8 comments on “X+1: November 16, 1945

  1. US Navy in-shore “flycatcher patrols” would not be made up of Destroyers. In the main they would be LCI(G) or LCS(L)3 working with PT-Boats.

    Via Google books —

    “U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History”
    By Norman Friedman

    In particular see –

    Pages 251 – 252 — LCI(G) Gunboats for Olympic

    The Navy wanted 400 gunboats for Olympic. It had 207 in May 1945 made
    up of 125 LCS(L)3 and 82 LCI(G) of various makes.

    The plan was for 200 more converted from 200 LCI(L) in the West Pacific.

    It was only going to get 100 of those 200 with the balance staying
    LCI(L) through Operation Olympic.

    No LCI(L) were planned for use in the Olympic landings despite Adm
    Barbey’s request to use them in order to reduce the threat to embarked
    troops compared to APA, AKA or LST types.

    However, the upshot here is that there would be 100 LCI(L) available
    for for Operation Coronet to either replace gunboat casualties or
    troop ship casualties (likely both).

    • Thanks for the comment!
      It’s a point of detail that I would file into the “too much for a newspaper reporter” bucket. A line about ‘…and other small patrol craft’ could still be slipped into the final copy. But that also re-opens the question of how many ships of each sort would be left after the string of typhoons rolled through between August and X-day.
      – sdm

  2. There were going to be about 200 PT-Boats involved in Operation Olympic.

    See —



    At Close Quarters
    PT Boats in the United States Navy
    Captain Robert J. Bulkley, Jr.
    USNR (Retired)
    with a Foreword by
    President John F. Kennedy

    page –441–

    “The original plans for Operation Olympic, the projected invasion of the Japanese home islands, made no provision for PT operations. Subsequent to the drafting of the operation plan, however, the Commander Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet asked Commodore Bates to submit a plan for use of PT’s off Japan, and subordinate commanders of the Amphibious Force made requests on him to provide more than 200 PT’s for use in connection with the invasion. Hostilities ended before the plan could be submitted.”


    Page 445


    In mid- August 1945, 30 squadrons of PT’s were in commission. Nineteen were in the Seventh Fleet, six in the Pacific Fleet, three were being reconditioned in the United States for Pacific duty after combat in the European theater, one was shaking down in Miami, and one was the training squadron at Melville. By the end of the year all had been decommissioned except Squadron 4, the training squadron, and the brand new Squadron 41. In addition there was Squadron 42, which had been fitting out in New York in August, and which was the only PT unit placed in commission after the end of hostilities.”

    Close Quarters took that from the following document —

    “An Administrative History of PT’s in World War II.”
    [Better known as United States Naval Administrative History of World
    War II #171, located in the Rare Book Room, Navy Department Library,
    Naval Historical Center, Washington DC. Available in microfiche for
    purchase, or it can be borrowed through interlibrary loan.]

    Which has been digitized as “An Administrative History of PT’s in World War II” on the Fold3 service.

    • I lost track of the reference, as it wasn’t specifically cited in the book margins, but at least one senior Navy man wanted nothing to do with PT boats during Olympic. I didn’t get a count of how many did get put on the job.

      However many small coastal patrol craft were in use, they still didn’t stop all the suicide boats from getting through and putting three holes in the side of the USS Guam on November 21st.

    • Speaking on the level of total numbers, Kyushu is listed as having 2101 miles of coastline, and I don’t think that source includes the islands and rettoes around it and to the south. A commander would have tough choices to make in how to focus the efforts of a few hundred small boats along 500 or 600 miles of coastline. By X+1 the focus may have shifted somewhat away from the outer islands, which had been supposedly gone over by then.
      – sdm

  3. The last bit on why this section regards Japanese suicide boats is wrong involved two items.

    The first is “Brodie Device” to launch L-4 and L-5 observation planes from LST’s.

    (See photo of Annex 6b to Field Order 74 Assignment of Shipping, I Corps (Tentative) pg. 1, Krueger Collection, Texas A&M in History Friday: Operation Olympic – Something Forgotten & Something Familiar, January 10, 2014

    The second is Dr. Vladimir Zworykin’s television seeker adapted to the L-5.

    See —

    History Friday: Secrets of the Pacific Warfare Board — Block III TV in the Invasion of Japan, Fourth of an Occasional Series

    History Friday: Secrets of the Pacific Warfare Board — Block III TV in the Occupation of Japan, First of an Occasional Series, June 20, 2014

    The 40th Infantry Division had the original Brodie device LST. That vessel’s crew and US Army artillery spotter plane pilots uncovered main Japanese Suicide boats base at Okinawa.

    During Olympic the “USS Brodie’s” L-5’s would have Dr. Vladimir Zworykin’s television cameras with the 40th Division’s ACG command ship being equipped with a TV receiver for the L-5 camera.

  4. The photograph pictured at the end of your article was actually a depiction of the kamikaze attack on the USS Kidd, painted by Paul Eckley at Eckley Aviation Art. His brother was stationed on this ship and Paul himself was a B-17 pilot in the early days of the Pacific Theater during WWII. This painting now hangs in the USS Kidd Museum in Baton Rouge LA.

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