The return of Allied forces to the Philippines in the fall of 1944 further throttled Japan's already tenuous pipe line to the rich resources of Malaya and the Netherlands Indies, and with it the last vestige of her ability to meet the logistical requirements of a continuing war. The Battle for Leyte Gulf marked the end of Japan as a naval power, forcing her to adopt the desperation kamikaze tactic against the United States Fleets.
The Philippine victories were primarily Army and Navy operations. Marines, comprising only a fraction of the total forces engaged, played a secondary but significant role in the overall victory. The campaign was important to the Corps in that the Marine aviators, who had battled two years for air control over the Solomons, moved into a new role, their first opportunity to test on a large scale the fundamental Marine doctrine of close air support for ground troops in conventional land operations. This test they passed with credit, and Marine flyers contributed materially to the Philippine victory. Lessons learned and techniques perfected in those campaigns form an important chapter in our present-day close air support doctrines.
C. B. CATES
GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
MARINE AVIATION IN THE PHILIPPINES is the ninth in a series of operational monographs, based on official sources and documented in detail, being prepared by the Historical Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. The purpose of these monographs is to afford both military students and casual readers a factually accurate account of the several Marine Corps operations in World War II.
The scope and treatment of this monograph must of necessity be somewhat different from that of the rest of the series. Not only was the reconquest of the Philippines primarily an Army story, but the Marine aviation forces that took part in the campaign were under an overall Army Air Force command. The scope of this monograph has been limited to Marine activities, except for other details necessary to proper perspective and background.
Valuable information and assistance have been contributed from many sources. To the several hundred participants in the actual operations who furnished comments, corrections, and elaborations, grateful acknowledgment is made herewith. Special thanks are extended to Division of Naval Records and History, Department of the Navy; Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army (in particular to Dr. M. Hamlin Cannon and Mr. Robert R. Smith of the Pacific Section); Historical Division, Air University Library, Department of the Air Force; Naval Records and Library; Departmental Records Branch, Adjutant General's Office, Department of the Army; the Philippine Embassy; and finally to Captain John A. Gibson, Jr., USMC, and Mr. Jefferson D. Bates for their extensive assistance in the preparation of this monograph.
Maps were prepared by the Reproduction Section, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia. Official U.S. Marine Corps photographs have been used except as otherwise noted.
J. C. MCQUEEN
BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS
DIRECTOR OF MARINE CORPS HISTORY
Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation