Letters From Arthur #33: 19 Feb 1945, Leyte

by Jess Clackum

The 1st Cavalry fighting in the streets of Manila. (Photo: WWII Archives)

The 1st Cavalry fighting in the streets of Manila. (Photo: WWII Archives)

One of the most significant battles in the Philippine campaign of 1944-45 was the Battle of Manila which took place 3 February to 3 March 1945. American and Filipino Armies joined forces against the Japanese in a bloody battle which ended with complete devastation of Manila and the deaths of over 100,000 civilians. It was the most horrific urban fighting in the Pacific campaign. The Japanese were forced out after three years of military occupation in the Philippines. It was the key to General MacArthur's campaign to reconquer the islands.
 

Dear May & Bill,

Hope you are receiving my mail. I received your last letter several days ago and always as before I was indeed glad to hear from you.

The weather here isn't too bad now especially nites. The cold air of the Pacific blows right up into the Beach, causing such ideal cool nights, but days are still very hot. Received your packages, thanks lots. It arrived quite in tact and the fruitcake was delicious.

How long do you reckon the war will last? Sometimes I keep wondering. Believe me I count the days I'm away from you all. Hope Bill found it easy to become a civilian once again. I think I won't find it hard, since I've got my heart set on it.

Take care of yourselves. Love to Joanie!

Your Devoted Brother

Arthur

Excerpt of a documentary on the Battle of Manila...