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By Charles S. Kaune, MAJ, USA.

Chapter 5: Saipan

The preponderance of the force that reduced Makin embarked for Hawaii on the 24th of November 1943. The 3rd Battalion, augmented with engineers, tanks, artillery, signalmen, medics, and surgical teams, was left to clear the last remnants of Japanese resistance. This mission was to consume LTC Hart's men a little over a month.1 The 1st and 2nd Battalions, 165th Infantry, and the remainder of the GALVANIC force returned to Oahu where they dressed their wounds, replaced lost equipment, and reorganized to meet the next mission.

The 106th Regimental Combat Team had been alerted before GALVANIC that they would participate in the invasion of the Marshalls. Colonel Russell Ayers trained his soldiers vigorously from August until 16 December when they embarked on a five-day training cruise to Maui. Upon returning from that cruise the Regiment learned that the mission had changed slightly. The 2nd Battalion, 106th Infantry would land and seize the island of Majuro while the remainder of the RCT would continue to be the floating reserve for the invasion force on Kwajalein.2

LTC Frederic Sheldon, commander of the the 2nd Battalion, 106th Infantry, would form a battalion landing team and serve as the landing and garrison force for Majuro. The 33 year old Sheldon was a rising star in the division. He completed both the Infantry School's Battalion Commanders and Staff Officer's Course and the Command and General Staff Officer's Course in 1941. Sheldon received his early military training at The Manlius School in upstate New York and in the National Guard which he joined in 1933. A Captain upon Federal recognition in October 1940 he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel by 21 March 1942.

The 2nd Battalion trained separately from the rest of the regiment during the period between their return from the training cruise (21 December) until they embarked for Majuro (21 January). They landed against no opposition on 31 January and remained as a garrison force until 5 March when they reembarked for Oahu. They encountered no enemy and, therefore, sustained no casualties.3

The 1st and 3rd Battalions, 106th Infantry, mailed for Kwajalein on the 21st of January as the reserve force, Colonel Russell Ayers, an Organized Reserve Corps officer, was the RCT commander undergoing his first combat action.

The 1st Battalion was commanded by 45 year old LTC Winslow Cornett, a veteran of the First World War and silver star holder. The 3rd Battalion was commanded by LTC Harold I. Mizony. Both had served in the New York National Guard since the early 1920s.

The RCT was not needed at Kwajalein, and was therefore, diverted to Eniwetok on 13 February. The two battalion landing teams assaulted the beach on 19 February and found stiff opposition.4 During the three days of intense fighting the RCT was indoctrinated in the hazards of Jungle warfare. In one Japanese counterattack consisting of heavy small arms and mortar fire, the inexperienced men of Company D turned and ran.   One Lieutenant, Artie Klein, was reported by Captain Edmund G. Love, historian of the 27th Division, to Have halted their flight by brandishing his carbine, and yelling, "I'll shoot the first son of a bitch that takes another step backward. You bastards are supposed to be All-American soldiers. Now let's see you show some guts!"5

By the 24th of February all effective resistance had been eliminated. The 106th Infantry served as the garrison force on Eniwetok until replaced by the 111th Infantry in late March. Colonel Ayers and his soldiers arrived back at Oahu on the 13th of April 1944.6

The small actions which elements of the division were involved with served to inoculate them against the "horrors of war". The division headquarters, the 105th Field Artillery Battalion, the 102nd Medical Battalion, the 102nd Engineer Battalion, the 152nd Engineer Battalion, the 165th Infantry, and 3rd Battalion, 105th Infantry were all blooded on Makin. They now had a better understanding of the type of cooperation necessary to be successful in combat. The 106th Infantry and 104th Field Artillery Battalion received their baptism of fire on Eniwetok. The 1st and 2nd Battalions, 105th Infantry were the only maneuver units in the division to remain inviolate.

The preparation, movement, and execution of the various small actions (Makin, Majuro, Eniwetok) took their toll in the effective training time available to the division. The entire division was together on Oahu for only two months' prior to shipping out on FORAGER (the invasion of the Marianas). There were a number of changes within the leadership of the division prior to FORAGER. The senior commanders and staff officers remained the same, i.e., the commanding general, the assistant division commander, the G1, G2, G4. The G3, however, changed from LTC Dayton L. Robinson, an enlisted veteran of World War I and a regular army officer, to Major Henry F. Ross, a long time member of the New York National Guard, to LTC Frederic Sheldon, most recently the commander of the 2nd Battalion, 106th Infantry. This transition actually began before Makin as LTC Robinson planned that action and handed it off to Ross to execute.

Henry Ross them was selected to attend the Army's Command and General Staff School in 1944 which opened the door for LTC Sheldon to enter as the division's principal planner for FORAGER. Sheldon would continue in that position for the duration of the battle for Saipan. Ross would become the Deputy G3 upon his graduation and ultimately replace LTC Joe Farley as executive officer of the 106th Infantry Regiment during the fight on Saipan.

The regimental commanders all remained the same as Colonel Kelley returned from the hospital following his wounding on Makin to resume command of the 165th Infantry. Within the 165th Infantry Regiment all battalion commanders remained the same. In the 1st Battalion two of the four company commanders changed to men with no combat experience. All of the 2nd Bn's commanders returned and in the 3rd battalion there was only one new commander. In the 105th Infantry all battalion and company commanders remained the same. In the 106th Infantry Regiment Sheldon was replaced by 33 year old Major Almerin C. O'Hara, a recent graduate of the Command and General Staff School. The other battalion commanders remained the same. In the 1st Bn two of the four company commanders changed and in the 3rd Bn one commander changed.7 All of the nine infantry battalion commanders were New York National Guardsmen and only Colonel Ayers among the regimental commanders was not.

As was already mentioned the division staff remained essentially the same except for the critical position of G3. LTC William Van Antwerp with Major Jacob Herzog assisting continued to run the G2 as they had at Makin. LTC Charles Ferris, with the Makin experience to fall back on, would remain as the G4, responsible for the intricate planning of the ship's load. Colonel Albert K. Stebbins would continue as the Chief of Staff and Brigadier Ogden J. Ross as the Assistant Division Commander.8

Even while the division was planning and participating in the operations in Makin, Majuro, and Eniwetok the Joint Chiefs of Staff were developing the next sequential step. In August 1943, at the Quebec Conference, it was decided that the Southern Marianas would be invaded. This decision was included in a Joint Chiefs of Staff directive released on 23 December 1943 which Admiral Nimitz used as a basis for his campaign plan. On 20 March Nimitz released a staff study outlining his goals for FORAGER which established the target date of 15 June 1944. CINCPAC and CINCPOA Operation Order 3-44 announced the basic plan for the operation and subsequent changes were published on 6 and 12 May. These orders directed the establishment of Task Force 56, Expeditionary Troops, under Major General Holland M, Smith. Command of the operation came under Rear Admiral R. Kelly Turner.9 There were six commanders and six different headquarters involved in developing plans or parts of plans for FORAGER: Admiral Nimitz, CINCPAC and CINCPOA (Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet and Commander-in-Chief Pacific Ocean Areas); Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance, Commander, Central Pacific Forces; Rear Admiral Kelly Turner, 5th Amphibious Force; MG H.M. Smith, V Amphibious Corps; LTG Robert C. Richardson, Central Pacific Ocean Areas; and MG Ralph C. Smith, commanding general 27th Division.10

A study conducted after the war at the Army's Command and General Staff School found a number of faults in the command structure established for FORAGER. One of the major flaws identified by the study was in the staff work performed by the headquarters of TF 56 and of V Amphibious Corps. Essentially, one staff was split to form two for FORAGER planning and execution, with no augmentation to help either with the immensity of the task at hand.11

The planning problems of the 27th Division were magnified many times over because they were designated as the corps reserve and, therefore, had to plan for 21 contingencies. The three major ones were: to support the Marine landings on Saipan; to support the Marine landings on Guam; to launch an assault themselves on Tinian. As there was no way to predict with surety the implementation of any of the plans, the staff had to prepare a tactical plan for each. The major problem was left with the G4 who had to load the boats not knowing which of the 21 plans would be utilized. Obviously, a loading plan which optimized the gradual debarkation of forces, materiel, and supplies on a secure beach would not adequately support an assault landing on a hot beach.12 Aside from the planning problems inherent with being the reserve for an amphibious operation the 27th also had to contend with the truculence of Marine Corps MG H.M. Smith. Smith said this of the divisions "After my experience with the 27th at Makin and Eniwetok, I was reluctant to use them again in the Marianas, but...they were the only troops available and I had to take them."13

Training for FORAGER was a division planned and executed function. Neither V Amphibious Corps nor TF 56 issued any training directives nor did they inspect or supervise. As the Army's Command and General Staff School's study-on recent operations determined after the war, this hands-off approach led to "petty tactical differences which combat later magnified into such strategically monumental-disagreements that ground operations were not only thereby hampered, but casualties were materially in creased."14

The division received warning that they would take part in the Marianas Operation and as such should prepare for a land mass battle instead of the atoll warfare which they had experienced at Makin and Eniwetok. Training was intense and concentrated on the following: weapons qualification for all personnel with their assigned weapon; familiarization with all weapons organic to their unit; swimming 50 yards with and without clothing and equipment; physical conditioning in the form of a one-mile run each day; one-hour per day of organized athletics; bayonet training and hand-to-hand combat. Scouting and patrolling emphasized email unit leadership training and operations at night. Six of the division's nine infantry battalions participated in the Waiahole exercises which integrated infantry, artillery, tank, engineer, and air corps operations to achieve the combined arms effect. Personal hygiene, field sanitation, and first aid were subjects taught and retaught to everyone. All soldiers participated in map reading exercises while the officers and NCOs took an advanced course along with aerial photograph interpretation.15 The companies and platoons received further instruction in the proper organization of a perimeter defense to include the plan of fire and security. Engineers received specialized training in the use of flamethrowers and demolitions and the. companies all participated with their habitually associated infantry regiment in tactical exercises.16 Advanced amphibious training was conducted 18 through 24 May utilizing the ships which would carry the division to the Marianas. The troops didn't embark in the landing craft or Alligators as there were limited amounts of this critical equipment and no replacements available should any be damaged.17

The division staff didn't have sufficient time to plan the many operations that were expected of them nor did they have adequate time to rehearse or practice their staff duties. The regimental and battalion staffs were better prepared by virtue of their having served together longer. However, the staff principals, the S2, S3, and S4 were seriously deficient in formal schooling for their functional area. There is no evidence that training was conducted to integrate the duties and responsibilities of the V Amphibious Corps, Task Force 56, the two Marine Divisions, and the 27th Division.

Saipan itself was a volcanic and coral limestone island with elevations extending from sea level to several hundred feet. The hills and ridges were honeycombed with caves and tunnels, some natural but many more man made. They varied in size from one-man size to several hundred yards in length and most had some type of natural concealment at the entrance.18 The officers and NCOs of the division were issued completely inaccurate maps which hopelessly misrepresented the terrain over which they would be fighting. None of the topographic maps were of sufficient quality to use for fire control. It was only after a Japanese map was captured early in the fighting, hastily overprinted, reproduced, and issued that the soldiers had a reliable fire control instrument.19

The Japanese made maximum use of the terrain in establishing their defense of the island. As LTG H.M. Smith noted in his first hand account, Coral and Brass, the enemy occupied every piece of terrain which afforded them a tactical advantage. They emplaced artillery and mortars in the caves along the cliffs of the dominating hills and dug in their infantry precisely where American marines and soldiers would have to proceed. Smith explained that the tactics on Saipan were like no other and were not the evolutionary development of previous amphibious assaults such as Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and the Marshalls. Saipan would have to be a "savage battle of annihilation."20 The size of the enemy force on Saipan was put at 29,662 and was, according to Smith, the largest garrison on any island in the Marianas. He also stated that the Japanese soldiers were extremely confident and gained great spiritual strength from the belief that their navy could reinforce and resupply them at will.21

The movement of the division from Oahu to Saipan was a debilitating experience. The transports were extremely crowded permitting no opportunity for physical training. The duration of the transit, 15 to 24 days, resulted in a noticeable deterioration in the condition of the soldiers. The shortage of space also limited the extent to which battalion and company officers could prepare for the assault. The division's planners did not have adequate time in Hawaii to coordinate the many different variations of the assault and, therefore, were reduced to closing the loop on board ship. The commanders attempted to brief their soldiers on the important considerations of the operation but, again, lack of space and too many different plans meant that the troops got only a cursory glance.22

The actual move began on 25 Nay 1944. On the 11th of June, while the Task Force was still steaming west, Admiral Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58 launched an air attack on the Marianas. The carrier based attack force destroyed 190 Japanese planes on the ground and in the air. The U.S. never ceded air superiority again for the duration of the campaign. On the 12th and 13th the planes of TF 58 again attacked the Marianas to ensure that the Japanese had no capability to counter the invasion. The surface bombardment of Saipan by naval aircraft of TF 58 commenced on the 13th while bombardment of the landing beaches and inland defensive positions by surface vessels commenced on 14 June. Underwater demolition teams landed to clear the beaches of deadly obstacles on the 14th as well. At 0815 hours of the 19th the assault waves of the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions crossed their line of departure en route to beaches on the southwest coast of Saipan. Enemy resistance to the landing consisted primarily of mortar and artillery fire resulting in 3,500 reported casualties.23 The 27th Division remained aboard their transports as no decision had yet been made as to where they would be employed.

The 27th's actions on Saipan can be divided into four distinct phases. The first was their landing and subsequent operations to capture Aslito Airfield and clear Nafutan Point. The second phase was the attack into Death Valley and the clearing of the enemy from Purple Heart Ridge. The third phase warn the attack into Paradise Valley and the action on the Tanapag Plain. The fourth and last phase was the mopping up operation that took place after the organized resistance on Saipan had been declared ended.

The situation on Saipan was such that H.M. Smith ordered the 27th to land all but the 106th RCT which would remain in floating reserve. LTG Smith, later, stated that he "impressed upon him (MG Smith) the need for strong, offensive action on. Saipan. The Japanese were on the run, I told him, and in order to lick them we had to keep them moving."24 The 165th RCT landed on the evening of the 16th over the same beaches used by the 4th Marine Division to whom they were immediately attached. The following morning the 105th Field Artillery Battalion landed and was assigned a direct support role to the 165th. Also on the 17th the remainder of the DIVARTY (106th Field Artillery and 249th Field Artillery) except for the 104th Field Artillery, landed and went into general support.

The 165th, on the 17th, advanced 1,200 yards inland allowing more of the 27th to land. MB Ralph Smith landed and assumed command of the division. The 105th Infantry Regiment landed without it's headquarters, service troops, and cannon company. The regimental headquarters would not be able to land until the 27th of June. Due to this mixup the 1st battalion was attached to the 165th, the 2nd battalion became NTLF reserve, and the 3rd battalion became division reserve. The 106th remained aboard as the reserve force for the Southern Troops and Landing Force (STLF) then preparing to assault Guam.25

The 27th Division began to fight as a division on 18 June with the 165th and 105th Infantry Regiments attacking east to capture Aslito Airfield and to clear Nafutan Point. The airfield was captured late in the morning but the Nafutan Point would remain a thorn in their side until 2 July.

For four days the division probed, massed artillery fires, and maneuvered infantry and tank forces against the tenacious enemy. The fighting was characterized by intense small arms and mortar fire which the Japanese were able to concentrate at will. Occupying fortified caves among the steep hills of southern Saipan, the enemy was all but impervious to the traditional tactics employed by the army. But, as they had learned on Makin, the coordinated efforts of tanks to suppress while infantry and engineers maneuvered to the flanks and rear proved effective. The two regiments were making slow but regular progress against the Japanese.26

In conjunction with the ground battle occurring on Saipan, Spruance's fleet was engaging the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. This action, known colloquially as the Marianas Turkey Shoot, saw the destruction of 383 Japanese planes to only 25 Americans. This ended any further effort on the part of the Japanese navy to interfere with the invasion of the Marianas.27

The division staff, throughout this phase, was having difficulty issuing operations orders more than a few hours in advance. They would typically notify the units with a warning order the night prior to commencement, however, this still limited the amount of reconnaissance or other preparation that could be conducted. Detailing specific coordinating instructions to the various subordinate organizations was the principal value of the written operations order. This inability of the division staff to produce those written orders in a timely fashion severely detracted from the efficiency of the whole organization.28

The inability to land the whole of the 105th Infantry had a severe impact on their capability to accomplish their mission. Without the vehicles of their headquarters or service companies the regiment had extreme difficulty in effecting reasonable command and control or in providing the minimum necessary combat service support. Without their organic cannon company, consisting of 75mm self-propelled guns, the regiment was incapable of suppressing the enemy while the infantry and engineers rooted them out.

Once the division was issued NTLF Operations order #9-44, 21 June 1944, the mission of clearing Nafutan Point lay solely with one battalion, plus a platoon of light tanks, to be determined by the division commander. The remainder of the division, excluding the 1st Bn, 106th Infantry which was attached to the 2nd Marine Division, was to consolidate in the northwest corner of Aslito Airfield as NTLF reserve.29

At 1700 hours MG Smith, after a discussion with LTG Smith concerning the clearance of Nafutan Point, ordered the 109th Infantry Regiment to remain and affect that reduction. The Smiths were able to agree that one battalion could not carry out the mission, especially in the treacherous terrain of southern Saipan. At 2130 hours the division issued operations order #45A which directed the 165th to assemble at 0630 hours on the 22nd and await orders; directed the 105th. to relieve elements of the 165th in their sector, to continue offensive operations against the enemy, and to hold one battalion in division reserve; directed the 106th to remain in their present location awaiting orders; and directed the DIVARTY to remain in their present positions but under control of XXIV Corps Artillery.

At 0830 hours on the 22nd the 109th assumed responsibility for the entire front facing Nafutan Point. Also at 0830 hours the division received from NTLF headquarters the written change to Operations Order #9-44 in which one RCT of the 27th would remain to clean out the resistance on Nafutan Point vice one battalion. NTLF's operations order #9-44 directing one RCT to clear out the enemy on Nafutan Point would be one of LTG Smith's principal pieces of evidence to show why MG Smith should be relieved. The division operations order #45A, issued the night before, had given tactical instructions to a unit not under the control of that division, i.e., the 105th was told by the 27th to clear out Nafutan Point when it was solely the perogative of NTLF to issue orders to the 105th.30

MG Smith received verbal instructions for the mission on 23 June at 1530 hours. LTC Lemp, Army Ground Forces observer, noted in his report that there wasn't sufficient time to move artillery and maneuver forces into position prior to commencement for this attack. The 165th Infantry spent most of the day en route to the new division assembly area northwest of Aslito Airfield. The 105th attacked south against the dug-in Japanese infantry on Nafutan Point and, as was the case in the previous two days, met strong resistance.31 LTC Lemp, a field artilleryman, stated that the regiment "manifested a certain amount of inertia. In this particular instance the division might be censured for it's lack of spirit in moving forward."32 Though, not exhibiting the necessary elan nor accomplishing the mission of cleaning out Nafutan Point the regiment sustained 18 killed and 54 wounded in bloody, determined fighting against a fanatical enemy.33 Eight of the killed and 32 of the reported wounded were the result of friendly naval gunfire when one of the supporting destroyers launched five 3" shells into the command post of the 2nd Battalion.34

At 2330 hours on the 22nd the division received the written Operations Order #10-44 from NTLF. This would begin the second phase of the division's activity on Saipan: the attack into Death Valley and the clearing of Purple Heart Ridge All three divisions would attack abreast with the 27th in the center making the main effort. The area into which the 27th attacked was a valley, dominated in the west by Mt Topatchau, rising 1554 feet above sea level, and a lower but nonetheless prominent ridge line, Purple Heart Ridge, to the east. The division's zone included the ridge in the east, the valley floor, and the precipitous cliffs that were formed at the junction of the valley and Mt Topatchau.35 The valley, soon to be known as Death Valley, was bare except for a line of trees near the southern end. The high ground to the west, nearing Mt Topatchau, was studded with caves of all sizes, capable of concealing machine guns, mortars, artillery pieces, and anti-tank guns. In the 27th's sector, the 106th would attack on the left and the 165th on the right. Both regiments would have to pass through the rear areas of the 4th Marine Division to reach the line of departure which was the forward line of friendly troops. The 105th, minus the 2nd Battalion, would be in division reserve. The time scheduled for the attack was 1000 hours.36

After one day's action against the enemy in Nafutan Point the 105th was ordered to Join the division as NTLF reserve for the operation in the center of the island. The 2nd Battalion, 105th, under the command of veteran National Guardsmen, Major Edward McCarthy, would be left to reduce the enemy that earlier had been holding out successfully against two regiments of the division. With only one platoon of light tanks, with ineffective 37mm guns, Major McCarthy faced an almost impossible task.37 The division had 16 medium tanks and 23 light tanks fully operational and capable of supporting the attack. There was only one good road travelling in a north-south direction and according to the the division's operations order this belonged solely to the 165th Infantry Regiment. Both regiments were directed to move off of the roads as much as was practicable, but, given that the time available to advance to the line of departure was scarce, it was not practicable to advance cross-country. LTC Lemp noted, incorrectly, that the 165th had taken the wrong road and thus caused the confusion and attendant delay. In the narrative report written by the HQ, 106th Infantry after the operation, blame was laid to the guides furnished by the 4th Marine Division for not bringing the regiment to the LD unimpeded. King Hour (attack time) came and went and the 27th didn't attack. The 165th apparently was prepared to attack but was waiting for the 106th to come up.38

The 165th apparently never received word nor did they understand that the 106th had attacked and, therefore, they waited at the LD (line-of-departure) until 1315 hours. Despite repeated calls from division, beginning at 1005 hours, requesting the location of their front lines and disposition of forces, the 165th didn't attack. At 1210 hours the Commanding General of the 27th directed the 165th to "push your advance rapidly regardless of advance of 106th Infantry. Employ reserve if necessary."39 This late attack was the key incident which initiated LTG Smith's relief action against MG Smith.

To facilitate the advance of the 106th a platoon of medium tanks was attached in addition to a platoon of M-7 self-propelled howitzers, to counter the strong mortar and heavy machine gun fire which the enemy was able to concentrate in the 106th's sector. NTLF G3 Colonel Robert E. Hogaboom opined that very little advance was made in the 27th's sector because the attack was not coordinated and that confusion dominated the chain of command. Probably closer to the truth was the fact that the terrain dictated the rate of advance and tended to complicate coordination problems, i.e., the fog of war interceded on behalf of the defending Japanese. LTC Lemp identified the enemy fire as intense, emanating from caves in the vicinity of sheer cliffs. Immediately upon crossing the LD the 1st Battalion was pinned down by enemy fire. The 2nd Battalion advanced 250 yards. The 106th continued to make minimal gains against the concentrated small arms in their sector, especially after integrating the work of the recently attached tanks. At 1715 hours the 106th inserted their 2nd Battalion onto their left flank to tie in with the 2nd Marine Division. As the momentum of the attack was approaching it's culminating point the division's two regiments organized their defenses for the night. At 1936 hours the 106th reported that enemy tanks and infantry were attacking their perimeter.40

The advance of the regiment was hindered by enfilading small arms, mortar, and artillery fire coming from the high ground to their left in the 106th's sector. Despite heavy, casualties the regiment progressed 400 yards beyond the LD prior to nightfall. The 165th reported that six tanks attacked their 2nd Battalion at 1915 hours and five were destroyed by 37mm guns and bazookas.41

The action of 23 June established the pattern of activity in Death Valley until 29 June. For those six days the division attacked with infantry and tanks following artillery, naval gunfire, and close air support preparation. The enemy occupied well concealed caves and foxholes from which they delivered devastating small arms, mortar, and artillery fire. Each day the division launched an attack, typically with two regiments up, into the heart of the valley under withering enfilading fire from the dominant terrain on both sides. At nightfall the battalions of the 27th would arrange a defensive perimeter to thwart any enemy attempt at penetration. And the Japanese typically challenged that defense either through infiltration or frontal attack. The nature of the enemy and the terrain held the advance of the 27th to a mere 2,000 yards during this period.42

Also characteristic of the activity during this period was the lateness at which HQ, NTLF issued their operations orders. Operations order #10-44 was issued at 2330 hours, #11-44 at 2250 hours, #12-44 at 1900 hours, #13-44 at 0110 hours, and #14-44 at 0040 hours. In every case these orders directed attacks to commence at first light the very next day. This permitted the subordinate commanders no time for daylight reconnaissance of the area into which they would attack and precious little time to coordinate attachments and supporting gunfire. Time was the scarcest resource on Saipan and for staffs with the shallow depth of experience that characterized the 27th this was a critical shortage.43 An example of the type of operation that the division generated was that which was to occur on 29 June per NTLF Operations Order #16-44. The 1st and 3rd Battalions, 165th plus the 1st Bn, 105th were attached to the 4th Marine Division. The HQ 105th Infantry would control their own 3rd Bn and the 2nd Bn, 165th. The 106th Infantry was intact for this operation. The 105th would pass through the 4th Marine Division and attack to the north while the 106th did likewise on their left. This was the Corps' main effort and yet their were only four battalions attacking as one of the 106th's was in division reserve.44 The cross attachment of battalions between regiments, even highly trained regiments, is difficult at best. Commanders and staffs develop routines that enable them to function in stressful, trying conditions and the introduction of an external organization tends to disrupt that routine. Add to this the turmoil attendant to a passage of lines with the force of another service and a situation is presented that is ripe with potential disaster.

From the 23rd until the 28th every NTLF attack had three divisions on line with the main effort in the center. The line-up had the 2nd Marine Division on the left attacking against the heights of Mt Topatchau, the 27th in the center into Death Valley, and the 4th Marine Division on the right along the coastal plain. Despite the fact that the main effort was in the center of the line there was no build up of that force to adhere to the principles of mass, offensive, and objective. NTLF declared the 27th to be the main effort yet never augmented them with additional tanks or infantry. In fact, they often further debilitated the division by taking battalions away to give to the other Divisions as they did 27-29 June. Furthermore, the terrain in the center of the Corps sector, Death Valley, was without question the most difficult and most heavily defended piece of terrain on the island.45

The division operated in Death Valley just as they had in southern Saipans a deliberate and methodical approach to identifying the enemy and then rooting him out. The 27th progressed very slowly and often lost contact with the Marine Divisions on each flank. LTG Smith slowed and even stopped the Marines on many occasions to reduce the hazard of an open flank. That the division wasn't advancing as rapidly as expected was not lost on MG Smith. In particular, on 24 June, he was embarrassed and disturbed by the lack of progress of the 106th and by it's inability to maintain contact with the Marines. His message to Colonel Ayers was not ambiguous. "Advance of 90 yards in one and a half hours is most unsatisfactory. Start moving at once." On this day the 106th suffered 14 killed and 112 wounded in seven hours of attacking into the teeth of the enemy.46

At 1800 hours, 24 June 1944, MG Ralph Smith was relieved from command of the 27th Division for cause. The failure of the 27th to attack on the 23rd on time, their apparent lack of enthusiasm for attacking the enemy, and the earlier issuance of directives to a tactical unit not under their control, was the case presented to Admiral Spruance by LTG Smith. Justifying the relief of MG Smith, LTG Smith said, "In my Judgement, the conduct of the 27th Division under Ralph Smith's command was unsatisfactory and I acted accordingly. I would have relieved a Marine general under the same circumstances only sooner."47 In support of LTG Smith, Admiral Spruance said: "He has been in command of that division for a long time and cannot avoid being held responsible for it's fighting efficiency or lack thereof."48

The relief of one commander by another need only be justified in the mind of the higher commander. LTG Smith lost confidence in the ability of MG Smith to carry out his duties and responsibilities. He was then compelled to replace him with someone who provided a reasonable assurance that those duties and responsibilities would be executed. Major General Sanderford Jarman assumed command of the 27th Division upon Smith's relief. Jarman, a 1908 graduate of the US Military Academy was 59 years old and had been programmed to be the Commander of the Saipan Garrison Force after it's capture.49

LTG Robert C. Richardson, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Ocean Areas, the senior Army officer in the Central Pacific Theater, convened a board of inquiry to determine the justification and cause of MG Smith's relief. The board was chaired by LTG Simon B. Buckner and consisted solely of Army officers who only examined Army witnesses. The board met in Hawaii in August 1944 and returned a decision which upheld LTG Smith's authority to relief MG Smith but also determined that the facts did not warrant such a relief. At the heart of the controversy was the issue of Army forces subordinate to Marine commanders. LTG Richardson, an Army corps commander during the Louisiana-Tennessee maneuvers, questioned the ability of Marine commanders to direct organizations as large as corps. The Marine Corps had been no larger than a division throughout it's history and the training and education of officers to command these larger units was suspect. The issue that had a greater impact on the division was that of tactical significance. The Marine approach to warfare in he Pacific was characterized by dash, bypassing large enemy forces, speed, and high casualties. The Army approach was slower, more methodical, with a greater awareness for casualties which bordered on extreme caution, and a reluctance to bypass enemy forces.50

The replacement of MG Smith was expected to instill new life into the moribund division and inspire them to faster, more decisive results. Whatever the effect on the morale of the soldiers they still had to contend with the entrenched and heavily fortified, fanatical Japanese occupying terrain ideal for the defense. The 27th continued to fight in the manner in which they had been trained, that is, to suppress suspected and known enemy positions with tank and self-propelled gunfire and maneuver to the flanks and root out with demolitions. Their progress was still painfully slow in comparison to the Marines on their flanks.

On 26 June the 106th Infantry attacked Purple Heart Ridge as the main effort for the division and was stopped with no gain after incurring moderate casualties. MG Jarman had his G3 and DIVARTY commander, both old Guardsmen, visit the regiment to determine the reason for their inability to carry the attack. Their report of confusion and indecisiveness at the regimental headquarters caused Jarman to relieve both Colonel Ayers and LTC Joseph Farley, the regimental executive officer. They were replaced by the Division Chief of Staff, Colonel Albert K. Stebbins, and the Deputy G3, Major Henry Ross.51

The 45 year old Stebbins was a 1924 graduate of the US Military Academy, a graduate of the Command and General Staff School, and a Regular Army officer. Henry Ross, a member of the New York National Guard since 1925, had commanded Company M, 165th Infantry at Ft McClellan prior to being elevated to G3 of the division. In this role he executed GALVANIC and then was sent to the Command and General Staff School from which he graduated in March 1944. The introduction of two well qualified and proven men such as Stebbins and Ross was believed to be the answer to the ineptitude of the 106th. The changes appeared to have worked as the 106th began to have more success in their attacks for the duration of the campaign.52

The leadership of the division was changing on a daily basis. Shortly after Ayers and Farley were relieved Major Johnny Nichols, executive officer of the 1st Bn, 106th, and a highly respected veteran Guardsmen, was killed leading that battalion against the cliffs east of Mt Topatchau. LTC Harold Mizony, commander of the 106th's 3rd Bn, was killed attacking with his battalion up Purple Heart Ridge. Colonel Gerard Kelley, commander of the 165th, was wounded by a mortar fragment and evacuated to the rear for the remainder of the campaign. Old Guardsmen, LTC Joseph T. Hart, past commander of he 3rd Bn, 165th, stepped in to replace Colonel Kelley at this critical time in the fight. LTC John McDonough, a veteran Guardsmen and only 37 years old, was wounded by small arms fire leading his 3rd Battalion, 165th. And the division underwent it's biggest change since MG Smith was relieved as MG George Griner replaced MG Jarman as commanding general on 28 June.53

MG Griner was 49 years old, a 1917 graduate of Southern Methodist University, and a veteran of World War I. He . graduated from the Army's Command and General Staff School in 1933 and from the Army War College in 1939. He had been commanding the 98th Division in Hawaii when called to replace Jarman. MG Jarman became commander of the Army Garrison on Saipan, the role for which he was programmed.54

MG Griner Issued Field Message #2 in the late afternoon, 29 June, announcing that the division would continue their attack in the morning at 0780 hours but also that LTG Smith had expressly complemented the performance of the officers and men of the division. The last piece of dominant terrain had been taken on Purple Heart Ridge thus allowing the reduction of the remainder of Death Valley.55

From 29 June until 3 July the division advanced approximately 5,000 yards, nearly two and one-half times as far as they had during the previous nine days. Enemy resistance was rapidly diminishing and the fighting efficiency of the division, despite the cumulative effects of stress and lack of sleep, appeared to be increasing.

Late on 29 June division issued a message to all commanders from the CG, NTLF directing that they take immediate steps to improve the coordination between infantry, tanks, and artillery in clearing out the enemy. LTG Smith's position was that there was limited resistance in zone, a few machine guns, small arms, and a few mortars, and that because the Americans had an overwhelming edge in firepower they should quickly reduce the resistance. Rapid movement and seizure of objectives were imperative he said and to this the CG, 27th Division concurred. MG Griner expounded on this point in his own message to the commanders directing that tank and infantry commanders confer prior to the commencement of each attack to ensure that efforts of the tanks are not wasted. In the same message LTG Smith admonished the 27th for not following Army doctrine, i.e., massing artillery fire on the objective to suppress the enemy and then closely following up with infantry and/or tanks to ruthlessly annihilate the remaining opposition.56

The third phase of the division's operation on Saipan covered the period 3 July until 8 July. This period was significant because this is where the Japanese made their final stand. MG Griner chose to attack with the 105th Infantry along the coast and the 165th inland with the 106th in reserve. The terrain in the 105th's sector was low, slightly rolling, and marshy. The 165th's was more severe with two hill masses, 721 and 767, that dominated, and a long, narrow valley that came to be known as Hara-Kiri Gulch. The attack kicked off on time and the 105th immediately met stiff resistance from pill boxes along the beach. The 165th was also receiving heavy fire which they countered with a coordinated tank and self-propelled artillery attack. The division fought over this 1,000 yards of sand and coconut grove for six days trading casualties with the Japanese. Lessons learned in the previous two weeks of fighting were implemented on the Tanapag Plain. Tanks and self-propelled guns were used to fire into the caves while infantry and engineers blasted the enemy out with demolitions. Lack of communications with the tanks continued to cause needless casualties. The tanks would advance against the enemy without supporting friendly infantry and become victims of the intrepid Japanese with Molotov Cocktails and satchel charges.57

By nightfall 6 July the 105th and 165th had halted their efforts to eliminate the enemy to their respective front. The 105th had two battalions forward overlooking the Tanapag Plain, a flat coastal region with moderate concealment and the other battalion was in reserve. The 165th also had two battalions up and one in reserve. The 106th was held in division reserve behind the 105th. The two regiments, however, were not linked and a 900 yard gap existed between them. The gap was reported to division but no one felt obligated to fill it with a maneuver force. At 2142 hours a POM revealed that an all out attack was planned for the night of the 6th. The night's activity consisted of sniper fire and limited local counterattacks and at 0910 hours the 109th reported an enemy "saki attack".58

The best estimate of the size of that attack was 2900 to 3000 and made up of navy personnel, artillerymen, maintenance, labor, and infantrymen. Many of the attackers were armed with makeshift spears as their only weapon. While the 105th tenaciously fought off the ground attack the DIVARTY fired 2666 rounds in support an average of 40 rounds per minute, and yet couldn't stop the flood of Japanese. At 0720 hours the 105th reported that H Battery 10th Marines was overrun and that the Japanese had captured the guns intact. Also, at daybreak, the 3rd Bn, 165th was attacked by a large formation of Japanese who were routed, with 100 killed in the melee. The 2nd Battalion, 106th was fighting through the enemy to take back the Marine guns. There was no stopping the fanatical Japanese as they poured through the 105th. The two forward battalions were unable to present a coherent defense and they began to disintegrate. Individuals and squads, wounded and dying all streamed to the rear, sometimes alongside the enemy, in an effort to reach American lines.59

On the right of the 105th, the 165th with the 3rd Bn, 106th was attacking into the enemy controlled Hara-Kiri Gulch. The advance was hindered by the steep terrain, caves filled with Japanese soldiers, spider holes, and pill boxes, all delivering a withering fire. Forward movement stopped at 1450 hours on division order as the rest of the day was spent putting long range machine gun fire, into the cliffs.

To help stem the tide of attacking Japanese NTLF attached the 3rd Bn, 6th Marines. At 1100 the division requested additional tanks from HQ NTLF to thwart the enemy tanks which were reported moving to the south. This request was denied. The 106th attacked to relieve the pressure on the 105th at 1155 hours. Throughout the morning small groups and individuals of the 105th made their way out of enemy contact and back to friendly lines. Forty US soldiers and one PW were reported collected by Navy destroyers after they had evacuated the beach white another 75 were stranded on the reef. The 106th recaptured two batteries of the 10th Marines at 1305 hours. At 1340 hours elements of the 106th reached the 105th command post and engaged the enemy.60

By 0730 Hours, 8 July 1944 the Japanese Banzai counterattack had spent itself leaving approximately 750 dead in front of the 106th.61 There have been countless stories of personal heroism documented by the Army's official historian, Captain Edmund G. Love, who was on-site for all of the Saipan campaign. Almost without exception they tell a tale of a Junior enlisted man, wounded and exhausted, left behind on his own decision so as not to burden his buddies. The soldier would be found the next day by burying details, surrounded by numerous dead Japanese soldiers, with an empty pistol or rifle clenched in his dead hands. Two Medals of Honor were awarded to the 27th for their actions on Saipan and both were members of the 109th who did not survive the Gyokusai (saki attack) on 7 July 1944. LTC William J. O'Brien, 49 years old and a member of the New York National Guard since 1920, was the commander of the 1st Battalion, 105th. On the early morning of the 6th, LTC O'Brien valiantly tried rallying his exhausted troops to stem the tide of onrushing Japanese soldiers. The battalion held together as long as they did due to his personal heroism and charisma. He was last seen alive manning a .50 caliber machine gun and pouring fire into the attackers. Sergeant Thomas A. Baker, a member of Company A, 105th since 1940, had known only the National Guard. He was wounded on the 6th during the attack, crawled back to the rear of the battalion perimeter, spurned countless offers of help, and asked to be left with a weapon and a cigarette. He was found the next day with eight dead Japanese around him and the remains of a burned cigarette in his hand. There were numerous other accounts of heroism but these two are characteristic of the fighting spirit of the division.62

This ended the third phase for the 27th and began the last which was the mopping up operation against any remaining Japanese on the island. The entire division would remain on the island until 6 August and continue to engage hundreds of Japanese soldiers.

Casualties among the three divisions were essentially even: the 4th Marine Division incurred 1506; 2nd Marine Division suffered 1016; and the 27th had 1465. The equality of numbers of casualties belies the difficulty of terrain within which each division operated. The 4th Marine Division, operating along the east coast had the decided advantage as there were no caves, cliffs, or heavily wooded areas to conceal the enemy. Therefore, their casualty figures should have been less than those of the other two divisions but this was not the case. The 2nd Marine Division fought across terrain almost as difficult as that of the 27th and certainly more strenuous than that of the 4th yet their casualties were significantly less than that of the 4th. The terrain over which the 27th traversed was the harshest and most beneficial to the defense. The cliffs of Mt Topatchau and the wooded hill masses of Purple Heart Ridge channeled the attacking Americans into the barren and coverless kill-zone known as Death Valley which is exactly what it was. The near equal numbers may help illustrate the difference in tactics employed by the two ground forces. The Marines believed in a more hasty approach, bypassing large groups of enemy for the follow-on force to clean up. The Army, being more methodical, would necessarily incur fewer casualties because of their exercise of caution.63

There were countless lessons learned from the invasion of Saipan. The technical and tactical mistakes from which the Army learned and, by and large, corrected can be generally applied to any service in any theater in the Second World War. And, despite LTG Smith's personal attack on the National Guard, there is no relationship between the effectiveness of the Guard as an organisation and the combat effectiveness of the 27th Division on Saipan. But then Smith's diatribe wasn't reserved solely for the 27th but was shared with the 7th Division who participated in the invasion of Kwajalein: "I could see no reason why this division with ample forces ashore, well covered by landbound artillery and receiving tremendous naval and air support could not take the island quicker."64

One of the very best after action reports from Saipan was written by a Canadian officer, Major Watts, who had been attached to the division to learn about American techniques, tactics, and equipment which might be, appropriate in their army. Many of his observations were random and have varying degrees of applicability.

One advantage which the Marines had over the Army was in their Ronson flamethrowers, mounted on light tanks. Had the 27th Division these devices there would have been fewer holdups in Death Valley and, therefore, the division would probably have kept up with the Marines on their flanks.65 This implies that a reasonably inexpensive fix such as adding a flamethrower to a tank would have made the 27th into a more aggressive fighting force.

The units of the division typically travelled on roads or well defined trails and sniper fire was always encountered. There was also a tendency for the soldiers to skyline themselves. These errors are typical of poorly trained units hastily thrown into Battle. Officers and NCOs who are unsure of their navigational skills will hold to the roads inviting enemy sniper fire.66 These types of training errors should have been corrected during the interminably long train up that the division went through prior to arriving in combat. The procedures used by commanders and staffs indicated too little knowledge and practise in the art of developing and disseminating information. Major Watts said that almost all operations orders were given from maps without a set pattern. In these orders there rarely was any pre-arranged artillery. Furthermore, the regiments and battalions of the division had a tendency to use NTLF graphics without elaboration. This haphazard approach to the command estimate process may work very well with experienced staffs who have served together for many operations but works less well with the uninitiated. The battalion and regimental staffs of the 27th Division had undergone numerous changes since mobilization in 1940. The principal staff functionaries were not afforded the education of the Command and General Staff School although there were some exceptions. Even had they attended, the modifications forced on the school by the war tended to water down the resultant product.67

Both the Army and the Marines would halt their attack at nightfall and prepare defensive positions. Major Watts' observations were that the foxholes were only dug about 18 inches into the ground and there was no evidence of alternate positions prepared. The foxholes, typically, were too close together in an effort to deny infiltration lanes to the enemy. And rarely, if ever, were outposts positioned to provide early warning of an enemy attack. These deficiencies all point to training weaknesses and inadequacies of discipline. A professional NCO corps would ensure these errors were not repeated but good sergeants were not created overnight. The lack of professionalism in the 27th can be traced to the constant and continuous levies to fill OCS and other division cadres.68

After action reports were written by many of the regiments who participated in FORAGER, notably the 23rd Marines, 24th Marines, and 106th Infantry. They were similar in many of their observations. Both Marine Regiments complained that the commanders and staff down to battalion level were unable to conduct reconnaissance of the area they were to attack because operations orders were so late arriving. The 27th Division typically received their written instructions from HQ, NTLF after dark permitting no time for examination of the terrain. Both Marine Regiments also castigated their higher headquarters for assigning objectives and unit boundaries with apparent disregard for the terrain. As the report of the 23rd Marine Regiment states: "Frequently the most difficult terrain was in the direct line of attack and could have been more easily secured by change of direction or other means." Both Marine Regiments and the 106th agree that a grave deficiency was the halting of the day's attack, too near or after nightfall to permit resupply or the founding of an effective defense. The 23rd Marines identified a problem that was similar to that experienced by the 27th: the lack of consideration for space and time factors by the higher HQ. The 27th was ordered, on 21 June, to reorient their force and move several kilometers after dark to position themselves for an attack. The distance was too great and the time permitted too little to efficiently carry off this mission. The end result was the division's late attack and the ultimate relief of MG Smith.69 LTC John Lemp, the Army Ground Force officer attached to the division, supported the observations made by the Marine Regiments that higher headquarters operations orders arrived much too late to permit a ground reconnaissance.70

The deficiencies of the 27th Division on Saipan resembled those of all new divisions inserted into a situation for which they weren't adequately trained. The 32nd Division at Buna exhibited far greater tactical and technical mistakes and a complete lack of discipline. From a captured Japanese diary on Buna: "From sundown until about 2200 they fire light machine guns and throw hand grenades recklessly. They are in the jungle firing as long as their ammunition lasts. Maybe they get more money for firing so many rounds."71

Chapter Four


1 Edmund G. Love, The History of the 27th Division, (Wash., DC:  The Infantry Journal Press, 1949), p.35.

2 Ibid., pp.56-57. 

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid., p.59

5 Ibid., p.83

6 Ibid.,  p.59.

7 The Adjutant General's Office, Official Army Register. (Wash., DC:  US Government Printing Office, 1 January 1944) and The Pictorial History of the 27th Division. (Atlanta, GA:  Army-Navy Publishing, 1942).

8 Ibid.

9 Love, The History of the 27th Division, pp.112-114.

10 Philip A. Crowl, The US Army in World War II:  The War in the Pacific:  Campaign in the Marianas. (Wash., DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1960), p. 99.

11 Second Command Class, Command and General Staff School, Recent Operations, FORAGER (Marianas), Ft Leavenworth, KS, 14 May 1946, annex C, p.2.

12 Major Watts, "Report of Canadian Officers Attached to 27th Infantry Division, US Army, for the Saipan Operation", 24 August 1944, p.l.

13 Smith, Coral and Brass, p.166.

14 Second Command Class, CGSS, FORAGER, annex C, p.4.

15 Headquarters, 27th Infantry Division, "Battle for Saipan, 17 June - 6 August 1944", 24 October 1944, p.l.

16 Ibid., p.4. 17 Ibid., p.5. 18Canadian Officers Report, p.3.

19 Canadian Officers Report, p.4 and Second Command Class, CGSS, FORAGER, annex c, p.5.

20 Smith, Coral and Brass, p.160.

21 Ibid., p.161.

22 Canadian Officers Report, p.2.

23 Carl W. Hoffman, Saipan; The Beginning of the End, (Wash., DC:  Historical Division, HQ USMC,1950), pp.34-42 and V Amphibious Corps Report on Marianas, Phase I, Saipan, Northern Troops and Landing Forces Report, p.11.

24Smith, Coral and Brass, p.172.

25 HQ, V Amphibious Corps, Report on Marianas, Phase I, Saipan, NTLF Report, p. 7.

26 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Periodic Report, and G2 Periodic Report, 17-21 June 1944; HQ, 165th Infantry, FORAGER Operational Report, S3 Operational Report, 5 October 1944; HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, 18-21 June 1944.

27 Thomas B. Buell, The Quiet Warrior. (Boston:  Little, Brown, & Co., 1974), pp.274-275.

28 HQ, 27th Division, Field Orders #42, 44, and 45, dated 18 June, 20, and 21 June respectively.

29 HQ, NTLF, no.8, 22 June 1944.

30 HQ, 27th Division, Field Order #45A, 21 June 1944.

31 G3 Periodic Report, no.6, HQ 27th Division, 22 June 1944 and G3 Journal, HQ 27th Division, 22 June 1944, p.37, serial #11.

32 LTG John Lemp, Observer Report on the Marianas Operation, AGF, 11 July 1944, pp.14-15.

33 G1 Report, annex L, no.6.

34 G3 Periodic Report, HQ NTLF, 23 June 1944, p.l and G3 Journal, HQ 27th Division, 22 June 1944, p.40, serial #54.

35 HQ, 106th Infantry Regiment, Narrative Report, 15 April - 5 August 1944, p.6.

36 Crowl, The Campaign in the Marianas, pp.173-174.

37 HQ, 27th Division, Field Order #46, 22 June 1944 and HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, no.9, 23 June 1944, p.2.

38 HQ, 27th Division, Field Order #46, 22 June 1944.

39 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 23 June 1943, serial #164.

40 HQ, 27th Division, Field Order #46, 22 June 1944; HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, no.9, 23 June 1944, p.2.

41 G3 Journal, HQ 27th Division, 23 June 1944, serials #53, 56, 65, 76, 101, 106, 132, 152, 153, and 166; HQ, 106th Infantry, Narrative Report, 15 Apr - 5 August 1944, pp.4-5; Lemp, "Report", pp.15-16.

42 HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, 22-29 June 19445 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Periodic Report, 22-29 June 1944; HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 22-29 June 1944; HQ, 106th Infantry, Narrative Report, 15 Apr-5 August 1944; HQ, 165th Infantry, Operational Report, S3 Operational Report, 5 October 1944.

43 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 22 June-27 June 1944.

44 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 28 June 1944, serial #11, 28, 29, 33, 51, 52; HQ, 27th Division, G3 Periodic Report, no.12, 28 June 1944; HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, no.14, 28 June 1944; HQ, 106th Infantry, Narrative Report, 15 Apr-5 August 1944, p.13. 

45 HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, 27-29 June 1944; HQ, 27 Division, G3 Periodic Report, 27-29 June 1944; NTLF Operations Orders #14-44, 15-55, and 16-44.

46 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 24 June 1944, serial #107, 108, 114; HQ, 27th Division, Field Order #48,

47 Smith, Coral and Brass, p.175. 48Buell, The Quiet Warrior, pp.286-287.

49 Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the USMA. Association of Graduates, West Point, New York, 1979, p.314.

50 Love, The History of the 27th Division, pp. 652-670.

51 HQ, 106th Infantry, Narrative Report, 15 Apr - 5 August 1944, p.9.

52 Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the USMA. Association of Graduates, West Point, New York, 1979, p.360 and Official National Guard Register for 1943, National Guard Bureau, War Department.

53 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 27 and 28 June, 1944.

54 The Adjutant General's Office, Official Army Register (Wash., DC:  US GPO, 1 Jan 1944).

55 HQ, 27th Division, Field Message #2, 29 June 1944.

56 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 1 July 1944, serial #8, 11, 17, 20, 33, 65, 66.

57 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 4 July 1944, serial #84 and 5 July serial #18, 30, 70; HQ, 27th Division, Field Order #54, 4 July 1944; and HQ, NTLF, S3 Periodic Report, no.21, 5 July 1944.

58 HQ, 27th Division, G3 Periodic Report, 7 July 1944.

59 HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, no.22, 6 July 1944 and HQ, 27th Division, G3 Periodic Report, 6 July 1944.

60 HQ, NTLF, G3 Periodic Report, no.22, 6 July 1944; HQ, 27th Division, Field Message #6, 9 July 1944; HQ, 27th Division, G3 Journal, 6 July 1944 serials #36 and 45 and 7 July 1944 serials #4, 6, 7, 8, 26, 41, 50, 51, 61, 63, 74, 75, 79, 83, 92; HQ, 106th Infantry, Narrative Report, 15 April - 5 August 1944, p.22.

61 G3 Periodic Report, no.22, 6 July 1944, HQ NTLF; Field Message #6, HQ 27th Division, 5 July 1944; G3 Journal, HQ 27th Division, 6 July 1944, serials #36, 45 and 7 July 1944 serials #4, 6, 7, 8, 26, 41, 50, 51, 61, 63, 74, 75, 79, 83, 92; G3 Periodic Report, no.20, HQ 27th Division, 6 July 1944; G3 Periodic Report, no.22, HQ 27th Division, 8 July 1944; HQ, 106th Infantry, Narrative Report, 15 Apr - 5 August 1944, p.22.

62 Love, History of the 27th Division, pp.453-454.

63 Allan R. Millett, Semper Fidelis:  The History of the USMC (NY:  MacMillan Publishing Co., 1980), p.403.

64 Smith, Coral and Brass, p. 146.

65 Major Watts, "Report of the Canadian Officers attached to the 27th Division for the Saipan Operation", 24 August 1944, p.13.

66 Ibid., p.15.

67 Ibid., p.17.

68 Ibid., p.18.

69 HQ, 106th Infantry Regiment, "FORAGER Comments", 29 May-6 Aug 1944, undtd, p.42; HQ, 23rd Regimental Combat Team, Special Action Report Saipan, pp.52-54; HQ, 4th Marine Division, Operations Report Saipan, 15 June-9 July 1944, 3 October 1944, p.27 and 29.

70 Lemp, Report on the Marianas Operation, p.19.

71 Luvaas, Jay, "Buna:  19 November 1942-2 January 1943 A Leavenworth Nightmare", p.222 in America's First Battles. ed. Charles E. Heller and William A. Stofft, (Lawrences University of Kansas Press, 1986).

Chapter Four

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
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