Sixth US Army Arrives at Lingayen Gulf
On 15 December 1944, landings against minimal resistance were made on the southern beaches of the island of Mindoro, a key location in the planned Lingayen Gulf operations, in support of major landings scheduled on Luzon.
On 9 January 1945, on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf on the western coast of Luzon, General Krueger's Sixth Army landed his first units. Almost 175,000 men followed across the twenty-mile beachhead within a few days. With heavy air support, Army units pushed inland, taking Clark Field, 40 miles northwest of Manila, in the last week of January.
Before the Second World War, Manila was considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Overlooking a tranquil bay, the so-called "Pearl of the Orient" was home to a unique culture drawn from four continents. No stranger to conflict, the city had been seized by the Spanish in the 16th century, attacked by the Chinese in the 17th, occupied by the British in the 18th, and taken by the Americans at the end of the 19th. But even this tumultuous history could not have prepared the Filipinos for what happened in 1945, when Manila was utterly destroyed in a single month.