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    San Jose Occidental Mindoro Philippines
Location
Lat 12° 21' 10N Long 121° 4' 3E  San Jose is located on the southwest corner of Mindoro Occidental on Midoro Island in region IV-B of the Philippines. Borders Magarin Bay to the south and the Mindoro Strait to the west.

Wartime History
During 1942 occupied by the Japanese during their occupation of the Philippines. By early December 1944, roughly 1,000 Japanese defended San Jose.

On December 12, 1944 the U. S. "Western Visayan Task Force" under Brigadier-General William C. Dunckel departed Leyte bound for Midoro Island. On December 13, 1944 attacked by Japanese aircraft and a kamikaze aircraft damaged USS Nashville (CL-43), the task force flagship with over 130 killed, including high ranking officers. Damaged, escorted by a destroyer back to Leyte. As the rest of the Task Force arrived off San Jose, the U. S. Navy (USN) warships conducted a shore bombardment. Ashore, most of the Japanese defenders fled inland.

On December 15, 1944 the U. S. Army landed unopposed at Magarin Bay on White Beach near San Jose. By December 23, 1944 two airfields were in operation and provided air support for the liberation of Luzon.

On December 24, 1944 a Japanese Navy force including two cruisers: Ashigara and Ōyodo plus eight destroyers: Kiyoshimo, Asashimo, Kasumi, Kaya, Kashi, and Sugi departs Camranh Bay off Indochina (Vietnam) as part of "Operation Rei-Go" a raiding force to bombard the San Jose beachhead. On December 26, 1944 in the evening spotted and attacked by B-25 Mitchells and PT Boats. Damaged and sunk is Kiyoshimo. Between December 26, 1944 at 11:00pm and December 27, 1944 at 1:00am the remaining force bombards the beachhead area, but causes little damage. This was one of the last Japanese surface unit attacks on an American beachheads during the Pacific War. The next day returns to Camranh Bay.

McGuire Drome (San Jose Airport)
Named in honor of Thomas McGuire, it was an American airbase, still in use today.

Hill Airfield (Hammer)
Wartime airfield disused since the Pacific War.

Murtha Airfield
Wartime airfield disused since the Pacific War.

Elmore Airfield (San Jose Airfield)
Prewar airfield used by the Japanese, expanded by Americans, disused today.

P-38 Lightning 44-24485
Pilot Henderson MIA July 13, 1945, 1 missing

P-38L Lightning 44-26538
Pilot Stier MIA July 13, 1945, 1 missing

References
U. S. Army in World War II - Triumph in the Philippines Chapter III Preliminary Operations and The Approach pages 44-48 (landing) 49-51 (bombardment)

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Last Updated
April 20, 2020

 

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Dec 15, 1944

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