World War Two, Pacific
AUGUST 1945 .
The Pacific War crescendo continues with Japan pressed from all directions, services, and
countries. Imperial Navy lies sunk in its harbors. Shipping is hazardous. U.S. aircraft, even single-engine fighter-bombers from airfields and carriers, have free run of Japan,
as Japanese planes are reserved as kamikaze and fighters for the final defense.
- Aug 1 . A fast striking group consisting of large cruisers Alaska (CB-1) and Guam (CB-2), four CL and 9 DD conduct anti-shipping sweeps in East China Sea off Shanghai, China.
Covering support is by 3 BB, 1 CA, 1 CL, 3 CVE, 6 DD and 3 DE.
784 B-29's (of 836 dispatched) bomb targets is their largest single-day effort, 6,632 tons.
- Aug 2 . Potsdam conference ends.
Japanese hospital ship Tachibana Maru, intercepted by Conner (DD-582) and Charrette (DD-581) and found to be carrying arms and ammunition in boxes marked with red crosses.
Bugara (SS-331) happens across Malay pirates attacking Chinese-manned Japanese schooner en route to Singapore. The Malayan cutthroats had already killed two crewmen. After taking off the crew and sinking the schooner, Bugara then pursues the pirates and destroys them.
Survivors of Indianapolis (CA-35) sighted by routine reconnaissance.
- Aug 3 . Mines dropped by B-29's sink 3 and damage 3 Japanese ships.
Fighters from Iwo Jima fly 100 sorties in Tokyo area.
Blockade of Japan is complete.
- Aug 4 . AAF supports ground forces on Luzon,
- Aug 5 . 470-plus B-29's fly incendiary raids against cities,
106 B-29's bomb coal liquefaction company at Ube, and 27 mine waters.
Earl V. Johnson (DE-702) is damaged by near-miss of kaiten fired by submarine I-53.
100+ P-51's strike airfields around Tokyo.
- Aug 6 . Hiroshima -- one plane destroys a target.1
Escort carriers attack shipping in the harbor at Tinghai, China.
150+ P-47s from Okinawa pound Kyushu.
Major Dick Bong, leading U.S. ace, killed in testing a P-80 jet fighter.
Bullhead (SS-332) is sunk, by Japanese Army aircraft ; last U.S. ship lost.
- Aug 7 . Attacks continue on all fronts.
- Aug 8 . Japanese Supreme Council demands :
1 . Keep Imperial family , 2 . Disarm own troops , 3 . No war crimes , 4 . Limited occupation of Japan
USSR declares war on Japan [ per Yalta agreement ] ; invades Manchuria.
Okinawa-based B-24's, B-25's, A-26's, P-51's and P-47's carry out strikes against Kyushu.
100-plus Iwo Jima based fighters hit Osaka area.
- Aug 9 . Nagasaki A-bombed.2
Kamaishi steel city bombarded by surface fleet a second time.
Carrier aircraft pound Japanese shipping and airfields on Honshu and Hokkaido.
Air force and submarines sink or damage 25 ships.
North Pacific task force of 2 CA and 12 DD bombards Japanese installations in Kurils.
Okinawa B-24's bomb airfields. B-25's and fighter-bombers attack shipping.
Over 200 P-47's and P-51's attack Kyushu and in the Ryukyus.
Japanese sub I-58 conducts unsuccessful kaiten attack on Oak Hill (LSD-7)
- Aug 10. Carrier planes pound Japanese shipping, airfields and railroads in northern Honshu
Emperor concludes to Cabinet the time had come to "bear the unbearable".
- Aug 11. 530 Okinawa-based B-24's, B-25's, A-26's, A-20's, and fighters attack in the Inland Sea.
Submarine aircraft carrier I-402 damaged at Kure.
- Aug 12. U.S. drops leaflets telling of surrender terms to encourage leaders to quit.
Soviet troops enter N. Korea.
I-58 launches last kaiten.
Pennsylvania (BB-38) torpedoed by bomber at Okinawa.
Reports of Japanese atomic test in Korea.
- Aug 13. Carrier aircraft bomb targets in the vicinity of Tokyo.
- Aug 14. 570 B-29's bomb Japan while 132 make the longest nonstop bombing mission from the Marianas--3,650 miles to bomb Nippon Oil Company; 39 others drop mines.
Japan accepts the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration and starts diplomatic process to surrender.
11th Airborne Div stages to Okinawa as initial occupation force for Japan.
Coup attempt within Japanese government is put down.
- Aug 15. The first air strike of the day splashed 26 of 45 defenders.
Emperor speaks to the nation: "... the enemy has recently made use of an inhuman bomb3 ..."
Second strike of morning is canceled while en route to objectives around Tokyo.
Pilots jettison their ordnance and return to carriers.
Japan surrenders . VJ Day. (Aug 14 in U.S.)
Four former-enemy are shot down in the background while Halsey makes "The war is ended" speech to the fleet.
Three more attacking bombers were downed later in the day in a "friendly way."
- Aug 16. Ohnishi, the man who sowed the Divine Wind, commits hara kiri.
Korea divided into North and South.
- Aug 17. The last man killed in WW2 was a photographer crewmen of a B-32.
Indonesia declared a republic.
- Aug 18. Royal family visits military commands to confirm the will of the Emperor is to surrender.
- Aug 19. Japanese delegates arrive in Manila to receive surrender instructions.
Ho Chi Minh takes power in Hanoi, French Indochina . (Vietnam)
End of censorship. Posted on HQ door "Out of business"
- Aug 20. Soviet occupation of Kurils.
Rationing ended on gasoline, fuel oil, canned fruit and vegetables, clothing and shoes.
- Aug 21. Chinese civil war breaks out : Communist Mao vs. Chiang Kai-shek.
Battle of the Junks -- last surface fight of WW2.4
- Aug 22. Japanese AA near Hong Kong fire upon navy patrol planes.
- Aug 23. Carrier planes search for military shipping.
- Aug 24. Planned arrival of third atomic bomb ; it was to be used on Tokyo.
- Aug 25. Carrier aircraft begin flights over Japan to patrol airfields, shipping, and to locate and supply prisoner of war camps.
- Aug 26. Mine clearance work.
- Aug 27. Third Fleet stands into Sagami Wan, the outer bay to Tokyo.
B-29's begin supplying prisoners-of-war and internee camps in Japan, China, and Korea with medical supplies, food, and clothing. 900 sorties in next month. 4,470 tons are dropped to about 63,500 prisoners in 154 camps.
Japanese super-submarine I 400 surrenders to destroyers
- Aug 28. USAAF technicians land at Atsugi Airdrome, near Tokyo ; these are the first American troops to land.
U.S. Airborne and Marines forces begin landing on Japan
- Aug 29. Emergency evacuation begins of Allied POWs in waterfront areas.
- Aug 30. Landings by the occupation forces begin in the Tokyo Bay area under cover of
guns and aircraft of the Third Fleet and USAAF.
Pearl Harbor report blames Hull, Marshall, Short, Gerow, Stark & Kimmel.
- Aug 31. Super-submarine I 401 surrenders to Segundo (SS-398) at entrance to Tokyo Bay.
1 . The point is -- one airplane destroyed the target -- the explosive equivalent of 2,000 B-29's.
Note : this replaces about four 500-plane raids or two week's activity.
2 . This completed the use the two prototype bombs, one of uranium and one of plutonium.
The design standardized on plutonium and the first production bomb would arrive a few weeks after the test bombs, target Tokyo, and one-a-month thereafter.
3 . Let the reader judge if "the bomb" ended the war. The Empiror said so. Also note start of the myth of atomic weapons as different than any other new instrument of war. Bomb damage.
4 . Overloaded Japanese junk tried to commandeer two smaller junks using an army howitzer, but they were manned by
American-Chinese guerilla force on way to rescue POWs and armed with bazookas, machine guns, and grenades. First boarding by Marines of an enemy at sea in over 100 years.