Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 12, 1945; Aussies Push Deep into Bornoeo:


The Abilene Reporter-News





Aussie Vets Pushing Deep Into Borneo


MANILA, Tuesday, June 12—(AP)—Sweating Australian troops plunged steadily inland in British North Borneo against negligible resistance today after four unopposed landings in the Brunei bay area Sunday as Gen. Douglas MacArthur bid boldly for the oil and rubber of the world's second largest stand.

Already the invasion had secured for the Allied Navies Brunei bay, one of the southwest Pacific's finest anchorages only 800 miles from Singapore; swept through the ruined town by Brooketon, where new Japanese oil machinery lay ready to be taken to the wells, and secured the town of Victoria and Labuan airfield on Labuan island.

Brunei, capital town of the British protectorate of the same name, was the next objective, and already the Australians had plodded within. 13. miles of it in the oppressive tropical heat.

The Australians, members of the tough Ninth Infantry division of the famed "Desert Bats" of Tobruk and El Alamein — hit the deserted beaches Sunday at 9:15 a. m.' (7:45 p. m., Saturday, central war time), at four points: on the southeastern tip of Labuan Island at the mouth of Brunei bay; on Muara Island,

also in the bay; at Brunei bluff, and of  Brooketon town.


'Objectives On Borneo Secured Within 20 Minutes

By SPENCER DAVIS BROOKETON, British North Borneo, June 10— (Delayed)—(AP)—

Thousands of eager Australian ninth division troops landed at points dominating commodious Brunei bay, North Borneo, at 9:15 a.m. today and secured all their immediate objectives within 20 minutes.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur came ashore and personally viewed this first reconquest of British soil on Borneo.

By this afternoon two long columns of Australian infantrymen, wet
 with-sweat trudged along the sandy road to Brunei Town after occupying the fire-seared village of Brooketon without firing a shot.

Furious bombardment by cruisers, destroyers and gunboats and heavy aerial attacks before the soldiers stepped ashore had proved too much for the Japanese, who decamped without leaving even snipers behind.

A lone Japanese plane dropped one bomb two hours before the

landing. It fell harmlessly in the water in the transport area where 200 American and Australian vessels were assembled for the invasion.

That was the extent of enemy opposition, and the Allied fleets held the great box-shaped Brunei bay as a base for future operations only 800 miles east of Singapore. It is one of the finest far Pacific.


GUAM, Tuesday, June 12—(AP)—Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., demanded yesterday that the Japanese commander on Okinawa unconditionally surrender surviving remnants of his garrison force as American troops made substantial gains all along the southern front despite fanatical resistance. Buckner, commander of the U. S. Tenth Army, pointed out that the Japanese were trapped in two pockets—one only about two square miles in size, the other of  15 square miles or less—and that annihilation was certain unless they capitulated.

There are about 15,000 Japanese still on Okinawa—survivors of an original garrison of perhaps 85,000.

This possibly was the first time in the Pacific war that an American commander had called directly upon a, Japanese general to surrender.

Previously, surrender pamphlets had been dropped from airplanes behind enemy lines and captured Japanese infrequently had been taken near the front and broadcast surrender appeals to their former buddies. Neither of.-these methods had brought in many prisoners.

.Fleet Admiral Chsterm. Nimits did not immediately 'disclose .how
Buckner transmitted his surrender demand. There was no indication that the trapped Japanese had replied.


GUAM, Tuesday, June 12—(AP)—B-29s have burned out or damaged 102.67 square miles of urban-industrial area in Japan's six largest cities, 21st bomber command headquarters announced today, as Army Mustangs and Marine Corsairs gave the enemy homeland its fifth successive day of aerial attacks.

MANILA, Tuesday, June 12 —(AP)

— The American 37th Infantry division consolidated Its positions a dozen miles from the main Cagayan alley of northern Luzon today preparatoryto an all-out attack on hat last major stronghold of the Japanese in the Philippines.

A communique from Gen. Douglas MacArthur's headquarters announced also that In central Luzon the American llth Corps captured the town of Snnta Ines east of Manila and was closing in on enemy mountain positions east of the Marikina river, while on the southeastern island of Mindanao the 10th corps advanced up the Pulang river and seized the 'town of Jasaan, 10 miles east of Mindanao's central highway.Oon Mindanao the, ground forces were Supported' stcSdlly by' 'divebombers, but on Luzon the weather prevented air activities.

Although the main Philippine fighting fronts were in Luzon and Mindanao, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Elchelherger, commander of the U. S. eight army, described western Leyte Island as "the greatest reservoir of Japanese in the Philippines."

The sixth Army turned over the Leyte cleanup to the eighth army on Dec. 26. Nearly 20,000 dead Japanese have been counted on that one island, scene of the American reinvasion of the Philippines. In addition, more than 450 prisoners havebeen taken, yet the starving and hopeless Japanese fight on, and the surrender rate has not increased materially.


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