At noon, Tokyo time; on 15 August the Emperor of Japan called upon his people to lay down their arms. On the 16th AFPAC radioed that negotiations with the Japanese were in progress and that hostilities were to cease. The night before enemy planes had bombed and crash dived on the little island of Iheya Shima, wounding several Americans. Other Kamikaze had attacked the warships of the Third Fleet, cruising off the Japanese mainland, and the instructions from AFPAC stated that our air reconnaissance would continue and that security measures would not be relaxed. But from the 16th on Japanese military operations ceased. Within a few days all of the isolated enemy groups on Okinawa were surrendering. In the original radio orders designating the Corps as the Korea occupation force, it was mentioned that the responsibilities of the Tenth Army in the Ryukyus remained unchanged. On the 16th the Tenth Army ordered the Corps relieved of responsibility of the ground defense of that area effective 22 August, and on that day, at 1200, ASCOM I -- subordinate to the Tenth Army -- assumed responsibility for the ground defense and internal security of the Ryukyus.
On the 18th General Hodge radioed for authority to come to AFPAC headquarters for conference. This request was granted and he left by air for Manila with two of his staff officers on the 21st. Four days later he returned, having been delayed by bad weather.
Prior to his departure for Manila, General Hodge had been appointed Commanding General United States Army Forces in Korea (USAFIK) with authority to "act for CINCAFPAC in reception of surrender of senior Japanese commanders and all Japanese ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces in Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude." Upon his return he formally established this new overall headquarters and assumed its command on 27 August.
For the Korean occupation "Blacklist" had originally assigned a force of about 110,000 men. The first troop list to arrive at Tenth Army headquarters was dated 11 August. It allocated the 7th, 27th, and 40th Divisions to the Army, together with the 137 AAA Group, 20th Armored Group, 1st Engineer Special Brigade with two engineer combat groups, XXIV Corps Artillery, and a sizeable service echelon under ASCOM TEN. In all there were to be 65,052 army combat troops, and 27,542 army service troops. Thereafter troop list revisions followed in rapid succession; by 1 September thirteen had been published.
On the 14th the 27th Division was replaced by the 96th. The second troop list, dated 15 August, reflected the relief from responsibility of the Tenth Army and the assignment of the 96th Division. It listed an Army Service Command 24 (ASCOM 24) to replace ASCOM TEN. Troop allocations were altered to 62,724 combat and 29,076 service. Within the Corps zone of responsibility were listed air units totalling 10,669 men, under the general command of the Far Eastern Air Forces and under the immediate control of the 308th Bomb Wing (Heavy), a specially designed mobile administrative and operational headquarters.
On 1 September, shortly before the operation was launched, the major combat and service elements under the XXIV Corps were:
7th Infantry Division
40th Infantry Division
96th Infantry Division
Tenth Army AAA (acting as Military Government Headquarters)
137th AAA Group
101st Signal Battalion
XXIV Corps Artillery
71st Medical Battalion
1140th Engineer Combat Group
The 308th Bomb Wing was to operate within the Corps area of responsibility.
One of the principal considerations of the first week of planning was the state of readiness of the two divisions in the Philippines which had been assigned to the Corps. To the 40th, then on Panay, and to the 96th, on Mindoro, radios were sent through the Sixth and Eighth Armies respectively asking as to their status of preparation for movement, including the availability of required supplies, acomunition and equipment. In the meanwhile, however, CINCAFPAC had ordered the commending officers of both divisions with minimum planning staffs to report to General Hodge on Okinawa. Major General James L. Bradley and party arrived on the 19th and Brigadier General Donald J. Myers on the 20th, making it possible for the Corps to receive its data at first hand.
Both of the divisions had passed to the operational control of the XXIV Corps by the terms of Operations Instructions No. 4 on 15 August, and both were assigned to the Corps effective on the same day. It was thought at first that, following the general plan in "Blacklist" the 7th and 40th Divisions would move to Korea at the same time. Phase II would, in that way, follow close on the heels of of Phase I. It was not planned to have the 40th come to Okinawa : rether it was to be lifted direct from Panay to Korea. The division was instructed to return to the Zone of the Interior all its enlisted personnel who wished to go of forty or more years of ago and with over 85 points on their Adjusted Service Rating.
A report from the Sixth Army showed the 40th Division lacking very few items of ordnance and engineer equipment, but with much that was operative but not combat serviceable. No winter clothing was available. Maintenance and supply levels were generally satisfactory. Less was known about the status of the 96th, but this proved of little disadvantage since in the end it never came to Korea. Preparations for mounting the 40th Division were slowed by the news on 23 August that it would move to Korea in a second echelon of shipping. The story of its preparations and movement will be told in a later chapter.