On December 8, 1941 Camp John Hay near Baguio was the first location in the Philippines bombed by the Japanese aircraft. On December 24, 1941 the Japanese Army 9th Regiment advanced from Bauang and occupied the city without opposition.
During the Japanese occupation, the war past relatively peacefully, with limited guerrilla activities in the area and few reprisals by the Japanese against the population. The Japanese Army also used Baguio as a rest and recuperation (R&R) area for senior officers.
As the threat of Allied landing on Luzon, Japanese Army General Yamashita moved his headquarters to Baguio and the area was defended by the Japanese Army's 19th Division "Tora". After the American landing at Lingayen Gulf on January 9, 1945 Baguio was bombed by American aircraft during late January 1945 through April 1945 in an effort to deprive the Japanese of the city.
American missions against Baguio
The city was defended by small Japanese Army force including the 10th Tank Regiment, 5th Company with a meager force of 3 medium and 2 light tanks, and were ordered to carry out suicide attacks with their tanks against the advancing American forces. On the road to the city, one Type 97 and one Type 95 had explosives attached to the front of their hull. They hid into bamboo bushes near the road between Baguio and Sablan waiting for US Army armor to advance. When a column of M4 Sherman tanks turned the corner about 100m away, they dashed forward to attack. The lead tank was surprised at tried to backup, but failed to turn and fell off the road into the valley below. In total, two Shermans and both Japanese tanks were destroyed. One Japanese who survived the attack bailed out of his tanks and attacked brandishing a sword. After this incident, Americans advanced more hesitantly towards the city.
Meanwhile, most civilians took refuge in the Baguio Cathedral. On April 27, 1945 US Army troops from the 33rd Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Regiment and USAFFE-NL 66th Infantry Regiment liberated the Baguio, and found the city in ruins from American bombing.
Cathedral (Our Lady of the Atonement)
Henry T. Allen (Camp Allen)
Park & Wall of Honor
Camp John Hay