Operation Gossipmonger

This was a US unrealised plan for the seizure of the Talaud islands, between the Molucca islands of the Japanese-occupied Netherlands East Indies and Mindanao in the Japanese-occupied Philippine islands group (summer/21 September 1944).

The Talaud islands group is located about mid-way between Morotai and Halmahera to the south-east and Mindanao to the north-west. The main island of Karakelong is almost 40 miles (64.5 km) long and about 10 miles (16 km) wide. All the islands are mountainous and in 1941 were largely undeveloped, but were nonetheless believed by the Allies to possess potential airfield sites. General Douglas MacArthur’s South-West Pacific Area command therefore planned to seize the islands on 15 October, exactly one month after the ‘Tradewind’ invasion of Morotai in the Halmahera islands group and one month before the planned ‘King I’ amphibious assault on the Sarangani peninsula area of Mindanao island, to be followed by ‘King II’ against Leyte island on 15 December, for the construction of airbases from which a measure of air support could be provided for these planned landings.

However, the entire schedule for the return to the Philippine islands group was brought forward at the 'Octagon' (2nd Quebec) conference of 12/16 September, and the invasion was cancelled after a reconnaissance by 'Alamo' Scouts on 20/21 September, which established that there were about 1,000 Japanese troops on the island.

‘King I’ was also cancelled as a result of the successes of US Navy operations in east Asian waters during August and September, and ‘King II’ was brought forward to 20 October.