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    Samar Island Samar Province (Western Samar Province) Philippines

Location
Samar Island is part of the eastern Visayas Islands in the southeastern portion of the Philippines. Borders Leyte Island to the southwest and Leyte Gulf to the south. Today, connected by the San Juanico Bridge to Tacloban on Leyte.

Wartime History
During the Battle of Leyte Gulf was one of three related actions that comprised the Battle for Leyte Gulf including the Battle of Surigao Strait, Battle Off Samar and Battle off Cape Engano.

Battle Off Samar
The Battle Off Samar was part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. During the night of October 24-25, 1944 the Japanese "Central Force" made a night passage through San Bernardino Strait. Shortly after dawn the Japanese opened fire on TG 77.4 escort carriers and escorts. During the battle, USS Gambier Bay and two destroyers and USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413 was sunk by Japanese gunfire. Three Japanese heavy cruisers were sunk by carrier aircraft.

Guiuan Airfield (Samar Airfield)
Built by US Navy Seabees, abandoned after the war.

Navy 3149 Base
Located in Ngolos, this was the site of a large US Navy base. Disused since the war.

Wildcat Wreck
Kevin Go adds in 2006 about a wreck near Samar(?):
"[In 2006] Last week I was scuba diving in the Leyte Gulf, and found a Grumman F4F Wildcat (or most likely a GM FM-2) in 180 feet of water. I am also in possession of an aircraft propeller which I rescued from a scrap dealer. The prop had likewise been found in the Leyte Gulf and shows many bullet strikes on it, evidence it was part of a downed aircraft. Since I got it two years ago I've been wondering how to trace what plane the prop may have come from."

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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