Manila – Lake Taal – Laguna de Bay

Pasig River before the war

Pasig River before the war

Japanese in Manila

Japanese in Manila

The importance of Manila can not be stressed enough. The natural harbour has served as a strategically situated port for commerce and trade for centuries. Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay are connected by the Pasig River, where I believe we left off in the last post

Fighting within the city

Fighting within the city

Americans in Manila

Americans in Manila

As the 11th airborne was switched back to the Sixth Army, General Swing received orders to destroy all forces in Southern Luzon, specifically at Macolod and Lipa, along with clearing Route 19. The division had not received many replacements so they were even smaller in size than before; the 158th Regimental Combat Team was attached to partially compensate. The Manila-Batangas highway ran north to south and was essential to secure the port of Batangas for future landings. On top of all this, Swing was ordered to destroy enemy forces in Ternate. (Southern shore of Manila Bay) None of his men had the privilege of being in reserve, but the general had the utmost confidence in his men to succeed. His plan – Put the 187th on the right, going through the neck between Lake Taal and Laguna de Bay. The 158th on two other routes and the 1st of the 188th to Ternate.

22 February 1945, the Cairns Post reported that the 11th Airborne had been seen south-east of Laguna de Bay and surrounded an enemy unit at Mabato Point and compressed them into an area of 1200×800 yards. From there, they traveled through Alabang to Muntinupa where the Japanese were attempting to evacuate their troops. The 11th was relaying back reports of finding natives hacked to death by bayonet or burned alive by the enemy.

The 187th, with the675th Glider Field Artillery Battalion attached bivouacked near Mount Sungay and sent out daily patrols to the east. G-2 (Intelligence) knew the Japanese Fuji Force was out there and needed to picture the enemy locations. While the troopers fought ground battles, the engineers were carving out the mountain. The sheer cliff was almost vertical, but the roads being built was imperative.

Lake Taal, from Everett's scrapbook

Lake Taal, from Everett’s scrapbook

Japanese gun from a super-battleship in Manila

Japanese gun from a super-battleship in Manila

Assistance with this article came from Rakkasans by Gen. E.M. Flanagan; the VFW; 2eyeswatching.com (pix only); The Angels: History of the 11th Airborne Division by Gen. Flanagan; Pacific War On-line encyclopedia & WW2 Database – all I wish to thank for their diligence in recording history.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Current news – The Purple Hearts Reunited organization will return Cpl. George Hemphill’s medal, which he had sent home during WWII for safe keeping and never saw again. A man in Fla. had somehow purchased the award in 2000 and it wound up in Vermont with yet another man. Hemphill, now 90, was hit with shrapnel Sept. 11, 1944 from an enemy sniper.

Also – From today’s wars – Gabe, the mine sniffing War Dog has returned here to South Fla. after 13 months of service in Iraq. Gabe,a golden lab retriever who was originally a stray rescue, received a medal for his 210 combat missions. In all – 40 awards and coins for his service. He and his handler, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck will now spend a year doing public appearances.

Advertisements

About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on January 21, 2013, in SMITTY, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Congratulations !!! I’ve nominated you for the Leibster Blog Award. You can check it out here:
    http://www.greatestgenerationlessons.wordpress.com

    Like

  2. Hey! I’ve nominated your for the Liebster Blog Award. Check it here: http://allthosesmallthings.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/hello-liebster-we-meet-at-last/

    Cheers 😀 x

    Like

    • Judy, I greatly appreciate it, but I’m afraid it is pretty much a chain letter. I preferr to mention your site, Pierre’s and Mustang’s etc. on different sites that seem to be on the same wave length. Maybe when I start a different blog, I’ll be getting into those awards, but not on this one. Thanks again for the honor.

      Like

  3. Interesting to read about the war dog Gabe. I think animals who serve/served in war time are amazing. I suppose there may have been some in use in Manila.

    Like

  4. Good stuff… Great details of the battles. I will also share your blog with another expert on Manila (last name Tewell). He has a treasure trove of photos…

    Like

  5. True and accurate! Thanks for reminding us because we must not forget.

    Like

    • That’s my plan. I have trouble sometimes in convincing others to share their stories. I wanted to write a blog with the interviews,but they never seem to think anyone would want to read them. I even had that problem with my own father.

      Like

  6. You continue to amaze me with the details of your post. Thank you for taking the time to do the research. It really shows in your posts.

    Like

  7. Riveting! Such a wealth of information.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: