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    Abucay Bataan Province | Luzon Philippines
Location
Lat 14° 43' 20N Long 120° 32' 18E  Abucay is located at sea level inland from the eastern coast of the Bataan Peninsula in Bataan Province on Luzon in the Philippines. Connected by the East Road along the coast northward to Orani and southward to Pilar.

Wartime History
During early 1942, the U. S. Army II Corps established the defensive position known as the Abucay-Morong Line extended from extend from Mabatang on Manila Bay to the northeast slopes of Mt. Natib. At the eastern side guarding the East Road was the 57th Infantry Regiment "Philippine Scouts" under the command of Colonel George S. Clarke supported by II Corps artillery. To their left to the west was the Philippine Army 41st Division along the Mt. Natib trail and Balantay River forming the center of the line. Beyond to the west was the Philippine Army 51st Division under the command of General Jones.

On January 9, 1942 at 3:00pm the Japanese Army under the command of General Nara at Dinalupihan began their assault supported by artillery fire. The Japanese 141st Infantry under Colonel Imai advancing down the East Road but were stopped by U. S. Army artillery fire. To the west, the Japanese 9th Infantry under Colonel Takechi advanced unopposed to Album and only encountered a reconnaissance patrol from the 57th Infantry Regiment that was repulsed. Based on their successes, the Japanese incorrectly believed U. S. forces had withdrawn.

On January 10, 1942 the Japanese requested the surrender of American forces and received no reply. Meanwhile, to avoid the artillery fire, the 141st moved to the west and split into two columns. By the late afternoon, the eastern column reached the outpost line south of Samal and forced the defending scouts to fall back. To the west, the other column encountered rugged terrain but was able to link up with the 9th Infantry.

During the night of January 11, 1942, the Japanese made a frontal attack against the Main Line of Resistance (MLR) but were stopped by barbed wire, artillery fire and mortars but managed to infiltrated the line. On January 12, 1942 the Americans spent most of the day routing out Japanese behind their lines. During the counter attack, 2nd Lt. Alexander R. Nininger, Jr. was Killed in Action (KIA) and later earned the Medal of Honor, posthumously the first earned by the U. S. Army during World War II. By January 25, 1942 the Abucay-Morong Line was abandoned by U. S. and Filipino forces as they withdrew southward.

Abucay-Morong Line (Main Battle Position Marker)
Located at St. Antonine of Florence Church, this marker indicates the Abucay-Morong Line of January 19412.

References
U. S. Army in World War II - The Fall of the Philippines Chapter XV: Setting the Stage pages 247-248, 251, 252, 263, footnotes 25, 30
U. S. Army in World War II - The Fall of the Philippines Chapter XVI: The First Battle of Bataan pages 266, 267 (map), 272-273, 277, 281, 285-291, 293, 295, footnotes 5, 6, 11, 21, 27, 32, 61, 70, 75

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Last Updated
January 14, 2021

 

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