Lat 15° 42' 58N Long 120° 54' 11E Town located on the Highway 5, eight miles souh-west of San Jose.
After the American landing at Lingayen Gulf, the 6th Tank Regiment, less one company was based at Munoz. After the battle of San Manuel concluded on January 28th, the American advance proceeded to Monoz. Omori Detachment column was attacked at Pamienta on January 29th, reducing defenders available. Japanese tanks stationed themselves at an Agricultural School 1.5 miles north of town. They dug in their 55 tanks in the area, supported by 356th Independent Infantry Battalion and a battery of anti-tank guns and 105mm guns. They turned the town into a fortified area with interlocking fire zones.
Battle of Munoz
Assaulted beginning February 1, 1945 by the US Army 6th Division, 20th Infantry Regiment commanded by Col. Ives. Supporting them was a company of Sherman tanks and 2 platoons of light tanks with 155mm and 105mm howitzer battalions. But Japanese firepower halted the attack, and one on the next day. Unwilling to credit the Japanese defenders, General Patrick commander of the 6th Division relieved Col. Ives of his command of the 20th Infantry Regiment, replacing him with Lt. Col. Maison, who fared no better.
While stalled, the the other two regiments encircled the town. The 63rd Infantry Regiment drove for the Agricultural school, liberating it on February 2nd, and the 1st Infantry Regiment headed for San Jose. The Japanese forces were ordered to evacuate Monoz on February 4th, they had already lost half their strength and 35 tanks, but did not get the message until the 6th, and launched a breakout attack towards San Jose, unaware that it had already fallen to American forces. The Japanese succeeded in breaking out February 7th, but all were destroyed on the road to San Jose by American artillery of the 53rd, 58th Field Artillery Battalions. Not one vehicle reached San Jose, but some infantry escaped into the hills. Total losses for the 6th Tank Regiment were 52 tanks, 41 trucks, 16 x 47mm AT guns, 4 x 105mm guns and 1,500 KIA. The 6th Division lost 90 KIA and 550 WIA.
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December 17, 2018