'I Have Returned': MacArthur, Leyte, and Luzon
Fighting across the central Pacific and the dropping of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki now overshadow a key World War II campaign in 1944 and 1945: Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s dramatic return to the Philippines to reclaim the strategically positioned islands from Japan.
Military historian Geoff Babb of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College traces America’s involvement in the Philippines from U.S. colonization in 1898 to Japan’s invasion and MacArthur’s forced withdrawal at the start of World War II. MacArthur would come back 2 1/2 years later, wading onto the island of Leyte. U.S. troops worked their way to Luzon and the Philippine capital of Manila, where a brutal 29 days of block-by-block, house-by-house fighting devastated the city before its ultimate liberation.