Invasion of the Philippine Islands
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseAt the start of WW2, the Philippine Islands were United States territory as per the 1898 Treaty of Paris. The archipelago was home to 19 million people, and was at a strategic location between Japan and the South Pacific. Because of the importance, the retired Army General Douglas MacArthur, currently serving as a Field Marshal in the Filipino military, was called back into service by President Franklin Roosevelt, and was given resources to mobilize Philippine defenses in case of a Japanese attack. MacArthur was given US$10,000,000 and 100 B-17 Flying Fortress Bombers. MacArthur deployed most of his defenses on the northern island of Luzon and southern island of Mindanao, forming what he called "key or base point of the US defense line".
ww2dbaseIn the American capital of Washington DC, Henry Stimson and George Marshall believed that a strong presence of American air power in the Philippine Islands would discourage Japanese aggression. On 15 Nov 1941, George Marshall proudly said in a press conference that "the greatest concentration of heavy bomber strength anywhere in the world" were gathered at the Philippine Islands, ready to not only counterattack any attacks on the islands but also to strike at the Japanese home islands and set the "paper" cities of Japan on fire. When a reporter noted that the B-17 bombers lacked the range necessary for a round trip between Clark Field in Philippine Islands and the Japanese capital of Tokyo, Marshall indicated air fields at Vladivostok would be shared by the friendly Soviet government. Marshall would grossly overestimate Soviet Union's friendliness.
ww2dbaseMacArthur anticipated Japanese aggression as early as late Nov 1941 when Japanese aircraft were seen over northern Luzon. In early Dec, Japanese bomber formations were observed flying within 20 miles of Lingayen Gulf beaches and returning to Taiwan, presumably making trial runs in preparation for the attack. As a precaution, orders were given to move the 27th Bombardment Group B-17 bombers southward to Mindanao, out of range of the Japanese bombers. This move was delayed, however, as the pilots were invited to a big party held in the honor of Major General Lewis Bereton, an event to be held what was to become the night before the Japanese attack, at the hotel in Manila that was also MacArthur's residence. When the party ended at 0200 hours Manila time, it was 0800 hours at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii when the first Japanese aircraft dropped their torpedoes. As it was too dark for coordinated offensive operations for the Japanese, the Americans and the Filipinos had precious hours to prepare preemptive air strikes and strengthen ground defenses (furthermore, at dawn, an unexpected heavy fog over Taiwan would further hamper Japanese air operations). As it would turn out, this opportunity was forfeited. While Bereton did his best in getting his aircraft in the air to prepare for MacArthur's approval to attack the invasion fleet or the Japanese bases on Taiwan, MacArthur never gave the order. By 1100 hours, American aircraft began to land to refuel, and it was not until then, at about 1120 hours, that MacArthur gave his approval, but then it was too late. At 1235 hours, Japanese Army fighters reached the airfield at Iba on the western coast of Luzon, destroying a flight of P-40 fighters in the process of landing. A short time later, the Del Carmen airfield to the southeast was also attacked, with its outdated P-35A fighters forming little resistance against the more modern Japanese fighters. These attacks would repeat themselves, within days destroying MacArthur's air force. On 10 Dec, with air superiority achieved, General Masaharu Homma ordered the invasion to set forth. Starting on 20 Dec, the Japanese Army landed on Mindanao and then Luzon, quickly capturing airfields and other key strategic positions.
ww2dbaseIn Washington on 14 Dec, Chief of Staff Marshall, who had not seen the Philippine Islands since he was a first lieutenant in Manila in 1915, summoned Brigadier General Dwight Eisenhower to assess the situation. Eisenhower told Marshall, essentially, to abandon the archipelago for the time being:
ww2dbaseThree airstrips at Luzon were taken very quickly, while the Lingayen Gulf region fell on 22 Dec. Between 22 and 28 Dec, an additional 43,110 Japanese troops arrived via the beaches at Lingayen Gulf despite poor weather and rough seas. As an open city Manila fell quickly, giving Japan the use of the naval bases at Manila Bay. The troops who landed at Mindanao marched toward Davao, which was captured on 20 Dec. A seaplane base was immediately set up at Davao to provide local air superiority, and then the work to establish Davao as the staging point for the next invasions further south began; the Japanese landing force at Mindanao only consisted of 57,000 men, but it had little difficulty fighting American and Filipino forces.
ww2dbaseOn 24 Dec, 7,000 troops from Japanese 16th Division landed at Mauban, Atimonan, and Siain on the shores of Lamon Bay at eastern Luzon island. The Filipino 1st Regular Division opposed the Lamon Bay landings fiercely and slowed the Japanese advance, but ultimately would not be able to hold the line.
ww2dbaseWhile Japanese troops advanced across Luzon, President Manuel Quezon of the Philippines requested President Roosevelt to grant the Philippine Islands their independence so that he could announce Philippine neutrality. Quezon's 8 Feb message said that:
ww2dbaseDespite the harsh truth told from his Filipino counterpart, Franklin Roosevelt refused the request for independence and neutrality. Partly, Roosevelt turned down the request knowing the Japanese would not acknowledge such a late statement of neutrality. However, he did grant MacArthur the permission to surrender Filipino troops (but not Americans).
ww2dbaseImmediately following capturing key cities, naval bases, and airstrips, nine ships with 4,000 troops departed from the main Philippine Islands for Jolo of the Sulu archipelago on 22 Dec. Jolo would fall on Christmas Day, 25 Dec, providing a forward base for supporting the attacks on Borneo. Another seaplane base was also set up at Jolo to form local air superiority.
ww2dbaseIt was surprising that with MacArthur predicting the attack to take place (though he thought the attacks would come later, in spring of 1942) down to the accurate prediction of Japanese landing sites, MacArthur was unable to react properly to the Japanese attacks. MacArthur was said to be in shock, unable to give commands to his staff officers. When he finally got himself together, he ordered troops to resist the Japanese at the landing sites, which Lieutenant Harold Johnson (later chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff) called a "tragic error". Johnson believed that, in hindsight, instead of putting the inexperienced Filipino soldiers at the beaches only to be routed by the Japanese, they could have had been transporting food and other supplies to Corregidor where they would be badly needed later on. Some historians believed that the stockpiling of supplies on Bataan should had been done even earlier, for the retreat to the Bataan Peninsula had been in the design of the "Rainbow 5" plan all along. ww2dbaseThere were discrepancies in regards to the orders given to the bombers present in the Philippine Islands. According to Brereton, he requested immediate bombing missions to attack Taiwan to discourage further Japanese air strikes, and blamed Sutherand, MacArthur's Chief of Staff, for not giving the authorization to do so. According to Sutherland, however, he did authorize the bombers to launch, but it was Brereton who delayed the action as he had little intelligence on Taiwan and did not know where to strike.
ww2dbaseWith Japanese forces bearing down on Manila, MacArthur ordered his North Luzon Force to fight a delay-action campaign, confronting the Japanese advance troops and slowly retrograding as they destroyed key bridges. The US 26th Cavalry Regiment, also known as the Philippine Scouts, performed admirably as rearguards. The unit was, for the most part, led by American officers but manned by Filipino troops. Fighting on horseback, they disrupted Japanese advances by attacking swiftly and surprisingly, and withdraw with speed before the Japanese counterattacked. On 16 Jan, troops of the Philippine Scouts performed the last cavalry charge in American military history. Troop F under the command of Lieutenant Ramsey was given the order to secure the village of Morong. They were surprised to discover that the Japanese were entering the village from the other side when the American-Filipino force arrived. Without thinking, Ramsey ordered his troops to charge forward. Stumping horses and point-blank shooting drove off the larger Japanese force, and they held the ground for some time before falling back toward Bataan.
ww2dbaseMeanwhile, the South Luzon Force marched toward the Bataan Peninsula with the goal to unite the two forces together for a stand-off at the island of Corregidor. "Again and again, these tactics would be repeated. Stand and fight, slip back and dynamite", MacArthur would note after the war in his memoirs, describing the delay-action retrograde maneuver performed by the North Luzon Force to provide time for South Luzon Force to march northward. MacArthur's hard-drinking General Jonathan Wainwright performed the maneuvers perfectly, succeeding in delaying the advancing Japanese troops under the command of Homma.
ww2dbaseAfter MacArthur's troops retreated across the Bataan to Corregidor, under Washington's orders he left for Australia on 22 Feb 1942. He mistook Washington's intention (and Washington allowed him to misinterpret the messages) that when he reached Australia he would be greeted by a major American army, and he would be able to lead this army and return to the Philippines right away. There was no army, in fact, Australia did not even have enough defenses to protect itself. Upon arrival at Australia, he made the following note to journalists:
ww2dbaseThough rather casually noted, "I shall return" became the powerful symbol which was the spiritual center of Filipino resistance. "It was scraped in the sands of the beaches, it was daubed on the walls of the barrios, it was stamped on the mail, it was whispered in the cloisters of the church", recalled MacArthur. "It became the battle cry of a great underground swell that no Japanese bayonet could still."
ww2dbaseOn Bataan, the American soldiers felt they were abandoned by their own government to fight a war on their own. "We are the battling bastards of Bataan," they mocked, "no papa, no mama, no Uncle Sam." Nevertheless, they fought valiantly. "They asked no quarter and they gave none.... They were filthy, and they were lousy, and they stank. And I loved them", noted MacArthur.
ww2dbaseThe US and Filipino troops fought on fiercely, forcing Homma to pause his offensive on 8 Feb 1942 and request for additional reinforcements, which was approved two days later, and troops of the Japanese 4th Division from Shanghai, China slowly trickled in. The fresh troops, helped the dwindling US-Filipino morale, began to have an effect. From mid-Mar, Japanese artillery and aircraft began to bombard Corregidor daily. On 9 Apr, General Edward King of the US II Corps surrendered all troops on the Bataan Peninsula.
ww2dbaseJapanese atrocities started even before all of the Philippine Islands were taken. United States Marine officer Lieutenant Michael Dobervich, a prisoner of war in the Philippine Islands, remembered his treatment.
ww2dbaseAs Lieutenant Dobervich would put it, "words cannot describe the conditions (of the camp)". Dobervich's experience was part of the Bataan Death March, a sixty mile march forced upon captured Filipino and American soldiers. 2,330 Americans and somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 Filipinos died during the march up the peninsula, and thousands more in the camps such as the one Dobervich was kept in.
ww2dbaseAt 1030 hours on 6 May, Wainwright surrendered at Corregidor. The last US troops in the Philippine Islands surrendered on Mindanao on 12 May, and organized resistance in the islands would soon wane.
Clayton Chun, The Fall of the Philippines, 1941-42
Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences
William Manchester, American Caesar
Gordon Rottman, World War II US Cavalry Units: Pacific Theater Dan van der Vat, The Pacific Campaign
World War II Plus 55
Last Major Update: Aug 2006
Invasion of the Philippine Islands Interactive Map
Invasion of the Philippine Islands Timeline
|16 Aug 1941
|Douglas MacArthur received word from his superiors in Washington DC, United States that the Philippine Islands would start receiving reinforcements, shipped from the US no later than 5 Sep 1941. This included the 200th Coastal Artillery Regiment, a tank battalion, and an ordnance battalion.
|17 Sep 1941
|Admiral Thomas Hart proposed to move his naval forces in the Philippine Islands south to combine with the British allies to better counter the more powerful Japanese Navy should it attack. He would change his mind on this plan before the start of the Pacific War.
|27 Oct 1941
|Admiral Thomas Hart, having changed his mind on moving the US fleet at the Philippine Islands south to combine with the British allies, decided to base his main force in Manila Bay.
|27 Nov 1941
|US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark warned commanders of Pacific and Asiatic Fleets that attacks on Malaya, Philippine Islands, and Dutch East Indies were now a possibility.
|27 Nov 1941
|US Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall warned US Army Hawaii and Philippine Departments that attacks on Malaya, Philippine Islands, and Dutch East Indies were now a possibility.
|5 Dec 1941
|Japanese aircraft conducted reconnaissance flights over the coasts of Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|6 Dec 1941
|27 Japanese troop transports departed from Taiwan, sailing for the Philippine Islands; 400 Japanese pilots stationed at Taiwan were briefed of the attacks to be commenced on the next day. Elsewhere, a Japanese invasion fleet boarded and scuttled a Norwegian freighter.
|8 Dec 1941
|Japanese Navy 11th Air Fleet land-based aircraft from Taiwan attacked US Army airfields on Luzon island, Philippine Islands as well as shipping in Manila Bay; at the latter location, American freighter Capillo was abandoned after receiving heavy damage. Japanese Army aircraft joined in on the attack on this date also, striking Baguio and Tuguegarao at 0930 hours. North of Luzon, a Japanese force landed on Batan Island and established an air base.
|8 Dec 1941
|Saburo Sakai of Japanese Navy Tainan Air Group, flying an A6M Zero fighter, attacked Clark Field in the Philippine Islands; he shot down one P-40 Warhawk fighter.
|9 Dec 1941
|Japanese aircraft commenced the bombing of Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands; among the first targets in the capital city region was the US Army airbase Nichols Field.
|10 Dec 1941
|Cavite Navy Yard in the Philippine Islands was heavily damaged by Japanese aircraft; destroyers Peary and Pillsbury, submarines Seadragon and Sealion, and submarine tender Otus were damaged; ferry Santa Rita was sunk; minesweeper Bittern was destroyed by fire; about 60% of US Navy Asiatic Fleet's torpedoes were destroyed at Cavite. A PBY Catalina aircraft, fleeing from the attack on Cavite Navy Yard, was attacked by three Zero fighters; gunner Chief Boatswain Payne shot down one of the Zero fighters, thus scoring the US Navy's first verifiable air-to-air kill of a Japanese aircraft in the Pacific War. Elsewhere, Japanese aircraft attacked Manila Bay area, damaging American freighter Sagoland. Finally, Japanese troops of the 2nd Taiwan Regiment of the 48th Division landed on Camiguin Island and at Gonzaga, Vigan, and Aparri on Luzon Island.
|11 Dec 1941
|Japanese troops landed at Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|11 Dec 1941
|Nachi provided support for the landing at Legaspi, Philipine Islands.
|12 Dec 1941
|Japanese Navy 11th Air Fleet aircraft attacked the US Navy base at Olongapo in Luzon, Philippine Islands. At Legaspi, Japanese troops captured an airfield and moved north.
|13 Dec 1941
|Japanese Navy aircraft again struck the US Navy base at Olongapo at Subic Bay at Luzon, Philippine Islands. Various other bases and airfields in the Manila Bay area were attacked as well.
|14 Dec 1941
|In the Philippine Islands, three US B-17 bombers took off from the Del Monte airfield on Mindanao to attack the Japanese beachhead at Legaspi, Luzon.
|15 Dec 1941
|The US B-17 bombers at the Del Monte airfield on Mindanao, Philippine Islands were ordered to fly to Australia on the following day.
|16 Dec 1941
|US B-17 bombers at Del Monte airfield on Mindanao in the Philippine Islands departed for Australia.
|17 Dec 1941
|American passenger ship Corregidor departed Manila, Philippine Islands with about 1,200 civilians on board; a short distance later, while still in Manila Bay, she struck a mine previously laid by Japanese submarine I-124 and sank, killing many. To the north, 24 transports with 7,000 Japanese troops aboard departed from the Ryukyu Islands, heading for Lamon Bay at eastern Luzon island.
|18 Dec 1941
|Japanese troops captured Naga, Luzon, Philippine Islands. To the north, the invasion convoy for the Lingayen Gulf assault departed from Taiwan and the Pescadores islands.
|19 Dec 1941
|Japanese aircraft attacked Olongapo, Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|19 Dec 1941
|Nachi provided support for the landings at Davao, Philippine Islands.
|20 Dec 1941
|Japanese troops landed near Davao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands, seizing the nearby airfield. At Cavite in southern Luzon, Lieutenant Colonel J. P. Adams received orders to evacuate his Marines from the area.
|20 Dec 1941
|Nachi provided support for the landings at Davao, Philippine Islands.
|21 Dec 1941
|US submarines based in Manila in the Philippine Islands withdrew to Surabaya, Java.
|21 Dec 1941
|USS S-38 entered Ligayen Gulf in the Phlippines Islands just before dawn. Spotting a group of four Japanese transports at 0645 hours, she maneuvered and fired four torpedoes at 0710 hours, all of which missed. At 0758 hours, she fired two more torpedoes, striking transport Hayo Maru. She dove to avoid depth charges from Japanese destroyers, and ran aground, sustaining light damage.
|22 Dec 1941
|45,000 troops of Japanese 48th Division and 90 tanks landed at Lingayen, Luzon, Philippine Islands at 0200 hours. From the capital city of Manila, Douglas MacArthur sent a radio message to his superior George Marshall in Washington DC, United States, noting that he had decided to announce Manila to be an open city to reserve the strength of his forces and to spare the lives of the civilians. In southern Philippine Islands, 9 American B-17 bombers from Darwin, Australia attacked Japanese ships in Davao Gulf, Mindanao and then landed at Del Monte, Mindanao.
|23 Dec 1941
|In the Philippine Islands, as Japanese 48th Division marched south toward Manila, US Army General Douglas MacArthur began withdrawing to Bataan, declaring Manila an open city. On the same day, USAAF B-17 bombers attacked Japanese ships at Lingayen Gulf and Davao in the Philippine Islands, while P-35 and P-40 fighters strafed landing ships in San Miguel Bay, Luzon, damaging destroyer Nagatsuki. On Mindanao, the 9 US B-17 bombers originally from Australia refueled and took off to attack Japanese ships in Davao Gulf and Lingayen Gulf, damaging Japanese destroyer Kuroshio.
|24 Dec 1941
|7,000 troops of Japanese 16th Division landed at Lamon Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands and marched toward Manila, which was only 50 miles away to the northwest. Near Ligayen Gulf on the western side of Luzon, the 26th Filipino Cavalry initially held up the Japanese invaders near Binalonian, but were forced to withdraw after suffering heavy losses; meanwhile, the Japanese landed an additional 10,000 men at Lingayen Gulf. In Manila, General Douglas MacArthur met with various leaders to organize the retreat into the Bataan peninsula per WPO-3; the 4th Marine Regiment was ordered to Mariveles at the peninsula's tip before going to Corregidor island.
|24 Dec 1941
|Nachi provided support for the landings at Jolo, Philippine Islands. She departed Philippine waters later in the day for Palau Islands.
|25 Dec 1941
|Japanese troops landed at Jolo, Philippine Islands and captured the island after wiping out the garrison of 300 Filipino militia and policemen. Meanwhile, US Navy moved the headquarters of the Asiatic Fleet from Manila, Philippine Islands to Java. US Marines destroyed docks, fuel tanks, and ammunition dumps at Cavite Naval Shipyard.
|26 Dec 1941
|Despite that the Philippine capital of Manila was already declared an open city on 23 Dec 1941, Japanese bombing continued without interruption. Shortly after, US Navy Admiral Hart of the Asiatic Fleet departed Manila by submarine USS Shark for Soerabaja, Java. In Manila Bay, USS Peary was damaged by Japanese aircraft. Philippine naval defense vessels moved to the island of Corregidor at the mouth of Manila Bay, and 411 US Marines originally based at Cavite moved to Corregidor Island.
|27 Dec 1941
|Japanese air units bombed Manila, Philippine Islands while 6 US PBY Catalina aircraft attacked Japanese warships at Jolo (4 would be shot down). On land, Allied forces withdrew to the Santa-Ignacia-Gerona-Guimba-San Jose line 30 miles south of Lingayen Gulf, Luzon.
|28 Dec 1941
|On Luzon island, Philippine Islands, the US 4th Marine Regiment completed its move from the Bataan Peninsula to Corregidor Island except for the radar detachment. Meanwhile, also on Luzon, north of the capital of Manila, the Allied defenses fell back to the Tarlac-Cabanatuan line. Over Manila, Japanese aircraft appeared again, sinking four freighters in Manila Bay. To the south, Japanese 16th Division captured Luisiana, with forward units reaching as far as Los BaĂ±os on the southern shore of Laguna de Bay.
|29 Dec 1941
|40 land-based bombers of the Japanese Navy 5th Air Group attacked Corregidor in the Philippine Islands for the first time. On Luzon island, Japanese Lingayen Force captured Cabanatuan, but American and Filipino forces held on to Tarlac to the west.
|29 Dec 1941
|USS Canopus was struck by a 500-pound armor-piercing bomb, which penetrated all decks and detonated on the propeller shaft housing, killing six sailors. At 1735 hours, the remains of the six lost were buried at sea.
|30 Dec 1941
|Japanese Lingayen Force captured Tarlac on Luzon, Philippine Islands; American and Filipino forces fell back to the Bamban-Sibul Springs Line, the final defensive line north of Manila. South of Manila, the Japanese 16th Division reached the Laguna De Bay lake.
|31 Dec 1941
|Japanese Lingayen Force captured Sibul Springs, Luzon, Philippine Islands, breaching part of the final defensive line north of Manila. South of the city, Japanese tanks of Sonoda Force reached Baliuag.
|1 Jan 1942
|American and Filipino forces south of Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands abandoned their positions and joined the defenses north of the city, which would fall back across the Calumpit bridges by the end of the day. Meanwhile, the Japanese sent a message to the mayor of Manila announcing that the Japanese forces would arrive on the following day.
|1 Jan 1942
|USS Canopus was struck by a fragmentation bomb, which detonated near the top of the smokestack, damaging the ship and killing 16.
|2 Jan 1942
|Japanese troops captured Manila, the capital of the Philippine Islands.
|2 Jan 1942
|Japanese troops captured Naval Base Cavite in the Philippine Islands.
|2 Jan 1942
|Japanese troops captured the Clark Field airbase in the Philippine Islands.
|3 Jan 1942
|US and Filipino troops fell back to the Guagua-Porac defensive line, 15 miles from the Bataan peninsula on Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|4 Jan 1942
|Following a heavy bombardment, Japanese Lingayen Force penetrated the US-Filipino Guagua-Porac defensive line at Luzon, Philippine Islands and captured the town of Guagua and the Del Carmen airfield. On the same day, American B-17 Flying Fortress bombers from Australia attacked Japanese shipping at Malalag Bay, Davao, Mindanao, damaging cruiser Myoko.
|5 Jan 1942
|US and Filipino troops in the Philippine Islands were put on half rations.
|7 Jan 1942
|Japanese troops made probing attacks at the opening of the Bataan peninsula at Luzon, Philippine Islands. Meanwhile, General MacArthur organized his forces into two corps and a rear area service command.
|9 Jan 1942
|At 1500 hours, the main offensive against Bataan defences at the Philippine Islands began, spearheaded by 6,500 men of the newly arrived and inexperienced 65th Infantry Brigade (which replaced the veteran Japanese 48th Division); the first attacks at the Abucay-Mauban defensive line were repelled by US-Filipino troops. Meanwhile, US Marines from Batteries A and C of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment who remained on Bataan under naval control were integrated into a naval battalion for ground combat.
|10 Jan 1942
|US-Filipino troops held the Abucay-Mauban defensive line on the Bataan peninsula on Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|12 Jan 1942
|Japanese troops continued to attack the Abucay-Mauban line on Bataan Peninsula, Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|15 Jan 1942
|Philippine 51st Division withdrew from the Salian River valley on the eastern side of the Abucay-Mauban defensive line on Bataan Peninsula, Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|16 Jan 1942
|Japanese and Filipino-American forces both raced to capture Morong on Bataan Peninsula, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Both sides reached the town around the same time, but the Allies had detected the Japanese first. Taking the opportunity for a surprise attack, more than 20 American cavalry troops charged on their horses, dispersing Japanese troops. It was the last combat charge of horse-mounted American cavalry troops.
|21 Jan 1942
|Japanese troops penetrated the west side of the Abucay-Mauban defensive line at Mount Natib on Luzon, Philippine Islands and began to cut off supplies to US-Filipino troops on the line.
|22 Jan 1942
|In the Philippine Islands, an attempted Japanese landing from fishing boats on the west coast of the Bataan Peninsula was wiped out; the Japanese 20th Infantry Regiment would continue to try to gain a foothold. Meanwhile, Douglas MacArthur ordered the Abucay-Mauban defensive line abandoned as the Japanese had penetrated its western end; the troops fell back about 5 miles to the new line from Bagac to Orion.
|24 Jan 1942
|The 2nd Battalion of the Japanese 20th Infantry Regiment continued to make landing attempts at Quinauan Point, and Longoskawayan Point, Bataan on Luzon of Philippine Islands, increasing the strength of the small beachhead. After sundown, US and Filipino troops began withdrawing from the Abucay-Mauban defensive line to the new Orion-Bagac defensive line.
|25 Jan 1942
|US and Filipino troops continued to withdraw from the Abucay-Mauban defensive line on Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands toward the Orion-Bagac defensive line.
|26 Jan 1942
|US and Filipino troops completed the phased withdraw from the Abucay-Mauban defensive line at Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands, which was done over three nights.
|27 Jan 1942
|Additional Japanese troops were landed at Point Quinauan in southwestern Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Elements of the US 4th Marine Regiment attacked the Japanese beachhead at Longoskawayan Point.
|28 Jan 1942
|Mortars and machine guns of the US 4th Marine Regiment were assigned to the 57th Philippine Scout Regiment at Longoskawayan Point, Bataan on Luzon, Philippine Islands, where the combined US-Filipino effort would soon wipe out the Japanese landing attempt.
|29 Jan 1942
|The 20th Battalion of the Japanese 16th Division penetrated the US-Filipino Orion-Bagac defensive line at several locations at Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands; the reserve 45th Philippine Scout Division was quickly dispatched to halt the Japanese advance. Meanwhile, troops of the Philippine Scouts continued to assault the Japanese beachheads at Longoskawayan Point and Quinauan Point in southern Bataan.
|1 Feb 1942
|PT boats and P-40 aircraft repulsed the Japanese landing attempt on southwest Bataan at the Philippine Islands.
|2 Feb 1942
|An assault was mounted by US troops, supported by tanks, against the Japanese beachheads at Quinauan Point, Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands; it achieved little. To the north, on the Orion-Bagac defensive line, a US-Filipino attack wiped out a small pocket of trapped Japanese attackers.
|3 Feb 1942
|US submarine Trout delivered 3,500 rounds of 3 inch anti-aircraft ammunition to Corregidor, Philippine Islands. Upon departure, the submarine evacuated 20 tons of Philippine gold and silver.
|4 Feb 1942
|US tanks once again attacked the Japanese beachheads at Quinauan Point, Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands, nearly successfully in wiping out several positions.
|5 Feb 1942
|17 radio intelligence personnel were evacuated from the US Navy Station CAST facility at Corregidor island, Philippine Islands.
|6 Feb 1942
|Japanese artillery shelled Corregidor from Cavite at Luzon, Philippine Islands. Meanwhile, Filipino troops continued to assert pressure on the nearly-eliminated Japanese beachheads at Quinauan Point, Bataan, Luzon.
|8 Feb 1942
|American troops attacked and wiped out a Japanese infiltration force at Quinauan Point, Bataan on the Philippine island of Luzon; 600 Japanese troops were killed while the US-Filipino forces suffered 500 casualties. Meanwhile, General Masaharu Homma called off the first offensive against Bataan and fell back to more defensible positions while waiting for reinforcements.
|8 Feb 1942
|Ed Dyess led the first American landing of WW2 at Agloloma Bay, Bataan, Philippines.
|10 Feb 1942
|US forces continued the attempt to eliminate the 500 Japanese troops trapped in the "Big Pocket" at Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands. In Tokyo, Japan, the Imperial General Headquarters approved the transfer of the Japanese 4th Division from Shanghai, China to the Philippine Islands to reinforce Masaharu Homma's forces, but it would take weeks for the troops to arrive due to logistical issues.
|12 Feb 1942
|The 200 Japanese troops trapped in a beachhead in southern Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands mounted what would be their final counterattack.
|13 Feb 1942
|All Japanese troops at the Longoskawayan Point and Quinauan Point beachheads at Luzon, Philippine Islands were wiped out.
|17 Feb 1942
|A detachment of the submarine tender USS Canopus, sailors from the Cavite Naval Ammunition Depot, and the majority of the general duty men in the area were transferred to the 4th Marine Regiment based on Corregidor, Philippine Islands.
|27 Feb 1942
|A Japanese force landed on northeastern Mindoro in the Philippine Islands.
|28 Feb 1942
|221 crew members of USS Canopus were evacuated from Bataan Peninsula to Corregidor Island in the Philippine Islands.
|2 Mar 1942
|Ed Dyess, flying a P-40 fighter, led a raid on Japanese shipping in Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippines.
|11 Mar 1942
|Japanese troops landed on Mindanao, the southern-most of the Philippine Islands.
|11 Mar 1942
|Harold George evacuated out of Corregidor, Philippine Islands by PT boat.
|15 Mar 1942
|US Army General Douglas MacArthur departed Philippine Islands by B-17 bomber for Australia.
|16 Mar 1942
|46 radio intelligence personnel were evacuated from the US Navy Station CAST facility at Corregidor island, Philippine Islands.
|19 Mar 1942
|At Bataan Peninsula at Luzon, Philippine Islands, US and Filipino troops were put on quarter rations (1000 calories) as the food supplies dwindled. The supply of quinine, a medicine for malaria, had also depleted.
|22 Mar 1942
|Japanese aircraft bombed US positions at Bataan and Corregidor, Luzon, Philippine Islands.
|24 Mar 1942
|Japanese Navy aircraft began daily bombings of Corregidor in the Philippine Islands.
|26 Mar 1942
|Japanese aircraft bombed Corregidor, Philippine Islands, knocking out power for freezers containing 24,000 pounds of carabao meat.
|27 Mar 1942
|With freezers failing after a Japanese aerial attack on the previous day, US and Filipino troops attempted to transport the contents, 24,000 pounds of frozen carabao meat, from Corregidor Island to Bataan Peninsula in the Philippine Islands for immediate consumption. Japanese air attacks would prevent this transport, and the meat would soon spoil.
|30 Mar 1942
|Japanese bombers attacked American field hospital No. 1 at Bataan, Philippine Islands at 0730 hours despite the large red crosses painted on the building's roof, killing 15. In the evening, Japanese radio broadcast an apology for this attack.
|3 Apr 1942
|After a heavy artillery and aerial bombardment from 0900 to 1500 hours, Japanese troops launched an attack on the Bataan Peninsula in Philippine Islands, penetrating the lines held by the Filipino 41st Infantry Division.
|4 Apr 1942
|Douglas MacArthur, now relocated to Australia per Franklin Roosevelt's orders, radioed Jonathan Wainwright, saying that "under no conditions should Bataan be surrendered; any action is preferable to capitulation". Meanwhile, at Bataan in the Philippine Islands, Japanese troops moved toward Mount Samat, threatening to take this dominant position.
|5 Apr 1942
|Japanese troops defeated the Philippine 21st Division at Mount Samat on the Bataan Peninsula, Philippine Islands. Inside the Allied lines, General Jonathan Wainwright doubled rations for front line troops despite being short in food in order to give the troops strength.
|6 Apr 1942
|Japanese aircraft continued to attack American and Filipino targets at Bataan, Philippine Islands.
|7 Apr 1942
|A Japanese dive bomber destroyed an ammunition truck near American field hospital No. 1 at Bataan, Philippine Islands at 1000 hours. Shortly after, Japanese aircraft returned to attack the hospital, which had large red crosses painted on the roof, killing 89 and wounding 101; a significant portion of the drug supplies were destroyed in this attack. On the front lines, Japanese assaulted positions held by US and Filipino troops of the US II Corps along the San Vicente River, penetrating the line by noon, forcing the Allies to fall back to the line at the Mamala River in the afternoon, which would also abandoned by 2100 hours for the Alangan River further to the south.
|8 Apr 1942
|Japanese bombers and fighters attacked US II Corps positions digging in along the Alangan River at Bataan, Philippine Islands at 1100 hours, but these positions successfully repulsed the first Japanese assault shortly after; the Japanese would return with tank support, however, overrunning the line. The US Commander of the Luzon Force ordered all munition dumps at Mariveles Habor at Bataan destroyed, and medical staff began withdrawing to Corregidor island.
|9 Apr 1942
|75,000 US and Filipino troops, remainder of the US II Corps under General Edward King on the Bataan peninsula at Luzon, Philippine Islands, surrendered to the Japanese at 1230 hours; it was the largest American surrender in history. Before doing so, they destroyed fuel dumps, ammunition stores, tug USS Napa, and floating drydock USS Dewey.
|10 Apr 1942
|The Japanese, overwhelmed with 76,000 captives at Bataan on the main Philippine island of Luzon, decided to march the prisoners 25 miles to Balanga for further transport. Without food, water, or medical supplies and facing brutal treatment by the Japanese, the prisoners of war would die in large numbers, and this march would soon be named the Bataan Death March. Just off Luzon, minesweeper USS Finch, damaged by Japanese air attacks on the previous day, was scuttled by her crew. Elsewhere in the Philippine Islands, 12,000 Japanese troops landed on Cebu on three invasion beaches; the 6,500 defenders at Cebu City evacuated the capital and moved inland; Australia-based B-17 bombers attacked the invasion force to little effect.
|10 Apr 1942
|Lieutenant Commander H. H. Goodall assumed command of USS Canopus, replacing Commander Earl Sacket, for the purpose of leading USS Canopus out to deeper waters off of the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippine Islands for scuttling.
|11 Apr 1942
|US Army Brigadier General Ralph Royce led 10 B-25 bombers and 3 B-17 bombers from Darwin, Australia to Mindanao, Philippine Islands; they were to be used for bombing Japanese forward positions. On the Bataan peninsula on the island of Luzon, 350 Filipino prisoners of war were killed by the Japanese north of Mount Samat during the Bataan Death March.
|12 Apr 1942
|The Japanese artillery bombardment of Corregidor island in the Philippine Islands began. Meanwhile, many US and Filipino prisoners of war continued to die while being marched northward during the Bataan Death March from starvation, dehydration, disease, and murders. To the south, on the island of Cebu, US and Filipino troops scuttled torpedo boat PT-35 and withdrew deeper into the mountains.
|13 Apr 1942
|US and Filipino prisoners of war began to be marched from Balanga for Orani in Bataan, Philippine Islands. To the south, Japanese artillery continued the bombardment of Corregidor island.
|14 Apr 1942
|US and Filipino prisoners of war began to arrive at Orani in Bataan, Philippine Islands from Balanga, where facilities were totally inadequate for the large numbers of prisoners that would ultimately arrive at this location; to combat the issue, the Japanese marched a group of prisoners to Lubao further north and were imprisoned in an abandoned warehouse (en route, many died from heat, starvation, dehydration, and murders by Japanese guards). To the south, Japanese artillery continued the bombardment of Corregidor island.
|15 Apr 1942
|A tunnel near the James and Morrison coastal gun batteries at Corregidor island, Philippine Islands collapsed from Japanese artillery bombardment, killing 70. To the north, the Japanese continued to transfer US and Filipino prisoners of war from Balanga to Orani and Lubao on the Bataan Peninsula, while the first arrivals at Orani and Lubao were now being marched north for San Fernando; en route, the prisoners continued to die from heat, dehydration, disease, and murders. At the southern island of Mindanao, motor torpedo boat PT-41 was scuttled by her own crew to prevent capture.
|16 Apr 1942
|Japanese troops landed on Panay and Negros in the Philippine Islands before dawn. On Panay, lloilo City, Capiz, and the copper mines near San Jose were captured without resistance, but they found lloilo City in ruins, sabotaged by the retreating Filipino troops.
|17 Apr 1942
|Two column of Japanese troops converged at Dumarao on Panay, Philippine Islands, completing the conquest of the eastern side of the island.
|18 Apr 1942
|The 1st Battalion of the 63rd Infantry Regiment of the 61st Philippine Division under Captain Julian Chaves pushed back Japanese troops at Mount Dila-Dila on Panay, Philippine Islands.
|19 Apr 1942
|US and Filipino prisoners of war were loaded onto cramped freight trains from San Fernando to Camp O'Donnell at Capas, Tarlac, Philippine Islands; many died en route.
|20 Apr 1942
|A Type 96 240mm howitzer was brought to the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon, Philippine Islands by the Japanese for the purpose of bombarding the island of Corregidor. On the same day, on the island of Panay, Japanese Army troops declared the island secure.
|22 Apr 1942
|American submarine USS Sailfish departed with ammunition for the American troops at Corregidor in the Philippine Islands; the island garrison would surrender before this mission was completed.
|25 Apr 1942
|The final US-Filipino stronghold on the island of Luzon in the Philippine Islands, Corregidor, while already under daily bombardment for the past two weeks, began to be subjected to night-time bombardment as well. At 2200 hours, two 240-millimeter shells hit the opening of a tunnel leading into the underground command center, killing 15.
|29 Apr 1942
|Japanese troops landed at Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. To the north at the island of Luzon, minesweeper USS Finch was damaged by Japanese air attacks. A large scale artillery and aerial bombardment was conducted at the island of Corregidor at the tip of Bataan Peninsula, Luzon.
|30 Apr 1942
|Two PBY Catalina aircraft from Mindanao evacuated 50 personnel (including 20 nurses) from Corregidor, Philippine Islands as the island was again subjected to a large scale artillery and aerial bombardment.
|1 May 1942
|In the Philippine Islands, Corregidor was subjected to heavy artillery and aerial bombardment, while Japanese troops defeated the Filipino 61st Infantry Regiment on the southern island of Mindanao.
|2 May 1942
|The powder magazine of gun battery Geary on Corregidor in the Philippine Islands was hit by Japanese artillery at 1627 hours, detonating 1,600 62-pound powder bags; 56 were killed and hundreds were wounded. To the east, in Manila Bay, river gunboat USS Mindanao was scuttled to prevent capture.
|3 May 1942
|The Japanese continued to bombard Corregidor in the Philippine Islands by artillery and aircraft.
|4 May 1942
|The Japanese bombardment of Corregidor, Philippine Islands heightened to soften the defenses for invasion scheduled on the next day. On the beaches of nearby Bataan Peninsula, 2,000 Japanese troops began boarding 15 barges.
|5 May 1942
|After a final bombardment with 16,000 shells, 2,000 Japanese troops landed on the eastern coast of Corregidor, Philippine Islands at about 2345 hours, delivered by 15 barges.
|6 May 1942
|Before dawn, US and Filipino defenders in the East Sector of Corregidor, Philippine Islands fought against the Japanese amphibious assault launched just prior to midnight, killing 1,200 men of the 2,000-strong first wave of attack. At 0930 hours, the Japanese began to gain a beachhead and began landing tanks to support the invasion. The US 4th Marine Regiment reserve companies and the US 4th Marine Battalion (reserve) launched an unsuccessful counterattack. Acknowledging the hopelessness of the situation, Major General Jonathan Wainwright ordered his troops to surrender at 1030 hours. To prevent capture, US Marines Colonel S. L. Howard ordered all regimental and national colors of the 4th Marine Regiment burned to prevent capture, while other US and Filipino personnel scuttled gunboats and destroyed ammunition stores.
|7 May 1942
|The Japanese troops completed the occupation of all the forts on Corregidor, Philippine Islands. Meanwhile, from the capital of Manila, Jonathan Wainwright announced the surrender over the radio, under supervision of a Japanese censor.
|9 May 1942
|Troops of the Japanese Kawamura Detachment wiped out American and Filipino troops under Brigadier General William Sharp near Dalig on Mindanao, Philippine Islands.
|10 May 1942
|US Army General William Sharp received orders from General Jonathan Wainwright to surrender all US and Filipino troops on Mindanao, Philippine Islands, which he complied.
|12 May 1942
|The last US troops in the Philippine Islands surrendered on Mindanao.
|21 May 1942
|Japanese troops occupied Leyte and Samar in the Philippine Islands unopposed.
|9 Jun 1942
|All organized resistance against the Japanese invasion ceased in the Philippine Islands.
|28 Jan 1944
|The US government released news of the Bataan Death March and Japanese atrocities committed in the Philippine Islands.
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