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    Cebu (Cebu City) Cebu Province Philippines
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USAAF 1945

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NATS 1945

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US Army Aug 19, 1945

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US Army 1945

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Justin Taylan 2004
Location
Lat 10° 18' 40N Long 123° 53' 30E  Cebu is located on the eastern side of Cebu Island in the Central Visayas (Region VII) in the Philippines. Also known as Cebu City. To the east is Cebu Harbor and beyond Mactan Island and the Bohol Strait.

Wartime History
During April 1942 pccupied by the Japanese. By late March 1945, roughly 12,500 Japanese were deployed in Cebu City and the vicinity. This force included only a smaller number of combat troops including less than 1,500 Japanese Army (IJA) soldiers from the 102nd Division, 173d IIB plus 300 Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) 33rd Naval Special Base Force, 36th Naval Guard Unit. The force included 1,700 Japanese civilians.

By late March 1945, roughly 12,500 Japanese were in Cebu City and the vicinity, they were mostly non-combat troops including 1,700 Japanese civilians. This force including only about 1,800 combat troops including less than 1,500 Japanese Army (IJA) soldiers from the 102nd Division, 173d IIB plus 300 Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) 33rd Naval Special Base Force, 36th Naval Guard Unit.

The Japanese in Cebu City were under the command of Lt. Gen. Shimpei Fukue, commanding officer (C. O.) of the 102nd Division but had been removed of command by General Sosaku Suzuki because he had withdrawn from Leyte and the city was instead placed under the control of IJN Rear Admiral Kaku Harada, commanding officer (C. O.) of the 33rd Naval Special Base Force but he left all defensive preparations to Japanese Army Maj. Gen. Takeo Manjome, commanding officer (C. O.) of the 102nd Division, 78th Infantry Brigade.

On March 24, 1945 General Sosaku Suzuki arrived from Leyte and took command of all forces on Cebu Island and appointed General Manjome in command of Cebu City who planned a defense in depth north and northwest of the city with a forward line over the high ground behind the city anchored on two fortified hills: Hill 30 and Go Chan Hill.

At Talisay and Liloan the likely landing beaches, the Japanese planted land mines and built tank barriers and tank traps with roads to the city mined. A defensive line of bunker, pillboxes and caves with machine guns were emplaced in naturally camoflaged positions. The Japanese had an ample supply of machine guns and some mortars but only a few pieces of light artillery. Although the Japanese constructed many defenses in Cebu City, they abandoned them to defend further to the north and northwest and destroyed much of the city as they retreated.

On March 27, 1945 U. S. Army Americal Division forward elements reached the southern edge of Cebu but withdrew before night. On March 28, 1945 the Americans liberated Cebu City with virtually no opposition and advanced two miles to the northeast to Lahug Airfield where the first signifigant Japanese resistance was encountered.

Cebu City was liberated by the U. S. Army Americal Division. The defending Japanese took up new positions and continued their resistance and sea-sawing attacks through early April 1945 before the remaining Japanese withdrew to the north of Cebu Island.

Base S
After liberation, the Americans repaired the Cebu Harbor area as a base area for future U. S. Army operations. Cebu City was designated with U. S. Army Letter Base designation as "Base S" a sub-base controlled by Base M (San Fernando). During the middle of 1945, the U. S. Army planned to stage three infantry divisions at Cebu City for Operation Olympic, the propsoed invasion of Japan.

and planned to stage three infantry divisions from Cebu City for the proposed invasion of Japan.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral)
Cathedral at Cebu damaged during the war. US air raids on Cebu damage the recently-renovated cathedral and the Episcopal Palace across, with its contents of centuries-old archives and records of the archdiocese lost forever. In 1945 after liberation, Archbishop Reyes begins the reconstruction of the bombed cathedral, with only its façade, walls and belfry still intact.

Lahug Airfield
Located in the center of Cebu city, used by Japanese and later US Army.

Today
Cebu is a large city and commercial center located on Cebu Island and is a popular tourist destination.

References
U. S. Army in World War II - Triumph in the Philippines Chapter XXXI The Central Visayan Islands pages 603 (map), 608-610, 611 (map), 613

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Last Updated
March 28, 2020

 

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