The battle resulted in a U. S. and Filipino victory. The Philippines were considered to be of strategic importance because their capture by Japan would pose a significant threat to the U. S. As a result,135,000 troops and 227 aircraft were stationed in the Philippines by October 1941, however, Luzon—the largest island in the Philippines—was captured by Imperial Japanese forces in 1942 during their campaign to capture the Philippines. General Douglas MacArthur—who was in charge of the defense of the Philippines at the time—was ordered to Australia, a few months after this, MacArthur expressed his belief that an attempt to recapture the Philippines was necessary. Pacific Commander Admiral Chester Nimitz and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest King both opposed this idea, arguing that it must wait until victory was certain, MacArthur had to wait two years for his wish, it was 1944 before a campaign to recapture the Philippines was launched. The island of Leyte was the first objective of the campaign and this was followed by the attack on Mindoro, and later, Luzon. Before U. S. forces could launch the attack on Luzon, airbases in particular had to be established in order to provide the advancing troops with air support. Troops under Brigadier General William C, dunckel captured the island of Mindoro, with the assistance of the 7th Fleet. By 28 December, two airbases were controlled by the U. S. and were ready to assist in the attack on Luzon, with the capture of Mindoro, U. S. forces were positioned south of Luzon. However, MacArthur intended to land his forces at Lingayen, further north and this would place his troops close to several roads and railways on Luzon, which led to Manila—the main objective—through the plains in the center of the island. U. S. aircraft constantly made reconnaissance and bombing flights over southern Luzon, in addition, transport aircraft were used to make parachute drops with dummies. Minesweepers were used to clear the bays of Balayan, Batangas, and Tayabas, located to the south of Luzon, the assault on Luzon was launched, as planned, on 9 January 1945, codenamed S-day. The Japanese forces reported more than 70 Allied warships entering the Lingayen Gulf, pre-assault bombardment of Japanese shore positions from these ships began at 7,00. The landings were commenced an hour later, the landing forces faced strong opposition from Japanese kamikaze aircraft. The escort carrier Ommaney Bay was destroyed by an attack, while a destroyer. Aircraft from the 3rd Fleet assisted the landings with close air support, the landings at the Lingayen Gulf on 9 January were carried out by the 6th Army under the command of General Walter Krueger. Approximately 175,000 troops from the 6th Army landed along the 20-mile beachhead within a few days, XIV Corps under General Oscar Griswold then advanced south toward Manila, despite Kruegers concerns that his eastern flank was unprotected and vulnerable if the Japanese forces attacked. However, no attack occurred, and the U. S. forces did not meet much resistance until they reached the Clark Air Base on 23 January
A squad leader points out a suspected Japanese position at edge of Baleta Pass, near Baguio where troops of the 25th Inf. Div. are in fierce combat with the enemy. 23 March 1945.
Captain Andrade of Escuadrón 201 stands in front of his P-47D with his maintenance team after returning from a combat mission over Luzon.
The first wave of troops approaching the beaches of Luzon.