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Mindanao Island is the southernmost major island and second largest island in the Philippines. Also known simply as Mindanao. Borders the Mindanao Sea (Bohol Sea) to the north.
On April 29, 1942 a Japanese invasion force arrived in Cotabato Bay and landed Japanese Army. By May 9, 1942 the Japanese captured Mindanao with the last U.S. troops surrendering three days later. Meanwhile, U.S. Army Col. Wendell W. Fertig escaped Japanese captivity and organized a guerrilla movement on Mindanao that was highly effective and had over 35,000 men at its height and were supplied by U.S. submarines. Their efforts restricted the occupying Japanese to the major cities and towns.
The Japanese anticipated an American landing on Mindanao and amassed many forces to defend the area. Initially, the U.S. Army planned for Mindanao to be the first island liberated with an amphibious landing at Cotabato Bay scheduled for December 20, 1944 but after the capture of the "Koga Papers" aboard crashed H8K2 Emily that outlined Plan "Sho" or Plan "Z" and revealed Leyte was lightly defended and the invasion plans were changed. Instead, Mindanao became the last major island liberated during the Philippines campaign 1944–1945.
By April 1945, most of the troops had been withdrawn to fight elsewhere leaving only the Japanese 35th Army commanded by General Suzuki to defend the eastern part of the island, and holdout indefinitely with 43,000 troops. His troops were short on supplies and low on moral and faced ongoing guerrilla resistance. After General Suzuki was killed by an air attack while traveling by boat from Cebu back to Mindanao. Afterwards, replaced by Lt. General Gyosaku Morozumi.
Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula)
Zamboanga del Norte Province located on the northern coast of the Zamboanga peninsula.
Zamboanga del Sur Province located on the southern coast of the Zamboanga peninsula.
Zamboanga Sibugay Province located on the southern coast of the Zamboanga peninsula.
Zamboanga City located at the southern tip of Zamboanga bordering the Basilan Strait.
Isabela City located on Basilan Island.
Basilan Strait located to the south of Mindanao.
Region X (Northern Mindanao)
Bukidnon Province located in central Mindanao includes Del Monte.
Camiguin Province located in central Mindanao includes Del Monte.
Lanao del Norte Province located in northern Mindanao region includes Iligan.
Misamis Oriental Province located on northern center of Mindanao.
Misamis Occidental Province located in central Mindanao.
Lanao del Norte Province located in central Mindanao.
Camiguin Province encompasses Camiguin Island off the northern coast of Mindanao.
Region XI (Davao Region, Southern Mindanao)
Davao Province disbanded 1967 when subdivided into Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur
Davao Oriental Provinces located in the southeast corner of Mindanao.
Davao del Norte Province located on the southeast coast of Mindanao.
Davao del Sur Province located at the southeast corner of Mindanao includes Davao City.
Compostela Valley Province located in the southeast corner of Mindanao to the northeast of Davao.
Davao Gulf (Davao Bay) located at the southeast corner of Mindanao borders Davao.
Region XII (Soccsksargen)
Cotabato Province located in central Mindanao.
Sarangani Province located on the south coast of Mindanao.
South Cotabato Province located in central Mindanao.
Sultan Kudarat Province located in central Mindanao.
Region XIII (Caraga)
Agusan Del Norte Province located in northern central Mindanao includes Butuan and Butuan Bay.
Agusan Del Sur Province located in northeastern Mindanao.
Surigao Del Norte Province located in northeastern Mindanao.
Surigao Del Sur Province located in northeastern Mindanao.
Dinagat Islands Province islands to the north of Mindanao.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindano (ARMM)
Lanao del Sur Province located in the western central of Mindanao.
Maguindanao Province located in the southwest of Mindanao.
Basilan Province encompasses Basilan Island.
Sulu Province includes the Sulu Islands.
Tawi-Tawi Province includes the Tawi-Tawi Islands.
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