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Full text of "Battle for Leyte Gulf strategic and tactical analysis v.5"

CLASSIFICATION CHANGED FROM CONFIDENTIAL TO UNCLASSIFIED 

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THE BATTLE 
FOR 

LEYTE GULF 



OCTOBER 1944 

STRATEGICAL 

AND 

TACTICAL ANALYSIS 

VOL Y 

BATTLE 

OF 

SURI6A0 STRAIT 

October 24th.-25th. 

U.S. NAVAL WAR COLLEGE 

1958 

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CONFIDENTIAL 



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THE BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 
OCTOBER 1944 
STRATEGICAL 

AND 

TACTICAL ANALYSIS 

VOLUME V 

BATTLE OF SURIGAO STRAIT 

FROM 1042 OCTOBER 23RD 

UNTIL 0733 OCTOBER 25TH 



Classification cftangfctf i* 

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Naval *& College 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 




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1 4 A359 



By 

Commodore Richard W. Bates, USN (Ret) 
Head, World War II Battle Evaluation Group 
Naval War College 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

In preparing this volume, Commodore Richard W. Bates, USN (Ret), had 
as his principal assistants: 

Captain Charles A. Marinke, USN, who collected the original 
basic data, prepared certain of the original plates and diagrams, 
and provided an initial draft of the early phases of the battle 
proper. 

Captain Jack C. Titus, USN, who prepared most of the present 
plates and diagrams, corrected the basic drafts, provided initial 
drafts of the late phases of the battle proper, and who, upon the 
retirement of Commodore Bates, completed the volume. 

Commander Roy S. Belcher, Jr., USN, who compiled background 
information on Japanese air and surface operations. 

Commander Howard Cole, USN, who compiled background information 
of Allied air and surface force operations. 

Mr. Clark H. Kawakami and Mrs. Lily Y. Tanaka who translated 
Japanese documents and who served as advisors in matters of 
ambiguous translations. 

Mr. Philip R. Gaudet and Mr. Joseph Domingoes who drafted all 
diagrams and plates in smooth form for publication. 

Chief Quartermaster Samuel T. Trembath, USN, and Chief Signalman 
Francis J. Henderson, USN, who succeeded one another in the 
Battle Evaluation Group in the order listed, compiled information 
for plates and diagrams and assisted in plotting the movements 
of certain of the forces. 

Chief Yeoman Maurice W. Burton, USN; Chief Yeoman Henry W. 
Sutphin, USN; Chief Yeoman Donald Pefferkorn, USN; Yeoman Second 
Class James A. Hine, USN; Yeoman Second Class Ben H. Weithers, 
USN; and Mrs. Betty R. Harvey, who provided the secretarial work. 

Considerable valuable information concerning Japanese naval and 
air operations was received from the Army Historical Division and 
its Military History Section in the Far Eastern Command, and from 
Captain Toshikazu Ohmae, ex-IJN, attached to that section. 

Commodore Bates, for his part, checked and evaluated the above data, 
personally collected all data other than the above, consulted ranking 
American officers who participated in the battle or in its planning, wrote 
the manuscript, and prepared all analyses and comments, resulting therefrom, 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



FOREWORD 

This analysis of the Battle of Surigao Strait, Battle for Leyte Gulf, 
in which the Japanese THIRD Section was largely destroyed, and the Japanese 
SECOND Striking Force was forced to retire, was prepared by the Naval War 
College. It is based on information from both Allied and Japanese sources 
which is wider in scope and more complete than that available to writers 
on this subject up to this time. It endeavors to maintain at all times 
the viewpoint of the commanders of the units on both sides. 

It follows directly the preceding series of volumes which include (a) 
preliminary phases of the Battle for Leyte Gulf including the Battle off 
Formosa, and the Japanese reactions thereto, which were analyzed in Volume 
I, (b) the next phase which embraced the operations of the SEVENTH Fleet 
Advance Forces in Leyte Gulf prior to D-day and the Japanese reactions 
thereto, which were analyzed in Volume II and (c) the third phase which 
embraced in general the Allied landing operations in the Leyte Gulf area 
of the Philippines and the Japanese reactions thereto, which were analyzed 
in Volume III. 

It should have been preceded by Volume IV which was to have been a 
continuity volume and was to have covered the general operations of the 
Allied and Japanese forces from the end of Volume III until the completion 
of the Battle for Leyte Gulf. However, for reasons beyond the control of 
the Naval War College, the Chief of Naval Operations decided to conclude 
the battle analyses with the Battle of Surigao Strait and to discontinue 
all other planned volumes, i.e., Volume IV, Volume VI, Battle off Samar 
wherein the Japanese FIRST Striking Force (battleships) was turned back by 
the Allied Escort Carriers of the SEVENTH Fleet, and Volume VII, Battle 
off Cape Engano wherein the Japanese Main Force (carriers) was generally 
destroyed by units of the THIRD Fleet (Fast Carrier Force). 

Complete information from all sources- was not available to this 
analysis. This is especially true of the Japanese SECOND Striking Force, 
the data for which is surprisingly meager. It is also true concerning the 
thought processes which motivated the principal Japanese senior commanders. 
All known sources for obtaining information in the United States and in 
Japan have been examined and re-examined with only limited success on the 
Japanese side, but with somewhat more success on the Allied side since, 
during the past several years, some new material, largely in the form of 
dispatches, has been located. Notwithstanding, new facts and circumstances 
may come to light from time to time which may change some of the analysis 
produced herein. 

In view of the critical nature of this analysis an effort has been made 
in certain important situations to place the critic in the position of the 
commander in order to obtain the latter' s point of view. In employing this 
system it is realized that although the critic can often succeed in placing 
himself sufficiently near the position of the commander for any practical 
purposes, in many instances he may not succeed in doing so. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Because of the nature of this battle, because of certain controversies 
which have arisen concerning it — largely relating to the Japanese side— 
because of the fact that the Allied operations during the early phases 
consisted of numerous destroyer attacks some of which were not particularly 
effective, and finally because of the "crossing of the Tee", as complete 
a study as possible of this battle has been provided. 

The Battle of Surigao Strait was a real test of existing Allied and 
Japanese night tactical concepts as well of the combat ability in night 
action of the various commanders on both sides. The pages of history have 
invariably revealed defects in command in similar situations and it would 
have been surprising had such defects not appeared in this action. 

This battle reaffirmed the lesson so often forgotten — that the test of 
battle is the only test which proves the combat ability of commanders* 
The ability or lack of ability of the various commanders in the art of war 
became apparent. Valor alone was shown to be insufficient, for valor is 
not an attribute of only one race, but is an attribute and a heritage of 
many races. The indispensable qualification for command, the art of war, 
was shown to be the ability in combat to apply the science of war to active 
military situations. 

The present senior officers of the Navy are well aware of the reasons 
for changes in established doctrines and in the developments of new ones. 
But this cannot necessarily be said of the commanders of the future, who 
very probably will be inexperienced in command in war. 

Finally, all comments and criticisms, the more important of which are 
emphasized herein by the employment of capital letters, are designed to 
be constructive. By indicating what appear to be sound and unsound 
decisions, and the apparent reasons for arriving at them, it is hoped to 
provoke earnest thought among prospective commanders and thus to improve 
professional judgement in command. 



ii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Foreword ... 1 .^ pir ;i 

Table of Contents ni-ixxyu. 

Zone Time and Discussion of Dispatch Times lxxviii 

Principal Commanders lxxix-lxxxiv 

Introduction lxxxv-lxxxvii 
Brief Narrative of the 1042 October 23rd to 0733 October 25th Phase of 

The Battle for Leyte Gulf lxxxvii~cviii 

Strategic Area cix-cxii 

(a) General Discussion cix-cx 

(b) The Surigao Strait Area ex 

(c) Weather cxL-cxii 

CHAPTER I - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd 1-17 

(A) Operations of CinC Combined Fleet 1-16 

Watches with great interest movement of forces 1 

Receives two RDF fixes on "unknown forces" 1 

Learns that Commander FIRST Striking Force hoisted flag in YAMATO 1 

Transmits his situation estimate to his commanders 1 

Dispatch containing the estimate quoted 1-2 

(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Striking Force 2-4 

Mission and deployment of FIRST Striking Force explained 2 

Awaits an opportunity to transfer to YAMATO 3 
Unable to transfer until 1623 because of a series of submarine 
contacts. At 1630 notifies interested commands that his flag 

has been hoisted in YAMATO 3 
Knows that Commander SW Area Force had made arrangements for 

additional antisubmarine protection. 3 

Receives CinC Combined Fleet's estimate of situation 3 

Likely receives several contacts 3-4 

(a) Operations of Commander Main Body 4-5 
Discussion of events previous to this period 4 
Force maneuvers almost constantly 5 
Modifies the movement plan 5 

(b) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 5-11 
Discussion of his objectives 5-6 
Likely learns of enemy submarine action 6 
Believes his presence known to the enemy 6 
Receives Commander SW Area Force's dispatch which directs 

penetration by SECOND Striking Force 7 

Directs BATDIV WO as to gunnery policy 7 

Likely learns that Commander FIRST Striking Force was 

aboard YAMATO and operations were being continued as 

planned 7 

Instructs his forces as to allocation of targets and 

firing ranges 7-8 

Discussion thereon 9 

Directs measures to be taken for night antiaircraft and 

antisubmarine dispositions 9 

Issues instructions for use of reconnaissance seaplanes 9 



iii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Notes that "Main Strength" of 955th Air Group had been 

assigned to screen the THIRD Section 10 

Receives CinC Combined Fleet's estimate of situation 10 

Discussion thereon 10-11 
Extremely anxious that reconnaissance seaplane should be 

successful 11 

Makes a major deviation from planned course 11 

(2) Operations of Commander Main Force 11-13 
Discussion of events previous to this period 11-12 
Makes a number of submarine contacts during the day 12 
Estimates situation and makes decisions 12-13 

(3) Operations of Commander Advanced Expeditionary Force 13 
RO-109 got underway as ordered 13 

(4) Operations of Conmander 3W Area Force 13-16 
Learns of torpedo attacks against Main Body 13 
Receives request for immediate screening and towing services 

for TAKAO 13-U. 
COMCRUDIY SIXTEEN becomes Commander Guard Force under ris 

direct command 1U 
Notifies "All Commanders Seaplane Bases" of TAKAC f s damage and 

directs them to escort and carry out neutralization attacks lh 

Orders HIYODORI and MITSU MARU to assistance of TAKAO 14 

(a) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 14-16 
Discussion of movements and instructions prior to this 

period 14-15 

Sights a B-24 type aircraft 15 
Receives instructions from Commander SW Area Force which 

restated his mission 15 
Enters Culion anchorage and conmences fueling his destroyers 

from his cruisers 15 

COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN becomes Commander Guard Force 16 

Damaged AOBA arrives Manila Bay safely 16 
COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN shifts flag to KINU and with URANAMI 

proceeds to Manila Harbor to refuel 16 
COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE with DESDIV TWENTY-ONE arrives Manila, 

discharges SIXTH Base Air Force personnel, refuels and 

departs to rejoin SECOND Striking Force 16 

(b) Operations of Commander SIXTH Base Air Force 16 
Continues efforts to organize his units and to prepare for 

all out effort 16 

(c) Operations of Commander FIFTH Base Air Force 16 
Deploys two Kamikaze Units to Mindanao 16 

(B) Operations of Commanding General FOURTH Air Army 17 

Moves his headquarters to Bacolod, Negros 17 

Discussion of low percentage of planes 17 

CHAPTER II - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd 18-59 

(A) Operations of COMSOWESPAC 18 
Making preparations for installation of Philippine Commonwealth 

Government 18 
Replies to COMTHIRDFLT's dispatch as to earliest estimate safe 

strike South China Sea 18 

Departs NASHVILLE for Tacloban at 1119 18 

iv CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Likely learns C.G. TWENTY-FOURTH Corps assumed command ashore 18 

Returns aboard the NASHVILLE 18 

Underway in NASHVILLE for night retirement 18 

Maintains close scrutiny of developing situation 18 

(1) Operations of Commander SEVENTH Fleet 19 
Continues operational control of SOWESPAC naval forces from 

WASATCH 19 
Familiar with developing situation but takes no direct action 19 

(a) Operations of CTF 77 19-22 

His estimate of the situation quoted 19-20 

Discussion thereon 20 

Learns that COMTHIRDFLT changed plans for TG 38.2 20 

Views above information with satisfaction 20 
Departs WASATCH for installation of Philippine Commonwealth 

Government at Tacloban 20 
Knew that commencing about noon TCAP over Leyte had been 
reduced to twelve VF permitting heavier strikes against 
northern Mindanao and western Visayan airfields and 

shipping 20 
Likely learns C.G. TWENTY-FOURTH Corps had assumed command 

ashore at 1200 20 

His staff receives CTF 79 's situation report 21 

Returned aboard WASATCH some time after 1400. 21 
Learns ten PBY's of VPB's THIRTY- THREE and THIRTY-FOUR 

had arrived 21 
Learns of enemy force in Latitude 13°-00'N, Longitude 

118°-40'E 21 

Learns of sightings in Makassar Strait 21 
Approves CTG 77.4' s proposal to send two CVE's to Morotai 

to pick up replacement aircraft 21 
Learns that Leyte Gulf, with the exception of a small 
unexplored area, was now considered safe from moored 

mines 21-22 

Knows that TG 78.7 would arrive about dawn 22 

Receives authority to retain CRUDIV FOUR 22 

Intercepts DACE and DARTER reports 22 
These reports do not appear to have affected his 

"Magnified Tokyo Express" concept 22 

(1) Operations of CTF 78 and CTG 78.1 23-24 

Watches the unloading with interest 23 
Probably attends ceremony for installation of Philippine 

Government 23 
Informs CTG 77.4 that COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE would arrive and 

report to CTG 77.4 23 

Requests information on LST's on beaches 23 

Directs COMLSTGRP TWENTY-THREE to form TG 78.11 23 

Observes the departure of TG 78.11 at 1700 23 

Issues instructions to CTG 78.7 24 

(a) Operations of CTG 78.2 24 

Observes unloading of his units 24 
Learns that two of his gunboats had successfully 

reconnoitered San Juanico Strait 24 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(b) Operations of CTU 77.2.1 and CTG 77.3 25 

(1) Operations of CT'J 77.2.1 25 
Awaits FS missions - destroyers refuel 25 
Gets underway for night screening station 25 
Arrives on station in Area DRUM 25 

(2) Operations of CTG 77.3 25 
Awaits call fire assignments 25 
Destroyers refuel 25 
SHROPSHIRE and BOISE carry out FS missions 25 
Commences patrolling area 25 

(c) Operations of CTG 78.7 25-26 
Enters Leyte Gulf and heads for northern transport area 26 

(d) Operations of CTG 78.8 26 
Proceeds toward Leyte Gulf from Humboldt Bay 26 

(2) Operations of CTF 79 26-28 

Queries CTG 79.2 as to what time his ships would sail 26 

Learns that all BLT's had been landed 26 

Designates units which would compose TU 79. 14 o 5 26 

Learns that two LST's remain to be unloaded 26 
Learns that TRANSDIV TEN had commenced general unloading and 

that unloading progress on BLUE and ORANGE Beaches is not 

proceeding as rapidly as desired 26 

Receives CTG 79.1's dispatch on transfer of command 27 

Learns that unloading of MERCURY would delay sailing 27 

CTG 79.2 informs him that only WILLIAM P. BIDJLE would sail 27 
Originates dispatch living composition and departure time of 

TU 79. 14. U 27 
Informs his command that command of forces ashore had passed 

to C.G. TWENTY- FOURTH Corps 27 

Receives CTG 79.1's sortie plan 27 

Learned that CTF 78 to assign COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE to CTG 77.4 27 

Learns from CTG 79.2 that ships are low on fuel 27 

Returns aboard the MOUNT OLYMPUS 27 
Learns that CTG 77.2 intended to suspend replenishment 

operations at 1700 until 0700 27 

Receives word of night screening destroyers 28 
Receives CTG 79.1's visual dispatch executing sortie plan and 

also modifying it 28 
Orders CTG's 79.1 and 79.2 to direct all LST's seaward of the 

MOUNT OLYMPUS to close in 28 

Issues night operating instructions to CTG 79.2 23 
Probably intercepts CTF 77' s dispatch stating that he considered 

the approach of enemy combatant ships and oilers toward Coron 

Bay as the first phase of a buildup of a magnified Tokyo 

Express operation 28 

Learns that TG 79.2 was low on smoke 28 

(a) Operations of CTG 79.1 28-30 

Observes the unloading progress of his ships 23 

Issues his sortie plan 29 

Informs his command that upon his departure command would 

pass to CTF 79 29 
Receives CTF 79's dispatch forming TU 79.14.5 and giving 

sailing time 29 



*o 



vi CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Recommends that MERCURY be sailed not later than 1800 

regardless of amount of cargo remaining aboard 29 

Receives CTF 79 f s dispatch giving composition and sailing 

time of TU 79.14.4 29 

Issues visual dispatch executing sortie plan and also 

modifying it 29 

Takes command of TU 79.14.4 and departs 29-30 

(b) Operations of CTG 79.2 30-31 
Evidences considerable concern with delay in unloading 30 

No doubt receives CTF 79' s dispatch forming TU 79.14.5 30 
Notifies CTF 79 and CTG 79.1 that only WILLIAM P. BIDDLE 

would be ready to sail that evening 30 

Notifies CTF 79 that ships were low on fuel 30 
Receives CTF 79 f s dispatch giving composition and sailing 

time of TU 79.14.4 31 

Receives CTF 79 's night operating instructions 31 

Informs CTF 79 that his smoke supply was low 31 

(c) Operations of CTU 77.2.2 31-32 
Awaiting FS and call fire missions 31 
Ships refuel and replenish ammunition 31 
Confers with CTF 77 aboard WASATCH 31 
All servicing activities halted 32 
Proceeds to his night covering station 32 

(3) Operations of CTG 77.2 32-33 
Making preparations to replenish fuel and ammunition and also 

to furnish FS 32 

Operates largely as CTU 77.2.2 during period 1042 - 1700 32 

Heads for his night screening station 32 

Likely intercepts CTF 77' s magnified Tokyo Express dispatch 32 

Arrives on station off Taytay Point about 1851 32-33 

(4) Operations of CTG 77.4 33-34 
Launches third and fourth strikes 33 
Launches fifth direct support mission 33 
Transfers planes from CHENANGO and SAGINAW BAY to other 

carriers 33 

Receives CTF 77 f s estimate 34 

Likely does not view situation with alarm 34 

Recovers last flight of day 34 

(5) Operations of CTG 70.1 34-35 
WACHAPREAGUE group arrives Liloan Bay 34 
Discussion of PT operations 34-35 

(b) Operations of CTF 71 35-38 

Watching developing situation with interest 35 

Receives CTF 77' s magnified Tokyo Express dispatch 35 
Directs BATFISH to cover approaches between Negros and Mindanao 

and GURNARD to cover southwest approaches to Brunei Bay 35 

Directs PADDLE to patrol as previously ordered 35 

Re-estimates the situation 35 

Informs interested commands of location of submarines 35 

Discussion thereon 35-36 
DACE reports making four hits in battleship and also gives 

composition, course and speed of Japanese force 36 

DARTER confirms DACE's report but is more explicit 36 

vii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Receives BREAM and ANGLER contact reports 36 

Advises interested commands of ANGLER'S contact 36 

(1) BREAM and GUITARnO 37 
BREAM reports her successful attack to CTF 71 37 
GUTTARRO contacts enemy force estimated to consist of 

fifteen to twenty ships including three BB 37 

(2) ANGLER 37 
Makes contact on Main Body, FIRST Striking Force 37 

(3) DACE and DARTER 33 
V/olfpack commander notifies CTF 71 of composition of 

Japanese force 3? 

Directs DACE to take attack position 33 

DACE sights damaged cruiser TAKAO 38 

DACE heads for attack position 38 

(2) Operations of CAAF SOWESPAC 39 

Attends installation ceremonies at Tacloban 39 

Objects to both C.G. SIXTH Army and C0MS0W2SPAC to offloading 

supplies on Tacloban airstrip 39 

(a) Operations of C.G. FIFTH Air Force 39-40 
Awaiting amplification of his Morotai-based PB4Y's 39 
Learns that scheduled strikes against shipping were made 39 
Shipping sweep against Zamboanga diverted 39 
Issues orders for rescue services 39 
Learns that a PB4Y had observed shipping in Puerto 

Princesa harbor 40 

Learns that PB4Y sighted SECOND Striking Force 40 
Receives CTF 77' s dispatch requesting him continue 

thorough reconnaissance Coron Bay 40 
Advises his command that he estimates no change in enemy 

air strength 40 

(b) Operations of CTF 73 41 
CTG 73.4 continues to execute Search Plan FOX 41 
Morotai-based PB4Y's fail to locate either THIRD Section 

or Main Body, FIRST Striking Force 41 

(1) Operations of CTG 73.7 41 

Supervising preparations to tend seaplanes 41 

Ten PBY's arrive 41 

Advises CTF 77 that seaplane searches would commence 41 

(B) Operations of CINCPAC-CINCPOA 42-59 

COMTHIRDFLT and COMSEVENTHFLT have no common superior 42 

Discussion thereon 42 

Advises subordinates of second contact by Japanese plane on 

surface units 42 

(1) Operations of Western Pacific Task Forces 43-51 

(a) Operations of COMTHIRDFLT 43-51 

Brief summary of COMTH IRDFLT « s situation 43 

Changes his logistics orders 43 
Orders (a) CTG 38.1 to strike YaD and (b) CTG 30.9 at 

Ulithi to expedite replenishment of TG 38.1 43 
Receives information that Japanese plane had contacted 

surface force 43 

Receives contact report on enemy submarine 44 

Issues dispatches concerning next major operation 44 

viii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Advises CINCPAC that information on enemy movements west 
of Luzon was sketchy and suggests submarine 

reconnaissance 44 
Receives CTF 77* s estimate of situation which reauested 

certain searches by THIRD Fleet 44 

Receives contact report on SECOND Striking Force 44 

Learns of DACE's attack 44 

Orders INDEPENDENCE to launch search at 2400 45 

Decides to reconnoiter coast of Palawan 45 

Receives DARTER' s report 45 

(1) Operations of CTF 38 45-46 
Estimates the situation 45-46 
Orders CTG 38.3 to launch two strikes at dawn October 

24th 46 

Informs COMTHIRDFLT that afternoon searches negative 46 

Receives CTF 77 's estimate of the situation 46 

Receives reports of enemy forces 46 

(a) Operations of CTG 38.1 46-47 
Learns that CTG 38.4's orders changed 46 
Calls COMTHIRDFLT' s attention to effectiveness 

and availability of night fighters 47 

(b) Operations of CTG 38.2 47-48 
Awaits detailed instructions 47 
Completes refueling 47 
Receives amplifying orders 47-48 
Prepares search to north 48 
COMTHIRDFLT requests sweep of northwest coast of 

Palawan 48 

(c) Operations of CTG 38.3 48-49 
Launches afternoon search 48 
Searches negative for enemy warships 48 
Alert to developing situation 49 
Issues search instructions to TG 38.3 49 

(d) Operations of CTG 38.4 49-50 
Receives dispatch changing orders 49 
Tells CTG 38.3 direct HELM rejoin 49 
Completes fueling 50 
Informs CTF 77 of availability of aircraft 50 
HELM rejoins 50 

(2) Operations of CTG 30.5 50-51 
Continues his air searches 50 
Tinian search fails to detect Main Force 50 
Discussion thereon 50-51 
Learns sector searches were negative 51 
Receives all important contacts 51 

(2) Operations of CTF 17 52-59 

Informs those interested of submarine locations 52 

Discussion thereon 52 

Receives CTF 77 's estimate of the situation 52 

Advises his command of events 53 

Grants ICEFISH extension of patrol 53 

Directs ESCOLAR to guard frequency for information 53 
Advises submarines of good hunting between blind bombing area 

and submarine patrol zone 53 



IX 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDE TIAL 

Seems more concerned with sinking of enemy shipping than 

obtaining information on movements of enemy forces 53 

Probably learns of DRUM'S contact on enemy convoy 53 
Receives DARTER'S dispatch reporting sinking heavy cruiser 

and damaging another 53 

(a) CONVOY COLLEGE 54.56 

(1) SAWFISH, ICEFISH, DRUM 54-55 
SAWFISH sights convoy 54 
SAWFISH makes second attack, succeeds in sinking the 

KIMIKAWA MARU 54 

ICEFISH receives extension of patrol 55 

(2) SNOOK 55 
Attempts to close SAWFISH'S convoy 55 

(3) SHARK, BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON 55 
Patrolling along northeast corner of Area 55 
Makes no effort to close SAWFISH'S contact 55 
Proceeds to Datrol northern edge of area 55 

(4) HADDOCK, HALIBUT, TUNA 56 
Proceed uneventfully to Datrol stations 56 

(5) PINTADO, JALLAO, ATULE 56 
Proceed uneventfully to patrol stations 56 

(6) BONEFISH 56 
Eastbound via Saipan 56 
Sights large unidentified aircraft 56 

(b) Northwest Coast of Formosa 56 
TANG patrols uneventfully 56 

(c) Northeast Coast of Formosa 56-57 
SILVERSIOES, TRIGGER, SALMON patrol uneventfully 56 
SALMON moves to north 57 

(d) MARU MORGUE 57 
FIRST Supply Group passes undetected 57 

(e) Nagasaki - Sasebo 57- 
PERCH proceeds to lifeguard station 53 
PERCH receives instructions on lifeguard duties 53 
CROAKER receives instructions on lifeguard duties 58 

(f) HIT PARADE (Approaches to Bungo Suido) 58 
RONQUIL and BSSUGO patrol uneventfully 53 
RONQUIL informs BESUGO she is moving into area 53 
GABILAN patrols uneventfully 58 

(g) The Approaches to Tokyo Bay 59 
TAM30R and GREENLING patrol uneventfully 59 

(C) China-3urma-India Theater 59 

(1) Operations of C.G. FOURTEENTH Air Force 59 

Search over South China Sea flown, no contacts of importance 59 

CHAPTER III - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0000 - 1330, October 24th : .- ? ? 

(A) Operations of CinC Combined Fleet ~ -f: 
Learns of a large enemy force bearing 090°(T) distant 250 miles 

from Manila rT 

Receives numerous reports from various commanders 60-61 

Becomes concerned about attacks on Main Body 61 



: 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Striking Force 
Wears several M hats M 

Learns THIRD Section under air attack 

Learns Commander Main Force intends attack enemy task force 
Receives same contact reports as Commander Main Body- 
Receives Commander THIRD Section's 1400 position report 

(a) Operations of Commander Main Body 

Learns enemy task force contacted 250 miles east of Manila 

Force assumes antiaircraft disposition 

Ships launch search aircraft 

First air attack begins 

MY0K0 and MUSASHI torpedoed 

COMCRUDIV FIVE transfers to HAGURO 

Orders MY0K0 proceed to Brunei Bay 

Second air attack begins 

MUSASHI receives three additional torpedo hits 

Receives contacts on TG 38.2 and TG 38.3 

Receives contacts on enemy forces 

Requests he be advised of contacts and attacks 

Third air attack begins 

MUSASHI again torpedoed, YAHAGI suffers near misses 

Receives another contact from Leyte Gulf 

YAMATO bombed during fourth air attack 

NAGATO bombed during fifth air attack 

Orders MUSASHI to retire, KIYOSHLMO to escort 

Reverses course while re-estimating situation 

Informs superiors of estimate and actions 

Discussion of this dispatch 

Knows strength of opposing forces 

Learns Advance Guard detached 

Learns SIXTH Base Air Force to attack carrier force 

Ordered to resume advance 

(b) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 
MOGAMI launches reconnaissance seaplane 
FUSO hit during air attack 

Receives report on enemy forces 

Reports results of action to superiors 

Designates reassembly, refueling and supply points 

MOGAMI seaplane reports results of reconnaissance 

Orders aircraft to attack enemy light craft 

Reports his position 

Learns of areas designated as bombardment targets 

Orders FIRST Division to move out in front of SECOND 

Division 
Prescribes target priority for aircraft unit 
Discussion thereon 
Knows Main Body attacked 
Likely receives same contact reports as Commander FIRST 

Striking Force 

(2) Operations of Commander Main Force 
Launches morning search 
Launches attack group 

Recovers morning search 

FIRST* Attack Unit fails to find enemy force 



61-62 

61 

62 

62 

62 

62 

63-68 

63 

63 

63 

63 

63 

63 

63-64 

64 

64 

64 

65 

65 

65 

65 

66 

66 

66 

66 

67 

67 

67 

67 

68 

68 

68 

69-72 

69 

69 

69 

69 

69-70 

70 

70 

70 

71 

71 
71 
72 
72 

72 

72-74 

72 

72 

72 

72 



XL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

SECOND Attack Units attack TG 38.3 73 

Orders Advance Guard detached to proceed southward 73 

Enemy carrier plane sights force 73 

Recovering last of CAP 74 

(3) Operations of Commander Expeditionary Force 74 
Some submarines arrive on station 74 
Re-disposes his submarines 74 

(4) Operations of Commander SW Area Force 75-36 
Warns of likelihood of air attack 75 
Learns (a) AOBA towed into Manila Bay, (b) DESDIV TWENTY-ONE 

attacked by aircraft and WAKABA sunk, (c) THIRD Section 
repulsed air attack, (d) Main Body attacked by aircraft and 

(e) MYOKO damaged and ordered to Brunei Bay 75 

Sends no escorts to MYOKO 75 

Knows of various contacts and results of friendly air attacks 75 

Learns Main Body under repeated air attacks 76 

Replies that SIXTH Base Air Force scheduled to attack 76 

Learns NAGANAMI had discovered the DARTER 76 

Learns that second phase air attack made hit on carrier 76 

(a) Operations of Commander Guard Force 76—77 
Issues orders for first operation 76 
Description of orders 76-77 
KINU and URANAMI sortie from Manila 77 
URANAMI damaged during air attack 77 
URANAMI lies to repairing damage 77 

(b) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 78-32 
Departs Culion Anchorage 78 
Learns of air attack on DESDIV TWENTY-ONE 78 
Notifies his force of bombardment areas 78 
Force ahead of planned schedule 78 
Warns force of possible air attack 79 
Issues Signal Order No. 145 79 
Unaware he has been sighted 79 
Learns DESDIV TWENTY-ONE again attacked by air 79 
Likely receives several reports 80 
COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE heads for Manila 80 
Probably receives position report THIRD Section 30 
Learns of attacks on KINU and URANAMI 81 
Receives more reports of Main Body 81 
Issues Signal Order No. 147 31 
Description of order 31 
Discussion of influences affecting plan 82 

(c) Operations of Commander SIXTH Base Air Force 32-35 
Upon receipt of contact on TG 38.3, orders general 

offensive 82 

FIRST Attack Group proceeds to target 33 

Learns location of two enemy carrier groups 33 
Learns Commander Main Force plans attack against enemy 

task force 83 

SECOND Attack Group takes off but fails to make contact 84 

Receives contact report on TG 38.2 34 

Received several battle reports from Commander Main Body ?- 

Discussion of shortage of aircraft 34 



xU 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Dusk attack group attacks enemy- 
Knows that attacks had been ineffective 
Lists results of attack 
(d) Operations of Commander FIFTH Base Air Force 
Achieves no successes during the day 
(B) Operations of C.G. FOURTH Air Army 

First attack group takes off for Leyte Gulf 

Group sinks two and damages three ships 

Second attack group unsuccessful 

Records of third attack unknown 

Japanese claims and aircraft losses 



85 

35 

85 

86 

86 

87-88 

87 

87 

87 

87 

88 



CHAPTER IV - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 0000 - 1830, October 24th 89-207 

(A) Operations of COMSCv/ESPAC 89-159 

Receives intelligence summaries from SEVENTH Fleet and his own 

headquarters 89 

Probably receives submarine reports 89 

Requested to move from NASHVILLE but does not 89 

Follows operations of CTF 77 and COMTHIRDFLT 89 
Disregards his headquarters' recommendation on reply to 

COMTHIRDFLT' s 210645 90 

(1) Operations of Commander SEVENTH Fleet 90 

Takes no unusual action during day 90 

(a) Operations of CTF 77 90-107 

Receives his headquarter ' s intelligence summary 90-91 

Receives Headquarters COKSOWESPAC intelligence summary 91 

Likely receives BREAM' s report 91 

This report adds to his estimate of enemy forces 91 

Learns of ANGLER'S contact 91 

Weighs possible courses of action on air defense 91-92 
Informs CTG 77*4 enemy air attack may be brewing, cancels 

western Visayas strike 92 

Discussion thereon 92 

Intercepts GUITARRO's report 92 

Learns CTG 38,4 launching search 92 

Receives report of several sightings 93 

Intercepts GUITARRO's second report 93 

Realizes report modifies previous estimate of situation 93 

Draws various commanders attention to implications of 

change in tactical situation 93 

Air attack develops 93-94 

Discussion thereon 94 

Learns CTG's 38.3 and 38.4 to concentrate at best speed 

on CTG 38.2 94 

Possibly receives aircraft contact report on THIRD Section 94 

Report appears to influence estimate 94 

Report inaccurate 94 

Learns of TG 38.4 attack on enemy destroyers 95 

Reinstitutes fighter sweeps of Visayan airfields 95 

Informs interested commanders of enemy air attacks 95 

Learns of major force south of Mindoro 95 

Discussion thereon 95 



496799 O - 59 - 2 



XL11 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT requests information on searches from Leyte 95 

Receives CTF 79* s daily operational summary 96 

Learns carrier aircraft to strike enemy force 96 

Discussion thereon 96 

Informs COMTHIRDFLT of air attack 96 
Learns CTF 38 ordered to keep area to north under 

observation 96 

Receives report of enemy southeast of Mount Dumali 97 

C.G. SIXTH Army assumes command of forces ashore 97 
This action completes amphibious assault phase of 

operation 97 

Re-estimates the situation 97-93 

Orders under which his forces were operating discussed 98-99 

Issues battle plan 99 

Discussion of battle plan and orders 99-100 

Increases estimate of enemy battleships 100 
Does not know if THIRD Section is being tracked by planes 101 

Warns CTG 77.2 of impending night engagement 101 

Advises COMTHIRDFLT on enemy force 101 

Discussion thereon 101 

Concept of fleet action still remote 102 

Intercepts TANGIER'S dispatch of enemy force 102 

Learns of another enemy force 102 

Advises interested commanders of strategic plan 102 

Receives garbled contact report 103 
Directs CTG 70.1 to prevent undetected passage between 

Dinagat Island and Mindanao 103 

Advises COMTHIRDFLT on purpose of enemy air attack 103 

Estimate of intentions discussed 10/* 

Informs his forces of friendly MT3»s 10/* 

Advises COMTHIRDFLT of aircraft searches 104 

Problem of aircraft availability discussed 104 

Receives report of attack on E Section 105 

Receives another report on THIRD Section 105 

Reports fail to alter estimate of enemy force 105 

Receives partly garbled report on Main Body 105 

Intercepts COMTHIRDFLT' s Battle Plan 105 

Discussion thereon 106 

Receives CTG 70.1 f s battle plan 106 

Learns that CTG 70.1 ordered patrols 106 

Notes TG 77.2 heading southward 106 

Two events would jeopardize his security 107 

Discussion of CTF 77' s concept of operations 107 

(1) Operations of CTF 78 and CTG 78.1 108-114 

Receives reports of enemy forces 108 

Undergoes several aircraft attacks 108 

COKDESRON TWENTY-ONE reports for duty 108 

Requests CTG 77.2 to assume A/S patrol 108 

Directs COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE report to CTG 77.4 103 

Learns night surface attack imminent 108 

Receives CTF 77 's dispatch ordering preparation for 

night engagement 109 
Receives COMSEVENTKFLT's supplement to Harbor 

Defense Plan 109 



XLV 



xmbizh ;::;i 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Learns CTG 70.1 intends to patrol across lower 

Leyte Gulf 109 

(a) Operations of CTG 78.2 109-110 
Receives reports of enemy forces approaching 109 
COMMINDIV THIRTY-FOUR reports for duty 109 
Observes arrival of TG 78.7 109 
First Japanese air attack in force 110 
Continues to unload LST's 110 
Learns night surface attack imminent 110 
Receives CTF 77' s dispatch ordering preparation 

for night engagement 110 
Receives COMSEVENTHFLT « s supplement to Harbor 

Defense Plan 110 

(b) Operations of CTU 77.2.1 111-112 
Receives reports of approaching enemy forces 111 
Proceeds to logistics area 111 
Confers with CTG 77.2 aboard LOUISVILLE 111 
Learns night surface attack imminent 111 
WEST VIRGINIA and MARYLAND refuel 111 
Learns enemy force in eastern Sulu Sea 111 
Receives COMSEVENTHFLT ■ s supplement to Harbor 

Defense Plan 112 

Prepares to depart logistics area 112 

(c) Operations of CTG 77.3 112-113 
Receives reports of approaching enemy forces 112 
Returns to San Pedro Bay 112 
Detaches BEALE, DALY and SHROPSHIRE for shore 

bombardment 112 

PHOENIX, BOISE and SHROPSHIRE refuel 112 
Learns enemy force might arrive that night and 

assignment to CTG 77.2 112 

Terminates his FS mission 112 

Reports to CTG 77.2 for duty 113 

Again confers with CTG 77.2 113 

Discussion thereon 113 
Learns of COMSEVENTHFLT ' s supplement to Harbor 

Defense Plan 113 

Proceeds toward battle station 113 

Joins TG 77.2 as Commander Right Flank Force 113 

(d) Operations of CTG 78.7 113-114 
Proceeding to northern transport area 113 
Detaches ten LST's to YELLOW Beach TWO 114 
Detaches remaining units 114 

TG 78.7 dissolved, COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE reports 

to CTF 78 114 

(e) Operations of CTG 78.8 114 
Proceeding to Leyte Gulf 114 

(2) Operations of CTF 79 114-120 

Several air raid alerts 114 

Receives reports of Japanese forces approaching 114 

Learns large air attack brewing 115 

COMLSTGROUP FORTY reports for duty 115 

Requests CTU 77.7.1 arrange to fuel destroyers 115 



xv CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Receives word that LSUTZE was bombed and strafed 

Directs CTU 79.11.1 to commence sortie 

Queries CTG 79.2 as to time of AURIGA unloading 

Again orders CTU 79.11.1 to sortie 

Learns major enemy force sighted 

Forwards summary report to CTF 77 

Observes departure of TU 79.14.5 

Learns AURIGA'S estimated time of unloading 

Learns night surface attack inminent 

Learns MTB's to patrol lower Surigao Strait 

Observes departure of TU 79.14.8 

Receives CTF 77' s dispatch directing prepare for 

night engagement 
Originates dispatch forming TU 79.14.9 
Directs CTU 79.11.3 to fuel 
Receives COMSEVSNTHFLT • s supplement to Harbor 

Defense Plan 
Learns CTG 70.1 intends to patrol lower Leyte Gulf 
Units of force listed 

(a) Operations of CTG 79.2 
Jaoanese aircraft begin air raid 
Confers with CTF 79 aboard MOUNT OLYMPUS 
Witnesses departure of TU 79.14.5 
Receives sailing orders from CTF 79 
Orders his units to get underway on signal 
Returns to ROCKY MOUNT and issues sortie plan 
As CTU 79.14.8 departs for Hollandia 

(b) Operations of CTU 77.2.2 

Acts largely as CTG 77.2 during night 
Directs units to FS stations 
Learns LSUTZE bombed and strafed 
CALIFORNIA refuels wnile LOUISVILLE, HSYWOOD L. 
EDWARDS, 3LAXT0N and PORTLAND replenish 
ammunition 
Discussion thereon 
ALBERT W. GRANT, LEUTZE, ROBINSON, COLUMBIA and 

DENVER furnish FS 
Orders units to form and heads for night battle 
station 
(3) Operations of CTG 77.2 

Receives ANGLER'S and GUITARRO's reports 

Orders units to fueling and FS areas 

Learns CTF 77 believes night surface attack inminent 

Learns of THIRD Section in Sulu Sea 

Confers with CTU 77.2. aboard LOUISVILLE 

Receives request to assume A/S patrol around TF 78 

Receives orders from CTF 77 to prepare for night 

battle 
Completes battle plan 
Requests Commander Battle Line and Connander Right 

Flank Force to report on board to discuss plan 
Comnander Battle Line reports aboard 
Commander Right Flank Force reports aboard 
Discussion of conference 



115 
115 
115 
115 
116 
116 
116 
116 
116 
116 
117 

117 
117 
117 

117 

117 

117-118 

118 

118 

113 

118 

113 

118 

118 

118 

119-120 

119 

119 

119 



119 
119-120 

120 

120 

120-126 

120 

121 

121 

121 

121 

121 

121 
122 

122 
122 
122 

122 



xvi 



:;;-:_£:: :^i 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Both commanders enthusiastic about plan 122 
Prepares to issue plan, receives several dispatches 

relating thereto 123 

Dispatches do not clash with plan 123 
Decides to send all ships' planes which could not be 

stowed in hangers ashore, 123 

Directs Left Flank Force to form and proceeds toward 

battle area 123 

Issues battle plan 124 

Plan stated 124-125 

Comment thereon 125 
Confusion exists as to number of battleships 

approaching 125 

Learns torpedo boat operating areas 125 

Transmits battle plan visually 125 

Discussion thereon 125-126 

(4) Operations of CTG 77.4 126-130 
Receives CTF 77' s dispatch instructions 126 
Likely learns of ANGLER and GUTTARRO contacts 126 
Advises CTF 73 that two carriers would arrive Morotai 126 
TCAP patrols without encountering enemy opposition 127 
Large enemy air strike develops 127 
Air battle joined 127 
Allied damage stated 127 
Discussion of air attack 128 
CHENANGO and SAGINAW BAY complete preparations for 

departure 128 

Second major air attack against Leyte Gulf 128 

Discussion thereon 128 

Learns of attacks on Main Body and THLRD Section 128 
Evidently ordered by CTF 77 to reinstitute sweeps 

against western Visayan airfields 128-129 

Evaluates pilot's claims concerning attack on Bacolod 129 

Advises CTF 77 of departure of carriers 129 

Several enemy planes shot down 129 

Type of aircraft missions discussed 129 

Assessment of claims discussed 129-130 

(5) Operations of CTG 70.1 130-136 
Part of basic instructions to MTB's quoted 130 
Observes air attack had developed in force 130 
Confers with CTF 77's Operations Officer 130 
Discussion of conference 131 
Studies situation with staff 131 
Receives order directing him to station MTB's 131 
Completes plan 132 
Issues plan 132 
Plan quoted 132 
Discussion thereon 132-133 
Commanding Officer WACHAPREAGUE receives plan and 

informs responsible MrB officers 133 

Notes that MTE's start south 134 

Receives two dispatches assigning areas and tasks 134 

WACHAPREAGUE MTB's get underway 134 



XVll 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Motor torpedo boats assigned stations 135 
Receives CTF 77' s dispatch directing him to prevent 
enemy forces passing undetected through strait 

between Dinagat and Mindanao 136 

(6) Operations of CTG 78.3 and CTU 78.3.5 136 

Deploys units to patrol mouth of Sogod Bay 136 

(b) Operations of CTF 71 137-149 

Receives BEriGALL's request for patrol extension 137 

Studies running estimate 137 

Sends summary dispatch to submarines 138 

Receives GUITARRO's contact report 138 
Directs BLACKFIN to cover western approaches Balabac Strait 138 

Discussion thereon 138 

Advises of contacts reported by GUITARRO and BREAM 138 

Receives ANGLER'S amplifying report 138 

Learns DARTER aground and DACE proceeding to assist 138 

Receives GUITARRO's contact on same force as ANGLER 139 
Learns DACE had rescued DARTER' s p2rsonnel and boat 

demolished 139 

Learns efforts to demolish DARTER were unsuccessful 139 

Learns COMTHIRDFLT requested assistance from TF 71 139 

Directs PADDLE return to Fremantle 139 

May have learned of enemy force south of Mindoro 139 

Estimates situation on DACE's request for assistance 139 

Orders ROCK proceed assist DACE 139-140 

Discussion thereon 140 

Likely learns of enemy force in Sulu Sea 140 

Studies deployment of submarines 140 
Cancels BLACKFIN 's orders and directs patrol north of 

Palawan 140 

Decision correct 141 

Informs CTF 77 of DARTER' s grounding 141 

Directs BSRGALL cover western aopro?.ches Balabac Strait 141 

Sends summary submarine activities to COMTHIRDFLT 141 

Discussion thereon 141 

Assigns COBIA lifeguard duties 141 
Concerns himself with providing intelligence of enemy 

activities along west coast of Luzon 142 

Directs- COD continue patrol area A-2 142 

(1) BREAM and GUITARRO 142-143 
BREAM recovers six Japanese soldiers 142 
Receives orders patrol area A-3 142 
GUITARRO reports force consisting of fifteen to twenty 

ships including three probable battle shiDs 142 
Later advises that force consisting three battleships 

and two possible carriers headed south 142 

Report incorrect and had adverse effect planning 142 

GUITARRO reports one light and one heavy cruiser 143 

(2) ROCK and BERGALL 143 
ROCK patrolling eastern half line between Cape Varella 

and North Danger Shoal 143 
BERGALL returning to station after sweep south of 

Saigon 143 

BERGALL requests five days extension patrol 143 



xvin 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

BERGALL receives orders patrol western approaches 

Balabac Strait 143 

ROCK receives orders proceed Bombay Shoal to attempt 

destruction of DARTER 143 

(3) ANGLER 144 
ANGLER after amplifying report on Main Body decides 

to patrol entrance West Apo Passage 1 V i 

Discussion thereon 144 
CTF 71 directs him patrol south Lubang Island to 

cover southwest approaches Verde Island Passage 144 

(4) DACE and DARTER 144-147 
Resume* of action prior to this time 144 
DARTER and DACE close TAKAO 144-145 
DARTER grounds on Bombay Shoal 145 
Discussion thereon 145 
DARTER'S crew transfer to DACE and unsuccessful 

attempts made demolish DARTER 145 

DACE closes DARTER rather than destroying TAKAO 145 

Discussion thereon 146 

DACE reports DARTER aground 146 

DACE attempts torpedo DARTER 146 
Sends erroneous dispatch that DARTER crew rescued 

and submarine destroyed 146 

DACE attempts demolish DARTER using gunfire 146 

Sends corrected report, requests assistance 147 

DACE clears area 147 
Japanese destroyer NAGANAMI unsuccessfully attempts 

demolish DARTER 147 

(5) GURNARD 147-148 
En route new station makes contact and investigates 147 
Discussion thereon 147 
Determines contact to be battleship 148 
Reports (a) contact, (b) torpedoes remaining and (c) 

special mission not accomplished 148 

Discussion thereon 148 

Contact small target, GURNARD head for Brunei 148 

(6) COBIA 148 
Passing through Sulu Sea 148 
Receives orders for lifeguard duty 148 

(7) BLACKFIN 148 
Northeast of Dangerous Ground proceeding area D-6 148 
Receives orders patrol area A-5 north of Palawan 

Passage 148 

(8) PADDLE 149 
Patrolling Cape Mangkalihat to North Watcher Island 149 
Receives orders return to Fremantle 149 

(2) Operations of CAAF SOWESPAC 150-159 

Inspects Tacloban airstrip 150 

(a) Operations of C.G. FIFTH Air Force 150-151 

Gives additional search instructions to CTF 73 150 

Aware of principal contact reports 150-151 
Informed that extended searches would require more aircraft 151 

Recommends Search Plan FOX be modified 151 



xLx 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Plans to strike enemy force in Sulu Sea 
(b) Operations of CTF 73 

CURRITUCK en route Mios Woendi 

Receives instructions concerning searches 

Recommends modifications 

(1) Operations of CTG 73.4 

Receives inaccurate report on enemy force under attack 

Discussion thereon 

Another plane sights THIRD Section 

Plane makes report 

Receives contact report on Main Body 

Receives contact report on SECOND Striking Force 

Another plane reports THIRD Section 

(2) Operations of CTG 73.7 
Continues to supervise operations 
HALF MOON preparing planes for flight 
Discussion thereon 

SAN CARLOS gets underway 

Issues orders for afternoon searches 

Sends instructions to HALF MOON for night search 

Two enemy bombers attack HALF MOON 

Fueling PBY's stops and gasoline lines flooded with 

salt water to minimize fire hazard 
Planes of VPB 34 were refueled with salt water 
Discussion thereon 
Receives orders regarding searches 
Transmits implementing order 
SAN CARLOS anchors San Pedro Bay 
Concerned with location of HALF MOON 
Issues orders HALF MOON get underway 
Discussion thereon 

CTF 77 advises VF would cover take-off PBY's 
HALF MOON informs CTG 73.7 that three planes would 

be ready 
Discussion thereon 
CTG 73.7 directs HALF MOON remain with planes and 

cancels morning search 
Two planes search Surigao Strait, the Mindanao and 

Sulu Seas 
Discussion thereon 
"TARE" mission apparently modified 
Discussion thereon 
(B) Operations of CINCPAC-CINCPOA 
Sends his intelligence summary 
Receives numerous contact reports 
(l) Operations of Western Pacific Task Forces 
(a) Operations of COMTHIRDFLT 
Makes many decisions 
Steaming toward San Bernardino Strait 
Receives CTG 38.2' s plan for day's operations 
Receives intelligence summary 
Receives CTG 38.4' s plan for 0600 search 
Intercepts BREAM' s report on CRUDIV SIXTEEN 



151 

151-152 

151 

151 

152 

152-154 

152 

152-153 

153 

153 

153 

153-154 

154 

154-159 

154 

154 

154-155 

155 

155 

155 

155 

155 
155 
155 
156 
156 
156 
156 
156 
156 
157 

157 

157 

157 

157-158 

158 

158 

158-159 

160-207 

160 

160 

160-192 

160-192 

160 

160 

160 

160 

161 

161 



CONFIDENriAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Receives CTF 71' s relay of ANGLER' s report 161 

Receives GUITARRO»s first report 161 

Learns CTG 77.4 ordered take defensive measures 161 

Receives GUITARRO's second report 161 

Carrier groups in launching positions 162 

Groups launch reinforced searches 162 

Receives CINCPOA's intelligence summary 162 

Intercepts CABOT 's plane report of major force 162 

Intercepts INTREPID message clarifying sightings 162 

Discussion of evaluation 162-163 

Advises CTG's 38.3 and 38.4 of sighting 163 
Discussion of situation not developing along predicted 

lines 163 

Events of which not yet aware 164 
Issues orders TG's 38.3 and 38.4 concentrate toward 

TG 38.2 at best speed 164 
Directs CTF 38 and CTG 38.3 to attack 164 
TG 38.2 advises forty-five plane strike ready 164 
Points out CTF 77 seaplane coverage sea area to north- 
eastward vital 164 
Orders CTG 38.2 strike enemy I64 
Decision recall TG 38.1 considered sound 165 
Orders CTF 38 keep area to north under observation 165 
Notes CTG 38.2 launching air strike 165 
Alerts COMBATDIV SEVEN possibility of surface action 165 
Learns of enemy force of twenty-five ships and that TG 

38.3 launching attack 165 

Learns of contact on THIRD Section 165 

Does nothing about this dispatch 165 

Receives report TG 38.4 attacked three destroyers 166 

Notes CTG 38.2 launching second air attack 166 

Learns that PRINCETON hit by bomb 166 

CTF 38 informs him of position and intentions 166 

Learns that enemy planes attacked shipping in Leyte Gulf 167 

Learns of enemy convoy southeast Mount Dumali 167 

Informs theater commanders of operations 167 
Learns CTG 38.1, with BOSTON, would arrive Point MICK 0700 168 

Receives summary report from CTG 38.2 168 

Learns CTG 38.4' s intentions 168 
Queries CTG's 38.3 and 38.4 whether attacking enemy and 

requesting results 168 

Receives CTF 38 's summary 168 

Receives results of strike on Main Body 168 

Receives report of THIRD Section 168 

Intercepts contact on THIRD Section 169 

Directs CTG 38.2 arrange night search plane shadow enemy 169 

Receives CTF 77 's directive prepare for night battle 169 
Receives report from CTG 38.2 on results of second strike 169 
Learns CTF 77 surmised probable enemy landing force in 

convoy 

Formulates surface action plan 169-170 

Discussion thereon 170 

Learns three groups enemy planes approaching Leyte 170 



xxL CONFIDENTIAL 



169 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Issues new orders to CTG 38.4 170 
Receives CTF 38 f s strike report, also summary operations 

of TG 38.3 170 

Receives report on THIRD Section 170-171 

Receives summary from CTF 38 171 

Learns search plane contact on SECOND Striking Force 171 

Intercepts reports on Main Force 171 

Reports of vital significance 171 

Issues orders to CTG 38.4 171-172 

Learns ENTERPRISE plane contacted Main Force at 1715 172 

Receives summary report from CTF 38 172 

Learns results of TG 38.4 's strikes 172 

Receives report from CTG 38.2 of third strike 172 

Directs CTG 33.4 to proceed westward 172 

Receives CTG 38.4' s report of strike against Main Body 173 

Re-estimates situation 173 

Unknown to him Main Body changes course eastward 173 

Remains off San Bernardino Strait 173 

(1) Operations of CTF 38 174-178 
Receives much the same reports as COMTHIRDFLT and 

CTF 77 174 

Invites CTG 38. V s attention to GUITARRO's report 174 

Concerned over air attacks in strength 174 

First major air attack detected 174 

Learns plane sighted Main Body 174 

Observes PRINCETON burst into flames 174 

Advises COMTHIRDFLT of PRINCETON'S situation 175 

Notes PRINCETON rocked by explosions 175 

Decides CTG 38.3 remain in general vicinity 175 

Informs interested commanders of actions 175 

Receives orders keep area to north under observation 175 

Receives orders strike force south Mindoro 175 

Sends summary to COMTHIRDFLT 175 

Enemy raids fail to hit ships 176 

Intercepts CTF 77' s order prepare for night battle 176 

Sends latest situation summary 176 
Learns large explosion aboard PRINCETON had blown her 

stern off causing many casualties in BIRMINGHAM 176 
Begins receiving messages from northern search planes 

on Main Force 176 

Recommends PRINCETON be sunk 176 

Orders CTG 38.3 be prepared for surface action 177 

Receives COMTHIRDFLT « s battle plan 177 

Prepares to launch strike against enemy force 177 

Orders CTG 38.3 join COMTHIRDFLT 177 
Receives COMTHIRDFLT' s dispatch to use discretion 

regarding PRINCETON 177 

Aware of situation 177 
Feels situation had changed significantly and advises 

COMTHIRDFLT 178 

(a) Operations of CTG 38.1 173-179 

Likely receives same information as COMTHIRDFLT 178 



xxLi 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Detaches FARENHOLT, GRAYSON, MC CALLA and 

WOODWORTH to CTG 30.3 178 

BOSTON, BURNS, CHARRETTE, COWELL, BELL and BOYD 

join 178 

Receives orders from COMTHIRDFLT 178 

Learns of discovery of Main Body, THIRD Section 

also COMTHIRDFLT 's request for seaplane coverage 179 

Understands developing situation 179 

(b) Operations of CTG 38.2 179-183 
Learns of GUITARRO and ANGLER contacts 179 
Launches westward search from INTREPID 179 
INTREPID search planes sight and report Main Body 180 
Receives COMTHIRDFLT ' s orders to relay contact to 

CTF 38 180 

Launches first strike against Main Body 180 

Reports strike results to COMTHIRDFLT 180 

Japanese records list limited damage 180 

Three VT shot down 180 
Advises COMTHIRDFLT that he was launching second 

strike 181 

Results of strike 181 

Learns of various events 181 

Reports search coast of Palawan negative 181 

Results of third strike 181 

Reports results of second strike 182 

Receives COMTHIRDFLT' s orders to CTG 38.4 182 

Advises COMTHIRDFLT of contact on Main Force 182 

Reports results of last strike 182 

Operating off San Bernardino Strait 183 

(c) Operations of CTG 38.3 183-188 
Makes contact on enemy plane 183 
Makes contact on second plane 183 
Both planes shot down by VF(N) 183 
CTF 38 informs him "much enemy activity suggests 

heavy air attack" 183 

Launches initial air operations 183 

Notes about to be attacked by two large groups 183-184 

Events occur in relatively rapid succession 184 

Learns ESSEX VF had requested help 184 

PRINCETON hit by bomb 184 
Orders two cruisers and four destroyers standby 

PRINCETON 184 

CTF 38 directs remain in the vicinity 184 

Launches strike against force in Siguyan Sea 185 
CTF 38 directs him to search each sector between 

350o(T) and 040o(T) 185 
Directs that search to the north and second strike 

against force in Sibuyan Sea be launched at 1305 185 

Cancels search, launches CAP and Strike Group TWO 185 

Description and results of Strike Group ONE 185 

CAP vectored out to intercept 186 
Requests permission, which was approved, to launch 

search originally scheduled but without fighter 

escort 186 



xxiii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

CAP successful in breaking up both enemy attacks 186 

Strike Group TWO attacks Main Body 186 
Explosion aboard PRINCETON causes many topside 

casualties aboard BIRMINGHAM 186 

RENO reports situation to CTG 38.3 186 
Begins receiving messages from search planes which 

sighted Main Force 187 

Directs RENO to sink PRINCETON 187 
Considerable confusion exists as to what enemy 

forces had been sighted 187 
Receives word to detail his battleship, cruisers 
and a squadron of destroyers to attack and sink 

enemy 187 

RENO torpedoes and sinks PRINCETON 187 
Lands his last strike and learns that contacts to 

north were greater than reported 187 
Records 167 enemy aircraft destroyed during day 

with ten Allied losses 188 

(d) Operations of CTG 38,4 138-191 
Receives much same information as other commanders 

during morning 188 
Emphasis placed on description and results of 
attacks made by aircraft of Japanese surface 

forces 188 
Launches reinforced search to cover sector between 

230° (T) and 270° (T) 133 

FRANKLIN aircraft attack three enemy destroyers 188 

ENTERPRISE planes locate and attack THIRD Section 188-139 

Japanese comments on battle damage 139 

Launches second strike against enemy destroyers 189 

Receives COMTHIRDFLT's orders to concentrate 139-190 

Informs COMTHIRDFLT of position and operations 190 
Advises COMTHIRDFLT that attacked THIRD Section 

and was now closing 190 

Launches strike and results thereof 190 

Battle damage not listed 190 

Receives instructions during afternoon 191 

Enemy air activity over force very light 191 

(2) Operations of CTG 30.5 191-192 

Continues air searches 191 

Likely receives the various contact reports 191 

Probably hears report of large merchant ship and three 

destroyers 191 

Likely learns of actions decided upon 192 

Subordinate commanders had not reported day 1 s searches 192 

(2) Operations of CTF 17 192-207 

Learns of ANGLER and GUITARRO contacts 192 

Learns of BREAM contact 192 

His evaluation of above contacts not known 192 

Receives GUITARRO 1 s second report on Main Body 193 

Issues two submarine position reports 193 

Receives COMTHIRDFLT's dispatch reporting large enemy force 

south of Mindoro 193 



XXLV 



CONFIDENTIAL 



ONFIDENTIAL 



Learns COMTHIRDFLT had not located enemy carriers 193 
Unknown whether or not considered disposing two wolf packs 

along Latitude 20°-00'N as scouting line 193 

Discussion of concept of situation 194 
Awaits additional news of movements of enemy forces and 

Allied reaction 194 
Likely learns of enemy force in Sulu Sea and that CTF 77 was 

preparing for night action 194 
Not included as action addressee on COMTHIRDFLT 's battle plan 

dispatch 194 
Extends ICEFISH «s patrol and orders her to join PINTADO wolf 

pack 194 
Is aware that friendly forces were being disposed to counter 

enemy movements 194 

Studies his running estimate 194 

Informs CONVOY COLLEGE submarines of situation 195 

Not informed of air strikes against Main Body or THIRD Section 195 

(a) CONVOY COLLEGE 195-202 

(1) SAWFISH, ICEFISH, DRUM 195-197 
Patrolling area DELETE 195 

(a) SAWFISH trailing convoy and coaching other 

submarines into contact 195 

SAWFISH clears area 195 
Wolf pack commander requests submarines to inform 

him of results 195 
ICEFISH and DRUM inform wolf pack commander of 

attacks 196 

SAWFISH informs CTF 17 of results of attacks 196 
Directs CONVOY COLLEGE submarines to be alert for 

northbound cripples 196 
Wolf pack dissolved, ICEFISH and DRUM operate 

independently 196 

Discussion thereon 196 

(b) ICEFISH attacks 196-197 
Credited with sinking TENSHIN MARU 197 
Receives orders from wolf pack commander to patrol 

at discretion in vicinity Cape Bojeador 197 

(c) DRUM attacks unsuccessfully but later scores hit 

in second convoy 197 

Receives orders to patrol at discretion 197 

(2) SHARK, BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON 198-200 
Wolf pack not on station 198 
Wolf pack commander shows lack of interest in SAWFISH'S 

contact 198 

SHARK sinks during day 198 

(a) Wolf pack commander changes mind and orders pack 

to patrol along Latitude 20°-30»N 198 
SNOOK advises him that convoy now consists of three 

ships 198 

Directs his units to attack 198 

Where and how SHARK sinks is not known 198 

(b) BLACKFISH receives orders from SHARK to proceed 

south and patrol along Latitude 20°-30 f N to cover 

northbound convoy 198 



XXV 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Overhears many conversations on wolf pack 

frequency from another wolf pack 199 

Proceeds eastward to new patrol station 199 

Assumes command of reduced wolf pack 199 

(c) SEADRAGON follows activity in vicinity 199 

Attacks convoy of three freighters 199 

Sinks freighter 199 
Credited with sinking DAITEN MARU, KOKURYU MARU 

and EIKO MARU - 200 

(3) SNOOK 200 
Contacts and attacks convoy 200 
Makes second attack on convoy 200 
Gives position of convoy and reports three ships 

remaining 200 

Makes third attack on convoy 200 

Sinks SHINSEI MARU, KIKUSUI MARU and ARISAN MARU 200 
Unable contact wolf pack commander but reports to 

CTF 17 200 

Convoy attacked was HARUKAZE convoy of twelve ships 201 

SHARK may have sunk one ship of convoy 201 

(4) HADDOCK, HALIBUT, TUNA 201 
Coordinated attack group en route patrol station 201 

(5) PINTADO, ATULE, JALLAO 201-202 
Wolf pack en route patrol station 201 
ATULE and JALLAO both report submarine contacts 202 

(6) BONEFISH 202 
En route Saipan 202 
No longer participating in KING II operations 202 

(b) Northwest Coast of Formosa 202-203 
TANG contacts convoy 202 
TANG sunk by own tomedo 202 
TANG credited with sinking KOGEN MARU and MATSUMOTO MARU 203 
Some of TANG's crew survive 203 

(c) Northeast Coast of Formosa 203 
SILVERSIDES, TRIGGER and SALMON patrolling area 203 

(d) MARU MORGUE 204 
Submarines SEA DOG, BILLFISH, SAURY, BURRFISH and STERLET 

patrolling Nansei Shoto 204 

BURRFISH sights convoy and tracks 204 

(e) Nagasaki - Sasebo 204-205 
CROAKER and PERCH operate independently 204 

(1) CROAKER makes radar contact 204 
CROAKER attacks sinking MIKAGS MARU 204 
Proceeds toward lifeguard station 204 
Discussion of wolf pack operating in unusually loose 

fashion 204-205 

(2) PERCH makes contact on a convey of six ships 205 
Convoy escapes 205 
Discussion of range of communication equipment 205 

(f) HIT PARADE 205-207 
(1) Approaches to Bungo Suido 205-206 

BESUGO attacks convoy and sinks CD 132 205-206 

RONQUIL makes contact on convoy 206 

RONQUIL makes unsuccessful attack 206 



XXVI 



CONFIDE ;::ai 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Wolf pack commander directs RONQUIL and BESUGO to 
shift patrol areas 

(2) Approaches to Kii Suido 
GABILAN patrols uneventfully 

(3) Approaches to Tokyo 

GREENLING and TAMBQR patrol uneventfully 
(C) China-Burma- India Theater 

(1) Operations of C.G. FOURTEENTH Air Force 
Search of South China Sea negative 
Night searches not flown 

CHAPTER V - MEANS AVAILABLE AND OPPOSED, OCTOBER 24th - 25th 

(A) Forces engaged 

(1) Allied Forces 

(a) Battle Line 

(b) Left Flank Force 

(c) Right Flank Force 

(d) DSSRON FIFTY-FOUR 

(e) Motor Torpedo Boats 

(f) Total 

(2) Japanese Forces 

(a) THIRD Section, FIRST Striking Force 

(b) SECOND Striking Force 

(c) Total 

(B) Armament 

(1) Allied Forces 

(a) TG 77.2 

(b) TG 77.3 

(c) DESRON FIFTY-FOUR 

(d) Grand Total 

(2) Japanese Forces 

(a) THIRD Section 

(b) SECOND Striking Force 

(c) Grand Total 

(C) Ammunition and Torpedoes on board 0000, October 25th 

(1) Allied 

(a) Battleships (16-inch) 

(b) Battleships (14-inch) 

(c) Average projectiles per gun (Battleships) 

(d) Cruisers Heavy (6-inch) 

(e) Cruisers Light (6-inch) 

(f) Average projectiles per gun (Cruisers) 

(2) Japanese allowance of Ammunition and Torpedoes 

(a) THIRD Section 

(1) Battleships 

(2) Heavy Cruiser 

(3) Destroyers 

(b) SECOND Striking Force 

(1) Heavy Cruisers 

(2) Light Cruisers 

(3) Destroyers 



206 
206 
206 
207 
207 
207 
207 
207 
207 

208-217 

208-209 

208 

208 

208 

208 

208 

208 

208 

208-209 

208 

208 

209 

209-211 

209 

209 

209-210 

210 

210 

210-211 

210 

211 

211 

211-215 

211-213 

211 

212 

212 

212-213 

213 

213 

2L4-215 

214 

2L4 

214 

214 

215 

215 

215 

215 



XXVll 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(D) Strength and Weakness Factors 
Allied Force 
Strength Factors 
Weakness Factors 
Japanese Forces 
Strength Factors 
Weakness Factors 

CHAPTER VI - JAPANESE OPER ATIONS. 1830 - 2400. October py.t.h 

(A) Operations of Commander THIHD Section 

Directs Commander FIRST Division to move out in front of SECOND 
Division 

Decision to separate his forces discussed 

Learns Commander Kain Body retired temporarily 

His decision to continue on considered correct 

Receives CinC Combined Fleet's dispatch directing "All forces to 

the attack, trusting in divine aid" 
Analyzes his situation 

Realizes best chance for success to adhere original schedule 

Modifies basic orders 

Likely considers possibility of night action 

His decision to change objective area correct 

Informs superiors 

Knows CinC Combined Fleet was alert to situation 

Receives coordinating instructions 

These orders changed original plan 

Realizes modification of designated reassembly ooint would likely 

be necessary 
Realizes that THIRD Section was required as replacements 
Views new instructions with concern 

New orders approved decision to continue as scheduled 
Learns SECOND Striking Force would be two hours behind 
After encountering enemy torpedo boats queries Commander FIRST 

Division as to enemy and receives reply no enemy shiDs sighted 
Discussion of importance of this dispatch 
Discussion of expectations of Allied forces 
Receives two dispatches reporting contacts and attacks on Allied 

carrier groups 

(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Division 
Proceeds ahead of SECOND Division 
Assigns stations to his ships 

Reaches assigned station and slows to fleet speed 

Passes undetected by Allied motor torpedo boats 

Aware that SECOND Division had encountered and fired on enemy 

torpedo boats 
In answer to query from Commander THIRD Section he replies 

"No enemy ships sighted" 
Unknown to him, ships were detected by radar 
Again reports enemy not sighted 

(2) Operations of Commander SECOND Division 

Directs SECOND Division change course which increases distance 

between FIRST and SECOND Divisions 
No unusual occurrance for some hours 



216-217 

216 

216 

216 

217 

217 

217 

213-235 
213-230 

218 

213-219 

219 

219 

219 

219-220 

220 

220 

221 

221 

222 

222 

222 

223 

223 
223 
223 
223 
224 

224 
224 
224-225 

225 

226-227 

226 

226 

226 

226 

227 

227 
227 
227 
223-230 

228 
228 



XXVXll 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



SHIGURE reports sighting three MTB's 
SHIGURE opens fire forcing MTB's to turn away 
SHIGURE hits PT 152 

Breaks off engagement and returns to base course 
Believes that MTB's were maintaining contact 
(B) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 

Retains force in alert cruising disposition and continues 

zigzagging 
Learned previously of composition of enemy forces 
Transmits information to SECOND Striking Force 
Fails to include all intelligence 
Learns operations to continue and awaits action by Commanders 

FIRST Striking Force and THIRD Section 
Enters Mindanao Sea 

Notes that DESDIV TWENTY-ONE had not rendezvoused 
Learns that Japanese planes had damaged carrier 
Learns Commander THIRD Section expected to penetrate off Dulag at 

0400 October 25th and re-estimates situation 
Receives Commander FIRST Striking Force's dispatch on plans for 

the operation 
Plans appear to have surprised him 
Re-estimates situation but makes no change in plans 
Discussion on fuel consumption rates 

Advises Commander THIRD Section and DESDIV TWENTY-ONE of plans 
Unaware COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE returning Manila 
Sights starshells fired by SECOND Division 
Orders No. 4 Approach Formation 
Directs his command be ready to make twenty-eight knots immediately 

and maximum battle speed on fifteen minutes notice 
Continues on without incident 



228 
229 
229 
229 
230 

230-235 

230 
230 
231 
231 

231 
231 
231 
231-232 

232 

232 

232-233 

233 

233 

234 

234 

234 

234 

235 
235 



CHAPTER VII - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 1830 - 2400, October 24th 



236-257 



(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 (OTC) 236-245 

His units proceed to battle disposition stations 236 
Desires form battle disposition before complete darkness as units 

had not operated together before 236 

Two air alerts occur 236 
Wonders why the five destroyers of TG 79.11 were not assigned to 

him for duty 236 

Receives request from CTG 79.11 to make torpedo attack 236 

Queries CTG 79.11 whether screen is same as on previous night 237 

Faces problem of what do with TG 79.11 237 

Battle line reaches its initial point and turns east 237 

Approves CTG 79.11' s request 237 

Discussion thereon 237-238 

Informed by CTG 79.11 of his battle plan 238 

Approves plan but issues additional instructions 238 

Discussion thereon 238-239 

Receives CTG 79.11* s attack plan 239 

Battle disposition now formed 239 
Informs CTG 79.11 no units of TG 77.2, except perhaps some MTB's, 

would operate south of patrol line 239 



496799 0-59 



XXLX 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Discussion thereon 239 
Directs left flank force form Battle Disposition A-l while ri?ht 

flank cruisers in line of bearing 239-240 

Reasons for not employing antisubmarine screens 240 

Studies situation constantly 240 
Directs CTG 79.11 and COKDZSRON FIFTY-SIX establish post-attack 

rendezvous 240 

Receives above information 240 

Approves rendezvous points 240 

Sets condition ONE EASY for all ships 241 

Unaware MT3's had made contact with Japanese surface forces 241 

(1) Operations of Commander Battle Line 241-242 
Proceeds to initial station 241 
Directs DE3DIV XRAY screen van and rear of battle line 241 
Changes course to 090°(T) speed five knots 242 
Discussion concerning positioning antisubmarine screen ?7 t ? 
Reverses course to west P; t ? 
Notes currents and speed affect station keeping ?A? 
Reverses course to east 242 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 242-244 
Proceeds toward initial station 242 
Changes course to 090°(T) reduces speed to five knots 243 
Issues station instructions for Left Flank Force 243 
Cruisers and destroyers take assigned stations 243 
Composition of attack sections 243 
Discussion deployment 243-244 
Changes course to 000°(T) 244 
Receives surface contact report from COLUMBIA evaluated as 

land 244 

Changes course to 270° (T) 244 

In approximate station on MISSISSIPPI 244 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force 244-245 
Proceeds to assigned station 244 
Arrives on station, changes course to 090°(T), reduces speed 

to five knots 244 

Right Flank destroyers endeavor follow movements of OTC 244 

In general follows movements of battle line 244-245 

Orders destroyers maneuver as necessary, avoid shore 245 

Changes course to 290°(T) 245 
Intercepts CTG 77.2' s message to COKDESRON FIFTY-SIX and CTG 

79.11 directing them establish post-attack rendezvous 245 

Changes course to 090° (T) in order maintain station 245 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11 246-250 

Continues patrolling Antisubmarine Stations ONE to SEVEN 246 

Determines request authority make torpedo attack 246 

Plans employing five destroyers in two-group attack 246 

Feels justified request permission make an attack 247 

Discussion thereon 247 

Chooses new task meet demands of new situation 247 
Decides not communicate with immediate superior in view of 

communication delay 247 
Decides request approval planned attack from immediate superior 

in area 247 



XXX 



::::?::: e:;::al 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Advises CTG 77.2 of his intentions 247 
Receives query from CTG 77.2 whether screen is same as on previous 

night, answers affirmatively 248 

Receives authorization to attack 248 

Advises CTG 77.2 plans attack with two groups 248 

Receives approval from CTG 77.2 248 

Estimates enemy intentions 248 

Issues attack plan 248 

Discussion thereon 249 

Receives CTG 77.2 's battle plan 249 

Realizes interference likely with destroyers in Station SEVEN 249 
Queries CTG 77.2 whether part of TG 77.2 to operate south of 

patrol line 249 

Receives negative reply with exceptions 249 

Radar tracks unidentified planes during evening 250 

Receives directive establish post-attack rendezvous points 250 

Designates post-attack rendezvous points 250 

Directs contact reports by made by TBS voice radio 250 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 250-257 

(1) Bohol and Camiguin PT's 250-254 
En route stations 250 
Discussion intership communications (PT common) 251 

(a) Bohol PT's 251-253 
Makes radar contact on unidentified plane 251 
Discussion of patrol plan 251 
Contact Japanese force but unable to report 251-252 
Taken under fire, PT's 130, 152 hit 252 
Retire. PT's 130, 131 head for Camiguin PT's to relay 

contact report 252 

Discussion thereon 252 

Sights Camiguin PT's 253 

(b) Camiguin PT's 253-254 
Discussion patrol inadequacy 253 
Fails to contact FIRST Division 253 
Discussion thereon 253-254 
Sights starshells and gunf lashes to northeast 254 

(2) Limasawa PT's 254-256 
Maintairs station until visibility becomes poor 254 
Sights searchlight, flares, hears gunfire to southwest 255 
Endeavors unsuccessfully communicate with base 255 
Makes radar contact on FIRST Division (PT 151) 255 
Proceeds toward target, makes visual contact at two miles 255 
Efforts report above contact unsuccessful 255 
Approaches to deliver torpedo attack 256 

(3) SW Panaon PT's 256 
Fails detect Japanese FIRST Division 256 

(4) SE Panaon PT's 256-257 
Contacts unidentified aircraft 256 
Fails transmit contact report 257 

(5) Other PT's 257 
Uneventful 257 



xxxi 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

CHAPTER VIII - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0000 - 0100, October 25th 258-269 

(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 253-268 
Situation appears developing satisfactorily 258 
Realizes FIRST Division behind schedule 258 
Furnishes information facilitate rejoining of FIRST Division 258 
Begins receiving contact reports 259 
FIRST and SECOND Divisions mistake each other for enemy 259 
Reduced visibility reduces station keeping distance 259 
FIRST Division rejoins 260 

(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Division 260-266 
Changes time of rendezvous with SECOND Division 260 
Advises Commander THIRD Section "penetrating from now 1 ' 260 
Fails detect MTB's 260 
Learns Commander THIRD Section's intentions 26l 
YAMAGUMO sights three enemy MTB's 261 
MOGAMI employs searchlight unsuccessfully 261 
Discussion Japanese and American illumination doctrine 261-262 
Employment searchlights considered correct 262 
Forms column astern MOGAMI 262 
Discussion thereon 263 
Destroyers open fire on MTB's 263 
Advises Commander THIRD Section ship silhouette, apparently 

enemy, sighted 263 

Takes evasive action 264 

SHIGURE sights enemy destroyer 26/* 

Realizes command in unfavorable position 264 

Recognizes ship as friendly 264-265 

Makes preparations rejoin Commander THIRD Section 265 

FIRST Division rejoins 266 

(2) Operations of Commander SECOND Division 266-268 
Estimates FIRST Division forty-five minutes behind schedule 266 
Commander FIRST Division reports enemy contacts as SHIGURE 

reports contacting enemy destroyer 266 
YAMAGUMO and SHIGURE endeavor ascertain character their 

targets 267 
Knows Commander FIRST Division breaking off penetration and 

rejoining SECOND Division 267 

Learns contacts other than MTB's friendly 267 

Changes course facilitate rejoining of FIRST Division 267 

Knows enemy torpedo boats are ahead Main Body 267 

Japanese radar very poor 268 

FIRST Division rejoins, forming THIRD Section 268 

(B) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 269 
Proceeds in No. 4 Approach Formation 269 
Makes preparations for sudden gun and torpedo action 269 
Passes Allied motor torpedo boat patrol line undetected 269 
Learns Commander THIRD Section advancing as scheduled 269 
Re-estimates situation 269 



xxxii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

CHAPTER IX - ALLIED OPERATIONS, OOOQ - 0100, October 25th 270-280 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 (OTC) 270-273 
Weather conditions in Surigao Strait 270 
Receives first contact report 270 
Receives MC GOWAN's contact report 271 
Receives another contact report 271 
Discussion as to origin this latter report 271 
Estimates probability more enemy forces present than those detected 271 
Learns MC GOWAN's contact believed to be friendly 272 

(1) Operations of Commander Battle Line 272 
Steaming east at five knots 272 
Familiar with developing situation 272 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 272 
Units experience difficulty maintaining formation 272 
All ships being kept informed of enemy situation 272 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force (CTG 77.3) 273 
Employs medium frequency voice net 273 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11 273-275 
Learns eastward movement of enemy forces 274 
Learns of PT contact at 2310 274 
Repeats contact report to CTG 77.2 and own command 274 
Receives two contact reports from MC GOWAN 274 
Directs COMDESDIV 108 form western attack group 274 
Receives contact report on two targets bearing 310° (T) distant ten 

miles from Camiguin Island 274 

Directs COMDESDIV 108 return destroyers to patrol stations 274 

Learns MONSSEN speed restricted 274 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 275-278 

(1) Bohol and Camiguin PT's 275 
PT 130 successfully transmits 2310 contact report to base 275 
Discussion thereon 275 
Discussion PT 152' s attempt close enemy 275 

(2) Limasawa PT's 276-277 
Closes enemy to launch torpedoes 276 
Attack unsuccessful, driven off 276 
Discussion thereon 276 
MTB's unable complete successfully a contact report 277 

(3) SW Panaon PT's 277 
Fail sight Japanese ships nearby 277 

(4) Other Motor Torpedo Boats 278 
PT 134 sights flares or starshells 278 



CHAPTER X - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0100 - 0245, October 25th 



281-292 



(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 281-288 

Decides radio silence no longer necessary 281- 
Advises Commanders FIRST and SECOND Striking Forces plan pass 

southern entrance Surigao Strait at 0130 281 

Discussion thereon 281-282 

Expedites forming No. TWO Approach Disposition 282 

Advises his ships of planned 0129 position 282 

Visibility poor, alerts destroyers be prepared for torpedo action 

on short notice 282 



XXXlll 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(B) 



Requests COMDESDIV FOUR report position 283 

Changes course, discussion thereon 233 

Learns NACHI had entered radio telephone net 233 

Loams YAMAGUMO had sighted a MTB 283 

Takes no action 283 

Orders approach formation formed 284 

Receives Commander SECOND Striking Force's schedule of penetration 

and plan of attack 234 

Concludes he is to enter Leyte Gulf alone 284 

Advises his units by dispatch SECOND Striking Force will Denetrate 

at 0300 284 

Discussion lack of employment voice radio 28$ 

Increases speed to maintain new schedule 235 

MICHISHIO reports sighting ship silhouette 235 

Takes no action but awaits amplification 235 

Contacts two groups of MTB's 285 

Takes evasive action 286 

Evades torpedoes within his formation 286 

Takes evasive action avoid torpedoes fired by third group 236 

Discussion thereon 236 

Discussion ability detect MTB's 287 

Discussion concerning opposition to be encountered 237 

Advises Commander SECOND Striking Force he had passed undamaged 

lower entrance Surigao Strait although attacked by Allied MTB's 283 

Discussion of high cooperation indicated by above 238 

Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 239-290 

Gives penetration plan by dispatch 289 

Discussion thereon 239 

Passes Allied MTB patrol line 290 

Evaluates ABUKUMA's contact report as false 290 

Receives Commander THIRD Section's report of situation 290 

Informs that commander his flagship entering R/T net 290 

Issues orders prepare for action 290 

Learns of attack on THIRD Section by MTB's 290 

Ceases zigzagging and increases speed 290 



CHAPTER XI - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 0100 - 0245, October 25th 293-320 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 293-301 

Weather remains relatively clear but dark 293 

Variable southerly currents make station keeping difficult 293 

Receives contact reports from MTB 293 
Discussion extensive evaluation required make intelligent estimate 

of enemy 293 

Receives erroneous contact report 293 

Discussion thereon 293-294 

Observes CTG 79.11 , s attack preparations 294 

Receives contact reports from PT 134 294 

Situation begins develop rapidly 294 

Receives report two large ships coming up strait 294 

Requests CTG 79.11 query MTB's concerning other targets 294 
Discussion of failure of MTB's and communication system keep OTC 

informed 294-295 



XXXLV 



:;:,fi:znt:ai 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Receives report PT 134 has 3truck a neavy object 295 

Decides put no torpedo firing limitations on destroyers 295 

Knows ships of battle line having difficulty keeping station 295 

Knows TG 79.11 has commenced attack 295 

Orders all ships set condition ONE 295 

Reasons therefor 295-296 

Receives contact report from MC GOWAN 296 
Intercepts Commander Battle Line's order increasing speed battle 

line to ten knots 296 

Receives LOUISVILLE'S contact report 296 

(1) Operations of Commander Battle Line 297 
Orders ships to General Quarters 297 
Changes course to 270° (T) 297 
Receives MC GOWAN' s contact report 297 
Increases speed to ten knots 297 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 297-299 
Destroyers having difficulty maintaining formation 297 
Discussion reasons left flank cruisers not in correct position 297-298 
Learns COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX forms three attack sections into 

single column 298 
Changes course avoid Hibuson Island and regain correct station 

on battle line 298 

Changes course to west 299 

Sets Condition ONE 299 

Receives MC GOWAN' s contact report 299 

Makes no effort regain correct station 299 

LOUISVILLE makes radar contact on one or more large ships 299 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force 300-301 
Cruisers and destroyers continue operate independently of each 

other 300 

Receives various contact reports 300 

Is surprised hear CTG 79.11 about to attack 300 

Discussion thereon 300 

Receives MC GOWAN 's contact report 301 

Changes course and stops in order adjust position 301 
COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR changes course and speed in order avoid 

interfering with TG 79.11' s attack 301 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11 302-307 

Hears MTB contact reports 302 

Relays MTB contact report to CTG 77.2 302 

Relays second contact report on THIRD Section to CTG 77.2 302 

Re- estimates situation 302 

Decides enemy plans attack transports 303 

Directs MELVIN form astern MC GOWAN 303 

Receives two contact reports from PT 134 303 

Decides form both attack groups 303 

Likely condemns incompleteness of information 303-304 

Directs radar contact be reported immediately by TBS voice radio 304 

Receives Commander Western Attack Group's torpedo attack plan 304 

Discussion thereon 304 

Notifies CTG 77.2 "going to start down in a few minutes" 304 

Learns two ships coming up strait 305 

Forms Eastern Attack Group 305 



xxxv CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Learns Commander Western Attack Group "starting down" 305 

Plans employ follow-t he-leader tactics 305 

Directs ships employ IFF 305 
Broadcasts message to MTB's determine whether other targets coming 

up channel outside two reported 306 

Receives MC GOWAN's contact report 306 

Directs Commander Western Attack Group take charge of own group 306 

Discussion thereon 306 
Commences operation with Western Attack Group behind its proper 

station for coordinated attacks 306 

Reasons not known 307 
Commander Western Attack Group fails maintain continuous contact 

on Eastern Attack Group 307 

Reason not understandable 307 
Resulting situation makes possibility of coordinated attack 

unlikely 307 
All destroyers of Eastern Attack Group in radar contact with enemy 307 

Torpedo attacks both groups well underway 307 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 303-320 

(1) SW Panaon PT's 308 
Fails to make contact when THIRD Section passes nearby 308 
Visibility poor and electronic equipment either inoperative or 

poorly handled 308 

(2) Madilao Point PT's 303 
Fail to receive contact reports after 0025 308 
Fail to contact THIRD Section 308 
Weather conditions poor 303 

(3) SE Panaon PT's 309-312 
Not surprised when PT 134 makes radar contact on group of 

targets 309 

Directs PT 134 report this contact 309 

Boats become separated owing weather conditions 309 

(a) PT 134 309-311 
Closes to within two miles of enemy 309 
Fails forward all information 310 
Information forwarded lost in relay 310 
Attacks unsuccessfully firing three torpedoes 310 
Estimates other MTB's attacking 310 
Retires and reports results 310 
Reports having struck heavy underwater object believed to 

be submarine 311 

(b) PT 137 311 
Sights two destroyers (ASAGUMO, YAMAGUMO) 311 
Fires one torpedo which missed, retires 311 

(c) PT 132 311-312 
Detects radar target (YAMAGUMO) and fires four torpedoes, 

all miss 311-312 

Retires to original station 312 

(4) Bilaa Point PT's 312-313 
Detects several radar targets but decides not to attack 312 
Discussion thereon 312 
Sights gunfire "up in Surigao Strait" 313 



xxxvi CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



by other MTB's 
two CA's, two DD's 



(5) Sumilon PT's 
Drifting with current 

Makes first contact but fails report it 
Changes course to intercept 
Discussion thereon 
Observes enemy being attacked 
Observes enemy composition as 
Fails make contact report 

Discussion concerning primary objective these 14TB 's 

Attacks unsuccessfully firing six torpedoes 

Reasons for failure close target to favorable firing range 

not known 
Retires under fire 

(6) Lower Surigao PT's 

Drifting southward with current 

Makes unsuccessful attack firing four torpedoes 

PT's 490 and 493 damaged by enemy fire while retiring 

(7) Other Motor Torpedo Boats 

(a) Discussion confined to MTB's with eventful patrols 

(1) Upper Surigao PT's 

Reports enemy coming through straits 

Makes contact on enemy force 

Reports this contact, is directed withdraw 

Retires without attacking 

Discussion thereon 

(2) Kanihaan PT's 
Receives contact reports 

Sights gun flashes and searchlight glare (THIRD Section 
and Lower Surigao PT's) 

(3) South Amagusan Point PT's 
Drifts south with current 

Sights gunfire between THIRD Section and Lower Surigao 

PT's 
Knows radar equipment two MTB's not functioning 

satisfactorily 
Obtains radar contact on three targets (THIRD Section) 
Makes preparations attack 
Clears area so destroyers can attack 

(4) East Amagusan Point PT's 

PT 323 reports sighting gunfire south in Surigao Strait 

(b) Operations of MTB's Mindanao Sea uneventful 



313-316 

313 

313 

313 

313-314 

314 

314-315 

315 

315 

316 

316 

316 

316-317 

316 

316-317 

317 

317-320 

317 

317-318 

317 

318 

318 

318 

318 

319 

319 

319 
319-320 

319 

319 

319 
319 
320 
320 
320 
320 
320 



CHAPTER XII - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0245 - 0320, October 25th 321-329 

(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 321-329 
SHIGURE reports sighting three ship silhouettes apparently enemy 

(Eastern Attack Group) 321 

Makes several searchlight sweeps 321 

Illumination generally ineffectual 321 

Discussion Japanese searchlight illumination doctrine 322 

Opens fire 322 

Still in No. TWO Approach Formation 322 

Line of sight obscured by destroyer smoke 323 



XXXVLl 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

MOGAMI opens fire 323 

Radar ineffective 323 

Employs starshells 323 

Gunfire ineffective 324 

Fails to take evasive action against torpedoes 324 

Discussion thereon 3?y, 

YAMAGUMO evades torpedo 324 

Does not reply to query from Commander SECOND Striking Force 324 

FUSO struck by torpedo 325 

Discussion concerning failure to report damage 325 

Does not know of damage to FUSO 325 

Similar occurrence during battle of Jutland 325 

Forming battle formation 326 

THIRD Section continues to fire as range increases 326 
SHIGURE reports sighting two dark objects (MC DERKUT and KONSSEN) 326 

THIRD Section checks fire 326 

Opens fire on Western Attack Group 326 
YAMAGUMO reports torpedo track while almost simultaneously green 

tinted parachute flare observed 326-327 

Source of flare unknown 327 

Takes evasive action avoid possible enemy torpedoes 327 

Radical maneuver causes ships to check fire 327 

Makes contact report to Commander FLRST Striking Force 327 

Returns to base course 327-323 

Discussion thereon 323 
YAMAGUMO sunk, MICHISHIO, ASAGUMO and YAMASHIRO damaged by enemy 

torpedoes 328 

Explosion of YAMAGUMO sighted by Allied battle line 328 

Only three ships remain to continue battle 329 

(B) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 329 

Requests Commander THIRD Section "Notify situation" 329 

Changes course too soon 329 

USHIO forced to change course to avoid grounding 329 

Sights Mt. Nelangcapan (Panaon Island) 329 



CHAPTER XIII - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 0245 - 0320, October 25th 



330-383 



(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 

Decides enemy continuing up strait, receives no contact reports 

from own units 
Discussion thereon 

Requests CTG 79.11 report enemy composition 
Receives reply enemy consists of two large, three small 
Reply confirms 2310 MTB report 
Knows Allied torpedo attacks in progress 
Observes flares and gunfire to the south 
Endeavors estimate enemy's plan 

Estimate correct in general concept, incorrect in fact 
Changes course to the east 
Receives amplifying report from CTG 79.11 

Estimates enemy composition as two large ships, three small 
Action Report makes no comment concerning movements of TG 79.11 
Receives CTG 79.11' s report as two large, one small 



330-351 

330 

330 

331 

331 

331 

331 

331 

331 

331-332 

332 

332 

332 

332 

332 



xxxvaii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Observes searchlights 332 
Learns torpedo firing had been completed by TG 79.11 and DESDIV 

103 333 

Learns CTG 79.11 has observed five targets 333 

LOUISVILLE observes one or more Japanese ships slowing down 333 

Learns COMDESDIV 108 scored a hit 333 

Queries CTG 79.11 as to types of enemy ships 333 

Fails note Commander Battle Line still steaming at ten knots 333 

(1) Operations of Commander Battle Line 334-336 
No radar contacts yet established 334 
Watches developing situation 334 
MARYLAND contacts a surface target, fails to report 334 
Observes gunfire and illumination to the south 334 
TENNESSEE and WEST VIRGINIA contact enemy, fail to report 334 
Learns Commander Eastern Attack Group has attacked and is 

retiring 334 

Reverses course 334 
Receives contact report - MISSISSIPPI'S on two large ships, 

one small 334 

Report incorrect as enemy was three large, four small 335 

Learns Commander Western Attack Group has fired torpedoes 335 

Contacts on enemy by battle line 335 

Discussion thereon 335 

Receives only MISSISSIPPI and -WEST VIRGINIA reports 335-336 

Discussion concerning WEST VIRGINIA'S evaluation 336 

Discussion on battleship failure report contacts 336 

Observes gunfire, searchlights and starshells to south 336 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 337-338 
LOUISVILLE tracking target 337 
Receives MC GOWAN's amplifying report 337 
DENVER makes radar contact but fails report it 337 
Range closing 337 
Not receiving information from his ships 337 
Learns CTG 79.11 had five targets 337 
Observes gunfire and illumination to south 337 
Learns COMDSSRON TWENTY-FOUR ordered attack 337 
Learns CTG 79.11 has attacked and is now retiring 337 
Reverses course 338 
Receives additional information about enemy 338 
Learns Western Attack Group retiring 338 
Learns from CTG 79.11 enemy contacts of five targets - two hit 

and dropping back 338 

Notes large explosion in enemy force 338 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force 339-351 
Intercepts amplifying report from CTG 79.11 339 
Receives contact reports from own ships but fails forward to 

OTC 339 

Discussion thereon 339-340 

Picture on scope confused 340 

Re-estimates situation 340 

Discussion thereon 340-341 

Orders destroyers attack in two groups 340 

Receives DALY's amplifying report 341 



XXXLX 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Receives CTG 79.11' s target designation 341 
Queries C014DESR0N TWENTY-FOUR if he has TG 79.11 on his radar 

scopes 341 

Orders COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR to attack 341 

Discussion thereon 341 

Watches progress of attacks on radar scope 341 

Gives freedom of action to his squadron commander 342 

Intercepts CTG 79.11' s report on progress of action 342 

Learns Commander Western Attack Group now retiring 342 
Queries COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR whether he has targets on his 

scope 342 

Knows his destroyers attacking 342 

Notes explosion and large flash from enemy area 343 

(a) Operations of Commander Right Flank Cruisers 343 
Has fair idea of enemy movement 343 
Learns of PHOENIX contact on one large, two smaller 343 
Changes course conform movements battle line 343 
Intercepts CTG 77.2's message requesting CTG 79.11 furnish 

information concerning enemy ship types 343 

May have received SHROPSHIRE'S initial contact 343 

Sights large explosion in direction of enemy 343 
Learns from radar scope three large ships, one small still 

closing 343 

(b) Operations of COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR 344-351 
Awaits orders attack 344 
Controls operations from CIC 344 
Discussion thereon 344 
Receives contact reports and observes enemy on radar scope 344 
Knows Western Attack Group has turned eastward to avoid 

his ships 344 

Receives order directing him not to advance 344 
Changes course to north in order identify his group to 

Right Flank Force 345 

Receives order "When released attack in two groups, etc." 345 

Order not unexpected 345 

Unable discern enemy composition from his radar scope 345 
On request advises Commander Right Flank Force he has TG 

79.11 on his screen 345 

Receives orders to attack 346 

Commences attack 346 

ARUNTA increases speed to twenty-five knots 346 

DALY and BACHE fall well behind HUTCHINS 346 

Watches Western Attack Group approach 346 
Directs Commander Attack Group 2.2 follow Eastern Attack 

Group down 346 

This contrary instructions 346 

Discussion thereon 34o-347 

Twice directs Commander Attack Group 2.2 attack 348 
(1) Operations of Commander Attack Group 1.2 (COMDESRON 

TWENTY-FOUR) 343-349 

Sees Western Attack Group not yet cleared 348 
Deduces Commander Attack Group 2.2 not planning cross 

strait 343 



xl CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Accepts new situation 348 
Advises Commander Right Flank Force of enemy's course, 

speed, range, bearing 348 

Directs Commander Attack Group 2.2 attack 3^9 

Observes explosion on YAMAGUMO 349 

Course to enemy now clear 349 

(2) Operations of Commander Attack Group 2.2 349-351 

Receives orders attack 349 

Plan in disagreement with that of COMDESRON TWENTY- FOUR 350 

His decision attack from west considered sound 350 

Decision in accordance with U.S. Naval practice 350 

Does not issue firing plan to his ships 350 
Learns COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR, in effect, has approved 

his decision 351 

Receives orders boil up and make smoke 351 

Observes radar picture continues to improve 351 
Observes five targets with one large, probably 

battleship 351 

Breaks through smoke screen and observes explosion 351 

BEALE asks how many torpedoes to fire 351 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11 352-377 

(1) Commander Eastern Attack Group (CTG 79.11) 352-367 

Heads for torpedo launching point 352 

Radar picture continues to improve 352 

Receives composition, range, bearing of enemy from MC GOWAN 352 
Approaches from northerly rather than easterly direction thus 

making himself better target 352 

Discussion thereon relative coordination 352-353 

Directs command form echelon 353 

Discussion thereon 353 
Learns Commander Western Attack Group maneuvering avoid right 

flank destroyers 353 

Could see Western Attack Group well behind expected position 354 

Coordinated attack now impossible 354 

Changes course further to east 354 

Discussion thereon 354 
Receives request from CTG 77.2 furnish information concerning 

enemy 354 

Replies "Targets are five, etc." 354 

Radar picture not as reported above 355 

MC GOWAN and MELVIN give estimates 355 

Receives two contact reports from Western Attack Group 355 

Decides on enemy composition and formation 356 

Decides to (a) retain depth setting and (b) change firing plan 356 

Discussion thereon 356 

Issues attack instructions 356 
Not aware COMDESDIV 108 so far behind as to preclude coordinated 

attack 357 

Discussion concerning clearness, brevity, positiveness 357 

Is illuminated by searchlight 357 

Unaware he had already been sighted visually 357 
Course change advantageous as regards target angle but 

disadvantageous as regards closing the range 357 

Discussion thereon 357 

xli CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Changes course and speed to close enemy 

MELVIN and MC GOWAN chanre course 

Decision to change course considered sound but insufficient 

Discussion thereon 

Directs group to fire when ready 

Discussion thereon 

REMEY fires eight using range to YAMASHIRO, bearing of 

YAMAGUMO 
Torpedo spread insufficient 
Commences retiring under fire 
Failure to open fire illogical 
MC GOWAN fires ten torpedoes 
All torpedoes miss 
Discussion thereon 

MELVIN fires nine torpedoes making one hit in FUSO 
Discussion thereon 

Japanese continue searchlight illumination and gunfire 
MC GOWAN and MELVIN make radical turn and parallel roughly 

course of REMEY 
Realizes difficulties could occur between units of Western 

Attack Group and DE3R0N TWENTY-FOUR 
Observes Japanese shifted from searchlight to starshell 

illumination 
Reports being straddled while retiring to CTG 77.2 
Message incorrect since Western Attack Group had not fired 
Destroyers make smoke and maneuver to evade enemy salvos 
Intercepts message from Commander Western Attack Group 

directing that command standby torpedoes 
Receives message directing Western Attack Grouc standby to 

fire 
Reports estimate of situation to CTG 77.2 
Report incorrect 
Discussion thereon 

Considers some of his torpedoes scored 
Hits r.ot actually observed 
Japanese continue fire at eastern group 
Learns Western Attack Group attacking 
Knows TG 79.11 has completed firing 
Receives impression firing has been effective 
Notes enemy has ceased firing on eastern group 
Reports estimate of attack results to CTG 77.2 
Grants MELVIN permission terminate smoke 
Reduces group speed to eighteen knots 
Observes large explosion in target area 

Receives request from CTG 77.2 as to types of enemy ships 
Summary of torpedo attack by Eastern Attack Group 
Heads for his post-attack rendezvous 
(2) Commander Western Attack Group 

Heads toward torpedo launching point 

Intercepts MC GOWAN' s contact report 

Increases speed to twenty- five knots 

Likely learns Eastern Attack Group to fire torpedoes only 

Encounters DESRON TWENTY-FOUR and changes course 



357-358 
353 

353 
359 
359 

359-360 

360 

360 

361 

361 

361 

361-362 

362 

362 

362 

362 

363 

363 
363 
363 
363-36/. 

364 

364 

364 

364 

364-365 

365 

365 

365 

365 

365 

365 

366 

366 

366 

366 

366 

366 

367 

367 

367-377 

367 

367 

367 

367 

367 



xlii 



: :.-::r:::;i 



CONFIDENTIAL 



MC DERMUT reports radar contact on enemy 368 

Heads for enemy 368 

MONSSEN makes radar contact but fails report it 368 

Learns enemy consists of two large and three small targets 368 
Makes no effort locate himself with relation Eastern Attack 

Group 369 

Failure to do so unsound 369 

Receives CTG 79.11' s message designating targets 369 
Directs MC DERMUT take third target and MONSSEN take one to 

north 369 

Decides attack southern group of targets 369-370 

Decision correct 370 
Conforms to doctrine in rejecting concept of coordinated attack 370 

Observes enemy searchlight and starshells 370 
Realizes his retiring destroyers may encounter attacking 

destroyers of COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR 371 
Changes course, speed prevent enemy obtaining a good firing 

solution 371 

Discussion thereon 371 

Western Attack Group taken under fire 371-372 

Orders group standby torpedoes 372 

Units fail exchange target information 372 
MONSSEN changes course to close range and avoid being fouled 

by MC DERMUT 372 

Fired at by enemy 373 

Discussion failure to return fire 373 

Directs MC DERMUT fire torpedoes 373 

MC DERMUT fires full salvo successfully 373 

Directs MONSSEN fire torpedoes and inform him of same 373 
Observes his command illuminated by searchlight, followed by 

gunfire 373 

MONSSEN fires full salvo successfully 373 
Discussion concerning graphic analysis of MONSSEN' s ranges, 

bearings 374 
Discussion concerning graphic solution of torpedo firing 

problem 374 

Orders speed increased and retirement made to westward 374-375 

MC DERMUT take evasive action clear MTB's 375 

COMDESDIV 108 informs MTB's identity of destroyers 375 

Discussion on necessity prepare communications 375 
Observes green flare ideally placed to illuminate his command 

to enemy 376 

Not all Japanese commanders realize flare friendly 376 

Enemy still employing searchlights and starshells 376 

Fails observe enemy course change 376 

Clears area changes course to north 376 
Commander THIRD Section returns to northerly course while still 

within maximum torpedo range 376 

Observes three explosions in target area 376-377 

Summary of torpedo attack 377 
Discussion concerning thoroughness of preparations prior to and 

during attack 377 



xliii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 373-333 

(1) Upper Surigao PT's 373 
Sights THIRD Section but does not make contact report 378 
Commences drifting with current 373 

(2) Kanihaan PT's 373-379 
Makes radar contact and maneuvers to close target 378 
Sights FUSO but retires without attacking 373-379 
His decision retire unsound 379 
Likely placed too liberal interpretation on his orders 379 

(3) South Amagusan PT's 379-330 
Has enemy and friendly forces on radar scope 379 
Maintains unusually good summary plot 330 
Observes searchlight and gunfire 380 

Is informed friendly destroyers in area 380 

(4) East Amagusan PT's 380-382 
Makes no radar contacts during this period 330 
Sights searchlights and starshells to southeastward 380 
Informs section two destroyers sighted are friendly 330 

(a) PT 328 381 
Proceeds to clear destroyer attack area 381 
Is illuminated by enemy searchlight, is not fired on 331 

(b) Fr 323 331 
Proceeds to clear destroyer attack area 381 
Sights blue (green) flare 331 

(c) PT 329 331-332 
Requests permission fire on destroyer then realizes it is 

friendly « 381 

Commences to drift with current 382 

(5) SE Panaon PT's 332 
Operate independently without making contacts 382 

(6) Sumilon PT's 382 
Patrol uneventfully 382 

(7) Bilaa Point PT's 382 
Makes radar contact 332 

(8) Madilao Point PT's 383 
Makes radar contact on two targets southwest of Binit Point 333 
Does not make contact report 383 

(9) Lower Surigao Pr's 383 
Fails sight or be sighted by PT 493 which was aground 383 



CHAPTER XIV - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0320 - 0348, October 25th 

(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 

Unaware of magnitude of disaster to force 

Learns YAMASHIRO torpedoed 

Sends "Urgent Battle Report No. 2" 

Discussion thereon 

Observes Attack Group 2.2, takes evasive action and opens fire 

Continues to fire during enemy retirement 

YAMASHIRO receives second torpedo hit 

Discussion concerning "halfway measures" 

Heads for Dulag anchorage 

Discussion relating to defense of disabled ships 



334-399 

384-399 

334 

384 

384 

384 

335 

385 

335 

335-336 

336 

336-337 



xliv 



:::;-:: h;::ai 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(B) 



Discussion concerning probable estimate of situation 
Probably notes gunfire from Right Flank Destroyers and FUSO's 

explos ion 
Learns SECOND Striking Force penetrating strait 
YAMASHIRO changes course, action considered sound 
YAMASHIRO opens fire 
Each ship operating independently 

(1) Operations of Operational Ships of THIRD Section 

(a) MOGAMI 

Not on station 

Does not turn with YAMASHIRO 

Passes SHIGURE 

Knows more of situation than Commander THIRD Section 

Parallels course of YAMASHIRO 

Observes torpedo hit in YAMASHIRO 

Fails to change course on order 

Difficult to distinguish friend from foe 

Remains unharmed by torpedoes or gunfire 

(b) SHIGURE 

Passes unhit through torpedo spreads 

Notices damage to formation 

Reverses course, heads south 

Unable to communicate with YAMASHIRO 

Discussion thereon 

Discussion concerning change of course 

Passes YAMASHIRO 

Passes FUSO, makes no attempt to pick up survivors 

Action considered correct 

Ignores Commander THIRD Section's turn signals 

Learns SECOND Striking Force entering strait 

Experiences difficulty in communication 

(2) Operations of Damaged Ships of THIRD Section 

(a) ASAGUMO 

Proceeds northward slowly with severed bow 
Decides to retire 
Taken under fire 
Fails to return fire 

(b) MICHISHIO 

Drifting without power after being torpedoed 

Taken under fire 

Fails to return fire 

Still under fire while burning 

(c) FUSO 

No direct information available 

Description of damage sustained 

Blows up and breaks in two sections 

Discussion thereon 
Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 
Realizes navigation in error, orders course change 
ABUKUMA torpedoed 
Sights and fires on MTB 
Proceeds ahead with remaining ships 
Action considered correct 



387 

387 

388 

388 

388 

388 

389-392 

389-390 

389 

389 

389 

389 

389 

389 

389-390 

390 

390 

390-392 

390 

390 

390-391 

391 

391 

391 

392 

392 

392 

392 

392 

392 

393-396 

393 

393 

393 

393 

393 

394 

394 

394 

394 

394 

394-396 

394 

395 

395 

395-396 

397-399 

397 

397 

397 

398 

398 



496799 O - 59 - 4 



xlv 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Enters strait and forms planned battle formation 

Destroyer command shifts* to COMDESDIV EIGHTEEN 

Heads up strait 

ABUKUMA lays to for emergency repairs 

Observes action of THIRD Section 

Informs Commander THIRD Section that he was penetrating strait 

CHAPTER XV - ALLIED OPERATIONS. 0320 - 0343, October 25th 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 

Awaits reports from right flank destroyers 
Receives CTG 79.11' s dispatcn giving enemy composition 
This report not entirely correct 
Learns Right Flank Destroyers conducting attack 
Discussion concerning battle line situation 
Advises CTF 77 of enemy composition 
Wonders at lack of battle damage to destroyers 
Learns Commander Battle Line intends to open fire prematurely 
Discussion thereon 
Learns enemy retiring 
Realizes immediate action necessary 
" Orders COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX to attack with torpedoes 
Decision considered correct 
Learns COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX attack plan 
Informs COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX of enemy course and speed 
Informs units that COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX is attacking 
Informs Commander Battle Line enemy retiring and to close battle 

line 
Discussion thereon 
Observes large explosion to south 
Receives report of force coming up strait 
Learns gunfire from destroyers hitting enemy 
Learns Attack Section TOO ordered to fire half salvos 
Situation summary 
(1) Operations of Commander Battle Line 

Receives TG 79.11' s reports of enemy composition 

Discussion of unauthorized increase in speed 

Obtains enemy composition from radar scope 

SIGOURNEY obtains radar range on FUSO 

Directs his command to open fire at 26,000 yards 

Discussions of reasons prompting this order 

Learns enemy appears to be retiring 

Learns DESRON FIFTY-SIX launching torpedo attack 

Orders COMDESDIV XRAY to concentrate his screens 

Directed by OfC to close battle line 

Understands it to mean close the range; order cancelled before 
compliance 

MISSISSIPPI informs him second enemy group approaching 

Battle Line fails to open fire 

Discussion thereon 

Receives report of another enemy force 

Observes explosion in target area 

Learns destroyers hitting enemy 



398 

39* 

393 

398 

399 
399 

400-457 

400-445 

400 

400 

400 

400 

400-401 

401 

401 

401 

402 

402 

402 

402 

402 

402 

402-403 

403 

403 

403 

403 

403 

403 

404 

404 

404-408 

404 

404-405 

405 

405 

405 

405-406 

406 

406 

406 

406 

407 
407 
407 
407 
408 
408 
408 



xlvi 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 408-418 
Discussion concerns only left flank cruisers 408 
Intercepts report of enemy composition 408 
Report, although incorrect, coincided with radar scope 408 
Learns Commander Battle Line increasing speed 409 
Learns right flank destroyers attacking 409 
Learns battle line to open fire at 26,000 yards 409 
Learns enemy retiring 409 
Orders COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX launch torpedo attack 409 
Tracks second enemy group 409 
LOUISVILLE tracking two groups 409 
Observes large explosion to south 410 
Learns another enemy force coming up strait 410 
Learns right flank destroyers hitting enemy 410 

(a) Operations of COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX 410-413 

Not equipped with a separate maneuvering voice circuit 410 

Flagship makes first radar contact 410 

Learns right flank destroyers attacking 411 

Likely learns battle line to open fire at 26,000 yards 411 

Learns enemy retiring and receives orders to attack 411 

Issues orders to attack sections 411 

Discussion of attack plan 411-412 

Learns from CTG 77.2 enemy course and speed 412 

Attack sections discussed separately 413 

(1) Commander Attack Secton ONE 413-414 
Maneuvering for position 413 
Discussion of approach 413 
Closely follows movements of attack sections 414 
Learns another enemy force entering strait 414 
Learns right flank destroyers shelling enemy 414 
Probably reassured by success of destroyers 414 

(2) Commander Attack Section TWO 414-417 
Failure to turn and increase speed unknown 414 
Discussion of attack plan 415 
Maintains radar contact on enemy 415 
Delays increasing speed 415 
Orders section to standby to make smoke 416 
Learns more enemy ships entering strait 416 
Learns right flank destroyers shelling enemy 416 
Directs his commanding officers "This has to be quick. 

Standby your fish" 416 

Discussion thereon 416 

Evaluates radar picture 417 

(3) Commander Attack Section THREE 417-418 
Maneuvers for firing position 417 
Tracking enemy on radar 417 
Discussion on intership communications 417 
Discussion of approach 1+18 
Learns another enemy force entering strait 418 
Learns right flank destroyers shelling enemy 418 
Commences his approach 418 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force 419-445 
Follows torpedo attack action by radar and radio 419 
Requests situation from COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR 419 



xlvii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Is concerned over his destroyers at'ack 419 

Learns enemy composition and DESRON TWENTY-FOUR attacking 419 

Learns Attack Group 2.2 completed attack 419 

Difficulties experienced in intership communication 41? 

Learns Attack Group 1.2 about to attack 420 

Informs CTG 77.2 of destroyer actions 420 

Realizes destroyers should clear area 420 
Advises CTG 77.2 that squadron completed attack and enemy was 

retiring 420 
Directs COKDESRON TWENTY-FOUR to track enemy and report course 

and speed 420 

Order considered sound 420 

Directs C0MDE3R0N TWENTY-FOUR to get over to west 421 

Order considered sound 421 

Learns COKDESRON FIFTY-SIX ordered to attack 421 

Concludes COKDESRON TWENTY-FOUR still attacking 421 

Notes Japanese still continuing northward 421-422 
Directs COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR to keep clear as COKDESRON 

FIFTY-SIX was attacking 422 

Decides to correct position 422 

Learns another enemy force penetratin? strait 422 

Learns COKDESRON TWENTY-FOUR attacking with gunfire 422 

Orders that commander to stay clear 422 
Changes course to be on base course when battle line opens fire 422 

Radar scope shows three enemy groups 423 

Discussion on Japanese disposition 423 

Receives situation reports and relays information 423 

Erroneously thinks DESRON FIFTY-SIX attacking 423 

(a) Operations of Commander Right Flank Cruisers 4 24-42 5 
Changes course to close enemy 424 
Situation evaluated 424 
Observes YAKASHIRO fire on destroyers 424. 
Three cruisers tracking leading ship 425 

(b) Operations of Commander Attack Group 1.2 425-437 
Continues approach 425 
Had not issued torpedo firing plan 425 
Discussion thereon 425 
BEALE reauests number of torpedoes to fire 425-426 
Directs destroyers to fire half salvos 426 
Discussion thereon 426 
Receives request to report types of enemy shios 426 
Directs Commander Attack Group 2.2 to report when torpedoes 

had been fired 426 

Does not observe enemy gunfire 426 

Commences attack 427 

Learns Attack Group 2.2 had fired torpedoes 427 

Realizes chance for coordinated attacks lost 427 

Order to fire torpedoes not understood 427 

Discussion thereon 427 

HUTCHINS fires torpedoes 427 

Discussion of need for target designation 428 
Both forces experience difficulty concerning actions of 

opposing forces 428 



xlviii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Learns two torpedoes crossed ahead of DALY 429 
Erroneously advises Commander Right Flank Force he had 

fired torpedoes 429 

DALY and BACHE had not yet fired 429 

Erroneously reports enemy retiring 429 
Receives orders to track and report enemy course and speed 429 
Advises Commander Right Flank Force that he was going to 

chase enemy 429-430 

Receives orders to get over to west 430 

Realizes BACHE had not yet fired torpedoes 430 

Authorizes BACHE and DALY to fire prior retiring 430 

DALY fires torpedoes 431 

BACHE fires torpedoes 431 
Informs Commander Right Flank Force enemy headed north . 431 

HUTCHINS sights explosions 432 

Decides to close enemy for gunfire attack 432 

Receives directions to stay clear 432 

Opens fire on enemy 433 

Erroneous impressions created during attack 434 

Discussion thereon 434 
Advises Commander Right Flank Force that enemy headed north 435 

Authorizes HUTCHINS to close enemy 435 

Discussion on roles of gun and torpedo 435-436 

Units continue to shell enemy 436 
Informs Commander Right Flank Force hitting regularly with 

five inch 436 

Learns Attack Group 2.2 coming down 436 

Continues to close enemy 437 

(2) Operations of Commander Attack Group 2.2 437-445 

Proceeds to torpedo launching point 437 

Directs BEALE to fire half salvo 437 

Discussion thereon 438 

Launches torpedoes 438 

Comparison of American and British torpedo doctrine 439 

ARUNTA completes firing and retires 440 

KILLEN prepares to fire 440 

Decides to attack large ship 440 

Discussion thereon 441 

KILLEN attacks 441 

BEALE attacks 441 

Discussion thereon 441-442 

Reports his group had fired 442 

KILLEN fires second salvo 442-443 

Discussion thereon 443 

Observes command discovered by enemy 443 

Units fail to return enemy fire 443-444 

KILLEN credited with hit 444 

Summary of torpedo attacks 444 

BEALE straddled 445 

Changes course to return to scene of action 445 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11 446-448 

Retires to post-attack rendezvous 446 

OTC requests types of ships encountered 446 



xlix 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(b) 



(c) 



(2) 



Evaluation of enemy by commanding officers 
Reports evaluation tc OTC 
Sends amplifying; report to OTC 
Eastern Attack Group at rendezvous 
Queries command as to torpedoes remaining 
(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 
(1) 3S Panaon PT's 

Operating independently 
(a) PT 134 

Sights four destroyers 

Receives contact report from ?T 132 

Fires torpedo 

Decides to modify message 

PT 137 

Sights enemy destroyer but fails to report 

Fires torpedo and taken under fire 

Discussion thereon 

PT 132 

Sights five ships 

Sights ABUKUMA 
Bilaa PT's 

Sight three or four ships 
Do not atoack 

Decision considered correct 
Make radar contact on ABUKUMA 
Sumilon PT's 

Contact five more targets 
Report contacts to CTG 79.11 
Sight two burning ships to north 
Madilao Point PT's 

Maintain radar contact on NACKI and ASHIGARA 
Observe starshells off Binit Point 
Kanihaan PT" s 
Sight FUSO again 
Discussion on not attacking 
South Amagusan PT's 
Continue patrol 

(7) East Amagusan PT's 

(a) PT 328 
Sights unidentified ship 
Fails to sight BACHE and DALY 

(b) PT 323 
Shells hit nearby 
PT 329 
Drifts vdth current 

(8) Upper Surigao PT's 
Drifts with current 

(9) Lower Surigao PT's 

(a) PT 490 
Drifts with current 

(b) PT 491 
Nothing of importance 

(c) PT 493 
Destroys classified equipment 



(3) 



(4) 



(5) 



(6) 



(c) 



446-447 

447 

447 

448 

448 

449-457 

449-452 

449 

449-450 

449 

449 

449 

450 

450-451 

450 

450 

450-451 
451-452 

451 

452 

452-453 

452 

452 

453 

453 

453-454 

453 

453-454 

454 

454 

454 

454 

454-455 

454 

455 

455 

455 

455-4 56 

455-456 

455 

456 

456 

456 

456 

456 

456-457 

456 

457 

457 

457 

457 

457 

457 

457 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



\ 



CHAPTER XVI - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0348 - 0420, October 25th 

(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 
Flagship damaged but continues on 
Learns FUSO still afloat and underway 
Receives Allied gunfire 

Principal staff members wounded or killed 

Turns to westward 

Discussion thereon 

Continues to fight back 

Receives third torpedo hit 

YAMASHIRO receives fourth torpedo hit 

THIRD Section destroyed as fighting unit 

Next senior officer fails to assume command 

(1) Operations of Operational Ships, THIRD Section 

(a) MOGAMI 

Fails to detect Commander THIRD Section's change of course 

Decides to fire torpedoes 

Mistakes enemy ships for friendly destroyers 

Realizes trap but fails to report 

Launches torpedoes during retirement 

Operating on one engine 

(b) SHIGURE 

Sights torpedo tracks 

Situation confused 

Evades shellfire 

Confronted with making vital decision 

Discussion thereon 

Does not fire torpedoes 

Seeks information concerning situation 

Receives direct hit 

Passes MOGAMI offering no assistance 

Exchanges visual calls with NACHI 

(2) Operations of Damaged Ships, THIRD Section 

(a) ASAGUMO 
Continues southward 
Fails to observe torpedoes 
Observes MOGAMI afire 

(b) MICHISHIO 
Sinks at 0358 

(c) FUSO 
Continues to burn while drifting south 

(B) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 
Proceeds in battle formation 
Sights two ships afire 
Estimates the situation 
Discussion regarding attack plan 
Sights MOGAMI afire 
Exchanges calls with SHIGURE 

Discussion of failure to obtain intelligence from SHIGURE 
Makes radar contact 

Directs units prepare for torpedo attack 
ABUKUMA continues to make repairs 



458-468 

458-466 

458 

458 

458 

458 

459 

459 

459 

459 

459-460 

460 

460 

460-465 

46O-462 

46O 

460 

461 

461 

461 

461-462 

462-465 

462 

462 

462 

463 

463-464 

464 

464 

464 

464 

465 

465-466 

465 

465 

465 

465 

466 

466 

466 

466 

466-468 

466 

466 

467 

467 

467 

468 

468 

468 

468 

468 



li 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

CHAPTER XVII - ALLIED OPERATIONS. 0348 - 0420, October 25th 469-539 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 469-535 

Range to enemy continues to close 469 

Learns Comaander Battle Line to open fire when range 26,000 yar 469 

Alerts cruisers he is about to open fire 469 

Delays firing to benefit attacking destroyers 469 

Orders his cruisers to open fire 469 

Temporarily blinded by gunfire 470 

Learns small "enemy" group coming up may be friendly 470 

Learns left flank destroyers launching torpedoes 470 

Directs Commander Right Flank Force comr.ence firing 470 

Is informed that Right Flank Force had opened fire 470 

Observes more battleshios open fire 470 

Observes enemy ships retiring 471 

Suggests battle line change course 471 

Knows battle line had executed course change 471 

Learns progress DESRON FIFTY-SIX attack 471 

CALIFORNIA misses turn signal 471 

Battle line checks fire 472 

Learns firing on DESRON FIFTY-SIX 472 

Orders all ships cease firing 472 

Discussion thereon 472 

Orders C0XDE3RCN FIFTY-SIX to clear channel 472 

Discussion of fire distribution 472-473 

Explains reasons for not ordering fire distribution 473 

Considerations influencing his judgement 473-474 

Decision later meets with approval of superiors 474-475 

Discussion thereon 475 

Confirms enemy retiring 475 

Notes battleships unload hot guns 475 

Changes course 475-476 

Weighs decision to close enemy 476 

Decides to use DESDIV XRAY _76 

Has reason to believe ALBERT W. GRANT damaged k% 

Orders Commander Right Flank Force to resume fire 476 

(1) Operations of Comnander Battle Line -"7-436 

Issues no instructions on fire distribution 4' 

Discussion thereon 477 

Informs CTG 77.2 of intentions 477 

Has erroneous evaluation of enemy disposition 4' 

Discussion of evaluation of radar contacts 477-478 

Discussion of not opening fire 4" 

Learns CTG 77.2 about to open fire 473 

Witnesses cruisers of both flanks open fire 473 

WEST VIRGINIA opens fire 479 

Changes course so all guns bear -^9 
Flagship CIC experiences difficulty tracking enemy and 

designating target 4 7 9 

CALIFORNIA opens fire 480 

TENNESSEE opens fire 430 

MARYLAND opens fire 480 

Notes leading target changed course and speed 480 



lii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Orders course change 481 

Discussion thereon 481 

CALIFORNIA and WEST VIRGINIA cease firing 431 

CALIFORNIA misinterprets turn signal 481 

TENNESSEE acts to avoid collision 481 

Warns ships to watch out for CALIFORNIA 482 

TENNESSEE fires last salvo 482 

Learns friendly ships firing on DESRON FIFTY-SIX 482 

Orders battle line to cease firing 482 

Orders ships with hot loaded guns to fire at enemy 482 

Recapitulation of firing 483 

Discussion of fire ranges and bearings 483-484 

Learns RICHARD P. LEARY passing through torpedo waters 484 

Learns COMBATDIV TWO reassigning stations 484 

Directs COMDESDIV XRAY report to CTG 77.2 484 

Changes course away from enemy 484 

Discussion thereon 485-486 

Ammunition table 486 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 487-516 

Awaits opportunity to open fire 437 

Orders TG 77.2 cruisers to open fire 487 

Opening fire ranges and bearings 487 

Discussion of COLUMBIA and MINNEAPOLIS firing 488 

Does not issue fire distribution orders 488 

Target continues to close 488 

COLUMBIA probably fires at "phantom" 489 

Observes MOGAMI retiring 489 

PORTLAND shifts target 489 

Discussion thereon 489 

Observes leading target turning westward 489 

DENVER picks up two pips on radar 489-490 

DENVER fires at unidentified target 490 

DENVER fires on ALBERT W. GRANT 490 

©UISVILLE notes pip approaching 490 

LOUISVILLE fires on ALBERT W. GRANT 491 

LOUISVILLE reports hits 491 

DENVER reports having been straddled 491 

Learns firing on DESRON FIFTY-SIX 491 

Orders all ships to cease firing 491 

Ammunition table 492 

Reverses course to port 492 

Discussion thereof 492 

Orders CTG 77.3 to resume firing 492 

(a) Operations of COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX 493-516 

(1) Operations of Commander Attack Section ONE 493-504 

Continues to approach enemy 493 

Notes cruisers open fire 493 

Decision to continue attack plan correct 493 

Learns WEST VIRGINIA about to open fire 493 

Decides to commence approach 493 

ALBERT W. GRANT off course 493 

Learns Attack Section TWO to launch torpedoes 494 



liii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(2) 



Knows nothing of Attack Section THREE 

Does nothing to coordinate operations 

Realizes prompt action necessary for multiple attack 

Radar shows indications target friendly 

Learns Section TWO retiring 

Learns Section THREE firing torpedoes 

Identity of target not yet settled 

Decides to continue closing 

Decides target is enemy 

Discussion of delay in firing 

Decides to turn westward 

Decision considered correct 

Observes enemy on westerly course 

Orders ships to fire when ready 

Decision to fire appears sound 

GRANT and LEARY increase speed 

NEWCOMB launches torpedoes 

LEARY fires torpedoes 

Two torpedoes misfire 

ALBERT '.v. GRANT observes large explosion 

ALBERT W. GRANT fires torpedoes 

ALBERT W. GRANT straddled by gunfire 

Observes torpedo wake 

Observes second large explosion 

Learns ALBERT W. GRANT had fired 

Enemy shellfire straddles his command 

Retires to north in column 

Discussion thereon 

ALBERT W. GRANT receives first hit 

Realizes course change to north unwise 

Under fire by friendly ships 

Informs CTG 77.2 of friendly fire 

Hears cease firing order 

Is ordered out of channel 

ALBERT W. GRANT fires second half salvo 

GRANT'S first half salvo misses IA1 RO 

LEARY observes torpedo wakes 

Observes GRANT hit and slowing 

Learns LEARY passing through torpedo water 

Results of torpedo attack 

Summary of torpedo attack 

ALBERT W. GRANT dead in water and in danger of sinking 

Operations of Commander Attack Section TWO 

Continues approach 

Changes course to head for firing point 

Notes left flank cruisers open fire 

Radar detects weak pip 

Under fire by enemy guns 

Does not return fire 

Explanation not adequate 

Orders section to standby to fire 



494 

494 

494-495 

495 

495 

495 

496 

496 

496 

496 

496 

497 

497 

497 

497 

497 

49fl 

498 

498 

498 

499 

499 

499 

499 

500 

500 

500 

500-501 

501 

502 

502 

502 

502 

502 

502 

5Q3 

503 

503 

503 

503 

504 

504 

505-511 

505 

505 

505 

505 

506 

506 



liv 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Misunderstanding; BRYANT fires 506 

Discussion of torpedo firing data 506 

Discussion of misunderstanding 507 

Orders section to fire 503 

HALFORD fires 508 

Discussion of torpedo firing data 508 

Orders section to make smoke 509 

ROBINSON fires 509 

Discussion of torpedo firing data 509 

Discussion of attack 510 

Alters retirement plan 510 

Fails to fire at SHIG-URE 510 

Learns HALFORD fired 510 

HALFORD and ROBINSON claim hits 511 

Summary of torpedo attack 511 

Learns DSSRON FIFTY-SIX under friendly fire 511 

Heads for post-attack rendezvous 511 

(3) Operations of Commander Attack Section THREE 512-516 

Commences approach; observes firing 512 

Units differ in tracking data 512 

LEUTZE diverges from course 512 

Notes shells nearby 512 

Changes course 513 

Discussion thereon 513 

Orders torpedoes fired 513 

Discussion thereon 513 

LEUTZE fires torpedoes 513 

Discussion thereon 513 

BENNION nearly torpedoed by LEUTZE 513 

BENNION fires torpedoes 514 

Discussion thereon 514 

Continues to better firing position 514 

Decision considered doubtful 514 

Discussion thereon 514 

HEYWOOD L.EDWARDS fires torpedoes 514 

Discussion of target angle 515 

BENNION fires second half salvo 515 

Turns to retire; orders make smoke 515 

Observes some near splashes 515 

BENNION' s torpedoes hit YAMASHIRO 516 

Learns DESRON FIFTY-SIX under friendly fire 516 

Learns all ships ordered to cease firing 516 

Continues on course and speed 516 

Re-forms column and heads north 516 

Summary of torpedo attacks 516 

Number of torpedoes remaining 516 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force 517-535 

Awaits order to commence firing 517 

Fears Attack Group 2.2 would cross strait 517 

Directs attack group commanders retire to shore 517 



!▼ CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(1) 



Receives orders for cruisers to open fire 

Opening fire bearings and ranges 

SHROPSHIRE'S fire control limitations 

Commander thoroughly familiar with situation 

Alerts force to friendly contacts 

Orders cruisers to fire slowly 

PHOENIX fires high capacity shells for spotting 

Action considered sound 

Learns Attack Group 1.2 heading toward cruisers 

Queries Commander Attack Group 2.2 if under fire 

receives negative reply 

Receives order from CTG 77.2 to open fire; replies 

previously opened fire 

SHROPSHIRE opens fire 

Commences course change to west 

PHOENIX and BOISE check fire 

Decision appears sound 

SHROPSHIRE'S decision to continue firing also sound 

Does not issue fire instructions 

Discussion thereon 

Steadies temporarily on course 250° (T) 

SHROPSHIRE under fire 

BOISE and PHOENIX resume fire 

Notes enemy turning away 

Intercepts C0MDESR0N FIFTY-SIX' s report of attack 

Completes original turn 

Receives report from C0MDESR0N TWENTY-FOUR and directs 

him to close beach 

PHOENIX fires secondary battery 

Learns left flank destroyers being fired on 

Receives orders to cease firing 

Recapitulation of firing 

Ammunition Table 

Sights two enemy ships burning fiercely 

Learns left flank cruisers changing course west 

Re-estimates the situation 

Actions at this time correct 

Learns BATDIV FOUR changing course to north 

Receives orders to resume fire 

Ships do not fire; no targets within range 

(a) Operations of C0KDESR0N TWENTY-FOUR 
Commander Attack Group 1.2 and C0KDSSRON TWENTY-FOUR 
HUTCHINS prepares fire second half salvo 
Directs HUTCHINS fire torpedoes 
DALY's torpedoes miss 
BACHE's torpedoes miss 
HUTCHINS fires torpedoes 

Action considered sound 

Likely learns cruisers about to open fire 

Receives orders to head shoreward 



517 
518 
518 
518 
518 
519 
519 
519 
519 

519 

519 

519-520 

520 

520 

520 

520-521 

521 

521 

521 

521 

521 

521 

522 

522 

522 

522 

522 

522 

523 

523 

523 

523 

523 

523 

52/, 

524 

524 

524-536 

524-531 

524 

524 

524-525 

525 

525 

525 
526 
526 



lvi 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



HUT CHINS opens fire 

Does not comply with spirit of orders 
Discussion thereon 
HUTCHINS ceases fire 
DALY decides to shift targets 
BACHE decides to shift targets 
Informs CTG 77«3 that he is closing 
HUTCHINS fires on MOGAMI which returns fire 
Torpedoes hit MICHISHIO sinking her 
Summary of torpedo firings 
BACHE opens fire on MOGAMI 
HUTCHINS changes course toward enemy 
BACHE also changes course 
DALY opens fire and changes course 
MOGAMI catches fire 
Range continues to decrease 
Target endeavors to identify herself 
Directs HUTCHINS to clear area 
HUTCHINS complies 
Reauests CTG 77.3 watch for him 
HUTCHINS ceaees fire 

Queries DALY and BACHE as to torpedoes fired and was 
informed "five each" 
DALY shifts targets 
BACHE ceases fire 
DALY under fire 

Receives orders to get to beach 
DALY ceases fire 
Receives order to cease firing 
DALY and BACHE closing HUTCHINS 

Receives orders to lie along shore and standby for another 
run 
(2) Commander Attack Group 2.2 

Heads toward YAMASHIRO for attack 

KILLEN fires torpedoes 

Action difficult to understand 

Receives orders to stay to east, turns west 

Decision confirmed 

Likely learns cruisers to open fire 

Turns south for gunfire attack 

ARUNTA opens fire 

Ships employing follow-the-leader tactics 

KILLEN opens fire 

ARUNTA checks fire and shifts targets 

KILLEN ceases fire, notes torpedoes would miss 

ARUNTA ceases firing 

ARUNTA commences retiring 

Receives orders to cease firing 

Receives query as to torpedoes and makes incomplete reply 

Receives order to lie along shore and await another run 



526 

526 

526 

527 

527 

527 

527 

527 

527-528 

528 

528 

529 

529 

529 

529 

529 

529 

530 

530 

530 

530 

530 
530 
530 
531 
531 
531 
531 
531 

531 

532-535 

532 

532 

532 

532-533 

532-533 

533 

533 

533 

533 

533-534 

534 

534 

534 

534 

534 

535 
535 



lvii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11 535-536 

(1) Conoander Eastern Attack Group 535-536 
Patrolling post-attack rendezvous area 535 
Advises CTG 77.2 MC DSRMUT and MONSSEN still retiring 535 

MC GOWAN reports large explosion 535 

Learns Western Attack Group at post-attack rendezvous 535 

Learns DESRON FIFTY-SIX under fire by friendly shops 536 

Learns DESRON FIFTY-SIX ordered to clear channel 536 
Informs Commander Attack Section TWO and CTG 77.2 of location 536 

(2) Commander Western Attack Group 536 
Continues his retirement 536 
Remains in vicinity of rendezvous 536 
Makes radar contact on HALF MOON 536 
Informs CTG 79.11 that MC DERMUT and MONSSEN arrived at 
rendezvous 536 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 537-539 

(1) Upper Surigao PT's 537 
Sights four burning ships 537 

(2) Lower Surigao PT's 537-533 

(a) PT 490 537 
Makes radar contact SECOND Striking Force 537 
Reports contact to CTG 77.2 537 

(b) PT 491 537-538 
Makes no contacts 538 

(c) PT 493 538 
Beached Maoyo Point 533 

(3) East Amagusan PT's 533-539 

(a) PT 328 

Patrolling close to Leyte shore 538 

(b) PT 323 538 
Clears destroyer attack area 533 

(c) PT 329 533-539 
Sights three fires 533-539 

(4) Other PT's 539 
Operations uneventful 539 



CHAPTER XVIII - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0420 - 0520, October 25th 



140-552 



(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section 
Likely lost when YAMASHLRO sunk 
No effort made to discern who was senior 
Commander SECOND Striking Force follow behind NACHI 
Units discussed separately 
(1) MOGAMI 

Heads southeasterly, out of control 

Appears dead in water 

Chief quartermaster endeavors to avoid collision 

NACHI and MOGAMI collide 

Gunnery officer, now CO., takes over navigation 

Receives order follow behind NACHI 

Tries to jettison remaining torpedoes 



540-545 

540 

540 

540 

540 

540-543 

540 

540- 541 

541 

541 

541 

541 

541 



lviii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Sole remaining engine room untenable 

Attempts to follow NACHI 

Exchanges calls with ASAGUMO 

Neither offers help to the other 

Increases speed 

Bridge steering restored 

Steadies on course 192° (T) at fifteen knots 

(2) SHIGURE 

Changes course to pass Binit Light close aboard 

Suffers steering engine casualty 

Encounters difficulty in shifting steering 

Informs Commander SECOND Striking Force steering engines 

out of order 

Opens fire on PT's 

Appears to have had more steering difficulties 

Commander SECOND Striking Force again sights her 

Settles on course 

(3) ASAGUMO 

Continues south while damaged 
Likely order to follow behind NACHI 
Attempts to follow MOGAMI 
Opens fire on PT 

(4) FUSO 

In two sections, drifts south with current 
(B) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 
Prepares to fire torpedoes 
Likely notes SHIGURE continues to retire 
DESDIV EIGHTEEN discussed separately 
Changes course and directs destroyers to attack 
Discussion of concept of torpedo attacks 
NACHI and ASHIGARA fire torpedoes 
Collides with MOGAMI with resulting serious damage 
ASHIGARA continues on course 
Decides to head south to survey situation 
Re-estimates situation and decides to retire 
Discussion thereon 

Certain officers disagree with decision to retire 
Japanese geographical terms loose 

Control Station Officer's disagreement not considered correct 
ASHIGARA maneuvers to fall in astern 
Orders THIRD Section to follow NACHI 
Learns SHIGURE' s steering engines out of order 
Sends dispatch that BATDIV TWO destroyed and MOGAMI severely 
damaged and afire 

Reverses course avoiding SHIGURE' s line of fire 
Orders change of course to 180° (T) 
Sights SHIGURE 
(1) Operations of COMDESDIV EIGHTEEN 

Proceeds to clear cruisers 

Heads toward enemy's probable location 

Changes course find cruiser targets 

Contacts nothing but Hibuson Island 



542 
542 
542 
542 
542 
542 

543 

543-544 

543 

543 

543 

543 

543-544 

544 

544 

544 

544-545 

544 

544 

545 

545 

545 

545 

546-552 

546 

546 

546 

546 

546-547 

547 

547 

547 

547 

548 

548 

548 

548 

548-549 

549 

549 

549 

549 
549 
549 
550 

550-551 

550 

550 

550 

550 



lix 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Commences retiring in accordance with orders 
Parallels cruiser track 

Observes USHIO heading toward southern entrance 
Slows 
(2) Operations of ABUKUMA 

Completes first emergency repairs and follows SECOND Striking 

Force 

Decision considered correct 

Sights escorting destroyers 

Time of sighting believed in error 

CHAPTER XIX - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 0420 - 0520. October 25th 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 

Completes turn to course 270° (T) 

Decides not to pursue enemy 

Learns NE//C0MB and RICHARD P. LEARY at rendezvous 

Directs Left Flank Force to resume fire 

Learns cf four additional targets 

Learns MTR's had sighted some ships headed south 

Learns GRANT hit and lying dead in water 

COMDESDIV XRAY reports for duty 

Wonders at delay in COMDESDIV XRAY's reporting 

Learns NEWCOMB would assist ALBERT .;. GRANT 

Learns of PHOENIX 1 s contact 

Receives contact report from COMCRUDIV T'.v'ELVE 

Directs ships not to hit ALBERT W. GRANT 

Directs COMDESDIV XRAY to attack 

Radar indicates enemy dead in water or retiring 

Re-estimates the situation 

Changes course to proceed south 

Discussion thereon 

Receives ARUNTA's contact report 

Orders left flank cruisers form column 

Informs MTB*s friendly cruisers and destroyers heading south 

Informs CTF 77 that enemy retiring 

Discussion thereon 

Asks COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX if all ships accounted for 

Orders left flank cruisers change course toward enemy 

Queries COMDESDIV XRAY as to speed 

Contacts enemy ships on radar 

Knows existing situation 

Notes enemy course change 

Learns DESRON FIFTY-FOUR to remain at post-attack rendezvous 

until after daylight 

Directs COMDESDIV 112 to retain destroyers in former stations 

until daylight then regain regular screen 

Likely learns of northward movement of targets 

Learns DESDIV 112 coming down at thirty knots 

Likely intercepts PT 494 's contact report 

Discussion thereon 

Orders increase speed to twenty knots 



550 
551 
551 
551 
551-552 

551 
551 
551 
551-552 

553-591 

553-586 

553 
553 
553 
553 
554 
554 
554 
554 
554 
555 
555 
555 
555 
555 
555 
555 
556 
556 
556 
556 
556 
556 
557 
557 
557 
557 
558 
558 
558 

558 

558 

558-559 

559 

559 

559 

560 



lx 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(1) Operations of COMDESDIV XRAY 

Receives orders to proceed south and attack 

Sections commence reforming 

Decision to re-form not considered sound 

Discussion thereon 

Learns battleships about to turn 

Changes course to proceed around battleships 

AULICK proceeds to north around battle line 

Decision discussed 

THORN misses turn 

Fails to reply query on course and speed 

Discussion thereon > 

(a) Western Destroyers 

CONY and CLAXTON make contact on ASHIGARA 
THORN fails to change course 

(b) Eastern Destroyers 

Closing CLAXTON to reform division 

WELLES increases speed to close AULICK 

AULICK proceeds to close CLAXTON 

SIGOURNEY closes BACHE And DALY 
Experience difficulties due to division makeup 
Discussion thereon 

(2) Operations of Commander Battle ^ine 
Completes turn to north 

Directs BATDIV TWO rejoin battle line and BATDIV FOUR 

and MISSISSIPPI change course and speed 

Observes tactical situation 

COMBATDIV TWO reports course, speed and order of ships 

Alert to probability of Japanese air attacks 

DE3R0N TWENTY-FOUR not available 

Learns DESRON FIFTY-SIX ordered screen left flank 

Realizes must defend with battleships alone 

Reverses course to east 

Order of ships in column given 

Receives contact report from WEST VIRGINIA 

(3) Operations of Comirander Left Flank Force 
Completes turn and slows to ten knots 
Orders left flank cruisers resume fire 
LOUISVILLE makes contact on additional target 
Receives several messages on tactical situation 
Warns units not to hit ALBERT W. GRANT 
Changes course to 190° (T) 

Orders cruisers to form column 

Discussion thereon 

Informs MTB's friendly cruisers and destroyers 

heading south 

Changes course to south 

Learns TG 77.3 together on west side 

Queries COMDESDIV XRAY as to speed 

Contacts enemy group on radar 

Learns DESRON FIFTY-SIX accounted for 

Notes enemy cruisers had changed course to west 

Notes enemy cruisers retiring 

Receives messages on tactical situation 



560-566 

560 

560 

560-561 

561 

561 

562 

562 

56? 

563 

563 

563 

564 

564 

564 

564-565 

564-565 

565 

565 

565 

565-566 

566 

566-568 

566 

566 

566 

567 

567 

567 

567 

567 

567 

567 

568 

563-572 

568 

568 

568 

569 

569 

569 
570 
570 

570 
570 
570 
570 
570 
571 
571 
571 
572 



496799 0-59-5 



lxL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Unaware DESDIV 112 would be later than expected 

Orders cruisers to increase speed 
(U) Operations of COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX (Comnander Attack 

Section ONE) 

Arrives at post-attacK rendezvous 

Makes incorrect report to CTG 77 »2 

ALBERT W. GRANT notifies COLUMBIA she needs assistance 

Receives orders to assist GRANT 

Discussion thereon 

LEARY fails to conform to movements 

Receives second message from COLUMBIA 

Receives ALBERT W. GRANT'S message requesting medical aid 

LEARY arrives at post-attack rendezvous 

Heads for GRANT 

Informs CTG 77.2 ships at rendezvous except NEWCOMB 

Dispatches medical aid to ALBERT './. GRANT 

Receives orders to screen left flank cruisers 

Directs LEARY provide anti-aircraft defense 

(a) Operations of Commander Attack Section TWO 
Changes course to north 
Changes course to west 

Replies to CTG 77.2 that he would screen 
Directs Attack Section THR2E form column 
Receives instructions on destroyer disposition 
Receives query whether at thirty knots 
(b) Operations of Commander Attack Section THREE 
Proceeds toward post-attack rendezvous 
Forms column astern of Attack Section TWO 
(5) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force 

Continues to track enemy 

Receives armament report from COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR 

Informs CTG 77.2 l-UB's sighted ships headed south 

Reports PHOENIX 's contact to CTG 77.2 

Learns of COMCRUDIV TWELVE'S contact 

Orders cruisers to change course 

Receives KILLEN's contact report 

Cnanges course to west 

Directs ARUNTA to stay near land 

Informs his cruisers of situation 

Decides to support left flank force 

Discussion thereon 

Directs casualty reports be reported oer TBS 

Informs CTG 77.2 his ships were together on his side of 

channel 

Orders destroyers to screen to south 

Commences to form anti-aircraft disposition 

PHOENIX contacts enemy target 



572 
572 

573-577 

573 

573 

573 

573 

574 

574 

574 

574 

575 

575 

575 

575 

575 

5^5 

576-5 7 7 

576 

576 

576 

576 

577 

577 

577 

577 

578-580 

578 

578 

578 

573 

579 

579 

579 

579-530 

580 

580 

580 

530 

581 

581 
581 
531 
581 



lxii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(a) Operations of COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR 582-586 

(1) Operations of Commander Attack Group 1.2 and COMDESRON 

TWENTY-FOUR 582-583 

Heads for Cabugan Grande Island 582 

Slows to fifteen knots 582 

Reports his armament situation to CTG 77»3 582 

Receives queries on contacts 582 

Learns MTB f s reported enemy headed south 582 

Receives request for report on destroyers 583 

Receives orders take station south of cruisers 583 

Directs destroyers form screen 583 

Queries CTG 77.3 as to base course 583 

(2) Commander Attack Group 2.2 584^-586 
Waits for something to turn up 584 
KILLEN tracks enemy ship 584 
KILT, EN contacts four ships by radar 584 
ARUNTA contacts four destroyers 585 
ARUNTA reports having five enemy ships to south 585 
Informs CTG 77.2 that three ships contacted were his 

group 585 

Receives orders to get out of channel 585 

Informs CTG 77.3 of position 585 

Changes course to east 586 

Heads for station in screen 586 

Receives KILLEN 1 s contact report 586 

Units taking station 586 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11 587 
Operates north and west of Cabugan Grande Island 587 
Eastern Attack Group at post-attack rendezvous 587 
Units dropped from discussion 587 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 587-591 

(1) Upper Surigao PT«s 587-588 
Contacts two enemy ships 587 
Decides to attack enemy destroyer 587 
Makes unsuccessful torpedo attack 588 
Taken under fire 588 

(2) Kanihaan PT«s 588-589 
Sights MOGAMI 588 
Sights two burning portions of FUSO 588 
Proceeds to regain station 588 
Drifts with current 589 

(3) South Amagusan PT»s 589 
Drifts with current 589 
Fails to pick up SHIGURE 589 

(4) East Amagusan PT»s 589-590 

(a) PT 328 589 
Drifts with current 589-590 

(b) PT 323 589-590 
Proceeds south at four knots 589 
Reports sighting destroyer by large burning ship 590 

(c) PT 329 590 
Drifting with current 590 
Sights PC 1130 590 
Decides to return to base 590 



lxiii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(5) Lower Surigao PT»s 

(a) PT 490 

Sends confusing message 
Discussion thereon 

(b) PT 491 

Drifts with current 

(c) PT 493 

Beached on Maoyo Point 

(6) Other PT's 
Patrol uneventful 

CHAPTER XX - JAPANESE OPERATIONS. 0520 - OoOO, October 25th 

(A) Commander SECOND Striking Force 

Units widely separated but takes no action 

Discussion thereon 

Realizes retiring units being taken under fire 

Re— estimates situation; changes course to avoid gunfire 

Discussion thereon 

Recalls destroyers 

(1) Operations of COMDESDIV EIGHTEEN 
Proceeding toward southern entrance 
Sights MTB»s 

Notices ABUKUMA under escort; reduces speed 
Receives order directing destroyers re join cruisers 
(a) USHIO 

Proceeding to escort ABUKUMA 

Sights PT»s 194 and 150 

Opens fire; MTB's retire under smoke 

MTB fires torpedo; misses 

Commences escorting ABUKUMA 

Directed to rejoin cruisers 

(2) ABUKUMA 

In entrance rapidly closing USHIO 

Reverses course 

Sights PT's 194 and 150; opens fire 

MTB attacks repulsed 

Joined by USHIO 

Fires starshells toward Sonok Point 

(3) M0GAMI 

Following NACHI but losing distance 
Taken under fire and straddled 
Takes evasive and preventive action 
Endeavors to ascertain situation 
Discussion thereon 

Shelling ceases after ten direct hits 
Sights PT»s 490 and 491 
Heads for southern entrance 



590-591 
590-591 
590 

591 
591 
591 
591 
591 
591 
591 

592-600 

592-600 

592 

592 

593 

593 

593 

593 

594-595 

594 

594 

594 

594 

594-595 

594 

595 

595 

595 

595 

595 

595-596 

595 

595 

595 

595 

596 

596 

596-597 

596 

596 

596 

596 

596-597 

597 

597 

597 



lxLv 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(4) ASAGUMO 

Attempting to follow MOGAMI 
Notes gunfire and changes course to avoid 
Enemy fire ceases after one hit started fire 
Decides to abandon ship 

(5) SHIGURE 

Employing manual steering 

Shifts to auxiliary power steering 

Fails to fall in astern of NACHI 

Discussion thereon 

Heads for passage between Binit Point and Bilaa Point 

(6) FUSO 

Two burning sections of FUSO continue to drift south 
Bow section receives direct hit and sinks 



598 

598 

598 

598 

598 

598-599 

599 

599 

599 

599 

599 

600 

600 

600 



CHAPTER XXI - ALLIED OPERATION, 0520 - 0600, October 25th 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 

Operates largely as Commander Left Flank Force 

Familiar with developing situation 

Notes Right Flank Force following Left Flank Force 

Notes Commander Battle Line remaining in position 

Receives PT 490 's contact report 

Knows Commander Left Flank Force opened fire 

Receives message that PT 194 sinking 

Hears COMDESDIV XRAY»s report on pass astern 

Knows Commander Left Flank Force ceases fire 

Concerned about whole command 

(1) Operations of C0MDESR0N FIFTY-SIX 

(a) Operations of Commander Attack Section ONE 
Lying close alongside damaged ALBERT W. GRANT 
Hears Commander Left Flank Force order open fire 
Directs RICHARD P. LEARY to screen 

Goes alongside ALBERT W. GRANT to receive wounded, furnish 
power and aid 

(b) Operations of COMDESDIV 112 
Acting as C0MDESR0N FIFTY-SIX 
Queries CTG 77»2 as to his position 
Reverses course to rejoin cruisers 

(2) Operations of COMDESDIV XRAY 
Proceeding south to make torpedo attack 
Repairs to WELLES^ fuel pump completed 

Learns CLAXT0N, tracking MOGAMI, has additional contacts 

CONY makes radar contact 

Reports pass astern of cruisers 

Receives order to join cruisers as screen 

SIGOURNEY makes radar contact 

Receives orders form circular screen 

SIGOURNEY passes through heavy oil slick; makes no report 

Receives CTG 77.2's order to form circular disposition 

Sights survivors in water 

AULICK and THORN sight Japanese survivors 

Destroyers maneuvering to form screen 



601-625 

601-616 

601 

601 

601 

601 

601 

601 

601 

602 

602 

602 

602-604 

602-603 

602 

602 

603 

603 

603-604 

603 

603 

604 

60V606 

604 
605 
605 
605 
605 
605 
605 
605 
606 
606 
606 
606 
606 



Lxv 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(3) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 6O6-6U 
Proceeds south with cruisers astern 6O6 
Queried by COMDESDIV 112 as to his position 606 
Changes course to open fire 607 
Orders cruisers to open fire 607 
Firing table 607 
Discussion thereon 606 
Receives word COMDESDIV XRAY would pass astern 608 
Directs COMDESDIV XRAY to join as screen 608 
Changes course away from enemy 609 
Discussion thereon 609 
Table, ammunition expended and remaining 610 
Directs COMDESDIV XRAY form circular screen 610 
Directs CTG 77.3 to change course 611 
Receives report of survivors in water 611 

(4) Operations of Commander Battle Line 611 
Continues to steam east 611 
Follows action by intercepted messages 611 

(5) Operations of CTG 77.3 612-614 
Standing by to support CTG 77.2 and forming antiaircraft 

disposition 612 

Watches Commander Left Flank Force's movements 612 

Intercepts message that PT 194 is sinking 612 

Intercepts order to open fire 612 

Changes course to give Left Flank Force more sea room 612 

Observes left flank cruisers open fire 612 
Hears Commander Left Flank Force order change course and 

reverses course 613 

Receives word that MTB needs help 613 

Designates SHROPSHIRE guide 613 

Increases speed 613 

Executes "Turn 350"; BOISE guide 613 

Antiaircraft disposition complete 614 
Designated DALY, BACHE, BEALE as SDecial torpedo attack group, 

"DALY's Boys" 614 

(a) Operations of COMDESRON TWENTY- POUR 6LW>16 

(1) Operations of Commander Attack Group 1.2 and COMDESRON 

TWENTY-FOUR 6LW>16 

Proceeding to screening stations 614 
Discussion of failure to change speed and communicate 614-615 

DALY reports friendly MTB*s 615 

DALY investigates MTB's 615 

(2) Operations of Commander Attack Group 2.2 616 
Proceeding to screening stations 616 

(B) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 617-625 

(1) Upper Surigao PT's 617 
Proceeding toward Dinagat shore 617 
Stop and drift 617 

(2) Kanihaan PT»s 617 
Nothing of importance occurring 617 



lxvi 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(3) South Amagusan PT«s 

Drifting south; operations uneventful 

(4) East Amagusan PT f s 

(a) PT 328 

Alone and drifting with current 

(b) PT 323 
Proceeding south 

Changes course likely to investigate burning FUSO 

(c) PT 329 
Proceeding to base 
Challenged by DALY 

(5) Lower Surigao PT's 

(a) PT 490 
Drifting south 
Sights MOGAMI 

No torpedoes, no attack 

(b) PT 491 

Drifting with current 

Sights MOGAMI; attempts to report contact 

Commences approach 

(c) PT 493 

Damaged and abandoned; beached on Maoyo Point 

(6) SW Panaon PT's 

Sights large fire up strait 
Contacts USHIO and ABUKUMA 

(a) PT 194 

Sights USHIO visually; continues on 

Opens fire on ABUKUMA 

40MM gun rendered useless by enemy fire 

Turns away 

Receives second hit 

Request help 

Heads for shoreline of Panaon Island 

Sights PT 196 searching for her 

(b) PT 150 

Sights USHIO and ABUKUMA 
Fires torpedo at USHIO which missed 
Under gunfire and returns gunfire 
Searches for PT 194 

(c) PT 196 

Fails to observe other PT's turn toward enemy 
Observes gunfire from USHIO and ABUKUMA 
Retires under smoke 
Searching for PT 194 
Sights PT 194 

(7) SE Panaon PT«s 

Units operating separately 
(a) PT 137 

Drifting with current 

Proceeds to assistance of PT 194 

Sights two destroyers 

Sights starshells; is illuminated 

Discussion thereon 

Retires to south 



617 

617 

617 

617 

617 

617-618 

617 

617 

618 

618 

618 

618-619 

618 

618 

618 

618 

618-619 

618 

619 

619 

619 

619 

619-622 

619 

619 

620 

620 

620 

620 

620 

620 

620 

620 

620 

621 

621 

621 

621 

621 

621-622 

621 

621 

621 

622 

622 

622-623 

622 

622 

622 

622 

622 

622 

622 

623 



Ixvii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(8) Sumilon PT«s 623 
Lying to 623 
Sights four fires to north 623 
As COMMTBRON THIRTY-SIX directs Commander Bilaa Point PT»s to 

join 623 

(9) Bilaa Point PT's 623 
Returning to Bilaa Point 623 
Loses contact with ABUKUMA 623 
Receives instructions to join COMMTBRON THIRTY-SIX 623 

(10) Mailao PT«s 624 
Patrolling toward south 624 
Decides to return to base 624 

(11) Limasawa PT»s 624 
Continues unsuccessful search for PT 190 624 
Receives PT 194* s message requesting help; proceeds toward 

Sonok Point to assist 624 

(a) PT 190 624 

Operating alone 624 

Receives PT 194 f s request for help; does not respond until 

later 624 

(12) Camiguin PT«s 625 
Lying to to detect enemy movements 625 
Rejoins PT's 130 and 131 and departs for base 625 

CHAPTER XXII - JAPANESE OPERATIONS. 0600 - 0700. October 25th 626-632 

(A) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 626-632 

Proceeding south 626 

Changes course to pass into Mindanao Sea 626 

Notes destroyer take station 626 

Exchanges class with M0GAMI 626 

Notes KASUMI leave disposition 626 

Sights false periscope and opens fire 626 

Notes ASHIGARA open fire on MTB 626 

Notes USHI0 and AKEB0N0 open fire on MTB 626-627 

Changes course to clear ABUKUMA 627 
Informs command that COMDESRON ONE will transfer to KASUKI; U3HI0 

escort ABUKUMA 627 

Designates AKEB0N0 to escort MOGAMI 627 

KASUMI preparing to go alongside ABUKUMA 627 

(1) USHI0 627-629 

Escorting ABUKUMA 627 

Completes circle and rejoins NACHI 627 

Observes NACHI open fire 628 

Observes ASHIGARA open fire on MTB 628 

Turns left to cross NACHI 's track 628 

Sights PT 150; opens fire 628 

Flashes recognition; opens fire on PT 190 628 

Changes course to resume station 628 

Takes station 628 

Leaves disposition to escort ABUKUMA 628 



lxviii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(2) ABUKUMA 629 
Under escort 629 
Receives dispatch directing KASUMI to come alongside 629 

(3) MOGAMI 629-631 
Sights PT 491 and opens fire 629 
Avoids MTB torpedoes 630 
Sights SECOND Striking Force; identifies herself 630 
Proceeds to southern exit 630 
Repulses two MTB's 630 
Sights PT 137; opens fire with main battery 630 
Opens fire on PT 150 631 
Progressing in control of fires; morale rises 631 

(4) SHIGURE 631 
Operating to remain clear of SECOND Striking Force 631 
Sighted by PT 137 631 
Sights six MTB's and opens fire 631 

(5) ASAGUMO 632 
Badly damaged and afire, prepares to abandon ship 632 
Opens fire at MTB with one gun 632 

(6) FUSO 632 
Burning stern continues to drift 632 
Stern sinks about 0640 632 



lxix CONFIDENTIAL 



confidential 

CHAPTER XXIII - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 06CO - 0700, October 25th 633-652 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2, 0600 - 0700, October 25th 633-642 

Operates largely as Commander Left Flank Force 633 

Receives message DESRON FIFTY-FOUR at rendezvous 633 

Directs COMDESRON FIFTY- FOUR resume normal screening 633 

Receives warning of enemy aircraft 633 

Directs COMBATLINE dispose battle line between Taytay Point 

and Hibuson Island 633 

Knows his cruisers are pursuing Japanese cripples 633 

(l) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 633-637 

Forming circular cruising disposition 633 

Intercepts message directing DESDIV XRAY expedite forming screen 634 

Reduces speed to facilitate forming 634 

Receives message asking course and speed 634 

Receives COMDESDIV 112 's message about survivors; directs rescue 634 

Notes disposition formed 634 

Discussion of reasons for northerly course 634 

Heads soutla maintaining circular disposition 634 

Receives message requesting tug for ALBERT W. GRANT 634 

Receives aircraft warning releasing antiaircraft batteries 635 

Receives message stating survivors are Japanese 635 

Notes HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS take CLAXTON's station 635 

Obsei-ves sunrise 635 

Hears survivors accept lines 635 

Hears several hundred survivors, most would not accept lines 635 

Receives report enemy retiring 635 

Directs COMCRUDIV TWELVE destroy cripples 636 

BENNION reports men in water 636 

Directs BENNION rescue survivors, beware of torpedoes 636 

Discussion thereon 636 

Notes COMCRUDIV TWELVE leaving disposition 636 

Forms column 636 

Directs COMDESDIV 112 not to waste time on rescue 636 

(2) Operations of COMCRUDIV TWELVE 637 
Directed proceed and destroy cripples 637 
Dep arts disposition 637 
Queried by COMDESDIV 112 as to additional destroyers; 

reply ambiguous 637 

Informs COMDESDIV 112 of position 633 

(3) Operations of COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX 638-641 
(a) Operations of Commander Attack Section ONE 638-639 

Alongside ALBERT W. GRANT to assist; RICHARD P. LEARY 

screening 638 

NEWCOMB moors to ALBERT W. GRANT 638 

Sends request for medical assistance 638 
Reports condition of ALBERT W. GRANT and requests tug 639 

NEWCOMB commences doubling lines to tow 639 

RICHARD P. LEARY sends medical assistance 639 

Notes NEWCOMB commence towing 639 



lxx CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(b) Operations of COMDESDIV 112 
Acting as COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX 
Asks CTG 77.2 for his course and speed 
Directs his two sections proceed independently 
Reports passing survivors 
Directs destroyers pick up survivors 
Intercepts message that survivors are Japanese 
Assumes command of rescue operation 
Sends message asking COMCRUDIV TWELVE if he needs 
additional destroyers 

Informs CTG 77.2 that CLAXTON has three survivors 
Directs HALFORD and BRYANT to follow and rejoin cruisers 

(4) Operations of COMDESDIV XRAY 

CLAXTON prepares to rescue survivors; other units taking 

stations in screen 

Directs division to expedite forming 

Heads back to survivor area 

Relieved as OTC by COMDESDIV 112 

(5) Operations of CTG 77.3 

In circular cruising disposition 
Follows movements of CTG 77.2 
(a) DALY 

Investigating friendly MTB's 

Discussion of DALY's failure to rejoin CTG 77.3 
(B) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 

(1) Upper Surigao PT's 

Nothing of importance occuring 

(2) Kanihaan PT's 

Hear PT 491 call for help 

Pass burning oil slick 

Pass within two miles of ASAGUMO 

(3) South Amagusan PT's 
Commence return to base 
Sighted by PT 328 

(4) East Amagusan PT's 
MTB's separated 

(a) PT 328 

Sights South Amagusan PT's 

(b) PT 323 

Sights ASAGUMO dead in water 
Prepares to attack 
Challenged by friendly TBF's 
Fired on by ASAGUMO 
Asks if target enemy 
Ready to fire torpedoes 

(c) PT 329 

Seeks shelter close inshore 

(5) Lower Surigao PT's 

(a) PT 490 

Commences return to base 

(b) PT 491 

Proceeds to firing position 

Fired on by MOGAMI 

Fires two torpedoes 

Retires under fire from MOGAMI 

Sights PT 493, calls for help 



639^-641 

639 

639 

639 

640 

640 

640 

640 

641 
641 
641 
641-642 

641 
642 
642 
642 

642-643 

642 

642 

643 

643 

643 

644-652 

644 

644 

644 

644 

644 

644 

644-645 

644 

644 

645-646 

645 
645 
645 
645-646 

645 

645 

645 

645 

646 

646 

646 

646 

646-647 

646 

646 

646-647 

646 

646 

646 

646 

647 



lxxi 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Closes PT 493 
Picks up survivors 
(c) PT 493 

Damaged and abandoned 
PT 491 rescues crew 

(6) SW Panaon PT's 

(a) PT's 194 and 196 

PT 196 transfers hospital corpsrr.en to PT 194 
PT's 151 and 146 join 
Proceed to Liloan 

(b) PT 150 

Continues unsucessful search for PT 194 
Sights four destroyers to the south 
Sighted by destroyers and fired on 
Reports contact to base 
Heads up Sogod Bay toward Ilijan Point 
Changes course for San Richardo Point 
Sights damaged cruiser; reports contact 
Is fired on by MOGAMI 

(7) SE Panaon PT's 

Discussion of op erations of PT 137 only 
(a) PT 137 

Radio transmitter not functioning 

Sights enemy destroyer 

Continues search for PT 194 

Sights SECOND Striking Force 

Sights damaged MOGAMI 

Proceeds to intercept 

MOGAMI opens fire 

(8) Sumilon PT's 

Lying to waiting for Bilaa Point PT's to join 
Joined by Bilaa Point PT's 
Return to base 

(9) Bilaa Point PT's 
Join Sumilon PT's 

(lO)Madilao PT's 

Returning to base 
Sight two columns of black smoke 
Sight four or five destroyers 
Head for Madilao Point 

Pass Madilao Point and head for Bilaa Point 
(ll)Limasawa PT's 

PT's 151 and 146 continue to the assistance of PT 194 
Join PT's 194 and 196 and return to base 
(a) PT 190 

Proceeds to aid PT 194 

Sights six large ships and closes to identify them 

Notes two destroyers open fire 

Retires under smoke 

Makes contact report and heads for Liloan Bay 
(12)Camiguin PT's 

Enroute Liloan Bay 

Observes shell splashes fired by imaginary submarine 

Searches for imaginary submarine 

Resumes course for Liloan Bay 



647 

647 

64^ 

647 

647 

647-649 

647-64? 

647 

648 

648 

648-649 

648 

648 

648 

648 

648 

648 

648 

643 

649 

649 

649 

649 

649 

649 

649 

649 

649 

649 

650 

650 

650 

650 

650 

650 

650-6;: 

650 

650 

650 

650 

651 

651-652 

651 

651 

651-652 

651 

651 

652 

652 

652 

652 

652 

652 

652 

652 



lxxii 



: FIDQJTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CHAPTER XXIV - JAPANESE OPERATIONS. 0700 - 0733, October 25th 

(A) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force 
Sights carrier type aircraft 
Air attacks continue 

(1) ABUKUMA and USHIO 

USHIO proceeding escort ABUKUMA 

KASUMI alongside ABUKUMA 

Sights carrier- type aircraft; notes KASUMI open fire 

Completes transfer COMDESRON ONE to KASUMI 

USHIO opens fire on aircraft 

(2) MOGAMI and AKEBONO 

AKEBONO reverses course to escort MOGAMI 

AKEBONO notes MTB«s and opens fire 

MOGAMI bombed and strafed by enemy aircraft 

(3) SHIGURE 

Escapes attack by enemy aircraft 

(4) ASAGUMO 

Dead in water, fires at enemy MTB 
Prepares to abandon ship 
Receives torpedo hit 
Completes abandoning ship 
Taken under fire and sinks 

CHAPTER XXV - ALLIED OPERATIONS. 0700 - 0733. October 25th 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 

Operates largely as Commander Left Flank Force 

Receives congratulations from.CTF 77 

Receives report CVE's under attack off Samar 

Discussion thereon 

Issues no instructions 

Discussion thereon 

(l) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force 

CRUDIV TWELVE sent ahead; other units forming 

Receives request from CONY to open fire on ASAGUMO 

Grants permission 

Discussion thereon 

AULICK and SIGOURNEY open fire on ASAGUMO 

Discussion thereon 

Directs battle Line form between Hibuson and Cabugan Grande 

Observes HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS and THORN commence firing 

Observes DENVER and COLUMBIA open fire 

Receives CTF 77' s warning of approaching enemy aircraft 

Observes LEUTZE open fire 

Receives report from MINNEAPOLIS on destroyer near beach 

Directs LOUISVILLE launch plane to search 

Observes CLAXTON open fire 

Changes course; all units cease fire 

Observes ASAGUMO sink 

Receives report of survivors 



653-655 

653-655 

653 

653 

653-654 

653 

653 

653 

653 

654 

654 

654 

654 

654 

655 

655 

655 

655 

655 

655 

655 

655 

656-673 

656-669 

656 

656 

656 

656-657 

658 

658 

659-664 

659 

659 

659 

659 

660 

660 

660 

660 

660 

660 

660 

660-661 

661 

661 

661 

661 

662 



lxxiii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Directs AULICK and SIGOURNEY to sink cripples and rejoin 
Receives message reporting CVE's under attack 
Re-estimates situation 

Decides to return Leyte Gulf and reform command 
Discussion thereon 

Directs destroyers form antisubmarine screen 
Changes course to north 
(2) Operations of COMCRUDIV TWELVE 
Observes BENNION open fire 

Changes course to unmask guns, slows and orders ships open fire 
Issues no firing instructions 
Discussion thereon 

Notes ASAGUMO roll over; ships cease fire 
Firing table 
Observes ASAGUMO sink 
COLUMBIA intercepts message reporting TU 77.4.3 under attack; 

fails to inform COMCRUDIV TWELVE 
HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS directed to investigate survivors 

Changes course to rejoin _^ .. 

(3) Operations of COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX and Commander Attack Section 

ONE 

Flagship towing ALBERT W. GRANT 

Receives warning of imminent air attack 

(4) Operations of COMDESDIV 112 
Still in survivor area 

BRYANT abandons rescue; heads for cruisers 
HALFORD sinks small boat and heads for cruisers 
COMDESDIV 112 recovers one survivor and heads south 

Sights FT 323 

Notes prematurely division joined CTG 77.2 

(5) Operations of CTG 77.3 

Follows Left Flank Force down strait 

Observes Left Flank Force open fire 

Intercepts message reporting CVE's under attack; does not relay 

message to CTG 77.2 
Discussion thereon 
Notes sinking of ASAGUMO 
Returns to north 
(B) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats 

(1) PT's 137 and 150 
Continue toward MOGAMI 
Taken under fire 

Retire to north after receiving permission to return 

(2) East Amagusan PT's 

(a) PT's 329 and 328 
Returning to base 

(b) PT 323 

Fires three torpedoes; third hit 
Under ASAGUMO* s gunfire 
Commences return to base 
Challenged by destroyer 



662 

662-663 

663 

663 

663-664 

664 

664 

664-667 

665 

665 

665 

665 

666 

666 

666 

667 
667 
667 

667 

667 

667 

668-669 

668 

668 

668 

668 

668 

669 
669-670 

669 
669 

669 

669 

670 

670 

670-673 

670 

670 

670 

670 

671 

671 

671 

671 

671 

671 

671 

671 



Lodv 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(3) Kanihaan PT's 

Proceeding toward Maoyo Point 
Sight MOGAMI class cruiser on fire 
Discussion thereon 
Go alongside PT 491 at Maoyo Point 
Feel underwater explosion 

(4) Lower Surigao PT»s 

(a) PT 490 
Returning to base 

(b) PT 491 

Alongside PT 493 assisting survivors 
Notes Kanihaan PT«s arrive 
Observes PT 493 sink at 0745 

(c) PT 493 

Beached on Maoyo Point 
Sinks 

CHAPTER XXVI - EPILOGUE 



672-673 

672 

672 

672 

672 

673 

673 

673 

673 

673 

673 

673 

673 

673 

673 

673 

67V-676 



APPENDIX I 



APPENDIX II 



MAIN BATTERY AMMUNITION (ARMOR PIERCING AND TORPEDOES) 

REMAINING IN TG«s 77.2 AND 77.3 AS OF 0733 OCTOBER 

25th 677-679 



TIDAL CURRENTS IN SURIGAO STRAIT 



680-684 



APPENDIX III 

APPENDIX IV 

APPENDIX V 

APPENDIX VI 

APPENDIX VII 
APPENDIX VIII 



ORGANIZATION OF COMBINED FLEET, 1042 OCTOBER 23rd - 

1830 OCTOBER 24th, BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 685-689 

ORGANIZATION OF ALLIED FORCES AT 1042 OCTOBER 23rd - 

1830 OCTOBER 24th, BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 690-718 

ORGANIZATION OF ALLIED FORCES, 1830 OCTOBER 24th, 

1944, BATTLE OF SURIGAO STRAIT 719-721 

ORGANIZATION OF JAPANESE FORCES, 1830 OCTOBER 24th, 

1944, BATTLE OF SURIGAO STRAIT ' 722 

JAPANESE AIRCRAFT 723 

CERTAIN ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS WORK 724-725 



lxxv 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

PLATES AND DIAGRAMS 
PLATE TITLE FACES PAGE 

I Allied Command Relations cxii 

II Japanese Command Relations cxii 

III Contacts Received by Principal Japanese Commanders, October 

23rd, 1944 2 

IV Allied Search Plan FOX, SOWESPAC 22 

V Contacts Received by Principal Allied Commanders, October 23rd, 

1944 24 

VI Allied Motor Torpedo Boat Operating Areas 34 

VII Allied Submarine Operating Area Classifications, SOWESPAC 36 

VIII Allied Submarine Operating Areas, SOWESPAC 36 

IX Allied Search Plan FOX (Modified), SOWESPAC 42 

X Allied Search Plan, Central Pacific 50 

XI Allied Submarine Operating Area Classifications, Western Pacific 52 

XII Allied Submarine Operating Areas, Western Pacific 52 

XIII Contacts Received by Principal Japanese Commanders, October 24th, 
1944 60 

XIV Japanese Submarine Dispositions Ordered October 24th, 1944 74 

XV Contacts Received by Principal Allied Commanders, October 24th, 

1944 90 

XVI Japanese Formations, SECOND Striking Force 230 

XVII Battle Disposition Allied Forces, Surigao Strait 240 

XVIII Allied Screening Plan, Battle for Leyte Gulf 246 

XIX Disposition of Allied Motor Torpedo Boats, Battle of Surigao 

Strait 250 

XX Japanese Formations, THIRD Section 260 

XXI Radar Scope Sketches, TG 79«H 356 

XXII Range Diagram for Multi-speed Torpedoes 360 

XXIII Torpedo Analysis, MONSSEN 374 

XXIV Allied Fire Distribution Showing Concentration on YAMASHIRO 472 

lxxvi CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

DIAGRAM TITLE FACES PAGE 

Weather Legend 726 

"A" Strategic Area Chart 728 

"B" Events Depicted; Air Searches and Movements of Forces from 

1042 to 2400 October 23rd, 1944 730 

"C" Events Depicted; Air Searches and Movements of Forces from 

0000 to 2400 October 24th, 1944 736 

"D" Events Depicted; Japanese Approach Past PT Boats, 1830 to 

2400 October 24th, 1944 738 

"E" Events Depicted; FIRST Division Sweep of Water West of Panaon 
Island, 0000 to 0100 October 25th, 1944 740 



Him 



HTM 



II Til 



II Pit 



Events Depicted; THIRD Section Enters the Strait and PT 

Boats Attack, 0100 to 0245 October 25th, 1944 742 



"G" Events Depicted; First Destroyer Torpedo Attack, DESRON 

54, 0245 to 0320 October 25th, 1944 746 

H H" Events Depicted; Second Destroyer Torpedo Attack, DESRON 

24, 0320 to 0348 October 25th, 1944 750 



Events Depicted; SECOND Striking Force Enters the Strait, 
0245 to 0348 October 25th, 1944 752 

Events Depicted; Third Destroyer Torpedo Attack, DESRON 

56 and Major Gun Action, 0348 to 0420 October 25th, 1944 756 



"K" Events Depicted; Cruisers Start the Pursuit, 0420 to 0520, 

October 25th, 1944 760 

"L" Events Depicted; Second Cruiser Gun Action, T.G. 77.2, 

0457 to 0600 October 25th, 1944 762 

M M" Events Depicted; Retiring SECOND Striking Force Drives off 

PT Boats, 0515 to 0700 October 25th, 1944 766 

"N" Events Depicted; Second Cruiser Movement South, 0600 to 

0700 October 25th, 1944 768 

"0" Events Depicted; Concluding Gun Action and Cruiser Retire- 
ment North, 0700 to 0845 October 25th, 1944 770 



Events Depicted; SECOND Striking Force in the Mindanao Sea, 
0700 to 0840 October 25th, 1944 772 



496799 o - 59 - 6 Ixxvii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



ALL TIMES IN THIS ANALYSIS, EXCEPT ALLIED DISPATCH 
TIKES ARE ZONE TIME (-9) 

ALLIED DISPATCH TIMES ARE GREENWICH CIVIL TIME* 

The time of receipt of many dispatches, both Allied and Japanese, has 
been generally unavailable to this analysis. In order to compensate for 
this, it has been assumed from an average time of receipt of a number of 
important dispatches that, unless otherwise stated, important dispatches 
concerning operations were received by action addressees in one-half hour 
when handled via direct circuits. Such assumed times of receipt are 
indicated by the phrase M at about", while actual times of receipt are 
indicated by the phrase "at (time inserted)". While this assumption may 
seem somewhat generous, a study of this analysis will show that where 
such assumptions are made the result of later receipt (such as one hour 
or more) would have caused little or no change in the basic study. 

Often the time of receipt is known for one command but is not known 
for other commands. "When this much information is available an analysis 
of the commander under discussion is made to determine whether or not it 
was likely he received the dispatch on the same transmission as the 
commander with the known time of receipt. Such items as location, command 
organization, importance of command and importance of the dispatch are 
considered. When appropriate it is therefore assumed that several 
commanders received a particular dispatch at the same time, in which case 
the assumption is so indicated in the text. 

In order to summarize contact information each contact plate lists in 
tabular form time of contact, location and the time of receipt by the 
principal commanders. The abbreviation "Rec'd" in the time box indicates 
the report was probably received; exact time unknown. The time box left 
blank indicates either lack of information as to receipt or the contact 
was considered of lesser concern to the commander. Where applicable the 
one-half hour transmission time assumption explained above, has been 
applied to contact reports and those receipt times recorded. 



It will be noted that some Allied Air Force dispatches employ local 
zone time, in which cases the zone designating letter (I) is suffixed 
to the date-time-group. 



lxxviii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS 



JAPANESE 



Commander-in-Chief Combined Fleet 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Mobile Force 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Main Force 



Chief of Staff 



Commander FIRST Striking Force 



Chief of Staff 



Commander SECOND Striking Force 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Advance Expeditionary Force 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Southwest Area Force 



Chief of Staff 



Commander THIRD Southern Expeditionary Force 
(Philippine Force) 

Chief of Staff 



Admiral Toyoda, Soemu, UN 

Vice Admiral Kusaka, 
Ryunosuke , I JN 

Vice Admiral Ozawa, 
Jisaburo, IJN 

Rear Admiral Obayashi, 
Sueo, IJN 

Vice Admiral Ozawa, 
Jisaburo, IJN 

Rear Admiral Obayashi, 
Sueo, IJN 

Vice Admiral Kurita, 
Takeo, IJN 

Rear Admiral Koyanagi, 
Tomiji, IJN 

Vice Admiral Shima, 
Kiyohide, IJN 

Rear Admiral Matsumoto, 
Takeshi, IJN 

Vice Admiral Miwa, 
Shigeyoshi, IJN 

Rear Admiral Nishina, 
Kozo, IJN 

Vice Admiral Mikawa, 
Gunichi, IJN 

Vice Admiral Nishio, 
Hidehiko, IJN 

Vice Admiral Mikawa, 
Gunichi, IJN 

Rear Admiral Shimamoto, 
Kyugoro, IJN 



lxxix 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Commander FIFTH Base Air Force 



Chief of Staff 



Commander SIXTH Base Air Force 



Chief of Staff 



CinC Southern Army 



Chief of Staff 



CG FOURTEENTH Area Army 



CG FOURTH Air Army 



Chief of Staff 



Southern Army 



(a) FOURTH Air Army 



(1) SECOND Air Division 



(2) FOURTH Air Division 



Vice Admiral Teraoka, 
Kimpei, IJN 

Captain Odahara, 
Toshihiko, IJN 

Vice Admiral Fukudome, 
Shigeru, IJN 

Rear Admiral Sugimoto, 
Ushie, IJN 

Field Karshal Terauchi, 
Hisaichi, IJA 

Lt. General Iimura, 
Jo, IJA 

General Yamashita, 
Tomoyuki , IJA 

Lt. General Tominaga, 
Kyoji, IJA 

Lt. General Terada, 
Seiichi, IJA 

Field Marshal Terauchi, 
Hisaichi, IJA 

Lt. General Tominaga, 
Kyoji, IJA 

Lt. General Kinoshita, 
Isamu, IJA 

Lt. General Kinoshita, 
Isamu, IJA* 



(3) SEVENTH Air Division 



* Philippine Air Operation, Phase II, Page 40. It is believed Lt. General 
Kinoshita commanded both divisions after assuming command of the 2ND Air 
Division when its original commander was wounded on October 19th, 1944. 



lxxx 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



ALLIED 



(a) Southwest Pacific Area 

Commander Southwest Pacific Area 
(COMSOWESPAC) 



General MacArthur, 
Douglas A., USA 



Chief of Staff 



Lt. General Sutherland, 
Richard K., USA 



Commander Allied Air Force SOWESPAC 
(COMAIRSOWESPAC) 



Lt. General Kenney, 
George C.,(AC), USA 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Allied Naval Forces SOWESPAC 



Chief of Staff 



Commander SEVENTH Fleet (COMSEVENTHFLT) 



Chief of Staff 



Commanding General SIXTH Army- 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Central Philippines Attack Force 
(CTF 77) 

Chief of Staff 



Commander Bombardment and Fire Support 
Group (CTG 77.2) 



Brigadier General Beebe, 
Royden E.,(AC), USA 

Vice Admiral Kinkaid, 
Thomas C, USN 

Commodore Schaeffer, 
Valentine H., USN 

Vice Admiral Kinkaid, 
Thomas C, USN 

Commodore Schaeffer, 
Valentine H., USN 

Lt. General Krueger, 
Walter, USA 

Brigadier General Decker, 
George H., USA 

Vice Admiral Kinkaid, 
Thomas C, USN 

Commodore Schaeffer, 
Valentine H., USN 

Rear Admiral Oldendorf, 
Jesse B., USN 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Escort Carrier Group (CTG 77.4) 



Chief of Staff 



Captain Bates, Richard 
W., USN 

Rear Admiral Sprague, 
Thomas L., USN 

Captain Carson, Joseph 

M., USN 



Ljoocl 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Commander Dinagat Attack Group (CTG 78.4) 



Chief of Staff 



Rear Admiral St ruble, 
Arthur D., U3N 

Captain Abdill, Everett 
W., USN 



Commander Minesweeping and Hydrographic 
Group* (CTG 77.5) 

Commander Northern Attack Force (DTF 78) 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Palo Attack Group (CTG 78.1) 



Chief of Staff 



Commander San Ricardo Attack Group 
(CTG 78.2) 

Chief of Staff 



Commander Southern Attack Force (CTF 79) 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Attack Group ABLE (CTG 79.1) 



Commander Loud, Wayne 
R., USN 

Rear Admiral Barbey, 
Daniel E., USN 

Commodore Noble, Albert 
G., USN 

Rear Admiral Barbey, 
Daniel E., USN 

Commodore Noble, Albert 
G., USN 

Rear Admiral Fechteler, 
William M., USN 

Caotain Sprague, Albert 
T.~, Jr., USN 

Vice Admiral Wilkinson, 
Theodore S., USN 

Commodore Powell, 
Paulus P., USN 

Rear Admiral Conolly, 
Richard L., USN 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Attack Group BAKER (CTG 79.2) 



Chief of Staff 



Commander Submarines SEVENTH Fleet 



Chief of Staff 



Captain Moore, 
Waiter E., USN 

Rear Admiral Royal, 
Forrest B., USN 

Captain Dugan, Paul 
F., USN 

Rear Admiral Christie, 
Ralph W., USN 

Captain Nichols, Philip 
G., USN 



* Since no Chief Staff Officer was assigned CTG 77.5 this function was 
performed as additional duty by Lieutenant Roy E. Daly, USNR. 



IboocLi 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



Commander Submarines West Australia 
(CTF 71) 

Chief of Staff 



(b) Pacific Ocean Areas 

CinC Pacific Ocean Areas (CINCPOA) 

Chief of Staff 
Commander Western Pacific Task Forces 

Chief of Staff 
Commander THIRD Fleet (COMTHIRDFLT) 

Chief of Staff 



Commander FIRST Carrier Task Force 
(CTF 38) 

Chief of Staff 



Commander Forward Area Central Pacific 
Task Force (CTF 57) 

Chief of Staff 



Commander Shore-Based Air Force 
Forward Area (CTF 59) 

Chief of Staff 



Commander Submarines Pacific Fleet 
(COMSUBPAC) (CTF 17) 

Chief of Staff 



Rear Admiral Christie, 
Ralph W., USN 

Captain Nichols, Philip 
G., USN 



Admiral Nimitz, Chester 
W., USN 

Vice Admiral McMorris, 
Charles H., USN 

Admiral Halsey, William 
F., Jr., USN 

Rear Admiral Carney, 
Robert B., USN 

Admiral Halsey, William 
F., Jr., USN 

Rear Admiral Carney, 
Robert B., USN 

Vice Admiral Mitscher, 
Marc A., USN 

Commodore Burke, Arleigh 
A., USN 

Vice Admiral Hoover, 
John H., USN 

Captain Scull, Herbert 
M., USN 

Major General Hale, Willis 
H., (AC), USA 

Colonel Carr, Lawrence 
J., (AC), USA 

Vice Admiral Lockwood, 
Charles A., USN 

Commodore Comstock, 
Merrill, USN 



lxodii 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(c) China-Burma-India Theater 
CG Army Forces CBI 

Chief of Staff 
CG GOURTEENTH Air Force 

Chief of Staff 
CG TWENTIETH Bomber Command 

Chief of Staff 



General Stilwell, Joseph 
W., USA 

Brigadier General Cannon, 
Robert K., USA 

Major General Chennault, 
Claire L., (AC), USA 

Brigadier General Glenn, 
Edgar E., USA 

Major General LeMay, 
Curtis E., (AC), USA 

Brigadier General Upston, 
John S., USA 



lxxxiv 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

INTRODUCTION 

Volume I of the study of the Battle for Leyte Gulf covers the 
preliminary operations of this battle on both the Allied and Japanese 
sides until 0719 October 17th, 1944. This was the moment when the 
Japanese lookouts on Suluan Island at the entrance to Leyte Gulf, made a 
contact report on Allied surface forces entering Leyte Gulf. These 
Allied surface forces were the advance forces of the SEVENTHFLT which 
had been ordered, commencing D-3* day (October 17th) to prepare the way 
for the seizure by the SIXTH Army of certain areas on Leyte Island 
preparatory to seizing the Philippines. (A thorough brief of Volume I is 
contained in the Introduction to Volume I — a limited brief in Volume II*) 

Volume II of this study covers the three-day period of operations from 
D-3 through D-l day (2400 October 19th). During this time the: 

(a) Allied forces seized Suluan Island, positions on Southern Homonhon 
and Northern Dinagat Islands, cleared most of the objective area of mines, 
prepared by gunfire and aircraft bombing the enemy areas in the vicinity 
of the selected landing beaches, reconnoitered with UDT's the approaches 
to the above landing areas, hit Formosa (B-29 f s), Luzon and the Visayas 

by air strikes and reconnoitered with air and submarines certain crucial 
areas; 

(b) Japanese forces, having estimated that all of the above presaged 
Allied landings in the Central and Southern Philippines, activated SHO 
ONE and commenced concentrating force movements to the Philippine area as 
follows: (1) the FIRST Striking Force at Brunei Bay, (2) the SECOND 
Striking Force at Mako, both commanders to arrive on October 20th, (3) 
the Main Force was to depart the Inland Sea on this same day (October 
20th) and head toward Leyte, (4) the SIXTH Base Air Force in Formosa 
(about 395 operational planes), and (5) the submarines in the waters east 
of Leyte. At this time the FIFTH Base Air Force consisted of about forty 
operational planes out of about sixty-seven available; the FOURTH Air 
Army of about fifty- five out of ninety- two available. 

Meanwhile the Army and Navy were in strong disagreement. The 
Navy had informed the Army that they were planning to have the Combined 
Fleet penetrate into Leyte Gulf and the Army had opposed this, desiring 
the Navy to conserve fleet strength; and, 

(c) A thorough brief of Volume II is contained in the Introduction to 
Volume II; a limited brief in Volume III, 

Volume III of this study covers the three and one-half day period of 
operations from 0000, D-day (October 20th) through 1042, D/3 day (October 
23rd). During this time the: 



Although COMSOWESPAC employed the term A-day rather than D-day, the 
latter is employed throughout this analysis to follow the more familiar 
military usage. 



Ixxxv CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(a) Allied forces landed with limited or no opposition (1) on Leyte 
.Island (a) the TENTH Corps (consisting of the TWENTY-FOURTH Division and 

FIRST Cavalry Division) in the vicinity of Tacloban, (b) TWENTY-FOURTH 
Corps (consisting of the SEVENTH Infantry Division and NINETY-SIXTH 
Infantry Division) in the vicinity of Dulag and (2) on Panaon Island, the 
TWENTY-FIRST Infantry Regiment . Progress ashore and the unloading of 
supplies was so successful that Army commanders assumed command ashore as 
follows: (a) on the 20th (l) at 1100 the Regimental Commander TWENTY- 
FIRST Infantry Regiment, (2) at 1430 the C.G. TWENTY-FOURTH Infantry 
Division and C.G. FIRST Cavalry Division and (3) at 1730 the C.G. NINETY- 
SIXTH Infantry Division, (b) on the 21st (1) at 1300 the C.G. SEVENTH 
Infantry Division and (2) at 1600 the C.G. TENTH Corps. (This left the 
C.G. TWENTY-FOURTH Corps and the C.G. SIXTH Army who had not as yet 
assumed command ashore.) Meanwhile the THIRD and SEVENTH Fleet carriers 
conducted air strikes against Luzon and the Visayas and in support of the 
ground operation, while the submarines continued their attack and 
reconnaissance operations. The submarines made three important contacts, 
one on the SECOND Striking Force, one on the Main Body, FIRST Striking 
Force and one on CRUDIV SIXTEEN, and succeeded in torpedoing the ATAGO, 
MAYA and TAKAO of the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force and the AOBA of 
CRUDIV SIXTEEN, with results mentioned under (b) following, 

(b) Japanese forces, being in limited strength, permitted the Allied 
ground troops to land with only limited or no opposition. Thereafter, 
owing to the power of the Allied offensive by ground, air and sea forces, 
the Japanese ground troops on Leyte were generally ineffective. Meanwhile, 
on October 20th the Chief of the Army General Staff decided to defend 
Leyte employing the maximum ground forces wr.ich could be brought into the 
area in a manner similar to that which had been originally planned for 
Luzon. This was a marked change from the basic SHO ONE plan which called 
for the defense of Leyte by the ground troops locally available. 

Meanwhile, also on the 20th, the FIRST Striking Force ana .IV 
SIXTEEN arrived at Brunei Bay, the SECOND Striking Force arrived at Mako, 
the Main Force sortied Bungo Suido. Then, on the 21st, the SECOND 
Striking Force and CRUDIV SIXTEEN got underway for Manila and on the 22nd 
the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force and the THIRD Section, FIRST Striking 
Force got underway for Leyte. On this day the SIXTH Base Air Force 
commenced moving to Luzon and the FOURTH Air Army received sixty-one 
reinforcement planes. On the 23rd (a) the Main Body was intercepted by 
the DACE and DARTER in Palawan Passage, and the ATAGO and MAYA were sunk, 
the TAKAO heavily damaged and (b) CRUDIV SIXTEEN was intercepted by the 
BREAM and the AOBA was torpedoed, (c) the SIXTH Base Air Force launched 
its general offensive (150 planes) but was turned back and (d) the FOURTH 
Air Army received sixty additional reinforcement aircraft. A thorough 
brief of Volume III is contained in the Introduction to Volume LEI. 



lxxxvi CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Volume IV, which as point out in the FOREWORD, was to have been a 
continuity volume, was discontinued long before its completion. However 
since a portion of this Volume, i.e., the period from 1042 October 23rd 
to 1830 October 24th had been under analysis for sometime, it was avail- 
able in lesser detail than that which characterized the earlier volumes. 
Therefore, since an understanding of the events which occurred during the 
period is essential to a proper understanding of the Battle of Surigao 
Strait, a limited discussion of these events is provided in Chapters I 
through IVo 

In these limited discussions an effort has been made: 

(a) on the Japanese side to discuss rather fully the operations of 

(1) Commander THIRD Section who fought the Battle of Surigao Strait and 

(2) Commander SECOND Striking Force who followed the THIRD Section into 
Surigao Strait and (3) much less fully the operations of all other 
Japanese commanders, and 

(b) on the Allied side to discuss rather fully the operations of (1) 
CTF 77 who was the strategic commander in Leyte Gulf at the time of the 
Battle of Surigao Strait, (2) CTG 77.2 who was the tactical commander in 
the above battle, (3) CTG 70.1 who commanded the Motor Torpedo Boats in 
Leyte Gulf directly under Commander SEVENTH Fleet (CTF 77) and (4) much 
less fully the operations of all other Allied commanders. 

Command relations are discussed in Volume I* (Allied in Chapter II 
and Japanese in Chapter III). This discussion will not be repeated 
herein although diagrams of the command relations existing at the time 
of the Battle of Surigao Strait are included as Plates I and II, 

A Brief Narrative of the 1042 October 23rd - 0733 October 25th 
Phase of the Battle for Leyte Gulf 

(1) Operations 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

(a) Japanese. 

During this day CinC Combined Fleet watched with great interest 
the movement of his forces toward the battle areas. He also followed 
closely the contact reports on enemy forces although these were sparse 
due to bad weather east of the Philippines. At 1710 he issued his 
Estimate of the Situation which gave (a) a clear and fully correct 
explanation of Allied plans and (b) an explanation of own plans. 

The Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, which temporarily was under 
the tactical command of Commander Battleship Division ONE continued 
northward in Palawan Passage. At 1623 Commander FIRST Striking Force, 
who since the sinking of the ATAGO had been in the KISHINAMI, transferred 
to the YAMATO and at 1630 resumed tactical command of the Main Body. 



* Volume I, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92194), Naval War College, 
1953. 

lxxxvii CONFIDENTIAL 



\ 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Commander THIRD Section, who had passed through Balabac Strait at 
1025, continued uneventfully across the Sulu Sea. He spent the day in 
planning and issuing instructions to his ships concerning the coming 
action in the Battle of Surigao Strait. 

Commander Main Force, as yet undetected by the enemy, continued 
on toward the southwest in accordance with his mission to divert Allied 
task forces from the area east of the Philippines to the north. During 
the afternoon he continued planning for the following day, when he was to 
initiate air action at 0600. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force (less CRUDIV SIXPEEN and DESDIV 
TWENTY-ONE) continued on toward Coron Bay arriving at 1800. During the 
evening he fueled his destroyers from the cruisers. 

CRUDIV SIXTEEN, in the damaged AOBA, was being towed into Manila 
Bay. At noon he became Commander Guard Force. After the AOBA had 
anchored safely inside Manila Bay he, at 204.5, transferred his flag to 
the KINU and with the URANAMI, proceeded to Manila Harbor to fuel. 

COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE arrived Manila at 1500, discharged SIXTH 
Base Air Force personnel and refueled. At 2125 he departed to rejoin 
Commander SECOND Striking Force off Negros Island. 

Commander Advanced Expeditionary Force had eleven submarines 
en route to assigned stations east of the Philippines. 

During the afternoon two contacts were made by radio direction 
finders on unknown forces east of Luzon. These contacts did not 
indicate any unusual activity. 

Commander FIFTH Base Air Force, who had about twenty-four opera- 
tional aircraft, deployed two Kamikaze Units to Mindanao airfields during 
the day. 

Commander SIXTH Base Air Force, who had about 223 aircraft at the 
end of the day, continued his efforts to organize his units in the Clark 
Complex and to prepare for an all out effort the next day. 

C.G. FOURTH Air Army, who moved his headquarters to Bacolod, 
Negros, during the day, continued to prepare for his all out attack the 
next day and accommodated the considerable number of newly arriving 
aircraft in the middle Visayan airfield complex. At the end of the day, 
although he had about 232 aircraft, only 128 were to be operational for 
the attack the next morning. 

(b) Allied. 

During this day COMSOWESPAC conducted the installation ceremonies 
for the Philippine Commonwealth Government at Tacloban, also C.G. TWENTY- 
FOURTH Corps assumed command ashore as of 1200. 



lxxxviii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

CTF 77, during the afternoon, received a contact report on the 
SECOND Striking Force and also one on a possible battleship, a light 
cruiser, a destroyer and several Sugar Charlies in Macassar Strait as 
well as the DACE and DARTER reports of their attacks on three battleships, 
three other heavy ships and four ATAGO's (FIRST Section of the FIRST 
Striking Force) in Palawan Passage. There is nothing to indicate that 
these reports caused him to revise his opinion that the Japanese intended 
to conduct magnified Tokyo Express operations against Leyte. 

CTF 78, and CTF 79 as well, (a) followed unloading operations 
closely, as a result of which they were able to unload a large number of 
ships and to sail them before dark and (b) planned the unloading of the 
ships that were to arrive in the transport areas the next day. 

After 1042 (a) the escort carriers provided about eighty ground 
support missions, about forty target CAP and twelve target ASP missions 
and forty-three airfield and shipping strike missions, with losses of one 
VF and two VT. Thus there remained at the end of the day 310 VF and 138 
VT; (b) Allied submarines carried out their usual operations with (1) 
TF 17 submarines attacking a convoy and (2) TF 71 submarines (ANGLER and 
GUITARRO) contacting the Main Body, which was continuing northward despite 
the loss of the ATAGO and MAYA and the torpedoing of the TAKAO by the 
DACE and DARTER; (c) the PB4Y flying in Sector 312°(T) - 321o(T) from 
Morotai contacted the SECOND Striking Force shortly before 1220; (d) ten 
PBY's arrived in Leyte Gulf to search to the northward the next day; (e) 
no mines were swept by the minesweepers of TG 77. 5 • 

COMTHIRDFLT continued his planning for the following day's 
operations which were to commence with a search to the westward covering 
southern Luzon and the Visayas. Although he gave his principal attention 
to his supporting capabilities he was also preparing his command for 
operation HOTFOOT— air strikes against the Japanese mainland. During the 
evening he ordered a search to the northward to cover sector 320° (T) to 
OlOo (T) to a distance of 350 miles to be launched at midnight and also 
ordered that the bays along the northwest coast of Palawan be searched 
the following morning. 

TF 38, during the remainder of the day, operated as follows: 

(a) TB 38,1 continued on toward Ulithi. 

(b) TG 38.2 finished fueling from TG 30.9 at 1057 and proceeded 
toward the next day' s launching position astride the eastern exit to San 
Bernardino Strait* 

(c) TG 38.3 continued toward the next day's launching position 
about ninety miles eastward of Polillo Island. Its afternoon searches, 
which included the Sibuyan Sea, were negative except for certain shipping 
in Manila Harbor, 



\ 



lxodx CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(d) TG 33. 4, in company with TG 38.1 en route to Ulithi, was 
fueling destroyers from the heavier ships. At 1118 in accordance with 
orders received from COMTHIRDFLT, it headed for the next day's launching 
position bearing 050° (T), distant fifty miles from the southeast tip of 
Samar. 

The aircraft of TG 30.5 carried out the Central Pacific Search 
Plan and failed to contact the Japanese Main Force although that force 
was well within the limit of their search from Tinian. The FOURTEENTH 
Air Force's searches from China made no significant contacts this day. 

(2) Operations 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

(a) Japanese. 

During this day the various units of the Combined Fleet moved 
toward decisive battle areas and CinC Combined Fleet followed with intense 
interest the contacts and events reported by those units. The continuing 
contact reports showed large enemy carrier forces east of the Philippines 
and strong forces, including battleships and transports, in Leyte Gulf. 
In addition, the reports from his commanders indicated that (a) Conmander 
Main Force planned to launch an attack against the enemy force east of 
Manila and the Main Force Advance Guard had been ordered to proceed south 
to destroy remaining enemy elements, (b) the THIRD Section had been 
lightly damaged in an attack by carrier aircraft, (c) the Main Body of the 
FIRST Striking Force had been heavily damaged in continuing; air attacks 
with the MUSASHI and MYOKO out of action and (d) the SIXTH Base Air Force 
had made one hit on a carrier and one cruiser had been moderately damaged 
and set afire. He was concerned about the attacks on the Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force, and, at 1813, sent a dispatch to all of his forces: "All 
forces to the attack trusting in divine aid." 

Commander FIRST Striking Force, as he passed to the south of 
Mindoro Island about 0734 and headed for the Sibuyan Sea, made preparations 
to meet the expected air attack from the enemy task force east of Manila 
which began at 1026 and continued during the afternoon. By 1530, when the 
fifth Allied Air Attack was in progress, the MYOKO and MUSASHI had been so 
badly damaged that he had (a) ordered them to their bases and (b) 
temporarily reversed course while he re-estimated the situation. During 
the day he received numerous contact reports on enemy carrier forces east 
of the Philippines and knew that these enemy forces were grouped as 
follows: (1) Northeast of Polillo Island, (2) east of Cataduanes Island 
and (3) off Samar. In addition, he also received contact reports on the 
enemy forces in Leyte Gulf. He had not received reports of the results 
of friendly attacks on the enemy forces east of the Philippines although 
he knew that such attacks were to be conducted. 

At 1714, after (a) receiving dispatches stating that the Main Force 
Advance Guard was being sent south to destroy remaining elements and that 
the SIXTH Base Air Force was to make a dusk attack against the enemy 
carrier forces, and (b) noting that there had been no additional air 
attacks since the fifth air attack, he reversed course and headed for San 
Bernardino Strait. During the day the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, 
had been reduced by one battleship, one cruiser and two destroyers. 

xc CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Commander THIRD Section continued across the Sulu Sea. At 0905 
he was attacked by carrier aircraft and the FUSO was hit by one bomb. 
His force escaped without serious damage. During the day he received 
reports on the enemy strength in Leyte Gulf, made plans and issued 
instructions to his ships for crossing the Mindanao Sea, and for the 
action to be fought in Surigao Strait. 

Commander Main Force, still undetected by the enemy, continued on 
in a southwesterly direction toward an area to the northeast of Polillo 
Island. At 0600 he launched search planes and at 1114 ordered a full 
strength air attack against TG 38.3 which was some 150 to 160 miles away. 
The attack group, consisting of fifty-seven planes, proceeded to the 
target area in two units. The first unit encountered enemy fighters and 
after the ensuing fight failed to locate the enemy ships. The second 
unit found a hole in the clouds and conducted an attack, reported as 
successful, but failed to obtain any hits. A few of the surviving planes 
returned to the carriers but the majority of them proceeded to airfields 
on Luzon. At 1439, having no information of the results of the air 
attack and feeling that his force was still undetected by the enemy, he 
ordered the Advance Guard (ISE, HYUGA and four destroyers) to proceed 
southward to attack and destroy enemy remnants. This was in accordance 
with his mission to lure the enemy to the northward so that it could not 
interfere with the operations of the FIRST Striking Force. At 1635 an 
enemy carrier plane was sighted about the force and its radio report was 
intercepted by him. He now knew that the enemy knew of his presence and 
so advised all friendly forces. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force was in Coron Bay refueling his 
destroyers from the cruisers. At 0200, having completed fueling, he 
departed for Surigao Strait. During the day he received numerous reports 
and planned his operations in Surigao Strait. He knew that the WAKABA of 
DESDIV TWENTY-ONE had been sunk as a result of air attack but he did not 
know that the other two ships of that DESDIV had returned to Manila. 
Although he was sighted by an Allied search plane he was unaware of the 
presence of this plane and believed that he was undetected. As a result 
of the temporary retirement of the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, in the 
Sibuyan Sea due to air attack, he increased speed in order to effect close 
liaison with the THIRD Section. 

Commander Guard Force, who was also COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN, departed 
Manila at 0630 after issuing his orders for the troop transport operation. 
At 0700, just after clearing the harbor entrance, he was attacked by 
aircraft. This attack continued until 1000. The URANAMI suffered machine 
gun and rocket hits which penetrated her fuel tanks and the resulting loss 
of oil reduced her cruising radius by one-half. After the attack he 
proceeded to the south on his troop carrying mission. 

Commander SIXTH Base Air Force was to make a maximum effort this 
day against the enemy. One of his planes made contact with a large enemy 
force east of Manila at 0050 and he immediately ordered a general 
offensive. The attack, consisting of about 158 planes, reported obtaining 
a hit in a carrier and one cruiser set afire. The carrier hit was on the 
PRINCETON, one of the units of TG 38.3. Although he received many contact 



xci CONFIDENTIAL 



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reports during the day and made other attacks, these attacks were largely- 
ineffective. In spite of a pointed query from Commander Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force, as to what attacks had been made against the enemy he 
appears to have only sent two fighters to provide CAP for the Main Body. 

Commander FIFrH Base Air Force's four Kamikaze Units were 
scattered at airfields in Luzon, Cebu and Mindanao. Nothing significant 
was accomplished during the day. 

C.G. FOURTH Air Army made an all out attack against enemy shipping 
in and around Leyte Gulf. It appears that he had 128 planes which were 
operational. The first wave of about eighty planes, of which about twenty 
were shot down, succeeded in sinking a tug (ATA SONOMA) and an LCI (1065) 
and damaging a destroyer (LEUTZE) and one liberty ship (THOMAS). Other 
attacks were unsuccessful. 

(b) Allied. 

During the day COMSOWESPAC followed with interest the intelligence 
reports and contact reports made by the various units in the area. 

CTF 77, during the early morning hours, received .-. B and 
GUITARRO contact reports on the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, and also 
intelligence reports on the reinforcement of the Jaoanese air forces. He 
therefore directed CTG 77.4 to cancel strikes planned against the Visayan 
airfields and to augment the target CAP over Leyte Gulf. This arrange- 
ment proved effective for the enemy air attacks during the day were 
largely ineffective. He therefore reinstituted the fighter sweeps of the 
Visayan airfields. Having received contact reports on the THIRD Section 
and on the SECOND Striking Force he (a) arranged to transfer conmand of 
the forces ashore to C.G. SIXTH Army and (b) at 1215 and at 1219 issued 
his instructions for night engagement. He stationed the (a) heavier 
ships at the upper end of Surigao Strait in order to destroy those forces 
and (b) MTB's in the eastern Mindanao Sea and lower Surigao Strait to 
report and attack the approaching Japanese forces. During the afternoon 
he ordered three ?BY searches to the north and two through the Mindanao 
Sea. At 1700 he intercepted COMTHIRDFLT ' s Battle Plan which indicated 
that TF 34 "will be formed" to engage the enemy (Main 3ody, FIRST Striking 
Force). 

During the early morning hours TG 77.2 and TG 77.3 were in 
southern Leyte Gulf covering the transports and other noncombatant ships 
against night attack. With the advent of daylight the ships then returned 
to the fire support and logistics areas. By midafternoon, having received 
CTF 77 's orders to prepare for night battle which orders assigned TG 77.3 
to CTG 77.2, he prepared his battle plan, continued refueling and 
replenishing ammunition. The essential provisions of his battle plan were: 
(a) CTG 77.2 was OTC and would also command the Left Flank Force composed 
of five cruisers and nine destroyers, (b) CTG 77.3 would conmand the 
Right Flank Force composed of three cruisers and six destroyers, (c) CTU 
77.2.1 (Commander Battle Line) would command the Center Force composed of 
six battleships and six destroyers, (d) these forces would steam slowly 

xcii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

back and forth at the northern end of Surigao Strait, and (e) destroyers 
would attack from the flanks using torpedoes and the heavy ships— owing 
to their limited AP— -would hold their fire until the enemy had approached 
to between 17,000 yards and 20,000 yards from the battleships* Beginning 
at 1721 his units started south for the battle area and at 1725 he issued 
his battle plan. 

CTF 78 and CTF 79 followed unloading operations closely. During 
the morning Reinforcement Group TWO arrived and unloading was commenced. 
During the day CTF 79 sailed two groups of unloaded ships from the area. 
At 1650 both commanders received CTF 77 's supplement to his Harbor Defense 
Plan Noo ONE which directed that all noncombatant ships be anchored in 
their respective areas with a close inner screen and that there would be 
no departure from or entry into Leyte Gulf during darkness. 

During the morning CTG 77»4 maintained a strong TCAP over Leyte 
Gulf which proved effective in driving off strong enemy air attacks. He 
also maintained a CAP over his own CVE's and provided ground support. 
Shortly after noon he launched an air strike against the western Visayas. 
At 1643 he sailed two CVE's for Morotai to pick up replacement aircraft. 

At the beginning of the day CTG 70.1 had two tenders and the 
majority of his MTB's in San Pedro Say and one tender and eleven MTB's in 
Liloan Bay. Some of the MTB r s were on patrol or special missions. After 
a morning conference with CTF 77 he, about noon, received that commander's 
order to station the maximum number of MTB's in lower Surigao Strait that 
night in order to detect and report enemy forces approaching. During the 
afternoon he prepared his battle plan, instructed and prepared the MTB's 
for the coming action and sent them to their selected stations. 

During the morning CTF 71 received reports from his submarines. 
The ANGLER and GUITARRO made contact reports on the Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force, while the DACE reported the grounding of the DARTER on 
Bombay Shoal, the rescue of her personnel and the subsequent attempts to 
destroy the DARTER. During the day he probably received most of the 
contact reports made by the various commands and rearranged his submarines 
in order to cover the various passages which the enemy might use in 
retiring as well as to provide for the destruction of the DARTER. 

During the day CTG 73*4, who was under the operational control of 
C. G. FIFTH Air Force and who was operating his seach souadrons from 
Morotai, made contact on the THIRD Section and the Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force, as well as the SECOND Striking Force. 

CTG 73 • 1, who had two seaplane tenders and ten seaplanes in Leyte 
Gulf, spent the day in preparing his aircraft for night searches in the 
Mindanao Sea and to the north. 

At 0600 COMTHIRDFLT launched air searches from his three carrier 
groups (CTG's 38.2, 38.3 and 38.4) to cover the western Philippines from 
Mini la south to the entrance to the Mindanao Sea. 



496799 0-59-7 xciii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Commencing at 0820 when he received a contact report from his 
search planes reporting the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, as rounding 
the southern tip of Mindoro, he advised CTG's 38.3 and 33.4 and directed 
(a) them to concentrate toward him, (b) both CTG 38.2 and CTG 33.3 to 
attack, (c) CTG 38.1, who had been proceeding to UTithi, to reverse 
course and launch a search to the northward and northwestward the next 
morning, and (d) COMBATDIV SEVEN to be prepared to assume the duties of 
Commander Battle Line. 

During the remainder of the day he (a) received contact reports 
on the various enemy forces both from his own aircraft and from the 
search planes of CTG 73.4, including a late afternoon report that the 
Japanese Main Body, heavily damaged, was retiring to the westward, and a 
contact report on an enemy force to the north composed of carriers and 
battleships (Japanese Main Force), (b) received some information on the 
attacks made by his aircraft, (c) learned of the damage by enemy air 
attack on the PRINCETON, as a result of which she was to be sunk, (d) 
learned of the enemy air attack on friendly forces in Leyte Gulf, and 
(e) had formulated a battle plan for surface action in anticipation of a 
possible sortie by the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, through San 
Bernardino Strait. 

TF 38, during the day, operated as follows: 

(a) CTG 38.1 continued on toward Ulithi until 1043 when he 
reversed course in accordance with COMTHIRDFLT ' s orders and headed for a 
fueling rendezvous to the northwest. 

(b) CTG 38.2, with COMTHIRDFLT in one of his ships, continued 
toward his launching point off San Bernardino Strait and at 0600 launched 
a westward search. At 0746 one of his search planes had sighted the Main 
Body, FIRST Striking Force, and at 0853 he launched his first attack 
against this force. During the day he continued to attack the enemy to 
the westward. 

(c) CTG 38.3, with CTF 38 in one of his ships, continued toward 
his launching point about ninety miles east of Polillo Island. During 
the early morning hours he had contact on four enemy aircraft. At 0606 
he launched his initial air strike. 

His command was attacked first by a large group of enemy planes 
which was driven off by the CAP, the second enemy strike did not close and 
the third strike, although attacked by the CAP, heavily hit the PRINCETON. 
As a result of this hit he ordered the BIRMINGHAM, RENO and three 
destroyers to standby her. 

During the day he launched two strikes against the Main Body, 
FIRST Striking Force, and repelled two more enemy air attacks without 
additional damage. At 1409 he launched a search to the northward con- 
sisting of five VB without fighter escort. At 1523 the major portion of 
the PRINCETON'S stern and after flight deck were blown off by a large 
explosion, killing and injuring many personnel on the BIRMINGHAM which 
was alongside. 

xciv CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

At 1635 his search planes began reporting the Japanese Main Force 
to the north. Shortly thereafter he received a suggestion from CTF 38 
that, in view of the contact to the north, the PRINCETON be sunk. 

At 1746 the RENO fired two torpedoes into the PRINCETON which 
exploded and sank. 

(d) CTG 38.4 continued toward his launching point off southern 
Samar. At about 0600 he launched a reinforced search toward the southwest 
and west. He attacked (a) at 0815 the three destroyers of DESDIV TWENTY- 
ONE (SECOND Striking Force) off the western coast of northern Panay Island 
sinking the WAKA3A, (b) at 0905 the THIRD Section (FIRST Striking Force) 
obtaining one hit on the FUSO, (c) about 1230 the remaining two destroyers 
of DESDIV TWENTY-ONE with but minor success and (d) at 1330 the Main Body 
(FIRST Striking Force) while en route north to concentrate with COM- 
THIRDFLT. 

Late in the afternoon he could see rG 38.2 hull down and COM- 
THIRDFLT directed him to take tactical command of both groups and to keep 
them concentrated in the general vicinity. 

CTG 30,5' s aircraft carried out the Central Pacific Search Plan 
but made no significant contacts on this day. The FOURTEENTH Air Force 
aircraft flew the day search missions from China but no sightings were 
made. 

During the day CTF 17 followed the developing situation closely 
by means of contact reports and other dispatches from the commanders in 
the active area. He was not informed of the results of the air attacks 
against the Japanese forces until 1938 and did not issue any instructions 
to his submarines concerning the likely retirement of Japanese forces to 
the northward, other than to warn them at 1830 to be alert for movement 
of additional enemy ships passing through Luzon Straits and toward the 
south and for cripples moving north. During the early morning his sub- 
marines stationed to the west of Luzon Straits were attacking the Harukaze 
convoy and sank several ships. During this action the SHARK was lost. 

Also during the early morning the CROAKER sank a cargo ship off 
Cheju Do and the BESUGO sank the destroyer escort CD 132 off Bungo Suido. 

(3) Operations from 1830 to 2400, October 24th. 

(a) Japanese. 

At 1830, October 24th, Commander THIRD Section was rounding 
Siquijor Island at the entrance to the Mindanao Sea. Despite the fact that 
the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force had resumed course to the westward he 
decided to continue on and therefore directed his FIRST Division, composed 
of the MOGAMI and DESDIV FOUR, to proceed ahead and conduct a sweep of the 
waters west of Panaon Island. This sweep, as of 2400, was uneventful. 

Shortly afterward he (a) learned that the Main Body would penetrate 
into Leyte Gulf about 1100 the next day and (b) was directed to penetrate 
into Leyte Gulf as scheduled and to rendezvous with the Main Body off 
Suluan Island at 0900. 

xcv CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Meanwhile, with the SECOND Division (YAMASHIRO, FUSO and SHIGURE), 
he continued across the Mindanao Sea at eighteen knots until 2252 when he 
was attacked by MTB's which he drove off without damage to his ships. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force continued on toward the Mindanao 
Sea at twenty- two knots. Although DESDIV TWENTY-ONE did not rendezvous 
he continued on and at 2110 passed to the south of Siquijor Island. Other 
than sighting starshells fired by the THIRD Section during their encounter 
with MTB's the period was uneventful and at 2400 he was some thirty-eight 
miles astern of the THIRD Section. 

(b) Allied. 

At 1830 CTG 77.2, who was OTC of the Allied forces involved in the 
Battle of Surigao Strait and also Commander Left Flank Force, and Commander 
Battle Line and Conmander Right Flank Force, with their respective forces, 
were standing toward the battle disposition area east of Hingatungan Point. 

He now received word from CTG 79.11 (COMDESRON FIFTY-FOUR) that in 
case of surface contact to the south, he (CTG 79.11) planned to make 
immediate attack with torpedoes, then to retire to clear TG 77.2 and 
requested approval. Since this attack would provide helpful and early 
information of the enemy and might also damage some of the enemy ships he 
(CTG 77.2) approved it. 

By about 2021 the battle disposition was to all intents and 
purposes formed although the destroyers were not in their final positions. 

During the remainder of this period the major Allied forces 
steamed back and forth across the northern end of Surigao Strait at five 
knots, awaiting reports of the enemy, but although contact had been made 
no reports were received. This was unfortunate because the (a) Bohol 
PT's had contacted (at 2236) the SHIGURE, YAMASHIRO and FUSO but could 
not get their contact report off to anyone because of communication 
difficulties. These Bohol PT's were forced by enemy gunfire to retire 
whereupon the OTC sent two of his MTB's to report the contact through the 
Camiguin PT's, and (b) Limasawa PT's had contacted (at 2330) the MOGAMI, 
MICHISHIO, ASAGUMO and YAMAGUMO, but for similar reasons, like the Bohol 
PT's, had been unable to make a contact report. 

(4) Operations from 0000 to 0100, October 25th. 

(a) Japanese. 

At 0000 both the FIRST and SECOND Divisions of the THIRD Section 
were proceeding toward Surigao Strait. Commander THLoD Section learned 
shortly after midnight that the FIRST Division (a) would be delayed some 
forty-five minutes in reaching the rendezvous point, (b) was in the waters 
west of Limasawa Island, and (c) had made contact with enemy MTB's. The 
FIrST and SECOND Divisions now sighted each other and, at the same time, 
fired starshells in order to identify their sightings. Having identified 
themselves, Commander FIRST Division then maneuvered to rejoin without 
penetrating the waters west of Panaon Island (Sogod Bay), 



xcvi CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Commander SECOND Striking Force continued on toward the entrance 
to Surigao Strait. Although he sighted the starshells fired by the THIRD 
Section, he did not sight, nor was he sighted by, any enemy forces. 

(b) Allied. 

The Allied battle forces continued to steam east and west at low 
speed across the northern end of Surigao Strait. At 0026 CTG 77.2 
received PT 127' s 2310 contact report on an enemy force ten miles south- 
east of Bohol Island and at 0038 he received a contact report on two 
targets ten miles northwest of Camiguin Island. 

Meanwhile, as the Limasawa PT's approached the Japanese FIRST 
Division of the THIRD Section to fire torpedoes, the MOGAMI turned on a 
searchlight. Only two of the three MTB's succeeded in firing before they 
were driven off by gunfire. None of the torpedoes hit and none of the 
KTB's had been able to deliver a contact report. 

(5) Operations from 0100 to 0245, October 25th. 

(a) Japanese. 

Commander THIRD Section continued on toward the entrance to 
Surigao Strait. At 0125 he changed course to 040° (T) and headed into 
Surigao Strait. At 0126 he learned that the NACHI, which was the flag- 
ship of Commander SECOND Striking Force, had entered the radio telephone 
net although that commander did not take command. At 0202 he changed 
course to 000°(T) and headed up the strait at twenty knots. He was now 
attacked in succession by PT 134, the Lower Surigao PT's and by the 
Sumilon PT f s. He avoided the torpedoes and drove off the MTB' s by gunfire. 
After this series of encounters he informed Commander SECOND Striking Force 
that he had passed the lower entrance without damage although he had been 
attacked by MTB's. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force continued on toward the southern 
entrance to Surigao Strait at twenty-two knots. At 0235, while in a 
severe rain squall, he stopped zigzagging and increased speed to twenty-six 
knots. 

(b) Allied. 

CTG 77.2, with his battle disposition, continued to patrol across 
the northern end of Surigao Strait at five knots. Although he received 
fragmentary reports on the THIRD Section it was not until 0204 that he 
began to receive relayed contact reports from PT 134 which placed the 
enemy force off the southern tip of Panaon Island. At 0231 he knew that 
CTG 79.11 had started down the strait to make a torpedo attack. At 0244 
he knew that Commander Battle Line had increased speed to ten knots but 
he, as OTC, took no action, neither increasing speed nor directing 
Commander Battle Line to remain at five knots. 



xcvii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

Having received several contact reports from PT 127, CTG 79.11 
started down the strait to meet the enemy without issuing any specific 
instructions about coordinating the attacks of his two groups. 

Meanwhile the MTB's, operating independently by groups or units, 
fired (a) one torpedo at the YAMAGUMO, (b) four torpedoes most likely 
at the YAMAGUMO, (c) three torpedoes probably at the FUSO, six torpedoes 
at the MOGAMI, (d) four torpedoes at the MICHISHIO and (e) two torpedoes 
at the ASAGUMO. All of the above twenty torpedoes missed. PT 493 was 
heavily hit by enemy gunfire with the result that she was beached and 
abandoned at Maoyo Point. 

(6) Operations from 0245 to 0320, October 25th. 

(a) Japanese. 

Commander THIRD Section continued up the strait at twenty knots. 
He soon received reports of targets to starboard which he took under fire. 
He took no evasive action with the result that the FUSO was torpedoed and 
dropped out of formation. 

Soon after this he received reports of enemy ships on the port 
bow and his ships shifted fire to these targets. He now maneuvered to 
avoid torpedoes by a turn to starboard. In returning to the base course 
of 000°(T) he entered the torpedo water of the MC DSRMUT and MONSSSN with 
the result that the YAMAGUMO sank, the MICHISHIO lost power and stopped, 
the ASAGUMO lost her bow and most of her speed, while the YAMASHIRO was 
forced to slow to ten knots for several minutes. Only the SHIGURE and 
MOGAMI escaped damage. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force, who was in a heavy rain sauall, 
continued on toward the southern entrance to Surigao Strait at twenty-six 
knots until 0311 when he slowed to twenty-two knots. A few minutes later 
he sighted the mountains of Panaon Island about seven kilometers on his 
port bow and noted that the USHIO was already turning away from the beach. 

(b) Allied. 

CTG 77.2 learned at 0256 from CTG 79.11 that the enemy consisted 
of two large ships and three small ones. At 0303 he changed course to 
090°(T) and remained at five knots although the battle line continued to 
make ten knots. His radar now showed two large targets and three small 
ones. 

CTG 77.3 (Commander Right Flank Force) at 0302 ordered his destroyers 
to commence their attack following CTG 79.11' s attack. The destroyer 
commander, COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR, who was proceeding at fifteen knots now, 
at 0317, directed Commander Attack Group 2.2 to attack using high speed and 
smoke. That commander immediately increased speed to twenty-five knots. 

At 0248 Commander Eastern Attack Group (CTG 79.11) increased speed 
to twenty- five knots. He now reported to CTG 77.2 that the enemy consisted 
of two large ships and three small ones. At 0258 he changed course to 
090°(T) but discovering that this was a poor course he promptly changed 

xcviii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

course back to 120°(T) and at the same time increased speed to thirty 
knots. Between 0300:45 and 0301:42 his three ships fired a total of 
twenty-seven torpedoes, all of which missed except for one hit by the 
MELVIN in the FUSO. Immediately after firing each ship turned away, 
retired under the gunfire of the enemy and headed for their post-attack 
rendezvous. 

At this same time Commander Western Attack Group was proceeding to 
his torpedo launching point at twenty knots. He soon increased speed to 
twenty-five knots and between 0307 and 0308 was illuminated and taken under 
fire but no damage resulted. Between 0310:15 and 0311:30 his two destroyers 
fired a total of twenty torpedoes and obtained hits in the MICHISHI0, 
ASAGUM0, YAMAGUM0 and YAMASHIR0. They then turned away to the west and 
later to the north. 

Many MTB's in Surigao Strait had radar contact on the THIRD Section 
but made no effort to attack, probably because of the warning of friendly 
destroyer attacks and instructions to keep clear. 

Between 0311 and 0312 the Madilao PT's and the Bilaa Point PT's 
made radar contact on two ships of the SECOND Striking Force. Their 
reports did not reach the responsible commanders further to the north. 

(7) Operations from 0320 to 0348, October 25th. 

(a) Japanese. 

Commander THIRD Section continued on to the north, although at a 
lower speed, but his ships were no longer conforming to his movements 
except in a most general way. The MOGAMI had changed course to 345° (T) and 
had slowed to ten knots while the SHIGURE had reversed course. At 0330 he 
sent a dispatch to Commanders FIRST and SECOND Striking Forces reporting 
(a) enemy motor torpedo boats and destroyers in the northern entrance to 
Surigao Strait, (b) two of his destroyers torpedoed and drifting and (c) 
the YAMASHIRO torpedoed but without impediment to her battle cruising. As 
he moved up the strait he maneuvered to avoid torpedoes from Attack Group 
2.2 while the YAMASHIRO opened fire on that group. At 0331:18 the 
YAMASHIRO received her second torpedo hit which had been fired by the 
KILLEN. Meanwhile the SHIGURE, still at twenty-six knots, had reversed 
course to north. The YAMASHIRO, followed by the MOGAMI and SHIGURE in a 
general way, now steadied on course 340° (T) to head for Dulag Anchorage 
and, after completing the necessary damage control measures about 0336, 
made good a speed of eighteen knots. At about 0345 she opened fire against 
the units of Attack Group 1.2 and probably also against any other targets 
that she could see. 

ASAGUMO, having lost her bow, proceeded north at very low speed 
and then to the west, taking such damage control measures as she could. 
She was now fired on by the HUTCHINS and changed course to the south. She 
was not hit. 

The MICHISHIO drifted to the south where she was taken under fire 
by the DALY and the BACHE. She was hit and fires were started but she did 
not return the fire. 

xcix CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

The FUSO, badly damaged and afire, was proceeding at very low 
speed attempting to put out the fires which were causing explosions. She 
first turned slowly to the south and then at 0345, as a result of a 
violent explosion, she blew apart into two sections. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force, who had almost run aground on 
Panaon Island, changed course to 065°(T) and increased speed to twenty-four 
knots. The ABUKUMA now received a torpedo hit from PT 137. She fell out 
of formation to the south and gradually lost speed while Commander SECOND 
Striking Force increased speed to twenty-eight knots and, after changing 
course, headed up the strait. 

(b) Allied. 

CTG 77»2, with the Left Flank Force, was making five knots on 
course 090°(T) although the battle line was still making ten knots. He 
now intercepted a message from Commander Battle Line increasing speed to 
fifteen knots and ordering the battle line to open fire when the range 
was 26,000 yards. Learning that the right flank destroyers had comDleted 
firing he ordered C0MDESR0N FIFTY-SIX (left flank destroyers) to attack. 
At 0345 he received a delayed report from PT 523 that five destroyers and 
one large ship were passing in a northerly direction through the southern 
entrance to Surigao Strait (SECOND Striking Force). 

COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX promptly launched his attack emoloying three 
attack sections to make a multiple attack, attacking from the port bow, 
from ahead and from the starboard bow on the enemy force. 

Commander Right Flank Force, with the right flank cruisers, 
continued to maintain station on the battle line during which tir.e he 
seems to have been concerned with the safety of his destroyers for on 
three separate occasions he either directed C0XDS3R0N TWENTY-FOUR to get 
over to the west or to keep clear. 

Commander Attack Group 1.2 continued his aoproach down the western 
side of the strait. At 0329, while at twenty- five knots and making smoke, 
he changed course to the north and ordered his ships to fire their torpedoes. 
His destroyers fired as follows: (a) HUTCHINS fired five intermediate 
speed torpedoes at the SHIGURE which missed because the target reversed 
course, (b) DALY fired five low speed torpedoes at the "OGAXI which missed 
due to the target 1 s changes of course and speed during the long torpedo run 
and (c) BACHE fired five low speed torpedoes at the SHIGURE which missed 
because she thought the target was making seventeen knots when it was 
actually making twenty-six knots. 

After firing the DALY and BACHE reversed course to the south in 
order to follow the HUTCHINS. At 0339 the HUTCHINS changed course to 
148°(T) and increased speed to thirty knots. She now opened fire on the 
ASAGUMO and shortly afterward changed course to the north. Then the DALY, 
followed by the BACHE, opened fire on the KTCKISHIO and obtained some hits 
and started fires. At 0345 they were forced to check fire when the HITCHINS 
crossed their line of fire, and Attack Group 1.2 was taken under fire. 
The enemy fire was ineffective. At 0346:30 the HUTCHINS changed course to 

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040°(T) and continued at thirty knots. The DALY and BACHE, which had just 
changed course to 050°(T), now resumed fire on the MICHISHIO. At 0347:30 
the HUTCHINS ceased fire in order to conserve ammunition. 

Attack Group 2.2 attacked as follows: (a) at 0323 the ARUNTA 
fired four forty-knot torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO. The target speed used 
was twenty-five knots, which had been obtained by tracking the SHIGURE, 
while the YAMASHIRO 1 s actual speed was ten knots. As a result the 
torpedoes passed ahead, (b) At 0324 the KILLEN fired five intermediate 
speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO and obtained one hit, and (c) at 0325:15 
the BEALE fired five intermediate speed torpedoes at the SHIGURE which 
was reversing course at the time of firing and all torpedoes missed. 

The KILLEN now fired a second salvo of intermediate speed torpedoes 
at the YAMASHIRO but after firing two torpedoes observed that the target 
was turning away and ceased firing. Both torpedoes missed. At 0331 
Attack Group 2.2 was illuminated and taken under fire but incurred no 
damage. At 0344:30 Commander Attack Group 2.2 changed course to 160°(T) 
and headed for the scene of action. 

The MTB's operated as follows: (a) PT 137 (SE Panaon PT's) off 
Binit Village fired one torpedo at the NACHI which missed astern but hit 
the ABUKUMA, (b) PT 134 sighted the USHIO and fired her one remaining 
torpedo which missed, and (c) the Sumilon PT's made radar contact on five 
ships of the SECOND Striking Force and reported it, 

(8) Operations from 0348 to 0420, October 25th. 

(a) Japanese. 

At 0352, just as the first salvos from the Allied ships to the 
north had commenced landing on the YAMASHIRO, Commander THIRD Section 
asked the FUSO for her maximum speed but did not get a reply. This was 
his last radio transmission. The YAMASHIRO, however, continued to close 
the enemy firing as she advanced. Shortly after being taken under fire 
she started to burn. At 0356 she turned to the west and at 0405 she was 
hit by a torpedo fired by the BENNION. She now turned to the south. 
Between 0411 and 0412 she received a fourth torpedo hit which had been 
fired by the NEWCOMB. At 0419 she suddenly sank. 

At 0351 the MOGAMI observed the Allied ships open fire and increased 
speed to twenty- five knots. At 0401:30 she launched four torpedoes on 
northerly courses in the general direction of the enemy gun flashes. 
Although no hits were obtained the torpedoes passed close aboard the 
RICHARD P. LEARY. At 0402 she was hit on the bridge, killing all of the 
bridge officers, including the Commanding Officer. The ship, burning, 
damaged and out of control, gradually slowed down. 

The SHIGURE continued closing the YAMASHIRO, which she noted was 
under heavy fire, at twenty-six knots. She turned away and increased 
speed to retire without firing either torpedoes or guns. After completing 
the turn to the south she received her first hit which did not affect her 
speed or navigability. At 0415 she exchanged calls with the NACHI and 
shortly afterward increased speed to thirty knots in order to pass ahead 

of the SHIRANUHI. 

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The ASAGUMO, on course 180°(T) at seven to nine knots, turned to 
the east to move away from the approaching DALY and BACHE. This caused 
the HUTCHINS torpedoes to miss. 

The MICHISHIO which, under the gunfire of the DALY and BACHE was 
afire, continued to drift to the south with the current. At 0357:48 she 
was hit by a torpedo fired by the HUTCHINS at the ASAGUMO, and sank almost 
immediately. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force at 0410 passed the two burning 
sections of the FUSO and concluded that they were the FUSO and the 
YAMASHIRO. About 0415 he sighted the MOGAMI afire and dead in the water. 
At this same time he exchanged calls with the SHIGURE but made no effort 
to obtain information of the enemy from her. About 0418 he obtained a 
radar contact on the enemy (likely Hibuson Island) and directed his 
destroyers, led by the SHIRANUHI, to proceed ahead and make a torpedo 
attack, 

(b) Allied. 

At 0351 CTG 77.2 opened fire with the left flank cruisers. The 
right flank cruisers, except for the SHROPSHIRE, then opened fire as well. 
At 0353 he observed that the WEST VIRGINIA had opened fire and shortly 
afterward he observed other battleships firing. At 0400, knowing that the 
battle line was making fifteen knots and was almost north of Hibuson Island, 
he suggested to Commander Battle Line that he reverse course to west, 
which that commander did shortly afterward. 

The DENVER now commenced firing her secondary battery and then her 
main battery at the ALBERT W. GRANT making numerous hits. The LOUISVILLE 
likewise commenced firing her secondary battery at the ALBERT W. GRANT but 
seems to have obtained no hits. At 0406 CTG 77.2 received a voice radio 
message that the DENVER had been straddled. He immediately increased speed 
to fifteen knots. At 0408, having received a startling message that he 
was firing on COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX in the middle of the channel, he 
immediately ceased firing and directed COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX to get out of 
the channel as soon as possible. Neither he nor COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX knew 
that the ALBERT W. GRANT was so badly damaged as to be unable to get out 
of the channel. 

At 0419 he ordered Commander Right Flank Force to resume fire but 
none of the ships did so for the YAMASHIRO sank at this time and there were 
no other enemy ships within effective gun range. 

At 0353 the WEST VIRGINIA, at the direction of COMBATDIV FOUR, 
opened fire on the YAMASHIRO at a range of 22,800 yards. About this tirr.e, 
because the MISSISSIPPI'S forward turrets did not bear, Commander Battle 
Line changed course by individual ship turns to 120°(T). His battleships 
commenced firing as follows: CALIFORNIA at 0355, TENNESSEE at 0356 and 
MARYLAND at 0359. MISSISSIPPI and PENNSYLVANIA had not opened fire because 
of difficulties in obtaining a solution to the fire control problem with 
obsolete equipment. 



cii CONFIDENTIAL 



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He now turned to course 270°(T) by simultaneous ship turns but the 
CALIFORNIA interpreted the turn signal as a turn to 13 5° (T) rather than to 
270°(T). By clever ship handling the TENNESSEE was able to avoid collision 
with the CALIFORNIA and also able to go ahead soon enough to avoid 
embarrassing the MISSISSIPPI . During this turn the battleships ceased 
firing. At 0413 he intercepted a message from the RICHARD P. LEARY 
reporting that she was proceeding through torpedo water as a result of 
which he directed COMBATDIV TWO to maneuver his division separately and to 
bring it into the battle line without delay and then, at 0418, changed 
course of the battle line, less BATDIV WO, to 000°(T). At 0416 he directed 
COMDESDIV XRAY to comply with CTG 77.2 *s order to report for duty, 

DESRON FIFTY-SIX attacked as follows: (a) at 0351 Commander Attack 
Section ONE increased speed to twenty five knots and at 0353 changed course 
to 210°(T). Observing that the target was turning to the west he also 
turned to the west and fired intermediate speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO 
as follows: NEWCOMB five and obtained one hit, RICHARD P. LEARY three 
which missed, and ALBERT W. GRANT five which also missed. Immediately 
after firing the ALBERT W. GRANT was straddled and hit by gunfire from 
both sides. Commander Attack Section ONE, observing that his command was 
being straddled, turned to the north and notified CTG 77.2 that TG 77.2 
was firing on him in the middle of the channel. The ALBERT W. GRANT now 
fired her remaining five intermediate speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO but 
made no hits. She had been heavily hit, was not able to follow in column 
and was slowing rapidly on course 000°(T). Meanwhile, the RICHARD P. 
LEARY sighted two torpedo tracks on each side which had been fired by the 
MOGAMI. She was unable to report the torpedo tracks until 0413. About 
this time she increased speed to her maximum but was unable to close the 
NEWCOMB. At 0420 the ALBERT W. GRANT was dead in the water in the center 
of the channel and was in danger of sinking. The other two ships were 
practically clear of the line of fire# 

(b) Commander Attack Section TWO continued toward his torpedo 
launching point. (1) At 0355:15 the BRYANT, mistaking a preparatory signal 
for a firing order, fired five intermediate speed torpedoes at what appears 
to have been splashes, all missed. (2) At 0356:30 the HALFORD fired five 
intermediate speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO all of which missed because 
she had been tracking the target at zero speed, and (3) at 0358 the 
ROBINSON fired five intermediate speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO all of 
which missed because the YAMASHIRO turned away. Commander Attack Section 
TWO now turned away and proceeded north along the west side of Hibuson 
Island. 

(c) Commander Attack Section THREE passed astern of the cruiser 
column and increased speed to thirty knots. At 0357 the LSUTZE fired five 
intermediate speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO. At 0358 the BENNION, which 
had narrowly missed being torpedoed by the LEUTZE's torpedoes, fired five 
intermediate speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO. At 0359:15 the HEYWOOD L. 
EDWARDS fired four intermediate speed torpedoes at the YAMASHIRO. All of 
the above fourteen torpedoes missed due to the change of course of the 
YAMASHIRO to the west. At 0359:15 the BENNION fired a second salvo of 
five intermediate speed torpedoes at what she thought was a second battle- 
ship, and made one lucky hit on the YAMASHIRO. Commander Attack Section 
THREE now retired under smoke. 

ciii CONFIDENTIAL 



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Commander Right Flank Force (CTG 77.3), with his cruisers in line 
of bearing, was on course 090°(T) at fifteen knots. He was concerned over 
the safety of his destroyers and therefore ordered his destroyers out of 
the channel. In the meantime the PHOENIX and the BOISE had opened fire 
with the Left Flank Cruisers. The SHROPSHIRE had not opened fire because 
her fire control radar was limited to about 15,500 yards in range. When 
the range reached 15,800 yards the SHROPSHIRE opened fire on the YAMASHIRO. 
At this time a few splashes were noted around the PHOENIX. Commander 
Right Flank Force now commenced turning to the west in order to cover the 
western portion of the strait. At 0409 he received CTG 77.2 's order to 
cease firing and immediately ordered his ships to cease fire. 

Commander Attack Group 1.2, in the HUTCHINS, was on course 040°(T) 
speed thirty knots, while the DALY and BACHE, some 5,000 yards to the 
south, were making twenty-five knots in the same general direction. At 
0349:30 the HUTCHINS fired her remaining five intermediate speed torpedoes 
at the ASAGUMO. The ASAGUMO turned away and the torpedoes passed harmlessly 
to the south but hit the MICHISHIO at the end of their run. The three 
ships proceeded on northerly courses with the DALY and BACHE together but 
following the HUTCHINS in only the most general way. The destroyers now 
opened fire on the YAMASHIRO, MOGAMI and>iICHISHIO and, with perhaDs some 
assistance from the PORTLAND, set the MOGAMI on fire. At 0405 Commander 
Attack Group 1.2, having been directed by CTG 77.3 to get in to the beach, 
proceeded to do so. 

At 0349 the KILLEN fired her three remaining torpedoes at the 
YAMASHIRO using low speed due to the great distance that the torpedoes 
had to run. These torpedoes missed but appear to have come close to the 
ALBERT W. GRANT. Commander Attack Group 2.2 turned to the west to clear 
the channel. The ARUNTA and KILLEN now fired for a time at the YAMASHIRO 
and later the ARUNTA fired on the MOGAMI after which the Attack Group 
retired toward Pandan Point, 

(9) Operations from 0420 to 0520, October 25th. 

(a) Japanese. 

At 0430 the NACHI collided with the MOGAMI without serious 
additional damage to the MOGAMI. The MOGAMI, now still burning, followed 
as closely as she could with her maximum speed of fourteen knots, which 
she obtained with one untended engine. 

At 0424 as the SHIGURE retired she suffered a steering casualty 
and, because of difficulty in shifting to hand steering, stopped. After 
receiving Commander SECOND Striking Force's order to follow behind the 
NACHI, she replied at 0445 that her steering engines were out of order. 
Passing ahead of the NACHI on westerly courses she turned to the south 
and experienced more steering trouble necessitating slowing to fifteen 
knots to assist in steering the ship. 

The ASAGUMO, which had lost her bow, continued on course 090°(T) 
at six knots which she later changed to 238°(T) at nine and one-half 
knots, and followed in a general way the movements of the other ships, 

civ CONFIDENTIAL 



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The two burning sections of the FUSO continued to drift to the 
south. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force was Droceeding on course north at 
twenty-eight knots toward a radar target to the north. At 0424 he changed 
course to 090°(T) and directed his destroyers to attack. At 0427 the 
NACHI and ASHIGARA each fired eight high speed torpedoes on base torpedo 
course 025°(T) at the radar target which was probably Hibuson Island. 
After firing the NACHI collided with the MOGAMI and was so heavily damaged 
that she could only make eighteen knots after the collision. Commander 
SECOND Striking Force now decided to retire from the battle area and 
ordered (l) his destroyers to join and (2) the THIRD Section to follow 
behind the NACHI. At 0449 he sent a dispatch informing the battle report 
addressees that BATDIV WO had been destroyed and that the MOGAMI had 
been severly damaged and set afire. 

COMDESDIV EIGHTEEN proceeded to attack at twenty-four knots but 
sighted nothing other than Hibuson Island through breaks in the smoke. 
At 0435, in accordance with orders from Commander SECOND Striking Force, 
he discontinued his attack. The USHIO increased speed and departed toward 
the south to escort the damaged ABUKUMA. Shortly after the other 
destroyer proceeded to escort the ABUKUMA. 

(b) Allied. 

CTG 77 r 2 now learned that the NEwCOMB and RICHARD P. LEARY were at 
the post-attack rendezvous point while the ALBERT W. GRANT was still 
proceeding north at about ten knots. At 0424 he directed his cruisers to 
resume fire when a solution was obtained, although at this time there 
were no targets within effective gun range. At 0428 he learned that the 
ALBERT W. GRANT had been hit and was lying dead in the water. At 0429 
COMDESDIV XRAY reported to him for duty. ~At 0431 he learned that (a) 
PHOENIX had radar contact on five small targets on a northerly course 
bearing 160°(T), distant 20,000 yards (DESDIV EIGHTEEN of SECOND Striking 
Force), and (b) DENVER had radar contact on three enemy shiDS on bearing 
190° (T), distant fourteen miles (NACHI, ASHIGARA and MOGAMI). At 0432 he 
directed COMDESDIV XRAY to attack the enemy and then clear the channel 
and retire to the northward hugging the coast. 

At 0433 he headed south at fifteen knots and formed a cruiser 
column. At 0440 he advised CTF 77 that the enemy appeared to be retiring 
to the south and strongly recommended that an air attack be made in the 
early morning on any that might escape. At 0458 he directed COMDESRON 
FIFTY-SIX to screen the Left Flank Cruisers from ahead. At 0501 he noted 
that the enemy cruisers, which he had contacted a few minutes earlier, 
had changed course to the west. 

Due to communication difficulties it was not until 0432 that 
COMDESDIV XRAY received orders from CTG 77.2 to proceed south and make a 
torpedo attack. He thereupon directed his section at the western end to 
clear the battle line and form column on the CLAXTON and directed the 
eastern destroyers to clear the battle line to the north. The ships 
complied moving to the north and west to proceed around the western end 
of the battle line. 

cv CONFIDENTIAL 



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The eastern destroyers, without waiting for the western destroyers, 
now commenced moving south. They moved loosely so that all of his ships, 
excepting the CONY, were a considerable distance astern of the CLAXTON. 

Commander Battle Line, in the MISSISSIPPI, and BATDIV FOUR was 
completing a turn to the north to avoid torpedoes while BATDIV TWO 
continued to the west. The two groups rejoined on westerly courses and 
at 0458 reversed course to the east by simultaneous ship turns. 

COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX in the NEWCOMB arrived at the post-attack 
rendezvous point and slowed to fifteen knots. He thought that the ALBERT 
W. GRANT was proceeding north at about ten knots although that ship was 
actually dead in the water. When he learned the facts he proceeded to the 
ALBERT W. GRANT to assist her and at 0457:30 dispatched greatly needed 
medical assistance to that ship. At 0511 he directed the RICHARD P. LEARY 
to proceed to the vicinity of the ALBERT W. GRANT to assist in the anti- 
aircraft defense of that ship. 

Commander Attack Section TWO was north of Hibuson Island re-forming 
his section in the general area of the post-attack rendezvous. At 0458 
he advised CTG 77.2~t hat he was now in charge of DESRON FIFrY-SIX and 
would screen ahead of the Left Flank Cruisers. However, owing to a 
confusing signal, he delayed joining up. 

During this period Commander Attack Section THREE proceeded to the 
north of the battle line in order to return to the post-attack rendezvous 
north of Hibuson Island. 

At 0422 Commander Right Flank Force slowed to ten knots and at the 
same time made radar contact on the NACHI and ASHIGARA on northerly courses. 
At 0430 his flagship, the PHOENIX, made radar contact on DE3DIV £EN 
also on northerly courses. Noting that his contacts had turned sharply to 
the eastward as if to fire torpedoes he turned to course 300°(f) to avoid 
them. At 0448 he commenced following the Left Flank Cruisers down the 
strait in order to be in a supporting position. At 0508 he commenced 
forming antiaircraft disposition. At 0510 he contacted the ASAGUKO by 
radar and at 0512 he increased speed to twenty knots. 

Commander Upper Surigao PT's was taken under fire by the SHIGURE 
and at 0456 he headed toward her and fired three torpedoes which missed 
because the SHIGURE had turned away. A hot run torpedo on FT 321' s deck 
attracted the attention of the A3AGUM0 and caused her to open fire also. 
Having suffered damage to this MTB he therefore turned away to the south. 

(10) Operations from 0520 to 0600, October 25th. 

(a) Japanese. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force was retiring from the scene of 
action at eighteen knots, which was the best speed that his flagship, the 
NACHI, could make after her collision with the MOGAMI. His destroyers 
were well ahead and proceeding to escort the A3UKUMA. Although he had 
ordered the remaining ships of the THIRD Section to follow the NACHI they 
had not done so. The SHIGURE was well ahead of him, the KOGAKI and ASAGUMO 



cvi 



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were dropping behind due to lack of speed. At 0531, after seeing the 
Allied cruisers open fire on the MOGAMI and ASAGUMO, he changed course to 
160°(T) apparently to throw off the enemy gunfire. At 0551, being 
approximately astern of his destroyers, he changed course to 180°(T) and 
at 0555 recalled his destroyers. 

The ABUKUMA, having completed repairs, was now proceeding toward 
the USHIO at twenty knots. At 0532 she sighted PT's 150 and 1% and drove 
them off by gunfire. 

At 0529 the MOGAMI was taken under fire by the cruisers of TG 
77.2 from the north. She received ten direct hits which appear to have 
caused little additional damage for her speed was not reduced. 'When the 
firing ceased at 0540 she changed course to follow the NACHI. 

At 0531 the ASAGUMO, on course 238°(T), observed that the Allied 
cruisers to the north had opened fire. She therefore turned to course 
140°(T). Despite the turn she was taken under fire at 0533 by the 
MINNEAPOLIS, was hit on the stern and set afire, which fire gradually 
gained the upper hand. At 0600 she stopped. 

The SHIGURE, which was using manual steering, at 0535 shifted to 
auxiliary power steering. 

The two sections of the FUSO continued to burn and drift toward 
the south. The LOUISVILLE opened fire on what seems to have been the bow 
section at 0531 and at 0540 this section sank. 

(b) Allied. 

CTG 77.2 was proceeding south at twenty knots in order to destroy 
enemy cripples. At 0529, while on course 2500(T), the LOUISVILLE opened 
fire on the bow of the FUSO, the MINNEAPOLIS on the ASAGUMO, and the other 
ships on the MOGAMI. At 0533 and 0535 respectively the LOUISVILLE and the 
MINNEAPOLIS shifted fire to the MOGAMI. Hits were obtained in the MOGAMI 
and ASAGUMO, and probably in the FUSO bow which sank at 0540. At 0536 he 
directed COMDESDIV XRAY to join him and screen the cruisers. At 0537 he 
changed course by simultaneous ship turns to 010°(T), at 0539 ordered 
cease firing and at 0549 formed circular cruising disposition. 

Commander Right Flank Force followed the Left Flank Force down the 
strait to help if need be. At 0538 he reversed course to keep clear of 
CTG 77.2 and formed an antiaircraft disposition, 

PT's 150 and 194 contacted the USHIO and ABUKUMA and, before being 
driven off by gunfire, PT 150 fired one torpedo at the USHIO which missed. 
PT 194 was hit below the waterline and retired along the western shore of 
Panaon Island. 



cvii CONFIDENTIAL 



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(11) Operations from 0600 to 0733, October 25th. 

In view of the fact that the Japanese operations consisted largely of 
retirement and the Allied operations consisted largely of movements in 
Surigao Strait the detail employed in discussing previous operations is 
omitted here. 

(a) Japanese. 

Commander SECOND Striking Force, with the SECOND Striking Force, 
continued to retire down Surigao Strait and into the Mindanao Sea. The 
MOGAMI and SHIGURE also continued to retire in a similar manner although 
the SHIGURE remained well clear of the SECOND Striking Force. 

(b) Allied. 

CTG 77.2 continued to the north until he had formed his Left 
Flank Force into an antiaircraft disposition when, at 0618, he turned 
once more to the south and destroyed the ASAGUKO. After receiving 
information that the escort carriers, TG 77.4, were under attack by a 
strong enemy force he reversed course at 0733 to the northward in order 
to rejoin his battleships and re-form his forces and to be available for 
action as required. 

During this time CTG 77.3 with the Right Flank Force followed 
the movements of CTG 77.2 and was prepared to support that coimander if 
necessary. 



cviii CONFIDENTIAL 



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THE STRATEGIC AREA 

Although the general strategic area involved in the Leyte operation 
is discussed rather fully in Volume I it seems well at this point to 
emphasize certain factors mentioned therein. This seems so for while 
Volume V (the present volume) is designed to cover largely the Battle 
of Surigao Strait, it also covers in a limited way Allied and Japanese 
operations (land, sea and air) from 1042 October 23rd to 1830 October 
24th through the entire area. This, as pointed out earlier, is because 
Volume IV has not as yet been written. 

(a) GENERAL DISCUSSION 

The strategic area involved in the combat and support operations 
of the three naval battles, Surigao, Samar and Cape Engano, which 
occurred during the Battle for Leyte Gulf, extended from the Japanese 
home islands on the north to the Malay Barrier on the south and from the 
Marianas on the east to the China Coast and Malay Peninsula on the west. 
The strategic area principally involved during the Battle of Surigao 
Strait was the Philippines Area. 

The former strategic area was of vital importance to the Japanese 
in that once the South China Sea came under search and attack by land- 
based aircraft from the Philippine Islands the lifeline from the vast 
natural resources of Southeast Asia (Southern Resources Area) to the 
Japanese homeland, already damaged by Allied submarine attack, would be 
severed. This would deny vital oil and food to Japan and isolate her 
forces in the Netherlands East Indies and other parts of Southwest Asia. 
This danger was clearly recognized by the Japanese Navy from the beginning 
but not by the Japanese Army until the last minute and perhaps not fully 
recognized even then. 

In addition, this area was the logical focus of the two Allied 
lines of attack, i.e. the attack (a) across the Central Pacific under 
Commander Pacific Ocean Areas (Admiral Chester W. Nimitz) and (b) through 
New Guinea under Commander Southwest Pacific Area (General Douglas 
Mac Arthur) • 

Psychological stakes were high since the capture of the Philippine 
Islands would result in the liberation of a large conquered population 
from Japanese domination and would thereby notify the many millions of 
Southeast Asia that they would also soon be liberated from Japanese 
domination. 

The relative strengths of the two sides were such that a Japanese 
naval victory would not necessarily force the Allies to give up their 
former gains but would merely force a delay in the Allied plans. On the 
other hand, an Allied naval victory would result not only in the 
destruction of a large portion of the Japanese Navy but also in the loss 
of the Philippine Islands. This would sever the Japanese lifeline to 
Southeast Asia and might well immobilize most of the Japanese naval units 
remaining. 

496799 o - 59 - 8 cix CONFIDENTIAL 



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It should be clear then that the holding of the Philippines was of 
the utmost importance to the Japanese, 

(b) THE SURIGAO STRAIT AREA 

The Battle of Surigao Strait was fought in the strait of that name, 
which is the strait connecting the Pacific Ocean and the .-dnaanao Sea, 
This strait is one of the two straits which permit passage from the Pacific 
Ocean to the west through the central islands of the Philippines; the otner 
is, of course, San riernardino Strait, It was traversed Dy ^iagellan in 1521 
when he discovered the Philippine Islands, 

Leyte Gulf, where the principal Allied amphibious forces were operat- 
ing and which is adjacent on the north, lies between the islands of Samar, 
Leyte and Homonhon, Its southern boundary is generally considered as a line 
between Homonhon and Leyte Islands, 

The eastern entrance to Surigao Strait which is fourteen miles wide 
lies between Desolation Point, Dinagat Island and Homonhon Island and faces 
on the Pacific Ocean, The strait turns around Hiouson Island and extends 
some thirty miles to the south between Dinagat Island on the east and Leyte 
and Panaon Islands on the west. The strait then turns to the soutnwest 
around Bclobolo Point and Binit Point, The southern entrance to the strait 
lies between Binit Point, Panaon Island and Bilaa Point, Hinaanao Island, 
and faces on the Mindanao Sea. Throughout its length tne strait is deep and 
clear and the shores of the islands which border it are steep-to. The strait 
has a minimum width of nine miles near its southern end between Boloooio 
Point and Sumilon Island. 

With the exception of a few shcals having depths of fourteen to 
twenty fathoms the strait slopes from around thirty fathoms in the northern 
entrance to over 400 fathoms in the southern entrance. It shculd oe noted, 
however, that starting about two miles north of Desolation Point depths of 
more than fifty fathoms can be carried through the strait. Currents are 
strong, reaching six knots or more at times, although dangerous tide rips 
and whirlpools are absent in the main channel due to the evenness of the 
bottom and the regularity of the channel. The tidal currents during the tine 
of the battle are contained in Appendix II, 

Hinatuan Passage, which runs from the southern entrance of Surigao 
Strait to the Pacific Ocean between Dinagat and Mindanao Islands, is narrow 
and tortuous particularly near the western end. It has tidal currents ol 
seven or more knots and there are dangerous tidal rips and whirlpools. 
Although it is sometimes used by steamers trading in the vicinity, it is 
much more difficult to transit than Surigao Strait » 



. *» 



ex COWrTDENTlAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(c) WEATHER* 

The weather in the Philippine Islands is controlled by three air 
masses. The Northeast Monsoon which begins in November and lasts until 
March brings greatly modified polar continental air which has its origin 
on the Asian continent. The Southwest Monsoon which lasts from July to 
October brings equatorial air. During the transition periods between 
these two seasons, the Northeast Trades bring maritime tropical air from 
the tropical regions of the North Pacific Ocean. 

These changes in the air masses result from: (1) the seasonal 
migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (variously known as the 
•equatorial front', the 'intertropical front', or the 'doldrums') wh^ich 
tends to follow the thermal equator, but which lags about two months 
behind it on the average. However, the lag between the two may vary from 
one to three months. (2) The seasonal variation in the strengths and 
locations of the Asiatic High and the North Pacific High, 

The mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone in this 
area in February is about 05°-00'S Latitude, and in August it is about 
15°-00'N Latitude. 

The areas to the south of the Intertropical Convergence Zone are 
dominated by the Southwest Monsoon, and as the Zone moves to the north 
the Philippines come under the influence of equatorial air. This is the 
rainy season for the west coasts. If the southwest winds blow uninter- 
ruptedly for several days, overcast skies with low ceilings and poor 
visibilities result from the influx of humid equatorial air. When the 
winds are light to gentle southwesterly, or variable, the clouds are of 
the cumulus or cumulonimbus type and the rain is in the form of showers 
or occasional squalls. Most of these showers and squalls cover a small 
area and are of relatively short duration. Showers over the open water 
are most frequent in the late night and early morning hours and least 
frequent in the afternoon. Showers over the islands are more frequent 
than over the sea and occur most often from midafternoon to early evening. 
This season is also marked by maximum typhoon activity. Normally two to 
four typhoons influence the weather in the Philippines during each of 
these months (July to October), although few actually cross the islands. 

Since the Southwest Monsoon ends in the Philippines in October the 
area north of the Intertropical Convergence Zone comes under the influence 
of the Northeast Trades until the Northeast Monsoon commences in November. 



Data from United States Coast Pilot, Philippine Islands, Part I, Third 
Edition, 1939, pages 30-34; NIS 105, Part X, Southwestern Sector of 
the North Pacific, Marine Climate and Oceanography, June 1954, pages 
2-1 to 2-31; Aerological Aspects of Night Photography, The Philippine 
Islands, NAVAER-IT-6, February 1944; Climate and Weather of the North 
and Central Philippine Islands, NAVAER 50-IT-21, June 1944. A some- 
what shorter discussion of the weather embracing the Philippines is in 
Volume I, Battle for Leyte Gulf, NavPers 91973. 



cxL CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

The Intertropical Convergence Zone is wider and its daily position 
is more variable in the Philippine area than it is farther east. In 
October its mean position lies between the northern end of Leyte Island 
and about 05°-00'N Latitude (a short distance south of the southern coast 
of Mindanao). In the region of the Northeast Trades (north and east of 
Samar) the weather, except for tropical cyclones, is conducive to naval 
operations during October and is characterized by fairly steady northeast 
winds, broken cloudiness, visibility at flying altitudes of five miles or 
less due to high level haze, temperatures of about 82 F., and high 
humidity. 

Tropical cyclones, particularly those which develop into typhoons, 
bring dense cloudiness, violent precipitation and destructive winds and 
seas. During October in the Leyte-Samar area one typhoon occurs every 
one to two years, although in the area about 150 miles to the northeast 
of Samar the frequency increases greatly so that there is normally one or 
two during the month. 

Within the Intertropical Convergence Zone the weather is usually 
characterized by high humidity, light and variable winds, low barometric 
pressure, considerable low cloudiness, poor visibility, and freauent 
intense showers and thunder showers. This type of weather, while not 
optimum for some kinds of naval operations, does not prohibit them. 

(1) Weather in Surigao Strait 

The weather in the Intertropical Convergence Zone or 
Equatorial Front — as it has been employed in previous volumes — has been 
stressed somewhat heavily here for this weather existed in the southern 
end of Surigao Strait during the night of October 24th - 25th. Repeated 
references — both Japanese and Allied — have been made in this volume • 
relative to the poor visibility encountered there. Among other examples 
this caused (a) the Japanese SECOND Striking Force very nearly to run 
aground on Panaon Island — emergency turns to the right prevented a 
serious grounding there — and (b) Allied MTB's to (1) fail to observe 
illumination and gunfire (Madilao PT's about 0200 October 25th) and (2) 
become widely separated (SE Panaon PT's at 0124 October 25th. ) 



cxii CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



ALLIED COMMAND RELATIONS 

BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 
OCTOBER 1944 



JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF 



US ARMY 
AIR FORCES 
, OMMANOING GEN, 
'Gen. H.H.Arnold 
1 AC] USA 



US ARMY / US NAVY 
C of STAFF / COMINCH 
■ en.G. C.Marshall / Adm. E.J. King 
USA / USN 



20th. AIR FORCE 

Gen. H.H.Arnold 

(AC) USA 




C-B-l 



Supreme Allied Commander 

CHINA THEATER 
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek 



Chief of Staff 
Gen. J.w. stilwell 



Dual 

Copoatr 



Com Gen. US Army Forces 
CHINA, BURMA, INDIA 

THEATER (CBI) 
Gen.J.W.Stilwell.USA 



14th. AIR FORCE 
Moj.Gen.C.L.Chennault 



~\ 



20th. BOMBER COMMAND 
Maj.Gen. C. Le May 



POA 



Commander in Chief 
PACIFIC OCEAN AREAS I 

Adm.C.W Nimilz.USN 



Deputy Commander 
20th. BOMBER FORCE 



Commander in Chief 
US PACIFIC FLEET 



Commander 

WEST. PAC. TASK FORCES 

Adm.W.F.Halsey.USN 



TF 17 

SUBMARINES 

V.Adm. C.ALockwood 



Commander 
THIRD FLEET 



TF 57 
FORWARD AREA 
CENTRAL PACIFIC 
V.Adm. J.H.Hoover 



I 



TF 59 

SHORE BASED 

AIRCRAFT 

Maj.Gen.W.H.Hale.USA 



TF 38 

FAST CARRIER 

FORCE 

VAdm.M.A.Mitscfier 




TF 34 

HEAVY SURFACE 

STRIKING FORCE 

V.Adm. W.A.Lee 



TG 38.3 
R.Adm.FC.Shermon 



TG 30.5 

SEARCH.RECONNAISSANCE 

AND PHOTOGRAPHIC COMMAND 

Como. D. Ketcham 



TG 34.5 
SPECIAL GROUP 
R Adm C. Badger 



~L 



TG 30.8 

FLEET OILER GROUP 

Copt. J. T. Acuff 



TG 38.4 
R.Adm.R. E.Davison 



LEGEND 
CHAIN OF COMMAND 
COOPERATION AND COORDINATION 
I MOVEMENTS OF FORCES 



Notes > 

* Largely departed, some units remaining. 
** Lt. General W. Krueger.USA, took command of 
ARMY units ashore at 241400 Item. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



JAPANESE COMMAND RELATIONS 
23-25 OCTOBER 1944 

BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 
OCTOBER 1944 



BOARD OF 
FIELD MARSHALS 

and 
FLEET ADMIRALS 


Consultation 


EMPEROR 


Consultation 


SUPREME 

WAR 
COUNCIL 






















IMPERIAL GHO 







NAVY SECTION 
'(NAVAL GENERAL STAFF)/ 
Adm K. Oikawa 



ARMY SECTION 
"(ARMY GENERAL STAFF)/ 
Gen.Y. Umezu 



SURFACE ESCORT 



CINC 
f Adm. N. Nomura 



COMBINED FLEET 



CINC 
Adm. S. Toyoda 



CHINA AREA FLEET 



CINC 
Adm. N. Kondo 



* 



7===// 



/ 



NAVAL DISTRICTS 

and 
GUARD DISTRICTS 



COMDTS 



A 

( \ 



V— 



OTHER 
ARMIES 



/ 



SOUTHERN 
ARMY 



Fid. Marshal H.Terauchi 



SEVENTH BASE 
AIR FORCE 



W- 



V.Adm. S. Kira 



THIRD 
AIR FLEET 



ADVANCE FORCE 
(EXPEDITIONARY) 



V. Adm. S. Miwa 



/ SIXTH FLEET 
(SUBMARINES) . 



FIRST 

SUBMARINE 

FORCE 



V.Adm. S.Miwo 



NORTHEAST 
AREA FORCE 



V. Adm. E. Goto 



/ OTHER 

ARMIES 

i£ZZZZ7 



NORTHEAST 
AREA FLEET 



SEVENTH 

SUBMARINE 

FORCE 



R. Adm. N.Owada 



ELEVENTH 

SUBMARINE 

FORCE 



R.Adm. N. Ishizakl 



SECOND BASE 
AIR FORCE 



V Adm E.Golo 



FIRST STRIKING 
FORCE 



V. Adm. T. Kurita 



SECOND FLEET 



MAIN 
FORCE 



V.Adm. j.Ozawo 



THIRD FLEET 



MAIN BODY 

(FIRST B SECOND 

SECTIONS 



V. Adm. T. Kurita 



^TWELFTH AIR FLEE 




THIRD 
SECTION 



V.Adm. S. Nishimura 



SOUTHWEST 
AREA FORCE 



V.Adm. G. Mikawa 



A 



1 



SOUTHWEST 
AREA FLEET 



XXX 

MAIN UNIT 




V.Adm. J. Ozawa 



XXX 
ADVANCE GUARD' 



R.Adm. C. Matsuda 



SECOND STRIKING 
FORCE 



V.Adm. K. Shimq 
FIFTH FLEET . 



SIXTH BASE 
AIR FORCE 



V.Adm.S.Fukudome 



2nd. AIR FLEET 



/ 




OTHER UNITS "~| 

\ I COMBINED FLEET I 
IINOT PARTICIPATING! 
/"IN BATTLE FOR / 
\Z_ LEYTE GULF) / 



THIRD 

AIR ARMY 

(W. OF BORNEO) 



EIGHTEENTH 

ARMY 

(E NEW GUINEA) 



FIFTH BASE 
AIR FORCE 



V. Adm. T. nishi 



1st. AIR FLEET 



THIRD BASE 
AIR FORCE 



V.Adm. G. Mikawq 
13th. AIR FLEET / 



CRUDIV2I 
DESRON ONE 



V. Adm.K. Shimo 



DESDIV. 21 



Cdr. N. Ishii 



A EAST INDIES 
FORCE 



V. Adm. S. Kowose 
2nd. SO. EX. FLEET/ 



NORTH OF 
AUSTRALIA FORCE 



V.Adm. S.Yamagoto 



/4th. SO.EX. FLEET 



WESTERN 
FORCE 



V. Adm. M.Tayui 



/I si. SO. EX. FLEET,, 



PHILIPPINE 
FORCE 



V. Adm. G. Mikawq 



/3rd. SO.EX FLEET/ 



FOURTH 

AIR ARMY 

(PHIL.) 



Lt. Gen. K.Tominoga 



SEVENTH 

AREA ARMY 

( NEI- MALAYA) 



BURMA 

AREA ARMY 

(BURMA) 



SECOND 

AREA ARMY 

(W. NEW GUINEA) 



FOURTEENTH 

AREA ARMY 

(PHIL.) 



Gen.T. Yamashito 
I 



THIRTY FIFTH 
ARMY 



Lt. Gen- S. Suzuki 



LEGEND 



CHAIN OF COMMAND 
COORDINATION 
MOVEMENT OF FORCES 
;==== OPERATIONAL CONTROL 



Note: 

* COMCRUDIV 16 assumed duties as Commander Guord Force 
at 231200. 
XX Sometimes called "Mobile Force Main Body" The term "Main 
Force" is here employed to avoid confusion with "Main 
Body, FIRST Striking Force." 
XXX After 1439 October 24 th, 1944. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CINC COMBINED FLEET 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

CHAPTER I - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd 

(A) Operations of CinC Combined Fleet, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd, 

During the day CinC Combined Fleet who was in his Hiyoshi Headquarters, 
watched with great interest the movement of his forces* 

As the penetration operation moved toward its climax he was particularly 
interested in enemy contacts in order to determine as soon as possible, 
enemy reaction to the discovery of his forces. The Naval General Staff 
recorded on this day however, that weather conditions east of the 
Philippines were bad and that the enemy situation could not be determined.* 
It seems probahle however that he did receive several RDF fixes and that 
after 1042 he received (a) one on an "unknown force" at 1325, bearing 
086°(T), distant 285 miles from Catanduanes Island** (Contact "C", 
Plate III) and (b) at 1550 an unknown force bearing 052° (T), distant 
eighty- five miles from Catanduanes Island** (Contact "D")« 

At about 1700 he learned that Commander FIRST Striking Force had 
hoisted his flag in the YAMATO.*** 

During the afternoon he had worked on an estimate of the situation to 
be transmitted to his commanders and at 1710 his chief of staff released 
the dispatch. This dispatch is interesting, not only because it was 
received by all his commanders and likely influenced their thinking, but 
also because it seems appropriate that at this time he should (a) give his 
commanders his estimate, presumably based on the best intelligence 
information available and (b) restate the plan so there would be no doubt 
that the operation was to be continued. Because of its importance this 
dispatch is quoted: 

"1, Estimate of enemy plans. 

Since it is very probable that the enemy is generally aware of the 
concentration of our forces, he will probably act as fo^Jlows: 

"(1) Concentrate submarines in great strength in the San Bernardino 
and Surigao Straits area, 

"(2) Plan attacks on our surface forces, using large type planes 
and task forces, after tomorrow morning. 



* Material for Situation Estimates, 1ST Section, Naval General Staff, 

October 1944, WDC Document 216714 (Microfilm), 
** Appended Chart IV, Enemy Fleet Dispositions, October 23rd, 1944, 

Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No, 1 Operation, October 20th - 

29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744 • 
*** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 231630 October 1944 (addressees 

unknown but presumed to be all interested commanders), Detailed Action 

Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, 

WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CINC COMBINED FLEET and 
COM FIRST STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

"(3) Plan decisive action by concentrating his surface strength in 
the area east of San Bernardino Strait, and Tacloban where he 
has his transport group. He should be able to dispose himself 
in this manner by afternoon of 24th 

"2. Our plans. 

"(l) Carry through our original plans. 

"(2) In affecting the operations the following points are specially 
emphasized: 

H (a) Make up for our inferior surface strength by making every 
effort to direct the enemy to the north towards the Main 
Body of the Mobile Force. 

"(b) Maintain an even stricter alert against submarines and 
aircraft. Utilize every possible trick to keep enemy 
submarines under control, particularly while breaking 
through the narrow straits. 

"(c) Destroy enemy task force carriers with our shore based 
planes, while his carrier-based planes are engaging our 
surface forces."* 

(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Striking Force, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

Commander FIRST Striking Force had been ordered in Combined Fleet 
DesOpOrd 363 to penetrate to the Tacloban area at dawn on X-day (October 
25th) • His force would first attack and destroy enemy surface forces in 
the area and then annihilate the enemy landing forces. This endeavor was 
to be undertaken with the cooperation of the land-based air forces.** 

It was for the accomplishment of this mission that he had divided 
the FIRST Striking Force into two forces, i.e., (a) the Main Body consisting 
of the FIRST and SECOND Sections to proceed through the Sibuyan Sea and 
San Bernardino Strait and to approach Leyte Gulf from the north and (b) 
the THIRD Section to proceed through Mindanao Sea and Surigao Strait and 
to approach Leyte Gulf from the south. The tasks assigned each of these 
groups are given under (a) "Operations of Commander Main Body, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd" and (b) "Commander THIRD Section, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd" # 



* CofS Combined Fleet Dispatch 231710 October 1944 (addressees unknown), 

Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 

16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 
** Commander 1ST Striking Force Operation Order No. 4, October 1944, 

Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 

16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document I6I64I, NA 11839. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 




CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

It will be recalled that at 1042 he was in the destroyer KISHINAMI 
awaiting an opportunity to transfer his flag to the YAMATO. This was 
because the Allied submarines DACE and DARTER had, earlier in the morning, 
(a) sunk his flagship the ATAGO and also the MAYA and (b) damaged the 
TAKAO to the extent that she was unnavigable. COMBATDIV ONE had then 
assumed tactical command of the Main Body c 

Because of a series of submarine contacts he was unable to transfer 
to the YAMATO until 1623. He then at 1630 advised all interested commands 
by dispatch that his flag had been hoisted in the YAMATO.* 

By 1940 (when it was received by COMDESRON ONE) he knew that 
Commander SW Area Force had ordered the 954th and 955th Air Groups to 
provide additional antisubmarine patrol protection to his forces as well 
as to the SECOND Striking Force and CRUDIV SIXTEEN. 

At 2034 he received CinC Combined Fleet's 1200 estimate of the 
situation which has been quoted in full under "Operations of CinC Combined 
Fleet, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd". It seems likely that he was in general 
agreement with this estimate and plan although that portion which estimated 
that the enemy would "Plan decisive action by concentrating his surface 
strength in the area east of San Bernardino Strait and Tacloban where he 
had his transport group",** may have caused him concern. This matter has 
been discussed under the "Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 1042 - 
2400, October 23rd" and as his reaction was likely the same as that 
commander, it will not be discussed at this point. 

Although COMBATDIV ONE recorded the comment that "today, the weather 
was bad in the Manila area and practically no searches were carried out", 
it seems likely however that Commander FIRST Striking Force did have the 
following contacts: 

(a) At 0633 two carrier planes sighted by the submarine 1-41 in 
Latitude 15°-35'N, Longitude 130°-12'E, 500 miles east of 
Lamon Bay*»< Contact "A", Plate III)* 

(b) At 0915 an RDF fix in Latitude 14°-02'N, Longitude 127°-32»E, 
bearing 083°(T), distant 200 miles from Catanduanes Island*** 
(Contact "B"). 



* Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 231630 October 1944 (addressees 

unknown but presumed to be all interested commanders), Detailed Action 

Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 13th - 28th, 1944 

WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 
** CofS Combined Fleet Dispatch 231710 October 1944 (addressees unknown), 

Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 

16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 
*** Appended Chart IV, Enemy Fleet Dispositions on October 23rd, 1944, 

Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 20th - 

29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST STRIKING FORCE 
and COM MAIN BODY 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(c) That at 1200 one plane had returned from searching a bearing 
095°(T) from Manila to a distance of 300 miles with negative 
results.* 

(d) At 1325 an RDF fix on an unknown force in Latitude 14°-03»N, 
Longitude 129°-05'E, bearing 086° (T), distant 235 miles from 
Catanduanes Island** (Contact "C"). 

(e) At 1550 an RDF fix on an unknown force in Latitude 14°-34«N, 
Longitude 125°-08»E, bearing 052° (T), distant eighty-five 
miles from Catanduanes Island** (Contact "D"), 

(a) Operations of Commander Main Body, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

Commander Main Body (who was also Commander FIRST Striking 
Force), with the Main Body, had been proceeding uneventfully northward 
through Palawan Passage during the night of October 22nd - 23rd. He was 
en route Leyte Gulf via San Bernardino Strait where his objective was the 
penetration of Leyte Gulf and, in coordination with Commander THIRD 
Section, the (a) destruction of enemy surface forces and (b) the 
destruction of the enemy transports, ground and landing forces,*** 

However between 0633 and O656 on the morning of October 23rd 
he had been caught by surprise by two Allied submarines, the DARTER and 
DACE as a result of which the AT AGO and MAYA had been torpedoed and sunk. 
The TAKAO had been so heavily damaged at the same time that he had found 
it necessary to retire her to Brunei Bay with the NAGANAMI and ASASHIMO 
as escorts. 

His command now consisted of the battleships YAMATO (FFF), 
MUSASHI, NAGATO, KONGO (FF^ HARUNA; the heavy cruisers CHOKAI, MYOKO, 
HAGURO, KUMANO (F), SUZUYA, TONE, CHIKUMA; the light cruisers NOSHIRO (F), 
YAHAGI; and the destroyers SHIMAKAZE, HAYASHIMO, AKI3HIM0, KISHINAMI, 
OKINAMI, HAMANAMI, FUJINAMI, NOWAKI, KIYOSHIMO, URAKAZE (F), HAMAKAZE, 
YUKIKAZE, ISOKAZE. 

By 1042, when Volume III ended, he was reorganizing the Main 
Body which was still in confusion as a result of this surprise attack and 
was rapidly departing the vicinity of the torpedoing by steering a northerly 
course. Meanwhile because of the sinking of the ATAGO he had transferred 
his flag temporarily to the KISHINAMI, and was now expecting to transfer 
it (at about 1300) to the YAMATO, presently the flagship of COMBATDIV ONE. 



* Detailed Action Report No. 2, 5TH Attack Unit (752ND Air Group), 

October 22nd - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161004, NA 12605, 
** Appended Chart IV, Enemy Fleet Dispositions on October 23rd, 1944, 

Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 20th - 

29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 
*** Commander 1ST Striking Force Operation Order No. 4, October 1944, 

Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 

16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839 • 

4 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN BODY and 
COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

As this time approached, however, since several submarine 
contacts had been reported (actually all false) it became necessary to 
maneuver the force almost constantly until after 1409 when the last of 
this series of submarine contacts was made.* 

Finally, at 1623, he succeeded in transferring to the YAMATO** 
and at 1630 announced by radio that he had "assumed command of the 
fleet".*** 

He now modified the movement plan to approach the Mindoro coast 
from a point fifty-five miles west of Talabasi Point, heading 090° (T) 
until close to the coast, thence southeastward along the coast on a course 
of 115° (T) to round the southern tip of Mindoro at dawn on October 
24th.**** He also ordered radar silence during the night***** and 
continued on generally at eighteen knots.****** Little did he realize 
that at this time he was being trailed by the ANGLER which at 2130 had 
reported him as being on course 050°(T), speed eighteen knots ******** 

At 2319 he changed course to 090° (T ).****** 

(b) Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd« 

Commander THIRD Section, with the THIRD Section, composed of the 
battleships FUSO and YAMASHIRO (FF), the heavy cruiser MOGAMI and the four 
destroyers MICHISHIO (F), ASAGUMO, YAMAGUMO and SHIGURE, had commenced 
passing through Balabac Strait during the early morning of this day and 
by 1042 was well into the Sulu Sea. He was en route Leyte Gulf via 
Surigao Strait and was to (a) arrive off Binit Point at 0100 October 25th 
(X-day) and (b) penetrate Tacloban Anchorage at dawn (0427) the same 
day.******** His objectives were (a) the destruction of the enemy 

* Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1, Antiair and 

Surface Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

** Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, 
October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839 • 

*** Commander 1ST Striking Force Visual Dispatch 231630 October 1944 
(addressees unknown but presumed to be all interested commanders), 
Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

**** Ibid., COMBATDIV 1 (Commander Main Body) Visual Dispatch 231827 
October 1944 to Main Body. 

-a**-** Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Visual Dispatch 
231900 October 1944 to Main Body, Detailed Action Report SUZUYA, 
SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 
161747. 

****** Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1, Antiair and 

Surface Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

******* War Patrol Report ANGLER, Report of 5TH War Patrol, Serial 0(10), 
November 9th, 1944. 

******** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 212053, October 1944 to 
CinC Combined Fleet, Commander Main Force, Conmander 2ND 
Striking Force, War Diary DESRON 1, October 1944, WDC Document 
161638, NA 11739. 

5 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
October 23rd 



transport group and landing forces and (b) a diversionary attack on 
enemy surface forces (a protection objective).* These objectives are 
more fully discussed in Volume III under "Operations of Commander FIRST 
Striking Force, October 21st" .** 

At about 1056 he likely intercepted COMBATDIV ONE's dispatch 
reporting (a) the torpedo attacks against the Main Body, FIRST Striking 
Force, (b) the sinking of the ATAGO and MAYA and (c) the damaging of the 
TAKAO by submarine action.*** From this he could see that the Chief of 
Staff Combined Fleet's estimate concerning Allied submarines in narrow 
waters**** was remarkably accurate in this regard and likely caused him 
to examine his own antisubmarine dispositions. 

At 1300 he had reason to believe that his presence was known 
to the enemy for at that time he received a message from the MOGAMI 
reporting that a group of four aircraft suspected of being enemy had 
been sighted at 1030 at a great distance.***** 

At approximately 1355, he changed course to 050°(T)****** and 
proceeded generally in accordance with his previously announced movement 
plan. ******* 



** 



www 

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Coramander 1ST Striking Force Operation Order No. 4, October 1944, 
Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operation, October 
16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 
Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 
College, 1957, Chapter IV, (A)(1). 

COMBATDIV 1 Dispatch 231026 October 1944 to CinC Combined Fleet, 
Commanders Main Force, SW Area Force, Chief of Naval General 
Staff, Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operation, 
October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 
CofS Combined Fleet Dispatch 221651 October 1944 to Connander SW 
Area Force, info Commanders 1ST and 2ND Striking Forces, 
COMCRUDIV 16, COMBATDIV 2 (3RD Section), War Diary DESRON 10, 
October 1944, WDC Document 161638, NA 11744. 
MOGAMI Visual Dispatch 231300 October 1944 to 3RD Section, 
Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, 
October 18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 
Appended Chart 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, Movements of 3RD Section, 
1ST Striking Force from 1500 October 22nd - 1700 October 27th, 
Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 
23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 221155 October 1944 to CinC 
Combined Fleet, COMCRUDIV 16, Commanders 1ST and 2ND Striking 
Forces, etc., Detailed Action Report No. 13, DESRON 10, SHO 
Operations, October 17th - 31st, 1944, WDC Document 161005, 
NA 11744. 



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CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1645 (when it was received by COMDESRON ONE) he received a 
dispatch from Commander SW Area Force which (a) set forth the organization 
of the SECOND Striking Force and (b) directed the penetration of the 
SECOND Striking Force as follows: 

"The SECOND Striking Force, Main Body, operating as ordered by 
the force commander, will penetrate through Surigao Strait into Leyte 
Gulf at dawn on X-day It will destroy the enemy invasion forces present 
in support of the operations of the FIRST Striking Force and at the same 
time will provide indirect cover for the movements of the Guard Force."* 

Although the wording of this dispatch was of interest to him 
he had known for some time that the SECOND Striking Force was assigned to 
the operation and, as discussed in Volume III** under "Operations of 
Commander THIRD Section, 0000 - 1042, October 23rd", he had already 
advised his command of the SECOND Striking Force schedule. 

About this time he directed BATDIV TWO to (a) use main battery 
to repel air attack if necessary and (b) in case of an encounter with 
enemy surface ships (especially battleships) prior to penetration into 
the anchorage, fire would be opened with type (HE) shells until the 
change over to armor-piercing could be effected.*** 

At about 1700 he likely learned that Commander FIRST Striking 
Force was aboard the YAMATO and that operations were being continued as 
planned.**** 

At 1730 he instructed his forces by visual dispatch as follows: 

"Except as stipulated below gunfire against enemy transports 
at the time of penetration into the anchorage will be as ordered by ship 
commanders. 



* Commander SW Area Force Dispatch 231000 October 1944 to Commander 
2ND Striking Force, COMCRUDIV 16, CinC Combined Fleet, Commander 
3RD Section (SW Area Force DesOpOrd No. 689), War Diary DESRON 1, 
October 1944, WDC Document 161638, NA 11739* 

** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War College, 
1957, Chapter VIII, (A)(1)(b). 

*** Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch (date-time-group unknown) 
October 23rd, 1944 to 3RD Section (3RD Section SigOrd No. 6), 
Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

**** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 231630 October 1944 

(addressees unknown but presumed to be all interested commanders), 
Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
20th - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

M l. Allocation of targets: 

BATDIV TWO from the south of the anchorage, the destroyer 
force from the north, and MOGAMI in the center. 

"2. Order of ship targets: 

Ships in process of unloading or loading, craft on the 
lee of large transports, craft on the inner side in case 
of a concentration anchored in depth. 

"3. Standard firing ranges: 

BATDIV TWO, 20-10 kms; MOGAMI, 15-13 kms; destroyers 
7-4 kms. 

In case of overlapping in lines of fire, units (ships) 
will keep a distance of 3-5 kms apart from each other. 

"4. Firing outline: 

"a. In the absence of special orders, BATDIV TWO will 
employ directed fire against enemy warships as 
required by the situation. (Main batteries alternating 
fire.) 

"b. Main batteries will use 0-type HE shells and 

illumination shells as required. BATDIV TWO will 
issue special orders. 

"c. In order to avoid over-concentration of fire, BATDIV 
TwO will follow the rule of every gun against a 
target indicated by the fire director. 

"d. Aiming point will be the intersection of the waterline 
and bridge line. 

M 5. Targets will be shifted in the following cases: 

"a. When the target has been heavily set afire. 

M b. When a number of effective hits has been confirmed and 
it appears probable that the target ship will be 
abandoned. 

"c. In cases other than a. and b., the standard gunnery 
doctrine will be followed. "* 



* Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 231730 October 1944 to 3RD 
Section, (3RD Section SigOrd No. 7), Detailed Action Report SHIGURI, 
Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 
(Part 4), NA 11801. 



8 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

THESE INSTRUCTIONS, WHILE SOMEWHAT LONG, ARE INTRODUCED HERE 
AS THEY INDICATE CLEARLY, AMON} OTHER ITEMS, THE MANNER IN WHICH COMMANDER 
THIRD SECTION PLANNED TO APPROACH THE TARGET ANCHORAGE IN THREE GROUPS BY 
TYPES, WITH THE DESTROYERS IN ONE GROUP FROM THE NORTH, THE BATTLESHIPS 
IN ANOTHER FROM THE SOUTH AND THE MOGAMI IN ANOTHER FROM THE EAST, THE 
TARGET PRIORITIES, AND THE FIRE DISTRIBUTION. SINCE (a) AT THE TIME OF 
OPENING FIRE IT WOULD STILL BE NIGHT AND THEREFORE QUITE DARK, AND (b) 
THE TACLOBAN ANCHORAGE, IN VIEW OF ITS LOCATION AND DANGERS TO NAVIGATION, 
SHOULD BE DIFFICULT TO APPROACH FROM THE NORTH AS WELL AS FROM THE EAST, 
IT WOULD APPEAR THAT COMMANDER THIRD SECTION HAD ESTIMATED THAT THE 
NORTHERN TRANSPORTS WOULD BE FARTHER SOUTH THAN THEY ACTUALLY WERE AND 
THAT THE SEA AREA NORTH OF THE TRANSPORTS WOULD BE DEEP ENOUGH, AND WIDE 
ENOUGH TO PERMIT HIS DESTROYERS TO OPERATE FREELY. ACTUALLY THE NORTHERN 
TRANSPORTS WERE IN SAN PEDRO BAY WHERE DESTROYER OPERATIONS WOULD BE 
DIFFICULT. 

At about 1824 he may have received a report of a submarine in 
position Latitude 08°-34.5 , N > Longitude 120°-21.5 f Eo Although there is 
no record in documents available that such a report was received by him, 
the submarine COBIA which was transiting the Sulu Sea in a southerly 
direction returning to Fremantle, reported that at 1754 she sighted a 
reconnaissance seaplane and submerged.* From whence came this plane is 
not known but it seems likely that it was a FIRST Striking Force aircraft. 

At 1903 he directed "Anti-aircraft and Anti-submarine Alert 
will be especially tightened tonight" and "No. 2 Alert for radar search 
dispositions".** 

At 1905 he issued his instructions for the use of his eight 
reconnaissance seaplanes (a) a single plane search of Leyte Gulf and 
vicinity to be launched at 0200 October 24th, (b) a single plane search 
of Mindanao Sea and Leyte Gulf to be launched at 1600 October 24th, 
(c) the FIRST Contact Unit to be launched at 2230 October 24th to make 
contact and guide the force, (d) an attack unit to be launched at 1600 
October 24th to proceed to Cebu in order to carry out a strike in Leyte 
Gulf at dawn, October 25th and (e) in case of air attack all planes 
proceed to Cebu and carry out their assigned missions.*** 



* War Patrol Report COBIA, Report of 2ND War Patrol, Serial 035, 

November 5th, 1944* 
** Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 231903 October 19A4 to 3RD 

Section (3RD Section SigOrd No. 9), Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, 

Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 

161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
*** Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 231905 October 1944 to 3RD 

Section (3RD Section SigOrd No. 10), Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, 

Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 

161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1950 (when it was received by COMDESRON ONE) he probably 
received a dispatch* from Commander SW Area Force assigning the 954th 
and the 955th Air Groups to antisubmarine patrols on October 24th. He 
noted that the "Main Strength" of the 955th Air Group had been assigned 
to screen the THIRD Section, while elements of the same force would 
screen the SECOND Striking Force. 

At 2034 (at which time it was received by Commander FIRST 
Striking Force) he received the Chief of Staff Combined Fleet estimate 
of the situation.** As he studied this dispatch he noted that it 
contained no new ideas in the execution of the plan but emphasized the 
importance of (a) the diversionary effect of the Main Force, (b) strict 
antiair and antisubmarine alerts and (c) the destruction of enemy task 
force carriers by shore-based aircraft. He was particularly interested 
however in the estimate of enemy intentions as they affected his part of 
the operations. These estimates stated that the enemy would: 

a. "Concentrate submarines in great strength in the San 

Bernardino and Surigao Straits area. 

b. "Plan attacks on our surface forces using large type planes 

and task forces after tomorrow morning, 

c. "Plan decisive action by concentrating his surface strength 

in the area east of San Bernardino Strait and Tacloban 
where he has his transport group. He should be able to 
dispose himself in this manner by afternoon of 24th". 

ALTHOUGH INFORMATION AS TO WHAT ENEMY CONTACTS COMMANDER THIRD 
SECTION HAD RECEIVED DURING THE DAY IS MEAGER, IT SEEMS LIKELY THAT HE 
HAD ESSENTIALLY THE SAME LIMITED INFORMATION AS DID COMMANDER FIRST 
STRIKING FORCE. IT SEEMS PROBABLE THAT HE NOW CONSIDERED THE ESTIMATE OF 
ENEMY INTENTIONS IN LIGHT OF THIS INTELLIGENCE. 

IN REGARD TO ITEM (a), IN VIEW OF THE UNHAPPY EVENTS OF THE DAY 
WHEREIN CERTAIN JAPANESE HEAVY CRUISERS HAD BEEN TORPEDOED BY ALLIED 
SUBMARINES IN PALAWAN PASSAGE AND APPROACHING MANILA BAY, HE HAD EVERY 
REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THIS ESTIMATE OF ENEMY INTENTIONS WAS ACCURATE AND 
MUST NOT BE OVERLOOKED. 

AS REGARDS ITEM (b), AIR ATTACKS WERE TO BE EXPECTED. SINCE HE 
HAD ALREADY ISSUED AN ORDER FOR ANTIAIRCRAFT AND ANTISUBMARINE ALERTS TO 
BE TIGHTENED TONIGHT HE UNDOUBTEDLY FELT THAT HE HAD TAKEN NECESSARY 
PRECAUTIONS. 

* Commander SW Area Force Dispatch 231254 October 1944 to Commanders 
954TH and 955TH Air Groups, 2ND Striking Force info Commander 1ST 
Striking Force (SW Area Force DesOpOrd No. 688), War Diary DESRON 1, 
October 1944, WDC Document 161638, NA 11739. 

** CofS Combined Fleet Dispatch 231710 October 1944 (addressees unknown 
but presumably to all interested commanders), Detailed Action Report 
1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC 
Document 161641, NA 1183 9 • 



10 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

AS REGARDS ITEM (c) i.e., THE ENEMY WOULD, "PLAN DECISIVE ACTION 
BY CONCENTRATING HIS SURFACE STRENGTH IN THE AREA EAST OF SAN BERNARDINO 
STRAIT AND TACLOBAN WHERE HE HAS HIS TRANSPORT GROUP", HE WAS EXTREMELY 
INTERESTED AND SOMEWHAT DISTURBED. AS DISCUSSED AT SOME LENGTH IN VOLUME 
III UNDER "OPERATIONS OF COMMANDER FIRST STRIKING FORCE, OCTOBER 21ST",* 
THE JAPANESE THOUGHT THAT (a) "KNOWLEDGE OF THE LARGER BODY (MAIN BODY, 
FIRST STRIKING FORCE) COMING FROM THE NORTH MIGHT DRAW AMERICAN SHIPS FROM 
THE GULF AND THUS LEAVE NISHIMURA FREE TO ENTER",** AND (b) THE ALLIED 
BATTLESHIPS SO DRAWN OUT OF THE GULF, AND PROCEEDING ALONG THE COAST OF 
SAMAR IN ORDER TO CLOSE THE MAIN BODY, WOULD BE DESTROYED IN NIGHT BATTLE.* 
THIS NEW ESTIMATE, ALTHOUGH NOT EXPLICIT, SEEMED TO IMPLY THAT CINC 
COMBINED FLEET WAS NOW OF THE OPINION THAT THE ENEMY WOULD COUNTER THE 
TWO PRONGS OF THE PENETRATION IN TWO SEPARATE SURFACE ENGAGEMENTS, i.e., 
OFF SAN BERNARDINO STRAIT AND IN LEYTE GULF. 

As he had received but two situation reports from Leyte Gulf 
in the past two days (one at 0907 October 22nd - eighty transports, and 
the other at 0930 October 23rd - four BB or CA/CL, thirteen large 
transports and four small transports) he was extremely anxious that the 
reconnaissance seaplane scheduled for launching at 0200 should make a 
successful reconnaissance. 

He now proceeded uneventfully through the Sulu Sea until 
approximately 2328 when he changed course to 100°(T).*** Since this 
course change marked the beginning of a major deviation from his planned 
route it would be interesting to learn his reasons for it. However, 
there is no recorded reason nor is there any record that he reported 
the change. 

At midnight the THIRD Section was in position Latitude 
09°-ll«N, Longitude 120°-04»E, on course 100° (T). 

(2) Operations of Commander Main Force, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

Commander Main Force, with the Main Force, composed of the 
ZUDCAKU (FF), ZUIHO, CHITOSE, CHIYODA, the hermaphrodite carriers ISE, 
HYUGA, the light cruisers OYODO (FF), TAMA (F), ISUZU and the destroyers 
AKITSUKI, HATSUZUKI, WAKATSUKI, SHIMOTSUKI, KUWA, MAKI, KIRI and SUGI, 
had departed Bungo Suido on the evening of October 20th and had been 
moving in a generally southwesterly direction in order to reach a station 
off Luzon Strait. His objective was deception by which he hoped to 



*~" Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War College, 
1957, Chapter IV, (A)(1). 

** USSBS Interrogation of Japanese Officials, Nav No. 9, Interrogation 
of Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, ex-UN, Volume I, Page 36. 

*** Appended Chart I, SHO No. 1 Operation, Movements of 3RD Section, 1ST 
Striking Force from 1500 October 22nd - 1700 October 27th, 1944, 
Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

496799 o - 59 - 9 U CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

divert Allied task forces from the area east of the Philippines to the 
north thereby contributing to the success of the penetration attack of 
the FIRST Striking Force.* 

The degree of success he obtained in accomplishing the above 
objective was of great importance to both Commander Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force, who would be penetrating San Bernardino Strait, on the 
evening of October 24th, and to Commander THIRD Section, who would be 
penetrating Surigao Strait during early morning of October 25th. 

Despite the fact he had been at sea for three days he had not as 
yet been contacted by the Allies despite the further fact that he had 
sent out a long dispatch on the afternoon of October 22nd. 

At 1042 October 23rd, when this volume commences, he had succeeded 
in reaching the vicinity of Latitude 22°-30«N, Longitude 131°-00«E 
(about 550 miles east of Formosa). 

During the day he continued in a southwesterly direction toward 
Latitude 19°-00»N, Longitude 126°-40»E from whence he expected to 
initiate air action at about 0600, October 24th.** He did not launch an 
afternoon search, but did maintain an ASP about the force. Although he 
made a number of submarine contacts during the day, they apparently were 
all false for the only Allied submarine in the area, the BONEFISH, as it 
headed eastward returning to Pearl Harbor, *** had crossed his track some 
hours earlier. Neither the BONEFISH nor the Main Force was aware of the 
presence of the other 

During this afternoon he estimated the developing situation and 
arrived at certain decisions concerning the operations of the following 
day (October 24th) as follows: 

(1) To launch search planes at 0545 October 24th. If the 
enemy is spotted, to launch the initial air attack, 
otherwise, to launch another search at 1300 and an air 
attack. 

To steer course 220° (T) and to operate to divert the 
enemy to the north. 



* Mobile Force Dispatch 200021 October 1944 to Mobile Force (Mobile 

Force DesOpOrd No. 62), Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 
Operation, October 20th - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

** Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 20th 
29th, 1944, WDC Document 16 1005, NA 11744 o 

*** War Patrol Report BONEFISH, Report of 6TH War Patrol, No Serial, 
November 8th, 1944. 



12 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN FORCE and 
COM ADV EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(2) In case the air attack fails to have a diversionary effect, 
to send out the Advance Guard* to conduct diversionary 
operations o 

(3) In case the above is unsuccessful and the enemy task force 
moves southward at time of penetration to attack the enemy 
task force off Samar.** 

(3) Operations of Commander Advanced Expeditionary Force, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

Commander Advanced Expeditionary Force had on this day eleven 
submarines en route to assigned stations east of the Philippines* 

The placement of these submarines has been discussed in Volume 
HI*** under the "Operations of Commander Advanced Expeditionary Force, 
October 20th" and shown on Plate XXVI of that volume. In brief, they were 
in a rectangular area approximately 200 by 400 miles to the eastward of 
the islands of Mindanao, Samar and southern Luzon. It was planned that 
all submarines would reach their stations by October 24th or 25th.**** 

During the day an additional submarine, the RO-109, completed 
preparations and got underway as ordered on October 20th. This submarine 
apparently reached its assigned station about October 27th.**** 

There appears to have been no contacts made by these submarines 
on Allied surface forces during the day. 

(4) Operations of Commander SW Area Force, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

Commander SW Area Force, with headquarters in Manila, in addition 
to other units, commanded the Naval Air Forces concentrated in the 
Philippines as well as the SECOND Striking Force. 

During the morning, probably about 1056, he learned of the 
torpedo attacks against the Main Body, the sinking of the ATAGO and MAYA 
and the damage to the TAKAO.***** He also received a request from the 



* Advance Guard consisted of ISS, HYUGA, HATSUZUKI, AKITSUKI, 
WAKATSUKI, SHIMOTSUKI. 

** Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
20th - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

*** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 
College, 1957, Chapter II (A)(2). 

**** Submarine Operations in the THIRD Phase Operations, Part IV, 
September 1944, February 1945, Japanese Monograph No. 184, 
Compiled by the SECOND Historical Records Section of the 
Repatriation Relief Bureau of the Welfare Ministry, June 1944* 

***** COMBATDIV 1 Dispatch 231026 October 1944 to CinC Combined Fleet, 
Commander Main Force, SW Area Force, etc., Detailed Action Report 
1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, 
WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

13 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SW AREA FORCE and 
COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

Chief of Staff, FIRST Striking Force for immediate screening and towing 
services for the TAKAO.* 

At 1200 in accordance with his DesOpOrd No. 637, COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN 
became Commander Guard Force and from this time forward operated under 
his direct command. 

At 1254, realizing that some coordination of his antisubmarine 
patrol support was necessary, he issued a directive ordering the 954th 
and 955th Air Groups to screen the Main Body, the THIRD Section, the 
SECOND Striking Force and CRUDIV SIXTEEN and specified the division of 
effort.** 

At 1323 he notified "All Commanders Seaplane Bases" of the plight 
of the TAKAO and directed them to assign aircraft to escort her and 
carry out neutralization attacks.*** 

By 1402 he had decided which surface units to send to the 
assistance of the TAKAO. He therefore ordered the torpedo boat HIYODORI 
and the MITSU MARU**** (probably an oiler) to the scene and directed 
that the MITSU MARU be prepared to take the TAKAO in tow.***** 

During the remainder of the day he received reports from the 
various units within his area. His information of enemy contacts seems 
to have been generally the same as other commanders in the area and are 
listed under the "Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd." 

(a) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

(1) During the early morning Commander SECOND Striking Force, 
with the SECOND Striking Force, temporarily composed of the heavy cruisers 
NACHI (FF) and ASHIGARA, the light cruiser ABUKUMA and the destroyers 
AKEBONO (F), USHIO, KASUMI and SHIRANUHI, had been proceeding on a 



* CofS 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 230330 October 1944 to CofS SW Area 
Force, Detailed Action Report TAKAO, Antisubmarine Action, October 
23rd - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160141, NA 11839. 

** Commander SW Area Force Dispatch 231254 October 1944 to Commanders 
954TH and 955TH Air Groups, 2ND Striking Force, info Coamander 1ST 
Striking Force (SW Area Force DesOpOrd No. 688), War Diary DESRON 1, 
October 1944, WDC Document 161638, NA 11739. 

*** Commander 3RD Expeditionary Fleet Dispatch 231323 October 1944 to 
All Commanders Seaplane Bases, info Commander 1ST Striking Force, 
Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 
16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

**** Two MITSU MARU's are listed, one an oiler of 5,682 tons, the other 
a cargo vessel of 404 tons; The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War 
II, prepared by Military History Section Special Staff GHQ, Far 
East Command, February 1952, Page 268. 

***** Commander Philippine Force Dispatch 231402 October 1944 to MITSU 

MARU, HIYODORI, Commander 1ST Striking Force, Detailed Action Report 
TAKAO, Antisubmarine Action, October 23rd - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 
160141, NA 11839. CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

generally southerly course toward Coron Bay and except for the information 
concerning the torpedoing of the AOBA had had an uneventful passage. 
CRUDIV SIXTEEN and DESDIV TWENTY-ONE which were on independent assignments 
were not with him. 

His instructions were to penetrate into Leyte Gulf and to 
cooperate with Commander FIRST Striking Force. He had therefore 
determined (a) his objective to be an exploitation one wherein he was "to 
expand the battle results during the melee caused by the FIRST Striking 
Force's penetration attack 11 * and (b) to pass through the sputhern 
entrance to Surigao Strait at 0600* or five hours after the THIRD Section. 

At 1042 he was bearing 312°(T), distant 110 miles from 
Coron Bay, where he planned to refuel before proceeding toward Surigao 
Strait and Leyte Gulf. At 1212 he sighted a B-24 type aircraft.** This 
was a search plane from Morotai which reported the force quite 
accurately.*** At 1645 he received instructions from Commander SW Area 
Force which (a) outlined for clarification the organization of the 
SECOND Striking Force, (b) established a Guard Force commanded by 
COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN, and (c) restated the mission of the SECOND Striking 
Force penetration as follows: 

"The SECOND Striking Force, Main Body, operating as 
ordered by the force commander will penetrate through 
Surigao Strait into Leyte Gulf at dawn on X-day. It 
will destroy the enemy invasion forces present in 
support of the operations of the FIRST Striking Force 
and at the same time will provide indirect cover for 
the movements of the Guard Force. "**** 

At 1800 he entered Culion Anchorage near Coron Bay where 
he hoped an oiler might be present but to his disappointment none was 
there* so he commenced fueling his smaller shiDS from his heavy cruisers 
thus reducing, to a degree, the cruising radius of the cruisers. 



* Action Summary 2ND Striking Force in SHO Operation, SW Area Opera- 
tion, Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-UN, 2ND Striking Force Staff 
Torpedo Officer, GHQ FEC Special Historical Collection, Supporting 
Documents to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur f s Historical 
Report on Allied Operations in the SW Pacific Area (Item 22, 
Footlocker 5 of 10, SWPA Series, Volume II). 

** War Diary ABUKUMA, October 1944, WDC Document 161636, NA 11973. 

*** 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 230320 October 1944 to all concerned 
current operations SWPA. 

**** Commander SW Area Force Dispatch 231000 October 1944 to Commander 
2ND Striking Force, COMCRUDIV 16, CinC Combined Fleet, etc., (SW 
Area Force DesOpOrd No. 687), War Diary DESRON 1, October 1944, 
WDC Document 161638, NA 11739. 



15 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE, 
COM SIXTH BASE AIR PORCE and 
COM FIFTH BASE AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(2) At noon COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN in the damaged AOBA, which was 
being towed by the KINU and screened by the URANAMI, became Commander 
Guard Force. From this time onward he operated under the direct command 
of Commander SW Area Force «,* 

Despite the fact that the AOBA was being towed through 
waters where Allied submarines were operating, she arrived safely in 
Manila 3ay where at 2045 she anchored inside the entrance. At this time 
COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN transferred his flag to the KINU and then with the 
KINU and URANAMI proceeded to Manila Harbor to refuel.* (The KINU may, 
in addition, have loaded some troops and supplies.) 

(3) During the day COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE with DESDIV TWENTY-ONE 
arrived Manila about 1500, where he (a) discharged the SIXTH Base Air 
Force personnel he had been ordered to transfer from Takao and (b) 
refueled and departed about 2125. Although he had been ordered to rejoin 
Commander SECOND Striking Force during the morning of October 24th, but 
because of delays encountered in Manila Bay, he decided to rejoin that 
commander at 1800, October 24th, in the vicinity of the southern tip of 
Negros Island.** 

(b) Operations of Commander SIXTH Base Air Force, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

Commander SIXTH Base Air Force continued his efforts to 
organize his units in the Clark Complex and to prepare for an all out 
effort October 24th. His aircraft numbered approximately 223 planes at 
the end of this day. 

(c) Operations of Commander FIFTH Base Air Force, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

Commander FIFTH Base Air Force, who had about twenty-four 
operational aircraft, deployed two Kamikaze Units to Mindanao, one to 
Davao No. 1 and the other to Cagayan.*** 



* Detailed Action Report KINU, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 13th - 

26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 
** Detailed Action Report DESDIV 21, SHO No. 1 Operation, Antiair 

Action South of Mindoro, October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, 

NA 11301. 
*** War Diary 61ST Air Flotilla, October 1944, WDC Document 161643, 

NA 12260. 



16 CONFIDENTIAL 



C.G. FOURTflAIR ARMY 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(B) Operations of Commanding General FOURTH Air Army, 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd, 

C.G. FOURTH Air Army (1) moved his headquarters to Bacolod, Negros 
during the day, (2) prepared for his all out attack effort the following 
day and (3) accomodated, in the middle Visayan airfield complex, the 
considerable number of newly arriving aircraft. THERE IS A REPORT THAT 
HE HAD 232 AVAILABLE AIRCRAFT IN THE PHILIPPINES,* WITH ONLY ABOUT 128 
OPERATIONAL FOR THE ATTACK THE NEXT MORNING, ** AND IT IS BELIEVED THAT 
BOTH OF THESE FIGURES HAVE VALIDITY. THE LOW PERCENTAGE OF PLANES 
OPERATING IS DUE TO (a) THE LACK OF ADEQUATE REPAIR AND SERVICE 
FACILITIES, (b) THE POOR QUALITY OF JAPANESE MAINTENANCE, WORKMANSHIP 
AND THE HAPHAZARD DISPERSAL OF VITAL PARTS AND ACCESSORIES, (c) THE 
FACT THAT THE TAXI STRIPS WERE USUALLY VERY ROUGH OR, WHERE THERE HAD 
BEEN HEAVY RAINS, SOFT AND MUDDY*** AND (d) POSSIBLY THE EFFECT OF 
ALLIED FIGHTER SWEEPS. 



* Daily Record of the War Situation, 4TH Air Army, GHQ FEC Special 
Historical Collection Supporting Documents to General of the Army 
Douglas Mac Arthur's Historical Report on Allied Operations in the 
SW Pacific Area (Item 4, Footlocker 7 of 10, SWPA Series, Volume II), 

** Documents from the file of Lieutenant Katsuo Sato, ex-IJA, Staff 
Officer, 4TH Air Army, Department of the Army Historical Division 
Microfilm HS-7. 

*** CINCPAC-CINCPOA Weekly Intelligence Bulletin, Volume No, 33, February 
26th, 1945, Page 36; also George C. Kenney, "General Kenney Reports", 
(New York, 1949), Page 513; also General of the Army Douglas 
MacArthur»s Historical Report on Allied Operations in the SW Pacific 
Area, Volume II, "Japanese Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area, 
December 8th, 1944 to September 22nd, 1945" Chapter VII through XIV, 
Page 357. 

17 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMSOWESPAC 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

CHAPTER II - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd 

(A) Operations of COMSOWESPAC, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At the beginning of this period, COMSOWESPAC was primarily engaged 
in making final preparations for the installation ceremonies of the 
Philippine Conmonwealth Government which were to occur about noon in 
the Philippine Commonwealth Building at Tacloban.* 

It appears also that he had or was preparing a reply to COMTHIRDFLT's 
request for an estimate of the earliest date after which it would be 
safe to move into the South China Sea via Surigao and Mindoro Straits 
with well-escorted fleet oilers and major combatant ships, with the 
view that the China Sea might suddenly become a critical area.** 

His reply addressed to CTF 77 and released at 1411 while he was off 
the NASHVILLE (he had departed the NASHVILLE at 1119) (a) revealed that 
he anticipated an operation against Mindoro between December 1st and 
5th with land-based pursuit (aircraft) installed five days later and 
(b) requested that CTF 77 advise all addressees the estimated date 
Surigao Strait and other passages w ould be cleared for traffic.*** 

He departed the NASHVILLE for Tacloban at 1119. 

After the installation ceremonies, he seems to have spent some time 
in Tacloban choosing his temporary headquarters. He then proceeded to 
the airfield and, after observing the unloading operations, returned to 
the NASHVILLE, arriving on board at 1426.**** 

While ashore he very likely learned that the C.G. TWENTY-FOURTH 
Corps had assumed command ashore as of 1200.***** 

At 1620 he got underway in the NASHVILLE, with the flagship group, 
for his usual night retirement in the eastern portion of Leyte Gulf. 

He spent the remainder of the day maintaining close scrutiny of the 
developing situation. 



* CTF 77 Dispatch 220814 October 1944 to CTF 79; also George C. 

Kenney, "General Kenney Reports", (New York, 1949), Page 453. 
** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 210454 October 1944 to COMSOWESPAC, info CINCPAC, 

COMINCH, CTF 77, CTF 38, CTG 38.1. 
*** COMSOWESPAC Dispatch 230511 October 1944 to CTF 77, info C0M3RDFLT, 

CINCPAC, C0M7THFLT. 
**** George C. Kenney, "General Kenney Reports", (New York, 1949), Page 

453; also War Diary NASHVILLE, October 23rd, 1944. 
***** C.G. 24TH Corps Dispatch 230330 October 1944 to CTF 77. 



18 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMSEVENTHFLT and CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(1) Operations of Commander SEVENTH Fleet, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

COMSEVENTHFLT took no unusual action this day as COMSEVENTHFLT 
nor in his capacity as CANF SOWESPAC insofar as the Leyte operation was 
concerned. His deputy commander continued administrative control from 
his headquarters at Hollandia while he himself, as COMSEVENTHFLT and 
CTF 77, continued operational control of SOWESPAC naval forces associated 
with the Leyte operation from the WASATCH. 

His headquarters at Hollandia (a) at 1209 issued the intelligence 
summary for the day (all of the important items in this summary have been 
or will be covered elsewhere), (b) received most, if not all, of the 
dispatches relating to the operation and acted as necessary on those items 
which fell to that headquarters and (c) at 2113, transmitted a compilation 
of ship sightings for this day which have been individually referred to 
elsewhere.* For some reason the most important contact of the afternoon, 
that on the Japanese SECOND Striking Force, was conspicuous by its absence. 

It should be understood that since COMSEVENTHFLT was also CTF 77 
he received all of the dispatches which he received as CTF 77; and 
therefore was familiar with the developing situation and of the actions 
being taken by all commands. He appears to have taken no direct action 
thereon but, instead, to have employed them in his running estimate. 

(a) Operations of CTF 77 (Central Philippines Attack Force), 
1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTF 77 was embarked in the WASATCH, which was anchored 
in the Northern Transport Area. 

He had just released his latest estimate of the situation 
which included a request for assistance from COMTHIRDFLT and C.G. FIFTH 
and THIRTEENTH Air Forces. Because of its importance, as it reveals the 
thinking of CTF 77 and its possible impact on the thought processes of 
other principal commanders, it is quoted herewith: 

H I regard the approach of enemy combatant ships and tankers 
toward Coron Bay as the first phase of the build up of magnified Tokyo 
Express runs against Leyte. Believe highly probable that a tanker group 
arrived Coron Bay area between 0200/1 23 and 0300/1 23 for purpose of 
refueling major task force of enemy fleet which has been assembling for 
several days in southern Formosa. Submarine reports indicate three 
probable battleships approaching from the southern position to arrive 
Coron Bay tonight Monday. Another group of 11 enemy ships with many 
radars could arrive about the same time. There are indications of a 
concentration of large number of enemy aircraft in the Luzon area. It 
is also very important that early preparations for enemy operations be 
disrupted. Commander FIFTH Air Force and THIRTEENTH Air Force requested 
continue thorough reconnaissance Coron Bay and approaching routes and to 
strike as practicable day and night. COMTHIRDFLT requested strike Coron 
Bay earliest practicable and extend search as far as practicable to 
westward and northwestward. Primary objective enemy combat ships and 

* C0M7THFLT Dispatch 231213 October 1944 to All Concerned Current 
Operations SOWESPAC, C0M3RDFLT, CTF 38, CTG's 38.2 and 38.3. 

19 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

aircraft. It is possible that enemy carriers will support surface forces 
and strike from west of Palawan. TG 77.4 is striking in western Visayas 
twice daily,"* 

A comprehensive discussion of events leading up to the 
release of this dispatch and an analysis of the dispatch itself is 
contained in Volume III under "Operations of CTF 77, 0000 - 1042, October 
23rd" .** 

The basic conclusions derived as a result of this analysis 
are repeated herewith: 

"IT SEEMS CORRECT TO SAY THAT CTF 77 WAS CLEARLY DISREGARDING 
THE POSSIBILITY OF (A) MAJOR FLEET ACTION AND (B) RAIDS BY SURFACE FORCES 
REFERRED TO BY COMSOWESPAC IN HIS 212240 AND BY HIMSELF AS COMSEVENTHFLT 
IN HIS 210526 MENTIONED LATER IN THIS DISCUSSION, BUT WAS INSTEAD, 
OPERATING ON THE CONCEPT THAT THE JAPANESE NOW CONTEMPLATED THE MOVEMENT 
OF GROUND TROOPS TO LEYTE BY TOKYO EXPRESS OPERATIONS THROUGH THE VTSAYAS 
EMPLOYING MAJOR FORCES AND POSSIBLY SUPPORTED BY CARRIERS OPERATING 
SOLELY FROM THE SOUTH CHINA SEA." 

At about 1106 (when it was received by CTF 79) he learned that 
COMTHIRDFLT had changed his plans as regards TG 38.2. CTG 33.2 instead 
of proceeding with CTG 38.3 to a position off Polillo Island, was to (a) 
proceed to the vicinity of Latitude 13°-00«N, Longitude 125°-00«E (the 
eastern entrance to San Bernardino Strait), (b) arrive there by 0600, 
October 24th and (c) launch a reinforced search to the westward, to 
include Coron Bay, striking targets of opportunity.*** 

He likely viewed this dispatch with satisfaction as it showed 
that the commander of the covering force (COMTHIRDFLT) was fully alert 
to the responsibilities of a covering force and had acted independently 
and prior to receipt of his (CTF 77* s) dispatch 230142. 

At about t his time, with CTF 79, he departed the WASATCH for 
Tacloban and the ceremonies relative to the installation of the 
Philippine Commonwealth Government. 

He knew that commencing about noon, as a result of prior 
arrangements, the Target CAP over Leyte had been reduced to twelve VF 
which permitted heavier strikes to be conducted against northern Mindanao 
and western Visayan airfields and shipping. 

At 1307, while ashore at Tacloban, he likely learned that 
C.G. TWENTY-FOURTH Corps had assumed command ashore at 1200. He was 
pleased to hear this for now both corps commanders had assumed command 
ashore and this cleared the way for C.G. SIXTH Army to assume command. 

* CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C.G.'s 5TH and 13TH 
Air Forces info all TFC's and TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT's, CINCPAC, COMINCH, 
COMSOWESPAC, CAAF SOWESPAC. 

** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War College, 
1957, Chapter VII (A)(1)(a). 

*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230003 October 1944 to CTG 38.2. 

20 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

This would transfer the responsibility for the ground offensive from 
himself to that commander. 

At 1321 his staff received CTF 79' s daily situation report 
the tenor of which indicated unloading operations were proceeding 
satisfactorily and that operations ashore were continuing well, with 
swampy terrain impeding the advance more than was enemy resistance.* 

Some time after 1400 he returned on board the WASATCH. 

At about 1530 he learned the first ten PBY's of VPB's 
THIRTY-THREE and THIRTY-FOUR had arrived in Leyte Gulf.** Five sectors 
between 341° (T) and 041° (T) (Plate IX) were to be flown upon establishment 
of the two squadrons with their aircraft in the gulf. But, until such 
time as this occurred, reduced coverage of the sectors would have to be 
accepted. 

At 1644 (when it was received by CTF 79), he received an 
aircraft contact report on four MUTSUKI class destroyers, two NACHI class 
heavy cruisers and one NATORI class light cruiser in Latitude 13°-00 f N, 
Longitude ILS^O'E on course 200°(T), speed twenty knots (Contact M 5 W , 
Plate V).*** 

At approximately 1730 he learned that several important 
sightings had occurred in the vicinity of Makassar Strait: (a) a possible 
battleship on course 315°(T), speed thirty knots (the actual reported 
position was on North Watcher Island), (b) one light cruiser and one 
destroyer in southwest Makassar Strait on course 045°(T) and (c) seven 
Sugar Charlies (cargo vessel, 500-1,000 C.T.) northwest of Makassar 
Strait (Contact "3").**** 

It appears that the contact estimated to be a possible 
battleship was quite in error since Japanese records fail to show the 
presence of a battleship in this area at this time. Such a report could, 
however, have hindered efforts to determine with accuracy the number of 
battleships threatening the Allies in Leyte Gulf during the next two days. 

At 1841 he approved CTG 77.4' s proposal to send two carriers 
to Morotai to pick up replacement aircraft.***** 

At 2000 he learned from CTG 77.5 that (a) for the first day 
since the commencement of mine-sweeping operations no mines had been 
swept and (b) Leyte Gulf was now considered safe from moored mines in all 
areas defined by the appropriate section of CANF SOWESPAC Plan 13-44 



* CTF 79 Dispatch 230216 October 1944 to CTF 77. 

** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 230720 October 1944 to CFAW 17 (ADMIN), info 

CTF 77, C.G. 308TH BOMWING, CTF 73. 
*** C.G. 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 230320 October 1944 to All 

Concerned Current SOWESPAC Operations. 
**** Troop Port Commander (probably C.G. 5TH Air Force) Dispatch 

231410/1 October 1944 to All Interested in Current Operations* 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 230941 October 1944 to CTG 77.4, info CTF 73, etc. 

21 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

except for an unexplored danger area existing between Latitude U o -00*N 
and Latitude lO^+l'N and between Longitude 126°-00'E and a line drawn 
from the west tangent of Homonhon Island to the west tangent of Manicani 
Island (Plate IV, Volume III).* 

He likely knew that CTG 78.7, with TG 78.7 consisting of, 
among other units, twenty Liberty ships (XAK), thirty-three LST's and 
some important units of the Service Force was proceeding toward the 
northern transport area where it would arrive about dawn. It is of 
considerable interest that in permitting these vessels to enter Leyte 
Gulf at this time, he evinced no undue concern as regards a possible 
early enemy attempt to penetrate Leyte Gulf. 

At 2133 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received authority 
from CINCPOA to retain CRUDIV FOUR less INDIANAPOLIS plus MINNEAPOLIS.** 
This was important for with the situation still fluid, it was desirable 
to retain not only the three cruisers but also COMCRUDIV FOUR who was, 
as CTG 77.2, the commander of his major combatant surface forces. 

During the evening he intercepted at (a) 2031 (when it was 
received by CTF 79) the DACE's report of her attack on the Main Body, 
FIRST Striking Force*** (Contact "2") and (b) 2153 (when it was received 
by CTF 79) the DARTER'S report**** (Contact "1"). The gist of these two 
reports was that (a) it was the Japanese first team, (b) there were at 
least three battleships, three other heavy ships and four ATAGO's, (c) one 
KONGO class battleship was believed to have been sunk (actually it was 
the CA MAYA), (d) one ATAGO class heavy cruiser had been sunk and another 
heavily damaged all in Palawan Passage and (e) one probable carrier 
together with cruisers and destroyers. 

Although it seems doubtful that he even suspected it, these 
submarine reports were only on the First Section Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force. The Second Section, which was but a few miles astern, 
had not as yet been discovered by the DACE and DARTER. 

It is not believed that these reports affected CTF 77 f s 
"Magnified Tokyo Express" concept in any way. This seems so for it was 
because (a) of the original reports by the DARTER that he had formulated 
this concept and (b) these later reports showed the enemy force to 
(1) have been of about the earlier reported strength but (2) owing to 
damage, be weaker. Certainly he had expected carriers, for had he not, 
in his dispatch 230142, referred to the possibility that "enemy carriers 
will support surface forces and strike from west of Palawan"? 






CTG 77.5 Dispatch 230839 October 1944 to CTF 77. 



CINCPOA Dispatch 231000 October 1944 to CTF 77, info COMSOWESPAC, 
C0M3RDFLT, C0M7THFLT, CTF's 78 and 79. 
*** DACE Dispatch 231115 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

DARTER Dispatch 231240 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

22 CONFIDENTIAL 



U w w w 

* M H H 



CONFIDENTIAL 




CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 78 and CTG 78.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(1) Operations of CTF 78 (Northern Attack Force) and CTG 78.1 
(Palo Attack Group), 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

CTF 78, who was also CTG 78.1, in the BLUE RIDGE at anchor 
off RED Beach had been unloading his shipping. Since he had received 
certain contact reports which gave cause for concern he had been watching 
the unloading of his twenty LST*s (fourteen with CTG 78.1 and six with 
CTG 78.2) and the JUPITER with considerable interest. However, since it 
was now clear that, except for LST 741 (which was aground), all would be 
unloaded and would depart the area that evening, he likely felt somewhat 
relieved. 

It seems probable that as CTF 78 he attended the ceremony 
for the installation of the Philippine Government, which occurred at 
Tacloban at noon. 

Shortly after noon he informed CTG 77.4 that COMDESRON 
TWENTY-ONE, with NICHOLAS, O'BANNON, TAYLOR and HOPEWELL, would arrive 
the next day and upon completion of fueling would report to CTG 77.4 on 
covering station.* These destroyers with a DESDIV from CTF 79 were to 
relieve DESRON FIFTY-SEVEN presently screening that task group, which 
was to then report to COMTHIRDFLT for duty. 

At 1335 by TBS voice radio he requested CTF 79 to advise 
him when LST»s 24, 471, 472(F) and 606, which had arrived at ORANGE and 
BLUE Beaches on October 22nd, had completed unloading, as he planned to 
sail them with the next returning echelon.** 

Mindful of the importance of sending unloaded shipping 
out of the area, he at 1527 directed COMLSTGRP TWENTY-THREE in LST 1018 
to form TG 78.11 consisting of the JUPITER, sixteen additional LST's and 
three escorts and at 1700 to depart Leyte Gulf for Kossol Roads and 
Hollandia . *** 

At 1700 he observed the departure of CTG 78.11 in LST 1018 
with the JUPITER and twenty-two additional LST«s (24, 170, 397, 465, 471, 
472, 549, 606, 613, 623, 666, 667, 668, 695, 697, 740, 744, 751, 912, 986, 
993 and 1017), and three escorts, CARSON CITY (FF), PC's 598 and 1129.**** 



* CTF 78 Dispatch 230317 October 1944 to CTG 77.4, info CTF 77, CTF 
38, C0M3RDFLT. 

** CTF 78 TBS Voice Radio Dispatch 230455 October 1944 to CTF 79. 

*** CTF 78 Dispatch 230627 October 1944 to COMLSTGRP 23, info CTF 79, etc, 

**** Action Report CTG 78.11 (COMLSTGRP 23), Operations While En Route 
from Leyte Island, Philippines, to Hollandia, New Guinea, October 
23rd - 26th, 1944, Serial 001, November 2nd, 1944; also Action 
Report LST 24, Operations in the Invasion of Leyte Island, 
Philippines, October 23rd - 26th, Serial CG-63, November 3rd, 1944. 



23 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 78, CTG 78.1 
and CTG 78.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

Prior to 2036 he had been estimating the situation to 
determine what instructions he should give to CTG 78.7 who, with 
Reinforcement Group TWO, would arrive in the Northern transport area on 
the following morning, for at that time he issued certain instructions 
thereon,* The prospective arrival of this group must have been of 
considerable concern to him for, among other units, it was composed of 
twenty Liberty ships, thirty-three LST's and some important units of the 
Service Force, TU 77.7.2. 

Thus, at the end of the day, CTG 78.1 had remaining solely 
the BLUE RIDGE (FFF), LST 741 (which was aground), RUSSELL, JOHN RODGERS, 
LANG and a number of landing and patrol craft. 

(a) Operations of CTG 78.2 (San Ricardo Attack Group), 
1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

CTG 78.2 in the FREMONT (FFF), at anchor off WHITE 
Beach, was observing the unloading of his units. He had the JUPITER, six 
LST's (170, 397, 549, 613, 912 and 993) and six XAK's to unload. However, 
since the latter were not expected to depart the area before D plus 9, 
(actually none appear to have departed before D plus 10 Day), he likely 
was not too concerned about them. 

During the forenoon he received information that two 
of his gunboats, LCI(G)'s 64 and 69, with representatives of the FIRST 
Cavalry Division had successfully reconnoitered San Juanico Strait, 
passing through the entire strait with no signs of enemy action.** 

At 1700 he observed CTG 78.11 with TG 78.11 
consisting of the JUPITER, one frigate (CARSON CITY) and the six LST's 
mentioned above from his own command as well as seventeen LST's and two 
escorts from CTG 78.1 depart the area.*** 

Thus, with the departure of this convoy, he had 
remaining the FREMONT (FFF), one ARL (ACHILLES), six XAK's (THOMAS, 
FIELDS, SHORT, GIANELLA, KINNEY, JUDSON), and the ANDERSON and JENKINS. 
In addition he still had a number of landing and patrol craft. 



* CTF 78 Dispatch 231136 October 1944 to CTG 78.7, info CTF 19T 
** Action Report CTG 78.2, Leyte Operation, Serial 0085, November 

29th, 1944. 
*** Action Report CTG 78.11, Operations En Route Leyte Island to 

Hollandia, New Guinea, Serial 0001, November 2nd, 1944. 



24 CONFIDENTIAL 



-I — I — I I ' I 



i — I — I — I 1 — I — I — I — r— i — i — I — i — I — I — I — I 1 — i — I — i 1 >• I — i — I — i — I ' — I — I - 1 — ' — I — ' — I — i — I r- 



CONTACTS RECEIVED 
BY 
PRINCIPAL ALLIED COMMANDERS 
1042-2400 OCTOBER 23rd 1944 

BOTTLE FOB LEYTE GOLF 
OCTOBER 1944 

ALL TIMES ITEM 



EAST CHINA 
SEA 



^MIYAKO SHIMA 



.ISHIGAKI 




CONFIDENTIAL 

r— T — ■ — | 1 1 — r 



13 



V 



r AMAMI SHIMA 





TIME 
OF 

CONTACT 


LOCATION 


TIMES OF RECEIPT 
CTF 77 C 3rd FLT 




0630-23ro 


S PALAWAN PASS 


2153 1 2350 


2 


0700-23fd 


S. PALAWAN PASS 


203 


2032 


H 


09IO-23rd 


MAKASSAR STRAIT 


1730 


1729 


4 


t220-23rd 


EAST OF LUZON 




1310 


i 


!220-23rd 


NW OF PALAWAN 1. 


1644 


1744 



Position of battleship cited os being 00°-43'N, I20'-I3'E 
in C0M7thFLT 231213 

1220 

ISS (SURFACED) (4) 



'C200°(T) 
S I2K 



o 

..'•y 



0700-3BB.2CA, 
• ■■• (PROBABLE) I CV + CRUISERS 
, ■»<,, intr <Ka,t and DESTROYERS TO 
- ^"^^"IT COMPLETE II SHIPS ON 
«*»-.:. RADAR 



;«AN6MBAS 

■' IS. 





if 


«% 


TALAUD 
IS. 

/ 




• 


V 

■i 




A° 


kHOROTAI 






AHhALMAHERA 

• I """1 






' 8 A~ 


V 


'^ 


is*. 

• 




y> 




CERA M 


SEA 



<&? 



30«- 



20*- 



I0»- 



•CD;"-- - : 



JAVA 



6fe 

MO LU K K A 



B A N A SEA 




PLATE Si 



'tf 



496799 O-59-10 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTU 77.2.1, CTG 77.3 
and CTG 78.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(b) Operations of CTU 77.2.1 (Fire Support Unit NORTH) 
and CTG 77.3 (Close Covering Group), 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

(1) Operations of CTU 77.2.1 (Fire Support Unit NORTH). 

At 1042 CTU 77.2.1, with TU 77.2.1, was at anchor 
in San Pedro Bay awaiting FS missions. During the day his three destroyers 
(AULICK, CONY, SIGOURNEY) refueled, returning to their anchorage by 1430.* 

At 1700 he got underway for his assigned night 
screening station north of Tay Tay Point, in southern Leyte Gulf.** 

At 1938 he arrived on station in Area DRUM*** where 
he was joined by COMBATDIV TWO with BATDIV TWO (TENNESSEE, CALIFORNIA, 
PENNSYLVANIA) .** 

As of 2400 this patrol had been uneventful. 

(2) Operations of CTG 77.3 (Close Covering Group). 

At 1042 CTG 77.3, in the PHOENIX, with the 

SHROPSHIRE, BEALE, HUTCHINS, DALY and KILLEN, was at anchor in San Pedro 

Bay awaiting call fire assignments, while the BOISE, BACHE and ARUNTA were 
underway and available for FS as requested. 

During the afternoon the destroyers refueled,**** 
while the SHROPSHIRE and later the BOISE, carried out FS missions.***** 

By 1847, with TG 77.3, less BACHE which remained 
off RED BEACH, available for FS missions, he had commenced patrolling the 
area southeast of the transport area in accordance with CTF 77* s Harbor 
Defense Plan ONE.****** 

As of 2400 this patrol had been uneventful. 

(c) Operations of CTG 78.7 (Reinforcement Group TWO), 
1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTG 78.7******* who was also COMDESRON TWENTY- 
ONE in the NICHOLAS, was bearing 108°(T), distant about 120 miles from 
Leyte Gulf .******** 

* Deck Logs AULICK, CONY, SIGOURNEY, October 23rd, 1944. 

** War Diary COMBATDIV 3, October 23rd, 1944. 

*** War Diary COMBATDIV 4, October 23rd, 1944. 

**** Deck Logs BACHE, DALY, KILLEN, HUTCHINS, October 23rd, 1944; also 
War Diary BEALE, October 23rd, 1944; also Action Report HMAS 
ARUNTA, Operations in the Invasion of Leyte Island, October 20th - 

29th, 1944, No Serial, Undated. 
***** Deck Log BOISE, October 23rd, 1944. 
****** Deck Logs BOISE, DALY, October 23rd, 1944; also War Diary PHOENIX, 

October 23rd, 1944; also Action Report HMAS ARUNTA, Operations in 

the Invasion of Leyte Island, October 20th - 29th, 1944, No 

Serial, Undated. 
******* Captain John K.B. GINDER, USN. 
******** War Diary NICHOLAS, October 23rd, 1944. 

25 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 78.7, CTG 78.3 
and CTF 79 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1930, with TG 78.7, he entered Leyte Gulf and 
headed for the northern transport area.* Some time after 2036 he received 
a dispatch from CTF 78 assigning eleven LST's to proceed YELLOW Beach.** 

(d) Operations of CTG 78.3 (Reinforcement Group THREE), 
1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTG 78.3 in the frigate EUGENE (FFF) and with 
TG 78.3 which was composed largely of seventeen Liberty ships and six 
LST's, was proceeding towards Leyte Gulf having departed Humboldt Bay at 
0700 this day.*** 

(2) Operations of CTF 79 (Southern Attack Force), 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

As this period began CTF 79 was aboard the WASATCH 
preparatory to attending the ceremony for the installation of the 
Philippine Commonwealth Government which was to take place at noon at 
Tacloban.**** 

At 1135 he queried CTG 79.2 as to what ships would be 
ready to sail this day.***** At this time he also learned that personnel 
of the 381st RCT had been landed at 0927, and now all BLT's had been 
la nd e d • ****** 

About noon he issued a dispatch designating the units 
which would compose TU 79. 14. 5, this dispatch also gave the departure 
time # *-JBBBB5-* 

At 1303 he received word that of all the WHITS Beach LST's 
only two remained to be unloaded, and that these two LST's were scheduled 
to retract at 3^00. ******** 

At 1305 he was informed that TRANSDIV TEN had commenced 
general unloading. ********* At the same time he became aware that 
unloading progress on BLUE and ORANGE Beaches was not proceeding as 
rapidly as de si red. ********** 



* Action Report CTG 78.7, Serial 0176, November 10th, 1944. 
** CTF 78 Dispatch 231136 October 1944 to CTG 78.7, info CTF 79. 
*** Action Report CTG 78.3, Serial 071, November 16th, 1944. 
**** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter VTI (A)(2). 
***** CTF 79 Visual Dispatch 230235 October 1944 to CTG 79.2. 
****** CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 230146 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
******* CTF 79 Dispatch 230258 October 1944 to CTG's 79.1, 79.2, CTU 

79.11.1, info All TFC's and TGC's 7THFLT, CNB Hollandia. 
******** CTU 79.11.2 Voice Radio Message 230403 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
********* CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 230354 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
********** CTG 79.2 Voice Radio Message 230320 October 1944 to C.G. 96TH 

DIV., info CTF 79. 

26 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 79 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1312 he received CTG 79.1' s dispatch in which that 
commander informed his units that those remaining in the area after his 
departure, at 1700 this day, would come directly under the command of 
CTF 79.* 

Ten minutes later he received another dispatch from that 
commander informing him that the unloading of the MERCURY would delay 
her sailing and recommending that she be sailed at 1800 in order to 
overtake him regardless whether or not she had completed unloading.** 

At 1346 he was informed by CTG 79.2 that only the WILLIAM 
P. BIDDLE would be able to sail this day.*** 

At 1356 he originated a dispatch giving the composition 
and departure time of TU 79.14.4.**** 

At 1418 he informed his command that command of all 
landing forces in his area had passed ashore at 1200 to C.G. TWENTY- 
FOURTH Corps.***** 

At 1419 he received CTG 79.1 f s sortie plan.****** At this 
time he also learned that CTF 78 intended to assign COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE 
to duty with CTG 77.4 upon his arrival in the gulf the following day.******* 

At 1441 he received word from CTG 79.2 that four 
battleships and two destroyers were low on fuel.******** 

At 1450 he returned aboard the MOUNT OLYMPUS.********* 

At 1515 he learned that CTG 77.2 intended to suspend 
replenishment operations at 1700 until 0700 the following morning.********** 



* CTG 79.1 Visual Dispatch 230252 October 1944 to TG 79.7, 79.5, 

TU 79.7.1, CTU 79.7.5, 79.3.6, info CTG 79.3, CTF 79. 
** CTG 79.1 TBS Voice Radio Message 230422 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
*** CTG 79.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 230410 October 1944 to CTF 79, 

CTG 79.1, info CTU 79.4.1. 
**** CTF 79 Dispatch 230456 October 1944 to CTG's 79.1, 79.2, etc., 

info CNB f s Hollandia and Manus. 
***** CTF 79 Dispatch 230518 October 1944 to CTF 77, info CTG«s 

79.1 and 79.2. 
****** CTG 79.1 Visual Dispatch 230242 October 1944 to BIDDLE, CLAY, 

etc., info CTF 79, CTG«s 79.2, 79.3, etc. 
******* CTF 78 Dispatch 230317 October 1944 to CTG 77.4, info CTF's 

38, 77, C0M3RDFLT. 
******** CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 230430 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
********* Action Report SPROSTON, Capture and Occupation of Leyte Island, 

Philippine Islands, October 14th - 26th, 1944, Serial 060, 

October 30th, 1944. 
*«*******-* CTG 77.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 230615 October 1944 to CTU 

79.6.1, TU 72.2.2, info CTF 79, CTF 77. 



27 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 79 and CTG 79.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1540 he received word of the destroyer's night 
screening composition,* 

At about 1610 he received CTG 79.1 f s visual dispatch 
executing his sortie plan at 1700 and also modifying it. Among other 
things he learned that the CHARA might not be unloaded in time to depart 
for this dispatch directed her to join, if unloaded in time to get 
underway by 1800, otherwise she was to notify the appropriate commanders 
and remain in Leyte Gulf until ordered to depart by CTF 79.** 

At 1638 he ordered CTG's 79.1 and 79.2 to direct all 
LST's seaward of the MOUNT OLYMPUS to close in toward the transport 
area.*** 

At 1719 he issued the night operating instruction to CTG 
79.2 quoted in full under "Operations of CTG 79.2, 1042 - 2400, October 
23rd". 

At 1733 (when it was received by COMTHIRDFLT) he probably 
intercepted CTF 77 's dispatch wherein that commander stated that he 
regarded the approach of enemy combatant ships and tankers toward Coron 
Bay as the first phase of a build up of what he considered to be 
magnified Tokyo Express runs against Leyte.**** 

At 1746 he was informed by CTG 79.2 by TBS voice radio 
that his group was low on smoke.***** This may have caused him some 
alarm as heretofore the smoke screens had been an effective defense 
against Japanese aircraft. 

(a) Operations of CTG 79.1 (Attack Group ABLE), 1042 - 
2400, October 23rd. 

At the beginning of this period CTG 79.1, in his 
flagship APPALACHIAN, continued to remain at anchor off YELLOW and VIOLET 
Beaches. With three of his large ships unloaded (CAVALIER, MONITOR, 
PRESIDENT HAYES) and three (CHARA, THUBAN, ALSHAIN) of the remaining four 
almost unloaded he was preparing his departure plan .****** 



* CTU 79.11.2 Visual Dispatch 230615 October 1944 to CTF 79. 

** CTG 79.1 Visual Dispatch 230642 October 1944 to CTF 79, CTG 79.2, 

CTG 79.3, etc. 
*** CTF 79 TBS Voice Radio Message 230738 October 1944 to CTG's 79.1 

and 79.2. 
**** CTF 77 Dispatch 230L42 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C.G.'s 5TH and 

13TH Air Forces, info all TFC»s and TGC»s 3RD and TTHFLT's, 

CINCPAC, CINCSWPA, COMINCH, COMFEAF. 
***** CTG 79.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 230821 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
****** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter VTI (A)(2)(a). 

28 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1142 he issued his sortie plan stating that (a) 
it was his intention to form the transports in three columns at close 
intervals of 700 yards, (b) stating the ships in each column and naming 
a TRANSDIV commander in command of each, and (c) he intended to get 
underway at 1700.* 

At 1152 he sent a dispatch to his units stating that 
upon his departure about 1700 this day command of the remaining units 
would pass to CTF 79.** 

About noon or shortly thereafter he no doubt received 
CTF 79' s dispatch forming TU 79.14.5 and giving the sailing time of that 
unite*** This was of special interest to him as the composition of this 
unit consisted of most of his remaining landing craft. 

Since (a) his unloading was proceeding generally 
according to his present plans it was clear that if he could expedite the 
unloading of the MERCURY he would be able to sail all of his heavy ships, 
and (b) he was to command the departing convoy, he would be leaving few 
problems for CTF 79. 

At 1322 he sent a dispatch to CTF 79 recommending 
that the MERCURY, whose sailing time would be delayed due to the progress 
being made in unloading, be sailed not later than 1800 regardless of the 
amount of cargo remaining on board in order to overtake him.**** 

At 1520 he received CTF 79 f s dispatch which gave the 
composition and sailing time of TU 79.14.4.***** 

At 1542 he issued a visual dispatch which directed 
(a) the execution of his sortie plan at 1700, (b) omission of the 
TRANSDIV in the right hand column and rearranging the other two TRANSDIV s 
and (c) the CHARA to join if unloaded in time to get underway by 1800, 
otherwise she was to notify the appropriate commanders and remain in Leyte 
Gulf until ordered to depart by CTF 79 .****** 

At 1643, in the APPALACHIAN, he took command of TU 
79.14.4 and departed Leyte for Hollandia.******* In addition to his 
flagship he had with him the following ships: PRESIDENT HAYES, 

* CTG 79.1 Visual Dispatch 230242 October 1944 to Ships Concerned, 

info CTF 79, CTG 79.2, CTG 79.3, etc. 
** CTG 79.1 Visual Dispatch 230252 October 1944 to TG's 79.5, 79.7, 

CTU's 79.3.6, 79.7.5, TU 79.7.1, info CTF 79 and CTG 79.3. 
*** CTF 79 Dispatch 230258 October 1944 to CTG's 79.1, 79.2, CTU 

79.11.1, info All TFC's and TGC's 7THFLT, CNB Hollandia. 
**** CTG 79.1 TBS Voice Radio Message 230422 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
***** CTF 79 Dispatch 230456 October 1944 to CTG's 79.1, 79.2, 79.5, 

etc., info all interested current operations, etc. 
****** CTG 79.1 Visual Dispatch 230642 October 1944 to CTF 79, CTG 79.2, 

CTG 79.3, etc. 
******* Action Report CTG 79.1, Participation in Amphibious Operations 

for the Capture of Leyte, Philippine Islands, Serial 00454, 

October 26th, 1944. 

29 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.1 and CTG 79.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

CAVALIER (FF), THUBAN, ALSHAIN, WILLIAM P. BIDDLE, MONITOR, LUCE, 
STEMBEL, PREBLE, LONG, PALMER, ISHERWOOD and CHARLES J. BADGER. 
However, he did not have the CHARA which had been delayed in unloading 
and did not complete unloading until the following morning. 

Thus, at the end of the day, there remained of the 
assault shipping in the area the MERCURY and CHARA, thirty-one LST's 
(34, 123, 125, 126, 169, 205, 207, 213, 219, 223, 242, 451, 461, 478, 
482, 488, 565, 605, 608, 609, 611, 612, 617, 670, 686, 693, 733, 738, 
739, 909, 1006), plus a number of landing and patrol craft. Command of 
these ships with the departure of the APPALACHIAN passed to CTF 79«* 

(b) Operations of CTG 79.2 (Attack Group BAKER), 1042 - 
2400, October 23rd. 

At the beginning of this period CTG 79.2, in the 
ROCKY MOUNT, was anchored in the LST area off ORANGE Beach. 

He was largely concerned with unloading his ships and 
with the departure of the unloaded ones. Because of this he evidenced 
considerable concern with the delay in the unloading operation on the 
beach where difficulties were so great as to require (a) sending ashore 
beach parties to assist in the unloading of the ship's boats** and (b) 
requesting C.G. NINETY-SIXTH Division "to improve paucity of active labor 
and vehicular equipment on BLUE and ORANGE Beach."*** 

About noon or shortly thereafter he no doubt 
received CTF 79 's dispatch forming TU 79.14.5, and giving the sailing 
time of that unit.****- This was of special interest to him as the 
composition of this unit consisted of most of his remaining landing craft. 

At 1310 in response to a query thereon, he notified 
both CTF 79 and CTG 79.1 that only the WILLIAM P. BIDDLE would be ready 
to sail (that evening).***** 

At 1330 he notified CTF 79 that four of the battle- 
ships and two of the destroyers were low on fuel as of 0800.****** 



Action Report CTG 79.1, Participation in Amphibious Operations for 

the Capture of Leyte, Philippine Islands, Serial 00454, October 

26th, 1944. 
** Action Report CTG 79.2, Leyte Operation, Serial 0032, November 

4th, 1944. 
*** CTG 79.2 TBS Voice Radio Dispatch 230320 October 1944 to C.G. 

96TH Division, info CTF 79. 
**** CTF 79 Dispatch 230258 October 1944 to CTG»s 79.1, 79.2, CTU 

79.11.1, info all TFC's and TGC's 7THFLT, CNB Hollandia. 
***** CTG 79.2 TBS Voice Radio Dispatch 230410 October 1944 to CTF 79, 

CTG 79.1, info CTU 79.4.1. 
****** CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 230430 October 1944 to CTF 79. 

30 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.2 and CTU 77.2.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

Somewhere between 1520 and 1545 he received CTF 79 ! s 
dispatch giving the composition and sailing time of TU 79.14.4.* His 
interest in this was not great for only the WILLIAM P. BIDDLE and the 
LUCE were included therein. 

At 1719 he received CTF 79 f s instructions to (a) not 
retire tonight, (b) station smoke boats by 1800 and (c) station LC^s to 
windward of transport area.** In reply to this dispatch he immediately 
informed CTF 79 that his smoke supply was low.*** 

At 1750 he informed CTF 79 of the progress made in 
unloading .**** 

Thus, at the end of the day, CTG 79.2 had remaining 
the ROCKY MOUNT, CLAY, ARTHUR MIDDLETON, BAXTER, GEORGE F. ELLIOTT, 
AURIGA, CAPRICORNUS, RUSHMORE and twenty- four LST's (20, 117, 118, 269, 
270, 277, 483, 486, 564, 567, 568, 615, 669, 671, 672, 698, 704, 745, 
916,917, 918, 999, 1013 and 1024), plus a number of landing and patrol 
craft. 

(c) Operations of CTU 77.2.2 (Fire Support Unit SOUTH), 
1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTU 77.2.2, with TU 77.2.2, was awaiting FS 
and call fire missions. In addition, he was making preparations to 
replenish fuel and ammunition as scheduled. 

Commencing at (a) 1119 the LEUTZE closely followed 
by the RICHARD P. LEARY and NEWCOMB commenced refueling from the 
ASHTABULA which refueling was completed at L421,***** (b) 1310 the 
BENNION closely followed by the LOUISVILLE, MINNEAPOLIS and CLAXTON 
commenced replenishing ammunition from the MAZAMA and DURHAM 
VICTORY,****** and (c) 1323 the PENNSYLVANIA closely followed by the 
CALIFORNIA and TENNESSEE also commenced refueling from the oilers 
CHEPACHET, S ARAN AC and SALAMONIE. ******* 

During the afternoon, at about 1515, as CTG 77.2, 
he conferred with CTF 77 in the WASATCH.******** The matters discussed 
are not known. 



* CTF 79 Dispatch 230456 October 1944 to CTG»s 79.1, 79.2, 79.5, 

info all interested in current operations. 
** CTF 79 Visual Dispatch 230819 October 1944 to CTG 79.2. 
*** CTG 79.2 TBS Voice Radio Dispatch 230821 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
**** CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 230850 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
***** Deck Logs LEUTZE, NEWCOMB, RICHARD P. LEARY, October 23rd, 1944. 
****** Deck Logs LOUISVILLE, BENNION, MINNEAPOLIS, CLAXTON, October 

23rd, 1944. 
******* Deck Logs PENNSYLVANIA, CALIFORNIA, TENNESSEE, October 23rd, 1944. 
******** CTG 77.2 Visual Dispatch 230630 October 1944 to CTF 79. 



31 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTU 77.2.2 and CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1700 all servicing activities were halted. At 
this time the servicing activities were not completed for (a) the 
CALIFORNIA and TENNESSEE had not as yet completed refueling, (b) the 
LOUISVILLE and CLAXTON had not completed replenishing amnunition and 
(c) the PORTLAND, seven remaining destroyers of DESRON FIFTY-SIX and 
three destroyers of DESDIV X-RAY had not as yet commenced replenishing 
ammunition* 

Also at 1700 with TU 77.2.2, less the LEUTZE, 
ROBINSON and ALBERT W. GRANT, which were to be available for FS missions, 
he proceeded to his night covering station in accordance with CTF 77' s 
Harbor Defense Plan ONE.* 

This completes his operations for the period 1042 - 
1700. After this time and until 2400, since he operated as CTG 77.2, 
his operations during this time are discussed under "Operations of CTG 
77.2, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd". 

(3) Operations of CTG 77.2 (Combardment and Fire Support 
Group), 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTG 77.2, in the LOUISVILLE, was making 
preparations to replenish fuel and ammunition and also to furnish FS and 
call fire support. 

Since during the period 1042 - 1700 he operated largely 
as CTU 77.2.2 his operations during this time are discussed under 
"Operations of CTU 77.2.2, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd". 

At 1700 having largely completed the day's operations as 
CTU 77.2.2, he, in the LOUISVILLE, with the PORTLAND, MINNEAPOLIS, DENVER, 
COLUMBIA, NEWCOMB, HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS, RICHARD F. LEARY, HALFORD, BRYANT, 
CLAXTON, THORN and WELLES departed the FS area and headed for his night 
covering station as prescribed in CTF 77 ! s Harbor Defense Plan ONE.* 

While en route, and likely at 1733, (when it was received 
by COMTHIRDFLT) he intercepted CTF 77' s dispatch wherein that commander 
stated that he regarded the approach of enemy combatant ships and tankers 
toward Coron Bay as the first phase of a build up of what he considered 
to be magnified Tokyo Express runs against Leyte.** 

He arrived on station at about 1851 at which time he 
commenced operating on an east-west line at various speeds*** off Tay Tay 
Point, while BATDIV's TWO, THREE and FOUR escorted by the AULICK, CONY 

* Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Bombardment and Capture of Leyte 

Island, Philippine Islands, October 16th - 24th, 1944, Serial OOL47, 

November 5th, 1944 • 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to COM3RDFLT, C.G.'s 5TH and 13TH 

Air Forces, info all TFC's and TGC»s 3RD and 7THFLTS, CINCSWPA, 

CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMFEAF. 
*** War Diary COMDESRON 56, October 23rd, 1944; Action Report LOUISVILLE, 

Seizure and Occupation of Leyte Area, October 17th - 24th, 1944, 

Serial 0044, November 1st, 1944. 

32 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 and CTG 77.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

and SIGOURNEY lay to, north of Taytay Point in Area DRUM.* His 
remaining destroyers (LEUTZE, ROBINSON, ALBERT W. GRANT) remained behind 
in their FS area available for FS and call fire support missions.** 

At 2400 his command was approximately in the above area. 
Up to this hour the patrol had been uneventful. 

(4) Operations of CTG 77.4 (Escort Carrier Group), 1042 - 
2400, October 23rd.*** 

CTG 77.4, in the SANGAMON with a total of 311 VF and 190 
VT, continued to provide (a) air cover and support over the objective 
area, and (b) air protection for his own units, in accordance with his 
basic air plan,**** as modified by CTF 77 's 220603 (quoted in full in 
Volume III under "Operations of CTF 77, October 22nd"). 

It will be recalled that during the forenoon he had 
launched his first and second direct support missions. Shortly after 
1100 he commenced his third and at 1215 the fourth launch, which included 
both a direct support mission as well as strikes against the airfields on 
Negros Island and shipping in Bacolod Harbor. He claimed having damaged 
or destroyed twenty- five aircraft. While Japanese reports thereon are 
meager it is known that, although Commander FOURTH Air Army had planned 
to have 172 aircraft for strikes against the Allies on the following day, 
only 128 operational aircraft could be assembled. This may have been 
partly due to the Allied fighter strikes. The TCAP was now reduced to 
six VF and six VT. 

He now launched his fifth direct support mission. 

At 1631 having received authority to send the CHENANGO 
and SAGINAW BAY to Morotai to obtain aircraft replacements, a requirement 
for which no provisions had been made in the basic operation plans, he 
directed these two escort carriers to (a) transfer a total of eighteen 
VF and twenty VT to the other escort carriers of TG 77.4 and (b) receive 
four flyable duds. He also announced that he planned to detach the 
above two carriers at 1700 the following day.***** 



* Deck Log SIGOURNEY, October 23rd, 1944; also Action Report 

CALIFORNIA, Participation in Operations off Island of Leyte, 
October 19th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0025, November 8th, 1944. 

** War Diaries LEUTZE, ROBINSON, ALBERT W. GRANT, October 23rd, 1944* 

*** All information here, except as otherwise indicated, obtained from 
Action Report CTG 77.4, Leyte Operations, October 12th - 29th, 1944, 
Serial 00120, November 15th, 1944. 

**** CTG 77 .4 Operation Plan No. 2-44, Serial 00075, October 5th, 1944, 
Annex "D". 

**#** CTG 77.4 Dispatch 230731 October 1944 to CTU's 77.4.2, 77.4.3, 
77.4.12 and TU's 70.9.11 and 70.9.12. 



33 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77./* and CTG 70.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At about 1732 (when it was received by CTU 77. 4. 2) he 
received CTF 77 's dispatch 230142 which was discussed fully in Volume III 
under "Operations of CTF 77, 0000 - 1042, October 23rd". What his 
reaction was to this dispatch is not known. However, since he had most 
of the information which had enabled CTF 77 to arrive at his estimate, it 
is quite probable that he agreed with the estimate. This seems so for 
despite the fact that his earlier intelligence estimate (a) discounted 
the likelihood of a major fleet reaction to the Leyte invasion and (b) 
suggested the possibility of a fast enemy task force launched from Okinawa 
as an advance force against Allied supply lines and supported by land- 
based air attacks,* the more recent enemy sightings indicated that the 
most likely direction from which the enemy might attempt penetrating 
raids would be from westward. 

In reviewing the tasks currently assigned to his forces, 
he could see that if the situation so required he could significantly 
increase his local and target CAP effort. Therefore he quite likely did 
not view the present situation with alarm. 

At 1925 he recovered his last flight of the day. 
Commencing with the third launch of the day, he had flown about eighty 
ground support missions, about forty target CAP and twelve target ASP 
missions and about forty-three airfield and shipping strike missions — 
totalling approximately 170 missions over the objective and western 
Visayas areas. Having lost one VF in combat and two VT operationally, 
he now had remaining 310 VF and 188 VT. 

(5) Operations of CTG 70.1 (Motor Torpedo Boats), 1042 - 
2400, October 23rd (Plate VI). 

It will be recalled that at 0744 the WACHAPRSAGUE with 
PT's 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 146, 150, 151, 152, 190, 191, 192, 194, 195 
and 196 had departed San Pedro Bay and headed for Liloan Bay, Panaon 
Island. This left thirty MTB's and the WILLOUGHBY with CTG 70.1 in the 
OYSTER BAY in San Pedro Bay. 

The WACHAPRSAGUE group arrived in Liloan Bay during the 
early afternoon where the WACHAPRSAGUE anchored at 1414. 

Later (a) PT's 128 and 130 patrolled the Ormoc 3ay area 
(Area 109) where they contacted at 2300 eight enemy small craft which 
they attacked immediately and succeeded in sinking a number of enemy 
barges,** (b) PT's 127 and 196 on a mission for the guerrilla forces 
shelled Japanese headquarters at Maasin** (Areas 101 and 102) Southern 
end of Leyte Island, (c) PT's 150 and 191 patrolled between Leyte Island 
and the Canotes Islands (Areas 109 and 114) and sank several enemy small 
craft,*** (d) PT's 491 and 495 departed San Pedro Bay for Homonhon Island 



* CTG 77»4 Operation Plan No. 2-44, Serial 00075, October 5th, 1944, 

Annex "E". 
** 'War Diary KTBRON 7, October 23rd, 1944. 
*** War Diary KTBRON 12, October 23rd, 1944. 

34 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 




CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

on a mission to guerrillas* and (e) PT's 192 and 195 landed Alamo 
Scouts** at Madilao Point, Mindanao Island,*** (These scouts appear to 
have been part of the "Nellist Mission" commanded by Lieutenant William 
E. Nellist.)** 

All other MTB's appear to have continued preparations for 
immediate service. 

(b) Operations of CTF 71, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

Since (a) during the early morning as discussed under 
"Operations of CTF 71, 0000 - 1042, October 23rd" his submarines had 
contacted strong Japanese forces moving northward through Palawan Passage 
and (b) he had received contact reports by CTF 71 submarines on Japanese 
forces moving in a southerly direction and (c) the above Japanese forces 
seemed headed toward Coron Bay or Manila, it seems clear that CTF 71 
watched the developing situation with considerable interest. 

It seems likely that shortly after noon he received CTF 77' s 
230142 quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 77, 1042 - 2400, October 
23rd" wherein that commander stated that he regarded the approach of the 
enemy combatant ships and tankers toward Coron Bay as the first phase of 
the build up of magnified Tokyo Express runs against Leyte. 

He studied the situation and wisely decided that there should 
be a submarine (a) in the western approaches to the Mindanao Sea to 
provide early warning of enemy operations to Leyte. In accordance with 
this decision he at 1356 directed the BATFISH to cover these approaches 
between Negros Island and Mindanao Island with instructions "report 
movement enemy heavy forces eastward very important",**** and (b) guarding 
the southwest approaches to Brunei Bay for at 1401 he directed the GURNARD 
to cover the southwest approaches to Brunei Bay with instructions 
concerning reporting enemy movements the same as the BATFISH.***** 

He also at 1744 directed the PADDLE in Makassar Strait to 
patrol as previously ordered — that the air strike on Balikpapan was 
cancelled.****** 

He now commenced re-estimating the situation. First he 
determined the location of his own submarines as of 0900 and having done 
so he at 1952 informed all interested commands by dispatch.******* His 



* War Diary MTBRON 33, October 23rd, 1944. 

** Alamo Scouts were reconnaissance units from the 6TH Army which were 
designed to obtain essential information of hostile territory and 
dispositions, 6TH U.S. Army, Report of the Leyte Operation, October 
17th - December 25th, 1944, Page 159. 

*** War Diary MTBRON 12, October 23rd, 1944. 

**** CTF 71 Dispatch 230456 October 1944 to TO 71.1 (BATFISH). 

***** CTF 71 Dispatch 230501 October 1944 to TG 71.1 (GURNARD). 

****** CTF 71 Dispatch 230844 October 1944 to TG 71.1 (PADDLE). 

******* CTF 71 Dispatch 231052 October 1944 to all interested commands. 

35 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

determination was generally fairly correct, although there were certain 
glaring errors (Diagram "B"). These were the (a) DACE reported as being 
west of Balabac Strait when she was in fact in about the center of 
Palawan Passage, (b) GUITARRO reported as being northwest of Manila when 
she was in fact west of Mindoro Strait, (c) BATFISH reported as being in 
western approaches to the Mindanao Sea when she was in fact in southern 
Makassar Strait and (d) GURNARD off Brunei Bay when in fact she was off 
Point Datoe. It should be clear that these submarines were far removed 
from their assigned stations. In some cases, such as the BATFISH, this 
error amounted to as much as 700 miles. 

As the day passed he awaited further reports from his 
submarines but especially from the DACE and DARTER. At about 202*5 he 
received a report from the DACE to the effect that (a) she had made four 
hits in a KONGO class battleship believed sunk and (b) task force on 
course 040°(T), speed fifteen knots, composition doubtful but for sure 
three battleships (one ISE, one KONGO (sunk), third unknown); two ATAGO 
or NACHI heavy cruisers plus following probables; one carrier, plus 
cruisers and destroyers to complete eleven ships shown on radar.* 

A short time later (at 2153) he received a report from 
the DARTER which largely confirmed the DACE report but was more explicit 
in that here the Commanding Officer DARTER stated that (a) he believed 
force was Jap first team, (b) dimly seen at dawn, (c) at least three 
battleships, (d) three other heavy ships, (e) four ATAGO' s, (f) at 0530 
he sank one ATAGO class heavy cruiser and made four hits in another, 
which was stopped in Latitude 09°-24'N, Longitude 117°-11'E.** 

It seems likely that prior to midnight he received (a) a 
contact report from the BREAM to the effect that at 0430 in Latitude 
14°-05'N, Longitude 119°-40'E, she had contacted two AOBA class cruisers, 
one large destroyer on course 070°(T), speed nineteen knots, and had 
made two hits in one cruiser,*** and (b) the ANGLER'S first report on 
having contacted at 2130 in Latitude 12°-40'N, Longitude 115°- 53' E a 
task force consisting of four large ships and escorts on course 050° (T), 
speed eighteen knots.**** 

As pointed out under ANGLER, this force was the Main Body, 
FIRST Striking Force. 

CTF 71 at 2354 advised all interested commands of the ANGLER'S 
contact.***** 

At the end of the day CTF 71 could feel that his submarines 
had been very effective in not only destroying some of the Japanese naval 
forces but also in trailing them. 

* DACE Dispatch 231115 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

** DARTER Dispatch 231240 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

*** BREAM Dispatch 231231 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

**** Action Report CTF 71, Summary of Operations of TF 71 Submarines in 

Support of King II (Leyte) Operations, October 9th - 27th, 1944 

Serial 00328, November 17th, 1944. 
***** CTF 71 Dispatch 232354 October 1944 to all interested comnands. 

36 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



SUBMARINE OPERATING AREA CLASSIFICATIONS 

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC 8 ADJACENT CENTRAL PACIFIC 



All areas submarine patrol zones unless otherwise indicated; 
Dotted areas indicate air surface zone [ ^'W/-\ 
Hatched areas indicate joint zone [ j 

Mottled areas indicate blind bombing zone [£cgfV<j 



OCTO B E R 8 th. - 31 st. inc. 1944 

(APPENDIX 5 TO ANNEX V TO CANF, SWPA OP-PLAN 13-44) 

COMSOWESPAC ZONE NOTICES 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11 

BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 
OCTOBER 1944 



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PLATE3ZE 



496799 O - 59 - 11 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



I? I [1 I in | ill I i | I I in [! r 




CONFIDENTIAL 



BREAM, GUITARRO 
and ANGLER 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

Since the operations of the submarines here were in general 
uneventful, comment will be confined solely to those submarines which 
contacted enemy units, 

(1) BREAM and GUITARRO. 

The BREAM, which had torpedoed the AOBA of CRUDIV 
SIXTEEN and had promptly submerged, at 1952 surfaced and reported her 
success to CTF 71.* Since the attack had been made on the southern edge 
of her assigned area (A-3 - A-7, Plate VIII) she continued her patrol in 
that area. 

The GUITARRO which was endeavoring to close the force 
which the DARTER had contacted, finally made contact herself on what she 
thought were merchant ships. While trailing these ships she, at 2315, 
contacted another force which by midnight she had sighted and estimated 
consisted of fifteen to twenty ships including three battleships.** 

(2) ANGLER. 

The ANGLER which was patrolling across the northern 
entrance to Palawan Passage to intercept the DARTER 1 s contact finally at 
(a) 1950 made radar contact on an enemy force which she commenced trailing 
in a northeasterly direction, (b) 2015, estimated composition as possible 
four large ships with six escorts*** and (c) at 2215 sent a contact 
report to CTF 71 reporting four large ships plus escorts at 2130 in 
Latitude 12°-40'N, Longitude 118°-56'E.**** Although ANGLER, while 
tracking this force also contacted a convoy, she decided to remain with 
her first contact which was headed for Calavite Passage. This was a wise 
decision for this was the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force which, despite 
the loss of three cruisers (ATAGO and MAYA (sunk), TAKAO, (damaged)) and 
two destroyers (NAGANAMI, ASASHIMO) as escorts, was continuing the 
penetration operation. 



* BREAM Dispatch 231231 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

** War Patrol Report GUITARRO, Report of 3RD War Patrol, Serial 044, 

November 16th, 1944« 
*** War Patrol Report ANGLER, Report of 5TH War Patrol, Serial 0(10), 

November 9th, 1944. 
**** Action Report CTF 71, Summary of Operations of TF 71 Submarines in 

Support of KING II (Leyte) Operations, October 9th - 27th, 1944, 

Serial 00328, November 17th, 1944» 



37 CONFIDENTIAL 



DACE and DARTER 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(3) DACE and DARTER. 

The DARTER, while submerged, commenced closing the 
damaged cruiser but owing to the presence of the destroyers, decided to 
wait until darkness,* Because of the chain of events she had failed 
to obtain a navigational fix with the result that her dead reckoning 
position was about twenty- four hours old.** At 2015 the wolf pack 
commander in the DARTER learned that the DACE had contacted the cruiser.* 
At 2140 he reported by dispatch to CTF 71 concurring the composition of 
the Japanese force, quoted in full earlier under "Operations of CTF 71, 
1042 - 2400, October 23rd".*** 

At 2200 he received word from the Commanding Officer DACE 
to the effect that at 2153 the damaged cruiser (TAKAO) was moving in a 
southwesterly direction at a speed of four to six knots and that he was 
trailing,**** He therefore decided to attack and directed the DACE to 
take attack position bearing 150°(T), distant ten miles from the cruiser 
while the DARTER took station bearing 050° (T), distant ten miles from 
the cruiser,***** Now feeling that the cruiser was definitely moving 
slowly, albeit erratically, down Palawan Passage he endeavored to close 
in order to make an attack. 

The DACE remained submerged during the day. At 1355 she 
made a sonar contact and closed. At 1630 she sighted a damaged ATAGO 
class cruiser (TAKAO), escorted by two destroyers (NAGANAMI and ASASHTMO) .**** 
At 1945 she surfaced and sent a contact report to CTF 71 relative to her 
morning attack .****** At 2015 she notified the wolf pack conraander in the 
DARTER by voice radio of the presence of the damaged cruiser and was 
directed to rendezvous with DARTER.**** At 2200 she notified the wolf 
pack commander by voice radio that at 2153 the damaged cruiser was moving 
southwest at four to six knots,**** at which time she was directed by the 
wolf pack commander to assume an attack position bearing 150° (T), distant 
ten miles from the cruiser,***** She promptly headed for this position 
and, while en route, was advised at 2345 by voice radio by the wolf pack 
commander that the DARTER in about ninety minutes would make a surface 
attack from the starboard quarter and if the DARTER was forced down or 
chased off she (DACE) was to attack from the port bow.******* 



* War Patrol Report DARTER, Report of 4TH War Patrol, Serial 020, 

November 5th, 1944. 
** Personal Interview Commanding Officer DARTER (Commander D.H. 

MC CLINTOCK, USN), Naval Records and Library, CNO, March 9th, 

1945, Microfilm No. 139963. 
*** DARTER Dispatch 231240 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
**** War Patrol Report DACE, Report of 5TH War Patrol, Serial 09, 

November 6th, 1944. 
***** War Patrol Report DARTER, Report of 4TH War Patrol, Serial 020, 

November 5th, 1944. 
****** DACE Dispatch 231115 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
**-***** war Patrol Report DACE, Report of 5TH War Patrol, Serial 09, 

November 6th, 1944; also War Patrol Report DARTER, Report of 4TH 

War Patrol, Serial 020, November 5th, 1944. 

38 CONFIDENTIAL 



CAAF SOWESPAC and 
C.G. FIFTH AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(2) Operations of CAAF SOWESPAC, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

CAAF SOWESPAC was at this time embarked in the NASHVILLE while the 
operation of his aircraft in support of KING II continued to be controlled 
from Hollandia. 

At 1119 he left the NASHVILLE with COMSOWESPAC to attend the 
installation of the Philippine Commonwealth Government at Tacloban, the 
capitol of Leyte. The party returned on board at 1426,* 

Having viewed with concern the manner in which troop supplies were 
continuing to pile up on the Tacloban airstrip and impeding its 
construction, he made personal representation to both C.G. SIXTH Army and 
COMSOWESPAC to prevent additional offloading of supplies there .** 

This matter is discussed in considerable detail in Volume III 
under "Operations of CTF 77, October 22nd" .*** 

(a) Operations of C.G. FIFTH Air Force, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

During the forenoon C.G. FIFTH Air Force who was at Biak (Owi) 
and who had assigned certain tasks to his subordinate commanders had been 
receiving reports of the results. This is discussed somewhat fully in 
Volume III under "Operations of C.G. FIFTH Air Force, 0000 - 1042, 
October 23rd".**** 

Having received the DARTER'S contact reports on the Japanese 
force in Palawan Passage he was likely awaiting amplification of the 
contact reports by his Morotai-based PB4Y's. 

It seems probable that he learned in the early afternoon that 
his scheduled (a) strike against shipping in Tawi Tawi and (b) sweep 
against shipping in Cagayan, Karimai and Dijogo had been accomplished,***** 

The shipping sweep against Zamboanga seems to have been 
diverted and resulted in a fighter bomber sweep against the Halmaheras. 

At 1506 he issued orders for the provision of rescue services 
for bombing missions to be flown the following day. In addition he 
ordered a courier plane to be flown to Leyte Gulf .****** 

* George C. Kenney, "General Kenney Reports", (New York, 1949), Page 

454; also War Diary NASHVILLE, October 23rd, 1944. 
** Ibid., Page 454. 
*** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter V (A)(1) (a)(1). 
**** Ibid., Chapter VII (A)(2)(a). 
***** C.G. 5TH Air Force Dispatch 240058/1 October 1944 to all concerned 

current SOWESPAC operations. 
****** C.G. 5TH Air Force for 276th Rescue Group Dispatch 231506/1 to 

310TH BOMWING, 2ND Emergency Rescue Squadron, CTU 73.2.1, CTG 79.1, 

info TANGIER, Fighter Command. 

39 CONFIDENTIAL 



C.G. FIFTH AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(This was to transmit intelligence via courier planes from 
their headquarters in Hollandia that was not otherwise available except 
in dispatch form). 

At about 162$ (when it was received by COMTHIRDFLT), he 
learned that the PB4Y in Sector 303°(T) - 312°(T) in Dassing Puerto 
Princesa at 1440 had observed some shipping in the harbor and fighters 
taking off which had not attacked.* 

At about 1628 (when it was received by CTG 38.1) he learned 
that one of the Morotai-based PB4Y's flying in Sector 312°(T) - 321°(T) 
had sighted shortly before 1220, two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser 
and four destroyers in Latitude 13°-00'N, Longitude 118°-40'E, on course 
200°(T), speed twenty knots.** This was the Japanese SECOND Striking 
Force which reported having sighted a B-24 type aircraft at 1212.*** 

At about 1733 (when it was received by COMTHIRDFLT) he 
received CTF 77 's dispatch 230142, which among other things, requested 
that the C.G.'s FIFTH and THIRTEENTH Air Forces continue thorough 
reconnaissance of Coron Bay and approaching routes, and strike as possible 
day and night. He began to ponder what action to take in order to best 
fulfill this request. 

At 2121 he reported to COMSOWESPAC that the planes flying the 
two sectors out of Owi between 314° (T) and 330° (T) had completed their 
search with an average coverage of ninety-five per cent and negative 
results.**** 

At 2331 he advised his command that for October 24th he 
estimated no change in the enemy air strength from that for October 23rd. 
Exactly what this meant is not clear for he had issued an identical 
estimate on October 22nd for October 23rd. That it was incorrect is 
apparent since on the previous day about 258 planes had been flown into 
Luzon as reinforcements for the SIXTH Base Air Force and FOURTH Air 
Army.***** Evidently this fact was not available but might have been 
anticipated. 



* Aircraft in Sector II Dispatch 230700 October 1944 to C.G. 5TH Air 

Force. 
** C.G. 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 230320 October 1944 to all 

concerned current SOWESPAC operations. 
*** War Diary ABUKUMA, October 1944, WDC Document I6I636, NA 11973. 
**** C.G. 5TH Air Force Dispatch 232121 I October 1944 to COMSOWESPAC, 

info C0M7THFLT, C.G.'s 5TH and 13TH Air Forces. 
***** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter VI (A)(4). 



40 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 73 and CTG 73.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(b) Operations of CTF 73 (Naval Air Force), 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

CTF 73 in the CURRITUCK was at this time moored alongside the 
TANGIER in Morotai Harbor.* 

Meanwhile CTG 73.4 (Search and Support Group), under the 
operational control of C.G. FIFTH Air Force, continued to execute his 
part of Search Plan FOX with his Morotai-based squadrons, VPB's 101, 115 
and 146. His immediate operational senior was the Commanding Officer 
310th Bombardment Wing, who in turn was responsible to Commanding General 
FIFTH Air Force. 

The contacts made by his planes are discussed under 
"Operations of C.G. FIFTH Air Force, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd" and are 
not repeated here 

It should be emphasized that during this day the Morotai- 
based PB4Y«s failed to locate either the THIRD Section or the Main Body, 
FIRST Striking Force although the enemy units were well within the search 
sectors flown. A discussion of the failure of these planes to locate 
either of these forces will not be undertaken herein but the most likely 
explanation based on all evidence available is that these searches were 
probably improperly flown. 

(1) Operations of CTG 73.7 (Advanced Group), 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

During this day the SAN CARLOS, which was the flagship of 
CTG 73.7, remained anchored in Hinunangan Bay.** Since the first elements 
of VPB's THIRTY-THREE and THIRTY-FOUR were to arrive this day he was quite 
likely closely supervising the preparations to tend them. The HALF MOON, 
also in TG 73.7, was apparently assigned this latter task.*** 

At 1530 ten PBY's arrived and at 1620 he reported their 
arrival to COMFAIRWING SEVENTEEN (Administration) and to CTF 77.**** 

At 2127 having, in all probability, (a) determined the 
expected availability of the seaplanes, and (b) discussed the matter over 
the TBS voice radio circuit with CTF 77, although there is no real 
evidence of this, he advised CTF 77 by dispatch that, among other things, 
his night seaplane searches would commence the following evening using 
three seaplanes to search three sectors between 341° (T) and 017 (T) and 
his day seaplane searches would commence the following morning using two 
seaplanes to search two sectors between 017°(T) and 041°(T) (Plate IX) .***** 

_ war Diary CURRITUCK, October 23rd, 1944. ~ 

** War Diary SAN CARLOS, October 23rd, 1944. 

*** War Diary HALF MOON, October 23rd, 1944. 

**** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 230720 October 1944 to COMFAW 17 (ADMIN), info 

CTF 77, CG. 308TH BOMWING, CTF 73. 
***** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 231227 October 1944 to CTF 77, info C0M7THFLT, 

CTF 73, all interested in Catalina Operations, C.G. 5TH Air Force, 

C.G. 308TH BOMWING. 

41 CONFIDENTIAL 



CINCPAC - CINCPOA 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(B) Operations of CINCPAC-CINCPOA, 1042 - 22+00, October 23rd. 

A comprehensive discussion of Allied arrangements is contained in 
Volume I, Chapter II, and will not be repeated herein. However one 
arrangement is of sufficient importance to justify repetition. This is 
the fact that COMTHIRDFLT and COMSEVENTHFLT (or COMSOWESPAC) were 
designated coordinate commanders while having no common superior in the 
next echelon. 

This placed CINCPOA, who was on the same command level as COMSOWESPAC, 
in the position of having to act as arbiter in those decisions of 
CQMTHIRDFLT which had an impact on the strategic direction of the Leyte 
operation and which, by implication, might be at variance with the views 
of either COMSOWESPAC or COMSEVENTHFLT. CINCPOA had determined to act 
in this capacity on the previous day, when COMTHIRDFLT had reauested 
COMSOWESPAC for information as to when he (COMTHIRDFLT) (a) might be able 
to pass through Surigao Strait and into the South China Sea* and (b) 
could expect to be relieved of his covering responsibilities.** These 
matters have been discussed in full in Volume III under "Operations of 
CINCPAC-CINCPOA, October 22nd". It will be recalled that CINCPOA at this 
time advised COMTHIRDFLT, among other things, that the restrictions 
imposed by the necessity for covering COMSOWESPAC ' s forces were accepted.*** 

At 1206 he advised certain of his subordinates that a Japanese plane 
for the second straight day had contacted a surface unit or units, 
possibly Japanese, most likely in Latitude 23°-20'N, Longitude 131°-38»E. 
He assigned low weight to this intelligence on the basis of the 
unlikelihood of such an occurrence on two consecutive days. A discussion 
of this is contained under "Operations of COMTHIRDFLT, 102+2 - 22+00, 
October 23rd» and also in Volume III under "Operations of CINCPAC-CINCPOA, 
0000 - 102+2, October 23rd". 



* C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 2102+54 October 192+2+ to CCMSOWESPAC, info CINCPAC, 

COMINCH, CTF's 38, 77, etc. 
** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 210645 October 1944 to COMSOWESPAC, info CINCPAC, 

COMINCH, CTF's 38, 77, etc. 
*** CINCPAC Dispatch 211852 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info COMINC 

COMSOWESPAC. 



42 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 




CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(1) Operations of Western Pacific Task Forces, 1042 - 2400, October 
23rd. 

(a) Operations of COMTHIRDFLT, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd, 

In order to better understand the operations of COMTHIRDFLT at 
this time it seems wise to inject here a brief summary of the situation. 
It will be recalled that earlier COMTHIRDFLT had received information from 
Allied submarines which reported (a) enemy forces including at least one 
carrier moving south toward Manila or Coron Bay (the SECOND Striking Force) 
and (b) enemy forces including battleships moving northeast through 
Palawan Passage. Because of these contacts and because, as pointed out 
under "Operations of CINCPAC-CINCPOA, 0000 - 1042, October 23rd», he had 
been advised by CINCPOA that the restrictions imposed by the necessity 
to cover COMSOWESPAC forces were accepted, he had reassigned his three 
carrier task groups (TG's 33.2, 38.3, 38.4) so that at 0600 on the 
following morning they would be positioned as follows: (a) TG 38.3 about 
ninety miles eastward of Polillo Island, (b) TG 38.2 astride the eastern 
exit from San Bernardino Strait and (c) TG 38.4 bearing 050°(T) distant 
fifty miles from the southeast tip of Samar. 

He did this to cover the principal enemy capabilities of 
(a) attempting to reinforce the ground troops at Leyte by Tokyo Exoress 
runs, (b) making strong air and surface raids against the Leyte forces or 
(c) making a strong attack on the Leyte forces employing major forces. 

Having issued these instructions and mindful of his logistics 
he called CTG 30.8 on board the NEW JERSEY. At 1110 he cancelled his 
previous orders to that commander and directed him, in part, (a) to 
maintain nine oilers and the CVE SARGENT BAY in Area ALCOHOL until 
further orders and (b) the remainder of THIRDFLT oilers with standard 
loads at Ulithi. These orders were a major departure from the October 22nd 
order which related largely to readying his forces for Operation HOTFOOT, 
they show clearly that COMTHIRDFLT was giving his principal attention to 
his covering responsibilities. 

However, from the orders he issued at about this same time 
(a) to CTG 38.1 to launch a deck load strike against YAP en route Ulithi 
and (b) to CTG 30.9 at Ulithi to employ every means at his disposal to 
rearm, reprovision and refuel TG33J.on a twenty- four hour working basis 
it seems clear that, at this time, he saw no reason for diverting CTG 38.1 
from Ulithi and was clearly continuing to prepare his command for HOTFOOT.* 

At 1310 he received information from CINCPOA (a) suggesting 
that a Japanese plane had sighted earlier a surface force in Latitude 
23°-20 , N, Longitude 131°-38'E and (b) stating that since (l) a similar 
sighting had been made on the previous day and (2) the Japanese would not 
make this mistake on two successive days, it was doubtful if this was 
enemy. Actually, it was the Japanese Main Force which, in part because of 
this, was not detected by Allied planes until the following afternoon. 

* C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230204 October 1944 to CTG 38.1, All TFC's 7THFLT, 
All TGC's 3RDFLT, info CINCPAC, COMINCH; also C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230238 
October 1944 to CTG 30.9, info CTG 38.1, ATCOM Ulithi. 

43 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

AI30 at 1310 he received an aircraft sighting report on one 
enemy submarine in Latitude 17°-20'N, Longitude 130^-40' E, on course 
200° (T), speed twelve knots* (Contact "4", Plate V). 

Between this time and 1733 he issued several dispatches 
concerning the Dreparations of his command for the next scheduled major 
operation (Operation HOTFOOT). One of these, issued at 1325, related 
to the logistic requirements for increasing the fighter complement in 
his carriers;** another, among other things, related to transferring from 
TG 30.3 to TG 38.1 the BOSTON, CHARRETTE, BELL, BURNS, BOYD and C0W2LL 
and transferring in return from TG 38.1 to TG 30.3 the FARENHOLT, 
W00D.V0RTH, MC CALLA, GRAYSON. *** 

At 1648 realizing that his information concerning enemy 
operations to the westward of Luzon was very sketchy indeed, he advised 
CINCPAC to this effect and suggested that submarine observation of that 
area would be helpful during the current epidemic of Japanese movements.**** 

At 1733 he received CTF77's dispatch 230142 quoted in full 
under "Operations of CTF 77, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd" which gave that 
commander's estimate of the situation and requested certain searches be 
made by the THIRD Fleet.***** While his reactions to this dispatch are 
not known it seems likely that he was pleased in that his planned 
searches for the following day covered exactly those areas requested by 
CTF 77. 

At 1744 he received a Morotai-based aircraft contact report 
on two NACHI class heavy cruisers, one NATORI class light cruiser and 
four MUTSUKI class destroyers in Latitude 13°-00'N, Longitude 118°-40'S, 
on course 200°(T), speed twenty knots ****** (Contact "5", Plate V). 

This contact was on the Japanese SECOND Striking Force and on 
evaluating it, he very likely estimated it to be the same force contacted 
by the ICEFISH northwest of Luzon on the previous day.******* 

At 2032 he learned of the DACE's attack******** (Contact "2"). 

* Plane No. 52 of Flight No. 223 Dispatch 230320 October 1944 to 

Any or All U.S. Ships. 
** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230425 October 1944 to COKAIRPAC, info CINCPAC, 

CTF 38, CTG 38.1, C0MAIR7THFLT Logistics. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230546 October 1944 to CTG's 30.3, 38.1, 30.9, 

CANBERRA, info COMINCH, CINCPAC, All TFC's and TGC's 3RDFLT, etc. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230748 October 1944 to CINCPAC, COKSUBPAC, 

CTF 77. 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C.G.'s 5TH and 

13TH Air Forces, info All TFC's and TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT's, 

CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, CAAF SOWESPAC. 
****** C.G. 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 230320 October 1944 to all 

concerned SOWESPAC Operations. 
******* ICEFISH Dispatch 221301 October 1944 to COMSUBPAC, info C0M7THFLT 

(Readdressed by COM7THFLT to CTF's 38, 57, 71, 72, C0M3RDFLT, 

All TGC's TF 38. 
******** DACE Dispatch 231115 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

44 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT and CTF 38 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

During the early evening he undoubtedly continued to study the 
developing situation with keen interest and weigh his planned action in 
the light of new intelligence. It appears he decided that, despite the 
fact submarines to the north and air searches out of Tinian had revealed 
no significant enemy movements, the security of his northern flank was in 
doubt and that he must therefore be ready to institute northward searches. 
Accordingly at 2210, he ordered the INDEPENDENCE, among other things, to 
be Drepared to launch at 2400 or as soon thereafter as possible a search 
to the northward to cover sector 320°(T) to 010°(T) to a distance of 350 
miles.* 

It also apoears that during the late evening he continued to 
ponder the implications of the DACE's attack report. Anxious to leave as 
little as possible to chance — in particular to eliminate the bays along 
the northwest coast of Palawan as possible rendezvous or refueling 
points — he decided to launch a search the following morning to reconnoiter 
that section of the Palawan Coast. In addition, he seems to have been 
dissatisfied with the paucity of details in CTG 38.2' s plan for the next 
day for at 2317 he sent a TBS voice radio message to CTG 38.2 which 
(a) mildly admonished him for the lack of details contained in his 
(CTG 38.2) earlier search instructions to TG 38.2, (b) based on a report 
just received (most likely the DACE's attack report) advised CTG 38.2 of 
the need for the bays along the northwest coast of Palawan from Imuruan 
Bay to Bacuit to be investigated and (c) stated his desire that despite 
the long distance involved, a sweep of that general area be launched as 
early as practicable.** 

At 2350 he received the DARTER'S report*** (Contact "1"). 

At the end of the day COMTHIRDFLT, in TG 38.2, was on course 
249°(T), speed fifteen knots, zigzagging, about 110 miles east northeast 
from the eastern entrance to San Bernardino Strait.**** 

(1) Operations of CTF 38, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTF 38, in the LEXINGTON, with TG 38.3 continued 
on toward TG 38.3 's assigned position about ninety miles east of Polillo 
Island. 

As the day passed he made an estimate of the situation. 
While his thought processes are not known, it seems clear from the order 
he issued later that he was concerned about the 0600 position of TG 38.3 
and felt that in addition to making its scheduled searches to the westward 
as directed by COMTHIRDFLT, TG 38.3 might well take what might be termed 
unusual security measures. This was so, for Luzon would be but ninety 
miles away and the aircraft from Luzon fields could be troublesome. 
Therefore he felt that action should be taken to prevent not only this 
but to prevent any unlocated attack from the north which area was not 



* C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 231310 October 1944 to INDEPENDENCE, 

info CTF 38, CTG's 38.2 and 38.4. 
** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 231400 October 1944 to CTG 38.2. 
*** DARTER Dispatch 231240 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
**** Deck Log NEW JERSEY, October 23rd, 1944. 

45 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 33 and CTG 33.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

being covered by COMTHIRDFLT 's orders. Finally he felt that since 
TG 38.3 was to be within air attack range of Manila, action should be 
taken against the shipping there. 

Having completed this estimate he at 1547 issued 
instructions to CTG 38.3 to that effect.* 

At 1646 he reported by TBS voice radio to COMTHIRDFLT who, 
with TG 38.2 had closed to TBS voice radio range, that his (TG 38.3' s) 
afternoon searches (Diagram "B") had Droved negative. It will be recalled 
that these searches had been ordered by COMTHIRDFLT at 0252 and were 
designed to cover as much of the Sibuyan Sea as practicable.** 

At about 1733 he received CTF 77 's alerting dispatch 
which has been discussed in detail heretofore. In carefully studying it 
he likely noted, among other things, that the combined searches of the 
three TF 38 groups would, except for the sea area west of Palawan, cover 
the areas considered important by CTF 77. 

During the evening he received three reports of enenqr 
combatant forces. One at 1744 from C.G. FIFTH Bomber Command reported 
two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and four destroyers about 120 miles 
west of Mindoro*** (Contact "5", Plate V), a second at 2031 from the DACE 
reported her successes against the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force**** 
(Contact "2"), and the third at 2153 from the DARTER reported her 
successes against the same force***** (Contact "l"), 

(a) Operations of CTG 38.1, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTG 38.1, in the WASP, with TG's 33.1 and 
38.4 in company, was en route Ulithi which was about 530 miles away. 

TG 38.1 consisted of the WASP (FFF), HORNET, HANCOCK, 
MONTEREY, C0WP3NS, PSNSACOLA, SALT LAKE CITY, CHESTER (FF), SAN DIEGO, 
OAKLAND, DUNLAP, FANNING, CASE, CUMMINGS, CASSIN, DOWNSS, MC CALLA, 
W00DW0RTH, FARENHOLT, IZARD (FF), CONNER, BROWN and GRAYSON with a total 
of 187 VF, 67 VB and 72 VT. 

At 1047 he received a dispatch from COMTHIRDFLT to 
CTG 38.4 cancelling the movement for that task group to Ulithi and 
directing that commander to (a) proceed to a position about fifty miles 
off the southeast tip of Samar and (b) launch westward searches the 
following dawn. Since he probably received this important dispatch 



* CTF 38 Visual Dispatch 230647 October 1944 to CTG 33.3, info 

C0M3RDFLT, CTG 38.2. 
** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 230746 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
*** C.G. 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 230320 October 1944 to all 

concerned current SOWESPAC Operations. 
**** DACE Dispatch 231115 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
***** DARTER Dispatch 231240 October 1944 to CTF 71. 



46 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.1 and CTG 38.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

earlier, i.e., at 1000, this fact is discussed in Volume III under 
"Operations of CTG 38.1 and CTG 38.4, 0000 - 1042, October 23rd".* 

However, the fact that he, with TG 38.1, was not 
recalled as was CTG 38.4 must have indicated to him that COMTHIRDFLT did 
not consider the situation in the Coron Bay area to be so serious as to 
override the requirement to make adequate preparations for Operation 
HOTFOOT. Therefore having been informed by the HANCOCK that the radar 
equipped night fighters were highly effective he at 1228, among other 
things, invited COMTHIRDFLT ' s attention to this fact, pointed out that a 
number of these planes were at Pearl Harbor and recommended that they take 
part in the operation. ** 

During the remainder of the day nothing of particular 
importance occurred with relation to CTG 38.1 so he continued on toward 
Ulithi. No planes nor pilots were lost during the day. 

At 2400 CTG 38.1 was bearing 299°(T), distant 370 
miles from Ulithi and on course 125°(T), speed fifteen knots. 

(b) Operations of CTG 38.2, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTG 38.2, in the INTREPID, with TG 38.2, 
which was fueling from the oilers of TG 30. 9*** (TOMAHAWK, KENNEBAGO, 
MARIAS, PECOS, CACHE and SAUGATUCK) was on course 270° (T), speed ten knots 
and zigzagging. He was heading for his 0600 October 24th position 
(Latitude 13°-00»N, Longitude 125°-00'E). He had received orders to 
proceed to the latter position by visual dispatch an hour and one-half 
earlier and was awaiting detailed instructions in connection therewith.**-** 

At 1057 his ships had completed fueling. 

His command consisted, at this time, of the 
INDEPENDENCE (FFF), INTREPID, CABOT, IOWA (FF), NEW JERSEY (FFFFF), 
VINCENNES (F), MIAMI, BILOXI, MILLER, THE SULLIVANS, TINGEY (FF), OWEN, 
HICKOX (F), HUNT, LEWIS HANCOCK, MARSHALL, HALSEY POWELL (F), CUSHING, 
COLAHAN, UHLMANN, YARNALL (F), TWINING, STOCKHAM,WEDDERBURN with a total 
of eighty- five VF, twenty- four VB***** and thirty-five VT. 

At about 1106, he received the amplifying orders from 
COMTHIRDFLT he had been anticipating.****-** He noted that in addition to 
proceeding to the previously ordered position off San Bernardino Strait, 



* Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter VII (B)(1) (a)(1) (a). 
** CTG 38.1 Dispatch 230358 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CINCPAC, 

CTF 38. 
*** Deck Log INTREPID, October 23rd, 1944. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230017 October 1944 to CTG 38.2. 
-k-sbh** This is one VB more than was reported in Volume III. 
****** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230003 October 1944 to CTG 38.2, info COMINCH, 

CINCPAC, All TFC's and TGC's 3RDFLT, All concerned SOWESPAC 

Operations. 



496799 O - 59 - 12 



47 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.2 and CTG 38.3 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

he was to (a) launch a reinforced search to westward at dawn the next 
day to include Coron Bay and (b) to strike targets of opportunity. 

At 1146 he changed course to 240°(T), speed sixteen 
knot s .* 

At 2210 he received COMTHIRDFLT « s orders** to prepare 
to launch a search to the north as discussed earlier under "Operations of 
COMTHIRDFLT, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd". 

At 2300 he received a TBS voice radio message from 
COMTHIRDFLT, discussed in full under "Operations of COMTHIRDFLT, 1042 - 
2400, October 23rd", which (a) seemed to mildly reprove him for the paucity 
of details in his earlier search advisory (CTG 38.2 dispatch 230747) and 
(b) on the basis of recent intelligence requested that he sweep the 
northwest coast of Palawan from Imuruan Bay to Bacuit.*** 

At 2400 CTG 38.2 was about eighty miles from his 
assigned 0600 October 24th position, on course 249° (T), speed fifteen 
knots.* He had lost no aircraft nor pilots during this period. 

(c) Operations of CTG 38.3, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTG 38.3, in the ESSEX, with TG 38.3 on 
course 275°(T), speed twenty-three knots was heading for his assigned 
position about ninety miles east of Polillo Island. 

His command consisted of the ESSEX (FFF), 
LEXINGTON (FFFF), PRINCETON, LANGLEY, MASSACHUSETTS, SOUTH DAKOTA, 
SANTA FE, BIRMINGHAM, MOBILE, RENO, CLARENCE K. BRONSON (FF), COTTEN, 
DORTCH, GATLING, HEALY, PORTERFIELD (FF), CALLAGHAN, CASSIN YOUNG, IRWIN, 
PRESTON, LAWS, LONGSHAW and MORRISON, with a total of 136 VF, fifty-five 
VB and fifty- four VT. 

The afternoon search which was launched at 1212 was 
composed of eleven VF and seven VB. 

Two sectors were flown (a) one from 280° (T) to 350° 
(T) with each ten degree sector being covered by one VF and one VB to a 
distance of 350 miles and (b) one from 250°(T) to 265°(T) through the 
Sibuyan Sea to a distance of 400 miles being flown by two pairs of VF.--*** 

At 1738 when the afternoon search planes returned he 
learned that there had been no contacts on enemy warships although one 
VF had reconnoitered Manila Harbor and reported the presence of eleven 
to twenty medium AK's but could not determine whether any warships were 
present.**** 

* Deck Log INTREPID, October 23rd, 1944. 

** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 231310 October 1944 to 

INDEPENDENCE, info CTF 33, CTG's 33.2, 33.4. 
*** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 231400 October 1944 to CTG 38.2. 
**** War Diary CTG 38.3, October 23rd, 1944; also Deck Log LEXINGTON, 

October 23rd, 1944. 

48 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 33.3 and CTG 38.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

Since during the day he received most of the contacts 
received by COMTHIRDFLT and CTF 38 he was alert to the developing 
situation and likely made certain that the searches on the morrow would 
be effectively accomplished. 

At 1908 he directed TG 38.3, among other things, to 
(a) at 0610 search to 300 miles between 225°(T) and 295°(T) with four VF 
and four VB in each ten degree sector, (b) employ (l) eight VF as radio 
relay planes and (2) twenty VF for a sweep of the Manila area,* 

Owing to a collision in mid-air the PRINCETON had 
lost two VF. As a consequence there were 134 VF, fifty- five VB and 
fifty-four VT remaining in his carriers. 

At 2400 CTG 33.3 was about 190 miles east of Polillo 
Island on course 280° (T), speed twenty- four knots.** 

(d) Operations of CTG 38.4, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd. 

At 1042 CTG 38.4, in the FRANKLIN, with TG 38.4 and 
in company with CTG 38.1 continued to (a) head for Ulithi and (b) top 
off his destroyers from his heavy ships. 

TG 38.4 now consisted of the FRANKLIN (FFF), SAN 
JACINTO, ENTERPRISE (F), BELLEAU WOOD, WASHINGTON, ALABAMA, WICHITA (F), 
NEW ORLEANS, MAURY (FF), GRIDLEY, HELM, MC CALL, MUGFORD (F), RALPH 
TALBOT, PATTERSON, BAGLEY, WILKES, NICHOLSON, SWANSON (F), COGSWELL (F), 
CAPERTON, INGERSOLL, KNAPP, with a total of 109 VF, forty-four VB and 
fifty-four VT. 

At 1047 he received a dispatch from COMTHIRDFLT 
directing him to (a) proceed to a position about fifty miles, bearing 
050° (T) from the southeast tip of Samar and (b) launch westward searches 
the following day. Since, as pointed out under "Operations of CTG 38.1, 
1042 - 2400, October 23rd", this dispatch had probably been received at 
1000 (when COMCRUDIV SIX reported receiving it), it will not be discussed 
here. 

In accordance with these orders he at 1118 directed 
the formation to change course to 250° (T), speed eighteen knots.*** He 
continued flying routine CAP and antisubmarine patrols. 

At 1248 he sent a dispatch to CTG 38.3 to direct the 
HELM, which had delivered mail to the LEXINGTON, to rejoin TG 33.4 in 
Latitude 11°-30»N, Longitude 126°-30»E, at 0600 October 24th.**** 
However, the HELM was already returning to TG 38,4. 



* CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 231008 October 1944 to TG 38.3 

carriers. 
** Deck Log LEXINGTON, October 23rd, 1944. 
*** Deck Log ENTERPRISE, October 23rd, 1944. 
**** CTG 38.4 Dispatch 230348 October 1944 to CTG 38.3, info HELM. 

49 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 33.4 and CTG 30.5 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

Having completed his fueling at 1452 he now increased 
speed which varied throughout the remainder of the day from twenty to 
twenty-six knots. 

During the day he, of course, received much the same 
information regarding enemy contacts as did COMTHIRDFLT and CTF 38. He 
therefore realizing (a) the possible seriousness of the developing 
situation and the importance of the following day's searches and possible 
strikes, likely made certain that these searches and strikes would be 
effectively accomplished and (b) that his scheduled searches would fly 
over the western Visayas, at 1909 informed CTF 77 that at 0600 (the 
following morning) he was sending four search and attack teams, each team 
composed of eight VF and six VB to search sectors between 230° (T) and 
270° (T) from Latitude 11°-30»N, Longitude 126°-30'E to a distance of 
325 miles. » 

At 1950 he observed the HELM rejoin. 

At 2400 TG 38.4 was on course 245°(T), sDeed twenty 
knots** and heading for the above position which was but ninety-seven 
miles away. No planes nor pilots were lost during the day. 

(2) Operations of CTG 30.5 (Air Search, Reconnaissance and 
Photographic Group), 1042 - 2400, October 23rd 

CTG 30.5, in the HAMLIN (AV 15) at Ulithi, on this day 
continued his air searches from Kossol Passage (TU 30.5.1), Saipan 
(TU 30.5.2) and Tinian (TU 30.5.3) in accordance with Commander Forward 
Area Central Pacific (CTF 57) Operation Plan No. 6-44 as indicated in 
Plate X, and in Diagram "B". 

Shortly after 1100, the plane flying out of Tinian in 
Sector 290°(T) - 299°(T) should have closed to within visual or radar 
detection distance of the Japanese Main Force heading in a southwesterly 
direction. (The latter, at this time, was about seventy miles inside the 
1,000 mile limit of the search and would remain inside the search arc 
until approximately 1700.***) 

This plane failed to gain contact. Why, is not known 
since (a) the weather was reasonably good at this time — ISUZU in her War 
Diary reports cloudy weather during the day, visibility about twenty- 
seven miles at 0600, five point four miles at 1200 and twenty-seven miles 
at 1800,**** (b) the Main Force was well within the limit of the search 
sector and (c) the Japanese Main Force did not contact any Allied PB4Y 
planes on this day. 



* CTG 38.4 Dispatch 231009 October 1944 to CTF 77. 

** Deck Log FRANKLIN, October 23rd, 1944. 

*** Appended Track Chart for Mobile Force Main Force, October 20th - 29th, 

1944, Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 

20th - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 
**** War Diary ISUZU, October 1944, WDC Document 161636, NA 11973. 

50 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 




CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 30.5 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

However this failure to detect the Main Force, when 
within the search arc, was not a new phenomenon. Instead, exactly the 
same failure had occurred on the previous day. This failure is 
discussed under "Operations of CTG 30.5, October 22nd" and is important 
because it seems to show that the Allied searches in the critical 
sectors on this day, as on the preceding day, were either (a) improperly 
flown or (b) flown insufficiently far to gain contact. 

Before the end of the day he learned that his searches 
had been completed as follows: 

(a) CTU 30.5.1 (sector searches to northwest of Kossol 
Passage) negative with full distance and coverage,* and 

(b) CTU 30.5.2 (sector searches to the northwest of 
Saipan) negative with ninety- five per cent coverage in some sectors.** 

He did not receive a report on this day from his unit 
commander at Tinian (CTU 30.5.3) because that report was delayed in 
transmission. However, since he was on the AOIC (Aircraft Operational 
Intelligence Circuit) he not only knew that the search was being 
conducted but had in addition received all important contacts. Among 
these were (a) at 1200 a very large Japanese submarine on course 180°(T), 
speed twelve knots, in Latitude 17°-10'N, Longitude 130°-40'E (Contact 
"4", Plate V) and (b) at 1300 a SUKI class destroyer with three small 
destroyers and two SC's on course 150°(T), speed fifteen knots, in 
Latitude 26°-50«N, Longitude 141°-30'E.*** 



* CTU 30.5.1 Dispatch 230835 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC's 

3RDFLT, CTF's 57, 59, CTG 30.5. 
** CTU 30.5.2 Dispatch 230725 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC's 

3RDFLT, CTF's 57, 59, CTG 30.5. 
*** CTU 30.5.3 Dispatch 231040 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC's 

3RDFLT, CTF 57, CTG 30.5. 



51 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(2) Operations of CTF 17 (Submarine Force Pacific), 1042 - 2400, 
October 23rd. 

CTF 17 during this period operated as heretofore. His submarines 
as shown on Diagram "B n were either on station, returning from station or 
heading toward their new stations. However, it is clear that he was not 
fully informed as to their actual locations for at 1152 he issued a 
dispatch advising those interested of the location of his submarines. 
That portion of this dispatch which applied to the submarines in the 
Western Pacific is quoted in full as follows: "TF 17 Subs 23rd. POMFRET, 
PINTADO, JALLAO, ATULE, BARBEL at Saipan. Eastbound. WHALE, SEAHORSE 
22 North 156 East. BONEFISH 20 North 133 East. Westbound HADDOCK, 
HALIBUT, TUNA 20 North 133 East, Patrolling vicinity Luzon Strait are ten 
subs . "* 

This dispatch is of considerable importance for it was auite in 
error as these examples will portray: (a) the PINTADO, JALLAO, ATULE, 
which were proceeding to their patrol stations, were not at Saipan but 
instead were about 300 miles to the northwest, (b) the BARBEL which was 
returning to Saipan was about 270 miles from there, (c) the WHALE and 
SEAHORSE which were approximately correct in Latitude were about 400 miles 
to the westward of their reported positions, (d) the BONEFISH was about 
360 miles to the westward of the reported position, (e) the HADDOCK, 
HALIBUT and TUNA were about 250 miles to the eastward of the reported 
position and (f ) instead of ten TF 17 submarines in the vicinity of Luzon 
Strait there were but seven (SHARK, BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON, SNOOK, SAWFISH, 
ICEFISH, DRUM) most of which were over 100 miles to the westward of the 
strait proper. 

Since he had received contact reports from CTF 71 reporting 
Japanese forces moving up through Palawan Passage toward Coron 3ay or 
Manila and since he had reports from his own submarines about enemy forces 
moving south off the west coast of Luzon also heading in the direction of 
Coron Bay or Manila it is clear that he awaited amplification of these 
sightings. During the afternoon he received no further contact reports. 
However he received something perhaps more important. This was CTF 77 f s 
estimate of the enemy plans based on the above contacts wherein CTF 77 
stated, among other items, that the approach of enemy combatant ships and 
tankers toward Coron Bay was, in his opinion, the first phase of the buildup 
of magnified Tokyo Express runs against Leyte.** He noted that, although 
submarine contact reports were responsible for CTF 77 's estimate, there 

were no additional instructions to the submarines the submarines were 

omitted. Instead CTF 77 had called upon those commanders charged with 
covering the Leyte forces to provide that coverage by recormoitering Coron 
Bay and approaching routes by air and by making air strikes against forces 
discovered. 



* CTF 17 Dispatch 230252 October 1944 to All Stations Interested in 

Friendly Subs, 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C.G.'s 5TK and 13TH 

Air Forces, info all TFC's and TGC's 3RD and 7THFLTS, CIXCSWPA, 

CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMFEAF. 

52 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



All areas submarine patrol zones unless otherwise indicated 
Dotted areas indicate air surface zone, f h: ";: ; 3 
Hatched areas indicate joint zone. j%^gj 



SUBMARINE OPERATING AREA CLASSIFICATIONS 

WESTERN PACIFIC 
OCTOBER 8 th — 31 st. inc. 1944 
CINCPOA ZONE NOTICES 35,38,40,42,44,45,47 



BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 
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U x / 







CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 1809 he was likely surprised to learn that COMTHIRDFLT had 
noted the same omission for that commander at that time advised CINCPAC 
that since information concerning Japanese movements off Lingayan was 
sketchy, submarine observations would be helpful,* 

Commencing at (a) 1857 he advised his command of events of interest 
and in particular he (1) referred to the SEA DOG's report of two hits in a 
freighter in a large southbound convoy and (2) informed the ICEFISH that 
her extension of patrol would be granted** and (b) 1914 directed ESCOLAR 
wolf pack to guard a China frequency for information on lifeguard 
assignment s .*** 

At 1922 he advised the submarines in CONVOY COLLEGE (five water 
areas embracing Luzon Strait and extending westward to Hainan Island — 
Plate XII) that (a) China-based planes reported shipping along the 
boundary between the Blind Bombing area and the submarine patrol zone and 
(b) submarines in Areas DESTROY and DETECT should find good hunting near 
that line.**** The information in this dispatch appears to have been 
meant for (1) the HADDOCK, HALIBUT and TUNA which were en route to Area 
DESTROY and scheduled to arrive at sunset October 24th and (2) the SHARK, 
BLACKFISH and SEADRAGON which were now supposed to be patrolling Area 
DETECT but which had drifted into Area DESTROY. Otherwise Area DESTROY 
was unoccupied except for the SNOOK which was under orders to join the 
SHARK wolf pack after sunset October 24th and which was working her way 
toward Area DETECT.***** ACTUALLY THEN, THE ONLY SUBMARINES IMMEDIATELY 
CONCERNED WERE THE SHARK, BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON AND SNOOK. IF THESE 
SUBMARINES ACTED ON THIS INFORMATION IT WOULD FURTHER WEAKEN THE ALREADY 
WEAK ALLIED SUBMARINE PATROL IN LUZON STRAIT BY MOVING THE NORTHERN GROUP 
OF SUBMARINES EVEN FURTHER TO THE NORTHWEST. 

Why CTF 17 seemed more concerned at this time with the sinking of 
merchant shipping than with the obtaining of information regarding the 
movements of enemy combatant forces is not explained. Perhaps having 
received CTF 77' s 230142, commented onsbove, and having concurred in the 
views therein expressed, he considered that this was largely a SOWESPAC 
responsibility. 

Finally, at approximately (a) 2030 he probably received a contact 
report from the DRUM reporting a convoy of four ships and at least three 
escorts in Latitude 19°-08«N, Longitude 118°-31'E on course 350°(T), speed 
seven knots,****** and (b) 2320 he received a dispatch from the DARTER 
reporting having sunk one ATAGO class heavy cruiser and damaged a 
secondo******* 



* C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230748 October 1944 to CINCPAC, info CTF 77, 

CTF 17. 
** CTF 17 Dispatch 230957 October 1944 to All Submarines. 
*** CTF 17 Dispatch 231014 October 1944 to All Submarines. 
**** CTF 17 Dispatch 231022 October 1944 to CONVOY COLLEGE. 
***** CTF 17 Dispatch 201952 October 1944 to All Submarines, info CINCPAC. 
****** War Patrol Report DRUM, Report of 11TH War Patrol, Serial 056 

undated. 
******* DARTER Dispatch 231240 October 1944 to CTF 71, CTF 17, info CINCPAC. 

53 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(a) CONVOY COLLEGE 

The submarines SAWFISH, ICEFISH, DRUM, SHARK, BLACKFISH, 
SEADRAGON and SNOOK patrolled CONVOY COLLEGE as on the previous day. 
The weather in this area had not improved from the previous day with a 
rough sea still running from 060°(T).* 

(1) SAWFISH, ICEFISH, DRUM 

This coordinated attack group (wolf pack), with the 
exception of the ICEFISH, patrolled Area DELETE submerged during 
daylight and on the surface during darkness.** The ICEFISH had strayed 
into the eastern end of Area DESTROY and had spent most of the day in 
that area but by evening she had returned to Area DELETE. 

The patrol of this group was uneventful until 1533 when 
the SAWFISH, in Latitude 18°-57'N, Longitude lia -23'E, sighted tops and 
smoke of a convoy which she estimated consisted of one very large AP, in 
the van, with eight or nine other ships escorted by two destroyers. 
This was a fairly accurate estimate for the convoy appears to have been 
the KARUKAZE convoy consisting of twelve ships.*** This convoy, after 
dispersal had been ordered for Manila shipping, had departed that harbor 
for Takao on October 21st and reported having been under repeated 
submarine attacks commencing at 1730 this day.*** 

At 1724 the SAWFISH attacked the convoy, firing five 
torpedoes, and claimed sinking one cargo ship. At 1925 she cleared the 
area to the southward to send a contact report to the other submarines in 
the area, and by 2000 had returned to regain contact on the convoy.**** 

During the next few hours the remainder of the wolf pack 
plus the SNOOK had made contact on the convoy and all closed to attack. 
However, only the SAWFISH succeeded in getting in another attack before 
midnight and this time, at 2321, she fired her remaining torpedoes and 
recorded one hit.**** Actually in these two attacks (1724 ^£2321 J she 
sunk one ship—the converted seaplane tender KIMIKAWA MARU.***** 

Although they had not succeeded in getting into attack 
position by midnight both the DRUM and ICEFISH had made contact by that 
time and the DRUM had made four reports, none of which are available to 
this analysis. She likely reported four ships and at least three escorts 
since that is recorded in her War Patrol Report. On the other hand the 
ICEFISH did not make a contact report but records in her War Patrol Report 



* Deck Log SAWFISH, October 23rd, 1944. 

** Deck Logs SAWFISH, ICEFISH, DRUM, October 23rd, 1944. 

*** War Diary 1ST Escort Force, October 1944, WDC Document 161719, 

NA 11609. „ , e . , aa,, 

**** War Patrol Report SAWFISH, Report of 8TH War Patrol, Serial 83-44, 

November 8th, 1944. . _ b-,.*.—. 

***** The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II, prepared by Military 
History Section, Special Staff, GHQ FEC, February 1952. 

54 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

that she had made radar contact on several large ships and several 
escorts. She also received a dispatch from CTF 17 granting her request 
for extension of patrol and stating that detailed instructions would be 
given the following night.-* 

(2) SNOOK 

The SNOOK, in Area DESTROY, was proceeding submerged on a 
northeasterly heading in order to join the SHARK'S wolf pack in Area 
DETECT. The day passed uneventfully and at 1914 she surfaced. At 2030 
she intercepted the SAWFISH'S contact on the northbound convoy seventy- five 
miles to the southeast of her and commenced closing the convoy. She 
notified the SAWFISH of her actions but by midnight she had not made 
contact.** 

(3) SHARK, BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON 

This wolf pack, which was supposed to be patrolling Area 
DETECT, was actually patrolling along the northeast corner of Area 
DESTROY. The reason for this is not readily available. It patrolled 
submerged during daylight and on the surface during darkness.*** The day 
passed uneventfully. Upon surfacing at dark ninety per cent of the crew 
of the BLACKFISH again experienced illness with several serious cases. - **** 
As pointed out in Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf, this was likely due 
to the leaking of carbon tetrachloride from cans with loose lids.***** 

At 2030 the BLACKFISH (a) intercepted the SAWFISH contact 
on a convoy to the southward and (b) received the same information from 
the wolf pack commander in the SHARK. 

No effort was made to close this contact for also at this 
same time the wolf pack commander directed his wolf pack to patrol the 
northern edge of the patrol area as reports received from China-based 
patrol planes indicated good hunting,**** As a consequence the submarines 
of the wolf pack proceeded to take up stations as ordered. No contacts 
of importance were made during the day 



* CTF 17 Dispatch 230957 October 1944 to All Subs, info CINCPAC. 
** War Patrol Report SNOOK, Report of 7TH War Patrol, Serial 053, 

November 18th, 1944. 
*** Deck Logs BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON, October 23rd, 1944. 
**** War Patrol Report BLACKFISH, Report of 9TH War Patrol, Serial 001, 

November 1944. 
***** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter III (B)(2) (a) (2). 



55 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(4) HADDOCK, HALIBUT, TUNA 

This wolf pack was in Area PARLOR proceeding westward to 
its patrol station in CONVOY COLLEGE. The units remained on the surface 
during daylight as well as darkness,* except for trim and training dives. 
They made no contacts of importance, and at midnight were about to pass 
into the eastern edge of Area VESTIBULE. 

(5) PINTADO, JALLAO, ATULE 

This wolf pack continued westward en route to its patrol 
station in CONVOY COLLEGE, The units proceeded on the surface during 
daylight as well as darkness except for trim and training dives.** They 
made some contacts on friendly aircraft, but made no contacts of importance. 
By midnight they had entered Area PARLOR. 

(6) BONEFISH 

The BONEFISH was eastbound in the CONVOY COLLEGE Safety 
Lane returning to Pearl Harbor via Saipan. She remained on the surface 
during daylight as well as darkness. Except for sighting, at 1218, a 
large unidentified aircraft on a westerly course, the day passed 
uneventfully.*** 

(b) Northwest Coast of Formosa. 

The TANG patrolled, in northern Formosa Strait, submerged 
during daylight and on the surface during darkness.**** No contacts of 
importance were made this day. 

(c) Northeast Coast of Formosa. 

This area once again was patrolled by the three submarines, 
SILVERSIDES, TRIGGER and SALMON. The SALMON having departed on October 19th 
to see medical aid had returned to this area to take up her regular patrol 
station. These submarines patrolled submerged during daylight and on the 
surface during darkness.***** None of them made any contacts of importance, 
although they all sighted enemy aircraft. During the evening the 
SILVERSIDES made an unsuccessful sweep to the eastward in an attempt to 
pick up a convoy,****** previously contacted by the SEA DOG,******* while 



* Deck Logs HADDOCK, HALIBUT, TUNA, October 23rd, 1944. 
** Deck Logs PINTADO, JALLAO, ATULE, October 23rd, 1944. 
*** War Patrol Report BONEFISH, Report of 6TH War Patrol, No Serial, 

November 8th, 1944. 
**** War Patrol Report TANG, Report of $TH War Patrol, No Serial, 

September 10th, 1945. 
***** Deck Logs SILVERSIDES, TRIGGER, SALMON, October 23rd, 1944. 
****** War Patrol Report SILVERSIDES, Report of 11TH War Patrol, Serial 

045, November 23rd, 1944. 
******* SEA DOG Dispatch 220L49 October 1944 to CTF 17, info MARU MORGUE. 

56 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

the SALMON commenced moving to the north of the northwest tip of 
Ishigaki Shima for the next day's patrol.* 

(d) MARU MORGUE 

The submarines SEA DOG in Area ABANDON, SAURY in Area 
ABOLISH, BURRFISH in Area ABRIDGE, STERLET in Area ABUSE and BILLFISH in 
Area ABDUCT, continued to patrol MARU MORGUE as before. The weather was 
clear with good visibility and the submarines patrolled submerged during 
daylight and on the surface during darkness.** One area, Area ABLAZE, 
located eastward of Amami Shima, remained unpatrolled due to the 
departure of the BARBEL and SKATE with only one relief (BILLFISH) provided. 

This was an unfortunate situation for unknown to the MARU 
MORGUE submarines the Japanese FIRST Supply Group, which had departed 
BUNGO SUIDO at 0500 on the previous day had passed undetected through 
Area ABLAZE and entered Satsukawa Bay in southern Amami Shima. 

The SEA DOG sighted numerous planes during the day*** and the 
BILLFISH sighted several small trawlers and small patrol craft in the 
early evening.**** With these exceptions, none of the submarines of this 
area made any contacts of importance. 

The BURRFISH at 2300 set course to close the convoy reported 
and attacked by the SEA DOG on October 22nd.***** 

(e) Nagasaki - Sasebo 

The two submarines patrolling Areas NINE (CROAKER) and TWELVE 
(PERCH) were some 230 miles apart. 

The PERCH was in southern Tsushima Strait where she was 
patrolling on the surface across the Nagasaki - Shanghai convoy route in 
a position to intercept a carrier force reported in Formosa Strait on a 
northeasterly course at 1530 October 21st and which she hoped to intercept 
on this day.****** While what this force actually was is not known, it 
seems possible that it was a convoy of merchant ships escorted by the 
SHINYO (CVE) en route Hainan Island to Mutsure (an island in the western 
approaches to Shimonoseki Suido) where it arrived at 0600 the following 
morning. The question of this convoy is discussed in Volume III .******* 

* War Patrol Report SALMON, Report of 11TH War Patrol, Serial 0-16, 

November 10th, 1944. 
** Deck Logs SEA DOG, BILLFISH, SAURY, BURRFISH, STERLET, October 

23rd, 1944. 
*** War Patrol Report SEA DOG, Report of 1ST War Patrol, No Serial, 

undated. 
**** War Patrol Report BILLFISH, Report of 6TH War Patrol, Serial 038, 

November 27th, 1944. 
***** War Patrol Report BURRFISH, Report of 4TH War Patrol, Serial 024, 

December 2nd, 1944. 
****** War Patrol Report PERCH, Report of 3RD War Patrol, No Serial, 

November 8th, 1944. 
******* Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter III (C). 



496799 O - 59 - 13 



57 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

At 2100, having failed to intercept this force, she proceeded 
towards her October 25th lifeguard station bearing 284° (T), distant 124 
miles from Danjo Gunto.* About this time she received CTF 17' s dispatch 
containing supplementary instructions pertaining to her lifeguard duties.** 
She made no contacts of importance,* 

The CROAKER submerged was proceeding in a southerly direction 
toward her lifeguard station and planned to pass to the westward of 
Cheju Do (Quelpart Island). At 1848 she surfaced and remained on the 
surface during the remainder of the day.*** During the evening she also 
received supplementary instructions pertaining to her lifeguard duties 
from CTF 17.** She made no contacts of importance.**** 

(f) HIT PARADE (Approaches to Bungo Suido). 

The submarines BSSUGO and RONQUIL continued to guard the 
approaches to Bungo Suido with the former in the eastern approaches and 
the latter in the western approaches.***** (Diagram "B"). They patrolled 
submerged during daylight and on the surface during darkness. ****** 
Although they sighted several aircraft and sampans during the day they 
made no contacts of real importance.******* At 2355 the RONQUIL received 
a dispatch from CTF 17, not available to this study, and immediately 
informed the BESUGO that she was entering her area.******** 

The GABILAN was guarding the approaches to Kii Suido although 
she was too far to the eastward of the Strait leaving the western 
approaches open to transit. THERE SEEMS TO BE CONSIDERABLE DOUBT AS TO 
THE CORRECTNESS OF THIS STATION SINCE A POSITION ON THE 100 FATHOM CURVE 
EQUIDISTANT BETWEEN KAMATA SAKI (SOMETIMES CALLED GAMOTA ZAKI) AND HINO 
MISAKA, AS DISCUSSED IN VOLUME II, WOULD BE BETTER SUITED TO GUARD KII 
SUIDO.********* The above submarine patrolled on the surface during 
darkness and submerged during daylight and made no contacts of 
import anc e • ********** 

* War Patrol Report PERCH, Report of 3RD War Patrol, No Serial, 

November 8th, 1944. 
** CTF 17 Dispatch 231014 October 1944 to SSCOLAR, PERCH, CROAKER, 

info CINCPAC. 
*** Deck Log CROAKER, October 23rd, 1944. 
**** War Patrol Report CROAKER, Report of 2ND War Patrol, Serial 027, 

November 10th, 1944. 
***** BESUGO Dispatch 221544 October 1944 to CTF 17. 
****** Deck Logs BESUGO, RONQUIL, October 23rd, 1944. 
******* War Patrol Report RONQUIL, Report of 2ND War Patrol, Serial 038, 

November 28th, 1944; also War Patrol Report BESUGO, Report of 

1ST War Patrol, Serial 027, November 4th, 1944. 
******** War Patrol Report RONQUIL, Report of 2ND War Patrol, Serial 038, 

November 28th, 1944. 
********* Volume II, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92914), Naval War 

College, 1955, Chapter V (B)(2)(f). 
********** War Patrol Report GABILAN, Report of 3RD War Patrol, Serial 031, 

November 13th, 1944. 

58 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 and 

C.G. FOURTEENTH AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 23rd 

(g) The Approaches to Tokyo Bay, 

The TAMBOR continued to operate in the eastern approaches to 
Tokyo Bay to the southeast of O'Shima,* while the GREENLING continued to 
patrol in Enshu Nada about sixty miles distant from the westward 
approaches to Tokyo, These submarines which patrolled submerged during 
daylight and on the surface during darkness made no contacts of 
importance,** The weather conditions in Enshu Nada were generally poor 
with fog*** while visibility in the vicinity of the TAMBOR was low.** 

(C) China - Burma - India Theater, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd, 

(1) Operations of C.G. FOURTEENTH Air Force, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd, 

On this day the two-place search over the South China Sea was 
flown, as scheduled, by B-24 aircraft of the FOURTEENTH Air Force 
(Diagram"B B ) # 

At 1545 the west course plane sighted a single ship about 100 
miles east of Hainan.**** 

At about 1800 the night searches took off. Between 2200 and 2230 
the east course aircraft sighted three widely separated single ships from 
300 to 330 miles northwest of Manila.**** 

The foregoing contacts were not significant. 



* War Patrol Report TAMBOR, Report of 12TH War Patrol, Serial 08019, 

November 30th, 1944. 
** Deck Logs GREENLING, TAMBOR, October 23rd, 1944. 
*** War Patrol Report GREENLING, Report of 11TH War Patrol, No Serial, 

November 23rd, 1944. 
**** HQ Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base Alabama, AAF Operations 

from China Bases in Support of Leyte Campaign, Letter, No Serial, 

November 8th, 1944 to President, Naval War College. 



59 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CINC COMBINED FLEET 
October 24th 



CHAPTER III - JAPANESE OPERATIONS, 0000 - 1830, October 24th 

(A) Operations of CinC Combined Fleet, 0000 - 1330, October 24th. 

This was a day of crucial movements and actions by units of the 
Combined Fleet engaged in the SHO Operation which was now approaching the 
climactic decisive stage. Early in the day, at about 0242, CinC Combined 
Fleet learned that a "large enemy force" had been discovered at 0050, 
bearing 090°(T), distant 250 miles from Manila* (Contact "A", Plate XIII). 
This was the first of a series of contacts on enemy forces east of the 
Philippines which, as later developed, consisted of three groups with an 
aggregate of about eleven carriers.** 

During the day CinC Combined Fleet received numerous reports from his 
various commanders, the most important of which were: (a) from Connander 
Main Force reporting (1) that at 1145, the Main Force planned to launch a 
seventy-six plane attack against the enemy force east of Manila,*** 
(2) that at 1439 the Main Force Advance Guard had been ordered detached 
to proceed south to "take advantage of any favorable opportunity to 
attack and destroy remaining enemy elements"** 55 * and (3) he may have 
learned that at 1645 the Main Force had finally been detected by enemy 
carrier aircraft,***** (b) the THIRD Section, at 0945, had been attacked 
and lightly damaged by carrier aircraft,* 2 **** (c) the Main Body of the 
FIRST Striking Force had been subjected to five air attacks totalling 
about 250 carrier planes******* and had suffered considerable damage 



** 



*** 



**** 



CofS SW Area Force Dispatch 240212 October 1944 to SW Area 
Situation Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, 
SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 23th, 1944, WDC Document 
161005, NA 11744. 

Material for Situation Estimates, 1ST Section, Naval General 
Staff, October 1944, WDC Document 216764. 

Commander Main Force Dispatch 241133 October 1944 to all Fleet 
and Squadron Commanders, CinC Combined Fleet, Commander 5TH Base 
Air Force, Imperial GHQ (Navy Section), Detailed Action Report 
1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, 
WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

Commander Main Force Dispatch 241439 October 1944 to CinC Combined 
Fleet, all Fleet and Squadron Commanders, Main Force, info to 
Imperial GHQ (Navy Section), etc., (Main Force SigDesOpOrd No. 2), 
Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
18th - 23th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

Commander Main Force Dispatch 241650 October 1944 to all interested 
Commanders, Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, 
October 20th - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 
Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241105 October 1944 to 1ST Striking 
Force Battle Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, 
SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 
161005, NA 11744. 

Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 241600 
October 1944 to CinC Combined Fleet, info Commanders Main Force, 
5TH and 6TH Base Air Force, SW Area Force, Detailed Action Report 
1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, 
WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 



***** 



****** 



******* 



60 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



23' 



124- 



126- 



COMMANDER MAIN FORCE { 





TIME 

OF 

CONTACT 


LOCATION 
NE OF CATANDuANES 


THIRD 

SECTION 


SECOND 

STRIKING 

FORCE 


TIMES OF RECEIPT 

; 4th 
MAIN 6th 5th AIR 
IYB FORCE BAF BAF ARMT 


A 


00S0-24lh 


08IS 


0815 


0252 




ORlG REC'O 




B 


0600-24tr> 


NW OF CATANOUANES 








0900 


ORtG 


REC'O 




C 


0600-24th 


E OF POULLO IS 








0900 


ORIG 


REC'D 




D 


0600-24th 


LEYTE 6ULF 


1033 


1033 


1033 




REC'O 


REC'O 




E 


0650-24lh 


LEYTE GULF 


1200 


1400 


1400 










' 


OBOO-24lh 


E OF POULLO IS 








0820 


ORIG 


REC'O 




G 


0853-2 4 th 


E OF POLILLO IS. 


RtTC'D 


REC'O 


0902 


0910 


0902 RECO I 


H 


0900-2 4 th 


NE OF POLILLO IS. 


HEC'D 


REC'D 


1030 




1030 : RECO 




■ 


0940-24th 


NE OF SAN BERNARDINO 


REC'D 


REC'O 


1015 








J 0945-241h 


NE OF SAN BERNARDINO 


*EC D 


RECTJ 


1535 




RECD 


RECD 




n 


l030-24th 


NE OF POLILLO IS 








1046 


ORIS 


RECO 




L 


IIOO-24th 


NE OF SAN BERNARDINO 


REC'D 


REC'D 


1102 










w 


H00-24th 


NE OF SULUAN IS 


REC'D 


REC'O 


1104 










N 


Il05-24th 


NE OF POLILLO IS 








IMS 











H50-24th 


LEVTE GULF 


REC'O 


REC'D 


1204 










P 


l535-24th 


E OF POLILLO IS- 










ORIG 


REC'D 




- 


!725-24th 


E OF POLILLO IS. 










ORIG 


REC'D 




R 


1607-24-h 


NE OF POLILLO IS 










ORIG REC'D 




S jl8l5-241h 


NE OF POLILLO IS 













REC'O" indicates probable receipt Exact time unknown Omissions mdicotes lack of information a 

considered of lesser concern to commander 

ORIG indicates command in *hich contact probably originated 



I807-2CV 5CA/CL 1000 



^COURSE SOUTHEAST 

I030-2CV 10 PLUS OTHER SHIPS 
COURSE NORTH 

I05-38B, 10 PLUS OTHERS 
UlBI5-4CV 2CVE 

„0853-4CV 10 OTHER SHIPS 
®TVact AMPLIFIED TO INCLUOE 
L tAbl 4CV 2CVE 

* C NORTHEAST 20 KTS. 
©1725-2 CVL (DAMAGED) 2BB 5 OTHERS 
.C EAST 22 KTS 
535-lCV I CVL 2 CVE IBB 2CA 



0050-LARGE ENEMY FORCE,. 
0600 -IBB 




0945 

LARGE ENEMY FORCE 

INCLUDING 3CV 3BB(^,CEAST 24 KTS 



*<D MOO -ENEMY FORCE 
^ 3BB REST UNKNOWN C SE 

II05-I0-PLUS SHIPS 
C NORTH 



0940 10-PLUS SHIPS 



COMMANDER FIRST STRIKING FORCE 
AND COMMANDER MAIN BODY 



LARGE ENEMY FORCE ± 
C NORTH 30 KTS 
0600 

4B8 4 CA/CL 
80 TRANSPORTS 
5-8 BB 10 CA/CL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CINC COMBINED FLEET 

n^TmrKT-PTAT C0M FIRST STRIKING FORCE 

CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

((1) the battleship MUSASHI heavily damaged and out of action, (2) the 
heavy cruiser MYOKO damaged and out of action, (3) the battleship NAGATO 
lightly damaged with speed reduced to twenty-one knots and (4) the 
battleship YAMATO lightly damaged) and (d) the SIXTH Base Air Force in 
its attack had scored one 500 pound bomb hit on a carrier and one cruiser 
had been moderately damaged and set afire.* 

During the evening CinC Combined Fleet became concerned about the 
attacks on the Main Body. He later stated that, "If it became too 
unbearable Admiral Kurita might turn back, but even if he were to turn 
back, it would be difficult for surface ships to elude the pursuit of 
aircraft. Whether the force advanced or retired, there would be very 
little difference in the resulting damage. In addition, once we withdrew, 
it would be difficult to revive the operation, and the entire operation 
would have to be scrapped. This was how I reasoned, and finally, after 
much painful consideration I made up my mind and dispatched. ..",** "All 
forces to the attack trusting in divine aid."*** 

(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Striking Force, 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

As pointed out in preceding volumes, Commander FIRST Striking 
Force "wore several hats". In addition to commanding the FIRST Striking 
Force he also commanded the Main Body; the FIRST Section of the Main 
Body; and, after hoisting his flag in the YAMATO, BATDIV ONE. 

It is evident in the analysis of this commander that although he 
used the FIRST Striking Force title, by far the greater portion of his 
actions were those which concerned only the Main Body and actually were 
performed in his capacity as Commander Main Body. In this analysis under 
the heading, "Operations of Commander FIRST Striking Force" only those 
actions which are considered to be the function of the higher command 
level are discussed. 

Commander FIRST Striking Force in his dual capacity was of course 
well aware of the operations of the Main Body. 



* Clark Air Base Dispatch 241145 October 1944 to 6TH Base Air Force 
Battle Report Addressees (6TH Base Air Force Battle Report No. 1), 
Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 
16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

** Admiral Soemu Toyoda, ex-UN, "The End of the Imperial Navy" (Tokyo, 
April 1950), Pages 157-163. 

*** CinC Combined Fleet Dispatch 241813 October 1944 to SHO Forces, 
(Combined Fleet DesOpOrd No. 372), Detailed Action Report No. 15 
MYOKO, Battle off the Philippines (Antiair Action in Mindoro Sea), 
October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161647. 



61 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1151 he learned that the THIRD Section had been subjected to 
air attack but that "combat effectiveness was unimpaired". * 

At 1241 he received Commander Main Force dispatch 241138 which 
stated that commander's intentions to launch a full strength attack 
(sixty-seven planes) against the enemy task force in position Latitude 
15°-35 f N, Longitude 124°-15 f E.** 

During the day Commander FIRST Striking Force received the same 
contact reports as did Commander Main Body. These contacts are noted and 
discussed under "Operations of Commander Main Body, 0000 - 1830, October 
24th ». 

By 1447 he had received Commander THIRD Section's 1400 position 
report*** which indicated that the THIRD Section was pretty well on 
schedule and could easily conduct the penetration as planned. 

At 1530 he was aware that the Main Body had reversed course and 
at 1541 he ordered the NICHIEI MARU (oiler) and CD #32 (Coastal Defense 
Ship - Escort) to depart immediately upon completion of preparations for 
Coron Bay and upon arrival stand-by.**** 

At 1715 he knew that the Main Body had again resumed the advance 
and he began to consider the effect the delay of the Main Body would have 
on the overall Leyte penetration operation. 



* Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241105 October 1944 to 1ST Striking 
Force Battle Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report 1ST 
Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC 
Document 161641, NA 11839. 

** Ibid., Commander Main Force Dispatch 241138 October 1944 to All 

Fleet and Squadron Commanders, CinC Combined Fleet, Commander 5TH 
Base Air Force, etc, 

*** Ibid., Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241410 October 1944 to 
Commanders 1ST and 2ND Striking Forces. 

**** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 241541 October 1944 to 

NICHIEI MARU, CD #32, Commander Combined Escort Force, SW Area Force, 
CinC Combined Fleet, War Diary NICHIEI MARU, October 1944, *DC 
Document 160148, NA 11838. 



62 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN BODY 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(a) Operations of Commander Main Body, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

The Main Body commenced this day, a day of crucial operations 
for this force, some fifty miles west of Mindoro on course 090°(T). 
Shortly after midnight several of the ships of the force reported sighting 
submarines and evasive maneuvering was conducted,* No attacks on the 
force were made however. 

Probably at 0255 Commander Main Body received information that 
the "enemy task force" had been contacted 250 miles east of Manila** 
(Contact "A", Plate XIII). As he plotted this contact he could see that 
as the Main Body rounded the southern tip of Mindoro at sunrise it would 
be about 280 miles from the contact and therefore within range of the 
enemy carrier planes. As a result preparations were commenced for the 
expected attack. 

Shortly after clearing the narrow passage between Libagao 
Island and Masin Island south of Mindoro, about 0734, the force assumed 
antiaircraft disposition with each section in circular formation.*** 

Between 0700 and 0800 various ships of the force launched 
search aircraft in accordance with FIRST Striking Force SigOrd No. 193.**** 
These planes (seven) were ordered to search ten degree sectors to a 
distance of 300 miles with Banton Island as the point of origin and the 
"base line" 075°. It is known that at least six of these planes conducted 
searches and some gave Commander FIRST Striking Force considerable 
information. 

At 1026 the air attacks began. The first attack which was 
reported to consist of about thirty planes but which actually numbered 
forty-five from TG 38.2, made coordinated bombing, torpedo and strafing 
attacks and succeeded in hitting the MYOKO and the MUSASHI with one 
torpedo each. The MYOKO was damaged so badly that COMCRUDIV FIVE 
transferred his flag to the HAGURO and the Commander Main Body ordered her 
proceed to Brunei Bay, if necessary putting in at Coron Bay for emergency 



* Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1 Antiair and Surface 
Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

** CofS SW Area Force Dispatch 240212 October 1944 to SW Area Force 
Situation Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO 
No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 16100 5, 

NA 11744. 
*** The Main Body disposition was Y-20, the 1ST Section in Y-25 and the 

2ND Section in B-3. These dispositions were to be discussed and 

diagrammed in Volume IV, Battle for Leyte Gulf. 
**** Commander Main Body Visual Dispatch 232350 October 1944 to Ships 

Carrying Aircraft (1ST Striking Force SigOrd No. 193), Detailed 

Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 

1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 



63 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

repairs* without escort, 
affect her operations. 



COM MAIN BODY 
October 24th 

The hit on the MUSASHI did not materially 



At approximately 1207 the second air attack began. This 
attack which was also launched by TG 38.2, was reported by Commander Main 
Body as consisting of thirty** aircraft which was correct.*** During this 
attack the MUSASHI received three additional torpedo hits (total four) and 
her speed was reduced to twenty-two knots. **** In addition she received 
two bomb hits.***** 

By 1315 Commander Main Body had contact reports indicating 
that he was opposed by the following forces: 

(a) Two groups of ten ships eacn off the entrance to San 
Bernardino Strait, the composition of one group was unknown,****** while 
the other was reported to include three battleships and one small 
carrier,******* (Contacts "I" and W L M ). These contacts were both on 

TG 38.2. 

(b) Two groups some thirty miles apart, one group with four 
carriers and ten other ships******** about 100 miles east of Polillo Island 
(Contact "G"), the other with two carriers and ten other stops********* 
about 100 miles northeast of Polillo Island (Contact "H"), These contacts 
were both on TG 38.3. 



** 



-»-*-«- 



#*-** 



-a-**-** 



-5HHHHH5- 



■JBf-JHHHBf- 



-JHBHBBSBJ- 



-JHHHHMHBHi- 



Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Visual 
Dispatch 24112$ October 1944 to MYOKO, Detailed Action Report 
No. 15, MYOKO, Battle off the Philippines (Antiair Action in 
Mindoro Sea), October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161647. 
Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 
241225 October 1944 to 1ST Striking Force Battle Report 
Addressees, Detailed Action Report No. 3, NOSHIRO, Antiair and 
Surface Actions, October 23rd - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 
War Diary INTREPID, October 1944, Serial 0195, November 9th, 
1944. 

Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 
241250 October 1944 to 1ST Striking Force Battle Report 
Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, 
October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 16 1005, NA 11744. 
Detailed Action Report MUSASHI, Battle Off the Philippines, 
October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

Number 1 Plane, 3RD Recco Unit Dispatch (date-time-group and 
addressees unknown), October 24th, 1944, Detailed Action Report 
1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, 
WDC Document 161641, NA 11339. 

Plane No. 3, 1ST Search Unit Dispatch 241100 October 1944 
(addressees unknown), Detailed Action Report KONGO, SHO 
Operation, October 22nd - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161637. 
62ND Air Flotilla Aircraft Dispatch 240853 October 1944 to 
unknown addressees, Detailed Action Report 3ATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 
Operation, October 18th - 23th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, 
NA 11744. 

Ibid., 62ND Air Flotilla Aircraft Dispatch 240900 (presumed) 
October 1944 to unknown addressees. 



64 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN BODY 
October 24th 



(c) About ninety miles north of Catanduanes Island at 1105 
a "Task Force" reported by Commander Main Force,* (Contact "N"). This 
contact was also on TG 38.3 being about eight miles northwest of the 
actual position, 

(d) A "large force", composition unknown off the coast of 
Samar** (Contact "M"). This contact was about fifteen miles northeast of 
TG 77.4.3 and about fifteen miles southeast of TG 38.4. Which of the 
forces the pilot actually saw is not known. 

(e) In Leyte Gulf at 0600, nine to twelve battleships, 
fourteen cruisers, eighty transports plus destroyers and ten torpedo 
boats in the Mindanao Sea to the south**-* (Contact "D"). 

As he now had ample evidence of enemy forces east of the 
Philippines and as he had no word of friendly air attacks, he sent a 
dispatch to the air unit commanders stating that his force was under 
repeated attacks and requested to be advised immediately of "contacts and 
attacks" made on the enemy.-**** 

At 1324 the third air attack commenced. This attack, which 
he reported consisted of eighty aircraft***** appears to have been the 
strike group from TG 38.3 recorded as fifty-eight aircraft.****** During 
this attack the MUSASHI received her fifth torpedo hit and reported that 
her maximum speed was estimated at twenty knots and the YAHAGI suffered 
near misses which reduced her speed to twenty-two knots. 



■** 



■*■*# 



Commander Main Force Dispatch 241138 October 1944 to All Fleet and 

Squadron Commanders, CinC Combined Fleet, Commander 5TH Base Air 

Force, etc., Detailed Action Report ZUIHO, SHO No. 1 Operation, 

October 20th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 161008. 

Plane No. 7, 3RD Recco Unit (CRUDIV 7 Aircraft) Dispatch 241100 

October 1944 (addressees unknown but probably 1ST Striking Force), 

Detailed Action Report KONGO, SHO Operation, October 22nd - 28th, 

1944, WDC Document 161637; also Detailed Action Report 1ST 

Striking Force, SHO Operation, October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC 

Document 161641, NA 11839. 

1ST Striking Force Search Plane Report (date- time-group unknown), 

October 24th, 1944 to CinC Combined Fleet, Commander SW Area Force, 

Commander 1ST Striking Force, etc., Detailed Action Report BATDIV 

1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 

161005, NA 11744. 

Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 241315 

October 1944 to Commanders Main Force, SW Area Force, info CinC 

Combined Fleet, Commanders 5TH and 6TH Base Air Forces, Detailed 

Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 

28th, 1944, WDC Document I6I64I, NA 11839. 

Ibid., Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body), Dispatch 

241342 October 1944 to 1ST Striking Force Battle Report 

Addressees. 

Deck Logs LEXINGTON and ESSEX, October 24th, 1944. 



*■*** 



■JHBSHfr 



-5HHHHBJ- 



65 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN BODY 
October 24th 



At 1400 he received another contact from Leyte Gulf. This was 
the report made by the MOGAMI search plane and which had been relayed by 
the Bulan Air Base,* This report which reported forces in the gulf as of 
0650 was about the same as the previous report on Leyte Gulf except that 
the "five to eight battleships and ten cruisers" mentioned in the earlier 
report were not included in this one, (Contact "E"). 

During the fourth air attack which commenced about 1426 and 
which was conducted by a group of about twenty planes likely from 
TG 38.3,** the YAMATO received a bomb hit on the bow but her combat 
effectiveness was unimpaired. 

Closely following this attack, at approximately 1500, the fifth 
air attack commenced. This was the largest attack of the day reported by 
Commander Main Body as "over 100 planes". These aircraft were from 
TG 38.4 which had launched its first strike of sixty-five aircraft at 
I313*** and TG 38.2 which had launched its third strike of thirty-one 
aircraft at 1350.**** During this attack (a) the NAGATO received two 
bomb hits and several near misses which reduced her maximum speed 
temporarily to twenty-one knots,***** and (b) the MUSASHI which was now 
some distance from the Main Body and "putting up a desperate fight", 
started emitting black smoke and listing to port. She was apprently 
unnavigable .**#*** 

At 1510 he ordered the MUSASHI to retire to Mako via Coron Bay 
if necessary and the KIYOSHIMO to escort.******* 



Bulan Seaplane Base Dispatch 241227 October 1944 to 1ST Striking 

Force Battle Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report 1ST 

Striking Force, SHO Operations, October l6.th - 28th, 1944, WDC 

Document 161641, NA 11839. 

Deck Log ESSEX, October 24th, 1944. 

Action Report CTG 38.4, Operations in Support of the Occupation 

of Leyte and Against the Japanese Fleet, October 22nd - 31st, 

1944, Serial 00267, November 18th, 1944. 

Action Report CTG 38.2, October 6th - November 3rd, 1944, 

Serial 0040, November 8th, 1944. 

Detailed Action Report No. 2, NAGATO, Antiair and Surface Actions, 

October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 

18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744; also Vice 

Admiral Matome Ugaki, ex-IJN (COMBATDIV 1) Personal Diary 

SENSOROKU, Nippon Shuppon Kyodo Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo March 

15th, 1953), Volume II. 

Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 

241510 to MUSASHI, KIYOSHIMO, etc., Detailed Action Report 

BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC 

Document 161005, NA 11744. 



-a* 



*-**-»- 



-*#-*-«-* 



#****# 



•JBHKBBJ-* 



66 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN BODY 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

By 1530, while the attack was still in progress, Commander 
Main Body, had become considerably alarmed over the situation and had 
apparently tentatively decided to temporarily reverse course while he 
re-estimated the situation for at this time he ordered the force to 
change course to 290°(T) o * 

At 1600, having apparently confirmed this decision to retire, 
he informed his superiors of his action and his estimate of the situation. 
Because of the importance of this dispatch it is quoted in full: 

w In coordination with the attack operations of the air forces, 
the main strength (Main Body) of the FIRST Striking Force advanced so as 
to break through San Bernardino Strait one hour after sunset. However, 
from 0830 to 1530, the force underwent repeated attacks by waves of enemy 
carrier planes totalling about 250. These attacks were increasing both 
in frequency and intensity and it appeared improbable that search attack 
operations by our own air forces would be effective. If the force 
continued its advance in spite of these circumstances, it would become an 
easy prey and sustain mounting losses, which would jeopardize the 
accomplishment of its mission. It is therefore considered advisable to 
retire temporarily from the zone of air attacks and to resume the advance 
when the battle results of friendly units permit. 1600 position Sibuyan 
Sea, 13°-00'N, 122°-40'E, course 290°, speed eighteen knots."** 

This action of Commander Main Body was of great interest to 
all the other commanders in the SHO Operation because of the close 
coordination required of the participating forces. This decision is 
therefore an important one to this operation and it was to have been 
discussed at considerable length in Volume IV, Battle for Leyte Gulf. 

By this time (1600) Commander Main Body knew that he was 
opposed by enemy carrier forces grouped roughly, (1) some 90 - 100 miles 
northeast of Polillo Island and (2) approximately sixty miles east of 
Catanduanes Island. The northern force had been reported to be in two 
groups totalling six large carriers and two escort carriers (Contacts "G" 
and "H") while the southern group had been reported and amplified to 
include three large carriers (Contacts "L" and "J"). In addition, the 
"large enemy force" which he had received at 1104 (Contact "M") off Samar 
in which the presence of carriers was undetermined had been reported 
moving northward and might well be within carrier plane range (Plate XIII), 



* Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMAT0, SHO No. 1 Operation, Antiair 
and Surface Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

** Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 241600 
October 1944 to CinC Combined Fleet, info Commander Main Force, 5TH 
and 6TH Base Air Forces, SW Area Force, Detailed Action Report 1ST 
Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC 
Document 161641, NA 11839. 



67 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN BODY 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1603 Commander Main Body received Commander Main Force's 
order detaching the Advance Guard to proceed south to attack and destroy 
remaining enemy elements.* 

At 1640 a dispatch was received from Commander SW Area Force 
in which that commander (a) expressed the belief that enemy aircraft 
attacking the FIRST Striking Force were from the carrier group in position 
Latitude 13°-45'N, Longitude 125°-25*E, and (b) that the SIXTH Base Air 
Force was scheduled to make a dusk attack against this force.** This 
force was the southern group (Contact "J") which had been reported to 
include three CV's and three BB's. 

At 1714, with the above information at hand and noting that 
there had been no additional attacks since the fifth attack, Commander 
FIRST Striking Force ordered the Main Body to resume the advance.*** 

At 1830 the Main Body was in the vicinity of Latitude 13°-04'N, 
Longitude 122°-42'E on base course 120°(T) heading for Masbate Pass. 
Just before sunset the force passed not far from the MUSASHI, which was, 
at this time badly damaged, and in danger of sinking, with two destroyers, 
the KIYOSHIMO and the HAMAKAZE, standing by. 

Thus, during the day, the striking power of the Main Body had 
been reduced by four ships; one battleship, one heavy cruiser and two 
destroyers. 



* Commander Main Force Dispatch 241439 October 1944 to CinC Combined 

Fleet, All Fleet and Squadron Commanders, etc., (Main Force SigDesOpCrd 
No. 2), Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

** Commander SW Area Force Dispatch 241610 October 1944 to Commander 
1ST Striking Force, Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1 
Antiair and Surface Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 
161639. 

*** Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1 Antiair and Surface 

Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

68 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(b) Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

The THIRD Section, at the beginning of this day, was in 
position Latitude 09°-ll«N, Longitude 120°-04'E. 

At 0200 the MOGAMI launched her Number ONE reconnaissance 
seaplane for dawn reconnaissance of Leyte Gulf in accordance with 
Commander THIRD Section's SigOrd No. 10* of the night before. 

At 0855 enemy aircraft were sighted** and at approximately 
0905 an attack commenced. The attack group consisted of twelve SB2C f s 
and sixteen F6F's, which had been launched from the ENTERPRISE (TG 38.4) 
at 0602 . By 0940 the attack was completed. There had been one direct hit 
on the after deck of the FUSO which set her reconnaissance seaplanes afire 
and made a hole in the stern. There were some casualties from rockets 
and strafing but no other serious damage.-*** The position of the attack 
was in the vicinity of Latitude 09°-02«N, Longitude 121°-35'E. 

During the morning (likely at 1033 when it was received by 
COMBATDIV ONE) Commander THIRD Section may have received a reconnaissance 
report from a FIRST Striking Force search plane which reported that there 
was in Leyte Gulf at 0600: "four battleships and four cruisers five miles 
east of Dulag; eighty transports ten miles east of Dulag; five to eight 
battleships and ten cruisers in the vicinity (of the transports); 
destroyers cruising around inside the gulf, and ten motor torpedo boats 
in the Mindanao Sea sixty miles south of Tacloban."**** 

After receiving battle reports from his various ships, 
Commander THIRD Section, at 1105, reported the action to his superiors and 
other interested commanders.***** It is of interest that his position was 
not included. It will be recalled that just before midnight October 23rd 
he had commenced a major deviation from his planned route and at the time 
of the attack was some eighty miles south of the planned position of the 
same time. 

At 1120 he designated (a) as reassembly point "Camiguin Island 
(Mindanao Sea) on bearing 030° from light, distance thirty-five miles" 

* Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 231905 October 1944 to 3RD 

Section (3RD Section SigOrd No. 10), Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, 
Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 
161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

** Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 240855 October 1944 to 3RD 

Section, Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, 
October 18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document I60463, NA 12653. 

*** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 

18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document I6O463, NA 12653. 
**** 1ST Striking Force Search Plane Report {date-time-group unknown but 

TOR 241033), October 1944 to CinC Combined Fleet, Commander SW Area 

Force, Commander 1ST Striking Force, etc., Detailed Action Report 

BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC 

Document 161005, NA 11744. 

***** ibid., Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241105 October 1944 to 1ST 

Striking Force Battle Report Addressees. 

69 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

and (b) as refueling and supply point, "Puerto Princesa (tentatively)".* 
This dispatch indicated that at this time it was the intention of 
Commander THIRD Section to retire after battle southward through Surigao 
Strait, 

At noon the MOGAMI reconnaissance seaplane which had been 
launched at 0200 returned overhead and reported the reconnaissance 
results by message drop to MOGAMI and YAMASHIRO.** The information 
reported as of 0650 was: 

"1. About eighty transports on bearing 100° from Dulag, distance 
seven miles. Disposed in several short columns of offset sections. 

"2, Four battleships, two cruisers and two destroyers on bearing 
157° from Dulag, distance eight miles, 

"3« Two destroyers nearing Dulag landing point. 

"4. Two destroyers and twelve seaplanes on bearing 241° from 
Suluan Island, distance forty-seven miles. 

"5. Four destroyers and ten plus small craft in Panaon Strait. 

"6. No aircraft carriers observed inside Gulf but four planes 
seen providing direct cover."*** 

After receipt of this information Commander THIRD Section 
ordered his Number ONE Attack Unit, which had proceeded to Cebu, to "attack 
the enemy light craft along the northwest coast of Panaon Island at dusk 
October 24th".**** 

By 1313 the THIRD Section was approaching Negros Island to the 
west of Casilan Point and at this time course was changed to 140° (T) to 
parallel the coast. Commander THIRD Section was now back on his original 
track and very nearly on schedule and it is of interest that shortly 
thereafter, at 14 10, he reported his position.***** 



* Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 231120 October 1944 (3RD 

Section SigOrd No. 11) to 3RD Section, Detailed Action Report 

SHIGURE, Battle for Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC 

Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 

18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document I6O463, NA 12653. 
*** MOGAMI Visual Dispatch 241225 October 1944 to 3RD Section, Detailed 

Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 

1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
**** Commander 3RD' Section Dispatch 241225 October 1944 to Cebu Air Base, 

San Jose Air Base; info Commander 1ST Striking Force, Detailed 

Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 

28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 
***** Ibid., Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241410 October 1944 to 

Commanders 1ST and 2ND Striking Forces. 

70 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

In the meantime, at 1400, Commander THIRD Section received a 
dispatch from Commander SW Area Force stating that the areas designated 
by the Army as shore targets for naval bombardment were as follows: 

"1. The area between Dulag and a point 3.3 kms. to the south, 
and extending 2 kms. inland© 

n 2. Enemy beachhead area east of a line running from the coast 
6.5 kms. south of Tacloban to a point 1 km. west of Tacloban. The Army 
will endeavor to bomb the principal targets within the above area so that 
the smoke will facilitate target identification."* 

Also, at 1410, Commander THIRD Section directed "At about 
sunset upon order, the FIRST Division (MOGAMI, MICHISHIO, ASAGUMO, 
YAMAGUMO) will break formation and move out about twenty kilometers in 
front of the SECOND Division ( YAMASHIRO, FUSO, SHIGURE), sweeping the 
route of advance and clearing the waters on the west side of Panaon Island 
of enemy craft,** He also directed that the FIRST Division was not to 
penetrate deeply into Sogod Bay, was to rejoin about 0030 on a bearing of 
250°(T), distance seventeen miles, from Binit Point and that after the 
FIRST Section had rejoined he intended to assume No. TWO search formation,** 
(Plate XIX). This action clearly indicates Commander THIRD Section's 
concern for the enemy small craft which might attempt to ambush him during 
the approach. 

Almost immediately, at 1412, he released a dispatch to his 
aircraft contact unit now at Cebu (previously sent by visual to his 
ships***), prescribing the target priority as follows: 

"1. Battleship group closest us 

"2 If no battleships in Gulf, cruiser group 

"3. Destroyer groups (surprise attack craft) capable of 
attacking us 

"4. Notify position of transports."**** 



* Commander SW Area Force Dispatch (date-time-group unknown but TOR 
241400) October 1944 to 1ST Striking Force, Detailed Action Report 
MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 18th - 25th, 1944, WDC 
Document I6O463, NA 12653. 

** Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 241410 October 1944 to 3RD 

Section (3RD Section SigOrd No. 13), Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, 
Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 
(Part 4), NA 11801. 

*** Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 241400 October 1944 to 3RD 

Section, Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, 
October 18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document I6O463, NA 12653. 

**** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241412 October 1944 to Cebu Air Base, 
Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 
16th - 23th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

496799 o - 59 - 14 71 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
and COM MAIN FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

This dispatch is quoted because it offers the interesting thought that 
Commander THIRD Section felt there was a possibility that there would be 
no battleships in the Gulf when he arrived. This fact was to have been 
discussed at length in Volume IV, Battle for Leyte Gulf, and is also 
discussed under "Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 1830 - 2400, 
October 24th" in this volume. 

Although there is no record of receipt it seems likely that 
Commander THIRD Section had received at least most of the battle reports 
Commander FIRST Striking Force had sent out during the day and he 
therefore knew that the Main Body had been heavily attacked and that the 
MYOKO and the MUSASHI were out of action. 

It also seems likely that Commander THIRD Section received 
generally the same contact reports as did Commander FIRST Striking Force. 

At 1830 the THIRD Section was in position Latitude 08°- $6' N, 
Longitude 123°-37 ! E, and was ready to execute the order which directed 
splitting the force into two sections. 

(2) Operations of Commander Main Force, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

The Main Force, continuing according to plan, proceeded in a 
southwesterly direction during the early morning hours and at 0600 in 
position Latitude 19°-10 , N, Longitude 125°-40'E the morning search was 
launched. At 1114 Commander Main Force ordered a full strength air 
attack on an enemy force which had been reported in position Latitude 
15°-20«N, Longitude 123°-40«E at 0853* (Contact »G", Plate XIII). By 
1155, in accordance with this order, the attack group, consisting of 
fifty-seven aircraft (thirty fighters, twenty fighter-bombers, five 
attack and two reconnaissance) was airborne and forming up preparatory to 
departure for the enemy which was "bearing 210°(T), distant 150-160 
miles" (last reported at 1105 in position Latitude 15°-35 f N, Longitude 
124°-15'E (Contact "N")).** 

Shortly after launching the attack group, the morning search was 
recovered and the force operated generally to the westward awaiting return 
of the attack group* 

The Attack Group proceeded to the target area in two units. In 
the vicinity of Latitude 15°-10'N, Longitude 123°-50«E, the FIRST Attack 
Unit encountered enemy fighters. After the ensuing fight this unit, 
apparently somewhat disorganised, searched for the enemy force but could 
not find it due to low clouds and rain. Four of the thirty- two planes 
in this unit returned to their carriers and the remainder proceeded to 
bases in the northern Philippines.** 



* 62ND Air Flotilla Aircraft Dispatch 240853 October 1944 to unknown 
addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, 
October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

** Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
20th - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

72 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN FORCE 
October 24th 



The SECOND Attack Unit of twenty-two planes (which had also been 
engaged by enemy fighters*) found a hole in the clouds at 1350 and 
sighted an enemy force consisting of two fleet carriers, two converted 
carriers and several other units. A "successful surprise attack" was 
made and the attack unit proceeded to bases in the Philippines.** This 
attack was on TG 38.3 which reported that the LEXINGTON, LANGLEY and 
ESSEX all experienced near misses but no hits. Two planes were shot down 
over the force.* 

Although four planes returned to their carriers they had little 
to report for the ISE states in her report that the results of the attack 
were unknown until October 29th,*** and Commander Main Force, in his 
dispatch action report at the end of the day, reported the results of the 
attack unknown.**** However, in his summary of losses (written later) he 
states that a total of about fourteen planes from the Attack Units were 
lost although exact figures were not available.** 

At 1439, having no information as to the results of the air 
attack and as his force was still apparently undiscovered, Commander Main 
Force ordered the Advance Guard (BB/XCV's HYUGA and ISE, DD»s HATSUZUKI, 
AKITSUKI, WAKATSUKI and SHIMOTSUKI) detached to proceed southward to 
"grasp a favorable opportunity to attack and destroy enemy reninants" .***** 

At 1635 an enemy carrier plane was sighted about the force and 
the planes radioed contact report was intercepted as was the acknowledge- 
ment.** As a result Commander Main Force knew that at last his carriers 
had been discovered and at 1650 so advised his superiors and other 
interested commanders.****** 






•JBttJ-** 



■SHHBHHt- 



War Diary CTG 38.3, October 24th, 1944. 

Detailed Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 

20th - 29th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

Detailed Action Report ISE, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 25th, 

1944, WDC Document 161006, NA 12604. 

Commander Main Force Dispatch 250014 October 1944 to Main Force 

Action Report Addressees (General Action Report No. l), Detailed 

Action Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 20th - 29th, 

1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

Ibid., Commander Main Force Dispatch 241439 October 1944 (Main 

Force SigDesOpOrd No. 2) to CinC Combined Fleet, All Fleet and 

Squadron Commanders Main Force, info Imperial GHQ (Navy Section)etc. 

Ibid., Commander Main Force Dispatch 241650 October 1944 to other 

interested commanders. 



73 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM MAIN FORCE and 
COM EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1830 the Main Force carriers were recovering the last of the 
CAP aircraft in the vicinity of Latitude 18°-50«N, Longitude 125°-25«E.* 
The Advance Guard at this time was some ninsty-five miles to the southeast 
in the vicinity of Latitude 17°-15'N, Longitude 126°-00 » E, «* operating 
with the intention of attacking the enemy at moonset (2400).*** 

(3) Operations of Commander Expeditionary Force, 0000 - 1330, 
October 24th. 

During this day some of the twelve submarines ordered to stations 
east of the Philippines arrived on station while the remainder, with the 
exception of the RO-109, were expected to arrive October 25th. 

Commander Expeditionary Force received during the day, the major 
contacts which were received by the other commanders. Apparently because 
these contacts indicated the enemy was operating closer to the coast than 
had been anticipated, he ordered his submarines redisposed to positions 
in the seas "extending from the east coast of Samar to the area east of 
the Surigao Strait and approximately sixty nautical miles off the coast" 
(Plate XIV). This redisposition was expected to be compiled by noon, 
October 25th.**** 

During the day there were apparently no contacts made by his 
submarines nor were they contacted by the Allies. 



* Appended Track Chart, Detailed Action Report ZUIKAKU, SHO No. 1 

Operation, October 20th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 161008. 
** Appended Track Chart, Detailed Action Report ISE, SHO No. 1 Operation, 

October 25th, 1944, WDC Document 161006, NA 12604. 
*** Detailed Action Report COMCARDIV 4 (Commander Advance Guard), SHO 

No. 1 Operation, October 24th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 161006, 

NA 12604. 
**** Submarine Operations in the THIRD Phase Operation, Part IV, September 

1944 - February 1945, Japanese Monograph No. 184, compiled by the 2ND 

Historical Records Section of the Repatriation Relief Bureau of the 

Welfare Ministry, June 1954» 



74 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



125" 



DISPOSITION OF JAPANESE FIRST SUBMARINE 

GROUP 

AS ORDERED BY COMMANDER EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, 

OCTOBER 24th, 1944 

DISPOSITION EFFECTIVE 1200, OCTOBER 25th, 1944 

JAPANESE SUBMARINE OPERATIONS, PART IV, JAPANESE MONOGRAPH 184 ~ 



I5< 




IP? / 



N° 



ST** 



JT 



RO- 
46 










RO- 
43 


1-53 






CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SW AREA FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(4) Operations of Commander SW Area Force, OOOO - 1330, October 24th. 

Commander SW Area Force, as senior air commander in the 
Philippines, watched with interest the unfolding situation. As he was in 
Manila, as were Commanders FIFTH and SIXTH Base Air Forces, it seems 
probable that he received generally the same reports as did these 
commanders. 

At 0212 he passed on to interested commanders the 0050 contact on 
the enemy "task force" and warned of the likelihood of an air attack on 
Luzon and the waters west of Luzon * (Contact "A", Plate XIII). 

During the morning he received reports that (a) the AOBA, which 
had been torpedoed the day before and had been towed into Manila Bay by 
the KINU, was leaking badly and that boats with pumps were required,** 
(b) DESDIV TWENTY-ONE had been attacked by aircraft off the west coast of 
Panay and the destroyer WAKABA had been sunk,*** (c) the THIRD Section 
had repulsed an air attack, suffering only minor damage to the FUSO,**** 
(d) the Main Body had been attacked by carrier aircraft and (e) in the 
above attack the MYOKO had been damaged and ordered to proceed to 
Brunei Bay.***** 

In this latter report Commander SW Area Force was requested to 
arrange an escort for the MYOKO but at 1410 (when it was received by 
COMDESRON TEN) he received a dispatch from Commander Main Body which 
ordered the NAGANAMI to leave the TAKAO and proceed to the assistance of 
the MYOKO,****** so he apparently sent no additional escorts. 

During the day, being in close contact with his two base air 
force commanders, he knew of the various contacts made as well as the 
results of friendly air attacks. 



* CofS SW Area Force Dispatch 240212 to SW Area Force Situation Report 
Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, 
October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

** AOBA Dispatch 240850 October 1944 to CofS SW Area Force, Detailed 
Action Report No. 6 AOBA, Antisubmarine Action West of Philippines, 
October 23rd, 1944, WDC Document 161747. 

*** HATSUHARU Dispatch 240900 October 1944 to Commanders DESRON 1, 2ND 
Striking Force, SW Area Force, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO 
No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, 
NA 11744. 

**** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241105 October 1944, addressees 

unknown, Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, 
October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

***** Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 241135 
October 1944 to 1ST Striking Force Battle Report Addressees, 
Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
13th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

«-**#*-* Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main Body) Dispatch 241316 
October 1944 (1ST Striking Force DesOpOrd No. 58) to NAGANAMI, info 
MYOKO, TAKAO, etc., Detailed Action Report No. 13, DESRON 10, SHO 
Operation, October 17th - 31st, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

75 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SW AREA FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Sometime during the afternoon he received a dispatch from 
Commander Main Body which stated that the Main Body was being subjected 
to repeated enemy carrier-based attacks and pointedly asked what "contacts 
and attacks" had been made on the enemy.* At 1610 Commander SW Area Force 
released a dispatch in reply which stated, "the enemy aircraft attacking 
the FIRST Striking Force (Main Body) are believed to be from a carrier 
group at Latitude 13°-45'N, Longitude 125°-25 , E (Contact "J", Plate XIII ). 
The SIXTH Base Air Force is scheduled to make a dusk attack against this 
enemy".** This carrier group was TG 33.2 which had not yet been attacked 
and was in fact the source of the majority of the attacks on the Main Body. 

At about 1626 he received a message from the destroyer NAGANAMI. 
She had discovered the DARTER which had run aground the night of October 
23rd - 24th. The NAGANAMI reported shelling the DARTER for three minutes 
and even attempting to pull it off the shoal but it was too high aground. 
She stated that she left the DARTER afire and would report later concerning 
documents and other items recovered.*** It is interesting to recall that 
the crew of the DARTER and the DACE had also done their best to sink the 
DARTER. 

By 1830 Commander SW Area Force had received word that the second 
phase of the air attack which took off at 1400 had scored one hit on a 
WASP class carrier.**** He knew that dusk attacks were scheduled and he 
awaited the results of this attack with interest. 

(a) Operations of Commander Guard Force, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

During the day Commander Guard Force (COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN), who 
was now operating directly under the command of Commander SW Area Force, 
continued his troop transport operation. 

At 0556 he released his orders for the first operation. In 
accordance with SW Area Force DesOpOrd No. 684 he provided for: 

(1) the organization (Unit designation — ships — commander) 

(a) Main Body—KINU, URANAMI— direct command (of COMCRUDIV 
SIXTEEN) 

* Commander 1ST Striking Force (Commander Main 3ody) Dispatch 241315 

October 1944 to Commanders Main Force, SW Area Force, etc., Detailed 
Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 
1944, WDC" Document 161005, NA 11744. 

** Commander SW Area Force Dispatch 241610 October 1944 to Commander 

1ST Striking Force, Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1 
Antiair and Surface Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, '.'.DC 
Document 161639. 

*** NAGANAMI Dispatch 241556 October 1944 to TAKAO, Commander SW Area 
Force, Detailed Action Report TAKAO, October 23rd - 25th, 1944, 
WDC Document 160141, NA 11839. 

**** Commander 6TH Base Air Force Dispatch 241804 October 1944 to 

Commanders SW Area Force, 5TH and 6TH Base Air Force Battle Report 
Addressees, 6TH Base Air Force Battle Report No. 3, Detailed Action 
Report No. 13, DESRON 10, SHO Operations, October 17th - 31st, 1944, 
WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

76 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM GUARD FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(b) FIRST Transport Unit — Transports 6, 9, 10— Senior 
Ship Captain 

(c) SECOND Transport Unit—Transports 101, 102— Senior 
Ship Captain 

(2) Troop Loading Allocation— KINU 500, URANAMI 150, 
Transport Unit 400 per ship 

(3) Landing point — Ormoc, Leyte 

(4) Route— Via Bohol Strait and north side of Camotes Island 
to Ormoc 

(5) Schedule — Ships to reach Ormoc at 0400 October 26th after 
departing Cagayan on October 25th: The Main Body at 1500 (two hours 
after arrival), FIRST Transport Unit at 0630, SECOND Transport Unit at 
0530 

(6) Anchorage assignments at Ormoc 

(7) The use of all ships boats for the rapid disembarkation 
of troops upon anchoring.* 

At 0630 Commander Guard Force, with the KINU and URANAMI, 
sortied from Manila Bay** en route to Cagayan. 

At 0700, just after clearing the harbor entrance he was 
attacked by aircraft in three waves continuing until 1000.** During this 
attack which was conducted by search and fighter sweep aircraft from TG 
38.3, the URANAMI received many strafing and rocket hits which punctured 
her fuel oil tanks reducing the cruising range by one half.*** 

By 1700 he had decided to allow the URANAMI to lay to in order 
to repair the holed tanks and at 1800 off the west coast of Semirara 
Island (southern tip of Mindoro) the operation commenced. The KINU 
screened while the URANAMI lay dead in the water.*** 



* Commander Guard Force Dispatch 240556 October 1944 (Guard Force 
DesOpOrd No. 13) to Commander 2ND Striking Force, KINU, URANAMI, 
Transports 6, 9, 10, 101, 102, etc., Detailed Action Report CRUDIV 
16, SHO Operation, October 17th - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, 
NA 11744. 

** Detailed Action Report CRUDIV 16, SHO Operation, October 17th - 27th, 
1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

*** Detailed Action Report URANAMI, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 
18th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, NA 11801. 

77 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(b) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force, OOOO - 1830, 
October 24th. 

At approximately 0200 Commander SECOND Striking Force, having 
completed the refueling in Culion Anchorage, departed the anchorage* on a 
course of approximately 193°(T) and when well clear of the area he 
increased speed to twenty knots, assumed No. One Alert Cruising Disposition 
and commenced zigzagging. At 0409 he changed course to approximately 
167° (T) and continued toward Point "A", his planned noon position. 

At about 0830 Commander SECOND Striking Force learned that the 
three destroyers of DESDIV TWENTY-ONE, en route south from Manila to rejoin 
him during the day had been attacked by carrier aircraft east of Maniguin 
Island Light (off northwest coast of Panay) and that the WAKABA had 
sustained one direct hit and was unnavigable.** Shortly thereafter further 
information was received that (a) at 0900 the WAKABA had sunk, (b) the 
division commander and the Commanding Officer WAKABA were safe and (c) the 
HATSUHARU was acting as flagship.*** This attack was conducted by eight 
VF and six VB which had been launched as a search- strike group at 0602 
from the FRANKLIN of TG 38.4.**** 

At 0935 he notified his force of the areas designated by the 
Army for ship bombardment as follows: 

"1. Area centering on Dulag and extending 3.3 kms to the south. 

"2. Enemy positions east of a line running from the coast 6.5 
kms south of Tacloban to the coast 1 km west of Tacloban. As far as 
possible the Army will endeavor to indicate the more important targets 
within the areas defined above by air bombing •"***** 

This dispatch is the same as one received by Commander THIRD 
Section at 1400 on this day from Commander SW Area Force. The difference 
in time indicates that Commander SECOND Striking Force might have received 
this information directly from the Army on Leyte. 

By 1013 the force had progressed ahead of the planned schedule 
and was in the vicinity of Point "A". At this time the course was changed 
to approximately 108° (T), and the force proceeded toward Point "B", a 
point at the entrance of the Mindanao Sea, which was to be passed at 2000. 

* War Diary DESDIV 7 (USHIO), October 1944, WDC Document 161717, 

NA 11801; also War Diary ABUKUMA, October 1944, WDC Document 161636, 
NA 11973. 

** HATSUHARU Dispatch 240800 October 1944 to Commander 2ND Striking 
Force, etc., Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, 
October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

*** Ibid., HATSUHARU Dispatch 240900 October 1944 to Commander 2ND 
Striking Force, SW Area Force, DESRON 1. 

**** Action Report CTG 38.4, Operations in Support of the Occupation of 
Leyte and Against the Japanese Fleet, October 22nd - 31st, 1944, 
Serial 00267, November 18th, 1944. 

***** Commander 2ND Striking Force Visual Dispatch 240935 October 1944 to 
2ND Striking Force, Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off the 
Philippines, October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

78 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1110 he informed his force that five B-24's had been 
sighted over Davao at 0952 heading northwest and that there was a strong 
possibility of air attack about 1200, He directed the force to enforce 
No. TWO Antiaircraft Alert from 1130 and be ready for 26 knots immediately.* 

At 1140 he issued his Signal Order No. 145 to his force as 
follows: 

"1. It is highly probable that enemy submarines are lying in 
wait at the western entrance of the Mindanao Sea (Area No. 1) and at the 
entrance of Surigao Strait (Area No. 2), 

M 2. In Area No. 1, the Fleet will cruise in No. 1 Alert 
Formation, and in Area No. 2 it will assume No, 3 Approach Formation. 
During the penetration (into the strait) two destroyers will fire depth 
charges.** 

"3. COMDESRON 1 will designate the destroyers to drop depth 
charges and will decide their disposition. He will report his decisions 
to this command."*** 

At 1155 a Morotai search plane sighted the force and reported 
it quite accurately.**** The plane, however, was not detected by the force 
and Commander SECOND Striking Force continued his advance thinking his 
force was still undiscovered.***** 

At about 1241 he learned that (a) the two remaining destroyers 
of DESDIV TWENTY-ONE were again under attack by enemy carrier planes, 
(b) one enemy plane had been shot down and (c) the 1211 position was 
Latitude 19°-30»N, Longitude 121°-20'E. ****** It was obvious that the 
latitude was in error and was likely 11°-30 , N. If such were the case it 
would be logical as it was twenty-eight miles to the southwest of the 



* Commander 2ND Striking Force Visual Dispatch 24H10 October 1944 to 
2ND Striking Force, War Diary ABUKUMA, October 1944, WDC Document 
161636, NA 11973. 

** Plate XX. 

*** Commander 2ND Striking Force Visual Dispatch 241110 October 1944 

(2ND Striking Force SigOrd No. 145) to 2ND Striking Force, Detailed 
Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off the Philippines, October 24th - 
26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

**** 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 240100 (sic) October 1944 to All Commands 
this Circuit. 

***** Action Summary 2ND Striking Force in SHO Operation, SW Area 

Operations, Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, 2ND Striking Force Staff 
Torpedo Officer, GHQ FEC Special Historical Collection, Supporting 
Documents to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's Historical 
Report on Allied Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area (item 22, 
Footlocker 5 of 10, SWA Series, Volume II) • 

****** HATSUHARU Dispatch 241211 to Commanders 6TH Base Air Force, 2ND 

Striking Force, Main Force, etc., Detailed Action Report DESDIV 21, 
SHO No. 1 Operation, Antiair Action South of Mindoro, October 24th, 
1944, WDC Document 161717, NA 11801. 

79 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRI- T ORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

last reported position. The planes conducting the attack were the planes 
of the FRANKLIN'S strike Able which were launched at 0948 to follow up 
the attack of the search-strike group. The claim of one plane shot down 
is correct as one SB2C failed to return and was reported to have crashed 
near the target.* 

By 1400 Commander SECOND Striking Force had likely received, 
among other reports, (a) the 0600 reconnaissance report of Leyte Gulf 
(Contact "D", plate XIII), (b) the 0650 Leyte Gulf report of the MOGAMI 
search plane (Contact "E")(both of these reports have been quoted in full 
earlier in this narrative under the "Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 
0000 - 1830, October 24th") and (c) that the Main Body had been heavily 
attacked by carrier planes during the day and that (1) the MYOKO had been 
damaged and retired (2) the MUSASHI had been damaged. 

At 1445 COMDSSDIV TWENTY-ONE, with the HATSUHARU and the 
HATSUSHLMO, changed course to 000°(T) and headed for Manila.** He failed, 
however, to inform Commander SECOND Striking Force (or anyone else) with 
the result that as late as 0101 the next morning Commander SECOND Striking 
Force was expecting him to rejoin. This expectation is shown by the 
commander's making him an action addressee in his dispatch giving his 
planned schedule of sweeping Leyte Gulf and departing through the southern 
entrance to Surigao Strait at 0900.*** 

Probably at 1447 (when received by Commander FIRST Striking 
Force) Commander SECOND Striking Force received the 1400 position report 
of the THIRD Section.**** This was of interest to him as it was his 
responsibility to coordinate his movements with the THIRD Section. As he 
knew that the Main Body had been delayed by the air attacks and as the 
THIRD Section had not been ordered to slow down he decided that in order 
to "effect close liaison with the THIRD Section" to "move up the time of 
passage through the Surigao Strait" to 0500.***** He therefore, at about 
1452, increased speed to twenty knots. 



* Action Report FRANKLIN, Operation against the Enemy in the 

Philippine Islands and in the Philippine Sea, October 22nd - 31st, 
1944, Serial 0041, November 4th, 1944. 

** Detailed Action Report DESDIV 21, SHO No. 1 Operation, Antiair 

Action South of Mindoro, October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, 
NA 11301. 

*** Ibid., Commander 2ND Striking Force Dispatch 250101 October 1944 to 
Commander SW Area Force, COKDESDIV 21, 2ND Striking Force, info all 
SHC Force Commanders. 

**** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241410 October 1944 to Commanders 1ST 
and 2ND Striking Force, Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, 
SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, 
NA 11839. 

***** Action Summary 2ND Striking Force in SHO Operation, SW Area 

Operations, Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, 2ND Striking Force Staff 
Torpedo Officer, GHQ FSC Special Historical Collection, Supporting 
Documents to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's Historical 
Report on Allied Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area (Item 22, 
Footlocker 5 of 10, SWPA Series, Volume II). 

80 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At about 1726 he received a message stating that the KINU 
and URANAMI had repulsed three air attacks between 0730 and 1000 near 
the entrance to Manila Bay, claiming five aircraft shot down, with 72 
killed and wounded in the two ships. While KINU had no significant 
damage the URANAMI had her fuel tanks holed by machine gun bullets and 
had lost about 200 tons of fuel,* This report of five aircraft shot down 
is in error for CTG 38.3 reports only one plane failed to return from the 
morning fighter sweep »** 

By 1745 Commander SECOND Striking Force had received more 
reports on the actions of the Main Body and knew that (a) the MUSASHI had 
been hit by five torpedoes and had been ordered to return to Coron Bay, 
and (b) at 1600 Commander FIRST Striking Force had reported that because 
of the air attacks, he was temporarily retiring. As no orders had been 
issued delaying the THIRD Section, Commander SECOND Striking Force again 
decided that it was necessary to further close the distance between the 
two forces and therefore increased speed to twenty-two knots and issued 
his Signal Order No. 147 (which were actually night intentions) as follows: 

"Unless special orders are issued today or tomorrow, the Fleet 
will, without orders, operate as outlined below and will penetrate 
Surigao Strait at 0300 tomorrow. 

"1. Course at X-hour will be 80°, at Y-hour 60°. At 0230 speed 
will be increased to 26 knots and at Z-hour to 28 knots. 

"2. Estimated X, Y and Z-hours are 1925, 2205 and 0245 
respectively. 

"3. At 0200 the Fleet will stop zigzagging and will assume No. 
4 approach formation. 

"4. At X-hour and 5 minutes after changing course at X-hour 
(sic) the Fleet will resume zigzagging. 

"5. After 0230 the Fleet will be ready to make 28 knots 
immediately and maximum battle speed on 15 minutes notice. After 0400 the 
Fleet will be ready to make maximum battle speed immediately."*** 

No. FOUR Approach Formation is shown in Plate XX. 



* Commander Guard Force Dispatch 241656 October 1944 (Guard Force 

General Battle Report No. 1) to Commander SW Area Force, info CinC 
Combined Fleet, Commander 2ND Striking Force, AOBA. 

** War Diary CTG 38.3, October 1944. 

*** Commander 2ND Striking Force Visual Dispatch 241745 October 1944 

(2ND Striking Force SigOrd No. 147) to 2ND Striking Force, Detailed 
Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off the Philippines, October 24th - 
26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 



81 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
and COM SIXTH BASE AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

In his postwar statement the staff torpedo officer stated 
that, "though it was our desire to shorten even more the time difference, 
it was impossible from the standpoint of fuel".* 

Fuel was undoubtedly a major concern of Commander SECOND 
Striking Force in formulating this plan but it seems likely there were 
other factors which influenced his decision to an even greater extent. 
These appear to have been: (a) It seems logical that Commander THIRD 
Section would be ordered to delay his penetration in which case he could 
be closed at will and (b) the command organization which ordered him to 
operate "in support of" the FIRST Striking Force but did not place him 
under the command of Commander FIRST Striking Force seems to have been an 
ever present consideration which influenced him to keep such a distance 
that the SECOND Striking Force would be independent. 

At approximately 1819 the force changed course to 090° (T) 
and continued into the Mindanao Sea at twenty-two knots. 

At 1830 the SECOND Striking Force was in position Latitude 
08°-55'N, Longitude 122°-54'E. 

(c) Operations of Commander SIXTH Base Air Force, 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

October 24th was a day of utmost importance to the Japanese 
air forces for this was the day of maximum effort during which it was 
hoped to destroy the Allied task force carriers** and to annihilate 
enemy shipping in and around Leyte Gulf.*** 

The air activities of this day commenced at 0050 when a 901st 
Air Group patrol plane of the SIXTH Base Air Force made radar contact and 
reported "a large enemy force" in position Latitude 14°-35'N, Longitude 
125°-15»E**** (Contact "A", Plate XIII). This contact was on TG 38.3 and 
the position some ten miles to the south. Commander SIXTH Base Air Force 
almost immediately ordered the opening of the general offensive. 

* Action Summary 2ND Striking Force in SHO Operation, Southwest Area 

Operations, Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, 2ND Striking Force Staff 
Torpedo Officer, GHQ FEC Special Historical Collection Supporting 
Documents to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur 1 s Historical 
Report on Allied Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area (Item 22, 
Footlocker 5 of 10, SWPA Series, Volume II). 

** CofS Combined Fleet Dispatch 231710 October 1944 (addressees unknown), 
Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 
16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839, 

*** 4TH Air Army Operations Order A- $18, 1000 October 21st, 1944, 

Documents from file of Lieutenant Colonel Katsuo Sato, I J A, Staff 
Officer, 4TH Air Army, Department of Army Historical Division, 
Microfilm HS-7. 

**** Plane L-18 Dispatch 240050 October 1944 to Canacao Air 3ase, Detailed 
Action Report 901ST Air Group, Night Searches, October 10th - 23th, 
1944, WDC Document 160551, NA 12402. 

82 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SIXTH BASE AIR FORCE 
October 24th 



The FIRST Attack Group, which numbered about 158 planes*, 
began taking off about 0700, formed up in three waves and proceeded to the 
target area. At 0845 some of the force was intercepted by the Allied CAP 
and the attack group was considerably scattered, some of the aircraft did 
get through however. The THIRD Attack Unit, consisting of eleven attack 
planes and eighteen fighters, encountered bad weather and did not make 
contact with the enemy.** The results of this attack were reported as one 
carrier hit by a 500 pound bomb and a cruiser moderately damaged and set 
afire .*** 

By 11 A 5 Commander SIXTH Base Air Force had information that 
there were two carrier groups, (a) at 0853, Latitude 15°-20'N, Longitude 
123°-40»E, four carriers and ten other ships**** (Contact "G") which an 
0940 sighting amplified to four cariers and two special carriers in 
Latitude 15°-15'N, Longitude 123°-25 f E***, and (b) at 0900 in Latitude 
15°-55'N, Longitude 123°-25'E, two carriers and ten cruisers*** (Contact 
"H"). Actually all these contacts were on TG 38.3* 

Shortly after noon Commander SIXTH Base Air Force received the 
information from Commander Main Force that at 1145 he planned to launch a 
full scale attack against the enemy task force. ***** Whether or not 
Commander SIXTH Base Air Force received another dispatch which followed 
shortly is not known. This second dispatch was sent to inform Commanders 
FIFTH and SIXTH Base Air Forces that the Main Force Attack Group would 
arrive at Nichols Field about 1600.****** 



•*# 



■a-x-* 



#*-»-«- 



S-x-*tt* 



iHBBHBJ- 



The total of 158 aircraft (93 fighters and 65 attack) is derived 

from a count of aircraft in the sources available to this analysis. 

This figure is somewhat lower than a Japanese postwar monograph 

which claimed 189 aircraft took part. 

Detailed Action Report No. 2, 263RD Attack Unit (653 RD Air Group), 

SHO Operation, October 22nd - November 25th, 1944, WDC Document 

161004, NA 12605. 

Commander Clark Air Base Dispatch 24H45 October 1944 to 5TH Base 

Air Force Battle Report Addressees, Commander 6TH Base Air Force, 

etc., Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, 

October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

62ND (sic) Air Flotilla Aircraft Dispatch 240853 October 1944 to 

unknown addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 

Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, 

NA 11744. 

Commander, Main Force Dispatch 24H38 October 1944 to All Fleet and 

Squadron Commanders, CinC Combined Fleet, etc., Detailed Action 

Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 

1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

Commander Main Force Dispatch 241151 to Commanders 5TH and 6TH 

Base Air Forces, SW Area Force, Nichols Air Base, Detailed Action 

Report Main Force, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 20th - 29th, 1944, 

WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 



83 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SIXTH BASE AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

The SECOND Attack Group, consisting of twenty-five carrier 
type bombers and eighteen carrier fighters, took off about 14.00 to 
attack the carriers "east of Lamon Bay". This attack group encountered 
bad weather and by 1530 had returned to base.* 

Sometime just prior to 1521 he received a contact report on a 
"large enemy force" including three carriers and three battleships sighted 
at 0945 in position Latitude 13°-45'N, Longitude 125°-25'E, course 090°(T), 
speed twenty-four knots** (Contact "J"). This was a contact on TG 38.2 
although some thirty miles bearing 300 (T) from the actual position. 

By 1530 Commander SIXTH Base Air Force had received several 
of the battle reports from Commander Main Body as well as Commander Main 
Body's 241315 in which he emphasized the urgency of his situation and 
pointedly asked what attacks and contacts had been made by the air 
units.*** In this connection it is interesting to note that in postwar 
interrogation Commander SIXTH Base Air Force was asked about the air 
protection for the FIRST Striking force, to which he replied, "-—although 
there were repeated requests for such support (presumably CAP) from KURITA, 
I turned a deaf ear to those requests and decided the best protection I 
could give to KURITA 1 s force would be to concentrate my entire air force 
in attacking your task force which was waiting outside beyond the channel. 
I did send a few fighters to protect the surface units and to scout for 
submarines— ",**** The "few fighters" appear to have been two in 
number, one of which was damaged during the afternoon while landing at 
Batangas .***** 

THIS ACUTE SHORTAGE OF AIRCRAFT WAS NOT DUE TO ANT FAULT OF 
THE LOCAL COMMANDERS. DURING AND SINCE THE MARIANAS CAMPAIGN JAPANESE 
LOSSES OF AIRCRAFT AND TRAINED PILOTS HAD BEEN GREATER THAN HER ABILITY 
TO REPLACE THEM. IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE PRODUCTION OF WEAPONS AND THE 
TRAINING OF MEN TO USE THEM MUST KEEP PACE WITH THE NEED FOR THOSE 
WEAPONS AND MEN. 



* Detailed Action Report 2ND Fighter Striking Unit, 304TH Fighter 

Unit (203RD Air Group), Battle off the Philippines, October 21st - 

29th, 1944, WDC Document 160517, NA 12309. 
** Dispatch 241207 October 1944 (originator unknown) to Commander 6TH 

Base Air Force, Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1, 

Antiair and Surface Actions, October 17th - 23th, 1944, WDC 

Document 161639. 
*** Commander 1ST Striking Force (Conniander Main Body) Dispatch 241315 

October 1944 to Commanders Main Force and SW Area Force, info CinC 

Combined Fleet, Commanders 5TH and 6TH Base Air Forces, Detailed 

Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 

28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 
**** USSBS Interrogations Nav No. 115, Interrogation of Japanese 

Officials, Interrogation of Vice Admiral Shigeru FUKUDOME, ex-IJN, 

Volume II, Page 504. 
***** Detailed Action Report No. 2, 164TH and 165TH Fighter Units (653RD 

Air Group), SHO Operation, October 23rd - November 15th, 1944, 

WDC Document 161004, NA 12605. 

84 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SIXTH BASE AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

In reply to the request for information from Commander FIRST 
Striking Force, Commander SW Area Force at 1610 dispatched the information 
that it was his belief that the attacks on the FIRST Striking Force were 
from the carrier group in position Latitude 13°-45 f N, Longitude 125°-25'E 
(Contact "J") and that the SIXTH Base Air Force was scheduled to make a 
dusk attack against that force,* 

This dusk attack group, which consisted of three carrier type 
attack aircraft employed as a search unit and six carrier type attack 
aircraft with eighteen fighters as escort, commenced taking off about 
1621, The search unit took off separately and proceeded independently to 
contact the enemy. Plane number TWO of this unit sighted TG 38.3 about 
1720 but because of radio failure did not report until his return. This 
plane was present at 1750 when the PRINCETON sank and included the sinking 
of a carrier in his report.** The main strength of the attack group, 
however, failed to find the enemy and returned. *** 

By 1830 Commander SIXTH Base Air Force knew that his attacks 
of the day had been largely ineffective. In summary reports issued later 
he listed the results as follows: 

(a) Two large carriers damaged**** 

(b) One battleship and one cruiser moderately damaged and set 



afire**** 



(c) Sixty-seven Japanese aircraft failed to return.***** 



Actually the light carrier PRINCETON was sunk. The 
light cruiser BIRMINGHAM and three destroyers were damaged in attempting 
to assist the PRINCETON .****** 



* Commander SW Area Force Dispatch 241610 October 1944 to Commander 
1ST Striking Force, Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO 
No. 1 Operation, Antiair and Surface Action, October 17th - 28th, 
1944, WDC Document 161639. 

** Detailed Action Report No. 2, 263 RD Attack Unit (653RD Air Group) 
SHO Operation, October 22nd - November 25th, 1944, WDC Document 
161004, NA 12605. 

*** War Diary 653RD Air Group, October 1944, WDC Document 160295, 
NA 12535. 

**** Commander 6TH Base Air Force Dispatch 242244 October 1944 to 

Commanders 2ND Striking Force, 3RD Section, 6TH Base Air Force 
Battle Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, 
SHO No. 1 Operation, Antiair and Surface Actions, October 17th - 
28th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

***** Commander 6TH Base Air Force Dispatch 250851 October 1944 to 6TH 
Base Air Force Battle Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report 
No. 13, DESRON 10, SHO Operations, October 17th - 31st, 1944, 
WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

****** Action Report TG 38.3, Battle of the Philippines, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0090, December 2nd, 1944. 

4,6799 o - 59 - 15 85 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIFTH BASE AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(d) Operations of Commander FIFTH Base Air Force, 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

Commander FIFTH Base Air Force who was in his Manila 
headquarters had essentially the same information as Commander SIXTH Base 
Air Force. He was primarily interested in the operations of his Special 
Attack (Kamikaze) Units as much depended upon their success. As will be 
recalled his units had been dispersed and he now had them placed as 
follows: 

(a) The SHIKISHIMA Unit at Clark (Mabalacat) 

(b) The YAMATO Unit at Cebu 

(c) The ASAHI and YAMAZAKURA Units at Davao No. 1 

(d) The KIKUSUI Unit at Cagayan 

These units, perhaps because of a lack of enemy information, 
were strangely inactive during the day. The KIKUSUI Unit moved up to 
Davao No. 1 and two single search-attack planes were launched by the 
units at that field — one failed to return,* A postwar account states 
that both the Mabalacat Unit and the Cebu Unit sortied during the day 
but failed to locate the enemy and returned.** Although official records 
available are silent on this matter, it seems likely that the account is 
accurate. 

There were no successes during the day however and Commander 
FIFTH Base Air Force, though likely disappointed, poised his units for 
full operations and better results on the following day. 

Information as to his receipts and losses of aircraft on 
this day are missing but it is likely that he continued to operate 
approximately twenty- four aircraft. 



* War Diary 61ST Air Flotilla, October 1944, WDC Document 161643, 

NA 12260. 
** Roger Pineau, "Kamikaze", based on the Japanese book KAMAKAZS 

TOKUBETSU KOGSKITAI by Captain Nakajima and Commander Inoguchi. 

66 CONFIDENTIAL 



C.G. FOURTH AIR ARMY 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(B) Operations of C.G. FOURTH Air Amy, OOOO - 1830, October 24th. 

For the FOURTH Air Army this was the day of the all-out offensive 
against the enemy shipping in and around Leyte Gulf. 

Shortly after sunrise the first attack group commenced taking off and 
when formed up proceeded to Leyte Gulf. The Japanese records concerning 
the FOURTH Air Army activities on this day are sketchy and there is some 
disagreement as to the actual number of planes involved. As noted 
previously under "Operations of C.G. FOURTH Air Army, 1042 - 2400, October 
23rd M , a staff officer reported after the war that 128 planes were 
operational for the attacks on this morning.* As the initial attack was 
scheduled to be composed of all operational aircraft it would seem that 
the first attack consisted of that number. In a recently discovered 
dispatch however the SECOND Air Division reported the "first wave" 
consisted of eighty planes.** This group was intercepted between 0750 
and 0825 by the Target CAP of TG 77.4. Allied sources reported the attack 
to number forty-eight planes of which fifteen to twenty were shot down.*** 
The Japanese accounts do not record the results of this attack but the 
Allies reported that the LEUTZE (DD) was strafed and damaged,**** the 
THOMAS (liberty ship) was damaged,***** the SONOMA (ATA) was bombed and 
sunk ,-jhbhhb!- the LCI 65 severely damaged after shooting down a plane which 
crashed on her f ant ail, ****** and the LCI 1065 was struck by a plane which 
employed Kamikaze tactics and sunk.******* 

The second attack was scheduled to take off at 1100 - 1120 and 
according to the above mentioned SECOND Air Division dispatch was composed 
of thirty-eight planes. This corresponds closely to the Allied report 
that the second attack commenced at 1120 and was composed of about forty 
planes.*** This attack was unsuccessful. 

The third attack is recorded as consisting of twenty-nine aircraft,** 
but the time of take-off is unknown. Allied sources record only the two 
major attacks of the day and it is probable that these planes attacked 
in small groups. 



* Documents from the file of Lieutenant Colonel Katsuo Sato, ex-IJA 

Staff Officer, 4TH Air Army, Department of the Army Historical 

Division Microfilm HS-7. 
** 2ND Air Division Dispatch dated October 25th, 1944, ADVATIS 

Bulletin No. 170. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 241057 October 1944 to CINCSWPA, info COMINCH, 

CINCPAC, etc. 
**** LEUTZE TBS Voice Radio Message 232331 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
***** CTF 78 Dispatch 240016 October 1944 to CTF 77; also Action Report 

BEALE, Assault and Bombardment of Leyte Island, Philippines, 

Serial 0236, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (A). 
****** Action Report CTG 78.2, Leyte Operation, Serial 0085, November 

29th, 1944. 
******* CTF 78 Dispatch 232400 October 1944 to CTF 77. 



87 CONFIDENTIAL 



C.G. FOURTH AIR ARMY 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

The Japanese Army records indicate 147 sorties were flown on this 
day and as a result of the attacks claim (a) one cruiser and one landing 
craft sunk, (b) five transports set afire, (c) two cruisers damaged. 
FOURTH Air Army plane losses were recorded as forty-seven,* 

At the close of his operations for this day he had, including 
replacements, 137 operational aircraft.* 






Daily Record of the War Situation, 4TH Air Army, GHQ FSC Special 
Historical Collection, Supporting Documents to General of the Army 
Douglas MacArthur's Historical Report on Allied Operations in the 
Southwest Pacific Area (item 4, Footlocker 10 of 10, SWPA Serias, 
Volume II). 



88 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMSOWESPAC 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

CHAPTER IV - ALLIED OPERATIONS, OOOO - 1830, October 24th 

(A) Operations of COMSOWESPAC, COCO - 1830, October 24th. 

COMSOWESPAC in the NASHVILLE, with the flagship group, continued on 
his night retirement in the eastern portion of Leyte Gulf.* 

At 0018 and 0019 respectively he received intelligence summaries from 
SEVENTH Fleet and his own headquarters.** In studying these summaries he 
likely became aware that the Japanese reaction to the Allied landings was 
building into something greater than originally anticipated. 

It seems likely that during the next few hours he received the BREAMS 
report about torpedoing a cruiser*** (AOBA of CRUDIV SIXTEEN) (Contact "1", 
Plate XV), the ANGLER'S report of four large plus escorts off Mindoro 
Island**** (Contact "2") and the GUITARRO's report on the Main Body giving 
its main composition of three battleships and two probable carriers***** 
(Contact "4"). 

He returned to San Pedro Bay and anchored at 0806 in the vicinity of 
RED Beach.* 

He and CAAF SOWESPAC apparently became quite engrossed in the air 
battle in progress. It seems that three Japanese aircraft dove toward 
the NASHVILLE but were all destroyed, one by the TCAP, another by ship's 
antiaircraft fire and a third by crashing into the water near the 
NASHVILLE.****** This account by CAAF SOWESPAC is not related in the 
NASHVILLE'S War Diary.* 

During the afternoon he was requested by CTF 77 to move his headquarters 
from the NASHVILLE in order to release the NASHVILLE for impending night 
action. However, he did not desire to do so, but preferred to remain on 
board regardless of the ship's employment.* As it developed the NASHVILLE 
was not assigned to CTG 77 »2 in the Battle of Surigao Strait which occurred 
early the following morning. 

During the day whenever enemy air attacks were expected the NASHVILLE 
got underway to avoid and then reanchored.* 

Also during the day, realizing the developing situation in the area of 
Palawan Strait and Coron Bay he followed the operations of CTF 77 and 
COMTHIRDFLT with interest. He therefore was fully familiar with several 



* War Diary NASHVILLE, October 24th, 1944. 

** C0M7THFLT Dispatch 230309 October 1944 to All Interested in 

C0M7THFLT Intelligence Summary; also GHQ SWPA Dispatch 231256 

October 1944 to COMSOWESPAC, C.G. 6TH Army. 
*** BREAM Dispatch 231231 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
**** CTF 71 Dispatch 231451 October 1944 to CINCPAC, COMSUBPAC, 

C0M3RDFLT. 
***** GUITARRO Dispatch 231900 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
****** George C. Kenney, "General Kenney Reports", (New York, 1949), 

Pages 453 and 454* 

89 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMSOWESPAC and 
COMSEVENTHFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

contacts made by the search aircraft and with CTF 77' s instructions 
regarding prospective night battle and that commander's estimates of 
enemy surface strength, Hewas also generally familiar with the operations 
of TF 38 carriers and the battle with the Main Body in the Sibuyan Sea. 
Since these matters are discussed more fully under "Operations of CTF 77, 
0000 - 1830, October 24th", they will not be further discussed here. 

At 2120 he received his headquarter' s recommendation as regards the 
kind of reply that should be made to COMTHIRDFLT «s 210645 which has been 
covered elsewhere, wherein he was asked when the situation in Leyte would 
permit release of COMTHIRDFLT from his covering role. His headquarters 
suggested that, in view of the danger of possible enemy attack from the 
northeast, COMTHIRDFLT forces should remain in the area until medium 
bombers could be installed on Leyte which was estimated to be D plus 15 
day.* However, since he had already replied to COMTHIRDFLT and had stated 
his position quite strongly to the effect that he considered COMTHIRDFLT 's 
mission to cover the operation to be essential and paramount,** he did 
nothing further at this time. This matter is discussed in Volume III 
under "Operations of .COMSOWESPAC, October 21st".*** 

(1) Operations of Commander SEVENTH Fleet, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

COMSEVENTHFLT took no unusual action this day as COMSEVENTHFLT 
nor in his capacity as CANF SOWESPAC insofar as the Leyte operation was 
concerned. His deputy commander continued administrative control from 
his headquarters at Hollandia while he himself, as COMSEVENTHFLT and 
CTF 77, continued operational control of SOWESPAC naval forces associated 
with the Leyte operation from the WASATCH. 

(a) Operations of CTF 77 (Central Philippines Attack Force), 
0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At the beginning of the day CTF 77, embarked in the WASATCH, 
continued his usual night retirement in the eastern portion of Leyte Gulf 
generally north of the swept channel with his flagship group (TG 77.1) 
consisting of the WASATCH, NASHVILLE (COMSOWESPAC embarked), AMMEN, 
MULLANY, BUSH and ABNER READ.**** 

At 0018 he received his headquarters' intelligence summary.***** 
In noting that this sunmary had been prepared prior to noon on the previous 
day, and comparing it with other intelligence he had received during the 
last twenty- four hours, he could see that it added little to what 
information he had by other means. He also noted, however, that it went 

* GHQ Hollandia Dispatch 230250 October 1944 to COMSOWESPAC and 

NASHVILLE. 
** COMSOWESPAC Dispatch 212240 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
*** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter III (A). 
**** War Diary NASHVILLE, October 23rd, 1944o 
***** C0M7THFLT Dispatch 230309 October 1944 to All Interested in 

C0M7THFLT Intelligence Summary. 

90 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 




CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

a step further than he had in sending out his dispatch 230142,* by 
identifying the second Japanese surface force assumed to be in Palawan 
Passage as a convoy. Although CTF 77 had also estimated two Japanese 
surface forces to be in Palawan Passage, he had not specifically 
designated them as being a convoy and its covering force. His 
headquarters' estimate may have had the effect of somewhat complicating 
his "Magnified Tokyo Express" concept by thus introducing a convoy. 

At 0019, he received Headquarters, COMSOWESPAC Intelligence 
Summary, which, among other things, estimated that the Japanese proposed 
to stage two hundred aircraft to Luzon indicating a quickening air 
offensive.** 

It is likely (since COMTHIRDFLT received it at that time) that 
at 0026 he intercepted a report from the BREAM to the effect that she had 
(a) contacted two AOBA class cruisers (CA f s) and a large destroyer at 0430 
October 23rd in Latitude 14°-05'N, Longitude 119°-40»E on course 070°(T), 
speed nineteen knots (Contact "1", Plate XV), and (b) scored two hits in 
one of the cruisers with two torpedoes,*** 

By comparing this contact with other more recent ones, he 
could see that it was distinct from them. This added further support to 
his estimate that a large number of enemy combatant ships were perhaps 
forming in the Manila-Coron Bay area. The force attacked was CRUDIV 
SIXTEEN, composed of three ships, AOBA (CA), KINU (CL), and URANAMI (DD). 
As has been discussed in Volume III under "Operations of COMCRUDIV 
SIXTEEN, 0000 - 1042, October 23rd", the AOBA was hit by one rather than 
by two torpedoes. Shortly thereafter COMCRUDIV SIXTEEN proceeded toward 
Manila with the KINU towing the AOBA at seven point five knots while the 
URANAMI provided antisubmarine protection. 

At 0032, he learned from CTF 71 that the ANGLER had, at 2130, 
contacted an enemy task force of four large ships plus escorts in 
Latitude 12°-40'N, Longitude 11S°-56'E on base course 050°(T), speed 
eighteen knots**** (Contact "2"). 

Reviewing his preparations to insure the security of his 
force he weighed possible courses of action to improve his local defenses 
against enemy air attack. He had in mind the danger of possible carrier 
strikes from west of Palawan, these to be augmented perhaps by land-based 
air strikes. He had referred to both of these strikes in his 230142***** 



* CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C.G.'s 5TH and 

13TH Air forces, infor All TFC's and TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT«s, CINCPAC, 

COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, CAAF SOWESPAC. 
** GHQ SWPA Dispatch 231256 October 1944 to COMSOWESPAC, C.G. 6TH Army, 

WASATCH. 
*** BREAM Dispatch 231231 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
**** CTF 71 Dispatch 231451 October 1944 to CINCPAC, COMSUBPAC, 

C0M3RDFLT, C0M7THFLT, All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLTS, C.G.'s 5TH and 

13TH Air Forces, info COMINCH. 
***** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter I (A)(1)(a). 

91 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

wherein he had stated, among other things, (a) it is possible that enemy 
carriers will support surface forces and strike from west of Palawan and 
(b) there are indications of a concentration of a large number of enemy 
aircraft in the Luzon area. At this time he may have considered asking 
COMTHIRDFLT for assistance in connection with reinforcing the TCAP over 
Leyte Gulf — CTG 38.4 was sufficiently close to accomplish this (Diagram 
"C") — but probably for various reasons among which may have been (a) his 
failure to obtain post D-day fighter sweeps from COMTHIRDFLT and (b) the 
thought that TG 38.4, which was the nearest carrier group, might require 
these fighters for its own defense, he did not do so. 

At this point he seems to have arrived at the opinion that 
air strikes emanating from carriers — the positions of which were unknown — 
and from air fields — the precise ones to be used being also unknown — 
required that he concentrate his limited fighter strength over Leyte Gulf 
and his own carriers. This thought is supported by the fact that at 0122 
he sent the following dispatch to CTG 77.4: "Possibility large enemy air 
attack may be brewing. Until otherwise directed cancel western Visayas 
strike. Increase target CAP to thirty-six fighters with additional 
sixteen fighters in Condition ELEVEN (fighters capable of being launched 
on ten minutes notice )"»* 

THIS DECISION WAS SOUND FOR ALTHOUGH THERE WERE NO AIRCRAFT 
CARRIERS OPERATING IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA WHICH WERE TO STRIKE ALLIED 
FORCES AT LEYTE AS FORECAST BY CTF 77, THERE 'WERE IN FACT INCREASING 
NUMBERS OF LAND-BASED AIRCRAFT BEING FLOWN INTO THE PHILIPPINES. THESE 
REINFORCEMENTS WHICH FOR THE BASE AIR FORCES HAD ARRIVED LARGELY ON THE 
22ND AND FOR THE FOURTH AIR ARMY LARGELY ON THE 22ND AND 23RD, WERE 
SHCEDULED TO BE EMPLOYED THIS VERY DAY IN A MAXIMUM EFFORT AGAINST ALLIED 
FORCES BOTH IN THE LEYTE AREA AND AT SEA EAST OF THE PHILIPPINES. 

At 0220, he intercepted the GUITARRO's contact made at 0030 
on the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force** (Contact "3"). The report showed 
the force's composition to be probably three battleships, between fifteen 
and twenty ships total in Latitude 13°-00'N, Longitude 119°-30 , E on course 
080° (T), speed eighteen knots. This report revealed a larger concentration 
of ships than had heretofore been reported. 

At 0240 he received a dispatch from CTG 38.4 that the latter 
was launching four search and attack teams composed of eight fighters and 
six dive bombers each, from Latitude 11°-30 , N, Longitude 126°-30'E in 
sectors between 230°(T) and 270° (T) to a distance of 325 miles.*** He 
could see that this search would pass over the principal airfields in the 
western Visayas. 



* CTF 77 Dispatch 231532 October 1944 to CTG 77.4, info TG 77.4, TF 77, 

CTG 77.13, TF 79, C0M3RDFLT. 
** GUITARRO Dispatch 231610 October 1944 to Radio PERTH, info CINCPAC, 

CTF 77, etc. 
*** CTG 38.4 Dispatch 231009 October 1944 to CTF 77. 



92 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 0425, he received his headquarters' report of several ship 
sightings made on the 23rd, none of which were of a serious threatening 
nature,* He had received this information earlier through other sources* 

At 0443, he intercepted the GUITARRO 1 s second report on the 
Main Body, FIRST Striking Force** (Contact "4"). This report was very 
illuminating for it stated that at 0330 (three hours after her first 
contact) the Main Body consisted of three definite battleships and two 
probable carriers heading south through Mindoro Strait. Why the Commanding 
Officer GUITARRO estimated that there were two probable carriers in the 
force is not known but it seems likely that is was the result of (a) CTF 
77's dispatch 230142 mentioned previously and (b) the DACE's attack 
report,*** both of which contained references to a carrier or carriers. 

Whether or not CTF 77 thought that these were the only carriers 
in the operation is not clear but it seems unlikely for the fighter 
director destroyer BENNION in her war diary stated in part "Advance 
intelligence reported a large attack (carrier-based) was forming up to the 
northwest" .**** 

As he studied the GUITARRO' s contact, he realized if this were 
so it modified his previous estimate of the situation,***** in that 
aircraft carriers rather than operating from west of Palawan appeared to 
be moving into the Sulu Sea from whence they could directly support 
"Magnified Tokyo Express Runs". 

It is likely that, in order to draw attention to this contact 
and to the implications of the change in the tactical situation if in fact 
enemy carriers along with the battleships were proceeding into the Sulu 
Sea area, he advised COMTHIRDFLT and all TFC's and TGC's of the THIRD and 
SEVENTH Fleets that the submarine GUITARRO had reported three battleships 
and two possible carriers in Mindoro Strait at 0330 on the 24th«****** 

Commencing at about 0831 the anticipated air attack 
developed.******* Reportedly eighty planes from the FOURTH Air Army 
participated,******** and were heavily repulsed by the CAP and the guns 
of the ships. However, the Allies did not escape entirely for (a) the 
LEUTZE was strafed and damaged,******* (b) one XAK (THOMAS) was 



* C0M7THFLT Dispatch 221213 October 1944 to All Interested Current 
Operations SOWESPAC, C0M3RDFLT, CTF 38, CTG's 38.2 and 38.3« 

** GUITARRO Dispatch 231900 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

*** DACE Dispatch 231115 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

**** War Diary BENNION, October 24th, 1944. 

***** CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to COM3 RDFLT, etc. 

****** CTF 77 Dispatch 232117 October 19A4 to C0M3RDFLT, All TFC's and 
TGC's 3RD and 7THFLTS's. 

******* LEUTZE TBS Voice Radio Message 232331 October 1944 to CTF 79. 

******** 2ND Air Division Dispatch, October 25th, 1944, ADVATIS Bulletin 
No. 170, 



93 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

damaged,* (c) the ATA SONOMA was bombed and sunk,** (d) the LCI 6$ was 
severely damaged after shooting down a plane which crashed on her fantail* 
and (e) the LCI 1065 was struck and sunk by a plane which employed 
Kamikaze tactics.*** The action continued with varying intensity until 
about 0945.**** 

DESPITE THIS DAMAGE IT SEEMS LIKELY THAT CTF 77 WAS PLEASED 
WITH THE RESULTS AS THEY INDICATED HIS ABILITY TO DEFEND HIS FORCES 
AGAINST AIR ATTACK EVEN UNDER THE DIFFICULT CONDITIONS OF RADAR DETECTION 
EXISTING IN THE WESTERN AREA OF THE GULF. THIS LATTER MATTER IS 
DISCUSSED AT LENGTH IN VOLUME III UNDER "OPERATIONS OF CTF 77, OCTOBER 
20TH" .***** 

At 0920 he intercepted COMTHIRDFLT's dispatch directing CTG's 
38.3 and 38.4 to concentrate at best speed on CTG 38.2 (which was off 
San Bernardino Strait).****** 

Possibly at 0943 (when it was received by COMTHIRDFLT) he 
received a contact report relayed at 0910 by the PB4Y in Sector TWO of 
Search Plan FOX (Contact "10"). The pilot stated that he had intercepted 
a VHF transmission. He reported (a) two enemy battleships, two cruisers 
and four destroyers in Latitude 08°-50'N, Longitude 122°-05'E on course 
030°(T), speed twenty knots, and (b) six miles south of the first force 
two battleships, two heavy cruisers, four light cruisers and six destroyers 
under attack by a carrier group.******* 

As will be shown later, this report seems to have heavily 
influenced both CTF 77 ! s and CTG 77.2* s estimate of enemy forces 
approaching Leyte from the southwest. 

It was, however, quite inaccurate in that there were in fact 
but two battleships, one heavy cruiser and four destroyers in the Japanese 
THIRD Section. 

Why two groups rather than one were reported cannot be fully 
explained. One reasonable explanation is given under "Operations of CTF 73 
(Naval Air Force) and CTG 73.4 (Search and Support Group), 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th". 

*~~ CTF 78 Dispatch 240016 October 1944 to CTF 77; also Action Report 

BEALE, Assault and Bombardment of Leyte Island, Philippines, 

Serial 0236, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (A). 
** Action Report CTG 78.2, Leyte Operation, Serial 0085, November 

29th, 1944. 
*** CTF 78 Dispatch 232400 October 1944 to CTF 77. 
**** CTF 77 Dispatch 240054 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CINCPAC, 

COMSOWESPAC, etc.; also Aircraft Action Reports No. 60-44, VC-60; 

No. 22-44, VC-26; No. 20-44, 21-44, VC-27; No. 110-44, VC-3; 

No. 53-44, VC-5. 
***** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War 

College, 1957, Chapter I (A)(1)(a). 
****** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232327 October 1944 to CTG's 38.3 and 38.4. 
»«««««* Aircraft in Sector TWO Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All 

Stations this Circuit. 

94 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 0950 he probably learned that (a) a TG 38,4 search group 
had attacked three destroyers in Latitude 11°-40'N, Longitude 121°-50»E 
at 0815 (Contact "7"), (b) one of the destroyers was dead in the water 
smoking heavily, (c) the remaining two were standing by and (d) the 
original course had been 130°(T), speed fifteen knots.* 

About this time, as shown in the following dispatch, he 
appears to have reinstituted fighter sweeps of the Visayan airfields 
probably because he had observed that the aircraft which had recently 
attacked his command were largely land-based planes and he desired to 
disrupt further attacks at their source. 

Having done this and realizing that other commands would be 
interested in the nature and effectiveness of the enemy air attacks which 
he had warned them against that very morning he, at 0954, advised them 
that (a) at 0750 he had been attacked by a large number of planes including 
land-based fighters, two-engine land-based bombers, carrier-type fighters 
and carrier-type single-engine bombers, (b) damage had been minor, (c) 
interception employing a double fighter CAP had been effective and (d) 
sixteen fighters were now en route to sweep the western Visayan airfields.** 

At 1004, he learned from COMTHIRDFLT that a TG 38,2 aircraft 
had sighted a major enemy force including battleships at 0810 just south 
of Mindoro on course 050°(T), speed ten to twelve knots*** (Contact "6"). 
He was interested to learn what the composition of this force was relative 
to carriers and battleships. INFORMATION REGARDING THE CARRIERS WAS 
IMPORTANT AS IT COULD MEAN ADDITIONAL AIR ATTACKS ON THE LEYTE AREA; 
INFORMATION REGARDING BOTH TYPES OF SHIPS WAS IMPORTANT BECAUSE BY THE 
PROCESS OF ELIMINATION HE COULD DETERMINE THE PROBABLE DISTRIBUTION OF 
ENEMY CARRIERS AND BATTLESHIPS IN THE PHILIPPINES AREA. HE CLEARLY 
EXPECTED COMTHIRDFLT TO LAUNCH MASSIVE AIR STRIKES AGAINST THIS FORCE. 

At about 1028 he received a dispatch from COMTHIRDFLT which 
(a) advised him of the vital necessity for early coverage of the sea area 
northeastward of Leyte by seaplanes to protectthis flank, and (b) requested 
information as regards the establishment of this search.**** 

Although CTG 73.7 had advised "All Interested in Catalina 
Operations" on the previous day that such searches would begin the evening 
of the twenty-fourth,***** COMTHIRDFLT had apparently not received this 
message, for it cannot be located in his dispatch files. 



* CTG 38.4 Dispatch 232355 October 1944 to CTF 38, C0M3RDFLT, info 

CTG 38.2. 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240054 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC»s 3RD 

and 7THFLT«s, CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, All CTG's 3RDFLT, C.G. 

5TH Air Force, etc. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232322 October 1944 to CTG»s 38.3 and 38.4, info 

COMINCH, CINCPAC, All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLT«s. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232335 October 1944 to CTF 77, info C0M7THFLT, 

COMSOWESPAC, CTF 38. 
***** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 231227 October 1944 to CTF 77, info All Interested 

Catalina Operations, C0M7THFLT, CTF 73, etc. 

95 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

As will be shown later, it appears this request caused him to 
re-examine CTG 73 .7' s night PBY search planned for three aircraft. 

At 1110 he received CTF 79' s daily operational summary.* 
Noting with satisfaction the emphasis CTF 79 appeared to be placing on 
unloading and sailing his transports from Leyte Gulf, he turned to observe 
the progress of his defense against a new air attack developing. This 
second major enemy air attack of the day proved to be fairly large, 
approximating, according to CTF 77, forty attacking aircraft,** but was 
neither as large nor of such intensity as the morning attack. Japanese 
reports thereon are meager. The attack was unsuccessful. 

At 1124 he intercepted COMTHIRDFLT «s orders to CTF 38 and 
CTG 38.3 to strike the enemy force south of Mindoro composed of four 
battleships, eight heavy cruisers and thirteen destroyers.*** 

This dispatch interested him greatly for it showed (a) that 
(1) all of the vessels in the force were combatant types, (2) there were 
no carriers and (c) there were four battleships, (b) there was a total of 
eight battleships in the Sulu Sea and off Mindoro and (c) COMTHIRDFLT was 
already taking air action against the enemy force off Mindoro. 

Item (b), if correct, was quite illuminating for it showed 
that the ISE and HYUGA were likely in the area— ISE had already been 
reported there by the GUITARRO — and therefore all eight remaining Japanese 
battleships had been contacted. It will be recalled that there had been 
nine battleships originally and since the DACE had reported sinking one 
KONGO class battleship there remained but eight. This would indicate that 
the 0910 contact report of four battleships in the Sulu Sea was likely 
correct. 

Now at 1139, in conformance with his policy begun earlier, he sent 
COMTHIRDFLT a dispatch informing him of the most recent air attack as 
follows: N 0ne large group of enemy planes, one medium sized group of 
enemy planes, one undetermined sized group approaching Leyte at 1130/1. 
Fighters intercepting."**** 

At 1200 he learned that COMTHIRDFLT had advised CTF 38 to keep 
the area to the north under observation since the enemy carrier strength 
was not yet located. ***** 



* CTF 79 Dispatch 240110 October 1944 to CTF 77. 

** CTF 77 Dispatch 241057 October 1944 to CCMSOWESPAC, info COMINCH, 

CINCPAC, C0M3RDFLT, C0M7THFLT, All TFC's and TGC f s 3RD and 7THFLT«s. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232331 October 1944 to CTF 38 and CTG 38.3. 
**** CTF 77 Dispatch 240239 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
***** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232355 October 1944 to CTF 38, info CTG 38.2. 



96 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

This may have caused him to wonder how this order was related 
to COMTHIRDFLT's request to him earlier regarding the establishment of PBY 
searches to the north. He may have felt that based on CINCPOA's estimate 
of the location of the Main Force, COMTHIRDFLT had decided to institute 
northward searches as soon as possible feeling he could not wait upon the 
results of the night PBY searches. 

At approximately 1207 he received a rebroadcast contact report 
on a twenty-six ship convoy of Japanese origin, comprising no carriers, 
observed twenty-six miles southeast of Mount Dumali (NE tip of Mindoro), 
on course 090°(T)* (Contact "12"). The time of contact was not included 
in the report, although it is known that the Main Body, FIRST Striking 
Force, off Mindoro, changed course to 090°(T) at about 1026. He appears 
to have identified this contact with the one received at 1124, 

During the morning, although paying close attention to the 
developing enemy situation, he had been completing arrangements with the 
C.G. SIXTH Army for the latter to assume command of all forces ashore on 
Leyte. Having finally agreed on the time, he, at 1211, with the C.G. 
SIXTH Army issued the following: "The Commanding General SIXTH Army assumes 
command of all forces ashore in the Leyte area twenty-four October 1400 
ITEM. Kinkaid and Kreuger."** 

This was a most satisfying development for it signified the 
completion of the amphibious assault phase of the operation insofar as he 
was concerned, and meant that the situation ashore was now deemed secure 
enough for the array commander to relieve him of the responsibility for 
the ground offensive. This was particularly important at this time for 
the Japanese were stepping up their naval operations and he desired more 
freedom of action as regards the purely naval factors. 

As he estimated the situation it is not unlikely that he 
learned, through the procedure of monitoring appropriate VHF circuits, 
that TG 38.4 planes had broken off their attack against the Japanese THIRD 
Section with indecisive results some time before, in order to return to 
their parent carriers. He realized that this was necessary if CTG 38,4 
was to comply as soon as possible with COMTHIRDFLT's orders to concentrate 
toward TG 38.2 off San Bernardino Strait,*** Therefore, he likely reasoned 
that the enemy force in the Sulu Sea, though it had been under attack still 
retained the several dangerous capabilities of (a) penetrating into Leyte 
Gulf via Surigao Strait, destroying shipping therein and landing troops 
and (b) landing reinforcements somewhere on the southern or west coasts of 
Leyte without penetrating Surigao Strait, 



* Radio Hollandia Dispatch 241115/1 October 1944 to CTG's 38.1, 38.2, 

38.3, 38.4, info C0M3RDFLT, All TFC's 3RDFLT. 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240311 October 1944 to C0MS0WESPAC, info C0M7THFLT, 

All TFC's and TGC's 7THFLT, etc. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232327 October 1944 to CTG 38.3 and CTG 38.4. 

97 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Now, weighing his own and the enemy's strength and weakness 
factors, based largely on the somewhat inaccurate report referred to 
previously,* he probably over-estimated the strength of the enemy in the 
Sulu Sea. Even So, he likely realized that his own forces were 
considerably stronger. 

He now continued estimating the situation in order to prepare 
a general plan for the defense of Leyte Gulf based on the assumption that 
the enemy would attempt to force Surigao Strait sometime after 1900. 
This statement is based on the fact that from the enemy's last known 
position, at a speed of advance of twenty knots, which was the reported 
speed, the enemy could not pass Binit Point before 1900. 

In preparing this plan he conferred with CTG 70.1 concerning 
the capabilities and numbers of the motor torpedo boats which would be 
available and discussed their stationing along the southern shores of 
Surigao Strait.** 

At this point in order better to understand (a) the orders 
under which his forces were operating in connection with the defense of 
Leyte Gulf and (b) the type of enemy action anticipated by him and his 
plans to defend against them, several pertinent citations are quoted in 
the following: 

"In the event of threatened attack, it is the present 
intention of Commander Central Philippines Attack Force (CTF 77): 

"(a) If an enemy naval force containing heavy units threatens 
our operations, to order Commander Bombardment and Fire Support Group 
(CTG 77.2) to concentrate, interpose between enemy force and Attack Forces 
and destroy the enemy force. Close Covering Group (CTG 77.3) may be 
ordered to reinforce Bombardment and Fire Support Group."*** 

On October 21st he had further clarified his plan for the 
defense of Leyte Gulf in his dispatch 210641 which is quoted in part: 
"Harbor Defense Plan 1. CTG 77.2, Withdraw from transport and fire 
support area and take position southern area Leyte Gulf. During darkness 
be underway and defend gulf against entry of hostile surface forces from 
either eastern or southern entrance of Surigao Strait. 3e prepared to 
sortie from gulf and attack enemy hostile force if enemy force definitely 
located..."**** 



* Aircraft in Sector TWO Dispatch 240010 to All Stations this Circuit, 
** Letter from Vice Admiral (then Captain) R. H. Cruzen, USN (Ret), 

Operations Officer to CTF 77, to Commodore R. W. Bates, USN (Ret), 

Head World War II Battle Evaluation Group, Naval War College, dated 

May 27th, 1957. 
*** CTF 77 Operation Plan CANF SOWSSPAC No. 13-44, Serial 00022A, 

September 26th, 1944, Appendix 2, Annex "E". 
**** CTF 77 Dispatch 210641 October 1944 to CTF's 78, 79, CTG's 77.2, 

77.3, info All TFC's and TGC«s 7THFLT. 



93 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

As regards the motor torpedo boats, he apparently did not 
originally envision their employment as an integrated component of the 
major surface forces (TG's 77.2 and 77»3) charged with the defense of 
Leyte Gulf against enemy surface attack. His operation plan supports 
this view in stating: "The Commander Philippines Attack Force will 
control the operations of the Motor Torpedo Boats in the objective area*"* 

At 1215, having completed his estimate of the situation, he 
issued his general battle plan as follows: "Prepare for night engagement. 
Enemy force estimated two BB, four CA, four CL, ten DD reported under 
attack by our carrier planes in eastern Sulu Sea at 0910 ITEM October 24* 
Enemy may arrive Leyte Gulf tonight. Make all preparations for night 
engagement. TG 77.3 assigned to CTG 77.2 as reinforcement. CTG 70.1 
station maximum number PT's lower Surigao Strait to remain south of 
Latitude 10°-10«N during darkness. "** 

This plan is particularly interesting in that CTF 77 had now 
reduced by two battleships the strength of the enemy forces (THIRD Section) 
as originally contacted in t he Sulu Sea at 0910, and had decided that the 
cruisers of the first group were heavy cruisers. It is not clear why he 
made the decision to drop two battleships, but it seems likely that 
because of VHF or medium frequency interceptions not available to this 
analysis, he had gained new information concerning this section. 

This decision was correct for there were but two battleships 
(YAMASHIRO, FUSO) in the THIRD Section. 

Then four minutes later, at 1219, he directed CTG 70.1 as 
follows: "Station maximum number PT's lower Surigao Strait tonight. To 
remain south of 10 -10* North during darkness. Assigned task to report 
and attack enemy surface forces entering Leyte Gulf."*** 

These two dispatches indicate plainly that CTF 77 intended to 
retain direct control over the motor torpedo boats even under the situation 
of possible battle and did not intend to assign this responsibility to 
CTG 77.2. They also indicate plainly by "omission" that he either (a) 
overlooked the fact that DESRON FIFTY-FOUR was screening the northern end 
of Surigao Strait or (b) desired this DESRON to remain under the comnand 
of CTF 79. 

THE QUESTION NOW ARISES AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS WAS WISE. 
AS REGARDS THE DESTROYERS IT WAS CLEARLY UNWISE FOR THEY WERE OPERATING IN 
THE AREA WHERE CTG 77.2 WOULD MOST LIKELY OPERATE AND THEREFORE MIGHT WELL 
CREATE CONFUSION. THAT THIS CONFUSION DID NOT OCCUR WAS DUE LARGELY TO THE 
UNDERSTANDING OF COMDESRON FIFTY-FOUR WHO TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, AS 
WILL BE SHOWN LATER, PLACED HIMSELF UNDER CTG 77.2 'S DIRECT COMMAND. 



* CTF 77 Operations Plan CANF SOWESPAC No. 13-44, Serial 00022A, 

September 26th, 1944, Appendix 5, Annex "E". 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG 77.3, CTF 79, CTF 78, CTG 

77.2, CTG 70.1, All TFC's 3RDFLT, COMFEAF, info C0M3RDFLT, CINCPAC, 

COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, All TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT«s. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240319 October 1944 to CTG 70.1. 



496799 O - 59 - 16 



99 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

AS REGARDS THE MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS, WHILE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN 
PREFERABLE TO HAVE HAD THEM OPERATE DIRECTLY UNDER CTG 77.2 THIS WAS NOT 
VITAL AS THEY WERE TO BE STATIONED IN LOWER SURIGAO STRAIT CLEAR OF THE 
AREA WHERE CTG 77.2 WOULD MOST LIKELY OPERATE. 

It will be recalled that on the preceding day, CTF 77 had 
requested CTG 73.7 to come aboard the WASATCH about 0900, October 24th 
to discuss the operations of the PBY's.* Doubtlessly this meeting was 
somewhat delayed by the enemy air attacks and the various problems 
arising out of the contacts reported. 

Also, as was cited earlier, he had received a request from 
COMTHIRDFLT at 1028 for information regarding the establishment of PBY 
searches out of Leyte Gulf, emphasizing the vital necessity for early 
coverage of the sea area northeastward of Leyte to cover his northern 
flank.** 

Therefore, concurrent with his planning for the defense of 
Leyte Gulf by his local surface forces, he had been considering 
COMTHIRDFLT's requirement and accordingly decided to augment the planned 
night searches which were scheduled to commence this evening in accordance 
with earlier orders issued by CTG 73.7.*** Conscious of the presence of 
the Japanese THIRD Section located earlier in the Sulu Sea (so far as can 
be determined CTF 77 had not yet learned of the SECOND Striking Force's 
presence which at noon was about eighty miles west of the THIRD Section), 
at 1225 he sent the following dispatch: "Issue orders for planes take off 
earliest practicable. Search three west sectors of Plan FOX (Modified)**** 
from Leyte to return after sunrise. Three of our fast carrier groups will 
be in area. Two additional planes take off at sunset to search Surigao 
Straits, Mindanao Sea and Sulu Sea to locate Japanese Fleet, reported in 
08°-50'N, 122°-05 ! E at 240010Z. Force reported consists of four BB, eight 
cruisers and ten DDs in two groups. Insure contact reports are transmitted 
by AOIC circuit Manus FOX and Honolulu FOX."***** 

It will be noted that CTF 77 had now increased the number of 
battleships to four. This is interesting for in sending out his or~er to 
prepare for night engagement, cited earlier, he had estimated the presence 
of two battleships in the enemy disposition.****** What caused him to 
return to four battleships as contained in the original contact report 
(0910)******* is not explained but it could have been a realization that 
his only complete contact report was the 0910 report on two groups of ships, 

* CTF 77 Dispatch 231235 October 1944 to CTG 73.7. 

** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232335 October 1944 to CTF 77, info C0M7THFLT, 

COMSOWESPAC, CTF 38. 
*** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 231227 October 1944 to CTG 77, info All Interested 

Catalina Operations, etc. 
**** Sectors "S", "T tt and »U», Plate LX« 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 240325 October 1944 to CTG 73.7, info CCM3RDFLT, 

CTF 38, etc. 
****** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTF's 78 and 79, CTG's 77.2, 

77.3, 70.1, etc., info C0M3RDFLT, CTF 38, etc. 
******* Aircraft in Sector TWO Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All Stations 

this Circuit. 

100 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At this time, the question likely arose in his mind as to 
whether or not the THIRD Section in the Sulu Sea was presently being 
tracked by either carrier or land-based aircraft. He knew, of course, 
that CTG 38,4 (whose planes had discovered and attacked this force) had 
been ordered to concentrate toward TG 38,2 off San Bernardino Strait at 
best speed. This would take TG 38,4 out of range of the THIRD Section. 
So far as the PB4Y's out of Morotai were concerned, he must have realized 
that because of their early take-off time (about 0530) it was quite 
doubtful that they would be able to track the force much after 1600 and 
still have sufficient fuel reserve to return to Morotai, Also, owing to 
the time factor, a request to C.G. FIFTH Air Force to order out additional 
planes to shadow the THIRD Section would probably be received too late 
for execution. 

In view of the above it would be interesting to discover why 
he did not order CTG 73.7 to send out a PBY as soon as practicable to 
shadow the THIRD Section. This answer is not known. However, it would 
seem to have been largely due to low aircraft availability for, although 
ten PBY's were flown in, but three took off on this day in compliance 
with CTF 77 's order 240325, previously quoted, which called for five planes. 

Having carefully followed the developing situation, and having 
possibly re-estimated the earliest time by which the enemy could penetrate 
to lower Surigao Strait, he now decided that an attempt by the Japanese 
THIRD Section to penetrate Leyte Gulf was not only probable but was 
imminent. Therefore, despite the fact that but one hour earlier he had 
directed CTG 77.2 to prepare for night engagement, he (a) became concerned 
lest delays in transmission prevent adequate and timely preparations and 
(b) decided to warm CTG 77.2 by TBS voice radio. At 1312 he sent the 
following message: "Consider enemy night surface attack on Leyte Gulf 
via Surigao Strait is imminent. Make all preparations. My dispatch orders 
are now being sent out n * 

At 1343, apparently anxious to apprise COMTHIRDFLT of his 
reaction to the contact he had received at 1207, he advised that commander 
by dispatch, in part, as follows: "Probable enemy landing force in convoy 
of twenty-five ships including battleships and cruisers last reported at 
1115 twenty-six miles southeast of Mount Dumali on course 090° (T)."** 

THIS DISPATCH, WHILE NOT MENTIONING THE POSSIBILITY THAT THIS 
WAS A TOKYO EXPRESS OPERATION, NEVERTHELESS BY ITS INSERTION OF THE PHRASE 
"PROBABLE LANDING FORCE" WHICH WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE BASIC DISPATCH 
INDICATES THAT CTF 77 WAS STILL OF THE OPINION THAT THESE JAPANESE NAVAL 
OPERATIONS WERE PRIMARILY TO AUGMENT THE GROUND FORCES ON LEYTE.*** 



* CTF 77 TBS Voice Radio Message 240412 October 1944 to CTG 77,2, info 

CTF 78, CTF 79 • 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240443 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
*** Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War College, 

1957, Chapter VII (A)(1)(a). 



101 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

In this connection attention is invited to the discussion on 
Tokyo Express operations under "Operations of CTG 70.1 (Motor Torpedo 
Boats), 0000 - 1830, October 24th" wherein it was pointed out that since 
CTG 70,1 had (a) commenced this battle plan with the phrase "expect Tokyo 
Express tonight" and (b) been in conference with CTF 77' s Chief of Staff 
that morning, it was assumed that he had obtained this concept from the 
Chief of Staff. 

DO NOT BOTH OF THESE DISPATCHES INDICATE CLEARLY THAT AT CTF 
77 'S HEADQUARTERS THE CONCEPT PERSISTED (DISCUSSED FULLY IN VOLUME III)* 
THAT THE JAPANESE OPERATIONS PRESENTLY UNDERWAY WERE FOR THE PURPOSE OF 
REINFORCING THE LEYTE GARRISON AND THAT THE IDEA OF MAJOR FLEET ACTION 
WAS STILL REMOTE? 

At 1357 he intercepted a TANGIER dispatch (the TANGIER was at 
Morotai) reporting a new sighting (Contact "16") of three battleships, one 
heavy cruiser and four destroyers in Latitude 09°-25'N, Longitude 122°- 
23 f E.** Although the time of sighting is not given it is clear that it 
was shortly before 1240. 

At 1435 he learned that the Morotai-based PB4Y flying in 
Sector 312°-321°(T) had sighted at 1155, one ATAGO class CA, two~NAT0RI 
class CL, four DD and one float type enemy fighter in Latitude 09°-30'N, 
Longitude 120°-30»E on course 105° (T), speed ten knots*** (Contact "15"). 

This contact, which was on the Japanese SECOND Striking Force, 
was distinct from the VHF intercept relayed by the patrol plane earlier 
in the morning. CTF 77 f s interpretation of this contact is nowhere 
recorded. It can be assumed that in plotting the contact and estimating 
a speed of advance of twenty knots, he predicted this force could not 
arrive at the southern entrance to Leyte Gulf much before 0600 the 
following morning. This contact, though made almost three hours after the 
one upon which he had based his battle plan, was about 100 miles west 
northwest of the latter. If he accepted the positions of the two forces 
as having been reported with reasonable accuracy, he must have realized 
that the forces were separate and distinct. 

Having completed his plans for the defense of Leyte Gulf he 
now, at 1443, advised interested commanders of his general strategic 
plan as follows: "Following supplements harbor defense plan contained my 
210641. Able. RADM Oldendorf**** reinforced by TC 77.3. Take night 
position lower Leyte Gulf. Destroy enemy forces encountered. Baker. CTF 
78 and 79 anchor all non-combatant ships in respective transport areas. 
Form close inner screen with escorts present. Other forces present seek 
refuge San Pedro Bay anchoring prior dark. No departures or entry Leyte 
Gulf during darkness."***** 

*~ Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (NavPers 92510), Naval War College, 

1957, Chapter VII (A)(1)(a). 
** TANGIER Dispatch 240340 October 1944 (addressees unknown). 
*** C.G. 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 240100 October 1944 to All Commands 

this Circuit. 
**** Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf, USN. 
***** C0M7THFLT (likely CTF 77) Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to All TFC's 

and TGC's 7THFLT, info COMSOWESPAC, C0M3RDFLT. 

102 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1447 he probably received (although CTF 79 did not) a 1000 
contact report on two FUSO class battleships, one unidentified CA and 
four unidentified destroyers in Latitude 121°-25' (sic), on course 
060° (T), speed fifteen knots.* 

Although the position herein given was garbled he likely 
recognized it as on one of the two enemy groups reported earlier in the 
vicinity of Latitude 08°-50«N, Longitude 122°-05«E. This seems so since 
the composition of the latest contact was identical with one of the 
groups in the two reported.** 

It seems he again examined his plan to defend Leyte Gulf and 
decided that there was one possible eventuality for which he had not 
specifically provided, namely, that of the enemy slipping undetected 
between Dinagat Island and Mindanao and then penetrating to the gulf via 
Surigao Strait East (the eastern entrance to Leyte Gulf), Realizing the 
implications of this maneuver if successfully executed he sent the 
following message to CTG 70.1 at 1509: "Insure enemy forces do not, 
repeat, do not pass undetected through strait between Dinagat Island and 
Mindanao .»*** 

It will be recalled that, in addition to his 230142 wherein 
he had estimated the Japanese intentions and had then requested Commanders 
of the FIFTH and THIRTEENTH Air Forces and COMTHIRDFLT to disrupt the 
enemy operations,**** he had informed COMTHIRDFLT of the enemy air attacks 
against Leyte Gulf as follows: (a) at 0954 of the early morning attack 
and its results***** and (b) at 1139 of the three groups of enemy planes 
approaching Leyte.****** 

Now, at 1549, having had an opportunity to analyze the first 
enemy air attack of the day, he advised COMTHIRDFLT, among other things, 
that (a) the morning air attack consisted of approximately forty aircraft 
which were apparently all shore-based, (b) the TCAP had destroyed fifteen 
to twenty- five of these, while ships' gunfire had destroyed several more, 
(c) damage to his ships had been one Liberty ship damaged, one LCI 
burning and sinking, and one destroyer strafed with minor damage and (d) 
HE BELIEVED THAT THE SHORE-BASED ATTACK WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF COVERING 
THE ENTRY OF SHIPS INTO MINDORO STRAIT AND CORON BAY.******* 



* C.G. 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 240215 October 1944 to All 

Interested Current Operations. / / 
** Aircraft in Sector TWO Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All 

Stations on this Circuit. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240609 October 1944 to CTG 70.1, info CTG 77.2. 
**** CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT; also CTF 77 

Dispatch 240443 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 240054 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC's 

and TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT»s, CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, etc. 
****** CTF 77 Dispatch 240239 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
******* CTF 77 Dispatch 240649 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info COMINCH, 

CINCPAC, COMSOWESPAC, etc. 

103 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

The body of the message, exclusive of his estimate of enemy 
intentions, was largely correct, although the attack appears to have been 
actually larger than estimated by CTF 77. This matter is discussed under 
"Operations of C.G. FOURTH Air Army, 0000 - 1830, October 24th". CTF 77 's 
ESTIMATE OF ENEMY INTENTIONS IS SIGNIFICANT IN THAT IT INDICATES THAT HE 
CONTINUED TO ASSIGN, EVEN AT THIS LATE HOUR, LITTLE WEIGHT TO THE 
POSSIBILITY OF (a) MAJOR FLEET ACTION CALCULATED TO DISRUPT THE ALLIED 
STRATEGY OR (b) RAIDS BY SURFACE FORCES, BUT WAS INSTEAD CONTINUING TO 
OPERATE ON THE CONCEPT THAT THE JAPANESE CONTEMPLATED THE MOVEMENT OF 
GROUND TROOPS THROUGH THE VISAYAS TO LEYTE BY TOKYO EXPRESS OR SIMILAR 
OPERATIONS EMPLOYING MAJOR FORCES. 

At some time prior to 1611 he received a message from CTG 70.1 
advising him that certain motor torpedo boats had departed for Surigao 
Strait prior to the receipt of his instructions to remain south of 
Latitude 10°-10'N and that as a result some of them might be encountered 
as far north as Latitude 10°-17'N.* Therefore, at 1611, he advised his 
forces as follows: "Some motor torpedo boats proceeded to station prior 
to receipt of instructions to remain south of Latitude 10°-10'N and you 
may expect motor torpedo boats to be operating as far north as Latitude 
10°-17'N. N In addition he added this information: "There will be thirty 
PT's on station"** 

It is possible that, at this time, in looking over his 
incoming dispatches for the day, he noted that COMTHIRDFLT's request for 
information regarding PBY searches to cover the latter' s northern flank 
had not been answered. At 1616, therefore, he advised that commander that 
(a) the three western sectors of Search Plan FOX (Modified) would begin 
tonight as shown in his dispatch 240325, (b) the two eastern sectors would 
begin as soon as practicable and (c) the searches to the west sector would 
begin employing all planes available.*** 

From this dispatch it appears that, in CTF 77 ! s conversation 
with CTG 73.7 earlier in the day, the problem of aircraft availability 
must have arisen and although ten PBY's had been flown in from Morotai, 
the availability was such that CTG 73.7 would be hard pressed to carry 
out his commander's orders. This statement is borne out in a dispatch 
sent later by the Commanding Officer of the HALF MOON to CTG 73.7 in which 
he said, "appears now that only three planes will take off tonight, the 
two specials and TARE."**** (The TARE mission likely referred to Sector 
TARE (353-C05°(T)) of Search Plan FOX (Modified) (Plate IX).) 



* Action Report CTG 70.1, Surigao Straits, Night of October 24th - 25th, 

1944, Serial 1-0330, December 1st, 1944. 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240711 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, info CTG's 77.3 and 

70.1. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240716 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTF's 38, 57, 

COMSOWESPAC. 
**** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 241003 October 1944 to HALF MOON with appended 

reference thereto. (Recorded as HALF MOON Dispatch 241925 (sic) 

October 1944 to CTG 73.7.) 



104 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1631 he received CTG 33.4* s report of the morning air 
attack against the THIRD Section, FIRST Striking Force. This dispatch 
revealed that (a) at 0905 two BB, one CA and four DD were attacked in 
Latitude 08°-55'N, Longitude 121°-50»E, on course 035°(T), speed fifteen 
knots, (b) each attacking flight group made two bomb hits on each BB, 
causing a good fire on one, (c) rocket hits made on the CA and two DD's, 
(d) the DD's were heavily strafed and (e) CTG 38,4 was now closing on 
TG 38,2 which would take him out of range of the contact.* 

If he had had any doubts before as to whether aircraft 
attacks on this force by TF 38 planes had been broken off, they were 
now dispelled* 

There is no indication that this report caused him to change 
his mind regarding the composition of the THIRD Section, He may have 
compared this dispatch with the PB4Y's erroneous report on the same 
force and estimated that this was simply the one surface group referred 
to by the PB4Y as being under attack. 

At 1632 (when it was received by COMTHIRDFLT), he very likely 
received another report on the THIRD Section, this one made by the 
aircraft flying the Sector 302°-321°(T) out of Morotai, which was to the 
effect that at 0950 the aircraft had sighted two BB, one CA and four DD 
in Latitude 08°-55 , N, Longitude 121°-32'E, on course 040°(T), speed 
fifteen knots** (Contact "11"), 

Again there is no indication that this information caused him 
to alter his estimate of the composition of the enemy force approaching 
Leyte Gulf from the southwest, or to analyze the threat as fcaing in the 
form of two well separated formations, although he may well have. 

At 1643 he received a partly garbled report on the Main Body, 
FIRST Striking Force as follows: "Last position of convoy 120 degrees 
west (sic) Banton Island consists of three battleships type unknown,"*** 

At 1700 he intercepted COMTHIRDFLT «s Battle Plan (quoted and 
discussed in full under "Operations of COMTHIRDFLT, 0000 - 1830, October 
24th"), The plan, among other things, indicated that (a) certain heavy 
ships and destroyers from TG»s 38.2 and 38,4 "will be formed as TF 34", 
and (b) "TF 34 engage decisively at long range",**** It also discussed 
certain air operations but did not explain them. 



* CTG 38.4 Dispatch 240424 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTF's 38, 

77, COMSOWESPAC, etc, 
** 5TH Bomber Command Dispatch 240330 October 1944 to All Concerned 

Current Operations, 
*** Radio Hollandia Dispatch 240300 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C0M7THFLT, 

CTG's 38.1, 38.2, 38.3, All TFC's SOWESPAC, etc. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240612 October 1944 to All TFC's 3RDFLT, All 

TGC's of TF 38, info COMINCH, CINCPAC. 



105 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

SINCE THIS DISPATCH LATER BECAME A CENTER OF CONTROVERSY, IT 
SEEMS WELL AT THIS POINT TO DIGRESS SLIGHTLY IN ORDER TO COMMENT UPON THE 
INTERPRETATION WHICH WAS APPARENTLY GIVEN IT AT THIS TIME BY CTF 77. IT 
MUST BE UNDERSTOOD THAT, ALTHOUGH THE MAIN BODY HAD REVERSED COURSE TO 
THE WESTWARD AT 1530, THIS FACT WAS NOT KNOWN TO HIM. THEREFORE, HE 
LIKELY WAS STILL OF THE BELIEF THAT THE MAIN BODY WAS EN ROUTE EASTWARD. 
WHETHER HE THOUGHT THAT THE MAIN BODY WOULD OR WOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO 
PENETRATE SAN BERNARDINO STRAIT IS NOT IMPORTANT— WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS 
THAT FROM THIS DISPATCH HE KNEW THAT COMTHLRDFLT WAS READY AND HAD NOW 
MADE PREPARATIONS FOR NIGHT SURFACE ACTION WITH HIS HEAVY SHIPS SHOULD THE 
ENEMY DEBOUCH INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. 

THIS THIRDFLT BATTLE PLAN QUITE LIKELY HELPED TO JUSTIFY IN 
HIS MIND HIS OWN BATTLE PLAN WHICH WAS DESIGNED TO DEFEND AGAINST AN 
ENEMY SURFACE ATTACK PRINCIPALLY FROM THE SOUTH— A PLAN CLEARLY BASED ON 
THE ASSUMPTION THAT AN ENEMY APPROACH FROM THE NORTH OR FROM THE DIRECTION 
OF SAN BERNARDINO STRAIT WOULD BE INTERCEPTED BY THE COVERING FORCE 
(THIRDFLT). 

At 1703 he received CTG 70.1' s battle plan which, in 
anticipation of a night "Tokyo Express" operation, (a) assigned the motor 
torpedo boats to stations generally along the shores of Surigao Strait 
and the eastern Mindanao Sea (Plate XIX shows their approximate 
disposition prior to the Battle of Surigao Strait), (b) strongly 
emphasized their reconnaissance and reporting mission and (c) ordered 
them to attack after making their contact reports.* 

Since he had discussed motor torpedo boat operations with CTG 
70.1 prior to the issuance of this order it seems likely that he approved 
of it in principle. 

At 1734 he learned that CTG 73.7 had directed the Commanding 
Officer HALF MOON, among other things, to send out the three routine 
patrols (three western sectors of Search Plan FOX (Modified)) as soon as 
practicable and the remaining two (to search the Surigao Strait, Mindanao 
Sea and Sulu Sea) at 1630.** This dispatch seems to have been garbled 
for since the basic dispatch called for the latter planes to take off at 
sunset*** this time of 1630 is more likely 1830. 

He was well aware that preparations were proceeding rapidly 
within CTG 77.2' s command for the forthcoming battle for earlier he had 
observed certain TG 77.2 ships loading ammunition and now he noted them 
departing southward to take night battle stations.**** 



* CTG 70.1 Dispatch 240504 October 1944 to All TFC»s and TGC's 7THFLT, 

WACHAPREAGUE. 
** SAN CARLOS Dispatch 240759 October 1944 to HALF MOON. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240325 October 1944 to CTG 73.7, info C0M3RDFLT, 

CTF 38, etc. 
**** Deck Log LOUISVILLE, October 24th, 1944. 



106 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 77 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

What he did not know was that two events, now in the making, 
would in effect jeopardize the security of his forces: (a) The failure 
of the PBY searches (which had been reduced below the number ordered) to 
locate and shadow either (1) the THIRD Section or SECOND Striking Force 
penetrating Surigao Strait or (2) the Main Body now en route San 
Bernardino Strait and (b) COMTHIRDFLT 's movement to the north to strike 
the Main Force thus leaving San Bernardino Strait unguarded except for 
a single PBY search which, as stated above, would fail to gain contact. 

WHAT WAS CTF 77' S CONCEPT OF THE IMPENDING OPERATIONS AT 
THIS TIME? IT APPEARS FAIRLY WELL ESTABLISHED THAT (a) HE WAS WELL 
AWARE OF, AND WELL PREPARED FOR, THE JAPANESE SURFACE FORCES PENETRATING 
FROM THE SOUTHWEST, ALTHOUGH HIS ESTIMATE OF THEIR COMPOSITION AND HOW 
THEY MIGHT BE DIVIDED OR DISPOSED WAS ILL-DEFINED, (b) HE EXPECTED 
COMTHIRDFLT TO PREVENT THE MAIN BODY, FIRST STRIKING FORCE FROM 
INTERFERING WITH HIS OPERATIONS AND (c) HE WAS NOT YET AWARE THAT THE 
MOBILE FORCE HAD BEEN SIGHTED OFF CAPE ENGANO OR THAT COMTHIRDFLT WAS 
NOW ON THE VERGE OF MAKING A CRITICAL DECISION AS TO WHAT THE CORRECT 
COURSE OF ACTION SHOULD BE IN VIEW OF THIS NEW AND PARTLY UNANTICIPATED 
THREAT, 



107 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 78 and CTG 78.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(1) Operations of CTF 78 (Northern Attack Force) and CTG 78.1 
(Palo Attack Group), 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At 0000 CTF 78, who was also CTG 78.1, remained at anchor 
off RED Beach in his flagship the BLUE RIDGE. 

Commencing shortly after midnight and continuing throughout 
the day he received numerous reports of Japanese surface forces approaching 
Leyte Gulf and, therefore, was familiar with the developing situation. 

He had at this time the BLUE RIDGE (FFF), LST 741 (which 
was aground), RUSSELL, JOHN RODGERS, LANG and a number of landing and 
patrol craft. In addition he was expecting the arrival later in the 
morning of Reinforcement Group TWO which, among other units, was composed 
of twenty Liberty ships (XAK), thirty-three LST's and some important units 
of Service Force TU 77.7.2. 

During the day there were several attacks by Japanese 
aircraft. At 0900 he notified CTF 77 of the loss of the LCI 1065.* 
Shortly thereafter he also notified that Commander of an XAK having been 
damaged in the same air attack.** 

At 0937 COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE, who was also CTG 78.7 
(Reinforcement Group TWO), reported to him for duty.*** 

At 1001 he (a) requested CTG 77.2 to assume A '5 patrol 
around TF 78 commencing at dawn the following day, (this request was in 
accordance with CTF 77' s OpPlan 13-44) and (b) informed CTG 77.2 that the 
JOHN RODGERS and ANDERSON, on patrol in the vicinity of Suluan Island, 
were being withdrawn for fuel and then would report to CTG 78.2.**** 

At 1156 he directed COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE with the 
NICHOLAS (F), O'BANNON, TAYLOR and HOPEWELL to report to CTG 77.4 on the 
following day.***** 

At 1312 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received 
CTF 77* s dispatch 240412 wherein that commander (a) stated that an enemy 
night surface attack on Leyte Gulf via Surigao Strait was imminent and 
(b) directed CTG 77.2 to make all preparations.****** 



* CTF 78 Dispatch 232400 October 1944 to CTF 77. 
** CTF 78 Dispatch 240016 October 1944 to CTF 77. 
*** Action Report NICHOLAS, Report of Philippine Island Occupation, 

Serial 063, November 3rd, 1944. 
**** CTF 78 Dispatch 240101 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, info CTF 77, 

CTG 78.2. 
***** CTF 78 Dispatch 240256 October 1944 to COMDESDIV 21, info CTF 77, 

CTG 77.4. 
****** CTF 77 TBS Voice Radio Message 240412 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, 

info CTF 78, CTF 79. 



108 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 78, CTG 78.1 
and CTG 78.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1501 (when it was received by CTF 79) he again 
received a dispatch from CTF 77 which stated, in part, that an enemy- 
force was under attack in the eastern Sulu Sea and might arrive Leyte 
Gulf that night. All units were directed to prepare for a night 
engagement * 

At 1650 he received COMSEVENTHFLT • s supplement to the 
Harbor Defense Plan No. ONE wherein CTF 77, among other things, directed 
both CTF 78 and 79 to anchor all noncombatant ships in their respective 
areas with escorts forming a close inner screen, and that there would be 
no departures or entry Leyte Gulf during darkness.** 

At 1830 he learned that CTG 70.1 intended to patrol 
across the lower part of Leyte Gulf to provide early warning of the 
arrival of enemy units in that area.*** 

At this time as CTF 78 he had remaining all of the 
shipping which (a) had arrived with CTG 78.7 with the exception of the 
eleven LST«s diverted to YELLOW Beach TWO, (b) remained under the 
command of himself as CTG 78.1, i.e., LST 741 (grounded), RUSSELL, JOHN 
RODGERS, LANG, NICHOLAS, O'BANNON, TAYLOR, HOPEWELL, SAN PEDRO, MUSKOGEE 
and (c) remained under CTG 78.2 and listed under that commander. 

(a) Operations of CTG 78.2 (San Ricardo Attack Group), 
0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At 0000 CTG 78.2, in the FREMONT, remained at anchor 
off WHITE Beach. Commencing shortly after midnight and continuing 
throughout the day he received numerous dispatches of Japanese surface 
forces approaching Leyte Gulf and therefore was familiar with the 
developing situation. 

At 0347 COMMINDIV THIRTY-FOUR reported to him for 
duty.**** 

At 0700 he observed the arrival of TG 78.7 
(Reinforcement Group TWO)*** 8 * and noted that most of the units had 
anchored in the northern transport area. Shortly thereafter seventeen 
LST f s from this group reported in his area.****** It seems probable that 

* CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG's 70.1, 77.2, 77,3, 

CTF's 78, 79, All TFC's 3RDFLT, COMFEAF, info C0M3RDFLT, CINCPAC, 

COMINCH, CINCSWPA, All TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT's. 
** C0M7THFLT Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 

7THFLT, info CINCSWPA, C0M3RDFLT. 
*** CTG 70.1 Dispatch 240504 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 

7THFLT, WACHAPREAGUE. 
**** COMMINDIV 34 Dispatch 231611 October 1944 to CTG 78.2, info CTG 77.5. 
***** Action Report CTG 78.2, Leyte Operation, Serial 0085, November 29th, 

1944. 
****** Action Report CTG 78.7 (Reinforcement Group TWO), Central 
Philippines Operation, Serial 0176, November 10th, 1944. 

109 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 78.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

these LST's reported to him for duty but there is no evidence to this 
effect. 

Shortly thereafter the Japanese conducted their first 
air attack in force. This attack lasted until 0900. As a result CTG 78.2 
reported that the attacks against his units had caused the Japanese to 
lose five planes; however they succeeded in damaging the XAK THOMAS and 
the LCI 65 and sinking the LCI 1065 and the ATA SONOMA.* 

During the day he continued to unload his LST's.* 

At 1312 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received 
as an information addressee CTF 77' s dispatch to CTG 77.2 wherein CTF 77 
stated, in part, that he considered that an enemy night surface attack 
on Leyte Gulf via Surigao Strait was imminent and directed CTG 77.2 to 
make all preparations.** 

At 1501 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received 
another dispatch from CTF 77, quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 77, 
0000 - 1830, October 24th", wherein that commander (a) stated, in part, 
that an enemy force estimated to consist of two BB, four CA, four CL and 
ten DD was under attack in the eastern Sulu Sea by Allied carriers and 
might arrive Leyte Gulf that night and (b) directed all units to prepare 
for a night engagement.*** 

At 1650 he received COMSEVENTHFLT ' s supplement to 
Harbor Defense Plan No. ONE wherein CTF 77, among other things, directed 
(a) both CTF's 78 and 79 to anchor all noncombatant ships in their 
respective areas with escorts forming a close inner screen and (b) that 
there would be no departures or entry Leyte Gulf during darkness.**** 

At 1830 he learned that CTG 70.1 intended to patrol 
across the lower part of Leyte Gulf to provide early warning of the arrival 
of any enemy units in that area.***** At this time he had remaining the 
FREMONT, ARL ACHILLES, JENKINS, ANDERSON and six XAK's (THOMAS, FIELDS, 
SHORT, GIANELLA, KINNEY, JUDSON). He may have had, in addition, the 
seventeen LST's previously referred to as having been sent to WHITE Beach. 



* Action Report CTG 78.2, Leyte Operation, Serial 0085, November 29th, 

1944. 
** CTF 77 TBS Voice Radio Message 240412 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, 

info CTF 78, CTF 79. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG's 70.1, 77.2, 77.3, CTF's 

78, 79, All TFC's 3RDFLT, COMFEAF, info C0M3RDFLT, CINCPAC, COMINCH, 

CINCSWPA, All TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT»s. 
**** C0M7THFLT Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 

7THFLT, info CINCSWPA, C0M3RDFLT. 
***** CTG 70.1 Dispatch 240504 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 7THFLT, 

WACHAPREAGUE. 



110 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTU 77.2.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(b) Operations of CTU 77.2.1 (Fire Support Unit NORTH), 
0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At 0000 CTU 77.2.1, with TU 77.2.1 plus BATDIV TWO, was 
lying to in Area DRUM north of Tay Tay Point. Commencing shortly after 
midnight and continuing throughout the day he received numerous reports 
of Japanese surface forces approaching Leyte Gulf and, therefore, was 
familiar with the developing situation. 

At 0647, in accordance with orders from CTG 77.2,* he, 
with his unit less the WEST VIRGINIA and CONY which were proceeding 
independently, proceeded to the logistics area where he arrived at 0951.** 

He immediately departed for a conference with CTG 77.2 
aboard the LOUISVILLE, returning to the MISSISSIPPI at 1120. ** The 
subject of this conference is not available to this analysis. 

At 1312 he intercepted CTF 77 f s message, quoted in full 
under "Operations of CTF 77, 0000 - 1830, October 24th", wherein that 
commander stated, in part, that he considered a night surface attack on 
Leyte Gulf tonight via Surigao Strait was imminent and to make all 
preparations .*** 

At 1452 the WEST VIRGINIA, closely followed by the 
MARYLAND, refueled from the CHEPACHET and SALAMONIE. This operation was 
completed by 1646.**** 

At 1501 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received CTF 
77* s dispatch which stated, in part, that an enemy surface force estimated 
to consist of two BB, four CA, four CL and ten DD was under attack in the 
eastern Sulu Sea and might arrive Leyte Gulf that night .***** 

At 1535 he departed for the LOUISVILLE to confer with CTG 
77.2 on CTG 77.2' s battle plan wherein he was to be Commander Battle 
Line. ****** The matters discussed in the conference are presented in 
"Operations of CTG 77.2, 0000 - 1330, October 24th". He returned to the 
MISSISSIPPI at 1645. 



* Action Report CALIFORNIA, Participation in Operations off Island 

of Leyte, P. I., October 19th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0025, November 

8th, 1944. 
** War Diary COMBATDIV 3, October 24th, 1944. 
*** CTF 77 TBS Voice Radio Message 240412 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, 

info CTF 78, CTF 79. 
**** Deck Logs WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, October 24th, 1944. 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG's 70.1, 77.2, 77.3, 

CTF«s 78, 79, All TFC's 3RDFLT, CAAF SOWESPAC, info C0M3RDFLT, All 

TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT»s, COMINCH, CINCSWPA. 
****** Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of 

Surigao Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 

1944. 



Ill CONFIDENTIAL 



CTU 77.2.1 
and CTG 77.3 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1650 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received 
COMSEVENTHFLT's dispatch 240543 quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 
77, 0000 - 1830, October 24th n , in which that commander supplemented 
Harbor Defense Plan No. ONE. This dispatch stated, in part, that TG 77,2, 
reinforced by TG 77.3, was to take station in lower Leyte Gulf and 
destroy enemy forces encountered.* 

Meanwhile, he prepared to depart the logistics area 
for his night battle station but it was not until 1848 that he was able 
to do so. 

(c) Operations of CTG 77.3 (Close Covering Group), 
0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At 0000 CTG 77.3 with TG 77.3, less BACHE which lay at 
anchor off RED Beach available for FS missions, was patrolling the area 
southeast of the transport areas in accordance with Harbor Defense Plan 
ONE. 

Commencing shortly after midnight and continuing 
throughout the day he received numerous reports of Japanese surface forces 
approaching Leyte Gulf. 

At 0458 he commenced returning to San Pedro Bay.** 

About 0655 he detached the BEALE, DALY and SHROPSHIRE 
to carry out scheduled shore bombardment missions, while his remaining 
units stood by awaiting orders to fuel.*** 

At 1040 the PHOENIX, closely followed by the BOISE, 
commenced refueling from the SUAMICO. The fueling was broken off at 1113 
due to an air raid which lasted until about 1339, but was recommenced at 
1451 when the PHOENIX, BOISE and SHROPSHIRE refueled from the SALAM0NI2, 
SUAMICO and ASHTABULA, respectively. 

At 1501, when it was received by CTF 79, he received 
CTF 77 f s dispatch to the effect that (a) an enemy force was under air 
attack in the eastern Sulu Sea and might arrive Leyte Gulf that night, 
(b) all units were to prepare for night engagement and (c) his command 
was assigned to the control of CTG 77.2 as reinforcement.**** 

Upon receipt of this dispatch he terminated his FS 
missions without a formal release by CTF 78.***** 

* C0M7THFLT Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 

7THFLT, info CLNCSWPA, C0M3RDFLT. 
** War Diary PHOENIX, October 24th, 1944. 
*** War Diary BOISE, October 24th, 1944. 
**** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG's 70.1, 77.2, 77.3, 

CTF's 78, 79, All TFC's 3RDFLT, COMFEAF, info C0M3RDFLT, All TGC's 

3RD and 7THFLT's, COMINCH, CINCSWPA. 
***** Action Report CTG 77.3, Leyte Occupation, Serial 0359, November 

3rd, 1944. 

112 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.3 and CTG 78.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1620 he reported to CTG 77.2 for duty. 

At 1642 having closed the LOUISVILLE, he departed for 
that ship by ship's boat to confer with CTG 77.2. The subject under 
discussion was CTG 77 .2' s Battle Plan wherein CTG 77.3 was to be commander 
of the Right Flank Force. 

AT THIS CONFERENCE HE DECLINED CTG 77.2 'S OFFER TO 
INCREASE THE RIGHT FLANK FORCE DESTROYERS IN THAT HE FELT, BECAUSE OF THE 
RESTRICTED AREA, CONSIDERABLE UNITY OF DIRECTION WAS INDICATED. FOR THIS 
PURPOSE HE EMPLOYED A TASK GROUP COMMON VOICE RADIO CIRCUIT WHICH ALL OF 
HIS SHIPS WERE EQUIPPED TO USE. HE STATES IN HIS ACTION REPORT THAT HE 
GAINED THE DISTINCT IMPRESSION THAT "DEVELOPMENTS BEING PROPITIOUS IT WAS 
THE DESIRE OF THE OTC THAT GUNFIRE OF THE BATTLE LINE AND FLANK FORCE 
CRUISERS WAS TO BE HELD UNTIL IT COULD BE OVERWHELMINGLY DEVASTATING AND 
DEADLY. AMMUNITION AVAILABLE DID NOT PERMIT A DRAWN OUT ACTION AT LONG 
RANGES".* 

At 1650 (when it was received by CTF 79) he likely 
learned, while on board the LOUISVILLE, of COMSEVENTHFLT's Supplement to 
Harbor Defense Plan No. ONE which, in part, ordered CTG 77 • 2 reinforced 
by CTG 77.3, to (a) take a night station in lower Leyte Gulf and (b) 
destroy enemy forces encountered.** At 1710 he returned to the PHOENIX.* 

By 1742, when all of his units had rendezvoused, he 
proceeded in a southerly direction toward his battle station. 

At 1757 he joined TG 77.2 and took station as 
Commander Right Flank Force.*** 

From this time onward he operated largely as Commander 
Right Flank Force and will be so referred to in later chapters. 

(d) Operations of CTG 78.7 (Reinforcement Group TWO), 
0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At 0000 CTG 78.7, who was also COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE, 
in the NICHOLAS, with TG 78.7, was in Leyte Gulf proceeding to the northern 
transport area. 

His task group at this time consisted of four DD*s 
(NICHOLAS (F), O'BANNON, TAYLOR, HOPEWELL), two PF«s (SAN PEDRO, MUSKOGEE) 
and one PG (TULSA) as escorts for one AO (SUAMICO), three IX(A0)«s (CARIBOU, 
MINK, PANDA), two AN* s (TEAK, SILVERBELL), one AKN (INDUS (F)), one ARS 
(CABLE), one A0(W) (SEVERN (YOG 15 in tow)), thirty-three LST«s (464, 552, 
553, 554, 555, 556, 557, 558, 559, 569, 573, 610, 619, 658, 663, 673, 687, 

* Action Report CTG 77.3 (COMCRUDIV 15), Surface Engagement with 

Japanese Forces, Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 00117, November 10th, 1944. 

** C0M7THFLT Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 7THFLT, 
info CBJCSWPA, CQM3RDFLT. 

*** Deck Log PHOENIX, October 24th, 1944. 

113 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 78.7 and CTF 73.8 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

688, 694, 703, 734, 736, 737, 746, 749, 750, 908, 919, 990, 991, 1015, 
1025, 1026) and twenty liberty ships (XAK) (GENERAL FLEISCHER, CAPE 
ROMANO, CAPE CONSTANCE, JOHN PAGE, SABIK, JANSSENS, LEO MERRITT, DAVID 
GAILLARD, FRANK CUHEL, MARCUS DALY, BENJAMIN WATERHOUSE, JOHN FOSTER, 
VITUS BERING, SAMUEL BARLOW, BENJAMIN WHEELER, LOUIS WUELE, CHARLOTTE 
CUSHMAN, CASSIOPIA, CLARENCE DARROW, ESCALANTE).* 

At 0332 he detached ten LST's (553, 558, 658, 687, 
688, 734, 736, 737, 908, 991) to proceed to YELLOW Beach TWO in accordance 
with previous instructions.** 

At about 0500 the remaining units were detached and 
proceeded to their various stations, as follows: Nine LST's to beach and 
eight to anchor off WHITE Beach, five LST«s to RED Beach, one liberty 
ship and one LST to YELLOW Beach. Those not otherwise assigned proceeded 
to the Northern Transport Area to await further instructions.* Meanwhile, 
the MUSKOGEE and SAN PEDRO reported to CTF 78 for duty. 

At 0937 TG 78.7 was dissolved and COMDESRON TWENTY-ONE 
also reported to CTF 78 for duty.*** 

(e) Operations of CTG 78.8 (Reinforcement Group THREE), 
0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At 0000 CTG 78.8, in the frigate EUGENE, with TG 78.8 
which was composed largely of seventeen liberty ships (XAK) and six LST's, 
was proceeding towards Leyte Gulf having departed Humboldt Bay the 
previous day.**** During the period until 1830 little of importance 
occurred and at 1830 the task group was bearing 12 5° (T), distant 820 miles 
from Leyte Gulf. 

(2) Operations of CTF 79 (Southern Attack Force), COCO - 1830, 
October 24th. 

At 0000 CTF 79, in the MOUNT OLYMPUS, was anchored in the 
vicinity of the Southern Transport Area, observing the unloading of his 
units. During ,this period there were several air raid alerts. At this 
time he had with him only CTG 79.2, as CTG 79.1 had departed on the 
previous day. 

Commencing shortly after midnight and continuing throughout 
the day he received numerous reports of Japanese surface forces approaching 
Leyte Gulf. These reports were of some concern to him as he still had the 



* Action Report CTG 78.7 (COMDESRON 21), Central Philippines Operation, 

Serial 0176, November 10th, 1944. 
** CTF 78 Dispatch 231136 October 1944 to CTG 78.7, info CTF 79. 
*** Action Report NICHOLAS, Report of Philippine Island Occupation, 

Serial 063, November 3rd, 1944o 
**** Action Report CTG 78.8 (COMCORTDIV 29), Report of Reinforcement 

Group THREE, Central Philippine Operation, Serial 071, November 16th, 

1944. 

114 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 79 
October 24th 



APA's CLAY, ARTHUR MIDDLETON, BAXTER; AP GEORGE F. ELLIOTT; AKA«s 
CAPRICORNUS, CHARA, AURIGA; AK MERCURY; LSD RUSHMORE, fifty-five LST's 
and numerous landing and patrol craft remaining in the area. 

At 0122 he received CTF 77* s dispatch to the effect that 
a large enemy air attack might be brewing,* 

At 0715 COMLSTGROUP FORTY with ten LST's (553, 558, 658, 
687, 688, 734, 736, 737, 908 and 991) reported to him for duty from 
TG 78. 8.** 

At 0726 he requested CTU 77.7.1, by TBS Voice Radio, to 
designate one or more oilers to fuel eleven destroyers on the morning 
of the 25th. *** 

At 0831 he received word from the LEUTZE that she had 
been bombed and strafed by two Japanese planes, suffering minor damage.**** 

At 0933, by TBS voice radio, he directed CTU 79.11.1, 
who was also CTU 79.14.5, to commence his sortie.***** Shortly thereafter 
he queried (a) at 0945, CTG 79.2 as to what time the AURIGA would be 
unloaded,****** and (b) CTG 79.5 as to why he was not sailing his unloaded 
LST's, and ordered him to do so,******* Six minutes later he received a 
reply to the effect that all LST's, with the exception of LST 461 which 
was stuck on the beach, had been ordered to report to CTU 79. 5 .2. ******** 

At 0959 he again ordered CTU 79.11.1 to commence his 
sortie, and told CTU 79.U.2 to disregard his 240033 .********* Why he 
did this is not clear, as CTU 79.11.2 was not an addressee on this 
dispatch, and furthermore was not scheduled to depart until 1400. 



* 



CTF 77 Dispatch 231532 October 1944 to CTG 77.4, info TG 77.4, 

TF 77, CTG 77.13, C0M3RDFLT. 

Action Report COMLSTGROUP 40, Leyte Island, Serial 040, 

November 3rd, 1944. 

CTF 79 TBS Voice Radio Message 232226 October 1944 to CTU 

77.7.1, info CTF 77. 
**** LEUTZE TBS Voice Radio Message 232331 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
***** CTF 79 TBS Voice Radio Message 240033 October 1944 to CTU 

79.11.1. 
****** CTG 79 TBS Voice Radio Message 240045 October 1944 to CTG 

79.2. 
******* CTF 79 TBS Voice Radio Message 240049 October 1944 to CTG 

79*5, info CTU 79.5.2. 
******** CTG 79.5 TBS Voice Radio Message 240055 October 1944 to 

CTF 79 o 
********* CTF 79 TBS Voice Radio Message 240059 October 1944 to CTU 

79.11.1, info CTU 79.11.2. 



496799 O - 59 - 17 



115 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 79 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1004 he learned that a major enemy force including a 
battleship had been sighted just south of Mindoro on course 050° (T), 
speed ten to twelve knots,* (Contact "5 11 , Plate XV). A short time later 
the force was reported to consist of four BB, eight CA and thirteen DD** 
(Contact "6"). 

At 1010 he forwarded a summary report to CTF 77 which 
stated, in part, that he (a) anticipated sailing all transports, less 
the AURIGA, that afternoon and (b) with the exception of those units 
scheduled to remain in the area, would sail all unloaded landing and 
patrol craft that day and the following day.*** 

At 1015 he observed CTU 79.14.5 (CTU 79.11.1), with TU 
79.14.5 depart. This unit consisted of DD ERBEN (F), ATF's POTAWATOMI and 

,:-.::;EE, ARS PRESERVER, thirty-eight LST's (20, 34, 117, 118, 123, 125, 
207, 213, 219, 242, 269, 270, 277, 451, 461, 478, 432, 483, 486, 488, 564, 
567, 568, 615, 617, 669, 671, 672, 698, 704, 745, 916, 917, 918, 999, 1006, 
1013, 1024), thirty-three LCT's, five LSM's and sixteen Datrol craft.**** 
Immediately thereafter, at 1017, by voice radio, he reauested CTG 77.5 to 
direct the BREESE, HAMILTON and HOWARD to report to CTU 79.11.2 in the 
PICKING who was scheduled to depart at 1400.***** He then designated the 
units that were to compose TU 79.14.3 and scheduled that unit to depart 
at 1400 .****** 

At 1032 he learned that the AURIGA'S estimated time of 
completion of unloading was 2400. ******* 

At 1312 he received CTF 77' s TBS voice radio message 
wherein that commander (a) stated that he considered an enemy night 
surface attack on Leyte Gulf that night via Surigao Strait was imminent 
and (b) directed CTG 77.2 to make all preparations. ******** 

At 1358 he learned that CTF 77 had ordered MTB»s to patrol 
lower Surigao Strait in anticipation of the approach of the enemy. ********* 



** 



C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232322 October 1944 to CTG's 38.3, 38.4, 

info COMTUCH, CINCPAC, All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLT's. 

C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232331 October 1944 to CTF 38, CTG 33.3. 
*** CTF 79 Dispatch 240110 October 1944 to CTF 77. 
**** Action Report COMDESRON 48 (CTU 79.14.5) (CTU 79.11.1), Leyte 

Island, Philippine Islands, Octooer 20th - 24th, 1944, Serial 

080, October 30th, 1944. 
***** CTF 79 TBS Voice Radio Message 240117 October 1944 to CTG 77.5. 
****** CTF 79 Dispatch 240124 October 1944 to CTG's 79.2, 79.4, CTU 

79.11.2, CHARA, MERCURY, BREESE, HAMILTON, info CNB Hollandia, 

CNB Manus, All Interested Current Operations. 
******* CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 240132 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
******** CTF 77 TBS Voice Radio Message 240412 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, 

info CTF 78, CTF 79. 
********* CTF 77 Dispatch 240319 October 1944 to CTG 70.1. 



116 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 79 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1400 he observed the departure of CTU 79.14.3 (CTG 79.2) 
with TU 79.14.3.* The composition of this unit is given under "Operations 
of CTG 79.2, 0000 - 1830, October 24th". 

At 1501 he again received a dispatch from CTF 77 which 
(a) stated, in part, that an enemy force was under attack in the eastern 
Sulu Sea and might arrive Leyte Gulf that night and (b) directed all 
units to prepare for a night engagement.** 

At 1624 he originated a dispatch forming TU 79.14.9 
consisting of thirteen LST's, six patrol craft and the WICKES, to depart 
at 0800 the following morning.*** 

At 1628 he directed CTU 79.11.3 to fuel his DESRON to 
seventy per cent the following morning when the CHEPACHET returned to the 
fueling area.**** About this time he informed CTG 77.2 that on the 
return of the fueling group the next day he intended to withdraw the 
antisubmarine and radar picket patrols and depart the area.***** 

At 1650 he received COMSEVENTHFLT » s supplement to Harbor 
Defense Plan No. ONE wherein, among other things, he was directed to 
anchor all noncombatant ships in their respective areas with escorts 
forming a close inner screen, and that there would be no departures or 
entry Leyte Gulf during darkness. ****** 

At 1830 he learned that CTG 70.1 intended to patrol across 
the lower part of Leyte Gulf to provide early warning of the arrival of 
enemy units in that area.******* 

At this time he had remaining in the area, the MOUNT 
OLYMPUS, AK AURIGA and seventeen LST«s******** (126, 169, 205, 223, 565, 
605, 608, 609, 611, 612, 670, 686, 693, 733, 738, 739 and 909). Although 
he apparently overlooks them in his action report, he also had an 
additional eleven (sic) LST's********* and an unknown liberty ship 
received from CTG 78.7. 

* CTU 79.14.8 Visual Dispatch 240500 October 1944 to CTF 79. 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG's 70.1, 77.2, 77.3, 

CTF's 78, 79, All TFC's 3RDFLT, CAAF SOWESPAC, info C0M3RDFLT, 

CINCPAC, COMINCH, CINCSWPA, All TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT's. 
*** CTF 79 Dispatch 240724 October 1944 to PC's 462, 464, etc., info 

CNB Hollandia, All Current Ops. SWPA. 
**** CTF 79 Dispatch 240728 October 1944 to CTU 79.11.3, info 

CHEPACHET, CTG 77.2, CTG 77.7, TU 79.11.3. 
***** CTF 79 Dispatch 240734 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, info CTF 77, 

CTU 79.11.3 • 
****** C0M7THFLT Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 

7THFLT, info CINCSWPA, C0M3RDFLT. 
******* CTG 70.1 Dispatch 240504 October 1944 to All TFC's and TGC's 

7THFLT, WACHAPREAGUE. 
******** Action Report CTF 79, Seizure of Leyte, Report of Participation 

of Task Force 79, Serial 00323, November 13th, 1944. 
********* Action Report CTG 78.7 (COMDESRON 21), Report of Central 

Philippines Operation, Serial 0176, November 10th, 1944. 

117 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 79 and CTG 79.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

The best evidence is that there were but ten LST's (553, 
558, 658, 687, 688, 734, 736, 737, 908 and 991). If there was in fact 
an additional LST its bow number is not available to this analysis. 
This gave him a total of either twenty-seven or twenty-eight LST's, 

(a) Operations of CTG 79.2 (Attack Group BAKER), 0000 - 
1830, October 24th. 

At 0000 CTG 79.2, in the ROCKY MOUNT, remained at 
anchor off ORANGE Beach. 

The morning passed uneventfully until 0755 when 
Japanese aircraft began a concerted prolonged air raid lasting until 
1310.* 

At 1018 he departed for a conference with CTF 79 
aboard the MOUNT OLYMPUS.* While the subject matter of this conference 
is not known it likely was concerned with the formation of a convoy of 
which he was to be the commander. 

At 1110 he witnessed the departure of TU 79.14.5.* 
He was interested in this convoy as all twenty- four of his LST's were 
departing with that unit and he would shortly be departing himself. 

At 1125 he received a dispatch from CTF 79, quoted 
more fully under "Operations of CTF 79, 0000 - 1830, October 24th" which 
(a) formed TU 79.14.8, (b) designated him as commander, (c) set 1400 as 
the departure time, and (d) prescribed the routing.** 

At 1146 he ordered some of the units which were to 
compose the task unit to be prepared to get underway on signal at 1400.*** 

At 1206 he returned to the ROCKY MOUNT and at 1212 
issued his sortie plan.**** 

At 1410 as CTU 79.14.8, in the ROCKY MOUNT, accompanied 
by TU 79.14.8, consisting of APA's CLAY, ARTHUR MIDDLETON, BAXTER; AP 
GEORGE F. ELLIOTT; AKA's CAPRICORNUS, CHARA; LSD RUSHMORE; AKA MERCURY, 
escorted by the PICKING (CTU 79.11.2), SPROSTON, HALS, BREESE, HAMILTON 
and HOWARD, he departed the area for Hollandia.* 



* Action Report CTG 79.2, Report of Leyte Operation, Serial 0032, 

November 4th, 1944. 
** CTF 79 Dispatch 240124 October 1944 to CTG's 79.2, 79.4, CTU 79.11.2, 

BREESE, HAMILTON, CHARA, MERCURY, info CNB Hollandia, CNB Manus, All 

Interested in Current Operations. 
*** CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 240246 October 1944 to MERCURY, CHARA, 

COMDESRON 49, ROCKY MOUNT, TRANSDIV 10, RUSHMORE, AURIGA, info 

CTF 79 • 
**** CTG 79.2 Visual Dispatch 240312 October 1944 to MERCURY, CHARA, 

AURIGA, RUSHMORE, ROCKY MOUNT, COMDESRON 49, TRANSDIV 10, info 

CTF 79, SPROSTON, HALE, HOWARD, HAMILTON, BREESE, PICKING. 

118 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTU 77.2.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(b) Operations of CTU 77.2.2 (Fire Support Unit SOUTH), 
OOOO - 1830, October 24th. 

During the period 0000 - 0755 CTU 77.2.2 acted 
largely as CTG 77.2; therefore, his operations are discussed more fully 
under "Operations of CTG 77.2, 0000 - 1830, October 24th". 

At 0755 he directed the units of TU 77.2.2 to proceed 
to their various FS stations as previously directed which was done.* 

At 0928 he was informed by the LEUTZE, by TBS voice 
radio, that she had been bombed and strafed by two Japanese planes and 
had suffered minor damage and a few casualties.** 

At 1425 he learned that (a) the CALIFORNIA had 
commenced refueling from the SARANAC and (b) the LOUISVILLE closely 
followed by the HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS, CLAXTON and PORTLAND had commenced 
replenishing ammunition from the MAZAMA and DURHAM VICTORY.*** 

These operations which were completed by 1715*** were 
not satisfactory in the following particulars: (a) there was insufficient 
ammunition in the ammunition ships for the combatant ships to load to 
capacity with armor piercing ammunition, i.e., there were but forty-eight 
rounds of sixteen-inch ammunition available, (b) the MAZAMA, which was a 
navy ship (and which was well handled), did not carry any sixteen-inch 
ammunition whatsoever, while the DURHAM VICTORY, which was a commercial 
ship, carried nearly all of the heavy ammunition, i.e., six-inch and 
above,**** and (c) the DURHAM VICTORY rate of unloading was "slow, 
difficult and unsatisfactory" .***** This was because (1) the DURHAM 
VICTORY had "a very small civilian crew, no winchmen and no previous 
experience with ammunition handling"***** and (2) of the indifference and 
lack of cooperation of the DURHAM VICTORY'S officers and crew.***** 

As regards the latter comment DESRON FIFTY-SIX stated, 
"with a serious enemy threat developing, with all ships greatly depleted, 
and with time a very potent factor, the commanding officer of this ship 
put every obstacle he could possibly think of in the way of replenishment 
operations. He was the most disagreeable, uncooperative individual it 
has ever been my misfortune to run up against. He refused to work through 
the noon hour. Ships would arrive alongside on schedule and his hatches 

* Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Bombardment and Capture of 

Leyte Island, Philippine Islands, October 16th - 24th, 1944, 

Serial 00147, November 5th, 1944. 
** LEUTZE TBS Voice Radio Message 240928/1 October 1944 to COMDESRON 

56, CTG 77.2, CTF 79. 
*** Deck Logs CALIFORNIA, LOUISVILLE, HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS, CLAXTON, 

PORTLAND, October 24th, 1944. 
**** COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2) Preliminary Action Report for the Battle 

of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 

2nd, 1944. 
***** Action Report COMDESRON 56, Operations during seizure of Leyte 

Island, Philippines, Serial 0014, January 7th, 1945. 

119 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTU 77.2.2 and CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

would still be battened down. He refused to handle lines. This would 
add from one to two hours to each day's operations. His dis re spec table 
(sic) crew would sit around and pass disparaging remarks to the already 
overworked and tired enlisted men. He himself sat up on his bridge in 
his undershirt and cursed and yelled at our officers and men. Our 
replenishment program progressed in spite of him — not because of him. 
It cannot be too strongly recommended that regular navy ammunition ships 
be utilized in combat areas".* 

WHILE THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATION AS TO THE EMPLOYMENT 
OF ONLY REGULAR NAVY AMMUNITION SHIPS IS SOUND IT MUST BE POINTED OUT 
THAT CIRCUMSTANCES MAY ARISE IN ANOTHER WAR WHEREIN THE EMERGENCY 
EMPLOYMENT OF MERCHANT MANNED AMMUNITION SHIPS MAY BE NECESSARY. IN SUCH 
CASE CONSIDERABLE CARE SHOULD BE EXERCISED TO INSURE THAT THE CHARACTER 
OF THE SHIP AND CREW APPROXIMATE AS NEARLY AS POSSIBLE THE REQUIREMENTS 
OF A NAVY AMMUNITION SHIP. THIS LESSON IS OF COURSE EQUALLY APPLICABLE 
TO MERCHANT SHIPS EMPLOYED IN OTHER LOGISTICS FUNCTIONS SUCH AS OIL 
TANKERS, ETC. 

During the day the following ships of his unit 
furnished FS: ALBERT W. GRANT, LEUTZE, ROBINSON, COLUMBIA and DENVER.** 

At 1721, as CTG 77.2, he ordered his units to form 
up*** and by 1735 he was heading for his night battle station.**** 

Since after this time he operated as CTG 77.2 his 
operations are discussed under "Operations of CTG 77.2, OOOO - 1830, 
October 24th" 

(3) Operations of CTG 77.2 (Bombardment and Fire Support 
Group), 0000 - 1830, October 24th.***** 

At 0000 CTG 77.2, in accordance with CTF 77' s Harbor 
Defense Plan No. ONE, was operating with TG 77.2 in the southern portion 
of Leyte Gulf. 

During the early morning hours, he received reports by 
the ANGLER and GUITARRO which had contacted the Main Body, FIRST Striking 
Force in the vicinity of Mindoro, discussed under "Operations of CTF 77, 

*~ Action Report COMDESRON 56, Operations during seizure of Leyte 

Island, Philippines, Serial 0014, January 7th, 1945. 
** Deck Logs ALBERT W. GRANT, LEUTZE, ROBINSON, COLUMBIA, DENVER, 

October 24th, 1944. 
*** Action Report MINNEAPOLIS, Participation in Bombardment of Leyte 

Island, P.I., October 18th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0212, November 1st, 

1944. 
**** Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Bombardment and Capture of 

Leyte Island, Philippine Islands, October 16 th - 24th, 1944, Serial 

00147, November 5th, 1944. 
***** All information here except as otherwise indicated obtained from 

Action Report CTG 77.2 (COMCRUDIV 4), Bombardment and Capture of 

Leyte Island, Philippine Islands, October 16th - 24th, 1944, Serial 

00147, November 5th, 1944. 

120 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

0000 - 1830, October 24th" and therefore was familiar with the reported 
strength of the Japanese forces in that area at this time. 

At 0634 he ordered CTU 77.2.1 to proceed to the fueling 
area at 0645 and to remain there until the battleships had completed 
fueling.* At 0755 he released his remaining ships and ordered them to 
proceed to their FS areas as previously directed. After this time and 
until 1721 he operated largely as CTU 77.2.2« 

Probably around 0943 he learned of the presence of an 
additional Japanese surface force in the Sulu Sea. This was the THIRD 
Section off Negros Island (Contact "10", Plate XV). Although its reported 
composition was about twice that of its actual composition (the Japanese 
SECOND Striking Force at this time being still unlocated) CTG 77.2 by late 
morning had formed a not unreasonable estimate of the forces moving 
generally toward Leyte. 

About 1000 he conferred with CTU 77.2.1 aboard the 
LOUISVILLE but what the subject was is not available to this analysis. 

At 1312 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received CTF 
77' s TBS voice radio message to the effect that he considered an enemy 
night surface attack on Leyte Gulf tonight via Surigao Strait was imminent 
and to make all preparations.** 

At 1505 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received a 
dispatch from CTF 78 (a) requesting him to assume antisubmarine patrol 
around TF 78 commencing at daylight the following day and (b) stating that 
the JOHN RODGERS and ANDERSON which were stationed on patrol in the 
vicinity of Suluan Island were being withdrawn for fuel and then would 
report to CTG 78.2.*** 

At 1513 he received orders from CTF 77 to prepare for 
night battle.**** These orders stated (a) that an enemy force estimated 
to consist of two BB, four CA, four CL and ten DD had been attacked in the 
eastern Sulu Sea by carrier planes and might arrive Leyte Gulf that night, 
(b) directed him to make all preparations for a night engagement and (c) 
advised him that (1) TG 77*3 had been assigned to him for reinforcement 
and (2) CTG 70.1 had been ordered to station a maximum number of MTB's in 
lower Surigao Strait to remain south of Latitude 10°-10'N during 
darkness .***** 

*" Action Report CALIFORNIA, Participation in Operations off Island of 
Leyte, P.I., October 19th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0025, November 8th, 

1944. 
** CTF 77 TBS Voice Radio Message 240412 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, 

info CTF 78 and CTF 79. 
*** CTF 78 Dispatch 240101 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, info CTF 77, CTG 

78.2. 
**** Preliminary Action Report CTG 77.2, Battle of Surigao Strait, 

October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG's 70.1, 77.2, 77.3, CTF's 

78, 79, All TFC's 3RDFLT, COMFEAF, info C0M3RDFLT, All TGC's 3RD 

and 7THFLT«s, COMINCH, CINCSWPA. 

121 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

He nowcompleted his battle plan. As this plan had 
already been formulated and as he had been keeping a thorough running 
estimate he was enabled to complete the plan rather speedily. He 
realized that time was passing and that some time would pass before the 
plan could be received and studied by his command. He, therefore, 
decided to call a conference of his Commander Battle Line and his 
Commander Right Flank Force to (a) acquaint them with the plan, (b) 
ascertain their views thereon and (c) make any changes deemed necessary 
prior to issue. 

At about 1525 in accordance with this decision he 
requested the above two commanders to report on board to discuss the 
battle plan* 

The first commander to report on board was CTU 77.2.1 
(Commander Battle Line) who reported on board at approximately 1540. 

Without waiting for CTG 77.3 to arrive CTG 77.2 now 
discussed the plan with his Commander Battle Line. The discussion 
lasted for some time and therefore it was not until about 1645 that 
Commander Battle Line returned to the MISSISSIPPI.* 

A few minutes after this— at about 1647 — CTG 77.3 who 
was to be Commander Right Flank Force reported on board for conference. 
CTG 77.2 immediately outlined the battle disposition and general plan of 
action for the night as he had done with CTU 77.2.1. Realizing the 
importance of the right flank, as this was the shortest route to the 
transport areas, he offered to augment the six destroyers of TG 77.3 but 
CTG 77.3 declined the offer for reasons discussed under "Operations of 
CTG 77.3, 0000 - 1830, October 24th M . This discussion lasted only twenty 
minutes for at 1710 CTG 77.3 returned to the PHOENIX.** 

At each of the two conferences CTG 77.2 pointed out that 
(a) (1) the amount of AP ammunition in all battleships was low and that 
there was likewise a shortage of ammunition of all types throughout the 
force, (2) it was, therefore, essential that the battleships fire at 
ranges where their percentage of hits and their fire effect would both be 
high, (3) this was settled as between 17,000 and 20,000 yards, (b) (1) it 
appeared as if a wonderful opportunity for using the torpedoes in the 
offensive role for which they had been designed would be presented and it 
was emphasized that each such opportunity would be immediately acted upon, 
(2) it was necessary for the destroyers to keep to the sides of the Strait 
in attacking and in retiring because it was thought that the enemy radar 
would probably be ineffective against the land, and because it was feared 
that any of our destroyer units retiring toward our battle line might be 
fired on by own forces. 

Both Commander Battle Line and Commander Right Flank Force 
were very enthusiastic about the battle plan. 



* Deck Log MISSISSIPPI, October 24th, 1944. 
** Deck Log PHOENIX, October 24th, 1944. 

122 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

He now prepared to issue the plan but before he could do 
so he received several dispatches relating thereto. These were (a) at 
1650 (when it was received by CTF 79) COMSEVENTHFLT's Supplement to 
Harbor Defense Plan No. ONE, quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 77, 
0000 - 1830, October 24th", which, among other things, ordered him to 
take night station in lower Leyte Gulf and to destroy enemy forces 
encountered,* and (b) at 1716, CTF 77' s instructions to CTG 70.1 to 
insure that enemy forces did not pass undetected through the Strait 
between Dinagat Island and Mindanao Island.** 

He studied these dispatches with relation to his Battle 
Plan and noted that there was no clash* 

During the late afternoon he decided to send all of the 
ship's planes which could not be stowed in the ships' hangars ashore 
for the night. After a series of voice messages, arrangements were made 
for the LST's at the southern beaches to tend these planes.*** As a 
result the battleships and the Right Flank Cruisers sent all of their 
planes, but the Left Flank Cruisers sent only those planes which could 
not be placed in the hangars, the exact number being unknown. This 
reduced the fire hazard during battle and prevented the planes from being 
damaged by the concussion of gunfire. 

At 1721 he directed the units which were to comprise his 
Left Flank Force to form a circular disposition and proceed toward his 
night battle station.**** The various units concerned then headed for 
their stations in this circular disposition which was not completely 
formed until 1835* 



* C0M7THFLT (likely CTF 77) Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to All TF 

and TG Commanders 7THFLT, info COMSOWESPAC, C0M3RDFLT. 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240609 October 1944 to CTG 70.1, info CTG 77.2. 
*** Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 

25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosures (B) and 

(D). 
**** Action Report MINNEAPOLIS, Participation in Bombardment of Leyte 

Island, Philippine Islands, October 18th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0212, 

November 1st, 1944. 

123 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
October 24th 



Now realizing that it was vital to issue the plan 
immediately he, at 1725, issued it as follows: 

"General Situation: Enemy aircraft and naval forces 
seem to be assembling westward in the Visayas for an offensive strike 
against Leyte area. All today air attacks have been made against our 
naval forces in the Leyte Gulf. Attack tonight by enemy striking group 
of at least two BBs, four CA, four CL, ten DDs may occur after 1900. 

"General Plan: This force will destroy by gunfire at 
moderate ranges and by torpedo attack enemy surface forces attempting 
to enter Leyte Gulf through either Surigao Strait east or Surigao 
Strait south. 

"Tasks: Battleline Rear Admiral Weyler, BATDIV THREE 
less NEW MEXICO, IDAHO, FOUR less COLORADO, TWO plus destroyers as 
designated. Destroy or repel enemy battleline by gunfire closing rapidly 
to moderate range of from seventeen to twenty thousand yards. Left Flank 
Forces CRUDIVS FOUR less INDIANAPOLIS plus MINNEAPOLIS, TWELVE less 
MONTPELIER and CLEVELAND plus destroyers as designated. Defend Left 
Flank own battleline. Attack enemy battleline. Right Flank Force Rear 
Admiral Berkey CRUDIV FIFTEEN less NASHVILLE, RAN cruiser SHROPSHIRE, 
DESDIV FORTY SEVEN. Defend Right Flank own battleline. Attack enemy 
battleline. XRAY Battle disposition assumed will be similar to A-2 in 
USF 10(A) with battleships in initial station Latitude 10°-35' (east of 
Huntungan /HLngatungan/ Point), Longitude 125°- 16' E and steaming in an 
easterly direction at five knots. Upon arriving at Longitude 12$o-27'E, 
battleships should reverse course and operate back and forth within these 
limits of Longitude unless directed otherwise using destroyers as screen 
as desired. 



124 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

"Flank Forces maintain stations on battleline. Destroyer 
attacks may be launched prior to engagement of battleline. All ships 
keep alert for enemy torpedoes and bear in mind possibility of passing 
through enemy torpedo water prior to attack. 

"Use 3845 kilocycles as primary voice circuit designated 
channel ABLE. Use 3980 kilocycles as secondary voice designated channel 
BAKER. Use 575 kilocycles for CW communications. Use zone minus 9 time. 
Commander Task Group 77.2 in CA 28 with Left Flank Force."* (Plate XVII). 

THIS PLAN AS REGARDS FORMAT ERRED IN NOT DESIGNATING A 
TIME AT WHICH THE PLAN WAS TO BE EFFECTIVE. HOWEVER, THIS WAS NOT A 
VITAL WEAKNESS FOR, IN VIEW OF THE SITUATION, IT WAS CLEAR TO ALL THAT 
IT WAS EFFECTIVE UPON RECEIPT. 

It will be noted that the confusion existing in the minds 
of some of the commanders in the Leyte Gulf area as to the number of 
battleships in the Japanese force approaching in the Sulu Sea which is 
indicated in the disparity between (a) the 0910 contact report from a 
search plane in Sector TWO which stated that there were four battleships,** 
(b) CTF 77*3 battle order issued at 1215 which stated that there were two 
battleships,*** and (c) CTF 77's order to CTG 73.7 issued at 1225 which 
ordered a search of the Mindanao and Sulu Seas and stated that there were 
four battleships,**** also existed in the mind of CTG 77.2. This is 
indicated by his use of the phrase, "at least two BB's", rather than two 
BB's in his battle plan to his forces. 

At 1752 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received a 
dispatch from CTF 77 quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 77, 0000 - 
1830, October 24th" advising him that motor torpedo boats could be 
expected to be operating as far north as Latitude 10 o -17 f N and that 
there would be thirty motor torpedo boats on station.***** 

MEANWHILE HE BECAME AWARE OF THE FACT THAT IT WAS HIGHLY 
LIKELY THAT HIS DISPATCH BATTLE PLAN WOULD NOT BE DELIVERED TO THE FLAG 
AND COMMANDING OFFICERS OF HIS SHIPS FOR WHAT MIGHT WELL BE A LONG TIME 
SINCE, ONCE HAVING BEEN RECEIVED, IT HAD TO BE DECODED AS WELL. HE 
DECIDED TO TRANSMIT THE DISPATCH BY TWELVE INCH SEARCHLIGHT TO CERTAIN 
OF HIS SHIPS FOR RELAY TO THE RESPONSIBLE COMMANDERS. THEREFORE, 
COMMENCING AT 1800, HE BEGAN TRANSMITTING IT TO THE COLUMBIA IN PLAIN 
LANGUAGE.****** HE REALIZED THAT IN SO DOING HE WAS PERHAPS ENDANGERING 

* CTG 77.2 Dispatch 240825 October 1944 to TG 77.2, TG 77.3. 

** Aircraft in Sector 2 Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All Stations 

on this Circuit. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, CTG 77.3, CTG 

70.1, etc. 
**** CTF 77 Dispatch 240325 October 1944 to CTG 73.7, info COM3 RDFLT, etc. 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 240711 October 1944 to CTG 77.2, info CTG 77.3 

and CTG 70.1. 
****** Action Report COLUMBIA, Bombardment of Leyte Island, Philippine 

Islands, October 17th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0012, November 1st, 1944. 

125 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 and CTG 77.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

SECURITY, BUT HE FELT THAT HE HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO EVILS AND DECIDED 
THAT (a) IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT FOR HIS COMMANDERS TO HAVE THE PLAN THAN 
TO DENY IT TO THE ENEMY AND (b) THE CHANCE OF THE ENEMY PROFITING BY THE 
RECEIPT OF THIS DISPATCH WAS REMOTE FOR NUMEROUS REASONS, AMONG WHICH 
WERE (1) IT WAS NOT LIKELY THAT JAPANESE SOLDIERS WERE WAITING TO CATCH 
JUST SUCH A DISPATCH, (2) IF CAUGHT IT HAD TO BE TRANSLATED INTO JAPANESE, 
(3) IT HAD THEN TO BE COMMUNICATED TO THE JAPANESE NAVAL COMMANDERS 
CONCERNED VIA THE ARMY CHAIN OF COMMAND, WHICH IN VIEW OF THE SITUATION 
ASHORE IN LEYTE, WAS LIKELY TO BE A MOST LENGTHY UNDERTAKING, CERTAINLY 
MORE THAN A MATTER OF HOURS. HIS DECISION, THEREFORE, SEEMS TO HAVE BErU 
CORRECT AND LOGICAL AND WAS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF A "COMMAND DECISION". 
ACTUALLY (a) THE COLUMBIA DID NOT RECEIVE THE DISPATCH TRANSMITTED BY 
RADIO UNTIL 0145 THE FOLLOWING MORNING AND (b) JAPANESE SOURCES OF 
INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THIS ANALYSIS DO NOT MENTION HAVING INTERCEPTED 
THE PLAIN LANGUAGE SEARCHLIGHT TRANSMITTED DISPATCH. 

(4) Operations of CTG 77.4 (Escort Carrier Group), 0000 - 1330, 
October 24th. 

CTG 77.4, with a total of 310 VF and 188 VT, continued to 
(a) provide (1) air cover and support over the objective area and (2) air 
protection for his own units, and (b) operate off southern Samar with 
TU's 77.4.1, 77.4.2 and 77.4.3 (Diagram "C"). 

It must have been before 0212 that he received CTF 77' s 
dispatch instructions (which had been prompted by the possibility of a 
large enemy attack brewing) to (a) unless otherwise directed, cancel the 
western Visayas strike and (b) increase the TCAP to thirty-six VF with 
an additional sixteen VF in Condition ELEVEN* (fighters capable of being 
launched on ten minutes notice), for at that time he directed CTU's 
77.4.2 and 77.4.3 to (a) cancel all special strikes, (b) increase the 
TCAP for each unit to twelve VF each and (c) keep six VF in Condition 
ELEVEN.** Since he himself was CTU 77.4.1 he had already taken this 
action for his own command. 

During the early morning hours he likely learned of the 
ANGLER and GUITARRO contacts on the Main Body (Contacts "2", "3" and "4", 
Plate XV). 

Shortly after 0500 he launched his TCAP so that it was on 
station over Leyte Gulf at about 0600, and at 0530 he launched his local 
patrols.*** 

At 0603 he advised CTF 73 that he expected to have two 
carriers (CHENANGO and SAGINAW BAY) at Morotai to pick up planes on 
October 26th,**** 



* CTF 77 Dispatch 231532 October 1944 to CTG 77.4, info TG 77.4, TF 77, 

CTG 77.13, TF 79, C0M3RDFLT. 
** CTG 77.4 Dispatch 231712 October 1944 to CTU's 77.4.2, 77.4.3. 
*** War Diary CTG 77.4, October 24th, 1944. 
**** CTG 77.4 Dispatch 232103 October 1944 to CTF 73, info CTG 73.4, 

CTF 77. 

126 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.4 
October 24th 



For about two hours the TCAP patrolled over Leyte Gulf 
without encountering enemy opposition although, during this time, a 
carrier-type bomber made a poor but unopposed (by the TCAP) attack 
against Leyte Gulf shipping, and a MOGAMI-based float plane made a 
thorough reconnaissance of Leyte Gulf without interference,* 

Shortly before 0745 a large enemy air strike developed. 
At least thirteen additional fighters were launched from the CVE's to 
augment the TCAP.** 

At this time the TCAP was being controlled by the CSACP 
(Commander Support Aircraft Central Philippines) in the WASATCH with the 
MC GOWAN (FD ship for southern area of Leyte Gulf)*** and BRYANT also 
controlling,**** Eighteen to twenty enemy aircraft were intercepted at 
15,000 feet as they started down over San Juanico Strait,**** Other 
attack groups, some penetrating from north central Leyte, were also 
intercepted. The air battle was joined, TG 77,4 planes were successful 
in blunting the attack and destroying a large number of enemy aircraft. 
Upwards of forty enemy planes were claimed shot down by the TCAP, which 
claims were later revised downward by CTG 77.4.***** Japanese records 
available to this analysis do not disclose their losses for this specific 
attack although they do estimate that their first attack, and by far 
their largest of the day, was composed of eighty planes,****** 

The Allies did not entirely escape damage as (a) four 
ships were hit (discussed more fully under "Operations of CTF 77, 0000 - 
1830, October 24th") and (b) three VF were shot down,******* 



**■ 



War Diaries PHOENIX, NSWCOMB, October 24th, 1944; also Detailed 

Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 18th - 

25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 

Aircraft Action Report Nos, 110-44, VC-3 and 53-44, VC-4; also 

Action Report PETROV BAY, Direct Air Support for the Landings at 

Leyte Island, Central Philippines, October 20th - 30th, 1944, 

Serial 052, November 2nd, 1944. 

War Diary BENNION, October 24th, 1944. 

Action Report MC GOWAN, Operation for the Capture, Occupation and 

Defense of Leyte, P.I,, including the Battle of Surigao Strait, 

Serial 00103, November 5th, 1944. 

Aircraft Action Report Nos. 60-44, VC-60; 22-44, VC-26; 20-44, 

21-44, VC-27; 110-44, VC-3; 53-44, VC-5; also CTG 77.4 Dispatch 

240803 October 1944 to CTF 77, info CTF's 78, 79, All TGC«s 

TF 77. 

2ND Air Division Dispatch dated October 25th, 1944, ADVATIS 

Bulletin No. 170. 

Action Report SAVO ISLAND, Operations against Philippine Islands, 

October 13th - November 3rd, 1944, Serial 074, November 3rd, 

1944; also Aircraft Action Report 110-44, VC-3 (KALINAN BAY) and 

Deck Log WHITE PLAINS, October 24th, 1944. 



***■ 

■B-3HH?- 



■a*-**-*- 



•JBHHf-H-M- 



•*#-****-*■ 



127 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

ALTHOUGH THE JAPANESE HAVE GIVEN NO REASONS FOR THIS 
FAILURE OF THE AIR ATTACK TO (a) ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL PENETRATION OR (b) 
DESTROY OR DAMAGE SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS OF SHIPS IN LEYTE GULF THE FAILURE 
WAS LIKELY DUE TO THE FOLLOWING: (a) ADEQUATE AND TIMELY PREPARATION OF 
DEFENSES BY STATIONING THE TCAP OVER THE ENEMY OBJECTIVE (LEYTE GULF) 
WELL BEFORE THE ATTACK DEVELOPED AND IN SUFFICIENT STRENGTH TO REPEL THE 
ATTACK, (b) USE OF CONVENTIONAL TACTICS BY THE ENEMY IN APPROACHING AT 
MEDIUM TO HIGH ALTITUDE (TEN TO TWENTY THOUSAND FEET) IN WAVES THEREBY 
SIMPLIFYING THE CONTROLLING SHIPS' PROBLEM OF INTERCEPTION RATHER THAN 
ATTACKING FROM MANY DIRECTIONS IN SMALL, WELL DISPERSED ELEMENTS AT 
GREATLY VARYING ALTITUDES TO CAUSE SATURATION OF THE RADAR WARNING AND 
FIGHTER DIRECTION NETS, (c) THE LOW QUALITY OF THE JAPANESE PILOTS AS 
EVIDENCED BY THEIR WEAK DEFENSIVE FLYING AND (d) THE COPIOUS USE OF 
SMOKE BY LEYTE GULF SHIPS WHICH SERVED TO SERIOUSLY COMPLICATE THE 
PROBLEM OF TARGET SELECTION DURING THE ENEMY'S FINAL ATTACK RUN. 



During the latter part of the morning, the CHENANGO and 
SAGINAW BAY completed transferring planes and recovering flyable duds 
from the other CVE's of the group, preparatory to their departure for 
Morotaio* The CHENANGO transferred seven VF and eight VT which left 
eleven VF on board while the SAGINAW BAY transferred all of her aircraft 
(fifteen VF and twelve VT) and received four flyable VT duds in return. 

At about 1130 the second major attack against Leyte Gulf 
consisting of several groups of enemy planes commenced. CTF 77 reported 
them as being one large, one medium and one undetermined sized group.** 

In the ensuing air battle the TCAP was augmented by 
fighters diverted from their ground support missions by the fighter 
director,*** The attack was not successful for it not only failed to 
damage any Allied shipping but, based on Allied records, TG 77,4 pilots 
claimed having destroyed at least sixteen enemy planes in air combat,*** 
Japanese records available to this analysis do not record their losses 
during this specific attack. The Allies lost two VF, one of which was 
lost in a mid-air collision with a Japanese carrier-type fighter.**** 

During the forenoon CTG 77,4 learned of Allied air attacks 
on the Japanese Main Body off Mindoro and on the THIRD Section in the 
Sibuyan Sea 

Because of the fact that at 1220 he launched a strike 
composed of thirty-two VF and twelve VT***** against the western Visayas 
and in particular against Bacolod Airfield and Bacolod Harbor in 

* Deck Log CHENANGO, October 24th, 1944; also Action Report SAGINAW 

BAY, Leyte Operation, October Uth - 29th, 1944, Serial 0127, 

November 4th, 1944, 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240239 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
*** Aircraft Action Report Nos. 61-44, VF-60; 112-44, VC-3; 5-44, VC-61; 

63-44, VC-21; 21-44, VC-27; 14-44, VC-70. 
**** Action Report MANILA BAY, Operations in Support of Occupation of 

Leyte, P.I., October 12th - 30th, 1944, Serial 0103, November 2nd, 

1944. 
***** Aircraft Action Report No. 19-44, VF-26. 

128 CONFIDENTIAL 






CTG 77.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

northwestern Negros Island, it is quite clear that sometime during the 
middle of the morning he had been ordered by CTF 77 to reinstitute sweeps 
against western Visayan airfields .* 

This attack against Bacolod airfield and harbor struck at 
1500. After evaluating his pilot's claims he reported to CTF 77 that his 
pilots destroyed on the airfield two enemy land- reconnaissance fighters, 
two carrier- type attack planes, two two-engine land-attack bombers and 
damaged one single-engine plane.** As before, Japanese records available 
to this analysis do not record their losses during this specific attack. 

At 1324 he advised CTF 77 in part that CTU 77.4.14 in the 
SAGINAW BAY, in company with the CHENANGO, EDMONDS and OBERRENDER would 
(a) depart the area off Leyte Gulf at 1700 for Morotai to pick up 
replacement aircraft and (b) arrive off east coast Morotai at 0500 
October 26th.*** 

During the afternoon numerous small groups appear to have 
attempted to penetrate Leyte Gulf with several of the enemy planes being 
shot down.**** 

As was discussed under "Operations of C.G. FOURTH Air 
Army, 0000 - 1830, October 24th M , twenty-nine Japanese aircraft 
participated in an afternoon raid, but no mass attack of such size was 
recorded by the Allies. 

At 1643 TU 77.4.14 composed of the SAGINAW BAY, CHENANGO, 
EDMONDS and OBERRENDER took departure for Morotai .***** 

During the day, in addition to the TCAP, TASP missions and 
the special strike against Bacolod Airfield, TG 77.4 aircraft few reduced 
ground support missions****** and routine local patrols. 

In assessing all claims for the day CTG 77.4 estimated 
that his planes had destroyed (a) seven two-engine bombers, one carrier- 
type reconnaissance plane, twenty two-engine light bombers, eighteen 
single-engine fighters, three two-engine fighters, (b) probably shot down 
eighteen two-engine bombers, (c) destroyed on the ground, one two-engine 
land-attack bomber, two land reconnaissance planes, one carrier-type bomber 
and one single-engine fighter and (d) possibly destroyed on the ground one 

* CTF 77 Dispatch 240054 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TGC's 

3RD and 7THFLT's, CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, All TFC's 3RDFLT, 

C.G. 5TH Air Force, etc. 
** CTG 77.4 Dispatch 242322 October 1944 to CTF's 77, 79, info CTF 78, 

All TGC»s TF 77. 
*** CTG 77.4 Dispatch 240424 October 1944 to CTF 77. 
**** Aircraft Action Report Nos. 22-44, VC-26 and 23-44, VC-27. 
***** Deck Log SAGINAW BAY, October 24th, 1944; also War Diary COMCARDIV 

22, October 24th, 1944. 
****** Aircraft Action Report Nos. 14-44, VC-81; 67-44, VC-20; 43-44, 

VC-75; 44-44, VC-25; 111-44, VC-3 and 54-44, VC-5. 



129 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77*4 and CTG 70.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

land-reconnaissance plane and one army-type fighter, for a total of fifty- 
four planes destroyed and twenty probably destroyed. The Japanese 
reported that forty-seven planes failed to return out of approximately 
147 missions flown.* 

During the day TG 77.4 had lost five VF in combat and four 
VF and one VT operationally. Also, with TU 77.4.14 there were eleven VF 
and four VT. Therefore, he had left in his sixteen carriers remaining in 
the vicinity of Leyte Gulf approximately 290 VF and 183 VT. 

(5) Operations of CTG 70.1, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At the beginning of the day CTG 70.1, in the OYSTER BAY 
with the WILLOUGHBY and twenty-eight MTB's, was at anchor in San Pedro Bay. 
At this same time (a) the WACHAPREAGUE with eleven MTB's was at anchor at 
Liloan Bay, (b) PT's 127, 128, 130 and 196 (from MTB RON SEVEN) and PT's 
150, 191, 192 and 195 (from MTB RON TWELVE) were on patrol or sDecial 
missions and (c) PT's 491 and 495 (from MTB RON THIRTY-THREE) were on a 
mission to guerrillas. All of these assignments and what they accomplished 
are discussed under "Operations of CTG 70.1, 1042 - 2400, October 23rd". 
These MTB's, with the exception of these in item (c), appear to have 
returned to the tenders shortly after daylight, in accordance with their 
basic instructions which were, in part: (1) to move to and from their 
patrol areas during daylight, (2) to be inside their patrol waters by 
thirty minutes after sunset, (3) not to leave their patrol waters until 
thirty minutes before sunrise, and (4) ordinarily to clear their patrol 
areas shortly after daylight.** The item (c) MTB's returned at 1320.*** 

Commencing at about 0831 he observed that an air attack 
had developed in force, as discussed under "Operations of CTF 77, 0000 - 
1830, October 24th", and he learned shortly that his MTB's and their 
tenders had escaped damage. 

Lmmediately after breakfast he, with CTU 70.1.3,**** in 
accordance with orders from CTF 77' s Operations Officer, reported on board 
the WASATCH for a conference with that officer. This conference was held 
because he had arranged with CTF 77 that "in view of the necessity for 
briefing boat officers early in the day to allow time for boats to arrive 
on patrol stations", "CTG 70.1 would be notified as early as possible (by 
CTF 77) voice radio when enemy movement toward Surieao Strait was 
anticipated" .***** 

* Daily Record of the War Situation, 4TH Air Army, GHQ FEC Special 
Historical Collection Supporting Documents to General of the Army 
Douglas MacArthur's Historical Report on Allied Operations in the 
Southwest Pacific Area (Item 4, Footlocker 10 of 10, SWPA Series, 
Volume II). 

** CTG 70.1 Operation Plan No. 2-44, No Serial, October 5th, 1944, 
Annex F, Paragraph 1-4. 

*** War Diary MTB RON 33, October 23rd and 24th, 1944. 

**** Lieutenant Commander Robert G. Leeson, USNR, who was the Senior MTB 
RON Commander in the area. 

***** Action Report CTG 70.1, Surigao Straits, Philippine Islands, Night 
of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 1-0330, December 1st, 1944. 

130 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 70.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Matters discussed were largely (a) the readiness of the 
MTB»s, (b) the number which could be made available and (c) their 
proposed deployment, as CTF 77 desired them to be so disposed as "to 
obtain the earliest possible information of the approach of any enemy 
forces attempting to pass through Surigao Strait that night with the 
intent of a hit and run raid on the transports in the Leyte Gulf area. 
The incidental purpose was to inflict early damage by PT torpedoes",* 

(Note: This statement as to CTF 77' s desires does not 
appear correct since CTF 77' s dispatches discussed later refer to "lower 
Surigao Strait" and "to report and attack" rather than "to obtain earliest 
possible information of the approach of any enemy forces attempting to 
pass through Surigao Strait that night". It is believed that these 
errors are attributed to the passage of time and the consequent lapses 
in memory,) 

During this conference he advised the Operations Officer 
that , owing to the long trip from Mios Woendi under their own power, 
several of the boats were in bad shape but that he would get a great 
majority in the lower part of the Strait that night.* 

It also seems likely that he discussed with CTF 77' s 
Operations Officer the various contacts received during the night and, 
therefore, was able to make a reasonably good estimate of the capabilities 
of the enemy surface forces. 

Upon his return from the WASATCH he, with his staff and 
CTU 70,1,3, immediately commenced studying the situation to determine 
where best to station his MTB«s should CTF 77 so direct,** 

This was not too difficult to determine for, as pointed 
out above, he had discussed the prospective deployment with CTF 77 's 
Operations Officer and therefore was cognizant with CTF 77 's broad ideas 
on the employment of MTB's, 

Nothing unusual appears to have arisen during the 
remainder of the forenoon. 

About noon he received the expected order by TBS voice 
radio which directed him to station the maximum number of MTB's in lower 
Surigao Strait during the night. Fortunately this message was received 
(a) prior to briefing the MTB»s for routine patrols and (b) in time to get 
all of the MTB's which were in operating condition ready and briefed for 
the special situation,*** 

* Letter from Vice Admiral (then Captain) R. H. Cruzen, USN (Ret). 

Operations Officer to CTF 77, to Commodore R. W. Bates, USN (Ret), 

Head World War II Battle Evaluation Group, Naval War College, May 27th, 

1957. 
** Statement of Commander (then Lieutenant Commander) Robert G. Leeson, 

USNR, CTU 70.1.3 at the time of the Battle of Surigao Strait, to 

Commodore R. W. Bates, USN (Ret), Head World War II Battle Evaluation 

Group, Naval War College, July 14th, 1958, 
*** Action Report CTG 70.1, Surigao Straits, Philippine Islands, Night of 

October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 1-0330, December 1st, 1944. 

496799 o - s, - is 131 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 70.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

He now completed his plan. He realized that it was 
particularly important that the Commanding Officer WACHAPREAGUE receive 
this plan as soon as possible for neither that officer nor the MTB|s with 
the WACHAPREAGUE had any information concerning the planned disposition 
of the WACHAPREAGUE MTB's for this evening. He, therefore, in his plan, 
not only gave instructions to the Commanding Officer WACHAPREAGUE as to 
the manner in which he wished the WACHAPREAGUE MTB's to be dedoyed but 
also as a matter of information gave the deployment of the OYSTER BAY 
MTB's. 

At 1404 he issued this plan, as follows: 

"Expect Tokyo Express tonight. Before darkness station 
boats in sections of two or three each at following positions: Southwest 
tip of Panaon Island, south of Madilao Point, south of Limasawa Island, 
two sections Datrol between Agio Point Bohol past Camiguin Island to 
Sepaca Point Ydndanao. Vital repeat vital each section leader report 
contacts and that other section leaders and WACHAPREAGUE relay these 
reports to CTF 77. Twenty-one boats from OYSTER BAY stationed by sections 
as follows: southeast Panaon Island, Bilaa Point Mindanao; in Surigao 
Strait five sections: one off Sumilon Island, one midchannel off 
Kanhatid Point Dinagat Island, two off Kanihaan Island, one southeast 
Amagusan Point. WACHAPREAGUE inform LCI's last station. Sections attack 
independently after making contact report."* (Plate XIX). 

THE FIRST LINE OF THE BATTLE PLAN— i.e., EXPECT TOKYO 
EXPRESS TONIGHT— IS OF GREAT INTEREST TO THIS ANALYSIS IN THAT IT SHOWS 
THAT AS LATE AS 1404 ON THIS DAY THE CONCEPT OF A TOKYO EXPRESS OPERATION 
WAS IN THE MIND OF CTG 70.1. SINCE, AS MENTIONED EARLIER, CTG 70.1 HAD 
BEEN IN CONFERENCE THAT FORENOON WITH CTF 77 'S CHIEF OF ST.AFF IT SEEMS 
LOGICAL TO SAY THAT THIS MATTER HAD BEEN DISCUSSED IN THAT CONFERENCE AND 
THAT THE CHIEF OF STAFF HAD ONCE AGAIN EMPHASIZED THE EXPECTED NATURE OF 
THE ENEMY'S OPERATION IN THIS FASHION, AS DISCUSSED IN VOLUME III UNDER 
"OPERATIONS OF CTF 77 (CENTRAL PHILIPPINES ATTACK FORCE), 0000 - 1042, 
OCTOBER 23 RD". 

CTG 70.1 stated in his action report that the "PT's were 
stationed to give complete coverage of the approaches to Surigao Straits, 
to insure detection of the enemy by whatever route he approached, and to 
inform our heavier forces, with the sections inside Surigao Straits as 
striking groups, stationed to insure almost continuous contact by at least 
one group. Each section was instructed to report any enemy sighted, then 
attack, independently".** 

WHAT HE MEANT BY THIS PARAGRAPH IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR FOR 
THE WORDING AFTER "TO INFORM OUR HEAVIER FORCES" SEEMS THOROUGHLY CONFUSED, 
WHEfHER THIS WAS A CLERICAL ERROR OR AN ERROR OF SUBSTANCE IS NOT KNOWN. 
HOWEVER, THE GENERAL CONCEPT WAS THAT THE MTB'S WERE SO STATIONED BOTH IN 



* CTG 70.1 (OYSTER BAY) Dispatch 240504 October 1944 to WACHAPREAGur,, 

info All TFC's 7THFLT and All TGC's 7THFLT. 
** Action Report CTG 70.1, Surigao Straits, Philippine Islands, Nieht of 

October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 1-0330, December 1st, 1944. 

132 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 70.1 
CONFIDENTIAL 

THE APPROACHES TO SURIGAO STRAIT (SOUTH) AND IN THE STRAIT ITSELF AS TO 
INSURE DETECTION AND ALMOST CONTINUOUS CONTACT BY AT LEAST ONE SECTION. 

THERE SEEMS TO BE CONSIDERABLE DOUBT AS TO THE WISENESS 
OF THIS PLAN FOR THE MTB'S WERE WIDELY DISPERSED, AND THEIR RADARS WERE 
NOT PARTICULARLY EFFECTIVE, THEREFORE IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR ENEMY FORCES 
TO PASS WITHOUT DETECTION. AN EXAMPLE OF THIS WAS THE FAILURE OF THE 
CAMIGUIN PT'S TO DETECT THE THIRD SECTION AND THE SECOND STRIKING FORCE. 
WOULD IT NOT HAVE BEEN WISER HAD MORE MTB«S BEEN CONCENTRATED IN THE 
VICINITY OF LOWER SURIGAO STRAIT WITH A SCREEN ACROSS THE STRAIT TO DENY 
UNDETECTED PASSAGE? WOULD NOT THIS HAVE GIVEN AMPLE WARNING TIME TO CTG 
77*2 (ABOUT TWO HOURS) AND WOULD IT HAVE NOT PERMITTED A MULTIPLE ATTACK 
BY NUMEROUS MTB'S? IN MAKING THIS COMMENT IT IS OF COURSE RECOGNIZED 
THAT THE CURRENTS WERE STRONG AND WOULD MAKE STATION KEEPING DIFFICULT. 

He also stated in his action report that in order "to 
avoid any possibility of PT's attacking own forces, the sections stationed 
nearest own forces in the upper end of the Straits were positively 
instructed to get clear and stay clear if there were any indications of 
own forces moving into their areas. No ships moving down the Straits 
during or after the battle were to be attacked by any boats unless 
positively identified as enemy".* This was sound procedure, 

IT IS OF CONSIDERABLE INTEREST THAT, DESPITE THE FACT 
THAT IN THIS PLAN THE NECESSITY FOR REPORTING THE CONTACTS PRIOR TO 
ATTACKING WAS GIVEN STRONG EMPHASIS, CTU 70.1.3 (COM MTB RON SEVEN) WHO 
WAS THE SENIOR MTB OFFICER IN THE SURIGAO STRAIT AREA STATED LATER IN HIS 
ACTION REPORT THAT HIS MISSION WAS "TO REPORT AND ATTACK ANY ENEMY CRAFT 
ENCOUNTERED". HE APPEARS TO HAVE OBTAINED THIS FROM CTF 77 'S DISPATCH 
240319 MENTIONED LATER WHEREIN THE ASSIGNED TASK WAS "TO REPORT AND ATTACK 
ENEMY SURFACE FORCES ENTERING LEYTE GULF". WHY HE ACCEPTED THIS TASK 
RATHER THAN THAT ASSIGNED BY HIS OWN TASK GROUP COMMANDER, I.E., "VITAL 
REPEAT VITAL EACH SECTION LEADER REPORT CONTACTS" AND "SECTIONS ATTACK 
INDEPENDENTLY AFTER MAKING CONTACT REPORT", IS NOT KNOWN. AS WILL BE 
SHOWN LATER IN THE DISCUSSIONS RELATIVE TO THE MTB'S, DURING THE BATTLE OF 
SURIGAO STRAIT SOME OF THE MTB'S WERE CLEARLY MOTIVATED BY THE "REPORT AND 
ATTACK" DOCTRINE HEREIN MENTIONED. IT SEEMS LIKELY THAT IN THE BRIEFINGS 
GIVEN THE MTB COMMANDING OFFICERS PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE FOR THEIR 
STATIONS, THE NECESSITY FOR INSURING THAT THE CONTACT REPORTS WERE MADE 
BEFORE ATTACKING WAS NOT GIVEN THE PROPER EMPHASIS. 

At 1501 the battle plan was received by the Commanding 
Officer WACHAPREAGUE, in Liloan Bay, who immediately informed the 
responsible MTB officers of the fifteen MTB's which he was tending. ** He 
likely pointed out that all of them were to be stationed to the westward 
of a line joining Binit and Bilaa Points. Meanwhile COM MTB RON TWELVE had 
informed the commander of the LCI group in Liloan Bay of the (1) MTB's to 
be stationed off Amagusan Point and (2) the necessity for establishing a 
patrol off the entrance to Sogod Bay, since all MTB's would be on assigned 
patrol stations .*** 

* Action Report CTG 70.1, Surigao Straits, Philippine Islands, Night of 
October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 1-0330, December 1st, 1944. 

** War Diary WACHAPREAGUE, October 24th, 1944. 

*** Action Report CTU 78.3.5, Central Philippines, Panaon Attack Group, 
No Serial, November 30th, 1944. 

133 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 70.1 
October 24th 



At 1520 CTG 70.1 noted that the MTB«s based on the OYSTER 
BAY in Leyte Gulf had started south for their stations and at 1535 he 
noted that all leaving had departed. He was particularly pleased because 
he had succeeded in dispatching twenty-four MTB's,* which was not only 
more than he had promised CTF 77 's Operations Officer but, as shown by his 
battle order, was three more than he had planned on using at the time of 
preparing the order. These extra MTB's allowed him to have three in each 
section and an extra section which he stationed off Amagusan Point. (Of 
the two sections off that point he stationed one east of the point and one 
south of the point.**) 

Sometime before 1611 he received two important dispatches 
from CTF 77, quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 77, 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th", (a) the first received was 240319 which not only directed 
him to station his MTB's in lower Surigao Strait but also directed that 
the (1) MTB's were to remain south of Latitude 10°-10'N during darkness 
and (2) assigned task was to report and attack enemy surface forces 
entering Leyte Gulf,*** and (b) directed his command to (1) prepare for 
night engagement and (2) the MTB's to remain south of Latitude 10°-10'N 
during darkness.**** These dispatches were of considerable concern to him 
for his MTB's had already departed for their assigned stations which meant 
that six of his MTB's in Surigao Strait (South Amagusan Point and East 
Amagusan Point) would be north of Latitude 10°-10'N. He, therefore, 
notified CTF 77 to this effect.***** 









Meanwhile, down at Liloan Bay the Commanding Officer 
WACHAPREAGUE had been busily engaged in assisting the fifteen MTB's there 
to prepare for action. At 1730 the first MTB's got underway and by 1830 
all had departed * This was a source of satisfaction for now there would 
be three MTB's in each section on each of his assigned stations. ****** 

The motor torpedo boats from the OYSTER BAY and the 
WACHAPREAGUE were assigned to stations as shown in the following table******* 
and were en route at this time. 



* 
** 



*** 
**** 

***** 

****** 
******* 



Various PT Action Reports, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944. 

Action Report PT 328, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, No 

Serial, October 30th, 1944; also Action Report PT 320, Night 

of October 24th - 25th, 1944, No Serial, October 30th, 1944. 

CTF 77 Dispatch 240319 October 1944 to CTG 70.1. 

CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG 77.3, CTF 73, CTF 79, 

CTG's 77.2, 70.1 and all TFC's 3RDFLT. 

Action Report CTG 70.1, Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, 

Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 1-0330, December 1st, 

1944. 

War Diary WACHAPREAGUE, October 1944, Serial 073, October 31st, 

1944. 

Data in this table is from CTU 70.1.3 Report of PT Action, 

Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, No Serial, November 10th, 1944, 

to CTG 70.1. 



134 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



SECTION 



Bohol PT's 



Camiguin PT's 



Limasawa PT f s 



Southwest Panaon PT ! s 



Madilao Point PT's 



Southeast Panaon PT's 



Bilaa Point PT's 



Sumilon PT's 



Lower Surigao PT's 



Upper Surigao PT's 



Kanihaan PT's 



PT'S ASSIGNED* 



152, 130, 131 



127, 128, 129 



151, 146, 190 

196, 150, 194 

192, 191, 195 

134, 132, 137 

494, 497, 324 

523, 524, 526 

490, 491, 493 



327, 321, 326 



495, 489, 492 



South Amagusan Point PT's 320, 330, 331 



East Amagusan Point PT's 328, 323, 329 



CTG 70.1 
October 24th 

LOCATION 

North half of a line from Agio 
Point, Bohol Island, to Sipaca 
Point, Mindanao Island, 
Midpoint: 9°-33'N, 124°-38«E 

South half of a line from Agio 
Point, Bohol Island, to Sipaca 
Point, Mindanao Island, 
Midpoint: 9°-12'N, 124°-49'E 

South of Limasawa Island. 
9°-52'N, 125°-04'E 

Southwest tip of Panaon Island. 
9°-54'N, 125°-15'E 

Madilao Point, Mindanao Island. 
9°-45'N, 125°-23'E 

Southeast tip of Panaon Island. 
9°-55'N, 125°-15'E 

Bilaa Point, Mindanao Island, 
9°-49«N, 125°-25'E 

South of Sumilon Island. 
9°-54'N, 125°-26'E 

Midway between Kanhatid Point, 

Dinagat Island and Panaon 

Island. 

10°-05'N, 125°-22'E 

4 miles west of Kanihaan 

Island. 

10°-10«N, 125°-24'E 

South of Kanihaan Island. 
100-10'N, 125°-28'E 

South of Amagusan Point, Leyte. 
10°-14'N, 125°-15'E 

2 miles east of Amagusan Point, 

Levte. 

10 & -15'N, 125°-17'E 



* OTC in first listed PT. 



135 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 78.3 and CTU 78.3.5 
October 24th 



At some time prior to 1833 he received a dispatch from 
CTF 77 directing him to insure that enemy forces do not pass undetected 
through the strait between Dinagat Island and Mindanao Island (Hinatuan 
Passage)* for at that time he sent the following dispatch to the 
WACHAPREAGUE for relay to Commander Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 36 (OTC 
of the Sumilon PT's) and to PT 494 (OTC of the Bilaa Point PT's on board): 
"Deliver following message to Comron 36 and to PeeTee 494. Plain 
Language. Keep watch on passage to east of you in addition to one to 
west."** 

(6) Operations of CTG 78.3 (Panaon Attack Group) and CTU 
78.3.5 (Control and Support Craft), 0000 - 1830, October 24th.*** 

At 0000 CTU 78.3.5 with TU 78.3.5 composed of PC's 1122, 
1133, LCl(G)'s 68, 70 (F), LCl(R)'s 31 (F), 342, LCI(D) 29 remained in 
the Sogod Bay - Cabalian Bay area. Little of importance occurred until 
1300. At that time he was notified by Commanding Officer WACHAPREAGUE 
that an attack by Japanese surface forces was expected that night. Later 
he was informed that he would be required to patrol over the mouth of 
Sogod Bay. He therefore deployed his units as follows: (a) LCl(G)'s 68 
and 70 patrolled a line across the mouth of Sogod Bay from Santa Cruz to 
Ilijan Point, (b) PC's 1133 and 1122 patrolled on a line north and south 
from Calipian Point in Cabalian Bay and (c) LCl(R)'s 342 and 31 anchored 
in Cabalian Bay near Molopolo. In addition the LCI'G)'s were employed 
throughout the night relaying voice communications from the WACHAPRSAGUE 
to PT boats and between PT boats. However all attempts to communicate 
with CTF 78, with one relay exception, were unsuccessful. 

He feared that his patrolling units might be attacked by 
PT's which had been stationed in Surigao Strait. During the remainder 
of this period little of importance occurred. 






CTF 77 Dispatch 240609 October 1944 to CTG 70.1, info CTG 77.2. 
CTG 70.1 Dispatch 240933 October 1944 to WACHAPREAGUE, info CTF 77. 
Action Report CTU 78.3.5, Central Philippine - Panaon Attack Group, 
No Serial, November 30th, 1944. 



136 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(b) Operations of CTF 71, OOOO - 1330, October 24th • 

Shortly after the beginning of this day CTF 71 received a 
dispatch from the BERGALL reporting her position in the South China Sea 
and requesting and extension of patrol.* He no doubt welcomed this 
request as the number of submarines on patrol was diminishing while the 
activities of enemy combatant ships was increasing. In this connection 
it will be recalled that he had committed himself on October 10th to 
provide for the period October 15th - 25th (a) fifteen U.S. submarines 
for patrol and (b) four additional submarines for lifeguard duty.** 
(The Allied submarines south of the equator are not included in this 
discussion.) (Volume III, Plate X.) 

He now studied his running estimate to see what could be 
done about the situation. He could see that on this day only thirteen 
(BREAM, GUITARRO, ROCK, BERGALL, ANGLER, DACE, DARTER, GURNARD, COBIA, 
BATFISH, COD, BLACKFIN, PADDLE) out of the thirty-five submarines in 
his command could be depended upon to maintain patrol including one 
submarine (PADDLE) assigned to part time lifeguard duty. It will be 
noted that this number includes (a) the ROCK and BERGALL whose patrol 
had expired but which, due to a relatively uneventful patrol, were being 
retained in their designated areas for a few more days,*** and (b) (1) 
the DACE which had been authorized to remain on station until dark on 
this day,**** and (2) the DARTER which on the 21st had been ordered to 
remain on patrol a few more days.*** It also includes the COBIA which, 
although departing the area, still had considerable fuel on board and 
all twenty-four torpedoes.* 

He realized that some of these submarines would have to be 
replaced where possible and that he would be forced to rely on the 
submarines on patrol for these replacements. 



* War Diary CTF 71, October 23rd, 1944. 

** CTF 71 Letter, Serial 00323, November 17th, 1944, to CTF 77. 

*** CTF 71 Dispatch 210536 October 1944 to CTG 71.1 (ROCK, BERGALL, 

DARTER) . 
**** CTF 71 Dispatch 221043 October 1944 to CTG 71.1 (DACE). 



137 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 0041 he sent a summary dispatch to his submarines informing 
them of the DACE and DARTER attack and the contact report of the ANGLER, 
both events of the previous day.* 

At about 0140 he received a contact report from the GUITARRO 
reporting an enemy task force at 0030 in Latitude 13°-00'N, Longitude 
119°-30 , E, consisting of three probable battleships in a group of from 
fifteen to twenty ships on course 080°(T), speed eighteen knots.** 

Knowing that the DACE and DARTER were occupied in Palawan 
Passage with little patrol time remaining, at least for the DACE, and that 
Balabac Strait was now uncovered, he (a) at 0154 directed the BLACKFIN, 
upon arriving in her area D-6, to cover the western approaches to Balabac 
Strait, with early report of enemy heavy units important, (b) cautioned 
her not to enter any of the channels of this strait due to the possibility 
of enemy mines, and (c) advised her that the DACE would depart at sunset 
this day, but that the DARTER would be patrolling southern Palawan Passage 
for a few more days.*** 

IT IS NOT CLEAR WHERE HE ACHIEVED THIS CONCEPT OF "A FEW MORE 
DAYS", FOR AS INDICATED ABOVE, IT WAS ON OCTOBER 21ST THAT HE HAD ADVISED 
THE DARTER THAT HE PLANNED TO RETAIN HER ON PATROL FOR A FEW MORE DAYS, 
AND NOW NOT ONLY HAD SEVERAL MORE DAYS ELAPSED, BUT THE DARTER HAD BEEN IN 
ACTION AGAINST THE JAPANESE MAIN BODY AND HAD REPORTED BUT SIX TORPEDOES 
REMAINING AT 2140 THE PREVIOUS EVENING. WHILE ITEM (c) OF THIS DISPATCH 
SEEMS UNREALISTIC IT SEEMS LIKELY THAT IT WAS SO WORDED TO ADVISE THE 
BLACKFIN THAT SHE MIGHT ENCOUNTER THESE SUBMARINES IN MOVING TO STATION OR 
WHILE ON STATION. 

At 0324 he advised interested commands of the contacts reported 
by the GUITARRO**** and BREAM***** on the previous day. 

At about 0410 he received an amplifying report from the ANGLER 
reporting that at 0330 the force was heading south through Mindoro Strait, 
speed twenty knots. ****** 

At 0457 (when it was received by CTF 79) he likely learned 
from the DACE that the (a) DARTER was aground on Bombay Shoal, (b) DACE 
had discontinued her attack on the damaged cruiser in order to assist the 
DARTER and (c) estimated position of the damaged cruiser and two destroyers 
was Latitude 09°-18«N, Longitude 117°-02«E, course 210°(T), speed six 
knots ,******* 

*" CTF 71 Dispatch 231541 October 1944 to All Submarines, 

** GUITARRO Dispatch 231610 October 1944 to CTF 71; also War Diary 

CTF 71, October 1944. 
*** CTF 71 Dispatch 231654 October 1944 to BLACKFIN, TG 71.1, info 

DARTER and DACE. 
**** CTF 71 Dispatch 231824 October 1944 to C.G. 5TH Air Force, C.G. 13TH 

Air Force, info CINCPAC, COMSUBPAC, All CTG's 3RD and 7THFLT's. 
***** CTF 71 Dispatch 241838 October 1944 to All Commanders, All TFC's 

3RD and 7THFLT»s, C.G. 5TH and 13TH Air Forces. 
****** ANGLER Dispatch 231840 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
******* DACE Dispatch 231850 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

138 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At about this time he received a surprising dispatch. This 
was from the GUITARRO reporting three definite battleships and two possible 
carriers headed south through Mindoro Strait at 0330,* Now, if not before, 
he knew that it was highly probable that the ANGLER and GUITARRO were in 
contact with the same force which now included carriers, 

A short time later, about 0700, he received with satisfaction 
a DACE dispatch reporting that all DARTER personnel had been rescued and 
the boat demolished,** However, he likely became very concerned when, at 
0915, he received another dispatch from the same submarine to the effect 
that (a) efforts to demolish the DARTER failed, (b) all torpedoes had been 
expended and she was now employing her deck gun, (c) she was standing by 
to make another demolition attempt that night and (d) she requested planes 
or another submarine to complete the job.*** 

He, no doubt, received a COMTHIRDFLT message, passed to him by 
CINCPAC, concerning activities along the west coast of Luzon north of 
Lingayan, recommending assistance from TF 71 submarines.**** Submarine 
observations in that area would be helpful during current epidemic of 
Japanese movements. There was only one submarine (COD) in this locality 
on patrol, although the CERO of TF 72 was transiting the area northbound. 

Shortly after noon (at 1217) he directed the PADDLE, by 
dispatch, to return to Fremantle .***** In so doing he knew, from previous 
communications with her, that the COBIA would not be able to remain in 
this area for air strikes on the 26th, although not as yet ordered. 

About this time he may have learned that a search plane had 
sighted a major enemy force at 0810 just south of Mindoro on course 050° 
(T). ****** New, if not before, he could estimate that this was probably 
the same force sighted by his submarines and that they were not headed for 
Coron Bay, but instead appeared to be headed toward the eastern Philippines. 

Meanwhile, he had been estimating the situation to determine 
what he should do relative to the DACE's request for "another submarine to 
complete the job". Should he (a) divert a submarine from another patrol 
station and continue the destruction efforts, or (b) direct that the (1) 
more highly classified equipment such as the Torpedo Data Computer be 
destroyed and then (2) submarine concerned continue his patrols or retire 
from the area. 

He decided on the former and, at 1242, (a) directed (1) the 
ROCK, which was about fifty miles to northwestward of North Danger Shoal, 
to proceed at best speed to Bombay Shoal to destroy the DARTER, (2) upon 



* GUITARRO Dispatch 231900 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

** DACE Dispatch 232130 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

*** DACE Dispatch 232345 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

**** CINCPAC Dispatch 232352 October 1944 to C0M7THFLT, info CINCSWPA, 

CTF 71, CTF 77, C0M3RDFLT. 
***** CTF 71 Dispatch 240317 October 1944 to PADDLE, TG 71. 1. 
****** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232322 October 1944 to CTG's 38.3 and 38.4, info 

COMINCH, All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLT«s, 

139 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

destruction of the DARTER the DACE and ROCK to rendezvous and then take 
half of the rescued crew each and return to Fremantle via Karimata 
Strait, Java Sea and Lombok, and (3) the ROCK to acknowledge this 
dispatch and give her estimated time of arrival at Bombay Shoal,* and 
(b) advised that the DACE was standing by. 

THE QUESTION NOW ARISES AS TO THE WISENESS OF THIS DECISION. 
CERTAINLY THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DOUBT ABOUT IT FOR CTF 71 HAD KNOWLEDGE 
OF STRONG JAPANESE FORCES IN THE AREA AND IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT THAT 
INFORMATION BE CONTINUOUSLY OBTAINED REGARDING THE MOVEMENT OF THESE AND 
OF OTHER FORCES NOT AS YET LOCATED. THIS REQUIRED, INSOFAR AS THE TF 71 
SUBMARINES WERE CONCERNED, THAT EACH SUBMARINE AVAILABLE BE PROPERLY 
EMPLOYED. 

THEREFORE, DOES IT NOT APPEAR THAT A WISER DECISION WOULD 
HAVE -BEEN TO HAVE: (a) DESTROYED THE HIGHLY CLASSIFIED EQUIPMENT 
EMPLOYING THE DACE AND ROCK OR BOTH, (b) DIVIDED THE CREW OF THE DARTER 
BETWEEN THE DACE AND ROCK IN SUCH A MANNER THAT THE COMBAT EFFICIENCY 
OF THE ROCK WOULD NOT BE IMPAIRED? THIS WOULD LIKELY HAVE MEANT THAT 
ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE DARTER'S CREW WOULD BE IN THE ROCK. BY 
DOING THIS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE TO RETAIN THE ROCK IN THE AREA 
FOR SEVERAL MORE DAYS WHILE THE DACE RETURNED TO FREMANTLE. WHY THIS 
WAS NOT DONE IS NOT KNOWN BUT IT SEEMS POSSIBLE THAT CTF 71 FELT THAT 
THE HABITABILITY FACTORS WERE GOVERNING. 

About this time he likely learned of an enemy force estimated 
to (a) consist of two battleships, two to four heavy cruisers, four light 
cruisers and ten destroyers reported under air attack in the eastern Sulu 
Sea at 0910 and (b) be able to arrive Leyte Gulf tonight.** 

With one enemy force in the Sulu Sea and the other heading 
east, south of Mindoro, he now attempted to close the channels leading 
to these areas to intercept the return of these forces. 

He studied the deployment of his submarines and quickly 
realized that it was highly important to cover the northern approaches 
to Palawan Passage. But, what submarines did he have available for this 
purpose? Not the ANGLER or GUITARRO, for they were already in good 
intercepting positions. Not the BREAM, for she was in position to obtain 
information concerning the movement of Japanese forces along the west 
coast of Luzon. This left the BLACKFIN which was en route to station off 
Balabac Strait. But if he changed the BLACKFIN 's assignment how could 
he cover the western approaches to Balabac Strait? 

He decided that this could be done only by shifting the 
BERGALL from the western China Sea to the Strait. Having made this 
decision he, at 1323, cancelled the BLACKFIN 1 s latest orders and directed 
her to patrol north of Palawan Passage to cover routes from southward to 
Mindoro and Linapacan Straits. In the same dispatch he advised her the 
ANGLER was in A-4, the BREAK and GUITARRO in A-3 and the BERGALL west of 
Balabac Strait.*** 

* CTF 71 Dispatch 240342 October 19V* to ROCK. 

** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTG 77.3, CTF 79, CTF 73, etc., 

info C0M3RDFLT, COMINCH, CINCPAC, etc. 
*** CTF 71 Dispatch 240423 October 1944 to BLACKFIN. 

L40 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

His decisions in the matter seem correct, for certainly the 
major portion of the Japanese fleet was clearly in the Coron Bay - 
Mindoro Island area. 

Shortly thereafter he informed CTF 77 of the DARTER'S 
predicament and the action being taken,* He then, at 1334, directed the 
BERGALL to (a) cover the western approaches to Balabac Strait with early 
report of enemy heavy units important, (b) refrain from entering the 
Strait due to the probability of enemy mines and (c) at dark on October 
28th return to Fremantle via Karimata Strait, Java Sea and Lombok Strait,** 

At 1531 he sent a summary of submarine activities to 
C0M3RDFLT, including the GUITARRO' s report of ships heading south 
through Mindoro Strait,*** This dispatch was somewhat in error in that, 
among other items, it stated that "GUITARRO and ANGLER reported three 
definite battleships and two possible carriers headed south through 
Mindoro Strait at 0330 24th speed twenty",**** Actually it was the 
GUITARRO which made this report — the ANGLER merely reported that the force 
previously reported by her was heading south through Mindoro Strait at 
0330 speed twenty.***** 

This error, while it had no effect on the operations because 
it was not received by other commands until late the following day, 
nevertheless emphasizes the necessity for great care in analyzing contacts 
and in providing accurate information. Since CTF 77 had estimated on the 
previous day that it was "possible that enemy carriers will support surface 
forces and strike from west of Palawan" this error by CTF 71, had it been 
received earlier, might have adversely affected both CTF 77 and the Allied 
commanders' estimates. 

IN THIS CONNECTION U.S. NAVAL DOCTRINE PROVIDES "WHEN THE 
PRESENCE AND EXACT LOCATION OF THE ENEMY ARE KNOWN THE COMPOSITION AND 
ACTION OF THE FORCE ARE OF THE GREATEST IMPORTANCE" .****** 

Later during the evening (at 1716) he assigned the COBIA to 
lifeguard duty for the strike on Tarakan (NE Borneo) at 1100, October 26th, 
and in the same dispatch provided her with the necessary information so 
that she might accomplish her mission effectively,******* 



* CTF 71 Dispatch 240432 October 19V* to CTF 77. 

** CTF 71 Dispatch 240434 October 1944 to BERGALL. 

*** CTF 71 Dispatch 240651 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

**** GUITARRO Dispatch 231900 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

***** war Diary CTF 71, October 24th, 1944; also War Patrol Report 

ANGLER, Report of FIFTH War Patrol, Serial 09(10), November 9th, 

1944. 
****** Basic Fleet Operational Communication Doctrine (NWP 16), Chapter 

V, Operational Instructions, Paragraph 504(a). 
******* CTF 71 Dispatch 240816 October 1944 to COBIA, 



141 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Meanwhile, he concerned himself with endeavoring to provide 
some intelligence concerning enemy activities along the west coast of 
Luzon as requested by COMTHIRDFLT . He knew that the COD was in that 
area and likely the CERO as well but since the CERO was on a soecial 
mission from CTF 72 (Submarines East Australia) he clearly (as 
COMSUBSOWESPAC) was reluctant to divert her. He therefore, at 1736, 
directed the COD, among other things, to continue to patrol area A-2 
until further orders and to let him know if she was forced to depart.* 

(1) BREAM and GUITARRO 

It will be recalled that the BREAM had arrived in her 
assigned patrol area in Area A-3 which was to the westward of Subic Bay 
on the previous evening. She now patrolled on the surface during 
darkness and submerged during daylight.*-* During the forenoon she 
recovered six Japanese soldiers from life rafts which she thought were 
from the convoy which the BLUEGILL had attacked on October 18th.*** 
She appears to have obtained little pertinent information from these 
prisoners. However, her picking them up was in accordance with CTG 71.1 f s 
Operation Plan which stated in part, n as a great deal of information is 
frequently obtainable from enemy prisoners of war, submarines are 
encouraged to bring back an occasional prisoner".**** 

At 2200, when it was received by the GUITARRO, she 
received CTF 71 's dispatch stating that friendly planes had sighted a 
large Japanese task force proceeding to the Sibuyan Sea via Mindoro Strait 
and directing the BREAM to patrol Area A-3.***** Since she was already 
in that area this dispatch required no movement. 

It will also be recalled that at midnight the GUITARRO 
was in contact with an enemy task force estimated to consist of fifteen 
to twenty ships including probably three battleships. At 0110 she 
reported this to CTF 71 giving course as 030°(T), speed 18 knots.****** 
She endeavored to attack but was forced away by enemy ships operating 
on what the GUITARRO thought were radar bearings. 

Finally, at 0400 she advised CTF 71 that the Japanese 
force, consisting of three definite battleships and two possible carriers, 
was headed south through Mindoro Strait at 0330.******* This was the 
Main Body, FIRST Striking Force composed of twenty-seven ships including 
five battleships. There were no carriers. Whence came the idea that 
there were likely carriers is not known but this incorrect report had an 
adverse effect on Allied planning. 

* CTF 71 Dispatch 240836 October 1944 to COD. 

** Deck Log BREAM, October 24th, 1944. 

*** War Patrol Report BREAM, Report of 3RD War Patrol, Serial 021, 

November 22nd, 1944. 
**** CTG 71.1 Operation Plan 1-44, September 1st, 1944, Annex B, Page 9. 
***** CTF 71 Dispatch 241214 October 1944 to GUITARRO, ANGLER and BilEAM. 
****** GUITARRO Dispatch 231610 October 1944 to Radio Perth, info 

CINCPAC, C0M3RDFLT. 
******* GUITARRO Dispatch 231900 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

142 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 0600 she closed Cape Calavite to about two miles and 
at 1125, while submerged, she sighted one light and one heavy cruiser 
unescorted which headed down Mindoro Strait,* These cruisers were not 
identified correctly for the larger ship was the light cruiser KINU and 
the smaller ship was the destroyer URANAMI comprising the remnants of 
CRUDIV SIXTEEN and were en route to Cagayan, Mindanao.** She did not 
report this until 2024 when, having surfaced at 1949, she reported it to 
CTF 71.*** 

Since the operations of many of the submarines were in 
general uneventful comment hereafter will be confined solely to those 
submarines which contacted enemy units, 

(2) ROCK and BERGALL 

These two submarines were in the South China Sea assigned 
to patrol along a line between Cape Varella and North Danger Shoal. 

The ROCK patrolled her station on the eastern half of 
the patrol line. She patrolled on the surface during darkness and 
submerged during daylight.**** 

The BERGALL, on the other hand, was not on station but 
was instead returning to the patrol line after a sweep of the area south 
of Saigon. She generally remained on the surface during daylight as well 
as during darkness. Shortly after midnight she requested a five days' 
extension of patrol as she had 40,000 gallons of fuel and seventeen 
torpedoes .***** 

These submarines are mentioned here because, although both 
of them as of 1830 had had uneventful patrols, they later received orders 
from CTF 71 to move elsewhere thus eliminating the patrol on the Cape 
Varella - North Danger Shoal Line. 

The BERGALL at 2200 received orders to patrol the western 
approaches to Balabac Strait (thus replacing the DARTER) and to depart 
the area for Fremantle on the 28th,****** and sometime prior to 2301 the 
ROCK received order to proceed to Bombay Shoal to attempt destruction of 
the DARTER******* which was aground, for at that time she acknowledged 
these orders to do so. 



* War Patrol Report GUITARRO, Report of 3RD War Patrol, Serial 044, 

November 16th, 1944o 
** Detailed Action Report URANAMI, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 

18th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, NA 11801. 
*** GUITARRO Dispatch 241124 October 1944 to Radio Perth. 
**** Deck Log ROCK, October 24th, 1944. 
***** War Diary CTF 71, October 23rd, 1944. 
****** CTF 71 Dispatch 240434 October 1944 to BERGALL. 
******* CTF 71 Dispatch 240342 October 1944 to ROCK. 



143 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(3) ANGLER 

At midnight the ANGLER, on the surface, was tracking the 
Main Body, FIRST Striking Force. She was well astern and was endeavoring 
to close. She correctly determined that the enemy force (a) at 0200 was 
on course 090o(T) and (b) at 0300 had entered Mindoro Strait, speed 
nineteen - twenty knots.* At 0330 she endeavored to make an amplifying 
report but owing to Japanese jamming and other interference she did not 
know whether or not she had succeeded. However, her attempt was 
successful as CTF 71 received the report about 0410.** She now, at 0340, 
decided to patrol the north entrance to West Apo Passage in case the 
force doubled back and later, at 0550, submerged to patrol northwestern 
Mindoro Strait « 

THE COMMANDING OFFICER STATED THAT HE MADE THIS DECISION 
BECAUSE HE FELT BY DOING SO HE WOULD BE IN GOOD POSITION TO INTERCEPT 
SHOULD THE ENEMY DOUBLE BACK THROUGH THAT STRAIT. While this might well 
have proved to be correct it is of interest that later at 2130 he received 
a dispatch from CTF 71 addressed to the GUITARRO, ANGLER and BREAM wherein 
(a) they were advised that a large Japanese task force was proceeding to 
the Sibuyan Sea via south of Mindoro Island, (b) he was directed to Datrol 
south of Lubang Island and to cover the southwest approaches to Verde 
Island Passage and (c) it was suggested that Admiral Halsey might send 
them back that way,,*** It is also of interest that this was one of the 
two stations originally assigned the BLUEGILL and ANGLER on October 14th 
and from which the Commanding Officer ANGLER, after the BLUEGILL had left 
the area, had departed on October 21st on his own initiative to patrol 
off the northern end of Palawan Passage, 

His patrol as of 1830 except for the above was uneventful. 

(4) DACE and DARTER 

It will be recalled that (a) these two submarines were 
approaching to attack the damaged TAKAO which was being escorted by the 
destroyers NAGAN AMI and ASASHIMO, and (b) the DARTER was to attack first 
from the starboard quarter in about ninety minutes while the DACE was to 
attack from the port bow if the DARTER was forced down or chased off • 

As the DARTER closed on the surface she detected two 
enemy radars sweeping and decided against a surface attack.**** This was 
correct for the ASASHIMO reported at this time that she had sighted by 
radar a suspicious object bearing 080°(T) which was probably a bearing on 
the DACE.***** The wolf pack commander (in the DARTER) now (a) directed 

* War Patrol Report ANGLER, Report of 5TH War Patrol, Serial 09(10), 

November 9th, 1944. 
** CTF 71 War Diary, October 24th, 1944, Serial 00341. 
*** CTF 71 Dispatch 241214 October 1944 to GUITARRO, ANGLER and BREAM. 
**** War Patrol Report DARTER, Report of 4TH War Patrol, Serial 020, 

November 5th, 1944. 
***** Detailed Action Report TAKAO, Antisubmarine Action, October 23 rd - 

25th, 1944, WDC Document 160141, NA 11839. 

144 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

the DACE to attack and (b) advised that the DARTER was commencing an end 
run around to starboard in order to attack from ahead at radar depth. 
(On this end run the Commanding Officer DARTER planned to close no 
nearer to the TAKAO than 15,000 yards.) 

By 0100 the DARTER, making seventeen knots, had opened 
to about 18,000 yards. At 0105 she grounded on Bombay Shoal with such 
force that all subsequent attempts failed to get her off. The Commanding 
Officer (who was also the wolf pack commander) attributed this grounding 
to the lack of navigational sights for about thirty hours.* 

WHILE THIS FACT MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE GROUNDING 
THE MOST LIKELY REASON APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN A MISTAKEN BELIEF THAT THE 
TAKAO WAS STEAMING MORE OR LESS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHANNEL AND WAS, 
THEREFORE, APPROACHABLE IN SAFE WATER AT A CONSIDERABLE DISTANCE FROM 
EITHER SIDE. 

The Commanding Officer DARTER now informed the DACE that 
the DARTER was aground. Soon after this he detected by radar a Japanese 
destroyer closing and therefore, at 0115, commenced burning Secret and 
Confidential matter and destroying Confidential gear. He endeavored to 
lighten ship and with the arrival of the DACE endeavored to get off the 
shoal. Having failed he, at 0404, commenced transferring his crew to the 
DACE by rubber boats i^hich was not completed until 053 5** after which 
time he attempted to destroy the DARTER employing demolition equipment 
which proved to be ineffective as regards the hull. Finally the torpedoes 
and gunfire of the DACE were utilized in an attempt to destroy the DARTER 
but with little effect. 

Nothing now occurred until evening excepting that about 
1136 a Japanese destroyer approached the DARTER. 

The Commanding Officer DACE appears to have been taking 
his designated station bearing 150°(T), distant ten miles from the TAKAO. 
At 0030 he was directed by the wolf pack commander to attack when ready. 
As he continued closing his station he, at 0107, learned that the DARTER 
was aground. He therefore decided to delay his attack until he had more 
information but then, without waiting, he decided to close the DARTER 
and at 0240 contacted her aground on Bombay Shoal.** Why he chose to 
close the DARTER rather than to attempt to destroy the TAKAO is not 
explained. It would appear, however, that he felt that (a) since the 
cruiser was clearly heavily damaged and was screened by destroyers his 
chance of success there was not great unless the operation was conducted 
employing wolf pack tactics which, with the grounding of the DARTER, was 
no longer possible and (b) he had every hope of rescuing the crew of the 
DARTER and of assisting in her destruction. 



* War Patrol Report DARTER, Report of 4TH War Patrol, Serial 020, 

November 5th, 1944 • 
** War Patrol Report DACE, Report of 5TH War Patrol, Serial 09, November 

6th, 1944. 

145 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

IF THESE WERE HIS REASONS THEY SEEM OF DOUBTFUL CORRECTNESS 
FOR THE CRUISER APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN WIDE OPEN TO ATTACK FROM AHEAD SINCE 
THE DESTROYERS, INSTEAD OF SCREENING ON THE BOWS, WERE, IN THE OPINION OF 
THE COMMANDING OFFICER DARTER, SCREENING ON EACH BEAM AT A DISTANCE OF 
PERHAPS 4,000 YARDS.* (ACTUALLY THIS WAS LNCORRECT FOR THE TAKAO, IN HER 
ACTION REPORT, STATES THAT THE NAGANAMI WAS SEVENTY DEGREES ON HER PORT 
BOW, THE ASASHIMO SEVENTY DEGREES ON HER STARBOARD BOW, BOTH DISTANT 2,000 
YARDS FROM THE TAKAO.)** THIS WAS A DISPOSITION SIMILAR TO THAT WHICH 
HAD PERMITTED THE DACE AND DARTER TO ATTACK THE MAIN BODY SUCCESSFULLY 
ON THE PREVIOUS MORNING, AND WOULD MOST LIKELY HAVE PERMITTED A SUCCESSFUL 
ATTACK HERE, AND THEN A LATER RESCUE OF THE DARTER'S CREW AND THE 
DESTRUCTION OF THE DARTER. 

HOWEVER, THERE MAY HAVE BEEN ANOTHER AND MORE PRESSING 
REASON. THE COMMANDING OFFICER DACE MAY HAVE FELT THAT IT WAS MORE 
IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME TO RESCUE IMMEDIATELY THE CREW OF THE DARTER AND 
THEN TO DESTROY HER, LEST THERE FALL INTO ENEMY HANDS (a) HER CLASSIFIED 
EQUIPMENT AND INFORMATION AND (b) HER OFFICERS, WHO 'WERE LIKELY WELL 
INFORMED ON THE DISPOSITION OF TF 71 SUBMARINES AND OF ALLIED PLANS IN 
GENERAL. 

By 0350 the Corcmanding Officer DACE reported to CTF 71 
by dispatch that (a) the DARTER was aground on Bombay Shoal, (b) he had 
discontinued his attack to assist, (c) the damaged ATAGO (type) heavy 
cruiser plus two destroyers was, at 0200, in Latitude 09°-18'N, Longitude 
117°-02«E on course 210° (T), speed six knots.*** 

At 0539 he cast off from the DARTER with the latter' s 
crew aboard and waited the effect of the demolition charges which they had 
set. At 0600, the demolition charges having failed to destroy the ship, 
he attempted to destroy her by firing his last four torpedoes, two at 
0610 and two at 0630. 

Also, at 0630, he sent another dispatch to CTF 71 
reporting the DARTER personnel as rescued and the submarine destroyed.**** 
This latter statement was, of course, erroneous. 

At 0645, having no more torpedoes, he decided to employ 
four-inch shells and commenced firing but, after firing thirty rounds 
and making twenty-one hits, he was, at 0650, forced to submerge by a 
Japanese plane which then apparently bombed the DARTER. 



* War Patrol Report DARTER, Report of 4TH War Patrol, Serial 020, 

November 5th, 1944 • 
** Detailed Action Report TAKAO, Antisubmarine Action, October 23rd - 

25th, 1944, WDC Document 160141, NA 11839. 
*** DACE Dispatch 231850 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
**** DACE Dispatch 232130 October 1944 to CTF 71. 



L46 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 0905 realizing that he had made an erroneous report to 
CTF 71 he surfaced and sent another report to that commander wherein he 
stated, in part, that (1) his efforts to demolish the DARTER had failed, 
(2) his torpedoes were expended, (3) he had hit with four-inch shells, 
(4) he was standing by, (5) would attempt to board that night and (6) 
requested planes and submarines.* 

At 1050 he made radar contact upon a plane which was 
closing and submerged. At 1118 he heard echo ranging and at 1136, upon 
sighting a Japanese destroyer approaching the DARTER, he decided to clear 
the area. At 1830 he surfaced and commenced a slow approach on the DARTER. 

(Note: The destroyer (NAGANAMI) above referred to 
appears to have shelled the DARTER for about three minutes; to have 
attempted to destroy her presumably by firing torpedoes, and by 
endeavoring to pull her off the reef, but to no avail. The NAGANAMI, 
which had the HIY0D0RI with her, now collected material from the submarine 
which she sent directly to SECOND Fleet (FIRST Striking Force) 
Headquarters .** 

(5) GURNARD 

This submarine which, at 1401 on the previous day, had 
been directed to cover the southwest approaches to Brunei Bay with 
instructions as follows, "Reporting movement of enemy heavy forces very 
important",*** was en route to this new station as shown in Diagram "C". 

At 1141, while submerged, she made a contact by sight on 
top masts and smoke, distant about fifteen miles. The Commanding Officer 
GURNARD estimated the situation and decided that he should investigate 
the contact which was on a southwesterly course.**** 

WHILE THIS DECISION SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN INCORRECT IN THAT 
BY TRACKING THIS CONTACT HIS ARRIVAL OFF- BRUNEI BAY MIGHT BE DELAYED 
0VERL0NG THERE WAS ALWAYS THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE CONTACT MIGHT PROVE TO 
BE IMPORTANT. IN THIS CONNECTION THE COMMANDING OFFICER GURNARD STATED 
THAT HIS REASONS FOR TRACKING THE TARGET WERE THAT HE HAD HEARD OF THE 
ATTACKS BY THE DACE AND DARTER ON THE JAPANESE FORCE IN PALAWAN PASSAGE 
AND FELT THAT, ALTHOUGH IT WAS TOO EARLY TO EXPECT ONE OF THE SHIPS FROM 
THAT FORCE TO BE AT THIS POINT, THE PRESENCE OF ANOTHER BATTLESHIP WAS 
NOT REMOTE. SOUND MILITARY DECISION STATES THAT IN SUCH CASE THE 
COMMANDER, "TAKES ACTION ACCORDING TO THE DICTATES OF HIS OWN JUDGEMENT, 
GUIDED BY THE KNOWN VIEWS OF HIS SUPERIOR" .***** 



* DACE Dispatch 232345 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

** Detailed Action Report TAKAO, Antisubmarine Action, October 23rd 

25th, 1944, WDC Document 160141, NA 11839. 
*** CTF 71 Dispatch 230501 October 1944 to TG 71.1 (GURNARD). 
**** War Patrol Report GURNARD, Report of 7TH War Patrol, Serial 030, 

November 17th, 1944. 
***** Sound Military Decision, U.S. Naval War College, 1942, Page 16. 



496799 0-59-19 



147 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
October 24th 



He therefore headed in that direction and at 1250 
determined the contact to be a battleship. 

At 0330 he reported to CTF 71 that he had (a) sighted the 
tops of a probable battleship on base course 255°(T), approximate speed 
sixteen knots, in Latitude 03°-10«N, Longitude 109°- 17* E, (b) six 
torpedoes forward and five aft and (c) his special mission had not yet 
been accomplished. 

IN SENDING THIS DISPATCH THE COMMANDING OFFICER GURNARD 
WAS COMPLYING WITH DOCTRINE WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHEN A COMMANDER MODIFIES 
THE ORDERS GIVEN TO HIM BY HIS SUPERIOR HE SHOULD INFORM THAT SUPERIOR OF 
THIS FACT AT THE FIRST AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITY.* 

He now continued on the surface to track the target and 
by 1830 had not closed sufficiently to identify it. 

Actually this was not a battleship but was, instead, a 
small target which fooled the Commanding Officer, GURNARD, to the extent 
that, at 2024, he stated, M We knew we had been taken in."** The small 
ship opened fire, the GURNARD retired and, at 2134, once more headed for 
Brunei Bay having lost about ten hours, 

(6) COBIA 

The COBIA was en route to Fremantle and at this time was 
passing through the Sulu Sea. As of 1830 the day had passed uneventfully. 

However, sometime before the end of the day she received 
orders from CTF 71 to perform lifeguard duty for an air strike by the 
THIRTEENTH Air Force against Tarakan on October 26th,*** which modified 
her orders temporarily. 

(7) BLACKFIN 

This submarine, which at midnight was northeast of 
Dangerous Ground, was proceeding toward her patrol area D-6 where she 
was to guard the western approaches to Balabac Strait. She proceeded 
on the surf act during darkness and submerged during daylight. 

As of 1830 her movement had been uneventful.**** 

However, at 2129, she received by dispatch from CTF 71 a 
change in her orders. In this dispatch, quoted in full under "Operations 
of CTF 71, 0000 - 1830, October 24th", she was directed to patrol Area A-5 
north of Palawan Passage to cover the routes from southward to Mindoro 
and Linapacan Straits. ***** 

Sound Military Decision, U.S. Naval War College, 1942, Page 16. 



* 



War Patrol Report GURNARD, Report of 7TH War Patrol, Serial 030, 

November 17th, 1944. 

CTF 71 Dispatch 240816 October 1944 to TG 71.1 (COBIA). 

War Patrol Report BLACKFIN, Report of 1ST War Patrol, Serial 021, 

December 4th, 1944© 

CTF 71 Dispatch 240423 October 1944 to TG 71.1 (BLACKFIN). 



148 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 71 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(8) PADDLE 

This submarine was in Makassar Strait where she was 
patrolling between Cape Mangkalihat and North Watcher Island, Excepting 
for exchanging calls with a U.S. submarine, presumably the BATFISH, her 
patrol as of 1830 was uneventful.* 

However, at 2111, she received orders from CTF 71 to 
return to Fremantle** and immediately commenced complying by heading 
down Makassar Strait.* 



* War Patrol Report PADDLE, Report of 6TH War Patrol, Serial 018, 

November 1st, 1944. 
** CTF 71 Dispatch 240317 October 1944 to TG 71.1 (PADDLE). 

149 CONFIDENTIAL 



CAAF SOWESPAC and 
C.G. FIFTH AIR FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(2) Operations of CAAF SOWESPAC, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

CAAF SOWESPAC was at this time embarked in the NASHVILLE while the 
operation of his aircraft in support of the KING II Operation continued 
to be controlled from Hollandia. 

He was concerned with the problem of supplies being off loaded 
next to the Tacloban airstrip. He had initiated action on the preceding 
day to rectify this situation. Again on this day he went ashore about 
1000 to inspect the airstrip and upon arrival found off loaded supplies 
still impeding construction. He remained on the scene to expedite 
removal cf these supplies and by nightfall he could see that enough had 
been moved to permit construction to proceed. About this time he returned 
to the NASHVILLE.* Since he was embarked in the NASHVILLE, as was 
COMSOWESPAC, he very likely received much the same information as did the 
latter and therefore was well aware of the developing situation, 

(a) Operations of C.G. FIFTH Air Force, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

C.G. FIFTH Air Force continued in overall control of his 
operations from his headquarters at Biako 

At 0207, in response to the request made in CTF 77' s dispatch 
230142 for thorough reconnaissance of Coron Bay and approaching routes 
and for strikes to be made as practicable both day and night, he directed 
CTF 73 to (a) extend Search Sectors WO, THREE and XRAY (Plate IV) to 
1100 miles, (b) to conduct a double search in Sector THREE concentrating 
on the Coron Bay area and (c) stated that the primary objective was enemy 
combatant ships.** 

During the morning he undoubtedly learned of the contact on 
the Japanese Main Body off Mindoro. Also during the day, since his 
headquarters were at Biak with those of the C.G. FIFTH Bomber Conmand 
who received and retransmitted most of the contact reports made by the 
Morotai-based PB4Y's, he undoubtedly was aware of the following principle 
contact reports on enemy forces in the Sulu Sea: (a) the 0910 VHF 
intercept transmitted by the PB4Y reporting the THIRD Section and an 
erroneous second force nearby,*** (Contact "10", Plate XV) (b) two 
additional reports of sighting the THIRD Section, one at 0950**** (Contact 
"11") and one at 1000***** which should have clarified the composition 
of this force but which apparently did not for in his summary of sightings 

* George C. Kenney, "General Kenney Reports", (New York, 1949), 

Page 455. 
** C.G. 5TH Air Force Dispatch 240207/1 October 1944 to CTF 73, info 

310TH BOMWING, C.G. 13TH Air Force, VPB 10. 
*** Aircraft in Sector 2 Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All Stations 

this Circuit. 
**** C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240330 October 1944 to All Concerned with 

Operations. 
***** C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240215 October 1944 to All Interested in 

Operations. 

150 CONFIDENTIAL 



C.G. FIFTH AIR FORCE and CTF 73 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

at 1230 he gives the 0910 report and not the other two*and (c) the 1115 
sighting of the SECOND Striking Force** (Contact "12"). (These contacts 
are discussed under "Operations of CTG 73.4, 0000 - 1830, October 24th"). 

At 1305 he received a reply from CTF 73 to his (C.G. FIFTH 
Air Force's) 240207/lTEM which is quoted in full under "Operations of 
CTF 73, 0000 - 1830, October 24th", and which, among other things, 
included the opinion that the extended searches were already too thinly 
covered and would require the assignment of more aircraft to make them 
effective. 

At 1609 he incorporated these recommendations by CTF 73 in a 
dispatch to CAAF SOWESPAC and further recommended that a new sector be 
established from Palau covering the area adjacent to the Morotai-based 
Sector No. FIVE which extended to the east of Leyte.*** Although the 
dispatch actually modifying Search Plan FOX is not available to this 
analysis the War Diary of VPB 115 indicates that Search Plan FOX was 
modified and Sectors SIX and SEVEN out of Owi were discontinued on October 
25th, 1944**** (Plate IV). 

During the afternoon, based upon the sighting reports he 
received, he made plans to stage a bombing mission through Morotai to 
strike the enemy surface force in the Sulu Sea the following day .**■*** 

(b) Operations of CTF 73 (Naval Air Forces), 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

CTF 73 (also COMAIRSEVENTHFLT), in the CURRITUCK, was en route 
Mios Woendi having left Morotai the previous evening.****** 

At 0850 (when it was received by COMCARDIV TWENTY-FOUR) he 
received a dispatch, quoted in full under "Operations of C.G. FIFTH Air 
Force, 0000 - 1830, October 24th", concerning the manner in which certain 
of his searches were to be conducted and gave as the primary objective 
enemy combatant ships.******* 



* C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 241230 October 1944 to All Interested 
in Current Operations, SWPA, AOIC, CAAF, C0M7THFLT. 

** C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240100/1 (sic) October 1944 to All 
Commands this Circuit. 

*** C.G. 5TH Air Force Dispatch 241609/1 to CAAF SOWESPAC, info C.G, 
13TH Air Force, CINCSWPA, C0M7THFLT, CTG 73.4, 5TH Air Force 
Weekly Intelligence Review No. 48, October 22nd - 28th, 1944. 

**** War Diary VPB 115, October 24th, 1944. 

***** 5TH Air Force Fragmentary Field Order No. 229, October 25th, 
1944; also CAAF SOWESPAC Operation Order No. 24-44. 

****** War Diary C0MAIR7THFLT, October 1944, no serial, undated. 

******* C.G. 5TH Air Force 240207/1 October 1944 to CTF 73, info 310TH 
BOMWING, C.G. 13TH Air Force, VPB 10. 



151 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 73 and CTG 73.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At noon, after having studied C.G. FIFTH Air Force's 
dispatch 240207/lTEM, he replied to it, in part, as follows: "To make 
searches effective must assign more planes to the area. Extended 
searches already too thinly covered. Recommend immediate cancellation 
Sectors 6 and 7 and reduction of Sector 5 to 500 miles. If foregoing is 
approved can assign total 6 planes to cover Sectors 1, 2, 3, X and Y 
which should give more effective coverage. 11 * (Plate IV). 

During the afternoon nothing of sufficient importance to 
record in his war diary occurred* 

(1) Operations of CTG 73.4 (Search and SupDort Group), 
0000 - 1330, October 24th.** 

Meanwhile CTG 73.4, under the operation control of C.G. 
FIFTH Air Force, continued to execute his cart of the Search Plan FOX 
with his Morotai-based squadrons, VPB's 101, 11$ and 146. His immediate 
operational commander was C.G. FIFTH Bomber Command. 

Shortly before 0910 one of his planes in Sector TWO of 
Search Plan FOX (Plate IV) relayed a VHF intercept which was probably 
additionally relayed by C.G. FIFTH Bomber Command on the AOIC circuit. 
This message stated that (a) there were two enemy battleships, two 
cruisers and four destroyers in Latitude 08°-50 , N, Longitude 122°- 50* E, 
on course 030°(T), speed twenty knots, (b) six miles south of the first 
force there were two battleships, two heavy cruisers, four light cruisers 
and six destroyers, and (c) they were under attack by a carrier group*** 
(Contact "10", Plate XV). 

ALTHOUGH THIS DISPATCH WAS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE TO THE 
COMMANDERS CONCERNED IN THAT IT INDICATED THAT THE JAPANESE MIGHT 
PENETRATE SURIGAO STRAIT THAT NIGHT, IT WAS, HOWEVER, QUITE INACCURATE 
IN THAT THERE WERE ACTUALLY ONLY TWO BATTLESHIPS, ONE HEAVY CRUISER AND 
FOUR DESTROYERS IN THE THIRD SECTION WHICH WAS THE ONLY FORCE IN THIS 
LOCATION. WHY TWO GROUPS RATHER THAN ONE WERE REPORTED CANNOT BE FULLY 
EXPLAINED. ONE POSSIBLE EXPLANATION IS AS FOLLOWS: 

The ENTERPRISE (TG 38.4) planes which had sighted the 
THIRD Section at 0905, and later reported the composition correctly as 
two battleships, one heavy cruiser and four destroyers,**** were likely 
experiencing difficulty in relaying their contact report. The pilot of 

* CTF 73 Dispatch 240300 October 1944 to C.G. 5TH Air Force, info C.G. 

13TH Air Force, CAAF, CINCSWPA, C0M7TKFLT, CTG 73.4, 5TH Air Force 

Weekly Intelligence Review, October 22nd - 28th, 1944. 
** The operations of CTG 73.4 are discussed separately on this day 

because of the importance of the contacts made on the Japanese 

forces. 
*** Aircraft in Sector TWO Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All Stations 

this Circuit. 
**** CTG 38.4 Dispatch 240424 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTF 38, 

CTF 77, CINCSWPA, COMADVON 5, COMADVON 13. 

152 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 73.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

the PB4Y plane flying Sector TWO (303°-312°(T) from Morotai), monitoring 
this VHF circuit, recognizing their difficulty decided to assist by 
relaying the reports to his own base. At this same time he was likely 
also monitoring the VHF circuit used by the TG 38,3 planes which were 
tracking the Japanese Main Body off Mindoro. In listening to the two 
sets of transmissions he somehow became confused and decided that the two 
separate contacts, i.e., the THIRD Section and the Main Body (which was 
in two groups of ships at this time) were two series of reports on the 
enemy forces in the Sulu Sea and therefore transmitted the composition as 
two groups of ships. (Actually there were three groups of ships, one 
group being the THIRD Section in the Sulu Sea which was on course 025° (T), 
speed fifteen - sixteen knots; the other two being the FIRST and SECOND 
Sections of the Main Body off Mindoro, which were on course 035°(T), 
speed eighteen knots. 

At 0950 another of his planes also sighted the THIRD 
Section and reported two battleships, one heavy cruiser and four destroyers 
in Latitude 08°-55 f N, Longitude 121°-32«E, on course 040°(T), speed 
fifteen knots and that he was proceeding on mission assigned* (Contact 
"11"). 

At 1000 this plane made a second report on the THIRD 
Section. It now reported that the two battleships were of the FUSO class, 
which was of course correct, the heavy cruiser and destroyers were 
unidentified. The position was garbled but he reported the course and 
speed as 060° (T) and fifteen knots. He also stated that he was returning 
to base.** 

At 1115 one of his planes, probably the one flying Sector 
YOKE of Search Plan FOX (Plate IV), reported observing a twenty-six ship 
convoy of Japanese origin twenty- six miles southeast of Mount Dumali 
(northeast coast of Mindoro Island in Latitude 13°-06»N) on course 090°(T) 
and added that there were no carriers,*** (Contact "12") , This contact 
was on the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, 

At 1155 one of his planes (whether the same plane which 
reported the THIRD Section about 0910 or another is unknown) sighted one 
ATAGO class heavy cruiser, two NATORI class light cruisers and four 
destroyers, with one float plane escort in Latitude 09 o -30 f N, Longitude 
120°-30«E, on course 105°(T), speed ten knots and added that he was 
continuing his patrol**** (Contact "15") • The contact report was 
reasonably accurate since this was the Japanese SECOND Striking Force 
consisting of two heavy cruisers, NACHI class (NACHI, ASHIGARA), one light 



C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240330 October 1944 to All Concerned with 

Operations, 
** C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240215 October 1944 to All Interested in 

Operations. 
*** Unknown Aircraft (probably Aircraft in Sector YOKE) Dispatch 

241H5/I October 1944 to Radio Hollandia, info CINCSWPA. 
**** C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240100/1 (sic) October 1944 to All 

Interested Commands AOIC Circuit, 

153 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 73.4 and CTG 73.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

cruiser, NATORI class (ABUKUMA) and four destroyers. It was about 
twenty-four miles east of the reported position. It is worthy of note 
that the pilot of this plane succeeded in making this contact without 
being detected.* 

At about 1240 another of his planes, having contacted the 
THIRD Section, reported three battleships, one heavy cruiser and four 
destroyers in Latitude 09°-25'N, Longitude 122°-23 I E** (Contact "16"). 
Although this was quite accurate as to location it was in error by one 
battleship. 

During the remainder of the afternoon nothing of 
sufficient importance occurred to be noted in his war diary or in the 
war diaries of the searching patrol plane squadrons. 

(2) Operations of CTG 73.7 (Advanced Group), 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

On this day CTG 73.7, in the SAN CARLOS anchored in 
Hinunangan Bay, continued to supervise operations within his group. The 
HALF MOON, which appears to have been tending the advance elements of 
both VPB 33 and VPB 34,*** was also anchored there. It is not clear 
whether or not at this time the SAN CARLOS was also tending planes for 
there is no mention of it in her war diary. 

The Commanding Officer HALF MOON was, at this time, 
preparing certain planes for flight, for CTG 73.7 had directed him 
beginning (a) this evening, to fly the three west sectors (341°(T) - 
017°(T)) of Search Plan FOX (Modified) (that portion of Search Plan FOX 
operating from Leyte Gulf (Plate IX)) and (b) the following morning the 
two east sectors (017°(T) - 041°(T)) of the same Search Plan FOX 
(Modified )«**** This would require three planes for the night searches 
and two for the day. 

SINCE TEN PBY«S HAD BEEN FLOWN INTO LEYTE GULF THE 
PRECEDING AFTERNOON, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN REASONABLE TO EXPECT THAT AT 
LEAST HALF OF THEM WOULD BE READY IN ALL RESPECTS TO FLY A NIGHT MISSION. 
THE FACTS ARE, HOWEVER, THAT BUT THREE PLANES COULD BE MADE OPERATIONAL. 



* Action Summary 2ND Striking Force in SHO Operations, Southwest Area 
Operation, Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, 2ND Striking Force Staff 
Torpedo Officer, GHQ FEC, Special Historical Collection Supporting 
Documents to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur 1 s Report on 
Allied Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area (Item 22, Footlocker 
5 of 10, SWPA Series, Volume II). 

** TANGIER Dispatch 241240/1 October 1944, Addressees Unknown, but 
presumably to All Interested Commands. 

*** War Diaries SAN CARLOS, HALF MOON, October 24th, 1944. 

**** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 231227 October 1944 to CTF 77, info C0M7THFLT, CTF 
73, CG. 5TH Air Force, All Interested in Catalina Operations. 



154 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 73.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

It has been difficult to determine with absolute 
assurance what caused this. Certainly the ten planes flown in from 
Morotai should have been in good material condition. What, then, caused 
the material failure of all but three planes? As is developed in the 
following, it is believed that this failure eventuated from a series of 
unfortunate events culminating in the HALF MOON's pumping salt water 
into the planes of VPB 34. 

At 0821 the SAN CARLOS got underway to shift anchorage 
to San Pedro Bay** It seems likely that CTG 73.7 was not on board but 
was instead en route in some fast craft to meet CTF 77 in the WASATCH at 
0900 in accordance with instructions of the preceding day.** 

It seems likely also that after this conference, he 
returned to the SAN CARLOS while that ship was en route to San Pedro Bay. 
This seems so for he began issuing orders relating to the afternoon 
searches soon after the probable time of his return. 

At 1334 he apparently sent instructions to the Commanding 
Officer HALF MOON regarding the routine three-plane night search to be 
established this evening. (This order has not been located but CTG 73.7 
refers to his own dispatch 240434 in a later message.) 

Meanwhile, at Hinunangan Bay two enemy two-engine bombers 
made a surprise attack against the HALF MOON at approximately 1448 and 
were driven off by antiaircraft fire, but not before they had scored a 
near miss.*** 

Apparently, at this time, the PBY»s of VPB 34 were being 
fueled. The fueling operations were immediately stopped and the gasoline 
lines of the ship were flooded with salt water to minimize the fire 
hazard. 

After the raid fueling was resumed. However, for reasons 
unknown, but likely because of the disruptive effect of the air raid, 
ADEQUATE PRECAUTIONS WERE NOT TAKEN WITH THE RESULT THAT THE PLANES OF 
VPB 34 (SOME OR ALL) WERE FUELED WITH SALT WATER INSTEAD OF GASOLINE. 
This incident is referred to in retrospect by the Executive Officer of 
VPB 34 (at the time of the Leyte Campaign) in an interview held on 
October 10th, 1945.**** The account seems credible because (a) the pilot 
seems to have had no unusual motive for presenting this information and 
(b) the event sequence he establishes fits in well with the facts 
relating to this day. 



* War Diary SAN CARLOS, October 24th, 1944. 

** CTF 77 Dispatch 231225 October 1944 to CTG 73.7. 

*** War Diary HALF MOON, October 24th, 1944. 

**** Personal Interview of Captain (then Lieutenant Commander) Vadym V. 
Utgoff, USN, Executive Officer VPB 34, Pacific Area Black Cats and 
Sea Rescues, recorded by Naval Records and Library, CNO, October 
10th, 1945 o 

155 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 73.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

But, to return to CTG 73.7 who had now returned to the 
SAN CARLOS en route San Pedro Bay I Sometime before 1550 (at which time 
he sent implementing orders to the Commanding Officer HALF MOON) he 
received orders from CTF 77, as quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 
77, 0000 - 1830, October 24th», directing him to search (a) the three 
west sectors of Search Plan FOX (Modified) and (b) with two planes, the 
Surigao Strait, Mindanao Sea and Sulu Sea areas,* This would require 
five planes for the night searches. 

At 1550 he transmitted his implementing order to the 
Commanding Officer HALF MOON which, among other things, ordered (a) two 
special night "thorough" radar searches of the Mindanao and Sulu Sea and 
included the routes to be followed, (b) the planes to track the enemy 
force if located and (c) the searches to return after sunrise,** This 
order increased the maintenance problems of the Commanding Officer HALF 
MOON, for the planned searches now required seven planes — five for the 
night searches and two for the day. 

At 1631, in his flagship (SAN CARLOS), he anchored in 
San Pedro Bay,*** 

It appears that after transmitting the above order he 
became quite concerned with the potentially dangerous location of the 
HALF MOON in Hinunangan Bay. Aware of CTF 77 's preparations to defend 
Leyte Gulf against possible penetration by the enemy surface force in the 
Sulu Sea, he probably realized that (a) if the HALF MOON were to remain 
in her present anchorage she would be but several miles to the westward 
of the probable line of fire between opposing battle lines should a 
surface engagement eventuate and (b) if an enemy ship did penetrate into 
Leyte Gulf the HALF MOON would be quite vulnerable to attack. 

Therefore, at 1659, he ordered the HALF MOON to "Send 
out three routine patrols as soon practicable. Remaining two at 1630 
ITEM. Get underway immediately with crash boat proceed position bearing 
053 degrees 21 miles Point Molly,**** Send remaining planes same 
position as soon as ready. All Planes call Halifax (CSA) when airborne. 
Check IFF. Leave all buoys moored,"***** It is noted that the time of 
take off for the remaining two planes is given as 1630, (This could have 
been a technical error for this search was to take off at sunset which 
was at 1830,) (It is not known when the Commanding Officer HALF MOON 
received this dispatch but in the press of subsequent events, the HALF 
MOON was unable to get underway until 2206 at which time anchorage was 
shifted to the western side of Cabugan Grande Island, a few miles to the 
northwestward, )****** 



* CTF 77 Dispatch 240325 October 1944 to CTG 73.7. 

** CTG 73.7 Dispatch 240650 October 1944 to HALF MOON. 

*** War Diary SAN CARLOS, October 24th, 1944. 

**** Point Molly was Mt. Majuyag (Latitude 11°-01*N, Longitude 

124°-48'-40'E). 

***** SAN CARLOS Dispatch 240759 October 1944 to HALF MOON. 

****** War Diary HALF MOON, October 24th, 1944. 

156 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 73.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1715 he was advised by TBS voice radio from CTF 77, 
among other things, that if practicable four VF would cover the take 
off's of the PBY's and escort them to the coast but that fighter cover 
was doubtful.* 

What now occurred at Hinunangan Bay? Well, during the 
next few hours it would seem that strenuous efforts were made to make 
available the five planes required for the night searches but without 
success .** The dispatch files are not complete in this regard but it is 
clear that at 1925 CTG 73.7 received a TBS voice radio message from the 
Commanding Officer HALF MOON to the effect that but three planes would be 
ready for the night searches— the two specials (Sulu Sea searches) and a 
"TARE" mission (undoubtedly Sector 353°(T) to 005° (T).)*** 

IF THE "SEA WATER IN FUEL TANKS" EXPLANATION FOR CTG 
73.7*3 BEING UNABLE TO READY MORE THAN THREE PLANES ON THIS EVENING IS 
ACCEPTED, AND THERE IS LITTLE JUSTIFICATION FOR NOT ACCEPTING IT, THEN 
AN ISSUE WHICH HAS LONG BEEN A SOURCE OF CONTROVERSY HAS BEEN PARTIALLY 
CLARIFIED, ADDITIONAL MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS SUCH AS RADAR, STRUCTURAL, 
ENGINE OR OTHER GENERAL MATERIAL FAILURES MAY HAVE AGGRAVATED THE 
AIRCRAFT AVAILABILITY SITUATION, BUT THE MATTER OF PUMPING SALT WATER 
INTO THE PLANES OF VPB 34 SUPPLIES THE MAJOR FACTOR PREVENTING THE 
SEARCHES FROM BEING FLOWN AS ORDERED BY CTF 77. 

The explanation of why but three of VPB 33* s planes were 
ready is more difficult to determine. It seems likely that, since this 
squadron was apparently scheduled to fly the three-plane search originally 
ordered, its planes were fueled earlier than those of VPB 34 and, 
therefore, were properly fueled. Yet, if all of VPB 34' s planes were out 
of commission because of the salt water in the fuel tanks, it seems 
likely that VPB 33 would then have been ordered to increase its efforts 
to fly all five missions assigned. It is conceivable that in view of 
(a) the confusion precipitated (l) by air attacks, (2) the fueling 
episode, and (b) additional maintenance difficulties, only three planes 
could be readied in time to make the search. 

In response to this CTG 73.7, at 2003, among other 
things, (a) directed the HALF MOON to remain with the planes until all 
were in flyable condition and (b) authorized cancellation of the morning 
search.*** 

Rather than to drop the matter of the night searches at 
this point it seems appropriate to take judicial notice of what actually 
transpired. The two planes (the specials referred to above) went out 

* CTF 77 TBS Voice Radio Message 240315 October 1944 to CTG 73.7. 
** Events occurring subsequent to 1830 are included here for the 

purpose of completing the account of the maintenance problems of 

TG 73.7 and of stating the patrols flown, 
*** CTG 73.7 TBS Voice Radio Message 241003 (sic) October 1944 to HALF 

MOON with referenced dispatch HALF MOON 241925 partially quoted. 

It seems probable that the time 241003 was garbled and was most 

likely 242003. This would follow the time sequence. 

157 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 73.7 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

after sunset and searched Surigao Strait, the Mindanao Sea and the Sulu 
Sea but did not locate either of the two divisions of the Japanese THIRD 
Section or the SECOND Striking Force. This is so even though the pilot 
of one plane (about 2130) sighted the MOGAMI which, as discussed under 
"Operations of Commander FIRST Division, 1830 - 2400, October 24th", had 
at 1330, with DESDIV FOUR, separated from Commander THIRD Section and 
headed for Panaon Island. IN HIS POSTWAR STATEMENT THE PILOT STATED 
(a) HE DID NOT REPORT THE CRUISER CONTACT BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN BRIEFED TO 
MAKE NO REPORTS UNLESS THE JAPANESE FLEET WAS SIGHTED AND (b) HIS RADAR 
WAS INOPERATIVE AT THE TIME.* THIS IS QUITE DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND OR 
TO RATIONALIZE SINCE, HAVING SIGHTED WHAT APPEARED TO BE AN ENEMY CRUISER, 
IT WOULD SEEM THE PILOT, KNOWING HIS RADAR WAS INOPERATIVE, WOULD HAVE 
MADE A THOROUGH VISUAL SEARCH OF THE IMMEDIATE AREA, RATHER THAN TO 
PROCEED ON HIS ASSIGNED MISSION. 

The other pilot, assigned to search the southern Sulu Sea, 
was also unsuccessful in gaining contact on either of the two forces, 
although he too must have passed over or very close to them in his flight 
through the Mindanao Sea.** 

THE SEARCH REFERRED TO AS THE "TARE" MISSION WAS 
APPARENTLY MODIFIED IN FAVOR OF SCOUTING THE COAST OF SAMAR. 

While there are no orders available to this analysis 
directing this modification, in a letter written by the pilot of this 
flight it is shown that it must have been so for, apparently on orders, 
he (a) flew initially along the east coast of Samar, thence along the 
north coast and down the west coast to Maqueda Bay followed by a retracing 
of this same track back to Leyte Gulf and (b) hugged the cost of Samar 
flying about 500 yards off shore at an altitude of 800 feet, so that he 
could identify shipping visually. 

It appears that he had difficulty in departing Leyte Gulf 
owing to Allied antiaircraft gunfire and in order to prevent being fired 
upon by friendly forces after his take off, he climbed, flying back and 
forth in the vicinity of his seaplane tender, to 10,000 feet before 
departing for Homonhon Island after which he let down to make the search.*** 
(This statement is, in part, supported by the destroyer MC GOWAN's account 
of a plane, reportedly friendly but with the wrong IFF showing, which 
cruised back and forth over southeastern Leyte in the vicinity of Cabugan 
Grande Island from about 2010 until about 2115 at which time the Diane 
disappeared from the radar scope.)**** 

* Letter written by Commander James F. Merritt, Jr., USN, to Commodore 

R. W. Bates, USN (Ret), Head, World War II Battle Evaluation Group, 

Naval War College, dated October 17th, 1956. 
** Ibid., Letter written by Lieutenant Maurice Moskaluk, USNR, to 

Commodore R. W. Bates, USN (Ret), dated January 3rd, 1953. 
*** Ibid., Letter written by Commander C. B. Sillers, USN, to Commodore 

R. W. Bates, USN (Ret), dated April 13th, 1957. 
**** Action Report MC GOWAN, Operation for Capture, Occupation and 

Defense of Leyte, Philippine Islands, including the Battle of 

Surigao Strait, Serial 00103, November 5th, 1944. 

158 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 73.7 
CONFIDENTIAL -October 24th 

WHY THIS PLANE FAILED TO CONTACT THE MAIN BODY, FIRST 
STRIKING FORCE IS NOT EXPLAINED, BUT IT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN DUE TO THE 
FACE THAT HAVING DEPARTED LEYTE GULF ABOUT 2115, THE PLANE PASSED 
THROUGH SAN BERNARDINO STRAIT SHORTLY BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF THE MAIN 
BODY, FIRST STRIKING FORCE AND LATER, RETRACING ITS TRACK, FLEW BY THE 
FORCE— THOUGH APPARENTLY NOT SUFFICIENTLY CLOSE FOR DETECTION— WHICH 
WAS CRUISING WITHIN TWENTY MILES OF THE COAST OF SAMAR UNTIL SUNRISE 
THE MORNING OF THE 25TH. 



159 CONFIDENTIAL 



CINCPAC - CINCPOA 
COKTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(B) Operations of CINCPAC - CINCPOA, OOOO - 1830, October 24th. 

During this day CINCPOA continued to study closely the developing 
situation. At 0517 he sent his daily intelligence summary for October 
23rd which, as will be discussed in greater detail under "Operations of 
COMTHIRDFLT, 0000 - 1830, October 24th", appears to have had a profound 
effect upon the decisions of the latter commander on this day. 

During the day he received those contact reports (Plate XV) which 
have been hitherto discussed but did not act thereon, apparently feeling 
that COMTHIRDFLT and CTF 77 who were on the scene were quite capable of 
deciding upon the correct courses of action vis-a-vis known enemy surface 
movements. 

(1) Operations of Western Pacific Task Forces, 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

(a) Operations of COMTHIRDFLT, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

On this day the tempo of transpiring events increased 
considerably with the result that COMTHIRDFLT made many decisions of 
major consequence. Yet no searching analysis of these decisions can be 
made for to do so would involve a thorough study of the factors leading 
to and deriving from these decisions. From this would evolve an analysis 
quite voluminous and not altogether pertinent to the study of the Battle 
of Surigao Strait. These matters were to have been fully discussed in 
Volume IV which, as pointed out in the Introduction, was discontinued. 

At midnight COMTHIRDFLT in his flagship, NEW JERSEY, in 
company with TG 38.2, was operating off southern Luzon* steaming toward 
the entrance to San Bernardino Strait in preparation for the forthcoming 
days operations.** Although he had directed the INDEPENDENCE to have a 
night search ready for launching at midnight,*** for reasons not 
available to this analysis, the search was not launched. 

At 0017 he received CTG 38.2* s plan for the day's operations**** 
which was sent in response to his earlier query.***** 

At 0019 he received an intelligence summary from GHQ SOWESPAC 
Area, principally reporting ground force intelligence. The air portion 
however was significant for it stated that the Japanese proposed to stage 
200 aircraft to Luzon which suggested an intensification of the air 
offensive in the Leyte area.****** 

* War Diary INDEPENDENCE, October 24th, 1944. 

** War Diary C0M3RDFLT, October 24th, 1944. 

*** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 231310 October 1944 to 

INDEPENDENCE, info CTF 38 and CTG's 38.2 and 38.4. 
**** CTG 3B.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 231517 October 1944 to 

C0M3RDFLT. 
***** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 231400 October 1944 to CTG 

38.2. 
****** GHQ SOWESPAC Dispatch 231256 October 1944 to CINC SWPA, C.G. 

6TH Army. 

160 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 0020* he received CTG 38.4' s plan for the search to be 
launched at 0600** in accordance with the instructions he had issued 
about 0900 the previous morning.*** 

At 0026 he intercepted BREAM 1 s report of a Japanese force 
consisting of two AOBA class cruisers and a large destroyer in Latitude 
14°-05 ! N, Longitude 119°-40 f E at 0430 the previous morning**** and 
claiming two hits in a cruiser (Contact "1", Plate XV). The force was 
CRUDIV SIXTEEN, the cruiser the AOBA, which had received one hit.***** 

At 0042 he received CTF 71' s message relaying a contact 
report by the ANGLER on a task force of four large ships plus escorts at 
2130 in Latitude 12°-40'N, Longitude 118 -58»E on base course 050°(T) at 
eighteen knots****** (Contact "2"). 

At 0215 he received the GUITARRO's first report of an enemy 
task force at 0030 consisting of between fifteen and twenty ships, 
including probably three battleships, in Latitude 13°-00 , N, Longitude 
119°-30»E, at eighteen knots on course 080° (T )******* (Contact "3"). 
The implications of the report have been discussed under CTF 77 for this 
day* 

At 0223* he received CTF 77 's message to CTG 77.4 citing the 
possibility of a large enemy air attack developing and directing 
appropriate defensive measures; viz., cancellation of the Western Visayas 
strike and an increase of the TCAP to thirty-six fighters with sixteen 
additional fighters in condition ELEVEN. ******** 

At 0443* he received GUITARRO f s second report as it was being 
rebroadcast by Radio Honolulu, (Contact "4"). This reported three 
definite battleships and two possible carriers headed south through 
Mindoro Strait at 0330.********* 



* War Diary C0M3RDFLT, October 24th, 1944. 

** CTG 38.4 Dispatch 231009 October 1944 to CTF 77. 

*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 222359 October 1944 to CTG 38.4, info All 

Concerned SWPA Operations, All TFC's and TGC's 3RDFLT, CINCPAC, 

COMINCH. 
**** BREAM Dispatch 231231 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
***** COMCRUDIV 16 Dispatch 230445 October 1944 to CINC Combined 

Fleet, Commander SW Area Force, Commander 2ND Striking Force, 

Detailed Action Report COMCRUDIV 16, SHO Operation, October 

17th - 27th, 1944 WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 
****** CTF 71 Dispatch 231454 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C0M7THFLT, 

All TFC»s 3RD and 7THFLT«s, C0MAF»s 5 and 13, COMSUBPAC, 

CINCPAC. 
******* CTU 71.1.25 Dispatch 231610 October 1944 to CTF 71. 
******** CTF 77 Dispatch 231532 October 1944 to CTG 77.4, info TG 77.4, 

TF 77, TF 79, C0M3RDFLT and one unknown addressee. 
********* GUITARRO Dispatch 231900 October 1944 to CTF 71. 



161 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At dawn the three operating carrier groups were in their 
launching positions (Diagram ■C"), as follows: (a) TG 38.3 about ninety 
miles due east of the northern tip of the Polillo Islands, (b) TG 38,2 
about sixty miles northeast of San Bernardino Strait and (c) TG 38.4 
bearing 050o(T) distant fifty miles from the southeast tip of Samar 
Island (Sungi Point). 

At about 0600 these carrier groups launched reinforced 
searches from each of the three grouDS to a distance of 300 miles or more, 
completely covering the western approaches to the Philippines, with a 
total coverage from orth to south of about 1,000 miles. Relay planes 
were stationed from 100 to 200 miles from the task groups for prompt 
relay of contact reports.* The wether was favorable for search and 
strike operations,** 

At 0750 he received CINCPOA's intelligence summary for 
October 23rd which, added to other information he had received, appears 
to have caused him to initiate a very important sequence of orders. Among 
other things this dispatch revealed that (a) CinC Combined Fleet appeared 
to be in Japan, (b) Commander Main Force was unlocated but was estimated, 
on the basis of several factors, to be in the Formosa-Philiopine Sea area, 
(c) Commander FIRST Striking Force was probably in the Philippines on the 
23rd and was evaluated as the combatant force sighted by the DACE and 
DARTER in Palawan Passage, (d) a force of which the SECOND Striking Force 
was a part, probably arrived in Coron Bay on the 23rd, (e) the FIRST and 
SECOND Striking Forces would likely be in Coron-Paluan Bay (Mindoro Island) 
area on the morning of the 24th and (f) there were indications of an 
advance of air reinforcements from Formosa to the Philippines although 
the movement did not appear to be on a large scale as yet. 

At 0820 he intercepted a somewhat garbled VHF message from a 
CABOT plane reporting a major force, including three B3 and many other 
units*** (Contact "5"). 

Almost simultaneously (at 0822) he intercepted a VHF message 
from an INTREPID aircraft which clarified the previous sightings by 
reporting the force as consisting of four BB, eight CA, thirteen DD, 
located south of the southern tip of Mindoro on course 050°(T), speed ten 
to twelve knots; included was the additional information that no 
transports were in the group and that there was a total of twenty-five 
warships**** (Contact "6"). 

How he evaluated this contact report is nowhere stated but it 
seems likely that he evaluated it as the same force which had been attacked 
by the DACE and DARTER on the preceding day in Palawan Passage and sighted 
by the GUITARRO at 0030 that morning. It was a most important contact for 
it showed that a powerful Japanese surface force of battleships, cruisers 
and destroyers, but without carriers, was already moving into the northern 

* War Diary C0M3RDFLT, October 24th, 1944. 

** Action Report C0M3RDFLT, October 23rd - 26th, 1944, Serial 0083, 

November 13th, 1944. 
*** CABOT 3V11 VHF Message 232320 October 1944. 
**** INTREPID 5F VHF Message 232322 October 1944. 

162 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Sulu Sea. What the absence of carriers meant to him is not known. 
Perhaps he recalled CTF 77 's dispatch (230142) of the preceding forenoon 
wherein that commander had estimated that "it is possible that carriers 
will support surface forces and strike from west of Palawan";* perhaps 
he was inclined to give more credence to CINCPOA's estimate of the Main 
Force being to the north of him. 

He now advised CTG's 38.3 and 38.4 of this sighting and in 
addition he (a) indicated the time of the CABOT aircraft sighting as 0810, 
(b) directed them to establish a radio watch on 2642 kilocycles, (c) break 
radio silence to report any information and (d) to expedite report of 
morning searches.** 

AT THIS POINT HE APPEARS TO HAVE REALIZED THAT THE SITUATION 
WAS NOT DEVELOPING ALONG PREDICTED LINES. FOR HERE WAS A THREAT OF MUCH 
MORE SERIOUS NATURE THAN THE MAGNIFIED TOKYO EXPRESS CONCEPT WHICH CTF 77 
HAD PROMULGATED ON THE PREVIOUS DAY. HE COULD SEE OF COURSE THAT (a) THIS 
MAGNIFIED TOKYO EXPRESS CAPABILITY WAS STILL OF HIGH PRIORITY AND WAS 
LIKELY OF THE HIGHEST PRIORITY*** AND THAT (b) ITS IMPORTANCE WAS 
INTENSIFIED BY THE POSSIBILITY OF ENEMY CARRIERS OPERATING IN SUPPORT FROM 
THE NORTH. IT IS QUITE APPARENT FROM THE ORDERS HE ISSUED LATER, THAT HIS 
IMMEDIATE CONCERN WAS WITH THE ENEMY FORCE TO THE SOUTH OF MINDORO FOR, 
UNLESS THEIR MOVEMENT WAS DISRUPTED, THIS FORCE HAD THE CAPABILITY OF ' 
ENGAGING HIS FORCES IN NIGHT BATTLE IN THE VICINITY OF SAN BERNARDINO 
STRAIT, POSSIBLY WITH THE ENEMY CARRIERS (ESTIMATED TO BE TO THE NORTH) 
OPERATING IN SUPPORT. IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT WHILE HE CONCENTRATED ON THE 
MAIN BODY AS BEING THE MOST SERIOUS THREAT, THE POSSIBILITY OF CARRIERS TO 
THE NORTH ASSUMED IN HIS MIND AN IMPORTANCE BEYOND ANYTHING THUS FAR 
ANTICIPATED. HE COULD VISUALIZE THESE CARRIERS LAUNCHING AIR ATTACKS 
AGAINST HIS FORCE DIRECTLY OR BY EMPLOYING PHILIPPINE AIRFIELDS AS 
REARMING POINTS EMPLOYING THE TECHNIQUE OF SHUTTLE-BOMBING. HE CONCLUDED 
THAT IMMEDIATE ACTION WAS NECESSARY TO COUNTER THIS THREAT ALSO AND 
DECIDED THEN TO (a) CONCENTRATE HIS THREE FAST CARRIER GROUPS OFF SAN 
BERNARDINO STRAIT, (b) STRIKE THE ENEMY FORCE SOUTH OF MINDORO WITH HIS 
THREE AVAILABLE CARRIER GROUPS, (c) REQUEST SEAPLANE COVERAGE OF HIS 
NORTHERN FLANK AND (d) RECALL CTG 38.1 WITH TG 38.1 FOR THE PURPOSE OF 
SEARCHING FOR THE CARRIERS. IN RECALLING CTG 38.1 HE REALIZED THAT THIS 
WOULD LIKELY INTERFERE WITH HIS PREPARATIONS FOR OPERATION HOTFOOT BUT THE 
CHARACTER OF THE PRESENT THREAT GAVE HIM NO ALTERNATIVE. 



* CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, C.G.'s 5TH and 13TH 
Air Forces, info All TFC's and TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT's, COMINCH, 
CINCPAC. 

** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232322 October 1944 to CTG* s 38.3 and 38.4, info 
All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLT's, COMINCH, CINCPAC. 

*** This thought is supported in part by an excerpt from the daily news 
broadcasts on the SAN DIEGO for October 24th which stated in part, 
"Admiral Halsey believes that these ships — combatant, amphibious and 
in the train — will be used to conduct a glorified 'Tokyo Express* to 
reinforce the beseiged Japanese troops garrisoning Leyte." 



496799 O - 59 - 20 



163 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
October 24th 



At this point it seems wise to emphasize here the fact that 
at the time several events were occurring of which he was not yet aware. 
These were (a) powerful air attacks emanating from Luzon were beginning 
against TG 38.3 off Polillo Island, (b) the Japanese THIRD Section in the 
Sulu Sea was so far undetected but would within an hour be under attack 
by aircraft from TG 38.4, and (c) the SECOND Striking Force in the Sulu 
Sea was so far unlocated, having departed Coron Bay early this morning 
(0200).* 

Commencing at 0827 he began implementing this decision for at 
this time he issued orders to TG's 38.3 and 38.4 to concentrate toward 
TG 38.2 at best speed.** 

At 0831 he directed CTF 38 and CTG 38.3 by dispatch to attack 
the enemy force south of Mindoro and gave the location, composition and 
course and speed of that force.*** Although his war diary states that he 
directed CTG 38.3 and CTG 38.4 to attack the enemy,**** which indicates 
that it was his intention to attack with all three task groups, actually 
the message was not addressed to CTG 38.4 and hence that commander was not 
directed to attack. It appears that CTG 38.4 could not have mounted an 
attack immediately because he was still carrying out his reinforced 
searches to the westward including attacks on DESDIV TWENTY-ONE and the 
THIRD Section. In fact he did not launch his attack against the Main Body, 
FIRST Striking Force until 1313 .***** 

In less than a quarter of an hour after the INTREPID plane's 
report he received a TBS voice radio message from TG 38,2 advising that a 
forty-five plane strike consisting of twelve VB, thirteen VT and twenty 
VF, ****** was ready for immediate launching. 

At 0835 he sent an urgent dispatch to CTF 77 pointing out that 
early coverage of the sea area to northeastward of Leyte was vital to the 
protection of the flank of THIRD Fleet and requesting information concerning 
the establishment of planned seaplane searches. ******* 

At 0837 he ordered CTG 38.2 to strike the enemy force south of 
Mindoro . ******** 



Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off the Philippines, 

October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232327 October 1944 to CTG 38.3 and CTG 38.4. 

C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232331 October 1944 to CTF 38 and CTG 38.3. 

War Diary C0M3RDFLT, October 1944. 

Action Report CTG 38,4 (COMCARDIV 2), Operations in support of 

the occupation of Leyte and against the Japanese Fleet, Octoher 

22nd - 31st, 1944, Serial 00267, November 18th, 1944. 

CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 232335 October 1944 to 

C0M3RDFLT. 

C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232335 October 1944 to CTF 77, info CTF 33, 

COMSOWESPAC, C0M7THFLT. 

C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 232337 October 1944 to CTG 38.2. 






*>BHHHe 



#-**-**&* 



■JHHBBHHHt- 



164 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Continuing the actions derived from his morning estimate, at 
O846 he directed CTG 38.1 to (a) reverse course and proceed to Point MICK 
at best speed and (b) launch a search to northwestward and northward at 
dawn on the following morning.* THE DECISION TO RECALL THIS TASK GROUP 
THEN EN ROUTE ULITHI FOR REPLENISHMENT WAS SOUND SINCE IT SUPPORTS THE 
FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN COMTHIRDFLT' S ESTIMATE OF THE ENEMY »S REACTION TO 
THE LEYTE LANDINGS. 

At 0855, feeling he could not wait for the results of the PBY 
searches out of Leyte Gulf, he ordered CTF 38 to keep the area to the 
north under observation as the enemy carrier strength was still not 
located.** 

Also at 0855 he noted that CTG 38.2 was launching an air 
strike. 

At 0903 he alerted COMBATDIV SEVEN**-* to the possibilities of 
forthcoming surface action by advising him that TG's 38.3 and 38.4 were 
concentrating on TG 38.2 and directing him to prepare to assume the duties 
of Commander Battle Line.**** In a very short time the latter replied 
"ready and willing" ****** 

At O925 he received a dispatch from CTF 38 relaying the report 
from an unidentified plane of the enemy force of twenty-five ships (four 
BB's, eight CA's and thirteen DD's) in Latitude 12°-15'N, Longitude 
1210-32' E on course 015°(T), at fifteen knots and advising that TG 38.3 
was launching its attack while many enemy planes were around the group 
(Contact "git).****** 

At 0943 he intercepted an enemy contact report being 
retransmitted on the AOIC by FIFTH Bomber Command at Biak from the search 
plane in Sector 303°(T) - 312°(T) of the Morotai Search (Contact "10"). 
The report was to the effect that (a) one force in Latitude 08°-50 f N, 
Longitude 122°-05«E, consisting of two BB's, two CA's and four DD's on 
course 030°(T), speed twenty knots indicating this was a VHF intercept, 
(b) a second force six miles south of the first consisting of six DD's, 
two BB's, four CL's and two CA's (Contact "10") adding they were under 
attack by a carrier group. ******* 

His reaction to this dispatch is not known. However it is 
known that he did nothing about it but instead decided to continue his 
concentration on TG 38.2 and to leave the problem of countering this new 
threat to CTF 77. 

* C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232346 October 1944- to CTG 38.1, info All 

TGC's of TF 38. 
** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232355 October 1944 to CTF 38, info CTG 38.2. 
*** Rear Admiral Oscar C. BADGER, USN. 

**** C0M3RDFLT Visual Message 240003 October 1944 to COMBATDIV 7. 
***** COMBATDIV 7 Visual Message 240025 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
****** CTF 38 Dispatch 232353 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
******* Aircraft in Sector 2 Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All Stations 

on this Circuit. 

165 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 0945 (when it was received by CTF 79) he likely received the 
message from CINCPAC passing on to COMSEVENTHFLT* his own (COMTHIRDFLT »s) 
earlier request for submarine reconnaissance along the northwest coast of 
Luzon.** 

At 0946 he received the report of an attack by TG 38.4 search 
group on three destroyers (DESDIV TWENTY-ONE en route to rejoin Commander 
SECOND Striking Force) at 0815 in Latitude 11°-40'N, Longitude 121°-51'E 
which were originally on course 130°(T), speed fifteen knots (Contact "7 n )» 
One destroyer (which later sank) was reported as smoking heavily and dead 
in the water with the other two standing by.*** The attack had been made 
by planes from the FRANKLIN.**** 

At 1018 he noted that CTG 38.2 was launching a second air 
strike against the large enemy force near Mindoro. 

At 1031 he learned from CTF 38 that at about 1000 the PRINCETON 
in TG 38.3 had been hit by a bomb amidships on the port side causing a 
number of serious explosions and a severe fire which was not yet under 
control.***** (As a matter of interest TG 33.3 had been subjected to 
intense air attack in force (over 150 planes) both from Luzon to the west 
and from 030°(T), the latter apparently being from carriers, and had 
claimed shooting down over 100 of them. These planes were from the SIXTH 
Base Air Force which had launched 158 planes that morning to attack TG 
38.3 • This is discussed more fully under "Operations of Commander, SIXTH 
Base Air Force, 0000 - 1830, October 24th M .) 

At 1133 he received a dispatch from CTF 38 which, referring to 
COMTHIRDFLT' s earlier order for the groups to concentrate toward TG 38.2, 
advised him that (a) CTF 38, in company with TG 38.3, at 1100 was in 
Latitude 15°-32'N, Longitude 123°-45'E, (b) CTG 38.3 had been instructed 
to remain in company with the PRINCETON which still had severe uncontrolled 
fires, (c) TG 38.3 was still continuing to attack the enemy and finally, 
(d) CTF 38 would attempt to close COMTHIRDFLT if possible and report 
conditions later. ****** 



* CINCPAC Dispatch 232352 October 1944 to C0M7THFLT, info CINCSWPA, 

CTF's 71, 77 and COM 3RDFLT. 
** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 230748 October 1944 to CINCPAC, info COMSUBPAC, 

CTF 77. 
*** CTG 38.4 Dispatch 232355 October 1944 to CTF 38, C0M3RDFLT, info 

CTG 38.2. 
**** Action Report CTG 38.4 (COMCARDIV 2), Operations in Support of the 

Occupation of Leyte and against the Japanese Fleet, October 22nd - 

31st, 1944, Serial 00267, November 18th, 1944. 
***** CTF 38 Dispatch 240103 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
****** CTF 38 Dispatch 240201 October 1944 to CTG's 38.4, 38.2, info 

C0M3RDFLT. 



166 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1145 he learned, among other things, that a large number 
of Japanese planes had attacked shipping in Leyte Gulf during the period 
from 0750 to 0945 inflicting only minor damage,* These planes were from 
the FOURTH Air Army. 

At 1207 he (a) was advised by TBS voice radio that the 
searches along the west coast of Palawan as far south as Imuruan Bay (on 
northwest side of Palawan, about fifty miles from the north end) and of 
Coron Bay (in the Calamian Group) were negative,** and (b) intercepted 
over the AOIC, a report being relayed by Radio Hollandia from the FIFTH 
Bomber Command, of a sight contact on a twenty-six ship Japanese convoy 
with no carriers present, twenty-six miles southeast of Mount Dumali 
(northeast Mindoro) on course 090°(T)*** (Contact "12"). What he thought 
this convoy consisted of is not known. 

Shortly after noon having decided that it would be wise to 
inform the two theater commanders of his present operations, including 
contacts made, strikes launched and results claimed, he sent them a 
dispatch thereon as follows: 

(a) On the basis of sightings of enemy forces he had moved 
three task groups on a broad front toward the Philippine coast to launch 
reinforced searches at dawn on the 24th and gave the assigned locations of 
the three groups as 38.3 east of Luzon, 38,2 off San Bernardino Strait and 
38.4 off Surigao Strait. 

(b) These searches had sighted a Japanese force of four BB's, 
eight CA's and thirteen DD's (and two CL's unconfirmed) south of Mindoro 
on a northeasterly course as a result of which the two northern groups 
had immediately launched strikes on this enemy force. 

(c) He had then directed the flank groups (38.3 and 38.4) to 
concentrate toward the central group (38.2) and had recalled TG 38,1 
(then en route to Ulithi), 

(d) He had also directed CTG 38.3 to conduct searches in order 
to keep the area to the north under observation. Several enemy planes 
were reported over the northern groups. 

(e) Meanwhile, a reinforced search from TG 38.4 had attacked 
three destroyers west of Panay, seriously damaging and stopping one. The 
other two destroyers stood by the cripple.**** 



* CTF 77 Dispatch 240054 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC's 

3RD and 7THFLT's, All TGC's 3RDFLT, CINCPAC, COMINCH, COMSOWESPAC, 

C.G. 5TH Air Force, etc. 
** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240307 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
*** Radio Hollandia Dispatch 241115/1 October 1944 to CTG's 38.1; 38.2, 

38.3, 38.4, info C0M3RDFLT, All TFC's 3RDFLT. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240314 October 1944 to CINCPAC, CINCSWPA, info 

COMINCH, CTF 77, C0M7THFLT, All TGC's 3RDFLT. 



167 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1223 he learned from CTG 38.1 that, with the BOSTON, the 
latter would arrive at Point MICK the following morning at 0700.* 

At 1245 he received, by TBS voice radio from CTG 38.2, a 
summary report which included, among other things, that (a) an INTREPID 
plane had attacked one CL and one DD standing out between Corregidor and 
Bataan; and had possibly hit the CL. (This was the Guard Force of the 
SECOND Striking Force en route Cagayan (Mindanao). The cruiser (KINU) was 
not hit but the destroyer (URANAMI) was hit by rockets and machine gun 
fire),** and (b) FRANKLIN planes had attacked three DD's initially 
fourteen miles north of Maniguin Island off the northwest tip of Panay and 
had likely sunk one.*** (This was DESDIV TWENTY-ONE.) 

At 1300 he received CTG 38.4' s dispatch (quoted in full under 
"Operations of CTG 38.4, 0000 - 1830, October 24th") informing him in part 
that (a) he was proceeding to close TG 38.2 at twenty-six knots and (b) 
would launch a strike against the Japanese force in the vicinity of Tablas 
Island.**** 

Now, having heard nothing from CTG's 38.3 and 38.4 about air 
strikes against the Main Body, he (a) at 1300 queried CTG 38.3, "assume 
CTG 38.3 is striking large enemy force near Mindoro", and requested that 
he be advised of the results of the strikes as soon as possible***** and 
(b) at 1303 he similarly queried CTG 38. 4. ****** 

At 1331 he received from CTF 38 a summary of forenoon events. 
This dispatch is quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 38, 0000 - 1330, 
October 24th" .******* 

At 1345 he received a flash report from CTG 38.2 of the results 
of the strike by that group on the Japanese Main Body quoted in part under 
"Operations of CTG 38.2, 0000 - 1830, October 24th" .******** 

At 1353 he received another report from CTG 38.4 (quoted in 
full under "Operations of CTG 38.4, 0000 - 1830, October 24th") reporting, 
among other things, having contacted at 0905 in Latitude 08°-55'N, 
Longitude 121°-50'E another Japanese force (THIRD Section) consisting of 
two BB's, one CA and four DD's on course 035°(T), speed fifteen knots 
(Contact "9"), and having attacked same. ********* 



* CTG 38.1 Dispatch 240155 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, CTF 38. 

** Detailed Action Report CRUDIV 16, SHO Operation, October 17th - 

27th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 
*** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240345 October 1944 to CQM3RDFLT. 
**** CTG 33.4 Dispatch 240324 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTF 33, 

CTG 38.2. 
***** C0M3RDFLT DisDatch 240400 October 1944 to CTF 33. 
****** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240403 October 1944 to CTG 38.4, info CTF 38. 
******* CTF 38 Dispatch 240307 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, CTG's 38.2 

and 38.4. 
******** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240445 October 19/*4 to C0M3RDFLT. 

CTG 38.4 Dispatch 240424 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTF 33, 

CTF 77, COXSCWESPAC, COM ADBOMCOM's 5 and 13. 

168 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1356 he intercepted an enemy contact report being 
retransmitted by the TANGIER at Morotai from the PB4Y search plane in 
Sector XRAY. This message stated that there were three battleships, one 
heavy cruiser and four destroyers in Latitude 09°-25'N, Longitude 122°- 
23' E.* (Contact "16" •) Although he stated in his action report that this 
message was received at 1240 it seems more likely that it was actually 
received at this time when CTG 38.1 reported receiving it. He probably 
recognized this contact as being the same force (THIRD Section) that 
CTG 38.4 had just reported attacking. 

At I4I5 he directed CTG 38.2 to make arrangements for search 
planes from the INDEPENDENCE to be in the vicinity of the enemy force at 
evening dusk in order to shadow that force and to keep him informed of its 
movements.** In so doing, he revealed his preoccupation and concentration 
on disrupting the advance of the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force. 

At 1430 he received CTF 77 f s directive to prepare for a night 
engagement wherein CTF 77 after giving the composition of the Japanese 
force (two BB's, four CA's, four CL*s and ten DD's) in the eastern Sulu 
Sea, estimated that it might arrive Leyte Gulf that night,*** (night of 
October 24th/25th). 

At 1445 he received a flash report from CTG 38.2 (a) giving 
the results of the second strike and claiming three bomb and three torpedo 
hits on a KONGO class BB of the leading group and (b) reporting that the 
rest of the Japanese units which were in Latitude 13°-05'N, Longitude 
122°-01'E on course 090°(T) (Contact "17") were undamaged.**** 

At 1458 he received CTF 77 's urgent relay of a contact report 
wherein CTF 77 surmised that there was a probable enemy landing force in 
the convoy of twenty- five ships, including battleships and cruisers, 
reported at 1115 to be twenty-six miles southeast of Mount Dumali (in the 
northeast part of Mindoro) on course east.***** (Contact "12".) 

By midafternoon (1512), having carried forward his running 
estimate of the situation, he formulated a surface action plan in 
anticipation of a possible sortie by the Japanese Main Body through San 
Bernardino Strait. His battle plan stated that (a) BATDIV SEVEN (IOWA and 
NEW JERSEY) VINCENNES, MIAMI and BILQXI and DESRON FIFTY-TWO (less STEPHEN 
POTTER) from TG 38.2 and WASHINGTON, ALABAMA, WICHITA, NEW ORLEANS, DESDIV 
100 plus PATTERSON and BAGLEY from TG 38.4, would be formed as TF 34 under 
Vice Admiral LEE as Commander Battle Line, (b) TF 34 would engage 
decisively at long range, (c) CTG 38.4 would conduct the carriers of 

* TANGIER Dispatch 241240/1 October 1944 to Unknown Addressees 

(probably All Stations this Circuit). 
** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240515 October 1944 to CTG 38.2. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTF's 78, 79, CTG's 70.1, 

77.2, 77.3, COMFEAF, All TFC's 3RDFLT, info C0M3RDFLT, All TGC's 

3RD and 7THFLT»s, CINCPAC, CINCSWPA, COMINCH. 
**** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240545 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
***** CTF 77 Dispatch 240443 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

169 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

TG's 38.2 and 38.4 clear of the surface fighting, (d) instructions for 
TG's 38.1 and 38.3 would be issued later and finally (e) HALSEY was OTC 
in NEW JERSEY.* This message, which was not transmitted by COMTHIRDFLT 
until 1640, was received by CTF 79 at 1700, by CTG 38.1 at 1712 and by 
COMINCH at 1709. 

THIS BATTLE PLAN IS IMPORTANT TO THIS ANALYSIS AS MUCH FOR ITS 
OMISSIONS AS FOR ITS CONTENTS. AMONG ITS OMISSIONS ARE THE FAILURE TO 
(a) INCLUDE CTF 77 AND COMSOWESPAC AS INFORMATION ADDRESSEES, (b) GIVE 
THE TIME AND/OR MANNER OF PLACING THE PLAN IN EFFECT WITH THE NATURAL 
RESULT THAT THE PHRASE "WILL BE FORMED AS TF 34" COULD BE INTERPRETED AS 
(1) A STATEMENT OF SIMPLE FUTURITY INDICATING THAT THE PRESENT INTENTIONS 
OF THE ISSUING COMMANDER WERE TO MAKE THE PLAN EFFECTIVE AT A LATER TIME 
OR (2) AN IMMEDIATE DIRECTIVE EFFECTIVE UPON RECEIPT, AND (c) PROVIDE 
INFORMATION ABOUT THE ENEMY AND THE FAILURE TO SPECIFY AN OBJECTIVE. 
HOWEVER, IN THIS LATTER CASE, SINCE THE COMMANDERS CONCERNED IN TF 38 
WERE THOROUGHLY FAMILIAR WITH THE SITUATION AND WERE FULLY (a) COGNIZANT 
OF THE ENEMY FORCE SOUTH OF MINDORO AND (b) AWARE THAT THE DESTRUCTION OF 
THIS FORCE SHOULD IT SORTIE WOULD BE THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF TF 34, 
THESE LATTER TWO OMISSIONS CANNOT BE CONSIDERED SERIOUS. 

At 1540 he learned that at about four hours earlier three 
groups of enemy planes were approaching Leyte and were being intercepted 
by Allied fighters.** 

At 1544 he issued new orders to CTG 38.4 to close TG 38.2. 
He (a) gave (l) the prospective 1700 position of TG 38.2 as Latitude 
13°-15 f N, Longitude 126°-05'E and (2) the point option course and speed 
as 165°(T), eighteen knots and (b) directed CTG 38.4 to set his course to 
intercept as early as practicable. *** 

At 1608 he received CTF 38 's strike report and summary of the 
day's operation of TG 38.3. Since this summary is quoted in full under 
"Operations of CTF 38, 0000 - 1830, October 24th", it will not be quoted 
here except to state that this report gave the (a) composition of the 
enemy force as six to eight battleships, fourteen heavy cruisers and eight 
to nine destroyers and (b) results as two heavy cruisers or light cruisers 
and one battleship badly damaged.**** 

At 1632 he received an enemy contact report from the search 
plane in Sector THREE of the Morotai-based search, being relayed on the 
AOIC from the FIFTH Bomber Command of a force consisting of two battleships, 
one heavy cruiser and four destroyers in Latitude 08°-55'N, Longitude 
121°-32'E at 0950 on course 040°(T), speed fifteen knots.***** (Contact 
"11"). This contact report may have (a) been linked with that received 

* C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240612 October 1944 to All TFC's 3RDFLT, All 

TGC's of TF 38, info COMINCH, CINCPAC. 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240239 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240644 October 1944 to CTG 38.4, info All TGC's 

of TF 38, CTF 34. 
**** CTF 38 Dispatch 240612 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTG's 33.2, 

38.4. 
***** C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240330 October 1944 to All Concerned our 

Operations. 

170 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

earlier in the forenoon* in spite of the delay of nearly seven hours and, 
if so, (b) served to eliminate any confusion possibly engendered by the 
error in the numbers of ships in the earlier one* 

Although CTF 38 and CTG 38.3 (who were in company but were a 
considerable distance from Commander THIRD Fleet) commenced receiving 
contact reports from the search planes to the northeast at 1635, Commander 
THIRD Fleet did not receive these reports. About an hour later he 
received a dispatch summary from CTF 38 which included this information in 
an evaluated form.** For this reason the first contacts made by the 
search planes from TG 38.3 have not been shown in Plate XV. 

At 1636 he received an aircraft contact report from the plane 
in Sector THREE (312°-321°) of the Morotai-based search being relayed by 
FIFTH Bomber Command on the AOIC which was the first report of a force 
consisting of one ATAGO class heavy cruiser, two NATORI class light 
cruisers and four destroyers with one float plane at 1155 ITEM in Latitude 
09°-30«N, Longitude 120°-30'E on course 105° (T), speed ten knots (Contact 
"15"). The originating plane stated that she was continuing on patrol.*** 

At 1648 COMTHIRDFLT intercepted a carrier aircraft contact 
report (partially garbled) on an enemy force sighted at 1640 including 
three BB's and one DD at Longitude 125° but Latitude unheard in which the 
pilot stated that he saw twenty-eight ships.**** Two minutes later he 
intercepted another contact report from the same plane on an enemy task 
force consisting of three CV, two CL, three DD in Latitude 18°-00«N, 
Longitude 125°-00'E on course 270°(T), speed fifteen knots at I64O.***** 
(Contact "20"). THESE REPORTS WERE OF VITAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR THEY 
POSITIVELY DISCLOSED THE POSITION OF THE JAPANESE MAIN FORCE, COMPRISING 
THE CARRIERS, THE WHEREABOUTS OF WHICH HE HAD BEEN ANXIOUSLY CONCERNED WITH 
DURING MUCH OF THAT DAY. THIS FORCE HAD STEAMED FOR DAYS THROUGH WATERS 
UNDER SURVEILLANCE BY ALLIED SUBMARINES AND SHORE-BASED SEARCH PLANES AND 
HAD LAUNCHED AN AIR STRIKE AGAINST THE THIRD FLEET (TG 38.3) CARRIER FORCE 
BEFORE FINALLY BEING DETECTED BY A SEARCH PLANE FROM ONE OF HIS CARRIERS. 

At 1710 he (a) directed CTG 38.4 to (1) assume tactical 
command of TG*s 38.2 and 38.4, (2) keep the groups in company and (3) 
operate in the present general vicinity until otherwise instructed and 
(b) informed the commanders concerned that if the enemy sortied TF 34 
would be formed when he directed.****** This order must have been written 

* Aircraft in Sector THREE Dispatch 240010 (240910/1) October 1944 

to All Stations this Circuit. 
** CTF 38 Dispatch 240817 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTG 38.2 

and CTG 38.4. 
*** C.G. 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240100 (sic) October 1944 to All Commands 

this Circuit. 
**** Plane 04V14 Contact Report TOR 240748 to MOHAWK (believed to be 

ENTERPRISE) . 
***** Plane 04V14 Contact Report TOR 240750 to MOHAWK (believed to be 

ENTERPRISE) . 
****** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240810 October 1944 to CTG 38.4, 

info CTG 38.2, CTF 34, COMBATDIV 7. 

171 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

up prior to his realization that the Main Force had been contacted. It 
is interesting in that it reveals his continued concentration on the 
Main Body, FIRST Striking Force. 

At 1730* he received a TBS voice radio message from CTG 38.2 
stating that the ENTERPRISE reported that one of her planes had made 
contact at 1715 on a Japanese force of three CV, two CL and three DD in 
Latitude 18°-32«N, Longitude 125°-28'E on course 270°(T), speed fifteen 
knots.** 

Also at 1730 he received a summary report from CTF 38 which is 
quoted in full under that comnander (a) giving the results of the strikes 
against the Japanese Main Body, (b) stating that the new contact in the 
north was three CV (one of which was an ISE class BB/XCV), four to six 
heavy cruisers and six destroyers in Latitude l^-lO'N, Longitude 125°-30'E 
on course 210°(T), speed fifteen knots (Contact "21") and (c) giving the 
condition of the PRINCETON and stating that in view of the new contact to 
the north she would be sunk.*** He now, at 1738, advised CTF 38 to use 
his discretion regarding the PRINCETON.**** 

At 1735 he was informed of the results of TG 38.4 f s strikes 
in which two destroyers were attacked at 1153 in Latitude H°-38'N, 
Longitude 121°-23 •£.***** 

At 1755 he received a flash report from CTG 38.2 by TBS voice 
radio of the third strike on the Main Body delivered at 1530 and quoted 
in full under "Operations of CTG 38.2, 0000 - 1830, October 24th" "wherein 
that commander reported in part (a) having damaged two battleships of 
KONGO class, (b) that enemy had changed course to westward during attack 
but that he could not determine whether this was a real retirement or for 
protection of cripples and (c) one heavy cruiser and two destroyers listed 
in the morning report were missing****** (Contact "19" )• 

At 1819 he directed CTG 38.4 (who had previously been 
designated OTC of TG's 38.2 and 38.4)******* to proceed westward at 
twenty knots,******** 



* War Diary C0M3RDFLT October 1944. 

** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240830 October 1944 to 

C0M3RDFLT. 
*** CTF 38 Dispatch 240817 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTG's 

38.2 and 38.4. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240838 October 1944 to CTG 38, info CTG 

38.3. 
***** CTG 38.4 Dispatch 240646 October 1944 to CTF 38, info C0M3RDFLT, 

CTF 77, CINCSWPA, COMADVON 5 and 13. 
****** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240855 October 1944 to 

C0M3RDFLT. 
mohbmh C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240810 October 1944 to CTG 

38.4, info CTG 38.2, CTF 34, COMBATDIV 7. 
******** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240919 October 1944 to CTG 

38.4. 

172 CONFIDENTIAL 



COMTHIRDFLT 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1830 he received CTG 38.4' s report of the strike against 
the enemy force in Latitude 12°-50»N, Longitude 122°-30»E, which force 
when first sighted, was on an easterly course but was last seen on a 
westerly course (Contact n 18")» 

This report, which is quoted in full under "Operations of 
CTG 38.4, 0000 - 1830, October 24th», reported having inflicted at 1415 
(likely in error, probably 1515) heavy damage on one YAMATO class 
battleship and on one KONGO class battleship and reported having damaged 
another battleship and having torpedoed and sunk one light cruiser.* 

Since this report, and the report received previously from 
CTG 38.2, reported the enemy as now on a westerly course and heavily 
damaged, it seems clear that he now commenced re-estimating the situation 
to determine what, if any, course of action he should follow with 
relation to (a) this Main Body and (b) the enemy carriers contacted 
to the north of him at 1640. 

Actually, although he did not know it, the Japanese Main Body 
had changed course to the westward at 1500 to reduce the damage from 
air attack, had reversed course to the eastward at 1510, had reversed 
course again to the westward at 1530, which reversal was maintained in a 
generally northwesterly direction until about 1715 when course was 
reversed once again to the eastward and this direction was maintained 
(Diagram "C"). 

BASED ON HIS LATER ACTIONS IT SEEMS CORRECT TO SAY THAT FOR 
THE PRESENT HE HAD DECIDED TO REMAIN OFF SAN BERNARDINO STRAIT FOR HE 
REMAINED IN THIS AREA FOR THE NEXT TWO HOURS. 



* CTG 38.4 TBS Voice Radio Message 240930 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

173 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 38 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(1) Operations of CTF 38, OOOO - 1830, October 24th. 

At the beginning of this day CTF 38, in the LEXINGTON, 
with TG 38,3, was about 190 miles east of Polillo Island on course 280°(T), 
speed twenty-four knots.* 

The LEXINGTON'S TBS and VHF voice logs for this period are 
available to this study thereby providing an unusual insight into the 
actions of CTF 38 on this day. Since, however, the introductory chapters 
of the Battle of Surigao Strait deal principally with those factors 
influencing the preparations for an execution of that battle, only a 
general analysis of his actions on this day will be made. 

During the early morning hours CTF 38 received much the 
same sighting reports as did COMTHIRDFLT and CTF 77 and was well aware of 
the developing situation (Plate XV). 

Receipt of a retransmittal of the GUITARRO's sighting of 
the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, estimated to comprise fifteen to 
twenty ships including three battleships in Latitude 13°-00*N, Longitude 
119°-30«E, on course 080°(T),** prompted him to (a) invite CTG 38.3 's 
attention to the dispatch and (b) order CTG 38.3 to instruct the search 
planes if sighting this group to report inmediately, to delay their attack 
and track the force.*** 

As dawn approached he appeared quite concerned over the 
probability of enemy air attacks in strength. Snoopers had been shadowing 
his group— one had been shot down at 0229, another at 0340 — and he realized 
that the enemy would have little difficulty in locating his task group 
preparatory to making early morning attacks. Therefore at 0530 he advised 
CTG 38.3 as follows: "Much enemy activity suggests heavy air attack this 
morning."**** 

The first major enemy air attack was detected coming in 
at about 0759.***** The CAP was effective in destroying the bulk of the 
attacking aircraft. 

Shortly before 0847 he learned that an unknown plane had 
sighted four battleships, eight cruisers and thirteen destroyers in 
Latitude 12 -25'N, Longitude 121o-32«E and so advised CTG 33.3 and 
COMTHIRDFLT****** (Contact "8", Plate XV). 

At 0939 he observed the PRINCETON bursting into flames 
having been hit by a bomb from a single plane that had dived down through 
a low cloud cover .***** 

* Deck Log LEXINGTON, October 24th, 1944. 

** CTF 71 Dispatch 231824 October 1944 to C.G.'s 5TH and 13TH Air. 

Forces, info CINCPAC, COMSUBPAC, All TFC's and TGC's 3RD and 7THFLT. 
*** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 231945 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
**** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 232030 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
***** War Diary CTG 38.3, October 24th, 1944. 
****** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 232347 October 1944 to CTG 38.3; 

also CTF 38 Dispatch 232353 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

174 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 38 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1003 he advised COMTHIRDFLT that (a) the PRINCETON had 
been hit by a bomb, (b) the fire was not under control, (c) there had 
been several serious explosions and (d) he would report more to him 
later.* 

Beginning about this time he noted that the PRINCETON was 
rocked by a series of large explosions causing her to lose all way,** 

At 1029 (as recorded in his action report) having learned 
that COMTHIRDFLT had ordered CTG's 33.3 and 38.4 to concentrate toward TG 

38.2 off San Bernardino Strait,*** he decided to have CTG 33.3 remain in 
the general vicinity of the PRINCETON. 

At 1101 he sent a message to CTG's 38.2, 38.4 and 
COMTHIRDFLT which, in part, stated: "My position at 1100 ITEM, Latitude 
15°-32«N, Longitude 123°-45 f E. Have instructed CTG 38.3 to remain in the 
vicinity of PRINCETON who still has bad uncontrolled fire aboard. CTG 

38.3 is continuing to strike. Will close you if possible and report 
conditions later."**** 

About 1125 (when it was received by CTG 38.3) he received 
COMTHIRDFLT ' s dispatch advising him that the enemy carrier strength had 
not yet been located and ordering him to keep the area to the north under 
observation .***** 

At 1140 (when it was received by CTG 38.1) he received 
orders from COMTHIRDFLT to strike the enemy force south of Mindoro.****** 

Since he had already advised COMTHIRDFLT that CTG 38.3 was 
continuing to strike he did not specifically reply to this order. 

At 1207 he sent COMTHIRDFLT the following dispatch: 
"Morning search reports 2 Natori class cruisers. 1 dead in water just off 
shore northwest tip Mindoro. The other under attack off west shore Lubang 
Island. 1 damaged Nachi cruiser in Manila Bay. Enemy has been flying 
several large groups twin engine planes from Formosa to Luzon. About 100 
enemy planes shot down. Now striking enemy fleet east Mindoro no reports 
yet of results. We have another large bogie heading ours from northeast. 
Launching search 350 to 040 at 1305. PRINCETON still afloat."******* 



* CTF 38 Dispatch 240103 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

** Action Report PRINCETON, Battle of the Philippines and Loss of 

USS PRINCETON, October 24th, 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 

1944. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232327 October 1944 to CTG's 38 3 and 38.4. 
**** CTF 38 Dispatch 240201 October 1944 to CTG's 38.4 and 38.2, info 

C0M3RDFLT. 
***** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232355 October 1944 to CTF 38, info CTG 38.2. 
****** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232331 October 1944 to CTF 38, CTG 38.3. 
******* CTF 38 Dispatch 240307 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, CTG's 38.2 and 

38.4. 



175 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 38 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

During the early afternoon he noted that strong enemy 
raids had attempted to penetrate the fighter defenses but although some 
were successful in breaching the TCAP, they failed to hit the ships of 
the task group.* 

At 1405 having shortly before given permission to CTG 
38,3 to launch the northern search without fighter escort, he observed 
the five VB take off.** 

Earlier during the day he had learned of the enemy surface 
force in the Sulu Sea, and now at 1430 (when it was received by COMTHIRDFLT) 
he intercepted CTF 77 f s order "To prepare for night engagement". 

At 1512 having (a) determined the results of the afternoon 
strike against the Main Body and (b) confirmed that the PRINCETON was 
without steering control and power, he sent his latest situation summary 
to COMTHIRDFLT which is quoted as follows: "Task Group 38.3 strike 
reports enemy main fleet at lat 12-50 long 122-30. Enemy fleet milling 
around aimlessly in several groups. Pilots report by radio 6 to 8 
battleships 14 CA and 8 to 9 DD. Incomplete results 38.3 strike 2 CA or 
CL and 1 BB badly hit. Estimate of damage from air poor due to clouds at 
6000 feet. PRINCETON dead in water with no power and no steering at 1345. 
Total Jap planes shot down by TG 38.3 about 150 up to 1500/1. No bogies 
now for first time today. 2nd strike on enemy fleet delayed due to 
attack. We are getting very short of fighters with loss of PRINCETON 
force and combat casualties. Correct my 240307. At 0720 1 NATORI CL dead 
in water off Termate Manila Harbor. At 0800 1 damaged NACHI CA southeast 
Corregidor. At 0945 1 NATORI CL and 1 DD between Fortune Island and Luzon, 
course 180, speed 20."*** 

At 1532 he learned that a large explosion aboard the 
PRINCETON had blown her stern off causing many topside casualties aboard 
the BIRMINGHAM.**** 

At 1635 he began receiving a series of messages from the 
northern search planes which had sighted the Main Force***** (Contact "17"). 

At 1645 realizing the seriousness of this sighting, he 
recommended to CTG 38.3 that in view of the contact to the north, the 
PRINCETON be sunk. ****** 



* War Diary CTG 38.3, October 24th, 1944. 

** CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240442 October 1944 to CTF 38; 

also War Diary CTG 38.3, October 24th, 1944. 
*** CTF 38 Dispatch 240612 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTG 38.4, 

CTG 38.2. 
***» CTU 38.4.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240642 October 1944 to CTG 

38.3. 
***** IB BRONCHO (ESSEX) TBS Voice Radio Message 241635/1 October 1944 

to MOHAWK (LEXINGTON). 
****** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 241645/1 October 1944 to CTG 

38.3. 

176 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 38 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1707 he advised CTG 38.3 by TBS voice radio as follows; 
"If composition of enemy fleet is confirmed, three carriers, one ISE 
class, two light cruisers and three destroyers, be prepared to detail 
your battleships, CRUDIV THIRTEEN less BIRMINGHAM and RENO and one 
squadron of destroyers to attack and sink enemy."* From this message it 
is clear that he (a) was preparing for unilateral action against the Main 
Force should he be ordered and (b) did not at the moment have a clear 
picture of the composition of enemy forces to the north. However, a few 
minutes later (at 1712) he advised CTG 38,3 that although he had received 
reports of two groups to the north, one at Longitude 123°-30'E consisting 
of three battleships; and one at Longitude 125°-00'E consisting of three 
carriers, he believed both groups to be one group in the latter position.** 

Also at 1712 (when it was received by CTG 38.1) he 
received COMTHIRDFLT's battle plan.*** This plan has been discussed 
fully under "Operations of COMTHIRDFLT, 0000 - 1830, October 24th". 

He continued with CTG 38.3 and CTU 38.3.2 (Commander 
Heavy Support Unit) over the TBS voice radio, to prepare a plan in which 
CTG 38.3 would proceed northward intact, launching a strike at dawn 
against the enemy force and pending the results of that strike detach 
after dark the battleships and cruisers to follow up the strike.**** 

In pondering the effect such a course of action would have 
on his commander's plans, he apparently decided against it for at 1851 he 
ordered CTG 38.3 to proceed to join COMTHIRDFLT and to consolidate TG 38.3 
on the way.***** 

At 1815 he received a dispatch from COMTHIRDFLT advising 
him to use his discretion regarding the PRINCETON. ****** 

From an examination of related aircraft transmissions, it 
is apparent that by this time he (a) was aware of the presence of at least 
one ISE (hermaphrodite) class battleship to the north in addition to the 
other carriers and (b) had received CTG 38. 3' s latest estimate of the 
group's attacks on the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force off Mindoro. ******* 



* CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 240807 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 240812 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240612 October 1944 to All TFC's 3RDFLT, All 

TGC's TF 38, info COMINCH, CINCPAC. 
**** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Messages 240812 and 240824 October 1944 

to CTG 38.3; also CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240823 October 

1944 to CTF 38; also CTU 38.3.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240833 

October 1944 to CTF 38. 
***** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 240951 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
****** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240838 October 1944 to CTF 38, info CTG 

38.3. 
******* CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240903 October 1944 to CTF 38. 



177 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 38 and CTG 38.1 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At this time feeling the situation had again significantly 
changed, he decided to so advise COMTHIRDFLT and at 1830 transmitted the 
following dispatch: "Results of strike on Jap fleet consisting of 4 
battleships 3 heavy cruisers 4 light cruisers 12 destroyers east of 
Mindoro. 2 heavy cruisers and 1 battleship damaged. New contact afternoon 
search reports 3 CV's 4 to 6 heavy cruisers and 6 destroyers at Latitude 
18-10 Longitude 125-30 east which is 180 miles east of Aparri. 1 of CV's 
was ISE class. On course 210 speed 15 knots. No major air attack on us 
since 1430 item. PRINCETON had heavy explosion about 1515 causing many 
casualties on BIRMINGHAM alongside. In view of our new Jap contact to 
north, CTG 38.3 is having PRINCETON sunk. No serious damage to other ships, 
Enemy planes showing intermittent IFF. My position at 1630 Item Latitude 
15-32 North Longitude 124-23 East. Will close you after PRINCETON is 
sunko "* 

(a) Operations of CTG 38.1, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At the beginning of the day CTG 38.1 in the WASP was 
bearing 299°(T), distant 370 miles from Ulithi and on course L25°(T), 
speed fifteen knots. 

During the early morning hours he very likely 
received much the same information as was received by COMTHIRDFLT and 
which has largely been discussed elsewhere. 

At 0637 he detached the FARENHOLT, GRAYSON, MC CALLA 
and W00DW0RTH to CTG 30.3 in accordance with COMTHIRDFLT 's dispatch 230121. 

At 0850 he was joined by the cruiser BOSTON and the 
destroyers BURNS, CHARRETTE, COwELL, BELL and BOYD. His task group 
consisted of the WASP (FFF), HANCOCK, HORNET, COWPENS, MONTEREY, BOSTON 
(FF), CHESTER (FF), SALT LAKE CITY, PENSACOLA, OAKLAND, SAN DIEGO, DUNLAP, 
FANNING, BROWN, CUMMINGS, CONNER, DOWNES, IZARD (FF), CASE, BURNS, CASSIN, 
CHARRETTE, COWELL, BELL and BOYD.** 

He now received orders from COMTHIRDFLT as follows: 
(a) at 0948 to reverse course, proceed toward Point MICK at best speed and 
launch a search to the north and northwest at dawn October 25th*** as a 
result of which he at (1) 1030 cancelled the Yap Island strike** and 
(2) 1043 changed course to 300° (T), speed twenty knots and (b) at 1041 to 
fuel from the fueling group commencing daylight October 25th and to report 
completion by urgent dispatch.**** 



** 



CTF 38 Dispatch 240930 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, CTF 77, RENO, 

info CTG's 38.2, 33.4. 

War Diary CTG 38.1, October 24th, 1944. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232346 October 1944 to CTG 33.1, info All 

TGC's of TF 38. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240143 October 1944 to CTG 38.1, CTU's 33.3.4, 

30.8.8, 30.8.11, info All TFC's and TGC«s 3RDFLT. 



178 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.1 
CTG 38.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

During the morning he learned of (a) the discovery of 
the Main Body off Mindoro, (b) the sighting of the THIRD Section in the 
Sulu Sea and (c) COMTHIRDFLT « s request to CTF 77 for seaplane coverage of 
his (COMTHIRDFLT's) northern flank. Therefore, he was fully apprised of 
COMTHIRDFLT's reasons for recalling his command and his concern with 
covering the sea area to the north. 

At 1055 he advised COMTHIRDFLT he was arriving Point 
MICK in accordance with the latter' s orders and that the BOSTON was with 
him.* 

A review of his dispatch file for this day reveals 
that he was well aware of all of the important events that transpired 
during the day and therefore that his understanding of the developing 
situation was quite clear. 

At 1830 he was probably not aware of the contact on 
the enemy carriers to the north. At this time TG 38.1 was on course 
295°(T), speed twenty-three knots, en route Point MICK about ninety-eight 
miles bearing 139° (T) from it. 

Having incurred no aircraft losses during the day he 
had on board his carriers as of 1830 a total of 187 VF, 67 VB and 72 VT. 

(b) Operations of CTG 38 .2, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At the beginning of the day CTG 38.2, in the INTREPID, 
with TG 38.2, was about eighty miles northeast of his assigned 0600 
October 24th position off San Bernardino Strait, on course 249°(T), 
speed fifteen knots.** 

During the early morning hours he (a) knew that the 
two VF(N) of the INDEPENDENCE had shot down two enemy snoopers, one at 
0229 and one at 0340. In each instance the enemy snooper was a long range 
four-engine seaplane*** from the SIXTH Base Air Force operating from 
Manila,**** and (b) learned of the ANGLER'S and GUITARRO's contacts in the 
vicinity of Mindoro and was therefore alerted to the probable area in 
which enemy surface forces should be located. 

At 0600 he launched a westward search from the 
INTREPID composed of twelve VF, six VB, four special reconnaissance VF and 
two communication relay planes. The four special VF covered the west 
coast of northern Palawan from Imuruan to Bacuit Bays.***** 



* CTG 38.1 Dispatch 240155 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTF 38. 

** Deck Log INTREPID, October 24th, 1944. 

*** War Diaries CTG 38.2, INDEPENDENCE, October 24th, 1944. 

**** Detailed Action Report 901ST Air Group, Night Searches, October 

10th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 160551, NA 12402. 
***** War Diaries CTG 38.2, CABOT, October 24th, 1944. 

496799 O - 59 - 21 179 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.2 
October 24th 



As has been discussed earlier, INTREPID search planes 
sighted (a) the Main Body at 0746 and reported it shortly thereafter,* 
(b) a light cruiser and destroyer standing out between Corregidor and 
Bataan and (c) a bomb hit on the light cruiser.** 

At 0829 he received COMTHIRDFLT's orders to relay the 
above contact via TBS voice radio to CTF 38.*** 

By 0853 he had launched his first strike against the 
Main Body consisting of twenty-one VF, twelve VB and thirteen VT from the 
INTREPID and CABOT.**** 

As a result of this strike he reported to COMTHIRDFLT 
as having damaged the enemy as follows: (a) three torpedo hits on two 
battleships of the leading force, (b) two bomb hits on a KONGO class 
battleship, (c) one possible torpedo hit on a NACHI class cruiser, (d) one 
probable bomb hit on KONGO class battleship and (e) one possible bomb hit 
on fantail of a YAMATO class battleship.***** 

According to Japanese records the Main Body received 
limited damage at this time as follows: (a) the heavy cruiser MYOKO, one 
torpedo hit in the starboard after engine room which forced her at 1125 
to be retired to Brunei Bay and (b) the battleship MUSASHI, one torpedo 
hit on the starboard side aft but her combat effectiveness was unimpaired. 
No other major combat damage was reported by Commander Main Body.****** 

Two INTREPID VT and one CABOT VT were shot down by 
enemy antiaircraft fire. ******* 

At about 1003 he probably overheard COMTHIRDFLT's 
order to COMBATDIV SEVEN to prepare to assume the duties of Commander 
Battle Line. ******** 



INTREPID Dispatch 232322 October 1944 to CTG 38. 2; also CAG 

18 Aircraft Action Report No. 54-44* 

CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240345 October 1944 to 

COMTHIRDFLT. 

COMTHIRDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 232329 October 1944 to 

CTG 38.2. 

War Diaries INTREPID, CABOT, October 24th, 1944, 

CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240445 October 1944 to 

C0M3RDFLT. 

COMCRUDIV 5 TBS Voice Radio Message 241045 October 1944 to 

Commander 1ST Striking Force; also Commander Main Body Dispatch 

241220 October 1944 to 1ST Striking Force Battle Report 

Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 

Operation, October 18th - 23th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, 

NA 11744. 

CAG 18 Aircraft Action Report No. 55-44; also War Diary CABOT, 

October 24th, 1944. 

C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240103 October 1944 to 

COMBATDIV 7. 



** 

*** 

**** 
***** 

****** 



******* 



******** 



180 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1018 he advised COMTHIRDFLT that he was launching 
a second strike against the enemy consisting of eight VF, twelve VB and 
eight VT.* 

At 1030 he launched his second strike consisting of 
nine VF, twelve VB and nine VT,** all from the INTREPID. The attack, 
executed just after 1200, was a coordinated one which concentrated 
principally on a battleship of the YAMATO class (actually the MUSASHI). 
Eight VB covered by fighters dove on the MUSASHI claiming three confirmed 
1000-pound bomb hits and three possibles. Nine VT followed the bombers, 
claiming at least two torpedo hits in the port side of the ship and one 
possible hit on the starboard side. Photographs clearly confirm the two 
port side hits. Three VB and one VT were shot down by antiaircraft fire**** 
Japanese records indicate that, in this attack, the MUSASHI received three 
more torpedo hits on the port side for a total of four, and two bomb hits. 
Her speed was reduced to twenty-four knots.**** 

During the morning CTG 38.2 learned, among other 
things, of (a) COMTHIRDFLT ' s orders to (l) CTF 38 and CTG 38.4 to 
concentrate on TG 38.2 and (2) CTG 38.1 to reverse course and proceed to 
Point MICK, (b) the enemy bombing of the PRINCETON and (c) the contact 
and attack by TG 38.4 aircraft on the enemy force in the Sulu Sea. 

At 1207 he reported to COMTHIRDFLT that the special 
four plane fighter search had covered the western coast of northern 
Palawan and Coron Bay with negative results.***** 

At 1345 he launched his third and last strike of the 
day against the Main Body.****** (This strike was part of the attack 
listed as the fifth air attack by the Japanese.) This strike composed of 
twenty-four VF, twelve VB and eight VT from the CABOT and INTREPID was 
executed commencing at 1530. Again coordinated attacks were made. After 
completion of the bomber runs the fighters strafed preparatory to torpedo 
attacks by the VT. The VB pilots claimed three 1000-pound bomb hits on a 
KONGO or YAMATO class battleship, while the VT pilots claimed one torpedo 
hit in a YAMATO and one in a MOGAMI class cruiser.****** Since the Main 
Body came under its heaviest attack commencing at about 1500, which 
attack included planes from TG 38.4, Japanese records are not conclusive 
as regards TG 38.2' s claims. The Main Body sustained damage as follows: 
(a) NAGATO, two bomb hits and several near misses — speed reduced to twenty- 
one knots, (b) MUSASHI, ten bomb hits and eleven torpedo hits and (c) one 
destroyer KIYOSHIMO, received one bomb hit reducing her speed to twenty-one 
toots.******* Aircraft combat losses were one VB and one VT. 

* CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240118 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

** War Diary INTREPID, October 24th, 1944. 

*** Ibid.; also CAG 18 Aircraft Action Report No. 56-44. 

**** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 241250 October 1944 to Battle 
Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 
Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 
11744; also Detailed Action Report MUSASHI, Battle off the 
Philippines, October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 

***** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240307 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

****** CAG 18 Aircraft" Action Report No. 57-44. 

******* Detailed Action Report No. 2, KIYOSHIMO, Antiair Action in Sibuyan 
Sea, October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, NA 11801. 

181 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.2 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1445 he reported to COMTHIRDFLT, via TBS voice 
radio, the results of the second strike, claiming three torpedo hits and 
three bomb hits on a KONGO class battleship of the leading force. 
Included was the statement that the rest of the force was probably 
undamaged.* Why he stated a KONGO class battleship when the aircraft 
action report indicated that the torpedo attacks were against a YAMATO 
class battleship and did in fact result in hits against the MUSASHI, is 
not known. 

At 1710 he received COMTHIRDFLT' s orders to CTG 33.4, 
who was hull down on the horizon bearing 150° (T), to (a) assume tactical 
command of TG's 38.2 and 38.4, (b) operate in the general vicinity until 
further orders and (c) keep the groups concentrated. Included was the 
information that "if the enemy sorties (through San Bernardino Strait) TF 34 
will be formed when directed by me."** 

Since he was steaming in company with COMTHIRDFLT, he 
was very likely already aware of COMTHIRDFLT* s plans to employ TF 34 in 
combat against the Main Body in the event it sortied from San Bernardino 
Strait although CTG 38.1 records 1701 as the time of receipt of 
COMTHIRDFLT «s 240612 (Battle Plan). 

At 1730 CTG 38.2 having intercepted a contact report 
from an ENTERPRISE plane off Cape Engano advised COMTHIRDFLT over the TBS 
voice radio that the contact was on three CV, two CL and three DD in 
Latitude 18°-32'N, Longitude 125°-28'E on course 270°(T), speed fifteen 
knots ,*** 

At 1755 he reported the results of the third and last 
strike by his planes together with a situation report of the Main Body. 
This report is quoted in full as follows: "Flash report 3rd strike enemy 
force reported at 1600 at 12-42 N 122-39 E. Course 270 speed 17. This 
force has been 14 miles to the east of this position but reversed course 
during the time attack was over target. 2 BB reported to be of KONGO 
class were damaged and circling. Apparently not controlled at 12-39 N 
122-48 E. This first was listing and afire. The second less damaged. 
Course to west may be retiring or may be protection for cripples. In 
addition to 2 damaged second force lacks 1 CA it had this morning. First 
force lacks 2 DD. Composition of forces 1st force 2 BB, 4 CA, 1 CL, 5 DD. 
Second force 2 BB damaged, 3 CA, 1 CL, 6 DD. 3 bomb hits and 1 torpedo 
hit by third strike on worst damaged BB."**** 

At about this time the badly damaged MUSASHI, the 
cruiser TONE and two accompanying destroyers having earlier dropped out of 
formation were possibly about ten miles east southeast of the force and 
were likely the ships referred to in the report as being, "2 BB... damaged 
and circling " 

* CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240545 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240810 October 1944 to CTG 33.4, 

info CTG 33.2, CTF 34 and COMBATDIV 7. 
*** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240830 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 
**** CTG 38.2 TBS Voice Radio Message 240855 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

182 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.2 
CTG 38.3 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1830 he was still operating generally off San 
Bernardino Strait. His aircraft losses for the day were five VT and four 
VB from antiaircraft fire and one VB from operational causes. He now had 
remaining in his carriers approximately eighty-five VF, nineteen VB and 
thirty VT. 

(c) Operations of CTG 38.3, 0000 - 183Q, October 24th. 

At the beginning of this day CTG 38.3, in the ESSEX 
with TG 38.3, was heading for his assigned position about ninety miles 
east of Polillo Island. 

At 0005 he made contact on an enemy plane bearing 
270° (T) distant fifty-seven miles which by 0020 had closed to twenty- 
seven miles at which time it turned away.* This aircraft was a SIXTH Base 
Air Force patrol seaplane from Manila which reported a large enemy force 
in Latitude 14°-35'N, Longitude 125 -15*E at 0050.** 

At 0100 he made radar contact on another plane bearing 
230°(T) distant seventy-five miles on an easterly course.* 



TG 38.2.*** 



Both of these planes were shot down by the VF(N) of 



By 0530 he had made two additional contacts as a 
result of which he received a TBS message from CTF 38 in the LEXINGTON to 
the effect that "much enemy activity suggests heavy air attack this 
morning" ,**** 

At 0610 he launched his initial air operations.***** 
These consisted of twenty-seven VF and twenty-six VB for search, eight VF 
for radio relay and eighteen VF for the fighter sweep.****** In addition 
twelve VF were launched for CAP and four VF and four VT for SNASP .******* 

During the next several hours he noted that his CAP 
had shot down four enemy planes and that he was about to be attacked by 
two large groups of planes, one distant forty-nine miles consisting of 
about forty planes.******** His CAP intercepted the first group and drove 

* Deck Log ESSEX, October 24th, 1944. 

** Detailed Action Report 901ST Air Group, Night Searches, October 

10th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 160551, NA 12402. 
*** War Diary CTG 38.2, October 24th, 1944. 

**** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 242030 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
***** Action Report PRINCETON, Battle of the Philippines and Loss of 

USS PRINCETON, October 24th, 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 1944. 
****** Deck Logs LEXINGTON and ESSEX, October 24th, 1944. 
******* Deck Log LANGLEY, October 24th, 1944; also Action Report 

PRINCETON, Battle off the Philippines and the Loss of USS 

PRINCETON, October 24th, 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 1944. 
******** Action Report ESSEX, Battle of the Philippines, October 24th - 

25th, 1944, Serial 0195, November 21st, 1944. 

183 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.3 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

them away. The second group which had been contacted at fifty-five miles 
did not close. He now at 0800 ordered all available VF scrambled as a 
result of which forty-two additional VF were launched from all four 
carriers (ESSEX seven, LEXINGTON eleven, LANGLEY twelve, PRINCETON 
twelve ) .* 

During the next few minutes a number of events occurred 
in relatively rapid succession: 



sixty miles. 



(a) At 0805 he detected a third large raid, distant 



(b) At 0820 he received a contact report originated by 
a search plane from the INTREPID reporting sighting "four BB, eight CA, 
thirteen DD, location south of southern tip of Mindoro, course 050°(T), 
speed ten-twelve knots. No transports in the group and in all a total of 
twenty-five warships** (Contact "6", Plate XV). 

(c) At 0824 when it was received by CTG 38.1, he 
received a dispatch from COMTHIRDFLT directing him to concentrate toward 
TG 38.2 at best speed. 

(d) At 0833 he learned that his seven ESSEX VF had 
sighted a large group of fifty to sixty planes and had requested help. 
He therefore directed the twelve PRINCETON VF to assist but these VF 
failed to make interception.*** 

Meanwhile the seven ESSEX VF attacked the fifty- sixty 
enemy planes and claimed shooting down twenty-five planes with four 
probables and three damaged with only minor damage to themselves. However, 
despite this success, at 0938 the PRINCETON was hit by a bomb just forward 
of the after elevator and near the flight deck centerline.**** This 
started a fire on the hangar deck which made the hangar untenable. 

CTG 38.3 then, at 0951, ordered the RENO and three 
destroyers (CASSIN YOUNG, GATLING and IRWIN) to standby the stricken ship 
but at 1002 he noted that an extensive series of explosions was occurring 
as a result of which he, at 1004, ordered the BIRMINGHAM and, at 1033, 
the MORRISON to standby also. Meanwhile the ship had been largely 
abandoned leaving on board a salvage party of about 240 officers and men.**** 

At 1046 he was directed by CTF 38 to remain in the 
vicinity of the PRINCETON. 



* Deck Logs ESSEX, LEXINGTON, LANGLEY, October 24th, 1944; also Action 
Report PRINCETON, The Battle of the Philippines and Loss of USS 
PRINCETON, October 24th, 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 1944. 

** INTREPID Aircraft Voice Message 232320 October 1944. 

*** Action Report ESSEX, Battle of the Philippines, October 24th - 25th, 
1944, Serial 0195, November 21st, 1944. 

**** Action Report PRINCETON, The Battle of the Philippines and Loss of 
USS PRINCETON, October 24th, 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 1944. 

184 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.3 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

By 1054 he had recovered and serviced enough VF to 
permit launching a strike (Strike Group ONE) against the enemy force in 
the Sibuyan Sea. By 1108 he had launched for this purpose sixteen VF, 
twenty VB and thirty-two VT.* Directly after this he recovered the 
fighter sweep launched at 0606 ♦ From these pilots he learned that a 
NATORI class CL (evidently the KINU) had been damaged just outside of 
Manila Bay, 

At 1155 he was directed by CTF 38 to launch a search 
consisting of two VF and one VB in each sector between 350°(T) and 040°(T).** 

At 1228 he directed that the search be launched about 
1305 and further directed that a second strike (Strike Group TWO) be 
launched against the enemy force in the Sibuyan Sea at the same time. 

However, before he had completed preparations a large 
group of enemy aircraft was detected at 1245 bearing (radar) 035°(T), 
distant 105 miles closing. He therefore cancelled the search and at 1305 
launched twenty-three (LEXINGTON fourteen, LANGLEY nine) additional 
fighters as CAP. He also launched his Strike Group WO which consisted of 
eight VF and twelve VB from the ESSEX.*** 

AT ABOUT 1315 STRIKE GROUP ONE ARRIVED OVER THE 
JAPANESE MAIN BODY AND AT 1324**** STARTED THEIR ATTACK BY AIR GROUPS. THE 
JAPANESE SHIPS IMMEDIATELY COMMENCED MANEUVERING BY SIMULTANEOUS MOVEMENT 
ALTHOUGH FROM TIME TO TIME SHIPS HERE AND THERE MANEUVERED ON THEIR OWN.**** 
BY THIS MEANS, AS WELL AS BY THE EMPLOYMENT OF HEAVY ANTIAIRCRAFT FIRE, 
THEY ENDEAVORED TO DEFEAT THE ALLIED AIR ATTACK. NO AIR COVER WAS OBSERVED 
BY THE ATTACKING PILOTS. THIS METHOD OF DEFENSE WAS FAIRLY EFFECTIVE FOR, 
ALTHOUGH THE STRIKE GROUP REPORTED TORPEDO HITS ON TWO BATTLESHIPS AND TWO 
HEAVY CRUISERS OF THE LEADING (EASTERN) GROUP, AND BOMB HITS ON ONE 
BATTLESHIP OF THE WESTERN GROUP,***** THEY ACTUALLY MADE (a) ONE TORPEDO 
HIT IN THE MUSASHI AND TWO NEAR MISSES,****** (b) ONE BOMB HIT (FORWARD) 
IN THE YAMATO WHICH DID NOT AFFECT HER COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS,******* AND 
(c) A NEAR MISS ON THE YAHAGI WHICH REDUCED HER MAXIMUM SPEED TO TWENTY- 
TWO KNOTS.******** 



* Deck Logs LEXINGTON and ESSEX, October 24th, 1944. 

** Action Report CTG 38.3, Battle of the Philippines, October 24th - 

25th, 1944, Serial 0090, December 2nd, 1944. 
*** Deck Log ESSEX, October 24th, 1944. 
**** Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operations, October 

18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11973. 
***** CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240903 October 1944 to CTF 38. 
****** Detailed Action Report MUSASHI, Battle off the Philippines, 

October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 
******* Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1 Antiair and 

Surface Actions, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161639. 
******** Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAHAGI, SHO No. 1 Operation, 

October 22nd - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 



185 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.3 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1327 another large incoming group of enemy planes 
was detected by radar bearing 040°(T), distant ninety miles and the CAP 
was vectored out to intercept.* 

The appearance of these planes likely reminded him 
of CINCPOA's intelligence summary for October 23rd which indicated that 
the Japanese Main Force was likely in the Formosa - Philippine Sea area. 
If he was so reminded he likely felt that thi3 contact tended to support 
this summary and that enemy carriers were in fact to the north and 
northeast of him. Mindful of the fact that no searches had been flown in 
that area during the day he now, by TBS voice radio, requested CTF 38 f 3 
permission to launch the search originally scheduled, but without fighter 
escort.** This was immediately approved*** and therefore at 1409 the 
LEXINGTON launched the search now consisting of but five VB. 

Although the CAP was successful in breaking up both 
enemy attacks some singles and small groups did attack the task group 
with bombs and torpedoes but all were ineffective.**** 

At about 1426 Strike Group TWO attacked the Main Body. 
The Japanese ships maneuvered and employed heavy antiaircraft fire. In 
this case they were more effective than before for, although the Allies 
claimed having made two or three direct hits on one battleship and one 
hit on one light cruiser,***** they actually made but one bomb hit, and 
this was on the forecastle of the YAMATO which did not affect her combat 
effectiveness ****** 

During all of this time efforts were being made to 
save the PRINCETON and the escorts, at various times, came alongside to 
put out the fires. At 1515 the BIRMINGHAM came alongside on such a mission. 
However, at 1523, a tremendous explosion occurred which (a) blew off the 
major part of the PRINCETON'S stern and the after section of the flight 
deck and (b) took a heavy toll (241 dead or missing, 416 wounded)******* 
of BIRMINGHAM topside persomel******** and wounded her captain******* who 
at 1530 directed the Commanding Officer RENO to assume the duties of OTC 
of the BIRMINGHAM group.******* 

CTG 38.3 who had been deeply concerned over the 
PRINCETON'S condition now at 1532 received a TBS voice radio message from 
the Commanding Officer RENO********* reporting the situation as expressed 
in the preceding paragraph. 

* Deck Log LEXINGTON, October 24th, 1944. 

** CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240442 October 1944 to CTF 38. 

*** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 240442 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 

**** War Diary CTG 38.3, October 1944. 

***** CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240903 October 1944 to CTF 38. 

****** Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 

18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 
******* Action Report BIRMINGHAM, Fleet Operations, October 24th - 27th, 

1944, Serial 0053, October 31st, 1944. 
******** Action Report PRINCETON, Battle of the Philippines and Loss of 

USS PRINCETON, October 24th, 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 1944. 
********* CTU 38.3.4 TBS Voice Radio Message 240632 October 1944 to CT 

38.3. 

186 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.3 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

He now at 1635 began receiving a series of messages 
from the northern search planes which had sighted the Main Force*. Since 
these messages were also received by CTF 38 he was not surprised when at 
1645 he received from that commander a suggestion that in view of the 
contact to the north, the PRINCETON be sunk.** Concurring in this 
suggestion he at 1658 directed the RENO, via relay, to take action.*** 

The contacts on enemy forces to the north were reported 
by the search planes through relay aircraft and considerable confusion 
existed as to what had been sighted. The first contact, which as 
mentioned above was received at 1635, reported the enemy as three BB, 
four - six CA and six DD at Latitude 18°-10'N, Longitude 123°-30'E, 
course 210° (T), speed fifteen knots, time 1540,* 

There were apparently, however, other reports which 
were at variance with this one, for at 1707 he received word from CTF 38 
that if the enemy composition of three carriers, one of ISE class, two 
CL's and three DD f s, was confirmed he was to detail his battleships, 
CRUDIV THIRTEEN, less BIRMINGHAM and RENO, and one squadron of destroyers 
to attack and sink the enemy.**** Realizing that if this order were 
executed the surface group might be formed before the air battle had been 
settled, he, at 1723, recommended to CTF 38 that (a) single plane dawn 
searches be made, (b) the strike groups be held on deck until contact was 
made and (c) TG 38.3 be kept intact until the air battle had been 
settled.***** He was gratified to receive a reply, in part, to the effect 
that CTF 38 did not propose to divide TG 38.3 until well after dark. 

At 1746 the RENO fired two torpedoes into the 
PRINCETON which struck at 1749 causing a tremendous explosion after which 
the PRINCETON sank in forty-five seconds. ****** 

By 1809 he had landed his last strike and search 
plane.******* Interrogation of the search pilots soon revealed that 
contacts to the north were considerably greater than those previously 
reported and included (a) at 1640 in Latitude 18°-10 ! N, Longitude 
125°-28»E two SHOKAKU CV's, one CVL, three CL's and three DD's on course 
270°(T), speed fifteen knots, (Contact "20"), (b) at 1540 in Latitude 
18°-10»N, Longitude 125°-30'E, four BB's or CA's, five cruisers and six 
DD's on course 210°(T), speed fifteen knots, one of the BB's had flight 
deck aft and (c) at 1600 in Latitude 19°-40»N, Longitude 123°-00'E, two 
destroyers on course 240°(T), speed twelve knots. 



* ESSEX TBS Voice Radio Message 240735 October 1944 to LEXINGTON. 
** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 240745 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
*** CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240758 October 1944 to CTU 

38.3.3. 
**** CTF 38 TBS Voice Radio Message 240807 October 1944 to CTG 38.3. 
***** CTG 38.3 TBS Voice Radio Message 240823 October 1944 to CTF 38. 
****** Action Report PRINCETON, Battle of the Philippines and Loss of 

USS PRINCETON, October 24th, 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 1944. 
******* Deck Log LEXINGTON, October 24th, 1944. 



187 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.3 
CTG 33.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

CTG 38.3 records enemy aircraft destroyed during the 
day as 162 planes shot down by aircraft and five by ships' gunfire or a 
total of 167. Losses were three VF, two VB and three VT in combat, two VB 
operationally, eleven VF and nine VT in the sinking of the PRINCETON and 
three VF jetisoned. 

As a result, at the end of the day, CTG 38.3 had 
approximately 117 VF, fifty-one VB and forty- two VT. 

(d) Operations of CTG 38.4, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

At the beginning of the day CTG 38.4, in the FRANKLIN, 
with TG 33.4, was heading for his dawn launching position off southern 
Samar. During the early morning hours he received much the same 
information received by other TF 38 commanders. 

Since most of the dispatches received or sent by him 
have been discussed previously under other THIRDFLT commands, the greater 
part of them will be omitted from this discussion and instead emphasis 
will be placed on the description and results of attacks made on the 
Japanese surface forces by TG 38.4 aircraft. 

At about 0600 he launched a reinforced search 
consisting of thirty- two VF and twenty- four VB from the FRANKLIN and the 
ENTERPRISE to cover the sector between 230° (T) and 270°(T). ENTERPRISE 
planes covered the two southern 10° sub-sectors while the FRANKLIN planes 
covered the two northern 10° sub—sectors.* Each sub-sector was flown by 
eight VF and six VB. 

At 0815 three enemy destroyers (DESDIV TWENTY-ONE) off 
northern Panay Island were sighted by FRANKLIN aircraft. The VF attacked 
each destroyer claiming four rocket hits on one destroyer, two hits on 
another and estimating the third was heavily damaged. The VB planes which 
had not attacked at this time but had continued on to discover other enemy 
forces now returned and attacked, claiming several hits and near misses. 
No enemy air opposition was encountered over the target.** 

At 0905 the THIRD Section, which was reported 
correctly as two BB, one CA and four DD, was located by ENTERPRISE planes 
in the Sulu Sea,*** The two ENTERPRISE search groups made a coordinated 
attack and claimed a minimum of three bomb hits on one battleship, four 
on the other and rocket hits on the cruiser and destroyers.**** CTG 38.4 
later modified these claims to two bomb hits (500 pound) on each 
battleship, along with rocket hits on the heavy cruiser and two destroyers.* 9 * 



* War Diary ENTERPRISE, October 24th, 1944; also CVAG 13 Aircraft 

Action Report No. 89-44. 
** CVAG 13 Aircraft Action Report No. 89-44. 

*** CTG 38.4 TBS Voice Radio Message 240424 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, 
**** War Diary ENTERPRISE, October 24th, 1944. 



138 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

One VF (ENTERPRISE) was shot down by antiaircraft fire. No enemy air 
opposition was encountered over the target.* 

Japanese records indicate that these claims were 
excessive for while the FUSO received one bomb hit on the stern which 
destroyed her two scouting planes; the YAMASHIRO escaped damage. No 
damage of consequence was sustained by any of the ships as a result of 
strafing or rocket attacks.** 

At 0951 a second strike was launched by the FRANKLIN 
against the three destroyers west of northern Panay. On arrival about 
1230 the strike, consisting of twelve VF and eleven VB, found only two 
destroyers.*** This was because the heavily damaged WAKABA had finally 
sunk.**** The destroyers immediately started circling to the left in 
tight individual turns.*** CTG 38.4 in reporting the FRANKLIN claims to 
COMTHIRDFLT reported rocket and strafing damage to one destroyer and minor 
damage to the other.***** No enemy air opposition was encountered over 
the target.*** In view of the strength of the Allied attack and its 
limited success it would appear that the attacking aircraft failed to 
properly coordinate and press home their attacks. Japanese records indicate 
that although hits were scored, only one gun on one destroyer was put out 
of action and both destroyers were able to maintain full power.****** One 
FRANKLIN VB was shot down by antiaircraft fire. •* 

At 1024 (when it was received by CTG 38.1) he received 
COMTHIRDFLT' s orders to concentrate at best speed toward TG 38.2 (off San 
Bernardino Strait).******* Having learned earlier of the presence of the 
Main Body in the vicinity of Mindoro, ******** he realized that COMTHIRDFLT 
had decided to regroup his three carrier groups in the vicinity of San 
Bernardino Strait and concentrate against this enemy force. He also 
realized that COMTHIRDFLT had made this decision before learning of the 
presence of the enemy surface force (THIRD Section) in the Sulu Sea. ********* 

* Action Report ENTERPRISE, Report of Operations in the Philippines 
Area, including Attacks on the Japanese Fleet and AA Action, 
October 22nd - 31st, 1944, Serial OO56, November 3rd, 1944. 

** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, 
October 18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 

*** CVG 13 Aircraft Action Report No. 90-44. 

**** HATSUHARU Dispatch 240900 October 1944 to Commanders 2ND Striking 
Force, SW Area Force, DESRON 1, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, 
SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 

161005, NA 11744. 
***** CTG 38.4 Dispatch 240546 October 1944 to CTF 38, info C0M3RDFLT, 

CTF 77, etc.; also CVAG 13 Aircraft Action Report No. 89-44. 
****** Detailed Action Report DESDIV 21, SHO No. 1 Operation, Antiair 

Action south of Mindoro, October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 

161717, NA 11801. 
******* C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232327 October 1944 to CTG's 38.3 and 38.4. 
******** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232322 October 1944 to CTG's 38.3, 38.4, 

info COMINCH, CINCPAC, All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLT»s. 

Aircraft in Sector 3 Dispatch 240010 October 1944 to All 

Stations on this circuit. 

189 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 33.4 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Whether he relayed any specific information to COMTHLRDFLT via aircraft 
VHF as regards the strike against this force is not kr.own. He did not at 
this time recall the strike against the destroyers (DESDIV TWENTY-ONE) 
but neither did he launch a follow-up strike against the THIRD Section. 

Finally, at 1224 he sent a message to COMTHIRDFLT 

(a) reporting his 1200 position as Latitude 11°-37'N, Longitude 126 -43«E, 

(b) explaining that he was delayed by recovery of the search and attack 
groups and (c) advising that he was proceeding to close TG 38.2 at twenty- 
six knots and would launch a deck- load strike against the "Jap fleet 
vicinity Tablas Island."* 

At 1324 he advised COKTHIRDFLT by dispatch that, among 
other things, he had (a) contacted at 0905 in Latitude 08°-55 ! N, Longitude 
121°-50'E another Japanese force (THIRD Section) consisting of two 
battleships, one heavy cruiser and four destroyers on course 035°(T), 
speed fifteen knots, (b) scored two bomb hits on each battleship and 
rocket hits on the heavy cruiser and two destroyers and (c) w=s now 
closing TG 33.2 which action was removing him from effective attack range 
on the above force,** 

At 1330 he launched the strike. It consisted of 
sixteen VF, nine VB, eight VT from the ENTERPRISE*** and twelve VF, twelve 
VB and ten VT from the FRANKLIN**** for a total of twenty-eight VF, twenty- 
one VB and eighteen VT. At about 1500 the attack commenced. This strike 
was part of the attack listed as the fifth air attack by the Japanese. 
T^e Japanese ships endeavored to repel the attack by individual maneuver 
and by intense, but not particularly accurate, antiaircraft fire.**** 
Later, in reporting this attack he claimed, among other things, that in 
the attack made at 1415 (it actually conmenced at about 1500) (a) a TAMATO 
class battleship was bombed, torpedoed and left afire down at the bow, 
(b) two bomb hits were scored on a KONGO class battleship, (c) another 
battleship was bombed but not seriously damaged, (d) one light cruiser was 
torpedoed and seen to roll over, (e) probably two or three torpedo hits 
were scored on one of the battleships thai, received the bomb hit and (f) 
the enemy was on an easterly course when first sighted and on a westerly 
course when last seen.***** In this strike the FRANKLIN lost two VT froa 
antiaircraft fire. No enemy aircraft were encountered over the target. 

In making the above attack the planes of this carrier 
group struck just before the planes from TG 33.2. Since the battle damage 
actually received by the Japanese ships is recorded under "Operations of 
CTG 33.2, 0000 - 1830, October 24th"," it will not be listed here excepting 
to say that no light cruiser was sunk or damaged. 

*~~ CTG 33.4 Discatch 240324 October 1944 to 00M3RDFLT, info CTF 38, 

CTG 33.2. 
** CTG 33.4 Dispatch 240424 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info CTF 38. 
*** Action Report ENTERPRISE, Report of Operations in the Philippines 

Area, including Attacks on the Japanese Fleet and AA Action, 

October 22nd - 31st, 1944, Serial 0056, November 3rd, 1944. 
**** CVAG 13 Aircraft Action Report No. 91-44., CoBnander Carrier Air 

Group 13, Aircraft Action Reports October 24th - 28th, 1944, 

Serial 0^8, November 6th, 1944. 
***** CTG 38.4 T3S Voice Radio Message 240930 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 

190 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 38.4 and CTG 30.5 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

During the afternoon he received the following 
instructions from COMTHIRDFLT: (1) at 1355 (when it was received by 
CTG 38.1) to advise COMTHIRDFLT of the earliest time he could join ' 
TG 38.2— Point OPTION 090° (T) speed fifteen knots,* (2) at 1710 to assume 
tactical command of TG's 38.2 and 38.4 and to operate in the general 
vicinity, keeping the groups concentrated until further orders,** (3) at 
1714 (when it was received by CTG 38.1) to rendezvous with CTG 38.2 based 
on COMTHIRDFLT' s new Point OPTION of 165°(T) speed eighteen knots to be 
effective at 1700,*** (4) at 1712 (when it was received by CTG 38.1) 
outlining COMTHIRDFLT 's battle plan**** and (5) at 1819 to proceed westward 
at twenty knots.***** 

During the day (a) enemy air activity over the force 
had been very light. Local patrols had been flown by the SAN JACINTO 
and BELLEAU WOOD and (b) TG 38.4, exclusive of these local patrols, had 
flown a total of seventy-two VF, fifty-six VB, eighteen VT and had lost 
one VF, one VB and two VT in combat with no operational losses. As a 
result at the end of the day CTG 38.4 had approximately eight VF, forty- 
three VB and fifty-three VT. 

At 1830 CTG 38.4 was on course 285°(T), speed twenty- 
five knots.****** 

(2) Operations of CTG 30.5 (Air Search Reconnaissance and 
Photographic Group), 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

CTG 30.5, as on previous days, continued his air searches 
from Kossol Passage, Saipan and Tinian as shown on Plate X and Diagram "C". 

During the morning while embarked in the HAMLIN (AV 15) 
in Ulithi he most likely received the various contact reports on the 
Japanese surface forces in the waters around the Philippines as well as 
COMTHIRDFLT' s orders in connection therewith to his group commanders 
within TF 38. 

Shortly before noon, he probably heard over the AOIC the 
second report of one of his planes flying in sector 335° (T) - 344° (T) out 
of Tinian on a large merchant ship and three destroyers in Latitude 
28°-45'N, Longitude 141°-15 f E, on course 300°(T) speed eighteen knots.******* 



* C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240413 October 1944 to CTG 38.4, info All 

TFC's and TGC's 3RDFLT. 
** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240810 October 1944 to CTG 

38.4, info CTG 38.2, CTF 34, COMBATDIV 7. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240644 October 1944 to CTG 38.4, info All 

TFC's of TF 38, CTF 34. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240612 October 1944 to All TFC's, TGC's of 

TF 38, info COMINCH, CINCPAC. 
***** C0M3RDFLT TBS Voice Radio Message 240919 October 1944 to CTG 38.4. 
****** Deck Log FRANKLIN, October 24th, 1944. 
******* Plane 14 of Flight 223 Dispatch 240224 October 1944 to Any and 

all ships. 

191 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 30.5 
CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

During the afternoon he very likely learned of the actions 
decided upon by both COMTHIRDFLT and CTF 77 to disrupt the movement of 
enemy forces, but since the actions appeared to be developing beyond his 
area of responsibility, he appears to have made no unusual plans or 
preparations to assist. 

By 1830 neither of his subordinate commanders searching 
(1) northwest out of Kossol Passage nor (2) west and northwest from Tinian 
had reported the results of the day's searches, although nothing of major 
significance had been sighted by either search exclusive of the contact 
described above,* 

(2) Operations of CTF 17 (Submarine Force Pacific), 0000 - 1830, 
October 24th. 

At the beginning of the day CTF 17 was still engrossed with the 
developing situation for he had been receiving reports from his own 
submarines and from CTF 71 's submarines as well. He was, therefore, 
awaiting reports as to further contacts on enemy forces. He did not have 
long to wait for shortly after midnight, at 0032, he received a disDatch 
from CTF 71 which informed him that the ANGLER had reported a task force 
of four large ships plus escorts in Latitude 12°-40'N, Longitude 118°-58 I E 
(about eighty miles northwest of Coron Island), on course 050°(T) speed 
eighteen knots, at 2130 on the 23rd,** and later, at 0220 (when it was 
received by CTF 79) he intercepted a dispatch from the GUITARRO to CTF 71 
reporting an enemy task force, at 0030, consisting of fifteen to twenty 
ships including three probable battleships in Latitude 13°-00'N, Longitude 
119°-30'E (about thirty-five miles 055°(T) from the ANGLER point of contact 
or about seventy-eight miles northwest of Coron Island), on course 030°(T), 
speed eighteen knots.*** 

At 0430 he received a second dispatch from CTF 71 which informed 
him that the BREAM had reported two AOBA class cruisers and a large 
destroyer in Latitude 14°-05 ! N, Longitude 119°-40'E (southwest of Manila), 
on course 070°(T), speed nineteen knots and claiming two hits in one of 
the cruisers at 0430 on the 23rd.**** 

Just how he evaluated the above submarine contacts is not known, 
but it seems likely that even though the reported compositions were somewhat 
different he considered that they were all the same force. If this was his 
evaluation he would have been correct for this was the Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force, 



* CTU 30.5.1 DisDatch 241216 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC's 
3RDFLT, CTF's 57, 59, CTG 30.5; also CTU 30.5.3 Dispatch 240945 
October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info All TFC's 3RDFLT, CTF's 57, 59, 
CTG 30.5. 

** CTF 71 Dispatch 231454 October 1944 to CINCPAC, COMSUBPAC, C0M3RDFLT, 
C0M7THFLT, All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLT's, C.G.'s 5TH and 13TH Air 
Forces, info COMINCH. 

*** GUITARRO DisDatch 231610 October 1944 to CTF 71. 

**** CTF 71 Dispatch 231838 October 1944 to CINCPAC, COMSUBPAC, All TFG's 
3RD and 7rHFLT's, C.G.'s 5TH and 13TH Air Forces. 

192 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

Sometime after this, and most likely at 0443, he received the 
GUITARRO's second report on the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force, wherein 
the GUITARRO reported, "three definite battleships and two possible 
carriers headed south through Mindoro Strait at 0330. M 

During the forenoon he issued two separate submarine position 
reports. The first, at 0059, stated that six submarines in two wolf packs 
(HADDOCK, HALIBUT, TUNA and PINTADO, ATULE, JALLAO) were proceeding 
westward at best speed to patrol Area DEPART and should arrive on station 
within twelve hours. Seven submarines (SAWFISH, ICEFISK, DRUM, SHARK, 
BLACKFISH, SSADRAGON, SNOOK), one (SAWFISH) out of torpedoes, patrolling 
Luzon Strait, three submarines (SILVERSIDES, TRIGGER, SALMON) off the 
northeastern tip of Formosa, and one (TANG) off the northwestern tip of 
Formosa,* The second dispatch, issued at 1137, stated that the POMFRET, 
SAILFISH, PARCHE, BARBEL, PINTADO, JALLAO and ATULE were at Saipan; the 
WHALE and SEAHORSE were north of Latitude 22O-00'N; the HADDOCK, TUNA and 
HALIBUT westbound were at Latitude 20°-45'N, Longitude 128°-00«E, while 
the BONEFISH eastbound was in Latitude 19°-00«N, Longitude 138°-00'E.** 
The information contained in this latter dispatch was incorrect. The 
PINTADO, JALLAO and ATULE had departed Saipan two days earlier (October 
22nd) and, at this time, were transiting Area PARLOR en route their patrol 
station. 

Also during the forenoon, but more likely around noon, he received 
COMTHIRDFLT's dispatch reporting that a major enemy force including 
battleships had been sighted at 0810 just south of Mindoro on an easterly 
course.*** 

At 1335 he received a dispatch from COMTHIRDFLT to CTF 38 and CTG 
38.3 to the effect that he had not as yet located the enemy carrier 
strength and directing them to keep the area to the north under 
observation.**** He likely observed that this dispatch was not addressed 
to either CINCPAC or himself and therefore no particular action in this 
matter by his submarines was either expected or desired. 

Whether or not he gave consideration at this time to disposing 
temporarily the two wolf packs en route to CONVOY COLLEGE along Latitude 
20°-00»N as a scouting line and directing them to be particularly alert for 
the Japanese carrier force which was estimated to be in the Formosa - 
Philippine Sea Area is not known. While this is hindsight such a 
disposition although sound would have likely missed the carrier force as it 
would have passed by before the disposition could have been completed. 



* CTF 17 Dispatch 240059 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT, info COMSOWESPAC 

C0MINCH,3RDFLT, CINCPAC, CTF 77, All TFC's 3RDFLT. 
** CTF 17 Dispatch 240237 October 1944 to All Stations Interested in 

Friendly Subs. 
*** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232322 October 1944 to CTG's 38.3 and 38.4, info 

COMINCH, CINCPAC, All TFC's 3RD and 7THFLT's. 
**** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 232355 October 1944 to CTF 38, CTG 38.3, passed 

by Radio Honolulu 240405 October 1944 to COMSUBPAC. 



193 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

IT IS LIKELY THAT HE FELT THAT (a) A DEPLOYMENT OF HIS SUBMARINES 
TO THE WESTWARD OF LUZON STRAIT WOULD BE MORE PRODUCTIVE OF CONTACTS ON THE 
ENEMY, FOR ALL RECENT CONTACTS ON COMBATANT FORCES HAD BEEN TO THE SOUTH 
AND WEST OF LUZON, (IT MUST BE REMEMBERED THAT THE MAIN FORCE HAD NOT YET 
BEEN CONTACTED.) AND (b) SHOULD THE JAPANESE BE FORCED TO RETIRE THEY 
WOULD DO SO TO THE WESTWARD OF LUZON AND, IF HEADED FOR THE EMPIRE, WOULD 
LIKELY PASS TO THE WESTWARD OF LUZON STRAIT WHERE HE HAD A MAJOR 
CONCENTRATION OF SUBMARINES. THIS CONCEPT IS SUPPORTED BY THE FACT THAT 
AT THIS TIME HE MADE NO CHANGES IN HIS INSTRUCTIONS EITHER TO CONVOY 
COLLEGE SUBMARINES OR TO THE TWO WOLF PACKS REFERRED TO ABOVE EN ROUTE TO 
THAT AREA. 

During the afternoon he awaited additional news of the movements 
of enemy forces and of Allied reaction against them for it was of course 
clear to him that the Japanese forces off Mindoro were within range of 
Allied aircraft and therefore some kind of air action could be expected. 

Later in the afternoon he likely learned from CINCPAC of a 
dispatch from CTF 77 (a) reporting that an enemy force estimated to 
consist of two BB, four CA, four CL and ten DD had been discovered and was 
under attack in the eastern Sulu Sea and which might arrive Leyte Gulf 
this night and (b) directing the addressees to make preparations for a 
night engagement.* 

At about 1700 (when it was received by CTF 79) he received a 
battle plan issued by COMTHIRDFLT to the THIRD Fleet to the effect that 
(a) certain units of his command "will be formed as TF 34" and (b) it 
was to "engage decisively at long range" and (c) carriers of TG 38.3 and 
38.4 were to be conducted clear of surface fighting.** HE LIKELY WAS 
QUITE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT HE WAS NOT INCLUDED AS AN ACTION ADDRESSEE 
FOR IT WAS CLEAR THAT SHOULD AN ENGAGEMENT OCCUR WHEREIN THE JAPANESE 
WERE DEFEATED, ALLIED SUBMARINES MIGHT WELL BE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE 
DESTRUCTION OF THE ENEMY. 

At 1816 he sent a dispatch to the ICEFISH that her patrol time had 
been extended until November 5th and directing her upon the arrival of the 
PINTADO wolf pack on October 27th or 28th to join that pack.*** 

At this time from the information he had gained from dispatches 
addressed to him or intercepted by him and from what he had learned at 
CINCPAC headquarters (his headquarters were also at Pearl Harbor) it was 
clear that although enemy forces had been contacted on easterly courses 
through the Philippines friendly surface units were being disposed to 
counter these movements. 

He likely studied his running estimate of the situation to see what 
courses of action he might take to support these Allied movements should 
he be required to do so. 

* CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to CTF's 78, 79, CTG»s 77.2, 77.3, 
70.1, All TFC's 3RDFLT, CAAF SOWESPAC, info C0M3RDFLT, All TGC's 3RD 
and 7THFLT«s, CINCSWPA. 

** C0M3RDFLT Dispatch 240612 October 1944 to All TFC's 3RDFLT, All 
TGC's TF 38, info CINCPAC, COMINCH. 

*** CTF 17 Dispatch 240912 October 1944 to ICEFISH, info CINCPAC. 

194 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

However, although he did not redeploy his CONVOY COLLEGE 
submarines he nevertheless decided that it would be wise to inform them 
of the situation and, therefore, at 1830 he sent them the following 
dispatch: 

"It appears that enemy is assembling most of their available 
strength in vicinity of Coron Bay (located in group of islands to 
northward of Palawan), Subs in CONVOY COLLEGE should be particularly 
alert for additional units passing through Luzon Straits and for cripples 
heading north. Subs in Area DELETE pay particular attention to vicinity 
Cape Bojeador. Information concerning any southbound enemy units is 
particularly desired."* 

It seems clear that as of this time he had not been informed of 
the results of the air strikes against the Main Body, FIRST Striking Force 
nor the air strikes against the THIRD Section. Actually the first summary 
of results was forwarded by CTF 38 to COMTHIRDFLT at 1830 and was received 
by CTF 17 at about 1938. 

(a) CONVOY COLLEGE 

The submarines SAWFISH, ICEFISH, DRUM, SHARK, BLACKFISH, 
SEADRAGON and SNOOK continued to patrol CONVOY COLLEGE as before. The 
weather in the area was moderate with wind and sea from the northeast. 

(1) SAWFISH, ICEFISH, DRUM 

This coordinated attack group (wolf pack) patrolled Area 
DELETE on the surface during darkness, except when attacking, and 
submerged during daylight. At the beginning of this day it conducted 
several attacks on an enemy convoy which had been originally contacted on 
the previous evening by the SAWFISH. 

(a) The SAWFISH, which had expended the last of her 
torpedoes in an attack on the previous night, was now trailing the convoy 
and coaching the other submarines in the area into contact, namely 
ICEFISH, DRUM and SNOOK .** 

The SAWFISH, learning that the SNOOK had completed an 
attack, commenced leaving the area so that other submarines would have a 
clear field to attack.** 

At 0429 the wolf pack commander requested his 
submarines to inform him of the result of their attacks. The DRUM replied 
that she was being chased by four escorts but the ICEFISH did not reply. 
At 0605 the SAWFISH submerged to patrol the western edge of Area DELETE.** 



* CTF 17 Dispatch 240923 October 1944 to CONVOY COLLEGE, info COMINCH. 
** War Patrol Report SAWFISH, Report of 8TH War Patrol, Serial 88-44, 
November 8th, 1944. 



496799 0-59-22 



195 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 

CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

After an uneventful day, at 1925, she surfaced and 
some time afterward the wolf pack commander communicated with the ICEFISH 
and DRUM once again requesting information as to (a) their attacks and 
(b) whether they both still desired an extension of oatrol. Each 
submarine replied in the affirmative stating that she had sunk one ship 
of the convoy.* 

At about this time the SAWFISH set course for 
Balintang Channel and shortly thereafter (2200) the wolf pack commander 
sent a dispatch to CTF 17 (a) reporting the results of the wolf pack 
attacks on the convoy claiming three ships sunk and four additional ships 
damaged and (b) requesting (1) routing for the SAWFISH and (2) extension 
of patrol for the ICEFISH and DRUM.** 

Sometime prior to 2300 he received a dispatch from CTF 
17 quoted in full under "Operations of CTF 17, 0000 - 1830, October 24th" 
directing the CONVOY COLLEGE submarines to be alert for (1) enemy units 
passing through Luzon Straits, (2) northbound cripples, and (3) southbound 
units in vicinity of Cape Bojeador,*** for at 2300, while departing the 
area, he directed (a) the ICEFISH and DRUM to patrol at discretion and 
(b) their attention to the above dispatch. He was not concerned about the 
Cape Bojeador area for if the original patrol schedule for this wolf pack 
was followed they would be in that area the next day.* 

As a result of this dispatch the wolf pack was 
dissolved and the ICEFISH and DRUM commenced operating independently. 

THE ACTION OF THE WOLF PACK COMMANDER SEEMS QUESTION- 
ABLE FOR HIS WOLF PACK HAD BEEN ASSIGNED IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES IN 
THE CAPE BOJEADOR AREA AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH 
THESE FUNCTIONS AS COORDINATED PATROL GROUP (WOLF PACK) THAN OPERATING 
INDEPENDENTLY. IN THIS CONNECTION, PRESENT DAY (1958) DOCTRINE POINTS 
OUT THAT IN GROUP PATROLLING THE PRIMARY ADVANTAGE IS THAT THE LIKELIHOOD 
OF CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY IS INCREASED.**** 

(b) The ICEFISH, with contact on the convoy, was preparing 
to attack from the port bow when she received a message from the DRUM 
indicating that the DRUM was attacking also from port. She commenced 
closing for the attack, detected aircraft and sent a message to the 
SAWFISH and DRUM that she was diving to attack from the port flank. At 
0052 she fired four torpedoes at a large unidentified ship but all missed. 
One minute later she fired a second salvo of two torpedoes at an escort 
which also missed, but she believed that one of these had unexpectedly 
hit the ship fired at originally. At 0352 she surfaced with radar contact 
to the north and commenced closing while tracking. At 0413 she sent a 



* War Patrol Report SAWFISH, Report of 8TH War Patrol, Serial 88-44, 

November 8th, 1944. 
** SAWFISH Dispatch 241338 October 1944 to CTF 17. 

*** CTF 17 Dispatch 240923 October 1944 to CONVOY COLLEGE, info GOKLNCK. 
**** NWP 23 Submarine Operations, Department of the Navy, Office of the 

Chief of Naval Operations, February 1953, Chapter 6, Paragraph 621. 

196 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

contact report to the DRUM and SAWFISH adding that her attack was 
completed. At 0420, aircraft having been detected, she submerged. She 
surfaced again at 0519 but, with the coming daylight and aircraft closing, 
she submerged for the day at 0555.* 

In these attacks she is credited with sinking the 
cargo ship T3NSHIN MARU (4236 tons).** 

A patrol vessel was sighted at 1255 but otherwise the 
day's patrol was uneventful and she surfaced at 1955.* It appears that 
she had set course for northwestern Luzon (Diagram "C"). 



At 2300 she received orders from the wolf pack 
commander directing (a) the DRUM and ICEFISH to patrol at discretion and 
(b) attention to CTF 17' s dispatch which, among other items, ordered this 
group to patrol in the vicinity of Cape Bojeador.*** 

(c) The Drum continued to gain attack position on the 
enemy convoy and at 0004 learned from the ICEFISH that there were enemy 
aircraft in the vicinity. She sent a message to the wolf pack that she 
had altered plans and at 0130, while observing the SNOOK attacking from 
the starboard flank,**** she commenced attacking from the port flank. At 
0203 she fired a salvo of four torpedoes from her stern tubes with no 
recorded target designation and all torpedoes missed. She continued 
trailing from the port flank while the SNOOK again attacked from the 
starboard flank at which time she started in for a second attack but was 
detected by the escorts and at 0400 was driven away. At 0510 she advised 
the wolf pack of this development with the hope that another submarine 
might attack during the absence of her escorts. At 0619 she submerged for 
the day. At 0700 she commenced an approach on a convoy of four cargo ships 
and one destroyer on course 050°(T). At 0757 she fired four bow tubes at 
a cargo ship and recorded three hits while diving deep to evade.***** She 
is credited with sinking the passenger cargo ship SHIKISAN MARU (4725 
tons) in Latitude 20°-27 f N, Longitude 118°-31 f E.** 



At 1853 she surfaced and set course for her assigned 
area (presumably the area off Cape Bojeador) and at 2300 received orders 
from the retiring wolf pack commander in the SAWFISH to patrol at 
discretion. 

*~" War Patrol Report ICEFISH, Report of 1ST War Patrol, Serial Oil, 

November 13th, 1944. 
** Japanese Naval and Merchant Losses during World War II by U. S. 

Submarines, prepared by the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, 

February 1947. 
*** War Patrol Report SAWFISH, Report of 8TH War Patrol, Serial 88-44, 

November 8th, 1944. 
**** War Patrol Report SNOOK, Report of 7TH War Patrol, Serial 053, 

November 18th, 1944. 
***** War Patrol Report DRUM, Report of 11TH War Patrol, Serial 056, 

undated. 

197 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 2Z*th 

(2) SHARK, BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON 

This wolf pack which was supposed to be patrolling along 
the northern edge of Area DETECT was actually disposed as follows: (a) 
the SHARK in the northeastern corner of Area DESTROY, (b) the SEADRAGON 
in the northwestern corner of Area DETECT and (c) the BLACKFISH in the 
Blind Bombing Zone just north of Area DETECT. These submarines patrolled 
submerged during daylight and on the surface during darkness.* 

The wolf pack commander in the SHARK was aware of the 
SAWFISH'S contact to the south but did not seem interested at this time, 
preferring the northern part of his area where good hunting was reported 
by China-based planes.** 

Sometime during the day the SHARK was sunk, which reduced 
the wolf pack to two submarines. 

(a) The wolf pack commander, proceeding northeastward, 
was apparently monitoring the action of the SAWFISH'S wolf pack to the 
southward, but since his own wolf pack was largely in the northern part 
of Area DETECT he probably believed he could be of little assistance. 
However, at 0352, as the convoy continued northward, he apparently changed 
his mind, for at this time he ordered his pack to patrol along Latitude 
20°-30'N,*** which was along the northern border of Area DELETE in which 
area the SAWFISH wolf pack was attacking the convoy. 

At 0^.18, upon request, he was advised by the SNOOK 
that the convoy, now consisting of but three shiDS, was in Latitude 
19°-54'N, Longitude 118°-H ! E.*** 

Between 0500 and 0610 he made several contact reports 
on the convoy and at 0610 he reported his position as Latitude 20°-25'N, 
Longitude 118°-21'E, course 215° (T) reporting aircraft and directed his 
units to close the convoy submerging along the course line to conduct an 
attack.*** 

Since the 0610 report from the SHARK is her last 
recorded transmission it is assumed that she conducted an attack on the 
convoy. Some time during the day she was sunk, but where and how is not 
known, for no Japanese records available to this analysis made any claims, 
possibly due to the fact that they failed to realize their success. 

(b) The BLACKFISH, northernmost submarine of this wolf 
pack, at 0300 was patrolling aLong the 100 fathom curve south of Formosa 
Bank. At about 0352 she received orders from the SHARK to proceed south 
and patrol along Latitude 20 o -30'N,*** to cover the northbound convoy. 

* Deck Logs BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON, October 24th, 19 U*. 

** War Patrol Report BLACKFISH, Report of 9'TK War Patrol, Serial 001, 

November, 1944o 
*** War Patrol Report CTG 17.11, Report of Coordinated Patrol of TG 

17.11 composed of SHARK, BLACKFISH and SEADRAGON, Serial 0002, 

undated. 

198 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

SHE CHANGED COURSE AND WHILE PROCEEDING SOUTH OVERHEARD MANY CONVERSATIONS 
ON THE WOLF PACK FREQUENCY FROM UNITS OF THE (a) ESCOLAR GROUP IN TSUSHIMA 
STRAIT, SOME 800 MILES TO THE NORTHEASTWARD WHICH, STRANGELY ENOUGH, WERE 
ALSO CONDUCTING AN ATTACK AT THIS TIME, (b) SAWFISH WOLF PACK AND (c) HER 
OWN (SHARK) PACK.* 

At 0500 she received the first of several reports from 
the wolf pack commander in the SHARK concerning the convoy.** In accordance 
with orders she submerged at 0615.* Nothing of interest occurred until 
1700o At this time the Commanding Officer, feeling that he should have 
contacted the convoy by this time, unless it had been completely destroyed, 
altered course to the north to shorten the run to overtake the convoy if it 
had passed undetected.* At 1917 he surfaced and proceeded eastward to his 
new patrol station within Area DETECT. The crew had improved in health 
with only a few sick upon surfacing.* 

Commencing with sunset he endeavored at intervals to 
communicate with the SHARK but to no avail.** As a result of this he 
assumed command of the reduced wolf pack (BLACKFISH, SEADRAGON) as acting 
wolf pack commander,** presumably until such time as the SNOOK reported, 
as the Commanding Officer SNOOK was senior to him. THIS RAPID ASSUMPTION 
OF COMMAND WAS IN GREAT CONTRAST TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER CROAKER* S 
FAILURE TO ASSUME TEMPORARY COMMAND OF THE WOLF PACK EVEN AFTER HE HAD 
FAILED, OVER A PERIOD OF SIX DAYS, TO CONTACT THE ESCOLAR. 

(c) Meanwhile the SEADRAGON was also following the activity 
in the vicinity on the wolf pack radio frequency and should have received 
the same information as the BLACKFISH. At 0352, although not mentioned in 
her war patrol report she should have received the order from the SHARK to 
proceed south and patrol Latitude 20 o -30*N. At 0437 because of enemy 
aircraft she was forced to submerge but surfaced again at 0545 •*** 

At 0615 she learned that the SHARK had radar contact 
on a single freighter and therefore increased speed to gain contact. At 
0730 she sighted a ship through her periscope at a range of twelve miles 
but the target worked around to the south and she was unable to close. 
She submerged at 0850, and at 0920 sighted three freighters with a CHIDORI 
escort making seven knots. She immediately commenced her approach.*** At 
1055 she fired four torpedoes at the leading ship and hearing two 
explosions dove deep to avoid the escort. At 1214 having previously 
returned to periscope depth she fired four torpedoes at another freighter 
which sank almost immediately. She again dove deep to avoid the escort.*** 

At 1404 after returning to periscope depth she fired 
four torpedoes at the freighter which sank almost immediately. She again 
underwent a depth charge attack by the escort but, having received a total 
of some forty-eight depth charges during these attacks, believed that the 
escort was getting low.*** . 

* War Patrol Report BLACKFISH, Report of 9TH War Patrol, Serial 001, 

November 19/+4» 
** War Patrol Report CTG 17.11, Report of Coordinated War Patrol TG 17.11 

composed of SHARK, BLACKFISH and SEADRAGON, Serial 002, undated. 
*** War Patrol Report SEADRAGON, Report of 11TH War Patrol, Serial 194, 

November 8th, 1944. 

199 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1447 she again returned to periscope depth but the 
only ship visible was the CHIDORI on the horizon.* In these attacks the 
SEADRAGON is credited with sinking two passenger-cargo ships (DAITEN KARU 
(4642 tons) and KOKURYU MARU (7369 tons)) and a third cargo ship (EIKO 
MARU (1343 tons)).** 

(3) SNOOK 

This submarine acting independently was attempting to 
contact the convoy reported by the SAWFISH on the previous night. At 0022 
she contacted the convoy by radar and estimated it to consist of from 
seven to ten ships with at least three escorts, zigzagging on base course 
345°(T), speed seven knots. At OO56 she fired (a) four torpedoes at a 
large merchant ship which she noted settling and (b) one torpedo by mistake. 

At 0219 she notified the wolf pack by voice radio as to 
her own and the convoy's positions. At 0310 with the DRUM nearby she 
fired six additional torpedoes, three at a large cargo ship and three more 
at a following ship and observed one hit in each. She was trailed by the 
escorts and at 0318 fired four torpedoes from her stern tubes "down the 
throat" at the nearest escort, as a result of which the escort abandoned 
the chase. 

At O4I5 upon request she gave the position of the convoy 
and reported three ships remaining. 

At 0519 having learned that the SHARK had dived for a dawn 
attack she fired five torpedoes at another large ship and claimed two hits.*** 

In these three attacks she sank three ships, viz. the 
passenger-cargo ship SHINSEI MARU (5863 tons), the oiler KIKUSUI MARU 
(3887 tons) and the cargo ship ARISAN MARU (6886 tons).** 

At 0623 she submerged and at 0740 heard torpedo hits and 
depth charges which she thought were the result of the SHARK attacking. 
She now retraced the convoys route to look for cripples or survivors.*** 



At 1923 she surfaced and attempted to communicate with the 
wolf pack commander in the SHARK but was unable to make contact.*** About 
this time she sent a report to CTF 17 reporting the sinking of three 
freighters and the probable sinking of a fourth.**** The remainder of the 
day she continued to hear depth charges but patrolled uneventfully 



* War Patrol Report SEADRAGON, Report of 11TH War Patrol, Serial 194, 

November 8th, 1944. 
** Japanese Naval and Merchant Losses during World War II by U.S. 

Submarines, prepared by the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, 

February 1947. 
*** War Patrol Report SNOOK, Report of 7TH War Patrol, Serial 053, 

November 18th, 1944. 
**** War Diary CTF 17 (Commander Submarine Force Pacific Fleet), October, 

1944. 

200 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 



The convoy attacked by the submarines of CONVOY COLLEGE 
was the HARUKAZE convoy "of twelve ships which had speedily been organized 
when dispersal was ordered for Manila shipping" and departed that port on 
October 21st. The Japanese report thereon states that "between 1730 
October 23rd and the evening of the 24th the convoy underwent repeated 
submarine attacks in the vicinity of Latitude 20°-00'N, Longitude 
118°-00 f E" and was broken up and destroyed with ten ships being sunk by 
torpedoes.* The escorts apparently escaped undamaged. Flying boats were 
dispatched to the area on the night of October 23rd and the destroyer UME 
was dispatched from Takao on the 24th to escort the remainder of the 
convoy and to neutralize the one or more enemy submarines.* 

Post war records show that only nine ships were sunk by 
the surviving submarines, including one by the SAWFISH on the previous 
night.** It may be, then, that the SHARK heretofore not credited, may 
have sunk at least one ship of the convoy. At any rate the Japanese credit 
this group with an additional ship.* 

(4) HADDOCK, HALIBUT, TUNA 

As the day began this coordinated attack group (wolf pack) 
was about to enter the eastern edge of Area VESTIBULE en route from Saipan 
to its patrol station in CONVOY COLLEGE. It proceeded on the surface 
during daylight as well as darkness except for short dives, evidently for 
trim and training purposes .*** It entered CONVOY COLLEGE safety lane at 
about 1700,**** and headed for Area DESTROY where it was to patrol until 
the end of the month.***** During the day one friendly and several 
unidentified aircraft were sighted.****** 

(5) PINTADO, ATULE, JALLAO 

This wolf pack was proceeding westerly through Area PARLOR 
en route from Saipan to its patrol station in CONVOY COLLEGE. The units 
proceeded on the surface during daylight as well as darkness except for 
training dives or when necessary to avoid detection by aircraft.******* 



* War Diary 1ST Escort Force, October 1944, WDC Document 161719, 

NA 11609. 
** Japanese Naval and Merchant Losses During World War II by U.S. 

Submarines, prepared by the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, 

February 1947. 
*** Deck Logs HADDOCK, HALIBUT, TUNA, October 24th, 1944. 
**** War Patrol Report TUNA, Report of 12TH War Patrol, Serial 014, 

December 2nd, 1944. 
***** COMSUBPAC Submarine Operational History World War II, Volume 1, 

Page 74. 
****** War Patrol Reports HADDOCK, Report of 10TH War Patrol, No Serial, 

December 10th, 1944; HALIBUT, Report of 10TH War Patrol, Serial 

024, December 1st, 1944; TUNA, Report of 12TH War Patrol, Serial 

014, December 2nd, 1944. 
******* Deck Logs, PINTADO, ATULE, JALLAO, October 24th, 1944. 

201 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

At 1047 the ATULE reported contact on an enemy submarine and at 1105 the 
JALLAO reported sighting a periscope,* However, unknown to them, both 
contacts seem to have been false as there appear to have been no enemy 
submarines in the area. During the day there were several aircraft 
contacts.** The wolf pack continued toward its patrol area and by 
midnight had entered Area VESTIBULE. 

(6) BONEFISH 

At midnight the BONEFISH, en route from patrol to Saipan 
proceeding on easterly courses, was about to depart the CONVOY COLLEGE 
safety lane. She proceeded on the surface during daylight as well as 
darkness. She made two contacts on unidentified flying boats and was 
forced to submerge for a short time to avoid detection by one of them.*** 

Since she is no longer participating in KING II operations 
she will be dropped from further discussion but will be carried on the 
diagrams for reference. 

(b) Northwest Coast of Formosa, 

The TANG patrolled on the surface in the northern part of 
Formosa Strait. Upon reaching deeper water she submerged at 0600 for the 
day' s patrol. The day passed uneventfully and upon surfacing at dark, 
about 1900, she set course for Turnabout Island off the China Coast, When 
within about eighteen miles of the island, she made radar contact on a 
convoy of at least fourteen ships escorted by one fleet type destroyer and 
twelve destroyer escorts. She commenced closing for attack.**** 

She selected three targets and fired six torpedoes, two at each 
target, from an average range of about 1,000 yards. She recorded six hits. 
She then selected two more targets and fired three more torpedoes at them, 
one at a large modern tanker and two at a transport. One of the torpedoes 
directed at the transport appeared to have been intercepted by a 
destroyer .**** 

About an hour later after reloading the last two torpedoes 
forward and re-estimating the situation she started in to sink the 
already damaged ships. She selected a damaged transport as her target and 
fired her remaining two torpedoes at this target. The last torpedo fired 
was observed to broach and curve sharply to the left in a tight turn 
striking the TANG in her after torpedo room with the result that she 
immediately sank stern first in thirty fathoms of water,**** 



* War Patrol Report PINTADO, Report of 3RD War Patrol, Serial 01, 

January 1st, 1945. 
** War Patrol Reports ATULE, Report of 1ST War Patrol, Serial 013, 

December 11th, 1944; JALLAO, Report of 1ST War Patrol, Serial 015, 

December 10th, 1944, 
*** War Patrol Report BONEFISH, Report of 6TH War Patrol, No Serial, 

November 8th, 1944. 
**** War Patrol Report TANG, Report of 5TH War Patrol, No Serial, 

September 10th, 1945. 

202 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
October 24th 



This engagement is believed to have lasted until about 0200 
October 25th, which is the approximate time of the TANG's sinking.* 

As a result of these attacks she is credited with sinking the 
cargo ships KOGEN MARU (6600 tons) and MATSUMOTO MARU (7024 tons) in 
Latitude 25°-06'N, Longitude 119°-3VE*** (Also, the Japanese report 
gives these sinkings in Latitude 28°-07 f N, Longitude 119 -45*E. This is 
clearly in error as this places the sinking on the Chinese mainland.)*** 

A small number of the crew, including the commanding officer, 
survived and were taken prisoners by the Japanese. The commanding officer, 
with the stories of the eight other survivors, prepared his report from 
memory about one year later upon release from a Japanese prisoner of war 
camp.**** 

Due to the nature of this report only general times and lists 
of events, subject to the fallacies of memory, are available. The attempt 
to reconstruct the movements of this submarine with conflicting information 
is difficult. 

(c) Northeast Coast of Formosa. 

This area, northeastward of Formosa, was being patrolled by the 
SILVERSIDES, TRIGGER and SALMON, which patrolled on the surface during 
darkness and submerged during daylight,***** The day *as uneventful until 
1500 when the TRIGGER sighted and photographed a hospital ship identified 
as the BUENOS AIRES MARU . Near the end of the day the SILVERSIDES 
and TRIGGER rendezvoused to exchange information.****** Although enemy 
aircraft were sighted this group made no contacts of importance. ******* 



Statement of Commander Lawrence Savadkin, USN, January 10th, 
1957, which statement is supported by other references both 
Allied and Japanese. 

Japanese Naval and Merchant Losses during World War II by U.S. 
Submarines, prepared by the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, 

February 1947. 

The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II, prepared by Military 

History Section, Special Staff, GHQ FEC, February 1952. 

War Patrol Report TANG, Report of 5TH War Patrol, No Serial, 

September 10th, 1945. 

Deck Logs SILVERSIDES, TRIGGER, SALMON, October 24th, 1944. 

War Patrol Report TRIGGER, Report of 10TH War Patrol, Serial 

November 3rd, 1944. 

War Patrol Reports SILVERSIDES, Report of 11TH War Patrol, 

Serial 045, November 23rd, 1944; TRIGGER, Report of 10TH War 

Patrol, Serial 033, November 3rd, 1944; SALMON, Report of 11TH 

War Patrol, Serial 0-16, November 10th, 1944. 



*-3HHHfr 
■JBHttHHJ- 



033, 



203 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

(d) MARU MORGUE 

The submarines SEA DOG, BILLFISH, SAURY, BURRFISK and STERLET 
continued patrolling in the Nansei Shoto area as on the previous day. 
Area ABLAZE was still unpatrolled. They patrolled on the surface during 
darkness and submerged during daylight.* Except for the BURRFISH their 
patrols were uneventful. 

It will be recalled that the BURRFISH had been heading to close 
the convoy attacked by the SEA DOG on October 22nd. At 1407 she sighted 
smoke and changed course to intercept. At 1945 she sighted a convoy which 
she later evaluated as consisting of three medium ships with five or more 
escorts. At midnight the BURRFISH was still tracking the convoy.** 

(e) Nagasaki - Sasebo 

The CROAKER and PERCH, although members of a wolf pack, 
continued to operate independently and at the beginning of this day were 
some 120 miles apart. The CROAKER was some forty miles northwest of 
Cheju Do while the PERCH was some 100 miles south of that island. 

(1) The CROAKER, on the surface, was proceeding southward to 
the vicinity of the lifeguard station assigned her for the following day. 
At 0315 she made radar contact on a convoy of at least eight merchant 
ships and five escorts. She sent a contact report to the ESCOLAR (which 
she did not know had been sunk on the 17th) and to the PERCH.*** 

At 0424 she fired five torpedoes (bow tubes), three at a 
large freighter and two at a second freighter which was lagging behind. 
At 0509 she fired her remaining four torpedoes (stern tubes) at two 
freighters. With all torpedoes expended she commenced clearing the area. 
At 0554 she submerged for the day. She is credited with sinking the cargo 
ship MIKAGE MARU (2741 tons).**** 

At 1834 she surfaced and proceeded towards her lifeguard 
station for the following day in Latitude 32°-00«N, Longitude 129°-00'E, 
about thirty-five miles due east of Danjo Gunto. 

IT IS NOT CLEAR WHY, SINCE HE HAD HEARD NOTHING FROM THE 
ESCOLAR SINCE 2300, OCTOBER 17TH, THE COMMANDING OFFICER CROAKER PERSISTED 
IN SENDING HIS CONTACT REPORTS TO THAT SHIP RATHER THAN TO HAVE ASSUMED 
COMMAND OF THE REDUCED WOLF PACK AND TO HAVE ADVISED CTF 17 TO THIS EFFECT. 



* Deck Logs SEA DOG, BILLFISH, SAURY, BURRFISH, STERLET, October 24th, 

1944. 
** War Patrol Report BURRFISH, Report of 4TH War Patrol, Serial 027, 

December 2nd, 1944. 
*** War Patrol Report CROAKER, Report of 2ND War Patrol, Serial 027, 

November 10th, 1944o 
**** Japanese Naval and Merchant Losses during World War II by U.S. 

Submarines, prepared by the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, 

February 1947. 

204 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

THIS MATTER IS DISCUSSED MORE FULLY IN VOLUME III UNDER "OPERATIONS OF 
CTF 17 (SUBMARINE FORCE, PACIFIC), OCTOBER 20TH" AS THIS SITUATION HAD 
OCCURRED EARLIER.* IT SEEMS HIGHLY PROBABLE THAT THE FACT THAT HE HAD 
SENT A CONTACT REPORT TO BOTH THE ESCOLAR AND TO CTF 17 CREATED THE 
IMPRESSION AT CTF 17 ! S HEADQUARTERS, AS WELL AS AMONG THE SUBMARINES IN 
THE EMPIRE AREA, THAT THE ESCOLAR WAS STILL AFLOAT WITH THE WOLF PACK 
COMMANDER IN FULL COMAND, WHEN IN FACT SHE HAD LONG BEEN SUNK. CLEARLY 
THIS WOLF PACK WAS OPERATED IN AN UNUSUALLY LOOSE FASHION! 

(2) PERCH** 

The PERCH was patrolling as on the previous day across the 
Nagasaki - Shanghai shipping lane where she was hoping to intercept a 
convoy moving up from Formosa Strait. At 0415, while on the surface, 
having received the CROAKER 1 s contact report she headed toward the reported 
position and at 0453 made radar contact on a convoy of six ships (three 
large and three escorts). At 0505 she sent a contact report thereon to 
both the CROAKER and ESCOLAR. The inclusion of the ESCOLAR as an addressee 
indicates that the Commanding Officer PERCH either thought that the ESCOLAR 
was still operating or, having noted that the CROAKER had included the 
ESCOLAR in her contact report, felt that he should do likewise • 

By 0619 she had closed the target to four miles but owing 
to the light conditions submerged to complete the attack as a result of 
which, coupled with an enemy change of course, she was unable to attack 
and the convoy escaped. The rest of the day was uneventful excepting that 
she was spotted by a patrol craft but succeeded in avoiding it. 

At 1820 she surfaced. Her patrol was otherwise uneventful. 



IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT DURING THESE ATTACKS ON 
SEPARATE CONVOYS COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN THESE TWO SUBMARINES WAS REPORTEDLY 
INTERCEPTED BY THE BLACKFISH SOME 800 MILES TO THE SOUTHWESTWARD.*** THIS 
INCIDENT TENDS TO ILLUSTRATE THE FACT THAT THE RANGE OF COMMUNICATION 
EQUIPMENT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO CONTROL. 

(f ) HIT PARADE 

(1) The approaches to Bungo Suido. 

The BESUGO and RONQUIL as a reduced wolf pack continued to 
guard the approaches to Bungo Suido. At 0310 the BESUGO contacted by radar 
what she estimated to be a large ship with an escort on southwesterly 
courses at about twelve knots and advised the RONQUIL. The RONQUIL replied 
that she would be ready to attack at 0400. As a result of this dispatch 



* Volume III, Battle for Leyte Gulf (Nav Pers 92510), Naval War College, 

1957, Chapter I (B) (2) (e), Nagasaki - Sasebo, 
** War Patrol Report PERCH, Report of 3RD War Patrol, No Serial, 

November 8th, 1944. 
*** War Patrol Report BLACKFISH, Report of 9TH War Patrol, Serial 001, 

November 1944» 

205 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 
CONFIDENTIAL October 24th 

the wolf pack commander assigned the BESUGO to the port flank and the 
RONQUIL to the starboard flank. At 0345 she contacted the target visually 
and discovered it to consist of one large ship and one slightly smaller 
with three or four escorts. She endeavored to get into a favorable firing 
position but was unable to do so. Therefore, at 0413 she fired three 
torpedoes at a destroyer escort which blew up.* This ship appears to have 
been CD 132 # ** The BESUGO then submerged.*** 

At 0637 she returned to periscope depth and sighting 
nothing began clearing the area. She patrolled submerged during the 
remaining daylight hours. She sighted several aircraft. 

At 1831 she surfaced and encountered radar equipped 
aircraft. 

At the beginning of this day RONQUIL notified BESUGO that 
she was entering the BESUGO 1 s area and promptly received orders to attack 
the BESUGO 1 s contact from the starboard flank. She made radar contact at 
0405 and at 0407 sighted a flash on the contact bearing followed by flames 
which she estimated was a result of the BESUGO 1 s attack. At 0415 she 
received an alert signal from the BESUGO which meant that the submarine 
was being forced to submerge. 

The RONQUIL now commenced her approach. At 0529 she fired 
six torpedoes at a large tanker but all missed. Shortly thereafter, at 
0533, she fired four additional torpedoes down the throat at a destroyer 
but again all torpedoes missed.**** She surfaced several times during the 
morning to gain attack position on the convoy but enemy aircraft forced her 
to submerge. She remained submerged for the rest of the day until 2040 
when she surfaced in poor visibility. 



At about 2000 the wolf pack commander directed the RONQUIL 
to shift her patrol area to the southern half of Area SEVEN and the BESUGO 
to the northern part of Area EIGHT in order to cover the approaches to 
Van Dieman Strait (at the southern end of Kyushu) and the east coast of 
Kyushu, 

(2) Approaches to Kii Suido. 

The GABILAN patrolled uneventfully off Kii Suido on the 
surface during darkness and submerged during daylight. She made no contacts 
of importance.***** 

*~~ War Patrol Report BESUGO, Report of 1ST War Patrol, Serial 027, 

November 4th, 1944, 
** The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II, prepared by Military 

History Section, Special Staff, GHQ FEC, February 1952, 
*** Deck Log BESUGO, October 24th, 1944. 
**** War Patrol Report RONQUIL, Report of 2ND War Patrol, Serial 038, 

November 28th, 1944. 
***** War Patrol Report GABILAN, Report of 3RD War Patrol, Serial 031, 

November 13th, 1944. 

206 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CTF 17 

C.G. FOURTEENTH AIR FORCE 

October 24th 



(3) Approaches to Tokyo. 



The GREENLING and TAMBOR continued to patrol this area. 
The TAMBOR remained in the eastern approaches to Tokyo Bay while the 
GREENLING was further westward and appears to have been attempting to cover 
the approaches to the bays of southern Honshu, Both submarines patrolled 
on the surface during darkness and submerged during daylight. Neither 
submarine made any contacts of importance during this period. The 
visibility in the vicinity of the TAMBOR continued to be low. 

(C) China - Burma - India Theater, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

(1) Operations of C.G. FOURTEENTH Air Force, 0000 - 1830, October 24th. 

On this day the two- plane search over the South China Sea was flown 
as scheduled by B-24 aircraft of the FOURTEENTH Air Force (Diagram "C") 
and was negative — no sightings were made. 

The night searches were not flown presumably due to weather.* 






AAF Operations from China Bases in Support of the Leyte Campaign, 
letter from Historical Division, Air University Library, USAF Air 
University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, to President, Naval War College, 
November 8th, 1950, 



207 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

CHAPTER V - MEANS AVAILABLE AND OPPOSED, OCTOBER 24TH - 25TH 

(A) FORCES ENGAGED 

(1) ALLIED FORCES 

(a) BATTLE LINE 

WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, MISSISSIPPI, 

TENNESSEE, CALIFORNIA, PENNSYLVANIA ' 6 OBB 

CONY, AULICK, CLAXTON, SIGOURNEY, WELLES, 

THORN 6 DD 

(b) LEFT FLANK FORCE 

LOUISVILLE, PORTLAND, MINNEAPOLIS 3 CA 

DENVER, COLUMBIA 2 CL 

NEWCOMB, RICHARD P. LEAHY, ALBERT W. GRANT, 

HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS, BENNION, LEUTZE, ROBINSON, 

BRYANT, HALFORD 9 DD 

(c) RIGHT FLANK FORCE 

PHOENIX, BOISE 2 CL 

SHROPSHIRE (RAN) 1 CA 

HUTCHINS, BACHE, DALY, BEALE, KILLEN, 

ARUNTA (RAN) 6 DD 

(d) DESRON FIFTY-FOUR 

REMEY, MC GOWAN, MELVIN, MC DERMUT, MONSSEN 5 DD 

(e) MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 39 MTB 

(f ) TOTAL; 6 OBB, 4 CA, 4 CL, 26 DD, 39 MTB 

(2) JAPANESE FORCES 

(a) THIRD SECTION, FIRST STRIKING FORCE 

YAMASHIRO, FUSO 2 OBB 

MOGAMI 1 CA 

MICHISHIO, ASAGUMO, YAMAGUMO, SHIGURE 4 DD 

(b) SECOND STRIKING FORCE 



NACHI, ASHIGARA 

ABUKUMA 

SHIRANUHI, KASUMI, AKEBONO, USHIO 

208 


2 CA 
1 CL 
4 DD 

CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(c) TOTAL : 2 OBB, 3 CA, 1 CL, 8 DD 
(B) ARMAMENT 

(1) ALLIED FORCES 

(a) TG 77.2 

1. WEST VIRGINIA 

(eight l6»/45, sixteen 5738 DP) 

MARYLAND 

(eight l6'»/45, eight 5751, eight 5725 DP) 

TENNESSEE, CALIFORNIA 

(twelve 14750, sixteen 5738 DP) 

MISSISSIPPI 

(twelve 14750, six 5751, eight 5725 DP) 

PENNSYLVANIA 

(twelve L4745, sixteen 5738 DP) 

LOUISVILLE, PORTLAND, MINNEAPOLIS 
(nine 8755, eight 5725 DP) 

DENVER, COLUMBIA 

(twelve 6747, twelve 5738 DP) 

CONY, AULICK, CLAXTON, SIGOURNEY, NEWCOMB, 
RICHARD P. LEARY, ALBERT W. GRANT, HSYWOOD L. EDWARDS, 
BENNION, LEUTZE, ROBINSON, BRYANT, HALFORD 
(five 5738 DP, ten 21" torpedo tubes) 

WELLES, THORN 

(four 5738 DP, five 21" torpedo tubes) 

2. TOTAL: Sixteen 16745, thirty-six 14750, 

twelve W/45, twenty-seven 8755, 
twenty-four 6"/47, fourteen 5751, 
161 5738, forty 5725 and 140 
21" torpedo tubes 

(b) TG 77.3 

1. PHOENIX, BOISE 

(fifteen 6"/47, eight 5725 DP) 

SHROPSHIRE 

(eight 8"/ 50, eight 4", eight 21" torpedo tubes) 



209 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

HUTCHINS, BACHE, DALY, BEALE, KILLEN 
(five 5"/38 DP, ten 21" torpedo tubes) 

ARUNTA 

(six 4.7", two 4", four 21" torpedo tubes) 

2. TOTAL: Eight 8"/50, thirty 6"/47, twenty-five 
5"/38 DP, sixteen 5 M /25 DP, six 4*7", 
ten 4" and sixty-two 21" torpedo tubes 

(c) DESRON FIFTY-FOUR 

1. REMEY, MC GOWAN, MELVTN, MC DERMUT, MONSSEN 

(five 5"/38 DP, ten 21" torpedo tubes) 

2. TOTAL: Twenty-five 5"/38 DP, fifty 21" torpedo tubes 

(d) GRAND TOTAL: Sixteen 16 "/45, thirty-six 14"/ 50, twelve 

14"/45, twenty-seven 8"/55, eight 8"/50, 
fifty-four 6"/47, fourteen 5751, 211 5"/38, 
fif by-six 5"/25, six 4o7", ten 4", 252 21" 
torpedo tubes 

(2) JAPANESE FORCES* 

(a) THIRD SECTION 

1. YAMASHIRO, FUSO 

(twelve 14.2"/45, fourteen 5.91750, sixteen 5740) 

MOGAMI 

(six 8"/50, eight 5740, twelve 24" torpedo tubes) 

MICHISHIO, ASAGUMO, YAMAGUMO 

( four 5750,** eight 24" torpedo tubes) 

SHIGURE 

(four 5750,** six 24" torpedo tubes) 

2o TOTAL: Twenty-four 14o2"/45, six 8"/50, twenty-eight 
5.91"/50, sixteen 5"/50, forty 5"/40, forty-two 
24" torpedo tubes 



* Information on Japanese armament contained in U. S. Army JAPAN, Office 
of the Military History Officer letter USARJ MH 314.7 of December 30th, 
1957 to President, Naval War College c 

** Not anti-aircraft weapons but capable of 75 degree elevation* 



210 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(b) SECOND STRIKING FORCE 

1. NACHI, ASHIGARA 

(ten 7.87750, eight 5"/40, sixteen 24" torpedo tubes) 

ABUKUMA 

(five 5.5750, two 5740, eight 24" torpedo tubes) 

SHIRANUHI, KASUMI 

(four 5750,* eight 24" torpedo tubes) 

AKEBONO, USHIO 

(four 5"/50,* nine 24" torpedo tubes) 

2. TOTAL: Twenty 7o87"/50, five 5.5"/50, sixteen 5"/50, 

eighteen 5"/40, seventy-four 24" torpedo tubes 

(c) GRAND TOTAL ; Twenty-four 14.2"/45, six 8"/50, twenty 

7.87750, twenty-eight 5.91"/50, five 
5.5750, thirty-two 5"/50, fifty-eight 
5"/40, 116 24" torpedo tubes 

(C) AMMUNITION AND TORPEDOES ON BOARD AT 0000 , OCTOBER 25TH 

(1) ALLIED 

(a) BATTLESHIPS (16-inch) 

1. WEST VIRGINIA AP 200**- HC 176*** 

Torpedoes None 

2. MARYLAND**** AP 240 HC 445 

Torpedoes None 

3. Average Projectiles 

Per Gun (16-inch) AP 27. 5 HC 38.8 

* Not anti-aircraft weapons but capable of 75 degree elevation. 

**■ This information i s found in a Headquarters 14TH Naval District letter 
of December 13th, 1945 signed by Rear Admiral (then Captain) John B. 
Heffernan, USN (Ret) to Commanding Officers of the Battleships at 
Leyte. It seems probable that the Commanding Officer WEST VIRGINIA 
had the information requested written in in pencil on the letter and 
returned directly to the sender. 

***• Ibid. ; also Action Report WEST VIRGINIA, Fire Support Leyte Island 

Operation, October 18th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0666, November 1st, 1944. 

**** Action Report MARYLAND, Bombardment of Leyte Island, Serial 0208, 

October 31st, 1944; also Letter from Rear Admiral (then Captain) John 
B. Heffernan, USN (Ret) to Rear Admiral (then Captain) Samuel E. 
Morison, USNR (Ret) of January 23rd, 1946. 



496799 O - 59 - 23 



211 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(b) BATTLESHIPS ( 14-inch) 
1. MISSISSIPPI* 

2 TENNESSEE** 

3. CALIFORNIA 

4. PENNSYLVANIA***** 



5« Average Projectiles 
Per Gun (14-inch) 

(c) Average Projectiles Per 
Gun (Battleships) 



AP 201 HC 543 

Torpedoes None 

AP 396 HC 262 

Torpedoes None 

AP 276*** HC 78**** 

Torpedoes None 

AP 360 HC 93 

Torpedoes None 

AP 25.7 HC 20.3 

AP 26 a l HC 26.5 



(d) CRUISERS, HEAVY (8-inch )* »***» 

1. LOUISVILLE AP 649 



HC 564 



Torpedoes None 



** 



Action Report MISSISSIPPI, Battle of Surigao Strait, Philippine 
Islands, October 25th, 1944, Serial 0141, November 21st, 1944; 
Action Report MISSISSIPPI, Bombardment of Leyte, Philippine 
Islands, October 19th - 20th, 1944, including collateral supporting 
actions during period October 21st - 24th, 1944, Serial 0139, 
November 23rd, 1944; also Letter from Rear Admiral (then Captain) 
John B. Heffernan, USN (Ret) to Rear Admiral (then Captain) Samuel 
E Morison, U3NR (Ret) of January 23rd, 1946. 

Action Report TENNESSEE, Fire Support Delivered during Leyte Opera- 
tion, Serial 0U0, October 31st, 1944; also Letter from Rear Admiral 
(then Captain) John B. Heffernan, USN (Ret) to Rear Admiral (then 
Captain) Samuel E. Morison, USNR (Ret) of January 23rd, 1946. 
Action Report CALIFORNIA, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 0024, November 3rd, 1944. 

Action Report CALIFORNIA, Operations off Island of Leyxe, P. I., 
October 19th - 24th, 1944, Serial 0025, November 8th, 1944. 
Action Report PENNSYLVANIA, Surigao Strait, Serial 0020, November 
18th, 1944. 

Data from Action Reports, War Diaries and Deck Logs of Ships 
Concerned. 



«*-«• 



ft-R-K-ft 



■JBHHS-ft 



-K-JBHi-ft* 



212 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



2 C PORTLAND AP 327 



HC 95 



3» MINNEAPOLIS 

4. SHROPSHIRE 

5» Average Projectiles 
Per Gun (8-inch) 

(e) CRUISERS, LIGHT (6-inch )* * 

1. DENVER 

2. COLUMBIA 

3. PHOENIX 

4. BOISE 



Torpedoes None 

AP 315 HC 165 

Torpedoes None 

AP 1134 HC 101 



Torpedoes* 



AP 69o3 



AP 1200 



HC 26.7 



HC 1120 



Torpedoes None 

AP 1200 HC 120 

Torpedoes None 

AP 975 HC 757 

Torpedoes None 

AP 975 HC 546 

Torpedoes None 



5. Average Projectiles 

Per Gun (6-inch) AP 80.5 

(f) Average Projectiles Per 

Gun (Cruisers) AP 76.1 



HC 47.1 



HC 39.1 



* No Data. 

** Data from Action Reports, War Diaries and Deck Logs of Ships Concerned. 



213 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(2) JAPANESE ALLOWANCE OP AMMUNITION AND TORPEDOES* 
(a) THIRD SECTION 

1. BATTLESHIPS 

FUSO, YAMASHIRO (per ship) 
14-inch - 1200** 
6-inch - 1680 
5-inch - 1600 
Torpedoes - None 

2. HEAVY CRUISER 
MOGAMI 

8-inch - 720** 

5-inch - 1600 

Torpedoes - 18 
3o DESTROYERS 

MICHISHIO, ASAGUMO, YAMAGUMO (per ship) 

5-inch - 600 

Torpedoes - 16 
SHIGURE 

5-inch - 600 

Torpedoes - 9 



* Since no information concerning actual amount of ammunition on board is 
available it has been necessary to employ normal ammunition allowances. 
This information was provided in HQ USAFFE Military History Section 
letter MH 314.8 of July 30th, 1954 to President, Naval War College 

** Approximately 75$ of 14-inch and 8-inch shells were armor piercing. 



214 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(b) SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
1, HEAVY CRUISERS 

NACHI, ASHIGARA (per ship) 
8-inch - 1200* 
5-inch - 1600 
Torpedoes — 24 
2 LIGHT CRUISER 
ABUKUMA 
5o 5-inch - 600 
5-inch - 400 
Torpedoes — 12 
3« DESTROYERS 

SHIRANUHI, KASUMI (per ship) 
5-inch - 600 
Torpedoes - 16 
AKEBONO, USHIO (per ship) 
5-inch - 600 
Torpedoes - 15 



* Approximately 75% of 14-inch and 8-inch shells were armor piercing,, 

215 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 

(D) STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS FACTORS 

The following survey of pertinent strength and weakness factors of each 
force has been made to summarize the material for testing the feasibility 
and acceptability of possible courses of action, 

ALLIED FORCE 



STRENGTH FACTORS 



Overwhelming numerical superiority 

(a) More battleships (6 to 2). 

(b) More cruisers (8 to 4). 

(c) More destroyers (26 to 8). 

(d) More torpedo boats (39 to 0). 

More 16" guns (l6 to 0) o 

More 14" guns (48 to 24). 

More 8" guns (35 to 26). 

More 4", 4.7", 5" and 6" guns than 
enemy's 5", 5.5" and 6" (351 to 123). 

More destroyer torpedo tubes (244 to 
64). 

Freedom of action. 

Ideal geographical location for 
defense. 

Single command of principal forces* 

Superior radar permitting operation 
in zero visibility,, 

Forces concentrated. 

Employment of MTB's as advance 
scouting and harassing units. 

Rapid communications possible due to 
short distances between forces. 

Excellent information concerning strength 
and movements of Japanese forces. 



WEAKNESS FACTORS 

Lack of proper ammunition loading 
for surface battle (ships were 
loaded for shore fire support). 

General shortage of ammunition in 
all ships but especially of armor 
piercing in the cruisers and 
battleships. 

No torpedo reloads in any torpedo 
carrying ships. 

Paucity of communications circuits 
which tended to overload existing 
circuits. 

Ships of battle line had no experi- 
ence operating together as a battle 
line. 

Allied forces had never operated 
together as a battle disposition. 

Strong southerly currents would make 
station keeping difficult. 



216 



CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



JAPANESE FORCES 



STRENGTH FACTORS 



WEAKNESS FACTORS 



Superior torpedo which had long range 
(44,000 yards at 36 knots) and high 
speed (22,000 yards at 49 knots ). 

Torpedoes were carried by all ships 
except the two battleships e 

All ships carrying torpedoes carried 
overloads of 50$ to 100/S. 

Better trained in night operations . 

Better night vision. 

Initiative o 



No battle plan. 

Japanese forces composed of two 
separate and entirely uncoordinated 
unitSo 

Forces separated so could be destroyed 
piecemeal*, 



No unity of commando 

Ordered to make attack on strongly 
defended position. 

Restricted courses of action and 
limited freedom of movement. 

Communications inadequate. 

Lack of correct intelligence con- 
cerning: 

(a) Allied strength in Leyte Gulf, 

(b) Allied probable courses 
of action. 

Radar generally ineffective. 

This analysis indicates that insofar as guns and torpedo tubes, freedom 
of action, position, command, radar, communications, intelligence and 
concentration of forces were concerned the advantage lay with the Allies; 
that insofar as the quality of torpedoes, night vision and initiative were 
concerned the advantage lay with the Japanese. Thus the Allies had over- 
whelming superiority in practically all factors. 



217 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

CHAPTER VI- JAPANESE OPERATIONS. 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 1830 - 2400, October 24th. 

As the THIRD Section rounded Siquijor Island in the Mindanao Sea at 
1830, Commander THIRD Section in the YAMASHIRO directed Commander FIRST 
Division (MOGAMI and DESDIV FOUR) to execute his 24L410 of that date.* 
Commander FIRST Division, with the FIRST Division, immediately departed 
the formation and headed toward the west coast of Panaon Island. Upon 
the departure of the FIRST Division, Commander THIRD Section, who was 
also Commander SECOND Division, with the remaining three ships of the 
THIRD Section (YAMASHIRO, FUSO and SHIGURE) which he had designated as 
the SECOND Division, changed course to 050°(T) to pass close to Bohol 
Island and commenced his movement along the northern edge of the Mindanao 
Sea as laid down in his 221155.** While his reasons for his course are 
not explained it seems evident that they embraced one or more of the 
following: (a) he desired to avoid operating battleships in the middle 
waters of the Mindanao Sea in order to avoid possible Allied submarine 
attacks (it will be remembered that CinC Combined Fleet's estimate of 
the previous day had forecast strong concentrations of enemy submarines 
in the Surigao Straits area and had directed that all commanders were to 
utilize every trick to keep enemy submarines under control, particularly 
while breaking through the narrow straits),*** (b) he may have desired 
to avoid following in the track of the FIRST Division since, should he 
follow that track and the Allied scouting units contact the FIRST 
Division, contact on the SECOND Division would likely follow. (By 
following a circuitous route he might succeed in misleading these Allied 
scouting units by drawing them into a search astern of the FIRST Division 
and hence away from his own track), (c) he desired to check his course 
and speed at intervals by fixes on the land. (Strong westerly currents 
predominated in the Mindanao Sea at this time of the year and it may have 
appeared wise to Commander SECOND Division to maintain an accurate 
navigational plot by land fixes.) 

In making the decision to separate his forces, Commander THIRD 
Section undoubtedly took into consideration the danger of mistaking 
friend for enemy in rejoining his forces during limited visibility in 
the presence of known enemy units. He probably reasoned that the weather 
in the Panaon area which had been good during the forenoon**** would 
remain so and, therefore, the danger of mistaking a friend for an enemy 
would be so lessened as to deny it priority over the other considerations 
above mentioned. Actually, as will be shown later, the weather commenced 
worsening about 2000.**** 

* Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241410 October 1944 to 3RD Section, 

Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

** War Diary DESRON 1, October 1944, WDC Document 161638, NA 11739. 

*** CofS Combined Fleet Dispatch 231710 October 1944 to all SHO Forces, 
Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operations, October 18th 
28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

**** Action Report PT 194, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 
0397, October 29th, 1944. 

218 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

A study of Diagram M D W will show that by taking the circuitous route 
referred to previously Commander SECOND Division automatically caused the 
distance between the FIRST and SECOND Divisions to increase beyond the 
twenty kilometers originally specified. This maneuver, while otherwise 
supportable, seems unwise because the two divisions became so separated 
as to be unable to provide mutual support. It seems probable that 
Commander FIRST Division was not entirely familiar with the movements of 
Commander SECOND Division during the passage through the Mindanao Sea, 
although he could hear his voice signals.* 

Sometime in the late afternoon and possibly about this time (1830) 
Commander THIRD Section received Commander Main Body's dispatch 241600 
to the Combined Fleet wherein that commander stated, in essence, that 
(a) he had originally planned to force his way through San Bernardino 
Straits about one hour after sunset but between 0830 and 1530 he had been 
heavily hit by waves of Allied carrier-based planes totalling about 250, 
which attacks were increasing in frequency and intensity, (b) Japanese 
air power had been highly ineffective, (c) he thought it best to retire 
temporarily lest he sustain additional losses which would jeopardize the 
accomplishment of his objective and (d) he was now in the Sibuyan Sea in 
Latitude 13°-00«N, Longitude 122°-40'E, on course 290°(T), speed eighteen 
knots.** 

THIS MESSAGE, WHILE PROBABLY NOT UNEXPECTED IN VIEW OF HIS OWN 
EXPERIENCES, MUST HAVE BEEN HIGHLY DISCONCERTING TO COMMANDER THIRD 
SECTION SINCE IT INDICATED THAT THE COORDINATED EFFORT BETWEEN HIS FORCE 
AND THE MAIN BODY FOR DAWN ON THE FOLLOWING MORNING WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE 
OF ATTAINMENT. WHAT SHOULD HE DO? SHOULD HE CONTINUE ON, OR SHOULD HE 
RETIRE TEMPORARILY AND AWAIT FURTHER ORDERS? HE OBVIOUSLY DECIDED TO 
CONTINUE ON, FOR HIS TRACK SHOWS NO CHANGS. THIS WAS THE CORRECT 
DECISION AT THIS TIME, SINCE MANY HOURS WOULD PASS BEFORE HE WOULD BE 
COMMITTED FINALLY TO THE PENETRATION OPERATION AND IN THAT TIME HE 
SHOULD RECEIVE ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS. 

If he had any misgivings regarding the correctness of this decision 
they were soon dispelled. For, probably prior to 1900 (the time recorded 
by SHIGURE),* he received from CinC Combined Fleet a dispatch, and 
addressed to all forces engaged in the SHO Operation, directing: "All 
forces to the attack, trusting in divine aid. w *** 

He immediately analyzed his situation with relation to the Main Body 
whose 1600 position was known. This position, providing the shortest 
route was taken, was about 370 miles from the Tacloban Anchorage. He 



* Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944 WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

** Commander Main Body Dispatch 241600 October 1944 to CinC Combined 
Fleet, Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, 
October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

*** CinC Combined Fleet Dispatch 241813 October 1944 to all SHO Forces 

(Combined Fleet DesOpOrd 372), Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle 
of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 194A, WDC Document 161717 
(Part 4), NA 11801. 

219 CONFIDENTIAL 



CQM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

could plainly see that if Commander FIRST Striking Force had reversed 
course at 1813, which was impossible since that was the time group of 
CinC Combined Fleet's dispatch, he would require a speed in excess of 
thirty-six knots (413 miles/11.3 hours) to arrive off Tacloban at dawn 
(0427). This speed was in excess of that available within his command 
since the full speed of the NAGATO, for example, was but twenty-five 
knots, (24»98).* From this he could readily estimate that the Main Body 
would necessarily be many hours late in arriving at Leyte Gulf, since 
its cruising speed would be much below this, and would therefore be 
unable to arrive off Suluan Island at 0400 as scheduled. This supported 
his previous estimate. 

It is likely that he expected to receive 3ome coordinating orders 

from Commander FIRST Striking Force, who was nis immediate superior in 

command, but failing in that he nevertheless felt that he was to continue 
on. 

While there is no information available anywhere as to what went 
through Commander THIRD Section's mind at this time, since he and his 
entire staff were lost in the night action which followed, it seems 
reasonable to say that he now knew that if he continued on as scheduled 
and arrived off Tacloban Anchorage at dawn (which the Japanese considered 
to be two hours (0427) before sunrise (0627) for this operation)** he 
still had the best chance for success in that it would be dark when he 
arrived at the transport area. He realized, of course, tnat he would be 
without the support of the Main Body but he also realized that the 
alternative of facing the superior Allied forces both surface and air 
during daylight would be suicidal. 

WHAT THEN SHOULD HE DO? FROM HIS ACTIONS AT THIS TIME AND FROM THE 
DISPATCH WHICH HE SENT LATER, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT HE DECIDED THAT, 
UNLESS HE RECEIVED ORDERS TO THE CONTRARY, HIS BEST CHANCE FOR SUCCESS 
WOULD BE TO ADHERE TO HIS ORIGINAL SCHEDULE AND THIS HE PLANNED TO DO. 

However, he decided to modify the basic orders in one regard. He 
changed the objective area from Tacloban to Dulag and therefore changed 
his time of arrival from 0427 off Tacloban to 0400 off Dulag.*** It 
seems likely that he made this change because he knew that Allied 
shipping in strength (eighty transports, four battleships, two cruisers 
and four destroyers)**** had been observed off Dulag that day, and that 
since Dulag Anchorage was about ten miles south of Tacloban Anchorage he 
would naturally encounter the Dulag forces prior to his arrival off 

Tacloban. 

* Japanese Naval Vessels at the End of War, April 25th, 1947, 

Administrative Division, Second Demobilization Bureau (Compiled by 
Shizuo Fukui, Constructor Lieutenant Commander, ex-IJN), Page 1. 
** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 

27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11301. 
*** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 242013 October 1944 to CinC Combined 
Fleet, Commanders 1ST Striking Force, SW Area Force, Detailed Action 
Report KONGO, SHO Operation, October 22nd - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 
161637. 
**** MOGAMI Dispatch 2/+1225 October 1944 to 3RD Section (No. 1 Search Plane 
Report of 0650), Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, 
October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11301. 

220 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

In view of the postwar comments by the Commanding Officer SHIGURE to 
the contrary* it should be pointed out here that this change did not 
constitute an advance in the time of arrival off Tacloban. Instead, it 
maintained the original schedule as closely as possible. The confusion 
may have arisen because the Commanding Officer SHIGURE did not 
differentiate between Dulag Anchorage and Tacloban Anchorage. It should 
be clear from a glance at the chart that at eighteen knots the THIRD 
Section would necessarily arrive in Dulag Anchorage one-half hour earlier 
than in the Tacloban Anchorage. 

It is likely that in his estimate Commander THIRD Section gave 
consideration to the possibility of night action should he continue on as 
scheduled since he was much the weaker force. This was of serious 
concern but it is likely that he hoped to accomplish some of his 
objectives without complete destruction because, despite considerable 
evidence to the contrary — notably the defeats of the Solomon Island 
campaign — he felt with the Japanese High Command that the Japanese were 
superior to the Allies in night surface actions. This concept is 
obtained not only from the interrogations of the Chief of Staff, FIRST 
Striking Force, wherein it was shown that the FIRST Striking Force 
trained largely, if not entirely, for night battle,** but it is emphasized 
by the Fire Control Officer of the MOGAMI who stated as a principle reason 
for the Japanese failure at this battle that, "Also responsible was the 
virtually blind reliance placed upon the night fighting ability of the 
Japanese fleet".*** 

In addition, he realized that because night actions at close quarters 
often become melees and give numerically weaker forces advantages far in 
excess of those which would obtain during daylight, his command would 
likely gain an advantage through such night action. 

HIS DECISION TO CONTINUE ON AND TO CHANGE HIS OBJECTIVE AREA FROM 
TACLOBAN ANCHORAGE AT 0427 TO DULAG ANCHORAGE AT 0400 WAS CORRECT FOR IN 
SO DOING HE WAS LOYAL TO THE INTENTIONS OF HIS SUPERIORS AS EXPRESSED IN 
THE GENERAL PLAN. HE HAD FOUND HIMSELF FACED WITH AN UNEXPECTED 
SITUATION WHICH HAD NOT BEEN FORESEEN OR COVERED IN HIS ORDERS, AND HE 
HAD TAKEN ACTION ACCORDINGLY TO INFORM HIS SUPERIORS OF HIS PLANS 
RESULTING THEREFROM. SHOULD HIS SUPERIORS DISAGREE WITH THESE PLANS 
THERE STILL REMAINED SUFFICIENT TIME FOR THE ATTITUDE OF THESE SUPERIORS 
TO BE MADE KNOWN TO HIM. 



* USSBS Interrogations of Japanese Officials, NAV No. 79, Interrogation 

of Commander Shigeru Nishino, UN, Volume II, Page 346. 
** USSBS Interrogation of Japanese Officials, NAV No. 35, Interrogation 

of Rear Admiral Tomiji Koyanagi, ex-IJN, CofS, 1ST Striking Force, 

Volume I, Page 147. 
*** Report on SHO Operation by Lieutenant Fukushi, ex-IJN, Control 

Station Officer and Fire Data Computer Officer, MOGAMI, December 

1945, Army Historical Division Microfilm HS-39A. 



221 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

Having received no further orders from his superiors he radioed at 
2013 that "The THIRD Section expects to penetrate to a point off Dulag 
at 0400 October 25th",* 

At 2045 he received a dispatch from CinC Combined Fleet which, 
referring to Commander Main Body's dispatch 241600 about retiring 
temporarily,** directed that commander as well as himself to attack in 
accordance with Combined Fleet DesOpOrd No. 372,*** which it will be 
recalled ordered "All forces to the attack, trusting in divine aid".**** 
He could see from this dispatch that CinC Combined Fleet had issued the 
above OpOrd 372 prior to receiving Commander Main Body's 241600 and that 
this new attack directive had been issued to avoid confusion. He now 
knew that CinC Combined Fleet was fully alert to the situation and 
desired the attack order to stand. 

At approximately 2155, or in about ten minutes after it had been 
transmitted (based on the fact that Commander Main Body received the 
above 2013 dispatch at 2020)***** Commander THIRD Section received the 
coordinating instructions from Commander FIRST Striking Force which he 
had expected. In these instructions he was advised in part that (a) 
Commander Main Body with four battleships, six heavy cruisers, two light 
cruisers and eleven destroyers, would pass through San Bernardino Strait 
at 0100 October 25th, arriving in Latitude 11°-36«N, Longitude 125°-46«E, 
at 0600 and would penetrate into Leyte Gulf at about 1100 the same day; 
(b) the THIRD Section would penetrate into Leyte Anchorage as scheduled 
and would then rendezvous with the Main Body at 0900 October 25th about 
ten miles northeast of Suluan Island.****** This would result in the 
re-formation of the FIRST Striking Force. 



* Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 242013 October 1944 to Commander 
1ST Striking Force and CinC Combined Fleet, info Commander 2!.'D 
Striking Force and Commander SW Area Force, Detailed Action Report 
1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 194- , 
WDC Document 161641, NA 11339. 

** Ibid., Commander Main Body Dispatch 241600 October 1944 to CinC 
Combined Fleet. 

*** CinC Combined Fleet Dispatch 241959 October 1944 to 1ST Striking 
Force, Mobile Force, SW Area Force, 5TH and 6TH Base Air Forces, 
3RD Section, CRUDIV 16, Detailed Action Report No. 3, IAHAT0, 
SHO No. 1, Anti-air and Surface Actions, October 17th - 23th, 
1944, WDC Document 16163 9 • 

**** CinC Combined Fleet Dispatch 241813 October 1944 to All Forces 
Engaged in the SHO Operation (Combined Fleet DesOpOrd 372), 
Detailed Action Report SKEGUHE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 
23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11301. 

***** Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 
16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11339. 

****** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 242145 October 1944 to 1ST 
Striking Force, CinC Combined Fleet, Commanders Main Force, 
Area Force, 6TH Base Air Force, 2ND Striking Force, etc., Detailed 
Action Reoort MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 13th - 
24th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 

222 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

Whether or not he had expected orders in this form is not known. 
However, it seems likely that he was somewhat surprised as this order 
changed the original plan as regards the THIRD Section in two particulars. 
It ordered the THIRD Section, after it had penetrated Leyte Gulf as 
scheduled, to (a) retire to the eastward in order to rendezvous with 
the Main Body and (b) to make a second penetration into Leyte Gulf in 
company with said Main Body. 

As regards item (a) it will be recalled that earlier this day, at 
1120,* he had designated as reassembly point "after completion of combat", 
a point in the Mindanao Sea bearing 242° (T), distant eighteen miles from 
Binit Point. Since this order now directed him to withdraw from Leyte 
Gulf to the eastward following his first penetration and then to 
rendezvous with the Main Body, it seems clear that he realized that some 
modification of his designated reassembly point would most likely be 
necessary. 

As regards item (b) it seems likely that he realized that since the 
Main Body had lost so many ships either by sinking (one battleship - 
MUSASHI; two heavy cruisers - ATAGO, MAYA), heavy damage (TAKAO, MYOKO), 
or assignment as escorts (NAGANAMI, ASA3HIM0, KIYOSHIMO, HAMAKAZE), the 
THIRD Section was required as replacements. 

What he thought of these new instructions is not known. However, since 
(a) he would now be required to remain largely unsupported in Leyte Gulf 
from the time of his original penetration (the new order reaffirmed this 
part of the original plan) until he rejoined Commander Main Body at 
0900 — a period of five hours,** and (b) the effectiveness of Allied air 
attacks and the ineffectiveness of friendly air forces to prevent such 
Allied attacks had been clearly demonstrated during the day, it seems 
likely that he viewed them with considerable concern. 

THESE NEW ORDERS APPROVED WITHOUT QUALIFICATION THE DECISION OF 
COMMANDER THIRD SECTION TO CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED, REGARDLESS OF THE 
ABSENCE OF THE MAIN BODY. 

If, as the result of these orders, Commander THIRD Section formulated 
any new plans for the penetration of Surigao Strait this fact is not 
available. His original plan called for passing the southern entrance of 
Surigao Strait at 0100 and taking course 350°(T) directly to the Tacloban 
Anchor age. *** If he did have a new plan, he did not indicate it to his 
ships, and therefore, it is concluded that he planned to adhere to the 
basic plan* 



* Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241120 October 1944 to 3RD Section, 

Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, (Part 4), NA 11801. 

** USSBS Interrogation of Japanese Officials, Nav No. 35, Interrogation 
of Rear Admiral Koyanagi,Tomiji, ex-UN, Volume I, Page 152. 

*** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 221155 October 1944 to CinC Combined 
Fleet, Commanders Main Force, 6TH Base Air Force, etc., Detailed 
Action Report No. 13, DESRON 10, SHO Operation, October 17th - 31st, 
1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

223 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1330 - 2400, October 24th 

At 2255 when it was received by the KONGO, or perhaps later, he 
received a dispatch from Commander SECOND Striking Force which changed 
that commander's time of passing Binit Point from 0600 to 0300 the next 
morning and which gave the SECOND Striking Force's penetration speed 
through Surigao Strait as twenty-six knots.* FROM THIS HE COULD SEE THAT 
THE SECOND STRIKING FORCE INSTEAD OF BEING FIVE HOURS BEHIND HIM WOULD 
NOW BE BUT TOO HOURS, AND THEREFORE WOULD BE CLOSING RAPIDLY AT THE TIME 
THE THIRD SECTION ARRIVED IN THE DULAG AREA. 

He continued uneventfully toward the southern entrance to Surigao 
Strait until he encountered enemy torpedo boats between 2252 and 2310, as 
discussed under Commander SECOND Division. Having received no damage in 
this encounter, and having inflicted some damage on the enemy torpedo 
boats, he, at 2320, queried Commander FIRST Division by voice radio as to 
the enemy situation in the vicinity of the FIRST Division.** At 2324 he 
received a reply that no enemy ships had been sighted.** He then advised 
Commander FIRST Striking Force at 2330 that he was "Advancing as scheduled 
while destroying enemy torpedo boats."*** 

THIS WAS A VERY IMPORTANT DISPATCH AND INDICATED THAT COMMANDER THIRD 
SECTION WAS FULLY AWARE OF THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE CONTACTS ON HIS 
COMMAND BY THE MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS. FOR COMMANDER FIRST STRIKING FORCE 
WOULD NOW KNOW THAT THE EASTWARD MOVEMENT DURING THE NIGHT OF HIS THIRD 
SECTION TOWARD SURIGAO STRAIT WAS KNOWN TO THE ENEMY, AND THEREFORE THE 
CONCEPT THAT THE THIRD SECTION MIGHT BE FREE TO ENTER THE GULF BECAUSE 
"THE ALLIED FORCES THERE WOULD BE DRAW OUT OF THE GULF BY THE APPROACH 
OF THE FIRST STRIKING FORCE (MAIN BODY) FROM THE NORTH", AS HAS BEEN 
STATED BY COMMANDER FIRST STRIKING FORCE,**** WAS NOT NECESSARILY CORRECT. 

What defensive disposition Commander THIRD Section expected to 
encounter in Leyte Gulf is anybody's guess. Forces much stronger than 
his own had been reported there. He knew that these forces could be 
expected to be fully informed concerning the strength of the Main Body 
in the Sibuyan Sea but he could not know whether or not they were also 
informed of the fact that the Main Body, which had commenced retiring at 
1600, had reversed course and was once again heading eastward. 

MOST OF THE EVIDENCE AVAILABLE SEEMS TO POINT OUT THERE WAS EVERY 
REASON TO BELIEVE THAT HE EXPECTED ALLIED SURFACE FORCES TO BE IN THE 
DULAG AREA AS FORECAST ON THE PREVIOUS DAY BY CHIEF OF STAFF COMBINED 
FLEET IN HIS 231200 ESTIMATE FOR, AS POINTED OUT EARLIER, THE MOGAMI 
SEARCH PLANE WHICH HAD MADE THE DAWN SEARCH OF THE LEYTE AREA HAD SO 
REPORTED. HOWEVER THERE IS ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE TO THE EFFECT THAT HE 
MAY HAVE THOUGHT THAT THE ALLIED HEAVY SHIPS HAD DEPARTED THE GULF. THIS 
IDEA IS PROVIDED BY COMBATDIV ONE'S PERSONAL DIARY WHERE ON (A) 0CT03ER 
24TH HE WROTE "THE ENEMY FLEET IN LEYTE GULF HAD MOVED OUT AMD THZPI -.IRZ 

* Commander 2ND Striking Force Dispatch 242245 October 1944 to CC:-SA?~I7 
2 (3RD Section), COMDESDIV 21, Detailed Action Report KONGO, SHO 
Operation, October 22nd - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161637. 

** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

*** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 242330 October 1944 to Commander 1ST 
Striking Force and Commander 2ND Striking Force, Detailed Action 
Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, 
WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

**** USSBS Interrogation of Japanese Officials, Nav No. 9, Interrogation 
of Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, ex-IJN, Volume I, Page 36. 

224 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

NO LARGE SHIPS IN THE GULF",* AND (B) OCTOBER 25TH HE WROTE "ON THE BASIS 
OF THE SITUATION REPORTS OF THE PREVIOUS DAY, (OCTOBER 24TH), THAT THE 
ENEMY BATTLESHIP FORCE HAD SORTIED EASTWARD AND THAT NO POWERFUL FORCE 
REMAINED IN LEYTE GULF, THE THIRD SECTION CARRIED OUT ITS PENETRATION IN 
A HEADLONG RUSH."* 

Where COMBATDIV ONE obtained this intelligence is not known as it has 
not been located in any other source. The interesting thing about it 
however is that it might well have been true. This is so for the Japanese 
on this day made dusk searches and dusk attacks on the invasion forces off 
Dulag and Tacloban** at which hour the battleships, cruisers and 
destroyers of TG 77.2 and the cruisers and destroyers of TC- 77.3 were 
forming battle disposition to the eastward of Hingatungan Point, having 
left the invasion areas after completing fueling and ammunition 
replenishment operations in the late afternoon. Since the Hingatungan 
Point area is about twenty-five miles to the southeastward of Dulag it 
is quite possible that, owing to the decreasing visibility, these ships 
would not be sighted unless the planes haopened to operate in that area. 

It seems likely that, prior to midnight, he received Commander SIXTH 
Base Air Force's (a) dispatch 242046*** reporting contacts off Luzon on 
three Allied carrier task groups consisting of a total of nine large 
carriers and two small carriers with the usual surface ship support, and 
stating that these carriers were under night air attack, and (b) dispatch 
242244**** reporting the results of these attacks and claiming having 
damaged two large carriers, one battleship and one cruiser and having shot 
down thirty-nine Allied planes. This latter dispatch also reported that 
afternoon air attacks had damaged two carriers and two other ships. 

The dispatches were of considerable importance to him because they 
showed that the air forces were in heavy and successful combat with the 
Allied carrier forces with the likely result that the penetration 
operation might be facilitated. 



* Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki, IJN, (COMBATDIV 1), Personal Diary, 

SENSOROKU, Nippon ShupDan Kyodo Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo, March 15th, 
1953), Volume II. 

** Detailed Action Report No. 3, 253RD Attack Unit (331ST Air Group), 
Search Attack Operations against Enemy Task Force and Attacks on 
Enemy Shipping in Leyte Gulf, October 20th - November 13th, 1944, 
WDC Document 160354, NA 12373. 

*** Commander 6TH Base Air Force Dispatch 242046 October 1944 to all 
SHO Forces, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 1 Operation, 
October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

**** Commander 6TH Base Air Force Dispatch 242244 October 1944 to all 
SHO Forces, Detailed Action Report No. 3, YAMATO, SHO No. 1, 
Anti-air and Surface Action, October 17th - 28th, 1944, WDC 
Document 161639. 



225 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Division, 1830 - 2400, October 24th, 

As pointed out previously, Commander FIRST Division was directed 
at 1830 to proceed independently to a position twenty kilometers ahead 
of the SECOND Division. He immediately assumed the course and speed 
necessary to accomplish this.* According to the Commanding Officer SHIGURE, 
who was not in the FIRST Division but who appears to have had some 
information thereon because of the frequent tactical use of voice radio 
by the Japanese, the FIRST Division went ahead at twenty-three to 
twenty-six knots.*-"- Since there is no information other than the SHIGURE 
information available it is assumed that the FIRST Division increased 
speed to twenty-six knots in order to gain station expeditiously and 
appears to have headed directly for Binit Point (Panaon Island) on 
course 062g°(T) o This assumption is supported by motor torpedo boat 
contacts to be discussed later. 

Immediately after departing the SECOND Division, Commander FIRST 
Division directed the MICHISHIO and YAMAGUMO to take stations 30° relative 
on the starboard bow of the KOGAMI at a distance of 1500 meters and 
the ASAGUMO to take a similar station on the port bow as previously 
directed. The YAMAGUMO appears to have been in column some 700 meters 
astern of the MICHISHIO. It will be recalled that Commander FIRST 
Division had, at 1700, instructed his command as follows: "Upon 
reaching a point west of Limasawa, MOGAMI will take lead in a single 
line formation and the formation will pass through the strait north of 
the island. After passing through the strait the force will make a 
sweep southward in accordance with the outline for night maneuvers."*** 
This outline of night maneuvers referred to is not available to this 
analysis. 

At about 1918 Commander FIRST Division, having obtained his 
assigned station in advance of the SECOND Division, slowed to the fleet 
speed which was eighteen knots. Since he could hear most of the voice 
radio communications within the* SECOND Division it seems likely that he 
knew that his position was no longer ahead of the SECOND Division, but 
was instead well to the eastward. 

At about 2227 when north of Camiguin Island the FIHST Division 
passed through the line of Allied motor torpedo boats, (Diagram "D") # 
In so doing it was not detected by the Allied motor torpedo boats nor 
were these detected by the FIRST Division. This was because the distances 
were excessive for reliable radar detection which at this time was, under 
good conditions, about four miles for a Japanese shipborne radar against 
a PT boat,**** and about ten miles for an Allied PT boat radar against a 
cruisero***** 

*~ " Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 

27th, 1%4, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
** US3BS Interrogation of Japanese Officials, Nav No. 79, Interrogation 

of Commander Shigeru Nishino, UN, Volume II, Page 347. 
*** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 

18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 
**** COM-ONI Technical Intelligence Bulletin 2, issued 5/45, Japanese 

Radar Equipment, Page 15. 
***** RAD THREE, Radar Operators Manual, COMINCH Serial 01090, April 13th, 

1945 (Reissue of earlier publication). 

226 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 22.00, October 24th 

Commencing at about 2252 Commander FIRST Division was aware that 
the SECOND Division had encountered enemy torpedo boats and had fired on 
them, because the two divisions were within voice radio of one another, 
and because messages in regard to such firing were being broadcast by 
units of the SECOND Division between 2252 and 2310.* 

At 2320 Commander FIRST Division changed course to 03 5° (T), to 
head for Limasawa Island which he planned to pass to west and north.** 
At this moment he was interrogated over voice radio by Commander THIRD 
Section as to the enemy situation,* He promptly replied at 2324 "No 
enemy ships sighted",*** 

He continued on course 03 5° (T), speed eighteen knots. At 2334, 
entirely unknown to him, his ships were detected by radar by PT 151 
which with PT's 146 and 190 had originally been stationed about two miles 
south of Limasawa Island. At this time the boats having drifted with 
the current were about nine miles bearing 236°(T) from the southern tip 
of Limasawa Island. This contact placed the motor torpedo boats some 
nine miles to the northward of the FIRST Division,**** Although the 
motor torpedo boats commenced closing the FIRST Division, the FIRST 
Division did not discover them for about one-half hour. This was because, 
as has been pointed out previously, Japanese radar was inefficient against 
motor torpedo boats and because weather conditions had commenced to 
deteriorate with visibility about two miles.**** 

At 2400 he again reported to Commander THIRD Section "Enemy not 
yet sighted".* 

At this time the FIRST Division was bearing 212° (T), distant 
eight and seven-tenths miles from the southern tip of Limasawa Island. 



* Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 
23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

** MOGAMI (Commander 1ST Division) Visual Dispatch 241700 to 1ST 

Division, info Flag YAMASHIRO (Commander 3RD Section), Detailed 
Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 18th - 
25th, 1944, WDC Document I6O463, NA 12653. 

*** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 
18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document I6O463, NA 12653. 

**** Action Report PT 151, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 
0389, October 29th, 1944. 

4967,9 o - 59 - Z4 227 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

(2) Operations of Commander SECOND Division, 1830 - 2400, October 24th. 

It will be recalled that at 183A when the FIRST Division departed 
the disposition to take station twenty kilometers ahead of the SECOND 
Division, Commander SECOND Division had directed the SECOND Division 
(YAMASKIRO, FUSO and SHIGURE) to change course to 050°(T).* The effect 
of this maneuver was to increase considerably the distance between the 
FIRST and SECOND Divisions. At about 1845 the SHIGURE took station 2000 
meters ahead of the YAMASHIRO, changing the formation to a single column 
about 3000 meters long.** 

Nothing unusual occurred for seme hours and the division therefore 
continued on course 050°(T) at eighteen knots. At 2200, when about five 
and one-half miles south of Nauco Point, Bohol Island, Conrr.ander SECOND 
Division changed course to 065°(T) in order to Das3 close to Quinali 
Point, presumably for a navigational check, before heading for a Dosition 
bearing 250°(T), distant seventeen miles from Binit Point (Panaon Island). 
This latter position was the 0030 rendezvous which had been designated 
by Commander THIRD Section at 1410.*** 

Commander SECOND Division's Deaceful cruising suddenly came to 
an end when at 2252 he received a voice radio message from the SHIGUR 
reporting "three enemy motor torpedo boats sighted bearing 30 011 .****' 
These were PT's 130, 131 and 152 which had been stationed on a line 
between Bohol Island and Camiguin Island. Actually, from reconstruction 
of the plot using both the Japanese reports and the motor torpedo boat 
reports, this bearing of 30° must have been recorded in error since the 
actual bearing was more probably 130°(T). The motor torpedo boats were 
only about two or three miles from the shins at the time of contact. 
Commander SECOND Division immediately ordered the SECOND Division to make 
an emergency turn to course 110°(T) toward them. This was in accordance 
with Allied doctrine*-** - ** and aopears to have been Jaoanese doctrine as 
well.*****-* 



* Appended Chart No. 1, Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of 

Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 

(Part 4), NA 11801. 
** USSBS Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Nav No. 79, 

Interrogation of Commander Shigeru Nishino, ex-IJN, Volume II, 

Page 347. 
*** 3RD Section Signal Order No. 13, Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, 

Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 

161717 (Part 4), NA 11301. 
**** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 

23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11301. 
*•**-*-* Suggested .Anti-Motor Torpedo 3oat Tactics for Surface Ships, 

COMSOPAC Serial 00579, March 24th, 1943. 
*»**«* cinC Combined Fleet Standing Order 31 (1943), Combined Fleet 

Doctrine, 1943, Book I, Combat, Section H, Action Against Motor 

Torpedo Boat, ATIS Document 39, Part VTI, June 3rd, 1945 (NACrl 

Document). 



228 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

This quick turn, and the fact that the destroyer SHIGURE commenced 
firing within two minutes after the sighting, caught the motor torpedo 
boats unprepared to fire torpedoes, as they were beyond effective torpedo 
range,* which forced them to turn away. The Commanding Officer SHIGURE 
at 2254 by voice radio reported opening fire ** Whether or not he 
employed illumination at this time is not recorded but it is believed 
that he fired without any illumination. Furthermore, it is believed that 
the battleships had not as yet sighted the motor torpedo boats for, at 
2256, the Commanding Officer SHIGURE reported one torpedo boat off the 
bow,** which indicates that he may have been trying to locate them to the 
battleships. 

At 23OO Commander SECOND Division ordered the Commanding Officer 
SHIGURE to illuminate the torpedo boats,** which he did using searchlight. 
His beam caught PT 152. The battleships then began illumination fire 
(starshells) to locate the other targets and also commenced firing their 
secondary batteries shortly thereafter.* The searchlight and starshells 
were observed by the Limasawa motor torpedo boats, and the starshells by 
the shiDs of the SECOND Striking Force, which were about forty miles 
astern.*** It seems probable that Commander SECOND Division disapproved 
of the searchlights for at 2304 he ordered the SHIGURE to begin 
illumination fire.** One minute later, at 2305, he received word from the 
Commanding Officer SHIGURE that he had sunk one PT with a direct hit** 
(this was partially correct — the SHIGURE had succeeded, in fact, in 
making a direct hit on PT 152, but did not sink it).* 

The Commanding Officer SHIGURE stated later that (a) he thought 
that the motor torpedo boats had fired torpedoes before retiring (this 
was not so, as no torpedoes had been fired) and (b) he had not seen any 
tracks.**** 

At 2307 Commander SECOND Division received a reauest from the 
Commanding Officer SHIGURE that the order to fire starshells be cancelled 
because (a) the range was excessive, possibly because smoke laid by PT 131 
blanked off the boats, and (b) the SHIGURE was unable to fire illumination 
shells and continue gunfire at the same time.** 

Commander SECOND Division did not reply to the above request but 
accomplished the equivalent when at 2310 he broke off the engagement and 
returned to the base course (065°(T)).** 



* Action Report PT 152, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 

0399, October 29th, 1944. 
** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 

23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11301. 
*** War Diary DESDIV 7 (USHIO) October 1944, WDC Document 161717, 

NA 11801. 
**** USSBS Interrogation of Japanese Officials, Nav No. 79, 

Interrogation of Commander Shigeru Nishino, ex- UN, Volume II, 

Page 341. 



229 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND DIVISION 
COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 2/ t th 

He now continued on toward the 0030 rendezvous. During this time 
voice radio transmission from Allied motor torpedo boats were heard but 
their location and number could not be determined. However, he believed 
that the boats were maintaining continuous contact.* Actually, this was 
not so as the Bohol motor torpedo boats had dispersed, even though PT 152 
had unsuccessfully attempted for an hour to overtake the S.3C0ND Division.** 

At 2400 the SECOND Division was bearing 237i°(T), distant about 
sixteen miles from the southern tip of Limasawa Island. 

(B) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force, 1330 - 2400, October 
24th. 

As Commander SECOND Striking Force, on course 0?0°(T), and making 
taenty-two knots, approached the western entrance to the Mindanao Sea at 
1830, he expected to encounter Allied submarines. He therefore retained 
his force in a daylight alert cruising disposition (Plate XVI) and 
continued zigzagging,*** (apparently employing the "X" method). Actually, 
thera were no submarines in the Mindanao Sea, either Allied or Japanese. 

Sometime before this, likely at 1227 when it was received by COMBATDIV 
ONE, he had received a dispatch from the Commanding Officer, Bulan Air 
Base (Luzon) informing him of the results of the morning search made by a 
plane from the MOGAMI which had landed at that base. The dispatch stated 
that there were (a) four battleships, two cruisers, two destroyers bearing 
180°(T), distant fifteen miles from Dulag, (b) eighty transports bearing 
090° (T), distant seven miles from Dulag, (c) four destroyers northeast of 
Panaon Island, (d) ten plus small craft (message drop showed these to be 
motor torpedo boats) and (e) twelve destroyers and twelve seaplanes off 
shore southeast of Dulag***** 



* USSBS Interrogation of Japanese Officials, Nav No. 79, 

Interrogation of Commander Shigeru Nishino, ex-IJN, Volume II, 
Page 341. 

** Action Report PT 152, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 
0399, October 29th, 1944. 

*«* Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off the Philippines, October 
24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007; also Action Summary 2ND 
Striking Force in SHO Operation, Southwest Area Operation, Commander 
Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, Former 5TH Fleet Staff Torpedo Officer, GHQ 
FEC, Special Historical Collection Supporting Documents to C-eneral 
of the Army Douglas Mac Arthur's Historical Report on Allied 
Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area (Item 22, Footlocker 5 of 
10, SWPA Series, Volume II). 

**** Bulan Air Base Dispatch 241227 October 1944 to 1ST Striking Force 
Battle Report Addressees, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No. 
1 Operation, October 13th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, 
NA 11744. 



230 CONFIDENTIAL 



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CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

As a result of this dispatch he decided that it would be wise to give 
his individual ships the latest information of the composition and 
location of enemy forces which they might encounter during their 
penetration into Leyte Gulf. He therefore transmitted the substance of 
this message visually at 1850 to the SECOND Striking Force.* 

That this message did not include all of the intelligence within the 
command seems clear, for at the same time that Commander SECOND Striking 
Force was transmitting the above message, COMDESRON ONE in the ABUKUMA 
was also transmitting to DESRON ONE a message which listed the above 
information plus additional information to the effect that there were 
five to eight battleships and ten cruisers in the Gulf near Dulag, and 
ten transports near Panaon Island.** 

It seems probable that about this time or earlier he received a 
dispatch from CinC Combined Fleet directing "All forces to the attack, 
trusting in divine aid."**-* If, in view of Commander FIRST Striking 
Force's 241600,**** he now had any concern as to whether the penetration 
operations was to be delayed appreciably, or cancelled, this dispatch 
should have cleared it up — operations were to continue. It now became 
important to know what action would be taken by Commander FIRST Striking 
Force and by Commander THIRD Section because any change in plan by these 
commanders might adversely affect his own movement plan. He awaited 
action by these commanders. 

At 1925 he changed course to 080° (T ),*-**** and entered the Mindanao 
Sea in accordance with his SigOrd No. 147. ****** 

At 2000 he noted that DESDIV TWENTY-ONE had not rendezvoused as 
scheduled. 

At 2047 (when it was received by Commander FIRST Striking Force) he 
likely learned that Japanese planes operating out of the Philippines had 
made one direct hit on a carrier in Latitude 15°-30'N, Longitude 123°-40 , E 

*~ Commander 2ND Striking Force Visual Dispatch 241850 October 1944 
to 2ND Striking Force, Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off 
the Philippines, October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

** Ibid., COMDESRON 1 Visual Dispatch 241850 October 1944 to DESRON 
1, info 2ND Striking Force. 

*** CinC Combined Fleet Dispatch 241813 October 1944 to all SHO 
Forces, Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, 
October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

**** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 241600 October 1944 to 

CinC Combined Fleet, Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, 
SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, 
NA 11839. 

***** Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle Off the Philippines, 
October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

****** Ibid., Commander 2ND Striking Force Visual Dispatch 241745 

October 1944 to 2ND Striking Force (2ND Striking Force SigOrd 
No. 147). 

231 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1330 - 2400, October 24th 

and that one cruiser had been moderately damaged and set afire.* This 
carrier apoears to have been the PRINCETON which, at 0938, had been 
bombed successfully by a lone Japanese plane.** 

It seems clear that by 2200 (since it was received by MOGAMI at that 
time) Commander SECOND Striking Force had received Commander THIRD 
Section's dispatch 242013, referred to by the torpedo officer as "a 
tragic dispatch",*** wherein that commander advised his immediate 
superiors that the THIRD Section expected to penetrate to a point off 
Dulag at 0400 October 25th.**** Commander SECOND Striking Force now 
re-estimated the situation. It w^s probably obvious to him, from this 
dispatch, that Commander THIRD Section was proceeding as scheduled and 
that the 0400 arrival off Dulag provided no change in the movement pattern. 

At 2220 he changed course to 060° (T ).***** This change of course was 
also in accordance with SigOpOrd No. 147, although the change was delayed 
fifteen minutes. 

It seems likely that about this time he received the long awaited 
dispatch from Commander FIRST Striking Force giving that comrander's plans 
for the ensuing operation.*** This dispatch basically stated that (a) tl 
Main Body, FIRST Striking Force "will" pass through San Bernardino Strait 
at 0100 October 25th, "will" head south arriving in Latitude 11°-36 , N, 
Longitude 125°-46«E, at 0600 and "will" penetrate into Leyte Gulf at 1100, 
and (b) the THIRD Section "will" penetrate into Leyte Gulf Anchorage as 
scheduled and will then rendezvous with the Main Body, FIRST Striking 
Force at 0900 about ten miles northeast of Suluan Island. ****** 

It seems to have come as a surprise to him for his torpedo officer 
states that "Since, judging from the position of the Main Body, FIRST 
Striking Force at this time, the Leyte operation would be considerably 

* Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SKO Operations, October 
16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

** Action Report PRINCETON, The Battle of the Philippines and Loss 

of USS PRINCETON 24 October 1944, Serial 020, November 24th, 1944, 
Page 1. 

*** Action Summary 2ND Striking Force in SHO Operation, Southwest 
Area Operation, Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, 2ND Striking 
Force Staff Torpedo Officer, GHQ FEC Special Historical Collection 
Supporting Documents to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's 
Historical Report on Allied Operations in the Southwest Pacific 
Area (Item 22, Footlocker 5 of 10, SWPA Series, Volume II), 

**** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 242013 October 1944 to Commander 
1ST Striking Force and CinC Combined Fleet, info Commander 2ND 
Striking Force and Commander SW Area Force, Detailed Action 
Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 16th - 28th, 
1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

***** Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off the Philippines, 
October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

****-** Commander 1ST Striking Force Dispatch 242L45 October 1944 to All 
SHO Forces, Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO 
Operations, October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, 
NA 11839. 

232 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

delayed, it was expect 3d that the THIRD Section, which was to coordinate 
its actions with those of the Main Body, would be issued an order to 
change its schedule but no such order was given."* 

He now had the desired information concerning the THIRD Section's 
operation which was to the effect that Commander THIRD Section would 
proceed as scheduled and would penetrate independently into Leyte Gulf on 
the following morning arriving in the Dulag area at 0400. 

He forthwith continued his estimate of the situation to determine 
whether, because of the demands of the situation, he would be required to 
make any changes in his 0300 planned time of passage through the southern 
entrance to Surigao Strait. (It will be recalled that at 1745 he had 
advanced the time of passage from 0600 to 0300 and had so informed his 
commando )** He appears to have realized that, without the presence of 
the Main Body, the THIRD Section might require assistance and therefore 
"even closer liaison"* was desirable. Despite this fact he decided that 
he would make no change. Whether he did this because (a) of a possible 
shortage of fuel — his torpedo officer stated later that "though it was 
our desire to shorten even more the time difference it was impossible 
from the standpoint of fuel"*-- or (b) his desire to avoid closing the 
THIRD Section any more than the thirty-five miles which would separate 
them at 0400 if both commands continued as planned, is not known. 

However, based on the assumption that the THIRD Section was proceeding 
up the strait at twenty knots (the distance from Binit Point to the Dulag 
Anchorage area — sixty miles divided by three hours) it seems clear that 
had he increased speed from twenty-two to twenty-six knots at 2300 he 
would have closed the THIRD Section at the rate of about six knots and 
have reduced the distance between the two at 0400 by thirty miles, thus 
placing them at that time about twelve miles apart. 

While no specific information concerning the fuel consumption rates 
of the Japanese ships is available to this study, the increase in the 
fuel consumption for the five hours, based on similar American cruisers 
and destroyers, would have meant an increase of but between two and three 
per cent of the maximum capacity.*** This tends to support the view that 
Commander SECOND Striking Force did not desire further to close the THIRD 
Section. 



* Action Summary 2ND Striking Force in SHO Operation, Southwest Area 
Operation, Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, 2ND Striking Force Staff 
Torpedo Officer, GHQ FEC Special Historical Collection Supporting 
Documents to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur' s Historical 
Report on Allied Operations in the Southwest Pacific 4rea (item 22, 
Footlocker 5 of 10, SWPA Series, Volume II). 

** Commander 2ND Striking Force Visual (Blinker) Dispatch 241745 

October 1944 to 2ND Striking Force (2ND Striking Force SigOrd No. 
147), Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Battle off the Philippines, 
October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

*** War Service Fuel Consumption of U.S. Naval Surface Vessels, FTP 
218, United States Fleet, Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, 
1945. 

2 33 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

Commander SECOND Striking Force decided at this point to inform 
Commander THIRD Section and COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE of his present plans and 
therefore at 2245 he advised these commanders as follows: "The SECOND 
Striking Force is scheduled to pass through the southern entrance of 
Surigao Strait at 0300 and penetrate at speed of twenty-six knots."* 

The reason for including COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE in this dispatch was 
that that commander, with the HATSUHARU and HATSUSHIMO was supposedly en 
route to join the SECOND Striking Force and should have rendezvoused at 
2000. He had failed to do so and Commander SECOND Striking Force did not 
know why, although he did know that DESDIV TWENTY-ONE had been attacked 
that morning by Allied carrier planes with the resultant sinking of the 
WAKABA. Actually, COMDESDIV TWENTY-ONE was returning to Manila** and had 
failed to inform Commander SECOND Striking Force, 

At 2300*** Commander SECOND Striking Force observed what appeared to 
be illumination flares ahead on the horizon on bearing 050°(T).**** This 
was the encounter of the SECOND Division of the THIRD Section with the 
motor torpedo boats south of Bohol Island, the flares being the starshells 
fired by the SECOND Division. 

At 2315 he decided that it would be unwise to remain in his present 
cruising formation until 0200 as planned in SigOrd No. 147 and should 
instead assume an approach formation immediately. He therefore ordered 
No. 4 Approach Formation*** (Plate XVI). HIS ACTION IN SO DOING WAS SOUND 
BECAUSE AN APPROACH FORMATION IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PLACING THE FORCE EI 
THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS POSITION FOR DEPLOYMENT FOR BATTLE, AND HE COULD NOT 
BE SURE WHEN HE MIGHT ENCOUNTER THE ENEMY FORCE. THE JAPANESE COMBINED 
FLEET INSTRUCTIONS FOR NIGHT ACTION IN NARROW WATERS STATiD THAT "BECAUSE 
THE CHANCES OF A SUDDEN ENCOUNTER WITH THE ENEMY ARE GREAT IN NARROW 
WATERS, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT, THE FORCES MUST BE CONSTANTLY PREPARED FOR 
IMMEDIATE ACTION AND MOVE UNDER THE STRICTEST ALERT."***** 

At 2330 the approach formation was formed.****** 

*" Commander 2ND Striking Force Dispatch 242245 October 1944 to 

Commander 3RD Section, etc., Detailed Action Report CARDIV 4, SHO 
No. 1 Operation, October 24th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 161006, 
NA 12604. 

** Detailed Action Report DESDIV 21, SHO No. 1 Operation, (AA Action 
South of Mindoro), October 24th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, 
NA 11801. 

*** War Diary DESDIV 7 (USHIO), October 1944, WDC Document 161717, 
NA 11801. 

**** Detailed Action Report ABUKUMA, Bsttle off the Philippines, 
October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161007. 

***** CinC Combined Fleet Standing Order 81 (1943), Combined Fleet 
Doctrine 1943, Book I, Combat, Section E, Surface Action, Sub 
Head VIII, Engagements in Narrow Waters, Paragraph 34, ATIS 
Document No. 39, Part VII, June 3rd, 1945 (NACHI Document). 

****** Detailed Action Report DESDIV 18 (KASUMI), Battle off the 

Philippines, October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161717, 
(Part 4), NA 11801. 

234 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

At 2355 he directed his command to be ready to make twenty-eight 
knots immediately and maximum battle speed on fifteen minutes notice.* 

The SECOND Striking Force continued on without incident. At 2400 
it was bearing 289°(T), distant fifteen miles from the tip of Camiguin 
Island, and about thirty-eight miles astern of the SECOND Division, 



Detailed Action Report DESDIV IS (KASUMI), Battle off the Philippines, 
October 24th - 26th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 



235 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

CHAPTER VII - ALLIED OPERATIONS, 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2 (OTC), 1830 - 2400, October 24th. 

Having completed the preliminary administrative measures for defense 
of Surigao Strait, the units of TG 77.2 were proceeding directly to their 
stations in the battle disposition in separate units. The battle Line 
was proceeding to an initial station directly east of Hingatungan Point 
(Leyte) at the western end of its patrol which would permit rapid 
evolution of the flank forces on the battle line as it passed through the 
point on course 090°(T) # * It was scheduled to patrol Latitude 10°-35«N 
between Longitude 125°-l6«E and 125°-27 f E. 

The sun had set at about 1820. Therefore, the battle formation was 
being taken in evening twilight which lasted about one hour. Since only 
dim moonlight would temper the darkness at this time, CTG 77.2 was 
anxious to get his forces in position before complete darkness had set 
in. This was important because his forces had never operated together 
before. He felt that if he could form his battle disposition while some 
daylight still remained it would not be too difficult to maintain the 
disposition but if he had to form it after darkness had fallen it would 
probably be a long time before it was finally forme d. 

Enemy planes were in the area and an air alert was in effect, lasting 
until 1848. However, the alert was again sounded at 1858 as more enemy 
planes were reported. There was a mixture of friendly and enemy planes 
in and around Leyte Gulf and identification was questionable. The enemy 
planes near Surigao Strait did not attack TG 77.2 although some shios 
fired on the planes. It seems probable that the Japanese planes were 
search planes from the THIRD Section operating from bases at Cebu and 
Panay to carry out the dusk reconnaissance ordered by their commander.** 

As he apDroached his patrol area, he noted that the five destroyers of 
CTG 79.11 (COMDESRON FIFTY-FOUR) were still deployed in an antisubmarine 
screen across the strait between Cabugan Grande and Dinagat Island in the 
same patrol stations they had occupied on previous nights since D-day. 
He once again wondered why it was that neither CTF 77 nor CTF 79 had 
ordered them to report to him for duty. However, since they had not been 
so ordered he had been unable to include them in his battle plan. 

As he came within TBS voice radio range at 1950 he was aueri3d by C 
79.11, quoted in full under "Operations of CTG 79.11, 1330 - 2400, October 
24th" to the effect that in case of surface contact to the south, C 
79.11 planned to make immediate attack with torpedoes, then to retire to 
clear TG 77.2 and requested approval,,*** 

* All information here, unless otherwise indicated, obtained from 

Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao 
Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 
Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 231905 October 1944 to 3RD 
Section (3RD Section SierOrd No. 10), Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, 
Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 
(Part 4), NA 11801. 

Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944; also Action Report CTG 79.11 
(COMDESRON 54), Night Action in Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, 
October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 055, November 12th, 1944. 

236 CONFIDENTIAL 



-X-K- 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

He then at 1951 inquired of CTG 79.11 as to whether or not the screen 
was composed of the same ships as the previous night. To this he 
received an affirmative reply .-* 

He was now faced with the problem of what to do with this force of 
destroyers. It was clear that if they remained in their present stations 
they might interfere with the attack of his own forces; on the other hand 
it was also clear that (a) if they launched an attack at first contact 
(which should be about 40,000 yards) they would contribute much to the 
success of the battle if they succeeded only in reporting the composition 
and disposition of the enemy, and (b) in addition to obtaining the above 
information, they should have a very disruptive effect on the Japanese 
disposition by sinking or damaging, or both, one or more Japanese shios. 
He understood that Japanese radar was relatively primitive and therefore 
destroyers attacking from the shores of the strait should be able to get 
within torpedo range of the enemy before being discovered. However, he 
felt that should Japanese radar and tracking devices prove more effective 
than had been anticipated, the factor of consequences as to cost, while 
possibly high as regards TG 79.11, would be low as regards TG 77.2. In 
other words the gain to CTG 77.2 in information concerning the 
characteristics of the Japanese force would more than compensate for the 
loss or disabling of one or more destroyers of TG 79.11© 

During the above time, the battle disposition was gradually forming. 
The various units had been continually harassed by the presence of 
unidentified aircraft which had delayed the completion of the disposition. 
At about 2000 the battle line reached its initial point and turned east 
at five knots. 

He now decided to permit the planned attack of CTG 79.11 and at 2010 
informed that commander by TBS voice radio as follows: "Your 1950 Item 
approved. Retire to cover of Dinagat and pass between Hibuson and 
Dinagat. Show IFF. Inform me if enemy is in more than one group and 
composition if possible."** 

This dispatch shows clearly that he (a) because he realized that it 
was possible that some enemy forces might slip by the motor torpedo boats 
without detection, was concerned about the Japanese attacking forces. 
He had received information from CTF 77 that the strength of the attacking 
force would probably consist of two battleships, four heavy cruisers, four 
light cruisers and ten destroyers, and it was vital that he learn at the 
earliest practicable time the disposition and composition of the forces 
actually located. He was particularly interested in the composition of 



* Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944; also Action Report CTG 79.11 
(COMDESRON 54), Night Action in Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, 
October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 055, November 12th, 1944» 

** Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 

24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosure (B). 

237 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

this force as his service ammunition was limited, (b) knowing that 
destroyer attack doctrine recommended that torpedo attacks of five or 
less destroyers be made from one sector,* expected CTG 79.11 to form a 
single attack group which would attack and then retire alon? the eastern 
shore of the Strait, and (c) mindful of the adverse effect nearby land 
had on radars wished to take advantage of the land effects which he 
expected Hibuson and Dinagat Islands would have on the Japanese radars. 

This idea of the single attack group had not been contemplated by 
CTG 79.11, who expected instead to attack from both sides of the Strait 
rather than from one side. CTG 79.11 therefore, at 2012, advised CTG 
77.2 to this effect by TBS voice radio as follows: "Ky plan would be to 
attack from two sides with two groups, one of three and one of two ships. 
I will give details later. That would require retirement with one group 
well to the west. I will take the other proup well to the east. V/ould 
that be s atis factory? "** 

At 2016 CTG 77.2 approved the plan but, in so doing, directed CTG 
79.11 also by TBS voice radio to (a) keep close to the shore, (b) show 
IFF and (c) inform Commander Right Flank Force of the attack plan.** 

Although he realized that CTG 79.11' s plan was based on the 
expectation that the enemy would choose to operate in mid-channel, (i.e., 
on enemy intentions rather than on enemy capabilities) and had the 
weakness that if the enemy did not do so but instead chose to operate 
near the shore, the attacking destroyers would then be so divided that 
concentration might be difficult, he nevertheless approved the deviation 
from doctrine because (a) he felt that (1) the Japanese likely knew that 
they had to run the gantlet of motor torpedo boats and destroyers, (2) 
they would therefore require room for maneuver, (3) they probably had 
radar difficulties similar to these experienced by the Allies when in the 
presence of land masses and (4) the chance of their maintaining a mid- 
channel position therefore warranted this capability being given a high 
priority, (b) the strait, in view of its narrowness, lent itself to 
attacks by very small divided forces operating from both shores which, 
without too much interference from each other, could readily fade into the 
protection of the neighboring shores, (c) the enemy, by quick deployment 
along projected Allied torpedo tracks fired by a single strong attack 
group operating from one shore only, could avoid receiving torpedo hits 
and might, at the same time, succeed in trapping the firing destroyers 
against the shore since their retirement was limited by that shore line. 
Therefore, an "anvil" attack was more desirable than a simple attack from 
one bow and (d) since this plan had been conceived by CTG 79.11 it was 
likely in consonance with the destroyer attack training in DESRON FIFTY- 
FOUR. In this connection, it seems wise at this point to recall that the 
above DESRON consisted of two destroyer divisions and that in Surigao Strait 



* Destroyer Tactical Bulletin 4-43, Destroyer Torpedo Attack Instructions 
issued by Commander Destroyers, Pacific Fleet, Serial 01264, October 
24th, 1943. 

** Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 

238 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

at this time there were present two ships of DSSDIV 108 (MC DERMUT, 
MONSSEN) commanded by COKDSSDIV 108 and three ships of DESDIV 107 
(REMEY, MC GOWAN, MEL7IN) commanded by COMDESDIV 107 (who was also 
CTG 79.11). 

At 2020 he received a TBS voice radio message from CTG 79.11 to TG 
79.11 wherein that commander issued his attack plan* (quoted in full 
under "Operations of CTG 79.11"). Since this attack plan conformed 
completely to the agreed attack plan, he was satisfied with it, although 
he was concerned with the fact that CTG 79.11 had failed to include therein 
any instructions regarding reporting composition of enemy or whether it 
was in more than one group. However, feeling confident that CTG 79.11 
would make a contact report because it was doctrine to do so, he decided 
to issue no further instructions at this time. 

At 2021 Commander Battle Line reported on station.** At this time, 
although his destroyers on both flanks were still out of position, the 
disposition was to all intents and purposes formed. At this time the 
destroyers on the left flank were in a special circular antiaircraft 
cruising disposition with the cruisers left flank, and those on the right 
flank were having difficulties with TG 79.11, and with navigation as their 
stations were close to the shore. 

At 2113 he received a TBS voice radio message from CTG 79.11 
inquiring as to whether any of the units of TG 77.2 were to operate south 
of his patrol line.** To this at 2121 he replied in the negative but, in 
doing so, he explained that it was possible that (a) four motor torpedo 
boats might operate near Latitude 10°-17'N and (b) certain units of TG 
77.3 (Right Flank Force) might be close to patrol station seven.** 

This statement was not entirely correct. It will be observed (Plate 
XVII) that the right flank cruisers in their western-most patrol 
intersected station seven and that the right flank destroyers operated 
south of a part of CTG 79.11' s patrol line initially, and south of the 
entire line subsequently. Why, in view of the above situation, (a) 
neither he nor CTG 77.3 requested CTG 79.11 to move his patrol line 
farther south since its location in Latitude was not important or (b) CTG 
79.11 did not move his destroyers farther south automatically in order 
not to interfere with the battle disposition, is not explained. 

At 2150, by TBS voice radio, he directed the left flank forces to form 
Battle Disposition A-l*** with the cruisers in column natural order** and 
at 2155 advised that natural order was LOUISVILLE, PORTLAND, MINNEAPOLIS, 
DENVER, COLUMBIA.** At this time the right flank cruisers, PHOENIX, BOISE 

*~ CTG 79.11 TBS Voice Radio Message 242020 October 1944 to TG 79.11. 

** Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosure (B) . 

*** The designation of Battle Disposition A-l here was to indicate that 
all of the units addressed were to be in the left flank as shown in 
Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine (USF 10A) United States Fleet, 
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, 1944, Figure 7, Page 4-H» 
It was not designated to change in any way the basic Battle 
Disposition A-2, Figure 8, Page 4-12. 

239 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

and SHROPSHIRE, were in a line of bearing 050° (T) from the PHOENIX which 
was the guide. Both flank forces maintained station on the disposition 
guide, MISSISSIPPI, while during the counter-marches the battle line 
guided on the van battleships,* which, on easterly courses, was the WEST 
VIRGINIA and on westerly courses was the PENNSYLVANIA. 

IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT CTG 77.2 DID NOT DIRECT THE EMPLOYMENT OF 
ANTISUBMARINE SCREENS. WHILE HIS REASONS FOR THIS ARE NOWHERE STATED IT 
SEEMS LIKELY THAT HE FELT THAT THE ANTISUBMARINE PROBLEM WAS OF LITTLE 
CONCERN SINCE (A) THERE HAD BEEN NO ENEMY SUBMARINE ATTACKS ON ANY 
ALLIED UNITS IN LEYTE GULF AT ANY TIME, (B) ANTISUBMARINE SCREENS HAD 
BEEN GUARDING ALL ENTRANCES TO LEYTE GULF SINCE D-DAY, (C) ANTISUBMARINE 
DEFENSE AT FIVE KNOTS FOR THE COMPONENTS OF THE BATTLE DISPOSITION WAS 
SCARCELY PRACTICABLE AND (D) THE LACK OF TRAINING OF THE ABOVE COMPONENTS 
IN MAINTAINING STATION IN A BATTLE DISPOSITION MADE SUCH STATION KEEPLNG 
DIFFICULT AND FURTHER COMPLICATIONS, WORSE THAN THE THREAT OF SUBMARINE 
ATTACK, MIGHT HAVE ENSUED HAD THE DESTROYERS BEEN ASSIGNED ANTISUBMARINE 
STATIONS. 

CTG 77.2 was constantly studying the situation as his battle 
disposition moved back and forth at five knots along Latitude 10°-35'N, 
between Longitudes 125°-l6'E and 125°-27'E. 

Realizing the confusion that can occur in a night battle, and desiring 
to insure that (a) his own destroyers on their retirement from their 
attacks were not mistaken for enemy and (b) their rendezvous points were 
correctly chosen so as (1) to facilitate the concentration of the attack 
units and (2) to prevent their interference with the ships of the battle 
disposition, he at 2232 directed CTG 79.11 and COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX to 
establish their post-attack rendezvous points and to advise him of their 
location.** Why he omitted COMDESRON WENTY-FOUR is not known. Perhap3 
he felt that this was more a province of CTG 77.3 who, at the time, was 
experiencing considerable difficulty in establishing a suitable patrol 
station for his destroyers. 

As consequence of this message he received two messages, one at 2256 
from CTG 79.11 to TG 79.11 advising that the post-attack rendezvous points 
were (l) Western Group at west end of screening station seven and (2) 
Eastern Group at west end of screening station three;*** and the other 
at 2256 from COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX to DESRON FIFTY-SIX advising that the 
post-attack rendezvous point was three miles north of Hibuson Island.*** 

The rendezvous points above designated were satisfactory to CTG 77.2 
with the possible exception of "West end of screening station seven". 
However, feeling that CTG 77.3 would correct any interference with his 
forces he took no further action in the matter,, 



* Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosure (B) . 

** Action Report McDSRMUT, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 1944, 
Serial 06l, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (C). 

*** Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 

240 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



25*- 1 



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BATTLE DISPOSITION ALLIED FORCES 

( INCLUDING TG 79.11 PATROL STATIONS ) 



BATTLE OF SURIGAO STRAIT 

BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF 

OCTOBER 1944 



BAT TLE LINE 

AND 

DESDIV X-RAY 



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INITIAL PATROL LINE 



DESTROYERS RIGHT FLANK 

ADJUSTED PATROL LINE 
RIGHT FLANK 







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CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
COM BATTLE LINE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

At 2326 he set condition ONE EASY for all ships. This condition was 
"All hands at battle stations with key stations alert, and remaining 
personnel at ease or sleeping on station, and ships in their maximum 
condition of watertight integrity with the exception that essential 
ventilation and certain access fittings were open but tended."* He did 
this in order to relieve the fatigue and tension of the personnel at the 
guns as well as at other stations. 

Up to midnight he had received no true contact reports of the enemy 
and had no knowledge of the present positions of the Japanese surface 
forces which had been contacted that day. (The only contacts he had 
received had proved to be either friendly or land.) However, he felt 
confident that if the Japanese attempted a penetration that night via 
Surigao Strait he would learn about it promptly because he understood 
that thirty-nine motor torpedo boats had been disposed across the southern 
entrance to the strait for that purpose. He did not know that such 
contacts had already been made and that, as early as 2236, certain of the 
Japanese forces had been contacted by radar by PT 131 in the eastern 
Mindanao Sea heading toward Surigao Strait.** This was, of course, 
because of the inability of the motor torpedo boats, which had made the 
contact, to get their reports through to the WACHAPREAGUE.** 

(1) Operations of Commander Battle Line, 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

At 1830 Commander Battle Line had just completed forming his 
battleships in column — distance 1000 yards — as follows: WEST VIRGINIA 
(guide), MARYLAND, MISSISSIPPI, TENNESSEE, CALIFORNIA and PENNSYLVANIA. 
He was on course 170°(T), speed twelve knots and was proceeding to his 
initial station in Latitude 10°-35'N, Longitude 125°-l6'E, at which 
point the battle line would become the base unit of Battle Disposition 
A-2*** with the MISSISSIPPI in the center of the column as the disposition 
guide. He was accompanied by six destroyers of DSSDIV XRAY — CLAXTON, 
CONY, THORN, AULICK, SIGOURNEY, WELLES. 

At 1947 he directed DESDIV XRAY to form two screens on the battle 
line, one at the van and one at the rear.**** COMDESDIV XRAY then 
directed the AULICK, SIGOURNEY and WELLES to form screen No. 53***** to 
the east of the leading battleship, and the CLAXTON, CONY and THORN to 
form an identical screen to the west of the trailing battleship.**** 

*~ Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine, U.S. Fleet (USF 10A), 

Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, 1944, Paragraph 2130. 
** Action Report PT 131, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, 

Serial 0931, October 29th, 1944. 
*** Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine, U.S. Fleet (USFIOA), 

Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, 1944, Figure 8, Page 4-12. 
**** Action Report CLAXTON, Report of Action Oetober 24th - 25th, 1944, 

The Battle of Surigao Straits, Philippine Islands, Serial 007, 

November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (C) . 
***** Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine, U.S. Fleet (USF 10A), 

Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, 1944, Table No. 1, Page 

3-4 (Change No. 3). 

241 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM BATTLE LINE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

Thus there would be three destroyers in the van of the battle line on 
either the east or west course. 

At 1950, when the WEST VIRGINIA reached the initial point of 
the patrol line, he changed the course of the battle line to 090° (T) 
and reduced speed to five knots.* 

IT SEEMS HIGHLY PROBABLE THAT COMMANDER BATTLE LINE REALIZED 
THAT THESE DESTROYERS COULD GIVE LITTLE ANTISUBMARINE PROTECTION BECAUSE 
THE DISPOSITION SPEED WAS BUT FIVE KNOTS AND THE LENGTH OF THE BATTLE 
LINE WAS SOME 5000 YARDS. WHY THEN DID HE PLACE THEM AT THE VAN AND 
STERN OF HIS BATTLE LINE? WHILE HE GIVES NO REASONS THEREFORE, IT SEEMS 
LIKELY THAT HE DID SO TO MAKE THEM READILY AVAILABLE FOR ANY URGENCY 
WHICH MIGHT ARISE SUCH AS INVESTIGATING A CONTACT, REPELLING ENEMY 
DESTROYERS WHICH MIGHT GET BY THE FLANK FORCES OR MAKING A TORPEDO 
ATTACK FROM BOTH BLANKS SHOULD DESDIV XRAY BE REQUIRED FOR THIS PURPOSE.** 

At 2200, when the battle line had reached the eastern limit of 
its patrol line, Commander Battle Line changed course to 000° (T) by 
simultaneous ship turns, and then at 2217 changed course to 280° (T) by 
the same method.*** DESDIV XRAY conformed to the battle line signals. 
The effect of the southerly current was now being felt, and the battle 
line was forced to steer slightly northward (280°(T)) to compensate for it. 

The currents and slow speed made station keeping for the 
battleships quite difficult. This was particularly so because the guide 
of the battle line shifted to the van at each reversal of course. The 
turns at five knots were especially slow and cumbersome. 

At 2340 Commander Battle Line reversed course through north 
to 090° (T).*** 

At 2400 the battle line guide was bearing 090° (T) distant 
17,000 yards from Hingatungan Point. 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force, 1830 - 2400, October 24th, 

At 1830 Commander Left Flank Force (CTG 77.2) in the LOUISVILLE, 
who was also OTC of the Left Flank Force, was proceeding with the left 
flank cruisers and destroyers toward his initial station on course 160°(T) 
at fifteen knots being at this time about fourteen miles from station.**** 
The left flank cruisers (CRUDIV FOUR and CRUDIV TWELVE) and the left flank 
destroyers (DESRON FIFTY-SIX) were in a special circular disposition with 
the cruisers equally spaced on circle four. This was due to the presence 
of enemy aircraft.**** 



* Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosure (B). 

** War Instructions, United States Navy, (FTP 143), Navy Department, 
Office of Naval Operations, 1934, Chapter X, Section V, Paragraph 

1053. 
*** Deck Log CALIFORNIA, October 24th, 1944. 
**** Deck Log LOUISVILLE, October 24th, 1944. 

242 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM LEFT FLANK FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

At 1942, as the LOUISVILLE reached her approximate initial point, 
CTG 77.2 changed the course of the left flank force to 090° (T) and 
reduced their speed to five knots .* 

At 2142 he ordered (a) left flank cruisers to form column 
formation natural order on the LOUISVILLE at 2150,** This meant that the 
LOUISVILLE was to become the guide of the left flank force and that the 
cruisers were to form astern of her, from east to west as follows: 
PORTLAND, MINNEAPOLIS, DENVER (COMCRUDIV TWELVE) and COLUMBIA, distance 
700 yards .** Meanwhile the LOUISVILLE maneuvered to take station bearing 
120° (T), distance 14,000 yards from the disposition guide (MISSISSIPPI) 
which was almost on station and (b) COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX to take station 
in Formation A-2 which was between the cruisers and the battle line. 

At 2150 the cruisers formed in column astern of the LOUISVILLE, 
and COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX in the NEWCOMB then formed his destroyers in 
three sections of three destroyers each, which he termed Attack Sections 
ONE, TWO and THREE and aligned them on a line of bearing of section 
guides 000°-180°(T)*** interval between sections 2000 yards.**** 

Attack Section ONE consisted of NEWCOMB (FF), RICHARD P. LEARY 
and ALBERT W. GRANT; Attack Section TWO of ROBINSON (F), HALFORD and 
BRYANT; Attack Section THREE of HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS (F), LEUTZE and 
BENNION .***** 

COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX divided his squadron into three sections 
because if ordered to attack he planned to employ them in a coordinated 
torpedo attack in accordance with standard doctrine ,****** 

IT IS NOT KNOWN EXACTLY WHY HE CHOSE THIS FORMATION BECAUSE IT IS 
PREFERABLE TO HAVE THE DESTROYER ATTACK SECTIONS ON A LINE OF BEARING 
NORMAL TO THE EXPECTED ATTACK DIRECTION. SINCE THE ATTACK DIRECTION WAS 
EXPECTED TO BE ALMOST DUE SOUTH THIS MEANT THAT THE DESTROYERS SHOULD 
HAVE BEEN IN COLUMN. IT SEEMS LIKELY HOWEVER THAT COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX 
REALIZING THAT IF ALL DESTROYERS WERE IN CORRECT POSITION IN COLUMN THE 

* Deck Log LOUISVILLE, October 24th, 1944. 

** Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosure (B); also 
Action Report MINNEAPOLIS, Participation in Battle of South Surigao 
Strait, P.I., Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0215, 
November 2nd, 1944. 

*** Action Report COMDESRON 56, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0013, October 29th, 1944; also Deck Logs BRYANT, 
LEUTZE, RICHARD P. LEARY, HEYWOOD L. EDWARDS, October 24th, 1944. 

**** -phis interval (distance between division guides) of 2000 yards was 
correct for destroyers at this time. However it was full interval 
rather than natural interval. Full interval was standard distance 
(500 yards) multiplied by the number of destroyers in each section 
plus 500 yards; natural interval was standard distance multiplied 
by the number of ships, 

*^*** Action Report ROBINSON, Battle of Surigao Strait, Serial 076, 
November 3rd, 1944. 

****** Action Report COMDESRON 56, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0013, October 29th, 1944. 

243 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM LEFT FLANK FORCE 
COM RIGHT FLANK FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

COLUMN WOULD BE 5000 YARDS LONG, DECIDED, AT LEAST WHILE AWAITING 
INFORMATION OF THE ENEMY WHICH HAD NOT BEEN HEA?J) FROM SINCE THE FORENOON, 
TO KEEP HIS DESTROYERS IN THE 000 o -180°(T) LINE OF BEARING IN ORDER TO 
FACILITATE MANEUVERING AND COMMUNICATIONS. 

At 2231 Commander Left Flank Force changed the course of the left 
flank forces to 000°(T).* 

At 2243 he received a surface contact report from the COLUMBIA 
which was evaluated as land.** 

At 2245 he changed the course of the left flank forces to 270°(T).* 

At 2400 the left flank force was in approximate station on the 
MISSISSIPPI as provided in Battle Disposition A-2. 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force (CTG 77.3), 1330 - 2400, 
October 24th. 

The right flank force under command of Commander Right Flank 
Force (COMCRUDIV FIFTEEN in the PHOENIX) was proceeding at 1830 to its 
assigned station in Battle Disposition A-2 as ordered by CTG 77.2. At 
this time it was about four miles northeast of Tay Tay Point (Leyte) 
(Plate XVIII). At 1843 Commander Right Flank Force formed the BOISE and 
SHROPSHIRE in that order on a line of bearing 050°(T) from the PHOENIX,*** 
distant 700 yards, so that the cruisers would be in formation to turn 
eastward to their patrol line when they arrived at their initial station. 

At about 1952, the cruisers having arrived on station, he reduced 
speed to five knots and at 1956 changed course to 090° (T) to await the 
arrival of the battle line.*** 

At this time the right flank destroyers, commanded by COMDESRON 
TWENTY-FOUR in HUTCHINS, were in column in the following order: HUTCHINS, 
DALY, BACHE, ARUNTA, KILLSN and BEALE, and were endeavoring to maintain 
station bearing 230° (T), distant 4000 yards from PHOENIX.**** COMDESRON 
TWENTY-FOUR followed the movements of the OTC in the PHOENIX. 

When, at about 2000, the battle line arrived in approximate 
station Commander Right Flank Force maneuvered the right flank force to 
take proper station on the disposition guide MISSISSIPPI. In general, 
after taking station, he with his cruisers followed the movements of the 
battle line. His right flank destroyers, however, were not always able 
to maintain station on the PHOENIX because (a) of shoal water and (b) the 
patrol line intersected with the patrol station of the MONSSEN of DESRON 
FIFTY-FOUR in Station SIX. Therefore, mindful of these difficulties at 
2128 by voice radio he assigned COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR a new station, 

* Deck Log LOUISVILLE, October 24th, 1944. 

** Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 

25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosure (B). 
*** Deck Log PHOENIX, October 24th, 1944. 
**** Deck Log HUTCHINS, October 24th, 1944. 

244 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM RIGHT FLANK FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 1330 - 2400, October 24th 

bearing 230°(T), 8000 yards from the PHOENIX. This new station cleared 
the MONSSEN but it introduced new difficulties to COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR 
in that his ships were forced to maneuver in even more restricted waters. 

The tactical situation of the right flank destroyers now became 
quite unacceptable and therefore Commander Right Flank Force, at 2258 
by TBS voice radio, ordered COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR to maneuver as necessary 
to keep clear of the shore.* COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR then formed his 
destroyers in a column from south to north and took a final position 
about two miles east of the Cabugan Islands. He patrolled a north-south 
line from Bugho Point (Leyte) to the latitude of the northern tip of 
Cabugan Grande Island, and operated in this fashion until ordered to 
attack.** He made no attempt to follow the movements of the PHOENIX 
thereafter • 

At 2220 Commander Right Flank Force changed course to 290°(T).*** 

At 2232 he intercepted CTG 77.2' s TBS voice radio message to 
COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX and CTG 79.11, directing them to establish their 
post-attack rendezvous points and to advise him of their location.**** 
He must have noted that COMDESRON TWENTY-FOUR had been omitted. Since he 
expected his destroyers to attack does it not seem surprising that he did 
not order them to designate likewise their rendezvous points? 

At 2340 he changed course to 090° (T)*** in order to maintain 
station on the MISSISSIPPI. 



* Action Report CTG 77.3 (COMCRUDIV 15) Surface Engagement with 

Japanese Forces Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 00117, November 10th, 1944, Enclosure (C). 

** Action Report COMDESRON 24, Night Surface Engagement Surigao Strait, 
Leyte, Philippine Islands, October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0129, 
October 30th, 1944; also Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4, 
(CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 
00141, November 2nd, 1944. 

*** Deck Log PHOENIX, October 24th, 1944. 

**** Action Report MC DERMUT, Battle of Surigao Strait. October 25th, 
1944, Serial 061, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (c). 

245 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.11 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11, 1830 - 2400, October 24th. 

CTG 79.11 continued patrolling Antisubmarine Stations ONE to SEVEN 
(Plate XVIII). He had been on this duty since sunrise D-day. 

He was familiar with the situation expected to develop in lower 
Surigao Strait that night for at 1640 (when it was received by COMDESDIV 
108)* he had received CTF 77' s dispatch reporting that an enemy attack 
force of two battleships, four heavy cruisers, four light cruisers and 
ten destroyers could arrive in Leyte Gulf that night** and at 1757 (also 
when it was received by COMDESDIV 108)* CTF 77 f s dispatch wherein CTG ^7.2 
was directed to defend lower Leyte Gulf and destroy enemy forces 
encountered.*** He was concerned because he had received no instructions 
relative to the employment of his command in the impending battle and 
therefore estimated that he was expected to continue to maintain the 
antisubmarine screen. He could see that his command, if it continued in 
its present station, would interfere with the battle operations of CTG 77.2 
should the Japanese move up through Surigao Strait. He therefore decided 
that, unless he received other instructions, it would be necessary for 
his conmand to clear the area temporarily about the time of contact 
between TG 77.2 and the enemy. He also decided that it would be unwise 
to depart the area without making an effort to contribute to the night 
battle and determined to request authority to make a torpedo attack. 

Because "the location of friendly PT boats made it highly desirable 
to launch the torpedo attack north of Latitude lOO-LZ'N" he prepared a 
plan of attack which would permit him to attack and retire without 
interfering with subsequent attacks by COMDESRON FIFTY-SEC.**** In this 
attack he planned to employ only the five destroyers stationed in Surigao 
Strait and to leave on station the other two destroyers (MC NAIR and 
MERTZ) which were patrolling between Homonhon Island and Dinagat Island. 
He considered the latter patrol an essential antisubmarine patrol.**** 

Having decided to employ only the five destroyers, he planned to 
employ these in a two-group attack with one group of two destroyers 
attacking from the west and one group of three destroyers attacking from 
the east. While he realized that such a two- group attack was not in 
accordance with standard destroyer doctrine in that that doctrine 
recommended a single attack of five ships from one bow he was determined 
to employ the two-group attack if he could gain the approval of CTG 77.2. 
He stated later in his action report that he made this decision because he 
believed that the advantages of striking the enemy from opposite bows are 
so great that the use of two attacking groups as employed by his command 
was more than justified.**** 

* Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 

25th, 1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 
** CTF 77 Dispatch 240315 October 1944 to TF 77. 
*** CTF 77 Dispatch 240543 October 1944 to all TFC's 7THFLT. 
**** Action Report CTG 79.11 (COMDESRON 54), Night Surface Action in 

Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, October 24th - 25th, 1944, 

Serial 055, November 12th, 1944. 



246 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.11 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

He felt that he was justified in requesting permission to make an 
attack because his basic orders directed him to defend the transports 
from any type of enemy attack.* 

WHY HE FELT THAT HE REQUIRED JUSTIFICATION FOR REQUESTING THAT HE BE 
PERMITTED TO MAKE A TORPEDO ATTACK (IN ADVANCE OF THE ATTACKS WHICH WOULD 
BE MADE BY CTG 77.2 »S DESTROYERS) IS NOT UNDERSTOOD, FOR HERE HE HAD AN 
INCENTIVE TO ACTION ORIGINATING FROM THE DEMANDS OF THE SITUATION. 

HE WAS, OF COURSE, FAMILIAR WITH THE FACT THAT WHEN A SUBORDINATE 
COMMANDER FINDS HIMSELF CONFRONTED WITH A SITUATION WHICH HAS NOT BEEN 
COVERED IN HIS ORDERS FROM HIGHER AUTHORITY AND WHICH NECESSITATES ACTION 
ON HIS PART BEFORE HE CAN COMMUNICATE WITH HIS SUPERIOR AND RECEIVE 
INSTRUCTIONS, HE SHOULD ANALYZE THE SITUATION TO SEE WHETHER HIS ASSIGNED 
TASK WILL PROPERLY MEET THE NEW SITUATION AND THEREBY FURTHER THE GENERAL 
PLAN OF HIS SUPERIOR. IF IT WILL NOT MilET THE NEW SITUATION HE SHOULD 
SELECT A NEW TASK WHICH WILL DO SO.** 

In this case then he could see that his assigned task of patrolling 
Surigao Strait would not meet the demands of the new situation. It was 
therefore incumbent on him to choose a new task. This he did. 

He also knew that timepermitting, he should communicate with his 
superior and request instructions.** However, he decided not to communicate 
with his immediate superior (CTF 79) because he appears to have felt that 
(a) such communication would necessitate the employment of radio with the 
ensuing delay incident to coding and transmission and (b) he could expect 
a long delay in such communications because his receipt of CTF 77* s 
dispatches relating to the prospective battle had been delayed an average 
of some three and three-quarter hours* 

INSTEAD, HE DECIDED TO REQUEST APPROVAL OF HIS PLANNED ATTACK FROM HIS 
IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR IN THE AREA (CTG 77 .2) WITH WHOM HE COULD COMMUNICATE 
BY TBS VOICE RADIO. HIS ACTION IN SO DOING WAS OF COURSE CORRECT. 

With this in mind he contacted CTG 77.2 as soon as he came within 
voice radio range, which was at 1950, and advised him that "in case of 
surface contact to the southward I plan to make an immediate attack with 
fish, then retire to clear you. If you approve this I will submit my 
plan shortly."*** 



* Action Report CTG 79.11 (COMDESRON 54), Night Action in Surigao 

Strait, Philippine Islands, October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 055, 

November 15th, 1944. 
** War Instructions, United States Navy (FTP 143A), United States 

Fleet, Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, Navy Department 1944, 

Chapter 2, Section III, Paragraph 214» 
*** Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 

1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 

247 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.11 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

One minute later he received a query from CTG 77.2 as to whether his 
screen was the same as on the previous night. To this he replied in the 
affirmative.* 

At 2010 he received a message from CTG 77.2 authorizing him to make 
the attack. He was directed in the same message to (a) retire to the 
cover of Dinagat Island, (b) pass between Hibuson and Dinagat, (c) show 
IFF and (d) inform CTG 77.2 if the enemy was in more than one group and 
its composition if possible.** 

He could see from this dispatch that CTG 77.2 expected him to make an 
attack with a single attack group. Since this was not in accordance with 
his plans he, at 2012, advised CTG 77.2 that he (a) planned to attack from 
both sides with two groups, one of three destroyers and one of two, (b) 
planned to retire one group to the west, the other, which he would command, 
to the east and (c) would give the details later. He further asked 
CTG 77 o2 whether this plan would be satisfactory.** 

At 2016 he received a TBS voice radio message from CTG 77.2 wherein 
that commander approved the attack plan and directed that he (a) keep 
close to the shore, (b) employ IFF and (c) inform CTG 77.3, who commanded 
the right flank forces, of the above plan.** 

He now estimated that if the enemy approached from the south he would 
come directly up the strait as far north as Kanihaan Island (Latitude 
10°-10»N) and then change course to 340°(T) to head directly for the 
transport area. He further estimated, since his attack would be above 
Latitude 10°-12'N, that the enemy would be on that course when he launched 
his torpedoes.* Actually this estimate was quite accurate for Conmander 
THIRD Section had planned to pass the southern entrance of Surigao Strait 
and take course 350°(T) directly to the transport area.*** 

At 2020 he transmitted by voice radio the following plan to his 
ships, CTG 77.2, CTG 77.3 and COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX: "If surface contact 
is made to southward, COMDESRON FIFTY-FOUR will form two attack groups. 
Western Group COMDESDIV 108 in McDERMUT with MONSSEN, Eastern Group 
COMDESRON FIFTY-FOUR in REMEY with McGOWAN and MELVTN in that order. 
Attack speed thirty knots. McNAIR and MERTZ will remain in vicinity 
stations One and Two. Will use individual target plan, intermediate speed 
setting. After delivery of fish retire normal to the axis to clear area 
for CTG 77.2 and CTG 77.3, and then north near coast line. Time 20201."* 



«* 



Action Report CTG 79.11 (COMDESRON 54), Night Action in Surigao 
Strait, Philippine Islands, October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 055, 
November 15th, 1944. 

Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 
25th, 1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 
*** C0M3RD Section Dispatch 221155, October 1944 to all SHO Forces, 

Detailed Action Report DESRON 10, SHO Operations, October 17th - 31st, 
1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744. 

248 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.11 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

The above plan indicated (a) a high speed (thirty knots) attack on 
both bows of the enemy, using intermediate speed (thirty-three and one- 
half knots) torpedoes which had a designed torpedo range of about 9200 
yards, (b) an individual target plan wherein each destroyer, unless 
otherwise directed, was to select as her target her opposite number in the 
enemy formation and was to track this target and compute and use her own 
firing data. This firing plan could be modified as necessary when the 
number of the enemy targets became known. 

SINCE THE ATTACK PLAN WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH DESTROYER DOCTRINE,* 
EXCEPT AS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, AND INTERMEDIATE SPEED SETTING WAS THE 
NORMAL SPEED SETTING FOR NIGHT ATTACKS, THE ABOVE PLAN IS CONSIDERED SOUND 
AS A PRELIMINARY PLAN. HOWEVER IT IS NOT CLEAR, AS POINTED OUT UNDER 
CTG 77.2, THAT IF THE ENEMY MOVEMENT PROVED TO BE DIFFERENT FROM THE 
ESTIMATE— THAT IS, FOR EXAMPLE, IF HE MOVED NORTH ALONG THE SHCRE LINE 
RATHER THAN IN MID-STRAIT—IT MIGHT BE INFEASIBLE TO MAKE AN ADEQUATE 
TWO-PRONG ATTACK WITH THE RESULT THAT A RADICAL CHANGE IN THE ABOVE PLAN 
WOULD BE REQUIRED. 

Prior to 2102 (when it was received by COMDESDIV 108), and likely 
about 2030 when the MONSSEN received it, CTG 79.11 received CTG 77.2* s 
battle plan which had been issued by dispatch at about 1730 that 
afternoon,,** 

Since this plan clearly showed the location of the principal forces of 
the battle disposition, notably the battle line and the right and left 
flank forces, CTG 79.11 could plainly see that there would be some 
interference with his destroyers in Station SEVEN. In fact it is likely 
that he had heard of the difficulties there because of the comments over 
the TBS voice radio. 

He, therefore, at 2118 queried CTG 77.2 by TBS voice radio in this 
regard and asked whether part of TG 77.2 was to operate south of this 
patrol line.*** 

At 2120 he received a reply from CTG 77.2 to the effect that his units 
would not operate south of the patrol line except (a) four motor torpedo 
boats which might operate in Latitude 100-17^ and (b) certain units of 
TG 77.3 which might be close to Station SEVEN.*** 



* Destroyer Tactical Bulletin 4-43, Destroyer Torpedo Attack Instructions, 
issued by Commander Destroyers Pacific Fleet, Serial 01264, October 
24th, 1943; also Destroyer Tactical Bulletin 4-44, Destroyer Torpedo 
Doctrine and Manual of Torpedo Control, issued by Commander Destroyers 
Pacific Fleet, Serial 01630, July 8th, 1944. 

** CTG 77.2 Dispatch 240830 October 1944 to TG's 77.2 and 77.3, info 

CTF 77. 
*** Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 
25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944, Enclosure (B). 

249 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.11 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

During the evening a number of unidentified planes were being tracked 
by radar, notably by the MC GOWAN,* but by other ships as well. Although 
it was dim moonlight none of the planes were sighted. They seemed to be 
patrolling in the vicinity of Cabugan Grande Island. The MC GOWAN 
reported that one of these planes showed surface ship rather than aircraft 
identification code. They may have been, in part, Japanese planes of the 
THIRD Section operating from bases at Cebu** and, in part, Allied PBY's*** 
operating from the SAN CARLOS anchored in Hinunangan Bay, 

At 2232 CTG 79.11 received a TBS voice radio message from CTG 77.2 
directing him to establish his post-attack rendezvous points and to advise 
as to their locations***** 

Therefore, at 2256, he designated the post-attack rendezvous points 
as follows: For western group at the west end of screening Station SEVEN, 
and for eastern group at the west end of Station THREE.***** 

At 2332, in reply to a query from COMDESDIV 108, he directed that 
all contact reports were to be made by TBS voice radio.***** 

At 2400 the units of TG 79.11 were in their patrol stations and 
patrolling not only against enemy submarines as heretofore but also 
against the approach of enemy surface forces from the south. 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats, 1830 - 2400, October 24th. 

(1) Bohol and Camiguin PT's. 

It will be recalled that the westernmost Allied motor torpedo 
boats were to be stationed along a line between Agio Point, Bohol and 
Sipaca Point, Mindanao (Plate XIX), and that the (a) northern half of 
this line was to be patrolled by the Bohol PT's and (b) southern half by 
the Camiguin PT's. 

At 1830 the motor torpedo boats were en route as follows: The 
Bohol PT's to initial station off Agio Point and the Camiguin PT's to 
initial station one and one-half miles north of Camiguin Island. 



* Action Report MC GOWAN, Operation for Capture, Occupation and 
Defense of Leyte, Philippine Islands, Including the Battle of 
Surigao Strait, Serial 00103, November 5th, 1944. 

** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11301; also Commander 
3RD Section Dispatch 241225 October 1944 to Cebu and San Jose Air 
Bases, Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, 
October 16th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11339. 

*** War Diary Fleet Air Wing 10, October 24th, 1944. 

**** Action Report MC DERMUT, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 061, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (C). 

***** Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 
25th, 1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 

250 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 




CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

It seems well to point out here that all motor torpedo boats 
employed a medium frequency voice net (3120 kcs) for inter ship 
communication. This circuit was called the PT common and since it was but 
five kilocycles off the LAW/ ASP (local air warning/antisubmarine patrol) 
net, it provided a valuable source of information for the larger ships,* 

(a) Bohol PT«s. 

En route to patrol station, the Bohol PT's at 1925 contacted, 
by radar, one unidentified plane in Latitude 09 o -48 f N, Longitude 
125°-00 , E,** but did not sight the plane nor were the motor torpedo boats 
sighted by the plane. It is believed that the plane was from the No. One 
Attack Unit, dispatched by Commander THIRD Section from Cebu to attack 
the motor torpedo boats on the west coast of Panaon at dusk.*** 

The Bohol PT«s arrived at a position bearing 050°(T), distant 
three miles from Agio Point at 2135 and immediately commenced patrolling 
on course 169°(T), speed twelve knots employing radar (Diagram "D"). 
Commander Bohol PT's likely chose this course in order to (a) close the 
patrol line from Agio Point to Sipaca Point and (b) obtain a radar check 
of his course and speed using Camiguin Island, The motor torpedo boats 
were in left echelon and were therefore on a line of bearing on the port 
quarter of the guide (PT 152), distance between adjacent boats seventy- 
five yards.**** IT IS DOUBTFUL IF THIS WAS THE CORRECT FORMATION FOR 
PATROL BECAUSE RADARS WERE NOT RELIABLE ENOUGH TO COVER THE ENTIRE PATROL. 
LINE, AND IT WAS ESSENTIAL THAT THE ENEMY BE DISCOVERED AS HE CROSSED THE 
PATROL LINE. WOULD IT NOT HAVE BEEN MORE CORRECT HAD THE COMMANDER OF 
THE BOHOL PT'S PLACED HIS BOATS IN A LINEAR PATROL WITH EACH BOAT COVERING 
ABOUT FIVE MILES OF THE PATROL LINE? IN SUCH CASE THE CHANCE OF THE 
ENEMY CROSSING THE PATROL LINE UNDETECTED WOULD HAVE BEEN GREATLY REDUCED 
OVER THE FORMATION ADOPTED, AND THE MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS WOULD STILL HAVE 
REMAINED WITHIN RELIABLE VOICE RADIO RANGE OF ONE ANOTHER, WITHIN RADAR 
RANGE OF ONE ANOTHER, AND WITHIN EASY CONCENTRATION RANGE. 

The patrol was uneventful until 2236 when PT 131 reported two 
radar targets on her starboard quarter, distance ten miles.***** These 
were the YAMASHIRO and FUSO, of the Japanese SECOND Division. The motor 
torpedo boats immediately changed course to 345°(T) to close the target, 
increased speed to twenty-four knots and endeavored repeatedly to make a 

* Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao 
Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 

** Action Report PT 152, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 
0399, October 29th, 1944. 

*** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 241225 October 1944 to Commanders 
Cebu and San Jose Air Bases, info Commander 1ST Striking Force, 
Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 
16th - 23th, 1944, WDC Document 161641, NA 11839. 

**** Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine Motor Torpedo Boats, U.S. 
Fleet, (USF 41), U.S. Fleet, Headquarters of the Commander in 
Chief, 1945, Part II, Paragraph 2620, Page 2-13. 

***** Action Report PT 131, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 
0391, October 29th, 1944. 

496799 0-59 -26 *- 251 CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

contact report to friendly forces but especially to their base 
(WACHAPREAGUE at Liloan Bay just north of Panaon Island) but were unable 
to do so. At this time the two radar targets bore 292° (T). The motor 
torpedo boats were now about eleven miles south of Agio Point. As they 
closed the targets they tracked them and determined their course as 080° (T) 
(actually, it was 065°(T)), and their speed as twenty-five knots (actually, 
it was eighteen knots). At about 2252, having almost reached their attack 
position, they slowed to ten knots, took the collision course of 047° (T) 
and at 2254 sighted the enemy formation at a distance of from two to three 
miles. The recognition was poor however for the motor torpedo boats 
believed that they had sighted two enemy battleships, two - three cruisers 
and one destroyer,* This, of course, was incorrect because the SECOND 
Division consisted of but two battleships and one destroyer. 

The motor torpedo boats now found themselves under fire by the 
Japanese ships which had turned toward them. They immediately deployed 
in order to close and fire torpedoes. However the enemy fire was accurate 
with the result that (a) PT 130 was hit by a dud five-inch shell and (b) 
PT 152 was hit in the starboard bow which knocked out both radios although 
this was not known for several hours,* (This latter hit probably was 
scored by the SHIGURE which claimed having made a direct hit.) About this 
time PT 152 observed two more "pips" on her radar screen in the same 
direction as the original target group,* Since the Japanese force, as 
pointed out earlier, consisted of but three units these were likely 
phantoms • 

The Commander Bohol PT's, in PT 152, now realizing that he 
could not get into an attack position at 2255 changed course to 150°(T) 
and then retired. Although he increased speed to twenty-four knots he, 
at the same time, U3ed a radical zigzag to avoid enemy gunfire with the 
result that he made good about nineteen knots. Since he could not contact 
any friendly forces by radio he directed PT's 130 and 131 to report enemy's 
position by radio.* As a result, about 2313, PT's 130 and 131 headed for 
the Camiguin PT' s which they felt might be able to deliver the contact 
report.** This caused a separation between the above PT's and PT 152 
which was attempting to close the enemy (Diagram "D"),*** 

WHILE THE ACTION OF THE COMMANDER BOHOL PT'S IN SO DISPATCHING 
PT'S 130 AND 131 WAS SOUND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CORRECT HAD HE 
DISPATCHED THESE TWO MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS AT THE MOMENT WHEN, HAVING 
ESTABLISHED THE CHARACTER OF THE ENEMY FORCE, HE DISCOVERED THAT HE WAS 
UNABLE TO OBTAIN A RECEIPT FOR HIS CONTACT REPORT. SUCH ACTION WAS CALLED 
FOR BY HIS ORDERS WHICH DIRECTED HIM n T0 REPORT ANY ENEMY SIGHTED, THEN 
ATTACK, INDEPENDENTLY". HAD HIS BOATS BEEN SERIOUSLY DISABLED WHILE 
ATTACKING, THE POSSIBILITY OF NO INFORMATION THEREON REACHING CTG 70.1 
WAS VERY GREAT. 

* Action Report PT 152, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 

0399, October 29th, 1944; also Action Report PT 130, Night of October 

24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 5, October 29th, 1944. 
** Action Report PT 130, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 5, 

October 29th, 1944. 
*** Action Report PT 152, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 

0399, October 29th, 1944. 

252 CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

At approximately 2350 PT's 130 and 131 sighted the Caraiguin 
PT's* in position three miles north of Camiguin Island* 

At 2400 they were about three miles north of Camiguin Island 
and PT 152 was bearing 221°(T), distant eighteen miles from the southern 
tip of Limasawa Island. 

(b) Camiguin PT's. 

The Camiguin PT's arrived on station one and one-half miles 
north of Camiguin Island at 2145, lay to and carried out radar watch in 
rotation. PT 128 had the watch between 2200 and 2400.* 

AS WAS THE CASE WITH THE BOHOL PT'S, THE ABOVE METHOD OF 
PATROLLING, WHILE DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE BOHOL PT'S, WAS ALSO OF 
DOUBTFUL CORRECTNESS BECAUSE THIS PATROL DID NOT ADEQUATELY COVER THE 
SOUTHERN HALF OF THE ASSIGNED PATROL LINE BETWEEN AGIO POINT AND SIPACA 
POINT. WHILE IT WAS EFFECTIVE FOR THE AREA NORTH OF CAMIGUIN ISLAND, IT 
LEFT THE FOUR MILE DEEP WATER PASSAGE SOUTH OF CAMIGUIN ISLAND ENTIRELY 
OPEN. WOULD IT NOT HAVE BEEN PREFERABLE TO HAVE PLACED ONE BOAT IN THE 
LATTER AREA AND TO HAVE DIRECTED THE REMAINING TWO BOATS TO MOVE CLOSER TO 
THE MID-POINT OF THE AGIO POINT - SIPACA POINT PATROL LINE? THIS WOULD 
HAVE GIVEN A FULL COVERAGE OF THE DANGER AREA TO THE SOUTH BETWEEN THE 
"LIE TO" POSITION AND CAMIGUIN ISLAND AND WOULD HAVE COVERED ABOUT TEN 
MILES TO THE NORTH OF THE "LIE TO" POSITION WHICH WOULD HAVE GIVEN RADAR 
COVERAGE SOME MILES TO THE NORTH OF THE MID-POINT. WHILE THIS COVERAGE TO 
THE NORTH WOULD HAVE OVERLAPPED INTO THE AREA OF THE BOHOL PT'S, IT WOULD 
HAVE INCREASED THE PROBABILITY OF DETECTION OF ENEMY FORCES IN THE MIDDLE 
WATERS OF THE MINDANAO SEA, WHICH WATERS MIGHT WELL BE TRAVERSED BY 
APPROACHING ENEMY HEAVY FORCES. 

The above comment is supported by the fact that the FIRST 
Division passed at 2227 about seven and one-half miles to the north of the 
mid-point of the patrol line (Diagram "D") without being detected. 

It is of interest that the FIRST Division failed likewise to 
contact the Camiguin PT's but this was likely due to (a) the range, which 
at closest approach (2206), was about twelve miles and (b) the land effect 
of Camiguin Island. 

The failure of the Camiguin PT's to locate the FIRST Division 
was not due to incorrect deployment in the patrol area alone. There were 
other contributary causes. Among these were (a) the failure of the motor 
torpedo boats to be on station sufficiently in advance of the expected 
earliest time of the arrival of this division based on the contact made in 
the Sulu Sea at 0905** (this would have called for the Bohol and Camiguin 
PT's to be on station as early at 1700 if the enemy speed were estimated 
as twenty-two knots and as early as 1900 if the enemy speed were estimated 



* Action Report PT 127, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 4, 

October 29th, 1944. 
** Commander 5TH BOMCOM Dispatch 240215 October 1944 to all interested 

in current operations. 

253 CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

as eighteen knots), (b) the fact that the motor torpedo boats arrived on 
station, but shortly before the time that the Japanese FIRST Division was 
passing Camiguin Island with the possible resulting confusion in 
establishing their navigational position and in establishing their radar 
watch, and (c) the fact that the above mentioned FIRST Division passed 
twelve miles to the north of the "lie to" position which distance seems 
to have been about the limiting range of the motor torpedo boat radars on 
cruiser type targets as reported in RAD Three,* 

As will be shown later, the limiting ranges given in RAD Three 
were about two miles greater than those actually obtained by the motor 
torpedo boats. 

At 2300 the Camiguin PT's sighted numerous starshells and 
gunf lashes over the horizon to the northeast. This was the action 
between the Bohol PT's and the SECOND Division. 

At about 2350 the Camiguin PT's sighted PT's 130 and 131 of 
the Bohol PT's which were closing in order to transmit a contact report.** 
It seems likely that these two motor torpedo boats had been discovered 
earlier since CTG 77.2 reported having received at 0038 a relayed contact 
report from PT 127 reporting two contacts bearing 310°(T), ten miles from 
Camiguin Island, closing.*** 

At 2400 the Camiguin PT's were about three miles north of 
Camiguin Island, 

(2) Limasawa PT's. 

The only other motor torpedo boats to observe anything unusual 
were PT's 151 (OTC), 146 and 190 which had taken station two miles south 
of Limasawa Island at 1830 and will hereinafter be called the Limasawa 
PT's. They appear to have maintained station until 1958 when visibility 
became poor. By 2300 they had drifted with the current about seven 
miles**** as shown in Diagram "D". 



* Radar Bulletin No. 3 (RAD 3), Radar Operators Manual, United States 
Fleet, Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, August 5th, 1944 
(Reprint March 1945), Part 4, Page 4-S0-7. 

** Action Report PT 127, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 4, 
October 29th, 1944. 

*** Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao 
Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 

**** While the PT boats concerned did not report this drift the Commander 
Limasawa PT's (then Lieutenant (jg) Dwight Owen, USNR) stated on 
October 31st, 1957 to Commodore R. W. Bates, USN (Ret), Head, World 
War II Battle Evaluation Group, Naval War College that this drift 
could well have occurred as the PT's were lying to and concentrating 
on radar search to the SW rather than on accurate maintenance of 
position; also Action Reports PT's 151, 146 and 190, Night of October 
24th - 25th, 1944, Serials 0389, October 28th; 0388, October 28th; 
0398, October 30th, 1944, respectively. 

254 CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

At this time they sighted searchlight and flares and heard heavy 
gunfire to the south southwest at an estimated distance of fifteen miles 
This estimated distance was incorrect since the action took place about 
twenty-three miles away* The fact that gunfire was heard indicates unusual 
atmospheric conditions* 

Commander Limasawa PT's now endeavored to communicate with his base 
(WACHAPREAGUE) but, like the Bohol and Camiguin PT's was unsuccessful* He 
considered this failure to have been due to excessive radio interference 
due, in part, to the fact that the enemy was jamming the circuit** 

The remainder of the patrol was uneventful until 2330 when PT 151 
made radar contact on an enemy force nine miles to the south* This contact 
was on the Japanese FIRST Division which at the time was on course 035°(T), 
speed eighteen knots* The division, after about ten minutes of tracking, 
was found to be on course 060°(T), speed fifteen knots*** 

Commander Limasawa PT's now proceeded toward the target at a speed 
of seventeen knots muffled and at 2354 made visual contact at an estimated 
range of two miles* The visual sighting disclosed to PT's 151 and 190, one 
battleship, a probable light cruiser and three destroyers, and to PT 146, 
one large and three smaller ships* PT 146 was correct (M0GAMI and three 
destroyers). The fact that PT's 151 and 190 sighted units not present as 
well as reported incorrect times and positions is due to the fact that their 
reports were reconstructed collectively later from memory with the resulting 
errors.*** 

The motor torpedo boats tried to report the above contacts to their 
base as well as to other motor torpedo boats but without avail***** 



* Action Report PT's 146 and 190, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, 

Serial 0388, October 28th, 1944 and Serial 0398, October 30th, 1944, 

respectively* 
** Action Report PT 151, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0389, 

October 28th, 1944* 
*** Statement by Commander Robert Leeson, USNR, Commander TU 70*1*3 at 

Battle of Surigao Strait to Commodore Richard W* Bates, USN (Ret), 

Head, World War II Battle Evaluation Group, Naval War College, April 

17th, 1954. 
**** Action Reports PT's 151, 146 and 190, Night of October 24th - 25th, 

1944, Serials 0389, October 28th ; 0388 October 28th; 0398, October 

30th, 1944, respectively* 



255 CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL 1830 - 2400, October 24th 

Commander Limasawa PT's now slowed his section to nine knots and 
approached the large ship on her port quarter for the purpose of 
delivering a torpedo attack. This type of approach was permissible for 
motor torpedo boats against a medium speed target which was well screened.* 

At 2400 the Limasawa PT's were bearing 220o(T), distant nine and 
six-tenths miles from the southern tip of Limasawa Island, 

(3) SW Panaon PT's. 

This section of motor torpedo boats (PT's 196 (OTC), 150, 194), 
hereinafter called SW Panaon PT's, reported on station at 1900 at which 
time they were between Sonok Point and Balongbalong and about 6000 yards 
from the latter.** They continued on course 177°(T) but slowed to five 
knots and at 2000 when 6000 yards bearing 221°(T) from Balongbalong stopped. 
Commencing about this time the visibility became very bad with rain and 
clouds, which poor visibility obtained throughout the night.*** After 
stopping they drifted to the westward with the current and by midnight had 
drifted about five and one-half miles from the 2000 position. The radar 
and radio of PT 196 were functioning badly.**** It is most likely that 
none of the group of MTB's realized that they had drifted so far to the 
west. 

Just before midnight the Japanese FIRST Division moved into normal 
range for motor torpedo boat radars against a heavy cruiser — ten to twelve 
miles — but none of the SW Panaon PT's detected the Japanese force (Diagram 
"D") or were even aware of its presence. 

At 2400 the SW Panaon PT's were bearing 129°(T), distant four 
miles from the southern tip of Limasawa Island. 

(4) SE Panaon PT's. 

This section of motor torpedo boats (PT's 134 (OTC), 132, 137), 
hereinafter called SE Panaon PT's, was on station off Binit Village at the 
southeast tip of Panaon Island where it had arrived at 1910. At 2145 it 
contacted by radar an unidentified plane and at 2235 made a similar 
contact on two unidentified planes.***** 






* Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine, Motor Torpedo Boats, U.S. 

Fleet (USF 41), United States Fleet, Headquarters of the Commander 

in Chief, 1945, Part III, Paragraph 3333. 
** Action Report PT 150, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 

0396, October 29th, 1944. 

*** Action Report PT 194, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 

0397, October 29th, 1944. 

**** Action Report PT 196, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 

0400, October 31st, 1944. 
***** Action Report PT 134, Night Action of October 24th - 25th, 1944, 

Serial H-33, October 27th, 1944. 



256 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 

1830 - 2400, October 24th 



There is no information available as to what these planes were. 
They may have been Japanese planes of the THIRD Section operating from 
bases at Cebu* or Allied PBY's.** 

The Commanding Officer PT 134 reports in his action reports that 
the above contacts were transmitted directly to the base (WACHAPREAGUE) 
or to the base through PT 523**** Neither the WACHAPREAGUE nor PT 523 
make any mention of having received the above reports.**** 

(5) Other PT's. 

The operations of the motor torpedo boats other than the Bohol, 
Camiguin, Limasawa, SW Panaon and SE Panaon PT's were uneventful, 
excepting that at 2050 the Bilaa Point PT's (494 (OTC), 497, 324), in 
accordance with orders from CTF 77, changed their stations from one and 
one-half miles west of Bilaa Point (Mindanao) to a position one mile 
north of Bilaa Point,***** This was for the purpose of insuring that 
enemy forces did not pass undetected through Hinatuan Passage between 
Dinagat Island and Mindanao Island.****** 



Commander 3RD Section Visual Dispatch 231905 October 1944 to 3RD 

Section (3RD Section SigOrd No. 10), Detailed Action Report 

SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 1944, WDC 

Document 161641 (Part 4), NA 11801; also Commander 3RD Section 

Dispatch 241225 October 1944 to Cebu and San Jose Air Bases, 

Detailed Action Report 1ST Striking Force, SHO Operations, October 

16th - 23th, 1944, WDC Document I6I64I, NA 11839. 

Action Report MC GOWAN, Operation for Capture, Occupation and 

Defense of Leyte, Philippines, including the Battle of Surigao 

Strait, Serial 00103, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (G). 

Action Report PT 134, Night Action of October 24th - 25th, 1944, 

Serial H-33, October 27th, 1944. 

Action Report WACHAPREAGUE for Period October 23rd - 26th, 1944, 

Serial 072, October 31st, 1944; also Action Report PT 523, Night 

of October 24th - 25th, 1944, No Serial, October 26th, 1944. 

Action Report PT 494, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, No 

Serial, October 26th, 1944. 

Action Report CTG 70.1, Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, Night 

of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 1-0330, December 1st, 1944. 



** 



##* 



-a-a-a-K- 



**•**-* 



•JHHHHHt- 



257 



CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIBD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL 0000 - 0100, October 25th 

CHAPTER VIII - JAPANESE OPERATIONS. 0000 - 0100. October 25th 

(A) Operations of Commander THIRD Section, 0000 - 0100, October 25th. 

Commander THIRD Section, who was also Commander SECOND Division, 
continued on toward Surigao Strait as planned. The situation appeared to 
be developing satisfactorily but he wondered what had happened to the 
Allied destroyers and motor torpedo boats which he had expected to encounter 
west of Panaon Island, He had just heard from Conmander FIRST Division 
(at midnight) that the enemy had not been sighted* and yet he felt that if 
his estimates were correct that commander should now be in the area where 
enemy opposition of that nature was expected. He knew, of course that the 
FIRST Division was somewhat delayed because Commander FIRST Division had 
reported at 0004 that he expected to rendezvous at 0115, a delay of forty- 
five minutes.* He appears to have considered this message to be incomplete 
for, at 0008, he oueried that commander as to the course of that division.* 
This seems to have been a subtle method of discovering the general location 
of the FIRST Division for, if the reply indicated a northerly course, he 
could estimate from Commander FIRST Division's sweep plans** that the FIRST 
Division was in the waters west of Limasawa Island. 

At 0012 he received a reply to the effect that (a) the course of the 
FIRST Division was 010° (T), and (b) it was "penetrating from now".* From 
these two messages he could estimate that the FIRST Division (a) was 
approximately forty-five minutes behind schedule, and (b) had not yet passed 
between Limasawa Island and Taancan Point (Leyte) (for had it done so the 
course wouHhave been about 090°(T)) o What he thought of the "penetrating 
from now" portion of the message is not known but it is doubtful if he 
realized that the MOGAMI was about nine miles from the above passage. This 
seems so for a few minutes later considerable confusion arose in identifi- 
cation. 

At 0015 he informed Commander FIRST Division that (a) he would pass the 
rendezvous point at 0035, (b) at 0043 his course would be 090° (T) and (c) 
his speed was eighteen knots.* (It will be recalled that the rendezvous 
point was seventeen miles, bearing 250° (T) from Binit Point). This 
information was furnished in order to facilitate the rejoining of the FIRST 
Division and to help in identifying the SECOND Division. It is of interest 
that at 0015 SHIGURE was six miles from the newly designated point and that at 
the speed being made (eighteen knots) she would pass the rendezvous point 
at 0035 if the current were disregarded (Diagram "E"). 



* Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

** Commander 1ST Division Dispatch 241700 October 1944 to 1ST Division, info 
Commander yA Section, Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the 
Philippines, October 18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 126 53. 



258 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM THIRD SECTION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

Commencing at 0018 he began to receive from Commander FIRST Division 
contact reports on enemy units.* He naturally was highly interested in the 
number of such units encountered. Since he had received intelligence 
information of destroyers in that area as well as motor torpedo boats, he 
was anxious to discover whether any of these had been located, and what the 
nature of their operations was, i.e., did their primary objective appear to 
be one of intelligence, or did they have an attack objective? These were 
essential elements of information for if the enemy was not attacking it was 
possible that he would encounter heavy action in the gulf, but if the enemy 
was attacking it was possible that he would encounter strong forces immedi- 
ately, although from information received heretofore such action was 
improbable. 

Between this time and 0023 he likely, despite the weather, (a) saw one 
or more searchlights on his port bow because, at that time, the YAMAGUMO, 
which was about seven miles to the northeast, was firing at certain of the 
motor torpedo boats, and (b) saw gun tracers. 

At 0023, he received a message from Commander FIRST Division reporting a 
ship silhouette, apparently enemy.* 

At 0025 he received a contact report from Commander FIRST Division sent 
to all ships of the THIRD Section that a ship had been sighted on bearing 
200° (T) * He likely estimated that this contact was on one of his SECOND 
Division ships because, from the searchlight and tracer bearings, he had 
formed an approximate idea of the location of his FIRST Division. 

This contact report was auickly followed by a contact report from a 
SECOND Division ship (SHIGURE), also sent to all ships of the THIRD Section, 
that an enemy destroyer had been sighted bearing 040 (T).* 

Although he was certain of his identification of the FIRST Division, he 
saw that the SHIGURE report raised the possibility that, perhaps, the FIRST 
Division had mistaken his force for enemy. This possibility was confirmed 
by the appearance of starshells bursting to the south of him on bearing 
200° (T) which had obviously been fired from the direction of the FIRST 
Division. He immediately directed that Commander FIRST Division be queried 
as to whether or not he had mistaken BATDIV TWO for enemy** But, before his 
message could be transmitted he received word at 0028 from Commander FIRST 
Division that he was breaking off penetration and rejoining* thus showing . 
that that commander had recognized the SECOND Division as friendly© 

He now observed that the weather, which had heretofore been improving, 
was closing down with reduced visibility.* He, therefore, at 0039> in 
anticipation of the reforming of the THIRD Section, advised the THIRD Section 
that distance A in No. TWO Approach Formation (Plate XX) would be reduced 
to two kilometers* (it was normally four kilometers). 



Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 
1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

259 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

At 0057 he (a) advised his command that he planned at 0129 to change 
course to 040°(T) and at 0150 to 000°(T) and (b) intercepted a message from 
the MICHISHIO that she was making twenty knots.* 

At 0100 the FIRST Division was close enough to the SECOND Division to 
consider her as having rejoined. 

(1) Operations of Commander FIRST Division, 0000 - 0100, October 25th, 

By 0000, the weather encountered by the FIRST Division was quite 
squally and visibility was intermittently reduced.** 

At 0003 Commander FIRST Division learned that the SECOND Division 
was on course 065° (T) * 

Meanwhile Commander FIRST Division appears to have been studying the 
situation and to have arrived at the conclusion that he could not possibly 
make the search to Sogod Bay and arrive at the rendezvous at 0030 as ordered. 
He estimated instead that the would reauire as much as forty-five additional 
minutes to make the search and on that basis he thought it wise to so advise 
Commander THIRD Section. Therefore, at 0004, he advised that commander that 
he expected to rejoin at 0115* rather than at 0030 which had been originally 
designated. It seems probable that he expected Commander THIRD Section to 
issue a new rendezvous to conform with the 0115 time. Why he did not speed 
up earlier to insure his arrival at the 0030 rendezvous on schedule cannot 
be determined, but it appears likely that the restriction to remain about 
twenty kilometers ahead of the SECOND Division prevented him from moving 
ahead faster so that he might make the search into the waters west of Panaon 
Island sufficiently early to insure returning to the rendezvous point on 
time. 

At 0003 he was queried by Commander THIRD Section as to his course.* 
Realizing by this query that Commander THIRD Section was interested in 
learning whether or not he was in the waters west of Panaon Island, he did 
not immediately answer but changed course at 0012 to 010° (T) and then 
answered the question, further stating that he was "penetrating from now" 
(sic)»* In view of his intention to pass to the west and north of Limasawa 
Island, this statement was not particularly accurate for he was more than 
nine miles from the passage between Limasawa Island and Taancan Point on 
Leyte from whence he could penetrate Sogod Bay» 

He had not as yet detected the motor torpedo boats approaching on 
his port Quarter which had sighted the force visually at 2354 and were getting 
into torpedo attack firing position*** (The range of a motor torpedo boat 
torpedo Mark 13 was 5,500 yards at thirty-two knots).**** 

*~ Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 

27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
** Detailed Action Report MOGAML, Battle off the Philippines, October 18th- 

25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 
*** Action Reports PT's 151, 146 and 190, Night of October 24th - 25th, 

1944, Serials 0389, October 29th, 0388, October 28th, 0398, October 30th, 

1944, respectively. 
**** Bulletin of Ordnance Information 4-44, BUORD, December 31st, 1944, 

Paragraph 129, Page 66. 

260 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



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CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

At 0015 he received a voice radio message from Commander THIRD 
Section that (a) he would pass the rendezvous point at 0035> (b) he would 
change course to 090° (T) at 0043 and (c) his speed was eighteen knots** 
While he likely found this information advantageous, for it gave him a 
position and an intended movement line, known today (1958) in the U. S. 
Navy as PIM,** and unless he heard otherwise, he could rejoin along that 
line, he also likely regretted that Commander THIRD Section had not seen fit 
to change the rendezvous to conform to the new time of rejoining. Instead 
it was clear that Commander THIRD Section desired that he rejoin as soon as 
practicable* 

At about this same time the YAMAGUMO reported sighting three torpedo 
boats bearing 030°(T), distant about ten kilometers.*** These were PT«s 
150. 194 and 196 which while l, lying to" had drifted to the westward (Diagram 
"E" )»**** However, the bearing, in view of the MOGAMI bearing later, seems 
to have been in error and was more likely 080° (T). It is of interest that 
the above motor torpedo boats failed to detect the FIRST Division. 

At about 0018 Commander FIRST Division advised the THIRD Section by 
voice radio that four enemy torpedo boats (actually there were three) had 
been sighted on bearing 100° (T).* Meanwhile his flagship (MOGAMI) employing 
a searchlight, commenced searching to the eastward from her starboard beam 
to her quarter. She sighted nothing because weather conditions to the 
eastward were not good and the visibility had for the moment decreased.*** 

In connection with the employment of searchlights by the MOGAMI 
against motor torpedo boats it seems wise at this point to digress from the 
narrative to discuss Japanese and American concepts thereon* 

JAPANESE DOCTRINE WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT, ONCE MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
HAD BEEN SIGHTED, (A) SPEED SOULD BE BETWEEN TWENTY AND TWENTY-EIGHT KNOTS 
AND (B) GUNFIRE SHOULD BE EMPLOYED WITHOUT SEARCHLIGHT OR STARSHELL 



* Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

** "PIM" consists of the reference position of the OTC at a given time and 
a forecast of the course and speed expected to be made good over the 
ground. 

*** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 18th- 
25th, 1944, WDC Document I6O463, NA 12653. 

**** While the PT boats concerned did not report this drift both the 

Commander Limasawa PT's (then Lieutenant (jg) Dwight Owen, USNR) on 
October 31st, 1957, and the Commander of the 39 PT's engaged in the 
Surigao Strait - Mindanao Sea Area (then Lieutenant Commander Robert 
Leeson, USNR) on October 29th, 1957, stated to Commodore Richard W. 
Bates, USN (Ret), Head, World War II Battle Evaluation Group, Naval War 
College, that this drift could well have occurred as the PT*s were lying 
to and concentrating on radar search to the SW rather than on accurate 
maintenance of position. 



261 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

ILLUMINATION.* THIS DOCTRINE, BY INFERENCE, WAS SIMILAR TO THE U. S. NAVAL 
DOCTRINE WHICH WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE EMPLOYMENT OF SEARCHLIGHT OR 
STARSHELLS IN NIGHT ACTION SHOULD BE AVOIDED WHEN POWERFUL ENEMY FORCES 
(RELATIVE TO OWN FORCES), WHICH IT WAS HOPED TO AVOID, WERE KNOWN OR SUSPECTED 
TO BE IN THE AREA, SINCE SUCH ILLUMINATION WOULD DISCLOSE THE PRESENCE OF 
ONE«S OWN FORCE.** Why then did he employ searchlights? While he has given 
no explanation it seems clear that he based the employment on the following 
analysis : 

He had been directed, among other items, to sweep the route of 
advance in order to protect the approaching SECOND Division.*** He was, 
therefore, not endeavoring to avoid the enemy motor torpedo boats but rather 
to seek them out and destroy them. If, in so doing, he found the Japanese 
radar to be ineffective, (and it appears to have been ineffective because 
the contacts were made visually rather than by radar), it was his responsi- 
bility to employ any means— within limitations imposed by the OTC— to locate 
attacking enemy forces. HE HAD RECEIVED REPORTS THAT ENEMY TORPEDO BOATS 
HAD BEEN REPORTED TO THE EASTWARD TWICE WITHIN THREE MINUTES, BUT APPARENTLY 
WITH INSUFFICIENT ACCURACY TO PERMIT OPENING FIRE WITHOUT ILLUMINATION. THE 
TORPEDO BOATS, THEREFORE, BECAME A SERIOUS MENACE TO HIS FORCE AND IT WAS 
ESSENTIAL THAT HE LOCATE THEM AT ONCE, OR FAILING THAT, TO TURN AWAY 
IMMEDIATELY. IF THIS WAS HIS ANALYSIS, AND IT SE£MS CORRECT TO SAY THAT IT 
WAS, HIS ACTION IN EMPLOYING SEARCHLIGHTS SEEMS CORRECT. 

While the MOGAMI was making the above searchlight sweep Commander 
FIRST Division decided to form column and therefore directed the destroyers 
to form column astern of the MOGAMI.**** It is assumed that the destroyers 
formed in natural order: MICHTSHIO (F), ASAGUMO, YAMAGUMO. While his 
reasons for so forming are not stated it seems clear that this column form- 
ation was standard within the Japanese Navy at this time for the maneuvers 
of fast ships such as cruisers and destroyers operating together. This 
view is supported by the statement of an officer on the staff of Commander 
SECOND Striking Force, who in discussing a similar formation for that force, 
stated: "It is the tradition of the Japanese Navy that the commander should 
be in the leading position"©***** 



* CinC Combined Fleet Standing Order No. 81 (1943), Combined Fleet 

Doctrine 1943, Book One, Combat, Section H, Action Against Torpedo 
Boats. ATIS Document No. 39, Part VII, June 3rd, 1945 (NACHI Document), 

** War Instructions U. S. Navy, 1944 (FTP 143(A)), Chapter 8, Section 
III, Use of Starshells and Searchlights, Page 37. 

*** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

**** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 
18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 

***** USSBS Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Nav. No. 58, Interrogation 
of Commander Kokichi Mori, ex-IJN, Volume I, Page 244« 



262 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOCO - 0100, October 25th 

THIS FORMATION HAS ONE MARKED ADVANTAGE. IN NIGHT ACTION ESPECIALLY, 
FOLLOW-THE-LEADER TACTICS ARE ALWAYS A MOST IMPORTANT RESOURCE, AND MAY BE 
THE ONLY RESOURCE OF THE COMMANDER OF A DETACHMENT TO IMPOSE HIS LEADERSHIP 
ON HIS GROUP.* IN THIS CASE, WHERE HIGH SPEED FOLLOW-THE-LEADER TACTICS 
WERE IN ORDER AGAINST THE TORPEDO BOATS, IS IT NOT APPARENT THAT THE COLUMN 
FORMATION, WITH THE COMMANDER IN THE VAN, WOULD FACILITATE THE MANEUVERS 
AND WOULD PRESENT ON INITIAL CONTACT MUCH GREATER FIRE POWER AGAINST THE 
ENEMY THAN WOULD A FORMATION WITH THE DESTROYERS IN A SCREEN, OR EVEN WITH 
THE DESTROYERS IN COLUMN AHEAD OF THE MOGAMI? IS THIS NOT PARTICULARLY SO 
SINCE THE CRUISERS AND DESTROYERS WERE CAPABLE OF APPROXIMATELY THE SAME 
HIGH SPEEDS? 

As the destroyers took station astern of the MOGAMI, the last 
destroyer in the column, YAMAGUMO, sighted and illuminated the motor torpedo 
boats attacking on the port quarter of the MOGAMI. She opened fire on the 
boats which were about 300 to 600 yards on her port beam. Although the 
Commanding Officer PT 151 states in his action report that he had been 
illuminated and fired on by the battleship** (MOGAMI), this appears to have 
been in error, for the Commanding Officer MOGAMI, also in his action report, 
states that, "she sought to fire on the enemy craft without searchlight 
illumination but visibility was too poor for sighting and she was unable to 
fire".*** He also reported in the same action report having seen several 
torpedo wakes which he had successfully evaded. Actually but two torpedoes 
had been fired by the motor torpedo boats of which one was known to have 
been an erratic run.**** THE FIRST DIVISION FAILED TO MAKE ANY GUNFIRE HITS 
ON THE MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS, SHOWING THE DIFFICULTY OF HITTING A FAST MOVING 
AND HIGHLY MANEUVERABLE TARGET SUCH AS A MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT DURING DARKNESS. 

It will be observed from the plot (Diagram n E M ) that the FIRST 
Division was to the southwest of Limasawa Island. This fact was confirmed 
by the Commanding Officer of the ASAGUMO who stated that at the time they 
were to the westward of Limasawa Island.***** 

At 0023 Commander FIRST Division advised Commander THIRD Section that 
a ship silhouette, apparently enemy, had been sighted.****** 



* Report of Admiral Arthur J. Hepburn, USN (Ret) to CBfCPAC, May 13th, 

1943, on Informal Investigation into the Circumstances Attending the 
Loss of the VINCENNES, etc., August 9th, 1944, Paragraph 142, Page 53. 

** Action Report PT 151, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 

0389, October 29th, 1944. 
*** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 

13th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 
**** Action Reports PT's 151, 146 and 190, Night of October 24th - 25th, 

1944, Serials 0389, October 29th; 0388, October 28th, 0398, October 
30th, 1944, respectively. 

***** Composite Report on Surigao Strait Action by Commanding Officers 

ASAGUMO (Commander Kazuo Shibayama, ex- UN) and MICHISHIO (Commander 
Kazuo Tanaka, ex- UN), March 15th, 1946, Army Historical Division 
Microfilm HS-39A. 

****** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

263 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL 0000 - 0100, October 25th 

FROM HIS ACTION REPORT IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT COMMANDER FIRST DIVISION, 
NOTING THAT NO BEARING HAD BEEN GIVEN BUT PRESUMING THAT THE SHIP SILHOUETTED 
WAS IN THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF THE PREVIOUS REPORT (100°(T)), AND, HAVING 
FAILED TO SIGHT ANYTHING IN THAT AREA WITH HIS SEARCHLIGHTS, AT THIS POINT 
DECIDED THAT A TURN AWAY WAS URGENT SINCE ENEMY TORPEDOES MIGHT WELL BE 
HEADING TOWARD HIM* HE, THEREFORE, ORDERED AN EMERGENCY TURN TO PORT OF 
EIGHTY DEGREES BY SIMULTANEOUS SHIP TURNS.* THIS WOULD PLACE HIS SHIPS ON 
COURSE 290° (T) WHICH WAS WITHIN TEN DEGREES OF THE REVERSE BEARING OF THE 
PT BOAT CONTACT. WHILE THE JAPANESE DOCTRINE IN SUCH A SITUATION IS NOT 
AVAILABLE TO THIS STUDY IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THIS DOCTRINE WAS SIMILAR TO 
U. S. NAVAL DOCTRINE WHICH PROVIDED IN SUCH SITUATIONS, "THAT EFFECTIVE 
MANEUVERS SHOULD BE TAKEN FOR THE PURPOSE OF BRINGING THE MOTOR TORPEDO 
BOATS ASTERN OF THE DISPOSITION."** 

Shortly after completing the turn away, Commander FIRST Division at 
0025 (a) sighted a ship silhouette, apparently enemy, on bearing 200° (T) 
and promptly reported this contact by voice radio to the THIRD Section* and 
(b) received a voice radio message from the SHIGURE (with the SECOND 
Division) that she had sighted an enemy destroyer on bearing 040° (T).* 

He now could see that, by his turn away, he had placed his command 
in an unsatisfactory position relative to the last reported enemy. This 
was so, not only as regards any torpedoes which may have been fired since 
the turn to the left placed him in the enemy's torpedo water, but also 
because his destroyers were now on a Line of bearing 190° (T) from the MOGAMI 
which (a) would soon blank the gunfire by any of his ships excepting the 
YAMAGUMO and (b) would permit the enemy to cross the "Tee" through enfilade 
fire. 

At this point the YAMAGUMO opened fire with starshells, presumably 
to illuminate the silhouetted 3hip in order to ascertain its character and 
to, at the same time, search the surrounding area for other enemy forces. 
At this moment the Commanding Officers of the YAMAGUMO and the MOGAMI, 
recognizing that the ship silhouetted had Japanese characteristics, temporar- 
ily withheld fire.*** Also at this moment starshells were observed oursting 
to the eastward (PT 151 reported that four starshells had burst between the 
FIRST Division and herself.)**** These were starshells fired by the SECOND 
Division, presumably by the SHIGURE. From the fact that Commander FIRST 
Division now queried Commander SECOND Division as to his speed,* it seems 
clear that he had recognized the SHIGURE as friendly and desired the speed 
information so that he could facilitate rejoining. Without waiting for a 



*♦ 



Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 

27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

Current Tactical Orders and Doctrine U. S. Fleet (USF 10B), 1945, 

Paragraph 4463 • 
*** Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 18th. 

25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653; also Action Report PT 146, 

Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0388, October 28th, 1944. 
**** Action Report PT 151, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0389, 

October 29th, 1944o 

264 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM FIRST DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL 0000 - 0100, October 25th 

reply and perhaps (a) feeling that his position was precarious if he were 
fired upon and (b) wishing to have his command in column to facilitate this 
rejoining, he decided to return to base course 010°(T). At 0028 he changed 
course eighty degrees to starboard by simultaneous ship turns* — which placed 
his ships in column on northerly course— and at the same time told Commander 
THIRD Section that he was (a) breaking off penetration (into the waters west 
of Panaon) and (b) rejoining the Main Body.* 

Also about this same time he received a voice radio message from 
Commander SECOND Division (a) stating that illumination fire (starshells) 
had been observed on bearing 200°(T) from his flagship (YAMASHIRO) and (b) 
inquiring: "Are you mistaking BATDIV TWO (SECOND Division) for enemy?"* 

He did not reply to this dispatch but instead made preparations to 
rejoin. Meanwhile, at 0030, he heard the SHIGURE report to Commander SECOND 
Division that the destroyer previously reported as enemy was friendly.* 

He now changed course to port and headed on course of about 180° (T) 
to bring him in astern of the SECOND Division (the normal station of the 
MOGAMI was astern of BATDIV TWO). While on the southerly course he advised 
Commander THIRD Section at 0037 that there were three motor torpedo boats 
ahead,* Whether by this he meant the three motor torpedo boats which he had 
just engaged or whether he referred to motor torpedo boats which had been 
sighted between 0015 and 0018 off the southern tip of Limasawa Island is 
not known. 

At 0037 he increased speed to twenty knots,* and then at 0039 he 
released his destroyers to form No. TWO Approach Formation,* 

At this ^time he received a voice radio message from Commander THIRD 
Section changing the distance "A" in No. TWO Approach Formation (Plate XX) 
to 2,000 meters,* This was due to the weather which began to thicken, 
reducing the visibility in general to an estimated 3,000 meters and during 
squalls to "extremely poor".* 

At 0045 he intercepted a voice radio message from Commander SECOND 
Division to the MOGAMI asking, "What is your course?"* to which query the 
MOGAMI, at 0048, replied, "We are following astern of BATDIV TWO".* 

Then at 0049 he received a message from Commander SECOND Division 
stating, "Our course 090°(T)".* 

At 0057 he received a voice radio message, sent by Commander THIRD 
Section, that the course at 0129 would be 040° (T) and at 0150 would be due 
north.* 

Meanwhile, in the MOGAMI, he continued to close at twenty knots in 
order to reach his station (1,000 meters astern of the FUSO), 



Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 
1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 



496799 O - 59 -27 



265 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

The numerous messages which passed between the commanders of the 
FIRST and SECOND Divisions at this time relating to course and speed, 
indicate that (a) the Japanese radar may have been ineffective for surface 
ship tracking, or (b) Japanese radar plotting was not comparable to the 
Allied CIC (Combat Information Center) plotting. 

Since the FIRST Division was now sufficiently close to the SECOND 
Division to consider her for tactical purposes as having rejoined — at 0100 
the MOGAMI was about 3,300 yards astern of the FUSO— the FIRST Division is 
herewith dissolved and the activities of its former units will be discussed 
under Commander THIRD Section. 

(2) Operations of Commander SECOND Division, 0000 - 0100, October 25th. 

Commander SECOND Division continued on course 065°(T) at eighteen 
knots, still enjoying clear weather. Since the FIRST Division was not in 
sight and its position not well determined, he, at 0003, notified Conmander 
FIRST Division that his course was 065°(T).* Since he was also Conmander 
THIRD Section he knew that (a) the FIRST Division expected to rejoin at 
0115,* (b) Commander THIRD Section had queried Commander FIRST Division as 
to the course of that division and (c) the latter commander had replied to 
the effect that (1) the course of the FIRST Division was 010°(T) and (2) it 
was "penetrating from now".* From these messages, as pointed out ui*der 
"Operations of Conmander THIRD Section, 0000 - 0100, October ^5th", he could 
estimate that the FIRST Division (a) was approximately forty- five minutes 
behind schedule and (b) had not yet passed between Limasawa Island and 
Taancan Point (Leyte) (for had it done so the course would have been about 
090°(T)). What he thought of the "penetrating from now" portion of the 
message is not known but it is doubtful if he realized that the MOGAMI was 
about nine miles from the above passage. This seems so for a few minutes 
later considerable confusion arose in identification. 

At 0015 he knew that Commander THIRD Section had informed Conmander 
FIRST Division that (a) he would pass the rendezvous point at 0035, (b) at 
0043 his course would be 090°(T) and (c) his speed was eighteen knots.* 
(It will be recalled that the rendezvous point was seventeen miles, bearing 
250° (T) from Binit Point.) 

This exchange of information was interrupted at 0018 when he 
commenced receiving a number of contact reports from Conmander FIRST Division, 
the first of which reports was on four enemy torpedo boats bearing 100° (T).* 
The second, at 0023, was on a ship silhouette, apparently enemy.* This 
latter report was amplified two minutes later to include the bearing 
200°(T).* Almost simultaneously he received a contact report from the 
SHIGURE of his own formation reporting an enemy destroyer on bearing 
040°(T).» It will be recalled that the SHIGURE was about 2,000 meters ahead 
of the flagship (YAMASHLRO). While the destroyer reported by the SHIGURE 
may have been the YAMAGUMO (the southernmost destroyer of the FIRST Division) 
the bearing and the fact that the MOGAMI which was much larger was but one 
mile to the north, leads to the conclusion that the contact was likely on 
the MOGAMI. 

* Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 
27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801, 

266 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, O c tober 25th 

At this time the SHIGURE fired four starshells beyond the YAMAGUMO.* 
The YAMAGUMO in turn fired starshells beyond the SHIGURE.** Both destroyers 
were endeavoring to ascertain the character of their targets and to, at the 
same time, search the surrounding area for other enemy forces. 

Commander SECOND Division now, at 0027, received a query from 
Commander FIRST Division as to his speed.** 

Before he could answer he heard Commander FIRST Division, at 0028, 
order a simultaneous ship turn to starboard of 080° (T),** and immediately 
thereafter he knew that commander was breaking off his penetration (into 
the waters west of Panaon) and rejoining the SECOND Division to reform the 
THIRD Section.** 

Promptly following receipt of the above information Commander SECOND 
Division, after advising Commander FIRST Division that he had observed star- 
shells on bearing 200°(T) from his flagship (YAMASHIRO) inquired: "Are you 
mistaking BATDIV TWO FOR enemy?"** 

Because of the starshell illumination it seems correct to say that 
Commander SECOND Division must (a) have observed the illuminated units turn 
to starboard in execution of the above eighty degree turn, (b) have recognized 
them as units of the FIRST Division and (c) have realized from the messages 
sent by Commander FIRST Division that that command had also recognized the 
SECOND Division as friendly. Why then the query? The answer seems to have 
been that immediately after having been illuminated by starshells and having 
recognized the FIRST Division as friendly, Commander SECOND Division had 
become concerned lest one or more units of the FIRST Division mistake the 
SECOND Division for enemy and had thereupon directed that the foregoing query 
be made. 

However, before the ouery could be transmitted Commander FIRST 
Division began transmitting the above messages. This forced the query to 
follow rather than precede the FIRST Division messages. 

At 0030 he was belatedly advised by the SHIGURE that the enemy 
destroyer previously reported was friendly.** 

At 0033, in order to facilitate the rejoining of the FIRST Division 
by settling on the base course as early as possible, he changed the course 
of the SECOND Division to 090 (T).** 

At 0037, since he was also Commander THIRD Section, he knew that 
Commander FIRST Division had reported "three enemy torpedo boats ahead of 
Main Body" (SECOND Division).** Immediately thereafter he intercepted a 
message from Commander FIRST Division to DESDIV FOUR that he was making 
twenty knots.** 



* Action Report PT 151, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0339, 

October 28th, 1944. 
** Detailed Action Report SHIGURE, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 27th, 

1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 

267 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND DIVISION 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

At 0039 he intercepted Commander FIRST Division's instructions to 
DESDIV FOUR releasing the destroyers to proceed to their positions in No, 
TWO Approach Formation,* and finally also at 0039 he knew that Commander 
THIRD Section had changed the distance in the No. TWO Approach Formation 
to two kilometers,* 

He now was probably pleased that he had settled on his course of 
090° (T) earlier than planned because the sooner the THIRD Section was reformed 
the more prepared he would be to encounter enemy motor torpedo boats* 

At 0045 he queried the MOGAMI as to her course,* and three minutes 
later received a reply to the effect that she was following behind RATDIV 
TWO,* It will be noted that she did not indicate her location except in a 
most general way. 

He now, at 0049, advised Commander FIRST Division that the course of 
the SECOND Division was 090° (T).* 

At 0057, since he was also Commander THIRD Section, he knew that that 
commander had advised the command that he planned to change course at 0129 
to 040°(T) and at 0150 to 000°(T) o * 

IT SEEMS WORTHY OF MENTION THAT, AT LEAST IN THESE LAND ENCLOSED 
WATERS, JAPANESE RADAR WAS EVIDENTLY VERY POOR INDEED FOR NONE OF THE COM- 
MANDERS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE THE LOCATIONS, COURSES OR 
SPEEDS OF THE VARIOUS UNITS ENCOUNTERED, EXCEPTING BY VISUAL SIGHTINGS, WITH 
OR WITHOUT ILLUMINATION, SUPPORTED ON OCCASIONS AS ABOVE, BY DIRECT QUERIES 
OVER THE VOICE CIRCUIT. JAPANESE RADAR ALSO APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN INEFFICIENT 
FOR NAVIGATION PURPOSES SINCE IT SEEMS HIGHLY PROBABLE THAT IT WAS NOT 
EMPLOYED FOR THAT PURPOSE BY THE UNITS OF THE THIRD SECTION. THE COMMANDING 
OFFICER SHTGURE STATED THAT HE DID NOT NAVIGATE BY RADAR BUT DEPENDED ON 
VISUAL SIGHTINGS OF PROMINENT LAND MARKS SUCH AS MOUNTAINS AND THAT, WITH 
THE VISIBILITY VARYING FROM ABOUT TWO AND ONE-HALF MILES TO FIVE MILES, HE 
WAS OFTEN UNABLE TO SEE THE MOUNTAINS.** ALL OF THIS AUGURED ILL FOR 
JAPANESE SUCCESS AGAINST ALLIED FORCES WHICH WERE EQUIPPED WITH EXCELLENT 
RADARS AND WERE PROFICIENT IN ITS USE. 

At 0100 the SECOND Division (YAMASHTRO) was bearing 149°(T), distant 
approximately five miles from the southern tip of Limasawa Island. 

At this point, since the FIRST Division was close enough to consider 
her for tactical purposes as having rejoined the THIRD Section, the 
SECOND Division is herewith dissolved and the activities of its former units 
will be discussed under Commander THIRD Section. 



* Detailed Action Report SHTGURE, Battle for Leyte Gulf, October 23rd - 

27th, 1944, WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
** USSBS Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Nav, No. 79, Interrogation 

of Commander Shigeru Noshino, ex-IJN, Vol. II, Page 347. 



268 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM SECOND STRIKING FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

(B) Operations of Commander SECOND Striking Force, 0000 - 0100, October 25th. 

At 0000 Commander SECOND Striking Force was about thirty-eight miles 
astern of the SECOND Division on course 060°(T) at twenty-two knots and 
zigzagging* He was proceeding in accordance with his SigOrd No, 147 with 
the main exceptions that (a) he was in No, FOUR Approach Formation (Plate 
XVI) and (b) his command was ready for twenty-eight knots immediately and 
for maximum battle speed on fifteen minutes notice* Although his cruising 
speed of twenty-two knots exceeded that of the THIRD Section^ eighteen knots, 
he continued to zigzag employing the "X" method (actual speed 19»58 knots) 
and, consequently, was not closing the THIRD Section materially. 

At 0005 he made preparations for sudden gun and torpedo action.* 

At 0025 he observed flares ahead,* These were starshells fired by the 
FIRST and SECOND Divisions against each other in the waters south of Limasawa 
Island* 

At 0045 he passed the assigned patrol line of the Allied motor torpedo 
boats between Agio Point, Bohol and Sipaca Point, Mindanao© 

Although at 0047 he passed within eleven miles of the Camiguin PT station, 
which was about one and one-half miles north of that island, he did not know 
that there were motor torpedo boats on patrol in this area because he did 
not make any radar or visual sightings at this time on any Allied ships. 
His presence was likewise undetected by the five motor torpedo boats (PT , s 
127, 128, 129, 130 and 131) then operating in the vicinity of this station©** 

It seems likely that during this hour he received the dispatch from 
Commander THIRD Section advising that he "was advancing as scheduled while 
destroying enemy motor torpedo boats M *** 

As a result of this dispatch and of Commander FIRST Striking Force's 
dispatch 242145, he re-estimated the situation. He realized that he had not 
made known his complete plans to any of those fleet commanders who were 
vitally interested in the penetration into Leyte Gulf. He, therefore, pre- 
pared a dispatch for release giving his planned operations from 0300 until 
0900 the following morning. 

At 0100 the SECOND Striking Force was about thirteen miles north of 
Camiguin Island and still about thirty-four miles astern of the THIRD Section. 



* Detailed Action Report DESDIV 18 (KASUMI), October 24th - 25th, 1944, 

WDC Document 161717 (Part 4), NA 11801. 
** Action Report PT 127, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 4, 

October 29th, 1944. 
*** Commander 3RD Section Dispatch 242330 October 1944 to Commanders 1ST 

and 2ND Striking Forces, Detailed Action Report BATDIV 1, SHO No, 1 
Operation, October 18th - 28th, 1944, WDC Document 161005, NA 11744© 

269 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL 0000 - 0100, October 25th 

CHAPTER IX - ALLIED OPERATIONS , 0000 - 0100, October 25th . 

(A) Operations of CTG 77.2, (OTC), 0000 - 0100, October 25th.* 

At midnight the weather in the northern part of Surigao Strait was 
clear. The moon, which was in its first quarter, was setting (it set at 
0007). Since the sky was partially obscured by clouds and no stars were 
visible, the night was quite dark. Visibility without night glasses ranged 
from two to three miles over the open water to almost zero against the 
land. All ships were employing their radars to scan the strait in order 
to detect any enemy forces which might have slipped through the motor 
torpedo boat patrol areas farther to the south. 

CTG 77.2 (who was also Commander Left Flank Force) in his flagship, 
LOUISVILLE, anxiously awaited the first contact report on those enemy 
forces which had been contacted and attacked by Allied aircraft that 
morning in the Sulu Sea. He was somewhat concerned because (a) he had 
received no information on them whatsoever and (b) he had originally 
estimated that they could arrive at the southern entrance to Surigao Strait 
at 1900 and now five hours had elapsed without any reports. Where were 
they? Had they decided not to give battle and retired? 

At 0026 his anxiety was relieved to the extent that he received his 
first contact report. This report by PT 127, and which had been forwarded 
by CTG 79.11, was to the effect that a contact had been made at 2310 ten 
miles southeast of Bohol Island on three enemy destroyers and two large 
unidentified ships, heading north*** 

From the plot of this contact he could see that the enemy at the time 
of contact was roughly ninety miles away. He had difficulty interpreting 
the course "north" because there was nothing to be gained by such a course 
unless (a) the motor torpedo boats had made an incorrect course estimate, 
which was quite possible, (b) the enemy employing Tokyo Express tactics 
(CTF 77 in his action report referred to "Probably troop carrying ships" 
in the THIRD Section)*** was moving troops into Leyte via the Camotes Sea, 
or (c) he was delaying his movement to the eastward in order to synchronize 
it with the movements of the force known to be in the Sibuyan Sea. He was 
not too concerned as it was clear that, should the enemy be heading for 
Surigao Strait, there was ample time to make any necessary changes in plans, 



* All information here, except as otherwise indicated, obtained from 
Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao 
Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 

** PT 127 TBS Voice Radio Message (date time group unknown) to 

WACHAPREAGUE. (Relayed by WACHAPREAGUE to CTG 79.11 and by that 
commander to CTG 77.2 and TG 79.11.) 

*** CTF 77, Report of Operations for the Capture of Leyte Island 

including Action Report of Engagements in Surigao Strait and off 
Samar Island on October 25th, 1944, Serial 00302-C, January 31st, 
1944; also CTF 77 Dispatch 230142 October 1944 to C0M3RDFLT. 



270 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 77.2 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

Therefore, he was not alarmed when the MC GOWAN at 0030 reported 
several unidentified contacts bearing 175°(T), distant eight miles. 
(Actually the bearing as sent was 193°(T).) Since the range of first 
contact was but eight miles, CTG 77.2 realized that either the contacts 
were false or were on something very small, probably on motor torpedo boats, 
since these craft were operating as far north as Latitude 10°-17'N. He 
awaited further evaluations. 

At 0034 he intercepted a message from CTG 79.11 to COMDESDIV 108 
directing that commander to form his group in the vicinity of Station SIX. 

At 0038 he received another contact report, which he understood had 
been relayed from PT 127, to the effect that contact had been made on two 
targets bearing 310°(T), distant ten miles from Camiguin Island closing.* 

The origin of the contact report cannot be fully determined. None of 
the motor torpedo boats in the vicinity of Camiguin Island reported having 
made it and nons of them have recorded it in their action reports. 
Therefore, whether or not the report itself was actually made is not known. 
However, it seems correct to say that it was made but, rather than being 
an after midnight contact on enemy forces for relay to all comands, it was 
instead a prior to midnight report on PT's 130 and 131 which it will be 
recalled were closing the Camiguin PT's at that time in order to relay 
through them the original 2310 contact. Surprisingly enough, at the time 
(0038) CTG 77.2 received this report the SECOND Striking Force, consisting 
of two heavy cruisers, one light cruiser and four destroyers, was passing 
about nine - ten miles to the north of Camiguin Island on course 065°(T), 
Diagram"D n . Thus, through what seems to have been a fortunate coincidence, 
CTG 77-2 now had information of the presence of two enemy forces in their 
correct locations for the times given (2310 and prior to 0038), although 
he had actually contacted only one of them. 

While the total composition of the above two forces was only four large 
targets and three destroyers whereas he had expected two battleships, four 
heavy cruisers, four light cruisers and ten destroyers he was able to 
estimate that there was a probability that more enemy forces were present 
in these two groups because the contact ranges were sufficiently great to 
prevent detection of smaller targets such as destroyers, and possibly even 
of light cruisers by motor torpedo boat radars.** 

At 0040 he likely intercepted a message from CTG 79.11 to COMDESDIV 108 
wherein CTG 79.11 (a) directed that commander to belay the order to form 
his group in the vicinity of Station SIX and (b) advised that the enemy 
was ninety miles away,*** 

*"~ PT 127 TBS Voice Radio Message (date time group unknown) to 

WACHAPREAGUE. (Relayed by WACHAPREAGUE to CTG 79.11 and by that 

commander to TG 79.11, CTG 77.2 and CTG 77.3.) 
** Radar Bulletin No. 3 (RAD 3), Radar Operators Manual, United States 

Fleet, Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, August 5th, 1944 

(Reprint March 1945), Part 4, Page 4-SG-12. 
*** Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 

1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 

271 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG- 77.2, COM BATTLE LINE and 
COM LEFT FLANK FORCE 
CONFIDENTIAL 0000 - 0100, October 25th 

At about 0045 he learned that the contact made earlier by the MC GOWAN 
was believed to be friendly because the contact answered promptly. (He 
therefore estimated that the contact was on an Allied motor torpedo boat 
which was correct.) 

From this time until 0100 all was quiet. He was now alerted to the 
presence of the enemy in the Mindanao Sea; his command was also alerted; 
he awaited further reports. 

(1) Operations of Commander Battle Line, 0000 - 0100, October 25th. 

At 0000 the battle line was steaming on course Q 0°(T) at five 
knots.* The ships of the battle line were primarily concerned with station 
keeping during this time. 

At 0029 the battle line turned to course 080° (T)* to compensate for 
the southerly current. 

During this hour Commander Battle Line received all of the relayed 
contact reports made by the motor torpedo boats and therefore was familiar 
with the developing situation. He took no special action.** 

(2) Operations of Commander Left Flank Force, 0000 - 0100, October 25th, 

At 0010 Commander Left Flank Force (CTG 77.2, who was also OTC of 
the left flank forces) executed a turn of 180° to course 090° (T) to maintain 
station on the MISSISSIPPI.*** The speed remained at five knots. The left 
flank destroyers in turning followed the motions of the cruisers. However, 
COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX was having difficulty in maintaining his formation due 
to the cramping action of the left flank cruisers and the battle line. 
Frequent adjustment of intervals between the three sections was necessary 
to keep from embarrassing the larger ships.**** 

Commander Left Flank Force at this time gave no new instructions 
to COMDESRON FIFTY-SIX concerning his station other than those contained 
in his battle plan. Why this was so is not clear but it seems likely that 
he realized that the fault lay within the flagship and would be corrected 
when battle was imminent. 

All contact reports were being repeated over the TBS voice radio 
circuit to keep all ships informed of the enemy situation. 



* Deck Log MISSISSIPPI, October 25th, 1944. 

** Action Report MARYLAND, Night Action Surigao Strait, October 24th - 

25th, 1944, Serial 0210, November 4th, 1944. 
*** Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao 

Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 
**** Action Report COMDESRON 56, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 24th - 

25th, 1944, Serial 0013, October 29th, 1944. 



272 CONFIDENTIAL 



COM RIGHT FLANK FORCE 
and CTG 79.11 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

(3) Operations of Commander Right Flank Force (CTG 77.3), 0000 - 0100, 
October 25th. 

At 0000 the right flank cruisers were stopped and lying to on 
course 090° (T) in order to adjust position on the battle line.* The right 
flank destroyers were also lying to in their patrol station. At this time 
the right flank forces found themselves out of position to the south. 

Commander Right Flank Force now at 0014 commenced maneuvering on 
northerly courses and at speeds varying from five knots to zero* in order 
to regain station on the MISSISSIPPI. 

He received all of the relayed contact reports made by the motor 
torpedo boats and was therefore familiar with the developing situation. 
He took no special action during this time. 

IT SEEMS WELL TO POINT OUT THAT, IN ADDITION TO THE PRIMARY VOICE 
CIRCUIT TBS, COMMANDER RIGHT FLANK FORCE HAD A MEDIUM FREQUENCY VOICE NET 
(2748 kcs) TO COMMUNICATE WITH ALL HIS SHIPS. THIS CIRCUIT, CALLED TASK 
GROUP COMMON, WAS EMPLOYED BY HIS CRUISERS AND DESTROYERS FOR ALL TACTICAL 
INFORMATION. WHILE THIS INCREASED THE NUMBER OF CIRCUITS TO BE GUARDED 
SINCE ALL SHIPS OF THE RIGHT FLANK STILL GUARDED TBS VOICE RADIO, IT (A) 
ALLOWED ALL SHIPS OF THE RIGHT FLANK TO HEAR THE ORDERS AND MANEUVERS OF 
THE RIGHT FLANK DESTROYERS WHEN LAUNCHING THEIR TORPEDO ATTACKS AND (B) 
REDUCED THE NECESSITY OF EMPLOYING THE ALREADY OVERCROWDED TBS VOICE RADIO 
EXCEPT ON THE HIGHER COMMAND LEVELS.** 

At 0054 the right flank cruisers came right to course 075°(T). 

At 0100 the right flank cruisers were in approximate position on 
the MISSISSIPPI as provided in Battle Disposition A-2. The destroyers were 
operating on a north and south line about two miles east of the Cabugan 
Islands • 

(B) Operations of CTG 79.11, 0000 - 0100, October 25th. 

At 0010 CTG 79.11 intercepted a dispatch from the WACHAPREAGUE to PT 127 
asking (a) the time of contact and (b) as to whether it consisted of two 
destroyers and a number of unidentified ships.*** This was the first 
information that CTG 79.11 had received concerning the eastward movement 
of enemy forces. He was now anxious to hear the reply of PT 127. 



* Deck Log PHOENIX, October 24th, 1944. 

** Action Report CTG 77.3 (COMCRUDIV 15), Surface Engagement with 

Japanese Forces, Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 00117, November 10th, 1944, Enclosure (C). 

*** Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 
1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 



273 CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.11 
CONFIDENTIAL 0000 - 0100, October 25th 

At 0015 he intercepted the reply which was to the effect that a contact 
had been made at 2310 about ten miles southeast of Bohol Island on three 
enemy destroyers and two large unidentified ships headed north.* 

At 0021 he repeated the contact report to CTG 77.2 and to his own 
command.** 

At 0030 he received a contact report from the MC GOWAN in Station FOUR, 
reporting several unidentified radar contacts bearing 193° (T), distant 
eight miles.*** At 0033 he received a second report from the MC GOWAN to 
the effect that the radar contacts, which had been tracked on course 310°(T), 
speed ten knots, had faded on bearing 188°(T), distant seven miles.*** 

He now grew concerned lest the enemy be nearer than he had estimated. 
Therefore, feeling that his two attack groups should be formed immediately, 
he, at 0034, directed COMDESDIV 108 to form his western attack group in the 
vicinity of Station SIX and await instructions.** He does not appear to 
have commenced forming his eastern attack group at this time presumably 
because the eastern destroyers were not being interferred with by friendly 
units and therefore concentration could be readily effected. 

It seems likely that at about 0038 (when CTG 77.2 received it),**** he 
received a report of a contact on two targets bearing 310° (T), distant ten 
miles from Camiguin Island, closing in.*** 

At 0040, having re-estimated the situation and having decided that the 
enemy was ninety miles away, he informed COMDESDIV 108 of this opinion and 
directed him to return his destroyers to their assigned patrol stations** 
(SIX and SEVEN). 

At 0043 he advised his command of the Camiguin Island contact, referring 
to it as the second contact report.** 

At about 0045 he received word from the MONSSEN that, owing to an 
engineering casualty, (a) her maximum speed was restricted to twenty-seven 
knots until repairs could be effected and (b) she would require forty- five 
minutes to effect repairs.** 

At about 0053 he received another contact report from the MC GOWAN 
reporting an unidentified radar contact on bearing 188°(T), distant eight 
miles.*** 



* Action Report CTG 79.11 (COMDESRON 54), Night Surface Action in 

Surigao Strait, Philippine Islands, October 24th - 25th, 1944, 

Serial 055, November i2th, 1944. 
** Action Report COMDESDIV 108, Battle of Surigao Strait, October 25th, 

1944, Serial 038, November 5th, 1944. 
*** Action Report MC GOWAN, Operation for Capture, Occupation and 

Defense of Leyte, P. I., including the Battle of Surigao Strait, 

Serial 00103, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (J). 
**** Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao 

Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 






21U CONFIDENTIAL 



CTG 79.11 

MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

He immediately directed her to challenge the contact and to amplify 
the report as soon as possible,* 

The MC GOWAN challenged by voice radio procedure and was promptly 
answered but was unable to identify the call. By about 0045 the commanding 
officer had apparently decided that the contact was friendly. ** 

At 0100 the various units of TG 79.11 were in their patrol stations 
ONE to SEVEN inclusive. 

(C) Operations of Motor Torpedo Boats, 0000 - 0100, October 25th. 

(1) Bohol and Camiguin PT's. 

Prior to midnight PT's 130 and 131 had closed the Camiguin PT's 
about three miles north of Camiguin Island. The Commanding Officer PT 130 
went aboard PT 127 and at 0015 succeeded in having his contact report 
transmitted to the base (tfACHAPHEAGUE).*** This report was to the effect 
that three enemy destroyers and two large unidentified ships had been 
contacted at 2310 ten miles off the southeast tip of Bohol Island, heading 
north.** 

It should be pointed out here that this contact report, which was 
the first report received by CTG 77.2 on Japanese forces moving eastward 
in the Mindanao Sea, was received by that commander at 0026.** Had PT's 
130 and 131 not given this contact report to PT 127 it is likely that the 
report might never have been received by the combatant forces. 

After making this report the two Bohol PT's remained with the 
Camiguin PT's and patrolled the area being patrolled by those motor 
torpedo boats. 

During this hour PT 152 of the Bohol PT's, which had separated 
from PT's 130 and 131, continued at twenty- four knots to close the 
Japanese SECOND Division but, for some unknown reason, was unable to get 
nearer than five miles. Why this was so remains unclear for PT 152 did 
not report any loss of speed and the SECOND Division was making good less 
than eighteen knots. Could it have been (a) that PT 152 had contacted by 
radar the SW Panaon PT's which, because of drift, seem to have been 
returning to their station off Balongbalong or (b) a phantom? As PT 152 
endeavored to close the enemy the commanding Officer at the same time 
endeavored unsuccessfully to transmit his contact report. Because of this 
and the need for medical aid for one of his men who had been seriously 
wounded, he headed for the base at Liloan Bay,**** 

* Action Report MC GOWAN, Operation for Capture, Occupation and 

Defense of Leyte, P.I., including the Battle of Surigao Strait, 

Serial 00103, November 5th, 1944, Enclosure (J). 
** Preliminary Action Report COMCRUDIV 4 (CTG 77.2), Battle of Surigao 

Strait, October 25th, 1944, Serial 00141, November 2nd, 1944. 
*** Action Report PT 130, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 5, 

October 29th, 1944. 
**** Action Report PT 152, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 0399, 



October 29th, 1944. 



275 CONFIDENTIAL 



CONFIDENTIAL 



(2) Limasawa PT's. 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 

0000 - 0100, October 25th 



At 0000 the Limasawa PT's were approaching the Japanese FIRST 
Division to launch a torpedo attack on the port quarter of the large ship 
(believed to be a battleship, but actually the MOGAMI), Diagram "E". 

At 0015, when they had closed the range to 1800 yards, they 
prepared to fire torpedoes. At this moment they observed that the MOGAMI 
had turned on a searchlight and had commenced searching the sea to the 
eastward of the boats but had failed to illuminate them.* 

Possibly as a consequence of this activity by the MOGAMI, the 
attack by the Limasawa PT's was poorly delivered. PPs 146 and 151 which 
fired at about 0018, launched but one torpedo each. PT 146 's torpedo ran 
erratically; PT 151' s made a normal run but missed, and PT 191 failed to 
fire at alio* 

The motor torpedo boats now maneuvered to fire again but were 
driven off by a destroyer (YAMAGUMO) which was taking station in the rear 
of the Japanese column. They were illuminated by the YAMAGUMO' s lights 
and reported later that they had been fired upon by both the YAMAGUMO and 
the MOGAMI* but this was incorrect— only the YAMAGUMO had fired.** 

When the motor torpedo boats were illuminated by the YAMAGUMO they 
turned to the right to a southeasterly course and increased speed in order 
to evade her fire. 



At about 0022, or approximately two minutes after steadying on the 



new course, they changed course to the left. 



During this time they continued to be under fire from the YAMAGUMO 
which fire they returned.* Meanwhile (a) PT's 146 and 151 retired on 
easterly courses*** while (b) PT 190, in an endeavor to fire an overtaking 
shot with her torpedoes steadied on a northwesterly course. Although the 
commanding officer in his action report states that "an overtaking shot 
was not feasible due to the speed of the destroyers", this seems incorrect 
as the Japanese FIRST Division was making but eighteen knots. (The real 
reason was more likely the 0028 FIRST Division change of course to the 
north). PT 190 now continued on her northwesterly course until she had 
reached a position about four miles west of Limasawa Island.**** It 
appears that, as the motor torpedo boats retired, they observed both the 
starshell spreads fired by the Japanese FIRST and SECOND Divisions. PT 151 
reported that the SHIGURE's spread was 400 yards astern of her. PT 146 
thought that he had been fired on but this does not appear to have been 
the case.*** 

*~ Action Reports PT's 151, 146 and 190, Night of October 24th - 25th, 
1944, Serials 0389, October 28th; 0388, October 28th; 0398, October 
30th, 1944, respectively. 

Detailed Action Report MOGAMI, Battle off the Philippines, October 
18th - 25th, 1944, WDC Document 160463, NA 12653. 

Action Reports PT's 146 and 151, Night of October 24th - 25th, 194!+, 
Serials 0388, October 28th and 0389, October 28th, 1944, respectively. 
Action Report PT 190, Night of October 24th - 25th, 1944, Serial 
0393, October 30th, 1944. 



-K-H- 



■JBHt- 



#-*-#* 



276 



CONFIDENTIAL 



MOTOR TORPEDO BOATS 
CONFIDENTIAL OOOO - 0100, October 25th 

IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT NEITHER OF THE THREE MOTOR TORPEDO 
BOATS ENGAGED IN THIS ACTION WERE ABLE TO COMPLETE SUCCESSFULLY A CONTACT 
REPORT EITHER (A) DIRECTLY TO A CONTROL SHIP OR (B) THROUGH A RELAY. PT 190 
lost contact with the other two motor torpedo boats shortly after the action 
commenced and, moving to the westward of Liraasawa Island, operated 
independently the remainder of the night. PT 146 did not have radio 
contact with his OTC (PT 151) during the action but was able to establish 
visual contact later with PT 151 and they patrolled together to the 
eastward of Limasawa Island. At this time Commander Limasawa PT's did not 
know the whereabouts of PT 190 nor did PT 190 know the whereabouts of PT's 
146 and 151. 

At 0100 the Limasawa PT's were widely dispersed as shown on 
Diagram "E" e 

(3) SW Panaon PT's. 

This section of motor torpedo boats continued drifting to the 
westward in an area of occasional rain squalls during which time the 
visibility remained low.* 

However, this visibility was not always low for, at 0015, the 
YAMAGUMO sighted the SW Panaon PT's and reported three of them on bearing 
030° (T) at a range of five miles. As pointed out under "Operations of 
Commander FIRST Division, 0000 - 0100, October 25th", this bearing was 
more likely 080° (T). The SW Panaon PT's failed not only to sight the much 
larger Japanese ships at this time (MOGAMI and three destroyers) but failed 
also to make any radar contact on them whatsoever. It seems probable that 
this was due to too much reliance on radars with a corresponding decrease 
in visual alertness. At this point, from what occurred later, it seems 
correct to say that the Commander SW Panaon PT's realizing that he had 
dri