16° 38' 60N Long 121° 20' 60E Balete Pass is located to the west of the Cagayan Valley near the border between Nueva
Ecija Province and Nueva Vizcaya Province connected by Highway 5.
During January 1945, Japanese Army forces began withdrawing from the coastal plains via Balete Pass into the northern mountains. After the US Army landing at Lingayen Gulf, American forces advanced to this location from the coast.
During April to June 1945, the advancing US Army 25th Division, 161st
Infantry battled against entrenched Japanese using the advantage of the terrain for their defense. Balete Pass was subjected to numerous fighter and bomber aircraft in support of the ground forces. Both sides suffered heavy casualties. On May 16, 1945 US Army, 25th Division Brigadier General James Leo Dalton, II was killed on by a sniper in the vicinity. Afterwards, Balete Pass was named "Dalton Pass" in his honor.
missions against Balete Pass
January 27 - June 18, 1945
Several wartime memorials were erected at this location with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains
Memorials and Lookout
On the roadside of Highway 5, just over the border
from Nueva Ecija Province are three memorials at Balete Pass: American, Chinese
COWHM, and Japanese. Plus,
at the top of
American Memorial at Balete Pass
simple obelisk memorial, with bronze plaque at the base of the memorial
area. Behind it (unrelated) is a small lookout tower for region
2. The plaque reads: "Balete Pass - Erected in honor of
those soldiers of the 25th Division who sacrificed their lives
in winning this desperate
struggle. In taking this pass 7,403 Japs counted killed. 2,365
US Army 25th Division killed and wounded. May 13, 1945.
Japanese Memorial at Balete Pass
The Japanese memorial consists of several plaques, and engraved
stones, and a cross with the inscription "peace forever". The memorial
was established by family and fellow soldiers of the fallen. March
Chinese COWHM Memorial
Dedicated to the eight Chinese COWHM soldiers who died at Balete
pass, fighting with the Americans. This memorial have extensive
text about the origins of the COWHM and a small marker plaque,
dedicated on May 7, 2001 for each of the eight soldiers who died.
The memorial plaque reads:
"Dedicated to the memory of our 8 comrades in arms, who fought
alongside allied liberating army (25 Division, 161 Infantry)
and paid the supreme sacrifice during mop-up operations in the
summer of May 1945, against retreating Japanese forces at Santa
Fe, Nueva Vizcaya. May their brave heroic efforts in fighting
for freedom serve as a shinning model for all peace loving men
and women for all times to come. Ex-Chinese Overseas Wartime Hsuekan
just beyond the memorial ridge line is a small memorial park, with
a 150mm Japanese Howitzer (no serial visible) is on
display. There is an entrance to a large natural
cave directly behind the gun. Presumably this cave was used by Japanese
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October 23, 2019