Letters From Arthur #28: 26 Dec 1944, Leyte

by Jess Clackum

Palompon after the allied bombings, December 1944.

Palompon after the allied bombings, December 1944.

On 25 December, the last connecting road between the enemy and their chief remaining port of entry for reinforcements was severed when the 77th Infantry Division seized Palompon. By the end of the day, General MacArthur had controlled all major supply and communication routes of the enemy and declared Leyte secure.  On 26 December 1944, he transferred control of both Leyte and Samar to the 8th Army. In the north, US forces defeated disorganized Japanese troops. The 1st Calvary troops reached the Coast days later and the 24th Division cleared the last enemies from northwestern Leyte. Though MacArthur insisted the remaining job was to clean up a few stragglers, Eichelberger's 8th Army killed more than 27,000 Japanese on Leyte between December and May 1945. 



Dec 26, 1944


Dearest Sis May:

Please forgive me if you have not heard from me for so long. We have been busy fighting here on Leyte Island in the Philippines. We have more to contend with in this campaign than in Guam. Here we experience Jap bombing, but our great planes always chase them or destroy them at the scene of combat.

I'm fine so far and I know that I shall come out alright. I shall try to write you dear as often as I can, in the past few weeks it's been difficult. No May, I haven't received a package and the first chance I get I shall send you the balance to the expense of Mother's Xmas gift. Have written to Bill couple weeks ago when I landed in Leyte. I know you have received mail from me by now. Take care of yourself, Love to Joan.

Your Devoted Brother

Arthur