American Manila Cemetery

American Manila Cemetery

American Manila Cemetery Visit

Manila, August 29, 2016.

During the summer of 2016 I made several visits to my friends condominium in Trion Towers in BGC that sits adjacent to and overlooks the American Manila Cemetery. Finally on Monday, August 29th, National Heroes Day here in the Philippines we went to visit the American Manila Cemetery and learn more about the Pacific Theater in WWII. Here is some of the information we learned along with pictures of our visit.

 

The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines occupies 152 acres on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. It contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II, a total of 17,191, most of whom lost their lives in operations in New Guinea and the Philippines. The headstones are aligned in 11 plots forming a generally circular pattern, set among masses of a wide variety of tropical trees and shrubbery.

The chapel, a white masonry building enriched with sculpture and mosaic, stands near the center of the cemetery. In front of it on a wide terrace are two large hemicycles. Twenty-five mosaic maps recall the achievements of the American armed forces in the Pacific, China, India and Burma. On rectangular Trani limestone piers within the hemicycles, are inscribed the Tablets of the Missing containing 36,286 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. Carved in the floors are the seals of the American states and its territories. From the memorial and other points within the cemetery there are impressive views over the lowlands to Laguna de Bay and towards the distant mountains. Credit: American Battle Monuments Commission

Manila American Cemetery Visitor Booklet (PDF)

Manila American Cemetery Visitor Brochure (PDF)

 

Memorial Chapel

 

Manila American Cemetery Grounds

 

 

Operations in the Pacific, December 1941 – September 1945

Simultaneous Japanese surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines led to war. Japanese forces conquered parts of Asia but were set back in the Philippines Islands. Fierce defenses by the U. S. Army Forces Far East (U. S. Army, Philippine Army and Philippine Scouts) held off Japanese assaults for six months, delayed the Japanese timetable, and enabled the start of U.S. offensive operations in the Pacific.

1941

December 7: Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines. (Dec. 8 in the Philippines, west of the International Date Line.)

1942

April 9: U.S. Forces on Bataan surrendered. Bataan Death March began next day. 76,000 Prisoners of War, including 12,000 Americans, made a brutal 65-mile walk to prison camp. Thousands died on the march. The death rate of POWs was extremely high. Of the nearly 30,000 Americans captured in the Philippines, more than 11,000 died in captivity.

May 6: Japanese took Corregidor Island. Lt. Gen. Wainwright surrendered U.S. and Philippine forces. Some eluded capture and formed guerrilla units.

May 6-8: Battle of the Coral Sea blocked the Japanese invasion of Port Moresby, New Guinea.

June 3-6: Battle of Midway reversed the Pacific strategic situation.

August 7: U.S. Marines landing on Guadalcanal began the U.S. drive in the Solomons.

November 16: The Buna-Gona campaign continued the Allied drive in New Guinea.

1943

Throughout the year, many hard-fought campaigns along the North Coast of New Guinea and up the Northern Solomons flank resulted in major advances towards Japan.

November 20: Landing by U.S. Marines on Tarawa began the U.S. Central Pacific thrust.

1944

Southwest Pacific forces under General MacArthur reached the west end of New Guinea by the end of August. Central Pacific forces under Admiral Nimitz fought through the fortified atolls of the Marshalls, Marianas, and Palau Islands. The campaigns positioned U.S. forces to invade the Philippines.

October 20: U.S. forces returned to the Philippines landing on Leyte.

October 23-16: The Battles of Leyte Gulf marked the end of Japanese naval power in the Pacific.

December 13: U.S. landings on Mindoro facilitated preparations to invade Luzon.

1945

January 9: U.S. Sixth Army landings at Lingayen Gulf began the Luzon campaign.

January 30: U.S. Army Rangers, Alamo Scouts, and guerrillas liberated Cabanatuan POW camp.

February 3: Battle of Manila began. The city was declared liberated on March 4. More than 1,000 U.S. military and 100,000 Filipino civilians were killed during the battle. Airborne and amphibious troops recaptured Corregidor Island on February 16.

February 19 and April 1: Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa began.

February 28 – July 4: Starting at Palawan, through the Visayan Island to Mindanao, Eight Army liberated the remaining island of the Philippines.

July 5: Liberation of Philippines declared. More 14,000 Americans were killed in ground combat leading to liberation.

August 6 and 9: U.S. bombers dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

September 2: Japanese representatives surrendered aboard USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay.

 

Wall Maps of Pacific Theater Operations

 

 

Surname TOTH Memorials

Toth, Alexander C. Private, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division

Purple Heart, U.S. Army, World War II

Iowa Dec 5, 1943 Location D 12 198
Toth, Alfred W. Private, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division

Purple Heart, U.S. Army, World War II

Michigan May 28, 1945 Location F 1 38
Toth, James Torpedoman’s Mate Third Class, United States Naval Reserve

Purple Heart, U.S. Navy, World War II

New Jersey Feb 19, 1946 Tablets of the Missing
Toth, Jerry G. Captain, 45th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Scouts

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Silver Star, U.S. Army, World War II

New Jersey Apr 6, 1942 Tablets of the Missing
Toth, John J. Machinist’s Mate Second Class, United States Naval Reserve

Purple Heart, U.S. Navy, World War II

Ohio Dec 27, 1944 Tablets of the Missing
Toth, Stephen P. First Lieutenant , 501st Bomber Sq, 345th Bomber Gp, M

Air Medal, Purple Heart, Silver Star, U.S. Army Air Forces, World War II

New York Jan 30, 1944 Tablets of the Missing

 

 

 

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