These images are from the WW2 RADIO Facebook Website run by Peter De Forest. He reproduces them in a larger size, and the site is definitely worth a visit because you are sure to be diverted for hours.
I was surprised at the extent of the bombing, as was Karl, and I was wondering why so few of the images ever made it into the public consciousness? Was it that America couldn't cope with more disaster and defeat? Did the photos not suit the narrative? Had the facts overtaken the story? ("The most important news is never to be found in the newspapers, its the stories that the newspapers don't print that are most important," my father used to say.) Of course, within days, the Japanese were in control of Manila and its newspapers, but these photographs presumably remained in Carl Mydans' possession. Maybe there wasn't enough time to get them published. Maybe Carl Mydans didn't want to make himself unpopular with the Japanese? Indeed, were there newspapers being published at that time? Anyone got any ideas?
MANILLA - DECEMBRE 1941
Bombardement japonais sur Manille en décembre 1941. Photos Carl Mydans - LIFE Collections
My guess is you hit the nail on the head when you asked "Had the facts overtaken the story?".
He and his wife were captured very early in the war and were interred for two years before being released in a prisoner exchange. By then, pictures of the bombing of a city that had fallen two years past was old news, I would think. Especially with the Invasion of Italy in September of 1943 and the Pacific campaigns of the Marshall and Gilbert islands in November of 1943. All this a scant month or two before Mydans' release in December that same year. This is all just a swag mind you, but there certainly was no shortage of fresh war news at that time. In fact, one might think that between December of 1941 to August of 1945, there was no such a thing as a slow news day.
I am currently doing a short presentation and a section covers the bombing of Manila in 1941 and the area where the Japanese bombs fell. (approximately). While Manila was not as destroyed like the 45 liberation, there were stories and reports that the Japanese indiscriminately bomb Manila at will in 41. Got to find out that some of the destruction that was attributed to the Japanese were actually caused by the USAFFE as they were withdrawing the capital for their retreat to Bataan. More later....
Post by joeconnor53 on Mar 19, 2018 21:00:19 GMT 8
Only happy news was being sent out of the Philippines, probably the result of military censorship.
In the first few days of the war, American papers ran front-page stories reporting that the Philippine Army had repelled an attempted landing in Lingayen Gulf. The stories were quite detailed and included things like the precise number of Japanese landing craft sunk. There was only problem. Not a word of it was true.
Carl Mydans, the Life photographer who took those photos of the bombing of Manila, was the only reporter enterprising enough to actually go to Lingayen Gulf, and he learned the story wasn't true. Nevertheless, Life never corrected the record and continued to cite the repelled invasion as fact. When Mydans got back to Manila, he told MacArthur's PR guy that the story wasn't true, but the PR guy shrugged his shoulders and never corrected the false story.
I did an article on this for World War II magazine. If anyone is interested, shoot me a PM and I'll email you a copy.
I too am surprised at the extent of the damage. I had been under the impression that the bombing was quite limited, but these photos would suggest otherwise. I will be very interested in hearing more of Tony's mention about USAAFE caused damage and why. Was the "Open City" not quite as open as thought?
The photos taken by Mydans on Dec. 29 were in the areas vicinities near the estuary (Pasig) river and docks. They were not in the central heart of Manila (Civilian and Main Office and buildings)). The buildings and structures that you see there are located in the port area and parts of Intramuros near or at the river side. Now there were civilian communities in the area but they were not the intended targets.
The Japanese were preventing further supplies or anything of military in value to escape Manila as they know that the retreat to Bataan was in effect. A large part of materiel and supplies were sent via water surface vessels to the peninsula.
Last Edit: Apr 16, 2018 6:59:27 GMT 8 by batteryboy
I now see that these photos were indeed limited to the areas Tony has mentioned. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese tended to be very pragmatic with their expenditure of munitions. The Japanese intent was to win over the Philippine people and indiscriminate bombing would certainly not a part of the plan. So much of the defeat in 1942 has been distorted that such has become the accepted standard of the history of the time.
and remember that is also on this day (Dec. 29) that Corregidor was heavily bombed for the first time so Manila was really not a primary target. Conrad is right about the Japanese use of their munitions as they need to prioritize and be selective in their targets.
This is very interesting, my Grandmother and aunt always told us about the bombings they can hear starting December 10, And I always wondered how damage the City was. They don't live in the port area they are more in the Paco district area all they say is that there were a lot of planes and there seems to be heavy bombing.
we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be - Sir Winston Churchill
ArmyAir Corp: looking for someone that has a copy of Tillman Rutledge's book "My Japanese POW Diary Story". He visited my Great Aunt Years back and we heard he may have mentioned my great Uncle George Thomas in the book. Can anyone help?
Jan 3, 2019 23:54:49 GMT 8
foxholefrank: About the tank buried under the house. once the loggers reached the 3 tanks at the pockets around 1953 they were hauled off for scrap. Believe me if a peso was to be made they did it. Every where I dug I was told Yamashitas gold was theresome undera house
Jan 10, 2019 2:05:53 GMT 8
foxholefrank: I dug the big pocket back in 1996. The farming has ruined a lot of it. So much was picked up and hauled to the junk yard.I saw in 1998 12 inch Mortar shells from Corregidor at a junk yard.
Jan 10, 2019 2:11:06 GMT 8
Marine Niece: New to this. Not sure how it works. My uncle, James Shockman, Marine, was stationed on Caballo, on a 60 caliber anti-aircraft machine gun on 6 May 1942. Would that mean he was either on Fuger or Leach?
Jan 10, 2019 5:58:10 GMT 8
John Eakin: Shockman, James P., Pfc, USMC 275167 is mentioned in Xfile X3449 Manila #2. The dental charts of Unknowns X3451, X3452, X3447, X3448, X3449, X3450 were compared with his. Apparently, his remains were never identified.
Jan 17, 2019 5:22:33 GMT 8
John Eakin: You'll find more information on him by requesting his Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) from the Army Past Conflicts Repatriation Branch.
Jan 17, 2019 5:23:38 GMT 8
chadhill: Marine Niece: According to Haney in "Caged Dragons" chapter 5 two 50 caliber machine guns were set up near the beach off the east shore, which would place them near Batteries Fuger and Leach. F&L were 3" and 6" guns, however.
Jan 17, 2019 8:58:06 GMT 8
email@example.com: YES I AM INTERESTED IN WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP INENDENFY MY UNCLE THOMAS F. SWEENEY . HIS BROTHER HOWARD V. SWEENEY DID SEND IN A DNA SAMPLE. WE RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE GOVERMENT IN FORT KNOX KY. 40122-5504 DEPT. 107 0N MAY 25;2017
Jan 21, 2019 8:34:43 GMT 8
Karl Welteke: Off to Corregidor tomorrow for 4 days and 3 nights, will not look at the internet.
Jan 24, 2019 18:23:25 GMT 8
elainepeg: Thanks Chad!
Jan 29, 2019 6:17:44 GMT 8
chadhill: ArmyAirCorp: Yes, Rutledge mentions meeting George Thomas from TN at Las Pinas Airfield 10/11/43. At end of book mentions he is dead (no details). There is no book index for me to check so your great uncle may be mentioned even more often.
Feb 4, 2019 9:19:50 GMT 8
your mom: my mom
Feb 8, 2019 3:52:16 GMT 8
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2WarAbnVet: As a teen, I met a member of the "Test Platoon". His name was Frank Kassell and my Mother had known him when he was stationed at the CC Camp (that became Lee State Park) during the depression. He was in HQ 503rd PIR and had made four combat jumps, two with
Feb 11, 2019 6:08:29 GMT 8
2WarAbnVet: the 11th Airborne in the Pacific, and two with the 187th RCT in Korea. You can bet I was impressed. Later, when I was first stationed at the Airborne Board, I met another, John Ward, who had previously been the rigger Warrant in charge of the hangar at the
Feb 11, 2019 6:10:46 GMT 8
Feb 11, 2019 6:11:38 GMT 8
Robert Cisneros: I am the nephew of Luz Cisneros who was captured in the fall of Corregidor. I am looking for a photo of Kindley Ridge where he was wounded as he tossed grenades at Japanese machine guns enabling American forces to regroup.
Feb 19, 2019 1:07:23 GMT 8