Japan launched an attack on Batan Island on 8 December 1941, to get control of the airbase on the island. Japan used this airbase to launch attacks on other islands.
On 10 December, Japanese troops were heading off of Batan Island, when heavy winds threatened their crews. The convoy left two companies on Aparri and landed more troops on Gonzaga. While the Japanese were unloading, they were attacked by heavy bombers, but the damage done was not extensive.