United States Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific

The Fall of the Philippines

by Louis Morton


. . . to Those Who Served

Table of Contents



Part One: Prewar Plans and Preparations

Chapter 1: The Philippine Islands

The Islands—The Philippine Army

Chapter 2: U.S. Army Forces, Far East

The Recall of General MacArthur—The Organization of USAFFE—U.S. Army in the Philippines—Philippine Army: Mobilization and Training

Chapter 3: The Reinforcement of the Philippines

Ground Forces—Air Forces—Naval Forces—Summary

Chapter 4: Prewar Plans, Japanese and American

The Japanese Plan—The Plan of Defense—The Last Days of Peace

Part Two: The Isolation of the Philippines and the Japanese Landings

Chapter 5: The First Days of War

The Attack on Clark Field—The Fleet Moves South—The Japanese Gain Air and Naval Supremacy

Chapter 6: The First Landings

Batan Island—The Landings on North Luzon—The Legaspi Landing—Landings in the South

Chapter 7: The Impact of War

Chapter 8: The Main Landings

The Lingayen Landing—Consolidating the Lingayen Beachhead—The Lamon Bay Landings

Chapter 9: Strategy and Logistics

The Pensacola Convoy—Far East and Pacific Strategy—The Base in Australia

Part Three: The Withdrawal to Bataan

Chapter 10: The Withdrawal Begins

“WPO-3 Is In Effect”—The North Luzon Force Plan—To the Tarlac–Cabanatuan Line—Supply—The Tarlac–Cabanatuan Line

Chapter 11: Withdrawal in the South

Withdrawal From Mauban—Withdrawal From Atimonan—Out of South Luzon

Chapter 12: Holding the Road to Bataan

The Defense of Calumpit—The D-5 Line: Bamban–Arayat—Escape Through San Fernando

Chapter 13: Into Bataan

The Guagua–Porac Line—Behind the Gates

Chapter 14: The End of an Era

The Occupation of Manila—Strategic Views on the Philippines

Part Four: The Siege of Bataan

Chapter 15: Setting the Stage

The American Position—The Status of Supply—The Enemy and His Plan

Chapter 16: The First Battle of Bataan

Attack Against II Corps: The Abucay Line—Attack Against I Corps: The Mauban Line—The Abucay Line Is Turned—The Withdrawal

Chapter 17: The Battle of the Points

The Service Command Area—Longoskawayan and Quinauan Points—Anyasan and Silaiim Points

Chapter 18: Trail 2 and the Pockets

The Orion-Bagac Line—The Fight for Trail 2—The Pocket Fights

Chapter 19: The Japanese Withdrawal

Chapter 20: Command

The Evacuation of MacArthur—Wainwright Assumes Command

Chapter 21: The Battling Bastards

Food and Clothing—Health—Morale

Chapter 22: “Help Is On the Way”

Running the Blockade—Last Efforts

Chapter 23: Preparations for Battle

The American Line—Japanese Preparations—Prelude to Attack

Chapter 24: The Final Japanese Offensive

Capture of Mt. Samat—6 April: The Day of Decision

Chapter 25: The Disintegration of II Corps

7 April: Disintegration—8 April: Chaos

Chapter 26: Surrender

Part Five: Corregidor and the Southern Islands

Chapter 27: The Siege of Corregidor

The Harbor Defenses of Manila Bay—The First Aerial and Artillery Attacks—The Second Aerial Bombardment

Chapter 28: The Southern Islands

The Islands and Their Defenses—The Visayas—Mindanao

Chapter 29: Japanese Plans and American Defenses

The Japanese Plan—The American Defenses

Chapter 30: The Last Twenty-Seven Days

The Preliminary Bombardment—Health and Food—The Pre-assault Bombardment

Chapter 31: The Fall of Corregidor

Chapter 32: The End of Resistance

General Wainwright’s Orders—The Surrender of Corregidor—Surrender in the South

The Sources



17: The Orion–Bagac Line

22: Japanese Advance, 7-9 April 1942

23: Corregidor Island

Inline Maps

1. Japanese Plan and Disposition of the Armies, November 1941

2. Disposition of U.S. Army Forces, Far East, 8 December 1941

3. Advance Japanese Landings, 8–20 December 1941

4. Lingayen Gulf Landings, 22–24 December 1941

5. Lamon Bay Landings, 24 December 1941

6. Withdrawal in the North, 25–31 December 1941

7. Withdrawal in the South, 25–31 December 1941

8. Holding the Road to Bataan, 31 December 1941–1 January 1942

9. Through Layac Junction, 2–6 January 1942

10. Situation on Bataan, 8 January 1942

11. The Abucay Line, 9–23 January 1942

12. The Mauban Line, 18–25 January 1942

13. Japanese Landings on Bataan, 23 January–1 February 1942

14. Longoskawayan Point Area

15. Quinauan Point Area

16. Anyasan and Silaiim Points Area

18. Fight for Trail 2, 27 January–2 February 1942

19. The Pockets

20. Japanese Plan of Attack, 3 April 1942

21. Japanese Penetration, 3–6 April 1942

24. The Fight for Mindanao, 29 April–9 May 1942

25. Japanese Landings on Corregidor, 5–6 May 1942


Strength of Philippine Division, 31 July 1941

Strength and Composition of U.S. Army Troops in the Philippine Islands, 31 July 1941

Aircraft in the Philippines and Hawaii, 1 December 1941

Strength and Composition of U.S. Army Troops in Philippine Islands, 30 November 1941

Organization and Disposition of Japanese Army, 1 December 1941

Assignment of Forces, USAFFE, 3 December 1941

Weapons and Equipment Captured by 14th Army, 20 February 1942

Rations, 25 March 1942

Armament on Corregidor

Armament on Forts Hughes, Drum, and Frank

Strength, Harbor and Beach Defenses, April 1942


The Philippine Islands—Signing the Constitution of the Philippine Commonwealth—Manila Harbor—Philippine Scouts (37-mm. antitank gun)—Philippine Scouts (pontoon bridge)—Ceremony at Camp Murphy, Rizal—Aircraft in the Philippines, December 1941: Douglas B-18A—Martin B-10B—Republic P-35—Boeing B-17D—Curtiss P-40E—Boeing P-26A—Clark Field—General MacArthur—Japanese Air Attack on 10 December 1941 (Nichols Fields)—Japanese Air Attack (Cavite Navy Yard)—Luzon—155-mm. Gun Emplacement Near Dagupan—26th Cavalry (PS) Moving into Pozorrubio—Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, 14th Army Commander—Villasis–Carmen Bridge—Agno River—Tarlac Railroad Station—Salvaging .30 Caliber Ammunition—Bicycle-Mounted Japanese Troops—Motorcycle Messenger Catnapping—Camouflaged 155-mm. Gun M1917 (GPF)—Mount Arayat—Calumpit Bridges—San Fernando—The Open City—Japanese Light Tanks—Fortifications on Bataan (tank obstacles and fence)—Fortifications on Bataan (roadblock)—Bridges on Bataan (wooden bridge ready for burning)—Bridges on Bataan (remains of steel bridge)—Bridges on Bataan (foundations for temporary bridge)—Inspection—Brig. Gen. Maxon S. Lough—USAFFE Headquarters on Bataan, February 1942—Standing Formation—Medical Care on Bataan—Medical Care on Bataan—Japanese Propaganda Leaflets—Japanese Propaganda Leaflets—“Voice of Freedom”—Seeking Cover in a Trench Near Lamao—Surrender on Bataan—Surrender on Bataan—Discussing Surrender Terms—Corregidor—Malinta Hill—Diagram of Malinta Tunnel—Fort Drum—Fort Drum—Gun Emplacements on Corregidor—Gun Emplacements on Corregidor—USAFFE Headquarters in Malinta Tunnel—Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp and His Staff—Cebu—Heavy Clouds Over Corregidor—Marine Sergeant Teaching Filipinos—Life in Malinta Tunnel—Life in Malinta Tunnel—Battery Crockett—Battery Way—Japanese Bombers Over Corregidor—Searchlights on Corregidor—The Meeting of Wainwright and Homma—General Wainwright Broadcasting—American Generals in Captivity

Photographs are from the Department of Defense files, except for that on page 533, the Japanese photographs on pages 143, 233, 465, 539, 548, 568 and 573, and the photograph on page 583, reproduced through the courtesy of Col. William C. Braly.