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Lat 16° 46' 39N Long 121° 4' 60E Kiangan is located at an elevation of 2,729' / 831m in the mountains of Ifugao Province on Luzon in the Philippines. Kiangan is the oldest settlement in the province and derives its name from the ancient settlement of Kiyyangan in the same area. To the east is the Asin River that becomes the Ibulao River. Prewar roads including Route 4 extended eastward to Hucab then to the southeast to Bababag. To the northwest was an unpaved horse trail that crossed the Asin River (Asin Crossing) at Kiangkiang and connected to another horse trail dubbed Route 390 northward to Banaue. To the south is the Asin Valley. Today Kiangan is a 4th class municipality.
During June 1945, Kiangan became the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 14th Area Army "Shobu Group" commanded by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. By the middle of June 1945, he planned to defend Kiangkiang and the Asin Valley as his last stand perimeter using the mountainous terrain features for defense and prepared to fight to the death and tie down as many American forces as possible. Although cut off, the Shobu Group had small arms ammunition and mortars but lacked clothing and medical supplies and estimated their food would last until the middle of September 1945.
On July 12, 1945 the U. S. Army 6th Division, 63rd Infantry Regiment captured Kiangan with large quantities of enemy supplies. Between July 16-20, 1945 were torrential rains that left the Americans stranded in Kiangan and required supplies to be hand carried in. On July 24, 1945 the 20th Infantry Regiment took over and began to advance westward towards Kiangkiang and the Asin River and southward toward Antipalo and Tubliao.
As the U. S. Army troops approached the "Shobu Group" last stand area, resistance stiffened and faced difficult mountain terrain and were hampered by rains and by August 15, 1945 only advanced three miles when Japan surrendered. Meanwhile, the Japanese remained in the last stand area. On September 2, 1945 in the morning after Japan officially surrendered General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrendered the surviving "Shobu Group" of roughly 50,500 troops including approximately 40,000 in the last stand area of the Asin Valley. Afterwards, Yamashita was transported to Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, then flown to La Union
Allied missions against Kiangan
June 24, 1945–September 2, 1945
General Yamashita's Surrender Site
Home economics building of Kiangan Central School surrender site for General Yamashita on September 2, 1945.
Kiangan National Shrine (Bantayog sa Kiangan)
Built 1974 to commemorate the surrender of General Yamashita also known as the Yamamoto Shrine. The shrine includes a plaque that reads: "Surrender of General Yamashita - On this site, General Tomoyuki Yamashita together with his staff, surrendered to the elements of the U. S. 6th Army in the morning of September 2, 1945. The final surrender ceremony took place the following day at the High Commission'er Residence, Camp John Hay, Baguio City."
U. S. Army in World War II - Triumph in the Philippines Chapter XXIX Pursuit in Northern Luzon pages 567-568 (geography and defensive situation), 576 (U. S. Army liberation), 578-579 (last stand)
Tourist Portal PH - General Yamashita's Surrender Site (photos)
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