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On December 20, 1941 destroyer Amatsukaze landed Japanese troops at Davao, supported by aircraft from Ryujo. Sporatic resistance met the landing at the shore, but was dispersed by fire from the destroyer, which dispersed the opposition and set a fuel tank on fire. By February, life had returned to normal, aside from the Japanese ships using the harbor.
Captain Hara recalls in Japanese
& American missions against Davao
During April 1945, the bulk of Japanese on Mindanao were defend the southeast corner of the island, including the 35th Army's 100th Division and Naval units. On May 3, 1945 the US Army 24th Infantry Division advancing from Digos occupied Davao, meeting only scattered resistance. With the liberation of Davo, the last major port held by the Japanese in the Philippines was liberated. In total, the 24th Infantry Division covered 115 miles in fifteen days.
The Japanese opted not to defend Davao and instead defended to the north and northwest of Davao, where fighting continued through June 1945. Reinforcing elements from the 41st Infantry Division at Zamboanga were required and fighting continued until the middle of June 1945 when American forces overwhelmed the enemy, and the remaining Japanese fled to the north further inland.
Davao Airfield (Sasa, Francisco Bangoy)
Matina Airfield (Navy No. 2)
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