It was on Easter morning, April 1 1945, that veteran Deadeyes of the 96th Infantry Division entered into their second action against the enemy after an unopposed landing on the western shores of Okinawa. The unopposed advances came to a quick end, however, and for the balance of the 91-day operation dough boys of the 96 met some of the strongest enemy opposition and engaged in the heaviest and most prolonged fighting yet encountered in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO).

The Division’s first action against the Japanese came on October 20 1944 when it stormed ashore across the sandy beaches of Leyte, near Dulac, as a part of the first attack force to land in the Philippine Islands. Considerable experience, fortitude, morale and fighting spirit, such as commonly come from actual combat, were instilled in the soldiers of the 96-ID during the 115 days of combat on Leyte. They had met the Jap soldier, they had seen how he fought and what he had to fight with, and they had overcome him quite easily in every engagement.

While still engaged in cleaning out and mopping up pockets of the enemy on Leyte, orders were received and planning began for the Ryukyus campaign. Again the 96-ID was assigned a mission involving an assault landing on Japanese-held beaches, and almost before the infantrymen had cleared the Leyte’s mud from his rifle, he was rushed aboard ship bound for Okinawa.

Headquarters XXIV Corps
After Action Report
96th Infantry Division
Ryukyus Campaign

W. H. Biggerstaff
Colonel A.D.G
Adjutant General


XXIV CorpsMission

All preparations for the Ryukyus campaign began in earnest on February 8 1945 when the 96-ID, as a part of the XXIV Corps and the 10-A, was assigned the mission to :

(a). Land at 0830, April 1 1945, on Beaches White and Brown near Sunabe, Okinawa, defeat and destroy all enemy forces encountered in its zone of action. (b). Advance rapidly inland, capture the commanding hills along the line Sunabe, Sukugawa, Hill 102 (TA 8486-A F) and seize the western and northern crests of the hill mass south of the line Sunabe, Puenzan, Koza (TA 8786-T) in its zone of action. (c). Secure the objective line marked L-10 in its zone of action at the earliest practicable time, and be prepared to continue the attack to the south on Corps order. (d). Promptly seize the river crossings immediately north and south Chatan (TA 8383-R X) and (TA 8381-G) respectively). (e). Protect the Corps right (south) flank. (f). Establish and maintain contact with 7-ID on its left (north) flank, coordinating with 7-ID along progress lines. (Field Order 45, HQ XXIV Corps, February 8 1945).

Plans were completed and the loading of supplies and equipment began on March 3. By March 14, all troops were embarked and assault units, in conjunction with the Navy, conducted two landing rehearsals near Vincay, Leyte, on March 17 and Marc 19. Last-minute loading was completed on March 24 and on March 25, LSTs sailed for the target. The balance of the task force sailed from Leyte on March 27.

96th Infantry Division CG’s Comments
Ryukyus Campaign

In general the comments and recommendations of the Division Commander are considered sound. The following comments are made in clarification or expansion :

(a). Officer reclassification procedure throughout the entire current emergency has left much to be desired. There is no question but that in combat the word of the commander must be final and procedure should be designed to get the officer out of the command immediately. (b). The degree of success attained by War Dogs in units of this Corps through two campaigns has been extremely disappointing; insofar as their use for scouting is concerned. It is unknown whether or not this is inherent in the dog or in the training of the dog and his handler in those units attached to the Corps. (c). The candy assault ration used by units of this command in two campaigns has proved of almost no value. It is recommended that it be discontinued. Current rations throughout any active campaign should be supplemented by additional allowance’s of lard, flower. salt, baking powder, milk and yeast. Where they are available in ample quantity experience shows that the soldiers are well satisfied with what they get to eat. (d). The matter of ordnance maintenance within the division has become critical. The light ordnance maintenance company is not capable of meeting even a moderate percentage of needs in the modern division. The lack of backing up ordnance support is a factor in this need. It is urgently recommended that the division ordnance company be increased to the approximate capacity of a medium maintenance company. This headquarters has previously recommended adaptation of the Cavalry Division Ordnance Maintenance Company for the Infantry Division. (e). The matter of the superiority of Japanese smokeless powders over that supplied to our own units is believed to be a fallacy although the belief of the soldier in that superiority is extensive. This is a morals factor to the extent that definite educational measures are being taken in this command to counteract the alleged deficiency of our own powders.

LVT Buffalo 96th infantry division Chatan Okinawa 1945

Purpose

Purpose
The following report is a story of the events leading to the landings on Okinawa, and of the drive inland and south to the end of the island when the enemy was finally defeated and completely wiped out on June 30 1945. The human elements of the battle and stories of tho numerous heroic and courageous actions by small units can only be told in much larger volume than this. It is left to other publications to give these word pictures. The facts from the official records are presented hero net only as an official report, but also as a basis for such works.

OVERALL COMMAND – RYUKYUS CAMPAIGN
Cin POA : Fleet Adm Nimytz
Officer Commanding Operation
(Com Fifth Fleet)
Adm Spuance
Officer Commanding Joint Expeditionary Force
(Com Phib Pac) Vive Adm Turner
(CTF-51)
Officer Commanding Expeditionary Force
(Com Gen Ten) Lt Gen Buckner
(CTF-56
Southern Attack Force
Rear Adm Hall
(TF-55)
XXIV Corps
Lt Gen Hodge
(CTG-56.3)
Trans Ron 14
Commodore Richardson
Trans Div 40
Trans Div 41
Trans Div 42
96th Infantry Division
Maj Gen Bradley
Regt Combat Team 381
Regt Combat Team 382 (Res)
Regt Combat Team 383

96th Infantry Division – Task Force Organization – Ruykyus Campaign

(Regimental Combat Team 381 – Col M. E. Halloran)
381st Infantry Regiment – Col M. E. Halloran
– 1/381 Lt Col J. C. Cassidy, 2 June, Maj V. N. Thompson
– 2/381 Lt Col R. Graybill, 8 May, Maj L. C. Addy, 20 June, Maj H. H. Hewett Jr
– 3/381 Lt Col D. A. Nolan Jr, 16 June, Maj H. R. Miles

Able Co, 321st Med Bn
2d Plat, Dog Co, 321st Med Bn
– 51st Port Surg Hosp attached, Maj G. S. Ortman, 18 May, Maj M. W. Hillman

Able Co, 321st Engr Bn
– Water Section attached.
Det 96th Sig Co
Det 96th CIC Team
361st FAB, Lt Col A. W. Masters
– 1st Plat, 827th Amph Trk Co attached

Charlie Co, 519th MP Bn, Lt J. W Stetzer
Btry B, 435th AAA-AW Bn
– Det Btry C, 294th S/L Bn attached
– 2 S/L Sec 14 EM, including 1 detector
– Btry A, 435th AAA-AW Bn (Assigned to RCT 381 for transportation only)

728th Amph Trac Bn, Lt Col F. B. Mann
– Det 593d JASCO
– 170th Engr Bn, Lt Col R. K. Barton Jr.
– Charlie Co, 83th Cml Wpns Bn
— 1/3 Am Sec, 88th Cml Wpns Bn Hq attached

780th Amph Tk Bn (less Charlie & Dog), Lt Col T. R. Turner Jr
– Baker & Dog Cos, 763d Tank Bn
– 293d Port Co, for Ships Plat, re-Capt F. F. Green
(reverted to 1122d Gp Hq on landing)

Prov GR Section (3 EM – 3008th GR Plat; 12 EM, 3240th QM Serv Co)
Photo Assignment Team, 3235th Sig Serv Det
2d Sound Locator Team

(Regimental Combat Team 382 – Col M. L. Dill)
382d Infantry Regiment (Reinforced) Col M. L. Dill
– 1/382 Lt Col C. W.Johnson
– 2/382 Lt Col C. D. Sterner
– 3/382 Tt Col J. R. Lewis, 18 April, Lt Col F. H. Hartline, 30 April, Maj J. H. Stell

Baker Co, 321st Med Bn
Det 96th Sig Co
Det 593d JASCO
Prov GR Sec (3 EM, 3003th GR Plat; 12 EM, 3240th QM Serv Co)
Photo Assignment Team, 3235th Sig Serv Det

(Regimental Combat Team 383 – Col E. T. May)
383d Infantry Regiment – Col E. T. May, 5 June, Lt Col D. Ballard, 14 June, Lt Col J. M. Williams
– 1/383 Lt Col B. F. King, 9 April, Maj K. W. Erickson, 16 May, Capt H. D. Young, 18 May, Lt Col G. A. Nelson, 13 June, Lt Col P. E. Clark
– 2/383 Lt Col P. E. Clark, 18 April, Maj A. T. Thorsen, 26 April, Maj G. E. Bucklin, 9 May, Capt J. A. McCaffrey, 10 May, Maj L. Morris, 18 May, Maj G. E. Bucklin
– 3/383 Lt Col E. W. Stare

Charlie Co, 321st Med Bn
1st Plat, Dog Co, 321st Med Bn
– 67th Port Surg Hosp attached Mah W. N. Block, 18 May, Capt W. E. Wescott, 21 May, Maj L. B. Goldstein

Charlie Co, 321st Engr Bn, Water Section attached
Det 96th Sig Co
Det 96th CIC Team
921st FAB, Lt Col R. R. Glenn
– 2 Plat, 827th Trk Co attached
96th Div MP Plat, Capt J. A. Kinsler
Btry D, 485th AAA-AW Bn
– Det Btry C, 294th S/L Bn attached (2 S/L Sec 14 EM)
788th Amph Trac Bn, Lt Col F. G. Hufford
Det 593d JASCO
174th Engr Bn, Lt Col A. L. Sweetland
Baker Co, 88th Cml Bn
– 1/3 Am Sec 88th Cml Bn attached
Charlie and Dog Cos, 780th Amph Tk Bn
Provisional Bn Hq attached
Charlie Co, 763d Tk Bn
204th Port Co (attached Ships Plat)
(reverted to control of 1122d Engr upon landing)
Prov GR Section (3 EM – 3008th GR Plat; 12 EM – 3240th QM Serv Co)
Photo Assignment Team, 3235th Sig
Serv Det

Hq 96th Inf Div, Maj Gen J. L. Bradley
Hq & Hq Btry, 96th Div Arty, Brig Gen R. G. Gard
– 362d FAB (attached), Lt Col F. W. Jenkins
— 827th Amph Trk Co, (less 1st & 3d Plats), Lt M. Z. Brown
– 363d FAB, Lt Col J. G. Hlavac
Hq Special Trs, Lt Co H. R. Damisch
– Hq Co, 96th Inf Div, Capt J. P. Hecimovich
– 96th QM Co (attached), Capt E. F. Mitchell
— 3240th QM Serv Co (less GR Secs), Capt J. M. Klaus
— 41st QM War Dog Plat, Lt H. H. Bucklin Jr
— Div GR Sec (less RCT Dets), Lt W. B. Kline
— 3d Plat, 3008th QM GR Co (less RCT Dets), Lt C. S. Kaeling
— 2d Sec, 2d Plat, 4342d QM Sup Co
– 796th Ord Co (attached), Capt W. A. Carlson, 7 May, Capt B. C. Boesser
— 632d Ord AM Co, Capt Allan and Lt Heidt
— Det 196th Ord Depot Co, Lt A. A. Meril
— 206th Bomb Disposal Squad, Lt O. B. Greenman
– 96th Sig Co (attached), Capt W. A. Carpenter
— Det 101st Sig Bn (Radio Team)
— 3235th Sig Serve Det (less RCT Dets), Lt F. K. Tones (attachments)
96th Div Band, CWO O. W. Shetney
96th Recon Tr, Capt R. B. O’Neill
321st Engr Bn (less Able, Charlie Cos) (attached), Lt Col S. R. Kolloy, 17 April, Maj E. J. Martell
– 2d Plat, 1088th Engr Depot Co, Lt Slack
321st Med Bn (less Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog Cos (attached),Lt Col G. B. Salter
– 31st Fld Hosp, Lt Col H. A. Rogan
1122d Engr Gp Hq & Hq Co, (Shore Party) (attached), Col C. J. Douglas
– 170th Engr Bn (C) (attached 381-RCT until landing), Lt Col R. K. Barton Jr
– 174th Engr Bn (C) (attached 383-RCT until landing), Lt Col A. L. Sweetland
– 173d Engr Bn (C), Lt Col O. P. Gokay
– 474th Amph Trk Co, Capt D. P. Hill
– 204th Fort Co, (attached RCT-383 until landing)
– 293d Port Co, (attached RCT-381 until landing), Capt F. F. Green
504th AAA (Gun) Bn (+ Team 3, MAWS #8 attached), Lt Col J. B. McCumber
485th AAA-AW Bn (less Btrys B, D), Lt Col A. Garvey
– Btry C, 294th S/L Bn (-1 Plat) (attached), Capt H. S. Harley
– 4 Secs & RCT attachments)
– 33th Cml Wpns Bn (Mtz) (less Able, Baker, Charlie Cos and 3 AM Secs) (attached), Maj G. A. Cain
593d JASCO (less RCT attachments), Maj F. L. Duggan
763d Tk Bn (less Baker, Charlie, Dog Cos), Lt Col H. L. Edmonson, 11 May, Maj A. E. Lancaster
96th CIC (less RCT attachments), Capt F. L. Fernandez
222d Censorship Det, Lt J. P. Stevens
38th Order of Battle Team, Lt A. Marcus
140th PI Team, Capt J. Krueger
314th Hq Intel Det, Lt (jg) D. L. Keene, 30 May, Lt A. F. Beach
– 344th Interrogator Team (attached)
– 372d Interpreter Team (attached)
– 389th Translator Team (attached)
News Team B, 1st Info & Hist Unit, Capt L. K. Soth
Civilian Correspondents Gp
2212th POA TQM Team, Lt Col R. H. Billingsley
3d Plat, 3754th QM Trk Co, Lt R. Wadlund
(transported by the 7th infantry Division then reverted to the 96-ID)
2d Plat, 244th QM Depot Sup Co, Lt R. M. Heximor
(transported by the 7th infantry Division then reverted to the 96-ID)
2d Plat, 191st QH Gas Sup Co, Lt R. H. Arnold
(transported by the 7th infantry Division then reverted to the 96-ID)
Mi1 Govt B-5, Lt Col W. E. Anderson
– 8th G-10 Disp
Mil Govt A-6, Lt Comdr E. R. Mossman
– 9th G-1O Disp

763d Tank Battalion – Nov 30 44
51st Port Surgical Hospital – Nov 30 44
CIC Detachment – Nov 30 44
140th PI Team – Nov 30 44
3008th QM GR Co (3d Plat) – Jan 7 45
67th Port Surgical Hospital – Jan 28 45
1st Info and Hist SV (News Tm B) – Feb 12 45
41st QM War Dog Plat – Feb 16 45
206th Ord Bomb Disposal Squad – Feb 16 45
2212th POA TQM Team – Feb 27 45
314th Hq Intel Detachment – Feb 27 45
389th Translator Team – Feb 27 45
372d Interpreter Team – Feb 27 45
344th Interrogator Team – Feb 27 45
3255th Sig Serv Detachment – Mar 1 45
38th Order of Battle Team – Mar 9 45
2223d Censorship Detachment – Mar 23 45

UNITS ATTACHED RELEASED
Hq & Hq Co, 1122d Engr Gp Jan 28 45 April 5 45
170th Eng Bn Jan 28 45 April 5 45
173d Eng Bn Jan 28 45 April 5 45
174th Eng Bn Jan 28 45 April 5 45
504th AAA (Gun) Bn Jan 28 45 April 5 45
485th AAA-AW Bn Jan 28 45 April 5 45
Btry C, 294th S/L Bn (less 1 Plat) Jan 28 45 April 8 45
Charlie Co, 519th MP Bn Jan 28 45 April 30 45
632d Ord Am Co Jan 28 45 April 7 45
Det 196th Ord Depot Co Jan 28 45 April 7 45
474th Amph Trk Co Jan 28 45 April 4 45
204th Port Co Jan 28 45 April 7 45
293d Port Co Jan 28 45 April 7 45
3240th QM Serv Co Jan 28 45 April 12 45
31st Field Hospital Feb 4 45 April 12 45
593d JASCO Feb 16 45 April 8 45
827th Amph Trk Co Feb 16 45 April 4 45
88th Cml Bn (less Able & 1 Am Sec Bn Hq) Feb 15 45 April 14 45
Baker Co, 88th Cml Bn Feb 16 45 April 14 45
Remainder 88th Cml Bn Feb 16 45 April 29 45
Charlie, 88th Cml Bn (reattached) May 7 45 June 27 45
1088th Engr Depot Co (2d Plat) Feb 16 45 April 8 45
2d Plat, 191st QM Gas Sup Co Feb 25 45 April 8 45
2d Plat, 244th QM Dep Sup Co Feb 25 45 April 9 45
3d Plat, 3754th QM Trk Co Feb 25 45 April 9 45
170th Eng Bn Jan 28 45 April 5 45
780th Amph Trk Bn Feb 27 45 April 3 45
728th Amph Track Bn Feb 27 45 April 3 45
788th Amph Track Bn Feb 27 45 April 3 45
Military Affairs (Unit A-6) Mar 9 45 April 29 45
Med Disp Unit 11-6 (Unit G-10) #8 Mar 9 45 April 25 45
Military Govt (Unit B-5) Mar 9 45 April 29 45
Med Disp Unit B-5 (Unit G-10) #9 Mar 9 45 April 29 45
2d Sound Locator Team Mar 20 45 Mar 30 45

Charlie Co, 713-TB (Flame-thrower) April 9 45 April 29 45
2d Bn, 11th Mar Arty Regt April 9 45 April 16 45
3d Bn, 11th Mar Arty Regt April 9 45 April 15 45
1st Bn, 11th Mar Arty Regt (77-MM Rack HOW) April 10 45 April 29 45
106-IR (27-ID) April 12 45 April 15 45
776th Amph Tk Bn (Less Able & Dog) May 7 45 May 28 45
Dog Co, 776-ATB May 17 45 May 22 45
Able Co, 776-ATB May 20 45 May 22 45
1st Plat, Able, 519th MP Bn May 7 45 May 26 45
Able Co, 713-TB May 7 45 Not Released
593d JASCO (NGF) May 7 45 June 26 45
S/L Team #1 May 7 45 June 20 45
S/L Team #4 May 7 45 June 20 45
S/L Team #5 May 7 45 June 20 45
Det A-6 Military Govt May 7 45 June 30 45
Det B-4 Military Govt May 7 45 June 30 45
4th G-10 Disp May 7 45 June 30 45
718th Amph Track Bn May 17 45 May 28 45

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