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17 - 23 DECEMBER 1944



17 December 1944



#28 0730 hr

 F Company requests rations for 114. Their left flank ties in with 1st Bn near San Agustine Beach, and parallels the river line.

1000 hr

D, E, and F Companies were withdrawing across Bugsanga, and will go into a defense line on south flank. The 866thEngr’s will provide 2 half tracks with .50’s to compliment the extremely long MLR. Bn C.P. will remain in the same position.

1200 hr

 Bn has an O.P established on high ground across the river, and a direct line links it with Battalion C.P.

1300 hr

 The Battalion has been eating K rations since D-day, and will receive 1 day of C rations this afternoon.

At request of Company Commanding Officers, B rations will be issued beginning tomorrow. Companies do not have stoves and battalion kitchen comes in U+14, but men would rather cook the rations themselves, than continue on K or C rations. flour, coffee, sugar, and milk have been issued.”This milk is dehydrated, commonly called powdered milk.

1500 hr

“Our Battalion truck that had been mobile loaded on an LCM finally arrived. It has been stranded on White Beach since U-day because of poor roads. A squad tent will be erected for Bn C.P.

#30 1600 hr

 Task Force Chief of Staff will inspect 2nd Bn defense this afternoon. Lt. General Krueger, our 6th Army C.G. is expected tomorrow.

The air strip is completed, but no planes have landed. Lt. Gen. Krueger will be one of the first to arrive by air.

1630 hr

 A terrific dog fight, involving about 25 planes, is progressing in and out of a cloud bank at 6000 feet. We have P-38’s up there, and for the first time the Japs have sent fighters over in appreciable numbers. Mail may now be sent out.

#29 1700 hr

Colonel Britten made a check of BN’s complete river defense line, and it is satisfactory. Companies moved into it today, and the next few days will be utilized digging emplacements, clearing fields of fire and camouflaging. The 81mm section will set up near BN C.P., and a LMG platoon is attached to “D”and “E”Companies.


Co moved back to former positions and set up their perimeter. This perimeter was located on the Bugsanga River.” 

 The Second Battalion has the perimeter position along the BUGSANGA RIVER which is next to the airstrip under construction.”





18 December 1944



0800 hr

 A few air raids were sustained during the night- no damage inflicted.

0838 hr

 The Chief of Staff after yesterday’s inspection is moving “F Company’s left flank to give 1st Bn more assistance in covering the beach. Double apron barbed wire will be erected along beach, covered by 37’s, .50’s and riflemen.

1700 hr

 The day has eben occupied improving company positions along river defense line. The left flank of “F”Company is being moved to the south a bit, and right flank will remain secure. Areas of responsibility and fields of fire of weapons will be seen on S-3 situation map.

2200 hr

 Attacking Jap plane dropped illuminating flares across our Task Force area, but only a few bombs were dropped.

 “Sent out several local patrols but no enemy contacts were made.”

Moved down the river a short distance and dug in. Jap planes are now attacking night and day in a desperate attempt to knock out this beach head. They have realized the strategic advantage we have with air p[power based here. We are spectators to a gigantic, continuing air show.




19 December 1944



0730 hr

Per RCT order, personnel will wear full uniform at all times, with sleeves rolled down, and helmets and weapons immediately available. Mindoro is a highly malarial area, with cereberal malaria present.


 S-3 periodic report closes at 1600 daily, and will be at regiment by 1700 hr.


 Bn O.P. across river reports small groups of fires up in mountains pointing toward our new bomber strip. A Jap plane dropped 2 bombs in vicinity of fires.

0900 hr

 The engineer platoon attached to 2nd Bn will work on barbed wire apron during the day along the beach in front of 1st Bn area, and assume positions in 2nd Bn defense at night.

#33 0945 hr 2nd platoon of “C”prcht engrs. is relieved from 2nd Bn and will return to company area at (81.8-03.2).

#34 1000 hr

“D”Company has been notified that engineer platoon will not be attached to it.

#35 1425 hr

 Bn dispensary requested all E.M.T. tags to be turned in to Bn.

1500 hr

 The Bn perimeter is now emplaced strongly along the Bugsanga River, with “F”Company occupying newly designated positions; its left flank at (81.7-0.7) and right flank at (82.3-04.6) progresso map 1/50,000.


Overlay of fire lanes, MLR and areas of responsibility is being maintained bt Lt. Browne, S-3.

1600 hr

 Bn C.P. is now in the new type squad tent, but because of lack of camouflage material, it must be moved. A neighboring Filipino has offered the use of his home, and we will avail ourselves of it to set up a new Bn C.P. The natives are very friendly and do all within their limited means to help the Americans. Our Bn Staff were the guests of a platation overseer last night whose hacienda is beside our C.P., and delicious roast chicken was nejoyed by all. The young Filipinos had all attended the University of Manila, and speak English well, although its use has been limited during the past 3 years of Jap occupation.

1800 hr

 Jap planes come over 3 and 4 times a day, and afford plenty of excitement. At night, single plane nuisance raids and small bomber formations harass our area.

1900 hr

 In the future, all anti-aircraft weapons will wait until a signal from a central control station before any planes are fired on.  We are expecting friendly fighters and C-47’s to land on one of our new strips, tomorrow, mistakes in identification must be avoided. Some .50 cal sections fired on 2 Navy Corsairs yesterday, and peppered the wings.

Company moved back toward beach and put up perimeter near San Augustus. No enemy contacted.”

We moved to a new defensive position. Our company defensive sector is from the river on the north extending south across the railroad and road. It is about 300 yards west of the airfield. We face the beach which is about three miles to the west. The railroad runs parallel to the road from San Augustine to San Jose. They are about twenty to thirty yards apart. The dirt road is rapidly becoming a good two lane, graveled highway.

 We went to work here constructing a fortified line. 1st platoon covered the road and railroad and part of the distance west of the airfield. We were supplied with a 37mm canister firing field piece (a big shot gun), three .50 calibre machine guns, and three .30 calibre machine guns, water cooled. We had to crew these weapons. These weapons were all bunkered in. The bunkers were constructed of railroad cross ties covered with dirt. All the rifle squads were well dug in. Part of the mortar platoon was with us. I believe the two conventional mortar squads. I remembered S/Sgt. George Mikel, Burl martin, Richard Peterson, Virgil Short, and George Montoya. We also had the support of battalion’s 81mm mortars. They had designated targets in the low areas to our front. The Third Construction, Australia, loaned us a D-4 Caterpillar tractor with driver. This was used to greatly strengthen the 1st platoon’s position. The dozer cut fire lanes for our automatic weapons, filled in and leveled depressions in the fire lanes, covered bunkers with several feet of dirt, and spent several days working to make the defenses covering the road and railroad as impregnable as possible. We built a heavy barbed wire barrier to drag across the road and close it. Our engineer built double apron barbed wire barricades on the inside of our fire lanes. I felt we had a formidable defensive position. The work was continually inspected from both our senior officers and task force staff members. They were satisfied.

 The big air show continued night and day. The night raids were increasing in intensity. Our greatest danger was from the shrapnel raining down from the hundreds of 90mm burst several thousand feet up in the air. The anti-aircraft people are getting better. The search lights are picking the raiders up faster, and the 90’s are getting hits. We watch the searchlights playing on the clouds and know that they are tracking a plane, because at the first break in the clouds when the Jap plane emerges the lights are there waiting. 




20 December 1944



0730 hr

 We are now utilizing 2 kitchen stoves which were brought in on U-Day by Serv Company trucks, to feed the Hq Company group. D,E, and F Companies are doing their own cooking individually and by squads.- and thriving.

1000 hr

 A squadron of C-47’s landed on one of our strips today, the first aircraft to alight. A squadron of P-38’s is coming in today to be based here, and more expected in the near future.

1200 hr

 Units of the 2nd Bn are still improving and camouflaging their positions along the Bugsanga.

The main threat for our task force area is a sea invasion, and a secondary plan of defense, to swing part of the 2nd Bn off the river bank, and in behind the 1st Bn on the beach. This plan will be detailed in Bn S-3 report and journal; password for 20 0800I to 21 0800I is apple pineapple.

#38 1312 hr

 Per Regimental order, all personnel returned from hospital will be considered as replacements; make remark to that effect on daily strength report.

#39 1400 hr

Between 1500 and 1600 hr today a smoke bomb will be ignited to designate right flank of C company, and our automatic gun crews will observe it for safety angle. Any change required in disposition of guns to bring them within the safety angle will be reported to Battalion.

#40 1715 hr

 E Company reports no change in FPL necessary to clear C Company.

1800 hr

The Japs have been over in force since the C-47’s landed this A.M., and 8 Nips have been knocked down by our fighters today.

2230 hr

 Colonel Jones just phoned urgent information passed on from Task Force G-2; 3 large formations of planes, unidentified are heading in our direction. The entire Task Force is alerted for a heavy bombing attack or parachutist attack.

2300 hr

The unidentified plane formations are friendly, and the alert is off.

Company on perimeter, sent out on local patrols but thru no enemy were contacted.”




21 December 1944



0830 hr

At a Company CO’s meeting Colonel Britten disseminated information acquired at Bn CO’s meeting last night.

The new defense reserve line, extending parallel to the beach, to give defense in depth in case of a sea invasion will be worked on immediately. The battalion will still man the Bugsanga River defenses, but in case of a sea invasion, will swing around into the secondary line of defense. The positions and fire lanes will be prepared for immediate occupation in emergency.

Naval Intelligence report much Jap activity off the China Coast, 2 sailing days away. A large convoy of 30 transports, cruisers, and 2 battle wagons was sighted in the Indo-China sea. It is apprehension over these movements that are causing acceleration of additional defense plans.

The jap radio, in the past 2 days told exactly the type of force we had on this island, and stated one of their divisions could push us off anytime. Their very accurate G-2 of our strength and composition intimates more detailed knowledge of some of our closely guarded secrets. A Jap division, which runs as high as 30,000, could make things very interesting for our 15,000 troop Task Force, half of which are engineers and service troops.

There are 3 shopping days ‘till Christmas, and Tojo may give us a surprise package.

1600 hr

 The score for the air battle over San Jose, after our C-47’s came in yesterday was 13 Nips downed to5 of ours. All our pilots crash landed on strips or bailed out over the bay, and are OK. The Japs have paid a very heavy toll for their attacks on our Task Force area for the past 5 days since U-day.

#41 1010 hr

 Password till 0800 hr tomorrow 21 Dec is supply pilfer. Companies notified. (Has to be a mistake in the time of 1600 hr above in that the time is either wrong or misplaced.)

#42 1020 hr

Information submitted to battalion by one of our patrols states Filipinos observed a Jap Major and 8 enlisted men walking northwest at (85.0-16.5), armed with rifles and hand grenades. No contact was made by our patrol with Japs, who are likely a part of the San Jose garrison that evacuated during our initial bombardment.

1200 hr

The squadron of P-38’s based at our San Jose airstrip gave us cover from dawn to dusk, and make short sorties up the coast. Twenty of them just buzzed the field after a short mission and made five victory rolls, indicating good hunting.

1500 hr

 Lt. Gifford will take a “D”Company patrol tomorrow of 45 enlisted men into the hills at the Luminatao River and around hospital hill, where Nips have been reported. Lt Cote has a patrol out there now, and will return tomorrow. Lt. Gifford will be out 3 or 4 days.


1900 hr

 Harassing attacks are beginning. Our P-38’s land about 1845 hr daily, as darkness settles, and then 1 and 2 planes harassing begins. Ack-ack and searchlights have been ineffective, although very few bombs are dropped. A squadron of P-61’s, night fighters will be based here soon, and we are all anticipating their effect on the Japs. With its radar devices, a P-61 can shoot down a Jap with the ease of a day fighter.




22 December 1944



0730 hr

Colonel Jones visited our Bn C.P. in an inspection of 2nd Bn positions. New positions and defense lines are being considered in utilizing the 2nd Bn as a reserve line in the event of a landing on white or blue beach, by the enemy. (Although the new date is not given in the journal it is now 22 December).

0800 hr

All grass obscuring fire lanes along the Bugsanga River will be burned today, and a bulldozer will be utilized by “F”company to clear fire lanes in the very rough country. The 2nd Bn defense of the Bugsanga is dotted with .50 cal and .30 cal machine guns, but the area to be covered is too much for the limited amount of men. If we had some more riflemen to inter-space along the line to fill the gaps and give local protection to the automatic weapons, the line would be impregnable.

0900 hr

 Our U+7 convoy arrived today, and it received some rough handling from Nip suicide planes. 2 LST’s were sunk by crashing planes, and a liberty ship badly damaged. The hospital here has a large number of seriously burned Navy men from the damaged and sunk ships.

One BN of the 21st infantry combat team arrived on the U+7 convoy, but at present its mission is unknown.

1000 hr

 Two squadrons of P-38’s are now based on our #1 strip, and the next strip, #2 will be operational tomorrow, for fighters and light bombers.

#43 1110 hr

 2nd Battalion # 1 O.P., across the Bugsanga secured from the natives in the area the following list of San Jose Jap collaborators: Mayor Gomez, Ocillo Jumenez, and Guillero Isidra Trimdad, Saluacion Colomeda, Francisco Villanicena. The mayor claims that agreement with Jap policies was a necessity for survival, and no definite accusation have been pointed at him yet by the military government.

#44 1130 hr

Password until Dec 23- Lilly Yellow.

1300 hr

 We are having much difficult with our wire communications to the companies. The line to regiment is overhead on San Jose barrio telephone poles, but lines to companies are through the fields and all types of transport tear them up. Our company C.P.’s have moved so often, and present locations so indefinite, coupled with the great distances that overhead lines to companies have been physically impossible.

Our radio’s took a beating on U-day, and have been in bad shape since. The water at the end of Hq 2nd Bn LCI ramp was 6 feet, and all equipment was thoroughly soaked. The receivers and damages and many condensers grounded out.

#45 1600 hr

All lights will be turned out between 1900 hr and 0700 hr daily, by order of Brig. Gen. Dunckel.

Our O.P. 2 miles across the Bugsanga has often reported lights in the Task Force area after air alerts had been sounded, and this danger will be eliminated by total blackout regulations.

Each Battalion C.P., and regimental C.P. are equipped with one blackout tent for use during air raids, if situation necessitates.

#46 1755 hr

 Lt. Gifford with a “D”Company patrol that left for hospital hill today radioed his bivouac position for night as (75.8-15.3). No enemy activity reported.

1800 hr

Three P-61’s, our night fighters, are in the sky above San Jose, and should afford us protection against nocturnal harassing raids.

1900 hr

The first Nip plane of the night is overhead at about 10,000 feet being tracked by searchlight, but no ack-ack is being thrown up. We expect our night fighters to be on his tail soon, as he heads out to sea. Radar reports the “Bogie”five miles out.

1920 hr

 A steady, powerful motor is directly overhead, in contrast to the sputtering motors of Jap intruders, and we believe it is a P-61. An increasing whistle changed all opinions and we hit the fox holes as a bomb exploded out on the #2 strip about 500 yards west of Bn C.P.; the steady powerful motor had been a Nip in a power-dive. Searchlights have now picked him up heading inland, and ack-ack is bursting around him.

1930 hr

 Our O.P. across the Bugsanga reported three bombs dropped by Nip that dive bombed our area, and that he crashed in the foothills. The crash confirms a radar calculation to that effect. Our night fighters must have returned to Leyte, and our protection still depends on ack-ack.




23 December 1944



0730 hr

 Intermittent lone plane raids enlivened the past night, and the ack-ack batteries knocked down three, confirmed by radar and visually.

#47 0738 hr

 Battalion asked time bull dozers arrived at “F”Company. The dozers will be used by that company until all required fire lanes are cleared. Some heavy pit-pit grass must be leveled to tie fire of “F”Company in with 1st Bn.


 Bull dozer arrived at “F” Company 22 1530 I

#49 0900

 Password till 24 0800 I - slippery silk.


 Regiment requires all companies to build fire brakes about their ammunition dumps and have no grass within twenty five feet of ammunition.

#51 1235 hr

 “D”Company patrol under Lt. Gifford reports no enemy activity. Location at 1225 hour was (86.3-15.9).

17 81 mm mortar men have been attached to “F”Company from 2nd Bn Hq Company, to cover approaches to F Company position from across the Bugsang, by 81mm guns.

#52 1320 hr

 Church services are scheduled for Sunday 24 December, and Christmas, in town Church.

#53 1610 hr

  Regiment instructed that every light and heavy machine gun, 60 and 81mm mortars will prepare a range card showing sectors of fire, primary targets, gun positions, O.P., position, azimuth, stakes and concentration.

#54 1629 hr

 At each weapon there will be one complete unit of fire. .50 cal. machine guns will have 2000 rounds per gun. 200 yards in rear of guns, an additional 1000 rounds will be reserved for .50 cal’s and 1/2 unit of fire for other weapons.

1800 hr

 The first bombers landed on Mindoro at strip #2- eight B-25’s. Seven more will arrive tomorrow morning, and with P-47 dive bombers. They will blast a Jap convoy north of Mindoro. (#2 strip is San Jose Strip)

2000 hr

 The Nips must have news of the B-25’s arrival. Phosphorous bombs were dropped close to their revetment area, but no damage was inflicted. The #1 strip was strafed and bombed with slight damage.

Co on perimeter and no enemy activity.









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