Destroyed Catholic Church at Dulag, Leyte

Statue of the Sacred Heart at the Catholic church stands after complete destruction of the 18th-Century building. Dulag was shelled by battleships and bombed by carrier planes from October 17-20, 1944, prior to Sixth Army's XXIV Corps landings on A-Day, October 20. The town's mayor, Marcial Lagunzad, was killed along with many other civilians. Almost every structure was completely obliterated. The US Army's 96th Infantry Division, 184th Infantry, commanded by Colonel Curtis D. O'Sullivan, was to land on Yellow Beach 1 and Yellow Beach 2 near Dulag and then drive inland, directing its main effort toward an early seizure of the airfield west of Dulag. It was also to seize and secure the crossings of the Daguitan River. The 184th Infantry landed at 1000 Hours, two battalions abreast - the 1st on the southern half of Yellow Beach and the 3d on the northern half. They encountered surprisingly little resistance on either beach and were able to push inland at a much greater speed than had been anticipated. The 3d Battalion drove through the town of Dulag, which lay directly in its path, to the Dulag-Burauen Highway. The 1st Battalion pushed inland and reached the highway at 1210, just fifteen minutes after the 3d Battalion. At 1530 the two battalions established physical contact and maintained it throughout the day as they continued their advance along the highway. Eleven Japanese had been killed in the 184th Infantry's zone. After the front line moved on, the ruins were used as a hospital. The church was not rebuilt as a war memorial to those who sought refuge during the war.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Friday, October 20, 1944