MALABANG-PARANG

                            

                                         

                                HEADQUARTERS
                     295th JOINT ASSAULT SIGNAL COMPANY
                   APO 717 % PM, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

                                                                     9 August 1945

                     HISTORICAL REPORT OF THE 295th JOINT
               ASSAULT SIGNAL COMPANY FOR THE V-5 OPERATION

                                   SECTION I
                                 BACKGROUND

          1. The plan called for an Amphibious landing by the 24th Division, with the 31st Division and
elements of the 41st Division in reserve, on beaches in the Malabang - Parang Area 17 April,
1945..Twelve ( 12) Air Liaison Parties, twelve (12) Shore Fire Control Parties, four (4) Signal radio
operators and three (3) wire teams from the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company were attached to the
24th Division for the operation, with the provision three (3) Air Liaison Parties be detached on or about
R+ 5 days for duty with the 31st Division. In addition, one ( 1) Shore Fire Control Party and one Officer
and one ( 1) EM landed at Parang with the 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, prepared to give Naval
Gunfire Support and Aircraft Support to that unit.

             a. The target beaches located in the Malabang - Parang Area were characterized by a relatively
slight gradient, while steep slopes arose just behind the waters edge. The road paralleling the beach was
in poor condition. 

          2. Although the Malabang - Parang Area had been n under theoretical Japanese control for more
than three years, garrisons were reported to be small and long stretches of beach already secured by
Filipino Guerrilla forces.

                                   SECTION II 
                                  OPERATIONS

          1. It was decided that the following elements of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company would be
furnished:

             a.. With 24th Division Headquarters.

                  (1)One Shore Fire Control Officer
                  (2) One Air Ground Liaison Officer I

             b. With 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop

                 (1) One Shore Fire Control Party
                 (2) One Officer and one (1) EM to provide Air Support during initial phase.

             c. With each Regimental Headquarters

                 (1) One Air Liaison Party
                 (2) One Naval Gunfire Party

             d. With each Battalion Headquarters (except the 2nd Battalion, 34th Infantry.

                 (1) One Air Liaison Panty
                 (2) One Naval Gunfire Party

             e. The remainder of the organization was scheduled to land on D+10. This group was composed
of headquarter personnel, i.e. cooks, mechanics, clerks, etc. and Signal personnel not committed for the
operation.

          2. The assault elements joined their respective Division, Regimental and Battalion Headquarters on
Mindoro Island 8 April 1945 and prepared to embark. During the voyage, classes were held for the
orientation of Infantry groups in Shore Fire Control and Air Ground Liaison capabilities and functions.
Instruction by team and party commanders was also provided for Jasco personnel in SOI, Field Orders,
and general orientation.

          3. The voyage from Mindoro to the Malabang - Parang Area was made without enemy opposition.

          4. The assault landing was made on three beaches in the Malabang -Parang Area. These beaches
were designated Red, White, and Blue from North to South. All Jasco elements supporting assault
battalions landed with their respective units during "How" Hour on "Roger" Day. No organized resistance
was encountered during the landing. One battalion of the 21st RCT landed on White Beach for the
purpose of securing Malabang Town and the air field area. Two battalions of the 21st RCT and the 19th
RCT landed on Blue Beach with the mission of proceeding southeast along the coast and capturing
Parang, and opening Polloe Harbor to amphibious shipping. The 34th RCT held in reserve and landed on
friendly shores in the Parang Area on R+2. No organized resistance was encountered during any of the
landings. The 2nd Battalion of 21st RCT left Parang the night of Roger Day by LCMS and secured
Cotabato Town early on R+1.

          5. Three wire teams from the Signal Section assisted the 99th Signal Battalion in running trunks and
locals in Corps Area, while an Officer and 12 EM reported to the 116 AAA Group at Malabang to
operate a message center at that headquarters and to operate a radio in a Corps net. Six radio operators
reported to the 24th Signal Company to assist that unit, and on 25 April six additional radio operators
reported to 116 AAA Group to operate a radio for Marine Air Group 24.

          6. Between 17 April and 10 May three wire teams attached to the 24th Signal Company laid 450
miles of W-110 wire. One of their vehicles was damaged by a Japanese convoy during a raid on their
convoy near Santa Cruz. There were no casualties.

          7. Shore Fire Control Parties landed with their respective infantry battalions. Since the initial
resistance was negligible and the ensuing action was a pursuit, there were no remumerative targets for
Navy Gunfire.

          8. Other than the pre-assault bombardment, two missions were fired, an illumination mission for the
3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry, when a retiring force of enemy approached an established road block, and a
preparation on the town of Calobato by fire from the main batteries of the cruiser Cleveland. The
observation aircraft carried by the cruiser division affected numerous reconnaissance missions, and the
Naval gunfire communications channels carried a considerable quantity of command traffic for the Army.
The action passed out of Naval gunfire range on 19 April, and teams were relieved.

          9. Air Ground Liaison Parties attached to units of the 19th Infantry and 21st Infantry landed with
assault waves in the Malabang - Parang Area 17 April. The first air strikes of' the operation were run in
the Cotabato Area. Parties attached to units of the 34th Infantry landed with their battalions upon secured
beach heads, passed through the 19th and 21st RCT'S, and proceeded up the Mindanao River in
LCMS. From Fort Pickett, battalions of the 34th Infantry pushed through to Dyas, meeting minor
resistance on several occasions. This march received air cover throughout most of the daylight hours, and
several tons of bombs were dropped on installations near Dyas.

          10. Three Air Liaison Parties were released by the 24th Division 25 April and attached to the 31st
Division for the remainder of' the campaign.

          11. One Air Liaison Party was attached 30 May to the 3rd Battalion, 162nd Infantry to support
that unit's landing at Luayon, Balut Island, and Cape San Agustine. Subsequently this unit supported the
152nd Infantry in the Talomo River sector.

          12. Close air support was utilized to the fullest possible extent in the Davao and central Miindanao
sectors. Strikes were directed against entrenchments, reinforced concrete pill boxes, coastal guns, supply
depots, rocket installations and other key targets. Between 17 April and 22 June Air liaison parties
supporting the 24th Division and elements of the 31st and 41st Divisions ran a total of 384 missions, firing
16 rockets and dropping 793 tons of bombs and 15,267 gallons of Napalm

          13. A total of four officers and sixteen enlisted men of the organization received Bronze Star award
during this operation

          14. Per General Order No. 82 Hg. X Corps, the 295 Joint Assault Signal Company was cited, the
provisions of Executive Order Number 9396 (Section 1, Bulletin 22, War Department, 1943) and
Section IV, Circular Number 333, War Department, 22 December, 1943, for outstanding performance
of duty in action against the enemy on Minadano, Philippine Islands, from 17 April to 1 July 1945..

                                   SECTION III

                   LESSONS LEARNED AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          1. Shore Party Communications

              Since Shore Party Communications teams were not assigned to the work for which they were
organized, they learned little which would help them in future operations as Shore Party Teams. However
the duties they performed were greatly beneficial to them in overall signal work.

              It is suggested that DR-5's be substituted for DR-4's in as much as the latter are inconvenient for
large scale wire laying.

          2. Shore Fire Control

              The SCR 694 again proved to be the best equipment used to date for the communications
required by battalion teams. Its superior portability undoubtedly meant the difference between failure and
success for parties whose actions was never assisted by vehicular transportation. Its range is apparently
equal to an SCR 264 with hand generator.

              An SCR193 should be obtained for the division team at least. In this operation ships were
appropriately stationed for the sole purpose of acting as a relay for radio sets that did not give adequate
out put for existing circumstances. In a stiffly contested landing, ships could not have been used for this
purpose, and the burden of relaying could not have been handled adequately by the command ship
because of the increased volume of command traffic. This same situation was met by an SCR 193 on the
M-1 operation.

              Net discipline and operational standards were satisfactory. In view of the man power shortage it
may be timely to investigate the possibilities of F. M. nets and SCR 600 radios.

              Administrative arrangements for the care of JASCO parties was entirely satisfactory.

              On this operation there was need of a clear, concise gunfire annex.

              The numbering plan for SFC Parties should follow strictly the numerical designation of regiments
and battalions from high to low in order to avoid dangerous communication confusion during the initial
phases of an operation.

              Gridden gunfire charts proved unsatisfactory. It would have been better to have issued only the
more detailed Army maps, thus lightening the map load, improving front line reports, and preventing
possible fatal error in target designation.

              Each Battalion N.L.O. should be supplied with at least five men and driver if the jeep is to arrive
by the end of the first day, or with six men if no vehicle is to be available for several days

.          3. Air Liaison Section

              Throughout the operation, most teams had direct communication with the Air Craft through the
SCR 542. This close liaison between ground and air yielded exceptionally fine results. Any mission that
threatened the safety of our own troops could thus be called off immediately. A substantial number of
American lives were saved in this manner..

              By the same token it was possible to guide the pilot to his target with a maximum of accuracy by
giving him exact bearings and descriptions and by correcting on his first run.

              It is therefore recommended without reservation that in all future operations Air Liaison teams be
permitted to contact and direct support air craft.

                                                               THOMAS W. HART
                                                                     Captain, Sig C
                                                                      Commanding

3 Incls:
1. Roster of Officers
2. Certified true copy of orders
3. Unit Citation



                    ROSTER OF OFFICERS ON V5 OPERATION

                                      Army

    Major       Fox, Vincent W.                 01643552                      Sig C
** Capt        Agler, William                     0415074                         AC
* Capt         Duling, Claude O.               01287325                       Inf
* Capt         Freeny, Samuel C.             01287334                       Inf
  Capt         Herm, Abraham L.              0367043                         FA
  Capt         Hire, Robert L.                     0561280                         AC
  Capt         Howell, Howard L.               01645680                       Sig C
  Capt         Jensen, Walter H.                01175756                       FA
  Capt         Lentz, James E.                   01171644                       FA
  Capt         North, Robert C.                   0578735                         AC
  Capt         Rofkar, Paul H.                     0343414                         FA 
  Capt         Wentzel, Nicholas W.           0349217                         FA
  Capt         Wick, Henry O. III                   0315152                         FA
  Capt         Blake, Benjamin S. Jr           0415648                         FA
  1st Lt         Amick, James M.                 0574735                         AC
  1st Lt         Bernardo, Dominic              0449655                        AC(Inf)
  1st Lt         Burge, Robert L.                  0416381                         FA
  1st Lt         Cash, Clayton R.                  01640841                      Sig C
  1st Lt         Eldridge, Manning A.           01645549                      Sig C
  1st Lt         Granton, John                       01634818                      Sig C
  1st Lt         Hawley, Wayne E.                01636327                      Sig C
* 1st Lt         Hilz, John F.                          0577922                        AC
   1st Lt         Kinsaul, James R.                01175767                      FA
   1st Lt         Kruidenier, Edward D.         01298248                      Inf
   1st Lt         Lovorn, Richard T.                01645772                      Sig C
   1st Lt         Porter, Jesse L.                    01294189                      Inf
   1st Lt         Repp, Roy W.                       01645940                      Sig C
   1st Lt         Sawyer, Robert P.               0404488                          FA
   1st Lt         Vanderpool, Henry N.          01307593                       Inf
   2nd Lt         Jenks, James E.                 02023331                       AC

 

                                      Naval

   Lieut              Blank, Charles J.                      160816                     USNR
   Lieut              Mathon, Benjamin D.                171137                    USNR   
   Lt(jg)              Boyce, George W.                    224255                    USNR
   Lt(jg)              Detwiler, John T.                        269568                   USNR
   Lt(jg)              Jeter, Harry R.                            224347                   USNR
   Lt(jg)              Redfern, George A.                   224418                   USNR
   Lt(jg)              Shanower, Robert L.                  270212                  USNR
   Lt(jg)              Woods, Warren B.                     270441                   USNR

** Awarder Bronze Star Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster)

* Awarder Bronze Star Medal 

           ***********************************************************

                       JOINT ASSAULT SIGNAL OPERATIONS

        The 295th Joint Assault Signal Company performed the missions of furnishing communication and
direction of Naval gunfire support and close air support. It also assisted in normal communication
functions for X Corps.

        Shore Fire Control Parties and Air Liaison Parties were assigned to each infantry battalion and
regimental headquarters of the 24th Division for the landing operations at Parang and Malabang.

        Fire Control Parties remained with these units until they moved out of range of Naval gunfire
support. Thereafter, these units assumed the role of Field Artillery Forward Observation Parties, and
remained with the 24th Infantry Division during its rapid advance across Midanao. Upon reaching the
Davao Gulf, their function reverted to that of Shore Fire Control Parties and they directed supporting
Naval gunfire during the advance north to Davao. When the Division began its advance west toward
Hintal and passed out of range of Naval support, the teams again served as Forward Artillery Observers
and assisted in the direction of supporting artillery fire for the duration of the Operation.

        Air Liaison Parties remained with the units to which initially attached during the assault phase and
furnished valuable service in the direction of close support strikes. Then the 31st Division began its
advance north from Kabakan along the Sayre Highway, five Air Liaison Parties were attached,
performing a similar mission.

        The communications personnel, other than those in the Fire Control and Air Liaison Parties,
functioned directly under the Corps Signal Officer in assisting the 99th Signal Battalion. A complete radio
and message center team was furnished the Malabang Area Command. In addition, teams were furnished
for installing and operating switchboards and telephones for numerous service units. then the X Corps
Rear Echelon moved from Parang to Del Monte, wire construction and maintenance teams were formed
and the 295th JASCO assumed responsibility for the construction and maintenance of all wire lines in the
Malabang, Parang, and Cotabato areas.

        The varied and outstanding services performed by the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company
contributed greatly to the successful outcome of the Mindanao Operation. The unit was awarded the
Theatre Citation for heroism and bravery in action against the enemy for the services rendered.

                                                       History of X Corps on Mindanao
                                                                        30 June 45
                                                                     pages 77 - 78 


***********************************************************************************

                                         

 

                      OPERATIONS REPORT V-5 OPERATION
                                   26 April 1945.

CHRONOLOGY

        1. Shore Fire Control Parties landed with their respective infantry battalions in the Malabang-Parang
area 17 April. The landing was effected against negligible resistance. The ensuing action was a pursuit.
Since the enemy rear guard had no weapons heavier than those capable of being carried by hand, there
were no remunerative targets for navy gunfire.

        2. Other than the pre-assault bombardment, two missions were fired. An illumination mission for 3rd
Bn, 19th Inf, when a retiring force of enemy approached an established road block, and a preparation on
the town of Catabato by fire from the main batteries of the cruiser Cleveland. The observation aircraft
carried by the cruiser division carried out numerous reconnaissance missions, and the navy gunfire
communication channels carried a considerable quantity of command traffic for the army. Units supported
were 19th and 21st Infantrys and 24th Div Recon. Troop. The action passed out of navy gunfire range on
D+2 and all parties obtained formal release at 0835 D+3. Command net was closed by C13 acting as
N.C.S. at 1500, D+3.

COMMUNICATIONS. 

Equipment.

        1. The SCR 694 again proved itself as being the best equipment used to date for the required
communications in bn teams. Its superior portability undoubtedly meant the difference between failure and
success for parties whose action was never assisted by vehicular transportation. Its range is apparently
equal to a 284 with hand generator. 

        2. An SCR 193 should be obtained for division team as a minimum. In this instance ships were
appropriately stationed solely to act as a relay for radio sets that did not give adequate output for their
then existing special circumstances. In a stiffly resisted action, ships could not be used for this purpose and
the burden of relaying could not be handled adequately by the command ship because of the increased
volume of command traffic. Hence an SCR 193 should be obtained for division team. This same situation
was met adequately by an SCR 193 on the Lingayen Gulf operation. Net discipline and operation
standards were satisfactory. In view of the manpower shortage it may be timely to investigate the
possibilities of F.M. nets and SCR 600 radios. 

PERSONNEL.

        1. Again the method of obtaining adequate personnel left much to be desired. This has been fully
discussed in previous reports. 

ADMINISTRATION

        1. Administrative arrangements for recovery and care of JASCO parties was entirely satisfactory.
See also attached individual reports.

                                                                 PAUL H. ROFKAR
                                                                       Capt., F.A. 
                                                         295th Joint Assault Signal Co.

****************************************************************************************

                         REPORT OF PARANG OPERATION

                                                                                          25 April 1945

        1. The planning aspects of this operation do not speak well for the naval command which failed to
prepare a clear, concise, gunfire annex and to present one requiring no last minute, confusing changes.

        2. Notably poor was the scheme for the designation of Shore Fire Control Parties in descriptive
rather than numerical terms. My own battalion, initially designated as the reserve unit, was subsequently
ordered into the assault on the right half of the beachhead, which change would have resulted in a
complete reversal of call signs, as it were, in midstream. The numbering plan for SFC Parties should
follow strictly the procession of Regiments and Battalions, low to high, to avoid dangerous communication
confusion during the initial phases of the operation. The last minute change, though praiseworthy in
intention, met the same difficulties that all such changes will inevitably occasion -- many parties, including
my own, did not "get the word".

        3. Another phase of the planning, the maps, was improperly handled. There was no excuse for the
distribution of and implied suggestion for reliance on as poor maps as the naval gridded gunfire charts
subsequently proved to be. It would have been far better to issue out only the more detailed Army maps
thus lightening the map load, improving front line reports, and preventing possibly fatal errors in target
designation. Both this matter and the one discussed in the paragraph above should be brought to the
attention of the naval authorities.

        4. Our experience in the post-landing phases of the operation proved beyond doubt that the shore
fire control team must be enlarged to enable it to carry forward sufficient clothing, food, and radio
equipment to keep up with the infantry advance and maintain proper and sustained radio communications.
With a four man team and a jeep held up by unbridged rivers, it was a back breaking job for us to pack
the 284 and 536 radios, and at that we were travelling light with no clothing or personal gear outside of
ponchos and the meagerest of rations. Had we been required to control naval gunfire for any extended
period of time, we would have been faced by the pressing problem of ration and battery shortages plus
the missing benefits of sound powered communications.

        5. It is therefore requested that each battalion N.L.O. be supplied with at least five men and driver if
the jeep will arrive by end of first day or six men if no vehicle will be made available for several days. The
distribution of the load would be as follows:

            1st man (Team Chief) - Two 536s plus part of his personal requirement to fill the rubber bag;
2nd man - 284 radio; 3rd man - generator, extra batteries for 284 & 536s and some food; 4th man -
antenna bag plus pack containing his personal items and food; 5th man - spare parts, sound powered
telephones plus personal items to fill bag; 6th man - remaining personal items and rations plus reel of
telephone wire.

        6. The 284 set used by my team worked satisfactorily with no failure of any type during the entire
three days of its use. Reception and transmissions to the ships were perfect, as may not have been the
case with the weaker 694s. However, if existing bugs can be removed from the 694, battalion teams
should be provided with this set exclusively. The regiment unit, on the other hand, moving less swiftly,
must carry a 284 to complement the 694 and relay if necessary.

        7. A final note on personal clothing. We found that all infantry units have been provided with a
woolen undershirt-sweater that served admirably in damp weather. Every effort should be made to
procure this valuable piece of clothing for our personnel.

                                                           BENJAMIN D. MATHON
                                                                      Lieut. USNR
                                                         295th Joint Assault Signal Co 

     **********************************************************************

 

                                HEADQUARTERS
                    295TH JOINT ASSAULT SIGNAL COMPANY
                                    APO 159

                                                                     14 May 1945

                     ACTIVITIES OF 295 JASCO FOR PERIOD
                   17 APRIL 1945 (R Day) THROUGH 13 MAY 1945

  1. Twelve (12) Air-Liaison parties, 12 Shore Fire Control parties landed with 24thInfantry
 Division elements at Parang-Malabang area. In addition one Shore FireControlparty and the
   Company Commander and one EM landed Parang with 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance
 Troop, prepared to provide naval gunfire support and aircraft support for that unit. SCR 499
   and 4 radio operators on duty with 24th Division Signal Company (Corps Auxiliary Net).
                 Three wire teams also assisting 24th Signal Company.

                                23-29 APRIL 1945

        23 April, one wire team assisting 99th Sig Bn in running trunks and locals in Corps
Area. Shore Fire Control Parties now with JASCO Hq, awaiting further call. On 24 April one
officer and 12 EM of Shore Party Communications Section reported to 116 AAA Group at
Malabang to operate message center at that headquarters and operate radio in Corps net.
Six radio operators reported 24th Signal Company to assist that unit. On 25 April six
additional EM (radio operators) also reported 116 AAA Group, to operate radio for MAG 24.
Air-Liaison parties #7, 9, and 13 relieved attachment 24th Infantry Division and attached 124
RCT, 31st Inf Division. Five Shore Fire Control parties on 24 hour alert for movement to X
Corps Artillery. 26 April, four switchboard operators sent to operate switching central at
Cotabato Junction (Simuay Switch). 27 April, JASCO Hq moved to Sugui Junction. 29 April,
5 Shore Fire Control parties departed in convoy for 24th Division Headquarters. Division
approaching Davao Gulf and Naval Gunfire may be employed. JASCO Rear Echelon to
remain at APO 321 per order Hq Eighth Army. Was due here R + 10 with bulk cargo, cots,
tents, footlockers, B Bags, etc.

                              30 APRIL - 6 MAY 1945

                 All attachments noted in foregoing reports in status quo. Established
 threeoutpostsduring hours of darkness, as area quite isolated. Set up headquarters defense
   system.Six radio operators returned from attachment 24th Signal Company -- not further
 required. X Corps Provost Marshal requested our headquarters help enforce "Off Limits" in
  Sugui Village. Complying. On 5 May, three radio operators returned from attachment 116
  AAA Group. Wire teams with 24th Signal very busy. Division moving rapidly and difficult to
                                   keep wire in.

                               7 MAY - 13 MAY 1945

        SCR 499 and four operators returned from 24th Signal Company. Showdown inspection
for unauthorized arms resulted in confiscation of two automatic pistols and one M-1 rifle,
which were turned into X Corps Provost Marshal. Air Liaison Party #7 vehicle returned for
vehicular and radio repair on 9 May. Repairs effected and vehicle returned 31st Division, 10
May.

        10 May --Three wire teams (total 2 officers 24 EM) returned from 24th Signal Company.
Officer in charge reports they laid 450 miles W-110 while attached. One of their vehicles
damaged by Japanese grenade during raid on our convoy, vicinity of Santa Cruz. No
casualties. 11 May, completed damming Tibatan River, providing a swimming pool and
bathing place that noticeably improved already excellent morale of troops present.

                                                                VINCENT W. FOX
                                                                   Captain, Sig C
                                                                    Commanding

                                         

                               



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