Skip to comments.M’ARTHUR IN JAPAN; YOKOSUKA IS TAKEN; ARMY, NAVY REPORT ON PEARL HARBOR (8/30/45)
Posted on 08/30/2015 4:45:25 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
August 30th, 1945 (THURSDAY)
BURMA: Japanese forces based at Abya surrender to the Allies.
MALAYA: RAF 356 Squadron Liberator KL654 crashes while on a resupply mission over Negeri Sembilan in central Malaya. All the crew are killed. Part of the crews mission was to search for prisoners of war still held in camps in the jungle.
HONG KONG: A RN task force under Rear Admiral Cecil Harcourt sails into Victoria Harbor, to accept the Japanese surrender and a landing party from the Canadian armed merchant cruiser HMCS Prince Robert liberates surviving Allied POWs in the Crown Colony.
JAPAN: The occupation of Japan in force begins when the US Army’s 11th Airborne Division, commanded by Major-General Joseph W. Swing along with Lieutenant-General Eichelberger and 500 paratroopers, is flown to Atsugi Airfield and the USMC’s 4th Marine Regiment lands at Kurihama Naval Base, Yokosuka. Lt-General Eichelberger is the 8th Army Commander, to which the 11th Airborne is attached. (Jack McKillop and Marc James Small)
After securing Atsugi Airfield, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur flies in and sets up a temporary Supreme Allied headquarters at Yokohama.
Meanwhile, the USN light cruiser USS San Diego (CL-53) ties up at the Kurihama Naval Base. Aboard the cruiser are Rear Admirals Oscar C. Badger and Robert B. Carney to join Marine Brigadier General William T. Clement for the formal transfer of that important naval facility from Japanese to U.S. control.
The cruiser USS SAN JUAN starts to evacuate Allied PoWs.
An armada of Allied troop transports from Admiral William F. “Bull” Halseys 3d Fleet enter Tokyo Bay before dawn. The landing force consisted of US Marines and armed sailors from the 3d Fleet, men of the Fourth Marine Regiment and a British contingent.
William R. Miller, a private first class at the time, said his feeling was “one of hope for the best-that the Japanese would be receptive.”
“We’d been trying to kill each other for several years,” Miller said, and they had seen “all the kamikaze planes” at Okinawa and “the Japanese soldiers who had refused to surrender.”
“We really didn’t know what to expect,” Miller recalled nearly 60 years after he went ashore in Japan as part of the 3d Fleet Marine Landing Force made up of men from the Marine detachments assigned to ADM Halsey’s major warships.
George C. Plataz, then a sergeant, remembered, “We had just finished bombarding Japan. I didn’t know what to expect.
“This would be new to us, being part of a landing force,” Plataz added.
When they sailed into Tokyo Bay in 1945, Miller and Plataz were members of the Marine Detachment in the battleship USS Alabama (BB-60).
The force was designated Task Force Able, but also was called the 3d Fleet Marine Landing Force. It would consist of more than 5,300 men from the 4th Marines and supporting units, about 2,000 men from the Fleet’s Marine detachments, 1,200 sailors from Fleet ships and 250 Royal Marines and 200 sailors from the British warships serving under ADM Halsey.
The 6thMarDiv commanding general, Major General Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., had selected the 4th Marines because
it bore the designation of the regiment that had been lost in the fall of the Philippines in 1942. The new 4th Marines was formed from remnants of the four Marine Raider battalions.
The landing force was commanded by Brigadier General William T. Clement, who was 6thMarDiv assistant division commander and had been with the old 4th Marines on Bataan until he was ordered to escape by submarine.
About 66 of Alabama’s Marines became part of Company A, 1st Battalion in the 3d Fleet Marine Landing Force.
The detachment’s commanding officer, Major Robert L.
Scott Jr., was assigned to the regimental staff as operations officer and took Sgt Plataz with him. Now under the command of First Lieutenant Wade P. Bettis, Alabama’s leathernecks and their equipment were transferred at sea by high line to USS Garrard (APA-84). For 10 days in the crowded troopship, they received classes on their objective and duties and the Japanese language.
As it prepared to go ashore, the landing force received a message from ADM Halsey:
“In dealing with the Japanese, all hands will be guided by our rightful pride in the triumph of the forces of decency and our own self-respect. Our task is the enforcement of the terms to which Japan surrendered. The Japanese will be required to promptly and scrupulously obey orders incident to the enforcement of those terms.
“Use force if necessary to secure obedience,” the message read. It cautioned, “The Japanese will therefore be regarded as still capable of the treachery which has heretofore characterized their policies and actions.”
The allied landing forces were to secure the Yokosuka naval base and airfield, defensive gun position on Futtsu Saki peninsula across Tokyo Bay, the island forts in the bay entrance and the surviving Japanese warships, including the battleship Nagato.
Those actions were designed to remove any major threat to the massive allied naval force entering Tokyo Bay for the surrender ceremony.
Although Japanese officials had promised there would be no hostility, Halsey’s warships were offshore ready to suppress any armed resistance with their big guns, and 1,000 Navy warplanes were armed and ready on aircraft carriers outside the bay, just in case.
The warships had steamed into Tokyo Bay on 29 Aug. and anchored off Yokosuka. That evening, for the first time since Pearl Harbor, the ships were illuminated at anchor, and movies were shown on the weather decks.
But lookouts remained posted, and the ships’ radars continued to search for unknown aircraft.
The transports, designated Task Force 31 and commanded by Rear Admiral Oscar C. Badger, sailed into the bay the next morning and began the well-practiced drill of landing troops.
Troops from the Army’s 11th Airborne Division were to land at Atsugi Air Base, north of Yokosuka, at the same time the naval forces went ashore. But retired Marine Lieutenant General Louis Metzger, who was chief of staff for Task Force Able, recalled in a 1995 Marine Corps Gazette article: “Under the weak pretense that the forts located both in and
flanking Tokyo Bay were still functioning (which they were not), Marine forces landed at 0550, thus beating the Army into Japan by several hours.”
That early landing was by a battalion of the 4th Marines on Futtsu Saki. The two other battalions went ashore near the Yokosuka naval base and the adjoining airfield at 0930.
Metzger also recalled that the Japanese had been ordered to put a white flag on each fortification and gun position, “and we were impressed by the number and depth of the defenses. The hills overlooking Tokyo Bay were covered with white flags. An assault would have been costly indeed.”
The 3d Fleet Marine Landing Force went ashore at the airfield, and the Navy Landing Force landed near the naval base at around 1000; the British troops occupied the island forts, and sailors from U.S. battleships secured the Japanese warships.
Plataz said he landed with Maj Scott and the headquarters unit on the air station at a seaplane ramp leading up to two large hangars. When he saw Japanese soldiers coming to the hangars to lay down their weapons, Plataz said, “I realized the war was over.”
Many of the soldiers were quite young, he recalled.
“They seemed bewildered, scared or just pleased that their fighting days would never come. Some of the older soldiers were more defiant.”
Miller went ashore at the air station also and recalled, “We were alert to the possibility that there could be resistance.”
In an account written after the war, 1stLt Bettis said “Able” Go’s landing area “looked deserted, and there was an ominous appearance as though the enemy was lurking in readiness to attack.”
But there was no resistance, and at 1015 a U.S. flag that had flown over Saipan and Okinawa was raised over the naval base headquarters.
Bettis said his platoon took over an area that included a large warehouse, airplane repair shops, storage facilities and barracks recently occupied by Japanese troops.
“We secured our position and set up a perimeter defence, looked for any armed Japanese in the area and waited for further orders.”
As night approached, Bettis posted sentries and allowed the rest of his Marines to go to sleep in the Japanese barracks. But, he recalled, “we were rather uneasy the first night because of the strange surroundings, the fact that the war was still going on and the many unknowns.”
The landing force Marines maintained their positions on the airfield for several days, then began sending patrols into the nearby towns.
Plataz said those forays “were considered friendly patrols since we were given food rations, Hershey bars, tropical chocolate, chewing gum and cigarettes to give to civilians. The children soon became the happy link between Marines and the older population.”
During one of his trips into the towns, Plataz said an older woman and several small children approached him with an object wrapped in Japanese newspaper. Afraid it might be a bomb, he said he gestured for the woman to unwrap the package, which she did, revealing a glass case with two colorfully costumed Japanese dolls.
In exchange, he gave the woman two packs of cigarettes and gave chocolate bars to all the children, “who awarded me with their beaming smiles,” he said.
A graphic artist before the war, Plataz was authorized to roam the area, making sketches or crude maps for Maj Scott.
On one of his trips, he discovered an elaborate underground complex with five levels of wood-paneled rooms. In a desk in one room he found photos showing a mock-up of Pearl Harbor that the Japanese had used to film a movie depicting the 7 Dec. 1941 attack.
Miller remembered how an elderly shopkeeper in a nearby town gave him a Japanese “meatball” flag and with gestures and crude English conveyed his feeling that “Americans have good heart.”
After a few days ashore, Bettis took a detachment of Marines to secure a radio transmission station near the town of Kanazawa, about 15 miles away.
When they arrived, they found a company of Japanese soldiers waiting, with their arms stacked. When the Marines dismounted from their trucks, the Japanese climbed on for a trip to the headquarters to be released from service.
“I had never seen a group of military personnel who were so short in stature, small in body and young in appearance,” Bettis wrote. “I remember thinking at the time that the war had really taken a toll of the Japanese men because this company of Japanese ... was made up of teenage boys.”
The next day, Bettis and his platoon sergeant, Carl A. Bettis, went into Kanazawa and met an old man who greeted them in clear English: “Hello, Yankees. Can I help you?”
The man said he had operated an import-export business in Seattle for 30 years and had returned just before the war. He had become the mayor.
First Lt Bettis said the old man told him the war “was not the will of the Japanese people and blamed the warlords.”
CANADA: HMC ML 106 and ML 107 paid off.
U.S.A.: The motion picture “State Fair” is released. This musical romance directed by Walter Lang, stars Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes, Vivian Blaine, Fay Bainter, Donald Meek, Frank McHugh, Percy Kilbride and Harry Morgan. The plot traces the adventures of the Frale farm family at the Iowa State Fair. The film features classic songs by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II including “Our State Fair,” “It Might As Well Be Spring,” and “It’s A Grand Night For Singing.”
In Detroit, Michigan, a pale green Super Six coupe rolls off the Hudson Motor Car Companys assembly line, the first post-World War II car to be produced by the auto manufacturer. The Super Six boasted the first modern, high-compression L-head engine, though it garnered its name from the original Hudson-manufactured engine produced in 1916.
In baseball, Stan Hack, Chicago Cubs third baseman, becomes the 82nd player to get 2,000-hits when he singles off Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher Preacher Roe in the first inning in a game at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh. Hack retires after the 1947 season with 2,193 hits.
never ceased to be amazed how Kimmel got the boot but somehow McArthur was treated as a hero....
The homemade truck in Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” was a Super Six.
As far as WWII is concerned why would MacArthur
not be considered a hero or at least a very
The reason was simple: the US Navy wanted the port facilities at Yokosuka for use after the war. Today, at Naval Activities Yokosuka (the official name of the US Navy base), there are still a number of intact buildings on the base that predate World War II.
the paper reads Kimmel was to blame for Pearl Harbor but not totally at fault due to incomplete data...McArthur knew what was coming in Corredgor and Clark airbase a few days after Pearl Harbor but did little to nothing to fortify the area..
the air fleet at Clark was almost instantaneously destroyed because of his incompetence...
There may also have been two different Solomon Island groups. I read many descriptions of Guadalcanal that pointed out its shortcomings as an island paradise. “Arid” was not typically mentioned as a characteristic.
Lay the blame of the destruction of the bombers
on the ground at the feet of the army airforce
commander Gen Kinney. He had been ordered to
remove the bombers a week before but ignored
No, it’s the same Pappy Boyington.
The one played by Robert Conrad on TV had A LOT of embellishment, and the terrain/climate of the island depicted in the show was due to it being filmed in arid California, not the South Pacific!
And Boyington being shot down later and captured just was never depicted in the TV show as the show concentrated on his exploits before that point.
the air fleet at Clark was almost instantaneously destroyed because of his incompetence...
You must be new here. Nothing you wrote is accurate.
You must be new here too. General Kinney was nowhere near the Philippines in 1941.
Ah yes, a different Solomons group would explain it.
Go back and read the daily lesson materials and you will understand why.
I may have the spelling or even the specific
air commander incorrect but that the bombers
were ordered away from Clark is factual.
I do not commonly contribute to the WWII
thread but there was a time when I did
a fairly significant amount of research,
(including primary research) regarding
the Philippines during WWII, particularly
in the area of POWs.
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