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The Battle of Luzon (Tagalog: Labanan sa Luzon; Japanese: ルソン島の戦い) was a land battle of the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II by the Allied forces of the U.S., its colony the Philippines, and allies against forces of the Empire of Japan. The battle resulted in a U.S. and Filipino victory. The Allies had taken control of all strategically and economically important locations of Luzon by March 1945, although pockets of Japanese resistance held out in the mountains until the unconditional surrender of Japan. While not the highest in U.S. casualties, it is the highest net casualty battle U.S. forces fought in World War II, with 192,000 to 217,000 Japanese combatants dead (mostly from starvation and disease), 8,000 American combatants killed, and over 150,000 Filipinos, overwhelmingly civilians who were murdered by Japanese forces, mainly during the Manila massacre of February, 1945.

The assault on Luzon was launched, as planned, on 9 January 1945, codenamed S-day. The Japanese forces reported more than 70 Allied warships entering the Lingayen Gulf, though the total Allied invasion force involved that month would equal close to 800 ships. Pre-assault bombardment of Japanese shore positions from roughly 70 battleships and cruisers began at 7:00. The landings were commenced an hour later. The landing forces faced strong opposition from Japanese kamikaze aircraft. The escort carrier Ommaney Bay was destroyed by a kamikaze attack, with a total of around 47 ships damaged, and four sunk, from January 3-13, primarily by kamikazes. Aircraft from the 3rd Fleet assisted the landings with close air support, strafing and bombing Japanese gun positions.

The landings at the Lingayen Gulf on 9 January were carried out by the 6th Army under the command of General Walter Krueger. Approximately 175,000 troops from the 6th Army landed along the 20-mile beachhead within a few days, while the I Corps protected their flanks. XIV Corps under General Oscar Griswold then advanced south toward Manila, despite Krueger's concerns that his eastern flank was unprotected and vulnerable if the Japanese forces attacked. However, no such attack occurred, and the U.S. forces did not meet much resistance until they reached the Clark Air Base on 23 January. The battle there lasted until the end of January, and after capturing the base, XIV Corps advanced toward Manila.

A second amphibious landing took place on 15 January, 45 mi southwest of Manila. On 31 January, two regiments of the 11th Airborne Division made an airborne assault, capturing a bridge, and later advanced toward Manila. On 3 February, the 1st Cavalry Division captured the bridge across Tullahan River leading to the city. They advanced into the city that evening, and the battle for the capture of Manila began. On 4 February, the paratroopers of the 11th Airborne—approaching the city from the south—came to the main Japanese defenses south of the city of Manila where their advance was halted by heavy resistance. General Yamashita had ordered his troops to destroy all bridges and other vital installations as soon as the U.S. forces entered the city, and Japanese forces entrenched throughout the city continued to resist U.S. forces. General MacArthur announced the imminent recapture of Manila on the same day. On 11 February, the 11th Airborne Division captured the last Japanese outer defenses, thus encircling the whole city. U.S. and Filipino forces carried out clearing operations in the city in the following weeks. Military casualties totaled 1,010 Americans, 3,079 Filipinos and 12,000 Japanese.


Theatre and ground force commanders for the liberation of the Philippines

Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger
Allied Forces, Southwest Pacific Area General Douglas MacArthur

US Sixth Army patch.svg US Sixth Army (193,901 officers and enlisted) Lieutenant General Walter Krueger

Western Landing Area (Lingayen):

XIV Army Corps (Maj. Gen. Oscar W. Griswold) 37th Infantry ("Buckeye") Division (Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler) 40th Infantry ("Sunshine") Division (Maj. Gen. I. Rapp Brush) Eastern Landing Area (San Fabian):

I Army Corps (Maj. Gen. Innis P. Swift) 43rd Infantry ("Winged Victory") Division (Maj. Gen. Leonard F. Wing) 6th Infantry ("Red Star") Division (Maj. Gen. Edwin D. Patrick)


Lt. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita
Fourteenth Area Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita[c]

Northern Luzon:

Shobu Group (Gen. Yamashita) approx. 152,000 officers and enlisted Central Luzon:

Kembu Group (Lieut. Gen. Rikichi Tsukada) approx. 30,000 officers and enlisted Southern Luzon:

Shimbu Group (Lieut. Gen. Shizuo Yokoyama) approx. 80,000 officers and enlisted