United States invades Luzon in Philippines

United States invades Luzon in Philippines



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Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the American 6th Army land on the Lingayen Gulf of Luzon, another step in the capture of the Philippine Islands from the Japanese.

The Japanese controlled the Philippines from May 1942, when the defeat of American forces led to General MacArthur’s departure and Gen. Jonathan Wainwright’s capture. But in October 1944, more than 100,000 American soldiers landed on Leyte Island to launch one of one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific war—and herald the beginning of the end for Japan.

Newsreels captured the event as MacArthur waded ashore at Leyte on October 20, returning to the Philippines as he had famously promised he would after the original defeat of American forces there. What the newsreels didn’t capture were the 67 days it took to subdue the island, with the loss of more than 55,000 Japanese soldiers during the two months of battle and approximately 25,000 more soldiers killed in smaller-scale engagements necessary to fully clear the area of enemy troops. The U.S. forces lost about 3,500.

The sea battle of Leyte Gulf was the same story. The loss of ships and sailors was horrendous for both sides. That battle also saw the introduction of the Japanese kamikaze suicide bombers. More than 5,000 kamikaze pilots died in this gulf battle, taking down 34 ships. But the Japanese were not able to prevent the loss of their biggest and best warships, which meant the virtual end of the Japanese Imperial Fleet.

These American victories on land and sea at Leyte opened the door for the landing of more than 60,000 American troops on Luzon on January 9. Once again, cameras recorded MacArthur walking ashore, this time to greet cheering Filipinos. Although the American troops met little opposition when they landed, they lost the light cruiser Columbia and the battleship Mississippi, to kamikazes, resulting in the deaths of 49 American crewmen.

The initial ease of the American fighters’ first week on land was explained when they discovered the intricate defensive network of caves and tunnels that the Japanese created on Luzon. The intention of the caves and tunnels was to draw the Americans inland, while allowing the Japanese to avoid the initial devastating bombardment of an invasion force. Once Americans reached them, the Japanese fought vigorously, convinced they were directing American strength away from the Japanese homeland. Despite their best efforts, the Japanese lost the battle for Luzon and eventually, the battle for control over all of the Philippines.

READ MORE: Filipino Americans Fought With U.S. in WWII, Then Had to Fight for Veterans Benefits


During the 1930s, Japan began a campaign of imperial expansion in the western Pacific. They wanted to gain power over their neighbors and also to oust American and European influences from the region.

Early in 1941, the western powers were beginning to pay attention to the situation. America sent troops to the Philippines. Although they were trying to move toward Philippine independence, the Japanese threat was too great to ignore.

For the Japanese, the Philippines were strategically important for several reasons. Taking them would deprive the US of an advance base in the region. It would also provide a Japanese base for attacks on the Dutch East Indies, and it would secure lines of supply and communication between the Japanese home islands and their conquered territories.

A map of Luzon Island showing Japanese landings and advances from 8 December 1941 to 8 January 1942.


The end of Spanish rule and the First Philippine Republic

In preparation for possible war against Spain, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt placed the U.S. Asiatic squadron in Hong Kong on alert. When war was declared in April 1898, Commodore George Dewey sailed from Hong Kong and defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay on the morning of May 1, 1898, but he could not occupy Manila until ground troops arrived three months later.

In the meantime, on June 12, 1898, the Filipinos declared independence and proclaimed a provisional republic with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo as president. Within days, on the other side of the Pacific, the American Anti-Imperialist League had begun to take shape. This organization, which opposed American involvement in the Philippines, grew into a mass movement that drew support from across the political spectrum. Its members included luminaries such as social reformer Jane Addams, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, philosopher William James, and author Mark Twain.

On August 13 Manila fell after a bloodless “battle.” Spanish Gov. Fermín Jáudenes had secretly arranged a surrender after a mock show of resistance to salvage his honour. American troops were in possession of the city, but Filipino insurgents controlled the rest of the country. The leaders of the nascent Philippine Republic did not recognize U.S. sovereignty over the islands, and the U.S. rejected Filipino claims of independence conflict was inevitable.

On the night of February 4, 1899, shooting erupted on the outskirts of Manila. Morning found the Filipinos, who had fought bravely, even recklessly, defeated at all points. While the fighting was in progress, Aguinaldo issued a proclamation of war against the United States. Anti-imperialist sentiment was strong in the United States, and on February 6 the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty that concluded the Spanish-American War by a single vote. U.S. reinforcements were immediately sent to the Philippines. Antonio Luna, the ablest commander among the Filipinos, was given charge of their military operations but seems to have been greatly hampered by the jealousy and distrust of Aguinaldo, which he fully returned. Luna was murdered, and on March 31, 1899, the rebel capital of Malolos was captured by U.S. forces.

In March 1900 U.S. Pres. William McKinley convened the Second Philippine Commission to create a civil government for the Philippines (the existence of Aguinaldo’s Philippine Republic was conveniently ignored). On April 7 McKinley instructed commission chairman William Howard Taft to “bear in mind that the government which they are establishing is designed not for our satisfaction, or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands.” While nothing explicit was said about independence, these instructions were later often cited as supporting such a goal.


PART ONE Plans and Preparations

In January 1945, after more than three years of war, United States forces returned to the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where in 1942 American troops had suffered a historic defeat. The loss of the Philippines in May of that year, following the disaster that befell the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, had rendered obsolete and inoperable American prewar plans for action in the Pacific in the event of war with Japan. 1 By the late spring of 1943 the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (who, by agreement of the U.S.-British Combined Chiefs of Staff, were responsible for the conduct of the war in the Pacific) had developed a new strategic plan for the defeat of Japan. The plan was neither sacrosanct nor immutable--it was not intended to be. Nevertheless, its underlying concepts governed the planning and execution of operations in the Pacific during a year and a half of debate over the relative priority of Luzon and Formosa as primary objectives of an Allied drive into the western Pacific. 2

The plan was premised upon the concept that the Allies might very well find it necessary to invade Japan in order to end the war in the Pacific. The Joint Chiefs of Staff foresaw that intensive aerial bombardment of the Japanese home islands would be prerequisite to invasion, and that such bombardment would have to be co-ordinated with combined air, surface, and submarine operations aimed at cutting Japan's overwater lines of communication to the rich territories she had seized in the Netherlands East Indies and southeastern Asia. The Joint Chiefs believed that the Allies could best undertake the necessary bombardment of Japan from airfields in eastern China, and they decided that to secure and develop adequate air bases in China, Allied forces would have to seize at least one major port on the south China coast. The Allies would require such a port to replace the poor overland and air routes from India and Burma as

the principal means of moving men and matériel into China.

To secure a port on the China coast, and simultaneously to cut Japan's lines of communication to the south, the Allies would have to gain control of the South China Sea. Gaining this control, the Joint Chiefs realized, would in turn involve the seizure and development of large air, naval, and logistical bases in the strategic triangle formed by the south China coast, Formosa, and Luzon. But before they could safely move into this triangle, the Joint Chiefs decided, the Allies would have to secure air bases in the southern or central Philippines from which to neutralize Japanese air power on Luzon. The Allies would also need staging bases in the southern and central Philippines from which to mount amphibious attacks against Luzon, Formosa, and the China coast.

In accordance with these 1943 plans, Allied forces in the Pacific had struck westward toward the strategic triangle along two axes of advance. Air, ground, and naval forces of the Southwest Pacific Area, under General Douglas MacArthur, had driven up the north coast of New Guinea to Morotai Island, lying between the northwestern tip of New Guinea and Mindanao, southernmost large island of the Philippine archipelago. Simultaneously, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Ocean Areas, had directed the forces of the Central Pacific Area in a drive through the Gilberts, Marshalls, and Marianas to the Palau Islands, some 500 miles east of Mindanao. 3 (Map 1)

The Importance of Formosa

Studying various plans for Allied entry into the strategic triangle, the Joint Chiefs and their subordinate advisory committees concluded that Formosa constituted the most important single objective in the target area. 4 The island possessed so many obvious advantages and was located in such a strategically important position that most planners in Washington believed the Allies would have to seize it no matter what other operations they conducted in the western Pacific. Until they seized Formosa, the Allies would be unable to establish and secure an overwater supply route to China. Formosa, therefore, seemed a necessary steppingstone to the China coast. Moreover, Allied air and naval forces could sever the Japanese lines of communication to the south much more effectively from Formosa than from either Luzon or the south China coast alone. Furthermore, from fields in northern Formosa, the Army Air Forces' new B-29's could carry heavier bomb loads against Japan than from more distant Luzon. 5

Many planners considered Formosa such a valuable strategic prize that they devoted considerable attention to the possibility of bypassing all the Philippines in favor of a direct assault upon Formosa. Discussion of this proposal waxed and waned in Washington during much of 1943 and 1944 despite the fact

Map 1
Situation in the Pacific
15 December 1944

that the strategic outline plan for the defeat of Japan called for the seizure of bases in the southern or central Philippines before going on into the Luzon-Formosa-China coast triangle. Such discussions found the War and Navy departments internally divided. Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, Chief of Naval Operations, and Navy member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was a leading advocate of plans to bypass the Philippines. On the other hand, Admiral Nimitz and other ranking naval commanders in the Pacific favored at least reoccupying the southern or central Philippines before striking on toward Formosa. These officers believed it would be impossible to secure the Allied line of communications to Formosa until Allied land-based aircraft from southern Philippine bases had neutralized Japanese air power on Luzon. 6

General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and Army member of the Joint Chiefs, played a relatively inactive part in the debate until late 1944, but at one time at least seemed inclined toward bypassing both the Philippines and Formosa in favor of a direct invasion of Kyushu in southern Japan. Some officers high in Army counsels, including Lt. Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, the Deputy Chief of Staff, strongly advocated bypassing the Philippines on the way to Formosa. General Henry H. Arnold, Army Air Forces member of the Joint Chiefs, also appears to have maintained through much of 1943 and 1944 that it might prove desirable to bypass the Philippines. 7 Other Army planners, including those of the chief logistician, Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, commander of the Army Service Forces, favored taking the entire Philippine archipelago before making any move toward Formosa or the China coast. In the field, General MacArthur stood adamant against bypassing any part of the Philippines, a stand in which he had the support of most other ranking Army officers in the Pacific. 8

In March 1944 the Joint Chiefs had directed MacArthur to be ready to move into the southern Philippines before the end of the year and to make plans to invade Luzon during February 1945. Simultaneously, they had ordered Nimitz to prepare plans for an assault against Formosa in February 1945. 9 These directives, which left in abeyance the relative priority of Luzon and Formosa,

ostensibly settled the question of re-entry into the Philippines, but in mid-June the Joint Chiefs themselves reopened the question of bypassing the archipelago.

Developments in the Pacific, Asia, and Europe between mid-March and mid-June 1944 tended to support those planners who wanted to bypass the Philippines. The U.S. Army had acquired new intelligence indicating that the Japanese were rapidly reinforcing their bastions throughout the western Pacific, including Formosa. Thus, the longer the Allies delayed an attack on Formosa, the more the operation would ultimately cost. Army planners suggested that the Allies might be able to reach Formosa during November 1944 if the Joint Chiefs immediately decided to bypass the Philippines. Moreover, the Joint Chiefs were beginning to fear an imminent collapse of Chinese resistance--some planners felt that the only way to avert such an eventuality would be the early seizure of Formosa and a port on the China coast without undertaking intermediary operations in the Philippines. 10 The Joint Chiefs were probably also stimulated by the success of the invasion of Normandy in early June and by the impending invasion of the Marianas in the Central Pacific, set for 15 June. At any rate, on 13 June, seeking ways and means to accelerate the pace of operations in the Pacific, and feeling that the time might be ripe for acceleration, the Joint Chiefs asked Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur to consider the possibilities of bypassing all objectives already selected in the western Pacific, including both the Philippines and Formosa. 11

Neither Nimitz nor MacArthur gave the Joint Chiefs any encouragement. Both declared that the next major step in the Pacific after the advance to the Palaus-Morotai line would have to be the seizure of air bases in the southern or central Philippines. The Joint Chiefs' subordinate committees, examining the theater commanders' replies and undertaking new studies of their own, reaffirmed the concept that the Allies would have to move into the central or southern Philippines before advancing to either Formosa or Luzon. Like MacArthur and Nimitz, the advisory bodies saw no possibility of a direct jump to Japan. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, apparently with some reluctance, agreed. 12

Meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Pearl Harbor in late July 1944, both MacArthur and Nimitz again emphasized that MacArthur's forces would have to be firmly established in the southern or central Philippines before any advance to either Formosa or Luzon could take place--on this point almost everyone was agreed. MacArthur then argued persuasively that it was both necessary and proper to take Luzon

before going on to Formosa, while Nimitz expounded a plan for striking straight across the western Pacific to Formosa, bypassing Luzon. Apparently, no decisions on strategy were reached at the Pearl Harbor conference. 13 The Formosa versus Luzon debate continued without letup at the highest planning levels for over two months, and even the question of bypassing the Philippines entirely in favor of a direct move on Formosa came up for serious discussion within Washington planning circles again. 14 The net result of the debate through July 1944 was the reaffirmation of the decision to strike into the southern or central Philippines before advancing to either Formosa or Luzon. The Joint Chiefs still had to decide whether to seize Luzon or Formosa, or both, before executing any other major attacks against Japan.

Luzon Versus Formosa

The Views Presented

General MacArthur was a most vigorous adherent of the view that the Allies would have to secure Luzon before moving any farther toward Japan. Contrary to the views the Joint Chiefs of Staff held, MacArthur believed that Luzon was a more valuable strategic prize than Formosa. He declared that the Allies would need to reoccupy the entire Philippine archipelago before they could completely sever Japan's lines of communication to the south. MacArthur also believed that an invasion of Formosa would prove unduly hazardous unless he provided air and logistical support from Luzon. Finally, he suggested, if the Allies took Luzon first they could then bypass Formosa and strike for targets farther north, thus hastening the end of the war. The Luzon-first course of action, he averred, would be the cheaper in terms of time, men, and money. 15

In addition, MacArthur considered that bypassing part of the Philippines would have the "sinister implication" of imposing a food blockade upon unoccupied portions of the archipelago. (MacArthur's argument here would not have stood up too well under close scrutiny, for his own current plans called for seizing a foothold in southeastern Mindanao, jumping thence to Leyte in the east-central Philippines, and then going on to Luzon, initially bypassing most of

the large islands of the Visayan group, the bulk of Mindanao, and the Sulu Archipelago. 16 Of course, the bypassing under MacArthur's plans would not have lasted as long as would have been the case had Formosa, rather than Luzon been the target.) MacArthur had a more cogent argument, and one that was bound to have some influence upon planning in Washington. The reoccupation of the entire Philippine archipelago as quickly and early as possible was, MacArthur said, a national obligation and political necessity. To bypass any or all the islands, he declared, would destroy American honor and prestige throughout the Far East, if not in the rest of the world as well.

Just as General MacArthur was the most vigorous proponent of Luzon, so Admiral King was the most persistent advocate of the Formosa-first strategy. King believed that the seizure of Luzon before Formosa could only delay the execution of more decisive operations to the north. He also argued that the capture of Formosa first would greatly facilitate the subsequent occupation of Luzon. Moreover, King pointed out, the Allies could not secure and maintain a foothold on the China coast until they had seized Formosa. Finally, he suggested, if the Allies should bypass Formosa, then the principal objective in the western Pacific should be Japan itself, not Luzon. 17

MacArthur believed that the plans to bypass Luzon were purely Navy-inspired. 18 Actually, the War and Navy Departments were as internally split during the Luzon versus Formosa debate as they had been earlier over the question of bypassing all the Philippines. For example, at least until mid-September 1944 General Marshall leaned toward the Formosa-first strategy and like Admiral King had expressed the opinion that Japan itself, rather than Luzon, should be considered the substitute for Formosa. Most Army members of the Joint Chiefs' subordinate committees held similar views, and until September consistently pressed for an early decision in favor of Formosa. Army Air Forces planners, meanwhile, expressed their interest in Formosa as a site for B-29 bases. 19

Admiral Nimitz, the ranking naval officer in the Pacific, went on record until late September as favoring Formosa first. However, there are indications that his staff did not enthusiastically share his views, and there are grounds to believe that Nimitz grew steadily more lukewarm toward the idea of seizing Formosa. Nimitz had been at variance with Admiral King on the question of bypassing the entire Philippine archipelago, and it is possible that his support of the Formosa-first strategy stemmed at least in part from deference to King's judgment. A hint of Nimitz' attitude is apparent in the fact that his staff was preparing plans to seize Okinawa, as a substitute for

Formosa, well before such an operation gained serious consideration among high-level planners in Washington. 20

The next ranking naval officer in the Pacific, Admiral William F. Halsey, commander of the Third Fleet (and until 15 June 1944 commander of the South Pacific Area as well), steadfastly opposed the Formosa-first plan. He wanted to go to Luzon and bypass Formosa in favor of seizing Okinawa. In this connection Halsey relates a classic story concerning a discussion between his chief of staff, Vice Adm. Robert B. Carney, and Admiral King. King, propounding his Formosa plan to Carney, who was arguing in favor of Luzon, asked, "Do you want to make a London out of Manila?" Carney's reply was: "No, sir, I want to make an England out of Luzon." 21

Most of the other senior Army and Navy officers on duty in the Pacific also favored the Luzon-first strategy and advocated bypassing Formosa. Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, commanding U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas, strongly advised against Formosa. So, too, did MacArthur's air commander, Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney, and the Southwest Pacific Area's naval commander, Vice Adm. Thomas G, Kinkaid. But among the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the summer and early fall of 1944 only Admiral William D. Leahy, the President's Chief of Staff, favored going to Luzon instead of Formosa, and this stand represented a reversal of Leahy's earlier thinking on the subject. 22

It is noteworthy that, with the possible exception of Nimitz, the ranking Army and Navy commanders in the Pacific--the men responsible for executing or supporting the operation--were opposed to the seizure of Formosa. In general, they favored a program calling for the capture of Luzon and a subsequent jump to Okinawa or Japan. In the face of this opinion of the commanders on the spot, the consensus of most high-ranking Army and Navy planners in Washington--with Leahy and General Somervell as outstanding exceptions--was that the Formosa-first course of action was strategically the sounder and, therefore, the most desirable course for the Allies to follow in the western Pacific.

The Washington planners, however, had to give careful consideration to many factors other than ideal strategy. Study of these factors brought the Luzon versus Formosa debate to a climax in late September 1944.

Tactical and Logistical Problems

Perhaps the most influential event helping to precipitate the climax was a drastic change in the target date for the initial invasion of the Philippines. Until mid-September 1944, General MacArthur's plans had called for the first

entry into the Philippines to take place in southeastern Mindanao on 15 November, while the major assault into the archipelago would occur at Leyte on 20 December. On 15 September, with the approval of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, MacArthur canceled preliminary Mindanao operations in favor of a direct jump from the Palaus-Morotai line to Leyte on 20 October. 23

Soon after this change of schedule, MacArthur informed the Joint Chiefs that he could push on from Leyte to Luzon on 20 December, two months earlier than the date currently under consideration for an invasion of either Luzon or Formosa. This new plan, MacArthur suggested, would permit the Allies to execute the Formosa operation on the date already selected, but, he reiterated, the prior seizure of Luzon would render unnecessary the occupation of Formosa. 24

MacArthur's new schedule contained much to recommend it to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His proposed sequence of operations--Leyte on 20 October, Luzon on 20 December, and Formosa, possibly, on 20 February 1945--would permit the Allies to maintain steady pressure against the Japanese. On the other hand, should the Allies drop Luzon out of the sequence, the Japanese would have ample time to realign their defenses during the interval between the Leyte and Formosa operations. Moreover, eliminating Luzon could in no way accelerate the advance to Formosa--logistical problems would make it impossible for the Allies to mount an assault against Formosa under any circumstances before late February 1945.

While MacArthur's proposals were gaining some favor in Washington, especially among Army planners, Nimitz' proposals for advancing to Formosa and the south China coast were losing ground. 25 Plans developed in Washington had long called for the seizure of all Formosa, after which amphibious forces would strike on westward to secure a port on the mainland. But Nimitz' latest plans provided for simultaneous assaults in southern Formosa and in the Amoy area of the China coast. Nimitz proposed to occupy the bulk of Formosa only if such a step proved necessary and feasible after he had established a firm bridgehead at Amoy.

Army planners quickly decided that Nimitz' new plans possessed major drawbacks. The Japanese would hardly allow Allied forces to sit unmolested in southern Formosa. Instead, the Japanese would mount strong counterattacks from northern Formosa with troops already on the island and with reinforcements staged in from China. Occupying and defending one beachhead on southern Formosa and another at Amoy would involve problems far different from those the Allies had encountered previously in the Pacific. So far during the war, the Japanese had usually been hard put to move air and ground reinforcements

against the island perimeters Allied amphibious task forces had seized. In the southern Formosa-Amoy area, on the other hand, the Allies would not have the protection of distance from major Japanese bases they had enjoyed in earlier campaigns. The Allies did not have sufficient aircraft in the Pacific to continually neutralize all existing Japanese airfields within range of southern Formosa and Amoy. In addition, experience in the Pacific had demonstrated that Allied air and naval forces could not be expected to forestall all Japanese efforts to move strong reinforcements across the narrow strait between China and Formosa.

Having considered these factors, Army planners swung to the opinion that a southern Formosa-Amoy operation would be impracticable. They believed that it would inevitably lead to protracted, costly campaigns to secure all Formosa and large areas of the adjacent China mainland as well. Major ground campaigns of such scope could only delay progress toward Japan and would prove an unacceptable drain upon Allied manpower resources.

Further study of the manpower needed for the southern Formosa-Amoy operation revealed additional difficulties. Army intelligence estimates of Japanese strength in the Formosa-Amoy region, for example, were far higher than those Nimitz' staff had produced. Army planners therefore believed that the southern Formosa-Amoy campaign would require many more combat units than Nimitz was planning to employ. Furthermore, according to various estimates made during September, Nimitz would lack from 77,000 to 200,000 of the service troops needed for the campaign he proposed.

Planners studied a number of suggestions for securing the necessary service forces. One thought, originating with the Navy, which was seeking ways to accelerate the Formosa target date, proposed taking service units from the Southwest Pacific Area. But MacArthur's command was already short of service troops. To remove any from his area might jeopardize the success of the Leyte operation and would certainly immobilize his forces in the central Philippines until long after Nimitz had secured the southern Formosa-Amoy region. Although the southern Formosa-Amoy and Luzon operations would each require about the same number of U.S. combat troops in the assault phase, MacArthur could count upon hundreds of thousands of loyal Filipinos to augment both his service and his combat strength. No similar source of friendly manpower would be available on Formosa.

By mid-September 1944 so few service units were available in the United States that the only way Army planners could see to solve the service troop shortage for Nimitz' proposed operation was to await redeployment from Europe. Army planners and the Joint Logistic Committee both estimated that Nimitz could launch the southern Formosa-Amoy campaign even as early as 1 March 1945 only if the war in Europe ended by 1 November 1944, thereby permitting timely redeployment of service units to the Pacific. And even if the Allies could effect such an early redeployment from Europe, logistical planners still felt that Nimitz would be unable to move against Formosa by 1 March 1945 unless the Joint Chiefs of Staff immediately decided to cancel the Luzon operation, thus providing for an expeditious and unbroken

build-up of the resources required to execute Nimitz' campaign. On the other hand, the logistical experts were convinced, MacArthur could move to Luzon before the end of 1944 regardless of developments in Europe. Army planners, not as optimistic as they had been a few months earlier about an early end to the war in Europe, pointed out that it would be illogical to schedule the southern Formosa-Amoy operation on the presumption of a German collapse by 1 November 1944. Events were to prove this argument sound.

Army planners saw other combined logistical-tactical disadvantages in Nimitz' plan. They believed, for instance, that the campaign would tie down so many troops, ships, landing craft, and planes that an invasion of Luzon, assuming Formosa came first, could not take place until November 1945. By the same token any other major step toward Japan, such as the seizure of Okinawa, would be equally delayed. A hiatus of this length would be unacceptable for tactical reasons alone. In addition, the Luzon-first course, it appeared, would be far safer logistically than the southern Formosa-Amoy undertaking. As Army Service Forces planners pointed out, the Allied lines of communication to Luzon would be shorter and easier to protect than those to Formosa. The logisticians predicted that the Allies would find it especially difficult to safeguard the lines of communication to Formosa if Luzon remained in Japanese hands.

Other aspects of the logistical problems attained disturbing overtones. Admiral Leahy, for example, believed that although the Formosa-first course of action might ultimately hasten the end of the war in the Pacific, the capture of Luzon and the bypassing of Formosa would prove far cheaper in terms of lives and other resources. By mid-September he, as well as most Army planners, were favoring what promised to be the longer course at the lesser cost. General MacArthur, meanwhile, expressed the opinion that the Formosa-first strategy would cost not only more lives but also more time. He was prepared to guarantee to the Joint Chiefs that he could secure the most strategically important areas of Luzon--the Central Plains-Manila Bay region--within four to six weeks after initial landings on the island.

General Marshall also began to show misgivings about the cost of the southern Formosa-Amoy operation vis-á-vis Luzon, although he remained convinced that the Formosa-first course was strategically the more desirable. Admiral Nimitz expressed no strong opinion on the relative cost of the two campaigns, but, "backing" into the problem, stated that the occupation of Luzon after Formosa need not delay the pace of the war in the Pacific. If Formosa came first, Nimitz pointed out, MacArthur's task on Luzon would be considerably eased and, presumably, less costly. Admiral King, on the other hand, declared himself convinced that the Formosa-first course would save time and, therefore, reduce casualties over the long run. By late September 1944 King alone among the high-level planners seems to have retained a strong conviction along these lines.

While the discussions over tactical and logistical problems continued in Washington, the Allied position in China had been steadily deteriorating. In mid-September Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, commanding U.S. Army forces in China,

Burma, and India and Allied Chief of Staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, reported to the Joint Chiefs that Japanese offensives in eastern and southeastern China were overrunning the last air bases from which the China-based U.S. Fourteenth Air Force could effectively support invasions of either Luzon or Formosa. Chiang's armies were unable to either hold or recapture the air bases. 26

This news had an obvious impact upon the thinking of both the ground and the air planners in Washington. The Army Air Forces had intended to expand their airfields in eastern China as staging bases for B-29's flying against targets in Japan, Korea, Manchuria, and Formosa, and to base on these fields much of the tactical bombardment preceding the actual invasion of Japan. The east China fields now appeared irretrievably lost, and the Allies could not afford to expend the manpower necessary to retake and hold them. The need for the seizure and development of a port on the China coast was therefore deprived of much of its urgency since the Allies had needed such a port primarily to open a good supply route into China for the development of air bases. By the same token, one of the principal reasons for seizing Formosa--to secure a steppingstone to the China coast--became much less compelling.

This line of thinking forced naval planners to reconsider the southern Formosa-Amoy plan. To most Navy planners a move to Formosa without the concomitant seizure of a mainland port would prove unsound, because Formosa lacked the anchorages and ports required for the large fleet and logistical bases the Allies needed in the western Pacific. Inevitably the question arose: If it were no longer feasible or desirable to seize and develop a port on the south China coast, was it feasible or desirable to occupy any part of Formosa? Since early September 1944 Army planners had been answering that question with an emphatic "No." 27

The loss of existing and potential air base sites in eastern China, together with the limitations inherent in Nimitz' plans to occupy only southern Formosa, weighed heavily with Army Air Forces planners. There was no question but that B-29's could operate more effectively against Japan from northern Formosa than they could from northern Luzon, the Mariana Islands, or western China, but the big bombers could accomplish little more from southern Formosa than they could from the other base areas. Indeed, Saipan and Tinian in the Marianas lay closer to Tokyo than Nimitz' proposed base area in southern Formosa, and the two islands of the Marianas would be far more secure from Japanese air attacks. Even northern Luzon, some 200 miles further from Tokyo than southern Formosa, had some advantages over southern Formosa--it had more room for B-29 fields and would be safer from air attack. Finally, assuming that Nimitz could meet the most optimistic target date for the invasion of southern Formosa--1 March

1945--B-29's could not begin operations from that island until the late spring or early summer. The Army Air Forces was already planning to initiate B-29 operations from the Marianas before the end of 1944. In brief, by mid-September the Army Air Forces had lost interest in Formosa and had begun to see eye to eye with other Army elements on the disadvantages and drawbacks of the southern Formosa-Amoy scheme.

An obvious political consideration may have had a bearing on the ultimate decision in the Luzon versus Formosa debate. General MacArthur's argument that it would be disastrous to United States prestige to bypass any part of the Philippines could not be dismissed. Perhaps more important, Admiral Leahy took the same point of view. By virtue of his intimate contact with President Roosevelt, it must be presumed that his colleagues of the Joint Chiefs of Staff gave Leahy's opinion careful consideration.

Decision

Whatever the political implications involved, the Joint Chiefs decided the Formosa versus Luzon question primarily upon its military merits. By the end of September 1944 almost all the military considerations--especially the closely interrelated logistical problems concerning troops and timing--had weighted the scales heavily in favor of seizing Luzon, bypassing Formosa, forgetting about a port on the China coast, and jumping on to Okinawa. Admiral King was the only member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, if not the only prominent military figure as well, who still maintained a strong stand in favor of bypassing Luzon and executing the southern Formosa-Amoy operation.

Realizing that the military and political factors had undermined his position, King took a new, negative tack in the debate by raising objections to the Luzon operation per se. He argued that the Luzon campaign as MacArthur had planned it would tie up all the Pacific Fleet's fast carrier task forces for at least six weeks for the purposes of protecting the Luzon beachhead and Luzon-bound convoys and neutralizing Japanese air power on both Luzon and Formosa. To pin down the carriers for so long would be unsound, King averred, and he therefore declared MacArthur's plan unacceptable to the U.S. Navy. 28

Alerted by his deputy chief of staff (Maj. Gen. Richard J. Marshall, then in Washington on official business), General MacArthur was able to provide Army planners with ammunition to counter King's last-ditch arguments. 29 MacArthur informed the Joint Chiefs that his only requirement for carriers after the initial assault on Luzon would be for a small group of escort carriers to remain off the island for a few days to provide support for ground operations until his engineers could ready a field for land-based planes at the invasion beaches. MacArthur continued by pointing out that only the first assault convoys

would be routed through dangerous waters north of Luzon and consequently require protection from the fast carrier task forces. Resupply and reinforcement convoys would come through the central Philippines under an umbrella of land-based aircraft from the island of Mindoro, south of Luzon, and would need no carrier-based air cover. Thus, MacArthur declared, he would have no long-term requirement for the fast carrier task forces, which he could quickly release so that Nimitz could employ them elsewhere. MacArthur concluded with the counterargument that the fast carriers would be tied down to a specific area much longer during the proposed southern Formosa-Amoy operation, especially if Luzon remained in Japanese hands, than would be the case for the Luzon invasion. 30

This exchange took much of the wind out of King's sails. Next, Admiral Nimitz withdrew whatever support he was still giving the Formosa plan, for he had concluded that sufficient troops could not be made available for him to execute the southern Formosa-Amoy campaign within the foreseeable future. Accordingly, at the end of September, he threw the weight of his opinion behind the Luzon operation, proposing that plans to seize Formosa be at least temporarily dropped. Simultaneously, Nimitz presented for King's consideration a planned series of operations designed to maintain steady pressure against the Japanese and carry Allied forces speedily on toward Japan: MacArthur's forces would initiate the Luzon campaign on 20 December 1944 Central Pacific forces would move against Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Islands some 650 miles south of Tokyo, late in January 1945 and the Central Pacific would next attack Okinawa, 850 miles southwest of Tokyo, and other targets in the Ryukyu Islands, beginning on 1 March 1945. 31

King accepted Nimitz' recommendations, with one last reservation. King felt that the hazards involved in routing the Luzon assault convoys into the waters between Luzon and Formosa were so great that approval for such action should come directly from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He raised similar objections to plans for having the Pacific Fleet's fast carrier task forces operate in the same restricted waters. The other three members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, however, agreed to leave the decision on these problems up to Nimitz and MacArthur, a settlement that King finally accepted. 32

After King's eleventh-hour change of position, the Joint Chiefs were able to attain the unanimity that their major strategic decisions required. On 3 October 1944 they directed General MacArthur to launch the invasion of Luzon on or about 20 December and instructed Admiral Nimitz to execute the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations on the dates he had proposed. Nimitz would provide naval cover and support, including fast and escort carriers, for the invasion of Luzon MacArthur would provide Nimitz with as much air support as he

could from Luzon for the attack on Okinawa. The two commanders would co-ordinate their plans with those of B-29 units in the Pacific and India and with the plans of General Stilwell and the Fourteenth Air Force in China. 33

The Joint Chiefs of Staff did not formally cancel the Formosa operation. Instead, they left in abeyance a final decision on the seizure of that island, but thereafter the occupation of Formosa as an operation of World War II never came up for serious consideration at the higher levels of Washington planning councils.

The Joint Chiefs had not reached their decision to take Luzon, bypass Formosa, and, in effect, substitute Okinawa for Formosa, either lightly or easily. From the beginning of the Luzon versus Formosa debate they had believed the seizure of Formosa and a port on the south China coast, bypassing Luzon, to be the best strategy the Allies could follow in the western Pacific. In the end, however, the Joint Chiefs had had to face the facts that the Allies could not assemble the resources required to execute that strategy, at least until after the end of the war in Europe, and they could not seriously consider delaying the progress of the war in the Pacific until Germany collapsed. In the last analysis then, logistical considerations alone would have forced the Joint Chiefs to the decision they reached in favor of Luzon, although other military realities, and possibly political factors as well, had some influence upon the outcome of strategic planning for operations in the western Pacific.

For the Allied forces of the Pacific theaters, the Joint Chiefs' directive of 3 October 1944 ended months of uncertainty. The die was cast. Luzon would be taken Formosa would be bypassed. United States forces would recapture the entire Philippine archipelago in a consecutive series of advances, just as General MacArthur had been planning ever since he had left Corregidor in March 1942.


Primary Sources

(1) James F. Byrnes, Speaking Frankly (1947)

A large Congressional party, headed by Vice President Garner, had gone to Manila to witness the inauguration of Manuel Quezon as the first President of the Philippine Commonwealth. There, Americans in all walks of life had expressed to us their concern over the increasing indications of Japan's aggressive intentions. Therefore, when we stopped in Japan I made a special effort to inquire into Japanese naval appropriations and naval construction. A study of the Japanese budget for 1936 readily revealed that at least half of the total was devoted to the army and navy. Members of our Embassy staff were convinced that the published budget disclosed only part of the naval appropriations. The published figures were alarming enough in themselves and when we returned to this country I urged the President to seek means for acquiring still more accurate estimates of Japan's naval strength.

(2) Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (1962)

Hitler rapidly decided to follow the Japanese example by declaring war on the United States himself. When Ribbentrop pointed out that the Tripartite Pact only bound Germany to assist Japan in the event of an attack on her by some other Power, and that to declare war on the USA would be to add to the number of Germany's opponents, Hitler dismissed these as unimportant considerations. He seems never to have weighed the possible advantages of deferring an open breach with America as long as possible and allowing the USA to become involved in a war in the Pacific which would reduce the support she was able to give to give to Great Britain.

(3) Adolf Hitler, speech (11th December, 1941)

I understand only too well that a world-wide distance separates Roosevelt's ideas and mine. Roosevelt comes from a rich family and belongs to the class whose path is smoothed in the democracies. I was only the child of a small, poor family and had to fight my way to work and industry. When the Great War came, Roosevelt occupied a position where he got to know only its pleasant consequences, enjoyed by those who do business while others bleed. I was only one of those who carried out orders as an ordinary soldier and actually returned from the war just as poor as I was in the autumn of 1914. I shared the fate of millions, and Franklin Roosevelt only the fate of the so-called upper ten thousand.

(4) George Ball, quoted in William Stevenson's book, A Man Called Intrepid (1976)

If Hitler had not made this decision (to declare war on the United States) and if he had simply done nothing, there would have been an enormous sentiment in the United States. that the Pacific was now our war and the European war was for the Europeans, and we Americans should concentrate all our efforts on Japan.

(5) Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (1948)

When Churchill and his staff came to Washington in December of 1941, they were prepared for the possibility of an announcement by Roosevelt that due to the rage of the American people against Japan and the imperilled position of American forces in the Philippines and other islands, the war in the Pacific must be given precedence.

(11) Antony Beevor, The Second World War (2014)

The appalling complacency of colonial society had produced a self-deception largely based on arrogance. A fatal underestimation of their attackers included the idea that all Japanese soldiers were very short-sighted and inherently inferior to western troops. In fact they were immeasurably tougher and had been brainwashed into believing that there was no greater glory than to give their lives for their Emperor. Their commanders, imbued with a sense of racial superiority and convinced of Japan's right to rule over East Asia, remained impervious to the fundamental contradiction that their war was supposed to free the region from western tyranny.

(2) Winston Churchill, The Second World War (1950)

In the Philippines, where General MacArthur commanded, a warning indicating a grave turn in diplomatic relations had been received on November 20. Admiral Hart, commanding the modest United States Asiatic Fleet, had already been in consultation with the adjacent British and Dutch naval authorities, and,

in accordance with his war plan, had begun to disperse his forces to the southward, where he intended to assemble a striking force in Dutch waters in conjunction with his prospective allies.

He had at his disposal only one heavy and two light cruisers, besides a dozen old destroyers and various auxiliary vessels. His strength lay almost entirely in his submarines, of which he had twenty-eight. At 3 a.m. on December 8 Admiral Hart intercepted a message giving the staggering news of the attack on Pearl

Harbour. He at once warned all concerned that hostilities had begun, without waiting for confirmation from Washington. At dawn the Japanese dive-bombers struck, and throughout the ensuing days the air attacks continued on an ever-increasing scale.

On the 10th the naval base at Cavite was completely destroyed by fire, and on the same day the Japanese made their first landing in the north of Luzon. Disasters mounted swiftly. Most of the American air forces were destroyed in battle or on the ground, and by December 20 the remnants had been withdrawn to Port Darwin, in Australia. Admiral Hart's ships had begun their southward dispersal some days before, and only the submarines remained to dispute the sea with the enemy. On December 21

the main Japanese invasion force landed in Lingayen Gulf, threatening Manila itself, and thereafter the march of events was not unlike that which was already in progress in Malaya but the defence was more prolonged.

(3) General Douglas MacArthur wrote about the invasion of the Philippines in December 1941 in his autobiography, Reminiscences of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (1964).

At 3.40 on Sunday morning, December 8, 1941, Manila time, a long-distance telephone call from Washington told me of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but no details were given. It was our strongest military position in the Pacific. Its garrison was a mighty one, with America's best aircraft on strongly defended fields, adequate warning systems, anti-aircraft batteries, backed up by our Pacific Fleet. My first impression was that the Japanese might well have suffered a serious setback.

We had only one radar station operative and had to rely for air warning largely on eye and ear. At 9:30 a.m. our reconnaissance planes reported a force of enemy bombers over Lingayen Gulf heading toward Manila. Major General Lewis H. Brereton, who had complete tactical control of the Far East Air Force, immediately ordered pursuit planes up to intercept them. But the enemy bombers veered off without contact.

When this report reached me, I was still under the impression that the Japanese had suffered a setback at Pearl Harbor, and their failure to close in on me supported that belief. I therefore contemplated an air reconnaissance to the north, using bombers with fighter protection, to ascertain a true estimate of the situation and to exploit any possible weaknesses that might develop on the enemy's front. But subsequent events quickly and decisively changed my mind. I learned, to my astonishment, that the Japanese had succeeded in their Hawaiian attack, and at 11:45 a report came in of an over- powering enemy formation closing in on Clark Field. Our fighters went up to meet them, but our bombers were slow in taking off and our losses were heavy. Our force was simply too small to smash the odds against them.

(4) William Leahy, I Was There (1950)

MacArthur was convinced that an occupation of the Philippines was essential before any major attack in force should be made on Japanese-held territory north of Luzon. The retaking of the Philippines seemed to be a matter of great interest to him. He said that he had sufficient ground and air forces for the operation and that his only additional needs were landing-craft and naval support.

Nimitz developed the Navy's plan of by-passing the Philippines and attacking Formosa. He did not see that Luzon, including Manila Bay, had advantages that were not possessed by other areas in the Philippines that could be taken for a base at less cost in lives and material. As the discussions progressed, however, the Navy Commander in the Pacific admitted that developments might indicate a necessity for occupation of the Manila area. Nimitz said that he had sufficient forces to carry out either operation. It was highly pleasing and unusual to find two commanders who were not demanding reinforcements.

Roosevelt was at his best as he tactfully steered the discussion from one point to another and narrowed down the area of disagreement between MacArthur and Nimitz. The discussion remained on a friendly basis the entire time, and in the end only a relatively minor difference remained - that of an operation to retake the Philippine capital, Manila. This was solved later, when the idea of beginning our Philippine invasion at Leyte was suggested, studied and adopted.

(5) The Manchester Guardian (20th October, 1944)

American landings on Suluan, a small but important island in a commanding. position on the eastern fringe of the Central Philippines, were reported yesterday by the Japanese. This news, which so far is unconfirmed by Allied sources, follows heavy "softening" raids on Formosa, the supply base between the Philippines and the Japanese mainland.

It may indicate the first step towards the fulfillment, of General MacArthur's promise that he would return, eventually to these islands, which were overrun by the Japanese in 1942. The Japanese report, which was contained in a message from Manila, said that "enemy forces started landing operations on Tuesday morning."

Another Japanese broadcast, also unconfirmed, said that an Allied '"fleet sailed the same day into the Gulf of Leyte and bombed and shelled the coast. It added that the Allied forces were being opposed.

The Japanese News Agency last night reported that American forces have "attempted a landing " on the island of Leyte. The agency said that a new large task force, comprising the Fifth United States Fleet under. Admiral Spruance and another fleet '"under the command o General MacArthur," on Tuesday penetrated, into the Leyte Gulf between Luzon and Mindanao islands.

(6) The Manchester Guardian (21st October, 1944)

General MacArthur's invasion forces have established three firm beachheads on the east coast of the island of Leyte, in the Central Philippines, and last night were reported to be pushing inland against stiffening Japanese resistance. According to a broadcast from the Leyte area, picked up in San Francisco. Tacloban airfield, on the north-eastern tip of Leyte Island, has been captured.

Earlier President Roosevelt announced in Washington that the operations are going according to plan, with extremely light losses.

The Japanese were taken by surprise because, as General MacArthur explained in his announcement of the landing, they were expecting attacks on the large island of Mindanao, south of Leyte. "The strategic results of the capturing of the Philippines will be decisive." MacArthur said. " To the south 500,000 men will be cut off without hope of support and the culmination will be their destruction at the leisure of the Allies."

Thus General MacArthur has fulfilled the promise to return that the made two and a half years ago when his forces left the Philippines. An American broadcaster said that the Commander-in-Chief waded ashore with one of the landing parties and quoted him as saying, "I will stay for the duration now."

The President of the Philippine Commonwealth, Sergio Osmena, with members of his Cabinet, went with the American forces and already has established the seat of government on Philippine soil.

(7) General Douglas MacArthur wrote a report for Harry S. Truman where he advocated that Tomoyuki Yamashita should be tried as a war criminal.

It is not easy for me to pass penal judgment upon a defeated adversary in a major military campaign. I have reviewed the proceedings in vain search for some mitigating circumstances on his behalf. I can find none. Rarely has so cruel and wanton a record been spread to public gaze. Revolting as this may be in itself, it pales before the sinister and far reaching implication thereby attached to the profession of arms. The soldier, be he friend or foe, is charged with the protection of the weak and unarmed. It is the very essence and reason for his being.

When he violates this sacred trust, he not only profanes his entire cult but threatens the very fabric of international society. The traditions of fighting men are long and honorable. They are based upon the noblest of human traits-sacrifice. This officer, of proven field merit, entrusted with high command involving authority adequate to responsibility, has failed this irrevocable standard has failed his duty to his troops, to his country, to his enemy, to mankind has failed utterly his soldier faith. The transgressions resulting therefrom as revealed by the trial are a blot upon the military profession, a stain upon civilization and constitute a memory of shame and dishonor that can never be forgotten. Peculiarly callous and purposeless was the sack of the ancient city of Manila, with its Christian population and its countless historic shrines and monuments of culture and civilization, which with campaign conditions reversed had previously been spared.

It is appropriate here to recall that the accused was fully forewarned as to the personal consequences of such atrocities. On October 24 - four days following the landing of our forces on Leyte - it was publicly proclaimed that I would "hold the Japanese Military authorities in the Philippines immediately liable for any harm which may result from failure to accord prisoners of war, civilian internees or civilian non combatants the proper treatment and the protection to which they of right are entitled."


1. United States/Philippines (1898-1946)

Crisis Phase (December 10, 1898-October 31, 1899): The U.S. government formally acquired the Philippines from Spain with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The U.S. government declared military rule in the Philippines on December 21, 1898. Emilio Aguinaldo, a Filipino nationalist, proclaimed the independence of the Philippines on January 5, 1899. Emilio Aguinaldo established a rebel government in Malolos on January 23, 1899, and Emilio Aguinaldo was named president of the rebel government. U.S. troops and Filipinos clashed in Manila on February 4, 1899. U.S. troops took control of Jolo on the island of Sulu on May 18, 1899.

Conflict Phase (November 1, 1899-April 13, 1902): Emilio Aguinaldo led a rebellion against the U.S. military government in the Philippines beginning on November 1, 1899. Some 200 Filipino rebels commanded by General Licerio Geronimo attacked U.S. troops commanded by General Henry Ware Lawton near San Mateo on December 19, 1899, resulting in the deaths of General Lawton and 13 other U.S. soldiers. U.S. troops clashed with Filipino rebels near Catubig on April 15-19, 1900, resulting in the deaths of some 150 rebels and at least 21 U.S. soldiers. U.S. troops clashed with Filipino rebels near Cagayan de Misamis on June 4, 1900, resulting in the deaths of nine U.S. soldiers and one rebel. U.S. troops clashed with Filipino rebels near Pulang Lupa on the island of Marinduque on September 13, 1900, resulting in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers. U.S. troops commanded by Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham, Jr. clashed with Filipino rebels commanded by General Juan Cailles near Mabitac on September 17, 1900, resulting in the deaths of 21 U.S. soldiers and 11 rebels. Emilio Aguinaldo was captured by Filipino troops loyal to the U.S. government on March 23, 1901, and he was replaced by General Miguel Malvar as rebel leader. Emilio Aguinaldo took an oath of allegiance to the U.S. government on April 19, 1901. Moros attacked U.S. troops in the town of Balangiga on the island of Samar on September 28, 1901, resulting in the deaths of some 48 U.S. soldiers and 28 Moros. The U.S. military established and maintained concentration camps (reconcentrados) with some 298,000 Filipinos in the province of Batangas from January to April 1902, resulting in the deaths of some 8,350 Filipinos. U.S. and Filipino troops suppressed the rebellion with the surrender of General Miguel Malvar on April 16, 1902. Some 200,000 Filipinos, 4,234 U.S. soldiers, and 20,000 Filipino soldiers were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (April 17, 1902-June 15, 1913): U.S. troops commanded by Colonel Frank Baldwin clashed with Moros near Bayan on the island of Mindanao on May 2, 1902, resulting in the deaths of some 350 Moros and eleven U.S. soldiers. The U.S. Congress approved the Philippines Act on July 1, 1902, which provided the Philippines with limited self-government. The U.S. government replaced the military government in the Philippines with a civilian government headed by William Howard Taft on July 4, 1902. U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed a general amnesty for Filipino rebels on July 4, 1902. General Luke Wright was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on February 1, 1904. Some 790 U.S. troops commanded by Colonel J. W. Duncan clashed with Moros near Bud Dajo on March 5-7, 1906, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Moro men, women, and children. Some 21 U.S. soldiers were also killed during the clashes near Bud Dajo. Henry Clay Ide was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on April 2, 1906, and James Smith was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on September 20, 1906. The Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) was established on March 12, 1907. Legislative elections were held on July 30, 1907, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 59 out of 80 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Progressive Party (Partido Progresista – PP) won 16 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Philippines Assembly convened in Manila on October 16, 1907. Legislative elections were held on November 2, 1909, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 62 out of 81 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Progressive Party (Partido Progresista – PP) won 17 seats in the Philippines Assembly. Major General John J. Pershing was assumed the governorship of the Moro province on November 11, 1909. On September 8, 1911, Major General Pershing issued an executive order for the complete disarmament of Moros in Moro province. Legislative elections were held on June 4, 1912, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 62 out of 81 seats in the Philippines Assembly. The Progressive Party (Partido Progresista – PP) won 16 seats in the Philippines Assembly. U.S. troops suppressed the 14-year Moro rebellion in southern Philippines on June 15, 1913. At least 10,000 Moros, 630 U.S. soldiers, 116 Philippines soldiers, and 750 Philippines police were killed during the rebellion.

Post-Crisis Phase (June 16, 1913-December 7, 1941): Francis Harrison was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on August 21, 1913. Legislative elections were held on June 6, 1916, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 75 out of 90 seats in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Congress approved the Jones Act on August 29, 1916, which provided for a bicameral Philippines legislature including a House of Representatives and Senate. Legislative elections were held on June 3, 1919, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 75 out of 90 seats in the House of Representatives. General Leonard Wood was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on October 5, 1921. Legislative elections were held on June 6, 1922, and the two major factions of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 64 out of 93 seats in the House of Representatives. The Philippines Assembly approved a resolution on November 19, 1924, which demanded “full and complete independence” from the U.S. Legislative elections were held on June 2, 1925, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 64 out of 92 seats in the House of Representatives. The Philippines Assembly presented a petition demanding independence to the U.S. Congress on December 7, 1925. The Philippines Assembly approved a resolution calling for a plebiscite on independence on July 26, 1926, but the resolution was vetoed by Governor Wood. Governor Wood died on August 7, 1927, and Henry Stimson was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on December 13, 1927. Dwight Davis was sworn in as U.S. governor of the Philippines on May 17, 1929. Legislative elections were held on June 5, 1928, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 71 out of 94 seats in the House of Representatives. Legislative elections were held on June 2, 1931, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 66 out of 86 seats in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Congress approved the Tydings-McDuffie Act on March 24, 1934, which promised independence to the Philippines in 12 years. Legislative elections were held on June 5, 1934, and the pro-independence faction of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 70 out of 92 seats in the House of Representatives. The anti-independence faction of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista PN) won 19 seats in the House of Representatives. As called for in the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934, elections for delegates to the Constitutional Convention were held on July 10, 1934. Benigno Ramos led a right-wing uprising against the government in Bulacan and Laguna provinces on May 1-2, 1935, resulting in the deaths of some 100 individuals. Benigno Ramos fled to Japan. A constitution establishing the Commonwealth of the Philippines was approved by 96 percent of voters in a referendum held on May 14, 1935. Legislative elections were held on September 15, 1935, and Manuel Luis Quezón’s faction (pro-independence faction) of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 64 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. Sergio Osmeña’s faction of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista PN) won 19 seats in the House of Representatives. Manuel Luis Quezón of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) was elected president of the Commonwealth on September 15, 1935. The Commonwealth of the Philippines was formally established on November 15, 1935. Legislative elections were held on November 8, 1938, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 98 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. Several constitutional amendments, including the establishment of a bicameral Congress of the Philippines, were approved in a constitutional plebiscite held on June 18, 1940. Legislative elections were held on November 2, 1941, and the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 95 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. President Manuel Luis Quezón was re-elected with 82 percent of the vote on November 11, 1941.

Crisis Phase (December 8, 1941-October 17, 1945): Japanese military aircraft attacked the U.S. government’s Clark airfield in the Philippines on December 8, 1941, resulting in the deaths of 80 U.S. military personnel. Some 43,000 Japanese troops commanded by General Masaharu Homma invaded the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, and Jolo on December 22, 1941. Japanese troops took control of Manila on January 2, 1942. General Douglas MacArthur, commander of U.S. troops in the Philippines, was evacuated from Batann peninsula on March 11, 1942. Some 12,000 U.S. troops and 58,000 Filipino troops commanded by General Edward King surrendered to Japanese troops on the island of Luzon on April 9, 1942. U.S. government troops commanded by Major General Jonathan Wainwright surrendered to Japanese troops on the island of Corregidor on May 6, 1942. President Manuel Luis Quezón fled to the U.S. and established the Commonwealth government-in-exile in Washington DC. Under Japanese occupation, legislative elections for the National Assembly of the Second Republic of the Philippines were held on September 20, 1943, and the Kapisanan sa Paglilingkod sa Bagong Philinas – KALIBAPI led by Benigno Aquino, Sr. won 108 out of 108 seats in the National Assembly. José Paciano Laurel was elected president of the Second Republic of the Philippines by the National Assembly on October 14, 1943. President Manuel Luis Quezón died in the state of New York on August 1, 1944, and Vice-President Sergio Osmeña became president of the Commonwealth government-in-exile on August 1, 1944. President José Paciano Laurel declared martial law in the Philippines on September 22, 1944, and declared a state of war with the U.S. and U.K. on September 23, 1944. U.S. government troops commanded by General MacArthur landed on the island of Leyte on October 20, 1944. Japanese naval ships withdrew from the Philippines region on October 25, 1944, and U.S. troops landed on the island of Samos on October 26, 1944. U.S. troops captured the island of Leyte on December 24, 1944. U.S. government troops attacked Japanese troops on the island of Luzon on January 9, 1945, and captured the island on August 15, 1945. U.S. government troops captured the island of Corregidor on February 16-27, 1945. U.S. government troops attacked Japanese troops on the island of Mindanao on April 17, 1945, and captured the island on August 15, 1945. José Paciano Laurel, who had fled to Japan, formally resigned as president of the Philippines on August 17, 1945. Japan formally surrendered to the U.S. on September 2, 1945.

Post-Crisis Phase (September 3, 1945-July 4, 1946): Manuel Acuña Roxas of the liberal wing of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) was elected president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines with 55 percent of the vote on April 23, 1946, and was inaugurated as president on April 28, 1946. Legislative elections were held on April 23, 1946, and the liberal wing of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 49 out of 98 seats in the House of Representatives. The Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista,- PN) won 35 seats in the House of Representatives. The Republic of the Philippines formally achieved its independence from the U.S. on July 4, 1946.

[Sources: Clodfelter, 1992, 911-913, 924-927 Jessup, 1998, 585-586 Keesing’s Record of World Events, July 20-27, 1946 Langer, 1972, 827, 937-938, 1118-1119, 1353-1354.]

Bibliography

Bingham, Woodbrigde, Hilary Conroy, and Frank W. Ikle. 1965. A History of Asia, Vol. II, Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.


Contents

In 1898, Luzon was declared independence from Spain but many trials happened from independence. It was planned by the Americans to invade the Philippine Islands. The first capital was in Cavite City from 1898 until the end of Bonifacio presidency. The second was in Montalban from 1899 until 1904. The whole Philippine Islands except Maguindanao and Sulu was invaded by the Americans. The Americans was helped the people in the Philippines to a better life. In 1910 Luzon and Negros declared independence but some parts of the Philippine islands are still the territory of US until World War II

In World War II, the whole Philippine Islands was attempt to invade by the Japanese. To avoid the Japanese invasion in the whole Philippine Islands. It was planned to invade the Formosa from the Chinese as an protectorate of Luzon but it was failed. But the whole Philippine Islands was invaded by the Japanese during the war (except for Maguindanao, Negros, Sulu, and Zamboanga). As a result, the Japanese established the Japanese protectorate of Luzon from 1941 to 1946. Many people hate the Japanese during the war. Some of the people immigrated elsewhere. With the help of the US, the Japanese surrendered and the government recovered. In 1945, the Formosa was officially the territory of Luzon.

In 1945, Luzon was divided into two, the northern part was named into a new country of Northern Luzon and the central and southern part is the territory of Luzon. In 1950's, many challenges of two countries due to the hostile relationships. In late 1960's Colonia declared independence from Luzon.


United States invades Luzon in Philippines - Jan 09, 1945 - HISTORY.com

TSgt Joe C.

On this day, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the American 6th Army land on the Lingayen Gulf of Luzon, another step in the capture of the Philippine Islands from the Japanese.

The Japanese controlled the Philippines from May 1942, when the defeat of American forces led to General MacArthur’s departure and Gen. Jonathan Wainwright’s capture. But in October 1944, more than 100,000 American soldiers landed on Leyte Island to launch one of one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific war-and herald the beginning of the end for Japan.

Newsreels captured the event as MacArthur waded ashore at Leyte on October 20, returning to the Philippines as he had famously promised he would after the original defeat of American forces there. What the newsreels didn’t capture were the 67 days it took to subdue the island, with the loss of more than 55,000 Japanese soldiers during the two months of battle and approximately 25,000 more soldiers killed in smaller-scale engagements necessary to fully clear the area of enemy troops. The U.S. forces lost about 3,500.

The sea battle of Leyte Gulf was the same story. The loss of ships and sailors was horrendous for both sides. That battle also saw the introduction of the Japanese kamikaze suicide bombers. More than 5,000 kamikaze pilots died in this gulf battle, taking down 34 ships. But the Japanese were not able to prevent the loss of their biggest and best warships, which meant the virtual end of the Japanese Imperial Fleet.

These American victories on land and sea at Leyte opened the door for the landing of more than 60,000 American troops on Luzon on January 9. Once again, cameras recorded MacArthur walking ashore, this time to greet cheering Filipinos. Although the American troops met little opposition when they landed, they lost the light cruiser Columbia and the battleship Mississippi, to kamikazes, resulting in the deaths of 49 American crewmen.

The initial ease of the American fighters’ first week on land was explained when they discovered the intricate defensive network of caves and tunnels that the Japanese created on Luzon. The intention of the caves and tunnels was to draw the Americans inland, while allowing the Japanese to avoid the initial devastating bombardment of an invasion force. Once Americans reached them, the Japanese fought vigorously, convinced they were directing American strength away from the Japanese homeland. Despite their best efforts, the Japanese lost the battle for Luzon and eventually, the battle for control over all of the Philippines.


United States invades Luzon in Philippines - HISTORY

Timeline of Events
1941-1945

1941

December 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Hawaii also attack the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Malaya, Thailand, Shanghai and Midway.
December 8, 1941 - U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Japanese land near Singapore and enter Thailand.
December 9, 1941 - China declares war on Japan.
December 10, 1941 - Japanese invade the Philippines and also seize Guam.
December 11, 1941 - Japanese invade Burma.
December 15, 1941 - First Japanese merchant ship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
December 16, 1941 - Japanese invade British Borneo.
December 18, 1941 - Japanese invade Hong Kong.
December 22, 1941 - Japanese invade Luzon in the Philippines.
December 23, 1941 - General Douglas MacArthur begins a withdrawal from Manila to Bataan Japanese take Wake Island.
December 25, 1941 - British surrender at Hong Kong.
December 26, 1941 - Manila declared an open city.
December 27, 1941 - Japanese bomb Manila.

1942

Map of the Japanese Empire at its peak in 1942.

January 2, 1942 - Manila and U.S. Naval base at Cavite captured by the Japanese.
January 7, 1942 - Japanese attack Bataan in the Philippines.
January 11, 1942 - Japanese invade Dutch East Indies and Dutch Borneo.
January 16, 1942 - Japanese begin an advance into Burma.
January 18, 1942 - German-Japanese-Italian military agreement signed in Berlin.
January 19, 1942 - Japanese take North Borneo.
January 23, 1942 - Japanese take Rabaul on New Britain in the Solomon Islands and also invade Bougainville, the largest island.
January 27, 1942 - First Japanese warship sunk by a U.S. submarine.
January 30/31 - The British withdraw into Singapore. The siege of Singapore then begins.
February 1, 1942 - First U.S. aircraft carrier offensive of the war as YORKTOWN and ENTERPRISE conduct air raids on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
February 2, 1942 - Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.
February 8/9 - Japanese invade Singapore.
February 14, 1942 - Japanese invade Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.
February 15, 1942 - British surrender at Singapore.
February 19, 1942 - Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia Japanese invade Bali.
February 20, 1942 - First U.S. fighter ace of the war, Lt. Edward O'Hare from the LEXINGTON in action off Rabaul.
February 22, 1942 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General MacArthur out of the Philippines.
February 23, 1942 - First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.
February 24, 1942 - ENTERPRISE attacks Japanese on Wake Island.
February 26, 1942 - First U.S. carrier, the LANGLEY, is sunk by Japanese bombers.
February 27- March 1 - Japanese naval victory in the Battle of the Java Sea as the largest U.S. warship in the Far East, the HOUSTON, is sunk.
March 4, 1942 - Two Japanese flying boats bomb Pearl Harbor ENTERPRISE attacks Marcus Island, just 1000 miles from Japan.
March 7, 1942 - British evacuate Rangoon in Burma Japanese invade Salamaua and Lae on New Guinea.
March 8, 1942 - The Dutch on Java surrender to Japanese.
March 11, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur leaves Corregidor and is flown to Australia. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright becomes the new U.S. commander.
March 18, 1942 - Gen. MacArthur appointed commander of the Southwest Pacific Theater by President Roosevelt.
March 18, 1942 - War Relocation Authority established in the U.S. which eventually will round up 120,000 Japanese-Americans and transport them to barb-wired relocation centers. Despite the internment, over 17,000 Japanese-Americans sign up and fight for the U.S. in World War II in Europe, including the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. history.
March 23, 1942 - Japanese invade the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
March 24, 1942 - Admiral Chester Nimitz appointed as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific theater.
April 3, 1942 - Japanese attack U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.
April 6, 1942 - First U.S. troops arrive in Australia.
April 9, 1942 - U.S. forces on Bataan surrender unconditionally to the Japanese.
April 10, 1942 - Bataan Death March begins as 76,000 Allied POWs including 12,000 Americans are forced to walk 60 miles under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp, resulting in over 5,000 American deaths.
April 18, 1942 - Surprise U.S. 'Doolittle' B-25 air raid from the HORNET against Tokyo boosts Allied morale.
April 29, 1942 - Japanese take central Burma.
May 1, 1942 - Japanese occupy Mandalay in Burma.
May 3, 1942 - Japanese take Tulagi in the Solomon Islands.
May 5, 1942 - Japanese prepare to invade Midway and the Aleutian Islands.
May 6, 1942 - Japanese take Corregidor as Gen. Wainwright unconditionally surrenders all U.S. And Filipino forces in the Philippines.
May 7-8, 1942 - Japan suffers its first defeat of the war during the Battle of the Coral Sea off New Guinea - the first time in history that two opposing carrier forces fought only using aircraft without the opposing ships ever sighting each other.
May 12, 1942 - The last U.S. Troops holding out in the Philippines surrender on Mindanao.
May 20, 1942 - Japanese complete the capture of Burma and reach India.
June 4-5, 1942 - Turning point in the war occurs with a decisive victory for the U.S. against Japan in the Battle of Midway as squadrons of U.S. torpedo planes and dive bombers from ENTERPRISE, HORNET, and YORKTOWN attack and destroy four Japanese carriers, a cruiser, and damage another cruiser and two destroyers. U.S. loses YORKTOWN.
June 7, 1942 - Japanese invade the Aleutian Islands.
June 9, 1942 - Japanese postpone further plans to take Midway.
July 21, 1942 - Japanese land troops near Gona on New Guinea.
August 7, 1942 - The first U.S. amphibious landing of the Pacific War occurs as 1st Marine Division invades Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
August 8, 1942 - U.S. Marines take the unfinished airfield on Guadalcanal and name it Henderson Field after Maj. Lofton Henderson, a hero of Midway.
August 8/9 - A major U.S. naval disaster off Savo Island, north of Guadalcanal, as eight Japanese warships wage a night attack and sink three U.S. heavy cruisers, an Australian cruiser, and one U.S. destroyer, all in less than an hour. Another U.S. cruiser and two destroyers are damaged. Over 1,500 Allied crewmen are lost.
August 17, 1942 - 122 U.S. Marine raiders, transported by submarine, attack Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
August 21, 1942 - U.S. Marines repulse first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal.
August 24, 1942 - U.S. And Japanese carriers meet in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons resulting in a Japanese defeat.
August 29, 1942 - The Red Cross announces Japan refuses to allow safe passage of ships containing supplies for U.S. POWs.
August 30, 1942 - U.S. Troops invade Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands.
September 9/10 - A Japanese floatplane flies two missions dropping incendiary bombs on U.S. forests in the state of Oregon - the only bombing of the continental U.S. during the war. Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.
September 12-14 - Battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal.
September 15, 1942 - A Japanese submarine torpedo attack near the Solomon Islands results in the sinking of the Carrier WASP, Destroyer O'BRIEN and damage to the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.
September 27, 1942 - British offensive in Burma.
October 11/12 - U.S. cruisers and destroyers defeat a Japanese task force in the Battle of Cape Esperance off Guadalcanal.
October 13, 1942 - The first U.S. Army troops, the 164th Infantry Regiment, land on Guadalcanal.
October 14/15 - Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night from warships then send troops ashore onto Guadalcanal in the morning as U.S. planes attack.
October 15/17 - Japanese bombard Henderson Field at night again from warships.
October 18, 1942 - Vice Admiral William F. Halsey named as the new commander of the South Pacific Area, in charge of the Solomons-New Guinea campaign.
October 26, 1942 - Battle of Santa Cruz off Guadalcanal between U.S. And Japanese warships results in the loss of the Carrier HORNET.
November 14/15 - U.S. And Japanese warships clash again off Guadalcanal resulting in the sinking of the U.S. Cruiser JUNEAU and the deaths of the five Sullivan brothers.
November 23/24 - Japanese air raid on Darwin, Australia.
November 30 - Battle of Tasafaronga off Guadalcanal.
December 2, 1942 - Enrico Fermi conducts the world's first nuclear chain reaction test at the University of Chicago.
December 20-24 - Japanese air raids on Calcutta, India.
December 31, 1942 - Emperor Hirohito of Japan gives permission to his troops to withdraw from Guadalcanal after five months of bloody fighting against U.S. Forces

1943

January 2, 1943 - Allies take Buna in New Guinea.
January 22, 1943 - Allies defeat Japanese at Sanananda on New Guinea.
February 1, 1943 - Japanese begin evacuation of Guadalcanal.
February 8, 1943 - British-Indian forces begin guerrilla operations against Japanese in Burma.
February 9, 1943 - Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ends.
March 2-4 - U.S. victory over Japanese in the Battle of Bismarck Sea.
April 18, 1943 - U.S. code breakers pinpoint the location of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto flying in a Japanese bomber near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Eighteen P-38 fighters then locate and shoot down Yamamoto.
April 21, 1943 - President Roosevelt announces the Japanese have executed several airmen from the Doolittle Raid.
April 22, 1943 - Japan announces captured Allied pilots will be given "one way tickets to hell."
May 10, 1943 - U.S. Troops invade Attu in the Aleutian Islands.
May 14, 1943 - A Japanese submarine sinks the Australian hospital ship CENTAUR resulting in 299 dead.
May 31, 1943 - Japanese end their occupation of the Aleutian Islands as the U.S. completes the capture of Attu.
June 1, 1943 - U.S. begins submarine warfare against Japanese shipping.
June 21, 1943 - Allies advance to New Georgia, Solomon Islands.
July 8, 1943 - B-24 Liberators flying from Midway bomb Japanese on Wake Island.
August 1/2 - A group of 15 U.S. PT-boats attempt to block Japanese convoys south of Kolombangra Island in the Solomon Islands. PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, is rammed and sunk by the Japanese Cruiser AMAGIRI, killing two and badly injuring others. The crew survives as Kennedy aids one badly injured man by towing him to a nearby atoll.
August 6/7, 1943 - Battle of Vella Gulf in the Solomon Islands.
August 25, 1943 - Allies complete the occupation of New Georgia.
September 4, 1943 - Allies recapture Lae-Salamaua, New Guinea.
October 7, 1943 - Japanese execute approximately 100 American POWs on Wake Island.
October 26, 1943 - Emperor Hirohito states his country's situation is now "truly grave."
November 1, 1943 - U.S. Marines invade Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
November 2, 1943 - Battle of Empress Augusta Bay.
November 20, 1943 - U.S. Troops invade Makin and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.
November 23, 1943 - Japanese end resistance on Makin and Tarawa.
December 15, 1943 - U.S. Troops land on the Arawe Peninsula of New Britain in the Solomon Islands.
December 26, 1943 - Full Allied assault on New Britain as 1st Division Marines invade Cape Gloucester.

1944

January 9, 1944 - British and Indian troops recapture Maungdaw in Burma.
January 31, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
February 1-7, 1944 - U.S. Troops capture Kwajalein and Majura Atolls in the Marshall Islands.
February 17/18 - U.S. Carrier-based planes destroy the Japanese naval base at Truk in the Caroline Islands.
February 20, 1944 - U.S. Carrier-based and land-based planes destroy the Japanese base at Rabaul.
February 23, 1944 - U.S. Carrier-based planes attack the Mariana Islands.
February 24, 1944 - Merrill's Marauders begin a ground campaign in northern Burma.
March 5, 1944 - Gen. Wingate's groups begin operations behind Japanese lines in Burma.
March 15, 1944 - Japanese begin offensive toward Imphal and Kohima.
April 17, 1944 - Japanese begin their last offensive in China, attacking U.S. air bases in eastern China.
April 22, 1944 - Allies invade Aitape and Hollandia in New Guinea.
May 27, 1944 - Allies invade Biak Island, New Guinea.
June 5, 1944 - The first mission by B-29 Superfortress bombers occurs as 77 planes bomb Japanese railway facilities at Bangkok, Thailand.
June 15, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Saipan in the Mariana Islands.
June 15/16 - The first bombing raid on Japan since the Doolittle raid of April 1942, as 47 B-29s based in Bengel, India, target the steel works at Yawata.
June 19, 1944 - The "Marianas Turkey Shoot" occurs as U.S. Carrier-based fighters shoot down 220 Japanese planes, while only 20 American planes are lost.
July 8, 1944 - Japanese withdraw from Imphal.
July 19, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Guam in the Marianas.
July 24, 1944 - U.S. Marines invade Tinian.
July 27, 1944 - American troops complete the liberation of Guam.
August 3, 1944 - U.S. And Chinese troops take Myitkyina after a two month siege.
August 8, 1944 - American troops complete the capture of the Mariana Islands.
September 15, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Morotai and the Paulaus.
October 11, 1944 - U.S. Air raids against Okinawa.
October 18, 1944 - Fourteen B-29s based on the Marianas attack the Japanese base at Truk.
October 20, 1944 - U.S. Sixth Army invades Leyte in the Philippines.
October 23-26 - Battle of Leyte Gulf results in a decisive U.S. Naval victory.
October 25, 1944 - The first suicide air (Kamikaze) attacks occur against U.S. warships in Leyte Gulf. By the end of the war, Japan will have sent an estimated 2,257 aircraft. "The only weapon I feared in the war," Adm. Halsey will say later.
November 11, 1944 - Iwo Jima bombarded by the U.S. Navy.
November 24, 1944 - Twenty four B-29s bomb the Nakajima aircraft factory near Tokyo.
December 15, 1944 - U.S. Troops invade Mindoro in the Philippines.
December 17, 1944 - The U.S. Army Air Force begins preparations for dropping the Atomic Bomb by establishing the 509th Composite Group to operate the B-29s that will deliver the bomb.

1945

January 3, 1945 - Gen. MacArthur is placed in command of all U.S. ground forces and Adm. Nimitz in command of all naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Japan itself.
January 4, 1945 - British occupy Akyab in Burma.
January 9, 1945 - U.S. Sixth Army invades Lingayen Gulf on Luzon in the Philippines.
January 11, 1945 - Air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina by U.S. Carrier-based planes.
January 28, 1945 - The Burma road is reopened.
February 3, 1945 - U.S. Sixth Army attacks Japanese in Manila.
February 16, 1945 - U.S. Troops recapture Bataan in the Philippines.
February 19, 1945 - U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
March 1, 1945 - A U.S. submarine sinks a Japanese merchant ship loaded with supplies for Allied POWs, resulting in a court martial for the captain of the submarine, since the ship had been granted safe passage by the U.S. Government.
March 2, 1945 - U.S. airborne troops recapture Corregidor in the Philippines.
March 3, 1945 - U.S. And Filipino troops take Manila.
March 9/10 - Fifteen square miles of Tokyo erupts in flames after it is fire bombed by 279 B-29s.
March 10, 1945 - U.S. Eighth Army invades Zamboanga Peninsula on Mindanao in the Philippines.
March 20, 1945 - British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.
March 27, 1945 - B-29s lay mines in Japan's Shimonoseki Strait to interrupt shipping.
April 1, 1945 - The final amphibious landing of the war occurs as the U.S. Tenth Army invades Okinawa.
April 7, 1945 - B-29s fly their first fighter-escorted mission against Japan with P-51 Mustangs based on Iwo Jima U.S. Carrier-based fighters sink the super battleship YAMATO and several escort vessels which planned to attack U.S. Forces at Okinawa.
April 12, 1945 - President Roosevelt dies, succeeded by Harry S. Truman.
May 8, 1945 - Victory in Europe Day.
May 20, 1945 - Japanese begin withdrawal from China.
May 25, 1945 - U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation Olympic, the invasion of Japan, scheduled for November 1.
June 9, 1945 - Japanese Premier Suzuki announces Japan will fight to the very end rather than accept unconditional surrender.
June 18, 1945 - Japanese resistance ends on Mindanao in the Philippines.
June 22, 1945 - Japanese resistance ends on Okinawa as the U.S. Tenth Army completes its capture.
June 28, 1945 - MacArthur's headquarters announces the end of all Japanese resistance in the Philippines.
July 5, 1945 - Liberation of Philippines declared.
July 10, 1945 - 1,000 bomber raids against Japan begin.
July 14, 1945 - The first U.S. Naval bombardment of Japanese home islands.
July 16, 1945 - First Atomic Bomb is successfully tested in the U.S.
July 26, 1945 - Components of the Atomic Bomb "Little Boy" are unloaded at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.
July 29, 1945 - A Japanese submarine sinks the Cruiser INDIANAPOLIS resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sinks before a radio message can be sent out leaving survivors adrift for two days.
August 6, 1945 - First Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima from a B-29 flown by Col. Paul Tibbets.
August 8, 1945 - U.S.S.R. declares war on Japan then invades Manchuria.
August 9, 1945 - Second Atomic Bomb is dropped on Nagasaki from a B-29 flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney -- Emperor Hirohito and Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki then decide to seek an immediate peace with the Allies.
August 14, 1945 - Japanese accept unconditional surrender Gen. MacArthur is appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.
August 16, 1945 - Gen. Wainwright, a POW since May 6, 1942, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria.
August 27, 1945 - B-29s drop supplies to Allied POWs in China.
August 29, 1945 - The Soviets shoot down a B-29 dropping supplies to POWs in Korea U.S. Troops land near Tokyo to begin the occupation of Japan.
August 30, 1945 - The British reoccupy Hong Kong.
September 2, 1945 - Formal Japanese surrender ceremony on board the MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay as 1,000 carrier-based planes fly overhead President Truman declares VJ Day.
September 3, 1945 - The Japanese commander in the Philippines, Gen. Yamashita, surrenders to Gen. Wainwright at Baguio.
September 4, 1945 - Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender.
September 5, 1945 - British land in Singapore.
September 8, 1945 - MacArthur enters Tokyo.
September 9, 1945 - Japanese in Korea surrender.
September 13, 1945 - Japanese in Burma surrender.
October 24, 1945 - United Nations is born.

The History Place - World War II in the Pacific - Selected Battle Photos

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Philippines Colonial Era

This Mansion of Talisay was burned down in the second World War. Source Ferdinand Magellan's voyage arrived in the Philippines in 1521 and he claimed the islands for Spain. He was, however, killed at the Mactan Battle. Colonization of the Philippines started in 1565 when Miguel López de Legazpi, a Spanish explorer, arrived in the islands from Mexico. He established the first Hispanic villages in Cebu. Hispanic soldiers later relocated to Panay island, consolidated an alliance of Hispanic soldiers, Latin-American mercenaries, and local Visayan allies, then marched into Islamic Manila, thus bringing down the Tondo conspiracy. Under the Spanish rule, Manila was established as Spanish East Indies capital in 1571.

Spanish rule did contribute to bringing about political unity to the different nations in the region. From 1565-1821, the country was ruled as a province of the Mexico-based Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was later ruled directly from Madrid after the Mexican War of Independence. From 1762 to 1764, Manila was occupied by British forces. Spanish rule was, however, restored as a result of the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

in 1892, a secret society called Katipunan was established by Andrés Bonifacio to fight for Philippine's independence from Spain via an armed revolt The Philippine Revolution was started in 1896. In 1898, the Spanish-American War started in Cuba reaching the Philippines and on June 12, 1898, Philippine independence was declared by Aguinaldo. This led to the establishment of the First Philippine Republic in the following year.

The United States won the Spanish-American War and Spain had to cede the islands to the USA. The United States of America did not recognize the First Philippine Republic, leading to the Philippine-American War. The Republic was defeated and the region was governed under an Insular Government.

In 1935, the Philippines was given Commonwealth Status and Manuel Quezon was appointed as the president. Any plans for gaining independence in the decade that followed were disrupted by WWII when the country was invaded by the Japanese Empire and the Second Philippine Republic of José P. Laurel was formed as an associate state.

From 1942-1944 the U.S Navy submarines gave encouragement to the Filipino guerilla resistance and even supplied them with parachute drops to provoke the Japanese Army and take control of the mountainous regions and the rural jungle. In 1945, the Battle of Leyte Gulf took place and the resistance defeated the Japanese Empire.

Philippines Postcolonial period

The Philippines became one of the founding members of the United Nations on October 24, 1945, and on July 4, 1946, the United States recognized the country as sovereign during the tenure of Manual Roxas.


Battle [ edit | edit source ]

The battleships Pennsylvania and Colorado lead three heavy cruisers into the Lingayen Gulf for the pre-assault bombardment of Japanese shore positions

The assault on Luzon was launched, as planned, on 9 January 1945, codenamed S-day. The Japanese forces reported more than 70 Allied warships entering the Lingayen Gulf. Pre-assault bombardment of Japanese shore positions from these ships began at 07:00. The landings were commenced an hour later. Γ] The landing forces faced strong opposition from Japanese kamikaze aircraft. The escort carrier Ommaney Bay was destroyed by a kamikaze attack, while a destroyer and several other warships were also sunk. Β] Aircraft from the 3rd Fleet assisted the landings with close air support, strafing and bombing Japanese gun positions. Δ]

Captain Andrade of Escuadrón 201 stands in front of his P-47D with his maintenance team after returning from a combat mission over Luzon.