- Jan 31 2023
- All Day
Nasugbu Landing / Nasugbu, Batangas
As the American forces gathered in Leyte on the first week of January 1945, Filipino guerrillas in Luzon prepared for their arrival. The Hunters ROTC Guerrillas led by Lt. Col. Terry Adevoso attacked Japanese communications and transport facilities all over Southern Luzon. With similar instructions given to all Hunters “Free Area” units in Pangasinan, Zambales, and Bataan, civilians were asked to hide all types of transport the Japanese could use to repulse Americans, including push carts and animal-drawn carriages.
In mid-January, PT boats and seaplanes came to the Hunters landing cove at Laoc, Nasugbu to pick up the latest reports on enemy shore defenses, inland dispositions, and charted soundings of Nasugbu Bay. Finally, the US Eight Army and its naval escort arrived at Nasugbu after an early morning bombardment on January 31.
Adevoso sent out Jay Vanderpool, American liaison officer to the Hunters, and Col Marcelino Bueno to link up with the flotilla. He, likewise, advised the Americans to stop firing as Filipino guerrillas had already succeeded in pushing enemy troops to the Sierra Madre, Ternate, Maragondon, and Mt. Malepunyo, days before they arrived. Later, Col. Gustavo Ingles set out to meet the landing party as pre-planned. Ingles exchanged recognition signals with the 11th Airborne Division, the assault echelon of the US Eight Army, making the contact between the Americans and the Filipinos official.
The US 11th Airborne Division commenced a paradrop landing on the shores of Nasugbu in an attempt to hold the southern Japanese occupation forces and prevent them from repositioning northward to engage the US Sixth Army in the Liberation of Manila. Expecting a 7,000-strong Japanese opposition in Nasugbu, the Allied Forces was surprised to found out that the shores were largely undefended. Col Masatoshi Fujishige instead deployed the bulk of the Fuji force in the Tagaytay Ridge where they made their defense. The generally unopposed landing at Nasugbu then meant that the Allied Forces had a strategically important location where they could land the reinforcement troops for the US Sixth Army which continued to make their way Northward.
The near flawless execution of the Nasugbu Bay landings would not be possible if not for the participation of the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas who played an important role in the operations preceeding the landings. The ROTC Guerrillas supplied the Liberation forces with crucial information needed to ensure that the amphibious forces were able to land safely.
This landing marked the beginning of the liberation of the island of Luzon from the Japanese occupation. It helped turn the tide of war as the amphibious landing of troops, and tons of military equipment and supplies established a line for the American forces to advance toward Manila from the southwest.