Liberation of Appari, Cagayan
Located at the northern tip of the island of Luzon, Aparri afforded the Allied Forces the ability to halt Japanese reinforcements coming from Taiwan through the airfield located in the town. In view of this, General Walter Krueger recognized Aparri’s importance in securing victory in northern Luzon, which served as the bastion of the biggest Japanese Army unit – the Shobu group – and considered landing in the area. Meanwhile, General Tomoyuki Yamashita ordered the 103rd Division to defend the area in preparation for any possible Allied landing in the town.
Given the task of retaking Aparri, the 37.1 Division of the I Corps, U.S. Sixth Army entered the town with only a few enemy oppositions since the combined forces of Filipino guerrillas of the 11th Infantry Division, United States Army Forces in the Philippines – Northern Luzon (USAFIP-NL), under LtCol. Donald Blackburn and several US Army units, together called as Force B and headed by Major Robert Connolly, have already infiltrated the area and waged an intense liberation campaign from June 5 to 25. On the morning of June 23, 1945, parachute and glider soldiers of the 1′ Battalion, 511th Parachute Infantry Combat Team of the U.S. Army, known as the Gypsy Force, finally made a landing in the Camalaniugan Airfield, located 50 miles south of Aparri. With the occupation of the whole of the Cagayan Valley, the campaign for the recapture of the island was effectively completed on the 27. of June 1945.