Invasion of Lingayen Gulf

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Invasion of Lingayen Gulf
Part of World War II, Pacific War
US warships entering Lingayen Gulf 1945.jpg
The U.S. Navy battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) leading USS Colorado (BB-45) and the cruisers USS Louisville (CA-28)to the shores of Lingayen.
Date6–9 January 1945
Location
Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines
Result Allied victory
Belligerents

Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States

Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia

Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Japan

Commanders and leaders
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Jesse B. Oldendorf
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Douglas MacArthur
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Walter Krueger
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Tomoyuki Yamashita
Strength
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg : 875 + warships
203,608 soldiers
Flag of Australia (converted).svg : 1 heavy cruiser
Unknown
Casualties and losses
24 ships sunk
67 ships damaged
(Entire Luzon campaign and Mindoro Is.)
(13 Dec 44-13 Jan 45) [1]
Unknown

The Invasion of Lingayen Gulf (Filipino: Paglusob sa Golpo ng Lingayen), 6–9 January 1945, was an Allied amphibious operation in the Philippines during World War II. In the early morning of 6 January 1945, a large Allied force commanded by Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf began approaching the shores of Lingayen. U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy warships began bombarding suspected Japanese positions along the coast of Lingayen from their position in Lingayen Gulf for three days. On 9 January, the U.S. 6th Army landed on a 20 mi (32 km) beachhead between the towns of Lingayen and San Fabian.

Contents

Background

During World War II, the Lingayen Gulf proved a strategically important theater of war between American and Japanese forces. On 22 December 1941, the Japanese 14th Army—under Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma—landed on the Eastern part of the gulf at Agoo, Caba, Santiago and Bauang, where they engaged in a number of relatively minor skirmishes [2] with the defenders, which consisted of a poorly equipped contingent of predominantly American and Filipino troops, and managed to successfully invade and occupy the gulf. Following the defeat, the next day General Douglas MacArthur issued the order to retreat from Luzon and withdraw to Bataan. For the next three years, the gulf remained under Japanese occupation prior to the Lingayen Gulf Landings.

Operations

USS Columbia is attacked by a kamikaze off Lingayen Gulf, 6 January 1945. Kamikaze attacks USS Columbia (CL-56) in Lingayen Gulf on 6 January 1945 (NH 79449).jpg
USS Columbia is attacked by a kamikaze off Lingayen Gulf, 6 January 1945.
The kamikaze aircraft hits Columbia at 17:29. Kamikaze hits USS Columbia (CL-56) in Lingayen Gulf on 6 January 1945 (NH 79450).jpg
The kamikaze aircraft hits Columbia at 17:29.

Beginning on 6 January 1945, a heavy naval and air bombardment of suspected Japanese defenses on Lingayen began. Underwater demolitions began, but found no beach obstacles, and encountered sparse opposing forces. Aircraft and naval artillery bombardment of the landing areas also occurred, with kamikazes attacking on the 7th. On the 8th, it was observed that in the town of Lingayen, as a response to the pre-landing bombardment, Filipinos had begun to form a parade, complete with United States and Philippine flags; fire was shifted away from that area. [3]

At 09:30 on 9 January 1945, about 68,000 GIs under General Walter Krueger of the U.S. 6th Army—following a devastating naval bombardment—landed at the coast of Lingayen Gulf meeting no opposition. A total of 203,608 soldiers were eventually landed over the next few days, establishing a 20 mi (32 km) beachhead, stretching from Sual, Lingayen and Dagupan (XIV Corps) to the west, and San Fabian (I Corps) to the east. The total number of troops under the command of MacArthur was reported to have even exceeded the number that Dwight D. Eisenhower controlled in Europe. [4] Within a few days, the assault forces had quickly captured the coastal towns and secured the 20-mile-long (32 km) beachhead, as well as penetrating up to five miles (8 km) inland.

Despite their success in driving out the Japanese forces stationed there, they suffered relatively heavy losses; particularly to their convoys, due to kamikaze attacks. From December 13, 1944 - January 13, 1945, a total of 24 ships were sunk and another 67 were damaged by kamikazes, though this number includes landings on Luzon, outside of Lingayen Gulf, and the Philippine island of Mindoro. Ships damaged included the battleships USS Mississippi, New Mexico and Colorado (the latter was accidentally hit by friendly fire), the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, the light cruiser USS Columbia, and the destroyers USS Long and USS Hovey. [4] Following the landings, the Lingayen Gulf was turned into a vast supply depot for the rest of the war to support the Battle of Luzon.

Following are the allied Naval vessels damaged and sunk by kamikaze strikes between 3-13 January, 1945 at the Battle of Lingayen Gulf. Two of the ships were not technically damaged by kamikazes, the Destroyer/Minesweepers Hovey, which was sunk by an aerial torpedo, and the Palmer which was sunk by two bombs from an enemy dive bomber. The third Destroyer/Minesweeper sunk, the Long, was sunk by a kamikaze strike. Hovey, Long, and Palmer, three of the four ships sunk, were all classified as Destroyer/Minesweepers and were relatively small craft at 314 feet in length.

The Omanney Bay, a large escort carrier, was severely damaged by a Yokosuka P1Y kamikaze carrying two bombs, and later had to be scuttled by a torpedo. Although a large variety of ship classes were hit, Destroyer/Minesweepers made up three of the four ships sunk, and may have been targeted because they were smaller, isolated while performing their sweeping duties, and by necessity in the front of the convoy, as they had to sweep for mines before the larger ships of the allied force could advance into the Gulf. The naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison noted that at least on January 6, minesweepers bore the brunt of the attack because they were isolated from other ships, and had fewer and less sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons than larger ships. By January 12, most of the ships hit were larger cargo ships supplying troops that had already landed. [5]

Nearly all the ships were American, except those designated by HMAS for ships in the British commonwealth, or SS for Liberty Ships, usually operated by America's Merchant Marines. Those ships struck more than once have a number in parenthesis to the right of the name of the ship. An asterisk indicates a ship that was sunk. Time is in Naval military time.

Naval vessels damaged and sunk by kamikazes at Lingayen Gulf, 3-13 Jan 1945 [6]
DayTimeShipTypeDamageKilledWounded
3 Jan 19450728USS CowanesqueTransport OilerMinor21
3 Jan 19451712*USS Ommaney BayEscort CarrierSunk (Scuttled)9365
5 Jan 19451651USS HelmDestroyerMinor06
5 Jan 19451706USS Louisville (1)Heavy CruiserModerate159
5 Jan 19451735HMAS Australia (1)Heavy CruiserMinor3046
5 Jan 19451735HMAS AruntaDestroyerMinor24
5 Jan 19451739USS ApacheFleet TugMinor03
5 Jan 19451740USS LCI-(G)-70Small Troop CarrierModerate69
5 Jan 19451745USS Manilla BayEscort CarrierModerate3256
5 Jan 19451750USS Savo IslandEscort CarrierNegligible00
6 Jan 19451105USS Alan M. SumnerDestroyerExtensive1429
6 Jan 19451145USS Richard P. LearyDestroyerMinor01
6 Jan 19451159USS New MexicoBattleshipMinor3087
6 Jan 19451201USS WalkeDestroyer EscortExtensive1334
6 Jan 19451215*USS LongDestroyer/MinesweeperSunk135
6 Jan 19451252USS BrooksDestroyer TransportExtensive311
6 Jan 19451424USS ColumbiaLight CruiserMinor01
6 Jan 19451427USS O'BrienDestroyerModerate00
6 Jan 19451437USS MinneapolisHeavy CruiserMinor02
6 Jan 19451545USS OrcaOiler TransportMinor04
6 Jan 19451720USS CaliforniaBattleshipMinor45151
6 Jan 19451720USS NewcombDestroyerMinor215
6 Jan 19451729USS Columbia (2)Light CruiserExtensive1344
6 Jan 19451730USS Louisville (2)Heavy CruiserExtensive3256
6 Jan 19451732USS SouthardDestroyer/MinesweeperModerate06
6 Jan 19451734HMAS Australia (2)Heavy CruiserSerious1426
7 Jan 19450430*USS HoveyDestroyer/MinesweeperSunk463
7 Jan 19451835*USS PalmerDestroyer/MinesweeperSunk2838
8 Jan 19450545USS LST-912Tank Landing ShipMinor43
8 Jan 19450720HMAS Australia (3)Heavy CruiserMinor00
8 Jan 19450739HMAS Australia (4)Heavy CruiserExtensive00
8 Jan 19450751USS Kadashan BayEscort CarrierSerious03
8 Jan 19450755USS CallawayLarge Attack TransportMinor2922
8 Jan 19451857USS Kitkun BayEscort CarrierExtensive1736
8 Jan 19451903HMAS WestraliaLarge Troop CarrierMinor00
9 Jan 19450700USS HodgesDestroyer EscortMinor00
9 Jan 19450745USS Columbia (3)Light CruiserSerious2468
9 Jan 19451302USS MississippiBattleshipMinor2363
9 Jan 19451311HMAS Australia (5)Heavy CruiserMinor00
10 Jan 19451710USS Le Ray WilsonDestroyer EscortExtensive67
10 Jan 19451915USS Du PageLarge Attack TransportMinor32157
12 Jan 19451658USS GilliganDestroyer EscortExtensive1213
12 Jan 19451727USS Richard W. SuesensDestroyer EscortSlight011
12 Jan 1945753USS BelknapDestroyer TransportExtensive3849
12 Jan 19451815USS LST-700 (1)Tank Landing ShipExtensive06
12 Jan 19451250SS Otis SkinnerLiberty Ship CargoExtensive00
12 Jan 19451830SS Kyle V. JohnsonLiberty Ship CargoExtensive1290
12 Jan 19451830USS LST-778Tank Landing ShipNone00
12 Jan 19451830SS David Dudley FieldLiberty Ship, CargoMinor00
12 Jan 19451830SS Edward N. WescottLiberty Ship, CargoSubstantial013
13 Jan 19451810USS LST-700 (2)Tank Landing ShipExtensive22
13 Jan 19451821USS ZeilinLarge Attack TransportExtensive832
13 Jan 1945858USS SalamauaEscort CarrierExtensive1588

Commemoration

On 9 January 2008, Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. and Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas of Pangasinan institutionalized the commemoration to honor the war veterans. The resolution named 9 January as Pangasinan Veterans' Day. In the 63rd anniversary commemoration of the Lingayen Gulf Landing, President Fidel Ramos appealed to U.S. President George W. Bush for 24,000 surviving war veterans, to pass two legislative bills pending since 1968 at the US House of Representatives — the Filipino Veterans' Equity Act of 2006 and the Filipino Veterans' Equity of 2005 sponsored by former Senator Daniel Inouye. [7]

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References

  1. Smith, Robert Ross (1993). Triumph in the Philippines (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Army. p. 66. ISBN   978-1-4102-2495-8 . Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  2. Encyclopedia of American History
  3. Smith, Robert Ross (1993). Triumph in the Philippines (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Army. pp. 67–68. ISBN   978-1-4102-2495-8 . Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  4. 1 2 Pacific wrecks – Lingayan Gulf
  5. Morison, Samuel, Eliot, The Liberation of the Philippines, Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, 1944-45, (Copyright 1959), published in 2001, Castle Books, Edison, New Jersey, pgs. 109, 113
  6. All information is public domain from United States Navy, but table format and structure is borrowed from Morison, Samuel, Eliot, The Liberation of the Philippines, Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, 1944-45, (Copyright 1959), published in 2001, Castle Books, Edison, New Jersey, Appendix IV pgs. 325-26
  7. Abs-Cbn Interactive, 63rd anniversary of Lingayen Gulf Landing commemorated