March 29, 2020

VIDEO: The 187th Infantry Regiment, US Army, in Barrio Sulok, Santo Tomas, Batangas, 1945

Troops of the 186th Infantry at Barrio Sulok in 1945.
Troops of the 186th Infantry at Barrio Sulok in 1945.
By April 1945, the Province of Batangas was all but liberated from Japanese presence. The Japanese Imperial Army was on the run and had been forced by the pincer strategy of the Allied Forces to retreat to the Malepunyo Mountain Range due east of what is now the City of Lipa.

One arm of the pincer spread out from Nasugbu, into the towns of Tuy, Balayan, Calaca, Lemery, Taal, Bauan, Batangas, Alitagtag and Cuenca. The other arm passed through the Tagaytay Ridge and into the towns of Talisay, Tanauan and Santo Tomas.

The pincer was to close in what was then the town of Lipa, where the Japanese had been pinned. Most of the work had been executed by the 11th Airborne Division, one of whose arm, the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment, is featured in the video below.



The 187th was erstwhile occupied trying to end Japanese resistance in Mt. Maculot (Macolod in US Army records). By April, it was redeployed from Maculot to Tiaong to block off the Japanese retreat. Parts of the regiment must also have been involved in “closing the pincer” since the video footages below documented the soldiers’ movements through the barrio of Sulac.

This “Sulac” in US Army records is actually Barrio Sulok (Tagalog: corner) at the border of what were then the towns of Santo Tomas and Lipa. It was the gateway to the Malepunyo Mountain Range. At present, this barrio of Santo Tomas City is called Santa Cruz.

This video has originally been downloaded from the United States National Archives and is made available in Batangas History for the benefit of researchers, students and the general public.



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Notes and references:
“Activities of 187th Glider Infantry 11th Airborne Division, Sulac, Batangas, Philippine Islands; Patrol Near Village of San Isidro, Negros Island, Philippine Islands,” video page online at the United States National Archives.

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