This volume describes the operations of Allied forces in the Pacific theaters during the approach to the Philippines, April through October 1944. While this is essentially the story of U. S. Army ground combat operations during the approach, the activities of all ground, air, and naval forces are covered where necessary for the understanding of the Army ground narrative. Eight major and separate operations, all susceptible of subdivision into distinct phases, are described. Seven of these operations took place in the Southwest Pacific Area, while one -- the Palau Islands operation -- occurred in the Central Pacific Area. This series of actions is exceptional in that the operations were executed in such rapid succession that while one was being planned the height of combat was being reached in another and still others had entered the mopping-up stage.
Because of the nature of the combat, the level of treatment in this volume is generally that of the regimental combat team -- the infantry regiment with its supporting artillery, engineer, tank, medical, and other units. The majority of the actions described involved a series of separate operations by infantry regiments or regimental combat teams, since divisions seldom fought as integral units during the approach to the Philippines. Division headquarters, often assuming the role of a ground task force headquarters, co-ordinated and administered the ofttimes widely separated actions of the division's component parts.
In accomplishing the research and writing for this volume, which was begun in the spring of 1947, the author had access to the records of the U. S. Army units involved in the approach to the Philippines. Records of the Combined and Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U. S. Army General Staff, the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps, the U. S. Air Force, and the Australian services were also made available to the author upon request. Principal Japanese sources employed were monographs of Japanese operations prepared by former Japanese Army and Navy officers, beginning in late 1946, under the direction of the United States high command in Tokyo.
Unlike most operations in the Central Pacific and in Europe, those of U. S. Army ground combat forces in the Southwest Pacific Area had no contemporary historical coverage during World War II. In the last-named theater, no teams of historians accompanied combat units to observe, collect materials, conduct interviews, and prepare preliminary historical manuscripts. Thus, the sections of this volume concerning operations in the Southwest Pacific Area are based principally upon the official unit records maintained during combat and, to a lesser extent, the unit After Action Reports required by Army regulations. For opera-