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    Subic Bay Zambales | Luzon Philippines

Located on the western coast of Luzon bordering Olongapo. Subic Bay is one of the Philippines finest natural harbors. The Bataan peninsula is located to the south.

In 1885, the Spanish established an anchorage and coaling station at Subic Bay and fortified Grande Island to guard the entrance. In 1899, after the Spanish-American War, the United States Navy visited Subic Bay and began patrolling it with gunboats. Commodore Dewey stated Subic Bay "having no equal in the Philippine Islands".

Wartime History
Subic Bay was an American military base before the war. Attacked by Japanese aircraft on December 11, 1941 and sank seven PBY Catalinas at anchor in Subic Bay. On December 14, Japanese aircraft bombed Olongapo and on December 24 the town was evacuated.

Occupied by the Japanese Navy, and then recaptured January 30, 1945 by the 38th Division. During the war 27 known ships were sunk in the bay, including those both scuttled and sunk.

After the war, Subic Bay again served as an US Navy base and installation. In the fall of 1992, when their lease expired, the base closed making it the last US military possession in the Philippines. Since then, Subic has continued as a port and tourism area.

USS Rochester (USS New York, ACR No. 2)
Scuttled December 1941

Oryoku Maru
Damaged and grounded during December 1944

USS Lanakai
Wooden schooner sunk in Subic Bay

PBY Catalinas
On the morning of December 11, 1941 Japanese Zero fighters swooped over the Zambales mountains and caught seven US Navy PBY Catalinas moored at Subic Bay. All seven were heavily damaged in the ensuing attack and sunk at their moorings.

A6M2 Zero
At least one Zero was also hit and crashed into the bay. As the Japanese continued their attacks in and around Subic, several more Zeros fell from the sky. Morris Shoss, a former captain who served with a Philippine Scout unit in Subic at this time, insists that al least 13 Zeros were downed in the fighting. Virtually all of them crashed into Subic Bay. It is possible these were other Japanese aircraft, misidentified as Zeros also.

Hell Ships Memorial
Memorial recently dedicated at Subic Bay.

Subic Bay Historical Center
Museum at Subic Bay

Grande Island
Island guarding the entrance to Subic Bay, Fort Wint

NAS Olongapo (NAS Cubi Point)
Located on the eastern shore of Subic Bay

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016


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