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    Subic Bay Zambales Province | Luzon Philippines
USN c1935
Subic Bay is located in Zambales Province on the western coast of Luzon in the Philippines. Borders Olongapo to the west and Bataan Peninsula in Bataan Province to the southeast. To the south is Grande Island and beyond the South China Sea.

In 1885, the Spanish established an anchorage and coaling station at Subic Bay and fortified Grande Island to guard the entrance. In 1899, after the Spanish-American War, the United States Navy (visited Subic Bay and began patrolling it with gunboats. Commodore Dewey stated Subic Bay "having no equal in the Philippine Islands".

Wartime History
Subic Bay was an American military base before the war. Attacked by Japanese aircraft on December 11, 1941 and sank seven PBY Catalinas at anchor in Subic Bay. On December 14, Japanese aircraft bombed Olongapo and on December 24 the town was evacuated. During the Pacific War, a total of 27 ships were scuttled or sunk into Subic Bay.

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Subic Bay was used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as an anchorage for warships and cargo vessels. On January 30, 1945 liberated by the U. S. Army 38th Division.

On February 14, 1945 the "South Force" comprised of the U. S. Army, 38th Infantry Division, 151st Regimental Combat Team (151st RCT) embarked at Olongapo aboard destroyers from U. S. Navy Task Group 78.3 (TG 78.3) in Subic Bay and proceeded southward bound for Mariveles.

After the war, Subic Bay again served as an US Navy base and installation. In the fall of 1992, when their lease expired, the base closed making it the last US military possession in the Philippines. Since then, Subic has continued as a port and tourism area.

USS Rochester (USS New York, ACR No. 2)
Scuttled December 1941

Oryoku Maru
Damaged and grounded during December 1944

USS Lanakai
Wooden schooner sunk in Subic Bay

PBY Catalinas
On the morning of December 11, 1941 Japanese Zero fighters swooped over the Zambales mountains and caught seven US Navy PBY Catalinas moored at Subic Bay. All seven were heavily damaged in the ensuing attack and sunk at their moorings.

A6M2 Zero
At least one Zero was also hit and crashed into the bay. As the Japanese continued their attacks in and around Subic, several more Zeros fell from the sky. Morris Shoss, a former captain who served with a Philippine Scout unit in Subic at this time, insists that al least 13 Zeros were downed in the fighting. Virtually all of them crashed into Subic Bay. It is possible these were other Japanese aircraft, misidentified as Zeros also.

Hell Ships Memorial
Memorial recently dedicated at Subic Bay.

Subic Bay Historical Center
Museum at Subic Bay

Grande Island
Located at the entrance to Subic Bay prewar U. S. Army Fort Wint.

NAS Olongapo (NAS Cubi Point)
Located on the eastern shore of Subic Bay

A-20G Havoc Serial Number 43-22160
Pilot Major MIA January 9, 1945 one missing

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


Jan 9, 1945

Feb 14, 1945

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