Letters From Arthur #30: 15 Jan 1945, Leyte

by Jess Clackum

Battle of Bessang Pass. (Photo: WWII Archives)

Battle of Bessang Pass. (Photo: WWII Archives)

Bessang Pass was a stronghold of Japanese Imperial Forces led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Five infantry regiments and a field artillery battalion of approximately 20,000 Filipino men led by five American officers and commanded by Colonel Russell Volckman. This unit, known as the US Army Forces of the Philippines - Northern Luzon/USAFP-NL), fought bravely in Cervantes for six days, suffering over 3,300 casualties and 900 deaths. Their fight led to the entrapment of Yamashita's forces which ultimately resulted in his surrender in the fall of that year. 


Dear Bill, May, and Joanie,

Received your ever so welcome letter today and so while I have a few moments free, I must answer you.

I felt it too bad that Mother had to return the bathrobe. I know she liked it, but I guess it must have been too small. Oh! Well, perhaps she can get something else for the money. I do know you went to a lot of trouble getting the appropriate gift. Thanks a million, you're a grand sister and brother. I guess you do know about myself and this Philippines affair.

Yes it was very rough, but I'm happy to say that after my second campaign, I'm well without a scratch. I shall write again shortly. Love to Joanie.

Your Devoted Brother

Arthur