Chapter XIV
Isolating the Battlefield

The Concept of the Attack

When XIV Corps reached Manila on 3 February, no definite Allied plan existed for operations in the metropolitan area other than the division of the northern part of the city into offensive zones. Every command in the theater, from MacArthur's headquarters on down, hoped--if it did not actually anticipate--that the city could be cleared quickly and without much damage. GHQ SWPA had even laid plans for a great victory parade, à la Champs Elysées, that the theater commander in person was to lead through the city.1

Intelligence concerning Manila and its environs had been pretty meager, and it was not until the last week or so of January that GHQ SWPA and Sixth Army began to receive definite reports that the Japanese planned to hold the city, although General Krueger had felt as early as the middle of the month that the capital would be strongly defended.2 The late January reports, often contradicting previous information that had been supplied principally by guerrillas, were usually so contradictory within themselves as to be useless as a basis for tactical planning. Thus, much of the initial fighting was shadowboxing, with American troops expecting to come upon the main body of the Japanese around each street corner. Only when the troops actually closed with the principal strongpoints did they discover where the main defenses were. When XIV Corps began to learn of the extent and nature of the defenses, the plans for a big victory parade were quietly laid aside--the parade never came off. The corps and its divisions thereupon began developing tactical plans on the spot as the situation dictated.

In an effort to protect the city and its civilians, GHQ SWPA and Sixth Army at first placed stringent restrictions upon artillery support fires and even tighter restrictions upon air support operations. The Allied Air Forces flew only a very few strikes against targets within the city


limits before General MacArthur forbade such attacks, while artillery support was confined to observed fire upon pinpointed targets such as Japanese gun emplacements.

These two limitations were the only departures from orthodox tactics of city fighting. No new doctrines were used or developed--in the sense of "lessons learned," the troops again illustrated that established U.S. Army doctrine was sound. Most troops engaged had had some training in city fighting, and for combat in Manila the main problem was to adapt the mind accustomed to jungle warfare to the special conditions of city operations. The adjustment was made rapidly and completely at the sound of the first shot fired from a building within the city.

The necessity for quickly securing the city's water supply facilities and electrical power installations had considerable influence on tactical planning.3 Considering the sanitation problems posed by the presence of nearly a million civilians in the metropolitan area, General Krueger had good reason to be especially concerned about Manila's water supply. Some eighty artesian or deep wells in the city and its suburbs could provide some water, but, even assuming that these wells were not contaminated and that pumping equipment would be found intact, they could meet requirements for only two weeks. Therefore, Krueger directed General Griswold to seize the principal close-in features of the city's modern pressure system as rapidly as possible.

Establishing priorities for the capture of individual installations, Sixth Army ordered XIV Corps to secure first Novaliches Dam, at the southern end of a large, man-made lake in rising, open ground about two and a half miles east. of the town of Novaliches. (See Map V.) Second came the Balara Water Filters, about five miles northeast of Manila's easternmost limits and almost seven miles east of Grace Park. (See Map VI.) Third was the San Juan Reservoir, on high ground nearly two miles northeast of the city limits. Fourth were the pipelines connecting these installations and leading from them into Manila. Ultimately, Sixth Army would secure other water supply facilities such as a dam on the Marikina River northeast of Manila, but not until it could release men for the job from Manila or other battlegrounds on Luzon.

XIV Corps would secure portions of the electrical power system at the same time its troops were capturing the water supply facilities. During the Japanese occupation much of the power for Manila's lights and transportation had come from hydroelectric plants far to the south and southeast in Laguna Province, for the Japanese had been unable to import sufficient coal to keep running a steam generator plant located within the city limits. It appeared that Laguna Province might be under Japanese control for some time to come, and it could be assumed that the hydroelectric plants and the transmission lines would be damaged. Therefore, Sixth Army directed


XIV Corps to secure the steam power plant, which was situated near the center of the city on Provisor Island in the Pasig.

XIV Corps was also to take two transmission substations as soon as possible. One was located in Makati suburb, on the south bank of the Pasig about a mile southeast of the city limits; the other was presumed to be on the north bank of the river in the extreme eastern section of the city. It is interesting commentary on the state of mapping, considering the number of years that the United States had been in the Philippines, that the second substation turned out to be a bill collecting office of the Manila Electric Company.

Operations North of the Pasig

Clearing the City North of the River

Plans for securing the water and electric installations were far from the minds of the men of the 2d Squadron, 8th Cavalry, as they moved into Manila on the evening of 3 February.4 Their immediate mission was to free the civilian internees at Santo Tomas University; further planning would have to wait until the cavalrymen could ascertain what the morrow would bring.


Upon their arrival at Santo Tomas, the advance elements of the 8th Cavalry,5 a medium of the 44th Tank Battalion serving as a battering ram, broke through the gates of the campus wall. Inside, the Japanese Army guards--most of them Formosans--put up little fight and within a few minutes some 3,500 internees were liberated amid scenes of pathos and joy none of the participating American troops will ever forget. But in another building away from the internees' main quarters some sixty Japanese


under Lt. Col. Toshio Hayashi, the camp commander, held as hostages another 275 internees, mostly women and children. Hayashi demanded a guarantee for safe conduct from the ground for himself and his men before he would release the internees. General Chase, who had come into the university campus about an hour after the 8th Cavalry entered, had to accept the Japanese conditions.6

While the release of the internees was in progress, elements of the 8th Cavalry had received a bitter introduction to city fighting. Troop G had continued southward from Santo Tomas toward the Pasig River and, after an uneventful advance of about six blocks, came upon the intersection of Quezon Boulevard--its route of advance--and Azcarraga Street, running east and west. The great stone bulk of Old Bilibid Prison loomed up on the right; on the left rose the modern, three-story concrete buildings of Far Eastern University. The prison seemed deserted, but as the troopers came on down Quezon they were subjected to a veritable hail of machine gun and rifle fire from the university buildings and a few rounds of 47-mm. gun fire from an emplacement at the northeast corner of the intersection.

When drivers tried to turn vehicles around to beat a hasty retreat, other groups of the regiment began jamming Quezon Boulevard to the rear. Chaos was narrowly averted but the entire column, again guided by guerrillas, got safely back to Santo Tomas where, by 2330, the squadron (less Troop F) and the 2d Squadron, 5th Cavalry, had assembled. Troop F, 8th Cavalry, had moved along side streets and secured Malacañan Palace, on the Pasig a mile southeast of the university.

The next morning General Chase learned that the Japanese had knocked out the Novaliches bridge, cutting his line of communications and delaying the arrival of reinforcements for some twenty-four hours. The force he had under his control was too small to attempt much more than local patrolling, for he had, as yet, no definite information about Japanese defenses and none about the progress of the 37th Division. His situation was rather precarious for these twenty-four hours. Had Colonel Noguchi's Northern Force counterattacked, Chase would have had to withstand a siege at Santo Tomas or abandon the internees in order to fight his way out of an encirclement. Either course would probably have led to heavy losses. But Noguchi, not expecting the Americans to arrive for another two weeks, was unprepared. He found it impossible to carry out all his assigned missions and he was unable to withdraw all his forces in accordance with plans, let alone mount any strong counterattacks.

Late on the afternoon of 4 February General Mudge directed General Chase to seize Quezon Bridge, located at the foot of Quezon Boulevard a mile south of Santo Tomas. According to the spotty information then available, this was the only crossing over the Pasig that the Japanese had not yet destroyed. Chase assigned the task to part of the 2d Squadron, 5th Cavalry. The Japanese opposed the squadron with fire from Far Eastern University again and stopped the American


NORTHERN MANILA, BILIBID PRISON AT LOWER LEFT. Note roadblock on Quezon Boulevard, left center.

column at a formidable roadblock on Quezon Boulevard just south of Azcarraga Street. Here the Japanese had laid a small mine field in the pavement and had driven rows of steel rails into the roadbed. A line of truck bodies, wired together, also blocked passage. The roadblock contained four machine gun positions, and other machine guns covered it from emplacements on the grounds of Far Eastern University and from another intersection a block to the east. The 5th Cavalry's group, like the force from the 8th Cavalry the night before, had to withdraw under fire. The cavalrymen were unable to seize their objective and, during the attempt, Noguchi's troops blew the bridge.7

By the time the 5th Cavalry squadron had returned to Santo Tomas, the situation within Manila had begun to look brighter, for the 37th Division's van units had entered the city and established contact with the cavalrymen at


the university.8 Marching into Manila, the 148th Infantry advanced southward through the Tondo and Santa Cruz Districts, west of Santo Tomas.9 About 2000 on the 4th the 2d Battalion reached the northwest corner of Old Bilibid Prison, only three short blocks from the 5th Cavalry, which was just beginning its fight near the Quezon-Azcarraga intersection off the prison's southeastern corner. Busy with their fights at Far Eastern University, neither the 2d Squadron, 5th Cavalry, nor the 2d Squadron, 8th Cavalry, had attempted to get into the prison, but the 2d Battalion, 148th Infantry, broke in and discovered approximately 800 Allied and American prisoners of war and 530 civilian internees inside. Since there was no better place for them to go at the time both prisoners and internees remained in the prison, happy enough for the moment that they were in American hands once again.10 Fighting raged around Bilibid through much of the night, but the 2d Battalion, 148th Infantry, and the 2d Squadron, 5th Cavalry, did not establish contact with each other. At least the infantry knew the cavalry was in the vicinity--for the rest, the danger of shooting friendly troops kept both units channeled along single routes of advance during the night.

On 5 February, as the remainder of the 37th Division began moving rapidly into Manila, General Griswold more equitably divided the northern part of the city, giving the western half to the 37th Division and the eastern to the 1st Cavalry Division.11 That morning the 145th Infantry, 37th Division, began clearing the densely populated Tondo District along the bay front.12 By the afternoon of 6 February the battalion assigned to this task had reduced Japanese resistance to a pocket of some 200 men (and at least one 75-mm. artillery piece) holed up in the extreme northwestern corner of the district. The 145th's unit launched a final assault against the pocket on 8 February, an assault that cost the life of the battalion commander. Lt. Col. George T. Coleman. By the time the American battalion had finished mopping up on the 9th, it had suffered more casualties, and 37th Division artillery and the M7's of Cannon


Company, 145th Infantry, had wrought considerable destruction to the lower class residential district and to some industrial buildings and stores.13

Further south other elements of the 145th Infantry, passing through Tondo District, reached San Nicolas and Binondo Districts along the western stretches of the Pasig River's north bank by evening on 5 February. To the left (east) the 148th Infantry had likewise continued toward the river, cleaning out machine gun nests and a few riflemen from business buildings in the eastern section of Binondo District and on eastward into Santa Cruz District.14 The regiment hoped to seize the two westernmost vehicular bridges over the Pasig--Jones and Santa Cruz Bridges--and by 1600 on the 5th was within 200 yards of them. Then, as forward patrols reported that the bridges had just been blown, a general conflagration began to drive all troops of both the 145th and the 148th Infantry Regiments back from the river.

Throughout the 5th the 37th Division's men had heard and observed Japanese demolitions in the area along and just north of the Pasig in the Binondo and San Nicolas Districts as well as in the North Port Area, on the 145th's right front. The Northern Force was firing and blowing up military stores and installations all through the area and, as these tasks were completed, was withdrawing south across the river. Insofar as XIV Corps observers could ascertain, there was no wanton destruction, and in all probability the fires resulting from the demolitions would have been confined to the North Port Area and the river banks had not an unseasonable change in the wind about 2030 driven the flames north and west.15 The 37th Division, fearing that the flames would spread into residential districts, gathered all available demolitions and started destroying frame buildings in the path of the fire. The extent of these demolitions cannot be ascertained--although it is known that the work of destruction continued for nearly twenty-four hours--and is an academic point at best since the demolitions proved largely ineffectual in stopping the spread of the flames. The conflagration ran north from the river to Azcarraga Street and across that thoroughfare into the North Port Area and Tondo District. The flames were finally brought under control late on 6 February along the general line of Azcarraga Street, but only after the wind again changed direction.

While the 37th Division was fighting the fires and clearing its sector of the city north of the river, additional elements of the 1st Cavalry Division had been coming into the metropolitan area. From 5 through 7 February the 5th and


8th Cavalry Regiments, their provisional task force organizations now dissolved, cleaned out the eastern section of the city north of the Pasig against very weak opposition. On the 7th the 37th Division took over this eastern portion of the city proper,16 while the cavalrymen continued across the city limits to clear the suburbs east to the San Juan River, which, flowing generally south, joined the Pasig at the eastern corner of Manila. The cavalrymen encountered little opposition in the area as far as the San Juan, and had cleaned out the suburbs by evening on the 7th.

Capturing the Water Supply Facilities

Meanwhile, far to the north, the 7th Cavalry captured one of the important water supply installations, Novaliches Dam.17 On 5 February, when troopers first reached the dam, they found no prepared demolitions, but they did intercept three Japanese who were carrying explosives toward the installation. The next day, against little resistance, the regiment secured the Balara Water Filters, which were found undamaged but wired for demolitions.

On 7 and 8 February the troopers patrolled southwest along the main water pipeline from the filters four miles to San Juan Reservoir, which they captured intact about 1530 on the 8th. Forty-five minutes later a Japanese artillery shell fired from high ground across the Marikina River hit the reservoir's main outlet valve. Fortunately, damage was not so severe that the valve could not be worked by hand. For most of the rest of the period that it remained in the Manila area, the 7th Cavalry (the only major element of the 1st Cavalry Division not to fight within the city limits) continued to protect Novaliches Dam, the Balara Filters, and the pipelines connecting the two installations.

The 8th Cavalry secured a water facility still closer to Manila, but not before the regiment fought a pitched battle against the strongest resistance any troops of the 1st Cavalry Division encountered in the area north of the Pasig. Moving east across the San Juan River on 7 February, the 8th Cavalry pushed up to the northwest corner of New Manila Subdivision, where fire from the 1st Independent Naval Battalion and a supporting heavy weapons detachment stopped the advance. The subdivision extended northeast to southwest three blocks (about 850 yards) and twelve blocks (roughly 1,500 yards) southeast to the northern edge of San Juan del Monte Subdivision. The Japanese had heavily mined the streets within New Manila; pierced rock walls along the streets with slits through which 20-mm. machine cannon could fire; turned many homes into machine gun nests; and, at the southern edge of the subdivision, emplaced three dual-purpose naval guns so as to cover much of the suburb with point-blank, flat-trajectory fire.

On 8 February the 8th Cavalry attacked again, supported by a company of mediums from the 44th Tank Battalion and by the 61st (105-mm. howitzers) and 947th (155-mm. howitzers) Field Artillery Battalions. The 105's fired


1,360 rounds of high explosive into New Manila and San Juan del Monte suburbs and the 155's added another 350 rounds of the same type of ammunition. While this support succeeded in knocking out many Japanese strongpoints--and destroying many homes--it was inadequate to overcome all the opposition. The mine fields limited the effectiveness of tank support. The 8th Cavalry had to make short infantry rushes from one strongpoint to another to gain ground, but by the end of the day had substantially completed the reduction of the area. The task cost the 8th Cavalry 41 men wounded; the 44th Tank Battalion 11 men killed and 12 wounded. Three tanks were knocked out; one of them was completely demolished by a huge Japanese land mine. The 8th Cavalry and division artillery each claimed credit for all Japanese losses of men and matériel: the cavalry regiment averred it killed 350 Japanese and captured or destroyed 22 20-mm. machine cannon, 3 6-inch naval guns, and 5 13.2-mm. machine guns; the artillery's claims were the same 350 Japanese killed, and 23 20-mm. machine cannon, a 105-mm. howitzer, and a 6-inch naval gun destroyed.18 Be that as it may, the cavalry cleared the rest of the suburban area northeast and east of the city during the next few days with little trouble. The 1st Independent Naval Battalion, apparently deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, started withdrawing eastward with its 800 remaining troops on 10 February. The unit left behind about 500 dead and all its heavy weapons.19

On 9 February the 8th Cavalry moved on from New Manila to San Juan del Monte and secured El Deposito, an underground reservoir fed by artesian wells and located about a mile southwest of San Juan Reservoir. Following the seizure of El Deposito, the last of the close-in water installations, the 8th Cavalry continued south until it reached the north bank of the Pasig River at a point just east of the city limits. The 5th Cavalry, which had been relieved in the center of the city by the 37th Division on 7 February, went south on the 8th's left and, encountering only scattered opposition, reached the Pasig a mile east of the 8th Cavalry on the morning of 10 February.

The 37th Division and the 1st Cavalry Division had accomplished much during the week ending 10 February. They had cleared all Manila and its suburbs north of the Pasig; pushed Colonel Noguchi's Northern Force either south across the Pasig or east across the Marikina; captured or destroyed almost all the Northern Force's heavy support weapons; and secured intact the close-in water supply installations. The Northern Force, as a matter of fact, had made no concerted effort to hold northern Manila. Noguchi had executed his assigned demolitions and then withdrawn most of his troops south over the Pasig, destroying the bridges behind him. His 1st Independent Naval Battalion had escaped to


the east. The two American divisions had killed perhaps 1,500 Japanese in the region north of the Pasig, but it appears that less than half of these were members of Noguchi's combat units--the majority were ill-armed service troops and stragglers. Despite the limitations placed on it, artillery fire, supplemented by tank and mortar fire, caused the vast bulk of the Japanese casualties north of the river. That infantry assault operations accounted for relatively few Japanese is at least partially attested to by the fact that American casualties were not more than 50 men killed and 150 wounded.

Except for the fires that had raged out of control along the north bank of the Pasig, burning down or gutting many buildings, damage to the city had so far been limited largely to Japanese bridge destruction and to destruction resulting from American artillery and tank fire in the Tondo District and the New Manila and San Juan suburbs. The Americans had discovered few evidences of atrocities against the Filipino population north of the Pasig. It appeared that the rest of the battle might be fought according to the rules and that the city might yet escape with only superficial damage.

To date operations had served principally as a "get acquainted session" for both the Japanese and Americans. Admiral Iwabuchi had learned that XIV Corps was in Manila to stay; General Griswold had learned that the task of securing the city and environs was not going to be as easy as anticipated. Finally, in clearing the northern portion of the metropolitan area, the troops of the 37th Division and the 1st Cavalry Division had gained invaluable experience in city fighting that would serve them in good stead in operations south of the Pasig. Even as the 1st Cavalry Division was securing the water supply system, the 37th Division was putting this experience to the test.

Across the River and Into the Buildings

By the morning of 7 February two factors were prompting Griswold to head his troops across the Pasig. First, the 1st Cavalry Division and the 37th Division had cleared the city proper north of the river except for the pocket in Tondo District, and Griswold foresaw that the cavalrymen were going to have little difficulty clearing the eastern suburbs and securing the water facilities. Second, late on the 6th, Krueger had directed XIV Corps to seize the Provisor Island generating plant forthwith. Accordingly, on the morning of the 7th, Griswold ordered the 37th Division across the Pasig and assigned it most of the city proper south of the river. The 1st Cavalry Division, when it finished its job in the northern suburbs, would also cross the river and then swing westward toward Manila Bay on the 37th Division's left.20

The 37th Division Crosses

General Beightler, the 37th Division commander, ordered the 148th Infantry to make the assault across the Pasig. The


129th Infantry would follow the 148th and be followed in turn by the 1st Battalion, 145th Infantry, division reserve. The remainder of the 145th was to protect the division's line of communications north of Manila. Beightler turned the northern section of the city over to a provisional organization designated the Special Security Force, which contained the 637th Tank Destroyer Battalion, the 37th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, and Company A of the 754th Tank Battalion.21

Beightler directed the 148th Infantry to cross just east of Malacañan Palace and land on the south shore at Malacañan Gardens, a partially developed botanical park opposite the residency. Except at the gardens and at the mouths of esteros (small, canallike streams), sea walls--impassable to LVT's and unscalable from the assault boats in which the crossing was to be made--edged both river banks. The 37th Division had sufficient information to indicate that the gardens lay east of the principal Japanese concentrations in southern Manila and that most of the industrial Paco and Pandacan Districts in the eastern section of the city, south of the Pasig, might be lightly defended. The 148th Infantry would first clear the Paco and Pandacan Districts and then wheel southwest and west toward Intramuros and Manila Bay. The 129th Infantry, once on the south bank, would immediately swing west along the river to secure Provisor Island and the steam power plant.22

The 37th Division was to strike into a sector held by the Central Force's 1st Naval Battalion, some 800 riflemen and machine gunners supported by various provisional heavy weapons units. The battalion was concentrated in the western section of Paco District south from Provisor Island--half a mile west of Malacañan Gardens--generally along the line of the Estero de Paco, which extended south-southeast a little over a mile. One group from the battalion held a strongpoint east of the Estero de Paco at Paco Railroad Station, almost a mile south of the 148th Infantry's landing point and on the 37th-1st Cavalry Division boundary, here marked by the tracks of the Manila Railroad.

In preparation for the assault the 672d Amphibian Tractor Battalion, which had accompanied the 37th Division south from Lingayen Gulf, assembled its LVT's behind the protection of an indentation in the north bank near the palace. The 117th Engineers, who had scrounged all the engineer assault boats they could from Manila back to San Fernando, gathered its craft at the same point, ready to co-operate with the LVT's in shuttling the 37th Division across the river.

Behind a 105-mm. artillery barrage the 3d Battalion, 148th Infantry, began crossing in assault boats at 1515 on 7 February. The first wave encountered no opposition, but, as the second crossed, intense machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire began to hit the river, the landing site, and the Malacañan Palace area. However, the 148th Infantry found only a few Japanese at the Malacañan Gardens and established its bridgehead with


little difficulty. By 2000 two battalions were across the Pasig, holding an area stretching south from the river about 300 yards along Cristobal Street to a bridge over the Estero de Concordia, northeast approximately 1,000 yards, and then back to the river along the west bank of an inlet. The crossing had cost the regiment about 15 men killed and 100 wounded, almost all as the result of machine gun and mortar fire. Many of the casualties had actually occurred on the palace grounds, where the 148th Infantry had its command post and where General Beightler had set up an advanced headquarters.23

Between 8 and 10 February the 148th Infantry cleared Pandacan District with little trouble, but in the eastern section of Paco District had very great trouble reducing the Japanese strongpoint at Paco Railroad Station and the nearby buildings of Concordia College and Paco School. Support fires of the 136th and 140th Field Artillery Battalions nearly demolished the station and the school, but as of evening on 9 February the Japanese, originally over 250 strong, were still holding out, and the 148th Infantry made plans for a final assault on the 10th. Happily, most of the surviving Japanese withdrew from the three buildings during the night of 9-10 February, and the final attack was less bloody than had been anticipated.24

By late afternoon on 10 February the 148th Infantry's left had moved a half mile beyond Paco Railroad Station and had gained the east bank of the Estero de Paco. The right flank elements had initially been held up by Japanese fire from Provisor Island, while in the center troops had had to fight their way through a lesser Japanese strongpoint at the Manila Gas Works, about a quarter of a mile south of the Pasig River,25 but by afternoon on the 10th the right and center were also up to the Estero de Paco. The last troops of the 1st Naval Battalion east of the estero had either been killed or had withdrawn across the stream. As the 148th drew up along the estero, the volume of Japanese fire from the west increased sharply. Hard fighting seemed certain before the regiment could cross the water obstacle, and the regiment's operations south of the Pasig had already cost nearly 50 men killed and 450 wounded.

Provisor Island

As planned, the 129th Infantry crossed the Pasig on the afternoon of 8 February and swung west toward Provisor Island.26 One company attempted to cross the unbridged Estero de Tonque to the east end of the island that evening, but Japanese rifle, machine gun, and mortar fire pinned the troops in place. The effort was called off in favor of an assault behind artillery support the next morning.


Provisor Island, about 400 yards east to west and 125 yards north to south, was bordered on the north by the Pasig River, on the east by the Estero de Tonque, and on the south and west by the Estero Provisor. Five large buildings and many smaller shedlike structures covered almost every foot of the island's surface. Three of the large buildings were of concrete, the rest were frame structures sided and roofed with sheet metal. The Japanese garrison, probably members of the 1st Naval Battalion, fluctuated in strength, being reinforced as the need arose by means of a bridge across the Estero Provisor on the west side of the island. Japanese fortifications were of a hasty nature, most of them sandbagged machine gun emplacements within buildings or at entrances. From positions to the west, southwest, and south other Japanese forces could blanket the island with all types of support fire.

Following the scheduled artillery preparation, Company G, 129th Infantry, moved up to the mouth of the Estero de Tonque at 0800 on 9 February. The company planned to shuttle across the estero in two engineer assault boats to seize first a boiler plant at the northeast corner of the island. The first boat, eight men aboard, got across safely, but the second was hit and two men were killed; the survivors swam and waded to the island. By 0830 fifteen men of Company G had entered the boiler plant, only to be thrown out almost immediately by a Japanese counterattack. They then took refuge behind a coal pile lying between the boiler house and the west bank of Estero de Tonque.

Rifle and machine gun fire from the boiler plant and from the main powerhouse just to the south pinned the fifteen down. The 129th Infantry was unable to reinforce them, for the Japanese had the Esteros Provisor and de Tonque covered with rifle, machine gun, and mortar fire. Immediate withdrawal proved equally impossible--two other men had already been killed in an attempt to swim back across the Estero de Tonque.

With close support--so close that the fifteen survivors had to keep prone--from the 2d Battalion's mortars, Company G's isolated group hung on for the rest of the day while the battalion made plans to evacuate them so that artillery could again strike the island. After dark Company G's commander, Capt, George West, swam across the Estero de Tonque dragging an engineer assault boat behind him. Although wounded, he shuttled his troops back to the east bank in the dim light of flames from burning buildings on and south of the island. When a count was taken about midnight, Company G totaled 17 casualties--6 men killed, 5 wounded, and 6 missing--among the 18 men, including Captain West, who had reached Provisor Island during the previous eighteen hours.

For the next hour or so the 37th Division's artillery and mortar fire blanketed the island as Company E prepared to send ninety men over the Estero de Tonque in six engineer assault boats. The fires had died down by the time the craft started across the stream at 0230, but the moon chose to come out from behind a cloud just as the first two boats reached shore safely. A hail of Japanese machine cannon and mortar fire sunk the next three boats while on the island a small fuel tank flared up to expose the


PROVISOR ISLAND, lower left center.


men already ashore. Hugging the coal pile, Company E's troops remained pinned down until almost 0500, when the moon disappeared and the fuel fire burnt itself out.

Quickly, the men dashed into the boiler plant. A macabre game of hide and seek went on around the machinery inside until dawn, by which time Company E had gained possession of the eastern half of the building. The Japanese still held the western half.

On the 10th, Company E slowly cleaned out the rest of the boiler house, but every attempt to move outside brought down the fire of every Japanese weapon within range of Provisor Island--or so it seemed to the troops isolated in their industrial fortress. Therefore, Company E held what it had while division artillery and mortars pounded the western part of the island, as did tanks and tank destroyers from positions on the north bank of the Pasig. In the afternoon TD fire accidentally killed 2 men and wounded 5 others of Company E, which, through the day, also suffered 7 men wounded from Japanese fire. During the night Company E sent another 10-man squad across the Estero de Tonque to reinforce the troops already on the island. Artillery, tanks, tank destroyers, and 81-mm. mortars kept up a steady fire in preparation for still another attack the next morning.

After dawn on the 11th, Company E found that resistance had largely collapsed on the island and that as division artillery continued to pound known or suspected Japanese mortar and artillery positions to the south and west, the volume of Japanese fire previously sent against the island had greatly diminished. Searching cautiously and thoroughly through the rubble of the now nearly demolished buildings of the power plant, Company E cleared all Provisor Island by midafternoon and secured a foothold on the mainland, west across Estero Provisor.

The task of securing the island had cost the 2d Battalion, 129th Infantry, approximately 25 men killed and 75 wounded. From one point of view the losses had been in vain. The Americans had hoped to secure the power plant intact, but even before troops had reached the island the Japanese had damaged some equipment, and what was left the Japanese and American artillery and mortars ruined. There was no chance that the plant would soon deliver electric power to Manila.

The 1st Battalion, 129th Infantry, on the 2d Battalion's left, had been stalled until the 10th both by the Japanese fire supporting the Provisor Island garrison and by lesser Japanese strongpoints in an industrial area west of Cristobal Street. But by evening on the 10th, the 1st Battalion had moved its left up to the Estero de Paco, abreast of the 148th Infantry, while its right had pushed on to the Estero de Tonque. These gains cost the 129th Infantry another 5 men killed and nearly 20 wounded.

Lifting the Restrictions on Artillery Fire

The artillery, mortar, tank, and tank destroyer fire that had destroyed the Provisor Island power plant and turned Paco Station, Paco School, and Concordia College into a shambles represented a striking departure from the limitations placed upon support fires during the clearing of northern Manila


and the eastern suburbs. For the 37th Division, at least, cancellation of the earlier limitations had become a necessity. For one thing, sufficient information had now become available from aerial observation, patrolling, and reports from civilians and guerrillas for XIV Corps's G-2 Section to conclude that the Japanese had turned almost every large building from Estero de Paco west to Manila Bay into a veritable fortress, far stronger even than the defenses already encountered south of the Pasig.

In addition, the operations south of the river had forced the XIV Corps and the 37th Division to the reluctant decision that all pretense at saving Manila's buildings would have to be given up--casualties were mounting at a much too alarming rate among the infantry units. The 148th Infantry had suffered 500-odd casualties (about 200 did not require hospitalization) from 7 through 10 February. The regiment was now nearly 600 men understrength, and its rifle companies averaged about 50 men understrength. Through the seizure of Provisor Island the 129th Infantry had incurred about 285 casualties--35 killed, 240 wounded, and 10 missing--and was nearly 700 men understrength. Company G had only 90 effectives; Company E was little better off. The 148th Infantry had apparently received only five replacements since 9 January; the 129th Infantry, none.27

The losses had manifestily been too heavy for the gains achieved. If the city were to be secured without the destruction of the 37th and the 1st Cavalry Divisions, no further effort could be made to save the buildings; everything holding up progress would be pounded, although artillery fire would not be directed against structures such as churches and hospitals that were known to contain civilians. Even this last restriction would not always be effective, for often it could not be learned until too late that a specific building held civilians.28 The lifting of the restrictions on support fires would result in turning much of southern Manila into a shambles; but there was no help for that if the city were to be secured in a reasonable length of time and with reasonable losses. Restrictions on aerial bombardment, on the other hand, would remain in effect.

The 1st Cavalry Division Crosses

While the 37th Division was fighting its costly battle to clear Provisor Island and advance to the east bank of the Estero de Paco, the 1st Cavalry Division started across the Pasig and came up on the infantry's left. One troop of the 8th Cavalry crossed near the Philippine Racing Club, just east of the city limits, during the evening of 9 February; the rest of the regiment was across the river at the same point by 0950 on the 10th. The cavalry encountered practically no opposition in the crossing area, but progressed slowly because the Japanese had thoroughly mined many of the streets south and west of the club. By dusk on the 10th the 8th Cavalry had secured a bridgehead about a thousand yards deep. Its right flank crossed the city limits into Santa Ana District and patrols established contact with 37th Division


troops along the division boundary near Paco Station; on its left (east) other patrols met men of the 5th Cavalry.

Shuttling troops across the Pasig at the suburb of Makati, a mile east of the 8th Cavalry's crossing site, the 5th Cavalry got one squadron to the south bank of the river by 1500 on 10 February and secured the Makati electrical power substation. The troops met no ground opposition, but considerable machine gun and mortar fire, originating from the Fort McKinley area to the southeast, harassed them at the crossing area throughout the day.

Dusk on 10 February found XIV Corps firmly established--with two separate bridgeheads--south of the Pasig. The 37th Division, in its drive to the Estero de Paco, had secured a quarter of the city proper south of the river; the 1st Cavalry Division had cleared some of the southern suburban areas and was ready to move on into the city on the 37th's left. Enough had been learned about the Japanese defenses for the corps' G-2 Section to conclude that the hardest fighting was still ahead--and not all of it necessarily within the city itself, for XIV Corps was about to become involved in the fighting south of the city previously conducted by the 11th Airborne Division under Eighth Army control.

XIV Corps' area of responsibility was enlarged on the 10th of February when the 11th Airborne Division passed to its control, solving some problems and creating others. But the most immediately significant feature of the passage of command was that--in concert with the 1st Cavalry Division's crossing of the Pasig--XIV Corps had an opportunity to cut the last routes of withdrawal and reinforcement available to the Manila Naval Defense Force in the metropolitan area. The corps planned that while the 37th Division pushed on across the Estero de Paco, the 5th and 8th Cavalry Regiments would drive generally southwest toward Manila Bay and gain contact with the 11th Airborne Division, thus effecting an encirclement of the city.

Encircling the City

The 11th Airborne Division's Situation

When the 11th Airborne Division had halted on 4 February at the Route 1 bridge over the Parañaque River, three miles south of the Manila city limits, the major force opposing it was the Southern Force's 3d Naval Battalion, reinforced by a company of the 1st Naval Battalion and artillery units of varying armament.29 In many ways the 3d Naval Battalion positions were the strongest in the Manila area, having the virtue of being long established. Reinforced concrete pillboxes abounded at street intersections in the suburban area south of the city limits, many of them covered with dirt long enough to have natural camouflage; others were carefully concealed in clumps of trees. Northeast of Parañaque, Nichols Field--used by the Japanese Naval Air Service and defended by part of the 3d Naval Battalion--literally bristled with antiaircraft defenses. Most of the gun positions were as well camouflaged as the generally flat terrain permitted, and


the emplacements, useful in themselves as fortifications, were supplemented by scattered bunkers and pillboxes housing machine gunners and supporting riflemen.

As of 4 February the Japanese had few troops at Nielson Field, two miles north-northeast of Nichols Field, but the 4th Naval Battalion and heavy weapons attachments held Fort McKinley, two miles east of Nielson. Other Japanese troops manned a group of antiaircraft gun positions about midway between the Army post and Nichols Field, guns that could and did support the 3d Naval Battalion.

On the morning of 5 February the 11th Airborne Division's 511th Parachute Infantry forced a crossing of the Parañaque and started north along Route 1 over a quarter-mile-wide strip of land lying between the river, on the east, and Manila Bay, on the west.30 During the next two days the regiment fought its way 2,000 yards northward house by house and pillbox by pillbox. Supported only by light artillery--and not much of that--the 511th depended heavily upon flame throwers, demolitions, and 60-mm. mortars in its advance. In the two days it lost 6 men killed and 35 wounded, and killed about 200 Japanese.31

On the 6th the 511th Infantry halted to wait for the 188th Infantry (with the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry, attached) to come north from Tagaytay Ridge and launch an attack toward Nichols Field, whence Japanese artillery fire had been falling on the 511th's right. The division planned to send the 188th Infantry against the airfield from the south and southeast, while one battalion of the 511th would attack from the west across the Parañaque River. In preparation for the effort, the reinforced 188th Infantry moved up to a line of departure about a mile and a half southeast of Nichols Field under cover of darkness during the night of 6-7 February.

The Attack on Nichols Field

The 188th Infantry attack on 7 February was almost completely abortive in the face of concentrated artillery, mortar, and machine gun fire from the Japanese defenses on and around the air field.32 On the west the 511th Infantry managed to get its right across the north-south stretch of the Parañaque to positions near the southwest corner of Nichols Field, but there it stopped. During the next two days the 511th Infantry secured a narrow strip of land between the Parañaque River and the airfield's western runway and overran some defenses


at the northwest corner of the field. The 188th Infantry made contact with the 511th at the southwest corner but could gain little ground on the south and southeast. On the 10th, its last day under Eighth Army control, the division consolidated its gains and established a solid line from the northwest corner around to the southwest corner of the field, eliminating the last Japanese resistance on the western side. Meanwhile, elements of the 511th Infantry had continued up Route 1 nearly a mile beyond Nichols Field's northwest corner.

Four days' effort had effected little reduction in the amount of Japanese fire originating from the Nichols Field defenses. Support fires of Mindoro-based A-20's and the division's light artillery (75-mm. pack howitzers and the short 105-mm. howitzers) had not destroyed enough Japanese weapons to permit the infantry to advance without taking unduly heavy casualties. In fact, the volume of fire from Japanese naval guns of various types was still so great that one infantry company commander requested: "Tell Halsey to stop looking for the Jap Fleet. It's dug in on Nichols Field."33 The 11th Airborne obviously needed heavier artillery support.

For some days the division's situation had been a bit anomalous, especially in regard to co-ordination of its artillery with that of XIV Corps to the north. Sixth Army had directed XIV Corps not only to seize Manila but also to drive south to an objective line running from Cavite northeast across the Hagonoy Isthmus to Tagig on Laguna de Bay.34 The 11th Airborne Division had crossed this line as early as 6 February, and every step it took northward toward Manila increased the danger that XIV Corps Artillery might inadvertently shoot it up.

The Sixth and Eighth Armies had both apparently made some effort to have General MacArthur establish a formal boundary south of Manila, but with no success. From the beginning GHQ SWPA had intended that the 11th Airborne Division would ultimately pass to Sixth Army control, and it appears that theater headquarters, anticipating an early contact between the 11th Airborne Division and the XIV Corps, saw no need to establish a formal boundary. Instead, GHQ SWPA only awaited the contact to make sure Sixth Army could exercise effective control when the transfer was made.

General Eichelberger had become increasingly worried as the uncertain situation persisted. GHQ SWPA made no provision for direct communication between Sixth and Eighth Armies until 7 or 8 February, and until that time each Army had learned of the others' progress principally through GHQ SWPA channels.35 When direct communication began, the 11th Airborne Division and the XIV Corps quickly co-ordinated artillery fire plans and established a limit of fire line to demark their support zones about midway between Nichols Field and the Manila city limits. Under the provisions of this plan XIV Corps Artillery fired sixteen 155-mm. and 8-inch howitzer concentrations in support of the airborne


division's attack at Nichols Field before the division passed to XIV Corps control about 1300 on 10 February.36

"Welcome to the XIV Corps," Griswold radioed General Swing, simultaneously dashing whatever hopes Swing may have had to continue north into Manila in accordance with Eichelberger's earlier plans. For the time being, Griswold directed Swing, the 11th Airborne Division would continue to exert pressure against the Japanese at Nichols Field but would mount no general assault. Instead, the division would ascertain the extent and nature of the Japanese defenses at and east of the airfield and prepare to secure the Cavite naval base area, which the division had bypassed on its way north from Nasugbu. Further orders would be forthcoming once XIV Corps itself could learn more about the situation south of Manila.37

On 11 February the 511th Infantry attacked north along the bay front in its sector to Libertad Avenue, scarcely a mile short of the city limits, losing its commander, Colonel Haugen, during the day. Griswold then halted the advance lest the 511th cut across the fronts of the 5th and 8th Cavalry Regiments, now heading directly toward the bay from the northeast, and upset artillery support plans.38 Meanwhile, in a series of patrol actions, the 187th Infantry had secured the southeast corner and the southern runway of Nichols Field. Griswold authorized the 11th Airborne Division to mount a concerted attack against the field on the 12th.

The attack was preceded by artillery and mortar concentrations and by an air strike executed by Marine Corps SBD's from the Lingayen Gulf fields, support that succeeded in knocking out many Japanese artillery positions. The 2d Battalion, 187th Infantry, attacked generally east from the northwest corner of the field; the 188th Infantry and the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry, drove in from the south and southeast. By dusk the two regiments had cleared most of the field and finished mopping up the next day. The field was, however, by no means ready to receive Allied Air Force planes. Runways and taxiways were heavily mined, the runways were pitted by air and artillery bombardments, and the field was still subjected to intermittent artillery and mortar fire from the Fort McKinley area.

With the seizure of Nichols Field, the 11th Airborne Division substantially completed its share in the battle for Manila. Since its landing at Nasugbu the division had suffered over 900 casualties. Of this number the 511th Infantry lost approximately 70 men killed and 240 wounded; the 187th and 188th Infantry Regiments had together lost about


100 men killed and 510 wounded, the vast majority in the action at Nichols Field.39 The division and its air and artillery support had killed perhaps 3,000 Japanese in the metropolitan area, destroying the 3d Naval Battalion and isolating the Abe Battalion. From then on the division's activities in the Manila area would be directed toward securing the Cavite region, destroying the Abe Battalion, and, in co-operation with the 1st Cavalry Division, assuring the severance of the Manila Naval Defense Force's routes of escape and reinforcement by clearing Fort McKinley and environs. For the latter purpose the airborne division would have to maintain close contact with the cavalry, already moving to complete the encirclement of the Japanese defenders in the city.

Completing the Encirclement

The 1st Cavalry Division planned that the 5th Cavalry, the unit with the most direct approach to the Nichols Field area, would be the first to make contact with the 11th Airborne Division. But delays in getting the rest of the regiment across the Pasig on 11 February, combined with the necessity for patrolling eastward along the south bank of the river to seek out Japanese machine gun and artillery positions near the crossing site, prevented the 5th Cavalry from making general advances on that day. On the right the 8th Cavalry, maintaining contact with the 37th Division, drove up almost to the Estero de Paco along the division boundary against scattered opposition. The left remained in essentially the same position it had held the previous night, just south of the Philippine Racing Club, In the area of South Cemetery, across the tracks of the Manila Suburban Electric Line (trolley cars) from the club, a 511th Infantry patrol made contact with an 8th Cavalry outpost late in the day.

The next day, 12 February, the 5th Cavalry swept rapidly across Nielson Field against scattered rifle fire and about 0900 came up to Culi-Culi and Route 57, an eastern extension of the same street that, known as Libertad Avenue further to the west, the 511th Infantry had reached on 11 February. Turning west along this road, the 5th Cavalry made contact with the 511th Infantry on Libertad Avenue proper about 1040. A few minutes later the cavalry's leading elements were on the shore of Manila Bay and sped north another 1,000 yards to Villaruel Street.

The 8th Cavalry had also continued westward during the morning but in the afternoon was relieved by the 12th Cavalry. The latter, in turn, had been relieved along the line of communications by the 112th Cavalry RCT, which Krueger had attached to the 1st Cavalry Division on 9 February. General Mudge, the division commander, found in this relief a welcome opportunity to reconstitute his normal brigade structure and so sent the 12th Cavalry south to rejoin the 5th Cavalry under the control of the 1st Brigade headquarters. The 8th Cavalry then moved north to go back under 2d Brigade command.

Wasting little time, the 12th Cavalry, during the afternoon of 12 February, halted its right to contain Japanese who had already stalled the 8th Cavalry and


advanced its left rapidly southwestward past Nielson Field and on to Villaruel Street, where it made contact with the 5th Cavalry troops already along that thoroughfare. About 1430, the 2d Squadron, 12th Cavalry, reached the bay shore.

The 1st Cavalry Brigade's advance to the shores of Manila Bay on 12 February, together with the establishment of contact between that unit and the 11th Airborne Division, completed the encirclement of the Japanese forces in Manila. Admiral Iwabuchi and the now isolated troops of his Manila Naval Defense Force could choose only between surrender and a fight to the death. And by evening on 12 February any private in the 1st Cavalry Division, the 11th Airborne Division, or the 37th Infantry Division could have told all who cared to ask that Iwabuchi had already selected the second course.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (13) * Next Chapter (15)


1. A host of documents concerning the parade are to be found in the files of all levels of the command. See, inter alia: Memo, Asst ACofS G-3 Sixth Army for ACofS G-3 Sixth Army, 1 Feb 45, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 31 Jan-2 Feb 45; Memo, ACofS G-3 XIV Corps for CofS XIV Corps, 4 Feb 45, sub: Notes Taken at Conf at GHQ 4 Feb 45, XIV Corps G-3 Jnl File, 2-4 Feb 45; Rad, Sixth Army to I, XI, and XIV Corps, WG-53, 5 Feb 45, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 4-6 Feb 45; 40th Inf Div, Memo for Components, 6 Feb 45, sub: Manila Victory Parade, 108th Inf S-3 Jnl File, 6-9 Feb 45.

2. Subsequent material on Manila planning problems is based on: XIV Corps Rpt Luzon, pt. I, pp. 86-87; XIV Corps, Japanese Defense of Cities, pp. 13, 19-22, 26.

3. The remainder of this section is based principally upon: Sixth Army Rpt Luzon, I, 36; Memo, Engr Sixth Army for CofS Sixth Army, 4 Feb 45, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 2-4 Feb 45; Rad, Sixth Army to XIV Corps, WC-40, 5 Feb 45, and Teletype Msg, Sixth Army to XIV Corps, 6 Feb 45, both in Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 4-6 Feb 45; XIV Corps FO 6, 7 Feb 45, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 8-10 Feb 45.

4. The general sources for 1st Cavalry Division operations covered in this chapter are: 1st Cav Div Rpt Luzon, Narrative, pp. 4-14; Wright, 1st Cavalry Division in World War II, pp. 130-33; 1st Cav Div G-3 Jnl, 3-12 Feb 45; 1st Cav Div G-3 Opns Rpts, 3-12 Feb 45; 1st Cav Brig Rpt Luzon, pt. I, Narrative, pp. 1-4; 1st Cav Brig Unit Jnl, 3-12 Feb 45; 1st Cav Brig S-3 Per Rpts, 3-12 Feb 45; 2d Cav Brig Rpt Luzon, pp. 4-7; 2d Cav Brig S-3 Opns Rpts, 3-12 Feb 45; 2d Cav Brig Jnl File, 3-12 Feb 45; 44th Tank Bn, Rpt Luzon, pp. 7-11; 44th Tank Bn S-3 Per Rpts, 3-12 Feb 45; 44th Tank Bn S-2/S-3 Jnl, 3-12 Feb 45.

5. Additional information on the 8th Cavalry operations is from: 8th Cav Rpt Luzon, Manila Phase, pp. 1-2; ibid., Novaliches Water Shed Phase, pp. 1-2; 8th Cav S-2/S-3 Jnl, 3-20 Feb 45; 8th Cav Unit Per Opns Rpts, 3-20 Feb 45.

6. Negotiations between Chase and Hayashi actually took place on the 4th, and it was not until morning of the 5th that Hayashi and his men left, releasing their hostages.

7. Additional information on the 5th Cavalry's participation in this and other actions covered in this chapter is from: 5th Cav Rpt Luzon, pp. 5-27; ibid., an. 4, Casualties; 5th Cav S-3 Per Rpts, 3-12 Feb 45; 5th Cav S-2/S-3 Jnl, 3-12 Feb 45.

8. General sources for 37th Division operations covered in this chapter are: 37th Div Rpt Luzon, pp. 37-77; 37th Div G-3 Per Rpts, 4-12 Feb 45; 37th Div G-3 Jnls and Jnl Files, 4-12 Feb 45.

9. Additional information on 148th Infantry action is from: 148th Inf Rpt Luzon, pt. I, pp. 5-9; 148th Inf S-1 and S-3 Per Rpts, 4-12 Feb 45; 148th Inf S-3 Jnl, 4-12 Feb 45.

10. Chase Comments, 3 Dec 56; Beightler Comments, 18 Mar 57; Halsema Comments, Mar 57. According to General Chase the probable reason that none of his troops had discovered the prisoners was that no one had the slightest inkling they were in Old Bilibid. On 5 February the 37th Division had to remove both prisoners and internees from the prison to temporary quarters at Grace Park when fire threatened the area and it appeared that the Japanese might be forming a counterattack. The prisoners and civilians departed so hurriedly that they had to leave their few pitiful belongings behind--when they returned a few days later looters had stolen almost everything.

11. XIV Corps changed the boundary within the city three times between 1820 4 February and 2310 5 February; it is the last change that is described above. Entry timed 1820 4 Feb 45, XIV Corps G-3 Jnl, 4 Feb 45; Rads, XIV Corps to 37th Div and 1st Cav Div, 0215 and 2310 5 Feb 45, XIV Corps G-3 Jnl File, 5 Feb 45. Additional information on Griswold's command decisions during the battle is from: XIV Corps Rpt Luzon, pt. I, pp. 89-113; XIV Corps, Japanese Defense of Cities, pp. 2, 10, 13-14, 19-23.

12. Additional sources for 145th Infantry action are: 145th Inf Rpt Luzon, pp. 16-19; 145th Inf S-3 Per Rpts, 4-12 Feb 45; 145th Inf S-1 and S-3 Jnls, 5-12 Feb 45.

13. While most of the information concerning artillery support of 37th Division operations in Manila (in both this and the next chapter) comes from the infantry regimental sources cited previously or subsequently, the following were also employed: 37th Div Arty Rpt Luzon, pp. 9-10; ibid., an. 5, Manila Overlays; 135th FA Bn Rpt Luzon, pp. 14-15; 135th FA Bn Unit Jnl, 5-23 Feb 45; 140th FA Bn Unit Jnl, 5-23 Feb 45; 6th FA Bn Rpt Luzon, 4 Feb-3 Mar 45, pp. 2-3; Daily S-3 Per Rpts of the 6th, 135th, 136th, and 140th FA Bns and the 637th TD Bn, 4-23 Feb 45, copies in 37th Div G-3 Jnl Files, 4-24 Feb 45.

14. 2d Lt. Robert M. Viale, a platoon leader of Company K, 148th Infantry, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic action during the regiment's advance southward through Manila. Viale was the first of four men of the 37th Division, all from the 148th, to win Medals of Honor in Manila.

15. See, for example, Msg, Asst ACofS G-3 XIV Corps to ACofS G-3 Sixth Army, 1500 6 Feb 45, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 4-6 Feb 45.

16. As directed by XIV Corps Opns Memo 15, 6 Feb 45, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 8-10 Feb 45.

17. Additional information on the 7th Cavalry operations is from: 7th Cav Rpt Luzon, pp. 11-14; 7th Cav S-3 Per Rpts, 4-20 Feb 45; 7th Cav S-2/S-3 Jnl, 4-20 Feb 45.

18. Additional material on the operations of 1st Cavalry Division artillery in this and the next chapter is from: 1st Cav Div Arty Rpt Luzon, pt. II, Chron Rcd, pp. 5-15; ibid., pt. III, Unit Jnl, 4-23 Feb 45; 947th FA Bn Rpt Luzon, pt. II, Unit Jnl, 5-23 Feb 45; ibid., pt. V, S-3 Work Sheets, 5-23 Feb 45.

19. The Japanese battalion had started evacuating the San Juan del Monte-New Manila area on 6 February but had been ordered back into its defenses. It seems probable that the bulk of the unit was never engaged at New Manila and that before the battalion had reoccupied all of its positions it had begun its final withdrawal.

20. XIV Corps Rpt Luzon, pt. I, pp. 89-90, 96-97; Teletype Msg, Sixth Army to XIV Corps, 6 Feb 45, Sixth Army G-3 Jnl File Luzon, 4-6 Feb 45; XIV Corps FO 6, 7 Feb 45; Msg, G-3 XIV Corps to 37th Inf Div and 1st Cav Div, 1205 7 Feb 45, XIV Corps G-3 Jnl File, 6-7 Feb 45; Beightler Comments, 18 Mar 57.

21. 37th Div FO 28, 7 Feb 45, 37th Div G-3 Jnl File, 6-8 Feb 45.

22. 37th Div FO 28, 7 Feb 45; 37th Div Rpt Luzon, pp. 43-48; Verbal Orders, CG 37th Div to CO 148th Inf, 1100 7 Feb 45, and 148th Inf Opns Memo 16, 2100 7 Feb 45, both in 37th Div G-3 Jnl File, 6-8 Feb 45; 129th Inf Unnumbered Opns Order, 7 Feb 45, 129th Inf Opns Orders File.

23. Beightler Comments, 18 Mar 57. According to General Beightler, General MacArthur had made a personal tour of the Malacañan Palace grounds during the morning of the 7th and had observed that it was so quiet in the area that XIV Corps could cross the river and clear all southern Manila with a platoon.

24. T. Sgt. Cleto Rodriguez and Pfc. John N. Reese, Jr., both of Company B, 148th Infantry, were awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic action during this fight. Reese's award being made posthumously.

25. Pfc. Joseph J. Cicchetti was awarded, posthumously, the Medal of Honor for heroic action at the Gas Works on 9 February. Cicchetti was a member of Company A, 148th Infantry.

26. Additional information on 129th Infantry action comes from: 129th Inf Rpt Luzon, pp. 6-7; 129th Inf Hist 1810-1945, pp. 62-66; 129th Inf S-3 Per Rpts, 6-12 Feb 45; 129th Inf Regtl Jnl, 8-12 Feb 45.

27. This conclusion is based upon a thorough examination of all relevant 37th Division, 129th Infantry, and 148th Infantry records.

28. XIV Corps Luzon Rpt, pt. I, p. 93; 37th Div Luzon Rpt, pp. 51-53.

29. Japanese information in this section is based primarily upon 11th A/B Div Rpt Luzon, pp. 16, 29; see also above, ch. XIII.

30. The general sources of information concerning 11th Airborne Division operations are: Eighth Army Rpt Nasugbu-Bataan, pp. 22-28; Sixth Army Rpt Luzon, I, 38; XIV Corps Rpt Luzon, pt. I, pp. 91- 94; 11th A/B Div Rpt Luzon, pp. 4-6; Flanagan, The Angels, pp. 81-88; 11th A/B Div G-3 Per Rpts, 4-23 Feb 45; 11th A/B Div Arty, Unit Hist, 31 Jan-9 Feb 45, pp. 4-6; ibid., 10 Feb-4 May 45, pp. 1-5.

31. Additional information on 511th Infantry operations is from; 511th Inf S-1, S-2, and S-3 Jnls, 4-23 Feb 45; 511th Inf S-1 Casualty and Insp Rpts Luzon.

32. Most of the 11th Airborne Division's records were lost when the division moved to Japan at the end of the war or were destroyed in a fire at the division's headquarters building during the occupation. Therefore, it is impossible to reconstruct the details of the fighting for the Nichols Field area on and after 7 February. Fragmentary information is available in: 188th Inf Draft Hist Luzon, pp. 4-10; 188th Inf Rpt Luzon, pp. 4-8; 1st Bn 187th Inf Chron Narrative, 26 Jan-24 Feb 45, pp. 4-7, 11th A/B Div Camp Campbell Ky. collection; 187th Inf S-3 Per Rpts, 8-23 Feb 45; 187th Inf Chron Narrative MIKE VI Opn, pp. 2-4; 2d Bn 187th Inf Chron Narrative MIKE VI Opn, pp. 3-5.

33. Flanagan, The Angels, p. 85.

34. Sixth Army FO 47, 2 Feb 45.

35. Eichelberger stated that he kept Krueger constantly informed of the 11th Airborne Division's progress by direct radio, but received no information from Sixth Army until 4 February. Eichelberger Comments, 21 Jan 57. On the other hand, the earliest message to Sixth Army that can be found in Eighth Army files is dated 5 February.

36. The foregoing analysis of liaison problems is based on: Sixth Army Rpt Luzon, I, 38; ibid., III, 68; XIV Corps Rpt Luzon, pt. I, p. 98; XIV Corps Arty Rpt Luzon, p. 11; Rad, G-3 XIV Corps to G-3 37th Div, 1225 8 Feb 45, 37th Div G-3 Jnl File, 6-8 Feb 45; Rad, Eichelberger to MacArthur, 0900 3 Feb 45; Rad, Eichelberger to MacArthur, 1130 5 Feb 45; Rad, Eichelberger to Krueger, 1130 5 Feb 45; Rad, Eichelberger to MacArthur, 1208 7 Feb 45; Rad, Krueger to Eichelberger, WG-139, 8 Feb 45. Last five in Eighth Army G-3 Jnl File MIKE VI, 2-19 Feb 45. Eichelberger Comments, 21 Jan 57.

37. Rad, Griswold to Swing, 10 Feb 45, XIV Corps G-3 Jnl File, 10 Feb 45.

38. Rad, XIV Corps to 11th A/B Div, 37th Div, 1st Cav Div, and XIV Corps Arty, 11 Feb 45, XIV Corps G-3 Jnl File, 11 Feb 45. This radio also established a formal boundary between the 11th Airborne and 1st Cavalry Divisions, running east along Libertad Avenue and Route 57 four miles inland to the southwest corner of Fort McKinley.

39. Since there are few division records, casualty figures are fragmentary, and the figures presented here are the author's estimates based upon study of all relevant sources.

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation