The Battle For Patag

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Mike S
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Like a lot of guys I am interested in WW II especially here in the Philippines and while we have all heard of Corregidor  .... the Bataan Death March .... Battle for Manila and the great one's return to Layte there are many more battles that took place here and some right in our own back yards ....


For me the Battle for Patag is just such one .... it was fought in the mountains less than 50k from Bacolod and according to some it lasted from March 1945 to July 1945 from when the troops landed in Bago to the final surrender of Japanese General Kona at Hacienda Santa Rosa ..... the Japanese started out with 10,000 troops but here is where the accounts vary .... if you tally up the figures in the link at the end of this you will see that the killed ... prisoners and wounded don't add up to this figure .... so where are the rest they only there are only 4000 confirmed kills but I guess when the blew up the bunkers and caves the bodies may never be found .... anyway enjoy the read .... I didn't post the main article as it is 22 pages long and JGF will have a stroke for using up so much space .... :hystery: :hystery:  ......


There are some pictures from various sites and one article I posted from a news source .... I also took a snap from Google Earth showing the terrain as it is today ..... I can't possible imagine anyone climbing up those hills let alone fighting for each inch of ground ....


Oh .... you ask .... when will you be going there .... well maybe never as I'm told the area is heavily populated by NPA and while they normally aren't interested in foreigners .... there is no sense in putting my head in the lions mouth just to see if he will bite .... so sad ... so close but yet so far .... but I'm doing some more checking into how safe it is ....


First the 22 page account .....


Now the news paper article ......



Thursday, September 8, 2011

FRIDAY, September 11. Our province will commemorate the 66th Negros Island Liberation Day on the theme, “Our Veterans, Our Heroes”. There will be wreath laying ceremony and 21 gun salute at the monument of the World War II veterans at the Capitol lagoon. In Silay, only two original veterans are still alive, Cresencia Jao and Apolonio Beatingo. They are more than 90 years old.


Patag in Silay was the last stand of the Japanese Imperial Army in the island of Negros during the Second World War. I read the books of Baclagon, Saonoy and even of foreign authors which tell of the syrupy war in Patag. I even listened to tales of guerillas who lost their arms and legs…of guerillas who placed garlic in their anus so that they could not go to war because they developed instant fever…of guerillas who never went to war but claimed war pension as veterans after the war.

Thousands of Japanese soldiers assembled in Silay and had their overnight rest on March 21, 1945 before retreating to Patag Valley. They know that the Americans landed in Pulupandan and already controlled Bago Bridge.


Lieutenant General Takaishi Kono, commander of the 77th Infantry Brigade of the 102nd Division of the Japanese Imperial Army was already in Lantawan and through a telescope saw a line of American battleships at Guimaras Strait.


The virgin forest of Patag provided the Japanese soldiers with thick forest cover and abundant water supply coming from hundreds of waterfalls. Guimbalaon was easily taken by the US Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop. That was the first major line of defense by General Kono. The guerillas of Silay were feeding information to the US Army advancing troops. General Rapp Brush, the commanding general of the US 40th Division and his staff stayed at the mansion of Aguinaldo Gamboa in Silay and was offered help by the prominent Silaynons. Later, he was joined in by West Pointer Colonel George M. Jones, the 503rd commander from Memphis, Tennessee.


My source gave me two kinds of maps to study, the map used by the Japanese and the map used by the Americans. I was confused because the two groups have used different names to identify the hills. I prefer to use the American map as my reference. Guns, cannons and tanks concentrated at Hill 3155 known as Dolan Hill. Bombardment shifted to Hill 4055. On April 14, the largest number of American planes in Negros – Panay operations dropped assorted number of bombs which according to the late Ikoy Paviera caused the mountains to wobble. That heaviest bombing and artillery concentration plus the cannon balls from the battleships killed countless Japanese but during the frontal attack of the US 40th Division, Japanese snipers enjoyed shooting at the walking ducks. The Japs dug crisscrossing tunnels at the belly of the mountains. Many were not affected by the surface explosion.


The battle in Lantawan (April 20-28) was bloody. The advancing Americans were pinned down. They only made it when they called for aerial and artillery bombardment. The dead were like dried fish scattering around. Firefight was nearing Patag. Lieutenant John W. Dolan, commander of the Company C of the 1st Battalion, crossed the fire lane but he was hit by a Japanese bullet. Gen. Brush baptized Hill 3155 Dolan Hill to honor him and he was given Silver Star Oak Leaf Cluster for bravery but later he died.


Major Uldarico Baclagon saw action here also as commander of the 74th Infantry Combat Team. Exciting battle scenes happened also at Virgne Ridge and Banana Ridge in Lantawan area. Japanese occupied areas were bombarded by day and night. The Japanese could not cook their food because any smoke seen would receive heavy bombing from US planes. Many Japanese were sick and the waterfalls were colored red from the blood of the wounded. That could be the reason why one of the falls was called ‘Pulang Tubig Falls’.


The war in Patag was a test of strength, of skill, of strategies, of determination, of weapon, of leadership, of heroism. Many died in action… Japanese, Filipina wives of the Japanese, children of the Japanese, Filipino soldiers, American soldiers. Our century old trees were uprooted. The spirits of nature were scared and fled. The hatred could have died down but the scars remained just like the shrapnel of bombs which were buried in the trunk of trees.


Our remaining veterans are approaching their sunset hours. May they remind us that war is evil but evil lurks in the hearts of men who are just waiting for an opportunity to display their wares. To combat evil, we have to wage war against our own selfishness and greed for power.


post-11-0-76047800-1374376014_thumb.jpg ...... post-11-0-39461000-1374376045_thumb.jpg .....


Now keep in mind that the marker shown in the Google shots here was placed NEAR the site of the old Japanese hospital which still stands today but the battles were fought in the surrounding hills (mountains) shown in the back ground .... :cheersty:


post-11-0-48382000-1374376199_thumb.jpg ...... post-11-0-73630300-1374376357_thumb.jpg ........ post-11-0-37321600-1374376885_thumb.jpg

Edited by Mike S
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Thanks for posting this artical Mike.  I'm also interested in WWll history, espically the Philippines and Negros. 


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