|Capture of Baguio|
|Part of World War II and the Allied Liberation of the Philippines|
|Commanders and leaders|
General Walter Krueger |
Major General Innis P. Swift
Major General Percy W. Clarkson
Major General Robert S. Beightler
Colonel Russell W. Volckmann
General Tomoyuki Yamashita |
Lieutenant General Fukutaro Nishiyama
Major General Noakata Utsunomiya
Major General Bunzo Sato
|Casualties and losses|
Prior to World War II, Baguio was the summer capital of Commonwealth of the Philippines, as well as the home of the Philippine Military Academy. In 1939 the city had a population of 24,000 people, most of whom were Filipinos, along with other nationalities, including about 500 Japanese. Following the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the Japanese used Camp John Hay as a military base. In October 1944, American Soldiers landed on Leyte, beginning the liberation of the Philippines.
General Yamashita transferred his headquarters to Baguio in December 1944, planning to fight a delaying action against the Americans to give time for Japan to defend itself. By early January 1945, American forces landed at Lingayen Gulf. Afterwards America's Sixth Army conducted two campaigns, one against the forces east of Manila, and the second against Yamashita in northern Luzon.
Advancement by Allied forces, primarily consisting of the United States Army's 33rd Infantry Division, with assistance from regiments of the guerrilla force United States Army Forces in the Philippines - Northern Luzon, occurred between late February to the beginning of April. By late March, Baguio was within range of American artillery. President José P. Laurel of the Second Philippine Republic, having moved to Baguio from Manila in December 1944, departed Baguio on 22 March, reaching Taiwan on 30 March; the remainder of the Second Republic government that remained in the Philippines, along with Japanese civilians, were ordered to evacuate Baguio on 30 March. Yamashita, and his staff, relocated to Bambang. A major offensive to capture Baguio did not occur until mid April, when United States Army's 37th Infantry Division, minus 145th Infantry Regiment, was released from garrisoning Manila to launch a two division assault into Baguio from the West and South.
A significant battle of the drive towards Baguio, lasting six days, from the West, was the battle at Irisan Gorge and near the Irisan River. During this battle, one of the last tank verse tank engagements, between the U.S. Army's Company B, 775th Tank Battalion and the IJA's 5th tank Company, 10th Tank Regiment, in the Philippines occurred.
In mid-April, 7,000 civilians, including foreign nationals made their way to American lines; among them were five cabinet members of the Second Republic, Brigadier General Manuel Roxas was "freed", the other four were captured. On 22 April, Major General Utsunomiya, having been left in command of the defense of Baguio by Yamashita, ordered a withdrawal from Baguio, and on 24 April the first Allied forces (a patrol of 129th Infantry Regiment) entered Baguio.
Fighting in northern Luzon continued until the end of hostilities. Yamashita, along with 50,500 men of Shobu Group, held out in northern Luzon until 15 August 1945. On 3 September 1945, Yamashita formally surrendered Japanese Forces in the Philippines at The American Residence in the presence of lieutenant generals Percival & Wainwright.
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