Liberation of Kibungan and Tublay, Benguet
Liberation of Kibungan and Tublay, Benguet / Kibungan and Tublay, Benguet
The Sixth Army launched a series of attacks against the heavy resistance of the Japanese forces. Because of the enemies’ numbers, it became evident that the Sixth Army would need additional forces to retake the area. While the Battle of Bessang Pass rages, forward units of the 66th infantry and US 33rd Division attacked the garrison defenses held by the elements of the Japanese 19th Division. The Japanese Main Line of Resistance (MLR) was attacked by 66th Infantry Regiment under Major Dennis Molintas and was supported by forward units of 33rd and 37th US Division. The plan required the guerrilla forces, who were already operating in the San Fernando area only few miles north of Kibungan and Tublay, to secure the division’s northern flank. The capture of the Kibungan and Tublay hampered the supply line of the Japanese defending the northern apex of the Shobu line defense which led to the eventual capture of Bessang Pass and the advance of the rest of the 66th Infantry in the North after the Lepanto-Mankayan operations. Together with the Igorot guerrillas, the Allied Forces battled it out with the Japanese invaders along their main line of defense. The Allied Forces were able to defeat the Japanese, leading to the liberation of Kibungan and Tublay on May 17, 1945.