Having secured Leyte, the Americans under General MacArthur attacked Mindoro, the large island south of Manila Bay that would provide air cover for an assault on Luzon and the capital. The Western Visayan Task force reached Mindoro on 13 December and the Americans quickly secured the island, constructing an airbase there. On 9 January 1945, General Krueger’s 6th Army landed 175,000 men, with air and naval support, braved kamikaze pilots to land on Luzon’s Lingayen Gulf, and built an airbase at San Fabian, from where they could fly their newly-developed Mustang 51Bs. After two weeks they took Clark Field, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manila. Further landings and parachute drops followed and by February the Americans had reached the outskirts of the capital, where a long a bitter battle ensued, taking over a month for Japanese resistance to subside. The 8th Army conducted over 50 amphibious landings between February and June, by which time resistance in the rest of the Philippine Islands was largely extinguished.
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