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Sixty-eight Years Ago Today by JAA USA/Philippines Collection

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Today is the sixty-eighth anniversary of the start of the largest campaign of the Pacific War, the Liberation of the Philippines.


On October 20, 1944 an allied invasion force of over 200,000 ground troops under the command of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur landed on the island of Leyte in the central Philippines. At sea in support of the land forces were over 200,000 sailors and airmen of the most formable naval force ever assembled. Throughout the Philippines over 120,000 Philippine Guerilla troops were waiting to rise and strike as the lines of battle rolled forward to bring them within the zone of operations.


The land and naval battles fought to liberate the Philippines were on a scale never before seen in the Pacific War.


The Battle of Leyte Gulf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leyte_Gulf fought off the islands of Leyte and Samar between October 23 - 26 1944 was the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria the largest naval battle in history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_naval_battle_in_history


Viewed from the commitment of U.S. Army ground forces the Philippine campaign was the largest of the Pacific war. It was exceeded in size during World War ll only by the drive across northern France. The Philippine campaign differed from others in the Pacific war in that it alone provided opportunity for the employment of mass and maneuver on a Corps and Field Army level. The campaign also included the only protracted action by U.S. forces in a big city during World War ll, the month long fiercely fought Battle of Manila.


My father served in the U.S. Army during World War ll and participated in the ground campaign to liberate the Philippines. During the Philippine campaign he took a number of extraordinary color photographs which I have featured in previous Journal entries.


To see some of the color photos taken by my father during the liberation of the Philippines and the stories behind them visit any of the following Journal entries:


"Belated New Year's Resolutions-Historic World War II Photograph of the Liberation of the Philippines (Ft. Stotsenburg & Clark Field)" -- Photo of Ft. Stotsenburg & Clark Field http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=10743


"The Liberation of the Philippines: Manila the Approach March (Picture of Destroyed Highway and Railroad Bridges)" -- Photo of the destroyed Route 3 and Manila Railroad Bridges over the Pampanga River at Calumpit. http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=10929


"Liberation of the Philippines: Manila the Approach March (Picture of XIV Corps Crossing Heavy Pontoon Bridge)" -- Photo of the Heavy Pontoon Bridge constructed by XIV Corps engineers over the Pampanga River at Calumpit. http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=10982


"Eye Witness to History: The Battle of Manila and the destruction of the U.S. Manila Branch Mint" - Night photo of the Battle of Manila http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=10486


"Eye Witness to History: The Battle of Manila - Additional Picture" -- Photo of Public Building Destroyed during the Battle of Manila http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=10495


"Promises Kept"- Photo of Malacanan Palace, the seat of government for the Commonwealth of the Philippines. http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=11657


"A Tribute to My Father on His 93 Birthday" - Photo of my father in front of Malacanan Palace http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/JournalDetail.aspx?JournalEntryID=12189


The photo attached to today's Journal entry was taken by my father in February 1945 during the Battle of Manila. It shows a destroyed Japanese medium tank. Note that the turret and right track have been shot off.



See more journals by JAA USA/Philippines Collection

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What an amazing account of world history and in particular your father's role in the liberation of the Philippines. I remember reading all these posts you have linked, but I did not realize that they have become this many. I'm going to bookmark this post so that whenever I do a "Coin of the Month" that may touch upon this history, your posts will be among the resources of my research. Furthermore, whenever I desire to read all your posts in one sitting, they're all here under one bookmark. Thanks for putting all the links together in one place and suggesting that I should compile my "Coin of the Month" posts into a custom set.


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