Liberation of Sablan, Benguet
Liberation of Sablan, Benguet / Sablan, Benguet
General Krueger requested GHQ SWPA to deploy the 37th Division in Manila on their push towards Baguio. In order to operate the plan, the 37th Division secured route 9 while the I Corps launched successive attacks over their archrival Japanese troops. Hence, the small yet decisive encounter of 129 RCT on April 9 over the Japanese main line resistance position at Salat. As the first line of defense in Salat was outmaneuvered, the 37th Division thoroughly drove a mile a way heading towards Sablan, Benguet where they were welcomed with artillery and tank fires.
Units of the US 37th Division began to move towards Sablan where the Main Line of Resistance (MLR) of the 58th Independent Mixed Brigade under Major General Bunzo Sato was located. Supporting the general offense of the US 37th Division is the US 33rd Division coming from the south on three approaches with the bulk of its forces in Galiano road. The 129th Regimental Combat Team led the assault to Sablan with support from the 136th Field Artillery Battalion and two battalions of the 66th Infantry Regiment, USAFIP-NL. The Battle of Sablan was marked by extreme close artillery and medium tank fire support with the 148th Infantry taking over the fighting on 14 April. The Allied forces were able to capture ammunition and supply of the 19th Division which they were unable to evacuate to their inner defenses. These would prove costly to the Japanese in the later phase of their defense.