Tour of Duty
Born March 20, 1926 in Congers, NY
Enlisted in March 1943.
Basic Training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Field Artillery and Radio operator training
at Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Technician 5th Grade
Stationed in the Philippines in May 1945 with the
780th Field Artillery Battalion
Discharged May 1946.
Dave (back row, 2nd from right) with 780th Field Artillery
Battalion's 240mm Howitzer at Luzon in the Philippines.
| Dave Anderson's
tour of duty began in March of 1943, when he enlisted in the United States
Army and was sent to basic training at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Dave
then went on to Fort Sill in Oklahoma for Field Artillery and Radio
operations training. After that, he was sent back to Fort Bragg awaiting
As the war dragged on in the Pacific the once powerful Japanese forces were coming undone, and the US successfully invaded the Philippines at Leyte Gulf in October of 1944. In May 1945, Dave was off to the Philippines with the 780th Field Artillery Battalion in Luzon to set up an artillery base and camp.
August 1945 found Japan defeated (they knew Dave would be there soon...) with the dropping of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dave' s base was now caring for liberated American prisoners of war, as many of the men were too malnourished and sick to make the trip back to the States. The base was also used as a POW camp for Japanese forces. Dave became a guard at that point and as things were winding down he also assisted in breaking up the camp. His tour was completed In May 1946.
In Dave's own words...
Unfortunately I was only a T-5 (Technician 5th Grade). If the war had kept on, of course, I would have become a General. Me and MacArthur would have taken over the world. We would have sent all Liberals to Siberia for indoctrination.
Thank you Dave!!
Dave in 1938!
The Philippines Campaign
By the summer of 1944, American forces were only 300 miles southeast of Mindanao, the southernmost island in the Philippines. Allied forces had advanced across the Central Pacific taking the Gilbert, Marshall and Caroline Islands. Carrier based planes were already conducting strikes against the Philippine Islands. American and Australian ground forces under General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area, had blocked the Japanese in New Guinea, and then isolated the huge Japanese base at Rabaul by capturing air and naval facilities across the Southwest Pacific theater.
With victories in the Marianas (Saipan, Tinian and Guam, Jun-Jul 1944), Peleliu in the Palaus Islands (Aug-Sep 1944), and Morotai (15-16 September 1944) Allied forces were getting dangerously close to Japan itself. From the Marianas, U.S. Army Air Forces could bomb the Japanese home islands for the first time during the war. Although Japan was obviously losing the war, they showed no sign of capitulation or collapse. The Allies had to press on to assault the entrenched Japanese in the Philippines, Formosa, and Okinawa.
Because of the close relationship between the Philippines and the United States since 1898, the decision was made to advance the date for the long-awaited return to the Philippines. The new date would be 20 October 1944, two months ahead of the previous target date. The Filipinos were ready and waiting for the invasion. After General MacArthur was evacuated from the Philippines in March 1942, the islands fell to the Japanese. The Japanese occupation was harsh, accompanied by atrocities and with large numbers of Filipinos pressed into forced labor. During 1942-1944, MacArthur supplied the Filipino guerilla resistance by submarine and airdrops, so they could harass the Japanese and keep control of the rural jungle and mountain areas, more than half of the country. While loyal to the U.S., many Filipinos hoped and believed that liberation from the Japanese would bring freedom and an independent country.
The Battles on Leyte, Philippine Islands
Two more major landings followed, one to cut off the Bataan Peninsula, and another, that included a parachute drop, south of Manila. Pincers closed on the city and, on 3 February 1945, elements of the 1st Cavalry Division pushed into the northern outskirts of Manila and the 8th Cavalry passed through the northern suburbs and into the city itself.
As the advance on Manila continued from the north and the south, the Bataan Peninsula was rapidly secured. On 16 February, paratroopers and amphibious units assaulted Corregidor, and resistance ended there on 27 February.
Despite initial optimism, fighting in Manila was harsh. It took until 3 March to clear the city of all Japanese troops. Fort Drum, a fortified island in Manila Bay near Corregidor, held out until 13 April, when a team went ashore and pumped 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the fort, then set charges. No Japanese survived the blast and fire.
In all, ten U.S. divisions and five independent regiments battled on Luzon, making it the largest campaign of the Pacific war, involving more troops than the United States had used in North Africa, Italy, or southern France.
Mopping Up the Philippines
Palawan Island, between Borneo and Mindoro, the fifth largest and western-most Philippine Island, was invaded on 28 February, with landings of the Eighth Army at Puerto Princesa. The Japanese put up little direct defense of Palawan, but cleaning up pockets of Japanese resistance lasted until late April, as the Japanese used their common tactic of withdrawing into the mountain jungles, disbursed as small units. Throughout the Philippines, U.S. forces were aided by Filipino guerillas to find and dispatch the holdouts.
The U.S. Eighth Army then moved on to its first landing on Mindanao (17 April), the last of the major Philippine Islands to be taken. Mindanao was followed by invasion and occupation of Panay, Cebu, Negros and several islands in the Sulu Archipelago. These islands provided bases for the U.S. Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces to attack targets throughout the Philippines and the South China Sea.
Following additional landings on Mindanao, U.S. Eighth Army troops continued their steady advance against stubborn resistance. By the end of June, the enemy pockets were compressed into isolated pockets on Mindanao and Luzon where fighting continued until the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945.