of BLT-2/24, and by-pass the strong point in front of Co G. This was started at 1400, but the move was not successful and a juncture was not made between Co A and Co F. At 1600, Co B of BLT-1/25 was ordered attached to BLT-2/24 for use as a reserve, since BLT-2/24s reserve had been committed. BLT-1/25 (less Cos A and B) was ordered into a reserve position in TA 184-H at 1630. At 1800, units were ordered to dig in for the night.
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, &nnbsp; 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.
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
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%