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January 5, 2018

Action Report of COMTASKUNIT 78.2.6 on the Nasugbu Landing, Jan 1945

Transcription of an action report filed by COMTASKUNIT 78.2.6, a group of US Navy vessels composed of LCI(G)s1, on the Nasugbu Landing of 31 January 1945. This is a declassified document2 taken from the United States National Archives.

[p. 1]

FE25/A16-4
9 February 1945

CONFIDENTIAL
From:
To:

Via:



Subject:

 Ref:



Encl:
CTU 78.2.6 (Comdr. D. H. Day).
Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet.

(1) CTG 78.2 (Commander Amphibious Group EIGHT, SEVENTH Fleet).
(2) CTF 78 (Commander SEVENTH Amphibious Force).
(3) CTF 77 (Commander SEVENTH Fleet).

Action Report, MIKE Six Operation, NASUGBU, Southern Luzon, January 31 - February 2, 1945.

(a) CTF 78 Op Plan 2-45 (Top Secret).
(b) CTG 78.2 Op Plan 1-45 (Top Secret).
(c) AdCom7thPhib 2565 of 18 October 1944

(A) Grid Map - NASUGBU Area. (with original letter only)
(B) Action Report USS LCI(G) 73
(C) Action Report USS LCI(G) 34
(D) Action Report USS LCI(G) 74
(E) Action Report USS LCI(G) 331
(F) Action Report USS LCI(G) 558
(G) Action Report USS LCI(G) 442
(H) Action Report USS LCI(G) 561
(I) Action Report USS LCI(G) 407
(J) Action Report USS LCI(G) 751
(K) Action Report USS LCI(G) 580
(L) Action Report USS LCI(G) 359
(M) Action Report USS LCI(G) 362
(N) Action Report USS LCI(G) 431
(O) Action Report USS LCI(G) 755


CONTENTS

PART I – Action Report – CTU 78.2.6.
PART II – Comments on Enclosures (B) to (0) inclusive.

[p. 2]

PART I

Action Report CTU 78.2.6, MIKE Six Operation, Jan 31-Feb 2, 1945.

1. This unit, after rehearsal, left LEYTE area for NASUGBU, Southern Luzon, Jan. 27th, 1945 in company with other units of Task Group 78.2, Rear Admiral W. M. Fechteler, USN was group commander and in command of the operation. This unit originally consisted of 16 vessels, but two were detached enroute leaving the final composition as follows:

(a) LCI (G) 73(F)
LCI(G) 34, 74, 331
(b) LCI(G) 558, 442, 561, 407, 751, 580
(c) LCI(G) 359, 362, 431, 755

Group (a) were of the 7th Fleet type LCI(G)s, especially converted for rocket fire, most of them firing about 550 rockets in a single salvo, and 2 complete reloads, plus increased gun power. They were also fitted and trained for fighting fires afloat and ashore.

Group (b) were composed of the 3rd fleet type with smaller rocket capacity but heavier gun power.

Group (c) were special 7th Fleet conversions with no rockets, three 4.2 inch mortars, and increased gun power.

For clarity, the three types will be referred to as LCI(R)s3, LCI(G)s and LCI(M)s4, which is their designation in this area.

2. The mission of the force was to land the 11th Airborne Division, U.S.A., at NASUGBU, Southern Luzon.

3. The mission of the task unit was to deliver designated rocket and mortar barrages after the landing and to furnish close support thereafter.

4. Tasks Assigned were as follows – January 31st (D-Day):

(a) At H-60 (0715) two LCI(R)s each accompanied by an LCI(G) was to deliver rocket barrages on suspected gun positions on NASUGBU POINT and SAN DIEGO POINT. These two points marked the north and south horns of NASUGBU BAY where the landing was to take place.

(b) At H-60 (0715) the four LCI(M)s were to take stations in pairs 2500 yards from NASUGBU and SAN DIEGO POINTS and deliver slow mortar into the suspected gun positions after the rocket barrages. They were also available for call fire at other points. A reserve LCI(G) was stationed with each pair of LCI(M)s.

[p. 3]

(c) At H-15 (0800) four LCI(R)s flanked by two pairs of LCI(G)s were to be formed at the line of departure, 3000 yards off shore, ready to escort and guide the leading boat wave to the beach. Rocket fire was to commence when within range (1220 yards) and continue in ripple salvoes to a depth of 500 yards. Heaviest concentration was on the 600 yard landing beach itself where 1200 of the 2300 total were to be placed. Rocket barrages were to be completed at H-03 (0812), at which time vessels were to move clear of the boat lane and strafe flanks with automatic weapons.

(d) At H-30 (0845) one gunboat was to deliver a heavy strafing fire into DAGATAN village just south of the beachhead, if signaled by our troops. This signal was not given, as the village was not defended.

(e) At about H-30 (0845) one gunboat was to take station near mouth of the WAWA RIVER just south of NASUGBU POINT, to destroy any enemy small craft that might sortie against our shipping and furnish other close support.

(f) At H-3 (1115), plans were made for a plausible subsidiary landing north of NASUGBU POINT under direction of CTU 78.2.6. This subsidiary was cancelled.

The following is a brief summary of the operations of this task unit during the period in action.

January 31
0615

0715

0730

0745

 0807


0811-0814

0817

0915
Deployed on signal and proceeded to prearranged stations.

LCI 73, 34, 558, 751, fired rocket barrages on NASUGBU and SAN DIEGO POINTS as assigned.

Mortar ships commenced scheduled fire.

All ships in position for beach assault.

First wave of boats left line of departure. Rocket ships passed through moderate enemy mortar barrage without casualty.

Rocket barrage on beach.

 First wave of boats hit beach.

 CTU 78.2.4 at beachhead reported enemy mortar and machine gun fire on his ships from WAWA VILLAGE. Upon direction from group commander, LCI 558 and 442 were sent to silence this fire, which was effectively accomplished by 0944.


[p. 4]

PART I (Cont’d)
1000


1040

1048-1130

1120


1135



1700


1730
Mortar ships near NASUGBU POINT were directed to cease fire preparatory to subsidiary landing. Fire was not resumed as no enemy targets were discovered.

Mortar ships at SAN DIEGO POINT were directed to cease fire.

Air bombardment and strafingby A-20s, P-47s and B-24s.

Machine gun nest believed located on NASUGBU POINT. With permission of group commander, location was heavily strafed and silenced by LCI 558 and 73.

By direction of CTG 78.2, CTU 78.2.6 with LCIs 73, 558, 442 investigated beaches two miles north of NASUGBU POINT where suspicious activity was seen on beach. Friendly natives only were found and craft returned to beach area at 1300.

LCI 558 again under fire from snipers on NASUGBU POINT. With permission of group commander this area was heavily strafed for ten minutes.

CTG 78.2 directed support craft to form a close screen around the beachead to protect LSTs5 on beach. The 14 craft were anchored 500 yards apart in an arc extending from SAN DIEGO to NASUGBU POINTS for the night.

From 2130 throughout the night the outer screen of DDs and DEs had several engagements with small enemy suicide craft, but none approached the inner screen.
FEBRUARY 1
1145







 1600
By direction of group commander, CTU 78.2.6 with LCIs 73, 558 and 442 with DDs6 CLAXTON and RUSSELL began a thorough search of TALIN and MATABUNCAY BAYS to locate and destroy suicide craft. Destroyers laid off shore while LCIs searched all possible hideouts in the area, edging in around shoals and reefs wherever possible. Natives were interviewed when located. Two beached motorboats were destroyed by gunfire and three unoccupied outrigger canoes also shot up because of their potential menace as suicide craft. The few possible hideouts in these bays were strafed as a precaution. At 1405 returned to beach area.

Sent LCIs 74, 331 and 442 to assist beached LSTs to retract. Other support craft anchored on inner screen stations.

Beginning about 2200 out screen again fired on suspicious craft. Inner screen was not engaged.
[p. 5]

PART I (Cont’d)

FEBRUARY 2


At 0230, formed cruising disposition for return to MINDORO with LCI 359, which had a shaft casualty, under tow of tug.
6. There were no casualties to personnel or material. No enemy aircraft were encountered.

7. Gunfire and rocket barrage were accurate and effective. All units were capably and aggressively handled. Two recommendations for award are being made separately.

8. Several dangerously erratic shots occurred during the barrage fire from LCIs 73 and 34. These vessels were fitted out in 1943 with Mark I projectors which are now unreliable from long use. Force material officer is arranging for the replacement of these projectors on these two vessels and LCI 31 with new Mark III type. Until replaced, it is recommended that these three ships take part in no operations unless they cannot be spared.

9. The following countermeasures against small suicide craft were employed. Although they were not tried out in action, it is believed that they would have proved successful.

(a) LCIs were anchored in line at short stay, 500 yards apart. It is not believed possible to be sure if seeing a small low craft at distance exceeding 250 yards. Surface radar cannot be relied on especially in a crowded anchorage.

(b) Crews were at condition II, ready to go to general quarters at first contact. All binoculars were in use and small arms were issued out and ready.

(c) Signal searchlights had color screens removed and were manned. Destroyers had reported that craft were extremely hard to see and gunners were frequently blinded by their own tracers. Instructions were therefore issued for ships making contact to immediately illuminate target and keep searchlight trained on as a guide to gunners and other vessels. It is reported that the small suicide craft have little if any return fire, so use of the searchlight does not have its usual danger.

(d) Heavy emphasis is laid on alertness. Vessels were reminded of the usual tactics of suicide craft, to approach from several directions at once, and all hands were warned against the tendency of ships not engaged, to watch the shooting of other ships and forget their own immediate area.

[Sgd.] D. H. KAY [or Hay]

Advance copy PART I co CominCh (without enclosure)

[p. 6]

PART II

Comments on Action Reports – Individual Vessels of TU 78.2.6

1. Enclosures (B) to (0) are forwarded with appropriate comments to supplement remarks in PART I of this report. As all vessels were capably and courageously handled, no ships are being singled out for special praise. Two officers have been commended for decoration.

(a) Enclosure (B) – no comment.
(b) Enclosure (C) – casualties to rocket launchers of this vessel are discussed in paragraph 8 of PART I.
(c) Enclosure (D) – no comment.
(d) Enclosure (E) – paragraph 5 is of interest.
(e) Enclosure (F) – an interesting report.
(f) Enclosure (G) – no comment.
(g) Enclosure (H) – an interesting report.
(h) Enclosure (I) – no comment.
(i) Enclosure (J) – part VI states a situation that is altogether too prevalent in this area. There is inadequate attention paid to the overall situation as to watering and provisioning small vessels in the forward area. Commanding officers and unit commanders devote much of their time and energy up to the minute of leaving on an operation, in struggling to obtain essential requirements.
(j) Enclosure (K) – paragraph 7 reports extensive rocket misfires. It is believed that these are largely due to faulty inspection of rockets before loading or inadequate testing of electrical circuits, and this situation is within capacity of ship’s force to clear up. The Mark VII projector has certain disadvantages in comparison with the Mark VIII. One in particular is that a single bad connection or carelessly loaded rocket may mean twelve misfires, against one in the Mark VIII. Rocket-equipped vessels must bear in mind the peculiarities of their particular type of projector.
(k) Enclosure (L) – the desirability of radar on support craft is self-evident.
(l) Enclosure (M) – same as (k).
(m) Enclosure (N) – same as (k).
(n) Enclosure (O) – no comment.

[Sgd.] D. H. KAY [or Hay]

[p. 7]

Assault Map for Operation Mike-6

Map enclosure to this report.
Map enclosure to this report.
[Pages 8-10 were no longer transcribed as these were mere forwarding letters of little substance nor interest.]

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

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Notes and references:
1 LDI(G) stands for “Landing Craft Infantry, (Gunboat)” Wikipedia.
2COMTASK-UNIT 78.2.6 - Rep of ops in the amphibious assault landing at Nasugbu, Luzon Is, Philippines, 1/31/45 - 2/2/45,” online at the United States National Archives.
3 LCI(R) stands for “Landing Craft Infantry (Rocket),” Wikipedia.
4 LCI(M) stands for “Landing Craft Infantry (Medium),” Wikipedia.
5 LST stands for “Landing Ship, Tank,” Wikipedia.
6 DD stands for Destroyer. “Glossary of U.S. Naval Abbreviations – D,” online at Ibiblio.org.

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