9 January 1945 – Lingayen, Luzon Landings

Operational Map for Lingayen landing.

With Mindoro secured, American forces were now just south of Luzon. While MacArthur’s intention was to make his main landing assault at Lingayen in northern Luzon, elaborate attempts at deception were made in the south.

Mac had his aircraft unceasingly make reconnaissance flights and bombing missions in southern Luzon. Transport aircraft made many paradrops with dummies, while minesweepers cleared Balagan, Batangas, and Tayabas Bays. Filipino resistance fighters in southern Luzon, too, were called to conduct major sabotage operations. All the effort was to provide a false notion that the American landing was to take place in southern Luzon instead of Lingayen.

landing beaches, Lingayen Gulf

General Tomoyuki Yamashita, commander of the Japanese ground forces in the Philippine Islands, must have been made slightly unsure, for he did not move his headquarters to northern Luzon until after the landing had already taken place at Lingayen.  The U.S. Sixth Army was waiting to start their Luzon campaign.

The opening amphibious operation at Luzon, unopposed by the Japanese except for air attacks, landed more men than the first wave of the Normandy landing, and 175,000 were ashore within the first few days, securing a beachhead twenty miles wide.  At 09:30 hours, the 6th and 43rd divisions of the XIV Corps went in, between Lingayen and Damortis.

As at Leyte, the LST’s were grounded some distance from shore, but this time they had their pontoon causeways, which splashed down around 1100. Also, at Lingayen Gulf there was a more liberal use of LVT’s, invaluable in the terrain behind the beaches—a region of rice paddies, fish ponds, and swamps, through which meandered many streams and several good-sized rivers.

Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome noted after the war that he “had no advance information of [American] movement against Lingayen until the fleet actually departed.” Even by then, the Japanese believed the landing would be attempted around Manila Bay, and they “were taken by surprise when Americans appeared in Lingayen and started landing there.”

Nevertheless, Yamashita knew well that the vast coastlines of Luzon meant defenses established closed to the shores would be useless; instead, most of his men were fortified well inland, leaving only small units closer to the shore to delay the advance of American units.

Also on this date, 28  aircraft from USS Ticonderoga attacked their secondary target Heito Airfield in southern Taiwan (the primary target, Toyohara Arfield was covered in clouds), damaging the facilities.  USS Yorktown (Essex-class) launched attacks on Taiwan as well, in direct support of the Lingayen landings on Luzon and US Navy Task Force 38 attacked airfields on the Japanese-held Chinese island.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Herbert Beck – SD; US Army, ETO, Pfc, POW

Katherine Despit – Bayou Blue, LA; USW Air Force, WWII (Ret. 20 y.)

David Feageans – Gretna, VA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, pilot

John Hillerman – Denison, TX; US Air Force, Sgt., SAC maintenance, (beloved actor)

Neil King – Winnipeg, CAN; RC Navy, WWII

Charles Malt – Pittsburgh, PA; US Navy, Vietnam

Stanley Oakes – Vancouver, CAN; RC Army, WWII, engineer

Overland Park – Rockhurst, KS; US Army, 187th RCT

James Simon – Conrad, MT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 pilot, 351/8th AF

Arthur Wyckoff – Traverse City, MI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO

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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 December 11, 2017, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. And I think this was the battle that HMAS Australia copped a kamakazi hit but luckily wasn’t sunk.

    Like

  2. America the Beautiful and Brave. I love our spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unless I’m mistaking and I’m not checking the internet but John Hillerman was Higgins on Magnum P.I. For such a show that was so much about the comraderie of veterans it tickled me pink that the Brit was played by a Texan who had been the only one to serve full time in USAF. Did not know he was in maintenance, if I recall it was during the 1950s. Tom Selleck did serve in the California National Guard in the 1970s.

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  4. What a great example of deception that worked. Had no idea the landing there was larger than the first wave at Normandy. Keep the stories coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find the efforts at deception, and how successful they were to be fascinating, G. And also how well the secrets of actual intentions were kept. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Faking a false landing in itself would have been a huge effort, but there was no shortage of resources back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Climate? I think the only comfortable wartime climate is safe behind the lines in springtime … in Washington.

    As for the guys at the front it’s arguable whether minus twenty or thirty degrees is cosier than all the tropical skeeters you can eat whilst up to your neck in mud …

    Liked by 1 person

  8. They just kept chipping away. Each landing was one step closer to Japan…and eventually home.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As always…great post…I understand why the European Theatre has taken center stage through the years, but the Pacific Theatre to me has always been more fascinating….the challenges were completely different.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. To think this was greater than Normandy and yet we know so little about it. That says an awful lot about the publicity given to both the European and Pacific campaigns!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m thinking what it must have been like to be assigned to the small unit to delay the landing. Kinda like being the RedShirt Ensign on a Star Trek landing party.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Rice paddies and swamps! It must be just about the worst environment possible for combat.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. reloaded and tried again. Hope more readers view

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I cannot reblog you!!! Great post

    Like

  15. Interesting that this was a larger landing than D-Day, yet this is the first I’ve ever heard of it. You are right that the Pacific Theater has not received near as much attention as the European.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And for that reason, people think of the Pacific as a small war. It was simply because more Americans were descended from Europe and could relate to the places and names. Who could even pronounce half the islands in the Pacific? They never heard of them before.

      Liked by 3 people

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