World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: Bold Stroke

The eastern Philippines were swept by typhoons which kept airfields deep in mud, often cut visibility to zero. The western Philippines were drier. Aircraft operating from there could fight on schedule. But how to get there? And when? Douglas MacArthur decided on the bold stroke.

Between U.S. forces on Leyte and the inviting western island of Mindoro was the whole complex of the Visayan Islands, largely held by the Japanese. On many of the islands (see map), Filipino guerrillas working with U.S. officers had seized control of great areas, which dominated some...

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