SAIPAN OPERATIONS REPORT 295TH JOINT ASSAULT SIGNAL COMPANY - SAIPAN 1. Attachment of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company to the 27th Infantry Division on the 12th of March 1944 was the first indication of an impending operation. The organization at the time of attachment was assigned to the Signal Officer, Central Pacific Area. 2. Prior Combat Experience - Some members of the organization had had prior combat experience during the capture of the Marshall Islands. All Naval enlisted personnel had participated, all Shore Fire Control enlisted personnel, four Army Field Artillery Officers (spotters), four complete Air Ground Liaison parties, and three complete Shore Party communication Teams. Approximate total participating was 11 officers and 215 enlisted men from an organizational strength of 43 officers and 460 enlisted men. 3. During the period prior to the operation itself, general specialist instruction was conducted in all sections in order to improve each individual in the performance of his assigned duties. 4. Joint Assault Signal Company Organization - Before continuing this report it is desirable for the reader to understand the basic organization of the Joint Assault Signal Company. First, it is a unit designed for attachment to an amphibious assault division. As a unit it has three missions: (1) Provision of a means to each Battalion Landing Team for the control and direction of supporting naval gunfire; (2) Providing parties to request air support and to advise infantry commanders on the use of aircraft in the support of ground units; (3) To furnish teams for beach communications during initial phases of the amphibious assault. The first mission is the duty of the Shore Fire Control Section having an authorized strength of 9 Field Artillery captains, 9 Naval lieutenants (senior grade), and 45 Army enlisted men. The section consists of nine Shore Fire Control parties, one for attachment to each infantry battalion. Each has a Naval Gunfire Spotter (Field Artillery Officer), a Battalion Naval Liaison Officer (Navy Officer), an enlisted Field Artillery Scout, two radio operators, and two wiremen. The second mission is performed by the Air Ground Liaison Section with an authorized strength of 13 captains (Avn) and 39 Air Force enlisted men. This section has 13 equal parties of an officer, two radio operators, and a driver. One party is attached to the Division Headquarters and one to each Regimental and Battalion Headquarters. The remaining mission is carried out by the Shore Party Communication Section whose authorized strength is 10 First Lieutenants, Signal Corps, 190 enlisted men (Army), and 108 enlisted men (Navy). Ten teams, for attachment to Shore Party Engineer Companies, of an officer, 19 Army enlisted men, and 10 or 11 Navy enlisted men form the section. A Major as Company Commander, a Captain as Executive Officer, a Warrant Officer as Supply Officer, 69 Army enlisted men (30 are basics), and 5 Navy enlisted men make up the Headquarters Platoon of the organization. In the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company the senior officer in each section has been appointed Section Commander and in-so-far as possible each section is treated as a company except that the commander does not have command responsibilities nor can he act as the commander in such matters as exercising the 104th Article of War, etc. Due to the size of the organization it was found necessary to appoint officers to act as S-3 and Personnel Officer in addition to their other duties. This is not completely satisfactory as the officers concerned are unable to be with their teams or parties during a large percentage of training time, and during combat they cannot operate in staff positions. Chart number one shows the administrative organization of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company, and chart number two shows tactical attachments to elements of an infantry division.[ Charts are not reproduced.] 5. Detachment of Navy enlisted men - The Naval enlisted personnel in the Shore Party Communication Teams had the duty of working with the Navy Beach-Master and furnishing for him communication from the beach to the ships and laterally to adjacent beach-masters. As these personnel were unable to train with the beach-masters with whom they would work in combat, and due to the administrative difficulties of Naval enlisted personnel within an Army unit, all Naval enlisted men were returned to the Navy on order of the Commanding General, USAFICP, on the 21st of April 1944. The mission of these men was also assumed by the Navy. This change meant that the Navy enlisted men were to be no longer considered for use during the operation that was to come, and also that there was no Army controlled radio channel linking the beach and the combat loaded transports. It was of course possible for the Navy Beach-Master to handle Army traffic over his circuit, but he would naturally give his own messages priority and also there would be delay of the message passing through the shipís communication office before delivery to the proper Army personnel. 6. Additional Personnel for Air Ground Liaison and Shore Fire Control Parties Another problem had been encountered in the fact that the Table of Organization strength for the Shore Fire Control and Air Ground Liaison Parties was not sufficient for performance of their mission. This fact was agreed to by Army and Navy Headquarters in the Central Pacific Area, but authorization had not been obtained for the assignment of additional personnel, During the Marshall Islands Operation, Parties with the 7th Infantry Division had strength as follows: Air Ground Liaison Parties - 6 enlisted men; Shore Fire Control Parties - 13 enlisted men. Considerable study was given to the subject of additional personnel, and this organization finally decided that the minimum number of men for a Shore Fire Control Party would be ten and for an Air Ground Liaison Party - five. It was originally hoped that these additional specialist personnel would be attached to the organization from units under Headquarters, USAFICPA, but the 27th Division was directed to furnish the personnel from its own organic units. The matter was presented to the 27th Division Chief of Staff and it was decided that personnel would be placed on temporary duty with the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company for the Forager Operation. At the same time the Chief of Staff prepared and forwarded a recommendation for a change in the Table of Organization to increase each Air Liaison Party to five enlisted men and each Shore Fire Control Party to ten enlisted men. On the 24th of April 1944, 82 enlisted men were placed on temporary duty with this unit. Each Infantry Regimental and Battalion Headquarters furnished two radio operators to work with its attached Air Ground Liaison Party, and the Division Signal Company furnished the two radio operators to complete the Division Air Ground Liaison Party. One radio operator and one wireman came from the Division Artillery for each of the nine Shore Fire Control Parties, while each Infantry Battalion supplied a radio operator, a wireman, and a driver-wireman to complete them. In addition, two regiments sent three radio operators while the third regiment furnished three radio operators and two wiremen, to constitute the Regimental Naval Liaison Officerís Party (the Regimental Navy Liaison Officer being attached to the Division from Fifth Amphibious Corps but not bring his own communication personnel or equipment). 7. Training of Shore Fire Control Parties - On the 24th of April the preoperational training of the Shore Fire Control Section was turned over to the 27th Division Artillery. During the period 2nd May to 18th May all of the parties participated in communication exercises with Navy ships, in firing and spotting of Field Artillery on the Schofield Range, Oahu, T. H., and the firing of destroyers and cruisers at Kahoolawe, T.H. 8. Training of Air Ground Liaison Parties - Prior to the operation, the various parties of the Air Ground Liaison Section continued communication drills and participated in direct air support problems with squadrons of planes based on Oahu, T. H. One party was able to go to Maui, T. H., another to Kauai, T. H. to engage in amphibious Air Ground Liaison training with the 33rd Infantry Division. Remaining parties had problems with various battalions of the 38th Infantry Division in their training on Oahu. An SCR 284 radio had been obtained for each Air Ground Liaison Party in order that each party would have a portable as well as a mobile radio set. Both sets were used during the training period. 9. Shore Party Communication Section Training and Establishment of Ship-Shore-Lateral Net - The Shore Party Communication Teams were engaged during this period in unit and specialist training. Near the end of April it was decided that our organization would place a radio team on each of the fifteen ships that were to transport the Division. The purpose of these teams was to establish an Army controlled ship-to-shore radio net. The net was designated as the ship-shore-lateral and is pictured in chart number three. As battalion landing teams were loaded on nine of the transports, each Shore Party Communication Team with each of these ships was designated to establish a radio team operating an SCR 284 aboard. Each team would use its other SCR 284 on the beach as the land terminus of the net. This left six ships for which teams were to be furnished, and the tenth or extra communication team was used for this purpose. Its members were all given special voice radio training with the SCR 284 and teams of either three or four enlisted men each were created. Six extra SCR 284's were obtained for the use of these personnel. During this same period it was determined to use the SCR 300 for the inland net to the battalions, with the beach station as a part of the battalion SCR 300 command net. Nine SCR 300's were drawn for the organization, and radio and message center personnel of the Shore Party Communication Section were trained in their operation. 10. Administrative Planning-Personnel and Equipment - Early in May, in conference with the Division Signal Officer and a representative of the Division G-4, it was decided which elements of the Joint Assault Signal company would accompany the Assault Echelon. On the basis that all tactical personnel would be attached to different units, all supply, motor, mess, and administrative personnel of our organization were to remain in the Rear Echelon. As space on the ships was already at a premium and as previous operations had not indicated its need, transportation was not to be carried on the operation for the Shore Fire Control Parties or the Shore Party Communication Teams. The only transportation to be taken on the operation was; a half-track personnel carrier mounting the SCR 499; a one ton trailer with power unit for the SCR 499; 13 - 1/4 ton trucks (radio equipped for the Air Ground Liaison Section); and a 1/4 ton truck for the Company Commander. 11. Additional Frequencies for SCR 536 Radios - SCR 536's were to be used for inter-team and party communication. An additional two of these sets (making a total of four) had been obtained for each Shore Fire Control Party. This added to a total of eighty nine SCR 536's to be used on the operation (27 in 9 Shore Party Communication Teams; 26 in the Air Ground Liaison Section; 36 in the Shore Fire Control Section). The remaining problem was to obtain frequencies that were reasonably clear for these radios. The original twelve ground force frequencies of course were already in use by the regiments, so finally it was possible to obtain seven additional frequencies. Crystals for these channels were ground by personnel of the Signal Officer, USAFICPA, and sets were alined as follows: a. 26 for Air Ground Liaison Section on Frequency A. b. 9 for all 1st Battalion Shore Party Communication Teams on Frequency B. c. 9 for all 2nd Battalion Shore Party Communication Teams on Frequency C. d. 9 for all 3rd Battalion Shore Party Communication Teams on Frequency D. e. 12 for all 1st Battalion Shore Fire Control Parties on Frequency E. f. 12 for all 2nd Battalion Shore Fire Control Parties on Frequency F. g. 12 for all 3rd Battalion Shore Fire Control Parties on Frequency G. This arrangement was completed just in time to deliver the CSR 536's to the various teams and parties prior to final sailing. 12. Additional Equipment - Other non-Table of Equipment items procured for use on the operation were: a. 2 ED telephones for each Shore Fire Control Party to be used with CSR 284 remote control units. b. Quartermaster pack-boards on which to lash CSR 284's. c. 9 small, lightweight, 10 drop switchboards especially constructed by personnel of the Signal Officer, USAFICPA, for use by the Shore Party Communication Teams. d. 5 miles of W-130 wire for each Shore Party Communication Team. 13. Authorized Equipment Not Taken - Items of authorized equipment that were either turned in or not taken on the operation were as follows: a. 11 Charging sets SCR 169. b. 22 EE65A Test Sets. - c. 220 Lance Poles. d. 22 Converters M-209 originally authorized for Air Ground Liaison and Shore Fire Control Parties. 14. Amphibious Maneuvers - Between the 7th and 28th of April, elements of the organization engaged in amphibious maneuvers with two regiments of the 27th Infantry Division. On May 18th the tactical elements of the company accompanied the division on a final dress rehearsal returning to Oahu, 25th of May. 15. Distribution of Personnel for Operation - On return to Oahu our tactical elements remained attached to the various regiments and battalions. Final check indicated that our Rear Echelon to remain on Oahu would be 2 officers, 1 warrant officer, and 43 enlisted men (including sick in hospital, mess, supply, motor, and administrative personnel). The tactical echelon of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company had a strength of 42 officers and 385 enlisted men (including 82 men attached from 27th Division). A Field Artillery officer from the 592nd Joint Assault Signal Company was also attached to the unit as an observer. The Commanding Officer, 2 radio operators, 2 radio repairmen, (one attached to Division Air Ground Liaison Section to care for SCR 499), one telephone repairman and a driver comprised the Headquarters for the tactical echelon of the organization. Shore Party Communication Section strength, including special radio teams for ship-shore-lateral net, was 10 officers and 212 enlisted men; that of the Shore Fire Control Section was 18 officers and 102 enlisted men; and that of the Air Ground Liaison Section was 13 officers and 65 enlisted men. For the operation attachment of various teams and parties were according to Chart #1, except that Shore Fire Control Parties now had ten enlisted men and Air Ground Liaison Parties had five. 16. Embarkation and Sailing - Attachments of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company with the 106th Infantry sailed from Pearl Harbor on the 28th of May. Remaining elements finished loading with the Division by 31 May and sailed for the Marshalls on 1 June 1944. During the voyage, troops received ship-board training and orientation while the staff engaged in Command Post exercises for the operation. Our convoy reached Kwajalein Harbor 9 June 44. 17. Planning Conference at Kwajalein - On the 10th of June a conference was held aboard the USS Fremont to decide final details for the assault on the Marianas. On the subject of supporting naval gunfire, one of the Regimental Commanders desired to have a radio net or some means of communication established whereby any naval gunfire mission would be referred to him for approval prior to firing. The Commanding Officer of the Joint Assault Signal Company opposed this suggestion as such a procedure would further increase the time delay in obtaining naval gunfire support; it would involve the use of extra radios, additional frequencies and operators which were not readily available; and necessary approval by the Regimental Commander for each mission would leave little or no responsibility on the Spotter and Battalion Naval Liaison Officer who would probably be looking at the terrain instead of a map. After some discussion, the Regimental Commanderís request was denied. 18. The Assault - Sailing from Kwajalein on 11 June we arrived in our assembly area to the north-west of Saipan at 160550. By afternoon of the sixteenth of June it was evident that all or part of the 27th Infantry Division would be committed on Saipan. The 165th Infantry was to land in column of battalions on the night of the 16th. Radio silence was lifted and by 2100, 16 June, all ship stations in ship-shore-lateral net were in contact (except ships carrying 106th Infantry which had not as yet reached Saipan). The 27th Infantry Division Staff and Headquarters of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company landed on the 17th of June. During the initial landing our organization suffered no casualties. However, during the evening of the 17th of June, a Japanese plane strafed Blue Two Beach, Wounding two Shore Party Communication Section enlisted men. 19. Status of Signal Supplies - The possible threat of an attack by the Japanese Fleet had caused the majority of our transports to stand out to sea. Not much signal equipment had been unloaded before the ships departed and the Division Signal Officer asked our organization to: (1) Turn over to him as much of our signal equipment as we could. (2) To establish dumps of signal equipment at our beach locations, keeping lookouts on the beach for 27th Division Signal supplies and securing same in the dumps from pilfering. In response to the first request, a total of 22 SCR 536ís, 9 SCR 300ís, and 3 SCR 284ís were turned over to the Division Signal Officer. The dumps established by the Shore Party Communication Section were operated until all Division Signal supplies were ashore. 20. Participation of Shore Party Communication Section - A Shore Party Communication Team has the mission of establishing communications on an assault beach. A plan of the communications to be established by three teams is shown in Chart #4. In the Saipan operation the 27th Division did not make an assault landing but landed on a secured beachhead. On these beaches the Marines had their shore parties including communication teams from their own Marine Joint Assault Signal Company. As both Army and Marines still had to handle their own equipment across the same beach, all communication teams operated with their respective shore party companies. Had there been assurance of landing across a secured beach, nine communication teams would have been unnecessary as they were not all needed at Saipan. Army communications were as shown in Chart #4 with the addition of wire trunks to the Marine Joint Assault Signal installations. Actually had there been sufficient coordination, one communication team with additional equipment would have been adequate for each numbered beach. When the infantry battalions had moved inland about 2 1/2 miles, contact through the SCR 300 radio net was lost. This situation, however, was normal as now the beaches were under Division G-4 control, and it was no longer necessary for the battalions to directly contact the beaches. Supplies were by that time following normal channels. The ship-shore-lateral radio net proved very satisfactory. The majority of messages handled by the net were concerned with supplies and the unloading of ships. The Shore Party teams suffered due to the lack of transportation. During the operation, each of the nine teams changed location at least once and several of them moved four or five times. It was impossible for them to move all of their equipment without transportation. Transportation had to be borrowed and always caused delay in the movement of the teams. As the beaches were consolidated and Shore Party Engineers were relieved for other duties, the communication teams concerned accompanied the engineers and provided for them their internal communications. On 29 June the Division Signal Officer asked that the communication teams of our organization furnish 25 enlisted communication specialists to act as replacements to the Infantry Battalions and Regiments. During the operation a total of 50 (18 high-speed radio operators SSN 766, 21 wiremen including 2 wirechiefs, and 11 message center men including 1 message center chief) enlisted men from the Shore Party Communication Teams of our company were used as replacements. This was agreeable to the organization commander as it did not interfere with his mission and it would help the division. However, in one instance, objection was made to the fact that three high-speed radio operators attached to one battalion were placed in front line platoons or companies to operate either SCR 300's or SCR 536ís. This action was deemed as improper use of specialist personnel, and a message was sent confirming the unit commanderís objection (see Journal 3 July 44). The three men concerned remained in their original assignments until after Saipan was secured. On June 30th the Division Signal Officer directed that one communication team be attached to the 106 RCT and one to the 165 RCT for the purpose of signal salvage. The two teams were attached and on the 2nd of July, another one was sent to the 105th RCT for the same purpose. All together 3 officers and 56 men were engaged in this work. On the 2nd of July the Signal Officer directed the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company to take over and operate all signal facilities at the Division Rear Echelon and also to furnish additional personnel to assist in the operation of the Division Signal dump. One communication team was assigned to each task effective 3rd or 4th of July (as soon as they could borrow transportation to move). Saipan was announced secured on the 9th of July, and plans were immediately started for the Tinian assault. At this time everyone believed that the 27th Division, less the 105th Infantry, would actively participate in the operation. Most of the Shore Party Engineers were detached from the Division, and on the 18th of July it was announced that communication teams of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company would not participate in the capture of Tinian. The remaining difficulty was that the unattached teams now had no place to ration. The organizational kitchens were left in the Rear Echelon, and finally three teams were attached to the Division Quartermaster Company, one to an infantry battalion and one to the Division Ordnance Company for rations. On the 6th of August enlisted men who had been on temporary duty with Infantry Battalions and Regiments were returned to their own communication teams, thus ending the active participation of the Shore Party Communication Section for the period of this report.
21. Participation of the Shore Fire Control Section - The nine Shore Fire Control Parties of our organization landed on Saipan with their individual battalion landing teams. Including the enlisted personnel for the Regimental Naval Liaison Officerís Party, 9 Navy Officers, 9 Army Officers, and 102 enlisted men comprised the Shore Fire Control Section for the operation. The 27th Division landed in reserve and at first was not used as a complete unit. Consequently various battalions made many movements, and the main difficulty encountered by Shore Fire Control Parties was the movement of their party and communication equipment without vehicles. Definitely transportation is necessary and should be allowed for these parties on any operation in which the land mass is comparable in area to Saipan. The Shore Fire Control Parties remained with their battalions throughout the Divisionís stay on Saipan. Each party made a separate report on its operation through their own Battalion, and a separate Naval Gunfire report was submitted through the Division by the Division Naval Gunfire Officer to cover party activities. The most consistent use of the parties was for providing night illumination during the operation. Several support naval gunfire problems were fired successfully. Some points concerning the employment of Naval Gunfire which are due consideration are: a. It is a supporting weapon used to greatest advantage prior to the establishment of shore based artillery. b. It is often impossible to fire naval gunfire at a target when Field Artillery can be used--as the trajectory of naval guns is quite flat and would unnecessarily endanger troops adjacent to the target sector. c. Due to the present system of obtaining naval gunfire, Shore Fire Control personnel are unable to immediately state to the Infantry Commander whether or not supporting naval fire can be obtained. In this sense the naval gunfire procedure is inferior to that of the Field Artillery whose Liaison Officer can almost immediately promise or deny fire in any particular area to the Infantry Battalion Commander. Possibly the placing of more responsibility for the safety of naval gunfire on liaison personnel would improve this situation. d. The value of naval gunfire to destroy the enemy's morale should not be under estimated. Most of the captured prisoners on Saipan stated that naval gunfire was their number one fear. e. When supporting ships are not in position, it often takes some time to fire a mission even after approval. f. If proper arrangements are made naval ships can be used for counter-battery fire using air observation. Chart #5 sketches the intended communication system to be used by a Shore Fire Control Party. The greatest difficulty encountered in this system was that most Spotters found it almost impossible to carry their SCR 284 far enough forward to serve its intended purpose, even with the use of remote control lines. Hardly would the radio be set up before it had to move, and also as time was too limited for digging foxholes, all operation personnel would usually be exposed to enemy fire. Therefore almost every party went through the operation without the use of an SCR 284 with the spotter at his forward observation post. Direct communication from spotter to NLO was first tried using the SCR 536. This attempt in most cases was unsuccessful due to the mountainous terrain and limited range of the SCR 536. Some parties were able to borrow SCR 300ís from the Infantry Battalions and established a system as depicted in Chart #6. Other parties depended upon already established infantry wire or radio to link spotter and NLO (Naval Liaison Officer). All of these systems had the disadvantage of no direct contact between the Spotter and the firing ship, and possible wide spread employment of the SCR 300 involves the use of an infantry radio with a limited number of clear channels. In addition to the normal destroyers and cruisers used for supporting fire, some work was done with LCI-G's. Saipan was officially secured on 9 July, however, commencing about 30 July the 27th Division spent seven days in a final mop-up sweep covering all territory north of Mt. Tapotchau. Along the coast were many cliffs honey-combed with caves. An LCI firing 40 mm shells into the caves was used on each coast. Shore Fire Control personnel were on shore and on the ships, and control of fire was directed at various targets from shore using either SCR 284 or SCR 300 radios. During the operation a Spotter and a Naval Liaison Officer were killed, a Spotter and a Naval Liaison Officer seriously wounded and evacuated. Several enlisted men were also casualties. To prepare for the possibility of active participation on Tinian, all Shore Fire Control parties of the 165th and 106th Infantry were brought to full strength by use of party personnel who were originally attached to the 105th Infantry. Also a Spotter and a Naval Liaison Officer were placed on temporary duty with Northern Troops and Landing Force. The Navy Officer stood duty on the cruiser Louisville, the Spotter (Army Field Artillery Officer) was attached to the 3rd Battalion 25th Marines. While the Spotter was on this duty, he adjusted 16" gunfire from the battleships California and Tennessee, and on the day prior to securing Tinian, he was wounded by a sniper and evacuated. Upon completion of the operation, many opinions were advanced by the various officers of the Shore Fire Control Section. They are presented here for the purpose of information only. Recommendations concerning the Shore Fire Control Section are in the section on Summary and Recommendations. a. Four Army and four Navy Officers stated that the position of the Battalion Naval Liaison Officer was unnecessary--various reasons: that NLO's radio relay work could be done by a communication sergeant; that NLO's work could also be done by the spotter; that an Army Officer could act in the position as well as or better than a Navy officer; and that continued use of Navy officers in such a position caused them to decrease in value to the Navy due to the lack of shipboard experience. b. Shore Fire Control parties might work better if placed in an organization with only one instead of three primary missions. c. A party of ten men is sufficient providing T/E transportation is taken on operations. d. The Naval Gunfire Spotter (Army Officer) at the forward observation post needs relief during a long operation. e. The use of Regimental NLOís should be continued. f. If the use of Battalion NLO's is continued a more rapid system of replacement should be instituted, as a Naval Liaison Officer can be trained in a few weeks. g. If Battalion NLO's are used they should be attached to Army units only during an operation. h. When Shore Fire Control parties are not in use by a front line battalion, they should be sent to a Rear Area. i. The SCR 284 is too heavy a radio for use in front lines by the spotter. A lighter radio with same frequency band is desirable. If possible it should be battery powered, as the use of the noisy hand generator is quite dangerous in the front lines. j. SCR 536ís, due to limited range in mountainous country, are unsatisfactory for spotter to NLO contact. SCR 3OOís were tried and found very satisfactory. k. Shore Fire Control party T/O should rate party chief as S/Sgt., (Basis: A S/Sgt. is in charge of each Air Ground Liaison Party) and men filling same positions in different parties should be authorized the same grades. This is not now the case. l. Obtaining additional personnel for parties other than by assignment would only be satisfactory if men stayed with parties continuously. m. Eliminate the Battalion NLO and replace him with a Field Artillery officer. Between the two Field Artillerymen one would always be at the Battalion CP, and they could rotate in the position of Forward Observer. n. Form a regimental team of one officer and five enlisted men within the Joint Assault Signal Company. o. Quartermaster gas cooking stoves should be provided each party. p. SCR 284 should be replaced as soon as possible by SCR 694. q. SCR 300ís should be used to replace SCR 536's. 22. Participation of the Air Ground Liaison Section - Thirteen Air Ground Liaison parties totaling 13 officers and 65 enlisted men participated in the Saipan operation. Parties were attached to Battalion, Regimental, and Division Headquarters and remained attached until departure from the island. Twelve of the parties were equipped with: 1/4 ton truck mounting SCR 193 and SCR 542; 2 SCR 536~B; panels; sound power telephones and wire; and an SCR 284. The Division party had a half-track personnel carrier mounting an SCR 499, SCR 542, and SCR 284; and a 1/4 ton truck mounting a BC 191 transmitter and two BC 312 receivers. The plan of assault was that an officer and three men with the portable radio would accompany the Infantry Commander. The fourth radio operator and the driver would bring in the mobile radio as soon as vehicles could be landed. During the operation a great number of these vehicles did not reach their parties until five days after the original landing. The 1/4 ton truck with the Division Party was actually for the use of the Support Aircraft Commander if he came ashore with the Division. This vehicle went ashore with the Division Party on the 17th of June, and it was the 22nd of June before the half-track and SCR 499 were landed. The planned communication system for the Air Ground Liaison Parties is depicted in Chart #7. The system was actually used during the operation, and either the SCR 536 or sound power telephones were used for communication to the radio station proper during those periods when the Air Liaison officer was elsewhere. No communication problems were encountered during the operation. A minor difficulty was that the power unit for the SCR 499 began to develop ignition noises in the receivers. The SCR 542, an expensive VHF radio with which each party was equipped, was not used in the operation. Some higher authority should determine whether or not liaison parties will in the future use the SCR 542 for direct ground-air contact. If this radio is not to be used in the future, all of them should be turned in. As stated before no communication difficulties were encountered, but as far as demonstrating to the Ground Force Commanders the value of close air support, the operation was not too satisfactory. Several reasons for this statement are advanced below: a. In the initial phases the availability of aircraft was very limited due to engagement with the Japanese Fleet. b. The 27th Division as a reserve division had not received as much consideration in planning for air support as had the assault divisions. For instance, the 27th Division had no permanently assigned observation plane while the other divisions had at least one apiece, if not more. c. Availability and capability of Field Artillery were excellent. d. Terrain within the Division boundaries was very poor for air support missions. e. Front lines were so irregular that it was impossible in many cases to run close support air missions because they would endanger adjacent units. f. Elapsed time between request and delivery of missions was too long to satisfy Infantry Commanders. During air support missions it was necessary to cease Naval Gunfire and Field Artillery, thereby presenting another problem in coordination -- particularly when expected time for arrival of aircraft was uncertain when a mission was requested. The Regimental Air Liaison Officer with the 105 Infantry reported average time lag for all missions which he requested as 61 minutes. g. Observation planes were seldom able to spot sources of artillery or mortar fire falling on our troops. h. Results from observation missions, when positive, were sometimes reported so late that their value was greatly decreased .
To quote from the Division Air Ground Liaison officer, "Air support rendered this division was not dependable and left much to be desired both by the Air Ground Liaison parties and the Unit Commanding Officer (Infantry Commanders). It is felt that this operation did more harm for air ground support than it did good, since in many cases, it was the first time that Unit Commanders had a chance to exercise the"air arm". A listing of all mission requests by the Air Ground Liaison section reveals the following, information: DATE-TIME UNIT TYPE DISPOSITION REMARKS 190751 105 RCT Obsn Disapproved No A/C available 191143 105-1 Strafe Approved-canceled No longer desired 191309 105 RCT B&S Disapproved No A/C available 191335 105-1 Divobomb Disapproved No A/C available 191457 105-1 Dive-bomb Approved-cancelled Friendly tps advanced in meantime. 191641 165-2 Bomb Disapproved No A/C available 191645 105 RCT B & S Approved A/C available mission longer desired Number of missions requested-------7 Approved-----------------3 Disapproved--------------4 200638 105-3 Bomb Disapproved Too close friendly tps 200748 105-3 Obsn Approved No enemy activity obsvd 200820 105-1 Divebomb Disapproved No A/C available 201020 16-3 B & S Disapproved No A/C available 201109 105-3 Obsn Disapproved Reason unknown 201230 105-3 Divebomb Disapproved Friendly tps in area 201400 165 RCT Strafe Disapproved No A/C available Number of missions requested-------7 Approved-----------------1 Disapproved--------------6 210650 105-3 Obsn Disapproved Reason unknown 211103 105-1 Bomb Approved Artillery prevented planes from approaching target 211131 105-1 Bomb Approved Missed target 100 yds 211245 105-3 Bomb Disapproved Artillery not secured 211450 165 RCT Obsn Approved No enemy activity reported 211615 105-2 Rockets Disapproved Too close to friendly tps Canceled by 165 ROT Number of missions requested-------6 Approved----------------3 Disapproved-------------3 221504 105-2 Obsn Approved Positive results 221515 105-2 Obsn Approved Positive results 221620 105 RCT Bomb Approved Good results, wrong target Number of missions requested-----3 Approved--------------3 Disapproved------------0 231030 105-2 Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed 231145 165-2 Strafe Disapproved No-A/C available 231401 165-2 Bomb Approved Missed target 231430 165-2 Strafe Approved Positive results 251440 165 RCT Bomb Disapproved No A/C available Number of missions requested-----5 Approved--------------3 Disapproved-----------2 - 240654 165-1 Bomb Disapproved No A/C available 240707 106-3 Obsn Approved Successful 240742 165-2 Strafe Disapproved No A/C available 240747 165 RCT Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed 240815 165-2 Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed 240842 165 RCT Obsn Approved Affirmative results 240845 105-2 Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed 240858 165-2 Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed 241255 106-3 Obsn Disapproved No A/C available 241335 165-1 Bomb Disapproved No A/C available 241407 106-2 B & S Approved Effective results 241450 165-1 Obsn Disapproved No A/C available 241459 106-2 Obsn Approved Effective results Number of missions requested---13 Approved-------------8 Disapproved----------5 250700 105-2 Bomb Approved Hit wrong area 250800 105-2 Bomb Approved Good results 250950 Div-AGL Obsn Approved Effective results 251134 105-2 B&Rocket Disapproved No A/C available 251445 105-2 B&Rocket Approved Very good 251446 105-2 B&Rocket Disapproved No A/C available 251542 106-3 Smoke Disapproved No A/C available Number of missions requested---7 Approved------------4 Disapproved---------3 260700 106-2 Obsn Disapproved Difficult to see target 260720 106-3 Bomb Disapproved Tps too close 260757 165 RCT Obsn Approved No enemy activity in area 260821 106-2 Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed 260825 106-3 Bomb Disapproved Tps too close 260947 165 RCT Strafe Disapproved No A/C available 261444 165 RCT B&S Approved Missed target endangered own troops 261525 165 RCT Strafe Approved Unsuccessful 261530 106-2 Obsn Approved Heavy emplacements 261545 106-2 Bomb Disapproved No A/C available 261556 106 RCT Obsn Approved Enemy Arty observed 261706 106-3 Bomb Disapproved No A/C available Number of missions requested-12 Approved-----------6 Disapproved--------6 270736 165 RCT Bomb Approved Bad weather,planes returned 270832 165 RCT Bomb Disapproved No A/C available 270847 165 RCT Bomb Approved Tps on move,unable to coordinate mission 271530 106 RCT Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed Number of missions requested -4 Approved ----------3 Disapproved --------1 280744 106-3 Obsn Approved Observed smoke in area 280745 106 RCT Obsn Approved Enemy field pieces 281340 106 RCT Obsn Approved Friendly tanks in area 281457 165-2 Bomb Disapproved Friendly tps too near 281642 106-2 Bomb Disapproved No A/C available Number of missions requested- 5 Approved----------3 Disapproved--------2 290715 106-2 Bomb Disapproved Troops too close 290931 106-2 Bomb Disapproved Troops too close 290943 105 RCT Obsn Approved Field guns & mortar fire 291317 106-2 Bomb Disapproved Friendly troops too close Number of missions requested-4 Approved----------1 Disapproved-------3 300709 165-3 Obsn Approved Enemy activity observed 300800 165-3 Obsn Approved Naval gunfire hitting target 301030 106 RCT Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed Number of missions requested-3 Approved----------3 Disapproved-------0 0107l5 165-3 Obsn Approved Observer saw own tps 010745 165-3 Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed 010822 165-3 Obsn Approved Strong installations Many foxholes 010912 106-2 Bomb Disapproved Tps too close 010915 106-2 Bomb Disapproved No A/C available 011035 105 RCT Obsn Approved No enemy installations observed 011400 106-2 Bomb Disapproved Troops too close 011450 106 RCT Obsn Approved Observed tanks No arty fire Number of missions requested-8 Approved ---------5 Disapproved ------3 020631 Div-AGL Obsn Approved No enemy activity observed Many foxhole 020640 Div-AGL Obsn Approved No enemy activityNo installations 020729 Div-AGL Obsn Approved Canceled by Div-AGL 020745 165-3 Obsn Approved Observed emplacements & trenches 020844 165-3 Obsn Approved Few pill boxes road clear for tanks 021254 Div-AGL Obsn Disapproved No A/C available 021410 165-3 Obsn Approved Very little activity no artillery seen 021546 Div-AGL Obsn Approved Very little activity Arty falling at road junction Number of missions requested-8 Approved ---------7 Disapproved-------1 030700 165-3 Obsn Approved Arty positions empty 050744 106-2 Strafe Disapproved Tps too close 030835 106-2 Bomb Disapproved Tps too close 031320 165-1 B&S Disapproved Tps too close Number of missions requested--4 Approved ----------1 Disapproved --------3 340750 165-1 Obsn Approved Strong points of defense Artillery positions 041506 165-1 B&S Disapproved Front lines too close Number of missions requested--2 Approved-----------1 Disapproved--------1 060745 105-3 Obsn Approved Positive results 061046 165-2 Obsn Approved No tps or guns foxholes obsvd 061100 105 RCT Obsn Approved Deserted enemy installations observed 061112 165-1 Obsn Approved No tps Field guns 061338 165-2 Obsn Approved Positive results 061340 165-2 Strafe Approved Accomplished good results 061344 165-2 Strafe Approved Accomplished along beach 061402 165-2 Strafe Approved Accomplished along beach 061416 165-2 Strafe Disapproved No A/C available 061424 165-2 Obsn Approved No enemy activity in area Number of missions requested-10 Approved------------9 Disapproved------- -1 070700 105 RCT Obsn Approved No enemy activity observer in area of counter attack 070935 165 RCT Obsn Approved Several buildings no activity 071126 Div-AGL Obsn Approved Japs on beach men in water and up and down beach 071424 Div-AGL Obsn Approved Observer saw 2 Japs in area 071655 Div-AGL Obsn Approved No activity or troop concentration Number of missions requested-5 Approved ----------5 Disapproved--------0 Disapproved Troops too close 080617 165-1 Strafe Disapproved Troops too close
080924 Div-AGL Obsn Approved 1 Steamroller, several trucks observed Number of missions requested -2 Approved-------- --1 Disapproved--------1 Number of air missions requested by AGL parties. 1. Total number of missions requested by AL parties-----------------115 a. Observation----------------------------------------------------58 or 50.4% of total b. Bomb, bomb & strafe------------------------------------------57 or 49.5% of total 2. Number of missions approved by support air command----70 or 60.8% of total a. Observation--------------------------------------------52 or 89.6% of requested missions b. Bomb, bomb & strafe----------------------------------18 or 31.5% of requested missions 3. Number of approved missions successfully flown------59 a. Observation----------------------------------------52 or lOO% b. Bomb, bomb & strafe-------------------------------7 or 38.8% An examination of all bomb, and bomb and strafe missions requested by the AGL parties, reveals, disapprovals for the following reasons: a. Troops too clove----------------------------15 missions b. No aircraft available-------------------------20 missions c. Miscellaneous---------------------------------4 missions It should be borne in mind that the ratio between observation, bomb, and bomb and strafe missions, in this operation being approximately even, is not a true figure for a normal operation. The principle reason being that the Air Liaison Officer keeping abreast of aircraft availability would not request a bomb mission if he knew that planes were not available at the time. There were very few times when an observation plane was not available for a mission. Further conclusions drawn from the operation concerning use of air support were: a. Very close air support is of uncertain value after artillery has been landed. After initial assault the major use for support aircraft should be for attacks against enemy troop concentrations, lines of communications, supply dumps, and any buildings that might become future enemy strong points. b. It would be desirable if aircraft when used for support missions could be available in such quantities that any Infantry Commander could rely on delivery of support within twenty minutes after initial request. c. Air Commanders should realize that Ground Commanders can neither foresee their needs, nor afford delay in receiving air support when that need arises. Availability of aircraft, to be of a reliable value, should be continuous and immediate during the day-light hours. d. Aircraft pilots must be completely impressed with the seriousness of their mission. They must never undertake to bomb or strafe on their own initiative. Such action if resulting in casualties to our own troops causes complete lack of faith in air support within the particular unit. Also the loss of morale is much more than when troops are shelled by their own artillery, as in case of aircraft the individual enlisted man questions, "Canít the________ see what heís doing?". e. When Ground Commanders decide to use support aircraft and stop artillery and naval gunfire, they should receive highest consideration and priority. If the mission can not be flown, the Air Liaison Officer must immediately be notified in order that artillery and or naval gunfire may be quickly resumed. f. Close air support would be much more successful if the Battalion Air Ground Liaison Officer was permitted to talk directly to his supporting planes. Unit recommendations concerning the Air Ground Liaison Section will be found under Summary and Recommendations. Opinions advanced by the Air Ground Liaison Section included: a. That air support be considered as a weapon for use prior to landing of Division Artillery. b. After artillery support is established, return the Battalion Air Liaison Parties to Joint Assault Signal Company control, leaving the Division and Regimental Parties to handle air support missions. c. An extra frequency is needed for the section in order that a net connecting all parties could be established. This net to set up an air mission before the actual request over the support air request net. d. The present Air Ground Liaison Party in authorized only three enlisted man. Each party should be increased by the assignment of two radio operators to satisfactorily operate in combat. 23. Participation of Joint Assault Signal Company Headquarters - The Commanding Officer, two radio operators, two radio repairmen, one telephone repairman, and a driver were the only headquarters personnel on the operation. The driver, a radio operator, and a radio repairman worked with the Division Air Ground Liaison party, and the other radio repairman helped out in the Division Signal Repair Section. The headquarters was called on from time to time to submit various reports, and to disseminate orders and information to all Joint Assault Signal Company personnel. Contact was maintained with the Shore Fire Control and Air Ground Liaison Sections by use of division means of communication. To contact the Shore Party Communication Section, an SCR 284 radio was established at headquarters working into the ship-shore-lateral net. The organization headquarters stayed with the Division Command Post throughout the operation and until departure from Saipan. The headquarters handled as well as possible all administrative matters (actual administrative personnel had been left in Rear Echelon on Oahu) and made all personnel changes necessitated by Signal Officer's requests and the filling of vacancies prior to the move to Tinian. Certain occurrences which indicated the necessity of the presence of the entire Headquarters Platoon were: a. It was necessary to compile equipment shortages prior to the Tinian operation and also prior to departure from Saipan. b. Distribution of bulk equipment to teams and parties was necessary prior to the Tinian operation. c. Many administrative and medical reports were called for by Division Headquarters. d. The organization was unable to reform after cessation of hostilities as mess and supply personnel andequipment were not available. e. Repair of our signal equipment through division channels was slower than if our own repair section had been present for maintenance. 24. Casualties - Casualties suffered during the operation did not cause any team or party to collapse--as personnel replacements were furnished from other parties or sections. Tabulation of casualties was as follows: KIA MIA WIA & EVAC Shore Fire Control Section 2 off, 8 EM 1 EM 3 off, 5 EM Air Ground Liaison Section 2 off, 3 EM 7 EM Shore Party Communication Section 2 EM 4 EM Total casualties: KIA--4 officers, 16 enlisted men; MIA-one enlisted man; WIA & Evacuated 4 officers, 16 enlisted men. 25. Equipment Expenditure - Roughly 16% of the 295 Joint Assault Signal Companyís signal equipment was lost, destroyed, or damaged beyond repair during the stay at Saipan. Some of the major items were: 5 out of 58 SCR 284's; 17 SCR 536ís out of 89 (does not include 22 SCR 536ís turned over to Division Signal Officer); 2 out of 18 BD 71's; 1 out of 9 PA-5 Ďs (the one missing, seemingly was stolen); radio equipment in 3 out of 13 - 1/4 ton trucks (1 destroyed completely by enemy action on 7 July, radio equipment in other two ruined by salt water when vehicles were landed in the lagoon). 26. Summary and Recommendations SUMMARY a. 42 officers and 385 enlisted men of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company participated in the capture of Saipan. 82 of those enlisted men were on temporary duty with the organization from units of the 27th InfantryDivision. b. The Shore Fire Control, Air Ground Liaison, and Shore Party Communication Sections, with a small Headquarters comprised the tactical echelon of the 295th Joint Assault Signal Company. c. Teams and parties of the organization remained attached to other units throughout the Divisionís stay on Saipan, as the company did not have supply, motor, mess, or administrative personnel on the operation. d. Shore Fire Control Parties, Shore Party Communication Teams, and the organization headquarters were without sufficient transportation for efficient operation on Saipan. e. The SCR 694 is needed to substitute for the SCR 284. f. SCR 300ís or similar radios would be desirable for inter party communication in the Air Ground and Shore Fire Control Sections g. Air support during the Saipan Operation was not particularly successful for the 27th Division h. The entire organization Headquarters Platoon was needed on the operation. i. Shore Fire Control and Air Ground Liaison Parties are not authorized sufficient strength by present Table of Organization. The most satisfactory means of gaining sufficient personnel is by assignment. j. Due to our organization and tactical attachments, difficulties were encountered in receiving administrative reports from our parties with the various regiments and battalions. k. Various occurrences or considerations which indicate that the present organization of the Joint Assault Signal Company is insufficient, and that it can be greatly improved are: (1) The assignment of Naval Officers to the Joint Assault Signal Company is unnecessary. (a) The duty of liaison officer to a Battalion Commander on the subject of Naval Gunfire can be properly discharged by an Army Field Artillery Officer. (b) Release of the Navy Officers from the Joint Assault Signal Company would increase the overall operating efficiency of the unit. It is not a question of lack of cooperation, but in the Service consciousness, appreciable differences in training, different customs, and different regulations. This situation is most difficult during periods between operations when the unit is in training. (c) Navy Officers do not as a rule have the same attitude towards responsibilities for their men and equipment that is desired in an Army Officer. (d) Navy Officers are not covered by Army Regulations for such administrative procedure as: pay, discipline, and keeping of records. Action on the above items, of course, can be accomplished, but there is often delay which does not seem necessary if an Army Officer can adequately fill the Navy Officerís position. (e) The present system of attaching a Naval Officer to each Infantry Regiment about one month prior to an assault should be continued. In the past, these Naval Liaison Officers have been attached from the Vth Amphibious Corps. A Naval Office should also be attached to the Division Headquarters. (2) The present Table of Organization indicates assignment of Army Air Force enlisted men to the company for duty within the Air Ground Liaison Section. The duties of these men could just as easily be performed by corresponding specialists from the Infantry or Signal Corps, which action would result in far greater harmony within an organization. (a) Air Force enlisted personnel have received a different type of training than have personnel from Army Ground Force units. (b) The assignment of Army Air Force enlisted men results in difficulties for the men themselves and for the unit which of necessity must give them ground force training. Most of the Air Corps enlisted men originally assigned to this unit came wishing that they could go back to an Air Corps unit and many still desire transfer. (c) As the duties of the enlisted men within the Air Ground Liaison Section can be performed by communication personnel of any branch, consideration is desired to replace these men by Signal Corps enlisted men in order to avoid the difficulties described above. (3) The distribution of Technician Grades to the Joint Assault Signal Company on an allotment basis has resulted in many instances where men hold same jobs in like teams or parties but are not allowed the same rating. (4) The Shore Party Communication Section is the only one that does not call for any captain vacancies for officers. (5) The Table of Organization makes no provisions for a Section Commander or for a Section Sergeant. Of course these people are appointed to these duties within the company, but it is not the most satisfactory solution for handling the problem especially during combat when these same men must fill only their duties as party personnel. (6) The Table of Organization makes no allowance for the following staff personnel who are deemed necessary: S-3 (Plans and training), Personnel Officer and Adjutant, and Motor Officer. Officers are appointed to fill these positions during training periods, but it was found they are greatly needed during combat when the original appointees are no longer available due to team or party duties. (7) Within the organization there it no provision for organic medical personnel. (8) During training periods or during combat there is no provision for administrative control of the 13 officers and approximately 112 enlisted men who work with each Infantry Regiment. As comparison, some Field Artillery Batteries have only 108 enlisted men. Present organization makes all dissemination and assimilation of information to and from personnel within the unit most difficult. (9) The present organization is too centralized. There is no division of command responsibilities and the centralized supply system for an organization of this size and amount of equipment is unwieldy. (10) The present organization does not supply sufficient personnel for proper administrative action within the company. RECOMMENDATIONS Recommend that in order to correct deficiencies within Joint Assault Signal Companies, that they be reorganized in accordance with attached letter from the Commanding General, 27th Infantry Division, and proposed Tables of Organization and Equipment pertaining thereto. Incl: copy letter 27th Division dated 9 Oct 44 and all enclosures thereto.
AIR GROUND LIAISON SECTION. 295 JOINT ASSAULT SIGNAL. COMPANY APO 27 . 6 AUGUST 44 SUBJECT: AIR GROUND LIAISON REPORT FORAGER OPERATION, SAIPAN .TO: COMMANDING OFFICER, 295 JOINT ASSAULT SIGNAL COMPANY, APO 27 1. THIS REPORT COVERS THE ACTIVITIES, COMMENTS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE A.G.L. SECTION OF THE 295 JOINT ASSAULT SIGNAL COMPANY, ATTACHED TO THE 27TH INFANTRY DIVlSION. ALTHOUGH SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WILL BE MADE IN THIS REPORTMAY NOT APPEAR TO DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE SAIPAN OPERATIONIT IS FELT THAT THE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE NOTEWORTHY ENOUGH T0 BE MENTIONED AT THIS TIME, 2. DURING THE PERIOD FROM 16 JULY 44 TO THE TIME WHEN THE ISLAND WAS SECURED THE AGL PARTIES WERE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN ATTEMPTING TO GET AIR SUPPORT TO THEIR UNITS. SOME OF THE OTHER DUTIES PERFORMED BY THE AGL PARTIES WERE: A. KEEPING COMPANY COMMANDER INFORMED AS TO RESULTS OF AERIAL OBSERVATION MISSIONS WITHIN OUR OWN OR OTHER SECTORS. B. MAINTAINING CLOSE LIAISON WITH ARTILLERY AND NAVAL GUNFIRE UNITS. C. MAINTAINING LIAISON WITH FLANK UNITS AND KEEPING CLOSE WATCH ON ALL AIR STRIKE MISSIONS REQUESTED BY THESE UNITS TO SEE THAT NO MISSION WAS FLOWN THAT MIGHT ENDANGER OUR TROOPS. D. THE FACT THAT ALL AGL PARTIES WERE ON THE SAME FREQUENCY ENABLED THEM TO KEEP THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THEIR RESPECTIVE UNITS INFORMED AT ALL TIMES AS T0 FRONT LINES ALONG THE ENTIRE FRONT. 3. THE SAIPAN OPERATION WAS DEFINITELY NOT A GOOD OPERATION FOR CLOSE IN AlR SUPPORT. A FEW OF THE REASONS ARE LISTED BELOW. A. IN THE INITIAL PHASES THE AVAILABILITY OF AIR CRAFT WAS VERY LIMITED. B. AVAILABILITY AND CAPABILITIES OF ARTILLERY WERE EXCELLENT. C. TERRAIN WITHIN THE DlVlSION BOUNDARIES WAS VERY POOR FOR AIR SUPPORT MISSIONS. D. FRONT LINES WERE SO IRREGULAR DUE TO TYPE OF TERRAIN THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE IN MANY CASES TO EVEN ATTEMPT TO COORDINATE AN AIR MISSION. E. ELAPSED TIME BETWEEN REQUEST AND DELIVERY OF MISSIONS WAS TOO LONG AND TOO VARIED IN LENGTH TO ALLOW PROPER COORDINATION AMONG INFANTRY TROOPS, ARTILLERY, NAVAL GUNFIRE, AND A/C I.E. THE 105 RCT AGL OFFICER REPORTED AN AVERAGE TIME LAG FOR ALL OF HIS MISSIONS AS 61 2/3 MINUTES WHICH CAN BE CONSIDERED THE AVERAGE. F. OBSERVATION PLANES WERE SELDOM ABLE TO SPOT THE SOURCE OF KNOWN GUNFIRE, MORTAR FIRE OR OTHER ACTIVITIES. G. RESULTS OF OBSERVATION MISSIONS, WHEN POSITIVE, WERE REPORTED SO LATE OR POORLY OR BOTH, THAT THE VALUE WAS OFTEN NEGLIGIBLE. 4. AlR SUPP0RT RENDERED THlS DIVlSION WAS NOT DEPENDABLE AND LEFT MUCH TO BE DESIRED BOTH BY THE AGL PARTIES AND THE UNIT COMMANDING OFFICER. IT IS FELT THAT THIS 0PERATION DID MORE HARM FOR AIR GROUND SUPPORT THAN lT DID GOOD, SINCE IN MANY CASES, IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT UNIT COMMANDERS HAD A CHANCE TO EXERCISE THE AIR ARM. A BREAK DOWN OF ALL MISSlON REQUESTS BY THE AIR GROUND LIAISON SECTl0N REVEALS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: [ There follows a long list of missions requested and disposition of requests. These missions are not reproduced here. The missions are found in the preceding Report.] IT MUST BE BORNE IN MIND THAT THE RATIO BETWEEN OBSERVATION AND BOMB, BOMB AND STRAFE, MISSIONS IN THIS OPERATION BEING APPROXIMATELY EVEN, IS NOT A TRUE FIGURE FOR A NORMAL OPERATION. THE PRINCIPLE REASON BEING THAT THE AGL OFFICER KEEPING ABREAST OF THE A/C AVAILABILITY WOULD NOT REQUEST A BOMB MISSION IF HE KNEW THAT PLANES WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME. THERE WERE VERY FEW TIMES WHEN AN OBSERVATION PLANE WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR A MISSION. 5. THE GENERAL CONCLUSIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS: A. CLOSE AlR SUPPORT I S OF UNCERTAIN VALUE AFTER ARTILLERY HAS BEEN LANDED. A/C CANNOT GUARANTEE THE CONTROL, RELIABILITY OR ACCURACY AS CAN ARTILLERY OR NAVAL GUNFIRE, B. A/C WHEN USED MUST BE AVAILABLE IN SUCH QUANTITIES THAT ANY UNIT COMMANDING OFFICER MAY RELY UPON DELIVERY OF MISSIONS WITHIN TWENTY MINUTES AFTER INITIAL REQUEST. C, AIR COMMANDERS MUST REALIZE THAT GROUND COMMANDERS CAN NEITHER FORESEE THEIR NEEDS, NOR AFFORD DELAY IN RECEIVING AIR SUPPORT WHEN THAT NEED ARISES. AVAILABILITY, TO BE OF A RELIABLE VALUE, MUST BE CONTINUOUS AND IMMEDIATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY LIGHT HOURS. D, WHEN THE GROUND COMMANDER DECIDES TO USE AIR SUPPORT AND IN TURN STOPS ARTILLERY AND NAVAL GUNFIRE HE SHOULD BE GIVEN THE HIGHEST PRIORITY AND CONSIDERATION. IF FOR ANY REASON THE MISSION CANNOT DEFINITELY BE FLOWN IMMEDIATELY, THE GROUND COMMANDER MUST BE NOTIFIED AT ONCE SO THAT THE ARTILLERY MAY COMMENCE FIRING. 6. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THIS SECTION ARE: A. THAT AIR SUPPORT BE CONSIDERED AS A WEAPON FOR USE PRIOR TO THE LANDING OF ARTILLERY. B. WHEN ARTILLERY HAS LANDED AND IS PROPERLY SET UP, THAT ALL BLT AGL PARTIES REVERT BACK TO JASCO CONTROL. THIS WOULD LEAVE THE RCT AND DIVISION AGL PARTIES TO HANDLE THE AIR SUPPORT. C. THAT A SECONDARY NET BE SET UP WITH AUXILIARY RADIOS FOR ADMINISTRATION USE OF BLT, RCT AND DlVISION AGL PARTIES, THIS NET WOULD BE USED TO SET UP AIR MISSIONS PRIOR TO THEIR ACTUAL REQUEST. D. SCR 542 SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE 1/4 TON AGL VEHICLE AND AN SCR 300 BE ISSUED AS A STANDARD ITEM OF EQUIPMENT FOR AGL PARTIES. PAST OPERATIONS AND THE PRESENT DOCTRINE OF AIR SUPPORT SHOW THAT AT NO TIME WILL THE AGL PARTIES BE ALLOWED TO CONTACT THE PLANE DIRECTLY. THIS WAS THE ONLY REASON ORIGINALLY FOR MOUNTlNG THE SCR 542 IN THE VEHICLE. THEREFORE THE SCR 542 IS AN EXPENSIVE, HEAVY, USELESS PIECE OF EQUIPMENT IN THE AGL VEHICLE. TOO MUCH STRESS CAN NOT BE PLACED UPON THE NEED OF AN AUXILIARY NET WITHIN THE BLT, RCT AND DIVISION AGL PARTIES. E. THAT DURING PERIODS BETWEEN COMBAT STRIKES, AGL OFFICERS AND RADIO OPERATORS BE ATTACHED TO TACTICAL AIR CORPS SQUADRONS OR GROUPS IN ORDER THAT THEY MAY KEEP ABREAST OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN A/C, ARMAMENT AND OTHER MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE AIR. WILLIAM B. AGLER CAPTAIN, AIR CORPS COMMANDING *************************************************************************************** The following is a Record Of Events from 19 October 1944 to 13 March 1945 RECORD OF EVENTS 19 Oct 44 Unit arrived Bougainville Solomon Islands 1100. Debarked from USS Cape Johnson 1500. Entrucked for camp area and arrived 1530. 21 Oct 44 Unit reld fr atchmt 27th Inf Div & atchd to XIV Corps 19 Oct 44. Company time spent in construction of camp area. 30 Oct 44 Company time mainly spent in construction of camp area. 10 Nov 44 Company fired on range from 8 thru 10 Nov 44. 21 Nov 44 Company time devoted to inspection and repair of organizational property, clothing and equipment. 30 Nov 44 Co alerted for movement. 10 Dec 44 Personnel Embarking. 11 Dec 44 Organization entrucked and departed company area 1030; arrived Beach No. 4 Bougainville, Solomon Islands 1130; embarked aboard USS Lamar 1230. 15 Dec 44 Time spent mainly drilling aboard ship. Troops were given actual debarkation instructions. 16 Dec 44 USS Lamar sailed from Bougainville , Solomon Islands 0845. 18 Dec 44 USS Lamar arrived Lae, New Guinea and dropped anchor. Troops took part in debarkation drills. 19 Dec 44 Sailed from, Lae New Guinea 1430. 21 Ded 44 USS Lamar arrived and anchored off Manus, Admiralty Islands 1600. 31 Ded 44 USS Lamar sailed from Manus, Admiralty Islands 0800. 5 Jan 45 Sailed through Mindanao Sea. 9 Jan 45 Arrived Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands 0330. Assault forces landed 0930. 10 Jan 45 Debarked and landed Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands 1030. 20 Jan 45 Company time spent in setting up bivouac area and perimeter defense. 22 Jan 45 Organization relieved from attachment to XIV Corps and attached to ASCON, Sixth Army. 26 Jan 45 Unit reld asgmt XIV Corps and asgd to Sixth Army 20 Nov 44. Unit atchd to XIV Corps 20 Nov 44. 27 Jan 45 Unit performing Military Police duties in Port Sual, San Fabian sectors. 4 Feb 45 Tec 3 Elvino Grua, 36479565, awarded the Purple Heart (Oak-Leaf Cluster) per Section II, General. Orders No. 1 Hq 27th Inf Div, dtd 15 Jan 45, for wounds received during capture of Saipan, Marianas Islands, 7 July 1944. 4 Officers & 9 EM awarded the Purple Heart per Section III, General Orders No. 99 Hq 27th Inf Div, dtd 30 Nov 44, for wounds received during the capture of Saipan, Marianas Islands. 7 Feb 45 Unit entrucked & departed Binmaley, P.I. 1030. Arrived San Fabian, Luzon, P.I. 1200. Embarked on LSTs 22 & 757 & anchored in Lingayen Gulf. 8 Feb 45 Unit sailed from Lingayen Gulf, P.I. 1600. 10 Feb 45 Arrived Mindoro, Philippine Islands 1900. Debarked 2000. 12 Feb 45 Unit relieved asgmt Sixth Army & atchmt to ASCOM and asgd to Eight Army and attached to X Corps 10 Feb 45. 20 Feb 45 Camp area constructed. Organizational property & equipment being checked & repaired. 22 Feb 45 Unit atchd to 24th Inf Div 11 Feb 45. 23 Feb 45 Reld atchmt Tenth Corps & further atchmt 24th Inf Div & atchd to 41st Inf Div 22 Feb 45. 13 Mar 45 Reld atchmt 41st Inf Div & atchd to 24th Inf Div 7 Mar 45.
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295 JASCO HOMEPAGE