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    Villasis Pangasinan ProvinceLuzon¬†Philippines
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US Army c1935

Location
Lat 15° 54' 6N  Long 120° 35' 18E  Villasis is part of Pangasinan's 5th District. Route 3 highway runs north to south through the town, connecting it to Urdaneta to the north and Carmen / Rosales to the south.

Villasis Bridge
Built in the 1930's this bridge spans the Agno River to the south of Villasis.

Wartime History
After the Japanese landings at Lingayen Gulf the US Army began a withdrawal southward. The bridges across the Agno River, including the Villasis bridge was readied for demolition. Instead, during the evening of December 25, 1941, the Japanese Army 2nd Formosa, 1st Formosa (one battalion), and the 4th Tank Regiment entered the unoccupied town of Villasis.

After a preliminary air strike behind the lines by twelve planes of the 8th and 16th Light Bombardment Regiments, the Japanese opened the assault against Carmen, crossing the Agno near Villasis after sunset on December 26, 1941. After crossing the bridge, the 2nd Formosa and the 4th Tank Regiment, with artillery in support, met opposition. At the Agno River the Japanese halted to consolidate their position and bring up more troops. By December 27, 1941, artillery, armor, and service troops had advanced to join the 48th Division. One battalion of the regiment moved to Carmen to relieve Colonel Tanaka's troops who then moved back across the Agno to Villasis for rest.

Liberated by US Army on January 19, 1945. The span was damaged in two locations. The US Army established a pontoon bridge to the west of the bridge, allowing men, vehicles and supplies to cross the river.

Today
The original bridge survived until an earthquake in 1990. Demolished afterwards, today a new bridge spans the same location.

References
The Fall of the Philippines, Chapter X - The Withdrawal Begins pages 171, 172, 178.

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018

 

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