Letters From Arthur #27: 10 Dec 1944, Leyte

by Jess Clackum

On 7 December, the XXIV Corps received welcome reinforcements with the amphibious landing of the 77th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Andrew D. Bruce, just south of Ormoc City. The 77th's 305th, 306th, and 307th Infantry Regiments came ashore unopposed though naval ships were subjected to kamikaze attacks, resulting in the loss of the US Destroys Mahan and Ward.  The Japanese were quickly squeezed between the two forces and the strongest opposition to the 77th was a small force of about 1,740 soldiers, sailors, and paratroops at Camp Downes, a prewar Philippine constabulary post. Supported by the 305th and 902d Field Artillery Battalions, General Bruce's troops pushed through and beyond Camp Downes to enter Ormoc City on 10 December, just three days after landing.  

(Drawing: PFC Arthur A. Hersh, December 1944)

(Drawing: PFC Arthur A. Hersh, December 1944)