Timeline of World War II

This timeline was originally prepared by the Heritage Division of PCDSPO as part of he interactive web project World War II in the Philippines which sought to provide the structure by which we unify the people’s stories, in search of a history we can truly call our own. With this, we can finally see the intersections of the past and of what is before is now. We only make familiar what should have been familiar to us in the first place. 

Start DateEnd DateHeadlineText
19411945World War II in the PhilippinesAn interactive timeline of the events in the Philippines during World War II
12/2/1941A Japanese reconnaissance aircraft is spotted over Clark Airfield.
12/8/1941Executive Secretary Jorge B. Vargas informs President Manuel L. Quezon of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war by the United States against the Axis Powers.President Quezon is staying in their private residence along Legarda Road in Baguio, recovering from an illness.
12/8/1941Japanese aircraft attack Camp John Hay, Baguio at 8:30 a.m.
12/8/1941Japanese aircraft attack Tuguegarao at 9:30 a.m.
12/8/1941Japanese planes attack Clark Field.
12/8/1941Japanese planes attack airfield in Iba, Zambales at 12:30 p.m.
12/8/1941Japanese planes attack Fort McKinley.
12/8/1941Japanese soldiers arrive in Batan Island at dawn.
12/8/1941Japanese aircraft attack Tarlac at 12:35 p.m.
12/8/1941Japanese aircraft attack Davao at 12:45 p.m.
12/9/1941Cavite Navy Yard is bombarded at 11:00 a.m.From the diary of Gen. Basilio Valdes, December 9, 1941. See the full entry here.
12/10/1941Japanese Air Force launches heavy attacks on Cavite Navy Yard at 11:45 a.m.
12/10/1941Japanese Air Force launches heavy attacks on Nichols Airfield (present-day Villamor Air Base) at 12:00 p.m.
12/10/1941Japanese forces land in Aparri at dawn.Tanaka Detachment lands in Aparri, Cagayan.
12/10/1941Japanese forces land at Pandan, near Vigan at 5:13 a.m. Kanno Detachment lands to capture Vigan, Ilocos Norte.
12/10/1941Nichols Field bombed for the second time.
12/10/1941Cavite Naval base is bombed.The incident results in 500 casualties, the destruction of the submarines Sealion and Pillsbury, and damage to the minesweeper  USS Bittern.
12/18/1941United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) inducts all units of the Philippine Army; reservists called to the colors
12/22/1941Three Japanese convoys drop anchor at Lingayen Gulf.
12/22/1941Tanaka Detachment enters San Fernando, La Union.
12/22/1941Japanese units arrive at 5:00 a.m. in Agoo, La Union.
12/22/1941Japanese units arrive at 5:15 a.m. in Aringay, La Union.
12/22/1941Bauang, La Union occupied by the Japanese at about 7:00 a.m.
12/23/1941Clash in Northern LuzonUSAFFE forces fights artillery duel with Japanese Imperial Army troops around noon. The Japanese Imperial Army occupies town at 7:00 p.m. USAFFE troops are driven out by the Japanese Imperial Army that night.
12/23/1941Japanese troops take possession of the town of Sison, Pangasinan.
12/24/1941Japanese troops land in Atimonan, Quezon.
12/24/1941Commonwealth government is transferred to Corregidor. Under E.O. 396, the Department of Justice is abolished and its functions are transferred to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The War Cabinet is formed through a reorganization of the government by virtue of the emegency powers vested in President Quezon by the National Assembly.
12/24/1941Japanese troops land in Mauban, Tayabas (now Quezon province) at dawn.
12/25/1941Japanese unit from Binalonan encounters a USAFFE unit, which retreats to Asingan River.
12/26/1941Manila was declared an Open City.In an effort to spare further damage to the city and its civilians, Manila is declared an open city by Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur. All military installations were ordered removed.
12/27/1941Japanese forces bomb Manila Bay.The Japanese forces bomb the Port Area. From the diary of Gen. Basilio Valdes, December 28, 1941. See the full entry here.
12/27/1941Intramuros is bombed.Japanese air raid in which the Intendencia, Santo Domingo Church, and the DMHM Building beside Letran are hit.
12/27/1941Japanese bombing runs. Japanese bombers killed 43, wounded 150, and destroyed P5-million worth of buildings in an attempt to bomb four inter-island vessels.
12/29/1941The Japanese bombs Corregidor Island.
12/29/1941Retreating USAFFE troops of the South Luzon Force arrive at Santiago, Los Baños, and Alabang in the evening.
12/29/1941Japanese troops occupy Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.
12/29/1941Japanese troops arrive in Bongabon, Central Luzon.
12/30/1941Newly elected officials were expected to take office, after the formal proclamation by the National Assembly, which would give way to the bicameral Congress of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Quezon and Osmena are inaugurated for a second term as President and Vice President, respectively. The terms of all officials lapsed on this date. President Quezon and Vice President Osmena took their oath of office in Corregidor; however, the Commonwealth government officials in the capital city of Manila were unable to because of the looming Japanese occupation. The Second Commonwealth Presidential Inauguration is held at Corregidor. Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos administers the oath of office to President Manuel L. Quezon and Vice President Sergio Osmeña.
1/1/1942Last American tank crosses Calumpit Bridge, 2:30 a.m.
1/1/1942Calumpit Bridge destroyed at 6:15 a.m. to stop the advancing Japanese troops from the north.
1/1/1942Japanese Imperial Army troops arrive in Banbam, 9:00 a.m.
1/2/1942Advance guard of the Japanese army of occupation arrives in Parañaque.
1/2/1942Japanese forces enter and occupy the City of Manila.
1/2/1942The radio station "The Voice of Freedom" is born. Field Marshal MacArthur orders Major General Richard Marshall to set up a complete broadcasting station in Corregidor. When Maj. Carlos P. Romulo, former Manila editor, turned up on Corregidor, the radio equipment was ready to use. MacArthur himself named it "The Voice of Freedom" and made Romulo and others to make it as the mouthpiece of the President and the Field Marshal.
1/3/1942The Japanese High Command establishes the Japanese Military Administration in the Philippines
1/5/1942Bataan echelon of headquarters is established on Bataan under Major General Richard J. Marshall.
1/7/1942Battle of Bataan commences. The Battle for Bataan lasted from the early part of January 1942 to the eventual fall on April 9, 1942. Japanese invasion forces launched numerous attacks against the garrisoned USAFFE soldiers but were pushed back until the eventual surrender of the USAFFE forces in Bataan.
1/10/1942Japanese troops occupy Olongapo.
1/22/1942Field Marshal MacArthur orders withdrawal of the entire Mauban-Abucay line southward to final defense position on Bataan, behind Pilar-Bagac road; withdrawal started after nightfall on the 23rd and completed by daylight on the 26th.
2/18/1942USS Trout submarine evacuates the Philippine Treasury to San Francisco, U.S.A.
2/20/1942The Commonwealth War Cabinet leaves Corregidor for Visayas, then Mindanao, and from Mindanao departs for Australia on March 26, 1942
2/20/1942The First Family leaves Corregidor.President Manuel L. Quezon, his family, and war cabinet leave Corregidor.
3/11/1942Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur and his family leave Corregidor for Australia at 7:30 p.m.
3/22/1942USAFFE is abolished and is replaced by USFIP.The United Stated Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) becomes the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) when General Jonathan Wainwright assumed command of all the Filipino and American forces in the Philippines formerly held by Field Marshal MacArthur.
3/22/1942General Moore takes General Wainwright on an inspection tour of Corregidor's defenses.
3/29/1942Hukbalahap (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon) is formed.Concepcion, Tarlac: officially, Hukbong Laban sa Hapones.

Listen to the Huk song, Sulong Gerilyero.
4/8/1942A magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits Mindoro in the evening.The earthquake caused injuries, death, and millions worth of damage.
4/8/1942Gen. Wainwright sends Cols. Galbraith and Irwin to Bataan to confer with General Kin, and orders Col. Romulo to leave.
4/9/1942General Wainwright learns at 6:00 a.m. of General King's decision to surrender Bataan forces
4/9/1942Bataan, the last holdout of United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) in Luzon falls to the Japanese.
4/9/1942Fall of Bataan
4/9/1942Fall of Bataan
4/9/1942Bataan Death March
4/10/1942Wainwright issues proclamation to his besieged forces on Corregidor: "Corregidor can and will be held."
4/15/1942The Bataan Death March ends. All the surviving captives reached Capas, Tarlac.
5/5/1942Japanese from Bataan make amphibious landing on Corregidor.
5/6/1942General Wainwright makes decision to surrender at noon. Conference with Homma at 5 PM at Cabcaben. Homma refuses to accept Wainwright's surrender unless it includes all forces in the Philippines. Wainwright is forced to return to Corregidor and to surrender all forces in the Philippines.
5/6/1942Corregidor unconditionally surrenders to the Japanese forces.The island fortress of Corregidor, called "The Rock," falls to the Japanese thus, ending formal resistance in the country against the Japanese.

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