America at war! (1941–) – Part 5

U.S. Navy Department (April 5, 1945)

JCS Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 5, 1945

The Joint Chiefs of Staff today made the following announcement regarding the command directive for the war against Japan:

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the approval of the President, have modified the command organization for the war against Japan with a view to giving full effect to the application of our forces against the Japanese including the large forces to be redeployed from Europe, taking into account the changed conditions resulting from our progress in both the Southwest Pacific and the Pacific Ocean Areas. The rapid advances made in both areas, which have brought us into close proximity with the Japanese homeland and the China Coast, and the corresponding change in the character of operations to be conducted are the considerations which dictated the new directive.

GEN MacArthur, Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area, under the terms of the new directive will be given command of all Army forces and resources in the Pacific Theater. Similarly, ADM Nimitz, Commander of the Pacific Ocean Areas, will be given command of all Naval forces and resources in the Pacific Theater. GEN Arnold will continue in command of the 20th Air Force.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff will continue to exercise strategic direc­tion of the entire Pacific Theater and will charge either GEN MacArthur or ADM Nimitz with the overall responsibility for conducting specific operations or campaigns. Normally GEN MacArthur will be charged with the conduct of land campaigns and ADM Nimitz with the conduct of sea campaigns. Each Commander will furnish the forces and resources of his service for the joint forces which are required for the conduct of the operation or campaign which has been duly directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Essentially the new arrangement permits either Commander-in-Chief to conduct operations or campaigns in any part of the entire theater as directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the choice as to which shall be charged with the responsibility in each case will be dependent on the nature of the operation or campaign which is to be undertaken.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 5, 1945)

Reds end Jap pact

Ultimate Soviet entry into war in Pacific foreshadowed by act

Cornered now, Japanese may provoke war on Reds

Third Army 120 miles from Berlin

Ninth Army crosses Weser, next to last river barrier before capital

Tokyo cabinet quits

Admiral is successor to Koiso who admits Yanks are too close

Showdown battle near on Okinawa

Yank drive slowed by stiff resistance

GUAM (UP) – The showdown battle of Southern Okinawa and the Jap island bastion’s capital city of Naha appeared to be shaping up or already mounting to full fury today.

Field reports said suddenly stiffened resistance had slowed the Tenth Army’s advance on Okinawa to a snail’s pace. The Japs were fighting hard from well-prepared positions – perhaps the lines on which they chose to undertake a stand – a little more than four miles north of Naha.

Both American and Jap tanks were jockeying for positions. A front dispatch reported the possibility of a major tank battle, the first of the war in the Pacific, on the plain between Naha and Kaniku.

Reach outposts

In one sector, a Jap tank concentration had already stalled the American push temporarily.

“Apparently we have reached the outposts of enemy defenses in the south, where a force of as many as 60,000 Japanese may be concealed,” United Press writer Edward L. Thomas reported from an advanced command post on Okinawa.

He said Jap strongpoints appeared to be scattered through the hills around the villages of Kaniku, Tsuwa and Tabaru. Approaching them, the Americans overran several preliminary lines of resistance in advances of 500 to 1,500 yards down the 3½-mile wide isthmus separating Central and Southern Okinawa.

Run into heavy fire

The hills command much of Southern Okinawa. Troops pushing through a misty rain toward one 600-foot height guarding the approaches to Shuri ran into heavy artillery, machine-gun and mortar fire.

The enemy appeared determined to hold Machinato and Yonabaru airfields, both within a mile and a half to two miles of the advancing Americans.

The veteran 32nd Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division on the eastern end of the line above Naha smashed the first organized resistance of the campaign yesterday with the capture of a ridge above Ishado on Nakagusuku Bay naval anchorage.

The 184th Infantry Regiment, meanwhile, was attacking a Jap pocket estimated at company strength – possibly 200 men – on the west coast.

The Army advances on the southern front, coupled with a Marine push to the north deep into the narrow isthmus between Southern and Central Okinawa, gave the Americans control of 80 square miles – one sixth – of the island only 330 miles southwest of Japan.

The campaign was already 12 days ahead of schedule, with the invasion forces controlling 17 miles of the west coast and 12 miles of the east coast, including half the shoreline of the vital Nakagusuku Bay.

Marines gain

The XXIV Army Corps’ line in the south, as of yesterday, ran from Uchi-Tomari to the west coast, 4½ miles north of Naha and 1¾ miles north of Machinato Airfield. Through Kamiyama, in the center, to a point just north of Nakagusuku village and two miles north or Yonabaru Airfield in the east coast.

On the northern end of the beachheads, Marines of the III Amphibious Corps drove to 2½ miles beyond Ishikawa in the narrow neck of land separating South-Central and Centra! Okinawa, where it had been anticipated the Japs might make another stand.

Resistance continued light on the Marine front, though observation planes reported enemy concentrations ahead.

Jap planes attack

Jap planes made several small-scale air attacks on the invasion armada early yesterday, and four of the aircraft were shot down.

U.S. planes from a carrier task group commanded by Rear Adm. Frederick C. Sherman attacked airfields and other installations in the Amami Islands just north of Okinawa Tuesday.

They destroyed 45 planes in combat and two on the ground, damaged nine others on he ground, destroyed or damaged 25 small craft, damaged two small cargo ships and a torpedo boat, and set fuel dumps and buildings afire.

V-E Day by proclamation –
Eisenhower doubts if Nazis ever surrender

Tells Roosevelt he expects guerrilla war

Actual casualties now over 900,000

WASHINGTON (UP) – U.S. combat casualties officially compiled and announced here reached 892,909 today. This means that the actual total, including losses yet to be recorded in Washington, has surpassed 900,000.

Today’s official figure was 20,047 greater than that announced a week ago. It included 798,383 Army and 94,526 Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard casualties.

The figures:

Army Navy TOTAL
Killed 156,471 36,649 193,120
Wounded 486,929 42,988 529,917
Missing 88,755 10,623 99,378
Prisoners 66,228 4,266 70,494
TOTAL 798,383 94,526 892,909

‘Ding Dong Daddy’ gets 30-year term

Good neighbors

By Florence Fisher Parry

After Nazis’ defeat –
U.S. may limit draft to boys, 18

Two bills being considered in Senate

U.S. seeking to end current difficulties facing Big Three nations

Stettinius cites progress already made but admits dangers are still faced

Dulles named ‘Frisco adviser

Americans die, baby is shot – village learns about war

By Ann Stringer, United Press staff writer

1,800 planes rip South Germany

Yanks hit railyards, supply dumps

U.S. drive in Italy reported by Nazis

U.S. campaign in Philippines in final stage

Americans invade Masbate Island

New offensive hinted by Hitler

Speech reveals hope for another ‘bulge’

Superfortresses fire 5 areas of Japan

Editorial: Fix post-war taxes now

Editorial: Still a mess

Editorial: Keep those war bonds!

Editorial: Mr. Truman counts terms