I Have Returned”: Leyte to Lingayan, August-December 1944

The following text is taken from the book “Lightning Strikes: The 475th Fighter Group in the Pacific War, 1943-1945. By Ronald W. Yoshino

“The Japanese had sustained almost continuous blows through 1944 and as they watched their defensive perimeters shrink, they fell back consolidating holdings. Two American offensives in the Pacific placed the enemy squarely in a crossfire. This dilemma worsened in the face of extreme American mobility, carrier task forces that struck at will, and the “silent service,” U.S. submarines that by the end of 1944 had sunk 600 Japanese vessels for a staggering total of 2.7 million tons of shipping lost. Those factors went far in explaining enemy thoughts on the eve of the Philippine campaign.”

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Some of the "Line." 433rd enlisted men who labored long and hard to keep the Lightnings in combat. (Anderson Collection)