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Jolo Island is located in the Sulu Archipelago (Sulu Islands) in the Philippines. Today located in Sulu Province in the Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Borders the northern edge of the Celebes Sea to the south and the southern edge of the Sulu Sea to the north.
Jolo (Municipality of Jolo)
Lat 6° 3' 8N Long 121° 0' 8E Jolo is located at an elevation of 134' / 40m above sea level on the north coast of Jolo Island in the Sulu Islands and is the provincial capital of Sulu Province. Borders Jolo Harbor to the north. Also known as Jolo Town.
On December 23, 1941 Japanese forces departed Davao and on December 24, 1941 in the afternoon arrived in Jolo Harbor. On December 25, 1941 Japanese forces landed occupying Jolo Town without resistance. No U.S. or Filipino troops were based in the area, only 300 members of the Philippine Constabulary. Occupied by the Japanese until early April 1945.
During early 1945, Jolo Island was defended by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 54th Independent Mixed Brigade (55th IMB) with most of their defenses concentrated on Jolo Island. Also stationed on Jolo Island were roughly 1,000 Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) personnel plus 350 Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) personnel.
On April 9, 1945 at 8:45am, the U.S. Army 163rd Regimental Combat Team (163rd RCT) less the 2nd Battalion, 163rd Infantry Regiment landed on the north coast of Jolo Island and met no resistance and occupied Jolo Town. By April 11, 1945 they had advanced to the south to clear Japanese off the highest south and southwest of Jolo Town and secured Jolo Airfield.
The remaining 3,900 Japanese defenders had withdrawn to defensive positions around Mount Daho six miles south of Jolo Town plus Mount Tumatangus roughly six miles to the southwest of Jolo. On April 15, 1945 the U.S. Army began attacking Mount Daho with local guerrillas under Col. Alejandro Suarez supported by artillery and air strikes from U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) planes from Zamboanga Airfield. After heavy fighting, the feature was captured by April 22, 1945 with the remaining defenders fleeing to western Jolo Island where they continued to fight for the next two months. By the middle of June 1945, the 163rd suffered 40 killed and 125 wounded and claimed roughly 2,000 Japanese dead.
American missions against Jolo
December 19, 1941–July 28, 1945
Jolo Airfield (Zettle Field)
Located near Jolo.
U.S. Army in World War II Part 7 The Southern Philippines Chapter XXX The Campaign Begins pages 587, 598-599, footnote 19
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