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Communiqué No. 936 30 October 1944 from G.H.Q. Southwest Pacific Area
Released to the press at 0700 hours 30 October 1944
G.H.Q. Southwest Pacific Area
Communiqué No. 936 30 October 1944
Leyte: Our ground forces continued their drive through Leyte Valley. The 24th
Division in a three-pronged attack made gains up to four miles capturing
Alangalang, Cavite, Santa Cruz and Tingib. Forward units of the 7th Division
entered Dagami, and with elements of the 96th Division are advancing rapidly on
Pastrana to effect a junction with the X Corps. Patrols are moving toward the
west coast from Abuyog. All organized resistance in Leyte Valley region has
ceased. We control all important road junctions and communication routes. For
all practical purposes the important Leyte Valley region is ours. We now
control roughly two thirds of the island of Leyte, an area of approximately
1800 square miles. The coastline now in our hands stretches 212 miles from
Carigara on the north to include Panaon Island on the south. The combined
efforts of our guerrilla forces, and the 21st Infantry Regiment, which landed
at Sogod Bay on the south coast on October 20, have resulted in the conquest of
the lower third of Leyte Island, south and west of Abuyog. Enemy garrisons and
outposts in the coastal sectors have been liquidated. On Samar, the small
garrisons are helpless and can be destroyed at will. The liberation of a
million and a half Filipino people on the islands of Leyte and Samar is
On Sunday all churches of whatever denomination were opened throughout the
liberated areas and divine service was attended by the free population.
Intermittent enemy air raids of a harassing nature continued throughout the day
and night against shipping and shore installations. Thirteen enemy planes were
shot down by local fighter cover and antiaircraft defenses. We sustained light
damage and casualties.
Further details of the naval engagement off Samar Island on 25 October between
our Seventh Fleet escort carrier groups and a numerically superior enemy force
of four battleships, seven heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and twelve
destroyers have been received. Our forces, attacking against seemingly
overwhelmingly odds, sank one enemy heavy cruiser and one destroyer and
severely damaged three battleships or cruisers and a destroyer. Three other
enemy heavy fleet units and three destroyers were probably sunk by the combined
air attacks of our planes and those of a Third Fleet carrier group which came
up. We lost two of our escort carriers, two destroyers and one destroyer
escort, and sustained considerable casualties.
Palawan: Our heavy units in adverse weather struck the airdrome at Puerta
Princesa with 72 tons of bombs. hits with 1,000 pound bombs destroyed 33
parked planes, cratered the runway and caused large fires with smoke to 40,000
feet. Other planes at low level strafed and destroyed three float planes in
the harbor while patrol planes bombed San Soque airdrome at Zamboanga.
Patrol planes fired a small freighter.
Air patrols bombed Menado Township and scored a direct hit on a 1,000 tom
freighter. Near Makassar, our fighters destroyed a coastal vessel.
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