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Great Raid - 6th Ranger Battalion, Company F Patrol

Great Raid - 6th Ranger Battalion, Company F Patrol American History Famous Historical Events Geography World War II Visual Arts

In the fall of 1944, Lt. Col. Henry Mucci’s 6th Ranger Battalion helped to clear the way for General MacArthur’s return to the Philippines.  This image depicts a Ranger patrol investigating the situation on Dinagat Island:

A patrol of Company F. 6th Ranger Battalion, investigating a native hut on Dinagat Island in the Philippines.

It wasn’t just Dinagat Island where the Rangers were hard at work.  By mid-October, of 1944, they had seized some of the islands guarding the entrance to Leyte Gulf:

On 17-18 October the 6th Ranger Battalion seized three islands that guarded the entrances to Leyte Gulf, clearing the way for Sixth Army's invasion of Leyte on 20 October.  Encountering little opposition on Dinagat and Homonhon islands, the Rangers installed beacons to guide the invasion fleet through the channel between them.

On Suluan Island Capt. Arthur D. "Bull" Simons, commanding Company B. found the Japanese in a lighthouse surrounded by imposing cliffs on three sides and a steep trail on the fourth.

In a daring night attack part of the company cut off a security detachment at the foot of the trail while the other Rangers climbed the cliffs, struck the surprised garrison from the rear, and annihilated them. Having accomplished its mission, the battalion moved to Leyte where it patrolled rear areas and served as a guard for Krueger's headquarters.

In its advance across Leyte, the Sixth Army received invaluable aid from the [Filipino] guerrillas and Alamo Scouts. Reflecting SWPA's perception of their primary role, Kangleon's guerrillas operated under the intelligence section of Sixth Army, but they contributed much more to the success of the invasion.

Prior to  the American attack, they moved civilians from the landing areas to safety, and they later ambushed Japanese troops retreating inland from the invasion beaches. Once American forces had landed, the guerrillas provided intelligence, served as guides, harassed Japanese units, and mopped up bypassed detachments, releasing American troops for other duties.

While the guerrillas vented their pent-up hatred for the enemy [because the Japanese had taken-over their country], the Alamo Scouts performed long-range reconnaissance of Japanese positions on Leyte and the surrounding islands.

[Alamo] Scout teams landed on Samar, Masbate, and the Surigao peninsula of Mindanao to reconnoiter beaches, to watch enemy coastal traffic at key straits, and to organize guerrillas. One team landed on the north coast of Poro Island to establish a radio and coastwatcher station overlooking the sea approaches to Ormoc, the last Japanese stronghold on Leyte.

Although bypassed Japanese detachments continued to fight for some time, the fall of Ormoc on 10 December freed MacArthur to turn his attention to Luzon.  (U.S. Army Special Operations in World War II, by David W. Hogan, Jr., at pages 84-86.)

Click on the map image for a better view.


Media Credits

U.S. Army photo included in U.S. Army Special Operations in World War II, by David W. Hogan, Jr., at page 85.

Image online, courtesy U.S. Army Center of Military History.

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