Philippines Campaign (1944–1945)

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Philippines Campaign (1944–45)
Part of the Pacific Theater of World War II
Douglas MacArthur lands Leyte1.jpg
General Douglas MacArthur, President Osmeña, and staff land at Palo, Leyte on October 20, 1944.
DateOctober 20, 1944 – September 2, 1945
Location
Result Allied victory
Territorial
changes
Belligerents

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

Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia (Air and Naval support)
Flag of Mexico (1934-1968).svg  Mexico (Air support)

Merchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Japan

Commanders and leaders

Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Douglas MacArthur
Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Sergio Osmeña


Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Chester W. Nimitz
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Walter Krueger
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Robert Eichelberger
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg William Halsey, Jr.
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Thomas C. Kinkaid
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg George C. Kenney
Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Basilio J. Valdes

War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Tomoyuki Yamashita
Flag of the Philippines (1943-1945).svg José P. Laurel


War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Akira Mutō
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Shigenori Kuroda
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Sōsaku Suzuki  
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan.svg Soemu Toyoda
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan.svg Takeo Kurita
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan.svg Jisaburō Ozawa
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan.svg Sanji Iwabuchi  
Units involved

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

I Corps
XIV Corps
X Corps
XXIV Corps
Sixth Army Reserves

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

XI Corps

Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Philippine Military

Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Resistance and Irregular Forces

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

Naval elements:

Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Third Fleet
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg Seventh Fleet
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Task Force 74

War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Fourteenth Area Army units include:

War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg 35th Army
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg 41st Army
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Fourth Air Army
Flag of the Philippines (1943-1945).svg  Second Philippine Republic

Naval elements:

Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan.svg Combined Fleet
Strength
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg 1,250,000
Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg 260,715 (1945) [2]
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg 529,802 [3]
Flag of the Philippines (1943-1945).svg approx. 36,000 [4] [5]
Casualties and losses

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

Manpower:

  • Army: 16,043 dead and missing,
    55,531 wounded [nb 1]
  • Navy: 7,270+ dead and wounded [nb 2]
  • Tens of thousands hospitalized due to disease [11]

3 Mexican air men dead in combat (79 Mexican guerillas dead) Total: 79,104+ dead and wounded

Contents

Material:

33+ ships sunk
95+ ships damaged
485+ aircraft [9] [12]

Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg Filipino

Unknown, but high [13]

War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army (1868-1945).svg Japanese

Manpower: 419,912 dead, missing or holding out [14] and 10,000 casualties in Leyte Gulf. [15]
(80% from starvation or disease) [16]

Material:

93+ ships sunk
1,300 aircraft [9] [12]

The Philippines Campaign, the Battle of the Philippines or the Liberation of the Philippines (Filipino: Kampanya sa Pilipinas, Labanan sa Pilipinas & Liberasyon ng Pilipinas), (Operation Musketeer I, II, and III) (Filipino: Operasyon Mosketero I, II, atIII), was the American and Filipino campaign to defeat and expel the Imperial Japanese forces occupying the Philippines during World War II. The Japanese Army overran all of the Philippines during the first half of 1942. The liberation of the Philippines commenced with amphibious landings on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on October 20, 1944. United States and Philippine Commonwealth military forces were progressing in liberating territory and islands when the Japanese forces in the Philippines were ordered to surrender by Tokyo on August 15, 1945, after the dropping of the atomic bombs on mainland Japan and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.

Filipino language official language of the Philippines

Filipino is the national language of the Philippines. Filipino is also designated, along with English, as an official language of the country. It is a standardized variety of the Tagalog language, an Austronesian regional language that is widely spoken in the Philippines. As of 2007, Tagalog is the first language of 28 million people, or about one-third of the Philippine population, while 45 million speak Tagalog as their second language. Tagalog is among the 185 languages of the Philippines identified in the Ethnologue. Officially, Filipino is defined by the Commission on the Filipino Language as "the native dialect, spoken and written, in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, and in other urban centers of the archipelago."

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

Planning

By mid-1944, American forces were only 300 nautical miles (560 km) southeast of Mindanao, the largest island in the southern Philippines – and able to bomb Japanese positions there using long-range bombers. American forces under Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz had advanced across the Central Pacific Ocean, capturing the Gilbert Islands, some of the Marshall Islands, and most of the Marianas Islands, bypassing many Japanese Army garrisons and leaving them behind, with no source of supplies and militarily impotent.

Mindanao second largest island of the Philippines

Mindanao or still commonly known as Southern Philippines, is the second-largest island in the Philippines. Mindanao and the smaller islands surrounding it make up the island group of the same name. Located in the southern region of the archipelago, as of the 2010 census, the main island was inhabited by 20,281,545 people, while the entire Mindanao island group had an estimated total of 25,537,691 (2018) residents.

Aerial bomb explosive weapon carried by aircraft for dropping on ground targets

An aerial bomb is a type of explosive or incendiary weapon intended to travel through the air on a predictable trajectory, usually designed to be dropped from an aircraft. Aerial bombs include a vast range and complexity of designs, from unguided gravity bombs to guided bombs, hand tossed from a vehicle, to needing a large specially built delivery vehicle; or perhaps be the vehicle itself such as a glide bomb, instant detonation or delay-action bomb. The act is termed aerial bombing. As with other types of explosive weapons, aerial bombs are designed to kill and injure people and destroy materiel through the projection of blast and fragmentation outwards from the point of detonation.

Bomber Military aircraft for attack of ground targets with bombs or other heavy ordnance

A bomber is a combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targets by dropping air-to-ground weaponry, firing torpedoes and bullets, or deploying air-launched cruise missiles.

Aircraft carrier-based warplanes were already conducting air strikes and fighter sweeps against the Japanese in the Philippines, especially their military airfields. U.S. Army and Australian Army troops under the American General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations, had either overrun, or else isolated and bypassed, all of the Japanese Army on New Guinea and the Admiralty Islands. Before the invasion of the Philippines, MacArthur's northernmost conquest had been at Morotai in the Dutch East Indies on September 15–16, 1944. This was MacArthur's one base that was within bomber range of the southern Philippines.

Aircraft carrier Warship that serves as a seagoing airbase

An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft. Typically, it is the capital ship of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to project air power worldwide without depending on local bases for staging aircraft operations. Carriers have evolved since their inception in the early twentieth century from wooden vessels used to deploy balloons to nuclear-powered warships that carry numerous fighters, strike aircraft, helicopters, and other types of aircraft. While heavier aircraft such as fixed-wing gunships and bombers have been launched from aircraft carriers, it is currently not possible to land them. By its diplomatic and tactical power, its mobility, its autonomy and the variety of its means, the aircraft carrier is often the centerpiece of modern combat fleets. Tactically or even strategically, it replaced the battleship in the role of flagship of a fleet. One of its great advantages is that, by sailing in international waters, it does not interfere with any territorial sovereignty and thus obviates the need for overflight authorizations from third party countries, reduce the times and transit distances of aircraft and therefore significantly increase the time of availability on the combat zone.

Australian Army land warfare branch of Australias defence forces

The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) commands the ADF, the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army (CA). The CA is therefore subordinate to the CDF, but is also directly responsible to the Minister for Defence. Although Australian soldiers have been involved in a number of minor and major conflicts throughout its history, only in Second World War has Australian territory come under direct attack.

Douglas MacArthur U.S. Army general of the army, field marshal of the Army of the Philippines

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur Jr. the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, and the only one conferred the rank of field marshal in the Philippine Army.

U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Army as well as Australian and New Zealand forces under the command of Admiral Nimitz and Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. had isolated the large Japanese South Pacific base at Rabaul, New Britain, by capturing a ring of islands around Rabaul, and then building air bases on them from which to bomb and blockade the Japanese forces at Rabaul into military impotence.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Rabaul Place in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Rabaul is a township in East New Britain province, on the island of New Britain, in the country of Papua New Guinea. It lies about 600 kilometres to the east of the island of New Guinea. Rabaul was the provincial capital and most important settlement in the province until it was destroyed in 1994 by falling ash of a volcanic eruption in its harbor.

New Britain Island in Papua New Guinea

New Britain is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. It is separated from the island of New Guinea by the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits and from New Ireland by St. George's Channel. The main towns of New Britain are Rabaul/Kokopo and Kimbe. The island is roughly the size of Taiwan. While the island was part of German New Guinea, it was named Neupommern.

With victories in the Marianas campaign (on Saipan, on Guam, and on Tinian, during June and July 1944), American forces were getting close to Japan itself. From the Marianas, the very long-range B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers of the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) could bomb the Japanese home islands from well-supplied air bases – ones with direct access to supplies via cargo ships and tankers. (The earlier B-29 bombing campaign against Japan had been from the end of a very long and tortuous supply line via British India and British Burma – one that proved to be woefully inadequate. All B-29s were transferred to the Marianas during the fall of 1944.)

Battle of Saipan battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands

The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June to 9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and the Army's 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito. The loss of Saipan, with the death of at least 29,000 troops and heavy civilian casualties, precipitated the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō and left the Japanese mainland within the range of United States Army Air Forces B-29 bombers.

Battle of Guam (1944) WWII battle by US forces to recapture Guam from the Empire of Japan

The Second Battle of Guam was the American recapture of the Japanese-held island of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Mariana Islands captured by the Japanese from the U.S. in the 1941 First Battle of Guam during the Pacific campaign of World War II.

Battle of Tinian battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II on the island of Tinian in the Mariana Islands

The Battle of Tinian was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Tinian in the Mariana Islands from 24 July until 1 August 1944. The 8,000-man Japanese garrison was eliminated, and the island joined Saipan and Guam as a base for the Twentieth Air Force.

Although Japan was obviously losing the war, the Japanese Government, and the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, showed no sign of capitulation, collapse or surrender.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

There had been a close relationship between the people of the Philippines and the United States since 1898, with the Philippines becoming the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, and promised their independence in mid-1946. Furthermore, an extensive series of air attacks by the American Fast Carrier Task Force under Admiral William F. Halsey against Japanese airfields and other bases on the Philippines had drawn little Japanese opposition, such as interceptions by Japanese Army fighter planes. Upon Admiral Halsey's recommendation, the Combined Chiefs of Staff, meeting in Canada, approved a decision to not only move up the date for the first landing in the Philippines, but also to move it north from the southernmost island of Mindanao to the central island of Leyte, Philippines. The new date set for the landing on Leyte, October 20, 1944, was two months before the previous target date to land on Mindanao.

The Filipino people were ready and waiting for the invasion. After General MacArthur had been evacuated from the Philippines in March 1942, all of its islands fell to the Japanese. The Japanese occupation was harsh, accompanied by atrocities and with large numbers of Filipinos pressed into slave labor. From mid-1942 through mid-1944, MacArthur and Nimitz supplied and encouraged the Filipino guerrilla resistance by U.S. Navy submarines and a few parachute drops, so that the guerrillas could harass the Japanese Army and take control of the rural jungle and mountainous areas – amounting to about half of the archipelago. While remaining loyal to the United States, many Filipinos hoped and believed that liberation from the Japanese would bring them freedom and their already-promised independence.

The Australian government offered General MacArthur the use of the First Corps of the Australian Army for the Liberation of the Philippines. MacArthur suggested that two Australian infantry divisions be employed, each of them attached to a different U.S. Army Corps, but this idea was not acceptable to the Australian Cabinet, which wanted to have significant operational control within a certain area of the Philippines, rather than simply being part of a U.S. Army Corps. [17] No agreement was ever reached between the Australian Cabinet and MacArthur – who might have wanted it that way. As a result, the Australian Army played virtually no part in the Philippines. However, units from the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy, such as the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, were involved.

During the American re-conquest of the Philippines, the guerrillas began to strike openly against Japanese forces, carried out reconnaissance activities ahead of the advancing regular troops, and took their places in battle beside the advancing American divisions. [18] [19]

Leyte

The four engagements comprising the Battle of Leyte Gulf Leyte map annotated.jpg
The four engagements comprising the Battle of Leyte Gulf

On October 20, 1944, the U.S. Sixth Army, supported by naval and air bombardment, landed on the favorable eastern shore of Leyte, one of the islands of the Visayas island group, northeast of Mindanao. The Japanese miscalculated the relative strength of the naval and air forces, and they attempted to destroy the landing. This brought about the massive sequence of battles called the Battle of Leyte Gulf, fought on October 23 through October 26. This decisive victory by the U.S. Navy, its Fast Carrier Task Force, its surface fleet, and its submarines effectively destroyed the remainder of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), which had already lost all of its effective aircraft carrier forces. The IJN had four of its carriers sunk (ships with depleted air squadrons – which were used only as decoys), numerous battleships and heavy cruisers, and a large number of light cruisers and destroyers. The IJN was never able to fight a major battle after this.

Japanese leaflet designed to discourage the landing American troops. Beware of the Triple Threat.jpg
Japanese leaflet designed to discourage the landing American troops.

The U.S. Sixth Army continued its advance from the east, as the Japanese rushed reinforcements to the Ormoc Bay area on the western side of the island. While the Sixth Army was continually reinforced, the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the U.S. 3rd Fleet's Task Force 38 were able to devastate the Japanese attempts at air attacks and at landing new reinforcements and supplies, and also provide much support to the Army's ground troops during what is known as the Battle of Ormoc Bay from November 11 to December 21, 1944.

The Filipino guerrillas also performed valuable service in maintaining public order and in keeping the roads and highways free of congestion. After the American beachheads were established, the Leyte guerrilla groups were attached directly to the Sixth Army corps and divisions to assist in scouting, intelligence, and combat operations. [20] [ not in citation given ] With the initial U.S. Sixth Army landings on the beaches at Tacloban and Dulag, Colonel Ruperto Kangleon's units went into action. They dynamited key bridges to block Japanese displacement toward the target area; they harassed enemy patrols; and they sabotaged supply and ammunition depots. Information on enemy troop movements and dispositions sent from guerrilla outposts to Kangleon's Headquarters was dispatched immediately to Sixth Army. [21]

During many torrential rains and over difficult terrain, the advance continued across Leyte and onto the major island of Samar, just north of Leyte. On December 7, 1944, the U.S. Army units made another amphibious landing at Ormoc Bay and, after a major land and air battle, the landing force cut off all Japanese ability to reinforce and resupply their troops on Leyte. Although fierce fighting continued on Leyte for months, the U.S. Army was always in control.

Mindoro

The U.S. 6th Army's second major target to attack was Mindoro. This large island is directly south of Luzon and Manila Bay, and MacArthur's main goal in taking it was to be able to construct airfields on it for fighter planes that could dominate the sky over the most-important island of Luzon, with its major seaport and capital city of Manila. [22]

The Seventh Fleet's large invasion convoy from Leyte to Mindoro came under strong attack by kamikazes, but they could not delay the American invasion of Mindoro. [23] Mindoro was only lightly occupied by the Japanese Army, and much of it was held by Filipino guerrillas, so Mindoro was quickly overrun. U.S. Army engineers set about rapidly constructing a major air base at San Fabian. Besides being close to Luzon, Mindoro has another advantage: good flying weather nearly all the time, because this is a part of the Philippines that is relatively dry – quite unlike Leyte which receives torrential rains most of the year, not only giving it poor flying weather, but making it very muddy and difficult to construct airfields.

San Fabian was also the location of another breakthrough: the first appearance during the War in the Pacific of USAAF squadrons flying the fast, long-range P-51B Mustang fighters – far superior to anything that the Imperial Japanese Army or Navy had.

Mindoro was a major victory for the 6th Army and the USAAF, and it also provided the major base for the next move of MacArthur's 6th Army: the invasion of Luzon, especially at Lingayen Gulf on its western coast.

Luzon

Troops of the 185th Inf., 40th Div., take cover behind advancing tanks while moving up on Japanese positions on Panay Island PanayIslandPhilippines1945.jpg
Troops of the 185th Inf., 40th Div., take cover behind advancing tanks while moving up on Japanese positions on Panay Island

On December 15, 1944, landings against minimal resistance were made on the southern beaches of the island of Mindoro, a key location in the planned Lingayen Gulf operations, in support of major landings scheduled on Luzon. On January 9, 1945, on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf on the western coast of Luzon, General Krueger's Sixth Army landed his first units. Almost 175,000 men followed across the twenty-mile (32 km) beachhead within a few days. With heavy air support, Army units pushed inland, taking Clark Field, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manila, in the last week of January.

Two more major landings followed, one to cut off the Bataan Peninsula, and another, which included a parachute drop, south of Manila. Pincers closed on the city. On February 3, 1945, elements of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division pushed into the northern outskirts of Manila, and the 8th Cavalry Regiment (organized as infantry) passed through the northern suburbs and into the city itself.

As the advance on Manila continued from the north and the south, the Bataan Peninsula was rapidly secured. On February 16, paratroopers and amphibious units simultaneously assaulted the islet of Corregidor. Taking this stronghold was necessary because troops there could block the entrance of Manila Bay. The Americans needed to establish a major harbor base at Manila Bay to support the expected invasion of Japan, planned to begin on November 1, 1945. Resistance on Corregidor ended on February 27, and then all resistance by the Japanese Empire ceased on August 15, 1945, obviating the need for an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.

Despite initial optimism, fighting in Manila was harsh. It took until March 3 to clear the city of all Japanese troops, and the Japanese Marines, who fought on stubbornly and refused to either surrender or to evacuate as the Japanese Army had done. Fort Drum, a fortified island in Manila Bay near Corregidor, held out until April 13, when a team of Army troops went ashore and pumped 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the fort, then set off incendiary charges. No Japanese soldiers in Fort Drum survived the blast and fire.

In all, ten U.S. divisions and five independent regiments battled on Luzon, making it the largest American campaign of the Pacific war, involving more troops than the United States had used in North Africa, Italy, or southern France.

Finishing up the campaign

Japanese Troops surrender to the 40th Infantry Division Japanese surrender to 40th.jpg
Japanese Troops surrender to the 40th Infantry Division

Palawan Island, between Borneo and Mindoro, the fifth largest and western-most island of the Philippines, was invaded on February 28, with landings of the Eighth United States Army at Puerto Princesa. The Japanese put up little direct defense of Palawan, but cleaning up pockets of Japanese resistance lasted until late April, with the Japanese using their common tactic of withdrawing into the mountains and jungles, dispersed as small units. Throughout the Philippines, U.S. forces were aided by Filipino guerrillas to find and dispatch the holdouts, [24] the last of whom, Hiroo Onoda, did not surrender until 1974, in the mountains of Lubang Island in Mindoro.

The U.S. Eighth Army then moved on to its first landing on Mindanao (April 17), the last of the major islands of the Philippines to be taken. Mindanao was followed by invasion and occupation of Panay, Cebu, Negros and several islands in the Sulu Archipelago. These islands provided bases for the U.S. Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces to attack targets throughout the Philippines and the South China Sea.

Following additional landings on Mindanao, U.S. Eighth Army troops continued their steady advance against stubborn resistance. By the end of June, the enemy pockets were compressed into isolated pockets on Mindanao and Luzon where fighting continued until the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945. However, some units of the Japanese Army were out of radio contact with Tokyo, and it was difficult to convince some of them that Japan had surrendered. As at many Pacific Islands, major Japanese officials, including members of the Imperial Family, visited in person to convince the soldiers that they must surrender by order of the Emperor. [25]

Casualties

U.S. Army and Army Air Forces
LocationKilledWoundedTotal
Leyte [7] 3,60211,99115,584
Luzon [6] 10,64036,55047,190
Central and Southern Philippines [8] 2,0706,9909,060
Total16,31255,53171,834
Other Allies
Japanese
LocationKilledCapturedTotal
Leyte [26] 80,55782881,456
Luzon [27] 205,5359,050214,585
Central and Southern Philippines [8] 50,2602,69552,955
Total336,35212,573348,925
Other Allies

See also

Notes

    1. Luzon: 10,640 dead and 36,550 wounded, [6] Leyte: 3,593 dead/missing and 11,991 wounded, [7] Other: 2,070 dead and 6,990 wounded [8]
    2. 3,800 casualties at Leyte Gulf, [9] 2,680 naval casualties in the month after December 13, 1944, and 790 lost in a typhoon [10]

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    USS Conner (DD-582) was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy, the second Navy ship to be named in honor of Commodore David Conner (1792–1856), who led U.S. Naval forces during the first part of the Mexican–American War.

    USS Newman (DE-205/APD-59), a Buckley-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Laxton Gail Newman (1916–1941), who was killed in action during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for his actions.

    The Invasion of Palawan, was fought by U.S. liberation forces against the Japanese from 28 February - 22 April 1945, in a series of actions officially designated as Operations Victor I and II, and part of the campaign for the liberation of the Philippines during World War II, was waged to initiate the recapture of the southern islands of the Philippine archipelago, end the Japanese occupation, and secure them from remaining Japanese forces.

    Events in the year 1945 in Japan.

    Ruperto Cadava Kangleón was a Filipino military figure and politician. He was a native of the municipality of Macrohon in the now named province of Southern Leyte.

    South West Pacific theatre of World War II

    The South West Pacific theatre, during World War II, was a major theatre of the war between the Allies and the Axis. It included the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo, Australia and its mandate Territory of New Guinea and the western part of the Solomon Islands. This area was defined by the Allied powers' South West Pacific Area (SWPA) command.

    Japanese occupation of the Philippines

    The Japanese occupation of the Philippines occurred between 1942 and 1945, when Imperial Japan occupied the Commonwealth of the Philippines during World War II.

    VMF-218

    Marine Fighting Squadron 218 (VMF-218) was a reserve fighter squadron of the United States Marine Corps that was originally activated during World War II. Known as the “Hellions”, they flew throughout the South Pacific but saw the majority of their fighting during the Philippines Campaign (1944–45). The squadron was credited with downing 18 enemy aircraft during the course of the war.

    General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign.

    Battle of Baguio (1945)

    The Battle of Baguio occurred between 21 February and 26 April 1945, and was part of the greater Luzon campaign during the Allied liberation of the Philippines at the end of World War II. During the battle, American and Philippine forces recaptured the city of Baguio on the island of Luzon from a Japanese occupation force. One of the last tank engagements of the Philippine campaign took place during the battle. Baguio later became the scene of the final surrender of Japanese forces in the Philippines in September 1945.

    Philippine resistance against Japan organized guerilla group

    During the Japanese occupation of the islands in World War II, there was an extensive Philippine resistance movement, which opposed the Japanese and their collaborators with active underground and guerrilla activity that increased over the years. Fighting the guerrillas – apart from the Japanese regular forces – were a Japanese-formed Bureau of Constabulary, the Kenpeitai, and the Makapili. Postwar studies estimate that around 260,000 persons were organized under guerrilla groups and that members of anti-Japanese underground organizations were more numerous. Such was their effectiveness that by the end of World War II, Japan controlled only twelve of the forty-eight provinces.

    Panay Liberation Day

    Panay Liberation Day, alternatively Panay Landing Day and Victory (Liberation) Day on Panay commemorates the landing on Panay during the Battle of the Visayas during World War II. It is public holiday on the islands of Guimaras, Panay, and Romblon in Western Visayas.

    References

    1. "World War II: Mexican Air Force Helped Liberate the Philippines". History.net. June 12, 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
    2. Schmidt 1982. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
    3. Chapter 11: Operations of the Eighth Army in the Central and Southern Philippines, pp. 358. Retrieved March 10, 2016
    4. Hunt, Ray C.; Bernard Norling (2000). Behind Japanese Lines: An American Guerrilla in the Philippines. University Press of Kentucky. p. 107. ISBN   978-0-8131-0986-2 . Retrieved February 24, 2011.
    5. Stein Ugelvik Larsen, Fascism Outside Europe, Columbia University Press, 2001, p. 785
    6. 1 2 "Luzon". Retrieved October 26, 2015
    7. 1 2 Cannon, Leyte: Return to the Philippines, pp. 368–369
    8. 1 2 3 Smith, Triumph in the Philippines, pp. 692–693
    9. 1 2 3 Tucker, Spencer (2012). Almanac of American Military History, Vol. 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 1668. ISBN   978-1-59-884530-3.
    10. "Triumph in the Philippines" pp. 48 & 66. Retrieved October 26, 2015
    11. "Luzon" 93,400 non-combat casualties on Luzon alone. Retrieved October 26, 2015
    12. 1 2 "Triumph in the Philippines" pp. 48–66. Retrieved October 26, 2015
    13. According to the National World War II Museum, Filipino military deaths during the war numbered 57,000. A significant portion must have fallen in the 1944–45 campaign.
    14. Final report, progress of demobilization of the Japanese Armed Forces, Part III: Overseas Areas and IV: Air Forces enclosure #44. Retrieved March 10, 2016. With 109,890 Japanese military personnel repatriated immediately after the war, that leaves around 419,912 Japanese dead, missing, or still holding out.
    15. American Battles and Campaigns: A Chronicle from 1622 to 2010 by Chris McNab, p. 184.
    16. American Historical Association: Lessons from Iwo Jima. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
    17. David Day, 1992, Reluctant Nation: Australia and the Allied Defeat of Japan, 1942–1945. (New York, Oxford University Press), p.230
    18. "LIEUTENANT RAMSEY'S WAR" by EDWIN PRICE RAMSEY and STEPHEN J. RIVELE.Published by Knightsbride publishing Co,Los Angeles,California
    19. "Edward Price Ramsey: Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts)". militarymuseum.org. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
    20. "Allied guerillas".
    21. Macarthur, Douglas (1966). "Guerrilla Activities in the Philippines: The Philippine Resistance Movement". Reports of General MacArthur: The Campaigns of Macarthur in the Pacific. Volume I. Washington, D.C.: Center for Military History, US Army. pp. 316–318. OCLC   254218615.
    22. "Chapter IX: The Mindoro and Luzon Operations". Reports of General MacArthur: The Campaigns of MacArthur in the Pacific: Volume I. Library of Congress: Department of the Army. pp. 242–294. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
    23. "Chapter IX: The Mindoro and Luzon Operations". Reports of General MacArthur: The Campaigns of MacArthur in the Pacific: Volume I. Library of Congress: Department of the Army. p. 247. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
    24. Chambers, John Whiteclay; Fred Anderson (1999). The Oxford companion to American military history. New York City: Oxford University Press US. p. 547. ISBN   978-0-19-507198-6 . Retrieved May 7, 2011.
    25. MacArthur, Douglas (1994). Reports of General MacArthur. United States Army. p. 445. LCCN   66-60005 . Retrieved August 15, 2014. The radio also stated that members of the Imperial family were being sent to Japan's numerous theaters of operations as personal representatives of the Emperor to expedite and insure full compliance with the Imperial order to cease hostilities.
    26. Cannon, Leyte: Return to the Philippines, pp. 351–352
    27. Smith, Triumph in the Philippines, p. 694

    Further reading