on this day attachment

The Liberation of the Santo Tomas Internment Camp (STIC) was part of the Luzon campaign which, at that time, was the most important plan for the liberation of the Philippines. This was led by the “flying column”, a selected group of men taken from the 5th Cavalry (1st Brigade) and 8th Cavalry (2nd Brigade) under the First Cavalry Division, XIV Corps of the veteran Sixth Army under the command of General (then Lieutenant General) Walter Krueger. The 8th Cavalry was assigned to liberate Santo Tomas while the 5th Cavalry hastily made their way to Malacañang Palace. The men from the flying column were supported by guerrilla units such as the Manila Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB), who provided invaluable information on Japanese defensive installations that may slow down the rapid advance of the American columns aimed to surprise the Japanese defenders in Manila. 

The group assigned to liberate Santo Tomas was led by two guerrillas: Captain Manuel Colayco and Lieutenant Diosdado Guytingco. Colayco, a veteran of the Defense of Bataan in 1941 under the Philippine Army’s 1st Regular Division and a survivor of the infamous Bataan Death March, led the column that was assigned to liberate the internment camp. The group was later ambushed at the Padre Gomez Elementary School, and the convoy detoured towards the camp to avoid being pinned down by the Japanese garrison in the area. Colayco and Guytingco guided the group to the camp and was able to avoid mined areas that could have delayed them from their objectives. The group arrived outside the campus at night with the column resting before entering the camp. A grenade came over the fence and hit Colonel Conner and Captain Colayco, with the latter mortally wounded after being hit in mid-body. 

After the encounter, the camp entrance was forced by the famous tank, “Battling Basic”. The Japanese guards took men hostages in the Education building (now the hospital) to negotiate for a safe passage. After two days of coordination, their request was granted. 

The “flying column” mirrors the quick response of liberating internees in various camps in Luzon such as in Los Baños and Cabanatuan. The Liberation of Santo Tomas Interment Camp saved 3,785 civilian internees from their three years of imprisonment during the war. 

SEPTEMBER 9, 1945  VICTORY DAY IN NEGROS ISLAND

SEPTEMBER 3, 1945  FORMAL SURRENDER OF JAPANESE FORCES IN BAGUIO CITY

SEPTEMBER 2, 1945 SURRENDER OF GENERAL YAMASHITA IN KIANGAN, IFUGAO

AUGUST 15, 1945 LIBERATION OF BENGUET

AUGUST 4, 1945 LIBERATION OF ATOK, BENGUET

JULY 27, 1945 LIBERATION OF MANKAYAN, BENGUET

JULY 26, 1945 LIBERATION OF NATONIN, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE 

JULY 19, 1945 LIBERATION OF KABAYAN, BENGUET

JULY 17, 1945 LIBERATION OF BOKOD, BENGUET

JUNE 27, 1945 LIBERATION OF APARRI, CAGAYAN

JUNE 25, 1945 LIBERATION OF TUGUEGARAO, CAGAYAN

JUNE 19, 1945 LIBERATION OF ILAGAN, ISABELA

JUNE 14, 1945 BATTLE OF BESSANG PASS

MAY 31, 1945 BENGUET VETERANS MEMORIAL DAY

MAY 25, 1945 LIBERATION OF BOHOL

MAY 20, 1945 LIBERATION OF MALAYBALAY, BUKIDNON

MAY 17, 1945 LIBERATION OF KIBUNGAN & TUBLAY, BENGUET

MAY 17, 1945 BATTLE OF IPO DAM

MAY 14, 1945 BATTLE OF MALEPUNYO

MAY 13, 1945 BATTLE OF BALETE PASS 

MAY 3, 1945 BATTLE OF ISING

MAY 3, 1945 LIBERATION OF DAVAO

APRIL 28, 1945 LIBERATION OF DIGOS, DAVAO

APRIL 27, 1945 LIBERATION OF BAGUIO

APRIL 26, 1945 LIBERATION OF TUBA, BENGUET

APRIL 26, 1945 LIBERATION OF DUMAGUETE CITY

APRIL 21-23, 1945 A SALUTE TO VALOR – PALAWAN LIBERATION

APRIL 18, 1945 LANDING IN COTABATO

APRIL 17, 1945 LIBERATION OF PIKIT, MAGUINDANAO

APRIL 17, 1945 LIBERATION OF PARANG, MAGUINDANAO

APRIL 10, 1945 LIBERATION OF SABLAN BENGUET

APRIL 9, 1945 LANDING IN JOLO ISLAND

APRIL 1, 1945 LIBERATION OF LEGASPI, ALBAY

APRIL 1, 1945 LIBERATION OF BURGOS, LA UNION

MARCH 29, 1945 LIBERATION OF LIPA CITY 

MARCH 29, 1945 LANDING IN MASBATE ISLAND

MARCH 29, 1945 LANDING IN NEGROS ISLAND

MARCH 26, 1945 LANDING IN TALISAY,CEBU

MARCH 20, 1945 LIBERATION OF BALAOAN, LA UNION 

MARCH 19, 1945 LIBERATION OF BAUANG, LA UNION 

MARCH 19, 1945 BATTLE OF BACSIL RIDGE

MARCH 18, 1945 LIBERATION OF PANAY, ROMBLON, AND GUIMARAS

MARCH 10, 1945 LIBERATION OF ZAMBOANGA

MARCH 7, 1945 LIBERATION OF KAPANGAN

MARCH 5, 1945 LIBERATION OF STA CRUZ

FEBRUARY 23, 1945 LIBERATION OF PUERTO PRINCESA

FEBRUARY 23, 1945 LIBERATION OF BAKER HALL, LOS BAÑOS

FEBRUARY 23, 1945 LIBERATION OF TAGUIG

FEBRUARY 23, 1945 LIBERATION OF ANGONO

FEBRUARY 22, 1945 LIBERATION OF TAYTAY

FEBRUARY 22, 1945 LIBERATION OF CAINTA

FEBRUARY 19, 1945 LIBERATION OF PASIG 

FEBRUARY 17,1945 RETAKING OF FORT WILLIAM MCKINLEY

FEBRUARY 15,1945 LANDING IN MARIVELES, BATAAN

FEBRUARY 15,1945 RETAKING OF NICHOLS AIR FIELD

FEBRUARY 12, 1945 MASSACRE AT DE LA SALLE

FEBRUARY 9, 1945 LIBERATION OF MANDALUYONG

FEBRUARY 7, 1945 LIBERATION OF CATANDUANES

FEBRUARY 4, 1945 LIBERATION OF MUNTINLUPA

FEBRUARY 4, 1945 LIBERATION OF LAS PIÑAS

FEBRUARY 4, 1945 LIBERATION OF PARAÑAQUE

FEBRUARY 3, 1945 LIBERATION OF BIÑAN, LAGUNA

FEBRUARY 3, 1945 LIBERATION OF VALENZUELA

FEBRUARY 3, 1945 LIBERATION OF SAN JOSE, NUEVA ECIJA

FEBRUARY 3, 1945 LIBERATION OF UNIVERSITY OF SANTO THOMAS

FEBRUARY 3, 1945 BATTLE OF MANILA

FEBRUARY 3, 1945 LIBERATION OF TAGAYTAY

JANUARY 31, 1945 NASUGBU LANDING

JANUARY 30, 1945 LIBERATION OF CAMP PANGATIAN PRISONER OF WAR & CABANATUAN RAID

JANUARY 30, 1945 LIBERATION OF OLONGAPO CITY

JANUARY 26, 1945 LANDING IN SAN NARCISO

JANUARY 28, 1945 RETAKING OF CLARK AIR FIELD

JANUARY 26, 1945 BATTLE OF SANTA CRUZ, LAGUNA

JANUARY 23, 1945 LIBERATION OF BAMBAN, TARLAC