May 25 2023


All Day

Liberation of Bohol

The 164th Regimental Combat Team, which was en route to Cebu from Leyte, was ordered to divert a battalion to accomplish the mission of destroying all hostile forces in Bohol and Panglao Islands. Since guerrilla reports indicated that the enemy garrison in the coastal areas had withdrawn to the hills, little or no opposition to the landing was expected. Liberation of the neighboring provinces of Leyte and Cebu took several days of fierce fighting both land and air assaults by the American Liberation Forces. However, the liberators of Bohol landed without firing even a single shot. There was no beach shelling and assault that usually precede a landing in a hostile area.

The landing was made on 11 April at Tagbiliran on the southwestern tip of Bohol Island. A co- ordinated attack was launched on 17 April against the Japanese in the hilly interior. Despite desperate resistance and attempted counterattacks, the objectives were seized. Some of the enemy forces retreated northward, where subsequent pursuit destroyed the bulk of their strength. By the end of the month, only ineffective delaying action was encountered, and the Liberation of Bohol battalion forces were withdrawn by 7 May. Final reduction of the enemy stragglers was left to the Filipino guerrillas, assisted by a detachment of 50 Americans.

Special unit of guerilla soldiers under the American Division was organized to guide and perform reconnaissance work for the American troops while operating against the Japanese stragglers. The American clearing operation and the Special Unit of the Bohol Area Command encountered skirmishes with the Japanese stragglers in the mountains of Valencia and Mayana, Jagna. It was said that it cost few American lives and most of the enemies were killed and captured. The negligible few of the remaining Japanese stragglers were entrusted to the hands of the Bohol Area Command. May 25 of every year was declared as the anniversary of the Liberation of Bohol.