155th and 167th Infantry Regiments of the 31st Division disembark from LCIs at Red Beach

Troops of the 155th and 167th Infantry Regiments of the 31st Division disembark from LCIs at Red Beach. All the landing craft waves touched the outer edge of the reef approximately on schedule and the LVT's had little difficulty negotiating the reef. LCIs moving up to the outer edge of the reef at H plus 15 minutes disgorged troops in from 3 to 5 feet of water. Some of the LCIs stuck on coral heads near the outer edge of the reef and troops had to disembark in neck-deep water. Several LCIs were unable to retract and had to be towed off the reef later in the day. LCTs did somewhat better and many of them got to within 40 yards of the beach. But about 75 percent of the engineer vehicles and equipment from the LCTs bogged down in the clay or sand on the reef. LCMs bringing artillery and engineer weapons, equipment, and vehicles ashore to Red Beach had little better luck, and most LCM cargo had to be towed ashore. Some vehicles drowned out as they awaited towing. The most significant Japanese reaction to the Allied landing came in the form of frequent but generally ineffective air raids, the first of which occurred when a lone enemy plane dropped three bombs on the Red Beach area on the morning of D plus 1. No damage or casualties to Allied forces resulted. Damage was negligible in subsequent raids and only twelve Allied soldiers were wounded as a result of the air attacks in the period to 4 October. A few subsequent air attacks caused more extensive damage to Allied aircraft on the island. The total number of Japanese killed on Morotai was 104, and 13 were captured. PT boat skippers estimated that they had accounted for at least 200 more in sinking Japanese barges between Morotai and Halmahera. Allied casualties by October 4 numbered about 30 men killed, 85 wounded, and 1 missing. US Army Air Force North American B-25 Mitchells and US Navy PV-1 Venturas and Consolidated PB4Y Privateers began bombing operations against Mindanao on October 7. By December 24 the Japanese 211th Infantry Regiment had infiltrated onto Morotai despite heavy losses to shipping. Planning an offensive, they were eliminated by the 33rd Infantry Division before they could attack. The campaign on Morotai ended January 14, 1945, 20 days after it began. During that time 870 Japanese were killed and 10 captured. Casualties for the three battalions of the 136th Infantry totaled 46 killed in action and 104 wounded.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
United States Army
Date Photographed: 
Friday, September 15, 1944
Netherlands East Indies