WWII Philippines Photo Essay

Dheera Dammanna 5th Period

25th Infantry Division Invasion

While the 25th Infantry Division was invading the Philippines, men were also getting supplies onto the beach, replenishing worn and tired men who fought hard in the uncomfortable weather. The soldiers arrived in New Caledonia for specialized intensive training and departed for the invasion of Luzon after they were ready. The mobility is conveyed in this picture. Troops were easily maneuvered, but often tired and lost the edge they could've fought with after waiting dormant for extended periods of time. Moreover, there was no equipment or means of staying in shape in case of an attack for these men given the paltry conditions in which they operated their bases in a new and faraway country.

My War History Photo. "James H LeMaster." 2011. http://www.mywarhistory.com/browse/printPreview.aspx?serviceHeroId=55

American Prisoners

This picture depicts improvised litters used to carry those of their comrades who, from the lack of food or water on the march from Bataan, fell along the road. The American involvement was short-lived but pervasive and powerful. General Douglas MacArthur was keen on maintaining order and protecting civilians, which was quite difficult given the American army's condition in the hot Filipino sun with limited training and the ruthless civilian-massacres the Japanese instigated many-a-time against the city Manila, which was supposed to remain a protected safe city, untouched to preserve at least on part of the Philippines. Unfortunately, and as confirmed by this photon, it is not always possible to win every battle, and the Americans who lived through this saw the horrors of war as they were lead away from the fighting.

Archive Pictures of WWII "American Prisoners" May 1942. http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/photos/

Army Nurses


These army nurses called themselves the Battling Belles of Bataan, and later seen under a collective legacy of angels. The Angels of Bataan and Corregidornwere a group of 88 Army and 12 Navy nurses. They were stationed in the Philippines in December of 1941, but they hadn't received any official military or survival training. They only advantage to serving the Philippines was rank and money. While Filipino women did not participate notably during the war, American women did. The condition of women and children of Filipino descent was harsh, and it was often very difficult to survive, much less thrive, under such oppressive and unstable situations. However, for the first time for women in general, army nurses were given a rank of measure equal to that of a man's, which in this case second lieutenants.


Elizabeth M. Collins "Soldieres: The offical U.S. Army Magazine." http://soldiers.dodlive.mil/2012/03/the-angels-of-bataan/

Dense Forests

The environment in which the Filipino Army, American Army, and Japanese Army fought was harsh and thick. Dense forests prevented fluid mobility of troops and even less efficient communication between men in far-away parties. Even for communication between opposing parties, it was difficult for anyone to have the same reception as another given the instability of the situation and environment and weather exacerbating circumstances. The home front was not a friendly place to fight in even with the guerrilla rebels granted the limited supplies and food/water allocations they had to replenish energy when needed.

My War History Photo. "James H LeMaster." 2011. http://www.mywarhistory.com/browse/printPreview.aspx?serviceHeroId=55

Filipino Boy and Doctor

In this photo, an American doctor is examining the arm of a Filipino boy in 1945. Even though the Philippines was free and had the liberty to travel freely to attend to its people, communication and transportation systems were poorly crafted and moreover, there was no one there to maintain them even in their paltry state. As a result of Japanese civilian intrusion, a large number of civilian casualties left interim authorities confused and preferring to avoid the situation and leave it to the new elected officials and administration.

Aluit, Alfonso J. By Sword And Fire The Destruction Of Manila In World War II, 3 February - 3 March 1945 (Bookmark Inc, 1994), 468p.

Filipino Girl Rescue

A civilian girl in Manila is rescued by an American solider under orders from General MacArthur. After Japanese Marines defied General Yamashita's orders and ruthlessly attacked Manila civilians, General MacArthur and his men managed to force some to surrender and slowly evicted the rest of the Japanese building by building. Had the General not refused to bomb, the Japanese Marines would've left Manila much faster. The nature of combat for this reason in the Philippines was devastatingly ugly. The home front saw the majority of bloodshed firsthand, or worse yet, had to live it. This situation conveys the few sad times a country is unable to protect its people from harm because the people are the crux of conflict.

MacArthur Memorial. "Liberation of the Philippines: Luzon (1945)." Historical Boys' Clothing. 01 Feb 2010. http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/camp/pac/phil/lib-luz.html

General MacArthur

General Douglas MacArthur and his men are wading onto the shore of Leyte in the Philippines in order to aid the quickly dissolving Filipino Army. General MacArthur's primary goals are to avoid civilian-integrating combat, which means avoiding weapons of large-scale such as bombs. While he doesn't have a strong army of his own to give confidently to the men of the Philippines, he does give his support, leaving the Japanese already scared that the Americans at all. Smaller sized fleets landed on the island of Mindoro around the Lingayen Gulf, which borders west Luzon, to initiate movement into Manila. As a result, guerrilla forces slowly rose and joined MacArthur, even if they weren't properly trained and effectively had varied objectives they fought for.

"Gen. Douglas MacArthur wades ashore during initial landings at Leyte, P.I." Archive Pictures of WWII. October 1944. http://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww2/photos/

Higgins Boat off Luzon

An invasion through the middle of the beach to Northern Luzon lead through a valley that required scaling cargo nets into Higgins boats. This picture depicts these Higgins boats which dropped them right at the beach while avoiding being fired at by the Japanese. The soldiers were quite accustomed to such fire and were even more acquainted with doing so while in the Pacific Ocean as well. The biggest problem faced by many of these men was artillery from a distance, which could not be protected against and many-a-time did not have the same paranoia-free association to accompany it. Many soldiers engaged in such combat (at least, American soldiers) off of Luzon right before the 25 Infantry Invasion in Leyte.

My War History Photo. "James H LeMaster."
2011. http://www.mywarhistory.com/browse/printPreview.aspx?serviceHeroId=55

Japanese Propaganda

After Pearl Harbor, military leaders in Japan turned their eyes towards the Philippines, an easy target that had plenty for them to gain from. Moreover, it was potential American territory, and snuffing the Americans in the process was all the better to them. The means through which the Japanese government aimed to manipulate the Philippines was through clever propaganda that was omnipresent to the point that it seemed as if though the posters had always been there. This particular piece tries to manipulate the relationship between the Philippines and the United States by making false, distorted, and exaggerated allegations. It features death of Filipinos who are addressed like friends at the hands of the brutal Americans. This propaganda reflects the urgency with which Japan wanted control of the Philippines as well.

USNA Digital Collections. "World War II- Japanese Propaganda in the Philippines." http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16099coll3

Japanese Camps

Civilians in captivity were seldom treated fairly because they were put into internment camps, which the Japanese created all over the world after their initial victory over the Western Allies in December of 1941 to their surrender in August 1945. These camps existed in, but not limited to "Japan, Korea, Manchuria, China, French-Indo-China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Republic of the Philippines, Burma, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, West Borneo, East Bornea, and Celebes." They held men, women, chilren, and the elderly, and often the sick and ill were mixed in with everyone to increase efficiency in containing these people. This photo depicts that sad state of one such occurrence in the Philippines.

Imperial War Museum. "The Japanese arrive on Singapore island in February 1942."
http://singingtosurvive.com/history-of-far-east-captivity/

Philippine Scouts

As leader of the Filipino Scouts, General Douglas MacArthur's task was to move his men and their supplies to defensive positions. General Wainwright, a partner general, was to lead the North Luzon Force, which held back the main Japanese attack. He was also to keep the road to Bataan wide open so that the South Luzon Force may enter. The means of executing this are seen in the picture: Wainwright must send his forces in a series of defensive lines to withdraw quickly, efficiently, and safely to Bataan. Despite the Japanese army's lack of imagination or offense to this defensive was to heighten the feeling of stress and disturbance to the American and Filipino people by elevating stakes at which both sides fought. Had the Japanese simply thought of air strikes, this problem would never have evolved into implicating things far different from what they were asking.

DA
photograph. "Members of the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts move into Pangasinan Province, Luzon." 03 Oct 2003. http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/pi/PI.htm

Ramon Magsaysay

The seventh President of the Republic of the Phlippines after the end of Guerrilla warfare and the surrender of Japanese forces at the hands of the Anti-Japanese Army, Ramon Magsaysay was appointed initially to military governor after his "outstanding service as a guerrilla leader" during the Pacific War. He is the first Filipino president after a long period of fighting and contention in the Philippines. His administration was considered to be the most scrupulous and corruption-free of the century, and because of manner of leading, the Philippines was able to secure stability after such brutal and tragic warfare which killed more than 1 million of its people. This picture was taken around his inauguration time, when he had not yet introduced drastic domestic policy changes. On this day, he is known for opening the gates of Malacanan Palace to allow free visit of the presidential mansion. After, this opportunity was allowed to weekly visitation.

Magsaysay gained his name from being appointed as assistant to Luis Taruc, leader of the rebel group Hkbalahap. After he built his loyalty to the cause, he rose up the unofficial ranks.

MedLibrary Photo. "Ramon Magsaysay." http://medlibrary.org/medwiki/Ramon_Magsaysayhttp://medlibrary.org/medwiki/Ramon_Magsaysay