US Terrain Intelligence Pre-WWII Photos of Batangas
The photographs contained in this collection are taken from a dossier dated November 1944 entitled “Terrain Study No. 95 Batangas-Lucena.” The declassified document was originally from the Allied Geographical Section called the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA), which was responsible for the liberation of the Philippines from Japanese occupation in World War II. This so-called SWPA was under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.
The document, which was basically a collection of photographs and maps, was likely used as intelligence prior to the liberation of southern Luzon from Japanese control. The photographs were all taken before the outbreak of World War II in the Philippines in December 1941. All labels are as written in the original document.
|Beach fronting Balayan town, showing swampy terrain in background; looking north. Aerial oblique. Pre-war.|
|Nasugbu and coastline northward, showing Mariveles Mountains in background; looking WNW. Aerial oblique. Pre-war.|
More correctly, the bridge above was the Manghinao Bridge, a 15-meter concrete arch at Kilometer 122.2 along the Bauan-Taal Road1.
|Railroad crossing at Mahabangparang on Route 420, showing elevated ridges on road to reduce speed. 1935.|
I am unable to find information on a Route 420, but there is a barangay in Batangas City called Mahabang Parang. Chances are the photograph above is part of the Batangas City-Calamba railroad line that existed before WWII.
This Rancho River is in the present day a creek at the western outskirts of what is now the City of Lipa near its border with the adjoining town of Cuenca.
Just to be clear to those from Lipa City where there is also a bridge loosely referred to as the Sabang bridge, the one above was of the Batangas-Ibaan Road2.
The Palico Bridge was a 160-foot steel pin connected truss bridge along the Batangas-Nasugbu Road. The bridge was completed and made available to vehicular traffic on March 20, 19261.
Train service used to exist from Batangas City to Calamba and onto Manila. One of the stops was at Luta, presently part of the municipality of Malvar.
Notes and references:1 “Quarterly Bulletin Compilation, Bureau of Public Works.”
2 “Sabang bridge on the Batangas-Ibaan Road,” online at the United States Library of Congress.
3 All photographs above taken from “Terrain Study No. 95, Batangas-Lucena,” Allied Geographical Section, Southwest Pacific Area.