Menu

Date

Jul 17 2023

Time

All Day

Liberation of Bokod, Benguet

In the early days of the Japanese occupation, the town of Bokod, Benguet served as a passageway to the entrapped USAFFE units in North Luzon heading northward to Aritao. The town is also where Captain Parker Calvert, head of 43rd Infantry, was forced to concede by Major Giiter who already surrendered to the Japanese Forces.  The town is perceived to be the haven of the induction and organization of the 12th Infantry Regiment under the auspices of Col. Martin Moses. After the capture of Col. Moses by the Japanese in Lubuagan, Kalinga, the 12th Infantry and the 43rd Infantry were later incorporated to form the 66th Infantry Regiment under Major Russell Volckman.

During the advent of the liberation campaign in the province of Benguet, the American Forces delivered food supplies and ammunition during their landing in Lingayen Gulf on 9 January 1945. As the Shobu group of the Japanese Imperial Army boasted a strong resistance and strategic position, the Sixth Army needed additional forces to retake the area. The Japanese Main Line of Resistance (MLR) was then attacked by the 66th Infantry Regiment with the support of the 32nd Division and 37th Division of the US Army. The troops of the 66th Infantry Regiment, USAFIP-NL, led by Bokod native Major Dennis Molintas, supervised the evacuation of civilians crossing the Agno River before joining the 37th Division of the US Army in KM 52 (now Halsema Highway). On 17 July 1945, the town of Bokod was finally liberated from Japanese control.

 

Sources:

Volckman, Russel. “Volckman History, HQ USAFIP North Luzon Camp Spencer”, Box 258, Entry 1094. Philippine Archives Collection.

Catajan, Maria. “Bokod sets July 17 as Liberation Day”. Sunstar.com.ph. Accessed 30 June 2021. https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/20107/Business/Bokod-sets-July-17-as-Liberation-Day

Pobre, Cesar. “Victory in Northern Luzon”. Quezon City: Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, 2010.

Salazar, Generoso, et. al. “World War II in the Philippines: Batanes and North Luzon”. Manila: VFP, 1994.

Empian, Ofelia. “Bokod marks July 17 as liberation day to honor town’s forefathers”. Accessed 30 June 2021. http://baguiomidlandcourier.com.ph/life.asp?mode=%20archives/2015/july/7-5-2015/life3-Bokod-marks-July-17-as-liberation-day.txt.

[1] Volckman, Russel. “Volckman History, HQ USAFIP North Luzon Camp Spencer”, Box 258, Entry 1094. pp.4.

[2] Ibid, pp. 8.

[3] Catajan, Maria. “Bokod sets July 17 as Liberation Day”. Sunstar.com.ph. Accessed 30 June 2021. https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/20107/Business/Bokod-sets-July-17-as-Liberation-Day

[4] Volckman, pp. 10