Lingayen Gulf

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LINGAYEN GULF, situated on the northwest coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines, suffered two invasions during World War II: the first, in 1941, was by the Japanese; the second, three years later, was by the returning American forces. In December 1941, Lingayen Gulf was defended by General Douglas MacArthur's force of poorly equipped Filipinos and some American troops. Japanese victories in the initial weeks of the war denied the defenders vital air and naval support. In contrast, Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma's invasion force was well trained, adequately supplied, and supported by strong naval and air units. Homma's troops began landing before dawn on 22 December along the east shore of Lingayen Gulf. A few artillery rounds and ineffective attacks by a handful of American submarines and bombers were all the defenders could muster. Homma quickly began to drive inland. A day later, MacArthur issued the order to abandon Luzon and withdraw to Bataan.

Three years later, the situation was reversed. The Japanese force, commanded by General Tomoyuki Yamashita, was numerous and strong but lacked air and naval support. They were totally outmatched by the combined forces MacArthur had marshaled for his return to Luzon. Other than Japanese suicide planes that punished the American convoys, there was no opposition to the invasion. After a devastating pre-assault bombardment, the landing began at 9:30 a.m. on 9 January 1945 on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf. The shores of Lingayen Gulf soon became a vast supply depot to support the American drive on Manila.


Breuer, William B. Retaking the Philippines: Americans Return to Corregidor and Bataan, July 1944–March 1945. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986.

Morison, Samuel Eliot. The Liberation of the Philippines: Luzon, Mindanao, The Visayas, 1944–1945. Vol. 13, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Boston: Little, Brown, 1959.

Smith, Robert Ross. Triumph in the Philippines, United States Army in World War II. The War in the Pacific. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1963, 1991.

Stanley L.Falk/a. r.

See alsoBataan-Corregidor Campaign ; Navy, United States ; Philippines ; World War II .