as formally delivered by O. W. Griswold

Lieutenant General, U.S. Army



The general mission assigned the XIV Corps in the M-l OPERATION was to move overwater to LUZON, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, make an amphibious assault and seize beacheads in the LINGAYEN area, LUZON, and destroy hostile forces encountered. Thereafter the XIV Corps participated in the continued offensive overland to seize the CENTRAL PLAINS-MANILA area, complete the destruction of hostile forces, and accomplish the occupation of LUZON.

This series takes up the report of the approach to Manila


The advance to Manila, and the initiation of the battle therefor, began on 30 January 1945 when Field Order No. 46, Headquarters Sixth Army, was issued. This order directed the XIV CORPS to push aggressively Southward, secure crossing over the PAMPANGA RIVER within the Corps zone of action, and seize the line MALOLOS -SIBUL SPRINGS-CABANATUAN. The boundary between the XIV and I Corps was along the line DAGUPAN -SAN CARLOS -MALASIQUI -CARMEN -NAMIPCHAN -VICTORIA (all inclusive to the XIV CORPS), then LICAB -PlNAGPANAAN -CABU -TAMAIA (all inclusive to I Corps).

 (See Sketch No. 16). The boundary between the XI Corps, which landed West of SUBIC BAY on 29 January, and the XIV CORPS ran from PORAC· on the West coast through DINALUPIHAN to ORANI. This order also gave to the XIV CORPS the 1st Cavalry Division reinforced (less the 112th RCT) , which had landed on LUZON January 27th and was in assembly area near GUIMBA . This Division was to be attached to the Corps at 2400, 31 January. On the 31st day of January the XIV CORPS issued its Field Order No.4, which directed that the 40th Infantry Division with the 129th RCT attached would continue aggressive action against the RAN FORCE in the STOTSENBURG area, while the 37th Division (less the 129th ·RCT) and the 1st Cavalry Division, both within their respective zones of action, would advance toward MANILA and seize the line HAGANOY -MALOLOS -SIBUL SPRINGS – CABANATUAN (See Sketch No. 15). The 37th Infantry Division and the 1st Cavalry Division were to maintain contact with each other at ARAYAT and PLARIDEL, and be prepared for prompt advance Southward on Corps order. The 37th Division was to maintain contact with the 40th Division in the vicinity of GUAGUA. The boundary between the 37th and 40th Divisions ran from ANGELES to PORAC, thence to GUAGUA and along-the GUAGUA RIVER to MANILA BAY. The boundary between the 37th Division and 1st Cavalry Division ran South from SAN LUIS to CALUMPIT, thence East to PLARIDEL, thence South through BOCAUE and NOVALICHES to BALINTAWAK.

At the time of issue of Field Order No.4, forces of the XIV CORPS were holding the line MAGALANG - ANGELES - FT STOTSENBURG -CLARK FIELD, with elements of the 37th and 40th Divisions at 1800, 31 January disposed as follows: in the zone of the 37th Division the 148th Infantry had its 1st Battalion holding the line ANGELES -MAGALANG, and the 2d and 3d Battalions in the vicinity of CALUMPIT; the 145th Infantry had its 1st Battalion holding a position 2,500 yards South of SAPANGBATO (See Sketch No. 13) , and its 2d Battalion in division reserve at ANGELES. The 3d Battalion 145th Infantry was attached to the 129th RCT. The 3d Battalion was to be relieved from attachment to the 129th at 2400, 31 January and move to assembly area at ANGELES at 0300, February 1st. The 129th Infantry with the 3d Battalion l45th attached was holding a North -South line 1,000 yards West of SAPANGBATO. In the zone of the 40th Division the 160th RCT and the 108th RCT, in order from South to North, were holding the enemy West of Highway 3, and the ,185th RCT was securing the line of communications from BAMBAN North to LINGAYEN GULF. The 1st Cavalry Division was in assembly area at GUIMBA and would come under the control of the XIV CORPS at midnight  31 January.

With each increasing mile of advance from LINGAYEN, the flanks and supply line of the XIV CORPS had increased without a corresponding increment in personnel. At the time of the battle at FORT STOTSENBURG the 40th Division was holding a line extending from PORT SUAL to CLARK FIELD, a distance of 77 miles, and the 37th Division was extended for 47 miles along a line from ANGELES to MAGALANG and LA PAZ to VICTORIA, where contact was made with elements of I Corps. The thinly-held line of the 40th Division offered the enemy excellent opportunity to attack from the West against our main supply route. The dispositions of the enemy indicated that the greatest possibility for such an attack occurring lay in the FORT STOTSENBURG area, and it was logical to presume that the enemy would launch a strong counterattack at that point to sever our line of communication to LINGAYEN. It was this reasoning that formulated the plan for the 40th Division to contain the RAN FORCE, as comprehended in the Field Order. On the Corps East flank, the enemy threat from the area CABANATUAN - SAN JOSE had been ever present. Although reconnaissance elements of the 37th Division had scouted Eastward to CABANATUAN and had made no contact with sizeable enemy forces, intelligence advised that large enemy concentrations existed in the area, and included therein were armored troops. The 6th Division had pushed reconnaissance elements as far South as VICTORIA. The 1st Cavalry Division, coming under Corps control at midnight and moving Southward in the Eastern part of the Corps zone of action, would relieve concern by the 37th Division for the exposed portion of that division's flank from VICTORIA to PLARIDEL. However, the Cavalry Division in turn would need give serious consideration to the safety of its own East flank. Consequently the Corps order directed that the 1st Cavalry Division would protect the East flank of the Corps and conduct "vigorous reconnaissance to the East". As the Division moved Southward, it left rear elements strung along the route of advance. Sketch No. 17 shows the flank protection of the Corps from 2 February to 10 February.

The 1st Cavalry Division at one minute past midnight, January 31 - February 1, started its movement toward MANILA with two squadrons abreast. The 2d Squadron of the 5th Cavalry was on the West; the 2d Squadron 8th Cavalry on the East. By 0645 1 February, the 2d Squadron 5th Cavalry had secured the crossings of the PAMPANGA RIVER in the vicinity of General Luna Bridge. By 1800 on the 1st of February the Division was disposed as follow's: the 12th Cavalry in assembly area in the vicinity of PINAGPANAAN; the 7th Cavalry at CINCO CINCO with one squadron designated as Division reserve and another squadron as Corps reserve; the 1st Squadron of the 5th Cavalry was at CABANATUAN, and the 2d Squadron held the General Luna Bridge; the 8th Cavalry was stationed at CABANATUAN.

For detailed study see Sketch No. 16 1:500,000 (in map supplement). Thus the troops of the 1st Cavalry Division were disposed to meet a threat threat from the East as they continued toward the South. Throughout the night of 1st - 2d February, elements of the Cavalry Division continued to push Southward and at 1100 on the 2d, contact was made with the 37th Division in the vicinity of PLARIDEL. The 1st Battalion of the 148th Infantry was still engaged in a fire fight at PLhRIDEL when contact was made, and it was not possible for elements of the 1st Cavalry Division to cross the ANGAT RIVER at that point. However, a ford was found East of PLARIDEL which permitted the Cavalry to move on to the South. By 1800, 2d February, the 5th Cavalry had the 2d Squadron at ANGAT and the 1st Squadron at BALIUAG. The 12th Cavalry was still at CABANATUAN; the 7th Cavalry was at SLNTA ROSA and CABANATUAN; and the 8th Cavalry had its 1st Squadron at BALIUAG and its 2d Squadron at SANTOL.

During the night 31 January - 1 February, the 37th Division moved the l48th Infantry to the South, and by nightfall the 3d Battalion was in the vicinity of SAN FERNliNDO and the 2d Battalion was at CALUMPIT. The 1st Battalion was en route from SAN FERNANDO to PLARIDEL where it was stopped by an enemy road block 1,000 yards North of the town. This road block resisted throughout the night, but at daybreak on the 2d, of February the Battalion left a containing force at the block, bypassed the enemy resistance, and pushed into town. By this encircling movement the Battalion at 1545 secured PLARIDEL and the crossing of the ANGAT RIVER. On the same day the 2d Battalion moved South from CALUMPIT and, after an encounter with the enemy at MOJON, entered MALOLOS at 1730. The 3d Battalion of the 148th Infantry followed the 2d Battalion down Highway 3 and stopped at CALUMPIT for the night of February 2d. The 145th Infantry began its advance Southward from ANGELES at 0630 on 1 February, the objective being to gain the line HAGANOY -MALOLOS. The 3d Battalion crossed the PAMPANGA RIVER at CALUMPIT and, moving South on the CALUMPIT - HAGANOY road, had one company in BULACAN by 1800, 2 February. The 2d Battalion of the 145th remained in its assembly area 1,500 yards North of CALUMPIT on 2d February. The lst Battalion, which was at ANGELES on the 31st of January, moved to SAN FERNANDO on 1 February, and thence to SAN JUAN the next day as Division reserve. The 129th Infantry, which had attached to the 40th Infantry Division, was released to the 37th Division at 1200, 2 February, and by 1800 the Regiment was assembled in the vicinity of CULAYO.

Thus by 1800, 2 February, the XIV CORPS had secured the line HAGANOY -MALOLOS - SIBUL SPRINGS - CABANATUAN, in compliance with Army Field Order No. 46. On this date the Sixth Army issued Field Order No. 47 directing the XIV CORPS to capture MANlLA and secure the line CAVITE - TAGIG - TAYTAY - ANTIPOLO - MONTALBAN.




The significance of Sketch 16 is that it contains the times of arrival at the respective objectives.




Sketch 13 - Bamban - Fort Stotsenburg
24 Jan - 21 February, 1945













Flashback to 27 December 1941 when, despite Manila having been declared an Open City, the Japanese set out to cower the Filipinos by bombing Intramuros, which was of no military value. This image, probably taken from City Hall’s tower, shows San Juan de Dios Chapel is clearly visible; in the background is the ruined facade of Santo Domingo Church.





1945 View looking south down Quezon Avenue, across the Pasig River. The cartwheel-like group of buildings near to camera is Bilibid Prison. Although Gen. MacArthur forbade bombing of the city proper during the Battle, the docks, port area and shipping had always been a target.

 The result of extensive fires north of the Pasig can be seen.

The remnants of Iwaguchi's northern force undertook extensive destruction of military supplies and facilities in the north port area and the neighboring San Nicholas and Binondo districts, then withdrew across the Pasig and destroyed the bridges across the river.  Unfortunately a strong wind had fanned the flames of the burning port facilities in a northerly direction, and the conflagration spread into the flimsy dwellings of the heavily populated lower-class Tondo district.  (D. Clayton James.)