Tag: kamikaze

The Long Blue Line: Leyte liberation—Merry Christmas from the General and the dead of LST-66

Photo of LST-66 anchored in the San Francisco Bay after her return from the war. The black and white image shows the effects of the kamikaze attack on her aft starboard side. (U.S. Coast Guard Collection)

Seventy-five years ago, on December 25, 1944, after a six-week campaign to liberate the Philippine island of Leyte, Allied forces under General Douglas Macarthur were mopping up the last vestiges of Japanese resistance. The invasion of the Philippines was one of the last major land battles of the Pacific War leading up to the surrender of Japan. By the 26th, MacArthur announced the end of organized resistance on Leyte. It was a fitting Christmas gift to the Philippine people and MacArthur’s forces would pursue the enemy back to the island nation’s capital in Manila.