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Battle for Luzon, Philippines

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by Philscout, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Philscout

    Philscout Member

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    the biggest American seaborne invasion force in WWII. Manila "THE Pearl of the Orient" was the only allied capital in the Pacific that was destroyed. And the only major urban city street to street fighting in the Pacific. Including the mountain resort of Baguio city.

    When Gen Eisenhower visited the capital city of Manila, he stated that only Warsaw in Europe was more damaged than Manila.

    Leyte Landing, Oct 20 to Dec. 31, 1944 * 2 months and 1 week campaign

    US Strength: 6th Army = 202,500 ground troops + 3,189 Filipino Guerrillas, 858 ships ( 157 warships & 701 Aux ships)

    US casualties: KIA - 3,504 WIA - 12,080

    Japanese Casualties 49,000


    YouTube - Battle for Luzon . 1 of 5

    YouTube - Battle for Luzon . 2 of 5

    YouTube - Battle for Luzon . 3 of 5

    YouTube - Battle for Luzon . 4 of 5

    YouTube - Battle for Luzon 5 of 5



    Statistical facts of the war in the PI


    http://www.ww2f.com/war-pacific/25913-war-philippine-islands.html
     
  2. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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  3. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    At the time it was launched it was, but only for the PTO.

    Okinawa saw over 1/2 million troops and 1300+ naval vessels.


    Also one of the most forgotten pieces of information on the recapture of the Philipines is the use of the Mexican AF squadron know as the Aztec Eagles. They flew over 2800 hours and lost only one man in combat with the enemy.
    And here is a link
    Avalanche Press
     
  4. James Cox

    James Cox Member

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    My Dad, James J Cox, Sr., participated as part of the 129th Infantry. He was in all of the battles up to Baguio, where he was wounded and sent home.
     
  5. Krystal80

    Krystal80 Member

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    Thank you for the youtubes. I was able to see more what my grandpa went through
     
  6. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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  7. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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  8. Drew Childers

    Drew Childers Member

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    Thanks Tommy, as you know from a previous post of mine, I plan to visit this part of Luzon and this map helps understand where my dad and uncle landed.
     
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    My hope in posting it was that someone would find it helpful. I am pleased that it worked out that way for you. If I remember correctly, your father was with the 185th IR, 40th ID. He landed about 4 km down the beach from my great uncle. He was with the 129th IR.

    The map is from HyperWar which is one of the best WW2 resources out there. You can do some more research on the route your father's and uncle's respective units took through Luzon in the online book Triumph in the Philippines which is on the HyperWar website. It's searchable, has footnotes, pictures and maps like the one above. Best of all, its free. What would be great (and I expect you have already thought of this) would be to get a modern map and plot some key points from the WW2 maps and go visit the places your father and uncle would have been.

    I look forward to reading about your travels the the footsteps of your father & uncle. What a marvelous and rare opportunity you have!
     
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  10. Drew Childers

    Drew Childers Member

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    Tommy, I'm currently living in Angeles City, Pampanga, near the former Clark AFB (between jobs at the moment and its cheaper to live here than in Hong Kong where I was working). My plan is to ride my bicycle up to Lingayen Gulf and tour as best I can where the 185th/40th were. Also my mom's brother was in the 25th that landed on Jan 11, further east of my dad and your great uncle. I'll be glad to look around where the 129th's area as well. Once I do this I'll post some pictures of what I find.

    I also want to ride from Lingayen Gulf down the Bataan Peninsula, retracing the Jap invasion and Am/Fil retreat in to Bataan, then follow the marked Death March back north to Capas then follow the route of the 6th Rangers from Guimba to Cabanatuan (this will be approximate as the Rangers went cross country most of the route). I also want to ride up in the mountains to Dalton Pass, named after the General James Dalton II, assistant commander of the 25th Div (my uncle's division) who was killed by a sniper. Climbing up to Dalton Pass will be a challenge and I need to be in better shape than now, as its at 3000ft.

    I hope to do this a little later in the year, as its still the rainy season here at the moment.

    Any additional info anyone on this forum has about any of the actions on Luzon or the Visayas (Panay & Negros Islands), where the 40th moved after Luzon, will be greatly appreciated. My dad was awarded a Silver Star in the Visayas.
     
  11. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    Thomas,

    Always posting great sentiments and research material.

    Having been to Luzon many times I can imagine the extreme difficulty of waging major offensive actions there against an extremely cunning and experienced, decidedly fanatical adversary.
    That was tough jungle to say the least.

    Thanks, Buddy.
     
  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I won't bug you too much about this. After all, you can't control the weather. ;) IIRC from my reading, Clark AFB is not on the exact same site as Clark Field was during WW2. Understandable as things do change over time. I believe Fort Stotsenburg, which was adjacent to Clark Field and one of the objectives of the 129th, is still there -- or at least some of the buildings are. I gleaned that from the internet, though, so take it with a grain of salt. Here's another map from HyperWar that shows the relative positions of Angeles, Clark & the Fort.

    As for getting assistance on the 25th and 40th, I would suggest starting a separate thread for each in the appropriate forum section. We've got some very resourceful folks here.
     
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  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Thanks Rick. You are always very gracious and generous with the salutes (at least with me, that is ;) )
     
  14. Drew Childers

    Drew Childers Member

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    Tom, thanks again for another excellent map, guess I haven't dug deep enough into HyperWar since you introduced me to it. I had read my dad's unit, 185th RCT, fought in the Bamban Hills and this map shows it beautifully. Unfortunately, some of that area was inundated by lahar after Pinatubo blew, so it doesn't necessarily appear as it did in '45

    Clark Field and Fort Stotsenberg were separate facilities and my understanding is in '49 both facilities were transferred to the USAF and became Clark AFB, no doubt choosing Clark over Stotsenberg because its a darn site easier to spell :) This is a site dedicated to Clark, Clark Air Base History.

    From my reading, Fort Stotsenberg was located in the area around the Clark AFB parade ground and main HQ buildings. Where the runways still are today would have been part of Clark Field,though it appears from the HyperWar map during the war they were oriented in a different direction. Here's a map from 1947, http://www.clarkab.org/maps/cabmap47.jpg, if you overlay it with your HyperWar map, you can see what I mean.

    If you look about 3/4 of the way up the right side of the HyperWar map, you will see a field labeled Mabalacat East Field, this is apparently where the first Kamikaze's took off from, including the one that hit the St Lo in Leyte Gulf. There's actually a monument there, which I came across riding up to the monument at Camp O'Donnell, I stopped and looked at it, but couldn't bring myself to take any photos. The damn thing says its to promote peace but to me it just looks like it glorifies the Kamakaize. Here is something on that, Kamikaze Pilot Statue (Mabalacat).
     
  15. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    Don't forget to look at the google earth pictures of the area, as it is now.
     
  16. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Here is another very good site:
    Luzon

    Pictures, Maps and suggestions for further reading.
     
  17. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Hi guys,I've not done much r eading on the Pacific campaign,so please forgive any Gaff's I may make.I assume the first 'target'for Mccarther,would be the airfields on Luzon.? When Luzon was captured,how long was it before any allied aircraft ,started operations against Okinawa.?Cheers,Lee.
    P.s.were there any anzac units in the U.S.air force on Luzon.? Thanks.Lee.
     
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The strategic significance of taking the Philippines was that doing so would cut off the Japanese access to oil and raw materials in Southeast Asia and the East Indies. Of course, that is not to say that it wasn't also a step on the way to Japan which, of course, it was.

    It seems to me that MacArthur was much more concerned with getting to Manila than he was in securing airfields. One could argue that his first 'target' was his humiliation in losing the Philippines in 1941. As for when allied aircraft started operations against Okinawa, I'll let someone more learned in the PTO answer that. Maybe Syscom3?
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    There was also the political aspects of the invasion that FDR understood very well. It would have been very hard to explain to the voters why 10's of thousands of US soldiers and millions of Philipino's (many who were still US citizens) were bypassed and left to their fates.

    The US subs had already put in an effective blockade on the flow of ships to and from SE Asia, so that wasn't a true factor in MacArthurs rationale to seize the islands.

    One thing Nimitz and King underestimated at that stage of the war was the logistical needs to invade the Japanese home islands and the ideal forward anchorages the PI provides. So in a way, MacArthur's strategy was vindicated by events later on.
     
  20. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Fair enough. His rationale in arguing for the PI over Formosa was not cutting off Japanese access to raw materials. That was the Japanese concern:


    (emphasis added) From Luzon

    My suggestion that he had a personal motive was in the way he seemed obsessed from day 1 (January 9th) in getting to and taking Manila. Securing airfields seemed to be a secondary goal for him. I didn't and don't mean to imply that it wasn't important to retake the PI, just that MacArthur may have had an ulterior motive in his rationale. Of course, it helps when things work out, in hindsight, to support one's decisions. ;)
     

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