By USMCR (Ret.), Captain John C. Chapin
It used to be it seems that a trifling occasion while a couple of Marine planes flew right into a muddy airfield at Tacloban at the island of Leyte within the Philippines on three December 1944. throughout them have been the weather of the big U.S. military invasion which had all started on 20 October. Seven infantry divisions and 6 military Air strength (AAF) air teams ruled the island scene. It was once the beginning of a tremendous crusade within which Marine aviation may play a big function. that's the crusade to disencumber the Philippines.
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Additional resources for And A Few Marines-Marines in the Liberation of the Philippines
When the to the venerable SBD and was re- close air support, a sad, and exfighters left, the Japanese would equipped with the new SB2C ceedingly rare, tragedy occurred resume their defensive positions. Curtis Heildiver. It was 20 knots Then someone suggested a coordi- faster, more heavily armed, and nated attack with both the fighters equipped with rockets. (When the and the PBJs. One of the pilots SBD was officially retired on 16 later remembered: July after its long and productive on one mission in support of the 24th Division.
It was a strike near the Malita five tons of bombs, and the enemy anti-aircraft fire . . flown River that paid off handsomely. Japanese position simply disinte- with determination and courage in spite of losses from enemy fire. The Japanese were holed up in a grated. town that controlled a road. When As the end of the Mindanao Many missions were flown at the Marine fighter planes would campaign loomed in May, there great risk because of unfavorable come over, the Japanese would were many changes for the Marine weather conditions.
About the Author There are three main sources for Ma- aptain John C. Chapin earned a bachelor of arts degree with honors in history from Yale UniC versity in 1942 and was commissioned later that rine aviation operations in the Philippines. They are: 1. George W. Garand and Truman R. S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II year. He served as a rifle platoon leader in the 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, and was wounded in action during assault landings on Roi-Namur and (Washington: Historical Division, Head- Saipan.