NOTE: This Operation Plan was transcribed from COPY NO. 1016, typed 60 years ago. The pages have aged, the type is not always clear, and the text has been amended by hand-written notes (which will be shown in green, although it is not always clear where the hand-written notes are additions, or corrections or simply clarify faint text. Deleted text (strike-thru) is displayed in [grey].
Every reasonable step has been taken to preserve the original formatting, pagination, spelling, etc., but allowances should always be made for the possibility of errors in my transcription. --HyperWar
ANNEX "B" TO COMMANDER ALLIED NAVAL FORCES, SOUTHWST PACIFIC AREA
OPERATION PLAN NO. 13-44. 1. GENERAL CONCEPT.
CONCEPT OF COMBINED OPERATIONS
The KING TWO operation visualizes a major amphibious assault from NEW GUINEA and ADMIRALTY IS. Bases to seize to group of hostile airdromes and potential base sites on the eastern coastal plain of LEYTE ISLAND, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. Initial lodgement is followed by introduction of light Naval Forces into VISAYAN waters via SAN JUANICO and PANAON STRAITS, seizure and control of SURIGAO STRAIT, consolidation of Western SAMAR and LEYTE, and establishment of necessary base facilities in the LEYTE GULF Area for support of subsequent Southwest Pacific Area Operations in the PHILIPPINES.
The XXIV Army Corps, comprising the 7th and 96th Infantry Divisions, the X Army Corps comprising the 1st Cavalry, the 24th Infantry Divisions, and the 98th Ranger Battalion have been designated the Landing Forces. The XXIV Army Corps will comprise the Landing Force with the Southern Attack Force under VIce Admiral WILKINSON. THe X Army Corps will comprise the Landing Force with the Northern Attack Force under Rear Admiral BARBEY. Both Forces will be under the Command of Vice Admiral KINKAID, Commander Central Philippines Attack Force. Each force will depart mounting areas and will rendezvous, as directed, enroute the objective areas, both to land main elements as nearly simultaneously as practicable at H-hour on 20 October.
Meanwhile the operations of Phase 1 will be conducted beginning on October 17 when an Advance Group of the Northern Attack Force will land the 98th Ranger Battalion on SULUAN, HOMONHON, DINAGAT and HIBUSON Islands in order to secure the eastern entrance to LEYTE GULF. Operation will include ship bombardment of the four major beaches in the objective area prior to the day of landing. During the bombardment minesweeping operations will be conducted to provide a 6000 yard wide swept channel from the entrance of the Gulf to the beaches and transport and anchorage areas. Beach Demolition Teams will begin during this period to remove obstacles at the beaches.
Frequent strikes will be made in the PHILIPPINES by shore and carrier based air, and preceding the main landing sustained strikes will be made by carrier aircraft against the objective areas.
2. ASSAULT OPERATIONS.
The target date for the main assault is 20 October. During the preceding three days the bombardment and fire support group will have bombarded Japanese defensive positions. During this period beach demolition parties will clear obstacles from the beaches
selected for the attack, at SAN RICARDO and PALO, on the west side of SAN PEDRO Bay where the Northern Attack Force will land and in the vicinity of SAN JOSE and DULAG on the east coast of LEYTE where the Southern Attack Force will land.
The scheme of maneuver envisages the X Corps progressing northward form PALO to secure control of SAN JAUNICAO STRAIT Area by 25 October, the XXIV COrps progressing westward from SAN JOSE and DULAG to secure control of airdromes and sites in the LEYTE coastal plain area by 25 October.
At the same time as the above operations are going on, the Northern Attack Force will make minor landings at PANAON STRAIT in order to secure the passage from SURIGAO STRAIT to SOGOD BAY.
Subsequent to 31 October overland and minor amphibious operations will be made to occupy Northern SAMAR and initiate reoccupation of the VISAYAS.
Upon consolidation of the area around TACLOBAN, Liberty Ship docks will be constructed and the TACLOBAN area will become the staging base for other operations.
Direct air support for the landings will be furnished by Escort Carriers.
3. The Third Fleet, including four Carrier Groups, will cover and support the KING TWO Operation initially as follows:
- During the period D-10 to D-7 be prepared to effect carrier strikes on either OKINAWA and/or FORMOSA or on Northern LUZON and FORMOSA. Selection of targets will be dependent upon intelligence date and the strategic situation obtaining at that time.
- During the period D-4 and including D-Day will effect carrier strikes on the LUZON-BICOL area, the LEYTE-CEBU-NEGROS area and in support of the landing in the LEYTE area.
- Beginning on D plus 1 and thereafter will operate in strategic support of the operation, effecting strikes as the situation at that time requires.
- It is anticipated that the Shore-Based Air Force, Central Pacific, will operate in the general BICOLS area as soon as effective from PALAU.
4. The SIXTH U.S. Army, supported by the ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces will:
- By overwater operations seize and occupy:
- Objectives in the TACLOBAN and DULAG Areas in LEYTE and such adjacent areas as are required to initiate and insure uninterrupted naval and air operations therefrom.
- Objectives in the HOMONHON and DINAGAT ISLANDS and such adjacent areas prior to the main assault in LEYTE as will insure the uninterrupted access for amphibious shipping into LEYTE GULF.
- Objective in the PANAON STRAIT Area that will permit passage of naval forces through the PANAON STRAIT for operations in the CAMOTES SEA. This objective will be secured simultaneously with (1)(a) above.
- Establish control of SAN JAUNICO STRAITS in order to permit passage of naval forces through the SAN JUANICO STRAITS for operations in the SAMAR SEA.
- In subsequent operations, establish control over the remainder of LEYTE ISLAND; occupy and consolidate the Western portion of Southern SAMAR to include the TAFT-WRIGHT Highway; and seize objective that will permit opening of SURIGAO STRAITS for naval operations.
- Prepare to conduct such operations as may be later directed by general Headquarters to:
- Compete the consolidation of SAMAR.
- Destroy or contain hostile garrisons in the VISAYAS.
- Occupy and defend sites for radar and air warning installations as arranged with the Commander ALLIED NAVAL and AIR Forces.
- Assume control of and direct the operations of Filipino Forces of the 9th Military District (LEYTE-SAMAR).
- Establish facilities for minor naval operations at the earliest practicable date in the LEYTE-SAME Area as arranged with the Commander ALLIED NAVAL FOrces and initiate the establishment of naval, air and logistic facilities for the support of subsequent operations to reoccupy the PHILIPPINES as directed by Logistics and Engineering Annexes to operations Instructions #70, General Headquarters, and as later directed by General Headquarters.
- Establish air facilities in the LEYTE Area with objectives as follows:
(a) First Objective:
Immediately following the assault and by A+5 for:
1 Fighter Gp. (P-39)
1 Fighter Gp. (P-38)
1 Night Fighter Sq.
(b) Second objective:
Additional by A+15:
1 Tactical Recce.Sq.
1 Photo Sq.
1 Medium Bomb.Gp. plus
1 Sq. P.O.A.
3 PBY Sqs. (Tender-based)
1 VMR Sq. (Marine)
(c) Third objective:
Additional by A+30
2 LIght Bomb.Gps.(A-20)
1 Air-Sea Rescue Sq.
1 Tactical Recce. Sq.
1 Fighter Gp. (P-47)
(d) Fourth objective:
Additional by A+45:
1 PB4Y Sq.(Air Ech)
2 Heavy Bomb. Gps.
1 LAB Sq.
(e) Fifth objective:
Additional by A+60.
1 Photo Sq. (F-5)
1 PB4Y Sq. (Air Ech)
2 Troop Carrier Gps.
1 Combat Mapping Sq. (Air Ech)
(f) As later designated. The Commander ALLIED AIR Forces, while continuing present missions, will:
- Support the operation by:
- Providing aerial reconnaissance and photography as required.
- Neutralizing, in coordination with carrier and land-based aircraft of the THIRD FLEET, hostile Naval and Air Forces in areas within range in the PHILIPPINES ARCHIPELAGO, intensifying the neutralization in the western VISAYAS and MINDANAO Areas from D-9 to cover the movement of Naval Forces, the landing and subsequent operations.
- Providing protection of convoys and Naval Forces and direct support of the landing and subsequent operations within capabilities and as requested by Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces.
- Assuming the mission of direct support of the operations in the LEYTE-SAMAR Area at the earliest practicable date after the establishment of fighters and light bombers in the LEYTE area, as arranged with the Commander ALLIED NAVAL Forces.
- Continuing the destruction of hostile Naval and Air Forces and shipping to the ARAFURA and CELEBES Areas and by initiating strikes on northeastern BORNEO and the SULU ARCHIPELAGO, at the earliest practicable date; denying use of Naval facilities in the SULU ARCHIPELAGO to the Japanese and protecting the western flank of the operations.
- Destroying hostile installations and sources of war materials in Eastern NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES.
- Establishing and operating radar and air warning facilities as required in the LEYTE-SAMAR Area, as arranged with the Commanding General, SIXTH U.S. ARMY.
- Establishing air forces in the LEYTE Area in the priority as listed in paragraph 4(8).
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