July 1945 from Gen. Eichelberger

Ge. Robert Eichelberger

On 7 July 1945, General Robert Eichelberger left San Jose, Mindoro, P.I. in a C-47:

Generals Griswold and Byers and a number of other officers were with me.  We came down at Bagabag in 6th Div. territory.  Gen. Hurdis met us and we jeeped to the command post of the 63rd Infantry in the mountains NW on the road to Bontoc.

Luzon airfield

Col. Everett Yon was full of fight and the situation looked good: Yon’s forward elements were withing 200 yards of the hills overlooking a Japanese stronghold at Kiangan, and he expected to take it within a few hours.

There I had my first glimpse of almost naked savages, armed only with spears, who were fighting side by side with our troops.  These were the Ifugaos.  The tribesmen had come down from their villages and thrown in their lot with us.  They were tall, broad-shouldered, splendidly muscled, and despite the cold climate, wore only G-strings.  They carried deerskin packs.

Ifugao Warrior

The first one I met indicated by sign language that he wanted a cigarette.  Since I don’t smoke I couldn’t oblige him.  Col. Yon told me that the Ifugaos were excellent fighters; they were also the best of our native scouts.

My next port of call was the HQ of the 37th Div. at Tuguegarao, where my friend Gen. Bob Beighler met me.  We proceeded to the CP of the 148th Infantry where i had a talk with Col. Delbert Schultz.  The 37th controlled the upper section of the Cagayan Valley and in conjunction with the 11th Airborne, which made a landing at the seaport of Aparri, had seized control of Hwy No. 5 shortly before the 8th Army took over.

Northern Luzon

The job of the 37th was to eliminate by-passed Japanese units, a discouraging job indeed.  This meant going into sections altogether without roads.  The enemy was incapable of offensive action, but the heavy rains aggravated the problem and made it sheer drudgery.

During the next several days, I continued to inspect the troops in the field.  The HQ of the 38th Div., which had been assigned the job of cleaning up central Luzon, was on a ridge only about an hour’s ride east of Manila.  MGen. William Chase met me at Bielson Field and we made the inspection trip to the front together.

Napalm bombing near Ipo Dam

From a high hill, Chase and Gen. Bill Spence pointed out to me the Ipo Dam area and other battlefields of the 38th.  Although the tempo of the fighting was now slowed, 259 Japanese were killed between dawn and dusk and 29 captured.

That evening I wrote gen. MacArthur that I found morale on Luzon very high.  My own morale was high.  I was convinced that the back of the Japanese opposition was broken.  (I might not have been so optimistic if I had known that when IJA Gen. Yamashita finally came out of the mountains, he brought 40,000 of his men with him.)

( This is an example of “mopping-up”)

37th Div. dug-in @ Baguio Cemetery

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

“That can’t be no combat man. HE’S looking for a fight!!”

Courtesy of Chris @ Muscleheaded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Norman Christiansen – Des Moines, IA; US Army, WWII, ETO, 3rd Army, combat Engineer

Henry Gerhart Jr. – Reading, PA; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Travis Houser – Hampton, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

James Lansdale – Orlando, FL; Civilian, WWII Historian

Charles McDaniel Sr. – Greenwood, IN; US Army, WWII / Korea, 1st Cavalry Div., medic-Chaplin, MSgt, KIA

Richard Murray – Kansas City, KS; US Navy, WWII

DeWitt Parsons – Battle Creek, MI; US Navy, Korea, navigator

William A. Reilly – Broad Channel, NY; US Army, WWII

Joseph Ryan – Boston, MA; USMC, WWII, PTO

Frederick Segrest (aka Eddie Hart) – Phenix City, AL; USMC, WWII, PTO

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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 November 1, 2018, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. That “No combat man~!” cartoon … spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That last photo, digging a foxhole in a graveyard, G. You wouldn’t want to be superstitious. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The photo of the soldiers in the cemetery is — well, something. I don’t quite have the word for it. Ironic might do, but it still isn’t quite right. The account of the native fighters and their dress brought a smile. When I was living in Liberia, my parents came to stay for a month, and traveled with me some into the villages. I’d been there long enough to hardly notice bare-breasted women in the bush, but my dad didn’t know where to look for a while!

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha, I can well imagine what your Dad went through. I didn’t quite know what the make of fighting in the cemetery either, but I imagine it happened more than once.

      Like

  4. It would be creepy to be dug out in a cemetery…

    Like

  5. Very good article Sir, I will reblog this for you. I hope that you are able to have a good weekend, stay safe, God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gesteund met plaatselijke bijna naakte mensen die zeer goede vechters waren deed me wel even verwonderd verder lezen.Mijn nieuw blog is klaar.Altijd welkom
    http://natuurfreak2.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always been interested in Philippine history ( where I was born ). Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hadn’t realised that WW2 included native tribesmen. It shows how the people of every country the Japanese took over firmly rejected their rule.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly. I tried to show the native rejection while talking about “The Airmen and the Headhunters” and there are many stories from New Guinea. I’m certain there must be quite a few from other islands as well.
      Thank you for coming by, John, and have a terrific weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I had not heard of the Ifugaos so am off to google, learning something new every day!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I wish you had taught the History classes, I had to attend, in high school or college, GP!
    Thank you for always keeping history alive and real…we need to remember the stories, but also the individuals who served…and we should live our lives in response to what they gave and sacrificed.
    Another great post!
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Reblogged this on Subli and commented:
    World War II in the Philippines was going full circle, from the bombing of Camp John Hay in Dec. 1941 to this post, July 1945.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Seems like an awful lot of work for “mopping up”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Lesson for commanding officers…always have cigarettes about you!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. “Mopping up” amongst graves in a Christian cemetery !… Just napalm the surrounding areas and leave the rest for the headhunters…
    P.S. The pic of Willie and Joe – great example of Bill’s style.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. In the late ’30s and early ’40s, Dad met some Ifugaos in Baguio who wore business suits to do business but at home, they still wore G-strings only. I wonder what the soldiers thought of them the first time they saw their outfit or “non-outfit”.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Looks like the General got a pretty good view of what was going on. The Ifugao warrior story was very interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. It truly was a *world* war. GP I’m amazed by all the new-to-me things I learn about this from you. This is another fascinating post. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Those native fighters do look tough. I wouldn’t want to encounter one of them, on his own ground.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

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