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Battle for Luzon, Philippines

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

  1. Drew Childers

    Drew Childers Member

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    Tommy, you asked me the other day if I made the pics I planned to make while I was in the Philippines and my answer was no, which was incorrect. I forgot I did make a few of the Clark AB area, sorry, didn't intentially mislead you. Most of the pics are from around the Clark parade ground, which is more or less where Fort Stotsenburg stood prior to the war.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/13730306@N08/sets/72157627565764593/

    There is a story to the two pillars from Fort Stotsenberg, the were initially at the fort entrance on the Dau Road. The Japanese pulled them down and used them for landfill. During the 60's during excavation, they were found and installed on the parade ground, where they still stand.
     
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  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Great photos, Drew. Thanks for sharing them.
     
  3. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Unless I am mistaken, the photo captioned "Looking west on parade ground" provides a view of the hill known as "Top of the World" (right side of photo) from Fort Stotsenburg. I believe the hill in the center of the photo is the one identified on the map (see below) as Hill 7.

    TOW was the primary objective of the 129th Infantry once they had taken Clark Field and Fort Stotsenburg. Here is a brief account of the capture of TOW from Triumph in the Philippines as well as links to a map and an aerial photo courtesy of Hyperwar:

    Map: The Capture of Clark Field (click on map to enlarge) Aerial photo of Fort Stotsenburg and Top of the World

    Thanks again, Drew, for the great photos!
     
  4. Kent Stokesberry

    Kent Stokesberry Dishonorably Discharged

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    This is a great thread and conversation . If I may give my perspective, I am the son of just one of the men who participated in the whole campaign and who went all the way.

    I am proud of all those who acted in this ordeal but most proud of The Bushmasters who set the standard and were the spearhead of MacArthur's total plan. You see Macarthur's plan contained a map of the South Pacific that dwarfed the USA.Here let me elaborate......"The key to comprehending the nature of operations in his theater was a huge map that MacArthur showed his newly arrived staff officers. On that map was superimposed the outline of the United states, so dwarfed by the immensity of the South Pacific area that four such outlines could fit into it. New guinea itself was as large as California, Oregon, And Washington combined, and stretched some 1,400 miles, nearly the distance from Los Angeles to Seattle.....it is the world's second largest island, after Greenland."

    The 58th IMB (Independent Mixed Brigade) wasn't the only outfit called upon, the Bushmasters had about 4,500 men in it's three battalions equaling the 58ths might.

    I don't want to give to much info here but for those of you purists I suggest you read Bushmasters America's Jungle Warriors of WWII by Anthony Arthur.

    I can assure you that MacArthur's plan was to totally destroy every Japanesse infrastructure and ability to survive at all. Because of my father and his Co-patriots, not only did this happen, it happened like no other fighting regiment in the history of any war !

    Without commanding the airbases.........many people would have died unnecessarily. So don't underestimate how presise and exact Macarthur's theater was planned and achieved !

    Thank you all for your input. I found this interesting.

    "Cuidado"
     
  5. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    my grand uncle landed in lingayen which happens to be in the province of pangasinan, our hometown. he was a filipino who went to the US before the war, and enlisted in the US army. one funny anecdote was of him strutting around his hometown in his uniform and combat gear. he wanted to literally buy the whole village with his money but the home stores and shops refused to accept his dollars.

    "this is the best currency in the world!"
    "sorry, joe. no deal."
     
  6. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    What gets lost in discussions of what the best approach to Japan could have or should have been, and whether or not invading the Philippines was the smartest choice from a strategic and logistical perspective, is the moral aspect of the liberation of the Philippines, in a war that, presumably, we were fighting for moral reasons, not to mention reasons of vengeance against Japan, which also played into the liberation of the Philippines. These moral considerations overrode other, arguably, more pragmatic considerations, to the point that they were irrelevant.

    Consider that in 1944, when these decisions were made, the war against Japan was expected to go on probably at least into 1947. Even the very, very small number of people who knew of the Manhattan Project did not know its potential. How were we to justify leaving our POWs, and our Filipino allies who had stood and fought by our side, to suffer at the hands of their Japanese enslavers for a period of additional years? How could our political leaders have explained this to a population that both demanded and worked for retribution for the defeats suffered in 1941 and 1942? An invasion of Formosa? I guess somebody had to make that suggestion to the "deciders," but the die was cast for a Philippine liberation the moment Gen. Wainwright surrendered at Corregidor.

    My dad was there on Luzon in '45, which is neither here nor there to this discussion.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Your using the wrong "M" word.

    The invasion of the Philippines had nothing to do with morals, and everything to do with MacArthur.
     
  8. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    Had his arguments had no merit, they'd have been easily dismissed.
     
  9. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    I am glad to see a thread like this. The reconquest of the Philippines was the biggest campaign of the Pacific War. Nineteen US Army divisions fought in it (1st Cav, 11th Airbn, 6th, 7th, 24th, 25th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 37th, 38th, 40th, 41st, 43rd, 77th, 81st, 93rd, 96th, and Americal), eleven of them on Luzon (1st Cav, 11th Airbn, 6th, 24th, 25th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 37th, 38th, 40th). However, except for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the 1944-45 US campaign in the Philippines never seems to have gotten its due from historians. I am not quite sure why. It might be because Mac tended to monopolize publicity and left little for his troops. It might be because the Marines were not involved (though some USMC air units were). For whatever reason, there seem to be relatively few books on the subject, or at least few well-known titles. The US Army "Green Book" volume on Luzon is excellent, but a comprehensive modern study is long overdue.
     
  10. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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  11. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Terry did acknowledge that "...some USMC air units were". As far as I am aware, there were no Marine ground units involved at Lingayen or Leyte. The History of USMC Operations in WWII: Western Pacific Operations only mentions the Marine aviation units. It seems to me that, if any were involved, they would at least get a mention.
     
  12. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Okay I read to fast for my old eyes to keep up. I saw it as the Marines weren't in the Philippines. Oops.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I am happy to stand corrected. Now that you mention it, Takao, I do recall reading that Marine artillery was involved at Leyte. The sign you included does emphasize the the point that Terry was making. The Marines were supporting the Army's landing on Leyte and the Army isn't even mentioned. The general assumption seems to be that the land war in the PTO was exclusively a Marine affair. I am not opposed to the Marines getting credit for what they did. I would just like to see the Army get credit for what they did.
     
  15. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    I was not aware that V MAC artillery was on Leyte, but TD-Tommy has expressed my own view well. Ground action in the Phillippines was overwhelmingly a US Army affair and I would like to see some new studies of that campaign. Some good books have appeared in recent years about New Guinea, the army's other main Pacific campaign.

    By the way, MacArthur thought highly of the USMC troops under his command and was very sorry when he had to give up the 1st Marine Division to the Central Pacific theater.
     
  16. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    I've felt the same way. Little is known or written about the Army side of the war in the Pacific. It has always been the Navy and Marines. I've tried finding information on the 5th AF and there's a snippet here and there. Mostly what you do find is on the bombing campaigns, very little on the land based fighter groups.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Another place where the Army's efforts often go unnoitced was Gaudalcanal. While the Mairnes were the ones that landed and handled the initial invasion after some months it shifted over to mostly an army affair from what I reacall. I'll leave someone more knowledgeable to go into the details.

    OT to some extent in this thread though.
     
  18. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    I heard (in a documentary) that the reason the Joint Chiefs signed off on a liberation of Luzon was not because of anything MacArthur said, or any moral obligation to liberate POWs etc, but that they eventually concluded it was logistically a better option than Formosa. Something to do with the Formosa invasion taking longer to put together than they had thought it would, would have meant a couple months delay, and at that time everyone was looking to speed up the war.

    If Adm. King had had his way from the outset, we'd have gone straight from the Marianas to Japan, bypassing both the Philippines and Formosa, but the planners said that was impossible and his thinking changed over time.
     
  19. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Logistics were a factor in the rejection of the Formosa plan, but there were others too. The Formosa project was intimately connected with the long-standing American desire to help China and to get her to play a major offensive role in the war. In addition to the assault on Formosa itself, a follow-up landing at Amoy on the Chinese coast was also planned. Formosa-Amoy was contingent to some extent on the Chinese army attacking towards the coast in the neighborhood of Shanghai. Airfields on the mainland already in Chinese hands could be used to support the American landings. King in particular like the idea of using the Chinese, but the plan fell apart--first because the Chinese had been slow to turn over sufficient divisions to Stilwell for re-training and re-armament, and secondly because the Japanese ICHIGO offensive pushed the Chinese further into the interior and cast grave doubt on Chinese military efficiency in general. Roosevelt was a strong supporter of Chiang Kai Shek, but by the July conference at Pearl Harbor it was plain to him and to everyone else but King that the Chinese could not be relied on and FDR finally chose MacArthur's plan.
     
  20. dcordero

    dcordero New Member

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