The following report was obtained from observers who watched the Japanese
employment and tactics of parachute troops during the occupation of Timor.
Twenty to twenty-five troop transports, approached supported by bombers
and fighters. The bombers flew in flights of nine in V formation.
There was no wind, and the operation took place in bright sunshine at 0830.
The objective on each occasion was a position astride our line of
communication. The area chosen was comparatively flat, and covered partly with
high palm trees, in places 15 to 20 feet apart, and partly with thick
underbrush. There was absolutely no air opposition, and the objectives
chosen were about a mile and one-half from the nearest forward defended
area, and about 5 miles from the fixed defenses.
Descents were made on 2 successive days; on each day approximately
350 parachutists were dropped, making a total of 700, which is believed
to be a battalion. The jump was made from a height of 300 feet, while
escorting planes bombed and machine-gunned the area. It is also
reported that troops carried and fired Tommy guns during their descent.
It is estimated that each transport carried 15 to 24 parachutists, organized
in groups of 6 to 8 men each.
There were apparently no containers either for arms or supplies. Men
carried radio-telephone sets with batteries, and compasses were
strapped to the wrist.
Emergency rations were carried in cellulose wrapping and consisted of
rice and dried compressed fish.
Section commanders' parachutes were blue, and platoon commanders' red. Uniforms
were green, buttoned to the neck, and rubber boots were worn.