Japanese Paratroop Operations in WW II
Posted By: Andrew Obluski <aoba41@yahoo.com>
Date: Monday, 26 March 2001, at 3:24 a.m.
It's a good occasion to present some data on Japanese paratroop operations in the Pacific War.
1) Celebes Island [NEI] Menado-Kema area [target Langoan Airfield]; IJN 1 Yokosuka SNLF (Air) [CO Cdr Toyoaki Horiuchi]; 334 men were dropped from G3M1-L transport aircraft on 11 Jan 42 and 185 more paratroops on 12 Jan 42.
2) Sumatra Island [NEI] Palembang area [target Palembang 1 Airfield]; IJA 2 Parachute Regiment of 1 Parachute Brigade [CO Col Seiichi Kume]; 360 paratroops were dropped from Ki-56 and Ki-57 transport aircraft on 14 Jan 42 and 100 more men on the next day.
3) Timor Island [NEI] Dili-Koepang area [target Penfoei Airfield]; IJN 3 Yokosuka SNLF (Air) [CO Lt Cdr Koichi Fukumi]; 308 paratroops were dropped from G3M1-L planes on 20 Feb 42 and 323 more on the next day. Seizing of Timor was the first combined paratroop and amphibious operation in the history of warfare. IJN marines and IJA amphibious units also took part in this operation. Additionally participating forces were covered by F1M2 floatplanes from the seaplane carrier MIZUHO.
All three paratroop operations carried out in the beginning of the war were successful.
4) Leyte Island [the Philippine Islands] [target network of airfields seized by US forces]; IJA 3 Parachute Regiment - Katori Shimpei Force [CO Lt Col Tsunehiro Shirai]; 409 paratroops were dropped on 6 Dec 44 from Ki-57 planes. Operation WA ended in disaster as IJA paratroops were not able to hold their initial gains and were wiped out by overwhelming US forces.
As an appendix we could add commando [teishin I suppose] operations.
On the night of 24/25 May 45 9 Ki-II-b of IJAAF 3 Dokuritsu Hikotai [stripped of all armament] with commandos aboard from Giretsu-tai were sent against US-held Yontan Airfield [Okinawa Island]; only one had plane reached the target and 12 commandos it was carrying were able to destroy 7 US planes and damage 26 more. Large supplies of fuel and ammo were also destroyed. All Japanese were killed. What a contrast to the operation of Navy PO Satoru Ono of 15 Kokutai from 18 Jul 38 in Nanchang. He was able to land on the airfield, set Chinese planes on fire and return safely to base. But we can not compare formidable American units with poorly led and equipped Chinese.
The last operation was mentioned by Katsuhiro Uchida - Tsurugi in his excellent posting. On 9 and 10 Aug 45 US carrier planes had destroyed almost 200 planes and thus prevented the Japanese from carrying out of Operation Tsurugi - commando raid on Marianas.
I hope you will correct my mistakes and add new information
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro <2000gt-b@mui.biglobe.ne.jp>
Date: Thursday, 26 April 2001, at 12:31 p.m.
He is Capt. HORIUCHI, Toyoaki who led Yokosuka 1st NSLF in Jan. 1942.
He belonged to 50th graduation class of Etajima.
He was the vice commanding officer of Cruiser TAKAO at Leyte in Oct. 1944.
He was executed on Sept. 25, 1948.
Photo: Maru Extra Jan. 1993 issue (Ushio Shobo)
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro <2000gt-b@mui.biglobe.ne.jp>
Date: Friday, 27 April 2001, at 10:15 a.m.
Hello Garth,
I heard that one (or some) of his sailors of Yokosuka 1st NSLF commit crime toward the people of Menado or Dutch soldiers. (I would also like to know the "precise" reason.)
Best regards,
Photo: Certificate of commendation from Adm. SHIMADA, Shigetaro (special thanks to Navy Club 21, Japan)
Posted By: Allan Alsleben <Wildcat42@AOL.com>
Date: Friday, 27 April 2001, at 5:50 p.m.
Greetings Katsuhiro-san,
With sadness, I regret to inform you that Captain Horiuchi was guilty of atrocities at Menado. It involved the Yokosuka 1st SNLF which took heavy casualties at Menado. Captain Horiuchi "Punished" those involved. It happened at Tarakan, Balikpapan, Makassar City, Ambon and Timor where there was resistance to the invasion or occupations. Although I understand why it happened, I do not condone it. Such is the difference between Eastern and Western philosophy.
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro <2000gt-b@mui.biglobe.ne.jp>
Date: Saturday, 28 April 2001, at 1:00 a.m.
Thank you very much, Al-san,
Now I understand the reason like I guessed so. I think VAdm. Marquis Daigo (CinC 6th Fleet) was executed for the same reason.
I think I am going to find the book about him at the "second-hand" book stores.
Thanks and best regards,
Photo: VAdm. Marquis DAIGO, Tadashige
Posted By: Andrew Obluski <aoba41@yahoo.com>
Date: Saturday, 28 April 2001, at 7:19 a.m.
Thanks for the story about Capt Toyoaki Horiuchi, Katsuhiro-san.
I don't know why Vice Adm Tadashige Daigo was executed. As far as I know he commanded submarine squadron and the 6th Fleet [Submarine Force] in World War II. I suppose the Allies punished him due to violation of command responsibility. Could you tell us more about Adm Daigo?
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro <2000gt-b@mui.biglobe.ne.jp>
Date: Saturday, 28 April 2001, at 10:52 a.m.
Hello Andrew-san,
Vice Admiral Marquis DAIGO, Tadashige
Born: Oct. 15, 1891 in Tokyo (His family belongs to "Ancient Court Noble" from Kyoto. His ancestors came to Tokyo from Kyoto with Emperor Meiji the Great in 1860's.)
Graduation of Naval Academy: July 17, 1913 (40th graduation class)
Classmates: OKA, Arata, UGAKI, Matome, FUKUDOME, Shigeru, YAMAGUCHI, Tamon, TERAOKA, Kinpei, OHNISHI, Takijiro...
Career and fate:
July 1942: Commander of a submarine division
Nov. 8, 1943: Commander of 22nd Special Guard Division at Balikpapan, Borneo
Aug. 23, 1944: Principal of the Submarine School
May 1945: CinC 6th Fleet (Submarine Force)
Dec. 1946: Arrested by the Netherlands (Jailed in Sugamo Prison, Tokyo)
Oct. 3, 1947: Sentenced
Dec. 6, 1947: Executed (at the age of 56)
According to Lt. Cdr. ARAKI, Asakichi, Daigo was the "first" and "last" genuin submarine officer who led 6th Fleet. (For further information, I recommend you to read Cdr. Hashimoto's book.)
I heard that the Chinese people in Balikpapan tried to attack the Japanese forces when Daigo was there, so the Japanese forces attaved the Chinese people. The Japanese sailors/soldiers might have commit crime toward those people then. (By now, I do not have precise information about it.)
Anyway, the stories of both Horiuchi and Daigo are told as "tragedies" now in Japan.
Best regards,
Posted By: Andrew Obluski <aoba41@yahoo.com>
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2001, at 1:49 a.m.
Thanks Katsuhiro-san.
You put a lot of facts about career of Vice Adm Tadashige Daigo. I would like to add that Daigo was ComSubRon 5 from the beginning of war to 10 July 1942 [Submarine Squadron 5 was disbanded on that date]. Later he replaced Adm Noboru Ishizaki as ComSubRon 11 and was also Commander of Kure Submarine Squadron [data from Boyd & Yoshida - fantastic book].
Touching on the subject of submarine admirals tried after the war. Do you know what happened to Adm Hisashi Ichioka. During the Pacific War he was ComSubRon 2, ComSubRon 8 and Commander Kure SubRon. Boyd and Yoshida indicate he was tried but I don't know how it ended. But as SubRon 8 operated its submarines in the Indian Ocean it's probable that the Allies made Ichioka accountable for crimes committed by submarine skippers like Hajime Nakagawa, Tatsunosuke Ariizumi or Kazuro Ebato.
Maybe you know the fate of Adm Kaku Harada. He was involved in the midget submarine development program and skippered seaplane carrier/midget carrier CHIYODA at the beginning of the war. In 1945 Harada was stationed in the Philippines [Cebu?] and again directed midget submarine operations against USN.
Posted By: Larry <Hldeziv@aol.com>
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2001, at 8:18 a.m.
Andrew -
RAdm Kaku (Satoru) HARADA was relieved as CO of Yokosuka Defense Squadron on 11 Aug 44 and appointed CO of 33d Special Base Force with HQ at Cebu City on Cebu Is. in the central Philippines. The island was invaded on 26 Mar 45 and after a brief defense by the garrison, which included 5,000 naval personnel under RAdm HARADA, the survivors withdrew into the mountains in the central part of the island where they held out until the end of the war. As to the personal fate of RAdm HARADA, my guess is that he did not surrender in August 1945 and either fell in the defense of Cebu or committed suicide.
Posted By: Allan Alsleben <Wildcat42@AOL.com>
Date: Monday, 26 March 2001, at 7:26 a.m.
Hello Andrew,
Do anyone have any information was to when the 101st Kure was activated? I didn't know that this unit existed. The only thing I have is the 101st Sasebo, assigned to the Southwest Area Fleet, but no other information on it either.
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro <2000gt-b@mui.biglobe.ne.jp>
Date: Saturday, 12 May 2001, at 2:18 p.m.
Hello Al-san,
Sasebo 101th SNLF was isolated in Truk and Rabaul and was disbanded in June, 1944.
This "Submarine SNLF" were merged to Kure 101st SNLF led by Lt. Cdr. YAMAOKA, Daiji (Etajima 63rd graduation class). As I stated before, Kure 101st was basically a "Submarine SNLF" and would attack Mainland America, but their duty was changed into "landing on Marianas from G4Ms on the ground".
Thirty G4Ms were prepared for this "Tsurugi Sakusen", but these thirty planes were attacked on Misawa Naval Air Base on July 14, 1945 by US carrier planes.
Some of the planes were repaired and new G4Ms were prepared again. Totally sixty G4Ms were prepared for the second chance which would be held on Aug. 19, 1945.
There was one more "Submarine SNLF" called Yokosuka 105th SNLF led by Lt. Cdr. KAGA, Makoto (Etajima 65th graduation class).
According to Lt. Cdr. YAMABE, Masao (Etajima 66th graduation class), the documents about these "Submarine/Air SNLFs" were not left because the plans for these units were NOT written on the papers in those days. These operations were the top secrets of IJN.
Best regards,
Posted By: Antonio Veiga <aveiga@airtel.net>
Date: Monday, 14 May 2001, at 2:46 p.m.
Hello Uchida-san.
I Think youŽll find this webpage very interesting:
Best regards
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro <2000gt-b@mui.biglobe.ne.jp>
Date: Sunday, 13 May 2001, at 7:36 a.m.
Hello Andrew-san,
I have just found Yamabe's book YESTERDAY at a second-hand book store, so I have not finished reading yet.
But when I read some pages of the book, I can say that there had not been a paratroop authority in IJN. Only Yokosuka Kokutai was the "laboratory" of those paratroops. So you can say that Yamabe, Capt. Horiuchi and others were the first and last paratroopers of IJN.
And regarding "Tsurugi Sakusen", Yamabe says that VAdm. Onishi was in charge.
Additional episode (Yamabe's wife Shigeko remembers...):
"My husband did his best during the war as a Navy Officer. He became a 'War Criminal' after the war for the reason he just could not understand why. He started to hide 'underground'. After five years passed, when we knew that he would not be arrested, we made up our minds to marry.
I trusted him very much and he was a very reliable man for me.
He struggled very hard after the war. Although he did not succeed in the business, he often said to me, 'You know, if I wear shabby clothes, my heart is just like excellent SILK.'
When I heard that he caught cancer (Yamabe passed away in 1976), my whole world turned upside down.
But I am proud of myself because I could devote all of myself to him.
I would like to thank all the people who helped us a lot.
July 1985
YAMABE, Shigeko"
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