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    Cabanatuan (Cabanatuan City) Nueva Ecija Province | Luzon Philippines
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USAFF Jan 14, 1945

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Justin Taylan 2003

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Justin Taylan 2003
Location
Lat 15° 29' 9N Long 120° 57' 59E  Cabanatuan is located at an elevation of 104' / 31m above sea level in Nueva Ecija Province on Luzon in the Philippines. In Tagalog, Cabanatuan means "Sack of Happiness" in reference to the fertile rice fields and plentiful harvests in the area. Today known as Cabanatuan City.

Wartime History
On December 8, 1941 Japanese bombers attacked Maniquis Airfield (Cabanatuan Airfield). On December 29, 1941 occupied by the Japanese Army as they advanced southward.

Japanese missions against Cabanatuan
December 8, 1941

During the Japanese occupation, the prewar Cabanatuan Camp became Cabanatuan POW Camp to detain thousands of American Prisoners Of War (POW) plus other Allied POWs and civilian detainees.

After the January 9, 1945 U. S. Army landing at Lingayen Gulf, the Japanese forces at Cabanatuan were reduced as they deployed elsewhere against the American advance. Staring in early January 1945 until liberated in late April 1945 attacked by American aircraft to neutralize the area.

American missions against Cabanatuan
January 8, 1945–April 27, 1945

By the middle of January, Filipino guerrillas observed that the Japanese at Cabanatuan had thinned leaving only a small force to guard Cabanatuan POW Camp and managed to reach the U. S. front lines to report this important development. The Americans feared the Japanese might executed the POWs and during late January were spurred to plan a secret raid behind enemy lines to liberate the remaining prisoners using the "Alamo Scouts" supported by Filipino guerrillas.

On January 30, 1945 a secret raid by U. S. Army 6th Ranger Battalion "Alamo Scouts" commanded by Henry Mucci liberated the surviving prisoners from Cabanatuan POW Camp. By early February 1945 the Cabanatuan area was liberated by the advancing American forces.

Cabanatuan POW Camp
Located four miles to the southwest of Cabanatuan City, used as a POW Camp during 1942 until liberated by US Army Rangers during the Great Raid on January 30, 1945.

Cabu Bridge (Cabu River Bridge)
Located over the Cabu River, northeast of the Cabanatuan POW Camp. Pronounced 'Ca-boo'. During the war, a wooden bridge spanned the river at this location. On January 30, 1945 Filipino guerrillas commanded by Juan Pajota and Eduardo Joson set up a roadblock next to the bridge to prevent any Japanese reinforcements from crossing the Cabu River, in support of the U. S. Army ranger raid to liberate prisoners from Cabanatuan POW camp. The modern bridge over the Gabu River was built in 1950, at the same location as the wartime span.

Maniquis Airfield (Cabanatuan Airfield)
Prewar airfield

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Last Updated
January 30, 2020

 

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