map of Luzon

Luzon is the northernmost and largest of the Philippine Islands, extending about 340 miles (550 km) from north to south with an area of 40,814 square miles (105,707 km2). It is characterized by three north-south mountain ranges separated by broad alluvial plains. The Sierra Madre along the upper east coast reaches to 6188' (1886 meters) and is separated from the Cordillera Mountains to the west by the Cagayan river valley, which is the second most important agricultural area in the Philippines. The Cordilleras reach to 9613' (2930 meters) and are separated from the Caraballo Mountains to the southwest by the central Luzon plain, which is the most productive agricultural area in the Philippines. The Caraballo Mountains reach to 6686' (2038 meters) and their southern extension forms the Bataan Peninsula. To the southeast of the main body of the island is the Legaspi Peninsula, which was largely undeveloped jungle in 1941.

Luzon was the most populous and developed of the Philippine Islands in 1941, with a population of 7,384,798 persons. There was a good road network and over 700 miles (1100 km) of railroads, and most towns were connected by telephone and telegraph. The island includes the superb harbor of Manila Bay, which was protected in 1941 by the Corregidor island fortress complex and several airfields, including Clark Field. The island produces sugar (about 1.3 million tons a year in 1941) and rice, with the most productive regions being the central plain north of Manila Bay and the Cagayen Valley in the northeastern part of the island. Chromium and manganese are mined in the Zambales Mountains along the west coast.

The first Luzon campaign

The Japanese opened the first Luzon campaign with landings at Legaspi on 12 December 1941. This completed the blockade of Luzon and paved the way for the main landings at Lingayen Gulf on the northwest coast of the island on 22 December and secondary landings at Lamon Bay on the east coast near Manila on 24 December. The forces landed at Lingayen Gulf (all from 14 Army) included the bulk of 48 Division; 20 Regiment, 16 Division; and 4 Tank Regiment, while the landings at Lamon Bay were carried out by the remaining elements of 16 Division (7000 men.) 

Both landings were only weakly opposed. 71 Regiment had been ordered to block the movement of 2 Formosa Regiment south from Vigan and Aparri, but was nearly trapped by the Lingayen Gulf landings, escaped to Baguio, and ended moving east and out of the battle.

The Japanese plan was for 48 Division to raced south, leaving only 9 Regiment to mop up and secure its communications, while the elements of 16 Division at Lamon Bay were to advance south to Taybas Bay to cut Luzon in half, then advance on Manila. Once the main battle was won, 48 Division would be redeployed against the Netherland East Indies while 65 Brigade completed mopping up and 16 Division reduced the Visayas and Mindanao.

Faced with a pincers movement, MacArthur decided to retreat to Bataan. In order to buy enough time to get South Luzon Force through Manila before the pincers closed, MacArthur ordered North Luzon Force to hold five successive lines across the central Luzon plain. The plan worked successfully and over 100,000 men were moved into Bataan before Homma, whose attention had been fixed on Manila, realized what was afoot. The last American and Filipino forces withdrew into the peninsula on 5 January 1942.

By 9 January Homma had redeployed his troops to attack the American positions. Although the American line on the western side of the peninsula held, the eastern line was penetrated, and by 24 January the Americans were forced back to their second defense line. This was assaulted in strength on 3 April, after careful preparation, and the American lines were quickly pierced. General King, the commander of Allied forces on Bataan, was forced to surrender on 9 April 1942. 75,000 sick and starving prisoners of war were marched to camps in central Luzon, 100 miles away, in what became known as the Bataan Death March. Thousands of prisoners died of mistreatment along the way, making this the single greatest atrocity committed against American troops during the war.

Japanese order of battle, 12 December 1941

14 Army (Homma)

16 Division (Morioka; at Naze)
From Kyoto. This division had been recently triangularized and had not seen recent combat. Homma did not rate it very highly. Those elements not detached to Magong or Palau were embarked with the Lamon Bay Force.

9 Regiment

20 Regiment
At Magong

33 Regiment
Two of its battalions were at Palau (Kimura Detachment)

48 Division (Tsuchihashi; at Magong) Embarked with Lingayen Gulf Force. Formed in 1940 in Formosa and lacked battle experience, but Homma still considered it the best division in 14 Army. It was partially motorized and reinforced with artillery.

65 Brigade (Nara; at Magong) From Hiroshima. 6500 mostly older reservists. Considered totally unprepared for combat by its own commander. Intended for garrison duty.

4 Tank Regiment (at Magong)
Light tanks. Attached to 20 Regiment, 16 Division.

7 Tank Regiment (at Magong) 80-100 tanks, including "heavy" 13-ton tanks. Attached to 48 Division.

3 Engineer Regiment (at Takao)

21 Engineer Regiment (at Magong)
5 Air Division (Obata, at Heito) There is significant disagreement among various sources on the composition of 5 Air Division. We use the composition given by Francillon (1979).

4 Air Brigade (Kawahara; at Chiai)

8 Light Air Regiment

27 Ki-48 Lily

9 Ki-15 Babs

2 Ki-46 Dinah

14 Heavy Air Regiment

18 Ki-21 Sally

16 Light Air Regiment

27 Ki-30 Ann

50 Air Regiment (Hengchun)

36 Ki-27 Nate

10 Independent Air Squadron (at Heito)

52 Reconnaissance Squadron

13 Ki-51 Sonia

74 Reconnaissance Squadron

10 Ki-36 Ida

76 Reconnaissance Squadron

9 Ki-15 Babs

2 Ki-46 Dinah

11 Air Transport Squadron (at Taichu)

9 Ki-57 Topsy

24 Air Regiment (at Heito)

36 Ki-27 Nate

3 Fleet (Takahashi)
Close Covering Force (Takahashi; at Magong)     

  Cruiser Division 16 (Takahashi)

  CA Ashigara

CA Maya On loan from CruDiv4, Second Fleet

CL Kuma

Elements, Seaplane Tender Squadron 12 (Imamura S.)

AV Sanyo Maru

4 F1M2 Pete
2 E8N Dave
2 E13A Jake

AV Sanuki Maru

4 F1M2 Pete
2 E8N Dave
2 E13A Jake

Elements, Destroyer Squadron 5

Elements, Destroyer Division 5

  DD Asakaze

DD Matsukaze  

1 Surprise Attack Force (Hara; at Magong) Responsible for seizing Appari.

  Elements, Destroyer Squadron 5 (Hara)

  CL Natori

Elements, Destroyer Division 5

  DD Harukaze

DD Hatakaze

Destroyer Division 22

DD Fumizuki

DD Minazuki

DD Nagatsuki

DD Satsuki

2 Base Force (Hirose; at Takao)

Elements, Minesweeper Division 11

DMS W-15

DMS W-16

Elements, Minesweeper Division 30

DMS W-19

Submarine Chaser Division 1

SC Ch-1

SC Ch-2

SC Ch-3

6 other submarine chasers

AP Arizona Maru (9684 tons, 14 knots)

5 other AP All transports assigned to this force were capable of 12-14 knots.

2 Formosa Regiment less one battalion (2200 men)       Tanaka Detachment, 48 Division

2 Surprise Attack Force (Nishimura; at Magong) Assigned to capture Vigan

Elements, Destroyer Squadron 4
On loan from 2 Fleet

CL Naka (Nishimura)

Destroyer Division 2

DD Harusame

DD Murasame

DD Samidare

DD Yudachi

Elements, Destroyer Division 9

DD Asagumo

DD Minegumo

DD Natsugumo

  Elements, 1 Base Force

  Elements, Minesweeper Division 21


DMS W-10

DMS W-11?

DMS W-12

Elements, 2 Base Force

Elements, Minesweeper Division 30

DMS W-17

DMS W-18

9 submarine chasers

AP Oigawa Maru (6500 tons)

AP Takao Maru (4282 tons, 15 knots)

AP Hawaii Maru (9467 tons, 14 knots)

3 other AP  

3 Battalion, 2 Formosa Regiment (reinforced), 2200 men      

3 Surprise Attack Force (Hirose; at Magong)     
Responsible for securing Batan Island

  DD Yamagumo On loan from DesRon4, Second Fleet

Elements, 2 Base Force (at Takao)      

Torpedo Boat Division 21

PT Chidori

PT Hatsukari

PT Manazuru

PT Tomozuru

Elements, Minesweeper Division 11

DMS W-13

DMS W-14

2 PG

9 SC

2 PB

AP Hayo Maru (5446 tons, 9.5 knots)

AP Kumakawa Maru

21 Engineer Regiment 14 Army

24 Airfield Battalion

Lamon Bay Force (at Naze)

  Elements, 1 Base Force

Subchaser Division 52

PC Shonan Maru #17 (356 tons)

PC Takunan Maru #5 (340 tons)

AN Fukuei Maru #17 (940 tons)

2 Base Force (Hirose; at Takao)

Elements, Gunboat Division 2?

PG Kamitsu Maru (2721 tons)

PG Okuyo Maru

PG Taiko Maru

Gunboat Division 3?

PG Aso Maru (703 tons)

PG Kiso Maru

PG Nanpo Maru

3 other SC

24 AP

Main body, 16 Division (20 and 33 Regiments; 9000 men)       Homma did not rate this division very highly, although it had served in China and Manchuria.

4 Tank Regiment Equipped with light tanks

4 Surprise Attack Force (Kubo; at Palau) Responsible for seizing Legaspi

  Elements, Destroyer Squadron 4 On loan from Second Fleet

  CL Nagara

Destroyer Division 24

  DD Yamakaze

DD Suzukaze

DD Umikaze

DD Kawakaze

Destroyer Division 16 On loan from DesRon2

DD Yukikaze

DD Tokitsukaze

Elements, Seaplane Tender Division 11 (Fujita) On loan from Combined Fleet

CVS Chitose

16 F1M Pete
4 E13A Jake

CVS Mizuho

16 F1M Pete
4 E13A Jake

AM W-7

AM W-8

2 PC

5 other small ships

7 AP

Elements, 32 Special Base Force

1 Kure SNLF (with Fourth Surprise Attack Force)      

33 Regiment (3200 men) Kimura Force; from 16 Division

22 Field Artillery Regiment

Legaspi Support Force (Takagi; closing on Legaspi)      

  CV Ryujo (Kakuta) On loan from CarDiv1, First Air Fleet

  22 A5M Claude
18 B5N Kate

Cruiser Division 5 On loan from Second Fleet

CA Haguro

CA Myoko

CA Nachi

Elements, Destroyer Squadron 2 (Tanaka) On loan from Second Fleet

CL Jintsu

DD Shiokaze

Elements, Destroyer Division 16

  DD Amatsukaze

DD Hatsukaze

Destroyer Division 15

DD Hayashio

DD Kuroshio

DD Natsushio

DD Oyashio

Allied order of battle, 12 December 1941

USAFFE (MacArthur; at Manila)

North Luzon Force (Wainright; at Fort Stotsenburg)

  11 Division (Townsend; SE coast of Lingayen Gulf)       One battalion at Tuguegarao and a company at Aparri

21 Division (Capinin; south coast of Lingayen Gulf)

31 Division (Bluemel; west coast of Luzon)

71 Division (Selleck; north Luzon Plain)

26 Cavalry Regiment 842 men of the Philippine Scouts

1 Battalion, 45 Infantry Regiment (at Mariveles) From Philippine Division

South Luzon Force (Parker; at Fort McKinley)

41 Division (Lim; south Luzon coast) Large than most Philippine divisions (8000 men) and relatively well-trained.

51 Division (Jones; at Lamon Bay) Performed badly during the Bataan campaign

Reserve Force (Moore; at Fort Stotsenburg)

43 Regiment 328 Philippine Scouts

Philippine Division (Lough; at Fort McKinley) Regular U.S. Army division (10,223 men) consisting of Americans and Philippine Scouts.  One battalion was in Bataan under Northern Luzon Force.

91 Division (Stevens; central Luzon Plain)

First Provisional Tank Force (at Fort Stotsenburg)

192 Tank Battalion 588 men, 54 Stuart M-3 tanks

194 Tank Battalion 410 men, 54 Stuart M-3 tanks

Far East Air Force (Brereton; at Manila)

Philippines Army Air Corps (at Batangas)

12 P-26 Peashooter

5 Bomber Command (at Clark Field)

19 Heavy Bomber Group
        14 Heavy Bomber Squadron (at Del Monte)      

8 B-17 Flying Fortress

93 Heavy Bomber Squadron (at Del Monte)

8 B-17 Flying Fortress

28 Heavy Bomber Squadron

9 B-17 Flying Fortress

13 Heavy Bomber Squadron

10 B-17 Flying Fortress

27 Light Bomber Squadron (at Nielson Field) The 52 A-24 Dauntless for this group were still en route to the Philippines with the Pensacola Convoy

5 Interceptor Command (Clagett; at Nielson Field)

24 Interceptor Group (at Clark Field)

3 Interceptor Squadron (at Iba)

18 P-40E Warhawk

17 Interceptor Squadron (at Nichols Field)

18 P-40E Warhawk

21 Interceptor Squadron (at Nichols Field)

18 P-40E Warhawk

20 Interceptor Squadron (at Clark Field)

19 P-40E Warhawk

34 Interceptor Squadron (at Del Carmen) The squadron was to be equipped with P-40s, but they arrived without coolant and were thus unserviceable.
          18 P-35

The second Luzon campaign

MacArthur had pledged to return to the Philippines, and in mid-1944 he succeeded in persuading Roosevelt to support landings on Luzon rather than on the Navy's preferred alternative of Formosa. The decision was formalized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 3 October 1944. The Luzon campaign would become the second largest American campaign of the Second World War, exceeded only by the campaign in northwest Europe.

MacArthur, like the Japanese in the first Luzon campaign, chose to land his main force at Lingayen Gulf. This required that the invasion convoy sail 200 miles (300 km) from the assembly area in Leyte Gulf to the landing beaches in the face of determined kamikaze attacks.

Preliminary Strikes. The Allied invasion force for Luzon began assembling on 2 January 1945. The invasion force was massive, with Oldendorf's covering force alone consisting of 6 battleships, 6 light cruisers, 14 destroyers, 6 destroyer escorts, 12 escort carriers, and other supporting and screening ships. As the invasion force prepared to sortie, Halsey's 3 Fleet attempted to eliminate the kamikaze threat with a series of airfield strikes, beginning with strikes against Formosa and the Ryukyus on 3-4 January in an effort to cut the air bridge from Japan. These strikes encountered poor weather, losing 22 aircraft without being able to observe the results of their strikes. However, no Japanese aircraft from Formosa participated in attacks on the invasion convoy. Halsey refueled on 5 January, then struck Luzon on 6 January, destroying perhaps 32 aircraft. The weather finally improved on 7 January and Halsey's pilots had their best day, claiming four aircraft shot down and 75 destroyed on the ground, at a cost of 28 aircraft (of which 18 were operational losses.)  Japanese air opposition was sporadic thereafter. Halsey refueled again on 8 January and made a final strike against Formosa on 9 January before executing a raid into the South China Sea. The 9 January strikes were again hindered by poor weather, and those planes that got through discovered that most of the aircraft at Heito airfield were dummy aircraft. However, Halsey's raiders were joined by B-29s from Kunming, which attacked shipping in and around Formosa. Total American aircraft losses in the series of raids numbered 86, of which 40 were operational losses.

Approach to Lingayen Gulf. The Japanese had detected the invasions preparations almost at once, and Halsey's strikes failed to completely eliminate the kamikaze threat. The Japanese expended some 240 aircraft in attacks on the American invasion force between 2-7 January 1945. These began with a near-miss on oiler Cowanesque shortly after the minesweepers leading the invasion force sortied on 2 January. Sporadic attacks continued through 4 January but were greatly hindered by the Allied combat air patrol. However, at 1712 on 4 January, a single two-engined kamikaze approached undetected and dove on Ommaney Bay, striking her flight deck amidshps. The aircraft's two bombs exploded in the hangar deck and in the forward engine room, the fires raged out of control, and Ommaney Bay was abandoned and scuttled. The kamikaze had approached from behind the mountains of Panay that blocked radar and was not spotted until seconds before impact.

5 January 1945 marked the first really intense kamikaze battle of the passage. The Japanese spotted Oldendorf's covering force early in the morning, and air cover from Mindoro was impossible due to weather, leaving the convoy to be protected only by its own escort carriers. Raids at 0458 and 1125 were repulsed by the combat air patrol, and Momi was spotted and sunk as she tried to flee Manila for Formosa. However, at 1650 a raid by 16 kamikazes and four escorting fighters managed to damage two heavy cruisers, an escort carrier and a destroyer escort.

6 January was the worst day of the passage. Oldendorf's force began to deploy, which increased the difficulties of fighter direction and decreased the concentration of antiaircraft. The first raids hit as Oldendorf began his preliminary bombardment, but inflicted no damage until noon, when New Mexico was hit on the bridge by a kamikaze that killed 30 men and wounded 87 others. The casualties included the battleship's commander, Churchill's personal liaison officer, and a Time Magazine correspondent. At about the same time, destroyer Walke was hit by a kamikaze that left her commander burning "like a living torch" (Morison 1959). The commander, George F. Davis, was extinguished and continued conning the ship until the raid was over, but died several hours later. Later that afternoon, a minesweeper was sunk and battleship California, three cruisers, two destroyers, a destroyer-transport, and a minesweeper were damaged. The fighter defense was overwhelmed, radar often being hindered by nearby mountains and the FM-2 Wildcats proving distinctly inferior to the newer Japanse Zero fighter models. The most destructive raids were carried out by just 28 kamikazes and 15 escorts, but the Japanese had already expended the cream of their kamikaze corps.

That evening, Hovey was sunk by a conventional aerial torpedo attack, and the next evening Palmer was sunk by a conventional bombing attack. There were no more successful kamikaze attacks until 8 January, when Australia, already damaged on 6 January, was repeatedly hit but refused to retire for repairs.

The transport convoy was spared the worse of the kamikazes, which concentrated on the covering force. Boise barely evaded a pair of torpedoes from a midget submarine on 5 January. Sporadic kamikaze raids hit an LST and barely missed several other ships, but the convoy escorts sank Hinoki on the evening of 7 January as she attempted to escape from Manila Bay. The worst kamikaze raids, on the morning of 8 January, damaged an escort carrier and an attack transport, but not a single soldier of the invasion force was injured. The final blow of the kamikazes came on 9 January with a damaging hit on escort carrier Kitkun Bay.

The passage of the invasion force to Lingayen Gulf showed the kamikazes at the peak of their effectiveness. A relatively modest number of aircraft inflicted the most serious casualties on Allied navies since the battle of Tassafaronga. However, the kamikazes did not halt the invasion, and the casualties were actually less than the most pessimistic Allied projections.

Landings. The landings themselves began at 0900 on 9 January, spearheaded by elements of 6 and 43 Divisions of Swift's I Corps on the left at San Fabian and and 37 and 40 Division from Griswold's XIV Corps on the right at Lingayen. The beaches were relatively exposed and subject to heavy surf, and the terrain behind them was less than idea, with numerous ponds, swamps, and rivers that favored the defenders. However, for these reasons, it was anticipated that Japanese defenses would be less formidable, and the 5000' (1500 meter) airstrip at Lingayen and Port Sual on the extreme right were valuable prizes if they could be seized quickly. LCI gunboats pounded the beaches, then the first wave went ashore, consisting of LVT(A) amphibious tanks. They was followed by several waves of LVT infantry carriers, which in turn were followed by waves of LCVPs, LCMs, and LSMs. Artillery was brought in by DUKWs as needed. 37 Division alone was provided with 13 LVT(A)s, 84 LVTs, 165 LCVPs, 12 LCMs and four LSMs in thirteen waves, plus two battalions of artillery carried by 13 DUKWs.

During the landings, Columbia, already damaged by earlier kamikaze attacks, was hit again but remained in action. Mississippi was also hit and suffered heavy casualties. Destroyer Jenkins was hit by a 75mm shell from a coastal battery but returned fire and put the battery out of action. Six landing ships were also hit by the coastal guns but suffered only moderate damage.

Opposition was very light on the beaches themselves, particularly in front of XIV Corps, which suffered just 30 killed in the first week of the operation. I Corps was less fortunate, suffering 220 killed and 660 wounded in the first week, but this was still much lighter than anticipated. The most serious opposition was on the extreme left flank. Pontoon causeways were quickly constructed to speed unloading, and about 30,000 tons of supplies were ashore by the end of the first day, and the beachhead was already 8000 yards (7300 meters) deep at its deepest penetration, in front of 43 Division.

That night the Allies attempted to protect their landing force with a smoke screen generated by specially equipped landing craft. This proved effective against kamikaze aircraft, but was no use against a force of 70 motor boats from Port Sual. These were not suicide boats, though their tactics were desperate: The lightly armed craft attempted to race alongside Allied vessels and drop depth charges near their hulls, then attempt to get away before the charges exploded. Two LCIs were lost and seven other ships ships damaged, but the motor boat force suffered heavy casualties and made no further attacks during the campaign.

An armored group and 25 Division landed two days later. By then the airstrip at Lingayen was ready for emergency landings, and Army fighters arrived to provide local air cover. However, by the time the last kamikaze attack in the Philippines took place, on 13 January, another escort carrier, two destroyer escorts, and two destroyer-transports had been hit, and Colorado had suffered heavy casualties from an errant antiaircraft shell.

The Dash to Manila. Yamashita, the Japanese commander, decided not to contest the landings. Instead, he ordered most of his forces (numbering some 260,000 men) move into mountainous areas of Luzon where they were to hold out as long as possible. Shobu Group, under Yamashita's personal command, would retreat into the mountains surrounding the Cagayan River valley east and northeast of Lingayen Gulf, while  Kembu Group would attempt to hold Clark Field for as long as possible before retreating into the Zambales Mountains of western Luzon. Shimbu Group would hold the mountains directly east of Manila.

MacArthur wanted Krueger to dash south and take Manila as quickly as possible. MacArthur was deeply concerned about the fate of American prisoners of war and civilian internees, who he rightly feared were in danger of being massacred by their guards. However, Krueger was reluctant to do so until reinforced, because most of I Corps was required to keep Yamashita bottled up and XIV Corps was encountering significant resistance around Clark Field. Clark Field was liberated on 25 January and 32 Division and 1 Cavalry Division arrived at Lingayen on 27 January.

To prevent the Japanese retreating into Bataan, some 30,000 men of Hall's XI Corps were landed north of Subic Bay on 29 January by Struble's Amphibian Group 9 (MIKE VII) with orders to seal off the peninsula. Naval cover was provided by Cruiser Division 12 and its escorting destroyers under R.S. Riggs. The MIKE VII landings also seized San Marcelino airstrip and threatened the rear of Kembu Group. The next day a group of four fast attack transports took a battalion of 34 Regimental Combat Team to secure Grande Island in Subic Bay.

On 31 January, the two glider regiments of 11 Airborne Division (Swing) were brought ashore at Nasugbu southwest of Manila by Fechteler's Amphibian Group 8 (MIKE VI). Opposition was initially light and the division immediately began racing for Tagaytay Ridge, which overlooks Manila from the southwest and from which a two-lane concrete road led past Cavite to the city. That night, a group of Japanese suicide boats from Balayan Bay succeeded in sinking PC-1129. The wary and exhausted American sailors off the beachhead then mistakenly sank two PT boats approaching the landing craft.

The next morning, the lead regiment of 11 Airborne Division found itself at the mouth of Aga Pass, a narrow defile between Mount Cariliao on the north and Mount Batulao on the south. The Japanese were dug in on both peaks and put up fierce resistance, prompting Swing to postpone the drop of his parachute regiment on Tagaytay Ridge until 3 February.  The night before the jump, pathfinders infiltrated through the pass to Tagaytay Ridge and reported by radio that it was unoccupied. The next morning the first of three echelons of paratroops were dropped on the ridge. The first 18 aircraft dropped their troops precisely on target, but the trailing 30 aircraft mistakenly dropped their troops six milses short of the intended drop zone. It took these troops the rest of the day to march to Tagaytay Ridge. The next day, the second echelon again dropped far short of the intended drop zone when they saw the parachutes from the previous day's misplaced drop.  The third drop was more accurate, and by 4 February 1945, 11 Airborne Division was firmly in control of Tagaytay Ridge and ready to advance on Manila.

Krueger was finally issued orders for the dash on Manila on 30 January 1945. XIV Corps was to secure Clark Field and push on to the Pampanga River within two days. I Corps was to attack towards San Jose on the left flank. XI Corps would push across the Bataan Peninsula to link up with XVI Corps. With the Japanese thus pinned down, 1 Cavalry Division and 44 Tank Battalion would punch through the Japanese lines just after  midnight on 1 February and lead a flying column headed south. Two Marine air groups, MAG-32 and MAG-24, operated out of Magaldan fifteen miles east of Lingayen and provided close air support. American units reached Santo Tomas Camp and Bilibid Prison on the outskirts of Manila on the evening of 3 February, rescuing over 7000 internees.

Yamashita did not intend to defend Manila, but 20,000 naval troops under Iwabuchi Sanji ignored Yamashita's instructions to destroy the port facilities and evacuate the city. 11 Airborne Division, coming up from the south, encountered stiff resistance at Nichols Field on 4 February and was not able to break through to the city until 12 February. The Japanese sailors fought ferociously for the Intramuros, the ancient center of the city. MacArthur refused to authorize the bombing of Japanese positions in Manila, but the Americans were compelled to use artillery to root out the Japanese.The battle did not end until 3 March 1945, and Manila was left more heavily devastated than any Allied city except Warsaw. It is estimated that 100,000 Filipinos died in the battle, most apparently deliberately murdered by the Japanese sailors.

Although 11 Airborne Division secured southern Luzon by 1 May 1945, the bulk of Yamashita's forces continue to hold out in the mountains east and northeast of Manila until the Japanese surrender. However, Corregidor was assaulted on 15 February and fell on 26 February, and the first Allied ships were able to dock at Manila on 15 March 1945. Though the Japanese had left some 350 wrecked ships in the harbor, engineers found ways to rapidly float and tow aside the wrecks, and by May the harbor was handling 90,000 deadweight tons of cargo per week. By the end of the war, 24 Liberty ships could simultaneously berth. This rendered Yamashita's surviving forces militarily irrelevant. 

Total 6 Army casualties in Luzon to 30 June 1945 numbered 8297 killed or missing and 29,557 wounded. Allied naval casualties exceeded 2000 American and Australian sailors.

Allied order of battle, 30 December 1944

3 Fleet (Halsey; in New Jersey at Ulithi)     

Task Force 38 (McCain; in Hancock)      

Task group 38.1 (Radford)

CV Yorktown

2 F6F-3, 46 F6F-5, 6 F6F-5p Hellcats

3 SB2C-3, 21 SB2C-4 Helldivers

18 TBM-1C Avengers

CV Wasp

13 F6F-3, 1 F6F-3p, 1 F6F-3N, 36 F6F-5, 3 F6F-5N Hellcats

9 SB2C-3, 12 SBW-3 Helldivers

18 TBM-1C Avengers

CVL Cowpens

24 F6F-5, 1 F6F-5P Hellcats

9 TBM-1C Avengers

CVL Monterey

3 F6F-3, 21 F6F-5, 1 F6F-5P Hellcats

9 TBM-1C Avengers

Support Unit (Lee; in South Dakota)

BB South Dakota

Battleship Division 8 (Shafroth)

BB Massachusetts     

BB Alabama

Cruiser Division 6 (Joy)

CA San Francisco

CA Baltimore

Cruiser Division 10 (Wiltse)

CA Boston

CL Astoria

CLAA San Diego

CL Oakland

Destroyer Squadron 61

DD DeHaven
DD Mansfield
DD Lyman K. Swenson
DD Collett
DD Maddox
DD Blue
DD Brush
DD Taussig
DD Samuel N. Moore

Destroyer Squadron 53

DD Cushing
DD Buchanan
DD Hobby
DD Welles
DD Dyson
DD Spence
DD Thatcher
DD Colahan
DD Halsey Powell
DD Benham
DD Yarnall
DD Stockham
DD Wedderburn
DD Hailey
DD Franks
DD Uhlmann


Task Group 38.2 (Bogan)     

CV Lexington

1 F6F-3, 68 F6F-5, 3 F6F-5N Hellcats

15 SB2C-3 Helldivers

15 TBM-1C Avengers

CV Hancock

50 F6F-5, 2 F6F-5P, 2 F6F-5N Hellcats

8 SB2C-3, 7 SB2C-3E, 10 SBW-3 Helldivers

18 TBM-1C Avengers

CV Hornet

15 F6F-3, 33 F6F-5, 3 F6F-5N Hellcats

18 SB2C-3, 5 SBW-3 Helldivers

18 TBM-1C Avengers

CVL Cabot

4 F6F-3, 21 F6F-5 Hellcats

9 TBM-1C Avengers

Battleship Division 4 (Hanson)

BB New Jersey

BB Wisconsin

Battleship Division 7 (Badger)

BB Iowa

Cruiser Division 17 (Jones)

CL Pasadena
CLAA San Juan
CL Miami
CL Wilkes-Barre

Destroyer Division 102

DD Capps
DD David W. Taylor     
DD Evans
DD John D. Henley
DD Boyd
DD Brown
DD Cowell
DD Trathen
DD Hazelwood

Destroyer Division 103

DD Owen
DD Miller
DD The Sullivans
DD Stephen Potter
DD Tingey

Destroyer Division 104

DD Hickox
DD Hunt
DD Hancock
DD Marshall

Destroyer Division 123

DD Ault
DD English
DD Charles S. Sperry     
DD Waldron
DD Haynsworth

Destroyer Division 124

DD John W. Weeks
DD Hank

Task Group 38.3 (Sherman)     

CV Essex


27 F6F-3, 17 F6F-5 Hellcats

24 SB2C-3 Helldivers

18 TBM-1C Avengers

18 F4U-1 Corsairs

CV Ticonderoga

68 F6F-5, 2 F6F-5P, 3 F6F-5N Hellcats

22 SB2C-3 Helldivers

14 TBM-3, 1 TBM-1C, 1 TBM-3P Avengers

CVL Langley

20 F6F-5, 4 F6F-3, 1 F6F-5P Hellcats

9 TBM-1C Avengers

CVL San Jacinto

10 F6F-3, 13 F6F-5, 1 F6F-5P Hellcats

7 TBM-1C, 2 TBM-3 Avengers

Batttleship Division 6 (Cooley)

BB Washington

BB North Carolina

BB South Dakota

Cruiser Division 13 (Deyo)

CL Santa Fe

CL Mobile

CL Biloxi

Cruiser Division 14 (Whiting)

CL Vincennes

CL Flint

Destroyer Squadron 50

DD Clarence K. Bronson
DD Cotten
DD Dortch
DD Gatling
DD Healy

Destroyer Division 100

DD Cogswell
DD Caperton
DD Ingersoll
DD Knapp

Destroyer Squadron 55

DD Porterfield
DD Callaghan
DD Cassin Young
DD Preston

Destroyer Division 110

DD Laws
DD Longshaw
DD Prichett
DD Halsey Powell

Task Group 38.5 (Gardner)
Night-flying group

CV Enterprise

16 F6F-5E, 16 F6F-5N, 2 F6F-5P Hellcats

27 TBM-3D Avengers

CVL Independence

9 F6F-5N Hellcats

4 TBM-1D, 4 TBM-3D Avengers

Destroyer Division 93

DD McCord
DD Trathen
DD Hazelwood

Destroyer Division 94

DD Haggard
DD Buchanan
DD Franks

Task Group 30.8 At Sea Logistics Group     

AO Atascosa
AO Aucilla
AO Cacapon
AO Cache
AO Caliente
AO Chicopee
AO Chikaskia
AO Cimarron
AO Enoree
AO Guadalupe
AO Housatonic
AO Kankakee
AO Kennebago
AO Lackawanna
AO Manatee
AO Marias
AO Mascoma
AO Merrimack
AO Millicoma
AO Monongahela
AO Nantahala
AO Neches
AO Neosho
AO Niobrara
AO Pamanset
AO Patuxent
AO Saugatuck
AO Taluga
AO Tomahawk

CVE Altahama
CVE Anzio
CVE Cape Esperance
CVE Kwajalein
CVE Shipley Bay
CVE Nehenta Bay
CVE Sargent Bay
CVE Rudyerd Bay

Destroyer Squadron 1

DD Dewey
DD Aylwin
DD Dale
DD Dyson
DD Farragut
DD Hailey
DD Hickox
DD Hobby
DD MacDonough
DD Thatcher
DD Thorn
DD Welles

DE Bangust
DE Crowley
DE Donaldson
DE George
DE Grady
DE Hilbert
DE Kyne
DE Lake
DE Lamons
DE Lawrence C. Taylor
DE Lewis
DE Lyman
DE Melvin W. Nawman
DE Mitchell
DE O'Neill
DE Osmus
DE Reynolds
DE Riddle
DE Robert F. Keller
DE Swearer
DE Tabberer
DE Waterman
DE Weaver
DE Wesson

AE Sangay
AE Mauna Loa
AE Australia Victory
AE Provo Victory
AE Rainier
AE Mount Baker
AE Nitro

AT Hitchiti
AT Jicarilla
AT Mataco
AT Molala
AT Sioux
AT Tekesta
AT Zuni

7 Fleet (Kinkaid)

Task Force 77 Luzon Attack Force (Kinkaid)     

Task Group 77.1 Fleet Flagship Group (Kinkaid)     

AGC Wasatch

CL Boise

DD Smith
DD Frazier
DD Coghlan
DD Edwards

Task Group 77.2 Bombardment and Fire Suppport Group (Oldendorf)     

San Fabian Fire Support Unit (Weyler)

Unit "M" (Commodore H.B. Farncomb)

CA Australia
BB Mississippi
DD Allen M. Sumner
DD Lowry

Unit "N" (Sowell)

BB West Virginia
CA Shropshire
DD Laffey
DD O'Brien


Unit "O" (Weyler)

BB New Mexico
CA Minneapolis
DD Barton
DD Moale
DD Ingraham
DD Walke


Lingayen Fire Support Unit (Oldendorf

BB California
BB Pennsylvania
BB Colorado
CA Louisville
CA Portland
CL Columbia
DD Leutze
DD Heywood L. Edwards
DD Kimberly
DD Newcomb
DD Richard P. Leary
DD William W. Porter
DD Bennion
DD Bryant
DD Izard
DD Arunta
DD Warramunga

Badly damaged


Beach Demolition Group
Carrying UDT 5, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15

APD Badger
APD Dickerson
APD Rathburne
APD Clemson
APD Bull
APD Humphreys
APD Sands
APD Overton
APD Belknap
APD Blessman

Task Group 77.3 Close Covering Group (Berkey)

CL Phoenix
CL Montpelier
CL Denver (ComCruDiv12 Riggs)
DD Nicholas
DD Fletcher
DD Radford
DD O'Bannon
DD Taylor
DD Hopewell

Task Group 77.4 Escort Carrier Group (Durgin)

Lingayen Carrier Group (Durgin)

CVE Makin Island

16 FM-2 Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Lunga Point

14 FM-2 Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Bismarck Sea

16 FM-2 Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Salamaua

14 FM-2 Wildcat, 10 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Hoggatt Bay

16 FM-2 Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

Lingayen Protective Group (Ofstie)

CVE Kitkun Bay Damaged

16 FM-2, 1 FM-2P Wildcat, 11 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Shamrock Bay

20 FM-2, Wildcat, 11 TBM-3, 1 TBM-3P Avenger

DD John C. Butler
DD O'Flaherty

Hunter-Killer Group

CVE Tulagi

11 FM-2, Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

DE Stafford
DE William Seiverling
DE Ulvert M. Moore
DE Kendall C. Campbell
DE Goss

Destroyer Squadron 6

DD Maury
DD Gridley
DD Bagley
DD Helm
DD Ralph Talbot
DD Patterson
DD McCall
DE Edmonds
DE Howard F. Clark

San Fabian Carrier Group (Stump)

CVE Natoma Bay

18 FM-2, Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Manila Bay

20 FM-2, Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Wake Island

23 FM-2, Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Steamer Bay

16 FM-2, Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Savo Island

19 FM-2, Wildcat, 11 TBM-1C, 1 TBM-1CP Avenger

CVE Ommaney Bay

19 FM-2, Wildcat, 10 TBM-1C, 1 TBM-1CP, 1 TBM-3 Avenger

Destroyer Squadron 51

DD Hall
DD Halligan
DD Bell
DD Burns
DD Paul Hamilton
DD Twiggs
DD Abbot

Close Covering Group (Henderson)

CVE Saginaw Bay

20 FM-2, Wildcat, 12 TBM-3 Avenger

CVE Kadashan Bay Damaged

24 FM-2 Wildcat, 10 TBM-1C, 1 TBM-1CP Avenger

CVE Marcus Island

24 FM-2 Wildcat, 9 TBM-1C Avenger

CVE Petrof Bay

20 FM-2 Wildcat, 12 TBM-1C Avenger

Destroyer Division 104

DD Charrette
DD Connor
DE Richard S. Bull
DE Richard M. Rowell

Task Group 77.6 Minesweeping and Hydrographic Group

Sweep Unit 1

AMD Hopkins
AMD Chandler
AMD Southard
AMD Hovey
AMD Long
DM Preble
APD Brooks




Sweep Unit 2

AMD Hamilton
AMD Dorsey
AMD Palmer
AMD Hogan
AMD Howard
DM Breese


Sweep Unit 3

AM Requisite
AM Pursuit
AM Sage
AM Scuffle
AM Triumph

Sweep Unit 4

AM Saunter
AM Salute
AM Scout
AM Scrimmage
AM Sentry

Other sweep units

Sweep Unit 5, 8 YMS
Sweep Unit 6, 8 YMS
Sweep Unit 7, 8 YMS
Sweep Unit 8, 8 YMS
Sweep Unit 9, 5 YMS
Sweep Unit 10, 5 YMS
Sweep Unit 11, 4 LPCR

Hydrographic Unit

PF Gascoyne
AM Warrego
AGS Benalia

Service Unit

AM Monadnock

Task Group 77.7 Screening Group

Destroyer Division 48

DD Bush
DD Stanly
DD Halford
DD Stembel

Task Group 77.8 Salvage and Rescue Group

ARS Grasp
ARS Grapple
ARS Cable
ARL Amycus
ARL Egeria
AT Apache
AT Chickasaw
AT Chowanoc
AT Potawatomi
AT Hidatsa
AT Quapaw
AT Rail
8 LCI(L)

Task Group 77.9 Reinforcement Group (Conolly)
Carrying 25 Division (Mullins); 158 Regimental Combat Team; 13 Armored Group

AGC Appalachian
DD Remey

Noumea Transport Unit

APA Zeilin
APA President Jackson
APA President Adams
APA La Porte
APA Latimer
APA Oxford
APA Oconto
APA Laurens
APA Audrain
AP President Monroe
AP Comet
AKA Algol
AKA Navajo Victory
AKA Manderson Victory
AKA Las Vegas Victory
AKA Bedford Victory
AKA H.T. Dodge
AKA Solon Turman
AE Wrangell
AK Fomalhaut


DD McNair
DD Norman Scott
DD Melvin

Bougainville Unit

AP President Polk
APA Libra
DE Harmon

Milne Bay Unit

APA Warren
DE Darby

Oro Bay Unit

AKA Uvalde
DE J. Douglas Blackwood

Lae Unit

APA Olmsted

Finschhaven Unit

APH Tryon
AKA Warrick

Hollandia Unit

AP Winged Arrow
APA Appling
APD Coolbaugh

Noemfoor Unt

APA Leon
APA Adair
APA Haskell
AKA Diphda
APD Kilty
APD Schley
APD Crosby
APD Herbert
APD Lloyd
APD Newman
APD Kephart
APD Cofer
APD Talbot
APD Manley
APD Goldsborough

Leyte Transport Unit

APA Gilliam
AO Bennington
AO Birch Coulie

LST Unit

Bougainville LST Unit

DE Greenwood

Oro Bay LST Unit

DE Loeser

Hollandia LST Unit

DD Monssen
7 AK

Noemfoor LST Unit


Sansapor LST Unit


Morotai LST Unit

DD McDermut
DD McGowan
DD Mertz
13 LST

Leyte LST Unit

15 LST

Task Group 77.1 Service Group (Glover)

Leyte Service Unit

IX Caribou
IX Carondelet
IX Silver Cloud
AO Shikellamy
AOG Susquehanna
AO Bishopdale
AO Kurumba
AW Stag
AE Pyro
AE Yunnan
AK Murzim
AK Bootes
AG Acubens
AN Teaberry
AN Satinleaf
AN Teak
AN Silverbell
AR Midas
Drydock #19
AK Iran Victory
AK Meridian Victory

Lingayen Service Unit

AO Tallulah
AO Schuylkill
AO Chepachet
IX Mink
IX Andrew Doria
IX Kenwood
AW Severn
AE Elmira Victory
AE Provo Victory
AKN Indus

Mindoro Service Unit

AO Suamico
AO Salamonie
AO Winooski
AO Pecos
AO Cowanesque
IX Panda
AE Durham Victory
AE Bluefield Victory
AGP Cyrene



DE Thomason
DE Lovelace
DE Manning
DE Neuendorf
DE James E. Craig
DE Eichenberger

Task Force 78 San Fabian Attack Force (Barbey)
Carrying I Corps (Swift)

Task Group 78.1 White Beach Attack Group (Barbey) Carrying 43 Division (Wing)

AGC Blue Ridge

White Beach Transport Group

Transport Group A

APA DuPage
APA Fuller
APA Wayne
AP John Land
AK Aquarius

Transport Group B

APA Cavalier
APA Feland
AP Golden City
AK Thuban
LSD Shadwell

Transport Ship C

APA Fayette
APA Heywood
APA Leedstown
AK Hercules
LSD Epping Forest
LSD White Marsh

LST Group

Unit A: 10 LST
Unit B: 10 LST
LSM Group: 10 LSM
LCI Smoke Group: 13 LCI
LCT Group: 6 LCT
Control Unit: 4 SC, 3 PC
LCI Support Unit: 3 LCI(M), 11 LCI(G), 5 LCI(R)


DD Charles Ausburne
DD Drayton
DD Shaw
DD Russell
DD Jenkins
DD La Vallette
DD Converse
DD Foote
DD Braine
DE Charles J. Kimmel
DE Thomas F. Nickel
2 PC


Task Group 78.5 Blue Beach Attack Group (Fechteler)
Carrying 6 Division (Patrick)

APA Fremont

Blue Beach Transport Group

Transport Division 20

APA Leonard Wood
APA Pierce
APA James O'Hara
AP La Salle
AKA Electra
AK Auriga
LSD Belle Grove

Transport Division 26

APA Callaway
APA Sumter
AP Storm King
AK Jupiter
LSV Monitor
LSD Gunston Hall

Transport Division 32

APA Barnstable
APA Elmore
APA Banner
AP Herald of the Morning
AK Mercury
APH Rixey

Tractor Unit: 30 LST
LSM Unit: 10 LSM
Control Unit: 3 PC, 4 SC
Support Unit: 2 LCI(G)
Rocket and LCI Unit: 5 LCI, 7 LCI(R)
LCT Unit: 6 LCT
Salvage Unit: 2 LCI


DD Morris
DD Lang
DD Stack
DD Mustin
DD Dashiell
DD Wilson
DE Day
DE Hodges
DE Peiffer
DE Tinsman


Task Force 79 Lingayen Attack Force (Wilkinson)
Carrying XIV Corps (Griswold)

AGC Mount Olympus

Task Group 79.1 Attack Group Able (Kiland)
Carrying 37 Division (Beightler)

AGC Mount McKinley

Task Group 79.3 Transport Group Able

Transport Division 28

APA Harris
APA Doyen
APA Bolivar
APA Sheridan
AK Almaack
LSV Ozark
LSD Oak Hill

Transport Division 8

APA Sarasota
AKA Titania
LSI Manoora
LSI Kanimbla
LSI Westralia

Transport Division 38

APA Lamar
APA Harry Lee
APA Alpine
AP Starlight
APH Pinkney
AK Alshain

Task Group 79.5 Tractor Group Able

LST Assault Unit: 8 LST
LST Resere Unit: 11 LST
LSM Assault Unit: 7 LSM
LSM Reserve Unit: 11 LSM
LCT Unit: 6 LCT

Task Group 79.7 LCI Group Able

Salvage and Firefighting Unit: 3 LCI(L)
Rocket Gunboat Unit: 13 LCI(G)
Mortar Unit: 6 LCI(M)

Task Group 79.9 Control Group Able

DE Abercrombie
3 PC
1 SC

Task Group 79.11 Screen

DD Waller
DD Saufley
DD Philip
DD Renshaw
DD Cony
DD Robinson
DE Le Ray Wilson
DE Gilligan

Task Group 79.2 Attack Group Baker (Royal)
Carrying 40 Division (Brush)

AGC Rocky Mount

Task Group 79.4 Transport Group Baker

Transport Division 10

APA Clay
APA William P. Biddle
APA Arthur Middleton
APA Baxter
AP George F. Elliot
LSV Catskill
AKA Capricornus

Transport Division 18

APA Cambria
APA Monrovia
APA Frederick Funston
AP Wark Hawk
AKA Alcyone
Devlin (1979)

Transport Division 30

APA Knox
APA Calvert
APA Custer
AKA Chara
LSD Lindenwald
LSD Ashland
LSD Casa Grande

Landing Craft Control Unit

DE Walter C. Wann
3 PC
4 SC
2 PCE(R)

Task Group 79.6 Tractor Group Baker

Assaul Unit Green: 5 LST
Assault Unit Orange: 4 LST
LST Reserve Unit: 10 LST
LSM Reserve Unit: 31 LSM
LCT Unit: 6 LCT

Task Group 79.8 LCI Support Group

Mortar Unit: 6 LCI(M)
Rocket and Gunboat Unit: 13 LCI(G)
Salvage Unit: 2 LCI(L)

Transport Group Baker Screen

DD Bush
DD Halford
DD Conway
DD Eaton
DD Sigourney
DD Stembel
DE Richard W. Suesens
DE Oberrender
Devlin (1979)

Landing Craft Screen

DD Picking
DD Isherwood
DD Luce
DD Sproston
DD Wickes
DD Young
DD Charles J. Badger

Task Force 73 Aircraft, 7 Fleet (Wagner)

Task Group 73.2 Lingayen Group (Wagner)

Search and ASW Unit (Wagner)

AV Currituck
AVP Baritaria

11 PBM-3D Mariner
12 PBY-5A Catalina

Spotting and Rescue Unit

AVP Orca
VPB-54 (first section)

6 PBY-5A Catalina

Task Group 73.3 Manus Group

12 VSB Helldiver
12 PV-1 Ventura

Task Group 73.4 Morotai Group

AV Heron

9 PB4Y Liberator
12 PV-1 Ventura

Task Group 73.5 Leyte Rescue Group

AV Tangier

VPB-54 (second section)
6 PBY-5A Catalina

Task Group 73.6 Leyte Search Group

12 PB4Y Liberator
15 PB4Y Liberator
12 PV-1 Ventura

Task Group 73.7 Mindoro Group
Devlin (1979)

AVP Half Moon
AVP San Pablo

12 PBM Mariner

Allied reinforcements

1 Cavalry Division Arrived 27 January at Lingayen Gulf
32 Division
Arrived 27 January at Lingayen GulfDevlin (1979)
XI Corps (Hall) Landed 29 January on west coast of Luzon
38 Division

34 Regimental Combat Team     
Detached from 24 Division
11 Airborne Division
Landed 31 January at Batangas

Japanese order of battle, 30 December 1944

14 Area Army (Yamashita)     
About 260,000 men

Shobu Group (Yamashita)  

2 Armored Division (Iwanaka)     

10 Division (Okamoto)

19 Division (Ozaki)

23 Division (Nishiyama)

103 Division (Muraoka)

58 Independent Mixed Brigade (Sato)     

11 Regiment
Tsuda Detachment
Shimbu Group (Yokoyama)

8 Division (Yokoyama)

105 Division (Tsuda)

Kembu Group (Tsukada)

1 Raiding Group

2 Mobile Infantry Regiment
Detached from 2 Armored Division

39 Regiment
Detached from 10 Division

26 Air Flotilla (Sugimoto)
About 15,000 combat and service troops

4 Air Army (Tominaga)

Southwest Area Fleet (Okawachi)      
About 25,000 men. Only nominally under Yamashita's contro

2 Air Fleet (Fukudome)

31 Special Base Force (Iwabuchi)


Cohen (1949)

Devlin (1979)

Marston (2005)

Morison (1959)

Rottman (2002)

Van Royen and Bowles (1952)

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