FEATURED BLOGGER REPORT: General Yamashita By Pacific Paratrooper #AceHistoryDesk reports

From: “Our Jungle Road to Tokyo” by General Robert Eichleberger

Gen. Robert Eichelberger

Although negotiations with Yamashita for surrender were completed after 8th Army had relinquished control of Luzon, the story should be told here. It must be remembered that Japanese forces at this period had little or no communication with the homeland.

On 7 August – the day of the fall of the first atomic bomb – an America pilot was forced to abandon his disabled plane and parachute behind the Japanese lines in northern Luzon. He was picked up by an enemy patrol the next morning and taken after 5 days of forced marches to Gen. Yamashita’s headquarters, then SW of Kiangan.

There he was subjected to vigorous and prolonged interrogation. He was threatened with physical violence when he steadfastly refused to answer questions.

Gen. Yamashita

On 16 Aug – the attitude of the Japanese interrogators abruptly changed. The pilot received medical treatment for his parachute-jump injuries and was extended many small courtesies. The next day the American was guided toward American lines; when the Japanese soldiers had gone as far as they dared, they gave the flier a letter, written by Yamashita himself, which explained the circumstances of the pilot’s capture and commended him for his military spirit and devotion to duty.

On 24 August – the same pilot flew an L-5 liaison plane over the area in which he had been held and dropped a message of thanks to Gen. Yamashita, along with 2 signal panels. The message, written by Gen. Gill of the 32nd Division, suggested that if Yamashita were in the mood for surrender negotiations he should display the 2 panels as evidence of his willingness to parley.

The following morning another pilot found the panels staked out according to instructions; also on the ground were many cheering, hand-waving Japanese soldiers, who beckoned the plane to land. Instead, a second message was dropped. It suggested that Yamashita send an envoy to the American lines to received detailed instructions for his surrender.

Late in the afternoon of 26 August, a Japanese captain, carrying Yamashita’s answer, entered the American lines under a flag of truce. The letter, which was written in English, was as follows:

Ge. Yamashita

GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY IN THE PHILIPPINES

August 25, 1945

TO: GENERAL W.H. GILL, COMMANDING GENERAL KIANGAN-BOYOMBONG AREA, UNITED STATES ARMY IN THE PHILIPPINES

  1. I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication addressed to me, dropped by your airplane on Aug. 24th as well as your papers dropped on Aug. 25th in response to our ground signals.

2. I am taking this opportunity to convey to you that order from Imperial Headquarters pertaining to cessation of hostilities was duly received by me on Aug. 20th and that I have immediately issued orders to cease hostilities to all units under my command insofar as communications were possible.

I also wish to add this point the expression of my heartfelt gratitude to you, full cognizant of the sincere efforts and deep concern you have continuously shown with reference to cessation of hostilities as evidenced by various steps and measures you have taken in this connection.

To date however, I have failed to receive order from Imperial Headquarters authorizing me to enter into direct negotiations here in the Philippines with the United States Army…, but I am of the fond belief that upon receipt of this order, negotiations ca be immediately entered into. Presenting my compliments and thanking you for your courteous letter, I remain, yours respectively,

/s/Tomoyuki Yamashita, General, Imperial Japanese Army, Highest Commander of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines

circa 1956: The samurai sword of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, ‘the Tiger of Malaya’, commander of the Japanese troops in the Philippines during World War II. It rests on the Philippine Surrender Document, signed at Baguio, Luzon on September 3rd, 1945. (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

This message was the first in a series exchanged between Yamashita and Gen. Gill. The exquisite courtesy of the exchanges probably has for the average reader something of the quality of ‘Through the Looking-Glass’.

To be continued…….

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor –

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Farewell Salutes –

John Coyne – St. Paul, MN; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Margaret Bergthold – Lookeba, OK; US Navy WAVE, WWII, nurse

George Gaw – Sacramento, CA; US Navy, Bimini Island, 53rd SeaBee Batt. / USMC, Korea

Desmond Hyland – Hawkes Bay, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 421274, WWII, Mosquito pilot

Ben Jenik – KS; US Army Air Corps, Sgt., 93rd Supply Squadron/490 Bomb Group

Tom Montalbana – Brooklyn, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII & Korea

Harry Shakes – Winter Park, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO, Korea & Vietnam, Sgt. Major (Ret. 30 y.), 2 Bronze Stars, 2 Purple Hearts

Stephen St. Laurent – Portland, ME; US Army, Vietnam

Phyllis Tatel – Boston, MA; USO, WWII

William Webb Sr. – Columbus, GA; US Army, WWII

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Source: https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/general-yamashita/GP Cox

Feb 11

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