Invasion of Lingayen Gulf

The Invasion of Lingayen Gulf (Filipino: Paglusob sa Golpo ng Lingayen), 6–9 January 1945, was an Allied amphibious operation in the Philippines during World War II. In the early morning of 6 January 1945, a large Allied force commanded by Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf began approaching the shores of Lingayen. U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy warships began bombarding suspected Japanese positions along the coast of Lingayen from their position in Lingayen Gulf for three days. On 9 January, the U.S. 6th Army landed on a 20 mi (32 km) beachhead between the towns of Lingayen and San Fabian.

Invasion of Lingayen Gulf
Part of World War II, Pacific War
US warships entering Lingayen Gulf 1945.jpg
The U.S. Navy battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) leading USS Colorado (BB-45) and the cruisers USS Louisville (CA-28)to the shores of Lingayen.
Date6–9 January 1945
Location
Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines
Result Allied victory
Belligerents

 United States

 Australia

 Japan

Commanders and leaders
United States Jesse B. Oldendorf
United States Douglas MacArthur
United States Walter Krueger
Empire of Japan Tomoyuki Yamashita
Strength
United States: 875 + warships
203,608 soldiers
Australia: 1 heavy cruiser
Unknown
Casualties and losses
24 ships sunk
67 ships damaged
Unknown

BackgroundEdit

During World War II, the Lingayen Gulf proved a strategically important theater of war between American and Japanese forces. On 22 December 1941, the Japanese 14th Army—under Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma—landed on the Eastern part of the gulf at Agoo, Caba, Santiago and Bauang, where they engaged in a number of relatively minor skirmishes[1] with the defenders, which consisted of a poorly equipped contingent of predominantly American and Filipino troops, and managed to successfully invade and occupy the gulf. Following the defeat, the next day General Douglas MacArthur issued the order to retreat from Luzon and withdraw to Bataan. For the next three years, the gulf remained under Japanese occupation prior to the Lingayen Gulf Landings.

OperationsEdit

 
USS Columbia is attacked by a kamikaze off Lingayen Gulf, 6 January 1945.
 
The kamikaze aircraft hits Columbia at 17:29.

Beginning on 6 January 1945, a heavy naval and air bombardment of suspected Japanese defenses on Lingayen began. Underwater demolitions began, but found no beach obstacles, and encountered sparse opposing forces. Aircraft and naval artillery bombardment of the landing areas also occurred, with kamikazes attacking on the 7th. On the 8th, it was observed that in the town of Lingayen, as a response to the pre-landing bombardment, Filipinos had begun to form a parade, complete with United States and Philippine flags; fire was shifted away from that area.[2]

At 09:30 on 9 January 1945, about 68,000 GIs under General Walter Krueger of the U.S. 6th Army—following a devastating naval bombardment—landed at the coast of Lingayen Gulf meeting no opposition. A total of 203,608 soldiers were eventually landed over the next few days, establishing a 20 mi (32 km) beachhead, stretching from Sual, Lingayen and Dagupan (XIV Corps) to the west, and San Fabian (I Corps) to the east. The total number of troops under the command of MacArthur was reported to have even exceeded the number that Dwight D. Eisenhower controlled in Europe.[3] Within a few days, the assault forces had quickly captured the coastal towns and secured the 20-mile-long (32 km) beachhead, as well as penetrating up to five miles (8 km) inland.

Despite their success in driving out the Japanese forces stationed there, they suffered relatively heavy losses; particularly to their convoys, due to kamikaze attacks. From 4–12 January, a total of 24 ships were sunk and another 67 were damaged by kamikazes and other sources, though this number likely includes landings on Luzon, outside of Lingayen Gulf, and other Philippine Islands. Ships damaged included the battleships USS Mississippi, New Mexico and Colorado (the latter was accidentally hit by friendly fire), the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, the light cruiser USS Columbia, and the destroyers USS Long and USS Hovey.[3] Following the landings, the Lingayen Gulf was turned into a vast supply depot for the rest of the war to support the Battle of Luzon.

Naval vessels damaged at Lingayen GulfEdit

Following are the allied Naval vessels damaged and sunk by kamikaze strikes between 3-13 January, 1945 at the Battle of Lingayen Gulf. Two of the ships were not technically damaged by kamikazes, the Destroyer/Minesweepers Hovey, which was sunk by an aerial torpedo, and the Palmer which was sunk by two bombs from an enemy dive bomber. The third Destroyer/Minesweeper sunk, the Long, was sunk by a kamikaze strike. Hovey, Long, and Palmer, three of the four ships sunk, were all classified as Destroyer/Minesweepers and were relatively small craft at 314 feet in length.

The Omanney Bay, a large escort carrier, was severely damaged by a Yokosuka P1Y kamikaze carrying two bombs, and later had to be scuttled by a torpedo. Although a large variety of ship classes were hit, Destroyer/Minesweepers made up three of the four ships sunk, and may have been targeted because they were smaller, isolated while performing their sweeping duties, and by necessity in the front of the convoy, as they had to sweep for mines before the larger ships of the allied force could advance into the Gulf. The naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison noted that at least on January 6, minesweepers bore the brunt of the attack because they were isolated from other ships, and had fewer and less sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons than larger ships. By January 12, most of the ships hit were larger cargo ships supplying troops that had already landed.[4]

Nearly all the ships were American, except those designated by HMAS for ships in the British commonwealth, or SS for Liberty Ships. Those ships struck more than once have a number in parenthesis to the right of the name of the ship. An asterisk indicates a ship that was sunk. Time is in Naval military time.

Naval vessels damaged by kamikazes at Lingayen Gulf, 3-13 Jan 1945[5]
Day Time Ship Type Damage Killed Wounded
3 Jan 1945 0728 USS Cowanesque Transport Oiler Minor 2 1
3 Jan 1945 1712 *USS Ommaney Bay Escort Carrier Sunk (Scuttled) 93 65
5 Jan 1945 1651 USS Helm Destroyer Minor 0 6
5 Jan 1945 1706 USS Louisville (1) Heavy Cruiser Moderate 1 59
5 Jan 1945 1735 HMAS Australia (1) Heavy Cruiser Minor 30 46
5 Jan 1945 1735 HMAS Arunta Destroyer Minor 2 4
5 Jan 1945 1739 USS Apache Fleet Tug Minor 0 3
5 Jan 1945 1740 USS LCI-(G)-70 Small Troop Carrier Moderate 6 9
5 Jan 1945 1745 USS Manilla Bay Escort Carrier Moderate 32 56
5 Jan 1945 1750 USS Savo Island Escort Carrier Negligible 0 0
6 Jan 1945 1105 USS Alan M. Sumner Destroyer Extensive 14 29
6 Jan 1945 1145 USS Richard P. Leary Destroyer Minor 0 1
6 Jan 1945 1159 USS New Mexico Battleship Minor 30 87
6 Jan 1945 1201 USS Walke Destroyer Escort Extensive 13 34
6 Jan 1945 1215 *USS Long Destroyer/Minesweeper Sunk 1 35
6 Jan 1945 1252 USS Brooks Destroyer Transport Extensive 3 11
6 Jan 1945 1424 USS Columbia Light Cruiser Minor 0 1
6 Jan 1945 1427 USS O'Brien Destroyer Moderate 0 0
6 Jan 1945 1437 USS Minneapolis Heavy Cruiser Minor 0 2
6 Jan 1945 1545 USS Orca Oiler Transport Minor 0 4
6 Jan 1945 1720 USS California Battleship Minor 45 151
6 Jan 1945 1720 USS Newcomb Destroyer Minor 2 15
6 Jan 1945 1729 USS Columbia (2) Light Cruiser Extensive 13 44
6 Jan 1945 1730 USS Louisville (2) Heavy Cruiser Extensive 32 56
6 Jan 1945 1732 USS Southard Destroyer/Minesweeper Moderate 0 6
6 Jan 1945 1734 HMAS Australia (2) Heavy Cruiser Serious 14 26
7 Jan 1945 0430 *USS Hovey Destroyer/Minesweeper Sunk 46 3
7 Jan 1945 1835 *USS Palmer Destroyer/Minesweeper Sunk 28 38
8 Jan 1945 0545 USS LST-912 Tank Landing Ship Minor 4 3
8 Jan 1945 0720 HMAS Australia (3) Heavy Cruiser Minor 0 0
8 Jan 1945 0739 HMAS Australia (4) Heavy Cruiser Extensive 0 0
8 Jan 1945 0751 USS Kadashan Bay Escort Carrier Serious 0 3
8 Jan 1945 0755 USS Callaway Large Attack Transport Minor 29 22
8 Jan 1945 1857 USS Kitkun Bay Escort Carrier Extensive 17 36
8 Jan 1945 1903 HMAS Westralia Large Troop Carrier Minor 0 0
9 Jan 1945 0700 USS Hodges Destroyer Escort Minor 0 0
9 Jan 1945 0745 USS Columbia (3) Light Cruiser Serious 24 68
9 Jan 1945 1302 USS Mississippi Battleship Minor 23 63
9 Jan 1945 1311 HMAS Australia (5) Heavy Cruiser Minor 0 0
10 Jan 1945 1710 USS Le Ray Wilson Destroyer Escort Extensive 6 7
10 Jan 1945 1915 USS Du Page Large Attack Transport Minor 32 157
12 Jan 1945 1658 USS Gilligan Destroyer Escort Extensive 12 13
12 Jan 1945 1727 USS Richard W. Suesens Destroyer Escort Slight 0 11
12 Jan 1945 753 USS Belknap Destroyer Transport Extensive 38 49
12 Jan 1945 1815 USS LST-700 (1) Tank Landing Ship Extensive 0 6
12 Jan 1945 1250 SS Otis Skinner Liberty Ship Cargo Extensive 0 0
12 Jan 1945 1830 SS Kyle V. Johnson Liberty Ship Cargo Extensive 129 0
12 Jan 1945 1830 USS LST-778 Tank Landing Ship None 0 0
12 Jan 1945 1830 SS David Dudley Field Liberty Ship, Cargo Minor 0 0
12 Jan 1945 1830 SS Edward N. Wescott Liberty Ship, Cargo Substantial 0 13
13 Jan 1945 1810 USS LST-700 (2) Tank Landing Ship Extensive 2 2
13 Jan 1945 1821 USS Zeilin Large Attack Transport Extensive 8 32
13 Jan 1945 858 USS Salamaua Escort Carrier Extensive 15 88

CommemorationEdit

On 9 January 2008, Gov. Amado Espino, Jr. and Vice Gov. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas of Pangasinan institutionalized the commemoration to honor the war veterans. The resolution named 9 January as Pangasinan Veterans' Day. In the 63rd anniversary commemoration of the Lingayen Gulf Landing, President Fidel Ramos appealed to U.S. President George W. Bush for 24,000 surviving war veterans, to pass two legislative bills pending since 1968 at the US House of Representatives — the Filipino Veterans' Equity Act of 2006 and the Filipino Veterans' Equity of 2005 sponsored by former Senator Daniel Inouye.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Encyclopedia of American History
  2. ^ Smith, Robert Ross (1993). Triumph in the Philippines (PDF). Washington, D.C.: United States Army. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-1-4102-2495-8. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b Pacific wrecks – Lingayan Gulf
  4. ^ Morison, Samuel, Eliot, The Liberation of the Philippines, Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, 1944-45, (Copyright 1959), published in 2001, Castle Books, Edison, New Jersey, pgs. 109, 113
  5. ^ All information is public domain from United States Navy, but table format and structure is borrowed from Morison, Samuel, Eliot, The Liberation of the Philippines, Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, 1944-45, (Copyright 1959), published in 2001, Castle Books, Edison, New Jersey, Appendix IV pgs. 325-26
  6. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, 63rd anniversary of Lingayen Gulf Landing commemorated