American forces landed on Mindoro on Dec. 15, 1944, and on Jan. 9, 1945, U.S. troops invaded Luzon. By this time, Allied airpower had gained aerial supremacy. Except for suicide attacks on ships by Kamikaze aircraft and other sporadic air attacks, little enemy opposition in the air was encountered throughout the remainder of the Philippine campaign. Allied planes were free to roam almost at will against shipping in the South China Sea and against Formosa to neutralize enemy forces there.
The crowning achievement in the Philippine campaign was the recapture of Corregidor Island where U.S. troops in the Philippines has surrendered in May 1942. On Feb. 16, 1945, the AAF dropped paratroopers on Corregidor as assault forces hit the beaches. Within two weeks, the enemy on the island had been defeated and by June, almost all of the Philippines had been liberated.
Click here to return to the Combat Pacific Overview