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January 5, 2018

Action Report of the PT 82 and PT 226 in the Batangas-Balayan Area, Feb 1945

Transcription of an action report on activity in the Batangas-Balayan area from PT1 82 of the United States Navy. This is a declassified document2 taken from the United States National Archives.

[p. 1]

MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON THIRTEEN
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.

13 March 1945
From:
To:

Via:




Subject:
Commanding Officer, USS PT 82.
Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET.

Commander, MTB Squadron THIRTEEN.
Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4.
Commander, MTB Squadron, SEVENTH FLEET.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.

Action Report – PT 82, February, 1945.
1. On 28 February 1945, PT’s 74, 82, 225, and 226 were underway for an air-sea strike with four P-47’s3, in the BATANGAS-BALAYAN area, south of Luzon, Lieut. (jg) ROTH, Officer-in-Tactical-Command of PT’s 82 and 226, aboard PT 82; Lieut. (jg) POWERS, Officer-in-Tactical-Command of PT’s 74 and 225, aboard PT 225. Mission was to destroy any enemy boats and installations found in the BATANGAS-BALAYAN area. Lieut. (jg) POWERS’ section swept the BALAYAN area. Lieut. (jg) ROTH’s section swept the BATANGAS Peninsula. PT’s 82 and 226 found a suicide boat hideout on MATOCO Point, on the southern end of BATANGAS. Several strafing runs were made, and 12 boats were observed to have caught fire (among them were numbers 113, 114, and 207); ten of them were seen to have exploded after their depth charges detonated due to the fire. No return fire was received.

2. At 1450, PT’s 82 and 226 with 2 P-47’s flying cover, discovered a suicide boat hideout on Matoco Point on the southwestern tip of Batangas Peninsula. Strafing runs were commenced with the boats in column, idling at nine knots, and running parallel to the beach about 200 yards off on a northerly and then a southerly course. The boats were in revetments4 against the side of the hill. The openings were camouflaged in some revetments and not in others. Strafing runs were made until 1600, during which time 12 boats were set afire. Ten of them were seen to explode as the depth charges detonated. No return fire was received and no signs of enemy activity was observed.

3. 1080 rounds of 20mm; 250 rounds of 40mm; and 2000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition were expended. The 20mm guns and the 40mm guns were very effective and percentage of hits was very high. Enemy fire was nil.

4. No damage was suffered by either of the PT’s. Twelve suicide boats were destroyed by fire from the gasoline they were carrying. At least ten of them were carrying depth charges, which exploded.

5. It is the Commanding Officer’s opinion that there were a few more suicide boats in the area, but it was impossible to destroy them due to the angle at which the revetments were constructed.

HARRISON L. BENNETT

[p. 2]

1st endorsement on
Lieut. (jg) BENNET’s Ltr.
dated 13 March 1945.
C O N F I D E N T I A L MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON THIRTEEN
       c/o Fleet Post Office
       San Francisco, Calif.
       14 March 1945.
From:
To:

Via:



Subject:
Commander, MTB Squadron THIRTEEN
Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET.

Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4
Commander, MTB Squadron, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.

Action report, USS PT 82, 28 February 1945.
               1. Forwarded.

A.W. FARGO, JR.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2nd Endorsement

TASK UNIT 70.1.4
PT Advanced Base
Mindoro Island, P.I.
From:
To:
Via:
Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4
Commander, MTD Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.
               1. Forwarded.

               2. Damage to the enemy in this action is assessed at 12 suicide boats destroyed by explosions.

A.W. FARGO, JR.

[p. 3]

MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON SEVENTEEN
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.

CONFIDENTIAL
PC8-17A/A16-3/rf
Serial 0103

6 March 1945
From:
To:

Via:

Subject:
(1) The Commander, Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron SEVENTEEN.
(2) The Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4.
(3) The Commander, Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
(4) The Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.

Action Report, PT 226, 28 February 1945.
1. On the afternoon of 28 February, PT’s 226 and 82 with Lieut. (jg) Robert ROTH, USNR, aboard PT 82 as officer-in-tactical-command, took part in a joint air-sea strike on the Batangas area of Southern Luzon with two P-47’s. In the action, a Japanese suicide boat hideout near Matoco Point, Batangas Bay, was strafed, and 12 suicide boats were destroyed. Our forces were undamaged.

2. At approximately 1440, boats and planes rendezvoused south of the target area, and the boats closed the southeastern shore of Batangas Bay. At approximately 1500, a series of Japanese suicide boat shelters set back under the underbrush not far from the edge of the water were located, and firing began. Boats made a starboard run northward at eight knots firing on the shelters as they came close to them. Sterns of the boats, some of them with numbers painted thereon, could be seen inside the shelters, and on most of the boats, depth charges were observed. As each shelter was set afire, fuel in the boats burned with a black smoke and shortly thereafter, there was an explosion as depth charges detonated. In the run to the north and again in a run on an opposite course, numerous boat shelters were strafed and set afire, but explosions were observed only in 13. Explosions in those were all similar, usually coming several minutes after the shelters were burning fiercely. Range was from 100 to 150 yards. Boats continued to strafe the hideouts as far north as the edge of Tabungao town5 before making their second and port run. There was no fire from the enemy craft or from the shore. Firing

[p. 4]

MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON SEVENTEEN

Subject: Action Report, PT 226, 28 February 1945.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ceased at 1600.

3. PT 226 expended 300 rounds of 40MM ammunition; 700 rounds of 20MM; 200 rounds of 37MM; and 2,000 rounds of 50 caliber. Fire from the heavier caliber guns was most effective, and boats were set on fire almost immediately.

4. Our boats sustained no damage or casualties. The enemy is believed to have 12 and possibly 13 suicide boats destroyed. In 12 of the shelters where the explosions took place, officers and men could see the outlines of the boats or, in at least seven instances, their sterns protruding into the open. The thirteenth explosion was exactly like that of the others, but no boat was seen.

5. It is the opinion of this officer that these boats were so well camouflaged that they could not have been discovered at night. It would appear, therefore, that the daylight attack, especially with air cover, is the best method of seeking out and destroying this newest enemy weapon.

Edd Terrill, Jr.
Lt(jg), USNR

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


FIRST ENDORSEMENT

M.T.B. SQUADRON #17
7 March 1945
From:
To:
 The Commanding Officer.
The Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4.
               1. Forwarded.

R.R. HARRISON

[p. 5]

UNITED STATES FLEET
MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON
SEVENTH FLEET

SECOND ENDORSEMENT

10 March 1945
CTU70.1.4/A-16-3
Serial 051
(bwd)

CONFIDENTIAL
From:
To:

Via:


Subject:
The Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4.
The Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET.

(1) The Commander, MTB Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
(2) The Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.

Action Report, PT 226, 28 February 1945.
               1. Forwarded.

               2. Damages to the enemy is assessed as twelve suicide boats destroyed.


A. W. FARGO, JR.

cc: ComMTBRon 17

[p. 6]

UNITED STATES FLEET
COMMANDER, MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON
SEVENTH FLEET

CTG70.1(06)/A16-3(elk)
Serial: (0621)

CONFIDENTIAL

THIRD ENDORSEMENT to
CO, PTs 82/226 conf ltrs
dated 13 March 1945, and
FC8-17/A16-3, ser. 0103,
dated 6 March 1945.
From:
To:
Via:

Subject:
The Commander, Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons, SEVENTH FLEET
The Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES Fleet.
The Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.

Action Reports, PTs 82 226, Night of 28 February/1 March 1945.
               1. Forwarded, concurring in the second endorsement.

S. S. BOWLING.

Copy to:
CominCh (Advance Copy).
CTU 70.1.4.
ComMTBRon 13.
ComMTBRon 17.

[p. 7]

UNITED STATES SEVENTH FLEET
COMMANDER SEVENTH FLEET

A16-3(F-3-4/jk)

Serial: 0141

CONFIDENTIAL

FOURTH ENDORSEMENT on
CO, PTs 82/226 Conf. Ltr’s
dated 13 March 1945, and
FC8-17A/A16-3, ser 0103,
dated 6 March 1945.
From:
To:

Subject:
Commander Seventh Fleet.
Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.

Action Reports, PTs 82 and 226, Night of 28 February 1945.
               1. Forwarded.

               2. This command concurs in the opinion expressed by the Commanding Officer of PT 226 that these boats could not have been discovered by night patrol. It is probable that they would have succeeded in attacking PT boats approaching that area after dark.

               3. This type of combined air-sea strike appears to have excellent possibilities under present conditions.

[Sgd.] R. H. CRUZEN
By direction.

Copy to:
ComMTBRon7thFlt
CTU 70.1.4
ComMTBRon 17
CO USS PT 82
CO USS PT 226

To view the original document, please refer to Item 2 below under Notes and References.



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Notes and references:
1 “PT” stands for PT boat, small and fast patrol boats used by the US Navy in World War II. Wikipedia.
2 PT-82 & PT-226 - Rep of act off the Southwest coast of Luzon Is, Philippines on 2/28/45,” online at the United States National Archives.
3 The P-47 or the “Republic P-47 Thunderbolt” was World War II fighter aircraft of the United States. Wikipedia.
4 A reventment is a barricade of earth or sandbags to protect against a blast. Oxford Dictionary.
5 Likely the barrio of Tabangao in what is now the City of Batangas.


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